Heaven we have possessed, but not the earth; but the fullness of the Yoga is to make, in the formula of the veda, 'Heaven and Earth equal and one'
The lead article in the 16 April 2012 issue of the Time magazine is ‘Heaven on Earth’. In this article, the author, Jon Meacham, has discussed the multiple interpretations that Christian scholars have been giving to the concept of heaven, and what the current trends are. The author has also made a passing reference to the concept of heaven in religions other than Christianity. The concept of heaven rests on a few basic foundations. First, the world in which we live is just one of the many worlds that exist. Secondly, there is a place called ‘heaven’ that is much better than the earth. Thirdly, our stay on earth is an episode in a much longer journey of the soul. Finally, in order to qualify to enter heaven, we must mend our ways on earth. In other words, earth is a school, and those who qualify with flying colours in the school enter the university called heaven. That, in fact, also explains the dualities that exist on earth. A mixture of good and evil, carrots and sticks, joys and sorrows, creates the right environment in a school designed to discipline unruly children. However, this raises a deeper question, and a refreshing possibility, that Sri Aurobindo envisaged a hundred years ago, and as Meacham tells us, some Christian scholars such as N.T. Wright have also emphasized recently. The question is whether the earth is forever destined to remain an inferior place, a battleground of good and evil? The possibility that this question suggests is that the earth can become a much better place so that heaven and earth become “equal and one”. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have talked of this ideal not as a mere possibility but a certainty. This is the goal of which they laid the foundations; this is the goal that they set for humanity; this is the goal at which their yoga aims. What is expected of those who wish to contribute towards this goal? The basic requirements are a sincere, intense and patient aspiration for elevation of consciousness; rejection of all that takes us away from the goal; and surrender to the Divine. These three basic ingredients have far-reaching implications on how a person lives, the choices he makes in life, and the way he looks at events and circumstances of life. The life that the person lives is simple; the choices he makes are guided by love; and the way he looks at life is as an opportunity for spiritual growth. With a sufficient number of people living such a life, a day will come when the earth will have that critical mass of people who will be able to determine the plane of consciousness from which the affairs of our world are conducted. When the affairs of our world are conducted from a higher plane of consciousness, the earth will manifest the love, light and beauty that we associate with heaven. Thus, we do not have to die to go to heaven; we can create heaven right here on earth.
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