Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Bhagavad Gita and Aurobindo

...continued...This imbuing of spirit into the physical is rooted, for Aurobindo, in the Bhagavad Gita, while his adherence to evolution still distinguishes him from the Gita. Upon analyzing the Gita Aurobindo finds that it recognizes the significance of physical life but dissuades from its exclusive pursuit at the expense of moral, intellectual, aesthetic values. Aurobindo find that the Gita acknowledges the significance of established moral and aesthetic principles as significant in the growth of spiritual understanding but that ultimate truth is beyond such rigid standards. Organized religion and spiritual traditions, for Aurobindo, hold rays of light, glimpses of beauty and perfection, but, ultimately, one must find these truths in a personal manifest reality. Sri Aurobindo also saw in the Gita a respect for the path of the ascetic, the one compelled away from social life to live in sole union with the Divine. However, this also falls short of the steepest pinnacles of spiritual perfection in which the divine enters into all the realms of humanity including social and political. The life of the ascetic, in the Gita, fails the ultimate task of embedding all human action in the will of Divinity. The Gita, like Aurobindo , elucidates the divine human who has the ability to perform the work of God, like the soldier Arjuna, firm in transcendent worldly action. From here Aurobindo extends the Gita into evolutionary possibilities for the liberation of all humanity, for as the Gita brings hope to the individual for liberation why not also the collective?

Here again we see a slight expansion from Hindu tradition. Aurobindo is inspiring in his ability to take the tradition into modernity adapting for the purpose. Aurobindo remains true to the heart of the tradition and it seems that he succeeds in carrying out the spirit of Hinduism to its simple, logical, spiritual heights. If, according to the Gita, there is hope for every human no matter how wretched in their transgressions against the will of Spirit, why not also provide hope for humanity as a whole. Just as Aurobindo succeeded in offering the spirit of acceptance, inclusion and adaptation from the tradition to modernity, he succeeds in transmitting the message of the Gita and further the spirit of its cause by adapting it to the global community and the modern subject. Aurobindo seems to have the vast tradition, the yogis, the gurus of the past cheering him on into modernity. Aurobindo, at the same time, exemplifies the spirit of the Western exploration by pioneering new territory for the Indian tradition...(to be continued)...

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