Monday, October 08, 2007

Marketing Savitri Era Religion

[Principles of marketing religion – people, places, texts, temples, and rituals
Santosh Desai, CEO, Future Brands times of india September 24, 2007
In many ways, the central problem for all religions in the world is to make something rarefied and abstract something tangible and experienced. All religions offer us a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives and do so by prescribing a certain patented way. The trouble is that the central tenets of religions are reasonably similar; how does one burn a powerful sense of shared identity in large groups armed with an intangible and largely undifferentiated product? Most religions do so by creating a complex set of rituals, symbols and everyday practices that enable religion not only to become a part of us but make us a part of it. From being consumers of a religious school of thought, our primary identity becomes the religion. Many elements of religion as a system come together to give us this re-assurance that religion is something tangible and real.
  • To begin with, religions tend to be identified with an individual who embodies the values its followers hold dear. His life becomes a text and all artifacts connected with the founder become sanctified.
  • His beliefs get captured in a central text that becomes the timeless arbiter of all questions that humankind faces. The book contains the word and the utterance of the word is by itself holy.
  • The word is also transmitted by intermediaries who represent the religion and interpret it for the common man. The priests are the middlemen who convert religious intent into cultural practice and preside over all important occasions of our lives, sprinkling them with divine beneficence.
  • Most religions also tend to have a central place that is a magnet that exerts a powerful pull to its followers and holds the religion together geographically. Pilgrimage to these places is ritualized and is considered holy.
  • In everyday life, we have daily praying rituals that remind us of our beliefs. We have periodic customs – like festivals and fasts – that pepper our existence with religious meaning.
  • The religion is showcased in grand showrooms that give us a fleeting glimpse of the divine, through magnificent structures. Churches, mosques, temples, pagodas all reach for the sky in their yearning ways.
  • To make identity more palpable, many religions prescribe an external appearance that signifies adherence to its belief system.]

So is the take on religion of an eminent advertising professional which applies almost word by word to Savitri Era Religion. It would be of interest to compare the same with what was posted here on July 27, 2006 and August 24, 2006. [TNM]

[Thursday, July 27, 2006 The integralism achieved by the yogic vision of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo cannot be bettered Alan has called for a fresh start for the integral movement with The Mother and Sri Aurobindo as the central focus. But the call of the day is perhaps to leap forth to the next level, call it orthodox or foundational. Many are under the illusion that they can dish out a new synthesis by integrating the different established systems like Sri Aurobindo’s. How easily it is forgotten that, the integralism achieved by the yogic vision of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo cannot be bettered. In fact, no egghead should venture to tinker with their teachings.

And, finally, let’s call a spade a spade. How long would we dither to call the grace of our beloved Masters and their teachings, a religion? It is a religion, make no mistake about it, and the adherents need to put their act together to help it take root. No myths or legends, ours is a stark 20th century faith based on the most comprehensive philosophy. This is a grand testament of universality, take it or leave it. And, this is the greatest ever manifesto for man; seekers of the world unite! The word, integral has already been besmirched. So, should we call our religion Savitri Era, instead? [SE-MMYP, TNM: July 27, 2006] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 4:15 PM]

[Thursday, August 24, 2006 Savitri Era is our religion Faith in an unseen divinity and feeling loyal to it by a large number of people is religion. It grows by a gradual process, and over a period of time acquires one or more cultural distinctiveness. By offering an umbrella for identity, it also develops into a strong political conglomerate.
Apart from the teaching, the name, the picture, the life-story, and the place also evoke strong emotional feelings. And then, the words and their various interpretations hold no importance. People in general long for safety, security and unburdening. The aesthetic or intellectual satisfaction is aspired for by a select.
If one is possessed by a feeling that his path has great benefits and others should also follow it; and then he goes about to find various ways and means to propagate it, it is religion. Recommending a book or a blog is not all that harmlessly rational. Rather, a scheming mind operates at the behest of the faith, cult or religion.
And what’s wrong with it? A good Product or a great Brand needs to be endorsed. Of course, the conviction level of the person is important; there must be intellectual honesty, one would demand. But conviction, itself, is irrational, recall Barthes: The Pleasure of the Text.
One is largely driven by the past baggages and is tormented too. A theory of everything is absolutely useless for any particular individual, and hence, is useless for all. The individual needs a theory for oneself depending upon his age, stage, affection and affinity. That found, there is no dearth of pastimes and distractions.
Bertrand Russell in his History of Western Philosophy compares Marxism with Judaism/Christianity under 7 parameters to decree that the former is also a faith. And I think, Savitri Era more than fulfils all the seven.

+ + +

Web search engines are wholly dependent on correct spelling, and hence it is important to standardize certain expressions:

  • Sri Aurobindo: to take care to always use Sri (as in his signature)
  • The Mother: and not the Mother
  • The Mother and Sri Aurobindo: in that order (as in the photograph) as far as possible, instead of Sri Aurobindo and the The Mother.
  • Mira: as Sri Aurobindo has re-christened her in the mantra, Om Sri Aurobindo Mira , and nor Mirra.
  • Aurobindian: Although Amal Kiran has much defended his introducing of the term, Aurobindonian, it does not cut ice. The last O in Sri Aurobindo is not necessary for pronunciation of the name, and hence a simple, Aurobindian is good for all seasons. Aurobindean, is also another dispensable expression. Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 11:13 AM]

No comments:

Post a Comment