Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Banerji & Hartz vs. Reddy & Raghavan

Banerji & Hartz revisionism is a moth-eaten Marxist strategy the brazen persistence of which one must learn to live with. At the same time, honing polemics in order to shot holes in their argument is an excellent means of retaliation. Thoughtful pieces by ashramites like V. Raman Reddy & Ranganath Raghavan, therefore, are welcome; but fettered as they are by institutional stipulations, a limp prevents their imagination from taking the leap.

Savitri Era Party, on the contrary, endeavors to be sensitive to the pulse of the present. For, how the youth of today perceives the role of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is far more pertinent than what exactly the Masters wrote half a century or so earlier. All interpretation of their vision, therefore, must acquire perspective and be accommodative. Dialogue, debate, discourse - and more of it - is the right course, and not the Court cases.

V. Raman Reddy’s post is so proprietorial and prescriptive that it fits accurately the description by Banerji: Today, there is a certain kind of closed mind-set that has developed at large among many in the Sri Aurobindo community, a sense that they are the real repositories of the yoga of Sri Aurobindo and that they are the ones who define what it is all about and how it should be done. In fact the situation today, as far as I can see it, is that some people are redefining the yoga and to do this they need occasions like the one offered by the publication of Peter Heehs’ book. It's not only a knowledge but also a power event because it tries to establish a new definition of the yoga and to set up a new leadership in the Ashram, challenging the established one of the Trustees.”  

A democratic attitude towards the practice (or lack of it) of yoga and discovery of knowledge systems should be the norm. Banerji too errs when he characterizes the inner feelings of the devotees as merely memorial and mechanical: But once Sri Aurobindo and The Mother left their bodies, for many these rituals took on a memorial quality.” Belittling others in this manner is nothing but peddling falsehood and utterly uncalled for. [TNM]      

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