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Sri Aurobindo Thoughts and Quotes

A selection of Quotes and Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo from his literary works.
  • The energy must be spent before it can be renewed. The human body is not a closed jar that gets emptied by spending. The human body is a channel that receives only when it spends.
  • It is only effort, in whatever domain it be – material effort, moral effort, intellectual effort – which creates in the being certain vibrations which enable you to get connected with universal vibrations; and it is this which gives joy. It is effort which pulls you out of inertia; it is effort which makes you receptive to the universal forces.
  • When one is in the countryside, when one walks under the trees and feels so close to Nature, to the trees, the sky, all the leaves, all the branches, all the herbs, when on feels a great friendship with these things and breathes that air which is good, perfumed will the plants, then one opens oneself, and by opening oneself communes with the universal forces.
  • First of all, there is undoubtedly a Truth one and eternal which we are seeking, from which all other truth derives, by the light of which all other truth finds its right place, explanation and relation to the scheme of knowledge. But precisely for that reason it cannot be shut up in a single trenchant formula, it is not likely to be found in its entirety or in all its bearings in any single philosophy or scripture or uttered altogether and forever by any one teacher, thinker, prophet or Avatar. Nor has it been wholly found by us if our view of it necessitates the intolerant exclusion of the truth underlying other systems; for when we reject passionately, we mean simply that we cannot appreciate and explain.
  • Indian religion has always felt that since the minds, the temperaments and the intellectual affinities of men are unlimited in their variety, a perfect liberty of thought and of worship must be allowed to the individual in his approach to the Infinite.
  • Be free in thyself, and therefore free in thy mind, free in thy life and thy body. For the Spirit is freedom.
  • Be thyself, immortal, and put not thy faith in death; for death is not of thyself, but of thy body. For the Spirit is immortality.
  • To be immortal is to be infinite in being and in consciousness and bliss; for the Spirit is infinite and that which is finite lives only by his infinity.
  • Be one with God and all beings; live in thyself and not in thy little ego. For the Spirit is unity.
  • Man arrives at immortality by breaking beyond the limitations not only of his physical self, but of his mental and his ordinary psychic nature into the highest plane and supreme ether of the Truth: for there is the foundation of immortality and the native seat of the triple infinite.

To cease to be identified with the body, to separate oneself from the body-consciousness, is a recognized and necessary step whether toward spiritual liberation or toward spiritual perfection and mastery over Nature.

(Source: The Life Divine - Aurobindo - Book Two, Chapter Twenty-Seven, ‘The Gnostic Being’)

This Sanatana Dharma has many scriptures: The Veda, the Vedanta, the Gita, the Upanishads, the Darshanas, the Puranas, the Tantras:......but its real, the most authoritative scripture is in the heart in which the Eternal has his dwelling.

(Source: Karmayogin)

Sri Aurobindo on Fate

There is no Fate except insistent causality which is only another name for Law, and Law itself is only an instrument in the hands of Nature for the satisfaction of the spirit. Law is nothing but a mode or rule of action; it is called in our philosophy not Law but Dharma, holding together, it is that by which the action of the universe, the action of its parts, the action of the individual is held together.

Why Hinduism is known as Sanatana Dharma? – Sri Aurobindo

Hinduism gave itself no name, because it set itself no sectarian limits; it claimed no universal adhesion, asserted no sole infallible dogma, set up no single narrow path or gate of salvation; it was less a creed or cult than a continuously enlarging tradition of the Godward endeavor of the human spirit.

An immense, many-sided and many staged provision for a spiritual self-building and self-finding, it had some right to speak of itself by the only name it knew, the eternal religion, Sanatana Dharma.

Sri Aurobindo Thoughts on Silence

There are two great forces in the universe, silence and speech. Silence prepares, speech creates. The strength of noise and activity is great. But infinite is the strength of stillness and silence, in which great forces prepare for action. To be capable of silence, stillness and illuminated passivity is to be fit for immortality.

Silence is a state in which either there is no movement of the mind or vital or else a great stillness which no surface movement can pierce or alter.

Silence is more than quietude; it can be gained by banishing thought altogether from the inner mind keeping it voiceless or quiet outside; but more easily it is established by a descent from above – one feels it coming down entering and occupying or surrounding the personal consciousness which then tends to merge itself in the vast impersonal silence.

Sri Aurobindo Thoughts on Moksha

The pessimists have made moksha synonymous with annihilation or dissolution, but its true meaning is freedom. He who is free from bondage, is free, is mukta. But the last bondage is the passion for liberation itself which must be renounced before the soul can be perfectly free, and the last knowledge is the realization that there is none bound, none desirous of freedom, but the soul is forever and perfectly free, that bondage is an illusion and the liberation from bondage is an illusion. Not only are we bound but in play, the mimic knots are of such a nature that we ourselves can at our pleasure undo them.

Nevertheless the bonds are many and intricate. The most difficult of all their knots is egoism, the delusion that we have an individual existence sufficient in itself, separate from the universal and only being, ekamevadwitiyam, who is one not only beyond Time, Space and Causality. Not only are we all Brahman in our nature and being, waves of one sea, but we are each of us Brahman in His entirety, for that which differentiates and limits us, nama and rupa, exists only in play and for the sake of the world-drama.

Whence then comes this delusion of egoism, if there is no separate existence and only Brahman is? We answer that there is separate existence but only in manifestation not in reality. It is as if one actor could play different parts not in succession but at one and the same moment; each part is He Himself, one and indivisible, but each part is different from the other. Brahman extends Himself in Time, Space and Causality which do not condition Him but exist in Him and can at any time be changed or abolished, and in Time, Space and Causality He attaches Himself to many namarupas which are merely existences in His universal being. They are real in manifestation, unreal outside manifestation.

Sri Aurobindo Thoughts on Veda the foundation of the Sanatan Dharma

I seek a light that shall be new, yet old, the oldest indeed of all lights.

I seek an authority that accepting, illuminating and reconciling all human truth, shall yet reject and get rid of by explaining it all mere human error.

I seek a text and a Shastra that is not subject to interpolation, modification and replacement, that moth and white ant cannot destroy, that the earth cannot bury nor Time mutilate.

I seek an asceticism that shall give me purity and deliverance from self and from ignorance without stultifying God and His universe.

I seek a skepticism that shall question everything but shall have the patience to deny nothing that may possibly be true.

I seek a rationalism not proceeding on the untenable supposition that all the centuries of man's history except the nineteenth were centuries of folly and superstition, but bent on discovering truth instead of limiting inquiry by a new dogmatism, obscurantism and furious intolerance which it chooses to call common sense and enlightenment.

I seek a materialism that shall recognize matter and use it without being its slave.

I seek an occultism that shall bring out all its processes and proofs into the light of day, without mystery, without jugglery, without the old stupid call to humanity, ‘Be blind, O man, and see!’

In short, I seek not science, not religion, not Theosophy, but Veda the truth about Brahman, not only about His essentiality, but about His manifestation, not a lamp on the way to the forest, but a light and a guide to joy and action in the world, the truth which is beyond opinion, the knowledge which all thought strives after – yasmin vijnate sarvam vijnatam.

I believe that Veda to be the foundation of the Sanatan Dharma; I believe it to be the concealed divinity within Hinduism, but a veil has to be drawn aside, a curtain has to be lifted. I believe it to be knowable and discoverable. I believe the future of India and the world to depend on its discovery and on its application, not to the renunciation of life, but to life in the world and among men.

(Source – the article titled ‘Hinduism and the Mission of India’ by Sri Aurobindo)


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