Friday, April 29, 2011

Playing hide and seek with religion

In course of his lecture on “Jawaharlal Nehru's Vision of History” yesterday, Prof. Irfan Habib wished to argue that Nehru's sharp views on religion found in his Autobiography turns much nuanced by the time he embarks upon The Discovery of India. Later, in the birth anniversary celebration function of Madhusudan Das, it was observed that Madhu babu sought to disengage religion from Odia nationalism. [TNM]

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Savitri Era Religion is the sole solution for resolving the Dalit issue

[The Hour the Candle Burns the Express Buzz Ravi Shankar Etteth26 Apr 2011  Then there are the others — Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramana Maharishi, the Mother of Auroville, Sree Narayana Guru — whose teachings were the real miracles; they liberated men’s minds, hearts and souls with ablutions of knowledge; they changed the lives of those they touched bringing them into a path that only went forward.]

[The immortal Bharati

‎ The Hindu - 4 Apr 2011 P. SUNDARESAN 

How his enforced 10-year exile in Pondicherry proved a blessing for Bharati in that he could get to know and move with Sri Aurobindo is delineated by the ...]

[Sai Baba, his life and legacy The Hindu ... In the complex spiritual spectrum of modern-day India, Sai Baba may not have been associated with a metaphysical and transcendent philosophy like Sri Aurobindo, or the fervent devotion to the divine that often sent Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa into a trance, or the self-enquiry and non-dualism that made Sri Ramana Maharishi a silent, yet eloquent preceptor. Yet Sai Baba's simple message of love and harmony — mostly soaked in the language of Hindu philosophy, but often in a universal strain — was enough to draw the masses towards him. ... Opinion - Editorials]

[Study on Savitri

‎ The Hindu - 11 Apr 2011 CHARUKESI

SAVITHRIYIL ORU PAYANAM: Prema Nandakumar; Pub. by Savithri Bhavan, Auroville-605101. Rs. 150.
THERE CAN be no better person than Prema Nandakumar to write on the life of Sri Aurobindo or on his magnum opus Savitri. Savitri, according to the Mother, ...]

Manoj Joshi's blog: There is more to change than mere laws 

by manoj joshi An anti-corruption movement requires far greater depth than the one that went into the Anna Hazare fast. Reform movements around the world have come about in clusters in the 1830s, 1860s and 1920s  in  UK,  in the 1830s, 1900s and 1930s in the US.  Reform occurs in a  certain climate and covers multiple subjects — education, health, temperance, the rights of labour and so on. The activists often straddle several interests. Jyotiba Phule was involved in movements to uplift Dalits, gender equality and reforming religion. Gandhi’s various interests, too, are well known.  ]

The pioneering struggle by Jyotiba Phule for eradicating untouchability and allied social prejudices has not borne fruit even after 150 years. The Constitution of India, paradoxically, is perpetuating a system of twin classes of citizens. No amount of neo-Hindu communitarianism can put an end to this deep rooted schism. Savitri Era Religion is the sole solution for resolving the Dalit issue in India. [TNM]

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Good Express, Bad Express

Indian Express has done a commendable job in exposing the bankruptcy of thinking within the Anna bandwagon. Those who are easily overwhelmed by a crowd and a carnival should remember that the wisdom of the crowd is best appreciated from the stories of a clay idol vanishing and no milk in the pond. Democracy, contrary to popular notion, is not a rule by the majority, but by a small minority duly authorized. Presently, it is a tough time to talk to anyone on this point, as all seem to be sold to the pro-Anna campaign by the TV news channels.

Another such moment was during the anti-Mandal Commission agitation. V. P. Singh was demonized to such an extent that to speak in his favour was really risky. Even Indian Express let us down at that point. Alas! [TNM]  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Merit in caste system

[Stamp out khap panchayats: court The Hindu While deprecating the caste system in the country, the Supreme Court has declared illegal 'khap panchayats' which often decree or encourage honour killings or other institutionalised atrocities against boys and girls of different castes and religions ]

Social intercourse demands multiple yardsticks for assessing others in order to overcome Caveat emptor eventualities. Like language, religion, and nationality, caste, too, provides a safety net for several filtering purposes. Even the Constitution of India recognizes the castes for certain identification. Unfortunately, the system is derided without going deep into its genealogy and overlooking how intimately is it imbricated with the social consciousness. Wishful thinking by a few city-dwellers, obviously, can't serve as the bedrock of a stable future of the nation. [TNM]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meaning and music

[YouTube - Aakhi Bhula E Suaga - Odia Song (Manika Jodi 1963) - 17 Apr 2011 ... Voice: Tusar NMohapatra Originally sung by: Mohd Sikandar Alam, Shipra Bose Lyrics: Kavichandra Kalicharan Patnaik Music Direction: ...

YouTube - Kie Dakere - Odia Song (Jeeban Sathi 1963)

 - 16 Apr 2011 ... Voice: Tusar NMohapatra Dedicated to the memory of Pradyumna Kumar Mohapatra (1965-2011) Originally sung by: Mohd Sikandar Alam, ...]

Rajat Kar used to offer around a dozen interpretations for each line of poetry at the Bhanja Jayanti celebrations in Cuttack. Being a school-goer then, it was not possible to comprehend them all. This year's SAHMAT celebration on January 1st was on Faiz, and I missed out on the meaning of most of the recitations. Musical renditions, however, were amply rewarding. [TNM]  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Primacy of ontology

The current discourse over corruption and civil society is, appreciatively, provoking more and more minds. The issue is no longer a straightforward schism between anarchy and democracy. Rather, matters ontological have started percolating into more thoughtful articulations. All questions of politics, ultimately, are better probed through philosophical methods and, therefore, judging the dynamics of civil society against a larger canvas can surely supply more dependable answers.

The life divine, as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo, can be said to be the most perfect paradigm of a civil society. A republic or a democracy etc. are all various steps in that glorious direction. Such an evolutionary arrow, however, is comfortable with a non-linear trajectory – a disclosure which somewhat disappoints. But playing back and forth as in hermeneutics is perhaps a necessary means for pushing the envelope.

Fed on free mother’s milk, it takes a long span of time for man to distinguish corruption. Some prefer to play blind and consider everything as their own, thus transcending subtle ethical demarcations. They love to presume that others perpetrate corruption, just as accidents are meant for others. The Guna canons and Varna distinctions also somehow condone such personal foibles by assigning causal or genealogical imperatives. Overlooking such fundamental insights would imperil the outcome of the present impatience. [TNM] 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sri Aurobindo’s text cry out today

I don’t spend any time speculating on such lofty questions regarding the supramental, mahapralaya, etc. Knowledge in the spiritual path is given on a need-to-know basis. When you are inwardly ready for something, the knowledge will be automatically disclosed to you in a vision.
Until then, one has to focus on bread-and-butter issues. One has to learn to live better by regulating food consumption and speech, sleeping well, extending the duration of mental silence, etc. When you reach a certain stable point in the spiritual path, your intuition awakens and automatically provides you with the answers to the questions as required. The following article is relevant in this context]
[Auromira Yoga: OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE SPIRITUALITY By Dr. Ramesh Bijlani The misplaced curiosity trap
Drifting into spirituality with the relatively simple aims of pursuing something of lasting value, something useful to others, or something better than joining the rat race, some young people get distracted by the futile search for answers to irrelevant questions. They want to know more and more about life after death, rebirth, past life regression, or forecasting the future. They start resolving the apparent discrepancies in the karma theory.]
[Comment on Romanticism and the New Deleuze by David Baulch by rc via Comments for Posthuman Destinies by rc on 4/10/11 RC: Regards this passage above: “At the transition from the 19th to the 20th century, several thinkers tried to reestablish the unity between human experience and original unity. It was an extraordinarily creative philosophical period.”
Along with Nietzsche, Bergson and Whitehead -who all influenced Deleuze- one can also list Sri Aurobindo as someone who at this period was trying to reestablish a creative link between human experience and original unity. What he calls the supramental manifestation, I believe can said to be on the side of “difference” neither one nor many. Supermind was also an attempt by Sri Aurobindo to destablize the traditional representations of metaphysics. Unfortunately, Aurobindo’s commentators have not followed up on this nor evolved a language to renew his insights to make them relevant for a post-metaphysical age but instead have chosen to stabilize his text by affixing traditional mythological representations of South Asian spirituality to it.
(a post-metaphysical age to me suggest not that one has to eliminate metaphysics but to destabilize its identity reified in “the same”)
How would give such treatment to Sri Aurobindo?
I think that a study of Deleuze treatment of Bergson provides some insights. Before Deleuze took up Bergson, he had become the exponent of a backward psychologism that was widely viewed as bourgeois ideology. The leading edge of philosophy in the 1940s and 50s had made him irrelevant.
Deleuze took him up in the 1960s and breath new life into him. While stripping the stabilizing metaphysics of consciousness away, he focused on Bergsons insights into Intuition as a method, that he called “one of the best developed methods of philosophy”
Sri Aurobindo’s text cry out today for a skillful commentator who can resurrect them within a contemporary intellectual milieu.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SRI AUROBINDO holds colossal potential and promise for the future of philosophy as well as politics. For this, shunning the candle-holding habit is essential. [TNM]

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Lives vs. Life and Times

A million kudos to Manoj Das and his "dedicated researcher friends" for the new biography that has blossomed in the Mother India of this month. May it spread ample cheers after three years of dismal emission generated by Heehs' hostile book. [TNM] 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Anna's anarchy

[The dance of Gandhi's ghost at Jantar Mantar? (blog)‎ The sudden expression of respect for Anna Hazare by both the Congress and the BJP is rooted in fear. The spirit of Gandhi and his ways of protest have the potential to dislodge any system that thrives on corruption. No one knows this better than those ...]

Savitri Era Party would not support the forces of anarchy. Mobilizing people by voicing emotive slogans is not the cure for the myriad ills that our polity suffers from. There is no short-cut for bypassing the party system and winning elections. [TNM]

Monday, April 04, 2011

Compare and contrast

[Moily rules out ban on Lelyveld's book on Mahatma Gandhi Economic Times

NAGPUR: Union Law minister Veerappa Moily has ruled out Centre imposing a ban on the controversial book on Mahatma Gandhi by Joseph Lelyveld stating that the American author himself has denied writing anything adverse about the leader.]
...Perhaps the phrase ‘a stitch in time saves a nine’ applies here aptly. When early warnings are ignored, then we are only waiting for the volcano to erupt and its lava and ashes to scorch the earth and cloud the skies. Was this avoidable? We can never know with certainty, but one thing is sure. The responsibility of the storm that has been raised... from A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs]

Compare and contrast! [TNM]