Kalu Sarkar has been in charge of the physiotherapy-cum-Acupuncture-cum-Homeopathy department of Sri Aurobindo Ashram for the past 54 years. But his involvement and empathy with the human suffering led him to the conclusion that the external and scientific principles of treatment can play only a limited role in human health-welfare unless the physician as well as the patient had some knowledge of the psychic principles at work in our life. The passages he chose from the vast world of the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, he believes, are the best corollary to the external process of healing, bringing to the patient the indispensable element of faith and self-confidence necessary for recovery.
It is extraordinary how deep were the insights of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, not only into the inner spiritual path but also in its outer manifestation in a world which, despite considerable material progress, is still torn with conflict and strife, poverty and malnutrition, illiteracy and disease. The work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother stands as a monumental heritage of the human race. There have been many compilations from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the mother, particularly the very valuable ones by A. S. Dalal. Now Kalu Sarkar has attempted his own compilation.
I commend him for his effort which he has entitled “The Knowledge Within”. According to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, this inner knowledge alone has the power to lift man above his present condition. And they underscore the fact that at this critical juncture of our evolution, India may hold the key to the riddle and find the way out of the deepening crisis facing humanity.
Indian culture has survived the most terrible invasions and holocausts over the last many centuries, and has emerged with its vitality intact. Indeed, Sri Aurobindo and Swami Vivelananda both had a vision of India playing a leadership role in world affairs. However, this will only be possible if we are able to reintegrate the great spiritual ideals that have sustained our culture down through the long and tortuous corridors of time.
We are passing through an age of paradox. We have built up magnificent cities and at the same time terrible weapons to destroy them; we have achieved great speed, still we have no time for relaxation; we have invented numerous devices to serve us, yet we suffer from anxiety and tension; we have elegant houses, but broken homes inside; we have achieved greater longevity, but old age is an unbearable burden; last but not the least, we have built up a wonderful medical network, yet hitherto unknown new diseases are stalking us.
Does somewhere in our being there remain hidden an undetected element of disharmony? It seems we have been too much conscious of our external life and have neglected the consciousness itself. We have not been alert enough about our inner life which alone, in the ultimate analysis, determines the degree of satisfaction we can derive from our activities and the degree of happiness we can experience. As a mystic said, one can build a cosy bedroom spending a million rupees, but that does not guarantee even one paisa worth of calm sleep.
Till today we have not entirely mastered all the complexities of our physical body. The body, apparently, is a form of matter which our consciousness or spirit is trying to use under its command. The other proposition is that matter itself is a form of consciousness. We may differ on this issue, but we cannot deny the fact that the subtle frontier where both (matter as body and the spirit that dwells in it) meet is the most important area of their coexistence. The ancient physicians of India who were Rishis - the Seers - had delved deep into the structure of our being and had discovered that vital link uniting matter and spirit to be our nervous system.
Shri Kalu Sarkar who has compiled this anthology from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and has explained the justification of the compilation in his Introduction has been experimenting with several authentic alternative systems of Medicare and has evolved a method of treatment for certain maladies that has proved efficacious for patients both in India and abroad. He has inherited the idealism of his father, the late Shri Sudhir Sarkar a unique person indeed - one who had the rare privilege of being a follower of Sri Aurobindo both in the revolutionary and Yogic phases of the Master's life. Shri Kalu Sarkar has continued to serve with love and dedication those in need of his care, as one in charge of the Physiotherapy department of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
No doubt the compilation will throw light on a number of issue psycho-physical in nature that surface in our mind from time to time and, along with the acupressure principles explained with illustrations, be a practical guide in our approach to our welfare.
It is the hour and the moment when we need the guidance of the Supreme Master who having tested and experienced every step in evolution by His Yoga (tapasya), that silent actionless impersonal will which He has set here can at last be delivered to the aspiring and suffering humanity. No political leader, no demigod, no second-hand knowledge, no statesman or ascetic sannyasi or religious leader can bring about the true change. We are in the hands of the Supreme Power and are merely instruments of it, and nothing more.
Meanwhile man, half-conscious, god-fearing creature, has been pushed by Ignorance (Avidya), the play of the multiplicity. He has created for himself innumerable trappings and is being crushed by his own science. Over a hundred years ago, Sri Aurobindo foresaw that man will create machines after machines, convenience after convenience, and comfort will become uncomfortable.
Science, philosophy and criticism have established their usefulness for the mass of humanity by ministering to them luxury, comfort and convenience which all men desire and by arming them with justification for their misguided actions in the confused struggle of passions, interests, cravings and hankerings which are working with deadly corrosive effect throughout the world.
It is here that 'stress’, a word commonly used in modern society, is perhaps one of humanity's most dangerous enemies for it is the beginning of a silent hostile invasion that has crept into the life of unconscious man and is ready to eat away his sanity and physical well-being if left unattended.
Many believe that stress is a psychological condition brought about by one's inability to cope with the demands of modem-day life. But actually, stress is a psycho-physical condition entering largely through the nervous system and the gaping holes present in man's crude and unruly nature.
The symptoms are all too familiar: increased mental and emotional anxiety, lack of ability to control the thoughts and hence its outcome, the loss of concentration.
This has been the experience of the Western world and yet medical science has failed miserably in its attempt to secure a solution. Why is it that material science stumbles every time it tries to prove things that are out of its domain? The reason lies in the simple fact that science has been unable to follow the workings of Nature beyond the realms of Matter. For the root of the problem of stress lies deep within the subtle and subliminal regions of our being and so it is evident that that which has no knowledge and is ignorant of the subtle powers which uphold life is at once at a loss to make a diagnosis and a cure of the malady.
Where science has failed, however, eternal Indian Wisdom triumphs. It is in the higher knowledge concealed in our Self that we are able to find an answer not only to the riddle of our existence but also to the hidden meaning behind the sufferings and innumerable difficulties that mankind has long been facing.
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