I read Sri Aurobindo's complete works for my M.A. thesis
by Rich on Sun 16 Apr 2006 10:22 PM PDT Permanent Link Author: Jyotirmaya Sharma: asst. editor of the Times of India, a past lecturer at Oxford and Delhi, current member of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, etc, etc.The book: Hindutva, Exploring the idea of Hindu Nationalism Published by: Viking Penguin© Jyotirmaya Sharma, 2003 Science, Culture & Integral Yoga
by Jyotirmaya on Mon 21 Aug 2006 12:15 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link Let me tell you a thing or two about what you call my unbalanced treatment of Aurobindo. I read Sri Aurobindo's complete works for my M.A. thesis, which was supervised by an Aurobindo devotee. He remains a friend even today and we disagree on Aurobindo. My former supervisor also remains a staunch devotee.
by Jyotirmaya on Tue 22 Aug 2006 10:46 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link In my book, I have never even indirectly imputed that Aurobindo Ghosh was a Hindutva votary. The book is about the ideas that went into making of political Hindutva. In other words, it is about genealogy of ideas, rather than suggesting that so and so was a Hindutva votary or any such nonsense. Moreover, the book contains attributions not only to the Bande Mataram period but takes the story upto India's independence and Sri Aurobindo passing on.
There are two things being conflated here. One is my inadequate research, a charge not even worthy of rejection. The second is my perspective, which I am more than happy for people to disagree with. But it is a perspective, not a `misunderstanding' as you suggest. Since, I do not think that philosophical texts ought to be hostage to a single understanding or interpretation. As for his continuing engagement with `otherness' and modernity, I have dealt with it exhaustively, within the parameters of my perspective...
In the case of Sri Aurobindo, all I have suggested in the book is that whether it was the period of revolutionary terrorism or the period as a Maharshi in Pondicherry, there are aspects of Sri Aurobindo's thought that forms the genealogy and patrimony of political Hindutva as we know it today. It simply cannot be dismissed as a simple instance of appropriation, which is the line Mr. Peter Heehs also tends to take. Whether Hinduism is not fossilised, or whether it is an evolving cultural/spiritual corpus or not, this is a subject which I shall try to have my say in a book published next year. 4:14 PM