1 An article
Sri Aurobindo among the Absurd Critics
A Bengali, an Indian of average height with brownish complexion, not at all stylish in dress and habits though brought up in England, Aurobindo Akroyd Ghose became Sri Aurobindo finally. In due course the glow of his body changed entirely, to golden complexion and there was a puff of lotus smell sometimes from the body of a being completely transformed even outwardly; that is what many eyewitnesses testified visiting him after long years. How transformed inwardly he was was beyond the comprehension by any measure of the commoners. He became a Yogi and mystic. So many sides of his personality and genius were beyond the comprehension of an average intelligent man. We get ample proof of his humour, satire and joke sometimes through his writings, letters specially, but outwardly he never rollicked, laughed loudly or perhaps smiled on rare occasions. Usually reticent, such a person might become an enigma to many others. But considering the Himalayan heights of his works and personality those who did not wish to fall in with him paid him respect from a distance and those who did not like his spiritualism without rituals or religious practices, avoided him. Some smelled rat when he suddenly gave up politics, called him â€˜escapistâ€™ but they failed to gauge his steps based on his personal development as they lived in dissimilar planes or dissimilar consciousness, as the materialists denied anything spiritual. There were critics among his colleagues and contemporaries like Hem Chandra Kanungo (Das) and Shibram Chakraborty, some were disproportionately zealous of him without a cause for their matching him or competing with him did not arise. Those who tasted his literature or loved him as a patriot and leader or were drawn inwardly by his yoga always moved about him. There were many who revered him to the most for his selfless love and sacrifice for the country, for his tremendous fit in different areas of knowledge, for his journalistic and literary works. His enigmatic life became a mystery to some. He became very popular in his time. A legend. One who so much loved his own idealism like a Raja Rao, fallen in love with Advaita Vedanta, taught and tried to live in its shadow, thought that Sri Shankaraâ€™s ideas were at the
2 summit of human thought conceived so far, that there could not be anything beyond Advaita Vedanta, was shocked to learn of Sri Aurobindo’s radical views. He did not go through Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy. He surmised that Superman was the ideal of Sri Aurobindo and that he had built upon it his futuristic theory of Divine Life. He wrote, “The Superman is our enemy. Look what happened in India. Sri Aurobindo wanted, if you please, to improve on the Advaita of Sri Sankara- which was just like trying to improve on the numerical status of zero. . . . all philosophies are possible in and around Vedanta . . . . The Superman is the enemy of man- whether you call him Zarathustra, Sri Aurobindo, Stalin or Father Zossima.” (The Serpent and the Rope. Rao /71) Sri Aurobindo categorically distinguished between the Supramental consciousness and the Superman as constructed by Nietzsche. Sri Aurobindo analysed different divisions of human mind and consciousness in his The Synthesis of Yoga, he did not built several stories of his philosophy. And how dissimilar are the constructions. Even the story of Sri Aurobindo’s passing was not possibly known to Raja Rao so he thought that he might have died as any other in the same way. But differences of ideas, beliefs and thoughts remain and must remain as a way to human progress until man achieves Divine Life and Consciousness. There are people who try to derecognise his castles of philosophy, poetry and literature, his achievement in yoga and his teachings with their petty mind and puny ideas; being zealous with disbelief , unable to comprehend how an average man (in their eyes) could reach such a gigantic height. Sri Aurobindo himself said that since he as a man could achieve them any one with efforts could achieve them. A rationalist worm has recently tried to prove that he was a lunatic, taking clue from his family links, etc. We cannot call such critics ignorant for they too have some dark knowledge to proceed depend on their way but that is so limited and stunted that they prove themselves ridiculous at the end. Finally it proves to be their unhealthy mindset to try to do something so beyond their reach. Insanity! A mad may perhaps rationally think, how can one reach such heights unless he or she is mad like me? @ Aju Mukhopadhyay, 2011 Work Cited The Best of Raja Rao. Ed. Makarand Parnajape. New Delhi; Katha. 2998.