Monday, December 31, 2007

Change is hard to achieve

[December 30 Quote of the Day from Science, Culture and Integral Yoga™ by ronjon
Victory is to the most persistent. ~ The Mother]
Russell Roberts notes in another context that change is hard to achieve (The Partisan Trap from Cafe Hayek). And perhaps that is the reason The Mother used to apply so much emphasis on patience, perseverance and endurance. [TNM]

Sunday, December 30, 2007

How the followers of Sri Aurobindo and Mother can deify them and claim that integral yoga is not absolutely a Religion

If we ask the right questions, then, they say, the right answers can easily be accessed. Two such candid questions were spotted at SCIY: [TNM] 9:23 AM
[Re: Harmonious Confederation by RY Deshpande on Fri 28 Dec 2007 05:36 AM PST Profile Permanent Link I think this observation of yours is very perceptive, quite positive, and I echo with the idea of “harmonious confederation”, the solution which was suggested by the Mother after 1971. And yet the question is: how is it going to be effected?]
[Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny by Rich on Thu 27 Dec 2007 07:47 AM PST Profile Permanent Link Well if you choose to deify Sri Aurobindo the above perspective would logically follow. I personally do not and yes I think both he and Mother as human beings (however exalted they were) both reasoned and formed opinions which were subject to change depending on the passing of local and world events.
I am however somewhat perplexed - and maybe you can explain this - how the followers of Sri Aurobindo and Mother can deify them and claim that integral yoga is not absolutely a Religion (with a capital R) rc]

Friday, December 28, 2007

All are invited to work for the Savitri Era Party

The future status of India will be decided by its people through continuous engagement with its affairs and not by any strict theoretical formulation of the past. Savitri Era Party, while striving how best to benefit from the ideals of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, will not shy away from the challenges of globalization. All are invited to work for the Party so that the India of our dreams emerges. Only, a political party is able to give concrete shape to all these noble sentiments, otherwise they remain pipe dreams.
Tusar N. Mohapatra, President, Savitri Era Party.
Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum. [SELF] SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, U.P. - 201012, INDIA Ph: 0120-2605636, 2815130
Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Universally human Vedic economics

[Theories are always applied and interpreted through our personal and cultural filters and there is no other way it can be. Robin believes in an Archimedean point for using theory, I do not.
Furthermore we often need to apply personal and cultural judgment to offset the sometimes-erroneous judgments and biases built into the economic way of thinking. Robin's post is the clearest example I have seen of
what I call Robin's logical atomism. Can theory override intuition? from Marginal Revolution by Tyler Cowen] 10:30 AM
TC draws a clear demarcation between him and RH, but the neatness itself becomes the reason for uneasiness. Attempting to problematize the matter, we can think of the most primordial (as well as, perpetual) of antagonisms of Vedic vintage: Vritra has covered the light within the caves and Indra is striving to salvage it.

If light can at all be considered of some economic worth, then this fight is universally human regardless of personal and cultural standpoints. Not only economics; all politics, ethics, and aesthetics derive their logic and legitimacy from this fundamental essence. The bulls and the bears are perhaps the nearest in sense in contemporary parlance. [TNM]

March 29 as the Day of Joy and Hope

21St -February 21 2008 - The Mother's Birthday Darshan Day
29Th -February -2008- The Golden-Day Darshan Day
24Th - April - 2008 - Darshan Day
15Th -August - 2008 - Sri Aurobindo's Birth Anniversary
17Th - November - 2008 - Mother's Maha Samadhi Day
24Th - November - 2008 - Siddhi Day
5Th - December - 2008 - Sri Aurobindo's Maha Samadhi Day]
We too want a festival, not only for prayer and meditation but also for merrymaking. There is no better date than 29th March, the day when The Mother met Sri Aurobindo. What she wrote on March 30, 1914 constitutes the greatest hope for man:

Gradually the horizon becomes distinct, the path grows clear, and we move towards a greater and greater certitude.
It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance, He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth.
O Lord, Divine Builder of this marvel, my heart overflows with joy and gratitude when I think of it, and my hope has no bounds.
My adoration is beyond all words, my reverence is silent. Page - 124

So, from next year onwards let's celebrate March 29 as the Day of Joy and Hope. [TNM]

Friday, December 21, 2007

Surat shows the way

On December 21, 1907 Sri Aurobindo left Kolkata for Surat to perform his historic role in the 1907 session of the Indian National Congress and addressed a meeting at Nagpur on 22nd. What happened a century back in Surat also offers a lot of lessons even today. The whole chain of events leading to the split of the Congress is not much known among the present generation. Savitri Erans must celebrate this occasion in a befitting manner all over the country in order to raise awareness.

We also request the editors of newspapers and newsportals to help disseminate information about this important event. Columnists and bloggers are also invited to dissect the happenings then and see them in the context of the outcome of the present Gujarat elections as well as the future of the country. 9:34 AM 7:30 PM 8:14 PM
Tusar N. Mohapatra, President, Savitri Era Party.
Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum. [SELF] SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, U.P. - 201012, INDIA Ph: 0120-2605636, 2815130
Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Unproductive entrepreneurship in Orissa

[Orissa dance fares well in RTI The Statesman - Tuesday, 18 December 2007: Orissa holds a prestigious position as far as as the much hyped Right to Information (RTI) is concerned. The performance of the state in accepting applications and their disposal is outstanding. At the same time its performance has also been highly acclaimed by international bodies, Mr DN Padhi, the chief information commissioner (CIC) of Orissa said here today. The activity of the commission has also crossed the boundaries of the country since the World Bank and other international organisations have acclaimed its performances. It may be mentioned here that in October, the chief commissioner was honoured by the World Bank at its headquarters in Washington DC.]
This is the kind of unproductive entrepreneurship that is proliferating in Orissa. No economic development can take place just by dusting and digging the archives of files in government offices. [TNM] 4:50 AM 4:54 PM

Monday, December 17, 2007

Savitri Era Religion is of great potential value for humanity

An outstanding study titled "The Religious Philosophy of Consciousness of Sri Aurobindo" by Andries Gustav Barnard (November 2005), is available here [4:25 PM]. In the concluding two paragraphs cited below, the author raises important questions and makes interesting observations as regards religion, amply instructive to the Savitri Erans: [TNM]

[Here we are not looking at a new religion. But there are still perplexing questions about Sri Aurobindo in this regard. As already mentioned, he stated that he did not wish to establish a new religion.
  • How do his students or followers respond to this wish?
  • What have they made to his philosophy?
  • Has it been changed into a cult and should his every dictate be followed slavishly?
  • Is he viewed as an avatar, not necessarily in name but in fact?
  • Or is he considered a great thinker or perhaps a combination of all three these possibilities?
  • If his disciples follow his philosophy to the letter, either at present or in the future, would that be wrong?

The reason for this question is, if they do not operate in this way, can the positive results envisaged by Sri Aurobindo be guaranteed because now it is not a Sri Aurobindo philosophy but the disciple philosophy that is relevant and determinative.

  • Further, if he is to be followed slavishly, can original and thinking minds tolerate such a restrictive environment?

As in all religions and philosophical groupings, there are certain latitudes that are operative. The teacher did not cover everything and what he did cover was set out in words which immediately brings into question exactly what his teachings were. Always the teacher speaks from his level and always the student hear from his.

  • Certainly we can see his words but we only see the surface: to what degree can disciples see the depth?

Given all these imponderables the road ahead is not necessarily very clear. The effect of his philosophies during his life and since his death has been arguably limited. This is evidenced by the fact that he simply is not a well-known philosopher. This could be because of the fact that he is not necessarily a very easy read. Reading him arguably requires a certain intellectual ability and bent. Because of his erudition, comprehensiveness and profundity, the study of his work can be a very satisfying exercise. Even though he to a degree presented what he experienced and though within the framework of the Hindu philosophy, the emphasis of his philosophies is on his basic findings as is applicable to every human being. Different philosophies appeal to different people. This is dependent on their level of evolution.

  • Up till now one can say that the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo has not made a great impact on humanity, but is it not possible that that is because of the fact that his work was too advanced for the present period?

I would argue that his philosophy is comprehensive, profound and of great potential value for humanity. It addresses that part of the human psyche that is beyond the physical with its base needs, beyond the level of the emotions where only feelings pertain, even beyond the level of the intellect with its invaluable logic and reason and it finds itself in the supra-intellectual domains of being. It is also not restricted to any confining or restrictive religious or philosophical dogmas. He does not ignore any of the above aspects of a human being but is not bound to any one of them, it is inclusive and far-reaching. Potentially, it can supply a holistic evolutionary roadmap for humanity to move beyond the problematic physical, spiritual and environmental reality it finds itself in.]

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The social is a process of countless transactions

[The social is not something that can be thought as a substance, but is rather something that must be constituted, produced, engendered. And not only must the social be produced or engendered, it must be produced or engendered again and again in the order of time as a series of ongoing actions, operations, or events. The social, in short, is a process.
You can find the rest of it here:
territories-of-music1.doc. The key concept in everything I’m working on is that of individuation and how individuation requires us to recast a number of philosophical questions. by Larval Subjects] 9:22 AM
[Given interdependence of each on others, many, probably most, of whom we are unlikely ever to know, it is well that we can benefit from their actions without it being necessary for the happy bonds of ‘mutual love and affection’ to exist among us.
We only ever know a few of our relatives; cousins twice removed are usually strangers of whom we may know nothing at all. Our circle of friends is also limited, and while our acquaintances are a larger set of people, they are still dwarfed in numbers by the billions on the planet (even the millions in our respective countries’ or even those who live in the same town)...
Smith...focused on this factor in human life and explained how people could be in complex exchange links many intersections long and could still benefit from countless transactions among millions of strangers with whom feelings of ‘mutual love and affection’ were not realistic nor necessary... Adam Smith Was Not Schizophrenic! from Adam Smith's Lost Legacy by Gavin Kennedy] 1:34 PM

Granted that the social is a process of countless transactions. Then, what is the fuel that runs it? [TNM]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Orissa should not miss the bus

[Kotak Mahindra makes debut in Orissa Newindpress - December 15, 2007 BHUBANESWAR: Kotak Mahindra Bank on Friday announced the launch of Orissa operations and inaugurated its first branch in the State on Friday.]
[The real challenges that the United States faces come not from globalization's losers but from its winners, not from yesterday's bombs but from tomorrow's factories... When the history of these times is written, surely the great trend that will dominate the accounts, far larger than the war in Lebanon or the tensions over Iran, will be the rise of China and India and how they reshaped the world... Welcome to the post-American world. The Fearful Superpower By Fareed Zakaria NEWSWEEK ISSUES 2008] 4:29 AM
This is the greatest moment in the history of India and we are living in unprecedented times. Instead of thinking investment and entrepreneurship, some lazy pen-pushers in Orissa are busy inciting people against industrialization and development. Touts have turned leaders overnight by instigating small farmers to protest, and are enjoying their new clout. But if Orissa misses the bus again this time, then who suffers? Who’d take the blame? [TNM]

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lack of freedom

Contrary to the popular notion, the blogosphere is not the place to find free opinion. Many authors and columnists push their theories; various organizations push their agenda, and most serious-seeming outpourings are nothing but adolescent babble. Rarely one finds any well thought out post positing a really fresh approach.

This is not due to lack of creativity, but lack of freedom. Most people are bound to some organization or the other. Although we are a democracy, people are barred from taking part in any kind of political activity or expressing their opinions, as per their service rules. The political sphere, therefore, remains the fiefdom of the unemployed. [TNM]

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Castes and sub-castes as “federation of free nationalities”

Only a person of Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’s stature can alert the city intellectuals, both the Marxist/secular/liberal, and the libertarian variety, not to pretend to wish away the caste system. By highlighting the fact that caste fraternities are not only “building blocks of mass politics” but also instruments of social capital, he is forcing us to think the whole issue anew. [Why intellectuals have no mass base ET 5 Dec, 2007]

If we take the liberty of transposing crudely one of the key ideas that Sri Aurobindo popularized, the castes and the sub-castes can be seen as welcome corporate formations. They can exist as a “federation of free nationalities” both competing and co-operating with each other. [TNM, Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad] 8:13 AM 7:59 AM

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Censoring history

[Referring to the evolution of journalism in India, the chief minister referred to the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi, GK Gokhale, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, saying that they were great mass communicators. He said Gandhiji edited various journals including ‘Indian Opinion’, ‘Young India’ and ‘Harijan’ from 1902 to 1948, while Gokhale put his duty as journalist above his family and Maulana Azad became the editor of Al-Hilal when he was just 13 years of age.]
As a devoted Congressman, Ghulam Nabi Azad dutifully forgets to mention Lal-Bal-Pal, and of course, Sri Aurobindo. [TNM] 11:24 AM

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Break this illogical and distorting order of knowledge dispensation

During his recent visit to India, Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, wrote a feel good piece in The Times of India on November 19, 2007 with the startling caption: Britain As India's Colony [2:06 AM]. Now the West is ready to do business with India. The 123 agreement, itself, signifies that they are even willing to share power. This is a major gain that India has pocketed from Globalization.

But the same degree of leverage has not been achieved in the field of philosophy and social science. Going by the newspaper articles it becomes apparent that India doesn’t exist in the mind of the scholars in the West. The Indian context is never alluded to in sociological analyses. The Veda, for instance, is yet to find a mention in their University syllabi pertaining to Ancient philosophy.

We shall have to break this illogical and distorting order of knowledge dispensation. Savitri Erans have the consent and sanction of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo in this respect. Sri Aurobindo himself was writing in the Bande Mataram a century ago inaugurating such an agenda. Prof. S. K. Maitra, heroically, has sounded the heralds. Wide-ranging writing must commence to win this more difficult war. [TNM] 11:34 PM 2:37 PM

Friday, December 07, 2007

Savitri Era cultural fraternity

[Bhattacharjee, who has been trying to calm tempers by toning down his earlier remarks on the recapture of Nandigram, held fire but expressed concern over divisions in the “cultural world”. “If our cultural world gets bogged down in the quicksand of disunity and mutual, but unnecessary, distrust, it will bring disaster,’’ he said. The Telegraph Front Page > Friday, December 07, 2007]
The Left has assiduously built its “cultural world” over the years to the envy of all other political parties. Savitri Erans must hope to create such a fraternity in the times to come. [TNM]

Majority? Yes and No

  1. The 123 agreement is in a logjam. Karat says that the majority of MPs are against it. [The Hindu]
  2. Chávez concedes defeat in the referendum for constitutional reforms. [Democracy in the Americas]

While the Venezuelan verdict is welcome, the “majority” principle is against the national interest in the Indian context. Here, the leader should ride roughshod over niceties in order to secure a salute from the posterity. [TNM] 5:00 PM

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Canvassing and carnival

Parliament evokes the image of politeness and reasoned debate, while an election rally (or, Lalu's ralla) presents a picture in contrast. Spirited canvassing amidst huge crowds takes the form of a carnival, the performance art of the politician not being devoid of cathartic implications. In deference to Rabelais’ eulogizing of carnivals as alerted by Bakhtin, or Rancière’s viewing of Democracy as an event, it is not easy to question the mode of canvassing as it happens in India, but the way all dirt is whipped up during this period certainly vitiates the atmosphere and blurs vision. Politics need not be a hostage to such roller coaster ride of melodrama. [TNM] trackback 5:25 AM 5:33 AM

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sri Aurobindo, who passed away on this date 57 years back, was an expert on religion

One more year of the Common Era is coming to a close and another round of stock taking is usual. Agreeably, we are living at a time when the human civilization seems to be at its peak, though besetted with concerns like carbon footprint and climate change. Globalization on the one hand, and robotics, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, cognitive psychology, etc. on the other is doing a steady march. Internet has metamorphosed into an unprecedented forum for exchange of ideas.

Writing of books on religion – both, for and against – is spreading like an epidemic. Scientists, journalists, columnists, psychoanalysts, politicians, professors of Political Science, and sundry social scientists and commentators are out with books and they are being read as well as debated avidly. Hundreds of denizens of the blogosphere dutifully read them, report, and recommend. is growing amazingly for this reason.

Inability to recognize the distinctiveness of the extraordinary metaphysical output of Sri Aurobindo as expounded in The Life Divine and Savitri is an utter intellectual failure of the present generation. Not to be agog and astir about such prophetic utterances signifies certain deafness towards the radical and the veridical. This is a peculiar ailment afflicting the elite at the moment. The subliminal planes of our being turn insignificant in the face of the sub-prime crisis.

Sri Aurobindo, who passed away on this date 57 years back, was an expert on religion. There is no better book than The Life Divine on the subject of religion and philosophy. Notion and nature, matter and memory, sleep and dream, rebirth and evolution; the mystery of all knotty questions have been answered to the satisfaction spanning race, religion and culture. For any subject, in all fairness, one should read the expert, and not the layperson.

It is not metaphysics alone. The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have instantiated an obscure and abstruse evolutionary alchemy, the urgency of which needs to be appreciated by the mankind. All our education would be deemed as fruitful if harnessed in broadcasting this epochal imperative. The message is simple, the invitation direct, and the prospectus is in black and white. Time to heal our intellectual infructuity. [TNM]

Monday, December 03, 2007

Our affinity with France

Like the communists nurturing extra-national sympathies earlier for USSR and now for China, or Muslims’ sense of affiliation with UAE or Pakistan; Savitri Erans, too, harbour an affinity with France. French being our “Mother-tongue” we yearn to learn it as much as possible and rue over the fact that the Rues of Puducherry are a vanishing breed. It is difficult to speculate of the role France performs within the EU in the years ahead or the fate of the French language, for that matter, with their economy passing through a rough phase. We continue to be their friends regardless. [TNM]

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have been accused of anti-intellectualism

An idol or an idea is a typal formulation. Clinging to it can be a very satisfying experience but it restricts further exploration or elevation. The significance of evolution, therefore, should be the most abiding concern. The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have been accused of anti-intellectualism but their enterprise, precisely, was to wean away the mind to wider capabilities. The Supramental is much more than a panoptic that our mind can conceive at present. With that transition from the typal to the potential that can we hope the right repairs coming forth. Else, it is a slugfest of inanities. Duh! [TNM]