Sunday, December 31, 2006

A million A Midsummer Night’s Dream

One Response to “From Ignorance to a larger Integral Wholeness, Power, and Truth”
Nobody stopped by here, alas!
It’s celebration time and things
Are perhaps more salacious elsewhere.
Who’d like to be yoked under
A million A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
Who’d opt to groan under
The reign of a thousand and one cosmic-being
Operating from the other worlds?
Why take the trouble of recounting
Our ignorance and deplete self-esteem?
Not to see beyond our noses is best.
That puts all speculation at rest.

Comb between the lines of The Life Divine

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 30th, 2006 at 10:47 pm [alan kazlev Says: December 29th, 2006 at 10:31 pm…I never said “the greatest realiser”. But were I to do so, I would probably give The Mother that status; in The Agenda she refers to details regarding the enlightenment of the Cells that even Sri Aurobindo doesn’t talk about.]
Frank Visser’s Integral World site features as many as 72 scholars who venture to tackle a wide range of concerns. But unfortunately they have not read The Life Divine, barring one or two. As a result, they are wasting precious time and energy to answer the same basic questions which Sri Aurobindo replied years ago.
This sort of intellectual lethargy is really astonishing for The Life Divine is as much a book of physics as philosophy, of psychology as sociology, or of prophesies as praxis. It is a compulsive reading and no scholar writing on human affairs can provide a dependable appraisal without incorporating insights from The Life Divine.
The lines of The Life Divine are steeped in the illumination of the Veda. Integration of the mystic vision with 20th century science has turned it the greatest book on earth. Should anyone afford to miss out?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

We are all ill equipped to measure mysticism

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 29th, 2006 at 9:02 pm I am glad that Andy Smith has come out in the open about his love for Gurdjieff and a separate thread on him would be quite in order. But I am more happy for he says of Sri Aurobindo as “more of a thinker, a philosopher, a systematizer, rather than a mystic.”
In fact, we are all ill equipped to measure mysticism but can compare philosophies as to their superiority. “One of the Greatest” is a very vague phrase, so we should attempt to mention the three top persons in the three categories of thinker, philosopher, and systematizer. If Sri Aurobindo commands the top position in at least one category, that is enough. 7:37 AM

Friday, December 29, 2006

Is there another person in the whole of human history

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 29th, 2006 at 7:28 am There might be "countless writers who have said much the same thing" but is there another person in the whole of human history, who has,
  • written a monumental epic like Savitri
  • created a synthetic metaphysics like The Life Divine
  • written history to create a new historiography
  • formulated a new hermeneutics
  • speculated on philology
  • translated and gave new interpretations to the Veda, Upanishads, and the Gita
  • challenged the Buddhists and Shankara to give Integral non-dualism
  • wrote on ethics, aesthetics, and literary criticism
  • wrote poems, plays, and short stories
  • devised a new theory of education
  • did fiery journalism against foreign rulers
  • led freedom struggle and went to jail
  • forsook material comforts and family life
  • offered spiritual guidance to hundreds of his disciples
  • meticulously recorded his spiritual experiences
  • spent 24 years within his room
  • fought Hitler with his spiritual force

and countless other aspects?

The most opportune moment to know

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 29th, 2006 at 5:55 am I fail to understand why Andy Smith is so willing and eager to believe that “they haven’t lived through them” without even scratching the surface to acquaint himself with their biographical details. I can empathize with all of you for the sense of loss you are going through after the fall of your hero, but the grief has to be overcome, and the sooner the better.
Rather, this has created the most opportune moment to know about the teachings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Don’t feel threatened that others have read more. Within a few weeks you can catch up and acquire an overview of things. Then only you will be able to critically analyze and judge for yourself. Otherwise, what you say about them now sounds so puerile and it doesn’t behove of a person of your eminence. 6:51 PM December 29th, 2006 at 12:07 am

A nice way to begin the New Year

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 28th, 2006 at 10:20 pm Why not spare a fortnight or so to read and write about the works of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo bypassing the current obsessions? That would be a nice way to begin the New Year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Show me someone who can provide details of experiences

[ Andy Smith Says: December 27th, 2006 at 8:30 pm I don’t see a lot of this in Aurobindo’s writings. Most of his writings seem to be couched in very broad and abstract generalizations. As I have said before, the devil is in the details. Show me someone who can provide details of experiences, no matter how much limited by language, and I will listen. ]

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 27th, 2006 at 11:05 pm Sri Aurobindo’s details of experiences are available in his two volumes of “Record of Yoga.”

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ahab, a synonym for Aham ('I')

To adapt a meme attributed to Whitehead: if European philosophy amounts to a footnoting of Plato, Integral theory may very well amount to a conversation about Aurobindo. (Of Syntheses and Surprises: Toward a Critical Integral Theory
Daniel Gustav Anderson INTEGRAL REVIEW 3, 2006)
To give the devil his due now that the dust has settled, Anderson’s 20 page thesis on the genealogy of Integral Theory is a valiant attempt to push the Sri Aurobindo’s case. The controversial themes he brings in are clearly intended to provoke and if these multiple threads are really debated, then an enlightened opinion on the significance of Sri Aurobindo’s legacy can emerge.

Ahab, said K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar in his 1953 lecture on Moby Dick, is much like the Aham, the ego. Anderson, in taking up Deleuze’s treatment of the theme as an instance of "becoming" in the sense of Sri Aurobindo’s “Knowledge by Identity” or by linking Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” to Sri Aurobindo’s “Transformation,” has attempted to make these concepts accessible to the western audience.

The next century will be Deleuze’s, Foucault once prophesied; and mercifully, this study can help wean those obsessed with Derrida away to Deleuze. Be that as it may, by invoking the Whitehead quote, Anderson has succeeded in firmly fixing his name to the altar of Sri Aurobindo.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Find answers to every question in the Savitri Era religion

The Year That Religion Learned Humility The new millennium saw the rise of fundamentalist faith as a cultural force. In 2006, says Andrew Sullivan, the religious monoliths began to break down TIME Archive Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006 The great, first surprise of the 21st century was the re-emergence of religion. Not only did it arrive as the most powerful cultural force of the new millennium, it also came in a particular guise. It was a fundamentalist version of faith that was triumphant...Islam was revealed as having no single answer — no more than Christianity has one single answer, no more than any faith has one simple answer to every question human beings ask.
In the teachings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo one can find the answers to every question human beings ask. But for that one must be willing to come out of the geriatric mythologies and feel the warm embrace of the 20th century Savitri Era religion.

Savitri Era is the religion of the future world

Worship God, not technology, Pope says on Christmas Reuters Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:24 am
At that mass a member of the congregation read a prayer in Arabic asking God to encourage "a spirit of dialogue, mutual understanding and collaboration" among followers of the three great monotheistic religions -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
The Mother came from the Judeo-Christian-Islamic roots and Sri Aurobindo harmonized the Hindu-Buddhist-Christian legacy. Between them, they integrate the entire gamut of religious and philosophical diversity. The Savitri Era religion, therefore, is the religion of the future world. By surrendering before the divine manifestation of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo we can help the evolution of the earth consciousness for establishment of human unity and fraternity.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A spirit of inquiry and thirst for knowledge

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 23rd, 2006 at 5:16 pm I never suggested that people start worshipping The Mother and Sri Aurobindo nor am I emphasizing upon the esoteric aspect of their teachings. Just for the information sake I am telling that Sri Aurobindo, in his book The Life Divine, has been successful to resolve some age-old metaphysical questions most comprehensively. These are purely academic in nature and open to scrutiny.
There can be dialogue as to what are the philosophical issues and in what way Sri Aurobindo stands taller. We can also compare and contrast his contributions with others, provided, we maintain a spirit of inquiry and thirst for knowledge. 4:46 AM

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Why task Ken for something which is beyond his ken?

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 22nd, 2006 at 5:54 pm Being from the “axes” camp, this conversation between EB and JP is grist for the mill. JP has formally studied philosophy but EB, I presume, has not. JP used to be a very reasoned voice but somewhere down the line lost his cool. EB’s sincerity and zeal is beyond reproach and his is the child’s approach to have discovered that the emperor is naked.
JP understands that this is the end of the road and tries to browbeat EB for his “misreading.” But EB’s questions are absolutely valid and the truth is that no one in the whole history of human thought has been able to solve this riddle except Sri Aurobindo (in his The Life Divine). So why task Ken for something which is beyond his ken?
Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 22nd, 2006 at 6:44 pm If JP really needs help he has to empty his cup first, albeit partially. Leave aside authority, The Life Divine is available online in black and white. As for RH, a fact is a fact; so why fight shy of facing it?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Varuna, the vast and pure

The Vedic deities, Mitra and Varuna also appearing in the Avesta is an interesting aspect so far as their antiquity and supremacy is concerned. While the linkage of the four solar manifestations, Varuna, Aryama, Mitra, and Bhaga to the four Varnas or colours (somewhat corresponding to Kapila, Aruna, Pita, and Krishna - the four racial divisions found in the Vishnu Purana) is apparent, their popular transcription in the four/five brothers depicted in the Ramayana and Mahabharata or in the Vasudeva, Shankarsana/Balarama, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha conception, is insightful. Telescoping of these four primordial categories to Sat-Chit-Ananda or the three Gunas and similar other formulations speak of high exegetical flexibility.

Uma, the enigma

The enigmatic emergence of Uma haimavati, in the Kena parable, was riddlesome for Indra and the mystery persists even to this day. For, the adumbration, though fits with Puranic delineations, robs her of the Upanishadic antiquity. As for the root-origin of the word Uma, it could be a kindred of Maya signifying expanse. Alternatively, the word Om which is written as Um (conforming to the weeping of a child or the lingering sound of a bell) might be the right clue. Then an independent picture of the miasmic Uma is possible.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The manifold roles it plays in life

The task of thinking and teaching, especially in an age of emergent fundamentalisms, is to cultivate a faith in doubt that calls into question every certainty. The Devoted Student by MARK C. TAYLOR Op-Ed Contributor The New York Times: December 21, 2006:
More college students seem to be practicing traditional forms of religion today than at any time in my 30 years of teaching… Any responsible curriculum for the study of religion in the 21st century must be guided by two basic principles: first, a clear distinction between the study and the practice of religion, and second, an expansive understanding of what religion is and of the manifold roles it plays in life... Religious conflict will be less a matter of struggles between belief and unbelief than of clashes between believers who make room for doubt and those who do not. Mark C. Taylor, a religion and humanities professor at Williams College, is the author of “Mystic Bones.”
This is an invitation to all those college students to learn about the Savitri Era religion and understand its advantages over other Jurassic offerings.

Who’d represent the Ashram?

The selection, introduction and notes are my own responsibility and should not be taken as representing the views of the Ashram.Peter Heehs
The selection, and arrangement of the extracts, and the substance and the tone of the introduction and notes, are the responsibility of the editor alone.Peter Heehs
These curious disclaimers by one who has been at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives and Research Library for years is simply baffling. Why this split identity? If he lacks the courage of conviction and ducks not to bear the cross, then who’d represent the Ashram? The irreverent tenor of the terse sentences Heehs crafts in his books in order to secure his credentials as an unbiased scholar feels like to pierce as if with a spear. No wonder, now many Daniels, Gustavs, and Andersons have taken the cue and attempt to outdo him.

Has he read The Life Divine?

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 20th, 2006 at 9:51 pm It is nice to know that ebuddha 'stayed at Auroville 10 years ago.’ It would be interesting to listen to his experiences and impressions there a little bit in detail. And the next quiz is, has he read The Life Divine? Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 17th, 2006 at 9:27 pm http://plasim.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sri Aurobindian vista must replace the Gandhian blind alley

The Gandhian establishment was not entirely happy with Sri Aurobindo because of his insistence that India must cultivate the kshatriya spirit, not merely Bhakti and Jnana. -- MANGESH V. NADKARNI Indian Express Thursday, March 21, 2002
The new found love of the Communist scholars in India for Gandhi is intriguing. That Gandhigiri and Human Rights activism camouflage their Marxist agenda is common knowledge, but by appropriating Gandhi, the popular icon, they seek legitimacy to their motivated discourse. Using Gandhi as a beating stick also provides some punch to their arguments.

The phenomenon of Gandhi is a stiff resistance to Savitri Era in several subtle ways. We must really understand this and speak out clearly. Diversity might be a respectable sociological principle, but for the Savitri Erans, Unity-Mutuality-Harmony are the watchwords. The Sri Aurobindian vista must replace the Gandhian blind alley.

Nihilistic Buddhist thought is a threat to Savitri Era

The dominant political sentiment might be alluding to a war prevailing between Islam and Christianity, but intellectually, the ancient nihilistic Buddhist thought rejuvenated by Theosophy and Ken Wilber’s cohorts is posing a severe threat to Savitri Era propounded by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo on the fundament of affirmative Vedic ideology.

The danger is further amplified by the fact that Wilberian dialectics is couched in brazen iconisation. It is imperative, therefore, that Savitri Era Religious Fraternity wakes up to the challenge.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chase the ambrosia of Harmony

Politeness and political correctness are disparate dispositions that can be pursued independently. But if practiced in polemics, they are liable to undermine the cause of the issue advanced. The primacy and paramountcy of the argument, therefore, should never be sacrificed at the altar of such lesser virtues.

The Mother was around when two of us landed on the moon and Sri Aurobindo was with us when two atom bombs were first exploded. But they were never too excited or perturbed over the two most significant technological breakthroughs of that century, one dramatic and the other traumatic.

This insistence on the physical – the form and the formula – is a penchant of the western orientation. On the contrary, Sri Aurobindo even admonishes the Overmind for nothing short of the plenary Supramental would please him. The books of Satprem had forcefully advanced an impression that The Mother was engaged in somewhat alchemic activities with the cells of her body. The sensationalism floundered over time but not without corroding the credibility of her mission immensely. If our hi-fi R&D fails to zero in on any insightful answers against the hopes raised, it would be again disgraceful.

The Savitri Erans are the privileged few to have been granted the full liberty of wallowing hedonistically in the aesthetic yoga. To chase the ambrosia of Harmony through it is the task and not seeking the secret of glandular secretion of hormones.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Kena and Ken

The antagonism between ontology and epistemology is as old as the Upanishads. While Isha Upanishad stresses on ontology, the Kena concerns itself with epistemology. The Kena is also important from the point of view of linking psychological symbols to Vedic deities.
RY Deshpande, Debashish and Vladimir are valiantly busy stretching the Kena questions to the present technological milieu at SCYI. But the Tom, Dick, and Harris elsewhere are endlessly nitpicking about Ken and refuse to see the holes in their hallucinatory holons. What nonchalance and what a colossal waste! 8:52 PM 2:13 AM 3:15 AM

Friday, December 15, 2006

India Integral

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 15th, 2006 at 3:21 am Three cheers to the Integral Movement! But, there could be more participation from India. Lots of thought and work are here which have not been articulated properly and hence the lack of information. May I suggest that each of you pay a visit to India at least for a week to have the feelings firsthand.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Roy Bhaskar deserves a closer look

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 14th, 2006 at 5:15 am During his journey from Critical Realism to Meta-Reality, Roy Bhaskar has built up a formidable theoretical wherewithal which, though not called so, is Integral in its essence and effectuation. Encyclopedic and panoptical in his enumerations, Bhaskar deserves a closer look, paradigmatically as well as personally.

Esoteric and the academic

Prema Nandakumar once wrote, “Himself a scholar, he enthuses us to take to a life of scholarship” apropos Sri Aurobindo. The two score heavy volumes of his collected works are a testimony to the imbrications of esoteric with the academic. Sri Aurobindo, evidently, maintains a Miltonic stance in Savitri and a Hegelian in The Life Divine. These are perhaps the standards to be respected and preserved rather than being questioned or tinkered with.

The works of Nolini-Purani-Amrita-Pavitra, Anil-Amal-Nirod-Dilip, Rishabh-Chandra-Kapali-Madhav and Sisir-Indra-Madhu-Kishor among others constitute an immense quantity of authentic explication of the vision of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. These have also created an elaborate as well as elastic system of syntax and semantics for the posterity. Not to be intimidated by the tyranny of the present is the key, else one land at the jargonificationalization of say, Roy Bhaskar or the paradoxicatorising of the likes of Jean Baudrillard.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bechara Anderson

Years ago, Sri Aurobindo famously made pulp of one Archer and, of course, made him immortal in the process. Subsequently, many have succumbed to the Archery from seasoned hands of Kapali Sastry, Amal Kiran et al.
And poor Daniel Gustav Anderson, now. A scholar should be worth his salt, for the days are gone when people with Western names could get away with by writing any trash. Else, stay prepared to suffer Archery. Call it reverse colonialism or reverse racialism. Sumptuous entertainment for the Savitri Erans, in any case.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Navajyoti completes its 49th year

Navajyoti edited by Biswambhara Samanta and published by Navajyoti Publication, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry has completed its 49th year of uninterrupted publication. Founded by Shri Prapatti under the inspiration of Shri Ramakrishna Das, this quarterly in Oriya is witness and instrumental to an unprecedented spiritual efflorescence in Orissa in the last half-century.

Of course, the popular appeal of its younger sibling Navaprakash, a monthly, is far higher; but the pioneering role of Navajyoti in carrying the message of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo from distant Puducherry to remote corners of Orissa has few parallels. Reading of Murari Pukur in the rural environs of Sailo Jharpara appears to be a miracle even today.

Destiny of an organization

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 7th, 2006 at 11:21 pm Not only has an organization an agency or a soul but also a destiny, pre-designed, if you like. Sri Aurobindo has discussed at length about the group-soul of a nation in his classic, The Human Cycle. The same applies to the evolution of an organization as well.

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: December 8th, 2006 at 11:07 pm Daffodils are as much divine as the dredgers and the Infinite is under no compulsion to stop imagining and staying outside the walls of WalMart. Proof, like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder and all epistemological rigours, therefore, need to be tempered by suitable hermeneutical hormones so that a new aesthetic is perceived. In this subjective adventure we are all loners and have to plough our own furrows. 11:38 AM

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

He earns this distinction on merit

Tusar N Mohapatra said... I can’t comment about spiritual realizations or experiences, but as far as an explanation of this creation and cosmos (i.e. metaphysics/ontology) is concerned, Sri Aurobindo, in his The Life Divine, has written the most coherent one. No one before or after him has surpassed that comprehensiveness.
At least in this respect he ranks at the top. If we concede this much to Sri Aurobindo, it would be a great gain. He earns this distinction on merit and let the whole world know this bare fact very clearly. 7:00 AM

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

On to the last mile

Re: The processed world of Marshall Mcluhan by Arthur Kroker by Debashish on Sat 02 Dec 2006 02:33 AM PST Profile Permanent Link My first attempt at a response: Reply
Techno-Capitalism and Post-Human Destinies - I by Debashish on December 2, 2006 02:24AM (PST) Some relections on the continuing issue of techno-capitalism and post-human futures by Debashish Banerji. This is a first fragment highlighting Moishe Postone's commentaries on the late writings of Marx. more » Comments (4) Permanent Link
Techno-Capitalism and Post-Human Destinies - I
by Debashish on Sat 02 Dec 2006 02:24 AM PST Permanent Link
Following on RC's posting of the two articles by Arthur Kroker - on the Processed World of Marshall McLuhan and the '>Techno-Puritanism of American destining (Born Again Ideology) and reflecting on RC's own commentary on the issue regarding technology and the post-human future, here is my first attempt at exploring some of the parameters of the question while seeking for answers and drawing out the larger peripheries before closing in/opening out on/to Sri Aurobindo as the prophet of the Life Divine as a post-technologial/post-human future.
Techno-Capitalism and Post-Human Destinies - II by Debashish on December 4, 2006 08:16PM (PST) This is a fragment constituting a continuation of Debashish Banerji's reflections on Techno-Capitalism as the epistemic regime of modernity and posible post-human futures at the eschatological cusp of history. Here the alignment of Marx and Hegel with the Enlightenment vision/teleology is contemplated and questions asked regarding a comparative alignment with the Neo-Vedantic teleology (if it can be called that) of Sri Aurobindo. more » Leave Comment Permanent Link
It is satisfying to see that Debashish Banerji of SCIY has taken upon himself the challenge of explicating the temporalization of the Sri Aurobindian vision by integrating various strands of human thought while interrogating the prevailing hegemony of technology. One wishes that the delineations swell to a full-length book so as to be read as a sequel to works such as Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx by D. P. Chattopadhyaya and Patterns of the Present by Georges Van Vrekhem.

Now that the exclusive-reign of the Ashram-generated media is a thing of the past, it is heartening to see the brave new world of imagination and interpretation as against the erstwhile disciplesque puritanism. For, the import of the words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo must permeate every feasible crevice and cranny of the civilization and it is absurd to expect to see any noticeable impact of their vision without carrying them to the last mile.

While we celebrate this new found freedom on this sacred day, a prayer wells up out of a sense of trepidation not to get derailed from the perennial aspiration for purity, perfection and harmony.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Instead of talking about far-off eventualities

Tusar N. Mohapatra said... The divine manifestation of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo has manifold ramifications that are difficult to compile. It is, therefore, unfair to summarize them all in one or two phrases.
Instead of talking about far-off eventualities in abstract fashion, more accessible innovations brought about by them can be practiced to enrich our day to day life. Like, Poetry and his new theory of Aesthetics, Human Unity and World Union, Historiography and the Vedic Hermeneutics, Science of living and Integral education, etc. 5:47 AM