“No one can write about my life because it has not been on the surface for man to see.”
Maharishi Arvind Ghosh, popularly known as Aurobindo Ghosh was a multifaceted man who is known for his excellence in poetry, freedom struggle, philosophy, yoga and spirituality. Born on 15th August 1852 in Kolkata Aurobindo was provided the best education from Loreto Convent School, Darjeeling and graduated from King’s College, Cambridge. While studying at Cambridge he also prepared for the Civil Services and qualified ICS with high rank. But he could not stand the mandatory horse riding test and thus could not join the service.
By this time Aurobindo was already learned in Greek, French, Italian, German, Latin and Spanish. He had also mastered the classics and English poetry. In 1893, he returned back to India and became highly interested in teaching at Baroda State College. It was during the partition of Bengal in 1906 when Aurobindo entered the revolutionary movement and became an active part of the freedom struggle. He led the group of Indian nationalists and published the nationalist Bengali newspaper- Vande Mataram, awakening the masses about the atrocities inflicted by British and need for freedom from foreign rulers.
During the freedom struggle, Aurobindo developed his interest in yoga and meditation. He also came across the spiritual guru Vishnu Bhasker Lele, who further guided him on the path of deep meditation and spirituality. His spiritual journey took a turn in British jail. Being secluded from the material world he got a chance to concentrate and learn more about higher realms of consciousness. In one of his speeches Shree Aurobindo himself said,
“I looked at the jail that secluded me from men and it was no longer by its high walls that I was imprisoned; no, it was Vasudeva who surrounded me. I walked under the branches of the tree in front of my cell but it was not the tree, I knew it was Vasudeva, it was Sri Krishna whom I saw standing there and holding over me his shade. I looked at the bars of my cell, the very grating that did duty for a door and again I saw Vasudeva. It was Narayana who was guarding and standing sentry over me. Or I lay on the coarse blankets that were given me for a couch and felt the arms of Sri Krishna around me, the arms of my Friend and Lover. This was the first use of the deeper vision He gave me. I looked at the prisoners in the jail, the thieves, the murderers, the swindlers, and as I looked at them I saw Vasudeva, it was Narayana whom I found in these darkened souls and misused bodies. Amongst these thieves and dacoits there were many who put me to shame by their sympathy, their kindness, the humanity triumphant over such adverse circumstances.”
It was in the prison only when he was visited by the powerful soul of Swami Vivekananda, who enlightened him about the divine state of super-consciousness. After his release from the jail, Maharishi Aurobindo went into deeper state of meditation for 4 years In Pondicherry. Then by association with the French lady, named Mira Richards, he was able to set up an ashram in Pondicherry near sea which was named as Auroville. Sri Aurobindo Asram began with a mere companionship of 4 people and 124 disciples but later became a hub of spiritual learning for thousands of people.
Sri Aurobindo taught the concept of ‘Being and Consciousness’ by realizing the real truth living in the cosmic Universe. His main motive was to enlighten people about their true self- soul and divinity inside them. He wanted people to move from world consciousness to divine consciousness and to learn the art of merging oneself with the Supreme Lord. His teachings on ‘integral yoga’ are clearly explained in ‘The Life Divine’ including the detailed explanation with live examples. Devoting his entire life for spiritual awakening, his soul merged with the formless on 5th December, 1950 but his vision and mission is still spreading message of peace, love and universal brotherhood.
If the foundation is strong and firm, no matter how many floors are constructed above it, the building will remain intact and strengthening. Similarly the valuable Vedas are the base of knowledge and is the mirror of all education. People might say that the generations today believe on scientific revelations and rational thoughts of school, yea we agree to it but the eternal truth remains significant forever. Our scientific and technological progress may be huge, but the bases of knowledge have been received from our holy Vedas and will act as a guiding torch for many more generations, yet to come.
Relevance of Vedas for present age:
Hoping for community welfare rather than individual gain has always been the message. If every individual holds the perspective of viewing One eternal power within every being than most of the issues will automatically be resolved. The act of Universal brotherhood is an immediate necessity for regaining the peace and humanity on this planet.
Attributes of Universe:
The name may be different but the ultimate source is One. Vedas reveal the omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent traits of the powerful energy. He is one utmost source who is formless and eternal. He was, is and will forever be. Becoming aware with this universal truth and accepting His presence each moment makes the being fearless and inculcates the deep faith on His presence.
Just like a candle brightens the entire room, similarly the enlightened soul gives direction to the mind and body. God, soul and matter-always exist; weapon cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot spoil it, and air cannot dry it. As the soul keeps on changing the outer physical appearance, but its original traits remains constant. If each one of us comprehends this enlightening truth, then there will be no differentiation on the basis of caste, creed, colour, appearance, religion and so on.
Vedic thought holds that the best instrument of knowledge is the silent mind. As per the Vedic sciences, serene and pure mind is capable of going beyond name, form, number, time, place and person or it would just be another object or entity in the outer world. This shows that there is much above physical reality and the appropriate instrument for knowing the universal Being is not a limited instrument which looks externally, like a telescope, but the silent mind that is able to see within.
Elimination of Delusions:
Vedas has a commendable source of knowledge, which is relevant for ages. Even the earlier misconceptions about ghosts, occult powers and man worshipping every creature out of fear; the turmoil was eliminated with the rational Vedic sciences. Still the presence of evil energies is dominant over the planet but the blinds can be removed by the light of knowledge-Brahma. The presence of fake gurus may dispel us from the path of spirituality but we have to be cautious and aware.
In the Vedic sciences, human well-being is defined as the harmony of body, mind, prana and soul (Atman or Purusha). The natural healing process by recognising the underlying vital energies is the secret to well-being. Today we might have advanced in medical sciences, but the bases lies in the Vedas and holds all the thoughts behind the cosmic life force of development. Organic and natural systems of progress or healing are far better than the artificial processes.
Jyotish or Vedic astrology is aimed at helping us understand how the various matter of the Universe i.e. the lights of the stars and planets affects our own bodies and minds and the fate of our world as a whole. It comprehends the knowledge of karmic influences on us, and how the heavenly bodies have their varied effects. Few might say that astrology is illogical but still few of the actions that go beyond expressions and understanding become a part of new physics. If we recognize that the universe is pervaded by consciousness, we can recognize that light ultimately is a power of consciousness, which means that astronomy must recognize astrology.
The ultimate unity of science and spirituality through Vedas can act as a guiding torch for achieving the ultimate destination of supreme truth. By learning the secrets of Vedas, we can enhance our art of living and improve our lives as per the supreme fathers wish.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja