August 31, 2006

The Mother knew Sri Aurobindo the best

I have quoted The Mother, as She knew and understood Sri Aurobindo the best and in the most perfect way. More than half a century has passed away after Sri Aurobindo's departure, and yet His Life has still not touched the understanding of the great mass of humanity, and His message is not yet listened to by this mass. To some, He is just a saint from India, though His Touch, in consciousness, has created many saints, or better, many spiritual men, throughout the world. They are the spiritual people, without the guise of the saints or mahatmas.
Sri Aurobindo did not come to be known as a saint or a guru or a spiritual man. He came to announce “the manifestation of a new race and a new world: the supramental.” He was an Avatar, an emanation of the Divine, and He came with the special purpose of discovery of the Supramental Consciousness beyond the mental plane, of descent of the Supermind in His body, so that other people may follow His footsteps and further the achievement of the cause Descent of the Supermind on earth and of consequent manifestation of the supramental world on earth, the coming of the supramental beings on earth. Barin 12-06-2006 Tagged with: Supermind, Sri Aurobindo, supramental consciousness, Supramental manifestation, the psychic being, The Mother, Mira Alfassa, supramental world, Pondicherry 7 Comments posted by Barin

The Meditation Society of Australia

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August 30, 2006

Rudolf Eucken: Ethical activism

Eucken, Rudolf Christoph (rū'dôlf krĭs'tôf oik'ən) , 1846–1926, German philosopher, studied at Göttingen and Berlin. He taught philosophy at Basel and became professor of philosophy at Jena (1874). His work attained wide popularity, and he won the 1908 Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1912 he lectured at Harvard. His philosophy, known as activism, stressed personal ethical effort rather than intellectual idealism. English translations of his work include The Truth of Religion (1901), The Life of the Spirit (1909), and Knowledge and Life (1913). Encyclopedia Directory > People > Encyclopedia - People
Rudolf Christoph Eucken (January 5, 1846 - September 15, 1926) was a Frisiann philosopher, and the winner of the 1908 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in Aurich, Hanover (now Germany), and studied at Göttingen University and Berlin University. In 1871, after five years working as a school teacher, he was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He stayed there until 1874 when he took up a similar position at the University of Jena, Germany in 1874. He stayed there until he retired in 1920. He married in 1882 and had a daughter and two sons. His son Walter Eucken became a famous founder of neoliberal thought in economics.
His philosophy was based around human experience, maintaining that humans have souls, and that they are therefore at the junction between nature and spirit. He believed that people should overcome their non-spiritual nature by continuous efforts to achieve a spiritual life. He called this Ethical activism. He delivered lectures in England in 1911 and spent six months lecturing at Harvard University and elsewhere in the United States in 1912-1913. Wikipedia Directory > Reference > Wikipedia
Bergson's intuition, James' cosmic consciousness, Eucken's superconscient

August 28, 2006

Join "horizontal" and "vertical" divisions

The Stoics conceived of individual souls as parts of the World-Soul. For Plotinus in contrast, the World-Soul is herself an individual soul, albeit a very large one, whose body is the cosmos which she forms and administers. But both the individual and the World- souls are manifestations of the one Universal Soul. This is essentially the same as the monistic Hindu philosopher statement that the individual soul or Jiva and Ishwara or God the creator and ruler of the universe are both the result of super-imposition or Maya over the one Absolute or Atman-Brahman.
As well as this "horizontal" division there is also a "vertical" one. Plotinus and his successors integrated the Platonic distinction between the rational and irrational souls with the Aristotlean distinction of vegetative, sentient (animal), and rational soul-levels. They thus postulated a whole range of levels of psychic consciousness.
Being an intuitive and inspirational rather than a systematic thinker, Plotinus sometimes divides the Soul into higher/rational and lower/irrational, and sometimes into three or even more levels, the various classifications often being contradictory with each other. Sometimes the rational soul as a whole is identified with the "unfallen" soul. Plotinus went so far as to say that the soul, as an "intelligible cosmos", contains not only all other soul-principles (or Logoi) but also the levels of Intelligence and the One, and is therefore able to attain any of those principles; an idea close to the Vedantic and Buddhist concept of Enlightenment or Liberation.
The Psychology of Plotinus Plotinus' psychology is as follows:
The summit of Soul is an unfallen level which does not descend into this world; the Noetic Soul. It is in constant transcendent contemplation of the eternal Nous.
The Rational Soul is the highest level of the ordinary human psyche, which is able to approach the spiritual.
The Irrational or Animal Soul, which is limited to the bodily or animal passions and desires; the equivalent perhaps of the Catholic "seven deadly sins". This is the bodily or "vegetative" soul (phytikon) responsible both for physical growth and nutrition, and also for the bodily appetites and emotions
The soul is thus an "amphibian", belonging to both the physical and the intelligible (noetic) worlds.
This concept of "vertical psychology" was later to figure prominently in Kabbalah and Sufism, and is still with us (minus the higher or spiritual/noetic element) in the Freudian psychoanalytical distinction of Ego (= Rational Soul) and Id (= Irrational Soul). In modern Theosophy and Occultism also, this gradation appears as the distinction between the Mental and the Astral (or Emotional or Desire) bodies.
Sometimes Plotinus adds a further hypostasis, phusis or Nature, as the lowest projection of Soul and the dim consciousness within plants, between Soul and the Sensible World. The Theosophical version of this is the "etheric plane".
The Soul is the lowest hypostasis, the lowest irradiation of the Divine. Deficient as it is, it still retains a trace of the original on-tological authenticity or Spiritual-Being-ness of the higher principles. Below the Soul there is only non-conscious matter - hyle - which Plotinus equated with "non-being" and total deprivation. Plotinus describes Matter as "non-being", in view of its formlessness and utter unsubstantiality, although he denies that this means absolute non-existence
Written by M. Alan Kazlev Neoplatonism/Plotinus by M. Alan Kazlev
(From the Internet Encyclopedia of philosophy)

Approaching with devotional practices

The transformation of many individuals would make it possible for society as a whole to be transformed. A first step in this direction would be the gathering of individuals striving for change in spiritually oriented communities.

A community of sorts had taken form around Sri Aurobindo during the early years of his stay in Pondicherry. This group assumed a more organized shape after the arrival of The Mother. In 1926, he handed control of the ashram to her…She directed the inner and outer lives of the members, while he oversaw things from behind.

Most members of the ashram came from Hindu backgrounds and felt comfortable approaching Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in ways associated with Hindu devotional practices: darshan, pranam, and so forth. Sri Aurobindo permitted and in some cases encouraged these expressions…[Edited] From the Introduction by Peter Heehs; Nationalism, Religion, and Beyond: Writings on Politics, Society, and Culture by Sri Aurobindo, 2005
Nationalism, Religion and Beyond : Writings on Politics, Society and Culture/Sri Aurobindo. Edited by Peter Heehs. New Delhi, Permanent Black, 2005, x, 364 p., $36. ISBN 81-7824-139-0. Contents: Preface. Introduction. 1. Cultural nationalism. 2. Political nationalism. 3. Religion. 4. Religion and nationalism. 5. Beyond nationalism. 6. Beyond religion. Sources. Glossary. Index.
"Sri Aurobindo is best known as a philosopher and yogi, as one of the early leaders of the Indian Nationalist Movement who also wrote extensively on politics, society, and culture.
His contributions to these fields, although original and often ahead of their time, have not received the attention they deserve. One reason for this is that they are scattered through six or seven volumes of his complete works. Another is their apparent datedness.
But the most important of Aurobindo's writings on these subjects are as interesting now as when they were written, for they deal with matters of perennial concern--such as on cultural identity, and the place of spirituality in society.
Peter Heehs--well-known historian and biographer of Aurobindo-overcomes the first problem (of scattered sources) by selecting representative passages from the entire body of Aurobindo's works. He deals with the second problem (of Aurobindo's seeming datedness) by providing historical background, and by relating Aurobindo's social, cultural, and political ideas to those of contemporary theorists.
Heehs's anthology confronts common misunderstandings by scholars and politicians who reduce Aurobindo's complex thinking to a collection of cliches. Additionally, given the manner in which the leading figures of Hinduism have been appropriated by Hindu fundamentalists, this anthology is a vital corrective. It provides a nuanced and contextualized understanding of one of India's most influential thinkers."
Nationalism, Religion, and Beyond: Writings on Politics, Society, and Culture — Edited by Peter Heehs Permanent Black, Delhi SABDA – Distributors of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publications

Any other way will be impossible

Nationalism, Religion, and Beyond: Writings on Politics, Society, and Culture — Edited by Peter Heehs Permanent Black, Delhi SABDA – Distributors of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publications
The book is arranged in six thematic parts which are roughly chronological: (1) Cultural Nationalism, (2) Political Nationalism, (3) Religion, (4) Religion and Nationalism, (5) Beyond Nationalism, and (6) Beyond Religion...
For the rest of the anthology he then steps back and lets Sri Aurobindo "speak for himself". To illustrate the general drift of the anthology and its relevance even for the ultra-modern, non-religious mentality of today, we quote two substantial extracts from the first part, "Cultural Nationalism"...
Almost a century has passed since, and is it less true of Europe today than of Europe then? Two years later, when Sri Aurobindo turned towards India in the same context, his eye was equally sharp and language equally acute...
It is not easy to grasp the full depth and wideness of Sri Aurobindo's thought—not only for the public at large, but even for his admirers and followers. Dazzled by the light and vividness of his main propositions, we often fail to perceive the subtler shades of meaning in his complex arguments. Thus the piece about Europe might seem, at first glance, to justify and indirectly advocate a wholesale rejection of everything coming from the West as incurably infected with a mortal disease. Yet in the second piece written two years later he recommends the typically "European" process of free and original thinking as part of the remedy for India. What he really fights and detests is the cheap superficial imitation and uncritical acceptance of the results of European thought, since that would be the very antipode of original thinking.
But if neither Europe nor traditional India can satisfy him, what else remains, what else can be attempted? Where is he trying to point by alluding to India's "invincible spiritual individuality which can yet arise and break her own and the world's fetters"? Some – taking their cue from the many places in Sri Aurobindo's writings where he expresses his genuine admiration for the rich and flexible culture of ancient India as opposed to the increasingly narrow and rigid developments of later Brahmanism and Hinduism – would say that he is pointing to the rejuvenated "older & mightier Vedanta" which does not reject the world. After all, it was the Isha Upanishad that gave Sri Aurobindo the first glimpse of spiritual awakening, and provided him with the basis for his own system of world- and life-affirming spirituality.
It can hardly be a coincidence that his magnum opus of spiritual practice is called The Synthesis of Yoga, or the institution he founded an ashram. External forms of devotion witnessed in the Ashram also trace their roots mostly to Indian tradition. No wonder many people find such an interpretation convincing. In this view, India needs to reconstruct the simpler, adaptable Vedantism of the Upanishadic times with its plastic social framework, and so reunited, vigorously "push out" of its social body first the decadent European materialism, promptly followed by whichever other systems of faith happen to be lumped with it as unwelcome intruders on the sacred Indian soil.
Yet the fact remains that Sri Aurobindo has explicitly spoken and written to the contrary—not once, but many times. The social and cultural forms of the Upanishadic Vedantism simply cannot be revived. Readers of the anthology will find the reasons explained by Sri Aurobindo himself, and we assure them that those pieces are as powerful and penetrating as the ones we have already quoted. Here is what Sri Aurobindo thinks of the approaches that we have previously referred to as "pushing out"...
Nothing and nobody then needs to be "pushed out" in order that India may realise her fullness of being. Rather the opposite—at least in Sri Aurobindo's view. He indeed speaks of Hinduism as superior to other religions but applies this attribute to a "wider Hinduism" of which the Bible and the Koran are valid scriptures and of which, therefore, Christians and Muslims are already legitimate members. Moreover, he praises this "wider Hinduism" for a virtue precisely opposite to that of "pushing out": the inexhaustible capacity to absorb, to reject nothing but to test and experience everything, and to turn it to the soul's uses. To sum up, in Sri Aurobindo's words of September 1906,
"Devotion to one's own ideals and institutions, with toleration and respect for the ideals and institutions of other sections of the community, and an ardent love and affection for the common civic life and ideal of all—these are what must be cultivated by us now, for the building up of the real Indian nation. To try to build it up in any other way will be impossible." — Marcel Kvassay
Marcel qualified as an electrical engineer and a teacher from Slovak Technical University in Bratislava, Slovakia. He spent several years working for Oxford University Press in the area of English Language Teaching. In August 2002 he came to Pondicherry and since then has worked at SABDA. This review is written in his personal capacity.

His Peter

Nationalism, Religion, and Beyond: Writings on Politics, Society, and Culture — Edited by Peter Heehs Permanent Black, Delhi SABDA – Distributors of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publications
Peter Heehs was the first member of the Ashram whom I could meet and talk to personally. This was in 1998 while he was attending a conference on South Asia held in Prague, Czech Republic. I travelled there from neighbouring Slovakia. By then I was already aware of Heehs's books published by Oxford University Press. Well-researched, factual and dispassionate, yet immensely readable, they help make Sri Aurobindo's thought more accessible to academic audiences. Heehs has understood and mastered the art of writing for this difficult and demanding group of readers. First and most important, he respects their right to learn about Sri Aurobindo without being pushed, directly or indirectly, out of their current and often secular world-views. Sri Aurobindo has a lot to offer even when measured by purely objective and scientific standards of achievement.
Academics tend to see each book as a sort of argument. In order that they should perceive it as valid, the book must satisfy certain professional criteria. Externally, nothing can impair its message more than a sloppy production with typographical errors, or clumsy style betraying the author's insufficient command over the language. But "internal validity" is even more important. With regard to anthologies, academics are prone to ask a whole set of inquisitive questions: Is the editor impartial? Is his selection of material truly representative and well-balanced? Are his claims justified in the light of the objective, primary evidence that he can muster in favour of his proposition? What exactly is he trying to prove?
Heehs's present anthology of selections from Sri Aurobindo's writings published by Permanent Black, an associate of Orient Longman, is aimed at well-educated and critically-minded people both in India and abroad. For many of them this would be the first detailed encounter with Sri Aurobindo's writings, and the selection of texts is therefore meant to be representative: the earliest piece is dated 1893, the latest 1949...Within the general framework of "politics, society, culture" it also briefly deals with the related aspects of Sri Aurobindo's thought. The problem of society can hardly be divorced from the problem of the individual, or culture from that through which it tries to reach beyond itself: religion and spirituality.
It is a commonplace among critics that the very act of compiling is interpretive. In this sense, compilations consisting only of the compiled material without a word from the editor are not necessarily objective, but merely hide the editor's personal views without eliminating them. The established "standards of the profession" therefore require that the editor clearly explain his approach and criteria for selection. This and much more Heehs does in an extensive introductory essay where he first situates Sri Aurobindo's thought in the general trends of the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, and then explains its relevance for the present-day readers by relating it to contemporary social and cultural theory...
Throughout the anthology, Heehs remains focused on the needs of readers who may view the claims of spirituality with scepticism. Therefore, as in his other books, Heehs distances himself from his subject and accepts scepticism as his starting point. Aware that his readers need to know not only what Sri Aurobindo had said but also why, he has carefully selected passages which stand as mini-arguments on their own, yet mutually support and throw light on each other, woven into the larger argument of the chapter or section. Thus the anthology takes on a whole new quality—as if the pieces, from such diverse periods, were meant to form a single book.
Overall, Heehs has managed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that, however sceptical our initial approach, so long as it remains fundamentally unbiased, Sri Aurobindo will always break through as a unique and original thinker with something to offer to all, not just to those with overt spiritual inclinations. And if secularists cannot accept him in toto, yet they will surely enjoy his thought-provoking analyses of the burning social, political and cultural issues of the day. For his ideas have withstood the test of time; even after a century they resonate in us more deeply than many contemporary theories.
To conclude, I would not be surprised if the anthology were to become a highly-valued possession not only of academic institutions and scholars, but of all who are serious in their intent to study and understand Sri Aurobindo. It has every chance of becoming a "standard" one-volume reference to Sri Aurobindo's social and political thought. With a protective hard cover and 360 pages tightly packed with riveting material, it is certainly worth its price. Given its indisputable qualities, we can only wish it the best of luck on its way to readers. — Marcel Kvassay
Marcel qualified as an electrical engineer and a teacher from Slovak Technical University in Bratislava, Slovakia. He spent several years working for Oxford University Press in the area of English Language Teaching. In August 2002 he came to Pondicherry and since then has worked at SABDA. This review is written in his personal capacity.

August 27, 2006

Sri Aurobindo's action in Orissa

7200 Sri Aurobindo Study Circles
1124 Sri Aurobindo Women's Study Circles
646 Sri Aurobindo Students' Study Circles
8970 Total No. of Sri Aurobindo Study Circles
429 Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres
101 Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres with Hostels
65 Sri Aurobindo's Relics Centres
44 Publications
202 Sales Outlets
42 Industrial Sites
57 Agricultural Farms
40 Dairy Farms
From Matrubhaban Patra: August 2006
Printed and published by Sri Gadadhar Mishra on behalf of the Matrubhaban Trust & Printed at Graphic Art Offset Press, Nuapatna,Cuttack-1 & Published at Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack - 753 013. Editor : Shri Gadadhar Mishra, Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack - 753013 E.mail - Please visit us :

The Art of Consciousness Expansion

27.10.2006: Lecture by Michel Montecrossa 'Mirapuri and the Art of Consciousness Expansion' Filmpresentation 'Mirapuri and Miravillage' and creative being together 28.10.2006: Cyberconcert with Michel Montecrossa and The Chosen Few 29.10.2006: Mirapuri Renewal Day Meditaiton
Seminar and movie on Sri Aurobindo's major work Savitriwith Savitri paintings based on drawings by The Motheraccompanied by recitations from Savitri and organmusic of The Mother24.11.2006: Darshan Meditation and lecture by Michel Montecrossa'Meditations on Savitri'with Filmpresentation from the the 'Meditations on Savitri' movieseries.
The New Age Seminars with Michel Montecrossa take place in Mirapuri five times a year, in February, April, August, October and November and are organized by M.I.R.A. (The Mother's International Research Academy).
• It is the aim of the New Age Seminars to expand the consciousness-growth on all levels of being, to make real the further evolution of man into Futureman and the corresponding awareness of the Divine.
• The New Age Seminars take up all spiritual and material aspects to unify these two sides of the world-completeness in an illumined and progressive harmony.
• The basis of the New Age Seminars is the work of Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa – The Mother and the resulting concrete experience of a New Consciousness.
• The New Age Seminars on this basis explore the psychic-mental as well as the vital-physical possibilities of man's further evolution into Futureman and the related individual, social and global ways of expression.
More information and notification: M.I.R.A. Mirapuri International Research Academy Via Tre Montagnette 2I-28010 Mirapuri-Coiromonte Provincia di NovaraTel. (0322) 900 926eMail: MIRAVILLAGE Danziger Str. 1D-82131 GautingTel. (089) 850 87 51eMail:

Oriental tastes and tropical imagery

LAST night I was invited to coffee with one of the dons and in his room I met the great O.B. otherwise Oscar Browning, who is the feature par excellence of King's. He was extremely flattering, and passing from the subject of cotillions to that of scholarship, he said to me:
"I suppose you know you passed an extraordinarily high examination. I have examined papers at thirteen examinations and I have never during that time seen such excellent papers as yours (meaning my Classical papers at the scholarship examination). As for your essay, it was wonderful"
In this essay (a comparison between Shakespeare and Milton) I indulged my Oriental tastes to the top of their bent; it overflowed with rich and tropical imagery; it abounded in antitheses and epigrams and it expressed my real feelings without restraint or reservation. I thought myself that it was the best thing I have ever done, but at school it would have been condemned as extraordinarily Asiatic and bombastic.
The great O.B. afterwards asked me where my rooms were and when I had answered he said, "That wretched hole!", then turning to Mahaffy: "How rude we are to our scholars! We get great minds to come down here and then shut them up in that box! I suppose it is to keep their pride down."
Letter to his Father. The passage reproduced here is part of a letter written by Sri Aurobindo to his father K.D. Ghose (evidently from Cambridge before December 1890) Home > E-Library > Works Of Sri Aurobindo > Supplement Volume-27 > Letter To His Father

Greater equanimity and spiritual energy

Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo Statues Grace Indian Parliament Building
NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 25, 2006: Two beautifully sculpted three-meter statues of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo now reside in the Indian Parliament, donated by Dr. L. M. Singhvi, a former member of the Lok and Rajya Sabhas. The sculpture of Aurobindo was done by a team from Bengal in Pondicherry led by Lalit Verma. The statue of Swami Vivekananda was sculpted by C. Dakshinamoorthy of Chennai. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh thanked Dr. Singhvi and hoped the presence of the two statues will bring greater equanimity and spiritual energy to Parliament.
After the unveiling, Dr. Singhvi said it was a golden moment in the platinum years of his life. He said he was indebted to the two presiding officers, the Prime Minister, the sculptors and particularly to Dr. Karan Singh, his comrade in arms, and other members of his committee, Shri Kantilal Dalal, Shri Kireet Joshi and Professor Indra Nath Choudhuri. "It is a dream come true for me and my wife," said Singhvi. Dr. Singhvi also has installed bronze busts of Mahatma Gandhi in the United Kingdom, the Supreme Court of Ontario, Canada, Parliament Houses in the Caribbean and the Peace Palace in Seoul, South Korea. HPI

Orissa as a model for India

Observations and Activities suggested: Bibhu Prasad Mohanty Sr. Scientist-Site Coordinator M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation, Lingaraj Nagar, Jeypore, Koraput-764004 Phone- 06854 230350 Mobile phone-094370 31912
As per the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo we are suppose to work on Integral education, agriculture, trade & industries and politics that intends harmonious policy making system and peoples organisation. To achieve this we the children of Mother must understand that all these can be accomplished by adopting purposeful open-ended management system. At DALIJODA the approach is basically oriented around very innovative way of agrarian life blessed with Mother & Sri Aurobindo's teachings. It abides with the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and proved to be the best for rural India including forest dwellers, elites and ladaites too. DALIJODA sets the exemplary disciplines of learning from Sri Aurobindo & The Mother towards over all development of rural poor.
This center believes on integral progress of mankind and advocates on low cost or no cost agriculture, non-conventional energy utilisation patterns, scientific use of water and natural resources, promotion of medicinal plants and usages of those. The most unique of all its approach is conservation and promotion of different crop materials and horticulture crops in a systematic manner for last 25 years. When world was talking about conservation of biodiversity this organisation could set examples of both in -situ and ex- situ conservation efforts in its campus and made that part of life system. We feel this centre should be a centre of excellence in orienting life, philosophy and achievements around Sri Aurobindo's teachings.
In Vandemataram & Prison Tale of Sri Aurobindo, in various places, very clearly he has pointed out that India will flourish and make its way to future progress only with the collaborative efforts of educated young mass and unlettered peasantry communities. This is the hope! This is the key to future development of nation! We too agree with him. I have been working on his teachings, finding great pleasure in following those and realizing at various levels and gained international acclamations. Great laureates and thinkers of India and abroad with great spiritual and development experiences do have agreed with me that it is Sri Aurobindo who has shown the light towards peace, progress, harmony and joyful living and simultaneously addressing the issues of various levels of society.
As because, the centre unfolding the science and technology very cautiously and judiciously without disturbing age old traditions and approaches towards life and culture, it takes sufficient and careful look at future development of mankind too. It has got continuous effort to document and research on existing traditional knowledge and purifies the knowledge though systematic observations. This center has got a relentless movement in silent mode for future development models. Infrastructure required for future is ready at this center to address many of the issues of agrarian movement in India. Now we have to make a giant leap towards future prosperity of Orissa as a model for India.
I have noticed that there have been several efforts on bee keeping, value addition of different fruits, food presentation and so as. It indicates the presence of a powerful force active in the centre that drives and guides its growth and manifestation...Many other training programs can be organized here in this campus. It will open opportunity for many pass outs of integral education center and youths of Orissa those who are wasting their time in unproductive activities. Many of them are under frustration and low self-esteem. Special activities for commercial benefits of the center: a movement towards self-reliance of the set up.

August 26, 2006

Integral Mindblowing

Dr. Matthijs Cornelissen
-- The Integration of Psychological Knowledge from the Spiritual Traditions in the Psychology Curriculum** A paper published in the journal of the Consciousness and Experiential Psychology section of the British Psychological Society (August 2000)
-- Towards an Integral Epistemology of Consciousness: A radical proposal based on Sri Aurobindo's work** A paper presented at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore during a conference on Consciousness and Evolution (June 2001)
-- Integrality** An informal talk given at the Cultural Integration Fellowship in San Fransisco, linking the concept of integrality back to the Sanskrit word "purna" (April 2002)
Dr. Alok Pandey -- Practical aspects of integral psychotherapy** (2001)
Dr. Soumitra Basu -- Integral psychotherapy: personal encounters** (2001)
Prof. Brant Cortright
Prof. V. George Mathew
Ms. Ankita Mendiratta -- Integral Education: Learning through Self* (2004)
INDIAN PSYCHOLOGY INSTITUTE home themes authors research events integral yoga inspirations links Texts on Indian PsychologyListed Author-wise - There is another page where these texts are sorted by subject.- There is a separate page for texts by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.- If you would like to publish your paper here, please contact us. - * -- synopsis only- ** -- full paper- § -- link to a paper posted on another website- (2001) -- Second International Conference on Integral Psychology, January 2001- (2002) -- National Conference on Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology, September 2002- (2004) -- National Conference on Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness, December 2004

Brainstorming at Nainital

International Seminar cum Workshop on Science and Spirituality in Yoga, Consciousness Studies, and Indian Psychology Van Niwas Nainital (UP, India). October 27 - 30, 2006
Dear Colleague:
After the large response and great success of the two conferences held at Vishakapatnam (January, 2003; January, 2005) relating to Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness; and the two large conferences held at Pondicherry on "Yoga, Consciousness, and Indian Psychology" (September, 2002; December 2004), a great many requests have poured in to organize a follow-up to these events. Against this backdrop, the Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, is organizing an International Seminar cum Workshop on "Science and Spirituality in Yoga, Consciousness Studies, and Indian Psychology", during October 27-30, 2006, at Nainital (Van Niwas, an extension of Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Delhi Branch).
In contemporary times, two major sources of knowledge, viz. science and spirituality, continue to guide and inspire humanity in so many ways. Yet, these two endeavours are often perceived/portrayed as antithetical to one another, despite the truth of the matter being quite the contrary, with the two major means of knowledge acquisition being rather complementary. As Cornelissen (forthcoming paper) notes:
"At the end of his wonderfully detailed history of spiritual movements in the U.S.A., Eugene Taylor comes to the conclusion that we can expect over the coming years a growing influence of Indian ideas on the developing global civilization, and especially a major shift in its basic epistemological assumptions, away from materialism and in the direction of Indian spirituality. Taylor considers it an open question whether this growing reliance on spiritual knowledge will develop as part of science, or as an independent, parallel knowledge system that will gradually gain in prominence, as people begin to realize how much it can contribute to our understanding of human nature. To what extent spirituality and science can and should merge or collaborate is a complicated issue, but there seems very little inherent reason why they should not join hands at least in some key areas. The almost complete separation of the knowledge systems of spirituality and science that we see at present seems to be little more than a highly unfortunate outcome of the peculiarities of European history. In individuals, the independent co-existence of incompatible knowledge systems is a sign of schizophrenia, and it is hard to conceive how this could be different for society at large. Even if a true integration of spirituality with the presently dominant knowledge system of science will be hard to achieve, the least we should strive for is some form of active cooperation.

Within the field of psychology, but potentially elsewhere as well, science and spirituality are complimentary quests for knowledge in need of each other. Science is by its very nature down-to-earth, progressive and self-critical, and without these three qualities, spirituality tends to become too otherworldly, it gets stifled in the encrustations of religion, or it floats off in some new-age vagueness. On the other hand, science also needs spirituality to complement itself. Till now science has occupied itself mainly with the objective, outer half of reality, but this outer half has no independent existence. Reality-as-we-know-it is a relationship: a relationship between what we see as ourselves and what we see as the world in which we live. To fully understand what happens in this relationship, we need to know both sides of it, the inside as well as the outside. If we concentrate too exclusively on the outside we lose out on the deeper meaning of life, on the treasures of the spirit, and if we concentrate too much inside we get an otherworldly spirituality that doesn't do justice to the love that sustains this beautiful creation".
We are thus organizing the seminar cum workshop, to further the dialogue between science and spirituality, within the disciplines of yoga, consciousness studies and psychology. Typical sub-themes will include Knowledge and Cognition, Methodology, Personality and Self, Emotion and Motivation, Development; as well as applied areas like Optimal Functioning, Counselling and Psychotherapy, HRD, Education, Spirituality as Engaged Social Action, etc. An effort will also be made, through invited workshops (which will be conducted by experts from different fields) to demonstrate the applications of some of the emergent themes, within different areas of psychology (e.g. education, counselling and psychotherapy, etc.). With the idea of having an intensive dialogue and sustained sharing, it is proposed to have not more than 100 participants (50 senior and 50 younger ones). The aim will be to have the participation of scholars in India who are making serious and sustained contributions to the concerned areas (senior core group), as well as younger researchers, and students who are keen to work in this area, show promise, and seek guidance. A few individuals will be invited to speak on key themes and/or conduct workshops (experiential/applied orientation). The remaining participants will be selected on the basis of invited abstracts or their keen interest in the key areas (e.g. yoga, consciousness studies and Indian psychology).
At this juncture, we extend a warm invitation to you, to send an abstract of the paper that you would like to present at the conference. Abstracts may be sent by e-mail to If you wish to conduct a workshop, please send us an outline of the same. The deadline for both is July 15, 2006 (for complete papers it is August 31, 2006). We will confirm acceptance of your abstract for presentation at the conference, after review of all the abstracts, by July 31, 2006. At this stage we cannot promise funds for travel for selected participants, but if the budget allows, we will try our level best to meet the same (as per UGC rules).
Prof. Ashum Gupta Seminar Director Head, Dept. of Psychology Delhi University
Dr. Suneet Varma Seminar Co-ordinator Reader, Dept. of Psychology Delhi University
INDIAN PSYCHOLOGY INSTITUTE: The aim of the Indian Psychology Institute is to explore and develop what the Indian traditions can contribute to modern psychology in terms of theoretical models, specific insights, reliable methods, practical applications, and avenues for future research.

The Object of Integral Yoga

INDIAN PSYCHOLOGY INSTITUTE home themes authors research events integral yoga inspirations links Sri Aurobindo and The Mother on Integral Yoga - Texts by other authors can be found sorted on theme or on author
Texts by Sri Aurobindo
The Human Aspiration This is the first chapter of The Life Divine. It highlights the close link between the urge for progress in the individual and the large movement of the evolution of consciousness in Nature.
The Hour of God A short essay on the very special moment of time we are living in now.
What is Consciousness A few short quotes on the nature of consciousness.
The Riddle of This World A letter about pain and suffering and their role in the evolution of consciousness.
Sri Aurobindo's Teaching and Method of Sadhana A letter explaining the difference between Sri Aurobindo's yoga and other paths.
The Object of Integral Yoga A selection from Sri Aurobindo's Letters on Yoga, dealing with the different reasons why people can take up Yoga.
Aspiration and Grace The first three chapters of Sri Aurobindo's booklet The Mother, dealing with three core-elements of yoga: aspiration, rejection and surrender.
The Triple Transformation One of the most important chapters of The Life Divine, explaining the basic processes involved in the psychic, spiritual and supramental transformation.
The Renaissance in India Four essays dealing with the awakening of India and its role in the future of mankind.
The Doctrine of the Mystics An essay on the secret meaning of the Rig Veda
Narad's Reply A passage from Sri Aurobindo's Savitri about the problem of pain.
Texts by the Mother
The Science of Living A passage from the Mother in which she explains that on the quality of our aim depends the quality of our life.
What is the Psychic Being? A short explanation of the divine element in us.
To Dwell in the Psychic A text by the Mother on the experience of living in the psychic being.
Remember and Offer How to make every aspect of life part of one's yoga?
The Spiritual Evolution A short explanation of the nature of the supramental realisation.

An integral view of all knowledge and philosophy

G.N.Sharma - Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine hailed the most outstanding spiritual philosophical work of our times is an integral view of all knowledge and philosophy well the revelation of the inevitable destiny of man's supermanhood. Ananda or Bliss is the soul and secret of all existence. The Spirit dwells in all and all is Spirit. Evolution is the progressive revelation of Spirit, the truth behind the succession of biological forms. Ultimately Matter and Spirit ploughs one. The Life Divine is realistic Advaita. Final Advaita in its most comprehensive and form. The Life Divine the volume of nearly 1000 pages, is summarized to chapter by chapter an aid you the study of the master's magnum opus. 163 pg. ISBN: 8187544015 This page has been automatically translated from Portuguese. BeginningI catalogueReligions - BeliefsHinduismo

The Vision of Sri Aurobindo

G.N. Sharma (Ed.), Marathwada University, Aurangabad,
Dipti Publications, Puducherry, 1973


Matter and Spirit – A.S. Rao
The Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Buddhi Yoga of Gnaneshwara – P.S. Deshpande
Savitri and The Four Quartets - P.S. Deshpande
Sri Aurobindo in the National Movement – V.S.Joshi
Sri Aurobindo: A Study of Asian Nationalism – R.S. Morkandikar
Politics and Ethics - G.N. Sharma
Sri Aurobindo’s Doctrine of Passive Resistance – S.A. Bari
The Problem of National Integration and Unity – Moin Shakir
A scheme of National Education – V.S. Joshir
Basis of Social Relations in the Future Society: Sri Aurobindo’s Vision – M.G. Kulkarni
Sri Aurobindo on World Peace – A.H. Doctor
One World: The Role of the Individual - G.N. Sharma

August 25, 2006

The vital mind cannot really be appeased

I find it useful to draw a distinction between appetite, which is natural, and desire, which is often mimetic, meaning that it is not spontaneous but prompted from the outside. Many people give themselves entirely over to this process, and lead lives of simply wanting what others seem to want. They are pushed and pulled around by fleeting desires, impulses and passions, but when one of them is being gratified, it gives rise to a spurious sense of “freedom,” when in reality this kind of ungoverned desire is the opposite of freedom.
It is very difficult to avoid this dynamic in a consumer-driven culture such as ours. It’s the kind of cliché that Petey detests, but we are constantly bombarded with messages and images that fan the fires of envy and mimesis. Sri Aurobindo referred to this as the “vital mind,” and the fundamental problem is that it cannot really be appeased. In other words, it doesn’t shrink when we acquiesce to it. Instead, it only grows, like an addiction or compulsion.
Importantly, the vital mind does not merely consist of impulses seeking discharge. Rather, it can take over the machinery of the host, and generate its own thoughts and rationalizations. We’ve all seen this happen in ourselves. Yoga in its most generic sense involves a reversal of this tendency, so that we may consciously yearn for what we actually want, rather than mindlessly willing what we desire. This tends to be a constant battle at the beginning. But only until the end.
I’m currently reading Peter Guralnick’s magisterial biography of Elvis, and it is amazing how elaborate the vital mind can become if left unchecked. It seems that someone can become so wealthy and powerful that they lose the friction necessary to distinguish between fantasy and reality. A sort of hypnotic, dreamlike imagination takes hold, which can become quite elaborate and unnatural. I am sure this accounts for the general nuttiness that comes out of the typical left-wing hollywoodenhead. They are so far from what you and I know as reality, that they are both ontologically and epistemologically (not to say spiritually) crippled. posted by Gagdad Bob at 8:01 AM 14 comments One Cosmos Under God Robert W. Godwin

Kangali Charan Pati, Prapatti

Sri Aurobindo Ashram , Pondicherry

Integral and Wholeness themes

Indra Sen (13 May 1903 - 14 March 1994) was a devotee of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, psycholgist, author, and educator. He was born in the Jhelum district of Punjab (now part of Pakistan), but grew up in Delhi when his family moved there. From a young age he was interested in the spiritual quest. He completed a Master's degree in both Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Delhi. On 5 December 1928 he married Lilawati, and they had two children.
To further his studies, he enrolled at the University of Freiburg, in Germany, and obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology. He also attended the lectures of Martin Heidegger and taught Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit at the University of Koenigsburg. at this time, his main interests were Hegel's philosophy, and Jung's psychology. He later returned to the University of Delhi. In December 1933 he met Jung when the latter visited Calcutta for the Indian Science Congress.
The next year, he travelled to Pondicherry with a friend, Surendranath Jauhar, and he met Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. After a number of visits, his wife became a devotee of The Mother. In 1945 Dr Sen resigned from the University and moved to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where his family had already been staying for two years. In following years, through lectures, published writings, and personal contacts, he presented Sri Aurobindo's work to academia and universities, where it became well known for the first time.
In the early 1940s he coined the term Integral psychology, to describe the psychological observations he found in Sri Aurobindo's writings. He wrote a number of papers, which were sent to Sri Aurobindo and later The Mother, before being presented at scientific congresses or published in Ashram journals. It was however not until 1986 that these papers were published, by the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education in book form, as Integral Psychology: The Psychological System of Sri Aurobindo. This has since been issued in a second edition. The field of Integral psychology was later taken up and developed by Haridas Chaudhuri when he founded the Integral Counseling Psychology program at what is now the California Institute of Integral Studies, in the 1970s.
He also was concerned with the formulation of integral education as presented in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Another of his tasks was to develop three centers for the ashram under The Mother's supervision. One was at Jwalapur, near Hardwar, and the other two in the Kumaon Hills - "Mountain Paradise", an orchard, and "Tapogiri", a place for sadhana (spiritual practice). The last mentioned especially, he was very committed to. In all Dr Sen's work, themes of integral and wholeness were very important, and he frequently used terms like "Integral Culture" and "Integral Man". Bibliography:
Sen, Indra, The integration of the personality. Indian J. Psychol. 1943 18 31-34.
-- -- A Psychological Appreciation of Sri Aurobindo's System of Integral Yoga.
Sri Aurobindo Mandir 1944
-- -- Education and Yoga.
Sri Aurobindo Mandir 1945
-- -- Sri Aurobindo on the Ideal of Work.
The Advent August 1945
-- -- The urge for wholeness.
Indian J. Psychol. 1946 21 1-32.
-- -- Ideals of Indian Philosophy and Educational Life.
Vedanta Kesari 1949-50
-- -- Personality and integral Yoga. J. Educ. & Psychol. 1951 9 88-93
-- -- Sri Aurobindo's Theory of the Mind.
Philosophy East and West 1952 - and Das, A.C.
-- -- The Pursuit of Philosophy.
Sri Aurobindo Mandir 1952
-- -- East-West Synthesis in Sri Aurobindo.
The Advent November 1954
-- -- The Yogic Way.
Basant 1957
-- -- Concept of Man in Sri Aurobindo.
The Advent April 1957; World Union July-Sept 1968
-- -- Sri Aurobindo as a World Philosopher.
Philosophy East and West 1957-58
-- -- Reflections on Sri Aurobindo. Pioneer of the Supramental Age 1958
-- -- The New Lead in Philosophy.
Mother India November 1958
-- -- The Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo as a Contemporary Contribution to Indian Psychology.
Mother India February 1959
-- -- The Integral Yoga and Modern Psychology.
Basant 1960
-- -- Soul in Ancient and Modern Thought. Jr. Yoga Inst. 1962
-- -- Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
The Advent August 1966
-- -- The integral Personality.
The Advent November 1966
-- -- The Future Culture of India and the World.
Mother India December 1966
-- -- The Pathways to Perfection, the Integral Way.
Srinvantu February 1967
-- -- The Yogic Approach to Administration.
The Advent February 1967
-- -- Intellectual Activity under Spiritual Auspices.
Srinvantu April 1967
-- -- Personality and integral Yoga.
The Advent November 1967
-- -- The Supramental Truth.
The Advent April 1968
-- -- The Integral Culture of Man.
World Union April-June 1970; Unesco Declaration 1970
-- -- Sri Aurobindo and The Mother; Meditation and Allied Methods - Compilation
-- -- Integral Psychology The Psychological System of Sri Aurobindo (In Original Words and in Elaborations), Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publications Department, Pondicherry, 1st edition 1986; 2nd edition 1999
ISBN 8170585406
Reference: Patel, Aster, "The Presence of Dr Indra Senji", SABDA - Recent Publications, November 2003, pp. 9-12
PDF wikipedia Categories: Indian psychologists Integral thought Sri Aurobindo

August 24, 2006

A spiritual devotion based on reason

The purnayoga of Rsi aurobindo ghosh (1872-1950) is a spiritual devotion based on reason. According to this philosophy, living beings are the manifestations of Brahma or rather the images of Brahma in disguise. The end of human life is to achieve continuously a higher state of development but not by rejecting the material world. It is not enough to perceive the essence of truth in one's spirit; it is also necessary to perceive it in matter. The truth is not soul apart from matter; it is equally present in both soul and matter.
Like the modern evolutionists of the west, Aurobindo believed that evolution was a natural phenomenon. It is through the process of evolution that the inanimate gets life and life gets consciousness. In the next phase this consciousness attains fullness to make a self-conscious man, and, in the due process of evolution, man turns into superman. The supreme being is a developing and moving existence defined in terms of space and time. This existence continuously moves upward to achieve the ultimate objective of life. But this process of upward movement does not aim to reach Brahma by rejecting the material world; rather, it attempts to bring eternal light and eternal bliss down from the heaven to this world of living. In the process of evolution, man reaches such a stage of knowledge where the supreme being comes down to join him.
At this stage man achieves perfect knowledge and turns into superman. But this requires a special kind of exercise. This process of man becoming superman is the essence of Aurobindopurnayoga. Purnayoga is not confined to ashram, but extends to the field of life and the society. Aurobindo, of course, preferred to use the term 'gnostic being' rather than 'superman'. A gnostic being is a person who has acquired perfect knowledge, whose eyes are fixed on human welfare and who is ready to welcome even death for the sake of higher ideals. [Aminul Islam] banglapedia [Home]

The revolutionary turned into a sage

Ghosh, Aurobindo (1872-1950) nationalist leader, philosopher, ascetic, was born in Kolkata on 15 August 1872, son of Krishnadhan Ghosh, a physician trained in Britain, and Swarnalata, the eldest daughter of rajnarayan basu. To give him western education, his father sent him first to an English school at Darjeeling and later to St Paul's School in England. Aurobindo studied at King's College after passing his Entrance examination from Cambridge. In 1890 he passed the Indian Civil Service examination but during probation he failed the riding test and was deprived of the civil service.
On his return to India in 1893, he joined the service of the Baroda Estate. In 1900 he joined Baroda College as lecturer in English and in 1904, became its principal. At Baroda, Aurobindo came in contact with a secret revolutionary organisation. He inducted his younger brother barindrakumar ghosh in the revolutionary movement and sent him to Bengal to organise revolutionary activities. This was the time when the swaraj, or home-rule movement, had been initiated and Aurobindo gave it his full support.
There were three aspects of his political principles and action programme: one, to conduct secret revolutionary propaganda and develop organisations to prepare for an armed revolution; two, to carry on propaganda to prepare the entire nation for independence; and three, to organise the people for non-cooperation and resistance against foreign rule.
Aurobindo wrote a book Apas Nay (No Compromise) in 1903 and secretly distributed it among the members of the revolutionary groups. When the swadeshi movement started in protest against the partition of bengal in 1905, he left his Baroda job and came back to Bengal to take active part in various activities of the National Congress. In 1906 he became the first principal of Calcutta's National College (now Jadavpur University) and was made the editor of bipin chandra pal's English newspaper Bande Mataram. Following publication of a reader's seditious views in the paper in 1907, a case was instituted against Aurobindo and Bipin Chandra Pal. At the trial Bipin Chandra was convicted for six months, but Aurobindo was acquitted for lack of proof.
On 30 April 1908 a bomb was thrown into a railway compartment to kill the British magistrate Kingsford. However, two European ladies were killed instead. For this act Aurobindo was arrested on May 3, and on May 9 the police arrested Barin and his associates with arms, bombs and incriminating literature. All of them were implicated in what came to be known as 'the Alipur bomb case'. Some of them were convicted but Aurobindo was proved not guilty and released on 6 May 1909.
While in jail, a transformation occurred in the life of Aurobindo. He became increasingly attracted to spiritualism and, in 1910, he left politics and went to Pondicherry, a French settlement. Here he established an ashram and devoted himself to propagating Hindu philosophy. Thus the revolutionary turned into a sage.
At Pondicherry, Aurobindo wrote Yogasadhana. He also started writing regularly on yoga devotion and Hindu religion in different Bangla and English newspapers. He studied the Vedas, the Upanisad, Sadadarshan, the Gita, the Puranas and other scriptures and acquired deep knowledge of ancient India's religion and philosophy. His philosophical ideas developed on these principles: (1) there is an eternal circle that says all things emanate from Brahma and return to him; (2) life and death are the two sides of a single circle known as reincarnation of the soul; (3) the eternal principles of the universe are the human soul that determines the fate of nature; and (4) man's aim is to attain divine life that dissolves into Brahma; this divine life is attainable through knowledge of the self.
Aurobindo spent the later part of his life at his ashram at Pondicherry. During this time he wrote many books on religion, philosophy and Indian culture. Of his 38 books, most are in English. Some of his well known books are Essays on the Gita, The Foundations of Indian Culture, The Life Divine (1939), Savitri (1950), Mother India, The Age of Kalidasa, The Significance of Indian Art, Lights on Yoga, A System of National Education, The Renaissance in India, Speeches of Aurobindo. His Bangla books include Pondicherir Patra (1921), Karakahini (1921), Bharater Navajanma (1915), Dharma O Jatiyata (1931), Yoga-Sadhanar Vitti (1942) and Bharate Rastranitik Pratibha. Aurobindo died on 5 December 1950. [Ramdulal Roy]
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