Editor’s Note: This 2-part article by the author is excerpted from a long essay titled ‘The Yoga of the Indian Nation’ published in Mother India, Vol. LX, Issue no,8-9, August 2007, pp. 659-676. This special issue was dedicated to Sri Aurobindo’s message of August 15, 1947: Some Perceptions and Perspectives.
Indeed the entire line of our national yoga has not only been laid down but is also being conducted from behind the scenes by Sri Aurobindo. He has not only foreseen the destiny of India but has also kept it safe in the subtle atmosphere of the earth. Sri Aurobindo has already laid the foundations of the national yoga.
Firstly, he awakened the national soul from its torpor and initiated it into the yoga of the new world.
He brought back to its surface consciousness the memory of its past spiritual efforts, recovered the lost Vedas in their full and original glory and splendour, vedanudharte, connected them through the unbroken thread of spiritual continuity down the Ages of the Upanishads, the Gita, Tantras and the Purana, the lineage of the great rishis and avataras and finally linked it to our very own modern times! By doing this he was not only delivering the fully formed psychic being of India but also connecting it once again with the life and body of the nation.
Secondly, he laid the broad lines for reshaping the inner being of India along the lines of its swadharma so that India could find its true place and become a conscious instrument of the divine design in this universe.
The inner being of a nation is represented by its culture, its highest and noblest thoughts and feelings and aspirations, its output in terms of art and literature and media.
And finally, it has an outer body and this too has been formed and kept safe in the Mother’s divine hands as the spiritual map of united India. This outward body is represented in the conduct and polity and administration, art and science, and other forms of activity of the nation. This too has been well laid down for India through the Seer-Vision of Sri Aurobindo.
Having inwardly attempted and achieved all for us, Sri Aurobindo is preparing us to be worthy of these boons. And as is characteristic of Sri Aurobindo, he is leading us from within outwards, handling and manipulating the play of forces in such a way that we are compelled to make a choice.
There is such a constant subtle pressure upon India that it cannot rest.
Perhaps all this would not have been necessary if India had hearkened to the one Voice that could save it. But years of contamination with various influences have made the inner being of India extraordinarily complex and years of subjugation enslaved the national mind and its vital to tamas, inertia. Therefore India slept when the hour of God arrived and the flaws in her armour invited the blow.
For what else but the sharp sting of pain can wake up a country that has abandoned all effort at progress and fallen into inertia? And the pressure is going to be relentless if we still heed not that which summons us. For it is decreed that India must rise and show the way to the rest of the world. And if India fails then there is little hope for humanity finding a deeper way out of its present impasse.
Also, we must not confuse the national yoga with the revival of old values and traditions and orthodox religious forms and age-old spiritual formulas. These things have been broken or shredded and cast together in the world cauldron where other forces have also been put alongside.
Also read in this issue:
Sanatana Dharma and Indian Nationalism
A new and more fulfilling scheme is being prepared, a more comprehensive plan of God is being unveiled than any tradition has even imagined or ventured. The unity of matter and spirit, of man and the cosmos, of the individual and the collective, of science and spirituality, of secular and spiritual thought, of the earth and the beyond, is being increasingly sought and brought closer.
We cannot, in fact, no group can live anymore in a splendid isolation within its own Shangri-La except by mutilating its wholeness and suffering an eventual diminution of its total possibilities. To insist on old forms and old values and old methods is to demand from the Time-Spirit what the gods and demons prayed to Shiva when in a divine moment he cut off the head of Daksha, the progenitor of the old creation.
Yielding to their demands the great and compassionate god indeed revived the body. But the gods in their hurry perhaps prompted by the Will of the eternal sutured the severed head the wrong way so that each time Daksha Prajapati moved one step forward or so it seemed to him, he actually moved one step backward.
Let us leave aside the slain body of the past but preserve its spirit. The body of Sati has been consumed by the fire and cut into pieces by the great preserver himself. But out of her force of fire there would arise Uma-Haimavati, daughter of the great mountain Himalaya and rebuild India along new lines, the lines of the Shakti that does not turn away from Shiva the eternal, but unites with him in a perfect creative union of delight. And from that clasp of oneness and Love re-create India and the world with its rejuvenating streams of Truth-Light and Truth-Power.
Continue reading in PART 2
~ Design: Satya