Divinity of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, maintains Debashish Banerji, “is certainly not a tenet of faith that you have to sign up for.” This line of thinking is a fundamental departure from what has concretized over the past one hundred years. By proposing an ideological alternative, Banerji goes a step further than Heehs, whose book never professes to preach.
Banerji delinks yoga from devotion and seeks to secularize it in a curious fashion. Admittedly, bowing before any divinity is shameful for the academicians as it jeopardizes career prospects and curtails conference opportunities. So, self-interest is at stake here and not academic freedom and one has to prioritize what one wants. Yoga devoid of devotion, however, is absurd.
Banerji, of course, is more agitated because of the public display of devotion which he fears have reified as rituals leading to dogma. Such fundamentalist aversion for collective devotional voluntarism is obviously a subjective malaise lacking in the integral tag. As a student of forms and colors, it is surprising why Banerji finds the lived human performance so repulsive.
Another conspicuous concern of Banerji is control and, understandably, he is impervious of authority. So far so good. The utopian anarchy that he has in mind, unfortunately, is slightly away in time and in the meanwhile he has to make do with who are mere pigmies in his eyes. For his succor from Das Gupta’s splendid isolation may snap any day. [TNM]