Thursday, May 31, 2007

This month, we focus on Sri Aurobindo

:: CULTURE, SPIRITUALITY & LIFESTYLE ::
Words of Power Sri Aurobindo
This month, we focus on Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), a great revolutionary, visionary and Hindu mystic of relatively modern times. A brief biography of him can be accessed here.
  • The will of a single hero can breathe courage into the hearts of a million cowards...
  • So long as a cause has on its side one soul that is intangible in faith, it cannot perish...
  • The Veda was the beginning of our spiritual knowledge; the Veda will remain its end. These compositions of an unknown antiquity are as the many breasts of the eternal Mother of knowledge from which our succeeding ages have all been fed...
  • Modern artists are putting an end to art. Vulgarization everywhere! When this craze for utility comes, beauty goes to the dogs. This is the modern tendency...
  • Man is a transitional being; he is not final....
  • The traditions of the past are very great in their own place, in the past, but I do not see why we should merely repeat them and not go farther. In the spiritual development of the consciousness upon earth the great past ought to be followed by a greater future...
posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 at 11:51 pm and is filed under Culture, Spirituality & Lifestyle.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sri Aurobindo was the Vice-Principal of the Baroda College

ABOUT M.S.U. Communalism Watch
Maharaja Sayaji Rao University of Baroda is the only English medium University of Gujarat, which attracts students and teachers across length and breadth of the country. Maharaja Sayaji Rao, the erstwhile ruler of Baroda, had started Baroda College in 1890’s. Because of his endeavor, Aurobindo Ghosh, the known revolutionary of his age, had become the Vice-Principal of the Baroda College. In pre-independence India, Baroda became the important center of learning after Bombay in the educational map of western India. After independence, with the University Act of 1949, this Baroda College became the full-fledged University. One of its founder Syndicate member, the great philosopher, S. Radhakrishnan, drafted an act of the university on the basis of academic freedom and autonomy from state control. This is the only university in Gujarat, where the Governor is not the Chancellor but from the royal family of Gaekwad. At present, M.S.U. have about 35 thousand students across 13 faculties, with about 1500 teaching staff. Many of its faculties are known worldwide.
Written by - Mukesh Semwal, Research scholar in Political Science Dept. MSU President- All India D.S.O. MSU Date-21-5-07 Labels: , , , , , Permalink posted by moti roti on Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

From its made-to-order economy into other areas that are more knowledge-based

On the Subject of Work in Auroville Harini Sampathkumar, Tejas Joseph Ritam Volume 4 Issue 2 February 2007 A Journal of Material and Spiritual Researches in Auroville: Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Educational Research.
Auroville can be viewed from many different perspectives in relation to what it is aspiring to do – embodying human unity in diversity, creating an alternative way of life, building a city for an ideal society, living in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds/politics/nationalities, and so on. But all these perspectives manifest in the life of a group of people who have consciously chosen to live in this physical, geographical place called Auroville, in rural Tamil Nadu, India, by doing some work. The residents of Auroville today are fewer than 2,000. But Auroville, a city in the making for an intended 50,000 residents, employs people everyday from the surrounding villages. These employees numbered 3,709 in March 2000, and today may be as many as 5,000.
The work of 2,000 people living in Auroville catering to the numerous perspectives of Auroville’s aspirations sustains not only their own lives, but those of an additional 5,000 families and their villages – this model by itself is not unique as can be seen in most industrial townships. But there are other differences, some of which are highlighted below.
While the subject of work is one of the most central issues to life in Auroville, as described by the Mother, it defines in great measure what it means to be a resident of Auroville. Work, in simple terms in any place, can be broadly termed as physical or mental effort or activity directed towards the production or accomplishment of something; a job, a trade, a profession, occupation or a means of livelihood. In Auroville this work is also (and primarily) seen as an offering or consecration of oneself to the Divine; but what does this mean at an everyday level that makes it different? Any work in the world can also be looked at as an offering to the Divine, without having to call it thus, but in Auroville when this takes the primary focus, and its interpretation is given by the Mother in The Dream,
“Work would not be there as the means of gaining one’s livelihood, it would be the means whereby to express oneself, develop one’s capacities and possibilities, while doing at the same time service to the whole group, which on its side would provide for each one’s subsistence and for the field of his work,”
there is a shift in focus from livelihood to capabilities and aspirations. It then becomes an area of expression of one’s own potential that allows the individual to grow and is a progressive movement. It is this definition of work that attracts many people to Auroville; for work here breaks the confining and limiting barriers of formal contractual, routine and choice-less tasks in market situations and social institutions. Yet this very freedom offered by this new definition of work in Auroville has its own challenges because it assumes that it is accompanied by its complementing counterpart – responsibility.
  • If changes in personal lives are deemed necessary for growth, then how would this translate when we experiment with frequent changes in vocations and types of work as part of such personal changes?
  • How can we create a dependable work force within the community that can be relied upon to run our essential services, from education, infrastructure, economy, etc?
  • Is there a lack of responsibility (or self-discipline) or dislike of routine/repetitive tasks or need to provide livelihoods for the villages, that makes us dependent on an external workforce for building up the economy of Auroville through commercial or non-commercial activities?

For this reason of dependability, there is obviously a preference, particularly in the commercial sector for employees as opposed to voluntary and selective inputs based on personal choice and ability.

  • How then do we plan future developmental needs with people whose personal objectives and needs may not match with that of a larger collective vision of Auroville?

This is one of our present dilemmas. Working for the collective welfare while sustaining themselves with difficulty When work is not connected to gaining livelihood, and should be the case of at least all those Aurovilians who are on a centrally funded maintenance doing work for the collective economy through production and services of essentials (as contrasted to those producing non-essentials that once again go to subsidize the life of people producing essentials), and when these sustenance levels provided are below the needs because of rising market prices and expansion of the minimum needs basket itself that is accompanied by the development of any society, some of these people are forced into taking up economic activities and responsibilities outside the community (if not possible within the community) only in order to sustain themselves. The problem here is not so much taking up the economic activity as much as it is pursuing an interest dictated by money that was precisely what the role of work was not meant to be in Auroville...

Such knowledge can assist us in framing more openended and innovative definitions and guidelines for work, which could also help in considering how future work forms and ethics are very likely to be influenced by improved technology and other global trends that will affect the economy of Auroville and its carrying capacity. Auroville could use this opportunity to move from its made-to-order economy into other areas that are more knowledge-based, in which it is equipped to be part of these emerging trends. This not only means up-gradation of the educational/skills training of its young residents, but also that of the surrounding village youth. This is likely to be Auroville’s challenge for the future – having the insights to identify our core values and the creativity to redesign them in new ways that matter.
Harini Sampathkumar, Indian, living in Auroville since 1994, and working at Life Education Centre – an outreach school of Auroville; and the Social Research Centre – a centre for socio-economic research studies on Auroville.
Tejas Joseph, Indian, living in Auroville since 1995, with special interest and experience in sociology, and consultant to the Social Research Centre.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Prospectus of the Arya

The Prospectus of the Arya (French edition). [Please note that except where indicated the English translation is by the editors of Sri Aurobindo: Archives and Research. No copy of the English prospectus of Arya has survived.] English Translation

“ARYA”
OUR PROGRAMME.
The “ARYA” is a review of pure philosophy.
The object which it has set before itself is twofold:–
1. A systematic study of the highest problems of existence;
2. The formation of a Synthesis of knowledge, harmonising the diverse religious traditions of humanity occidental as well as oriental. Its method will be that of a realism, at once rational and transcendental, — a realism consisting in the unification of intellectual and scientific discipline with those of intuitive experimentation.
The Review will also serve as an organ for the various groups and societies founded on its inspiration.20
PLAN OF THE REVIEW.
The Review will be divided into four parts, consisting of:
1. Synthetic studies in speculative Philosophy.
2. Translations and commentaries of ancient texts.
3. Studies in Comparative Religion.
4. Practical methods of inner culture and self development.21
5. A fifth part will be devoted to the intellectual movement and the news of the groups attached to the Review.
First Part.
During the year 1914-15, the Review will publish:
1. Under the general title “The Wherefore of the Worlds”, a series of studies relating to the great problems of being, its origins and its first principles.
2. An exposition of Vedantic thought in accordance with the Ishopanishad.
Second Part.
In this part the Review will publish:
1. An annotated translation of the Upanishads.
2. A new interpretation of the texts of the Veda based on a philological study of the forms evolved from the ancient Sanskrit and on a restitution of the original sense of the symbols.
We will give here an idea of the high value of these works, carried out during five years of solitary meditation by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, by publishing the following fragment of his study of the Veda.
[Here was printed “The Colloquy of Indra and Agastya”, published in the first issue of Arya and later reproduced in The Secret of the Veda.]
Third Part.
Introduction: Our study of comparative religion will be preceded by the publication of a synthetical work bringing together texts drawn from the greatest thinkers of humanity.
These texts will be published under the title The Eternal Wisdom. They will be grouped in such a way as to form a homogeneous whole made up of the following categories, which develop the main lines of the unanimous teachings of the religions.
This plan may be summarized as follows:
Introduction. Wisdom and the Religions.
First Book. The God of All, the God who is in All.
Second Book. The discovery in oneself of the God who is in All.
a) The conquest of Truth
b) The practice of Truth.
Third Book. The realisation in each of the God which is in All.
Fourth Book. The Union of All by the Unity of the Divine in All.22
Conclusion. The supreme perspectives of man’s aspiration.
We will give here an idea of the way in which this work has been conceived by publishing the following fragment, which moreover puts forward admirably the spirit of this Review.
[On the next page appeared “The Spirit of Synthesis”, Book II, Part I, Chapter V of The Eternal Wisdom. Later published in Arya, vol. I, pp. 502-3.]
Fourth Part.
Starting with the first number, the Review will begin a practical exposition of a new method of inner development, based on a personal experimentation, and coordinating results gained through ancient methods.
Fifth Part.
The Review will welcome in this part communications related to the intellectual movement of which it is the centre. Questions and requests for clarification which are of philosophical interest to our readers will be answered.

We had seen the Matrimandir lit up in all its glory the night before

Blogged by Pixelshooter as Travel, Travelogue — Sun 20 May 2007 1:35
It was way past 6:30 and we were just about nearing Pondy. At that point of time, there were two things that occurred to me - Auroville closes early, so if we had to get there and find a place to stay, we had to do so fast. The road that deviates into Auroville from the highway comes before the town of Pondy. I shared these facts with Uday, and we consulted a fellow traveler who advised us to get down from the bus shortly. Because of point #1, we knew it was too late to do any kind of sight-seeing in Auroville.
The bus conductor was kind enough to let us get off at the right place (which was a tiny hamlet of houses, shacks and shady places offering rooms). From the road sign we learnt that Auroville is 8 kms from the highway so we took a smart decision of hiring a bike. Our next best option, an auto, would have cost us 150 bucks. Meanwhile Uday had called up his friends who informed him that there were no rooms available at the ‘Bharat Nivas’ guest house where they were put up (inside Auroville). They told us to try another dorm called ‘Mitra’, which was supposedly close to Bharat Nivas. We grabbed something to eat at a rather pathetic shack, and then went looking for a bike to hire.
We found a shop bang in front of where we got off, and the ‘thatha’ at the shop told us that a TVS-50 moped would cost us 70 bucks per day and we took one gladly. Note: The TVS-50 is the coolest thing to ride off-road So we began our journey into Auroville. The roads were good, but it was getting dark and we had no clue where Mitra was. We just kept riding into the darkness, and on either side of the mud road we were surrounded by trees, trees and more trees. We were riding through sparsely populated country side. Finally, after numerous wrong turns, ‘just over there’ replies, misleading road signs and vacant looks, we found something that looked like a dorm. It was Mitra indeed, and the time was 8:o0 pm. En route we discovered the ‘Visitors Center’ and ‘Matrimandir’, the two main landmarks of Auroville. The Matrimandir was light up and quite a sight in the dark jungle, but since I was not carrying a tripod, I couldn’t get a good shot
Finding a room: Mitra was being manned by a chinki watchman. Mr Chinki had only one piece of information to give us - call this guy, Samrat, to book rooms. Where is Samrat? Chinki didn’t know. When will Samrat come? Chinki said probably around 9…maybe 10 and sometimes even 11. Are there any vacant rooms? Chinki was positive and optimistic about that, but he had no powers to give us one. I tried calling Samrat but the call just wouldn’t go through. So there we were, in the middle of nowhere, not knowing what to do. Another quick call to Uday’s friend cheered us because she too was positive about us getting a room at Mitra. Only problem was locating Samrat.
We thought it would be a good idea to find some grub instead of just sitting there and waiting for the missing dorm in-charge. But finding a restaurant meant risking losing our way again. Nevertheless in the spirit of adventure and hunger we retraced our steps till the ‘Visitor’s Center’. When we told our predicament to the watchman there, he gave us the best piece of news we wanted to hear at that time - The Visitor’s Center had a restaurant. We parked and walked in.
The Visitor’s Center is a stone building right out of some French town, and we had only firangs for company at the eat-out. We ordered some totally firang dinner, binged and rode back to Mitra filled and satisfied. Small accomplishments like this make life less boring The time was 9.30 and there was still no sign of Samrat when we got back. We began discussing the prospects of riding back to Pondy (another 15 kms) and looking for a room there. But since Uday wanted to meet his friends, we decided to stop at Bharat Nivas first.
Bharat Nivas turned out to be another secluded building in the middle of the jungle. Unique architecture, single cottages circling a main verandah and the use of earthly materials for landscaping made it a beautiful sight. We met the in-charge there and explained the situation. He was an acquaintance of Uday’s friends, who at that time had still not returned from wherever, so he was keen on helping us. Luckily there was a vacant room at Bharat Nivas itself. He let us take it for 420/-, instead of the regular price of 500/-, ‘because we were friends of Shivani’s’. Neat So finally at 10 pm we got a place to crash. And when we entered the room, where we happy or what! The room was as beautiful as the exteriors. A fine ending to an adventurous evening. After a much needed shower, I joined Uday and his friends who had returned by now. We chatted into the night and crashed after 1.
Living it up Auroville: We had decided to to head out to the beach at 6. It had rained during the night, so at 5:30 am when I opened the door, I was greeted by the most beautiful morning ever. The air was cool, the air calm and the grass greener than ever. I hadn’t woken to a morning like this since my college days (when I had my room in a similar jungle). The girls and us got ready and headed out to the beach. We had good fun there, playing in the water and watching dolphins jump around in the sea (!). We returned by around 9 and after a sumptuous and relaxed breakfast at Bharat Nivas itself, we headed out to the Visitor’s Center to get passes to visit Matrimandir. The girls meanwhile got ready to leave to Pondy where they had decided to spend the day shopping.
Buying souvenirs at the many boutiques at the Visitor’s Center was on my agenda but unfortunately I didn’t find what I wanted because some of the shops were closed (being a Sunday). Having acquired the passes, and seeing educational videos of the place, we set forth to Matrimandir on our TVS-50. But were in for two surprises. Firstly, we weren’t allowed to take the vehicle anywhere close Matrimandir so we had to park it in a nearby building after buttering the watchman there. Secondly we realized after walking in that tourists weren’t allowed anywhere near the main building, let alone enter and see the crystal - the main attraction of the Matrimandir. It was a total let down, but we were glad that unlike the other tourists present there, we had seen the Matrimandir lit up in all its glory the night before. Again, I didn’t feel depressed about not having the tripod, because I was mentally prepared to trade a photo-op for foraying into an unplanned vacation. I wanted to challenge myself and not be me. And it worked!
... and since it was lunch time, we headed back into Auroville to eat. We had yet another firangi meal, and it was as delicious as ever...Sure, things would have been different if I had planned everything to the T, but I would have surely missed out on such an adventure. So I have no regrets. All’s well, ends well. Cheers to that permalink trackback URI

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Liberty and equality for one and all

Publications > Vedic Books > English > Why Read Rig Veda
The book emphasis the universal values which are upheld in Rig Veda like liberty and equality for one and all in society. Author: Dr. R. L. Kashyap
Pages: 96 ISBN 81-900979-3-8 Price: INR 40.00 USD 5.00 Edition Paperback
Publisher SAKSI
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Summary 2. The Essence of Rig Veda 3. Critics of Rig Veda
4. Women in the Vedic Age 5. Concept of Freedom
6. Perfection & Education 7.Rid Veda Mantra
8. Veda in Indian Tradition 9. Why read Rig Veda?
10. Symbolism in Rig Veda 11. Deva 12. Yajna
13. Cosmology and Consciousness 14. Human Psychology
15. Agni 16. The First Hymn of RV 17. Soma
18. Sarasvati 19. Aditi 20. Indra
21. Sin, Evil, Hostile Forces and Purification
22. Veda and the Upanishad 23. Veda Way of Life
24. Technology in the Veda 25. Date of the Rig Veda
26. References 27. Text of quoted mantras

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The founding of the National College of Bengal a century ago

From: "SABDA Sri Aurobindo Ashram" mail@sabda.in CC: Subject: SABDA eNews: Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo Date: Sat, 5 May 2007 16:24:08 +0530
The book introduced below, Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo, brought out under the auspices of the Centre for Sri Aurobindo Studies at Jadavpur University, is an anthology of papers written by scholars that selectively explore some aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s thought. The final paper “Sri Aurobindo: A Century in Perspective” starts with the founding of the National College of Bengal a century ago and looks at the work of Sri Aurobindo in the perspective of our contemporary consciousness, suggesting how his work can guide us in confronting the questions raised by the findings of modern scientific research.
The book also has some interesting historical sidelights. Jadavpur University is the modern day incarnation of the National Council of Education (NCE) which came into being as part of India’s freedom movement a century ago. A national education had a vital role to play as a powerful form of resistance to British rule and a means to achieve self-reliance through the literary, scientific and technical education of India’s new generations. The founding of the NCE and the Bengal National College was made possible by the generosity and inspiration of nationalist leaders, among whom we can count Sri Aurobindo and Raja Subodh Mullick. These two also collaborated on the nationalist newspaper Bande Mataram. In the July 13, 1907 issue of this paper, Sri Aurobindo wrote that “Swadeshi in Education does not mean teaching by Indian professors only or even management by Indians only. It means an education suited to the temperament and needs of the people fitted to build up a nation equipped for life under modern conditions and absolutely controlled by Indians.” There are two articles in the forthcoming issue of SABDA’s Recent Publications newsletter that tell some of the story of what happened behind the scenes in those early days of India’s freedom struggle. Here is an excerpt from Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo:
Education impacts the quality of existence at various levels through the principle of transformation, i.e. upward opening and expansion of consciousness. It prepares the individual for progressive change in the consciousness, “a turning towards” and contacting the all-pervasive reality. This makes integral education dynamic and evolutionary in nature. It is democratic as it holds that true teaching consists in consulting the instrument of knowledge in the progress of the individual. It allows an experience guided by integral principles. It has a progressive pedagogy well-cushioned by Integral Yoga which dissolves the limits of consciousness of the individual and the society in a methodical way.
NEW PUBLICATIONS
To order any book, click on the title, which will locate the book in our online catalogue. Next, add it to the shopping cart. You may then proceed to pay by credit card online.
ENGLISH
Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo — Articles by various authors ISBN: 978-81-246-0402-1 Publisher: D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd., New Delhi in Association with Jadavpur University, Kolkata Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 317 Price: Rs 520
This anthology of penetrating essays that explore and explain the avenues of thought laid out by Sri Aurobindo in his major writings offers to the reader a deep and wide look at philosophy, evolution, education, poetry and art, man and his relations, politics and the state, and yoga and psychology. The contributors are committed and serious scholars who feel that Sri Aurobindo’s thought offers the surest basis for understanding the past, present, and future dilemmas facing man. The book begins with an overview of the seminal ideas of each essay and concludes with some suggestions for new research, based on Sri Aurobindo’s work, in view of contemporary advances in science and technology and the current interest in transformative practices throughout all fields of study.
Introduction to Integral Education An Inspirational Guide— Sraddhalu Ranade ISBN: 978-81-7509-097-2 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Educational Research, Auroville Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 288 Price: Rs 300
Based on a series of teacher-training workshops conducted across India, this book aims to introduce and orient parents and teachers to integral education: a new approach to learning and teaching, a new attitude and mindset that focuses on responding to each child’s unique needs and learning style. Chapters are organised first to reveal the foundations of this new approach, then to provide strategies to help move from the old ways of teaching to the new, followed by practical classroom projects and techniques, and finally an examination of the kinds of changes teachers and parents must undergo to become the inspirational guides their students and children need.
Work: an offering — Words of Sri Aurobindo and the MotherISBN: 978-81-7060-259-0 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 103 Price: Rs 45
This compilation highlights the unique role of work in the Integral Yoga, beginning with a section on the necessity of work as a “field of endeavour and a school of experience” for the sadhana. Originally presented as an exhibition, the book is organised into short sections that cover topics such as how to prepare yourself, have the right attitude, and then offer your work; how to face the difficulties in your daily work environment; and how to move away from the illusions of ego-centred work toward becoming a true instrument for the Divine’s work.
Spiritual Exercises for Everyday Practice — Words of the Mother ISBN: 978-81-7060-262-0 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 48 Price: Rs 15
BENGALI Manusher Jibane Duhkha Jantrana O Ishwar Sri Aurobindo-Sri Mayer Lekha Avalambane— Debabrata Majumdar ISBN: 978-81-7060-252-1 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry Binding: Soft CoverPages: 138 Price: Rs 45
GUJARATI The Life Divine – Ek Adhyayan ane Abhigam — Prof. V. R. Pathak, Prof. Jyotsna M. Shah Publisher: Prof. V. R. Pathak, Ahmedabad Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 575 Price: Rs 150
To view previous issues of SABDA eNews, visit our Newsletters page. - SABDA SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM PONDICHERRY 605 002 INDIA Tel.: +91 413 2223328, 2233656 Fax: +91 413 2223328 Email: mail@sabda.in Web: http://www.sabda.in New releases: http://www.sabda.in/new.php SABDA eNews mailing list: http://www.sabda.in/eNews.php SABDA eNews Feedback: eNewsFeedback@sriaurobindoashram.org

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sri Aurobindo Society - May '07

News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
Upcoming Events
20-27 May 2007: Education Camp - Study And Dialogues Cum Workshop
The Society's Annual Education Camp will be held at Puducherry for teachers, parents and educationists dealing with children of KG and Primary level, from 20 to 28 May 2007. The Camp-cum-workshop will concentrate only on Integral Education as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Along with study and discussions there will also be some practical programmes for teachers at mainly K.G. and Primary levels.
Recent Events
4 April 2007: Sri Aurobindo's Arrival at Puducherry
Sri Aurobindo in Puducherry
Sri Aurobindo came to Puducherry on 4 April 1910 to pursue a spiritual goal - the goal of supramental transformation - never before successfully attempted by anyone. While engaged in the freedom struggle in Bengal, Sri Aurobindo received an Adesh (a Divine Command) to go to Pondicherry. In one of his letters to a disciple he wrote:
"Pondicherry is my place of retreat, my cave of tapasya, not of the ascetic kind, but of a brand of my own invention."
24 April 2007, Darshan Day: The Mother's Final Arrival at Puducherry
The Mother at Puducherry
The Mother came to Puducherry for the first time in March 1914. She returned to France in 1915 and then went to Japan in 1916. She returned to Puducherry on 24 April 1920, never to leave again. On this significant date, the Mother once wrote to a disciple:
April 24: The anniversary of my return to Pondicherry, which was the tangible sign of the sure Victory over the adverse forces.
The 87th Anniversary of the Mother's final arrival in Pondicherry was celebrated on 24 April 2007. There was meditation around the Samadhi from 6:00 to 6:30 am and a visit to Sri Aurobindo's Room thereafter. The message card distributed on the occasion can be viewed by clicking here.
News from Branches and Centres
News from Abroad Nairobi (Kenya)
The Mother's birth anniversary Celebrations: The Nairobi Centre celebrated the Mother's birth anniversary on 21 February 2007. At 8:30 am, after the hoisting of the Mother's flag, Mother's Morning Prayer was read out followed by collective singing of the song 'Vande Matram' and chanting of 'Victory to the Mother'. At 7:00 pm Mother's prayer of 2 June 1914 was read out followed by recital of the invocation to the Divine Mother from Savitri: "At the head she stands….". Then there was an offering of devotional songs to the Mother - 'Samarpan', sung by the participants. About 80 people were present for the celebrations.
Distribution of Booklets: On 3 March 2007, 50 sets of mini booklets in eleven different titles were given for distribution at Doctors' Plaza at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi, by the Society's Nairobi Centre. The booklets will be kept for reading in the reception offices of the doctors in the Plaza.
On 31 March 2007 four members of the Nairobi Centre visited Karen Hospital, Nairobi, to present 2,200 mini booklets in eleven different titles. The Nursing Services Manager and the Marketing Officer of the hospital received the booklets on behalf of the staff and the patients of the hospital. The booklets will also be kept in the out-patients clinic of the hospital. A short introduction on NAMAH was also given to the Nursing Services Manager of the hospital.
News from India
Noida (Uttar Pradesh)
Ms. Shruti, addressing the participants of the WorkshopA view of the participants
Workshop: A Workshop on "Stress free life" and "Social responsibilities of youth" was organised by the Noida Branch at the IEC College of Engineering & Technology, Greater Noida, on the morning of 21 March 2007. Ms. Shruti spoke on the above topics. About 80 final year students and some of the staff members of the College participated in the workshop. Booklets on 'Sri Aurobindo - Ek Sankshipt Parichay', 'Sri Maa: Jeevan Aur Kaarya' and 'Yuva Raho' were distributed to the participants.
Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, speaking on "Management by Consciousness". Sitting on the Dais (L to R): Shri O.P. Dani, Chairman, Noida Branch, Shri Vijay K. Poddar, Chairman, SAS Zonal Committee (Hindi) & Shri V.P. Goyal, Vice Chairman, State Committee U.P. & Uttaranchal
A view of the audience
Talk: The Noida Branch of the Society arranged a talk by Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, on "Management by Consciousness" on 31 March 2007. The programme was attended by about 70 persons.
Seated (L to R): Shri O.P.Dani, Chairman, Noida Branch, Shri B.P. Singhal,Former Member Rajya Sabha, and Shri V.P. Goyal, Vice Chairman, State Committee U.P. & Uttaranchal
Talk: The Noida Branch organised a talk by Shri B.P. Singhal, former Member of Parliament, on 15 April 2007. The topic of his talk was "Manav Aur Uske Uddeshya". During his talk, Shri Singhal explained that every living being comes on the earth with a specific objective. Only human beings can achieve their goal through knowledge and spirituality. In today's world, human beings are always rushing about without knowing the object of life. Once we know the object of our life, our way of working will get oriented around that and we can live in peace and joy. More than 40 people attended the talk.
24 April 2007: To mark the Mother's final arrival in Puducherry, Sri Aurobindo Society, Noida Branch, held a special collective meditation on 24 April 2007 from 6:30 to 7:00 pm at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan. About 30 persons attended the meditation. Shri O.P. Dani briefly spoke about the Mother's final arrival at Puducherry.
Delhi Branch
The Delhi Branch of the Society arranged a discourse on "Woman is the Soul of India" by Swami Avdheshananda Giriji on 31 March 2007. Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, was the Chief Guest. Ms. Rani Jethmalani introduced Swamiji. Ms. Shruti invoked the Mother. About 400 people attended the programme. Shri Ranjit Puri, Chairman of the Delhi Branch of the Society, gave the Vote of thanks. Distribution of leaflets, membership forms and sale of books took place.
Sri Aurobindo Complex, J.P. Nagar, Bangalore (Karnataka)
On 28 Feb. 2007, Dr. Sriramakrishna, an authority on Indian philosophy, spoke on "Essays on the Gita". He touched upon various other yogic practices and also explained as to how, in comparison, the interpretation of Sri Aurobindo goes far beyond the already existing commentaries.
On 28 March 2007 Prof. Chandrashekar Rath from Orissa gave a talk on "Life without Death" as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Between 29 March and 4 April 2007, a seven-day Study Camp on "Synthesis of Yoga" was held by Dr. Sri Ramakrish every day between 6:00 and 8:30 pm. His deliberations with the help of about 400 plus PowerPoint slides was very effective.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
The Chennai Branch arranged the following talks during the month of March 2007:
Date Speaker Topic
1 March Shri M.K. Ramaswamy "Have we progressed?"
4 March Shri A.V. Balasubramanian, I.A.S. Savitri Book IV (explained in Tamil)
11 March Talk by 4 students of "Ilakkia Charal" (each 10 minutes) 1. Selvi Divya Ravi: Sang songs on the Mother 2. Selvan Deepak Kumar: "Love is the name of the Mother" 3. Selvi Jayanthi: "The Mother's Sayings" 4. Selvan V.V. Ganesh : "Scintilating Path"
18 March Shri M.K. Ramaswamy "Faith - Four types"
25 March Shri S. Venkat "Sadhak Dyuman"
On 25 March 2007, before meditation, Smt. Manonmani Rangaswamy sang devotional songs. All the above talks were well attended.
Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh)
The Allahabad Centre organised a seminar at Allahabad on 8 April 2007. The seminar was chaired by Shri Vijay K. Poddar, Member of the Executive Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society. The seminar was addressed by Dr. S.C. Tyagi, Chairman of the U.P. State Committee, on "Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo" and by Dr. J.P. Singh, Chairman of the Sultanpur Branch, on "The Aims and Objectives of Yoga in the light of Sri Aurobindo". Shri S.C. Vidyarthi, Chairman of the Allahabad Centre, and Shri M.M. Verma, Secretary, also spoke on the occasion.
Ballia (Uttar Pradesh)
The Ballia Centre celebrated its 3rd anniversary on 15 April 2007. The main speakers of the day were Shri Ram Tiwari and Shri Jagannath Prasad, who spoke on the writings of Sri Aurobindo on social evolution, past failures and the remedy for the future. Shri Anand Singh, Secretary of the Centre, narrated the activities of the Centre during the year 2006-07. A lively discussion on Sri Aurobindo's "Integral Yoga" took place in which a large number of people participated.Bhind (Madhya Pradesh)
The Bhind Centre organised a Conference on 11 March 2007 on "Sri Aurobindo's Nationalism". The speakers were Dr. Suresh Chandra Sharma from Gwalior, Dr. Suman Kocher from Indore and Shri Manoj Sharma from Bhopal. Booklets printed by the Society were distributed free.
Burdwan (West Bengal)
The Burdwan Centre organised a function on 25 February 2007 to celebrate the Mother's 129th birth anniversary. The function started with bhajans. After the bhajans Smt. Sibani Ghosh read out from the book 'Prayers and Meditation' by the Mother. Smt. Tatini Banerjee narrated experiences of her meeting with Sri Aurobindo when she was only 10 years old. Mr. B.K. Banerjee spoke on "The Mother". Dr. Geeta Ghosh spoke on "Savitri".

A Discovery of Indian Clasical Music
It is with an Alaap that an Indian musician begins to explore and introduce a Raga. This is why, this unique creation of 20 Audio CDs and a resource Book has been titled Alaap. Researched and compiled by Sri Aurobindo Society, it is an authentic introduction to Indian Classical Music.
The various magical dimensions of Indian Music - the deep truths, the facts that are stranger than fiction, the variety and richness, the unity and the diversity, of the Hindustani (North Indian) and Carnatic (South Indian) styles, are all brought together in one comprehensive and fascinating set.
Alaap is formed of three parts. Part I (6 CDs) seeks for the spiritual core of Indian music and explains the mystical elements of the Swara, the Guru-shishya-parampara, the Sadhana, in the framework of the Raga and the Tala. Part II (7 CDs) presents the Hindustani or the North Indian style, its language, techniques, gharanas, instruments and the meaning of improvisation. Part III (7 CDs) presents the Carnatic or the South Indian style, its terminology, its richness and complexities, its ancient tradition.
Alaap helps one understand, appreciate and enjoy Indian Classical Music as a living experience. One shares the insights of the great masters and listens to some of the finest unforgettable music creations of the last 50 years - names which have become synonymous with Indian music - Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Omkarnath Thakur, Shemmangudi Srinivas Iyer, Bhimsen Joshi, Bala Murali Krishna, Vilayat Khan, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Girija Devi, T.R. Mahalingam, Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain and many more.
Alaap has something for all - whether a beginner, wanting to understand and appreciate Indian Classical Music, or a scholar and a musician deeply involved in it, whether one who just enjoys music or someone completely in love with it. As the Sufi Mystic Hazrat Inayat Khan says, "In music no one leaves empty-handed. Everyone gets as much as he can take."
Alaap is indeed a discovery of Indian Classical Music, where the art of listening itself can be a journey to the depths of one's soul. To listen to Alaap is to experience the wonder that is India.
In the beauty of its presentation, in the wide scope of its contents, in its authenticity and depth, perhaps Alaap stands all by itself. The set has an exclusive look and is created in the form of the ancient palm-leaf manuscripts of India where each leaf contains 2 CDs. Alaap is available also as audio-cassettes. The result of years of painstaking research, Alaap is a labour of love, created by Sri Aurobindo Society and brought to you by Times Music.
Alaap can be ordered through courier service in India and abroad. The costs are as follows:
i) 20 CD set with Book - by courier to countries outside India (including Canada and USA) - US $ 155 (including packing and courier delivery charges).ii) 20 CD set with Book - by courier in India - Rs.4,900/- (including packing and courier delivery charges).iii) 20 Audio-cassettes set with Book - Rs.1,750/- (packing and freight extra). The payment may be made in favour of "Splendour" by either Demand Draft or Banker's Cheque. For placing the orders or for further information please contact: The Manager, Splendour, Auroservice, Sri Aurobindo Society Beach Office, Pondicherry - 605 002. INDIA Ph: 91-413-2336398 Fx: 91-413-2334447 Email: splendour@sriaurobindosociety.org.in home about the site 15th August the mother sri aurobindo about sas sas activities onlife, online calendar sas & you the ashram centre of education auroville pondicherry sitemap what's new related links archive feedback audio "Om namoh bhagvate..."