Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Integral Yoga without the historical baggage
Sri Aurobindo has written outstanding commentaries on various religious texts but the spiritual path he recommends is never wholly dependent on them. He draws most of the principles of Integral Yoga from the tradition without relying exclusively upon any particular book. This in the backdrop of his warnings against past religions is a crucial distinction. Further, the way he disengages spirituality from the grooves of ritualistic rigor is in line with the demands of modernity that valorizes individual freedom.
The genesis of Integral Yoga from within the tumultuous Indian freedom struggle, however, is an intriguing aspect. Whether that was required as a preparation for the needed austerity and intensity in Yoga is hard to surmise, but is a historical fact. The present generation, understandably, has forgotten those circumstances, but the relevance of Integral Yoga in the modern life has rather heightened. Dissemination of Integral Yoga without the historical baggage, therefore, looks like a good strategy.
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo were pioneers of the next evolutionary step for the earth. What they ask from us is simply receptivity and collaboration but remembering them in this context becomes religion. History comes into play here as also hagiography which ultimately blend into mythology. Shifting facts from fiction will be a concurrent vocation but that will never deter some from turning a Sudarshan. [TNM]