Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Sri Aurobindo's experience in prison - The wisdom - Part 1

This post is the final post about Sri Aurobindo's narration about his prison experience. The first three parts (here, here and here) focussed on the humurous sections in his narration - this one is focussed on the wisdom.

1. (p. 42) 

The tired prisoners would then take refuge in sleep - the only source of pleasure or respite in the prison. This was the time when the weak-hearted wept over their current misfortunes or in apprehension of future hardships in prison. The lover of God though felt the nearness of his deity and experienced joy through prayer or meditation in the silence of the night. When night fell, this massive torture-chamber, in the form of Alipore Jail, along with its inmates - three thousand of God's creatures: the unfortunate, the fallen, the victims of an imperfect society - was immersed in a vast silence.

2. pp. 47-48)

His third purpose was to teach me that my yoga would not proceed on the strength of personal effort, but an absolute faith and complete self-surrender would be the means toattain perfection in yoga; the Supreme Grace would grant whatever power, realisation or joy it deems fit in its Supreme Vision and to assimilate and utilise these for His work should be the sole aim of my yogic endeavours. As the veil of Ignorance lifted, I began to see the Managalmaya Lord's amazing and infinite goodness reflected in all World-events. There was nothing that happened in this world, from the apparently most significant to the most trivial, which did not lead to greater good. He often fulfilled multiple objectives through a single act. We often think of the world as the play of a blind force and consider waste
as part of nature's method and thus questioning God's omniscience, we find fault with the Supreme Intelligence. This accusation though has no basis. The Divine Power cannot and does not work blindly; not a single drop of His power can ever be wasted; rather the Supreme economy inherent in the manner He achieves a variety of results is beyond human comprehension.

3. (p.49)
I called upon God with intensity, praying fervently for Him to preserve my sanity. That very moment, a great peace descended upon my mind and heart, a cooling sensation spread over my entire body and the restless mind became relaxed and happy - I had never experienced such a joyful state in this life. Just as a child lies on the lap of his mother, secure and fearless; so I lay on the lap of the World-Mother. From that very day, all my suffering in prison ceased. After this I experienced various conditions: restlessness in detention, mental unease caused by lack of activity and solitary confinement, physical suffering or illness and stages of despair in the process of yoga; but the power that God had poured into my inner being in that one moment was such that the arrival and departure of sorrow did not
leave the slightest trace in the mind. The intelligence was able to draw strength and joy from the sorrow itself and annul the suffering of the mind. The hardships became as if drops of water on a lily. By the time I received the books, my need for them had lessened considerably. I could have managed even without them.[..] It was to bring about this state that God had created the requisite conditions. He did not actually make me lose my sanity but enacted, in my mind, the gradual process leading up to insanity, during solitary confinement, keeping my intelligence as an unmoved witness of the entire drama. This experience increased my strength, created empathy for all victims of human cruelty and made me realise the extraordinary power and efficacy of sincere prayers.

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