How do I Proceed?
Book of M.P. Pandit “How do I Proceed?” is a sequel to the earlier How Do I Begin? This book presents a working outline of the scope, the practice and the goal of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo. The treatment is more on the practical side of the Yoga than its philosophical content.
Part One. The Integral Yoga Of Sri Aurobindo
- Process: Aspiration
- Process: Rejection
- Process: Surrender
- The Way: Works
- The Way: Love
- The Way: Meditation
- The Way: Spiritualisation
- The Way: Supramentalisation
- Conclusion: Some Observations
Part Two. Key To Sadhana: The Psychic
- Key To Sadhana: The Psychic
Author: M.P. Pandit
Print Length: 60 pages
Publisher: Lotus Press
Sold by: Amazon.com
Book format: Kindle
How do I Proceed?
2. PROCESS: ASPIRATION
Before one takes seriously to any path of yoga one must be sure that he has a call for it. Very often the turn to spiritual life is a result of some disappointment or shock or failure in material life. It is a kind of vairagya, revulsion to things of the world, caused by a happening or a series of happenings. One takes to the interests of the Spirit at a rebound. But pretty soon the effects of the worldly set-back wear out, the vairagya loses its edge, and the old nature asserts itself with the result that enthusiasm for yoga, for spiritual life, peters out. There are cases, however, where the inner call is real and the outer circumstances are merely an occasion for the turn of life. One must make certain that there is an imperative to change the pattern of one’s life and reorient it towards God. A superficial interest in the higher things of life or its deeper values is not enough. There must be an intense seeking for the Divine, a want that will not be denied. It is said that one who has the true call feels like a fish out of water unless he changes the direction of his life and enters a path that assures a contact, a communion and eventually a union with the Divine.
This aspiration for the Divine is the first step. It is a constant seeking in the being for a change of consciousness, for a leap from the ordinary human into a deeper or higher dimension of the Divine Consciousness. This aspiration may be active in the awakened mind or in the purified heart. It is a flame that is lit as a result of the pressure of the soul within or by an act of Grace. The Grace may act through an apparently chance meeting with a great Soul or through the incubating effect of some sat-sang, holy company, or through an impact of a potent Word or through a sudden metamorphosis in a moment of crisis. Or it may be that in the course of its evolutionary development the soul has arrived at the point of turning to the parent Divine and its urge from within lights up the flame of aspiration.
In the very nature of things, this aspiration at the beginning is not constant. It soars and it flags. The flame must be fed with appropriate fuel. The right contacts, right feelings, right thoughts, right actions that conduce to the growth of the Godward aspiration must be cultivated. All the movements of the being, day and night, must be offered into the purifying flame of this aspiration and the whole of life converted into a veritable sacrifice. Thus alone can the tiny flame grow into a consuming Fire. This is the journey of Agni repeatedly hymned in the Veda. Agni is the central flame of aspiration lit on the altar of the heart, vedi, fed and increased by the sacred offering of the oblations of one’s deepest experiences of head and heart, and speeded on its voyage to the Home of the Gods from where it calls them down to take birth in the body of man.
At the outset this aspiration is confined to the region where it has taken birth: in the mind where the seeking has commenced or in the heart where it has shot up from the concealed depths. But there are other parts of the being which may or may not share in this central aspiration. They throw their own shadow, their several dampening breaths and serve to weaken the aspiration. It is indispensable to extend the aspiration to these other regions. There is bound to be resistance and non-cooperation from some of these parts or layers of being. The sadhaka has to patiently coax them and get them to collaborate in the effort. This is an uphill task. Again and again invasions from the subconscious regions or the unconscious raise up dust and cover the growing godhead. They try to smother the infant child. The effort needs to be renewed again and again. Patience and sincerity help immeasurably at this stage.
The danger is not only from within oneself. It is also from outside. There are plenty of persons whose nature is inimical to faith, to aspiration. Their very presence in the atmosphere serves to undermine one’s foundations. Doubt, scepticism, denial and the like are surreptitiously let loose in the air and they corrode slowly but surely. Any kind of talk or discussion with them — even with the laudable object of convincing them and doing good to them — is harmful. Their vibrations settle like smoke and endanger the flame.
Doubt, says the Mother, is not a sport that can be played with impunity. Doubt is the enemy of faith and of aspiration based upon faith. Doubt has to be rejected at its first appearance. It is not possible to convince doubt for the very nature of doubt is to go on doubting. Doubt is poison and as poison it should be refused admission.
Man is a mental being and as he grows, his mental pabulum too increases. The seeker is selective in his reading. He avoids, if possible, all that may weaken his aspiration, distract his attention. He chooses that reading which helps and strengthens his seeking, gives a direction to it and in all ways supports his effort. Even in fiction, there is the creative type and the non-creative. The modern trend is towards meaningful writing — fiction or non-fiction — and the aspirant draws sustenance from all directions.
Aspiration is to be distinguished from desire. Desire proceeds from the vital, the pranamaya kosha, whether it has a physical form or a mental colouring. Desire involves, binds. Aspiration originates from the soul. It may formulate itself in the mind as aspiration for knowledge, in the heart as seeking for devotion, in the will as a push for dedication, consecration, and in the physical as a movement for healthy growth. It is an inner drive towards Truth, the Reality, on whichever level. The many formulations of this central aspiration are legitimate in their own spheres. They are to be fulfilled consistent with the demand of the central movement towards the Divine. All aspiration enlarges and liberates from limitations.
Thus one aspires for the Divine and for all that leads to the Divine. Aspiration spreads its wings over the entire life expanse and picks up everything that can contribute to the onward flight, illumining every corner with its glow. To this Flame of aspiration, the seer-will in the heart, we commend ourselves :
To thee, O Flame! we day by day, in the night and in the light, come, carrying by our thought the obeisance. To thee, who reignest over our pilgrim-sacrifices, luminous guardian of the Truth, increasing in thy own home. (Rig Veda, 1.1.7,8).