Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mythology is the issue


[If you think that you and your sympathizers are doing Heehs a disservice by giving him the importance that you are bestowing upon him, you are mistaken. Because it is people like yourself who have made Heehs larger than life. In fact, Heehs seems to occupy some of your lives more than Sri Aurobindo does. Subhas "Subjugating Jugal": Savitri Era at 4:29 PM, July 30, 2011 5:38 PM]

Several passages from Peter reflect nothing but pure personal speculation that has no place in a biography purporting to be an objective record of facts and events. The most striking example of this type concerns his treatment of Sri Aurobindo’s motives in writing the play Vasavadatta. This is just plain silly, so silly that one should not even take offence to it. Sri Aurobindo explored all facets of human nature in his literary creations, and to think that what he wrote must be an echo of his own inner thoughts and feelings is baseless. But again, is it hostile? To say so is simply giving Peter too much ‘credit’, if one may use the word, for his abilities, as this would imply a level of subtle shrewdness that he nowhere shows himself capable of – he wields his pen more like a bludgeon than a scalpel. 
Being foolish and deliberately trying to denigrate Sri Aurobindo are completely different things, and we are doing a disservice to ourselves and the community by mixing them up – this point cannot be repeated enough. Could not Peter simply be trying to be too clever by half, to fulfill his desire to somehow be accepted by mainstream academia, something that has not yet come his way? When this obvious and straightforward option of explaining his excesses is available, why must we overestimate his capacities, his scholarliness, and posit something far-fetched and complicated that just isn’t there? 
Here lies the delicious irony: both the Right and the Left overrate the calibre of Peter Heehs – the difference is one side sees masterly Machiavellian manipulativeness, and the other sheer academic brilliance. The boring reality is that Peter has done a commendable job of gathering information, in many places his account is highly readable and refreshingly objective, but, again ironically, he is guilty of the same shortcoming he himself has seen in hagiographical accounts: in parts he could not resist inserting his own personal opinions amidst the recounting of the events in the life of Sri Aurobindo. And with refinement and subtlety not being his forte, he was always bound to ruffle some feathers. Yet we must not forget that the arguably offending passages are relatively few in number in a book of over 500 pages, and these should not be allowed to colour too strongly our perception of the book as a whole – herein lies the importance of reading at least substantial parts of the book before forming an opinion, because then one sees that the hostility hypothesis put forward by Rightists who quote selectively does not hold water.]

[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. … RK 12:04 AM, November 23, 2010 RK 12:05 AM, November 23, 2010 A.A.D. 8:22 PM, November 25, 2010]

Assuming the author of all these as one, it can easily be argued that the issue is definitely not Heehs (or his removal). Not even whether the book is good or bad or tolerable. The issue, to me, is what happens to the mythology with which I have lived all these years? Should it be allowed to be vandalized by all and sundry? It’s purely a personal perception where other perspectives are not of much help, howsoever considered or valuable they may be. To recall an old ad-line, Why should I compromise? [TNM55]   

Guha is wrong to club all devotees as rooting for ban


[Amrinder Pahuja - thanxx fr such a nice knowledge abt Sri Aurobindo. i was a great follower of his sayings as i studied in the school which was named after him. 10:12 PM]   

Tusar N. Mohapatra - Yeah, the school is a great opportunity. Later on, of course, it’s purely voluntary and takes an effort to follow his words. [TNM55]

Tusar N. Mohapatra - We should be thankful to Ramachandra Guha for bringing the issue of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo to the mainstream media, albeit belatedly. It is a planted piece, no doubt, but if it stimulates debate at a wider level, then something good might emerge from the whole exercise.

Guha has rightly noted, “Heehs is gently skeptical” of Sri Aurobindo; and this, in fact, is the crux of the matter. Where is the safety if such a person is entrusted with the charge of guarding the entire works of the Masters? Moreover, why should a hostile person be accommodated within the Ashram at all?

Guha is wrong to club all devotees as gunning for the biography. Savitri Era Party, for instance, has been consistently demanding publication of the book in India. [TNM55]       

Friday, July 29, 2011

Evolution enlarges our faculties


[Getting to the point Mukul Sharma, ET, 29 Jul 2011
Cosmology, which studies the history and structure of the universe, is considered by many to be the closest science has ever come to religion. It digs deep and delves into contemplations of how and why the universe came into being, where it's headed and what might be the final outcome in the end. …
There are about a hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone and about a hundred billion galaxies altogether. … Religion, on the other hand, believes its faith points in some direction with a purpose.] 

[On the complexity of society and social sciences – here’s my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. by Don Boudreaux. Reality is like that. It's complex. The economy is especially so. ...
The zillions of decisions made daily by the billions of people in today's global economy simply cannot be predicted -- and the detailed consequences of these decisions cannot be predicted -- with the kind of precision that we take for granted in many of the natural sciences.]

Robert Lucas, the Nobel Prize winner, says that ‘for income growth to occur in a society, a large fraction of people must experience changes in the possible lives they imagine for themselves and their children…economic development requires a million mutinies’.] 1:41 PM

Basically, Kant posits a limit beyond which thought cannot go — we cannot know things in themselves. Hegel’s critique of Kant is that, since thought is positing the limit, thought must always already be able to see beyond the limit; for Hegel, the idea of inaccessible things-in-themselves is bogus, because it is our thought that has first posited them *as* inaccessible. This is what Hegel says, and it is repeated time and time again by later Hegelians, e.g. by Zizek.]

When Sri Aurobindo affirms that the unknown is not unknowable, he invokes evolution within the framework of history having the potential to enlarge our faculties. Thus, by the simultaneous process of ascent and descent, the Kantian limit is breached and progressive cross-border integration occurs. The riddle of the universe vanishes once this concurrent dialogue between the finite and the infinite is presupposed. This integral assumption, therefore, is the cornerstone of the unique Sri Aurobindian Ontology. [TNM55] 

Breivik spurs us to remember Eric


One thing we sorely miss in the Auro-blogosphere. Plays of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo are hardly discussed or even referred to. Heehs has made Vasavadatta famous but there are scores of other characters as well. They should have been our pet similes and food for metaphors, but somehow we are all found lacking. Ex-students, who have chewed them for years, perhaps dread to face them again. Elders might be avoiding certain turn of phrase and moments which are purportedly un-yogic. Overall, ignorance and indifference may be the prime reason. Maybe, Breivik spurs us to remember Eric. [TNM55]

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Subjugating Jugal


[Re: Of the sly and insidious Method ... if people hurl bricks at you by RY Deshpande on Wed 24 Mar 2010 04:01 AM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link “ON THIS SITE IN 1897 NOTHING HAPPENED”
This is an interesting roadsign, but read the date as 1993 when the Revised Edition of Savitri was published. It could also be used for the year 2008, the year of publication of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo brought out by the Columbia University Press. ~ RYD]

[Re: Of the sly and insidious Method ... let us get down to the specifics by Sandeep on Wed 31 Mar 2010 05:59 AM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link “arrogant, pompous and self-styled scholars and “visionaries” such as Mr. RYD himself.
It is a weakness of the Indian mind that any emphatic assertion of an opinion is automatically conflated with an inflated Ego. In India, people are raised to be deferential (to elders, to the authorities - and in this case Ashram Trustees) so any attempt to question conventional wisdom inevitably results in some such derisive response from a member of the audience. 
There could be many different reasons, high and low, for disagreeing with someone. On the low side, it could be an inability to restrain oneself from ranting. On the high side, a good poet may be able to perceive defects in a poem which an ordinary reader cannot, just as a civil engineer may quickly isolate defects in building construction which a longtime resident may not even notice. 
“It is rather disheartening to see an elderly member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram behave in such an infantile, immature and even ridiculous manner, particularly publicly.”
Well, at least RYD is "misbehaving" on a blog and not through a biography like Heehs!
Again, the Indian mind automatically understands the importance of institutional allegiance, which the Western mind (and one Westernized Indian) seems to have difficulty accepting.] 

Adversarial politics is bound to be vicious; effective attacks by parties on each other can be an instrument of accountability. But these attacks ought to measure up to the challenges at hand, not exacerbate them.]

Subhas is indignant at our self-promotion, but the blame should lie at the door of Spencer who had diagnosed the survival of the fittest. Strangely, however, he seems to be happy when Heehs is on such a spree, as though the latter holds the sole birthright. Upon successfully subjugating Jugal’s dissenting voice, Heehs has been enjoying as the unchallenged knight for two decades till he ran amuck in 2008. He had the draconian grip over every comma or question mark emanating from the Ashram. Now, understandably, the Net is a pain in his neck. [TNM55]       

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Savitri Era Religion is the right alternative


For India, there are several important lessons. Like's Europe's mainstream right-wing parties, the BJP has condemned the terrorism of the right — but not the thought system which drives it. Its refusal to engage in serious introspection, or even to unequivocally condemn Hindutva violence, has been nothing short of disgraceful. Liberal parties, including the Congress, have been equally evasive in their critique of both Hindutva and Islamist terrorism.
Besieged as India is by multiple fundamentalisms, in the throes of a social crisis that runs far deeper than in Europe, with institutions far weaker, it must reflect carefully on Mr. Brevik's story — or run real risks to its survival.]
[Norway killer's pro-Hindutva rant has Sangh squirming Times of India - NEW DELHI: Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik's ringing endorsement of Hindutva and Hindu nationalists has left saffron leaders embarrassed. ... Norway attacks: Breivik's manifesto quotes pro-Hindutvaideology Daily Bhaskar]

Naïve condemnation of religion is no solution for the grim reality humanity faces at the moment. A new mythology surrounding The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and their direct disciples is already in place. Besides, the rational bulwark available in black and white is their most powerful and convincing contribution. It’s only by popularizing the Savitri Era Religion that an alternative world order based on love and harmony can come into being. [TNM55] 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Speaking of the Inverted Tree

[Tusar N Mohapatra's Profile | SpeakingTree.in
View Tusar N Mohapatra's profile on SpeakingTree.in. You can follow his updates and send him messages. Discover more about Tusar N Mohapatra on India's first spiritual networking site]

The Speaking Tree column in The Times of India, since its inception, has contributed immensely to the collective consciousness of the nation in the apposite direction. A right site for all people of generosity and compassion. [TNM55]

Ethics and aesthetics in Integral Advaitism


Or else, as I prefer — following Whitehead as I understand him — we can invert the order of the Critiques so that the 3rd critique comes first — becoming, as Whitehead put it, a critique of feeling, which makes the other critiques unnecessary — that is to say, aesthetics precedes cognition — we affect and are affected by other things aesthetically before we cognize those other things, and even (or especially) when we cannot cognize them adequately.
We cannot *know* things in themselves, or things apart from their correlation with us; but we can, as Harman rightly suggests, allude to them, i.e. refer to them metaphorically or indirectly. And we can, as well, be aesthetically *moved* by them — indeed, this is the primordial mode of actual contact among entities (and in saying this, I am espousing a Whiteheadian version of SR which differs from Harman’s object-oriented ontology).]

Sri Aurobindo also assigns the locus of ethics and aesthetics in widely differing regions, but significantly, they are united at the source in his unique Integral Advaitism. Shaviro’s “aesthetics precedes cognition” thesis surely seems to be a perceptive portrayal, but conceiving a too rigid distinction between how the two domains reign over us can be a bit dicey. [TNM]     

Friday, July 22, 2011

Greek translated into Latin entails a fall


[On Blanchot and Writing from Per Caritatem by Cynthia R. Nielsen
It can be argued, perhaps, that it was not until Blanchot, who lived at the junction of phenomenology and poststructuralism, and within the milieu of post-World War II French philosophy, that writing finally could be accorded its inherent ethical essence, that the intrinsic ethical nature of writing could be uncovered. Is it simply that thinkers since Plato never fully examined the phenomenality of written language? Perhaps so. Approaching an answer to such a question is beyond the scope of this project.
Nonetheless, we can most likely agree that Heidegger’s work on language began to set the stage for this rather late development that sought to locate ethics within writing. Heidegger’s verdict—“Die Sprache ist das Haus des Seins.” —begins to reveal not only the ethos (ήθος qua dwelling—das Haus—as well as ethics) of language but also—and equally important to Blanchot’s project—the daof Dasein, the thereness of human being which Blanchot, by way of Lévinas, will come to understand as the terrible il y a of non-relational, neutered ontology.
For both Lévinas and Blanchot, language serves as the only escape from neutered being. Lévinas comes to understand, at least initially, dialog and conversation (interpellation) as the site where relational metaphysics (ethics) can occur. We need to remember, however, that for Lévinas, one’s subjectivity is always already riddled with alterity. That is, I cannot (ever) be myself without the (prior and primordial) dispersion of identity across the differential field of otherness.]

 “The Origin of the Work of Art” make the contentious case that this ontological diminution “begins” when concepts central to the ancient Greek understanding of being get translated into Latin without a full experience of what those concepts originally revealed. Hence the obvious appeal for Heidegger of Meyer's suggestive line: “Veiling itself, this [first basin] overflows / Into a second basin's ground”. What remained of these ontological “riches” in the medieval world was then transposed into and reduced further in the modern epoch which, like the fountain's third basin, stands at the furthest remove from its original source.
It thus seems clear that Heidegger included Meyer's poem because he believed it suggestively illuminated the way the history of being unfolds as a history of decline, a “fall” which results from this history's increasing forgetting of the source from which it ultimately springs—the Ur-sprung or “origin” of Heidegger's essay's title—in a word: “Being” (Sein), Heidegger's famous name for the source from which all historical intelligibility originates (by way of the disclosive “naming-into-being” which Heidegger understands as the “poetic” essence of art). Pp. 68-70]

[Nissim Ezekiel, poet of human balance books.google.com Harish Raizada - 1992 - 196 pages - He has no hesitation in describing even P. Lal and Pritish Nandy as poetesters. Ezekiel does not spare even old reputed Indian English poets who had earned wild acclaim both in India and abroad. He is highly critical of Sri Aurobindo ...]

The verdict of renowned people like Nissim Ezekiel and P. Lal on Sri Aurobindo’s poetry is well-known, but we treat them as trash. 20th Century Philosophy, similarly, is the crest jewel of human thought and longing, and hence, overlooking stray critical comments pertaining to it would be more rewarding for young learners. [TNM55] 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Questions to Sri Aurobindo's followers


[From Harish Kumar date 21 July 2011 21:22 subject A Personal Request Hi Tusar, As a follower of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, I would like to address the Aurobindonian Community, which is dedicated to furthering the dreams and aims of Sri Aurobindo. I have certain questions for which I would like answers from His followers. Since you are one of the leading lights of the Aurobindo Movement and have a blog which is objective and is dedicated to the quest for truth, I would like to address the Aurobindonian Community through your forum. I hope you will accede to my request. Love & Regards, Harish Kumar]

From Tusar N. Mohapatra tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 21 July 2011 22:08
If you are interested in my views then I would repeat that the “Third” claim is unacceptable and repulsive. Please disclose your age, occupation, location, contact number, and postal address so that frank exchange of views is possible in future. You may approach Robert or Lori for publishing your “Questions to Aurobindonians” article. [TNM55] 

I do believe they hide secrets


[(title unknown) from enowning - John D. Caputo on Martin Hägglund‘s Radical Atheism, from The Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 11.2.
Badiou‘s use of St. Paul, whom he interprets in terms of the truth-making event, while dismissing the actual content this event (the resurrected Christ) provides a more recent example. This leads to the question of which came first, the religious form of life or the philosopheme, the ontology or the "unavowed" theology. It was considerations of just this sort that led Derrida to speak of a religion without the doctrines and dogmas of religion, and this lay behind his musings on the relative priority of the messianic and the concrete messianisms or the "unavowed theologemes" that lay behind philosophy.]

[Style « Larval Subjects 25 Apr 2008 – Hopefully I have enough “cred” to inveigh against “difficult books” (I am, after all, mired in the work of figures such as Deleuze, Lacan, Hegel, etc., who are the worst of the worst), but I have increasingly found myself suspicious of the “difficult work”. On the one hand, I read texts in the sciences that express extremely complex ideas in very basic prose. Somehow I’m just unwilling to concede that what Hegel is trying to talk about is any more difficult or complex than what the biologist, complexity theory, economic social theorist, ecologist, or quantum physicist is attempting to articulate. This leads to my concern. I wonder if terribly dense styles such as we find in figures like Deleuze, Lacan, Hegel, Derrida, etc., etc., etc., aren’t a form of intellectual terrorism. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not referring to the quality of their concepts or arguments.What I am referring to is a general writing strategy that demands so much work on the part of the reader in the art of interpretation, that by the time you’ve managed to make heads or tails of what Lacan is arguing or Hegel is seeking to articulate or Deleuze is seeking to theorize, you have so much invested that you simply cannot think critically about that figure. 

Does this mean I cease to read such figures or reject them out of hand? No. I do believe they hide secrets. … I’ve spent my fair amount of time defensively defending the writing style of figures such as Lacan, Derrida, Heidegger, Deleuze, etc., etc., etc. What I realize is that what I was defending was not their style but the value of their concepts and arguments despite their style.]

I too had heard Derrida in New Delhi in 1997 without understanding a word of his lecture, but I won’t blame him for that. The memory of meeting him, however, is now a cherished treasure. [TNM55 - Re: Integral Leadership by Anurag Banerjee Thu 21 Jul 2011 Permanent Link]

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heidegger is trying to put us back into the texture of lived-experience

[(title unknown) from enowning In-der-Blog-sein - The Chasm on the poetry in the work of art.
It should be understood that Heidegger is trying, again, to put us back into the texture of lived-experience where we experience the work itself. As such, to say that art sets into motion the work of truth indicates the work has something to say, some meaning relevant to our participation with it, yet it does not arise solely from us like some noncognitivism. Instead, the art work creates meaning. Thus, we can understand why poetry is chosen. In poetry, there is no structure, no set or established rules to communicate or convey its message. Often, poetry is short, concise and plays at the boundaries of what we think the structure of language could be, and it still achieves to produce meaning. In producing meaning, the work also preserves the truth it set into motion.]

The problem is rather accentuated as we feel battered by the spasmodic Heehs imbroglio. But to let that cloud our perspective for ever won’t mean depriving ourselves the opportunity to “Wade through the brook and tramp through the snow?” [TNM55 - Re: Integral Leadership by Anurag Banerjee Wed 20 Jul 2011 Permanent Link]

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No confusion in unmediated experience

[Chairman's Speak AVS Presidency International College 
India has been fortunate in being the nurturing ground of some preeminent educators of the stature of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Rabindranath Tagore, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Jiddu Krishnamurthy and others.
The multi-racial and multi-cultural composition of our polity has always encouraged liberal thinking and a pragmatic outlook towards intellectual development. Empowerment through education has been inherent in all our systems of governance and we have always tried to learn and assimilate the progressive features of other civilizations and societies from across the world.]

[A life immortal Daily Pioneer July 18, 2011 Sugata Bose talks to Shana Maria Verghis about the biography of his great-uncle Subhash Chandra Bose, the warrior leader, who had many sensitive spots and explains the rumours around his death
Bose later got briefly inspired by Aurobindo Ghosh's activism and left the Indian Civil Service to dedicate himself to India's liberation. His formative influences in later years were prison and exile. And his religion and politics did not mix.]

But then, Sarawgi was a banyan tree of a different nature, one that nourished and sustained life, institutions and talent under his shade. The president of All-India Marwari Federation, Chotanagpur Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Lions Club of Ranchi, Ranchi Sanjeet Parishad, Ranchi Citizen Forum, Rajasthan Chetna Mandal, Sri Chnadumall Jain Bal Mandir, Sri Aurobindo Society, Yuvak Sangh, Ranchi Junior Chamber and RLSM Jain Vidyalaya, he was the life trustee of Marwari Siksha Trust, Ratanlal Jain Charitable Trust and Hanuman Sarawgi Charitable Trust.] 

I’m not very well versed in matters esoteric, but by definition, harbouring confusion should be out of question for “unmediated experience” (to me, a theoretical construct), I suppose. [TNM55 - Re: Integral Leadership by Anurag Banerjee Permanent Link]

Monday, July 18, 2011

They are dear to us especially for this nearness

[Unconditional love Times of India, Jul 18, 2011, Dada J P Vaswani defines the relationship between guru and disciple.  
The Mother from Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, had a clear vision of her guru and she set out in search of him. You don't have to choose. The choice lies with God. A disciple is the one who believes, for whom his guru is everything.]

The contribution of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo to the 20th Century theory and practice is complex and wide ranging. Hence it is befitting that diverse layers of their influence would be studied with appropriate academic rigour and diligence through varied lenses catering to multiple interests. Their being the Divine and Supreme Gurus doesn’t invalidate the elaborate human action that they have performed so compassionately. They are dear to us especially for this nearness which conceals the greatest appeal and within the overarching safety of which we may well stare at them form whichever angle we feel like. [TNM55 - Comment Re: Integral Leadership by Anurag Banerjee Permanent Link]

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Social effectiveness and life-satisfaction

[Re: Four movements of consciousness "devindersingh" devgulati@..., dgulhati Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:24 am
In his exhaustive work, The Problem of aryan Origins: an Indian point of view, (second enlarged edition, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 1992), (the late) KD Sethna presents his thesis countering the popular view of history. Presented below are excerpts from Pradip Bhattacharya's article High Adventure In Historiography in  the commemorative volume brought out in November 1994 on the occassion of his ninetieth birtday "Amal Kiran Poet And Critc"  edited by Nirodbaran and R.Y. Deshpande.]

The latter may be a surprise to those who have been brought up on the virtues of “ego-strength”, but there is convincing scientific evidence that the detachment furthered by yoga and meditation actually does lead to greater social effectiveness and life-satisfaction. An anecdotal but almost certainly historical support for this comes, besides, in the form of the life of the Buddha, a living example of selflessness, and yet, one of the most influential individuals who ever lived.]

As no modern examples have been cited, attributing “scientific evidence” to a multi-layered myth like “the life of the Buddha” seems like quicksand. [TNM55]  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Smith’s butcher is no longer a lone agent of pastoral vintage

One of the basic rules of investment is: Let your money work for you. Thus Adam Smith’s the butcher, the brewer, & the baker are no longer lone agents of pastoral vintage but rather are multiple actors representing various asset classes of their diversified portfolios. This has contributed immensely to the complexity of modern economy as the normal human sentiments like greed and fear are not the predominant drivers.

Voluntary simplicity, similarly, exerts an unusual influence upon the life of a nation when practiced on a large scale. Thanks to our modern religious teachers, austerity per se has ceased to be seen as a virtue. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo's unequivocal stand on money and economy is a distinct manifesto for the future world to follow. Savitri Era Party endeavours to disabuse people of discredited economic ideas. [TNM55] 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Being an empty vessel

Subhas didn’t relish the Conversations of the Dead analogy, so let’s try Kargil where Pakistani infiltrators had occupied high altitude vantage points to the great disadvantage of the Indian Army combating from below. Subhas, similarly, has a clear line-of-sight advantage here, while I grapple with his many avatars such as Subbu et al in darkness.

Recalling the Zen master’s counsel, I don’t take his parting dig of being an empty vessel as a pejorative. But Subhas must reveal what are the things he is stuffed with. What is his past record and what has been his role during the Heehs imbroglio? Otherwise, a murderer can as well pose as a saint in his anonymous comments. Why Subhas is unable to understand this simple methodological anomaly is quite perplexing. [TNM55]    

Mistrust permeates the Ashram fraternity

We hope that all the Savitri drafts, particularly in Sri Aurobindo’s hand, are absolutely safe. We also hope that there is no tampering done with them. ~ RYD]

Subhas insists that everything is hunky-dory in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry while we suspect hanky-panky. The comment above is testimony to the mistrust that permeates the Ashram fraternity and how those at the helms have abdicated all obligations of accountability and transparency. “Dignified silence” is proving to be the antithesis of “the universal laws of decent behaviour.”

We can ill afford, at this juncture, to leave things to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and sit tight. Now is the time for unified collective action and mobilizing public opinion. [TNM55] 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wrestling with a ghost is a bewildering proposition

Sri Aurobindo has liberally used imaginary dialogues in prose as well as poetry in his inimitable style.  Sri Aurobindo: A Dream Dialogue with Children by Nirodbaran & Freedom and Future—an Imaginary Dialogue with Sri Aurobindo by Daniel Albuquerque come to the mind in this context.

Wrestling with a ghost is a bewildering proposition and Subhas’ invitation for spinning imaginary dialogues with an imaginary character is undoubtedly an unenviable situation. At any rate, it is gratifying to learn that our quantum of muck is woefully insufficient to move the mandarins and hence we multiply our decibel level. [TNM] 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Heehs’ hounds rue that they don’t control the Internet

Heehs’ hounds rue that they don’t control the Internet. Having ruled the Sri Aurobindo Ashram by proxy and with wile for long, they are infuriated over the bad press they get regularly. Stoutly defending Das Gupta, itself, generates suspicion, and they do it so shamelessly that one feels pity for their bonded labourer status. Just because the majority of the devotees have no means to bother about the Ashram’s malfunctioning, it is erroneous to assume that none would. [TNM55] 

Follow the path laid out by Sri Aurobindo

[Hanuman Temple in Ashram | Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir Nepal
Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir is building a beautiful Hanuman temple which shall house a magnificent statue of Lord Hanuman.]

One who truly follows the path laid out by Sri Aurobindo, as soon as he begins to have the experience of this path, would find it impossible to reduce his consciousness to the cult of any god or goddess whatever.

Those who still believe in gods can certainly continue to worship them if they feel like it - but they must know that this creed and this worship has nothing to do with the teaching of Sri Aurobindo and no connection whatever with the Supramental Realization.
–The Mother]

Something atrocious is being perpetrated by the Sri Aurobindo Society newsletter. Religious festivals and the Deities are being given ...]

27 Sep 2006 – Tusar Mohapatra has published on 27-09-2006 a small but important article under the caption "Manibhai's Razor” in his Blog "Savitri Era". ...]

Savitri Era Religion discourages worship of idols of other religions and celebrating festivals related to them. The more we follow this in letter and spirit, the more will be the clarity for the members of future generations. [TNM55]  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Manoj Das Gupta must go

Subhas wants debate and asks specific questions, but is unwilling to disclose his identity and antecedents. This is an unfair game into which no sane person would prefer to enter. At places, he sounds like a spokesman of the Ashram and uses specious logic to defend his stand. And obviously, none would buy that.

To say that the Ashram belongs to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is to say nothing. Various demands repeated over and over again on behalf of the Savitri Era Party are loud and clear. The tenure of the trustees needs to be fixed and Manoj Das Gupta must make way for others on account of overage and overservice. What has happened in the case of Satyam and Sathya Sai Ashram must be prevented at all costs. [TNM]

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ashram's silence might lead to scams

[Subhas said, July 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm
Secondly, to the best of my knowledge, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram is known for its un-intrusive attitude and approach and does not interfere with the doings of others, … But do you expect a spiritual institution such as the Ashram to stoop so low and even indulge in such futile bickering or try to make statements that resemble the press releases of motivated political parties?
Understandably, whether individuals such as Srimati Shyam Kumari or Mr. Peter Heehs or Mr. Nandhivarman feel the need to express their opinions, beliefs, findings and analysis of their work – whether obtained by more or less scholarly means – appears to be of little concern to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.]

Subhas claims an exalted status for the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and justifies its silence. But, the same “spiritual institution” files reams of refutations in various courts from time to time the contents of which never come to the notice of the inmates and devotees. Pushing dirt under the carpet is certainly not good for the health of the Ashram, and all stakeholders need to be more vigilant and not mere supplicants. [TNM55] 

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Subhas’ Achilles’ heel

“The Lives of Sri Aurobindo” authored by an inmate of the Ashram, one Mr. Peter Heehs which evoked mixed responses from the various members of the Ashram.]

Heehs’ hounds are proliferating so fast that their number might soon surpass Homer’s characters. The comment above is, undeniably, well written and well argued, but just one superfluous word, “one” preceding “Mr.” mars the whole persuasion.    

The fact of the matter is that Peter Heehs was not just “one” but “the” Chief of the Archives and “the” Editor of CWSA. Thus, equating him with Shyam Kumari amounts to deceptive twisting of recent history in order to justify and rationalize the hostile biography written by him. QED: Subhas’ ploy flounders. [TNM55]