Friday, October 29, 2010

The Need Of The Hour

"What India needs especially at this moment is the aggressive virtues, the spirit of soaring idealism, bold creation, fearless resistance, courageous attack; of the passive tamasic spirit of inertia we have already too much. We need to cultivate another training and temperament, another habit of mind."
source:danino's lectures

Monday, October 18, 2010

Conversations With Sri Aurobindo On Vivekananda's Letter

Disciple : The question is : Is Vivekananda expressing only a passing mood because of his innate preference for Vairagya or was ambition really an element mixed up in his work. I always felt that there was a double strain in his nature,—he was drawn between work and Sadhana.

Disciple : It is quite understandable that he observed some ambition lurking in his work. I do not think it is only a passing mood. Simultaneously with the Higher Consciousness one can see these things in one's nature.

Sri Aurobindo : These things, like ambition etc., are not easily removed. They remain in the nature and are difficult to get rid of. Even when the Higher Consciousness comes they can continue with the lower nature.

Disciple : But he says in his writings and speeches that he was conscious of a Higher Power driving him into activity.

Sri Aurobindo : Quite possible; he was conscious of such a Power driving him in spite of his weakness, but that does not mean that his own ambition did not mix with the working of the Power.

Disciple : But later on in his letter he speaks of being freed after death or "freed in the body". That implies that he did not attain liberation till then.

Sri Aurobindo : There are two kinds of liberation : one is when you drop the body, that is to say, you may have attained liberation in consciousness yet something in the nature continues in the old bondage and that ignorance is usually supported by the body-consciousness. When the body drops the man becomes entirely free or liberated.

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Vivekananda's letter on Nirvana


This evening a very feeling letter written by Vivekananda in 1900 from California to Miss. Josephine Macleod was read to Sri Aurobindo. The relevant points in it are here reproduced.

Alameda, California 18th April 1900

After all, Joe, I am only a boy who used to listen with rapt wonderment to the wonderful words of Ramakrishna under the banyan at Dakshineshwar. That is my true nature, doing good and so forth are all super-impositions. Now I again hear the voice; the same old voice thrilling my soul. Bonds are breaking, love dying, work becoming tasteless—the glamour is off life. .

Yes, I come, Nirvana is before me, I feel it at times, the same infinite ocean of peace, without a ripple, a breath.

Since the beginning of this year, I have not dictated anything in India. You know that..

I am drifting again in the warm heart of the river, I dare not make a splash with my hand or feet for fear of breaking the wonderful stillness, stillness that makes you feel sure it (the world) is an illusion.

Behind my work was ambition, behind my love was personality, behind my purity was fear, behind my guidance the thirst of power. Now they are vanishing and I drift. I come, Mother....a spectator, no more an actor.

.............things are seen and felt like shadows.


Aldous Huxley on Self-Transcedence

Aldous Huxley on Self-Transcendence

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rama And Ayodhya

"I have no intention of entering into a supreme defence of Rama – I only entered into the points about Bali etc. because these are usually employed nowadays to belittle him as a great personality on the usual level. But from the point of view of Avatarhood I would no more think of defending his moral perfection according to modern standards than I would think of defending Napoleon or Caesar against the moralists or the democratic critics or the debunkers in order to prove that they were Vibhutis. Vibhuti, Avatar are terms which have their own meaning and scope, and they are not concerned with morality or immorality, perfection or imperfection according to small human standards or setting an example to men or showing new moral attitudes or giving new spiritual teachings. These may or may not be done, but they are not at all the essence of the matter.
Also, I do not consider your method of dealing with the human personality of Rama to be the right one. It has to be taken as a whole in the setting that Valmiki gave it (not treated as if it were the story of a modern man) and with the significance that he gave to his hero's personality, deeds and works. If it is pulled out of its setting and analysed under the dissecting knife of a modern ethical mind, it loses all its significance at once. Krishna so treated becomes a debauchee and trickster who no doubt did great things in politics – but so did Rama in war. Achilles and Odysseus pulled out of their setting become, one a furious egoistic savage, and the other a cruel and cunning savage. I consider myself under an obligation to enter into the spirit, significance, atmosphere of the Mahabharata, Iliad, Ramayana and identify myself with their time-spirit before I can feel what their heroes were in themselves apart from the details of their outer action.
As for the Avatarhood, I accept it for Rama because he fills a place in the scheme – and seems to me to fill it rightly – and because when I read the Ramayana I feel a great afflatus which I recognise and which makes of its story – mere faery-tale though it seems – a parable of a great critical transitional event that happened in the terrestrial evolution and gives to the main character's personality and action a significance of the large typical cosmic kind which these actions would not have had if they had been done by another man in another scheme of events. The Avatar is not bound to do extraordinary actions, but he is bound to give his acts or his work or what he is – any of these or all – a significance and an effective power that are part of something essential to be done in the history of the earth and its races. All the same, if anybody does not see as I do and wants to eject Rama from his place, I have no objection – I have no particular partiality for Rama – provided somebody is put in who can worthily fill up the gap his absence leaves. There was somebody there, Valmiki's Rama or another Rama or somebody not Rama.

Sri Aurobindo

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Baba Farid

baba fareed ji

I am neither Hindu nor Muslim -

Let us sit in the spinning part and abandon pride

Since the Lord dwells in every heart

I have renounced to be either a Hindu or a Turk

(Baba Farid)

Hazrat Bābā Farīduddīn Mas'ūd Ganjshakar (Persian: حضرت بابا فرید الدّین مسعود گنج شکر, Punjabi: حضرت بابا فرید الدّین مسعود گنج شکر, ਫ਼ਰੀਦ-ਉਦ-ਦੀਨ ਗੰਜਸ਼ਕਰ) (1173–1266)[1][2] or (1188 (584 Hijri) - May 7, 1280 (679 Hijri)),[3][4] commonly known as Baba Farid (Punjabi: بابا فرید, ਬਾਬਾ ਫ਼ਰੀਦ), was a 12th-century Sufi preacher and saint of the Chishti Order of South Asia.[1]

Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar, a Sufi, is generally recognized as the first major poet of the Punjabi language[3] and is considered one of the pivotal saints of the Punjab region. Revered by Muslims and Hindus, he is also considered one of the fifteen Sikh Bhagats within Sikhism and his selected works form part of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh sacred