Yesterday Benimadhav Mohanty took a nasty swipe at a friend of mine who (along with many others) had the gumption to take on the Ashram Trustees when they shamelessly supported the denigration of Sri Aurobindo in his own Ashram by Peter Heehs. As we all know, the crisis in Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, still continues, and perhaps by the end of this month the Supreme Court of India will give a major judgment in the Enquiry Case pending against the Ashram Trust. It is in this backdrop that I am replying to Benimadhav Mohanty who made the silly accusation of “self-aggrandisement” on those who have stood up to the Trust instead of whimpering down like puppies, as most Ashramites have done, to the insidious threats of the Ashram Trustees
27 Jul 2015
22 Jul 2015
The attack against Rajiv Malhotra is being portrayed as a kind of revenge for the court case against Wendy Doniger’s book “The Hindus” that led to its withdrawal from the Indian market. The implicit assumption behind this view is the hypothesis that had Doniger’s book not been withdrawn, Rajiv Malhotra’s enemies in the US & India would have rolled out the red carpet for his books. No proposition could be further from the truth.
The coordinated attack against Malhotra, initiated by followers of Sheldon Pollock & led by Richard Fox Young, an internet troll consumed by an anti-Malhotra obsession, has come at this time solely to prevent the launch of his forthcoming book “The Battle for Sanskrit” which has the explosive potential to seriously hurt future funding & thus endangering the work of those who Malhotra refers to as “American Orientalists” and who he has exposed as seeking to dominate global discourse about the ancient traditions of the Hindus.
19 Jul 2015
Indian culture has been from the beginning and has remained a spiritual, an inward-looking religio-philosophical culture. Everything else in it has derived from that one central and original peculiarity or has been in some way dependent on it or subordinate to it; even external life has been subjected to the inward look of the spirit.
(Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 20, The Renaissance of India, p. 108)
It is this inward-looking religio-philosophical culture which goes by the name of Hinduism.
12 Jul 2015
There is widespread belief among a certain section of intellectuals and historians – both Indian and abroad – that Sri Aurobindo was responsible for the partition of India and the consequent blood letting and other problems that followed. The reason given to justify this position is that Sri Aurobindo during his active political career stressed heavily on Hinduism and on Hindu nationalism and this provoked a natural and inevitable reaction among the Muslims; this reaction led ultimately to the formation of Pakistan. [extract]
7 Jul 2015
2 Jul 2015
Freedom to Choose a Personal Path (Svadharma)
In most dharmic traditions, each individual has a unique ‘svadharma’ (personal dharma) or purpose in this world. This is based on his or her ‘svabhava’ (character) as shaped by past karma and gunas and on the context or circumstances of the person’s life. Buddhists have the notion of’upaya’ (skilful means), which becomes the basis for mutual respect between those who are different. In the Jain tradition, principles of relative and multiple perspectives of truth, combined with the inherent uncertainty in knowledge, serve as protection against dogmas and universal absolutes. All of this demonstrates that dharmic spiritual practices are diverse, eclectic, and adaptable by communities, families, and individuals, and for specific circumstances.