Saturday, August 25, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
A public meeting had been organised at old Bengal National College building at 164 & 166 Bowbazar Street
to Tusar N. Mohapatra email@example.com date 23-Aug-2007 18:19 subject
Re: Centenary of Sri Aurobindo's Address to the students of the Bengal National College
Tomorrow is the centenary of Rabindranath Tagore's poem 'Namaskar'-Salutations addressed to Sri Aurobindo.
It was a glorious time, as you had once told me over our tele-discussion, it was the age of fire, if only now, Bengal & we were more responsive & aspiring. The nation has to one day be moved by His words, I am moved to think that you have at least started an action along these lines exactly a hundred years down that age. Happy to be able to share these with you. Anirban
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
from Desicritics by Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta Self Determination, freedom, independence etc. are very emotive words. The emotions come from the fact that one is being ruled by somebody unwanted. Like the old quote goes, “it might be in your interest to enslave us, but how is it in our interest to be your slaves”.
What type of Freedom India won, how the country progressed and what is our expectations.
Sri Aurobindo in his Freedom Message to the All India Radio, Tiruchirapally, on that day expressed happiness that India finally became free on his birthday, taking it as a seal and sanction of the divine for the work with which he started his revolutionary career, but added, ‘. . . but she has not achieved unity.’ Freedom of united India was his first dream along with four others. Resurgence of Asia, World-Union, bestowal of spiritual gift of India to the world and evolution of human consciousness for individual and social perfection were the other dreams.
Did Nehru unconsciously give a reply to the lamentation of the Bengal poet? Did he, otherwise not so concerned about matters spiritual, refer to the soul of India unconsciously? But here lies the point of solution for India is a spiritual country and the Mother of Pondicherry thought that India is the spiritual Guru of the world.
Realising his political failure, Gandhiji, who some hail as the sole harbinger of freedom through his non-violent movement, was conspicuously absent from the scene of jubilation up to his last day. India got such freedom through communal blood-bath, by violent methods. ‘Quite India’ became non-violent movement, so was naval revolt, Subhas Chandra Bose with his Azad Hind force and non-cooperation by the Indian army, etc. contributed force to Gandhi, to finally achieve freedom. The situation was such that the British had no way but to give independence to India. They had their internal trouble too.They thought it dangerous to carry on further. It was never that the non-violent movement brought a soul-change in them to surrender.
India’s industrial revolution has been progressing at the cost of the farmers and our age-old agriculture to satisfy the profiteering motive of the industrialists and business community, whom the communists too welcome though it is their theory that a capitalist makes profit at the cost of labourers. The whole of India has become corrupt at the hands of politicians and opportunists. All big media are their friends. Tourism progresses at the cost of Mother Nature. Scientific progress brings Global Warming, invites Climate Change. Speaking about the Wildlife, Ullas Karanth writes, ‘Roads, reservoirs, canals, mines and industrial projects- temples of Jawaharlal Nehru’s modern India- devastated what remained.’ Ashish Kothari writes, ‘We are here today, on one of the steepest descending curves of the environmental roller-coaster ride we have been on since independence.’ (Both in The Hindu of 15.8.2007)
India is a very old civilisation. The whole of its spiritual past remains in Indian psyche. An Indian is modern and ancient. He knows that everything is temporary. ‘The most well-adjusted and harmonious schizophrenics in the world’, says Pavan K. Varma of ICCR. Caste system is still prevalent but they know the fake side of it.
The spiritual guide is extending its helping-hand. Farmers in the field, fishermen in the coastal areas, environmentalists and honest people are rising up everywhere. The white fire of spirit will rise up some day from the smouldering heaps of discarded religions to make India really free, help the world to wake up to heaven. Sri Aurobindo did not give any time frame. 615 words © Aju Mukhopadhyay, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I wait for the day when people with true spiritual conscience start emerging in the political scenario
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Happy Birthday, Sri Aurobindo Filed under: Miscellaneous — Atanu Dey @ 9:05 am
But it is hard this awakening, the mighty Mother groans under the torpor of innumerable selves. Selves of ignorance and pride, of apathy and weakness, of sloth and greed. No more do her children remember the law, the strength of aspiration, of sacrifice. All is a mire, as when a waking child knows not its bearing, all is a stumbling.
In remembering themselves, her children have forgotten the Mother. No longer does the heart vibrate with the cry of Vande Mataram.
But a few have heard her call for help. A few of us, perhaps even you and I, though we may not know it. And we act to awaken her.
In every gesture and every common act to reveal a little of her heritage. To hold your head high, to not stoop down before convention. A little perfection in every task, a little perseverance in every ambition. To become in ourselves worthy inheritors of the Upanishads, souls fit to hold the Gita. To stand beside each of our brothers-black and brown, saint and sinner, high and the low, strong and the weak, all children of the same Mother, to aspire within and conquer without.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
All those who want not only to live the life enjoined by the Integral Yoga but also in that light to work for the nation
by Vladimir on Sun 12 Aug 2007 11:30 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Sunday, August 12, 2007
tat savitur varam rūpam jyotih parasya dhīmahi yannah satyéna dīpayét
Let us meditate on the most auspicious form of Savitŗ, on the Light of the Supreme which shall illumine us with the Truth.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
It is only much later, when I went to Bangkok for a job of teaching in the Assumption University, that I opened myself to the world more and more, though cautiously. Maybe it was only in 1996 when I went out to the United States of America for a conference that I started seeing and participating in the world’s happenings for the first time and I began to see consciously the work of the Mother in and for the world and the fulfilment of the dreams of Sri Aurobindo. My travelling across countries and continents for the past 12 years or so, participating in seminars and holding workshops in Integral Yoga and Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo brought me closer to the efforts and aspirations of many people and cultures bringing me insights into the realisation of the ‘dreams’.
It is not truly democratic, for power rests in the hands of a very small number of persons who are in some way supposed to represent the people of India. The decision-making process is in the hands of a small coterie. The present Parliamentary system has in practice come to mean the rule and often the tyranny of a minority, even of a very small minority. P.C. Alexander, in a speech in Parliament, warned of the danger of the present system which could even lead to a development where: “… we may create an oligarchical system where a few people will be benefited while the integrity and strength of the country as a whole would have got eroded”.
The party system is proving to be very divisive.
The Parliamentary method is very slow and takes a very long time with all its inevitable consequences.
A habit of Machiavellian statecraft has replaced the nobler ethical ideals of the past; aggressive ambition is left without any sufficient spiritual or moral check and there seems to be a coarsening of the national mind in the ethics of politics and government. This tendency which manifested itself quite some time back was held in abeyance by a religious spirit and high intelligence, Dharma. It needs to be revived so that politics can be raised to a higher level...
One might therefore reasonably conclude that it is only by the harmonising of all these apparently opposite viewpoints that one can arrive at a settled and secure national growth and development. The political system must reflect this vision of things and only then can we move on a sound and stable curve of progress and fulfillment. Probably, Nature herself is pushing India in this direction by the formation of coalition governments at the Centre. Let us therefore collaborate with Nature and move ultimately towards a national government, which will inevitably create a harmonious synthesis of ideas, overriding all narrow political interests. Some suggestions for putting this into practice are being given here.
In the present system the Prime Minister is elected by the party winning the largest number of seats. It is suggested that the Prime Minister should be elected by all the members of the Parliament and not by the majority party.
The Ministry should be formed by the Prime Minister and should include members of all parties having more than 20% of the electoral vote. That might mean a Ministry made up of two or three parties. It will be the first step in the union of parties.
The method of proportional representation should be discussed by the parties for introduction into the electoral system
A far greater decentralisation of power giving much more autonomy to the States should be seriously considered. This should be discussed in some detail by the political parties and States.
As a first step the Panchayats should be empowered.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Serious anti-national and secessionist trends
A society deeply divided in the name of religion, caste and even gender
Corruption at all levels and particularly at the higher political levels; India ranks high among the corrupt nations
An absence of national feeling leading to regionalism and parochialism where local interest becomes more important than the national interest
The enormous gap between the rich and the poor despite a vigorous economic growth.
The dangers emanating from our neighbourhood, where most of the nations are facing serious tensions and seem to be heading towards being called “failed States”
The shortcomings in the educational system both in quality and quantity and its failure to uplift the nation as a whole We shall now try to see where the root causes for this situation lie. For, it is only after finding out the causes that we can think of applying the remedy.
- Probably the most important suggestion is that there should be a group of persons in Parliament itself who will come together and state clearly that their allegiance is only to the nation and not to any party. It will be good if they contest the elections on a non-party plank with national interest as their sole ideology.
- A very important step in governance is transparency. A step in this direction has been taken by passing the Right to Information Act. This must be carried to its logical conclusion. This will reduce corruption to a great extent.
- Serious thought must be given to changing the present Parliamentary system to the Presidential system. A national dialogue should be initiated. Probably, in the Indian context, the Republican system or Presidential form of government will be better.
- Which nations have souls?
- How long does a nation need to be in existence to have a soul?
- What are the boundaries of the nation with a soul?
- Can these be equated with political boundaries?
- Or religious boundaries?
- And who will decide what are the cultural boundaries?
- Are these fixed?
- Or do these include new emergences we cannot predict?
These are some of the questions to be considered if one wishes to tread this dangerous territory. The souls of nations, just like the souls of individuals, manifest historically in time and use circumstances to emerge into the manifestation. Of course, a continuity of habitus or the boundaries of discourse exist within cultures which have developed forms of specificity. The point of fostering such continuities, made by Mr. Sane is well taken.
At the same time, it must be recognized that the emergence of a living consciousness which handles this habitus powerfully and creatively in dialoging with the world is what is required today, not the drawing of protected boundaries to identify a sect(ion) or cult(ure) as a privileged fossil. DB
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Both democratic politics and capitalism are based on competition and this is what keeps people honest
I’ve never been apologetic about this. If Om Namah Shivay is the reason I didn’t become president, then certainly it’s a great blessing, because I won’t exchange my Om Namah Shivay, as Arjun says in the Bhagwad Gita, “even for the sovereignty of the three worlds, what then for this land.”
SHEKHAR GUPTA: Is the Left’s position on (irreligious) secularism also the Congress view now?
I don’t know. That’s really for the party spokesman to answer. I’m not sure if atheism is an essential part of the ideology of the Left in India. But it was in other communist countries. As a guest of (Nikita) Kruschev, I asked, ‘Mr General-Secretary, is it possible in your country to be a believer and also a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union?’ He said, ‘No, it is not. We do respect religion and other faiths but to be a member of the CPSU, you have to be an atheist.’ Whether that applies to Left in India or not, I do not know. But once you give the Left the veto . . .
SHEKHAR GUPTA: Do you think the Left could now end up vetoing those who are religious even out of the membership of the Congress Working Committee?
It’s the Left which vetoed, not the CWC. Shekhar, I feel relieved with this presidency thing, which has been hovering over my head for 10 years, out of my system. I’m free now. So I’m feeling a sense of relief.
AMITABH SINHA: By bowing to the wishes of the Left, do you not think that the Congress is taking its secularism a bit too far?
I don’t think it’s a question of secularism so much as it is of numbers. I don’t know what you mean by ‘too far’, but, you know, I think in India secularism has come to mean something quite different from what it means in Europe. Secularism in India should not mean anti-religiousness. Secularism is what Gandhiji preached or what even Sarva Dharma Sambhav says, that is, equal respect for all religions. But the Left still looks at secularism from the absolutist point of view, as either pro- or anti-religion.
But this whole thing (the presidential race) was run by the Left. They first laid down the parameters. Prakash Karat clearly is the most powerful man in India today . . . and I didn’t say woman!
SHEKHAR GUPTA: Let’s look at the first 15-20 senior-most members of the Congress, those in the Union Cabinet and those in the CWC. How many can actually pass the new criteria of being secular, which is being irreligious. How many of them actually believe in some god in their private and professional lives?
None of them would qualify. I don’t know if there is an atheist among them. Even Dr Manmohan Singh is a devout Sikh. And I think all the others have their own religious beliefs. In India 99 per cent of the people are religious. By census figures, people who write ‘no religion’ or ‘agnostic’ are less than one per cent. This time it was the question of numbers, which Congress did not have. So the support of the Left was needed. So it laid down the parameters and called the shots. But I don’t think that the ‘anti-religious’ definition of secularism of the Left is sustainable.
VANDITA MISHRA: You spoke of secularism and respecting all religions. What will your party do to counter Narendra Modi in Gujarat?
Violence in the name of religion is something that cannot be accepted. So the party in Gujarat will do all it can. But I believe there is a social rift in the state along religious lines and the Congress must do what it can to bridge that. And then Modi is supposed to be a good administrator, so you have to balance that. firstname.lastname@example.org