Monday, February 29, 2016

Makarand R. Paranjape, Aparajita Mukhopadhyay, and Brainerd Prince

The Integral Philosophy of Aurobindo: Hermeneutics and the Study of Religion (Routledge Hindu Studies Series) Oct 8, 2016 by Brainerd Prince (Author)
Sri Aurobindo was an Indian nationalist, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. This book is an enquiry into the integral philosophy of Aurobindo and its contemporary relevance. It offers a reading of Aurobindo’s key texts by bringing them into conversation with religious studies and the hermeneutical traditions. The central argument advanced is that Aurobindo’s integral philosophy is best understood as hermeneutical philosophy of religion.

Such an understanding of his philosophy, offering both substantive and methodological insights for the academic study of religion, subdivides into three interrelated aims. The first is to demonstrate that the power of the Aurobindonian vision lies in its self-conception as a traditionary-hermeneutical enquiry into religion. Secondly, the author draws substantive insights from Aurobindo’s enquiry to envision a way beyond the impasse within the current religious-secular debate in the academic study of religion. Working out of the condition of secularism, the dominant secularists demand the abandonment of the category ‘religion’ and the dismantling of the academic discipline of religious studies. Aurobindo’s integral work on ‘religion’, arising out of the Vedānta tradition, critiques the condition of secularism that undergirds the religious-secular debate. 

Finally, informed by the hermeneutical tradition and building on the methodological insights from Aurobindo's integral method, the book explores a hermeneutical approach for the study of religion which is dialogical in nature. This unique book will be of interest to academics studying Religious Studies, Sociology of Religion, Modern India, Modern Hinduism, Postcolonial thought as well as South Asian Studies. Brainerd Prince is currently a Visiting Research Tutor at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies and a Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, University of Oxford, UK. He is also Director of the Samvada Centre for Research Resources, New Delhi, India.

Essays on Sri Aurobindo Hardcover – December 31, 2015  by Aparajita Mukhopadhyay (Author)

"This anthology is a collection of eleven papers written by the distinguished scholars from different parts of India and abroad. This book presents a panorama of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy from different perspectives. An endeavour has been made to explain Sri Aurobindo's view regarding Integral Metaphysics, the system which accepts the ontology of both material world and consciousness. This anthology is an enquiry to decide the domain of metaphysics by ensuring its difference from the realm of physics. Its aim is to understand the nature of Sri Aurobindo's mystic, yogic, spiritual experience. This is a search for the divine life. It is an attempt to justify the instrumental value of evil as it helps to uplift us from this mundane world atmosphere. It determines the status of evil which is contrary to the Divine God, though emerges from that ultimate Real.

To focus on the aesthetic value of Sri Aurobindo's poetic language, Essays on Sri Aurobindo has included the discussion of his Savitri. It depicts Sri Aurobindo's view about ideal woman who possesses the virtues of care, love, devotion and is also capable to rationally justify her opinion. This book represents his theory of education which emphasizes on learning of application, rather than gathering information. At the same time discussion of his humanistic approach helps us to realize our true self. As this anthology encompasses different aspects of Sri Aurobindo s thought it will satisfy the purpose of the academicians and scholars who are interested to understand his philosophy. "

Cultural Politics in Modern India: Postcolonial prospects, colourful cosmopolitanism, global proximities by Makarand R. Paranjape (Author)
India’s global proximities derive in good measure from its struggle against British imperialism. In its efforts to become a nation, India turned modern in its own unusual way. At the heart of this metamorphosis was a "colourful cosmopolitanism," the unique manner in which India made the world its neighbourhood. The most creative thinkers and leaders of that period reimagined diverse horizons. They collaborated not only in widespread anti-colonial struggles but also in articulating the vision of alter-globalization, universalism, and cosmopolitanism. 

This book, in revealing this dimension, offers new and original interpretations of figures such as Kant, Tagore, Heidegger, Gandhi, Aurobindo, Gebser, Kosambi, Narayan, Ezekiel, and Spivak. It also analyses cultural and aesthetic phenomena, from the rasa theory to Bollywood cinema, explaining how Indian ideas, texts, and cultural expressions interacted with a wider world and contributed to the making of modern India.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Wearing the habit gives a strong sense of identity

Noted Catholic Philosopher Takes Post at Baptist University

Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription) - ‎Feb 21, 2016‎

Philosopher Graham Harman to join SCI-Arc faculty

Archinect - ‎Feb 23, 2016‎

A closer look at religion in the Super Tuesday states

Pew Research Center - ‎9 hours ago‎

Huffington Post Religion Editor Hypes Moonbat Pagan Author

NewsBusters (blog) - ‎3 hours ago‎
At first sight it is a rather grim picture. Most religious orders in the West are declining numerically and ageing. This makes them less attractive to young people. Since most of the active orders no longer wear the habit, they have become almost invisible to wider society. Community life has also changed. Many Religious live in apartments or small houses rather than the large convents and monasteries of the past. But there is also greater individualism and searching for personal fulfilment. The vows, especially that of obedience, have been given new interpretations.
Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Stephen H. Phillips has done is infinitely more pernicious than anything Peter Heehs has done

Yes Paul Brunton is very interesting. You all may recall in Letters on Yoga, Book 1, Planes and Parts of the Being, Sri Aurobindo comments on Paul Brunton’s meditation instructions, and his use of the term “Oversoul” (not overself). (sorry, don’t have the page number here; it’s right near the beginning of that section, about 10-20 pages in?). Also, Brunton and Amal Kiran had a series of letter exchanges, published in Amal’s book “The Vision of Sri Aurobindo.” Brunton was critical of Sri Aurobindo’s conception of “matter” and Amal was critical of Brunton’s idea of “mentalism.” This exchange could serve as a model for Auroconf (!! – for example, talking in a calm, mature manner about the pros and cons of the Peter Heehs matter) as they start quite opposed but listen carefully and respectfully and just about come to a complete meeting of minds at the end. Amal rethinks Brunton’s idea of mentalism, and Brunton rethinks Sri Aurobindo’s idea of matter, and they come quite close at the end. This all too rarely happens in the Integral Yoga world:>))
If you do want to understand Sri Aurobindo’s idea of matter before (I saw this with considerable irony), and you have a scholarly bent, you might enjoy the last 150 pages of “The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga” of Brunton. He’s presenting basically a Vedantic view, combined with the Citta-Matra view of the Buddhists, and bringing in a great deal of basic physiology and perceptual psychology (not entirely unlike the article Sandeep wrote on the epistemology of perception, and which was the underlying basis for our book on yoga psychology).
I spent about 3 months in 1994 working my way through Brunton’s book, and when I finally dove in to study The Life Divine, in 1996, I found that I had been immensely helped by my study of Brunton. I have been rather amazed to discover the extent to which conventional materialistic views exist in the integral yoga community (among Indians as well as Europeans and Americans) and I think this is one of the single biggest stumbling blocks to understanding Mother and Sri Aurobindo, and can even be a huge stumbling block in meditation and other forms of spiritual practice.
This goes back to the very first paragraph of “The Teaching of Sri Aurobindo” – as long as we take the appearance for the Reality it’s hard to make a sustained breakthrough, and establish ourselves in any dimension beyond the ordinary surface consciousness. If anybody claims he is open to the inner, or established in the psychic being, or functioning at the level of the higher, or intuitive mind (or beyond!) and believes in the inherent existence of non-conscious matter, they are either lying to you or deluding themselves.
l think we have to be careful about believing everything Brunton says, in light of what SA said about him. lt’s been discussed here in another thread. Here’s a bit of that conversation:
Mike – did you think I was suggesting taking everything Brunton says at face value? Did it come across that way to anybody else? if so, I’m sorry. I would think that discernment is required for reading anybody, even Mother and Sri Aurobindo. many people read some suggestion in Letters on Yoga and try to apply it, forgetting that Sri Aurobindo was talking to a specific person at a specific time and place. He wouldn’t even necessarily make the same suggestion to that person a few years (or weeks!) later.
All I was saying was that one of Sri Aurobindo’s leading disciples felt positive enough about Brunton that he corresponded with him at some length. I also mentioned – I don’t know if you were taking this into account – that Amal disagreed with Brunton as well.
I hope I didn’t misunderstand you. I just wanted to caution against too much black and white thinking.
Thanks Mike. I was just offering what I thought was also a balanced view:>)) (though I’m not sure who you thought Brunton’s major disciple was; his “heir” as teacher was Anthony Damiani, who never disowned him). Anyway, I was recommending Brunton primarily as an aid in something I’m very interested in, challenging materialism in science.
As for Peter, I’ve spoken with him personally. he told me both in 1989 and 2001 that he had a purely intellectual interest in Sri Aurobindo, having neither had any kind of spiritual experience nor any interest in it. It shows in his books, so why all the fuss? He never made any pretense to be otherwise. He’s written nonsense about Sri Aurobindo, but that’s what all the scholars do. For my money, what Stephen Phillips has done, completely mangling every idea and point in The Life Divine, is infinitely more pernicious than anything Heehs has done. Phillips has academic ‘credentials” that Peter can’t pretend to have. Even Malhotra and his erstwhile Infinity Foundation have been taken in by Phillips. I know it doesn’t really matter in terms of our individual sadhana/practice, but Sri Aurobindo, in the Human Cycle, said at one point the ***single most important** thing that can happen to move us toward a truly spiritual age is for “the mental mind of humanity” to accept a genuinely spiritual vision. People like Phillips, with much influence and nil understanding, do a great deal of harm in terms of what Sri Aurobindo called for.
yes, I know, ultimately She is in charge and it is not for us to worry about. And I’m not worried.
As they say, “jes sayin’
Sometimes, in the integral Yoga world, I almost wish we could have a temporary moratorium on all the big words (subliminal, psychic being, supramental, etc) and just practice being normal, thoughtful, kind, compassionate people. It might be an enormous step forward in the evolution of the IY community. Start with where we’re at – for most of us – in the “ordinary mental mind” – and though we may have a large, profound, even infinite vision – with great humility and sincerity, take very small steps toward being just a slight bit more mindful in our dealings with each other (I’m talking about me as much or more than anybody else!!!) – well, I think that would be nice.
I suspect also (and in fact Nolini’s writings bear this out- particularly his wonderful volume 3, The Yoga Of Sri Aurobindo) that a fairly large number of IY disciples were at least capable of functioning – at times?? – on the level of the mind proper (though again, to go back in the other direction, if you follow the conversations at Auroconf, it is true that there are times you wish one could ban all the big words – overmind, super mind, even psychic being – in the interest of simply having a reasonable conversation.
I’m not sure that Nolini’s point is to avoid overintellectualizing those higher spiritual realities. I thought his point was (and if it’s not, it’s still a great point). that we have a LOT to do in terms of purifying the ordinary surface consciousness.
Maybe it would be easier to put it in incredibly everyday, normal, superficial language.
Let’s say I’m irritated at someone. In fact, I have a habit of getting irritated at them. This happens when I talk to them in person and when I write on line. Since we’re online now, let’s take the 2nd example... I think all of this is implied in Nolini’s passage, which is why I think it should be engraved in all Integral Yoga blogs, websites and online groups (just kidding; but it would be nice if people paid more attention to these simple, everyday things. 
Just think what it would be for the community if we could talk about Peter Heehs in a calm, mature, adult manner. You don’t need to be a yogi to do that, and look how everyone on both sides talks like hurt, wounded 4 year old children. Peter seems to be a lightning rod for all of our worst qualities, and i would hope if one good thing could come out of this whole mess, it’s we would stop taking sides and blaming the insensitive Westerners or the cultish trustees or that nasty old Peter and instead, blame the real culprit, the separative ego, which is in essence, the same problem we all have. This way we’re all on the same side and we all face the same problem, together, as One.
right here.

Don Salmon, 15th Apr 2015, 06.14 PM
As an American clinical psychologist living in a community (Asheville, North Carolina) where both NVC and RC are very popular, I'm glad to see these being used in Auroville.
Having said that, I feel deeply saddened that techniques aimed at what Sri Aurobindo characterized as the superficial, surface consciousness are not being adapted along the lines of the deeper integral yoga vision.
Jan (my wife) and I hope to be able to visit Auroville more regularly beginning some time in the next year or two. I've been hearing for many years that people in Auroville don't really spent time actually studying the writings of Mother and Sri Aurobindo. I am not so much of a cultist as to say, "You don't need NVC or RC - just read Mother and Sri Aurobindo".
But it is rather strange and perplexing that the Aurovillian approach seems so much the opposite - practice mindfulness, try out NVC, RC or whatever, and even if we borrow a bit from Integral Yoga (Awareness Through the Body) only take as much as can be made to accommodate to the surface, modern consciousness, with perhaps a mention or two of the psychic being thrown in.
I hope this changes substantially in the coming years, as I believe the lack of in-depth, deep attention to Integral Yoga is at the root of all the problems Auroville faces.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

To be human is to experience that apodeictic sense of being a conscious subject
Ramakant A. Sinari - 1991 - ‎Snippet view

The Ontological Structure of Man R.A. SINARI From the point of view of both the inner structure and the outer ... Whether it is directed outward or inward, the knowing mind makes certain things stand out under its flash-light as it were, but an ...
Ramakant A. Sinari - 1966 - ‎Snippet view

Ramakant A. Sinari. and projection are one and the same thing. Indeed Jaspers'snotion of 'Existenz-Freedom' has got hardly anything common with the classical theory of ... It is hard to imagine that man's being would ever interrogate itself, had it not had an inner potentiality of transcending ... No outward and fragmentary process of mind would give us the exact content of this innermost life of our being .

man cannot live only by his consciousness good or bad, he needs authentic mode of life and style of functioning. He lives only when his inward consciousness andoutward actions are coherently related and worked together. In this respect, the subjective way ... In R.A. Sinari's words "The becoming of an existent is nothing but the manifestation of a passion to live and live infinitely. 'It is impossible to exist ...
Pradip Kumar Sengupta - 2012 - ‎Preview

Like Scheler, Heidegger states the opposition between the human 'Spirit' andman's 'technical intelligence'. Heidegger argues that ... One of the most originalconcepts Heidegger poses against the outward attainments of science is man's ' throwness' and 'fallenness' in the world. ... to as Dasein. Dasein, which is 'thrown' or 'fallen' in the world and to which Being discloses itself, is 58 Ramakant Sinari.
Joris van Nispen, ‎Douwe Tiemersma - 1991 - ‎Snippet view

Man: the. elusive. reality. Ramakant Sinari (God) To be human is to experience that apodeictic sense of being a ... Whether our consciousness is directed inward or outward, it apprehends certain phenomena with complete certainty, but an ...

Being a ceaseless flux, an abode of epistemic possibilities very few of which are actually materialised in rational knowledge, our subjectivity is an outward- inward movement having no ... the meaning of his life and for re-structuring his relationship to the world and others man must explore his 'inside', his self, but ... CHAPTER 11 A New Vision of Purusarthas and Quantum Entaglement 174 Ramakant Sinari.

The Quest for Man: The Topicality of Philosophical Anthropology
Joris van Nispen, ‎Douwe Tiemersma - 1991 - ‎Snippet view
Ramakant Sinari (God) To be human is to experience that apodeictic sense of being a conscious subject (an ego-locus, so to speak, in which and around which events occur. There is a certain naturalness and continuity about this experience,  ...

Indian Philosophy: Past and Future - Page 120
S. S. Rama Rao Pappu, ‎R. Puligandla - 1982 - ‎Snippet view - ‎More editions
II To be in the world is to experience that apodeictic sense of being a conscious subject (an "I" locus as it were) in and around ... slippery, and enigmatic lies spread out before one's attention when one turns it onto one's own sense of being.

Reconciling Self-Knowledge and Life in the World The experience of the silent, remote, immutable Brahman is so overwhelming to the seeker, that it makes the world and its activities seem either to be illu...
Oct 15, 2010 - Uploaded by Dharmesh Kumar

GHAR KI IZZAT (1948) - Ae dard zara dum le - Amirbai ... ZAMANA 1938: Ae dard zaraa ...
Is gaane ko (composed in Raag Bhairavi) Amirbai Karnataki, who was the topmost playback singer in forties till Lata displaced her reign in 1948, ne jis melodious dardili soz aur dard bhari awaz me gaya, use sunkar Lata bhi sharma jayegi, because Lata ki voice me freshness of a teenage girl to hai magar dard, soz aur wo curvy murkian nahi jo Amirbai men theen. 
4 years ago

Lataji is no match to Ameer abi Karnataki when the quality of expression and singing is taken. Sadly tastes changed with times and Lataji had a field day.It was the tradition to sing at full throat in the past and Ammer bai, Sahmshad, Tun Tun, Hamida Bano, Khurshid, Bibbo, Jyoti belonged to this school while Lataji catered for changed tastes with low tones. All good things have to come to end some day. 
3 years ago

Amir Bai recorded this song for Zamana (1938), one of her earliest songs in Hindi movies. The same song is played on a Radio in a scene in Ghar Ki Izzat (1948). In this recording, one can hear a dialogues in the movie while the song is being played on the Radio and also the song is switched off abruptly.
3 years ago