January 16, 2013

Sri Aurobindo said people get stuck in old forms

Sri Aurobindo illustrates the absurdity of some of the most popular conceptions about the operation of the law of Karma with a story from the press of his day.

AuroMere Meditation Centre (Sri Mother and Sri Aurobindo Center), Pallikaranai is running from 2005 under the guidance of The Mother's Service Society (MSS), Pondicherry - founded by Sri Karmayogi Avarkal. Books by Karmayogi

Major Schools Of Indian Philosophy: An Introduction In Six Monthly Lectures An overview of the six orthodox schools, with special reference to the Vedas
30 January 2013 At 18:30 - C.D. DESHMUKH AUDITORIUM, IIC Collaboration: Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Speaker: Dr Karan Singh, M.P. Chair: Shri Rajiv Mehrotra, Trustee, Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The first in a series of monthly lectures on Indian spiritual thought that will explore some of the principal schools of Indian philosophy, their impact on Indian civilization, and contemporary relevance 

January 9 My encounter with Brian Pennington at the recent AAR Rajiv Malhotra: Of course, I disagree with his argument that Swami Vivekananda violates Hindu tradition. But there was no smear, ad hominem or personal issues raised in his talk. ...
Sandeep responds:
"Someday in the future, as Indian universities improve in quality, lets hope India produces an army of well-funded (non-marxist) academics who understand Hinduism better, who have access to the latest facilities and are able to publish their books without any impediments.
... This debate will then shift to the "Indian academy of religion" Rajiv's response: I have promoted this idea for 20 years. Easier said than done. Infinity Foundation held 3 major world conferences on religious studies in Delhi with opinion leaders across the political and ideological spectrum. Lots of passion, resolutions, etc. No action in the end...
For now I want to focus on producing new discourse that challenges old hegemonic discourse, and on debating my work with serious scholars, so as to take it further amongst readers who have the required level of commitment and background to follow the issues. " …
Now, here comes the book BD by Rajiv Malhotra that recognizes the folly of conflating ideals with practices.  It takes the world-views of Dharmic traditions and contrasts them with Abrahamic religions by walking the readers through a 4-dimensional space of (1) history-centrism, (2) integral unity vs. synthetic unity, (3) attitude towards complexity vs. rigid order, (4) non-translatable concepts (described in original Sanskrit works).
January 9 How to be Dharmic? Sandeep responds Dh" Practicing Dharma does not mean you must mimic ancestral rituals blindly.  It was this problem that Sri Aurobindo cited when he said people get stuck in "old forms".  
Some person several hundred years ago started "dainik sandhya" because he had some intuition that it might help him go inwards.  That doesn't mean you might also benefit from it.  You have to find what suits your personality.  The goal of Dharma is to go within and find your Atman.  You may be better off joining some contemporary Yoga school ... ...
Not every child is bound to become "Dharmic".  Some people are not cut out for it.  If you force the child into something they don't like, they may rebel against you later and turn atheists for the rest of their lives.  Take the case of Vikram Gandhi, who was immersed in religious practices of the Arya Samaj while growing up in New Jersey, but lost interest in it after growing up.  Now he has made a movie Kumare on fake Gurus. 
(See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIXNjDcOLWU&feature=player_embedded)
Therefore, one has to gauge the personality of the child to find what is the best path.  The child is more likely to be attracted to poetry, literature and dance rather than dry philosophy and discursive ethics.  ... The best way to mould a child is to become a different person yourself.  If they sense a positive change in you, they will naturally come to you for guidance.  

Articles in Professional Journals and Books Peter Heehs is an independent scholar based in India. He has written or edited nine books and published more than fifty articles. 2006. “Yoga/Yogi”. Keywords in South Asian Studies. Published online by Centre of South Asian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
Popular at the time of this writing are Bikram Yoga, which is done in a room heated to 105º F, and Ashtanga Yoga (no obvious connection with Patanjali’s...) … For the most part, however, yoga is viewed by the American and European public as a form of exercise that helps the student become flexible, relaxed and free from stress… For some urban Indians, the worldwide success of yoga has become a source of cultural anxiety rather than cultural pride… Such anxiety seems misplaced. 
The most respected contemporary masters of the schools of physical yoga practiced in the West, B. K. S. Iyengar of Pune and Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, have spent comparatively little time abroad. No self-respecting Western yoga-teacher can hang up a shingle before she or he has studied under these or other Indian teachers or their students. Some contemporary Indian yogis cater primarily to an Indian clientele. Swami Ramdev brings his message of health through yoga and ayurvedic medicines to an enormous television audience. He heaps scorn on the corrupt civilisation of the West, whose foods, drinks, medicines and entertainments are undermining the Indian body and soul.
Yoga as a phenomenon of popular culture will doubtless continue to go in and out of style. The practices associated with yoga — postures, breath control, meditation, and the rest — are likely to persist, because they offer a means of coming to grips with some of the perennial problems of embodied human life. Peter Heehs Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, Pondicherry

Finally, India gained its independence from in 1947 and was disastrously divided by the British, against the advice of saints and seers, such as Sri Aurobindo, ..

Like Sri Aurobindo, who conceptualised Mother India as Bhawani Bharati,.... Tarun Vijay is a member of the Rajya Sabha; member, ...

This is what Sri Aurobindo calls bringing down the Force from above. In this way there is a chance of being able to change the world, because one has brought...

It is no mere chance that visionaries like Sri Aurobindo and Hazrat Inayat Khan both proclaimed a century ago the ultimate resurgence of the Feminine. Sri Aurobindo's prophetic words were: If there is to be a future, it will wear the crown of ... 

Dr. Anirban Ganguly (Associate Fellow, VIF) Expertise: Civilisational and Cultural Studies, Indian Political Thought, Contemporary Indian Political History, Philosophy of Education
The central deity of his adoration and spiritual identification, however, was India. To a generation of the Indian intelligentsia who grew up on and propounded the notion of an externally inspired and evolving Indian unity, Vivekananda came as a mighty nonconformist… He was firm in his conviction that despite all passing appearances the ‘great deeps’ of India and of her people would forever remain ‘moral, austere and spiritual’, it could not be otherwise. And her ancient civilisation meant for him, simply, the ‘inbreeding of energy through many a millennium.’
Like the religio-cultural, the socio-political too strongly attracted and interested Vivekananda. In his expressions of concern for India, this aspect often distinctly flowed out through his talks, conversations and letters. The mighty urge to see India liberated, self-reliant and spiritually conscious and vibrant continuously occupied his being and he attempted to work this out not as a politician, but as a ‘nationalist.’ He ‘was no politician: he was [rather] the greatest of nationalists’ and therefore to him the ‘destiny of the people was in their own soil, and the destiny of the soil was no less in its own people.’
The essence and significance of Vivekananda lay in that: an unwavering nationalist who offered an epochal and liberating vision for his land and his people. Published Date: 27th December 2012
Both Swami Vivekananda and Tagore were personalities who essentially symbolized and represented the Indian civilisational ethos and it is in a commemoration of that uniqueness of their being that we can hope to discover an effective instrument for perpetuating the Indian message. One needs to ensure that generations to come continue to read, understand and internalize those very ‘Sanskrit-Mantras’ that had so surprised Vivekananda. And the determination to spread their message and content requires India to evolve an astute and visionary civilisational perspective. The commemorations at a deeper level offer that opportunity over the next few years and a hardening of resolve to initiate such a mega-plan backed by an integrated long-term vision to spread India’s spiritual and civilization perspectives is what is required at the moment. Published Date: 29th February 2012

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