Sri Aurobindo and the literary renaissance of India


The problem is, Jesus never spoke of bread as his flesh. He said his flesh was bread and his blood was wine. Not just any bread and any wine, but magical blood and wine that cleanses all sins. In other words, “today our daily bread” of the Lord’s Prayer is not the body of Jesus. It is food made available by the Lord but not by the Lord Himself. Thus, at the time of Holy Communion, the bread and the wine are ritually transformed into his blood and his flesh. In any case, this ritual magic can not be considered pantheistic.

The good doctor could have sought out Teilhard de Chardin, who actually envisioned a cosmic Christ – more through his study of evolution than because of the Gospels. Sri Aurobindo and Chardin were contemporaries and striking parallels exist between the two.

Amal Kiran (KDSethna 1904-2011) wrote a wonderful book on Chardin in 1976. Those who wish to understand the Hindu-Christian encounter with Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel should also read KDSethna. Not that Christianity is incapable of arriving at eternal truths even through Christianity. The consciousness expressed through humanity is always seeking to accomplish this.

The line attributed to Lord Byron, explaining the miracle possibly borrowed from Dionysus of Jesus turning water into wine, reads: “The water met its master and blushed”. A faint poetic glimpse of Purusha Prakriti can be seen here – not fully developed perhaps, not even understood beyond the immediate thrill of the prospect, but it is there.

This shows the universality of Sankhya Darshana but not Jesus symbolizing Sankhya by the miracle. To claim otherwise would be doing a grave injustice to both Jesus and Sankhya Darshana. This is a mistake well-meaning scholars in universal spiritual pursuits like Dr. Singh should avoid.

Both Sri Aurobindo and Chardin being evolutionary visionaries in their own right, it would have been a great pleasure if Dr Singh had made a comparison of the two. It should be remembered as you read each of these 15 comparison trials, that these trials are seed forms of a book in and of themselves.

Also, it is hoped that it will expand each of them in the future. He showed what a treasure we have for humanity in Sri Aurobindo. This in itself is a task worthy of immense gratitude. If he sets out to develop each of his essays, it would be a gift to posterity.

As we go along, the book deals with Sri Aurobindo the poet and the playwright.

Dr Singh is a poet himself and his appreciation of Sri Aurobindo is both that of a scholar and another poet. For him, Mahayogi’s achievements as a poet are threefold – in terms of content in which he made English verses a vehicle for expressing very refreshing Sanatana Darshanas, then in terms of experimentation with form and third, Savitri.

Once again, this is no easy task for the author and he is definitely in an unenviable position. There are pages where you can feel the author hold the reader’s hand and walk him through the beauty of the poetic palaces of the great European poets, then into the enchanting eternal forest that is the poetry of Sri Aurobindo.

In Section IV, in an essay provocatively titled ‘Sri Aurobindo and the scandal of the Vedas‘there’s a pretty funny passage:


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