Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Savitri Era Religion exudes universality

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sri Aurobindo is not a mere Hindu revivalist

Pondicherry has been renamed as Puducherry. But the pet name Pondy is likely to linger in popular conversation. Sri Aurobindo arrived in Pondy on April 4, 1910 and The Mother on March 29, 1914. Together, they launched a monthly philosophical journal called, Arya on August 15, 1914. Gradually, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram also took shape. And that is how a tiny port-town like Pondy became world famous.
The major and mature writings of Sri Aurobindo were serialized in Arya that appeared regularly till January 15, 1921. Of course, many of those thoughts in seed-form can be traced in the writings of pre-Pondy days. Many present day writers liberally use extracts from his writings of the pre-Pondy days to show that he was a Hindu nationalist leader. That the context was to fight the Britishers by mobilizing and motivating the public is easily forgotten.
Sri Aurobindo remained aloof from active politics during the last 40 years of his life spent in Pondy. In this period, along with The Mother, he created an integral vision for the future of humanity. His words have spread to every corner of the world and he is counted among the top-rung philosophers. So, to show him as a mere Hindu revivalist is truancy to his true legacy. It is hoped that the present-day scholars and writers would desist from such intellectual dishonesty.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The integralism achieved by the yogic vision of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo cannot be bettered

M. Alan Kazlev from Australia of fame, in a series of essays published in the Integral world, has given a clarion call to the New Agers not to remain fettered by the intellectual exhortations of Ken Wilber and his ilk, and instead, be anchored to the spiritually elevating transformational synthesis accomplished by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. This firm stand, coming from a sincere seeker who has all along endeavoured to compare and contrast various esoteric and spiritual systems, must undoubtedly be seen as a major milestone in the meandering course of the integral movement.

Large-scale publishing of innumerable self-help books, both fiction and non-fiction, in the past fifty years has created a readership which requires to be fed with a continuous supply of novelty. Just like the latest movie, new authors are being lapped up in the manner people fall for the reigning fashion. Of course, there is no other way to know the worth of a book than to read it, but the choices are being made more on the basis of some uncanny affinity and endorsement rather than any considered rationality.

Obviously, it is too much to expect that a democracy of readers, so constituted, would choose to vote for the worn out names of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Nor, is it an easy prospect that the vast masses owing allegiance to established religions would allow the right of way to the vision of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. The intelligentsia is still less dependable, engrossed as they are in contemporary nit-pickings.

Alan has rightly reminded that the teachings, personality, and spiritual presence of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo as charismatic teachers is already there. Further, sincere work conforming to their ideals are being carried out across the globe in fields as divers as education and environment. One can surmise that it would grow in a slow but steady pace. Nonetheless, there can certainly be some catalytic action to shore up momentum.

Alan has called for a fresh start for the integral movement with The Mother and Sri Aurobindo as the central focus. But the call of the day is perhaps to leap forth to the next level, call it orthodox or foundational. Many are under the illusion that they can dish out a new synthesis by integrating the different established systems like Sri Aurobindo’s. How easily it is forgotten that, the integralism achieved by the yogic vision of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo cannot be bettered. In fact, no egghead should venture to tinker with their teachings.

And, finally, let’s call a spade a spade. How long would we dither to call the grace of our beloved Masters and their teachings, a religion? It is a religion, make no mistake about it, and the adherents need to put their act together to help it take root. No myths or legends, ours is a stark 20th century faith based on the most comprehensive philosophy. This is a grand testament of universality, take it or leave it. And, this is the greatest ever manifesto for man; seekers of the world unite!

The word, integral has already been besmirched. So, should we call our religion Savitri Era, instead? [SE-MMYP, TNM: July 27, 2006]

Monday, July 24, 2006

The contingency, the contextuality and the historicity

Tusar N Mohapatra said... One very unique and significant aspect of Sri Aurobindo's insights is the concept that our core and causal personality, what he calls the Psychic Being, is the arbiter of our life and destiny, In fact, he goes on to add that the Psychic Being decides on the broad formulations of the life's tenor and texture before the birth. Our life then becomes the opportunity to unfold the secret manifesto with a large proportion of distinctness.
Sri Aurobindo, therefore, emphasizes upon the Swabhava and Swadharma, one's own specific manner of perceiving the reality and partaking of it. The contingency, the contextuality and the historicity, accordingly, form the great adventure in hermeneutics of the book of Nature, of which our life is but a leaf.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sri Aurobindo denied admission to Delhi University

The greatest philosopher of modern India, Sri Aurobindo, does not find a place in the Philosophy syllabus of Delhi University. Many great scholars of the country and from abroad have already authored several treatises on the philosophy as well as the metaphysical poetry of Sri Aurobindo. Many comparative works, too, have been brought out by established publishing houses and top academic institutes. But Sri Aurobindo has yet to pass a test by our pedantic Professors of the University of Delhi.
Sri Aurobindo's extensive mapping of consciousness and his life-long endeavour to fathom the overhead regions through poetry and yoga are seminal contributions. His emphasis on attainability of highest possible perfection through sheer human efforts and by mere aspiration is a great message of hope. Further, the adventure of consciousness is not aimed at isolated spiritual salvation. Rather, a harmonious collective living is the ultimate destination. By translating this ideal to practical terms, Sri Aurobindo draws an elaborate blueprint concerning the ideal of human unity leading to the establishment of a World-Union.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nemesis of confusion and delusion

Tusar N Mohapatra said... And therefore, THE LIFE DIVINE is the last word. The nemesis of confusion and delusion. Further, there is SAVITRI.
So, start reading and stop worrying. 10:18 PM

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Integral minus Veda

Joint venture of two of top minds of our times has shortlisted certain "spiritual lines" in quest of creating "an integral spirituality." The list is appended, but surprisingly, Veda, the fountainhead of all spiritual aspirations is not mentioned.
Marko Rinck Says: July 27th, 2006 at 2:29 pm
  1. Identity- Advaita
  2. Space or emptiness- Buddhists
  3. Pearl/Soul- Sufism, Gnostics, Daoism
  4. Love- Sufism, Christianity
  5. Compassion- Buddhism
  6. Energy- Yoga, Daoism, Kashmir Shaivism
  7. Will- Gurdijeff
  8. Peace- Christianity
  9. Consciousness- Advaita, Yoga
  10. Strength- Shao-lin, Shamanism
  11. Awareness- Buddhism, Krishnamurti
  12. Dynamism and creativity- Shaivism
  13. Knowingness- Gnostics, Ancient Greeks, Jnana Yoga
alan kazlev Says: July 27th, 2006 at 5:57 pm
  1. Interaction with Nature Kingdoms- Neopaganism, Shamanism, some New Age
  2. Interaction with Subtle Realms- Tantra, Hermetic occultism, Shamanism, etc
  3. Pleasure / Ananda- Tantra, Taoist sexual yoga
  4. Transformation of Matter- Lurianic Kabbalah, Aurobindo and the Mother

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Is “nature” a thing out there?

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

Monday, January 11, 2016

To live life fully and greatly

Suhas Mehra

As workers become more aware of their inherent worth as human beings first, they refuse to be treated like a piece of machine with an assigned task or as part of a mechanism of laws governing the production. They challenge any workplace practice that dehumanises them in any way.
Over a period of time progressive organisations begin to recognize that productivity and success are obtained not merely by controlling all the factors at the workplace, but by actively contributing to the individual and social well-being and development of all of their employees. The modern management practice, therefore, is to rank organisations based on several humanistic factors such as employee initiative, loyalty, engagement and adaptability alongside worker efficiency.[ix]
Sri Aurobindo had concluded, decades prior to the present Human Relations movement that the outcome of the application of science to human aspects will lead to two idea-forces of master potency —
“the democratic conception of the right of all individuals as members of the society to the full life and the full development of which they are individually capable.” Additionally, “there is this deeper truth which individualism has discovered, that the individual is not merely a social unit; his existence, his right and claim to live and grow are not founded solely on his social work and function.”
An individual spends vast majority of time at his or her occupation. If somehow it could help, in a small way, to live life fully and greatly, and to develop the individual’s capabilities and potentialities, wouldn’t that be a much needed improvement both for the life of an individual employee as well as the collective life of the organisation? But the next question arises – what is meant after all by life and when is it that we live most fully and greatly?
“Life is surely nothing but the creation and active self-expression of man’s spirit, powers, capacities, his will to be and think and create and love and do and achieve. When that is wanting or, since it cannot be absolutely wanting, depressed, held under, discouraged or inert, whether by internal or external causes, then we may say that there is a lack of life.”[x]
This requires a more subjective view of human life, aspiration and progress.
In what way can an organisation encourage this life-spirit in its employees? What role does subjectivism play in this future progress that an organisation must make if it wants to evolve further and move closer to its deeper purpose of existence? What are some of the challenges and potential pitfalls on the path of subjectivism – for an individual as well as the organisation? These are some of the questions we will explore in the next article in our series, The Organisational Cycle.

The Lost Humanity - The Sentinel › Op-Ed
By Jyotsna Bhattacharjee
I am not afraid of ghosts nor am I afraid of beasts. But I am terribly afraid of human beings—that sneaky repulsive species, which claim to be the highest product in the evolutionary process, to which I too belong with all my faults. Of course there are man and man. I am not talking about those super human beings, who can claim to be really good and honest in this world of evil forces. I do not include these extra ordinary persons in the common category of human beings like us. We may mention the names of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo, Rabindra Nath Tagore and many others like them who can be termed as extraordinary human beings with superior intelligence and other excellent qualities. They were great reformers and social workers without any selfish considerations. Such good people are not affected by pleasure or pain, flattery or defamation. The majority of the human beings are selfish, unscrupulous and unbelievably cruel.
The majority of human beings seem to be the lowest and the filthiest product in the evolutionary process. Leibnitz, the German philosopher, asserted that God made man in his own image. Then why are the human beings so hateful—ready to pounce on anybody who is down? It is said that rats always desert a sinking ship. I do not know about rats, but I know about human beings who do the same things. When you are having a spell of good fortune, you would be surrounded by scores of unwanted well-wishers, who would overwhelm you with flattery and show of affection. But the moment you are down, they will scuttle away like rabbits. Running away is not half as bad as vicious talks and spreading rumours. There are some people who enjoy making derogatory remarks about another person. Some people love to hear ill of others. Perhaps it is our nature to disparage others.
Human beings are a selfish lot. I wonder how we can claim to be the highest product in the evolutionary process. Some of our actions demonstrate to what extent we can stoop to harm fellow human being. Our cruelty greed, vengeful nature clearly indicate that our claim of being the highest creation of God cannot be justified. Friendship means nothing to us and most of us are only fair-weather friends. 

Human nature is such that we are usually ready to believe any scandal concerning another without giving the story benefit of doubt. We believe the worst things about others and gloat over another’s misfortune. We do not bother that our poisonous tongue may do irreparable damage to some one’s reputation. Sometimes I wonder why we get pleasure by defaming somebody or by listening to some slanderous incident in some one’s life. I suppose human nature is like that and we often succumb to baser instincts.
The frequent incidents of terrorism have demonstrated  clearly how cruel man can be. Human beings do not hesitate to perpetrate any heinous activity if it brings some gain to them. They do not mind killing innocent people including children and infants. People are getting killed without any provocation all around the world. 
I wonder why we unnecessarily torment ourselves with jealousy, greed, vengeful feelings and other degrading emotions which demean humanity. All our actions clearly indicate that self-love is our driving force. Even public good is done for private gain—to achieve name and fame for the do-gooder. That is what we are—supposed to be God’s greatest creation. In talking about the depravity of human beings I am not trying to make an exemption of myself. In fact, I am as bad as others, may be even worse than others. Actually I know about the depravity of human beings from my own experience, since I am also one of them. It is not that I am not trying to get rid of temptations, jealousy, greed and all those evil feelings. It is not easy. But I am really trying to be a better person at this fag end of my life. I think that if all of us try hard we may succeed in being better persons than we are. For that we have to develop strength of mind and sincerity. It will not be easy, but worth making the attempt.
I suppose love of humanity is essential for a happy life. Only then the world will be a better place to live in. But unfortunately we have not been able to generate this excellent quality in our minds till now. We do not have love for others. Rather we have animosity towards others and this feeling may lead to disastrous consequences. Mahatma Gandhi had remarked that it is easy to hate, but difficult to love. It is love that can bring peace and happiness to this earth of ours. But we are going in the reverse direction and it is hate which is directing all our feelings and activities.
That is why we are usually ready to believe any scandalous gossip about another without giving the person the benefit of doubt. Human nature is such that we believe anything about someone as long as it is something bad. I really do not understand why we prefer to hear abominable things about someone rather than the good. Jealousy often gnaws our heart, when someone we do not like is praised. I believe that jealousy is at the root of our ill behaviour and disreputable conduct. Not for a moment do we realize that by our evil talks we are actually lowering ourselves in the eyes of others and not the person we are trying to discredit.  

A majority of human beings, including myself, are a disgrace to Mother Nature. We never have any genuine feeling for anybody. We are all in a hell of our own making. We feel happy when another human being suffers. We spread false rumours regarding another person, without sparing a second thought to his feelings. Our nature is such that we believe anything about another as long as it is the worst possible scandal. If we wish to damage somebody’s reputation, it is easy to do it. We can create any number of scandalous stories to take away the character of somebody, only because we are jealous of the person concerned. I think jealousy is the cause of our malicious gossip. Truth cannot be concealed for long, it is bound to reveal itself some day. That is why it is said that no man can harm another human being. We often forget that we belong to the same species of human beings and certainly have kinship with one another. Then why should we try to hurt another?
Tongue is deadlier than a knife. Backbiting is more injurious than stabbing. Even if we cannot do any good, let us not do at least something bad. Surely it is not an impossible task; all it needs is resolution. May be human beings have very weak character, but why should we gloat over somebody else’s misfortune? How will it benefit us? How can we be happy at the cost of somebody’s suffering? I think it is very important to awaken humanity in us, which we seem to have lost. If God made man in his own image, then there must be something good in us, which is being lost in a morass of evil. Perhaps we should try to cultivate spiritualism in order to realize the inherent good in man. Only then we will be happy and content and the earth will regain peace. It is worth trying for the good of humanity and for the good of Mother Earth.
(The writer is a former Head, Department of Philosophy, Cotton College, Guwahati)

White guilt? No thanks! But please pass the white shame

I appreciated the way George Yancy talked about guilt in his recent New York Times piece. I have been trying to think through what it means to attempt an ethics in a world where ideal ethical living is basically impossible. Without going all the way with someone like Dworkin, I know that the relationship those of us with partners have as a couple or even those in polyamorous relationships, however loving and supportive and equal we all try to make it, is still structured by patriarchal norms, capitalism, and heteronormativity. I use that example because it is something most of us live everyday and can reflect on easily. In our homes all the problems of nature and culture meet, all the problems of politics and ethics coalesce, and we navigate them the best we can, but we are bound to failure. The failure of our society and our culture. This is true of myself too but I don’t feel guilt about that. Feeling guilt would imply I was doing some individual action that sullied something that was working before. But I do feel uneasy, I do feel a certain sense of shame because of the subject position as male I am recognized as and inhabit in the social world.