I’d like to quote a passage from a contemporary article on Sri Aurobindo to demonstrate how knowledge that we take for granted was not available yesterday or was unfortunately rejected.
I’d also like to illustrate the inadequate and circuitous explanations that resulted, over matters which for us are relatively simple to explain.
It’s meant to demonstrate how we can be handicapped by a lack of agreed-upon and workable concepts.
I do not mean this exploration in any way as a criticism of the author, Peter Holleran, who is helping me understand the jiva, the psychic entity, as Sri Aurobindo called it, the everyday consciousness. He simply reflects the prevailing scholarly consensus.
Some readers may find this article difficult to follow. I won’t be offended if you put it aside.
The quote is from Peter’s article, “Sri Aurobindo and the Integral Yoga: The Ultimate Construction Project” at http://www.mountainrunnerdoc.com/page/page/5303855.htm
Aurobindo’s spiritual adventure began in earnest after a meeting he had with a yogi named Vishnu Bhaskar Lele. The two spent three days together in a solitary room during which time Lele told him, “see the thoughts entering from the outside. Fling them back, do not let them enter.”
The result of this was that Aurobindo had a change of consciousness in which he experienced, in his own words, the “divine Silence.”
In 1933 he wrote a beautiful poem, “Nirvana”, describing this state. In 1938 he wrote another called “Liberation”. While using the term Nirvana, he later affirmed that this was only the beginning of his realization: (1)
“I had experience of Nirvana and Silence in Brahman long before I had any knowledge of the overhead spiritual planes.” (2)
Whether this initial breakthrough was a realization of Nirvikalpa or Jnana Samadhi (two forms of absorptive, ego-less trance), or some type of Satori, is difficult to know. It sounds very much like what many sages describe as the inner Void where the “I” has temporarily disappeared. (3)
Again, this is poetry, not philosophy. What is certain is that Aurobindo later argued for a state or condition that was superior to the realization of the traditional mystical or yogic variety; he attested to the need for, not merely the ascent of consciousness and celestial union with the Divine, but the descent of Divine light, and a transformation of the body. (4)
Aurobindo, with his earlier confession, then, either de-emphasized what he called “Nirvana” and “knowledge of Brahman,” placing more value on the eventual transformative process that he felt divinized the body-mind, or he was acknowledging the primacy of first achieving direct insight of the inner being (ie., the experience, in his case, of “silence in Brahman”) before the possibilities of ascended yoga (i.e., “knowledge of the overhead spiritual planes”), and, as he proposed, the subsequent descent of the divine light into the earth plane. [Problematic at the outset is this idiosyncratic use of the word “Nirvana”, which has no correlation with the traditional meaning. This will be discussed further on]. (5)
It is fairly clear, however, from his poem, “The Inner Fields”, that Sri Aurobindo believed in an emanationist philosophy similar to that of Plotinus and Sant Mat, in which there were reflections upon reflections of inner planes, with each higher realm more immediately expressing the beauty and divinity of the ultimate Reality.
What we lightworkers are routinely about here could be called “ascended yoga (i.e., “knowledge of the overhead spiritual planes”).”
“Reflections upon reflections of inner planes, with each higher realm more immediately expressing the beauty and divinity of the ultimate Reality” is what we daily and routinely contemplate here.
It’s said to be an “emanationist philosophy.” To me it’s simply the realized truth.
Notice this passage:
“Aurobindo, with his earlier confession, then, either de-emphasized what he called ‘Nirvana’ and ‘knowledge of Brahman,’ placing more value on the eventual transformative process that he felt divinized the body-mind, or he was acknowledging the primacy of first achieving direct insight of the inner being (ie., the experience, in his case, of “silence in Brahman”) before the possibilities of ascended yoga (i.e., ‘knowledge of the overhead spiritual planes’).”
The knowledge of Brahman is a seventh-chakra experience. The word “Nirvana,” apart from Matthew Ward’s use of it to apply to the astral planes generally, usually is used to describe an enlightenment higher than Brahmajnana – Sahaja would be a synonym – but lower than enlightenments above the Fifth.
I consider it sound to say that the individual follows a process of “first achieving direct insight of the inner being (ie., the experience, in his case, of ‘silence in Brahman’) before the possibilities of ascended yoga (i.e., ‘knowledge of the overhead spiritual planes’).”
The direct insight into the inner being that unlocks the dimensional doorway is Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Nirvana.
We free ourselves dimensionally through our cleansing/purification work. That work sees us complete vasanas, conditioned behavior, strong beliefs, and all the other residue of our uncompleted issues.
We’re helped there by such energy spikes as the Solar Eclipse and the increase in the Tsunami of Love generally as well as new energies like Porlana C.
What we don’t cleanse, Sahaja or Nirvana will eliminate. The fire of Sahaja is enough to burn to a crisp the seeds of our future (“latent tendencies” Hindus call them – or vasanas) that we call core issues (or vasanas).
Then comes “the eventual transformative process” that will “divinize the body/mind.” This is the entrance into the higher dimensions, unknown to most in previous generations.
So what Sri Aurobindo said is easily understood by lightworkers who’ve followed the Company of Heaven’s teachings, but wouldn’t be comprehensible to people unfamiliar with the higher dimensions, Ascension particularly, or spiritual evolution generally.
(Concluded in Part 2)
(1) As I refer to later in this essay, Franklin Merrell-Wolff also said that “nirvana” was just the start of his adventure, In fact it only opens the dimensional door, whereas many spiritualists consider it to be the end of the road – “complete” enlightenment.
(2) Sri Aurobindo, On Yoga II, Tome One, p. 294.
(3) It sounds to me like seventh-chakra enlightenment. Peter refers to that as “[Kevalya] Nirvikalpa Samadhi.” It’s also called Brahmajnana (God-Realization).
It’s the first transcendental experience we have but it’s not mukti or liberation.
It results in a second temporary heart opening, fourth-chakra enlightenment being the first.
Liberation is a permanent and complete heart opening that comes after Brahamjnana and is called Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi. It is this level that opens the door to higher-dimensional experiences.
The fact that Sahaja means entering a higher dimension is consistent with its description by terrestrial sages as bringing an end to physical (Third-Dimensional) birth and death.
(4) Yes, there are levels higher than either “the Silence of Brahman” (Brahmajnana) or Nirvana. Many, many levels in subplanes of nine more dimensions and then another whole new world of the Transcendental after that.
This generation too has been asked not to neglect the body but to realize that, in our Ascension, we’re taking the body with us, making the Ascension mostly gradual and requiring us to honor the limits of our bodies.
Aurobindo’s was an “integral” yoga: it did not focus on leaving the body to ascend but on ascending with the body, in an integrated fashion. It’s very relevant to us today.
(5) Franklin Merrell-Woolf also used “Nirvana” in an idiosyncratic way.