Question of the Month Archive Introduction
In our section "Onlife Online", we often receive questions from aspirants, who are not satisfied with their present lives, who are trying to find a meaning in their lives, a deeper reason for why things happen as they do, and who are searching for a light to guide them in their actions.Each month we take a question of this nature and present an answer based on the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, with the belief that this could be of help to a larger number of persons. We welcome further comments on making our endeavour beneficial to all.
How do I get rid of Anger?
How to do Work faster and better?
How to read Sri Aurobindo's & the Mother's Books?
"I am with you!" said the Mother, What does it mean?
Fear of losing some one close.
Dealing with Disturbing Thoughts.
How should one deal with Depression ? (Part I)
How should one deal with Depression? (Part II)
When we make an effort to do better but don't see any progress, we feel discouraged. What is the best thing to do?
What exactly is meant by the "Eternal Birth" of Sri Aurobindo?
How is it that one seeks something and yet does not know that one is Seeking?
How can we establish a settled Peace and Silence in the Mind?
How one can face the death and loss of a dear one?
What is the Purpose of our Life?
How to Sleep Well?
What are Dreams? What is their Nature and Importance?
How to Control ourselves?
Why do Accidents happen?
What is the importance of Concentration in life?
Sri Aurobindo's Vision of the future.
How should we understand 'not to have preferences'.
How to help or protect somebody in difficulty or danger from a distance?
What happens after Death?
How to overcome the Fear of Death?
When one prays sincerely for the intervention of the Grace, doesn't one want a particular result? Is is right to do so?
Why do Natural Disasters like earthquakes and cyclones happen?
What happens after Death and how does Rebirth take place?
Meaning of Seeking the Divine for the sake of the Divine
What is the significance of Birthdays?
What is Desire? How does it arise? Should one try to conquer it?
What is the "Divine Grace"?
"Are Difficulties on the path an indication...?"
The Present Crisis and the Future Challange (Part I)
The Present Crisis and the Future Challange (Part II)
Are events predetermined or can we change them?
How to rekindle hope in the midst of suffering and despair?
How to offer one's will to the Divine? How to deal with defects in one's nature?
Why we feel attraction or repulsion for some persons?
How can we give all we are, all we have to the Divine?
How to deal with Pain and Suffering?
When somebody has an ill-will against a person, how does this will act upon that person?
What is the difference between prayer and aspiration?
What is Love? What does it mean?
Why do we hurt each other? What can be done?
Who is fit to possess money?
How to get from the Divine what one needs?
How to make our Resolution and Will firm?
How to attain the ultimate victory?
Question of the Month - Next Future # Sri Aurobindo Society
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Question of the Month Archive Introduction
Objective and Resume Summary:
Having learnt French since childhood, I am looking in for a challenging opportunity, where I can make use of my knowledge of French language to the maximum. I also have flair for for arts and crafts, and have participated in many private and government organised exhibitions. I am a friendly person and am well accepted by people around me. I like to travel and meet people of different culture and know about them and their socio-economic life. I am an executive member of an NGO and have been involved in skill development of women in the rural areas of West Bengal and marketing their products. This marketing skill has given me to a lot of exposure in the marketing world. My objective is to keep myself occupied and make the most of skills and enjoy do so.
Skills: French, back office, sales, translation
Known languages (and levels): English-Very Good, French-Good, German-A little, Hindi-Good, Other: A little Tamil
Minimum Yearly Salary in Numbers: 350000 USD
Current Location: India, Kolkota (Calcutta)
Education History, Qualifications & other additional information: Level of Education: Unspecified
I have graduated from Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry. Completed successfully a 12 weeks computer course from Womens Proffessional Training Institute, Kolkata. I have studied DL from Alliance Francaise, but could give the final exam as I couldnt stay back till the date of the exam. I speak English, French, Hindi, Bengali and a little Tamil.
Work History & Experience: Years of Work Experience: More than 15 Years
I have been appointed as secretary to the Dy. French trade Commissioner in Kolkata from '86 to '89. My responsibilities were correspondence, telex operations, file maintenance and day to day office duties. From '89 to '91I joined CESC Ltd. as Lady Asst. My responsibility was, correspondence, prepairing training material and engineering drawing. From '92 to ' 2001 I was in Pondicherry, teaching french to the students and also adults. I joined an NGO in 2001, was responsible for the skill and design development and held the post of an executive member. For the last 11 months I am working with a new firm "Study and Jobs Worlwide as a Sr. Manager. My responsibilities here is to look after the sales on the whole and corespondence. Contact Information
Friday, August 29, 2008
To become more vast, more complete, more powerful than the trivial life of a thousand painful limitations and imperfections and sorrows in which we live now—that’s the authentic Religion. Cherish a lofty aim and pursue it—that’s what great Thought or Religion or Mysticism or Idealism or creative Art plead in their truemost sense.
- If a creed, a dogma, a rite, an observation of the vow, weekly fast, worship of an image or a photo, chanting of a name, pilgrimage, reading of scriptures, offering a flower or waiving a lamp or lighting an incense stick or perambulation is going to help me grow in vastness then what’s wrong in that practice?
- Or else I take a painter’s brush or write poetry to discover myself—and is that not my legitimate religion which demands following its discipline and rigour?
None can stop me, none need stop me from that “religion” of mine. Call it commitment to one’s ideal or devotion to it, my criterion is my progress through it, my inner and spiritual progress and not my professional success.
There are codifications, there are commandments, there are laws, there are ancestral and cultural traditions, there are communal systems and rituals and scriptures, and there are even legal entities. Often bureaucratic structures and hierarchies also get formed.
- But what is religion?
- What is its function, its role in life or is it more concerned with after-life?
There are dharma-shastras, moralistic prescriptions, procedures for the conduct of life at every stage, from birth to death, with matters concerned with earth and heaven, with sin and virtue, good and evil, and the punishments and the rewards. There are social divisions and there are sub-groupings and strict assignments and job responsibilities for each. There are a variety of officials also supervising the organizational functionings. If we go by such formalized considerations, then we are actually dealing with the institutionalisation of a society and the conduct of the collective life, which is quite another matter than a free individual’s quest for God-Light-Freedom-Immortality. It is of course necessary that these be not mixed up in our discussion.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
At 8:28am on August 23rd, 2008, Unknown M said…
You are specially invited to the yahoo group on THE MOTHER & SRI AUROBINDO. This group aims at learning, spreading and interpreting teachings of our masters in a dynamic and a lucid way. This groups aims at discovering, feeling and realizing the presence of divine mother which is always there with us but we are unable to feel it as we are too much involved in materialistic pleasures of this world. We are unable to feel her because curtain of vital desires and greed surrounds it. When she is always there with us why must not we unite our being and work towards her realization in this material body.
C’mon be a part of us and join this group if you also believe in the same for them; join us if you believe that they have just left their material envelope but their inner consciousness is always there with us and they will answer us if we are ready to hear them.Please click the below mentioned URL to view this group:- http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/themother/
LOOKING FOREWARDS TOWARDS YOUR ACTIV PARTICIPATION FOR THE WORK OF THE MOTHER & SRI AUROBINDO :-Unknown M
Monday, August 25, 2008
Deshpande, I want to thank you for providing support to demonstrate my thesis that in her patronizing insertion of religion into what was overtly declared to be a yoga which renounced religion, that Mother helped create the religion of integral yoga. In the entire train of these post I have not seen one word about the inner avatar or the inner guru but rather only a stream of incessant monologue about the outer avatar whose relationship to us is one of lessor beings venerating a distant Godhead.
Of course at the end of the day, like any other religion that asserts their gurus or founders to be divinity, there is not a shred of evidence you can offer to support your arguments that they were Gods. The best you can do is to supply texts which can only refer to themselves in endless tautology.
Like the poor deluded population in Auroville who at the time of her death where wholly perplexed as to what to do next, because they thought she would live forever, what remains are only dysfunctional Institutions which attempt to fan the flames of a sacred candle whose sacrificial smoke has already vanished in the heavens.
You are correct in your assertion that claims to Divinity can not be supported by a biographer or historian. Rather, these claims are best made by the pendantic Acolyte who scours every text from their papal source to locate those sections which reinforce their beliefs that they are indeed the “chosen ones” who are following the “true -evolutionary- path”. Unfortunately a closer inspection of this path, reveals it to be one not heading toward a new future, but rather one bound to the endless repetitions of the past.
Although I find my inspiration in the texts of Sri Aurobindo and have derived inexplicable revelations from them, I do so in honoring the secular tradition I have grown up in - and which Sri Aurobindo endorsed as the best course for contemporary polity - Thomas Paine one of the American founding fathers declared ones religious experience to be a revelation but the communication of that experience to others as mere “hearsay”.
As with all claims of folks who assert that their's is the true path and only their gurus are divine, all that has been conveyed here as Avataric revelation is at the end of the day merely gossiping about the Divine; and of course the most appropriate thing to do when one encounters gossip is to simply say no more. rc
- Has Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga become a Religion?
Perhaps this question is quite irrelevant for the spiritual practitioner and one could simply set it aside. However, this is exactly what some of the rationalist toilers and thinkers would tend to believe, believe rather than argue about it, that today’s Integral Yoga is just a religion. They consider that the regular Hindu rites and rituals have crept into it, that these have become an integral part of the Integral Yoga. They go even a step farther and maintain that these were allowed to become so by Sri Aurobindo himself!
Perhaps all that began with the Mother when she put the Master on a distant high and lonely pedestal. Prior to this, Sri Aurobindo’s early associates were not disciples but his colleagues and comrades who had come here along with him. In fact one of the group photos of the time (1914) has them all together, two seated in chairs on both side of him and three standing behind. The Mother made him the Guru and desired them to respect him so. In her very first meeting with him, on 29 March 1914, she prostrated full length at his feet and just sat in front him on a low stool.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The essential mistake was to have considered Sri Aurobindo’s teaching as one among the spiritual teachings
Re: Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity--About Avatarhood
by RY Deshpande on Sat 23 Aug 2008 05:05 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Words of the Mother Sri Aurobindo wouldn’t declare himself to be an Avatar, the way Sri Krishna did on the battlefield of the Mahabharata. It was the Mother who did that, not once but in several contexts on several occasions. She revealed to us his divine birth, divyam janma, and the divine work, divyam karma he had come to do. But then he did tell us about the Mother, who she was, the embodied Consciousness-Force, the Supreme’s manifesting Power, daivi śakti who had taken the mortal birth here, who had condescended to pass through the portals of the birth that is a death. If one is true then, the second has also to be accepted. Here are some of the disclosures made by the Mother about Sri Aurobindo
What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world’s history is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme. 14 February 1961 *
(Message for broadcast by All India Radio, Tiruchirappalli)
What Sri Aurobindo represents in the history of the earth’s spiritual progress is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a mighty action straight from the Supreme. 15 August 1964 *
(Message for the issuance of a Sri Aurobindo commemorative stamp)
He has come to bid the earth to prepare for its luminous future. 15 August 1964 *
Sri Aurobindo has brought to the world the assurance of a divine future. *
Sri Aurobindo has come on earth not to bring a teaching or a creed in competition with previous creeds or teachings, but to show the way to overpass the past and to open concretely the route towards an imminent and inevitable future. 22 February 1967 *
Sri Aurobindo does not belong to the past nor to history. Sri Aurobindo is the Future advancing towards its realisation. 2 April 1967 *
Lord, we are upon earth to accomplish Thy work of transformation. 1 January 1951 *
You spoke of Sri Aurobindo’s birth as “eternal” in the history of the universe. What exactly was meant by “eternal”?
The sentence can be understood in four different ways on four ascending planes of consciousness:
1. Physically, the consequence of the birth will be of eternal importance to the world. 2. Mentally, it is a birth that will be eternally remembered in the universal history. 3. Psychically, a birth that recurs for ever from age to age upon earth. 4. Spiritually, the birth of the Eternal upon earth.1957 *
Since the beginning of earth history, Sri Aurobindo has always presided over the great earthly transformations, under one form or another, one name or another. *
It is said that Sri Aurobindo in a past life took an active part in the French Revolution. Is it true?
You can say that all through history Sri Aurobindo played an active part. Especially in the most important movements of history he was there—and playing the most important, the leading part. But he was not always visible. 23 January 1960 *
(Message for broadcast by All India Radio, Pondicherry)
Today is the first day of Sri Aurobindo’s centenary year. Though he has left his body he is still with us, alive and active. Sri Aurobindo belongs to the future; he is the messenger of the future. He still shows us the way to follow in order to hasten the realisation of a glorious future fashioned by the Divine Will. All those who want to collaborate for the progress of humanity and for India’s luminous destiny must unite in a clairvoyant aspiration and in an illumined work. 15 August 1971*
Sri Aurobindo came to tell the world of the beauty of the future that must be realised. He came to give not a hope but a certitude of the splendour towards which the world moves. The world is not an unfortunate accident, it is a marvel which moves towards its expression. The world needs the certitude of the beauty of the future. And Sri Aurobindo has given that assurance. 27 November 1971 *
Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to announce the manifestation of the supramental world and not merely did he announce this manifestation but embodied also in part the supramental force and showed by example what one must do to prepare oneself for manifesting it. The best thing we can do is to study all that he has told us and endeavour to follow his example and prepare ourselves for the new manifestation. This gives life its real sense and will help us to overcome all obstacles. Let us live for the new creation and we shall grow stronger and stronger by remaining young and progressive. 30 January 1972 *
Sri Aurobindo is an emanation of the Supreme who came on earth to announce the manifestation of a new race and a new world: the Supramental. Let us prepare for it in all sincerity and eagerness. 20 June 1972 *
Sri Aurobindo came on earth from the Supreme to announce the manifestation of a new race and the new world, the Supramental. Let us prepare for it in all sincerity and eagerness. 15 August 1972 *
Sri Aurobindo came to announce the creation of tomorrow: the coming of the supramental being. 15 August 1972 *
Sri Aurobindo’s work is a unique earth-transformation. *
Sri Aurobindo incarnated in a human body the supramental consciousness and has not only revealed to us the nature of the path to follow and the method of following it so as to arrive at the goal, but has also by his own personal realisation given us the example; he has provided us with the proof that the thing can be done and the time is now to do it. *
In the eternity of becoming, each Avatar is only the announcer, the forerunner of a more perfect realisation. And yet men have always the tendency to deify the Avatar of the past in opposition to the Avatar of the future. Now again Sri Aurobindo has come announcing to the world the realisation of tomorrow; and again his message meets with the same opposition as of all those who preceded him. But tomorrow will prove the truth of what he revealed and his work will be done. 21 February 1957 *
The essential mistake was to have considered Sri Aurobindo’s teaching as one among the spiritual teachings—and the work done here now as one among the many aspects of the Divine works. This has falsified your basic position and has been the cause of all the difficulties and confusions. If this mistake is corrected in your mind and in your attitude all other difficulties will disappear easily. You must understand that what Sri Aurobindo represents in the world’s history, is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme. And I am just trying to fulfil that action. 1961 *
What is the Divine? The Divine is what you adore in Sri Aurobindo. 28 March 1932
Saturday, August 23, 2008
A way, a rule and law of self-moulding by which he can grow towards divinity. It is too a collective business
Re: Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity--About Avatarhood
by RY Deshpande on Sat 23 Aug 2008 04:25 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
We have already seen that as per the Gita there are two aspects of the purpose and process of Avatarhood: divine works, divyam karma, and divine birth, divyam janma. Of the divine birth itself, there are two further objects:
“…one is a descent, the birth of God in humanity, the Godhead manifesting itself in the human form and nature, the eternal Avatar; the other is an ascent, the birth of man into the Godhead, man rising into the divine nature and consciousness; it is the being born anew in a second birth of the soul. It is that new birth which Avatarhood and the upholding of the Dharma are intended to serve.”
The Avatar comes as the manifestation of the divine nature in the human nature in order that the human nature may by moulding its principle, thought, feeling, action, being transfigure itself into the divine. The law, the Dharma, the conduct of living in the truth-movement, of growing in it, in the ŗtam, the Dharma which the Avatar establishes is given for that purpose chiefly. His concern is further to build up the next stage of manifestive evolution in the widening possibilities of the great spirit, in its delight and awareness and truth-dynamism and knowledge and power and harmony and beauty and perfection. A stage must come when even the physical must open itself to these greatnesses and grandeurs of this marvellous creation.
This double aspect is the whole meaning of the Gita’s doctrine of Avatarhood. “Otherwise the Avatar idea would be only a dogma, a popular superstition, or an imaginative or mystic deification of historical or legendary supermen, not what the Gita makes all its teaching,” explains Sri Aurobindo, “a deep philosophical and religious truth and an essential part of or step to the supreme mystery of all, rahasyam uttamam.”
The idea of Avatarhood did not exist at least in its explicit sense prior to the arrival of the Avatar of the Gita. What was the necessity of him speaking about it, propounding the mystery of the divine birth in this humanity? Because things had matured up at this stage for making the revelation in order to further the possibilities of the mental being into the overmental realizations. Something absolutely remarkable had happened in the cosmic dimensions which could become the foundation for the next evolutionary structure to come up, from which could be taken the next evolutionary leap.
And the raison d’être of Avatarhood according to the Gita? “Many are my lives that are past, and thine also, O Arjuna; all of them I know, but thou knowest not, O scourge of the foe. Though I am the unborn, though I am imperishable in my self-existence, though I am the Lord of all existences, yet I stand upon my own Nature and I come into birth by my self-Maya. For whensoever there is the fading of the Dharma and the uprising of unrighteousness, then I loose myself forth into birth. For the deliverance of the good, for the destruction of the evil-doers, for the enthroning of the Right I am born from age to age. He who knoweth thus in its right principles my divine birth and my divine work, when he abandons his body, comes not to rebirth, he comes to Me, O Arjuna.”
Sri Aurobindo explains it as follows: When the eternal divine Consciousness takes possession of the human consciousness, then we have the manifest Avatar. But it is to assist that ascent or evolution the descent is made or accepted. It is to give a spiritual mould of divine manhood into which the seeking soul of the human being can cast itself. It is to give a dharma, a religion,—not a mere creed, but a method of inner and outer living,—a way, a rule and law of self-moulding by which he can grow towards divinity. It is too a collective business, a work and the work for the race, to assist the human march, to hold it together in its great crises, to break the forces of the downward gravitation when they grow too insistent, to uphold or restore the great dharma of the Godward law in man's nature, to prepare even, however far off, the kingdom of God, the victory of the seekers of light and perfection and the overthrow of those who fight for the continuance of the evil and the darkness. All these are recognised objects of the descent of the Avatar, and it is usually by his work that the mass of men seek to distinguish him and for that that they are ready to worship him. It is only the spiritual who see that this external Avatarhood is a sign, in the symbol of a human life, of the eternal inner Godhead making himself manifest in the field of their own human mentality and corporeality so that they can grow into unity with that and be possessed by it. Perhaps we can have that spiritual discernment when we talk about the Avatar.
But the upholding of Dharma in the world is not the only object of the descent of the Avatar, that great mystery of the Divine manifest in humanity. It is the new birth which Avatarhood and the upholding of the Dharma are intended to serve. Dharma for what? to hold the new birth in the gracious and felicitous advent of the Avatar. It is an advent to usher in a nobler and superior truth in this progressive life of ours. ~ RYD Reply
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Reply Re: Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity--Adesh and History
by Rich on Tue 19 Aug 2008 05:01 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
RYD writes: "Sri Aurobindo was now working in the data and parameters of this world and that’s the only practical aspect behind the epoch-making command, the divine ādeśa; the rest is connected with his work as the incarnate Divine."
If you are going to consider Sri Aurobindo "the divine incarnate" as is expressed in this account then it would be best to treat his life as a purely religious matter because the history of the Divine is more properly called Religion. It would also be best -and certainly less frustrating for the faithful - just to ignore history because for such supernatural tales mythology will suffice.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Noted technocrat Hiranya Kumar Mohanty passed away here on Saturday at age 88. An ailing Mohanty was admitted to Kalinga Hospital here. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.
Born in Sareikala, Mohanty headed for England after graduating in engineering from Benaras Hindu University. He worked with Hirakud Dam project before joining Steel Authority of India Ltd.His assignments included Technical Advisor to the Rourkela Steel Plant, Mecon and UNIDO. He was honoured by the Association of Engineers for his contribution to the field of engineering.
After retirement, he shifted to Pondicherry. He was also associated with Gandhi Peace Foundation and Sri Aurobindo Society. He was cremated at Satya Nagar cremation ground here.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Well are you saying that leadership is not responsible for the practices of the Organization? Especially the organization it founded? If so this goes against everything one learns in graduate level courses in Organizational Psychology. Generally any responsible leadership acknowledges that as president Harry Truman says "the buck stops here".
The problem of religion and sectarianism in the Ashram is famous. Let me quote an from a New York Times article of a book review of a book from Gregor von Rezzori
After Bucharest comes a visit to Pondicherry, India, where he is enraged by the mindless devotion he witnesses to the deceased guru Sri Aurobindo and the "cult of personality" surrounding "the Mother," Aurobindo's companion and the co-founder of the ashram there. Given that he spends only three days in Pondicherry, his 50-page rant against spiritual enslavement does go on a bit too long, for even the author recognizes that "in Pondicherry I lost my ability to laugh."
Rakesh you write: Sri Aurobindo mentions that the Integral yoga takes the essense of Vaishnavism<
Well Vaishnavism is a religion! You cant have it both ways, either you declare yourself not a religion and eschew religious practice or you do not make the claim that you renounce religion and you continue traditional religious practice. Either one is just fine, but you cant have it both ways!
So if you advocate devotional practices that involves worship of idols or gurus thats perfectly ok, but just do not fool yourself that your not undertaking a religious practice.
I have no problem myself with devotional practice, I actually am drawn to it. However, lets be clear about it that this is also religious practice. aka belief in a personal godhead, deity or guru, the forms all religions take. (btw one does not necessarily transfer ones devotion on to a guru or idol, one can be devoted to a child, a family, a community)
But lets just be honest about it, IY in the form given to it by Mother and Sri Aurobindo, with its sectarian and devotional religious practices is a religion! Moreover, the fact that folks in the yoga also believe in the infallibility of Sri Aurobindo and Mother, choose to elevate them as Avatars, who could never make a mistake -in this instance an error in leading their organization - just seals the case for religion. rc
Regardless if I have traced an exact genealogy -because genealogies are complex- between religious practice instituted in the Ashram and the political ideology of some of IY's contemporary followers and institutions, the fact of Religion, in a form that Sri Aurobindo would perhaps call False Subjectivism, has infiltrated the collective consciousness of IY can not be refuted.
Additionally, the fact that political ideologies have appropriated Sri Aurobindo to support their agendas an both left and right can also be demonstrated,
If one does not find cause for pause and reflection on the status of Integral Yoga in 2008, a Yoga that while Sri Aurobindo's lived claimed not to be a religion, yet has become wholly infiltrated by religion; a Yoga which claimed not to be political, yet has been appropriated by politicians, then this whole conversation is unimportant
But if one wishes to go on after the initial deconstruction and attempt to recompose the relationship of IY to individual to collective to Spirit, and revision the relationship of IY to the Future, which does not become an eternal return of good ol' religion then one must decide how in depth one wishes to go.
To do it as we perceive our relationship to IY as individuals requires a different level of commitment than to also address it, where you say its problems lie , on an organizational level
But if one is to address this at an organizational level, one must first take care to locate the structural problems which reinforce the dogmatic practices of the past and those generative epistemological fields from which the gradients of muddled thinking originate
The reason religious practices began in the ashram are cross culturally and epochally and complex. These practices are certainly not congruent with the Enlightenment inspired values of renouncing religion that Sri Aurobindo and Mother also championed. So what are we to do?
Since this point is being misunderstood, I reiterate I am not questioning the validity and even necessity of devotion as a religious practice. The question is the culpablity of continuing religious practice yet making claims of no religion, and its affinities to fundamentalist thinking in certain populations.
Sri Aurobindo and Mother were dealing with complex realities not the least of which is that at a certain point organizations take on their own life. While they were able to work with the internal contradictions of the many people from different cultures and different levels of emotional and intellectual maturity who sought their guidance; people have their own motives for seeking guidance. If those motives were self-serving, the harmony that was bestowed on them, in the absence of their guidance could certainly untangle in the discord of contradictions.
But often it may not simply be out of selfish intent that contradiction emerges but rather out of ignorance, and here the law of unintended consequences comes into play.
The unintended consequences of working on different levels of consciousness, in doing excavations both on surface layers and the cavernous depths, in trying to harmonize individual needs and collective norms
Because if one believes that in a universe in which consciousness is delineated by various graduations, that on some planes of consciousness, expressions of devotion through the articulation of feelings (bhakti) are entirely proper, yet also believes in eschewing religious dogma one must take special care that some followers will not become attached to the forms of worship and inevitably confuse levels of consciousness, as well as secular and sacred, subcultural and cultural, theocratic and democratic values. While they could perhaps manage to convey this in individual communication, when these communications are broadcast to the group, to the world, then those forces unleashed and subject to the will of history can eventually morph into forms quite unlike those which were intended . The structural problems of the organization can I believe be traced here,
One does not deal with this however, by laying out blame but rather in trying to trace back sources and deconstruct deficient mental models.
Once this is done one can begin the work of reconstructing a shared vision which learns from the past and renews the teachings in the present in a form pliable enough to adapt to the complexities of the promised future rc
Thursday, August 14, 2008
In the context of the “visible-invisible”, I could possibly just add the following two among many similar statements of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo:
• I think it was to Dilip Roy that Sri Aurobindo had written that he could continue to write the Arya (1914-21) not for seven but for seventy years and yet his knowledge wouldn’t get exhausted. The plumbless oceanic “invisible” ’s poised “visible” itself therefore has become a small fraction of our “visible”. And then who can really understand this overt “visible”? For instance, the Secret of Savitri, the supreme revelation of Sri Aurobindo as the Mother says, remains inaccessible to us because of our severe limitations.
• Apropos of the work of physical transformation the Mother spoke of how much Sri Aurobindo had done after his passing away. This is a sealed “invisible” to us and perchance could be accessed if only we grow occult-yogically. Let me quote the Mother: “How much he has worked since he left! Oh!... all the while, all the while. It seems... it seems to be a miracle in the body. The disappearance of this formation seems truly miraculous.” (Notes on the Way, 14 March 1970, CWM, Vol. 11) And here is another profound statement from the Mother: “The question is to know whether [the body] will be able to follow.... In order to follow, not only must it endure but acquire a new form, a new life. That, I do not know. In any case, it does not matter—the consciousness is clear and the consciousness is not subject to [it]. If that can be made use of, so much the better, otherwise... There are things still to be found. Yes, things to be found!... What is to be found is the plasticity of Matter, so that Matter is able to progress always. There you are. How long will it take? I do not know. How much experience is needed? I do not know. But now the way is clear. The way is clear.” (Ibid., 30 October 1971)
Which simply means that, while we might go only by the “visible”, perhaps by the Centenary Volumes and the Agenda plus the Collected Works, the dimensions of the “invisible” have to be seen by the faculty of the intuition and yet higher senses of cognition. Until then our opining and comparisons based on the “visible” made available to us would remain crude happy pastimes.
More important than access to the “invisible” is first our capacity to make an authentic spiritual progress for which all the help and guidance is available from the Mother and the Master. If it is going to be called an act of faith, let it be so. At the same time, there is absolutely no question of the ‘faith”-ful enforcing it on others, as there cannot be the fundamentalist’s imposition in matters of spiritual quest and progress. Nor of this guru versus that guru, not of this yoga versus that yoga, and so on. Each individual has to make the discovery for himself, and so too each collectivity. In any case, it is too far away from us to understand what the “direct action from the Supreme” means, action in the context of the stubborn Mind of Night standing across the path of the divine Event. Freedom—that’s the true spirit, and the more we live in it the more we grow. ~ RYD Reply
There’s absolutely no question of doubting the importance of Sri Aurobindo’s writings and the Mother’s talks—far from it. It was not for nothing that Sri Aurobindo used to write day after day, rather night after whole night, for eight years, those thousands of letters. It was not for nothing that he encouraged the aspiring poets to use poetry as a means for the expression of the spirit, to open the doors of creativity to the higher possibilities which must step into this world of ours. These were a part of his yogic action for establishing something which had got to be done in this material creation. But these immediate identifiables, the “visibles” are just an aspect of a much larger, more luminous occult-spiritual operation.
Therefore when the rationalist goes only by them, even dismissing at times what is beyond them, then he is doing injustice to the Yogi in several ways. Sri Aurobindo’s writings, Sri Krishna’s Gita on the battlefield, the Mother’s running the Dining Room are the “visibles” for us and we tend to go by them alone. Surely, Sri Krishna didn’t come just for haranguing the besieged Arjuna and making him pick up the weapon of destruction!
Surely the Mother didn’t consent to pass through the portals of the birth that is a death for the sake of the Dining Room!
Much vaster actions are involved and they are concerned with the very difficult problems of this inconscient creation itself. The process and purpose of Avatarhood is for opening the doors of evolution to the next step and for doing that they take the entire burden upon themselves. At one time the Mother was unhappy that some of the Master’s literary disciples were cutting into his time with the literary issues, that they did not understand with what greater things he was busy. “My life is not on the surface for men to see”—this is what Sri Aurobindo himself had declared.
Therefore it will rather be disparaging to speak about him in a desultory way. Yet we have to move on, we have to find our true, our authentic potential—and grow. That’s what finally matters—and for that all the help is there. ~ RYD Reply
With a great deal of research done over a long period of time and marshalling the collected historical documents connected with the life of Sri Aurobindo, we are presented his ‘factually dependable and correct’ biography by Peter Heehs, check at biography, author of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo ...
Our author writes about Sri Aurobindo that “his life as a yogi and spiritual leader is more difficult to quantify, but it certainly will not be forgotten soon.” Perhaps it will be the other way round. ~ RYD Reply
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Reply by Barindranath Chaki on August 10, 2008 at 4:37pm
Secondly, what does one expects from such a question — Is Sri Aurobindo’s teaching a religion?
I have referred to the matter in my question itself. I said: “And it is necessary, as some follower of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother has been propagating the idea that this Teaching is a religion.”
The following matter is published on 3rd August 2008 in Savitri Era, a blog by Tusar Mohapatra, well-known as a follower of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo: Every Indian has the prudence and the freedom of converting to any religion, including Savitri Era Religion.
Earlier, on July, 2008, he published the following in “Savitri Era Learning Forum” The West will be the most fertile ground for the Savitri Era Religion.
Even earlier, Tusar Mohapatra published in Savitri Era, in a posting dated October 6, 2006, a similar matter which is placed below for reference: “No confusion over the identity as a religion That Savitri Era constitutes a religion was adjudicated by Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy in his famous dissenting judgement of 8th November 1982 in the Auroville Case.”
Over the said publishing in Savitri Era blog, an article was published by me in All Choice, a blog of mine and in some other blogs [I am reposting the article today in Aspiration]. The purpose of this discussion here is only to know what the members and the would-be members and other readers think over the matter and how far they agree to disagree with The Mother and Sri Aurobindo over this matter.
While writing a few of the comments in the above, I was also keeping at the back of my mind some other observations about the act of faith-religion-fundamentalism-politics, they by the quick rational mind being linked up with Sri Aurobindo. A terrible confusion arises when we mix up matters of the individual’s spiritual growth and progress with the wider collective or organizational issues. For instance, an individual’s faith is an individual’s faith and nothing can be said about, nothing perhaps need also be said or done in that respect which otherwise will amount to fundamentalism. A true seeker of the spirit will always get the right guidance and will step forward depending upon the sincerity and intensity of his aspiration, and there is no doubt about it.
The collective—that has been ever through a difficult charge. There are certain cosmic fundamentals and they come into operation in way or the other through the history of entire time. Man as an evolved being in his fullness always strives for Wisdom-Strength-Harmony-Perfection and, as long as the balance is maintained, he acquires the collective gain. But quite often that gain proves precarious, Nature perhaps wanting him to move from gain to gain. The opening paragraph of The Life Divine sets the tone:
“The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation,—for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns after every banishment,—is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality. The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last,—God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.”
Rich has an excellent paper on Integral Ideology: An Ideological Genealogy of Integral Theory and Practice posted at integralworld. Basically it covers the following topics: Fundamentalism, Neo-Liberalism, Neo-Conservatism, Gebser’s Sociology, and Integral Theories. In the course of his discussion he raises an important question vis-à-vis the Integral Yoga, if it has become a religion. Perhaps this question is irrelevant for a spiritual practitioner and it could simply be set aside. However, to consider it as a part of the regular Hindu rites and rituals is rather becoming unfair to it. But the amazing aspect of it, the suggestion is that it was Sri Aurobindo himself who encouraged it! ...
Rich makes references to Peter Heehs’s Lives of Sri Aurobindo. In my comments I’ve already responded to some of the observations made by Rich and maybe it won’t be necessary to step into politics—it is always good to avoid it—but we might as well see some of the basics of the issues they bring forth. The question to be answered is: Has Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga become a Religion? ~ RYD
Saturday, August 09, 2008
It is in this context that we should feel happy in seeing this poetry being anthologized in a single collected volume, that a great need has been fulfilled through it. Llyod Hofman and Vignan Agni from Auroville have done it in Devotion: An Anthology of Spiritual Poems. In their introduction, the editors write:
“Some two hundred years ago the literary world was unnerved by a new kind of book: the anthology. Various authors were presented through poems that had been cut from sequences of narrative, or lifted from series with a common theme. But more embarrassing was that the poems presented without the usual introductory essay by the poet, giving views on life, reality and the imagination. These essays were much debated in libraries and reading rooms, as popular then as are video libraries today. Compiling Devotion reminded us of this…”
Our editors feel that, not to introduce the Aurobindonian school to ardent poetry lovers and readers would place the anthological works in an inexcusable poetic vacuum. This is justification enough, but also perhaps not a sufficient justification. The question to be asked is:
- does the Aurobindonian poetry at all make a mark in the present world literature?
- will it ever make it?
- does it have ample or satisfactory reason to exist in its own right, if not now, later?
- More fundamentally, is it going to fulfill the expectation of the Yogi-Critic who foresaw, foundationally, the advent of the poetry of the future, poetry expressing the powers and possibilities of the spirit?
- Does it provide us “contextual poetry” arriving, in a sustained way, from the regions of intuition and if likely going even beyond them?
But let us follow the Devotion. We have in this anthology entries of 111 poet-authors, the main text of the book spanning over a little more than 300 pages, plus notes and an index, with a total tally of 271 poems, a work that has been brought out exquisitely, in hard cover, designed by Auroville Prose Editors (Avipro) and published by Integral Enterprise of Auroville... Science, Culture and Integral Yoga View SCIY Slide Shows The Pondicherry Mystic Poets
Reply Re: Aspects of Amal Kiran: Part I—by Anurag Banerjee
by Joan Price on Fri 08 Aug 2008 01:07 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Amal Kiran's poetry lifted me on wings of wind, but not being a poet, I soon landed softly on familiar ground. The article was excellent.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Amal Kiran is a poet, a prose-writer, a critic and a researcher. But there is something that transcends all his multi-faceted abilities. It is his spiritual consciousness. It should be remembered that he is first a Yogi and that too a great one whose spiritual consciousness and abilities were developed by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo over the years. But surprisingly in his early years, he was not a believer. In fact he had lost his faith in God due to his study of the works of Plato, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Ernst Haeckel, Joseph McCabe and Bernard Shaw; also he was under the influence of a Jesuit teacher who made him despise “cheap religionism, as well as cheap materialism, puritanical sham no less than erotic tawdriness.” ...
Much has been discussed about Amal Kiran’s spiritual experiences. But the author would like to recall a personal experience of his regarding Amal Kiran. When he had gone to meet Amal Kiran in the Ashram Nursing Home for the first time, he made his obeisance to him and asked for the latter’s blessings (as he was translating the poems of Amal Kiran into Bengali). “Where is your head?” asked Amal Kiran. The author bent forward and Amal Kiran touched his head with his palm. What followed was an unforgettable experience! The author felt a strong electric current flowing in his spine. The effect was so great that it took him some time to open his eyes; when he stood up, Amal Kiran’s attendants exclaimed: “How beautiful! How beautiful!”
The author was unable to understand why they were saying so. When he went out of the Nursing Home, he saw his reflection on the side-mirror of a scooter parked in front of the gate; to his utter surprise, he saw that his face had become absolutely red—like the cover of the Bulletin of SAICE. Such was the force of Amal Kiran’s touch! After all, his were the hands that had touched the feet of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo!
Amal Kiran’s journey still continues. He no longer writes; no longer converses much, but conveys much through his silence. He was never afraid of death for he himself had written in a letter to his Guru in the early 1940s: “Death by itself does not frighten me very much. I do have the normal man’s recoil from it, but my mind has a certain detachment which makes something in me rise superior to fear…Yet death does appeal to me horribly because it would cut short my spiritual growth in this life and waste the mercy that has brought me close to you and given me a grand opportunity to be your instrument. I want to live and realise what I have never ceased to regard as my true ultimate goal. Personally, I do not and cannot even believe that I shall die and not realise that goal.”
This fearlessness still exists, fostering the progress of the soul for he claimed: “I am doing my best to live long both because I am happy and can give happiness and because I want as much time as possible to go nearer to Sri Aurobindo’s luminous Truth and the Mother’s radiant Beauty. All the same I am ready to say ‘Hurrah’ whenever they tell me, ‘Your time is up.’” (The Wonder That is K.D. Sethna alias Amal Kiran, p. 2)
Amal Kiran always craved to realize the Divine as that has been the foremost aim of his life... Keywords: Sethna, Poetry, Literature, Culture, Amal Posted to: Main Page LITERATURE .. Poetry PEOPLE INTEGRAL YOGA SRI AUROBINDO Previous: Aspects of Amal Kiran: Part III—by Anurag Banerjee Next: August 6 Quote of the Day Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
No It its not a religion. Mother and Sri Aurobindo have categorically said about it. And we all know the difference between religion and spirituality. It is beyond all religion though a religious person can also follow Sri Aurobindo's teachings. Everything has been harmoniously integrated in Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. They have included everything, so all religion are included in their teaching but it is never a religion there is no question about it. Tags: mother, religion, spirituality, sriaurobindo Share ► Reply to This Follow
Some people are blessed to have the touch of Goddess Saraswati on their fingers and Her kiss in their hearts; as a result they are able to compose remarkable verses. Due to this special blessings, they can dive into the ocean of thoughts and realizations and bring out the most precious pearls which they knit together to form a priceless necklace. This necklace is also known as “poetry”.
There are some who think, analyze and evaluate subjects and occurrences of incidents from a different angle or perspective. They are the intellectuals and researchers who not only think but make others think as well.
There is another class of people gifted with the special power of speech. They are superb conversationalists who mesmerize the audience whenever they speak. They have the touch of the Goddess of Learning in their tongue.
In the fourth category of people there are the seers, the Yogis—who, despite being a part of this world, belong to the Divine. They are here to guide us, help us, lead us from Darkness to Light and from Falsehood to Truth. They enlighten us with their wisdom (practical and spiritual) and we feel secure when we are in their company.
But is it possible to have these four traits in a single person? Yes, it indeed is possible. We still have such great men amidst us—K.D. Sethna alias Amal Kiran, who is not only a great Yogi but also a poet par excellence, a researcher, an Indologist, a prose-writer, a critic and what not! In this article, we shall try to discuss the various aspects of Amal Kiran, the universal genius.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
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Sri Aurobindo has said: Man is a transitional being. Man is an evolutionary being, who has emerged as the Neanderthal man from the Ape, and now, he is on the Way to the Higher Evolution. This earth is a field of Evolution — Evolution of the Spirit that has become Matter and is involved in Matter. All living beings including the humans have emerged out of this Evolution. But Man is not the final result of Evolution. He is in the initial stage of the Manifestation of Consciousness — in a r… Continue
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