Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Trustees should set themselves as examples before they impose any external rules

Publisher’s Note:

“…The first comprehensive list of rules appeared around 1930; modified versions of it came out in 1933, 1938 and 1950. In 1965 the Mother made a new list of rules. Most of these rules are not well known…”

It is an admitted fact that most of these rules are not well known. It means that these rules are not in vogue. It also implies that these external rules are suggestive and meant for one’s own guidance. In fact this aspect is clear from Sri Aurobindo’s own words which is reproduced in page 4 of the instant booklet of which Rule 4 reads:

“…4. There are no external rules, except those made from time to time for inner discipline of the Asram…”

In fact the Trustees should set themselves as examples before they impose any external rules. Of the present 5 Trustees not one Trustee is setting himself as an example before he imposes external discipline expects from others. Trustees not setting themselves as examples and imposing external discipline on others are contrary to the Teachings of the Masters.

Page 1 # Part I
Rules of the Ashram A Historical Survey

The publishers are not very clear when they say ambiguously “…Some of the rules are known to have been written by Sri Aurobindo or else taken almost verbatim from his letters. Sri Aurobindo revised rules on two of the lists and may have revised others.” “….In 1971 she signed a list of five rules that was probably formulated by one of her secretaries…”

Page 3 # Early Rules , 1927-1929
Sri Aurobindo Ashram , Pondicherry
Rule 4 Reads:
“4. The conditions for admittance as a member of the Asram are:- the call to the way and spiritual purpose of this Yoga; an entire and one-minded readiness for surrender and the giving up of all else for the One Truth; acceptance by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.”

The present Trustees neither have the insight nor an effort in that direction to know whether the intending seeker has “the call to the way and spiritual purpose of this Yoga…”

Page 5
Rules and Regulations of the Asram, 1930
Rule 6 Reads:
“6. Nothing should be sent out for publication (contributions to newspapers and magazines or books) without having been first submitted to Sri Aurobindo for approval.”

In fact the above rule is grossly abused by the Trustees themselves. The Trustees are always biased in invoking this rule according to their whims and fancies. The Trustees have promoted and encouraged all kinds of stupid publications by 1. Manoj Das (reply in The Statesman), 2. Peter Heehs (reply in the “Outlook”), 3. Subrato (reply in “Outlook”) and 4. Soumya Bableshwar (reply in “News Pondicherry’), just to support their wrongful actions. Home Sri Aurobindo The Mother Savitri For the Prosecution of Peter Ashram Auroville About Saaba

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Despite a shortage of money, Sri Aurobindo was able to concentrate on his sadhana as well as writing

OPED Monday, November 24, 2008 Aurobindo’s life divine Prafull Goradia

82 years ago this day, he attained siddhi

On November 24, 1926 at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo had his major vision of the divine which he called siddhi. Commenting on his greatness, the Times Literary Supplement wrote that he might prove to be one of the truly creative philosophers who has given mankind a new thought and a new vision. The philosophers the journal had in mind included Plato, Kant, Hegel and Bergson. The same publication had elsewhere quoted Sir Francis Younghusband as having said that Sri Aurobindo’s mystical magnum opus called The Life Divine to be the greatest book which had been produced in his time (The Lives Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs).

It is not widely realised that yoga means not only a union of body and mind but ultimately also of the human with the divine. True, the latter union is extremely rare. Over the last several centuries, only two individuals are reputed to have been able to view the divine, namely Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Sri Aurobindo. It is believed that both attained mukti or salvation; the former through bhakti while the latter with the help of jnana yoga. Their mystic experiences were at once similar and yet very different.

Sri Aurobindo was almost entirely educated in England over a period of 14 years. In his second year at King’s College, Cambridge, he completed his classical Tripos. Praising his essay, on a comparison between Shakespeare and Milton, written for the Tripos, Oscar Browning called it wonderful. The famous writer went on to say that in his 13 years as an examiner, he had not come across such excellent papers as this student’s. Sri Aurobindo passed the ICS examination but ducked out of the appointment by missing the horse-riding tests. Nevertheless, his learning was versatile, ranging from the Greek classics to Latin, not to speak of Sanskrit and English poetry.

Politics and India’s freedom had begun to stir Sri Aurobindo while in England. One of his biographers, AB Purani, has written that when he put his foot on the soil of India at Apollo Bunder (Mumbai), he experienced tremendous peace. He proceeded straight to Baroda to take up his appointment that he had accepted from Maharaja Sayajirao before leaving England. He served the state for over 13 years until he was 35. During these years, Sri Aurobindo took keen interest in politics in Bengal especially through his brother Barin. Being in the Maharaja’s service, he had to remain in the background, until the British Government decided to prosecute him for writing in Bande Mataram, a journal founded by Bipin Chandra Pal.

In 1904, Sri Aurobindo started practising yoga five to six hours daily. He called this practice sadhana. Although he did take a few advanced lessons from one Yogi Vishnu Bhaskar Lele in 1907, the rest of his efforts all his life were his own. Incidentally, Sri Aurobindo attended the historic Surat Congress of 1907. Incredibly, he was already looked upon as a leading light of the extremists. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was about his only senior. Although he had taken to political activity like fish to water, it disturbed his sadhana. On many a day he could not even practise yoga; he found this disturbing.

In May 1908, Sri Aurobindo, along with others was arrested in the Alipore Bomb Conspiracy case. He left his defence to Chittaranjan Das and busied himself with sadhana even if in the full view of the prison inmates. Once when the Governor visited the jail, he remarked that Sri Aurobindo’s eyes were like those of a mad man. Charu Chandra Dutt corrected him by saying that they were those of a karmayogi!

There were times when Sri Aurobindo experienced siddhi, the attainment of seeing light much greater than experienced in our world. On occasions he heard the voice of Swami Vivekananda. During the trial in court, he saw Vasudeva and Narayan instead of the magistrate and the prosecutor. One day he was reported to have experienced the divine. Sri Aurobindo has written about how he was urgently removed to his solitary cell, but in his own words, what happened then and day after day “I am not impelled to say except that ‘He showed me His wonders’.” Thereafter, he often asked the divine for an aadesh (instruction).

After being acquitted in the Alipore Bomb Conspiracy case, Sri Aurobindo began editing two journals, Karamyogi and Dharma. At the office one afternoon, came an aadesh: ‘Go to Chandernagore’. He obeyed immediately and reached the French colony the same evening. In less than two months, came yet another aadesh which asked him to proceed to Pondicherry which he did on March 31, 1910 by a French boat named Dupleix. Despite a shortage of money, Sri Aurobindo was able to concentrate on his sadhana as well as writing, including his epic poem Savitri.

His devotee, later the legendary Mother named Mira, wife of Paul Richard, first called on Sri Aurobindo on March 29, 1914 along with her husband who was a French journalist. She had repeatedly dreamt of Lord Krishna; when she met Sri Aurobindo, she knew she had found the avatar. Her life was dedicated to spreading the message of Sri Aurobindo.

Sri Aurobindo mingled more and more with the divine and found the ultimate success or siddhi on November 24, 1926. In his own words, life is all yoga. After the siddhi he confined himself to his apartment in the ashram and met no more than seven or eight outsiders in the course of the following 24 years. He was no organiser. It was the Mother, who in the celebration of Sri Aurobindo, played the role reminiscent of Saints Peter and Paul for Jesus Christ or Ashoka in the spread of Buddhism.

Post Comment COMMENTS BOARD :: Aurobindo’s life divine 24 November, 2008

By all means, please continue writing on Sri Aurobindo- but do we really need to quote Peter Heehs's book? By Tathagata Mukherjee on 11/24/2008 1:55:57 AM Its great to see some articles on "prophet of Indian nationalism", Sri Aurobindo, in the pages of the Pioneer lately. However, I have a question to Shri Goradia who is quoting from Peter Heehs's book and probably to the Editor as well (as we have seen a piece of Peter Heehs appear in the Pioneer lately): This book of Peter Heehs has many derogatory references to Sri Aurobindo. By all means, please continue writing on Sri Aurobindo- but do we really need to quote Peter Heehs's book?

The Search Results are given below using word ALIPORE BOMB CASE 'God cannot be jailed' 22 November, 2008 The bomb that shook an Empire 22 November, 2008 100 years of righteous terror 22 November, 2008 Politics of reaching out 11 October, 2008 Alipore bomb case to be exhibited at SC museum 12 May, 2006 11:57 AM

Monday, December 29, 2008

Every devotee is a VIP: 15,000 devotees are expected to visit the Ashram on January 1

Arrangements on in shrines, aurobindo ashram for new year: December 29, 2008 Puducherry, Dec 29:

Most places of worship and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram here are going ahead with arrangements to ensure that devotees from all over India find it convenient to offer prayers on New year day on january 1...

Aurobindo Ashram has also drawn up programmes to enable the devotees get into the ashram premises from 4.30 AM There would be mass meditation around the samadhis of Aurobindo and the Mother for half an hour from 6 AM. Recorded music will be played during the meditation. Not less than 15,000 devotees are expected to visit the Ashram on January 1. Ashram sources said no request had come so far from any VIP to the Ashram about their visits."Every devotee is a VIP"...

All lodges and guest houses are fully booked till Jan 3. Corporate houses have also taken a big chunk of accommodation for their people from different parts of the country. The increase in tourist inflow to Puducherry during New Year would be 15 per cent more than the usual turnout to this former French colony, an official source said. PTI

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Let Mr. Hartz mix only 0.25% of potassium cyanide in his drinks

Home Sri Aurobindo The Mother Savitri For the Prosecution of Peter Ashram Auroville About Saaba Pondicherry Inefficiency Admin Admissions Accounts Mismanagement Archives and Research Litigations Press Publications Phamplates e-Books Speechs & Messages Golden Words
Open Letters Lord's Birth Place Copyright SAABA NEWS No. 64 Dt. 9/02/03
SAABA NEWS No. 64 Dt. 9/02/031. Khichudi – A) only 0.25% of change in words in Savitri! – Richard Hartz. B) ‘my’ or ‘thy’ 2. NEWS. –Kolkata, Pondy.

HELLO I AM BACK! what did you think that I had forgotten you people?! But as they say, ‘ RECULER POUR MIEUX SAUTER! ’ Meanwhile I thank one and all for the patronage, love and the interest that have showered on me from most unexpected quarters of even the hierarchies of the management. Thus on popular demand I am once more at your service for better and good!!

SAVITRI – (Part - 10) - KHICHUDI - So far dear readers and lovers of Savitri, we have had the pleasure to partly study and make our humble inroads in understanding the mentality of our dear and hon’ble friends Hee-Haas, - the so-called research workers of the Archives department of Sri Aurobindo Ashram! Their benevolence, zeal and understanding of Sri Aurobindo is fathomless as earlier seen while analysing a few of their examples of tampering of Savitri as explained by them in a mumbo-jumbo circuitous manner in “Supplement to the Revised Edition of Savitri” – 1994.

Subsequently many of you, including some among the trustees have partly and privately accepted that the tampering of Savitri has indeed been done. However, we did not have the occasion then to analyse two booklets, “On the New Edition of Savitri “ p.1 & p.2 of 1999 and 2000. Mr. Hartz has the audacity to tell you on page 14 of p.1, ‘On the New Edition of Savitri’, that, “Savitri contains more than 180,000 words; 99.75% of these are the same in all editions. Examples of differences in the other 0.25% are given below.

These examples are grouped under three headings according to the principal causes of error: (A) typographical errors, (B) mishearing of dictation, (C) miscopying and mistyping.”

SAABA on this issue has only to state, let Mr. Hartz go and mix only 0.25% of potassium cyanide in his drinks, or even copper or fluorine! In the mystic, spiritual, overhead and mantric poetry it is even worse to make the sublime ambrosia into poison by changing 0.25% in words. But then Mr. Hartz here is like a bull in a china-shop! The Mother did not allow even a comma to be changed

– What SAABA is wondering that with all the new and modern methods now available, new techniques and modern computers at your command, new efficient and so-called research scholars full-time at your disposal, how is it that Mr. Heehs and Mr. Hartz misspelled the word ‘seried’ – 88.35? Mind you this mistake did not exist in 1950 and 1954 editions. This goes to show the meticulousness of Mr. Heehs and Mr. Hartz in creating a new spelling for serried. Sri Aurobindo had done it right, why in the name of correcting a spelling they are adding their own version in 1993, that does not exist in any dictionary?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Special souls had come to do special work in the wake of the avataric unfoldings

Mirror of Tomorrow My Preferences Home Savitri: the Light of the Supreme
Main Page Previous: The Lives of Sri Aurobindo—a Controversial Biography by Peter Heehs
Regarding Peter Heehs’s Proclamation of Suresh Chakraborty (Moni) not Being a Yogi—by Anurag Banerjee on Wed 24 Dec 2008 02:17 PM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

[The Lives of Sri Aurobindo—a Controversial Biography by Peter Heehs has a reference to Suresh Chakrovarty,

The biographer has portrayed him in not too famous terms, in fact there is the undertone of belittling him. One vivid picture which stands about him in front of us is his role in making arrangements for Sri Aurobindo’s stay in Pondicherry when he had received the ādeśa “Go to Pondicherry”. In the present article with two postings, we have a warm account about Suresh Chakraborty (Moni). Sri Aurobindo’s own entry in his Record of Yoga brings out his exceptional character. No doubt special souls had come to do special work in the wake of the avataric unfoldings. ~ RYD by RY Deshpande]

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do Westerners, perhaps lack the inner sense to discern what relics emit?

Home > Journals & Media > Journals > Auroville Today > Current issue August 2007
On relics
- Carel

Many Westerners have a revulsion for the veneration of relics, the body parts of a dead person. Yet cases of relic veneration abound in Catholicism as well as in Buddhism and Hinduism. This veneration may, of course, be ascribed to religious sentiments. But is there more to it? Do Westerners, perhaps lack the inner sense to discern what relics emit? For why did The Mother allow relics of Sri Aurobindo to be distributed and enshrined?

“She said that each and every molecule of Sri Aurobindo's body was filled with Supramental Consciousness,” writes Nirodbaran. “We know that his body was glowing with Supramental Light as soon as he left it. That Consciousness is not a mortal thing which ceases with the death of the physical body. If that is to be, then we wouldn't feel such an extraordinary power and strength when we touch the Samadhi,” he continues. And he explains, “We have learnt that wherever the Relics are enshrined, there dwell such peace and tranquillity. Therefore the relics are not a mere memento. Relics are the living Presence of Sri Aurobindo imbued with the light and force of his lifelong sadhana, just as an atom contains an infinite power in itself.”(1)

In Champakalal Speaks (1976), Champaklal, the servant of Sri Aurobindo, explains how he gathered the hair and nails of Sri Aurobindo that were later given out as relics.(2)

Relics were first installed at the Delhi Branch of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram on December 5, 1957. They were housed in a gold casket which was then encased in three surrounding caskets of silver, sandalwood and rosewood. The same process was followed when relics were installed at the Bangavani centre in Nabadwip, West Bengal , on 21 February 1959. There is an account of it by one of the devotees present:

"Mother explained the relics, what they were and when they had been taken. They were nails and hair taken from Sri Aurobindo on August 25th, 1950. The Mother first herself sewed up the Relics into a brocade bag with a brocade thread, then put it into a small gold box, the symbol of Supermind; then put the gold box into a silver box, the symbol of Overmind; the silver box into a sandal wood box, the symbol of Higher Mind; the sandal wood box into a rose wood box, the symbol of Material Mind; then Mother tied it up with a silk handkerchief used by Sri Aurobindo during his last Darshan. Then Mother covered it up with a piece of red silk cloth, put it into a plastic bag, made it airtight. Then she put the whole thing into a stone casket made for the purpose and Udar cemented it up. ‘Sri Aurobindo sharanam mama' chanted Champaklal at varying pitch at every phase of the ceremony. Mother presented each of use with a card with Sri Aurobindo sharanam mama [Sri Aurobindo is my refuge] printed on it and with blessings written by her own hand. We were twelve of her Selection for the ceremony.”(3)

And relics of The Mother? They are not given. As Nolini Kanta Gupta explained: “We have not till now issued ‘relics' of the Mother, for relics mean remains of a dead person and we did not associate death with the Mother's body. She is ever living to us – even in her body. Sri Aurobindo's was a different matter – the matter was decided by the Mother herself. But in the present case instead of so-called relics we have been issuing things and objects which Mother had in her personal possession and were used by her and considered and treated and loved as part of herself – she herself had declared it so.”(4)

(1) Translation by Gopa Basu of an article on Relics by Nirodbaran in his Bengali book Rancahana Bichitra, as published in Nirodbaran, Divinity's Comrade.
(2) Champaklal Speaks (pp. 104-105), 1976 edition.
(3) From The Mother: A souvenir commemorating the New Advent of Sri Aurobindo in His Motherland: Installation of the Great Relics on the 21st of February 1959 in Bangvani, Nidayaghat, Nabadwip, West Bengal (pp 149), by Gobinda Lal Goswami.
(4) Handwritten note of Nolini Kanta Gupta of 18-12-1977.
Home > Journals & Media > Journals > Auroville Today > August 2007

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I don't think I could get my mind off of the amazing space long enough to go into a meditative state!

Eric Rockey's RTW Trip Tuesday, December 16, 2008 Pondicherry and Auroville

I was excited to go visit Auroville and, overcoming my fear of driving on busy Indian roads, rented a scooter to get me out to there. Auroville is difficult to describe. It's a self-proclamed "universal" town, which aims to bring together people from all nations, religions, and creeds to live in a way that transcends these divisions. A mix of about 40% Indians and 60% foreigners, the town combines the traditional Indian village way of life with more modern Western housing and technology. No one owns anything in Auroville, Auroville owns it all. You can build a house in Auroville and live in it, but if you leave, it goes back to Auroville. There are plenty of different jobs that you can do in Auroville and people earn a fairly modest stipend for doing them (earning money is not one of the reasons people go there - my impression is that it contains a lot of people who have made money in some way before). There is quite a range of light industries in Auroville, as well as many traditional Indian crafts when are sold on site or in stores throughout India. Auroville is famous for producing healthy organic foods and some of the best chocolate I've had in a while. Also (near and dear to my heart), it places great importance on sustainable energy and generates about 30% of its needs from those sources. I'm considering going back to see if I can work in that area for a little while.

The most famous symbol of Auroville is the Matrimandir, a large golden sphere at the geographic center of the community, sitting right next to a beautiful old Banyan tree. The Matrimandir is a meticulously engineered meditation space that is just gorgeous inside and out. The outside is covered with huge discs whose surface is gold leaf encased on glass. The inside looks like a set from "Space 1999", except not cheesy, with orange light eminating through what looks like the inside of a geodesic dome. Everything is white marble - stairs, railways, benches. Inside of this is the inner meditation chamber, where you must put on little white socks so as not to disturb the absolute whiteness of it all - white carpet, white marble, white ceiling. In the center of the chamber is an enormous crystal sphere. An opening at the top of the Matrimandir, combined with some sort of computer controlled mirror, continually sends a pure beam of sunlight directly through the crystal (that is the only light during meditation). The light continues down through the entire building and ends up striking a smaller crystal sphere in a beautiful lotus-shaped pool underneath the structure. I extended my stay in the area for an extra day so that I could experience meditation in the Matrimandir. I don't think I could get my mind off of the amazing space long enough to go into a meditative state!

My barfly friend Babu got me in contact with an old-timer out at Auroville, who I had lunch with at the Solar Cafe. The first thing I noticed was the confusing sign "Money absolutely not accepted!" I found out that this meant you had to get an account # and pay for everything through your account (sort of like Disney Dollars). Or sweet talk some nice Frenchman with an account into ordering your food for you. The vibe was interesting in Auroville - definitely lots of smart people were staying there and it appeared that they were actually getting things done. One of the most impressive things I saw was how they transformed the natural environment in the space of 40 years. Evidently when the community was started, it was pretty much a dirt plain, with no trees or large vegetation due to bad land management. There had been a forest a couple hundred years ago but it was completely gone. Since then, the area has been replanted with millions of trees and now it is forested and green. The man I had lunch with, David, was one of the primary guys in charge of the replanting. It was an enormous job and something that they are looking at exporting to other areas in India. Posted by Eric Rockey at 11:54 PM

All Aurovillians are fed free at a huge solar kitchen

Who's a true Aurovillian?
Kishore Singh, Business-Standard :: New Delhi December 20, 2008, 0:01 IST

Because it’s the closest settlement I have from my temporary home in a guest house outside Pondicherry, it’s natural to be drawn to Auroville, though once you get to know it, there’s disappointingly little to see or do there. You could eat at the cafeteria, or shop at the trendy little stores that, for all that Aurovilians claim about their lack of mercenary incentive, are just a tourist rip-off. Or you could wait for the arrival of a new species of man who will inherit the earth and make it a kinder, gentler place — that generation, naturally, being brought up as an Aurovillian ideal.

I look around to see if this super-species is anywhere in evidence in Auroville, in the babble of voices of people from around the Western world who seem to congregate here because it is a miniature reminder of the habitats they have left behind. They’re dressed in what they suppose Indians wear, only the Indian visitors are very differently dressed from them. The Europeans order garlic toast and pasta and lasagna, the Indians want dosa and biryani. After a few days you can tell the Europeans who tend to hang around here, though the Indian visitors never seem to come back. And the super-Aurovillians are nowhere to be seen.
By a strange fate, my guest house is not in Pondicherry but in Tamil Nadu, though Auroville is, of course, in Pondicherry. It is another matter that it has its own charter and could be its own country. Certainly, you can’t buy land here — the Aurovillians must vet you and decide, after you have hung around for a few months, whether you have the makings of their new race that is interested neither in competition in the workplace (though you need to volunteer to do some work, any work), before they give you free land on which to make your own house, or find you a place in a tree-house that has already been built.
A few thousand volunteers inhabit this space, their children don’t go to formal school, and life from the outside, looking in, seems very, very strange indeed. All Aurovillians are fed free at a huge solar kitchen (any visitor, necessarily accompanied by an Aurovillian, must pay), and though electricity used to be free till some time ago, apparently the rising cost of power required for air-conditioning and television means they must pay for their utilities now. Fortunately, most don’t just depend on their volunteer work but find other means to support themselves for a little bit of money — sometimes also enough to go back home to Europe for a holiday, which, they complain, they find too expensive on their Auroville earnings.

The land around the Maitri Mandir — a gilded geodesic dome in the making for forty years and only just completed — is an enchanted forest. Here, on its uncarpeted roads, if you go after dark, you might come across groups of inter-racial children riding horses late into the night, or others picnicking in the moonlight, or even groups of singers, like heralds, waiting for the new age of mankind to begin.
Alas, mankind seems doomed to repeat the same mistakes, whether in Auroville or elsewhere. One night, in the company of some Aurovillians, we are to go out to dine in some style to Pondicherry, but the choice becomes a debatable issue. We want trendier places, our Aurovillian friends would rather we went to a family diner. In the end the deal is clinched on the issue that we can hardly be around where their children might be out, making a night of it — it would embarrass the kids as well as their parents.
In Auroville as well, the new generation of teenagers seems only to be tawdry rather than superior.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sri Aurobindo, Agastya, Vamadeva, Pythagoras

Physical Transformation—the Early Beginnings
by RY Deshpande on Wed 03 Dec 2008 08:01 PM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

It is perhaps not very wrong to say that the process of the last decisive physical transformation in Sri Aurobindo’s yoga-tapasya began sometime in the mid-thirties. The siddhi or realisation of the Overmind consciousness working in the physical was already obtained by him in 1926; it set off a certain globality of operation for its functioning at the material level. Since then his entire yogic effort was organised towards getting the higher, the supramental siddhi in the substance of the body itself.

This was a totally new situation in the context of the evolutionary earth; but it was also a situation fraught with dangers, it yet holding in it vast possibilities opening themselves in the direction towards which a secret hand had already started guiding the process. This transformation of the death-afflicted physical was certainly a most difficult endeavour whose parallel could perhaps be seen only in a remote way in ancient times, more specifically in the Vedic tapasya of Rishi Agastya...

This must be considered as the first beginning of the process of physical transformation which he had received as a birthday gift a week in advance, before 15 August in 1938. He has now offered his entire physical being to the invading deity and made it a temple for her permanent residence. Supramental Light and Consciousness and Force of that deity, breathing and living and luminous, have appeared dynamically and giftedly and splendidly upon the earth’s playfield...

If the bodily existence was set ablaze in this way, it meant that there was the wonderful realisation or the siddhi of the Mind of Light in him, that the physical had started receiving the supramental. Sri Aurobindo had definitely moved towards it, a remarkable event, a landmark event in the evolutionary sequence. It is said that Pythagoras had a thigh of gold, and that Vamadeva, after crossing the hundredth year, lived in a golden body for sixteen full years. Something golden had happened in that far past, but now the Mind of Light has made the body its permanent base, permanent home. Mirror of Tomorrow

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The author of a recent biography of Sri Aurobindo and his eloquent friends simply harp upon reason and intellect alone

The Avataric Work: Towards the Intermediate Race
by RY Deshpande on Tue 02 Dec 2008 08:52 PM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

[The Gita reveals that the purpose of the divine Incarnation or coming as an Avatar is to do the divine work, diyam karma. This is not only to destroy evil and establish the righteous Law, but is actually to take the progressive evolutionary march to the next higher stage. Sri Aurobindo came to do that, to bring the Spermind in the terrestrial play and make the divine manifestation here upon earth a possibility. We have to see from whatever has been revealed to us if this is present in his life and in his work. Representation of that work should be the genuine concern for any study of his, including biographical. If this is missed, then that study is a waste of effort and one need not really attach any importance to it. Unfortunately that is precisely what is happening in the case of the latest biography of Sri Aurobindo...]

Ascent to Supermind
by RY Deshpande on Thu 27 Nov 2008 12:17 AM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

In a recent book presenting the life of Sri Aurobindo we have a chapter entitled The Ascent to Supermind: Pondicherry 1915-1926. This chapter gives an impression that during this period Sri Aurobindo was making progress in the discovery of supermind, climbing step by step towards it. But he already had the knowledge of it with him, at least for a couple of years now, even much prior to the meeting with the Mother on 29 March 1914. Perhaps the first indication was when he was an undertrial prisoner for one year in Alipore jail, 1908-09.

It was here during the early period of his incarceration that, almost for two weeks, the spirit of Vivekadanda would visit him and point it out to him, a bright golden star far above in the sky. His Vasudeva-experiencine in the jail, of the Presence of the Divine everywhere, in its dynamic aspect, in trees and plants and men and jailors and court witnesses and the judge and the counsels, everywhere, point out towards such a compelling universality. The discovery of the supermind was not a late discovery that began in 1915 and grew in the decade to follow. We have other accounts about it from him.

A Key Statement about the Integral Yoga
by RY Deshpande on Sun 30 Nov 2008 01:44 AM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

First we have to make absolutely certain that there is a call for the spiritual life as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo. If this is not followed even while proclaiming as a practitioner of the self-chosen discipline, not imposed by anyone on anybody, then it is immaterial whether we do this or we do that, whether we call it Spirituality, or Integral Yoga, or Religion and Faith, or the Path of Reason and Rationality, and what not. In fact none of them will have the merit to satisfy the soul’s deeper urge seeking the truth within us, and it working and manifesting in us, and everywhere, and all around. If our concern is this single objective, of the dynamic manifestation of the truth, of the transforming light and power and joy entering into us and operating in every respect in us, then all talk about rationality, about faith in science and reason, faith in logic, blind faith, seeing faith—seeing faith is an extremely rare commodity—pale into insignificance. We go to a spiritually accomplished person to seek his help in this regard, his spiritual help to make spiritual progress, and we endeavour to follow it if we are centrally alert to its assuring methodology and its demands, truthful to our own earnest and sincerest yearning...

The author of a recent biography of Sri Aurobindo and his eloquent friends simply disregard this central principle of the Aurobindonian Yoga when they harp upon reason and intellect alone,—and exists for them no Guruvad, the Word of the Teacher that has the power to mould one’s life. On the contrary, those who go by it are easily dubbed in this world of ours as religious, credulous, the followers of faith—which in fact should not really matter. Indeed, an act of true faith is a kind of inner perception and certitude, and it should not be disrespected, howsoever one might like to reason about it; it is a sort of surer knowledge of things to come and it should be perceptively accepted. If this knowledge comes from the innermost being, and better yet from the psychic being, then there cannot be anything more wonderful than that; it will take care of the hazards springing from the unregenerate vital nature.

On the other hand, absence of the psychic and spiritual awareness will put even the best of our thinking and reasoning in a permanent mental trap, a secure trap from which escape may not be easy, may not be simple and straightforward. But when the precious moment arrives, when there is a call for the higher life, then we should seize it and be true to it; it should be the Biblical pearl for which one should be willing to give up anything required to own it, possess it. We should follow the higher precepts in their truthfulness. It is this superior and elevating expectation we have from the biography of a spiritual giant, and that too the biography of a Yogi par excellence. When this is not available then one feels disappointed whatever be its other claims and good points, its academic or research presentations. RY Deshpande

Re: Physical Transformation—the Early Beginnings
by RY Deshpande on Wed 03 Dec 2008 08:22 PM IST Profile Permanent Link

It is unfortunate that the spiritual insights which could be obtained from the rich archival material that was there at the disposal of the author of a recent biography of Sri Aurobindo are not available in his work. Research with the help of these documents could be rewarding. RYD Reply Mirror of Tomorrow

Re: It is the Psychic Being which will Materialise itself and become the Supramental
by RY Deshpande on Fri 05 Dec 2008 05:37 AM IST Profile Permanent Link

It will be wonderful if some of our friends bring out the details of Rijuta’s life, especially her inspiring contact with the Mother, instead of occupying themselves solely with an academic biography. ~ RYD Reply

Falsehood and Evil—a Price to be Paid
by RY Deshpande on Fri 12 Dec 2008 06:34 PM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

That is the divine work not of Man but of the divine Incarnate. He bears wounds that are difficult to heal. To write about these matters is to write the spiritual biography of the Avatar which only a siddha or perfect accomplished Yogi can do. These, and not the university or academic or the so-called researched presentations, are the aspects of utmost concern. We should be appreciative of the things that constitute the essence of the divine work, divyam karma. RY Deshpande Posted to: Main Page

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

We haven't heard much comparison, just more the bald contrast

Re: Explanation of my Stand wrt The Lives of Sri Aurobindo
by Rick on Mon 24 Nov 2008 11:09 PM PST Profile Permanent Link

Dear Koantum, I followed your links and think I may see what you mean. One thing I'm curious about and haven't heard (from you or others, though I may have missed it) is what you might think about other biographies or writings on Sri Aurobindo besides Peter's.

  • What do you think of, say, that long book by Iyengar?
  • Of A.B. Purani's life of Sri Aurobindo?
  • Rishabhchand's efforts focusing more on the political days?
  • Satprem's Adventure?
  • Chaudhuri's writings (not biographical, but he did write "Prophet of Life Divine"?
  • Then—I would say in a whole other category, but you may differ—Nolini, in his writings on Sri Aurobindo and his much more extensive writings on the yoga?
  • Or any of the other such writers?

We haven't heard much comparison, just more the bald contrast: this current "academic biography" as opposed to the previous "hagiographies." To take an entirely different tack from my two recent posts—I'd be interested in some of your specific reactions (or creative responses) you, Koantum or anyone else.

You do make a very intriguing point in contrasting writings "painfully limited in their vision and comprehension" ("in comparison to Sri Aurobindo's own luminous writings")—writings that may have tried but may have failed to express the "inner Sri Aurobindo" versus Peter's book that does not elicit this reaction "because he deliberately limits himself to the documented externalities of Sri Aurobindo's life" ("the outer Sri Aurobindo"). Still, if you are interested, I would like to hear some more nuance, more of your (or others') more- specific reactions to some of these books mentioned or others not mentioned. Rick Reply [+Permanent Link + Permanent Link]