Thursday, January 31, 2019

March 29, 1914 marks a new alchemy

Tweets by @SavitriEraParty and @NathTusar 

Reimagining and Refashioning Integral Management by Tusar Nath Mohapatra, Savitri Era Learning Forum (SELF) Ghaziabad

The whole history of Evolution and hereditary traits form human behaviour which changes with one's age. One learns from different teachers and leaders throughout his or her life and hence any sense of autonomy is false and smacks of arrogance. Reading Sri Aurobindo is the answer.

It's no secret that writers, artists, and intellectuals need a measure of financial as well as political protection for carrying on their creative pursuit unhindered. But if they mortgage their conscience by sacrificing all parameters of objectivity, then ethical standards suffer.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo insist on seeking the Divine as the central principle but what we encounter in life is a web of relationships and group dynamics. All these find reflection in art and literature down the ages but don't point to any solution. Harmony however remains aim.

If foreigners like D, E, F, or G tweet or write, it's treated as gold whereas Indian A, B, or C are era gera! As long as people are content with easy options and avoid search for quality, genuineness, and sincerity, #SavitriEra will remain a chimera. Let's expect change in #Y2019

Hero and heroine run away from home and build a cottage in a jungle. Then they look at each other with delight writ large upon their faces: a familiar scene in many films. RW intellectuals celebrating a book, an essay, or a lecture in euphoric gusto often gives a similar feeling.

As this year is coming to a close, it's worth remembering that nothing has been proved to be true as regards the world or human affairs. Suppositions by science, philosophy, or different religions are juggled with limited applicability and validity. So, quest for truth is a must.

Postmodernist perspective can lead one to see all themes as myth but philosophy of Sri Aurobindo acts as an anchor and point of departure. He too avoids fixed solutions but provides a firm rationale for perceiving the Evolutionary undercurrent behind events and discursive choices.

Those who certify or count as intellectuals have not read an iota of Sri Aurobindo. This speaks of their flawed vision and warped logic. Political permutations dominate discourse but a lot many other concerns need to be addressed; whether 'Knowledge by identity' can be practiced.

Every school of thought has avid peddlers and so, the acute necessity to cut the clutter. Each endorsement is meant to seduce and therefore one must be astute enough to find his way to Sri Aurobindo. Once there, one may feel frustrated due to difficult prose but persistence pays.

Recording my regards towards Niranjan Mohanty, Dharanidhar Pal, Bhaja bhai, Madhu bhaina, Anadi bhai, Purnachandra Mahapatra, Haraprasad Mahapatra and others with whom I was associated in The Mother's work in Odisha in the eighties. (Pic Champaklal, V. Madhusudan Reddy, Prapatti)

In spite of political divisions obtaining in the country (which basically is meant for capturing power), commitment towards Democracy, Modernity, and Enlightenment values is deep rooted, now. Incorporating insights of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and internalising them is the task.

While maintaining loyalty, faith, and devotion towards The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is of utmost importance, every care must be taken not to trivialise the spirituality they have unveiled. As those are far away and foreign to our present affairs we must wait for the moment of Grace.

The roles of Basavanna, Chaitanya, and Lalon are important in the development of a liberal religious temperament among people. Those recounting history to glorify Nehru, Savarkar, or Ambedkar must delve a bit more into the past so that the reality about Indian Modernity is known.

Odisha needs a new CM because one person occupying the top post continuously for four terms is against the spirit of Democracy. Panda dropped enough indications that he is not joining any national party and that leaves the Hobson's choice of floating his own outfit. cc @mp_office

Wikipedia article on Sri Aurobindo is a contested field; keeps changing every now and then due to ideological differences between its editors. Affinity with Western philosophy, however, is a reasonably fair and informative section for the Hindutva votaries

Culture is a very constricted sector if one goes by the current official or establishment viewpoint. Media offerings too, by and large, follow identical yardsticks. Further, burdening it to promote what is desirable, instead of desire itself, is a major cause of its distortion.

Cinema and TV were responsible for replacing live performances thus devaluing scope for interpersonal encounters or relationships. Projection of mega events as the norm or prestigious also struck at the root of local initiatives and variety. Culture's horizon needs to be expanded.

Education, like culture, has become moribund. Annual courses and official syllabus are anachronistic systems. Govt should follow a hands off approach to allow employers to devise curriculum. Short specialised courses and/or on the job opportunities should be the order of the day.

Upendra Bhanja is the greatest poet of Odisha but I haven't read any of his works. So much of content is available now that one feels buried under them. The point is, unless one reads a reasonably representative amount of literature, how can he or she be called as being cultured?

There are at least a thousand books by and on The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, yet a recent compilation is being projected as an earth shaking event. In its earlier avatar, this book was responsible for spreading false impressions about Sri Aurobindo. So, beware of the author's skew !

The members at Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives have taken considerable pains to publish Sri Aurobindo's writings as impeccably as possible. A Twitter handle is persistently distorting them by inserting pictures against the author's intention. Needs to be sued. #MyTwitterAnniversary

Devotee = stupidity. Nursing such a notion is absurd and one must have the common sense that it's inappropriate to litter another's property. Further, not to hurt religious sentiments of others must be the guiding principle. If perversion continues after repeated warnings, then !

Two decades of the 21st century have confirmed utter groundlessness of all branches of human knowledge. Eulogising ancient texts and tradition, therefore, is fraught with hazards. Religious zeal needs to be re-evaluated so that younger generation musters courage to shed blinkers.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have created a vast web of words in which one may immerse for years for aesthetic and intellectual pleasure. But it's necessary to remember that they are just indications and not a full-scale unveiling of the mystery of creation as the time hasn't come.

Some Hindutva handles seem to be eternally gung-ho on shastra, dharma, karma, and similar regimen. Apart from delegitimising rituals, The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, thankfully, have altered received wisdom on ontological frameworks like power of stars, kundalini, or karma theory etc.

Even the second stage of a spiritual awakening and widening encompassing the planetary consciousness and its Evolutionary implications, cautions Sri Aurobindo, is not sufficient unless the plenary disclosure of truth embossed by the Supramental light becomes the order of the day.

Devotion involves the much needed vital power and enthusiasm but is prone to degeneration leading to childish or lunatic behaviour. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo recommend a quiet faith built on knowledge. Otherwise one repeats the old formulations and becomes a barrier to Evolution

Harbouring even the faintest reverence for Vivekananda, Ramana, Shivananda, Yogananda, Krishnamurti or other popular teachers makes it difficult to open fully to flowing influence of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. Hence the need for aloofness and ruthlessly closing the door on them.

From an ontological point of view, designed in a different way, each individual is chugging along a unique destiny with biological or psychological commonalities distributed as abundantly as the differences. So, respect for diversity in a Democracy, though valid, is dysfunctional.

Futile to expect all to be uniformly informed on The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and hence baseless statements will circulate. But on one thing all should be clear: when they met on March 29, 1914, a new alchemy took place to create something unprecedented beyond all faiths and texts.

Many are eager to stress on the Indian aspect of Sri Aurobindo but his admiration for the intuitive faculties displayed by Keats, Shelley, and Coleridge forms the bedrock of his creative output. That also drives his political stance on Nationalism later dovetailing to Life Divine.

Misgivings on Modi's performance has ensued an introspection on core Hindutva leading to tolerance of a healthy ambivalence. It also coincides with reexamination of Bengal renaissance, upon due scholarly apparatus, with the potential of Sri Aurobindo receiving deserved attention.

No one is a clean slate but if someone can so imagine, it's better to start understanding Sri Aurobindo as a critic instead of revolutionary or yogi. Essays Divine and Human: Writings from Manuscripts (1910-1950), Volume 12 of his Complete Works is ideal.

Understanding the creation in its totality has been a priority for the philosophers which branches off for forecasting the course of political future as well. Sri Aurobindo features prominently in this enterprise and ignoring him amounts to intellectual adolescence and innocence.

For success, both Democracy and Spirituality depend upon a set of normatives supposedly opposite to human nature. Such a tension is beyond the power of human manipulation or collective motivation since imagining any nice play sans evil or vice is an irony.

Preserving the best of Indian wisdom is the task and Sri Aurobindo has accomplished it well. So to clutch at any other definition or person would be anomalous as well as hazardous. Savitri Era is the new banner and all must make an endeavour to negotiate the future under it safe.

Democracy is not meant to be a playground for political science experts or legal luminaries. An ordinary citizen very much understands whether he is being consulted or ignored. Participatory democracy is the key and the present system in India doesn't have any mechanism for that.

Intellectual genealogy of Sri Aurobindo can be traced reliably by a competent scholar delineating his debts to his predecessors and contemporaries but The Mother reminds that he signifies action. It should always be remembered, therefore, that every tiny event is pointing at him.

Philosophy deals with the writings of a few whereas Sociology focuses on mass action and behavioural patterns. Subjective peculiarities therefore are often dismissed as idiosyncrasies and don't qualify for theory. Academic preoccupation with texts and not action is a discrepancy.

Modi definitely deserves a second term and in all probability he will get it. Challenging hierarchy & personality cult is a necessity. No person should be allowed to occupy top Constitutional posts for more than two terms. This is the minimum for securing fair play in a Democracy.

Just like debts have the statute of limitations after which they are time-barred, a maximum limit for being in power has become crucial. This will save political aspirants from indulging in undue ambition and perpetrating noxious manipulations and machinations for retaining chair

Even after reading "a shelf full of books" that Sri Aurobindo wrote, it's difficult to claim any sure hints on future events or political course. Turning a supporter of Modi govt after being a critic on the basis of its non-performance and ideological ambivalence embarrasses many

Past kings can't be ideals in a Democracy and modern India hasn't produced many adorable icons. However, Nabakrushna Choudhuri, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and V.P. Singh are a few good men who occupied top offices. Evolutionary trajectory can throw surprises if people zealously aspire.

No one from RW camp has read Sri Aurobindo and their ignorance shows. Name dropping comes handy and mentioning Uttarpara Speech has become an empty slogan. Conflating Vivekananda with Sri Aurobindo invariably is another sign of hypocrisy. Critical appreciation of thought lacking.

Those eager to capture power are less concerned about the heath of Democracy whereas it should have been the other way round. Lack of internal democracy is common to all political parties and no longer raises any eyebrows. Most people love to be servile and act as sycophants alas

So human nature and self interest is far more wise than the assumed advantages of espousing normative measures that Democracy demands. Furthermore, each one is under the clutch of profession, family, friends, etc. and hence lacks autonomy for moral strictness leading to antinomy.

All are entitled to their religious beliefs but in a plural environment some philosophical common ground needs to be agreed to. This necessitates accommodating ambiguity as well as complexity by sacrificing certainty. Consequently faith takes the backseat which is a cruel reality

Uncritical acceptance of religion is also problematic. When a 30 year old is asked to abide by a text of 3000 years old, it's a negation of human intelligence and sense of wonder. Education like religion is also responsible for dumbing down to a considerable extent. Double whammy

Instead of comparing both countries, combining them will offer a better picture. The planetary reality is more like a Japanese than a Moghul garden with a bias or compulsion for asymmetry. Like the Varna system a division of functions among different nations is a fundamental need

Quality of life & prosperity is on the upswing during the last couple century but Enlightenment ideals are still distant and stay utopian. Sri Aurobindo's assurance of Evolutionary inevitability gives hope but no sign yet in sight of even a mite of transformation in human nature.

Sri Aurobindo's concept of play, however, might be seen as subversive since no definite sequence or value is preferable for Evolution and his scenario of Karma steers clear of a strict rewards and punishment mechanism. This may look like chaos or anarchy but he doesn't prop dice.

Managing man-woman relationships has been pivotal for civilisation and diverse aspects - from art to religion - have been pressed into the service of this crucial task. #Sabarimala is just one example of how the problem remains intractable and Dharma tenets are empty shibboleths.

Those aware of Writing the Self: Diaries, Memoirs, and the History of the Self by Peter Heehs, may now relish a fresh arrival. A Philosophy of Autobiography: Body & Text by Aakash Singh Rathore probes Nietzsche, Maya Angelou, Hemingway, Elie Wiesel, Daya Pawar, Kamala Das, et al.

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Perhaps the only song in Odia by Dwijen Mukhopadhyay (12 November 1927 – 24 December 2018) who passed away a month back. [Odia Song....''Barashe Nahin Se Megha.....'' sung by Dwijen Mukherjee from Archival Radio Recordings - Uploaded by odia melody]

Old Bengali songs are the best company when it's raining. A few of my favourites. (Someday, the well rounded Odia script will be used for Bengali, I hope, instead of the present poor man's Devanagari.) @SavitriEraParty

Musepaper: Joy forever Odia songs Cover by Tusar Nath Mohapatra (Original by Dhananjay Satpathy from AIR, Cuttack Sajafula for August 1969. Bana mayuri mo bayasi denare by Bhubaneswari Mishra was companion number besides the duet Jhumuku jhuma. Related: Bana hansi go pagala by Bhikari Bal)

Art meets utility
A victim of Development