Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Peter Heehs: 2013. Roots, Branches, and Seeds: The teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo examined in the light of Indian tradition, colonial modernity and one another. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Occasional Paper, History and Society Series, No.14. (Pdf file available here)
Fortunately for us, the words of Vivekananda and Aurobindo have been carefully preserved in printed and digital texts. Earlier teachers did not have it so good. We read the Pali Canon and Greek New Testament but have reason to wonder how far the printed words correspond to what the Buddha and the Christ actually said. We have no such worries in regard to the works of Vivekananda and Aurobindo – but we do have another worry. As willing or unwilling postmodernists, we know that the process of dissemination is never straightforward. Whatever we might think of Jacques Derrida, we pay heed to his warning about ‘the impossibility of reducing a text as such to its effects of meaning, content, thesis or theme’. Philosophers – and perhaps mystics as well – strive in vain to control the dissemination of the meanings of their texts. [...]
Neo-orthodox scholars such as Bithika Mukerji, Anantanand Rambachan, and Michael Comans (a.k.a. Sri Vasudevacharya) have cautiously suggested that Vivekananda’s understanding of Vedanta is not supported by the views of earlier authorities. Historians of yoga, such as Elizabeth De Michelis, Mark Singleton, and Joseph Alter examine the role Vivekananda and Aurobindo played in the modern history of yogic theory and practice, pointing out that they omitted much of what was taken to be yoga before the late nineteenth century.86 All these writers have created images of Vivekananda and Aurobindo that stand in contrast to the simplified and sacrosanct versions of the pious and the politicians. Where in the midst of all this are the real Vivekananda and Aurobindo? - 4:21 PM
Why change needs to be evangelised, not enforced. My piece today in the TOI -http://t.co/ynW1ke2lft - September 21, 2015, 8:50 AM IST Santosh Desai
The ban seeks to excise behaviors or perspectives that are inconvenient- rather than deal with the messiness of divergence, it is simply removed. It seems that opinions, whatever they might be, are increasingly wielded like hammers that are slammed down on us, leaving little wiggle room for any discussion. [...]
What is rarely seen is the old fashioned attempt to evangelise or market one’s point of view. To evangelise is to believe strongly in one’s own view, but to simultaneously acknowledge that the other person does not share the same belief. The attempt is to find ways of communicating what one finds compelling about the idea to the other, by understanding where the other person comes from and in trying to build a persuasive bridge that allows them to cross over to this side. There is both an implicit arrogance (in the absoluteness of one’s belief) and a certain humility (acknowledging that others may not share this belief) involved in the process. Missionaries employ this method and do so by investing an enormous amount of themselves in the process- years are spent living in remote and unfamiliar areas in the pursuit of their beliefs.
Most modern religions and ideologies have at least in part, been spread by ambassadors travelling around spreading the word, prevailing upon people to see value in their espoused way. The Gandhian method of resistance relied heavily on being able to promote his ideas, many of them quite radical and dramatically at odds with the dominant ideas of the day, widely to large sections of the Indian population. By articulating his ideas in writing and in speech, by engaging in detailed discussions with all those who wrote to him, by travelling the length and breadth of the country and interacting with a wide cross-section of people, by converting ideas into symbols that captured the essence of his thinking, and by living by the otherwise abstract principles he espoused, Gandhi managed to rally a very large and diverse set of people around decidedly unconventional ideas.
But today, that kind of patience and openness is increasingly difficult to muster up. Opinions held by any group are presumed to represent universal truths and become inviolable benchmarks against which words and actions of others are measured. When these are found wanting, the other side is attacked ruthlessly. Neither tradition nor modernity are being evangelized, and the same is true for economic reforms or social change. [...]
Perhaps there is something to learn from a very different world- that of advertising. Here, every new idea is presented with great fanfare to those that might be persuaded to choose it. Every effort is made to cater to the desires of the audience and to answer the questions it might have. There might be many things wrong in the way advertising is practiced, but the potential buyer always comes first, and is catered to with great humility. Ideas, however self-evident in their correctness they might seem to some, need to be marketed, not enforced. The true evangelist believes in the idea that is being sold, but believes in our right not to be persuaded even more.
How important is it for a country to reimagine its past? Today in the TOI : The past as anchor for our present?: http://t.co/wDC3hviVIR - September 27, 2015, 9:35 PM IST Santosh Desai
Current evidence suggests that the answer seems to be to largely focused on using a combination of selective erasure and a differently imagined and remembered past. This is why there is such great interest in acts of remembering our sense of history whether by renaming roads, institutions, creating new icons of the past, retelling histories, and creating new rituals. There is even greater interest in dismantling the aura around the icons of the past, for the priority seems to be one of replacement and not mere augmentation.
The belief that all wisdom resided in the past, and that going back to it would reveal all answers has consequences. [...] Any system of knowledge needs scholarship, rigour, original ways of thinking and intellectual honesty, only then can it take root, grow and become relevant to changing times. It can begin in a new place, it can challenge existing precepts and constructs, it can propose radically new ways of seeing the world, it can hope to create an alternative ecosystem of ideas, but in order to do so it must be a product of introspection and must subject itself to scrutiny and criticism, for only then it can create something robust and meaningful.
A new post on The Middle Stage: "The Indian Novel as an agent of History" http://t.co/v99VpeiNSO - http://t.co/AROTFS43e4
In the great diversity of narrative forms and interpretative cruxes generated by the Indian novel, there lies a wealth of wisdom about Indian history and, therefore, about how to live in the present time as an Indian and a South Asian, a modern of the twenty-first century and a third- or fourth-generation denizen of the often disorienting age of democracy. Consider Fakir Mohan Senapati’s enormously sly, satirical, and light-footed novel Six Acres and a Third, written in Odia in 1902 and only translated into English in 2006. [...]
The novel form possesses certain advantages over other forms of discursive prose as a lens on history. There’s the persuasive power and ambiguity of a story, which may be read in many ways and asks for the partnership of the reader in the unpacking of its meanings. The freedom to rove in spaces of the past that we cannot access by means other than that of the imagination. The potential to think not in a straight line but dialectically in exchanges between characters, or switches in perspective between the narrator and the characters. All of these make the space of the novel a particularly fertile ground for historical thinking.
In fact, when they are themselves reinserted into the canvas of Indian history, the projects of the Indian novel and that of Indian democracy – both fairly new forms in Indian history – appear uncannily similar, and perhaps similarly unfinished. As Indian democracy has, over the past seven decades, sought to fashion a new social contract in a deeply hierarchical civilization, so the great Indian novel has attempted to not just find but to also form a new kind of reader/citizen, alive to both the iniquities and the redemptive potential of Indian history. Posted by Chandrahas - 7:40 PM
Whither Odia Ghazal? - Shyamanuja
Beyond the basic poetic construction, #Akshaya Mohanty has always kept his ghazals in the true spirit of ghazal. They are always pessimistic, defeatist, hopeless, self-blaming…in the classic tradition of Urdu ghazals.
It is really a pity that most of his ghazals are not available in recorded form. Recordings of some of his private sessions prop up here and there and listening to them convinces one how much he internalized even ghazal gayaki. It is intriguing why he did not record them for public.
After Khoka Bhai, the only good ghazal album that was released for public was by Subhash Dash. Simply called Odia Ghazals, this album, based on songs penned by poet Laxmidhar Nayak, was released by Saregama. Dash sang all the songs that were taken from poet Nayak’s ghazal compilation book, Ghazal Jharna. at 3:38 PM
www.theguardian.com › Arts › Books › Umberto Eco Nov 27, 2011 - 'I am reaching the end of my ordeal," says Umberto Eco when we meet. Happily, I don't take this personally. Eco – philosopher, semiotician ...
"Sometimes I say I hate The Name of the Rose," he admits, "because the following books maybe were better. But it happens to many writers. Gabriel García Márquez can write 50 books, but he will be remembered always for Cien Años de Soledad [One Hundred Years of Solitude]. Every time I publish a new novel, sales of The Name of the Rose go up. What is the reaction? 'Ah, a new book of Eco. But I have never read The Name of the Rose.' Which, by the way, costs less because it is in paperback." He laughs, as he does frequently. Eco's great virtue is that he is an intellectual who doesn't take himself too seriously. Life, like fiction, is a wonderful game.
It is claimed that he called the film of The Name of the Rose a travesty, but that seems unlikely. He says only that a film cannot do everything a book can. "A book like this is a club sandwich, with turkey, salami, tomato, cheese, lettuce. And the movie is obliged to choose only the lettuce or the cheese, eliminating everything else – the theological side, the political side. It's a nice movie. I was told that a girl entered a bookstore and seeing the books said: 'Oh, they have already made a book out of it.'" More laughter.
Friday, September 25, 2015
Seminar on managerial excellence tomorrow - The Hindu
Neo-Vedanta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
www.thehindu.com › Cities › Puducherry
The Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (SACAR) is organising a one-day seminar on managerial excellence on September 26.
The programme, ‘In Pursuit of Managerial Perfection’ is the first of a series that SACAR plans to organise covering the three pillars of integral management---wisdom, power and harmony.
The seminar is targeted at corporate executives, faculty members and students.
According to organisers, the key take-aways include understanding managerial perfection at the level of individuals and corporates with real-life examples, practical tips for an individual manager to aim at perfection and contribute better to the bottom line of the organisation and possibilities of growth by following a culture of perfection.
For details, email@example.com 9994190403/9443019172
Neo-Vedanta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
9 hours ago - Neo-vedanta's main proponents are the leaders of the Brahmo Samaj, especially Ram Mohan Roy, while Vivekananda, Gandhi, Aurobindo and Radhakrishnan ... Among the main proponents of such modern interpretations of Hinduism were Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Radhakrishnan, who to some extent also contributed to the emergence of Neo-Hindu movements in the West.
1 hour ago - Maharishi Aurobindo said that the greatest achievements have been least noisy. This aptly applied to Swami Dayananda's work and life. In his demise, the ...
9 hours ago - Over a century ago, the great sage Sri Aurobindo wrote an article called “The UnHindu Spirit of Caste Rigidity” (available here). His ideas for striking at the very ...
5 hours ago - 13 312. “What is God after all? An eternal child playing an eternal game in an eternal garden.” ~ Sri Aurobindo Einstein's work had most scientists believing.
18 hours ago - By your stumbling, the world is perfected. Sri Aurobindo Each of us arrives on this planet without knowing how to live. Though we may grope immediately for the ...
18 hours ago - News. 'Rereading Aurobindo's Karakahini: Narrating sacred selves and the politics of the prison cell', 24 September, 2015. by. Mr. Alex Wolfers, University of Cambridge, UK.
Performing Arts; Recitation of Sri Aurobindo's 7 Sonnets ... of Sri Aurobindo's 7 Sonnets. Recitation of Sri Aurobindos 7 Sonnets A personal experience, Interpreted through body movements, A Dance Performance in a free contemporary style.
19 hours ago - Title: 'Love and Death in the Myths of India — Their Message for Today and Tomorrow' Speaker: Mr Manoj Das, Renowned Author, Sri Aurobindo International ....
18 hours ago - ... 30, -0001 admin. Berikut daftar lagu "annai aurobindo win tv part 1" MP3 ...Sri Aurobindo Ashram Video - The Mother
www.dpshardwar.com/event.php?PAGE=3121 hours ago - Date: October 7, 2014. Delhi Public School Ranipur Haridwar. CBSE Expression Series 2015. S.R. Ranganathan, Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai and Sri Aurobindo
www.hotfrog.in › Book Publishing › Pondicherry › Pondicherry Ho.12 hours ago - VAK The Spiritual Book Shop offers a wide collection of books on spirituality, Philosophy, religion and yoga, including the complete works of Sri Aurobindo and ...
Sri Geetagovinda Parthishtan presents photo exhibition SPLENDOUR OF ODISSI by Dr. Susil Pani September 26 - October 4, 2015 Pondicherry
At: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Exhibition Hall, Seaside Gate, next to the Hotel Promenade,10 to 11.30am and 4.30 to 7.30pm Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.
- The Power of Concentration In the Yoga of Knowledge - In his lectures on Raja Yoga, Swami Vivekananda provides an extended description of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and their meaning. To a great extent, this...
- Mother’s Q&A – July 27, 1955 Pt 2 - [image: Thumbnail for 4088] MOTHERS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, JULY 27, 1955 The Second Half Mother explains the different ways she transmits the force to help...
- Pranjal Jauhar should listen to Tara Didi - Save Mirambika Pranjal Jauhar asks the Diyas (Ashramite voluntary teachers) to threaten the parents with closure of Mirambika - September 24, 2015savemiramb...
- Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol—Urdu Translation: The Godheads of the Little Life, ادنیٰ زندگی کی خدائیاں, Canto V, II:v Section 5 ( 47 ), [47.11-47.20] -،دنیا کچھ اور ہی ہے اُس سے جو ہم ہیں سوچتے اور دیکھتے
- Pranjal Jauhar asks the Diyas (Ashramite voluntary teachers) to threaten the parents with closure of Mirambika - Instead of rectifying his 14/4 and 1/7 arrogant blunders, Pranjal Jauhar is reported to have asked the same Diyas (Ashramite voluntary teachers), the child...
- Sri Aurobindo has overlooked the philosophical problems inherent in those words - European Influences on Sri Aurobindo’s Thought Posted on September 14, 1978 by dialogueireland By M.G.van Dijk 1. This study began with methodological comme...
- Indian Philosophy Blog - Buddhist vs. “Hindu” academic research Posted on 23 September 2015 by Matthew Dasti — No Comments ↓ With this post, I’m asking for reflections, speculations,...
- Sri Aurobindo's political career lasted from 1906 to 1910 - Sri Aurobindo's political career lasted only four years, from 1906 to 1910. Though he had been active behind the scene surveying, organizing and supporting...
- Buddhist vs. “Hindu” academic research - With this post, I’m asking for reflections, speculations, and even bare conjectures about an apparent asymmetry. As illustrated by some posts here recently...
- Schools of Sri Aurobindo institutions in West Bengal - Sri Aurobindo Teachers' Conference 2015 - 17th January 2015 [image: Sri Aurobindo Teachers" Conference 2015 - 17th January 2015] [image: Sri Aurobindo Tea...
- Sri Aurobindo Sakti Centre and Bal Mandir, New Alipore - Coming up - 19th September & 10th October Two interactive programmes on 19th September and 10th October at the Library Hall, Sri Aurobindo Sakti Cen...
- FACTS ARE IMPORTANT INDICATORS OF SUITABILITY FOR HIGH OFFICE -PAS president *Abdul Hadi Awang* asks his political rivals: HERE https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/313054 *“If you can accept communism, why not Islam?”* *“*...
- Deshpande Visits Italy: At Santa Maria in Acone—Fear of Death E - [3 March 1954: This talk is based upon the Mother’s essay “The Fear of Death and the Four Methods of Conquering It”.]I did not understand the ending: “There ...
- Certificate Course in Applied Vedic Knowledge - [image: logo] *Certificate Course in Applied Vedic Knowledge* Six-month Distance Learning Course from SAKSHI The aim of this course is to enable people fro...
- Integrating Work-Force Diversity in Global Business: A Psycho-Spiritual Perspective – M.S. Srinivasan - [Published in Journal of Human Values, April, 2015 Published by Sage Publications on behalf of Management Centre of Human Values, Indian Institute of Manag...
- Manoj Das Gupta, Tara Jauhar, and R.Y. Deshpande - A Controversial Biography by Peter Heehs, with this review by R.Y. Deshpande posted on September 17, 2008 over the now defunct SCIY site, erupted an acrimo...
- The Organisational Cycle: The Age of Reasoning (Part 2) - Continued from Part 1 Published in August 2015 issue of Sraddha, Vol. 7 (1), pp. 134-157. FAILURE OF THE CONVENTIONAL STAGE As indicated in some of the ope...
- The Upanishads are incomplete - All this (first in the Upanishads) is the viewpoint from the mental consciousness. It is incomplete because two things that are one have been left out, the...
- The Birth of the Divine Mother (Hindi) - 16th September 2015 at Dining Room Hall, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India. Savitri study with Alok Pandey SAVITRI BOOK FOUR : The Book of Birth and ...
- The Golden Rule for realizing your true Self – Nolini Kanta Gupta - All these many bodies, many persons you see, it is only appearance, there is only one Soul and every one is that. If you realise this truth, you can love e...
- Physical Education: 53: Spinal articulations - The images show the six degrees of spinal movements. This comes under the domain of the science of kinesiology. Following is a list of technical details rela...
- Amrita-da by Krishna Chakravarti - Dear Friends, Amrita was the name given by Sri Aurobindo to Karlapakam Aravamudachari Iyengar (19 September 1895—31 January 1969), a Tamil Brahmin who beca...
- Book Review: The Thinking Indian (Guest Post: Gilu Mishra) - ॐ श्री गणेशाय नमः A perfect day to share the first detailed review of my e-book, The Thinking Indian I am happy to host today, *Gilu Mishra*, a friend a...
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Sunday, September 20, 2015
The Indian Constitution and My Teacher Rousseau ( 1712-1778 )
"With Voltaire triumphant throughout Europe, and Rousseau hiding in fear in a dark room in obscurity, the Age of Rousseau began"
Will Durant : The Story of Civilization : Rousseau and Revolution
What I inherited from my teacher Rousseau was a hatred of injustice. Rousseau saw through, hatred, and raised his voice against every kind of injustice. While denouncing feudal despotism ( see his ' Social Contract ' ), he also realized that formal democracy ( universal franchise, etc ) and political liberties are empty shells unless accompanied with economic and social justice. Liberty, freedom of speech, the right to vote, etc are meaningless to a hungry or unemployed man.
While Locke never attacked inequality in wealth, and Voltaire obfuscated on the issue, Rousseau, in his ' Discourse on Inequality ', clearly said : " It is obviously contrary to the law of nature, however it be defined, for a handful of people to gorge themselves on superfluities, while the starving multitudes lack the basic necessities of life "
Thus Rousseau realized that the ' natural rights ' of which Locke and others had spoken, were all meaningless to a poor man, because poverty is destructive of all rights.
Rousseau would have found the Indian Constitution as an empty shell, because the socio-economic rights, without which the Fundamental Rights guaranteed in Part 3 ( freedom of speech, freedom of religion, liberty, equality, etc ) are meaningless, have been placed in the Directive Principles in Part 4, and have been specifically made non enforceable ( vide Article 37 ). Thus what has been given by one hand, has been taken away by the other.
The Indian Constitution, though no doubt doing some good for some time, by providing for civil liberties, secularism, etc has also , by not ensuring socio-economic justice to the poor masses in India ( see my articles ' Healthcare in India ', ' Malnutrition in India ', ' Unemployment in india ', ' Vikaas', etc on my facebook page and on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in ), and rather permitting further widening the gulf between the handful of rich and the vast majority of poor, has now exhausted itself. It can now no longer serve the Indian people, and has to be replaced by a Constitution which ensures real justice, which includes socio-economic justice, to the people, and not a mere fig leaf.
This,however, will only be possible after a great and drastic historical change in the social system prevailing in India
Oct 20, 2013 - by Justice Markandey Katju,. Synopsis. 1. Introduction. 2. Historical British Constitutional Developments. 3. John Locke's Theory of Natural ...
John Locke’s Theory of Natural Rights and the American Constitution
We have seen above how effective state power was transferred in England from the King to Parliament, and later to one of the two Houses of Parliament viz. the House of Commons, which represented the people.
Normally Parliament represented the people, and therefore was expected to act in the interest of the people. But what would happen if Parliament started acting against the interest of the people and started oppressing them?
It is here that the theory of the British thinker John Locke gained importance. In his Second Treatise on Civil Government, written in 1690 Locke propounded his theory of ‘natural rights’ of the people. Locke wrote that the people had certain ‘natural rights’ e.g. the right to life and liberty, right to property, etc which were inherent in man. Hence even Parliament could not encroach on these.
This theory was the basis of the Bill of Rights incorporated in the 1789 U.S. Constitution and the Indian Constitution’s Fundamental Rights.
Jan 9, 2015 - Though the English thinker Locke had introduced the concept in his ' Second treatise on Civil Government ', ( in which he postulated the theory ...
Since I have mentioned the name of my teacher, the great French thinker, Rousseau ( 1712-1768 ) often in my posts, some people asked me about him.
I suggest you begin by reading Will Durant's ' The Story of Civilization'. It is in several volumes, and should be available in any good library. It is in several volumes, and you should pick up the volume entitled ' Rousseau and Revolution '.and read it thoroughly. That will give you a good idea to begin with.
The ' expression ' general will ' used often by Rousseau, and popularized in the great French Revolution of 1789 ( about which also you should read ), really meant the sovereignty of the people. This was in sharp contrast to the concept then still prevailing in some quarters that the sovereign is the king. Rousseau said that it is not the king but the people who are supreme. This is the foundation of all modern democracies.
Thus, while the theory of divine right of kings ( whose main proponent was King James 1 of England ) held that the king is supreme, being the Viceroy of God, and the people are subordinate to him, and therefore should always be obeyed, Rousseau, using the secular social contract theory, reversed this relationship, and said that it is the people who are supreme, and all state authorities, are their servants.
Though the English thinker Locke had introduced the concept in his ' Second treatise on Civil Government ', ( in which he postulated the theory of ' natural rights ' of citizens, which even the king could not infringe ), he made compromises in it, which Rousseau never did. Posted by Justice Markandey Katju at Friday, January 09, 2015
Friday, September 18, 2015
Lapses of leftist historians - deliberate or incompetence ? http://t.co/3l5W77PCE5 Last, but not the least, the scholars with rightist persuasion would grievously err by seeking to emulate the other end of the spectrum. Instead of eulogizing specific political icons while concealing their flaws and selectively quoting history to establish their contention – they would be better advised to emulate Prof. Majumdar’s principle – for truth prevails, eventually.
Quotes are always selective, particularly at the hands of the Indians who pretend or claim to be historians. As far as the book by the revolutionary Manmathnath Gupta is concerned, it was published by the Peoples Publishing House and is not only an engaging reading but tears can roll down from the eyes of any discerning reader while reading the pages describing the hunger-strike days of another revolutionary Jatin Das.
The book also informs that a close relative of Nehru Pandit Jagat Narain Mulla, another Kashmiri, father of Pandit Anand Narayan Mulla was the government advocate in the famous Kakori Train Dacoity case in which several revolutionaries including Manmathnath Gupta were accused. In the post-Independence India, the Mulla family enjoyed the Nehru Government's patronage. Yes, Manmathnath Gupta was critical of Nehru at several places but not without reasoning. He remained objective not subjective like the herd of historians, we had in our country during the last three or four decades.
I read the book " They Lived Dangerously" way back in 1971 or 72 and it was so powerful that I can still vividly recall its contents, Blessed is the country where we had revolutionaries such as Manmathnath Gupta.
Arun Shourie never referred to Prof. S. Irfan Habib in his book on Eminent Historians. He referred to Prof. Irfan Habib of the Aligarh Muslim University, son of an illustrious historian Prof. Mohammad Habib. He is a Sunni mUslim while Prof. S. Irfan Habib, whose work on Bhagat Singh is referred to and critically analysed in this long post, is a Shia Muslim and son of Dr. Zaidi, a medical practitioner,
A plethora of publications have appeared in the last decade from the western academy, expressing alarm at the Hinduizing of Indian politics. A variety of foci have arisen from this attention, relating the congruence of a national identity with Hinduism as an Orientalist-Nationalist construction of the 19th century. A number of 19th c. ideological inventions are seen as the fruits of this labor, with its localized concentration among the bhadralokintelligentsia of Bengal. Among the more extreme of these views is the consideration of "Hinduism" as an unitary religious phenomenon itself as a 19th c. invention, specifically reified for nationalistic purposes. Undoubtedly, a number of revisionary crystallizations developed in late 19th/early 20th c. Bengal, spurred by the catalytic inserton of alien colonial cultural, economic and political factors, but not all of these were explicitly nationalistic in intent nor can they all (or even mostly) be unequivocally considered "inventions".
Nevertheless, the complex east-west idea-forces availing in late 19th/early 20th c. India in their mutual trajectories and entanglements have been brought under scrutiny as never before and the implications of modern Hinduism in its political effects begun to be positioned in an expanding field. In this burgeoning discourse, one of the most influential books to appear in recent years is Wilhelm Halbfass' "India and Europe".
Sri Aurobindo became the first principal of National College, Calcutta, now known as the Jadavpur College, about a hundred years ago. In the century which has elapsed since then, humankind has experienced its most intense period of collective growth and crisis throughout the world. Human consciousness is poised on a brink where it is faced either with the specter of oblivion, the horror of the abyss or a leap into another modality of being, the integral consciousness of the overman. Mediating this critical choice is the life and work of Sri Aurobindo, throwing a powerful beacon ahead of us into the century to come. Aster Patel draws out some of the implications of this work ahead of us in following the light of Sri Aurobindo in the coming century.
- Can we equal in consciousness the integral vision of reality which contemporary Science is indicating to our minds and our technological practice?
- Are we even ready to engage with the fullness of the term “integral”?
- How can we draw together our past and our present, our fractured personalities, our fragmented disciplines, our physical matter and our mental, vital and spiritual substance into the Oneness of integral being which Sri Aurobindo lived and wrote about?
Following the publication of “Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo,” Indrani Sanyal and Krishna Roy of the Centre for Sri Aurobindo Studies, Calcutta have complied a set of eighteen scholarly essays on Sri Aurobindo and his contemporaries in the ideational context of what has been called the Bengal Renaissance. Sri Aurobindo’s physical involvement in the politics and culture of early Bengal nationalism was of relatively short duration (1905-1910), albeit an intense and all-sided participation which internalized the entire regional history of the movement and left a powerful creative impress in the milieu of its time and space.
Moreover, the discursive background of this involvement continued to develop organically and find voice throughout his life in his subjective articulation just as his own situated contribution continued to resonate in later Indian nationalism. Thus this collection of considered interpretive contemplation fills an important need in our historical understanding. But more importantly, it is the post-colonial legacy of these engagements which draws us today by their fertile and future-gazing content, inviting reflection not merely for India’s but the world’s re-generation at a time of global ferment.
In this slim paperback, Robert Minor sets out with a double intention:
(a) to tell the legal story of the power struggle between the Sri Aurobindo Society and Auroville; and
(b) an exploration of the legal and cultural epistemological ambiguities surrounding the terms "religion", "spirituality" and "secularism" and their shaping of the discourse of modern political contestation in India, as exemplified in the story of Auroville.
As in all his other works, Jugal Kishore marshalls a most impressive set of quotes from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother to make his points. He clarifies the closely knit ideas relating to death as part of the perpetual process of life and to the evolution of consciousness through the progressive growth of the psychic being in its mastery over mental, vital and physical nature and the further infinite expression of higher powers of consciousness that form the bases of Sri Aurobindo’s description of life, death and rebirth.
contact Debashish Banerji