Experience Of Enlightenment – Sri Yogananda

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The Experience of Enlightenment excerpted From Autobiography of a Yogi

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 What is this enlightenment? We are told the experience cannot be described in words. It is like trying to describe the color blue or the taste of sweetness. It has been dubbed ineffable bliss, indescribable and beyond words. We know we contain the Atmic spirit within us yet our consciousness is normally centered in the lower realms of mind, emotions, and sensations. In our normal waking state we are aware that our bodies are feeling hungry, tired, hot or cold. Emotionally we may be angry, sad, envious, depressed, or happy.
Mentally we are thinking, analyzing, remembering, comparing. Even if body, mind and emotions are relatively quiet, we still have the limiting blinders of the egoic awareness of name and form, “I am so and so, I am X years old, I live in this city, I like these things, I dislike these other things”. The experience of enlightenment occurs when the awareness is raised far above the lower sheaths, beyond the normal self centric awareness into the pure realm of the Atma which has its home in the vast Ocean of Existence, Knowledge, Bliss from which it was projected. The consciousness then shifts from the  individual droplet to the vast oceanic awareness that has no center,  no limits, no boundaries. We can get some idea of Enlightenment from the accounts of the sages who have experienced the Ultimate Reality before us.

Master spoke caressingly, comfortingly. His calm gaze was  unfathomable. “Your heart’s desire shall be fulfilled”. I was bewildered. He struck gently on my chest above the heart.

My body became immovably rooted. breath was drawn out of my lungs. Soul and mind instantly lost their physical bondage and streamed out like a fluid light from my every pore. The flesh was as though dead; yet in my intense awareness I knew that never before had I been fully alive. My sense of identity was no longer narrowly confined to a body but embraced the circumambient atoms. People on distant streets seemed to be moving gently over my own remote periphery. The roots of plants and trees appeared through a dim transparency of the soil; I discerned the inward flow of their sap.

The whole vicinity lay bare before me. My ordinary frontal vision was now changed to a vast spherical sight, simultaneously all-perceptive. Through the back of my head I saw men strolling far down Rai Ghat Lane, and noticed also a white cow that was leisurely approaching. When she reached the open ashram gate, I observed her as though with my two physical eyes. After she had passed through the brick wall of the courtyard, I saw her clearly still.

All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures. My body, Master’s, the pillared courtyard, the furniture and floor, the trees and sunshine, occasionally became violently agitated, until all melted into a luminescent sea; even as sugar crystals, thrown into a glass of water, dissolve after being shaken. The unifying light alternated with materializations of forms, the metamorphoses revealing the law of cause and effect in creation. An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, I realized is exhaustless bliss; His body is countless tissues of light. A swelling glory within me began to envelop towns, continents, the earth, solar and stellar systems, tenuous nebulae, and the floating universes. The entire cosmos, gently luminous, like a city seen afar at night, glimmered within the infinitude of my being.

The divine dispersion of rays poured from an Eternal Source, blazing into galaxies, transfigured with ineffable auras. Again and again I saw the creative beams condense into constellations, then resolve into sheets of transparent flame. By rhythmic reversion, sextillion worlds passed into diaphanous luster, then fire became firmament. Blissful amrita, nectar of immortality, pulsated through me with a quicksilver like fluidity. The creative voice of God I heard resounding as Aum, the vibration of the Cosmic Motor.

Suddenly the breath returned to my lungs. With a disappointment almost unbearable, I realized that my infinite immensity was lost. Once more I was limited to the humiliating cage of a body, not easily accommodative to the Spirit. Like a prodigal child I had run away from my macrocosmic home and had imprisoned myself in a narrow microcosm.

Later master explained “It is the Spirit of God that actively sustains every form and force in the universe; yet He is transcendental and aloof in the blissful uncreated void beyond the world of vibratory phenomena. Those who have attained Self-realization on earth live a similar twofold existence. Conscientiously performing their work in the world, they are yet immersed in an inward beautitude”

Always Do Your Duty – Inspirational Quotations

Christmas, 2012

“No matter where you go, always do your duty as you see it and know that I will be there inside you guiding you every step of the way. There is no need to worry about anything.

Whatever is experienced, whatever happens, know that this Avatar willed it so. There is no force on earth which can delay for an instant the mission for which this Avatar has come.

You are all sacred souls and you will have your parts to play in the unfolding drama of the new Golden Age, which is coming.”

Sai Art

Past, Present and Future, Children Of Light

Sri  Ramana always said,  the ultimate Truth is so simple, it is nothing more than being in one’s own natural original state. However, it is a great wonder that to teach such a simple truth a number of religions should be necessary and that so many disputes should arise. Years after the passing of this great sage, his  simple no-nonsense teachings remain as popular as ever. Here is one snippet  from a friend on Face Book: 

Three Anglo-Indian lady-doctors came from Bangalore to visit Sri Ramana. One of them had recently lost her husband in an air crash. She asked Sri Ramana:

Is there rebirth?

Sri Ramana: Do you know what birth is?

She answered: Yes, I know that I exist now but I want to know if I’ll exist in the future.

Sri Ramana, Past! – Present! – Future!

The lady asked: yes today is the result of yesterday, the past, and tomorrow, the future, will be the result of today, the Present. Am I right?

Sri. Ramana, There is neither past nor future. There is only the present. yesterday was the present to you when you experienced it and tomorrow will be also the present when you experience it. Therefore experience takes place only in the present moment. Nothing exists beyond that experience…

She further quizzed Ramana on that point. Are then past and future mere imagination?

Sri Ramana,  Yes, even the present is mere imagination for the sense of time is purely mental. Space is similarly mental, therefore birth and rebirth, which take place in time and space cannot be other than imagination.

Source:  Guru Ramana Memories and Notes by S.S. Cohen.

The Psychic Being – Science and Spirituality

source: Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

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The anguish born out of the psychic touch

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Those who walk on the spiritual path are often beset by a persistent anguish characterized by a feeling of being abandoned in the no-mans land between two verdant pastures.  On one side, the delights of the phenomenal world beckon sporadically but no longer seem attractive, while on the other side, one intermittently feels a psychic happiness but  the link to the Divine Shakti remains insecure.  It requires a durable and persistent faith to stand firm in this transitional period.  In this passage, the Mother astutely identifies the source of this anguish:

Somebody asks what is the true intensity for wanting the Divine, in the will to unite with the Divine. And then this person says that he has found within himself two different modes of aspiration, especially in the intensity of aspiration for the Divine: in one of these movements there is a sort of anguish, like a poignant pain, in the other, there is an anxiety, but at the same time a great joy.

This observation is quite correct.

And the question is this: “When do we feel this intensity mixed with anguish, and when the intensity containing joy?”

I don’t know if several or many of you have a similar experience, but it is very real, this experience, very spontaneous. And the answer is very simple.

As soon as the presence of the psychic consciousness is united with the aspiration, the intensity takes on quite a different character, as if it were filled with the very essence of an inexpressible joy. This joy is something that seems contained in everything else. Whatever may be the outer form of the aspiration, whatever difficulties and obstacles it may meet, this joy is there as though it filled up everything, and it carries you in spite of everything.  That is the sure sign of the psychic presence. That is to say, you have established a contact with your psychic consciousness, a more or less complete, more or less constant contact, but at that moment it is the psychic being, the psychic consciousness which fills your aspiration, gives it its true contents. And that’s what is translated into joy.

When that is not there, the aspiration may come from different parts of the being; it may come mainly from the mind or mainly from the vital or even from the physical, or it may come from all the three together—it may come from all kinds of combinations. But in general, for the intensity to be there, the vital must be present. It is the vital which gives the intensity; and as the vital is at the same time the seat of most of the difficulties, obstacles, contradictions, it is the friction between the intensity of the aspiration and the intensity of the difficulty which creates this anguish.

This is no reason to stop one’s aspiration.

You must know, you must understand the reason for this anguish. And then, if you can introduce just one more element in your aspiration, that is, your trust in the divine Grace, trust in the divine Response, it counterbalances all possible anguish and you can aspire without any disturbance or fear [6].

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As a star, uncompanioned, moves in heaven
Unastonished by the immensities of Space,
Travelling infinity by its own light,
The great are strongest when they stand alone.
A God-given might of being is their force,
A ray from self’s solitude of light the guide;
The soul that can live alone with itself meets God;
Its lonely universe is their rendezvous.

(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book VI, Canto II)

http://auromere.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/the-elusive-touch-of-the-psychic-being/


The Divine Play – Sri Yogananda

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“The entire universe is God’s cosmic motion picture, and individuals are merely actors in the divine play who change roles through reincarnation; mankind’s deep suffering is rooted in identifying too closely with one’s current role, rather than with the movie’s director, or God.” – Sri Yogananda

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ beautiful reflections ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Photograph taken this Christmas 2013 – of an old Yew Tree growing in the churchyard of Ulcombe Village, Kent, UK. The tree is to be over 2,000 years old…

A Story From Sri Yogananda – Yogananda

When we don’t believe the Guru’s prompts, we deceive ourselves. Sai Baba often gave personal interviews to people, where he gave advice or guidance on whatever concerned that person. Oftentimes, Swami’s advice was taken “selectively” because, of course, Swami’s advice is not always music to our ears. Sometimes, he could shock us with truths we did not want to know. I have heard many a person come out from the interview room, telling of how Swami had told them this or that but then he had told them something, they simply did not grasp, consequently that part of the interview  guidance was  often discarded. However, like the story here, the Guru never speaks vainly and never speaks twice.  

When it comes to Swami’s will, each person’s intrepretation is according to their own personal preferences. 

Here is a story from Sri Yogananda that points out why it is important to listen carefully to the Guru. The story is from Autobiography of a Yogi.

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In Serampore

“I am often beset by atheistic doubts. Yet a torturing surmise sometimes haunts me: may not untapped soul possibilities exist? Is man not missing his real destiny if he fails to explore them?”

These remarks of Dijen Babu, my roommate at the Panthi boardinghouse, were called forth by my invitation that he meet my guru.

“Sri Yukteswarji will initiate you into Kriya Yoga,” I replied. “It calms the dualistic turmoil by a divine inner certainty.”

That evening Dijen accompanied me to the hermitage. In Master’s presence my friend received such spiritual peace that he was soon a constant visitor. The trivial preoccupations of daily life are not enough for man; wisdom too is a native hunger. In Sri Yukteswar’s words Dijen found an incentive to those attempts—first painful, then effortlessly liberating—to locate a realer self within his bosom than the humiliating ego of a temporary birth, seldom ample enough for the Spirit.

As Dijen and I were both pursuing the A.B. course at Serampore College, we got into the habit of walking together to the ashram as soon as classes were over. We would often see Sri Yukteswar standing on his second-floor balcony, welcoming our approach with a smile.

One afternoon Kanai, a young hermitage resident, met Dijen and me at the door with disappointing news.

“Master is not here; he was summoned to Calcutta by an urgent note.”

The following day I received a post card from my guru. “I shall leave Calcutta Wednesday morning,” he had written. “You and Dijen meet the nine o’clock train at Serampore station.”

About eight-thirty on Wednesday morning, a telepathic message from Sri Yukteswar flashed insistently to my mind: “I am delayed; don’t meet the nine o’clock train.”

I conveyed the latest instructions to Dijen, who was already dressed for departure.

“You and your intuition!” My friend’s voice was edged in scorn. “I prefer to trust Master’s written word.”

I shrugged my shoulders and seated myself with quiet finality. Muttering angrily, Dijen made for the door and closed it noisily behind him.

As the room was rather dark, I moved nearer to the window overlooking the street. The scant sunlight suddenly increased to an intense brilliancy in which the iron-barred window completely vanished. Against this dazzling background appeared the clearly materialized figure of Sri Yukteswar!

Bewildered to the point of shock, I rose from my chair and knelt before him. With my customary gesture of respectful greeting at my guru’s feet, I touched his shoes. These were a pair familiar to me, of orange-dyed canvas, soled with rope. His ocher swami cloth brushed against me; I distinctly felt not only the texture of his robe, but also the gritty surface of the shoes, and the pressure of his toes within them. Too much astounded to utter a word, I stood up and gazed at him questioningly.

“I was pleased that you got my telepathic message.” Master’s voice was calm, entirely normal. “I have now finished my business in Calcutta, and shall arrive in Serampore by the ten o’clock train.”

As I still stared mutely, Sri Yukteswar went on, “This is not an apparition, but my flesh and blood form. I have been divinely commanded to give you this experience, rare to achieve on earth. Meet me at the station; you and Dijen will see me coming toward you, dressed as I am now. I shall be preceded by a fellow passenger—a little boy carrying a silver jug.”

My guru placed both hands on my head, with a murmured blessing. As he concluded with the words, “Taba asi,” 1 I heard a peculiar rumbling sound. 2 His body began to melt gradually within the piercing light. First his feet and legs vanished, then his torso and head, like a scroll being rolled up. To the very last, I could feel his fingers resting lightly on my hair. The effulgence faded; nothing remained before me but the barred window and a pale stream of sunlight.

I remained in a half-stupor of confusion, questioning whether I had not been the victim of a hallucination. A crestfallen Dijen soon entered the room.

“Master was not on the nine o’clock train, nor even the nine-thirty.” My friend made his announcement with a slightly apologetic air.

“Come then; I know he will arrive at ten o’clock.” I took Dijen’s hand and rushed him forcibly along with me, heedless of his protests. In about ten minutes we entered the station, where the train was already puffing to a halt.

“The whole train is filled with the light of Master’s aura! He is there!” I exclaimed joyfully.

“You dream so?” Dijen laughed mockingly.

“Let us wait here.” I told my friend details of the way in which our guru would approach us. As I finished my description, Sri Yukteswar came into view, wearing the same clothes I had seen a short time earlier. He walked slowly in the wake of a small lad bearing a silver jug.

For a moment a wave of cold fear passed through me, at the unprecedented strangeness of my experience. I felt the materialistic, twentieth-century world slipping from me; was I back in the ancient days when Jesus appeared before Peter on the sea?

As Sri Yukteswar, a modern Yogi-Christ, reached the spot where Dijen and I were speechlessly rooted, Master smiled at my friend and remarked:

“I sent you a message too, but you were unable to grasp it.”

Dijen was silent, but glared at me suspiciously. After we had escorted our guru to his hermitage, my friend and I proceeded toward Serampore College. Dijen halted in the street, indignation streaming from his every pore.

“So! Master sent me a message! Yet you concealed it! I demand an explanation!”

“Can I help it if your mental mirror oscillates with such restlessness that you cannot register our guru’s instructions?” I retorted.

The anger vanished from Dijen’s face. “I see what you mean,” he said ruefully. “But please explain how you could know about the child with the jug.”

By the time I had finished the story of Master’s phenomenal appearance at the boardinghouse that morning, my friend and I had reached Serampore College.

“The account I have just heard of our guru’s powers,” Dijen said, “makes me feel that any university in the world is only a kindergarten.”

Light On Arnaud Desjardins – Children Of Light

One day someone asked me, “How can I progress in spite of everyday difficulties?” I gave the somewhat hard answer, “How can you get to the second floor in spite of the stairs?” So the real question on the path is: “How can I progress on the Way thanks to every day difficulties.”

– Arnaud Desjardins

My thanks to  Michel Tardieu for this wonderful website and introducing me to  French Advaita Vedanta Master Arnaud Desjardins. My impression of him is that he was the “real deal” (he passed away just last year) and that one on the advaitan path could learn so much from such a wise and good-hearted teacher.

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http://www.arnauddesjardinsdvds.com/index.php?page=04&lg=e  –  This website contains excerpts from dvd clips of talks given by Arnaud Desjardin. 
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About Arnaud Desjardin’s Guru
Swami Prajnanpad was a traditional Hindu monk who lived on a tiny ashram outside of Calcutta. He was virtually unknown outside of his small circle of students. Prior to this while teaching science at the University level, Swamiji discovered and studied the work of Sigmund Freud. He later incorporated critical elements of early psychoanalysis into the traditional spiritual path of non-dualism that he offered. Arnaud absorbed Swami Prajnanpad’s precise and potent Advaita Vedanta teachings over a period of nine years and was then sent to teach in his own right. For the following thirty years Arnaud guided his body of students, which grew to be about 2000 in number, and inspired other teachers and students from many different paths. Arnaud left his body in August of 2011, though his widespread influence continues to inspire practitioners all over the world. His wisdom and instruction are sought through his French books and films as well as these teachings in English. His senior students sustain his ashrams in France and Canada and continue making Arnaud and Swami Prajnanpad’s teachings available.
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Arnaud Desjardin Speaking to Enlightenment Magazine
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Though Sri Mataji Anandamayi Ma was not, strictly speaking, my guru, she certainly played a major role, to say the least, in my life and my sadhana [spiritual practice]. In fact, she still does today. Her memory is alive deep within my heart and there are several pictures of her on the walls of the ashram where I now teach.From my first physical encounter with her, in 1959, to the day in 1965 when she gave me her blessing to go to Sri Swami Prajnanpad (1891-1974), a relatively unknown master who was to become my guru—though I’d rather say of whom I gradually became the disciple—I considered Mataji as my guru. During those years, I repeatedly stayed with her for extended periods of time. Even after meeting Swami Prajnanpad, I always felt her active influence and kept visiting her, up to my last trip to India a few years before she left her body.To state things simply, I could say that, though in the course of my search and travels I have had the privilege to closely approach quite a few extraordinary beings—Tibetans, Sufis, Hindu gurus and Zen masters, many of whom left a deep imprint in my heart—to me Anandamayi Ma was and remains the embodiment of transcendence, the living proof of the actual existence of a transcendental reality. “Extraordinary,” “superhuman,” “divine”. . . I still feel today that no adjective is big enough to describe her presence, particularly when I met her, in the full blossoming of her radiance. I could barely believe that such a being could walk the earth in a human form, and I have no difficulty understanding how a whole theology was developed around her. I never, never met a sage whose divine appearance I admired so much. In truth, I admired her beyond all words.Thousands of pilgrims were of course similarly touched by her extraordinary presence, but I’d rather insist here on another aspect of Mataji: the relentless way in which she sometimes crucified the ego of those who wanted more than her occasional blessing. In fact, in her ashram, there was a very clear distinction between two kinds of visitors: those who came for her darshan [personal audience] and who received a warm welcome, and those who insisted on being considered her disciples, who were challenged and put on edge, to the limit of what they were able to bear—but never beyond. No guru wants to bring someone to absolute despair or to leaving the path because of unbearable trials. During the years when Denise Desjardins and myself were spending several months within the ashram as candidates to discipleship rather than as mere visitors, we went through a lot of that “special treatment.”Of course I realize, as I am about to recall a few examples of that treatment, that these stories may look very innocent, not so terrible to casual readers. The truth is, it is always easy to hear descriptions of someone else’s sadhana and to imagine: “Oh, had I been in this situation, I would not have been affected in such a way. I would have immediately taken it as a lesson, a challenge to my ego, etc. . . .” When you actually are tested, when your mind and ego are being provoked through situations which sometimes are in themselves very simple disappointments and difficulties, you are not hearing a story anymore. You’re in the fire, plunged into what constitutes the essence of all sadhanas: a persistent, sometimes harsh challenging of your ego and mind through situations which call into question your present identifications and attachments.
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In those years, I was a professional filmmaker, working for French television. One of the things Mataji used to crucify my ego and teach me was the film I was shooting in her ashram. She sometimes granted me exceptional opportunities and then caused me to waste my last rolls, which I had very much been counting on. This was hard to accept. Following the advice of one of her ashramites, I had preciously saved three rolls of film until the very end of my stay. This had caused me to renounce shooting scenes which could have been important. Then, during those last days, every time I started filming, Anandamayi Ma, in front of everybody, either turned her head or winced. This was all the more cruel to me since I believed the person who had asked me to save those rolls had been inspired by Ma. Eventually, Ma only allowed me to shoot one roll. As this was after sunset, I was convinced there would be no visible image on the film. Incredible as it may seem, there was something: three of what may well be the most beautiful shots of the whole film, where Ma can be seen at night surrounded by a few disciples. These miraculous forty seconds were worth the sacrifice of those three rolls. Once she asked me to project the images which to me were most precious with some worn-out Indian equipment, when I knew for sure that it would irremediably damage the film.

I also remember a particular incident. I had always dreamed of meeting what I then called true yogis—not yoga teachers, but yogis having attained mastery over certain energies or developed certain powers. To me, those yogis embodied the whole legend of India. They lived in the high valley of the Ganges where I had not yet been able to go, since the Indian government had not granted me the special permit then necessary to travel to that region. One of those famous yogis was about to come down to the plains to visit Anandamayi Ma. On this very day, Ma asked me if I could travel with my Land Rover to a distance of some 150 kilometers where I was to pick up some luggage and bring it back. The roads were not tarred, it was raining, there was mud all over, so that when I left the ashram, the yogi had not arrived, and when I came back, he had already left. To me, at the time, this was a terrible disappointment indeed, a broken dream.

Every time my ego desperately wanted to be acknowledged by Ma, circumstances were such that I could not see her privately for weeks. But once, when, after having gone through what one usually calls intense pain, I at last changed my inner attitude, she herself took me for a ride in the car. I was alone with her, the driver, and a great pundit whom I very much admired. She had me sit next to her and did not allow anyone else to go with us.

We often had the impression that others were also brought to teach us and that the whole world was consciously or unconsciously serving Mother’s purpose. She was an incredible source of energy, the center of a huge activity.

It is difficult to imagine what surrender to Anandamayi Ma, as some of her closest disciples were living it, could mean. I remember one monk whose ideal of life was to meditate. He had been meditating in an isolated ashram in the Himalayas and was very happy, until Ma appointed him as the swami in charge of the Delhi ashram. Every day, he had to deal with curious visitors, Europeans, people from the embassies and consulates. He was forced to be no longer a meditator but an administrator, immersed head to toe in active life—the exact opposite of what he had been aspiring to. He was working twenty hours a day and I even once saw him slowly fall down. He had simply fallen asleep while walking. Just contemplating Anandamayi’s radiant smile, one could not imagine the pressure she put on some—in the name of ultimate freedom.

To conclude, I’d like to say that, remembering Ma as well as my guru, Swami Prajnanpad, I feel especially grateful for the occasions when they caused me pain, when they brought suffering to my ego. They, of course, never did me any harm. On the contrary, everything they did, whether they smiled or were angry at me, served my ultimate good. But they certainly made me feel severely hurt at times.

And the truth is, one cannot make any progress in one’s sadhana if one’s ego and mind are not sometimes painfully shaken.

Arnaud Desjardins is the author of many books, including two which have been translated into English: Toward the Fullness of Life (Threshold Books) and The Jump Into Life: Moving Beyond Fear (Hohm Press). He resides and teaches at his ashram, Hauteville, in the south of France. (died in 2011)

-Source Enlightenment Magazine
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An adult is one who has lost the grace, the freshness, the innocence of the child, who is no longer capable of feeling pure joy, who makes everything complicated, who spreads suffering everywhere, who is afraid of being happy, and who, because it is easier to bear, has gone back to sleep. The wise man is a happy child. ~ Arnaud Desjardins


Sir Aurobindo’ Wisdom – Children Of Light

from Volume 12 On Education, p.116 (24 July 1951)

Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to teach this truth to men. He told them that man is only a transitional being living in a mental consciousness, but with the possibility of acquiring a new consciousness, the Truth-consciousness, and capable of living a life perfectly harmonious, good and beautiful, happy and fully conscious. During the whole of his life upon earth, Sri Aurobindo gave all his time to establish in himself this consciousness he called supramental, and to help those gathered around him to realise it. I found this piece from “Synthesis of Yoga” to be truly amazing and wish to share it with readers….

The Synthesis of Yoga

“The full recognition of this inner Guide, Master of the Yoga, lord,
light, enjoyer and goal of all sacrifice and effort, is of the utmost
importance in the path of integral perfection. It is immaterial
whether he is first seen as an impersonal Wisdom, Love and Power
behind all things, as an Absolute manifesting in. the relative and
attracting it, as one’s highest Self and the highest Self of all, as a
Divine Person within us and in the world, in one of his — or her —
numerous forms and names or as the ideal which the mind conceives. In
the end we perceive that he is all and more than all these things
together- The mind’s door of entry to the conception of him must
necessarily vary according to the past evolution and the present
nature.

This inner Guide is often veiled at first by the very intensity of our
personal effort and by the ego’s preoccupation with itself and its
aims. As we gain in clarity and the turmoil of egoistic effort gives
place to a calmer self-knowledge, we recognise the source of the
growing light within us. We recognise it retrospectively as we realise
how all our obscure and conflicting movements have been determined
towards an end that we only now begin to perceive, how even before our
entrance into the path of the Yoga the evolution of our life has been
designedly led towards its turning point.

For now we begin to understand the sense of our struggles and efforts,
successes and failures. At last we are able to seize the meaning of
our ordeals and sufferings and can appreciate the help that was given
us by all that hurt and resisted and the utility of our very falls and
stumblings. We recognise this divine leading afterwards, not
retrospectively but immediately, in the moulding of our thoughts by a
transcendent Seer, of our will and actions by an all-embracing Power,
of our emotional life by an all-attracting and all-assimilating Bliss
and Love. We recognise it too in a more personal relation that from
the first touched us or at the last seizes us; we feel the eternal
presence of a supreme Master, Friend, Lover, Teacher.

We recognise it in the essence of our being as that develops into
likeness and oneness with a greater and wider existence; for we
perceive that this miraculous development is not the result of our own
efforts; an eternal Perfection is moulding us into its own image. One
who is the Lord or Ishwara of the Yogic philosophies, the Guide in the
conscious being (caitya guru or antaryamin), the Absolute of the
thinker, the Unknowable of the Agnostic, the universal Force of the
materialist, the supreme Soul and the supreme shakti, the One who is
differently named and imaged by the religions, is the Master of our
Yoga.

To see, know, become and fulfil this One in our inner selves and in
all our outer nature, was always the secret goal and becomes now the
conscious purpose of our embodied existence.

To be conscious of him in all parts of our being and equally in all
that the dividing mind sees as outside our being, is the consummation
of the individual consciousness. To be possessed by him and possess
him in ourselves and in all things is the term of all empire and
mastery. To enjoy him in all experience of passivity and activity, of
peace and of power, of unity and of difference is the happiness which
the jЖva, the individual soul manifested in the world, is obscurely
seeking. This is the entire definition of the aim of integral Yoga; it
is the rendering in personal experience of the truth which universal
Nature has hidden in herself and which she travails to discover. It is
the conversion of the human soul into the divine soul and of natural
life into divine living.”