Savitri Era of those who adore,

Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.


Monday, April 30, 2007

If our destination is a life divine

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo were a formidable presence during the 20th century. When the rest of the world was dazed in confusion and groping for direction, they were, self-assuredly working to give shape to an alternative paradigm. As a result, a community living with emphases on culture and self-culture is very much a reality today, though a rudiment at the moment.

If our destination is a life divine, then all the experiments and innovations to achieve it have to be performed within the compass of life itself. Spiritual aloofness and a cloistered approach would be found utterly inadequate for such a task. Managerial as well as entrepreneurial workshops need to be conducted to train the GenX Savitri Erans. Perhaps that would create a prototype for the future business schools.

The illusion that is The God Delusion can be successfully treated by a few lines from The Life Divine. The light of Savitri can traverse all around the globe with its intimations of immortality. All this can be facilitated by acquiring some political power, not to be confused with state power. A corporate existence with suitable networking can serve the purpose at the outset.

Sri Aurobindo, himself, was a political activist for many years and has written on political themes a lot. Dealing with the collectivity, The Life Divine too can be said to aim at a sublime politics. The following that The Mother and Sri Aurobindo command in different parts of the world is turning into a political formation. That their teachings are increasingly bridging the east-west and left-right divide is a matter of great political significance.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Puducherry has been acting as the bedrock but it has its limits. Auroville, it seems, will remain mired in tackling its own affairs for a long time. Therefore, a nucleus with global potentials should germinate elsewhere with a clear three-pronged agenda: Politics, Culture, and Religion. Savitri Erans must come forward to see such a venture take shape. [TNM]

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Debating over The Life divine

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: April 29th, 2007 at 12:08 am Time and again in this forum I have pleaded for reading and discussing the book, The Life Divine. But unfortunately my fervent appeal has been labeled as fanaticism. The points raised in this thread and earlier have been so elaborately dealt with in The Life divine. So, let us take it as a base like the mathematician’s hypothesis, and then proceed to debate as diversely as we can. Open Integral 8:17 PM

Every breath an invocation of the Supramental

[Hispanics Transforming US Religion MyFox Washington DC - all 59 related » Buddhism the state religion, a “useless and dangerous” proposal AsiaNews.it - all 49 related » A Muslim opposes "Christophobia" and the religion of secular ...Western Standard- Shotgun Blog]
[Akyol suggests that the most recent instances of radical Islam were incited by dogmatically secularist Turks. Where once they stood in staunch opposition to Islamization of Turkey, now they turn their sights on a feared "Christianization" of Turkey as Christians distribute Christian Bibles...(Cross-posted from Burkean Canuck). Posted by Russ Kuykendall on April 28, 2007 in International Affairs, Religion Permalink]
The religion scene the world over is utterly chaotic, tangled as it is by multiple race, culture and language. Atheists and secularists keep on criticizing to derive their sadistic zest for life from this imbroglio. Theoreticians find anything connected with Theo- as abominating. For the neo-spiritualists the word, religion itself is anathema.
Savitri Erans do not suffer from any such complex. Their religion is universal as well as futuristic. The direct presence of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo guide their steps. Each morning and each moment is a miracle for them; every breath an invocation of the Supramental. [TNM]

Friday, April 27, 2007

Savitri Erans will have to read Savitri

Savitri, in a general sense, has four facets. The first is English, second Poetry, third Philosophy and the final one is Spirituality. Admirers of the poem confront formidable difficulty on all these four fronts.

  • English is a foreign tongue to most of us. Polysyllables in the poem put off many. Allusions are too far off to be fathomed.
  • Poetry, these days, is a rare phenomenon. And if foot and meter or other prosody rules are added then it becomes a dreadful formulation.
  • Philosophy is meant for the bearded guys with unkempt hairs. Of what avail if one is going to break his head over it?
  • Spirituality is a nice slogan that everyone loves. But when it comes to discovering it by reading the poem people would shy away sheepishly.

But, then it hardly pays to complain. Savitri Erans will have to read it. There is not to reason why. [TNM]

Harmohermeneutics

Harmohermeneutics: Derives from the attempt of Sri Aurobindo to harmonize disparate points of view on the anvil of the ageless Vedic vision. Tusar N. Mohapatra said this on April 27th, 2007 at 3:52 am (edit)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Can we remember The Mother also?

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: April 25th, 2007 at 12:23 am Happy to see Ray Harris uttering the hated name, Aurobindo! Can we remember The Mother also?

The Life Divine builds a bridge between religion and philosophy

[Let’s absolutely not get into a discussion of religion…
It seems reasonable when students of philosophy in the West exhibit either indifference or abhorrence towards discussing religion. For them religion implicitly means Christianity in the mainstream and a smattering of Buddhism, tangentially. Christian theology, obviously, is incompatible with the kind of sophisticated thinking that philosophy permits at present. And hence the disconnect.
The Life Divine, in contrast, builds a bridge between religion and philosophy without forsaking any critical scrutiny the modern mind loves to apply. This is the only book in the world where such a synthesis has been consummated to be available at one place. Lack of sufficient awareness about the book is depriving many earnest seekers to reap its benefits. Savitri Erans have a big responsibility here towards their fellow readers. [TNM]

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In the absence of an overall mapping

Tusar N. Mohapatra says: In this interesting conversation, as a non-specialist I noticed that certain words like, immanence, self-reflexivity, normativity etc. have been subjected to rigorous scrutiny, but similar care have not been applied while using the words such as, social, historical , or culture. In the absence of an overall mapping the context travels back and forth between the mundane and the sublime. This tantamount to serious methodological lacunae, which I wonder, how goes unnoticed. Or, may be it is a deliberate ploy to allow the discourse continue and philosophy flourish. Tuesday, 24/04/2007 at 7:27 pm Permalink

Socially sensitive steps are so vital

In the Ashram’s 24th April - the Darshan Day Program the following announcements for Sri Aurobindo’s Room visit caught the eye:
3 to 3-30pm – Aged and Invalid in walking
3-30 to 4pm – invalids to be carried by chair
Such socially sensitive steps are so vital even in a spiritual set-up like the Ashram to convey the message that “We care.” Ashram being a community must be following a slew of such measures for the welfare of its own inmates. How effectively are they implemented? How efficiently are they delivered? What are the hurdles? Have they developed into a distinct paradigm over the years?

If we discuss these aspects in greater detail, perhaps we can contribute meaningfully to the debates regarding various socio-economic models emerging in the country. [TNM]

Once my heart chose and chooses not again

Surendra Nath Jauhar speaks of his Supreme Discovery when he found himself entranced by the sight of The Mother during a chance visit to Puducherry along with Dr. Indra Sen. He could intuitively feel then that he will have to return there again and again. On three separate occasions, subsequently, he was debarred by The Mother from visiting the nearby Ashram of Shri Ramana Maharshi.

One is reminded of the Savitri line, “Once my heart chose and chooses not again.”
A nice theme to muse upon in the Darshan Day spirit. [TNM]

Monday, April 23, 2007

Savitri Era is a religion of free choice

Savitri Erans love and worship The Mother and Sri Aurobindo as their sole god and no other. They refuse to call them Avatars because that affiliates them to the Hindu religion. As their Divine manifestation transcends all history, mythology, and metaphysics, Savitri Erans find it convenient to see them as direct presence of Purushottama (i.e., the Supreme Divine beyond kshara and akshara, vide, Essays on the Gita).

Savitri Erans abhor seeing them treated as just one among many great men/women remembered by history. While the transformative writings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo continue to inspire the devotees and the scholars alike, any vacillation with regard to their divinity is absolutely non-negotiable.

It is incumbent upon the Savitri Erans scattered all over the globe to stand by their religion, firmly. Any attempt to sow the seeds of confusion in the minds of the adherents has to be dealt with appropriately. Savitri Era is a religion of free choice and those feeling suffocated are free to depart. [TNM]

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The wholeness of the poem receives a dent

While it is certainly convenient to have the lines of Savitri forming a sentence to be grouped together and segregated, the wholeness of the poem, obviously, receives a dent. The most famous couplet, golden bridge/luminous heart are from separate sentences and there are many more instances.

Keeping an eye (and ear) on the metrical scansion during recitations is a desirable skill which is liable to be skewed if simultaneous vigil for colons and commas is also exercised. Savitri is so likeable as there are no enjambments; so why create artificial chasms? [TNM]

Thursday, April 19, 2007

An Emergent Theory of Values

To raise “The fact that Sri Aurobindo does not mention the term Avatar in the Life Divine” to a dogmatic level is nothing but utter “literalism” [1:42 PM]. What is “personal Deity” or “emergence” if not the other name of avatarhood? [TNM]

Imagination unlimited

If one of the most evolved and erudite Savitri Erans is facing proprietorial censure and censor over the net, it is highly unfortunate [1:42 PM]. He needs no lessons on whether to follow the Indian wisdom or Western decadence. However, one is sure that a brave heart like him would never kowtow before such intimidatory diktats. [TNM]

Trojan horse in Matrimandir

"The individual demands from religion a door of opening into spiritual experience or a means of turning towards it, a communion with God..."The Life Divine Volume-19 [4:41 PM]. To call it "religious fanaticism" [6:30 AM] smacks of superiority and "lack of rootedness" [6:09 AM]. All [3:53 PM, 5:44 AM] find their consummation in the Savitri Era and "one day will come when the most blind, the most unconscious, even the most unwilling shall be obliged to recognize it"[the Mother]. [TNM]

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Life Divine is for ever

Most of the Savitri Erans dread it; bring in many alibis to avoid it. Though it is the most lovable book on earth, The Life Divine.

Among the many works of Sri Aurobindo, it has the distinction of being thoroughly revised by him. It is complete and comprehensive in its contents, not bereft of a few loose ends though.

Sri Aurobindo wrote brief summaries [CWSA.13] to certain chapters of The Life Divine but did not continue with them. The Mother took up the book in her “Wednesday Classes” for explication but after two chapters the classes stopped.

J.N. Mohanty records in his autobiography:

“I was persuaded by my dear friend Manik Mitra (who then ran the Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir) to lecture regularly on The Life divine. For almost five years, I lectured systematically on that great work from cover to cover – once a month…

I am told that very few have done what I did over the years, but this also gave me a comprehensive grasp of Sri Aurobindo’s thought, although I have been able to write very little on his philosophy. This is one of the things I still hope to be able to do."
Now, we can "listen to recordings of
Life Divine classes via Skype, by Debashish Banerji, Ph.D. on SCIY." [TNM]
[Re: Life Divine classes via Skype, by Debashish Banerji
by Debashish on Wed 18 Apr 2007 02:18 PM PDT
Profile Permanent Link
I wouldn't exactly call these classes but studies and explorations. Thanks to Ron for providing a link to the recordings. And welcome to all sciy readers who may wish to join the Skype Life Divine studies live. They are held every Thursday evening from 7:30 - 9:00 (and sometimes 9:30) pm US Pacific Standard Time (8 - 9:30 am in India and 10:30 pm - 12:00 am US-EST). If interested, please send your Skype ID to debbanerji@yahoo.com DB]

Hitler is here

The terror unleashed by Hitler can also be compared with the intellectual tyranny of Ken Wilber. Hitler was a terrible resistance to the evolutionary revolution carried forward by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Similarly, Ken and his cult, today, pose a formidable challenge to the propagation of Savitri Era religion. By packaging his message in an alluring fashion, he has been successful in seducing a great many, but the sad reality is that it is all sophisticated sham.
People find it hard to come out of the confusion of his miasmatic metaphysics of “post-metaphysical.” It provides them a false sense of intellectual satisfaction and confidence. But the virus he spreads leaves many maimed and in a wreck. And it is painful to see such well meaning persons treating the genuine teachings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo with disdain. [TNM]

Inspiring and invigorating teachings

[Buddhism is national religion, Thai monks say 2007/4/18 BANGKOK, Thailand, AP
Hundreds of monks rallied in Thailand on Tuesday for Buddhism to be enshrined in the constitution as the country's national religion, amid a worsening Islamic insurgency in the Muslim south. china post
Constitution contains no state religion
As a Buddhist, Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) chairman Prasong Soonsiri said he wants Buddhism to flourish, but it was not important to include such a declaration in the constitution. Sqn-Ldr Prasong has shrugged off the call for Buddhism to be declared the official national religion in the new charter.
bangkok post By Penchan Charoensuthipan]
Savitri Era as the new global religion is in operation for more than half a century. More and more people in all the continents are discovering this new thought and light and making it their own. Inspiring and invigorating teachings make the Savitri Era religion the right option for the modern world. [TNM]

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Prejudice and philosophy

By Tusar N Mohapatra 5:37 PM Here your objection is against deconstructionsm's 'sole' claims to "questioning assumptions." 'Deconstruction: A Reader' by M. Mcquillan contains essays among others by Freud, Marx, and Heidegger.
F.R. Leavis, Saussure, Barthes, Paul de Man, et al are said to have done work allied to Derrida's. So, is it fair to campaign "don't bother with Foucault, Derrida, nor Lacan" and thus prejudice the students of philosophy who have not read them? 4:12 AM

Monday, April 16, 2007

Extreme diversity of intended meanings

By Tusar N Mohapatra 6:39 AM You maintain that "the extreme diversity of intended meanings of the term render it effectively meaningless." That means your objection is only against the term and not against the various notions people attribute to it. You perhaps say that these notions are real but perennial. And there is nothing new to them to be denoted as a separate genre under this generic term. Do I get you right?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

When will our Maxists grow up?

Sitaram Yechury's (HT: April 12, 2007) advocacy for "syncretic evolution" stops short at the sayings of Swami Vivekananda. But what about the "evolution of consciusness" as propounded by Sri Aurobindo? When will our Maxists allow themselves to grow up? [TNM]

Friday, April 13, 2007

Parliament House has turned into a Buddhist place of worship

The Government of India, in a full-page advertisement today, has "cordially invited" the "devotees" of Baba-Saheb Ambedkar for offering floral tributes at his statue in the Parliament House lawn on April 14, 2007. One fails to understand since when the Parliament House has turned into a Buddhist place of worship. [TNM]

The hand that kneaded Homer and Hegel together

[Hence in our own differing ways, both Matthew and I are advocating the unending conversation...posted by CJ Smith @ 3:41 PM 11:03 AM
I hope that sufficiently clarifies I am not against MD's (nor the Great Ideas/Classical Ed.) approach altogether. Just the point at which it won't recognize its own terminus. When it does not admit its own boundaries then it makes (to my mind) specious claims like that postmodernism is too vague to mean anything. posted by CJ Smith @ 3:42 PM 11:22 AM see comments section here 11:36 AM]

So the Arnoldian model that Sri Aurobindo advocated is still a darling of the 21_21 generation. How reassuring! The hand that kneaded Homer and Hegel together, and harmonized the Veda with evolution is over us leading us in the right direction. [TNM] 1:32 PM

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Revelation at Uttarpara

[HM declares suspension of work at Uttarpara plant. Kolkata, April. 11 (PTI): After 29 days of labour unrest, the management of C K Birla group's Hindustan Motors (HM) today declared the suspension of work at its Uttarpara plant in West Bengal. the hinduBusiness]
Uttarpara, a name sacred to the Savitri Erans, is in the news today. The famous Uttarpara Speech delivered by Sri Aurobindo almost a century ago is still a manifesto for the whole of mankind, when read along with his message for August 15, 1947. The prophetic words proclaiming his revelation testify to his divinity. [TNM]

Let us not let down the most integral of the humans

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: April 11th, 2007 at 10:22 pm Matthew Dallman offers the easy solution to “trace back the intellectual roots of the Great Idea of Opinion.” But his world too ends at the border of the Western hemisphere. No one is willing to look at India, at Sri Aurobindo. So much of bias, so much of resistance.
Within India also Sri Aurobindo faces stiff opposition. Because he ventured to dredge out centuries old sedimentations piled over meanings and methods. In the process he has created a comprehensive knowledge system suitable for a unified world. But Westerners continue to see him with suspicion.
Philosophical problems can’t be resolved overnight. But many of them arise basically from the Christian/Buddhist worldview which is so well entrenched in your thinking process. On the contrary, the Indian/Vedic ontology is so steeped in the notion of intersubjectivity that such questions never arise in our mind. Sri Aurobindo has attempted to harmonize and integrate many of these themes so that both parties can be happy without anyone feeling alienated.
His philosophy, his aesthetics, his political ideas, and his thoughts on education are worth perusing and pursuing. His poetry and yoga are definitively emancipatory. Let us not let down the most integral of the humans. 3:04 AM

Hegemony of Harmony

[Gramsci counseled his side to begin a "long march through the institutions," by which he meant the capture of the cinema, theater, schools, universities, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and courts...It was he who first alerted fellow revolutionaries to the possibility that they would be able to complete the seizure of political power only after having achieved "cultural hegemony," or control of society's intellectual life by cultural means alone. -- Culture War By Lee Congdon, Ph.D. September 2005 · No. 2005-5 4:18 AM 5:14 AM]
While Gramsci's children are busy in their fanatical mission, Savitri Erans will make an all out effort to sow the seeds of Harmony by broadcasting the words from The Life Divine and Savitri. [TNM]

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why not accept it and accommodate it somehow

By Tusar N Mohapatra 12:26 AM Meanwhile, I am mulling over an issue, which, I think, has not been addressed.
Fully sympathetic to your version of classicism and aesthetics, a suspicion haunts me that having once infected with the postmodernist worldview and enjoyed it for quite some time, I perhaps can't escape back and regain my innocence without a constant effort and vigilance.
So why not accept it and accommodate it somehow, instead of fighting it out all the while?

Savitri online

MD said... Tusar, I'm not familiar with any of Sri Aurobindo's poetry. So if you have any good examples, feel free to share. md 11:06 AM
Tusar N Mohapatra said... Savitri can be read as well as heard online at www.savitribysriaurobindo.com/ and at www.sciy.org/blog/ 7:54 PM

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Savitri Era religion is the most sensible alternative

[LET RELIGION BE SPIRITUAL FORCE: DR. KALAM
Mysore, Apr. 10 (BRS)- Transform religion into a spiritual force, notwith-standing the difficulty of achieving the task, for the society to progress, opined Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He was delivering the inaugural address at the national seminar on "Religion, Spirituality and Education in the challenging globalised world" held on Sunday at St. Philomena's College here to mark the diamond jubilee celebrations of the college. April 10, 2007 star of mysore.com]
One can understand the dilemma of Dr. Kalam, the President of a secular country. Citizens have the right to adhere to their respective religions and any attempt to wean them away from their paths is against the democratic ethos. Interestingly, Leftists in our country are supportive of a fundamentalist stance like this. Thus, the two views clash. Savitri Era religion, therefore, is the most sensible alternative. [TNM]

Every new genuine poem bludgeons postmodernism

[In this battle against postmodernism (and for intellectual sustainability, and Great Ideas education), witness this article, with its excellent suggestion about how to battle postmodernism down. The ammunition? Poetry: "Sometimes the best defense [against postmodernism] is poetry which relies on essentialist usages and which is the hardest to deconstruct..." In other words, every new genuine poem bludgeons postmodernism...posted by MD 10:25 AM Email This! Questions & Comments (3)
Joe Perez said... I'm actually very appreciative of your reference to poetry. There are other ways out of postmodernity and I highly recommend the neo-Thomist, neo-Aristotelian philospher Alasdair MacIntyre to you...]
Tusar N Mohapatra said... Talking of poetry, can we think of Sri Aurobindo, his sonnets or Savitri? 8:37 AM

Hegel, Heine, and Nietzsche

[Coming across in a hymn of Martin Luther what Hegel described as the cruel words, the harsh utterance, namely, God is dead, the latter was perhaps the first great philosopher to develop the theme of God’s death according to whom, to one form of experience God is dead. Commenting on Kant’s first Critique, Heinrich Heine spoke of a dying God. Heine influenced Nietzsche. Since Heine and Nietzsche the phrase Death of God became popular. (K Satchidananda Murty, The Realm of Between, IIAS,1973) [God is dead, From Wikipedia] Tusar N. Mohapatra said this on April 9th, 2007 at 7:46 am ] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 1:23 PM 0 comments Links

Cuttack Conference of Sri Aurobindo Study Circles

Saturday, April 07, 2007 Harmony at any cost
The 4-day State-level Conference of Sri Aurobindo Study Circles being held at Matrubhaban in Cuttack (Kataka), Orissa comes to a close today. The theme of this Annual Conference – 2007 was ‘Harmony at any cost.’ [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 5:41 PM 10:59 PM

The false image is not of something quite non-existent

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: April 9th, 2007 at 10:13 pm Proprietorial rights certainly permits to cite any number of broken arguments, but when it comes to Sri Aurobindo, it is expected that one should react after reading his The Life Divine, else allow him the benefit of doubt, for fairness’ sake. savitrieralearningforum

Monday, April 09, 2007

There is no such thing as absolute void

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: April 8th, 2007 at 11:57 pm Sri Aurobindo comes in precisely to resolve this riddle. He reformulates the questions and the paradoxes blow out. “There is no such thing as absolute void,” he wrote in The Life Divine and the cobwebs collected over a millennium were swept away with just one phrase. 9:42 PM

Fall in love with The Mother

While we welcome new windows and new vistas in most other departments of life, we somehow go by the impression that the Jurassic is right as far as religion is concerned. Why such listlessness and inertia? Why do we compromise? Savitri Era religion is here with its freshness and all encompassing appeal. It is for the new generation to fall in love with The Mother. [TNM]

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Marx, Nietzsche, and Sri Aurobindo

[m alan kazlev said... Sure it is a very whoelsome and Earth-nurturing religion, but I want to go beyond all religions. 4:24 PM
Perhaps the single most fundamental thing I’ve come to appreciate in my academic tenure is that top-down heirarchical systems (administration to faculty) generally lead to really bad results. Working with administrations really leads one to appreciate Marx’s desire to bring about the withering away of the “state”... larvalsubjects said this on February 9th, 2007 at 4:08 am 9:13 AM]
Surpassing the State or Religions are noble Nietzschean desires bordering upon adolescent romanticism. Even within a near-perfect dispensation it is difficult to get rid of hierarchy and the only welcome circumstance is to moderate our reactions towards it. [TNM]

Saturday, April 07, 2007

His consciousness is a babe upon her knees

The Divine manifestation of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo and the advent of Supramental Consciousness is a unique and unprecedented event in the history of the earth. No amount of hermeneutical analysis can unravel the mystery of these happenings as all rules and ratios stand altered. All previous visions and logical speculations, too, are liable to be warped in this scenario.

Consequently, insisting on a suitable metaphysic unstained by older mythologies for understanding their collaborative action upon the earth seems obvious. Sri Aurobindo has left copious hints concerning this in the Canto, The Secret Knowledge of Savitri. How we accord autonomy to this enunciation in preference to other well-established claims is entirely upon us. [TNM]

Berkeley as precursor of Sri Aurobindo's ideas

While Anderson speaks of the influence of Arnold upon Sri Aurobindo, H.R. Justa mentions Berkeley being "precursor of Sri Aurobindo's idea of planes of consciousness." [TNM] 5:07 AM

Friday, April 06, 2007

Let’s join in to sing the welcome anthem

Savitri Era religion is the only true solution to the Palestine problem and the Iraq imbroglio. The economic and environmental questions, too, can find their resolution within the universality of Savitri Era religion. Liberty and Equality have played out their part. Savitri Era religion, with Fraternity as its driving principle, will prepare a future of Peace and Harmony.

The appearance of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo upon the earth is absolutely unprecedented and the Supramental Light is working towards a Greater Dawn. Let’s join in to sing the welcome anthem. [TNM]

Glasnost in school classrooms

[‘‘In spring, for example, we would like kids to walk down the streets, enjoy the fall and learn more about the leaves. Or, there could be places where parents will prefer school vacations to coincide with the time of harvest so that the children can participate in the family occupation. Such adjustments would permit children to learn from the world they live in, acquiring life skills and attitude, instead of forgoing their lives in the community for the sake of attending school,’’ said NCERT director Krishna Kumar. The Times of India 6 Apr, 2007 10:28 AM]
It is heartening to read the TOI report today regarding the introduction of a variant of the Free Progress System as envisaged by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo in our schools. [TNM]

Monday, April 02, 2007

Uttering the word religion is seen as a sin and proselyting, a pejorative

In a perceptive paper titled “Grace and Self-effort in the Upanishads” published in the Mother India, Apr-May 1962, Sisir Kumar Maitra underscored the fact that the Vedic hymns were replete with supplication and invocation of divine grace, while in contrast, the Upanishadic mantras, by and large, emphasize upon the personal effort for achieving spiritual upliftment. This dichotomy is best expressed in the popular distinction between the approach of a baby monkey and a baby cat.

However, an integration of both the means – call from the below and grace from the above – has been envisaged in the Integral Yoga enunciated by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. But many of the present day specialists find it hegemonic to appeal to some higher power. So much so that uttering the word religion is seen as a sin and proselyting, a pejorative. Their consternation in this respect is a matter of much amusement for the Savitri Erans who, luckily, are a happy lot to possess and proceed with a clear conscience. [TNM]

Hegel and Marx also had attached much importance to individuals

A short intellectual autobiography of D.P. Chattopadhyaya is available in the book, History, Culture and Truth : Essays Presented to D.P. Chattopadhyaya, edited by Daya Krishna and K. Satchidananda Murty. He has some significant confessions to make with regard to his famous publication Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx [TNM]:

Partly due to Popper’s primary influence on my mind and partly due to Hegel’s and Marx’s relative indifference to the importance of individuals in history, I was consistently, perhaps also uncritically, fair to Sri Aurobindo. The latter’s emphasis on individual freedom impressed me to an undue extent.

That Hegel and Marx also had attached much importance to individuals escaped my biased attention. What I failed to see clearly at that time is the Marxian thesis that “individuals are the real architects of history.” Also I downplayed Hegelian accent on human beings as expression of the Absolute.

In effect I was reading Hegel through the eyes of Bosanquet, particularly his ‘Philosophical Theories of State’. I was unduly influenced not only by Popper’s ‘Open Society’ but also by Hobhouse’s criticism of the Hegelian political philosophy as expounded in the ‘Metaphysical Theory of State.’
[p.343]

Truth and philosophy

Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy has a surprise inclusion: Byron, the original rebel. Will Durant, too, provides a pride of place to Voltaire in his Story of Philosophy while relegating Hegel to an insignificant status. In Western Intellectual Tradition: From Leonard to Hegel by Jacob Bronowski and Bruce Mazlish Francis Bacon is not mentioned. The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change by Randall Collins tracks the conflictual as well as commensalistic networks among the philosophers that make them popular. For instance, Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky became famous only after a considerable lapse of time because of Kafka and Camus. And where is Sartre today? [TNM]

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Anti-Vedic, naturalistic, and skeptical thinking

Samjaya is one of the famous names in “the anti-Vedic, naturalistic, and skeptical thinking” who predates the Buddha or Nagarjuna. Hobbes, Hume, and Kant were responsible to meld it with the western thought. Theosophy, Osho, and Wilber brought it to the popular level. So why fret at Dawkins, Dennett, or Harris? [TNM]

Esoteric, academic, and emergent

Matthew Newsham Says: March 31st, 2007 at 9:32 am The baptism of academia does not automatically make you smart or relevant in all fields of study- especially newly emergent ones.
The distinction between what is called esoteric, academic, and emergent needs to be clearly understood in the context of the diverse writings that fall under the rubric of spirituality. Their standard academic nomenclature is philosophy which has been segregated variously as, metaphysics, ontology or phenomenology. Since the academia, world over, is predominantly dominated by leftists, atheists, and secularists, a large body of identical literature remains outside the university syllabi, which we might call, esoteric.

What has been referred to as emergent is, though young, it might prove to be profound in the days to come, but mere popularity can not be a yardstick for its inclusion under either of the above generic terms. But the important aspect to be remembered is that none of the three areas is superior by itself as each has its own merit and validity. [TNM]