These selections help us understand the psychological foundations of altruism, its limits and potentiality for facilitating true self-development of the being.
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.”
In this part 3 of our ongoing series, the focus is on verses 6-8 of Isha Upanishad. We are reminded that it is the Brahman that is the origin, the end and the container of the things; creating, he indwells the forms of his manifestation, enjoys variously his thousand abodes. He is the One, the same everywhere. And if each individual formation behaves and acts as if it is a separate entity, different from others, it is because it is clouded in its outer consciousness, it has temporarily lost touch with the unifying knowledge and consciousness at its back—that which sustains it as well as it does all the rest in a common extension.
In this part, the author focuses on the first 4 verses of Isha Upanishad. He reminds that this Upanishad addresses itself to the question of world-existence, the problem of harmonising human life and activity with the Reality of Immutable Brahman. The solution it finds is one of the most remarkable found by the ancient Indian mind.
This issue explores two inter-related themes. One has to do with Choice and Wisdom, related to which is the faculty of viveka, the intuitive discriminating reason which is developed by a purification of the organs of thought and knowledge. All effort and progress toward true knowledge and wisdom is possible only by the grace of the Guru, which is our second theme for this issue, especially chosen to mark the occasion of Guru Purnima.
We present four brief passages from Sri Aurobindo’s writings done in early 1910. The immense value and significance of these ‘passing thoughts’ can’t be missed in today’s cultural and intellectual climate of India when Indian mind is trying to rediscover the true essence of Indian-ness and create new forms to express the eternal truth of the Indian spirit.
Editor’s note: For our Book of the Month, we bring for our readers a few excerpts from Nithin Sridhar’s latest book ‘Īśopaniṣad: …