Jnana Yoga ­ One of Ultimate Knowledge

That which appears as finite and phenomenal is actually in reality being of the infinite and the eternal

Published: 25th June 2014 07:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2014 07:24 AM   |  A+A-


CHENNAI: All existence is the existence of the one, the eternal and the infinite, the beginning and the middle and the end, the source,  substance and continent and the support of all things. There isn’t and cannot be any other existence, anything that is other than or outside of or above or below or beyond or in any way separate from the existence of the one eternal and infinite. All that appears as finite, temporal, multiple and phenomenal is actually in reality being of the infinite and the eternal. Ekam evadvitiyam.

This is the first and abiding truth, without which nothing else can be understood in the truth of things or to put it in its proper place in the integrality of the whole. It is therefore the fundamental realisation at which the seeker of yoga must arrive.

God is the first seed of yoga. It is Tat Sat of the vedanta. I am, is the second seed. It is Soham of the Upanishads. God is infinite self-existence, self-conscious force of existence, self-diffused or self-concentrated delight of existence, I too am that infinite self-existence, self-consciousness, self-force, self-delight — this is the double third seed. It is Satchidananda of the worldwide transcendental conclusion of all human thinking.

Self-knowledge is the  foundation of the complete yoga. Affirm in yourselves self-knowledge. Self-knowledge and knowledge of the brahman is one; for I am He. Of this, let there be no doubt in thy mind.

Self is two-fold, essential and phenomenal, being becoming. First be aware of thy inner self and spirit one with thine in others.

All yoga starts from the perception that what we know or rather what we perceive as ourselves is only an ignorant partial and a superficial formulation of our nature. It is not our whole self, it is  not even our real self; it is a little representative personality put forward by the true and persistent being in us for the experience of this brief life; we not only have been in the past and can be in the future but we are much more than that in the present secret totality of our being and nature. Especially, there is a soul in us that is our true person; there is a secret self that is our true impersonal being and spirit. To unveil that soul and that self is one of the most important movements of yoga.

The sense of a greater or even of an ultimate self need not be limited to a negative and empty wideness whose character is to be without limitation or feature. The first extreme push of our recoil from what we now are or think ourselves to be may and does often at first carry us over into this annihilating experience. A negation of our present error, a release from our petty irksome aching bonds may seem to be the only thing worth having, the only true thing.

The rest is infinity, freedom, peace. We feel an infinity that needs nothing but its own infinite to fill it. We rejoice in a freedom of which any form, name or description, any creative activity, any movement, any impulse would be a disturbing denial and the beginning of a relapse into the error of will and desire, the ignorance of the illusory finite. To accept nothing but the bare bliss of infinity is the condition of this peace. The mind, escaping from itself, denies all thoughts, all form-makings, any motion or play; for that would be a grievous return to itself, a miserable imprisonment and renewed hard-labour. The life released from the toil of labouring, striving and living demands only immobility and no more to be, a sleep of force, the surety and rest of an immutable status. The body accepts denial and dissolution for to be dissolved is to cease to breathe and suffer. A bodiless, lifeless, mindless, infinite breadth and supreme silence shows to us that we are in contact with the Absolute.

This method of extinction is imposed on our mind and our mental ego because all that is eternal, infinite, absolute is superconscient to mind; mind and its ego cannot remain awake in that greater consciousness; they must disappear.

But if we can change or evolve from mental into superamental beings, then the superconscient becomes our normal consciousness. We can then hope to wake in it and not fall asleep in it, to grow into it and abolish ourselves in it, to last in identity and not lose ourselves in identity with the supreme existence.

It is possible for the reason, the thinker in us to rest and cease satisfied in this sole spiritual experience and to discard all others on the grounds that they are in the end illusory or of a minor phenomenal significance. The logical mind drives naturally towards a pursuit of the abstract, towards pure essences, an indefinable substratum of all experiences, a nameless X without contents, an ineffable  and featureless absolute.

Itself a creator of definitions without which it cannot think but none of which can give it any abiding sense of an ultimate,  it escapes from itself with a sense of relief into the Indefinable. But if the mind finds its account in cessation and release, the parts of our being have in this solution to be cast away from us or put to silence. The heart remains atrophied and unfulfilled; the will is baulked of its last dynamic significances. These too tend towards an absolute, the heart towards an absolute of ineffable love and bliss, the will towards an absolute of ineffable power. And there is nothing to prove that the knowledge at which the reason arrives  is alone true. There is no reason to suppose that the heart and will and the deeper soul within us have not too their own sufficient doors opening upon the supreme, their key to the mystery of the eternal.

Excerpt from the book Essays Divine and Human by Sri Aurobindo


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