Saturday, August 25, 2007

This formula offers a new light of hope, change & a chance of greater bonding

Anirban said...
Tusarji, great, you have pulled out the 'magic formula' from the Master & have succinctly & attractively presented it to a much confused &, searching & divided polity! 'Unity, Mutuality & Harmony' are indeed the combination that can work wonders today & is the formula that is much required & which can work a way out from all impasse at all levels. Unfortunately nobody seems to realise & attempt to work it out in our national affairs today.
This formula, I believe, must be adopted & promoted by the Savitri Era Party & must in a sense represent its refreshing uniqueness today. Sixty years after independence, when most in public life are taking stands & formulating positions inspired by exclusivity, divisiveness, intolerance & creating a near constant state of dis-harmony & thus splintering further our polity, this formula offers a new light of hope, change & a chance of greater bonding. I am certain that if adopted by the Savitri Era Party it will have an appeal to all especially the youth & be an instant hit! It is relevant in international relations & needs application at that level too.
One must guard against Unity turning into uniformity - it leads to stagnation & eventual death, you have sounded the warning from the Master on that front & we'll all do well to pay heed to it. Greater world unity can come about through a preserved & protected diverse difference & not through an imposed uniformity. 4:45 PM, August 25, 2007

International terrorism is clearly a suicidally anti-evolutionary force

Anirban said...
Tusarji, I must admit that I am at a loss to understand what this statement means -Terrorism is part of the same circuit as free market & capitalism- may be you could shed some light on it publicly. I feel the writer has missed the whole burden, purport, warnings & chilling consequences & effects of international terrorism that we are witnessing today in this country & the world at large.
It has to be clearly understood that there have always been active on the international plane as much as on the individual plane forces that are anti-evolutionary, regressive & others which are evolutionary & progressive. International terrorism is clearly a suicidally anti-evolutionary force & its executive-hordes wish to impose a uniformly regressive & medieval system of life on the whole globe - a uniform talibanisation of the multi-racial, multi-cultural composition of the present human civilisation. I think it stretching things too far & thin to equate free market & capitalist system with terrorism which complete the regressive loop, I hope i have understood it right with my limited knowledge of situations & terms.
Free market & capitalism with all their short-comings & negative fall-outs must today be looked at as progressive forces which have to be wisely encouraged & supported & spread so that cesspools of stagnation & deprivation which are one of the factors which give rise to alienation, segregation & as a result terrorism are eradicated. These are instruments which have to be used for this purpose & not be lumped & tied to a regressive loop.
As to the Islam debate, I have not had the time to read it in full, but nevertheless I would like to make some points here:
* All religion need to evolve & develop a greater spirit of tolerance & work towards developing & preserving a 'multiple unity' & that is the only way forward if all have to survive & grow. Islam is no exception to this & it has to evolve a greater power of tolerance, understanding & assimilation, other religions too must also be equally forthcoming on this aspect. The one's that have always had these over ages must be careful not to lose them in spite of extreme provocation & circumstances, because a preservation of assimilation & tolerance & deeper understanding is the only hope for a way jointly-forward & one of the most effective way of tackling the scourge of terrorism today.
* But it would be worthwhile to debate also why most of those spearheading world terrorism today are doing so in the name of Islam & what could be the possible factors that drive some of the best educated & placed Muslims to enlist themselves in the ranks of the international terrorists? Remember the Indian Muslim from Bangalore who had the best of western education, was not deprived, was well placed & well-off & yet was motivated enough to ram a jeep at an airport terminal in the country that had allowed him to live & thrive on its soil. These are issue which need to be looked dispassionately & analysed & unraveled & international terrorism must not be treated just as any other subject & clubbed-looped with other issues, it is too serious today to be treated like this, it is the force that requires to be understood in its proper perspective & then resolutely tackled transcending borders, beliefs & cultures.
* It is also to be observed that these terrorists do not bat an eyelid- to blow up a mosque full of praying faithfuls, doesn't this show that there must be a deeper angle to the thing? Therefore I suggest, that to treat terrorists & international terrorism as a subject apart today would be the best rational approach.
* Prof Kittu Reddy is not representative of the voice of the current elders of the Ashram, it would be unfair to equate his views with that of all the elders of the Ashram. He is respected & has his views to which he is entitled & which happens to be given by him in his personal capacity & not in the official capacity of the Ashram. This must be clearly kept in mind whenever a debate is initiated.
* Lastly I think it is too childish, especially for a Sri Aurobindonean, to say that the Battle of Kurukshetra was a war fought only between Hindus, it is not only brushing aside the whole of The Master's views on that event but also missing out the whole deeper symbolism & content of it. For us, we need to look at the Battle of Kurukshetra with the deeper understanding & vision that the Master bestows upon us & from there derive our strength, our balance, our guidance & our swadharma, in short to look upon it to discover the eternal guiding spirit & not with a 'pedestrian journalistic outlook.'
* And finally I would recommend the writer to read, if he has not already, two pieces of the Master, 'Social Reform' & 'Hinduism & The Mission of India', it will give him a right Sri Aurobindonean perpspective on deeper Hinduism & its essential & true mission in India & for the world. Thank you for the opportunity to say these things! 11:33 AM, August 25, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A public meeting had been organised at old Bengal National College building at 164 & 166 Bowbazar Street

from Anirban Ganguly 18:19 (10 minutes ago)
to Tusar N. Mohapatra date 23-Aug-2007 18:19 subject
Re: Centenary of Sri Aurobindo's Address to the students of the Bengal National College
Tusarji, Have just come back from the commemoration. A public meeting had been organised at old Bengal National College building at 164 & 166 Bowbazar Street in the same room that Sri Aurobindo had given his farewell address.
We had organised a marble-plaque re-installation programme at Muraripukur Road, where the garden house from where Barin Ghose & his associates, among them was my great-great-grandfather Upendranath Banerjee & Shri Nolini Kanta Gupta, were arrested stood. Next year shall be the centenary of that major event. The marble plaque gives brief info about Sri Aurobindo & a list of all those who were arrested from the Muraripukur Garden House.

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

Such a time has now come again & such a sacrifice is demanded again

Anirban said...
Tusarji, I am commenting here again because it has to do with another message of The Master, a message given a hundred years ago on 23rd August 1907 to the students of the Bengal National College, it continues to remain relevant & stirring & shall so remain for ages & as long as India's quest for developing spiritual nationalism continues:
"There are times in a nation's history when Providence places before it one work, one aim, to which everything else, however high and noble in itself, has to be sacrificed. Such a time has now arrived for our motherland when nothing is dearer than her service, when everything else is to be directed to that end. If you will study, study for her sake;train yourselves body and mind and soul for her service. You will earn your living that you may live for her sake. You will go abroad to foreign lands that you may bring back knowledge with which you may do service to her. Work that she may prosper. Suffer that she may rejoice. All is contained in that one single advice..." - 23 August 1907 (Sri Aurobindo)
I may say that such a time has now come again & such a sacrifice is demanded again, may all Savitri Erans rise to the demand & may the Savitri Era Party embody that message in this age & time. 6:49 PM, August 22, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Message gives a deeper identity to the country & bestows upon it a global mission

Anirban said...
Tusarji, I wanted to comment on this post much earlier, in fact when I read it I was thrilled because what you have expressed is what all Savitri Erans feel & it is one issue which unites them immediately. The Mother has often said that to discover the way forward for the country & the world His Message of Aug 15th 1947 must be indeed read & re-read by all & it is as you have rightly described a 'grand manifesto' for India & future humanity.
The light expressed in that Message has the widest embrace & the greatest uniting strength. It gives a deeper identity to the country & bestows upon it a global mission rarely given to any other nation upon earth & that is a tremendous soft-power & the necessity of its use in international relations today by India is acute. In the growing days of liberation India had managed to develop another kind of soft-power & used it to attain some heights of moral force in international politics, it came crashing down after the 1962 debacle. But the soft power you speak of is, in my opinion, deeper, wider & more lasting because it is based on a unique spiritual vision which can outlast all onslaughts. Let's hope that The Master's Message of 15th Aug is re-looked at from a deeper understanding by all.
That the present generation know nothing much about Sri Aurobindo is because of the 'conspiracy of silence' around him initiated by various motivated groups, as deftly pointed out by Dr. Nadkarni in one of his articles. The Savitri Era Party must take this issue head on & work towards dispelling that ignorance & thereby effectively protect the future generation against attacks of cynicism, divisiveness & mis-placed activism & give rise in them the capacity for a more enduring & deeper identification with the Nation & the World. 10:13 AM

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Governing Board and the Secretary are still overwhelmingly seen as ‘outsiders' to Auroville

Home > Journals & Media > Journals > Auroville Today > June-July 2007 Current issue Archive copies Auroville Experience More ‘government’ control ? - Carel
In an article in the March 2007 issue of Auroville Today, fears were expressed that the reconstitution of the Funds and Assets Management Committee by the Governing Board was a prelude to an increasing intervention of the Board in the affairs of Auroville. The fears seem to be warranted. On April 10th, 2007, the Secretary of the Auroville Foundation issued an office order to the executives of the Unity Fund that he, or a person authorised by him, would henceforth be co-signatory to all bank and other transactions of the Unity Fund.
This Fund, started on March 31st, 2006, receives all grants and donations, both Indian and foreign, for all Auroville projects: for Matrimandir, for education, for scientific research, and for projects of the Auroville Fund. It also receives the surplus income of commercial units, the guest contributions, and all interests on deposits. The Budget Coordination Group (BCG) of the Unity Fund, a subgroup of the FAMC, decides on the allocation of the income. Specified donations are transferred to the concerned unit or project. Unspecified donations are allocated by the BCG.
Strong emotions arose regarding the order. A delegation of members of the Working Committee and the Funds and Assets Management Committee went to New Delhi to express their concern to the Chairman and a member of the Governing Board. They argued that there is no need for any co-signing of cheques by the Secretary as the Secretary is also a member of the FAMC as well as of the BCG, which decides on the allocation of funds from the Unity Fund. Co-signing, therefore, would only be an administrative headache, add to needless bureaucracy, and also be a token of increasing involvement of the Board in the day-to-day affairs of Auroville which is not required.
These arguments failed to convince the Board members who stressed that the need for co-signing was just an administrative matter, required as the Board is ultimately responsible to the Indian parliament. The Board Members, however, conceded that mistakes were made in the process of issuing this order, as no prior consultation with either the Working Committee or FAMC had taken place.
The arguments of the Board failed in turn to convince the community. A general meeting on May 6th, 2007, unanimously rejected the Office Order. Since then, the Unity Fund executives have refused to submit any cheques for co-signing, thus effectively blocking the implementation of the office order as well as the operation of the Unity Fund itself. The Working Committee has meanwhile sought a legal opinion on the matter, in particular on the relationship between the two ‘authorities' of the Auroville Foundation, the Governing Board (GB) and the Residents' Assembly (RA). Does the RA simply have to follow the directives imposed by the GB? Or are both equal parties with equal rights?
If anything, the dispute highlights the fact that the Governing Board and the Secretary are still overwhelmingly seen as ‘outsiders' to Auroville, representatives of the ‘government', instead of being integral to Auroville's functioning. Consequently, few in the community talk about ‘intervention by the Board,' while many express fears over ‘more government control'. Home > Journals & Media > Journals > Auroville Today > June-July 2007 Current issue Archive copies The Auroville Experience

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Where are the martyrs and where are the hoarse voices?

The Idea of Scottish Independence - Work in Progress
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”.
When a group decides that it had enough of “foreign” rulership, it revolts and then if they are lucky, a new country is born. This birth of a new country is not a given and the process is quite difficult. But one of the crucial factors behind the success of any national independence movement is a deep belief in the separateness of the nation -, a deep faith that they are being kept down or oppressed by the ruling nation and a strong desire that their nation’s destiny will be better guided by themselves.
That and few other bits and bobs with a dash of luck will get you your own country. What wont get you independence is a very wishy washy statement, which effectively says:
"well, ummm, perhaps it might be better to be independent, but we aren’t so sure, but we think we might be able to do better, so there is a possibility, a chance, not 100% sure, but still …"
Unfortunately, the opening shot for Scottish Independence in the 21st century is not really a shot, but a limp dishrag of a document...
The debate for Scottish Independence has degenerated into a car-boot sale bargain session. And it is mainly based on economic grounds, like how much money for the North Sea Oil, or the European subsidy, or the tax raising powers, or the level of investment in public sector or stuff like that. That is so disappointing and boring! It is like negotiating a contract for sewerage services or recycling service level agreements. Puke! Puke!
Where are the poets? Where are the story masters? Where are the people who can sing the songs, write the epics and sagas of how wonderful Scotland will be when it finally becomes independent? Where are the national feelings? Where is the emotion in this document? Where is the call for a national coming together of shared patriotism? Where is the mark of the Scots? Where are the town criers and short pithy slogans? Where are the martyrs and where are the hoarse voices? Where are the processions and demonstrations?
Take a leaf out of the independence movements of Ireland, USA, India, Pakistan and other countries. Where are the missing giants such as Jefferson, Collins, Nehru, and Jinnah? Where are the stirring words such as “tryst with destiny” uttered by Nehru? See what the US Declaration of Independence says in its first paragraph,
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Now that is a declaration of independence, not this cockamamie bureaucratic wishy washy, vague, boring, intellectually incoherent document. It is passionless, emotionally stunted and is as exciting to read as reading the wallpaper pasting instruction sheet. Very disappointing!
If this is the level of political leadership that Scotland has, then no wonder that the English want to get rid of Scotland and the Scots do not want to be independent. All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!

The white fire of spirit will rise up some day from the smouldering heaps of discarded religions

India Won Freedom Aju Mukhopadhyay
What type of Freedom India won, how the country progressed and what is our expectations. 17 Aug 07 07:55:20 AM - 4 Views
During the Swadeshi movement period a poet from Bengal wrote, even the uncivilized, even China and Japan, has risen up while India only sleeps. Pundit Nehru’s opening speech, India’s tryst with destiny, in the parliament of free India, ‘At the stroke of midnight hour when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom’, seems to be literal only. About that moment he said, ‘It comes but rarely in history . . . when the soul of a nation . . . finds utterance.’
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

Even he as defence minister would not have liked to live in a China of his description

Anirban said...
Tusarji, the Savitri Era Party's stand on balance, temperance & adherence to existing procedures - reference to your comment on the disciplining of the Kerala M.P. P.C.Thomas by the Speaker- in public life generates a glimmer of hope that things may change after all. This stand is definitely in tune with the expectations among the majority of the electorate who look forward to a great degree of decency in those they elect.
Shri George Fernandes has had his innings, he has done his bit for the country & has executed whatever duties it demanded of him, but over quite a while it seems he has definitely lost that perception, elan & touch & is himself living a rather isolated political existence. Hence i believe these fire-works are to gain some attention, of course even he as defence minister would not have liked to live in a China of his description.
Long & correct exposure to Parliamentary procedure, can in my opinion if one holds the right attitude, develop in oneself a certain balance & depth of perception, in politics it is infinitely better & more effective to wage a war of ideas rather than that of personalities - which invariably brings with it a level of vulgarity & crudeness.
The demand for temperance, balance, civility & discipline in public life is therefore a very urgent one. Merci. 10:00 AM

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I wait for the day when people with true spiritual conscience start emerging in the political scenario

Atanuji, I have often browsed thorugh your blog & have always found it refreshing, stimulating & hope generating. I want to tell how deeply you have touched me today by remind us of Sri Aurobindo & of how today India needs his conviction & vision. Deeply grateful to you. Comment by Anirban August 15, 2007 @ 11:56 am
i wait for the day when people with true spiritual conscience and the ability to listen to the divine truth will start emerging in the political scenario. Let’s live in their light. Comment by gopalAugust 15, 2007 @ 9:04 pm

Govt. of India must start withdrawing its octopus-tentacles from the golden dome

Anirban said...
Tusarji, you have made a bold & frank demand & all those who love freedom, the freedom to dream & the freedom to work towards acheiving those dreams cannot but support such a demand. 'Purna Swaraj' is imperative for the eventual realisation & success of this unique dream-adventure of Auroville which is being carried out nowhere else across the globe.
The Mother saw it, She started it on the soil of India because of her great spiritual tradition of openness & assimilation. It is also a symbolic experiment & its symbolism is more relevant today when India crosses a landmark of six-decades of freedom. If India has become free, as The Master had said, not only for herself but for the welfare of the world & to indicate the way to eventual world 'harmony & union' & reveal the essential unity of nations then seen in that perspective the Auroville experiment is indeed a very special symbolic one & its unhampered growth & success assumes cardinal importance. In that respect the safeguard of freedom is absolutely required & the Govt. of India must start withdrawing its octopus-tentacles from the golden dome.
The present functionaries, if they have understood the intrinsic necessity of the Auroville experiment, if they are themselves freedom-loving would do well to heed this call. As for the residents they must begin organising themselves on this issue instead of complaining. There have been attempts from various quarters on & off at advocating govt. control for other institutions that are run in the vision of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo or have been founded by Them, such moves/attempts must be resisted, spiritual experimentation cannot take place under the suffocating/exhausting bindings & mechanisms of a govt. agency. The Savitri Era Party has done well to take this position, it's the first one to do so publicly, & thus it must have the support on this of all right thinking individuals who value - FREEDOM! 2:13 PM

From this year onwards, let us put behind all weak lamentations, all helpless cursing

Anirban said...
Tusarji, here are few thoughts for 15th August, yes the winds of change are indeed blowing, let us not lament the dwarfs in our public life today, who have exaggerated notions of themselves, things & circumstances, but unfurl the flag of a new India so that it flutters high & mighty & can be seen from distant lands.
None of the leaders yesterday, mentioned even in passing Sri Aurobindo's name, high falutin words were used, dry statistics were cited, shallow promises made, tired slogans & Jai Hinds raised but the vibrant spirit of India, her awakening strength - Bharata Shakti - her new found dynamism, her age old vision rooted in her deeper dharma & knowledge were not given expression to. That most of our leaders live just on the surface mind, that they are at the end of their energies & are incapable of establishing a deeper bond with the soul of India which is seeking to find a renewed utterance was evident from all that went in the name of celebrations yesterday.
But, from this year onwards, let us put behind all weak lamentations, all helpless cursing, let us realise that a greater force has again begun shaping the destiny of this mighty nation, it is awakening the 'people's power', it is raising whirlwinds of change which shall have the power to sweep aside all resistance be they from pygmies or giants & amidst all these churnings is dawning the moment - the moment of the realisation of that greater mission for which India was liberated & this moment is bound to be Sri Aurobindo's moment in the nation & in the world. The earlier we realise this, the faster we can dedicate ourselves to that mission & put ourselves on the side of the 'winds of change'. What leaders say & do then shall begin to matter less & less! August 16, 2007 10:50 AM

Just ignore the dwarfs in our Parliament and parties, the wind of change is blowing

Stronger at Sixty Tarun Vijay times of india 16 Aug 2007
The only thing we have lost is respect for the politician and trust in the government's efficacy. The story of India's progress is a saga of peoples' power and a will to move ahead despite netas and all other odds. August 15 also happens to be Sri Aurobindo's birthday, the great revolutionary seer who foretold India's destiny thus,
"India of the ages is not dead nor has she spoken her last creative word; she lives and has still something to do for herself and the human people. And that which must seek now to awake is not an anglicized oriental people, docile pupil of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the Occident's success and failure, but still the ancient immemorable Shakti recovering her deepest self, lifting her head higher towards the supreme source of light and strength and turning to discover the complete meaning and a vaster form of her Dharma."
A long range traveller never gets into small squabbles on the way; like Arjuna's concentration on the eye of the fish, a nation too does well if her targets are ambitious, high and instruments trustworthy. Just ignore the dwarfs in our Parliament and parties, the wind of change is blowing, bypassing them and in Indian interest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dwarfs rule the land today

Sri Aurobindo was born on this day, Aug 15th, in 1872. Among the intellectual and spiritual giants born in this land, Sri Aurobindo has a special standing. Go read about Sri Aurobindo and lament the fact that dwarfs rule the land today. Here’s Sri Aurobindo on Indian spirituality:
Spirituality is the master key of the Indian mind. It is this dominant inclination of India which gives character to all the expressions of her culture. In fact, they have grown out of her inborn spiritual tendency of which her religion is a natural out flowering. The Indian mind has always realized that the Supreme is the Infinite and perceived that to the soul in Nature the Infinite must always present itself in an infinite variety of aspects. The aggressive and quite illogical idea of a single religion for all mankind, a religion universal by the very force of its narrowness, one set of dogmas, one cult, one system of ceremonies, one ecclesiastical ordinance, one array of prohibitions and injunctions which all minds must accept on peril of persecution by men and spiritual rejection or eternal punishment by God, that grotesque creation of human unreason which has been the parent of so much intolerance, cruelty and obscurantism and aggressive fanaticism, has never been able to take firm hold of the Indian mentality. [Wikiquote.]

To become in ourselves worthy inheritors of the Upanishads

Indian Independence Day August 14th, 2007 mahesh
Many decades ago, a nation woke from its centuries old slumber. An ancient civilization willed itself awake. No longer content with her introspective splendors, she wished to speak to the world. A billion voices she makes her own, a million gods all receive her homage. Ashamed of her outer squalor and remembering her glorious past of plenty, she learns once more the way of wealth.
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. Tags: , , No Comments » meaning, india, philosophy Permalink Posted by mahesh

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

Anirban said...
Tusarji, I think Vladimir has made a very poignant observation here & one which we all need to deeply reflect upon on the eve of the 15th of August. The growth of a deeper perception, intuition is necessary to attempt to identify what Sri Aurobindo would have said in a particular situation especially if the situation & circumstance happens to evolve & exist in the present time. For this deeper perception to grow one has to immerse oneself in a constant, dynamic & daring study of His integral works & thereby develop an integral understanding of His Integral Vision- i may say that at the personal individual level this is the work to be done - kartavyam karma - it is absolutely indispensable for 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.
The most touching, striking & rattling observation is that of India's continuing unacceptance of Sri Aurobindo & His Integral Vision - as a result the continuing iron grip of division & ignorance in all walks of our national life. It is true & the resistance is mighty though naturally not invincible. No power can withstand ultimately the Truth of His Yoga-Shakti.
The inner-spirit, the soul of this country, whatever little we may feel of it has, in my view, certainly accepted & absorbed this deeper truth of The Master's Vision but its transfer to the surface consciousness has not yet happened that effectively - lack of receptivity, lack of depth, too much outward living, lack of understanding amongst policy-makers & leaders may be some of the explanations that can be given & there may be other deeper reasons, for the moment beyond the grasp of the mind.
I believe one work for all Savitri Erans, before which all else has to be sacrificed & given secondary importance, is this task of making India turn more & more towards accepting the gift He has left for her, it is also the principal task to which the Savitri Era Party must pledge itself. By that way i believe lies our national salvation - a national atma-samarpana to the Master's Vision is required & it is only from there that the nation shall receive the supreme assurance for complete deliverance - that is the only way, there is no other. August 14, 2007 10:15 AM

India did not yet accept Sri Aurobindo, and as long as it will go this way, She will suffer

Re: Untold Potentialities: India and the Third World. by Richard Hartz (2)
by Vladimir on Sun 12 Aug 2007 11:30 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Thank you, Debashish, for this clarity. Though the words sound the same the meaning they convey is quite different, or rather consciousness which they represent is different. Sri Aurobindo’s views may seem very similar to the already known, one can try to see his teaching as another darshana, for the words are similar, but his consciousness is not so easy to grasp. It takes time to build up his integral understanding and to identify with his consciousness. That’s why one should not in a hurry use his name and his writings to justify ones own views, but rather dare to study his great Integral Yoga, the gift he has left for India and the world. India did not yet accept Sri Aurobindo, and as long as it will go this way, She will suffer the consequences of ignorance and division.
by Rich on Mon 13 Aug 2007 04:02 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
The sanatan dharma however is an ever-present quality that expresses itself through each individual instance of it authentically bodying forth in the world. While the forms of Hinduism may change over time the sanatan dharma is ever present. Even if the forms and institutions of Hinduism hybridize to integrate in novel ways with an emerging planetary culture, even if its vocabulary morphs new meanings in the regime of techno-capitalism ( in which Avatars become mere personal digital representations) the essence of sanatan dharma will remain ever-present as long as we cultivate an authentic way to express it. Although the phenomena of Hinduism in its “exoteric” form of institutionalized religion on the subcontinent may surely change its “esoteric” dimensions will remain beyond the reach of secularism, jihadism or globalization.
To give another personal analogy although my Mother has just passed away and her form has changed, an any given moment I can still sense that presence which is authentic to the mother/child relationship. Similarly, although the forms of the Divine Mother may evolve into a multitude of forms beyond our current comprehension, the timeless quality of her compassion descending into us will express the continuity of her presence in Time.
To use a more tragic example of a culture whose continuity is still intact even though it has experienced the destruction of her exoteric forms on could point to Tibet.: Although the Chinese have almost systematically destroyed the institutions of Tibetan culture and killed or exiled a quarter of her population they can not destroy the authentic “Sangha”, they can not obliterate Tibetan Buddhism because what the Buddha taught has no body only a soul or spirit. The forms of Tibetan Buddhism may have changed - e.g. one may find its expression through Hollywood movies- but, its ever-present truth, as long as there are those who seek to authentically embody it, will never perish. rc

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Woe to a nation that does not listen to the voice of its divine Yogi-Rishi

Re: 18: The Wonderful Boon by RY Deshpande on Sun 12 Aug 2007 07:34 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link The most auspicious form of Savitŗ, the Light of the Supreme
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.
This is Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri Mantra...Years later, thanks to Doraiswami, we see it embodied in the “auspicious form” of the Gayatri Mantra itself. Doraiswami was an Iyer Brahmin from Chennai and was a devotee of Sri Aurobindo. He insisted that he would perform the thread-ceremony of his son Mithran only if he received a Mantra from the Master. It was in response to this most ardent and fruitful imploration that Sri Aurobindo gave the Gayatri Mantra. Again, the lesson is, we should know what to ask from such a Boon-Giver! In the Record, Sri Aurobindo makes a noting that Doraiswami was King Janak in one of his births long long ago; also Sri Krishna lists him in the Gita as one of his Vibhutis.
[N.B.: Doraiswami was a nationalist and a leading advocate by profession. Sri Aurobindo had sent him as his emissary with a message to the Congress Working Committee when, in 1942, Sir Stafford Cripps’s proposal to create a new Indian Union with a Dominion Status was being discussed in New Delhi. Unfortunately Sri Aurobindo’s recommendation to accept the proposal was rejected. We witness the tragedy that befell the country. Woe to a nation that does not listen to the voice of its divine Yogi-Rishi.]
What Doraiswami received was the transformative disclosure in the nature of a metrical formula in Sanskrit, made perhaps in the early 1930s. It is the coming of the revealing Word of Manifestation. Such is the greatness of the mantric varam rūpam. RYD

The future India may question us as to why we did not attempt to give it a practical shape

Anirban said...
The task of changing our consciousness, recovery of the Vedas & its power in our soul is indeed a major requirement for an eventual & lasting change. But these are the work of a whole lifetime & more. In my opinion, the work after a while has to go on at two levels the inner & outer. The inner should & must continue as part of each ones personal sadhana & inner journey of discovery but the outer work of regeneration must also begin at some point of time, it is true that circumstances will change of their own accord in proportion to change of consciousness, while that is an ultimate feasibility, it is time that we take up an immediate work of national regeneration too & the primary requirements for such a work to begin is an initial goodwill, strong will, selfless dedication to a higher ideal & a conscious effort to consecrate one's life for country, people & progress.
In short, & if i may be blunt, a political action inspired largely by the vision of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo for Indian resurgence has to start, a formation has to be evolved which shall elbow itself in the present political space & provide an alternative action plan for the nation. It is natural that there may be bunglings, there may be mis-steps, & momentary derailments etc but that is no reason why the attempt must not be made or that one must wait for the complete change of consciousness to come about so that one can initiate action in complete Knowledge, Truth etc. It is absolutely desirable that action take place from such a height of consciousness but till that happens to a critical mass an interim action has to be initiated with whatever risks/possibility of dilution & contamination it may hold. For all one knows, for those involved in such an action the discovery of 'true India & its mighty spirit' in their soul may be expedited.
One thing that i have often said & take the opportunity to repeat here is that it is no point in constantly saying that this is what Sri Aurobindo wanted for India, that is what The Mother had said & would have wanted the leaders to do etc etc, which most of us keep saying ad nauseum & sign off in an attitude of resignation. If we believe that The Master had a vision for this country then one of the ways to achieve it should be to start a practical ground level action to begin realising that vision. While on the one hand it is a spiritual vision on the other it is also a very pragmatic vision realisable through a well planned & chalked out political action. Most of us will agree on these aspects but treat the word political as taboo, until this mind-block is dissolved we'll only continue to be in the word-mode. It is heartening to see that Prof Kittu Redy has at least given some open concrete suggestions & also initiative has been taken on the Savitri Era Party front to begin some action. The Party could work some of these suggestions in its programme.
The evolution of consciousness & its change etc must go-on meanwhile some new slogan, some stimulating action, some conferences & politics all leading to a new political action is certainly useful & must be carried out. Sixtieth year of independence, in my view is the right time to begin this action. I am afraid that if we do not initiate action along these lines now the future India may, when it discovers for itself the immense possibilities of our Master's vision for it, question us as to why we did not attempt to give it a practical shape, the explanation then that we were immersed in discovering the true India within & spread that vision by soul contamination may not hold so good. Let us reflect, let us call all those who feel an urge to be part of this action to unite, leaving aside past-preferences, prejudices, ego based stands. This call must be answered on this sixtieth eve of Freedom in the affirmative, it requires boldness, audacity & soul-strength! August 12, 2007 7:16 PM

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The circumstances will change of their own accord

Alok Pandey Mother India, 15 AUGUST 2007
If instead of slogan-raising, pamphleteering, politicking, and wasting our time and energy on superficial analysis of surface events whose true significance escapes us on every side, we can focus our energies on the emergence of our soul-power and through that and by a spiritual contamination the soul-power of the children who gather near us then we would have done our bit. It is in our soul that we must recover the Vedas and their power to save and then cast our life into its mould. It is in our soul that we must first discover the true India and its mighty spirit…Rather than changing policies and regulations or holding big seminars and conclaves and summit meetings and intellectual discussions, if we could focus on changing our consciousness then the circumstances will change of their own accord.

I began to see consciously the fulfilment of the dreams of Sri Aurobindo

Ananda Reddy Mother India, 15 AUGUST 2007
Having co-aged with independent India, it may also be the right time for me to make a kind of personal reappraisal of my own awakening to the processes which have helped the realisation of these ‘dreams’. When I was in a ‘frog in the well’ kind of situation during my days of education in the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, I was hardly aware of the world beyond the Ashram. So much cocooned were we in the Mother’s atmosphere that I hardly had any need to contact the world outside on any level. Later, when I entered a kind of a ‘fish in the lake’ situation at Auroville, I did open myself to the world and its happenings but they were also restricted and selective as I did not need to see beyond the ideal of Auroville that was in front of me. The world came to me; I did not go to the world!

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’.

Prime Minister should be elected by all the members of the Parliament

Prof. Kittu Reddy Mother India, 15 AUGUST 2007
To sum up, these are the deficiencies of the present Parliamentary democratic system being practised in India.
 As seen already, the democratic system can function only when the capacity and habit of reasoning becomes universal. Unfortunately, even today a very large number of Indians lack this faculty because of inadequate educational opportunity. The consequence is that a very large number of Indians are being taken for a ride and cheated by political parties by slogans and catchwords.
 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...
The Need of a National Government
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.
 It is most urgent and imperative that the whole population should be given a sound educational basis; otherwise the democratic process will not function properly. Universal education must be a priority. It must be also noted that a rational development is in the mass the first step to a higher spiritual growth.
 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

A political system borrowed from the West is hampering all progress and dividing the polity

Prof. Kittu Reddy Mother India, 15 AUGUST 2007
I have quoted these extracts just to highlight the sense of despondency that is prevalent and widespread among many serious political thinkers in India. In sum, the problems facing India are:
 A political system borrowed from the West which is hampering all progress and dividing the polity
 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.

Contest the elections on a non-party plank with national interest as the sole ideology

Prof. Kittu Reddy Mother India, 15 AUGUST 2007
  • 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.

Dialoging with the world is what is required today, not the drawing of protected boundaries

Re: Untold Potentialities: India and the Third World. by Richard Hartz (2) by Debashish on Thu 09 Aug 2007 10:57 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link On the issue of cultural specificty and continuity of habitus which Mr. Sane has raised, there is an important distinction to be understood. Cultural specificty and continuity of habitus are not genetic realities, they are historical realities, to some extent accidental, at least from the human viewpoint. We could, of course, affirm the idea of a nation-soul, as Sri Aurobindo does, but we have to read Sri Aurobindo carefully, even when we wish to do this.
  • 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

On 15 August 1872 a new sun dawned on earth

A life divine Rohan Roy the statesman Thursday, 9 August 2007
On 15 August 1872 a new sun dawned on earth. A messiah was born in the British colony of India. He is none other than the divine Rishi, Aurobindo who was born in Kolkata on 15 August. He was named Aurobindo meaning ‘lotus’. Its spiritual meaning is ‘Divine consciousness’. An all-rounder in his activities, he acted as a revolutionary, a preacher of Nirvana and was also an excellent student. All these rare qualities make this great sage memorable even today. It might appear to be a coincidence that his birthday falls on the same day as the Indian independence. In his words, “As a mystic I take this coincidence or fortuitous accident, but as a sanction and seal of the divine power which guide my steps on the work with which I began life”.
Like many others at that time Aurobindo Ghosh was fortunate to belong to a large family. His father Krishnadhan Ghosh was a reputed doctor and his mother was Swarnalata. He had three brothers and one sister. Later Aurobindo was married to Mrinalini. Catering to Krishnadhan’s wish Aurabindo and his three brothers were sent to London to study and were admitted to St Paul’s school. Throughout his childhood he had been a promising student. He passed the ICS examination with flying colours, secured the eleventh position and scored a record marks in Greek and Latin. But later as he was absent for the riding test he failed in the exam. Then in 1890, he was admitted to the King’s College, Cambridge. In 1893, Aurobindo returned to India and joined the Baroda College and eventually became the vice principal.
His vision of a free nation urged him to indulge in politics for three purposes - revolution, national movement and mass organisation. His idea was that though India was not armed with modern weapons, it had a huge population. Aurobindo believed that unity could only overthrow British rule.
The British rule was at its zenith when Bipin Chandra Pal started publishing a magazine titled Bande Mataram. He invited Sri Aurobindo to join it. Aurobindo readily accepted this offer because he felt this was an apt stage where he could express his hatred for the British government. He penned down fiery articles criticising the government day after day. It was one of the journals which spread revolutionary ideas in the country and awakened the common people.
Aurobindo being a hardliner, formed a National Party of extremists and made Tilak of Maharashtra the president. Aurobindo’s popularity made him the leader of India over the ruling Congress party.
In 1908, Aurobindo was arrested and imprisoned on charges of waging war against the British. Sri Aurobindo was confined in a cell measuring about nine feet by six feet. There was no end of torture done to him. He later said that it was because of God’s call that he had been to jail. He remained completely engrossed in meditation and supernatural incidents like levitation. After his release from jail, a radical change was marked in this great man who from then on devoted himself to lead the life of a yogi. After this change he retired from politics completely and devoted himself towards yoga and poetry.
Aurobindo had once asserted “I am first a poet and a politician, not a yogi or a philosopher”. In his words literature and poetry would be his constant companions throughout his life. Even during his active participation in the freedom movement of India, he continued composing awesome poems. Art and Poetry, he professed led to salvation. The journal Induprakash first introduced Aurobindo as a writer. His essays created deep impact on the learned class.
On 15 August, 1947 India achieved independence. In his words “August 15th is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the beginning of a new age”. Later as the editor of Bande Mataram he composed powerful articles which highlighted the torture that the Indians were subjected to by the British. He also published a number of his books in the monthly magazine Arya.
Some of these books are The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, The Human Cycle and Savitri. These writings are masterpieces as they are rare examples of his excellent language and spiritual philosophy that continue to puzzle scholars and philosophers. The Life Divine remains an enigma to many philosophers. On 5 December 1950 this celestial spirit left his body and departed for his heavenly abode. Rohan Roy, Class VIII, St Joseph’s College

Seed in multiple directions, see which pans out, and then dive into that stream

I finished reading a book entitled It's Alive: The Coming Convergence of Information, Biology, and Business. [For Kurzweil geeks out there....C4, Vince he gives a positive review on back cover]...
I can't go through all of their recommendations. But some of the more important ones:--"A key principle of general evolution is that the bottom-up interactions of agents create adaptive systems." (p.101). Seekers in William Easterly's terms. (versus top-down planners).
The problem generally with planners/top-down approach is that it assumes the myth of the given, a single world easily recognizable for everyone involved. Adaptive enterprise/complexity science is chaotic, I wanted to say postmodern in the (good) sense of enaction (a la Maturana and Varela).
If you study how a bird sees its environment it does not see the same environment you and I see when we look in the same general say field or forest. A bird literally does not see that with which it does not interact with--a literal world-space. Which is why the Gaia proponents (especially as cited for public policy, say on environmental-economic issues) have a serious flaw: no other animal, other than some humans, sees this Nature/Gaia. It is not a flat neutral space on which all the other animals, creatures, planets, etc. are acted upon and then must respond.
Rather what is Nature is in part a co-creation of these agents. And onion-like layers of Nature at that.
Similar with the gov't/business model of adaptive enterprise. You do not plan for a single identity/solution that you then try to enforce on a neutral background (commerce or politics) that is the same for all. Rather you create the organization such that its primary code is ability to adapt and ride the chaos, thereby seeding its own worldspace. Works as a feedback mechanism, with the envio and agents responding to each other, helping creating each other.
This is why I prefer say with climate change work on resiliency. Then you cut through the miasma of the politics and debate on human/non-human. agnostics, deniers, true believers, apocalyptic believers, etc. Whatever happens the system, the network itself is ready to respond. Rather than trying to predict what the future will be, then massively shifting the entire human resource base to try to be ready for a change we're not even entirely sure will come in the first place and we are not sure that even if we were to undertake this massive change (i.e. massive economic regulation) it would not change the environment so that a new set of problems would emerge which we would still be unprepared to deal with.
Riding the chaos. This is the key. Requires a great deal of technology to sense and respond in real-time. Seed in multiple directions, see which pans out, and then dive into that stream. Then re-seed multiply from within that stream, see which works, and respond.
It also requires managers (politicians?) to no longer be those who hold special information guardedly at the top (as in a command control economy/politics/military), having to wait from orders from even higher up, or having your intelligent employees nannied into a state of waiting for permission to prosper. The real job of the manager (pol?) will be to recognize talent (sense and respond) and get them in the right places AQAP (as quickly as possible).
Agent-based, bottom-up, open-source networks. Not for example, as with the warantless wiretapping these huge dragnets of planned obsolescence where eventually everybody (and therefore nobody in particular) ends up on some list. As an example, Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower, his daughter ended up a surveillance list (as I think maybe he did) during his research for the book.
I know others will disagree with this, but I think we could start with smart government as a means of working together across political divides, then still have our discussions about the actual size (some always favoring less, others more) from that place. tags technorati : tags technorati : tags technorati : tags technorati : posted by CJ Smith @ 12:28 PM 0 comments Indistinct Union: Christianity, Integral Philosophy, and Politics

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Shall we respond to this call for regeneration in the right spirit?

Anirban said...
I came across this passage in Dr. Karan Singh's well known & well read book which was his thesis on Sri Aurobindo- Prophet of Indian Nationalism. It may help to give a fresh direction & serve as a pointer for future action:
"Sri Aurobindo was no crude, narrow revivalist for whom everything indigenous was good & everything foreign bad. On the contrary he had a clear awareness of the depths to which his country had fallen & the shortcomings of its national spirit & life. He felt strongly, however, that these misfortunes were not the result of any ingrained weakness in the Indian character - as the British sought to prove - but were due merely to a temporary set of unfavourable circumstances, the most adverse of which was the very fact of alien rule. He felt that a revival & regeneration of true Indian culture was a pre-requisite for her political freedom, and all his political writings were directed towards encouraging & hastening such a revival. As spiritualism was the keynote of Sri Aurobindo's approach to political thought and action, the regeneration that he aspired towards was no mere growth of national chauvinism but a deep spiritual rebirth.
He writes:
"Those who have freed nations have first passed through the agony of utter renunciation before their efforts were crowned by success, and those who aspire to free India will first have to pay the price which the Mother demands...Regeneration is literally rebirth, and rebirth comes not by the intellect, not by the fullness of the purse, not by policy, not by change of machinery, but by getting anew heart, by throwing away all into the fire of sacrifice and being reborn in the Mother." (p,103-04)
This gives an insight into Sri Aurobindo's vision & meaning of national resurgence from a deeper level - a point of introspection in the sixtieth year of India's independent existence. This if put against the right present perspective can be of help.
And the other aspect which emerges is a demand, the demand for renunciation & sacrifice - both of the sense of the superficial self, of surface ambition, agitation & false scheming - characteristics required if one is to work for national regeneration from this sixtieth year onwards. Shall we respond to this call for regeneration in the right spirit? August 8, 2007 6:38 PM

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The social and the Other

In certain respects, I think questions of how to think about the social and the Other have haunted philosophy for a century. With the emergence of the social sciences in the form of anthropology/ethnography, linguistics, psychoanalysis, sociology, history, and sociology, philosophy, I would argue, found its assumptions significantly challenged.
Since the 17th century the schema of philosophical thought has been relatively straightforward: there is a subject whose contents of consciousness are immanent and immediate to itself (whether one is an empiricist or a rationalist) and therefore are certain (hence the fact Hume is certain of his impressions but can maintain doubt maintaining the objects that presumably cause them), and there is an object that the subject seeks to know.
The social sciences significantly complicate this schema. For example, Levi-Strauss is able to show, in The Savage Mind and the Mythologiques, that there is an unconscious thought process that takes place, as it were, behind the back of the subject, both determining the thought process of the subject and creating a symbolic-categorical web, “thrown” over the world, sorting objects in various ways that can’t simply be reduced to the predicates or properties (the “primary qualities”) that belong to the “objects themselves”.
This is the significance of Levi-Strauss’s extensive, often exhausting, discussion of how plants are sorted in The Savage Mind and his analysis of how the symbolic categories of the /raw/, the /boiled/, and the /cooked/ function with regard to the sorting of objects in the world (I use the convention “//” to denote the status of these entities as signifiers rather than predicates or “primary qualities” really inhering in an object). Similar results emerge from psychoanalysis– particularly in its Lacanian formulation, though also in Freud –linguistics, economics, sociology, and so on.
In all of these cases, it appears that the possibility of establishing immanence is significantly called into question, for the subject’s alleged self-immanence is here effaced, as is any particular identity in the object. Nor do I think philosophy has yet done a very good job thinking through these issues...August 7, 2007 Problems of Self-Reflexivity– Scattered Reflections and Free Associations Posted by larvalsubjects under Marx , Populations , Badiou , Antagonism , Autonomy , Ideology , Critique , Agency , Sartre , Politics

60th Anniversary of the Indian Independence coincides with the 135th birthday of Sri Aurobindo

60th Anniversary of the Indian Independence
Posted in: Countries and cultures in taprial's Blog
15th August 2007 will be the 60th Anniversary of the Indian Independence. It coincides with the 135th birthday of Aurobindo, as you may know.Aurobindo's message for the day of Independence 60 years ago on 15th August 1947 was broadcast through All India Radio. This was the message that was written for All India Radio by Sri Aurobindo, given below.
August 15th, 1947 is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But we can also make it by our life and acts as a free nation an important date in a new age opening for the whole world, for the political, social, cultural and spiritual future of humanity.
August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition. Indeed, on this day I can watch almost all the world movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my lifetime, though then they looked like impracticable dreams arriving at fruition or on their way to achievement. In all these movements free India may well play a large part and take a leading position...15th, All, August, Aurobindo, day, Independence, India, Radio, Sri Aurobindo India Films Indian Photos Indian Songs

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Both democratic politics and capitalism are based on competition and this is what keeps people honest

If our courts enforced contracts speedily, the landlord would not have dared. People behave more morally in the capitalist countries of the West because the rule of law allows one to be good...Whether it is presidential or capitalist ethics, the starting point is the recognition that both democratic politics and capitalism are based on competition and this is what keeps people honest in the long term. Both democracy and capitalism are decentralized systems where no single person is in charge.
Adam Smith wrote more than 200 years ago that when millions of self-interested individuals act in their own interest in the marketplace, an ‘invisible hand’ promotes the common good of society. However, institutions are not perfect and the examples of my niece’s landlord and the UPA presidential candidate teach us that ethics matter profoundly in our democratic capitalist system. Centre for Civil Society

Secularism in India should not mean anti-religiousness

THE IDEA EXCHANGE Dr Karan Singh at the EXPRESS ‘If Om Namah Shivay is why I didn’t become president, then it’s certainly a great blessing’ Indian Express : Sunday, August 05
A scholar on Hinduism and the founder of the Virat Hindu Sammelan, Karan Singh is also active in promoting inter-faith understanding and heads the Rumi Foundation. He was in the news recently as a likely UPA candidate for the President’s post.
I have said I’m interested in Hinduism, I have a PhD on Sri Aurobindo, and I’ve been lecturing on Vivekananda and Aurobindo across the world. The Viraat Hindu Sammelan was set up during the time of the mass conversions in Meenakshipuram, in South India. So it was a sort of social reform movement to see why the unfinished social revolution in Hinduism has got stuck. The national movement itself flowed from Hindu social reform. Social reform is important, and it was simply a platform for me. I have also been working on the interfaith movement and I needed some organisation for that. But Bardhan (and the Left) argue otherwise...
SHEKHAR GUPTA: You have always been very open about being a practising Hindu. You even wear an Om Namah Shivay bracelet on your wrist. Did that stand in the way of your becoming president, or being considered worthy of the job of president by the Left?
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.