Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Counting has begun

[Book row: case registered post-scuffle from A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs by General Editor - The Hindu Puducherry, February 29, 2012 Dilip Dutta,  Chandi Prasad Parida] [Actions speak louder than words: political demonstration at Ashram ... by auroleaks - The demonstrators are attempting to oust the Trustees of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Over 100 outside protesters were bussed in from Orissa, and the escalating stridency of the demonstration ended in the elderly Trustees being accosted]

Heehs imbroglio surfaced in 2008 and the conflagration is lately spreading in leaps and bounds. Leading intellectuals spearhead the campaigns on both the sides but have proved to be ineffectual in convincing the other faction. Judiciary, as usual, is in no hurry, and so, the political route has assumed significance. Counting has begun and it will intensify in the days to come. Savitri Era Party, understandably, is happy about this outcome. Let political actions be conducted in a transparent manner and not clandestinely as spiritual endeavour. [TNM55]

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ladder plus Magnet

[better to establish and lay down the facts before engaging in unending debates… But in case there is any information that is to the contrary, you or others are invited to present it here]

Being the host, it’s your privilege to be dismissive or patronizing, but we are dealing with opinions only – be it legal or journalistic, yours or mine – in the absence of self-evident facts. You perhaps prefer “Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s words and actions” as frozen, whereas Paranjape captures the mutation theresince, thus encapsulating the contemporary reality. It is pragmatic therefore, instead of living in a fool’s paradise with symptoms of selective amnesia, we start from square one and seek transformation courtesy the magnet. [TNM55]

When you say that they “are free to do so” it includes the freedom to “make up stories” as well as “to put their words in the mouths of” others. In fact, these are the basic ingredients of all religious mythologies that are recited as revealed texts. As regards imposition, likewise, conversion attempts are as old as the oceans. So, apparently no incongruity here. [TNM55]

Saturday, February 25, 2012

An evening with Manoj Das

Someone asked what is Supramental, and so, its elucidation and the whole background of his turning to Sri Aurobindo and joining the Ashram filled the Constitution Club with a divine atmosphere for a while last evening in the course of a felicitation ceremony for Manoj Das. May he carry The Mother's message forward to more and more people who are yet to hear of her. [TNM55]

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Torpedoing the Hindu Code

[First Full English Translation of One of India's Great Texts from permanent black Hindu Widow Marriage, A Complete Translation with an Introduction and Critical Notes by Brian A. Hatcher  
It makes available to every modern student, for the first time, one of the profoundest classics of India's social reform and gender discourse… Vidyasagar’s strategy involved a rereading of Hindu scripture alongside an emotional plea on behalf of the widow, resulting in the reimagining of Hindu law and custom. He made his case through a two-part publication, Hindu Widow Marriage, a tour de force of logic, erudition, and humanitarian rhetoric.]

[Religion-neutral marriage certificates, why didn't we have them before? from Communalism Watch by c-info From: The Times of India Religion-neutral marriage certificates likely PTI | Feb 21, 2012 NEW DELHI:
The government is working on a proposal to provide religion-neutral marriage certificates to people following demands by minority groups, including Sikhs, who are shown as Hindus in official documents. … The present system of issuing religion-based certificates will continue. According to ministry officials, making registration of marriages religion neutral would also help couples who face social and community pressures for having married according to their wishes.]

['जज साहब! घोषित कीजिए मेरी कोई जाति-धर्म नहीं' Dainik Bhaskar, Feb 21, 2012]

A court in Maharashtra has declined to declare the appellant as without caste or religion. So, religion-neutral marriage certificates will be a boon for all minorities including the Savitri Erans. [TNM55] 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Muslim votes are crucial

[From: Dilip Kumar Roy sbicitizen 20 February 2012
There is the double-speak of the secularists that seeks to feel itself superior to the rest of the hoi-polloi by finding fault with Hindutva, but stays silent on Muslim fundamentalism. Or they construct false equivalence - equating the Hindutva and Islamic fundamentalism. It is this tribe that does the most damage]

One sounds sagely by accusing someone advocating simple solutions for complex problems. But, come elections, all options converge in voting (and canvassing) for a particular candidate. A decisive verdict might elude, and 20 crore people of UP may not elect their Chief Minister by a simple majority, but then that is the real face of Indian democracy. Muslim votes are crucial for winning elections, and hence, all kinds of angling for it are performed in the garb of sympathizing the religion. Besides, state-wise status varies which complicates the matter further. [TNM55]

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lip-service is the most potent technique

[Introduction (DW) | Auro Truths While lip-service is given to the ideology, it is in reality given a back seat as their personal preferences take over, determine and drive all their actions.]

M.P. Pandit wrote that mechanical repetition of Name may not be fruitful, but Babaji Maharaj (Ramakrishna Das) rationalized that Japa, even if performed mechanically, has a power and an effect. Till his last breath he used to urge his correspondents, through his oblique calligraphic lines on Post Cards, this simple and straight message to surrender at the feet of The Mother like a small child and repeat her name.

So, ideology or no-ideology, lip-service is the most potent technique for the Savitri Erans to take a leap towards the future. [TNM55] Savitri Era: Being an empty vessel 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yoga of integrating Varna categories

[These are all very fine as high spiritual ideals, one might counter, but as long as we remain stuck in our limited human consciousness, tethered to our mental and vital existence, what are we to do about the gross injustices and the destruction of our planet? Are we to sit quietly and meditate while our fellow human beings are abused and the world is destroyed? This is the difficult dilemma in which we find ourselves, and we feel that we must act. Spiritual activist has a double task Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Passivity And Integral Yoga, Larry Seidlitz, Sraddha-Feb'12]

Just as counseling for spiritual living should take into account the age and location of a person, quality or temperament, too, should form a primary parameter. As one grows from one Varna category to another and strives for integration between the same, there are obvious difficulties like alleged trivialization or profanation. Permitting division of labour and specialized skills, therefore, should be the norm instead of promoting puritanistic criticism. [TNM55]

Monday, February 13, 2012

Teleology and Yoga

[more Žižek on Heidegger from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek (Graham Harman) - Badiou and Žižek will unashamedly tell you how great Heidegger is, and yet still leave us somewhat in the dark as to the nature of their debt to him.]

[Thill - February 6th, 2012 on 7:17 pm - He may have borrowed this notion from Aurobindo (I think Wilber has not acknowledged the full extent of Aurobindo’s influence on his writings).]

Sri Aurobindo, himself, borrowed from diverse sources and his vast intellectual canvas, without doubt, is a grand narrative. The overall ontological perspective is supra-rational, and so, the reader and his puny intellect matters little. But, towards the end of a page-long paragraph the Master might surprise by telling him either about his appointed role or incorrigibility and insignificance. His opposition to traditional interpretations is quite forceful at places, but deriving a clear picture eludes as he is dealing with multiple texts.

His metaphysical system, however, can be correlated to various past religions, but by anchoring eternity to history and evolution he pulls off a philosophical breakthrough. Whether such a teleological framework needs the leg of Yoga for its fruition may be debatable, but the way technology is embracing artificial intelligence, the levers of human volition are definitely going to influence far more areas than at present in an increasing fashion. Many might dub it as ultra-Materialism or club it with the tentacles of Capitalism, but to insist on mythological examples of supernatural feats might prove as acute anachronism. [TNM55]

Assemblages score over assembly

Canons of spiritual practice flatten space and time and this is a severe methodological error. The notion of Call, of course, is irrespective of age and irreverent of locale, but such non-concern plays spoiler for firm theoretical formulations. The allusion to symphony surely emphasizes the unique role of the individual but, simultaneously, also underscores his dispensability. So, claiming exceptionalism for a particular event or a prominent personality is fraught with serious uncertainty.

The why of history, therefore, though entertaining owing to its dramatic tension and suspense, can’t be a safe guide for future unfoldings. Temperamental assemblages, through thought revolutions, can cause more momentous realignments in the world today than assembly of amorphous crowds in sundry city squares.

The identification of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, in their physical life, to an Ashram of moderate size and their concern for its well-being constitutes a minor facet of their world-vision. Whole of their action was never on the surface then for all to see, and correspondingly, no clue to their intentions at present can be claimed exclusively by certain trustworthies. [TNM55]        

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Mother and music

The Mother playing piano and the genre of music inspired by it has not achieved the popularity it deserves. Fusion music has become a rage since then and India has become a melting pot. But to adhere to the desirable level of music as prescribed by The Mother is not an easy task, especially when the lyrics tend to chase TRP. The chasm between the Southern and the Northern, and the Western and the Eastern seems to be unbridgeable, but the possibility of scores going viral in a matter of hours can’t be dismissed. [TNM55] [TNM55]

Name of the Father and Face of the Other

[A weekly journal of Christian liberalism and socialism titled The New Age was published as early as 1894;[12] it was sold to a group of socialist writers headed by Alfred Richard Orage and Holbrook Jackson in 1907. Contributors included H. G. WellsGeorge Bernard Shaw, and William Butler Yeats; the magazine became a forum for politicsliterature, and the arts.[13][14] 
Between 1908 and 1914, it was instrumental in pioneering the British avant-garde from Vorticism to Imagism. Orage met P. D. Ouspensky, a follower of Gurdjieff, in 1914 and began correspondence with Harry Houdini; he became less interested in literature and art with an increased focus on mysticism and other spiritual topics; the magazine was sold in 1921. According to Brown UniversityThe New Age "... helped to shape modernism in literature and the arts from 1907 to 1922."[15] - New Age - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

[Integral (spirituality) - The adjective integral was first used in a spiritual context by Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950) from 1914 onward to describe his own spiritual teachings, which he referred to as Purna (Skt: "Full") Yoga. It appeared in The Synthesis of Yoga, a book that first published in serial form in the journal Arya and was revised several times since.[18] Sri Aurobindo's work has been described as Integral Vedanta, and psychology,[19][20] as well as the Integral Psychology (the term coined by Indra Sen) and Psychotherapy that emerges from it.[21] His writings influenced others who used the term "integral" in more philosophical or psychological contexts.
As described by Sri Aurobindo and his co-worker The Mother (1878–1973), this spiritual teaching involves an integral divine transformation of the entire being, rather than the liberation of only a single faculty such as the intellect or the emotions or the body… Important themes include: EvolutionInvolution, the Integral psychologyIntegral yoga, and the Supramental principle. Major works include: The Life DivineThe Synthesis of Yoga, and Savitri.]

A gap of a Century and even the arrival of Internet has not facilitated any real progress as far as ontology is concerned. All talk of intuition and mysticism will remain mired in skepticism unless and until Matter reveals the Spirit’s face quite tangibly. Achieving order and harmony in human organizations is perhaps the primary step in that direction. [TNM55]

Das Gupta should lay down office

[Congress shouldn't discount Robert Vadra's political ambitions Economic Times - 12 FEB, 2012, SRUTHIJITH KK - Forty is a good age for a man to start thinking seriously about his place in the world. It's around this time that executives quit to do their own thing, movie stars turn directors (in India they mostly launch production houses), journalists attempt books and IAS officers apply for central deputation. For most people, it's among the last ports that afford a major course correction.]

Manoj Das Gupta also should understand this basic fact and lay down office voluntarily. Trampling upon young hope, dream, and dynamism is a most reprehensible disservice. [TNM55]

Friday, February 10, 2012

Danton, Dickens, and Dostoevsky

[Auroville Press - Danton and the French revolution In his studies of human evolution, Sri Aurobindo gave a special importance to the French Revolution as one of those rare moments when the Spirit seems to move directly masses of humanity. And for him, the role of Danton in those events was crucial: “There are times when a single personality gathers up the temperament of an epoch or a movement and by simply existing ensures its fulfilment. It would be difficult to lay down the precise services which made the existence of Danton necessary for the success of the Revolution. There are certain things he did, and no man else could have done, which compelled destiny; there are certain things he said which made France mad with resolution and courage. These words, these doings ring through the ages.” Rs.215.00, 128 pages]

[writing advice from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek (Graham Harman) If you feel like you have nothing original to say, remember the following point from Alphonso Lingis: “Go outside on a starry night and get a sense for the vastness of the universe. And realize that your fingerprint is enough to make you unique out of all that universe. And then think about how much more complicated your brain is than your fingerprint. Your brain is wired to do something that nothing else in the universe can do. And if you don’t do it, it’s not going to get done.”]

[From the satirical Onion magazine New Biography Reveals Einstein Devised Theory Of Relativity On Paper Because He Wasn't Smart Enough To Invent Microsoft Word PRINCETON, NJ—A new biography by science historian Tanya Medel has rocked the physics world with the revelation that theoretical physicist Albert Einstein wasn't smart enough to invent Microsoft Word and use it to devise his theory of relativity.]

[Ralph Fiennes Will Star As Charles Dickens In 'The Invisible Woman ... Tuesday, February 7th, marked the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, and as a result, the author is one of the hottest properties around at the moment. Among the many Dickens related projects in the works, the coming year ...]

[Dostoyevsky from Marginal Revolution by Tyler Cowen
Brothers Karamazov spent seven or so years as my favorite book, starting in high school.  I’m not suggesting it is juvenile, only that I find it hard to go back and enjoy things at lower levels than I did before (I also don’t like to eat in still-good but declining restaurants).  I no longer find Notes from Underground interesting, as I regard its questions as a dead end.]

Hunger for fiction waned after high school, and hence, no luck with Dickens or Dostoevsky. But repeated reading of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Odia then, I suppose, compensates to a great extent. [TNM55]

Women are more afraid

There are three reasons. First, an excessive concern about one's security. Next, what one does not know always gives an uneasy feeling which is translated in the consciousness by fear. And above all, one doesn't have the habit of a spontaneous trust in the Divine Continue reading ]

hi folks Have been following the animated discussion on religion in a desultory fashion and my take (quite unsolicited!!) is, is there nothing else we can ... by Neeta Bhargava Yes, I fully agree. There are so many other topics to discuss / debate. We should stay clear of such controversial / personal issues. Re: [sbicitizen] Re: Fw: [GHHF] Christian Students attend Lecture on from sbicitizen at Yahoo! Groups by Desh D Kapoor
Neeta amd Mythili: That is precisely the problem with the Indian citizenry today. They want Govinda style Bollywood trash. Anything that makes people think]

Though politically incorrect, it is perhaps true that women are more afraid of courting controversies than men in general. [TNM55]

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Outgrow poverty-oriented politics

[Not to be Left behind Editorials, Hindustan Times - February 07, 2012
Think global, act global seems to the CPI(M)'s new motto, a variation on the old think global, act local… Of course, the Karatian vision is based on opposing casteism, communalism, gender-based exploitation, and taking into account tribal, regional and ethnic issues as well as the struggle against neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the government. When it comes to simplicity of purpose and language, you really have to hand it to the lads in the CPI(M). We admire people who are consistent.]    

[Medha Patkar for "one family, one elected rep" formula  Hindustan Times - February 09, 2012
Deprecating rise of political dynasties, activist Medha Patkar today suggested the "one family, one elected representative" cap in politics.]

There is no gainsaying the fact (echoing Nikhil Chakravarty) that the Left has some of our most honest politicians. They can’t be faulted for honesty of purpose also. But compulsions of international affairs skew their domestic policies, and as a result, they have not been able to outgrow the poverty-oriented politics. Caste and religion are their Achilles heel, an honest appraisal of which can definitely provide them some headway. [TNM55]

Galaxy and fallacy

[Nature's Plans? Dear Devinder, I am not sure that Nature has a plan. Where do we find a plan that nature has? Would like you to educate me on that. Regards, Viswa RE: [sbicitizen] Nature's Plans? Dear Nilanjan, Nature simply has no goals about anything… I hope we will do more due diligence rather than simply claim that nature has plans. Regards, Viswa]

[Re: Nature's Plans? Viswa's question cannot be indubitably answered by pointing to Sri Aurobindo's remarks on the matter.  Such a response is no different than asking someone to read the Bible or Koran and believing in whatever is written there!
One would have to have first-hand experience of a greater reality in order to decipher if Nature has a plan, and that is only possible when one has advanced beyond a certain level in Yoga. For the rest, it should be a hypothesis which is provisionally accepted –Sandeep Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother]

[Religion and Philosophy: Thinking, Feeling, and Willing the Absolute Posted by Matthew David Segall on February 7, 2012 Footnotes to Plato “Philosophy is the intellectual search for the fundamental truth of things; religion is the attempt to make the truth dynamic in the soul of man.” -Sri Aurobindo
Levi Bryant’s recent post complicates this picture: …the choice of philosophy over religion…cannot be completed by demonstrating that philosophy is the “rational” choice over religion, nor that the claims of religion are inadequate as descriptions of reality. Rather, philosophy only surmounts religion in completing its project of thinking being…]

[The Web Site for Critical Realism | Epistemic and Ontic Fallacies The epistemic fallacy first projects the external world onto a subjective phenomenal map, then the ontic fallacy projects the phenomenal entities of that subjective map back out on the world as objective sense data, of which we have direct perceptual knowledge. So reality independent of thought is first subjectified, then the subjectified elements are objectified to explain and justify our knowledge.]

I am not sure that Nature has a plan. The first part of this statement relates to epistemology and the second to ontology, thus turning it a sitting duck for Roy Bhaskar’s famous fallacies. Besides, both Husserl and Gödel also would agree on the absurdity of such a demand. Finally, Sri Aurobindo’s Logic of the Infinite and Exclusive Concentration come to the rescue, but reading The Life Divine takes about a year. [TNM55]

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Savitri Era Religion releases from vacillation

[One can have Multiple Religions - by Choice - by Dilip Kumar Roy Jan 10, 2012 11:55 AM, How about this one - one can adhere to multiple religions, if that synchronises well within your consciousness? I am a Hindu by birth … What is my religion? - a Job Application Form asked me 20 years back.]

[A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs: Prof. Kamal Das's Response to Ramchandra GuhaDilip Kumar Roy - Jan 9, 2012 04:10 PM1:02 PM I am an ordinary devotee, … I claim no rights, I have no vote, no authority. For the Ashram, I am a 'visitor'… Pranams at the Mother's Feet, Dilip Kumar Roy]

[Re: [sbicitizen] Re: The Poetry of Sri Aurobindo I think we could form a smaller group within this discussion group who would be focussed on discussing Sri Aurobindo's works and his yoga. Dilip Kumar Roy Feb 6, 2012 11:55 AM]

India has one Constitution but multiple civil codes. This makes declaring one’s religion a legal prerequisite for each citizen. Religion, thus, is not merely a matter of heart or inner consciousness but a hard fact of social existence (with political implications). Multiple religions is, therefore, an oxymoron.

Legality apart, religion is more or less like monogamy straying outside the boundary of which is promiscuous. Conversion rituals conform to the divorce and remarriage analogy. Further, flattening of all sources of inspiration seems neither objective nor honest. Confusing cultural aspects as the core of religion is another naïveté.

Savitri Era Religion releases one from this life long vacillation. One can boldly dedicate himself to the brass tacks without worrying about the social pressures of camouflaging the secret love. These are the compulsions of floating this new Religion, and not any personal ambition. No ascetic renunciation either of political dividends that accrue in due course. [TNM55] 

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Lele, then and now

While I think Hegel was more methodologically sophisticated than Wilber, there is a lot missing from Hegel’s synthesis. Science, especially, has changed a lot, making Hegel’s philosophy of nature difficult to accept; so too, Hegel’s thought has no room for the shining achievement of the 20th century, namely feminism and the liberation of women. And while Hegel at least attempted to include Asian philosophies in his synthesis, in a way that few had before, they were stuck at the earliest and lowest level of his philosophy, making Hegel “strong with respect to time and weak with respect to space”. All of these vast gaps in Hegel’s thought – science, feminism, Asian philosophy – Wilber has tried hard to give a central place in his thought. His attempted synthesis is the widest one I know of – Wilber gives us some vision of what a unified synthesis now could look like.]

[Wilber-and-Aurobindo-on-intelligent-design T.R. Raghunath, a professor in Nevada, gave an interesting talk at the SACP conference explaining Aurobindo Ghose’s theory of the development of consciousness. Feb 6, 2012 08:38 AM]

[Sri Sri Ravi Shankar sri-sris-sutras-on-ego & other-side-ego]

Like Hegel, Sri Aurobindo’s insights have travelled far and wide. Many of his concepts have become so common that no one bothers to notice the original source or credit him. That The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, jointly, have inaugurated the Integral perspective is an indisputable fact. No theoretical formulation can surpass that either on ontological grounds or in their practical translation. Our effort to make them “interesting, constructive and convincing,” however, must continue. [TNM55]   

Monday, February 06, 2012

Reblogging and parasitic SELF Group Blogs

[Blogs from within the Integral Yoga community Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. - Family of blogs by Tusar N Mohapatra. I won't give all of them, there are two many, but if you go to the first one, Savitri Era Learning Forum (or SELF for short), which was started in 2005, you can follow the links to the others. Posts a huge amount of material, often totally unsorted, of anything that appears on the Web that is in any way related to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, usually with editorial comment in the headings only. Adopts a religious devotee approach. M Alan Kazlev]

[Robert E. Wilkinson Aug 13, 2009 06:31 AM This is a classic example of someone taking their own unfounded hagiographic inflation to extremes. 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. Update - August 2009]

I believe in the future and in every word of the Five Dreams delineated by Sri Aurobindo. Thanks to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo I feel liberated from all past religions and their tangled mythologies. Yes, I admit, that’s a great convenience. Born in a free country, I have the right to believe in my own beliefs, and no one need be troubled for that. TNM]

[PLEASE do not refer to any of the blogs maintained by Tusar Mohapatra as "the Aurobindo site". With his many cross-linked parasitic blogs, this character has achieved an altogether undeserved prominence among Google searches for "Aurobindo". (It's the same technique by which porn site bootstrap themselves upward.) Mohapatra's agenda is political (he's even founded a party!) --Ulrich Mohrhoff, Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry, India Managing Editor, AntiMatters 13 Sep 2009 (plagiarized from)]

[Introduction (SE): The “Savitri Era” group of blogs and the so-called “honeycomb” of websites (listed below) are created and administered by Tusar N. Mohapatra, President of the Savitri Era Party. Our Critique - The personal political and religious ambitions of the editor cast a shadow on the intentions of the editor. - The editor’s persistent attack on the management of the Ashram and his repeated calls for the resignation of the Managing Trustee betray the editor’s personal ambitions of seemingly wanting to determine the fate of Sri Aurobindo’s teachings as well as that of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram institution.]

When the honeycomb of parasitic SELF Group Blogs rolled out in 2005, I remember having received several mails accusing me of plagiarism and even threats of legal action. They, apparently, were unaware of the advantages of linking and cross-posting. Many, however, have benefited over the years from this mode in terms of traffic and now that WordPress has made Reblogging a breeze, old inhibitions are thrown to the wind.

The cyberspace is fast expanding like our galaxy and it is easy to sink within it without leaving a trace. Therefore, there should be collaborative effort to stay aloft even among those who fight, just like attracting controversies is common for movie promos. For there is a vast audience out there of whom some might chance upon our sites, today or tomorrow. [TNM55]   

Sam the carpenter

Like salvation in ancient times, free speech is now an exalted goal in itself

[Caste arithmetic takes centre stage again Medieval battle for Uttar Pradesh»  News» February 6, 2012 Such is the weight of identity here in India's heartland that Rahul Gandhi brought into the UP battleground even Sam Pitroda -- the Chicago native and technocrat -- who says he is proud to be born in a carpenter's family.]

Rooting for rootedness and genealogy in scientific anthropology but denouncing the same within cultural anthropology is a strange paradox. Recognising the hard demographic reality instead of worshipping exalted and imagined goals is what the political parties are perhaps rightly pursuing. [TNM55]

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Emergence of Savitri Era in the national scene is providential

[Creation therefore is not a making of something where nothing existed, but a selection and new formation out of existing material; not a sudden increase, but a continual rearrangement and substitution; not an arbitrary manufacture, but an orderly development…
When man has mastered the physical world and its forces, when the earth is his and the fullness thereof, he must turn his efforts towards mastering the world within himself. Instead of allowing the soul to use the body for its own ends, he must learn to master both soul and body and use them consciously for the purposes of the spirit, that Eternal Will and Wisdom which at present operates in secrecy, veiled with darkness within darkness and seeming even to be blind and hidden from itself. In the end he will be master of spirit, soul and body, a Jivanmukta using them at will for cosmic purposes or transcending them to feel his identity with the Self who is pure and absolute existence, consciousness and bliss. CWSA, Isha Upanishad, The Karmayogin, pp. 226-32 Spiritual Evolution in Brahman—by Sri Aurobindo by RY Deshpande on Sun 05 Feb 2012 03:30 AM IST Permanent Link]

[In search of a true leader: India needs a leader of stature and credibility, one who commands respect and is acceptable to all. As we march past yet another Republic Day, it is time we figured out what is wanting in most of our leaders claiming to fit the bill. Here are a few tips from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
The first and foremost requirement of a true leader is that he must be able to put aside what he wants, and wishes to know what God wants… He must have faith in the wisdom of divinity.
An important precondition is not to have one’s own personal interest as a goal. The first qualities needed are boldness, courage and perseverance. A true leader must be conscious that he knows nothing compared to what he ought to know, that he can do nothing compared to what he ought to do, that he is nothing compared to what he ought to be. PRAMOD PATHAK, The Pioneer Sunday Edition Agenda SPIRITUALITY Hiddensouls SATURDAY, 04 FEBRUARY 2012]

[A free and natural growth is the condition of genuine development. There are souls which naturally revolt from their surroundings and seems to belong to another age and clime. Let them be free to follow their bent; but the majority languish, become empty, become artificial, if artificially moulded into an alien form. It is God’s arrangement that they should belong to a particular nation, age, society, that they should be children of the past, possessors of the present, creators of the future.
The past is our foundation, the present our material, the future our aim and summit. Each must have its due and natural place in a national system of education. Excerpts from Aurobindo’s writings, The Pioneer Sunday Edition Agenda SPIRITUALITY Educating the mind and soul SRI AUROBINDO SATURDAY, 04 FEBRUARY 2012]

[The power of one - Indian Express Shekhar Gupta: Sat Jul 31 2010
It was something that Justice Verma said, while explaining the challenge of institution-building that should get us all thinking. An institution can rise to its true strength, and truly play the role the founding fathers mandated for it, only if it is led by a person “who has no past, and no expectation (of any reward) from anybody in the future”.
Someone who has no past and no greed for anything in the future? Simple enough, you might think. But it isn’t as simple as that. It is tough enough to find many people with nothing to hide in their pasts, so they are not prone to blackmail, or pressured by IOUs conceded. People who can judge a case, run an election, prosecute a criminal politician, investigate a corrupt bureaucrat effectively and fairly.
But where do you find someone who, in addition to this, would be willing to retire quietly into obscurity? Our system is much too brutal and clever to let such rare people rise anywhere close to the top. That is why it is only providentially, rather than by choice, that one such is put in charge of an institution. And then the institution changes, and rises to its true power.]

Emergence of Savitri Era in the national scene is not only providential but also a Hobson's choice. The Five Dreams are but to unfold in concrete details, and hence, the present chaos can never be an indication of their negation. The trick, however, is to hearken to earnest voices instead of chasing celebrities. [TNM55] 

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Savitri Erans can contribute a lot to serve the country

[Re: “India has to reorganise herself”—Submitted by Kittu Reddy by RY Deshpande on Fri 03 Feb 2012 05:29 PM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link Churchill turned out to be a very good instrument in this work when fate of the entire civilization was at a stake. Indian politicians of the time were dumb and deaf to these things; one manifestation of it was the rejection of the Cripps’s Proposals that had come on the wings of superior vision and inspiration. Unless India is organized on the material plane, she cannot open to these possibilities.
During the World War Two Winston Churchill was asked: “What is your aim in the War?” He simply replied: “Victory.” In that one word is the quintessence of time that shaped history. Some other power had entered into operation and it seized the ready instrument. It is some noble force of that kind which must enter into our reckoning. The Fallacy of Interfaith Dialogue—Apropos of Rajiv Malhotra’s Being Different by RY Deshpande on Fri 27 Jan 2012 03:30 AM IST Permanent Link

[Activism: Why Swamy gets it right and Team Anna wrong Akshaya Mishra - Feb 2, 2012 But what makes Dr Subramanian Swamy so effective as a crusader? ‘Knowledge’, should be the one-word answer. Extended a bit, it is his ability to work out the beguiling nuances in the functioning of institutions correctly and framing the problem areas as legal questions. Feb 3, 2012 12:25 AM]

Survival compulsion is driving the Fourth estate to function like the Fifth column in the country. Opposition parties, too, are turning willing partners in this rabble rousing game, thus weakening the fine threads of the national fabric. The huge working capital of the democracy industry including the media paraphernalia has become leviathan-like dominating all other aspects of the collective life. The effect is so all encompassing that the very definition of ethics or corruption has been warped. Such perversions leading to plutocracy is likely to deteriorate further. Savitri Erans can contribute a lot to stop this rot. [TNM55]

Friday, February 03, 2012

Interesting, constructive and convincing innovations

[Activism: Why Swamy gets it right and Team Anna wrong Akshaya Mishra - Feb 2, 2012
But what makes Dr Subramanian Swamy so effective as a crusader? ‘Knowledge’, should be the one-word answer. Extended a bit, it is his ability to work out the beguiling nuances in the functioning of institutions correctly and framing the problem areas as legal questions. Feb 3, 2012 12:25 AM]

Thanks for the well-rounded reply. More so, for clarifying that there is room for alternative perceptions and practices as against the implied monolithism of the original post. A more tolerant posture towards this plurality, however, will go a long way in encouraging “interesting, constructive and convincing” innovations. [TNM55]

Reverting to referendum

[A DECLARATION OF SOLIDARITY Or we may decide that now is the time to make our voices heard…
There are vested interests attempting to create the impression that a majority of Ashramites are sympathetic to those filing lawsuits against the Trust, but nothing could be further from the truth. We will not allow this false and dangerous notion to gain further ground. This is  the time to stand firm, stand together in the face of this assault on the core values of our Ashram, to lend our voices in support of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's institution and its appointed representatives against the forces that are out to destabilize our community.]

The Heehs camp has always maintained that the Ashram is beyond democratic principles and what the Trustees utter are inviolable lines of Veda. Hence, it’s good that they are now finding virtue in majority support and raising voices, thus recognizing that each individual vote matters. A referendum, we reiterate, would be the best means to assess and diffuse the present unrest blowing in the Ashram. [TNM55]

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Reddy-made Religion

In the interest of truth, it needs to be mentioned that the Supreme Court judgment in the S.P. Mittal etc. vs. Union of India case referred to above includes the considered dissenting verdict of considerable length (and of no inconsiderable significance) by Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy. A discussion on the same, however, can throw much light on this contentious topic and dispel doubts and misunderstandings. [TNM55]

Leveraging 52 plus

OTC formulations for vitality, memory enhancement and umpteen nutritional supplements receive high voltage marketing by leveraging the Ayurvedic tag. Manufacturing and marketing Ayurvedic medicines is also integral to many Ashrams (including Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry). Nurturing traditional knowledge systems is one thing, but commercial exploitation on account of people’s ignorance and absence of adequate calibration is another. How far our traditional yoga systems are sync with these products and how their large scale consumption has benefited the Indians vis-à-vis the Westerners is a subject which Sandeep might like to explore. [TNM55]