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Sri Aurobindo Or The Yogi Of The Life Divine- 4th part: Sanatan Dharma To Life Divine
Aju Mukhopadhyay 17 June 2008, 10:18 Continued from Part Three
Hinduism and Indian Spiritualism
By the word Hindu the Persians in ancient age meant the inhabitants on the other shore of the great river Sindhu. There was no religion as such. There is no one book like Bible, Koran or Guru Granth Sahib which defines Hinduism. It was the religion or spiritual practices of the Aryan people but it contained large numbers of sects with different faiths, both theistic and non-theistic. What has at later times been termed as Hinduism is an amalgam of many religious rites and faiths. Hindu religion in not one but many as the Hindu Gods are not one but many. Many but behind the many there is one immanent divine being. Behind all the religions of the world there is one original eternal religion directly received from the divine. It is the Sanatan Dharma. Originating in the Vedas, Rig Veda in particular, its spiritual aim is the attainment of divine life on earth. Beyond all materialism and illusionism the flow of spiritualism has been constant; it is the perennial source of Indian life...
Vedic Culture and Sanatan Dharma
Sri Aurobindo believes that it will conquer and help in the establishment of a gnostic society to lay the foundation of the divine life on earth. There exist the ritualistic and linguistic explanations of the Veda by Sayana and Yaska. Based on them, Wesern scholarship began interpreting the oldest scripture in harmony with the then scientific theories. They were bold and speculative, ingenious and conscientious, but ill-fitted to understand the method of the old mystic poets, Sri Aurobindo opined. They found it half-superstitious, half- poetic allegory of Nature with an important astronomical element in it. They found it barbaric. The proud conqueror of the physical world, the then European scholars, thought that they belonged to the Aryan race which was at the same level of the Greeks, Celts and Germans. They perceived that the Aryan race were northern barbarians who broke in from colder climes to old and rich Mediterranean Europe and Dravidian India. Their explanation of Vedic culture and creation was mainly based on that, Sri Aurobindo wrote.
Some indigenous Vedic study was made by B. G. Tilak, T. Paramasiva Aiyar and Swami Dayananda Saraswati. The latter brought out the truth that Vedic religious teaching is monotheistic, gods are different names and powers of the same One divine entity. Sri Aurobindo congratulated him for discovering the keys of the Vedic door that time had closed. Swami Vivekananda confirmed the monotheistic approach of the Vedas in his lectures throughout the world.
Sri Aurobindo, a linguist, well versed in half a dozen of Indian and as many European languages, a scholar, poet and yogi, with knowledge of Sanskrit and Vedic languages, began studying Veda, Rig Veda in particular, during his mature years in Pondicherry. He observed, ‘It certainly seems to me that the original connection between the Dravidian and Aryan tongues was far closer and more extensive than is usually supposed and the possibility suggests itself that they may even have been two divergent families derived from one lost primitive tongue.’ 6He said that there is no definite clue to suggest that Aryans invaded India. They lived here and may be in nearby countries. The whole of India was composed of almost the same people though some foreign admixture was there. He found that every element of the Vedic text was bound up together and any incoherent handling of them would shatter the whole fabric of their sense and thought. He had the vision of Vedic words, their meaning and their projections in the future. He considered it as the prehistoric wisdom of the great Indian seers.