In this India’s 75th year of political independence, it is timely to present an assessment of Gandhi’s role in India’s freedom movement. Given that our national mind now seems ready to evaluate and understand the role played by some of the leading personalities in shaping the post-Independence India, revisiting this article written by Amal Kiran in 1949, which has the approval of Sri Aurobindo, is highly necessary and relevant today.
In this interesting conversation of Sri Aurobindo with a small set of disciples, dated January 6, 1939, about methods of effacing the ego, Sri Aurobindo makes an important distinction between outward modesty and the true attitude of psychic humility which can help the sadhak get rid of the vital ego. As an added bonus, we also get a glimpse here of a facet of Sri Aurobindo’s outer personality during his political revolutionary days.
A most divine nobility and a perfectly sincere humility are the key highlights of the adorable personality of Sri Aurobindo which we see presented in this wonderful narration by Nirodbaran. This talk was given on June 12, 1970 at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education and was first published in Mother India.
Reading Nirodbaran’s narration of the divine qualities of Sri Aurobindo’s personality, one is reminded of the description Sri Aurobindo once gave of an Aryan gentleman. India’s rebirth and regeneration requires such character, such nobility in our youth; our national education must work toward this goal.
In this delightful little essay, Nolini Kanta Gupta reminds us – “Humility, in order to be true and sincere, need not be sour and dour in appearance or go about in sack-cloth and ashes. On the contrary, it can be smiling and buoyant: and it is so, because it is at ease, knowing that things will be done—some things naturally will be undone too—quietly, quickly, if necessary, and inevitably, provided the right consciousness, the right will within is maintained.”
Written in response to a disciple’s query about a particular statement of Gandhi, this letter of Sri Aurobindo strongly emphasises the need to develop a deeper and wider understanding of truth that is beyond mental-moral-ethical ideals. We also get a glimpse of a significant difference between the Christian or Semitic and the Hindu understanding of virtues or qualities, particularly Humility, which are considered important from a spiritual point of view.
As per the Advaita Vedantic thought, man can attain union with the Divine even while living in the body on earth by abiding in perfect inner knowledge and discrimination. Our sages and seers used this spiritual truth to develop an excellent method of self-healing. Their approach did not involve any external aid such as medicines or mental training, but it focused on achieving oneness with the Supreme Power at a spiritual level. Read more about this approach in part 4 of this ongoing series.
These selections taken from the Mother’s volumes highlight some practical advise on how to inculcate the values of sincerity, honesty, straightforwardness, courage, unselfishness, patience, endurance, perseverance, and self-control in children from an early age. She reminds the parents and educators that these things are taught infinitely better by example than by beautiful speeches.
The author here reminds us that generally there is a great chasm between what the soul suggests and the intellect understands and the senses execute. The only way to bridge the rift between spirit and its instruments and to create harmony and order in place of clash and cacophony among the different parts of our being is to be absolutely sincere.