Thursday, August 28, 2008

All forms of renunciation are to be embodied in Raja Dharma. Philosophers must be Kings

Dharma 401 - Extracts from Constituent Assembly Debates
Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Time: 11:12 pm Category: Constituent Assembly, Dharma-debates Discussion: 0 Comments
Some extracts from the Constituent Assembly Debates on

Tuesday, the 22nd July 1947 Sir S. Radhakrishnan (United Provinces: General):
We cannot attain purity, we cannot gain our goal of truth, unless we walk in the path of virtue. The Asoka’s wheel represents to us the wheel of the Law, the wheel Dharma. Truth can be gained only by the pursuit of the path of Dharma, by the practice of virtue. Truth,-Satya, Dharma-Virtue, these ought to be the controlling principles of all those who work under this Flag. It also tells us that the Dharma is something which is perpetually moving. If this country has suffered in the recent past, it is due to our resistance to change. There are ever so many challenges hurled at us and if we have not got the courage and the strength to move along with the times, we will be left behind. There are ever so many institutions which are worked into our social fabric like caste and untouchability. Unless these things are scrapped we cannot say that we either seek truth or practise virtue. This wheel which is a rotating thing, which is a perpetually revolving thing, indicates to us that there is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. Our Dharma is Sanatana, eternal, not in the sense that it is a fixed deposit but in the sense that it is perpetually changing. Its uninterrupted continuity is its Sanatana character. So even with regard to our social conditions it is essential for us to move forward. The red, the orange, the Bhagwa colour represents the spirit of renunciation it is said:
(Sarve tyage rajadharmesu drsta). All forms of renunciation are to be embodied in Raja Dharma. Philosophers must be Kings. Our leaders must be disinterested. They must be dedicated spirits.’ They must be people who are imbued with the spirit of renunciation which that saffron, colour has transmitted to us from the beginning of our history. That stands for the fact that the World belongs not to the wealthy, not to the prosperous but to the meek and the humble, the dedicated and the detached. That spirit of detachment that spirit of renunciation is represented by the orange

Friday, the 5th November 1948
Shri H. V. Kamath: I only want one or two more minutes, Sir. ….. Now, what is a State for? The utility of a State has to be judged from its effect on the common man’s welfare. The ultimate conflict that has to be resolved is this: whetherthe individual is for the State or the State for theindividual……
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 for the human family. And that which is now awake in India is not, I hope, an Anglicized or Europeanized Oriental people, docile pupil of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the Occident’s success and failure, but still the ancient invincible 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. In that faith and fortified by that conviction, let us march forward into the future, and by the grace of God, victory will crown our efforts

Thursday, the 24th November, 1949 Shri Brajeshwar Prasad: …
If India is to remain loyal to her ancient traditions she must discard the basic foundations of this Constitution. Dharma was the basis of all Governments in ancient India. If the will of ignorant and hungry people were ever to become the basis of government in India, it will mean the complete liquidation of all that is good and noble in Indian life. The common man has got no will of his own. He is a bundle of instincts and a creature of environment and heredity. His will can never be the basis of modern Governments in any part of the world and especially in India where he suffers from innumerable handicaps. The concept of Dharma incorporates all that is good and noble in Parliamentarianism and rejects the evils that have crept into it. A State based on Dharma will never tolerate economic inequality or social injustice. But it will never accord recognition to popular will as the basis of Government. For the will of man is nasty, brutish and short. Dharma is in consonance with the fundamental principles of Democracy. The will to will the general will is the core of democracy.

Shri Har Govind Pant (United provinces : General):
According to the ancient order the primary aim of human life is the achievement of four Vargas. I need not say what place has been given to Dharma in our Constitution. When Dharma itself occupies a dubious place, it is all the more unnecessary to speak of Moksha. As for the remaining to Vargas, i.e. Artha and Kama, they have been properly provided for in the Constitution and everyone has been granted an equal right of their achievement. Ancient India accepted that man can achieve his good in both the worlds only through Dharma. Shri Vyas Deva says: ‘madhvarvahu viroumyevah nahi kashshat chunotimamdharmadiyarshcha kamashcha sa dharmahkinnasevyate’(with raised arm I declare it, but no one listen to me, that Dharma, Artha and Kama can be achieved through Dharma. Why not follow it?)
The happiness of all and the interests of society can be promoted only by following the path of Dharma. If we foresake it and go our own way, we cannot make the nation or the individual happy.

Monday, the 6th December 1948
Shri H. V. Kamath (C. P. & Berar: General):
Sir, let me not be misunderstood. When I say that a State should not identify itself with any particular religion, I do not mean to say that a State should be anti-religious or irreligious. We have certainly declared that India would be a secular State. But to my mind a secular state is neither a God-less State nor an irreligious nor an anti-religious State.)
Now, Sir, coming to the real meaning of this word`religion’, I assert that `Dharma‘ in the most comprehensive sense should be interpreted to mean the true values of religion or of the spirit. `Dharma‘, which we have adopted in the crest or the seal of our Constituent Assembly and which you will find on the printed proceedings of our debates: (”Dharma Chakra pravartanaya”)–that spirit, Sir, to my mind, should be inclucated in the citizens of the Indian Union. If honourable Members will care to go just outside this Assembly hall and look at the dome above, they will see a sloka in Sanskrit:
“Na sa Sabha yatra na santi vriddha
Vriddha na te ye na vadanti dharmam.”
That `Dharma‘, Sir, must be our religion. `Dharma‘ of which the poet has said.
Yenedam dharyate jagat (that by which this world is supported.)
That, Sir, which is embodied which is incorporated in the great sutras, the Mahavakyas of our religions, in Sanskrit, in Hinduism, the Mahavakya `Aham Brahma Asmi’, then `Anal Haq’ in Sufism and `I and my Father are one’–in the Christian religion–these doctrines, Sir, if they are inculcated and practised to-day, will lead to the cessation of strife in the world. It is these which India has got to take up and teach, not merely to her own citizens, but to the world. It is the only way out for the spiritual malaise,in which the world is caught today, because the House will agree, I am sure, with what has been said by the Maha Yogi, Sri Aurobindo, in one of his famous books, where he says:
“The master idea that has governed the life, the culture, social ideals of the Indian people has been the seeking of man for his true, spiritual self and the use of life as a frame and means for that discovery and for man’s ascent from the ignorant natural into the spiritual existence.”
I am happy, Sir, to see in this Assembly today our learned scholar and philosopher, Prof. Radhakrishnan. He has been telling the world during the last two or three years that the malaise, the sickness of this world is at bottom spiritual and therefore, our duty, our mission, India’s mission comes into play

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We are all powerless to act

IE + IT = ED? from The Memory Bank 3.0 by keith
Is informal economy plus information technology a path towards economic democracy?What follows is frankly autobiographical. It is an attempt to excavate the intellectual and political connections between my early and later work in economic anthropology...

Anthropologists have traditionally privileged self-organized economic activities, whether those of farmers, traders, household managers or the givers of gifts. The twentieth century saw a universal experiment in impersonal society. Humanity was everywhere organized by remote abstractions — states, capitalist markets, science. And, as if that were not enough, the main common preoccupation was war. For most people it was impossible to make a meaningful connection with these anonymous institutions and this was reflected in intellectual disciplines whose structures of thought had no room for human beings in them.

Whereas once we studied stateless peoples for lessons about how to construct better forms of society, such an exercise now seemed pointless, since we were all powerless to act. Of course, people everywhere did their best with a bad job, seeking self-expression where they could — in domestic life and informal economic practices. But the gap between individuals and society widened, even as most regimes claimed that they governed in the name of the people. We may or may not be witnessing at present the decline of the dominant social form of the last 150 years, the attempt to monopolize money, markets and accumulation through central bureaucracy that I call ‘national capitalism’.

This workshop (see below), with its focus on regional clusters, networks and the efforts of ordinary people to organize themselves in the face of capitalist exploitation, nevertheless offers me an opportunity to get beyond a personal desire to discover some lurking consistency between my present and former selves (an identity, if you like). I hope, certainly in any form of the paper produced after the workshop, eventually to place this introspective impulse back in the collective discourses where it properly belongs, in economic anthropology, development discourse, Marxism and the contemporary struggle for emancipation from the neo-liberal world economy.

The paper consists of three parts devoted respectively to the informal economy, money in the digital revolution and economic democracy (the example of community currencies). This first draft is mainly a collage of previous writing. The aim is for it to evolve towards a new and more integrated statement as a result of the conversation initiated by this workshop. 10:19 AM Workshop: ‘Clusters, Network Organization and the Informal Economy’, Bologna, 29-30th June 2006 in the series, Rethinking Economies.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Politics, as it is practised, is a low and ugly thing, wholly dominated by falsehood, deceit, injustice, misuse of power and violence

A Declaration by the Mother, dated 25 April 1954
by RY Deshpande on Fri 15 Aug 2008 04:56 PM PDT Permanent Link

Sri Aurobindo withdrew from politics; and, in his Ashram, a most important rule is that one must abstain from all politics—not because Sri Aurobindo did not concern himself with the happenings of the world, but because politics, as it is practised, is a low and ugly thing, wholly dominated by falsehood, deceit, injustice, misuse of power and violence; because to succeed in politics one has to cultivate in oneself hypocrisy, duplicity and unscrupulous ambition.

The indispensable basis of our Yoga is sincerity, honesty, unselfishness, disinterested consecration to the work to be done, nobility of character and straightforwardness. They who do not practise these elementary virtues are not Sri Aurobindo’s disciples and have no place in the Ashram. That is why I refuse to answer imbecile and groundless accusations against the Ashram emanating from perverse and evil-intentioned minds.

Sri Aurobindo always loved deeply his Motherland. But he wished her to be great, noble, pure and worthy of her big mission in the world. He refused to let her sink to the sordid and vulgar level of blind self-interests and ignorant prejudices. This is why, in full conformity to his will, we lift high the standard of truth, progress and transformation of mankind, without caring for those who, through ignorance, stupidity, envy or bad will, seek to soil it and drag it down into the mud. We carry it very high so that all who have a soul may see it and gather round it.

Science, Culture and Integral Yoga Keywords: SriAurobindo, Spirituality, Politics, Mother, IntegralYoga Posted to: Main Page INTEGRAL YOGA SRI AUROBINDO THE MOTHER

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I have not seen such great writings about yogic matters by any one else

Re: Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity
by rakesh on Mon 11 Aug 2008 02:11 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

His writings have their own importance when compared to the occult action in the invisible. We could also say that there could be many other great yogi's doing invisible work in the invisible plane. We have no clue about it.

But for people like me his writings are the only guidance and aspiration from the visible to the invisible. I have not seen such great writings about yogic matters by any one else. Though the knowledge is inexhautible what He has given us in the form of writings is a blessing. Till one is capable of getting into direct contact with the divine these writings are of supreme importance. I do not know if there would have been any other way to understand the grand plan of the divine except from these writings.

Ofcouse exceptions are always there but for the majority we need guidance even to get in touch with the psychic or to know that psychic being exits at all unless He told us. How much his Letters on Yoga clears our thinking and lets one understand the layers of nature within oneself? How it opens one to the invisible after the clouds of ignorance clear off? Is there any other comparision to the grace of His writings for the beings in ignorance?? Reply

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The validity claim of the subjective is sincerity. Lies have to do with subjectivity

10 Points of Economics from Indistinct Union by cjsmith
Distilled by Guy Sorman in City Journal. Sorman’s work begins with the scientistic (and flawed) notion that economics has now become a true “objective” (i.e. mathematicized) science...

Modern economics hitched and determined solely by mathematical models hides its own policy and political preferences under the guise of objectivity, when in fact they are in part subjective and intersubjective. [Just not admitted as such]. What is decided then is decided by experts (and their media outlets/mouthpieces) embedding their own social-moral-political views via a process Habermas calls “decisionism.” i.e. Is becomes ought without their being discussion/ratification of such a policy: decisions are made without being made as it were. They are made without dialog and discussion.

A further point via Habermas. Sorman’s piece is titled: Economics Doesn’t Lie and his proof is that it is objective. But as Habermas has I think effectively established, the validity claim of the objective world is factual truth. The validity claim of the subjective is sincerity. Lies have to do with subjectivity which means Sorman is arguing that a supposedly objective fact-based only endeavor is actual the subjective embodiment of sincerity. Objective economic analysis can more lie than it can tell the truth since it isn’t a person with autonomous consciousness. How said facts are used by individual persons can be sincere or false and that of course then involves (back to Habmeras) intersubjective norms of rightness/justice. Which is exactly what gets left out and what Smith actually understood.

I’m not saying growth is not a crucial way in which to define the health of an economy but it hides its own (non-scientific) value-laden understanding into the process.


Monday Philosophy Blogging from Indistinct Union by cjsmith
From Hans Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method:

What is necessary is a fundamental rehabilitation of the concept of prejudice and a recognition of the fact that there are legitimate prejudices, if we want to do justice to man’s [sic] finite, historical mode of being. p.246


Clarity from An und für sich by Adam
I spent most of today reading Laclau’s On Populist Reason...

I have always admired about Laclau is the clarity and rigor of his arguments. When I read Laclau and Mouffe’s Hegemony and Socialist Theory, for example, I came away convinced that the economy really can’t be determinative “in the last instance,” and I don’t think that would’ve happened had they presented that portion of the argument in a more stereotypically “continental” style...

Even in the most extreme instances of “continental” style, though, such moments of crystal clarity do occur and are very powerful — for instance, early on in Nancy’s Inoperative Community, he lays out a very straightforward and compact argument that the “metaphysics of the absolute” is simply logically incoherent, and to my mind, the only possible response there is, “Wow, I guess you’re right.”

It seems possible, however, that if a text were simply the accumulation of such moments of crystal clarity, it would paradoxically lapse back into an absolute opacity.