Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No discipline, no obedience, no quality work

The failure of the present Ashram management is clearly visible in various Ashram departments. There is now hardly any work ethic or culture: no discipline, no obedience, extremely rude behaviour, no quality work and, above all, Ashramites are burdened with the monopoly of departmental heads who mostly engage themselves in private businesses. The common Ashramites always face inconveniences due to the lack of prompt service by the maintenance departments who have a partial and discriminatory attitude because of the practice of VIP culture. The poor Ashramites have to go time and again to them for minor repair work, which is very stressful and time consuming. 
For all the above mentioned reasons, there is an urgent need, an imperative necessity for government intervention in the Ashram administration. When we have a responsible and fair administration, the stress in our day to day life due to the present mismanagement will be definitely much less and we will able to focus better on our inner work. The general apprehension regarding disturbance in sadhana due to the government taking over the Ashram administration is totally baseless. Posted by General Editor at 1/27/2015 10:18:00 AM

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a spiritual community (ashram) located in Pondicherry, in the Indian territory of Puducherry. The ashram grew out of a small ... 
Rules, governance, and relations with local community 
During the early years of the community Sri Aurobindo and the Mother imposed very few rules on the sadhaks, because they wished them to learn to direct their lives by looking for the divine guidance within. According to author Peter Heehs, during the 1920s Aurobindo's policy was laissez faire with only one rule: strict brahmacharya (celibacy).[10] After 1926, written rules were circulated. The main rules were an absolute prohibition of alcohol, drugs, sex and politics.[11][12] There were also a number of guidelines for the smooth functioning of the collective life of the community. These rules were collected in Rules and Regulations of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, copies of which are given to all members.
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust was established in 1955 to administer the community and its assets. The trust board consists of five Trustees, the first of whom were chosen by the Mother herself. After her passing in 1973, the trustees have chosen replacements by consensus. The main ashram departments are overseen by department heads who report to the Trustees.
The Ashram, a public charitable trust, is open to all. No distinctions of nationality, religion, caste, gender, or age are observed. Members come from every part of India and many foreign countries. A large number of devotees from Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu visit the Ashram every day, and support the activities of the Ashram in various ways. Nevertheless, some local people feel that there is little mingling of ashramites and local people. According to a senior Asram official, the practice of silence observed by the ashramites may have been misunderstood as rude behaviour.
Allegations of sexual harassment (2004–2014) 
In 2001, a female member was expelled from the ashram for violating a "mandatory rule".[13] Thereafter she filed charges of sexual harassment against various members. These charges were dismissed by committees and government agencies, all of which found the charges false.[14][15][16][17] The National Human Rights Commission of India added that there "appeared to be malicious planning behind the complaints".[16][18] Cases relating to the dismissal of the former member and her four sisters were lodged in various courts, and were pursued up to the Supreme court of India, which in 2014 ruled against the sisters and ordered them to be evicted from their rooms in an ashram residence by the police.[19] The sisters then presented the ashram with an ultimatum demanding full reinstatement, failing which they would all commit suicide.[20] The day after their eviction, the sisters and their parents entered the sea in order to commit suicide by drowning. Three died in the attempt. The four others were saved. Violence and protests erupted against the ashram in the wake of this incident. The trustees of the Ashram expressed shock at the suicides and offered to help the sisters in finding accommodation. On 23 December a joint memorandum was presented by delegates of various political parties seeking the intervention of chief minister N. Rangaswamy for a takeover of the Ashram by the Puducherry government.[21] (The territorial government has however no jurisdiction over the Ashram's internal activities, since the public affairs of the Trust, as of all public charitable trusts, are governed by the appropriate sections of the Indian Trusts Act, Government of India.[22]) The pressure for a government takeover is alleged to come from elements within the ashram,[23] who have pushed for the rewriting of the ashram's Trust Deed, which was signed by the Mother.[24]

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore at Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore

Vast and serene as the infinite spaces, Far away from our little earthly world, And yet overarching and leaning down in a protective gesture- The Mother of Light, the Mother of all-comprehending wisdom, Throned on the highest heights, Sheds, equal and unruffled, her benign compassion on obscure mortals, Draws them infallibly ever nearer to her through the rolling ages- Her very presence is the power that decrees, the grace that redeems. - *‘Maheshwari’ by Nolini Kanta Gupta*
Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore at Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore
In this February issue of our Newsletter, we continue with the exploration of The Mother’s symbol in its detailed layout. For a start, we take upon the four inner petals emanating from the central point for the next four issues. These four petals denote four aspects of The Mother, or Mahashakti, namely *Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi *and* Mahasaraswati*, all of which are set forth into the Universal creation that She may lead it from Darkness into Light, from Falsehood into Truth, from Death into Life. For the great psychological transformation that we aspire towards, four great ... more »

Monday, January 19, 2015

Right to continued existence

Sri Aurobindo's Savitri Jugal's Supplementary List F (2) | The Light of the ... 'Table of Corrections' may not have been there in “Sri Aurobindo's own manuscript; ...

As you two (Nirod-da and Amal-da) do not remember now which of the “corrections” are due to the “editors” of the Critical Edition,-and these cannot have sancrosanctness,-the best course would be to examine each pair on its own merit and come to the decision; for, after all, the 1950–versions were printed in Sri Aurobindo’s lifetime and with constant reference to him. So, if they are found appropriate or rather not inappropriate, they have a ‘legitimate’ right to continued existence.

Mother's Garden

#6120 Richard Eggenberger on Sun, Jan 18 2015 at 3:00 AM
Building Mother's Garden with my wife Mary Helen brought into focus all the knowledge that Mother had instilled in me since childhood and Her Garden, begun from a barren landscape (red soil almost identical to that of Auroville) became a paradise of colour and fragrance filled with the songs of birds, the unexpected arrival of animals and the frequent visits of disciples and devotees.