Friday, February 26, 2016

Divine Light is within all people, deeper than any division between nations or religions

Sri Aurobindo Society, Bangalore branch, is housed in a palatial building known as "Sri Aurobindo Bhavan". It is surrounded by lush green trees and a garden that compliments the bungalow. It is one of the best conserved heritage site along with a palacial building of colonial architecture. A unique ineffable experience is felt the moment one enters the portal of Sri Aurobindo Bhawan. One has to visit to feel the ambiance of the places and its uniqueness. It is located at 110, Gangadhar Chetty Road, Opp. Ulsorr Lake, Bangalore - 560042
29th February: The Golden Day - Darshan Day
  • 06.00 am : Darshan
  • 06.00 pm : Hoisting of The Mother's spiritual flag
  • 07.05 am : Reading of 'Savitri'
Bhawan timings : 8 am to 12.30 pm and 4.30 pm to 7 pm.
Office timings : 9 am to 12.30 pm and 4.30 pm to 7 pm.

This palatial bungalow with its colonial architecture was built around 1932 by the Royal family of Nepal. Princess Rajalakshmi Aishwarya Devi who was sister of the King of Nepal was the resident of this bungalow along with her husband Shamsher Singh Jung Bahadur Rana. It was gifted to Sri Aurobindo Trust in the year 1979.

There are regular ongoing programmes. Special programmes are planned like talks, study classes, 'Savitri' festival. Yoga classes are being contemplated. These special programmes shall be indicated here as and when finalized.
The bhawan also contains Sri Aurobindo's relics in one of the meditation rooms. The meditation center is open from 7am to 6pm on all days. Devotees make nice flower arrangements everyday on different themes.

Seeking the supramental light - The Hindu › Cities › Puducherry
13 hours ago - 'In the Light of the Supramental', was the name given to the next stage of higher consciousness, which Sri Aurobindo saw as humanity's spiritual destiny.

Sri Aurobindo Society Singapore - YouTube
53 mins ago - Videos and Talks from Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. For more information visit us @

Fun under a hot sun - The Telegraph
15 hours ago - The sports day of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Education was held at CK-CL Park recently. The event began by paying tribute to The Mother and Sri Aurobindoand ...

Savitri - Savitri Talks - The Book of Everlasting day - Talk 5 ...
10 hours ago - Sri Aurobindo's Savitri Savitri Talks - The Book of Everlasting day - Talk 5 (Part-1) | The Light of the Supreme.

Rabindranath Tagore in the 21st Century: Theoretical Renewals
Debashish Banerji - 2014 - ‎Preview - ‎More editions
Banerji is the author of The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore (Sage, 2010) and Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo (DKPW and Nalanda, 2012). His articles on  ...

Anthology from the Mother in Arabic: Bilingual Edition
The Mother - 2015 - ‎No preview
These are but a few glimpses of the remarkable personality referred to as the Mother. May her message of Peace, Unity, Hope and Joy find its place in the Arabic Consciousness.

The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New ... - Page 34
After Sri Aurobindo's death in 1950, Alfassa conceived the idea of creating a town committed to human unity, based on Sri Aurobindo's belief that the divine Light is within all people, deeper than any division between nations or religions.  ...

Why Smriti Irani's speech in Parliament was high on rhetoric ...
8 hours ago - ... Nehru, Subhas Bose, Vivekananda, Chittaranjan Das, Sri Aurobindoand Tagore, and that this government might label Tagore an anti-national, for his ideas.

A rhapsodic celebration of life - The Telegraph
15 hours ago - In the debate on euthanasia, Sayak Das and Tuhin Sur of Sri AurobindoInstitute of Education were the winners while Tiasha Tilak of Ashok Hall was adjudged

Odia Chhabi: Nyaya anyaya
23 hours ago - If you make the effort to be interesting, constructive and convincing and can make them know something of the teaching of Sri Aurobindo, it will in any case be

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bireshwar Choudhury, Sridharan, Baikunth, and Sampdas

committed to objective, academic, respectful and honest discussions

JUL 18, 2014

Reply to Manoj Das’s Letter to Niranjan Naik (2) – by Bireshwar Choudhury

Manoj  Das suffers from an uncontrollable itch to put down his critics. 
Not many people are aware how Manoj Das uses the Ashram as a plank to increase his literary reputation. Being the only eminent writer around makes him the uncontested spokesman of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and he automatically partakes a little of the halo of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in the eyes of powerful Govt. officials and eminent public figures who often visit the Ashram. It is somewhat like what happens when you stand in the focus of blinding halogen lamps or when you pose in front of a magnificent temple or palace, especially when you are an expert on its history. Visitors are naturally awestruck by what is behind but they also tend to be impressed by the person in front, who has enabled their wonder and appreciation of the monument. It is after this initial razzle dazzle that a cordial and friendly contact is established and even hard-crusted officials melt and become vulnerable to aggressive hospitality. “Put in a word, if you can, to the Padma Awards Committee” comes of course at a later stage when the officials have been thoroughly brainwashed by the greatness of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, overwhelmed by their spiritual presence at the Samadhi and baffled by their lofty Yoga and philosophy. This is what is I  call spiritual salesmanship, or rather how spirituality is used to promote sales! It is nothing new, it is as old as the hills, the clever Brahmins did it centuries ago and we do it even now.

Reading the portions quoted by Sripad Singh from Manoj Das’s letter to Niranjan Naik, you get the impression that Manoj Das is “Hypocrisy Personifed”. 
In any case, it is worth spending word-power and Internet space to expose hypocrites like Manoj Das, who unconditionally support the present Ashram administration for their own selfish interests!

JUL 28, 2014

Secondly, a successful businessman like Narendra Gehlaut cannot be faulted because he has gone out of the way to fund research work on Savitri (Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem) under the guidance of R.Y. Deshpande, who is an eminent scholar in his own domain. I wish the Ashram Trust had actually funded such projects instead of wasting all its time, energy and money in legal cases against its own beneficiaries.

I come now to the “irrefutable logic cum speculation” of the post, which can only be the result of the combined effort of Matriprasad Satyamurthy, the secretary of the Ashram Trust (which is evident by the sheer detail provided with regard to the Five Sisters’ case, the said law firm and the cost of litigation in the Supreme Court), and Richard Hartz, the main American editor of the 1993 revised edition of Savitri, in which many of the followers and disciples of Sri Aurobindo have now lost confidence. One can deduce the role of Richard Hartz by the very hatred expressed against R.Y. Deshpande, who has been his critic and contender from a long time. R.Y. Deshpande has challenged time and again the editing of Savitri and thereby exposed the arrogance of the American editors of Sri Aurobindo’s works, who think that they know better English than Sri Aurobindo himself. He has even dared them to publish their editorial work openly on the Net with the relevant manuscripts of Sri Aurobindo so that other scholars too can verify for themselves their editorial decisions. The Ashram Trust has never dared to do so because it knows that it will open the Pandora’s box!
4. Finally, what is exactly the nexus between the Ashram Trust and Richard Hartz & Co? Why is it so desperate to protect them? And what is the interest of Richard Hartz & Co. in this whole matter? Why are some of the Westerners in the Ashram and Auroville firmly propping up the fraudulent and mischievous scholarship of Peter Heehs? In the United States, this kind of attack on Indian Gurus and Hindu idols has been thoroughly exposed and Indian Americans have risen to the occasion and countered the vicious attacks of Wendy Doniger, Jeffrey Kripal, Paul Courtright, Sarah Caldwell et al, with whom Peter Heehs has associated himself. In the Ashram, I suppose, people are not even aware of the cultural battles that are being fought and the war between spirituality and materialism that is raging in the West. Until the disciples and followers of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are well-informed about this threat and see a clear and present danger, we will keep mouthing the usual platitudes such as, “Leave it to the Divine”; “Westerners have their own viewpoint”; “Sri Aurobindo is like the Himalayas”; “Let us keep quiet for the sake of harmony”, etc, etc. Meanwhile, Richard Hartz will write a book on how fundamentalism has come back in India with specific reference to the Ashram, Peter Heehs will write on the futility of worshipping the Mother or the Divine Shakti and Ulrich Morhoff will confidently tell us how Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy is outdated! I suppose we Indians deserve this shabby treatment in order to wake up and realise what we are losing! I hope we don’t wake up after everything is lost!

AUG 9, 2014

The “No Religion” Refrain – by Baikunth

It has been a long time since the “No Religion” refrain in Ashram and especially in Auroville is becoming louder and louder to the extent of becoming “No Spirituality”. The cry against Religion has now become so belligerent that there seems to be no place left for spirituality, no place for devotion and reverence, no place for the aspiration of the soul, and finally no place for Sri Aurobindo and the Mother themselves. The reason that is promptly given is that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were themselves against the founding of a new Religion, and especially the Mother’s sharp remarks on Religion in the Agendaseemed to have sealed its fate for good, that is, if you believe in the Mother as the final authority in these matters, which ironically becomes again a sort of Religion.
As for me, I would rather be called a religious person, given the total misunderstanding that is being spread on religion. I will continue to (shamelessly) bow down and pray at the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, lay a flower on it and burn an incense stick with the idea of offering up my defects to the Divine, or sometimes even carry on the whole ceremony rather mechanically, because something always goes on at the back of my mind. Similarly, their photographs too represent for me a concentration of their force which I can draw upon for my spiritual sustenance day after day, month after month, year after year.

AUG 29, 2014

Response to Govardhan Dave – by Sridharan

Govardhan Dave is perhaps at his illogical best in the recent posting of 19 August 2014 on the Well-Wishers’ forum.
An Ashram without the Gurus or spiritually mature administrators is not an Ashram but an institution which has to be run on democratic lines. 
When did the disciples who have stood up against the Ashram Trust say or act as if there was no distinction between an Employee and an Inmate? They have never asked for Provident Fund or the application of Labour Laws in the Ashram! How does asking for justice and basic subsistence due to every inmate of the Ashram put him on par with salaried employees? You are actually raising a hornet’s nest. Can you imagine what will happen if all the Ashramites start asking for regular salaries? The Managing Trustee will have to bolt for the Himalayas! Finally, if your assumption is that an Employee can demand for facilities that he has been unjustly deprived of whereas an Inmate should not, then all the Ashram inmates will rather become Employees of the Ashram Trust. We will then have a lot of fun with Ashramites being paid to do sadhana under the strict supervision of New Age American style “Yoga cum Bhoga” gurus such as Peter Heehs and Richard Hartz!
Everybody in the Ashram and all the devotees who visit the Ashram on a regular basis know that the Ashram does survive on public donations, that it will go bankrupt if the donations and offerings stop, and that its businesses can hardly provide the finance to make both ends meet. In fact Ashram businesses and farms are white elephants and are mostly run at huge losses. 

JAN 27, 2015

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. 

MAR 22, 2015

Even a casual visitor who spends a few days here sees the deliberate inequality of treatment of members, the intentional social inequality, and the unconcealed conceit of the privileged classes. He learns that this is so because the Trustees  have not yet acquired the higher consciousness even halfway up to the level of the first Trustees appointed by the Mother; for the latter did to a large extent use (to quote the brochure) “spiritual means to effect dynamic solutions to the increasingly complex problems of life”.

APR 25, 2015

I had also heard from some poor volunteers doing free service at the Ashram that they had come for admission because it would solve their basic issues of sustenance. They had been assigned menial duties for a few years to judge their utility for doing errand jobs after which they would be considered for admission into the Ashram. While this is one stream, there is also another route, viz: students of the International Centre of Education after completion of studies are given the option of becoming an Ashramite or go for a vocation elsewhere. Once the ex-student opts in, all his creature comforts are met by the Ashram. Such admissions should point to the increase in the number of Ashramites as distinct from genuine aspirants/sadhaks. Therefore one is left with the poser: what draws people presently to become Ashramites – comfortable living conditions or spiritual aspiration?
It is an observed fact nowadays that those who have everything give nothing to the Ashram. Some others who had precious nothing when they joined the Ashram, have worked their way up the power ladder and have now taken everything from the Ashram in the form of monetary allowances, vehicles, costly medical treatment and exclusive accommodation. Not for a moment they think of what is expected of them by The Mother. 
Precisely because the Ashram finances owe largely to such offerings, there is need for probity and accountability in their utilisation. The funds should not be squandered on innumerable court cases to defend the wrongs perpetrated by the Trustees on Ashramites. Nor should they be wasted on travel jaunts or the private purposes of those close to the Trustees or to extend hospitality to Press personnel in order to publicly position the Ashram administration as an ideal setup and a paragon of virtue.
It is high time that the bluff of nomadic travellers / tourists / time-servers is called off, and the Ashram Trustees live up to the expectations of the public at large. Otherwise, it would only confirm the deep mistrust with which it perceives them now. If the Trustees refuse to mend their ways, it is better that they quit their positions so that the Ashram does not fall into further disrepute.
Today in the Ashram there are privileged classes and even privileged pets of the favoured ones.
Mundane organisational issues such as denial of food, medical facilities, sexual harassment and alienation of Ashram funds and properties are before the Courts, owing directly or indirectly to the whimsical andunaccountable actions of the Ashram Trust. Though the Ashram Trust would like to downplay the number of court cases, it is a fact that these are one too many. More than 160 cases were listed as of June 2008 by a social activist; the number by now would have easily exceeded 200. We need to thus ponder as to why so many voices are raised against the Trust. The answer is all too clear – it is the malfunctioning of the Ashram Trust and the arrogance of the Trustees who are at the helm of affairs. If the situation is not rectified, there is every danger that we as a collective would be consigned to the dustbins of history.
Let us be wellwishers of the Ashram – comprising of the extended family of devotees and disciples of The Mother. We should however not be devotees of the Trustees if they do not serve the cause of The Mother. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Accept, balance, and integrate the transcendent

DailyO-3 hours ago
In modern times, there have been monumental figures like Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, and Swami Shivananda, ...

The Hindu-13-Feb-2016
Sri Aurobindo Study Forum: Discourse on Sri Aurobindo's 'Life Divine' by Subramany, Nithyatha, Auro Lab, Veerapanjan, 10 a.m..

Story image for Alfassa from
La localidad de Auroville, situada en el Estado de Tamil Nadu (India), fue fundada en 1968 por Mirra Alfassa, también conocida como La ...

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.