Niranjan Guha Roy – Sri Aurobindo Ashram- 1977
What is Spiritual Life.
In the ordinary life, in the final analysis, we are an individual, we do not know how we are born nor do we know who we are nor what we have to do in life. We come from somewhere or simply we are born in a family, in a country, in a religion or in a system, we grow up and follow more or less a similar pattern of life like all others – we hope, struggle, we fail, suffer, succeed and enjoy, have friends, families or adventures, dangers, and one day we simply die, get killed or simply fade out from this earthly existence. Our eyes are fixed on this material world, its happenings, circumstances, movements, progress, change and revolution. Our concern at best is with the material well being, our love in its most sublime moments is also a sublimated material fulfillment. Like every other creature on the earth, we are born, enjoy, suffer and grow and then we die. If we at all look forward we imagine a world of utmost comfort where everything is available at an instant wish. Those who have everything on the material plane are not necessarily the happiest nor those who haven’t are the most miserable creature. We do not seem to learn from our million experiences constantly repeated. The mental man is all the time dreaming about the welfare state. As long as the soul is undeveloped, not sufficiently evolved, this will be his lot — an earth bound life of material existence full of incidence, accidents over which he has no control, toiling, suffering and at times enjoying a circumscribed material life, a blind and a meaningless fortuitous game of chance and fate. Even his idea of God does not bring him any true liberation, an abiding peace and freedom from the obscurity, violence and suffering,.
The spiritual life begins with the concrete absolute, undeniable experience and perception of the Supreme Being, the spiritual Reality, the One, who is all and beyond all, with the perception that this creation and the infinite known and unknown worlds are manifestations in various dimensions of time and space of the same Spirit, with the perception that there is a single plan of movement and manifestation, a single will and a delight of existence. This experience may come in glimpses much veiled in the beginning, weak in intensity but always with the most impressive, authentic, undeniable accent on the Reality. Gradually, with the repetition of the experience there is a progressive transformation of the consciousness. The entire outlook undergoes a radical incredible change. This state of consciousness cannot be imagined by any effort of the mind and even if we erect some image of it in our mind, it has no validity or transforming effect on our life, mind and existence. This experience even if it is felt once in its true light will have a shattering effect on the consciousness of the individual, his whole life would change for better or worse. In case he is weak in character and will or his physical being is poor, his brain undeveloped, this experience might prove destructive and disastrous, he may lose his balance in any part of his being. That is why the yoga is often called extremely dangerous, but if one is sincere then nothing of this sort can ever happen. The experience will repeat itself becoming more and more intense, wider, deeper and more and more durable. And there is an extraordinary sign to see for oneself if this experience is true, one realises more and more on one side that each and every object and being, the smallest manifestations, the greatest incarnations are all equally, in the absolute sense of the word, the same invariable Reality. On the other side the individual realises more and more that he is zero, his capacity is zero, his knowledge is zero, he is non-existent, only That Eternal Infinite is true and apart from That, there is nothing or no one else. The psychological result is a progressive surrender to the Supreme Being and His Will till one lives in Him, by Him, for Him, fully aware that – All this and beyond this is verily He or That alone. There are other extremely important results of this revolutionary change in the consciousness. There are no longer any conflicts, confusions, divisions, battles and wars in oneself or with the world. In the centre of our consciousness there is total harmony, peace and concord. There is the vision of the supreme Being manifesting Himself in a myriad bodies and forms and enjoying His self-existence. Nothing or no one ever dies. Waves change their forms, rise and fall on the ocean surface, but the eternal remains unchanged, unfathomable, mysterious, inexhaustible. The mysterious play has no beginning and no end. When we shall live in that consciousness, we shall rise out of this life of strife and struggle, darkness, hatred, despair and battle. This life which is the perpetual nightmare and which seems to be an eternal curse on our souls, shall be transformed with God’s magic wand into a life immortal, infinite, a symphonic unending melody and dance of endless divine manifestation.
This fundamental change in our consciousness can only come by the full opening of the heart centre or the centre between the eyebrows and most radically by the opening of the centre at the crown of the head. The whole consciousness rises or dives or widens into the infinity of God and as a result the super-consciousness begins to descend in the physical being as lightnings, streams of light and force and felicity or as powerful currents of peace and consciousness flooding the whole being, every cell of the body. These descents become more and more frequent and later on it is a continuous process though varying in intensity. The Divine Mother pours herself more and more into the instrument and undertakes the transformation of the vessel to make it a perfect instrument for Her manifestation and work in the world. All we do before we arrive at this stage is a call and a preparation for Her direct action. The yoga of Sri Aurobindo begins when the Divine Shakti openly flows down from above from the Mystery of the superconscient into the dedicated, consecrated, pure surrendered instrument long prepared by Her secret pressure. Aspiration for the Divine is the veridic sign of the active presence of the Mother Divine.