10 Nov 2008

An Entry from Record of Yoga

In The Lives of Sri Aurobindo we are made to believe that the Yogi was “forced” to abandon his pursuit. But the quiet objective tone of the entry in Record of Yoga does not give one the feeling of he being “forced” to do things as a reaction against what was happening. In fact the “now” in his entry suggests a pragmatic line of the next action, as could be seen from the record just preceding this one, describing faith-bhukti-dehasuddhi. But more significantly this record hints at the limitations of the chatusthayas themselves as far as the higher Amrita is concerned. We should look into this separately in some detail.

We have the following entry in Record of Yoga made by Sri Aurobindo under the heading Amrita, Immortality. It is dated 13 November 1913 and pertains to vidya-avidya-siddhi, Siddhi of Knowledge-Ignorance:

Amrita—A clear distinction must now be made between the vidya-avidya siddhi which is constituted by the seven chatusthayas & the higher Amrita in which all limitation is removed & Death, etc entirely cease. Only the first will in this life be entirely accomplished.

Let us read it again in the deep calm of our mind:

Amrita—A clear distinction must now be made between the vidya-avidya siddhi which is constituted by the seven chatusthayas & the higher Amrita in which all limitation is removed & Death, etc entirely cease. Only the first will in this life be entirely accomplished.

And yet again if possible in the deep calm of the soul:

Amrita—A clear distinction must now be made between the vidya-avidya siddhi which is constituted by the seven chatusthayas & the higher Amrita in which all limitation is removed & Death, etc entirely cease. Only the first will in this life be entirely accomplished.

What one feels in it is a vastness of assured spiritual poise. If one is not perceptive to it one need not, in fact should not quote it. But The Lives of Sri Aurobindo gives this extremely significant noting as follows:

…he made a distinction between the “vidya-avidya siddhi which is constituted by seven chatusthayas & the higher Amrita [immortality] in which all limitation is removed & Death, etc. entirely cease. Only the first,” he was forced to conclude, “will in this life be entirely accomplished.”

What do we see here, in The Lives of Sri Aurobindo? All that was spiritual in the original has disappeared, just disappeared; we have here only a mental statement.

Further, we are made to believe that the Yogi was “forced” to abandon his pursuit. But the quiet objective tone of the original statement does not give one the feeling of somebody being “forced” to do things as a reaction against what was happening. In fact the “now” in his entry suggests a pragmatic line of the next action, as could be seen from the record just preceding this one, describing faith-bhukti-dehasuddhi. But more significantly this record hints at the limitations of the chatusthayas themselves as far as the higher Amrita is concerned. We should look into this separately in some detail.

RY Deshpande

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