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November 28, 2007

Application of Savitri in Love, Relationship and Family

ALL INDIA LIVE ONLINE UNIVERSITY
SAVITRI – A GENTLE INTRODUCTION

DR JAJATI BHATTACHARYA & JOYDIP CHAKLADAR
Course Outline
Course Objectives
Reading the epic Savitri written by Sri Aurobindo
Understanding the epic Savitri written by Sri Aurobindo
Application of Savitri in Love, Relationship and Family
Application of Savitri in Daily Life
Application of Savitri in Work and Career
Application of Savitri in Undestanding the Universe
Application of Savitri in Understanding Nirvana
Application of Savitri in Understanding Cosmic Conciousness
Application of Savitri in Integral Leadership
Course Work Outline ( 12 weeks )
Week 1 : Savitri as a Mantra
Week 2 : Application of Savitri in Love & Relationship
Week 3 : Application of Savitri in Work,Career,Daily Life
Week 4 : Savitri and Universe of Knowledge I
Week 5 : Savitri and Universe of Knowledge II
Week 6 : Savitri and Supermind
Week 7 : Savitri and Supermind
Week 8 : Savitri and Supermind
Week 9 : Savitri and Supermind
Week 10 : Savitri and Supermind
Week 11 : Savitri and Supermind
Week 12 : Savitri and Supermind
Project Work Outline ( 12 weeks )
Week 1 : Savitri Intention Workbook
Week 2 : Savitri Diary
Week 3 : Savitri Action Plan
Week 4 : Savitri Action Plan Review - 1
Week 5 : Savitri Action Plan Review - 2
Week 6 : Savitri Action Plan Review - 3
Week 7 : Savitri Action Plan Review - 4
Week 8 : Savitri Action Plan Review - 5
Week 9 : Savitri Action Plan Review - 6
Week 10 : Savitri Action Plan Review - 7
Week 11 : Savitri Action Plan Review - 8
Week 12 : Savitri Action Plan Review - 9

November 27, 2007

The early-twentieth-century nationalist orientalist, Sri Aurobindo

Home >List of Issues > Table of Contents > History and Theory Volume 42 Issue 2 Page 169-195, May 2003 To cite this article: Peter Heehs (2003) Shades of Orientalism: Paradoxes and Problems in Indian Historiography History and Theory 42 (2), 169–195. doi:10.1111/1468-2303.00238
Abstract
In Orientalism, Edward Said attempts to show that all European discourse about the Orient is the same, and all European scholars of the Orient complicit in the aims of European imperialism. There may be "manifest" differences in discourse, but the underlying "latent" orientalism is "more or less constant." This does not do justice to the marked differences in approach, attitude, presentation, and conclusions found in the works of various orientalists.
I distinguish six different styles of colonial and postcolonial discourse about India (heuristic categories, not essential types), and note the existence of numerous precolonial discourses. I then examine the multiple ways exponents of these styles interact with one another by focusing on the early-twentieth-century nationalist orientalist, Sri Aurobindo.
Aurobindo's thought took form in a colonial framework and has been used in various ways by postcolonial writers. An anti-British nationalist, he was by no means complicit in British imperialism. Neither can it be said, as some Saidians do, that the nationalist style of orientalism was just an imitative indigenous reversal of European discourse, using terms like "Hinduism" that had been invented by Europeans. Five problems that Aurobindo dealt with are still of interest to historians:
  • the significance of the Vedas,
  • the date of the vedic texts,
  • the Aryan invasion theory,
  • the Aryan-Dravidian distinction, and
  • the idea that spirituality is the essence of India.

His views on these topics have been criticized by Leftist and Saidian orientalists, and appropriated by reactionary "Hindutva" writers. Such critics concentrate on that portion of Aurobindo's work which stands in opposition to or supports their own views. A more balanced approach to the nationalist orientalism of Aurobindo and others would take account of their religious and political assumptions, but view their project as an attempt to create an alternative language of discourse. Although in need of criticism in the light of modern scholarship, their work offers a way to recognize cultural particularity while keeping the channels of intercultural dialogue open.

When you study science, there is a lot of stuff that you have to take on faith

Ulrich Mohrhoff koantum matters
Everything is based on faith, only scientists don’t seem to know this. When you sit down on a chair, your implicit faith is that it won’t collapse. When you set about doing something with a purpose in mind, your faith is that you can achieve this purpose. The nasty thing about science is that it clips the wings of your faith, thereby drastically limiting your potential...
Another rationalistic distortion, albeit one made up by the apostle John himself. If you want to know what and why Thomas was doubting, check out his own account. Thomas was a mystic who had found Jesus inside himself. For a mystic, the resurrection story lacks point. (Death, where is your sting?)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Make a comparison and tell me whom I am like.” Simon Peter said to him: “Thou art like an angel of righteousness.” Matthew said to him: “Thou art like a wise man (philosophos).” Thomas said to him: “Master, my mouth will not at all be capable of saying whom thou art like.” And Jesus said gently, am not thy master, because thou hast drunk, thou hast become drunk from the bubbling spring which I have measured out. And he took him and they withdrew. He spoke three words to him. When Thomas came back to his companions they asked him, “What did Jesus say to thee?” Thomas said to them: “If I tell you what he said to me, you will take up stones and throw them at me.” [Logion 13]
What were those three words? Not “I am the son of man,” for that expression was simply the Aramaic way of saying “I am an ordinary man like everybody else.” Not “I am the son of God,” for in none of the gospels did Jesus say that, and nobody referred to him in that way during his lifetime. Likewise nowhere did Jesus say that he wanted to be the Jewish messiah, let alone the Saviour-God of the Roman Empire. I’d put my money on something like the Vedantic tat twam asi: “This thou art,” meaning you are the One who has become All. It is not surprising that we can trace this same Thomas later preaching his gospel of oneness as far away as India, a country where he could speak of the oneness of God and man without being stoned, and could even be understood...
When you have genuine spiritual experiences, a healthy skepticism is at least as important, otherwise you get stuck in mental constructions based on a very preliminary set of experiences. On the other hand, when you study science, there is a lot of stuff that you have to take on faith. You are told that whatever you are told can be verified, but that’s equally true of genuine mystical experience...
The general framework of theoretical physics is a bunch of algorithms for calculating the probabilities of possible measurement outcomes on the basis of actual outcomes. Nobody has the slightest idea about the mechanisms or processes that correlate measurement outcomes, not only across time but also across space (i.e., outcomes of measurements that are simultaneous in some reference frames). What is more, there are so-called “no-go” theorems that rule out virtually every explanation that one can think of...
Forget about the metaphysical embroidery that comes with the classical (i.e., pre-quantum) stories about electromagnetism and gravity. The questions remain: where do the laws that correlate measurement outcomes come from, and why do they have the form that they do?

November 26, 2007

Never take physical happenings at their face value

The Mother
The starting-point is to seek in yourself that which is independent of the body and the circumstances of life, which is not born of the mental formation that you have been given, the language you speak, the habits and customs of the environment in which you live, the country where you are born or the age to which you belong. You must find, in the depths of your being, that which carries in it a sense of universality, limitless expansion, unbroken continuity. Then you decentralise, extend and widen yourself; you begin to live in all things and in all beings; the barriers separating individuals from each other break down. You think in their thoughts, vibrate in their sensations, feel in their feelings, live in the life of all. What seemed inert suddenly becomes full of life, stones quicken, plants feel and will and suffer, animals speak in a language more or less inarticulate, but clear and expressive; everything is animated by a marvellous consciousness without time or limit. And this is only one aspect of the psychic realisation; there are others, many others. All help you to go beyond the barriers of your egoism, the walls of your external personality, the impotence of your reactions and the incapacity of your will.
But, as I have already said, the path to that realisation is long and difficult, strewn with snares and problems to be solved, which demand an unfailing determination. It is like the explorer's trek through virgin forest in quest of an unknown land, of some great discovery. The psychic being is also a great discovery which requires at least as much fortitude and endurance as the discovery of new continents. A few simple words of advice may be useful to one who has resolved to undertake it.
The first and perhaps the most important point is that the mind is incapable of judging spiritual things. All those who have written on this subject have said so; but very few are those who have put it into practice. And yet, in order to proceed on the path, it is absolutely indispensable to abstain from all mental opinion and reaction.
  1. Give up all personal seeking for comfort, satisfaction, enjoyment or happiness. Be only a burning fire for progress, take whatever comes to you as an aid to your progress and immediately make whatever progress is required.
  2. Try to take pleasure in all you do, but never do anything for the sake of pleasure.
  3. Never get excited, nervous or agitated. Remain perfectly calm in the face of all circumstances. And yet be always alert to discover what progress you still have to make and lose no time in making it.
  4. Never take physical happenings at their face value. They are always a clumsy attempt to express something else, the true thing which escapes our superficial understanding.
  5. Never complain of the behaviour of anyone, unless you have the power to change in his nature what makes him act in this way; and if you have the power, change him instead of complaining.
  6. Whatever you do, never forget the goal which you have set before you. There is nothing great or small once you have set out on this great discovery; all things are equally important and can either hasten or delay its success. Thus before you eat, concentrate a few seconds in the aspiration that the food you are about to eat may bring your body the substance it needs to serve as a solid basis for your effort towards the great discovery, and give it the energy for persistence and perseverance in the effort.
  7. Before you go to sleep, concentrate a few seconds in the aspiration that the sleep may restore your fatigued nerves, bring calm and quietness to your brain so that on waking you may, with renewed vigour, begin again your journey on the path of the great discovery.
  8. Before you act, concentrate in the will that your action may help or at least in no way hinder your march forward towards the great discovery.
  9. When you speak, before the words come out of your mouth, concentrate just long enough to check your words and allow only those that are absolutely necessary to pass, only those that are not in any way harmful to your progress on the path of the great discovery.
  10. To sum up, never forget the purpose and goal of your life. The will for the great discovery should be always there above you, above what you do and what you are, like a huge bird of light dominating all the movements of your being.

Before the untiring persistence of your effort, an inner door will suddenly open and you will emerge into a dazzling splendour that will bring you the certitude of immortality, the concrete experience that you have always lived and always shall live, that external forms alone perish and that these forms are, in relation to what you are in reality, like clothes that are thrown away when worn out. Then you will stand erect, freed from all chains, and instead of advancing laboriously under the weight of circumstances imposed upon you by Nature, which you had to endure and bear if you did not want to be crushed by them, you will be able to walk on, straight and firm, conscious of your destiny, master of your life.

And yet this release from all slavery to the flesh, this liberation from all personal attachment is not the supreme fulfilment. There are other steps to climb before you reach the summit. And even these steps can and should be followed by others which will open the doors to the future. These following steps will form the object of what I call spiritual education.

Bulletin, February 1952 Page – 38 Location: Home > E-Library > Works Of The Mother > English > On Education Volume-12 > Psychic-Education

A shadow depends on light for its existence, but light does not depend for its existence on the shadow

Sri Aurobindo
It is no doubt a fact that once truth or good manifests, the conception of falsehood and evil becomes a possibility; for whenever there is an affirmation, its negation becomes conceivable. As the manifestation of existence, consciousness and delight made the manifestation of non-existence, inconscience, insensibility conceivable and, because conceivable, therefore in a way inevitable, for all possibilities push towards actuality until they reach it, so is it with these contraries of the aspects of the Divine Existence. It may be said on this ground that these opposites, since they must be immediately perceivable by the manifesting Consciousness on the very threshold of manifestation, can take rank as implied absolutes and are inseparable from all cosmic existence.
But it must first be noted that it is only in cosmic manifestation that they become possible; they cannot pre-exist in the timeless being, for they are incompatible with the unity and bliss that are its substance. In cosmos also they cannot come into being except by a limitation of truth and good into partial and relative forms and by a breaking up of the unity of existence and consciousness into separative consciousness and separative being. For where there is oneness and complete mutuality of consciousness-force even in multiplicity and diversity, there truth of self-knowledge and mutual knowledge is automatic and error of self-ignorance and mutual ignorance is impossible.
So too where truth exists as a whole on a basis of self-aware oneness, falsehood cannot enter and evil is shut out by the exclusion of wrong consciousness and wrong will and their dynamisation of falsehood and error. As soon as separateness enters, these things also can enter; but even this simultaneity is not inevitable. If there is sufficient mutuality, even in the absence of an active sense of oneness, and if the separate beings do not transgress or deviate from their norms of limited knowledge, harmony and truth can still be sovereign and evil will have no gate of entry.
There is, therefore, no authentic inevitable cosmicity of falsehood and evil even as there is no absoluteness; they are circumstances or results that arise only at a certain stage when separativeness culminates in opposition and ignorance in a primitive unconsciousness of knowledge and a resultant wrong consciousness and wrong knowledge with its content of wrong will, wrong feeling, wrong action and wrong reaction. The question is at what juncture of cosmic manifestation the opposites enter in; for it may be either at some stage of the increasing involution of consciousness in separative mind and life or only after the plunge into inconscience.
This resolves itself into the question whether falsehood, error, wrong and evil exist originally in the mental and vital planes and are native to mind and life or are proper only to the material manifestation because inflicted on mind and life there by the obscurity arising from the Inconscience. It may be questioned too whether, if they do exist in supraphysical mind and life, they were original and inevitable there; for they may rather have entered in as a consequence or a supraphysical extension from the material manifestation. Or, if that is untenable, it may be that they arose as an enabling supraphysical affirmation in the universal Mind and Life, a precedent necessity for their appearance in that manifestation to which they more naturally belong as an inevitable outcome of the creative Inconscience.
It was for a long time held by the human mind as a traditional knowledge that when we go beyond the material plane, these things are found to exist there also in worlds beyond us. There are in these planes of supraphysical experience powers and forms of vital mind and life that seem to be the prephysical foundation of the discordant, defective or perverse forms and powers of life-mind and life-force which we find in the terrestrial existence. There are forces, and subliminal experience seems to show that there are supraphysical beings embodying those forces, that are attached in their root-nature to ignorance, to darkness of consciousness, to misuse of force, to perversity of delight, to all the causes and consequences of the things that we call evil. These powers, beings or forces are active to impose their adverse constructions upon terrestrial creatures; eager to maintain their reign in the manifestation, they oppose the increase of light and truth and good and, still more, are antagonistic to the progress of the soul towards a divine consciousness and divine existence. It is this feature of existence that we see figured in the tradition of the conflict between the Powers of Light and Darkness, Good and Evil, cosmic Harmony and cosmic Anarchy, a tradition universal in ancient myth and in religion and common to all systems of occult knowledge.
The theory of this traditional knowledge is perfectly rational and verifiable by inner experience, and it imposes itself if we admit the supraphysical and do not cabin ourselves in the acceptation of material being as the only reality. As there is a cosmic Self and Spirit pervading and upholding the universe and its beings, so too there is a cosmic Force that moves all things, and on this original cosmic Force depend and act many cosmic Forces that are its powers or arise as forms of its universal action. Whatever is formulated in the universe has a Force or Forces that support it, seek to fulfil or further it, find their foundation in its functioning, their account of success in its success and growth and domination, their self-fulfilment or their prolongation of being in its victory or survival. As there are Powers of Knowledge or Forces of the Light, so there are Powers of Ignorance and tenebrous Forces of the Darkness whose work is to prolong the reign of Ignorance and Inconscience. As there are Forces of Truth, so there are Forces that live by the Falsehood and support it and work for its victory; as there are powers whose life is intimately bound up with the existence, the idea and the impulse of Good, so there are Forces whose life is bound up with the existence and the idea and the impulse of Evil.
It is this truth of the cosmic Invisible that was symbolised in the ancient belief of a struggle between the powers of Light and Darkness, Good and Evil for the possession of the world and the government of the life of man; — this was the significance of the contest between the Vedic Gods and their opponents, sons of Darkness and Division, figured in a later tradition as Titan and Giant and Demon, Asura, Rakshasa, Pisacha; the same tradition is found in the Zoroastrian Double Principle and the later Semitic opposition of God and his Angels on the one side and Satan and his hosts on the other, — invisible Personalities and Powers that draw man to the divine Light and Truth and Good or lure him into subjection to the undivine principle of Darkness and Falsehood and Evil.
Modern thought is aware of no invisible forces other than those revealed or constructed by Science; it does not believe that Nature is capable of creating any other beings than those around us in the physical world, men, beasts, birds, reptiles, fishes, insects, germs and animalculae. But if there are invisible cosmic forces physical in their nature that act upon the body of inanimate objects, there is no valid reason why there should not be invisible cosmic forces mental and vital in their nature that act upon his mind and his life-force. And if Mind and Life, impersonal forces, form conscious beings or use persons to embody them in physical forms and in a physical world and can act upon Matter and through Matter, it is not impossible that on their own planes they should form conscious beings whose subtler substance is invisible to us or that they should be able to act from those planes on beings in physical Nature. Whatever reality or mythical unreality we may attach to the traditional figures of past human belief or experience, they would then be representations of things that are true in principle. In that case the first source of good and evil would be not in terrestrial life or in the evolution from the Inconscience, but in Life itself, their source would be supraphysical and they would be reflected here from a larger supraphysical Nature.
This is certain that when we go back into ourselves very deep away from the surface appearance, we find that the mind, heart and sensational being of man are moved by forces not under his own control and that he can become an instrument in the hands of Energies of a cosmic character without knowing the origin of his actions. It is by stepping back from the physical surface into his inner being and subliminal consciousness that he becomes directly aware of them and is able to know directly and deal with their action upon him. He grows aware of interventions which seek to lead him in one direction or another, of suggestions and impulsions which had disguised themselves as original movements of his own mind and against which he had to battle. He can realise that he is not a conscious creature inexplicably produced in an unconscious world out of a seed of inconscient Matter and moving about in an obscure self-ignorance, but an embodied soul through whose action cosmic Nature is seeking to fulfil itself, the living ground of a vast debate between a darkness of Ignorance out of which it emerges here and a light of Knowledge which is growing upwards towards an unforeseen termination. The Forces which seek to move him, and among them the Forces of good and evil, present themselves as powers of universal Nature; but they seem to belong not only to the physical universe, but to planes of Life and Mind beyond it.
The first thing that we have to note of importance to the problem preoccupying us is that these Forces in their action seem often to surpass the measures of human relativity; they are in their larger action superhuman, divine, titanic or demoniac, but they may create their formations in him in large or in little, in his greatness or his smallness, they may seize and drive him at moments or for periods, they may influence his impulses or his acts or possess his whole nature. If that possession happens, he may himself be pushed to an excess of the normal humanity of good or evil; especially the evil takes forms which shock the sense of human measure, exceed the bounds of human personality, approach the gigantic, the inordinate, the immeasurable.
It may then be questioned whether it is not a mistake to deny absoluteness to evil; for as there is a drive, an aspiration, a yearning in man towards an absolute truth, good, beauty, so these movements, — as also the transcending intensities attainable by pain and suffering, — seem to indicate the attempt at self-realisation of an absolute evil. But the immeasurable is not a sign of absoluteness: for the absolute is not in itself a thing of magnitude; it is beyond measure, not in the sole sense of vastness, but in the freedom of its essential being; it can manifest itself in the infinitesimal as well as in the infinite. It is true that as we pass from the mental to the spiritual, — and that is a passage towards the absolute, — a subtle wideness and an increasing intensity of light, of power, of peace, of ecstasy mark our passing out of our limitations: but this is at first only a sign of freedom, of height, of universality, not yet of an inward absoluteness of self-existence which is the essence of the matter.
To this absoluteness pain and evil cannot attain, they are bound to limitation and they are derivative. If pain becomes immeasurable, it ends itself or ends that in which it manifests, or collapses into insensibility or, in rare circumstances, it may turn into an ecstasy of Ananda. If evil became sole and immeasurable, it would destroy the world or destroy that which bore and supported it; it would bring things and itself back by disintegration into non-existence. No doubt the Powers that support darkness and evil attempt by the magnitude of their self-aggrandisement to reach an appearance of infinity, but immensity is all they can achieve and not infinity; or, at most, they are able to represent their element as a kind of abysmal infinite commensurate with the Inconscient, but it is a false infinite. Self-existence, in essence or by an eternal inherence in the Self-existent, is the condition of absoluteness: error, falsehood, evil are cosmic powers, but relative in their nature, not absolute, since they depend for existence on the perversion or contradiction of their opposites and are not like truth and good self-existent absolutes, inherent aspects of the supreme Self-existent.
Page 605 Location: Home > E-Library > Works Of Sri Aurobindo > The Life Divine Volume-18 > The Origin And Remedy Of Falsehood, Error, Wrong And Evil

November 25, 2007

The inner meaning of the Gospel according to St. Thomas

3 Sri Aurobindo on Subliminal Consciousness - pp 21-54 A compilation of passages from two of the major works of Sri Aurobindo, concerning the subliminal regions of our consciousness, with introductory biographies of Sri Aurobindo and of F. W. H. Myers, who coined the term “subliminal consciousness” and introduced the subject into scientific psychology. In Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, Kelly et al. (2006) argued that the subliminal parts of our consciousness hold the key to all or most of the phenomena we tend to label as “paranormal.” According to Sri Aurobindo, they also hold the key to all or most of the phenomena studied by “ordinary” psychology. Through the subliminal we can enter non-physical planes of existence, whose raison d’être is explained...
7 Satprem: The Secret of the Veda - pp 91-96 When Sri Aurobindo first read the Vedic scriptures in translation, they appeared to him as an important historical document but seemed of scant value for a living spiritual experience. Fifteen years later, he read them in the original Sanskrit and found there “a constant vein of the richest gold of thought and spiritual experience.” Meanwhile, he had had experiences for which he had found “no sufficient explanation either in European psychology or in the teachings of Yoga or of Vedanta,” but which “the mantras of the Veda illuminated with a clear and exact light.” It was through these experiences that Sri Aurobindo came to re-discover the true meaning of the Vedas, the gist of which is presented. A short biography of Satprem and an excerpt from one of his conversations with The Mother are included.
8 Medhananda: Buried in the Sands of Time: The Gospel according to Thomas - pp 97-110 In 1945, an extensive anthology of the sayings of Jesus was found preserved in the dry sands of a tomb near Nag Hamadi, Egypt. Going back to a Greek text dating about 100 AD, this Coptic text begins with a prologue that attributes its recording to the apostle Thomas. Applying the psychological approach by which Sri Aurobindo had uncovered the esoteric meaning of the Rig Veda, the author elucidates the inner meaning of the Gospel according to St. Thomas. A brief biography of the author is appended.

November 23, 2007

Have you come from the Timeless

The Bird of Fire Sri Aurobindo

Gold-white wings a-throb in the vastness, the bird of flame went glimmering over a sunfire curve to the haze of the west,
Skimming, a messenger sail, the sapphire-summer waste of a soundless wayless burning sea.
Now in the eve of the waning world the colour and splendour returning drift through a blue-flicker air back to my breast,
Flame and shimmer staining the rapture-white foam-vest of the waters of Eternity.

Gold-white wings of the miraculous bird of fire, late and slow have you come from the Timeless. Angel, here unto me
Bringst thou for travailing earth a spirit silent and free or His crimson passion of love divine, -
White-ray-jar of the spuming rose-red wine drawn from the vats brimming with light-blaze, the vats of ecstasy,
Pressed by the sudden and violent feet of the Dancer in Time from his sun-grape fruit of a deathless vine?

White-rose-altar the eternal Silence built, make now my nature wide, an intimate guest of His solitude,
But golden above it the body of One in her diamond sphere with Her halo of star-blooql and passion-ray!
Rich and red is thy breast, 0 bird, like blood of a soul climbing the hard crag-teeth world, wounded and nude,
A ruby of flame-petalled love in the silver-gold altar-vase of moon-edged night and rising day.

O Flame who art Time's last boon of the sacrifice, offering-flower held by the finite's gods to the Infinite,
O marvel bird with the burning wings of light and the unbarred lids that look beyond all space,
One strange leap of thy mystic stress breaking the barriers of mind and life, arrives at its luminous term thy flight;

Invading the secret clasp of the Silence and crimson Fire thou frontest eyes in a timeless Face.

News of horrible massacres find place in our newspapers side by side with glamorous pictures of beauty contests

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But however insignificant the surface of their lives may appear to them, we cannot help reading an undercurrent of imports in them. The task they had set for themselves, after all, was to change this gross mortal life into a life Divine. A subtle link between their actions at the physical plane and those at the sublime plane can always be sensed. For example, Sri Aurobindo fought for the freedom of India, and India for him 1883 Views comments (3)
The Hour Of The Unexpected Posted 4 yrs ago
The spectre of unmanageable population made the biologist, Thomas Euston propose a radically original reform when the world could contain pocketsize human beings. "The technology to shrink humans," he assures us, should be available soon. A genetically engineered virus, carrying genes codes to create small people, can be placed in a reservoir or released in the air. Then everyone infected would absorb the 1229 Views comments (2)
The Riddle Of Sphinx And Euthanasia Posted 4 yrs ago
The question brings to my mind another seminar - rather a workshop - held under the auspices of WHO, at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore, in 1985. How is it that a certain treatment carried on two mental patients, both similar to each other in every respect and suffering from the same ailment, failed to cure one but was quite successful in the other case? 989 Views comments (3)
A Climate of Smog Posted 5 yrs ago
Half a dozen women gather in an apartment in San Francisco, three women meet in a modest living room in Laguna Beach, twenty women and men find an isolated spot on the beach in Santa Cruz, a dozen men and women meet in a loft in downtown Los Angeles. Wherever they come together, these people lay symbols of the elements -- fire, water, air and earth on a low table -- a red candle, perhaps, and shells, feathers and oysters and green plants... Someone adds chalice and a knife, others light incense and candles 934 Views comments (4)
Two Sensations, A Question and A Confession Posted 5 yrs ago
In India, the country of million mutinies, events vie with one another in their claim to sensation. News of horrible massacres find place in our newspapers side by side with glamorous pictures of beauty contests. We have graduated to maturity... Of the two events, which created moderate ripples in our society and would have continued to be in the front pages of our broadsheets 1882 Views comments (5)
More Equal than Others Posted 5 yrs ago
Alas, we are all equals according to the Constitutions of the nations professing faith in democracy, but not according to our personal constitutions. Most of us would like to be 'more equal than others', to use the Orwellian cliché. Collecting titles as affixes or suffixes is one of the means towards achieving that status. The British rulers of India exploited this human weakness 1592 Views comments (10)
Jubilation of the Bald Parrot Posted 5 yrs ago
The principle of psychoanalysis may be effective within a certain range of the working of human consciousness -- and at a certain plane. The danger lies in its ignoring the truth that the consciousness is too vast for Freud and his disciples to survey it in full. There are spheres of occult reality and planes of consciousness that can be known only through deep concentration, meditation and other methods of Yoga 950 Views comments (4)
The Tiger's Moustache is Still Wet Posted 5 yrs ago
By the way, did you believe that the rustic Indian mistaking a Ph.D. for a medical doctor was a joke dead since long? But here he is for Christina Noble's sake, asking a University teacher, “Will you do a sperm counting for me...?” 1779 Views comments (8)
Evolution: Lights From a Primeval Myth Posted 5 yrs ago
It may be news to many that in several universities in the West Darwin was proscribed till the sixties of the 20th century. The situation has changed. Be Darwin accepted fully or not, evolution is looked upon no longer as a hypothesis, but as fact. However, from time to time we come across new theories about the working of that process 1113 Views comments (19)
Trailblazers of the Primrose Path Posted 5 yrs ago
The films will not change their direction. They will continue to teach carnage and mayhem with the excuse of realism and will glorify perversions in the name of surrealism. And they have with them the all-silencing divine excuse: “We give what the people want” 646 Views comments (3)
The Secret of Human Conduct Posted 5 yrs ago
Way back in the late 60s of the 20th century a communal riot shook a certain town. I was surprised, for it was a new settlement grown around a huge industry and the population consisted of labourers and officials attracted from every part of India. There was no tradition of animosity between communities and what united them was a common existential necessity 2857 Views comments (275)
The Little Imp and the Giant Imp Posted 5 yrs ago
The politician I overheard saw nothing wrong in exploiting a vital element of the feudal tradition -- the fascination people had for the scions of princely families. But he was worried about the other element left to us by the same feudal past -- casteism 713 Views comments (1)
Pilgrimages: A Passing Tradition Posted 5 yrs ago
Indeed, in no other country had pilgrimage grown, over the centuries, into such an extensive and robust tradition as in India. Here is an Englishman's amazement: “One of the strangest sights in India is that of the ascetics who make pilgrimages from one part of the country to another 959 Views comments (5)
The Indigestible Beef Posted 5 yrs ago
Joy, the child's birthright, is denied to him for the sake of a chimerical concept of success. An abundance of pleasures created around him are sickening to his soul. Lighten his burden; recast the syllabi so that his leisure is not usurped either by professional tuition masters or by his parents assuming that role 2063 Views comments (15)
Reviving a Grisly Metaphor Posted 6 yrs ago
“Comrade Aidit, you were present at the Soviet Congress as a fraternal delegate. What was your reaction to the report?” we asked as soon as we settled down around a small table, munching roasted groundnuts and sipping black tea. He listened to his interpreter and banged his forehead thrice or so, before he could formulate some apology. 733 Views comments (2)
Return of the Old Man of the Mountain Posted 6 yrs ago
What is important to note is that the close relationship between drug and terrorism is almost a thousand years old. What is even more noteworthy, the terrorists who volunteered to die for a cause then and who do so now, were not just some brainwashed and misguided idealists, they were and are far worse. 2064 Views comments (6)
About Me
Manoj Das is an internationally known creative writer. He is counted among the popular short story writers in Oriya as well as in English. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards like the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padmashri and the Saraswati Samman. He has columns in India s national dailies like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and The Statesman. His writings, revealing the deeper truth and the untraced aspects behind current issues, have been highly appreciated. Member Since Oct 29, 2001 Rank:
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November 22, 2007

Martin Heidegger and Sri Aurobindo Ghose, a new book

So, I published my first book!
It was published by Dharmaram Publications in Bangalore (associated with my school) and is entitled The Quest for Postmodern Ethics: A Phenomenological Comparison of Martin Heidegger and Sri Aurobindo Ghose. It's not on Amazon yet, but I am hopeful. I am thrilled to say that it is going to be reviewed by the Journal for Hindu-Christian Studies in their next issue! Even if they hate it, at least it will get some exposure. It is also going to be reviewed for the Journal of Dharma... Posted by Brad at 7:52 PM Brad and Elizabeth's Indian Adventure

Sri Aurobindo was deeply concerned with the problem of Indian Vedic Religion

Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -2
Sri Aurobindo points out that the Spirit has two poises, the poise of Non-activity which supports the Activity, as well as the poise of Activity which cannot be totally severed. Spiritual activity embraces the secular, whereas secular activity inhibits the spiritual, because of its seeking to be particularised.
The divine life is therefore a spiritual inactivity, but is spiritual activity based on supreme peace. It is then that all activity exudes the peace that pervades all existence. In any case, if a divine humanity should be the goal of existence, then it becomes clear that we should divinise all activities or at least aim at it. If we concede that all is Spirit, that all is divine, even then it behoves us to remove all that obstructs that divine. If it is something that cannot be dissipated by mere textual knowledge, then it follows that this reverse activity or removal-activity should be cultivated. Sadhana becomes absolute condition, and sadhana is activity that uplifts.
It is of greatest interest to find that Sri Aurobindo was deeply concerned with the problem of Indian Vedic Religion as the most universal religion from which all religions, by a process of diversification and particularisation or localisation, had come into being.
Each one of them has emphasized one aspect, and by that fact had ceased to be capable of remaining universal, though the emphasis was for some time at any rate put forward as a universal truth. They can be universal truths without being at the same time comprehensive Truth. It is the ambiguity in the word universal that has lead to the deep misunderstanding. Universal means that which is for every one; universal also means that which comprehends all or includes all. This is what Svami Vivekananda also emphasized in respect of all religions other than the Vedanta which is parent of all; But no one has really presented fully this aspect.
Sri Aurobindo has further expounded the nature of evolution of the Spiritual Man in his Life Divine. Man evolves from the lowest to the highest via religion. The studies in comparitive religion work out themselves on the lines of social organisation from the tribal, communal, clan, national and then individual. Organized religions have this unit-character of sectarianisms. Tribal gods vie with each other to become national gods. But the truly intuitive and mystical experiences of the individuals constantly tend to liberate man from his boundaries. The religions remained private possessions, permitting no entry of new or alien members. However, the proselytizing religions had tended to embrace all mankind. This undoubtedly helped the concept of One God and one Humanity. Each human being therefore was given the chance to lose his private nature or merge himself in humanity. This was undoubtedly a great advance. But its basic defect was its emotional appeal rather than a rational appeal.
The age of reason induced this attempt at a universaling of religion by denuding it of its emotionalism. However the tendency has been to take an oblique turn towards approaching the heart of man through service of man, rather than liberating the understanding which has not become even to a little extent rational, appealing to the head or logic. Rationalistic religions which had intervened have provided certain basic lines of universal understanding of the problems of religion. But these have not succeeded beyond a certain limit. Man has begun to be alienated from both his heart and head. The ascent to a higher form of universalism than reason had become necessary. Neither emotionalism nor humanitarianism, neither reasoning logistically nor scientifi­cally, could satisfy the soul of man. A deeper level, or a higher truth, had to be found. This is the Spiritual level or the life of Spirit which transcends the levels of religion that we have known so far.
This was what was mooted by the Upanisadic seers as the Brahman or Absolute Spirit from whom alone mankind can receive its highest benediction. This is the Universal Godhead who is the meaning of all existence, intelligence - consciousness, and all delight. This is the spiritual principle which every individual must arrive at in his spiritual progress or evolution for such a person perceives all as One Spirit. As Sri Aurobindo puts it “ A diversity in oneness is the law of the manifestation, the supramental unification and integration must harmonize the diversities, but to abolish them is not the intention of the Spirit in Nature. (Life Divine p. 790 Am. ed.)
The study of the Aurobindonian approach to religion and spirituality reveals how the evolution of spirituality proceeds through several stages, and as it ascends, more and more of the truly spiritual gets manifested. Religions are institutions founded by great seers for the promotion of the orderly and harmonious development of man towards his highest destiny. It is of course a fact of great importance to realise that in a world of multiplicity, variety develops, and this itself imposes inequalities that tend to develop barriers or walls of separation which lead to conflicts of all sorts. The only solution to this problem, the only way to make these separative walls less opaque and movable or removable, is to develop the inward life, not of religion but of spirituality.
Hinduism claims this universal quality that belongs to the spirit. It makes meaningful the social organisation and the hierarchy of values for the gradual evolution of the divine type of man. The higher we go, the clearer becomes the vision that reveals the meaningful ness of progress, and the unity of the Spirit through all the diversity. Sri Aurobindo sees in all religions the impulse to move higher; but untouched by the ever descending spirit into lower formations, these religions tend to either break up or deteriorate into fanatical creeds to be sustained and supported by lower nature or emotion. That mystical religion is about the best which leads to an openness to the higher descent.
In the main lines of his thought Sri Aurobindo agrees with Svami Vivekananda. He agrees that at the present moment in the world’s history not only India needs the verification of its spiritual activity, which unfortunately was neglected by denial of all activity as inconducive to spiritual realisation, but demands the descent of the spiritual transcendent force. It would be wrong to introduce rajas, the material element into the body spiritual of India, but it is necessary to bring down the truly spiritual force - the supermind - or vijnana - which in one sense is the spiritual aspect of the original of the prakrtic rajas. It is the only force that can tame the rajas of the West and the tamas of the East, and uplift both to the transcendent state beyond even the sattva of prakrti. Table of Contents Prev Chapter Next Chapter All Books List

India is destined to solve the political, social, economic and moral problems which Europe has failed to solve

Central Object of Our National Education
It … should be clear that the only true education will be that which will be an instrument for this real working of the spirit in the mind and body of the individual and the nation. That is the principle on which we must build, that the central motive and the guiding ideal. It must be an education that for the individual will make its one central object the growth of the soul and its powers and possibilities, for the nation will keep first in view the preservation, strengthening and enrichment of the nation-soul and its Dharma and raise both into powers of the life and ascending mind and soul of humanity And at no time will its lose sight of man's highest object, the awakening and development of his spiritual being.
In any country the best education that can be given to children consists in teaching them what the true nature of their country is and its own qualities, the mission their nation has to fulfil in the world and its true place in the terrestrial concert. To that should be added a wide understanding of the role of other nations, but without the spirit of imitation and without ever losing sight of the genius of one's own country.
Importance of the Sanskrit Language
Words of Sri Aurobindo & the Mother
..each language is the sign and power of the soul of the people, which naturally speaks it. Each develops therefore its own peculiar spirit, thought-temperament, way of dealing with life and knowledge and experience…. Therefore it is of the utmost value to a nation a human group-soul, to preserve its language and to make of it a strong and living culture instrument. A nation, race or people, which loses its language, cannot live its whole life or its real life.
Indian's nature, her mission, the work that she has to do, her part in the earth's destiny, the peculiar power for which she stands is written there in her past history and is the secret purpose behind her present sufferings and ordeals. A reshaping of the forms of our spirit will have to take place; but it is the spirit itself behind past forms that we have to disengage and preserve and to give to it new and powerful thought-significances, culture-values, a new instrumentation, greater figure. And so long as we recognize these essential things and are faithful to their spirit, it will not hurt us to make even the most drastic mental or physical adaptations and the most extreme cultural and social changes. But these changes themselves must be cast in the spirit and mould of India and not in any other, not in the spirit of America or Europe, not in the mould of Japan or Russia.
India is destined to work out her own independent life and civilization, to stand in the forefront of the world and solve the political, social, economic and moral problems which Europe has failed to solve, yet the pursuit of which and the feverish passage in that pursuit from experiment to experiment, from failure to failure she calls her progress. Our means must be as great as our ends and the strength to discover and use the means so as to attain the end can only be found by seeking the eternal source of strength in ourselves.
The recovery of the old spiritual knowledge and experience in all its splendor, depth and fullness is its [India's] first, most essential work; the flowing of this spirituality into new forms of philosophy, literature, art, science and critical knowledge is the second; an original dealing with modern problems in the light of Indian spirit and the endeavor to formulate a greater synthesis of a spiritualized society is the third and most difficult Its success on these three lines will be the measure of its help to the future of humanity.
…what constitutes this higher or highest existence to which our evolution is tending? In order to answer the question we have to deal with a class of supreme experiences, a class of unusual conceptions, which it is difficult to represent accurately in any other language than the ancient Sanskrit tongue in which alone they have been to some extent systematized.
The [Sanskrit} language itself, as has been universally recognized by those competent to form a judgment, is one of the most magnificent, the most perfect and wonderfully sufficient literary instruments developed by the human mind, at once majestic and sweet and flexible, strong and clearly-formed and full and vibrant and subtle, and its quality and character would be of itself a sufficient evidence of the character and quality of the race whose mind it expressed and the culture of which it was the reflecting medium... Home My Business Articles Donate for India’s Progress

A sustained and all comprehending effort at spiritual self-evolution

Sri Aurobindo & Divine Mother
Sri Aurobindo was born in Calcutta on August 15,1872. In His life time, he wrote a number of books explaining the process of the descent of higher levels of consciousness and the way they would transform life and consciousness upon earth eventually. In his efforts, he was assisted greatly by the Mother who came originally from France. Sri Aurobindo left this world on December 5th, 1950. The Mother continued his work in the earthly plane till she passed away in the seventies. In this section we are presenting a few essays and writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Divine Mother for our reader's benefit.

The Bhagavad Gita
Religion
The religion which embraces Science and faith, Theism, Christianity, Mohamedanism and Buddhism and yet is none of these, is that to which the World-Spirit moves.
All religions have saved a number of souls, but none yet has been able to spiritualize mankind. For that there is needed not cult and creed, but a sustained and all comprehending effort at spiritual self-evolution.
Vedanta says rather, "Man, thou art of one nature and substance with God, one soul with thy fellow-men. Awake and progress then to thy utter divinity, live for God in thyself and in others." This gospel which was given only to the few, must now be offered to all mankind for its deliverance.
There are two works that are perfectly pleasing to God in His servant; to sweep in silent adoration His temple floors and to fight in the world's battle-field of His divine consummation in humanity.
God's servant is something; God"s slave is greater.
Our ideal is not the spirituality that withdraws from life but the conquest of life by the power of the spirit. -Sri Aurobindo
Rebirth
Reincarnating soul
Thoughts and glimpses
The Upanishads
The Vedas
Fate and free will
The spiritual aim of life
Man and the battle of life
Nature of super mind
Sri Aurobindo on yoga
The philological method of the Veda
The Process of evolution
Puranas, Tantras
The superman
The supramental sense
The Yoga and its objects
Yoga is Skill in works
Prayers and Meditations
The Visions of the Mother
Divine Thoughts from the Divine Mother
Sri Aurobindo on Astrology
The strength of stillness
Thursday , November 22, 2007 © 2000-2007 V.Jayaram. Hinduwebsite

A nobler pragmatism guided, uplifted and enlightened by spiritual culture and knowledge

"The most vital issue of the age is whether the future progress of humanity is to be governed by the modern economic and materialistic mind of the West or by a nobler pragmatism guided, uplifted and enlightened by spiritual culture and knowledge...." Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo's unique contribution to human potential and growth developed through his integration of Western and Eastern cultures. He brought the energy and vision of the West, with its focus on the perfection of the physical, material and mental areas of human life together with the spiritual development and philosophical directions developed over thousands of years in the East.
Sri Aurobindo honors the contribution of each of these divergent streams of human activity. His writings help us reconcile the apparent conflicts of two diverse societies and at the same time develop a new, wider, embracing viewpoint which vibrates with spiritual force, mental clarity and a heart of love and compassion for the efforts of humanity.
Sri Aurobindo has been considered one of the foremost philosophers of the 20th Century, but he was far more than just a philosopher. He was a political activist, a mystic, a spiritual leader, and a poet, a yogi and a teacher. Sri Aurobindo experienced the range of human activity and used that experience to communicate his insight in a way that we can appreciate and understand. Outline of Sri Aurobindo's Teaching
Sri Aurobindo's Writings: Sri Aurobindo was a prolific writer over a wide range of subjects including philosophy, yoga, poetry, human unity and much more. Most of his major works have been published in US editions by Lotus Press. Annotations on Sri Aurobindo's Books, Institute for Wholistic Education Home Page

November 20, 2007

It is only through collected and concerted efforts that we can hope to shape our civilizational future

“We are on the threshold of a new world” The Mother
“Yoga must be revealed to mankind because without itmankind cannot take the next step in the human evolution” Sri Aurobindo
The Vision
We have transited from the end of one era, to the dawning of a new age. Such periods, when looked upon retrospectively, are periods of turmoil, confusion and transition – and yet through it all, visible to the discerning eye are emerging fresh possibilities and opportunities for human progress and development. An example of this we can see, in the growing interest in subjective modes of knowledge and experience: prolific courses in reiki and pranic healing, corporations and executives taking to meditation, health food, hathayoga and alternative learning and healing systems. Even Science, which can be called the modern day religion, has admitted that matter is not the be and end all of creation but is in fact dense energy. Today, a certain body of scientists is even looking at the hypothesis that energy itself is in fact only a particular mode of consciousness.

It is worth pausing here and asking ourselves why this has happened and how come we have moved from a materialistic, model to a more subjective one? Perhaps because material and intellectual knowledge is no longer sufficient to handle the complexities of human existence. We as a human race have dissected and explored the phenomenal world, but know very little about ourselves. We are conquerors of the Moon and Stars, but slaves of our emotions and desires. It is now dawning upon us that unless we begin to understand ourselves and master our nature, we shall be unable to govern the forces that control us and the world.

Even the present day aim of higher education purported to be academic excellence leading to a successful life, is not being achieved. As long as knowledge is taught, rather thrust upon us in piecemeal snippets of information tightly packaged, excellence cannot be achieved. To lead a complete and successful life, a holistic and integral education for the flowering of the mental, vital, physical, psychic and spiritual capacities is essential. As pointed out by Sri Aurobindo: “Yoga must be revealed to mankind because without it mankind cannot take the next step in the human evolution.”
The International Centre for Integral Studies (ICIS) has been founded to attempt to provide students with an integral education in order to prepare them to take this next step in evolution.
The Aims
The aim of the International Centre for Integral Studies (ICIS) is to open up a field of on-going higher education and research in all areas of human development so as to generate the understanding, responsibility and skills to respond adequately to the opportunities and problems of modernity and to create a better global future. Human civilization today faces us with an unprecedented acceleration of technological progress rapidly globalizing the world and providing large-scale access to information, communication and transport amounting to a realized ubiquity for the human individual.
Advances in the Physical Sciences and in Biotechnology have brought us to the threshold of wielding previously unthinkable powers in the control and improvement of the material and biological life and the scope and variety of vital enjoyment. But this vision of enormous optimism coexists with a global condition of unprecedented crisis – psychological, social and ecological. Social, ethnic, religious and class differentiations are erupting into global wars, disbalances and depletions in natural resources are precipitating an impending crisis of planetary survival, vast disparities in the distribution of wealth, education and healthcare are plunging large world populations into deprivation and abjection and the psychological discontents of modernity are creating an endemic condition of widespread malaise and depression.
The march of modern civilization, in its exclusive focus on material progress has left the subjective life of man in a condition of unorganized chaos, a warring field of incapacity, greed and blind preference, which, faced with the enormous forces of contemporary technology and commerce, can very easily bring about disastrous consequences on a planetary scale, unless the powers of human consciousness are properly understood, organized, integrated and mobilized, so as to match and master the objective sphere. This is our contemporary civilizational imperative.
It is here that the field of Indian knowledge has much of offer. Marginalized as a “world-negating” and “unchanging” spiritual culture, India has an active and widespread field of discourse stretching through the millennia and representing what may be called a subjective science, a science of consciousness as meticulous and focused as the accumulation of knowledge developed through the western efforts at an objective science and technology. It is this field of yoga, the understanding, organization, integration and mobilization of consciousness and its experiences that needs to be brought into engagement with the contemporary forces of the objective world if we are to be equal to our civilizational challenges and opportunities.
The field of studies and research which will be the focus of ICIS aims at making this engagement its central aim and purpose. It is our opinion that two personalities who have gone furthest in interpreting and mapping this field of consciousness and its powers and possibilities in modern times are Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual collaborator, the Mother. Sri Aurobindo tells us that no external solution, be it attempted through social, political or environmental engineering or through good intentions or philanthropy, can solve the problems of humanity.
Tried repeatedly and innumerably through the centuries, such solutions have provided at best cosmetic improvements or temporary relief to our human condition. The problems of humankind can only be solved through a change or transformation of human nature and the science of consciousness is the only key to this change. Moreover, the growth of an experiential knowledge of oneness is the only sure security against the ravages and selfish cunning of the human ego. Contrary to the popular belief in the escapism of spirituality, he thus indicates its critical affirmative and world-transforming power.
Focus & Objectives
A revised understanding of all life and its social fields arises from this insight and exploration, opening up new approaches to all educational disciplines, scientific, philosophical, psychological, social and cultural. Thus Indian Studies and Sri Aurobindo Studies will form the central pillars of ICIS’ endeavours, though, along with this, all contemporary disciplines of human development and progress will be brought into its purview. Diagnosing our modern condition as one of fragmentation, a fragmentation of consciousness, of disciplines and of cultures, integration will be its watchword. Its objectives will encompass the integration of the human personality, the integration of the modes and disciplines of knowledge and the integration of cultures in its approach to knowledge and experience.
Formats of Learning
The ICIS, as the Educational wing of The Gnostic Centre, views its educational efforts as holistic, not merely in terms of its offerings but in the collective life it affords through the various wings and activities of the Centre. Thus, it sees its faculty and student bodies as part of the learning community, developing integrally in consciousness, understanding and expression. Such a community, though centred in the physical resources of the Gnostic Centre, is not localized but forms a closely woven extended life of dynamic interchanges of mental, vital, physical and psychic consciousness. To facilitate this, the programs and courses of ICIS include both on-site and distance learning components. Its on-site components will encompass activities such as exhibitions, presentations, performances, seminars, conferences, residential research and learning paradigms which need embodied interactions. These will include experiential workshops, performative learning and experimentation and creative expressions or exhibitions. Its distance-learning components will encompass online multimedia learning and response paradigms and attempt to bring the inner life of teachers and students into a depth engagement with each other and with the prevailing mental and vital forces of the world. Thus these two components will extend into each other, though developing independent lives of their own. At present, both these components are under development and will become more diversified and articulated with time.
Learning Objectives of ICIS Programs & Courses
Current learning objectives in education, following a western epistemology have been limited to an acquisition of information classified and organized into or around ideas, and procedural skills or technologies in the materializing and handling of such ideas and artifacts. In keeping with the larger vision and aims of ICIS, our learning objectives will encompass an enhanced epistemology based on an integral understanding of the human being and its characteristic forms of knowledge.
Including objective and subjective forms of knowledge in its scope, the Vedas have classified human knowledge in terms of material knowledge or knowledge of the external world, adhibhautika, subjective knowledge or knowledge of the inner world, adhidaivika and non-dual knowledge or knowledge of the Self, adhyatmika. This classification stems from the yogic realization that there is a universal and transcendental conscious Self of all things, manifest in the subject and the object and it is possible for the human being to unite in consciousness with this Self and experience reality through its identity.
Sri Aurobindo presents us with a contemporary and practical formulation of this epistemology. In his terms, knowledge can be seen as external knowledge or knowledge acquirable through the senses and their extensions (adhibhautika), knowledge by inner contact acquirable through the subjective, subliminal or occult consciousness (adhidaivika) and knowledge by identity acquirable through identification with the Oneness of the Self (adhyatmika). The learning objectives of ICIS programs and courses will rest on this epistemology and aim at knowledge acquisition which includes the outer and inner or objective and subjective forms of knowledge and indicates the way towards non-dual experiences of knowledge by identity.
Further, the field of inner experiences and knowledge has been seen by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as divided into a mental consciousness with its intelligence, rationality and opening to higher intuitions, a vital or life consciousness, with its life powers of feelings, emotions and will, a physical consciousness with its senses, sensations and skills and a psychical or soul consciousness with its spiritual aspirations, creativity and intuitions of divinity, beauty, harmony and oneness. The learning outcomes of ICIS will include becoming conscious of these forms and expressions of the inner life and the ability to integrate them, direct them and make them effective.
Unique Features
Towards this end, it will introduce foundational courses aimed at developing awareness of these forms of consciousness and their control and expression – the control of thoughts and quieting of the mind, concentration and opening to higher intuitions for the mental consciousness, the control and refinement of the feelings and the development and control of the will and the transformation of the animal nature through its opening to the psychic impulses of harmony, beauty, creativity, generosity and self-sacrifice for the vital consciousness and the awakening of direct intuitions and skills for the physical consciousness.
The foundational courses will also aim at opening up some awareness of the psychic or soul consciousness and the importance of bringing this consciousness forward to influence and govern the rest of the being. These outcomes of the foundational courses will facilitate an inner engagement with the other disciplines for study and research, whose learning outcomes will also reflect such engagements. Thus, the forms and modes of understanding for mainstream disciplines will also include intuitive comprehension of the subject, identification with the aspiration intrinsic to the subject, development of a practical creativity related to the subject, self-reflection relating one’s life-world, will, intelligence and goals with the subject and an arrival at the integrality of principles shared by the subject with other courses and programs of ICIS.
Faculty
To meet the educational aims described above, ICIS will engage a hand-picked corpus of faculty, characterized by educational proficiency, scholarship, maturity and insight of consciousness and the ability to assess and guide the growth of understanding and consciousness in the student, so as to achieve the learning objectives set before them. Though generally residing off-site, faculty members will also be invited to reside on-campus for periods of time as resident scholars, to conduct research, be available for live guidance and participate in conferences, seminars and intensives.
An Invitation to Participate
We are confident that our vision, objectives, curriculum, faculty and teaching and assessment formats will set up a precedent for higher education and that we will be able to offer the conditions for the development of personalities equipped to effectively guide the direction of our future towards the fulfillment of the opportunities and promises of the present and the mitigation of its dangers. To make this dream a reality, we need the support and help of all those who share our vision. If you resonate with our aspiration, you could help in a number of ways:
  • (a) financially, through tax-exempt donations to any of our scholarship or infrastructural funds;
  • (b) educationally, by enrolling as a student in one of our programs or approaching us with your research interests if you wish to join our faculty or as a research scholar;
  • (c) by referring your friends and families to our programs.

It is only through collected and concerted efforts that we can hope to shape our civilizational future. Together, we can hope to succeed. gnosticcentre.com