Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Centres across the country are busy with building construction, tax exemption, or such other mundane activities. Wellness retreats on contributory basis is a hot option for many institutions now. Education and culture remain the priority areas while much timidity prevails to take up social causes or rake up political issues.
The salience of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo lies in the fact that they are more interested in the manifestation and not in the occult alone. This almost matches with the definition that Politics is the art of the possible. Thus, if our objective is facilitating a harmonious collective life upon the planet, then politics as its dominant means can't be eschewed or overlooked. Besides, mistaking meditation as the sole tool of perfection also needs to be brought home. [TNM55]
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Those who disclose and publish their experiences in public should understand that that helps no one. Firstly, one's own classifications and labelling may not be correct, and hence, misleading; and secondly, it prejudices others and intimidates the freshers. Further, there is no dearth of fictional literature of similar nature, and so, the veracity of such accounts bears a question mark, especially when the person's identity and address is unknown. Lastly, the propensity of such persons to broach subversive subjects on a routine basis raises doubts about their intentions. [TNM55]
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, in such a confusing scenario, are a pillar of strength and a fount of hope. What they gifted us in black and white are a source of endless light and unfathomable delight. They, alone, in the whole history of mankind, have uttered what is true and what is right. To be with their words is to side with the evolution. The choice, thus, is absolutely simple and the message, crystal clear. [TNM55]
Monday, December 26, 2011
Further, meditation and other techniques of yoga are indispensable for old systems while Integral Yoga primarily relies on surrender. The bottom-up Kundalini of the old is perceived in Integral Yoga as the Grace acting from above in top-down fashion. Overall, instead of personal askesis, Integral Yoga is anchored to the Divine will and in being a willing participant in its progressive manifestation. [TNM55]
Digging into museums or palm leaves archives might be academic activities, but when aligned with aspiration become a drag. Celebrating sundry festivals, likewise, can have toxic effect on our collaboration and retard evolution. The rejection aspect, therefore, assumes importance, for, through a rigid regimen only leash can be put on to certain playful habits and innocuous occupations. Many a normal function of ours will fail to pass once this test is applied and such small victories will surely add up to larger conquests in the long run. [TNM55]
Sunday, December 25, 2011
India, with its 1.21b population, has turned a veritable melting pot with the onset of market economy and cutting edge communication. Plurality of languages, however, is still a bottleneck for spreading messages. The call of the future, nevertheless, would find its medium and nothing is at stake if we are by the side of the time. [TNM55]
Saturday, December 24, 2011
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have been categorical about this first and foremost necessity. Perfection is our birthright; we must achieve it. Harmony is our destination; we must arrive there. Such intense aspiration, however, is best propelled by the emission of the past. By cutting asunder all ancient shackles that we may hope to move towards a splendid destiny for the mankind. [TNM55]
Friday, December 23, 2011
The Bengalis disown him as he has not written much in their tongue. Besides, he is widely perceived as an escapist. Various neo-Hindu organisations in the country treat him as a competitor and ignore him. For the Hindu majoritarian movements, he is not considered as much helpful, and hence is marginalised. Thus, it is a travesty of our times how a great son stands devalued in his own land. [TNM55]
The ontology that The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have unveiled has its root in diverse sources. They have emphasised the fact that instead of repeating the past, they forged a new synthesis that was needed. Their teaching, therefore, has to be accepted in toto, and not through its ingredients, individually. This break with the past is painful for many but a necessity. The culture industry is eager to appropriate and encash them but is finding it difficult to lay a foothold.
Be that as it may, one thing is incontrovertibly sure. Sri Aurobindo has given us the most comprehensive explanation of the universe in a most sophisticated language. It's only by studying his writings that we contribute to the evolutionary force that is at work. If the learned Westerners don't need him, so be it. But, a day will come when Knowledge will rule and the present fog of obfuscation will vanish. [TNM55]
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Thus, the portrayal of the Master is incomplete without the devotee's appraisal. Lack of uniformity among the devotees is also another aspect, and hence, there is scope for multiple levels of loyalty. For one section, the minute details of the Master's life becomes irrelevant barring on considerations of lila. For others on the contrary, each turn in the story can be full of significance or in resonance with past occurrences or future prophecies. Needless to say that this is the point where a religion is born and it is impossible to throttle it by writing banal biographies.
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, therefore, can't be restricted to the writings by and on them. Name & form, lila & dham, and much more memories and imaginings are abroad in the intransitive arena. So, no one person is capable of giving full expression to it or to deform it. [TNM55]
Debate is on on the authenticity of Savitri and other unrevised writings, but deriving a settled view over the contents of well established publications also is not so sound. The reason is, each paragraph needs to be understood as refracted through his utterances in subsequent letters, conversations, The Mother's explanations, and in some cases, the exposions of direct disciples. Not only, this requires long years of devoted perusal of such varied literature, but also, is subject to subjective twists and turns over space and time.
A broad consensus, nevertheless, is possible once the question of a separate religion is tentatively agreed upon. Another difficulty is we have nothing to fall "back" upon, as our whole endeavour is an enterprise into the future. No past writing or rules of tradition is of any help to us; they are rather barriers. Thus, it is a huge responsibility today to carry the flag of our Masters. Voluntary clinging to superiority from the mere cognitive to the normative modes is not given to all, and hence, the moment is meant for immersing in humility and gratitude while simultaneously celebrating the Grace. [TNM55]
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The Gita is in news now, but as a character building treatise, it has not been effective till date. In fact, its content is borrowed from various sources, and as such, it lacks a central message. It is popular because of its ambivalence and impracticality. Besides, it needs to be dumped as it perpetuates a worn out mythology even in secular environs.
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have crafted the most modern religious and ethical scaffolding which alone guarantees a safe road ahead for the humanity. By aligning our politics as well as education to it that India can show the way to the world. [TNM55]
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
People who attack economic imperialism regard themselves as champions of the poor and oppressed. To the extent that they succeed in preventing foreign investment in poor countries, they are benefitting the capitalists of those countries by holding up their profits and injuring the workers by holding down their wages.
(BTW, if you’re in search of a really good book to introduce someone college-age or higher to the economic way of thinking – an introduction simultaneously packed with insights yet accessible and entertaining – you can’t do better than to give him or her a copy of Hidden Order.)]
This piece of advice is no longer hidden but an open secret, but in India, hypocrisy rules and ignorance reigns. [TNM55]
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The very concept of a Lokpal is disruptive of the present constitutional balance of power and its votaries have no idea as to how supremely corrupt and authoritarian it can become. Purging politics of incentive is a utopian notion and it is only by legalising certain payouts and additional entitlements that quantum of corruption can be curtailed. [TNM55]
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
In the absence of any such yardstick, obviously, charlatanism flourishes and people occupying positions of power acquire the halo of supposed spiritual realisations. Writers and orators easily appropriate such roles without clarifying on their own rung in the ladder of consciousness. Instead of believing in deliberately floated rumours, therefore, the key question is how to judge a person who is so adept at dishing out lessons on spiritual living.
There is no satisfying answer to this, apparently, and hence better to be wary of people who thrive on quotations but question others on the ground of being merely mental or intellectual. [TNM55]
Thursday, December 08, 2011
But Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry lacks spine to discipline Peter Heehs who continues to justify his hostile writings through proxy voices. [TNM55]
Thursday, December 01, 2011
The present storm over foreign investment in retail trade is a ridiculous debate. A country of our size and potential developing cold feet at meeting the outsiders is a cowardly act. If India is to lead the world, obviously, it can't stay an island. [TNM55]
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Re: An essay at clarification regarding Archival publications: Jugal Kishore Mukherjee (C)
The role of Jayantilal has not been discussed in relation to the judgemental remarks appearing in the journal. The reaction of the then trustees also needs to be elaborated for grasping the overall situation in the Ashram. [TNM55]
Monday, November 28, 2011
Failure of English to infiltrate popular culture in India is, of course, a big defeat, but its hold on dissemination of thought through the print medium is intact. This means, we are forever torn between English prose and regional poetry. Not a very happy prospect, but that is our curious destiny. [TNM55]
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Thanks Vikas for saying "point is certainly well made" which made my day. Without holding any brief for the journal article, I get the sense that it also meant something akin, but Jugal didn't weigh both sides as you have done so admirably here.
It was after The Mother's arrival that the Four Powers appeared in the Synthesis (which remain neglected to this day). Surrender to The Mother, thus, takes precedence over all other formulations and technicalities (including the Records). It is so simple and uncluttered that it can well be equated with serendipity. Sandeep, of course, comes from a different tradition. [TNM55]
Thursday, November 24, 2011
In view of the economic and political churning engulfing the world today, the future of humanity turns out to be a grim question mark. The message of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is a formidable fount of hope on this score which presents a robust agenda for collective action as well. Through the Ashram and Auroville, the seeds were sown for transformation of the whole world which is in process in consonance with the evolutionary forces. The primary task, therefore, is to guard against adulteration and prevent doctrinal pollution. [TNM55]
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Re: An essay at clarification regarding Archival publications: Jugal Kishore Mukherjee (A)
Jugal's list of references to self-surrender or surrender to the divine seems to be slightly off the mark as surrender to The Mother is something else. I hinted about this thematic variation and not any textual revision, and obviously, no pre-1920 version of The Mother exists. [TNM55]
Monday, November 21, 2011
[The hermeneutic circle describes how we interpret a text through the circular feedback of parts and wholes. We start with the first word (a part) and a sense of what this text we are about to read is about (and so the whole of the text), and then we interpret each succeeding part using our conception of the whole. In turn we alter our understanding of the whole by the understanding we make of each new part.
So this is a continual, circular process by which interpretation occurs. At the end of the text our conception of the whole, the meaning of the text, has changed, and it has changed through the reading of the parts which got their interpretation through the then current understanding of the whole, which they, the parts, in turn, continually altered as we read.
Hermeneutic and Preferential Circles - philosophy autobiography by Jeff Meyerhoff on Nov 20, 2011 10:57 PM]
Between Katju and Hazare, we encounter a huge intellectual chasm comparable to Ravi Verma's opulence vs. Husain's minimalist representation of goddesses. Imagination or interpretation, though preferential and constrained by individual's horizon, can generate unpredictable response in the receiver that verges upon co-creation. The fleeting footwork of a dancer can be a life long cherished memory as much as a line of a poem one can't forget even after trying. While the abstraction involved is voluntary bypassing the rough edges is not always rational.
This disjoint torpedoes the truth-clams and even philosophy falls prey to rhetoric. The snares of hermeneutics, therefore, are too difficult to cut through. Most will agree that politics is bad, but that should not prompt us to hate Politics (with capital p). [TNM55]
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Justice Katju lists his favourite writers but it would be fair to expect the present generation to be aware of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Peter Drucker et al as modernising influences. Movies too are an important source of motivation, and exposure to Internet, an ocean of inspiration. It is absurd, therefore, to go two Centuries back and invoke archaic tracts.
To overlook what Sri Aurobindo has dwelt upon as Renaissance in India, however, seems unnatural. Further, comparing Indian people with the Europeans is fraught with multiple layers of anomaly. Anderson has noted that all of Integral theory are but footnotes to Sri Aurobindo. And in the same vein, one may venture to interject that Justice Katju need not have taken the trouble of remembering so many names, and could have mentioned Sri Aurobindo alone, instead. [TNM55]
Bellah's book on evolution ignores the outstanding contribution of Sri Aurobindo. Such ignorance/indifference is in operation for almost a millennium now, and the resultant fractured learning is nothing short of Frankenstein's monster. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have pressed into service a potent Judeo-Vedic paradigm, in receptivity of which lies the salvation of humanity. [TNM55]
Marian Aguiar - 2011 - 272 pages - Another key Indian figure associated with a spiritual-based nationalism, Aurobindo Ghose, spoke of the machine in ... Aurobindo was in many ways Vivekananda's heir, and he refined the notion of autonomy by elaborating the concept of ...]
[The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy - Page 819 books.google.co.in
George Klosko - 2011 - 840 pages - The new interpretation of social action found in the theory of karma yoga and the application of traditional language and symbols to the modern Indian scene were Vivekananda's and Aurobindo's contributions to a distinctly Hindu ...]
The providential potential of evolution vs. its emancipatory possibilities is a fiercely contested debate of our time. The former's argument is teleology driven while the latter is firmly rooted in the contingency of human agency. Perhaps, the two meet in the assertion that the individual is the key, but then, the scenario turns a bit nebulous like in All life is yoga. If all activities and initiatives are to be seen as ordained, then the ethical standards would have no meaning. This objection, however, can be countered by the proposition that we are wired genetically with adequate checks and balances.
The provincialism of the West has been the most frustrating phenomenon. Now that it is being forced to look eastward, the onus is on Sri Aurobindians to focus on a possible synthesis suitable for the current Century. We need to be clear as to why and how both Occupy as well as Hazare are hazardous for the future. Let the debate be deepened so that we present a unified face before the fragmented world. [TNM55]
Thursday, November 17, 2011
As Mayawati woos the Brahmins in UP, the hold of the age-old social stratifications comes under focus. Justice Katju might choose to slam it as castiesm, but the logic of division of labour, calibration, and branding has been driving this whole system uninterrupted. [TNM55]
Kush once wrote in the Sabda Newsletter quite daringly that the age of Thakur Ramakrishna and his stories are over and the challenge for the mind is to delve into the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. Learning the ropes in philosophy, admittedly, is a great help in wading one's way through minefields of fallacies. [TNM55]
Utkarsh Anand, Indian Express, Wed Nov 16 2011, 00:01 hrs New Delhi]
[Comment on Twin souls by ipi - Comments for Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother
by ipi on Nov 17, 2011 8:26 AM
Good that mike is not married to the twin soul other wise in few years will think as twin evil, sorry its true as marriage can do this magic.]
Unlike the Catholic Church, we don't consider marriage or family as an aid in Yoga. The example in the life of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo in particular and the pivotal role of the Ashram in general are dampeners in this regard. Besides, the usual frictions occurring within relationships, - lively peeps into which are provided by ipi from time to time, - are readily attributed to the undesirability of worldly life. As sociological studies pertaining to practice of Integral Yoga are almost nonexistent, a general attitude of being apologetic about marriage prevails and the need to search for the golden mean never acquires urgency.
Teenagers joining Ashrams and opting for celibacy may have been sanctioned by the tradition, but is hardly a sound means of modern collective life. Playing the second innings post-Fifty has its own bouquet of difficulties which can never be anticipated while in the Twenties. There can't, however, be a one-size-fits-all rule for everyone, and even each neuron has its own genome, but it's worthwhile to probe issues like gender equations, old age, and kinship against the pulls and pressures of spiritual aspiration. [TNM55]
[Seems to me the same could apply the Heidegger, also working in the 1920s, like Eliot, Pound, and Joyce. He casts his contributions in terms of the tradition, and after him the tradition is understood differently. Despite his de-structuring being construed as an origin for multifaceted post-modernism, Heidegger himself worked as a modernist, in this literary sense. by enowning on Nov 16, 2011 3:45 AM]
[Bellah’s account of the axial age is weighted to the Indian and the Chinese breakthroughs, but for the purposes of grasping the continuing role of narrativity it may be easier to think in terms of all the consequences that have stemmed from the particular breakthrough that occurred in Israel. ...
I have telescoped, glossed and simplified Bellah in order to bring out a central message that seems to me as true as it is controversial. ‘We’ are inveterate story tellers as well as theoreticians. ‘Nothing is ever lost’. Moreover, the platforms in consciousness from which we formulate our visions of how we might be, and how the world might be, were set up in the axial age. As ever in Bellah, his rigorous commitment to objectivity emits a normative aura: it is not a matter of putting stories behind us as childish but of telling the best stories to frame our collective existence. What should we now do differently? - The Immanent Frame by David Martin on Nov 17, 2011 6:21 AM]
The Mother's story encapsulates it all. The Judeo-Vedic agenda that she so heroically has unveiled is the hope of the future and hugely worthy of adventure. "Sing O lands, sing O peoples, sing O men, The Divine Harmony is there." [TNM55]
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Considered in this light, the teaching of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo reveals its intrinsic political nature. Yoga, itself, is a perpetual effort to break new ground and win fresh territory. But the paramountcy of the political unfolds when confronted with hostile forces, within and without.
Kaushalam, perhaps, becomes more relevant here than in the context of sundry mundane tasks. Best brains need to be harnessed for war and also the best of resources. The Mother was fighting a grim battle all through. Amal, her worthy child, called it a day recently. Wanted, bulk replenishments. [TNM55]
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The fact that the thought of Sri Aurobindo is yet to appear in the dominant consciousness of the nation proves Justice Katju right beyond any doubt. And sadly, both the elite and the laity are one under this criterion. [TNM55]
Monday, November 14, 2011
This bottom-up approach of investigating the society has been the Achilles heel of every stream of Humanities. Themes on the Divine have fed aesthetics as well as rhetorics, but invoking a living presence has rarely been attempted. Marginalization of God in the secular age is well reflected by the shrinking Religious studies departments in the universities.
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have effectively put a spanner in this mindless trend. They have valiantly put the agenda of the Life Divine in the forefront to demonstrate the integral reality of the different seeming twosome. Life, when studied divorced from the Divine, turns anomalous and sokalesque. Thus, The Life Divine alone can become the edifice for all future explorations into the human condition and destiny. [TNM55]
In a historic move, the CPI(M) central committee has decided that party secretaries across all levels must limit their terms to a maximum of nine years, with the caveat that only under exceptional circumstances, extensions will be allowed.]
[November 13, 2011 6:23 pm
Ambani calls for generational change in India - By James Lamont and James Fontanella-Khan in Mumbai
Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, has called for a generational change in the country’s gerontocratic leadership, and urged the government to move faster to implement reforms that would help meet its young population’s economic ambitions.
“We’ve had a mystery [in India] where we think that [important] jobs can only be done by 60-year-old plus [people]... I think we’re now fast moving to say that our 40-year-olds can take more responsibility and can perform better,” Mr Ambani, 54, told business leaders and policymakers at the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit in Mumbai.]
Time for Das Gupta to pack up. [TNM55]
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Although, the debate on High and Low Culture is yet to be settled, aesthetic paradigms are constantly being redefined. Palmtop devices are facilitating consumption of culture in new modes and media by the new generation. Seamless 24x7 services are transcending national and cultural barriers. Traditional categories like theatre, dance, and poetry, regrettably, are receiving short shrift. As it is difficult to answer the question, "Who decides?," the drift needs to be seen as ordained. [TNM55]
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, however, are not only individuals, but also are universal as well as transcendent. Apropos such affirmations, the fallacies themselves turn illogical, as the logic of the infinite operates. All canons of cognition and empiricism bite dust in such instances. Enlightenment is clueless as to how to account for such a phenomenon. Immanence apparently is incapable of conceiving divinity and parent sacredness. This needs to be healed and the chasm bridged. [TNM55]
THE POWER OF BRANDS - Dr. Hemant C Trivedi, Vivek Khandelwal, Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad.]
Hazare hurricane is still hovering above the political landscape in a directionless fashion. But the puffed up appeal of the campaign has acquired a hazardous potential of pumping mass hysteria at any point of time. Saintly figures do impress the public in India despite their modest education but earning political fortune is a different avenue. Team Anna, it seems, is struggling to cope with its own internal politics and is sure to face dissensions at the time of future expansion and policy formulation.
Congress, BJP, and CPM too are facing internal turmoil over the leadership issue. A democratic culture of electing the captain has not taken root in our country so far. The feudal past forces people to look at dynasties, celebrities, and saints. The task, therefore, is to root for ideology and genuine grassroots empowerment and discourage emotional manipulation of the masses. [TNM55]
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Myth, though integral to our existence, is subject to subjective appeal. Substituting a preferred version conforming to one's standards of enlightenment is a task that involves much attitudinal gymnastics. Despite the difficulties, however, Integral Yoga caters to all our faculties, and hence reigns supreme. [TNM55]
"JKM’s 50 page ordeal" can never be seen as signifying a contented heart. Rather, it clearly vents the sighs of a helpless soldier forced into subordination. He, however, pins his hopes on the posterity, and thus, it's not fair to hush up the ongoing discussions concerning the corrections in Savitri. "Consensus of a larger group of peers," likewise, cannot be a guarantee of flawless authenticity.
Unlike the Lives imbroglio, no one alleges bad faith in this controversy. The compulsion to defend the extant cold print is understandable, but discretion is the better part of valour in this highly complex matter. Fifty years down the line, the "approvals" would seem more suspect, and hence, it is high time to initiate a fresh attempt to have a re-look at the corrections in a technology-enabled transparent manner. [TNM55]