Tusar Nath Mohapatra

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The Gita: an introduction Sri Aurobindo 7

The Special Emphases in the Integral Yoga of the Mother Indra Sen 18

Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharata in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri Prema Nanda Kumar 23

The Path of Nachiketa Alok Pandey 35

Detachment and Integral Yoga Debashish Banerji 40

Sri Aurobindo’s Critique of the Western Philosophy of Science Tapan Banerjee 55

The Soul Kireet Joshi 67

The Divine Grace Larry Seidlitz 86

Vasishtha Ganapati Muni and the Art of Multiple Concentration Sampadananda Mishra 102

Laying the Foundations for Indian Psychology Kundan Singh 108

The Seven Jewel Centres of the Earth Mother Michael Miovic 124

Alternative Futures Pravir Malik 151

The Theme of Urvashi in the Indian Renaissance: Madhusudan Datta, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo Ranajit Sarkar 160

Editorial

To the Enghlish poet, April might seem to be ‘the cruellest month’ but to us, children of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, April stands as witness to two events of great moment. It was in this month which is the confluence of the months of Chaitra, generally considered the last month in the Indian calendar year, and Baisakh, the beginning of the New Year which is also the harbinger of spring or the celebration of Life, exactly hundred years ago, that Sri Aurobindo turned the sleepy ghost town of Pondicherry sacred by setting foot on its soil on 4 April. And ten years later in 1920, on 24 April the Mother, too, arrived for the second time, this time to stay permanently inPondicherry. This second coming of hers, we now celebrate as the day of her Final Arrival inIndia. What occult significance does this day hold for us?

To learn about its deeper mystery and understand its inner meaning, let us turn to hear what KR Srinivasa Iyengar, the noted biographer of both Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, has to say in his monumental work ‘On The Mother: the chronicle of a Manifestation and Ministry’ (Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 3rd ed, 1994).

Sri Aurobindo’s Critique of the  Western Philosophy Of Science

Tapan Banerjee

This paper proposes to understand Sri Aurobindo’s critique of the claims of Reason. The history  and achievements of Science in the West are viewed as results of the operation of Reason. We may characterise Reason, as it has been held in the West since the Greek times to the Age of Enlightenment, as having had two senses : self-evidence and mediated experience. Either of the two has been taken as providing good  enough ground for the cognitive validity of knowledge claims, empirical and mathematical. René Descartes, who is hailed as the father of modern philosophical thinking, had argued for self-evidence of mathematical thoughts. But under the aegis of Francis Bacon, empiricism gradually took over the domain of science. More than introspection, observation and experiment came to be given  a higher premium. What Bacon had called experimentum crucis, came to guide scientific endeavour in discovering causal laws and testing of hypotheses.

This philosophy of science entails the following : knowledge, worth calling science, must be objective, public, open to examination, repeatable, testable, and supported by adequate number of experiments. Any knowledge claim has got to be justifiable by an appeal to data or facts, and hence, knowledge is intersubjective. Nothing esoteric is admissible, and by implication, the role of the subjective is relegated to a realm that could be said to be non-objective, noncognitive or non-science. There is another side of the story. Beginning with the Greeks, reason, ratio or logos has been looked upon as something non-material. Mind or the organ of reason is distinguished from the body which occupies space. Descartes designated mind as res cogitans and it is held in opposition to res extensa. Mind or reason is immaterial, does not occupy  space, or a priori, as Kant held. The Age of Enlightenment, of which Kant was the greatest champion, made Reason arbiter, sovereign or governor of life. The problem naturally begins from this point. Do we have, in this part of the world, any faculty corresponding to what is called Reason in the West? The answer is not easy to come. […]

Vivekananda was all for science, but he never  critiqued it, rather held that Advaita Vedanta and Raja-Yoga were as much science as science itself. Krishnachandra Bhattacharya sharply distinguished science from philosophy  and Radhakrishnan championed the intuitive method and tried to show how different  aspects of human experience have enough room for intuition, and that intuition was not contra-rational, rather supra-rational. Radhakrishnan’s dialectics ware termed by Western philosophers as “counter-attack” from the East. It is against  such a backdrop that we propose to contextualise Sri Aurobindo’s critique.

II

Sri Aurobindo provides an ontological cartograph, and contextualises the mind in the ascending ladder of evolution of the involved Reality. Neither Rationalism nor Empiricism provides such a contextualisation of the mind, and hence of Reason. Mind is a middle term, says Sri Aurobindo, and this means a lot for both epistemology and ontology. Mind is a middle term between Life on the one hand, and the Supermind on the other. And, between the Mind  and the Supermind there exist higher orders of being, each comprehending the lower ones while opening up to the higher. The ascent is integral.

The master idea behind Sri Aurobindo’s metaphysical schematism is expressed in the following statement in The Life Divine: “all problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony”1. The problem of science or its philosophy lies in the materialist denial of the Spirit. And these two terms of existence, Matter and Spirit, stand to be harmonised or integrated. Herein lies the source of Sri Aurobindo’s critique of the philosophy of science.

Laying the Foundations for Indian psychology

Kundan Singh

Abstract

Impressed by the apparent potential of physics to explain, predict and control natural phenomenon, western psychology rooted in a Newtonian-reductionist framework— as well as guided by the philosophy of naive Realism—embraced a methodology identical to what is employed by the natural sciences to generate universal, rational, objective and value-free laws of human behaviour. This gave western psychology the much-coveted status of science.

The emergence of a postmodern worldview has thrown into critical relief the notion of rational, objective and value-free science or for that matter any knowledge pursuit. This paper narrates the problem associated with the objectivity of psychological knowledge by drawing largely from the critique of science by Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend and Karl Popper which emerged from their analysis of the history of science. Kuhn’s view leads one to identify the crucial role that paradigm plays in scientific research. An extension of his arguments, as well as some evidences from anthropological research, suggests that psychological knowledge is relative with respect to person, time, culture and paradigms. A meta-analysis of Kuhn leads one to conclude that his argument bites itself or swallows itself—by becoming self-referential—giving birth to a peculiar situation where opposite categories like relative and absolute, objectivity and subjectivity, and the truth and falsity of facts co-exist.

The second half of the paper examines the future of western psychology as a science against this impasse generated by the recognition of relativism, selfreferentiality and the aforementioned paradox, and what should be the true foundation for Indian psychology. Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism have long ago recognised that the intellectual, logical and discursive pursuit of human knowledge ends in such kinds of cul-de-sac and impasse, and that such a recognition should necessitate a shift towards changing our modus operandi of knowledge pursuit. Mind is not the final summit in the evolution of mankind. There can be faculties other than mind which can be used to uncover nature’s truths, and it is not in the spirit of science to fall prey to scientism.

Furthermore, this paper, which draws substantially from the writings of Sri Aurobindo, discusses the possibility of psychology which will be made possible by making a mystical exploration into the nature of Reality where forces invisible to the ordinary human eye, which nevertheless determine human behaviour, will be observed and known. Such psychology has been our Indian legacy. It is time that we recognise it and introduce its epistemological, metaphysical, and ontological underpinnings in Indian universities.

Index to Authors and Articles in Sraddha August 2009 – April 2010

Authors

Alok Pandey Aug.’09, p.50; Nov.’09, p.47; Feb.’10, p.32; Apr.’10, p.35

Arabinda Basu Aug.’09, p.57; Nov.’09, p.10

AS Dalal Feb.’10, p.7

Debashish Banerji Aug.’09, p.65; Feb.’10, p.14; Apr.’10, p.40

Deshpande, RY Aug.’09, p.60

Indra Sen Apr.’10, p.18

Kireet Joshi Apr.’10, p.67

Kittu Reddy Aug.’09, p.90; Nov.’09, p.134; Feb.’10, p.105

Kundan Singh Apr.’10, p.108

Larry Seidlitz Aug.’09, p.80; Nov.’09, p.111; Apr.’10, p.86

Manoj DasGupta Feb.’10, p.171

Martha SG Orton Nov.’09, p.121; Feb.’10, p.77

Matthijs Cornelissen Aug.’09, p.33; Nov.09, p.98

Michael Miovic Apr.’10, p.124

Mother Feb.’10, p.10

Nolini Kanta Gupta Nov.’09, pp.89, 92, 95, 97

Pabitra Kumar Roy Nov.’09, p.159; Feb.’10, p.159

Pravir Malik Apr.’10, p.151

Prema Nanda Kumar Aug.’09, p.7; Nov.09, p.25; Feb.’10, p.47; Apr.’10, p.23

Ramesh Chandra Pradhan Nov.’09, p.54

Ranajit Sarkar Aug.’09, p.114; Nov.’09, p.141; Feb.’10, p.142; Apr.’10, p.160

Ranganathan Raghavan Feb.’10, p.182

Sachidananda Mohanty Feb.’10, p.137

Sampadananda Mishra Aug.’09, p.41; Nov.’09, p.39; Feb.’10, p.38; Apr.’10, p.102

Sarnath Basu Feb.’10, p.62

Shraddhavan Aug.’09, p.17

Sri Aurobindo Nov.’09, p.7; Feb.’10, p.7; Apr.’10, p.7

Srinivasan, MS Aug.’09, p.99; Feb.’10, p.88

Stephen Phillips Aug.’09, p. 105

Tapan Banerjee Apr.’10, p.55

Trija Ray Nov.’09, p.69; Feb.’10, p.117

Articles

Alternative futures (Pravir Malik) – Apr.’10, p.151

Canadian question, A (Nolini Kanta Gupta) – Nov.’09, p.92

Culture as the source of development (MS Srinivasan) – Aug.’09, p.99

Detachment and Integral Yoga (Debashish Banerji) – Apr.’10, p.40

Dharma of the Gita, The (Sri Aurobindo ) – Nov.’09, p.7

Divine Grace, The (Larry Seidlitz) – Apr.’10, p.86

Divine Mother and the triple status of the Supermind (Debashish Banerji) – Feb’10, p.14

Gita, The: an introduction (Sri Aurobindo) – Apr.’10, p.7

Indian culture and Hinduism (Kittu Reddy) – Feb’10, p. 105

Integral psychology – theorising its disciplinary boundaries (Debashish Banerji) – Aug.’09, p.65

Integrality (Matthijs Cornelissen) – Nov. ’09, p.98

Jugal Kishore Mukherjee, 1925 – 2009 (Ranganathan Raghavan) – Feb’10, p.182

Karma in history: an evolutionary perspective (MS Srinivasan) – Feb’10, p.88

Laying the foundations for Indian Psychology (Kundan Singh) – Apr,’10, p.108

Mother abides, The (Nolini Kanta Gupta) – Nov.’09, p.89

Mother’s new creation (Matthijs Cornelissen) – Aug.’09, p.33

National value of Art (Pabitra Kumar Roy) – Nov.’09, p.159; Feb.’10, p.159

Nature of Faith in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga psychology, The (AS Dalal) – Feb’10, p.70

New system of National Education, A: agenda for change (Sachidananda Mohanty) – Feb.’10, p.137

November 17, 1973 (Nolini Kanta Gupta) – Nov.’09, p. 97

On Herself (Mother) – Feb.’10, p.10

On The Life Divine of Sri Aurobindo (Sarnath Basu) – Feb.’10, p.62

On the Mother (Sri Aurobindo) – Feb.’10, p.7

Path of Nachiketa, The (Alok Pandey) – Aug.’09, p.50; Nov.’09, p.47; Feb.’10, p.32; Apr.’10, p.35

Possibilities of man, The (RY Deshpande) – Aug.’09, p.60

Practices in Integral Yoga (Larry Seidlitz) – Aug.’09, p.80; Nov.’09, p.111

Sadhak Nolinida – the Wayfarer of the Sunlit Path (Manoj DasGupta) – Feb’10, p.171

Sanskrit: a journey from mantra to freedom (Sampadananda Mishra) – Feb.’10, p.38

Seven, The, Jewel Centres of the Earth Mother (Michael Miovic) – Apr.’10, p.124

Soul, The (Kireet Joshi) – Apr.’10, p.67

Sources of the ‘Rasa Yoga’ of Sri Aurobindo: Abhinavagupta and the

‘Tantric turn’ (Stephen Phillips) – Aug.’09, p.105

Special emphases, The, in the Integral Yoga of the Mother (Indra Sen) – Apr.’10, p.18

Spiritual Knowledge (Marta SG Orton) – Nov.’09, p.121; Feb.’10, p.77

Sri Aurobindo (Arabinda Basu) – Nov.’09, p.10

Sri Aurobindo and Chandernagore (Trija Ray) – Feb.’10, p.117

Sri Aurobindo and the doctrine of evolution (Arabinda Basu) – Aug.’09, p.57

Sri Aurobindo and the Hindu Muslim problem (Kittu Reddy) –

Aug.’09, p.90; Nov.’09, p.134

Sri Aurobindo and Uttarpara speech (Trija Ray) – Nov.’09, p.69

Sri Aurobindo and Vedic Riks (Sampadananda Mishra) – Aug.’09, p.41; Nov.’09, p.39

Sri Aurobindo’s critique of the Western philosophy of science

(Tapan Banerjee) – Apr.’10, p.55

Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine: the immortal text on the Divine Truth (Ramesh Chandra Pradhan) – Nov.’09, p.54

Sri Aurobindo’s Uttarpara speech: the Cosmic Self, the Divine in all beings and all That Is  (Shraddhavan) – Aug.’09, p.17

Theme of Urvashi in the Indian Renaissance, The: Madhusudan Datta, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo (Ranajit Sarkar) – Aug.’09, p.114; Nov.’09, p.141, Feb.’10, p.142; Apr.’10, p.160

Twin prayers (NoliniKanta Gupta) – Nov.’09, p.89

Vasishtha Ganaputi Muni and the art of Multiple Concentration (Sampadananda Mishra) – Apr.’10, p.102

Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharata in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri (Prema Nanda Kumar) – Aug.’09, p.7; Nov.’09, p.25; Feb.’10, p.47; Apr.’10, p.23

Syncretism in Sri Aurobindo’s thought – part 2 Posted on March 18, 2010 by Sandeep

One of the pleasures of reading Sri Aurobindo’s works is that such contradictions do not exist because he resolves every contradiction by tracing it to its Divine origin and reconciling it as part of a larger Truth.   He explicates how every principle has it’s play in a certain context but if we over-generalize, then it loses its value. […]

What can we glean from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on the Nature versus Nurture debate?  We are given the understanding that nature and nurture can be reconciled in the greater spiritual truth, that there is an soul within Man evolving towards Divinity.  This soul persists across incarnations, puts forth its own distinct personality in every life and is also influenced by the genetic makeup of the parents as well as by the prevailing Zeitgeist. […]

Intelligent Design raises valid questions about abiogenesis (i.e. how life arises out from inorganic matter) and speciation (i.e. how do new species arise) but is unable to satisfactorily answer them with a suitable teleology, other than to posit the existence of an extra-cosmic entity which must be managing the Universe.

On the other hand, Neo-Darwinism only examines the superficial evolution of forms, and remains unaware of the greater aeonic evolution of souls as they are reborn in progressively more complex forms, (plant, animal and human) as determined by the evolution of soul consciousness.

We present the synthesis of the above ideas as discovered in the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.  Speciation is explained by the fact that consciousness precedes form in evolution [12].

 

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. There are few who can compare with Sri Aurobindo
Reviews Written by John Pellicci (Palm Beach Gardens, United States)
The Upanishads, 1st US Edition by Aurobindo Ghose Edition: Paperback Price: $12.26 Words of a Master, October 14, 2010 Amazon This review is from: The Upanishads, 1st US Edition (Paperback)
There are few who can compare with Sri Aurobindo Ghose. His erudition is only surpassed by his realization. A wordsmith of the highest order, who can bring to light and clarity the often confusing and veiled jargon of the ancient Rishis. His commentaries on the Upanishads opens vistas of thought that allow the earnest and informed seeker the opportunity to sit at the feet of a modern master-sage. Comment | Permalink
Essays on the Gita, New U.S. Paperback Ed. by Aurobindo Ghose Edition: Paperback Price: $14.96 Availability: In Stock 30 used & new from $3.59 Doing the Gita Justice, October 14, 2010 Amazon This review is from: Essays on the Gita, New U.S. Paperback Ed. (Paperback)
You can’t ask for a more robust and accurate discourse on the profound truths of the Gita. Unlike the envious who seek to dethrone the Supreme Personality with their misreadings of the Gita’s message, Sri Aurobindo maintains and magnifies the spirit of devotion throughout his writing. In his unique style, the Master-Sage brings the Gita to life for the modern, critical-thinking God-seeker; who blushes at sectarian stupidity and obtuse scholarship. If you are looking to understand the “Song of the Lord” in a way that brings you to the oceanic depths of Godhead, then click “add to cart.” Comment | Permalink
The Life Divine – U.S. edition by Aurobindo Ghose Edition: Hardcover Price: $30.36 Availability: In Stock 38 used & new from $14.63 Our Future Self, July 26, 2011 Amazon This review is from: The Life Divine – U.S. edition (Hardcover)
Aurobindo is a golden Vessel. His words convey thoughts of the most sublime and supreme that a human is given to think and become. His depth of realization and breadth of learning continues to leave me aghast. This magnum opus dethrones and perfects the intellect, opens the being to higher ranges and transmissions to the effect of developing the necessary mental architecture for the radical uplift and trans-human amplification.Comment | Permalink    Posted by Tusar N. Mohapatra at 1:22 PM

Tusar N. Mohapatra

Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum
SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad - 201014 (UP) India + 91 96500-65636
tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com
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SELF posits a model of counselling and communicative action as an instrument in order to stimulate the public sphere. The model aims at supplementing the individual’s struggle for a successful social adjustment with more aspirational inputs so as to help one take an informed and balanced attitude towards life as well as society.
Savitri Era of those who adore,
Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

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