As Founder of the Savitri Era Religion (2006), I have been demanding handing over of Auroville administration to the devotees. Neither the Govt. nor the residents are the rightful owners of Auroville. All right-thinking people should lend their support to this legitimate demand.
Those in media give the impression of triggering events and politicians are sure of making history. Philosophy however tells a different story and shifts the onus on unseen entities. This loss of human autonomy is the reason why philosophy is despised. But that's the first lesson.
Philosophy in India is considered as KG level. Everyone knows everything from childhood. Festival rituals drill the lesson into heads. Hence curiosity is non-existent. Sri Aurobindo brings in the critical element. Now philosophy is possible, thinking is possible; irreverence too.
Books published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry are unparalleled in content. Reading them is an adventurous intellectual journey. Thus avoiding them in the pretext of spirituality is lethargy. But being a devotee too is equally challenging. Both aspects facilitate each other.
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo never expected a perfect set of devotees and followers. As they grow in their faith and loyalty, it's obvious that they will commit mistakes and cling to the old imperfections. Surrender to The Mother being the linchpin, all flaws can fly away by grace.
The concept of human unity in Sri Aurobindo is complex. My identity by virtue of my birth as an Odia, Brahmin, and male has its own peculiarities. Further, English-knowing, city-living and appearance etc set one apart. Thus, the unity has to transcend all these or rather descend.
In view of differences among people, reception of the writings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo has to be different. Extracting maximum benefits from one's limited awareness is another human preponderance. So there can't be any level playing field in terms of background and attitude.
Right attitude is the watchword in Sri Aurobindo's yoga. Perhaps, the power of the mind exercising its influence upon emotions and instincts is the secret. May be the mind convincing them of the greater advantages seals the deal. But continuous struggle must seek a surer formula.
My faith in the Market is complete in so far as all isms and prisms are in peaceful coexistence. Cognitive dissonance and irrational exuberance are the order of the day. Voluntary optimism coupled with intellectual gymnastics seek to outdo the hold of acrobatics of inauthenticity.
My concept of Market is Integral since nothing exists outside it. Also in the sense of linkages like Govt. purchases and kickbacks or Development and night life. That's the historical data but future is not just an extension of the past. Today is the first day of everyone's life.
Postmodernism is passé since all post-er boys have vanished. But I subscribe to Integral postmodernism although it sounds like an oxymoron. Fortunately the wrestling partner at present is another oxymoron viz. Hindu Rashtra. If one is good at being Hindu, he can't be good Rashtra
Present generation wouldn't even imagine the kind of austere living that was prevalent fifty years ago. Today, even religious places are prosperous and also their patrons. Thus, it may not be accurate to associate austerity with spirituality as the notion is against economic rise.
Social and political history after Independence forms a very rich field of research. Such data wasn't available when Sri Aurobindo was writing. In that sense, the present provides a much better lens to look at the future. Sri Aurobindo's theory thus is relatively more speculative.
India has an excellent environment for expression of opinions with admirable articulation. Columnists fight for just causes with courage. But when it comes to creating a new religion, most are lukewarm. Legitimate democratic right of creating a new religion doesn't get sympathy.
If a section of the population is devoted to The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and regards them as the one Supreme Divine, then no one should have any objection. Periodical pilgrimage to Puducherry is a known phenomenon. But there's reluctance to give it the recognition of new religion.
There have been attempts to produce a biography of The Mother from her own recollections and some have expressed doubts about certain episodes. But these discrepancies have little value before her divine manifestation in conjunction with Sri Aurobindo's. Belief in her heals doubt.
Both The Mother & Sri Aurobindo relied upon group activity for philosophical or spiritual endeavour. it's difficult to gauge their success and hence imprecise to judge their effect. No doubt they stir the collective consciousness and impress onlookers in the manner of a spectacle
It's easy to make people feel inferior by invoking spiritual experience. But I Have noticed that some who flaunt their experience are not well-read and harbour very narrow mentality. Being a devotee is primary but adequate reading is necessary for examining what is right or wrong.
If we look at a century back the kind of intellectual muddle and scientific infancy surprises us. Today we are in a secure position and much more level-headed. It also dawns on us that mere scientific exploration won't provide the secret of the universe. Some philosophy is needed.
While dealing with their disciples, The Mother & Sri Aurobindo had to exercise enormous caution. They had to couch their interactions in a palatable religious and cultural context. No such compulsion exists for us, today. We can straightaway take their names and dismiss all else.
Like most things material, conforming to a satisfactory life philosophy can confer many advantages. Instead of the tral and error method, zeroing in on one when young can save one from numerous troubles. The Integral outlook forged by The Mother & Sri Aurobindo has no comparison.
Instead of attending meetings or seminars physically, one can watch videos of various speakers expounding on The Mother & Sri Aurobindo from different angles. This also takes away the fear of reading the thick books of Sri Aurobindo although there's no substitute of that pleasure.
The religious angle entrenched in Sri Aurobindo's writings is one reason why many turn away from them. Modern philosophy has skillfully kept away religion from its purview to pose a secular image. The very purpose of Sri Aurobindo is to break that hypocrisy and false dichotomy.
To know or to become are some of the injunctions relating to experience even within the teaching of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. But taking it too literally by avoiding reading may not be prudent. The discursive nature of their whole project has a significant evolutionary function.
Characterising certain trends as lower ends may not be right. A company has every right to manipulate communication the way it likes. Even ambush or surrogate are valid methods as are owning vice stocks. Further, nothing indicates that it's not good economics.
Sri Aurobindo was born in Kolkata in 1872 where he took part in active politics and journalism during 1905-10. He was in jail for one year in 1908. He also published a philosophical periodical in Bengali. The concept of the Ashram too germinated here before The Mother's arrival.
The only book from which quotations of Sri Aurobindo was sourced earlier was India's Rebirth. Regrettably, it has poisoned many minds and sorely misrepresented Sri Aurobindo. Thanks to new books like Reading Sri Aurobindo co-authored by Chikermane, fresh quotations are surfacing.
Eliot's The Waste Land may be more famous but Savitri has the answer. Not only in content but in technique too, Savitri is head and shoulders above. Its lines are considered as mantra and many acknowledge benefits of immersive reading. Sri Aurobindo wrote it over several decades.
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo promulgated a new path for all those trapped under the old religions. It's integral, universal, and evolutionary. Its scientific spirituality doesn't rely upon mythological fiction or superstition. Indians should believe in their divine manifestation.
Indian society is mired by divisions over caste, religion, language, and ideology. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo exhort for transcending it in favour of an integral outlook. Accepting them as the one Supreme Divine amounts to collaborating with evolutionary energy for transformation.
Sri Aurobindo boldly spoke about World Union in his 1947 broadcast. It's unthinkable even today but the evolutionary force is at work and certain events point to its fruition. Belief in The Mother & Sri Aurobindo as the one Supreme Divine is necessary for accelerating the process.
What to read is one of the most important questions in life. Choosing something different from the professional sphere or current affairs is a matter of courage. Engaging with the difficult writings of Sri Aurobindo is certainly adventurous. Reading itself is an evolutionary act.
Everyone has benefited from the Nehruvian consensus of secularism and rationalism. All forms of protest movements too have swelled under that banyan tree. Hindutva has grown exponentially but hasn't abdicated the Nehruvian template. Sri Aurobindo's harmony is yet to gain traction.
The social situation binds one to a certain section and then plurality is seen as a virtue. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo help on the contrary to belong to a cosmopolitan atmosphere and forget about divisions. The dynamics may be difficult at the outset but one reaps benefits later.
Thinking in terms of India is the root of all problems in India. Each State has a distinct language and culture and yet they don't receive the required recognition. U.K. is like one of our States and see how much clout it has while our States are languishing. Sovereignty is must.
Instead of a guru, approaching Sri Aurobindo as a poet, philosopher, and literary critic is more appropriate. This year being his 150th birth anniversary year, awareness on this should be spread from all forums so that it's drilled into the collective consciousness of the new gen.
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo empower us not to be impressed or intimidated by the tradition or culture. They foresee a future of different texture in which the past has little effect. Understanding this helps to see the ideal of human unity in new light. Old categories will crumble.
The role of Nehruvian ethos in shaping the country is widely acknowledged. But how far the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo has influenced the worldview of the people hasn't been assessed diligently. Sri Aurobindo may be relatively less known but his ideas have travelled far and wide.
Secularism in India is a contested space as multiple interpretations vie with each other. Respect for all religions amounts to hypocrisy but the philosophical underpinnings are likely to be derived from Sri Aurobindo. This position also opens the possibility of a new religion.
Sri Aurobindo explained that the Vedic deities are cosmic powers and principles and not as imagined in later day mythologies. Such abstract notion turned rituals to be futile. Any discussion on gods and goddesses, therefore, must be checked against Sri Aurobindo's interpretation.
Some people are not able even to copy-paste properly. Minimum respect for the writings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo can impart this capability. Disfiguring what is considered as mantra is a sacrilege. Not following principles of sound citation also is an intellectual disability.
Piecemeal solutions are no assurance of peace. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have examined the matter threabare to reach at the conclusion that descent of the Supramental consciousness is the only solution. Believing in that and following their instructions can create that momentum.
The descent of the Supramental consciousness is not impersonal. Certain individuals obviously will be part of the vanguard. A strict application of the Karma theory is immaterial here. Anyone with ardent aspiration is a candidate. No particular nation is favoured; it's universal.
No historical data can provide the base for any sound economic principle. All past theories have developed on the experience derived from limited geographic area. The success or lack thereof has been possible owing to the presence of innumerable unseen factors obtaining elsewhere.
Be it communicative action or uninhibited discourse in the public sphere, Twitter offers excellent opportunities. But what is the experience of this medium? Institutions imitate and flounder. Individuals don't believe each other. Thus, the notion of community is only ephemeral.
All life is yoga transcends ideologies. All life means one's own life with its particularity and peculiarity. Imposing one's own preference upon another therefore is uncalled for. This is the height of postmodernity. Yet there's the underlying thread of aspiration or common faith
It's amusing that opposing camps demand independent thought from each other. Expecting objectivity from party supporters is chimerical. This handle is the only independent voice in whole Twitter. Even among the followers of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, it ploughs a lonely furrow.
Democracy teaches to change voice with regime change. Same with corporate takeovers. Advocates are adept at arguing for either side. This is the seed of intellectual dishonesty. Management legitimises it for leveraging it for profit. Thus searching independent thought is in vain.
Left servility to Gandhi-Nehru discourse has robbed this country of a critical thinking culture. Mythological fiction on the other hand imposes soporific atmosphere. Sri Aurobindo, in this context, has tremendous relevance. New generation should discover his penetrating insights.
Impatience of those who predict future events with varied opinions on social issues is understandable. Neat ideologies make their jobs easier. But expecting ready-made solutions to long-standing problems is illogical. Democratic negotiations involve lots of time and persuasion.
Not to face dissent is tempting but building an ideology that is capable of trouncing the rivals is not easy. Intellectual content that contains compassion and democratic intent is a tall order. Using religion and harnessing herd mentality is one thing but modernity is another.
I hear that Twitter has been taken over by a new administration. As my followers count appears inflated I request the genuine figures are shown. I also request to deactivate the like button which is a nuisance. Similarly quote tweet breaks continuity of conversation; so should go.