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Letters of Sri Aurobindo


Fragment ID: 8658

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Sri Aurobindo — Doshi, Nagin

April 13, 1936

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Vedanta and Other Paths of Self-Realisation [2]

I was reading in Paul Brunton’s A Search in Secret India about certain yogis that he met. I don’t find anything new in them. They just repeat the old yogas, and the old yogas stopped short at self-realisation, which is not a very difficult stage.

Wonderful! The realisation of the Self which includes the liberation from ego, the consciousness of the One in all, the established and consummated transcendence out of the universal Ignorance, the fixity of the consciousness in the union with the Highest, the Infinite and Eternal is not anything worth doing or recommending to anybody – is “not a very difficult stage”!

Nothing new? Why should there be anything new? The object of spiritual seeking is to find out what is eternally true, not what is new in Time.

From where did you get this singular attitude towards the old Yogas and Yogis? Is the wisdom of the Vedanta and Tantra a small and trifling thing? Have then the sadhaks of this Asram attained to self-realisation and are they liberated Jivan-muktas free from ego and ignorance? If not, why then do you say “it is not a very difficult stage” “their goal is not high” “Is it such a long process?”

I have said that this Yoga was “new” because it aims at a change in this world and not only beyond it and at a supramental realisation. But how does that justify a superior contempt for the spiritual realisation which is as much the aim of this Yoga as of any other?

What I fail to comprehend is how they spend their whole lives in the pursuit of self-realisation. Is it such a long process?

It is not a long process? The whole life and several lives more are often not enough to achieve it. Ramakrishna’s guru took 30 years to arrive and even then he was not satisfied that he had realised it.

I also read that some yogis like “the sage who never speaks” remain in samadhi day and night, coming out of it only occasionally for food. What do they do in such a long samadhi, since their goal is not so high?

Do? why should he want to do anything if he was in the eternal peace or Ananda or union with the Divine? If a man is spiritual and has gone beyond the vital and mind, he does not need to be always “doing” something. The self or spirit has the joy of its own existence. It is free to do nothing and free to do everything – but not because it is bound to action and unable to exist without it.

Still harder is it to understand how a self-realised yogi can help others. For self-realisation does not grant such powers.

Do you think that self-realisation is a tamasic state – a complete incapacity and inertia?

13 April 1936


1 Doshi, Nagin. Guidance...- Vol. 1: from the ego


2 SABCL, volumes 22, 26; `Doshi, Nagin. Guidance... Vol. 1.: the


3 Doshi, Nagin. Guidance...- Vol. 1: not so high


4 Doshi, Nagin. Guidance...- Vol. 1; SABCL, volumes 22, 26; `Doshi, Nagin. Guidance... Vol. 1.: is


5 SABCL, volumes 22, 26; `Doshi, Nagin. Guidance... Vol. 1.; CWSA, volume 29: the


6 SABCL, volumes 22, 26; `Doshi, Nagin. Guidance... Vol. 1.; CWSA, volume 29: integrality of the Divine


Current publication:

[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.

Other publications:

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga // SABCL.- Volume 22. (≈ 28 vol. of CWSA).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971.- 502 p.

Sri Aurobindo. On Himself // SABCL.- Volume 26. (≈ 35 vol. of CWSA)

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga. II // CWSA.- Volume 29. (≈ 22-24 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2013.- 522 p.

Doshi, Nagin. Guidance from Sri Aurobindo: Letters to a Young Disciple.- In 3 volumes.- Volume 1. 1933-34

Sri Aurobindo. Letters of Sri Aurobindo: In 4 Series.- Forth Series [On Yoga].- Bombay: Sri Aurobindo Sircle, 1951.- 652 p.