Saturday, June 30, 2007

In simple words and in slim volumes

Savitri Era religion has been in existence for a century now since the birthday of Sri Aurobindo began to be observed in a prayerful manner by his colleagues. The history of these 100 years and the tale of how this young religion has evolved are very interesting subjects. As more and more people are drawn to this religion they will wonder about the mystery of the appearance of such rare persons like The Mother and Sri Aurobindo as mortals like us. The Lila aspects of their lives have not been popularized so far. We have enough documentation now to offer credible versions of their lives. Only they have to be told in simple words and in slim volumes. 15th of August is fast approaching. [TNM]

Friday, June 29, 2007

There is nothing personal about it

The Life Divine sensitizes us to several pitfalls of pure empiricism such as:

  • Illusion of size
  • Illusion of quality
  • Illusion of quantity
  • Illusion of the obvious
  • Illusion of our present possibility
  • Separateness is an illusion, etc.

So when we talk about a tiny atom or a cell, it is really an approximation and not the actual. The Reality is anoranian-mahtomahian and hence least bothered by the scales and measures.

The Westernized attitude always looks for a locus, a process, a modality. When The Mother speaks of the Yoga of the Cells, the “action” is in the archetype and may not be in the restrictive seeming actual. Thus, there is nothing personal about it. And therefore the importance of Collective Yoga. Just as the Wikipedia collaborative project or Open Source Initiatives like Linux. [TNM]

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Enshrinements of Sri Aurobindo’s relics in and around Delhi

[I prefer to see the relics enshrined at the Gnostic centre as belonging to Delhi, the capital of India. We have already two other centres in Delhi which have enshrinements of Sri Aurobindo’s relics – one is Sri Aurobindo Ashram, New Delhi, near Hauz Khas, and other is at the Sri Aurobindo Society centre at Adhchini. -- Mangesh Nadkarni 2:02 PM] 3:57 PM
There is another relics centre at Sri Aurobindo Society, Noida Branch situated east of Delhi to which Dr Nadkarni is warmly invited to visit. [TNM] 11:05 AM 1:07 PM

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Intercourse of commerce with culture

[I've deleted the original comment by "Steve," because it included a link to a commercial website, a violation of SCIY's posting protocols. Steve, feel free to repost your comment without the commercial link. ~ ron Founding Editor, SCIY]
Intercourse of commerce with culture is perhaps a more desirable integration. [TNM]

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Reality is one and not a sum or concourse

In The Life Divine Sri Aurobindo states that “No law is absolute, because only the infinite is absolute.” And further, “The Reality is one and not a sum or concourse.” But in our progressive engagement with the world, we proceed from “near to far” and hence our piling up of innumerable laws, logics, rules, formulae, theories, and principles is pardonable. Due to compulsion of our finitude, sciences and philosophies, theologies and ontologies have come to occupy major spaces in our lives.

All our attempts to rationalize these tangled lumps of laws and proofs will be futile unless we imprism them to the One Reality. And that is the basic task of spirituality. All problems and paradoxes vanish in the realm of Harmony. [TNM]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Life Divine is a monumental attempt by Sri Aurobindo to explain evolution

Sitaram Yechury has started citing scriptures (Faith accompli Hindustan Times Tuesday, June 12, 2007). Must be due to the pressure of mid-age insecurities; a welcome sign nevertheless. He has approvingly mentioned the materialist interpretation of the Ten Avatars legend that somewhat matches with the theory of evolution. That the theory raises several posers as to the why and how of the whole dynamics is obvious. But he is loath to probe any further.
This is a clear case of lack of intellectual integrity. Positing disparate facts without linking them within a cogent ontology is like deceiving oneself and others. And the most disconcerting aspect is the failure of such intelligent people to discover the flaw in their own argument.
The Life Divine is a monumental attempt by Sri Aurobindo to explain this very theme. The whole controversy concerning evolution vs. creationism that lingers in the West does also find its solution in this book. But people like Yechury would have nothing to do with this great work. Such is the attitude of the educated liberals in our country.
On the other extreme, we may think of Ramchandra Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, who expired yesterday at the age of 70. In his philosophical journey he traversed from Whitehead and Wittgenstein to Sri Aurobindo and Ramana Maharshi. But this kind of cosmopolitan approach too prevents the erudites from being votaries of a single work like The Life Divine. [TNM]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Millions of people like me have absolutely no direct interface with Tantra

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: June 13th, 2007 at 6:12 am I am not sure of the model of ontology that you have in mind by which you harmonize both Preya and Shreya, but in the scheme of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, sex doesn’t gel with Sadhana. Absolutely no elbowroom there. Even the Vaishnavic/Platonic love and emotion is also disallowed.
You are one of the rare Westerners in the blogosphere who have some awareness of and inclination towards the Indian tradition. But the glorified notion of Tantra celebrating sex is a little bit misplaced. Millions of people like me have absolutely no direct interface with Tantra as it operates in the margin in dubious manner. So, the legitimacy that you are proposing linking it with a politically correct/libertarian view of sex doesn’t match with the ground situation obtaining in India.
Further, the idea of sex has already been stretched from “The Pleasure of the Text” to “History of Sexuality.” An astute investigator like Foucault, who embarked upon an ambitious adventure to unravel the mystery of sex (in Vol. I), subsequently backed out and wrote just commentaries on the theme of sex as available in the Classical literature (in Vol. II & III). So, the way you venture to tackle a complex phenomenon like sex across cultures is too hazardous.
May I clarify that I am not objecting on moral grounds; rather my concerns are of method and informed debate so that unbiased scholarship emerges. Open Integral

Following a Jonathan Livingstone Seagull

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: June 12th, 2007 at 4:41 pm Here we are more concerned with the Shreya (good) than the Preya (pleasant). What you label as enjoyment is nothing but a distortion of the Ananda (bliss) and hence all our effort should be directed to access the real thing. The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have offered complete guidance to reach such a goal.
This is not asceticism or puritanism. Rather it arises from the most existential concerns. If one simply learns to be prudent enough to guard his self-interest in all situations, then there is no better way than this. By pandering to one’s own whims and pining, one patently harms himself but refuses to acknowledge.
This is the human predicament and therefore the urgency to transcend our present limits. No glory would come by endlessly wallowing in the mud. Following a Jonathan Livingstone Seagull would rather bring us emancipation as well as enlightenment. Open Integral

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Refer to drawer

When a cheque bounces, the bank returns the same to the account holder with the request, “Refer to drawer.” The same phrase is also used sarcastically when the intention is not to respond to a letter immediately so that it is consigned to an already crowded drawer of the table.
Sri Aurobindo was a beneficiary of this “Refer to drawer” syndrome in a most crucial moment. The proposal for his deportation from Puducherry was being handled by The Mother’s brother who safely kept the file in his office drawer. And the matter got buried. [TNM]

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Who decides?

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: June 10th, 2007 at 7:54 am The most causal and fundamental of your observations cited below also applies to all the socio-political interrogations that you are attempting.
[ray harris Says: April 24th, 2007 at 7:40 pm There’s something frustrating about all this. Most of it is assertion. There is no agreed system of arbitration and no agreed arbiters.]
So, the point is “who decides?” Perhaps “the Great Ideas” line of thought advocated by Matthew Dallman is of help.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Religion endures

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: June 9th, 2007 at 8:01 am Stay on. You already have a personal category/page. Momentary sentiments will pass by. There are lots of loopholes in what you have written. Be patient to discover them. And collectively we can do that better.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Win back every inch of The Mother’s empire

SCIY is out to disown the phrase Integral Yoga for some vague reasons. Will the US Congress rechristen itself just because a political party of the same name operates in India?

These are the times when we must stand firm and win back every inch of The Mother’s empire from its encroachers and enemies. Crazy times call for crazy solutions and we shall not dither to employ all our weapons: politics, culture, religion. No pusillanimous approach will do. Savitri Erans everywhere unite! [TNM]

Monday, June 04, 2007

Aspiration for a higher consciousness cannot be fettered by the market dynamics

[Life in the tribe is among known faces, following a leader towards known ends, while life in a city is among strangers...Collectivism, therefore, is a product of primitive minds, and appeals to primitive minds in turn. Collectivists are the real ‘scheduled tribes’. They alone slavishly follow leaders, who ‘share the kill’. Liberalism is methodological individualism. -- Sauvik Chakraverti The Times of India 1 Jun, 2007] 7:35 PM
In the transition from the tribe to the city, living “among known faces” ceases and one transacts with “strangers.” That is how trade and commerce flourishes. So the individual here is primarily a player in the seamless market; sometimes as a buyer and a seller at others. That leaves the Savitri Erans in a sort of predicament over the attitude to be adopted towards the free market.

Since aspiration for a higher consciousness cannot be fettered by the market dynamics, we can claim independence. Here the distinction emphasized by Sri Aurobindo between our true subjectivity and false subjectivity becomes utterly crucial. The difference between the soul and the desire soul become primary points of instruction. [TNM]

The ratio by which a mixture turns medicine instead of poison

Response to “Ontological Questions Regarding Salience and Selection”
Another dimension that should be scrutinized concurrently is duration, degree or dosage. For selection itself is subject to temporal limits and magnitudinal fluctuations. For instance, how to determine the ratio by which a mixture turns medicine instead of poison? Or, just how long one feels wanted and thereafter a bore?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Life Divine and The Human cycle

tusarnmohapatra Says: June 3rd, 2007 at 4:21 am If I say Sri Aurobindo is the most important philosopher of the 20th century, it’s an understatement. The Life Divine is his magnum opus to which one can add The Human cycle.

Philosophy vs. Sociology

1:04 PM Comments: Somewhere Heidegger talks about Sociology being like a mouse contending itself with a few grains picked up from outside the granaries of Philosophy. What are the exact words and the context? # posted by Tusar N Mohapatra : 9:28 PM