Saturday, October 22, 2016

Patience, perseverance, and persistent vigilance

Be it politics, philosophy, or literature, there is no escape from the historical perspective. For any paper, setting forth the background, at the outset, is a must. But what starts as a mapping exercise can become a trap for many. One can fall in love with the flowers on the way instead of proceeding ahead for tasting the fruit at the end the journey. So, the key is perseverance and persistent vigilance. From the academic or professional point of view, any close study has its own worth and reward. But, from life's point of view, no room for such luxury. 

If one is fortunate to arrive at The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, early, then half the trouble is over. Otherwise, those who come from other streams spend whole of their lives comparing. Then, there are various sections among Sri Aurobindo's admirers who prefer the straightjacket of poetry, politics, or education. They too fail to internalise the spirit of his message on the whole. Another set of people who become very spirited to open their Psychic Being or enter into the Supramental get frustrated within a year or two and open their own Soul-shops. So, again, patience is the most enduring virtue and companion.

The problem with the people of my generation (I turned 61 on October 12, 2016) is that our dream of Development and Nation Building coincided with Sri Aurobindo's vision of The Life Divine. Things seemed so straightforward as if milk and honey will flow within a decade or two. But all those stand shattered today. Marxist rhetoric that inflated our sense of aesthetics proved to be stuffed with empty shibboleths. And to add to the catastrophe, we are saddled with Hindutva, today, that is obscurantist and devoid of any sensible response.

Thus, the challenge is threefold; and the first and formost is trying to discover the highest inspiration and source of satisfaction within the writings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo with the firm conviction that there is nothing better than this. This is in pure material terms and one needs to rummage through as much research findings as possible to constantly establish it before oneself as well as others. Most interrogations of human architecture are interdisciplinary now and transcending one's intellectual boundaries has become the most urgent task. So, along with physical culture, aggrandising intellectual muscle must receive focus.

The second aspect is derivative. What one finds for oneself should reach the younger generation. When I started writing here in 2005, the feeling was that people can discover good knowledge sources on their own. But, today, those optimism and enthusiasm have vanished. So, the classroom situation is important and introducing Sri Aurobindo's diverse range of output in curriculum should be taken up as an action point. Needless to mention that any kind of Westphobia is antithetical to, not only the Integral spirit of Sri Aurobindo, but also an open and honest quest for knowledge.

The third is crucial but paradoxical. On Twitter, I encounter any number of educated Indians with an admirable grasp on an array of subjects but happen to be shy of any reasonable foray into Sri Aurobindo. They can't be taken back to classrooms and they are too full to learn anything new or imbibe a new perspective. Being Hindutva votaries or belonging to the so-called RW, they are aware about Sri Aurobindo but in all probability, just a caricature or, at best, a thumbnail sketch. 

Many of them have built up a good reputation as intellectuals and the spin they instal percolate effortlessly. There are about a dozen quotations from Sri Aurobindo which are used ad nauseam to prove their own opinions. How to tackle this incorrigible set of people is a vast challenge. Important to remember that they are the ones who are going to influence policy decisions in the future. The Congress and the Left have let us down in the past and if we miss this opportunity, then it'd be a painful wait for another half-a-century. [TNM55]

Misc. References:

www.kireetjoshiarchives.com › homer-an...
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(Pics TNM 2016: Kali Bari, New Delhi, Ramakrishna Ashram, New Delhi, and Samaleswari Temple, Sambalpur, Odisha)




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