Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fixed tenure for top functionaries

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "Old must slack hold":

On behalf of the Savitri Era Party we have demanded from time to time that top functionaries should be elected/selected for fixed tenures in the interest of efficiency and transparency. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Savitri Era at 9:49 AM, August 26, 2009

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "Curiosity building up over Savitri Era Party":

Savitri Era Party is meant for Indian citizens only, and hence it may not interest you. Your sympathy, however, is appreciated. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Savitri Era at 9:39 AM, August 26, 2009

The dreams face hurdles

[A moral chaos has engulfed the nation and the culture of corruption is spreading fast. Viewed as one of the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world, India now runs the risk of being destroyed by the virus of corruption in her politics, administration and economy... Look at the Indian Parliament. What an uninspiring spectacle it is. The 14th Lok Sabha, for example, had about 100 members who were involved in criminal cases — 30 of whom had been charged with murder, dacoity, rape and extortion. Could an institution, dominated by such men and women, provide a national environment conducive to the realisation of Sri Aurobindo’s great vision? Unfulfilled dreams
By Jagmohan The Asian Age & Deccan Chronicle, 19 Aug 2009: How is it that all the dreams, mentioned by Sri Aurobindo in his Independence day message, have virtually disappeared from the collective memory of the nation?]

Jagmohan, justifiably, paints a bleak picture of the present situation. But a firm faith in the five dreams spelled out by Sri Aurobindo has the redeeming potential. The caveat, however, is that as long as the names of Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore or Gandhi et al is uttered along with Sri Aurobindo in the same breath, the dreams face hurdles. [TNM]


['We have to sensitise ourselves to seek a higher goal. Great men like Ram Krishna Paramhans, Raman Maharishi and Mahatma Gandhi had heightened their sensitivities to such an extent that it was difficult to lie in front of them or practise adharma,' Shourie said.
Shourie falls back on Gandhi in times of crisis 2009-08-26]

Shourie is always innovative and comes up with a new list. [TNM]

Thought control is alien to our constitutional scheme

[ASPIRATION Permalink Reply by Barindranath Chaki
I don't think Peter Heeh and his so-called biography should be of any consideration, any value. The book "Lives of Sri Aurobindo" is an anti-Divine move and it will be lost soon in the darkness, as will Peter do. Sri Aurobindo is not only a great Thinker or a Great Master, He is the Forerunner of the New World, the Turning Point for the Human Race, the Leader of the Next Evolution. He is truly the Avatar.]

[“Our Constitution permits a free trade, if we can use the expression, in ideas and ideologies. It guarantees freedom of thought and expression - the only limitation being a law in terms of clause (2) of Article 19 of the Constitution. Thought control is alien to our constitutional scheme?” The ban and the law]

[“We have already observed that the very purpose of writing the article is a sort of historical research and it is based on a number of reference books and other material. It is true that sometimes in a given case even a truthful account may come within the mischief of S. 153A. But this will be too broad a proposition. Different considerations will prevail when we are to consider a scholarly article on history and religion based upon research with the help of a number of reference books. It will be very difficult for the state to contend that a narration of history would promote violence, enmity or hatred. If such a convention is accepted, a day will come when that part of history which is unpalatable to a particular religion will have to be kept in cold storage on the pretext that the publication of such history would constitute an offence punishable under S. 153A of the IPC. We do not think that the scope of S. 153A can be enlarged to such an extent with a view to thwart history. For obvious reasons, history and historical events cannot be allowed to be looked upon as a secret on a specious plea that if the history is made known to a person who is interested to know the history, there is likelihood of someone else being hurt. Similarly, an article containing a historical research cannot be allowed to be thwarted on such a plea that the publication of such a material would be hit by S. 153A. Otherwise, the position will be very precarious. A nation will have to forget its own history and in due course the nation will have no history at all.” The ban and the law]

[Again and again, the Court points out that the book must be read as a whole and that its purpose must always be kept in mind... "We must practice tolerance to the views of others. Intolerance is as much dangerous to democracy as to the person himself.” The ban and the law by Arun Shourie Tags : Jaswant Singh, arun shourie, Sardar Patel, BJP Posted: Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009
Someone must also have realised that not being ‘acceptable’ to a state is not a ground on which a book can be banned under our Constitution and laws. Nonetheless the ban was notified — even as the seniormost officials of the state government were testifying that they did not know the reasons for the ban.]

Let's hope that the ban on the book, The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs receives such expert scrutiny. [TNM]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ontology as self-realization

[What strikes me after reading this post (and the one on the Alethetics of Rhetoric) is that what is revealed in an ontology might be more powerful by far than a moral theory, by providing a vista for self-realization rather than a didactic formula. Asher Kay]

[Latour contends that discussions about value are really discussions about matters of concern where the appearance of new actors, human or nonhuman, generate perplexity. Co(m)-plications
from Larval Subjects . Latour emphasizes the manner in which the appearance of new actors co(m)-plicates and per-plicates relations among entities in an existing network. In the former approach, for example, we get Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action, predelineating or pre-sup-posing norms governing discourse that must be there at the outset for discourse to take place. In the latter approach, by contrast, the moment of “matters of concern” or co(m)-plication is the appearance of a new actor such as massive cultivation of bovine livestock that require the clearing of rain forests and that significantly increase contributions to greenhouse gas emissions.]

[Re: On Universalism: In Debate with Alain Badiou by Etienne Balibar
Debashish on Sat 22 Aug 2009 09:08 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
There is much in this profound meditation on universalism that applies at all levels of engagement with that term, whether theoretical, political or spiritual. But I would like to draw attention particularly to the last paragraph, where Balibar is laying out the responsibility that comes with the territory... Integrality is a nuance on universalism which pushes its borders into the Transcendental and Absolute.]

[The word integral means for this paradigm recognizing the value of all of the stages... each emergence is absorbed in the next. It doesn’t just go away. So, the real trick for the integral paradigm is to realize, really and substantially, that the powers and potentials and forms of expression of each of the levels are ever-present. They are always there, and all are valuable. There is a way of looking at the developmental paradigm that is hierarchic. Spiral Dynamics - a philosophical perspective Tue, 02/03/2009 — Rod Hemsell]

[It is the search for a substantive rather than procedural democracy that protects citizens from majoritarian arrogance and ensures justice in a subcontinent where people have multiple identities.
Majoritarianism, whether in secular or saffron garb, continues to be a potential threat to Indian democracy. Regional rights were once thought to be a counterpoise to the anti-democratic tendencies of an over-centralised state. Regional parties run by petty and insecure dictators are proving to be as ruthless as the all-India partiepression of internal dissent. In such a scenario freedom of speech and expression remains the best guarantee of the future of Indian democracy.
Why Jinnah matters SUGATA BOSE Tuesday , Aug 25, 2009
The writer is the Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University]

[Hell hath no fury like a Shourie unplugged Economic Times - ‎25 Aug 2009‎
on Monday experienced fresh convulsions when another leader, Mr Arun Shourie, threw a barrage of punches at the leadership's face. ... Throwing a virtual challenge to the party leadership to act against him for his utterances, he said: “So, you want to be Humpty Dumpty and make words mean what you say and act, then I presume you already have in your mind to act against me or anybody, so act.”
Treading cautiously after the criticism over the summary expulsion of Jaswant Singh, the BJP today sought a "clarification" from senior leader Arun Shourie]

Sri Aurobindo explained that evolution is not linear but spiral. Hence, a moral theory smoldered in the fire of politics cleanses the most and paves the way for the next level. [TNM]

Fictional marquee collapses

A few of our friends (and intimate enemies) are rattled over the ground slipping from under their feet. The fictional marquee woven with utmost shrewdness turns out to be no more than a heap of cobwebs when collapses. So, hum…One two ka three... three two ka one! [TNM]

Old must slack hold

[Mr. Shourie suggested that the party follow the example of Chairman Mao Zedong, who had said at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution: “Bombard the headquarters.” Mr. Shourie explained that the entire BJP leadership at the centre should be thrown out and replaced by “good” leaders from the States. The RSS should “take over” the party as the BJP leadership had lost moral authority, which the RSS enjoyed.
On the other hand, Mr. Jaswant Singh earlier described the RSS as a “shadowy organisation” and said no political party could afford to be dictated to by such an outfit.
Crisis in BJP deepens as Shourie attacks Rajnath Hindu Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009. RSS should bombard BJP HQ, take over leadership: Shourie
TNN 25 Aug 2009]

Analogical medicine is also required to be administered to Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Sri Aurobindo Society, and Auroville. [TNM]

Monday, August 24, 2009

Savitri Era Party needs 500 honest persons to serve the country

In a large and diverse democracy like India politics is bound to be a complex affair. But transparency and swift communication can make it much simpler for Savitri Era Party. Sincerity of purpose coupled with courage of conviction can easily persuade people for favoring the Party. Allegiance to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo will no doubt give it an edge. Futuristic outlook, further, would make it a darling of the young and the marginalized.

Savitri Era Party needs just 500 honest persons to serve the country. One in each constituency, and then we are not too far off from where one scents power. [TNM]

Can anyone ban a citizen's thinking

[M Alan Kazlev has left a new comment on your post "The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have already accomplish...": Personally I feel that the Heehs biography, despite its shortcomings, does contain much of value. Savitri Era August 16, 2009]

[JD(U) chief says he disapproves ban on Jaswant's book Press Trust of India - ‎ STAFF WRITER 16:29 HRS IST
New Delhi, Aug 24 (PTI)
JD(U) President Sharad Yadav told reporters here. When asked to comment on the ban imposed by Gujarat government on Jaswant Singh's book 'Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence', Yadav said, "I don't want to talk about any individual state government. In a democracy, there should not be a ban on any kind of writing, speech and expression. I don't approve of the ban."When pressed further to comment on whether he approves the content of Singh's book, Yadav said, "who am I to make judgements.]

[As he put it in perspective — the contents of the book were merely his views that were formed after reading certain documents of the pre- and post-partition era. Singh's assertions make a lot of practical, and importantly, legal sense. Can anyone ban a citizen's thinking as long as he expresses them in exercise of his right to freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution? Jaswant an outcast for BJP, but his book must not be
Times of India - 24 August 2009,
Dhananjay Mahapatra‎‎]

Tusar N. Mohapatra, Ghaziabad, says: An Indian reprint of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs published originally by Columbia University Press has been prevented by instituting court cases against the author in Orissa, thus compromising right to freedom of expression. [TNM] 24 Aug, 2009 l 0245hrs IST

Sunday, August 23, 2009

K Natwar Singh, Somnath Chatterjee, Jaswant Singh and Sudheendra Kulkarni

[Jaswant's punishment is not for his book at all. It is about the elections that the BJP lost under Rajnath's presidency, Advani's candidacy and Arun Jaitley's management. Let us build Pakistan: Jinnah, Jaswant and the BJP: An analysis by Aakar Patel Sunday, August 23, 2009]

K Natwar Singh, and Somnath Chatterjee should team up with Jaswant Singh and Sudheendra Kulkarni to show that they are not spent forces. [TNM]

Politics should be imbued with the deepest of spiritual values

[Integrality is a nuance on universalism which pushes its borders into the Transcendental and Absolute. Re: On Universalism: In Debate with Alain Badiou by Etienne Balibar Debashish Sat 22 Aug 2009 09:08 AM PDT]

[Secular should not be equated with immoral. Politics should be imbued with the deepest of spiritual values otherwise it’s dry rot that will affect the country. This diverse country needs to be governed in an inclusive and accommodating manner. 'Echoes of myself in Jinnah? That would be arrogant' expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh, Times of India - ‎23 August 2009]

[The Indian as an individual has in every field across the world, including business, demonstrated innovation and originality. But as a society and as communities, India is among the world's least innovative.
In every social sector public education, public health, public infrastructure, public morality India is abysmally below world class standards, ranking below 100 in the comity of nations. Times of India - Top Article:
Creative Leadership Can Make All The Difference GEETANJALI KIRLOSKAR 22 August 2009, The writer is chairperson, India Japan Initiative]

[No such thing as quick victories: Azim Premji‎ - Economic Times - ‎23 August 2009
First, to build a just, equitable, sustainable and humane society, we must act with the clear understanding that the issues and challenges facing our nation cannot be solved by the government alone. We as individuals, entrepreneurs and organisations are equal participants of this democratic society, and must play a more active role in these systemic issues. Indeed the government can do a lot more and do much better on many dimensions, but equally, we must do a lot more. Second, giving money in the form of contributing to ‘causes’ is perhaps the usual first step towards our starting to engage with these issues. However, the engagement becomes a lot more meaningful and useful if it really involves giving attention and thought to these issues. Often the paths to improvement require a lot more than money; they require careful thought and sustained energy. This is thus a combination of a basic attitude of ‘giving’ and ‘caring’ for what happens with what we ‘give’. Third, we must be prepared for the long haul. If we want genuine change and improvement, we have to be willing to stay with the issues for years. I don’t think change on social issues happens in the same timescales as changes in the corporate world. We must resist the urge to report quick victories. There are no quick victories in the arena of social change, real positive changes can be seen only decades later. In summary, I am convinced that each of us must deeply engage with social issues. This engagement will happen meaningfully if we give our attention and thought to specific issues, in addition to giving money. We must have the resolve to engage with these issues for a long time, and only then will we be able to make the difference that we desire. (The Joy of Giving Week from Sept 27 to Oct 3 calls on every Indian to give in cash, kind and kindness.) The writer is the chairman of Wipro Technologies// Indian entrepreneurs are jiving to a new beat
Times of India - ‎23 August 2009 Murthy and Azim Premji to the millions of men, women and children who are entrepreneurs out of necessity, using their imagination and wit to survive.]

[The Times of India: Independence Day India celebrates 62 years of freedom on August 15. Civil institutions have a role in shaping our collective identity, writes Arabinda Ray, a retired corporate executive. Being Indian It is also significant that the newly independent country continued to call itself India a word of foreign coinage not found in any of the languages of the subcontinent. The heightened momentum saw us safely through the adoption of a path-breaking Constitution. But cracks began to appear, thanks to the Congress being hoist by its own petard of promises made as a part of the struggle for independence. It began with the fast unto death of Poti Sriramulu, which led to the creation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Nevertheless, as long as the near monolithic hold of the Congress existed at the Centre, loyalty to old-time political bosses kept the situation manageable. After Lal Bahadur Shastri, the Congress's reversal at the polls in 1967 saw the opening of a Pandora's box. Adherence to religion, region, caste and even sub-caste became more important in the democratic process of the election of our political representatives at all levels. Fortunately, the Centre has held together though badly scarred by fissiparous pressures.]

NTR in Andhra Pradesh altered the political landscape at the Centre and later Chandrababu Naidu too played a major role in installing successive regimes. NDA lost power because Naidu didn't fare well in 2004 and in 2009 he was done in by Chiranjeevi. Overall, appealing to linguistic chauvinism and provincial prestige still brings in votes transcending ideological divides. [TNM]

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo are the anchoring principle of Savitri Era Party

There have been inquiries from several quarters as regards the manifesto of the Savitri Era Party. It is a valid query, yet just a habit. No political party runs by a pre-determined manifesto for ever. It is the people who unite voluntarily under the umbrella of a party identify the programme and policies on an ongoing basis. A manifesto is framed at the time of elections keeping in mind local conditions and concerns.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, however, are the first and foremost anchoring principle of the Savitri Era Party. The diverse facets of their hoary legacy needs to be engaged with, interpreted, and interrogated in the arena of lived reality at various scales of collective existence. Compartmentalizing different spheres of social life has cost us dearly and hence Savitri Era Party would seek an integral approach in polity as well as in governance.

Economics is a key issue, but is said to be on autopilot in India that is likely to run through the next decade. So, till that time we may rest on our oars while turning our attention to clear the cobwebs of superstition, obscurantism, and statusquoism pervading the social sector and nurture a psychological propeller in favor of freedom and world union. [TNM]

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Badiou glosses over the religious register present at the beginning of Meillassoux’s work

[Marko Rinck Says: November 12th, 2006 at 4:30 am So if we, for instance, look at the teachings of Aurobindo and Almaas. Those teachings were revealed to them and after they conceptualized them it appeared that they were a synthesis of many different teachings and fields. In the case of Aurobindo it was, among others, all the different main forms of yoga, evolutionary theory etc. And with Almaas it is sufism, buddhism, advaita, developmental psychology and object relation psychology, among others. What I know from Almaas is that he did not set out to create a teaching like that. It was revealed to him and he found the similarities in those fields and theories and used those for conceptualization. I wouldn’t be suprised if it was the same with Aurobindo.
(Another interesting similarity is that they both formed a team with a woman to manifest these teachings. Very interesting to look at the interplay of Shiva and Shakti and its connection to the Creative Force there, but lets leave that for another discussion).
Open Integral]

[Andy Smith Says: December 29th, 2006 at 5:04 pm
Personally, I feel Gurdjieff is the most original teacher I have encountered, but I don’t feel the need to start a thread on him, or to convince others that he was the most realized man of all time. I would point out that he was teaching his students in Moscow about holarchy years before the term was even coined, about different brains half a century before Paul MacLean developed the idea of the triune brain, that his system specifically addresses questions of physiological events that occur during meditation, that he was virtually alone in suggesting that there is a limit to how many people on earth can realize higher consciousness, and so on and so on. I know he didn’t invent these and other ideas out of whole cloth, that he had his sources, but nevertheless I have never found ideas like these in the writings of others. I have personally confirmed some of his most important ideas, but like all great teachers, he encouraged his followers to be critical of him, and I am. I think this is a healthier attitude than what seems like total belief on your part that Aurobindo was infallible.
Open Integral]

[Logic and Transcendence is one of Schuon's more important books, if only because it's an actual book. Most of the rest of his books are simply collections of essays on a diversity of topics. The Interior Logic of Ultimate Reality
from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob]

[Why Sam Harris is My Kind of New Atheist
from ~C4Chaos by ~C4Chaos
It's no secret to readers of this blog that
Sam Harris is my personal favorite among the New Atheists... God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens (Daniel Dennett and Robert Thurman Talk) The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (Review: The God Delusion: Memes, Moral Zeitgeist, and Spiral Dynamics) Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett (Rupert Sheldrake On Daniel Dennett) The End of Faith (Review: End of Faith) by Sam Harris Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris (Review: Letter to a Christian Nation)]

[Fannie and Freddie question from Cafe Hayek by Russ Roberts
A question for the practitioners out there. If you were a mortgage originator in the early 1990’s before Fannie and Freddie created their automated software and before the internet, how did you determine if a loan was a “conforming” loan that could be sold to Fannie or Freddie?]

[Thursday, August 20, 2009 Obama would like you to see government as religion.
He addresses a group of religious leaders: “I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness,” Mr. Obama told a multidenominational group of pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders who support his goal to remake the nation’s health care system.]

[The work of Speculative Realists, from the beginning is very interesting for me, and they refer to me sometimes too. The rupture with the idealist tradition in the field of philosophic study is of great necessity today. We return to the question of realism and materialism later. Its a very complex question. The Speculative Realist position is the position where the point of departure of philosophy is not the relationship between the subject and object or the subject and the world and so on or what Quentin Meillassoux names correlationism. Badiou on Speculative Realism
Posted on August 21, 2009 by Ben Woodard//
Anthony Paul Smith, on August 21st, 2009 at 5:35 pm Said:
It is a little weird that Badiou glosses over the religious register present at the beginning of Meillassoux’s work. And his own.// Thursday, August 13, 2009
Interview with Nick Srnicek Paul John Ennis]

Five milestone events of the last three years have helped to remove the scales off our eyes on various fronts:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fair procedures have been brutally flouted

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "Caustic history": Thanks Anon for alighting.

Even if we assume that all your statements are true, there are procedures to be followed before someone is declared guilty. Otherwise, yours is just another opinion bereft of any weight.

The most outrageous aspect is that fair procedures have been brutally flouted in both the cases. And no one is ashamed of the impropriety. This alone sends a shudder down the spine. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Savitri Era at 9:20 PM, August 21, 2009

Should we leave the political discourse to be dictated by RSS obscurantism

On the day Jaswant was expelled from BJP, Jagmohan asked in an article published in The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle (19 Aug 2009):

  • [How is it that all the dreams, mentioned by Sri Aurobindo in his Independence day message, have virtually disappeared from the collective memory of the nation?]

Coincidentally, Dr. Debashish Banerji, clarifying a contentious issue that has been troubling the followers of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo for years, wrote on the eve of the World Union day:

  • [In a post-physical presence of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, it becomes more imperative to awake to a political aspiration and accept this aspect of social existence as a part of the spiritual growth process. (Re: Technology in a Global World by Andrew Feenberg Tue 18 Aug 2009)]

So now the question is should we leave the political discourse in our country to be dictated by the RSS obscurantism or step in to rectify the reified misconceptions. The trove of intellectual capital that The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have left in our custody makes us the most competent to arbitrate in such matters. And to understand whether it is so, we need to have enough conviction, not only based on faith and affection, but also on critical reason. It is an error to expect though that a majority of the followers would posses it; and therefore, election of an elite caucus becomes a necessity despite of the nice seeming argument for free and open functioning. [TNM]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Search for World Union Day in UK, USA, Australia, and France

UK, USA, Australia, and France: the search for World Union Day is everywhere. [TNM]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Caustic history

["Jaswant has written a fine book which needs analysing, discussing and debating. He has raised very interesting questions. It's a pity that that the BJP has not read the book and has made a fool of itself," Lord Desai, who was present at the launch of the book, told IANS... Lord Desai said "Jaswant Singh had read everything on partition and the book was detailed and well-documented". BJP has made a fool of itself: Lord Meghnad Desai Economic Times Key excerpts from Jaswant Singh's book Times of India Press Trust of India - Zee News - SamayLive - Wikipedia: Jaswant Singh]

The eerie parallel with Heehs imbroglio is dismaying. [TNM]

Cafeteria? no, Savitri Era? yes

[One Cosmos: The Absurdity of Absolute Relativity (12.27.08)
I do not believe in "cafeteria style" spirituality. It is more like being able to appreciate, say, Arvo Part, Dexter Gordon, Merle Haggard, ...]

["Are there any boundaries?" America's most reknowned authority on religion, and author of Why Religion Matters, expounds his views on why religion does matter in the context of historical progress, personal perspective, and New Age thought. A Conversation With... Huston Smith, phd. MARCH, 2002
I have a chapter on that for spiritual personality types, but there is a .... the cafeteria style of just going for amorphous self-indulgent spirituality.]

[so whenever someone asks me whether i’m a Buddhist, i can now answer with a straight face: i’m technically a non-practicing Catholic who does Buddhist practice. Re: Secularizing Buddhism–Making it Accessible or Stripping the Roots?
from ~C4Chaos by c4chaos]

[Thirty percent of Americans call themselves "spiritual, not religious," according to a 2009 NEWSWEEK Poll, up from 24 percent in 2005. Stephen Prothero, religion professor at Boston University, has long framed the American propensity for "the divine-deli-cafeteria religion" as "very much in the spirit of Hinduism." We Are All Hindus Now By Lisa Miller NEWSWEEK Published Aug 15, 2009 From the magazine issue dated Aug 31, 2009 3:18 PM]

Savitri Era Religion seeks to stop this rot by inviting people to savor the charm of an authentic and inventive religion. [TNM]

Celebrate the World Union Day in a befitting manner on August 20

[In a post-physical presence of Sri Auorbindo and the Mother, it becomes more imperative to awake to a political aspiration and accept this aspect of social existence as a part of the spiritual growth process. Re: Technology in a Global World by Andrew Feenberg Debashish Tue 18 Aug 2009 10:39 PM PDT]

[The spirituality of which Sri Aurobindo has been the most articulate spokesman in our time respects the freedom of the human soul, because it is fulfilled by freedom; and the deepest meaning of freedom is the power to expand and grow towards perfection by the law of one’s own nature. True spirituality gives freedom to philosophy and science, to man’s seeking for political and social perfection and to all his other powers and terrestrial aspirations. Hindu-Muslim Unity in Sri Aurobindo's Light by Dr. Mangesh Nadkarni
from A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs by Raman Reddy]

[In light of the above analysis, a few crucial questions need to be answered. How is it that all the dreams, mentioned by Sri Aurobindo in his Independence day message, have virtually disappeared from the collective memory of the nation? By Jagmohan The Asian Age Unfulfilled dreams Deccan Chronicle 19 Aug 2009 Jagmohan is a former governor of J&K and a former Union minister]

[World Union is a non-profit, non-political organization founded on the November 26, 1958 in Pondicherry, inspired by Sri Aurobindo's vision of carrying forward a movement for Human Unity, World Peace and Progress on a Spiritual Foundation. For the ordinary humanitarian and religious outlook and motivation are inadequate to meet the demands of the New Age which is already in the process of manifesting under the inevitable programme of the evolutionary nature on earth.
At the instance of
Surendra Mohan Ghosh, Anil Mukherjee along with other prominent persons formed an Association named ‘New World Union’ on the 26th November 1958 in Pondicherry
A. B. Patel joined in May 1959, and then on April 23, 1960 the name was changed to 'World Union' on The Mother's advice. The Mother became the President of the first World Council of World Union on 20 August 1964, and Surendra Mohan Ghosh, the Chairman.
Since then, 20 August is celebrated as World Union Day.
A. B. Patel was the leading figure in the organization for many years, he was succeeded in that role by M. P. Pandit and Samar Basu. World Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia][You have omitted the enthusiasm of Jay Holmes Smith. -Prithwindra Mukherjee 1:24 PM]

Effusive thanks and gratitude to Dr. Banerji for blessing the raison d'être of Savitri Era Party, now in its third year. All are requested to celebrate the World Union Day in a befitting manner on August 20. [TNM]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A tale of two Centenaries

[Hind Swaraj Centenary International Seminar — Welcome to Council
Social Development and Human Civilisation in the 21st Century
12-14 February 2009, India International Centre, New Delhi
Jointly organised by
Council for Social Development, India International Centre, DCRC, Delhi University, CPS, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Nelson Mandela Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia, ISHS, University of South Africa, REGGEN, Federal Flomenance University of Brazil
& Global Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
Several institutions have come together to organise a major international seminar on the occasion of the centenary of Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj. The objective is to take Hind Swaraj as a vantage point and engage ourselves on some of the fundamental questions of our age and try to make a contribution to basic thinking on those issues. The following panels have been proposed to reflect on challenges of the 21st century from the perspective of people of Asia, Africa and Latin America.]

[Hind Swaraj Centenary Commemoration (1909 - 2009) - International Conference
“Hind Swaraj- Gandhi’s Manifesto of Nonviolence, Civilization and Forms of Violence: A 21st Century Agenda for Nonviolence”
* Review of nonviolent attempts against various forms of violence * An action plan for individual, family, community and nation * Presentation of action plan to H H The Dalai Lama with a request to lead a global campaign for nonviolence.
Swaraj Peeth Trust announces on the behalf of a group of eminent thinkers, intellectuals and activists a four-day international conference, 19th November to 22nd November 2009 in Delhi, to uniquely commemorate the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s greatest work, his root text, Hind Swaraj.]

[Gandhi's new assassins Indian Express Tridip Suhrud
14 Feb 2009 ... This year we celebrate the centenary of Hind Swaraj amidst the gloom of global ... The second misreading arises when they seek to reduce Hind Swaraj to a Swadeshi manifesto. Hind Swaraj is a civilisational text. It argues that modernity seeks to make machines as measure of men. It is for this reason modernity is characterised as ‘black age’ or ‘Satanic civilisation.’ The purpose of civilisation for Gandhi is that it should allow each person to know oneself, and so doing we learn to rule ourselves. It is swaraj when we learn to rule ourselves. To rule one self is to be moral, to be just and have a sense of equability towards all religions. Hind Swaraj provides one of the most articulate critiques of the modern tendency to use religious identity as a ground for political mobilisation and violence that it inevitably breeds. Hind Swaraj also provides a fundamental meditation on the question of means and ends. It argues against the modern belief that ends justify the means. For Gandhi means and ends share an inviolable relationship. And therefore both means and ends have to be good, pure and virtuous. Finally, Hind Swaraj is an immensely hopeful text. It seeks not the destruction of England but wishes to rescue Europe from its modernity. It sees this as India’s unique possibility and challenge. The writer is an Ahmedabad based academic]

[100 Years of Sri Aurobindo on Evolution (complete text with links)
Richard Carlson on Thu 02 Apr 2009 09:24 AM PDT Permanent Link
As the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origins of Species take place this year, it is easy to overlook the fact that 2009 also marks the 100th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo's first major text on evolution and consciousness. In Process and Evolution and Yoga and Human Evolution (1909) Sri Aurobindo begins to comprehensively articulate his vision of human evolution. Just as Darwin's book became the foundation for a science of evolution, what has been called evolutionary spirituality can be traced back to Sri Aurobindo's work. Many are acknowledging this bicentennial year of Darwin's birth with a reassessment of his work in light of what we now know about evolution it therefore, also seems to be a good time to reassess Sri Aurobindo's vision of human evolution in terms of our contemporary understanding of the phenomena.
Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
This paper seeks to penetrate the language and concepts Sri Aurobindo employs by making explicit a hermeneutic approach that attempts to extrapolate his thoughts from the early 20th century to the present. While interpreting Sri Aurobindo's writing in terms of contemporary theory is wrought with problems, it is essential if we are to develop a platform for dialog between his writings and today's complex understanding of evolution.]

[National Conference on "Psychology, Culture and the Ideal of Human Unity" Oct. 1-4, 2009 Department of Psychology, Delhi University. All communication regarding this conference may be addressed at: Dr. Suneet Varma, 6:01 PM
A cursory glance at the history of social movements on the sub-continent reveal that over the centuries, some of the most prominent movements have had a spiritual foundation as their inspiration -- one that emphasizes the oneness of all humanity and which paves the way for lowering barriers along religion, caste, as well as gender lines. In particular, Buddhism as a socio-political movement, the Bhakti movement, the advent of Sikhism, and Gandhiji's mobilization of the masses for attaining independence, stand out as shining examples which enabled people with diverse social identities to come together. In contemporary India, many of the ashrams and spiritual communes provide us with vivid illustrations of people from diverse backgrounds -- in terms of nationalities, race, religion, caste, class, gender and age -- living and working together in great harmony, and at times mingling with local communities promoting inter-dependence. Such places stand out as islands in the ocean of conflict rampant all around us. It appears that the spiritual perspective on social psychological processes may serve to complement the social-identity theory for if inter-group conflicts can be reduced by enlarging the social categories used for identity, the spiritual dimension would serve to capture the experiential dimension of widening the categories which allows us to accept the other (out-group member) as one of us (in-group member)... Sri Aurobindo (1972; p.554) emphasizes that "A spiritual religion of humanity is the hope of the future.]

The dynamics of the ideal of human unity in a post 9/11 world is an immensely complex issue. While hosts of means are marshaled to this noble end, the teleological imperative is often lost sight of. India is yet to play its appointed role in the whole drama and Savitri Erans must prepare themselves to shoulder the burden. [TNM]

Sri Aurobindo has linked our individual psychology with the workings of the universe

[Home > Library > Literature & Language > Classical Literature Companion
harmony of the spheres or music of the spheres a Pythagorean concept (see PYTHAGORAS), harmony having cosmic significance for the Pythagoreans. It seemed to them, as to others, that the heavenly bodies (the spheres) must, like other large bodies moving at speed, produce a sound as they whirl through space, and that since the bodies move at different speeds they must each produce different (but harmonious) notes. Plato's version of this idea, expounded in the Myth of Er (Republic, book 10), is that on each of the eight concentric circles in which the bodies rotate stands a Siren uttering a note of constant pitch, the eight notes together making up a scale. Because the sound is with us constantly from birth and there is no contrasting silence we are unaware of it.]

[Divine Comedy... is an allegory telling of Dante's vision of heaven, guided by Beatrice, Dante's ideal woman. In the poem, Paradise is depicted as concentric spheres surrounding the earth... These are concentric and spherical, similar to Aristotelian and Ptolemaic cosmology. Dante admits that the vision of heaven he receives is the one that his human eyes permit him to see. Thus, the vision of heaven found in the Cantos is Dante's own personal vision, ambiguous in its true construction. The addition of a moral dimension means that a soul that has reached Paradise stops at the level applicable to it. Souls are allotted to the point of heaven that fits with their human ability to love God. Thus, there is a heavenly hierarchy. Home > Library > Miscellaneous > Wikipedia]

[ Dante and Sri Aurobindo: A Comparative Study of the ... Dante and Sri Aurobindo: A Comparative Study of the Divine Comedy and Savitri (9780391023918): Prema Nandakumar]

[The title of my presentation perhaps requires a little explanation: Savitri as a Key to Sri Aurobindo’s psycho-cosmology. “Psycho-cosmology” is my own coinage—a kind of shorthand term for what forms the conceptual basis of our research here—a basis which to Sri Aurobindo himself was of course not “conceptual”, but experienced. This coinage evokes two aspects that are of cardinal importance in Sri Aurobindo’s message. While he has explored and revealed the complexities of individual psychology with unprecedented completeness, he has at the same time linked our individual psychology with an explanation of the workings of the universe, giving the human individual a meaningful position in the cosmos.
At the beginning of Book Two of Savitri the protagonist, King Aswapati, the father of Savitri, has a vision of the many planes of consciousness rising like one of the temple towers that we see here in South India, with many levels, each peopled with their own beings, animals and houses, rising one above the other up into the sky... This “psycho-cosmology” is the consistent basis of all Sri Aurobindo’s major writings.
home authors subjects events Consciousness and Its Transformation Shraddhavan]

[Very roughly, the symbolic can be thought of as a sort of web thrown over the world that allows the world to appear organized, totalized, and well sorted into a system of categories. Here there is no better reference for understanding the symbolic than Levi-Strauss and, in particular, The Savage Mind and The Raw and the Cooked. Through the simple semiotic categories of the raw (nature) and the cooked (culture), contends Levi-Strauss, the “primitive” mind is able weave a web of signs and narratives that creates an interface between nature and culture. Through this activity, the alien world of nature becomes heimlich or a “home” with familiar coordinates and relations that we can navigate.
The unheimlich, by contrast, are those moments where this symbolic skein breaks down either through the appearance of some Thing that fits in none of these categories, or that paradoxically twists the categories... In the case of Levi-Strauss’s sorting of the world into the opposed categories of the raw and the cooked, the moment of the uncanny would perhaps lie in something raw (natural) that is nonetheless cooked (cultural), or vice versa.
Speculative Realism and the Unheimlich
from Larval Subjects . by larvalsubjects]

[On the one hand, contemporary thought is saturated by new age obscurantisms such as those we find in Kaufmann’s brilliant and irritating At Home in the Universe, or some of the less attractive movements in ecological thought. These forms of thought enact the discourse of the master by preaching a sort of cosmic harmony that knows in advance that nature is a harmonious place where it is simply a matter of humans living in accord with nature. On the other hand, we have the reign of the correlationisms that place humans at the center of all relations, preaching that we can never talk of objects independent of their relation to human language, social forces, power, history, minds, etc. This discourse enacts the discourse of the master by suppressing the uncertainties that characterize objects and feeding us a bromide wherein we will always be able to trace unsettling objects back to human categories. Here philosophy remains Ptolemaic. We even get nice terms like “fundamental ontology” where the human necessarily precedes any other engagements. Object-oriented ontology, by contrast, presents a strange ontology where we never know what objects can do, where we cannot decide who or what is acting, and where there is no question of mastery because we’re perpetually caught up in imbroglios and controversies emerging as the result of strange new objects that demand to be heard. As such, onticology occupies the position of the analyst, refusing to say in advance what the world is or what objects populate it, instead siding with the remainders that do not fit with categories of mind or language, signs, encyclopedias, or any other pacifying bromides we might concoct to render the world heimlich. Speculative Realism and the Unheimlich
from Larval Subjects . by larvalsubjects]

[Complexity theorist such as Stuart Kaufmann (2007) and others at the Sante Fe Institute offer a new scientific paradigm that posits emergence instead of reduction, self-organization instead of natural selection in a complex reorientation from materialism to a view of nature that may resacramentalize her. While their new vision of the sacred does not conform to traditional spiritual narratives the approach of complexity theorist at least promises to lead us in a direction that over time may collapses the house of cards that materialist reduction is built on and toward an emergent conception of life, mind, and perhaps spirit as well. Science, Culture and Integral Yoga :: 100 Years of Sri Aurobindo on Evolution by Rich on Sun 23 Mar 2008 09:56 PM PDT Permanent Link Sri Aurobindo complex understanding and his particular way of articulating truth correspondences between matter, life, mind and the particular moment in history under pressure of transformation would not have necessarily avoided narratives of biological evolution that include natural selection, so long as everything is not reduced to natural selection.]

Semiology, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, and deconstruction have armed us with myriad modern tools for grappling with the symbolic, yet their performative propensity depends on our willingness for participation and permitting the cosmic turbulence reaching a point of tranquility in a moment of harmony within us. [TNM]

Monday, August 17, 2009

Idle historical approximations

[Nehru, Jinnah responsible for Partition: Jaswant - HIS STORY:
Jaswant Singh sheds light on the relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
Indian Express In an interview to a private news channel on Saturday Singh said "Jinnah was demonized by India while it was actually India"s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's belief in a centralized polity that led to partition."
more by
Jaswant Singh - Indian Express Book on Jinnah likely to change discourse in India - If I were not drawn to the personality I wouldn't have written the book. It's an intricate, complex personality, of great character and determination, ... 'We needed to make a demon of Jinnah... Let's learn from our mistakes'
Business Standard - Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaswant Singh's biography of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, out today, promises to be much-discussed. He talks about it to Karan Thapar ...
RSS disagrees with Jaswant Singh's views on Jinnah Times of India RSS, BJP disagree Jaswant's contention on Jinnah Press Trust of India Economic Times - Business Standard - Express Buzz - Hindustan Times all 116 news articles »हिंदी में]

[No Reason To Celebrate Independence from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik
There is little point in celebrating independence from the Brits unless we simultaneously come to grips with the fact that Congress rule and socialism for these 62 years has been an unmitigated disaster. A
column in Mint by Aakar Patel on this occasion is therefore essential reading. He writes:
The British left in 1947, and they left too soon. We celebrate Independence Day, but another six decades of dependence as Great Britain’s colony would have been good for us. We could have learnt how to run cities. No harm in admitting what is obvious for all to see: We cannot even manage traffic. Mumbai, not Hong Kong, would have been the centre for finance in Asia, instead of the second-rate city it has become since the British left.]

[A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs ... 15 Aug 2009
Hindu-Muslim Unity in Sri Aurobindo's Light by Dr. Mangesh Nadkarni by Raman Reddy [One of the worst statements in the Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs is that Sri Aurobindo and his colleagues “have to take their share of the blame” for the partition of India, and that he never gave enough attention to the communal problem, which was the cause of it. Apart from this “wise” and uncorroborated conclusion being retrospective by about sixty years, Heehs certainly seems to know how it could have been avoided – by Muslim appeasement, of course. It is the Hindus who should have been blamed for communal politics and not the Muslims. At the most, blame them both. Most Westerners, not knowing the intricacies of secular and religious politics of India, fall for these puerile politically correct statements. The real problem is much more complex than Hindu bashing or Muslim bashing. The late Dr Mangesh Nadkarni explains this many-sided problem and offers a solution to it in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s writings in this excellent monograph published as a booklet in 1996 by the Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry.]

[e) It should be remembered that by weakness and cowardice one can never conciliate Islam. Hinduism should be more dynamic and world-affirming and revive its commitment to the ideal of making our terrestrial life perfect. More clearly and decisively than ever before, Hinduism should rise above mere religiosity and reveal its true nature as a spiritual culture; only then will it be able to fulfil its historic mission of showing to the world how to fuse spiritually with other religions on a vast scale. Hindu-Muslim Unity in Sri Aurobindo's Light by Dr. Mangesh Nadkarni]

[Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part F by Tusar N. Mohapatra on Fri 31 Jul 2009 10:20 AM IST Profile Permanent Link
Regardless of what The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have said from time to time during the last Century, can we agree on certain policies at present as regards Pakistan?
 That it is a nation apart and we respect its sovereignty,  We should not be unduly interested in its internal affair; and  Bilateral trade and people-to-people contact should be our primary concern. TNM
Reply --Posted to Savitri Era on 31 Jul 2009]

Jaswant Singh and Jinnah mercifully conspire to vivify the publishing industry. The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs could not keep date with the Delhi Book Fair commencing on 29th, alas! [TNM]