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Sri Aurobindo: Top 10 Quotations

Aurobindo Ghosh Speaks About India and Hinduism

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Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo - the great Indian scholar, litterateur, philosopher, patriot, social reformer and visionary - was also a prominent religious guru, who left behind a substantial body of enlightening literature.

Although he was a Hindu scholar, Aurobindo's aim was not to develop any religion but to attempt an inner self-development by which each human being can perceive the oneness in all and procure an elevated consciousness that will externalize the god-like attributes in man. His major works include The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita, Commentaries on the Isha Upanishad, Powers Within - all dealing with the intense knowledge that he had gained in the practice of Yoga.

Here is a selection of quotations from Sri Aurobindo's teachings:

On Indian Culture: "More high-reaching, subtle, many-sided, curious and profound than the Greek, more noble and humane than the Roman, more large and spiritual than the old Egyptian, more vast and original than any other Asiatic civilization, more intellectual than the European prior to the 18th century, possessing all that these had and more, it was the most powerful, self-possessed, stimulating and wide in influence of all past human cultures." ( A Defense of Indian Culture)

On Hinduism: "Hinduism ... gave itself no name, because it set itself no sectarian limits; it claimed no universal adhesion, asserted no sole infallible dogma, set up no single narrow path or gate of salvation; it was less a creed or cult than a continuously enlarging tradition of the God ward endeavor of the human spirit. An immense many-sided and many staged provision for a spiritual self-building and self-finding, it had some right to speak of itself by the only name it knew, the eternal religion, Santana Dharma..." (India's Rebirth)

On India's Religions: "India is the meeting place of the religions and among these Hinduism alone is by itself a vast and complex thing, not so much a religion as a great diversified and yet subtly unified mass of spiritual thought, realization and aspiration." ( The Renaissance in India)

On Hinduism as a Law of Life: "Hinduism, which is the most skeptical and the most believing of all, the most skeptical because it has questioned and experimented the most, the most believing because it has the deepest experience and the most varied and positive spiritual knowledge, that wider Hinduism which is not a dogma or combination of dogmas but a law of life, which is not a social framework but the spirit of a past and future social evolution, which rejects nothing but insists on testing and experiencing everything and when tested and experienced, turning in to the soul's uses, in this Hinduism, we find the basis of future world religion. This Sanatana Dharma has many scriptures: The Veda, the Vedanta, the Gita, the Upanishads, the Darshanas, the Puranas, the Tantras … but its real, the most authoritative scripture is in the heart in which the Eternal has his dwelling." (Karmayogin)

On Ancient India's Scientific Quest: "... the seers of ancient India had, in their experiments and efforts at spiritual training and the conquest of the body, perfected a discovery which in its importance to the future of human knowledge dwarfs the divinations of Newton and Galileo, even the discovery of the inductive and experimental method in Science was not more momentous..." ( The Upanishads - By Sri Aurobindo)

On India's Spiritual Mind: "Spirituality is the master key of the Indian mind. It is this dominant inclination of India which gives character to all the expressions of her culture. In fact, they have grown out of her inborn spiritual tendency of which her religion is a natural out flowering. The Indian mind has always realized that the Supreme is the Infinite and perceived that to the soul in Nature the Infinite must always present itself in an infinite variety of aspects." ( A Defense of Indian Culture)

On the Hindu Religion: "The Hindu religion appears ... as a cathedral temple, half in ruins, noble in the mass, often fantastic in detail but always fantastic with a significance - crumbling or badly outworn in places, but a cathedral temple in which service is still done to the Unseen and its real presence can be felt by those who enter with the right spirit ... That which we call the Hindu religion is really the Eternal religion because it embraces all others." (Aurobindo's Letters, Vol. II)

On Inner Strength: "The great are strongest when they stand alone, A God-given might of being is their force." ( Savitri )

On The Gita: "The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization." (The Message of the Bhagavad Gita)

On the Vedas: "When I approached God at that time, I hardly had a living faith in Him. The agnostic was in me, the atheist was in me, the sceptic was in me and I was not absolutely sure that there was a God at all. I did not feel His presence. Yet something drew me to the truth of the Vedas, the truth of the Gita, the truth of the Hindu religion. I felt there must be a mighty truth somewhere in this Yoga, a mighty truth in this religion based on the Vedanta."

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