Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rank religious practices lower than polity

Attempts to create an “Aurobindonian religion”: from Auro Truths by aurotruths
Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have unambiguously stated that their ideals, teachings and the institutions that they have founded do not belong to any religion or religious body, in any name or form. […] For whatever is it’s worth – especially in the realm of spirituality – there is even a judgment of the Supreme Court of India, S.P. Mittal Etc. Etc. vs. Union of India, 1982 (, that has established that Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s ideals, teachings and the institutions that they have founded do not belong to any religion or religious institution.
There are numerous other instances where Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have unambiguously stated that their ideals, teachings and the institutions that they have founded have nothing to do with religion. There is even nothing in their teachings and works to suggest that they wanted their followers to create a new religion or establish religious institutions.
Nevertheless, Myths and Falsehoods that suggest that Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s ideals, teachings and the institutions that they have founded belong to some form of a new “Aurobindonian religion” continue to be spun, encouraged and propagated by some individuals or by groups that have similar interests. Persistent attempts to reduce Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s work – which they clearly enunciated belongs to the vast, non-religious realm of Spirituality – to a Religion, can be witnessed. This can be seen particularly in the dogmatic attitudes that are encouraged by those who wish to establish such a creed. For instance, the logic and culture of “hurt (religious) sentiments” and the polarization and exploitation of opinions based on such hurt feelings is gradually but systematically being cultivated in the Aurobindonian collective by those seeking to establish such a doctrine… and all that goes with it.
Just because some or even several followers of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother chose to follow their Masters by treading a path that is based on a religious sentiment, attitude or approach, does not mean that the Myth and Falsehood of such a new religion shall someday become a reality. For whilst the vastness of Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s ideals, teachings and their institutions can and do accommodate such religious attitudes and sentiments – without any intolerance whatsoever – so far they have however proved to be just too vast to get reduced to the limited confines of Religion in whichever name or form.
The reasons for which the creation of these Myths and Falsehoods is being attempted is left to the understanding of the reader. But it can be clearly affirmed that an “Aurobindonian religion” or a religion that is based on Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s teachings is a Myth which is nothing short of a Falsehood.

However, we would like to add that we are of the opinion that if some of Sri Aurobindo's and The Mother's followers wish to establish a new religion in the name, ideals or teachings of their Masters, they are of course free and welcome to attempt it. It is entirely up to them to try and reconcile their preferred personal beliefs and intentions while going against the directions and guidance of their Masters. If this is the path that these followers choose, so be it.
But there is absolutely no reason or justification for the rest of the followers to get misled by a few individuals who wish to further their personal views and preferences by creating the Myths of a non-existent religious movement. Editors, Auro Truths. [February 3, 2012 at 9:27 am Posted by Tusar N. Mohapatra at 12:23 PM]

Lastly, we do not claim to posses the Truth, but we believe that we can help remove those obstacles that come in the way of or obfuscate Truth - especially those obstacles that are in the form of deliberate misrepresentation and distortion of facts or the creation of myths –by providing more reliable, accurate and  complete information. Administrators.

With the Indian case mainly in mind, Bilgrami resists Taylor’s argument that we should thus diminish state neutrality. He argues, however, for a negative concept of state neutrality. For him, the state needs to rank religious practices lower than the ideals and practices of its own “polity,” as he puts it, in cases where they are inconsistent with (i.e. negate) the state’s political ideals. These first-level ideals may vary from state to state, but it is clear that Bilgrami thinks of them in Rawlsian terms both as rights—to life, freedom of speech, and equal treatment under the law and so on, and as goods—like welfare provision, distributive justice, and cheap universal education.
I am in general agreement with Bilgrami’s argument… Taylor wishes to reduce democratic state sovereignty, Bilgrami to maintain it. As I said, I think he is right about that, especially in cases like India. But given the internal contradictions of democratic state capitalism, its failures to meet its own norms and purposes (e.g. equality of opportunity and participation, liberty, widely-based prosperity), I find myself also willing to imagine situations in which the state foregoes its monopolization of sovereignty, and accedes some of its power to associations. As far as I am concerned, these cannot, however, be religious associations, since the argument against religion’s validity claims has indeed been won.
From this perspective, the real challenge becomes: how to imagine and invent strong non-religious associations with substantive values and satisfying practices of life? Associations capable of taking back some state sovereignty, admittedly (as Bilgrami urges) in ways that don’t threaten state neutrality? One theoretical possibility would be for atheists (associating in the interests of truth) to take over the Churches’ rich and solid institutions from the inside, which might indeed herald a return to older conditions and styles of at least Christian ecclesiastical practice, in which belief was not a prerequisite for episcopal ordination. But that is just a politics of hope and imagination.

No comments:

Post a Comment