Friday, March 12, 2010

How can these shallow interpretations be part of Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo

Hers was the story of how one’s destiny could be changed by love and how love could ruin one’s life. Hers was the story of how one aspired to find love first in mortals, then in the Divine and again in a mortal but at the end of the day, it was love that made her lose all that she had gained in life—fame, her very identity and above all, the aegis of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. She was Jyotirmoyee, renamed Jyotirmala by Sri Aurobindo. Jyotirmoyee was born in March 1903 in a Buddhist family of Satbaria, situated in Chittagong... 
A new taste in writing was ours aided by a constant impetus from Sri Aurobindo. Every poem written was eagerly submitted for Sri Aurobindo's perusal and with a greater eagerness we were waiting to receive his comment brought by Nolini ...
Alok Pandey’s comment: Yet and that is what we find consistently through PH's book that he has the penchant for picking up just the one that would give a wrong twist to the meaning and place it out of context and hold it as some document of proof. He has done this any number of times through the book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo and has done it through the years as well. This is what makes his motivations suspect…
When caught he gives this flimsy reason that he did it to entice the western academia. Does he really think so poorly of the west? If I were a born westerner, I would feel humiliated by such a statement, for it means that I love only that which is coarse and degrading, that truth for me is simply an appearance without any depth or deeper substance in it, not truth but well-packaged untruth. And if really there are such people who enjoy such cheapness and whose thoughts are so shallow as the book, are they worth enticing? That is another question. But I refuse to believe PH's gospel that the west knows nothing better than this crude physical intellect. In fact there is the danger in such a presentation that while a small and meaningless section may be excited to read this stuff, the really open and psychically gifted may turn away. That would be a great loss…
Be that as it may, and I am no expert either in Sanskrit or in spiritual experience and I also understand that each one is free to interpret his own way, my problem is that how can these shallow interpretations and meanings be authenticated and given as part of the Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo. Once out, nothing can be done about it. It is crass falsehood, for by Collected Works is meant only Sri Aurobindo's writings. If we open such doors, then why not next supply some kind of a Savitri-dictionary as part of the Collected Works…
To let the scholar take over the things spiritual is the first step towards the great decline that India suffered step by step in the past. The only way to understand the things of the Spirit is by experiencing them. There is no other way, yes, despite all the freedom to circle around there is no other way to know these truths. They are best left as they are. One can discuss the philosophy, speak about the fundamental necessities of the path but to use one's mind to interpret spiritual experience is a most dangerous start and we are indulging in it openly and unabashedly, and what is worse 'officially'. What else does publishing the glossary of terms used in the Records mean? It is like inviting trouble.
Well, but what is the use. This is just another piece of paper which will be thrown aside as yet another opinion as if truth is the monopoly only of a few scholars. One has to leave it at that. Personally, I do not see what else can be done. 
Comment posted by Kepler: You're of course right that intellectual discourse tends to appeal to the mind instead of illumining the soul, and is famous for its endless debates without issue. Still the mind does have its role to play in expressing the soul in thought, life and action.
Sri Aurobindo did not confine his writings to Upanishadic-style verse, but wrote at enormous length in the style of rational elaboration and articulation (I'm not saying his expressions were a result of ordinary ratiocination - but the expressed writing is certainly in a supremely rational style). So while steering clear of “Gobi deserts” of the intellect, one wouldn’t want to excessively devalue rational thought and expression either.
Comment posted by: auroman: I think Kepler is suggesting a (ahem) hermeneutic negotiation  between the past and the present where old semantics are poured into new forms and linked to modern concepts.   This may have some exegetical value and I suppose it could be done.  There are professionals like Sachidananda Mohanty or A.S. Dalal who package Sri Aurobindo's political  or psychological thought into books with up-to-date introductions and contextual notes.
Earlier I brought up the Manifesto at Posthuman Destinies as an interesting artifact: an attempt to recontextualize the Integral Yoga of Aurobindo Ghose into the problematic of the present, as put forward primarily in Foucaultian terms. 
I am not convinced it is possible (or, better, plausible) to reconcile the world-historical idealism called the "evolution of consciousness" with any kind of critical practice, as the authors of this manifesto propose doing. That is, I cannot myself understand how this teleology or schema can be anything other than a belief system, a tenet of a doctrine: something to believe in, to take for granted. Insofar as critical thinking works from examined or reasoned premises rather than beliefs such as this one or any one, the problem becomes one of reasoning.
This may be a blindspot on my part, or a misreading. It may represent a problem in presentation but not in reasoning. Or it may expose a fundamental contradiction in this and many other species of integral thought that are about, a tension between the desire to believe in a particular doctrine on one side and a desire to think critically on the other. I suspect the latter to be the case.
One way out would be to propose an integral theory that is not predicated at all on structures of belief, marking ontological claims as explicitly provisional and historical claims as explicitly materialistic (where "materialism" is defined as a critical practice absent of idealism). Like this one.
Barindranath Chaki added a blog post The New Race
Undoubtedly, India is the oldest civilization that is still living. And it will live on, as the very essence of India’s message is to lead the World, lead the humanity towards the Supreme Truth, the Supreme Realization. But what will lead the hu… from ASPIRATION - Aspiration is a call to the Divine. — The Mother
All choice: The New Race By Barindranath Chaki
The Goal, as taught by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, is to evolve into a New Being, the Supramental Being, as the New Consciousness, the Supramental Consciousness, has already descended on earth and has been active by now. ...
Savitri Era Learning Forum: What will lead the humanity is not the ...
According to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Moksha or Nirvana is not the Task before us, though that may come on our way. We need not or should not return to the Origin. Nor should we continue as the ordinary human beings, ...
Aurora Mirabilis: How about rewriting the opening chapter of The ...
And Auroville, which Mirra imagined as a futuristic city of 50000 that would transform the world, has obviously fallen short of that goal. Living there, with its strange combination of anarchism and cultish orthodoxy, would probably be ...
The Overmind Begins the Separation Process « Sri Aurobindo Studies Sri Aurobindo Studies. Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga. « Further Manifestations of the Overmental Consciousness. The Overmind Begins the Separation Process. By sriaurobindostudies. As we explore the instrumentality that leads to the ...
Climbing Arunachula - Daniel in Auroville, India - Spring 2010 ...
This is my journal for my time teaching on Living Routes' Spring 2010 semester program in Auroville. I will be there with my wife, Monique.
Social Enterprise Developer | Intern finder, Internships Worldwide By jpowell
AVAG is the primary outreach organisation for Auroville international township ( An integrated village development programme is implemented in 80 villages and Dalit hamlets neighboring Auroville. ...
BANYAN TREE GM Written by Radio Team   Thursday, 11 March 2010
The Banyan tree which stands at the geographical center of Auroville and which symbolize unity is dear to many residents. Few months ago landscaping work started underneath; two paved solid path as well as a series of benches were created. It changed quite a bit the atmosphere which people were accustomed to relate to. Concerns developed  also about the health of the tree in relation with its pruning and other factors related to the present landscaping. Recently a petition was launched to stop the work until proper expression of this concerns can be done. A General Meeting was organized on the 10th of March to start this process. 150 people attended.     – Rakhal
COLAAP Written by Lands for Auroville Unified   Friday, 12 March 2010
During the period under review, 8.27 acres were secured in the planned township area. Of these, 2.07 acres were by way of land purchase while the remaining 6.20 acres were by way of land exchange. Also, .40 cents were purchased by way of access to Quiet – a beach community and major centre for health activities and projects. With this, the lands to be secured in the City (or Urban) area of Auroville are reduced to 212 acres or 17.5 percent of the total 1200 acres. For the cohesive development of the Green Belt  - which allows for a multifarious projects and activities in agriculture, forestry, education, health, energy sources etc. -  Auroville still need to secure significant area of land. To download the Report for the period (Sept.  2009 - Feb.  2010) click here.
Friday, 12 Mar
Ashtanga yoga daily class ::: Harmony (Auromodele/Petite Ferme) ::: Fri ::: 8:00 AM
Yoga & Sophrology with Sandra ::: Quiet Healing Center ::: Fri ::: 4:00 PM
9th "No More Pesticides"- Exhibition ::: open field opposite Solar Kitchen (except Tuesdays) ::: Fri ::: 2:00 PM
Auroville Renaissance Cappella ::: Pitanga, Ashram, Adishakti, Notre Dame Pondy, Tibetan Pavilion ::: Fri ::: 8:00 PM
Ramayana Festival ::: Adishakti ::: Fri ::: 7:00 PM
C I N E M A - "All is Forgiven" - "Tout est pardonné" ::: Bharat Nivas, Auditorium ::: Fri ::: 7:45 PM
THE BRAND NEW BAND PERFORMING LIVE! ::: Visitor's Center ::: Fri ::: 8:00 PM
Photo-Graphic Exhibition "La Forêt Enchantée" ::: Pitanga ::: Fri ::: 8:00 AM
Saturday, 13 Mar
Ashtanga yoga daily class ::: Harmony (Auromodele/Petite Ferme) ::: Sat ::: 8:00 AM
9th "No More Pesticides"- Exhibition ::: open field opposite Solar Kitchen (except Tuesdays) ::: Sat ::: 2:00 PM
Auroville Renaissance Cappella ::: Pitanga, Ashram, Adishakti, Notre Dame Pondy, Tibetan Pavilion ::: Sat ::: 8:00 PM
Ramayana Festival ::: Adishakti ::: Sat ::: 7:00 PM
Introduction to the Spiritual Dimension of Auroville ::: Anusuya, Aikya’s house (meeting point Solar Kitchen at 8:45 am) ::: Sat ::: 9:00 AM
AUROVILLE SATURDAY MARKET ::: front of Solar Kitchen ::: Sat ::: 9:30 AM
Photo-Graphic Exhibition "La Forêt Enchantée" ::: Pitanga ::: Sat ::: 8:00 AM

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