Monday, December 17, 2007

Savitri Era Religion is of great potential value for humanity

An outstanding study titled "The Religious Philosophy of Consciousness of Sri Aurobindo" by Andries Gustav Barnard (November 2005), is available here [4:25 PM]. In the concluding two paragraphs cited below, the author raises important questions and makes interesting observations as regards religion, amply instructive to the Savitri Erans: [TNM]

[Here we are not looking at a new religion. But there are still perplexing questions about Sri Aurobindo in this regard. As already mentioned, he stated that he did not wish to establish a new religion.
  • How do his students or followers respond to this wish?
  • What have they made to his philosophy?
  • Has it been changed into a cult and should his every dictate be followed slavishly?
  • Is he viewed as an avatar, not necessarily in name but in fact?
  • Or is he considered a great thinker or perhaps a combination of all three these possibilities?
  • If his disciples follow his philosophy to the letter, either at present or in the future, would that be wrong?

The reason for this question is, if they do not operate in this way, can the positive results envisaged by Sri Aurobindo be guaranteed because now it is not a Sri Aurobindo philosophy but the disciple philosophy that is relevant and determinative.

  • Further, if he is to be followed slavishly, can original and thinking minds tolerate such a restrictive environment?

As in all religions and philosophical groupings, there are certain latitudes that are operative. The teacher did not cover everything and what he did cover was set out in words which immediately brings into question exactly what his teachings were. Always the teacher speaks from his level and always the student hear from his.

  • Certainly we can see his words but we only see the surface: to what degree can disciples see the depth?

Given all these imponderables the road ahead is not necessarily very clear. The effect of his philosophies during his life and since his death has been arguably limited. This is evidenced by the fact that he simply is not a well-known philosopher. This could be because of the fact that he is not necessarily a very easy read. Reading him arguably requires a certain intellectual ability and bent. Because of his erudition, comprehensiveness and profundity, the study of his work can be a very satisfying exercise. Even though he to a degree presented what he experienced and though within the framework of the Hindu philosophy, the emphasis of his philosophies is on his basic findings as is applicable to every human being. Different philosophies appeal to different people. This is dependent on their level of evolution.

  • Up till now one can say that the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo has not made a great impact on humanity, but is it not possible that that is because of the fact that his work was too advanced for the present period?

I would argue that his philosophy is comprehensive, profound and of great potential value for humanity. It addresses that part of the human psyche that is beyond the physical with its base needs, beyond the level of the emotions where only feelings pertain, even beyond the level of the intellect with its invaluable logic and reason and it finds itself in the supra-intellectual domains of being. It is also not restricted to any confining or restrictive religious or philosophical dogmas. He does not ignore any of the above aspects of a human being but is not bound to any one of them, it is inclusive and far-reaching. Potentially, it can supply a holistic evolutionary roadmap for humanity to move beyond the problematic physical, spiritual and environmental reality it finds itself in.]

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