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shankara. ::: the auspicious One; beneficent One; Adi &

SHANKARA. ::: The Shanlcara knowledge is only one side of the TniUi ; it is the knowledge of the Supreme as realised by the spiritual Mind through the static silence of the pure Exist- ence. It was because he went by this side only 'that Shankara was unable to accept or explain the origin of the universe except as illusion, a creation of Maya. Unless one realises the Supreme on the dynamic as well as the static side, one cannot experience the true ori^n of things and the equal reality of the active


(788-820 AD), a great philosopher of India, a proponent of advaita (see advaita). Often called Shankaracharya as a title of respect (see acharya).

ācārya ::: 'knowing the rules', spiritual guide; a title suffixed to the name of a learned person, such as Shankaracharya.

Advaita (Adwaita) (S) Literally: ‘not being two’, everything is one, monism. School of Vedantic philosophy, doctrine of non-dualism that teaches the unity of God, the soul and the universe. This philosophy has been elaborated on by Shankaracharya.

gaudapada. ::: the Guru of Shankara's Guru, Govindapada

giri. ::: mountain; one of the ten branches of the Shankara Order

- Shankara

ILLUSIONIST PHILOSOPHY In each world the monad consciousness apprehends reality totally differently. This is what was originally meant by the saying that all apprehension of reality is maya, or &

kevala advaita. ::: the pure non-dualistic school of vedanta of which the great sage Adi Shankara was an adept

mr.tyur va prabhavati (mrityur va prabhavati) ::: death has power.(This phrase, forming the first sortilege of 9 October 1914, occurs in a sentence in Shankara"s commentary on Śvetasvatara 2.12 which is part of the second sortilege of the same date. The complete sentence means: "Over that Yogi neither disease nor old age nor death has power.")

Parvati-Sankara (Parvati-Shankara) ::: [Siva and his consort Parvati].

shankara. ::: the auspicious One; beneficent One; Adi &

SHANKARA. ::: The Shanlcara knowledge is only one side of the TniUi ; it is the knowledge of the Supreme as realised by the spiritual Mind through the static silence of the pure Exist- ence. It was because he went by this side only 'that Shankara was unable to accept or explain the origin of the universe except as illusion, a creation of Maya. Unless one realises the Supreme on the dynamic as well as the static side, one cannot experience the true ori^n of things and the equal reality of the active

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1:When your last breath arrives, Grammar can do nothing. ~ Adi Shankara,
2:Whatever consists of parts and whole is not the eternal. To consider any particular object to be eternal It would be an error of the imagination." ~ Adi Shankara, (8th century) Indian philosopher and theologian, consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, Wikipedia.,
3:For all beings a human birth is difficult to obtain, rarer is attachment to the path of Vedic religion; higher than this is erudition in the scriptures; next is discrimination between the Self and not-Self, Realisation and continuing in a state of identity with Brahman. ~ Shankara,
4:Someone told me that Ramana Maharshi lives on the overmental plane or that his realisation is on the same level as Shankara's. How is it then that he is not aware of the arrival of the Divine, while others, for instance X's Guru, had this awareness?

I can't say on what plane the Maharshi is, but his method is that of Adwaita Knowledge and Moksha - so there is no necessity for him to recognise the arrival of the Divine. X's Guru was a bhakta of the Divine Mother and believed in the dynamic side of existence, so it was quite natural for him to have the revelation of the coming of the Mother. 23 January 1936 ~ Sri Aurobindo,


1:Know the Self as the one indivisible Being. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
2:Those who are absorbed in Brahman become immortal. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
3:The wise, of even mind, renounce the fruit of action. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
4:Who is free from sin? One who chants the name of God. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
5:When your last breath arrives, Grammar can do nothing. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
6:Then, having known Me in truth, he forthwith enters into Me. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
7:Verily, by knowing Him one cuts asunder the fetters of death. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
8:Curb your senses and your mind and see the Lord within your heart. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
9:By knowing Him who alone pervades the universe, men become immortal. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
10:The jiva, in reality, is the Supreme Self; all else besides is unreal. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
11:Free your mind from all distractions and dwell in the consciousness of the Self. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
12:Know Him, the Purusha, who alone is to be known . . . that death may not affect you. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
13:Reality can be experienced only with the eye of understanding, not just by a scholar ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
14:The treasure I have found cannot be described in words, the mind cannot conceive of it. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
15:The world, like a dream full of attachments and aversions seems real until the awakening. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
16:Endued with evenness of mind, one casts off, in this very life, both good deeds and evil deeds. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
17:By that alone you will become full of joy, recognising Self as Pure Being, Consciousness and Bliss. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
18:Thus one should know oneself to be of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss[Sat-Chit-Ananda]. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
19:What delusion, what sorrow, can there be for him who beholds that oneness [of the jiva and Brahman. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
20:Who but the Atman is capable of removing the bonds of ignorance, passion and self-interested action? ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
21:The name, "universe," is superimposed on Brahman, but what we call the "universe" is [really] nothing but Brahman. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
22:What is enquiry into the Truth? It is the firm conviction that the Self is real, and all, other than That, is unreal. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
23:He who knows that imperishable Being, bright, without shadow, without body, without colour, verily obtains the Supreme. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
24:What is the first and most important duty for a man of right understanding? To cut through the bonds of worldly desire. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
25:Like the appearance of silver in mother of pearl, the world seems real until the Self, the underlying reality, is realized. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
26:Present-day Hinduism and Buddhism were growths from the same branch. Buddhism degenerated, and Shankara lopped it off! ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
27:But the jiva [living being] is endowed with ego and his knowledge is limited, whereas Ishwar is without ego and is omniscient. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
28:Thus, when the Sage who abides as Brahman, which is Pure Being, obtains his disembodied absolute state, he is never again reborn. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
29:There is sorrow in finitude. The Self is beyond time, space and objects. It is infinite and hence of the nature of absolute happiness. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
30:Seated in a solitary place, free from desires and with senses controlled, one should meditate free of thought on that one infinite Self. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
31:Utterly destroy the ego. Control the many waves of distraction which it raises in the mind. Discern the Reality and realize "I am That." ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
32:He who sees himself in all beings, by means of his true understanding, first attains unity with all and then realizes the eternal Brahman. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
33:The universe is truly Brahman, ... for that which is superimposed (the universe) has no separate existence from its substratum (Brahman). ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
34:Space seems broken and diverse because of the many forms in it. Remove the forms and pure space remains. So, too with the Omnipresent Self. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
35:The witness of the three states of consciousness [waking, dream and deep sleep] and of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss is the Self ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
36:You are pure Consciousness, the witness of all experiences. Your real nature is joy. Cease this very moment to identify yourself with the ego. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
37:The knower of the Self passes beyond grief. He is not afraid of anything — neither of the approach of death nor of death itself. He fears nothing whatsoever. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
38:Loud speech, profusion of words, and possessing skillfulness in expounding scriptures are merely for the enjoyment of the learned. They do not lead to liberation. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
39:Though he lives in the conditionings (Upadhis), he, the contemplative one, remains ever unconcerned with anything or he may move about like the wind, perfectly unattached. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
40:The Atman, the Sun of Knowledge that rises in the sky of the heart, destroys the darkness of the ignorance, pervades and sustains all and shines and makes everything to shine. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
41:Knowing that I am different from the body, I need not neglect the body. It is a vehicle that I use to transact with the world. It is the temple which houses the Pure Self within. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
42:Do not be proud of wealth, people, relations and friends, or youth. All these are snatched by time in the blink of an eye. Giving up this illusory world, know and attain the Supreme. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
43:From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
44:Each thing tends to move towards its own nature. I always desire happiness which is my true nature. My nature is never a burden to me. Happiness is never a burden to me, whilst sorrow is. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
45:This is the final declaration of the Vedanta: Brahman is all; [It is] this universe and every creature. To be liberated is to live in the continual awareness of Brahman, the undivided Reality. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
46:To be free from bondage the wise person must practise discrimination between One-Self and the ego-self. By that alone you will become full of joy, recognising Self as Pure Being, Consciousness and Bliss. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
47:As the mind becomes gradually established in the Self, it proportionately gives up the desire for external objects. When all such desires have been eliminated, there is the unobstructed realization of the Self. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
48:Everything, from the intellect down to the gross physical body, is the effect of Maya. Understand that all these and Maya itself are not the [absolute] Self, and are therefore unreal, like a mirage in the desert. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
49:As gold purified in a furnace loses its impurities and achieves its own true nature, the mind gets rid of the impurities of the attributes of delusion, attachment and purity through meditation and attains Reality. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
50:You never identify yourself with the shadows cast by your body, or with its reflection, or with the body you see in a dream or in your imagination. Therefore you should not identify yourself with this living body either. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
51:The entire universe is truly the Self. There exists nothing at all other than the Self. The enlightened person sees everything in the world as his own Self, just as one views earthenware jars and pots as nothing but clay. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
52:Do not look at anybody in terms of friend or foe, brother or cousin; do not fritter away your mental energies in thoughts of friendship or enmity. Seeking the Self everywhere, be amiable and equal-minded towards all, treating all alike. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
53:Give up identification with this mass of flesh as well as with what thinks it a mass. Both are intellectual imaginations. Recognise your true self as undifferentiated awareness, unaffected by time, past, present or future, and enter Peace. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
54:Maya is neither real nor unreal, nor both together; She is neither identical with Brahman nor different from Him, nor both; She is neither differentiated nor undifferentiated, nor both. She is most wonderful and cannot be described in words. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
55:All the manifested world of things and beings are projected by imagination upon the substratum which is the Eternal All-pervading Vishnu, whose nature is Existence-Intelligence; just as the different ornaments are all made out of the same gold. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
56:The fool thinks, "I am the body"; the intelligent man thinks, "I am an individual soul united with the body." But the wise man, in the greatness of his knowledge and spiritual discrimination, sees the Self as the only reality and thinks, "I am Brahman. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
57:You are the Self, the infinite Being, the pure, unchanging Consciousness, which pervades everything. Your nature is bliss and your glory is without stain. Because you identify yourself with the ego, you are tied to birth and death. Your bondage has no other cause. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
58:That Reality is One; though, owing to illusion, It appears to be multiple names and forms, attributes and changes, It always remains unchanged. [It is] like gold which, while remaining one, is formed into various ornaments. You are that One, that Brahman. Meditate on this in your mind. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
59:Just as a stone, a tree, a straw, grain, a mat, a cloth, a pot, and so on, when burned, are reduced to earth (from which they came), so the body and its sense organs, on being burned in the fire of Knowledge, become Knowledge and are absorbed in Brahman, like darkness in the light of the sun. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
60:The soul acts, to be sure, but the activity of the soul is not independent. It acts itself, but the Lord causes it to act. Moreover, the Lord in causing it to act now has regard to its former efforts, and He also caused it to act in a former existence, having regard to its efforts previous to that existence. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
61:When a pot is broken the space that was in it becomes one with space; so too when the limitation caused by the body and its adjuncts is removed the Sage, realized during life, shines as Brahman, becoming absorbed in Brahman he already was, like milk in milk, water in water, or oil in oil, and is radiant as the One Supreme Self. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
62:Even after the Truth has been realised, there remains that strong, obstinate impression that one is still an ego - the agent and experiencer. This has to be carefully removed by living in a state of constant identification with the supreme non-dual Self. Full Awakening is the eventual ceasing of all the mental impressions of being an ego. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
63:The Self is the witness, beyond all attributes, beyond action. It can be directly realized as pure Consciousness and infinite bliss. Its appearance as an individual soul is caused by the delusion of our understanding, and has no reality. By -its very nature, this appearance is unreal. When our delusion has been removed, it ceases to exist. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
64:The Self never undergoes change; the intellect never possesses consciousness. But when one sees all this world, he is deluded into thinking, "I am the seer, I am the knower." Mistaking one's Self for the individual entity, one is overcome with fear. If one knows oneself not as the individual but as the supreme Self, one becomes free from fear. ~ adi-shankara, @wisdomtrove
65:There is no class of substance to which the Brahman belongs, no common genus. It cannot therefore be denoted by words which, like “being” in the ordinary sense, signify a category of things. Nor can it be denoted by quality, for it is without qualities; nor yet by activity because it is without activity—“at rest, without parts or activity,” according to the Scriptures. Neither can it be denoted by relationship, for it is “without a second” and is not the object of anything but its own self. Therefore it cannot be defined by word or idea; as the Scripture says, it is the One “before whom words recoil.” Shankara” ~ aldous-huxley, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:When your last breath arrives, Grammar can do nothing. ~ Adi Shankara,
2:When your last breath arrives, Grammar can do nothing. ~ Adi Shankara,
3:Curb your senses and your mind and see the Lord within your heart. ~ Adi Shankara,
4:Reality can be experienced only with the eye of understanding, not just by a scholar ~ Adi Shankara,
5:The treasure I have found cannot be described in words, the mind cannot conceive of it. ~ Adi Shankara,
6:Ideas come as you walk, Nietzsche said. Walking dissipates thoughts, Shankara taught. ~ Emile M Cioran,
7:The world, like a dream full of attachments and aversions seems real until the awakening. ~ Adi Shankara,
8:Thus one should know oneself to be of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss[Sat-Chit-Ananda]. ~ Adi Shankara,
9:Who but the Atman is capable of removing the bonds of ignorance, passion and self-interested action? ~ Adi Shankara,
10:To be free from bondage the wise person must practise discrimination between One-Self and the ego-self. ~ Adi Shankara,
11:Shankara assured her he would return whenever his mother, conscious, unconscious or burdened by sorrow, needed him. ~ Pavan K Varma,
12:What is enquiry into the Truth? It is the firm conviction that the Self is real, and all, other than That, is unreal. ~ Adi Shankara,
13:Like the appearance of silver in mother of pearl, the world seems real until the Self, the underlying reality, is realized. ~ Adi Shankara,
14:Present-day Hinduism and Buddhism were growths from the same branch. Buddhism degenerated, and Shankara lopped it off! ~ Swami Vivekananda,
15:But the jiva [living being] is endowed with ego and his knowledge is limited, whereas Ishwar is without ego and is omniscient. ~ Adi Shankara,
16:There is sorrow in finitude. The Self is beyond time, space and objects. It is infinite and hence of the nature of absolute happiness. ~ Adi Shankara,
17:Space seems broken and diverse because of the many forms in it. Remove the forms and pure space remains. So, too with the Omnipresent Self. ~ Adi Shankara,
18:Action cannot destroy ignorance, for it is not in conflict with ignorance. Knowledge alone destroys ignorance, as light destroys dense darkness. ~ Shankara,
19:The witness of the three states of consciousness [waking, dream and deep sleep] and of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss is the Self ~ Adi Shankara,
20:Discrimination, viveka, means you know the difference between the transient and the eternal. That's what discrimination means in Shankara's yoga. ~ Frederick Lenz,
21:Loud speech, profusion of words, and possessing skillfulness in expounding scriptures are merely for the enjoyment of the learned. They do not lead to liberation. ~ Adi Shankara,
22:Knowing that I am different from the body, I need not neglect the body. It is a vehicle that I use to transact with the world. It is the temple which houses the Pure Self within. ~ Adi Shankara,
23:Do not be proud of wealth, people, relations and friends, or youth. All these are snatched by time in the blink of an eye. Giving up this illusory world, know and attain the Supreme. ~ Adi Shankara,
24:From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures. ~ Adi Shankara,
25:Lacking nothing, contemplative, immortal, self-originated, sufficed with a quintessence: he who knows that constant, ageless, and ever-youthful Spirit, knows himself and does not fear death. ~ Shankara,
26:Each thing tends to move towards its own nature. I always desire happiness which is my true nature. My nature is never a burden to me. Happiness is never a burden to me, whilst sorrow is. ~ Adi Shankara,
27:As gold purified in a furnace loses its impurities and achieves its own true nature, the mind gets rid of the impurities of the attributes of delusion, attachment and purity through meditation and attains Reality. ~ Adi Shankara,
28:You never identify yourself with the shadows cast by your body, or with its reflection, or with the body you see in a dream or in your imagination. Therefore you should not identify yourself with this living body either. ~ Adi Shankara,
29:Do not look at anybody in terms of friend or foe, brother or cousin; do not fritter away your mental energies in thoughts of friendship or enmity. Seeking the Self everywhere, be amiable and equal-minded towards all, treating all alike. ~ Adi Shankara,
30:Give up identification with this mass of flesh as well as with what thinks it a mass. Both are intellectual imaginations. Recognise your true self as undifferentiated awareness, unaffected by time, past, present or future, and enter Peace. ~ Adi Shankara,
31:Ideas come as you walk, Nietzsche said. Walking dissipates thoughts, Shankara taught.

Both theses are equally well-founded, hence equally true, as each of us can discover for himself in the space of an hour, sometimes of a minute. … ~ Emil M Cioran,
32:All the manifested world of things and beings are projected by imagination upon the substratum which is the Eternal All-pervading Vishnu, whose nature is Existence-Intelligence; just as the different ornaments are all made out of the same gold. ~ Adi Shankara,
33:The first wave involved Sanskrit ‘commentaries’ (bhasyas) by Vedanta scholars, the most celebrated of whom were Adi Shankara from Kerala in the eighth century followed by Ramanuja from Tamil Nadu in the eleventh century and Madhva Acharya from Karnataka in the thirteenth century. They ~ Devdutt Pattanaik,
34:Just as a stone, a tree, a straw, grain, a mat, a cloth, a pot, and so on, when burned, are reduced to earth (from which they came), so the body and its sense organs, on being burned in the fire of Knowledge, become Knowledge and are absorbed in Brahman, like darkness in the light of the sun. ~ Adi Shankara,
35:Much later, the illustrious teacher (acharya), Shankara (eighth century C.E.), attempted a reformulation of Advaita (Nondual) Vedanta, and in the process introduced some ideas which are controversial to this day. In many ways, his metaphysical worldview is also remarkably similar to that of Plotinus: ~ Swami Abhayananda,
36:I hacked my way through six forests until the moon woke up inside me. The sky's breath sang through me, dried up my body's substance. I roasted my heart in passion's fire and found Shankara! [2579.jpg] -- from I Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded, Translated by Ranjit Hoskote

~ Lalla, I hacked my way through six forests
37:Even after the Truth has been realised, there remains that strong, obstinate impression that one is still an ego - the agent and experiencer. This has to be carefully removed by living in a state of constant identification with the supreme non-dual Self. Full Awakening is the eventual ceasing of all the mental impressions of being an ego. ~ Adi Shankara,
38:Shankara commented on Krishna, on the Upanishads, on the Brahma Sutras. Ramanuja commented on the ancient enlightened people, Vallabha did the same. It has always been so in the East, because much dust gathers as time passes. Now, the Upanishads were written in a totally different world. That man has disappeared, that mind has disappeared, that world no more exists. ~ Rajneesh,
39:Questioner: Does the soul survive after death? KRISHNAMURTI: If you really want to know, how are you going to find out? By reading what Shankara, Buddha or Christ has said about it? By listening to your own particular leader or saint? They may all be totally wrong. Are you prepared to admit this—which means that your mind is in a position to inquire? You must first ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti,
40:English version by W. S. Merwin & J. Moussaieff Mason The sage king Janaka stands on a hill watching his city in flames "Endless is my wealth," he says "I have nothing at all, and thus when this city of Mithila crumbles, red embers, white ashes all monuments of men destroyed, nothing of mine is burned." "I have nothing at all, and endless is my wealth."

~ Shankara, Endless is my Wealth
41:Hinduism — a spiritual world
That contains everything, and shimmers in all colors;
It offers us Vedanta, the doctrine of the great Shankara:
And also gods without number,
In whose cult our heart has no interest.

Islam wants first and foremost to be Unity,
And life-wisdom. It also knows the wine
Of the heart, that turns the soul inwards.
Islam is revelation’s last sanctuary.

In whichever language one honors truth:
God is reality — the world is appearance. ~ Frithjof Schuon,
42:Outward ritual cannot destroy ignorance, because they are not mutually contradictory,” wrote Shankara in his famous Century of Verses. “Realized knowledge alone destroys ignorance....Knowledge cannot spring up by any other means than enquiry. ‘Who am I? How was this universe born? Who is its maker? What is its material cause?’ This is the kind of enquiry referred to.” The intellect has no answer for these questions; hence the rishis evolved yoga as the technique of spiritual enquiry. The ~ Paramahansa Yogananda,
43:English version by Ivan M. Granger You are my true self, O Lord. My pure awareness is your consort. My breath, my body are your handmaids. I am your holy ground. My every action is an offering to you. My rest is my melting into you. Every step I take circles you. Every word I speak is a song for you. Whatever work I do, that work is worship of you, O Fountain of Bliss! [2720.jpg] -- from This Dance of Bliss: Ecstatic Poetry from Around the World, Edited by Ivan M. Granger

~ Shankara, You are my true self, O Lord
44:Nada Brahma Vishwaswaroopa Nada hi Sakala Jeeva Roopa Nada hi karma, Nada hi dharma Nada hi bandhana, Nada hi mukti Nada hi Shankara, Nada hi Shakti Nada Brahma Vishwaswaroopa Nadam Nadam, Sarvam Nadam Nadam Nadam, Nadam Nadam (Sound is Brahman, the manifestation of the universe, sound manifests itself in the form of all life, sound is bondage, sound is the means of liberation, sound is that which binds, sound is that which liberates, sound is the bestower of all, sound is the power behind everything, sound is everything.) ~ Sadhguru,
45:Someone told me that Ramana Maharshi lives on the overmental plane or that his realisation is on the same level as Shankara's. How is it then that he is not aware of the arrival of the Divine, while others, for instance X's Guru, had this awareness?

I can't say on what plane the Maharshi is, but his method is that of Adwaita Knowledge and Moksha - so there is no necessity for him to recognise the arrival of the Divine. X's Guru was a bhakta of the Divine Mother and believed in the dynamic side of existence, so it was quite natural for him to have the revelation of the coming of the Mother. 23 January 1936 ~ Sri Aurobindo,
46:Pour Ibn Arabî, il n’est pas question de «devenir un » avec Dieu : le contemplatif « prend conscience » de ce qu’il «estun» avec Lui; il «réalise» l’unité réelle. Dans le Christianisme, la « déification »,complément nécessaire de l’ « incarnation », n’implique aucune « identification» sur un même plan de réalité; que l’homme comme tel « devienne » littéralement Dieu, cela impliquerait qu’il y ait entre Dieu et l’homme une commune mesure et une confrontation symétrique; c’est sans doute cette réserve qu’a en vue Shankara quand il affirme que le délivré (mukta) n’a pas le pouvoir créateur de Brahma. Quoi qu’il en soit, l’expression « devenir Dieu » n’a pas à
être rejetée, pas plus que la formule d’ « identité » d’un Shankara, car elles
gardent toute leur valeur d’indication antinomique et elliptique. ~ Frithjof Schuon,
47:As you make more and more powerful microscopic instruments, the universe has to get smaller and smaller in order to escape the investigation. Just as when the telescopes become more and more powerful, the galaxies have to recede in order to get away from the telescopes. Because what is happening in all these investigations is this: Through us and through our eyes and senses, the universe is looking at itself. And when you try to turn around to see your own head, what happens? It runs away. You can't get at it. This is the principle. Shankara explains it beautifully in his commentary on the Kenopanishad where he says 'That which is the Knower, the ground of all knowledge, is never itself an object of knowledge.'

[In this quote from 1973 Watts, remarkably, essentially anticipates the discovery (in the late 1990's) of the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.] ~ Alan W Watts,
48:La reconnaissance des religions étrangères dépend de diverses contingences psychologiques ou même simplement géographiques, et surtout, elle n’a en soi aucun aspect de nécessité spirituelle : aucune révélation ne la suggère d’une manière directe, pour dire le moins; des sages comme Plotin et Porphyre, malgré leur ésotérisme pythagoricien et leur connaissance métaphysique, n’ont pas compris le Christianisme. Dans un ordre d’idées analogue, l’exclusivisme réciproque des écoles hindoues, — Shankara ne fait nullement exception, — prouve bien que, dans les conditions normales, la compréhension de formes étrangères n’est point une manifestation nécessaire du dépassement des formes ; nous dirons même que, si un effort de compréhension n’a pas lieu, cela est en rapport avec la « foi » (non la « croyance », mais la «ferveur », shraddhâ en sanscrit) qui exclut toute faiblesse et toute hésitation, et sans laquelle il n’y a pas de voie possible. ~ Frithjof Schuon,
49:You also want to know if there is something more than mere physical existence, do you not? This ceaseless round of going to an office, working at something in which you have no vital interest, quarrelling, being envious, bearing children, gossiping with your neighbour, uttering useless words—you want to know if there is something more than all this. The very word “soul” embodies the idea of a state which is indestructible, timeless, does it not? But, you see, you never find out for yourself whether or not there is such a state. You don’t say, “I am not concerned with what Christ, Shankara, or anybody else has said, nor with the dictates of tradition, of so-called civilization; I am going to find out for myself whether or not there is a state beyond the framework of time.” You don’t revolt against what civilization or the collective will has formulated; on the contrary, you accept it and say, “Yes, there is a soul.” You call that formulation one thing, another calls it something else, and then you divide yourselves and become enemies over your conflicting beliefs. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti,
50:English version by W. Norman Brown Slender as a streak of lightning, composed of the essence of sun, moon and fire, situated above the six lotuses, the manifestation of you in the forest of great lotuses, those with mind free of stain and illusion who view it, mighty ones, experience a flood of supreme joy. Let my idle chatter be the muttering of prayer, my every manual movement the execution of ritual gesture, my walking a ceremonial circumambulation, my eating and other acts the rite of sacrifice, my lying down prostration in worship, my every pleasure enjoyed with dedication of myself, let whatever activity is mine be some form of worship of you. Bearing a mark of vermilion so that the impenetrable darkness of your thick locks with the hosts of their beauties makes it seem like an imprisoned ray of the new-risen sun, may it bring welfare to us, as though the flood of beauty of your face had a channel to flow in, the streak of which is the part in your hair. Your right eye, because it has the sun as its essence, gives birth to the day; Your left eye, which has the moon as its substance, produces the night; Your third eye, which resembles a golden lotus slightly opened, creates the twilight intervening between day and night. [2701.jpg] -- from A Treasury of Sanskrit Poetry, Edited by A. N. D. Haksar

~ Shankara, In Praise of the Goddess
51:author class:Shankara
English version by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood Who is thy wife? Who is thy son? The ways of this world are strange indeed. Whose are thou? Whence art thou come? Vast is thy ignorance, my beloved. Therefore ponder these things and worship the Lord. Behold the folly of Man: In childhood busy with his toys, In youth bewitched by love, In age bowed down with cares -- And always unmindful of the Lord! The hours fly, the seasons roll, life ebbs, But the breeze of hope blows continually in his heart. Birth brings death, death brings rebirth: This evil needs no proof. Where then O Man, is thy happiness? This life trembles in the balance Like water on a lotus-leaf -- And yet the sage can show us, in an instant, How to bridge this sea of change. When the body is wrinkled, when the hair turns gray, When the gums are toothless, and the old man's staff Shakes like a reed beneath his weight, The cup of his desire is still full. Thy son may bring thee suffering, Thy wealth is no assurance of heaven: Therefore be not vain of thy wealth, Or of thy family, or of thy youth -- All are fleeting, all must change. Know this and be free. Enter the joy of the Lord. Seek neither peace nor strife With kith or kin, with friend or foe. O beloved, if thou would attain freedom, be equal unto all.

~ Shattering of Illusion (Moha Mudgaram from The Crest Jewel of Discrimination)
52:NOTHING should more deeply shame the modern student than the recency and inadequacy of his acquaintance with India. Here is a vast peninsula of nearly two million square miles; two-thirds as large as the United States, and twenty times the size of its master, Great Britain; 320,000,000 souls, more than in all North and South America combined, or one-fifth of the population of the earth; an impressive continuity of development and civilization from Mohenjo-daro, 2900 B.C. or earlier, to Gandhi, Raman and Tagore; faiths compassing every stage from barbarous idolatry to the most subtle and spiritual pantheism; philosophers playing a thousand variations on one monistic theme from the Upanishads eight centuries before Christ to Shankara eight centuries after him; scientists developing astronomy three thousand years ago, and winning Nobel prizes in our own time; a democratic constitution of untraceable antiquity in the villages, and wise and beneficent rulers like Ashoka and Akbar in the capitals; minstrels singing great epics almost as old as Homer, and poets holding world audiences today; artists raising gigantic temples for Hindu gods from Tibet to Ceylon and from Cambodia to Java, or carving perfect palaces by the score for Mogul kings and queens—this is the India that patient scholarship is now opening up, like a new intellectual continent, to that Western mind which only yesterday thought civilization an exclusively European thing.I ~ Will Durant,
53:English version by Ivan M. Granger I am not mind, not intellect, not ego, not thought. I am not the ears, the tongue, the nose or the eyes, or what they witness, I am neither earth nor sky, not air nor light. I am knowledge and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! I am not the breath of prana, nor its five currents. I am not the seven elements, nor the five organs, Nor am I the voice or hands or anything that acts. I am knowledge and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! I have no hatred or preference, neither greed nor desire nor delusion. Pride, conflict, jealousy -- these have no part of me. Nothing do I own, nothing do I seek, not even liberation itself. I am knowledge and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! I know neither virtue nor vice, neither pleasure nor pain. I know no sacred chants, no holy places, no scriptures, no rituals. I know neither the taste nor the taster. I am knowledge and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! I fear not death. I doubt neither my being nor my place. I have no father or mother; I am unborn. I have no relatives, no friends. I have no guru and no devotees. I am knowledge and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! Free from doubt, I am formless. With knowledge, in knowledge, I am everywhere, beyond perception. I am always the same. Not free, not trapped -- I am. I am knowledge and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva! Truly, I am Shiva, pure awareness. Shivo Ham! Shivo Ham! [2652.jpg] -- from The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology), Edited by Ivan M. Granger

~ Shankara, Nirvana Shatakam
54:Ce sont les sophistes, Protagoras en tête, qui sont les véritables précurseurs de la pensée moderne ; ce sont eux les « penseurs » proprement dits, en ce sens qu'ils se bornaient à ratiociner et ne se souciaient guère de « percevoir » et de rendre compte de ce qui « est ». Et c'est à tort qu'on a vu en Socrate, Platon et Aristote les pères du rationalisme, voire de la pensée moderne en général ; sans doute, ils raisonnent — Shankara et Râmânuja en font autant — mais ils n'ont jamais dit que le raisonnement est l'alpha et l'oméga de l'intelligence et de la vérité, ni a fortiori que nos expériences ou nos goûts déterminent la pensée et priment l'intuition intellectuelle et la logique, quod absit.
Somme toute, la philosophie moderne est la codification d'une infirmité acquise ; l'atrophie intellectuelle de l'homme marqué par la « chute » avait pour conséquence une hypertrophie de l'intelligence pratique, d'où en fin de compte l'explosion des sciences physiques et l'apparition de pseudo-sciences telles que la psychologie et la sociologie (1).
Quoi qu'il en soit, il faut reconnaître que le rationalisme bénéficie de circonstances atténuantes en face de la religion, dans la mesure où il se fait le porte-parole des besoins de causalité légitimes que suscitent certains dogmes, du moins quand on les prend à la lettre comme l'exige la théologie (2). D'une manière tout à fait générale, il va de soi qu'un rationaliste peut avoir raison sur le plan des observations et des expériences ; l'homme n'est pas un système clos, bien qu'il puisse s'efforcer de l'être. Mais même en dehors de toute question de rationalisme et de dogmatisme, on ne peut en vouloir à personne d'être scandalisé par les sottises et les crimes perpétrés au nom de la religion, ou même simplement par les antinomies entre les différents credos ; toutefois, comme les horreurs ne sont certes pas l'apanage de la religion — les prédicateurs de la « déesse raison » en fournissent la preuve —, il faut nous arrêter à la constatation que les excès et les abus sont dans la nature humaine. S'il est absurde et choquant que des crimes se réclament du Saint-Esprit, il n'est pas moins illogique et scandaleux qu'ils aient lieu à l'ombre d'un idéal de rationalité et de justice. [...] ~ Frithjof Schuon,
55:Mandana Misra was a great scholar and authority on the Vedas and Mimasa. He led a householder’s life (grihastha), with his scholar-philosopher wife, Ubhaya Bharati, in the town of Mahishi, in what is present-day northern Bihar. Husband and wife would have great debates on the veracity of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita and other philosophical works. Scholars from all over Bharatavarsha came to debate and understand the Shastras with them. It is said that even the parrots in Mandana’s home debated the divinity, or its lack, in the Vedas and Upanishads. Mandana was a staunch believer in rituals. One day, while he was performing Pitru Karma (rituals for deceased ancestors), Adi Shankaracharya arrived at his home and demanded a debate on Advaita. Mandana was angry at the rude intrusion and asked the Acharya whether he was not aware, as a Brahmin, that it was inauspicious to come to another Brahmin’s home uninvited when Pitru Karma was being done? In reply, Adi Shankara asked Mandana whether he was sure of the value of such rituals. This enraged Mandana and the other Brahmins present. Thus began one of the most celebrated debates in Hindu thought. It raged for weeks between the two great scholars. As the only other person of equal intellect to Shankara and Mandana was Mandana’s wife, Ubhaya Bharati, she was appointed the adjudicator. Among other things, Shankara convinced Mandana that the rituals for the dead had little value to the dead. Mandana became Adi Shankara’s disciple (and later the first Shankaracharya of the Sringeri Math in Karnataka). When the priest related this story to me, I was shocked. He was not giving me the answer I had expected. Annoyed, I asked him what he meant by the story if Adi Shankara himself said such rituals were of no use to the dead. The priest replied, “Son, the story has not ended.” And he continued... A few years later, Adi Shankara was compiling the rituals for the dead, to standardize them for people across Bharatavarsha. Mandana, upset with his Guru’s action, asked Adi Shankara why he was involved with such a useless thing. After all, the Guru had convinced him of the uselessness of such rituals (Lord Krishna also mentions the inferiority of Vedic sacrifice to other paths, in the Gita. Pitru karma has no vedic base either). Why then was the Jagad Guru taking such a retrograde step? Adi Shankaracharya smiled at his disciple and answered, “The rituals are not for the dead but for the loved ones left behind. ~ Anand Neelakantan,

IN CHAPTERS [102/102]

   61 Integral Yoga
   5 Yoga
   5 Philosophy
   1 Psychology
   1 Poetry
   1 Occultism

   35 Sri Aurobindo
   25 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   11 A B Purani
   9 The Mother
   5 Satprem
   5 Aldous Huxley
   4 Swami Vivekananda
   2 Ken Wilber

   11 Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo
   9 Letters On Yoga II
   6 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07
   5 The Perennial Philosophy
   5 Essays Divine And Human
   5 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04
   4 The Life Divine
   4 Isha Upanishad
   4 Essays In Philosophy And Yoga
   4 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03
   4 Bhakti-Yoga
   3 Vedic and Philological Studies
   3 Questions And Answers 1950-1951
   3 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02
   3 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01
   2 Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness
   2 Sex Ecology Spirituality
   2 Letters On Yoga I
   2 Kena and Other Upanishads
   2 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 08

01.02 - The Creative Soul, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Let each take cognisance of the godhead that is within him for self is Godand in the strength of the soul-divinity create his universe. It does not matter what sort of universe he- creates, so long as he creates it. The world created by a Buddha is not the same as that created by a Napoleon, nor should they be the same. It does not prove anything that I cannot become a Kalidasa; for that matter Kalidasa cannot become what I am. If you have not the genius of a Shankara it does not mean that you have no genius at all. Be and become yourselfma gridhah kasyachit dhanam, says the Upanishad. The fountain-head of creative genius lies there, in the free choice and the particular delight the self-determination of the spirit within you and not in the desire for your neighbours riches. The world has become dull and uniform and mechanical, since everybody endeavours to become not himself, but always somebody else. Imitation is servitude and servitude brings in grief.
   In one's own soul lies the very height and profundity of a god-head. Each soul by bringing out the note that is his, makes for the most wondrous symphony. Once a man knows what he is and holds fast to it, refusing to be drawn away by any necessity or temptation, he begins to uncover himself, to do what his inmost nature demands and takes joy in, that is to say, begins to create. Indeed there may be much difference in the forms that different souls take. But because each is itself, therefore each is grounded upon the fundamental equality of things. All our valuations are in reference to some standard or other set up with a particular end in view, but that is a question of the practical world which in no way takes away from the intrinsic value of the greatness of the soul. So long as the thing is there, the how of it does not matter. Infinite are the ways of manifestation and all of them the very highest and the most sublime, provided they are a manifestation of the soul itself, provided they rise and flow from the same level. Whether it is Agni or Indra, Varuna, Mitra or the Aswins, it is the same supreme and divine inflatus.

01.03 - Sri Aurobindo and his School, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Evidently the eminent politician and his school of activism are labouring under a Himalayan confusion: when they speak of Sri Aurobindo, they really have in their mind some of the old schools of spiritual discipline. But one of the marked aspects of Sri Aurobindo's teaching and practice has been precisely his insistence on putting aside the inert and life-shunning quietism, illusionism, asceticism and monasticism of a latter-day and decadent India. These ideals are perhaps as much obstacles in his way as in the way of the activistic school. Only Sri Aurobindo has not had the temerity to say that it is a weakness to seek refuge in contemplation or to suggest that a Buddha was a weakling or a Shankara a poltroon.
   This much as regards what Sri Aurobindo is not doing; let us now turn and try to understand what he is doing. The distinguished man of action speaks of conquering Nature and fighting her. Adopting this war-like imagery, we can affirm that Sri Aurobindo's work is just such a battle and conquest. But the question is, what is nature and what is the kind of conquest that is sought, how are we to fight and what are the required arms and implements? A good general should foresee all this, frame his plan of campaign accordingly and then only take the field. The above-mentioned leader proposes ceaseless and unselfish action as the way to fight and conquer Nature. He who speaks thus does not know and cannot mean what he says.

01.04 - Sri Aurobindos Gita, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The supreme secret of the Gita, rahasyam uttamam, has presented itself to diverse minds in diverse forms. All these however fall, roughly speaking, into two broad groups of which one may be termed the orthodox school and the other the modem school. The orthodox school as represented, for example, by Shankara or Sridhara, viewed the Gita in the light of the spiritual discipline more or less current in those ages, when the purpose of life was held out to be emancipation from life, whether through desireless work or knowledge or devotion or even a combination of the three. The Modern School, on the other hand, represented by Bankim in Bengal and more thoroughly developed and systematised in recent times by Tilak, is inspired by its own Time-Spirit and finds in the Gita a gospel of life-fulfilment. The older interpretation laid stress upon a spiritual and religious, which meant therefore in the end an other-worldly discipline; the newer interpretation seeks to dynamise the more or less quietistic spirituality which held the ground in India of later ages, to set a premium upon action, upon duty that is to be done in our workaday life, though with a spiritual intent and motive.
   This neo-spirituality which might claim its sanction and authority from the real old-world Indian disciplinesay, of Janaka and Yajnavalkyalabours, however, in reality, under the influence of European activism and ethicism. It was this which served as the immediate incentive to our spiritual revival and revaluation and its impress has not been thoroughly obliterated even in the best of our modern exponents. The bias of the vital urge and of the moral imperative is apparent enough in the modernist conception of a dynamic spirituality. Fundamentally the dynamism is made to reside in the lan of the ethical man,the spiritual element, as a consciousness of supreme unity in the Absolute (Brahman) or of love and delight in God, serving only as an atmosphere for the mortal activity.

0 1962-07-21, #Agenda Vol 03, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   I know very well that Bengal is not really ready. The spiritual flood which has come is for the most part a new form of the old. It is not the real transformation. However this too was needed. Bengal has been awakening in itself the old yogas and exhausting their samskaras [old habitual tendencies], extracting their essence and with it fertilizing the soil. At first it was the time of VedantaAdwaita, Sannyasa, Shankaras Maya and the rest. It is now the turn of Vaishnava DharmaLila, love, the intoxication of emotional experience. All this is very old, unfitted for the new age and will not endure for such excitement has no capacity to last. But the merit of the Vaishnava Bhava [emotional enthusiasm] is that it keeps a connexion between God and the world and gives a meaning to life; but since it is a partial bhava the whole connexion, the full meaning is not there. The tendency to create sects which you have noticed was inevitable. The nature of the mind is to take a part and call it the whole and exclude all other parts. The Siddha [illuminated being] who brings the bhava, although he leans on its partial aspect, yet keeps some knowledge of the integral whole, even though he may not be able to give it form. But his disciples do not get that knowledge precisely because it is not in a form. They are tying up their little bundles, let them. The bundles will open of themselves when God manifests himself fully. These things are the signs of incompleteness and immaturity. I am not disturbed by them. Let the force of spirituality play in the country in whatever way and in as many sects as may be. Afterwards we shall see. This is the infancy or the embryonic condition of the new age. It is a first hint, not even the beginning.
   The peculiarity of this yoga is that until there is siddhi above the foundation does not become perfect. Those who have been following my course had kept many of the old samskaras; some of them have dropped away, but others still remain. There was the samskara of Sannyasa, even the wish to create an Aravinda Math [Sri Aurobindo monastery]. Now the intellect has recognized that Sannyasa is not what is wanted, but the stamp of the old idea has not yet been effaced from the prana [breath, life energy]. And so there was next this talk of remaining in the midst of the world, as a man of worldly activities and yet a man of renunciation. The necessity of renouncing desire has been understood, but the harmony of renunciation of desire with enjoyment of Ananda has not been rightly seized by the mind. And they took up my Yoga because it was very natural to the Bengali temperament, not so much from the side of Knowledge as from the side of Bhakti and Karma [Works]. A little knowledge has come in, but the greater part has escaped; the mist of sentimentalism has not been dissipated, the groove of the sattwic bhava [religious fervor] has not been broken. There is still the ego. I am not in haste, I allow each to develop according to his nature. I do not want to fashion all in the same mould. That which is fundamental will indeed be one in all, but it will express itself in many forms. Everybody grows, forms from within. I do not want to build from outside. The basis is there, the rest will come.

0 1965-03-20, #Agenda Vol 06, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   There are all the Christian, Buddhist theories, Shankara, all those who declare that the world is an unreal Falsehood and that it must disappear and give place to a heaven (a new world and a heaven). And this is among the most aspiring elements of mankind, those who arent content with the world as it is, who dont say, Oh, as long as I am here and alive, things are fine; afterwards, I dont careenjoy the short life. Afterwards, well, its over, and thats that; let me make the most of the moment Ive been given. What a queer conception! Thats the other extreme.
   But in fact, if we go back to the source, there was an Evangelist (I think it was St. John) who announced a new heaven and a new EARTH.

0 1966-04-30, #Agenda Vol 07, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Thats the Nihilists: Shankaracharya and so on, the worshipers of Nothingness.
   The worshipers of Nothingness I dont know, the farther I go, the more I have a sense of a very, very sweet, very full Nothingness, but still a Nothingness. Its absolutely void, yet its full, and very sweet, but theres nothing.

03.02 - The Philosopher as an Artist and Philosophy as an Art, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Take, for example, the philosophical system of Kant or of Hegel or of our own Shankara. What a beautiful edifice of thought each one has reared! How cogent and compact, organised and poised and finely modelled! Shankara's reminds me of a tower, strong and slender, mounting straight and tapering into a vanishing point among the clouds; it has the characteristic linear movement of Indian melody. On the otherhand, the march of the Kantian Critiques or of the Hegelian Dialectic has a broader base and involves a composite strain, a balancing of contraries, a blending of diverse notes: thereis something here of the amplitude and comprehensiveness of harmonic architecture (without perhaps a corresponding degree of altitude).
   All these systems, commonly called philosophical, appear to me supremely artistic. The logical intellect has worked here exactly like a chisel or a brush in the hands of the artist. It did not care for truth per se, its prime preoccupation was arrangement, disposition; the problem it set before itself was how best to present a consistent and unified, that is to say, a beautiful whole.

03.02 - Yogic Initiation and Aptitude, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Shankara, at the very outset of his commentary on the Sutras, in explaining the very first words, speaks of a fourfold sadhana to acquire fitnessfitness, we may take it, for understanding the Sutras and the commentary and naturally for attaining the Brahman. It seems therefore to be an absolute condition that one must first acquire fitness, develop the right and adequate capacity before one should think of spiritual initiation.
   The question, however, can be raised the moderns do raise it and naturally in the present age of science and universal educationwhy should not all men equally have the right to spiritual sadhana? If spirituality is the highest truth for man, his greatest good, his supreme ideal, then to deny it to anyone on the ground, for example, of his not being of the right caste, class, creed, or sex, to keep anyone at a distance on such or similar grounds is unreasonable, unjust, reprehensible. These notions, however, are born of a sentimental or idealistic or charitable disposition, but unfortunately they do not stand the impact of the realities of life. If you simply claim a thing or even if you possess a lawful right to a worthy object, you do not acquire thereby the capacity to enjoy it. Were it so, there would be no such thing as mal-assimilation. In the domain of spiritual sadhana there are any number of cases of defective metabolism. Those that have fallen, strayed from the Path, become deranged or even have had to leave the body, make up a casualty list that is not small. They were misfits, they came by their fate, because they encroached upon a thing they were not actually entitled to, they were dragged into a secret, a mystery to which their being was insensible.
   Needless to say that these tests and ordeals are mere externals; at any rate, they have no place in our sadhana. Such or similar virtues many people possess or may possess, but that is no indication that they have an opening to the true spiritual life, to the life divine that we seek. Just as accomplishments on the mental plane,keen intellect, wide studies, profound scholarship even in the scriptures do not entitle a man to the possession of the spirit, even so capacities on the vital plane,mere self-control, patience and forbearance or endurance and perseverance do not create a claim to spiritual realisation, let alone physical austerities. In conformity with the Upanishadic standard, one may not be an unworthy son or an unworthy disciple, one may be strong, courageous, patient, calm, self-possessed, one may even be a consummate master of the senses and be endowed with other great virtues. Yet all this is no assurance of one's success in spiritual sadhana. Even one may be, after Shankara, a mumuksu, that is to say, have an ardent yearning for liberation. Still it is doubtful if that alone can give him liberation into the divine life.
   What then is the indispensable and unfailing requisite? What is it that gives you the right of entrance into the divine life? What is the element, the factor in you that acts as the open sesame, as a magic solvent?

03.09 - Buddhism and Hinduism, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Hinduism, one may even say, Indianism, has cast Buddhism out of India, the mother country, to the wonder of many. Buddhism came to rub out the dead deposits and accretions on the parent body and in doing so it often rubbed on the raw and against the grain. Hinduism had to accept the corrections; in the process it had to absorb, however, many elements contrary to its nature, even antipathic to its soul. Buddha was accepted as an Avatar; he was given a divine status in the Hindu Pantheon. Divested, apparently, of all heterodoxical and controversial appendages, he was anointed with the sole sufficing aspect of supreme kindness, universal compassion. Even so, in and through this Assumption, not a little of the peculiarly Buddhist inspiration entered the original organism. The most drastic and of far-reaching consequence was the inauguration and idolisation of monastic life, which has become since then in Indian conception, the summum bonum, the supreme goal of human existence. It was not without reason that India's older and truer tradition cried out against Shankara being a crypto-Buddhist (pracchanna bauddha), who was yet one of the most consistent and violent critics of Buddhism.
   Life is an expression of the Divine Presence, earth is the field of labour for the godssuch was the original old-world Vedic view. It was the Buddhist dispensation that made life an inferior truth, a complex of unreality and decreed that the highest aim of man is to disappear from life after life's fitful fever to sleep well that seems to have been the motto given.

03.10 - The Mission of Buddhism, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 02, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   We say then that it was a necessity: it was a necessity that the rational, logical, ratiocinative, analytic mentality should be brought out and given its play and place. It is perhaps an inferior power of the mind or consciousness, but it is a strong power and has its use and utility. It is the power that gives the form and pattern for the display of consciousness and intelligence in outward expression and external living; it is a firm weapon that gives control over these inferior ranges of consciousness. The leap from the sense-consciousness or the elements of consciousness, from a mental growth just adequate and not too specialised, straight into the supra-sensuous and the transcendent had been an inevitable necessity, so that the human consciousness might get the first taste of its supreme status and value: a similar necessity brought to the fore this element of the mind, the mind's own powerof judgement and willso that there might be a greater and wider integration of human nature and also that the higher realities may be captured in our normal consciousness. Even for the withdrawal of the mind from the outer objects to the inner sources, the mind itself can be used with much effect. And Buddha showed it magnificently. And of course, Shankara too who followed in his footsteps.
   To abrogate the matter of fact, rational view of life in order to view it spiritually, to regard it wholly as an expression or embodiment or vibration of consciousness-delight was possible to the Vedic discipline which saw and adored the Immanent Godhead. It was not possible to Buddha and Buddhistic consciousness; for the Immanent Divine was ignored in the Buddhistic scheme. Philosophically, in regard to ultimate principles, Buddhism was another name for nihilism, creation being merely an assemblage of particles of consciousness that is desire; the particles scattered and dissolved, remains only the supreme incomparable Nirvana. But pragmatically Buddhism was supremely humanistic.

04.01 - The March of Civilisation, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Turning to India we find a fuller and completerif not a globalpicture of the whole movement. India, we may say, is the spiritual world itself: and she epitomised the curve of human progress in a clearer and more significant manner. Indian history, not its political but its cultural and spiritual history, divides itself naturally into great movements with corresponding epochs each dwelling upon and dealing with one domain in the hierarchy of man's consciousness. The stages and epochs are well known: they are(l) Vedic, (2) Upanishadic, (3) Darshanasroughly from Buddha to Shankara, (4) Puranic, (5) Bhagavataor the Age of Bhakti, and finally (6) the Tantric. The last does not mean that it is the latest revelation, the nearest to us in time, but that it represents a kind of complementary movement, it was there all along, for long at least, and in which the others find their fruition and consummation. We shall explain presently. The force of consciousness that came and moved and moulded the first and the earliest epoch was Revelation. It was a power of direct vision and occult will and cosmic perception. Its physical seat is somewhere behind and or just beyond the crown of the head: the peak of man's manifest being that received the first touch of Surya Savitri (the supreme Creative Consciousness) to whom it bowed down uttering the invocation mantra of Gayatri. The Ray then entered the head at the crown and illumined it: the force of consciousness that ruled there is Intuition, the immediate perception of truth and reality, the cosmic consciousness gathered and concentrated at that peak. That is Upanishadic knowledge. If the source and foundation of the Vedic initiation was occult vision, the Upanishad meant a pure and direct Ideation. The next stage in the coming down or propagation of the Light was when it reached further down into the brain and the philosophical outlook grew with rational understanding and discursive argumentation as the channel for expression, the power to be cultivated and the limb to be developed. The Age of the Darshanas or Systems of Philosophy started with the Buddha and continued till it reached its peak in Shankaracharya. The age sought to give a bright and strong mental, even an intellectual body to the spiritual light, the consciousness of the highest truth and reality. In the Puranic Age the vital being was touched by the light of the spirit and principally on the highest, the mental level of that domain. It meant the advent of the element of feeling and emotiveness and imagination into the play of the Light, the beginning of their reclamation. This was rendered more concrete and more vibrant and intense in the next stage of the movement. The whole emotional being was taken up into the travailing crucible of consciousness. We may name it also as the age of the Bhagavatas, god-lovers, Bhaktas. It reached its climax in Chaitanya whose physical passion for God denoted that the lower ranges of the vital being (its physical foundations) were now stirred in man to awake and to receive the Light. Finally remains the physical, the most material to be worked upon and made conscious and illumined. That was the task of the Tantras. Viewed in that light one can easily understand why especial stress was laid in that system upon the esoteric discipline of the five m's (pancha makra),all preoccupied with the handling and harnessing of the grossest physical instincts and the most material instruments. The Tantric discipline bases itself upon Nature Power coiled up in Matter: the release of that all-conquering force through a purification and opening into the consciousness of the Divine Mother, the transcendent creatrix of the universe. The dynamic materialising aspect of consciousness was what inspired the Tantras: the others forming the Vedantic line, on the whole, were based on the primacy of the static being, the Purusha, aloof and withdrawing.
   The Indian consciousness, we say, presented the movement as an intensive and inner, a spiritual process: it dealt with the substance itself, man's very nature and sought to know it from within and shape it consciously. In Europe where the frontal consciousness is more stressed and valued, the more characteristic feature of its history is the unfoldment and metamorphosis of the forms and expressions, the residuary powers, as it were, of man's evolving personality, individual and social.

05.03 - Bypaths of Souls Journey, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The soul in Nature grows along a definite line and the descent also of higher principles overarching that soul happens also in the same line connecting it with its archetype in the supreme status. This we may call the major line of development through various avataras one after another: but apart from this there may also be subsidiary formations that are its emanations or are added to it from elsewhere either temporarily or even permanently. The soul can put out derivative or ancillary emanations, parts of its being and consciousness, a mental or vital or even a subtle physical movement or formation which can take a body creating a temporary, a transient personality or enter into another's body and another personality in order to go through a necessary experience and gather an element needed for the growth of its being and consciousness. One can recall here the famous story of Shankaracharya Who entered into the body of a king (just dead, made him alive and lead the life of the king) in order to experience love and enjoyment, things of which, being a Sannyasi, he was innocent. Similarly one can take into one-self such parts and elements from others which he wishes to utilise for his growth and evolution. It is said that a man with low carnal instincts and impulses becomes an animal of that type in his next life. But perhaps it is truer to say that a part only the vital part of animal appetiteenters into or takes shape in an animal: the soul itself, the true or the whole being of the person, once become human, does not revert to animalhood. The animal portion in man that refuses to be taken up and integrated, sublimated into the higher human consciousness has to be satisfied and exhausted, as much as possible, in the animal way.
   There is also the other question asked very often whether men and women always follow different lines of growth or whether there may be intermixture of the lines. Although the soul is sexless, still it may be said that on the whole there are these two lines, masculine and feminine; and generally a soul follows the same line in its incarnations. The soul difference is not in the sex as we know it; but there is a disposition and character that mark the difference and each type, masculine or feminine, is that because of some special role to fulfil, a particular kind of work to be done in a particular way. The difference is difficult to define exactly; but one may say, in the language of the mystics, that it "is the difference between the left hand and the right hand. The mystics refer to the two sides of consciousness, that of light and that of force (chit-tapas), that is to say, knowledge and power. It is not that the two are quite separate entities, they are together and grow together; but in actuality one aspect is more in front than the other. The masculine aspect is often termed as the right hand and the feminine as the left hand of the conscious being. And in a general way man represents the knowledge aspect the conceptual dynamism and woman represents the executive dynamism. This definition however should not be taken absolutely or rigidly. So it can be said that a woman generally remains a woman in all her births and man like-wise remains a man. Here too, although there may not be a central metamorphosis, there may be a partial change: that is to say a part of a mantoo womanish, so to saymay enter a woman and live and fulfil itself or exhaust there; and the masculine part of a woman also can identify itself with its type and pattern in a man. The difference, however, between Purusha and Prakriti, philosophically, seems to be very definite and clear; but in actuality, when they take form and embodiment, it is not easy to define the principles or qualities that mark out the two. At the source when the difference starts, it is a matter of stress and temper and not any so-called division of labour as human mind ordinarily understands it.

07.37 - The Psychic Being, Some Mysteries, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   I did not say it quite like that. The psychic being is not stupid. What happens may be described in this way: for example, suppose the psychic being has had the experience of the life of a writer. The function of the writer is to express himself, his perceptions and observations and judgements in words; he has a certain field, a certain range of associations and circumstances in which to live and move. But there are other fields and ranges beyond and outside of which he has no experience. So he may say to himself: I have lived with my head, I know something of the intellectual reactions to life: now let me live with my heart and experience the reactions of feeling and passion. Indeed, sometimes an overactivity of the intellect impoverishes the capacities of the heart. So the psychic being, in order to have this new kind of experience, abandons his intellectual heights, so to say, and comes down to the vital plane. He is no longer a creative genius, but an ordinary man, but with a heart enriched or enriching itself with its intense or generous movements. (One can remember in this connection the story of Shankaracharya who being a Sannyasi from boyhood has had no experience of love: he entered the body of a king in order to gather this experience.) It is not rare to see psychic beings that have reached the maximum of their growth in certain directions, take up a very modest and ordinary life in some other new direction or for some other purpose. One who was a king, for example, as I already narrated once, who has had the experiences of power and authority and domination, the imperial heights, may choose to descend to ordinary life, to work as an obscure person without being troubled by the pomps of high position; he may choose very bourgeois surroundings, very humdrum conditions among humdrum men and things, to procure, so to say, a kind of incognito so that he may work in peace and quite. Can you say it is a decline and a fall? It is only facing life, meeting its problems from another angle, another point of view. You must know that for consciousness, the true consciousness the consciousness of the psychicglory and obscurity are the same, success and failure are the same. What is important is the growth of consciousness. Certain conditions which to your human eye appear favourable, may in reality be quiet unfavourable for the growth of consciousness. With your ordinary thoughts and your ordinary reactions you judge everything according to success and failure. But that is the very last way of judging, for it is the most artificial, most superficial and absolutely contrary to truth. In human life, as it is organised at present, it is perhaps only once in a million cases, or even less than that, that truth is given the first place; always there is an element of show mixed up. When a man has success, much success, you may be sure there is mixed up with it as much show.

08.35 - Love Divine, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   To Melt into the Divine Buddha and Shankara
   Other Authors Nolini Kanta Gupta Part EightLove Divine
   To Melt into the Divine Buddha and Shankara

08.36 - Buddha and Shankara, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
  object:08.36 - Buddha and Shankara
  author class:Nolini Kanta Gupta
   Other Authors Nolini Kanta Gupta Part EightBuddha and Shankara
   Buddha and Shankara
   To escape from life is a teaching based on the view that life is an illusion. The teaching began with Buddha. Buddha said that life or existence is the fruit of desire and that there was only one way of getting out of the misery, namely, to go out of existence. Shankara continued in that line. He added, however, that existence was not merely the fruit of desire, but that it was altogether an illusion and that so long as one lives in that illusion, one cannot realise the Divine. For him the Divine the Supreme Divinedid not exist. I believe his view was something to that effect. In any case, for the Buddha there was no God.
   Both of them came in contact with something true and real. Buddha had surely an inner contact with something which, in relation to the outer life, appeared to him as non-existence and in this non-existence all the consequences of existence disappeared. There is indeed such a state. And it is said that if you remain in that state for more than twenty days, you are sure to lose your body. I believe it is so, if the condition becomes exclusive. But also it can be an experience that remains behind, exists in a conscious way and yet not exclusively. In other words, the contact with the world and the outer consciousness is maintained and supported by something which is independent of them and free. It is a state in which you can make truly a great progress in your external consciousness; for then you can detach yourself from everything and act without attachment, without preference, in an inner freedom that expresses itself in the outer life. Once you have attained the inner freedom, this conscious contact with the eternal and the infinite, you must return to action without losing that consciousness and allow it to influence the whole of the consciousness turned to action.
   He was on the verge of saying that the world was purely subjective, that is to say, a collective illusion, and if the illusion ceased the world would also cease. But he did not go so far. It was Shankara who took up the line and completed the teaching.
   In the more ancient wisdom, however, if one goes back to the teaching of the Vedic Rishis, for example, one finds no idea of escape from the world; they sought a realisation upon earth and they even conceived of a golden age when this realisation would be achieved.

08.37 - The Significance of Dates, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Buddha and Shankara The Value of Money
   Other Authors Nolini Kanta Gupta Part EightThe Significance of Dates
   Buddha and Shankara The Value of Money

1.00b - INTRODUCTION, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
  authority as they have. The Shruti, in Shankaras words, depends upon direct
  perception. The Smriti plays a part analogous to induction, since, like induction, it

1.01 - Isha Upanishad, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Integral Yoga
  1 There are three possible senses of vasyam, "to be clothed", "to be worn as a garment" and "to be inhabited". The first is the ordinarily accepted meaning. Shankara explains it in this significance, that we must lose the sense of this unreal objective universe in the sole perception of the pure Brahman. So explained the first line becomes a contradiction of the whole thought of the Upanishad which teaches the reconciliation, by the perception of essential Unity, of the apparently incompatible opposites, God and the
  World, Renunciation and Enjoyment, Action and internal Freedom, the One and the
  3 Shankara reads the line, "Thus in thee - it is not otherwise than thus - action cleaves not, a man." He interprets karman.i in the first line in the sense of Vedic sacrifices which are permitted to the ignorant as a means of escaping from evil actions and their results and attaining to heaven, but the second karma in exactly the opposite sense, "evil action". The verse, he tells us, represents a concession to the ignorant; the enlightened soul abandons works and the world and goes to the forest. The whole expression and construction in this rendering become forced and unnatural. The rendering I give seems to me the simple and straightforward sense of the Upanishad.
  4 We have two readings, asurya, sunless, and asurya, Titanic or undivine. The third verse is, in the thought structure of the Upanishad, the starting-point for the final movement in the last four verses. Its suggestions are there taken up and worked out. The prayer to the Sun refers back in thought to the sunless worlds and their blind gloom, which are recalled in the ninth and twelfth verses. The sun and his rays are intimately connected in other Upanishads also with the worlds of Light and their natural opposite is the dark and sunless, not the Titanic worlds.
  "waters". If this accentuation is disregarded, we may take it as the singular apas, work, action. Shankara, however, renders it by the plural, works. The difficulty only arises because the true Vedic sense of the word had been forgotten and it came to be taken as referring to the fourth of the five elemental states of Matter, the liquid. Such a reference would be entirely irrelevant to the context. But the Waters, otherwise called the seven streams or the seven fostering Cows, are the Vedic symbol for the seven cosmic principles and their activities, three inferior, the physical, vital and mental, four superior, the divine
  Truth, the divine Bliss, the divine Will and Consciousness, and the divine Being. On this conception also is founded the ancient idea of the seven worlds in each of which the seven principles are separately active by their various harmonies. This is, obviously, the right significance of the word in the Upanishad.

1.01 - Prayer, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  Bearing this in mind let us try to understand what the great Vedantic commentators have to say on the subject. In explaining the Sutra vrittirasakridupadesht (Meditation is necessary, that having been often enjoined.), Bhagavn Shankara says, "Thus people say, 'He is devoted to the king, he is devoted to the Guru'; they say this of him who follows his Guru, and does so, having that following as the one end in view. Similarly they say, 'The loving wife meditates on her loving husband'; here also a kind of eager and continuous remembrance is meant." This is devotion according to Shankara.
  "Meditation again is a constant remembrance (of the thing meditated upon) flowing like an unbroken stream of oil poured out from one vessel to another. When this kind of remembering has been attained (in relation to God) all bandages break. Thus it is spoken of in the scriptures regarding constant remembering as a means to liberation. This remembering again is of the same form as seeing, because it is of the same meaning as in the passage, 'When He who is far and near is seen, the bonds of the heart are broken, all doubts vanish, and all effects of work disappear' He who is near can be seen, but he who is far can only be remembered. Nevertheless the scripture says that he have to see Him who is near as well as Him who, is far, thereby indicating to us that the above kind of remembering is as good as seeing. This remembrance when exalted assumes the same form as seeing. . . . Worship is constant remembering as may be seen from the essential texts of scriptures. Knowing, which is the same as repeated worship, has been described as constant remembering. . . . Thus the memory, which has attained to the height of what is as good as direct perception, is spoken of in the Shruti as a means of liberation. 'This Atman is not to be reached through various sciences, nor by intellect, nor by much study of the Vedas. Whomsoever this Atman desires, by him is the Atman attained, unto him this Atman discovers Himself.' Here, after saying that mere hearing, thinking and meditating are not the means of attaining this Atman, it is said, 'Whom this Atman desires, by him the Atman is attained.' The extremely beloved is desired; by whomsoever this Atman is extremely beloved, he becomes the most beloved of the Atman. So that this beloved may attain the Atman, the Lord Himself helps. For it has been said by the Lord: 'Those who are constantly attached to Me and worship Me with love I give that direction to their will by which they come to Me.' Therefore it is said that, to whomsoever this remembering, which is of the same form as direct perception, is very dear, because it is dear to the Object of such memory perception, he is desired by the Supreme Atman, by him the Supreme Atman is attained. This constant remembrance is denoted by the word Bhakti." So says Bhagavn Rmnuja in his commentary on the Sutra Athto Brahma-jijns (Hence follows a dissertation on Brahman.).

1.01 - THAT ARE THOU, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
  The philosophy of the Upanishads reappears, developed and enriched, in the Bhagavad-Gita and was finally systematized, in the ninth century of our era, by Shankara. Shankaras teaching (simultaneously theoretical and practical, as is that of all true exponents of the Perennial Philosophy) is summarized in his versified treatise, Viveka-Chudarnani (The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom). All the following passages are taken from this conveniently brief and untechnical work.
  The Atman is that by which the universe is pervaded, but which nothing pervades; which causes all things to shine, but which all things cannot make to shine.
  In the Taoist formulations of the Perennial Philosophy there is an insistence, no less forcible than in the Upanishads, the Gita and the writings of Shankara, upon the universal immanence of the transcendent spiritual Ground of all existence. What follows is an extract from one of the great classics of Taoist literature, the Book of Chuang Tzu, most of which seems to have been written around the turn of the fourth and third centuries B. C.
  Do not ask whether the Principle is in this or in that; it is in all beings. It is on this account that we apply to it the epithets of supreme, universal, total. It has ordained that all things should be limited, but is Itself unlimited, infinite. As to what pertains to manifestation, the Principle causes the succession of its phases, but is not this succession. It is the author of causes and effects, but is not the causes and effects. It is the author of condensations and dissipations (birth and death, changes of state), but is not itself condensations and dissipations. All proceeds from It and is under its influence. It is in all things, but is not identical with beings, for it is neither differentiated nor limited.

1.025 - Sadhana - Intensifying a Lighted Flame, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  This peculiar feature of spiritual practice, sadhana, being so difficult to understand intellectually, cannot be regarded as merely an individual's affair. Sadhana is God's affair, ultimately. Spiritual sadhana is God's grace working. Though it appears that is individual effort, it only seems to be so, but really it is something else. Not even the greatest of philosophical thinkers, such as Shankara, could logically answer the question, "How does knowledge arise in the jiva?" How can it be said that individual effort produces knowledge of God? Knowledge of God cannot rise by individual effort, because individual effort is so puny, so inadequate to the purpose, to the task, that we cannot expect such an infinite result to follow from the finite cause. The concept of God is an inscrutable event that takes place in the human mind. Can we imagine an ass thinking about God? However much it may put forth effort and go on trying its best throughout its life, the concept of God will never arise in an ass's mind or in a buffalo's mind. How it arises is a mystery. Suddenly, it comes.
  It has been said that all great things are mysteries. They are not calculated effects produced logically by imagined causes, but are mysteries, which is another way of saying that all of this is unthinkable by the human mind. Knowledge somehow arises. One fine morning we get up and find that we are fired with a love for God. What has happened to us? Why is it that we suddenly we say, "Oh, today I am something different." Why we are something different today? From where has this inspiration come? Nobody knows what has happened. If we read the lives of great masters, sages and saints, we will find that they were all suddenly fired with a longing which they could not explain, and no one can explain ordinarily. That knowledge, that aspiration, that love of God has not come from books. It has not come from any imaginable source. It has simply come that is all. How? Nobody knows.

1.02.9 - Conclusion and Summary, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Integral Yoga
  the extreme illusionism and anti-pragmatism of Shankaracharya
  and it was even, for this reason, excised from the list of authoritative Upanishads by one of his greatest followers.

1.02 - Karmayoga, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Moreover the word Vedanta is usually identified with the strict Monism and the peculiar theory of Maya established by the lofty and ascetic intellect of Shankara. But it is the Upanishads themselves and not Shankara's writings, the text and not the commentary, that are the authoritative Scripture of the
  Vedantin. Shankara's, great and temporarily satisfying as it was, is still only one synthesis and interpretation of the Upanishads.
  There have been others in the past which have powerfully influenced the national mind and there is no reason why there should not be a yet more perfect synthesis in the future. It is such a synthesis, embracing all life and action in its scope, that the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda have been preparing. What is dimly beginning now is a repetition on a wider stage of what happened once before in India, more rapidly but to smaller issues, when the Buddha lived and taught his philosophy and ethics to the Aryan nations. Then as now a mighty spirit, it matters not whether Avatar or Vibhuti, the full expression of God in man or a great outpouring of the divine energy, came down among men and brought into their daily life and practice the force and impulse of utter spirituality. And this time it is the full light and not a noble part, unlike Buddhism which, expressing Vedantic morality, yet ignored a fundamental reality of Vedanta and was therefore expelled from its prime seat and cradle. The material result was then what it will be now, a great political, moral and social revolution which made India

1.02 - The Eternal Law, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  alone, all this magnificent universe." (Mundaka Upanishad II, 12) At long last, the dichotomy that is tearing this poor world apart between God and the Devil as if one always had to choose between heaven and earth, and could never be saved except when mutilated was healed for good. Yet, in practice, for the last three thousand years, the entire religious history of India has taken the view that there is a true Brahman, as it were, transcendent, immobile, forever beyond this bedlam, and a false Brahman, or rather a minor one (there are several schools), for an intermediate and more or less questionable reality (i.e., life, the earth, our poor mess of an earth). "Abandon this world of illusion," exclaimed the great Shankara. 17 "Brahman is real, the world is a lie," says the Nirlamba Upanishad: brahman satyam jaganmithya.
  Try as we might, we just don't understand through what distortion or oversight "All is Brahman" ever became "All, except the world, is Brahman."

1.02 - The Philosophy of Ishvara, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  Now to go back to our Acharya Shankara: "Those", he says, "who by worshipping the qualified Brahman attain conjunction with the Supreme Ruler, preserving their own mind is their glory limited or unlimited? This doubt arising, we get as an argument: Their glory should be unlimited because of the scriptural texts, 'They attain their own kingdom', 'To him all the gods offer worship',
  'Their desires are fulfilled in all the worlds'. As an answer to this, Vyasa writes, 'Without the power of ruling the universe.' Barring the power of creation etc. of the universe, the other powers such as Anim etc. are acquired by the liberated. As to ruling the universe, that belongs to the eternally perfect Ishvara.

1.02 - The Two Negations 1 - The Materialist Denial, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  3:If we assert only pure Spirit and a mechanical unintelligent substance or energy, calling one God or Soul and the other Nature, the inevitable end will be that we shall either deny God or else turn from Nature. For both Thought and Life, a choice then becomes imperative. Thought comes to deny the one as an illusion of the imagination or the other as an illusion of the senses; Life comes to fix on the immaterial and flee from itself in a disgust or a self-forgetting ecstasy, or else to deny its own immortality and take its orientation away from God and towards the animal. Purusha and Prakriti, the passively luminous Soul of the Sankhyas and their mechanically active Energy, have nothing in common, not even their opposite modes of inertia; their antinomies can only be resolved by the cessation of the inertly driven Activity into the immutable Repose upon which it has been casting in vain the sterile procession of its images. Shankara's wordless, inactive Self and his Maya of many names and forms are equally disparate and irreconcilable entities; their rigid antagonism can terminate only by the dissolution of the multitudinous illusion into the sole Truth of an eternal Silence.
  4:The materialist has an easier field; it is possible for him by denying Spirit to arrive at a more readily convincing simplicity of statement, a real Monism, the Monism of Matter or else of Force. But in this rigidity of statement it is impossible for him to persist permanently. He too ends by positing an unknowable as inert, as remote from the known universe as the passive Purusha or the silent Atman. It serves no purpose but to put off by a vague concession the inexorable demands of Thought or to stand as an excuse for refusing to extend the limits of inquiry. Therefore, in these barren contradictions the human mind cannot rest satisfied. It must seek always a complete affirmation; it can find it only by a luminous reconciliation. To reach that reconciliation it must traverse the degrees which our inner consciousness imposes on us and, whether by objective method of analysis applied to Life and Mind as to Matter or by subjective synthesis and illumination, arrive at the repose of the ultimate unity without denying the energy of the expressive multiplicity. Only in such a complete and catholic affirmation can all the multiform and apparently contradictory data of existence be harmonised and the manifold conflicting forces which govern our thought and life discover the central Truth which they are here to symbolise and variously fulfil. Then only can our Thought, having attained a true centre, ceasing to wander in circles, work like the Brahman of the Upanishad, fixed and stable even in its play and its worldwide coursing, and our life, knowing its aim, serve it with a serene and settled joy and light as well as with a rhythmically discursive energy.

1.04 - The Gods of the Veda, #Vedic and Philological Studies, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  We have therefore as a result of a long and careful examination the clear conviction that certainly in this poem of Madhuchchhanda, probably in others of his hymns, perhaps in all we have an invocation to subjective Nature powers, a symbolic sacrifice, a spiritual, moral & subjective effort & purpose. And if many other suktas in this & other Mandalas confirm the evidence of this third hymn of the Rigveda, shall we not say that here we have the true Veda as the Rishis understood it and that this was the reason why all the ancient thinkers looked on the hymns with so deep-seated a reverence that even after they came to be used merely as ceremonial liturgies at a material sacrifice, even after the Buddha impatiently flung them aside, the writer of the Gita had to look beyond them & Shankara respectfully put them on the shelf of neglect as useless for spiritual purposes, even after they have ceased to be used and almost to be read, the most spiritual nation on the face of the earth still tenaciously, by a sort of divine instinct, clings to them as its supreme Scriptures & refers back all its spirituality and higher knowledge to the Vedas? Let us proceed and see whether this is not the truest as well as the noblest reading of the riddle the real root of Gods purpose in maintaining this our ancient faith and millennial tradition.

1.05 - CHARITY, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
  The nature of charity, or the love-knowledge of God, is defined by Shankara, the great Vedantist saint and philosopher of the ninth century, in the thirty-second couplet of his Viveka-Chudamani.
  Among the instruments of emancipation the supreme is devotion. Contemplation of the true form of the real Self (the Atman which is identical with Brahman) is said to be devotion.
  In other words, the highest form of the love of God is an immediate spiritual intuition, by which knower, known and knowledge are made one. The means to, and earlier stages of, this supreme love-knowledge of Spirit by spirit are described by Shankara in the preceding verses of his philosophical poem, and consist in acts of a will directed towards the denial of selfness in thought, feeling and action, towards desirelessness and non-attachment or (to use the corresponding Christian term) holy indifference, towards a cheerful acceptance of affliction, without self-pity and without thought of returning evil for evil, and finally towards unsleeping and one-pointed mindfulness of the Godhead who is at once transcendent and, because transcendent, immanent in every soul.
  It is plain that no distinct object whatever that pleases the will can be God; and, for that reason, if the will is to be united with Him, it must empty itself, cast away every disorderly affection of the desire, every satisfaction it may distinctly have, high and low, temporal and spiritual, so that, purified and cleansed from all unruly satisfactions, joys and desires, it may be wholly occupied, with all its affections, in loving God. For if the will can in any way comprehend God and be united with Him, it cannot be through any capacity of the desire, but only by love; and as all the delight, sweetness and joy, of which the will is sensible, is not love, it follows that none of these pleasing impressions can be the adequate means of uniting the will to God. These adequate means consist in an act of the will. And because an act of the will is quite distinct from feeling, it is by an act that the will is united with God and rests in Him; that act is love. This union is never wrought by feeling or exertion of the desire; for these remain in the soul as aims and ends. It is only as motives of love that feelings can be of service, if the will is bent on going onwards, and for nothing else.

1.08 - The Depths of the Divine, #Sex Ecology Spirituality, #Ken Wilber, #Philosophy
  Sri Ramana Maharshi (echoing Shankara) summarizes the "viewpoint" of the ultimate or Nondual realization:
  The world is illusory;

1.08 - The Gods of the Veda - The Secret of the Veda, #Vedic and Philological Studies, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The Vedas are the roots of Indian civilisation and the supreme authority in Indian religion. For three thousand years, by the calculation of European scholars, for a great deal more, in all probability, the faith of this nation, certainly one of the most profound, acute and intellectual in the world, has not left its hold on this cardinal point of belief. Its greatest and most rationalistic minds have never swerved from the national faith. Kapila held to it no less than Shankara. The two great revolted intellects, Buddha and Brihaspati, could not dethrone the Veda or destroy Indias spiritual allegiance. India by an inevitable law of her being casts out, sooner or later, everything that is not Vedic. The Dhammapada has become a Scripture for foreign peoples. Brihaspatis strictures are only remembered as a curiosity of our intellectual history. Religious movements & revolutions have come & gone or left their mark but after all and through all the Veda remains to us our Rock of the Ages, our eternal foundation.
  Yet the most fundamental and important part of this imperishable Scripture, the actual hymns and mantras of the Sanhitas, has long been a sealed book to the Indian mind, learned or unlearned. The other Vedic books are of minor authority or a secondary formation. The Brahmanas are ritual, grammatical & historical treatises on the traditions & ceremonies of Vedic times whose only valueapart from interesting glimpses of ancient life & Vedantic philosophylies in their attempt to fix and to interpret symbolically the ritual of Vedic sacrifice. The Upanishads, mighty as they are, only aspire to bring out, arrange philosophically in the language of later thinking and crown with the supreme name of Brahman the eternal knowledge enshrined in the Vedas. Yet for some two thousand years at least no Indian has really understood the Vedas. Or if they have been understood, if Sayana holds for us their secret, the reverence of the Indian mind for them becomes a baseless superstition and the idea that the modern Indian religions are Vedic in their substance is convicted of egregious error. For the Vedas Sayana gives us are the mythology of the Adityas, Rudras,Maruts, Vasus,but these gods of the Veda have long ceased to be worshipped,or they are a collection of ritual & sacrificial hymns, but the ritual is dead & the sacrifices are no longer offered.

1.08 - Worship of Substitutes and Images, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  The next points to be considered are the worship of Pratikas or of things more or less satisfactory as substitutes for God, and the worship of Pratims or images. What is the worship of God through a Pratika? It is Joining the mind with devotion to that which is not Brahman, taking it to be Brahman" says Bhagavn Rmnuja. "Worship the mind as Brahman this is internal; and the ksha as Brahman, this is with regard to the Devas", says Shankara. The mind is an internal Pratika, the Akasha is an external one, and both have to be worshipped as substitutes of God. He continues, "Similarly 'the Sun is Brahman, this is the command', 'He who worships Name as Brahman' in all such passages the doubt arises as to the worship of Pratikas." The word Pratika means going towards; and worshipping a Pratika is worshipping something as a substitute which is, in some one or more respects, like Brahman more and more, but is not Brahman. Along with the Pratikas mentioned in the Shrutis there are various others to be found in the Purnas and the Tantras. In this kind of Pratika-worship may be included all the various forms of Pitri-worship and Deva-worship.
  Now worshipping Ishvara and Him alone is Bhakti; the worship of anything else Deva, or Pitri, or any other being cannot be Bhakti. The various kinds of worship of the various Devas are all to be included in ritualistic Karma, which gives to the worshipper only a particular result in the form of some celestial enjoyment, but can neither give rise to Bhakti nor lead to Mukti. One thing, therefore, has to be carefully borne in mind. If, as it may happen in some cases, the highly philosophic ideal, the supreme Brahman, is dragged down by Pratika-worship to the level of the Pratika, and the Pratika itself is taken to be the Atman of the worshipper or his Antarymin (Inner Ruler), the worshipper gets entirely misled, as no Pratika can really be the Atman of the worshipper.
   "The fruition of even the worship of Adityas etc. Brahman Himself bestows, because He is the Ruler of all." Says Shankara in his Brahma-Sutra-Bhsya
  "Here in this way does Brahman become the object of worship, because He, as Brahman, is superimposed on the Pratikas, just as Vishnu etc. are superimposed upon images etc."

11.02 - The Golden Life-line, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   It is so difficult for man to leave the beaten track, for that means risk and danger; our thoughts and movements are all shaped in the mould of the past, we carry out what old habits have instructed us; any new thought, any new act we happen to come across we seek to link it to an antecedent or precedent, similar in kind or form. It is a never-ending succession, a causal chain that makes up our life, the present being always produced by its past. That means the present, and so also the future, is only another form or term of the past. What is not in the past is not in the present or the future, that is to say, such is the constitution of our consciousness and nature: there is a natural and inevitable faith and trust in the past, an extension of the past; there is only apprehension for the future, uncertainty in the present.1 It was Buddha's signal achievement to uncover this great illusion, the illusion of an inexhaustible and inexorably continuing past, continuing into the present and into the future. He saw that to be is not continuity but a sequence of discrete moments (and events). It is ignorance that finds a link between these entities; they are in reality absolutely separate and distinct from each other. If you can wake up from this ignorance as from a dream you will find they 'all disintegrate and disperse and end in nothing. The only reality is that Nothing. Shankara however says that it is not mere Nothing but Pure Existence, instead of an illusion of existences you have the original Existence, the absolute existence.
   The Upanishad speaks of the creation as a garl and and all the elements of life that are like precious jewelsare strung upon a secret thread. Indeed, it is not on nothing that this multiplicity which is the creation is standing and holding together. There is however a twofold secret threadone that binds together a world of ignorance: that is the thread of ignorance which passes through, even keeps alive as it were, all the expressions and embodiments of the ignorance, pain and suffering, greed and hunger, egoism and selfishness and all forms of what is called evil. But it is the apparent world; even so, it is not pure delusion: it is a make-believe or falsehood which keeps behind it the true, the real world. That world lies behind the mask, the present actual world; it is another world of light and truth, power and delight and purity. There the link that binds together the succession of events and realities is a golden thread of pure consciousness. The link of ignorance is, one may say, the iron link, and is open to rust and decay inevitably. It is the link that binds together the ordinary life of ignorance, that pulls always backward, clings to all that has gone by, seeks to extend the past into the present and the future, feels unhappy if that is disturbed.

1.1.04 - Philosophy, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  He treads down his emotions, because emotion distorts reason and replaces it by passions, desires, preferences, prejudices, prejudgments. He avoids life, because life awakes all his sensational being and puts his reason at the mercy of egoism, of sensational reactions of anger, fear, hope, hunger, ambition, instead of allowing it to act justly and do disinterested work. It becomes merely the paid pleader of a party, a cause, a creed, a dogma, an intellectual faction. Passion and eagerness, even intellectual eagerness, so disfigure the greatest minds that even Shankara becomes a sophist and a word-twister, and even Buddha argues in a circle. The philosopher wishes above all to preserve his intellectual righteousness; he is or should be as careful of his mental rectitude as the saint of his moral stainlessness. Therefore he avoids, as far as the world will let him, the conditions which disturb. But in this way he cuts himself off from experience and only the gods can know without experience. Sieyes said that politics was a subject of which he had made a science.
  He had, but the pity was that though he knew the science of politics perfectly, he did not know politics itself in the least and when he did enter political life, he had formed too rigidly the logical habit to replace it in any degree by the practical. If he had reversed the order or at least coordinated experiment with his theories before they were formed, he might have succeeded better. His readymade Constitutions are monuments of logical perfection and practical ineffectiveness. They have the weakness

1.10 - The Methods and the Means, #Bhakti-Yoga, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  And this discrimination of food is, after all, of secondary importance. The very same passage quoted above is explained by Shankara in his Bhshya on the Upanishads in a different way by giving an entirely different meaning to the word hra, translated generally as food. According to him, "That which is gathered in is Ahara. The knowledge of the sensations, such as sound etc., is gathered in for the enjoyment of the enjoyer (self); the purification of the knowledge which gathers in the perception of the senses is the purifying of the food (Ahara). The word 'purification-of-food' means the acquiring of the knowledge of sensations untouched by the defects of attachment, aversion, and delusion; such is the meaning. Therefore such knowledge or Ahara being purified, the Sattva material of the possessor it the internal organ will become purified, and the Sattva being purified, an unbroken memory of the Infinite One, who has been known in His real nature from scriptures, will result."
  These two explanations are apparently conflicting, yet both are true and necessary. The manipulating and controlling of what may be called the finer body, viz the mood, are no doubt higher functions than the controlling of the grosser body of flesh. But the control of the grosser is absolutely necessary to enable one to arrive at the control of the finer. The beginner, therefore, must pay particular attention to all such dietetic rules as have come down from the line of his accredited teachers; but the extravagant, meaningless fanaticism, which has driven religion entirely to the kitchen, as may be noticed in the case of many of our sects, without any hope of the noble truth of that religion ever coming out to the sunlight of spirituality, is a peculiar sort of pure and simple materialism. It is neither Jnna, nor Bhakti, nor Karma; it is a special kind of lunacy, and those who pin their souls to it are more likely to go to lunatic asylums than to Brahmaloka. So it stands to reason that discrimination in the choice of food is necessary for the attainment of this higher state of mental composition which cannot be easily obtained otherwise.

1.10 - The Secret of the Veda, #Vedic and Philological Studies, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  When was this traditional honour first lost or at least tarnished and the ancient Scripture relegated to the inferior position it occupies in the thought of Shankaracharya? I presume there can be little doubt that the chief agent in this work of destruction was the power of Buddhism. The preachings of Gautama and his followers worked against Vedic knowledge by a double process. First, by entirely denying the authority of the Veda, laying a violent stress on its ritualistic character and destroying the general practice of formal sacrifice, it brought the study of the Veda into disrepute as a means of attaining the highest good while at the same time it destroyed the necessity of that study for ritualistic purposes which had hitherto kept alive the old Vedic studies; secondly, in a less direct fashion, by substituting for a time at least the vernacular tongues for the old simple Sanscrit as the more common & popular means of religious propaganda and by giving them a literary position and repute, it made a general return to the old generality of the Vedic studies practically impossible. For the Vedas were written in an ancient form of the literary tongue the real secret of which had already been to a great extent lost even to the learned; such knowledge of it as remained, subsisted with difficulty by means of a laborious memorising and a traditional scholarship, conservative indeed but still slowly diminishing and replacing more & more real knowledge by uncertainty, disputed significance and the continuously increasing ingenuities of the ritualist, the grammarian and the sectarian polemical disputant. When after the fall of the Buddhistic Mauryas, feeble successors of the great Asoka, first under Pushyamitra and his son and afterwards under the Guptas, Hinduism revived, a return to the old forms of the creed and the old Vedic scholarship was no longer possible. The old pre-Buddhistic Sanscrit was, to all appearance, a simple, vigorous, living language understood though not spoken by the more intelligent of the common people just as the literary language of Bengal, the language of Bankim Chandra, is understood by every intelligent Bengali, although in speech more contracted forms and a very different vocabulary are in use. But the new Sanscrit of the revival tended to be more & more a learned, scholarly, polished and rhetorical tongue, certainly one of the most smooth, stately & grandiose ever used by human lips, but needing a special & difficult education to understand its grammar, its rhetoric, its rolling compounds and its long flowing sentences. The archaic language of the Vedas ceased to be the common study even of the learned and was only mastered, one is constrained to believe with less & less efficiency, by a small number of scholars. An education in which it took seven years to master the grammar of the language, became inevitably the grave of all true Vedic knowledge. Veda ceased to be the pivot of the Hindu religion, and its place was taken by the only religious compositions which were modern enough in language and simple enough in style to be popular, the Puranas. Moreover, the conception of Veda popularised by Buddhism, Sanscrit as the more common & popular means of religious propaganda and by giving them a literary position and repute, it made a general return to the old generality of the Vedic studies practically impossible. For the Vedas were written in an ancient form of the literary tongue the real secret of which had already been to a great extent lost even to the learned; such knowledge of it as remained, subsisted with difficulty by means of a laborious memorising and a traditional scholarship, conservative indeed but still slowly diminishing and replacing more & more real knowledge by uncertainty, disputed significance and the continuously increasing ingenuities of the ritualist, the grammarian and the sectarian polemical disputant. When after the fall of the Buddhistic Mauryas, feeble successors of the great Asoka, first under Pushyamitra and his son and afterwards under the Guptas, Hinduism revived, a return to the old forms of the creed and the old Vedic scholarship was no longer possible. The old pre-Buddhistic Sanscrit was, to all appearance, a simple, vigorous, living language understood though not spoken by the more intelligent of the common people just as the literary language of Bengal, the language of Bankim Chandra, is understood by every intelligent Bengali, although in speech more contracted forms and a very different vocabulary are in use. But the new Sanscrit of the revival tended to be more & more a learned, scholarly, polished and rhetorical tongue, certainly one of the most smooth, stately & grandiose ever used by human lips, but needing a special & difficult education to understand its grammar, its rhetoric, its rolling compounds and its long flowing sentences. The archaic language of the Vedas ceased to be the common study even of the learned and was only mastered, one is constrained to believe with less & less efficiency, by a small number of scholars. An education in which it took seven years to master the grammar of the language, became inevitably the grave of all true Vedic knowledge. Veda ceased to be the pivot of the Hindu religion, and its place was taken by the only religious compositions which were modern enough in language and simple enough in style to be popular, the Puranas. Moreover, the conception of Veda popularised by Buddhism, a Scripture of ritual and of animal sacrifice, persisted in the popular mind even after the decline of Buddhism and the revival of great philosophies ostensibly based on Vedic authority. It was under the dominance of this ritualistic conception that Sayana wrote his great commentary which has ever since been to the Indian Pundit the one decisive authority on the sense of Veda. The four Vedas have definitely taken a subordinate place as karmakanda, books of ritual; and to the Upanishads alone, in spite of occasional appeals to the text of the earlier Scriptures, is reserved that aspect of spiritual knowledge & teaching which alone justifies the application to any human composition of the great name of Veda.
  But in spite of this great downfall the ancient tradition, the ancient sanctity survived. The people knew not what Veda might be; but the old idea remained fixed that Veda is always the fountain of Hinduism, the standard of orthodoxy, the repository of a sacred knowledge; not even the loftiest philosopher or the most ritualistic scholar could divest himself entirely of this deeply ingrained & instinctive conception. To complete the degradation of Veda, to consummate the paradox of its history, a new element had to appear, a new form of intelligence undominated by the ancient tradition & the mediaeval method to take possession of Vedic interpretation. European scholarship which regards human civilisation as a recent progression starting yesterday with the Fiji islander and ending today with Haeckel and Rockefeller, conceiving ancient culture as necessarily primitive culture and primitive culture as necessarily half-savage culture, has turned the light of its Comparative Philology & Comparative Mythology on the Veda. The result we all know. Not only all vestige of sanctity, but all pretension to any kind of spiritual knowledge or experience disappears from the Veda. The old Rishis are revealed to us as a race of ignorant and lusty barbarians who drank & enjoyed and fought, gathered riches & procreated children, sacrificed and praised the Powers of Nature as if they were powerful men & women, and had no higher hope or idea. The only idea they had of religion beyond an occasional sense of sin and a perpetual preoccupation with a ritual barbarously encumbered with a mass of meaningless ceremonial details, was a mythology composed of the phenomena of dawn, night, rain, sunshine and harvest and the facts of astronomy converted into a wildly confused & incoherent mass of allegorical images and personifications. Nor, with the European interpretation, can we be proud of our early forefa thers as poets and singers. The versification of the Vedic hymns is indeed noble and melodious,though the incorrect method of writing them established by the old Indian scholars, often conceals their harmonious construction,but no other praise can be given. The Nibelungenlied, the Icelandic Sagas, the Kalewala, the Homeric poems, were written in the dawn of civilisation by semi-barbarous races, by poets not superior in culture to the Vedic Rishis; yet though their poetical value varies, the nations that possess them, need not be ashamed of their ancient heritage. The same cannot be said of the Vedic poems presented to us by European scholarship. Never surely was there even among savages such a mass of tawdry, glittering, confused & purposeless imagery; never such an inane & useless burden of epithets; never such slipshod & incompetent writing; never such a strange & almost insane incoherence of thought & style; never such a bald poverty of substance. The attempt of patriotic Indian scholars to make something respectable out of the Veda, is futile. If the modern interpretation stands, the Vedas are no doubt of high interest & value to the philologist, the anthropologist & the historian; but poetically and spiritually they are null and worthless. Its reputation for spiritual knowledge & deep religious wealth, is the most imposing & baseless hoax that has ever been worked upon the imagination of a whole people throughout many millenniums.
  But the ritualistic interpretation of the Rigveda does not stand on the authority of Sayana alone. It is justified by Shankaracharyas rigid division of karmakanda and jnanakanda and by a long tradition dating back to the propaganda of Buddha which found in the Vedic hymns a great system of ceremonial or effective sacrifice and little or nothing more. Even the Brahmanas in their great mass & minuteness seem to bear unwavering testimony to the pure ritualism of the Veda. But the Brahmanas are in their nature rubrics of directions to the priests for the right performance of the outward Vedic sacrifice,that system of symbolic & effective offerings to the gods of Soma-wine, clarified butter or consecrated animals in which the complex religion of the Veda embodied itself for material worship,rubrics accompanied by speculative explanations of old ill-understood details & the popular myths & traditions that had sprung up from obscure allusions in the hymns. Whatever we may think of the Brahmanas, they merely affirm the side of outward ritualism which had grown in a huge & cumbrous mass round the first simple rites of the Vedic Rishis; they do not exclude the existence of deeper meanings & higher purposes in the ancient Scripture. Not only so, but they practically affirm them by including in the Aranyakas compositions of a wholly different spirit & purpose, the Upanishads, compositions professedly intended to bring out the spiritual gist and drift of the earlier Veda. It is clear therefore that to the knowledge or belief of the men of those times the Vedas had a double aspect, an aspect of outward and effective ritual, believed also to be symbolical,for the Brahmanas are continually striving to find a mystic symbolism in the most obvious details of the sacrifice, and an aspect of highest & divine truth hidden behind these symbols. The Upanishads themselves have always been known as Vedanta. This word is nowadays often used & spoken of as if it meant the end of Veda, in the sense that here historically the religious development commenced in the Rigveda culminated; but obviously it means the culmination of Veda in a very different sense, the ultimate and highest knowledge & fulfilment towards which the practices & strivings of the Vedic Rishis mounted, extricated from the voluminous mass of the Vedic poems and presented according to the inner realisation of great Rishis like Yajnavalkya & Janaka in a more modern style and language. It is used much in the sense in which Madhuchchhandas, son of Viswamitra, says of Indra, Ath te antamnm vidyma sumatnm, Then may we know something of thy ultimate right thinkings, meaning obviously not the latest, but the supreme truths, the ultimate realisations. Undoubtedly, this was what the authors of the Upanishads themselves saw in their work, statements of supreme truth of Veda, truth therefore contained in the ancient mantras. In this belief they appeal always to Vedic authority and quote the language of Veda either to justify their own statements of thought or to express that thought itself in the old solemn and sacred language. And with regard to this there are spoken these Riks.
  In what light did these ancient thinkers understand the Vedic gods? As material Nature Powers called only to give worldly wealth to their worshippers? Certainly, the Vedic gods are in the Vedanta also accredited with material functions. In the Kena Upanishad Agnis power & glory is to burn, Vayus to seize & bear away. But these are not their only functions. In the same Upanishad, in the same apologue, told as a Vedantic parable, Indra, Agni & Vayu, especially Indra, are declared to be the greatest of the gods because they came nearest into contact with the Brahman. Indra, although unable to recognise the Brahman directly, learned of his identity from Uma daughter of the snowy mountains. Certainly, the sense of the parable is not that Dawn told the Sky who Brahman was or that material Sky, Fire & Wind are best able to come into contact with the Supreme Existence. It is clear & it is recognised by all the commentators, that in the Upanishads the gods are masters not only of material functions in the outer physical world but also of mental, vital and physical functions in the intelligent living creature. This will be directly evident from the passage describing the creation of the gods by the One & Supreme Being in the Aitareya Upanishad & the subsequent movement by which they enter in the body of man and take up the control of his activities. In the same Upanishad it is even hinted that Indra is in his secret being the Eternal Lord himself, for Idandra is his secret name; nor should we forget that this piece of mysticism is founded on the hymns of the Veda itself which speak of the secret names of the gods. Shankaracharya recognised this truth so perfectly that he uses the gods and the senses as equivalent terms in his great commentary. Finally in the Isha Upanishad,itself a part of the White Yajur Veda and a work, as I have shown elsewhere, full of the most lofty & deep Vedantic truth, in which the eternal problems of human existence are briefly proposed and masterfully solved,we find Surya and Agni prayed to & invoked with as much solemnity & reverence as in the Rigveda and indeed in language borrowed from the Rigveda, not as the material Sun and material Fire, but as the master of divine God-revealing knowledge & the master of divine purifying force of knowledge, and not to drive away the terrors of night from a trembling savage nor to burn the offered cake & the dripping ghee in a barbarian ritual, but to reveal the ultimate truth to the eyes of the Seer and to raise the immortal part in us that lives before & after the body is ashes to the supreme felicity of the perfected & sinless soul. Even subsequently we have seen that the Gita speaks of the Vedas as having the supreme for their subject of knowledge, and if later thinkers put it aside as karmakanda, yet they too, though drawing chiefly on the Upanishads, appealed occasionally to the texts of the hymns as authorities for the Brahmavidya. This could not have been if they were merely a ritual hymnology. We see therefore that the real Hindu tradition contains nothing excluding the interpretation which I put upon the Rigveda. On one side the current notion, caused by the immense overgrowth of ritualism in the millennium previous to the Christian era and the violence of the subsequent revolt against it, has been fixed in our minds by Buddhistic ideas as a result of the most formidable & damaging attack which the ancient Vedic religion had ever to endure. On the other side, the Vedantic sense of Veda is supported by the highest authorities we have, the Gita & the Upanishads, & evidenced even by the tradition that seems to deny or at least belittle it. True orthodoxy therefore demands not that we should regard the Veda as a ritualist hymn book, but that we should seek in it for the substance or at least the foundation of that sublime Brahmavidya which is formally placed before us in the Upanishads, regarding it as the revelation of the deepest truth of the world & man revealed to illuminated Seers by the Eternal Ruler of the Universe.
  Modern thought & scholarship stands on a different foundation. It proceeds by inference, imagination and conjecture to novel theories of old subjects and regards itself as rational, not traditional. It professes to rebuild lost worlds out of their disjected fragments. By reason, then, and without regard to ancient authority the modern account of the Veda should be judged. The European scholars suppose that the mysticism of the Upanishads was neither founded upon nor, in the main, developed from the substance of the Vedas, but came into being as part of a great movement away from the naturalistic materialism of the early half-savage hymns. Unable to accept a barbarous mummery of ritual and incantation as the highest truth & highest good, yet compelled by religious tradition to regard the ancient hymns as sacred, the early thinkers, it is thought, began to seek an escape from this impasse by reading mystic & esoteric meanings into the simple text of the sacrificial bards; so by speculations sometimes entirely sublime, sometimes grievously silly & childish, they developed Vedanta. This theory, simple, trenchant and attractive, supported to the European mind by parallels from the history of Western religions, is neither so convincing nor, on a broad survey of the facts, so conclusive as it at first appears. It is certainly inconsistent with what the old Vedantic thinkers themselves knew and thought about the tradition of the Veda. From the Brahmanas as well as from the Upanishads it is evident that the Veda came down to the men of those days in a double aspect, as the heart of a great body of effective ritual, but also as the repository of a deep and sacred knowledge, Veda and not merely worship. This idea of a philosophic or theosophic purport in the hymns was not created by the early Hindu mystics, it was inherited by them. Their attitude to the ritual even when it was performed mechanically without the possession of this knowledge was far from hostile; but as ritual, they held it to be inferior in force and value, avaram karma, a lower kind of works and not the highest good; only when performed with possession of the knowledge could it lead to its ultimate results, to Vedanta. By that, says the Chhandogya Upanishad, both perform karma, both he who knows this so and he who knows not. Yet the Ignorance and the Knowledge are different things and only what one does with the knowledge,with faith, with the Upanishad,that has the greater potency. And in the closing section of its second chapter, a passage which sounds merely like ritualistic jargon when one has not the secret of Vedic symbolism but when that secret has once been revealed to us becomes full of meaning and interest, the Upanishad starts by saying The Brahmavadins say, The morning offering to the Vasus, the afternoon offering to the Rudras and the evening offering to the Adityas and all the gods,where then is the world of the Yajamana? (that is to say, what is the spiritual efficacy beyond this material life of the three different sacrifices & why, to what purpose, is the first offered to the Vasus, the second to the Rudras, the third to the Adityas?) He who knows this not, how should he perform (effectively) ,therefore knowing let him perform. There was at any rate the tradition that these things, the sacrifice, the god of the sacrifice, the world or future state of the sacrificer had a deep significance and were not mere ritual arranged superstitiously for material ends. But this deeper significance, this inner Vedic knowledge was difficult and esoteric, not known easily in its profundity and subtlety even by the majority of the Brahmavadins themselves; hence the searching, the mutual questionings, the record of famous discussions that occupy so much space in the Upanishadsdiscussions which, we shall see, are not intellectual debates but comparisons of illuminated knowledge & spiritual experience.
  If this traditionlet us call it mystic or esoteric for want of a less abused wordwas already formed at the time of the Brahmanas and Upanishads, when and how did it originally arise? Two possibilities present themselves. The tradition may have grown up gradually in the period between the Vedic hymns and the exegetical writings or else the esoteric sense may have already existed in the Veda itself and descended in a stream of tradition to the later mystics, developing, modifying itself, substituting new terms for oldas is the way of traditions. The former is, practically, the European theory.We are told that this spiritual revolution, this movement away from ritual Nature-worship to Brahmavada, begun in the seed in the later Vedic hymns, is found in a more developed state in the Upanishads & culminated in Buddha. In these writings and in the Brahmanas some record can be found of the speculations by which the development was managed. If it prove to be so, if these ancient writings are really the result of progressive intellectual speculation departing from crude & imperfect beginnings of philosophic thought, the European theory justifies itself to the reason and can no longer easily be disputed. But is this the true character of the Upanishads? It seems to me that in most of their dealings with our religions and our philosophical literature European scholars have erred by imposing their own familiar ideas and the limits of their own mentality on the history of an alien mentality and an alien development. Nowhere has this error been more evident than in the failure to realise the true nature of the Upanishads. In India we have never developed, but only affirmed thought by philosophical speculation, because we have never attached to the mere intellectual idea the amazingly exaggerated value which Europe has attached to it, but regarded it only as a test of the logical value to be attached to particular intellectual statements of truth. That is not truth to us which is merely well & justly thought out & can be justified by ratiocinative argument; only that is truth which has been lived & seen in the inner experience. We meditate not to get ideas, but in order to experience, to realise. When we speak of the Jnani, the knower, we do not mean a competent and logical thinker full of wise or of brilliant ideas, but a soul which has seen and lived & spoken in himself with the living truth. Ratiocination is freely used by the later philosophers, but only for the justification against opponents of the ideas already formed by their own meditation or the meditation of others, Rishis, gurus, ancient Vedantins; it is not itself a sufficient means towards the discovery of truth, but at best a help. The ideas of our great thinkers are not mere intellectual statements or even happy or great intuitions; they are based upon spiritual experiences formalised by the intellect into a philosophy. Shankaras passionate advocacy of the idea of Maya as an explanation of life was not merely the ardour of a great metaphysician enamoured of a beautiful idea or a perfect theory of life, but the passion of a man with a deep & vast spiritual experience which he believed to be the sole means of human salvation. Therefore philosophy in India, instead of tending as in Europe to ignore or combat religion, has always been itself deeply religious. In Europe Buddha and Shankara would have become the heads of metaphysical schools & ranked with Kant or Hegel or Nietzsche1 as strong intellectual influences; in India they became, inevitably, the founders of great religious sects, immense moral & spiritual forces;inevitably because Europe has made thought its highest & noblest aim, while India seeks not after thought but soul-vision and inner experience and even in the realm of ideas believes that they can & ought to be seen & lived inwardly rather than merely thought and allowed indirectly to influence outward action. This has been the mentality of our race for ages.Was the mentality of our Vedic forefa thers entirely different from our own? Was it, as Western scholars seem to insist, a European mentality, the mentality of incursive Western savages, (it is Sergis estimate of the Aryans), changed afterwards by the contact with the cultured & reflective Dravidians into something new and strange, rationality changing to mysticism, materialism to a metaphysical spirituality? If so, the change had already been effected when the Upanishads were written. We speak of the discussions in the Upanishads; but in all truth the twelve Upanishads contain not a single genuine discussion. Only once in that not inconsiderable mass of literature, is there something of the nature of logical argument brought to the support of a philosophical truth. The nature of debate or logical reasoning is absent from the mentality of the Upanishadic thinkers. The grand question they always asked each other was not What hast thou thought out in this matter? or What are thy reasonings & conclusions? but What dost thou know? What hast thou seen in thyself? The Vedantic like the Vedic Rishi is a drashta & srota, not a manota, a kavi, not a manishi. There is question, there is answer; but solely for the comparison of inner knowledge & experience; never for ratiocinative argument, for disputation, for the battles of the logician. Always, knowledge, spiritual vision, experience are what is demanded; and often a questioner is turned back because he is not yet prepared in soul to realise the knowledge of the master. For all knowledge is within us and needs only to be awakened by the fit touch which opens the eyes of the soul or by the powerful revealing word.We find throughout the Vedic era always the same method, always the same theory of knowledge; they persist indeed in India to the present day and later habits of metaphysical debate unknown to the Vedic Brahmavadins have never been able to dethrone them from their primaeval supremacy. Let a man present never so finely reasoned a system of metaphysical philosophy, few will turn to hear, none leave his labour to receive, but let a man say as in the old Vedantic times I have experienced, my soul has seen, & hundreds in India will yet leave all to share in this new light of the eternal Truth.
  concrete visualisation & passion for his ideas & experiences which mark off the religious from the merely philosophical mind.
  We ought at least to free our minds of one misconception which has a very strong hold of the average Indian mind and blocks up the way for free investigation & the formation of a strong & original school of Indian scholars better circumstanced than the Europeans for determining the truth about our past and divining its difficult secrets. The triumphant & rapid march of the physical sciences in Europe has so mastered our intellects and dazzled our eyes, that we are apt to extend the unquestioned finality which we are accustomed to attach to the discoveries & theories of modern Science, to all the results of European research & intellectual activity. Even in Europe itself, we should remember, there is no such implicit acceptance. The theories of today are there continually being combated and overthrown by the theories of tomorrow. Outside the range of the physical sciences & even in some portions of that splendid domain the whole of European knowledge is felt more & more to be a mass of uncertain results ephemeral in their superstructure, shifting in their very foundations. For the Europeans have that valuable gift of intellectual restlessness which, while it often stands in the way of mans holding on to abiding truth, helps him to emerge swiftly out of momentarily triumphant error. In India on the other hand we have fallen during the last few centuries into a fixed habit of unquestioning deference to authority. We used to hold it, & some still hold it almost an impiety to question Shankaras interpretation of the Upanishads, or Sayanas interpretation of the Veda, and now that we are being torn out of this bondage, we fall into yet more absurd error by according, if not an equal reverence, yet an almost equal sense of finality to the opinions of Roth & Max Muller. We are ready to accept all European theories, the theory of an Aryan colonisation of a Dravidian India, the theory of the Nature-worship and henotheism of the Vedic Rishis, the theory of the Upanishads as a speculative revolt against Vedic materialism & ritualism, as if these hazardous speculations were on a par in authority & certainty with the law of gravitation and the theory of evolution. We are most of us unaware that in Europe it is disputed and very reasonably disputed whether, for instance, any such entity as an Aryan race ever existed. The travail of dispute & uncertainty in which the questions of Vedic scholarship & ethnology are enveloped is hidden from us; only the over-confident statement of doubtful discoveries and ephemeral theories reaches our knowledge.
  We should realise that these so-called Sciences of Comparative Philology and Comparative Mythology on which the European interpretation of Veda is founded are not true Sciences at all. They are, rather, if Sciences at all, then pseudo-Sciences. All the European mental sciences, not excluding Psychology, though that is now proceeding within certain narrow limits by a sounder method, belong to a doubtful class of branches of research which have absorbed the outward method of Science, without its inward spirit. The true scientists in Germany, the home of both Science & Philology, accustomed to sound methods, certain results, patient inquiry, slow generalisations, have nothing but contempt for the methods of Philology, its patchiness, its haste, its guesswork, and profess no confidence in its results; the word Philologe is even, in their mouths, a slighting & discourteous expression. This contempt, itself no doubt excessive, is practically admitted to be just by the great French thinker, Renan, who spent the best part of his life in philological & kindred researches, when he described apologetically his favourite pursuits as petty conjectural sciences. Now, a Science that is conjectural, a Science that proceeds not by fixed laws and certain methods, but by ingenious inference & conjecture, & this is in truth the nature of Comparative Philology & Comparative Mythology,is no science at all; it is a branch of research, a field of inquiry & conjecture in which useful discoveries may be made; it may even contain in itself the germs of a future science, but it is not yet itself worthy of that name & its results have no right to cloak themselves falsely in the robe of authority which belongs only to the results of the true Sciences. So long as a science is conjectural, its results are also conjectural, can at any moment be challenged and ought at all times even in its most brilliant & confident results to be carefully and sceptically scrutinised.

11.12 - Two Equations, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Shankara's equation:
   D0= I (Sachchidananda)

1.11 - The Kalki Avatar, #Preparing for the Miraculous, #George Van Vrekhem, #Integral Yoga
  trying to overshoot, Buddha like Shankara made a mistake,
  calling away the dynamic side of the liberation. Therefore

1.11 - The Three Purushas, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The Greatness of all the philosophical problems which human thought has struggled to solve, is the exact nature and relation to us of the conscious Intelligence in the phenomenal existence around. The idealist denies the phenomenal existence, the materialist denies the conscious Intelligence. To the former, phenomenon is a passing shadow on the luminous calm of the single universal Spirit: to the latter, intelligence is a temporary result of the motions of Matter. The idealist can give no satisfactory explanation of the existence of the shadow; he admits that it is inexplicable, a thing that is and yet is not: the materialist can give no satisfactory explanation of the existence of intelligence; he simply tries to trace the stages of its development and the methods of its workings, and covers over the want of an explanation by the abundant minuteness of his observations. But the soul of Man, looking out and in, is satisfied neither with Shankara nor with Haeckel. It sees the universal existence of phenomena, it sees the universal existence of Intelligence. It seeks a term which will admit both, cover both, identify both; it demands, not an elimination of either, but a reconcilement.
  The Upanishads do not deny the reality of the world, but they identify it with Brahman who transcends it. He is the One without a second; He is the All. If all is Brahman, then there can be nothing but Brahman, and therefore the existence of the All, sarvam idam, does not contradict the unity of Brahman, does not establish the reality of bheda, difference. It is one Intelligence looking at itself from a hundred view-points, each point conscious of and enjoying the existence of the others. The shoreless stream of idea and thought, imagination and experience, name and form, sensation and vibration sweeps onward for ever, without beginning, without end, rising into view, sinking out of sight; through it the one Intelligence with its million self-expressions pours itself abroad, an ocean with innumerable waves. One particular self-expression may disappear into its source and continent, but that does not and cannot abolish the phenomenal universe. The One is for ever, and the Many are for ever because the One is for ever. So long as there is a sea, there will be waves.

1.12 - The Divine Work, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  of men to the Light like Buddha, Christ or Shankara or governs
  kingdoms like Janaka or stands before men like Sri Krishna as a

1.12 - The Superconscient, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  Perhaps It seeks to experience the same Glory and Joy in conditions seemingly contrary to Its own, in a life besieged by death, ignorance, and obscurity, in the multitudinous diversity of the world, instead of in a blank unity. Then this life and this Matter would at least have a meaning; no longer a purgatory or an empty transition to the beyond, but a laboratory where step by step through matter, plants, animals, and then an increasingly conscious human being the Spirit evolves the superman, the god: The soul has not finished what it has to do by merely developing into humanity; it has still to develop that humanity into its higher possibilities. Obviously, the soul that lodges in a Caribbee or an untaught primitive or an Apache of Paris or an American gangster, has not yet exhausted the necessity of human birth, has not developed all its possibilities or the whole meaning of humanity, has not worked out all the sense of Sachchidananda in the universal Man; neither has the soul lodged in a vitalistic European occupied with dynamic production and vital pleasure or in an Asiatic peasant engrossed in the ignorant round of the domestic and economic life. We may reasonably doubt whether even a Plato or a Shankara marks the crown and therefore the end of the outflowering of the spirit in man. We are apt to suppose that these may be the limit, because these and others like them seem to us the highest point which the mind of man can reach, but that may be the illusion of our present possibility. . . . The soul had a prehuman past, it has a superhuman future.
  Sri Aurobindo is not a theoretician of evolution; he is a practitioner of evolution. We have jumped ahead in this discussion merely to shed some light upon his groping process in the Alipore jail. He could see that that cosmic and blissful vastitude was not the place where any work could be done, that one had to come back down into the body, humbly, and search there. Yet, we may ask, if "the transformation" is to take place through a power of consciousness and not by some external machinery, what consciousness higher than the cosmic consciousness can there be? Is that not the top of the ladder and therefore the limit of power? The question is relevant if we wish to understand the practical process of the discovery, and eventually experience it ourselves. We might answer with two observations.

1.14 - IMMORTALITY AND SURVIVAL, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
  There is a general agreement, East and West, that life in a body provides uniquely good opportunities for achieving salvation or deliverance. Catholic and Mahayana Buddhist doctrine is alike in insisting that the soul in its disembodied state after death cannot acquire merit, but merely suffers in purgatory the consequences of its past acts. But whereas Catholic orthodoxy declares that there is no possibility of progress in the next world, and that the degree of the souls beatitude is determined solely by what it has done and thought in its earthly life, the eschatologists of the Orient affirm that there are certain posthumous conditions in which meritorious souls are capable of advancing from a heaven of happy personal survival to genuine immortality in union with the timeless, eternal Godhead. And, of course, there is also the possibility (indeed, for. most individuals, the necessity) of returning to some form of embodied life, in which the advance towards complete beatification, or deliverance through enlightenment, can be continued. Meanwhile, the fact that one has been born in a human body is one of the things for which, says Shankara, one should daily give thanks to God.
  The spiritual creature which we are has need of a body, without which it could nowise attain that knowledge which it obtains as the only approach to those things, by knowledge of which it is made blessed.

1.2.03 - The Interpretation of Scripture, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The interpretation of the Veda is hampered by many human irrelevancies. Men set up an authority and put it between themselves and knowledge. The orthodox are indignant that a mere modern should presume to differ from Shankara in interpreting the Vedanta or from Sayana in interpreting the Veda.
  They forget that Shankara and Sayana are themselves moderns, separated from ourselves by some hundreds of years only, but the Vedas are many thousands of years old. The commentator ought to be studied, but instead we put him in place of the text. Good commentaries are always helpful even when they are wrong, but the best cannot be allowed to fetter inquiry. Sayana's commentary on the Veda helps me by showing what a man of great erudition some hundreds of years ago thought to be the sense of the Scripture. But I cannot forget that even at the time of the Brahmanas the meaning of the Veda had become dark to the men of that prehistoric age. Shankara's commentary on the Upanishads helps me by showing what a man of immense metaphysical genius and rare logical force after arriving at some fundamental realisations thought to be the sense of the Vedanta.
  But it is evident that he is often at a loss and always prepossessed by the necessity of justifying his philosophy. I find that Shankara had grasped much of Vedantic truth, but that much was dark to him. I am bound to admit what he realised; I am not bound to exclude what he failed to realise. Aptavakyam, authority, is one kind of proof; it is not the only kind: pratyaksha is more important.
  The Interpretation of Scripture
  There are those who follow neither Sayana and Shankara nor the Europeans, but interpret Veda and Vedanta for themselves, yet permit themselves to be the slaves of another kind of irrelevancy. They come to the Veda with a preconceived and established opinion and seek in it a support for some trifling polemic; they degrade it to the position of a backer in an intellectual prizefight. Opinions are not knowledge, they are only sidelights on knowledge. Most often they are illegitimate extensions of an imperfect knowledge. A man has perhaps travelled to England and seen Cumberl and and the lakes; he comes back and imagines England ever after as a country full of verdant mountains, faery woodlands, peaceful and enchanted waters.
  Another has been to the manufacturing centres; he imagines

1.2 - Katha Upanishads, #Kena and Other Upanishads, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  12 Shankara interprets, "As Yoga hath a beginning (birth) so hath it an ending." But
  this is not what the Sruti says. - The Object of Our Yoga, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Buddha and Shankara supposed the world to be radically false and miserable; therefore escape from the world was to them the only wisdom. But this world is Brahman, the world is God, the world is Satyam, the world is Ananda; it is our misreading of the world through mental egoism that is a falsehood and our wrong relation with God in the world that is a misery. There is no other falsity and no other cause of sorrow.
  God created the world in Himself through Maya; but the

1.3 - Mundaka Upanishads, #Kena and Other Upanishads, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  5 Or, "whose source is Brahman"; Shankara admits the other meaning as an alternative,
  but explains it as "the source of the lower Brahman".
  9 Shankara takes it so in the sense of semen virile, which is the cause of birth into the
  cosmos. But it is possible that it means rather "pass beyond this brilliant universe", the

1.4.03 - The Guru, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  [Vivekananda, Ramatirtha, Ramdas, Mahavir, Shankara]. By perfection of course is meant siddhi in one's own path - realisation. Ramakrishna always put that as a rule that one should not become a teacher to others until one has the full authority.
  The Bhakta and the Disciple

18.05 - Ashram Poets, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 05, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Shankara uttered, his soul transfixed on the Mother:
   You are my refuge, my sole refuge,

1951-02-17 - False visions - Offering ones will - Equilibrium - progress - maturity - Ardent self-giving- perfecting the instrument - Difficulties, a help in total realisation - paradoxes - Sincerity - spontaneous meditation, #Questions And Answers 1950-1951, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   If the world was not essentially the opposite of what it has become, there would be no hope. For the hole is so black and so deep, and the inconscience so complete, that if this were not the sign of the total consciousness, well, there would be nothing more to do but pack up ones kit and go away. Men like Shankara, who did not see much further than the end of their nose, said that the world was not worth the trouble of living in, for it was impossible, that it was better to treat it as an illusion and go away, there was nothing to be done with it. I tell you, on the contrary, that it is because the world is very bad, very dark, very ugly, very unconscious, full of misery and suffering, that it can become the supreme Beauty, the supreme Light, the supreme Consciousness and supreme Felicity.
   If you are vigilant, if your attention is alert, you will certainly receivean inspiration of what is to be done and that you must forthwith proceed to do.

1951-03-03 - Hostile forces - difficulties - Individuality and form - creation, #Questions And Answers 1950-1951, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   It is purposely, mind you, that I have not mentioned the ego as one of the causes of the sense of individuality. For the ego being a falsehood and an illusion, the sense of individuality would itself be false and illusory (as Buddha and Shankara affirm), whereas the origin of individualisation being in the Supreme Himself, the ego is only a passing deformation, necessary for the moment, which will disappear when its utility is over, when the Truth-Consciousness will be established.

1951-04-17 - Unity, diversity - Protective envelope - desires - consciousness, true defence - Perfection of physical - cinema - Choice, constant and conscious - law of ones being - the One, the Multiplicity - Civilization- preparing an instrument, #Questions And Answers 1950-1951, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   The law of each being is different, yes, otherwise how would a distinction be made?From top to bottom, the nature, appearance, actions, all would be the same. If there were only one law, there would be only one law and every one would repeat the same thing. There would be no need at all to manifest a universe because it would be one single law. The very characteristic of the universe is an infinite multiplicity of laws which altogether, in their totality, reproduce the One. And it is this which is particularly marvellous in the physical world (in man and in the physical world, for it is proper to the terrestrial being), that it can be one of the innumerable elements which in their totality reproduce the One, and yet at the same time have a personal relation with the One that is to say, contain in itself the consciousness of the One and the relation with the One, and at the same time be an element of the whole. But if the fact of becoming conscious of the One and identifying oneself with it stopped one from being particular, one would cease existing as a personality. This is precisely what the Buddhists and the disciples of Shankara try to realise; they wish to abolish totally their personality, their individuality, abolish the truth of their being, the special law of their being. This is what they consider to be a fusion with the Divine. But this is the negation of this creation. And as I was saying, the miracle of this creation, as far as the terrestrial individuality goes, is that we may achieve this union, this complete identification with the Supreme, the One, and at the same time keep the consciousness of our diversity, of the particular law we have to express. It is more difficult but infinitely more complete, and it is the very truth of this universe. The universe has not been made for anything else but that, to unite these two poles, the two extremes of consciousness. And when they are united, one understands that these two extremes are exactly the same thinga whole, at once one and innumerable.
   But one feels very different from others!

1956-07-18 - Unlived dreams - Radha-consciousness - Separation and identification - Ananda of identity and Ananda of union - Sincerity, meditation and prayer - Enemies of the Divine - The universe is progressive, #Questions And Answers 1956, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  That is why if one enters the state in which everything, as it is, appears perfectly divine, one necessarily goes out of the universal movement at the same time. This is what people like Buddha or Shankara had understood. They expressed in their own way that if you could realise the state in which everything appears to you perfectly divine or perfectly perfect, you necessarily go out of the universal movement and enter the Unmanifest.
  This is correct. It is like that.

1970 01 27, #On Thoughts And Aphorisms, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   307Three times God laughed at Shankara, first, when he returned to burn the corpse of his mother, again, when he commented on the Isha Upanishad and the third time when he stormed about India preaching inaction.
   The Lord laughed when this man, who thought himself so wise, complied with conventions, wrote useless words and gave an example of overactivity in order to preach inaction.

1.lla - I hacked my way through six forests, #unset, #Anonymous, #Various
   English version by Ranjit Hoskote Original Language Kashmiri I hacked my way through six forests until the moon woke up inside me. The sky's breath sang through me, dried up my body's substance. I roasted my heart in passion's fire and found Shankara! [2579.jpg] -- from I Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded, Translated by Ranjit Hoskote <
2.00 - BIBLIOGRAPHY, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
  Bhagavad Gita. Among many translations of this Hindu scripture the best, from a literary point of view, is that of Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood (Los Angeles, 1944). Valuable notes, based upon the commentaries of Shankara, are to be found in Swami Nikhilanandas edition (New York, 1944), and Professor Franklin Edgertons literal translation (Cambridge, Mass., 1944) is preceded by a long and scholarly introduction.
  BINYON, L. The Flight of the Dragon (London, 1911).

2.01 - On Books, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   In a way, you can say that everything exists in consciousness, even space, etc. In fact, everything exists in consciousness and it exists nowhere outside of it. Then you come to Shankara's position: Everything, therefore, is Maya illusion. That is the most logical conclusion unless you admit, like the materialists, that everything comes from Matter.
   Disciple: Well, the conventional idea is that.
   As to destiny, what do you mean by destiny? It is a word and men are easily deceived by words. Is destiny a working of inert, blind, material forces? In that case, there is no room for choice, you have to end by accepting Shankara's Mayavada, or else rank materialism.
   But if you mean by destiny that there is a will at work in the universe then a choice in action becomes possible.
   He says that I derived my technique from Shankara.
   That is not true. I have not read much of philosophy. It is like those who say that I am influenced by Hegel. Some even say that I am influenced by Nietzsche because I quoted his sentence: "You can become yourself by exceeding yourself."
   Malkani's contention seemed to be: 1. That Sri Aurobindo had tried to answer Shankara in some of the chapters in The Life Divine. 2. That Mayavada is true if one grants its premises, etc.
   Sri Aurobindo: I am not answering Shankara's Mayavada in particular in The Life Divine. I had to examine the stand taken up by all those thinkers who consider the world an illusion for various reasons. I have examined their grounds.
   As to Mayavada being true, each philosophy is true on its own basis. So is Mayavada if you accept its premises. In my examination I was trying to see whether there was anything in any of the possible positions of Mayavada which would make it obligatory on the human mind to accept it. I find that there is no such obligation, at least I don't find any on my mind. What I say amounts to that.
   Besides, the position of Mayavada has been taken by many even in Europe, and the Christian religion took a similar position even before Shankara. It considers this world as almost unreal.
   "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity and vexation of the Spirit." This world is a mistranslation of the world of the Spirit. They also make a distinction between Soul and Spirit. They maintain that this world is necessary for the Soul, but another world belongs to the Spirit.

2.01 - The Yoga and Its Objects, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is necessary to say something about the Mayavada and the modern teachings about the Adwaita because they are much in the air at the present moment and, penetrated with ideas from European rationalism and agnosticism for which Shankara would have been astonished to find himself made responsible,
  The Yoga and Its Objects
   perplex many minds. Remember that one-sided philosophies are always a partial statement of truth. The world, as God has made it, is not a rigid exercise in logic but, like a strain of music, an infinite harmony of many diversities, and his own existence, being free and absolute, cannot be logically defined. Just as the best religion is that which admits the truth of all religions, so the best philosophy is that which admits the truth of all philosophies and gives each its right place. Maya is one realisation, an important one which Shankara overstressed because it was most vivid to his own experience. For yourself leave the word for subordinate use and fix rather on the idea of Lila, a deeper and more penetrating word than Maya. Lila includes the idea of Maya and exceeds it; nor has it that association of the vanity of all things, useless to you who have elected to remain and play with Sri Krishna in
  Mathura and Brindavan.

2.02 - On Letters, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Sri Aurobindo: If you mean "Everything is One" then it merely comes to the old Adwaitavada of Shankaracharya. Really speaking, it is not a matter for the mind to decide. It is a matter of experience. In a certain experience you find that "All is One" and Shankara is right. But there are other experiences in which the Vishishtadwaita and even the Dwaita finds justification. Mind only cuts, differentiates, analyses, represents. You can't push these questions too far with the mind, otherwise you bring in the old quarrel of the philosophers. You can't say: "It is that", or "It must be like this", or "It can't be anything else"; for, it may be all these things at the same time. You can't approach the Highest with thought and express it in speech. Of course, you can express it, but then you diminish it also.
   True knowledge is not attained by thinking. It is what you are; it is what you become; that is to say, you have the knowledge because you are That. That is the reason why I insist on the attainment of the Supermind as the condition for the experience of the highest Truth, because the mind cannot really know it. In the Supermind thoughts convey different aspects of the same Truth, so different, indeed, that the first aspect is the diametrically opposite of the last and they are all thrown into the One.

2.02 - The Ishavasyopanishad with a commentary in English, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Integral Yoga
  pour it in a stream over the world; such was Shankaracharya;
  and sometimes it is the sorrow of others or the misery of the
  Adwaitavadin Acharyas, Sri Shankara and the rest.
  Why then does Shankara say that it is necessary to give up
  works in order to attain absolute unity? Those who do works,
  There was a reason for what Shankara said and it was necessary in his age that Jnana should be exalted at the expense of
  works; for the great living force with which he had to struggle,
  mouths of Shankara and other Jnanamargis. It may mean that
  Karma in the sense of Vedic rites & ceremonies are not the way
  to Mukti and if this is the meaning, then Shankara has done
  his work effectually; for I think no one of authority will now
  But how can Shankaracharya be called an undeveloped
  & philosophy are one & above difference. Nor was Shankara
  so entirely opposed to Karma as is ordinarily imagined from
  acquired Jnan as well as before. For the same reason Shankara's
  argument that km must cease as a matter of sheer necessity as
  death, which is absurd. Shankara himself therefore admits that
  in these cases En;kAm km was not inconsistent with m;E4 or with
  rejecting Shankara's interpretation on that ground only. We must
  see whether the rest of the verse is in harmony with the interpretation. Now we find that in order to support his view Shankara
  is obliged to strain astonishingly the plain meaning of other
  follow even Shankara, when his interpretation involves so many
  violences to the language of Sruti and so wide a departure from
  Matariswun & the waters? Shankara interprets ap, as actions.
  Will not this bring it more into harmony with the rest of the
  go on without that consciousness as its basis. Shankara is not
  perhaps wrong when he reads the meaning "actions" into ap,;
  were Daivic, of the Olympian type like Shankara, or Asuric, of
  the Titanic type like Napoleon; only the Asura, his Jnana being
  You remember that Shankara after conquering Ubhayabharati,
  made her living body his asan of meditation; that is the symbol
  an end. Nor does Shankara really say anything different; for he
  does not assert that Maya is unreal; he says it is a mysterious

2.03 - Karmayogin A Commentary on the Isha Upanishad, #Isha Upanishad, #unset, #Integral Yoga
  or divine love over the world; such were Shankaracharya and
  Ramakrishna. Sometimes it is the sorrows & miseries of the
  and sufficient road to Brahman. So Shankaracharya disparages
  karma, and Shankaracharya's is an authority which no man can
  dare to belittle. Nevertheless even the greatest are conditioned by
  they have come to do. In the age that Shankara lived in, it was
  right that Jnana should be exalted at the expense of works. The
  must be remembered when we find Shankara and Ramanuja and
  Madhwa differing so widely from each other in their interpretation of the Upanishad. It was necessary that the Scripture should
  be interpreted by Shankara wholly in the light of Adwaita, the
  Monistic conception of the Eternal, so that the Monistic idea
  the Upanishad, because Shankara gives a quite unexpected and
  out-of-the-way interpretation of the verse. He does not accept
  ;lok but Shankara forces it to mean births, for example birth
  as a man, birth as a beast, birth as a God. Then there is a third
  of the Daityas in opposition to Daivic of the Devas; Shankara
  takes aAs;rA as Rajasic and applicable to birth in the form of
  Rajasic but not in the way Shankara applies to it; for as;yA lokA
  cannot signify the births of beasts, men, gods as opposed to the
  the straining of word-senses. The verse as rendered by Shankara
  does not logically develop from what went before and the fault
  and develops naturally from what has gone before. Shankara's
  rendering involves so many and considerable faults, that even
  ordereth the waters. Shankara takes apah in a somewhat unusual and peculiar sense and interprets, "Air orders or arranges
  actions"; in other words, all the activity in the Cosmos is dependent upon the aerial or gaseous element in matter which
  satisfactory than Shankara's interpretation. By waters may be
  indicated the various fluid forms which are evolved by the fluid
  root ejri, as Shankara points out, means to shake or vibrate,
  and the reference is obviously to those vibrations of Prakriti on

2.03 - On Medicine, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Sri Aurobindo: There is no need to be puzzled. Simply look at them, watch them, see what they are and what is behind them. E.g., I can laugh at Shankaras Mayavada or Gandhi's views; but I can see the truth that is behind them. I know the place they occupy in the play of world-forces; for, it really comes to that.
   Disciple: Can want of balance be overcome?

2.05 - The Cosmic Illusion; Mind, Dream and Hallucination, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  - for Shankara in the historical process of India's philosophical mind takes up, completes and replaces Buddha, - has weighed with a tremendous power on her thought, religion and general mentality: everywhere broods its mighty shadow, everywhere is the impress of the three great formulas, the chain of Karma, escape from the wheel of rebirth, Maya. It is necessary therefore to look afresh at the Idea or Truth behind the negation of cosmic existence and to consider, however briefly, what is the value of its main formulations or suggestions, on what reality they stand, how far they are imperative to the reason or to experience. For the present it will be enough to throw a regard on the principal ideas which are grouped around the conception of the great cosmic Illusion, Maya, and to set against them those that are proper to our own line of thought and vision; for both proceed from the conception of the One Reality, but one line leads to a universal Illusionism, the other to a universal Realism, - an unreal or real-unreal universe reposing on a transcendent Reality or a real universe reposing on a Reality at once universal and transcendent or absolute.
  In itself and by itself the vital being's aversion, the lifemind's recoil from life cannot be taken as valid or conclusive. Its strongest motive is a sense of disappointment and an acceptance of frustration which has no greater claim to conclusiveness than the idealist's opposite motive of invariable hope and his faith and will to realise. Nevertheless there is a certain validity in the mental support of this sense of frustration, in the perception at which the thinking mind arrives that there is an illusion behind all human effort and terrestrial endeavour, the illusion of his

2.05 - The Divine Truth and Way, #Essays On The Gita, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Real. Shankara's Mayavada apart from its logical scaffolding comes when reduced to terms of spiritual experience to no more than an exaggerated expression of this relative unreality. Beyond mind the difficulty disappears, for there it never existed. The separate experiences that lie behind the differences of religious sects and schools of philosophy or Yoga, transmuted, shed their divergent mental sequences, are harmonised and, when exalted to their highest common intensity, unified in the supramental infinite.
  The Divine Truth and Way

2.06 - On Beauty, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Disciple: Could the experience of beauty be compatible with Shankara's conception of the Absolute?
   Sri Aurobindo: In his conception, experience of delight you can have, but of beauty? I don't think so. There is no lakshana characteristic quality of beauty there in the Brahman according to Shankara. There is only the Self-existent and its Delight white delight, if you like, but the colourful play of beauty would only be a figure in it and therefore unreal.
   Disciple: Is form inseparable from the experience of beauty?

2.06 - Reality and the Cosmic Illusion, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  In a second possible answer on the illusionist basis to the problem, in the philosophy of Shankara which may be described as a qualified Illusionism, an answer which is presented with a force and comprehensiveness that are extraordinarily impressive, we make a first step towards this solution. For this philosophy affirms a qualified reality for Maya; it characterises it indeed as an ineffable and unaccountable mystery, but at the same time it does present us with a rational solution, at first sight thoroughly satisfactory, of the opposition which afflicts our mind; it accounts for our sense of the persistent and pressing reality of the universe and our sense of the inconclusiveness, insufficiency, vanity, evanescence, a certain unreality of life and phenomena. For we find a distinction made between two orders of reality, transcendental and pragmatic, absolute and phenomenal, eternal and temporal, - the former the reality of the pure being of Brahman, absolute and supracosmic and eternal, the latter the reality of Brahman in Maya, cosmic, temporal and relative. Here we get a reality for ourselves and the universe: for the individual self is really Brahman; it is Brahman who within the field of Maya seems phenomenally to be subjected to her as the individual and in the end releases the relative and phenomenal individual into his eternal and true being. In the temporal field of relativities our experience of the Brahman who has become all beings, the Eternal who has become universal and individual, is also valid; it is indeed a middle step of the movement in Maya towards liberation from Maya. The universe too and its experiences are real for the consciousness in Time and that consciousness is real. But the question of the nature and extent of this reality at once arises: for the universe and
  In the philosophy of Shankara one feels the presence of a conflict, an opposition which this powerful intellect has stated with full force and masterfully arranged rather than solved with
   any finality, - the conflict of an intuition intensely aware of an absolute transcendent and inmost Reality and a strong intellectual reason regarding the world with a keen and vigorous rational intelligence. The intellect of the thinker regards the phenomenal world from the standpoint of the reason; reason is there the judge and the authority and no suprarational authority can prevail against it: but behind the phenomenal world is a transcendent Reality which the intuition alone can see; there reason - at least a finite dividing limited reason - cannot prevail against the intuitive experience, it cannot even relate the two, it cannot therefore solve the mystery of the universe. The reason has to affirm the reality of the phenomenal existence, to affirm its truths as valid; but they are valid only in that phenomenal existence. This phenomenal existence is real because it is a temporal phenomenon of the eternal Existence, the Reality: but it is not itself that Reality and, when we pass beyond the phenomenon to the Real, it still exists but is no longer valid to our consciousness; it is therefore unreal. Shankara takes up this contradiction, this opposition which is normal to our mental consciousness when it becomes aware of both sides of existence and stands between them; he resolves it by obliging the reason to recognise its limits, in which its unimpaired sovereignty is left to it within its own cosmic province, and to acquiesce in the soul's intuition of the transcendent Reality and to support, by a dialectic which ends by dissolving the whole cosmic phenomenal and rational-practical edifice of things, its escape from the limitations constructed and imposed on the mind by Maya. The explanation of cosmic existence by which this is brought about seems to be - or so we may translate it to our understanding, for there have been different expositions of this profound and subtle philosophy, - that there is a Transcendence which is for ever self-existent and immutable and a world which is only phenomenal and temporal. The eternal Reality manifests itself in regard to the phenomenal world as Self and Ishwara. The Ishwara by his Maya, his power of phenomenal creation, constructs this world as a temporal phenomenon, and this phenomenon of things which do not exist in the utterly Real is imposed by
  Reality and the Cosmic Illusion
  Reason and finding out through spiritual experience where they meet and become one and what is the spiritual reality of their apparent divergence. In fact, in the Brahman-consciousness the divergences cannot exist, they must by our passage into it converge into unity; the divisions of the intellectual reason may correspond to a reality, but it must be then the reality of a manifold Oneness. The Buddha applied his penetrating rational intellect supported by an intuitive vision to the world as our mind and sense see it and discovered the principle of its construction and the way of release from all constructions, but he refused to go farther. Shankara took the farther step and regarded the suprarational Truth, which Buddha kept behind the veil as realisable by cancellation of the constructions of consciousness but
  Reality and the Cosmic Illusion
   beyond the scope of the reason's discovery. Shankara, standing between the world and the eternal Reality, saw that the mystery of the world must be ultimately suprarational, not conceivable or expressible by our reason, anirvacanya; but he maintained the world as seen by the reason and sense as valid and had therefore to posit an unreal reality, because he did not take one step still farther. For to know the real truth of the world, its reality, it must be seen from the suprarational awareness, from the view of the Superconscience that maintains and surpasses and by surpassing knows it in its truth, and no longer from the view of the consciousness that is maintained by it and surpassed by it and therefore does not know it or knows it only by its appearance. It cannot be that to that self-creative supreme consciousness the world is an incomprehensible mystery or that it is to it an illusion that is yet not altogether an illusion, a reality that is yet unreal. The mystery of the universe must have a divine sense to the Divine; it must have a significance or a truth of cosmic being that is luminous to the Reality that upholds it with its transcending and yet immanent superconscience.
  If the Reality alone exists and all is the Reality, the world also cannot be excluded from that Reality; the universe is real. If it does not reveal to us in its forms and powers the Reality that it is, if it seems only a persistent and yet changing movement in

2.09 - On Sadhana, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   For instance, I can laugh at Shankara's Mayavada or Gandhi's views; but I can see the truth that is behind them both. I know the place they occupy in the play of world-forces; for, it really comes to that.
   Disciple: Can want of balance be overcome?
   Disciple: But Shankara must have got into the Brahman.
   Sri Aurobindo: You better ask the Brahman! It is a knotty question to answer. Perhaps Brahman would have said: "You are too argumentative to enter into me!" But it is like the hen and egg question.

2.1.01 - The Central Process of the Sadhana, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  I have never put any ban on bhakti. Also I am not conscious of having banned meditation either at any time. I have stressed both bhakti and knowledge in my Yoga as well as works, even if I have not given any of them an exclusive importance like Shankara or Chaitanya.
  The difficulty you feel or any sadhak feels about sadhana is not really a question of meditation versus bhakti versus works. It is a difficulty of the attitude to be taken, the approach or whatever you may like to call it.

2.1.02 - Combining Work, Meditation and Bhakti, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  You again try to floor me with Ramakrishna. But one thing puzzles me, as Shankaras stupendous activity of karma puzzles me in the apostle of inactionyou see you are not the only puzzled person in the world. Ramakrishna also gave the image of the jar which ceased gurgling when it was full. Well, but Ramakrishna spent the last years of his life in talking about the Divine and receiving disciples that was not action, not work? Did Ramakrishna become a half-full jar after being a full one or was he never full? Did he get far away from God and so begin a work? Or had he reached a condition in which he was bound neither to rajasic work and mental prattling nor to inactivity and silence, but could do from the divine realisation the divine work and speak from the inner consciousness the divine word? If the last, perhaps in spite of his dictum, his example at least is rather in my favour.
  I do not know why you drag in humanitarianism, activism, philanthropical sev etc. None of these are part of my Yoga or in harmony with my definition of works, so they dont touch me. I never thought that politics or feeding the poor or writing beautiful poems would lead straight to Vaikuntha or the Absolute. If it were so, Romesh Dutt on one side and Baudelaire on the other would be the first to attain the Highest and welcome us there. It is not the form of the work itself or mere activity but the consciousness and Godward will behind it that are the essence of Karmayoga; the work is only the necessary instrumentation for the union with the Master of works, the transit to the pure Will and power of Light from the will and power of the Ignorance.

2.14 - The Unpacking of God, #Sex Ecology Spirituality, #Ken Wilber, #Philosophy
  A general theme running throughout the Idealist writers-and indeed, a theme found in virtually all of the mystically or contemplatively oriented philosopher-sages the world over-is that finite things, finite holons, are somehow profoundly lacking, or even profoundly contradictory, in and of themselves. "All finite things are contradictory," as Hegel put it. Nagarjuna would maintain the same for all finite phenomena (both thought and things are self-contradictory). From Eckhart to Bradley, from Shankara to Ramana, from Abinavagupta to
  Gaudapada-the general notion is that, as Hegel put it, "All things in themselves are contradictory."
  Now the real reason I mention all these examples of the IOU principle, and the real reason the mystically oriented philosopher-sages are always bringing it up (Hegel to Bradley to Nagarjuna to Shankara), is very simple:
  Addition 3: All IOUs are redeemed in Emptiness.

2.17 - December 1938, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Disciple: Can it be called Shankara's Vedantic realization?
   Sri Aurobindo: About Shankara's Vedanta, the difficulty is that there are different explanations by various people. The world is an Illusion and the Illusion is indescribable. This is the common basis of all Shankarite Adwaita. According to him, soul also is Maya, as it has no real existence.[1] But I found that the experience behind this idea is quite different. I had that experience at Baroda, and if I had stopped there I would have become an orthodox Vedantin.
   14 DECEMBER 1938
   When the mind tries to understand these things, it takes up fragments and treats them as wholes and makes unreal distinctions. They speak of Nirguna as the fundamental experience and Saguna as derivative or secondary. But what does the Upanishad mean by Ananta Nirguna and Ananta Saguna? They can't be thought of as different. When you think of Impersonality as the fundamental Truth and Personality as something imposed upon it and therefore secondary, you cut across with your mind something which is beyond both. Or, is it not that Personality is the chief thing and Impersonality is only one side, or one condition of Personality? No. Personality and Impersonality are aspects of a thing which is indivisible. Shankara is right and so are Nimbarka and Madhava. Only, when they state their Truth in mental terms there is a tremendous confusion. Shankara says "It is anirvacanya indescribable by speech" and "All is One." Nimbarka says: "There is Duality and Unity"; while Madhava says: "Duality is true."
   The Upanishads speak of "Him by knowing whom all is known." What does it mean? That vijna is not merely the fundamental realisation of the One. It means the knowledge of the principles of the Divine Being, what Krishna speaks of as tattvata. One cannot know the complete Divine except in the Supermind. That is why Krishna said that one who knows him in the "true principles of his being" is rare, kacit. The Upanishads also speak of the Brahman as catupada having four feet or aspects. They do not merely state "All is the Brahman" and it is over. The realisation of the Self is not all. There are many things beyond that. The Divine Guide within me urged me to proceed, adding experience after experience, reaching higher and higher, stopping at none as final, till I arrived at a glimpse of the Supermind. There I found the Truth indivisible and there everything takes its proper place. There, Nirguna and Saguna Impersonality and Personality don't exist. They are all aspects of One Truth which is indivisible.
   [1] Shankara's followers disagree. According to Sri Aurobindo, God is one and many at the same time they may say, "a logical contradiction". So is Maya true and false at the same time. That also is a logical contradiction.
   [2] The sannyasi was one of the three whom Vivekananda had driven out of the Math. They had then become 'avatars' in one day!

2.18 - January 1939, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Sri Aurobindo: God knows how! It began very early perhaps. When I landed in Bombay a great calm and quiet descended upon me. Then there was the experience of the Self, the Purusha. Later there were other characteristic experiences at Poona on the Parvati hills, and in Kashmir on the Shankaracharya hill a sense of a great infinite Reality was felt. It was very real.
   At Baroda, Deshpande tried to convert me to yoga, but I had the usual ideas about it that one has to go to the forest and give up everything. But I was interested in the freedom of the country. I had always thought that the great men of the world could not have been after a chimera and if there was such a Power why not use it for the freedom of the country?
   His attraction towards Buddhism is understandable, because to the European rational mind its rationalism has an appeal. It was through Buddhism that Europe came to and began to know India. Blavatsky founded her Theosophy on Buddhism. Next they understood Shankara in Europe and for many years the Europeans thought there was nothing in India except Shankaras Adwaita. But if Z has taken to Buddhism, his sex attraction is not justifiable. Buddhism is the most exacting path. It is most unindulgent, severe and dry; it is a path of Tapasya.
   Disciple: He had perhaps a great mental pride.

2.19 - Feb-May 1939, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Then there is contact with a place which gives you an experience, and sometimes the experience is appropriate to the place. For instance, the sense of the Infinite I had at the Shankaracharya Hill in Kashmir, and at the Parvati Hills in Poona, and the reality of the Goddess in the Karnali temple near Chandod.
   Disciple: I asked Herbert why the Jews are so much persecuted in Germany. He says what you said that they are a rich minority and so they are made the scapegoat. He said the same thing was done in France against the aristocracy during the revolution, and in Spain against the clergy.

2.19 - Knowledge of the Scientist and the Yogi, #Questions And Answers 1929-1931, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  The knowledge possessed by the Yogi is also an answer to the terrible theory that all that takes place is Gods direct working. For once you rise to the Supermind you immediately perceive that the world is false and distorted. The supramental truth has not at all found manifestation. How then can the world be a genuine expression of the Divine? Only when the Supermind is established and rules here, then alone the Supreme Will may be said to have au thentically manifested. At the same time, we must steer clear of the dangerous exaggeration of the sense of the falsehood of the world, which comes to those who have risen to the higher consciousness. What happened with Shankara and others like him was that they had a glimpse of the true consciousness, which threw the falsehood of this world into such sharp contrast that they declared the universe to be not only false but also a really non-existent illusion which should be entirely abandoned. We, on the other hand, see its falsehood, but realise also that it has to be replaced and not abandoned as an illusion. Only, the truth has got mistranslated, something has stepped in to pervert the divine reality, but the world is in fact meant to express it. And to express it is indeed our Yoga.

2.2.02 - Consciousness and the Inconscient, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  But the question then arises whether such a thing can be any more than there can be a square circle [or] cold fire. "Not even a hundred declarations of the Veda," says Shankara, "could prove the coldness of fire." There are psychologists who deny that there is or can be any such thing as the subconscious, for it is a flat self-contradiction to speak of a consciousness which is below the level of consciousness. To be conscious is to be aware of self and things or at least of things, with whatever limitation, as a man's or an animal's waking mind is aware.
  To a certain thought it might seem that only the surface of things is knowable, the rest either does not or cannot exist or

2.20 - Nov-Dec 1939, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Sri Aurobindo: I should think so. Otherwise what is the meaning of the Gita laying so much stress on Buddhi? Buddhi helps you to detach yourself and prepares you for the higher perception of the Purusha. And even Shankara, I believe, does not say that reason is quite useless. He also admits that reason prepares the human spirit for what is beyond. Even for going beyond Sattwa, it is a stepping stone.
   Disciple: Does this mean Buddhi is an instrument of Nature?

2.20 - The Philosophy of Rebirth, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  For the same reason that has made the human birth itself a culminating point of the past succession, the previous upward series, - it must be so by the very necessity of the spiritual evolution. For the soul has not finished what it has to do by merely developing into humanity; it has still to develop that humanity into its higher possibilities. Obviously, the soul that lodges in a Caribbee or an untaught primitive or an Apache of Paris or an American gangster, has not yet exhausted the necessity of human birth, has not developed all its possibilities or the whole meaning of humanity, has not worked out all the sense of Sachchidananda in the universal Man; neither has the soul lodged in a vitalistic European occupied with dynamic production and vital pleasure or in an Asiatic peasant engrossed in the ignorant round of the domestic and economic life. We may reasonably doubt whether even a Plato or a Shankara marks the crown and therefore the end of the outflowering of the spirit in man. We are apt to suppose that these may be the limit, because these and others like them seem to us the highest point which the mind and soul of man can reach, but that may be the illusion of our present possibility. There may be a higher or at least a larger possibility which the Divine intends yet to realise in man, and, if so, it is the steps built by these highest souls which were needed to compose the way up to it and to open the gates. At any rate this present highest point at least must be reached before we can write finis on the recurrence of the human birth for the individual. Man is there to move from the ignorance and from the little life which he is in his mind and body to the knowledge and the large divine life which he can compass by the unfolding of the spirit. At least the opening out of the spirit in him, the knowledge of his real self and the leading of the spiritual life must be attained before he can go definitively and for ever otherwhere. There may too be beyond this initial culmination a greater flowering of the spirit in the human life of which we have as yet only the first intimations; the imperfection of Man is not the last word of Nature, but his perfection too is not the last peak of the Spirit.
  This possibility becomes a certitude if the present leading principle of the mind as man has developed it, the intellect, is not its highest principle. If mind itself has other powers as yet only imperfectly possessed by the highest types of the human individual, then a prolongation of the line of evolution and consequently of the ascending line of rebirth to embody them is inevitable. If supermind also is a power of consciousness concealed here in the evolution, the line of rebirth cannot stop even there; it cannot cease in its ascent before the mental has been replaced by the supramental nature and an embodied supramental being becomes the leader of terrestrial existence.

2.21 - 1940, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Sri Aurobindo: That is Shankara's stand.
   Disciple: Another question is: If the Divine is already there and does everything then why do Yoga? Because Sri Krishna says to Arjuna in the Gita that you have only to become the Nimitta, the instrument. So the Christian's criticism is that the individual becomes meaningless, without any justification or fulfilment. The Gita is preaching pure mechanism or unconsciousness.

2.25 - List of Topics in Each Talk, #Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   | 12-10-42 | Beauty: delight, Shankaracharya, form, Brahman; spirituality and art |
   | Chapter 7 | On Congress and Politics |

2.3.02 - The Supermind or Supramental, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Asram which has at least an appearance to the physical senses of being solid and material! If you deny that these things are material or solid (which of course metaphysically you can), then you land yourself plump into Shankara's illusionism, and there
  I will leave you.

31.01 - The Heart of Bengal, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The Bengalis have the power of thinking, and in it we find flashes of genius, a deep insight and bright glimpses of experience, There the calm, placid and self-absorbed tenure of the reasoning faculty is not to be found. It is hard for the Bengalis to derive pleasure from mere intellectual pursuit, setting aside the feelings of the heart. They have hardly the patience and endurance necessary for carrying on the intellectual process for its own sake; their nerves can hardly put up with the tension of doing so. But in the thought that has once been able to touch their hearts, in the thought that has as its fount their vital emotion, there they have excelled. They have adhered to it steadily and persistently like a leech and have brought forth argument after argument, truth after truth. It would be difficult for a Shankara to see the light ofday on the soil of Bengal; but the birth of someone like Nimai Pundit (Chaitanya) is quite consistent, because there was a vast ocean of vital emotion behind his erudition. The Bengali logician is at his best especially when someone is able to arouse and excite him. But in the field of calm argumentation, perhaps a Bengali cannot be a match for a South Indian scholar. Also, in the field of reasoning, the Bengalis lose all sense of practicality, whereas no one else does the same. There is an ancient saying that if once the French are seized by mania (furia franca),then there is no escape from it. They lose the balance of their consciousness, and are capable of anything. Likewise, the Bengali race tends to be somewhat crazy.
   The Bengali race bears a resemblance to the soil of Bengal. The mind and the vital of the Bengalis are soft and pliant. New ideas and forms can claim them for their own. Their brain is not solid and hard as in some dry mountainous regions. They are ready to receive all new impressions. On the other hand, like the sticky clay of Bengal, their mind and vital adhere to whatever they undertake. All things which appeal to the intellect and the curiosity, they can in no time convert into something that has an appeal to the heart, and once they take these things up, they will not easily leave them. Of course they do not always ding to these things with equal tenacity. The springs of their life-energy droop after a little exertion. But whenever they get time and opportunity they can overcome their depression and then they do not hesitate to tighten their grip.
   Bengal, the wet and fertile land, has the power to appreciate the essence of the supreme Delight more than any other province. The creations of Bengal are but the creations of Delight. We do not know if the Bengalis are the "sons of Immortalily" (amrtasya putrah),but they are undoubtedly the children of Delight. The inspiration of their works does not derive from a dry sense of duty or from stern discipline. There is hardly any place for austerities in the temperament of the Bengalis. They cannot accept from the bottom of their hearts the stoic ideal of Mahatma Gandhi. Rabindranath is the model of a Bengali. The Deccan has produced Shankara; Nanak and Surdas appeared in the North; but in the fertile soil of Bengal were born Sri Chaitanya, Chandidas and Ramprasad. The cult of devotion exists, no doubt, in other parts of India; but the cult of looking upon God as the Lover of the beloved devotee has blossomed only in Bengal. The worship of Kartikeya prevails in some parts; Sri Rama or Sita and Rama are worshipped in some parts. But the full significance of Radha's pining for Krishna has been appreciated only by the Bengalis. Mahadeva (Siva) has taken his abode in many places, but it is the Bengalis who have been mad over his consort, Gauri. The doctrine of Vedanta has spread all over and has absorbed all other doctrines, but the Bengali race has sought for a way of spiritual culture which transcends the injunctions of the Vedas. The worship of the Self is not enough. The worship of man, Sahaja Sadhana,has resulted from the genius of Bengal.
   Bengalis as a race are worshippers of the feminine aspect of God. The religion and literature of Bengal abound in ceremonies of such worship. They do not generally worship God in his masculine aspect. They have not been able to make their own the self-poised calmness of samadhi.They have wanted manifestation of the divine sport. So Bengal is the seat of the Mother, Shakti. Bengal is the land of Delight. The immobile Brahmanis not the aim of Bengal. The power of Delight of the Divine is inherent in the heart of Bengal. We find Rammohan, the worshipper of Shakti, at the dawn of modern Bengal. Ramakrishna and Vivekananda were also the worshippers of Shakti. Howsoever Vedanta may have influenced them, the worship of Shakti was very dear to their hearts. And in a different field, what Jagadish Chandra Bose has been demonstrating as a new aspect of Nature-worship also reflects nothing but the genius of Bengal.

3.1.03 - A Realistic Adwaita, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  1) Shankaras explanation of the universe.
  It is rather difficult to say nowadays what really was Shankaras philosophy: there are numberless exponents and none of them agrees with any of the others. I have read accounts given by some scores of his exegetes and each followed his own line. We are even told by some that he was no Mayavadin at all although he has always been famed as the greatest exponent of the theory of Maya, but rather, the greatest Realist in philosophical history. One eminent follower of Shankara even declared that my philosophy and Shankaras were identical, a statement which rather took my breath away. One used to think that Shankaras philosophy was this that the Supreme Reality is a spaceless and timeless Absolute (Parabrahman) which is beyond all feature or quality, beyond all action or creation, and that the world is a creation of Maya, not absolutely unreal but real only in time and while one lives in time; once we get into a knowledge of the Reality we perceive that Maya and world and all in it have no abiding or true existence. It is, if not non-existent, yet false, jagan mithy; it is a mistake of the consciousness, it is and it is not; it is an irrational and inexplicable mystery in its origin, though we can see its process or at least how it keeps itself imposed on the consciousness. Brahman is seen in Maya as Ishwara upholding the works of Maya and the apparently individual soul is really nothing but Brahman itself. In the end, however, all this seems to be a myth of Maya, mithy, and not anything really true. If that is Shankaras philosophy, it is to me unacceptable and incredible, however brilliantly ingenious it may be and however boldly and incisively reasoned; it does not satisfy my reason and it does not agree with my experience.
  I dont know exactly what is meant by this yuktivda. If it is meant that it is merely for the sake of arguing down opponents, then this part of the philosophy has no fundamental validity; Shankaras theory destroys itself. Either he meant it as a sufficient explanation of the universe or he did not. If he did, it is no use dismissing it as yuktivda. I can understand that thoroughgoing Mayavadins declaration that the whole question is illegitimate, because Maya and the world do not really exist; in fact the problem how the world came into existence is only a part of Maya, is like Maya unreal and does not truly arise; but if an explanation is to be given it must be a real and valid satisfying explanation. If there are two planes and in putting the question we are confusing the two planes, that argument can only be of value if both planes have some kind of existence and the reasoning and explanation are true in the lower plane but cease to have any meaning for a consciousness which has passed out of it.

3.1.04 - Transformation in the Integral Yoga, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Neither Buddha nor Shankara nor Ramakrishna had any idea of transforming the body. Their aim was spiritual mukti and nothing else. Krishna taught Arjuna to do liberated works, but he never spoke of any physical transformation.
  I do not know that we can take this [Yudhisthiras entry into the heavenly kingdom in his mortal body] as a historical fact. Swarga is not somewhere in the Himalayas, it is another world in another plane of consciousness and substance. Whatever the story may mean, therefore, it has nothing to do with the question of physical transformation on earth.

31.05 - Vivekananda, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   In his philosophical views, Vivekananda subscribed to the doctrine of Maya, but in practice Karmayoga was the motto of his life. According to him, the true Mayavada is freedom from the bondage of limitation, the backward pull of attachment - a sense of infinity which sunders the knots of the heart and before which the entire world appears to be quite insignificant, a mere toy in one's palm to play with. Therefore Vivekananda's conception of the Brahman is totally different from the static, immobile and the infinite Void of Shankara. He looked upon the Brahman as absolute Power. The Brahman signifies the full glory and magnificence of the soul of man. He has viewed the static Brahman too with an eye of appreciation, because its immobility comprises perfected power self-absorbed. He aspired for the Infinite Void as well. For the individual soul feels a unique and powerful urge to identify itself with the Infinite Void. Vivekananda has sung the glory of renunciation as a source of strength. But as a matter of fact, his nature was that of a man poised in meditation and yet not averse to action. He wanted action founded on the Brahman, what he called practical Vedanta. Vivekananda sought to establish India's life on the Brahman. He has awakened and dynamised the eternal soul and spiritual being of India and stimulated her life. .
   The eternal power of the Brahman residing in the soul of India has been activised by this lion of a man. But how to give it a practical form in life in all its minute detail and to make a subtle and apt application of it - that he has not indicated; and to approach him for this is to take him amiss.

31.10 - East and West, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   No doubt, the East has moral codes and in profusion, but they are not considered to be the last word on spirituality; they all fall under the category of the 'Lesser Knowledge' (Apara Vidya) and therefore the East has not confined itself within the play of the lower - the three gunasof nature. Its gaze is fixed on a still higher region. Europe claims herself to be the follower of the Christ. But how has Christianity developed there? It was the Church martyr in the beginning, it developed into the Church militant which finally turned into the Church political. The Christian church aimed at establishing the kingdom of Heaven on earth, but as a matter of fact, it has succeeded in establishing something of an earthly kingdom only. On the other hand, the religion of the East has quite a different movement. The ideal of the East is represented by Vedic seers like Vasishtha and Viswamitra who sought to realise the great Heavens - the Vast Truth. And their descendants clung to this ideal so firmly that no other thing existed for them. Vasishtha and Viswamitra have been consummated in Buddha and Shankara. The West has brought religion down to the level of the mundane and is about to lose it there, while the East has pushed religion up and is at last on the verge of losing the world in the Brahman or the Void.
   Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon are the ideal men of action in the West, while Krishna, Arjuna and Bhishma are the representatives 'of the ideal of the East. The European heroes display daemoniac restlessness and exuberance. The Indian heroes possess the godly virtues of calmness and poise along with clear insight. Napoleon is a mighty Vibhuti of the Divine Power. But Sri Krishna is the Incarnation of God Himself Leaving aside some solitary exceptions, the West has generally failed to imbibe spirituality; even so the East has failed to assimilate the true spirit of earthly action. As in the West the Christ is practically buried in oblivion, so the East has somehow managed to wipe out the teachings of Sri Krishna. And, in consequence, the people of the East try to avoid action as much as possible in order to attain to union with God. The West moves in the diametrically opposite direction and tries to attain perfection in every sphere of work in the outer world. Typically, Haeckel was enthusiastic enough to devote his entire life to the discovery of the life-history of the cray fish. To plant a banner in the polar region has been the mission of many a youth in the West. The Eastern mind is apt to look upon these things as a mere child's play. The Eastern mind was never content until it could in some way or other associate even the inescapable mundane knowledge with the knowledge of the Self. The motto of the East runs: "Know the Self alone and cast aside all other thoughts."

3.2.01 - The Newness of the Integral Yoga, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Well, I dont suppose the new race can be created by or according to logic or that any race has been. But why should the idea of the creation of a new race be illogical? It is not only my ideas that baffle reason, but Adhar Dass also! he must really be a superman,self-made of course, outside the laboratory. As for the past seers, they dont trouble me. If going beyond the experiences of the past seers and sages is so shocking, each new seer and sage in turn has done that shocking thingBuddha, Shankara, Chaitanya etc. all did that wicked act. If not, what was the necessity of their starting new philosophies, religions, schools of Yoga? If they were merely verifying and meekly repeating the lives and experiences of past seers and sages without bringing the world some new thing, why all that stir and pother? Of course, you may say they were simply explaining the old truth but in the right way but this would mean that nobody had explained or understood it rightly beforewhich is again giving the lie etc. Or you may say that all the new sages (they were not among Xs cherished past ones in their day), e.g. Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhwa, were each merely repeating the same blessed thing as all the past seers and sages had repeated with an unwearied monotony before them. Well, well, but why repeat it in such a way that each gives the lie to the others? Truly, this shocked reverence for the past is a wonderful and fearful thing! After all, the Divine is infinite and the unrolling of the Truth may be an infinite process or at least, if not quite so much, yet with some room for new discovery and new statement, even perhaps new achievement, not a thing in a nutshell cracked and its contents exhausted once for all by the first seer or sage, while the others must religiously crack the same nutshell all over again, each tremblingly careful not to give the lie to the past seers and sages.

3.2.02 - Yoga and Skill in Works, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The idea of works, in the thought of the Gita, is the widest possible. All action of Nature in man is included, whether it be internal or external, operate in the mind or use the body, seem great or seem little. From the toil of the hero to the toil of the cobbler, from the labour of the sage to the simple physical act of eating, all is included. The seeking of the Self by thought, the adoration of the Highest by the emotions of the heart, the gathering of means and material and capacity and the use of them for the service of God and man stand here on an equal footing. Buddha sitting under the Bo-tree and conquering the illumination, the ascetic silent and motionless in his cave, Shankara storming through India, debating with all men and preaching most actively the gospel of inaction are all from this point of view doing great and forceful work. But while the outward action may be the same, there is a great internal difference between the working of the ordinary man and the working of the Yogin, - a difference in the state of the being, a difference in the power and the faculty, a difference in the will and temperament.
  What we do, arises out of what we are. The existent is conscious of what he is; that consciousness formulates itself as knowledge and power; works are the result of this twofold force of being in action. Mind, life and body can only operate out of that which is contained in the being of which they are forces.

3.2.03 - Jainism and Buddhism, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  There is no reason why the passage about Buddhism [in an essay of the correspondent] should be omitted. It gives one side of the Buddhistic teaching which is not much known or is usually ignored, for that teaching is by most rendered as Nirvana (Sunyavada) and a spiritualised humanitarianism. The difficulty is that it is these sides that have been stressed especially in the modern interpretations of Buddhism and any strictures I may have passed were in view of these interpretations and that onesided stress. I am aware of course of the opposite tendencies in theMahayana and the Japanese cult of Amitabha Buddha which is a cult of bhakti. It is now being said even of Shankara that there was another side of his doctrine but his followers have made him stand solely for the Great Illusion, the inferiority of bhakti, the uselessness of Karmajagan mithy.

3.2.06 - The Adwaita of Shankaracharya, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  object:3.2.06 - The Adwaita of Shankaracharya
  author class:Sri Aurobindo
  If Shankaras conception of the undifferentiated pure Consciousness as the Brahman is your view of it, then it is not the path of this Yoga that you should choose; for here the realisation of pure Consciousness and Being is only a first step and not the goal. But an inner creative urge from within can have no place in an undifferentiated Consciousness all action and creation must necessarily be foreign to it.
  I do not base my Yoga on the insufficient ground that the Self (not soul) is eternally free. That affirmation leads to nothing beyond itself, or, if used as a starting-point, it could equally well lead to the conclusion that action and creation have no significance or value. The question is not that but of the meaning of creation, whether there is a Supreme who is not merely a pure undifferentiated Consciousness and Being, but the source and support also of the dynamic energy of creation and whether the cosmic existence has for It a significance and a value. That is a question which cannot be settled by metaphysical logic which deals in words and ideas, but by a spiritual experience which goes beyond Mind and enters into spiritual realities. Each mind is satisfied with its own reasoning, but for spiritual purposes that satisfaction has no validity, except as an indication of how far and on what line each one is prepared to go in the field of spiritual experience. If your reasoning leads you towards the Shankara idea of the Supreme, that might be an indication that the Vedanta Adwaita (Mayavada) is your way of advance.
  This Yoga accepts the value of cosmic existence and holds it to be a reality; its object is to enter into a higher Truth-Consciousness or Divine Supramental Consciousness in which action and creation are the expression not of ignorance and imperfection, but of the Truth, the Light, the Divine Ananda. But for that, surrender of the mortal mind, life and body to that Higher Consciousness is indispensable, since it is too difficult for the mortal human being to pass by its own effort beyond mind to a supramental consciousness in which the dynamism is no longer mental but of quite another power. Only those who can accept the call to such a change should enter into this Yoga.
  The Shankara knowledge is, as your Guru pointed out, only one side of the Truth; it is the knowledge of the Supreme as realised by the spiritual Mind through the static silence of the pure Existence. It was because he went by this side only that Shankara was unable to accept or explain the origin of the universe except as illusion, a creation of Maya. Unless one realises the Supreme on the dynamic as well as the static side, one cannot experience the true origin of things and the equal reality of the active Brahman. The Shakti or Power of the Eternal becomes then a power of illusion only and the world becomes incomprehensible, a mystery of cosmic madness, an eternal delirium of the Eternal. Whatever verbal or ideative logic one may bring to support it, this way of seeing the universe explains nothing; it only erects a mental formula of the inexplicable. It is only if you approach the Supreme through his double aspect of Sat and Chit-Shakti, double but inseparable, that the total truth of things can become manifest to the inner experience. The other side was developed by the Shakta Tantrics. The two together, the Vedantic and the Tantric truth unified, can arrive at the integral knowledge.
  But philosophically this is what your Gurus teaching comes to and it is obviously a completer truth and a wider knowledge than that given by the Shankara formula. It is already indicated in the Gitas teaching of the Purushottama and the Parashakti (Adya Shakti) who becomes the Jiva and upholds the universe. It is evident that Purushottama and Parashakti are both eternal and are inseparable and one in being; the Parashakti manifests the universe, manifests too the Divine in the universe as the Ishwara and herself appears at his side as the Ishwari Shakti. Or, one may say, it is the Supreme Consciousness-Power of the Supreme that manifests or puts forth itself as Ishwara Ishwari, Atma Atmashakti, Purusha Prakriti, Jiva Jagat. That is the truth in its completeness as far as the mind can formulate it. In the Supermind these questions do not even arise for it is the mind that creates the problem by erecting oppositions between aspects of the Divine which are not really opposed to each other but are one and inseparable.
  This supramental knowledge has not yet been attained, because the supermind itself has not been attained, but the reflection of it in intuitive spiritual consciousness is there and that was what was evidently realised in experience by your Guru and what he was expressing in mental terms in the quoted passage. It is possible to go towards this knowledge by beginning with the experience of dissolution in the One, but on condition that you do not stop there, taking it as the highest Truth, but proceed to realise the same One as the supreme Mother, the Consciousness Force of the Eternal. If on the other hand you approach through the supremeMo ther, she will give you the liberation in the silent One also as well as the realisation of the dynamic One and from that it is easier to arrive at the Truth in which both are one and inseparable. At the same time the gulf created by Mind between the Supreme and his Manifestation is bridged and there is no longer a fissure in the truth which makes all incomprehensible. If in the light of this you examine what your Guru taught, you will see that it is the same thing in less metaphysical language.
  They [two philosophers] want to show that Shankara was not so savagely illusionist as he is represented that he gave a certain temporary reality to the world, admitted Shakti etc. But these (supposing he made them) are concessions inconsistent with the logic of his own philosophy which is that only the Brahman exists and the rest is ignorance and illusion. The rest has only a temporary and therefore an illusory reality in Maya. He farther maintained that Brahman could not be reached by works. If that was not his philosophy, I should like to know what was his philosophy. At any rate that was how his philosophy has been understood by people. Now that the general turn is away from the rigorous Illusionism, many of the Adwaitins seem to want to hedge and make Shankara hedge with them.
  Vivekananda accepted Shankaras philosophy with modifications, the chief of them being Daridra-Narayan-seva which is a mixture of Buddhist compassion and modern philanthropy.
  I believe according to the Adwaitins God is only the reflection of Brahman in Mayajust as Brahman is seen outwardly as the world which has only a practical not a real reality, so subjectively Brahman is seen as God, Bhagavan, Ishwara, and that also would be a practical not a real realitywhich is and can be only the relationless Brahman all by itself in a worldless eternity. At least that is what I have read I dont know whether Shankara himself says that. One is always being told by modern Adwaitins that Shankara did not mean what people say he meantso one has to be careful in attri buting any opinion to him.
  Of course Shankara must have meant Mayavada. It is hardly possible that everybody should have misunderstood his ideas (which were not in the least veiled or enigmatic) till his modern apologists discovered what they really were.
  Chittashuddhi belongs to Rajayoga. In the pure Adwaita the method is rather to detach oneself by vichara and viveka and realise I am not the mind, not the life, etc. etc. In that case, no shuddhi would be necessary the self would separate from the nature good or bad and regard it as a machinery which having no more the support of the egoless man would fall away of itself along with the body. Of course chittashuddhi can be resorted to also, but for cessation of the chittavrittis, not for their better dynamism as an instrument of the Divine. Shankara insists that all karma must fall off before one can be liberated the soul must realise itself as akart, there is no salvation in or by works in the pure Yoga of knowledge. So how could Shankara recognise dynamism? Even if he recognises chittashuddhi as necessary, it must be as a preparation for getting rid of karma, not for anything else.
    Writings attributed to Shankara such as Prabodhasudhkara. The correspondent asked whether Shankara changed his view from Mayavada to Lilavada later in his life.Ed.
  Now that is the whole trouble in my approach to Mayavada. Nirvana in my liberated consciousness turned out to be the beginning of my realisation, a first step towards the complete thing, not the sole true attainment possible or even a culminating finale. It came unasked, unsought for, though quite welcome. I had no least idea about it before, no aspiration towards it, in fact my aspiration was towards just the opposite, spiritual power to help the world and do my work in it, yet it camewithout even a May I come in or a By your leave. It just happened and settled in as if for all eternity or as if it had been really there always. And then it slowly grew into something not less but greater than its first self! How then could I accept Mayavada or persuade myself to pit against the Truth imposed on me from above the logic of Shankara?
  But I do not insist on everybody passing through my experience or following the Truth that is its consequence. I have no objection to anybody accepting Mayavada as his souls truth or his minds truth or their way out of the cosmic difficulty. I object to it only if somebody tries to push it down my throat or the worlds throat as the sole possible, satisfying and all-comprehensive explanation of things. For it is not that at all. There are many other possible explanations; it is not at all satisfactory, for in the end it explains nothing; and it isand must be unless it departs from its own logicall-exclusive, not in the least all-comprehensive. But that does not matter. A theory may be wrong or at least one-sided and imperfect and yet extremely practical and useful. That has been amply shown by the history of science. In fact a theory whether philosophical or scientific is nothing else than a support for the mind, a practical device to help it to deal with its object, a staff to uphold it and make it walk more confidently and get along on its difficult journey. The very exclusiveness and one-sidedness of the Mayavada make it a strong staff or a forceful stimulus for a spiritual endeavour which means to be one-sided, radical and exclusive. It supports the effort of the Mind to get away from itself and from Life by a short cut into superconscience. Or rather it is the Purusha in Mind that wants to get away from the limitations of Mind and Life into the superconscient Infinite. Theoretically, the most radical way for that is for the mind to deny all its perceptions and all the preoccupations of the vital and see and treat them as illusions. Practically, when the mind draws back from itself, it enters easily into a relationless peace in which nothing matters for in its absoluteness there are no mental or vital valuesand from which the mind can rapidly move towards that great short cut to the Superconscient, mindless trance, suupti. In proportion to the thoroughness of that movement all the perceptions it had once accepted become unreal to itillusion, Maya. It is on its road towards immergence.
  According to both Buddha and Shankara liberation means laya of the individual in some transcendent Permanence that is not individualisedso logically a belief in the individual soul must prevent liberation while the sense of misery in the world leads to the attempt to escape.

32.07 - The God of the Scientist, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The scientific intellect has thus reached a certain theism and the poet and the artist also have reached similar levels through different ways of approach. The aesthetic taste of the artist, the sense of intense delight in the beauty of the cosmic creation is not born of the intellect but is allied to it, and falls within the category of the mind - it is a thing that belongs to this side of the boundary of consciousness, which we have to cross to attain to the true spiritual world. The twilight consciousness is, as it were, on the border-line; it belongs in its rhythm, gesture, gait and expression still to this shore-land rather than the other, howsoever may the artist aspire for the shore beyond. No doubt, I speak of the creations of artists in general. There are rare artists whose creation embodies genuine spiritual experience and realisation. But that is a different matter - it concerns the purely spiritual art. Ordinary works of art do not belong to that category and derive their inspiration from a different source. With regard to philosophy something similar might be said. Most of the Indian philosophies, such as the philosophies of Shankara, Ramanuja, the sage Kapila and Patanjali are but intellectual expressions of different spiritual visions and realisations. If it be so, then is it not possible for science also to become a vehicle or expression of spiritual realisations? This may not have materialised up till now; generally or to a large degree perhaps an attempt of the kind was made in the line that is known as occultism, and which was called alchemy by the ancients, but the effort ended in a spurious system of rites and ceremonies. No doubt this knowledge, even at its best, falls short of the Higher Knowledge, Para Vidya; still there was a time when the Inferior Knowledge, Apara Vidya, was accepted as a stepping-stone to the Higher. "Exceeding death by Avidya (Ignorance) one has to enjoy immortality through Vidya (Knowledge)" - "Avidyaya mrtyum tirtva vidyaya amrtam asnute."
   But whatever may have been the past, is there any possibility for the most materialistic science of to-day - the ultramundane knowledge - to become directly and integrally united with the supreme spiritual Knowledge? If there is any possibility, then wherein does it lie? We have elsewhere said that it will be possible only when we shall learn to collect data for scientific discoveries and to search after truth not only with our physical senses but also with subtler and inner senses, and those subtler and inner senses will wake up and become a part and parcel of our nature only when the outlook of the scientist will get liberated from its materialistic bias and allow itself to be widened, deepened and heightened and transformed on the way to its being finally established in the pure consciousness of the Soul and the Self.

3.2.08 - Bhakti Yoga and Vaishnavism, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The human vital consciousness has moved always between these two poles, the ordinary vital life which cannot satisfy and the recoil from it to the ascetic solution. India has gone fully through that see-saw; now Europe is beginning once more after a full trial to feel the failure of the mere vital egoistic life. The traditional Yogasto which you appealare founded upon the movement between these two poles. On one side are Shankara and Buddha and most go, if not by the same road, yet in that direction; on the other are Vaishnava or Tantric lines which try to combine asceticism with some sublimation of the vital impulse. And where did these lines end? They fell back to the other pole, to a vital invasion, even corruption and a loss of their spirit. At the present day the general movement is towards an attempt at reconciliation, and you have alluded sometimes to some of the protagonists of this attempt and asked me my opinion about them, yours being unfavourable. But these men are not mere charlatans, and if there is anything wrong with them (on which I do not pronounce), it can only be because they are unable to resist the magnetic pull of this lower pole of the egoistic vital desire-nature. And if they are unable to resist, it is because they have not found the true force which will not only neutralise that pull and prevent deterioration and downward lapse, but transform and utilise and satisfy in their own deeper truth, instead of destroying or throwing away, the life-force and the embodiment in matter; for that can only be done by the supermind power and by no other.
  You appeal to the Vaishnava-Tantric traditions, to Chaitanya, Ramprasad, Ramakrishna. I know something about them and, if I did not try to repeat them, it is because I do not find in them the solution, the reconciliation I am seeking. Your quotation from Ramprasad does not assist me in the leastand it does not support your thesis either. Ramprasad is not speaking of an embodied, but of a bodiless and invisible Divineor visible only in a subtle form to the inner experience. When he speaks of maintaining his claim or case against the Mother until she lifts him into her lap, he is not speaking of any outer vital or physical contact, but of an inner psychic experience; precisely, he is protesting against her keeping him in the external vital and physical nature and insists on her taking him on the psychospiritual plane into spiritual union with her. All that is very good and very beautiful, but it is not enough; the union has indeed to be realised in the inner psycho-spiritual experience first, because without that nothing sound or lasting can be done; but also there must be a realisation of the Divine in the outer consciousness and life, in the vital and physical planes on their own essential lines. It is that which, without your mind understanding it or how it is to be done, you are asking for, and I too; only I see the necessity of a vital transformation, while you seem to think and to demand that it should be done without any radical transformation, leaving the vital as it is. In the beginning, before I discovered the secret of the supermind, I myself tried to seek the reconciliation through an association of the spiritual consciousness with the vital, but my experience and all experience shows that this leads to nothing definite and final,it ends where it began, midway between the two poles of human nature. An association is not enough, a transformation is indispensable.
  The difference of view between Shankara and Ramanuja and on the other side Chaitanya about Krishna arises from the turn of their experience. Krishna was only an aspect of Vishnu to the others because that ecstatic form of love and bhakti which had become associated with Krishna was not for them the whole. The Gita, like Chaitanya, but from a different viewpoint, regarded Krishna as the Divine himself. To Chaitanya he was Love and Ananda, and Love and Ananda being for him the highest transcendental experience, so Krishna too must be the Supreme. For the writer of the Gita, Krishna was the source of Knowledge and Power as well as Love, the Destroyer, Preserver, Creator in one, so necessarily Vishnu was only an aspect of this universal Divine. In the Mahabharat indeed Krishna comes as an incarnation of Vishnu, but that can be turned by taking it that it was through the Vishnu aspect as his frontal appearance that he manifested, for that the greater Godhead can manifest later than others is logical if we consider the manifestation as progressive,just as Vishnu is in the Veda a younger Indra, Upendra, but gains upon his elder and subsequently takes place above him in the Trimurti.
  I cannot say much about the Vaishnava idea of the form of Krishna. Form is the basic means of manifestation and without it it may be said that the manifestation of anything is not complete. Even if the Formless logically precedes Form, yet it is not illogical to assume that in the Formless, Form is inherent and already existent in a mystic latency, otherwise how could it be manifested? For any other process would be the creation of the non-existent, not manifestation. If so, it would be equally logical to assume that there is an eternal form of Krishna, a spirit body. As for the highest Reality, it is no doubt absolute Existence, but is it only that? Absolute Existence as an abstraction may exclude everything else from itself and amount to a sort of very positive zero; but Absolute Existence as a realitywho shall define and say what is or is not in its inconceivable depths, its illimitable Mystery? Mind can ordinarily conceive of the Absolute Existence only as a negation of its own concepts spatial, temporal or other. But it cannot tell what is at the basis of manifestation or what manifestation is or why there is any manifestation at all out of its positive zero and the Vaishnavas, we must remember, do not admit this conception as the absolute and original truth of the Divine. It is therefore not rigidly impossible that what we conceive and perceive as spatial form may correspond to some mysterious power of the spaceless Absolute. I do not say all that as a definite statement of Truth, I am only pointing out that the Vaishnava position on its own ground is far from being logically or metaphysically untenable.

33.01 - The Initiation of Swadeshi, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   It implied that one must give up everything else: studies of course, and parents and relatives, all. I felt it was my duty to keep my parents informed of this irrevocable decision of mine. I thought it would be an act of treachery towards them if I were to do anything so drastic without their knowledge. There was, no doubt, the old maxim of the sages, yad-ahar-eva virajet, tad-ahar-eva pravrajet,"one must leave one's home the day one feels the attachments cease to bind." The Buddha did that, Chaitanya did that, though Shankara wanted to arrive at an understanding with his mother first.
   I thought I should now break the news to my father. I distinctly remember the scene. I was then aged seventeen and a student of the Third Year, not exactly a kid, you see. One evening, as my father rested in bed after his dinner, I came and sat by his side. I had come determined to tell him, but there was a little hesitation about the way of putting it. I could not obviously just blurt out. "I am going to leave home in order to do patriotic work." At last, I managed to put it like this, for we had a deep respect for our father: "I shall not be studying any more at the Presidency College; I shall join the National College." To join the National College had become a craze at the time, and I thought that to put it that way would be to give the least offence. I stopped with that one sentence. My father listened to me and then he began his discourse: "Whatever you do, you should do after a good deal of thought. Never do anything under a sudden impulse, for that might later give you cause for regrets. First, you must remember that you are the eldest son in the family. We are getting on in age and you have younger brothers and sisters of whom it is incumbent on you to take charge, or else they would find themselves thrown out on the streets. Secondly, if you want to serve your country, that is a good thing and I do not stand in your way. But if you can succeed in becoming a somebody, in learning and position, then you would be able to do much better and bigger things, wouldn't you? You don't have to go very many years, at the most two or three, to finish your education. Once you acquire a decent position in life, you will not need to be just a common worker; you can, with your learning and intellectual gifts, become one of the leaders. Look at Atul Gupta, for instance. He didn't have to give up his studies, he has just done his M.A. and is now reading Law. He has acquired a name and some fame and will be able to work for the country ten times better as a man of position. And besides, there is another thing. If you feel a true urge for renunciation, like Shankara or Chaitanya, that is another matter, for that would add lustre to our family. But you must first look into yourself carefully to see if you have developed in yourself that strength and capacity. If it is just the caprice of a moment, then there will be no end of regrets afterwards..."
   He went on in this strain for some time. I sat silent and motionless like a block of stone. But I felt a sense of release within: I had said what I wanted to say, done my duty. And as to my decision, that would be unshaken, "as long as shone a sun and a moon", yavaccandra-divakarau.

33.08 - I Tried Sannyas, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   O Shankara, O Lord of the Worlds,
   But to me thou hast assigned the road alone."

36.07 - An Introduction To The Vedas, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 08, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   Shankara has explained the words sarve vedah as "a portion of the Vedas", that is to say, the Upanishads. But how can sarve ("the whole") become a portion? Shankara considered the Vedas as something ceremonial, ritual and sacrificial. Hence he had to give a distorted explanation. ("The seat or goal that all the Vedas glorify and which austerities declare, for the desire of which men practise holy living, of That will I tell thee in brief compass. OM is that goal, OM Nachiketas."[^76]
   Translated by Sri Aurobindo.)

37.02 - The Story of Jabala-Satyakama, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 08, #unset, #Integral Yoga
   The knowledge and realisation that he had gained from his life of a wandering cowherd are the basic truth of the world, the supreme secret of creation. He realised that Brahman is the ultimate Truth, the one and only Reality. The signs or qualities of this ultimate Truth or Reality are four. Brahman may be described as if in a group of four aphorisms, like the first four aphorisms of the Brahmasutra, the basic compendium of Vedantic thought, which Shankara has commented on in-very clear terms. If you know his commentary on these four aphorisms, you get to know practically the entire philosophy of the Vedanta as interpreted by Shankara.
   The first of the aphorisms taught to Satyakama implies that Brahman has made himself manifest, for He is selfmanifest. Another Upanishad has said the same thing: tameva bhantam anubhati sarvam,"His is the Light that illumines all." Of this self-luminous form of Brahman or God the four limbs are the four quarters. He is manifest on all sides, above and below, in every direction, and he is not only thus manifest; there is also no end or limit to his manifestation. Hence, as a second step in our knowledge, we learn that God or Brahman is the Infinite. This Infinity too has four limbs or lines: (1) earth, or the physical and material extension, (2) mid-air, or the expanse of the vital worlds, (3) the vast expanses of mind, and (4) the oceanic reaches of the higher worlds that stand above the mind. The third attribute or quality of God is Luminosity, He is the Bright, the Effulgent One - He is the supreme light. Of His Brightness or Effulgence the symbols are four, the four that serve as the medium or base: these are fire, the sun, the moon and the stars. Fire is enkindled on the solid earth of matter; the sun burns in the mid-regions of life; the moon illumines with its cooling rays the regions of the quiet and happy mind; and the stars give us the brilliance of the world beyond mind. It is needless to add that the Seer is not speaking here in terms of astronomy. He has been expressing his meaning through the help of significant symbols or metaphors. And finally, the Reality or God is made up of Form: that is to say, He has put Himself forth variously through a multitude of forms, rupam rupam pratirupo babhuva.And the functions or instrumentalities through which Form has taken shape are the four main powers of sense-consciousness. These are: (I) the power of sensitivity, the capacity of living contact and intimate or close experience, of which the sense of touch represents to us the external form or activity, for through it we get a sense of reality as living existence; (2) the power of vision or sight, for through the eyes we get a sense of form and definite shape; (3) the power of hearing, for the organ of hearing gives us a sense of rhythm, of sound, the form of articulate speech; and (4) the power of mind which, being the centre of thinking, gives us a sense of meaning, builds the forms of thought.

3 - Commentaries and Annotated Translations, #Hymns to the Mystic Fire, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  thing that is and yet is not, the Maya of Shankara. This also is
  not a lie but truth, not a foolish, blissful dream, but a perfect

4.2 - Karma, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  306. Three times God laughed at Shankara, first, when he returned to burn the corpse of his mother, again when he commented on the Isha Upanishad and the third time when he stormed about India preaching inaction.

5.1.01 - Terminology, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  As a result instead of a world of integral truth and divine harmony created in the light of the divine Gnosis, we have a world founded on the part truths of an inferior cosmic Intelligence in which all is half truth, half error. It is this that some of the ancient thinkers like Shankara, not perceiving the greater
  Truth-Force behind, stigmatised as Maya and thought to be the highest creative power of the Divine. All in the consciousness of this creation is either limited or else perverted by separation from the integral Light; even the Truth it perceives is only a half knowledge. Therefore it is called the Ignorance.

5 - The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales, #The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
  him who his guru had been, that it was Shankaracharya (who lived in the 8th and
  9th cents.) "But that's the celebrated commentator," I remarked in amazement.

7.05 - Patience and Perseverance, #Words Of Long Ago, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  The famous sage Shankara whose name brought glory to the land of Malabar, and who lived about 1200 years ago, had resolved from childhood to become a Sannyasi.
  For a long time his mother, although she appreciated the nobility of his wish, did not allow him to devote himself to that way of life.
  One day mother and child went to ba the in a river. Shankara dived in and felt his foot suddenly seized by a crocodile. Death seemed close at hand. But even at that dreadful moment the brave child thought only of his great project and cried out to his mother, "I am lost! A crocodile is dragging me down. But let me at least die a Sannyasi!"
  "Yes, yes, my son," his mother sobbed in despair.

7 - Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Anonymous, #Various
  ber in this connection the story of Shankaracharya who
  being a Sannyasi from boyhood has had no experience of

Talks With Sri Aurobindo 1, #unset, #Anonymous, #Various
  or less an agnostic. Then I had two experiences of contact with the Infiniteone at Poona on the Parvati hills and the other on the Shankaracharya hill in
  Kashmir. Again, at Karnali, where there are many temples, I went to one of
  under the influence of Buddhism and lastly Shankara made a sharp cut between the two.
  SATYENDRA: Why should this cleavage be necessary?
  PURANI: I believe what is meant is that Buddha, Shankara and others who
  went into Laya and accepted escape from Nature have not really got liberation.
  SATYENDRA: They believe that Buddha or Shankara will have to be born again
  to do it.
  understood Shankara they considered that there was nothing more in India
  than Shankaras Vedanta. Buddhism is most severe and exacting. It is one of
  the most difficult paths, a path of hard Tapasya.
  approach the Truth. Even Shankara, I believe, doesn't say that Reason is useless. He admits that it prepares for what is beyondeven for going beyond
  Sattwa, etc. It is stepping-stone.
  asked me why we don't recognise Shankara's philosophy. I told him, "We
  recognise it but we also hold that it is only truth. There are other aspects of
  PURANI: Veerabhadra will equate you with Shankara or he will say that you
  have explained what Shankara meant.
  SRI AUROBINDO: That will be easier. Or it may be like the Theosophists' idea
  of Buddha and Shankara. You don't know what it is?
  SRI AUROBINDO: They say that Shankara came as a disguised Buddha in order
  to correct what he said. Shankara, according to them, was born in the first
  century B.C. or A. D., I don't remember which, but in any case not long after
  shall be supposed that I have come back as another Shankara to correct what
  the first Shankara said and that I am explaining either what he meant but
  didn't say or what he said but didn't mean.
  SRI AUROBINDO: I read many commentaries on Shankara but not a single one
  agreed with the other. Some were even contradictory in themselves.
  DR. MANILAL: But Shankara does not give me peace.

Talks With Sri Aurobindo 2, #Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #unset, #Integral Yoga
  from Shankara. What does he mean by technique? I don't know that I have
  got my technique from anybody. Again, he says that I have laid insistence on
  any individual and we come to Shankara. What is the meaning of my insistence on the One and the Many? Anilbaran seems to have a rigid mind. If he
  reads my philosophy in that way, he will never understand it. It has to be
  things started and got stuck together and how to unstick them and make oneself free. It is the Upanishad's standpointpsychological. Shankara bringing
  in Maya created the difficulty.
  SRI AUROBINDO: Yes. Shankara speaks of the One and the One-in-Many.
  For Buddha there is no ultimate Self of all; each by his own effort attains
  SATYENDRA: As in your Life Divine, people find Shankara, Ramanuja,
  etc. (Laughter)
  there is anyone who can challenge Shankara. It was in a talk in Belur Math
  regarding Sri Aurobindo.
  DR. MANILAL: He may have realised Shankara's philosophy.
  SRI AUROBINDO: Realised? You mean he is a Yogi? Everybody knows he
  SRI AUROBINDO: That is the inner being. You feel like Shankaracharya
  who said, "I went somewhere to a region of Bliss. I wish I could remain

the Eternal Wisdom, #unset, #Anonymous, #Various
  9) The saint who has arrived at a perfect contemplation, sees the All as one only spirit and his soul loses itself in this spirit, as water is dissolved in water, as fire is united to fire, as air is made one with air. ~ Shankaracharya
  10) He sees the one Spirit in all beings and he sees all beings in the one Spirit. ~ Bhagavad Gita
  23) For things and their revolutions are like the images of a dream...So long as the dream lasts, all this world appears real to us ; the world exists no longer when the dream is finished. ~ Shankaracharya
  24) All the earth is no more than a great tomb and there is nothing on its surface which is not hidden in the tomb, under earth...All are hastening to bury themselves in the depths of the ocean of infinity. But be of good courage.. .The sun is cradled in darkness and the need of the night is to reveal the splendour of the stars. ~ Totaku-ko-Nozagual (Lopok. Mexico.)


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