M. N. Kundu HT Thu, Aug 14
Significantly, Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was born on August 15, the date of India's political freedom, the goal to which he initially dedicated himself. But his spiritual realisation then envisaged the greater freedom of humanity at large, a humanity trapped in the limitations of body-mind bondage.
He realised that man is a transitional being evolving towards a divine life of higher consciousness, harmony and joy and rediscovered the path of spiritual evolution in the modern world. His evolutionary metaphysics is a fascinating statement.
In the beginning the omnipotent Consciousness or God willed, "Let there be light, and there was light". This light, said Aurobindo, is the Agni of the Rig Veda and the solar fire of modern science.
Thus we find will-force and mass-energy dualism at the root of the universe. In the evolutionary process energy or vitality developed the mind-principle, which is latent in matter, evident in plant-life, prominent in animals and better manifested in man.
The mind, having some limited properties of consciousness, is the missing link between matter and consciousness. Thus man is capable of achieving higher harmony and peace by elevating his present mental state to a higher level, which Sri Aurobindo called 'supramental' or 'overmind'.
If the mind is perpetually tuned to the supramental state it can effect a total transformation of our existence on earth to a higher level of consciousness, he said. Since natural evolution is a slow process of ascent, Sri Aurobindo worked out a systematic method of spirituality, which he called 'integral yoga' for expediting transformation in the mental, vital and even physical existence of man.
He wanted to bring alive the supermind as a faculty of the mind humanity presently functions with. Sri Aurobindo thus contributed to life as we live it now with the great potential offered by his concept of integral yoga.
Its purpose was made plain in his talks and writings and with the help of his inspirational associate, Mother Mira, he set out a plan for existence that went beyond mere creed to the inner essence and higher capability of mankind.