Sunday, November 26, 2006

Withdraw the book

Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee "a pure and manly life" — Manoj Das Gupta Publisher: New House, Kolkata Pages: 63 Price: Rs 50. SABDA – Distributors of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publications
One fails to understand how it is appropriate for a high-up of the Ashram to author a book on the founder-President of the Bhartiya Jana Sangh, a party which in its present incarnation as BJP has wrought havoc with the psyche of the country in the past two decades. It is now clear that many are harbouring soft corner for BJP and the kind of its politics and this publication, in a subtle way, is a legitimization of such affiliation. The sexist epithet, ‘Manly’ in the title of the booklet itself speaks volumes.

Ashram authorities are not free-lancers and the attempt to appropriate the legacy of Sri Aurobindo by the Hindu religion and ideology has to be resisted. Constant vigilance is needed for any let up in the matter will have far reaching consequences. It is hoped that Shri Das Gupta will withdraw the book from circulation and have his reputation unsullied.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Let fictional flowers bloom

Apropos of the imaginary missive from Milton Friedman to our PM by Jerry Rao carried by Indian Express today, one recalls the fictional dialogues of Sri Aurobindo for children that Nirodbaran used to write a decade ago or so. Though it did seem a bit blasphemous at that time to puritanical sentiments, similar creative endeavours are likely to multiply in the days to come so as to prepare an enriched field for enhanced understanding of the mystery of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo's divine manifestation. Of course, the difficulty of shifting the actual from the imaginary would be ever greater; but then the chroniclers, too, will multiply so also the memorizing power of silicon chips.
By the way, the article, Integral Spirituality - Exploring the Connection of the Sages Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi and Sri Aurobindo by Charles Ismael Flores "includes an imaginary interview in which the author compares, based on published quotes from Ramana Maharshi and Sri Aurobindo, what each of them might say to questions posed by a spiritual Seeker who is learning about the Indian tradition of Kevalya Advaita and Integral (Purna) Yoga. The article sheds light on the distinctly different spiritual approaches of these two masters."

Friday, November 24, 2006

Beyond dating the dates

It is a blunder to bind the divine manifestation of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo within any allegorical, historical, or metaphysical context. For the Savitri Erans they are one and the supreme, and a commensurate cosmology must be imagined transcending the traditional interpretations of texts and conventional explanations of even what is written by them. A facile acceptance of the enumeration of their progressive realizations forming a coherent narrative is also myopic. Such an attitude may be important and essential for the scholar and the social scientist, but the devotee is under no comparable compulsion.

Fixed religious notions, and a particular religion at that, can at times be a barrier to perceiving superior knowledge. Both the letter and the spirit can prove to be quicksand. A radical shift in our worldview, therefore, is the need of the hour.

Aurobindian fundamentalism

From: "Michel Bauwens" To: tusarnmohapatra@mail.com Subject: What exactly do you mean? Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 15:38:25 +0700 Hi Tusar, What exactly does 'nothing else comes close to this' mean, in your recent blog entry ... Are you referring to Kazlev's scheme, participatory integralism, what exactly? Michel
That's a phrase used by Alan in the write-up itself which expresses a bias towards The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. As for me, no participatory integralism or anything of that sort, but as Alan terms it, Aurobindian fundamentalism. I relish it and revel in that, and it is such a pleasure to tell you that on this special Darshan Day of ours.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Precision of Vedic insights in their pristine simplicity and beauty

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: November 21st, 2006 at 12:16 am Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation of the Deep Sleep state as the very highest causal state is, in fact, in variance with the traditional Vedantic and Buddhist thought and their modern commentators. Sri Aurobindo brings in the precision of Vedic insights to the fore in their pristine simplicity and beauty and in that lies his supremacy. But the secret is to read The Life Divine oneself instead of relying upon stereotyped two-liners written by someone else.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The integral metaphysics of The Life Divine is universal

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: November 15th, 2006 at 10:37 pm The divine manifestation of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo and the path of Integral Yoga enunciated by them is a matter of personal choice. But the integral metaphysics of The Life Divine is universal and any human being can learn it with profit. It is a stand alone treatise which Sri Aurobindo has revised thoroughly. Nobody quotes from the book here; but if we do, the points over which we are arguing would seem so puerile and outdated.
Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: November 15th, 2006 at 11:58 pm May I add that the philosophy delineated in The Life Divine also provides ample hints for practice at every step. In that sense it is no less a manual of yoga. Reading a page or two regularly is a great help instead of quibbling over revelations and realizations.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Life Divine and death of debate

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: November 14th, 2006 at 12:05 am It really intrigues me, why can’t we just read a single book, The Life Divine and then resume this debate. No revelation, no esotericism, it’s pure philosophy in masterful English. All these questions have already been decisively dealt with. From Heraclitus to Habermas.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

No clinging to nostalgia

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: November 11th, 2006 at 9:36 pm The head and heart dichotomy is not all that insurmountable as it seems and The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have precisely attempted to do that in their Integral Yoga. But the question is whether we should stride ahead or move back in time; collaborate with the Supramental Consciousness which is operating in the earth atmosphere or oppose it by clinging to nostalgia.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Humanization of high spirituality

Humanization of Transcendental Philosophy by R. Sundara Rajan is an excellent primer on Phenomenology, in which the author adds his own version of feeling for the earth and man. One wishes that a similar humanization enterprise also take root in the discourse concerning The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

A conspiracy of silence

On years of tracking the columns of Mukul Sharma, the high priest of spiritual journalism in India, one does not recall if he has mentioned The Mother and Sri Aurobindo ever. Same is the case with others of his ilk, like Narayani Ganesh and Renuka Narayanan. A conspiracy of silence, no doubt.

Friday, November 10, 2006

All kinds of pulp are being read but not The Life Divine

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: November 9th, 2006 at 10:02 pm To talk of a big variety of spiritual paths is to dismiss the great significance of the message of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Democratic and pluralistic political correctness should not blind us to innovation in spiritual evolution. Sri Aurobindo said something which was not said before him and with enough elaboration. Instead of accepting the new formulation, there is unending discussion about old and sectarian methods.

Teilhard, Gebser, and Wilber occupy the centre stage but not Sri Aurobindo. All kinds of pulp are being read but not The Life Divine. This kind of bias is not in keeping with the spirit of Habermas' dialogue.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

No to the liberal-secular cheerleaders

Liberal sub-editors are happy that the Bush administration has received a jolt in the recent elections and religious enthusiasm would play a less significant role in politics in the future. But that is no consolation for the Savitri Erans who long for the decline and demise of the stranglehold of the major religions. That should happen in an organic manner under own weight and inherent contradictions and not forced through strangulation by the liberal-secular cheerleaders.

Inevitability of Savitri Era religion

The July 27 proclamation of the Savitri Era religion is fermenting mixed feelings among the adherents and admirers. After the expected initial resistance more reasoned debate is sprouting. The dialogue between Rod Hemsell and Debashish Banerji is quite illuminating in this context. It seems that both are not averse to the idea of religion and see it an inevitability.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

20th century philosophy

It can't be that something on The Mother and Sri Aurobindo won't interest me. You are welcome to keep me posted. But what I find in your articles is that you try to maintain a narrative and journalistic stance. Catering to the beginners is a good thing, but that stunts your personal growth also. A person of your calibre and experience should address the discerning niche. The articles should be able to stimulate further probings and also disturb and provoke so as to generate debates. Now that the Blogger is offering its hospitality, there is no obstacle to that.
On scanning through the write-up I noticed that you have not mentioned any philosopher. 20th century philosophy is an intense melting pot of human thought and without it we can't make any dependable appraisal of life and history. To arrive at Sri Aurobindo's lofty vision, the present must negotiate with and navigate through the available streams of thought.