It is an irony that most of the people engaged in writing and discussing on spiritual matters do not have any spiritual seeking personally in their life. They only love intellectual exercises in such matters. They never think –what for such discussions are necessary to them and others. There have been people in all ages who love metaphysical exercises and many of them had important contributions to the subject itself. Metaphysics –in its own way helped mankind a lot. The very stuff of mind in man gets organized through systematic culture and disciplined methods in metaphysical matters. Idea and Reasoning –the two most important elements of human mind –can get sustenance from each other in serious metaphysical approaches and it is an essential evidence of the progression of the development of human mind. Man is after all the mental animal.
But the innate urge for spiritual truth has nothing to do with metaphysics. Spiritual knowledge comes from the direct touch of a living truth-whereas through metaphysics we may only conclude mentally the existence of a truth with the support of our reasoning faculty.
We have seen that some realized spiritual persons explained –what they had realized through their spiritual sadhana-in terms of metaphysics or philosophies. This –they did for two purposes. Firstly, in order to explain the process and background of their realizations to the people (especially the disciples) in respect of the truth. Secondly they felt that study of philosophy and shastra –helped sadhakas acquiring keen discerning ability to differentiate between false appearance of something by mixture or by manipulation through subtle sense faculties and what is real.
The Gurus in ancient India trained and initiated their disciples by infusing the truth of time-tested shastras with their spiritual aspiration. In recent history Anirvan (disciple of Swami Nigamananda Saraswati) grew up as a realized spiritual person –siddha yogi, through this traditional way of spiritual sadhana.
However –for a true and sincere spiritual seeker –it is not indispensible. Great yogis and saints appeared in India and elsewhere –from time immemorial –some of whom were even illiterate. Sri Chaitanya was brilliantly accomplished in his knowledge of shastras and metaphysics –whereas Sri Ramakrishna could barely read and write. But both were equally great spiritual personalities and possessed immense spiritual power to give spiritual shelters to thousands of people. I have written so much only to say that without the inner fire mere discussions of spiritual matters are useless exercises. It’s no way superior to the discussions that people love to enjoy discussing on various matters in Coffee-houses (like Calcutta Coffee House-the most renowned in India in this matter). Even the coffee-house type discussions may prove to be helpful to some philosophers, litterateurs (like Jean Paul Sartre etc in Paris) and students. This is because the subjects discussed in such places fall in the region of mind. But for a devotee, a seeker for spiritual truth –it may prove to be disastrous let alone not being helpful.
To ordinary persons-such discussions (or ‘adda’ in Bengali) are harmless. It is a sign of our shining minds. But when the same persons who feign as devotees and seekers in the path as shown by Sri Aurobindo –and engage themselves in mud-slinging whenever there arise acute differences in expounding Sri Aurobindo and matters associated with his name-we are faced with serious doubt about the chastity of their devotion. They feel themselves as intellectuals. But the most pitiful matter is that they are pseudo-intellectuals who do not have that mental ability or quality to grasp intellectually –how Sri Aurobindo- precisely, meticulously and with extraordinary disciplinary way using his reasoning strides for intuitive gallops (almost turning reason as idea)-established the Truth in his two books Life Divine and Synthesis of Yoga. There is an allurement in Sri Aurobindo-his intellectual appearance. So Tom, Dick and Harry of the West and Ram, Shyam and Jadu in India rush towards him and get engaged in intellectual exercises. They think that they understand Sri Aurobindo in this way. They are mistaken. Sri Aurobindo was never an intellectual. But –in spite of that he is regarded as intellectual. Sri Aurobindo was not a saint-not a philosopher and not even was a yogi. It was he who uttered this about himself. He loved to be seen himself as a poet. Was his uttering about his true identity mere romantic? It is more than half a century now since he left his mortal body. But still –in spite of all his subtle hints we –the ordinary people still in ignorance about the nature of his work and its fall-out and even if he was an Avatar –in what crucial way he was different than the Avatar-Vasudeva! He was a poet –kavi . A kavi is he who is a seer and he was a creator (kavi kratu). He and his manifesting shakti-The Mother brought down newness. A new world –they created. But it’s free from all old impurities. So to us who refuse to accept this newness altogether will see it –face it –experience it as disaster. The world is no more what we conceive of it now and continue to judge it with the now-defunct yardstick of old moral and ethical standards. Why so much stress was given by total surrender? It’s only because –we must erase everything of us –whatever there are we are constituted of-must not exist. We must create a pure blank of ourselves so that they can have that easier for them to create with us new beings. If for at any moment we think or feel that we are as ordinary beings carrying our individual habitual power, notion and ideas-we are not ready.
Unfortunately-after their having said, done and sacrificing everything of their lives for us the ignorant human beings-we sit comfortably in a coffee-house like adda-to judge whether the lives in Sri Aurobindo and Auroville are going according to our own conception of right or wrong. Sri Aurobindo once said that we should never criticize our motherland-unless we can improve it. Sri Aurobindo engaged himself in World War by sitting alone in his room in Pondicherry and guided the situations as he liked. I’ll request those who criticize Ashramites and Aurovillians –to change their way –if it is not right by applying inner spiritual power and not by conniving with corrupted politicians. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother always insisted on changing through change of consciousness.
Finally, the people –the self-appointed judges must think with their old moral norms that many of the Ashramites left their cozy affluent life behind in order to do sadhana. I’m telling of those young boys and girls who are Ashramite now. Many of their pocket-money was more than 50 thousand per month. They left their loving parents, brothers and sisters etc only to lead life as Ashramites. These arm-chair intellectuals must not have any right to speak foul about their abode-given to them –by their Mother. So let the matter be looked over by The Mother and her children of the Ashram.
I will ask these self-appointed critics to help us getting rid of the twenty-first century’s most dreaded enemies-THE POLITICIANS. They steal your money. At least Sri Aurobindo Ashram does not interfere in your personal matters and never has stolen your money.