January 09, 2006

Sri Aurobindo's writings are not for the hurried reader

From: "naresh kumar"
Subject: Regarding your blog Savitri era Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2006 02:44:19 -0600
Dear Tusar,
I browsed through your blog about Sri Aurobindo's work and it struck me as an effort to disabuse the general public at large about a perceived inaccessibility of his works , - whether it is owing to his (perceived) difficult diction or owing to a lack of the necessary orientation to receive his ideas the way he intended for his readers, - and provide an orientation that could help read the works.
I believe one of the often-overlooked fact is that all of his works were part of a the monthly Arya - and the articles, - whether it is the Essays on the Gita or The Life Divine, or his other works, - were spaced a month apart to allow the reader to read and ruminate upon the subject; we are all too aware of the hurried and even impatient pace at which the present-day-reader wants to absorb information. It is scarcely pointed out that Sri Aurobindo's writings are not for the hurried reader.
I studied Sri Aurobindo's works during my commute over a period of a year, and I cannot overemphasize the importance of a controlled pace at which his works must be read and absorbed. Studied thus, it is not too difficult to recognize the simplicity of his work - it is straight to the point, simple in presentation, and does not adopt too much of the ancient terminology - Sri Aurobindo mints his vivid Engilish terms (and at the same time maintaining the correlation to the ancient Samskrt diction).
And in an effort to ready the present-day-reader, what may be required are a series of "introduction" works - a 20 to 50 page pamphlet on each of his works that serve as an orientation course - for I feel that his presentation is so simple and new and refreshing, the unaccustomed reader could get confused! (the usual method of using the existing Samskrt terms, although helps make the initial connection, often confuses the purpose as they are employed differently in different Vedantic schools; the use of Supermind, Overmind, and the Supramental, owing to their originality and apparant lack of parallel in the old Samskrt diction often creates an initial difiiculty as it deviates from the usual rote of driving school-specific interpretations to existing Samskrt terms).
I feel the efforts you are leading may make an effort to create a general awareness of Savitri - the pamphlet concept I mentioned above; although, the full extent of the vastness and the depth could be felt only in the Original.
Tusar N. Mohapatra wrote:
Many thanks for such a rare perceptive appreciation. We should also thank the Blogger and the Internet for facilitating communication between like-minded strangers. Of all the points you made in the mail, I agreed most to the observation that, his presentation is so simple and new and refreshing and it is not too difficult to recognize the simplicity of his work - it is straight to the point, simple in presentation.
What I would like to add is that, it's a question of value. Unless one is convinced of value, he won't go for it. Again, conviction is not a purely rational affair. Glamour, hype, impressions and so many other factors go to constitute one's value judgements. So, let's spread the word. I have posted your comments. Since you have already read the main works of Sri Aurobindo, please write to bring out the uniqueness of thought in them. That is how more readers are likely to be impressed at least, if not convinced. Yours fraternally, Marketime

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