Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hartz overstates the Parliament of Religions

www.auroville.org › contents
Mar 12, 2015 - One of the greatest challenges of our times is how to view and to han­dle diversity — ­religious, cultural, gender, or whatever. Are our differences a potential source of conflict or of strength? Should we seek to protect, for example, endan­gered languages and cultures or accept that the future lies in the increasing homogenization of humanity?
These are some of the ques­tions addressed in Richard Hartz’s new book The Clasp of Civilizations: Globalization and Religion in a Multicultural World. The title, of course, refers .to Samuel Huntingdon’s influential book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, in which Huntingdon argues that future conflicts would most likely occur because of the “clash” of the values of different civiliza­tions, noting that the most likely conflicts would be between the West and Islam or China.
Hartz believes that Huntingdon overstates the distinctiveness of different cultures, noting that there is no such thing as cultural “purity” and that all cultures influence and are influenced by the contact with others. Historically, these cross-influences have often been to the benefit of both. Hence the “clasp” of civilizations.
Today, however, under the pressure of glob­alization the future of some cultures may be in doubt. Predictions of the effect of globalization upon cultures fall into three groups: either it will have no effect upon cultures because the differences that dis­tinguish them are too strong; or it will lead to convergence and homogenization; or it will result in “hybridization”, where differ­ent cultures act upon each other to generate new forms.
Francis Fukuyama, Huntingdon’s former student, argued in his book The End of History and the Last Man that Western liberal democracy is possibly the end-point of humanity’s social and political evolution. In a fascinating chap­ter on the first Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1893, Hartz exam­ines this “suprematist” tendency as it relates to religion. He shows how the organizers of the Parliament hoped to use it as a display case for the supremacy of Christianity over all other world religions. But this was stymied by the charismatic Swami Vivekananda, who mounted a vigorous defence of religious pluralism:
Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. . . . But if anyone here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, “Brother, yours is an impos­sible hope”. . . .
Vivekenanda, writes Hartz, “was a breaker of barriers and had contempt for narrow and exclusive identities”. He was also a fine exam­ple of a strong rational intellect informed by a supra-rational vision. “The way to intuition is through reason,” he wrote.

Sri Aurobindo, of course, was another such figure, and he is often quoted in this book. In one chapter, Hartz compares the insights of Sri Aurobindo with those of the American philoso­pher Reinhold Niebuhr, who wrote so incisively about the dark side of the “American Dream”. While Niebuhr was a Protestant theologian, like Sri Aurobindo he applied the insights of an ancient spiritual tradition to the problems of the modern world. Both agreed upon seeing the human ego as a false centre of existence and of the need to cultivate serenity or equanimity as a first step for spiritual progress. And both fore­saw the possibility of a future human unity being founded upon a spiritual basis.
In the final chapter, “Intuition and the Limits of Reason”, Hartz examines the influence upon science of, respectively, Platonic and Aristotelian thought. Whereas the latter empha­sizes empirical analysis, the former sees intu­ition as a critical factor in scientific discovery. Hartz notes that while empirical analysis has played a key role historically in freeing science from the grip of superstition, many of the most important recent discoveries — particularly in the new physics — stem from a process akin to intuition.
Hartz is not interested in elevating one culture above another. He argues that the future of humanity may not depend upon the triumph of one civilization over another but upon the real-ization by the “rational” West that reason has its limits, and that it must be informed by those intuitive processes and insights which are more characteristic of the civilizations of the East.
This is a very timely and well-argued book, a major contribution to the debate about multi­culturalism, globalization and the future of civi­lizations. If I have one small criticism, it is that sometimes there is needless repetition — as in some chapters relating to the Parliament of Religions — and this betrays the fact that the book is actually a collection of distinct talks. No doubt, some astute editing will remedy this in the second edition. (Alan, Auroville Today, March 2015, No. 308)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Ashram hails Sri Aurobindo as the highest manifestation of the Divine in human history

The Mahatma And The Gita

Swarajya-01-Oct-2016
Sri Aurobindo 'supported the Cripps' offer because by its acceptance India and Britain could stand united against the Asuric forces [of Nazism] and the solution ...

Sri Aurobindo on Gandhian Ahimsa One big news coming from the Indian sub-continent these days is the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan. India since her independence from the Briti... This post is directed to such sleeping ignoramuses. It is time they wake up from their tamasic, dark slumber and instead of merely mouthing soul-less slogans of non-violence and peace learn a bit of the history, particularly about the history of wars between India and Pakistan. It is time they start learning about India and what she stands for. And it is time they also start learning about some deeper truths about Ahimsa, non-violence as well as the necessity of war, the morality of peace as well as the morality of war.
Sri Aurobindo didn’t have as kind a view of Gandhian methods of Satyagraha as many other thinkers/leaders have🙂 But then he was seeing things from a very high and deep yogic stance, not all of which can be easily discernible by rational/logical mind.
His view on partition and Pakistan are also quite strong, and not many people would accept it that easily. But in any case that is beyond the scope of this post🙂 Here I merely wanted to show that Ahimsa when understood very simplistically and applied stubbornly to a mass movement doesn’t always work. And that we need to have a much broader and deeper vision to understand when kshatriya dharma is needed to protect and defend a nation. I am with you on destroying the terror factories. May Ma Durga destroy those who are hell bent on destroying humanity and peace.
Thanks for reading and for sharing your perspective.

Contemporary challenges facing Hindu society | IndiaFactsIndiaFacts

indiafacts.org › contemporary-challenges...
Oct 5, 2016 - Dr. Gautam Sen is President, World Association of Hindu Academicians and Co-director of the Dharmic Ideas and Policy Foundation. He taught international political economy at the London School ...

The Sage and his idea of India

Daily Pioneer-12-Apr-2016
Sri Aurobindo's vision of India had no place for pseudo-secularism, vote-bank politics and repudiation of Bharatiya civilisation. The Sage was also the ...

An 'Indo-Anglian' legacy

The Hindu-20-Jul-2013
Travelling widely across the country, Cousins taught the importance of what SriAurobindo called 'the National Value of Art'. He deserves to be recognized ...

How the Sangh Parivar transformed Bharat Mata into a militant ...

Scroll.in-07-Mar-2016
... of Tagore, artist Nandalal Bose, Sanskrit scholar Kshiti Mohan Sen and Hindi novelist .... There is also a statue of Sri Aurobindo, but none for his spiritual collaborator, ... better known as the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry.

Sree Narayana Guru: In The Lineage Of Buddha And Adi Sankara

Swarajya-21-Sep-2016
But it is also a fact that the Guru was a great religious scholar and writer, a commentator on the dharma on par with Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo.

Why Does The Left Ignore India's Indigenous Intellectual Traditions?

Swarajya-04-Oct-2016
Sri Aurobindo unfolded the idea of a higher evolution of consciousness in humanity and produced Savitri, the longest blank verse poem in the English language, ...

Students are always the greatest victim of ill conceived and patchy courses; the Sanskrit Centre owes it to them to engage seriously with the suggestions the Academic Council made.

Acharya Kripalani shows that the Congress’s presidentship has given the nation a tradition of individuality and dissent, not prescriptiveness and consent.

Is Mata associated with particular cultures and religions or is Mata a secular conception, making it possible for people of diverse religions, who call themselves Indian, to pay obeisance to the nation as motherland?

Excerpts from a speech given by Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose, a noted historian and the grand-nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

The meaning of politics for Gandhi is the battleground itself, while truth is the reason we battle without arms, for truth is the possibility of an end to enmity.

What is the RSS’s idea of “Indian culture” and when did Hinduism and its diverse and fluid iterations fructify into “Hindutva”? Akshaya Mukul’s book on the Gita Press provides some important answers.

WRITERS ON NATIONALISM
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Shubhrastha · Aug 15, 2016 · 08:30 am

CULTURAL POLITICS
'Authentic' Vande Mataram Library aims to challenge Sheldon Pollock's 'foreign' one
Mridula Chari · Mar 08, 2016 · 09:15 am

HISTORICAL FIGURES
Spiritual violence and the divine revolution of Aurobindo Ghosh
University of Cambridge · Nov 02, 2015 · 06:30 pm

OBITUARY
Director Veenapani Chawla found new expressions for lines actors had said countless times before
Satya Saran · Nov 30, 2014 · 10:25 pm

May 15, 2016 by Editor 3 Comments
Dr. S. Srinivas The Vedas contain the divine wisdom and knowledge of things directly seen by the Rishis or seers of hoary antiquity by intuition and are called Shrutis, i.e. what is directly heard or experienced by intuition. Hence Vedas are called Apaurusheya, i.e., not composed by any human beings.1 The Vedas are the earliest […]

January 28, 2011 by Editor 11 Comments
By Tina Sadhwani In the Rig Veda there are 5 hymns constituting an important dialogue between Lord Indra and Sage Agastya that reflects the significance of traversing the evolutionary path of consciousness, that seems to serve as a crucial pre-requisite to understanding the true nature of the Supreme Absolute Reality (God). The verses exemplify how […]

February 8, 2011 by Editor 3 Comments
Lord Shiva By Tina Sadhwani “As rivers lose name and form when they disappear into the sea, the sage leaves behind all traces when he disappears into the light. Perceiving the truth, he becomes truth; he passes beyond all suffering, beyond death and all the knots of his heart are loosened” – Upanishads When one looks […]

February 17, 2011 by Editor 4 Comments
By Gurushankar Swaminathan The sections of the Vedas that deal with the various facets of the Supreme Consciousness is an articulation of the entire experience that the Vedic seers underwent, in their quest to realize that one supreme reality. What we are going to see below (in the Vedic hymns) is a symbolic and mystical […]

March 8, 2011 by Editor 1 Comment
By Sita Ram Goel and Ram Swarup Hinduism – OM The dialogue which Raja Ram Mohun Roy had started in the third decade of the nineteenth century stopped abruptly with the passing away of Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948. The Hindu leadership or what passed for it in post-independence India was neither equipped for nor interested […]

April 6, 2011 by Editor 4 Comments
By Prashant Saxena Monotheism as the world knows from the west means belief in one God. The one God in the western faiths is isolated from the nature, created the world, judges the mankind from their behavior the directions for which are given in the western holy books with a set of DO-s and DONT-s. […]

June 20, 2011 by Editor 13 Comments
By Tina Sadhwani Mother India Stripping of Draupadi & the Rise of Adharma In one world-defining moment of the Mahabharata that bred cosmic repercussions, it is well known that the most venerated icon of grace and purity, Draupadi, was publicly disgraced, brutally violated and stripped of her honour while everyone at the mahasabha watched in […]

August 25, 2011 by Editor 1 Comment
Hinduism has traditionally regarded four basic aims of life. These are called “Purusharthas”, and are as follows: 1. Kama (pleasure and desire) 2. Artha (material wellbeing and wealth acquisition) 3. Dharma (righteousness, duty and order) 4. Moksha (spiritual liberation, union with the Supreme) This article gives an overview and further insight into the Four Purusharthas. Fulfilling […]

August 1, 2011 by Editor 33 Comments
By Sameer Thakkar Today, we can find many people who are quick to christen famous Hindu gurus as “dhongis” and “pakhandi”. Such people generally hold the view that to become a guru all one needs is to chant a few mantras and promote the superstitions. These people think that the millions who follow the advice […]

June 25, 2011 by Editor 169 Comments
By Sameer Thakkar (Guest Contributor) Max Muller American Indologist and scholar of Hinduism Wendy Doniger commented on the Gita, “The Bhagavad Gîtâ is not as nice a book as some Americans think. Throughout the Mahâbhârata … Krishna goads human beings into all sorts of murderous and self-destructive behaviours such as war…. The Gîtâ is a […]

February 18, 2012 by Editor 1 Comment
By Sarvesh K Tiwari (CHAKRA) On Pata~njali And His Works || namaH bhagavate pata~njalaye || “…we know little about the yoga author Patanjali. We know of Patanjali the grammarian and have good reason to date him to the 2nd century BC. Apart from the name, we have no solid reason for assuming that he was […]

Monday, October 3, 2016

Individual growth in connection to human society and nature

Swarajya-01-Oct-2016
In April 1907, a year before Gandhi wrote his Hind Swaraj in South Africa, Sri Aurobindo expounded in a series of seven brilliant articles in Bande Mataram his ...

Central University of Odisha organised Lecture on Swaraj and the Divided Republic: Sri Aurobindo's Dream of a NewIndiaThursday, August 11, 2016Report by Nishapati Nayak, Koraput: Central University of Odisha organised a Distinguished Lecture on‘Swaraj and the Divided Republic: Sri Aurobindo’s Dream of a NewIndia’ in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Sunabeda at Bhanjamandap, HAL township... Prof. Sachidananda Mohanty, Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Orissa delivered the inaugural address while Er. Debasish Dev, Executive Director of HAL Sunabeda presided over the programme.

Prof. Mohanty reflected lights on the life of Sri Aurobindo and briefed about the Swaraj movement from Tilak to Sri Aurobindo’s. While exploring the dream of Sri Aurobindo he said “Sri Aurobindo must has to be credited for the concept of Poorna Swaraj or Complete freedomand it can be achieved with the five dreams of Sri Aurobindo for Freedom like Free and United India, Liberation of the people of Asia, World reunion, Indian’s Spiritual gift to mankind and the Dream of evolution of human spices in to a higher species. Today we are faraway from these dreams”. He also said that “Today’s young generation must know the value of the freedom for them”.

Prof. Makarand R. Paranjape focused on the dream of Sri Aurobindo fora united nation on the ground of the diversity. While delivering his lecture based on the dream of Sri Aurobindo he said “Uniformity is not unity. It’s reducing the individuality and each one has a unique gift and it is only unique for that person and without unity we can’t have progress”. He also said “Swaraj means to control inner self and if you have self mastery you will have mastery on the world”. While advising the student he said “By reading book only people can’t gain knowledge, knowledge comes from experience”.

The Statesman: Diversity and Unity

www.thestatesman.com › news › opinion
Sep 20, 2016 - Leaders of the freedom movement took their philosophical inspiration from the reformist Hindu thinkers starting from Ram Mohan Roy to Swami Vivekananda and culminating in Sri Aurobindo.

End of an ideal | The Indian Express

indianexpress.com › Opinion › Columns
Jul 11, 2016 - The ISIS has declared its delight that Brexit has taken place, which itself has ominous overtones.Sri Aurobindo in a message on August 15, 1947 (also his 75th birthday) outlined five dreams for the ... For my generation, brought up on the history of multiple wars in Europe for several centuries, resulting in havoc and millions of deaths, the emergence of the European Union (EU) was virtually a miracle.
That Sri Aurobindo, once the fiery prophet of Indian nationalism, had come to hope that nationalism would finally give way to a “new spirit of oneness” is striking, but on the ground things seem to be moving in the opposite direction. 

Issue No. 326, September 2016

Brexit and Human Unity


Auroville Today rarely comments on issues outside Auroville. But in this issue we carry an article on Brexit in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s views on human unity.  The causes of the Brexit vote in the U.K. have been analysed exhaustively and exhaustingly. Most commentators agree that the immediate reasons included fear of mass immigration, loss of sovereignty, and a protest vote against a political establishment which was perceived to have abandoned the less well-off. The leave campaign was also widely criticized for being mendacious and fear mongering, led by opportunistic politicians who did not fully believe in the arguments they were advancing. But, in truth, the Prime Minister’s decision to hold a referendum on Europe was also taken for short-term political gain and with very little consideration of the possible consequences. Speculation about those consequences have so far tended to focus upon the possible break-up of the UK and of the EU, and of the pote... 
>> More



Even though the philosophy of Integral Yoga with its focus on individual freedom does not espouse this, voluntary simplicity is an ethos that I and many Aurovilians subscribe to. Not out of a moral stance, but simply out of the realization that “no man [woman] is an island.” Evolution is not so much about individual growth, but about individual growth in connection to human society and nature. And, notwithstanding the futuristic promise of the transformation of matter, our integral connection to and dependence on nature, enjoins us to cultivate a lifestyle that is in harmony with the limits and... 
>> More


Friday, September 30, 2016

Auroville Governing Board from 2012

Governing Board | Auroville

www.auroville.org › contents
Sep 10, 2016 
The Governing Board consists of seven members to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons who have,
  • rendered valuable service to Auroville;
  • dedicated themselves to the ideals of life-long education synthesis of material and spiritual researches or human unity;
  • contributed significantly in activities that are being pursued or are envisaged to be promoted in Auroville, including activities relating to the environment, afforestation, arts and crafts, industry, agriculture, humanities, sciences and integral yoga;
and of two representatives of the Central Government itself.
The members, who do not live in Auroville, hold office for a period of 4 years. The Governing Board meets at least twice a year in Auroville.
The general management of the affairs of the Foundation is vested in the Governing Board. Its task is to promote the ideals of Auroville, to review and approve basic policies and programmes, to secure the proper management of all properties, to prepare the master plan and co-ordinate fundraising. Most of these functions are executed in consultation with the Residents' Assembly.

The present members

The Central Government, vide Ministry of Human Resource Development’s notification No.F.27-9/2012-UU dated 29 October 2012, and dated 19 February 2013, nominated the 9-member Governing Board including its Chairman for a third term of four years with the following members: 

CHAIRMAN

Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) & former President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations

MEMBERS

Dr Aster Mira Patel
Member, The Residents’ Assembly, Auroville Foundation, Auroville

Shri Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi
Director, Vastu Shilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad

Dr Mallika Sarabhai
Director, Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, Ahmedabad

Ms Ameeta Mehra
Director, The Gnostic Centre, Gurgaon

Shri Y.S.V.S Murthy (new member Notified on 19.02.2013)
Secretary, Sri Aurobindo Centre, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh

Shri Yogendra Tripathi
Ex-officio, Ministry of Human Resource Development

Shri Amit Khare                                                     
Representative of Central Government

The Central Government conferred on Dr Karan Singh the personal rank of Cabinet Minister for the period he holds the office of Chairman. 

    Former members include:

  • Mr. Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb, Maharaja of Puri;
  • Dr. M.S. Swaminathan (ex-chairman), Chairman M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation;

  • Dr. Malini Parthasarathy
    Director, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy  

  • Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, former Academic Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts;
  • Mrs. Bilkees Latif, Chairman Andra Pradesh Social Welfare Board;
  • Late Mr. Ajoy Bagchi, Director People's Commission on Environment and Development (PCED);
  • Mr. N. Krishnan, former member of the executive board of UNESCO;
  • Sri Keshav Desiraju, I.A.S., Joint Secretary (UNESCO), Ministry of HRD, GoI, joined the Board in the beginning of 2006.
  • Late Prof. V. Madhusudan Reddy, Chairman of the Institute of Future Studies;
  • Late Mrs. Shantadevi Malwad, writer;
  • Late Mr. Roger Anger (Chief Architect of Auroville);
  • Mrs. Aster Patel, resident member of Auroville;
  • Lt. Gen. (retd.) Ashok Chatterjee, resident member of Auroville.
  • Representatives of the Central Government have included
    • Mr. Sudeep Bannerjee;
    • Mr. S.R. Tayal;
    • Mr. Sudhir Nath.
  • Late Mr. Kireet Joshi (ex-chairman),former Registrar Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Chairman Indian Council for Philosophical Research;
  • Dr. D.P. Chattopadhyaya, Chairman Centre of Studies of Civilisations, and former Union Cabinet Minister;
  • Late Dr. L.M. Singhvi, MP, eminent jurist and member of Indian Parliament, former Indian High Commissioner in the UK;
  • Dr. Subhash C. Kashyap, former Secretary General, Loksabha;
  • Shri V.K. Pipersenia, IAS, Joint Secretary & Financial Adviser, Dept of Secondary Education and Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development;
  • Shri C. Balakrishnan, IAS, Joint Secretary, (Planning & UNESCO) Dept of Secondary Education and Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development;
  • Mrs. Jyothi Madhok;
  • Late Prof. Meera Srivastava.
  • Last updated: Sep 10, 2016

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    A Town Where No Politics, Corruption Or Religion Is Followed

    BoldSky-21-Sep-2016
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    Auroville youth celebrate the spirit of generosity

    The Hindu-31-Aug-2016
    The youth in Auroville recently got around to rediscovering the simple, yet profound, act of giving and receiving gifts as they celebrated ...



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    5000 women to come together as Auroville fest draws to close

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    Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.