Friday, November 30, 2007

The less traveled by Dalal Street

It has been immensely enriching for the Savitri Erans to walk through the Dalal Street that unfolded twenty years back. The Within-series with its lovely covers and inviting size is a hit even today. One earlier brilliant compilation titled The Hierarchy of Mind suffered for the want of flashy covers. Edited by Jyoti and Prem Sobel, the book has a nice introduction by Norman C. Dowsett. All the lines in Savitri relating to various categories of mind-level are available in the Appendix. It was so helpful and inspiring then as computers were rare. [TNM]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Promoting intellectual growth of the devotees

[He urged the students to read books on spiritual leaders such as Vivekananda and Aurobindo and enrich their perspective on life... B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore...‘English education with Indian orientation needed’ The Hindu Wednesday, Nov 28, 2007] 11:18 AM
To link the name of Swami Vivekananda with Sri Aurobindo is a common practice in our country. Gandhi and Nehru are also treated as inseparable although their thinking and functioning varied widely. Such popular linkage does great harm to the true reception of the concerned personalities.

Admirers of Swami Vivekananda are legion, but only a minuscule of them has read the works of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. The majority are either unwilling or incapable of bearing the requisite intellectual strain. As a result, they never graduate from the traditional Shankaracharya school of Vedantic interpretation.

On the other hand, Sri Aurobindo's commentaries with evolution as the pivot find more audience in the Western world than in India. This is not a very pleasant situation. All neo-Hindu sects in India have a big responsibility in promoting intellectual growth of their devotees by advising them to read the works of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. [TNM]
Prabhu Premi Sangh All World Gayatri Pariwar Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha Arsha Vidya Gurukulam Arya Samaj Art of Living Foundation Ahobila Matha Aurobindo Ashrama BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Brahmakumaris Eshwareeya Vidyalaya Brahmo Samaj Chinmaya Mission Divine Life Society Dvaita Ashta mathas of Udupi Gaudiya Math Hindu Aikya Vedi International Society for Krishna Consciousness Kanchi Shankara matham Kaginele Kanaka Guru Peetha Lingayat Movement Maha Nirvani Akhara Mata Amritanandamayi Math (Kerela) Ramachandra Mission Ramakrishna Math and Mission Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha Swadhyay Parivar Sarada Math and Mission Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Sree Dharma Paripalana Yogam Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission Sri Sri Thakur Anukulchandra Satsang Theosophical Society Adyar Vivekananda Kendra Vedics Foundation Yogoda Satsanga Society of India Vishwa Hindu Parishad Saiva Siddhanta Church Sringeri Mutt Sri Viswaroopa Panchamukha AnjaneyaSwami Foundation Sri Ramachandrapura Samsthanam Jagad Guru Kripalu Parisat Simhapuri Dharmika Trust, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Films and footnotes

When Somnath Chatterjee was elected as the Lok Sabha Speaker, one had a lot of expectations from him. An astute parliamentarian displaying ascetic authenticity, he could have been instrumental in ushering in wide ranging electoral and constitutional reforms. But so far his record in these areas is zilch and his tenure is likely to be forgotten as insignificant. That one can watch fine NFDC films without any interruption over the Lok Sabha Channel on weekends, is perhaps the only consolation. [TNM]

The mystery of man and his world

[In Locke's philosophy, tabula rasa was the theory that the (human) mind is at birth a "blank slate" without rules for processing data, and that data is added and rules for processing are formed solely by one's sensory experiences. The notion is central to Lockean empiricism. As understood by Locke, tabula rasa meant that the mind of the individual was born "blank", and it also emphasized the individual's freedom to author his or her own soul]
[It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness. -- Marx: Preface to the Contributions of a Critique of Political Economy]
[Sartre wants to maintain that man intrinsically has no nature. That is, he is thrown into this world, not of his own making, and is condemned to determine what he will be. In other words, our "existence precedes our essence." We exist first and determine our essence by means of choice.]
Thank God, we have The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo that unravels the secret of the mystery of man and his world. [TNM]

Monday, November 26, 2007

A concise compilation of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy

Sri Aurobindo wrote one new chapter for Volume I, and twelve new chapters for Volume II of The Life Divine when it was first published in book from in 1939-40. These chapters taken together along with the eight essays (The Supramental Manifestation upon Earth, the last of Sri Aurobindo's prose writings) that first appeared in the quarterly Bulletin of Physical Education in 1949-50, make a concise compilation of his philosophy. [TNM]
THE LIFE DIVINE
Book One
XXVIII Supermind, Mind and the Overmind Maya
Book Two Part I
I Indeterminates, Cosmic Determinations and the Indeterminable
II Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara - Maya, Prakriti, Shakti
V The Cosmic Illusion : Mind, Dream and Hallucination
VI Reality and the Cosmic Illusion
X Knowledge by Identity and Separative Knowledge
XIV The Origin and Remedy of Falsehood, Error, Wrong and Evil
Book Two Part II
XXIII Man and the Evolution
XXIV The Evolution of the Spiritual Man
XXV The Triple Transformation
XXVI The Ascent Towards Supermind
XXVII The Gnostic Being
XXVIII The Divine Life
I. THE SUPRAMENTAL MANIFESTATION UPON EARTH
Message
Perfection Of The Body
The Divine Body
Supermind And The Life Divine
Supermind And Humanity
Supermind In The Evolution
Mind Of Light
Supermind And Mind Of Light

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Nadkarni and Army

A nice biographical account of Prof Mangesh V Nadkarni by Ranjan Naik is up at SCIY. The inspiring story of his first visit to Puducherry appeared in a journal some years ago. Especially, the station scene when he is at his wit’s end to board the train without a reservation. And then he happens to be talking to a ‘somewhat ferocious looking’ officer of the Army near the Military Coach, who said:

If you are going to Pondicherry, Youngman, then you can have this whole compartment as yours.

The officer was an admirer of The Life Divine, if memory serves right. The full article should be available online. [TNM]

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The child has a distinct personality and future of his own

from Tusar N. Mohapatra tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 24 Nov 2007 13:39
I can't tell about Bangalore but securing an admission in Mirambika in Delhi is considered nothing less than clearing for IIT, IIM, or IAS. But the impression that the child will be trained for a spiritual orientation in life by studying in these schools may not be always true. Many a times, familiarity breeds contempt and by the time the child grows up, he distances himself from whatever he considers was thrust upon him in the school.

At a more deeper level, we hardly have a hand in deciding most of the circumstances in our lives. The child has a distinct personality and future of his own. You are simply a facilitator as a parent. Considering what the TV is teaching the children all the time, what option do we have these days than to take recourse to these alternative schools?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Flight of capital

[Industry leaders back Buddhadeb Speaking to The Hindu, captains of industry and senior office-bearers of the chambers of commerce said that the State government had shown resolve to tackle matters efficiently and West Bengal’s investment climate would not be impacted by these sporadic incidents. However, alongside they also appealed to every section of society to act responsibly so that the State’s progress was not blocked.
Many felt that these disruptions were basically resistance to the changes that the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was trying to usher into the State. “Human beings mostly want status quo. And these are basically resistance to change,” they said.]
[The India of today would be unrecognisable to the spirit of those who so readily gave up their lives to bring independence to their motherland. Who remembers the Alipore Bomb Case today? Not many. Kolkata was then the capital of India. The importance of the whole episode is that this bomb was thrown and this case was fought right in the capital of the country, and this is what made the British feel that the very seat of their power was being shaken. — Sunayana Panda, sabda.may2007] 1:22 PM
Kolkata is in turmoil for all the wrong reasons. Struggle for freedom forced the Britishers to shift their Capital a century ago. That was a moment of pride. But today, any flight of capital from the city would be nothing but harakiri. Malicious ganging up against the Chief Minister must stop in the larger national interest. [TNM]

A step, and all is sky and God

Savitri, like the Suez Canal, connects the West with the East allowing unhindered commerce of culture. A confluence of myth, history, and philosophy, this poetic creation dreams the unimaginable and points towards a new possible. The mantric potency of a supposedly two and half syllables utterance expands one lakh fold to this gigantic body of verse to form, as it were, the great pitcher for fermentation of the elixir of immortality.

The saga of man fighting his sevenfold ignorance in order to conquer death, disease, and incapacity is the audacious theme of this poem. The war is real and represents the cumulative struggle of the mankind coalescing with the concurrent. But the beauty of this bloodletting is in its benign culmination in a divine glory that has been foretold. As anomie dwells and entropy swells, the reign of obscurity might seem interminable, but lo! Savitri is here. Sing O lands, sing mountains, now it’s Light for ever. [TNM]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Prediction addiction

[The root jna-, by the way, does not really mean ‘to know’, as in English. It means rather ‘to know oneself’, ‘to realize oneself as’, it does not have an objective connotation of knowing something but knowing oneself in a particular state; for instance, one cannot say in Sanskrit: “granthasya jnanam”, “knowledge of the book”, but only ‘granthena jnanam’ “the knowledge by the book”, where ‘knowledge’ refers to a subjective state of the knower, to his self-realized particular state of being.
The root vid-, on the other hand, from which ‘veda’ is derived, means ‘to know objectively’, ‘to discover’, ‘to find out’, it has a kind of objective connotation of knowledge existing outside the knower. -- by Vladimir on Mon 11 Dec 2006 06:35 AM PST Profile Permanent Link Re: Instruments of Knowledge and Post-Human Destinies]
[As the research continues to mount that we are indeed more hardwired like our animal ancestors than we care to admit, it helps to know these hardwired systems in ourselves to more understand our response mechanisms that can and do trigger our emotions and ultimately our actions. To assist in this effort, the book highlights and goes into some detail of the more recognized emotions like Greed, Fear, Regret, and Confidence of which all play on our performance in life, as well, and even more so in optimizing our wealth in the investing process...
It was a treat to read this very well written (read as not too technical) on the pitfalls of our decision making and how we sometimes unknowingly do things that are against our own best interests. -- By James East - Customer Reviews Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich by Jason Zweig]
It is certainly impossible to unravel the mystery of why "our brains lead us to self-deception." If we are tricked on the money-making front, no infallibility can be claimed on the technology front also. This realization, obviously, should exercise some sobering impact on the hubris that the humanity is suffering from. Perhaps therefore, sociologists are demanding withdrawal of all specialists from the top decision-making posts. [TNM] 5:43 PM 7:16 PM

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Longings for a few petals from afar

[Sachets were first introduced to India in the 1990’s by an Indian company selling a 10-milliliter sachet of Velvette shampoo. Before the sachet, shampoo in India was only available in larger bottles, therefore limiting its sales success among people with small incomes (Moorthi, 2002).
Sachets meet the needs of the rural consumer in several ways. Sachets are inexpensive, they occupy a small amount of space, and they allow consumers to experiment with new products that they may never have tried before (Bailay, 2003). View as HTML www.uwstout.edu/rs/2004/article11.pdf]
The enigmatic appeal that a Blessings packet carries among the Savitri Erans cannot be overemphasized. At a young age, it used to appear as something utterly exotic. Those days the bald packets of parchment paper were circulated. Much later, the lovely envelopes embossed with different photographs of The Mother or Sri Aurobindo was introduced. Since then, they have become a sort of collectors’ item, and while receiving, one feels a bit expectant about the picture, in the same way as one feels before reading the fortune card delivered by a weighing machine.

That the flowers can do their job as long as they are afresh was an unorthodox idea then. More than anything else a few such avant garde seeming stipulations were sufficient to hook the young minds. The heady feeling of playing football in the Kafla Fandi ground on a couple of occasions with Mamu with the whistle was a perfect trap. No matter, none was able to comprehend even a line from the tantalizing prose of Ideal Child. Even now, one stumbles at each word; feels wanting and unable to face up to The Mother’s eyes, but the book and the blessings, nevertheless, were perhaps one of the finest attempts at sachet marketing.

Dried leafs and flowers were later a common fare in the Botany lab, but those petals sealed in a sachet bearing the ar(u)oma of the exotic name of Pondicherry (now, Puducherry, alas!) was always something special and intimate. The spiritual nomenclature of flowers by The Mother is so refreshingly futuristic. Some day, people will be eager to fathom their significance as endearingly as for, say, any Van Gogh. [TNM]

Upon Alan's anvil

Thanks Alan for the neat summarizing. If you can include an account of your consistent wrestling at Wikipedia, Open Integral, and elsewhere in the past two years, it would be more informative and interesting.

I just want to add an inconvenient truth which I consider is the most important fallout of the Wilber’s Wyatt Earp fiasco of June 2006. It is after reading your essays published in the Integral world where you expressed your allegiance to The Mother and Sri Aurobindo that I felt inspired to float the Savitri Era Religion in a post dated July 27, 2006.
Until then I was also firmly against the idea of religion. Subsequently of course, I have posted a number of justifications and added the Judeo-Vedic tag. [TNM]

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rahul, Rabri, Ranbir

Now that Rahul Gandhi is comfortably ensconced in the Congress party, it is worthwhile to take a look at what is called ‘dynastic politics’ on the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi. What used to be her sole crime has now been enthusiastically adopted by every other political party. The Rabri phenomenon has even traveled to the other side of the globe to infect Hillary Clinton.

But why our columnists denounce this practice is beyond comprehension. If one learns the family trade and joins the same profession following the grand Indian tradition of the castes, then where is the objection? Whether it is Rahul clutching on to Indira’s hand or Ranbir cooing under a RK umbrella, the great secret of democracy is that people love princes. So, let there be no spoilsports. [TNM, Indirapuram]

Supply Chain Management to high energy physics

Philosophy is a forgotten affair in our universities today. [TNM]

Singular at the top, plural at the bottom

[No Rules Please, We’re Indian Newindpress on Sunday, India - 17 Nov 2007 By Rama Bijapurkar Rama Bijapurkar writes well. “India is a nuclear-capable state that still cannot build roads that will survive their first monsoon. ...
Define your own India Business Line, India - 14 Nov 2007 Fed up with ‘popular methods used by consulting firms and business analysts to evaluate the Indian market opportunity,’ Rama Bijapurkar comes up with an ...
'mncs must look at India as standalone market' Economic Times, India - 12 Nov 2007... per capita consumption of Brazil, the education level of Russia and institutional framework of USA," market strategist Rama Bijapurkar says in her book, ...
Singular at the top, plural at the bottom Economic Times, India - 6 Nov 2007 This delicious vignette is recalled in Rama Bijapurkar’s book We Are Like That Only, an original and thought-provoking treatise on the Indian consumer ...
Learn to accept India as ‘a market of contradictions' Hindu, India - 5 Nov 2007 Fed up with ‘popular methods used by consulting firms and business analysts to evaluate the Indian market opportunity,’ Rama Bijapurkar comes up with an ...
Understanding logic of consumer India Indian Express, India - 5 Nov 2007 Mumbai, November 5: The launch of Rama Bijapurkar’s book We are Like That Only: Understanding the Logic of Consumer India on Monday at the Express Towers in ...
Very voyage worthy Financial Express, India - 10 Nov 2007 This needed to be said, and in English too, which is why Rama Bijapurkar’s We are like that only is such a compelling read. Not just for marketers, ...
Per capita income to be $4000 by 2025: FM Business Standard, India - 6 Nov 2007 He was speaking here last night after releasing a book, We are Like That Only: Understanding the Logic of Consumer India, by Rama Bijapurkar. ...
India will be middle income nation by 2015: FM Times of India, India - 6 Nov 2007 He was speaking after releasing a book titled We are Like That Only: Understanding the Logic of Consumer India , written by Rama Bijapurkar. ...
For all the mncs who thought India was easy Mumbai Newsline, India - 4 Nov 2007 Mumbai, November 4 Rama Bijapurkar’s book We Are Like That Only: Understanding the Logic of Consumer India, is being launched by Finance Minister P ...
'Winning in the Indian Market' is a Comprehensive Examination of ... Business Wire (press release), CA - 1 Nov 2007 Rama Bijapurkar (Mumbai, India) is an expert on market strategy and consumer issues in India who runs her own market strategy consulting practice. ...]
The people of India can be divided into five broad segments: illiterate, uneducated, educated, intellectuals, and thinkers. The cultural crust embedding each group is so different from the others that it is not easy for a person to fathom the intentions of someone belonging to a different group. It will be useful if market research also probes the education differential. [TNM] 2:06 AM

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sri Aurobindo has so effectively resolved the evolution question

[Creation/evolution debate to be held in Dothan Dothan Eagle - Dothan,AL,USAEvolution in Dothan on Nov. 27, 7-9 pm, at the Dothan Opera House. The debate will be filmed and is free. For more information or to reserve seats, ...
Evolution VS. The FactsBy PastorEdgar000 Most people consider Evolution a near sacred scientific theory, simply because it is one of the stones on which Atheism stands upon. Unless a solid explaination for the variety of life could be found, Atheism wouldn't have a chance. ...Foru.ms - http://foru.ms
"Human Evolution On Trial – A Case For The Defence" - Part 1 ...By Tim(Tim) Following private correspondence with author Terry Toohill, I've agreed to serialise his book "Human Evolution On Trial – A Case For The Defence" here at Remote Central, in the hope that not only will readers be interested to read what ...]
His famous essay, The Meeting of the East and the West in Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy by Sisir Kumar Maitra appeared in four parts in The Advent between Nov 1951, and Aug 1952. Another one captioned, Sri Aurobindo and Bergson had appeared in Sri Aurobindo Mandir in 1942. In The Life Divine Sri Aurobindo has so effectively resolved the evolution question, but educated people are unwilling to read the book. Savitri Erans have this special duty to introduce people to the integral philosophy of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. [TNM]

The Human Aspiration vs. Human Rights

Human Rights issues are a great emotive force. A large number of political parties and civil society organizations are engaged in fighting for the human rights all over the world.

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo worked for The Human Aspiration agenda. It is a larger political goal in the sense that the most primordial urge within each human person to attain perfection and freedom is unleashed.

Issues relating to Bijli-Sadak-Pani to Greenhouse gases are certainly significant and need all our sincere attention, but not to cater to the intrinsic hunger of the human being for harmony is a serious blunder. A synthesis of both the approaches is the right remedy for all our ills. [TNM] 1:47 PM 3:35 PM

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Corporate czars

[In conclusion, we would return to that other prominent cross-cutting theme in A Secular Age — loss. Clearly, for Taylor, the transition to the secular age has involved many kinds of loss, most especially a loss of what he labels the “heroic” in a non-Nietzschean sense. In this way his narrative is profoundly sad. -- A Secular Age: Human rights in a secular age? posted by M. Christian Green]
All heroism, presently, has migrated to the sphere of corporate governance and brand promotion. Regrettably, the saga of their day-to-day strategizing and warfare remains unsung and, as a result, the general public is deprived of the aesthetic enjoyment of pursuing exploits of their heroes in the real world and settle, instead, for the world of make-believe. [TNM] 1:47 PM

Friday, November 16, 2007

Resolution on the eve of The Mother’s passing away day

August 15, 1872 to November 17, 1973 spans 101 years and three months during which the planet Earth had the physical presence of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. They chose India to be their home. In spite of the adversities they have performed their task and left. They have taken enough pains to make us realize the significance of their advent and the need to follow them.

Over and over and again they have emphasized that the human mind is too puny to understand the rationale of what they say. They have told us to simply follow their path without domesticating doubts or getting afflicted with diffidence. They have also warned against joggling with multiple faiths.

It is our good fortune to have got The Mother and Sri Aurobindo in our lives. We are an absolute minority within the 6b+ humanity. Let us just remember how the first disciples came to them without any wavering to build the foundations of the Savitri Era Religion. A world wide following has already been formed on that firm ground.

The imperative now is to take this prelude to the next act. The whole field is fertile and waiting for the broadcasting of seeds of their message. This is the most important task at the moment. The teachings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo has the potential of liberating millions of people from their lives of stupidities. May all the Savitri Erans take resolution to contribute their mite in this gigantic task, on the eve of The Mother’s passing away day. [TNM]

Savitri Era is the Universal Religion

[In fact, one of Mead's implicit arguments is that the economic differences of nations rest upon a template of profound psychological and spiritual differences...God and Gold...Mead has shown us how "any serious decline in either the creativity of American religious faith or its denominational and theological diversity would make the United States a less dynamic society, sap its energy, reduce its wealth, and impair its ability to carry out the remaining elements of the national strategy." -- Universal Religion and the Many Worlds Hypothesis from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob]
Happily, we are almost listening to Sri Aurobindo's words suitably paraphrased. [TNM] 11:42 AM

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Judeo-Vedic roots of Savitri Era Religion

[Justin Wolfers of the Wharton Business School spoke on Pascal's Wager, saying that if one believes in religion then the greatest risk is choosing the wrong one. And how to hedge against such a risk? Here is the link... Pascal's wager and religious diversification across children from Marginal Revolution by Tyler Cowen]
Savitri Era Religion is the most appropriate choice of the modern generation and a Global force. Its Judeo-Vedic roots constitute the most universal values that the humanity needs for a luminous future. Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. [TNM]

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The father of distorted history of India

[It would not have been possible for India to stand where it is today had it not been for Jawaharlal Nehru who recognised decades ago that the future would belong to nations committed to industrialization...In the early years Nehru was seen as the great moderniser who relentlessly pushed India towards becoming an industrialised nation...
He also stood firm that the English language, which is now the bedrock of the multi-billion dollar outsourcing industry, be given as much importance as Indian languages despite fervent cries to abolish what was seen as a colonial hangover...But there is much more to Nehru’s role as the architect of modern India than merely laying the foundation for providing a playbook that future rulers of the country could dip into.
If one were to go beyond the first few lines of his famous ‘Tryst With Destiny’ speech, then it is evident that he was a man who realised 60 years ago that India and Asia would both have a significant role to play in the times to come. Here was a man who realised that growth with a human face is imperative if the nation was to achieve true greatness.
Most importantly, if India today remains a strong and vibrant democracy then it owes thanks in no small measure to Nehru, whose commitment to democracy was absolute. It’s a pity that more Indians have heard of rather than read Discovery of India, in which he expounds at length on the making of a nation state — the ideas and issues referred to in the book resonate even more strongly today than when Nehru first penned them.
All of which means that it is time to unfreeze Nehru from the sterile descriptions of our history textbooks, lifeless portraits in government offices and role as a convenient name for government schemes and airports. It is time to bring him back into the popular imagination. And that will happen only when someone reinterprets the man in a contemporary fashion the way Gandhi was brought to life for a whole new generation by Lage Raho Munnabhai. -- The rediscovery of Nehru, Harihar Narayanswamy, economictimes 13 Nov, 2007]
All said and done, the very fact that Nehru could not perceive appropriately the significance of Sri Aurobindo's vision is a serious lacuna in his otherwise commendable career. His connivance in creating a distorted version of history is simply unpardonable. [TNM]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nandigram heralds

It is a matter of great relief that Nandigram has returned to the administration of the duly elected Government of the state. The Chief Ministers of other states, too, should find spine to bring back the 200 and odd districts ruled by the militant-Left. [TNM] 4:59 PM

Democracy yes, "savage capitalism" no

[Chávez later spun Juan Carlos' outburst as a monarchical affront to democracy (though Juan Carlos was, in fact, key to restoring constitutional rule in Spain after the death of its genuinely fascist dictator, Francisco Franco, in 1975). "The king is a head of state like me," Chávez said, "only I've been elected three times with 63% support." Behind the King's Rebuke to Chávez Monday, Nov. 12, 2007 By TIM PADGETT With reporting by Gideon Long/Santiago]

Defenders of democracy are a growing breed. May India's neighbourhood pay heed. [TNM]

Light, Bliss, Freedom, Immortality

[...the unconquerable impulse of man towards God, Light, Bliss, Freedom, Immortality...
What is the meaning of life?
The simple answer is LIFE.
L = Light
I = Immortality
F = Freedom
E = Ecstasy or Bliss
[TNM]

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sensex and Savitri Era

[Man who coined Sensex was just being lazy 8 Nov, 2007, Maulik Pathak economictimes.indiatimes.com ...it was for reasons of clear simplicity that he abbreviated the word that went on to become a sensation. “I had to type two words for writing sensitive index. So for ease, I christened it Sensex for my columns in 1989,” says Deepak Mohoni whose columns used to appear in publications... “The Bombay Stock Exchange, in fact, started using it in their publications much later, after 1995 or 1996,” he said.]
from Tusar N. Mohapatra tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com 11 Nov 2007 18:05
Why do you think it is controversial? It is just some one's opinion, and he might not be well versed in the writings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Let him think things afresh. In a way, we have given him the right stimulation/provocation to think more deeply instead of making superficial comments. In fact, I have already called it the Savitri Era Religion and have posted a number of justifications for the same. There is resistance, but over a period of time people will get attuned to the name. Let us make people participate in an open discussion and what is right will prevail. Thank you, Tusar

Merleau-Ponty, the greatest ally

[I have already noted how both Merleau-Ponty and Bourdieu understand habitual action to be the basis of our bodily orientation in the world and also, therefore, of our understanding of it. However, instead of continually referring to habit, Bourdieu uses the term ‘habitus’ to refer more precisely to the importance of socially instilled bodily dispositions. -- Bodies of Thought: Embodiment, Identity and Modernity by Ian Burkitt]
[From the beginning of this yoga in the body, she had clearly seen the repetitive powers of the cellular substance, and she had concluded that if she could establish another type of vibration in matter – one of sunshine, say, of light, expansive like love – instead of the usual egocentric, sordid, pessimistic, and mortal vibration, then perhaps one could impart this substance with a new principle of cohesion, no longer based on a mortal habit, but on a divine one. -- P.134, The Mind of the Cells by Satprem]
In a way, Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) was the greatest ally in the world of Western thought, of The Mother's yoga of the cells. [TNM]

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Genuineness, disinterestedness, and goodwill

Traditional religious festivals were occasions for fostering faith in the Divine powers. But they have turned huge spectacles over the years due to commercialism and media overkill. Many political and social organizations who are interested only in the crowd love this sanitized picture of religion as it helps to ferment discontent and irreverence in the minds of the people. Affluence and access to various avenues of entertainment is preventing people from god-ward feelings giving rise to a secular atmosphere at another level.

Striving to counter this situation is the need of the hour and Savitri Era Religion is the best bet in the prevailing circumstances. Even if people happen to read the writings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, may be, for intellectual or aesthetic pleasure, the call to spirituality crops up some day. Similar is the case with the feeling of identifying with the political ideals expounded by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. The overall idea is to exhibit genuineness, disinterestedness, and goodwill in public which is in short supply today. And then people in large numbers can feel attracted towards this great ideal and be willing to participate in this great adventure. [TNM]

There is nothing to thank the Left for

[First, let us acknowledge that there is something to thank the Left for. When the Left announced its opposition to disinvestment after the UPA government came to power, the Sensex tanked. Critics of the Left yelled highway murder. This is the end of the rise in the Sensex, they said. We know now it was only the beginning...
There is a lesson in humility for firebrand reformers in the phenomenal increase in the market capitalisation of PSUs and PSBs. The reforms brigade could not have imagined that disinvestment, the gradual sale of government equity, could produce such results. They believed that disinvestment was a disaster as the value of PSUs and PSBs would only erode with time. The best way for government to maximise its revenues was to go for strategic sale, the transfer of a controlling stake to private companies.
These assertions have turned out to be completely wrong. The writer was almost alone in arguing that disinvestment, far from being a political compromise in India, had, in fact, been the dominant mode of privatisation worldwide and that it had produced splendid results. Strategic sale was rarer and happened more in economies with underdeveloped capital markets.
On a broader note, the evolution of the Indian economy has shown that there is little room for certitudes of any kind and that a scrupulous regard for the democratic process and respect for minority viewpoints on contentious issues are in order. In the case of disinvestment, what was interpreted as cussedness on the part of the Left has worked to the benefit of government. A point worth remembering in the heated debate on the Indo-US nuclear deal. -- T T Ram Mohan, Professor, Finance and Accounting Area, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Booming Sensex, smiling GoI The Economic Times 1 Nov, 2007]
Obviously, our Professor has not computed the enormous losses that the economy as a whole has suffered due to stalling of the strategic sale and disinvestment schedules. The Leftists are clearly working at the behest of China and are practicing a politics of conspiracy. One fails to understand the logical validity of how an opinion becomes the right one just because it emanates from the minority. [TNM]

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo are the most authentic teachers

Tusar N Mohapatra said...November 10, 2007 2:21 PM Thanks Kumar for creating a new blog on the philosophy of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. I am all the more happy because a professional like you has discovered the necessity of their philosophy for solving the seemingly intractable crises of the modern society.
I hope the blog creates an awareness among the youth that excel in your profession and chase your dream but amidst all preoccupations leave aside a nook for philosophy and self-reflection as well. It is also important to pass around the information that The Mother and Sri Aurobindo are the most authentic teachers in this sector so that people are saved of the trouble of searching around and comparing various paths. With prayers for The Mother's blessings, yours fraternally, Tusar.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Prime Minister himself is the problem

The Prime Minister has started voicing constitutional questions. But the Prime Minister himself is the problem. Dr. Manmohan Singh, the gentleman, by succumbing to the temptation of leading the country has committed serious indiscretion. The people of this large country through an elaborate election process in 2004 constituted a new Lok Sabha, but no one had any inkling that Dr. Singh will be in the saddle without a mandate. This is upturning of the people’s wishes and the results are evident now. He is in a bind and unable to carry anyone with him. Instead of dragging an illegitimate Government any further, he should resign and let a real leader emerge. [TNM]

Race and caste

[As early as 1910 Sri Aurobindo pointed out that race is a pseudo-scientific category. -- S. ARAVINDAN NEELAKANDAN UPI News]
While endorsing James Watson’s doubts over the politically correct assumption that people of all races possess equal intelligence, Peter Singer has advocated "open-minded investigation of the causes of inequalities in income, education, and health between people of different racial or ethnic groups." An equally volatile but worthwhile enterprise would be to subject the phenomenon of castes obtaining in India a scientific scan. [TNM] 9:35 AM

Friday, November 09, 2007

Savitri Era Religion is a secure shelter

[The religious life of other cultures has impacted on the developments in the West (as Peter van der Veer has pointed out), and also one of the facets of contemporary religious life in the West is the borrowing of forms of devotion, meditation and worship from other parts of the world...The developments of "modernity" did indeed, destabilize earlier forms of religious life…But this decay of older forms often is followed by a “recomposition” (Danièle Hervieu-Léger’s term) of new forms.” -- Charles Taylor secularism, A Secular Age. 6:34 PM]
Savitri Era Religion offers a secure shelter to all those who are tuned to recompositions. [TNM]

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sonia, Mamta, Uma, Maya, Jaya

The NDA is in doldrums and the UPA is tottering. How about our women leaders joining hands so that they give all other alliances a run for their money? Mamta from the east, Uma from the west, Maya from the north, Jaya from the south with Sonia at the centre can form a formidable electoral combination. Hillary, Benazir, and Su Kyi too would be happy at such a prospect. [TNM]

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Take the idea of World Union further

The Prime Minister’s poser the day before as to the national parties vs. regional parties is basically an ethical question that echoes Kautilya’s dictum pronounced aeons ago that one must renounce the village for the sake of the country, and so forth. Obviously, such a concern has its solution in the establishment of a World Union. Sri Aurobindo has been absolutely clear on this and has emphatically announced its inevitability in his radio broadcast made on the eve of August 15, 1947. It is hoped that the fourth international conference on federalism will take the idea of World Union further. [TNM] 1:27 PM

We shall preserve the truths of material Science and its real utilities in the final harmony

Two chapters that can be said to form the prolegomena of The Life Divine are

The later can be read along with what is the meaning of ascetic ideals? 6 by Nietzsche in Genealogy of Morals on the one hand and Asceticism in Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation by Jeremy Bentham on the other. Further, it is not difficult to find in Sri Aurobindo’s line of argument an affinity with the following:

[Asceticism is rejected by modern day Judaism; it is considered contrary to God's wishes for the world. God intended for the world to be enjoyed, in a permitted context of course [1]. The Talmud says that "if a person has the opportunity to taste a new fruit and refuses to do so, he will have to account for that in the next world"…The closest Judaism comes to asceticism is when it tries to teach people to enjoy the more intellectual and spiritual pleasures, and not to chase after the simpler pleasures. However, Judaism does not encourage people to seek pleasure for its own sake but rather to do so in a spiritual way. – Asceticism From Wikipedia.] 1:59 PM 3:54 PM [TNM]

The possibility of a Gnostic society is not premised on the separation of church and state

The Life Divine has its roots in the occasional articles on ethics and religion that Sri Aurobindo wrote for Bande Mataram, Karmayogin, Dharma, and later, The Standard Bearer. But the idea of Bhawani Bharati -- an ideal collectivity -- could not be elaborated sufficiently during the Arya period. It was during the revision in 1939 that the last six newly written chapters were added to The Life Divine. And this makes The Life Divine the greatest book on earth.

Especially the last two chapters lift it from dry ontology to resplendent sociology. The possibility of a Gnostic society is not premised on the separation of church and state, but a harmonization of the two is stipulated. A secularized polity has been shown to be an impossibility, while an ethics-driven, intuition-based rule of inner-freedom takes up the mantle of organizing the community affairs. The primacy of the philosopher-king concept has been given a new lease of legitimacy by invoking consensus and democracy.

Globalization and geo-politics are in ferment at presnt causing enormous anxiety and uncertainty in the minds of the people the world over. The security of the nationhood is falling apart as new vulnerabilities are looming large. Anticipating remedies for cross-cultural pathogens has become challenging as well as hazardous. In this scenario, the agenda of The Life Divine is the only secure path, and hence, people of all walks of life need to read it. [TNM]

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sri Aurobindo hits a sixer

Through his Judeo-Vedic synthetic cosmology as delineated in The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo was successful in refuting the hegemony of the Buddhist-Advaitic worldview. The octopus-like grip of Six Darshanas was also cut asunder. The Indian mind is now free to think without the logical positivism of Nagarjuna or Navya-Nyaya.

The work of six major philosophers in the West who were also engaged in a task more or less similar to Sri Aurobindo's at the time are quite noteworthy. They are Bergson, Teilhard, Alexander, Whitehead, Husserl, and Heidegger. They have produced revolutionary accounts of reality, each of which can be independently accepted as canonical.

But, thanks to Sri Aurobindo, along with the Six Darshanas, the six major western philosophers too bite dust. The copycats, sooner or later, are likely to meet the same fate. [TNM]

Monday, November 05, 2007

Not to read The Life Divine is a great deprivation and disability

Time and again, we have appealed that all should read The Life Divine. Of course, those who read books are few in number and majority of them love only fiction. Further, the size of the book and the style of writing are not very inviting. Thus, the dice is apparently loaded against a general reception of the book.

Therefore, it is essential that we make special efforts to publicize the advantages of reading The Life Divine. Sincere attempts are needed to make people aware that this is not merely a religious book. A summary of The Life Divine is available in many books and articles. But that is not equivalent to reading the book in original.

It is regrettable that the book is hardly discussed despite of its great significance. The reason being, the experience of benefiting by reading the book is quite personal and contextual. It is common to stumble upon a sentence or a passage while reading the book that contains extraordinary wisdom. But if you quote the same in an article or lecture, the force dwindles.

The Life Divine is not a book to be read and finished. It should be a companion of sorts. The trick is to read a little bit every now and then; without any expectation or exasperation. And the knowledge dawns with time. The book has insights in almost all aspects of life and the world. Not to read it is a great deprivation and disability.

So we remind and request all members of the blogosphere to make an attempt to read The Life Divine or at least a few chapters at random and thereby discover the treasure it offers. There is no other alternative than to read it personally. There is no other book to match its majesty. [TNM]

Friday, November 02, 2007

Camel, cat, cow, chameleon etc.

Nietzsche, in his Thus spake Zarathustra, delineates three different poises as demonstrated by a camel, a lion, and a child. While the camel is the beast of burden, the lion stands for the dissenter, also signifying innovation or experimentation. The child he conceives as the creator lost in play that marks the highest level.
A parallel imagery, interestingly, is available in the book, “The Mother” by Sri Aurobindo. In the first stage of Sadhana, one should become a docile worker; in the next an instrument; and in the end complete identity. The image of the lion as the “bahana” (the vehicle of the Goddess) easily evokes the sense of heroic surrender, while the dependence of a baby-cat sits well with the child metaphor. Elsewhere in the same book, the obedience of the disciple, the warrior, and the servant has also been broached. In a couple of his aphorisms, too, Sri Aurobindo has taken up Nietzsche’s trinity for comment and adds a fourth, viz., Kamadhenu, the mythical cow of plenty.
Speaking of camel and lion, the chameleon comes to the mind, which also symbolizes innovation. But better not think further, lest one is reminded of Kafka’s hibernation and metamorphosis. If Nietzsche comes, can Kafka be far behind? [TNM]

Sinister sinophilia

[Indo-US ties anti-China, so we will oppose: Karat
Expressindia: Friday , November 02, 2007 at 09:42:28 Kolkata, November 1: The CPM vowed to oppose a strategic alliance between India and the United States saying such a move is aimed at countering China. ''We shall not rest in our fight till the strategic ties with the US is snapped out,'' Karat said speaking at a CPM-sponsored programme to celebrate October Revolution day in Kolkata. He said the US was trying to make India its strategic ally in countering China, "the most powerful socialist country capable of challenging the might of the USA". Press Trust of India ]
Savitri Erans too vow to foil the sinister mechinations of Karat's foolhardiness. [TNM]