Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Savitri Era identity is separate

Search engines and aggregators alert us to Sri Aurobindo’s name flashing over the web in view of Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary celebrations. This association, however, is most misleading as Sri Aurobindo’s distinct contributions remain in the background. Since, Sri Aurobindo’s writings are vast and ideas complex, people, ordinarily, adopt the easy way and avoid him. Those who prefer to refer his name, ultimately, misrepresent him. Savitri Erans, therefore, should take care to keep their identity separate and uniqueness aloft. That is the best means to collaborate with the evolution and avoid confusion. 

Problematizing Sri Aurobindo is certainly a worthwhile project; more so, because of the Ashram created by him with the assistance of The Mother. The tangible nature of the Ashram and Auroville, obviously, overshadows their writings, and impressions of visiting Puducherry don’t change easily. Thus, it is not unusual to find many sensible and well-meaning persons being ambivalent regarding Sri Aurobindo and what exactly he stands for. For others, his multiple “lives” pose a formidable difficulty for zeroing on any definite image of him. Further, when examined against the backdrop of the Hindu religion, a lot of opacity surfaces. All these are quite valid reasons for the neglect of his teachings and an honest re-evaluation can help present a clearer picture.

Sri Aurobindo’s message emerges from the deep wombs of the past, both of East and the West, but charts a new path towards the future. Thus, to call it a synthesis alone is insufficient; it’s verily a prophecy. In his writings, he has delved deep into the question of man securing a harmonious living and the solution he hammers out integrates philosophy and religion with politics and economics. Such an interdisciplinary approach is surely a tall order for most people especially when not many are willing to relinquish their old outdated notions and narrow nationalist sentiments. Sri Aurobindo’s option, basically, is to bid farewell to the past and make a foray into the future. [TNM55]

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