Sri Aurobindo worked for Indian Freedom in the field of politics between 1906 and 1910. His inner voice told Him that Indian Freedom was achieved and HE was meant for other work. Indian Freedom arrived on His birthday. When Mountbatten was asked why he chose August 15th, he answered that was the day on which Japan surrendered. Sri Aurobindo fought the World War in the subtle plane and that victory too came on His birthday. He prophesied that India would become the Guru of the World. For that to be achieved, I feel, India must become prosperous. That Prosperity can be more fully achieved in a shorter time if India uses her spiritual force.
- Spirit is not rituals.
- Spirit is the higher values of life such as Truth, honesty, organisation, loyalty, and integrity.
Spirit is developed in India more than in any other nation in the world. To express the Spirit in life will be to express these values which are almost absent in public life. If this understanding is true, is it feasible? This book argues it is. Think of agriculture a thousand years ago, even a hundred years ago. Almost everyone lived on land. Today in the West 5% or even 3% - in one country 2% - of the population lives on the land. In India 60% does so. Not only has agriculture been modernized in all countries, transport has undergone a sea change from horseback to supersonic planes. Communication too has undergone drastic changes. Which field of Life has not changed? But what about the field of life? Our mode of worship in India or elsewhere remains the same. The values of life have undergone deterioration for the past two centuries. Two hundred years ago foreign travelers testified that India was a truthful nation. No longer is this true. To progress in life we adopt modern technology, but in life we go backwards, while the West that has immensely progressed, Sri Aurobindo says, discovered Brahman in Matter. We did so two thousand years ago and we did it in Spirit. Our advantage there is immense. But we are unaware of it, and we neglect it. When we turn spiritual, we grow ritualistic. Rituals will banish the Spirit. One can ask whether our forefathers resorted to rituals. Our forefathers had not discovered the Spirit in the rituals, but retained the Spirit they had discovered through rituals. Even in the period of Vedanta the Rishis who took to knowledge abandoned the rituals. Of course, rituals are powerful when performed by those who adhere to the basic conditions. The first condition is
Absolute Truth must be utterly followed.
There are hundreds of instances where these rituals are powerful. Such power achieves small results which can be attained by ordinary prayers. Even when their full powers express, they are the Powers of a force that is ruled by karma. The Spirit that we talk of is a Spirit that destroys karma. More than that, in the text I explain the Force that descended in 1956. It is that Force which is available to those who want to invoke the Spirit. That Spirit expressed in life releases the infinite from the finite which will usher us into Spiritual Opulence. This book is an invitation to avail of that Force in life and enjoy luck in life. We are not aware of its existence on earth or its Presence in the earth's atmosphere. It is like people living away from the cities not knowing the existence of modern products, living like the Amish who by choice refuse modern equipments. At best we can say it is an unfortunate misfortune.
The book opens explaining how and when that Force descended, goes on to give short biographical sketches of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo as they lived on earth. Actuated by a desire to present this Force or its action concretely, I suggest an experiment in one's own life where one can witness this infinite expansion. Before doing so I offer at various places events that were presided over by this Force where such expansion was witnessed.
- Rural people saw their income expand over a thousand times.
- Silent will expanded Rs. 400 monthly salary to 400 crore assets.
- Projects where 24 fold increase, 365 times expansion are given in some detail.
A distant version of this Force applied to education produced in a 15 year child the academic maturity of a professor of ten years standing. Her parents have a broad mental outlook on affairs. They decided to teach the daughter at home. Below are patches from a letter of hers,
"Dear Bob Uncle,
I was recently doing Aristotle's Poetics with my mother in relation to my literature studies and as I could not remember his examples, I had to draw parallels in books I had read... One of my first observations on fantasy: Most authors base their books on ancient cultures. For example, Tsuranuanni, the planet on the other side of the rift of Raymond Feist's Midkemia, is quite clearly ancient Japan. The Empire Trilogy explores the interaction of West and East. Arrakis of Frank Herbert's books is almost the same, mixing in the West as the Empire... Paul is a mixture of Fremen and Atreides; Duncan Idaho is the compound of Tleilaxu and Atreides, the essential ‘civilized man.' Paul forces the Atreides culture into the Fremen, creating a dangerous mixture of fanaticism and sophistication. Which is probably why his successor is Leto II, nearly immortal, to balance the factors. This is also a common rule in history - if one king rapidly expands his empire, as a warrior, the next will essentially be a gifted administrator. In cases where this has not happened, the kingdom has collapsed. Then there are two probabilities - the grandson of the warrior will reinstate it, or it will decline into oblivion." *
The best chapter in this book is the chapter on Yoga where I have tried to present the basic yogic philosophy in terms of life events. The reader cannot escape its yogic flourishes. I will feel gratified if the reader enjoys that chapter, though I suggest in the text, it is a chapter to be skipped. The chapter on Token Experiment stands on its own. It is self-explanatory. But a fuller understanding of the chapter on yoga will make the experiment more meaningful. A patient plodding through the chapter on yoga will bring its own latent reward. In doing the experiment,
- To prepare one's mind is more important than actually doing the work.
- In the actual doing of the experiment, the inner attitude with which it is done is more important than the physical doing of it.
- When the results come, I suggest that more than the results, the Process is important. One should learn the Process.
- More than learning the Process, there is its mystery. The chapter explains how to unravel the mystery and how to handle the subtle secret of the Mystery.
- To patiently learn all of them entitles one to LUCK.
The chapter on India talks about the rare privilege of being an Indian. It was no privilege to be an Indian in 1900 or in 1940. It certainly is a personal spiritual privilege to be born in India, carrying the ancient light of the Rishis in one's body and expressing it in daily life as Prosperity, personal and national.
Sri Aurobindo speaks of the Indian aristocracy. It is not an aristocracy of birth or wealth or intellect or enterprise. It is an aristocracy of character, honour and of action. It is one of self-sacrifice, courage and high aspiration. Sri Aurobindo describes the Indian not by caste or birth. It is to have a body made in the womb of an Indian mother, a heart that can feel for
* The complete letter is given in the Appendix.
India, a brain that can plan for Indian greatness. To him the Sannyasi is sacred. The venerable Brahmin prostrated before the Sannyasi on the dust of the street. Honour was the watchword. To live for one's honour was the ideal of the Kshatriya. Leonine courage was his. Self-sacrifice for kith and kin was the breath of the Vaisya. The Sudra offered himself in selfless service of dedication.
The Indian aristocracy is an aristocracy of character, honour, leonine courage, and high water mark of self-sacrifice.
Today a good part of the population is steeped in poverty. As long as poverty is there, ignorance will go with it and disease. There can be no self-respect or courage for one buried in poverty. The Tata Consultancy Services have fashioned a software that can teach an illiterate adult reading in 40 hours. They say it gives him a useful vocabulary with which he can read newspapers. Commissioned into service, it can raise the literacy rate of India considerably. Now that computer has come into our lives, appropriate software to expedite the rate of learning at all levels - primary, secondary and higher educational levels - can be fashioned. Any Indian who raises his educational qualifications on his own is doing a patriotic duty to Mother India. India needs entrepreneurs to emerge out of poverty. One needs economic courage to train oneself as an entrepreneur. Such a training given across the nation will release a revolution that will wipe off poverty.
The world has taken notice of India's brainpower. The chairman of Unilever has recently spoken of it. He says even the curse of population can be converted into an asset if the Indian knows how to use this brainpower. The truth is the value of India is her Spiritual Power. This book tries to show how we the Indians can use our spiritual Power to emerge quickly out of poverty. To emerge out of poverty is the Patriotism of this period in India. This BOOK endeavours to show how it is possible. People who have lived in U.K. or USA know what they went through to make their lives what they are today. It is not as if there is a sloka or FORMULA that can raise India or an individual Indian to that status. One who worked in World Bank on hearing our dream that India should equal USA said in 1985, "Do you really mean it?" He never granted our idea any seriousness. After 18 years he is now drawing up similar reports, encouraged by changes in the country. Still our aims and his are still poles apart. Today there is one publication that says India can raise her per capita income in 2025 to that of USA now. While congratulating him warmly for his ideal, I cannot fully share his approach.
- The West has worked for a few hundred years to achieve this prosperity.
- They did so by hard work, which Indians of 2004 cannot even dream of. Our ideal is light work or no work.
- More than the physical work, their values of Truth, privately or publicly, far outstrips ours.
- The nation as a whole thinks scientifically.
- Their social, psychological disciplines are so high that we cannot fully comprehend their values.
- If this is so, a comparable position of ours will be dismal even in a survey of it.
- One third of India has not enough food. There is no question of thinking.
- One third of India is illiterate.
- Salaried employment is our goal, not entrepreneurship.
- 1 dollar = Rs.45 graphically explains the distance to be traveled.
- Corruption is rampant here.
- Those nations are in the top of the list while we are at the bottom.
This being the case, how can we hope to be Prosperous and lead the world? Sri Aurobindo has said it. Are we in a position to make His dream come true? If so, on what basis does such a claim arise? The tortoise on the move wins over the sleeping hare is the story. But this hare is running at top speed and our tortoise is still sleeping. My ideal or goal is based on some TRUTHS the world is not fully aware of. It is not a truth the world does not know, but that Truth is not the ruling idea today anywhere in the world. If it ever comes to life, India will be the last to wake up.
- India is sleeping not because she is sleepy, but because of a wider scheme of Nature that she should wait till all others wake up.
- The instrument we had a few thousand years ago, the Spirit, is thousand times more powerful than the latest instrument of the richest nation.
- We are poor, dull, and blind because that is the fashion in which our treasure should be preserved, as gold is buried in the forest and is covered by an anthill or thorny bushes.
- We may sleep, but that Spirit, "that which is awake in things that sleep" * is awake all over the world. In India too, it is stirring in the subtle plane.
- When the energies of that Spirit are linked to the life of today through an ORGANISATION, the transition in progress will resemble the speed of the rocket.
- The crucial thing is that the cream of the nation should awaken to this possibility and fashion that critical organisation. Prior to that, the values by which that organisation should emerge should be espoused by the population. In the corrupt atmosphere of today, this possibility is a vanishing dream.
- Otherwise, the population should awaken to this possibility and fashion that organisation themselves.
- The cream can do so in a short time. The masses will take a long time, but in either case it is a certainty.
- In the event of the elite failing, an infinitesimal minority of a few hundred idealists doing it in their lives to a great perfection can usher it in almost as a miracle.
- In any case, such a change can come about ONLY by utter truthfulness that is absolute.
- My own hope is India still has that aristocracy of Satyam.
- I do see the distant signs of that splendour.
- The majority may fail, the minority too may fail, but the underlying SPIRIT cannot fail. It accomplishes by Self-Conception, not depending upon externals.
- The only question is through whom and how soon?
- Are you willing to be the vehicle of Indian Spiritual Prosperity? If so, India will achieve in the short run.