Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Constant repetition of The Mother’s name

Integral Education: A Foundation for the Future, one of the new books introduced below, talks about the future of the human race in terms of today’s children and their imperative need for a “yogic education”. The author, a teacher himself, writes from his personal experience on how such an education will look and feel for the child, the teacher, the parent, the school, and the community. In a later chapter “Integrating Life and School”, he raises the three thorny questions of discipline, responsibility, and freedom as part of a discussion on the need for an integral education whose principles can be readily applied in the dynamism of life beyond the classroom. In the section on the question of freedom, which he defines as evolving out of awareness, choice, and responsibility, the author describes what constitutes a “free” individual with an example of what is undoubtedly his own way of teaching:
To illustrate this a bit more graphically, imagine a puppet moved by numerous invisible strings of conditionings, fears, biases, and compulsions over which it has no control; it must move the way the strings are pulled. Now imagine that this puppet can think, and imagine further that the puppet thinks itself free because it interprets the fact that it is moving as an act of free movement just because it cannot see the strings. Would its sense of freedom, or its apprehensions of freedom, amount to much in real terms? For this puppet to come to real freedom, it will have to be released from its strings. That is the first condition. Only then will it be able to move its limbs the way it wants to move. Till then, neither freedom nor responsibility would make much sense.
Integral education must begin with this premise that humans are conditioned, they are not free.… The children must be made aware of how their actions and reactions are controlled by all their ‘strings’ and they must be shown how it is possible to develop individuality and the capacity for independent reasoning and action. [page 287]
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Integral Education
A Foundation for the Future— Partho ISBN: 978-81-7476-535-2 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, in association with UBS Publishers' Distributors Pvt. Ltd. Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 306 Price: Rs 525
The premise of this book is that if the goal of man is to evolve into a higher being capable of manifesting a divine consciousness, then this ideal must move beyond the realm of individual yogic practices and be seriously and purposefully taken up by societies through the propagation of a new kind of education. Based on his own practice as a teacher and teacher educator, the author describes the characteristics of an integral teacher and an integral learning environment and how these differ, in essence and in detail, from the current mode of education generally followed in the modern world. Set within the framework of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s thoughts on integral education, the book is an experimental manual for changing the way most teachers view both the process of learning and the child who is at the centre of that process.
White Roses (Enlarged Edition) Part II
— The Mother's Messages and Correspondence with Huta ISBN: 978-81-87372-06-6 Publisher: The Havyavahana Trust, Puducherry Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 241 Price: Rs 200
This enlarged edition of White Roses, a collection of the Mother’s correspondence with Huta, differs from the previous version in that it contains many more of the Mother’s letters as well as both facsimiles of her handwritten notes and their transcriptions. Published in two volumes, Part I covers the years 1955 to 1962 and Part II the years 1963 to 1973. In addition to the correspondence there are quotations from Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s works sent to Huta by the Mother as well as many of the Darshan and New Year messages.
Nama-Japa in the Yoga of Transformation
— Ramkrishna Das Publisher: Auro Seva Trust, Puducherry Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 81 Price: Rs 60
Translated and revised from the original Oriya text, this book is a passionate argument for the effectiveness of nama-japa in Sri Aurobindo’s yoga. The author’s premise is that through all the difficulties and arduous trials of the yoga of transformation, the safest and least difficult path is that of complete surrender to the Mother, and that the most direct way to achieve such a surrender is by the constant repetition of the Mother’s name. In concise and affirming language, he describes how to use nama-japa in work, in worldly life, to overcome obstacles from within and attacks from adverse forces, and how to make its practice natural, spontaneous, and effective.
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

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The music scene is superb, we’ve met some exceptional musicians

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007 Auroville
We’re currently in a utopian society called Auroville near Pondicherry… it has some fantastic ideals including human unity and sustainable living, and is aiming to be the city of the future.Kate got some interest from Maire Claire for a Pongala article, and we’re aiming to write a few features on Auroville for various magazines and papers. We’ve had superb help from the media team here, and we’ve been filling our time talking to various people here finding out what makes the place tick. It would take years to really understand everything, there’s so much here… but the more people we talk to, the more impressed we are. In fact, we can seriously see ourselves living here! We’ll take it slowly though!
What I love about this place is that everyone is here with a great deal of hope and faith that they are creating an ideal human community. Of course it isn’t perfect, but it’s a fascinating experiment. There’s a great mixture of spiritual types, creative people and people who work the land… everyone is particularly intelligent. The music scene is superb, we’ve met some exceptional musicians. In the words of one of the resident musicians, Auroville is a community for black sheep… it’s a great herd! I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this place, but in the meantime here are some photos:
Lots of modern architecture in Auroville!
We’re currently staying in a tree house… very atmospheric.
Our communal kitchen from the inside, and the outside.
The Matrimandir is a space age golf ball in the middle of the village which is supposed to give unity to the place. People meditate in it.
The Town Hall… reminds me of a villain’s lair… or maybe a bank’s headquarters.
» Filed under Uncategorized by Bob Rose at 15:24.