Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Mother’s hand

[“How Do You Like Baroda City?” by doctorzamalek January 26, 2011
That was the question a young boy asked me at the wedding. My answer three days later is still the same: I like it very well.
One thing about traveling in India is that since reasonably good hotels can be had for reasonable prices, one often holes up in them for weeks at a time (only 9 days this time, but often I’ve done much longer in one hotel). And after a few weeks in a hotel, not only does the room start feeling like home, but at the very least you start forming smile-and-wave relationships with dozens of people who work at or frequent places you frequent yourself. I tend to be a creature of habit with my food and drink orders anywhere, and so I’m not even needing to place orders in Baroda anymore; it’s a quick nod as soon as I enter the door, and they just go ahead and prepare what they know I’m going to want anyway. And the cafĂ© workers down the street, in particular, are almost my friends at this point. I’ll be sorry to leave all these people behind.
Back to Bombay tomorrow to wind this trip down and head back into a possible political hurricane in Cairo, just as the semester starts (next week) and as we inaugurate our new President (February 7).]

Graham Harman was touring Vadodara when the Egyptian Revolution erupted. There is nothing to remotely suspect The Mother’s hand, but still! [TNM] 

Savitri Era Religion's advantage as regards ontology

[RK said... Dear Govind, 
I like your honesty. You might find this surprising, but I also agree with the points you mention, about subtexts and contexts. 
Yes, I have read the book, in full. The contentious portions I have read and reread numerous times - casting myself in various roles, as a so-called devotee, an aspiring yogi, an intellectual, a lay-reader, an Easterner, a Westerner, and finally just as myself, the composite mix of all these personalities. 
And now I will surprise you once again. I don't find the book particularly outstanding. There are even statements in it I disagree with, strongly. There are portions, long passages, I find inspired and beautiful, at times even revelatory. I am impressed with the quantum of research, and the scope of his attempt, though at times I wished Peter would let down his intellectual guard, and speak about Sri Aurobindo with more open admiration and love. But this is his book, and not mine. So I am not enamoured of TLOSA. But really, Govind, even after reading it as many times as I did, I failed to find the "denigration". There is nothing in the book that 'cancels out' what is good, turns all the rest into 'poison'. Utter nonsense to say these things…
I am well-read in Sri Aurobindo, consider myself a disciple, and have been trying to practice the Integral Yoga for a good many decades now. I am also well-aware of the mire that is Hindu studies in America… RK 12:04 AM, November 23, 2010]

Taking theology as a figurative aid to mystical experience sounds pretty good to me. I didn’t follow why that necessarily becomes a secret doctrine maintained through power… Describing the “life of feelings in religion” solely as mythologies we become willing to kill and die for, seems out of balance.
The devotional elements of world religions have also spawned some uplifting and refining influences, and have always led some individuals into genuine mystical experience… Bhakti and the experience of personal relations with the Divine as a Being, is a significant component in the broader range of mystical experience. Sri Aurobindo gives it its due in the “Yoga of Divine Love” section of the Synthesis, also in many letters, and his general post-Arya emphasis on the psychic being and its characteristic experiences.]

Our world of devotees is a very, very small one. Sri Aurobindo’s message is for all humanity. In the years ahead many will open to him through the mind and not at first through devotion. These seekers too have legitimate questions and needs, and must be approached in a manner that is very different from the majority of us engaging in this debate, who have been privileged to have our eyes opened to Their Light and Grace from a young age. To believe otherwise is myopic.
Yet we have seen some extreme expressions of this tendency of our community’s sense of collective identity expanding to swallow the whole world, e.g. as seen in allegations of a vast and sinister conspiracy behind the work of some elements in the Archives Dept, even suspecting the CIA or the Vatican! All one can say about those who propound this utterly laughable theory is that they think like ostriches – our institution simply does not yet have that kind of visibility on the world stage to provoke operations of such scale and scope.]

Size-wise we lack visibility. True, but not in terms of significance. Savitri Era Religion possesses an unmistakable advantage as regards ontology that has potential of swaying the young minds in less than 18 days. Established players, therefore, stand threatened, and there is no reason to discount the subversion angle, especially when willing ones are eager to work for an ounce of fame. [TNM]  

Friday, February 11, 2011

Savitri Era Religion offers a complex and rich environment

Among the visitors to spiritual organizations like Sri Aurobindo Ashram are some dead serious, sincere and intense young people who claim to be on the spiritual path but seem to be on the verge of losing their mental balance, if they have not lost it already. The question naturally arises what makes something as laudable as the spiritual path a risky road to walk on. The risk lies in a faulty approach to spirituality. Young people who become miserable as a result of their engagement with spirituality invariably treat spirituality as yet another worldly achievement. They go about searching for techniques that would take them to the peak by the easiest, shortest and fastest route. They treat spirituality like mountaineering… Unless they correct the fatal flaw in their approach to spirituality, they end up on the psychiatrist’s couch.] 

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—Three months after setting off down a long spiritual path to find himself, 38-year-old Corey Larson arrived at the conclusion Tuesday that he does not care. "I spent many long hours meditating, studying the works of great thinkers and spiritual leaders, and delving deep within myself for some kind of answer, and then it hit me: I couldn't care less," Larson said of his soul-searching journey. "Fuck it. Fuck it all." Larson briefly considered writing a self-help book to make the journey easier for others, but decided that he also didn't give two shits about whether other people arrived at the same conclusion he did.]

Fortunately, Savitri Era Religion offers a much more complex and rich environment for fostering life’s thousand longings without pinning the spiritual tag. The so called spiritual journey doesn’t begin midway in life but is a continuous quest from life to life. So, no failures or losers here; each one’s unique trajectory is firmly on course. Charaiveti, charaiveti! [TNM]   

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Splendid USP of Savitri Era Religion

The teachings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, in essence, varies substantially from not only Western metaphysics but also Nagarjuna’s philosophy. A significant consequence of this is that the divorce of religion and philosophy has been annulled. This epochal synthesis of religion, philosophy and science accomplished by The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is a splendid USP.

Bonded by religious and political doctrines, majority of people are unwilling to acknowledge or accept this. Intellectual inertia and skepticism also prevent many from benefiting from this new knowledge system. Besides, the role of the leftist devotees in systematically spreading confusion and cynicism is a major factor.

Savitri Era Religion pursues the agenda of demolishing the age-old superstitions and contradictions embedded in all faiths. Demystifying complex ontological pronouncements is another priority area. Undergirding ethical imperatives with adequate aesthetic anchorage, however, is the most challenging task. [TNM]