May 04, 2017

Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri has acquired the status of sacred

India can have neither pure tradition, nor uncontaminated modernity. Whatever we are or have become has to be some combination or amalgamation of both. But in these contestations between tradition and modernity, it is not always clear what tradition is or what it stands for. In this and the following columns, I attempt to redress this lack. [...] The colonial intervention severed forever our tenuous ties with the older sacred literature of India as, indeed, it did the society which supported it. In its place, secular modernity, aided by the printing press and the invention of prose, gave rise to a new wave of creativity in what the British called our vernaculars.
The literature written in these new languages was usually modelled on European works and its content quite different from traditional compositions. Writing in a purely traditional manner is now impossible; how are we to engage with contemporary reality in a purely traditional idiom?
Unless a certain form of literary modernism actually attempts precisely such an “impossible” option. In poetry, the name of Sri Aurobindo comes to mind immediately. Savitri, one of the longest poems in English, is also perhaps the only contemporary epic which is read and recited daily in a manner reminiscent of a traditional sacred text. It is indeed regarded as a modern Veda by the devotees of Aurobindo and the Mother. Eliot also tried to produce sacred literature in modern times; at first the best he could do was to offer us The Wasteland lamenting the loss of the sacred, but later in “Ash Wednesday” and Four Quartets, something of the sacred is restored. Yet, Eliot’s works, though universally acclaimed, are still literary texts, whereas Aurobindo’s, though known and admired only by the select, have acquired the status of sacred, even cultic texts. In fiction, the name that comes most readily to mind is Raja Rao. The Serpent and the RopeThe Cat and Shakespeare, and The Chessmaster and His Moves are all about the near-impossible quest for the ultimate reality in the 20th century.
For Raja Rao, all writing was sadhana, a means to self-realisation. His books are not read as sacred texts, but he was one writer who unabashedly sought the transcendent and tried to invent an answerable style to such a lofty purpose. In Chessmaster, he even tried to go beyond language itself in his attempts to invoke the sacred beyond all religious utterances. Yet, which us would like to write like Sri Aurobindo or Raja Rao—the two are of course very different—even if we could? 
The New Indian Express-30-Apr-2017 By Manoj Das  
... of Christ, the exile of Krishna in Brindavan and the colloquy with Arjuna on the field of Kuruksetra,” scribbled Sri Aurobindo in a notebook way back in 1913. [...]
That was the time when some intellectuals, in one of the 20th century’s periodical feats of materialism attempted to dismantle several pillars of faith on which civilisation and culture rested. But their zeal, even if quixotic, could be looked upon as a line of quest. But when a lawyer-politico attempts to humour us by associating Krishna with eve-teasers, when an avant-garde drama group associates the Pandavas demolishing a forest for founding their habitation with contemporary ecological misadventures, when novelists in several languages, Indian and English, find in Draupadi an opportunity to recreate her in the light of common psychology, it is time to wonder which, between our environmental and cerebral climates, had become more polluted. [...]
We are not bound to look upon our epics as a repository of spiritual truths. We can regard them as ancient creative works containing elements of history. Or we may simply disregard them. But we cannot judge characters or incidents snatching them from their context and milieu.
So when Peter Heehs and Richard Hartz make the grand announcement that Sri Aurobindo distanced himself from Hinduism, and the Hindu culture that was incorporated in his Ashram was a concession to his Hindu disciples, they are also alienating themselves from 95 % of the devotees and disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother! Alienating themselves from others for the sake of spiritual truth would still have been appreciated, but to cleverly quote half sentences and stray quotations without giving the full context, and almost bending backwards to prove one’s point can hardly be justified. This is exactly what Peter Heehs and Richard Hartz have done, and a group of Sri Aurobindo scholars are now doing to justify their hatred of Hinduism. Peter Heehs goes to the ridiculous extent of stating that Sri Aurobindo made concessions to his Hindu disciples by stressing on the importance of the Divine Mother, or mentioning the role of Sri Krishna in his own Yoga.[3] Even accepting the devotion and adoration with which his disciples approached him is perceived by Peter Heehs as mere adulation which could have been avoided by Sri Aurobindo. I wonder what would remain of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga, or for that matter of any Yoga, if the essential means and facilitators of spiritual union with the Divine are taken away from the seekers.
From Macaulay to Frawley, from Doniger to Elst: Why do many Indians need White saviours?
Would non-White Indologists evoke such passions as the likes of Sheldon Pollock and Wendy Doniger or David Frawley and Koenraad Elst do?

Devdutt Pattanaik · Dec 24, 2016
Doniger’s essays on the Puranas make you see Hinduism as a violent authoritarian force challenged by non-violent egalitarian Buddhism. Frawley’s very personal translation turns Vedic hymns into a code that only “masters” (such as he) can decode after intense “sadhana”. Their views, according to him, are deeply insightful, intuitive, transcendental – and hence beyond academic challenge.
Doniger’s writings reveal the classic left tilt: looking at the world through the oppressor-oppressed framework, using methods such as inter-textuality and psychoanalysis that are deemed scientific by peer approval. Frawley’s writings reveals the classic right tilt: glorifying something authoritative, ancient and ahistorical, rejecting the scientific method as inadequate and inherently biased, tracing everything in Hinduism to his reading of the Vedas.

Matrix and Gnosticism

The Matrix is a modern re-telling of the ancient myth of Gnosticism, but without the transcendence.

Despite the film’s Christian references, there is little in the way of a moral or ethical message representing the inner message of Christianity. This is probably because The Matrix is less a morality tale, and a more a heroic epic, along the lines of the Illiad or Star Wars, which not only tells an adventure story but creates an entire universe (worldbuilding) while doing so. Despite the constant mystical elements, it's not about inner spiritual growth, but about action and adventure, and struggle in the face of an overwhelming enemy, the mysticism being part of the sets and details, rather than the core of the character arc. It could even be considered military science fiction, as so predominant are the battle and fight scenes.
A striking contrast can be made here with Tolkien's Lord of the RingsLord of the Rings was just as much an adventure story, just as much a war story, and of course even more world building. But it was also a morality tale. Tolkien as a Christian scholar of old English and Norse paganism and languages nevertheless managed to incorporate a subtle Christian message in his epic work, in a way that was not overbearingly preachy, in contrast to fellow Inkling C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and Space Trilogy (the Inklings was a writers discussion group that met at the University of Oxford, in the 1930s and 1940s, for discussions on writing fiction, especially the fantasy genre).
And even if the Buddhist associations are stronger and better managed than the Christian ones, the Matrix Trilogy's story arc does not carry through with the individual spiritual salvation and transcendence of Buddhism any more than it does the cosmic messianic promise of Christianity.
Imagineer, pantheist, nerd, vegan, currently writing Freehauler Alcione, an upcoming scifi series that focuses on a group of young adventurers in a future interstellar setting, also teaching myself Blender so I can illustrate this universe. › politics › sri-a...
Mar 16, 2016 - Raman Reddy ... He said Sri Aurobindo wrote (in the Foundations of Indian Culture) that the rishis of the Vedic Age had propounded “the ideal of the Chakravarti, a uniting imperial rule,  ...
Mar 16, 2014 - Tusar Nath Mohapatra on 19 March 2014 at 7:26 am said: Sri Aurobindo stressed that the Mahabharata and the Gita contain large scale interpolations. Sri Aurobindo's Essays on the Gita is more ...

Jan 7, 2016 - If we leave the understanding of the meaning of development to our commonsense, we appreciate better the real implications of development, said, Shri Tusar Nath Mohapatra , Director, Savithri ... › july_dec_2016
Philosophy for Self-Management” is something special a piece and Mr. Tusar Nath Mohapatra says people still search meaning of their life even today. He talks of spirituality perceiving the spirit hidden behind the ...

[PDF] On the Question of Integrating Spirituality with Counselling in India
TS George, TJ Parayil - Artha-Journal of Social Sciences, 2017
... and personality. Twentieth-century Indian philosopher and spiritualist Sri Aurobindo, based on his experiences and thorough study of ancient Indian philosophy, constructed an evolutionary map of consciousness. He observed ...
[PDF] A Comparison of Maslow's Theory of Hierarchy of Needs with the Pancha Kosha Theory of Upanishads
B Sathiyaseelan, A Sathiyaseelan - Artha-Journal of Social Sciences, 2017
... self. As Sri Aurobindo (1990) describes, at this level the human beings would be united with other beings by sympathy, love and happiness, and their emotions would be lifted to the perfection of the psychological plane. Maslow ...
Transnational Histories of the'Royal Nation'
M Banerjee, C Backerra, C Sarti - 2017
Page 1. PALGRAVE STUDIES IN MODERN MONARCHY Transnational Histories of the 'Royal Nation' Edited by Milinda Banerjee, Charlotte Backerra and Cathleen Sarti Page 2. Palgrave Studies in Modern Monarchy Series ... › workings
23 hours ago - Sri Aurobindo. Autobiographical Notes. and Other Writings of Historical Interest. Part Two. Letters of Historical Interest. 1. Letters on Personal, Practical and Political Matters (1890–1926). Letters and Telegrams to ...

RM has squandered all his reputation and eye for rigour by this single tweet exposing his own shallow understanding.

Here's a nascent attempt to firmly embed the Integral Yoga of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo within Mythological imagery

Savitri Era: People nurse absurd prejudices regarding Sri Aurobindo

Savitri Era: Rescuing Sri Aurobindo from dubious representations

Plain & Simple: Savitri Era affairs: Introduction #SriAurobindo #Hindutva

Savitri Era Learning Forum: Are they saints or just marketers?

Baahubali – A Casteist Movie From Casteist Director Who Said Untouchables Are Parasite

Finally the review of Bahubali 2, I was waiting for!!
#Bahubali2 is RSS ki Sazish 😎 › sensible-cinema-natyasha...

 |  - Need for India's Spirituality- revisiting Sri Aurobindo's vision.
The idea of providing people what they demand has to go. Alternate analysis of performing arts based on personal whims should be reduced. The makers have to provide cinema with bhava which helps audience develop a taste for ethical and socially uplifting practices. Taking drama to be a personal affair one need not go by the shastra, but making natya for masses and as responsible art, one should adhere to the guidelines discussed in the shastras. We have to start training our minds to be attentive, understand what we watch and demand sensible cinema from the makers. › culture › the-f...
16 hours ago - Another important figure venerated by Hindutvaites is Sri Aurobindo. He was also highly critical of Gandhian approach to Partition. Yet, he too denounced Hitler strongly and considered him a dark force.

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