Realisation of 'NirvanaJan 1908

  • Sri Aurobindo in Baroda (1908)
    Sri Aurobindo in Baroda (Jan 1908)

Silent Brahman Consciousness

...... "I myself had my experience of Nirvana and silence in the Brahman, etc. long before there was any knowledge of the overhead spiritual planes; it came first simply by an absolute stillness and blotting out as it were of all mental, emotional and other inner activities - the body continued indeed to see, walk, speak and do its other business, but as an empty automatic machine and nothing more. I did not become aware of any pure 'I' nor even of any self, impersonal or other, there was only an awareness of That as the sole Reality, all else being quite unsubstantial, void, non-real. As to what realised that Reality, it was a nameless consciousness which was not other than That; one could perhaps say this, though hardly even so much as this, since there was no mental concept of it, but not more. Neither was I aware of any lower soul or outer self called by such and such a personal name that was performing this feat of arriving at the consciousness of Nirvana....
Mark that I did not think these things, there were no thoughts or concepts nor did they present themselves like that to any Me; it simply just was so or was self-apparently so ....."

From CWSA > Letters On Himself.. > Page 257

Radical Changes of consciousness

... "After four years of prānāyāma and other practices on my own,...., I had a complete arrest and was at a loss. At this juncture I was induced to meet a man without fame whom I did not know, a Bhakta with a limited mind but with some experience and evocative power. We sat together and I followed with an absolute fidelity what he instructed me to do, not myself in the least understanding where he was leading me or where I was myself going. The first result was a series of tremendously powerful experiences and radical Changes of consciousness which he had never intended for they were Adwaitic and Vedantic and he was against Adwaita Vedanta and which were quite contrary to my own ideas, for they made me see with a stupendous intensity the world as a cinematographic play of vacant forms in the impersonal universality of the Absolute Brahman. The final upshot was that he was made by a Voice within him to hand me over to the Divine within me enjoining an absolute surrender to its will, a principle or rather a seed-force to which I kept unswervingly and increasingly till it led me through all the mazes of an incalculable Yogic development bound by no single rule or system or dogma or Shastra to where and what I am now and towards what shall be hereafter." ....

From CWSA > Letters On Himself.. > Page 239
  • Yogi Vishnu Bhaskar Lele
    Yogi Vishnu Bhaskar Lele - Sri Aurobindo's human Guru for a brief duration

Yogi Lele - A Brief Role

...... "It was my great debt to Lele that he showed me this. 'Sit in meditation,' he said, 'but do not think, look only at your mind; you will see thoughts coming into it: before they can enter throw these away from your mind till your mind is capable of entire silence.' I had never heard before of thoughts coming visibly into the mind from outside, but I did not think either of questioning the truth or the possibility, I simply sat down and did it. In a moment my mind became silent as a windless air on a high mountain summit and then I saw one thought and then another coming in a concrete way from outside; I flung them away before they could enter and take hold of the brain and in three days I was free. From that moment, in principle, the mental being in me became a free Intelligence, a universal Mind, not limited to the narrow circle of personal thought as a labourer in a thought factory, but a receiver of knowledge from all the hundred realms of being and free to choose what it willed in this vast sight-empire and thought-empire." ....

From 'Sri Aurobindo to Dilip' (Vol I) > Page 236

Human Guru not necessary Feb. 1908

Lele had come to Calcutta at Barin's invitation towards the end of February, 1908. "He asked me if I meditated in the morning and in the evening. I said, 'No'." Without waiting for any explanation, Yogi Lele began to give instructions to Sri Aurobindo. "I did not insult him but I did not act upon his advice. I had received the command from within that a human Guru was not necessary for me. As to 'dhyana' I was not prepared to tell him that I was practically meditating the whole day." From then onwards 'we began to follow our own ways'.

Extract from: Sujata Nahar > Mother's Chronicles (Book 5) > Page 448


All is abolished but the mute Alone.
         The mind from thought released, the heart from grief
         Grow inexistent now beyond belief;
There is no I, no Nature, known-unknown.
The city, a shadow picture without tone,
         Floats, quivers unreal; forms without relief
         Flow, a cinema's vacant shapes; like a reef
Foundering in shoreless gulfs the world is done.

Only the illimitable Permanent
    Is here. A Peace stupendous, featureless, still,
         Replaces all, what once was I, in It
A Silent unnamed emptiness content
    Either to fade in the Unknowable
         Or thrill with the luminous seas of the Infinite.

 Nirvana .. - Savitri, Book VII Canto VI  More 

Nirvana as first step

Nirvana in my liberated consciousness turned out to be the beginning of my realisation, a first step towards the complete thing, not the sole true attainment possible or even a culminating finale. It came unasked, unsought for, though quite welcome. I had no least idea about it before, no aspiration towards it, in fact my aspiration was towards just the opposite, spiritual power to help the world and do my work in it, yet it came - without even "May I come in" or a "By your leave". It just happened and settled in as if for all eternity or as if it had been really there always. And then it slowly grew into something not less but greater than its first self!

From CWSA > Letters On Himself.. > Page 250

Absolute Silence that produces Action

  • Sri Aurobindo in Bombay (1908)
    Sri Aurobindo in Bombay (Jan 1908)

Speech without a Thought

"In that silent condition without any thought in the mind - I went to Bombay. There I had to lecture at the National Union and so I asked Lele: 'What should I do?' He asked me to pray. But I was so absorbed in the silent Brahman Consciousness that I could not pray. So I said to him that I was not in a mood to pray. Then he replied that it did not matter. He and some others would pray and I had simply to go to the meeting and make Namaskar to the audience as Narayana and then some voice would speak. I did exactly as he told me. On my way to the meeting somebody gave me a paper to read. When I rose to speak the impression of the headline flashed across my mind and then all of a sudden something spoke out. That was my second experience from Lele...."

Writing from a Silent Mind

"As for calm and silence, there is no need of the supramental to get that. One can get it even on the level of Higher Mind which is the next above the human intelligence. I got these things in 1908, 27 years ago, and I can assure you they were solid enough and marvellous enough in all conscience without any need of supramentality to make it more so. Again, 'a calm that looks like action and motion' is a phenomenon of which I know nothing. A calm or silence which can support or produce action — that I know and that is what I have had — the proof is that out of an absolute silence of the mind I edited the Bande Mataram for 4 months and wrote 6 volumes of the Arya, not to speak of all the letters and messages etc. I have written since."

From 'Sri Aurobindo to Dilip' (Vol II) > Page 295
  • Sardar Mazumdar House at Baroda
    Sri Aurobindo meditated with Lele in Sardar Mazumdar's House
  • Room where meditation took place

Barin Ghose's account

Sri Aurobindo hearing about him [Yogi Lele] from me had expressed a desire to meet this wonderful devotee of love. As soon as the Surat Congress was over I wired to Lele requesting him to come to Baroda to meet Sri Aurobindo. ... after Vishnu Bhaskar Lele arrived. I left Sri Aurobindo alone with him for half an hour. When he had left I asked my brother how he found him so far as Yoga was concerned. Sri Aurobindo said in his characteristic cryptic way, "Lele is a wonderful Yogi."

The next day Lele came again and requested Sri Aurobindo to sit with him continuously for seven days all alone and in silence in a quiet place. At that time nothing was more difficult than this to arrange. Sri Aurobindo had become the idol of the nation and a wonderful halo surrounded him producing a mysterious magnetic attraction for him in the hearts of our young men. Anybody, who was in national work anywhere, needed and sought his advice and guidance. Day in and day out, crowds surrounded our house and programmes of public meetings were being arranged for him.

Lele suddenly spirited Sri Aurobindo away from the midst of all this commotion to a lonely old place tucked away in the heart of the city. There, day in and day out, the two of them sat wrapped in deep meditation facing each other. Their simple needs were looked after by Vishnu Bhaskar's wife, a matriculate girl of small stature of very subdued nature. I was also there and used to sit in meditation with them morning and evening in my restless and perfunctory way. My mind was divided between my ambitious national work and this inner life of Yoga.

Seven days passed almost in continuous and silent meditation [Sri Aurobindo wrote:... "In three days - really in one - my mind became full of an eternal silence ..."] while batches of young men traversed the town in search of their newly-found leader who had so suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from among them upsetting all their crowded programmes and arrangements. When Sri Aurobindo was at last permitted to come out and attend a meeting in the famous gymnasium there among his ardent admirers, a great and abiding peace had descended on him which from thence forward formed the basis of all his future Sadhana....

From: Barindra Ghose’s unpublished manuscript - "Sri Aurobindo (As I Understand Him)"

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the Photographs of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India.
All other Rights and Content Reserved - Copyright © Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture (SAIoC).