Movement for the Restoration of Vedic Wisdom: THE SUPRAMENTAL JNANA
By Robert E. Wilkinson
26 May, 2010
By Robert E. Wilkinson
Any serious student of Sri Aurobindo’s life and yoga will agree that his work represents a radical departure from all previous spiritual paths. It challenges thousands of years of traditional wisdom that regards a transcendence of the physical world to be the highest possible attainment. In an epochal reversal of direction, Sri Aurobindo and his line have presented humanity with a
New Way, an entirely new direction that foresees the possibility of a material union with the Divine, one that takes us into the core of this world of matter and the innermost mysteries of time. […]
In order for us to perceive the workings of this new consciousness, one that unites the Spiritual and Physical in a seamless view, the Mother commanded that we abandon the old paths in their entirety. She insisted that there could be absolutely NO MIXTURE with the partial and incomplete teachings of the past that might contaminate the new way. What we see instead, from people claiming not only to be devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, but leaders of their cause, is a complete dismissal of some of the most critical aspects of their teachings and a willful disobedience of their most inviolable commands.
To Poet Our Lives: Self-Transformation, Suffering, Tapas in Nietzsche, Foucault & Sri Aurobindo by R.Carlson from Posthuman Destinies by R.C
Although attempts to institutionalize his yoga today by conservative Hindu factions and New Age neo-liberalism threaten to turn his yoga into a process of objectivication and its sadhana into a system of institutional control, a reading of Sri Aurobindo’s original text opens one to processes akin to Foucauldian subjectivication and Nietzchean self-fashioning. In fact, a close reading of his text offers up new possibilities for human freedom then are found in either Nietzsche and Foucault. “We are here concerned with .....in Nietzsche’s words, “the poets of our lives.” (Milchman and Rosenberg 2007)
In Sri Aurobindo’s work the process of sadhana is unique in that it leads to a transformative potential for self- overcoming with implications for the entire species. On closer examination Sri Aurobindo offers us a process for self-over-coming whose intent is similar to Nietzsche’s constitution of the ubermensch, a being who through assimilation of the discipline of suffering, over-comes its mere humanity. […]
While Sri Aurobindo’s yoga has suffered reification by Institutions whose devotees and protsylitizers advocate an authoritarian style of self-discipline that follows the traditional devotional forms of organized Hinduism in fact, Sri Aurobindo actually discouraged such religious practices by encouraging the surrender of self and will only to the “guru” that resides in ones own heart. His yoga renounces renunciation and rather embraces life in a most Nietzschean way.
Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga embraces the world down to its cellular dimensions, it cares for the physical world and does this in a manner unlike most other systems of yoga, because he offers few prescriptions on specific inner technologies that one need adopt to cultivate self-transformation. If he does offer a prescription it is that the self follow its own swadharma, or unique way of being in the world. In Sri Aurobindo’s yoga the over-coming of ones own nature requires not blind allegiance to a metaphysical system but, relies on the cultivation of tapas and the following of ones individual dharma.
Although attempts to institutionalize his yoga today by Hindu neo-fascist and New Age neo-liberalist threaten to turn his yoga into a process of objectivication and its sadhana into a system of institutional control, a reading of Sri Aurobindo’s original text opens one to processes akin to Foucauldian subjectivication and Nietzchean self-fashioning. In fact, a close reading of his text offers up new possibilities for human freedom then are found in either Nietzsche and Foucault.
Sri Aurobindo own life is in fact Nietzschean in its dynamics, educated a Cambridge he became a freedom fighter who was put on trail for life on charges of sedition while resisting British rule over India. An astute observer of society with modernist sensibilities he also maintained throughout his life a critical and often cynical view of religions, governments, corporations. […]
But to simply prescribe Sri Aurobindo’s sadhana as a technique for self-transformation or as a practice to help interrupt the commercial noise saturating our mental environments would be to simultaneously discredit it by objectifying it. It should be clear from the Milchman and Rosenberg article that there is no single way to effect self-transformation and any claims of exclusivity nullify the very validity of the practice itself. If it is through free choice that inner technologies of self-fashioning can be adopted by individuals as means of liberation. That said there is perhaps the potential for as many different practices of self-fashioning as there are individuals in the world.
by Philip Goldberg The Huffington Post
May 27, 2010
About 200 years ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson,
's greatest homegrown philosopher, read the first translations of Hindu texts to land in America . While he made explicit his debt to Vedic philosophy, he blended those ideas with other ingredients in his Transcendentalist stew, and the individual flavors are not always easy to identify. That kind of adaptation has been going on ever since. […] Boston Harbor
I just devoted about 400 pages to analyzing this history for a book that will be published in November. Its title is American Veda, not some variation on Hinduism in
. My publisher (Doubleday) and I made that decision because: 1) if Hinduism were in the title, potential readers might think it is only about the religion practiced in Hindu temples, and 2) what influenced American culture was a combination of the philosophy of Vedanta and the mental and physical practices of yoga, not the everyday Hinduism that most people associate with exotic rituals and colorful iconography. [American Veda: From Jefferson, Emerson, and the Beatles to Meditation, Yoga, and Enlightenment How Indian Spirituality Has Shaped the West, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning] America
Equanimity as the foundation of Integral Yoga. from Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother by Sandeep
The ordinary life undulates between inspired action, drudgery, boredom and leisure. Our response to the events of the day is shaped by our memory of the past. Abuse, poverty, illness and betrayal leave their mark on our consciousness making us polarized, disheartened, bitter or hard-charging. To uplift the abased life, the first goal of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is the practice and perfection of equanimity (Samata in the words of the Gita) in every aspect of life.
Instead of renouncing everything and retiring to some cave/ashram/monastery to meditate, the secret is to live in society and absorb the impacts without inducing stress. To be equal in all circumstances is the first step in perfection because it disengages the Spirit (Purusha) from the material consciousness (Prakriti). It is from the poise of equanimity that we rise into true freedom.