Saturday, January 25, 2014

Added focus on action over what Sri Aurobindo wrote

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have left behind around 80 volumes of collected works that includes paintings, poems, plays, speeches, essays, letters, messages, translations, and conversations spanning over a period of 80 years. Since the contents are of a specialized nature, they attract a very restricted kind of readership. The dense character and vastness of the writings prevent many from going through them all even as some of them are still unpublished. Secondary literature, however, is flourishing and varied estimation of the Masters are mushrooming. The works of the disciples or dedicated sympathizers are precious as credible introductions while commentaries or comparisons with the opposite intention are not uncommon.

Apart from their writings, the Ashram at Puducherry and the Auroville community owe their existence to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. Besides, a large number of institutions run all over the world by drawing inspiration from them. Thus, a distinct cultural, religious, and political identity has come to be associated with the followers despite their being geographically scattered. The thrust on integration of the East and the West and Human Unity in the teachings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is responsible for the internationalist bias on the part of their devotees. Access to Sri Aurobindo's works is also facilitated since he wrote in English. This year marks the Centenary of his magnum opus “The Life Divine” and other original works like “The Secret of the Veda.” The Evolutionary dialectic of his Integral Ontology seeks to establish a universal template of philosophy that acts as applied psychology as well by suitably incorporating poetic aesthesis. 

The Mother travelled from France to Puducherry in 1914 in order to meet Sri Aurobindo and so action preceded their philosophical collaboration. The amount of activity The Mother has inspired theresince is surely unparalleled in the human history. Interested students will be studying this phenomena in the years to come but authentic documentation of the present decades is woefully inadequate. In the absence of truthful tales narrated by the current crop of practitioners, impressionistic accounts by cunning swordsmiths are taken to be as genuine. Problems associated with writing and publishing, reach and interpretation etc., however, cannot be evaded, but a more web-enabled discursive environment could have developed over time contributing to theory. [TNM55]

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