Archive for April 2009
Media in the world
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The creators of the IYFundamentalism website have displayed a behavior smacking of Fundamentalism!! Difficult to see it in yourself. Mother said do not mind others’ stupidities but your own. It is a pity but the consequences of their actions of attacking Mother’s children whoever they are in such bad taste will be sad for them personally.
Posted by Anonymous to Savitri Era at 7:52 AM, April 21, 2009
Savitra received his name from the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and lived at the Ashram and Auroville, where he spent 21 years (1969–1990) apprenticing “applied spirituality,” community-building, and environmental restoration in the interface of first-world/third-world realities. In 1990, he relocated to America where he currently lives in Ashland, Oregon. He is an extended research associate with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and has been a guest on Michael Toms’ New Dimensions Radio as well as a presenter at numerous conferences, universities, and institutes including Esalen, Matthew Fox’s University of Creation Spiritualiy, the IONS 30th Anniversary Conference, and What is Enlightenment journal’s community retreat center. He has written a number of books, the latest being An Evolutionary Agenda for the Third Millennium, published by White Cloud Press. He may be reached via savitra AT earthlink DOT net. → Savitra shares his thoughts on The Lives of Sri Aurobindo and the surrounding controversy.
As the first volumes of the Agenda were being published, a renowned French literary critic, André B., who had praised Satprem’s books in the Parisian press, suddenly wrote to me to convey his “great distress” before some of Satprem’s plethora of comments about the “horror and darkness of the world,” in which he saw mainly a bout of paranoia. I immediately wrote back to reassure him and convey an informed denial about his diagnosis based on “my profound knowledge of Satprem” etc. In the back of my mind, I was shocked that someone so “intelligent” could question Satprem.
Now if I set my mind on the two “revolutionary” encounters in my life — the first with Mother, the second with Satprem — a drastic contrast between them appears. After the first few seconds of bewildered stupefaction in Mother’s presence, under her intense gaze, and the sort of stupefied state I experienced afterward for several days, I can see today that this first encounter with Mother could well have ended up as it began, with nothing more than this stupefaction. In other words, it was UP TO ME to make it into something else, for the simple reason that NOTHING was demanded or expected of me, no commitment of any kind. More precisely, the “demand” would have to come from me, from my own depths, or else it would not exist at all. In Mother’s presence, I was not confronted by a specific “context” or by life’s “contingencies”; I was confronted by myself.
In my encounter with Satprem, on the contrary, I was not asked to take a stand toward myself but toward him and his inner world, toward his quarrels with the Ashram, toward his history of dissent and rebellion. Right there and then, I was summoned to accept unconditionally this whole “package” — or be on my way. At bottom, the real “fault” with Satprem may be that he lead you AWAY from yourself — ultimately to replace yourself with him.
Before closing, I have one last thought for all those friends and comrades whom I sense are still asking the obligatory questions about Satprem: Was he good or evil? Was he right or wrong? All those who await or beg for a sign, a gesture, a letter that will assuage their fear, reassure them about their destiny, give them self-confidence. I have known this sad and sorrowful condition well enough not to cast the first stone. So I just want to say: Get out of the cage; get out of the thoughts that go round and round in circle, which feed on you and cannot find an answer; throw yourself, instead, in the one worthy conquest, without thinking, without intermediary : Sri Aurobindo.
[It must be said that the preceding text was written between November 2006 and February 2007, well before Satprem’s demise in April 2007. I found it useful — and still relevant today — to reveal this story, not so much because of the context in which it took place, but perhaps more because of the human experiences of a broader nature it entails.]
Someone recently cited an example of how there was such a disconnect between his generation and that of his children. While his wife prayed to Lord Krishna every morning and he too would propitiate the gods and goddesses as always done by his ancestors, his son was only interested in a way to get to New York and be able to live the life of those he saw in his Hollywood films—he didn’t pray, had no personal favourites amongst the wide selection of deities and had imbibed none of the humility that a god-loving and god-fearing man such as the father himself possessed. What made it utterly scary for this gentleman was that the dream was not of a teenager but of a man well in his 30s. He asked whether this is the full outcome of so much of history and tradition that the family proudly upheld? He blamed the television for most of his woes and felt globalization was a bad word, signifying chaos and degeneration. The English language according to him was culpable of great upheavals in Indian society and the lack of Indianness in current Bollywood films was only reiterating all the other forces of evil that had descended on Indian soil.
It is not easy to accept change and even more difficult when it is under our own roof. Certainly globalization has its defects and western culture can seem nightmarish for many; English has distanced us from our roots and Bollywood or Hollywood are not where we learn our finest and most enlightening lessons. Obviously the man was very disturbed but perhaps there was just cause to some of the things that he had an objection to. But the one fact of life which he completely missed was that God does not run in our genes. No matter how saintly our family tree is or how religious our parents are or how spiritual the atmosphere in which we grow up may be, it doesn’t mean anything because He is not a hand-me-down; He is not part of a DNA strand; He is not compulsory curriculum. He devises when to open the window in the souls of His devotees so that they may see Him; He decides when to accept them.
And so, whether the vexed father gains fruit of generations of ancestral worship or the day dreaming son stumbles across the Truth while chasing the American dream, no one can say. The only thing we can say is: You cannot pass God on.
Until the next time…
Sri Aurobindo Society
Eternally Yours Living Words Significance of 4th April
Flower of the Month Question of the Month Commentaries on
Thoughts & Aphorisms
Science and Politics
Subhas Chandra Bose
Resurgent India The World of
The World Beyond
Dr. Sampadananda Mishra
Art of Life True News Creative Corner Knocking at Your Door
Integral Health The Adventure of Consciousness
Integral Education Education for
Tales Told by Mystics Wanted a Scholar –
Old & Bald
Reflections The Constant Mantra
Spotlight The Lost Cow
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The basic aim of Sri Aurobindo Society is to work towards individual perfection, social transformation and human unity based on a spiritual foundation. To help realise these objectives the Society has undertaken various projects and activities.
Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Integral Management
The institute aims at evolving an integral approach to Management, in all its dimensions, based on a deeper vision of life.
How important is ‘Vision’ for an organisation and for the individual.
What is the role of ideal and what is the mantra of higher motivation.
Business is no longer a mere engine to produce dollars. A higher aspiration seems to be the new trend in business.
Beyond the castles and fairies, witches and ruby slippers lies a clean, uncluttered world view. Perhaps this is why fairly tales never go out of fashion.
Gems from Visionaries and Management Gurus
An inspiring address by Azim Premji on “Lessons in Life”
Feedback from Readers
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