You know, yesterday I ended with two verses: one from Vishwamitra and one from Sri Aurobindo. Now I shall repeat these two because they are very important, and I shall tell you why. It will show us what was the Vedic experience and how far we need to go forward, and how Sri Aurobindo has gone forward, and in what way he has gone forward, and therefore what is directly relevant to us.
When we study history, the important question we should ask is: what was the search of people of any given time? What were they looking for? What was their quest? What was their question? What were they searching for and what did they discover ultimately? The whole world history is a kind of account of a quest. And if you don’t ask this question, you don’t learn history. So when we study Vedic literature we must ask: what was the quest? What were they looking for and why were they looking for what they were looking for? It seems that Vedic Rishis made at least five important discoveries. And I shall come to these five discoveries, but they were all centered on one important question: what is the highest that the human being can attain? That was their quest. What is the highest? You try your utmost, you do your utmost, and as a result, what is available to humanity? That was their basic question. Ultimately they came to realise that what we can do at the most is to attain immortality. I had already spoken about this earlier in my talk on Dharma: the search for immortality. They did not like dislocation, disintegration, breaking, falling apart, division; they wanted to find a way by which this dislocation could be prevented. They found the utmost the human being can do was to attain to a state of immortality, to attain wholeness, completeness which does not break. This was their search. And in the discovery of immortality many discoveries were made. I speak of five discoveries which are important in the Vedic experience.
We come to our times, and when we study history we should always keep this in view: our times and those times, now and then, then and now. This is how we should study history all the time. What is our need to study Veda? Because it can help us now and open the gates to the future. So we must ask the question: What do we need now? What is our need? Why should we study the Veda? So it is for this that Sri Aurobindo has made a tremendous study of what we need today. What is our present time? What do we need? Is it sufficient to go back to the Veda and other past experiences, past discoveries, and repeat them, revive them, reestablish them, is it enough? Or do we need to do something more, or something different? Something that was not conceived before at all? And Sri Aurobindo, after making a great study, an intensive study, came to the conclusion that we need to do something quite different. We can take help from all the past discoveries, and among these discoveries the Vedic discoveries are very important. But merely bringing them back is not enough; we should of course learn of them, acquire them, rediscover them, but that is not enough. Something quite different has to be attempted, because our times are different. Now what is that difference? Sri Aurobindo called our times a critical moment of evolution. Each word is important: “critical moment of evolution.” Sri Aurobindo made a discovery of evolution in a very fundamental way. The idea of evolution is not new, and yet in a certain respect it is new. If you read Sri Aurobindo’s book called The Life Divine (which one day you will study, in fact you should keep as a program of your life the idea that one day you will read ‘The Life Divine’, from cover to cover, and very well, very intensively, because that is very important). So if you study ‘The Life Divine’, you will find that the entire book is actually on the theme of evolution. What is evolution? There are many views of evolution today.
In a very striking manner this idea of evolution was brought forth by a scientist called Charles Darwin. You might have heard his name. Darwin wrote a book called Origin of the species. How different species have come into existence. And he spoke of an evolutionary movement by which species have grown and developed. In his studies every creature on earth is a struggling creature, everyone here is supposed to struggle, whether he likes it or not, every creature, whether it is a small insect or a bird, or a reptile, or a biped, or a quadruped, whatever it is, there is a struggle. There is a law of struggle as it were. And without a struggle, according to Darwin, no creature can survive, and there is a tremendous urge to survive, this is a basic law as it were. Every creature on this earth wants to survive, and therefore there is a struggle for survival, and unfortunately or fortunately the world is such that a creature confronts a vast system which wants to devour that creature. Whoever comes into existence is being attempted to be devoured. This is a new idea which Darwin put forward in history in recent times. It was in the middle of the Nineteenth century. Now of course we are going into the Twenty–first century, but it was in the midst of the Nineteenth century that Darwin put forward this idea.
It was felt to be a new idea, but it was not entirely new because in India there is a very fine sentence: “The eater, eating, is been eaten.” “The eater, eating, is been eaten.” I am devouring something, I do not know that I myself am also been eaten by somebody, or there is an attempt by somebody to eat me up. But this is the small sentence, that we find, in the Upanishads, and Upanishad is a development from the Veda and we shall talk about it. This is a great sentence: the eater is eating, and that eater is also been eaten. So, you can see that in this world there is a tremendous struggle, everybody trying to devour, without devouring as it were you can’t survive, and yet there is a kind of a movement from behind you which is trying to eat you up. Therefore you have to struggle against that — who is trying to eat you up. This is the idea which was known in India, and which Darwin put forward in a very striking manner and he said: “There is a basic law in this world, and that law is the law of struggle for survival, the struggle for existence.” Each one is struggling. Struggling to eat, and struggling against being eaten. This is what is happening all the time in this world. And then he said there is a second law, and the second law is that only a creature which develops so much strength and power and faculties, it is only when you become fittest as it were, that you can survive. In this struggle you have to develop faculties, you have to develop powers, capacities. He said that these faculties and powers are inescapably physical in character. The better the organ, the better the faculty that you develop, the better is your capacity to be fit and the more fit you are, the greater is the possibility of your surviving. You may have to develop new kinds of organs. There are creatures which don’t have hands and feet as we have, therefore they couldn’t survive as much as human beings are able to survive. Certain animals developed wings like birds did, and they could survive, because they developed wings: their physical wings were developed. At a certain stage of development a brain was developed. And it is said that the human being, the human body has a great speciality because the brain has been developed. It is this brain power, as it were, which is responsible for directing the body, directing the thought, and thought has many capacities as a result of which, according to Darwin, the fittest instrument has been created, and therefore man is able to survive. He has developed the fittest instrument, and will survive because of this instrument: the brain power. This theory that he put forward has now become very widespread in the world. If you move out in the world, you will find that people are adherents of this theory. There are opponents, no doubt, but by and large this theory has spread all over the world with a great welcome. In his book he showed how, gradually, there was physical development, better and better organisation of the body, until the development of the brain. It is a great story of gradual development. Evolution is — if you ask the question: what is the meaning of evolution — the exact meaning of evolution is: graduated development. Evolution is development but graduated development; there is a step–by–step development. It is not as if everything develops at one stroke. But he admitted that at a certain moment of development, there is what is called, mutation. Here is another word which you must understand: mutation. Mutation means: a very radical development, a sudden change such as the development of the butterfly is a mutation. You know how a butterfly is produced; that is a process of sudden remarkable development which cannot even been foreseen. If you see the precedent event, and then the next event, there is such remarkable change that you cannot even imagine that such a thing can happen? It is as if somebody comes in your surroundings with crutches, unable to even walk on the crutches and within three days you find that person throwing away the crutches and running about and wrestling with you and winning the wrestling bout that would be a mutation. Suddenly within a short time these capacities developed, that is mutation. Now, Darwin accepted that at certain times in graduated development, mutation takes place, but that mutation can be traced still to the past. In the development of flowers also you will see a bud suddenly open out at a certain time with full glory, as it were. You see a small child also; suddenly a mutation takes place in the child’s development. The child has only learned two or three words which the child can utter today and after five days you just meet the child and you see that child speaking six, seven sentences in a few days' time. This we see very often, quite easily. So Darwin said that there is evolution, graduated development, there is a war as it were, there is a struggle for survival, and suddenly after sometime a mutation takes place. These are, you might say, miracles of physical development. So Darwin’s theory is a theory of physical evolution.
Sri Aurobindo made a study and he pointed out that physical development is dependent upon psychological development. This is the new thing that Sri Aurobindo has presented. Slowly there is a development of consciousness. Behind the physical development there is a push, there is a force of consciousness. He has given a beautiful example of a steam engine. You know the engine of a train. There is a piston and there is a movement coming out as steam. If you are an outsider, you look at the engine and you see that when there is a piston moving like this, on the top steam comes out. So you see that the steam coming out is dependent upon the piston movement. But if you are inside the engine, you find that you need to produce steam first, for the movement of the piston. Piston will not move if there is no steam at all. So then you discover that the piston’s movement is itself dependent upon the movement of steam, the creation of steam, there must be steam first. Similarly, if you look from outside, you feel that consciousness is produced by physical organs, but when you go inside you find that physical organs develop, work, function, because consciousness is moving them. So Sri Aurobindo made a tremendous study of evolutionary processes and came to this conclusion. Now in a sense this idea was already present in the Veda and Upanishads. So ancient. There was an idea of evolution. But what Sri Aurobindo has presented is a completely comprehensive view of this evolution and much of The Life Divine is written to explain this psychological evolution, as against physical evolution.
Now having said this (I am saying it very rapidly because to do full justice to what Sri Aurobindo said one has to give so many lectures on this subject itself, but that we shall do later on after five, six years, not immediately.)… But immediately you can see Sri Aurobindo has made a study of this and he came to the conclusion that the human species... you know the meaning of species? A species is a group of creatures of organisms and the distinction of that group is the fact that its progeny is similar to its parents. That is the mark of a species. The young of the cow is a cow. The young of the human being is a human being. So cow is a species, human beings are a species. A species is a group of creatures whose progeny is similar to the parents. You know there are many kind of species in this world. Even flowers have species, plants are species, trees are species. Any living organism produces its own similar. But at a certain time, there is a sudden change and that changed group or changed organism produces something quite different from its parents. And then again it goes on producing something similar, so a new species is created. Now Sri Aurobindo pointed out that humanity is a species and it has been struggling and developing, (there is no doubt, there is a law of struggle) but that struggle is not merely the development of the physical organs. This species has shown that there is so much psychological stress. Human beings are distinguishable from other species in that human beings are aware of psychological stress, psychological struggle. Even a small child has a psychological struggle to make. Even in a classroom the child is supposed to remember and if he doesn’t recite the remembered poem, he fails. The struggle for existence implies a psychological struggle as it were. So human beings are in a psychological condition of a struggle. Now this struggle has been going on for thousands of years. And that is why we need to study history. To understand what is this struggle of mankind? What is the psychological struggle?
After studying the whole history of mankind, Sri Aurobindo has thrown a light upon the present struggle of mankind. What is the nature of this struggle of human beings today? And his conclusion is: The brain is not sufficient. According to Darwin the brain is the most important organ, no doubt about it. Sri Aurobindo grants that the brain is most important, no doubt, but the brain is not the summit. All that we human beings can do with the powers of the brain, human beings have done. It is a tremendous assertion to say this very confidently, that all the brain can do, mankind has done. And mankind can go on doing this, on and on, and on, if it remains only that. But at every movement of going round about, there will be a greater psychological stress. So there is today a psychological stress in mankind which is unprecedented, because all that you could do with the brain power you have done, and you are only repeating that stress again and again, and again, it is a stage of suffocation. You are able to see today, very rapidly, what mankind has done and that is your advantage here, because you can study this history very rapidly as Sri Aurobindo has done this study, and we are beneficiaries of that study. I will talk to you one day about this in a large way, only this subject: what has mankind done? Why do we say that all that brainpower can do has been done? And having done this, you have seen that mankind is not satisfied. If this was the highest that you could do, you would be satisfied. You have done your highest, your best. But having done your best, mankind is still not satisfied. And that is the problem of today. With whatever brainpower you have, you do your best, and yet you find a problem which you cannot solve, and what do you do? This is the critical moment. Yesterday I told you what a critical moment is. You must find a solution: a problem is presented, and that problem has to be resolved, and must be resolved — not only has to be resolved but must be resolved, and yet you find it very difficult to resolve, that is a crisis. And Sri Aurobindo said: Today we have reached a point of a critical moment of evolution. We have been evolving, we have done our very best, and having done our best, the problem still confronts us, and we are not able to solve it. And we go round and round and we find that we cannot solve the problem. So, we discover a moment of criticality.
This is Sri Aurobindo’s study of the present state of mankind. We are all born in this age which is a critical moment of evolution, and therefore Sri Aurobindo said: We have to find a solution to that problem. That solution is not to be found in the Veda, is not to be found anywhere in the world. This is a very important point. In the whole history of mankind, the solution to this problem is not given. So merely study of history is not enough, you should study history, you must know what has been done, you have to acquire that also, you cannot wish it away, all that has been done is not wrong, but we have to know what has been done very accurately, and now, what is new that has still to be done? And Sri Aurobindo is this New. That is why Mother said: “Sri Aurobindo does not belong to history.” To belong to history means? You take up a link of history and move forward that is to belong to history. But if you look at the entirety of humanity’s history and the next step is not to be found there and you take that new step: you go outside history, you don’t belong to history. This is what Sri Aurobindo did. Once I had written a syllabus in 1964–65 for students of the Ashram, The Spiritual history of India. That was the topic I had selected and I had prepared something right from the Veda to Sri Aurobindo, and I sent it to the Mother for her approval, and then the very first word that Mother said after reading the whole thing, it was a long text which Mother took trouble to read. After reading the whole thing she said: “No, this will not do.” That was her reply: “No, this will not do. You are trying to show that Sri Aurobindo belongs to history, that Sri Aurobindo is a culmination, this is not true, not at all true.” It was such an emphatic proposition that Mother made. I was torn apart when I read this answer of the Mother. But it was a new light in my consciousness, and therefore I am always eager to share this experience with everybody, particular children like you. I want to tell you this as to how I was torn apart by this statement of Mother: “No, this will not do. Not do at all.” She said, and then she said: “You should be square, absolutely clear. What Sri Aurobindo has proposed is new.” And then I began to make a search myself after receiving it, it is a long answer actually. If you read the Mother’s Agenda you will find the complete statement of this answer which Mother had given. You have the complete text. One day Deepti will read it out to you. It is a very powerful statement of the Mother. From that time onwards, as it were, you know, I have been studying Sri Aurobindo in a new light. I am trying to understand Sri Aurobindo in a new way. Then I understood Sri Aurobindo, or I may say that I have begun to understand Sri Aurobindo, why he spoke of the aim of life.
You know there is in The Life Divine a very big chapter called The Aim of Life. And he speaks of four theories of existence. What are the four theories of existence? The one theory, (I am giving some bombastic words, but they are necessary), the first aim of life is: supracosmic aim of life. It is a very big word, very heavy word; it is a supracosmic aim of life. The second is: supraterrestrial aim of life. The third is: terrestrial aim of life, and fourth is: integral aim of life. These are the four theories. Now again I will have to tell you at length if I have to explain what are these words: supracosmic, supraterrestrial, terrestrial and integral. At one time myself, Alain and Deepti and some others met together and we went on making a search in the history of mankind and we produced a small book, perhaps you might have seen it, called The Aim of Life. And that whole book is written only to explain these four terms: supracosmic, supraterrestrial, terrestrial and integral. The whole book — we have only given illustrations. What is supracosmic aim of life? What is supraterrestrial aim of life? What is terrestrial aim of life? And what is integral aim of life?
Supracosmic is to go beyond cosmos, very easy. Cosmos means the whole world. To go above the world, to leave the world completely, the capacity to leave the world is supracosmic. Where there is no world at all. What is the world? World is a system of relationships. It is a very short definition of the world. World is a system of relationships. So wherever there is a system of relationships, there is a world. You go beyond all systems of relationships, it is supracosmic. So there have been some people who have said: go beyond all systems of relationships and that is the aim of life, it is supracosmic. That is the teaching of the Buddha for example, the teaching of Shankaracharya.
Supraterrestrial, what is that? It doesn’t say go beyond all worlds. It says: this world in which you are living is not satisfactory. But there is another system of relationships which is above this world. So leave this world and go to that world that is called supraterrestrial. Terrestrial means this earthly existence in which we are living. So go above this world, physical world, and enter into another world, in which there is no earth principle, there is no physicality. There is according to them a supraterrestrial world and you can enter into it. That is another aim of life. So there are some people who have said, this world is of course useless, leave this world, it is a world of evil, of sufferings. But there is another world which is a paradise; everything is so beautiful, so musical, so blissful. This is the teaching of many religions. When you study religion you’ll find that every religion tells you that this world is to be thrown away, every religion. This is the mark of religion. You study all religions and you will find a common point: every religion says, this world is to be avoided, to be thrown out. Every religion promises that there is another world to which you can approach and in which you can live forever if you fulfill certain conditions. So every religion has given those conditions and tells its adherents to follow those conditions and promised that once you are out of this world you will enjoy the higher world. That is called supraterrestrial aim of life.
What is a terrestrial aim of life? Terrestrial aim is that this world, whatever its defects or deficiencies, this world alone exists; there is no such thing as going beyond the world. Who knows what is beyond the world, according to these people? This world we see, we know this world. We know this world is full of difficulties, and so what? We can improve it, we can make things better, we make a better life, a more happy life. We shall make it; let us work. That is the terrestrial aim of life.
Now integral aim of life is and Sri Aurobindo made a study of all the aims of life, thoroughly. He discovered that all the theories are right, and all theories are wrong. They are all right; are all wrong. They are all right in what they say, but they are all wrong in what they deny. In what they affirm they are right, in what they deny, they are wrong. This is the answer that Sri Aurobindo gives. So he says that Supracosmic theory is right in saying that there is an existence which is not a system of relations, it is not an imagination; there is a reality which is not a system of relations and you can approach it, you can enter into it, they are right. But they are wrong in saying that this world is therefore to be rejected. They are denying this world. So Sri Aurobindo says: in that denial they are wrong. Supraterrestrial aim says there is a different system of world or relationships, much more happy, eternally beautiful, they are quite right, there is such a world. It is supraterrestrial, there is such a world [...] Cosmic and supraterrestrial. Then he comes to the Terrestrial aim which states that you can make this a better world. Even you can make a perfect world. Finally there is the Integral aim which combines all the theories. So Sri Aurobindo goes forward in terrestrial theory: Yes this earth is our field, you should not give up this world, you are not called upon to leave this world. This is a tremendous discovery, tremendous discovery. To say that this world is not to be rejected. But he came to this conclusion that you can make it perfect only if you open up to the supracosmic and supraterrestrial and bring the powers from all of them and then deal with this world in the right way. What is the right way of dealing with this world? It is also a very difficult thing. In the history of the world there was nobody who has told you how to make the best development of this world, so that this world can be perfected. It is true; there have been many people who have said that this world must be perfected. You might say that in a short span of life to make this discovery is absolutely miraculous. Normally if this is allowed to be developed it may take millions of years. To find out this truth, which Sri Aurobindo has done, would normally take millions of years. And Sri Aurobindo did it with such a tremendous rapidity. And this is the knowledge that Sri Aurobindo has given in the great book The Life Divine. That’s why I told you that you must keep in your program one day to study The Life Divine, because you have to find out what that new knowledge is. And we are all students of that knowledge. To be a master of that knowledge will take millions of years, perhaps. But we can start studying.
And this is the meaning of our studying Vedic literature. Why do we study the Vedic literature? Because Vedic literature tells you what is supracosmic, what is supraterrestrial, also tells you what is terrestrial. But it had not found the clue of bringing the supracosmic, and supraterrestrial into the terrestrial. So you might say that there is a great similarity between the Vedic knowledge and Sri Aurobindo’s knowledge; and yet millions of years of a gulf between the two. What Sri Aurobindo discovered is something that could not have been deduced from what was in the Veda. It is not as if you make a premise and then you deduce a conclusion and Sri Aurobindo drew the conclusion. No, this was the mistake that I had committed in presenting that statement to the Mother, where the idea was that here was the history of India, so much was done and now Sri Aurobindo drew the conclusion. Not that. That is why Mother said: “No, it will not do, it will not work.” Sri Aurobindo brought a new knowledge as to how to make this earth a divine earth. That it can be done. This was the program of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: that this physical world does not need to be thrown away in order to attain the spirit. That spirit can manifest in the physical fully, perfectly. The physical can be the instrument of the spirit. One day you will read what Mother wrote on 14th of March 1970, in the Agenda, you remember this date: 14th of March 1970. In this statement Mother said: “What Sri Aurobindo had asked me to do has been done. It will no more be like the past.” It is as if a new world has opened up, the spirit can manifest in the world in the physical; this has been done. This is the work, this is the new knowledge. And Sri Aurobindo has said that unless this is done, the world will go round and round in the crisis. Once this is done, a new step is taken, you are no more bound to the brain, something more, something new has developed.
Now I tell you this very briefly and put this idea into your consciousness, let it develop further, and then you will understand the difference between Vishwamitra’s Gayatri and Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri. Vishwamitra said: Let our intellect be connected with the sunlight that sunlight is a symbolic way of saying, supramental light; a light which is above the mind, supramental. Vishwamitra had discovered that intellect is the great faculty, indispensable faculty, which has to be connected with the supermind. And he taught people that you should strive towards that end. Sri Aurobindo says that you have to connect not only with the supramental light but parasya, you have to go beyond, even the supracosmic. Connect yourself with the supermind and the supracosmic and connect not only the intellect, he uses the word naha. Naha is a word in Sanskrit which means, “us”. It is very similar to the French word “nous”. There also “nous” means us. If you see the spelling of “nous”, n–o–u–s is the spelling. And if anybody asks: you spell nah in Sanskrit, it will be the similar one: n–o–u–s, it is the same word. So Sri Aurobindo speaks of connecting our totality, not only the intellect, the totality. Vishwamitra says: Our intellect should be united with the supermind, so that the intellect may be directed by the supermind. Here Sri Aurobindo says: naha: we should entirely, not only be directed, dipayet, we should be completely illumined. Not only directed, but we should be completely illumined by the supramental and supracosmic light. So you can see the difference between the two Gayatri mantras and you see the difference between the Vedic knowledge and Sri Aurobindo’s knowledge, and yet the connection between the two. The connection is so great that it is very important for us to learn in history what has been done by the great pioneers, so that we learn whatever has been done and yet we are ready to learn what is new and we work for the new. I thought today I shall explain to you Vishwamitra’s Gayatri and Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri, and not go further because already this is a very important statement which I have made today. And let it be digested till the next time that we meet, whenever you want to meet, I am available any time. All right, then tomorrow, we shall go further. Today only two sentences: Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri and Vishwamitra’s Gayatri.
Vishwamitra’s mantra is: Om bhurbhuvahswah tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat. This is Vishwamitra’s mantra. Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri mantra is: Om bhurbhuvahswah tat savitur varam rupam jyotih parasya dhimahi yannah satyen dipayet. This is Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri.
If you have questions you can ask me. I am still available for half an hour more, if you want. Once you had many questions which I had not answered, I know that. Last time there were so many questions.
Question: “I have one question at Bharat Nivas you told us how the students could memorise the Veda. I would like you to explain it once more. If I take the sentence in English “today is”, “to–day–is, day–to –is–one–way?”
Let me answer this question very briefly. I had once spoken at Bharat Nivas perhaps many of you were not present at that time, but the question was, and I can raise this question in a fresh manner: how are we sure that what is written now in the Veda which is printed, available to us, is exactly what was recited many thousand years ago? How are we sure? I told you in the beginning last time, yesterday, that there is one record of history, that is Veda, about which we are certain that that record is authentic, that what was thought in the ancient times is accurately stated and it is now known to us in the most accurate manner. How are we sure? How are we sure that our forefathers did not change those things, and present them to us saying this was what was done in the ancient times. This is the basic question that we should raise. Because like scientists we want solid evidence. The answer is that a system was organised so that whatever was uttered at that time could not be changed by anybody afterwards. A system was found in such a way that when we utter, it was uttered in such a manner that you cannot change it afterwards. Let me give an example: I spoke to you just now of the Vishwamitra’s Gayatri, tat savitur varenyam bhargo devas ya dhimahi. Let’s take only one sentence. How are we to be sure that Vishwamitra said exactly these words, and in thousands of years there has been no change in it. How can we be sure? The surety comes from the following way: It was laid down that when we recite this, you should recite it in many different ways. One way is: first of all you only say tat, then you say tat savitur, then you say tat savitur varenyam, then tat savitur varenyam bhargo, then tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya — tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi— if you repeat it several times in this way then, you can be quite sure that it can’t be changed, if you are required to recite in this way. But they made it doubly sure that you should repeat forward and backward. Tat savitur, savitur tat, tat savitur varenyam, varenyam savitur tat. Go backward and then you proceed further until the end. It may be a long way of recitation, but then you can be sure that it should read both, backwards and forwards in the same way. Then nobody can change it, nobody can alter it. I have told one of my institutions called Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratisthan to send us one verse recited in this fashion, in which you go backward and forward. I have told them which mantra to take; it is from Yajur Veda, one mantra will be taken and they are going to recite on the tape–recorder and they are going to send it to us here. When it comes I will present it here and you will be able to hear it, as to how, even today there are at least two thousand people in India who recite the whole of the Rig Veda in this manner. The whole of the Rig Veda they can recite in this fashion. Even today they are two thousand people in India. Once I made a survey in India and I called those people at one place in Vijayawada, and they had all come and it was a treat to hear this kind of recitation; not the whole of the Rig Veda because it will take years, but a number of verses were recited in this way. I want to give you one taste of it, so I said that one verse I should get to be recited before you on a tape–recorder. So when it comes I shall present to you.
Question: ”Is the ego not required; when we are saying our opinion, is it not the ego in a way?”
Sri Aurobindo has written “Ego is a helper, ego is a bar.” There is something like a development of ego. If it was absolutely useless, it would have never have been developed, but there is a great use for it. As long as you remain ignorant, as long as you want to remain ignorant, you can’t avoid the ego. So when we say, or when Sri Aurobindo and Mother say: “Now we must give up ego.” It is addressed to those people who have decided: we do not want to remain in ignorance. If you have decided, even in principle, if not fully, but if you have decided now: enough of ignorance, I want to come out of ignorance, I want to enter into knowledge, to such people you should say, you must stop ego. But those who need it, for them it is a helper. So ego is a helper as long as you want to remain in ignorance, but once you want to go out of ignorance then you can say, now give up ego, then it’s a bar, it will hinder you. So as long as you remain egoistic you cannot go out of it. You cannot enter into knowledge.
Question: “Is it enough to read Sri Aurobindo’s Secret of the Veda or should one read more?”
Sri Aurobindo himself has said that that book is incomplete. What Sri Aurobindo has written in The Secret of the Veda is a very brief statement. It is only to begin the establishment of the hypothesis. The Secret of the Veda was supposed to be a commentary upon a number of verses, only by way of illustration. And Sri Aurobindo himself has said that if time permitted he would like to translate and even explain each and every verse of the Rig Veda. Now that is not done in The Secret of the Veda, each and every verse of the Rig Veda has not been commented upon, that is a work for us, if we are interested in carrying out that work, it is a very big work to be carried out. One of the activities in which I am engaged today is to create interest among the people to read the Rig Veda, those who are capable of doing it, to read Sri Aurobindo’s Secret of the Veda and then work upon on a bigger plan in which following Sri Aurobindo’s line they can translate and explain each and every verse of the Rig Veda. Somebody has to do it. But if you really want to understand simply the basics of the Rig Veda and if you want to be convinced of the line that Sri Aurobindo has taken, then that is enough, it is complete.