Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sri Aurobindo Ashram rules to rule

Although Sri Aurobindo migrated to Puducherry in 1910, The Mother's arrival in 1914 can be said to mark the genesis of the Ashram. It's well known that the formal establishment of the Ashram had to wait until 1926 and even after Sri Aurobindo's passing away in 1950, it flourished under The Mother's diligent care. The transition after The Mother left in 1973 was also relatively smooth unlike the Auroville which went into Govt. control.

Peter Heehs ignited the book imbroglio in 2008 which has snowballed into a full-scale ownership/governance dispute within Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry. This has dented the reputation of this internationally renowned organisation, substantially. Besides, the Yoga practiced in the Ashram in particular and the path of spiritual transformation laid down by The Mother & Sri Aurobindo in general has come in for public suspicion and ridicule. Multiple Court cases challenging the present regime of the Ashram also add to the dismal scenario.

So far, the conflict has been examined from various angles and new facets of practice of Yoga have surfaced. March of prosperity and technology has transformed the human situation and necessary adjustments are also called for in an Ashram environ. The restrictions put in place when the Masters were present may not hold much relevance today and need to be tweaked for the future generation. There is no other means of evaluating Integral Yoga than the individual's own assessment of his sincerity and intensity of surrender and hence all external stipulations and policing of adults is against the spirit of freedom.

Imposing the old paradigms of Yoga on the Puducherry Interpretation, therefore, would be anachronistic. Instead of accepting Chomsky or Zizek, Dawkins or Wilber, or even our own Deepak Chopra or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, we consider our path far more superior. And, let's spread the message that we are the only authentic alternative and are not ashamed of human deficiencies or delinquencies. [TNM55]




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