Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When such glorious thrivers try to trash the 1950-51 edition of Savitri

Mirror of Tomorrow Re: Of the sly and insidious Method ... let us get down to the specifics by RY Deshpande on Wed 31 Mar 2010 02:52 AM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link

We need not pay much attention to the continuing Satheesh-Tusar imbecility, nor need it surprise us if it should lug along with it a set of other imbecilities. It seems the whole thing is just unstoppable, perhaps because such blogs commercially thrive only on controversies. If there are no contents, if there are no specifics the quickest and the wisest thing to do is to trash them. But when such glorious thrivers try to trash the 1950-51 edition of Savitri itself, the one which practically came out during the time of the author himself, then the matters become serious. In such circumstances it will be wrong to keep ascetically quiet, quiet by simply saying that the Master knows how to take care of such inanities, such absurdities, that he doesn’t need defence from the scrawny, we the poor earthlings. It might even be suggested that it would be better to avoid it lest one is dubbed, as does the usual cliché go, an egoist.

Yet a question can puzzle one, as from where could such nonsensicalities emanate at all. Could it be that these are coming from some disgraceful office or foundation named Satheesh-Tusar Absurdity where people do not look for facts, where people have scant regard for facts? In any case, it definitely appears to be a place where people do not read things or, if at all they do, they show little capacity to understand things. But the funny stuff is, they even pose funnier questions, for instance the one as follows: Shouldn't one's opinions and views on the editing of Savitri be based on the literature published and offered by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram? But, to say the least, this is astounding, astounding definitely in the context of the latest edition of Savitri. If one has gone through the published literature, one wouldn’t look for an answer elsewhere, one wouldn’t be “intrigued” at all, one wouldn’t be asking why “fuss” is being made only with regard to the 1993 edition.

But imagine how preposterous this very question or statement or proposition in its generality can be! certainly in its delocalized context! Shouldn't one's opinions and views be based on the literature published and offered? The underlying assumption is the authenticity of the offered and published literature. Wouldn’t that itself come into question? Look for a moment at the notorious The Lives of Sri Aurobindo with this kind of stipulation in mind. If the Ashram has given permission—we do not know with what sort of stipulations or restrictions or boundary conditions—to use its material and its facilities for a book which misrepresents, nay falsifies, Sri Aurobindo’s work, if the vast amount of unpublished material has been used without explicit permission, then we have to start rethinking about the whole business, of the Ashram giving permission, and the “literature published and offered” by it. And remember the Darshan message for the 21 February 2010 issued by the Ashram. Will the Ashram come out and categorically say that it has nothing to do with the Lives, or else the opposite? make an open statement to either effect? And here is the Absurdity Foundation telling us to keep shut. Add to that the terrible enterprise of the Lives engaged in telling us that Savitri is a “fictional creation”. If it is so, then one really wonders why the intelligent editors should have spent years and years in bringing out this Revised Edition. Does a fiction deserve it, demand it? But we shall see it in more detail separately.

RYD’s sly and insidious Method of sowing Doubts in People’s Minds—by S Satheesh. Comment posted by: RY Deshpande. Alok Pandey sends the following for posting as his comment:

You may make lemonades out of lemons thrown at you; you may also build a temple out of stones thrown at you or even simply brush them aside as few inevitable thorns that are bound to come each one's way when you cross the path or engage in the battle of the future. Even death means nothing to one whose life is given to love and serve the Lord.

But what do you do with the stones that are thrown at the Lord Himself? .....practice dignified silence and preach the virtues of inaction! Or take sannyasa and run away leaving the field to all that is hostile and denies the Light ....or wash one's hands and keep them clean of all personal stain and be popular among fools, hailed as the paragon of virtues and kindness? But the very same virtues collapse at the slightest personal grudge, a very convenient virtuosity one must say, a highly preferential one to boot. Or an inversion of values and thereby an adharma, a falsehood and an untruth since it places a wrong stress on things, uses spiritual justifications for personal weakness, ego preferences and cowardice.

And how does one decide what is true and what is false,—by votes, by personal liking, making truth the hand-maid of the common and the vulgar!! By that yardstick MJ's music and MF's art must be the truest form of aesthetics, and any criticism of it a blasphemy. Why not close one's eyes at MF's vulgarity and plunge into a personal silence of nirvana, or whatever else. Sure, but what if MJ stays next door and is part of the family, and so is MF, and every few years you find at your door-steps the figure of a goddess engaged in bestiality. We must love him, even sympathise with him, justify him! Sure, till he paints your own figure disfigured,—right? Then you react and bring the rooftops down as if the whole world is in danger. So much for the professed neutrality and the silence.

What does one do when one feels strongly about something, remain quiet and go about your days as if dumb and mute. Then the Lord of Kurukshetra was quite wrong and Buddha the final word of spiritual awakening. And yet his silence speaks and acts more powerfully than words. The Taliban destroys a statue of Bamiyan Buddha and within weeks a horde of army floods its plains driving out the men who defiled and disfigured the image into the very hills that once carried the mighty figure. Sometimes it is better even for the person to speak and stay the wheels than to stay silent.

There is indeed a silence of the strong and the wise, a silence of the sage and the seer, but there is also the silence of the weak and the cowardly, a silence of the fearful and of ominous death, a silence of the crafty politician and the diplomat, a silence of the hypocrite who whispers different things at different times to different people. There is also the silence of the mithyācāri who feels but would not speak up since he is scared to express, or is full of weakness.

So too, there is a speech born of the golden tongue of sacrifice, descending right from the home of silence itself. This speech, even when it carries the power to awaken or to destroy an entire nation, like the battle cry of Joan of Arc, or drive the Dasyus from their dark den exposing their designs like the word of Rishi Angirasa and Agastya, has not a tinge of hatred or anything low in it. Even in great destruction it sees the hand of God, the architect who pulls down the old tables to build anew. It is full of peace and love and joy even when armed with the flame of truth and the sword of faith and the strength of the gods. Who can say that the lion's roar is less divine than the cuckoo's cry or the rustle of leaves. Sometimes when the whisper of the winds goes ignored, then the gods speak the language of the storm and the thunder. The question is: are we ready at least to listen, or do we simply wait for one blow, and then another, blaming others? A most convenient way to remain blind to the real issues is this one.

The real issue is neither the court cases nor the internet blogs, but the book written by one Mr PH who has stolen the material entrusted to him and misused the trust placed upon him for furthering his personal ambition; and worse still to malign the very center and core of the fount of Life and Love in which he along with many others dwell and breathe. To accept this is to accept anything and everything, for all else derives from it. What value does anyone of us have except for Him? What is the worth of any of us without Him? Who would care if after this, any person or institution is disfigured, criticized, or insulted, since if this can be condoned then all can be condoned. Is this the fall-out of the silence so difficult to see?

Silence and speech, inaction and action, impersonality and personality are not opposites and mutually exclusive. They complement and fulfill each other. Slyness is not in speaking out what one truly believes to be true and feels strongly about it. It is straightforwardness, frankness, fearlessness, a practice of truth. Slyness is rather to speak one thing while think another, to do things such as collecting material on someone's life with diabolic motives, to be ungrateful to the hand that feeds you, to be disloyal and unfaithful, to please men so that they may praise and please you, to deceive with words and to deceive with silence, to steal what is entrusted to you or let it be stolen and turn a blind eye to the thief because he is close to you and you want to please him or keep him happy. All this is slyness or perhaps even something worse.

Still, let those who wish to practice silence, and also blindness, and act as deaf and mute do so, it is their dharma and their sincerity and none can question it. But, also, let those who wish to serve through speech and use it as an instrument of love and service, let them do so. The truth is known by the Divine in the heart and if one is sincere and truthful and honest in whatever one does,—whether in silence or in speech then the Divine who knows all things will surely make one grow towards Him and fill him with joy and closeness and peace and illumination that come from the inner contact with the Divine. All the rest is mere sophistry of the mind that is an expert at the art of self-deception, both through silence and through speech.

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