Archive for August 2012


Aurofundamentalism has re-published an historic letter to the Trustees of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram written early in September 2008, with annotations.

Psychiatrist Dr. Alok Pandey led the way in inventing the myth of the book’s “diabolic” intent. The demonization of the author was readily accepted by devotees and quickly became a part of Aurobindonian mythology. The emotionalism aroused by the efforts of Pandey and others soon stifled the possibility of intelligent discussion. In subsequent e-mails he resorted to other tactics of dehumanizing the enemy, accusing Heehs of finding a road to fame through the “sewage pipe” and likened those who appreciate his work to “rats and moles” and “bandicoots and lizards and serpents.” Employing such subtle methods of argument, reminiscent of the rhetoric of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda, Pandey used his prestige and abilities to contribute to the creation of an atmosphere of hysteria in the Ashram, destroying Heehs’s reputation and…

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Mirror of Tomorrow

Aurobindo never cared for money. When I was at Baroda, he was getting a pretty fat salary. He was alone, he knew no luxury, nor the least extravagance. But at the end of every month he had not a shot in the locker. …

While talking, Aurobindo used to laugh heartily. … He was not in the habit of prinking himself up. I never saw him change his ordinary clothes even while going to the king’s court. Expensive shoes, shirts, ties, collars, flannel, linen, different types of coats, hats and caps—he had none of these. I never saw him use a hat. …

Like his dress, his bed was also very ordinary and simple. The iron bedstead he used was such that even a petty clerk would have disdained to sleep on it. He was not used to thick and soft bedding. Baroda being near a desert, both summer and…

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Mirror of Tomorrow

This second fast of Mahatma Gandhi of three weeks has disquieted me a little. There seems to be no way out, for Gandhi asserts that he can break his irrevocable fast only if he is persuaded that the inner voice which enjoins the fast on him is the voice not of God but of the Devil. I wonder whose voice it is though? Can it be anything but disastrous augury?

I don’t think it was the voice of God that raged and thundered till Gandhi decided to starve himself on to the danger line—it looks as if it were the other fellow. One can only hope that he will scrape through somehow and that the doctors are wrong as they most often are when they opine in the plural; but the last experiment was not encouraging. And as this time there seems to be no reason whatever for this inspired…

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I’m going to attempt to clarify my own position in relation to that of Levi Bryant’s on the issue of the potential role of religion in revolutionary politics. Bryant has toned down the diatribe, offering two substantive posts over at Larval Subjects, as well as several comments to me here at Footnotes. I’ll try to lay out the way he has framed the problem first, then offer my own position. There seem to be areas of overlap, but also of friction.

In his first post, “Some Theses on Religion, But Not Really: A-Theology,” Bryant begins by suggesting that what is at stake in this discussion is not ontological, but logical. That is, the core issue is not whether reality is finally material or divine, natural or supernatural. The issue is whether we employ a logic of immanence or transcendence. This focus on logic follows from…

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The first clause in the title of this post is the subtitle of Simon Critchley‘s newest book, The Faith of the Faithless (2012). Critchley is a deep ethical thinker who had until a week ago managed to fly under my radar. This isn’t all that surprising, since the admittedly still diffuse research methodology of my dissertation is rather like wandering backwards through an ancient and ever-growing bibliographic labyrinth of academic and para-academic publishing. Every week or so, I trip over one of the books tossed about on the floor, have a look, and discover another author whose thinking seems to be converging with my own. It’s not like these texts are randomly arrayed: I’ve been following a thread that I can see knots together those texts I’ve already read; it’s just that I’ve been walking backwards as I pull it.

Critchley’s book is, as he describes it, an experiment in thinking…

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Tusar N. Mohapatra

Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum
SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad - 201014 (UP) India + 91 96500-65636
Aadhaar No. 3628 2075 7337
SELF posits a model of counselling and communicative action as an instrument in order to stimulate the public sphere. The model aims at supplementing the individual’s struggle for a successful social adjustment with more aspirational inputs so as to help one take an informed and balanced attitude towards life as well as society.
Savitri Era of those who adore,
Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

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