Monday, January 26, 2015

Exhibition of Books on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

Exhibition of Books on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

Aug 15, 2013 - Blindness, Insight, Outlook and a Persprctive. Murali Sivaramkrishnan. 125. Notes On Authors. 137. Index To Authors And Articles. In S´raddha.
Scholarship in Sri Aurobindo studies thus far had taken these directions: interpretative in terms of select texts and discourses specifically recoursing to acceptable readings. Comparatist perceptions like those afforded by Prema Nandakumar or Rhoda P LeCocq or Harold Coward had endeavoured to open up new directions in critical thinking but did not sustain sufficient support afterwards from elsewhere.  Manoj Das, Rohit Mehta, Haridas Chaudhuri and Kishore Gandhi sought higher correspondences from Indic and nonEurocentric directions, but the foundations they built up were rehashed by the next generation of scholars as dissertations and newer studies. The early generation of scholars had the guts to make new inroads while the later generation felt comfortable in sticking to the known and the predictable. 

Nov 24, 2013 - ... by Murali Sivaramakrishnan and not Sivaramkrishnan should read On Reading Sri Aurobindo: Blindness, Insight, Outlook and a Perspective.

Our times are marked by amazing changes and advancement in science and technology, the world we live in the present is definitely much more “advanced” than the times of Sri Aurobindo when the imperial and colonial forces held potent and powerful sway over all and everything. The market economy of the capitalist present and its itinerant scholarship grounded on claims to information that is universally accessible have blinded the already blind human eye further. The dismissal and de-valuation of meta-narratives of the last century have laid claim to a territory of panoramic ignorance. Knowledge is doubted and wisdom is sidelined. Information has risen to the centre stage. And ignorance is prided as wisdom it has indeed become folly to be wise and remain so. 
Had he lived on beyond his times, Sri Aurobindo would have charted out new directions in the present. He would have been like the child in the story yelling out that the emperor is truly naked. However, his residual presence and urgency of intellectual inquiry have been erased and silenced. His works are rehashed and his words echo down the long corridor of forgotten memory and a misplaced past. Nevertheless, the eternal eye that would have led the inquirer forward is not yet completely closed though. There is a tiny fraction of opening. So then all is not yet lost. What is required is a critical temperament and a truth-seeking perspective that would not wither in the face of opposition and inclement weather — an outlook that does not succumb to the comfort and convenience of the commonplace and the mediocrity. The grand narratives of yesteryears might be ignored by the postmodern present that prides in the here and now, however, profound questions relating to truth and meaning, the nexus of mind and matter, the interrelationship of nature and human nature, are bound to be tenaciously pursued by those minorities who chance to reflect on their own selves and identities. Perhaps, then, like in the Dantesque vision there would arise the spirit of the master himself to lead the genuine seeker even through Inferno and Purgatory to Paradiso. 
S´raddha - Sri Aurobindo Ashram PDF Feb 21, 2013 – The True Voice of Raga - Murali Sivaramakrishnan
It has appeared to me that Sri Aurobindo had experienced all these four states Salokya, Samipya, Sarupya, Sayujya

Toward a Spiritual Aesthetics of the Environment: Quality, Space ... by M. Sivaramakrishnan - Jun 14, 2011 – Toward a Spiritual Aesthetics of the Environment: Quality, Space, and Being in Sri Aurobindo's Savitri
Moreover, when I argue for the inclusive vision inspired by the visionary culture of a … [Full Text of this Arti at
Dec 3, 2014 - @DharmicFundoo My observations are based on reading Sri Aurobindowhereas many Hindutva enthusiasts continue to neglect his epochal ...

On reading Sri Aurobindo's advice, one feels as if the question and His answer are describing exactly the present situation we are in. After His clarification, need ...

Feb 2, 2006 - 18 posts - ‎5 authors Here is another link with some advice from Sweet Mother on reading Sri Aurobindo. Back to top ...

Aug 15, 2013 - On Reading Sri Aurobindo: Blindness, Insight, Outlook and a Persprctive. Murali Sivaramkrishnan. 125. Notes On Authors.

Many highly educated persons were coming for B's darshan. He thought that on reading Sri Aurobindo's books all of them would realise the greatness of this ...

Aug 15, 2014 - ... the Aurobindian revolution, The (Georges van Vrekhem) –. Aug '13, p.115.On reading Sri Aurobindo ... (Murali Sivaramakrishnan) – Aug '13, ...

Aug 17, 2006 - On reading Sri Aurobindo: It is my experience (others may differ) that Sri Aurobindo cannot be understood or appreciated by merely reading ...

Aug 13, 2006 - On reading Sri Aurobindo: It is my experience (others may differ) that Sri Aurobindo cannot be understood or appreciated by merely reading ...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Integral Advaitism of Sri Aurobindo

The Integral Advaitism of Sri Aurobindo 

Have you investigated Sloterdijk at all on these questions? He generally cites Heiner Mühlmann’s ‘The Nature of Cultures’ when he wants to talk about cultures as entities. Sloterdijk’s mixing of this kind of socio-biology and grand, sweeping Spenglerian history makes me a little uneasy but it is interesting. Understanding cultures as tensegretic structures (i.e. as holding together in relations of tension) makes a lot of sense. Although, of course, the temptation is to understand culture as cultivation, as care, as enriching and enlivening. In this sense culture could be understood as a kind of surplus that arrives when beings achieve more complex modes of being than simple Darwinian selection (Elizabeth Grosz makes more or less this argument).
A kind of froth of irreducibility that rises up from natural selection without ever leaving it to form some sort of other plane (the froth is nothing without constant up-frothing). Culture is ‘what makes life worth living’ for beings self-aware enough to *need* a ‘life worth living.’ It is not what transcends life but what mediates the deadly contradiction of consciousness (something to which we could easily grant various animals to greater or lesser degrees).

The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, July 2014 - Enlightenment Orientalism: Resisting the Rise of the Novel, Srinivas Aravamudan
A conspiracy is afoot. Though you may not have noticed it until now, after reading Enlightenment Orientalism, it will be difficult for you to pick up another piece of literary criticism on the novel without the suspicion that a high degree of pre-selection has taken place to cover a heterogeneous and wild mass of texts that call to you with magic lamps and delirious trips to the moon and other planets. I overstate, of course, but this is the distinct sense that one is left with after working through the spirited polemic that unmasks what is shown to be a nationalist chauvinist bias in favor of the sober realist novel.
Sunil Agnani is Associate Professor of English and History, University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of Hating Empire Properly: The Two Indies and Limits of Enlightenment Anticolonialism (Fordham Press, 2013), which received the Harry Levin Prize for Best First Book from the American Comparative Literature Association. 

Unearthing cosmopolitanism Times of India-Jan 25, 2015
Rabindranath Tagore, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Sri Aurobindo, Mirra Alfassa, James Cousins, Paul Richard, Dilip Kumar Roy and Taraknath Das. ... important in their own times" is what Sachidananda Mohanty's book, Cosmopolitan Modernity in the Early 20th Century, sets out to achieve.

Who Represents the Ashram? – The Hornet’s Sting The other day, while having lunch in the Dining Room, someone asked me if I have done right in going against the Ashram. I was completely taken aback at su...

PCC Forum - Debashish Banerji - Gandhi, Tagore, Aurobindo: Postmodern Legacies: via @YouTube

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Radha Rajan needs to study more about foreign women

Foreigners like Heehs have made base/baseless insinuations regarding the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Please do not be like that foreigner. Also denigrating patriots and yogis is falling into divide and rule trap - bigger issue is for concentrating on the good work that needs to be done to make Bharat great again. I have nothing more to add to this converstaion and conclude with Sri Aurobindo's words : ‘No apeings or distorted editions of Western religious modes, no Indianised Christianity, no fair rehash of that pale & consumptive shadow English Theism, will suffice to save us.’

Foreign women in the lives of important men during a very critical period in the nation's history is a fact. Aurobindo is not the only person I have mentioned. The two women I failed to mention were Hope Cook and Sonia Gandhi.

Tsk tsk you are digressing. Journalists are not intimate companions or partners in the lives of important men in public life. How much do you know of the tragic and lonely life of Aurobindo's wife Mrinalini?

Shri Sunkal, we all grow up idealising some people and idealising people is far superior to being raised with no reverence for anybody or any institution. Yes I have read the correspondence; being a woman myself I am affected deeply by the truth (not just correspondence where anything may be written) of her lonely and neglected life. She was just 14 and Aurobindo was 29 when he married her. His life was already set along a certain pattern, along a definite path. For a man of his brilliance, at the age of 29 he ought to have known marriage is not for him. And pl dont drag in my views of others into this article. The point I am making is this - the presence of foreign women, and not just in Aurobindo's life, should atleast trigger some thinking among Hindus. 
And Sir, where Sri Sarada Ma's picture hangs alongside that of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, it is not Mrinalini's picture which hangs by the side of Aurobindo but that of Mirra Alfassa. And in several homes, there is picture only of Mirra Alfassa and not even that of Aurobindo. They all knew the Hindu psyche well - we tend to make Sisters and Mothers of all women without question.

We have not had as brilliant a political thinker as Aurobindo but this is the pre-1907 Aurobindo. I have read every word of his writings between 1893-1907. But sadly, after 1907 through his much acclaimed Uttarapara speech he beat the retreat from his Kurukshetra. I persoanlly, and this is my personal eveluation of Aurobindo, nothing he said after 1907 had any impact on Hindus or the enslaved Hindu nation. And the comparison with Modiji is totally inappropriate. Auribindo married a young girl of 14 and I know the demands he made of her. At 14 a girl wants a normal married life with a normal man. 
And unlike Modiji who has always lived like a sanyasi, Aurobindo had Mirra Alfassa and not his wife as close companion in the ashram. The lady is supposed to have exercised total control over the ashram even in Aurobindo's lifetime. And as for Aurobindo's fierce and fiery Hindu nationalist writings, some foreigner in charge of the publications carried the wholly gratuitous remark that Aurobindo rejected and distanced himself from his earlier writings.

The political point here being we are so porous anybody can penetrate. We have so internalised this vasudeiva kutumbakam thing that we have lost all sense of discrimination about who is 'us' and who is 'them'. It is not what agenda Mirra Alfassa or Miraben had but that our uncritical acceptance of the presence of foreign women in the lives of important men made it possible for Teresa and Sonia Gandhi to invade us like cancer. And as for 'Indian' spirituality I dont know what you mean. What really is Indian spirituality? Mira Alfassa was an occult practitioner of Turkish origin. She was also Jew. The theosophists Madame Blavatsky and Olcott also came to India because of this Indian spirituality. Anne Besant the daughter of a Christian missionary was also a theosophist attracted to this "indian" spirituality. J Krishnamurti was under the thrall of the theosophists before he decided to do his own thing. 
Let me ask my critics here a pointed question - how Hindu is the Auroville commune today and how Hindu are the inmates of the ashram? It was possible for Leela Samson to de-Hinduise Kalakshetra because Rukmini Arundale born into a Tamil Brahmin family married George Arundale a theosophist. It is a pity that the comments to this article on J&K are Aurobindo-centric instead of focussing on the very important points made about how J&K continues to test Hindu resolve.

I think the Author needs to study more about the 'foreign women' in the lives of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo before equating them with Sonia Gandhi or Edwina Mountbatten! There is nothing in the writings or actions of either Sister Nivedita or Mother Mirra that should 'alarm' us. Instead they can and should be seen as Individuals with a natural bent of mind towards Indian Spirituality and way of living rather than as foreigners with some hidden agenda. Please take this as constructive criticism and try to verify before painting everyone with the same brush.

Most certainly, there is another way of reading Aurobindo’s life. It could be quite enlightening to bring in another reading here offered by another significant hermeneutical thinker of India, Prof. J.L. Mehta, who takes Aurobindo’s own statements about his life as an authentic rendering of its truth. He treats them as more meaningful beginning of his life’s story… On this reading, what Nandy considers as being lost, that is, Aurobindo having lost to the West, Mehta considers it as a mere adventuring of the self to the Other, experiencing it in all its otherness as its own part. For indeed, Mehta works with a hermeneutical insight as far as human understanding is concerned…

Depicting the complexity of a hermeneutical life as that of Sri Aurobindo, in which he arrives at an understanding of himself and that of the West as part of each other, Mehta locates this understanding emanating from the Vedantic as much as from a Heideggerian sources. He brings in Heidegger to illustrate the interesting relationship the self has with its other, a position which Aurobindo spawned by living out the kind of existence he did. Aurobindo’s life came with a certain kind of depth where any stark differences between the self and the other simply got dissolved.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Supreme Court will certainly have its due share as a party

Pondicherry Ashram Suicides and The Spiritual Surrender: Bobby Kunhu
JANUARY 2, 2015
Here a bit of contextualization is necessary. The Ashram was founded by Mirra Alfassa – known as the Mother to devotees based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh. From a trust founded with borrowed money, the Ashram has grown to become the largest property owner in Pondicherry. To become an inmate, one has to go through a probation period, following which a contract of complete surrender is entered into with the Ashram. The Ashram allocates the inmate work in one of its departments based on his or her skill sets and qualification and in return provides for food, shelter, medical care, clothing and so on – but strictly no monetary benefits. This contract (called prosperity list) till recently also had clauses that prevented inmates from approaching the police or media. However, a caveat needs to be added here – the contract does not prevent an inmate from leaving the Ashram – and all inmates believe in the surrender!

Without any effective internal grievance redressal mechanism – this means absolute power. Over a period of time there have been allegations from Ashram inmates ranging from sexual abuse, pedophilia, physical abuse, medical negligence etc. When some of the inmates protested, their prosperity was withdrawn – meaning that their food and shelter too was withdrawn. Some inmates left the Ashram. A few others, rather than leave the Ashram and retract from their leap of faith and surrender, decided to go to court to get their food and shelter restored. After, a long protracted legal battle one of the cases came before the Supreme Court of India. The apex court turned down the prayer in the case. That is a different story requiring different legal analysis that I would not want to go into here.

A small diversionary note is required here – though the Ashram is the centerpiece of Pondicherry’s economy – beyond employment; there is hardly any interaction between the local Pondicherry citizenry and the Ashram. In fact, the local populace views the Ashram with deep suspicion. On the other hand given the vast resources owned by the Ashram, there seem to be a background political struggle to gain access and control of these resources.

STORY OF PONDY SISTERS: The sister act via @IndianExpress
According to them, their travails began on January 9, 2001, when Jayashree was allegedly manhandled in the dining room by a visitor. She had earlier questioned financial irregularities in the accounts of the ashram canteen and alleged that “sexual favours” had been sought by senior inmates. She had lodged a complaint with the ashram management, but no action was taken for two months. The sisters then warned that they would file a police complaint if their grievances were not addressed, despite ashram rules barring inmates from contacting external agencies for “internal matters” without trustees’ permission. The next day, the ashram slapped a notice on Hemlata, ordering her expulsion. The sisters filed a case in the local court in March 2001 challenging the ashram’s decision. This, say many ashram inmates, was the beginning of their undoing, and the start of a 14-year-long legal battle they eventually lost. 

For greater clarity, read – Further factual analysis: Episode of the 5 Sisters   And please RT to your followers.