Saturday, October 26, 2019

Freedom of not believing in anything

Tweets in original by @SavitiEraParty and @NathTusar (September - October, 2019)

Sri Aurobindo has written on the significance of Mantra but his unveiling of the secret of the Veda doesn't emphasise on any ritualistic chanting or performance of fire sacrifices. Perhaps, the first stunning effect of a word, a phrase, or a song is Mantra and not its repetition.

The Divine manifestation of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo can't be seen as contingent on their writings or conversations. Their contribution to theory is surely subject to interrogation and critical examination. The same courtesy can't be extended to their being the Supreme Divine.

Identifying the West with materialism at places is one of the flaws in Sri Aurobindo's writings. His assessment of Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud too needs more sympathetic and systematic appraisal. So students of Humanities should provide necessary cushion for comparative analysis

Reading some books by Sri Aurobindo or visiting Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry can confuse one about him. Knowing him merely as a Freedom fighter or Revolutionary is also equally partial. Understanding him is a lifelong enterprise and going beyond texts, the most challenging.

Sri Aurobindo hails from this place: Konnagar (in between Uttarpara and Chandannagar). Sites of pilgrimage and inspiration.

When the past is narrated in a way to make it interesting, it becomes creative. News served in such a manner is aptly called stories. In fact there's no escape from such a situation; elements of fiction infect every conversation. So being objective or neutral is just not possible

Each one is a wonder and there's no compulsion to rely upon past texts or traditions. Any encroachment upon an individual's autonomy needs to be resisted and tribal leashes like caste and religion must not suffocate freedom. Culture and literature should foster such an atmosphere

Each tea shop is an installation art or a mini museum

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo didn't claim any transformation of human nature yet they reposed immense faith on a harmonious collective life taking root in the course of future evolution. This is purely a theoretical construct without any substantiation. Thus it's a matter of faith.

They wanted us to believe that the West has developed mature democracies and Congress is attempting the same in India. All warts were ignored. The fact is that Democracy has no perfect model and the current fermentation therefore can't be construed as aberration or degeneration.

Two decades should be sufficiently long to forget about 20th century in order to awaken to wide-ranging challenges of the present and the future. Moth eaten myths and legends need to be jettisoned so that the modern generation can build on fresh substratum by applying creativity.

The direct disciples were responsible for spreading this all-knowing Sri Aurobindo impression but such an expectation of him is flawed. It's better to be exact about in which areas Sri Aurobindo has an edge and how they can be disseminated through a critical academic environment.

Sri Aurobindo's writings are difficult and can be bypassed and Sri Aurobindo has written on all aspects of life and has answered almost all questions of existence: these are two extremes and needs to be avoided. Contemporary and future issues are much more complex than his oeuvre

Certain aspects are ontological and can't be described in terms of the performance of Congress, Modi, or for that matter any other leader. Civilisation and Development are cyclical or spiral and geography is a prime factor alongwith temperament of people and happiness parameters.

The individual is not a part of a bigger universe; the universe rather is a part of the individual. All one's perceptions therefore are unique to himself or herself; nothing universal, rational, or scientific about it. This is far more reductionist than the anthropocentric view.

Nothing exists outside oneself: no past or future; no myth or narrative. The world exists solely in an individual's consciousness; all knowledge is subjective. So peddling any authentic history is as illusory as philosophical coherence. Habitus can't be seen as a sign of veracity

Suspect all myths and narratives being assiduously disseminated by the media and academia. Each one is a prisoner of his own trajectory and searching for any universally acceptable ontological framework is surely futile. Thus, all past philosophical formulations are mere stories.

Understanding Sri Aurobindo in the context of both India and the West is not an easy task and articulating it in a sustained manner demands superlative calibre and competence.

Sri Aurobindo simply reiterates this argument; doesn't offer any fresh evidence. So, the matter is far from being decided either way.

Certain characters we learnt about in the school seem eternal: Gulliver, Robinson Crusoe, Don Quixote, Casablanca, Jim Hawkins, Uncle Tom, etc to which can be added Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Bartlebooth, José Arcadio Buendía, and of course, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo).

Nothing seems firm after one year; RW discourse is as confused as ever. Always reacting, ranting, mocking, or outraging; no solid offerings, no publications. That's in the fitness of things perhaps. Even Sri Aurobindo couldn't reach any final conclusions; all his works incomplete

You may not be aware, but you have paraphrased what Sri Aurobindo highlights in the very first chapter of The Life Divine: “Today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to ...“
Therefore the Twitter; discussions can spread awareness and stoke curiosity. Brick and mortar organisations have proved to be ineffective and stagnant. Besides, it's one world in the virtual space. #FiveDreams #WorldUnion #SriAurobindo @SavitriEraParty

Despite imposition of Hindi and English local or coloqal languages amazingly hold the fort. Awarding Sovereignty to new nations constituted on the basis of local languages is a most logical demand. Odisha was the first such State formed in 1936. Megalomania around India must end.

Right from 1947, Kashmir has been the bone of contention leading to wars with Pakistan and antipathy towards Muslims. Ram temple movement added momentum to which the so-called appeasement issue was yoked. Hindutva stalwarts try to twist the narrative by equating Islam with Jihad.

Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar's Desher Katha inspiring revolutionaries in Bengal and Sri Aurobindo joining hands with Tilak and Moonje or later Hedgewar refining his nationalism while studying in Kolkatta can't be lost sight of. Thus, it's more synthetic and undergoing metamorphosis.

Religions are discovering that they can't fool all the people all the time. As education and awareness rises people will take a critical look but commercial and entertainment dimensions will linger. Since you are aware of Sri Aurobindo, you should be happy; he predicts collapse.

Let there be no misunderstanding; his interpretation is perfectly alright. Leaders and thinkers are great in their own right; carrying the burden of Evolution. But it degenerates. Freud has unveiled epochal insights worth admiring but his theory might aid anti-Evolutionary forces
I supplied some hints but they aren't exactly as you propose. I have no other means than to rely upon what Sri Aurobindo has said and then joining the dots. And, it turns out to be fairly accurate, by and large. As historians have banished him, present view of the past is warped.

That's nice. Task is to popularise Sri Aurobindo's view of the past, present, and the future. Educated Indians haven't been able to benefit by his writings either due to prejudice or lack of access. But it provides an alternative narrative than Hindutva and Congress-Left combine.

A lot many things are there in Sri Aurobindo's writings like trigunatita bypassing ethics or being heroic despite committing crimes; he also uses the term vibhuti. So all those who have carried the burden of mankind have been instruments of Evolution. Churchill was but not Subhas

I avoid quotations but can offer my own impression; Sri Aurobindo didn't find him worth pondering over. Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud posed the major challenge for him which snowballed into Hitler. Fascism continues in various forms and fighting it is the most important task

Freedom has this outstanding feature of not believing in anything. It too can be a sign of utmost humility that one doesn't know. From that safety, it's prudent to reject all knowledge sources and philosophical streams. Then, only two dates matter: August 15 and March 29 (1914).

Nice thread but the whole process seems to be following a pattern in a mechanical manner. Don't know whether it's your own thought or borrowed but an important factor would be the milieu. If it's serving an Evolutionary purpose it'd succeed; if not will face insurmountable hundle

"The present age of mankind" (Sri Aurobindo is concerned about the whole mankind or the human race and not just India or Hindus) is undergoing "a graded psychological evolution of the race" -The Human Cycle - The Curve of the Rational Age (CWSA-25-XIX-192)

Hindutva votaries can never win in the narrative battle because their existence is dependent upon othering. That the other is powerful and can devour it is the fear psychosis they spatter. Thus victimhood and inferiority remain ingrained just like the members of Scheduled Castes.

All said and done, spirituality is of theoretical utility only for it can't deliver on demand. But philosophically, it offers the best possible explanation of our existence as Sri Aurobindo has shown in The Life Divine. Apart from generating optimism, it fights fundamentalism too
Tragedy of India is the British legacy of being huddled under a single nation whereas the reality like Tibetans is local. So I have been campaigning for Sovereignty to States so that various forms of hidden spontaneity come to the fore. Each language must find full efflorescence.

For many discovery of a 1000 years old sculpture is much more important than what Sri Aurobindo wrote 100 years back as if his poems like The Rishi, Ahana, or Love and Death don't mean anything, not speak of Savitri. How can an entire nation be so callous!

Mother worship is common in India especially in Bengal and it was easy for Sri Aurobindo to tap the emotion. Westerners however are too rigid and suspicious in this respect and hence The Mother is still far off for most of them. Transcending either aspect is certainly a challenge

Another misconception is that The Mother & Sri Aurobindo never founded a new religion as they have clarified a number of times. But there was persistent accusations from several quarters that it's being turned into one. So I thought it fit to just name it as Savitri Era Religion.

There's a misconception that Sri Aurobindo is not a philosopher because once he had remarked so. One of his best philosophical writings is The Problem of Rebirth which was serialised in ARYA 100 years back. He never gave the impression of resolving the mystery of Karma. Must read

No gainsaying that the world existed before the person but so far as the person is concerned his knowledge of the world existing before him is subsequent and would dissolve on his death or if he is in coma. So this awareness doesn't float outside the consciousness of human beings

A spider's web can be described without the spider or with the spider. Then how it connects from different points from two walls can also be included. Thus there can be multiple perspectives. By pushing the spider out of the discourse webs of words can be multiplied exponentially

Bulk of character-traits are transmitted through genes and some are emergent. Marriages generally being confined to a caste, concentration of skills and attitudes is not unusual. So, birth-based Varna is a fact. However, Sanskritisation as indicated by M.N. Srinivas is also true.
What you are attributing to Sri Aurobindo may not be accurate. In its origin, Varna was different but it degenerated and Sri Aurobindo won't be blind to such a stark reality. As regards giving children, it sounds too proprietary for each individual pursues his or her own destiny.
It's not a question of what you do or I profess, as if we are autonomous beings functioning in isolation. Resistance to knowledge is the root of the problem; understanding things should be the priority without going ballistic at the first instance. Sri Aurobindo demands humility.

I'm curious to know whether your concern is just because you were born into this religion or on subsequently discovering superior qualities in it? Roughly, the former is political and the later is economic. Faith on gods and goddesses and mythology would approximate as aesthetic.

In a country where majority of citizens have no idea as to what 370 or 377 is, what happened in 1947 can be considered as a miracle. 1992 surely was a step in the backward direction which doesn't seem to be being reversed. Role of lovers of Sri Aurobindo in this scenario crucial.

Roy Bhaskar wrote many books to explicate reality but towards the end of his life he could spot the spider. Then there was nothing much to explain the web in isolation. However, his followers were aghast; how could he commit such a sacrilege! Publishing industry too was dismayed.

India is at the crossroads. No respect for knowledge; it's fashionable and prestigious to push planted narratives. Decibels are more credible than crucibles of truth. Entire corpus of Sri Aurobindo should have been part of syllabus but Universities are yet to evince any interest.

Scholarship shouldn't be resented; persons shouldn't be despised. The content should be the focus. What's good must be appreciated; what's flawed or distorted, deliberately or otherwise, needs to be countered. With sufficient caution and due academic humility; by producing fresh.

No national level institution dedicated to Sri Aurobindo studies. As a result, ambivalence persists on his views on several crucial issues. Even a chair somewhere will be able to produce diverse papers to popularise his relevance and break resistance. But, no one with conviction.

Indian civilisation is a misleading phrase. People lived in pockets near rivers. In the evening, they used to light a fire to ward off wild animals. Used oil or ghee and children hummed some songs. This took the form of yajna over a few generations. The Veda got added to rituals.

Constitution is about how to capture power by distributing favours and patronage. So how to keep the flock together assumes utmost importance and for that all kinds of identity is utilised. However certain books in libraries offer resistance, silently; because the author is dead.

Reach of Savitri Era Learning Forum (SELF since 2005) is meager but immense in terms of significance. Many have met tangentially with the potential of engendering diversions in thought and attitude. Thirsting for an anchor by grappling with philosophical uncertainty is the need.

While a day has so much of variety in terms of circadian rhythm and allied psychological rollercoaster that we ride, annual Merry-go-round of seasons seems to have no noticeable effect or causal factors in human functioning. This disconnect is surprising when even sea sees tides.

One basic thing is true. Seduce a person into conversation and after a while he will go on and on revealing many aspects of his thinking or hopes. This can be ascribed to power of language reinventing the person also. But healing can't be thrown out like baby with the bathwater.

When will Delhi retreat? Can Kalinga (Odisha) regain its Sovereign status? @NathTusar #WorldUnion #FiveDreams
Once the States of India get Sovereignty, co-operation as well as competition will soar. Instead of thinking China or Japan, our own capacities will receive focus. International presence and clout will grow manifold. Overall, each new nation will contribute its best to grow fast.

So many people expressing happiness over the Romila Thapar affair seems something like toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in significance for them.

While publishing the revised edition of Savitri in 1993, Sri Aurobindo Ashram also brought out a separate slim volume collating the old and new lines or passages. A similar compilation is needed for how much old history has been replaced by new findings published by RW journals.

Agree. Can only empathise with a mother's burden; but that's again somewhat empty, for we are worlds apart. You may however consider Sri Aurobindo for some future paper, if an occasion arises. Thanks.

My father, Chintamani Mohapatra was a teacher there during 1950-75 (approx.). He used to teach history. Both my elder brothers studied there whereas I in the village school in Sailo Jharapada.

Modern Odia songs by Akshaya Mohanty, Pranab Patnaik, Md. Sikandar Alam, Raghunath Panigrahi, & Chitta Jena deserve to be listened by people of other languages. Each of them has a golden voice and one can fall in love with their voice even if one can't make out much of the lyrics

Savitri Era: Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo would have remained moribund without Heehs imbroglio
Tweets in original by @NathTusar President @SavitriEraParty
#SriAurobindo #FiveDreams #WorldUnion

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