Monday, December 31, 2012

Purity and prosperity

The tag, “a realised person” has a great value in India. The person is understood to be acting directly under the light of his Self or Spirit and hence is revered by those who come under his influence. The message travels by word of mouth and followers grow through various crowd gathering methods. Such entrepreneurship is an ancient art which has been perfected by incorporating latest communication technologies. Conveniences of hospitality industry and healing retreats are common now responding to the growing prosperity.

Charitable institutions in sectors like health, education, and ecology are the next step with full scale corporate governance. What Bankim Chandra conceived in Anandamath has undergone modifications beyond recognition. Purity prescribed by The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, therefore, should be our perpetual endeavour. [TNM55] 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A case for Integral Education

Religion is a collective affair with a liberal sprinkling of festivals. Celebrations, obviously, are happy and colourful occasions the visual aspect of which is amply exploited by TV media. The effect of such reinforced endorsement upon the young generation is enormous and, therefore, we observe an enhanced scale of religious and related activity in the society today. How to confront this trend with more cerebral inputs like the teaching of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is an exceedingly challenging task.

Integral Yoga, with its emphasis on personal effort for transformation of human nature is an acute need among the people now. Simultaneous reliance on the Divine force coupled with an ethical anchorage in day-to-day dealings that is voluntarily applied through an inner discipline can form the basis of an enduring reservoir of social capital in the country. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, fortunately, have left behind the entire range of wherewithal for accomplishing such a national resurgence.

Undue dependence upon our past, however, retards any headway in this path. Overlooking the riches from the West, likewise, impoverishes the march. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have painstakingly built a bridge between the two by harnessing whatever is valuable and can be helpful. The need of the hour is to respect their joint wisdom and rely upon their synthetic selection. Inculcating an intellectual milieu to contemplate upon such necessities of life – individually as well as at the collective level – is also of primary importance. Otherwise, we perpetually tend to drift directionless along a-furore-a-day inflicted by the TRP-hungry TV screens. [TNM55]  

Savitri Era entering the tent

Mike is right. “Just put up some pictures of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in your house” and that’s the first ritual. But wait! Reverse the order; place The Mother’s photograph on the left and that’s the second ritual. Now the magic begins as they ease out all other idols like the proverbial camel. Call it Savitri Era or whatever; this is the scenario Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy sanctified as our fledgling Religion. He refused to look at what The Mother said or Sri Aurobindo wrote and valorized the faith of the follower, his incipient forms of practice and their autonomy occurring at the margin. Triumph of postmodernism!

Georges van Vrekhem “spoke about Sri Aurobindo and The Mother as the Two-in-One, the double-poled Avatar of the Supermind.” His books selling worldwide form a forceful foundation for the new Religion.  In his paper titled, “Sri Aurobindo and Hinduism Peter Heehs snaps the umbilical cord with clinical precision, thus facilitating the birth of a new Religion. M. Alan Kazlev’s clarion call to accept the impetus of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo as central focus of the so-called Integral movement further cemented it on the global stage. Although, disregarding such robust theoretical and factual justifications is not easy for anyone now, the resistance of the older generation is likely to persist for a decade or so.

The fierce Secular-Communal debate in India is a superb springboard for Savitri Era Religion for showcasing its advantages as a potent alternative. Dwelling on the mythology surrounding the pantheon of iconic philosophers of Western thought supplies a brilliant narrative that, as well, constitutes a smart and subversive strategy to circumvent the compulsion or impulsive need to fall back upon Judeo-Christian antecedents. Leveraging Sri Aurobindian Ontology, thus, can disabuse people of bigotry and fanaticism. [TNM55]

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Heehs can easily say to err is human

“The intersection of religion and nationalism remains an unresolved issue,” wrote Mohanty in Sri Aurobindo: A Contemporary Reader (Rutledge: 2008 & Rimina’s first assignment) and within a few months all hell broke loose via Heehs imbroglio. Observing the drama unfold over a period of five years leaves one with the impression that Heehs’ original gripe remains unchanged except for the fact that he, himself, is now a confirmed perpetrator of “prejudice and misunderstanding against Sri Aurobindo.” What a fall!

Last month, I stumbled upon Indian Religions: A Historical Reader of Spiritual Expression and Experience in the Sahitya Akademi Library and got it issued. Browsing through the heavy tome leisurely at home evoked the feeling of how its author has really gone through the grind. And yet, the irony of he being charged as an atheist or anti-national! But his enigmatic “dignified silence” is partly to blame, perhaps. [TNM55]

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sri Aurobindo advocates a religious ethos for nationalism

Tweets 23 Dec - @satyamevajayate Reciting Savitri and reading The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo is perhaps the best means for spreading sanity and harmony.  View conversation
23 Dec - Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty May the youth of my country follow the words of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo instead of chasing quick-fix solutions in Rajpath and India Gate. 23 Dec Those who are fueling anarchy in the name of securing instant justice through direct democracy are enemies of national interest and harmony 23 Dec The alacrity with which some national level players jump regularly to fish in troubled waters without thought sends shivers down the spine. 23 Dec - @raj393 No instant solutions barring invoking the teaching of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. Halting moral degeneration is a long-term process. 23 Dec - @raj393 Mere security and secularism is not enough for inculcating character. Sri Aurobindo has advocated a religious ethos for nationalism.  View conversation
20 Dec From now on as the search for a new iDom begins, the idiom of Indian politics goes for a toss. Religion and its pseudo version under scanner. 13 Dec [International Research Network on Religion and Democracy presents an international conference ‘Are We Postsecular?’ 13–14 Dec. 2012 at LSR] 10 Dec - @OUPAcademic @philosophybites "Matter, the usual philosophical pariah, is spiritual, and has been treated with due respect" by Sri Aurobindo.  View conversation
5 Dec Neither Ambedkar nor Savarkar, Sri Aurobindo is the true beacon of light for guiding the future of India and the world in the 21st Century. 1 Dec - @SathyaSher @alok_bhatt @kshetragnya Read Sri Aurobindo's Human Cycle and all theoretical confusion will melt away. Ignorance is no glory.  View conversation
29 Nov Give must not spur any give and take ... For to know how to wait is a heroic trait. …
28 Nov The philosophy of Sri Aurobindo has not been accepted on a wide scale till now, but then no other philosophy has been universally accepted. 28 Nov "गो is cow or cattle, no problems there" surmises @bibekdebroy, but no, then what is Goloka or Gaveshana? Sri Aurobindo comes to the rescue. 28 Nov What is the meaning of life? The simple answer is LIFE. L = Light, I = Immortality, F = Freedom, E = Ecstasy or Bliss. …
28 Nov A confluence of myth, history & philosophy, Savitri, like Suez Canal, ensues unhindered East-West commerce of culture. …
28 Nov Admirers of Swami Vivekananda are legion but only a minuscule of them has read the works of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. …
26 Nov - @saliltripathi With a slight modification of course, with Sri Aurobindo and his 1947 Five Dreams as the pivot. @sabhlok -  View conversation

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Greek philosophy is no freak

He does not realise the difference between a historical movement like ancient Greek philosophy (which exists only in textbooks) and the varied Indian ‘darshanas’ which are still practised, because he is cut off from any living tradition except secular science.]

Considering the current agitations against corruption and crime against women, we Indians certainly can’t claim any superior status of practising ‘darshanas’ or deprecating Western philosophy. Heehs imbroglio shouldn't be a pretext to spread prejudice against academics and critical reason. [TNM55]

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Joke, dogma, and nostalgia

[Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Savitri Era Religious Fraternity": Posted to Savitri Era at 12:41 AM, December 15, 2012 Is this a joke?
“. . . I do not care a button … publicity for its own sake desirable." Sri Aurobindo

The aforesaid quotation is a candid expression by Sri Aurobindo as assessed during his own time. It’s certainly no joke but no dogma either. Considering the volatile political situation of the subcontinent which continues to simmer over religious issues since Sri Aurobindo left, current attitudes need to be moulded along pragmatic lines sans any clinging to nostalgia. Not by faceless recitation of the Master’s words but by grappling with the reality now that we can become better instruments of The Mother. [TNM55] [Cf. 7:27 PM]

Monday, December 10, 2012

Value, valence, convenience

[The Memory Bank » The Book The two great memory banks are language and money. Exchange of meanings through language and of objects through money are now converging in a single network of communication, the internet. We must learn how to use this digital revolution to advance the human conversation about a better world. Our political task is to make a world society fit for all humanity… As for our times, the following trio capture something of what I have aimed for in this book: Castells’s The Rise of the Network Society, Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern and Gregory’s Savage Money.]

[Stability and Change by larvalsubjects Dec 10, 2012
Philosophy scarcely has concepts of work and energy due to its idealist tendencies. For philosophy it is always a question of the intelligible, the conceptual, the ideaspirit. Philosophy is largely blind to work and energy because of the relative class position of philosophers. They seldom encounter the issue of building something, maintaining something, coordinating an organization, etc. They thus tend to separate form and matter, treating form (the idea/concept/essence) is the really real, ignoring the energy or work that goes into maintaining a form. As is always the case, there are exceptions to this rule: Leibniz, Nietzsche, Marx, Bergson, Deleuze, etc. But philosophy is nonetheless largely blind to the material work, the energy, required for form. It dreams of a world that is nothing but thought and that can be grasped in a glance by thought.]

[Philosophy East & West - Volume 5 - Page 244 - Project Muse - 1955 - Nonetheless, on the purely theoretical level, Aurobindo made a monumental attempt to bring together Eastern and Western political ideas. Ultimately, all political philosophers involve an element of faith. To a pure materialist, Plato and St. Darshana international - Volume 31 - Page 30 - 1991 - S K. Maitra", matter, which is the usual philosophical pariah, is spiritual, and has. therefore, been treated with due respect, Evolution is a spiritual movement from bottom upwards, the raising of the lower to the higher level. Aurobindo thus thinks...]

The freedom Life had in her own native region is curbed with the entry of mind. In that freedom there could exist extreme possibilities, of the denial of the material world or else the refusal of the ideal-spiritual. All became geometric, well-organized, systematized, as if there was everywhere a digital precision. Things had to be got done following regulations and protocols. Sort of Victorian restrictions governed moods and manners. Life, a young maiden, had to observe fixed etiquettes and social customs. The impetuosity, the vibrancy, the unbridled passion had no place in this world.]

I was putting forth a more nuanced understanding of the topic based on interactions with many people.]

The moral, ethical and spiritual principles originate on a different plane than material substance, and thus, we must be able to eventually identify with and understand the native level of action of the energies operative on these other planes, in order to create a clear sense of the laws that are operative there.]

The dual sense of meaning as well as money conveyed by the term Arth (that sounds so similar as Earth) is verily a pregnant facet since the significance stretches onto Sat-Chit-Ananda. While bracketing Rtam (rhythm or order) with the moral or ethical may not be always free of problems, still an overarching Harmony handling all impetuosity is easily appreciated. Thus, value can as well denote valence ensuing convenience. [TNM55]        

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Economic paradigm of Sri Aurobindo Ashram needs scrutiny

All said and done, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry today represents a lived reality that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Bankim’s Anandamath and the concept of Anushilan through Bhawani Mandir and Prabartak Sangha along with The Mother’s Idea took a concrete shape forsaking the world-negating doctrines of the past. The material basis that The Mother established then has been the bedrock over the years for the lofty ideal of Sri Aurobindo to survive as a possibility. But whether The Ashram has been able to take advantage of the changes during the four decades after The Mother is hugely debatable.

Call it a cult, religion, or spirituality, the Community, indisputably, is an economic reality. There is no escape from consumption as there is no escape from the waves at the sea beach or the sunrise. Further, it’s also true that the consumption profile follows a pattern and thus constitutes a paradigm which has a chance of being perceived as prescriptive. Integral Yoga, by itself, lacks firmness in formulation and avoids rigid characterization. Given the puerile predicament of the Parliament over FDI last week, it’s expected that The Ashram doesn’t remain as a showpiece of discredited manifestoes of the last Century. [TNM55]       

Friday, December 07, 2012

Heilsgeschichte, Enantiodromia, and End of history

Nothing in this world enjoys unmixed bliss. For Continental fare there is Analytic Philosophy and for Correlationism, there is Speculative Realism and OOO. For Capitalism, Socialism is the constant companion and for neo-Darwinism and Evolution there is Intelligent design (ID). As the last landmark date of the Century 12-12-12 is knocking at the door, it really seems like it’s end of history.

Everything has been written, sung, or captured on celluloid. From Armada to World Wars and 9/11, everything has happened. What remains is perhaps only parody and repetition. Nothing has been settled either in theory or in science. The heart cries out, “Why is it all, the labour and the din, … Where leads the march, whither the pilgrimage?” Nevertheless, (55m Savitri Era Party ‏@SavitriEraParty) I learnt about two new words today: Heilsgeschichte & Enantiodromia. … [TNM55] 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Savitri Era Religious Fraternity

It appears that I am the only one so far in favour of Savitri Era Religion. While one faction accuses the other to have created a religion out of the teaching of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and they sheepishly deny the charge, I have been appealing in the open to accept the reality of a new religion and move on. Many have marshaled copious quotations from the writings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo against religion, whereas I have offered ample justifications from time to time on various grounds. It’s understandable that a matter of such grave concern will not be resolved so easily but it’d be in order to elaborate upon my views on this contentious topic.

Not only I consider myself fortunate to have been instrumental in advancing this new orientation, but also am confident that my life’s unique journey has ensured this which, obviously, no one else has traversed and hence is incapable of articulating. By the same logic, without undergoing those particular quests and confronting those exact contradictions, others are less likely to be convinced by the rationale I propose. Needless to mention that these perceptions I draw from postmodernism which – and this needs to be mentioned prominently – has thrown enormous clarity into my comprehension of the writings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo.

Be that as it may, the singular concern that runs through all my expositions is perhaps the practical aspect. Without the burden of an academician’s attentiveness towards textual fidelity or an institution-head’s instinctive sticking to legality, I have been able to spread a viewpoint that is in sync with today’s reality. Regular blogging and combing the net has also enabled me to test those ideas as bounced against a wide range of opinions and speculations. Heehs imbroglio unearthing sordid facts through washing of dirty linen in public has also imparted much maturity to my thinking. The prism of politics, besides, adds perspective to my support for a new religion.

If we look at the world situation in general and the condition of India in particular, it becomes apparent that disdain for poetry and philosophy is on the rise whereas Sri Aurobindo had chosen these genres precisely to deliver his message. So, those of us believe that his thought must reach people in a wider scale watch helplessly how inadequate is the functioning of existing institutions. Thus, setting up an effective mechanism for dissemination of their teachings becomes an urgent task. (The example of Anna Hazare acquiring rapid popularity is an eye opener, in this context). There can be no dispute with the fact that only a new religion can offer a secure institutional framework for such a venture. Thus, building a suitable brand for easy and swift recall is a basic necessity. Besides, harnessing technology for tackling linguistic and cultural barriers is a challenging duty.

There is no gainsaying the fact that we are drawn to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo through our religious sentiments. But the members of this fraternity are so small in number and lay scattered that nothing visible can be spotted. Neglect by the media coupled with ignoring by the academia makes The Mother & Sri Aurobindo almost unknown. As a result, young admirers fail to muster courage to pursue their interest for long and, eventually, defect to more glamorous arena. A political bulwark, therefore, is an essential aid to effective brand building. A religious-political ecosystem also provides the young with a salutary initial firm ground instead of the prospect of encountering skepticism head on.                    

Most political parties in India run on feudal lines with quasi-religious reverence displayed by the followers. Suitable mythologies are also propagated through round the year events and celebrations. The teachings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo also need publicity. If Sri Aurobindo himself had consented for a radio broadcast on August 14, 1947, then there is no reason why we don’t tap all communication avenues to diffuse his message. Those who concentrate on personal Yoga and sadhana may continue to do so but should not discourage this collective aspect of the Masters’ vision and its on-ground execution. Likewise, Ashramites, too, need not be concerned with what happens beyond their secure domains. [TNM55]   

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Founding a new religion is not an easy task

Their recent posts imply that Levi and Harman are no longer as confident about OOO as they were a year ago. RSS has come in for scathing attack even from faithfuls for its functioning as a secret society. AAP seems clueless about its future and no clarity has emerged on policy front. Leftist rhetoric is tottering under the weight of clinging to false hopes but is surviving through polysyllables.

RC is right in catching discrepancies in The Mother's utterances, but he must understand the balancing act she had to perform in the face of multi-pronged resistances. Founding a new religion is not an easy task and sugarcoating the cruel truth is always permitted. The choice is either to have faith or move away but whining all the while and creating nuisance perennially doesn't behove of a person who values diversity. His academic interrogations, however, are welcome. [TNM55]

No online evaluation of experiences

Again, when I pointed out to him how some seekers, not all of them disciples of Sri Aurobindo, had profound spiritual experiences while reading the book, he struggled his shoulders disdainfully with a “may be”… Truth cannot be ascertained by democratic opinion and feeling.  Just because many or even a majority of humanity has a similar feeling does not necessarily mean that it is true. For in our present condition of human evolution only a few can feel or perceive the deeper truth… If truth can be known by democratic feeling, then there is no need of philosophy, science or spirituality and great thinkers, scientists or sages.  A ballot-box is enough to know the truth!]

[Mimicry, mockery or mumukṣutva? A response to Deepak Sarma, by Jeffery D. Long from Love of All Wisdom I have my white Hindu convert experience.  Sarma has his diasporic Hindu experience. Are one of these experiences authentic and the other somehow fraudulent?  Or are they both simply different experiences and expressions of an ancient, diverse, yet emerging and ever new, religious tradition? 9:52 AM]

[“The metaphysical order of the invisible hand” Chris Allsobrook 29 November, 2012 Thought Leader (Mail & Guardian), South Africa HERE. There is no invisible hand guiding the market; just the grubby hands of individuals engaged in transactions. Moreover, the “market”, like “society”, is not a category into which each member identically fits. Offending Markets or the Gods? from Adam Smith's Lost Legacy]  

[R November 14, 2012 Permalink But if one speaks of an immanent experience of Divinity why limit the experience to yogis? Doesn’t everyone have experiences of things sublime or beautiful that are incomprehensible? – and I dont mean just the experience of artist or poets – R+ November 16, 2012 Permalink I certainly do not question the magnitude of experience you have personally had, it was obviously profound and in fact perhaps I have had the same experience myself. But, … my point is not that some people may or may not have had any particular experience including a “spiritual” one but rather, the fact that the very act of labeling the spontaneous experience as “spiritual” is itself an act of faith, namely faith in a signifier to describe what is real.
In this instance one has faith that the culturally or systematically determined signifier “spiritual” in fact signifies ones personal experience. The process entails one matching up ones subjective experience (signified) with its objective social definition (signifier). In this instance the signifier is spirituality. But spirituality has in fact meant many different things to many different cultures and systems of beliefs and so the process of signification as relates to spirituality is a complex one…
I am voicing the concern that for the purposes of intersubjective communication, for achieving understanding within a civitas or polity constituted by a population with a multiplicity of beliefs that intersubjective comprehension has to be anchored in a system in which truth claims can be measured by evidence… But some valuations of standards of competing truths claims are needed for that matter even within a particular community such as a community of sadhaks – as evidenced in the Ashram, where conclusions are reached about text without even reading them- here too there maybe a multiplicity of competing interpretations as to what the spiritual life means.] 

[1h - inpondy ‏@PondyTweets - @Back2Vedas Don't know if it offends him. (Does anything?) But standing rule for disciples was abstain from petty politics. 1h If you don't consider yourself one it doesn't matter. Don't know why it struck me today. Btw I am apolitical and dnt care abt it.]

[Difference between religion and spirituality by Sandeep on January 24, 2010 The spiritual approach to such confusions is to neither believe nor disbelieve the problematic assertions in question but to lay them on the side for later resolution… Truth has to be rediscovered. Until then, everything one reads and receives is second-hand knowledge.]  

Srinivasan, on the one hand, is basing his argument on the experiences of ‘some seekers’ while denouncing the ‘ballot-box’ principle, on the other. Besides, how he authenticates the veracity of others’ experiences – ‘profound’ or otherwise – is also not clear. So, RC’s sympathetic skepticism – to give devil the due – constitutes a more valid benchmark in the circumstances. But how all the Heehs’ hounds so uniformly accede to Das Gupta’s divine right to rule for ever is something beyond comprehension. Even the pre-Glorious Revolution era four centuries back never saw such wholesale mechanical reproduction of acquiescence. The forthcoming 12-12-12 is a landmark date for him to resign, by the way. [TNM55]  

A nice introduction but the object of purging or removal of defects and weaknesses seems to be too reductionistic. The right word, therefore, is Transformation and if the Fifth Chapter of “The Mother” is any guide, a progressive self-offering accomplishes the job acting affirmatively within a constant ontological awareness (of Grace). [TNM55]

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Auroville is sinking into paranoia of insecurity and aloofness

[Guest Post by C.I. Aki: When the Color of Black is Invisible from Per Caritatem by Cynthia R. Nielsen (In his post, Aki gives us a taste of his latest film, The Runner, in which he takes up and translates into the medium of film everything from Homi Bhabha’s discussions on the  “ideology of sight” to Toni Morrison’s insights on the metaphor of race in Playing in the Dark to Graham Ward’s musings on difference.)
One subtext that emerges in the film is our cultural indifference to difference… But for now, it is important again for us to recognize that we do have a narrative of difference in our culture, and we must overcome our cowardice, our selfishness, our squareness, our bigotry, and our insulation to be heroic humans, to effect a heroic human race. This is what we must do; this is what we can do. Who are you running for? 23m Re-election of Barack Obama offers real hope that we will one day live in a post-racial America.]

[Mimicry, mockery or mumukṣutva? A response to Deepak Sarma, by Jeffery D. Long from Love of All Wisdom by Amod Lele (Jeffery Long, a professor of religion and Asian studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, sent me this response after I had written my own piece on the topic. I disagree with a few of Jeff’s ideas, most notably the free employment of the term “Hindu”, but some disagreement is always to be expected among philosophers and humanists.)
The first thing a respondent to Deepak Sarma’s essay, “White Hindu Converts: Mimicry or Mockery?”, needs to do is acknowledge the essential core of experiential truth and the genuine pain at its heart.  Racism against brown-skinned persons is real and pervasive in North America…  Is colonialism a deeply problematic part of the history of how Hindu thought and practice became available to people like myself?  Certainly…
Perhaps what Sarma is really saying is that there is a sacred quality to the experiences of diasporic Hindus that cannot be replicated by white converts, and that he feels offended by what he sees as our attempts at such replication: such mimicry that is really mockery.
What I am saying is that I am not seeking to mimic, much less mock, anyone.  I have my white Hindu convert experience.  Sarma has his diasporic Hindu experience.  Are one of these experiences authentic and the other somehow fraudulent?  Or are they both simply different experiences and expressions of an ancient, diverse, yet emerging and ever new, religious tradition?  I opt for the second of these choices, perhaps for reasons of which I am unaware, but which Sarma can perceive with his hermeneutics of suspicion.  I affirm the sacred character of his experiences and my own.  And I do not apologize for opting for universalism over tribalism, and an affirmation of all our experiences.]

[Oof! Bengali Chauvinism! from Orissa Matters by Saswat Pattanayak - Jul 25, 2012 Hazra is not naive when it comes to understanding racism. After all, he empathizes with Karan Johar’s victimization when it comes to the racist institution that bestows Academy Awards in America. But he is abominably proud of his own Bengali racism…
While Hazra makes a case for “long-pending ethnic-, religious- and gender-based biases being reversed” in this century, he misses the mark in his own racist overtones. And that is a tragedy. HINDUSTAN TIMES HAS BECOME A SANCTUARY OF SCOUNDRELS from Orissa Matters by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak - Aug 10, 2012 “Clarification” of Hindustan Times on the obnoxious “opinion piece” it had published on 24th July under the caption “Oof! Rashtropoti Bhobon!”, makes one suspect that it has become a sanctuary of scoundrels… Criminal vitriol against the Oriyas, sic passim in Hazra’s article, has been authenticated by Hindustan Times]

One has to admire Kejriwal for the boldness of aspiration if not anything else. He is seeking to offer a substantial alternative to both the principal national parties while doing so by transcending regional, caste and identity politics… Also for the first time we had an issue that did not have to appeal to language, religion, caste or region to draw participation… The birth of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party gives us that hope.]

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, in their role in history, stand for human unity. Philosophically, too, they uphold it as the ontological goal via the mechanism of evolution. But when we look around, nothing gives us any assurance of this objective materializing. Rather, overdose of romanticizing the marginalized has given rise to crystallizing of diversity and encouraging further fragmentation. Academic and artistic antidotes would surely continue to play out in the polite domain but the hard reality in the rough outside world is unjust and cruel.

The Ashram itself is grappling with the Heehs imbroglio which is an offshoot of racial polarization. Appointment of an Odia trustee is being resisted tooth and nail. Auroville too is sinking into paranoia of insecurity and aloofness. Deft and bold handling of issues is the need of the hour but what we witness is pusillanimity and ostricharade. Acute political problems must not be pushed under the carpet under the pretext of spirituality. [TNM55]          

Saturday, November 24, 2012

AAP deserves all support and goodwill

Tweets 1h - Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty Not appreciating Sri Aurobindo yet is a cause of India's misery. AAP must offer intellectual leadership and not discredited Leftist ideology. 1h Karnad batted for lyrics recently and a play is more about dialogues. AAP must get down to Policy or it'd be Too many cooks spoil the broth. 1h - @indinova @mihirssharma Neither Ayodhya nor Nalanda, Pondicherry shows the way for the future through Sri Aurobindo's #5Dreams #SiddhiDay  View conversation 1h Muted response to AAP on Twitter is understandable. Ground has slipped from under many a feet and most are crestfallen. #SiddhiDay#5Dreams 2h The circuitous route that AAP has traversed before taking birth today is a masterstroke considering how perplexed Congress, BJP & Left were. 2h Thanks to AAP, there is a space now in the national politics to breathe freely beyond dynasties and dystopian fossils. #SiddhiDay#5Dreams 3h So Hisar was no misadventure. With AAP becoming a reality, connecting the dots is easier now. "Mayhem in Meham" too once made Haryana famous. 3h - @rajeerajan Many faces of Indian Democracy: Of the Bharatiya Lok Dal, By the Janata Party, For the Aam Aadmi Party. #SiddhiDay Sri Aurobindo  View conversation 7h What better opportunity than to have an inhouse psephologist for founding AAP who is also an ace theorist and stickler for ethics #SiddhiDay 7h Equally fascinating is AAP's tryst with theatre. All techniques of Asmita were adopted to change the political theatre of India.#SiddhiDay 7h AAP took birth through the midwifery of the old-, new-, and paid-media. Truly a 21st Century party that has tamed technology. #SiddhiDay 7h Machiavelli is the first political thinker to effectively separate politics from religion - by Greg Nyquist: … #SiddhiDay 8h Sri Aurobindo drew on Neoplatonism, Hegelianism, and Bergson … Yoga Vashishtha and Kashmir Shaivism … 8h Knowing the complexities of Indian political scene, it's premature to expect firm policy grooves hewed by AAP. #SiddhiDay of Sri Aurobindo. 8h AAP deserves all support and goodwill as it occupies the crucial non-Congress, non-BJP space as an alternative with a national perspective. 8h Many faces of Indian Democracy: Of the Bharatiya Lok Dal, By the Janata Party, For the Aam Aadmi Party. #SiddhiDay Sri Aurobindo's 5-Dreams. 23h - Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty - #SiddhiDay of Sri Aurobindo. Greetings.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Best Wishes to Kejriwal

Tweets 16mSavitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty Our last hope & prayer 12 hours before founding of@ArvindKejriwal7's New Party & First NC meeting: Sri Aurobindo's Five Dreams #SiddhiDay 40m - @ArvindKejriwal7 It's hoped that Sri Aurobindo's ideals finds a mention in New Party's guiding principles tomorrow. Best Wishes. #SiddhiDay  View conversation 1h - @kirankhurana Good sign as 24 November is celebrated as Sri Aurobindo’s #SiddhiDay all over the world. View conversation
5h Yoga is quest for Truth, Good, and Beauty and conquest over Death. Sri Aurobindo synthesizes the sacred and the secular …
5h Sri Aurobindo gives a collective element to spiritual quest. (24 November is celebrated as Sri Aurobindo’s Siddhi Day) …
16h The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have enjoined upon the people of India & persons of Indian origin to carry their message to all corners of world.
17h The Mother & Sri Aurobindo secured a synthesis of two world cultures aimed towards a mankind of light and might, of concord and sublimity.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo infuse a thought revolution

Tweets 1h - Savitri Era Party @SavitriEraParty The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have inaugurated a new epoch to break free from the shackles of the past and its prohibitions. #SiddhiDay Victory 1h Freedom of thought & intelligence not only fosters Democracy & Markets but also fights superstition & propels emancipatory social practices. 1h The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have a vision for India that embodies Knowledge, Power, Harmony, and Perfection and is worthy of true Leadership. 1h Tailor made careers & doctored aptitude profiles are civilisational hazards the repercussions of which are toxic for the nation. #SiddhiDay 2h Apart from self-management insights, The Mother & Sri Aurobindo infuse a thought revolution in consonance with evolution of consciousness. 2h The Mother & Sri Aurobindo offer the best opportunity to confront our ignorant views and anomalous theoretical undergirdings that we harbour. 2h The Mother & Sri Aurobindo unveil an integral perspective transcending narrow parochial barriers and naive nationalism. Darshan Day on 24th. 2h Calling upon Engineers to allow The Mother & Sri Aurobindo to re-engineer their lives' priorities so that their full potential blossoms. 3h Darshan Day on 24th. May young Indians mobilise motivation to discover The Mother & Sri Aurobindo for transforming their lives and the world. 20 Nov Kejriwal's new party too runs the risk of becoming 'another Hindu Mahasabha or another Congress.' Only Sri Aurobindo gives a new direction. 20 Nov Kasab brings to mind how the Congress ignored Sri Aurobindo's fervent appeal for accepting the Cripps' Proposal in 1942 leading to Partition. 20 Nov On November 24, 1926 Sri Aurobindo had attained Siddhi of realising Overmind truth. Thousands of letters written thereafter is worth reading. 20 Nov It's Sri Aurobindo who uncovers Indian wisdom in its purity and heralds it's world-conquering mission as part of evolution of consciousness. 20 Nov Sir Stafford Cripps immediately replied by a telegram. Sri Aurobindo also appealed to C. Rajgopalachari to “save India …
20 Nov Battle the forces of casteism, illiberalism, and injustice … Seas inlaid with eloquent gentle wires … 19 Nov International conference Are We Postsecular? Contesting Religion & Politics in Comparative Contexts 13–14 December 2012 … 19 Nov Lady Shri Ram College for Women & International Research Network on Religion and Democracy - International conference: ‘Are We Postsecular?’ 18 Nov Sri Aurobindo is still a marginal figure in academia … Sri Aurobindo is neglected as literary critic … 17 Nov McTaggart, Nussbaum, Adorno, Levinas, Laruelle, Heidegger, Wilber, The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. SELF Help Favourites: …
16 Nov - @iac007 @MovementIAC Time to bring Sri Aurobindo to the front & be guided by his 1947 Five-Dreams broadcast. @sabhlok  -  View conversation 15 Nov [Sri Aurobindo's work is untouchable in terms of comprehensiveness. He commands an incredible breadth of knowledge.-BP] …

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blogs are forever

For a couple of years, Blogs were a rage and hence followed multi-pronged flurry at sabotage. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and sundry social media and networking ventures cropped up to compete. Most mainstream publications also renamed their features as Blogs. The individual voice was drowned amid the surfeit of sites mechanically reproducing news and sales props. However, the utility of Blogs will ensure their longevity albeit with dwindled popularity.   

Another threat is disproportionate flood of videos and photographs which devalue the reading material. Overemphasizing graphics and designing too seduces the eyes elsewhere. Modified version for mobiles or tablets robs the Blogs of their unique charm and some outreach arms. Country-based URL is a prelude to restricted circulation and diminished distribution. But the lure of freedom and free publishing will continue to draw new entrants to etch their speech for future generations. [TNM55]   

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Integral Yoga is no uniform potion

When it comes to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and Integral Yoga, one feels like Condoleezza Rice remarking “The fact of the matter is I've been black all my life. Nobody needs to tell me how to be black.[125]” Like Socrates’ "examined life,” The Mother’s stress on avoiding the misery of an “aimless life” is perhaps the most basic rule for an aspirant. For a major stretch in life, however, many mistake earning livelihood for the aim although the profession provides the opportunity for flowering of talent, nurturing creativity, and moulding of subjectivity. The resultant individuality, identity, and social mobility, however, do exert a mesmerizing effect whereby the chance of coming face to face with choosing an aim or confronting one’s own real self head on is always deferred. Drawing satisfaction from some substitute as compensation is, of course, forced by subsistence compulsions.

Traditional canons of conduct conveniently contain predominantly direct correspondence between ethical life and action and liberation. But non-linear Integral Yoga Ontology and its spiral evolution paradigm is more prone to post-modernist rapprochement with tentativeness, contingency, and uncertainty of interpretation. This is no logic to condone misconduct (for, the elephant is Brahman and so is the mahut) but the paramountcy of context is never emphasized more elsewhere. The tenet, All life is Yoga, therefore, assumes unprecedented significance against this backdrop. Like the Shatadala or a Sahasra-bahu (called Saas-bahu erroneously in colloquial fashion) temple, the interdependence, interconnection, and economy within a collectivity is thrown into sharp relief. Integral Yoga, thus, is no uniform potion; but rather an arena for experimenting with life along the known tracks and with notions yet unpracticed. [TNM55] 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Aging can take a toll on yogic practice

From a very early age, McTaggart had what he took to be mystical experiences. These experiences presented the world as being fundamentally unified by the relation of love. Reality as it appeared to him in these experiences consisted fundamentally of immaterial spirits who stand in the relation of love to one another. These experiences provided him with great comfort, but he believed that the fact that he had them did not provide others with a reason to believe in the unity he took them to reveal.[13] Philosophical argument was needed to supply others with a reason. Copyright © 2009 - 9:16 PM]

[Indian religions: a historical reader of spiritual expression and ... - Page 24 - Peter Heehs - 2002 - Preview - If it is true that mystical experience is the source of mystical knowledge, the most decisive way to verify mystical truth-claims is by means of mystical experience. No doubt the experiences of a Buddha or Nanak or Aurobindo are not in the reach ...]

But spirituality has in fact meant many different things to many different cultures and systems of beliefs and so the process of signification as relates to spirituality is a complex one… I am voicing the concern that for the purposes of intersubjective communication, for achieving understanding within a civitas or polity constituted by a population with a multiplicity of beliefs that intersubjective comprehension has to be anchored in a system in which truth claims can be measured by evidence. 8:21 AM]

[Robert E. Wilkinson - 7:01 PM, August 13, 2009 What is most revealing is Tusar’s desire to get away from all formulation, mythic or otherwise which allows him to believe whatever fantasy he likes without the inconvenience of having to deal with proof of his claims and the facts that support them. He does so by putting them “up there” on the Transcendent heights beyond the reach and explanation of mortal man. This is a perfect example of how devotees with no yogic experience and realization attempt to turn this epochal spiritual work into a Religion. What remains are un-provable pronouncements about Sri Aurobindo and the Mother solely derived from Tusar’s subjective devotional fervor. His hopes are pinned on the ‘years to come’ and any fellow disillusioned Aurobindonians who might rally to his flag.]

the atmosphere of chronic boredom, indulgence in frivolous pleasures and slovenliness that characterize conventional living is not conducive to any effort to raise one’s consciousness. The depletion of vital energy and the buildup of subconscious blockages due to aging can also take a toll on yogic practice.]

Sociological interrogation of the legacy of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is definitely an urgency. 1914, 1926, 1956, and 1968 have engendered a plethora of prescriptions with conflicting and confusing signals that are surely burdensome for any individual. Further, surviving institutions are certainly not in the shape that the Masters would have liked them to be for piloting a predominantly collective yoga. And hence, any lifestyle paradigm receiving tacit endorsement may be suspect. One safe guiding principle, however, is that the past and its methods can never be the final touchstone for the pathways of the future. [TNM55] 

Friday, November 16, 2012

What Heehs has not written

[Tweets 13 Nov - Nitin Pai ‏@acorn What's the best, non-hagiographic account of Aurobindo's life?
13 Nov - Monika Halan ‏@monikahalan Banned by some vested interests in India, but here may be the book you are looking for: … @acorn    View summary]

Heehs has made the word “hagiography” famous through his debut in national TV. So, the general assumption is that what is “non-hagiographic” is true, or at least, rational and credible. And if the writer happens to hail from the West, then he must be the most astute and exact while the rest have “vested interests.”

In four long years, we don’t find even four persons among the civil society to have read the book to judge it independently. Writing a review and committing oneself to a distinct view, of course, requires motivation as well as courage. But even then, many are likely to miss the bone of contention that it’s all about what Heehs has not explicitly written in the book. [TNM55]