Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Sri Aurobindo (79), the great seer and thinker of modern India, passed away at 1-30 a.m. on December 3 in his Ashram at Pondicherry. Though in indifferent health for over two weeks, suffering from kidney trouble, his end came unexpectedly, suddenly. The passing of the renowned seer plunged all of Pondicherry and its environs into deep mourning.Editorial comments: ``In an age of rampant materialism, incorruptible witnesses to the supremacy of the spirit are none too many. And when the great beacons go out, when a Gandhi, a Ramana, an Aurobindo withdraw from the mortal scene, the world is left visibly darker. ...Aurobindo's was a universal message and his marvellous mastery of the written word helped to secure for it respectful hearing across the barriers of race and language. For this prophet from India, the unity of the human family in Divine Consciousness was not merely a matter of faith; it was a goal practically to be realised.
``A shining page in our history records Aurobindo Ghosh's heroic part in the struggle for Indian freedom. Nurtured on the English poets, his ardent nature rallied early to the call of patriotism, spurning a life of elegant ease. He brought to public life a burning eloquence, a power of idealism, and a dynamic leadership which roused the land from end to end and destroyed that passive consent which had been the charter of Imperialism. But it was left to other hands to finish the great work which he had begun. Generations to come will honour his memory''.
Monday, October 24, 2005
She had visualized an economy without money circulation for Auroville and the community was to meet every one’s basic material needs. According to her, the ultimate aim of evolution is transformation of the physical. It is an extremely painful and difficult work that would require prolongation of life and might take centuries to realise. But there is also a theory advanced by at least one notable author that she conquered death and crossed over to the invisible subtle body leaving behind her physical which was a un- transformable residue.
Though The Celestine Prophecy is too simplistic and fantastic in details to her own experiences in the path of transformation, the Mother would have been happy to note the popularity of a book published in the U.S with the idea of self evolution as its chief thrust. For, she had said, in 1971, at the instance of publishing in the U.S. of On the Way to Supermanhood a book written by her confidante that described the essence and contours of the future world: “I personally have the feeling there is a close and invisible connection between America’s aspiration, as it is now, and the book. I have the feeling that’s where the center of transformation will be.” Cleary The Celestine Prophecy is a significant book.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
In that year  he returned to his birthplace, Calcutta, as the first Principal of the new Bengal National College. He resigned that post because of his increasingly active involvement in the Nationalist Movement. Sri Aurobindo was the first of the Nationalist leaders to insist on full independence for India as the goal of the movement, and for several years he lent all his considerable abilities and energies to this struggle. This led to him being arrested on a charge of treason and being kept in solitary confinement for almost a year as an 'under trial' prisoner in Alipore jail. During this time he had a number of fundamental spiritual experiences which convinced him of the truth of the "Sanatana Dharma" - the ancient spiritual knowledge and practice of India.After he was acquitted and released, this spiritual awareness led him to take refuge from continuing pursuit by the British authorities in Pondicherry, then part of French India, where he devoted himself intensively to the exploration of the new possibilities it opened up to him. Supported by his spiritual collaborator, The Mother, and using his new-found spiritual capacities, he continued to work tirelessly for the upliftment of India and the world. When India gained its Independence on 15.8.1947, he responded to the request for a message to his countrymen by speaking of five dreams that he had worked for, and which he now saw on the way to fulfilment. posted by Michael Hawkins Tuesday, July 19, 2005@ 9:57:00 AM
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
(By Jugal Kishore Mukherjee; Published by Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry)
“Do many Ashramites still aspire after and make an effort for the acquisition of spiritual consciousness?
Today the Ashram has 1200 regular inmates and also a good number of people from outside who participate in the Ashram life. However, in all this variety of external life (teaching, painting, plumbing, cooking, doll-making, to name but a few) there lies the danger of forgetting the primary goal. Genuflexion to the portraits or the Samadhi alone is not enough. Interweaving his argument with telling illustrations from The Life Divine, Jugalda seeks to educate the reader on the ideal group life where “the individuals constituting any collectivity should move away from their surface existence which is at present the field of unbridled play of ego and try to dwell more and more in their inner consciousnees.” Such an antahkarana-approach is not too easy to come by in this Age of Visual Culture. But then one has to exercise eternal vigilance not to succumb to the Tamas but hold on to “an ardent and one-pointed practice to reach the Goal”, though Jugalda finds this ideal conspicuous by its absence.
Jugalda understands the problems of those who deviate from the goal. There are reasons. The close concentration of a large number of people within a small space, the absence of a code of conduct spelt out in militarist terminology, a lack of stress on personal relationships are but some of them. Relationships have to work on the wavelength of the Divine and this is hard to achieve for human beings. And yet, Jugalda will neither compromise (no, our aim is not merely another cultural centre or religious retreat) nor give up the Aurobindonian ideal as an utopian dream. He finds many positive points for optimism. Freedom, yes. Permissiveness, no. Jugalda warns that permissiveness is an evil that should be rooted out on the spot. In the Ashram there are no subordinates. Everyone is a helper. The heads of sections are there only for administrative convenience.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Anticipating Buber, he (Vyasa) saw history as the encounter of the temporal and the eternal, the empirical and the transcendental; and anticipating Berdyaev, he saw in history a divine programme for divinising human existence.
I hero worshipped [Sri] Aurobindo in my college days; but now half a century later, I am terribly disappointed.
- His discussion of time and eternity is wholly derived from that of Boethius;
- Page after page in [The] Life Divine is watered down Plotinus.
- His vision of History has the bookishness of Hegel’s tidy schema, Spirit fulfilling its schedule of progress with no problem whatever.
But history is fatefully open ended, for man can abuse his freedom to become an Asura and wreck himself too thereby. Man can regress to a cannibal, Bhima drinking Duhsasana’s blood. Man may commit race-suicide, as nearly happened in Kurukshetra where only 9 men survived out of 18 vast armies.
I am afraid [Sri] Aurobindo’s inflated rhetoric does not see the terror and the tears at the heart of things. I must confess your casual rating of Vyasa and Berdyaev vis-a-vis [Sri] Aurobindo shocked me. [Krishna Chaitanya (Dr. K.K.Nair)]