Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Guha, Foa, Verghese, and Danino

(Is was first published in Expressions of Christianity, With a Focus on India, Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan, Chennai, 2007, pp. 83-97)

Christian evangelistic literature abounds in condemnations of Hindu society; so do, occasionally, “secular” Indological studies. The favourite bête noire is of course the caste system; the Hindu woman — depressed, oppressed, suppressed, if we are to believe the suave messengers of the Good News — comes a close second. I will not go here into the correctness of the charge, as it has already been abundantly answered. But it helps to look at the way the Christian West treated its women, not only in its scripture but in actual practice.

Let us not be told that this treatment, whatever it was, belongs to the past and is of no relevance to current situations. True, from the nineteenth century onward, the status of woman in the West has considerably improved (although not always as much as is projected). But that in no way prevents us from asking the evangelist how he views the Bible’s degrading pronouncements on woman, and Christianity’s appalling record in the matter. For if he justifies them, he automatically falls from his moral high ground; if he condemns them, he condemns the very creed he is asking others to embrace; and if he attempts to conceal or to overlook them — his usual and safest line of defence, for its strength derives from people’s profound ignorance of history — then he is open to the charge of intellectual dishonesty.

Confronting the past is always a healthy exercise. Let us brace ourselves and have a glimpse of just a few cases studies; they are enough to edify us on what many have revealed, what many more have concealed, and what most remain unaware of. [...]

Despite the age of Enlightenment, prejudices against women have persisted well into our rational age. Matilda Joslyn Gage, a courageous pioneer of the feminist movement in the U.S.A., authored in 1893 a monumental study of the status of woman through the Christian ages.21 Her scrupulously documented book is a call to women as well as a challenge to both Church and State: “As I look backward through history I see the church everywhere stepping upon advancing civilization, hurling woman from the plane of “natural right” where the fact of her humanity had placed her,” 22

Woman, Church and State makes for painful reading, detailing numerous forms of abuse perpetrated right up to the nineteenth century, including the most revolting sexual exploitations ordered by Church authorities and Christian nations. A few years ago, the case of the “Magdalene laundries” was brought to light, a case that matches point by point some of those narrated by Matilda J. Gage.23

Michel Danino Michel Danino is a writer, researcher and a founder member of International Forum for India’s Heritage. He’s also the author of the much acclaimed “The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati.” - The Abrahamic God By Michel Danino

Viswa Ghosh Public 4d
Viswa Ghosh commented on a post on Blogger.
Sadly, the debates and discussions around AIT and OIT have been plagued with name-calling and personal insinuations. Ad hominem arguments have replaced substantive and evidence-based ones.

Personally, I would love to have the OIT established, a very strong case against the OIT thought is the very absence of (or yet to be identified and deciphere) proper scriptures in the IVC. If the Vedas originated there, it seems implausible that archeology has not yet dug up artifacts that reveal the language with proper scriptures. Further, so far we have not seen any relationship between any of the Indian languages with what has been uncovered in the IVC.

Having said that, it is also improbable that a 2000-year IVC would simply disappear without passing over anything to, say, the subsequent Ganges Valley Civilization that emerged. In which case, why haven't we identified the links from IVC to the civilizations that emerged in modern-day Iran, Afghanistan, and the Gangetic Plains? Is it our mindset that is preventing? OR, is it our technology?

This is when I start wishing for time travel so that I can actually observe "What Happened in History"!

The ancient Indian history has been a source of cantankerous debates and of vilification campaigns especially since the 1990s. According to one school, we have Aryans *invading* India, coming in waves over several centuries from their origins somewhere in central Asia. Aryans did not invade just India, but spread to Anatolia plateau, eventually finding their way into Europe. The branch that turned to India further sub-branched into Iran. We have consequently “Indo-European language family”, then its subset, “Indo-Iranian”, and finally it culminates into Indo-Aryan Sanskrit, the language of the gods, in which sacred Vedic texts and scriptures were composed and eventually reduced to writing in Dev Nagari script. The Vedic Aryan culture left an outstanding legacy of literature. [...]
I personally find this whole enterprise of speaking authoritatively about ancient or even medieval history simply preposterous. One may only discuss possibilities and probabilities when evidence is bound to be thin and only suggestive rather than conclusive, and at most point out why a particular alternative looks more attractive to fit the available evidence. For example, usage of language changes, the meanings derived from the words in the past may get fossilized though words themselves may survive albeit imbued with totally different meanings. [...]

There are many obvious pitfalls in interpreting ancient texts with modern sensibilities. When it is difficult to establish truth about current events in modern times, why some people firmly believe they hold the truth in matters belonging to antiquity defies reasons. It is therefore a foolhardy enterprise that seeks to draw firm conclusions about the past. However, this OIT-AIT debate acquired urgency for political reasons. There has been a doctrinal current that has flowed since the latter part of 19th century to date, which seeks to found the modern notion of Nation and Nationalism on One people, One Language, One culture, One ethnos, and if possible One religion that have continued uninterrupted right from the hoary antiquity of the Indus-Vedas civilization. It is this unwieldy endeavour, which has proved to be so fractious and divisive. What passes to us as history or historical narratives are frankly no more than current agreements between majority of the academic historians over what transpired in the past. Such agreements must, if one is aware of their shaky foundations, remain temporary and tentative, until something better comes on the scene.

Those who are firm adherents for ideological reasons of Out of India Theory or of Aryan Invasion Theory would always find ways to bitterly squabble, foul mouth and get at each other’s throats. However, for those who are interested to know what the scholars and academicians think on both sides of the divide there is a very interesting volume to peruse: The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History, edited by Edwin F Bryant and Laurie L Patton. Posted 4th July 2013 by Sadanand Patwardhan
Apr 4, 2016 - ... Kuppuswami Sastri, M Hiriyanna, Michel Danino, iNagendra, Navaratna S ... Goel, Sri Aurobindo, Sushil Kumar Dey, Swami Vivekananda, V S Sukhthanker, ...
Any system that is to be improved needs periodic assessments and shake ups. The worst thing for traditionalists to do is to promote vyakti-puja (idolatry) of any scholar by making him too big to be criticized. Ganesh is great, no doubt, but his limitations concerning Western Indology must be discussed in a constructive manner. [...] 
The problem of tunnel vision is brought out in Satyajit Ray’s movie, ‘Shatranj ke khilaadi’, based on the story by Premchand. It shows two elite Indian men playing chess and constantly engaged in petty and pedantic arguments.

A thoughtful essay on studying medieval history beyond Hindutva and secular whitewashing:

Observers of Indian history have generally had to choose between one of two perspectives. The first is the view of Hindu nationalists, who have repeatedly exaggerated acts of violence and bigotry under Muslim rule, and called for retribution in the present. The second is from secular historians, who have largely treated the temple demolitions, forced conversions, and massacres of the medieval and early modern eras as anomalies or fabrications, and dismissed demands for restorative measures. We argue for a middle way between these two extremes – one that rejects both excessive focus on precolonial Islamic violence, as well as a secular whitewashing that is insensitive to local memories and histories.

We believe that religious violence occurred quite often in India’s past; that it should be considered in the context of the times; and that this violence should be acknowledged, analysed, and discussed. The failure to come to terms with precolonial religious violence, though intended as a means to communal harmony, has had the opposite effect. By not acknowledging the traumas left by past events, secularists have allowed grievances to fester, to a point where the debate can no longer be avoided. [...]

One final critique is that to focus on Muslim bigotry during the medieval period is to risk fanning the flames of anti-Muslim violence today. By contrast, we would argue that it is precisely by recognising the sectarian atrocities of the past, that we are best placed to avoid repeating such calamities in the present. Meanwhile there are still many practical measures that could help Indian Muslims, and other minorities, live in peace and security. Brown University political scientist Ashutosh Varshney points to the power of intercommunal associations. Steven Wilkinson at Yale University has suggested that constituencies be drawn so as to provide politicians with an electoral incentive to protect minority swing voters. One thing that is highly unlikely to help Indian Muslims, however, is to construct a version of the past that can easily be assailed as illegitimate.

Roberto Foa is author of a doctoral thesis at Harvard University on the legacies of Indian precolonial regimes, and has been advisor to the Shared Societies project of the Club of Madrid. He tweets at @robertofoa

Ajay Verghese is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on South Asian politics, ethnicity, violence, and historical legacies. His book, The Colonial Origins of Ethnic Violence in India, came out in March 2016 from Stanford University Press. He tweets at @ajayverghese

"Neither Hindu nationalist,nor secular historian..we argue for the middle way"says Ramguha & truth becomes casualty! 
@rahulkanwal @Ram_Guha Fertile imagination of RamGuha. A Historian shud record history with all its warts & moles .His integrity is in doubt
@BihariTweeter : RamGuha is a Historian who is painfully subjective. History tailored to order.
Must read: 'Guhatva' of rabid hindu hater aka pseudo historian RamGuha, exposed by @SandeepWeb Via @IndiaFactsOrg 
@vanichandra2010 RamGuha at best is a palace historian,sir, A commie and a "Distortionist", the pseudo calls himself a historian! @Ram_Guha

Friday, April 08, 2016

Women have valuable skills such as empathy and a nurturing spirit

Vedica Opens Admissions for 2016

Business Wire India (press release)-05-Jan-2016
The Vedica Scholars Programme for Women (VSPW) now invites applications for its second batch, commencing classes in June 2016. VSPW is a unique ...

Vedica hopes to make a mark with management course for ...
Pradipti Jayaram Sep 8, 2015 - In a mini auditorium-like set-up, where classes are held, situated inside the lush campus of the New Delhi-based Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (SACAC), around 38 women students sit in rapt attention.
Why women only?
But B-school lessons are supposed to prepare students for real life. Women need to know how to deal with men and vice-versa, so that they can successfully navigate the workplace. So won't not having any men in the mix be a drawback? Also, gender diversity in B-school programmes and in the corporate world is a big concern. When new institutions are looking to promote it, isn’t launching a programme only for women digressing from this mission?
“Women have enough opportunities for such socialising outside of their education. What we offer is space where women can recognise and work on their strengths and gain confidence before getting into the workforce,” says Anuradha Das Mathur, founding Dean of the programme.
Vedica takes the women’s perspective into account as the regular curriculum doesn’t, she adds. Women have valuable skills such as empathy and a nurturing spirit, and the present curriculum doesn’t harness this competitive advantage, she adds.
“Women are often at a disadvantage and not given the right tools to help themselves.” Another focus is to make sure that women are committed to their careers. “Women often drop out of good jobs five years down the line due to other commitments such as a family. And the current education system is not teaching them how to keep and regain jobs,” she says.
Women need not wait till they’re 35 to join women-only executive learning programmes when they realise men and women face different challenges in the corporate world. We can equip them much earlier in their career through this programme, says Mathur.

Story image for Cuttack from The Hindu

Recognition at the right time

The Hindu-So I thought, if I have to do choreography, I must have my own group, my own students. Second reason was that I wanted to pass on whatever I had learnt from Guruji (Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra). I learnt it in great details as I stayed with him for more than 20 years till his death. I meticulously reported every item I learnt with their variations and corrections, if any. I was lucky that I learnt from him in the early 1980s when his style and maturity was on top . So all the compositions and the refinements that are being carried on now had matured at that time and I was receiving them all. So I wanted to pass it down. Along the way, there have been a lot of frustrations also.
Can you elaborate?
All the students of the first batch got married. After giving so much energy and time, they go away. Most of them are girls and their destinies are all similar. In Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra’s school, I had hardly seen any boy students.

The unassuming master

The Hindu-5 hours ago
After 1980 Jena moved to Cuttack and established Kamala Kala Pith to train local young dancers and also dancers who came from abroad to study Odissi.
Mirra Alfassa
I belong to no nation, no civilization, no society, no race, but to the Divine. I obey no master, no rules, no law, no social convention, but the Divine.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Treatises full of absurd conceits, quaint fancies, and chaotic speculations

It is an exhaustive painstaking job that I have been researching in for sometime. I beg excuse from my honourable readers for its length but such topics need dealing at length to clarify and substantiate the various views supported with quotes from experts. Space constraint will either spoil or confuse it. As noted, authors have published voluminous books on these topics. Islam is about 1400 years old but Sikhism is only three to four centuries old. I am amazed to find such an extensive caste degradation in Sikhism, which is my next topic to dwell on. I certainly would welcome the esteemed readers to point out any erratum or if I erred somewhere in my work.
@Irfan Bhai,
First I welcome you here to express your personal opinion, right or wrong. You are entitled to. My contention is not to malign Islamic scriptures. In fact I am agreeable to your gut feeling about Quran and Hadiths.
Despite that the caste exists in Muslim societies. I have quoted the experts in my write up. I hope you have cared to read it carefully before posing the question.
In such a situation, if the castes are extant and being practiced blatantly in Muslim society without Quranic or Hadith authority, it certainly makes it worst and shameful; as I percieve it. It concerns me and I have succeeded in my point. Your non-denial by asking your question do not wipe out the malaise from the society in question. I have not intended a religious discourse but a prevailing system, please note the difference.

One can go on endlessly, and fruitlessly to deal on this topic of universal social malady wherein directly or indirectly, every existent society is involved with a continued hidden interest. It is being used more as rhetoric and sloganeering to exploit one section than explicitly eliminate it by demoralising. Caste appears like the system of flesh trade, which is denounced by everybody but nobody is prepared to eliminate it. They all like to immerse in it in the darkness of their daytime and enjoy it in the light of night time.
Dr. O. P. Sudrania
The Sachar Committee report of 2006 revealed that scheduled castes and tribes of India are not limited to the religion of Hinduism. The 61st round Survey of the NSSO found that almost nine-tenths of the Buddhists, one-third of the Sikhs, and one-third of the Christians in India belonged to the notified scheduled castes or tribes of the Constitution: In Buddhism, scheduled castes are 89.50% and scheduled tribe 07.40%. Peruse at:
At any rate, nothing in Buddhist history justifies the modern romance of Buddhism as a movement for social reform. Everywhere it went, Buddhism accepted the social mores prevalent in that country, be it Chinese imperial-centralistic bureaucracy, Japanese militaristic feudalism, or indeed Hindu caste society.
A deeper unbiased analysis may depict that either it is human ignorance or their materialistic greed or other weaknesses. Unfortunately the masses in any or every community are like a flock of sheeps which move in herds, led by the front leader. They hardly seem to have their individual say. Thus the so called human societies behave no different in this respect. Another human aspect of sensibility is a sentimental phenomenon which help create a mass movement; political, religious, sports, games, nationalism, or otherwise. All these factors work in tandem to divide et impera. In such matters, the individuals hardly seem to have their choice. There are extraneous factors also with their vested interests in creating further diversity
Ambedkar described the Untouchables as belonging to the same religion and culture, yet shunned and ostracized by the community they lived in. The Untouchables, observed Ambedkar, recognised the sacred as well as the secular laws of India, but they derived no benefit from this. They lived on the outskirts of a village. Segregated from the rest, bound down to a code of behavior, they lived a life appropriate to a servile state. According to this code, an untouchable could not do anything that raised him or her above his or her appointed station in life. The caste system stamped an individual as untouchable from birth. Thereafter, observed Ambedkar, his social status was fixed, and his economic condition was permanently set. The tragic part was that the Mahomedans, Parsis and Christians shunned and avoided the Untouchables, as well as the Hindus. Ambedkar acknowledged that the caste system wasn’t universally absolute in his time; it was true, he wrote, that some Untouchables had risen in Indian society above their usually low status, but the majority had limited mobility, or none, during Britain’s colonial rule. According to Ambedkar, the caste system was irrational. Ambedkar listed these evils of the caste system: it isolated people, infused a sense of inferiority into lower-caste individuals, and divided humanity. The caste system was not merely a social problem, he argued: it traumatized India’s people, its economy, and the discourse between its people, preventing India from developing and sharing knowledge, and wrecking its ability to create and enjoy the fruits of freedom. The philosophy supporting the social stratification system in India had discouraged critical thinking and cooperative effort, encouraging instead treatises that were full of absurd conceits, quaint fancies, and chaotic speculations. The lack of social mobility, notes Ambedkar, had prevented India from developing technology which can aid man in his effort to make a bare living, and a life better than that of the brute. Ambedkar stated that the resultant absence of scientific and technical progress, combined with all the transcendentalism and submission to one’s fate, perpetrated famines, desolated the land, and degraded the consciousness from respecting the civic rights of every fellow human being.
Ambedkar condemned Gandhi’s use of the term Harijans as saying that Dalits were socially immature, and that privileged caste Indians played a paternalistic role. Ambedkar and his allies also felt Gandhi was undermining Dalit political rights. Gandhi had also refused to support the untouchables in 1924–25 when they were campaigning for the right to pray in temples. Because of Gandhi’s actions, Ambedkar described him as “devious and untrustworthy”. Gandhi, although born into the Vaishya caste, insisted that he was able to speak on behalf of Dalits, despite the presence of Dalit activists such as Ambedkar.
Unfortunately this is merely being talked about lately for two reasons: One is vote bank political tool for Indian myopic leaders and second by the more vicious and powerful non Hindu machinery with a vested interest of predatory proselytisation on one hand and politico-religious exploitation on the other hand for divide et impera. Even the current UPA II central government wants the embers of caste burning.
Christian Missionaries and Indian Caste Cancer
It is unfortunate that both Christians and Muslims are predating on the soft Hindu community for the conversion politics of their brand of global caliphate where both of these Abraham’s offsprings are badly competing in the market to harvest the Hindu souls by misguiding the gullible people to divide and conquer. That is the reason for repeatedly branding, “Who is a Hindu”? They incite the various subgroups by saying, “So and so is not a Hindu because they say so”. This is maliciously absurd and rumour mongering technique to incite the illiterate rural folks and then using them by enticing with the basic living requisites in life e.g. health care through their establishment of hospitals and medical colleges, education through their missionary controlled schools from nursery till the highest post graduation standard in all fields, the religious proselytisation through their Churches tagged with both the previous types of institutions for health and education where there is a direct interference of Church from admission to funding all other privileges which acts as a cushion of incentives as well as draws respect for their brand of God and religion. Lastly the multinational business houses act as their final saviors in providing the jobs for their living. This projects the image of Christian Missionaries as their sole guardian and apostle on the earth.
In a globalised world, where there are many players calling the tune, it has to be a well intentioned sincerely selfless approach devoid of any vested interest that this malaise can be remedied. The more it is discussed, the more smug it becomes because it is not the discussion and laws or reservations and one off temporary subsidy that will eliminate caste but a well intentioned unbiased approach away from the politics of caste by concentrating on the socio-economical status of the affected selective groups; will only mitigate this problem, which is not just confined in India alone. Its slur and impact is far wider and ramifications global. The Christian proselytising industry must awake to the monstrous virus of caste which has at last engulfed even the Christianity and Islam, as clearly observed in the Afro-Asian nations; documented in my earlier series. Further the preferential caste based treatments have its demerits. Among the common consequences of caste based preference policies are:
-They encourage non-backward groups to redesignate themselves as members of backward groups to take advantage of group preference policies;
-They tend to benefit primarily the most fortunate among the backward caste (e.g. creamy layer), often times to the detriment of the least fortunate among the non-backward (e.g. poor upper caste Hindu);
-They reduce the incentives of both the backwards and non-backward to perform at their best — the former because doing so is unnecessary and the latter because it can prove futile — thereby resulting in net losses for society as a whole; and
-They engender animosity toward backward groups as well as on the part of backward groups themselves, whose main problem in some cases has been their own inadequacy combined with their resentment of non-backward groups who — without preferences — consistently outperform them.

Monday, March 21, 2016

George Eliot and Virginia Woolf are more courageous than their women characters

By Madhurantakam Narendra | THE HANS INDIA | Mar 20, 2016
But there are some
Vasanthasena in ‘Mrichakatika’ may be arguably the first woman with a strong backbone and her precarious condition of being a harlot that cornered her pitilessly and forced her to be a rebel reflects another vicious dimension of the patriarchy.
But there are some courageous women in the epics of the yore and the most striking among them is Savitri, who was chosen by Sri Aurobindo as a legend and symbol for his mystical epic. The worship of Shakti, the invincible feminine power from whom the entire creation originated has been one of the oldest traditions of India, but it is not powerful enough to provide a prestigious position to the women as patriarchy has been in vogue in every part of the world.
Helen, Cleopatra, Penelope and scores of such strong women of the western classics dominated their male counterparts but they simply exploited some weaknesses of the patriarchy though they could never break the shackles of the tradition. John Ruskin opines that Shakespeare has only heroines but no heroes, but it is true of only his comedies.
The heroines of his comedies, Portia, Viola, Olivia, and Rosalind are undoubtedly charming, however, vital and vibrant they may be when compared with the heroes of his tragedies like Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear they become less archetypal and individualistic. History of mankind consists of many strong women like Razia Sultana, Rudramadevi, Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher of the recent times proved that they were iron women. George Eliot and Virginia Woolf are more courageous than their women characters. 
A writer who could create a woman like Mrs Dalloway, an animated mirror of the contemporary times who feels immensely happy when Septimus Warren Smith, a neurotic who can’t tolerate the hypocrisy of the people, commits suicide because he could do something, which she couldn’t do. George Eliot rebelled against the traditional and religious patriarchy and lived on her terms.

Many women characters of modern Telugu literature are conventional and stereotypes and only a few of them are distinguished because of their strong character. Madhuravani in ‘Kanyasulkam’ is a full blooded vital character and as the victim of the hypocritical patriarchy, a nautch girl, a kept woman, she handles all men, who come in contact with her efficiently and judiciously. 
Many of the women of Chalam’s fiction are strong but they are all more like ideas or personified abstractions. Buchibabu created many memorable woman characters among whom Moona in ‘Arakuloyalo Koolina Shikharam’ exhibits extraordinary courage and it obviously reflects the prestige that the woman has in the tribal societies. 
Vaddera Chandidas’ Githa Devi in ‘Hima jwala’ seems to have emulated the example set by George Eliot but she too becomes an idea, a symbol of the anarchic streak in the human being that craves to violate the laws of the society to fulfill his/her guanine. Moreover like Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina she too gets crushed under the burden of invincible forces. 

Oct 14, 2011 - Sri Aurobindo and the Mother said that the primary cause is not the ... A woman can even become a prostitute as a result of the influence of ...

Sri Aurobindo' book, Savitri. ... Sri Aurobindo SAVITRI Book Two THE BOOK OF THE TRAVELLER ..... As might a harlot empress in a bouge, Nude, unashamed ...
Nov 21, 2013 - Sri Aurobindo's Savitri Sri Aurobindo's Letters on Savitri. ... "A harlot empress in a bouge"—somewhat after the manner of Eliot and Ezra Pound.
Sri Aurobindo - 2000 - ‎Bhagavadgītā Sri Aurobindo ... is without difficulty visible in the sage and the saint, how shall he be easily visible to us in the sinner, the criminal, the harlot and the outcaste?
She then understood that Sri Aurobindo was in that terrible state all the time while he was alive but .... Sri Aurobindo adores the feet of the criminal and harlot.
Sri Aurobindo hailed him as “the future poet of India” and in his review of the book commented: “Here perhaps are the .... to suit the public's harlot needs.”.
Jan 27, 1992 - Devadasi and the Harlot : A Sociological Endeavour. Bimal Chandra ....Sri Aurobindo - The Seer of Swadeshi and Swaraja. Saroj Kumar ...
Jun 11, 2012 - The Apsaras are the most beautiful and romantic conception on the ....P.S: This essay is taken from Sri Aurobindo's Harmony of Virtue- Vol-3.
Sri Aurobindo. Translations. CWSA.- Volume 5. Part One. Translations from Sanskrit Section Four. Bhartrihari. The Century of Life. Miscellaneous Verses.
Apr 10, 1999 - Osho, Sri Aurobindo, and Immortality. Note, the following two posts (here combined in a single page), are taken from the auroconf mail list, and ... from Prem:
Mother and Sri Aurobindo never said that they were working on physical immortality. They said they were working on the next evolutionary step, the triple transformation: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 

Located in Viluppuram district near Puducherry, 'Auroville'- the City of Dawn is meant to be a universal town people from all countries live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creed, all politics and all nationalities. Its purpose is to realize human unity. It was founded on 28th February 1968, by Mirra Alfassa as a project of Sri Aurobindo Society.
21 hours ago - Program by : Philippe-Dionne
A seminar on the integration of the SENSES, the FACULTIES, the individual, universal, and transcendent SELF, and the Approches and Disciplines of Knowledge – SEEING, HEARING, SPEAKING, THINKING.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Moonje, Hedgewar, and Mookerjee deviated from Sri Aurobindo's direction

[Dr BS Moonje did not want the RSS to be what it is today. The RSS today is not run by ideology. Anand Moonje, Tehelka] …

[I repeat my regret that I am compelled to disappoint you. -Aurobindo Ghose. To Balkrishna Shivaram Moonje. Pondicherry. Aug 30. 1920]

[Cripps Mission to India. On 2 April Sri Aurobindo telegraphed Dr BS Moonje, head of the Hindu Mahasabha and C. Rajagopalachari. Duraiswami]

Moonje, Hedgewar, and Mookerjee were close to Sri Aurobindo's thinking but deviating from that path is the original sin of the present RSS.

@amishra77 @sarkar_swati Had Dr Moonje had the foresight to follow Sri Aurobindo and his writings in the journal Arya

@Parikramah Their Guruji is Golwalkar, even Savarkar is not wholly welcome. They are cold to Sri Aurobindo, so hoping RSS change is remote.

@Parikramah Rajiv Malhotra bats for Vivekananda but what is his understanding of the Veda? Or, what are Shankara's commentaries on the Veda?

@_Mauna_ Okay, nice to see Hindutva is open to debate now! So, Sri Aurobindo might be relevant. Returning to Moonje / Hedgewar roots of RSS!

@waglenikhil @PriyabrataT You should say Savarkar-Golwalker. Moonje-Hedgewar ought to be judged in different light. …

@sarkar_swati RSS came into being mainly through Moonje and Savarkar and steered clear of politics as the latter was under oath to British. › ... › 2007 › September 29, 2007
Oct 5, 2007 -Friday 5 October 2007, by Shyam Chand
INTELLECTUAL dishonesty is worse than crime. In his furious interview given to an English TV Channel L.K. Advani inter alia mentioned the name of Aurobindo who upheld the Rama heritage. The RSS adopted Aurobindo Ghosh as its hero and the icon of saffron culture whom Advani, during his Rathyatra from Somnath to Ayodhya, buried somewhere on the way as, according to Aurobindo Ghosh, Rama was not a historical figure. He was the figment of Valmiki’s imagination. Can anybody imagine monkeys invading a kingdom? (P. Lal in the introduction of Valmiki’s Ramayana translated into English)

28 February by Vikas Sharma
It is the season of spring characterised by the consistently blowing wind. You may say that the nation is blowing in the wind of nationalism and anti-nationalism.

28 February by Arup Kumar Sen
The recent arrest of the JNU Students’ Union President, Kanhaiya Kumar, on the charge of sedition, thrashing him by a section of “lawyers” in the court premises on his way to the hearing, and physical assault on the students, faculty and journalists by the same “lawyers” on the first day of hearing in the presence of the police signify complete breakdown of the constitutional order.

28 February, by Sandeep Pandey
The manner in which Jawaharal Nehru University Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar was roughed up in the Patiala House Court premises, while being brought to be produced in the court room, in the presence of observers from the Supreme Court who were there to ensure the security of Kanhaiya and everybody else targeted by the RSS-BJP, has brought back memories of the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition incident.

Two lessons for Hindus who do not want to either join the fringe or become Hinduphobic: …
Consider how the anti-Hindu lobby is dealing with the rise of Sri Sri Ravishankar. They are attacking his World Cultural Festival on the banks of the Yamuna by talking about environment damage, and not in the usual way the Hindutva crowd attacks rivals, with unparliamentary words and violent thoughts.
If Hinduism has to hold its own at home and expand abroad, it has to have at least two products – a sophisticated version for the western markets, and a Hinduism Lite for India, where the social content is emphasised more than high metaphysics.

There, he read the writings of Sri Aurobindo, particularly The Life Divine and became his lifelong admirer and disciple. He visited Pondicherry and nearby ...

Friday, March 04, 2016

Sri Aurobindo belonged to all worlds and cultures at once

Auroville Radio Short talk with Anusuya about her research work on Johannes Hohlenerg's meeting with Sri Aurobindo - A chat with Anusuya Kumar Ph.D
Program by : Renu
Interviews with Ms Anusuya Kumar Ph.D. (School of Culture & Society, Aarhus University, Denmark) recently presented the fascinating and meticulous research work on Johannes Hohlenberg (1881-1960) encounter with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. (the actual presentation can be heard here

"It was as if he belonged to all worlds and cultures at once…. But this was only one side of his personality. Another seemed to live in infinity. I seemed to sometimes notice a slight hint of a smile on his face when he saw my amazement at his penetrating words. It was like I had been shot through the heart and mind.” J Hohlenberg

Johannes Hohlenberg was a Danish artist and philosopher’s journey during 1907-1915 from Paris to Pondicherry where he interviewed and painted Sri Aurobindo; and the resulting origins of Integral Yoga in early twentieth-century Scandinavia.

Auroville's Kalabhumi Festival 2016 - Part 3. Perfornance by Amando and Dhani, accompanied by percussionist Brian.

Friday 4th and Saturday 5th of March at 8pm at Visitors Centre Auroville Fire Spinning presents Six Creations- Friday – Journeying through mood, ...
Exploring aesthetics of Manodharma
Arianna Romano, an Italian contemporary dancer, who is attending the workshop, said that she was introduced to Bharatanatyam after coming to Auroville....  “It is an enriching experience understanding the aesthetics of Manodharma ...

Making India Home

The Dollar Business-02-Mar-2016
Jacqueline came to Auroville (in Tamil Nadu) when she was all of 24 and has not looked back since. Right from taking charge of the garments business at ...

Tantrotsav fest to begin at Auroville tomorrow

Web India 123-27-Feb-2016
The nine-day Tantrotsav 2016 will begin at Yogishananda Peetham, Edayanchavadi, Near Adi Shakti, Auroville tomorrow. The highlight this years festival is Dr ...

Seeking the supramental light | Puducherry NYOOOZ

They had come down to the Hall of Peace, which Auroville architect Piero Cicionesi designed especially for the sacred Peace Table, in the Unity Pavilion ...

Saying it with metaphors

Bangalore Mirror-20-Feb-2016
Originally written by acclaimed theatre personality late Veenapani Chawla in 1999, the play was revived after 17 years in Auroville. Chawla's core team Vinay ...