Letters of Sri Aurobindo
2. Integral Yoga and Other Paths
Fragment ID: 91
See largest or earliest found fragment here
Sri Aurobindo — Unknown addressee
The phrase “to pass on”1 shows that what is meant by them is an evolution not on earth but somewhere beyond, God knows where. In that case Nirvana would be a place or world on the way to other worlds and the soul evolves from one world to another – e.g. from earth to Nirvana and from Nirvana to some Beyond-Nirvana. This is an entirely European idea and it is most unlikely that it was held by the Buddhists. The Indian idea was that the evolution is here and even the Gods if they want to go beyond their godhead and get liberation have to come down on earth for the purpose. It is the Western spiritualists and others who think that the birth on earth is a stage of progress from some place inferior to earth and after once being born on earth one does not return but goes to some other world and remains there till one can progress to some other better world and so on and on.... Again, this “perfected social order on earth” is certainly not a Buddhist idea, the Buddhas never dreamed of it – their preoccupation was with helping men towards Nirvana, not towards a perfected order here. All that is a sheer contradiction of Buddhism.
1 “The Great Ones... renounce their right to pass on to a still Higher Evolution and remain within the Cosmos for the good of all sentient beings.... It is these Bodhic Forces... which lead mankind... towards a perfected social order on Earth.” Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines by Dr. W. Y. Evans-Wentz.
Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga // SABCL.- Volume 22. (≈ 28 vol. of CWSA).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971.- 502 p.
[Largest or earliest found passage: ] Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Himself and the Ashram // CWSA.- Volume 35. (≈ 26 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2011.- 658 p.