Monday, April 02, 2007

Uttering the word religion is seen as a sin and proselyting, a pejorative

In a perceptive paper titled “Grace and Self-effort in the Upanishads” published in the Mother India, Apr-May 1962, Sisir Kumar Maitra underscored the fact that the Vedic hymns were replete with supplication and invocation of divine grace, while in contrast, the Upanishadic mantras, by and large, emphasize upon the personal effort for achieving spiritual upliftment. This dichotomy is best expressed in the popular distinction between the approach of a baby monkey and a baby cat.

However, an integration of both the means – call from the below and grace from the above – has been envisaged in the Integral Yoga enunciated by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. But many of the present day specialists find it hegemonic to appeal to some higher power. So much so that uttering the word religion is seen as a sin and proselyting, a pejorative. Their consternation in this respect is a matter of much amusement for the Savitri Erans who, luckily, are a happy lot to possess and proceed with a clear conscience. [TNM]

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