Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sri Aurobindo never asked for assistance of miracle merchants and loud-mouthed “devotees”

From D. Subbramaniam to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 10 June 2010 18:56 subject Re: The Battle of the Deluded Doctors
Dear Mr. Tusar Mohapatra,
Dr. Raghu is completely missing the point of my observations and comments that I posted on the SEOF on 7th June ‘10.

The point that I was making was that how the heck is Dr. Raghu or anyone for that matter in a position to judge, assess or measure and therefore comment or opine on Sri Aurobindo’s or anybody’s personal experiences if one isn’t in a position to share or comprehend the same personal experiences that have been lived, observed and described?

Thus how can Dr. Raghu, Dr. Truth, Dr. Alok Pandey, Dr. Deshpande or anyone for that matter talk about Yogic Forces, consciousness, the supramental forces, etc., that Sri Aurobindo mentions if one doesn’t even know what these really and exactly mean? I most certainly do not claim to know what these are and therefore choose not to comment on subjects that I am not familiar or competent with. 
Equally I think that it would be reasonable if I were to expect that Dr. Raghu who is equally in no position to comment on Sri Aurobindo's experiences to wisely refrain from judging, assessing, measuring, commenting and opining on whether Sri Aurobindo used Yogic Forces or not and whether they were effective or not.

Dr. Raghu of course may or may not believe what Sri Aurobindo has to say, but the discussion simply ends there. His attempt to prove Sri Aurobindo wrong on such personal and subjective matters only discloses the fallacy of Dr. Raghu’s so-called critical thinking process. 
Dr. Raghu also appears to ignore the fact that Sri Aurobindo did not go around to the various medical associations or societies announcing and recommending the use of Yogic Forces to cure physical ailments or that such practices be taught in medical institutions. Nor did Sri Aurobindo claim in any of his publications, for example pertaining to world history, that he used Yogic Forces to shape and influence the world’s events. 

If Sri Aurobindo chose to try some personal experiments of metaphysical nature and shared some of his personal experiences thereafter, these can only be treated as personal comments or observations, which are of significance to Sri Aurobindo and those who are interested in his work and they do not really concern anybody else. 
It is completely another matter if miracle merchants and loud-mouthed “devotees” such as Dr. Alok Pandey, Dr. Deshpande and the likes derive satisfaction and self-glorification by drum-beating and proclaiming Sri Aurobindo’s achievements and greatness. Sri Aurobindo of course never asked for such assistance and his greatness or achievements do not depend on such individuals or their activities.

Moreover, if people like Dr. Raghu, Dr. Truth and Dr. Nandhivarman feel the urge to go out of their way and cross the limits of reason, critical thinking as well as decency and therefore choose to comment on subjective and personal matters such as Sri Aurobindo’s personal experiences, it is people like Dr. Alok Pandey, Dr. Deshpande and other die-hard “devotees” that are to blame; because it is their exaggerated actions, miracle-mongering and such tamasha as well as the propaganda of Sri Aurobindo’s God-like image that they insist to project and protect that inevitably and justifiably triggers such opposing reactions from other quarters. 
And it is in this very context that I believe and urged that as none of us are entitled to talk about Sri Aurobindo’s personal experiences and observations, we would all be wiser if we would just shut up and mind our business rather than delude ourselves of being in a position to talk about such matters. Best Regards, D. Subbramaniam @ Subbu

1 comment:

  1. First, the legitimacy of an inquiry into the veracity or plausibility of a claim is not restricted or confined to claims published by the claimant. If we have reliable reports that Aurobindo made a claim in conversation with his disciples or devotees, we are entitled to inquire into the veracity or palusibility of his claims.
    In this case, however, we not only have accounts by close and long-standing disciples such as A.B. Purani, Nirodbaran, Dilip Kumar Roy, and others attesting to the fact that Aurobindo made claims about the reality of "yogic force", "hostile forces" and such, but also Aurobindo' own voluminous published correspondence, e.g., "Letters On Yoga", which includes such claims.
    So, D.S.'s attempt to insulate and immunize Aurobindo's claims on "Yogic Force" from scrutiny and criticism fails abjectly.
    D.S. also conflates subjective and objective claims, a confusion common to those enmired or enmeshed in religious "thought" and faith.
    I would have no quarrel or debate with Aurobindo if he were to tell me that he had a dream (as in "I dreamt of drinking rasam last night and its taste was celestial."). A dream is a subjective experience. Hence, it is absurd to attempt to prove or disprove that someone had a dream!
    This is also the case with feelings or emotions. It is absurd to try to disprove that someone had a certain feeling on a certain occasion. Only that person has the authority to state whether he or she had that feeling or emotion because these are subjective experiences.
    On the other hand, claims about the existence of something are TRUTH-CLAIMS and objective claims! These are claims to the effect that something actually exists independently of anyone's experience of it, opinions, feelings or emotions. All such truth-claims, or objective claims, whether expressed in private conversation, affirmd in letters,or published in books are legitimate objects of scrutiny and assessment.
    Anyone who has read even a few pages of Aurobindo's writings should know that he is making truth-claims and not merely expressing his feelings or subjective experiences. In fact, he himself wrote that if his yoga had for its support merely subjective experiences, it would have no foundation and would be a waste of time and effort!!!!
    Since he doesn't seem to have read it, I respectfully refer D.S. to the chapter "The Evolution of the Spiritual Man", in Aurobindo's magnum opus The Life Divine, in which he argues for the veridical nature of spiritual expreriences and rejects the objection that they have no truth-content because they are subjective experiences. Aurobindo argues that they are inner experiences, but that this doesn't make them any less veridical since, subject to certain conditions, they correspond to realities.
    So, "yogic force", in Aurobindo's view, is an object of inner experience, but nevertheless exists and is REAL in just the way gravitational force or electro-magnetic force is REAL.
    If it is real, and it is claimed (by Aurobindo) that it can alter or transform physical or material reality, then we should be able to verify its effects on material or physical reality. And this is exactly the issue which we ought to be investigating instead of trying to prevent such inquiry or investigation by means of irelevant appeals to motives and illogical argument.