About VMLT and the Light that Guides

India's Renaissance

Let the soul of India live forever!

The Mother, Words of the Mother - I: India

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Break the moulds of the past, but keep safe its gains and its spirit, or else thou hast no future.

Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism - 238

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O soul of India, hide thyself no longer with the darkened Pandits of the Kaliyuga in the kitchen and the chapel, veil not thyself with the soulless rite, the obsolete law and the unblessed money of the Dakshina; but seek in thy soul, ask of God and recover thy true Brahminhood and Kshatriyahood with the eternal Veda; restore the hidden truth of the Vedic sacrifice, return to the fulfilment of an older and mightier Vedanta.

Sri Aurobindo, On Thoughts and Aphorisms: Aphorism - 362

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Indian Yoga, in its essence a special action or formulation of certain great powers of Nature, itself specialised, divided and variously formulated, is potentially one of these dynamic elements of the future life of humanity. The child of immemorial ages, preserved by its vitality and truth into our modern times, it is now emerging from the secret schools and ascetic retreats in which it had taken refuge and is seeking its place in the future sum of living human powers and utilities. But it has first to rediscover itself, bring to the surface the profoundest reason of its being in that general truth and that unceasing aim of Nature which it represents, and find by virtue of this new self-knowledge and self-appreciation its own recovered and larger synthesis. Reorganising itself, it will enter more easily and powerfully into the reorganised life of the race which its processes claim to lead within into the most secret penetralia and upward to the highest altitudes of existence and personality.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga - I: Life and Yoga

The Work

The recovery of the old spiritual knowledge and experience in all its splendour, depth and fullness is its first, most essential work; the flowing of this spirituality into new forms of philosophy, literature, art, science and critical knowledge is the second; an original dealing with modern problems in the light of the Indian spirit and the endeavour to formulate a greater synthesis of a spiritualised society is the third and most difficult. Its success on these three lines will be the measure of its help to the future of humanity.

Sri Aurobindo, The Renaissance in India: The Renaissance in India - I

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VMLT is one such humble offering that aims towards the recovery of the old spiritual experience in the new modern forms.

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We do not belong to the past dawns, but to the noons of the future. A mass of new material is flowing into us; we have not only to assimilate the influences of the great theistic religions of India and of the world and a recovered sense of the meaning of Buddhism, but to take full account of the potent though limited revelations of modern knowledge and seeking; and, beyond that, the remote and dateless past which seemed to be dead is returning upon us with an effulgence of many luminous secrets long lost to the consciousness of mankind but now breaking out again from behind the veil. All this points to a new, a very rich, a very vast synthesis; a fresh and widely embracing harmonisation of our gains is both an intellectual and a spiritual necessity of the future. But just as the past syntheses have taken those which preceded them for their starting-point, so also must that of the future, to be on firm ground, proceed from what the great bodies of realised spiritual thought and experience in the past have given.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita: Our Demand and Need from the Gita

Our Prayer

Let the splendour of Bharat's past be reborn in the realisation of her imminent future with the help and blessings of her living soul.

The Mother, Words of the Mother - I: India

On Knowledge and Wisdom

There are two allied powers in man: knowledge and Wisdom. Knowledge is so much of the truth, seen in a distorted medium, as the mind arrives at by groping; Wisdom what the eye of divine vision sees in the spirit.

Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism - 1

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What men call knowledge is the reasoned acceptance of false appearances. Wisdom looks behind the veil and sees. Reason divides, fixes details and contrasts them; Wisdom unifies, marries contrasts in a single harmony.

Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism - 7

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Either do not give the name of knowledge to your beliefs only and of error, ignorance or charlatanism to the beliefs of others; or do not rail at the dogmas of the sects and their intolerance.

Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism - 8

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What the soul sees and has experienced, that it knows; the rest is appearance, prejudice and opinion.

Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism - 9

On Scripture

Experience in thy soul the truth of the Scripture; afterwards, if thou wilt, reason and state thy experience intellectually and even then distrust thy statement; but distrust never thy experience.

The Mother explains:

That is to say, it should be explained to children that the statement, whatever it may be, the Scriptures, whatever they may be, are always a diminution of the experience, they are always less than the experience.

There may be people who need to know this.

Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism - 96

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When thou affirmest thy soul-experience and deniest the different soul-experience of another, know that God is making a fool of thee. Dost thou not hear His self-delighted laughter behind thy soul’s curtains?

The Mother explains:

Oh, it’s delightful!

One can only smile and say, Never doubt your experience, for your experience is the truth of your being, but do not imagine that it is a universal truth; and never on the basis of this truth deny the truth of others, because for each one, his experience is the truth of his being. And a total truth would only be the totality of all these individual truths… plus the experience of the Lord Himself!

Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism - 97

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Revelation is the direct sight, the direct hearing or the inspired memory of Truth, dṛṣṭi, śruti, smṛti; it is the highest experience and always accessible to renewed experience. Not because God spoke it, but because the soul saw it, is the word of the Scriptures our supreme authority.

Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism - 98

The Guidance for Translation

Since the knowledge the Scripture conveys is so deep, difficult and subtle,—if it were easy what would be the need of the Scripture?—the interpreter cannot be too careful or too perfectly trained. He must not be one who will rest content in the thought-symbol or in the logical implications of the idea; he must hunger and thirst for what is beyond. The interpreter who stops short with the letter, is the slave of a symbol and convicted of error. The interpreter who cannot go beyond the external meaning, is the prisoner of his thought and rests in a partial and incomplete knowledge. One must transgress limits & penetrate to the knowledge behind,which must be experienced before it can be known; for the ear hears it, the intellect observes it, but the spirit alone can possess it . Realisation The self of things is the only knowledge; all else is mere idea or opinion.

Sri Aurobindo ,The Secret of the Veda

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Law cannot save the world, therefore Moses' ordinances are dead for humanity and the Shastra of the Brahmins is corrupt and dying. Law released into freedom is the liberator. Not the Pundit, but the Yogin; not monasticism, but the inner renunciation of desire and ignorance and egoism.

Sri Aurobindo, On Thoughts and Aphorisms: Aphorism - 172

On Sanskrit

For each language is the sign and power of the soul of the people which naturally speaks it. Each develops therefore its own peculiar spirit, thought-temperament, way of dealing with life and knowledge and experience. If it receives and welcomes the thought, the life-experience, the spiritual impact of other nations, still it transforms them into something new of its own and by that power of transmutation it enriches the life of humanity with its fruitful borrowings and does not merely repeat what had been gained elsewhere. Therefore it is of the utmost value to a nation, a human group-soul, to preserve its language and to make of it a strong and living cultural instrument. A nation, race or people which loses its language cannot live its whole life or its real life. And this advantage to the national life is at the same time an advantage to the general life of the human race.

Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle: Diversity in Oneness

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The Sanskrit ought to be the national language of India.

The Mother, Words of the Mother - I: India

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Sanskrit is good for all Indians.

The Mother, Words of the Mother - I: India

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(1) the regional language should be the medium of instruction, (2) Sanskrit should be the national language, and (3) English should be the international language.

The Mother, Words of the Mother - I: India

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Sanskrit ought still to have a future as a language of the learned and it will not be a good day for India when the ancient tongue ceases entirely to be written or spoken.

Sri Aurobindo, Early Cultural Writings: "Sanskrit Research"

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The great mass of Sanskrit literature is a literature of human life..

Sri Aurobindo, The Renaissance in India: A Rationalistic Critic on Indian Culture - III

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A language, Sanskrit or another, should be acquired by whatever method is most natural, efficient and stimulating to the mind and we need not cling there to any past or present manner of teaching: but the vital question is how we are to learn and make use of Sanskrit and the indigenous languages so as to get to the heart and intimate sense of our own culture and establish a vivid continuity between the still living power of our past and the yet uncreated power of our future, and how we are to learn and use English or any other foreign tongue so as to know helpfully the life, ideas and culture of other countries and establish our right relations with the world around us. This is the aim and principle of a true national education, not, certainly, to ignore modern truth and knowledge, but to take our foundation on our own being, our own mind, our own spirit.

Sri Aurobindo, Early Cultural Writings: A Preface on National Education

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…Not Sanskrit from the point of view of scholarship, but Sanskrit, a Sanskrit—how to put it?—that opens the door to all the languages of India. I think that is indispensable. The ideal would be, in a few years, to have a rejuvenated Sanskrit as the representative language of India, that is, a Sanskrit spoken in such a way that—Sanskrit is behind all the languages of India and it should be that. This was Sri Aurobindo's idea, when we spoke about it. Because now English is the language of the whole country, but that is abnormal. It is very helpful for relations with the rest of the world, but just as each country has its own language, there should... And so here, as soon as one begins to want a national language, everyone starts quarrelling. Each one wants it to be his own, and that is foolish. But no one could object to Sanskrit. It is a more ancient language than the others and it contains the sounds, the root-sounds of many words. This is something I studied with Sri Aurobindo and it is obviously very interesting. Some of these roots can even be found in all the languages of the world—sounds, root-sounds which are found in all those languages. Well, this, this thing, this is what ought to be learnt and this is what the national language should be. Every child born in India should know it, just as every child born in France has to know French. He does not speak properly, he does not know it thoroughly, but he has to know French a little; and in all the countries of the world it is the same thing. He has to know the national language. And then, when he learns, he learns as many languages as he likes. At the moment, we are still embroiled in quarrels, and this is a very bad atmosphere in which to build anything. But I hope that a day will come when it will be possible.

So I would like to have a simple Sanskrit taught here, as simple as possible, but not simplified—simple by going back to its origin... all these sounds, the sounds that are the roots of the words which were formed afterwards…

The Mother, On Education: 11 November 1967

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it is the language of the Satyayuga based on the true and perfect relation of vak and artha. Every one of its vowels and consonants has a particular and inalienable force which exists by the nature of things and not by development or human choice; these are the fundamental sounds which lie at the basis of the Tantric bijamantras and constitute the efficacy of the mantra itself.

Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire: RV I.1.1–3

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The ancient and classical creations of the Sanskrit tongue both in quality and in body and abundance of excellence, in their potent originality and force and beauty, in their substance and art and structure, in grandeur and justice and charm of speech and in the height and width of the reach of their spirit stand very evidently in the front rank among the world's great literatures. The language itself, as has been universally recognised by those competent to form a judgment, is one of the most magnificent, the most perfect and wonderfully sufficient literary instruments developed by the human mind, at once majestic and sweet and flexible, strong and clearly-formed and full and vibrant and subtle, and its quality and character would be of itself a sufficient evidence of the character and quality of the race whose mind it expressed and the culture of which it was the reflecting medium.

Sri Aurobindo, The Renaissance in India: Indian Literature - I