With this issue we begin serialising Dr. Prema Nandkumar’s essay focusing on the Mahabharata in the light of Sri Aurobindo.
“Sri Aurobindo’s linking of archetypal wisdom, its basic metapsychology to the modern crisis marks him as a mature visionary. The disproportionate development of a post-industrial society calls for a matching insight. To the anguish of modern man there is no remedy but the mystical,” writes the author.
The author reminds us that it is the errors of an egoistic and self-divided creation that are the central practical concern of every human being striving to fulfil the purpose of his life on earth. The errors are inevitable; indeed, they are the means of fulfilment, the fertiliser by which the seed of the spirit is made to grow and fructify on the plane of human life.
The author writes that sacrifice is commonly thought of as leaving the participant worse off than he was – except for the anticipation of any calculated reward or quid pro quo. Or it may be associated with atonement or punishment for wrongs done. Nothing, of course, could be farther from the intention or effect of the sacrifice which is to be performed by the Spirit of Man if he is to achieve his true destiny.
Sri Aurobindo summarises the essence of verses 9-14 of Isha Upanishad in ‘The Life Divine’: “Through Avidya, the Multiplicity, lies our path out of the transitional egoistic self-expression in which death and suffering predominate; through Vidya consenting with Avidya by the perfect sense of oneness even in that multiplicity, we enjoy integrally the immortality and the beatitude. By attaining to the Unborn beyond all becoming we are liberated from this lower birth and death; by accepting the Becoming freely as the Divine, we invade mortality with the immortal beatitude and become luminous centres of its conscious self-expression in humanity.”