Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Philosophy of The Life Divine by Aju Mukhopadhyay

Bangla Haiku Untitled 1 Comment - Show Original Post

Tusar N Mohapatra said... June 28, 2008 2:05 AM
A nice portrayal of Sri Aurobindo's thinking in its historical perspective. Compliments; More power to your pen!

No other book, no other thesis, no other person offer such a fullness

The Life Divine is fundamental to the teachings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo; all other books are accessories. In this book Sri Aurobindo “fabricates” a philosophy representing a Global “assemblage” that forms the foundation of an integral evolution of the humanity.

No other book, no other thesis, no other person offer such a fullness. People of all countries will have to study The Life Divine for the sake of their own welfare. Schools and colleges will be required to tell their students about the significance of learning from this book.

Studying of The Life Divine itself constitutes praxis as long held nuggets of metaphysical notions picked up from popular myths and religions come under scanner to be found to be false. And, the smug impression of many that one knows what the book says is also demolished, brick by brick. [TNM]

Friday, June 27, 2008

Habermasian Communicative Action within the Sri Aurobindian context

from Tusar N. Mohapatra <> date 27 June 2008 10:40

Dear Sankar babu,

Thanks for the appreciative words. In fact, two very fine studies have come up which, in a way, endorse the Habermasian emphasis on Communicative Action within the Sri Aurobindian context. One is,

And the other,

Let’s hope that these stir the imagination of people and we help create a better world for ourselves.

Yours Fraternally,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sri Anirvan and Ekalavya

from Tusar N. Mohapatra <> date 22 June 2008 21:21 subject Re: sri anirvan

Thanks for the enquiry but I have no personal acquaintance with Sri Anirvan. He is great to us as he was the person at a distant place who, like Ekalavya, received the permission as well as power for the first translation of The Life Divine, which he ably accomplished. This fact alone makes him immortal, as there was no dearth of scholars in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram then.

All the best, Tusar

from Tusar N. Mohapatra <> date 24 June 2008 16:34 subject Re: Sri Anirvan

Dear Debabrata babu,

Namaskar. Thanks for opening up a bit and expressing yourself freely on Sri Anirvan. At one place you say that,

[Sri Aurobindo did not give anyone the permission to translate Life Divine.]

But, I could lay my hands on the following statements:

"Sri Anirvan accepted on condition that their guru, Sri Aurobindo would agree." [from the preface of the book, Letters from a Baul]


"He was the first to translate The Life Divine into Bengali with Sri Aurobindo's full approval. [from the recollections of NKS published in Mother India, April, 2005]

That apart, it was shocking to know that his translation has been abandoned by the Ashram. That means, when I rhetorically compared him with Ekalavya, I was spot on. However, let this matter be debated and some alternate publisher might agree for its publication.

By the way, J.L. Mehta talks about Sri Anirvan's work on the Veda very reverentially in his book, Philosophy and Religion (p.163).

Yours fraternally, Tusar

NB: [the translation has received constant and full attention of the Ashram Trust. PM 6:45 PM]

Hebrew and hermeneutics

[if the effect of hypnotic attachment is successfully produced, if we become convinced that the text hides a secret, we become locked in a power relationship with text and authorship where the author is now a master containing the truth of a secret, and the reader is perpetually inadequate, always close to the elusive truth of the secret of late Heidegger, late Lacan, Deleuze, Derrida, etc., while also always falling short. Far from freeing the reader, far from liberating them, the reader instead is locked in identity as a disciple and apostle of the text, devoting, perhaps in the extreme case of the scholar, their entire life to the hermeneutics of the text that has now become sacred. Larval Subjects April 25, 2008 Style Posted by larvalsubjects under Politics, Writing]

[For the Hebrew alphabet, which had descended from its Semitic forefathers, however, there was at least a slight pictorial connection to the world seen by the eyes. For example, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet was aleph. This letter was shaped by the Hebrews to pictorially represent an ox, and, in fact, the letter by itself did mean "ox." Likewise, the Hebrew letter "M" resembled water in its wavy structure, and, in fact, the Hebrew word for water started and ended with the letter "M."... I would like to point out a number of important factors that resulted from the Greek adoption of the Hebrew alphabet. First, as mentioned, the Hebrew alphabet had a slight pictorial reference to the world seen by the eyes, such as the first letter, aleph, representing an ox. By the time the alphabet was being used by the Greeks, however, all references to the visual world were gone, because the Greeks lacked the pictorial references the Hebrews had. For the Greeks, aleph did not visually represent anything. It was just a shape on a piece of paper... Is it just a mere coincidence that the world’s most abstract literacy tool (the Greek alphabet) and the world’s most abstract and disembodied philosophy (Plato’s theory of Ideas) just happened to flourish in ancient Greece at exactly the same time in history? -- Plato's Vowels: How the Alphabet Influenced the Evolution of Consciousness
Frank Poletti Esalen Center for Theory and Research 2000.]

Blame it on the alphabet. [TNM]

Monday, June 23, 2008

Only the utmost limit of height, wideness and fullness of self- expression

[Existence is only one in its essence and totality, in its play it is necessarily multiform. Absolute uniformity would mean the cessation of life, while on the other hand, the vigour of the pulse of life may be measured by the richness of the diversities which it creates.

Only the utmost limit of height, wideness and fullness of self- expression possible to man, if any such limit there be, could be regarded, did we know of it, - and as yet we do not know our utmost possibilities, - as the eternal ideal.

Whatever the ideas or ideals which the human mind extracts from life or tries to apply to life, they can be nothing but the expression of that life itself as it attempts to find more and more and fix higher and higher its own law and realise its potentialities. Location: Works Of Sri Aurobindo > Social And Political Thought Volume-15 > Nature's Law In Our Progress 8:19 PM 8:35 PM]

Life in its rich diversities would always prove riddlesome. Be it desire or competition or biopolitics, any scrutiny of the inventory of details will leave us nonplussed unless the underlying unity is plumbed. The operation of a nisus perhaps needs the tension of a conflictsome scenario and hence, the actual hardly helps. [TNM] [10:30 AM] [11:25 AM]

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sri Aurobindo posits a grand pillar of possibility

What differentiates Sri Aurobindo from other famous philosophers and savants is his emphasis on evolution linked to a definite teleology. Whereas other notions of evolution are speculative and uncertain, Sri Aurobindo posits a grand pillar of possibility which the world has to embrace unwaveringly.

As regards Reading Marx’s Capital with David Harvey [ /] it is really astonishing that such large number of people are still enamored of Marxist thought. Similar is the case with other Masters of Suspicion as well as prominent thinkers. Why this happens is necessary to understand.

Sri Aurobindo spoke about the typal society that does not evolve but relegates itself into a conventional machanicity. Elsewhere, the Devatas have been described as typal beings who, being incapable of evolving further, inhabit their respective domains for ever. Similarly, these powerful thought-systems are typal realms that survive and continue to attract followers.

All teachings – religious or rational – are such typal traps that The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have warned us to keep away from. They are anti-evolutionary, and hence any hobnobbing with them erodes our own sense of certitude. The Supramental transformation will happen only under the benign gaze of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. [TNM] [11:25 AM , 5:23 AM ]

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Many who have read Sri Aurobindo have never read Nietzsche

Debashish Banerji, by far the most erudite among the Sri Aurobindian scholars today, wrote a very perceptive essay on Nietzsche that was published in the March 2004 number of Mother India. With the typical Western politeness he had sternly reminded that,

“Sri Aurobindo’s texts need to be read in a cross-cultural context. They have contexts which are equally eastern and western.”

“Many who have read Sri Aurobindo have never read Nietzsche and acquire some preconceptions of what the Nietzschean Superman is all about. I’d encourage them to divest themselves of these ideas.”

“Nietzsche’s call is going out to the will of man. It is not a simple call to the ego – it is not a call to titanism as has been popularly supposed, it is a call to sacrifice, to vastness, it is a call to the formation of gods within us.”

Eminently edifying, the essay should be available online. [TNM] [Life Divine Colloquia via Skype by Debashish Banerji] [ 1:21 AM ] []

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If one is not reasonably conversant with Western Philosophy, then his study of The Life Divine is partial, superficial, and simplistic

from Tusar N. Mohapatra <> 12 June 2008 18:11

I can't understand why you are so emphatic about a hiatus between poetry and philosophy. All our scholars - from NKG to RYD - handle them with equal ease, and the same should be the case with you. It is not a question of "our liking," but what we grow into because of "Their liking."

Let me tell you one thing categorically: If one is not reasonably conversant with Western Philosophy, then his study of The Life Divine is partial, superficial, and simplistic. Therefore, there is no escape and it is never too late to start studying philosophy. All the best...

If your thesis is right, then the very word "Integral Yoga" is a misnomer. For, Sri Aurobindo himself has been an embodiment of erudition as well as experience. Thus, creating an "either/or" situation is an error...

  • "No one method was given for Integral Yoga" is too spacious, and there has to be some bare minimum identity.
  • Of these, reading some books of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo could be one.
  • Of these books, reading The Life Divine (in English) should be a target (for those who are capable).
  • As The Life Divine compresses within itself the knowledge of the whole world, the reader is goaded into learning more about its numerous allusions and references.
  • A Westerner will have to learn certain amount of Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy in the course of his reading The Life Divine.
  • Similarly, an Indian will have to familiarise himself with Western philosophy in order to follow the arguments properly.
  • During all this, one need not stop his Yoga or Sadhana or Love or Humility or whatever...
I am sure, you will agree with me that saying "Universal Love is greater than all philosophies" or "Only Universal Love can conquer this world" should not be a pretext for intellectual lethargy...
The beauty of philosophy is that it trains us to be exact and stick to the argument...My original statement was: "If one is not reasonably conversant with Western Philosophy, then his study of The Life Divine is partial, superficial, and simplistic. Therefore, there is no escape and it is never too late to start studying philosophy."

I stand by it, and refuse to be cowed down by "grapes are sour" mentality. [TNM]

Savitri Era Party wants efficiency in the organizations under The Mother's banner

Here it is not a question of siding with the ideals of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo; rather, which economic model we are supporting. Long years of propaganda by the Leftist intellectuals have crippled us, and as a result, we instinctively blame the USA and its role for increasing our quality of life.
If we take the position that the organizations working under The Mother's banner will run in a different way (i.e. in a less efficient way) than other organizations, then we are deluding ourselves. Modernity should not be resisted in the name of spirituality.
Savitri Era Party is clear on these issues.

Tusar N. Mohapatra,

President, Savitri Era Party.

Such questions arise owing to a lack of grounding in The Life Divine

[Can there be a mediator between science and occultism? And does technology have a pivotal role to play in humanity’s ascent to Divinity as some sort of mediator between science and occultism? Open Question to Readers from The Stumbling Mystic by ned]

Such questions arise owing to a lack of grounding in The Life Divine. Contrary to our present notions of technology, the fact is that technology existed from the earliest of times. A stick, a ladder, a wheel are all examples of technology. Even, digitalization depends on the inherent (or, occult) property of Silicon and not solely on human innovation. When we fail to see this unitary working of our world, Sri Aurobindo calls it Constitutional Ignorance. [TNM]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

From Eco to Žižek, it's all collage, mosaic, allusions

[(title unknown) from enowning by enowning How not to talk rubbish... Existentialism, as such, has its origins with Sartre and his circle in the early forties--e.g., see Sartre's Existentialism is a Humanism (1946)...It's hard to introduce authenticity (let's date it circa B&T, 1927) to existentialism, before it existed as such. Many texts try pass off historical figures like Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Pascal, even the author of the Book of Job, as existentialists. They, of course, can't defend themselves, but thinkers like Heidegger, who were able to respond to such accusations, denied being existentialists. Even Sartre denied being one, after he'd tired of promoting it.]

[Jun 16, 2008 The Hazard of the Public
from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects. The form of jouissance embodied in this subjective type seems transparently self-evident: to engage in a game of one upsmanship where one can situate their interlocutor in a subordinate position. The phenomenon is no different than the sort of hierarchies that emerge in wolf packs. In these encounters there is no dialogue, no discussion, no development of thought, but only a play of display and counter-display that seems geared towards repeating the word and position of the masters.]

The history of Philosophy spans over 4000 years. But, it’s only about 40 years back that its Truth-claims was contested. And, Philosophy has never been the same again. Philosophy is "writing" now, Literature. From Eco to Žižek, it's all collage, mosaic, allusions. And, nobody is complaining. Jouissance aha! [TNM]

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Max Théon, Paul Richard, The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

It was which had first dug out extensive information about Max Théon to which RY Deshpande [Permanent Link] has now added significant details at Science, Culture and Integral Yoga site. Elsewhere, N. Nandhivarman [Permalink at 12:22 PM] rather mischievously has asked,

[Well it is the Mira Richard’s husband Paul Richard, whose works Aurobindo translated were one of the reasons for his philosophy to blossom. Let impartial researchers dig deep into the writings of both to arrive at a conclusion who influenced whom?]

It would be nice if the Savitri Era lineage is probed in greater intensity without inhibitions and hesitations. [TNM]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sri Aurobindo expressed his discontent with the Eastern concept of nirvana

[Many years ago, Sri Aurobindo, far more celebrated than I, expressed his discontent with the Eastern concept of nirvana. He sought to embody god in everyday life, not seek to escape the world via nirvana. Like me, he could see the necessity for a change in thought-patterns whereby all humans believed in the spiritualization of the natural world including their own existence. But, unlike me, he couldn’t really see the deity of nature within himself; God was still an outside entity... Brian
Posted by cosmosclub at 10:55 PM Sunday, June 8, 2008]

The last sentence is simply not correct and constitutes a glaring misrepresentation. [TNM]

And therefore the Savitri Era Party

Thanks Mukherjee babu for the good wishes. I have posted excerpts of your interview at Marketime [link 6:18 AM]. The concerns you have expressed can only be taken up in an instituitionalised manner, and therefore the Savitri Era Party. Hope, you join it, and offer your blessings. This is the hour to be heroic.

Yours fraternally, Tusar

Saturday, June 07, 2008

If you are not studying Sri Aurobindo, then you are missing a lot

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have chosen India. The 101 years of their presence from 1872 to 1973 is a sort of time-capsule that will reign the ages ahead. They have set forth an agenda which is too futuristic but the world must learn to follow it.

India and its identity has been drastically remolded by the teachings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Those who are averse to it and are avoiding the new vistas that the writings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo open, are, obviously, at the Windows 95 stage.

The Veda, the Upanishads, and the Gita are attracting the attention of younger generation. But, if the teachers are not conversant with the epochal interpretations that Sri Aurobindo has brought in, then they, definitely, are doing a disservice to their students.

Be it poetry or philosophy, physics or politics, no department of study can progress in any meaningful way without incorporating the insights of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. But there is resistance - formidable resistance - from the inertians. Savitri Erans must brace for an aggressive showdown with them. [TNM]

Friday, June 06, 2008

Quest for harmonious living

The Life Divine brings to mind several presuppositions:

§ Life in the medical sense that is precarious but precious.
§ Life in the biological sense that is a commonality and continuity from virus to us.
§ Life in the anthropological sense that is evolving and imbued with possibilities.
§ Life in the anthropic sense that is a supremacy with attendant duties and responsibilities.
§ Life in the sociological sense of a quest for harmonious living.
§ Life in the political sense of striving towards a perfect society.
§ Life in the religious sense of attaining its fruition and fulfillment.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Aurobindian" wins

from Tusar N. Mohapatra date 4 June 2008 11:30


Now that Alan and Robert have agreed amicably -- through the able and timely intervention by Ned (A Daniel come to judgment!) – to settle the Thea affair between them, we may return to our original intention of consensus building.

In the June 2008 issue of Mother India, that I just received, the article, "The New Spirituality. Or: The Aurobindian Revolution" by Georges Van Vrekhem caught my eye as the term, "Aurobindian" appearing in Amal Kiran turf seemed curious. I was reminded of the following observation by the Life Positive scribe.

[It is quite a tongue twister, but the word 'Aurobindonian' crops up frequently when Georges Van Vrekhem speaks. 'A true Aurobindonian', 'a real Aurobindonian', 'you don't have to be an Aurobindonian to evolve to Superman'… excerpts from an interview with Georges Van Vrekhem: Life Positive, November 2001]

I have already argued for the term, "Aurobindian" in the past, and hope that we all agree on using this term only in the future. This forum is meant for free debate and additions to the mailing list are welcome.

Yours fraternally, Tusar

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The "no religion" prescription by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo is a long term objective

from Tusar N. Mohapatra to Raaye date 29 May 2008 16:50

Dear Debabrata babu,

You are certainly not a retired person as you are a blogtender, and a forceful one at that. I was thrilled to know your acquaintance with Sri Anirvan.

As you are aware, I am insisting on to come to terms with the reality and frankly admit that our faith in The Mother and Sri Aurobindo constitutes a separate Religion which in matter of time will become a Political force. Unless we say it openly, there is every possibility of others manipulating us for their purpose.

I request you to give it a thought, so that we may act in unison in future.

Yours fraternally, Tusar

from Tusar N. Mohapatra date 30 May 2008 07:36

Dear Aju Babu,

You have suggested, "Sri Aurobindeans" but there are many variations of the term such as, Aurobindian, Aurobindoan, Aurobindonian, Aurobindonean etc. in usage with or without the suffix, Sri. And then, we leave out The Mother.

The "no religion" prescription by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo is a long term objective and it is futile on our part to insist that it is achieved immediately. Obviously, we have to make do with the present set of social, political, and legal paraphernalia as long as we are in the minority. Reaching a consensus over these issues is an urgency, and I welcome your idea of an open forum.

Debabrata Ghosh's Blog, BABUL"S WORLD is at and you may write to him at Email:

Yours fraternally, Tusar

Unseen forces, Invisible hands, and Sacchidananda

[The Price of Everything at Amazon (by Russell Roberts)
from Cafe Hayek by Russell Roberts
My new book,
The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity is now available for pre-order at Amazon for the lovely low price of $16.47 in hardcover. Scheduled arrival is August 4. Here's the blurb: ... The Price of Everything is a captivating story about economic growth and the unseen forces that create and sustain economic harmony all around us.]

"Unseen forces." Not to be confused with Invisible Hands. After quantum physics, economics is veering towards Sacchidananda. [TNM]