Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Life Divine covers the Vedic Vedanta Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo

Home > E-Library > Magazines > Sraddha > February 2010 > Contents
On the Mother Sri Aurobindo 7
On Herself Mother 10
The Divine Mother and the Triple Status of the Supermind Debashish Banerji 14
The Path of Nachiketa Alok Pandey 32
Sanskrit : A Journey from Mantra to Freedom Sampadananda Mishra 38
VedaVyasa’s Mahabharata in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri Prema Nanda Kumar 47
On ‘The Life Divine’ Of Sri Aurobindo Sarnath Basu 62
The Nature of Faith In the Light of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga Psychology A S Dalal 70
Spiritual Knowledge Martha S G Orton 77
Karma In History: An Evolutionary Perspective M S Srinivasan 88
Indian Culture and Hinduism Kittu Reddy 105
Sri Aurobindo and Chandernagore Trija Ray 117
A New System of National Education: Agenda For Change Sachidananda Mohanty 137
The Theme of Urvashi in The Indian Renaissance: Madhusudan Datta, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo Ranajit Sarkar 142
The National Value of Art Pabitra Roy 159
‘‘Sadhak Nolinida—The Wayfarer of the Sunlit Path’’ Manoj Dasgupta 171
Jugal Kishore Mukherjee (1925-2009) R Ranganath 182
13 January was the 120th birth anniversary of Nolini Kanta Gupta, the  manasputra  of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, about whom Sri Aurobindo is reported to have commented once ‘If Nolini is not doing my yoga, then who is?’ We have here an article by Manoj Dasgupta giving a very humane sidelight into the life of sadhak Nolinida. The past couple of months also witnessed the passing away of two of the Mother’s most beloved children – Jugal Kishore Mukherjee and Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, universally loved as our dear ‘Dada’. We have no doubt that after living a full and active life at the service of the Mother, they have ultimately found a resting place at Her lotus feet.

On ‘The Life Divine’ Of Sri Aurobindo
Sarnath Basu
Ere we begin reflecting on Sri Aurobindo’s magnum opus ‘The Life Divine’, it may be necessary to refresh ourselves with some historical information about its publication. Sri Aurobindo suffered one year in jail as an under trial prisoner in Alipore Bomb case. He regularly studied the Gita, the Upanishads and practised yoga in the jail. He had divine vision well within the precincts of the prison-cell when he came to know that he was not to pursue politics. Indeed God ordained a special task in which he had to engage himself. Thereafter on being freed from the jail he went to Pondicherry in 1910 and intensely practised yoga. In the jail he had the vision of omnipresence of God (Vasudevah Sarvam) and his yoga sadhana at Pondicherry was indeed an uninterrupted chain of that realisation. The first historic meeting of The Mother and Paul Richard with Sri Aurobindo took place on March 29, 1914. The Mother had Sri Krishna’s vision in the person of Sri Aurobindo. Indeed Paul Richard in his very first meeting with Sri Aurobindo in 1910 was profoundly moved by observing his unfathomable knowledge in all aspects of the Eastern and Western literature, culture, religion, yoga etc. After his second meeting he placed before Sri Aurobindo the proposal to publish a monthly journal with a view to bringing about a synthesis of the Eastern and Western philosophy and culture. Sri Aurobindo agreed to his proposal that resulted in the publication of the first issue of the philosophical review with the name ‘ARYA’ on August 15, 1914.
The purpose and nature of publication of this journal were indicated by the editors (Sri Aurobindo Ghose - Paul & Mirra Richard) on the reverse side in the front page of the first issue, as follows: […]. But ‘The Life Divine’ was not based on the Upanishads alone. The mighty great tree i.e. the Vedas in its entirety is its main foundation. The ARYA came out every month till January 1921. Later the published articles were culled, enlarged, edited, and added with 12 (twelve) new chapters, the book was published entitled ‘The Life Divine’ in Volume I & Volume II in the year 1939 and 1940 respectively. Thereafter the book was also published as a single compendium comprising both the volumes. Every chapter of the book has its beginning enriched with passages, original Sanskrit texts rendered into English by Sri Aurobindo himself, from the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Purana and the Gita etc. We find that he has quoted as many as 43 (forty-three) passages from the Rig Veda alone, 6 (six) from the Atharva Veda, besides a large number of citations from major and minor Upanishads. There is hardly any scope of doubt about the uniqueness of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga-sadhana but we can fairly understand from the quoted passages as prelude to every chapter that his yoga-sadhana was not delinked from the rich tradition of the sadhana of the ancient Rishis. He compared the realisations he had attained through his yoga-sadhana with those stated in the Gita, the Upanishads, the Vedas  and only after testifying, corroborating and validating each and every bit of such realisations, he provided an ‘intellectual’ [to put in his own words] interpretation in the book. Judging from this point of view ‘The Life Divine’, of course, is a book on the Vedanta philosophy; and we can take the liberty of naming it ‘Vedic Vedanta Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo’.

Jugal Kishore Mukherjee 1925 – 2009
R Ranganath
Jugal Kishore Mukherjee, one of the most eminent intellectual sadhaks of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, passed away on December 15, 2009 at the age of 84. […]
Jugalda was a prolific writer, having written many books in English and Bengali. He was a contributor to many journals connected with Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy. In his book,  “The destiny of the Body” (1975), he discusses the transformation of the human body into a divine supramental body from a scientific and biological angle. With his vast knowledge of science, he points out many interesting facts about longevity in the animal world. In 1989, he wrote “Sri Aurobindo’s Poetry and Sanskrit Rhetoric”.  In 1990, flowed another book from his pen: “From Man Human to Man Divine”. Then in 1995, came a book on Sri Aurobindo’s Humour “Sri Aurobindo The Smiling Master”. In 1994 he produced a small booklet entitled “The wonder that is Amal Kiran” in commemoration of the ninetieth birthday of K.D. Sethna, another very eminent Aurobindonian scholar, author and literary critic. In his book, “The Practice of the Integral Yoga”, Jugalda gives practical hints to be applied in day to day life-situations, keeping in mind the principles of the Integral Yoga. “The Mystery of Death, Fate, Karma and Rebirth” was published in 2004 and it seemed that this subject was already holding his attention in the last phase of his life.
Then came some booklets: “Sri Aurobindo Ashram: Its role, responsibility and Future Destiny”; “The Ascent of Sight in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri”; “Principles and goals of Integral Education”. There were two Bengali books as well: “Poorna Yoger Sadhan Paddhati—in two volumes and “Mrityu Rahasya”. [The ascent of sight in Sri Aurobindo's SavitriThe Destiny Of The Body/The Vision and the Realisation in Sri Aurobindo's YogaThe Wonder That is K.D. Sethna Alias Amal KiranFrom Man Human to Man Divine: Sri Aurobindo's Vision of the Evolutionary Destiny of ManSri Aurobindo: The Smiling MasterSri Aurobindo Ashram - Its Role, Responsibility and Future Destiny: An Insider's Personal View]

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lessons for Anna Hazare from J.P. Movement

The Hindu : Looking back at the Emergency HARISH KHARE Sunday, Sep 21, 2003 Magazine IN THE PAST
In Bipan Chandra's perspective, J.P. had stumbled upon a misguided mission. J.P.'s agenda was "mere truism"; he was a prisoner at times of "woolly thinking" and at other times of "hazy, naive, and unrealistic thinking". The "total revolution", a concept that J.P. preached, was "at best a romantic notion or a matter of mere rhetoric", " vague and indicative only of good intentions"; J.P.'s economic ideas were "utopian", characterised by " a lack of coherent and concrete programme". In other words, a harbinger of anarchy and disorder. Yet the historian does not feel provoked enough to indict him for failing to understand what forces the destructive potential of mobs and crowds. The only flaw that invites Bipan Chandra's disapproval is J.P.'s gullibility in letting the Rashtriya Swayamsevek Sangh (RSS) take over the "movement". Once the RSS is located as the prime mischief-maker, then Mrs G's temptation for authoritarian sin becomes understandable, if not excusable. …
Even if J.P. had not blundered into uncorking a "movement", some other event or individual would have provided the spark for re-working the paradigm with or without a spell of anarchy, which no body could necessarily, hope to calibrate. It is here that Bipan Chandra's narrative offers useful lessons for political leaders and rulers: they must understand that their excessive partisanship would have consequences, which may not always be amenable to reasonable sorting.
If history has to indict, as it must, J.P. for embarking upon a path for which he was neither organisationally nor politically nor even intellectually equipped, then what was Indira Gandhi's excuse for resorting to an extreme solution?
In the Name of Democracy: J.P. Movement and the Emergency, Bipan Chandra, Penguin paperback, p. 384, Rs. 350. Tusar N. Mohapatra  -  5:22 PM 

State vs Anna Posted By  Jug Suraiya   TOI 16 August 2011, 10:49 PM IST
Is Anna Hazare a saviour of democracy or is he sabotaging it? This is the crucial question facing India days after it celebrated the 64th year of its independence from foreign rule. The Congress party and the government have attacked Anna Hazare and his...
Critics – and these include not just those in the Congress party or in the government, but also those who while sympathetic to Hazare’s professed ideals of cleansing corruption from our society have doubts about his methods – have pointed out the danger to democracy posed by what might be called ‘ad hoc vigilantism’. Today it is Anna with his campaign against corruption. Tomorrow it could be another rebel, with or without a cause. If constitutional institutions like Parliament are bypassed how long will it be before our much-touted democracy becomes a mobocracy, presided over by demagogues with self-assumed power?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Mystic thought of Kashmir & RSS thought process

Experts on mysticism from Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced ...
Prof. Ananda Reddy and Prof. Sebastian Painadaph from the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research, Puducherry and Sameekshan Research Centre (Philosophy) MG University, Kottayam, Kerala, respectively, called on N. N. Vohra, Governor, at Raj Bhavan here this evening. Prof. G. M. Khawaja, Professor Research, Institute of Kashmir Studies (IKS), University of Kashmir, was accompanying the two scholars. Prof. Reddy, an expert on Vedic traditions and spirituality, and Prof. Sebastian, expert on Christian mysticism, are currently on a visit to the Institute of Kashmir Studies to deliver lectures at the ongoing 13-day Workshop being organized by the IKS on “Mystic Thought of Kashmir”, from 1st to 13th August. Forty persons from all over the Kashmir Valley are participating in this Workshop.The Governor, who is the Chancellor of the University and Chairman of the IKS, had wide ranging discussions with Prof. Reddy and Prof. Sebastian which focused essentially on the identification of all possible approaches for creating deeper understanding of various religious beliefs and traditions, to foster a truly multi-cultural environment.   Prof. Khawaja briefed the Governor about the ongoing deliberations at the Workshop and the topics being discussed and the lectures delivered by the experts in this event.  

A talk given on the occasion of the installation of Sri Aurobindo’s relics at Sri Aurobindo Sadhana Peetham in Lodi, CA, on 19 April 2008
These relics too are not just some parts of Sri Aurobindo’s body. They are surely not meant just to perpetuate a tradition, to keep alive through a tradition some form of the past, or some remembrance of Sri Aurobindo. The Mother who broke free from all traditions, who gave this beautiful prayer to the children of the school—“Make of us the hero-warriors we aspire to become; May we fight successfully the great battle of the future that seeks to be born against the past that seeks to endure. May we be ready for the new things that are waiting to manifest”—She would not send the relics just to perpetuate an old tradition. She started the institution of relics, if we may use the word institution. Not only did She send the relics, she took great, great care. It was as if Sri Aurobindo himself was going. So She did not start the journey of the relics just to keep alive a tradition. In fact, there were places were relics were sent for which she would say that Sri Aurobindo must receive a State honor. And even now in Orissa and in some places in India, when relics come, there is a State honor which is given. …
It is not just portions of his body, it is a portion of the Divine embodiment. It is the physical atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo coming to us. To those of us who have been privileged to feel that physical atmosphere in the vicinity of the Ashram, and how it envelopes all creatures there. It is his physical atmosphere, something of himself which comes here.

City gets aurobindo ashram Times of India Aug 1, 2011, 02.16PM IST
Governor J B Patnaik inaugurated the Aurobindo Bhavan at Panjabari in the city on Sunday. Sri Aurobindo Society is an international society striving for a new world order based on spirituality. It would soon start joint programmes with teachers from school to university-level in Assam to transform the education system in the state. International secretary of the society, Gopal Bhattacharjee said all aspects of life have to be raised to the highest possible level and transformed into a new consciousness guided by the divine consciousness. The society gives utmost importance to integral education, which has a wider scope for an individual to learn every moment through formal and informal education, based on the ideals of Sri Aurobiundo and The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Bhattachrjee said.
He said that the society aims to raise divine counsciousness among the people and help in leading a better and fuller life leaving past the difficulty and prolems.
He said that the Sri Aurobindo Bhawan at Panjabari will become the centre of integral education and spiritual activities. The society has two branches in Assam- Digboi and Guwahati at present. It also has centres at Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Dhekiajuli, Hojai, Mangaldoi, Silchar and Karimganj.
Chatterjee informed that the education cell of the society is giving suggestions to the Centre for taking steps in spirituality development and would work for transformation of the education scenario in Assam. 
The next topic deals with the RSS thought process, and how in a very congress way the foundation of it was destroyed pushing it to extreme right. Many say that the RSS thought process strengthened with Mahatma Gandhi, but much influence can be seen coming from Sri Aurobindo’s works in Baroda.
Before division of India on linguistic ground the Marathi community was a loved people through much of India, they had a cementing effect for many things they symbolized, the social engineering symbolized by Chatrapati Shivaji in the south and later Chatrapati Shahu in the north, was symbolic of a progressive mindset, they symbolized the union of the north and the south, they symbolized a bridge between the Shaives and Vaishnavs. And  most of all, they represented three hundred years of war against the Moguls (not Muslims because both Rajputs and Marathas fought for and against Moguls, and they had political differences India never had religious wars), two hundred years of struggle against the British. The three Anglo Maratha wars first one lost them Bihar, second Surat and third broke the Maratha Federation with the fall of Pune. It is not surprising then that in much of north India the Maratha states played a central role in the make and break of the struggle of 1857. The fall of the Scindias and later the Holkers in 1857 had such a psychological effect that the revolt could not hold.
So the point is that the society looked at Marathi people with a lot of hope, and when Sri Aurobindo started sharing his opinion in Baroda, Madhya bharat and Bengal, it had a telling effect on the youth of that time and much of that lot was Marathi youth because of the proximity of the community in serving banks and education related activity, and the undercurrent spared like wild fire. Sri Aurobindo had met Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and it seems that had much to do with the rebel within congress and his change of opinion about religion (the man who opposed the child Marriage bill on religious ground to a man who challenged even the Sunkaracharya).
But the biggest strength of the RSS thought process was also its biggest weakness, it mostly grew along the borders of the Maratha states, the so called Hindi belt, and it also carried a certain image. This was the biggest strength of the congress, great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Mohmad ali Jinha, and others carried the possibility of a new India, and that was most appealing to the length and the breadth of the nation. And I think the promise was a very real one, and all that it held was achievable, if the democracy was respected.  
The point that the above makes is that after the independence when congress came to power the Congress stated seeing the Hindi belt as a serious vote bank, and the best way to defeat any serious competition was to break it at its base. With the separation of Maharashtra the Marathi people were regionalized and so to say ‘the RSS was shown its place’. It seems this is the reason why an organization that was perceived to be slightly rightist became extreme rightist. And I guess they lost everything with it, they were merely reduced to an opposition party than any Ideology.
But more than the loss of the RSS it was the nation that lost the most, the nation was divided on linguistic ground, something even the British Administration that is accused of the divide and rule policies did not feel proper, and it is commendable of the British Administration, we accuse them of partition but they could have done much more had they so intended. Something that the free India is aspiring for.
By changing the constitution for its cheep vote bank politics I don’t understand what the Congress have proven. They destroyed the very bases that gave India its character, its culture and they say they did it to protect India’s culture, how very sad.
So much so that today India is seen as an alien power, an occupying force, a Delhi Raj by many. I hope both the thought processes the congress and the RSS will realize there doing and do away with this sad amendment to the constitution, and let the genius of the wise man Dr. B. R. Ambedkar actually see the light of the day. And most of all refrain from flippant changes to the constitution as if it is some toy.
Today the BSP claims to be the true representative of Dr. BR Ambedhker his federalism his thought for equality and justice, but I guess they do not believe what they stand for, as they say STRONG ENOUGH, to bring about a perceivable change. The congress suggests that both the left and the right are not serious political parties and relates them to extreme groups. And it is quite possible it be true, but if they come clear. It is important to realize the significance of a reasonable Opposition.

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Sri Aurobindo - Norman Dowsett 5-12-1950 Arushi is an E-zine from
In the delicate purples and mauves of the evening sky
A sunset sadness lingers in the glow
And whispers to the heart: the Day must die,
Its light upon some alien shore to flow. 

Friday, August 05, 2011

Sri Aurobindo and Roy both supported the Cripp’s offer

The Radical Humanist - ARTICLE A book backed by massive research and massive scholarship Sri Aurobindo: A contemporary Reader: Book Review by R.M. Pal  [Sri Aurobindo: A contemporary Reader, edited by Professor Sachchindananda Mohanty Price Rs. 325/-] 
This is a book for Sri Aurobindo admirers, especially for those who have no time to read or do not have access to the complete works of Sri Aurobindo. My late friend Shri Girilal Jain, the illustrious editor of The Times of India, was a great admirer of two great Bengali revolutionaries, Aurobindo Ghosh and M.N. Roy. I once asked him what was there in Aurobindo who was at one time dismissed by Gandhi for giving his opinion on the Cripp’s plan for India’s Independence
I have learnt a lot, Girilal said, from Aurobindo’s foundations about Indian culture, a free and united India, India’s mission and destiny, Indian nationalism. All important Indians like Bipinchandra Pal, Subhash Chandra Bose & Rabindranath Tagore saluted Aurobindo. Only Gandhi refused to recognize in him the great revolutionary and the great intellectual. 
It is in this background that I wanted to read the writings of Sri Aurobindo, who was at one time our hero. Apart from the general introduction by Prof. Mohanty, which is scholarly, I quote below the editorial note (editor’s prologue from the chapter ‘Foundation of Indian Culture’) which contextualizes Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts concerning Indian culture. (143)  […]

As I have mentioned above Sri Aurobindo’s appeal to congress leaders to support British war efforts in that connection he sai a special messenger Advocate Duraiswamy of Madras to Gandhi to speak on behalf of Sri Aurobindo to support British was efforts in order to defeat the enemy of human culture & human civilization Hitler & the Axis Powers. Gandhi summarily dismissed Aurobindo’s plea who is Aurobindo he has left politics. It is most regrettable that Gandhi did not know even though Sri Aurobindo was not an active revolutionary now & choose to lead a spiritual life he did not cease to take interest in India’s affairs. The book under review refers to a number of instances when Sri Aurobindo gave his opinion on affairs relating to India
NOTE:  At the Outbreak of the World War II in 1939 Roy took a strong stand in favour of full Indian support to British War effort. Based on his position on two arguments 1) that Fascism was the greater evil and all forces should be rallied against it and that the British would emerged so exhausted after the War that it would have to grant independence to India. Roy was convinced that the end of the war would be quickly followed by Independence for India. Shri Aurobindo also had the more or less same view with regards to Fascism. Sri Aurobindo and Roy both supported that Cripp’s offer and yet what is surprising is that Sri Aurobindo and Roy did not knew one another’s views. Sri Aurobindo had known to early Roy (Narendra Bhattacharyaji) of the revolutionary days in Bengal. There was at least one revolutionary, Amarendranath, who is a devotee of both Ray and Aurobindo We know from Prof. Mohanty’s book that Sri Aurobindo congratulated Amarendranath on his work on the anti-fascist front. Amarendranath was an active member of the RDP & naturally in 1942 was engaged in anti-fascist activity as per RDP resolution.
If M N Roy knew that Sri Aurobindo was none other than Aurobindo Ghosh who sends a special emissary Mr. Duraiswamy to Gandhi recommending acceptance of Cripp’s offer and Gandhi’s summary dismissal of emissary saying that Aurobindo is no more in politics. Why should he take interest in political affairs? Roy would have defiantly informed leaders of the congress like Nehru, Patel and others that Aurobindo’s opinion should not be dismissed. So emissary things might have different in 1942. One hopes Prof. Mohanty will one day do some research on this aspect to find out why this two leaders did not know one another’s views on the question of support to British War efforts and their almost identical views on the dangerous posted by fascism.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The abiding appeal of this controversial book lies in its empirical depth

Letters to Editor telegraph  Wednesday , August 3 , 2011
Free speech 
Sir — In “Ban the ban” (July 30), Ramachandra Guha has taken the Gujarat government to task for slapping a ban on a book on Mahatma Gandhi by the American writer, Joseph Lelyveld. Significantly, the government of India is not a party to the ban. This is principally because of the instant intervention of the two scholarly descendants of the Mahatma — Rajmohan Gandhi and Gopalkrishna Gandhi — who put their objection to the ban in writing. The Manmohan Singh government then cleared the book for free circulation.

Guha mentions other instances of books being banned in India. Such episodes reveal the dictatorial streaks in India’s ruling class. Of the many cases, the ban on Peter Heehs’s The Lives of Sri Aurobindo deserves special mention. The abiding appeal of this controversial book lies in its empirical depth. Proscribing a book cannot be considered the right way to deal with controversial writers.

Incidentally, I beg to differ with Guha on one count. Guha mentions the Left Front government’s ban on a book written by Taslima Nasreen. Guha’s views are misplaced on this occasion. Bengal’s intelligentsia had defended Nasreen when fundamentalists had threatened her on an earlier occasion. Unfortunately, the Bangladeshi author seemed to have misused her freedom of expression later. Her book, Dwikhandita, was a shameless attack on the prophet. It was only then that scholars and intellectuals raised their voice in protest. But they had not pressed for her extradition. That came about as a result of an organized vandalism in Calcutta by some sections of the minority community. Therefore, the Left Front government cannot be indicted of having discriminated against her.

Guha, though, is absolutely within his rights to chastise Narendra Modi, who deserves to be punished for his disrespectful gesture. Yours faithfully, P.B. Saha, Calcutta 

Sir — Ramachandra Guha rightly says that in India most books are banned because of the insecurity and weaknesses of the government. Banning a book only makes it more popular. Those who had paid scant attention earlier end up being eager readers of the controversial work. Many readers profess dogmatic views. They often lack complete knowledge of a subject. Hence they are easily provoked by anything that appears to contradict their own views. On many occasions, they denounce such contrary views as immoral or wrong.

But India being the largest democracy must allow freedom of expression. This is only because the stifling of free speech is alien to democratic principles. Yours faithfully, Maloy Pal, Calcutta

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Dharna against Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trustees in Puducherry

date 2 August 2011 22:15 subject Fwd: Fw: PHOTOS 4 attachments  10:23 PM