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object:1.00 - INTRODUCTION
class:chapter
book class:Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness
author class:Satprem
subject class:Integral Yoga

There once was a wicked Maharaja who could not bear to think that anyone was superior to him. So he summoned all the pandits of the realm, as was the practice on momentous occasions, and put to them this question: "Which of us two is greater, I or God?" The pandits began to tremble with fear. Being wise by profession, they asked for time; they were also concerned for their positions and their lives. Yet,
they were worthy men who did not want to displease God. As they were lamenting their predicament, the oldest pandit reassured them:
"Leave it to me. Tomorrow I shall speak to the Prince." The next day,
the whole court was gathered in a solemn durbar when the old pandit quietly arrived, his hands humbly joined together, his forehead smeared with white ashes. He bowed low and spoke these words: "O
Lord, undoubtedly thou art the greater." The Prince twirled his long mustache thrice and tossed his head high. "Thou art the greater, King,
for thou canst banish us from thy kingdom, whilst God cannot; for verily, all is His kingdom and there is nowhere to go outside Him."
This Indian tale, which comes from Bengal, where Sri Aurobindo was born, was not unknown to him who said that all is He gods,
devils, men, the earth, not just heaven and whose entire experience leads to a divine rehabilitation of matter. For the last half century,
psychology has done nothing but reinstate the demons in man; it is possible, as Andr Malraux believed, that the task of the next half century will be "to reinstate the gods in man," or, rather, as Sri Aurobindo put it, to reinstate the Spirit in man and in matter, and to create "the life divine on earth": The heavens beyond are great and 1

Thoughts and Glimpses, 16:378


wonderful, but greater yet and more wonderful are the heavens within you. It is these Edens that await the divine worker.2
There are many ways to set out to work; each of us has, in fact, his or her own particular approach: for one it may be a well-crafted object or a job well done; for another a beautiful idea, an encompassing philosophical system; for still another a piece of music, the flowing of a river, a burst of sunlight on the sea; all are ways of breathing the Infinite. But these are brief moments, and we seek permanence. These are moments subject to many uncontrollable conditions, and we seek something inalienable, independent of conditions and circumstances
a window within us that will never close again.
And since those conditions are difficult to meet here on earth, we speak of "God," of "spirituality," of Christ, of Buddha, and the whole lineage of great religious founders; all are ways of finding permanence. But it may be that we are not religious or spiritual men,
but just men, tired of dogmas, who believe in the earth and who are suspicious of big words. We also may be somewhat weary of too much intelligent thinking; all we want is our own little river flowing into the Infinite. There was a great saint in India who, for many years before he found peace, used to ask whomever he met: "Have you seen God? Have you seen God?" He would always go away frustrated and angry because people told him stories. He wanted to see. He wasn't wrong, considering all the deception men have heaped onto this world,
as onto many others. Once we have seen, we can talk about it; or,
most probably, we will remain silent. Indeed, we do not want to deceive ourselves with words; we want to start from what we have,
right where we are, with our cloddy shoes and the little ray of sunshine on the good days; such is our simplehearted faith. We see that the world around us is not so great, and we aspire for it to change,
but we have become wary of universal panaceas, of movements,
parties, and theories. So we will begin at square one, with ourselves such as we are; it isn't much, but it's all we have. We will try to change this little bit of world before setting out to save the other. And perhaps this isn't such a foolish idea after all; for who knows whether changing the one is not the most effective way of changing the other?
2

The Hour of God, 17:148


What can Sri Aurobindo do for us at this low altitude?
There is Sri Aurobindo the philosopher, and Sri Aurobindo the poet, which he was essentially, a visionary of evolution; but not everyone is a philosopher or a poet, much less a seer. But would we not be content if he gave us a way to believe in our own possibilities,
not only our human but our superhuman and divine possibilities, and not only to believe in them but to discover them ourselves, step by step, to see for ourselves and to become vast, as vast as the earth we love and all the lands and all the seas we hold within us? For there is Sri Aurobindo the explorer, who was also a yogi; did he not say that Yoga is the art of conscious self-finding? 3 It is this exploration of consciousness that we would like to undertake with him. If we proceed calmly, patiently, and with sincerity, bravely facing the difficulties of the road and God knows it is rugged enough there is no reason that the window should not open at some point and let the sun shine on us forever. Actually, it is not one but several windows that open one after another, each time on a wider perspective, a new dimension of our own kingdom; and each time it means a change of consciousness as radical as going from sleep to the waking state. We are going to outline the main stages of these changes of consciousness,
as Sri Aurobindo experienced them and described them to his disciples in his integral yoga, until they take us to the threshold of a new, still unknown experience that may have the power to change life itself.
For Sri Aurobindo is not only the explorer of consciousness, he is the builder of a new world. Indeed, what is the point of changing our consciousness if the world around us remains as it is? We would be like Hans Christian Andersen's emperor walking naked through the streets of his capital. Thus, after exploring the outermost frontiers of worlds that were not unknown to ancient wisdom, Sri Aurobindo discovered yet another world, not found on any map, which he called the Supermind or Supramental, and which he sought to draw down upon Earth. He invites us to draw it down a little with him and to take part in the beautiful story, if we like beautiful stories. For the Supermind, Sri Aurobindo tells us, brings a dramatic change to the 3

The Human Cycle, 15:36


evolution of consciousness on earth; it is the change of consciousness that will have the power to hope as thoroughly and lastingly as the Mind did when it first appeared in living matter. We will see,
therefore, how the integral yoga leads to a supramental yoga, or yoga of terrestrial transformation, which we will try to outline only, because the story is still in the making; it is quite new and difficult, and we do not quite know yet where it will take us, or even whether it will succeed.
That, in fact, depends a little upon us all.




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1.00 - INTRODUCTION
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   1 Integral Yoga






1.00_-_INTRODUCTION, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  object:1.00 - INTRODUCTION
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