January 31, 2006

The Historical Vision of K.D. Sethna

Pradip Bhattacharya August 14, 2005
Sri Aurobindo, the seer of modern India, blamed new trails in several worlds of human enterprise and had followers of signal eminence in many of them. Some made their mark in more than one sphere of activity. Integral Yoga and Overhead Poetry are two such areas in which a number of luminaries have left their mark. No follower of Sri Aurobindo, however, has not only penetrated these areas but also ventured into territories such as science and history. Here is where K.D. Sethna, or Amal Kiran as he was named by his Master, stands distinctly apart.
This remarkable mind has taken virtually all knowledge for its domain and the clear ray of his piercing insight has probed not only profound issues of philosophy, such as the question of free-will or the spirituality of the future, but has investigated Einsteinian physics, detected Shakespeare's mysterious Dark Lady, Mr. W.H. and the Rival Poet, published 750 pages of poetry and followed the approach of Sri Aurobindo in plumbing the riches of European literature and the practice of Integral Yoga. However, that which is unique is his signal contribution to historiography. Here I shall not go into his remarkable investigations into Jewish history to fix the date of the Exodus, or into the question of the Immaculate Conception which patiently awaits a publisher of vision and courage.
My attempt will be to highlight Amal Kiran's deep-delving reconstruction of ancient Indian history. It is Sethna's characteristic that even in this most intellectual pursuit, the dissection of the vexed questions concerning the Harappa Culture, his inspiration is drawn from Sri Aurobindo. Repeatedly he returns to this fountain-head for sustaining his arguments, building firmly on his faith in the infallibility of the seer-vision of the Avatar of the Supramental. An implacable honesty is what places Sethna head-and-shoulders above scholars setting out to prove a preconceived thesis...This relentless dedication in the pursuit of truth and the uncompromising sincerity are features intrinsic to Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga which shine forth so radiantly in Amal Kiran.

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