February 28, 2006
February 26, 2006
SANSKRIT AND THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN SPEECH: Sampadananda Mishra; Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry
February 24, 2006
Table Of Contents
1. Philosophy East and West
2. Derrida and Bhartrhari's Vakyapadiya on the Origin of Language
3. Derrida and Bhartrhari on Speech and Writing
4. Derrida and Sankara
5. Derrida and Aurobindo
6. Derrida and Nagarjuna
7. ConclusionHarold Coward is Director of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities and Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary. He is the author of Jung and Eastern Thought and Modern Indian Responses to Religious Pluralism, both published by SUNY Press.
February 23, 2006
- prior to the Cartesian divide between nature and spirit
- and also the anthropologist’s idea of “rituals.”
Luckily, in more recent times, our understanding of the Vedic language has been deepened. As Sri Aurobindo has brought out, the key Vedic words…, even etymologically, carry inner, deeply psychological meanings. Spanning the divide between the outer and the inner, these “deities” or devas (or “shining ones”) show both
- the inseparability of man from his world
- and the sacredness of both.
February 22, 2006
February 21, 2006
- Recent News: International Symposium on Uncommon Opportunities: Roadmap for Employment, Food and Global Security -- was conducted in New Delhi on November 19-22, 2004. For details, click here.
- The Society has undertaken two specific studies -- applying the theoretical principles of development theory to trace the evolution of two crucial institutions in society—money and the Internet. For essay, click here.
- New -- A new website for ideas on Entrepreneurship Opportunities in India and abroad, has just come up: click here.
- Experimental School In Pondicherry: Inspired by the methods for early childhood education developed by Dr. Glenn Doman at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in the USA, the Society is operating an experimental school in alternative education at Pondicherry These methods have previously been applied successfully in Shikshayatan School in Tamil Nadu. For articles on alternative education by Aruna Raghavan, click here.
- The Society has conducted extensive research on the writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in order to interpret their philosophic and yogic concepts in a language that can be understood by the common man. For essays on spirituality and yoga, click here.
- In this area of our site on Sri Aurobindo and The Mother we offer our readers our best attempt to interpret and explain the key ideas and principles of the sage and seer Sri Aurobindo.
- This is a vast challenge for us because to truly understand the deeper meaning of his ideas requires a great steadiness, focus, and intensity of thought.
- We are not only required to give up our preconceived notions about spirituality, since his ideas are in one sense a radical break with spiritual tradition, but we need to change the very way we understand and comprehend principles of life.
- To truly understand his works, we must give up some of our normal notions of logic, and settle ourselves in an inner silence that can more readily absorb principles that often defy our normal mentality.
- From such a poise we can more readily understand the subtleties, complexities, relations, transcendent ideas, and spiritual planes and levels that he is addressing in his works.
- Ultimately, however, we will need to move further still into the deeper planes of spiritual mind, where we absorb knowledge not through the hard workings of thought, but through descents of light, illumination, and intuition.
- Fortunately, even if we do not rise to such lofty heights as reader, we can still gain a solid understanding of his thought, since so much of what is expressed with such impeccable reason and logic. What is minimally required of us is a certain level of curiosity, focus, and patience.
- Most past interpretations of Sri Aurobindo's work -- and there have been a plethora by many sincere and dedicated individuals - have provided mostly a surface understanding of his meaning; or perhaps we can call them conservative interpretations based on traditional understanding and perceptions of what spirit and evolution are.
- Many others have merely restated his words, with only slight comment; i.e. they have let his original words speak for themselves.
- Though in one sense this is sincere approach, in another we are still left to interpret and explain these not easily understandable, though thoroughly rational cosmic ideas and principles.
- Even those who have keen minds, even a keen spiritual sense, have found it to be a very difficult endeavor to explain his central ideas.
- After all he is writing about a future mode of existence, whose nature transcends our current level of understanding.
- Still we are dedicated to making this effort, for we believe that an understanding of his ideas are key to moving the human race forward to its spiritual purpose and destiny.
- Our goal then is to take his writings, word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, and understand its deeper meaning as he intended.
- We hope you can appreciate the fact that this is an evolving process, continually changing, as we ourselves change and come to understand and appreciate his ideas at hopefully ever-deeper levels.
- Fortunately our work has been made much easier as a result of the pioneering work of The Mother's Service Society, who have systematically studied Sri Aurobindo's and The Mother's work for over thirty years, have interpreted them at the greatest depths and level of understanding we have found anywhere, and have then further extended and applied them to various field of life, including social and business development, economics, education, literature, science, personal growth, psychology, and others.
- We wish to express our deepest gratitude to The Mother's Service Society; for their tireless effort to reveal Sri Aurobindo's deepest and most profound insights into the nature of the cosmos.
- In this site then we will address the key ideas and principles of Sri Aurobindo's thought. Among the areas to be covered are --
1. His overall vision of creation, existence, and a divine life on earth.We thank you for your patience as we develop this area on the ideas of Sri Aurobindo, and we hope you can use them in your own life, so that you may find the keys to your own growth, development, evolution, and transformation. INTERPRETATION OF KEY IDEAS OF SRI AUROBINDO Roy Posner Growth Online.
2. The path he has laid out to achieve individual spiritual progress and transformation.
3. How the universe emerged from a Divine source (i.e. the involution), and how the universe, the individual, and humanity are evolving upward from matter to spirit (i.e. the evolution), fulfilling the purpose of creation.
4. The nature of his great discovery, the supramental consciousness and force, which was the key to the emergence of the universe in creation, and the vital link to our own future evolution.
5. An overview of how life on earth fundamentally operates, changes, and evolves.
6. An analysis of what a person is fundamentally made up of; i.e. what are the planes that make up our being; what are their limitations and potentials, the keys to their development, etc.
7. The nature of the integral yoga that can take an individual to our ultimate evolutionary status.
8. His views on the nature of religion, science, literature, history, social development, human unity, including the unity of nations and societies, and other topics.
- Sri Aurobindo and the Mother anticipate many of the findings of contemporary Western dream science, on the basis of their subjective but rigorous and penetrating explorations of the inner world.
- They are unique among Indian thinkers in their conception of the nature and the use of dreams, in that they have sought to ground the same at the philosophical level: There are extensive discussions on dreams in ancient Indian philosophical, popular and medical (Ayurveda) literature (Layek, 1990).
- The context in the first one is discussions on mayavada, an argument about the illusory nature of ultimate reality, with dreams providing analogy for the same. The popular literature deals with dreams as omens.
- The Ayurvedic literature indicates diagnostic uses of dreams, but not therapeutic.
None of them suggest normative processing of individual dreams towards cultivating a particular form consciousness. The role of dreams in Integral Yoga, gleaned in the relevant observations of Sri Aurobindo and "the Mother", is articulated in terms of:
- the Ontological Status of Dreams;
- the Dream State;
- Nature and Features of Dreams;
- Classification of Dreams;
- Psychodynamics of Dreams – Genesis, Manifestation, Consequences; and,
- Significance and Utilization of Dreams.
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have encompassing views about the status of dreams and states of mind: They deem most dreams are mere epiphenomena of the mechanical functioning of the brain during the sleep state without any psychological significance, some dreams have significance for waking life, and some signify deeper realities. In the last one they are closer to Carlos Castaneda (1994). Dreaming, non-REM sleep mentation and dreamless sleep are the stages they have identified within the sleep cycle. Indian thought does not refer to non-REM sleep mentation and western dream science denies the possibility of a state of complete rest.
"An illness of the body is always the outer expression and translation of a disorder, a disharmony in the inner being."The nature and severity of the illness corresponds to the nature of the disharmony and is expressed by symptoms. Symptoms through their symbolism reveal the patient's current problems. Therefore symptoms are not enemies to be fought, resented and destroyed by any means, fair or foul. Instead the symptoms are a partner, capable of helping one to discover what is lacking in our consciousness, in our inner being. Therefore illness gives us a chance to progress. Cure Just as the concept of health is changing so also the concept of disease, its cause, cure, role of medicines and role of physicians is changing based on a new thought.To become healthy once again one has to move from the plane of chaos and disharmony to a higher plane of harmony. And this necessitates a growth in consciousness. This movement might meet with resistance resulting in the chronicity of illness and frequent relapses or exacerbations. Therefore it is left to the individual whether he wants to grow in his consciousness and bring back the harmony or prefer to suffer and ultimately succumb to illness by disability and death. The physician can 'use' the hour of crisis as a means and spring board for the patient to launch higher and deeper within himself. The purpose of healing is not just to return a body or mind back to what society considers normal. Rather, the goal is to become better, more enlightened, or stronger than before in some way. The ideal condition would be a remarkable union of body, mind and spirit. As The Mother exactly puts it,
An integral approach assumes great importance as it focuses on the very aim and goal of life itself. It is neither a mere mixing of various approaches, nor is it a new system or a special technique. It is called 'integral' because here the human being is considered in totality along with the universe of which he is a subunit. It is a multidimensional approach encompassing all levels of consciousness i.e. physical, vital, mental and spiritual including all types of forces acting upon the various levels, dealing with both the internal self and external self. Healing means to rediscover and restore communication with our inner self. Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Integral Health and Research (SAIIIHR)
"An illness of the body is always the outer expression and translation of a disorder, a disharmony in the inner being; unless this inner disorder is healed, the outer cure cannot be total and permanent."
San Francisco April 6, 2002 INDIAN PSYCHOLOGY INSTITUTE home
- how can consciousness arise out of an inanimate chemical process? There is a kind of unbridgeable gap. In the Indian tradition there is a similar problem.
- If you start with an absolute consciousness as the source of everything – the kind of absolute perfection the word purna addresses – how do you get to the nitty-gritty of ordinary life?
- When you start with the Divine consciousness, how do you get to our level of stupidity?
- From where can it have come?
- This has been the central question of Indian philosophy. How did we become so ignorant?
It is similar to the Christian question where evil and the ego come from when God is good. Sri Aurobindo has an extremely neat explanation for it. He calls it a process of involution through exclusive concentration. He compares it to a boy who is reading a book. The boy is fully engrossed in reading and forgets everything else – who he is, his duties, what happens around him, everything. When one is fully engrossed – like we are now engrossed in this question of what is exclusive concentration – one forgets for the moment about Israel, the war, the traffic, one’s family; all that disappears.
Sri Aurobindo takes this exclusive concentration, which is clearly a capacity of consciousness, as the fundamental process responsible for the involution of the original, divine consciousness into its apparent opposite, matter. So what happens when one starts with the ultimate divine consciousness that comprehends everything? At first, there are no limitations – only pure vastness, infinity, light. Then it separates into a multitude of separate centres of consciousness, but each centre is still infinite and containing everything. Then these units start concentrating more. They start excluding other things. And they become more and more focused until in the end they are so focused that they become, for example, electrons which know only one thing, how to turn around a proton. It is an absolute, almost point-like concentration of the formative ability of consciousness. The only thing that still betrays the presence of consciousness at that level is the habit of form – the habit of turning around the nearest proton. Consciousness is here completely limited to one single, fully fixed expression, obeying the most basic laws of physics.
In between the top layer of free, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent consciousness, and the fully determined, purely physical level, all the other, typal planes of consciousness are formed. The mental consciousness is still somewhat free; it can float, it can see things from above. The vital consciousness is further involved. It cannot see things any more from above; it is bound to one point from where it interacts with others. On the lowest level there is the physical consciousness. Here consciousness is completely contained inside itself. There are physical interactions, of course, but only when different entities bump into each other. The consciousness cannot move out of its groove, cannot vary, cannot "play". So here is the end of the process of involution, here consciousness has hidden itself completely and has turned into its apparent opposite, matter. [Cf. Aletheia - TNM]
That is infinite. This is infinite. Infinite comes from infinite.
Take infinite from infinite, still infinite remains.
Aum. Peace! Peace! Peace!
February 19, 2006
- Who is the guru, anyway?
- Are gurus only projections of our own powerful and godlike Selves, or are gurus truly those who have fulfilled the highest potential of which human beings are capable, and who out of compassion teach others?
- Let’s turn to Sri Aurobindo for some answers: - The Synthesis of Yoga
“The spiritual progress of most human beings demands an extraneous support. It needs an external image of God; or it needs a human representative, - Incarnation, Prophet or Guru; or it demands both and receives them.”