Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo play with unseen forces

Reading the works of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo leads to better understanding of life and the world. First, knowledge gained through ordinary experience gets expanded. Secondly, new questions are generated as regards future course. These are, of course, Philosophical matters not unrelated to Science and Technology. And, it constitutes a veritable feast for those with intellectual bent of mind.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, however, used to handle unseen powers. Even after their departure, they are believed to be exerting their force and subtle presence whenever invoked. This aspect of their teaching adds a potent and fertile dimension to the Philosophy authored by them. Books written on them analyse only what is texual while action and actual experiences are rarely covered.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo intended to interpret and integrate available knowledge without any indication of finality or infallibility. This open ended nature of their teachings is a sign of maturity as well as versatility. But it also involves a risk of being invaded by spurious claims of 'anything goes' variety. As their legacy is being passed to newer hands, the questions of purity will, obviously, be a much contested space. [TNM55]

Being part of history, the role of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and their writings can be examined from various viewpoints resulting in varied verdicts. The effect of such enterprises, therefore, can be adverse and confusing, especially, for those harbouring prejudices. Institutions connected with The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, also, might be responsible for spreading bad impressions due to mismanagement or undesirable performance. Aligning with a certain political faction, too, can repel a substantial section of people. Besides, peculiarities relating to geography and culture contribute to unsubstantiated opinions and rumours circulating.

Overcoming all such hurdles is crucial for an honest and objective encounter with The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. But unsavoury incidents in the Ashram, Auroville, and elsewhere in the past have given rise to lingering conflicts and controversies. Not surprisingly, such factors have proved to be repulsive for many people. Nevertheless, faith in The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is growing through diverse sources. Disenchantment with mushrooming fake New Age avenues is a prime cause as many are discovering The Mother & Sri Aurobindo as the most genuine and authentic teachers. Further, the liberal and ritual-free atmosphere their path provides is proving attractive for the young.

When Sri Aurobindo asked his disciples to surrender before The Mother, it can be termed as a religious turn. The Mother book published around that period reinforced the trend. Since then, reliance on The Mother among the devotees has been more predominant than mere intellectual justification or Ontological superiority. This devotional approach, paradoxically, obviates the need for struggling with any Philosophical or Sociological concerns emerging from the vast corpus of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo's writings. Avoiding this other extreme is also a major challenge in the face of many denouncing the intellectual culture by privileging the spiritual experience.

Be that as it may, age and health issues do play a catalytic role in retarding intellectual vigour and enforcing more devotional fervour. There is also a major chance of aesthetic enjoyment fading and fatigue setting in. Clinging to an undefined Integral Yoga, in such circumstances, needs more intellectual conviction and rigour rather than less. Influx of more people might dilute the teachings and dogmas erected but to confront it is required loads of sincerity and unwavering loyalty. This, in short, is the rationale for Savitri Era Religion. [TNM55]

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