“The supreme Shastra of the integral Yoga is the eternal Veda secret in the heart of every thinking and living being.” We had just stopped here and we were discussing the word Integral Yoga. And we went on a good voyage describing what is yoga, describing different yogas such as Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. We asked then the question how Integral Yoga is arrived at by a synthesis. We came to the conclusion that the synthesis of yoga is arrived at by synthesizing the objects of all the different yogas by synthesizing the instruments of all the yogas and by synthesizing the processes of all the yogas. We described a little how we synthesise the objects, instruments and processes, but the whole book is here before us and in due course we shall do all that in detail. Now we have some idea to start with of what is Integral Yoga. But the statement itself is a very startling statement. You will see the wonder of the statement when he says: “You don’t need to read the book.” Such is the first answer to that statement. If this statement is understood properly, it means you don’t need to read the book. Because he says: “The supreme Shastra of the integral Yoga is the eternal Veda secret in the heart of every thinking and living being.” It is already in your heart, in my heart, in everybody heart, secretly present.
You know there is a very interesting statement of Sri Aurobindo where he says: the first principle of teaching is that nothing can be taught. You must have heard this statement quite often. The reason is that everything that is to be learnt is already in you. There is a knowledge which is called Veda — Veda is nothing but a book of knowledge — and Sri Aurobindo says it is the eternal Veda. It was not written yesterday, it has not been written today, it will not be written tomorrow. It is eternal. What is the reason for making this statement? At the outset it may seem very, very difficult to accept. There must be a story behind it as to how can we say the supreme Shastra of Integral Yoga which you may take years and hundreds of years to understand ourselves is however already written in the heart of everyone. So there must be a story when it was written. Then only can we say that it is already secret in the heart of everyone. The story is that first of all each one of us is eternal. Although our body is born now or then, but each one of us is eternal. That means we have some kind of immortality. Just as the Supreme Lord is eternal, so are we, because each one of us is nothing but the image of the Lord himself. It is if you draw a picture of the Supreme, suppose you make a figure of the Supreme, and put his head here and then you put another head here, this one will be almost identical with the Supreme image. Each one of us always exists. The Mother had put it in very nice words: “We are objective forms of the Lord.” If you take a mirror and look into it, it is yourself, but you find that your object in the mirror looks at you; although you are looking at the mirror, the result of objectivation is that the mirror looks at you. And because it looks at you there is a dialogue between you and the image as if that image is different from you — seemingly. The story of the world is simply the story of the Lord objectivised, resulting in a dialogue. Since you are yourself an image of the Lord all that is in the Lord is in you; If the Lord is omniscient so too are you. Therefore all that is known, all that constitutes knowledge is already secret in us. You have forgotten perhaps — indeed we have — but it is secret. It is present. Since it is present you simply have to recover it. So all learning is recovering.
There is a beautiful story of Plato. Plato wrote many dialogues. Western philosophy is supposed to be footnotes to Plato. If you know Plato, in a general way you know all that is in Western philosophy. Just as in the case of India the whole of Indian philosophy is footnotes to the Veda. If you know the Veda Indian philosophy is known to you. Everything that is in India is easy to understand. That is why I started with the Veda with you at one stage. Although much of it may be forgotten it does not matter. There is a definition of learning. Learning is what remains after you have forgotten all that you have learnt. I have spoken to you about the Veda at length, so if you forget it and then what remains that is what you learnt. At the least, if somebody uses the word Veda you will not stand as a stranger. You have some acquaintance; you have heard there is something like the Veda in the world that is what remains behind and much more which you might not be able to recollect. Similarly, one day I want to deal with Plato.
Plato maintained that all knowledge is remembrance. Whenever you learn something it is only an act of recovering, remembering: “Oh! Now I remember, yes.” It is recognition. All knowledge is remembrance. And to prove his theory he has written a short dialogue in which the main character is Socrates. Socrates was discussing with a great philosopher, in this dialogue, and he was discussing that all knowledge is remembrance. And the other philosopher argued bitterly against it. Socrates said: “Let us make an experiment.” He said: “Here is a slave of yours.” In Greece at that time there were slaves, there was some people who were bought and they were lifelong slaves. Usually these people used to be very ignorant, obscure, uneducated, but laborious workers. They cannot refuse to do anything that you ask them to do. So Socrates said: “You call your slave — his name was Mino — and surely he does not know the theorem of Pythagoras” Pythagoras as you know was a great geometrician, a great mathematician and there is a very famous theorem of Pythagoras. “Surely your slave does not know Pythagoras, does not know his theorem. He has even not heard the word geometry. He is ignorant.” “Yes sure”. So Socrates said: “I will demonstrate to you that he knows the theorem of Pythagoras. Not only knows but he will prove to you the theorem of Pythagoras.” It was a surprising statement. The slave was called and Socrates began to ask questions little by little by little, like a good teacher. And then he elicited the answers from the slave — it depends how you ask the questions. You start with an assumption that he knows already and you put questions in such a way that he remembers. He has forgotten and he is only helped to remember. Ultimately he was able to prove the theorem of Pythagoras. Socrates demonstrated that the slave knew, he only now remembered it. It is a very famous dialogue of Plato, called Meno, which he demonstrated that all knowledge is remembrance because all knowledge is secret already in you.