"Even if Science – physical Science or occult Science – were to discover the necessary conditions or means for an indefinite survival of the body, still, if the body could not adapt itself so as to become a fit instrument of expression for the inner growth, the soul would find some way to abandon it and pass on to a new incarnation. The material or physical causes of death are not its sole or its true cause; its true inmost reason is the spiritual necessity for the evolution of a new being." – Sri Aurobindo
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“All life is Yoga.” – Sri Aurobindo
Death and Rebirth
Sri Aurobindo | The Mother
SRI AUROBINDODIGITAL EDITION
AURO MEDIAVerlag und FachbuchhandelWilfried Schuh
SRI AUROBINDO DIGITAL EDITIONGermany, Berchtesgaden
ALL LIFE IS YOGADeath and RebirthSelections from the Works ofSri Aurobindo and The MotherSecond edition 2020ISBN 978-3-937701-66-0
© Photos and selections of the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother:Sri Aurobindo Ashram TrustPuducherry, India
Flower on the cover:Celosia argentea. Many colours.Spiritual significance and explanation given by the Mother:Aspiration for immortalityPure, soaring, full of trust.
This is one in a series of some e-books created by SRI AUROBINDO DIGITAL EDITION and published by AURO MEDIA under the title All Life Is Yoga. Our effort is to bring together, from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, simple passages with a practical orientation on specific subjects, so that everyone may feel free to choose a book according to his inner need. The topics cover the whole field of human activity, because true spirituality is not the rejection of life but the art of perfecting life.
While the passages from Sri Aurobindo are in the original English, most of the passages from the Mother (selections from her talks and writings) are translations from the original French. We must also bear in mind that the excerpts have been taken out of their original context and that a compilation, in its very nature, is likely to have a personal and subjective approach. A sincere attempt, however, has been made to be faithful to the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. These excerpts are by no means exhaustive.
Bringing out a compilation from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, which have a profound depth and wideness unique, is a difficult task. The compiler’s subjective tilt and preferences generally result in highlighting some aspects of the issues concerned while the rest is by no means less significant. Also without contexts of the excerpts the passages reproduced may not fully convey the idea – or may be misunderstood or may reduce a comprehensive truth into what could appear like a fixed principle.
The reader may keep in mind this inherent limitation of compilations; compilations are however helpful in providing an introduction to the subject in a handy format. They also give the readers a direct and practical feel of some of the profound issues and sometimes a mantric appeal, musing on which can change one’s entire attitude to them.
The excerpts from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother carry titles and captions chosen by the editor, highlighting the theme of the excerpts and, whenever possible, borrowing a phrase from the text itself. The sources of the excerpts are given at the end of each issue.
We hope these compilations will inspire the readers to go to the complete works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and will help them to mould their lives and their environments towards an ever greater perfection.
“True spirituality is not to renounce life, but to make life perfect with a Divine Perfection.” – The Mother
* * *
Even if Science – physical Science or occult Science – were to discover the necessary conditions or means for an indefinite survival of the body, still, if the body could not adapt itself so as to become a fit instrument of expression for the inner growth, the soul would find some way to abandon it and pass on to a new incarnation. The material or physical causes of death are not its sole or its true cause; its true inmost reason is the spiritual necessity for the evolution of a new being. — Sri Aurobindo
* * *
Words of the Mother
“Death is the question Nature puts continually to Life and her reminder to it that it has not yet found itself. If there were no siege of death, the creature would be bound forever in the form of an imperfect living. Pursued by death he awakes to the idea of perfect life and seeks out its means and its possibility.” (Thoughts and Glimpses, SABCL Vol. 16, p. 386)
There seems to be matter enough here for us not to need to go any further. This is a question which every person whose consciousness is awakened a little has asked himself at least once in his life. There is in the depths of the being such a need to perpetuate, to prolong, to develop life, that the moment one has a first contact with death, which, although it may be quite an accidental contact, is yet inevitable, there is a sort of recoil in the being.
In persons who are sensitive, it produces horror; in others, indignation. There is a tendency to ask oneself: “What is this monstrous farce in which one takes part without wanting to, without understanding it? Why are we born, if it is only to die? Why all this effort for development, progress, the flowering of the faculties, if it is to come to a diminution ending in decline and disintegration?...” Some feel a revolt in them, others less strong feel despair and always this question arises: “If there is a conscious Will behind all that, this Will seems to be monstrous.”
But here Sri Aurobindo tells us that this was an indispensable means of awakening in the consciousness of matter the need for perfection, the necessity of progress, that without this catastrophe, all beings would have been satisfied with the condition they were in – perhaps... This is not certain.
But then, we have to take things as they are and tell ourselves that we must find the way out of it all.
The fact is that everything is in a state of perpetual progressive development, that is, the whole creation, the whole universe is advancing towards a perfection which seems to recede as one goes forward towards it, for what seemed a perfection at a certain moment is no longer perfect after a time. The most subtle states of being in the consciousness follow this progression even as it is going on, and the higher up the scale one goes, the more closely does the rhythm of the advance resemble the rhythm of the universal development, and approach the rhythm of the divine development; but the material world is rigid by nature, transformation is slow, very slow, there, almost imperceptible for the measurement of time as human consciousness perceives it... and so there is a constant disequilibrium between the inner and outer movement, and this lack of balance, this incapacity of the outer forms to follow the movement of the inner progress brings about the necessity of decomposition and the change of forms. But if, into this matter, one could infuse enough consciousness to obtain the same rhythm, if matter could become plastic enough to follow the inner progression, this rupture of balance would not occur, and death would no longer be necessary.
So, according to what Sri Aurobindo tells us, Nature has found this rather radical means to awaken in the material consciousness the necessary aspiration and plasticity.
It is obvious that the most dominant characteristic of matter is inertia, and that, if there were not this violence, perhaps the individual consciousness would be so inert that rather than change it would accept to live in a perpetual imperfection... That is possible. Anyway, this is how things are made, and for us who know a little more, there is only one thing that remains to be done, it is to change all this, as far as we have the means, by calling the Force, the Consciousness, the new Power which is capable of infusing into material substance the vibration which can transform it, make it plastic, supple, progressive.
Obviously the greatest obstacle is the attachment to things as they are; but even Nature as a whole finds that those who have the deeper knowledge want to go too fast: she likes her meanderings, she likes her successive attempts, her failures, her fresh beginnings, her new inventions; she likes the fantasy of the path, the unexpectedness of the experience; one could almost say that for her the longer it takes, the more enjoyable it is.
But even of the best games one tires. There comes a time when one needs to change them and one could dream of a game in which it would no longer be necessary to destroy in order to progress, where the zeal for progress would be enough to find new means, new expressions, where the élan would be ardent enough to overcome inertia, lassitude, lack of understanding, fatigue, indifference.
Why does this body, as soon as some progress has been made, feel the need to sit down? It is tired. It says, “Oh! you must wait. I must be given time to rest.” This is what leads it to death. If it felt within itself that ardour to do always better, become more transparent, more beautiful, more luminous, eternally young, one could escape from this macabre joke of Nature.
For her this is of no importance. She sees the whole, she sees the totality; she sees that nothing is lost, that it is only recombining quantities, numberless minute elements, without any importance, which are put back into a pot and mixed well – and something new comes out of it. But that game is not amusing for everybody. And if in one’s consciousness one could be as vast as she, more powerful than she, why shouldn’t one do the same thing in a better way?
This is the problem which confronts us now. With the addition, the new help of this Force which has descended, which is manifesting, working, why shouldn’t one take in hand this tremendous game and make it more beautiful, more harmonious, more true?
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