Isha Upanishad - Super school - Auroville

Track Running Isha Upanishad 104

You can teach a child how you should behave, how you should eat, how you should drink, how you should sleep, but if you want to understand life itself, you must be able to tell your students or your child, what is the origin of life, what are the different manifestations of life; hundreds and thousands of manifestations of life. In what direction all the life is moving, what are the goals that the life is seeking and the study of all the goals, the interplay of goals is the Veda. Veda is great because of this profound knowledge of all aspects; those who composed the Vedas were masters of life. This is a science, which is not at all known today that there is a science of living; nobody teaches you the science of living anywhere at all. There is physics, chemistry, biology but science of living, such a subject is not even recognised. So, when you study the Veda, you are actually a master. You are actually entering into a mastery of what is living, what is life; the most difficult subject in the world is the science of living.

You should be able to stand above life to see what life is from above. Just as when you want to study, what is the prism? You should be able to hold the prism in your hand, you should be able to observe it from above, from all sides then you can say this is prism, you can describe prism fully only when you are able to rise to the top and examine it. Similarly if you want to know what life is, you have to stand above life, you should be master of life. Normally we are much engaged in life that we become part and parcel of life itself and we are unable to observe it. You are rolled in life; therefore you cannot detach yourself and see it as it is. You should be able to observe, for observation you go out of life and observe it from above and then describe what it is. This, the Vedic seers were able to do and they had done.

So you have done Veda, which is not philosophy, you have done a science of living. You are only being introduced; I must say Veda is a very huge body of knowledge. The few lectures that I given, are only the portals, few doors which have been opened, it is a profound study of life. You keep it in your store, one day we will study this subject also because as I said there are certain subjects which is to be studied over the whole life. Veda is such a subject, which is to be studied throughout the whole life and you’ll do it, I'm sure about it. You know, there are certain things which once introduced; you can never leave, even if you want to leave, they come again and again, this is a great beauty. Veda is such a subject that once you have heard about it, one day you will come back to it.

Dharma is not a science, is not a philosophy, it is still something else it is something akin to ethics but yet not ethics itself. It's a profound perception of the gradations of ideal conduct, applicable to different individuals differently at different stages that is dharma. Ethics is usually considered to be a study of ideal conduct for everybody, whether you are a child or adult or whatever but dharma is a very dynamic concept, it tells you what is ideal conduct at different stages of life appropriate to different individuals. It’s a very difficult subject in which you are already introduced; I have already given you the definition of Dharma. The ten characteristics, which have been given of dharma, you can refer to your earlier notebooks, which you have understood and we have already gone into it, profound study for your whole life, we will come back to it again and again.

But Sankhya, why did I select Sankhya above all. One of the reasons of these classes is to summarise the most important aspects of knowledge, as rapidly as possible that is what I mean by Super school. Super school is a field in which the most important elements of knowledge are summarised as rapidly as possible. This whole idea of Super school, which Mother has given, on which reflecting more and more, it is something so profound; I don't think this concept exists anywhere in the world. We are so fortunate in Auroville that we can have it, we can develop it. As a told you nowhere in the colleges and universities students are benefited by Veda on one side, and Socrates and Plato on the other simultaneously. It takes a lot of time before people come to understand these two trends of thought as easily as you have done here.

Similarly if you want to master, what is called philosophy in India, the best way, this is the key as it were, if you want to open the doors in Indian philosophy, not Indian dharma nor Indian science of living but Indian philosophy,− Indian metaphysics, one of the easiest ways of entering into Indian metaphysics or Indian philosophy is Sankhya. You cannot understand truly any branch of Indian philosophy without a good grounding in Sankhya, and since our purpose is to summarise knowledge as rapidly as possible, without burdening you with so much details I would simply say begin with Sankhya. And also because Socrates, Plato and Aristotle they come closest to Sankhya. They are also western philosophers as I said; western philosophy cannot be understood properly without Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Similarly you cannot understand Indian philosophy without a good foundation in Sankhya and it so happens that these three philosophers come closest to Sankhya it is very interesting. Transition from Plato to Sankhya is very easy, therefore, you can see that there must have been (this is a speculation) at one time, some common source from which Western and Indian thought has developed because both come very close together. If you go to the roots, the beginnings of Indian philosophy and the roots of Western philosophy, you find so much similarity between the two. Therefore, those who say east is east and west is west, is not true. This whole idea of this division that East will always remain eastern and West will remain always western is not true and the demonstration is that if you see what is Sankhya, and what is Plato, you see so much of similarity between the two. That is the reason when you start Indian philosophy you will begin with Sankhya or this is my recommendation, begin with Sankhya, other things will fall in their place. I brought this paper for you; again, it is a paper for No school, not for Super school but for No school, so study Sankhya when you find time, study Aristotle when you find time and study by yourself, study on your own.

Now I am told that it will be a good thing if I however take these classes for Upanishads. I readily feel very happy about it because of the fact that if you examine Indian history on one side and Western history on the other, you will find parallels. The Vedic knowledge is a parallel at a certain stage of Greek history, in what is called Orphism. There was a movement in ancient Greece called Orphism, Eleusinian philosophy, Eleusinian thought, Eleusinian occultism, Eleusinian mysteries. So there is a correspondence between the Vedic mysteries and Eleusinian mysteries, there is a parallel, there is a parallel to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle to Sankhya and others but with regard to the Upanishads, there is no parallel. It’s a very important fact to be understood there is no parallel in the history of the world something that corresponds to the Upanishads, is a very important insight that Sri Aurobindo has given.

 

Now I am told that it will be a good thing if I however take these classes for Upanishads. I readily feel very happy about it because of the fact that if you examine Indian history on one side and Western history on the other, you will find parallels. The Vedic knowledge is a parallel at a certain stage of Greek history, in what is called Orphism. There was a movement in ancient Greece called Orphism, Eleusinian philosophy, Eleusinian thought, Eleusinian occultism, Eleusinian mysteries. So there is a correspondence between the Vedic mysteries and Eleusinian mysteries, there is a parallel, there is a parallel to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle to Sankhya and others but with regard to the Upanishads, there is no parallel. It’s a very important fact to be understood there is no parallel in the history of the world something that corresponds to the Upanishads, is a very important insight that Sri Aurobindo has given.

 

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