We shall read this paragraph first. It is one of the most inspiring passages among the writings of Sri Aurobindo.
“The supreme Shastra of the integral Yoga is the eternal Veda secret in the heart of every thinking and living being. The lotus of the eternal knowledge and the eternal perfection is a bud closed and folded up within us. It opens swiftly or gradually, petal by petal, through successive realisations, once the mind of man begins to turn towards the Eternal, once his heart, no longer compressed and confined by the attachment to finite appearances, becomes enamoured, in whatever degree, of the Infinite. All life, all thought, all energising of the faculties, all experiences passive or active, become thenceforward so many shocks which disintegrate the teguments of the soul and remove the obstacles to the inevitable efflorescence. He who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the Infinite. He has received the divine touch without which there is no awakening, no opening of the spirit; but once it is received, attainment is sure, whether conquered swiftly in the course of one human life or pursued patiently through many stadia of the cycle of existence in the manifested universe.”
There are so many treasures in this paragraph and we need to dwell upon it in many ways. So we shall stop and look into the treasures. We shall first only note down all the important words which are used and then pursue each one of them in detail.
The first word is supreme Shastra, – not only shastra but supreme Shastra. That is an important word. The other word is Integral Yoga, not yoga but Integral Yoga. The next is eternal Veda, then are eternal knowledge and eternal perfection, after we have Eternal and Infinite, teguments of the soul, then the next is one full sentence: “He who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the Infinite.” Then comes attainment is sure. These are the words or expressions we shall dwell upon.
Let us see supreme Shastra. We have already seen the meaning of shastra in the first paragraph. So we shall go back and revise this word shastra. Shastra is the knowledge of the truths, principles, powers and processes that govern the realisation. It is a scientific body of knowledge, of the truths, principles, powers and processes of yoga. Yesterday I told that there are many shastras of yoga: Veda, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita are shastra. Then there are many other shastras like the shastra on yoga written by Patanjali. Patanjali is a very great philosopher of India whose very philosophy is known as yoga philosophy. He has written in small phrases the whole yogic system. And there are many others. We have to distinguish between all these shastras and the supreme shastra. It is supreme shastra because it belongs to Integral Yoga. The word Integral Yoga is referred to specially to explain the word supreme. The Integral Yoga is the theme of this entire book The Synthesis of Yoga. So the world supreme shastra and Integral Yoga are inter–related. And the third word which is inter–related is eternal Veda.
There is the Veda, – four Vedas: Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. These are called Vedic samhitas. Samhita means anthology, collection. Collection of a number of verses is called a Samhita. It is only an anthology therefore that means there must be a much bigger collection. It is even said anantaha vedaha. Anantaha means limitless are the Vedas. Even the four books of the Veda that we see physically are only a small selection. There is much more which has not been collected; and they are limitless, in the sense that you cannot even collect; limitless because they contain the knowledge of the infinite. Infinite being infinite the knowledge of the infinite also is infinite and therefore the Vedas are also infinite. The infinite is eternal and therefore the knowledge of the eternal is also eternal. Therefore that Veda is eternal Veda.
Why we do use the word Integral Yoga? First we must know what is Yoga? Actually this is a question we should have raised right at the beginning. But I deliberately did not do it because very often when we study a subject we allow it to be understood roughly, as a pedagogical way of understanding, you take for granted that you know,– in whatever way you may know it. When I used the word Yoga, I knew you had heard the word and I assumed it would make a figure in your mind, – it is only later that we entered into the subject and now one must polish ones understanding of it. Yoga is a Sanskrit word but a word which has become quite common now in a number of languages. In any case in English, French and all international languages the word yoga is used as a native word, but originally the word is Sanskrit. It comes from the root yuj which means to join, to unite. The concept means, it assumes that there is a process of joining. Yoga is a process of joining. Joining of what, of whom, – joining of that which is separated. That which was separated is to be joined now.