Saturday, March 17, 2012

Autocracy propped up by falsehood, intimidation and bribery

Throughout the world there is an unmistakable trend of common people rising up against their autocratic overlords and tyrants. No doubt there is a Divine decree that has gone forth that is behind this rapid overturning of all dictatorships and the breakdown of political thuggery. 
If the Ashram is a microcosm of the world and what happens in it is a representative of the world outside, then the Divine Will, as it manifests in the world, is also an indicator of what It seeks to achieve in the Ashram as well. The writing is on the wall for all to see. 
This issue can only be resolved if the average Ashramite stands up and quietly, but firmly, rejects the stifling apparatus of unaccountable and non-transparent autocracy propped up by falsehood, intimidation and bribery, which the current management has foisted on them and now seeks to legitimize in the name of the Mother, specifically by recourse to the Trust Deed. 
The true friends of the Ashram, as well as of the trustees themselves, are those that speak out and call a halt to the suicidal downward slide on which the collective has been accelerating under their reckless and negligent misrule. A positive outcome of the current crisis in the Ashram will surely constitute the next step in a virtuous cycle of more transparent and better accountable governance of people throughout the world. Reply

Robert Wilkinson is misinformed when he says the Ashram Archives "lists Heehs as one of its founding member". He is merely repeating Heehs' false claim. In fact Heehs was originally one of 40 proof-readers of the SABCL publication unconnected with the Archives when it was started. The Mother blessed two young men as the first researchers at the Archives founded by Jayantilal Parekh. Heehs was nowhere in the picture. Since Jayantilal headed both projects (Archives and SABCL), eventually after 1973 the proof-reading group was folded into the already existent Archives. That is how Heehs came to join the Archives as a proof-reader. By that time, the actual researchers at the Archives (approved by the Mother) were already at work for over two years

With a little bit of luck Vancouver Sun  By DOUGLAS TODD, Vancouver Sun March 16, 2012 Is life just random chance? Or is it pre-determined, either by God or by the inexorable laws of a mechanistic universe?
Going a bit further than O’Driscoll, some spiritually inclined philosophers – such as Sri Aurobindo from India and Hartshorne and others from North America – have taken to heart that the universe is continually evolving.In the world’s process of becoming, they say that “God” is basically the natural force that draws order out of chaos, out of randomness. Like Aristotle, 20th-century philosophers and scientists such as Charles Peirce, David Böhm and Robert Kane are convinced there is more than spontaneity, accident or blind luck. There is also an organizing principle. As Hartshorne put it, “Neither pure chance nor the pure absence of chance can explain the universe.”
Even while rejecting the notion of an all-controlling Designer of the Universe, Anglo-American physicist Paul Davies said new “post-modern” science reveals that “an ordered universe is more than a gigantic accident.” It contains purpose. The late Australian microbiologist Charles Birch said it this way: “The post-modern discourse is that chance and purpose can live together. Indeed, one is not possible without the other.”
Not absolutely everything is predetermined by cause and effect, Birch says. Humans, and other sentient creatures, have some degree of real free choice. In other words, randomness and directivity are complementary. In life, especially in humans, Birch maintains there is a fundamental “urge to live,” to “anticipate,” to seek “realistic hope.” The creative power of the future, which some call “eros,” influences the world to move toward greater richness of experience. Whether or not most people accept such cosmological speculation about the evolutionary process, such ideas about inherent purposefulness in the universe seem to back up David Foster Wallace when he said, “I wish you more than luck.”

special article the statesman 29 January 2011 Poetry & Patriotism~I  Argha Banerjee 
The Enduring Legacy Of Sri Aurobindo & Swami Vivekananda
Poetry is the spiritual excitement of a rhythmic voyage of self-discovery among the magic islands of form and name in these inner and outer worlds. ~ Sri Aurobindo
In his poem, “Lines on Ireland”, composed in 1896, Sri Aurobindo exclaims at the fall of Ireland:
How changed, how fallen from her ancient spirit!/ She that was Ireland, Ireland now no more,/ In beggar’s weeds behold at England’s door ...” 
The seeds of fervent nationalism or patriotism, which were to blossom over the coming decades, could be traced to his poem on Ireland. Sri Aurobindo’s prescription for Irish redemption, was not a military strategy but a return to its roots, self-introspection, deeper spiritual communion, revival of its past glory and distinctive cultural identity. For the subjugation and subservience of Ireland, he doesn’t accuse the alien power but blames the enslaved state:
But thou to thine own self disloyal, hast/ Renounced the help divine, turning thy past/ To idle legends and fierce tales of blood,/ Mere violent wrath with no proposed good.
The poet’s attack culminates in the line which emphatically asserts:
How fallen art thou being ruled by these!
His personal frustration is a spontaneous  condemnation of a shameless surrender to foreign domination. As Shyam Kumari rightly observes in the critical essay “The Spirit of Indian Nationalism in Sri Aurobindo’s Early Poems”:
“It is a sweet journey to follow in the footsteps of Sri Aurobindo’s early poetry and trace the first dawn of the Indian spirit.”
Sri Aurobindo’s entrapment in an alien culture did not impede his quest for search of the traditional roots of Indian heritage. His stress was on spiritual regeneration and rediscovery of the cultural roots for an emphatic assertion of nationalist identity. Sri Aurobindo was influenced by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, who fused spirituality with nationalism in Anandamath. He advocated a confrontational path for the sanyasis as their means of liberation or nirvana.
Patriotism or nationalism is not alienated from spirituality. Cultural self-discovery, especially the rekindling of inherent tradition and heritage, has a sacramental dimension. The sanctity of the latter has to be preserved against all odds. This is at the root of  the spiritual resilience of a nation against external subjugation. It is this spiritual empathy that Sri Aurobindo celebrated when he described the novelist in his poem entitled “Bankim Chandra Chatterji” as “The sweetest voice that ever spoke in prose.” In his obituary lyric “Saraswati with the Lotus”, he evokes the muse of learning and bemoans the sad demise of the author:
Thy tears fall fast, O Mother, on its bloom,/ O white-armed mother, like honey fall thy tears;/ Yet even their sweetness can no more relume/ The golden light, the fragrance heaven rears,/ The fragrance and the light for ever shed/ Upon his lips immortal who is dead.
Spiritual heritage and individuality are intrinsic to national identity. Sri Aurobindo started from this point and made spirituality and nationalism concomitant like a glorious and invincible union of the Ganga and Jamuna, thereby upholding the sacred past and the “mighty godhead of Sanatana Dharma”. It is this spirit that is echoed in the celebration of the sacrifice of the Irish nationalist, Charles Stewart Parnell (1891):
O pale and guiding light.../ Thou too wert then a child of tragic earth,/ Since vainly filled the luminous doom of birth.
Sri Aurobindo’s identification with Parnell and correlation of India with Ireland is distinctly clear in the following lines:
Deliverer lately hailed, since by our lords/ Most feared, most hated, hated because feared,/ Who smot’st them with an edge surpassing swords!
These early poems testify that Sri Aurobindo was searching for an apt metaphor for his own Mother India. The general refrain in most of these lyrics is a clarion call to regain the lost pride and glory, which would pave the path for liberation from alien rule. Behind the guise of Ireland, Sri Aurobindo revealed his concern for his own country. The mask however lies uncovered, though in a different context altogether, in the poem “Night by the Sea”:
In thy bosom’s snow white walls ... Shut my heart up; keep it closed/ Like a rose of Indian grain ...”
Having resurrected the faith in his roots he became acutely conscious of how he “had wronged” his “youth and nobler powers” by “weak attempts, small failures, wasted hours”. The call for homeland and its freedom is distinct and resonant.
CR Das once described Sri Aurobindo as “the poet of patriotism, as the prophet of nationalism and the lover of humanity”. Among the poems that express his sense of nationalism and quest for liberty, the most notable is “Baji Prabhu”, a long narrative poem that eulogises the fortitude and valour of the Maratha warrior against the Mughals.

Descending stooped, towards the vesper verge/ He gazed and cried: “make iron of your souls./ Yet if Bhavani wills, strength and the sword/ Can stay our nation’s future from o’erthrow/ Till victory with Shivaji return.
Inflicted. And from time to time the gaze/ Of Baji sought the ever-sinking sun./ Men fixed their eyes on him and in his firm/ Expression lived. So the slow minutes passed. 
The poem marks a remarkable blend of form and content.  Sri Aurobindo’s “Vadula”, first published under the title “The Mother to her Son”, also explores the theme of valour and courage.  The following extract echoes the clarion call of Mother India to her children:
Shrink not from a noble action, stoop not to unworthy deed!/ Vile are they who stoop, they gain not Heaven’s doors, nor here succeed ~ When thou winnest difficult victory from the clutch of fearful strife, I shall know thou art my offspring and shall love my son indeed.
The notion of the Nation as Mother seemed a natural continuation of Swami Vivekananda’s evocation of the goddess in the poem “Kali the Mother”. Written in Kashmir in 1898, the poem was composed during his pilgrimage to Kshir Bhavani… Both Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo advocated a massive upheaval for the spiritual resurgence of the country and Shiva serves as a triumphant symbol of such a spiritual revival. (To be concluded) The writer is on the faculty of the Department of English, St Xavier’s College, Kolkata

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