April 30, 2008

It is impossible to speak authoritatively of the future evolution of humanity without acknowledging the contribution of Sri Aurobindo

Robert E. Wilkinson has left a new comment on your post "Brahma or spiritual power and Kshatra or political power must always go together" at 4:37 PM, April 30, 2008

Robert E. Wilkinson said...
Reply to David Frawley’s “Call for the Intellectual Kshatriya” By Robert E. Wilkinson

To persons of knowledge, David Frawley’s 1. Call for India’s Rebirth is an unfortunate misrepresentation of the realities of a Hindu renaissance. His limited understanding of the process not only deflects attention away from the serious work of transformation now going on in India but conceals the surprising fact that his own beliefs are an impediment to the very rebirth that he seeks.

Frawley’s impassioned ‘Call for the Intellectual Kshatriya’, while no doubt well-intentioned, reveals a profound lack of understanding of both the underlying cause of the problems of modern Hinduism2. as well as the proper means of bringing about its recovery. It simply boggles the mind to see him suggest that a Hindu renaissance might be brought about through a media war in which activist pundits such as he might arouse the ‘timid, feeble, half-hearted’ Hindu into a powerful and progressive social force. This would be no renaissance but the way of the religious revivalists who seeks to proselytize the masses with rajasic rhetoric. This approach will not work with Hinduism because it is not a religion, it is purely metaphysical in its essence and cannot be coerced into renaissance by the contrived actions of an elite intelligentsia. The moment of its resurgence is totally dependent upon the Time-Spirit, Mahakala. It knows this and waits patiently for the hour.

A true Hindu Renaissance and by consequence an Indian Rebirth is predicated upon one thing: a restoration of the “Sanatana Dharma” - the eternal truths of the Veda. Frawley’s claims notwithstanding, it is impossible to speak authoritatively of the future evolution of humanity and a yogic vision for all to follow without acknowledging the contribution of Sri Aurobindo 3. and his line. Their revelation of a New Supramental Consciousness and Realization and the forms it evolves for its manifestation are utterly unique and they alone hold the promise of a transformed Indian/Hindu society. Frawley is evidently unaware of this because in his article he lumps Sri Aurobindo together with Ramana Maharshi, Shivananda and Chinmayananda, making no distinction of their different evolutionary visions. This suggests either a superficial understanding of their work or an inability or unwillingness on Frawley’s part to go to the heart of the issue.

The Vedic way to an Indian renaissance disclosed by Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet) is based upon profound yogic formulas given out in great detail in the Rig Veda itself. Through the lived experience of this yoga they have discovered the means and mechanism of restoring the Sanatana Dharma and returning India to its rightful place in the community of nations. Almost no one today, including David Frawley, is aware of these discoveries because the realization of these eternal truths requires more than just a scholarly, intellectual knowledge of the Veda. Sri Aurobindo explains:

“The perfect truth of the Veda, where it is now hidden, can only be recovered by the same means by which it was originally possessed. Revelation and experience are the doors of the Spirit. It cannot be attained either by logical reasoning or by scholastic investigation… [Sanskrit text]…‘Not by explanation of texts nor by much learning’, ‘not by logic is this realisation attainable.’ Logical reasoning and scholastic research can only be aids useful for confirming to the intellect what has already been acquired by revelation and spiritual experience. This limitation, this necessity are the inexorable results of the very nature of Veda.” Sri Aurobindo – The Life Divine

Part and parcel of this Vedic realization is the profound relationship between the Cosmic Order and the symbols of its manifestation upon the earth. This knowledge is found in every Vedic temple which, if properly built, is a symbolic reconstruction of the universe, binding together the world of the Gods and man. Rituals to the Vedic Gods and the timing of their collective worship was considered the most important aspect of temple culture because it imprinted upon the worshipers the correspondences and equivalencies designed to awaken an awareness of the common Center that exists in both the cosmic order and the human soul.

There is one thing I can agree with in Frawley’s thesis and that is the need of a MODEL to revitalize Hindu society. If he had bothered to go deeply into the Supramental Knowledge of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet), Frawley would know that just such a model exists. It is the Mother’s Temple/Chamber 4. unveiled in its totality by Thea (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet) in her opus work, The New Way 5.. It is the greatest feat of sacred architecture yet to be realized upon the earth; what the Mother called, “A Symbol of the Future Realization.” Those of us who have been initiated into its mysteries can state unequivocally that it is not some call to arms of an intellectual warrior class that will catalyze a Hindu renaissance but a Temple, a new model of the universe that resonates with the Hindu Soul. “Ayodhya” should serve as a profound example of how a symbol such as this can arouse the sleeping energies of the Hindu Samaj.In addition to the Inner Chamber as our guide, the work today of those who seek a true Indian rebirth and Hindu renaissance follows a form inspired by Sri Aurobindo and articulated by Thea as a vehicle for the deployment of the Supermind. It is a “Sangha”, a seed community that embodies the Vedic principle of action from a Center. Like the hub of a wheel, all that happens in the periphery extends from and has its origin in the Hub or Center6. . From that Soul/Center/Skambha alone can one obtain a vision of the true order of things and bring about the needful changes in the periphery. One of the most profound examples of this “Seeing” from a Center is Thea’s unveiling of India as the Soul of the Earth. Her “Indocentric Cosmology” 7 precisely confirms what the Mother wrote years ago about the Destiny of India:

"INDIA is a divinely chosen country with a unique spiritual heritage. She is not the earth, rivers and mountains, nor simply the collective name for the inhabitants of this land. India is a living being, conscious of her mission in the world and waiting for the exterior means of its manifestation. India alone can lead the earth to peace and a new world order." The Mother: "On the Destiny of India"

The Mother’s vision of India’s Soul and its unique mission in the world is yet another, more global example of a harmonious action from a center. It follows precisely the laws of correspondence laid down in the Veda and establishes a common denominator between the Individual and the Nation Soul. In order to obtain that Centered vision and rise to fulfill their sacred Dharma, both must reconnect with the true Cosmic Order laid down by the Rishis of old.

As it stands now, nearly all Hindu temples base their ritual celebrations on an Astronomical rather than Vedic system of measure. The Nirayana, Sidereal system of calendar measure espoused by David Frawley is unreliable, confusing and contradicts the verses in the Rig Veda that describe “One Wheel of three-hundred and sixty spokes, firmly riveted that shake not in the least.8.” As a result of this confusion, almost the entire Hindu Samaj celebrates the most important Hindu festival, the Makar Sankranti or Winter Solstice on January 14th, some 23 days after the actual Winter Solstice. How can this possibly be? The Winter Solstice - Shortest Day of the Year is not a matter of interpretation. It is an unmistakable event that occurs every year on December 21st with the change of the Sun’s direction from the Lower Hemisphere (Daksinayana) to the Upper Hemisphere (Uttarayana) and into the sign Capricorn, India’s zodiacal ruler. Yet most of the Hindu community, unaware of their error, continues to celebrate the Makar Sankranti 23 days after the actual Solstice, and Capricorn gateway, thereby following the constellations rather than the tropical/seasonal UNCHANGING ecliptic zodiac . Few may admit it, but it is precisely this kind of fuzzy un-Vedic calendar measure that sets the faithful on a path of adharma and prevents both individual and nation from rising to fulfill their mission.

Knowing the critical importance of this true Vedic measure to the Hindu temple culture, Thea convened a Movement for the Restoration of Vedic Wisdom 9.. Its mission statement was to educate the Hindu community about the importance of Vedic Cosmology and the deeper symbolic meaning of their ritual celebrations. Since 2006 the Movement has reported 30 (thirty) temples 10. in South India that have incorporate the Tropical Sayana system and have re-poised their ritual worship on those eternal foundations of solstice and equinox. This is a modest beginning to be sure but it represents a decisive turn in the Hindu psyche towards a reconnection with its collective soul. This is the way of Renaissance, the Vedic Dharmic Way. If David Frawley and his Hindu intelligentsia are sincere about becoming a meaningful part of India’s great adventure of renaissance, let them move beyond the mere mental ideal and commit themselves to the rigors of a personal transformation born out of the practice of a Vedic Yoga which alone can produce a new consciousness and a new species. For who has the right to call for an awakening that they have not experienced themselves?

Robert E. Wilkinson April 30th, 2008 robtw@sprynet.com

For those interested in learning more about Sri Aurobindo’s, the Mother’s and Thea’s evolutionary work and becoming part of this great adventure of Vedic Renaissance described in this article, we are offering an international conference in India on September 20 – 26. See details below:

Aeon Centre of Cosmology in collaboration with the Movement for the Restoration of Vedic Wisdom will be holding The Ennead of Convergence International Conference 20 to 26 September 2008 Applications of the New Cosmology - ‘The Individual – The Nation – The World’ - Conducted by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea), Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology Venue: The Carlton. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India For Additional Information contact Conference Coordinators In India: Dr Patricia Heidt: pheidt@sancharnet.in , patriciaheidt@yahoo.com Outside India: Ms Jeanette Caurant: caurant@msn.com

Notes: 1.) David Frawley is a well known Astrologer and American Hindu pundit who came to prominence through his scholarly works debunking the colonial-inspired “Aryan Invasion Theory.” He is also the founder and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies . “Call for the Intellectual Kshatryia” - http://www.hinduvoice.co.uk/Issues/13/IK.htm In his book, The Astrology of the Seers, p. 48, Frawley writes: “Vedic astrology considers the Sidereal zodiac to be more important.”

2.) 'The Origins and Nature of Hindu Decline': Part I , Part II, Part III, Part IV – Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, November - December, 2006 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/movementforrestorationofvedicwisdom/message/13

3.) See: The Supramental Line - http://www.aeongroup.com

4.) See: The Mother’s Temple - http://www.matacom.com

5.) The New Way Vol. I & II: A study in the rise and the establishment of a gnostic society, Volumes 1 & 2, by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, at $45.00, from Æon Books, ISBN: 0945747063. The preeminent symbol of a new consciousness now manifesting upon the Earth is a cosmological structure known as the Mother's Inner Chamber. This sacred structure is a living manifestation of the descending Truth-Consciousness into Earth's atmosphere and symbolizes Earth's emerging Soul. Written into its architectonic structure are keys to the harmonies of the cosmos and the secrets of Supramental Time. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet explains the origins of this contemporary temple design and its occult measurements which define the evolution of consciousness on this planet. The New Way, Volume III by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet at $36.00, Rs 750 from Æon Books, ISBN:0945747039.

In this volume the INDIVIDUAL is featured in his evolutionary journey. The contemporary process of evolving a completely new condition of being, called the Supramental by Sri Aurobindo is the theme of this volume. To illustrate the method, the author reveals the occult significance of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, the famous drawing of a man within a circle and a square which she calls the Universal Being. On the backdrop of the Mother’s Inner Chamber, the central revelation of Volumes 1 and 2, through Leonardo’s drawing the author carries sacred art to dimensions never before reached. The author also elaborates further on her discoveries concerning Time and its role as an ally in the evolutionary process we are all experiencing. She writes about the importance of experiencing Whole Time, the complete cycle of experience, previously unknown and now open to humanity and with it the ultimate conquering of Death.

6.) SKAMBHA is mentioned in the Rig Veda and Atharva Veda as the Supreme Principle of Creation. The realization of Skambha goes to the very heart of creation and unveils the mystery of existence itself. Its ontological significance as the Support of the Worlds follows upon the Rishi’s declaration that the universe was born and developed… from a core, a central point (Rig Veda X –149) – ie. The Hub of a Wheel.

7.) Temple India – an Indocentric Cosmology - http://www.aeongroup.com/caprcrn.htm

8.) “Twelve spokes, one wheel, navels three.Who can comprehend this? On it are placed together Three hundred and sixty like pegs.They shake not in the least.” (Rig Veda 1.154.48) “One is the wheel; the bands are twelve;three are the hubs – who can understand it? Three hundred spokes and sixty in additionhave been hammered therein and firmly riveted…Though manifested, it is yet hidden, secret,its name is the Ancient, a mighty mode of being;in Skambha is established this whole world;therein is set fast all that moves and breathes.” (Atharva Veda X, 8)9.) Movement for the Restoration of Vedic Wisdom: 'The Zero, the Veda, & the Divine Measure of the Year' - http://www.quantumyoga.org/Movement%20for%20the%20Restoration%20.pdf

10.) Temples in South India that are now incorporating the Sayana calendar for Hindu festivals: 1. SriMahamariamman temple, Valangaiman. 2. Sri Kailasanather temple, Valangaiman. 3. Sri Kothandaramar temple, Valangaiman. 4. SriArunachaleswarar temple, Valangaiman. 5. Sri Swarnapureeswarar temple, Andankoil. 6. Sri Pasupatheeswarar temple, Avoor. 7. Sri Anadeeswarar temple, Saluvanpettai. 8. Sri Lakhsminarayanaperumal temple, Saluvanpettai. 9. Sri Kalinganarthanaperumal temple, Uthukadu. 10. Sri Ayyanar temple, Kiliyur. 11. Sri Lakshminarayanaprumal temple, Udayalur. 12. Sri Kailasanathar temple, Udayalur. 13. Sri Selvamahakaliamman temple, Udayalur. 14. Sri Lakshminarayanaperumal temple, Mathur. 15. Sri Kamakshi temple, Sithanvalur. 16. Sri Subramanya temple, Engan. 17. Sri Adheeswarar temple, Athanur. 18. Sri Athanooramman temple, Athanur. 19. Sri Mariamman temple, Salem. 20. Sri Mullaivananathar temple, Thirukarukavur. 21. Sri Abathsahayeswarar temple, Alangudi. 22.Sri Abayavaradeeswarar temple, Alangudi. 23. Sri Rajagopalaswami temple, Mannargudi. 24. Sri Santhanagopalaswami temple, Needamangalam. 25. Sri Kasiviswanathar temple, Needamangalam. 26. Sri Moolanathar temple, Poovalur. 27. Sri Kailasanathar temple, Uthukadu. 28. Sri Saragapani temple, Kumbakonam. 29. Sri Vasishteswarar temple, Thittai. 30 Sri Ramaswami temple, Kumbakonam.
4:37 PM, April 30, 2008 Post a Comment Links to this post Savitri Era Party does not subscribe to these views of muscular ...

April 28, 2008

The New Species, the Integral Way and our Contemporary Condition

Online Courses: ICIS Vision & Goals Curriculum, Methodology & Assessment Courses 2008 Admissions Team & Faculty Photo Gallery Courses 2008

Paradigms of Psychological Knowledge: A Historical & Cross-Cultural Perspective (CoS, 550, 3 credits)
Suneet Varma, PhD
Prerequisites: Undergraduate course in Psychology or Instructor’s consent
Lectures 1. Three aspects of knowledge paradigms: Ontology, Epistemology, and Methodology 2. Historical emergence of Psychology as a science: Four paths of scientific Psychology 3. An alternative history of Psychology. Perspectives from non Euro-American backgrounds 4. Logical Positivism and its impact on the development of academic Psychology. Post-positivism and Psychology 5. The Critical perspective in Psychology 6. The Social Constructionist movement in Psychology 7. Participative Research/Co-operative Enquiry in Psychology 8. Existential-Phenomenology and Psychology 9. The Indian conception of knowledge: The empirical and the spiritual praxis 10. The Integral way of knowledge: Sri Aurobindo's contribution

Introduction to Indian Culture(CuS, InS, 500, 3 credits)
Kavita A Sharma, PhD
Prerequisites: Undergraduate course in Culture Studies or Instructor’s consent Lectures 1. India: The Land and Its People 2. Rationalistic Critique of Indian Culture and Civilization & Sri Aurobindo’s Rejoinder 3. Orientalism and Beyond 4. Some Key Concepts in Indian Thought 5. The Development of Indian Philosophy: An Overview 6. Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha: The relationship between the Material & the Spiritual (1) 7. Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha: The relationship between the Material & the Spiritual (2) 8. Varna Ashram Dharma 9. Secularism in India10. Cultural Unity of Indians

Vedic Studies in the Light of Sri Aurobindo (InS, SAS, 550, 3 credits)
Vladimir Yatsenko
Prerequisites: Undergraduate course in Archetype Studies or Instructor’s consent
This course is an introduction to the Vedic Mythology, Metaphysics and Psychology in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. It maps all major concepts of the Vedic paradigm and their interpretation in the Aurobindonian perspective. Besides the commentaries of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother the traditional commentaries of Yaska, Panini, Patanjali, Bhartrihari, Shankara, Sayana and other modern scholars such as B.G.Tilak, Kapali Sastri and others are widely used.
Lectures 1. The Structure and the general content of the Veda. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on the Vedas and Vedic Rishis 2. The Vedic Vision in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother 3. The Myth of Dawn 4. The Myth of Angirasa Rishis 5. Agni and the concept of the Sacrifice 6. The Myths of Creation. Nasadiya sukta. Purusha sukta 7. Hiranya Garbha. Heaven and Earth. Vishvakarman 8. The conception of Speech in the Vedas. The Hymn to Speech. The Svadhyaya, Jnana-yajna, Brahma-yajna 9. The four levels of the Word. The Sphota theory in the post-vedic literature: Patanjali and Bhartrihari. The etymological transparency of Sanskrit, its semantic clarity and precision (with many examples) 10. The five Myths of Immortality. The profound symbolism of the story of Savitri in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

The Integral Way of Sri Aurobindo (Ph, CoS, SAS, 511, 3 credits)
Debashish Banerji, PhD
Prerequisites: Undergraduate course in Philosophy/Psychology or Instructor’s consent
An aspiration for a perfect knowledge, a perfect will and a perfect love and happiness are intrinsic to the evolving manifestation, since it is an absolute and self-conscious Being which has involved itself in this Becoming. These aspirations co-exist in the human being, seeking for their separate fulfillments. It is Sri Aurobindo’s teaching that the destiny of the human species is to achieve an integral consciousness, in which these aspirations find their natural goal and to transform human nature and society through the power of this consciousness. The Integral Way of Sri Aurobindo explores how this can be achieved, some of the experiential consequences of the process and the significance of our contemporary conditions towards this goal.
Lectures 1. All Life is Yoga 2. Integral Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo 3. The Need to Know 4. The Need to Will 5. The Need to Love 6. The Psychic Being and the Integral Way 7. The Guru, The Mother and the Triple Transformation 8. The Transformation of Society 9. The New Species 10. The Integral Way and our Contemporary Condition
The details about the admission procedure, fee, curriculum etc. will be put up by February 2008 on this site. You can also contact ICIS at integralstudies@icis.org.in .

April 27, 2008

Stylistic practices have their own dynamic of power that is often at odds with the express aim of these practices

Alexei Says: April 25, 2008 at 8:06 am
Just a couple of questions, Sinthome, and perhaps a few rambles:
In the first instance, I’m not entirely sure that systems theory or math is any less difficult or obscure than any bit of philosophy. Although there have been great popularizers, say, of string theory, or complexity theory, their robust articulations are in no uncertain terms difficult, perhaps even verging on obsurantist.
Indeed, there’s a debate within theoretical physics, which has been going on for a few years now, about whether string theory obscures what physics is — or should be — up to; indeed, whether it’s physics at all. (there’s a popular book on the subject, but I’ve forgotten the title) Same with systems theory, although this debate ended, i think, in the ’80s when the decade old promise of a general systems theory failed to produce anything once again. And then there’s Math’s unease with Gödel’s incompleteness theorems: no one is entirely sure what they actually amount to. There is absolutely no consensus over what they mean or imply. Go ahead and ask a Mathematician — rather than a philosophy type — and see what he or she thinks. I’d wager that he or she simply shrugs, and says something to the effect that ‘it’s an elegant argument, but it doesn’t really affect any contemporary theoretical math.’ Or again, take a look at Andrew Wiles’ proof of Fermat’s Theorem, which wonders through typology, etc. before making its point (the great anecdote was that when wiles was teaching his proof, no one had any idea what he was up to, or why he was combining things the way he did; no one had a clue what he was up to). In all of these cases, there doesn’t seem to be anything ‘clear.’
So I wonder: are we not mistaking the pop-culture view of science for the real thing, which would be analogous to mistaking the Introducing Philosopher X books for the philosophy itself? That is, I wonder whether there’s a tendency to mistake a simplified, intuitively — representationally — grounded presentation of an extremely complex conceptual argument for the argument itself. That would be a category mistake.
Now, if i take some of the thinkers you mentioned, like Spinoza Leibni, and Zizek, they all have a pronounced didactic — and popularizing — goals (I don’t know Simondon, but I’ve heard his prose is incredibly convoluted, and Merleau-Ponty’s later work, which it must be said has several mitigating factors, is anything but clear).
Finally, just to be a little more contrarian, Adorno did actually write a first draft, and then ‘complexify’ it in subsequent reworkings (this certainly holds true of the Kierkegaard book, and Negative Dialectics). Here, though, the thrust was for synthetic articulations, ‘pregnant thinking’ as Husserl would say, not obscuratism.
All this said, though, I agree with you on ‘unnecessary stylistics.’ but that applies to ‘ian/ist’ thinkers, who get stuck in the rut of imitating a ‘master’ rather than developing something out of it (and one can, of course end up imitating oneself; Derrida’s Economimesis essay seems to be one such example).
So, maybe we could reframe the debate this way: the problem isn’t so much obscurantism vs. clarity, nor is it the scientific ideal of presentation vs. a the philosophical one; but rather the willingness to popularize and make use of intuitive metaphorical/analogical structures to represent complex ideas, which leave some of the details behind. The problem, then, at least as i see it, is that philosophy is always in the details. And philosophy is extraordinarily suspicious of both metaphors and representations…..
larvalsubjects Says: April 25, 2008 at 1:31 pm
The issue isn’t one of rejecting these figures because of their style as Nussbaum did in the case of Butler, nor is it one of rejecting these thinkers at all, but rather of identifying a different sort of power at work in these texts that often is quite at odds with the explicit aims of the texts. This point seems to be getting lost in a number of the responses, no doubt because us continentalists– especially if we’re from the United States –are especially sensitive to this issue because we’ve suffered so many difficulties professionally in relation to Anglo-American philosophy having to defend the value of these thinkers. We know (or many of us think), for example, that there is something of tremendous value in Lacan’s work, yet the very first thing we encounter again and again in discussions with others about someone like Lacan, is kurt dismissals of that work based on style alone. We thus find ourselves in the position of having to do all sorts of defensive legwork defending the purpose and importance of both the text and its stylistic decisions before we can even begin to discuss the conceptual issues.
What I’m proposing is that these stylistic practices have their own dynamic of power that is often at odds with the express aim of these practices. In A Thousand Plateaus, for example, Deleuze and Guattari contrast root-books and rhizome-books in the introduction to the work. Root-books are centralized, “paranoid” (in Deleuze and Guattari’s sense of the word), and presided over by an author-function that works much like a sovereign. Rhizome-books, by contrast, lack any centralizations, can be read in a variety of different ways, and connected to anything we might like. The root/rhizome opposition then also functions as a contrast between texts that on the one hand subordinate their readers (the author speaks on high and the reader receives) versus another sort of book that is supposed to be freeing or liberating. Yet what is it that happens with the rhizome book in actual practice? The rhizome-book begins to function in much the same way that an icon functions in religion (under Jean-Luc Marion’s description anyway) where there’s a sense in which the reader becomes trapped in the text, seeking to find its key, or sense, thereby never getting out of the text. In other words, a new sort of subordination to centralized authority emerges that while different from the root model, is no less pervasive in its effects. In the States, at least, we see the effects of this at continentalist conferences, where all the papers are about figures. That is, the figures dictate and the continentalists set about the work of translation.
Alexei, I think there’s a distinction I’m groping for that I can’t quite articulate. I am not confusing pop-science with science. Rather, it seems to me that there are two sorts of difficulties that are being contrasted. Kant is difficult but would still fall within the model of clarity that I have in mind. Badiou is difficult, but still falls under the model of clarity I have in mind. Marx is difficult, but still falls within the model of clarity I have in mind. Goedel is difficult, but still… In other words, clarity does not mean easiness, and I would agree that the Hegelian argument about the relationship between expression and content holds. However, what is the difference between the difficulty of Marx’s Capital or Badiou’s Being and Event, and the difficulty of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition or Lacan’s 20th seminar? Is there a difference at all?
Anthony Paul Smith Says: April 25, 2008 at 1:49 pm
‘The rhizome-book begins to function in much the same way that an icon functions in religion (under Jean-Luc Marion’s description anyway) where there’s a sense in which the reader becomes trapped in the text, seeking to find its key, or sense, thereby never getting out of the text.’
Surely you mean idols (under Marion’s description anyway).
larvalsubjects Says: April 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm
No, I mean icons. The way Marion describes the icon in ways that are similar to Kant’s sublime, as a something like a saturated phenomenon that exceeds all our intentionality and keeps us locked within its regard is close to what I’m getting at. That is, I see an ideological function at work in what Marion is describing or a fetish.
Adam Says: April 25, 2008 at 2:21 pm
I suppose you could argue that that is what Marion is effectively saying, but his intention is clearly the opposite. In short, icons are good and idols are bad, much as one would expect from a Christian.
Anthony Paul Smith Says: April 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm
Well your point is fine, but that is not at all how I remember Marion describing the icon. The idol captures the gaze and holds it, whereas the icon alludes the gaze, pushing the one who views it past it. Both are saturated phenomenon.
This is a strange post. Difficult books are difficult books! I didn’t find the prose all that different from Being and Event to Difference and Repetition, other than the normal differences you’d expect from a magnum opus written late in life and a doctoral dissertation. I wonder if science and clarity don’t operate as a fetish here.
Floyd Says: April 25, 2008 at 2:42 pm
I figured I was missing something (the invocation of surprise was not rhetorical), but I’m not sure I’m satisfied with your elaboration. I take this to be the crux of your point about “another form of power and identification”:
“The rhizome-book begins to function in much the same way that an icon functions in religion (under Jean-Luc Marion’s description anyway) where there’s a sense in which the reader becomes trapped in the text, seeking to find its key, or sense, thereby never getting out of the text. In other words, a new sort of subordination to centralized authority emerges that while different from the root model, is no less pervasive in its effects. ”
I doubt D&G would necessarily reject your complication to that point, lacking a clear description of these effect. The language of entrapment, seeking escape you use here implies what I would take to be a misinterpretation of Heidegger’s classic formulation of the hermeneutic circle. As soon as you’re trying to get out, you’ve missed the point, which is to get into it the right way. Are you rejecting this concept of hermeneutics in its broad sense? As I suggested in my final paragraph, I also agree with Alexei’s objection in the sphere of math/physics (Alexei, if you could remember the title of that book, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’d like to spend some free time this summer refining this point.)
I’m sorry if I am appear obstinate, here, I have read this blog long enough to know that you are well aware of all these basic points. But for whatever reason I can’t get a sense for the force of your object, weak or strong, so I’m trying to draw out new formulations.
larvalsubjects Says: April 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm
Sure, I agree that for Marion idols are hypnotic and icons are something more, I just happen to think everything I read in Marion’s description of icons fits phenomena such as our fascination with a very power and charismatic leader. In other words, I think that Marion fails in his intention.
larvalsubjects Says: April 25, 2008 at 3:19 pm
Floyd, I have no particular commitment or attachment to Heidegger, so I don’t really see how he can function as a normative authority in this case. I really don’t have anything to say one way or another about the hermeneutic circle or whether one should try to escape it or embrace it. My post wasn’t about hermeneutics. I value the products of hermeneutically oriented thinkers, though I do think they’ve taken on a somewhat detrimental hegemonic role in continentally oriented American philosophy departments.
It seems to me that you and Alexei made very different points about science. Alexei rightly pointed out that science itself is often very difficult. We find conceptual creations and acrobatics that rival, in imaginativeness and stunning novelty anything we find in the arts or philosophy. I am not sure why we should pitch this discussion as somehow being one of science versus the humanities. Your view struck me as rather different. You made claims about not seeing science as attached to “lived experience”, echoing, I presume, Heidegger’s unfortunate assertions that science and mathematics do not think and his account of technology. Again, I’m not sure why lived experience should be the final authority where philosophy is concerned, which isn’t to reject lived experience.
I’ll try to make the point I was making yet again via Lacan. The rationale behind Lacan’s style is two-fold: On the one hand, Lacan enacts the unconscious as a pedagogical device to expose his audience to the sorts of formations that appear in the clinic. His style changes markedly in the mid-60s because he opened his seminar up to the public (rather than restricting it to analysts). As a result, he found that it was necessary to somehow render the clinic present to an audience that has never practiced as analysts or been in analysis. On the other hand, there is another pedagogical philosophy Lacan develops over the course of his entire seminar. Seminar 17 is entitled The Other Side of Psychoanalysis. What is the other side of psychoanalysis? The other side of psychoanalysis is the discourse of the master. That is, psychoanalysis is not a discourse of mastery. Or it does not aim to be, at any rate. In addition to the pedagogical aim of Lacan’s language, this language, with its polysemy, irony, constant deviations and contradictions, is designed to undermine belief in the existence of the Other, a father figure, or a subject that knows. Lacan described himself late in life as an honorary woman and as a psychotic, this is what he was getting at.
My question is Hegelian here: does Lacan’s style accomplish what it aims to accomplish? To answer this question we need only look at Lacanian communities and Lacanian scholars. What we have gotten is something that, far from departing from the authority of a master, instead engages in endless textual hermeneutics like priests pouring over sacred texts, and very authoritarian psychoanalytic organizations organized around the charisma of Lacan. This has occurred because the “mystery” (Lacan’s elliptical style) is every bit as hypnotic as the sort of classical text that Lacan denounces. Mutatis mutandis in the case of many other continental figures.
Mikhail Emelianov Says: April 25, 2008 at 3:28 pm
I wonder if science and clarity don’t operate as a fetish here.
I think it’s a fair question, although not really a new question - the clear and indubitable nature of mathematical demonstrations has always attracted philosophical types - I wonder if we are confusing “clear” and “simple” here? A simple idea that, as Levi points out, could be a result of a long and frustrating reading (thus the resentment), but is not necessarily assumed to have been clear from the very beginning (of reading or writing) - where is this “very beginning” anyway? I think in a way we are simplifying the issue by assuming, for example, that there’s a uniform Deleuzian or Derridian style (just two thinkers I’m more or less familiar with) - I mean there are essays by Derrida that are quite “clear” but not very “simple” in their conceptual implications, and then there are convoluted ramblings about a very “simple” idea. the example of first would be say something like “Differance” essay and of second something like “Force of Law” - “Differance” is a rather “clear” essay style-wise but is trying to deal with a very complex concept, “Force of Law” is a long-winded discussion of a rather “simple” point - there is a “between justice and law”…
I know this discussion is going in a rather different direction, but my original point of reference was not the production of difficult texts but their pedagogical value - what kind of skill, if any, is being developed while one is forced to read a “difficult text”? And just a side note, I’m not sure why Kant is included in some examples of “difficult books” - the man clearly struggled with his style but of all the philosophers he’s the one most concerned with clarity, simplicity and, even if one might say he failed, attempts to present his views to the educated public in the simplest possible way thus excusing himself from any accusations of intentional obscurity…
larvalsubjects Says: April 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm
I’m a bit perplexed as to why the discussion has veered off into a discussion of science versus philosophy as I was not proposing that science serve as a model for philosophy but only made the offhand observation that scientists often seem capable of expressing extremely complex ideas without falling into obscurantism. Of course, there is going to be some relativity here. What counts as obscurantism is also going to be a function of one’s background knowledge. When I pick up a book on category theory in mathematics I’m utterly lost after a few pages as I simply do not have the mathematical background to read the book.
Some of the frustration I’m expressing here is simply about bad writing. Take Difference and Repetition and A Thousand Plateaus. I think there are elements of Deleuze’s writing her that aren’t simply a function of style. References are perpetually made to other figures without clarifying exactly what is being referred to or how it is being referred to. This would be excusable, perhaps, if these were common figures in the history of philosophy, but often they are extremely obscure figures. In other cases, concepts are deployed that play a central role in the discussion, but which are based on obscure figures, yet reference isn’t given to the figure. For example, Simondon, plays a central role in Deleuze’s thought yet there are only about 8 references to him throughout the entire body of writing! Likewise, there’s a tendency to introduce terms without providing a provisional definition, and in many cases there’s no identifiable thesis organizing the claims to be made. I take it that this is simply bad writing. Now anyone who reads Larval Subject knows just how committed I am to figures like Deleuze or Lacan, so this isn’t a question of rejecting their work. But I do think these are extremely unforgiving texts and that the cryptic nature of these works does function to produce a particular form of attachment. They’re like mazes that draw you in and interpellate you in this way. It reminds me of this parable from Lacan’s 11th Seminar:
In the classical tale of Zeuxis and Parrhosios, Zeuxis has the advantage of having made grapes that attracted the birds. The stress is placed not in the fact that the grapes were in any way perfect grapes, but on the fact that even the eye of the birds was taken in by them. This is proved by the fact that his friend Parrhosios triumphs over him for having painted on the wall a veil, a veil so lifelike that Zeuxis, turning towards him said, Well, and now show us what you have painted behind it. By this he showed that what was at issue was certainly deceiving the eye (tromper l’oeil). A triumph of the gaze over the eye.
These non-authoritarian texts function according to the logic of the veil. They create the sense of hiding someone as an apparatus of capture for the desire of the reader. Power then hasn’t been eradicated, but takes on a different form, not unlike what Oedipa encounters in Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49 in her search for the elusive meaning of the bugle.
larvalsubjects Says: April 25, 2008 at 4:59 pm
Maybe Kafka’s Trial and Castle would be better examples of what I’m trying to articulate… Especially the “Before the Law” section of the Trial:
The basic insight of “Before the Law” is that it is our fascination with the law, our belief that it holds some sort of secret, that attaches us to the law and holds us in its grip. We believe that the law has some sort of secret power and it is this very belief that ties us to the law.
This is the basic principle behind transference (and we have been talking about transference to texts, not the merits of style or reading techniques… At least that’s what I’ve been talking about). The analysand goes to the analyst, believing that the analyst has a particular esoteric knowledge of his desire. The patient supposes that the analyst knows. It is this that attaches the analysand to the analyst. Insofar as the patient believes the analyst contains the secret of his desire he tries to figure out what this secret is. Analysis concludes when the analysand discovers that the analyst is a dope like anyone else, and that it was the patient, himself, doing the work all along. At this point the shift is made from the analyst as a supposed receptacle of knowledge, to the unconscious as the only receptacle of knowledge. As a result, there is also a dissolution of the Oedipus or authoritarian power structures in the subjective space of the analysand insofar as the Other is no longer seen as containing objet a. This is one of the reasons that Lacan refers to the analyst’s work in analysis as a sort of controlled suicide… His aim is to undermine his own mastery and position of power.
Now in order to read any text whatsoever– or to learn from any text –it is necessary that there be a transference. That is, phenomenologically we must encounter the text as containing a secret, as hiding something. This sets to work the process of reading. I do think, however, that there are certain types of texts that diminish our potential to work through the transference and find our own autonomy. One type of text along these lines would be the authoritarian text written by the “perverse” master, where every question is given the appearance of being answered. Here any sort of lack has been disavowed in the text, so the reader is left no place to discover her own desire because nothing is lacking in the Other. All this is left is complete alienation in the text and total subjective identification. This effect can be discerned, perhaps, among the cult like followers of Ayn Rand.
Another type of transference would be metonymical transference. This sort of text is full of desire– it is elliptical, enigmatic, full of gaps, suggestive, cryptic. Transference here functions in a different way, but no less powerfully. Where there’s a complete fading of the subject in the first text (coupled by strong aggressiveness to others as a sort of symptomatic trace of subjective erasure), the transference at work in the metonymical text functions by suggesting, hinting, promising, that objet a is always just around the corner. Along these lines, one of the things I find fascinating when reading original manuscripts of Lacan’s seminars is their sentence structure and qualifications. Lacan’s setences are extremely complex, sometimes running on for a couple of pages. He perpetually qualifies them with statements like “what I am trying to show you” “what I am trying to get you to see” “the topology that I am trying to handle”, etc. A lot of this gets loss in Miller’s authorized editions. The sense you get is that of a sort of antipatory breathlessness, where Lacan is just about to reveal the truth, to manifest it at long last. This, of course, is the logic of objet a. If Lacan was fascinated with irrational numbers and things like Fibonacci sequences, it was because of how they perpetually repeat while always leaving a remainder. The problem is that the moment of separation called for by analysis, coupled with the traversal of the fantasy, is never accomplished by this sort of style. The listener becomes trapped in Lacan’s speech and ends up thoroughly alienating themselves in his signifiers. The healthy Lacanians, the most authentic Lacanians, are, I think, figures like Iragary, Guattari, Laplanche, Cicioux, and Leclaire… Not because they follow the letter of the Lacanian text, but precisely because they departed from Lacan, indicating that they had undergone separation and traversed the fantasy, finding their own space of desire.
Anthony Paul Smith Says: April 25, 2008 at 6:49 pm
Alright, I understand what you mean. I don’t have any stake in defending Marion’s conception of the idol and the icon.
I do think there is a difference between good writing of the sort you’re talking about (i.e. clear, straight-forward, scholarly writing) and the sort that is sort of attractive about Deleuze and Derrida (I don’t know about Lacan). I personally find both Deleuze and Derrida to be very enjoyable reads. I understand what Mikhail is saying about “Force of Law” and he’s largely correct by the standards of the first kind of good writing. But how many novels are basically a simple idea that is then surrounded by rambling. Of course there are good novels and bad novels and those of us who like reading good novels can’t necessarily write them (for instance, I know that my writing reaches its limits very quickly). Now, I know they aren’t writing novels and certainly the analogy isn’t satisfying in a lot of ways. Still, it just seems that there is something that would be lost if Deleuze wrote in the way you wish he had.
Anyway, much of what I just said covers over lots of good things Mikhail and Levi have said. The difference between simple and clear, the fact that Levi isn’t saying this is grounds for rejecting the text, the desire for more accessible philosophy in general, and so on.
Carl Says: April 25, 2008 at 7:33 pm
Trying to respond specifically to your point about Lacan’s intent to demasterfy the text and the actual outcome in authoritarian sacralization.
According to Weber, this would be a completely ordinary ‘routinization of charisma’. All of the figures you mentioned as examples of clarity have their own priesthoods too. This possibility is there with any text. But it’s a certain ‘kind’ of reader who gets caught in a text this way, isn’t it? Maybe your focus is misplaced?
I don’t think of texts as having power over me (they’re tools for me), but some people do. Why?
parodycenter Says: April 25, 2008 at 9:06 pm
Mikhail, here you can see the perversity at work IN VIVO. Angelina Paulina comes in with some barely disguised complaint (is it icon or is it idol) designed to provoke dr. Sinthome into spanking her, and dr. Sinthome of course can’t resist the temptation. Then Angelina offers an apology which clearly isn’t honest, hoping to tempt the narcissistic cat into spanking her some more. In between Adamina makes a patronizing appearance just to make sure who’s the real boss at the Eternal Theology Students blogs. In this way Angelina’s masochistic jouissance is doubled.
traxus4420 Says: April 25, 2008 at 9:34 pm
i don’t have a lot to add, but thought someone should at least sort of agree with larvalsubjects.
my appreciation of the style of deleuze and derrida is, for lack of a better term, aesthetic, and undoubtedly has something to do with this power relationship LS is talking about. their ideas can and have been made clearer by interlocutors, and i think only the aesthetic element is lost. that’s quite a lot if you’re a fan, like i am — if they’ve been responsible for shaping you intellectually — but for those who don’t have a taste for it it’s not that much.
i’m not sure how marx fits into this — his prose is just as horrendously and unnecessarily difficult as the writers on your ‘obscurantist’ list, though his subject is (arguably i suppose) of more immediate importance.
it’s interesting that i agree with your assessment of kant, spinoza, leibniz, etc. but for the most part i find their writing a chore, and i think they take me just as long to sort through as the ‘obscurantists.’ that is, i agree that their concepts are clearer (despite their difficulty), but here too i think they can be broken down in such a way that the only loss is to those who have developed a relationship with them, by laborious working through the texts. one learns a skill, perhaps, in doing this, but i don’t know that it’s qualitatively different from the ’skill’ one learns from reading derrida, deleuze, etc. and the end result is still often a kind of tutelage to an invisible master.
this actually does seem to be a philosophy vs. science question. i think what’s at stake is something like content. 6:36 PM

April 26, 2008

The Life Divine -- A Study Guide, compiled by David Hutchinson

The Life Divine -- A Study Guide, compiled by David Hutchinson, fall 2003
The study guide is a point by point summary of Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine. After each chapter title there is a one-paragraph summary of the entire chapter. These one-paragraph summaries are available as a separate document. You may also download the entire document in Word format (500 kb) or in a self-extracting (.exe) zipped format. (157 kb).

The Synthesis of Yoga -- A Study Guide, compiled by David Hutchinson, early 1990s
The study guide is a point by point summary of Sri Aurobindo's The Synthesis of Yoga. After each chapter title there is a one-paragraph summary of the entire chapter. There is an introduction, an essay on the entire book, as well as one-paragraph summaries. You may also download the entire document in Word format (360 kb) or in a self-extracting (.exe) zipped format. (128 kb). Contact: saa@collaboration.org

The collective and participatory reality of the Bengal Renaissance as a form of communitas

Following is my review of: Sri Aurobindo and his Contemporary Thinkers
Author: Ed. Indrani Sanyal and Krishna Roy Publisher: Jadavpur University Press
Genre: Nonfiction Recommended: Yes, Score: 8 out of 10

Summary: Eighteen scholarly essays on Sri Aurobindo and his contemporaries in the ideational context of the Bengal Renaissance.
Review of Sri Aurobindo and his Contemporary Thinkers by
Debashish on Fri 25 Apr 2008 11:32 AM PDT Permanent Link

Following the publication of “Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo,” Indrani Sanyal and Krishna Roy of the Centre for Sri Aurobindo Studies, Calcutta have complied a set of eighteen scholarly essays on Sri Aurobindo and his contemporaries in the ideational context of what has been called the Bengal Renaissance. Sri Aurobindo’s physical involvement in the politics and culture of early Bengal nationalism was of relatively short duration (1905-1910), albeit an intense and all-sided participation which internalized the entire regional history of the movement and left a powerful creative impress in the milieu of its time and space. Moreover, the discursive background of this involvement continued to develop organically and find voice throughout his life in his subjective articulation just as his own situated contribution continued to resonate in later Indian nationalism. Thus this collection of considered interpretive contemplation fills an important need in our historical understanding. But more importantly, it is the post-colonial legacy of these engagements which draws us today by their fertile and future-gazing content, inviting reflection not merely for India’s but the world’s re-generation at a time of global ferment.

The term “Bengal Renaissance” was a form of self-inscription devised within this milieu itself, and used to refer to its own historicity, with its beginnings in the late 18th c and extending into the second decade of the 20th c. In this self-identification is carried the sense of a rebirth and a historical reference to the 15th/16th c. European movement of the same name, marked by its all-round creative reconstruction, leading to a “new birth,” what may arguably be thought of as the seeds of modernity. The term is omnipresent in this volume, explicitly referenced in many of its essays and forming the subject of consideration in at least four of its essays – those by D. P. Chattopadhyaya, Rakhal Nath, Dilip Kumar Roy and Dilip Kumar Chatterjee. Of these, Rakhal Chandra Nath traces the historiography of the term in the context of Bengal nationalism, drawing out its many divergent interpretations and valuations. Here we realize that the genealogy of this “renaissance” itself is in question, symptomatic of the variety of trajectories encompassed within it.

  • Is it Rammohun Roy, the Brahmo Samaj and the post-Enlightenment reformist tradition which stands at the head of this body of critique and creation or is it Ramakishna, Vivekananda and Bankim Chandra, the polarity of indigenous spiritual and religious awakening?
  • Again, is there any reality of resemblance with the Italian origins of the term in medieval Europe or is the term an inflated romantic misnomer?

This question also comes up in the other essays on this subject. Marxist criticisms of this “renaissance” being a bourgeois hot-house flower with little or no popular involvement due to its cultural investment in the language of the colonial masters, its economic collusion with the same colonial powers and the Hindu communal potential of exclusionary violence it is supposed to carry are traced in some detail. I may say here that more recent left-oriented critiques of this period or its figures have attempted more complex and nuanced approaches, seeing them

  • on the one hand, in Gramscian power terms, as constituting a middle ground of autonomy from colonial culture and elitism over subaltern culture so as to wrest national power from the colonizer and rule the subaltern;
  • and on the other hand, as initiating a critique of modernity with far-reaching post-modern and post-colonial possibilities.

Rakhal Nath ends his essay by pointing to the widespread creative critique and rethinking of Indian culture initiated during this period, and the lasting effects of this initiative, much in need of our consideration and continuation today. In this, and in the other essays in this volume, Sri Aurobindo’s views on the term “Renaissance” in the context of Bengal are invoked, where he demonstrates the presence of three successive strands or movements within it –

  • (1) a reception of European thought and life forms and a comparative evaluation and in some cases, rejection of old or effete Indian forms based on these;
  • (2) a movement of assimilation characterized by a reaction of Indian cultural forms stressing both the spirit and letter of tradition and criticizing the foreign culture; and
  • (3) a “new creation” characterized by a full emergence of the Indian spirit adapting the modern forms creatively to its purposes and nature.

This scope of the “renaissance” sets the tone which pervades the essays in the volume, exemplifying the powerfully creative spiritual turn given to the forms and structures of a variety of modern disciplines originating in post-renaissance and post-Enlightenment Europe. Among these essays on the Bengal Renaissance, it is particularly refreshing to come across Dilip Kumar Chatterjee’s paper on “Sri Aurobindo and Ireland…” where an alternate genealogy of the term “renaissance” is drawn out, based on Sri Aurobindo’s own proclivities and pronouncements on the contemporaneous Irish resurgence, at the same time, drawing the discussion out of its provincial Bengal reference and relating it to a trans-national context.

Sri Aurobindo’s involvement in the cultural and revolutionary politics of the time touched on the wide gamut of thought and life-activities constituting the ferment of the movement and the remaining essays in the volume touch on all these areas, either through a comparative consideration of his ideas with those of other contemporaries or through a consideration of examples which left their related legacies. The various disciplines in question include philosophy, politics, aesthetics, literature, history, social thought and education. The issue introduced earlier of the reformist and revivalist poles of the discourse, characterized by Rammohun Roy and Vivekananda respectively, are addressed in two essays by Krishna Roy (Rammohun Roy on women’s liberation) and Tirthanath Bandyopadhyay (renaissance aspects of Vivekananda). Here we find how these so-called poles intersect and overlap – the non-sectarian spiritual humanism of Vivekananda and the universalist emancipatory Hinduism of Rammohun. As something of a companion piece to the article on Rammohun Roy and women’s liberation is Madhumita Chattopadhyay’s finely crafted essay on “Outlook Towards Women: Influence of Indian Renaissance.”

“Sri Aurobindo’s contemporaries” in this powerfully creative period interacted together in a participatory culture through life-contacts and episodes, bringing into manifestation the ideas being discussed in this book. Some of these contemporaries include Rabindranath Tagore, who was senior by about ten years to Sri Aurobindo and Satis Chandrs Mukherjee, who was associated with both Sri Aurobindo and Rabindranath in the effort at developing a national education, which would yield the National College, whose first principal was Sri Aurobindo, whose first day of operation was 15th August 1906, Sri Aurobindo’s birthday, and which houses the centre which has published this present volume. Two essays, one by Rama Prasad De (on Satis Chandra) and one by Amal Kumar De, deal with this saga of education in nationalist Bengal and Sri Aurobindo’s part in it. Unfortunately, only a few essays here give us a taste of the lived culture of these contemporaries and their interactions, Rama Parasad De’s paper being exemplary in this account. It is hoped that more writing of this kind emerges through publication, so that a sense of the collective and participatory reality of the Bengal Renaissance becomes more palpable as a form of communitas.

Kireet Joshi’s essay on “Sri Aurobindo’s Philosophy of Nationalism, Internationalism and Contemporary Crisis” opens the volume and, as may be expected from Prof. Joshi, sets the reflective tone for the reader. Nationalism has become a much criticized term in contemporary scholarship and Prof. Joshi’s laying out of Sri Aurobindo’s views on this subject disabuses the reader of any misgivings regarding sectarian and chauvinistic or racial/religious/ethnic forms of nationalism on the one hand, and the administrative artificiality of the nation-state on the other. Nationalism, in Sri Aurobindo’s view, is shown to be a force of creative culture, drawing on a lived and constantly renewed interpretive history, uniting a people. Indian nationalism is seen as having its basis in a protean and integral spirituality adapting itself to an illimitable variety of social forms and inviting us today to embrace it, just as Sri Aurobindo’s generation did in their time and place. At the same time, Sri Aurobindo’s notion of a progressive social history is brought out by the essay, in which nationalism is a fluid form, constituted from below by communitarian individual choices based in spiritual fraternity, in relation with wider trans-national realities, and expanding towards an internationalism, based on an “universal religion of humanity.” However, this is neither a religion with coded forms of sectarian practice nor humanitarianism. It is a rich unity in diversity founded on human identity through the perception and realization of the soul.

Drawing on similar sources, Indrani Sanyal discusses the philosophy of history developed by Sri Aurobindo and by Pramath Nath Mukhopadhyaya. A philosophy of history is a teleological theory and the development of such theories in the Bengal Renaissance is perhaps predictable, given its character of resistance to the teleology of civilizational progress based in the Enlightenment and coded into colonialism. In the philosophies of history of both these figures, Indian spiritual ideas are invoked to provide a universal significance to world temporality. Dr. Sanyal first touches on several examples of philosophy of history developed in the west, including those of Kant, Hegel, Marx and Herbert Spenser. Dr. Sanyal shows how, in The Human Cycle, Sri Aurobindo adapts the teleological ideas of another German thinker, Lamprecht, in presenting an interpretation of history as developing through symbolic, typal-conventional, individualist and subjective phases. Sri Aurobindo’s adaptation here is also an original interpretation of the yugas of Puranic theory. Similarly, she discusses the ideas of Pramath Mukhopadhyaya, showing his historicism to rest on a successive passage of the universal soul or atman through the four purusarthas of dharma, artha, kama and moksha. In this, he develops the idea of the philosopher of history, itihasavid, arriving at the subjective and experiential knowledge of history through identification in consciousness with the universal self, Vaishvanara, drawing on the yogic idea of Vaishvanaravidya from the Chandogya Upanishad.

Sri Aurobindo’s own views on creative culture, particularly poetry and its future, in the light of the spiritual remoulding of language is brought out in a lucid essay on the significance of Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry in the Indian Renaissance by Supriyo Bhattacharya. Here Dr. Bhattacharya quotes Sri Aurobindo to show how the rich tradition of Bengali spiritual literature is brought to bear on the lived subjective experiences of modern reality by Rabindranath in his poetry. He also shows how Rabindranath draws subtly from European poetic forms but subjects these to the intonations and meanings of the Indian spirit. In a similar vein, an essay on the little-known philosopher Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya by Tara Chatterjea and one on the famous philosopher of aesthetics, Acharya Brojendranath Seal by Sudhir Kumar Nandi, bring out the intensive hermeneutic engagement between Indian and western philosophy in their works and the brilliant original conclusions they arrive at through this engagement.

A final issue of interest in the volume concerns the political views of Sri Aurobindo vis-à-vis his contemporaries, predecessors and successors. An essay on Rabindranath and Sri Aurobindo by Manjula Bose, two on Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo by Sushmita Bhowmik and Sujata Mukherjee and one on Sri Aurobindo, Tilak and Gokhale by Aparna Banerjee make up this strand. It is well known that both Rabindranath and Gandhi were not too enamored of the espousal of violence by Sri Aurobindo as a legitimate means of political action. What is less well known is the fact that Sri Aurobindo also actively wrote on and promoted the doctrine of passive resistance, boycott and swadeshi, which would become the cornerstones of Gandhian activism. In this, we see once more the unattached flexibility of spiritual transcendence and utilization of opposites being demonstrated by Sri Aurobindo as against the rigidity of mental ethics. Each of these essays open up the tricky issues involved in the arguments between their protagonists and do an admirable job of commentary and interpretation.

All in all, this is a most valuable work of scholarship and a timely intervention to the contemporary Indian and global impasse of thought and culture. The ideas and figures it introduces invite us to further study and a continuation of the creative and hermeneutic exchange which they opened up more than a century ago. Keywords: Tagore, Studies, SriAurobindo, Personalities, People, Nationalism, IndianNationalism, Indian, India, Hindutva, Hinduism, Hegel, DrKireetJoshi, DebashishBanerji, BengalRenaissance, Bengal, BankimChandra, Banerji, Aurobindo

April 23, 2008

Sri Aurobindo's involvement in many aspects of life

From: "SABDA eNews" mail@sabda.in Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 15:15:32 +1000 Subject: JFK comments on Sri Aurobindo's political insight

One of the most well-known phrases from Sri Aurobindo's works is "All life is yoga." No one lived this credo more thoroughly than its author. A new compilation introduced in this issue bears witness to Sri Aurobindo's involvement in the many aspects of life by focusing on his social and international vision, his penetrating insight into the affairs of men and nations, as part of his spiritual work for the world.

Sri Aurobindo: A Contemporary Reader takes a modern-day look at some of Sri Aurobindo's writings in these fields, showing, for example, how his insights on self-determination can help us unravel the complexities of today's human rights discourses and better understand the concept of identity politics. The strength of his vision in the realm of international affairs is strikingly revealed to the modern reader whose historical perspective can provide a clear-eyed appraisal of the relevance of statements made in the first half of the 20th century. There is a fascinating example included near the end of the book that records how Sri Aurobindo's insight in 1950 on the Korean conflict foretold the possibility and consequences of China's aggression against India in 1962.

On June 28, 1950, Sri Aurobindo wrote a letter to K.D. Sethna, editor of Mother India, in reply to his question on the conflict in Korea, describing the situation there as "the first move in the Communist plan of campaign to dominate and take possession first of these northern parts and then of South East Asia as a preliminary to their manoeuvres with regard to the rest of the continent—in passing, Tibet as a gate opening to India." Some months later, in the wake of China's invasion of Tibet in October 1950, Sethna wrote an editorial "The Truth About Tibet" which elaborated on the views expressed in Sri Aurobindo's earlier letter to him.

Years later, in 1962, the Chinese aggression against India created international concern. In March 1963, Sudhir Ghosh, an Indian emissary of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, had a meeting with President Kennedy in Washington D.C. and shared with him a letter from Nehru dated January 5, 1963, "on the problem posed by the military power of Communist China". He also showed the president the following excerpt from that Mother India editorial dated November 11, 1950, referring to it as "the last testament of Sri Aurobindo". Though this was not written by Sri Aurobindo himself, it is clear from the full content of his letter to K.D. Sethna on the Korean War that the editorial represented his general views on the subject.

The basic significance of Mao's Tibetan adventure is to advance China's frontiers right down to India and stand poised there to strike at the right moment and with the right strategy—unless India precipitately declares herself on the side of the Russian bloc. But to go over to Mao and Stalin in order to avert their wrath is not in any sense a saving gesture. It is a gesture spelling the utmost ruin to all our ideals and aspirations. Really the gesture that can save is to take a firm line with China, denounce openly her nefarious intentions, stand without reservation by the U.S.A. and make every possible arrangement consonant with our own self-respect to facilitate an American intervention in our favour and, what is of still greater moment, an American prevention of Mao's evil designs on India. Militarily, China is almost ten times as strong as we are, but India as the spearhead of an American defence of democracy can easily halt Mao's mechanised millions. And the hour is upon us of constituting ourselves such a spearhead and saving not only our own dear country but also all South East Asia whose bulwark we are. We must burn it into our minds that the primary motive of Mao's attack on Tibet is to threaten India as soon as possible.

To quote from Sudhir Ghosh's own account:

The President read the words of Sri Aurobindo's last testament several times over and said: "Surely there is a typing mistake here. The date must have been 1960, not 1950. You mean to say that a man devoted to meditation and contemplation, sitting in one corner of India, said this about the intentions of Communist China as early as 1950?"


Sri Aurobindo: A Contemporary Reader — Edited by Sachidananda Mohanty ISBN: 978-0-415-46093-4 Publisher: Routledge, New Delhi Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 235 Price: Rs 275

Choosing his selections from five works by Sri Aurobindo – The Ideal of Human Unity, The Human Cycle, War and Self-Determination, The Foundations of Indian Culture, and Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest – the editor of this compilation presents aspects of Sri Aurobindo's vision for the future of humanity in the context of the "crisis of contemporary culture".

  • Part I is a long essay by the editor which introduces the four major areas of concern to be examined: the tyranny of the State idea, religion versus secular modernity, the problem of self-determination, and identity politics in a multicultural society.
  • Each chapter in Part II is dedicated to one of Sri Aurobindo's works and begins with an editor's prologue, which provides an overview of the work in the context of the discussion.

The book underlines Sri Aurobindo's role as a cultural critic who applied his yogic understanding to the arena of contemporary society and politics. His views on these topics, mostly written for the monthly review Arya in the early years of the twentieth century, have a continuing relevance for today's social discourses.

Sri Aurobindo: The Poet of Nature & Other Writings on Savitri — Asoka K. Ganguli ISBN: 978-81-901891-6-3 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research, Pondicherry Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 407 Price: Rs 350

A former teacher of English literature at university and post-graduate levels, the author of this critical study presents several important aspects of Sri Aurobindo's spiritual poetry in his epic Savitri.

  • In the first section the author highlights the often-neglected subject of Sri Aurobindo as a poet of Nature. He points out how Sri Aurobindo's concept of Nature differs from that of other poets and then shows the workings of Nature in Inconscience, in Ignorance, and in the Transcendental plane as portrayed in Savitri.
  • The second section deals with how Sri Aurobindo uses imagery, similes, and metaphors, while in the third section he explains Sri Aurobindo's new concept and vision of Death.
  • The final section describes the treatment of science and evolution in Savitri as representative of Sri Aurobindo's embrace of all aspects of knowledge and thought in his integrated vision of life and spirit.

Devotion: An anthology of spiritual poems — Selected by Lloyd Hofman and Vignan Agni Publisher: Integral Enterprise (IntEnt), Auroville Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 338 Price: Rs 400

Since the early 1930s sadhaks of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram took to writing poetry as a means of opening themselves to the higher planes of consciousness. Many of these poems were sent to Sri Aurobindo for comments and corrections, and several disciples achieved remarkable success in their efforts. This compilation of spiritual poems by devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother reaches back to those early days of the Ashram but also includes more recent poems written by people living in Auroville and elsewhere in the world. The common theme is the devotional nature of the poetry, whether by established poets or those who show promise or merit in their inspiration and poetic execution. Included at the end are a few extracts from Sri Aurobindo's book The Future Poetry.

April 21, 2008

Sri Aurobindo has packed the whole universe in a single book. It is his epic ‘Savitri'

Become all - knowing and omnipotent
-Nirmal Chandra Sahu, Pondicerry. In Mother’s Light - Nov-04.pdf

Sri Aurobindo has packed the whole universe in a single book. It is His epic ‘Savitri". Each line of the poem is a thing by itself – a mantra. Let us make a humble effort to unpack something from a few lines, possibly related to the subject. We do not know about other worlds but, "Earth is the chosen place of mightiest souls; Earth is the heroic spirit’s battle field, The forge where the Arch-mason shapes his works." (P-686)

What is His work of works? He Wills to illumine common acts with Spirit’s ray and to meet the deity in common things. He Wills that "Nature shall live to manifest secret God." And "Spirit to take up the human play." Culminating all "This earthly life become the life divine." (P-711) Life Divine is the Supreme result. The Supreme Mother is the Consciousness and Force of the Divine – the transforming Shakti who has descended to workout the Divine Will in Time. She obeyed the Timeless Will and is yoked to His Power.

"I yoke thee to my power of work in Time. Now will I do in thee my marvelous Works." (P- 698) God has assured us that "All things shall Change in God’s transfiguring hour." But "If earth calls and the Supreme answers even the hour can be now." Here we do get a marvelous clue that the working out of the Divine Will and Purpose is not something arbitrary, disregarding altogether the human will. Man is not just a puppet of the Divine Will. It is true, our human will can not alter the Divine Will.

It is also true that no other will can take away and no doom change the one inevitable supreme result. But the choice, inclination, aspiration and surrender of human life determined by the cosmic laws :
"Her aspiration called down the higher fate."
"And the road thou chooses is thy fate."
"Man is the key to unlock conscious door."
"A mighty Surrender is all his source of strength."
"A prayer a master act a king idea
Can link man’s strength to transcendent Force."

Thus, the human will can facilitate, accelerate the manifestation of Divine Life upon earth. The human will can identify itself with God’s. When such perfect identification is achieved man can truly become all-knowing and omnipotent.
"If human will could be made one with God’s,
If human thought could echo the thoughts of God;
Man might be all-knowing and omnipotent." (P-457)

Man can also retard the process of manifestation of life divine on earth, at least partly; when he chooses to become an instrument of the hostile power. But fortunately there is co-operation from matter, Nature and man (elite) and wonderful experiences of aspirants suggest,
"A greater destiny waits you in your front." (P-370)
"Even should a hostile force cling to its reign
And claim its right’s perpetual sovereignty
And man refuge his high spiritual fate,
Yet shall the secret Truth in things prevail." (P- 708)

April 20, 2008

If you are sincere at one stage, you are automatically taken into the next stage

A Letter from Prapatti Current Issue: FEBRUARY 21, 2008 (pdf)

As a student, I was quite an average type, but whenever I used to read , there was seriousness, sincerity, zeal and the sentimentality of being first or second. This sincerity helped me to do well in examinations, but did not satisfy my passion of doing still better. My financial conditions were worse than yours – very unhappy indeed- but I never cared for it. On the other hand, while I was a student of Matriculation, I dreamt of passing my M.A. examination in Philosophy. Philosophical thinking had a tremendous appeal for me. Inquiring about God, Nature, Soul were my native tendencies.

While in B.A. (Hons.) I thought there is nothing impossible in passing the M.A. Exam, but what next! I could clearly see that I can easily become a Lecturer, but that goal did not satisfy me. With severe hard labour, I obtained first class in Philosophy and left for Allahabad for P.G. Studies, but I found I am lacking in zeal and enthusiasm. I did well in my studies, attracted notice of the teachers, but did fall short of my expectation –a first class.

It is here that I resolved to do something very great in life and sincerely wished to dedicate myself for God or the World. Quietly, I got into service, but there was no rest for me – as you know – finally I came down here and settled. Still I believe that I have to struggle very hard till a certain height is reached in the level of consciousness. What I write here is but one side of the story, on the other side rather the unseen side, there was always the Grace of the Divine behind my efforts.

However what I mean to say is this that if you are sincere at one stage, you are automatically taken into the next stage. This doctrine applies both to spiritual practice and worldly dealings. That is why, be sincere to your studies from the beginning.

Edited by Sri Gadadhar Mishra, Published & Owned by New Light Society, Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack - 753 013 Kindly send your valuable suggesion to the Editor, In Mother’s Light, at matrubhaban@bsnl.in

Sri Aurobindo is the Guide to the Supramental Age

Calendar of Events in 2008 Events Calendar 8:49 AM 9:15 AM Key events of the year

All Orissa Sri Aurobindo Women Study Circle Conference
24th to 26th January 2008 Matrubhaban, Cuttack

All Orissa Sri Aurobindo Study Circle Conference 4th to 7th April 2008
Matrubhaban, Cuttack

Annual Conference of Sri Aurobindo Bigyana Parishada and All Orissa Science Exhibition
5th and 6th September 2008 Matrubhaban, Cuttack

Annual Conference of Sri Aurobindo Medical Assocication
13th September 2008 Matrubhaban, Cuttack

Annual Conference of Sri Aurobindo Engineering and Technical Group
12th October 2008 Dalijoda, Cuttack

Home Relics Centers Dasa Karmadhara Events Publications Gallery Miscellenious Sri Aurobindo University Contact Us Key events of the year Events Calendar News from events Monthly News Monthly News - March 2008

On 17.2.2008 a special Sri Aurobindo Study Circle was organized at Shyamsundarpalli. In this Study Circle the topic for discussion was “The Birth & Death of Man”. Bhagaban Bhai disussed on the subject…On 21.2.2008 The Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre of R. Damodarpalli celebrated the Birth Anniversary of The Mother. On this occasion a discussion was held by Uday Bhai on the subject “The life of The Mother” & “What is Sri Aurobindo Study Circle and what is its importance in the present circumstances.” … On the occasion of the Birth Anniversary of The Mother in Aska Sri Aurobindo Study Circle was organized. In this meeting T.V. Bhaskar Rao discussed on the subject “Life of The Mother” & “Sri Aurobindo Study Circle”… Shyamsundarpalli celebrated the 130th Birth Anniversary of The Mother. Here the topic was “The childhood of the Mother” & “The significance of the Presence of The Divine Mother on Earth”.
On 2.2.2008 Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre Parakhemundi celebrated its 29th Annual Function under the Presisidentship of Sri Radhakant Rath, and C.H. Shantakar & Premanjali Nayak as the invited guests. Arabinda Das and Geetanjali Das also participated in this function.

On 3.2.2008, a special programme was organized in the premises of Atimanas Yogashram, as as Mohan Pattanayak as the President. Parshuram Majhi, Rajendra Nath Kanar , Biranchi Narayan Singh, Kunjabihari Dash, Harekrushna Bhai etc participated in the programme… Ajay Sahoo of Marganguda celebrated the 5th Annual study circle in his house. Sujata Apa, Sangi, Suresh etc participated in this study circle… On 17.2.2008 a new Sri Aurobindo Study Circle was opened in the house of Narasingh Gauda of the village Biriguda… The 9th Annual Sri Aurobindo Study Circle of Biriguda and Nabrangpur District Level Conference was held with Lalit Mohan Pattanayak as the president. In this conference Dasharathi Majhi spoke on the subject “The grace of the Mother”, Chandan Bhumiya said on “We and Sri Aurobindo Study circle” and Abhimanyu das discussed on “The attitude of the Atimanas-sadhaka”. Lingaraj das, Khagapati Bhatra, Kunjabihari Das, Shyamsundar Ningi, and Gangadhar Bhai also had participated in that function.
A special meeting was held at Sri Aurobindo Bhaban, Koraput on 3.2.2008. Sri Prashant Kumar Swain disussed about the way of working of the workers at the Block level Sri Aurobindo Study circle…
Nirakar Bhai conducted Question & Answer programme on 12th AT Ampadola, 13that Kalyansingpur, at D.K.Pur, and 14th Kolnara and Naira.

On 12.2.2008, a district level Ex-Integral School Students’ Camp was organized At Bargarh. The students interacted on the topic “General life & Spiritual life”. Swaraj Bhai and Nira Bhai also have participated in the camp… on 23.2.2008, in a special function at Bheden Sridhar Bhai discussed on “Our role in making the Future Human Race”.
On 21.2.2008, the Integral Education centre, Sambalpur celebrated The Mother’s 130th Birth Anniversary. In this special function Lakshmipriya Panigrahi told on “How the Mother is the Divine Mother” and Dr. Suprava Barik discussed about the development of the child. Prafulla Bhai conducted the meeting.

On 3.2.2008 the 154th session of Sri Aurobindo Study Circle and the moving Study Circle was held in the house of Bhaktahari Ratha at Parasinga. “The Greater Role of Sri Aurobindo Study Circle” was the topic for discussion and Indramani Mhal, Bhaktahari Ratha, Harekrushna Panda, Kartikeswar Khuntia etc were participated in this discussion… On 8.2.2008, the Annualk Study circle of Tentulidiha was held. Here the topic to interact was “Sri Aurobindo Yoga and the traditional yogas” & “Sri Aurobindo Study Circle: What and Why?”. Indramani mahal, Banamali Sahoo, Lakshmidhar Pagal etc have joined in the Study Circle. On 17.2.2008, the Annual Function of Sri Aurobindo Study Circle and the 155th sitting of the Visiting Study circle was held in the new house of Golakbihari Sahoo of sanabazar. Biendra Kumar panda, Kartikeswar Khuntia, Indramani mahal, Bhaktahari Ratha, Jagabandhu Lenka etc discussed on various subjects as- “The Fire in the Vedas”, “Obstacles and their solutions”, “Supramental and its Action” and “Psychic and Spiritual Transformation”… On 21.2.2008, Matrupalli Charampa celebrated the 130th Birth Anniversay of The Mother. In this special function the topic for discussion was “Sadhana in IntegralYoga” and the participants were Ketaki Mohapatra, Urmila Choudhury and Bhaktahari Ratha… Matruniketan Bandalo celebrated the Birth Anniversary of The Divine Mother. On that day a Study Circle was held in the house of Manoranjan Jena, and this was conducted by Hrushikesh Bhai. In this meeting Bhagirathi Bhai said about “The Blessings of The Mother” and “The Importance of birthday”. On that day Bondalo Sri Aurobindo Integral School also celebrated the Birth Anniversary of The Mother which was managed by Sharmila Apa and Jyotsna Apa… Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, Asurali also clebrated the Mother’s Birth Annivaersay. In this celebration Indramani Mahal, Sadananda Nath and Prabira Ku Jena discussed on “The Work of The Mother on the Earth”… on 24.2.2008 the 49th session of the Sri Aurobindo Study Circle of Tihidi Block was organised in the house of Ramachandra Nayak. Indramani Mahal and Arabinda Sahoo discussed on “Shuddha Sat”
On 9.2.2008 the Annual Function of the Integral Education Centre, Barbil was held. On this occasion Pravat Bhai told briefly about “The need of Sri Aurobindo Study Circle in Family Life”, Sarat Chandra Bhanja on “Integral Education”. Bijay Kumar Behera joined the meeting as the President and Rajashree Pattanayak, Subrat Bhai, Akshya Kumar Mallick, Mrutyunjaya Kumar Bal etc participated in the function… On 10.2.2008, the Anniversary of the Installation Day of the Relics was celebrated. On this day a Sri Aurobindo Study Circle Conference was organised. This programme was conducted by Subrat Bhai. In this meeting Pravat Bhai participated in the Question & Answer Programme, and Sarat Bhai discussed on “Organisation”. In the evening programme Giririjanandan Mohanty acted as the President and Pravat kumar Nayak and Maheswar Mahakud told on “The role of Integral Education in making the Future Human Race”… On 12.2.2008 the visiting Study Circle was organised in the Hatadihi Block. In that programme many devotees have joined and visited many study circles of the block… On 21.2.2008 the Integral Education Centre, Barbil celebrated the birth Anniversary of The Divine Mother. Bishnu Bhai narrated Savitri, the 5th Chapter of “The Mother” was read by Rajashree Apa, Mrutyunjaya Bal read on “Come & Love The Mother”, and the subject “Yoga sadhana” was discussed by Debashis Bhai.
On 28.2.2008, Janakiram Mohanty celebrated the Annual Sri Aurobindo Study Circle in his house at Karanjia. “Surrender & Supramental Descent” was the subject for discussion & Ajay Kuamr Palei discussed on the above subject.

On 21.2.2008, in the new house of Sadananda Parida, a new Sri Aurobindo Study Circle named Auromira Study Circlewas opened. Baikunthanath Jena, Prabhanjan Mohanty and Bholanath Sahoo participated in this Study circle.

On 1.2.2008, the 4th Annual Study Circle was organised in the house of Sarat Chandra Mohapatra of the village Gopalpur. Sasmita Mohapatra was the convener and Aparti Bhai conducted it. The topic “The Mother in Daily Life” was discussed by Akhila Bhai and Aparti Bhai. Many devotees had come to participate in this study circle… On 2.2.2008, Kalapada Relics centre celebrated its 22nd Installation day. The speakers Anadi Charan Swain, Bimal Prasanna Das, Prasad Tripathy discussed about “Sri Aurobindo is the Guide to the Supramental Age” and “The glorious Life of Babaji Maharaj”. Gyanendra Kumar Pattanayak conducted the meeting. Shyama Kanoongo and Gadadhar mishra also participated in the celebration… On 3.2.2008, the 17th Annual Sri Aurobindo Study Circle was hosted by Dharmanda Pandey in the Sriram village. Sanjay Kumar Mohapatra, Dhaneswar Mohanty, nad Kaibalya Charan Jena delivered their speeches on “The Old Yogas and Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga”, “She is the Golden Bridge and the Wonderful Fire” and “The Uttarpara Speech”. The programme was conducted by Krushna Chandra Nandasharma… On 4.2.2008 Sarat Chandra Ratha of Gobindpur opened a new Sri Aurobindo Study Circle in his house. Janardan Pati, Kaibalya Jena, Krushnachandra Nandashamra were the speakers on the occasion and briefly discussed about “The challenge of Integral Yoga”… At Bahalapada a new Study Circle named Matrusadhana Study circle was opened in Fakir Ch. Jena’s house. Kalinidi Charan Senapati and Sankarsan Senapti told about “The abolition of the ego”, “Integral Yoga” and “The Divine Identity”. Kailash Chandra Senapati, Jaladhar Jena, Jagabandhu Swain etc participated in the Question Answer programme…On 8.2.2008, a new Study Circle was opened at Bahalpada. “The Way of life based on Spiritual foundation” was the subject for discussion in this new study circle… On 13.2.2008 Sri Aurobindo Dhyan Mandir, Majurai celebrated the Relics Installation Day. A special meeting was organised for this purpose. Kanaklata Mohanty, Prafulla kumar Mishra, Gyanendra Kumar Pattanayak, and Kaibalya Charan Jena joined the meeting as the speakers and discussed on the subject “Sri Aurobindo is the Announcer of the New Human Race”… On 21.2.2008, on the occasion of the Birth Anniversary of The Mother, Sri Aurobindo Education Centre, Kendupalli organised a special study circle. In this Chittaranjan sahoo acted as the convener, Apartti Mantri, Chandramani Dalabehera, Manas Manjari das, Sunil Kumar Prusty etc discussed on “Sri Aurobindo study circle”…On the occasion of celebration of the 130th Birth Anniversary of The Mother, at Bahalpada a discussion was organised on “Coming of The Mother is an indication of the New Age”… At Kalapada for the same occasion Sanjay Kumar Mohapatra told on “The relationship with the Mother” & “The Faith on The Mother” in a discussion… Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre Banki also organised a discussion “The Philosophy of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo” to celebrate the 130th Birth Anniversary of The Divine Mother. Ramakanta Bhai, Akhila Bhai and Shyama Bhai participated in the discussion… The Annual Study Circle of Sasmita Mohapatra was conducted in her house. Ramakanta Bhai, Shyama Bhai, Dama Bhai, Akhila Bhai etc gave ideas about “The Philosophy of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo and the necessity of Sri Aurobindo Study circle”… On 22.2.2008, The Annual Sri Aurobindo Study Circle was of Bentkar was organised with Shib Prasad Mohanty as the Convener. Narayan Chandra Satpathy, Sanjay Kumar Mohapatra, Sankarsan Senapati discussed about “Love of The Mother”. Bidyutprava Satpathy and Shib Prasad Mohanty participated in the programme.
On 1.2.2008, a special Study Circle was organised at Sri Aurobindo Education Centre, Khurusia… On 3.2.2008, Nabajyoti Study Circle of Jaladhar Nayak at Atabuha celebrated 10th Annual Study Circle. In this Study Circle the participants were Gunanidhi Tripathy, Bipin Bihari Kar, Sarbeswar Mohapatra, Bhagabati Prasad Das and they gave their views on the subject “The need of Sri Aurobindo Study Circle in the present circumstances”… On 4.2.2008 The 5th Anuual Sri Aurobindo Study Circle was held at Prahallada Mohanty’s house at Balisahi, near marsaghai… On 5.2.2008 The Annual Session of Sri Aurobindo Students’ Society of the M.E. School was held at Nuapada. Sribatsa Das, Satyabadi Raut, Laksmidhar Patra etc discussed on “The Development of the child in Integral Education” in that session… On 6.2.2008, a new study circle was opened at Bandhakata in Dolly Jena’s house… On 8.2.2008, the 12th Annual Study Circle of Sridhar Patra of Giribandha was celebrated. In this ceremony the topic “The philosophy of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga” was discussed by Arabinda Sahoo, Satyabadi Raut, Umesh Chandra Barik etc…On 21.2.2008, Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre Ali celebrated the 130th Birth Anniversary of The Mother… On 22.2.2008, a special Namajapa programme was organised in the house of Ghanasyam Swain at Chhanda Village.
On 2.2.2008 & 3.2.2008, a District level Training Programme was organised at Chhatia Inegral Education Centre. This programme was conducted by Purusottam Bhai… On 7.2.2008 The Anniversary of the Relics Installation was celebrated at Taharpur. In this ceremonial meeting Bimal Prasanna Das, Krushnapriya Das, Chakradhar Biswal, Banamali achrya etc participated in the discussion on “Sri Aurobindo’s Philosophy”. This was conducted by Sarbeswar Mohapatra and Kirtan Bihari Raut.