Monday, July 28, 2008

How could followers of Adi-Shankara assimilate such criticism? < Monday 28 July, 2008 Write to Nandhi Varman Forward this link

Thavathiru Aurobindo had made fun of Adisankara, and this lady had added her comments to the original criticism. This news flashed when a learned Brahmin, devotee of Ramana Maharishi was having heated debate with a staunch disciple of Aurobindo Ghosh. To find out what was said I quote from the book above mentioned...

How could followers of Adi-Shankara assimilate such criticism? I was wondering why so long they remained silent, but now slowly it becomes evident to me, that a top level media magnate, who happens to be a Brahmin, masterminded the plot to depute a journalist to me, so that I can for sake of Tamil interests, fight out Auroville and Aurobindo Ashram. Years had passed since Adi shankara was ridiculed, but they waited for an atheist to fight for avenging their humiliation.

Coming to the curse hurled upon me for my atheism by a stooge of Ashram Mr.Aju Mukopadyaya, I thought it necessary to quote from Aurobindo Ghosh...

By these words of Aurobindo Ghosh, the pseudo-scholars who get recommendations to grab space in leading dailies, where they conspire to ease out other scholars, thanks to the institutional clout, must realize atheism is not without purpose, Mr. Aju Mukopadyaya.

Then we have to turn towards our Hinduvta friends who hate Christians, and who happily endorsed my remarks against all trustees under Auroville Foundation to be Christians. I am against foreigners dominating Tamil people be it Kashmiri or European. I have to recall the words of Mirra Alfasa, here to drive home the point to Hinduvta brigade...

BJP, VHP, RSS and Mr.Murli Manohar Joshi who thought Auroville as symbol of Hinduvta and had backed the Master Plan to create a Neo Colony, must now realize why Christians flock in Auroville.

Dr. Karan Singh in his visit had green signaled the international city in which majority will be Christians, so that it can become another Vatican. Christians in India had done yeomen service in educating our people, and we respect all of them. But the man who cannot go to Kashmir uses his clout to thrust an international city, which I oppose because it erodes India’s sovereignty and Tamils are made second class citizens in their own soil. After reading the above said article Murli Manohar Joshi’s will regret that they were misled by Dr. Kireet Joshi.

A devotee of Ramana Maharishi made one remark on ashram, which speaks for itself? He chided his friend to quit ashram since only sudhras rule there and no Brahmin could become Trustee? This may be spoken out of caste affiliation or interest but what baffles me is how Brahmins lost the race, they head Indian Rationalists Association, one party of Dravidian movement, and had infiltrated even in BSP. Aurobindo’s master piece is Life Divine, how come Devils rule Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville? Category: Politics Permalink

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Two suicide notes left by Shobharani Das

Sunday 27 July, 2008 Write to Nandhi Varman Forward this link

In the famous Kanchi Kamakoti Madathipathi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal case and J. Jayalalitha cases justice was sought in Courts outside their respective state of residence. Similarly in the suicide case of Shobharani Das [55] an inmate of Aurobindo Ashram, the two suicide notes on left by her side and posted to her son in Orissa, names 8 persons harassing her to commit suicide. This case is pending before the High Court of Madras. Journalists who had reported on daily basis the cases of the two famous persons mentioned above have failed miserably to report what happens in Court rooms, whenever this case comes up. Public who hail the Right to Information Act expect the media to inform them, whoever may be at fault.

Case Status: Pending, Status of CRIMINAL ORIGINAL PETITION 24421 of 2006
Petitioners Advocate: M/S.K.BIJAI SUNDAR, Respondent's Advocate: PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
Last Listed On: No Date Mentioned , Category: Petition under Section 482 Cr.PC

Shobharani Das Story

Devbrat Das, the Petitioner in the Crl. O. P. No. 24421 of 2006 before the Madras High Court is the son of Hare Krishna Das, and the deceased Shobharani Das. His mother late Shobharani Das the deceased in the above case joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry in the year 1982 and she was accepted as a permanent ashramite from the year 1992. His elder sister Swarnalata, aged 40 years also is an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram since 1983. His father Harekrishna Das, has been offering voluntary services in Sri Aurobindo Ashram since 1996 and is residing in a place provided by the Ashram. Shobharani Das (55) an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry was found hanging under mysterious circumstances, in her room no. 43, A.B. House, at No. 33, Dr. Ambedkar Street Kuruchikuppam, Pondicherry-605 001 on 25/02/2004 leaving a suicide note in Oriya language stating that the 8 persons were the cause for her committing suicide.

Devbrat Das came from Orissa to Pondicherry for the cremation of his mother. The police had seized the suicide note of his mother and a similar note addressed to him by post, sent by his mother to Orissa. Initially the case was registered u/s 174 of Cr.P.C. and after the seizure of the suicide notes and recording of statements the case was altered in to Sec. 306 r/w 34 of IPC.

In his petition seeking transfer of this case to any state outside of Puducherry Devbrat Das alleges that he will get not any justice before the Courts at Pondicherry. He is permanent resident at Rourkela at Orissa, and alleges that the Pondicherry Trial Court is very hasty to conduct the trial knowing fully well that important witnesses’ mother tongue being Oriya, they do not know Tamil, English or Hindi and without taking any efforts to appoint a translator the Court has fixed dates for trial, which attitude, he construe and reasonably apprehend that he will not get justice for the death of his mother from Pondicherry Courts. He suspects that he would not get fair and impartial trial for the death of his mother and there is every likelihood of the accused persons escaping from the clutches of law if the trial is allowed to take place at Pondicherry. Hence, he claims it is just and necessary to transfer the case in S.C. No. 30 of 2006 on the file of Assistant Sessions Court at Pondicherry to any other Court in Tamilnadu and pass such other or further Orders as High Court of Madras deems fit and proper in the interests of justice.

Let us await the High Court order and the media of Chennai to be free from Ashram phobia to report what happens in Court when the case is taken up.

N. Nandhivarman, General Secretary, Dravida Peravai
Category: Books Permalink

Saturday, July 26, 2008

When someone is discussing things spiritual, we are not sure whether the Inner Fire is there or not

1 comments: Barindranath Chaki said... Dear Shri Devabrata,

I have read your article and appreciated it on the whole. However, I differ from what you have written on a few points.

First of all, it is about politicians. We cannot, logically and even practically generalise like that. All politicians do not steal money. And when we refer to Sri Aurobindo Ashram in connection with the politicians, we are then stooping somewhat low. Should we bring down the Ashram, the symbol of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, to be referred to in connection with the politicians, who are more or less, from the ignorant un-prepared world? I hope you will agree with me.

Secondly, I refer to something quoted from this your writing:

I have written so much only to say that without the inner fire mere discussions of spiritual matters are useless exercises. It’s no way superior to the discussions that people love to enjoy discussing on various matters in Coffee-houses (like Calcutta Coffee House-the most renowned in India in this matter).

When someone is discussing things spiritual, we are not sure whether the Inner Fire is there or not. Maybe the Fire is there, but we are unable to feel it. We cannot then guarantee that the discussions are futile. Even Sri Aurobindo has said soething very positive in this matter:

An intellectual approach to the highest knowledge, the mind’s possession of it, is an indispensable aid to this movement of Nature in the human being.

I am very writing an article in this matter. Kindly read when I publish it. Please don't mind if I have slightly differed from you. With all the best wishes to you, whom I feel to be a very good soul, already on the Way.

Barin Chaki 22-07-2008 22 July 2008 14:07

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A family that was close to Sri Aurobindo and is an ardent admirer of his global vision and philosophy
Everything is history. All struggles are materials for archives. This is a dismissed case, after 8 years and 5 lawyers one getting government post and quitting and others on their own or at our request handed back papers, and when no one could be engaged after so much money spent, the case was disposed. But the issues it raised are still alive for historians to research...... N. Nandhivarman
1. N. Nandhivarman,
General Secretary, Dravida Peravai, 69, Rangapillai Street, Pondicherry - 605 001
2. D.K. Ramnujam, Ex. M.L.A., 17, Pillayar Koil Street, Thengaithittu,
Pondicherry - 605 004 .... Petitioners Vs. 1. Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust...

5) The petitioner submits that the first petitioner hails form a family of Sri Aurobindo's disciples and has immense interest in the study of the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Divine Mother. The first petitioner therefore has lot of concern over the proper management and administration of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust and in ensuring that the properties of the trust and its incomes are not exploited for personal ends. The second petitioner is a freedom fighter and a social activist concerned about the charitable activities of a trust functionary in Pondicherry soil and its proper use for benefiting local populace and all...

9) The petitioners submit that in the Trust deed created by The Mother, the intention of the trust, the beneficiaries, the maintenance and utilisation of Trust funds and all other connected and incidental matters have been clearly delineated but the Deed of Trust does not contain any provision for removal of Trustees in case of mismanagement, misconduct and misappropriations. The Deed of Trust, the petitioners submit, does not contain any provision for the continuing trustees to oust any trustee even if one of them have committed misappropriation of trust funds or any other breach of trust . No trustee or majority of the trustees have any power to expel any other Trustee. The Deed of Trust does not mention the period for which appointed trustees should hold office. The petitioners submit that if the trustees are to hold office throughout their life time, then there is danger of mismanagement due to their old age incapacity of performing their duties towards the execution of the trust. The petitioners state that the chances of the management indirectly falling into the hands of undesirable and incompetent persons looms large. The lack of accountability, transparency and democracy coupled with the ambiguous provision of the trust deed has resulted in Sri Aurobindo Ashram "falling from grace"...

13) The first Petitioner submits that the first petitioner is a native of Pondicherry and comes from a family that was close to Sri Aurobindo and is an ardent admirer of his global vision and philosophy. Both the petitioners understand that the respondents 2 to 5 are converting to their own benefit the properties of the first respondents trust and income of the said trust. There are also indications that respondents 2 to 5 are entering into shady deals involving sale of the properties of the first respondent trust in which lot of money is being passed under hand to be secreted and pocketed by the respondents 2 to 5 to their own persons. It is therefore just and necessary that the respondents are directed to furnish to the petitioner with particulars as to the properties and the income of the first respondents trust and application of those income in the matter of execution of the trust and also a direction be issued that the accounts of the trust shall be examined and audited for a period of three years prior to the date of this petition. Hence this petition... Dated at Pondicherry this the 24th day of June, 1997.


Why this division? The Aurobindo-Mirra Alfasa samadhi with Aurobindo Ashram, The Matrimandir with Auroville. After all both belongs to the followers of Aurobindo. I am not his follower. I am the follower of Aringnar Anna, wanting to establish Aringnar Anna Rationalist University under Aringnar Anna Foundation. I will not aspire anything within Aurobindo circle. But as rationalist, I could not see why there exists two Trusts one Government controlled Auroville Foundation and one Aurobindo Ashram Trust headed by the President’s chair that is kept vacant.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Government must not impose its bureaucratic whims over the organic growth of Auroville - Tusar N Mohapatra Monday 7 July, 2008

The Government of India and International donors must take note of the words of appreciation my blogs and statements are receiving from the followers of Aurobindo Ghosh. All the mails we got and comments we received had been a source of strength to us. Mr. Tusar N. Mohapatra, a dedicated follower of the Aurobindonian family had posted on june 24 th of 2008 the following comments:

[Tuesday, June 24, 2008 N. Nandhivarman is doing a yeoman’s service for propagation of the Savitri Era Religion [DRAVIDA PERAVAI 23 Jun 08 SAVE AUROVILLE FROM FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES] By nandhivarman ]
N. Nandhivarman is doing a yeoman’s service to the evolutionary revolution that was launched by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. By turning the searchlights upon Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the Auroville, he is generating a lot of awareness as well as curiosity among the public. It is good for the hospitality industry in Puducherry and also for the propagation of Savitri Era Religion. If this nexus can work more openly and systematically, then we shall really be able to take the idea of Human Unity very far. All kinds of issues besetting a globalized world will look forward to a Puducherry rendezvous for their solution. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 10:40 AM 0 comments Links Tuesday, June 24, 2008

But I must place before the world his views much before I started the recent open debate on Auroville. Though I had spoken against Auroville in the World Athiests Conference of 2005 and had written in Sinthanaiyalan Pongal issue of 2005, there had been voices within Aurobindonian family to show the door to the Ex-Maharaja of Kashmir Dr. Karan Singh, who like absentee landlord manages Auroville. Also other demands raised by Tusar N. Mohapatra are given in his words below including the date, year of those demands.

Sunday, July 22, 2007 A resident of Auroville should become the President of Auroville The President of India, the Prime Minister, and the members of his Cabinet reside in India. The Chief Minister of Puducherry is a resident of the State. But most of the persons nominated to the Governing Board of The Auroville Foundation are not residents of Auroville. This is untenable; they must resign forthwith. A resident of Auroville should become the President of Auroville. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 9:44 AM 1 comments Links

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 They have no business to continue in such positions [For first time, govt to choose IIM directors The Times of India 18 Jul 2007 MUMBAI: This could be the final blow to the long-held autonomy of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).]

Are the 5 nominated members of The International Advisory Council of the The Auroville Foundation well versed with the teachings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo? If not, they have no business to continue in such positions. There are lot many others among the devotees with records of life long dedication to the cause of the Life Divine. The Government must not impose its bureaucratic whims over the organic growth of Auroville. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 6:39 PM 1 comments Links

Let me quote from my article in Voice of Voiceless 2006 issue
N. Nandhivarman, General Secretary, Dravida Peravai Category: Politics Permalink

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sri Aurobindo warned against the events that can only excite the Vital, sub-rational humanity

Auroville AUROVILLE: Life in Auroville from the spiritual point of view.
« Auroville: how some events in the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium follow Sri Aurobindo’s guidelines
About Bharat Nivas and Sri Aurobindo Auditorium - Auroville

Another issue of AV Today -
In 1970, In the record of his meeting with The Mother, Prem wrote that “The Mother made a statement that this was the reason why She wanted the Indian Pavilion to be the first to be built, as India was the one country which had an unbroken spiritual heritage and one which could act as an example for the other pavilions to follow.”
The original design of Bharat Nivas was for an auditorium, a restaurant, a school of linguistics, a guest house and pavilions for the different states of India . The Mother wanted the Government of India to provide the funds for building the Pavilion. A grant of Rs 90 lakhs was received. Unfortunately, this money was not used for the purpose for which it was granted and the buildings that had begun – the auditorium, the restaurant and three circular state pavilions – remained unfinished.

AV Today describes Auroville’s first ever Festival of Dance on March 30th in the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium:
a wonderful evening inclusive of everything from classical Indian dances(???) to Spanish, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, Afro-funk and improvisational modern dance plus freestyle aerobics, all choreographed in Auroville, and performed by more than 15 groups - around 100 dancers!”

Since AV Today boldly ented this article with “Shiva himself, as Lord of the Dance, seemed to make His presence felt among us”, one would imagine that there were indeed wonderful Bharatanatyam dancers there. In reality, there was… 1: a Canadian student, who dances Bharatanatyam as well as an average Japanese chef can dance English ballet. Did it make Nataraja, the Lord of the Cosmic dance proud? Or did it make him turn his face away?

Was this event in the Pavilion of India indeed highlighting the spiritual values of the ancient Indian culture? Well, Sri Aurobindo warned against the events that can only excite the Vital, sub-rational humanity:

As to the performers, their experience seems well summed up by one of the participants: “We had the tremendous fun of working with our fellow performers towards a shared common goal, and the joy of achieving it after so many high energy practice sessions and so much fun and laughter. The sense of being a closely knit team and of succeeding together was, for those of us who had never done anything like it before, just fantastic, really euphoric, a memory to treasure all our lives. In fact I know from talking with others that we remained on a ‘high’ for days afterwards as a result of what we experienced.
Tags: This entry was posted on July 5, 2008 at 2:25 pm and is filed under Auroville, sri Aurobindo.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Many Indian and non-Indian Aurovilians assert that Auroville’s social environment is “Western”

Auroville About the culture and the lack of it in Auroville: what it is supposed to be and what it is now. Auroville life through the mirror of Shanti Pillai’s outrageous dissertations July 3, 2008
Filed under:
auroville — auroville2 @ 3:30 pm Tags: , ,

Shanti Pillai’s dissertation is full of outragous revelations and startling discoveries that bring out the practices that she would never be allowed to publish in the politically correct AV Today.
Here, we will focus on the place of the Indian culture in Auroville. We will start with the quotes from Shanti’s dissertation and then will analyze and comment on these statements.
Shanti Pillai ( impressions were that
“The feeling of disillusionment over the gap between Auroville’s ideals and its reality is not uncommon in Auroville, although like other ambivalences its is not something that people tend to express opently”
She quotes Rajika:
Westerners are barbarians. They still are in terms of an inner culture. They have no inner culture. Even now any skin curls with this barbarism, this economic barbarism that the Indians are now infected with totally. Indians are becoming barbaric too. In spirit we are not. In spirit we are a highly developed culture. We have lost it”
For example, once when I explained to an informant that I was interested in the ways in which Aurovilians were seeking to formulate a new kind of culture, the person expressed doubt about the validity of my question, exclaiming, “Well, this is not the place to look at in that way, because the idea of culture belongs to the old world and we are trying to go beyond it.
While they (Auroville’s youth) may be growing up in India, many do not feel much connection to the surrounding culture, nor do they necessarily feel at home when visiting parents’ native countries. Recreations for westernized young people are relatively few in the region, although typical diversions such as drugs and alcohol are readily available.
Unlike the Ashram, where its inmates are expected to do the Integral Yoga, the Mother stated that there is no such a requirement of Auroville’s residents: they were only expected to achieve some harmonious co-existence. Why such minimalist expectations? The Mother stated that most of Aurovilians represented inferior humanity and were incapable of doing any yoga at all.
One of the salient features of life in Auroville is the meeting and/or collision of elements of local and national Indian culture with Euro-American traditions and practices. Many Indian and non-Indian Aurovilians assert that Auroville’s social environment is “Western”, in spite of its geographic locations and the fact that the largest percentage of its population is from India.
There are both Indian and Western Aurovilians who complain that the atmosphere in the community has become too “Westernized”, offering as evidence that many Aurovilians know little about Indian customs, traditions or languages.
Shanti describes her Bharatanatyam experiences (comments below):
I made frequent trips to Chennai, where I lived and studied with my bharatanatyam guru (Nandini Ramani. Shanti learnt under Priyamvada Sankar and had an arangetram in 2005 in NY)… Moving between the elite cultural scene of the big city and impoverished, rural Tamil Nadu felt like moving between two different worlds, even as both of these worlds together constitute “Tamil culture”
When we called Nandini Ramani for comments, she had a hard time remembering who Shanti Pillai is. She said, “There are many foreigners, always beginners, who come to learn a few simple bits and pieces of Bharatanatyam, and then open their own schools and present themselves as my students”.
“Other dancers took it upon themselves to perform publicly as part of their yoga, meaning performing was something to be done with consciousness. Some people expressed wanting to be mindful that the true spectator for the event was the Mother. Interestingly, this view of the dance converged with the ideas about dance in India, which grew out of the devadasis tradition in which a special class of women performed songs, simple dances and ritual gestures in front of temple deities.”
The “simple dances” refers to is the dances Shanti was taught by Nandini Ramani. Balasaraswathi could not perform any of the complex 108 dance movements, karanas, that are depicted in the Chidambaram temple, and were performed by the temple dancers, devadasis.
As you see from the video, the dance is indeed very primitive: the American attention span is too short to remember anything more complex. Shanti can win the prize as the Most Clumsy and Uncouth Bharatanatyam Dancer. There is a proof that Shanti’s presence in this so-called “elite cultural scene” did not add any wisdom to the impoverished American brain, who was wondering how to introduce herself, as an Indian or as an American. A cursory glance at her Bharatanatyam arangetram videos reveals a complete lack of aesthesis inherent in most South Indian women (Natya Shastra mentions that the graceful style, kaisiki, was only found in South Indian women): the American culture is not famous for its beauty and for its graceful women.
Shanti does not seem to be aware of the fact that, in Orissa as well as in Andhra Pradesh, for centuries the Odissi and kuchipudi dancers were exclusively… men. Is this something that Nandini Ramani forgot to tell the young American professor of Asian studies at Sarah Lawrence College, the author of “Imperial Conversations Indo-Britons and the Architecture of South India” selling for £39.99? Hmmmm… The abysmal levels of the USA academics is obvious!
On we read,
Relatively few Aurovilians express much interest in cultural practices of the region, including for the wealth of “high cultural” arts such as music and dance to be found in abundance in nearby Chennai. With the exception of some occasional programs of childrens’ dance, events showcasting local and visiting artists of either classical or folk traditions are few. Although some of the community’s own Tamil residents have for years discussed the aspiration for a Tamil heritage center, to date no substantive efforts either to construct a facility or to organize regular cultural programs or workshops have materialized.
Some Tamil Aurovilians express feeling a sense of loss of cultural identity. Interacting with an environment that is ostensibly Western, some Tamil people have a tendency to forget the value of traditional practices…

So far, there is little interest in Tamil culture in Auroville. Sporadically, Tamil cultural events are organized, such as Tamil New Year and Deepavali, with dinner and fireworks. While such activities are well attended by Tamils and Westerners, a majority of Tamil Aurovilians may not participate. As for classical or folk arts, apart from some bharatanatyam dance performances, surprisingly few events are organised that express the incredible richness of Tamil culture. Most Tamil Aurovilians interviewed acknowledge that they have only little knowledge about their own literature and art and therefore do not or only marginally contribute to the organization of cultural events. Many Westerners, on the other hand, do not seem overtly interested to learn about Tamil tradition or language. In this context it is not surprising that plans for a Tamil Heritage Centre remain unfulfilled.
In asking Tamil Aurovilians to describe the difficulties they experience in Auroville, the terms ‘racism’ and ‘discrimination’ are often used as an emotionally charged way of describing the treatment they sometimes encounter. Few people reported of incidents of physical violence, but many gave examples of subtle forms of perceived discrimination.

Savitri was performed on a proscenium stage with dancers with varying levels of training and performance experience. The movement vocabulary reflected a heavy influence of Jose Limon whose technique Paulo had trained in. In short, in modern dance formal terms, there was nothing new going on. But what was different than most modern dance presentations was the attitude with which the dance was performed. When I spoke to some of the participants after the show, they related that they had struggled throughout with skepticisms about whether they wanted to perform at all, as they were concerned that to display the work before an audience would be an indulgence of the “ego”.
And the indulgence of the ego it was: the dancers made a laughing stock out of themselves!
While several Tamilians are active members of the community and circulate amongst many of its circles, outside of work many do socialize primarily with other Tamil Aurovilians or else non-Aurovilian family members. This is hardly surprising, given that most other Aurovilians do not speak Tamil and relatively few express interest in local culture.
As for favorite pastimes, weekend parties, complete with drinking and techno and hip-hop music, are a common occurrence.
Shanti presents herself as a successful business analyst: :
Worldly Moves: The Changing Political Economy of a South Indian Classical Dance

I will explore the implications that the international production and performance of the South Indian classical dance, bharatanatyam, have for local producers in Chennai, India, the dance’s traditional home. My focus will be on the changing political economy of bharatanatyam with an eye to how artistic merit and opportunities to perform in India are increasingly dependent upon a dancer’s access to overseas markets and international cultural brokers. I will secondarily consider how local performers, producers and critics feel about these changes and their often gloomy outlook on the future quality of the dance form. This case study demonstrates that the globalization of local traditions does not necessarily translate into a newly invigorated life for those practices and can exacerbate the social, economic, and political inequalities amongst practitioners. Moreover, worldwide performance does not necessarily imply mutual understanding between traditional practitioners and those who make use of their teachings in other places.
Kinesthetics relate to naturalized cultural and cosmological orientations. More often than not, those who are culturally disposed to move in certain ways from any early age are not fully conscious of these connections
In other words, Shanti confesses that she is successful is selling her clumsy “bharatanatyam’ in New York and elsewhere.
Francois Gautier’s quote:
Many Aurovilians had a “blockage” against spirituality: “There is a Western fear of the outer forms of spirituality”
Shanti reveals:
Indians themselves needed to be educated about the value of Indian culture. Andre stated: “Even here in India there are many people who don’t know so much what is India, even the Indian people”.
“she made the observation that people (in Auroville) often treated spaces as if they belonged to them alone”
“some collective areas are “privatized””
I propose that a concept of “performance” provides a useful model for thinking about the relationship between Auroville’s official ideals and its daily life. Focussing on actual practices, rather than individual or group discourses about them, reveals a series of contradictions which are key to understanding how the Auroville community functions. Moverover, reading and interpreting the teachings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, and putting their words into practice – that is performing their philosophy – are central to the project of formulating a sense of community and identity. Auroville - a special Bharatanatyam presentation in SAWCHU July 1, 2008 AUROVILLE UNDER SCANNER

Shanti Pillai
Courses: Global Theatre: China, Japan, and India, Performance Practices of Global Youth Cultures
B.A., Stanford University. M.A., University of California-Berkeley. Ph.D., New York University. Special interests include the performance practices of Asia and Latin America, globalization and culture, Western perceptions of India and practice of Indian “spirituality,” and performance theory; visiting professor at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Ecuador, 1997-99; director of the South India Term Abroad (SITA) Program, 2003; recipient of American Institute of Indian Studies fellowship for dissertation research; Bhara-tanatyam performer and teacher; resident director of SLC in Cuba, 2006. SLC, 2003-

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I was privileged to spend my first seven years at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry

Nachiketa and India Francois Gautier The Pioneer Date: May 14, 2003

Nachiketa stands for forthrightness, courage, and dedication to truth, which should be the hallmark of any journalist worth his salt. I would like to believe that my quest in India has been - even in a small degree - like Nachiketa’s: “What is the real India, behind the cliches? What does India stand for? What can I do to help this great country?

I discovered India by living it from within. I was privileged to spend my first seven years at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, where I met many times the Mother and read Sri Aurobindo’s works. Sri Aurobindo, India’s great revolutionary, philosopher, poet and yogi, has been the visible and invisible guidance behind my work.

Today, I am also indebted to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living, because he embodies the ancient rishi’s dedication to his country: His work is not only spirituality, but also to bring God into all realms of life, including politics, because in ancient India the rishis were also advisers to kings.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sri Aurobindo’s fundamental postulate is that only that which is involved can evolve

Organiser Home Page: 11/36 Home > 2008 Issues > July 06, 2008
Think it Over
Einstein and Aurobindo: Convergence of thoughts By M.S.N. Menon

Einstein was no conventional theist. John Brooke, Emeritus Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, says: “Like many great scientists of the past, he (Einstein) is rather quirky about religion and not always consistent from one period to another.” ...

What then is God to Einstein? The “superior reasoning power”. Aurobindo calls it “super consciousness.” I must confess I am satisfied with this definition. It is the closest that any Western thinker has come to the Hindu idea of Advaita. Here is convergence of East and West. Have I ever felt the need to give this “superior reasoning power” a human shape? No. Never. I am more comfortable with a logical power, not one whimsical or arbitrary. Or, one who can be bought.

Aurobindo did not associate spirituality with the next world. His “kingdom of God” is here on earth. And, above all, the evolution of a new divine race is to take place here on earth. (The Human Cycle)

The central theme of the “Human Cycle” is the progressive divination of the human race. To Aurobindo, the end and beginning of all development is the spirit. Evolution began with the spirit and ends with its unfolding.

“All development is the unfolding of the spirit,” he says. And as it unfolds, the consciousness expands. Man’s future evolution has thus to come from the growth of his consciousness. And “the emergence of a high consciousness has to come from the freedom of consciousness”, he says. “If the spirit,” he warns “is stuck to some fixed mental idea or system of religious cult, then the emergence of a higher consciousness is not possible.”

Which is why all religions based on books—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—are stuck to their books. They cannot go beyond them. It is Aurobindo’s fundamental postulate that only that which is involved can evolve. He says: “If it be true that the Absolute is involved in matter, then that Absolute must ultimately manifest itself through evolution as consciousness.” (The Life Divine).

It is this “consciousness”, this “intelligence”, this “superior reasoning power” that Krishna talks about in the Gita. He says: “At the end of the night of time, Call things return to my nature...” But when the new day of time begins, Krishna says, “I bring them into light.” This process rolls around in the circle of time. Time is cyclic to the Hindu. It is linear to the West. But on this later.


How will belief evolve next? from ~C4Chaos by ~C4Chaos
Here's a short and insightful post from Deepak Chopra & Family.

"How will belief evolve next? Maybe these believing atheists are showing us the way, along with Einstein, beyond a personal God on to the shores of eternity. Einstein had his sights set on a secular spirituality that, he said, was most closely approximated by Buddhism. He believed that the universe contained a deepest layer of reality that couldn't be rationally comprehended but only witnessed with awe and wonder. He famously said that great discoveries in science need this sense of wonder before the infinite. To me, that implies a shift in consciousness. The rational mind cannot go beyond words and concepts, but consciousness can expand within itself without limits. Whether accidentally or by intent, I hope at least a handful of believing atheists have set out on the journey that begins with the will to believe and ends beyond images, even beyond thought itself." [read more]

Makes sense to me.

Sri Anirvan was proficient in the Vedas and Buddhism, poetry, nuclear science. He translated The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo

These are the memories of people who knew or had met the great saint Sri Anirvan who lived 1896 to 1978. He was a man of vast learning and interests, an M.A., a linguist, proficient in the Vedas and Buddhism, poetry, nuclear science. He wrote many books, articles and poetry. He translated The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh into Bangla. His book Vedamimangsa got the Rabindra Award. Anirvan called himself a simple Baul and preached the ideals of humanity.
Welcome! Let us spread the beauty of the loving wisdom of Sri Anirvan.

Honoured Guest, I am so happy to welcome you to this forum of sharing our experiences of the great Sri Anirvan.My aim is to spread the beatific aura of Sri Anirvan, and to make his simple yet beautiful teachings known.If you knew or have met the saint Sri Anirvan, I invite you most warmly to share your memories of Sri Anirvan. If you have letters, other writings, and/or photographs, please contact Mrinalini, so we can put them on this site. These are all prasad and blessings of the great saint to bring the miracle of his serene wisdom into our lives. Please help to make this site grow so that anyone who reads the posts and other writings may be enriched and grow in spirituality. May the warmth of Sri Anirvan's love always be with us. Mrinalini

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 Please tell your memories of Sri Anirvan
Dear friends, We call upon all Sri Anirvan's disciples and followers and those who knew him. We call upon people whom Sri Anirvan taught at Allahabad. People who met Sri Anirvan at Kasardevi near Almora, where Sri Anirvan lived for some time. We call upon disciples of Brahmachari Sri SatyaDev at the Sadhan Samar Karyalaya in CCU. Sri Anirvan had amicable correspondence with Sri SatyaDev. Most important are his Buddhist contacts in Kashi. We call upon all these people to come forward and tell of their experiences of this pure and noble saint, Sri Anirvan. Our lives will be greatly enriched thereby and blessed. Please click on the word COMMENTS after a post, in order to write your memories or comment. Gratefully, Mrinalini
Posted by Mrinalini at 9:10 PM