February 05, 2013

A new religion based on direct knowledge and experience is the need of the age

New comment on "This book has the impudence of luridly speaking ab...": Posted by Seth Farber, PhD to Savitri Era Open Forum at 6:41 pm, February 05, 2013
Dr Deshpande's denigration of romantic love, and his proposition that it is inevitably profane is completely muddled and contradicted by the poem Savitri--by the narrative and by the ideas it embodies as well as by Savitri's ringing affirmation--with Sri Aurobindo's words of course--of the innocence and divinity of romantic love… One might agree with Deshpande that Heehs has projected a lurid element into Sri Aurobindo and Mira's relationship, that he fails to convey the mysterious and awesome nature of their bond--which Aurobindo conveys so well in Savitri. But Deshpande's interpretation is even worse. 

One recalls, of course, Boethius, and the consolations of philosophy, and his vision of a virginal, elusive, yet condescending and complicit source of truth. Even for my heretical brother Bruno, the absolute was named mater materia, even if he did, in a fascinating way, ascribe a kind of fecundity and virility to her that is generally coded in terms of male power and prestige. At this point, in 2013, the least I can say is that the complex feminine figure of nature continues to haunt philosophy, that this complex is unresolved, and will remain unresolved even if philosophy itself reaches some kind of numerical homeostasis as between the many genders possible at a given juncture of human existence. 

Peter Heehs - Yesterday 5:46 PM  -  New Book
Writing the Self, a history of the idea of the self told mainly with reference to diaries, memoirs, and other first person writings. Just released by Bloomsbury and available on Amazon. Bloomsbury - Writing the Self » The self has a history. In the West, the idea of the soul entered Christianity with the Church Fathers, notably Augustine. During the Renaissance the idea of …

Thanks to my experience of these twelve months I have been able to return to the world of action with tenfold hope, with a fixed notion about Indian superiority, with redoubled respect for human character, the future progress and well-being of the motherland and the human race. This is not due to my inherent optimism or excessive trust. Srijut Bepinchandra Pal had felt the same way in the Buxar Jail, in the Alipore Jail Dr. Daly, who had served here earlier, supported this view… 
After six months of imprisonment in the Buxar jail Srijut Bepinchandra Pal had seen God among the thieves and robbers, which he had openly confessed in an Uttarpara meeting. In the Alipore Jail itself I too could realise this fundamental truth of Hinduism for the first time among the thieves, robbers and killers, in the human body I could realise the divine Presence.

Sri Aurobindo Birth Century Library: Set in 30 Sri Aurobindo Karmayogin: A Weekly Review Saturday 17th July 1909 — No.4 Facts and Opinions The Scientific Position
Still, there is the question, how does He manifest Himself? There is a school which holds that He has once for all manifested Himself in certain eternal and universal laws and has no other connection with the universe. This was the attitude definitely taken by the Indian Social Reformer when it ridiculed Sj. Aurobindo Ghose's Uttarpara speech. God does not speak to men through their inner selves in Yoga or otherwise, there is no way of communion between Him and humanity, there is no special action of His power or grace anywhere.

Karmayogin: A Weekly Review Saturday 26th February 1910 — No.34 Passing Thoughts Revelation in Jail
Revelation is a thing Religion powerfully asserts, Science as powerfully denies. According to our ideas in this country, man has a faculty, latent in him but easily developed through the various means grouped under the expression Sadhana, by which he is able to see spiritually and get the revelation of things not discernible by the reason. Srijut Krishna Kumar Mitra in relating his spiritual experiences in Agra jail dwelt on the revelation of the omnipresent and merciful God which was continually with him in his imprisonment. He had what we call the pratyaksa darśanThis is a thing the possibility of which our wise men trained in European enlightenment think it a very intellectual thing to deny. 
On a similar occasion the Indian Social Reformer sneered at the experience, declared that God reveals Himself only in His laws and, if we remember right, scoffed at the idea of such a revelation being given in such an inappropriate, disreputable and uncomfortable place as a jail. It is curious at least that not one but many should have had this experience recently in precisely similar circumstances and that the various experiences should have been expressed in almost exactly the same terms. After all, an ounce of experience is worth a ton of theory. 
Our own belief is that the motions of the world are travelling towards a signal refutation of the atheistic and agnostic attitudes and that India is the place selected for the revelation. It is for this reason that these experiences are becoming so frequent in men who are rather men of action than what is generally known as purely religious men, that is to say, who seek God in life and the service of men and not merely in the closet and the Ashram. A new religion summing up and correcting the old, a religion based not on dogma but on direct knowledge and experience, is the need of the age, and it is only India that can give it to the world. [Cf. EDITORIAL COMMENTS (Dharma, 1909-1910) 25, Falguna 9, 1316]

SRI AUROBINDO, “TALES OF PRISON LIFE”   Permanent Link The other day I noticed that the Indian Social Reformer, from Poona, had ironically commented on one of my simple easy-to-understand statements by remarking: "We find an excess of Godwardness in the prison!" Alas for the pride and littleness of men, seeking after renown, men of little learning, proud of their little virtues! The manifestation of God, should it not be in prison, in huts, ashrams, in the hearts of the poor, instead of in the temples of luxury of the rich or the bed of repose of the pleasure-seeking selfish worldly folk? God does not look for learning, honour, leadership, popular acclaim, outward ease and sophistication. To the poor He reveals Himself in the form of the Compassionate Mother. He who sees the Lord in all men, in all nations, in his own land, in the miserable, the poor, the fallen and the sinner and offers his life in the service of the Lord, the Lord comes to such hearts. So it is that in a fallen nation ready to rise, in the solitary prison of the servants of the nation the nearness of God grows.”

Papers like the Bengalee and the Indian Social Reformer had chosen to ridicule Sri Aurobindo's Uttarpara speech and the tremendous revelations of his sadhana in prison. What could the Lord have appeared and spoken - actually spoken - to an under-trial prisoner? Impossible and altogether improbable! The fourth issue of the Karmayogin gave a balanced and detailed rejoinder to these immaculate rationalists of Calcutta and Bombay. Again, when Baikunthanath Sen, President of the Hooghly Conference (5th and 6th September 1909), described Sri Aurobindo as an 'impatient idealist', the Karmayogin …

In our ongoing attempt to infuse moral significance into everything that happens in the world, we frequently imply that events and forces occurring in the physical world are “God’s retribution” for some failing on someone’s part. In this view, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes are a sign of some higher judgment upon us. Victims then cry that they do not know why “God did this to them”, or why the innocent children caught in the maelstrom were made to suffer.
Sri Aurobindo makes the point that when we remove this moral filter from our view, it becomes clear that the physical energy operates on its own principles and that it is not some kind of concious retributive machinery of God. “The flood” or “Sodom and Gomorrah” do not represent God’s judgment on humanity, but results of physical energy carrying out its natural functions regardless of who or what happens to be in the way.

Hindi poet and feminist scholar Savita Singh's reading of Ashis Nandy's version of Sri Aurobindo's life in his book Intimate Enemy is a classical, scholarly refutation of Nandy's critique of modernity and in a way suggests that ...

Message From Sri Maa « Sri Aurobindo Patha Mandir Trust Working on the field of education, health, small scale industry, and spiritual growth of the society. (by SAPMT) Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir Trust–Established on the Date 21-12-2001 Sovarani Acharya Managing Trustee PH. No. 0671-2802217
Under Sri Aurobindo’s guidance there is an integral education centre in the village, Siddheswarpur, District Cuttack, Odisha. The aim of this centre is to make spiritual human beings. The Society, the country and the whole world want such human beings, who can change the destiny of the future mankind. Sri Aurobindo Patha Mandir is teaching spirituality, Dance, Music, Tabla, Yogasana and all the subjects of education. 

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