Friday, January 29, 2010

Sri Aurobindo calling

[The Pioneer: God cannot be jailed, Rakesh Sinha, Saturday, November 22, 2008 
Sri Aurobindo distinctly defined the contours of Indian culture and nationalism… Aurobindo gave an unambiguous message to internal and external forces beyond the limits of time… His life story is one of continual growth up the ladder of ideological leadership of the evolving nationalism of 20th century India. Subash Chandra Bose considered him a pillar of the nationalist discourse in India. Dr K B Hedgewar , the founder of the RSS, went Pondicherry before the Nagpur session of the Congress in 1920 to convince him to rejoin politics. But he refused because after the Alipore case, he became convinced India's spiritual path is the true path.
Deshabandhu Chitaranjan Das, the famous barrister who represented him in the Alipore Bomb case, said that Aurobindo's voice should not go unheard even by the British.
We should take this opportunity to highlight one important phenomenon, which was concentrated mostly in pre-Independence Bengal, viz. the shift of a large majority of revolutionaries -- particularly from the Anushilan Samiti circuit -- from Nationalism to the Communist movement… 
The fledgling RSS, founded by an Anushilan Samiti disappointee, Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, renounced politics and preferred work in the sphere of culture, social self-organization and "character building"… POSTED BY KOENRAAD ELST AT 2:03 PM8:08 PM, 9:25 AM ] 
Keshav Baliram Hedgewar drew upon influences from social and spiritual Hindu reformers such as Swami Vivekananda and Aurobindo to develop the core philosophy of the RSS. After being sent to Kolkota to pursue a degree in medicine, Hedgewar was drawn into the influence of secret revolutionary organisations like the Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar in Bengal.] 
[Pranab Da's Bengal division - Tarun Vijay 28 Aug 2009
Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee was an ardent devotee of Sri Aurobindo and hence had unflinching faith in the necessity of a united 
India. Tarun Vijay - Why India needs the BJP?]
Narendra had almost no formal education though, later, when he joined the National College under Sri Aurobindo and attended some courses at the Bengal Technical Institute, he obtained brilliant results… In 1903, on meeting Sri Aurobindo at Yogendra Vidyabhushan's place, Jatin decides to collaborate with him and is said to have added to his programme the clause of winning over the Indian soldiers of the British regiments in favour of an insurrection.] 
Acharya Narendra Deva says in Bauddha Dharma Aur Darshana (in Hindi, Patna, 1956), p. 62, that he was specifically influenced by the articles of Sri Aurobindo in the Bande MataramThe Political Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo - Google Books Result by V. P. Varma - 1990 - Philosophy - 494 pages
Acharya Narendra Deva (1889-1956) was one of the leading theorists of the Congress Socialist Party in India. His democratic socialism renounced violent means as a matter of principle, and embraced the satyagraha as a revolutionary tactic.
Deva was first drawn to nationalism around 1915 under the influence of B G Tilak and Aurobindo Ghosh. As a teacher he became interested in Marxism and Buddhism. 9:10 AM]
[Against common Muslim opinion of the time, Azad opposed the partition of Bengal in 1905 and became increasingly active in revolutionary activities, to which he was introduced by the prominent Hindu revolutionaries Sri Aurobindo and Shyam Sundar Chakravarthy. Azad initially evoked surprise from other revolutionaries, but Azad won their praise and confidence by working secretly to organise revolutionaries activities and meetings in BengalBihar and Mumbai (then Bombay). Abul Kalam Azad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
[This work explores how the philosophy of life of Netaji Subhas was influenced by the Indian ethos determined by Yogi Sri Aurobindo's "Terrorism", Poet Tagore's "Universalism", and Mahatma Gandhi's "Experimental Non-violence". It is aimed at those who are interested to know the ideological basis of India's struggle for independence. Netaji Subhas Confronted the Indian Ethos 1900-1921 by Adwaita P. Ganguly]

Jatindranath Mukherjee, M.N. Roy, Acharya Narendra Deva, Dr. K B Hedgewar, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: a galaxy of front ranking patriots spanning the whole gamut of political spectrum have acknowledged their debt to Sri Aurobindo. There is no reason why the same elevating sentiments cannot be recreated in our time and a genuine nationalist revolution played out. [TNM]

The reformist role of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is subversive

The portrait Asish Nandy paints of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother, and the Ashram in Intimate Enemy is in many respects fascinatingly complex. The final conclusion that he draws on to evaluate the success of Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual politics is in fact stunningly original:
“It is Sankara’s Vedanta, carrying the clear impress of Buddhism, which finished Buddhism as a living faith in India, and not either Brahmanic orthodoxy or any state‑sponsored anti‑Buddhist ideology. Successfully or unsuccessfully, Aurobindo did try to evolve such a response to the West.” (Nandy)]

Many people think of Sri Aurobindo as a Hindu, but he looked upon himself as a member of the Hindu religion for only around twelve of his seventy-eight ...]

[The Indian Supreme Court and the quest for a 'rational' Hinduism
Ronojoy Sen (The Times of India, New Delhi)
South Asian History and Culture, Volume 1, Issue  January 2010, pages 86 – 104 - 
Quoting from texts such as the Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita and using modern thinkers and writers such as Aurobindo, Vivekananda, Radhakrishnan, Shankar Dayal Sharma and even Richard Dawkins, Ramaswamy attempted to construct a notion of religion significantly different from Shirur Mutt.
Taking the cue from Aurobindo's distinction between 'true religion', which is spiritual, and 'religionism', which is narrow and focused on ceremonies, Ramaswamy proposed:
The importance of rituals in religious life is relevant for evocation of mystic and symbolic beginnings of the journey but on them the truth of a religious experience cannot stand. The truth of a religious experience is far more direct, perceptible and important to human existence. It is the fullness of religious experience which must be assured by temples, where the images of the Lord in resplendent glory is housed ….
Gajendragadkar and Ramaswamy spoke a language very similar to Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and his idea of 'pure' Hinduism. According to Radhakrishnan, 'At the moment, however, temples present an air of dull acquiescence and tedious routine. To attempt to abolish temples, which are so passionately loved and affectionately revered, is vain. But we must improve the tone and the atmosphere …. Worship in temples must be of the purest form.'97 Many of the court judgements echoed Radhakrishnan…
If figures like Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan made frequent appearances in Court judgements, there were also some notable absences. This is perhaps best illustrated in the marginalization of Vivekananda's teacher and guru, Ramakrishna Paramahansa…
The Court has systematically appealed for legitimation to authoritative figures associated with Vedic rationalism as well as privileged canonical texts that are located within this tradition. By doing so the Court has not only narrowed the 'institutional space for personal faith'100 but also marginalized popular religion by, in Ashis Nandy's words, treating it as 'parts of an enormous structure of irrationality and self-deceit, and as sure markers of an atavistic, regressive way of life'.101 The essential practices doctrine, as developed by Gajendragadkar, sought to cleanse religion of superstition and irrationalities… 
The court rulings have, thus, furthered the reformist agenda of the Indian state at the expense of religious freedom and neutrality. The Court has also become an ally - often inadvertently - of the Hindu nationalists in their aggressive demands for homogenization and uniformity. 4:32 PM

No Harman, the human is special

[Graham Harman: Freud always claimed that psychoanalysis was the third affront to human dignity in modern times. Copernicus moved the earth out of the center of the universe. Darwin made us no more special than animals, plants, and fungi. And Freud made conscious thought derivative of less palatable underground currents in the psyche. As a fourth supposed affront to the dignity of humans, let’s add the notion to which you just referred: that the human is not metaphysically special either]

The human, says Sri Aurobindo, is surely special. [TNM]

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have paved the way for an epochal synthesis

India today is the result of a continuous evolution over 6000 years. Ontological wisdom braided with ethical values have directed the course of life and conflicts upon this vast geographical expanse some of which have since been enshrined in The Directive Principles of State Policy‎ and other provisions of our Constitution adopted 60 years ago.

Never before in the history of the world was India as confident as it is at present. The cultural capital and the soft power that lubricates our hard bargaining in international fora are of immense worth. The whole ethos, like it or not, flows from the Vedas, arguably the most ancient words of wisdom. Many branches of the world civilization are fecund by suckling its insights and discernment.    

India, therefore, can’t take a break from its engrossment with light and knowledge. This is a sure way of insulation from slipping into indulging in the grosser aspects of life, alone. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have paved the way for an epochal synthesis. The one task before us is to ask ourselves periodically: How to be true to The Mother. [TNM] 

Boo Columbia

This one's no help.December 16, 2009
By       Rod Smith (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews  
This is a boringly schematic attempt at reading an incredibly subtle thinker. If you don't know Derrida, you will not find him in these pages. If you do know Derrida, you won't be interested in this book. Boo Yale for putting this out as useful scholarship. Permalink] 

This sums up the reactions of a large section of the readers of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo quite closely. [TNM] 

Friday, January 22, 2010

210 - 2010

[Kierkegaard taught me to be wary of systems, especially (in Kierkegaard’s case) “Hegelian” systems (although I am not certain that Hegel himself was a “Hegelian”). Influential Books: AUFS For the Uninitiated 5
from An und für sich by Thomas J Bridges]
[Despite the valiant effort of Harman to crown Latour with the crown of philosopher– a philosopher, no less, capable of sustaining us for the next 100 years – we suspect that Latour the philosopher is more Harman’s creation than the work of Latour. This is a compliment to Harman’s creativity and humility. Moreover, Harman himself senses that perhaps there is something problematic in this thesis and that it is necessary to distinguish between those relations that are genuinely “object-generative” and those relations, as the tradition would say, that are merely “external”.
Nonetheless, in the radicality of this thesis a new space is opened for ethical, political, and aesthetic deliberation for we can no longer be sure of what we are saying when we refer to the human…
The point is that the smooth divisions that would allow us to distinguish domains of facts and values now, with Latour’s thesis, break down. And as a consequence, the domain of the axiological finds that it overflows the dikes and dams that previously, though illusorily, hemmed it in to an ideological space where some alleged entity called the human was able to decree all value. Yet all of this must be rigorously posed, articulated, at theontological level to even begin formulating these axiological questions. Inhuman Ethics
from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects]

Plotinus must have started thinking about the same cosmological questions in 210 what Levi and Harman, the twin towers of philosophy blogosphere, are wrestling with in a friendly tournament in 2010. The intervening 18 centuries, it seems, have solved nothing. [TNM]

Recognize Savitri Era Religion as a separate religion

[Sikhs petition SC to wriggle out of Hindu embrace Times of India - ‎Jan 18, 2010‎
NEW DELHI: A PIL in the Supreme Court said Sikhs wanted to break free from the perception that their religion was intrinsically connected to Hinduism in every activity…
The Bench agreed with the counsel that immigration authorities in Middle-East countries were stubborn but counselled the petitioner to move the appropriate authority in government for a solution rather than approaching the court. It allowed the petition to be withdrawn.  
SC sidesteps Sikh tag plea Calcutta Telegraph - The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition demanding Sikhs be taken out of the definition of “Hindu” as provided in the Constitution.
“We do not have the power to direct Parliament to amend the law,” a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) said.

Savitri Era Party demands that Savitri Era Religion, too, be recognized as a separate religion in deference to Justice Chinnappa Reddy’s considered opinion. [TNM]

Blogs challenge behemoths

 [Supreme Court has now granted corporations the freedom to use unlimited money to support and oppose candidates and legislation of their choice…
With the rise of the multi-national corporation the nation-state has increasingly become an endangered species as these institutions are fluid and porous, being tied to no particular geography, and therefore becoming sovereign entities in their own right…
Perhaps instead of being citizens tied to a geography we will instead become share holders, members, or workers of corporations that form a new type of politics that we can scarcely imagine or understand within the framework of our current traditions and assumptions and where political conflict becomes some strange conflict among corporate entities attempting to maximize their share of the market and the resources…
Most fundamentally, however, when such powerful and wealthy groups control the flow of information, what gets heard, are capable of drowning everything else, or, at the very least, are capable of making us believe that all information is already contaminated and false, representing some disguised nefarious interest such that we can trust nothing, are capable of criminalizing forms of organization like unions, and when they control governmental representation, how is it possible to fight back in any meaningful way. Talk Me Off the Ledge from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects]

[But here’s my question: is the Internet losing its sense of being a reflection of the views of society at large? Are many of those who blog and tweet (and I don’t just mean those sad losers who escape from their pathetic little lives by spending hours abusing other people on the net) beginning to believe that they constitute a secondary elite?
Thus, we have a bizarre situation where traditional media are criticized for fulfilling their role of appealing to mass audiences on the grounds that the programming does not appeal to a tiny minority on the Internet (and compared to TV audiences or newspaper readerships, the blogging elite is really tiny). Vir Sanghvi, HT HOME, BLOGS HOME]

Tiny blogs, nevertheless, will continue to challenge behemoths of all kind. [TNM]

Marxist and Hindutva camps should rediscover Sri Aurobindo

Jyoti Basu's demise is not the end of an era... We should take this opportunity to highlight one important phenomenon, which was concentrated mostly in pre-Independence Bengal, viz. the shift of a large majority of revolutionaries -- particularly from the Anushilan Samiti circuit -- from Nationalism to the Communist movement… 
The fledgling RSS, founded by an Anushilan Samiti disappointee, Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, renounced politics and preferred work in the sphere of culture, social self-organization and "character building"…
All this while, Gandhi worked on people's emotions, but the Marxists worked on their minds, and their penetration was more enduring. Thus we see a long list of freedom fighters taking up Marxism and Socialism of various varieties. Not all these men and women were Marxists in the true sense, they only wanted to serve the national cause but not in the Gandhian way. Thus, the problem was a lack of native Indian/Hindu vision and an ensuing line of action.
We should not paint each and every Communist as a villain, but highlight the fact that a true native ideological narrative needs to be developed from scratch and articulated. This would address a historical lacuna in 
India. Indian Marxism will die a natural death only when such a vision emerges. POSTED BY KOENRAAD ELST AT 2:03 PM8:08 PM

Keshav Baliram Hedgewar drew upon influences from social and spiritual Hindu reformers such as Swami Vivekananda and Aurobindo to develop the core philosophy of the RSS. After being sent to Kolkota to pursue a degree in medicine, Hedgewar was drawn into the influence of secret revolutionary organisations like the Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar in Bengal.] 

[Pranab Da's Bengal division - Tarun Vijay 28 Aug 2009
Syama Prasad was an ardent devotee of Sri Aurobindo and hence had unflinching faith in the necessity of a united
Jinnah. He had a pistol. He used it. - Tarun Vijay
19 Aug 2009 
Syama Prasad Mookerjee was traveling all over
India awakening the masses to rise against the partition plot… In fact, he had been in close contact with Sri Aurobindo, who had said, “The idea of two nationalities in India is only a new-fangled notion invented by Jinnah for his purposes and contrary to the facts.
Why India needs the BJP? - Tarun Vijay 21 Aug 2009
At the first all India session of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, its founder president Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee had said, 'India has been for centuries past the homeland of diverse people pursuing different faiths and religions. ... Sri Aurobindo had given a historical speech on 30th may 1909 in Uttarpara, WB after coming out of Alipore Jail . It was fully on Hindu Nationalism, but Nehru failed to understand Him and Hindutva ideology, Nehru termed Sri Aurobindo as Non Secular ...]

People from both the Marxist and Hindutva camps should rediscover the virtue of following the ideals of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. Savitri Era Party will continue to be the vanguard to shape favorable public opinion on this issue. [TNM]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vāsānsi jīrnāni yathā vihāya

[a disagreement with Gratton by doctorzamalek (Graham Harman)
Gratton with a defense of postmodernism:
Stupid postmodernists. If only they used the word network or assemblage instead of ‘text.’”]
[finite shirts from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek (Graham Harman)
And then I started wondering how many times you can wear a typical item of clothing before it wears out… If I wore that shirt once per week, and there are maybe 12-15 cold weeks in a year where the shirt was wearable, and it was right around a decade… There’s an obvious philosophy angle on this question, as you will know if you have reread Plato’s Phaedo any time recently. One of Socrates’s arguments for the immortality of the soul (one of his weakest) is countered by an argument about clothing wearing out.]

Harman’s musing over his shirt (vicariously, text) opens a welcome path to the real focus of ontology. Sri Aurobindo’s ambitious The Problem of Rebirth remains inconclusive and needs debate. [TNM]  

Friday, January 15, 2010

Karat spreads red carpet for religion

In a move aimed at clearing doubts about the relationship between Marxism and religion, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has said that the party "does not bar persons who have religious faith from joining the party".
Karat says okay for comrades to follow faiths other than Marxism
Faced with the grim prospect of mass desertion by comrades opting for god over Marx, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat has signalled a major shift in his party’s policy by saying it is not against religion or faith in god but opposed to communalism. “Belief in god and religion is no bar for anyone to join or work in the CPI(M) provided he or she respects the party’s constitution and programme,” he said days after KS Manoj, a devout Catholic and former MP, resigned from the party rather than accept the ‘rectification’ campaign against believers.]

Now that Karat spreads red carpet for religion, the debate should be over what kind of religion one should prefer. In this context, Savitri Era Religion is future ready. [TNM]

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Aurofilio is a die-hard supporter of Peter Heehs and has access to Archives

from     Tusar N. Mohapatra to Jitendra Sharma date            13 January 2010 19:34 subject         Re: Is Aurofilio a CIA agent?

I am not aware of your stand on Heehs’ book. Aurofilio may or may not be “a die-hard supporter of Peter Heehs,” but this post, I gather, is in defence of Heehs’ book urging a more rational reception of it. So far so good.

As regards the concluding paragraph, it’s surely a bit rhetorical (which commonly happens in the flow of writing), but it’s difficult to attribute the inference you draw. He might have come in contact of people who he thought were “under-cover agents” but nothing can be said unless he discloses something concrete. [TNM]

Hands off, UNESCO

[Unesco asks India to get Auroville inscribed on World Heritage List
The Hindu
The Government of India has to take steps for the inscription of Auroville on Unesco's World Heritage List. Only then can the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation take up appropriate discussions on the proposal, Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova said on Tuesday.
Auroville engaged in UNESCO's peace mission
Press Trust of India
Puducherry, Jan 12 (PTI) The UNESCO today said Auroville Foundation here was involved in the world body's search for peace and respect among cultures.]

Savitri Era Party can easily see the conspiracy brewing behind such lofty pronouncements. The Party demands that the present Governing Board members resign from their posts. The Govt. of India should return Auroville to Sri Aurobindo Society immediately taking cognizance of Justice Chinnappa Reddy’s rationale. [TNM]