Friday, July 18, 2014
Sri Aurobindo and the history of ideas
There is a lot of focus now on the history of History writing in India in the media in which Sri Aurobindo is often referred to for his stance on AIT (AMT, OIT). Sri Aurobindo wrote copious history but was no historian in the empiricist model. His visualizations of the past civilisations are broad strokes of human aspiration and Evolution. So, any literal interpretation of his utterances of a Century back are bound to lead to questionable inferences. Since many of Sri Aurobindo's books are independent works, reconciling them fruitfully too constitutes an onerous task.
Stress on India and to treat the West as a waste is an error; Sri Aurobindo never endorsed such an attitude. Hume is as important as Nagarjuna and Baudelaire is no less evocative than Tagore. Positivism, per se, need not be a pejorative nor postmodernism. History of ideas, both in Poetry and Philosophy as well as Management and Technology, are a treasure and must be studied diligently for deciphering the right path for the future. Fortunately, we have the guidance of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo on almost all spheres of life and action.
Values have been a debating point through the ages and Sri Aurobindo discovered the Veda as a valid starting point and source of codification in coded speech. Thus, by accommodating the normative within the Ontological frame, Sri Aurobindo has relinquished the dichotomy that is the bane of many theologies. The body, similarly, receives a special place in the scheme of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. Such an ecosystem, surely, is not available elsewhere and it is imperative that Indians have a relook at Sri Aurobindo. [TNM55]