But the Integral Yoga is not easy and the obdurate mule of our human nature kicks back at us when we press upon it the necessary change. Only the real heroes survive, only those who can surrender themselves to a higher Power and anchor themselves in the Divine. Most of us compromise on the Yoga, for we realise that even if we fail (if at all there is something called failure), we cannot go back. There are of course many who go back to the ordinary life, but those who have reached a point of no return will prefer to dilute the Yoga than start life again, say at the age of fifty. It is then that we have to plough our way through the twilight zone and often through bleak patches of moonless nights until we see hope in the glimmerings of a distant dawn. A few make it, but only after a long grind and after the hair has sufficiently greyed with failures and disappointments. That is why I find some of the older members of our Ashram the happiest lot.
Some don’t make it! Doubts creep in questioning first their fitness for the Yoga, then questioning the Yoga itself. That is why Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have so often advised us not to play with Doubt, even though it might seem fashionable to do so. When years of sadhana seem infructuous and the hidden spiritual ambition gets frustrated, the sadhak revolts against his Gurus and either goes away to live the ordinary life or sets up his own Ashram. The list of such cases in the Ashram is not short, even if you leave out the recent ones. Among the most prominent ones in the past are Barin Ghose (Sri Aurobindo’s own brother), the famous singer Dilip Kumar Roy and many others, including Westerners such as Anna Bogenholm Sloane. 24 November 2009 The Metamorphosis of a Sadhak-Scholar -- by Raman Reddy from A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs by Raman Reddy
That being the case, no single interpretation in Auroville, if it realizes the spiritual society that it aims to be, should be louder than the rest; in other words, a single creed in not acceptable. This is a constant struggle for Auroville, just like everywhere else. [...] I am particularly interested in the notion of Truth, how the pioneers viewed it at the beginning of Auroville before the Mother passed away and how the AV youth views Truth. I am limiting the pioneers that I interview to those that came before the Mother passed, and the only factor that I am currently using to determine "youth" is that he or she was born here. My line of thought is this:
Spiritual movements have happened throughout history, but time and again these movements are codified into creeds rather than remaining inner, subjective truths (as the spiritual leaders seems to encourage). So long as the leader is living (Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, etc), the followers are content to be told the truth, but at the moment that this trusted leader is gone, the followers seem to comfort themselves with a dogma. A dogma is a strong tradition, so strong that it is considered to be undoubtedly true. But to maintain this single Truth often leads to a tyrannical rule, stamping out any controversy rather than a willingness to show respect or lend a listening ear.
Auroville is experiencing this transition now, as the pioneers reminisce on the easy days, when one could simply write to the Mother and learn how far she strayed from the Truth. And now, Aurovilians have to decide what is true on their own, and they way that they go about this is crucial to whether or not they stay true to their intentions. Truth as subjectivity is certainly not a new idea, but it hasn't prevailed so far. Nonetheless, it remains a hope of people all over the world, whether they show that commitment by devoting themselves to Auroville, or they contribute to the conversation in Western Academics today, with ideas such as a "return to religion (without religion)."
I hope that the transition that Auroville has been experiencing over the last 36 years (since the Mother left her body) can shed some light on this human effort that is made over and over again, despite the seeming lack of progress. Thanksgiving, Fulbright Style Friday, 27 November 2009 by cjd002 Carissa Devine '09 is a graduate from LVC in Religion and Philosophy