Monday, November 22, 2010

Bid farewell to guerrilla warfare

Democracy/Enlightenment/Modernity ushered in the system of authorization or the representative and it has become the cornerstone of civil society. This also acknowledges the existence of diverse voices and encourages tolerance. Respect for the minority opinion, howsoever feeble it may be, is another characteristic. The representative, apparently, will have several personal shortcomings; but that is generally overlooked and what he says is addressed.

The Heehs imbroglio, conversely, takes the person as the target. Fairly educated individuals who are uncomfortable with the book are being attacked in a savage manner. All kinds of tactics are being adopted to silence them. This may succeed in the short run but not without denting severely the discursive environment. Therefore the need is to bid farewell to guerrilla warfare and sit across tables. [TNM]    

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oust Peter Heehs from Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry

It is a matter of great anguish for The Mother’s devotees that in the centenary year of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival in Puducherry, the Ashram is in a terribly sorry state. A hostile book on the Master has raised hackles and its author continues to be unrepentant. Consequently, two factions are fighting in the court instead of settling the matter through mutual negotiations.  The high ideals of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have thus been turned into ridicule. Their admirers the world over are aghast at this intransigence and bankruptcy of prudence.

The Ashram at present is not without its share of poets, scholars, and philosophers, but this controversy has exposed their true colours. Some have turned so partisan that they blindly follow the few who are authorized to sign the cheque books. Power and greed have turned the administrators into veritable monsters. Chicanery and trickery have become staple fare, so also snobbery and high handedness. Unfortunately, the very same people are also invited to lecture on love and ethics.

Heehs has insulted the memory of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo in a daring act of betrayal. This can never ever be tolerated by their countless devotees. The present head of the Ashram has committed a grievous error in sheltering him for the last two years despite widespread protests. Those who are assisting him in this gamble are merchants of sinister designs and not purveyors of justice and morality. Savitri Era Party reiterates its demand to oust Peter Heehs from Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry. [TNM]  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Integral Yoga sans geographical baggage

Apart from the historical baggage, Integral Yoga is also anchored to a geographical baggage. The location of the Ashram and Auroville in India, in south India to be specific, assigns certain characteristics to it and imposes quite a few compulsions on the followers. These are, obviously, extraneous factors and need not influence the practitioners in their sadhana.

But for foreigners who live here, the feeling of being alien never evaporates. Cultural and racial difference plays a predominant role in their dealings with the Indians and invariably in unequal terms. And mostly they act as war correspondents thus molding the attitude of fellow followers residing faraway in their respective countries. This apart from their usual role as cultural ambassadors and spokespersons for their nation/ideology/product.

Postmodernism and globalization has unleashed an unprecedented impetus for aggrandizement of the local. The foreigner followers thus find them in an irreparable disadvantageous position in India. The fallout can be in two ways: some accept it and others protest. The protest, at the extreme, can take the form of subversion and disruption. Unfortunately, we are passing through this period of transition right now, and therefore, the need for vigilance and resistance. [TNM]  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Reforms like a fixed tenure are an urgency

It is fairly understandable if Heehs defends CWSA including Savitri as he was the editor. The same is true for the books he has authored including The Lives of Sri Aurobindo. But when he supports the Managing Trustee with equal zeal, then suspicion arouses. So much so that, his followers are busy trumpeting almost divine status for the trustees overlooking all their faults.

This sort of blind mobilization must stop. Reforms like a fixed tenure are an urgency to save the Ashram from the pitfalls of aging and senility. This requires courage and goodwill in place of the shameful servility. [TNM] 

Proof of Yoga is in cursing

By creating the Ashram, The Mother & Sri Aurobindo gave an opportunity to people to practice Yoga collectively. But long years of living in a protected environment is liable to make the inmates callous and complacent. Given the complex nature of Integral Yoga, no one is demanding any empirical proof of their productivity, but when a senior member starts cursing others left and right, then serious doubts arise about their ability and intention. [TNM]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Prof. Manoj Das & Prof Kamal Das

From Tusar N. Mohapatra to Manoj Das date 18 November 2010 21:19 subject Re:
Dear Manoj babu,
Namaskar. Since I felt that the issues raised in your letter are of vital importance to the ongoing debate, I published it. As regards the “lie” against you, it seems to be a minor prank considering the slew of slanders that are circulating about you. Being in the public life, better to take it in your stride, therefore.   

The point pertaining to Manoj Das Gupta, however, is a bit complex as the author has skillfully woven it within a hypothetical scenario. Let’s expect more clarity on the matter from comments by other contributors. [TNM]

Safety nets in Savitri Era Religion

Yoga and Sadhana matters are not particularly socially palatable, although the ethical component can be said to be the cornerstone of a vibrant social order. Further, in the absence of appropriate yardsticks for evaluation, practice of yoga runs the risk of slipping into an anarchic course. Lack of authorized elders also leads to disastrous results in many instances.

Religion, on the other hand, incorporates many safety nets. Socially embedded and legally imbricated, it caters to man’s emotional necessities at various stages of life. If nurtured adequately, this aesthetic aspect carries the potential of storming the spiritual domains. Moreover, the way it glues a collectivity and fosters co-operation becomes a training ground for leadership and adventure.

Past religions, admittedly, have gathered rust and accumulated dross. There is practically no means to repair them. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, therefore, have created this new shelter for the people from all continents. We can safely call ourselves Savitri Erans by forgetting our old identities. [TNM] 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Integral Yoga without the historical baggage

Sri Aurobindo has written outstanding commentaries on various religious texts but the spiritual path he recommends is never wholly dependent on them. He draws most of the principles of Integral Yoga from the tradition without relying exclusively upon any particular book. This in the backdrop of his warnings against past religions is a crucial distinction. Further, the way he disengages spirituality from the grooves of ritualistic rigor is in line with the demands of modernity that valorizes individual freedom.

The genesis of Integral Yoga from within the tumultuous Indian freedom struggle, however, is an intriguing aspect. Whether that was required as a preparation for the needed austerity and intensity in Yoga is hard to surmise, but is a historical fact. The present generation, understandably, has forgotten those circumstances, but the relevance of Integral Yoga in the modern life has rather heightened. Dissemination of Integral Yoga without the historical baggage, therefore, looks like a good strategy.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo were pioneers of the next evolutionary step for the earth. What they ask from us is simply receptivity and collaboration but remembering them in this context becomes religion. History comes into play here as also hagiography which ultimately blend into mythology. Shifting facts from fiction will be a concurrent vocation but that will never deter some from turning a Sudarshan. [TNM]  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hang separately

In this post I will offer a short overview of some aspects of Michael Tomasello’s latest book „Why We Cooperate,” which is based on his 2008 Tanner Lectures on Human Values
But according to Tomasello, there are two aspects that also make human culture also qualitatively different from all others:
1. human culture is cumulative. That is, artefacts and behavioural practices often become more complex over time. Every improvement or accepted change will be transferred to the next generation and so forth.
2. human culture is unique in that there are social institutions, which create and enforce culture norms and practices… (Tomasello 2009: XIII)]

[Bats Gauge Sounds With Neural Teamwork New York Times - Sindya N. Bhanoo -  November 15, 2010
One of the keys to the keen ability of bats to process sound is that the neurons in a bat’s brain work as a team to convey the importance of certain signals — like an anger call or a distress call — while diminishing the effect of less-important sounds, researchers at the Georgetown University Medical Center reported this past weekend in San Diego at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.]

It needs to be studied why practitioners of Integral Yoga can’t work as a team.

Marx was peeved about surplus value and it also applies to the Ashram as a beneficiary of cheap and loyal labour. But as is well known, nothing comes cheap and there's no such thing as a free lunch. The inmates, therefore, tend to compensate themselves in various other ways and chasing fame is one of them.

Intellectual accomplishments duly circulated through writings and lectures became synonymous with spiritual achievement over the years, thus establishing a false generalization. Difference of opinion on various modalities and other mechanisms of power play have been in existence since inception. Specific instances like Dipti and Vak have many more stories to tell that are not altogether unrelated to the current controversy.

All this therefore calls for a paradigm change. But it is possible only through honest discussions and frank debates. If the laboratory faces a logjam today, there is no reason why the experiment should not be re-routed and re-engineered. [TNM]       

Postmodern aesthetics

[Comment posted by Sandeep Re: Sanatana Dharma LXXVI—The Hour of God
Sometimes I don't understand myself either(!), but in this case I was applying post-modernism vocab in a spiritual context to create conceptual chaos and problematize Sri Aurobindo.]

Sandeep has again ridiculed the pomo lingo, and it hurts. Each language has scores of dialects and if one more has been honed for academic communication pertaining to postmodern discourse, then there should be no scope for any complain. Localized as we are, our turfs are varied and scattered and the world, in any case, is not all about sausages for gaggles of geese and ganders.

We can always protest against the content and its creator, but to resist his medium would be akin to killing the messenger. A Thousand Plateaus by Deleuze & Guattari, for instance, features in the desert island reading list of countless persons for sheer aesthetic reasons and that needs to be respected. [TNM]           

Monday, November 15, 2010

Prof Kamal Das emits a Kafkaesque chill

Prof Kamal Das is the latest angel to scavenge upon Heehs imbroglio. But hiding one’s past and identity is not enough to conceal one’s feet of clay. As human players in this whole drama, each one of us has his strengths and weaknesses. And what is wanted right now is credentials and the willingness to shoulder responsibilities.    

Obviously, Prof Kamal Das has none. And the same is the case with other pseudonym swordsmen. If Paulette sounds incoherent and clownish at times, it is because she is a flesh and blood human person, and we are all gloriously endowed with plenty of foibles and frailties. On the other hand, the impeccable prose of Prof Kamal Das or Barun Subudhi emits a Kafkaesque chill.

Anonymous entities attacking known persons is thus an anomaly. This practice is unethical, unfair, and absolutely uncalled for. To indulge in such a misdeed in the name of fighting for The Mother is doubly detrimental. The next generation is learning so many new principles of spirituality from the current animosity and let this not be one more. [TNM]

Sri Aurobindo Society's official stand

Sri Aurobindo Society was a lead player in the war over Auroville but it has mostly been silent in the Heehs imbroglio. Having a large network of Centres and devotees, not to publicize its position from time to time is really surprising. Now that a section of the Ashram inmates are seeking to unseat the current trustees, the Society must come forward with its official stand.

Lack of credible institutions has been a major cause of exacerbation of the present conflict. Individual voices are generally camouflaged by the institution and turn impersonal thus facilitating negotiations. [TNM]  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Amal outlives Lal

[Prof P Lal, in memoriam from Agent Provocateur by Kanchan Gupta
He inspired me to seek a living from the written word
Poet-translator-teacher. That’s how newspapers described Professor Purushottam Lal — better known as Professor P Lal — who died in his beloved city, Kolkata, on November 3. Readers were also informed he was 81…
Kolkata will miss an intellectual who made the city his home, far away from Kapurthala where he was born. While others, including his students, left Kolkata looking for greener pastures, Prof Lal stayed on, resolute in his belief that this was his karmabhumi. In his death, I have lost an affectionate teacher and someone who inspired me to seek a living from the written word. Meanwhile, the queue ahead gets shorter. This appears as my Sunday column, Coffee Break, in The Pioneer on November 14, 2010.]

Amal had fought epic battles with Lal and now outlives him. [TNM]

Ambedkar and Heehs

The Draft was the result of collective labours of many persons. Several parts of it went through many versions. Several Articles were adopted, only to be overturned at the next stage. The Assembly itself reopened and revised, and sometimes completely overhauled several provisions -- many of them key provisions on which the very nature of the system of governance turned.
Not only did Ambedkar himself not claim authorship of the Draft. He did not even claim any great degree of originality for the Draft which emerged from these iterations and which he formally tabled. …
The overwhelming proportion of provisions were based on the Government of India Act of 1935 … On that count, not half but almost four-fifths of the Constitution was from the 1935 Act … How mere designations father myths! …
But now suddenly the Constitution is presented as something that sprung -- whole and complete, pristine and virginal -- from the mind and genius of Ambedkar.] 

Bulk of data in the book Heehs borrows from the previous biographies (which he magisterially disparages as hagiographies) and the rest from collective labours of his colleagues in the Archives. So there is nothing “whole and complete, pristine and virginal” about The Lives of Sri Aurobindo. [TNM]

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kiss Das Gupta Goodbye

“The markets hate uncertainty.” … The problem with these supposed truisms is they are no more accurate than the flip of a coin. A closer look at this uncertainty meme reveals it to be a false-ism -- one of those emotionally appealing phrases that ping around trading desks… To recognize how meaningless these statements are, consider the opposite:
Could markets function without uncertainty? It takes only a little thought to realize that markets actually thrive on doubt, imperfect information and a lack of consensus. Uncertainty drives the market’s price-discovery mechanism. Investing requires there to be differences of opinion. When there is broad agreement as to an asset’s fair value, trading volume falls. Without any uncertainty, who would take the opposite side of your trade?
History teaches that whenever the opposite occurs -- when certainty overwhelms uncertainty -- the herd tends to be wrong. In rare instances, when there is a near-total lack of uncertainty in the market, the outcome is usually a spectacular disaster…
When we discuss uncertainty, what we are really discussing is risk. All unknown outcomes contain risk, and therein lies the possibility of loss. Risk is inherent in the concept of uncertainty. However, anyone looking for performance must embrace risk, for without it, there can be no reward.
Uncertainty is what makes alpha, or market-beating gains, possible. Smart traders know that uncertainty is where the money is. No uncertainty, no risk; no risk, no possibility of outperformance…
The future, by definition, is unknowable. Investing involves making our best guesses about the value of an asset at some point after this moment in time. There will always be an element of uncertainty involved. We can discount various outcomes, engage in probabilistic analysis, but no one knows for certain what tomorrow will bring. Those who claim to know fail to understand the most basic workings of markets…
Pundits may hate uncertainty -- it tends to makes them look foolish -- but markets harbor no such bias. In fact, markets thrive on uncertainty. It is their reason for being. (Barry Ritholtz, author of the book “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy,” is the chief executive officer of Fusion IQ, and blogs at The Big Picture. The opinions expressed are his own.)]

Spotting leaders is much like stock picking. Group Discussions are an age old technique to bring out leadership quality to the fore. Uncertainty, not only drives price discovery, but also facilitates leader discovery. High time to dump Das Gupta and “embrace risk.” [TNM]

Friday, November 12, 2010

Museum Das Gupta

[RSS says sorry to Sonia on former chief's rant Indian Express -  Fri Nov 12 2010
The RSS on Friday expressed regret over the controversial statements of its former chief KS Sudarshan against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and again made it clear that it does not represent the views of the organisation…
In a statement issued yesterday, RSS leader Manmohan Vaidhya had said that Sudarshan's views were not that of the organisation…
In a scathing attack on Thursday, the Congress called Sudarshan a “fossil from the archaeological museum”.]

Someone has to issue a slew of regrets for what Das Gupta is perpetrating today. [TNM]

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wait for the SC verdict

The past decades have seen a high tide of history distortion by the dominant Leftist school of historians in India
In the meantime, my position has been endorsed by the Allahabad High Court, the one reasonably impartisan institution that has held both argumentations against the light. After availing itself of the best archaeological expertise, it has ruled in favour of the old consensus, upheld until 1989 by all sources but denied since then by Guha’s circles, viz. that Ayodhya is indeed a case of Hindu victimization by Muslims through the imposition of a mosque on a Hindu sacred site in forcible replacement of a temple. In its verdict, the Court has also given a most unfavourable judgment of the historical “method” of the anti-temple academics. POSTED BY KOENRAAD ELST AT 12:29 AM WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2010]

Elst, alas, is precariously perched. [TNM]

Directed trade

[With Apologies to Debbie from Cafe Hayek by Don Boudreaux
If you’re really interested in understanding international economics, you should instead read such books as Russell Roberts’s The Choice, Johan Norberg’s In Defense of Global Capitalism, Martin Wolf’s Why Globalization Works, Jagdish Bhagwati’s In Defense of Globalization, Paul Krugman’s Pop Internationalism, and Douglas Irwin’s Free Trade Under Fire. Sincerely, Don Boudreaux]

In our own country, this is precisely what led to the development of mighty cities like Bombay, Madras and Calcutta - built and administered by a private company. Trade was free - and the East India Company traded in opium, too…
In India, during British times, it must be remembered that there were over 650 "princely states" - and most of these were nothing more than small cities, as in Rajasthan. Gujarat was composed of over 150 of these - and there was perfect communal harmony, even during the Partition.] 

But the most operative wisdom in this respect comes from Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference by David Harvey. A trading transaction is a unique moment involving the triple players: space-time-person and hence nursing a wish for the same is only a feeble propeller. [TNM]      

Reinventing Integral Yoga

[I have learned the hard way not to trust anyone's "truth", starting from an Aurobindonian scholar like him. paulette has left a new comment on your post "Questions about Sudha Sinha and Ramanathan": Savitri Era Open Forum, November 11, 2010]

[I don’t know I am learning so many new things about the yoga these days. 
But here as I said I am learning new things! From alok pandey11:50 AM]

The Heehs imbroglio has brought home the futility of seeking peace and tranquility prematurely. The sage as a theoretical construct can be hugely misleading and so are neat instructions on intricacies of practice. Yoga as abstraction or in isolation can be a perilous addiction. More so for the facilitators, for common flaws like transference don’t vanish.

Thematic compilation of Sri Aurobindo’s letters excising out the personal references and chronology is the most worrying aspect on this score. The all-life-is-yoga matrix surely involves much unlearning and scales falling from the eyes. [TNM]    

Heehs has dug his heels in ill-advisedly

Express News Service 11 Nov 2010
PATNA: Bihar politics has long been dominated by caste equations. But this time the state is witnessing significant changes going by the indications at the hustings. And Nitish Kumar is set to reap the benefits of the changing paradigm of the value of a vote.
He today stands tall over Bihar; a personality on whom the very fate of elections rest. It seems the people agree that the state is a better place today. Even his political opponents may not dispute this fact. It is this feel that has given Nitish the image of Bihar’s new messiah, and he seems all set to storm back into power.]

Nitish Kumar is likely to win convincingly and with Sushma Swaraj’s eminence in the BJP, JP’s unfinished agenda can come true some day. Modi, unfortunately, can’t bury his past, and consequently, will fade out.

Heehs, likewise, has dug his heels in quite ill-advisedly and has remote chance of reviving his career. [TNM]    

Finding fault with someone is pointless

From Tusar N. Mohapatra date 8 November 2010 04:46 subject Re: dear respected Mr Tusar n Mohapatra

The exacting standards that The Mother set in the Ashram are part of her mythology now, and it is unfair to expect someone to replicate the same. The trajectory of life’s journey is unique for each person and hence finding fault with someone is pointless.

At a practical level, however, one can try to bring about change. You are free to don the garb of an activist in this particular case and list out the irregularities you find there and publish them (at SEOF or elsewhere). This is a quasi-political job and depends on how you are placed. [TNM]   

Twelve vs. Fevicol

To force his way out of the mother’s womb is man’s first political act. And letting out a shrill cry soon after is the second. The rest, however, is a long story of struggle for existence. But coping with the advanced age is perhaps the greatest challenge as social support wanes and the skills learnt are never enough. As insecurity sets in, one’s dependence grows and he is tempted to make compromises. Personal welfare concerns and the survival instinct often forces people to turn conformists.

There is no escape from politics from cradle to grave, upon the touchstone of which everything else should be judged. Spirituality does not breathe in a vacuum, but within an organic collectivity of human beings of all ages and sexes. Obviously, the problems of hierarchy and division of labor require constant review and fine tuning. 12 years (supposedly a Yuga) are the maximum for any tenure to run at a stretch after which the regime begins to rust. Following these standard tranches of time is prudence and not Fevicol. [TNM]       

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Heehsciyans believe in a single interpretation

Heehsciyans believe that every word of their book is distilled to embody crystalline purity. Each sentence has been crafted with a celestial chisel driven by supernal intuition. The odor of the earthly hand of the author has evaporated to be replaced by a heavenly aroma. There is no chance that the book can stimulate any awkward thought in the reader’s mind.

Heehsciyans, thus, believe in a single interpretation, a monologic/univocal leviathan. And therefore their abiding love for the Trustees (with a capital T). They constantly conceive their position in the cranium and certainly not at the fundament. The book, besides, is a gem of immaculate diction and exemplary clarity. All this makes it the Book of the Century (albeit, a bit early).

Heehsciyans are pretty alike the automatons. To your ten different objections they have an omnibus reply. When the Ashram says the book is bad, they refuse to take the cue. They insist that all that comes from that blessed pen is immortal and has the divine sanction. Three cheers for this new church. [TNM] 

The Mother chose to conquer the unspoilt Odisha

[Orissa is now Odisha, Oriya is Odia Economic Times Home » News » 9 Nov, 2010]

The Mother chose to conquer the unspoilt Odisha, and it is a miracle of the modern world. Some were obsessed with Gandhism, others with Marxism, and some others with Postmodernism. Reason was a formidable barrier and perhaps therefore she got a semi-educated person as her general. And the rest is history.

Niranjan Naik’s poignant essays triggered a potent momentum in the movement. Avidly awaited and widely read every month, his serials have baptized a whole generation of devotees and workers. His ‘Can life be Harmonious?’ in Utkal Prasanga (1972) is an evergreen arrow to swing the young minds.

Odisha is poised today to give disha to the whole world. It is The Mother’s wish. Let’s abide by that. [TNM]  

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Loud silence of empty vessel

Well Y.R, it is based on personal experience so it may ring true. Along the same lines, you might also like Four Epistemic Methods of Consciousness.]

[Comment posted by: Sandeep Re: Manoj Das Gupta demands... Definition of Sadhana
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother said all kinds of things to all kinds of people in different situations.  What principle to apply in a given situation requires some contact with the plane of Intuition.]

[Comment posted by: Anonymous (Anand) Re: Manoj Das Gupta demands... Definition of Sadhana
Agreed, but there was always an underlying consistency in approach, philosophy, vision, depth, universality, vastness, wideness, etc., etc.]

Sandeep speaks about certain principles “based on personal experience” whereas the high sounding pronouncements of Anand are emanating from an empty vessel. Anand must show that he has adhered to these virtues in his own life and thereby earn credibility. Otherwise, his comments are just idle juggling of borrowed words. [TNM]  

Four intellectuals have drafted a poor letter

Four intellectuals have drafted such a poor letter that I feel ashamed of hailing from the same state. Public intellectuals displaying such insensitivity towards human rights and disregard for the democratic bedrock of the country by offering such shabby arguments is really pitiable. Grow up boys and gals! [TNM]  

Monday, November 08, 2010

Unadulterated loyalty

[Three Bengalis from M.J. Akbar - Author and Veteran Journalist - Oct 25, 2010 2:04 PM In Third Eye: India Today Column November 1-7, 2010
Subhas Chandra Bose was undermined by Mahatma Gandhi with a rare pious savagery. … The Marxists inherited the Bose mantle, because Bose’s party withered in the absence of his charismatic leadership. … The baffling anomaly is that the CPI(M), a party that has ruled Bengal for more than three decades through a thesis that reconciled the antithesis between Marx and religion, stopped its pre-eminent Bengali leader, Jyoti Basu, from becoming India’s first Bengali Prime Minister.]

[Is India a 'Hindu' State? Rising Kashmir - 23 Oct 2010
Even Jaswant Singh of BJP has absolved Jinnah and holds Pandit Nehru responsible for partition. In any case, the partition could have ushered in peace and ...

[SP leaders welcome Azam's return to party Times of India - Nov 7, 2010
ALLAHABAD: The district president of Samajwadi Party, minority cell, ... SP district general secretary Mohd Israel said the return of Azam Khan would boost ...]

Jaswant Singh is back in BJP and Azam Khan in SP, but such luck is unlikely for Somnath Chatterjee. This is an admirable stand on the part of the CPI(M) as far as ideology and loyalty are concerned.

The Heehs imbroglio, likewise, has put the faith and devotion of the followers of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo to test. Their teachings are amply clear on how to act on such occasions. [TNM] 

Sunday, November 07, 2010

War & Yawn in Yoga

[No Neo-Cons from Cafe Hayek by Don Boudreaux. A big round of applause for George Will’s Sunday, Nov. 7th, column in the Washington Post - and especially for the final two paragraphs:
“Finally, give a thought to a subject almost no one has wanted to talk about this autumn. The nation is in the 10th year of its longest war and in what has been for American forces the deadliest year of that war.”] 

The filing of the case against the Trust and its Trustees has caused substantial unrest among the members of the Ashram.]

We are only in the 3rd year. Yawn! [TNM]

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Auroville must be returned to its rightful owners

The ubiquitous Soviet Land in our school days used to be a coveted source of color pages for covering the text books. No one was interested in its official propaganda. The state of Auroville Today is almost the same at present. Ironically, it is directing its readers to other websites for more authentic information.

Moreover, the state of Auroville itself is highly troubling. A complete negation of the original conception, it is verily a caricature and a betrayal. An influential section of its elite has been complicit in this power game and is happy with the status quo. International connections add to their aura and trumped up credibility. No one is willing to raise even a finger against the Govt. of India.

This sorry state of affairs cannot continue for ever, and Auroville must be returned to its rightful owners. The Mother’s property has to be released from the hands of the unbelievers and atheists. Those who are opposed to this will have to set shop elsewhere. [TNM]     

Expansion or ethics?

The latest tally of Study Circles and Integral Education Centres in Odisha stands at a staggering 11762 and 547 respectively. This includes Sri Aurobindo’s Relics Centres at 73 locations and over 100 Agriculture/Diary/Production Units. This social capital network is the result of round the year dedication of thousands of devotees and workers.

The economic angle of this whole framework is also an interesting aspect. Apart from the involvement of thousands of students and their parents through the educational ventures, the employment potential is also quite substantial. Further, a perennial pursuit pertaining to acquisition of land, construction of new buildings, purchase of vehicles and machinery, installation of new gadgets and furniture, printing and distribution of periodicals, organizing events and visits etc. constitute significant economic activity.

All these, basically, are managerial functions and addition to assets brings immense joy. For most devotees, however, it is yoga as it is done as an offering to the divine. The rosy picture, sadly, ends here as the stark reality unfolds. These organizations, rooted to the ground as they are, are not immune to the rough and tumble of a fiercely competitive surrounding.

The early enthusiasm of creating an institution bearing the name of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo gets mired in hierarchical diktats and internal conflicts. Questions of livelihood and career coupled with craze for power and recognition trigger umpteen turbulences in the erstwhile lake placid. Economy often entails exploitation, and finances cease to be transparent. The legitimacy of evading tax soon converts into larger clandestine transactions.  

Blemishes in an individual’s life are unavoidable, but when institutions start justifying the same, then The Mother’s project appears to be in jeopardy. The question is whether expansion is the only aim or it is ethics. No doubt, corrupt officials and politicians have contributed a lot in the past but is it a priority now to be extricated from their unholy grip? When India is fast transforming into a prosperous nation, it is crucial to scan the color of money that propels the caravan of yoga. [TNM]  

Friday, November 05, 2010

Aurofilio is the new minister for the frog episode

Heehs’ hounds follow a terrific distribution of functions. One or two are handling the morons issue and some others spew venom against Pandey & Deshpande. One looks after the court cases and now one Aurofilio is the new minister for the frog episode.

They are typal creatures and very focused who persistently raise pointed questions. They don’t broach allied issues and avoid encroachment into their colleagues’ turf. Whether their piecemeal approach is a strategic innovation or crude and shrewd manipulation is an easy guess. [TNM]

Of frogs and cobwebs and the tiger of time

[one of my favorite Latour quotes from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek (Graham Harman)
“It is admirable to demonstrate that the strength of the spirit transcends the laws of mechanical nature, but this program is idiotic if matter is not at all material and machines are not at all mechanical.” We Have Never Been Modern, p. 124]

Stability and movement, we must remember, are only our psychological representations of the Absolute, even as are oneness and multitude. The Absolute is beyond stability and movement as it is beyond unity and multiplicity.]

Considering the complexity of the Heehs imbroglio and its genesis tracing inter alia to the editing of Savitri, a black and white depiction of it, though tempting, would be unjust. There have been lapses and motivated usurping with perhaps hubris and victimhood as combined triggers. But to overlook the provocation it marshaled and filth unearthed will be lack of (the now infamous) objectivity.

None can forecast the trajectory the Zeitgeist chooses but all players, interestingly, are confident of anchorage in divine motivation. There is no ontological contradiction though in such a position but the eagerness to win has the propensity of enforcing a premature wave function collapse leading to the illusion of riding the tiger of time. A simplistic Manichaeism, therefore, is out of question.

Brushing off dirt and removing cobwebs can hardly merit the epic comparison with the Vedic battles. The mundane applicability of the tenet, All life is Yoga should at least have some standards. The evolution is a long long affair and the present bubbles (frogs included) in Puducherry swell at their own peril. A much wider challenge outside is waiting for our more serious attention. [TNM]