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Aurobindo on How to Do Yoga and Why he has Rewritten Savitri Ten or Twelve Times

By Santhanam Nagarajan

The great Yogi Maharishi Aurobindo (Birth 15-8-1872 Samadhi: 5-12-1950) was very emphatic in stating that only he could write truly about himself. And hence we have to read his writings, letters etc to know about him.

Swami Vivekananda guided him in his yogic practice in Alipore jail. Aurobindo himself revealed:”In the Alipore jail I had the Gita and the Upanishads with me, practiced the Yoga of the Gita and meditated with the help of Upanishads; these were the only books from which I found guidance; the Veda which I first began to read long afterwards in Pondicherry rather confirmed what experience I already had than was any guide to my Sadhana. I sometimes turned to the Gita for light, when there was a question or a difficulty and usually, received help or an answer from it. It is a fact that I was hearing constantly the voice of Swami Vivekananda speaking to me for a fortnight in the jail in my solitary meditation and felt his presence. The voice spoke only on a special and limited but very important field of spiritual experience and it ceased as soon as it had finished saying all that it had to say on that subject.” He has answered the question, “How to do Yoga” himself.

He says: “One (not a disciple- I had no disciple in those days) asked me how to do Yoga. I said: Make your mind quiet first” He did and his mind became quite silent and empty. Then he rushed to me saying: “My brain is empty of thoughts, I can not think. I am becoming an idiot.” He did not pause to look and see where these thoughts he uttered were coming from! Nor did he realize that one who is already an idiot can not become one. Anyhow I was not patient in those days and I dropped him and let him lose his miraculously achieved silence.

The usual way, the easiest if one can manage it at all, is to call down the silence from above you into the brain, mind and body.

Aurobindo’s mind became full of an eternal silence in one day. It was ever with him. The great rishi has written the classic Savitri for the sake of mankind. He had to write and rewrite it ten or twelve times!

The disciples have been wondering why he would have to write and rewrite his poetry so many times when he had all the inspiration at his command and do not have to receive it with the difficulty that faces budding Yogis like them.

Aurobindo answered:”That is very simple. I used Savitri as a means of ascension. I began with it on a certain mental level, each time I could reach a higher level I rewrote from that level. Moreover I was particular- if part seemed to me to come from any lower levels I was not satisfied to leave it because it was good poetry. All had to be as far as possible of the same mint. In fact Savitri has not been regarded by me as a poem to be written and finished, but as a field of experimentation to see how far poetry could be written from one’s own Yogic consciousness and how that could be made creative. I did not rewrite Rose of God or the sonnets except for two or three verbal alterations made at the moment.

From this we could easily understand that in Savitri we may find his Yogic consciousness. Savitri will guide a true aspirant of Yoga.

Link :Excerpts from e-books on Nilashop

Kalakendra.com : October 24, 2006, 11:56 am