Friday, May 27, 2011

Jatindranath and Jawaharlal

National Book Trust: Book release of “Bagha Jatin: Life and Times of Jatindranath Mukherjee” (authored by Prithwindra Mukherjee), India International Centre, Seminar Hall 1, Gate 1, 40 Max Mueller Marg, 12 p.m.]

Released by Pranab Mukherjee on Jawaharlal Nehru's death anniversary certainly constitutes a tight rope walking on the part of the veteran Congressman. Tathagata Satpathy as one of the speakers, of course, stands for Sri Aurobindo. [TNM]

Google Yoga

From Tusar N. Mohapatra date 27 May 2011 09:41 Subject Re: Sent to you by [TNM] via Google Reader: Open Practice: Can Psychopaths Be Enlightened? via ~C4Chaos

Google Reader is a great facility and over the years I have cherry picked nearly 200 feeds, not all of them equally active. Besides, Google Alert keeps on replenishing my inbox on more than a dozen topics. Then, of course, the continual scanning of Google News and conducting sundry searches, squeezing in a few You Tubes in between. All these happen in the normal course powered by sheer curiosity, and we may safely christen it as Google Yoga! [TNM]

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pavitra & Prapatti

[Re: Leaders of the Integral Yoga Posted - Thu May 26, 2011 2:23 am
But naturally one has to at least make the effort to do some kind of practice; mere book reading, visiting holy places and having a Master for the name sake is surely not enough. Dr Alok] [DEATH, DYING AND BEYOND: The Science and Spirituality of Death Alok Pandey (May 1, 2011]

More often than not, “mere book reading” is rubbished as if reading is no practice. Such anti-intellectual stance, decidedly, is impermissible in Integral Yoga. Swabhava and swadhrma are essential levers in steering one’s spatio-temporal trajectory; and, therefore, what was indispensable for Pavitra may not be appropriate for Prapatti. [TNM]

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

27-storey temple

[Quote, unquote - Business Standard -New Delhi - May 24, 2011
Ambani makes a lot of money from his business and he is entitled to spend it as he sees fit. Even so, there is something curiously insensitive to splurging on an over-the-top, 27-storey home that has no redeeming architectural qualities, in a country in which many Indians are homeless— even in Mumbai.]

Some say that he is being too greedy, but Tendulkar is merely cashing in on a mad craze for cricket and cricket luminaries. In India, it is only film personalities and cricket stars who attract the crowds, and, by extension, the advertising big bucks.]

[If you rob the idols, you ruin the temple Stars are key to cricket’s future, don’t knock them out LOKESH SHARMA The Indian Express Thursday, August 15, 2002
A cricket star earns well, lives well and is loved by everyone if he doesn’t lose his balance along the way. These stars are the wheels of an entire economy: administration, advertisers, sports goods manufacturers, marketing agencies, broadcasters, television channels, commentators and journalists and so on. They attract audiences to the benefit of the entire industry.
Yes, cricketers can earn lakhs — a couple of crores, maybe — in match fees. So do many middle-level MNC executives. But they usually don’t set pulses racing, adrenaline flowing across the country and through the world. The cricketers do; they are the reason people support a game. 
Take away the purse of these cricketers and you stand to rob the entire cricket economy. Children are inspired seeing Sachin in a Ferrari; how will they react if he rides a motorcycle? Take away the idols and you ruin the temple. Sachin in a Ferrari November 23, 2005 12:40 PM]

Like spectacle or carnival, celebrities exercise an uncanny attraction over the mass mind. They are the living legends and walking mythologies, besides being the engines of economy. From Britain to Bhutan, royalty is a roaring reality show now. Ergo, no complain if India generates a dozen or so wannabes. [TNM]  

Empowering the Parliament

Who should run the country? Our elected representatives or the students of technical institutions? Matters of public policy are best left to the MPs. That is what the Constitution of India envisages. Street politics may be good Nukkad theatre but it can't be a substitute for the Parliament and its inclusiveness.
It's a shame to see the well-heeled medicos making a spectacle of themselves on the quota-issue. It's high time they should also learn a little bit of sociology and political science. [Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 9:57 PM Friday, May 26, 2006]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nandini Satpathy served The Mother

[Why Amma is the odd one out Sify
Then, there's the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. Some people may compare the mentoring of Aurobindo to that of MGR, but then, there are no reports of Jayalalithaa communicating telepathically with him, even in the movie roles they essayed together.]

When the spotlight is on women Chief Ministers, it is pertinent to remember Nandini Satpathy (1931 – 2006), who had a chequered political career. Although she was disliked for a while for the Emergency excesses, her stellar role in pushing the movement of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo forward in Odisha is a signal contribution. She remains a role model for women in Odisha. [TNM] 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Identity, and not fake unity, is the anchor of politics

The Congress Party survives owing to the mythology it inherits and the charisma Sonia Gandhi lends to it. Of late, it has turned thoroughly opportunistic by perfecting the art of choosing and dumping alliance partners. Policy shifts are never questioned and ambivalence is the name of the game. This is not an ideal state of affairs on the part of the largest party of the largest democracy.

Identity, and not fake unity, is the anchor of politics. If the recent election results really help a bipolar polity to evolve, then integrity, and not hypocrisy, will be needed the most. [TNM]  

Knowledge is a whip and Aspiration, the spur

Techniques of Yoga refined by various systems and schools look practical and impressive, but each psycho-physical discipline conceals a propensity for limiting and binding. Our spatio-temporal-corporal existence is susceptible to inertia and skills developed over a period of time tend to lull one into imagined progress. Moreover, once acquired, it is not easy to get rid of the past baggage.

Integral Yoga, on the contrary, constantly goads in the direction of new discoveries. The top-down approach is a powerful proposition and continuous psychological reengineering is a much potent means. “Knowledge is a whip” here and Aspiration, the spur. Savitri and The Life Divine, therefore, are essential companions in the path.

Integral Yoga, as against the popular notion, is not an amalgamation of disparate streams that come from the tradition. Nor is it a hybrid teaching in the search of results. It is an integrated system of self-culture with distinct prescriptions. Any attempt to tinker with it is hence hazardous and impudent. [TNM]    

Saturday, May 14, 2011

This world's a life sentence, Yoga turns it a love affair

Keeping a diary gradually appears as if one lives to write it. Just like the observer turning a participant in the experiment.  "It isn't the man who drinks the tea, it's the tea which drinks the man," quipped Jean Baudrillard. Wrote Larval Subjects recently, “Inverting the way we commonly talk and think about domestication, the book will explore how grasses, grains, various animals such as wolves, cows, cats, goats, and microbes, as well as technologies have conspired to domesticate human beings for their own ends.”

Thus, the contingent and the contextual is always a local event hardly amenable to any generalization or universalization. Empirical observations, therefore, carry the risk of throwing up highly impaired inferences. Practice of yoga, too, is a personalized affair and no two trajectories can be identical. Once one gains an entry into the continent of Integral Yoga, a million paths open for pursuing a life long love affair or even to escape. [TNM]

Religion matters

[Assembly polls: Kerala results show religious polarization Times of India - The voting pattern displayed a communal polarization across the state, with Christians and Muslims consolidating behind Congress-led UDF, and the Hindu areas going with the CPM-led LDF in almost a repeat of the 1987 state polls. … There were a few exceptions, but broadly, the Hindus gravitated towards the Left in reaction to the UDF's aggressive wooing of Christians and Muslims.] 

The victory in Assam and West Bengal too is indebted to Muslim vote. It would be unwise to overlook this prime fault line of Indian democracy. [TNM]

Friday, May 13, 2011

Policy vs. personality

[The people have got freedom: Mamata Indian Express - May 13, 2011 -At the threshold of history, all Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee could find was a mid-high footstool from which she delivered a short, emotional victory speech.]

[Jayalalithaa: Tamil Nadu's iron woman is chief minister once more Economic Times - CHENNAI: Jayaram Jayalalithaa, set to be Tamil Nadu's chief minister for a third time, began life as a small-time movie actress before becoming one ofIndia's most successful woman politicians.]

Liquidation of the Left is surely a fuel for glee, but with such mercurial women returning to power, there is every reason to be cautious and feel alarmed. It is apparent that the voters have no viable alternative, and inculcating personality cult is no balm for grassroots politics. Savitri Era Party reserves its right to disagree with all dominant parties on distinct policy parameters.

The TV channels are showing the picture of jubilation in Alipore Jail from across the river. Time for us to be prayerful and wait for our day with gratitude. [TNM]

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yoga & gender

[Pierre Bourdieu - Google Books Result - Richard Jenkins - 1992 - Social Science - 190 pages
The fundamental binary division, and the model for all others, is that of gender: 'The limit par excellence, that between the sexes, will not brook transgression ...’]

['TV is no longer exciting because I have done all that I had to do' 1 May In this Idea Exchange moderated by Shubhra Gupta, Film Critic, The Indian ... 
Ektaa Kapoor: I was very clear that people must feel that my heroines are one of them. In films, you need glamour dolls because it’s a male medium. On TV, men are the glamour dolls, you want a husband like Ram Kapoor or Ronit Roy; the women have to be one of us and you aspire to be like them.]

The dynamics of aspirants of both sexes living within the same community remains an ill-lit area. The ruthlessness with which gender relations outside are examined under the microscope should be a pointer to the kind of sensitivity and transparency that is expected from exalted organizations and their theoreticians. [TNM] 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reason & folklore

Far from being a mystic, Tagore was a man of reason, especially when compared with Gandhi. Tagore admired Gandhi enormously and insisted on calling him the “Mahatma”, stressed Sen, but he felt the latter’s ideas on sex and economics, for example, were downright dotty and even dangerous.]

[About time Indian Express - May 8, 2011
The fifth volume of its official history series, The Congress and the Making of the Indian Nation, deals with the period between 1964 and 1984, arguably the two most complex and troubling decades in its 125-year history. Naturally, Indira Gandhi’s ambiguous legacy dominates the volume.]

[I hate thin people: Ekta Kapoor Times of India - Garima Sharma - May 5, 2011
I used to be a human being earlier and now I am folklore because people think they know me even before they know me. You are going to throw a stone at us, or a mobile, your temper... and I am like, "Guys, there are no mandates! I'm a human being.]

Pen portraits will always be accused of misplaced perspective, and therefore, it won’t be easy to pronounce where history ends and mythology takes over. [TNM]

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Human form is a hidden presence of truly mythological proportions

[Reading the paranormal writing us: an interview with Jeffrey Kripal from The Immanent Frame by Nathan Schneider
If there is anything I believe, it is that we are not who we think we are. “Mind” or “consciousness” is not some neurological froth or emergent property of the computer brain, much less some ethnic or religious ego. Rather, it is a non-spatial, non-temporal presence of proportions so vast and so fantastic that there is really no way to exaggerate it, and there is certainly no way to “explain” it with either the absolute contextualist and relativist epistemologies of the humanities or the objectivist epistemologies and na├»ve realisms of the sciences. Basically, I am suggesting that the human form is a hidden presence of truly mythological proportions. A recent dissertation, by Jason Kelly at the University of Ottawa, has attempted to capture my thought under my own early rubric of “mystical humanism.” I accept that. Everything religious can indeed be reduced to the human, but it turns out that the human is not at all what we thought. That is very close to “what I believe.”]

Beyond Natural Selection and Intelligent Design: Sri Aurobindo’s Theory of Evolution Ulrich J Mohrhoff Abstract … An outline of Sri Aurobindo’s theory of spiritual evolution is presented. Ultimate Reality relates to each world (ours need not be the only one) as the substance that constitutes it, as a consciousness that contains it, and as an infinite joy that expresses and experiences itself in it. In our world, Ultimate Reality is “playing Houdini,” enchaining itself as best it can, challenging itself to escape from self-created darkness and inertia, to rediscover its true self and powers, to affirm itself in conditions…]

[Extended Mind and Political Theory from Larval Subjects - Apr 30, 2011
Andy Clark’s central, and surprising thesis, is that mind is not what exists between the ears, but is rather the mesh of brain, body, and world itself. At the beginning of Supersizing the Mind, Clark relates an anecdote from Feynman to illustrate this idea. Charles Wiener had expressed delight in discovering a collection of Feynman’s notes and sketches, indicating how wonderful it was to have a record of Fyenman’s day-to-day work.]

The perennial philosophy crowd would not care to notice the volcanic effect of The Life Divine. The immense contribution of Sri Aurobindo to ontological speculations, therefore, is still outside popular conception. Appreciating his works, of course, needs commitment and application. But, maintaining a devotional approach is no less important. [TNM]

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

No more hiding for Hindi

On a couple of occasions, I remember, Mohan Joshiji might have convinced someone for purchasing Savitri at the Book Fair, and if he insists on the Hindi translation, then the search for the book would begin. But no luck. Dr. Gyanchandra used to hide the copies and was loath to recommend them. 

I'm happy, therefore, to read his eulogy for the recent Hindi transcreation by Dr. K. N. Varma in the current Karmdhara. [TNM]

Cure the rot at the root

Prafulla Mahanta came to power through popular agitation but failed to deliver. Chandrababu Naidu came through the dynasty route and was tech-savvy, but couldn’t be re-elected. The Anna campaign, thankfully, has triggered a rich discourse on the dynamics of Indian democracy, but no one is willing to cure the rot at the root level. We are perhaps not mature enough to handle a UK referendum like move on voting procedures. That’s a long way from lighting candles at India Gate. [TNM]