The Central Significance
This is in essence the story of the inner psychological and spiritual evolution of the Vedic Spirit. The central significance of this evolution will be clear to all those who have followed this survey of Indian spirituality. It is the fixing of, establishing and generalising the spiritual possibility, in the various parts of the human nature, not only in the individual but also for the whole of human race. The Upanishadic movement brings the possibility to the intelligent will Buddhi, Gita into the higher vital will and emotion, Vaishnavism into the lower emotions, Tanthras into the physical being. The great attempt of the purano-tanthric religion in the diffusion of spirituality to the masses or in other words, in the art and science of mass-communication of spiritual ideas to the common man and their equally innovative attempt to bring down a spiritual power into communal life through the institution of Temple-worship, indicate some of the methods by which this spiritual possibility can be generalised for the whole race. The future of Indian spirituality must follow this curve and the tendencies inherent in its evolution and move towards the perfect fulfillment of these tendencies, which means spiritualisation of the whole of human nature and the greneralisation of this spiritual possibility for the whole of humanity.
Indian spirituality has to recover fully the comprehensiveness and integrality of its parent and original Vedic spiritual vision, gathering whatever spiritual riches it has gained during its evolution and discarding the tendencies of one-sided exclusiveness, move towards a greater and richer syntheses. In the following passage, Sri Aurobindo indicates the nature of the future spiritual movement which can bring about the fulfillment of the deeper purpose of the evolution of the Indian spirituality:
“A wider spiritual culture must recognise that the spirit is not only the highest and inmost thing, but all is manifestation and creation of the spirit. It must have a wider outlook, a more embracing range of applicability and, even, a more aspiring and ambitious aim of its endeavour. Its aim must be not only to raise to inaccessible heights a few elect, but to draw all men and all life and the whole human being upward, to spiritualise life and in the end to divinise human nature. Not only must it be able to lay hold on his deepest individual being but to inspire too his communal existence. It must turn, by a spiritual change, all the members of his ignorance into members of the knowledge; it must transmute all the instruments of the human being into instruments of a divine living. The total movement of Indian spirituality is towards this aim; inspite of all the difficulties, imperfections and fluctuations of its evolution it had this character. But like other cultures, it was not at all times and in all its parts and movements consciously aware of its own total significance. This large sense sometimes emerged into something like a conscious synthetic clarity, but was more often kept in the depths and on the surface dispersed in a multitude of subordinate and special standpoints. Still, it is only by an intelligence of the total drift of what its manifold sides and rich variations of effort and teaching and discipline can receive their full reconciling unity and be understood in the light of its own most intrinsic purpose” (3)
- The Mother, Collected Works, Vol.1.1, p.
- Sri Aurobindo, SABCL, Vol.29, p.
- John Woodroffe, Shakthi and the Shaktha, Ganesh and Co., Madras, p.440.
- Sri Aurobindo, SABCL, vol.13, p.79.
- Sri Aurobindo, SABCL, vol.14, p.140-41.