4 Integral Yoga
3 The Mother
3 Sri Aurobindo
2 Saint Augustine of Hippo
2 City of God
|0.10 - Letters to a Young Captain, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga|
In the Darshan message of November 24th, Sri
Aurobindo speaks of the influence of the Divine Compassion and the Divine Grace.32 But what is the difference between the two?
The compassion seeks to relieve the suffering of all, whether
|07.14 - The Divine Suffering, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga|
The Divine's compassion, translated in the individual physical consciousness, becomes a sorrow that is not egoistic, a sorrow that is an expression of one's identification with the universal sorrow through sympathy. I have described the experience at some length in one of the Prayers and Meditations. I spoke there of the sweetest tears that I shed in life; for those tears were not for my sake, I was not weeping for myself. In almost every case man grieves for egoistic reasons, in the human way. Whenever anyone loses a person he loves, he suffers and weeps, not over the condition of the person: in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred or even more, people do not know in what condition the person gone may be, do not and cannot know if the person is happy or unhappy, if he is suffering or is in peace. It is the sense of separation that causes the grief, the feeling that he will not be with them anymore which they so much wish. At the root of all human sorrow, there lies this return upon one's own self, more or less conscious, more or less admitted. But when you feel unhappy for the unhappiness of others, there comes in a mixture. That is to say, to your personal grief is added a psychic element which I described as the reversed image of the Divine Compassion. Now, if you can distinguish between the two, the personal anguish and the disinterested sorrow, come out of what is egoistic and concentrate upon the divine element, make yourself one with it, then you can in that way come in contact with the great universal compassion, which is something immense, vast, calm, mighty, pro-found, which is perfect peace and infinite Bliss. If you know then how to enter into your suffering, go down to the very bottom of it, pass beyond the portion that is egoistic and personal, go farther on, then you arrive at the door of a wonderful revelation. Not that you should seek suffering for the sake of the suffering and in order to have the experience; but when it is there, when it has come upon you, then try what I have suggested, cross the border, the barrier of egoism in your suffering: note first where is the egoistic part, what is it that makes you suffer, what is the egoistic reason of your suffering, then step across and beyond, towards something universal, towards a greater principle. You enter then into the vast, the infinite compassion, the door of the Psychic opens for you. If, in that domain, you see me in tears, as you say you did in your dream, then you can identify yourself with me at the moment, enter into those tears as it were, melt into them. That will open the door and it will bring you an experience, a very unique experience that leaves always a deep mark upon the consciousness. It is never blotted out altoge ther even if the door closes again and you become once more what you are in your ordinary movements. That experience, that mark remains behind and you can recall it, go back to it, refer to it in your moments of concentration. You feel then the immensity of an infinite sweetness, a great peace, pervading all your being, it is not in your thought only; it goes out and sympathises with everything and can cure everything.
|1.03 - PERSONALITY, SANCTITY, DIVINE INCARNATION, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy|
In the West, the mystics went some way towards liberating Christianity from its unfortunate servitude to historic fact. (or, to be more accurate, to those various mixtures of contemporary record with subsequent inference and phantasy, which have, at different epochs, been accepted as historic fact). From the writings of Eckhart, Tauler and Ruysbroeck, of Boehme, William Law and the Quakers, it would be possible to extract a spiritualized and universalized Christianity, whose narratives should refer, not to history as it was, or as someone afterwards thought it ought to be, but to processes forever unfolded in the heart of man. But unfortunately the influence of the mystics was never powerful enough to bring about a radical Mahayanist revolution in the West. In spite of them, Christianity has remained a religion in which the pure Perennial Philosophy has been overlaid, now more, now less, by an idolatrous preoccupation with events and things in timeevents and things regarded not merely as useful means, but as ends, intrinsically sacred and indeed divine. Moreover such improvements on history as were made in the course of centuries were, most imprudently, treated as though they themselves were a part of historya procedure which put a powerful weapon into the hands of Protestant and, later, of Rationalist controversialists. How much wiser it would have been to admit the perfectly avowable fact that, when the sternness of Christ the Judge had been unduly emphasized, men and women felt the need of personifying the Divine Compassion in a new form, with the result that the figure of the Virgin, mediatrix to the mediator, came into increased prominence. And when, in course of time, the Queen of Heaven was felt to be too awe-inspiring, compassion was re-personified in the homely figure of St. Joseph, who thus became me thator to the me thatrix to the me thator. In exactly the same way Buddhist worshippers felt that the historic Sakyamuni, with his insistence on recollectedness, discrimination and a total dying to self as the principal means of liberation, was too stern and too intellectual. The result was that the love and compassion which Sakyamuni had also inculcated came to be personified in Buddhas such as Amida and Maitreyadivine characters completely removed from history, inasmuch as their temporal career was situated somewhere in the distant past or distant future. Here it may be remarked that the vast numbers of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, of whom the Mahayanist theologians speak, are commensurate with the vastness of their cosmology. Time, for them, is beginningless, and the innumerable universes, every one of them supporting sentient beings of every possible variety, are born, evolve, decay and the, only to repeat the same cycleagain and again, until the final inconceivably remote consummation, when every sentient being in all the worlds shall have won to deliverance out of time into eternal Suchness or Buddhahood This cosmological background to Buddhism has affinities with the world picture of modern astronomyespecially with that version of it offered in the recently published theory of Dr. Weiszcker regarding the formation of planets. If the Weiszcker hypothesis is correct, the production of a planetary system would be a normal episode in the life of every star. There are forty thousand million stars in our own galactic system alone, and beyond our galaxy other galaxies, indefinitely. If, as we have no choice but to believe, spiritual laws governing consciousness are uniform throughout the whole planet-bearing and presumably life-supporting universe, then certainly there is plenty of room, and at the same time, no doubt, the most agonizing and desperate need, for those innumerable redemptive incarnations of Suchness, upon whose shining multitudes the Mahayanists love to dwell.
|1.4.01 - The Divine Grace and Guidance, #Letters On Yoga II, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga|
- only it has a discrimination of its own which sees things and persons and the right times and seasons with another vision than that of the Mind or any other normal Power. A state of Grace is prepared in the individual often behind thick veils by means not calculable by the mind and when the state of Grace comes then the Grace itself acts. There are these three powers: (1) the
Cosmic Law, of Karma or what else; (2) the Divine Compassion acting on as many as it can reach through the nets of the Law and giving them their chance; and (3) the Divine Grace which
|1966-12-07, #Agenda Vol 07, #unset, #Kabbalah|
"There are these three powers [governing life on earth]: (1) The Cosmic Law, of Karma or what else; (2) the Divine Compassion acting on as many as it can reach through the nets of the Law and giving them their chance; (3) the Divine Grace which acts more incalculably but also more irresistibly than the others."
|1968-10-26, #Agenda Vol 09, #unset, #Kabbalah|
And as if underneath, as if coming from the depths, beneath, the perception of this Compassion the Divine Compassion the perception of the way the thing is seen and felt by the Divine. That was wonderful.
|2.15 - The Cosmic Consciousness, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga|
It may even seem as if it were the greatest oneness, since it accepts all that we can be sensible of in the mind-created world as our own. Sometimes one sees it spoken of as the highest achievement. Certainly, it is a great realisation and the path to a greater. It is that which the Gita speaks of as the accepting of all existences as if oneself whether in grief or in joy; it is the way of sympathetic oneness and infinite compassion by which the Buddhist arrives at his Nirvana. Still there are gradations and degrees. In the first stage the soul is still subject to the reactions of the duality, still subject therefore to the lower prakriti; it is depressed or hurt by the cosmic suffering, elated by the cosmic joy. We suffer the joys of others, suffer their griefs, and this oneness can be carried even into the body, as in the story of the Indian saint who, seeing a bullock tortured in the field by its cruel owner, cried out with the creature's pain and the weal of the lash was found reproduced on his own flesh. But there must be a oneness in the freedom of Sachchidananda as well as with the subjection of the lower being to the reactions of prakriti. This is achieved when the soul is free and superior to the cosmic reactions which are then felt in the life, mind and body as an inferior movement; the soul understands, accepts, sympathises, but is not overpowered or affected, so that even the mind and body learn also to accept without being overpowered or even affected except on their surface. And the consummation of this movement is when the two spheres of existence are no longer divided and the mind, life and body grow into the spirit's freedom from the lower or ignorant response to the cosmic touches and the subjection to the duality ceases. This does not mean insensibility to the struggles and sufferings of others, but it does mean a spiritual supremacy and freedom which enables one to understand perfectly, put the right values on things and heal from above instead of struggling from below. It does not inhibit the Divine Compassion and helpfulness, but it does inhibit the human and animal sorrow and suffering.
|BOOK X. - Porphyrys doctrine of redemption, #City of God, #Saint Augustine of Hippo, #Christianity|
It is by true piety that men of God cast out the hostile power of the air which opposes godliness; it is by exorcising it, not by propitiating it; and they overcome all the temptations of the adversary by praying, not to him, but to their own God against him. For the devil cannot conquer or subdue any but those who are in league with sin; and therefore he is conquered in the name of Him who assumed humanity, and that without sin, that Himself being both Priest and Sacrifice, He might bring about the remission of sins, that is to say, might bring it about through the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, by whom we are reconciled to God, the cleansing from sin being accomplished.[Pg 413] For men are separated from God only by sins, from which we are in this life cleansed not by our own virtue, but by the Divine Compassion; through His indulgence, not through our own power. For, whatever virtue we call our own is itself bestowed upon us by His goodness. And we might attri bute too much to ourselves while in the flesh, unless we lived in the receipt of pardon until we laid it down. This is the reason why there has been vouchsafed to us, through the Mediator, this grace, that we who are polluted by sinful flesh should be cleansed by the likeness of sinful flesh. By this grace of God, wherein He has shown His great compassion toward us, we are both governed by faith in this life, and, after this life, are led onwards to the fullest perfection by the vision of immutable truth.
This, then, is the universal way of the soul's deliverance, the way that is granted by the Divine Compassion to the nations universally. And no nation to which the knowledge of it has already come, or may hereafter come, ought to demand, Why so soon? or, Why so late?for the design of Him who sends it is impenetrable by human capacity. This was felt by Porphyry when he confined himself to saying that this gift of God was not yet received, and had not yet come to his knowledge. For, though this was so, he did not on that account pronounce that the way itself had no existence. This, I say, is the universal way for the deliverance of believers, concerning which the faithful Abraham received the divine assurance, "In thy seed shall all nations be blessed." He, indeed, was by birth a Chaldan; but, that he might receive these great promises, and that there might be propagated from him a seed "disposed by angels in the hand of a Mediator," in whom this universal way, thrown open to all nations for the deliverance of the soul, might be found, he was ordered to leave his country, and kindred, and father's house. Then was he himself, first of all, delivered from the Chaldan superstitions, and by his obedience worshipped the one true God, whose promises he faithfully trusted. This is the universal way, of which it is said in holy prophecy, "God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us; that Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations." And hence, when our Saviour, so long after, had taken flesh of the seed of Abraham, He says of Himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." This is the universal way, of which so long before it had been predicted, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Sion shall go forth the law, and the[Pg 433] word of the Lord from Jerusalem." This way, therefore, is not the property of one, but of all nations. The law and the word of the Lord did not remain in Zion and Jerusalem, but issued thence to be universally diffused. And therefore the Mediator Himself, after His resurrection, says to His alarmed disciples, "These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Then opened He their understandings that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." This is the universal way of the soul's deliverance, which the holy angels and the holy prophets formerly disclosed where they could among the few men who found the grace of God, and especially in the Hebrew nation, whose commonwealth was, as it were, consecrated to prefigure and fore-announce the city of God which was to be gathered from all nations, by their tabernacle, and temple, and priesthood, and sacrifices. In some explicit statements, and in many obscure foreshadowings, this way was declared; but latterly came the Mediator Himself in the flesh, and His blessed apostles, revealing how the grace of the New Testament more openly explained what had been obscurely hinted to preceding generations, in conformity with the relation of the ages of the human race, and as it pleased God in His wisdom to appoint, who also bore them witness with signs and miracles, some of which I have cited above. For not only were there visions of angels, and words heard from those heavenly ministrants, but also men of God, armed with the word of simple piety, cast out unclean spirits from the bodies and senses of men, and healed deformities and sicknesses; the wild beasts of earth and sea, the birds of air, inanimate things, the elements, the stars, obeyed their divine commands; the powers of hell gave way before them, the dead were restored to life. I say nothing of the miracles peculiar and proper to the Saviour's own person, especially the nativity[Pg 434] and the resurrection; in the one of which He wrought only the mystery of a virgin maternity, while in the other He furnished an instance of the resurrection which all shall at last experience. This way purifies the whole man, and prepares the mortal in all his parts for immortality. For, to prevent us from seeking for one purgation for the part which Porphyry calls intellectual, and another for the part he calls spiritual, and another for the body itself, our most mighty and truthful Purifier and Saviour assumed the whole human nature. Except by this way, which has been present among men both during the period of the promises and of the proclamation of their fulfilment, no man has been delivered, no man is delivered, no man shall be delivered.
|BOOK XXII. - Of the eternal happiness of the saints, the resurrection of the body, and the miracles of the early Church, #City of God, #Saint Augustine of Hippo, #Christianity|
One miracle was wrought among ourselves, which, though no greater than those I have mentioned, was yet so signal and conspicuous, that I suppose there is no inhabitant of Hippo who did not either see or hear of it, none who could possibly forget it. There were seven brothers and three sisters of a noble family of the Cappadocian Csarea, who were cursed by their mother, a new-made widow, on account of some wrong they had done her, and which she bitterly resented, and who were visited with so severe a punishment from Heaven, that all of them were seized with a hideous shaking in all their limbs. Unable, while presenting this loathsome appearance, to endure the eyes of their fellow-citizens, they wandered over almost the whole Roman world, each following his own direction. Two of them came to Hippo, a brother and a sister, Paulus and Palladia, already known in many other places by the fame of their wretched lot. Now it was about fifteen days before Easter when they came, and they came daily to church, and specially to the relics of the most glorious Stephen, praying that God might now be appeased, and restore their former health. There, and wherever they went, they attracted the attention of every one. Some who had seen them elsewhere, and knew the cause of their trembling, told others as occasion offered. Easter arrived, and on the Lord's day, in the morning, when there was now a large crowd present, and the young man was holding the bars of the holy place where the relics were, and praying, suddenly he fell down, and lay precisely as if asleep, but not trembling as he was wont to do even in sleep. All present were astonished. Some were[Pg 498] alarmed, some were moved with pity; and while some were for lifting him up, others prevented them, and said they should rather wait and see what would result. And behold! he rose up, and trembled no more, for he was healed, and stood quite well, scanning those who were scanning him. Who then refrained himself from praising God? The whole church was filled with the voices of those who were shouting and congratulating him. Then they came running to me, where I was sitting ready to come into the church. One after another they throng in, the last comer telling me as news what the first had told me already; and while I rejoiced and inwardly gave God thanks, the young man himself also enters, with a number of others, falls at my knees, is raised up to receive my kiss. We go in to the congregation: the church was full, and ringing with the shouts of joy, "Thanks to God! Praised be God!" every one joining and shouting on all sides, "I have healed the people," and then with still louder voice shouting again. Silence being at last obtained, the customary lessons of the divine Scriptures were read. And when I came to my sermon, I made a few remarks suitable to the occasion and the happy and joyful feeling, not desiring them to listen to me, but rather to consider the eloquence of God in this divine work. The man dined with us, and gave us a careful account of his own, his mother's, and his family's calamity. Accordingly, on the following day, after delivering my sermon, I promised that next day I would read his narrative to the people. And when I did so, the third day after Easter Sunday, I made the brother and sister both stand on the steps of the raised place from which I used to speak; and while they stood there their pamphlet was read. The whole congregation, men and women alike, saw the one standing without any unnatural movement, the other trembling in all her limbs; so that those who had not before seen the man himself saw in his sister what the Divine Compassion had removed from him. In him they saw matter of congratulation, in her subject for prayer. Meanwhile, their pamphlet being finished, I instructed them to withdraw from the gaze of the people; and I had begun to discuss the whole matter somewhat more[Pg 499] carefully, when lo! as I was proceeding, other voices are heard from the tomb of the martyr, shouting new congratulations. My audience turned round, and began to run to the tomb. The young woman, when she had come down from the steps where she had been standing, went to pray at the holy relics, and no sooner had she touched the bars than she, in the same way as her brother, collapsed, as if falling asleep, and rose up cured. While, then, we were asking what had happened, and what occasioned this noise of joy, they came into the basilica where we were, leading her from the martyr's tomb in perfect health. Then, indeed, such a shout of wonder rose from men and women together, that the exclamations and the tears seemed like never to come to an end. She was led to the place where she had a little before stood trembling. They now rejoiced that she was like her brother, as before they had mourned that she remained unlike him; and as they had not yet uttered their prayers in her behalf, they perceived that their intention of doing so had been speedily heard. They shouted God's praises without words, but with such a noise that our ears could scarcely bear it. What was there in the hearts of these exultant people but the faith of Christ, for which Stephen had shed his blood?