Saturday, January 25, 2014

Added focus on action over what Sri Aurobindo wrote- 2

Apart from pointing out the newness of their philosophy or the synthetic nature of their yoga, The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have been careful to reject founding of a new religion. A following, nevertheless, has taken shape after their departure accentuated by the periodical ceremonies celebrated at the Ashram and regional Centres. This constitutes an added aspect to their complex legacy and needs to be confronted astutely by theoreticians. Political dimensions arising out of the religious identity also should be grappled appropriately.

Tracing the evolution of Sri Aurobindo's opinions, itself, is a challenging task. So when it comes to deciphering additional tendencies obtaining after his departure, it's verily a minefield to stray beyond his written words. But the task has its own validity as Sri Aurobindo never considered his own path as a separate category for comparison which, nonetheless, has come to modify his prognostications. The founding of Auroville, similarly, has considerably altered the texture of dispensation originally conceived by The Mother. These practical results, howsoever unsavoury, need to be accommodated within a more charitable appraisal of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo leading to their realistic appreciation.

This brings us to the question of authority as well as authenticity. Since each individual is constrained by a set of personal experiences and cultural setting, his impression is bound to be subjective. So the way the disciples have attempted to portray the Ashram life when The Mother was around belongs to a bygone era. Or how Her devotees carry on their lives in the outside world and confront the demands of the dominant religion has never really been tackled theoretically. Thus the challenge is to look at the teachings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo from a realistic perspective and the altered socio-political situation in India. [TNM55]

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