Thursday, June 30, 2011

No words for K.D. Sethna

[Peek at tweeting pope's new portal - Faith & Reason By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY Jun 29, 2011 - Pope Benedict XVI has fired off a tweet to the world, launching the communications-challenged Vatican into yet another new media realm. It's already on Facebook and YouTube. …
For the those who have been waiting impatiently for Rome to get it's message act together, the announcement of the new portal intended to be an easy, up-to-date aggregate site for Vatican information, was a hopeful sign. Earlier this year, the Vatican had a blogger summit that encouraged the Catholic voices to help spread it's message.] 
[India: morto KD Sethna, discepolo prediletto di Sri Aurobindo - Il filosofo indiano KD Sethna, uno dei primi e più famosi discepoli di Sri Aurobindo, teorico dello yoga integrale di fama mondiale, è morto in un villaggio ...
... il poeta e scrittore ha pubblicato oltre 40 libri, tra saggi, raccolte di racconti e di poesie, alcuni dei quali con lo pseudonimo Amal Kiran. ...]

If it is beyond the prestige of Sri Aurobindo Ashram to officially announce the news of The Passing of Amal Kiran (K.D. Sethna), then nothing can be more absurd. Keeping up with the times and technology is a great survival technique, and if our mandarins chose to cling to Jurassic procedures, then the consequences can be catastrophic. [TNM55]    

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Good bye Amal

In 1968, the Mother attained something she called the overman (surhomme) consciousness. You can read about it in the Agenda or in Georges van Vrekhem’s book Beyond the Human Species.
I don’t discuss such advanced matters on this blog because they are too far out for most (or all) people. It is easy to get caught up in the vicarious pleasure of living off the Guru’s achievements and forget to work on the basic realizations that we need to attain. As Abraham Lincoln said, “You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was”.]

Prapatti (K.C. Pati) had left on June 28, 1989, and Amal Kiran (K.D. Sethna) passed away today, June 29, 2011. It’s veritably the end of an era and beginning of a highly challenging journey. We are facing stiff competition, powerful opposition, bewildering confusion and internal turmoil. It’s certain that clarity and synergy will emerge at the end leading to peace and harmony. The direct disciples have left behind sufficient exegetical literature to ensure that. Honest and rational soul-searching is a sure means to achieve that goal. Good bye Amal! [TNM55]    

Monday, June 27, 2011

Resist Government takeover

[Aurobindo model for Sai empire? Times of India HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh government is studying the takeover case of Sri Aurobindo society, Pondicherry, by the Union government, to consider whether ...]
Savitri Era Party opposes the continued grip of the Government over Auroville and calls upon the Sathya Sai devotees to resist a possible takeover. [TNM55]

Wilkinson's yeoman's service

From Tusar N. Mohapatra date 27 June 2011 11:37 subject Re: your friend Wilkinson

Yes, I read it yesterday. But if the authentic Vedic is what the photograph in the report below suggests, then I think Wilkinson is doing a yeoman's service in inculcating some kind of rational culture among people. His theory is open to contest and on the "Third" front, I think, they are going slow and have understood the futility of pushing the "line" of thinking.  

Propagating various yoga systems and endorsing their esoteric aspects, similarly, is one thing, I feel, is dishonest. It breeds confusion and complacence among the gullible. [TNM55]

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Questionable conduct of the Managing Trustee

[AP govt may tap Sai trust's assets after takeover PPavan, Mumbai Mirror, Friday, June 24, 2011 at 03:05:18 AM
Andhra Pradesh government is studying Pondicherry’s Aurobindo Ashram model to control the Sai trust. Under the Aurobindo Ashram model, a government nominee (an IAS officer) is appointed to oversee the trusts’s affairs. … Confirming that the state government is considering replicating Aurobindo model in Sathya Sai Trust, a senior minister said, “We are under obligation to respect the sentiments of devotees, continue Trust activities and control any irregularities.”]

After the Satyam scam, the Sathya Sai Trust mess might prove to be another embarrassment. Replicating the Auroville model there might provide immediate relief, but will aggravate in the long run. One shudders at the thought of possible malpractices of Sri Aurobindo Ashram coming to light some day. The book imbroglio has thoroughly exposed the questionable conduct of the Managing Trustee and he has been deaf to persistent demands of transparency and accountability. A conspiracy of silence too is at work. So, the whistle blowers should grow in number. [TNM55]

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bishnu's three strides

Release of Bishnu N. Mohapatra’s collection of Poems at IIC Annexe yesterday turned an occasion for contemplation on ontology. Musing on the title of the book, Mu Jebe Nathibi, G.K. Das recalled Sartre’s Being and Nothingness as well as Derrida’s notion of absence/presence. Further delineations on Time touched Dickens, Tagore, and also J.P.Das who happened to be in the chair. Kapila Vatsyayan added her familiar inscrutable two cents while pouring sympathy profusely upon the poet. Hindi translations of three pieces read out by Rajendra Prasad Mishra evoked ready appreciation. [TNM55]

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No escape from the Divine

Several events occurring during the last 50 years compel us to think in terms of cosmology, and teleology. The foremost, of course, is man landing on the moon. Cloning of Dolly is another. The recent tsunami in Japan affecting a nuclear plant is certainly a frightening episode. The spectre of Global warming too baffles our understanding, and we safely put all these considerations at the door of science.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo don’t permit us taking such an escapist route. They hammer it into our minds that the Divine is the core. Remembering them intermittently thus tantamount to a definite Divine-centric ontological perspective. There can’t be any trade-off for this therefore, howsoever valuable and respectable the other might seem. The suffocating secular outlook of the rationalists is a hollow cloak which needs to be dumped for ever. [TNM55]   

Monday, June 20, 2011

Odisha needs Posco

[More join protest against land acquisition for Posco  The Hindu - Prafulla Das - Even as the Orissa government was set to resume land acquisition for the controversial Posco steel project in Jagatsinghpur district on Monday, political support for the anti-Posco agitation further grew on Sunday with a large group of Bharatiya Janata ... 'My father died for the cause, now it's upto me, my sister and mother' Hindustan Times It's force vs children at the POSCO agitation zone]

Emotionally charged human interest accounts of the agitation are doing the rounds. But should a surgery be abandoned on the basis of the protestations of a patient undergoing pain? [TNM]  

Let NDA usher in Rahul

[Time for Rahul to be PM: Digvijaya Indian Express - As Rahul Gandhi turned 41 on Sunday, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that he believes “it is time” he became Prime Minister. Rahul turns 41, should take charge of govt: Digvijay Singh Economic Times]

But the right strategy is to let NDA form a Government at the Centre and BJP’s internal squabbles will generate so much of heat that the people of India would gladly anoint Rahul as their saviour (Repeat of 1980 & 1991). The conduct of BJP, as the principal opposition party, has been singularly lacklustre and devoid of ideas. [TNM55]   

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What is Enlightenment? & What is to be Done?

[re: Heidegger Kitsch from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek (Graham Harman) By now most people are familiar with the concept of Heidegger Kitsch: the aping of Heidegger’s verbal mannerisms without the soul of the thing being there. …
It’s one of the reasons I think a time is ripe for a return not to “minor” but to the “major” thinkers with whom Deleuze doesn’t do enough: Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Leibniz]

Harman’s scalpel moves with precision to lay bare the myths of Western Philosophy. But the question, What is Enlightenment? is yet to be answered satisfactorily. Sri Aurobindo is the missing link of the Continental-Analytic disconnect. He also holds the key to the Continuum-Discrete conundrum.

Thus, the next important question is, What is to be Done? Delinking philosophy from geography looks like the best remedy. The colonial hangover of treating India as untouchable must go. If Western Philosophy wishes to rescue itself from the present moribund state, then it must engage with Sri Aurobindo. Make no mistake about it, Nanyah pantha vidyate ayanaya (No other path exists at the moment). [TNM55] 

The Life Divine after After Life

Indeed, the very idea of “life” in Western thought and culture is an exceedingly problematic one, as Eugene Thacker demonstrates in his brilliant recent book After Life. … The nineteenth century vitalists wrongly claimed that there was some sort of basic distinction between life and nonlife. They imagined some special process that drove living things, in contrast to the merely mechanistic forces that were supposedly all there was to the inanimate world.
Today, this dualism is inadmissible. We should rather say, following Whitehead — and also Latour, Bennett, and the speculative realist philosopher Iain Hamilton Grant — that all materiality, or all of existence, nonliving as well as living, is intrinsically active and agential. It might be better to say, not that everything is alive, but that everything thinks in one way or another. This is the thesis, not of vitalism, but of panpsychism.]

If Western thought finally discovers The Life Divine in the twenty first century that would be a great prospect. With uncompromising explorers like Shaviro, It seems that it will happen sooner than later. [TNM55]

Commenting on current affairs

From Tusar N. Mohapatra Date 18 June 2011 11:38 subject Re: UNIFEM's Programme on Women's Political Leadership and Governance in India and South Asia- Examples, Advice.

You have touched upon a number of issues and it won’t be proper to look at them through the same lens. Similarly, the rise of the five women CMs can’t necessarily be seen as a leap forward for gender empowerment. I am glad that you are spreading awareness on this question but it will be better if you publish your definite views on the web. Commenting on current affairs also will sharpen your thinking. That, I think, will be empowering for you, and many others through you. [TNM55]

Six years of Savitri Era Learning Forum

From Tusar N. Mohapatra to Joy Roy Choudhury cc Jitendra Sharma date 18 June 2011 08:00 subject Re: Savitri Era Learning Forum

Thanks Joy for the encouraging words. Thanks to Google, SELF could overcome the dominance of the official media and a lot many things came to public notice. But our online population is still a miniscule, and the language barrier is a fact for many.     

The phrase “Savitri Era” needs to be popularised for easy identity for all Sri Aurobindo and Divine Mother followers” and Jitendra, through his blog, has extended a helping hand. As for the socio-political matters, I am ploughing a lonely furrow with much trepidation. All the best. [TNM55] 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fundamentalism in Hazare's campaign

[An Outbreak of Fundamentalism? Characteristics of the Fundamentalist (Richard T. Antoun, Martin E. Marty, Judith Nagata and others):
Rejection of complexity, Demand for doctrinal purity, Feelings of being threatened, Control of information, Exclusivism, Opposition to discussion, Abusive language, Rousing the masses, Atmosphere of violence, Demonizing the enemy, & Heroic role in a great cosmic drama]

Traces of fundamentalist features are creeping into the campaign led by Anna Hazare. A public stand becomes a prestige issue and stoutly defending it leads to fundamentalism. Dialogue and debate, therefore, are hallmarks of a vibrant public sphere. Priorities before the nation must be assessed keeping its long-term interests and global standing in mind. Constitutional issues are best resolved within the Committee rooms and not by brandishing brooms. [TNM]     

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hazare, Husain, & Heehs

Vanvaas from Ram’s India vs. Freedom, Equality and Husain shows how even extremely perceptive perspectives can be diametrically opposite. We have seen it all courtesy the Heehs imbroglio. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, therefore, always insisted that the Supramental won’t arrive by perfecting the intellect. But the intellect is also a candidate for transformation and hence it can’t be faulted for on-the-job aspiration.    

Conceding that truth and justice are multi-layered and sensitivity apropos plurality and diversity is a must, we all harbour a secret longing for the certainty and the sole. A seamless transition from one to the other becomes possible in the magic formula of Unity, Mutuality, & Harmony. This constitutes a tremendous assurance for overcoming all Manichean contraries. But the challenge is that, discerning the right path or voting for the right opinion happen in the hubbub of ordinary activities. [TNM55]           

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Democracy has no archetype

Democracy has no archetype. It has evolved over a period of few centuries and hence is a work in progress. Besides, it is not something absolutely novel. Rather it contains strains of all preceding forms of governance. Thus, aberrations within it are more glaring when seen against the backdrop of the idealized version. Moreover, cultural and geographical diversity has its effect on the dynamics of democracy.

Introduced a century back in a rudimentary form under British midwifery, democracy in India is far from being mature today. Long years of dynastic rule by the Congress has enfeebled it considerably. The left wing and right wing offshoots of the Congress too have been wanting in imagination and fallen prey to short term expediency.  The political mosaic of India today, though varied, gives a picture of fragmentation, localization, & ghettoization.

An enduring national ideal has eluded us so far. The Neheruvian-Gandhian-Tagorite project, clearly, has come a cropper. The Savarkar-Golwalkar bandwagon, similarly, is forever in search of crutches. As for (whatever remains of) the Left, the less said the better. The Ambedkarite agenda too is a hostage of myopic and egocentric orbit. On the whole, this is a sorry state of affairs for the nation but offers a wealth of opportunity to the Savitri Erans. [TNM55] 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Proportional representation system at the Centre

The prevailing fascination of a large section of Indian public for the Hazare-Ramdev duo smacks of a feudal mindset. Swiftly jumping on the bandwagon of a charismatic person seems to be the easy option for most. The curiosity element aroused when a new product is launched in the market is also on play here. The visual media too is eager to make a killing. Such circumstances focus on the danger of a directly elected presidential system. The convoluted parliamentary form of government that we now have appears much virtuous in comparison.

Obsession with the Shining India is one of the reasons for growth of cynicism towards politics. Lack of distinct ideological content is also responsible for the absence of emotional pull that politics once had. An assembly-line and service-delivery approach to administration has dehumanized it and robbed it of the participatory sentiments. Invariable privileging of expertise has further widened the disconnect between the rulers and the commoners. Outsourcing in every field is promoting mechanicity and indifference.

Well, these might seem straight from a Marxist’s critique of Capitalism, but there is something deeper here. Democracy confronts a crisis and no definite solution is in sight. The semblance of democracy that the Corporates follow with regard to their shareholders is also a sham. Hazare-Ramdev, too, are top-down phenomena who shun elections. A proportional representation system at the Centre on the basis of State level elections, therefore, will be a more secure and fair arrangement. [TNM]     

From the family to the UNO

From Tusar N. Mohapatra date 14 June 2011 08:43 subject Re: Save Jan lokpal -- the pressure is working!

Sri Aurobindo wrote in different times and different circumstances. The responsibility of providing an efficient administration to the country devolves upon every citizen in a democracy. So training in this aspect of life is a must just like other popular professions. The scope of politics is all pervasive and extends from the family to the UNO. Formulating sound public policies and commensurate legislation is an ongoing process. Further, this is the field where the challenge is to give practical shape to all highly cherished human values.

Obviously, the difficulties are formidable but surely not insurmountable. Elsewhere, The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have built a robust theoretical bedrock and offered enough guidance to tackle such eventualities. The present turmoil owes its origin to misplaced priorities, bizarre procedures, and competitive activism. Sensible politics would involve level headed reflection and honest negotiation. [TNM]   

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sri Aurobindo is a victim of disinformation

The name of Sri Aurobindo has adorned the media in diverse contexts in the wake of the current Hazare-Ramdev mobilization, but no one cares to point out the vast intellectual chasm involved.  The pioneering role of Sri Aurobindo in the freedom struggle covered a short span but he had published robust rationales for his actions despite trying circumstances. His justifications for radical methods were always prompted by the fact that the country was fighting against a foreign rule. Furthermore, his task was to motivate a largely lethargic mass and activate their patriotic urge. It would, therefore, be anomalous to transpose what Sri Aurobindo did then to the present situation after more than a century.

Sri Aurobindo’s extensive writings on spirituality are well known, though rarely read. Still less is the reception of his glowing insights in the field of socio-political theory. This lack of awareness and appreciation even among the intellectuals in India is corroding the national consciousness. The breathless haste on the one hand and trivia fetishism on the other inflicted by TV journalism has turned serious study an odd occupation. Moreover, the know-all posture of programme anchors is a disincentive for genuine curiosity and further inquiry. Overall, the injustice Sri Aurobindo suffers by way of disinformation and ignorant observations is really pathetic. [TNM55]

Cow & wordbook

[Savitri Era: Blog and frog and elephant 21 Nov 2008: The beauty of a blog is in its brevity, or so we suppose who prefer to take cover under the Kautilyan dictum of keeping mum being the strength of the unwise and Chaucer's to make virtue of necessity as inspiration dries up after half a line invariably every fine morning.
On the other hand we have RY Deshpande who returns with his Mirror of Tomorrow and Savitri: the Light of the Supreme whose “endless” essays ever bewilder like the “topless” towers of Ilion. Welcome. TNM]

[Savitri Era: a-u-i 25 Mar 2009: While reading the post below I noticed that it has 3 paragraphs, each consisting of 3 sentences. The threesome, though not exactly in the thesis-antithesis-synthesis sequence, constitutes a distinct variation where the middle one leads to another aspect by way of expansion or explanation. The three, thus roughly, can be denoted by the vowels “a,” “u,” and “i” respectively. TNM 11:21 AM]

Being commanded to write an essay was, no doubt, the most formidable prospect in the school. The journey began with the unforgettable, “The cow is a four footed animal,” the overall limit being ten sentences. In a blog post too, this looks like an ideal limit within which one can fairly express his opinion on a particular subject with sufficient clarity. Even the mandatory, Introduction, Argument, Conclusion etc. can be accommodated, in a nutshell. Sonnet, it seems, is the poetic counterpart of this format. The Twitter (140 characters), of course, is more popular now which can be compared with Haiku (17 syllables).

Wordbook was an indispensable companion for learning English; its pocket size being more endearing. Once a person came to the school to sell a new wordbook which he had authored in the form of poems and recited them. Father, Mother, Brother, Sister / Aunt, Uncle, Son, Daughter / Wife, Husband, Friend, Neighbour. The fourth line, I no longer remember. [TNM]

Friday, June 10, 2011

Western inquiry must rid itself from the Christian notion of God

Mark C Taylor’s Confidence Games: Money and Markets in a World without Redemption (which I have spoken of before) is an important corrective to Naomi Klein’s book. Taylor’s book, which charts the complex interrelations of money, markets, art and theology over two centuries, ends up taking a pro-free-market position by arguing, basically, that in a postmodern world without grounding, theological certainties of the past are gone. The world without redemption is a confidence game and we have to accept that. Problems with such a thesis notwithstanding, what Taylor’s meticulous work shows is that economics is not as narrow as Klein and many others would have us believe. …
Taylor argues interestingly, that the advent of ‘complexity studies’ in the field of economics occurred at the same time that Robert Venturi published his landmark book, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. …
What Taylor’s book shows quite well is the rise of a complexity-based economic system where market fundamentalism reappears in different forms – often adapting itself to the latest and most interesting philosophical and scientific trends.]

Social sciences pretended for a long time that they are independent of ontology. Clearly, that was an adolescent’s attitude and the elders within them knew that such a view of the world won’t endure. Several calamities later, some signs of maturity have surfaced. But the dominant thinking in the West is still burdened covertly by the Christian notion of God. Most secularists, rationalists, & atheists are incapable of forgetting what they learnt as children.  

Western inquiry has conquered dizzy heights in all spheres of life which is a tribute to the power of human thought. What chains it down, unfortunately, is a two millennia old mythology. The thought revolution unleashed by The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, alone, can redeem the present impasse. Savitri and The Life Divine, therefore, should be upon the desk of every intellectual. [TNM]

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Urge for global citizenship is sure to grip people

[Re: Attitudes in Sri Aurobindo Ian Johnstone-Bryden Jun 7, 2011 1:43 am
The great difficulty that formal religion creates is the claim by each religion to offer something that cannot be offered by any other religion. …Unfortunately much of recorded history is written by people with a particular bias. …We can be so often frustrated because religions are reluctant to acknowledge those concepts and facts that they have acquired from other religions.]

The synthesis accomplished by The Mother & Sri Aurobindo in the field of religion, culture, and philosophy has no parallel in human history. The judeo-vedic ancient wisdom has brilliantly been hinged to perspectives of modern science and logic. In the socio-political realm too, a futuristic frame of mutuality based harmony has been conceived. As their message spreads, an urge for a global citizenship is sure to grip people across continents.

In this context, it is essential to remember the enormous contribution of science, technology, and knowledge. They are vital evolutionary agents without which a bright future for humanity is unthinkable. But a brief training in the tools of studying humanities can bring about the required blend in the mind and behaviour. Simultaneously, social science streams should also put their house in order by abandoning relativist and reductionist procedures. [TNM]    

Countdown for Congress

The brutal eviction of Baba Ramdev’s congregation more or less matches in significance the dastardly Babri Masjid demolition. The politics and religion linkage is likely to dominate the public discourse as the rules of the game have been altered for ever. Decimation of the Left also signals a fertile ground for religion to take root.

Besides, with the blatant breach of trust (a la Italy), social capital has taken a severe beating. For, when it comes to the State, ethical imperatives acquire multiplied import.  The contrast is accentuated when the name of the Father of the Nation is invoked. Devoid of civility and compassion, governance loses legitimacy.  

Terrifying a harmless crowd in the dead of night in the heart of the capital has turned a legend. Sanjay Gandhi’s Turkman Gate episode easily comes to the mind. Rajiv Gandhi, rather, had played Western Music for Tikait. Sonia Gandhi’s Congress, in a way, has started digging its own grave. [TNM55] 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Dichotomy in yoga

The pursuit of self-perfection can be said to be an attempt at sublimation of solipsistic and narcissistic impulses. This, happily, falls under the desirable or mature rubric of defence mechanisms and, furthermore, the underlying transformative impetus can very well be seen in alignment with an inevitable evolutionary drive. At the individual level, a particular behavioural framework and attitudinal aptitude evolves over a period of time, by conforming to which a certain satisfaction is experienced as regards accomplishment and progress.

But when the same person is bound by specific commitments to institutions or others, the call of duty, obviously, takes precedence and assumes primacy. A free individual can surely maintain restraint in the face of controversies. But, if someone is in the charge of protecting the honour of a particular organization, then he cannot be a silent spectator when aggression is directed. Thus, the spiritual attitude undergoes a dichotomy here, and the imperative of Gita is an apt example of such a scenario.

The empirical occurrences exhibiting a plethora of ethical contradictions and the cacophony of derision gaining decibels with time, the chance of skidding increases.  Collision with law can further be embarrassing and confounding as well. Intellectual conviction acts as an anchor and a compass for navigation during such trying times. Careful study of the works of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo ensures supply of such muscle. Regular reading is no doubt yoga that aspires every day to turn integral. [TNM55]      

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Retell & retail

[Performance artists Hindustan Times Ramachandra Guha June 06, 2011
In the Christian, Buddhist, Jain, and Sufi traditions, there is a close connection between spirituality and solitude. So too in Hinduism, and even, modern Hinduism. Fleeing the colonial police, Aurobindo retreated to the French enclave of Pondicherry where he pursued, more vigorously than it had been possible when he was a revolutionary, the spiritual life. He read, meditated, and wrote. As his search focused further inwards, he gave fewer discourses and met fewer and fewer disciples. …
Solitude and spirituality — the link between them is intimate and indissoluble. In between satyagrahas, Gandhi spent months at a stretch in Sabarmati or Sevagram, thinking, searching, spinning. Ramana and Aurobindo did not leave their ashrams for decades on end.] 

One thing you can't accuse Ramachandra Guha of is mincing his words. ... “I found the views of Vivekananda and Aurobindo archaic and stiff,” was the reply to a variation of the question that he is asked the most about his book.] 

the publication of ramachandra guha's thrilling history of india from 1947 to the present day india after gandhi was one of the highlights of indian literature in 2007. by chandrahas ... middle stage
the mother and sri aurobindo don't ...]

We move on to Aurobindo, who, again, at times propagated ideas uncannily similar to Islam, as in the wish to return to a Golden Age where all was truth and righteousness. Then we come to Vivekananda, to this writer the most ambivalent, and hence most appealing, of the four. Ramachandra Guha The Telegraph Saturday, April 17, 2004
The swadeshi movement was, from a Moderate point of view, a negation of the entire Congress project. As a partisan of the Moderates it gives me great satisfaction that Bengal’s greatest poet, Tagore, got it exactly right and her worst, Aurobindo Ghose, got it perfectly wrong. Mukul Kesavan The Telegraph Sunday, May 29, 2005 10:12 AM]

[Sri Aurobindo’s Opposition Why the Indian establishment resisted him MANGESH V. NADKARNI Indian Express  EDITORIALS & ANALYSIS Thursday, March 21, 2002]

Ramachandra Guha has been extremely shy of Sri Aurobindo during the last 7 years. He is just one specimen of a much larger conspiracy of silence and sabotage against the greatest son of India. Sidelining of Sri Aurobindo and marginalisation of his works is one of the major factors behind sprouting of spurious spirituality in the country and mushrooming of money-spinning babas. Savitri Erans have a huge responsibility at this juncture in the sphere of educating and moulding the public opinion. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have left behind all wherewithals for this purpose. Our task simply is in retailing them and hence let’s tighten our belts. [TNM]   

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Integralism encounters impediments

[Nothing in us may be an impediment Posted at 1:24 PM Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I have crossed out "turned Rishi" because that suggests an old formula of the past, and the future poet should exceed all past formulas. --Sri Aurobindo (5.2.1934, CWSA: LPA.27.218)
+ + +
Saying a mantra of the old gods puts you under the influence and into the orbit of precisely that which resists the new truth... and lead(s) astray those who are not sincere enough to want ONE SINGLE THING: the new world. --Satprem (Mother's Agenda: 4.344)]

The integralism that The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have ushered in cannot be improved upon. From the pre-primary to the Ph. D. level and upwards, they offer a wholesome course for the entire life. It is an erroneous conception, therefore, that a beginner has to receive his initial grounding from other sources. Privileging other streams and systems and too much concern and comparison with multiple Swamis is, obviously, a debilitating exercise. [TNM] 

Friday, June 03, 2011

Sradhhalu’s beard

In the meantime Pandit Nilakantha wrote an article in Oriya about his mustache titled "Mo Nisha", that created a havoc among the conservative Bramhins of the locality. The aggressive conservatives set fire in the school house twice.]

[Amrita - Sri Aurobindo Ashram Nirodbaran (Translated from Bengali original) Home>E-Library>Disciples>Amrita>Birth Centenary>In Memory Of Amrita> Page–75
There is an interesting anecdote regarding his tuft. Sri Aurobindo had deputed a couple of boys to cut off his tuft. Coming from a traditional Brahmin family, Amrita considered it a sin to cut it off. So, he managed to maintain its honour by escaping here and there. One day while he was fast asleep, it was cut off by Nolinida. Along with it the boundaries of his staunch orthodoxy too were destroyed.
But the real benefit of this sacrifice was his liberation from marriage. It seems that Amrita's father was so depressed by this incident that he had to cancel his confirmed marriage proposal. Therefore it has to be concluded that having foreseen the possibility of a terrible tragedy, Sri Aurobindo did his best to get rid of Amrita's tuft.]

Sradhhalu’s beard continues to be the butt of much ridicule. Beards are next to normal in Ashram environs and hence it is intriguing why it turns a red rag for a chosen few. They are perhaps peeved that the beard, undeservedly, imparts an illusory aura of a Guru or a Yogi. If that is the case, then it involves what is signified and not the signifier per se.

More seriously, ensuring unhindered growth and thriving of strands of human hair in public space within a religio-spiritual ecosystem is a collective responsibility, the political dimensions of which echo, not only animal rights but also, survival of several plants producing sundry oils and gels. Therefore, a particular sensitivity in matters material can go a long way in unknotting transrational deadlocks. [TNM]  

Heehs paid a heavy price for confusion of roles

[Playing fast and loose – Pratap Bhanu Mehta Indian Express, Fri, Jun 03 2011 

This confusion of roles is almost everywhere. Parts of the media cannot decide whether they want to be trustworthy institutions of record or tools of partisan, rabble-rousing demagoguery, with editors donning the mantle of revolutionaries. But the short-term gains of this activism will come at the price of long-term credibility. True change will not come from this confusion of roles; it will come from each profession discharging its responsibilities to the best. 6:54 PM

Letters on Himself and the Ashram arrived on Tuesday, perhaps the first post-Heehs CWSA volume. The irritating practice of identifying people as X, Y, or Z, unfortunately, continues. There is no clarification on the policy regarding disclosing names or till when the readers will have to wait.

Being the editor of such a series is perhaps the highest career one can aspire for, and Heehs was able to lap it long back. But, mischief got the better of him when he craved for accolades from University Professors. Consequently, he had to pay a heavy price for this confusion of roles. None of his friends, sadly, could rescue him from his mid-life crisis.

Heehs remains unrepentant and nurtures a confrontationist posture. That might seem to him as heroic resistance, but the probable gains are a speck of dust in comparison to what he has forfeited. Let’s hope he sees light at the end of the tunnel. [TNM]