View Full Version : Translation Help

Sudas Paijavana
08 July 2013, 04:54 AM

08 July 2013, 11:37 AM
You will find them in the online library in the link in my signature. Hope this helps.

Sudas Paijavana
08 July 2013, 06:09 PM

brahma jijnasa
09 July 2013, 06:12 PM
Are there translations that are non-Shaiva and non-Iskcon and non-Vaishnava of these texts?

I want them in their original translation as much as possible with out any lens or perspective....

I think I can understand the problem you are confronted with.
Many times I have seen people say that they don't want to read, as they say, "sectarian" translations of scriptures because these translations are biased by concerned tradition or translator.
Then they refuse to read concerned translation and take some other in the hope that this will not be "sectarian" or biased. However their hopes are just their folly. :)
This is simply because there are no, to say, an unbiased or non-sectarian translations. Actually it is a fact.
Suppose that you take some translation made by a translator who belongs to some tradition. So you can take a translation of some Upanishad made by advaitin who belongs to Advaita tradition, or you can take a translation of the same Upanishad made by some vaishnava who belongs to some particular tradition dvaita or visistadvaita or Gaudiya vaishnava or some other. What will you see?
Most likely you will see that the translation is influenced by philosophy of this particular tradition. In each tradition translators think "we understand the true meaning of these verses", "we know what is real purport". Right?
Or you can take a translation made by some scientist, Indologist. If this is the case, then you have to bear in mind that they translate with the help of old commentaries done in the past centuries by the commentators who belonged to certain traditions. :)
Is there really an unbiased, non-sectarian translation?

Newbies often can not decide what to read. Some time ago I was talking about it here:

So, if you're in search of some unbiased, non-sectarian translation, your search will most likely be in vain. It's not gonna happen.
Search for the true, real rendering and purport of the scriptures can be a huge trouble and painstaking, and especially for a newbie. But life is like that.
This is especially so for a newbie because a newbie can not critically evaluate the rendering and purport of the scriptures simply because he does not have enough knowledge to be able to do so.

In the hope that you will not stay newbie whole life, best wishes!


09 July 2013, 07:34 PM
Old way of doing things: study the texts and come to a conclusion

New way of doing things: ask for translations of texts that are not consistent with certain, predetermined, undesirable points of view. Then read those and profess knowledge of the "real scripture."

As an aside, I am just wondering - can anyone direct me to a non-Christian translation of the Bible? I just want to get an objective view of what the Bible teaches, without all that Christian interpretation.


- PR

09 July 2013, 08:29 PM
hariḥ oṁ


Many have arrived at our HDF site in the last several months and we welcome you all. Many have the desire of learning this culture and the desire to know its ways, pūja-s, etc.

One simple thing you can consider for infusing this culture into your actions is starting here with your posts. A 'hello' or namasté , or a saluation of greeting. And at the end a thank you, or praṇām , or dhanyavāda. Why do so? It sets the tone for the conversation.

This may seem trite but we're simple people and we greet each other with respect. These are our customs.


09 July 2013, 08:50 PM

Are there translations that are non-Shaiva and non-Iskcon and non-Vaishnava of these texts?
Are you by any chance looking for translations by Western Christians who do not believe in Hindu gods, and would give you a totally unbiased version? Unfortunately, they would have to team up with a Hindu Sanskrit scholar and also depend on the previously available translations/commentaries. So, their translations too would be biased one way or the other.

The ability to be able to read Sanskrit does not in itself provide us with the true spiritual knowledge contained in the shalokas. That is why we need the Acharayas/Gurus, who are of higher spiritual caliber than the ranting HDF'ers, or secular Sanskrit scholars to provide us with the spiritual content of the scriptures. A mere translation would be like a lifeless, dead body of the original shalokas. A spiritual person would put some life into the meaning of shalokas. So, it is futile to expect spiritual knowledge from people who are only capable of producing dead bodies.


09 July 2013, 09:14 PM
To Believer's excellent comments, I would also add: when you translate something, especially Sanskrit, you are taking a position on something. Many words have multiple potential meanings, and in order to arrive at the correct meaning, one will have to understand the text and both the local and global context. Thus, if one is translating a text, he is no longer "neutral" in the sense that he is now committing himself to a particular point of view.

I'm always amused by requests of the form, "Please tell me where I can find an objective translation, and not translations by sectarian organization X. I don't know Sanskrit, but I know that X is fanatical, fundamentalist, and gives inauthentic translations. So, please, no translations that reflect the views of X." Often, the ideas objected to by the requester are quite clearly in the text even as per multiple translators, but because they do not like those ideas, they think that simply changing translators will give them a more "objective" view.

Ra K Sankar
09 July 2013, 11:31 PM

Upanishads are a mixture of sand and sugar, says Sri Ramakrishna. There are 2 small upanishads, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsopanishad and Sri Aravindopanishad, respectively by Swami Harshananda of Sri Ramakrishna Mission and Sri Aurobindo Himself. Both together cost less than Indian Rs 20. It is a fantastic place to start. No danger of confusion.

There is also a downloadable commentary on Isha Upanishads by Sri Aurobindo. There is an epub version of Sri Aurobindo's writings on Upanishads. If you read Sri Aurobindo's works, you will be clarified and enlarged. For one, He discusses all points of view, and then presents His position. He was a realized Sage, a scholar in Sanskrit and Latin and for those who may not know, He even said that His consciousness was that of Supermind which was even Higher than the Overmind of Lord Krishna, and that this Supermind was indicated in Upanishads here and there and while in Alipore jail, Swami Vivekananda appeared in a vision and showed Him the opening to Supermind.

Again, His Life Divine text summarizes all upanishads and all teachings of Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Buddha, Mahavira and then presents His own position. Only requirement is to know classical English, may be, one may have to sit down with a huge English dictionary.

Incidentally, Bible has been discussed at length by Paramahamsa Yogananda and His Master Sri Sri Yukteswar Giri.

Ra K Sankar

10 July 2013, 01:31 AM

For more direct translations of the Holy Scriptures without any bias, I recommend those translated by The Divine Life Society and Swami Shivananda, or translated by the Ramakrishna Mission.

Like this one:


I hope this assists you.

Aum Namah Shivaya

10 July 2013, 01:44 AM

.......Sri Aurobindo....was a realized Sage.....He even said that His consciousness was that of Supermind which was even Higher than the Overmind of Lord Krishna,
Just when I thought I had heard it all......... :)


Ra K Sankar
13 July 2013, 12:57 AM
Namaste Kalicharan

Supramental descent is possible not only in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, but also in the entire terrestrial consciousness. I have appended extracts on "Supermind", Sri Aurobindo's "apparent aloofness" from the world and Sri Aurobindo and the Mother being "incarnations".

As for my personal opinion,-if at all, that has any degree of relevance and impact,-flowing from experiences in dreaming and waking states, corroborated by Sri Aurobindo's own words, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are "living" incarnations.

Anyone lacking sufficient time, may quickly go through the portions of extracts rendered "bold"

Ra K Sankar

Extract from page 135 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a con-sciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Supermind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divin-ity in things release itself entirely and it become possi-ble for life to manifest perfection."

Extract from page 156 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"The words Supermind and Supramental were first used by me, but since then people have taken up and are using the word supramental for anything above mind."

Extract from page 157 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"If spiritual and supramental were the same thing, as you say my readers imagine, then all the sages and devotees and Yogis and sadhaks throughout the ages would have been supramental beings and all I have written about the Supermind would be so much super-fluous stuff, useless and otiose."

Extract from page 158-159 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"The working of the supramental power envisaged is not an influence on the physical giving it abnormal faculties but an entrance and pene-tration20 changing it wholly into a supramentalised physical. I did not learn the idea from Veda or Upani-shad and I do not know if there is anything of the kind there. What I received about the Supermind was a di-rect, not a derived knowledge given to me; it was only afterwards that I found certain confirmatory revelations in the Upanishad and Veda."

Extract from page 177 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"The idea of the Supermind, the Truth-Consciousness is there in the Rig Veda according to Sri Aurobindo's interpretation and in one or two pas-sages of the Upanishads, but in the Upanishads it is there only in seed in the conception of the being of knowledge, vjñānamayapuruṣa, exceeding the men-tal, vital and physical being; in the Rig Veda the idea is there but in principle only, it is not developed and even the principle of it has disappeared from the Hindu tra-dition."

Extract from page 197 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"I don't know that I have called myself a Superman. But certainly I have risen above the ordinary human mind, otherwise I would not think of trying to bring down the Supermind into the physical."

Extract from pages 197-198 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"These egoistic terms are not those in which my vital moves. It is a higher Truth I seek, whether it makes men greater or not is not the question, but whether it will give them truth and peace and light to live in and make life something better than a struggle with ignorance and falsehood and pain and strife. Then, even if they are less great than the men of the past, my object will have been achieved. For me mental conceptions cannot be the end of all things. I know that the Super-mind is a truth. I care nothing for greatness or littleness in the human sense. I am seeking to bring some principle of inner Truth, Light, Harmony, Peace into the earth-consciousness; I see it above and know what it is – I feel it ever gleaming down on my con-sciousness from above and I am seeking to make it possible for it to take up the whole being into its own native power, instead of the nature of man continuing to remain in half-light, half-darkness. I believe the descent of this Truth opening the way to a development of divine consciousness here to be the final sense of the earth evolution. If greater men than myself have not had this vision and this ideal before them, that is no reason why I should not follow my Truth-sense and Truth-vision. If human reason regards me as a fool for trying to do what Krishna did not try, I do not in the least care. There is no question of X or Y or anybody else in that. It is a question between the Divine and myself – whether it is the Divine Will or not, whether I am sent to bring that down or open the way for its descent or at least make it more possible or not. Let all men jeer at me if they will or all Hell fall upon me if it will for my presumption,– I go on till I conquer or perish. This is the spirit in which I seek the Supermind, no hunting for greatness for myself or others."

Extract from pages 199-200 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"I have no intention of achieving the Supermind for myself only – I am not doing anything for myself, as I have no personal need of anything, neither of salvation (Moksha) nor supramentalisation. If I am seeking after supramentalisation, it is because it is a thing that has to be done for the earth-consciousness and if it is not done in myself, it cannot be done in others. My supra-mentalisation is only a key for opening the gates of the supramental to the earth-consciousness; done for its own sake, it would be perfectly futile. But it does not follow either that if or when I become supramental, everybody will become supramental. Others can so become who are ready for it, when they are ready for it – though, of course, the achievement in myself will be to them a great help towards it. It is therefore quite legitimate to have the aspiration for it – provided:
1. One does not make a too personal or egoistic affair of it turning it into a Nietzschean or other ambition to be a superman.
2. One is ready to undergo the conditions and stages needed for the achievement.
3. One is sincere and regards it as a part of the seeking of the Divine and consequent culmination of the Divine Will in one and insists on no more than the fulfilment of that will whatever it may be, psychicisation, spiritualisation or supramentalisation. It should be regarded as the fulfilment of God's working in the world, not as a personal chance or achievement."
April, 1935

Extract from pages 201-202 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"Q: When the Supermind descends into the earth-consciousness will all the sadhaks be aware of it – the descent into the earth, I mean, not in themselves?
A: It would not necessarily be known by everybody. Besides, even if the descent were here one would have to be ready before one could get the final change. developments and transformations are possible in the terrestrial consciousness."
No, the supramental has not descended into the body or into Matter – it is only at the point where such a descent has become not only possible but inevitable; I am speaking, of course, of my experience. But as my experience is the centre and condition of all the rest, that is sufficient for the promise.
My difficulty is that you all seem to expect a kind of miraculous fairy-tale change and do not realise that it is a rapid and concentrated evolution which is the aim of my sadhana and that there must be a process for it, a working of the higher in the lower and a dealing with all the necessary intervals – not a sudden feat of creation by which everything is done on a given date. It is a supramental but not an irrational process. What is to be done will happen – perhaps with a rush even – but in a workmanlike way and not according to Faerie.

Extract from page 220 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"I have never told you that the power that works here is absolute at present; I have, on the contrary, told you that I am trying to make it absolute and it is for that that I want the Supermind to intervene. But to say that because it is not absolute therefore it does not ex-ist, seems to me a logical inconsequence."

Extract from page 224 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"Q: Why not write something about the Supermind which these people find it so difficult to understand?
A: What's the use? How much would anybody un-derstand? Besides the present business is to bring down and establish the Supermind, not to explain it. If it establishes itself, it will explain itself – if it does not, there is no use in explaining it. I have said some things about it in past writings, but without success in enlightening anybody. So why repeat the endeavour?"...
"Supramental nature can only be understood if one understands what Supermind is and that is not alto-gether possible for mind so long as it does not open to the higher planes. So far as a mental account can be given, I have done it in the Arya."

Extract from pages 232-232 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"If I had been standing on the Supermind level and acting on the world by the instrumentation of Super-mind, that world would have changed or would be changing much more rapidly and in a different fashion from what is happening now. My present effort is not to stand up on a high and distant Supermind level and change the world from there, but to bring something of it down here and to stand on that and act by that; but at the present stage the progressive supramentalisation of the Overmind is the first immediate preoccupation and
a second is the lightening of the heavy resistance of the Inconscient and the support it gives to human ignorance which is always the main obstacle in any attempt to change the world or even to change oneself. I have always said that the spiritual force I have been putting on human affairs such as the War [/B[B]]is not the supramental but the Overmind force, and that when it acts in the material world is so inextricably mixed up in the tangle of the lower world forces that its results, however strong or however adequate to the immediate object, must necessarily be partial. That is why I am getting a birthday present of a free India on August 15, but complicated by its being presented in two packets as two free Indias: this is a generosity I could have done without, one free India would have been enough for me if offered as an unbroken whole."

Extract from page 253 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"The psychic is not responsible for my aloofness or retirement – it is the mass of opposition that I have to face which is responsible for that. It is only when I have overcome by the aid of the psychic and (excuse me!) your other bête noire, the Supermind, that the re-tirement can cease."

Extract from pages 545-547 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
"Yes, of course. What is being done is meant to pre-pare the manifestation of the Supermind on the earth consciousness down to Matter itself, so it can't be for the physical of myself or the Mother alone. If it [the Supermind] comes down into our physical it would mean that it has come down into Matter and so there is no reason why it should not manifest in the sadhaks."

Extract from page 207 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
Q: I have a strong faith that you are the Divine In-carnation. Am I right?
A: Follow your faith – it is not likely to mislead you.

Extract from page 544 of "Sri Aurobindo on Himself" :
Q: The Mother has written: ‘In our daily practices we are endeavouring to express the great mystery of Divine Incarnation.’ What does it mean?
A: It means that we act as we do because we take it as a fact that the Divine can manifest and is manifested in human body.

Kalicharan Tuvij
13 July 2013, 08:17 AM
Namaste Ra Sankar

Thank you for the clarification. I was wrong in the last post in saying "Supramental" but meaning "sat-cit-ananda"; sorry for that.

Supramental means the "descent", or rather the culmination of the descent, of the whole array of higher consciousness into the human mould.

This language is very new for us. Or at the same time, very old, as in the Vedic where Aditi and Immortality mean exactly the same this thing. So this is the importance of Aurobindo. He is very bold and very democratic in envisioning Amaratva for a whole race of people, and not for isolated individuals here or there. Much like the Satyugic age when all were realised.

So in Satyuga there was no need of avatars. "Avatar", as opposed to the spiritual democracy of Veda or Aurobindo, is a very much elitist concept. Avatar is therefore a miracle, courtesy that very unusual God Narayana.

Therefore, while an Avatar himself is a descent of Narayana, the idea is still elitist. Krishna, for example, didn't descend in order to bring immortality for all; this because the humanity as a whole wasn't prepared. Or Ram didn't mean it either; we still remember "RamRajya" as an ideal state, but in the Vedic age there was democracy in place, not RamRajya, with the work-based classes- Varna- firmly in place.

One can say that Sri Aurobindo is a "fool" trying to bring Satyuga in Kaliyuga. Well, for me, this fool is greater than all the smart people.

Therefore when he says that Krishna is not Supramental it means Krishna is not about Immortality, or about the "bringing down for all", rather, he is about "transcending". He supports transcendence for his devotees through "ananda" which makes them cross the river without needing any bridge ("overmind" at most), though also without any possibility of return. This is now well known as Moksha but isn't ideal according to the RgVedic Rsis.

Krishna is Transcendence, not Immortality. I wonder if anyone here will disagree.

P.S.: A guru shouldn't be compared with an avatar. And when Rsis start taking birth, both words lose their relevance. Sri Aurobindo was brave, not afraid of mistakes, just like a Rsi. I will like to see the admirers of Sri Aurobindo think of him more as a Rsi, more than as a guru, though certainly not as an avatar:)

Ra K Sankar
13 July 2013, 11:45 PM
Namaste Kalicharan

Sri Aurobindo attained Self-Realization effortlessly, after just doing pranayama for 5 years or so. In the terms of Sri Ramakrishna, such a person is a Kripa-Siddha.

He had constant awareness and realization of Passive Brahman or Atman or Shankara's Self. He had full intimate Oneness with Krishna and KaaLi. While His own sadhana had been guided by Krishna, at one place although He has called Krishna as His double, He has refused to yield up the credit for the complete silence in his disciple's consciousness entirely to Krishna, just to reveal an aspect of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother that is Supramental, while that of Krishna was only overmental. This is by reckoning Sri Aurobindo and Krishna as Avatars and not as the Total Divine. He and the Mother consciously could bring down the Supramental into the terrestrial consciousness, e.g., 24-Nov-1923. May be, they were divine incarnations of a new Order, to say the least.

Extracts below present Sri Aurobindo's Self-Realization Sadhana, His comparing Himself to Lord Krishna and His discussions of Avatars and Vibhutis.

Kind Regards
Ra K Sankar

Extract from page 113 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself
What I did was four or five hours a day prāṇāyāma – which is quite another matter. And what flow do you speak of? The flow of poetry came down while I was doing pāṇāyāma, not some years afterwards. If it is the flow of experiences, that did come after some years, but after I had stopped the pāṇāyāma for a long time and was doing nothing and did not know what to do or where to turn once all my efforts had failed. And it came not as a result of years of prāṇāyāma or concen-tration, but in a ridiculously easy way, by the grace either of a temporary guru (but it was not that, for he was himself bewildered by it) or by the grace of the eternal Brahman and afterwards by the grace of Mahakali and Krishna. So don't try to turn me into an argument against the Divine, that attempt will be perfectly inef-fective.


Extract from pages 117-122 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself

Q: I have read what you wrote to X the other day about the way in which you had the experience of the Self; that such a thing could have happened seems to me almost unthinkable!
A: I can't help that. It happened. The mind's canons of the rational and the possible do not give spiritual life and experience.
Q: By the Self, I suppose, you mean the individual Self!
A: Good Lord, no. I mean the Self, sir, the Self, the Adwaita, Vedantic, Shankar Self. Atman, Atman! A thing I knew nothing about, never bargained for, didn't understand either.
Q: But didn't you begin Yoga later on in Gujerat?
A: Yes. But this began in London, sprouted the moment I set foot on Apollo Bunder, touching Indian soil, flowered one day in the first year of my stay in Baroda, at the moment when there threatened to be an accident to my carriage. Precise enough?

Q: But the sweet memory of that experience of the Self must have sustained you.
A: There was nothing sugary about it at all. And I had no need to have any memory of it, because it was with me for months and years and is there now though in fusion with other realisations.
I have never said that things (in life) are harmonious now – on the contrary, with the human conscious-ness as it is harmony is impossible. It is always what I have told you, that the human consciousness is defec-tive and simply impossible – and that is why I strive for a higher consciousness to come and set right the disturbed balance. I don't want to give you Nirvana (on paper) immediately because Nirvana only leads up to Harmony in my communication. I am glad you are get-ting converted to silence, and even Nirvana is not without its uses – in my case it was the first positive spiritual experience and it made possible all the rest of the sadhana; but as to the positive way to get these things, I don't know if your mind is quite ready to pro-ceed with it. There are in fact several ways. My own way was by rejection of thought. “Sit down,” I was told, “look and you will see that your thoughts come into you from outside. Before they enter, fling them back.” I sat down and looked and saw to my astonishment that it was so; I saw and felt concretely the thought approaching as if to enter through or above the head and was able to push it back concretely before it came inside.In three days – really in one – my mind became full of an eternal silence – it is still there. But that I don't know how many people can do. One (not a disciple – I had no disciples in those days) asked me how to do Yoga. I said: “Make your mind quiet first.” He did and his mind became quite silent and empty. Then he rushed to me saying: “My brain is empty of thoughts, I cannot think. I am becoming an idiot.” He did not pause to look and see where these thoughts he uttered were coming from! Nor did he realise that one who is already an idiot cannot become one. Anyhow I was not patient in those days and I dropped him and let him lose his miraculously achieved silence. The usual way, the easiest if one can manage it at all, is to call down the silence from above you into the brain, mind and body.

All developed mental men, those who get beyond the average, have in one way or other, or at least at cer-tain times and for certain purposes to separate the two parts of the mind, the active part, which is a factory of thoughts and the quiet masterful part which is at once a Witness and a Will, observing them, judging, rejecting, eliminating, accepting, ordering corrections and changes, the Master in the House of Mind, capable of self-empire, sāmrājya.

The Yogi goes still further,— he is not only a master there but even while in mind in a way, he gets out of it as it were, and stands above or quite back from it and free. For him the image of the factory of thoughts is no longer quite valid; for he sees that thoughts come from outside, from the universal Mind or universal Nature, sometimes formed and distinct, sometimes un-formed and then they are given shape somewhere in us. The principal business of our mind is either a response of acceptance or a refusal to these thought-waves (as also vital waves, subtle physical energy waves) or this giving a personal-mental form to thought-stuff (or vital movements) from the environing Nature-Force. It was my great debt to Lele that he showed me this. “Sit in meditation,” he said, “but do not think, look only at your mind; you will see thoughts coming into it, before they can enter throw these away from your mind till your mind is capable of entire silence”. I had never heard before of thoughts coming visibly into the mind from outside, but I did not think either of questioning the truth or the possibility, I simply sat down and did
it. In a moment my mind became silent as a windless air on a high mountain summit and then I saw one thought and then another coming in a concrete way from outside; I flung them away before they could enter and take hold of the brain and in three days I was free. From that moment, in principle, the mental being in me became a free Intelligence, a universal Mind, not limited to the narrow circle of personal thought as a labourer in a thought factory, but a receiver of knowledge from all the hundred realms of being and free to choose what it willed in this vast sight-empire and thought-empire. I mention this only to emphasise that the possibilities of the mental being are not limited and that it can be the free Witness and Master in its own house. It is not to say that everybody can do it in the way I did it and with the same rapidity of the decisive movement (for, of course, the latter fullest develop-ments of this new untrammelled mental power took time, many years) but a progressive freedom and mastery of one's mind is perfectly within the possibilities of anyone who has the faith and the will to undertake it.

Extract from page 166 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself

You are mistaken in two respects. First, the endeavour towards this achievement is not new and some Yogis have achieved it, I believe – but not in the way I want it. They achieved it as a personal Siddhi main-tained by Yoga-Siddhi – not a Dharma of the nature (physical transformation). Secondly, the supramental transformation is not the same as the spiritual-mental. It is a change of mind, life and body which the mental or overmental-spiritual cannot achieve. All whom you mention were spirituals, but in different ways.

Krishna's mind, for instance, was overmentalised, Ramakrishna's intuitive, Chaitanya's spiritual-psychic, Buddha's illumined higher mental. I don't know about Bejoy Goswami – he seems to have been brilliant but rather chaotic. All that is different from the supramental. Then about the vital of the Paramhansas. It is said that their vital behaves either like a child (Rama-krishna) or like a madman or like a demon or like something inert (cf. Jadabharata). Well, there is nothing supramental in all that. So?...

Extract from pages 171-172 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself

...Krishna did great things and was very clearly a manifestation of the Divine. But I remember a passage of the Mahabharata in which he complains of the unquiet life his followers and adorers gave him, their constant demands, reproaches, their throwing of their unregenerate vital nature upon him. And in the Gita he speaks of this human world as a transient and sorrowful affair and, in spite of his gospel of divine action, seems almost to admit that to leave it is after all the best solution. The traditions of the past are very great in their own place, in the past, but I do not see why we should merely repeat them and not go farther. In the spiritual development of the consciousness upon earth the great past ought to be followed by a greater future.

Extract from pages 190-192 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself

Sri Krishna never set out to arrive at any physical transformation, so anything of the kind could not be expected in his case.
Neither Buddha nor Shankara nor Ramakrishna had any idea of transforming the body. Their aim was spiri-tual mukti and nothing else. Krishna taught Arjuna to be liberated in works, but he never spoke of any physi-cal transformation.

24th [November 1926] was the descent of Krishna into the physical.
Krishna is not the supramental Light. The descent of Krishna would mean the descent of the Overmind Godhead preparing, though not itself actually, the de-scent of Supermind and Ananda. Krishna is the Anandamaya; he supports the evolution through the Over-mind leading it towards the Ananda.


You can't expect me to argue about my own spiritual greatness in comparison with Krishna's. The question itself would be relevant only if there were two sec-tarian religions in opposition, Aurobindoism and Vaishnavism, each insisting on its own God's greatness. That is not the case. And then what Krishna must I challenge,– the Krishna of the Gita who is the transcendent Godhead, Paramatma, Parabrahma, Purushottama, the cosmic Deity, Master of the universe, Vasudeva who is all, the Immanent in the heart of all creatures, or the Godhead who was incarnate at Brindavan and Dwarka and Kurukshetra and who was the guide of my Yoga and with whom I realised identity? All that is not to me something philosophical or mental but a matter of daily and hourly realisation and intimate to the stuff of my consciousness. Then from what position can I adjudicate this dispute? X thinks I am superior in greatness, you think there can be nothing greater than Krishna: each is entitled to have his own view or feeling, whether it is itself right or not. It can be left there; it can be no reason for your leaving the Ashram.

I thought I had already told you that your turn towards Krishna was not an obstacle. In any case, I affirm that positively in answer to your question. If we consider the large and indeed predominant part he played in my own sadhana, it would be strange if the part he has in your sadhana could be considered objectionable. Sectarianism is a matter of dogma, ritual, etc., not of spiritual experience; the concentration on Krishna is a self-offering to the iṣṭa-deva. If you reach Krishna you reach the Divine; if you can give yourself to him, you give yourself to me. Your inability to identify may be because you are laying too much stress on the physical aspects, consciously or unconsciously.


Extract from page 205 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself

You all seem to think it a great compliment to me to say that what I have done has no meaning for anybody except myself – it is the most damaging criticism on my work that could be made. I also did not do it by myself, if you mean by myself the Aurobindo that was. He did it by the help of Krishna and the Divine Shakti. I had help from human sources also.

Extract from page 253 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself

I have no intention, I can assure you, of cutting off connection in the future. What restrictions there have been, were due to unavoidable causes. My retirement itself was indispensable; otherwise I would not be now where I am, that is, personally, near the goal. When the goal is reached, it will be different. If you had an unprecedented peace for so long a time, it was due to my persistent inner pressure; I refuse to give up all the credit to my double, Krishna.

Extract from page 256 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself
It [the significance] depends on the shade of the blue. Ordinary pale blue is usually the light of the Illumined Mind or something of the Intuition. Whitish blue is Sri Aurobindo's light or Krishna's light.

Extract from page 524 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself

When the Unity has been well founded, the static half of our work is done, but the active half remains. It is then that in the One we must see the Master and His Power, — Krishna and Kali as I name them using the terms of our Indian religions; the Power occupying the whole of myself and my nature which becomes Kali and ceases to be anything else, the Master using, directing, enjoying the Power to his ends, not mine, with that which I call myself only as a centre of his universal existence and responding to its workings as a soul to the Soul, taking upon itself his image until there is nothing left but Krishna and Kali. This is the stage I have reached in spite of all set-backs and recoils, imperfectly indeed in the secureness and intensity of the state, but well enough in the general type. When that has been done, then we may hope to found securely the play in us of his divine Knowledge governing the action of his divine Power. The rest is the full opening up of the different planes of his world-play and the subjection of Matter and the body and the material world to the law of the higher heavens of the Truth. To these things towards which in my earlier ignorance I used to press forward impatiently before satisfying the first conditions — the effort, however, was necessary and made the necessary preparation of the material instruments — I can now only look forward as a subsequent eventuality in a yet distant vista of things.

Extract from pages 540-543 of Sri Aurobindo on Himself
Q: The common mass of mankind in the past may not have recognised your presence amongst them, es-pecially when outwardly both of you may have had
how is it that even Sri Krishna, Buddha or Christ could not detect your presence in this world?
A: Presence where and in whom? If they did not meet, they would not recognise, and even if they met there is no reason why the Mother and I should cast off the veil which hung over these personalities and reveal the Divine behind them. Those lives were not meant for any such purpose.

Q: If you were on the earth all the time it would mean that you were here when those great beings de-scended. Whatever your external cloak, how could you hide your inner self – the true divinity – from them? It could not have mattered whether you and any of them were born in the same country or not. They ought to have discovered by their own higher light that the Di-vine Consciousness from which they had descended was already here in a physical form.
A: But why can't the inner self be hidden from all in such lives? Your reasoning would only have some force if the presence on earth then were as the Avatar but not if it was only as a Vibhuti.

Q: You have asked, ‘Presence where and in whom?’ Why have you put those question-words? What exactly is conveyed by them?
A: ...It is ‘presence’ in or behind some body and behind some outer personality. Also ‘presence’ in what part of the world? If the Mother were in Rome in the time of Buddha, how could Buddha know as he did not even know the existence of Rome?

Q: I did not mean that you or the Mother needed to cast off your veil. It is those Great Men who should have recognised you in spite of the veil.
A: One can be a great man without knowing such things as that. Great Men or even great Vibhutis need not be omniscient or know things which it was not use-ful for them to know.

Q: You said, ‘But why can't the inner self be hid-den from all in such lives?’ I fail to understand how anyone could hide one's inner self from Avatars and Vibhutis.
A: An Avatar or Vibhuti have the knowledge that is necessary for their work, they need not have more. There was absolutely no reason why Buddha should know what was going on in Rome. An Avatar even does not manifest all the Divine omniscience and omnipotence; he has not come for any such unnecessary display; all that is behind him but not in the front of his consciousness. As for the Vibhuti, the Vibhuti need not even know that he is a power of the Divine. Some Vib-hutis like Julius Caesar for instance have been atheists. Buddha himself did not believe in a personal God, only in some impersonal and indescribable Permanent.

Q: Still I can't understand one thing: even though you did not cast off your veil, how could people like Buddha or Christ not help casting off their veil (of ig-norance) in order to recognise you?
A. Why should they? The veil was there necessary for their work. Why should it be thrown off? So if the Mother was present in the life of Christ, she was there not as the Divine Manifestation but as one altogether human. For her to be recognised as the Divine would have created a tremendous disorder and frustrated the work Christ came to do by breaking its proper limits.

17 July 2013, 03:04 AM

Thoughts, words, and deeds suffused with more urgency and intensity,
than reflection and patience, are hallmarks of youth.
Indeed, the only way to know the quality of anything, is to investigate
thoroughly, while all the time remaining as aware as possible of the
limitations of one's own tools- for example, if I have not taken courses
in materials science, structural engineering, and architecture, and I am
presented with several detailed proposals that each claim to make possible
the longest, largest, strongest bridge ever built, at the least possible cost,
I have absolutely no basis in forming an opinion- because I would have
no idea what I was looking at; I wouldn't even know which authors were
credible, let alone if what was being presented made any sense.

There have been those who have rejected Srila Prabhupada's English
translation of the Gita, solely on the basis of "ISKCON bias", without having
read it, being familiar with any other English translation of it, knowing
Sanskrit, or having any clue as to context..

It is like those who form their opinion on Shaktas based on the "Temple of
Doom" film.

Hearsay is not knowledge; there is no other way, other than to put the
time and effort in, and remember that "sugar" melts in the mouth, but
"sand" does not- but if nothing passes one's lips, it might as well all be
sand. Adding a third factor to the analogy, cultivating patience, "tasting
before swallowing", enables the avoidance of a belly full of salt ;)