Nov 24, 2015

The Mahabharata in Sri Aurobindo Ashram – by Sampdas

This has reference to an interesting write-up titled The Bhishmacharya Complex in Sri Aurobindo Ashram (posted on this site on 25 October, 2015). The write-up has touched the crux of the matter; to me and a large number of followers of the Mother, the legend of the Mahabharata looks as being re-enacted at the Ashram, with variations in content and scope. While the ancient epic is largely a legend and a symbol, when we ponder on the present state of affairs in the Ashram, it looks that today’s Mahabharata is for real.
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Nov 13, 2015

Peter Heehs on the Crisis in Sri Aurobindo Ashram – by Bireshwar Choudury

Peter Heehs says that the crisis in the Ashram can be solved by offering career “advancement prospects” to the senior sadhaks who are unhappy with the present administration of the Ashram. The Ashram Trust could also establish daughter Ashrams which could provide “new job opportunities for young men anxious to obtain leadership positions upon finding themselves blocked by a lack of available positions, with older men holding onto their positions for life”! [read full article below]
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Nov 6, 2015

On the Visit of BJP President Amit Shah to Sri Aurobindo Ashram – by Sampdas

It is both comical and ironical that the Ashram Trustees first took the BJP President, Sri Amit Shah, to the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and then to the Archives Cold Storage, where their manuscripts are  preserved. It is ironical because the very supporters of the denigration of Sri Aurobindo posed as earnest followers of the Master in front of powerful politicians. At the same time, it is comical that those who insolently tamper with the writings of Sri Aurobindo are introduced as the ones who reverentially preserve his writings. [read full article below]
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Oct 25, 2015

The Bhishmacharya Complex – by A Concerned Ashramite

The situation of the old guard of the Ashram is the same as that of Bhishmacharya, who was unable to use his mighty bow in the service of dharma and was forced to fight on the side of adharma with an anguished conscience. This inability and helplessness to stand for the truth, this forced loyalty towards the powers that be, and the apparently virtuous stand which actually facilitates falsehood is what I call the Bhishmacharya complex!
[read full article below]

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Oct 19, 2015

Culture wars – By Swapan Dasgupta

It's more a clash of lifestyles than a battle of ideas

In 1961, in a monograph woefully difficult to locate today, the Chicago sociologist Edward Shils studied the predicament of the Indian intellectual in the high noon of the Nehruvian era. His approach was sympathetic but his larger conclusions were not terribly flattering to a community that saw itself as the vanguard of India’s journey to modernity. 

Despite its near-uninterrupted Brahmanical tradition of scholarship and sustained exposure to the West, India, Shils felt, “has not yet developed the traditions which are essential to intellectual life.”
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Oct 12, 2015

The flawed logic of the award-returnees – By Swapan Dasgupta

Let me state at the outset that I have a great deal of respect and admiration for writer Nayantara Sahgal who I have had the privilege of knowing for the past 37 years. I have also had very convivial conversations with Ashok Vajpeyi, poet and culture apparatchik, during various literary festivals over the years. I may not have shared all their political likes and dislikes — and Sahgal has occasionally teased me about my “wrong politics”— but there is more to life than common voting intentions, or so I hope. 

Therefore, when Sahgal takes it upon herself to publicly disavow her Sahitya Akademi award, a gesture that Vajpeyi and some others have emulated, the least I can do is to seriously examine the rationale of their protest.
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Sep 27, 2015

Indians and Westerners in Sri Aurobindo Ashram – by Baikunth

I see a silver lining in the clouds in those few Westerners who dared to stand by Sri Aurobindo at the expense of their national pride and ego. For the true test of the World Unity that all of us aspire for, is not in how we sing and dance and hold our hands together in a symbolic circle when all is well, but in how we rise above national feeling and racial prejudice when differences arise between people from various nations and cultures. Until we can do so, the project of the New World, which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother wanted us to build, will never take off. We will remain on the ground imagining that we are flying high in the sky! [read full article below]  
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Sep 13, 2015

BJP President Amit Shah’s Visit to Sri Aurobindo Ashram – by Bireshwar Choudhury

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, while pretending to be above politics, has taken full political mileage from the recent visit of the BJP President Amit Shah to the Ashram on 25 August, 2015. A casual bystander reported to us on how the Trustees accompanied by their Secretary Matriprasad Satyamurthy (the Ashram’s best sweet-talker and accomplished sycophant) went out of their way to please Mr. Shah, fawning over him every second of the thirty-five minutes flat he spent in the Ashram main building.
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Sep 6, 2015

Why India must embrace Modi like the Hindus of America – David Frawley

It has been remarked how well Indians do outside of India. It could also be said how well Hindus do outside of India, and additionally how well Hindu-based teachings like yoga do outside of India.

The Hindu-American community has been rated as one of the most affluent and educated religious communities in America over the last more than ten years, far above the dominant Christian population. Perhaps more importantly, Hindus have been able to maintain their traditions and their families better than other religious groups.
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Aug 29, 2015

Battle for Indian History: How to fight it, and how not (part 3) – Virendra Parekh

3 – A history cast in a mould

The shoddiness and incompetence visible in history books written by the so-called eminent historians are not due to individual carelessness or lack of information. For communists, the use of any history is to prove their dogma. The moving power of communism is a deep-rooted self-alienation and its main ally is cultural and spiritual illiteracy. The Leftist writers have done their best to propagate these ‘values’ through their books on history.

Their histories are set to a formula: Ancient India must be presented as a land of discord, a land in the grip of a social and political system marked by injustice, extreme inequalities and oppression leading to perpetual social tensions.
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Aug 22, 2015

Battle for Indian History: How to fight it, and how not (part 2) – Virendra Parekh

2 – Guidelines intended to misguide

British historians, nationalist leaders of freedom struggle, Aligarh school of historians and Marxist activists passing for historians, all had some purpose other than presentation of colourless truth in their treatment of historical material. Indian history which is intellectually fashionable, politically correct and taught in schools and colleges comprises lies, half-truths and distortions emanating from the all these sources.

The seed is contained in the NCERT guidelines for history books announced in 1982. These are full of recommendations for telling lies to our children, or for not telling them the truth at all. The guidelines say, quite commendably, that ‘the term Aryan cannot be used as a racial category’. However, the Aryan Invasion Theory, baseless and divisive as it is, is to be retained faithfully.
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Aug 14, 2015

Supreme Court considers probe into Aurobindo ashram harassment allegations

Daily Mail Online India
By Harish V. Nair
Published: 22:39 GMT, 13 August 2015 | Updated: 00:14 GMT, 14 August 2015

At a time when several self-proclaimed godmen, godwomen and ashrams are making news for wrong reasons, the Supreme Court has hinted that it might set up a commission headed by a retired high court judge to probe complaints of sexual harassment filed by women and child inmates of the famous Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry against its members. 

The panel may also probe several other irregularities, including misappropriation of funds.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu said this on Thursday after hearing suggestions made by Gopal Subramaniam, counsel for the ashram. 
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