Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Divine Incarnation of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother

Sri Aurobindo and his Followers Makarand Paranjape
In time, a whole set of beliefs and rituals began to be built up around Sri Aurobindo and more so, around The Mother. The death of each of them caused dismay and disappointment among large sections of the faithful. Many had grown to believe that some miraculous transformation of the physical bodies of their Gurus and through them of the disciples themselves was in the offing. Naturally these devotees were disheartened when this did not happen in the manner they had come to expect.

Besides, a whole theology began to be developed, especially because of the extensive records of what Sri Aurobindo and The Mother had said…This theology not only asserts the Avatarhood or Divine Incarnation of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, but builds around them a special cult of worship and devotion…

Like the early Christians whose lives were lived in hope and anticipation of the Second Coming and the Day of Judgement, the disciples of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother also believed that the promised fulfillment of all their hopes and aspirations was imminent. A series of pronouncements by both Sri Aurobindo and The Mother…certainly contributed to the sense of constant awe and expectation in the ashram community…

It needs to be acknowledged that though both Sri Aurobindo and The Mother repeatedly warned against the creation of a cult around them, they themselves encouraged it in several ways. Sri Aurobindo himself deified The Mother and vice versa. From The Introduction, The Penguin Sri Aurobindo Reader , 1999 Edited by Makarand Paranjape, a critical insider. 11:44 AM


Approaching with devotional practices Peter Heehs
The transformation of many individuals would make it possible for society as a whole to be transformed. A first step in this direction would be the gathering of individuals striving for change in spiritually oriented communities.

A community of sorts had taken form around Sri Aurobindo during the early years of his stay in Pondicherry. This group assumed a more organized shape after the arrival of The Mother. In 1926, he handed control of the ashram to her…She directed the inner and outer lives of the members, while he oversaw things from behind.

Most members of the ashram came from Hindu backgrounds and felt comfortable approaching Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in ways associated with Hindu devotional practices: darshan, pranam, and so forth. Sri Aurobindo permitted and in some cases encouraged these expressions…[Edited] From the Introduction by Peter Heehs; Nationalism, Religion and Beyond: Writings on Politics, Society, and Culture by Sri Aurobindo, 2005 1:27 PM

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