Essays on the gita aurobindo
We are concerned only with the figure of the divine Teacher as it is presented to us in the Gita and with the Power for which it there stands in the spiritual illumination of the human being.
But it is a veiled manifestation and there is a gradation between the supreme being3 of the Divine and the consciousness shrouded partly or wholly by ignorance of self in the finite.
Equality Chapter XX.
Kurukshetra Chapter VI. Sri Aurobindo dissects the text with such brilliance that any subsequent comment appears redundant at best.
Savitri a legend and a symbol
The text is a discourse between Krishna and Arjuna, between two friends, between a warrior and his charioteer, between baffled lower self and guiding higher self of man, between human and latent divine in himself. So too the Krishna who matters to us is the eternal incarnation of the Divine and not the historical teacher and leader of men. The people at war were only instruments of divine-working, serving divine purpose- progression of human life and existence. The test of a philosophical text should not be how neat and clean moral instructions it can provide, but rather how much it can unsettle the set beliefs and stretch them higher and deeper. I stress the open mind because the theological constructs such as the 3 aspects of God incidentally Aurobindo links this to the Biblical construct of Father, Son and Holy Spirit , concept of Avatars, nature and God, three Gunas etc. Nara is the human soul which, eternal companion of the Divine, finds itself only when it awakens to that companionship and begins, as the Gita would say, to live in God. And definitely gives some food for contemplation if read with open mind. This is what the Indian religious consciousness seeks to make near to itself in whatever form, whether in the symbolic human image it enshrines in its temples or in the worship of its Avatars or in the devotion to the human Guru through whom the voice of the one world-Teacher makes itself heard.
The test of a philosophical text should not be how neat and clean moral instructions it can provide, but rather how much it can unsettle the set beliefs and stretch them higher and deeper. This is what the Indian religious consciousness seeks to make near to itself in whatever form, whether in the symbolic human image it enshrines in its temples or in the worship of its Avatars or in the devotion to the human Guru through whom the voice of the one world-Teacher makes itself heard.
The Gita accepts the human Avatarhood; for the Lord speaks of the repeated, the constant7 manifestation of the Divine in humanity, when He the eternal Unborn assumes by his Maya, by the power of the infinite Consciousness to clothe itself apparently in finite forms, the conditions of becoming which we call birth. Sankhya, Yoga and Vedanta Chapter X. The Divine Teacher The peculiarity of the Gita among the great religious books of the world is that it does not stand apart as a work by itself, the fruit of the spiritual life of a creative personality like Christ, Mahomed or Buddha or of an epoch of pure spiritual searching like the Veda and Upanishads, but is given as an episode in an epic history of nations and their wars and men and their deeds and arises out of a critical moment in the soul of one of its leading personages face to face with the crowning action of his life, a work terrible, violent and sanguinary, at the point when he must either recoil from it altogether or carry it through to its inexorable completion. We have also in the Harivansha an account of the life of Krishna, very evidently full of legends, which perhaps formed the basis of the Puranic accounts. Above the Gunas Chapter XV. But yes. When this eternal divine Consciousness always present in every human being, this God in man, takes possession partly6 or wholly of the human consciousness and becomes in visible human shape the guide, teacher, leader of the world, not as those who living in their humanity yet feel something of the power or light or love of the divine Gnosis informing and conducting them, but out of that divine Gnosis itself, direct from its central force and plenitude, then we have the manifest Avatar.
He takes Arjuna into the deepest recesses of human existence and lays out a doctrine which is immense in its scope, eternal in its nature and exacting in its demands.
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