The Shastra–The Divine Teaching

The term “education” comes from the Latin and means “to draw out”; it implies that the knowledge that each individual can realise is already within himself, and there just needs to be an opportunity or impetus for that knowledge to manifest. This is the basis also of the tradition of the great Greek sage, Socrates. The socratic method, as described by his disciple Plato, was to propound questions so that the knowledge within could be revealed.

Sri Aurobindo points out that the Divine teaching underpinning the Integral Yoga also is found within: “The supreme Shastra of the integral Yoga is the eternal Veda secret in the heart of every thinking and living being. The lotus of the eternal knowledge and the eternal perfection is a bud closed and folded up within us. It opens swiftly or gradually, petal by petal, through successive realisations, once the mind of man begins to turn towards the Eternal, once his heart, no longer compressed and confined by attachment to finite appearances, becomes enamoured, in whatever degree, of the Infinite. All life, all thought, all energising of the faculties, all experiences passive or active, become thenceforward so many shocks which disintegrate the teguments of the soul and remove the obstacles to the inevitable efflorescence.”

The teaching cannot be wholly contained in any book. The aspiration of the individual soul seeking for the meaning of his life, seeking for the Divine touch, seeking for the key to the disharmonies of the outer world, sets in motion a divine interaction. “He who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the Infinite. He has received the divine touch without which there is no awakening, no opening of the spirit; but once it is received, attainment is sure, whether conquered swiftly in the course of one human life or pursued patiently through many stadia of the cycle of existence in the manifested universe.”

“Nothing can be taught to the mind which is not already concealed as potential knowledge in the unfolding soul of the creature. So also all perfection of which the outer man is capable, is only a realising of the eternal perfection of the Spirit within him. We know the Divine and become the Divine, because we are That already in our secret nature. All teaching is a revealing, all becoming is an unfolding. Self-attainment is the secret; self-knowledge and an increasing consciousness are the means and the process.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 1, The Four Aids, pp. 47-48