Friday, April 27, 2012

East Bengal's (Bangladesh) Receptivity

The Question of Avatarhood

The Guru and the Avatar

About the question of the Avatar, I do not think it is useful
to press in the matter. It has become very much the tendency,
especially in Bengal, to regard the Guru as the Avatar. To every
disciple the Guru is the Divine, but in a special sense—for
the Guru is supposed to live in the divine consciousness, to
have attained union and when he gives to the disciple, it is the
Divine that gives and what he gives is the consciousness of the
Divine who is within the Guru. But that and Avatarhood are two
different things. It is mostly in East Bengal recently that those
have come who were acclaimed as Avatars; those who came had
each of them the idea of a work to be done for the world and the
sense of a Divine Power working through them, which shows
that there was a pressure for manifestation there and something
came in each case, for something of the Divine Power always
comes when it is called, but it does not look as if there was
anywhere the complete descent. It is this that may have created
the idea that the Avatar was born there. It has always been said
of the Advent that is to come now that there would be many
in whom it would seem that it had come, but the real Avatar
would work behind a veil until the destined hour came.

I do not gather from what is quoted as said by your Guru
that he claimed to be the Avatar. It seems to me that he claimed
to be a Power preparing the way for the work of the Divine
Mother and even to indicate that all that he meant would be
manifested not only by his own followers but by other groups
(sm p dAy), consisting evidently of those who had not had him
for Guru but had some other Head and Teacher. This is also
confirmed by the saying that some other one than his disciples
might be the means of his p kAS—that is to say, would be the
means of carrying on his work and aiding the manifestation of
theMother. If this meant proclaiming him as the Avatar, I do not
see how it can agree with the other saying that after his leaving
his body the Avatar would come to the Asram he had created.
I do not quite know what is meant by ayoni-sambhava. An
incarnation is always through a human mother, though there
have been one or two cases in which a virgin birth has been
proclaimed (Christ, Buddha). The only other meaning—unless
we suppose an unprecedentedmiracle—might be a descent such
as sometimes happens, the Godhead manifesting in somebody
who at birth was a Vibhuti, not at once the full incarnation.
But in the absence of a clear statement from your Guru himself,
these are only speculations.
I have written this much as an answer to your question, but
I doubt whether it is necessary or advisable to write anything of
it to your friends. They have their own feeling about the matter;
it seems to me better not to challenge or disturb it.
25 August 1935
source:Sri Aurobindo on Himslelf

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