Saturday, October 15, 2005

The terror and the tears

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)]

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