Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rise above personal beliefs in order to seek a harmonious integration and synthesis

from aurosatya vrata to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 11 May 2010 18:26 subject Controversies
Dear Mr. Mohapatra,
I am writing in response to Mr. Timmerman’s concern about the continued raking up of controversies, particularly the re-posting (and re-cyling) of old and probably obsolete messages that serve the purpose of keeping the fire of some controversies raging on the SEOF and other related websites.

It is evident that the purpose of a controversy is to find fault with those who are on the receiving end of the controversy. It is also evident that as long as there are people, particularly large and diverse groups of people, there will always be differences of opinion which are likely to lead to controversies. And that is why controversies are a rather common phenomenon and are not unique to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.

In the particular context of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, I have observed that people on either side of the divide (of controversies), claim to defend and represent the best interests of their Masters, that is The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Isn’t it ironical therefore that Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s followers and disciples fail to apply the principles of the Integration and Synthesis of Yoga and Life that have been imparted by their Masters?

Why is it that particularly those who initiate and fuel controversies, allegedly to defend the best interests of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, fail to rise above their personal beliefs in order to seek a harmonious integration and synthesis of views and opinions? Why is it that those who trigger and stoke controversies forget these important principles of their Master's advise and instead continue to try to assert (and even impose) their opinion on those who might have a different approach, belief or outlook on the same issues?

But, without wanting to take sides, I would like to share the observations that the existence of controversies however indicates at least two things.

Firstly, it shows that the Aurobindonian collectivity is diverse, varied and heterogeneous. I personally do not see this as a short-coming and instead value this and find it very representative of Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s principles and approach. And I believe that if instead of wasting one’s time, energy and resources on emphasizing the differences and controversies that may exist, one spent them on finding ways and means of synthesizing and integrating these differences of opinions and approaches, we would all do a real and greater service to our Masters by achieving a harmonious unity in diversity.

Secondly, whether we like or not, all institutions and organisations are imperfect and there will always be some people who believe that they are aggrieved by this. Even during Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s time, there are numerous instances of aggrieved members (well documented in many of the letters that were written during their time). So, is it reasonable to blow out of proportion the grief that some of the members are feeling and put the entire blame on an institution or its leaders? Will there ever be a perfect institution or organization as long as it is populated and criticized by imperfect members?

Therefore, shouldn’t those who are outside of the institution of the SAA Trust and who find fault with it refrain from poking their nose into the internal affairs of the SAA Trust (and therefore mind their own business), instead? And shouldn’t those who are part of the institution and are aggrieved by it, consider whether they are not wiser to find an inner solution to their problem - as The Mother would repeatedly recommend to the many laments that she would receive from the Ashram inmates - instead of making it into a controversy that results among other things, in the washing of dirty linen in public?

I can therefore only end by asking what good does one really achieve by raking up controversies? And are there other more constructive and positive ways of dealing with differences of opinions? Best Regards, S.

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