Evolution of the Vedic Spirit: A Psychological Perspective-V-M.S. Srinivasan

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)


  1. The Mother, Collected Works, Vol.1.1, p.
  2. Sri Aurobindo, SABCL, Vol.29, p.
  3. John Woodroffe, Shakthi and the Shaktha, Ganesh and Co., Madras, p.440.
  4. Sri Aurobindo, SABCL, vol.13, p.79.
  5. Sri Aurobindo, SABCL, vol.14, p.140-41.
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