Selections from the Upanishads

He knew that Brahman is bliss. For truly, beings here are born from bliss. When born, they live by bliss. And into bliss when departing, they enter.

-- Taittiriya Upanishad 3.6.1

The face of truth is covered with a golden disc. Unveil it, O Pushan, so that I, who love the truth, may see it.
O Pushan, the sole seer, O Controller, O Sun, off-spring of Prajapati, spread forth your rays & gather up your radiant light that I may behold you of loveliest form. Whosoever is that person (yonder) that also am I.

-- Isha Upanishad 15-16

I have overcome the whole world. I am brilliant like the Sun.
He who knows this, knows the secret wisdom.

-- Taittiriya Upanishad 3.10.5

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A few verses from Sri Aurobindo

Mysticism, or Spirituality, is about transformation of consciousness.
About re-defining one's relationship with reality.
With a radical & fundamental re-definition of self & reality itself.
THIS has to be understood. Then one can easily percieve that there is no fundamental conflict between mysticism & rationality: there cannot be.
The conflict is only between a Jesus who HAS grasped this new truth, this new view - and the rest of humanity, which hasn't.
Man enlarges the very context of his being & existence, in mysticism; rather, he adds to the context: he discovers new contexts to his own being & existence: he sees himself from new perspectives.
He discovers unsuspected truths about himself, his very identity, his powers of apprehending truth.
It's not (primarily) about HOW to deal with reality - which is of crucial importance nevertheless - but WHAT is reality itself.
It's the discovery of a totally different face or aspect of reality.
And that's why, Sri Aurobindo wrote (I'm quoting out of Fritjof Capra's "The Tao of Physics"): "All things in fact begin to change their nature & appearance; one's whole experience of the world is radically different ... There is a new vast & deep way of experiencing, seeing, knowing, contacting things."
The whole objective is to EXPERIENCE REALITY IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WAY: & the importance of the objective lies in that in mysticism man seeks to experience ULTIMATE REALITY: it is his direct, total EXPERIENCE of reality in its very essence, its very root.
It is not UNDERSTANDING reality in the sense of being able to formulate, mathematize, & explain the processes of its working, to explicate its laws & so on: but KNOWING REALITY - TO EXPERIENCE WHAT IT ESSENTIALLY, FUNDAMENTALLY IS, in its TOTALITY, as ONE, COMPLETE WHOLE.
Not description or analysis, but plain & simple experience of the totality of reality by the totality of our being.

Here are a few lines from "Savitri", Aurobindo's magnum opus, which I've been trying to read for a while.
It's very heavy, very difficult to read at one stretch, and my own effort is broken & a little disjointed because I've to pay attention to other theoritical subjects which are of greater immediate, pressing importance.
But these lines are just fabulous:

Our souls can visit in great lonely hours
Still regions of imperishable Light.
All-seeing eagle-peaks of silent Power
And moon-flame oceans of swift fathomless Bliss
And calm immensities of spirit space.
... ... ....
In the unfolding process of the Self
Sometimes the inexpressible Mystery
Elects a human vessel of descent.
... ... ...
A breath comes down from the supernal air,
A Presence is born, a guiding Light awakes,
A stillness falls upon the instruments:
Fixed, motionless like a marble monument,
Stone-calm, the body is a pedestal
Supporting a figure of eternal Peace.
... ... ...
Or a revealing force sweeps blazing in;
Out of some vast superior continent
Knowledge breaks through trailing its radiant seas;
And Nature trembles with the power, the flame.


In moments when the inner lamps are lit
And life's cherished guests are left outside,
Our spirit sits alone & speaks to its gulfs.

Or, these poetic lines of unparalleled beauty glorifying the heroic in man:

His days were a long growth to the Supreme.
A skyward being nourishing its roots
On sustenance from occult spiritual founts
Climbed through white rays to meet an unseen Sun.
His soul lived as eternity's delegate,
His mind was like a fire assailing heaven,
His will a hunter in the trails of light.
An ocean impulse lifted every breath;
Each action left the footprints of a god,
Each moment was a beat of puissant wings.

There are a lot, lot more, but I'll put them up or just express my thoughts on them later.

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