Friday, September 30, 2011

Nitish Kumar doesn't need NDA

That Modi is facing formidable opposition within his Party itself is a hugely gratifying news. The stain of evil deeds don't wash away despite sweeping electoral victories. The Party functions as a filter in such cases for preventing mobocracy from becoming mainstream. Given the vastness and diversity of our country, and especially in the Coalition era, therefore, Modi's dream can never materialise.

That leaves us with a relatively more acceptable choice of Nitish Kumar, but NDA is his undoing. It is time he understands the dynamics of his positioning at the national level by transcending the compulsions of state politics and emerge as the third pole. Let the euphoria of 1977 repeat once more. [TNM55]

Ashram run despotically

[Corporate delusions - The Big Picture
by T T Ram Mohan on 30/09/2011 5:19 PM
I have often wondered how much of all the talk of 'empowerment' , 'democratisation', 'values' and the rest is actually practised by corporations, much as corporate bosses love to expatiate on these. My own sense is that most corporations (and most organisations, in general) are run despotically with the person at the top calling most of the shots.]

So is the case with Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry. To a person drunk with power, nothing else matters than to stick to the chair. An obliging caucus ensures that while siphoning away enough consideration and comfort for its constituents. It is, obviously, difficult to explode such a vicious circle. But, when Jasmine blossoms implosion occurs and then their sequences and consequences unfold unforeseen circumstances. The key, until then, is patience. [TNM55]

Kudos to RYD

How many people have read On the Origin of Species or, for that matter, The Interpretation of Dreams, but most would have an impression of what the book is about and its general message. Similar is the case with most works of fiction as well as movies. Hence, to claim that only those who have thoroughly read The Lives of Sri Aurobindo are entitled to have any say about it is a bit arbitrary. Reviews and comments form a major source of information about books, and remarks of controversial nature attract substantially more attention space. A ban, itself, is an alert and an advertisement as well.

Kudos to RYD for venturing to utter utterly unpalatable words regarding Nolini, Nirod, Amal, and even The Mother in connection with Savitri revision. The rigidity shown by the Heehs camp all through The Lives controversy is a pointer as to why so much of reverence is showered upon these three disciples. They are being depicted even in better light than Sri Aurobindo himself. Too much of devotion, says an Odia proverb, is the sign of a thief. And hence, it will be appropriate to revisit the entire history of Savitri publishing with transparency.

All these are matters of immense priority, but the foremost among them is how to get rid of Manoj Das Gupta. [TNM55]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wart eaters

All his life, Sri Aurobindo fought against the "illusion of the obvious" and sought to dislodge the positivist preponderance by ushering in the "logic of the Infinite." Spirituality, essentially, signifies this; and along with The Mother, he embodied this truth, thus crafting a miraculous integration of the temporal with the eternal. In heralding his pioneering role in the evolutionary ladder, his consistency and firmness is remarkable. Never before, we meet anyone else daring to shoulder the burden of the world in such a forthright manner. Both in theory and practice - and, also in visionary faculty- his verifiable contributions are incomparable and unparalleled. He is, verily, the epitome of earthly perfection.

If we have an unacademic at the other end out to survey the Himalayan range and height of this great Master with a tiny telescope, armed with unadulterated irreverence and quiverful of hubris, he, not surprisingly, will see only warts instead of the peaks. His slavish courtiers would cheer him up with roars of Eureka every time he discovers a new fault in the Master. Peer-reviewed academic journals and University Presses, then, make a beeline to grab his invaluable Sokal-esque output. Perfoming such a miracle, understandably, surpasses the Slumdog Millionaire narrative. [TNM55]

The menace of Hitler is far from over

Much ambivalence is seen in the attitude of many leaders towards the colonial rulers before independence. The struggle for freedom was also marked by periodical dialogue and negotiation. Thus, it was a collaborative process couched in legality and even today the benefits of the Raj are often recalled.

The regime of Hitler, by contrast, is denounced almost universally. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo were among the first to recognise his diabolic intentions. Fighting him through their spiritual force is firmly part of their mythology now.

The menace of Hitler, however, is far from over. It is returning in many forms to thwart the work of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. It is not by issuing gag orders or feigning artificial unity that the adverse forces can be tackled. The allurements of the Asura are many and, hence, utmost vigilance is needed to evade its illusions. [TNM55]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Heehs should write unhindered

The book precedes the ban and its cause and so must be brought to book. Any attempt to whitewash the caustic remarks can never conceal the original sin. Why such a hostile publication emerged from the womb of the Ashram won't be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Heehs' stay in the Ashram, disregarding widespread feelings, is untenable. His writing career, besides, can best flourish unhindered once he says goodbye to the Ashram. Since he is scarcely religious in his relations to the Ashram, mere economic reasons should not be his bondage.

Just consider what a relief would it be to the fellow inmates and the administration alike. Devotees all over the globe will also heave a sigh of relief. One person voluntarily changing residence can be a boon to thousands of people across the world. Is it too much to expect this? [TNM55]

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ideological defeat

Heehs imbroglio is now three years old and, being our first major controversy of the cyber-era, has been debated extensively. Initially, the attempt was to depict the protest in an unidimensional fashion. That it is the handiwork of a handful of disgruntled and power-hungry inmates oust to takeover the Ashram and promulgate a new religion. The "ringleaders" were targeted personally and choicest prose was pressed into service to sustain an orchestrated vilification campaign. Ranade, who is considered the brain behind the Court-cases through his friends, continues to attract much wrath on this score. Unsubstantiated allegations of financial bungling against him do the rounds to discredit him.

Without any first hand knowledge of his alleged involvement in questionable business deals and overlooking them temporarily, it can surely be affirmed that his heroic role in the Heehs imbroglio can't be discounted. Even his detractors will concur with this, although, the word "heroic" will provoke a fresh bout of scorn. Be that as it may, Heehs hounds have not been able to straightjacket the whole resistance within the convenient term of "Fundamentalism."

This ideological defeat is a matter of considerable glee for us. The latest proposal by Miovic and endorsed by Seidlitz for revision of the book clearly zeroes on the crux of the matter. That it is Heehs' misadventure, and not Ranade's ambition, that is at the root of this unfortunate conflict. Breakdown of all internal institutional bulwark as regards checks and balances within the Ashram has given rise to this situation. Hence, it is not unusual to hope that order can be restored and accountability established by even minor tweaking of sensitive positions. [TNM55]

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Removing the irritants

Seidlitz's assessment of the book seems like the pin stuck in the same groove while playing an old record. All he says as regards an academic book cannot be contested, but why the same should be authored by the Chief, Archives remains unanswered. Why there should be Ashram's stamp of approval upon it is not explained.

He forcefully affirms that the book doesn't denigrate Sri Aurobindo implying thereby that all those who have protested may not be careful readers. But, it is overlooked that the opposition, basically, is against certain adverse remarks and insinuations found in the book. This prejudice, obviously, prevents any fair judgement of the book, which, in fact, is considered unnecessary.

All these are, of course, common sense and no rocket science. What is needed is a candid admission of these irritants by leaving the ivory tower behind. [TNM55]

Glorifying a soiled hand

Miovic's earnestness is really contagious and one feels dwarfed before the loftiness of his sentiments propelling the proposals for improving the book. Seidlitz, too, has promptly endorsed his initiative; and this shows an acute hunger for normalisation of relations at play. Nothing can be more welcome and it is in the interest of everyone. We wish Godspeed to Miovic's endeavours.

One concern, however, continues to trouble. The focus of both Miovic's and Seidlitz's posts is the book and how valuable it is. Secondly, a revised edition doesn't annul the previous edition(s) automatically. Although, it is quite clear that the book-centric approach is a common characteristic of Westerners, to create an impression that somehow we are orphaned without a good book amounts to going overboard.

No person, no institution, no book, and no ideology can equal even a fraction of the memory of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and their achievements. Glorifying a soiled hand, therefore, can hardly be a virtuous deed. [TNM55]

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hazare, Ramdev, and Modi

Hazare, Ramdev, and Modi have had their well-publicised fasts and thus foisted themselves upon the dominant consciousness of the nation. It is, basically, a playing up of individual charisma marshalling as the messiah which wraps a lot of artifice and chicanery. Mere mobilising a huge mob cannot be the passport to the exalted domains of morality, and therefore, any appropriation of semi-religious aura by them must receive tempered assessment.

TV loves spectacle, and hence any crowd or carnival swiftly crawl over the panel; but hard to clawback once the novelty is over. The strategy, therefore, should be to focus on long term targets and build commensurate infrastructure. A political party is the most appropriate instrument for dealing with all collective affairs in a democracy.

The leadership tussle within BJP betrays lack of institutional maturity and disregard for norms. Courage to spell out stand with clarity on various public policy matters is missing which impedes leadership discovery. Strangely, media explosion has enforced gag orders on party functionaries.

Truth and justice, accordingly, are aeons away and any talk of higher consciousness sounds like a cruel joke. It is better - and much more honest - to talk sense, at least common sense, and find some means to walk the same howsoever feeble it may seem. [TNM55]

Seidlitz wavers

Seidlitz reiterates that "there are a small number of ungracious remarks made in the book." Now, how to deal with them? Should they be glossed over because of their minority status? Or, each of them be put under the microscope to ascertain what for it occurs?

Then, what about the quasi-political campaign against fundamentalism? And, whether the book is part of that well-orchestrated movement? Else, how come the objectives coincide; and the same set of people favour both?

Besides, is it only concerning the Ashram and the divide among the inmates? Or, the blow it has inflicted upon the unblemished image of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo? It pains to see Seidlitz wavering with his loyalties. [TNM55]

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yielding to colleagues

[The Gravity of Things - Larval Subjects on 20/09/2011 4:06 AM
In his sublime Sublime Object of Ideology, Zizek raises the profound question of just why, after a potent ideology critique, people nonetheless continue to do what they do. How is it that they can know that x is an ideological mystification while still continuing to behave towards things as they did before? In psychoanalytic terms, why doesn’t the symptom always disappear after it’s been interpreted? Zizek’s answer is two-fold: On the one hand, he contends, ideology resides not in our beliefs but in our practices. I might not believe anything of the theology of my church, I might believe that it’s all nonesense, yet the fact that I still kneel with everyone else or that might voice becomes hushed when I’m in a grave yard indicates that I’m still in the grips of this ideology. Ideology resides not in our representations or what we believe, but rather, according to Zizek, in our doing or action. You might be the most tolerant, multiculturalist at the level of belief, but if you still clutch your purse tight when the young black man enters the elevator you’re still deep in the grips of ideology. On the other hand, Zizek contends, cynicism is the dominant ideology today. In cynicism we maintain a cynical distance from every belief, seeing all of them as shams of one sort or another, while nonetheless behaving exactly as we did before.]

After a spate of scams and a strong popular uprising against corruption, we feel the pressing and urgent need for ethics and values. However, the main moral problem for many of us is not knowing what is right but actually doing it. Dharma, but not able to actually do it. We are like Duryodhana in Mahabharata, who says, "I know what is dharma, I have no inclination for it. I know what is adharma, but cannot resist it." What are the main and deeper causes of this Duryodhana syndrome and what are the remedies? This article examines this question in the light of a deeper spiritual perspective.]

[35 yrs later, a former Chief Justice of India pleads guilty
Posted: Fri Sep 16 2011, 01:47 hrs
New Delhi: Over 35 years after he signed off — with the majority on a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court — to rule that even the right to life could be abrogated, former Chief Justice of India P N Bhagwati today said he was sorry for that ruling. ...
“I don’t know why I yielded to my colleagues,” said Bhagwati. “Initially, I was not in favour of the majority view. But ultimately, I don’t know why, I was persuaded to agree with them. I was a novice at that time, a young judge...I was handling this type of litigation for the first time. But it was an act of weakness on my part.”]

Some day, the profound significance of Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy's (Dissenting) judgement in the Auroville Case (S.P. Mittal Etc. Etc vs Union Of India And Others on 8 November, 1982 ) will be recognised and the fact that he never yielded to his colleagues will be appreciated. It is instructive to go through his thoughtful arguments and draw conclusions even with regard to the Heehs imbroglio. [TNM55]

Heehs is yet to confess

[Should a woman marry her rapist? - KALPANA SHARMA, Times Of India 28 Oct 2010 – When a rapist offers to marry the victim, one would think it's the perfect solution. But isn't this victimization of the victim...]

Modi wanted the world to believe that the 2002 plus murders never happened. Some peaceniks, similarly, would have us believe that Heehs never committed the Cardinal Slur, and thus be rehabilitated honourably. They are clearly beating about the bush by bypassing the original sin.

One feels disheartened about the power of discourse when sensible people indulge in such dishonest dialogue. Confession, however, is the true solution here and not premature pardon. [TNM55]

Federation of free religions

Postmodernism, they say, can't be defined; but one of its key features is diversity as against the utopian universalism espoused by Modernity as well as Perennial Philosophy. Marxist movement, too, was afflicted by this adolescent idealism and hence bit dust.

It is essential, therefore, to parse carefully what Sri Aurobindo says and intends and not playfully mix his aphorisms with more serious utterances. To look at his whole body of oeuvre as a seamless unitary treasury from which one may pick and choose at will and convenience, is another folly of universalism.

Following Kant, Sri Aurobindo recommends a Federation of free Nations. He never prohibits birth of new religions, and looking at humanity as a federation of free religions, by the same token, is not only legitimate but also desirable. Since religions are not going to vanish any time soon, it's perhaps better to make peace with them.

The vision of the Life Divine, admittedly, has universalist qualities, but even there, Sri Aurobindo never forgets to enumerate the diverse forms of human activity and social systems. An humble appreciation of these compassionate pronouncements can heal us of the haughty ideological muddle many of us suffer from. [TNM55]

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Resist RSS

[After image overhaul, Modi will have to keep RSS at bay
Akshaya Mishra Sep 17, 2011
At the lower organisational level there’s a very thin line dividing the RSS shakhas and the BJP’s own organisation in terms of personnel and activities. The BJP is not too strong organisationally yet to assert its independence and chart its own course of action. It is one of the reasons the party has not grown fast.]

Sikhs are demanding for long to be free from the shackles of Hindu Code Bill and allied laws. We from the Savitri Era Religion also demand the same so that our distinct identity is recognised by one and all. As worshipers of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, we don't believe in the mythologies of other religions, nor celebrate their festivals. This, surely, is a reason for a lot of social tension and conflict within the families. But, that is the price we have to pay to be loyal to our Religion and help it spread. One may delude oneself by quoting scripture to the contrary, but there are no soft options.

Many might have enjoyed the comfort and safety of being under the Hindutva umbrella with the illusory idea that Sri Aurobindo too advocated kindred opinions. Nothing is farther from truth, and it is incumbent upon each of us to resist RSS infiltrating our organisational network and propagating their pre- modern ideology. Not succumbing to emotive campaigns like Ram-sethu or mandir is also a challenge.

Modi will be the prime focus till the next elections, and there won't be any fence-sitter in this edition of Mahabharata. Savitri Erans have an epochal role to play in this epic battle. Stay tuned. [TNM55]

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Following Nadkarni Doctrine

Savitri Era Religion poses a grave threat to most Westerners - both, the religious and the atheist varieties - and one of them has just sullied the Sandeep's site. To hound the Heehs' hounds out is a constant task for all of us.

Confronting the Hindutva-wallahs also is an additional duty, especially when Modi's official anointment ceremony is on. [TNM55]

Friday, September 16, 2011

Think to lead

Hazare has clarified his independence of Hindutva, but the same can't be said of his associates and sponsors. In due course, however, their political leaning will be clear but the present confusion as to the likely direction of the Zeitgeist is slightly difficult to fathom.

The Ramdev-Hazare campaigns, despite their tactical bungling and intellectual bankruptcy, do contain at their core a groundswell of moral yearnings and patriotic upsurge. These, if appropriately channelized, can transform the texture of our nation and its cultural fabric. But, that clue lies in the teaching of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo alone.

A host of players have straddled the TV screen in the past few months but not a single person inspires confidence or has that grounding. Savitri Era Party alone can provide the right direction to the country and thereby to the world. With such a larger purpose in mind, we may stop fighting among ourselves for a while and mull strategy. [TNM55]

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hazare keen to be a remote-controller

[like arjun we see only lok pal anna
SamayLive - In an exclusive interview given to Samay Anna Hazare said that he would undertake tour of India to make India a corruption free country. ...]

Management mantras do have their efficacy, no matter if of Mahabharata vintage. But, diversity and flexibility in a democracy are more demanding challenges than a juvenile intransigence. In his enthusiasm to become the second Mahatma, Hazare is trampling upon hard earned conventions of civilised dialogue and consensus building. Bereft of any fresh ideas and initiative for providing leadership, he seeks to be another remote-controller we are so tired of. [TNM55]

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

SEP has the right USP

[Non-corrupt from BJP, Cong should form party: Anna Hazare - Rediff ... Social activist Anna Hazare speaks to CNN-IBN Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai in his home town Ralegaon Siddhi. Hazare says he will re-start the movement ... › News]

Now that the political contours are getting redefined, we are willing to amend our objection to Hazare by a few notches down. Even if they form a new party, it will flounder on the question of religion. Savitri Era Party, has the most suitable USP for the current situation in India. [TNM55]

Practices are primary

[Nothing is ever lost: an interview with Robert Bellah - The Immanent Frame
by Nathan Schneider on 14/09/2011
Again, this reflects the fact that our preconceptions about what religion is are so influenced by Protestantism—either real Protestantism or the secularized Protestantism that dominates our culture—and its assumption that beliefs are the most important thing. But it’s clear all the way through history that practices are primary and beliefs are secondary. ...
In the end what I feel is most problematic about “I’m spiritual but not religious” is: what the hell are you going to tell your children? I’m allergic to the notion that so-called institutional religion—by which people mean organizations such as churches and synagogues—is bad. Institutions are very important and if you think you can get along without them, you’re putting yourself on the wrong line; you can’t.]

The right phenomenology of religion would always elude us and hence the rational compulsion is to settle for the sociological or at best the hermeneutic. The intuitive or rather the receptive option, however, is to immerse in distinguished revelations instead of attempting empirical approximations.

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, through their life long esoteric pursuit, have produced a brilliant explanation of man's relation to religion that goes beyond religions. A diligent study of the same can drastically reduce the harvest of publications (un)covering God. [TNM55]

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beyond the morning meditation

Opting for a life of aspiration is only the first step and the real challenge is subjecting oneself to constant vigilance and evaluation while being engaged in multifarious activities within the society. For many, a broad ethical roadmap is enough while others settle for a devotional routine with collective participation.

The Ashram in Puducherry is a legacy of the teaching of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. It used to be the powerhouse of inspiration for the followers spread worldwide, but no longer. No wonder, certain inmates have assumed it to be a site for research in history and psychoanalysis. More confusion is likely to set in as direct disciples are leaving one by one. Auroville, too, is yet to be sure of its role and its inhabitants.

Local centres follow diverse programme and devotees are ordinarily guided by them. Apart from readings and lectures, collective meditation constitutes a common item. All these impart a sense of satisfaction as well as security, no doubt, but the real key is self-examination.

At personal and organisational levels, this much might be enough; but for working for the country, additional commitment and capabilities are essential. Translating the message of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo to practical life of our people would entail enlisting the same. [TNM55]

Sunday, September 11, 2011

World Union hopes post-9/11

Memory of this (blood) red letter day will, undeniably and justifiably, linger throughout the century. More so, because of the ideological and theoretical churning that unleashed in its wake. Enlightenment ideals were perceived to be jeopardised by the Clash and End of History crashed back to square one. But what are the lessons after a decade?

Psychologically, mankind has not moved even an inch. Political, economic, and religious divisions have hardened further and disparities have widened. Falsehood relating to securities and investments are being traded with impunity. Currency manipulation is rampant and reverting to gold standard is being resisted. Overall, a sort of jungle law is being enforced by the dominant players. This, paradoxically, under the watchful eyes of thousands of analysts and professionals.

Free markets is a great idea, but local prosperity was ostensibly treated as one. In the face of challenges now, new modalities of protectionism are being promulgated.

An artificial geographical barrier in the domain of philosophy enforced by the universities, similarly, has caused immense harm. Instead of striving for integration of ideas, an unsavoury caste system persists to the detriment of global peace and harmony. Ironically, never anyone raises a voice in this regard.

Human unity, veritably, is a distant dream today, but the words of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo endow us with enormous hope. We own nothing sans aspiration, and lo, it's the hour of the unexpected. [TNM55]

Sri Aurobindo, the last word

[I might also count Dawkins as a political ally, but not as a cosmological ally. And since I, like Adam, struggle to avoid separating cosmos and polis, in the end I have to critique Dawkins as quickly as I do Perry. Jung said he was glad he was not a Jungian; I think Darwin would say something similar were he alive today. Dawkins represents a minority position in the ecology of ideas circulating in the rather large academic aquarium of the contemporary life sciences. His assertion that “natural selection” explains life, the universe, and everything seems no less fundamentalist to me than creationism. Darwin assumed much about the nature of reality in order to offer an account of the origin the variety of species. His assumptions were empirically justified, I’d agree, but not theoretically explained. His conception of life-itself is quite Romantic (yes, in the capital “R” sense; see Robert Richards’ work on the influence of Schelling and Goethe on Darwin). Darwin’s theory of the origin of species by natural selection assumes self-producing/autopoietic organisms capable of reproduction (E. Thompson makes this case convincingly in “Mind in Life”). Natural selection, in the neo-Darwinist genocentric context that Dawkins employs it, offers no explanation whatsoever even for how genes can produce individual living cells, much less animals or a potentially freely creative, self-reflective species like us. Creationists may not know how to rationally articulate their intuition that scientific materialism is inadequate, nor even how to rationally construct an alternative account of cosmogenesis; but nonetheless, their intuition is correct. Civilization cannot survive without a more adequate answer to the Biggest Question.
Response to Knowledge-Ecology about Dawkins, Evolution, and Creationism - Posted by Matthew David Segall]

[MODERATOR: This message from "imimarla" has been consolidated here.
Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:32 pm Subject: Re: [sbicitizen] Re: On Religion Dear friends,
I strongly recommend to read the following author: Richard Dawkins, who is able to explain for non-biologists the origins of life (an earth) and, on this fundament, why religions are just human inventions, the way humans tried to explain things happening around them so that it seemed convincing to them. Pre-scientific stories, but sorry, there was no 'creator'!
There are lots of other eminent scientists/anthropologists following neo-Darwinist enlightenment, and I recommend to read them, too. Greetings, Irmel V. Marla (Sociologist/Anthropologist)]

[ the lion in winter: @hitchbitch writes a book of essays, which may be his last #hitchens - Shadow Warrior
by nizhal yoddha on 10/09/2011 12:10 AM
one of the greatest essayists of this era (and indeed of any era), christopher hitchens is now seriously ill with cancer, but that has not stopped him from writing another fabulous book (so far as i can tell from this review).
i admire him greatly, even though he's british. i particularly liked two things about him:
1. his harsh, and entirely well-deserved critique of that 'leathery old bat' M Teresa and of the church in general -- a true atheist who, unlike the secular charlatans of india, do not uphold some religions and demean others
2. his willingness of change his mind and thus his break with his erstwhile colleagues of the left-lib persuasion (who have never forgiven him) over the invasion of iraq
what a guy, hitch! even when he realized he was ill with cancer, he took it with characteristic aplomb. we will miss his mordant voice when he is gone. i hope the cancer goes into remission, so that we will be treated to his brilliance for a while longer.]

Dawkins and Hitchens, indisputably, hold great attraction for the intellect and it is instructive to be aware of the arguments they offer. But, to assume that theirs is the final word would be a gross mistake. The signal contribution of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo to the 20th Century thought comes to the rescue and guides us seamlessly from politics to philosophy, from education to religion. [TNM55]

Fast learning by Hazare

The JLB campaign has acquired a jalebi-like complexity now and they are in a dilemma whether to support the Yatra or not. Right to recall and allied issues are also being weighed for pursual in future. Critical circumstances force fast learning and hence Hazare grappling with multiple problems faced by the country is an appreciatable development. That fasting is not at all a solution for these must have, by now, been brought home notwithstanding the celebrity endorsements flashed on TV last month.

Several times in the past we have recalled the Mahanta syndrome and Kejriwal looks like just another version of it. It's easy to raise hopes but difficult to deliver. The overall scenario, however, will definitely impart some impact on the UP elections due next year.

Dalits and minorities have not extended their support to Hazare with valid reasons. Deep fissures pervading the Indian society can't be wished away overnight. Rather addressing them with sympathy and sincerity should have been the first priority. It is, therefore, better if Hazare forms a political party and not engage in politics in a roundabout way. [TNM55]

Transforming politics

Heehs imbroglio brought into focus fault-lines concerning religion dovetailing into a quasi-racial divide. Hazare hurricane also gave a peep into the kind of chasms that we would be negotiating when confronted with stark political choices. Prudence recommends considered opinions instead of impromptu decisions. A political party seeks to inculcate consensus regarding a vast array of conflicting issues conforming to communitarian values and humanitarian ideals.

Just because politics has not been able to match those expectations in the past is no reason that it must be avoided. If yoga holds the key to transformation of human nature, it can do the same to politics as well. Dread of committing grammatical gaffes need not deter us from expressing ourselves.

If you say I don't take tea, there is every likelihood of someone asking why. Coalitions, similarly, have lately become so common that the will for taking uncompromising positions has dwindled, substantially. But, we have no such compulsions at the moment, and hence, may march alone. [TNM55]

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sri Aurobindo surpasses everyone

The role of time in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy and yoga is very crucial. Evolution, obviously, is hitched to time; and in yoga too we hear him telling oftentimes, "He is not yet ready" or something similar. This highlights his reliance on the future time as a remedy for the present woes. Such a teleological blueprint, however, fails the test of critical reason.

The best way to benefit from his philosophy, therefore, is to undertake a comparison with the major figures of Western thought. S.K. Maitra's pioneering studies are an indispensable guide in this respect. But they don't cover Phenomenology and subsequent streams. Husserl and Heidegger, however, can be accessed through J.N. Mohanty and J.L. Mehta respectively. But for the rest, no dependable specialist is in sight.

As far as a wholesome ontology is concerned, Sri Aurobindo surpasses everyone. So, as more and more attention is diverted towards India - NYT has a India blog now and Amazon is all set to set shop - his works will top the charts on sheer merit. More capable brains than has happened till now will ruthlessly dissect his utterances only to drop at their knees before him ultimately.

Encountering this prospect is not too far fetched. Blogosphere is agog with sophisticated debate at present as to the nature of reality. Sri Aurobindo has an eminent role in this with something prominent to say. The breakthrough can come at any time, and what was initiated by Wilber can reach it's logical end. Are we ready? [ TNM55]

Friday, September 09, 2011

Text is the bar

[ I will analyze Aurobindo's projections of what would constitute an ideal society, and compare this with the real-life scenario of Aurobindo's ashram, and the existing commune of Auroville in Puducherry, south India. My goal is to lay out a theoretical picture of what a future society might look like if Aurobindo's views, methods, and practices, were applied on a wide scale, and formed the basis of a spiritual ethics of social action. Since this is unlikely to ever actually occur, this paper will be speculative, in the vein of a “thought experiment” to use a popular term. The major technique, or ability, which would form the basis of this utopian society based on Aurobindo's thought is the power of telepathy—the sharing of thoughts at distance between people without external verbal communication.
Tristan Gulliford is a writer, poet, musician, and DJ living and working in Colorado.]

Sri Aurobindo had been a pen-pusher all his life, and consequently, his oeuvre is large and versatile. Analyses on his prophesies in the socio-political sphere, therefore, run the risk of skidding on account of inputs spread thinly.

The most concrete piece of foundation to stand upon in this connection is his August 14, 1947 AIR broadcast wherein he charts out a definite roadmap. His earlier pronouncements, when seen through the lens of this Manifesto, reveal their broad contours and causal ramifications, thus offering insights on possible timeline as well as perspectives of sequentiality.

The problem, however, doesn't cease here; rather it begins now. When one is seized with the idea that the texts somehow don't reflect the right intentions and the path to the future can't forever be braided with the impressions recorded a century back based on events occurring then. Then a strong urge is felt to engage with the present and interrogate the contingent while looking for some sure clues.

At this stage, the scenario swings between being speculative to idiosyncratic and runs the danger of being branded blasphemous. The methodological bankruptcy, besides, owing to lack of citations becomes an unpardonable crime.

Time's secrets, nevertheless, unfold incessantly, and in this amazing adventure every one of us participates in his or her unique manner. [TNM55]


I learnt about a recent seminar held at the Delhi branch Ashram courtesy a Google Alert mail this morning. Such web-pages fail to be covered by the search-engines and don't show up ordinarily in specific searches like "last 24 hours." Cross-posting of similar notifications in a blog, therefore, is advisable if proper dissemination - and, not mere archiving - is intended.

Webmasters may impress upon their superiors the dynamics of this initiative and how merely owning a site is not enough. Running a blog or two should also be considered as essential to ensure wide and timely publicity. Imagine every morning hundreds of our centres uploading the notices and reports of their events and activities onto the blogosphere. It would indeed appear to be the dawning of the Savitri Era. [TNM55]

Shipra & Savitri

When the parking area downstairs becomes almost vacant by 10, it's a completely different look. This also spurs a comparison between the life of contemplation and the life of action. The imperative of All Life is Yoga, then, is seen in sharp relief.

Those who are engaged in interpreting various nuances of Integral Yoga, therefore, need to be extremely careful while suggesting heat-n-eat type of formulations. Trenchant demarcation of intellectual and spiritual also is not without its hazards. Lack of specialists among our interlocutors too is taking its toll. So, buyer beware! [TNM55]


From wiping the slate with Lily-stems as a Class 2 student 50 years back to keying in these words upon the just released Apps for iPhone seems to be a long journey. Leap in technology, indisputably, has alleviated poverty in the country, but its full benefit has been thwarted by anachronistic political mobilisations. Their leaders, in the garb of austere patriotism, have caused immense harm to the welfare of future generations. Spiritualists too often willy-nilly become accomplice to such regressive mentality. Time to stop spreading such damaging ideology. [TNM55]

Thursday, September 08, 2011


After the advent of Internet, one thought that there would be swift occurrence of concurrence with increased access to information and exchange of opinion. A hint is enough for the discerning and hence with a little effort it would be possible to convince considerable number of people. But the reality is almost the opposite. The tendency to cling to ghettoised thinking is very much alive and kicking. 

It is futile, therefore, to expect that intellectual swordsmanship can earn substantial following. People are more prone, on the contrary, to kowtow to seats of power and institutional patronage. In other words, irrational reasons reign over realms of reason. This constitutes, in addition, a serious methodological hurdle in most situations as astute seeming verdicts can be tainted. The ultimate solution, of course, is the utopian disinterested deciphering of co-horizons. [TNM55]

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Hidden agenda behind Hazare agitation

[The main issue of Hazare's campaign has been corruption.]

Terming the Hazare agitation an anti-corruption one is like labelling The Lives as a biography of Sri Aurobindo. Skipping the sub-text and the hidden agenda - with copious evidence  surfacing - can never be the attribute of a diligent observer. The epic fight of which Hazare was reduced to a mere mascot or perhaps a prisoner should attract scrutiny in all its multifarious dimensions. 

The most sinister aspect, however, are - like in the Heehs imbroglio - the lies. Setting impractical deadlines for the Parliament was nothing but befooling the public. The three issues that finally were debated are simply laughable in terms of their significance and the climb-down was ridiculous. Even then a victory was duly contrived and was celebrated. Hypocrisy of this scale is like robbery in the broad day light and is tantamount to corruption of no mean magnitude. 

No one expects the crowd wearing crowns of morality, but the vanguards should have been honest enough to distinguish between the bill and the ideal. This agitation in alliance with the media, therefore, is a dangerous concoction from which a safe distance is well advised. [TNM55]

Gadkari is the future PM

Marathi is the media through which Deshmukh was able to placate Hazare. But the Marathi saga doesn't end there. How skilfully and dictatorially Bhagwat foisted an unknown Gadkari upon BJP when it was in disarray is recent memory. 

"Who takes him seriously," Chidambaram minced him recently; but like it or not, the country should take this Marathi future Prime Minister seriously. Modi is unacceptable to NDA, and hence, Bhagwat has the golden opportunity to anoint a fellow Marathi.

Hazare is a godsend in the run up to the great Marathion. Many may not be comfortable with this gameplan, but Bhagwat brooks no dissent. [TNM55]

Monday, September 05, 2011

Hazare hurricane

Globalisation and urbanisation is transforming the landscape of India and the mindscape of its people. Science and technology no longer inspire awe as it used to through the last century. Rather, myth and hype are more sought after and celebrated. The reason being a slew of management mantras have focused on building brands from scratch by manipulating attention space. The recent Hazare hurricane too is no exception.

Our beliefs and convictions, like economic decisions, are anchored to self-interest. Inertia and apprehension also prevent the possibility of course correction. As a result, majority of population remain unaffected by any new thought current. But they are easily drawn towards popular symbols and sensational happenings. 

Election campaigns too are not free from these aberrations. But, the presence of multiple players acts as a safety valve. In a situation like the Hazare's, conversely, the promoters' zeal for an all out confrontation can really be hazardous. It's, therefore, essential to judge this new phenomenon with a cool head as to its calibration under social contract obligations and canons of sheer civility. [TNM55]

Sauvik wants supervision

[Why can't entrepreneurs build parks for kids? Like the guy I met who said he is building a skating rink. They have privatised garbage collection - but they don't supervise the work, and much of the equipment is shoddy: little Mahindra trucks that won't carry more than a few kilos at a time. The ladies who work at street-sweeping in their uniforms are all sweet and very hard-working, but they have No Capital Equipment.][Bye Pondicherry, Thanks For Everything, And Some Final Reflections On The Problem That Is The State - ANTIDOTE by (Sauvik) on Sep 5, 2011 10:19 AM]

Strangely, Sauvik wants supervision. [TNM55]

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Task is ours

[The Hindu : NATIONAL / NEW DELHI : In the capital today - Sri Aurobindo Ashram: Panel discussion on India's potential as the “Vishwa Guru”, Sri Aurobindo Marg, 10 a.m..]

This is a perennial theme and the Hazare phenomenon is likely to dominate the deliberations. This would, however, be a welcome change as the abstract notion of india is replaced by someone specific. But whether he really is up to the mark is a highly contested topic at the moment.

Be that as it may, it has now been drilled into our minds that India needs good laws and regulators. It must set its own house in order before aspiring to become anything akin to Vishwa Guru. But the irony is that the elite of the country settle for good life and the spiritualists stay silent spectators. This is no way for a nation to grow to greatness.

The time has come for us to realise that abdicating the comfort of the lectern and entering direct action is an imperative. Training in this type of work is a continuous process and acquiring wherewithal happen progressively. Instead of Hazare hijacking the initiative, why don't we take the lead? [TNM55]

I was wary of my comment being deleted, and hence, couldn't put it clearly. I'm not against anyone supporting or opposing Hazare. My concern is whether we the readers of the Mirror should follow this advisory? (although it was late in the day) [TNM55]

Inner engine

[Peter Boettke: Dan Arley argues that we are not rational, but instead fallible creatures in need of external restraints, such as regulations.  And that is why the old free market ideology is dead.]

Tusar N. Mohapatra 04.09.2011
As the source of both the streams of promptings are one, trying to decipher the nature of that inner engine is rather preferable. The writings of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo are superb helps. [TNM55]

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Promoting his opinions

That the Hazare campaign enjoys complete support of the Hindutva brigade is not hidden from anyone. With such a backdrop, how far it is justified to endorse the same in the public domain? [TNM55]

Tusar N. Mohapatra says: September 2, 2011 at 7:56 am
[he was merely interested in promoting his opinions]

It would be helpful if the above is fleshed out a bit. [TNM55]