Talk:Sri Aurobindo

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Unsourced[edit]

Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations#General); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote from this list please move it to Sri Aurobindo. --Antiquary 19:38, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

  • He who chooses the infinite has been chosen by the infinite.
  • Let the divine doors swing wide open for him who is not attached, who increases in himself the Truth.
  • Life is life — whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage.
  • The Gita is the greatest gospel of spiritual works ever yet given to the race.
  • The fly that touches honey cannot use it's wings; so too the soul that clings to spiritual sweetness ruins it's freedom and hinders contemplation.
  • The people of India, even the "ignorant masses" are by centuries of training are nearer to the inner realities, than even the cultured elite anywhere else.
  • All problems of existence are essentially a problem of harmony.

Removed quotes[edit]

These quotes I had removed earlier as I thought them as non-notable:

  • Let there be no fainting of heart and no depression, and also let there be no unforeseeing fury, no blindly-striking madness. We are at the beginning of a time of terrible trial. The passage is not to be easy, the crown is not to be cheaply earned. India is going down into the valley of the shadow of death, into a great horror of darkness and suffering. Let us realise that what we are now suffering, is a small part of what we shall have to suffer, and work in that knowledge, with resolution, without hysteria.... The first need at the present moment is courage, a courage which knows not how to flinch or shrink.
    • Bande Mataram, 1907
  • Belief is not a merely intellectual process, belief is not a mere persuasion of the mind, belief is something that is in our heart, and what you believe, you must do, because belief is from God. It is to the heart that God speaks, it is in the heart that God resides.... Here is a work that you have undertaken, a work so gigantic, so stupendous, the means for which are so poor, the resistance to which will be so strong, so organised ... and what means have you with which to carry out this tremendous work of yours? If you look at it intellectually, it is hopeless.... This intellectual process, if it is used honestly, if it is followed to the very end, leads you to despair. It leads you to death.
    • January 19, 1908
  • Do not be afraid of obstacles in your path, it does not matter how great the forces are that stand in your way.... Do not think that anything is impossible when miracles are being worked on every side. If you are true to yourself there is nothing to be afraid of. There is nothing unattainable by truth, love and faith. This is your whole gospel which will work out miracles.
    • April 12, 1908
  • The shifty language of politics,... that strange language full of Maya and falsities of self-illusion and deliberate delusion of others, which almost immediately turns all true and vivid phrases into a jargon, so that men may fight in a cloud of words without any clear sense of the thing they are battling for....
    • September, 1918
  • What the Divine wants is for man to embody Him here, in the individual and in the collectivity... to realise God in life. The old system of yoga could not harmonise or unify Spirit and life; it dismissed the world as Maya or a transient play of God. The result has been a diminution of life-power and the decline of India. The Gita says, utsideyur ime loka na kuryam karma cedaham ["These peoples would crumble to pieces if I did not do actions," 3.24]. Truly 'these peoples' of India have gone to ruin. What kind of spiritual perfection is it if a few Sannyasins, Bairagis and Saddhus attain realisation and liberation, if a few Bhaktas dance in a frenzy of love, god-intoxication and Ananda, and an entire race, devoid of life, devoid of intelligence, sinks to the depths of extreme tamas?... But now the time has come to take hold of the substance instead of extending the shadow. We have to awaken the true soul of India and in its image fashion all works.... I believe that the main cause of India's weakness is not subjection, nor poverty, nor a lack of spirituality or Dharma, but a diminution of thought-power, the spread of ignorance in the motherland of Knowledge. Everywhere I see an inability or unwillingness to think... incapacity of thought or 'thought-phobia'.... The mediaeval period was a night, a time of victory for the man of ignorance; the modern world is a time of victory for the man of knowledge. It is the one who can fathom and learn the truth of the world by thinking more, searching more, labouring more, who will gain more Shakti. Look at Europe, and you will see two things: a wide limitless sea of thought and the play of a huge and rapid, yet disciplined force. The whole Shakti of Europe lies there. It is by virtue of this Shakti that she has been able to swallow the world, like our Tapaswins of old, whose might held even the gods of the universe in awe, suspense and subjection. People say that Europe is rushing into the jaws of destruction. I do not think so. All these revolutions, all these upsettings are the initial stages of a new creation..... We, however, are not worshippers of Shakti; we are worshippers of the easy way.... Our civilisation has become ossified, our Dharma a bigotry of externals, our spirituality a faint glimmer of light or a momentary wave of intoxication. So long as this state of things lasts, any permanent resurgence of India is impossible.... We have abandoned the sadhana of Shakti and so the Shakti has abandoned us.... You say what is needed is emotional excitement, to fill the country with enthusiasm. We did all that in the political field during the Swadeshi period; but all we did now lies in the dust.... Therefore I no longer wish to make emotional excitement, feeling and mental enthusiasm the base. I want to make a vast and heroic equality the foundation of my yoga; in all the activities of the being, of the adhar [vessel] based on that equality, I want a complete, firm and unshakable Shakti; over that ocean of Shakti I want the vast radiation of the sun of Knowledge and in that luminous vastness an established ecstasy of infinite love and bliss and oneness. I do not want tens of thousands of disciples; it will be enough if I can get as instruments of God a hundred complete men free from petty egoism. I have no faith in the customary trade of guru. I do not want to be a guru. What I want is that a few, awakened at my touch or at that of another, will manifest from within their sleeping divinity and realise the divine life. It is such men who will raise this country.
    • April, 1920, Letter to Barin Ghose, Sri Aurobindo's brother, Translated from Bengali
  • The Mahomedan or Islamic culture hardly gave anything to the world which may be said to be of fundamental importance and typically its own; Islamic culture was mainly borrowed from others. Their mathematics and astronomy and other subjects were derived from India and Greece. It is true they gave some of these things a new turn, but they have not created much. Their philosophy and their religion are very simple and what they call Sufism is largely the result of gnostics who lived in Persia and it is the logical outcome of that school of thought largely touched by Vedanta.... I have, however, mentioned [in The Foundations of Indian Culture] that Islamic culture contributed the Indo-Saracenic architecture to Indian culture. I do not think it has done anything more in India of cultural value. It gave some new forms to art and poetry. Its political institutions were always semi-barbaric.
    • September 12, 1923
  • Life has no 'isms' in it, Supermind also has no 'isms'. It is the mind that introduces all 'isms' and creates confusion. That is the difference between a man who lives and a thinker who can't: a leader who thinks too much and is busy with ideas, trying all the time to fit the realities of life to his ideas, hardly succeeds, while the leader who is destined to succeed does not bother his head about ideas. He sees the forces at work and knows by intuition those that make for success. He also knows the right combination of forces and the right moment when he should act.... At one time it was thought that the mind could grasp the whole Truth and solve all the problems that face humanity. The mind had its full play and we find that it is not able to solve the problems. Now, we find that it is possible to go beyond mind and there is the Supermind which is the organization of the Infinite Consciousness. There you find the truth of all that is in mind and life.... For instance, you find that Democracy, Socialism and Communism have each some truth behind it, but it is not the whole Truth. What you have to do is to find out the forces that are at work and understand what it is of which all these mental ideas and 'isms' are a mere indication. You have to know the mistakes which people commit in dealing with the truth of these forces and the truth that is behind the mistakes also. I am, at present, speaking against democracy; that does not mean that there is no truth behind it. I know the truth [behind democracy], but I speak against democracy because that mentality is at present against the Truth that is trying to come down.
    • May 18, 1926
  • It is not by these means [modern humanism and humanitarianism, idealism, etc.] that humanity can get that radical change of its ways of life which is yet becoming imperative, but only by reaching the bed-rock of Reality behind,... not through mere ideas and mental formations, but by a change of the consciousness, an inner and spiritual conversion. But that is a truth for which it would be difficult to get a hearing in the present noise of all kinds of many-voiced clamour and confusion and catastrophe.... Science has missed something essential; it has seen and scrutinised what has happened and in a way how it has happened, but it has shut its eyes to something that made this impossible possible, something it is there to express. There is no fundamental significance in things if you miss the Divine Reality; for you remain embedded in a huge surface crust of manageable and utilisable appearance. It is the magic of the Magician you are trying to analyse, but only when you enter into the consciousness of the Magician himself can you begin to experience the true origination, significance and circles of the Lila.... Another danger may then arise [once materialism begins to give way]... not of a final denial of the Truth, but the repetition in old or new forms of a past mistake, on one side some revival of blind fanatical obscurantist sectarian religionism, on the other a stumbling into the pits and quagmires of the vitalistic occult and the pseudo-spiritual'mistakes that made the whole real strength of the materialistic attack on the past and its credos. But these are phantasms that meet us always on the border line or in the intervening country between the material darkness and the perfect Splendour. In spite of all, the victory of the supreme Light even in the darkened earth-consciousness stands as the one ultimate certitude....
    • Undated
  • No doubt, hatred and cursing are not the proper attitude. It is true also that to look upon all things and all people with a calm and clear vision, to be uninvolved and impartial in one's judgments is a quite proper yogic attitude. A condition of perfect samata [equanimity] can be established in which one sees all as equal, friends and enemies included, and is not disturbed by what men do or by what happens. The question is whether this is all that is demanded from us. If so, then the general attitude will be of a neutral indifference to everything. But the Gita, which strongly insists on a perfect and absolute samata, goes on to say, 'Fight, destroy the adversary, conquer.' If there is no kind of general action wanted, no loyalty to Truth as against Falsehood except for one's personal sadhana, no will for the Truth to conquer, then the samata of indifference will suffice. But here there is a work to be done, a Truth to be established against which immense forces are arrayed, invisible forces which can use visible things and persons and actions for their instruments. If one is among the disciples, the seekers of this Truth, one has to take sides for the Truth, to stand against the forces that attack it and seek to stifle it. Arjuna wanted not to stand for either side, to refuse any action of hostility even against assailants; Sri Krishna, who insisted so much on samata, strongly rebuked his attitude and insisted equally on his fighting the adversary. 'Have samata,' he said, 'and seeing clearly the Truth, fight.' Therefore to take sides with the Truth and to refuse to concede anything to the Falsehood that attacks, to be unflinchingly loyal and against the hostiles and the attackers, is not inconsistent with equality.... It is a spiritual battle inward and outward; by neutrality and compromise or even passivity one may allow the enemy force to pass and crush down the Truth and its children. If you look at it from this point, you will see that if the inner spiritual equality is right, the active loyalty and firm taking of sides is as right, and the two cannot be incompatible.
    • September 13, 1936