Sunday, August 29, 2010

Love for the hoi polloi

Although Puducherry is located near the sea shore, many in the Ashram feel as if they are on a hill top, at least, that is the attitude they nurse towards the hoi polloi. Creating a cocoon that ‘we are special’ is, of course, a defense mechanism to ward off continual attacks of doubt or deprivation, but when it is flaunted as a sign of superiority, then it can hardly be seen as salutary.

India is a fond issue, but only in its abstraction, or at best, as a bland map and not in its rich demographics. Visitors are perceived as intruders, and their constant stream makes the ashramites indifferent and insensitive. Logistics, obviously, rouse worries, but then love is the bedrock upon which the whole edifice of the Ashram stands.  

The mass is a pejorative concept for many. But, it can scarcely be said that The Mother & Sri Aurobindo ever harbored such contempt. Their teachings, in their wide applications and complexity, will continue to be harnessed in diverse ways for centuries to come. Let us not draw narrow boundaries and imbue them with official halo. [TNM]     

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