Friday, December 23, 2016

In every reactionary there lies a bit of Don Quixote

Blogged my old critique of Vivekananda that I wrote in 2012 on Rajiv Malhotra's discussion form.

The Conflict between Tradition and Modernity in #India
It is rather the modest, concrete, worldly, intellectual...

It has a big piece by me on the Brahmins of Varanasi #theinterpreters A foretaste of the new book #thetwiceborn

Insightful article by @AatishTaseer Does India’s Right Wing Have Any Ideas?

Unable to defend a fabricated history on scholarly grounds, the Hindu Right turns to another response
AUDREY TRUSCHKE | Wed, 26 Oct 2016
Hindu nationalist ideology rests heavily on a specific vision of Indian history, and that version of history is transparently false.
Hindu nationalists claim that India’s past featured the glorious flourishing of a narrowly defined Hinduism that was savagely interrupted by anybody non-Hindu, especially Muslims. However, the real story of Indian history is much more complicated and interesting.
There is no single accepted narrative of India’s past. But nearly everywhere we look in Indian history, traces emerge of the diversity and syncretism that the Hindu Right wants to wash away. Especially problematic for Hindu nationalists is current scholarship on Indo-Islamic rule, a fertile period for cross-cultural contacts and interreligious exchanges. This vibrant past is rightly a source of pride and inspiration for many Indians, but the Hindu Right sees only an inconvenient challenge to their monolithic narrative of Hindu civilisation under Islamic siege.
Not everything in Indian history is rosy. The Hindu Right is happy to underscore the violence and bloodshed unleashed by many Indo-Islamic rulers, but they erupt with fury to historical work that undermines their imagined golden age of Hindu civilisation. Foremost here is research into social inequalities associated with the caste system and the exclusionary edge to some forms of Sanskrit discourse.
In contrast to the detailed work of academics, the Hindu nationalist vision of India’s past stands on precarious to non-existent historical evidence. As a result, the Hindu Right cannot engage with Indologists on scholarly grounds. 

@AudreyTruschke Best wishes. You might be interested in the just published Hegel's India. Thanks. @LangaMahesh

Savitri Era Party: Top tweets by Savitri Era Party #SriAurobindo #FiveDreams #FreeTheStates #DeMonetisation

Reimagining and Refashioning Integral Management - Tusar Nath Mohapatra, Savitri Era Learning Forum (SELF) Ghaziabad

And so, the clash of Sanatan Dharma with Abrahamic religions may not be a conspiracy, but a conflict between two universes
Indian tradition is rich with reason. Don’t demean it with rants: my column on the art of argument, part 2… via @dna

Alt-right is retarded and so are Hindus who take that label- Part I -
@yugaparivartan Yes Nava-Hindutva sounds good. S.R. Goel & Ram Swaroop's critique of the RSS-Sangh shld be an aspect of it I feel.

@dikgaj True. But if we are going to question the Nehru Gandhi narrative of the INC, why avoid re-examining the Tagore narrative?
@manuakula I am quite unpopular with some sections because I do criticize him for parts of his universalism. Done it elsewhere.:)

Read about the collusion of Indic mercantiles  with foreign Invaders with a new author's note:

Shakespeare, economic theorist. His work was shaped by the market. And that work, in turn, influenced the… #News

Milton, sci-fi inventor

On sentience, sapience and speciesism Finally managed to write this, after a lot of deliberation and reading.

From Philosopher to Ironman: How and why I took on the world’s toughest triathlon

[some of Noam Chomsky’s recent views are also problematic in the perspective on fascism I am trying to develop.] ~NM
Mind and Resistance: Everybody Loves a Good Fascist--Part VI

[In every reactionary there lies a bit of Don Quixote, pining for the Golden Age—and making a fool of himself.] ~ML

[How should we teach critical thinking? Peter Ellerton, Lec in Critical Thinking, University of Queensland] via @wef

[unrealistic assumptions such as the belief in a perfectly rational, utility-maximizing, autonomous individual.]

#India’s sorry performance in international tourism – “Incredible India” is getting no one…

The world's top 20 #cities are home to 75% of the largest companies. @wef
Cities are mankind’s most enduring and stable mode of social organization, outlasting all empires and nations over which they have presided. Today cities have become the world’s dominant demographic and economic clusters.
As Christopher Chase-Dunn has pointed out, it is not population or territorial size that drives world-city status, but economic weight, proximity to zones of growth, political stability, and attractiveness for foreign capital. In other words, connectivity matters more than size. 

This #Christmas give the gift of "the most global book ever written": @kevin2kelly  -

Smart cities could change the way we live, but they must benefit everyone  -

Young people are growing up poorer than their parents. How did it go so horribly wrong?  -

Restaurant Where Netaji-Aurobindo Dined, Stays ... #MainSlider #NetajiAurobindo #SwadhinBharatHinduHotel

Vidya Nand Garg: The Righteous Mind :Why Good People  are divided b...

Monday, December 05, 2016

Sri Aurobindo devoted his life towards transformative yoga

The Quint-8 hours ago
A new play on Sri Aurobindo is in the works. Led by West Bengal Tourism minister Bratya Basu, the play questions Sri Aurobindo's motives for leaving the ...

India Today-11 hours ago
Aurobindo Acroyd Ghose was supposed to lead a European lifestyle, as per his father's wishes. Instead, he went on to form select revolutionary groups and ...

The complier of this article is expected to present the factual information to the reader.

Sri Aurobindo did not spend his life under police vigil in Pondicherry which was under the French government. He devoted his life towards transformative yoga which he called the 'Integral Yoga'. Also, Sri Aurobindo himself gave the consent to start the Ashram in 1926 - it was not set up by his followers.

Dear friend,
I refer to an article on Sri Aurobindo in India Today’s online edition:  “Remembering Indian philosopher and yogi, Sri Aurobindo: The journey from revolutionary to spiritual guru”.  The link to the article is is

 I draw your attention to the following paragraph:
11.  He addressed the people of India in his famous Uttarpara Speech, where he declared his transformation from a rebel to a person in quest of spiritual salvation. In April 1910, Ghose moved to Pondicherry where he spent the rest of his life under police vigil.

The line is highly misleading.  Sri Aurobindo was not under police vigil in Pondicherry.  As it is, the overall tenor of the article is not in conformity with the status of the Master.  I request you to open the article by clicking on the link mentioned above, read the article and then leave an appropriate comment on the article, at least telling India Today to correct the fact. I have already done so.  My comment to the article is as follows:

You Write: "In April 1910, Ghose moved to Pondicherry where he spent the rest of his life under police vigil."

 This is incorrect information.  Sri Aurobindo moved to Pondicherry which was under French rule to avoid harassment at the hands of British Indian Police.  In Pondicherry he was never under police vigil.  Morover, to write that he spent the 'rest of his life' under police vigil considering that India got its Independence in 1947 and Sri Aurobindo attained Mahasamadhi in 1950 implies that he was under police vigil even in Free India!  Of course it cannot be so.  Please correct your facts.
Arun Naik, SAS Noida 

10 hours ago - Radio Karishma had a priviledge to visit Sri Arbindo Ashram in Puducherry and had an honor to interview the director of the society Vijay ... Interview with Ramesh and Nila from The Sri Aurobindo Centre, London. › self-kno...
7 hours ago - According to Sri Aurobindo, seeing the world through new eyes is a sign we're in the preparation stage. This won't lead to any fantastic states of consciousness yet since evolution is gradual, but it's a sign ... › Poems › Who
17 hours ago - Who by Sri Aurobindo. comments.In the blue of the sky in the green of the forest Whose is the hand that has painted the glow When the winds were asleep in the womb of the ether Who . Page.

Millennium Post-02-Dec-2016
The play also focused on the much disputed role of Sri Aurobindo in the movement lucidly on stage, played by the thespian Debshankar Halder. The biopic of an ...

Duration: 22:02
Posted: 7 hours ago
Installation of Sri Aurobindo's sacred relics, Matrusadan ...
Ramakant A. Sinari - 1991 - ‎Snippet view
The Ontological Structure of Man R.A. SINARI From the point of view of both the inner structure and the outer expression there is nothing more ... Man's knowledge of himself, and of course of the world, is shrouded in an ocean of ignorance.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The narrow minded see things in binary

What is it that intellectuals find so attractive about Maoists, Naxalites and separatist ideologies?
Ok, this question I had tweeted a few days back answered with a thread. Makes a point.

Q: What is it that intellectuals find so attractive about Maoist, Naxalite, and separatist ideologies?
A: They are intellectual in origin.
A lot of research has been done on this topic but the latest and most eye-opening is Redner's “The Triumph and Tragedy of Intellectuals”.
Redner shows that intellectuals have literally intellectualized the world, resulting in people being disenchanted with it.
Our disenchantment with the world because of intellectualization is so severe it has crept into every cultural space imaginable.
From cultural dimensions like art, religion, ethics, politics, all the way to philosophy and so on, intellectualization has degraded it all.
Which is precisely why intellectuals tend to be hated and despised by their own people because the people often find them disgraceful.
Which is what Arnold Toynbee brought up in his masterful "A Study of History”. From those twelve volumes, one statement still rings true.
As Arnold Toynbee put it: "An intelligentsia is born to be unhappy."
Why? Because it is constantly working to bring in the unfamiliar.
To paraphrase Toynbee: "Wherever we find an intelligentsia, we can infer that one of two civilizations is in the process of being absorbed."
And that is also why Arnold Toynbee described intellectuals as “suffering from the congenital unhappiness of being hybrids."
Another great thinker who picked up on the same was Raymond Aron, who hailed from the line of the even greater Alexis de Tocqueville.
In "The Opium of the Intellectuals”, Aron highlights the mentality of intellectuals: they exist to denounce their past and renounce society.
Why do intellectuals do that? As Aron points out—since "reality is always more conservative than ideology"—intellectuals turn to revolution.
The desire for a systematic certainty is known as "determinism". This is the foundation of Leftism and the hallmark of intellectualism.
And since intellectuals "no longer feel attached to anything, they instead opt for certainty, a system. Revolution is their opium.”
An ideological example of a revolutionary opium is Communism; and “the Communist opium invites intellectuals to revolt."
That's why Aron says "the myth of the revolution serves as refuge for utopian intellectuals"—it's their "universally comprehensive scheme".
But the best definition of intellectuals is given by Francis Wilson in his "A Theory of Public Opinion”, a study on how values are formed.
"Intellectuals are those who least respect what may be called the traditional values of any long-standing or operating community." –F Wilson
To put it differently, intellectuals are first and foremost occupational, as Thomas Sowell explains in “Intellectuals and Society”.
By occupational, it is meant that intellectuals are workers of ideas, of the abstract, not concerned with the practicality of traditions.
But that idealism and intellectualism are inseparable is made much clearer in Lewis Feuer's great work "Ideology and the Ideologists”.
In "Ideology and the Ideologists", Feuer connects the Mosaic revolutionary myth with Marxism, bridging Abrahamism with secular ideology.
"The prototype for the ideologies of intellectuals is the Mosaic [distinction]." –Lewis Feuer
Maoist, Naxalite, separatist, Marxist ideologies, and so on, which are creations of intellectuals, follow an Abrahamically-rooted scheme.
A people are oppressed, a savior (messiah) or saviors (proletariat) come, there is revolution, liberation, and then “true history" starts.
In other words the liberation meme that's so characteristic of deterministic philosophy and secular ideology actually has religious origins.
Liberals conceptualize freedom by the sum of individuals (i.e., individualism) rather than the sum of communities making up civil society.
Individualism not only has deep roots in moral philosophy, it is moreover a self-oriented moral philosophy steeped in Christian tradition.
When missionaries of liberalism preach to Hindus a separation from their Dharmic past, it's reminiscent of what happened to European pagans.
This can be seen in every self-oriented moralism out there—from Marxism, feminism, to various socialisms—a breakage with the ancestral past.
So not only do these ideologies have intellectual origins, their intellectualism (i.e., framework) is itself Abrahamic.
A religious-like certainty—that “nostalgia for the absolute”—provides intellectuals with something definite, like how Leftist ideologies do.
As social engineers, the repudiators of their inheritance, intellectuals are thus attracted to ideologies that help them usurp the past.

@OGSaffron Anti-intellectualism is not the way you're going to take this nexus down. Nationalism & Dharma also intellectual in origin.
@OGSaffron Antidote to Maoist intellectualism not anti-intellectualism, but Nationalist intellectualism like Bankim-Vivekananda-Arobindo did

Beautiful thread. Intellectualism without the grace and comfort with uncertainties is nothing but self-deluding arrogance.
Intellectualism is typically disconnected, and on the autistic spectrum, with little intelligence to relate at a human level.

@OGSaffron Marx was a complete Abrahamic .. Communism has it;s origins in the Liberation theology of Christianity
@OGSaffron Thanks.. That is also why Gandhi is being crafted in a Liberation Theology mould. Very different from real Gandhi

@NumbYaar they r caught in a time warp. Recall @SrBachchan 's movies where poverty was romanticized and rich ppl were hated.

@NumbYaar If you notice it, anti-establishment has always been popular among so called intellectuals. govt is always seen as opressor

@NumbYaar They are Rational people, not narrow minded who see things in binary.

Read this thread. A gem only a SHRI RAM BHAKT like OG can create.
I would also add a lot of intellectualism is actually a charade. It is born from confirmation bias and need to toe the current line for many
While the 18-19th century intellectuals broke away from the dogma of their times,the so called current intellectuals living by old dogma.
I wont accord everything to intellectual affinity to disruption of conservatism. It is also a case of old leftists choosing their succesors

I think the essential nature of the intellect is to "take apart & look inside". It's like a kid taking apart his toy
If you observe any intellectual activity, you see this tendency to try and achieve a clarity of the mind with respect to the world outside.
This intellectual quest for clarity is based in the seeker's own experiences and perceptions. A consensus may not occur & can be conflicting
It happens quite frequently with "theorists". These intellectuals don't find the need to relate to reality since they espouse a notion.
So one hears a lot abt "I believe in this" or "I do believe this is good and that is bad". This is where intellectual quest turns dangerous
This also becomes ideology in the hands of "ideologues" who are basically intellectual theorists.
So the curious need of the human mind to explore the world outside leads to distorted belief systems leading to ideologies to impose.
Think about the uncountable political ideologies & positions such intellectualism has given rise to. Now, think about their theory component
This is a very dense topic and it's not simple to grasp. I'll stop here. If you have Qs, happy to try and answer.

@yugaparivartan @OGSaffron @NumbYaar @_Mauna_ @Marut_ @Parikramah This admirable thread proves why everyone should read Sri Aurobindo deeply

Olivia Goldhill laments that "discussions about social and political affairs are entirely uninfluenced by those working in philosophy."

"The second essential, according to him (Rajan), is protection not of specific ideas and traditions but the right to question and challenge, the right to behave differently, so long as it does not hurt others seriously. In this protection lies societal self-interest, for it is by encouraging the challenge of innovative rebels that society develops," reminded vice-president Hamid Ansari, recently.

Sri Aurobindo and Hinduism by Peter Heehs (2006)

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GDC Kuiken
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Understanding contemporary policy backdrop and relevance of 'Skills for Life and Livelihood'at Elementary level of Education
K Srivastava - Educational Quest-An International Journal of …, 2016
... Whether it was Sri Aurobindo, Vivekanada, Tagore or Gandhi, 'all these philosophers with minor differences among them have maintained what can be called Integral Humanism, which is the philosophy of our age' (GR Sharma, 2003). ...

[PDF] Sri Aurobindo and Integral Yoga: A Review
R Kayal
ABSTRACT Scientific development may help us in materialistic achievement but it may not be able to achieve the eternal peace. The ancient yoga may help to get rid of turmoil, hazards, and so. Practicing yoga is very much helpful to maintain peace, to lead and to ...

The Child and Nonviolent Social Change (1978)
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... This definition draws on Evelyn Underhill's Mysticism (Underhill 1955), Sri Aurobindo's The Divine Life (Aurobindo 1963), Teilhard de Chardin's Phenomenon of Man (de Chardin 1959), Walter Nigg's The Great Saints (Nigg 1948), and William James' Varieties of Religious ...

DRR SINGH - South Asia Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 2016
Abstract Sri Aurobindo as a true mystic, believes in evolution. He sees a definite purpose in creation and man is moving towards that direction. Sri Aurobindo had always preferred to call himself a poet and not a philosopher. He is different in the this sense from poet such ...

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... 1911. It was the most successful of the pre-Gandhian movement. Its chief architects were Aurobindo Ghosh, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, VO Chidambaram Pillai, Babu Genu. Swadeshi ...

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O Krüger - The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion, 2016

A Kaur
... 1911. It was the most successful of the pre-Gandhian movement. Its chief architects were Aurobindo Ghosh, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai, VO Chidambaram Pillai, Babu Genu. Swadeshi ...

Hindu Nationalism, History and Identity in India: Narrating a Hindu past under the BJP
LT Flåten - 2016