Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

Indian Renaissance and Future of the World: Extracts from the Chapter "Indian Renaissance and Future of the World", from R.Y. Deshpande's Book "Sri Aurobindo and the New Millennium"

Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

Indian Renaissance and Future of the World: Extracts from the Chapter "Indian Renaissance and Future of the World", from R.Y. Deshpande's Book "Sri Aurobindo and the New Millennium"

Article excerpt

Sri Aurobindo in the inaugural number of the monthly philosophical review Arya, launched by him on 15 August 1914, begins the presentation of his world-vision and God-vision in the possibilities of the future of human race as follows:

"The earliest preoccupation of man is his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation, -- for it survives the longest periods of skepticism and returns after every banishment, -- is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a sacred immortality. The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The earliest formula of wisdom promises to be its last, -- God, Light, Freedom, Immortality."

In the intense heat of spiritual enterprise and endeavour was the formula discovered ages ago and many were the attempts made in its application on a sustained collective level. But long and tortuous has been the path on which the history of the world marched. In all great civilistions of the world thinkers and saints and prophets as well as social builders and seer-kings moulded the destiny and took it nearer and yet nearer towards its goal. Cycles of evolution turned through rough and difficult times; but then it always seemed as if a secret hand was goading them on. Have the ceaseless strivings been successful?

But man not just as a worker and skilled craftsman or a participant in commerce or a warrior and conqueror, not even as a man of study and learning, an artist or a philosopher or a scientist, but man who is in search of the dynamic contents of life, given to the affirmative spirit that endlessly unfolds his own further possibilities is the one who has to arrive and take charge of his glorious destiny. It is in this context that we must read and live, indeed aspire to transcend ourselves, in the Mother's prayer of 29 August 1914:

"What would be the use of man if he were not created to throw a bridge between That which is eternally but is unmanifested and that which is manifested, between all the transcendences and splendours of the divine life and all the dark and sorrowful ignorance of the material world? Man is the link between what must be and what is; he is the footbridge thrown across the abyss, he is the great cross-shaped X, the quaternary connecting link. His true domicile, the effective seat of his consciousness should be in the intermediary world at the meeting-point of the four arms of the cross, just where all the infinitude of the Unthinkable comes to take precise form so that it may be projected into the innumerable manifestation....

That centre is a place of supreme love, of perfect consciousness, of pure and total knowledge. There establish, O Lord, those who can, who must and truly want to serve Thee, so that Thy work may be accomplished, the bridge definitively established, and Thy forces poured unwearingly over the world."

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In the Indian wisdom economic development and wealth maximisation are not the aims in their own right. Progressive socio-moral well-being and increasing commitment to the Law of the Right, Dharma, are held as its culminating ideal. Dharma, Artha, Kama are not ends in themselves, but are just means to an end and that end is Moksha. This is what Bhishma tells us. Society has to go beyond Artha-Kama to fulfil itself. If it does not, the vital force that sustains it cannot get renewed and eventually there will be its decline and fall. This has happened several times in the history of civilisations. The wholesomeness of society demanding fulfilment in every aspect of human endeavour and aspiration will not allow any truncated approach to succeed and in the non-recognition of it there shall be always conflicts of different kinds. …

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