Friday, February 20, 2009

How much plurality is enough?

[Re: Larger Issues of "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" Controversy Debashish Thu 19 Feb 2009 03:08 PM PST - Sri Auorbindo's yoga is not a traditional yoga and his ashram was not meant by him to be a traditional ashram... An individual disciple's attitude towards the guru is entirely between the indvidual and the guru... Thus appraising the nature of one's guru is a personal matter and need have nothing to do with surrendering to the divine in him for yoga sadhana... In fact, "the Sri Aurobindo Ashram" defines itself as a laboratory for world transformation, hence in terms of a plurality of representations of the yoga and its founders... Once again, whatever a traditional yoga ashram is obliged to do or not does not apply to the Sri Auorbindo Ashram... All individual views arising within the matrix of sadhana are legitimate here and should be given their value, whether one agrees with them or not... Those who have acted against the author of The Lives have done so clearly against the spirit of the Integral Yoga and the ashram founded on the principles of this yoga. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they represent a great danger to the collective manifestation of the yoga - its transformation into a controlled and narrowly authorized religion.]
Banerji's sympathy for plurality cannot be contested, but the point is, institutional flexibility for managing diversity always has its own limits. The hurdles here are not only temperamental or ideological, but also political and practical. These aspects need to be spelled out and deliberated separately instead of pegging everything to the book imbroglio. Wanted a bit of sagacity in approach. [TNM]

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