Sunday, June 03, 2012

Dilettante's litany

  • The whole corpus of Sri Aurobindo’s writings is yet to be published.
  • Even when published, a large body of unused/discarded material will never see the light of the day.
  • Under the chronological approach, the older texts count as inferior/immature to the later ones. This is suspect.
  • Unrevised writings that have been published can never attain the requisite prestige.
  • Specific texts that were expressly barred from being published by Sri Aurobindo, supposedly, don’t reflect his final/mature views.
  • Revision of Savitri is a vastly contested subject now and seems intractable.
  • Record of Yoga, too, is dogged by controversies as regards the propriety of making esoteric private notes public.
  • Conversations continue to be accorded authenticity despite being written from memory.
  • Stray Aphorisms, though unrevised, are often lobbed to win arguments and squash opponents.
  • Letters have been compiled in a generalized fashion by eclipsing context and personal references.
  • All letters of Sri Aurobindo (including those of the correspondents) during the last five years could be a great document, but no such hope.
  • Some letters appear in fragments in different sections/volumes.
  • Citations from widely differing periods by scholars result in twisted presentations.
  • The trigger/provocation for his essays is rarely discussed/probed.
  • The practice of quoting a couple of lines at random purported as his opinion is horrifying.
  • Absence of online access to archival treasures discourages voluntary initiative and strangulates scholarship.
  • Writings on India and its past are at times misrepresented by motivated sections.
  • Literalism and lack of perspective on the part of readers is a common drawback.
  • Intellectual energy for delving into genealogy and general curiosity is missing.
  • Critical interrogation is not yet the norm with the sacred label as a possible deterrent/complacence.
  • Sly and slow attempts at democratizing Sri Aurobindo’s sayings with his contemporaries and putting them on par are on.
  • Approaching him from one’s cultural and political standpoint is a debilitating reality.
  • Perceiving his spirituality remains a problem and relying upon bookish explications for long leads to feigning.
  • Prophecy and physics traced in Sri Aurobindo’s writings are prone to wild speculations.
  • Disciples’ professed preference for one book/topic over another lends to likely warped reception. 

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