Re: Competing Visions of History in Internal Islamic Discourse and Islamic-Western Dialogue - ABDULLAHI A. AN-NA'IM Rich Thu 13 Nov 2008 03:57 PM PST "history will leave its cynical gesture on the enthusiastic and vulgar destruction of the work of the most clear-thinking and socially conscious spiritual teacher of all times by those claiming to be his saviors." -- Debashish
excellent summary! My next question is upon whose death were these "saviors" anointed as spokespersons for Sri Aurobindo? Who exactly gave Alok, Ananda, Kittu, Sachidananda, Sraddhalu or Geetanjali Bhattacharya - the person who filed the court case against the book - the authority to self-promote themselves as guardians of Sri Aurobindo's legacy or as gurus in an imagined sampradaya?
Re: Competing Visions of History in Internal Islamic Discourse and Islamic-Western Dialogue - ABDULLAHI A. AN-NA'IM Angiras Wed 12 Nov 2008 11:26 PM PST
A crucial point in An-Na'im's fascinating and insightful article is the hegemony of the "center" over the "peripheries" as defined in terms of the historical origins of Islam. Pondicherry is the Mecca of the Integral Yoga community. The question is: does this make Sri Aurobindo the property of the Ashram and India, or does he belong to the world? The attempt by defenders of the faith in Pondicherry to seize control of the representation of Sri Aurobindo on the other side of the globe resembles the hijacking of Islam by the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia...
Taking one or two statements she made in particular situations more than half a century ago and using them as ammunition in a campaign of character assassination and book banning is part of a move by a Pondicherry-based group with a Wahhabi-like mentality to assert its hegemony over the worldwide Integral Yoga community.
Re: Competing Visions of History in Internal Islamic Discourse and Islamic-Western Dialogue - ABDULLAHI A. AN-NA'IM Debashish Thu 13 Nov 2008 07:30 PM PST
You have forgotten at least one - sciy's own (until too recently) R.Y. Deshpande, who is now on an "America tour" to spread the good word; but then, you can reduce one to compensate - Geetanjali Bhattacharya, who is just a proxy, a faithful tabula rasa for one of those you have mentioned.
Who anointed these spokespersons? Let's ask their disciples. Where to find these disciples, you ask? That shouldn't be difficult. Put all the Aurobindonians in one room, take a head count, then ask those who are not their disciples to raise their hands. It shouldn't take a minute to do the math.
How could they be wrong? It's a movement of jah people, as Bob Marley would say. They say sit and we sit. They say get up and we get up. They say eat and we eat. They say sign and we sign. And now, how exciting, they say flex your muscles, and that too, in the name of the Lord!
They teach us Savitri, Life Divine, even Science and Spirituality, Technology of Consciousness. They assure us that we are "children of the Mother," and the "hero warriors" that she wants us to be. They live in the psychic being and receive intuitions from the supermind (though out of modesty they only claim overmind). And on top of this, they have shown us all the unmistakable quotes. They are the instruments, nay the embodiments. How could X-da and Y-da and Z-da be wrong? They are the representatives of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Re: Competing Visions of History in Internal Islamic Discourse and Islamic-Western Dialogue - ABDULLAHI A. AN-NA'IM koantum Thu 13 Nov 2008 10:05 PM PST Our "innocent bystander" TNM drew my attention to this:
SACAR is NOT an institution of religious education. It is important to emphasize that the philosophy and thought of Sri Aurobindo in which SACAR specialises is NOT a religion. This integral thought addresses the global and perennial questions of the nature and significance of existence and human life in a scholarly manner.
Need I mention that one of the aforesaid rabble rousers is the director of SACAR? Very scholarly indeed!
Re: Competing Visions of History in Internal Islamic Discourse and Islamic-Western Dialogue - ABDULLAHI A. AN-NA'IM Dave Fri 14 Nov 2008 10:35 AM PST That is funny!
I have always wondered why these so called luminaries of the Ashram visit us here. One would think that they would find fullness in their "self-effulgence" there. If not then atleast remain in the atmoshpere of SA and the samadhi of which they "talk" incessantly. Yes they "talk" about overmind/supermind so glibly, it is quite astonishing. I wonder if they have risen to the heights beyond what the 747 boeing has taken them and for which they do not even care to pay!
If the Indians are naive to "fall" at their feet, we are no less gullible in inviting them and bequeathing upon them our spiritual garden of Eden, and worse, serving and feeding their spiritual ego. We have seen one too many of them and their holiness is no better than their holy-mess. They should be tried for spiritual crimes!
Even though IMO, the manner of SA's depiction in the book by someone who has lived there for decades is intriguing and puzzling to say the least and while I differ with your defense, these so called "spiritual illuminates" have been belligerent. Their stance seems to be presumptious as though they were the custodians of the truth that SA has brought down. When SA wrote that his life was not on the surface for men to see, he surely did not exclude them.
The fact is neither you nor them can lay claim to an inerrant knowledge of the Truth as it relates to SA simply because he was too complex an individual and even more as a spiritual personage. The constant harangue on both sides only fuels the frenzy in India which seems to have taken an ugly violent turn. These savants in India ought to tone it down a bit and realize that they are unconsciously feeding the mob mentality there. Dave.D
Re: reconciliation, expectation, outcome Debashish Wed 03 Dec 2008 12:22 AM PST
Q: How'd we all end up in this mess?
A: We ended up in this mess because over the years "the religion" gradually got hold of us, till we began to believe that "the religion" was "the force field." We ended up in this mess because a few among us understood the properties of "the religion" and found out how easy it was to show everyone who are "the bosses." Problem is, they thought everyone was under "the force field" but it turned out, this was not the case. Then it got messy.
Q: What part do we play in resolving it?
A: Dissolve the black magic of "the force field," shake off the disease of "the religion," let everyone see the imposture of those who tried to foist themselves as "the bosses," create discursive conditions under which "the religion" can't sneak up on us again.
"Religious fundamentalism" has objective behaviors associated with it. Dividing the world into categories of "good" and "evil" based on certain mental conventions and beliefs is one such behavior. Such people are at large in the world and represent a danger to human security. The author of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo has already been impacted by the violence associated with such behaviors. I agree that there may be subjective shadowiness in the use of such terms, but that could be said about anything. "Asura," on the other hand, has no objective behavior for its definition - it is a purely subjective judgement. "Healthy debate" has already been pre-empted by such subjective judgements made by people exhibiting the said objective behaviors. DB Reply
I would like to add to what I wrote in the previous post re. "religious fundamentalism" - Not only are such people at large, but in spite of whatever efforts to bring this critique to the attention of the IY community, such critiques have made hardly a dent in their popularity. They continue to give metaphysical "lecture series" at the Sri Aurobindo Society, Savitri Bhavan, SACAR, Centers abroad and AUM conferences. What this speaks of equally if not more, is the bankruptcy of discrimination and consciousness at large in this community. Reply
Being very familiar with the way things work in Las Vegas, I can tell you that there is no casino entirely free from the "mob's action". The institutions themselves in fact are implicitly corrupt. Now what was orchestrated against PH was a form of mob thuggery, an attempt to run him out of town, using strong arm tactics and the fact that the people associated with the institutions and events you mention, continue to kowtow to the ring leaders who instigated the denunciations and violence does suggest their complicity in these "mob actions" and not only speaks to the bankruptcy of discrimination and consciousness at large in this community, but also speaks to the moral bankruptcy of these institutions as well Reply
Regards recent comments on the intellectual/moral bankruptcy of IY Institutions this years 2009 AUM conference features its main speakers as Alok Pandey and Sraddhalu Ranade http://www.aum2009.com/speakers.html
What their glowing bios in the above link fail to tell is that these are two of the main ringleaders of the ex-communication movement against the author of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, and certainly were as responsible as anyone for the escalation of the unfortunate events that followed on their inappropriate actions. I would hope those thinking to attend this conference, who are at all sympathetic to the plight of the author of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo would do their due diligence before reserving a slot at this event. Reply