Friday, April 27, 2007

The Summer Refresher Training Camp of the Teachers of Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres of Orissa

To The Secretary / Principal of
All Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre
Dear Brother/Sister,
The Summer Refresher Training Camp of the Teachers of Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres” of Orissa will be organised during 7th to 27th May 2007 for 21days at Matrubhaban, Cuttack. The camp will be inaugurated on 7th evening and will be closed with afternoon session of 27th afternoon. Camp fees per person has been fixed as Rs. 600 only. You are requested to send as many teachers as possible to attend the camp. The total camp will include theory
classes on Philosophy of Integral Education, Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and other classes e.g. Psychology, methods etc. with workshops on following subjects. Unlike other years, Theory classes and workshops will be held alternately after two days. Therefore, each teacher must attend the entire camp in order to participate in all activities.
You are requested to send the names of the participants immediately to The Principal, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Higher Studies and Research, Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack- 753013. The participants must come prepared with the following things with them.
1. Love for the Mother
2. Courage, Patience and Enthusiasm
3. 2 pairs of daily use dress, Bedsheet etc
4. 1 Pair dress with PT Shoes for Physical Exercise.
5. Own Note book, Pen etc.
6. Own books for Reference
7. Musquito net may be used separately.
List of Subjects for Workshop
1. English
2. Oriya
3. Math
4. Science
5. Sanskrit
6. Social Studies
7. Music
8. Physical Education
9. Painting and Handwork
10. Pre-Primary
11. Computer

Prasad Tripathy
Secretary, New Life Education Trust
Please don’t bring children with U. In case you come with children you will not be admitted as a participant.

New Life Education Trust - 08.04.2007

The world is a spiritual paradox
Invented by a need in the Unseen,
A poor translation to the creature’s sense
Of That which for ever exceeds idea and speech,

(Savitri / 649) – Sri Aurobindo
A meeting of the New Life Education Trust was held at Matrubhaban,
Cuttack on 08.04.2007 (Sunday) at 10 A.M. under the presidentship
of Sri Sriballabh Panigrahi, President of the Trust. The meeting
started with the observation of two minutes silence at the lotus feet
of the Mother. Then the agenda was taken up for discussion.
Sri Prasad Tripathy, Secretary of the Trust readout the minutes of
the last meeting of the Trust held at Matrubhaban, Cuttack on 16-
17 December, 2006 for the approval of the members and
simultaneously placed the action taken report on a few issues.
The decision of the Trust was reiterated that every member
present in the meeting must take initiative for ensuring maximum
participation of students and teachers in the various state level
programmes conducted by the Trust, viz, students’ meet and teachers’
summer refresher training programme and workers’ meet (Puja
vacation), etc.
It was revealed in the meeting that inspite of clear instruction/
advice not to appear in the Class VII Common Board examination,
a few schools are still appearing in the said examination this year.
The members took a very serious view to this and insisted to get
those schools delisted. However, it was decided to issue showcause
notice to these schools as to why the Trust should not delist
these schools. The members pointed out that this year Patnagarh
(Balangir), Irrigation Colony, Jeypore (Koraput), Rajabagicha,
Balasore, Sindurpank (Sambalpur) and Bhuban (Dhenkanal) schools
are a few among others who have appreared at the Common Board
examination for Class VII. The meeting once again reiterated its
decision not to appear at the Common Board examination for Class
V or VII in future.
It was revealed in the meeting that a few schools affiliated to
the Trust are also getting their Std. VII students admitted in other
general school, may be for allowing the students to appear in the
Board examination through the other school.
This was felt to be a bad precedence and should be stopped
The solution to these problems could be the introduction of
Trust published textbooks upto Std. VII. All the members were advised
to ensure that all the schools in their areas adopt Trust published
books definitely.
It was found out during the countersignature of the School Living
Certificates/Transfer Certificates issued by the schools that admission
registers are not meticulously maintained. It was decided that during
April Conference every year as usual the certificates will continue to
be countersigned by the Secretary after the records are verified by
the Trust Coordinators of the respective area with the assistance of
the Trust members of that area. It was felt that most of the schools
are not submitting the consolidated result sheets with abstract of
marks. The Secretary was requested to ensure production of duplicate
copy of result sheet before countersigning the Certificates.
In the matter of introduction of uniform dress code for the
teachers it was decided to take up the matter in the annual Workers’
meet to be held during Puja Vacation for taking a final decision.
The members re-emphasized the decision of the Trust not to
become members of EPF until the matter has been decided in the
High Court. It was further discussed and decided that each member
of the sponsoring pathachakra and teachers of the school will swear
affidavits renewing their commitment to the selfless service in the
school as a devotee of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
Of late it came to light that at some of our centres due to
internal conflicts/disputes amongst Pathachakra members/teachers/
parents the image of the schools are tarnished. Even at some
centers they have moved to courts and sought the intervention of
the outside agencies like police. After detailed discussion on the
recent happenings at some schools it was resolved in the meeting
as under:
The Managing Committee of the school will be formed by the
sponsoring Pathachakra and the M.C. will be answerable to the
In the event of dispute arising on any matter the same will be
referred to the New Life Education Trust for taking a final decision
on it, and the decision so taken shall be accepted by all. This has
been approved by the Govt. in the Scheme of Integral Education.
As per the scheme of Integral Education approved by the Govt. in
its Education Department the Managing Committee of each School
in the functional formation of the sponsoring Pathachakra. Again in
the GO VI EA (Scheme)-34/86 61/85/EYS dated 6.02.87 it was
decided that the M.C. will consist of the following members: It is
further decided that the M.C. thus constituted will be a functional
formation of the Sponsoring Pathachakra and all members of M.C.
should normally be the members of the Pathachakra.
In case the decision of the Trust is not abided by, the only
option will be delist such school.
It was decided that at centres where court cases are pending
such cases will be referred to the Trust immediately within 15 days
time. These cases will be viewed by a Committee consisting of
Sri Sriballabh Panigrahi, President, Sri Mohapatra Nilamani
Sahu, Adviser, Sri Gadadhar Mishra, Vice-President, Sri Sankar
Mohanty, Joint Secretary, Kum. Anjali Tripathy,
Sri Prasad Tripathy, Secretary as Convenor of the Committee.
The first meeting of the Committee will be held by the end of April
Summer Refresher training camp for teachers: This year the
camp will be held at Cuttack from 7th to 27th May 2007. The
course fees will be Rs. 600/- for each participating teacher. Steps
will be taken to inject newness into the programme. A full day’s
programme will also be held at Dalijoda. All the Trust members were
requested to see that maximum number of teachers participate in
the said programme. At no other centre any camp will be organised
during this time.
Sanskrit Workshop at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry:
Sanskrit Department, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry is organizing
a 15 day workshop at Pondicherry from 6th to 20th June 2007. 12
teachers and twice the number of Standard VI/VII student will
participate in the said programme. Sukanti Apa (Oupada, Balasore),
Bijayalaxmi Apa (Jeypore, Koraput), Sunanda Apa (Gopinathpur,
Cuttack), Narendra Bhai (Jharsuguda), Babita Apa (Banki, Cuttack),
Aditya Bhai (Damanjodi, Koraput), Mita Apa (Dhenkanal), Ashok
Bhai (Khallikote, Ganjam), Umesh Bhai (Dera, Anugul) were
selected to participate in the said programme. It was decided that
50 % of the expenses will be borne by Sri Aurobindo Ashram and
rest by N.L.E.T.
Visit of the students to Ashram during vacation: As per the
present practice when the students with their teachers from our
Schools visit the Ashram 50% concession in dining coupons are
permitted by the Ashram.It was felt the if advance intimation is
given to Navajyoti Karyalaya with copy to NLET the said tour
programme can be better organised and more fruitful.
Special Financial Assistance: Timely steps have been taken for
release of SFA under the plan and non-plan head.
Text Books: It was revealed in the meeting that due to nonreceipt
of manuscripts in time all the books could not be published
till date. It was stated that by the end of summer vacation all the
books will be ready
The following schools are accorded affiliation after positive
recommendations are received:
The following Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres were affiliated
as mentioned against each.
Sl. Name of the Place of SAIEC Nature of Affiliation
1. Sabulia, Ganjam Std -VI & VII Regular
2. Soro, Balesore Std - VI & VII Regular
3. Raj Nilagiri, Balesore Std - VI & VII Regular
4. Arjyapalli, Ganjam Std - V Regular
5. Biramitrapur, Sundargarh Std - V Regular
6. Bhalumal, Jharsuguda Std - V Regular
7. Baruan, Dhenkanal Std - V Regular
8. Govindpur, Dhenkanal Std - V Regular
9. Kalinga, Dhenkanal Std - V Regular
10. Jari, Jajpur Std - V Regular
11. Hukutola, Jagatsinghpur Std - V Regular
12. Manuapalli, Ganjam Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
13. Paharsirigid, Baragarh Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
14. Kutra, Sundargarh Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
15. Panchapada, Dhenkanal Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
16. Netraji Nagar, Cuttack Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
17. Mangalpur, Jajpur Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
18. Remuna, Balesore Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
19. Bhadua Bhanduripalli, Balesore -do-
20. Karatutha, Borikhi, Jagatsinghpur -do-
21. Mundala, Alanahat, Jagatsinghpur -do-
22. Kothapada, Kuhunda, Cuttack -do-
The following Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres have
applied for affiliation. The Members mentioned against each are
requested to visit the centres and report to NLET for extending
team affiliation.
SL. Name of the place of SAIEC Name of the member to
(For Affiliation of Std- V, VI & VII) visit and Submit
1. Binika, Sonpur Braja Mohan Behera Indramani
2. Themra, Sambalpur Prafulla Panda Purna Chandra Mahanta
3. Sunabeda-1, Koraput Prasanta Swain Surendra Nath Das
4. Gadakujang, Jagatsinghpur Narayan Agasti Sarbeswar Mohapatra
5. Barigaon, Keonjhar Janardan Acharya Purna Chandra Mahanta
6. Bellari, Kendrapara Bhagabati Prasad Das Ramesh Ch. Dalai
7. Padmapur, Jagatsinghpur Narayan Agasti Ramesh Ch. Dalai
(For Affiliation of New Education Centres)
1. Bansha, Naygaon, Jagatsinghpur Narayan Agasti Ramesh Ch. Dalai
The following schools could not be taken into consideration
as the visiting report from the concerned members have not been
received in the Trust. However, they are again requested to submit
their visiting report as early as possible, so that their cases of affiliation
may be considered in the next meeting.
Shyama Sundar-Anugula, Rairakhol- Sambalpur, Balimela
Malkangiri, Raj-sunakhala-Nayagarh, Jaloi-Sonepur, Parasumal-
Anugul, Gopabandhu Nagar- Balugaon, Khurda, Nahiadia-Kendrapara,
Gambharimunda-Khurda, Koira- Sundargarh, Susua- Jajpur.
Printed and published by Sri Gadadhar Mishra on behalf of the Matrubhaban Trust & Printed at Graphic Art Offset Press, Nuapatna, Cuttack-1 & Published at Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack - 753 013.
Editor : Shri Gadadhar Mishra, Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack - 753013
E.mail - Please visit us :
RNI Regn. No. 65218/91 Registered OR/CK (C) -17/2006-08 Annual Subscription Rs. 30.00 only

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

To foster intra- and inter-community dialog

The Purpose of SCIY (pronounced "sci-y")
by rjon on Fri 11 Aug 2006 07:50 AM PDT Permanent Link
Our Vision: To consider emerging planetary science and culture in the light of Sri Aurobindo's integral yoga through mutually respectful dialogue, creative imagination, critical inquiry and non-dual epistemologies.
Our Mission: To discern trends within contemporary arts, sciences and technologies which appear to facilitate (or not) the co-evolution of integral spirituality, scientific research and emerging planetary culture.
Our Goals: To foster intra- and inter-community dialog among those who actively aspire to create a terrestrial environment which will advance an integral evolution of consciousness and thus a world of increasing truth, beauty and sustainable human unity.
Who we are: The founders and editors of SCIY are engaged in the study and practice of Sri Aurobindo's "Integral Yoga," a non-sectarian spiritual path toward realizing "a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity."* - Our aspiration for SCIY is to foster inclusive scientific, cultural and spiritual research that serves this realization. We invite those who share this aspiration to join us.
* Quote from Sri Aurobindo's spiritual colleague, Mirra Alfassa (also known as "the Mother"), in her Charter for the Auroville universal township project being built near Pondicherry, India.
"There are people who love adventure. It is these I call, and I tell them this:
'I invite you to the great adventure...' " more » Print Article Posted to: Main Page

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

India's Reunion and World Union

Aurovilians being an inspired and always creative folk, it goes without saying that the township's growth brings a steady stream of sometimes major and sometimes perhaps lesser creations along with it. What they have in common is that all of them carry and communicate - each in their own way- a particular something of Auroville.., be it a lingering vibration or practical information, a memory or melody.., a tone, a touch..
And while you may find many of these already mentioned in our Art & Culture and other pages, we here intend to offer you newer creations as and when they emerge.For your enjoyment!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir is the first public institute outside Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry

Let us give ourselves entirely and sincerely to the Divine and we shall enjoy His protection.
The Mother [Words of the Mother, Vol. 15 Page: 51]
Respected Sir/Madam
This is the newsletter for April, 2007.
The Mother's final arrival in Pondicherry was on 24th April, 1920. To remember the occasion members of Youth section of Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir, Kolkata have published their QUARTERLY YOUTH E-MAGAZINE "PROGRESS". Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir is the first public institute outside Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.
"PROGRESS" has completed its 2nd year journey . So far we have published 9 issues of the e-magazine. Please go through all the issues and send us your opinion on the e-magazine.
In this month Agomoni Das is continuing her presentation of "GRACE DIVINE"- collection of writings of Sri Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya (Dada), Director of the Physical Education Department of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (S.A.I.C.E.).
She is also continuing her writing, the 4th part of her "Reminiscences Of My Childhood In The Ashram".
So please check the sections and give us much needed guidance. Please send us your opinion, because your opinion will lead us in our future progress and will be your golden footmark at our website. Please stay with us, support us and guide us. We are waiting for your kind and valuable visit at our website. With regards
Pushkar ‘VEDPRAKASH’ Mitra
P.O.-Habra Prafullanagar Dist: 24 Pgs(N) West Bengal Pin-743268 India
E-mail: Phone- 91-3216-237198

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Suhrud work & study Camp at Rourkela

Pabitra Kumar Mohanty informs that the next Summer Suhrud work & study Camp will be held between 22.05.07 and 31.05.07 at Sri Aurobindo Rourkela School where ‘The Human Cycle’ would be taken up for study. Those interested to attend may contact him at Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir, Rourkela, Dist. Sundargarh, Orissa – 769002 (Ph. 0661-2650909, 94372-20957). [Source: Navaprakash, TNM]

Friday, April 20, 2007

There are times when national or cultural fault lines suddenly seem to open up

The current issue April 2007 Editorial:
Auroville is sometimes described as a multicultural society. If ‘multicultural' refers merely to a diversity of nationalities this is true, if not necessarily notable: almost any inner city school in London or New York contains more nationalities than Auroville. But if ‘multicultural' implies not simply the coexistence of different cultures, but a society which celebrates and is enriched by the diversity of its cultures, we move on to more problematic terrain. Because while Auroville is generally a success story in terms of the ability of its various cultures to live and work together, there are times when national or cultural fault lines suddenly seem to open up.
Why is this? The truth seems to be that many if not most Aurovilians continue to be influenced, to some extent at least, by the attitudes and perspectives of the culture in which they grew up. This is hard for us to accept – particularly as many of the people who are drawn to Auroville are attempting to reach beyond the limitations of nationality or caste – but unless we acknowledge this and start working creatively with it, both personally and as a community, it is likely that further difficulties will lie ahead and we will fail to utilise the true richness of our cultural diversity.
In the April issue of Auroville Today we try to throw some light on this sensitive issue. Doudou Diène speaks about his experience, as UN Special Rapporteur, of racism and discrimination in different countries of the world; two South Africans – one black, one white – who recently ran cultural sensitization programmes in Auroville talk about how they managed to transcend profound personal differences, and Aurovilians explore different cultural perspectives on issues which are central to the development of Auroville as a true community.
Other topics highlighted in this issue of Auroville Today are how the community is providing for the basic needs of the residents; a report on an exhibition on Mother's Balcony and Terrace Darshans; how to ensure the water supply of the bioregion;a memory of Erica, an elderly Aurovilian who returned to Germany; encountering Michael Murphy, the recently appointed member of the International Advisory Council; and we portray snapshots of photographer Sebastian Cortès. The issue ends with a report on Adventura: Auroville's adventurers.
By following the links you are welcome to read a few of the articles. We wish you happy reading. Please subscribe if you want to read more, or ask for a free copy. Details are elsewhere on this web page.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The work in Orissa is a massive translation of Sri Aurobindo's formula of change in the general society

WHY SRI AUROBINDO MAHILA PATHACHAKRA? - Shyama Kanungo Matrubhaban, Cuttack
The question of a separate "Mahila" pathachakra as Sri Aurobindo Mahila Pathachakra ever raises its head in the minds of Mother and Sri Aurobindo's devotees. The Mother Herself shows the way for a true solution as in all issues. The "thesis" - the "anti-thesis" and then the "synthesis".
So what is the "thesis" ? ...
The Sri Aurobindo Mahila Pathachakra is a brain-child of our beloved Sri Ramakrishna Das. Babaji Maharaj has aspired, hoped and prayed for Orissa to open to the Wonderful New World being created by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. He himself was a fast runner and wanted this new world to come soon. It was his concomitant feeling that creation of a Mahila pathachakra along with the other forums like Yuva and Chhatra samaj (Now, Army of Light) would expedite the ultimate goal of a collective realisation. The seed of Sri Aurobindo's Thought and Action had to be implanted in this section of the Society if at all the manifestation of the New World had to be hastened.
The logic- women are center of a family; they beget the future generation; societies where women are educated and have a major share in decision making have much better social and health indices. Spiritually they are naturally self giving; their psychic being is more in the forefront; they are simple and faithful . Yet at present they are relegated to the background; they do not participate in the mainstream of social life and development although they comprise nearly 50% of the population. A special attention to this section and inculcation of the great ideology of "Yoga of Transformation" in them would certainly speed up the work of 'Perfecting Life in the Image of the Spirit'. Hence the need for propagation of Sri Aurobindo Women's Study circles where women can sit together without fear and shyness amongst themselves and grow out of all their limitations and evolve as powerful instruments of the new world. The main building bricks of the new base are Education, Health and Brahmacharya. The entire work envisioned by the great Masters would get a massive thrust.
The "anti-thesis"....
This separate forum was even questioned by Prapatti. I remember how Babaji Maharaj had smilingly disarmed him when he asked whether they would be a separate movement or part of this study circle movement that had been activated in Orissa. Babaji Maharaj had reiterated that they would very much be a part of this movement.
The most powerful voice against a separate forum is embodied in a sentence of none other than The Mother Herself: "For Heavens sake can't you forget that you are a girl or a boy?" In Sri Aurobindo Ashram the agenda is Supramentalisation. The resulting 'supramental being' is neither a man nor a woman. The Ashram does not have a different agenda for women and another one for men. All carry on their individual and collective sadhana to exceed normal manhood and womanhood .
  • Why then a separate group or platform for women here in Orissa under the banner of a "Sri Aurobindo Mahila Pathachakra"?
  • Are we trying to perpetuate the difference between the two sexes?
  • Are we trying to put up one section against the other?
  • Is this a forum created to make women work unhindered by male supremacy and chauvinism?
  • Is this forum to uphold the rights of women?
  • Is this organisation totally an independent one of one gender and identifiable as "Of the Women, By the Women, For the Women"?
Should the difference in gender which was merely a physical one created by Nature for a mere objective of propagation of the species - be highlighted and perpetuated by the followers of the Great Revolutionary Forerunner, living a millennium in advance, who dreamed of a new race where the process of creation itself would be changed into a luminous one so that it no longer carries with it the obligatory degradation it now has that makes it imperative for the physical structure to be different with physical organs required for procreation? We are "Human Beings" we are candidates for "Divinity".
  • IS THERE ANY OTHER AGENDA at this evolutionary juncture?
  • Is there any other solution for the evolutionary crises confronting creation?

It shall amount to forgetting one's "Goal" should we deflect to any other objective.

The "synthesis"...
Our only ultimate goal is nothing else but "Total Transformation of the 'Human' phenomenon to a 'Superhuman' one - an extremely difficult, arduous and almost impossible a task when delegated to the individual or community. The present state of entire humanity is far at the nether end of this tremendous achievement that is envisaged. A state of torpor and meaningless dull existence prevails without any sense of direction in the entire society today. All moral and spiritual values are at their lowest ebb. There is an utter collapse of value system. The dredges of western society is keenly picked up strangely neglecting its positive and rational mind that represents conquest of mind over matter. The conquest of mind over the spirit is derided as myth and set aside while quality of life is smothered in horrifying laziness and inertia which breeds degradation of every avenue of our current pattern of living.

  • Should things be left as such or should we pay heed to the clarion call of the greatest of thinkers and seers and make both collective and individual effort for evolving out of this deplorable condition?
The work in Orissa is a massive translation of Sri Aurobindo's formula of change in the general society and therefore has to strategically prioritise areas which would essentially expedite the process of change. Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a place where these basic flaws have been done away with therefore not requiring an initial special treatment. Hence an outer comparison of outer forms and processes is incongruous.
Babaji's wisdom and rare foresight is to be lauded. The first phase of the work was organization and propagation of study circles whereby the society is first induced with the new thought and new way of life with totally new modes of living . It is here that special need-based areas have to be taken up - one amongst such immediate needs is awakening women to the synthesis of the best of east and west. They are too much at the background, too much ingrained in the old unprogressive sanskaras. It is a 'time-bound' project to prepare consciously the future generation as well as exceed their own too human existence and dream with the Master Dreamer as a candidate for "Divinity." And let us beware- if women remain unprepared or unchanged they can be as great a retarding force at this evolutionary juncture.

With the Sri Aurobindo Study Circle with its women's, youth's, student's and children's wings as base, other avenues have to be paid attention to like education, health, technology, art, literature, agriculture, commerce, and finally, administration and politics. Into all will be infused the fragrance of the New and Total Truth which the World had not known as yet. Let us not forget that it is one work -Their Work of Divinisation that is being done . We have to come out of all narrowness and strife and stand unitedly, strongly as one massive instrument in the Hands of the Divine to allow it to carry out Its intention. Mahila_Pathachakra.doc #

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Mother’s role in the 1971 war

by Prof. Kittu Reddy
Sri Aurobindo retired from active political life in 1910. But this did not mean, as it was then supposed, that he had retired into some height of spiritual experience devoid of any further interest in the world or in the fate of India. It could not mean that, for the very principle of his Yoga was not only to realise the Divine and attain to a complete spiritual consciousness, but also to take all life and all world activity into the scope of this spiritual consciousness and action and to base life on the Spirit and give it a spiritual meaning.
Consequently even in his retirement, Sri Aurobindo kept a close watch on all that was happening in the world and in India and actively intervened whenever necessary, but solely with a spiritual force and silent spiritual action; for it is part of the experience of those who have advanced far in Yoga that besides the ordinary forces and activities of the mind and life and body in Matter, there are other forces and powers that can act and do act from behind and from above; there is also a spiritual dynamic power which can be possessed by those who are advanced in the spiritual consciousness, though all do not care to possess or, possessing, to use it, and this power is greater than any other and more effective. It was this force, which, as soon as he had attained to it, he used, at first only in a limited field of personal work, but afterwards in a constant action upon the world forces. He had no reason to be dissatisfied with the results or to feel the necessity of any other kind of action. Twice however he found it advisable to take in addition other action of a public kind. The first was in relation to the Second World War. At the beginning he did not actively concern himself with it, but when it appeared as if Hitler would crush all the forces opposed to him and Nazism dominate the world, he began to intervene. He declared himself publicly on the side of the Allies, made some financial contributions in answer to the appeal for funds and encouraged those who sought his advice to enter the army or share in the war effort. Inwardly, he put his spiritual force behind the Allies from the moment of Dunkirk when everybody was expecting the immediate fall of England and the definite triumph of Hitler, and he had the satisfaction of seeing the rush of German victory almost immediately arrested and the tide of war begin to turn in the opposite direction. This he did, because he saw that behind Hitler and Nazism were dark Asuric forces and that their success would mean the enslavement of mankind to the tyranny of evil, and a set-back to the course of evolution and especially to the spiritual evolution of mankind: it would lead also to the enslavement not only of Europe but of Asia, and in it India, an enslavement far more terrible than any this country had ever endured, and the undoing of all the work that had been done for her liberation. It was this reason also that induced him to support publicly the Cripps offer and to press the Congress leaders to accept it. He had not, for various reasons, intervened with his spiritual force against the Japanese aggression until it became evident that Japan intended to attack and even invade and conquer India. He allowed certain letters he had written in support of the war affirming his views of the Asuric nature and inevitable outcome of Hitlerism to become public. He supported the Cripps offer because by its acceptance India and Britain could stand united against the Asuric forces and the solution of Cripps could be used as a step towards independence. When negotiations failed, Sri Aurobindo returned to his reliance on the use of spiritual force alone against the aggressor and had the satisfaction of seeing the tide of Japanese victory, which had till then swept everything before it, change immediately into a tide of rapid, crushing and finally immense and overwhelming defeat. He had also after a time the satisfaction of seeing his previsions about the future of India justify themselves so that she stands independent with whatever internal difficulties.
It was in this context that on August 15 1947, he declared in his message:
"As a mystic, I take this identification, not as a coincidence or fortuitous accident, but as a sanction and seal of the Divine Power which guides my steps on the work with which I began life. Indeed almost all the world movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my lifetime, though at that time they looked like impossible dreams, I can observe on this day either approaching fruition or initiated and on the way to their achievement".
We have mentioned all this just to show that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were continually keeping an eye on world events and were using their force to guide the world in the desired direction. In this brief article, we are illustrating one such intervention by the Mother. This was during the war in Bangladesh in 1971.
The Bangladesh Crisis
The partition of the Indian Subcontinent in 1947 created two independent countries: India and Pakistan. India, which became independent on Aug. 15, 1947, stood for an equitable polity based on the universally accepted idea that all men were created equal and should be treated as such. Pakistan, which officially came into existence a day earlier, was based on the premise that Hindus and Muslims of the Subcontinent constituted two different nationalities and could not co-exist. The Partition created two different countries with most Muslim majority areas of undivided India going to the newly created nation, Pakistan (Land of the Pure). Pakistan was originally made up of two distinct and geographically unconnected parts termed West and East Pakistan. West Pakistan was made up of a number of races including the Punjabis (the most numerous), Sindhis, Pathans, Baluchis, Mohajirs (Muslim refugees from India) and others. East Pakistan, on the other hand, was much more homogeneous and had an overwhelming Bengali-speaking population.
The Roots of Discord
Although the Eastern wing of Pakistan was more populous than the Western one, political power since independence rested with the Western elite. This caused considerable resentment in East Pakistan and a charismatic Bengali leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, most forcefully articulated that resentment by forming an opposition political party called the Awami League and demanding more autonomy for East Pakistan within the Pakistani Federation. In 1969 November, Yahya Khan who was the President of Pakistan announced that in the end of 1970 he would hold elections in the whole of Pakistan based on universal suffrage. The election results were stunning. In East Pakistan, the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujib Rehman won 160 seats out of 162. In West Pakistan Bhutto’s People’s party won 81 out of the 138 seats. In all fairness, the Sheikh should have been Prime Minister of Pakistan, or at least the ruler of his province.
Both Yahya Khan and Bhutto were unwilling to accept the results of East Pakistan. As a result the convening of the Assembly was delayed. On 1 March 1971, Yahya Khan announced that the meeting of the National Assembly had been postponed sine die and the Maj Gen Yakub Khan had been appointed the new governor of East Pakistan. Meanwhile a secret reinforcement of troops from West Pakistan to the East via Sri Lanka began.
The Awami League reacted with a campaign of civil disobedience Yahya then announced that the National Assembly would meet on March 25 and at the same time replaced Maj Gen Yakub Khan by Lt Gen Tikka Khan. During all this time army reinforcements continued to pour in. Yahya Khan arrived in March in East Pakistan to conduct negotiations with the Awami League. Even while negotiations were going on Yahha Khan was visiting army installations and meeting army officers in the cantonment. It was decided during this visit that the meeting of the National Assembly would be postponed. On March 23, known as Pakistan Day, the Awami League declared independence and Bangladesh flags were hoisted all over Dacca. The confusion was soon over. In the early hours of 26 March, Tikka Khan issued orders to crackdown on the people of East Pakistan. Troops began to move into the city of Dacca at 2300 hours on 25 March.
A message was heard on the radio from Sheikh Mujibir Rehman. He said: "This may be my last message. From today Bangladesh is independent. I call upon the people of Bangladesh to resist the Army of occupation to the last. Your fight must go on until the last soldier of the Pakistan occupation Army is expelled from the soil of Bangladesh and final victory is achieved." Dacca came under the control of the Pakistan Army in a few hours. Mujib was arrested in the early hours of 26 March. Genocide of the people of East Bengal had begun.
Origins of the Crisis
The dawn of 1971 saw a great human tragedy unfolding in erstwhile East Pakistan. Entire East Pakistan was in revolt. In the West, General Yahya Khan, who had appointed himself President in 1969, had given the job of pacifying East Pakistan to his junior, General Tikka Khan. The crackdown of Mar. 25, 1971, ordered by Tikka Khan, left thousands of Bengalis dead and Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was arrested the next day. The same day, the Pakistani Army began airlifting two of its divisions plus a brigade strength formation to its Eastern Wing. Attempts to disarm the Bengali troops were not entirely successful and within weeks of the March 25 massacres, many former Bengali officers and troops of the Pakistani Army had joined Bengali resistance fighters in different parts of East Pakistan.
The Pakistani Army conducted several crackdowns in different parts of Bangladesh, leading to massive loss of civilian life. The details of those horrific massacres, in which defenceless people were trapped and machine-gunned, is part of Bangladeshi history. Survivors compare it to the Nazi extermination of Jews.
At the same time, the Pakistani Administration in Dhaka thought it could pacify the Bengali peasantry by appropriating the land of the Hindu population and gifting it to Muslims. While this did not impress the peasantry, it led to the exodus of more than eight million refugees (more than half of them Hindus) to neighbouring India. West Bengal was the worst affected by the refugee problem and the Indian government was left holding the enormous burden. Repeated appeals by the Indian government failed to elicit any response from the international community and by April 1971, the then Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, decided that the only solution lay in helping the Bengali freedom fighters, especially the Mukti Bahini, to liberate East Pakistan, which had already been re-christened Bangladesh by its people. Pakistan felt it could dissuade India from helping the Mukti Bahini by being provocative. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in East Pakistan took to attacking suspected Mukti Bahini camps located inside Indian Territory in the state of West Bengal. In the Western and Northern sectors too, occasional clashes, some of them quite bloody, took place. Pakistan suggested that should India continue with its plans it should expect total war as in 1965. Only this time, the Pakistanis would concentrate their forces in the West and thereby aim at capturing as much as Indian Territory as possible. The Indians, on the other hand, would be fighting a war on two fronts (while at the same time keeping a watchful eye on the Chinese borders). Given this scenario, the Pakistanis felt that India at best would be able to capture some territory in East Pakistan and lose quite a bit in the West. In the end, the Pakistanis knew that the Western powers would intervene to stop the war and what would matter was who had the most of the other's territory. Confident that another war would be as much of a stalemate as the 1965 Conflict, the Pakistanis got increasingly bold and finally on Dec. 3, 1971, reacted with a massive coordinated air strike on several Indian Air Force stations in the West. At midnight, the Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, in a broadcast to the nation declared that India was at war with Pakistan. As her words came on in million of Indian homes across the Subcontinent, the men at the front were already engaged in bitter combat...
The war lasted for 13 days precisely. To cut a long story short, the Pakistan Army in the East surrendered on Dec. 16, and on Dec. 17 India declared a cease-fire.
The Mother’s position
Let us now look at the position of the Mother regarding the Bangladesh problem. On 4th April, just 7 days after the crackdown, Mother sent a message to Indira Gandhi, "The urgent recognition of Bangladesh is imperative."
Sometime later, in June 1971, The Mother had written in a letter to a disciple:
La disparition du Pakistan est inevitable; elle aurait pu deja se produire, mais l’ignorance humaine l’a retardee.
The English translation is as follows:
The disappearance of Pakistan is inevitable; this could have already happened, but human ignorance has retarded it.
As already seen, the conflict had its genesis in March when the Pakistani President and his tough military regime, moved to crush the East Pakistani movement for greater autonomy, outlawed the Awami League, which had just won a majority in the nation's first free election, arrested its leader, Sheik Mujibur Rahman, and launched a repressive campaign that turned into a civil war with East Pakistan's Bengalis fighting to set up an independent Bangla Desh (Bengal Nation).
Nearly 1,000,000 people were killed and 10 million refugees streamed into India. "We have borne the heaviest of burdens," Mrs. Gandhi said, "and withstood the greatest of pressure in a tremendous effort to urge the world to help in bringing about a peaceful solution and preventing the annihilation of an entire people whose only crime was to vote democratically. But the world ignored the basic causes and concerned itself only with certain repercussions. Today the war in Bangla Desh has become a war on India."
Mrs Indira Gandhi had visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram to meet the Mother a few times. The first time was in September 1955 with her father, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who was then Prime Minister of India. Later she came to the Ashram in 1969 just after Shri V.V Giri became the President of India. Her third visit was in February 1971 before the general elections. It is reported that she sought Mother’s blessings for the election and she won a thumping victory getting more than two thirds of the seats.
Almost immediately after being sworn in as Prime Minister of India, the crisis in East Pakistan erupted. Within days of the onset of the crisis, Mother sent a message to Mrs Indira Gandhi on 4 April: "The urgent recognition of Bangladesh is imperative."
The Mother’s role
We shall now turn our attention to the role played by the Mother through the instrumentation of an officer of the Indian Army. Lt Col PC Bhalla was a Signal Officer and had been a disciple of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo since the early 50s. During the Bangladesh war, he was posted in the Eastern Command in Calcutta and was the Signal officer in charge of Intelligence. He had direct access to Lt General Jacob who was then Chief of Staff, Eastern Command. At that time the Eastern Army Commander was Lt General Jagjit Singh Arora. General Sam Manekshaw who was the previous Eastern Army Commander was now the Chief of Army Staff.
It was quite well known in some circles that Mother had sent a message to Mrs Indira Gandhi asking her to recognise Bangladesh. But for some reasons Mrs Gandhi could not recognise Bangladesh immediately as that would have meant war with Pakistan and the Army was not quite prepared for it.
Yet Mrs Indira Gandhi was eager to recognise Bangladesh. So, sometime in April, she called a cabinet meeting to which General Manekshaw was invited. As we shall see from the following interview of General Manekshaw, the Army was not prepared for a war immediately.
"Mrs Indira Gandhi telling Maneckshaw, "Look at this, - so many are coming in -there is a telegram from the Chief Minister of Assam, a telegram from… What are you doing about it?", she said to me.
I said nothing. What has it got to do with me?
She said, "Can't you do something? "Can’t you do something? Why don’t you do something?"
"What do you want me to do?"
"I want you to march in".
I said, "that means war". And she said, "I don’t mind if it is war".
So I sat down and said, "Have you read the Bible?"
Sardar Swaran Singh said. "What has the Bible got to do with it?"
"In the First Book, The First Chapter, the First Paragraph of the Bible, God said, ‘Let there be Light’ and there was light. So you feel, Let there be war and there shall be war. Are you ready? I certainly am not ready".
Then I said, "I will tell you what is happening? It is now the end of April. In a few days’ time the monsoon will break and in East Pakistan, when it rains, the rivers become like oceans. If you stand on one side, you can't see the other. I would be confined to the roads. The Air Force would not be able to support me and the Pakistanis would thrash me - that’s one. Secondly my armoured divisions, is in the Babina area, another one in Secunderabad. We are now harvesting. I will require every vehicle, every truck, all the road space, all the railway space to move my soldiers and you will not be able to move our crops" and I turned to Fakruddin Ali Ahmed, the Agriculture Minister and said, " If there is famine in India, they will blame you. I would not be there to take the blame". Then I turned around and said, "My armoured division which is supposed to be my strike force has got 12 tanks which are operational out of the whole lot".
Chavan asked, ‘Sam, why only 12?’
I said, "Sir, because you are the Finance Minister. I have been asking, pleading for months and you said that you have got no money. That’s why".
Then I said, "Prime Minister, if in 1962 your father had asked me as Army Chief and not General Thapar and your father had said, ‘Throw the Chinese out’, I would have turned around and told him. ‘Look, there are problems’. Now I am telling you what the problems are. If you still want me to go ahead, Prime Minister, I will guarantee you 100% defeat. Now, give me your orders".
Then Jagjeevan Ram said, "Sam, Maan Jao Na".
I said, "I have given my professional view now. Now the Government must take a decision" .
The Prime Minister did not say anything, she was red in the face and said, ‘Achcha, char baje milenge’.
Everybody walked out, I, being the junior most, was the last to leave and I smiled at her. "Chief, sit down".
So, I said, " Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, do you want me to send in my resignation on the grounds of mental health or physical?’"
She said, "Oh, sit down Sam. Everything you told me is true".
"Yes. Look it is my job to fight. It is my job to fight to win. Are you ready? I certainly am not ready. Have you internally got everything ready? Internationally have you got everything ready? I don't think so. I know what you want, but I must do it in my own time and I guarantee you 100 percent success. But I want to make it quite clear. There must be one commander. I don't mind, I will work under the BSF, under the CRPF, under anybody you like. But I will not have a Soviet telling me what to do and I must have one political master who will give me instructions. I do not want the refugee ministry, home ministry, defence ministry all telling me. Now make up your mind."
She said, 'All right Sam, nobody will interfere, you will be in command.'
However, Lt Col Bhalla was not at all happy with the situation and was very disturbed that India had not yet recognised Bangladesh. Being close to Gen Jacob, he spoke to him several times without any result. So he wrote to Shri Madhav Pandit, one of the secretaries of the Mother about his feelings. In June he came to Pondicherry and had a darshan of the Mother. No words were exchanged but he felt a little more relaxed and at peace.
On his return to Calcutta, he spoke once again to Gen Arora and Gen Jacob asking them to invade Bangladesh. This time too there was no apparent result.
In August Lt Col Bhalla came to Pondicherry once again, this time with his family and had a darshan of the Mother. Mother blessed them all very sweetly and asked Panditji to tell Bhalla to come again the next day for darshan, this time all by himself. On the second darshan, Mother looked at him long and concentrated on him and gave him a sweet smile and her blessings.
After coming down from Mother’s room, Madhav Pandit made a remark to Lt Col Bhalla: "Now the work will be done".
Bhalla returned to Calcutta charged with great energy and a lot of hope. But he found that the commanders were all a bit depressed and lacking in confidence on the situation as it was developing in East Bengal.
Charged with energy and almost a sense of mission, he spoke to General Arora and General Jacob and asked them to write to Mother. He told them that it was Mother’s war and all they needed to do was to pass on their problems to the Mother. In the meanwhile he wrote to Panditji requesting him to send a few blessing packets. These packets were duly sent to Lt Col Bhalla who gave them to five senior generals of the Eastern Command, namely: Lt Gen Arora, Lt Gen Jacob, Lt Gen Raina, Lt Gen Sagat Singh, and the Commander of 4 Corps.
It seems that Lt Gen Jacob, while talking to Col Bhalla saw the ring with Sri Aurobindo’s symbol on his hand and found it similar to the Jewish symbol. He was impressed and that prompted him to write to the Mother. Later Col Bhalla asked Panditji to send five more blessing packets. These were duly passed on to Brigadier Sethna who was the BGS, Lt General Sen, Lt General Hira and 2 other generals. As a result of all this, there was suddenly a feeling of confidence that began to grow in the Eastern Army.
We quote from a book of Maj Gen KK Tiwari, who was then the Chief Signals Officer in Eastern Command:
"It was in the third quarter of 1971, I must have been in a reflective mood one day in my office, when one of my officers, a Lt Col Bhalla - who had received his training for Signals on commissioning under me, came to see me. He asked why I was so pensive and worried, which he said was unusual for me. By that time I had been told of Top Secret Plans in outline. So I said to him, "Chum, one cannot share these things with you at present but if you had some of the problems I am facing with no solutions in sight, and when you have been given a definite no to your requests for help by all concerned, and yet you have responsibilities to discharge, you too would be more pensive." He was very quick in his reply - he had obviously come prepared for this, being a long time devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. He said," Sir, you are my old instructor, so I should not be advising you. But I have a humble submission. Whatever your worries and problems, write to the Mother in Pondicherry and ask for Her blessings and all will be well."
I did not accept the suggestion immediately. Sri Aurobindo, of course, was no more, and I hesitated a little to ask for blessings from His French lady successor. But on deeper reflection, a brief letter was sent to the Mother seeking Her blessings for my (unspecified) work. In a few days a blessings packet was received from Her. Unknown to others the same officer had gone around to almost all the top brass of HQ Eastern Command from the Army Commander on down to other heads of staff and Arms and Services like me, and we had all received the Mother’s blessings. And it was amazing how the problems began to get resolved in a strange and inexplicable way. What appeared at first as hurdles, would clear up somehow.
For the first time in its history, a regular, well organised and a much better equipped army laid down arms before the Indian Army, in an unconditional surrender on 16 December 1971 in Dacca. There were nearly 95,000 fully armed Pakistani soldiers under their commander in Chief, Lt Gen Niazi who formally surrendered to Lt Gen Aurora. I believe it was an external latent ‘force’ which came into action for India’s help; I prefer to refer to it as the ‘Divine’ intervention."
As is evident from the above description, Lt Col Bhalla had by this time got many blessing packets from Pondicherry and had distributed them to senior officers in the Eastern Army.
In September, the photographs of Gen Arora and Gen Bhalla were sent to the Mother. She saw the photos and sent blessings to them. It will be of interest to note that Gen Jacob carries the blessing packet even today with him in his pocket. Another interesting point was that the Mother had asked for a map of Bangladesh sometime in October and she kept it on her table in front of her. She concentrated daily on that map.
Things were hotting up on the Eastern front. Sometime in the end of November, General Arora called Lt Col Bhalla and informed him that the Indian Army was planning to attack East Pakistan on 5 December and that he wanted Mother’s blessings. Col Bhalla as usual, asked him write a letter to the Mother. Lt Gen Arora wrote a letter explaining briefly the position and asked Lt Col Bhalla to take it to Pondicherry and hand it over to the Mother. As a result, on 30 November Lt Col Bhalla was flown to Chennai by a special aircraft and then driven to Pondicherry in a car. He reached Pondicherry and the letter was read out to the Mother by Madhav Pandit on 1 December. Mother wrote Her blessings in the same letter to General Arora.
Col Bhalla took that letter and returned to Calcutta on the morning of the 3rd December. However, General Arora said that he had forgotten to write something in that letter - he was apprehensive about the international reaction, since we would be branded the aggressors if we attacked first. But most miraculously that very same evening, Pakistan attacked India on the western front with her planes and the war had started. India was thus saved the embarrassment of having to be called the aggressor.
The rest is history and is well known to the world. However, it might be pertinent to put in a comment made by the Mother after the ceasefire was announced on December 16.
This is what she said:
"Again, it won’t be for this time.
It won’t be done that way. I’ve seen how. It won’t be done through battle: the different parts of Pakistan will demand separation. There are five of them. And by separating, they will join India – to from a sort of confederation. That’s how it will be done."
We conclude this article by reproducing the letter written by Mrs Indira Gandhi to Mother after the war in December.
Letter received by Mother in December 1971 from Mrs Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India.
Revered Mother,
Through these critical months I have thought constantly of you. I can find no words with which to express my gratitude for your support. Your blessings are a great source of strength. Our difficulties are not over. The American administration is most upset that its calculations were so completely wrong, and they will use their power to try to humble us and specially to create division between Bangladesh and ourselves.
I think our nation has taken a step towards maturity. Yet there are many who look only to today. If India is to be great we must improve the quality of the minds of our people. I know that this is your desire. In my humble way, I am trying to do what I can.
With respectful regards,

Yours sincerely,
Indira Gandhi
Mother’s reply:
To Indira
With blessings
India must be proud of your leadership.
Let the country take its true place in the world for showing the way towards the supreme Truth.
With love

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sri Aurobindo Medical Association Meet: 8th & 9th September, 2007

e-mail Mob: 09437021554
Esteemed Members of Sri Aurobindo Medical Association, Dear Sri Aurobindo Health Squad members, Respected Zonal, District, Block Convenors of the Dasakarmadhara,
Please accept our happy greetings. The 18th All Orissa Conference of the Sri Aurobindo Medical Association will be held this year . The following facts to keep in mind:
Dates: 8TH & 9TH SEPTEMBER, 2007
Topics for General Session on 9th evening are:
i) 'Consciousness and joint problems' by Dr. Biranchi Narayan Mohapatra
ii) "Supramentalised Plasticity" by C H Nirakar
Pre-Congress symposium on 8th Afternoon: " Alternative Medicine in Joint Problems". Eminent and experienced physicians in the field like Dr. L.K. Nanda, Dr. P.K. Panda, Dr. P.K. Das, Baba Bighna Narayan and Dr. Iswar Chandra Mohapatra will be participating in this symposium.
A galaxy of eminent learned and experienced, physicians and orthopedic surgeons have given their consent to address the congress also on 'Modern Medicine in Joint Problems' on 9th September on several important relevant topics. The speakers are Dr. Nityanada Swain, Dr. Bidyut Kumar Das, Dr Uday Nath Misra, Dr Madan Mohan Sahoo, Dr. Jayant Kumar Panda and Dr. Patitapaban Mohanty.
Another highlight of the conference is that there will be treatment stations of free 'Acupressure' and 'Pranic healing' in joint problems to be conducted by experts in the field. Free 'Bone Density testing' also will be done .
Souvenir Topics on the theme, in the form of question/answer format, in Oriya as well as English are invited. They are to be sent to Dr. Shyama Kanungo, Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack-753013; e-mail: by first week of August, 2007.
Delegate Fee for 2 days are Rs.10/- for Sri Aurobindo Study Circle Members, Rs. 50/- for Members of Sri Aurobindo Medical Association, No charges for Sri Aurobindo Health Squad trainees, Rs. 25/- for students of Medical Colleges of any discipline, Rs. 100/- for non-member Doctors of any discipline.
Looking forward to your participation in the conference.
Yours in the service of the Mother
Dr. Babulu Pattanayak, Dr. Sudhir Brahma, Dr. Shyama Kanungo
State Convenor & Secretary, Working President, S.A.M.A, President, S.A.M.A

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Auroville Today March 2007

Archive copies Auroville Experience The current issue March 2007
Editorial: In mid January, the Matrimandir was temporarily closed to speed up the completion of the final work on the structure. This meant completing the ramps, the inner skin and the outer doors, in addition to a few minor details. The intention was to ‘unveil' the finished building on the 21st February, the 36th anniversary of the beginning of the Matrimandir excavation. However, despite the heroic efforts of the workers, not all the tasks were completed by the deadline. Nevertheless, Auroville Today decided this would be a good opportunity to speak to Aurovilians and workers who have long been connected with the construction to find out what the Matrimandir means to them and what the imminent completion of the structure may signify.
Read about the views of Roger Anger, Piero, Narad, Alain Grandcolas, Loganathan, Shanmugam, Lakshminarayan, Manavalan, Kumar, Andy, Michael Bonke and Ruud Lohman. The March issue further reports on the meeting of the Auroville International Advisory Council and its proposal that Auroville has an executive leadership; and on the reconstitution of the Funds and Assets Management Committee by the Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation. It also carries extracts from a talk by Ervin Laszlo, former member of the Auroville International Advisory Council; and reports on the Jean Monnet exhibition in New Delhi and the workshop on Awakening creative entrepreneurship workshop. Last but not least there are the views of Israeli sabras in Auroville; an article how the Koreans celebrate their culture; and the views of the 6-year olds from the Nandaman Kindergarten on “Kids' city Auroville” Here follow a few of the articles. We wish you happy reading. Please subscribe if you want to read more, or ask for a free copy. Details are elsewhere on this web page.
Some recent issues: February 2007
January and February is the high season in Auroville for visitors and guests. 5000 visitors a day pass through the Visitors Centre and all the guest houses and spaces are full. How does Auroville cope with this influx, particularly in respect to the main attraction, the Matrimandir? What are the kinds of things visitors want to know? How well does Auroville receive them? Can we, should we, do more? The February issue of Auroville Today gives perspectives on this issue, which is becoming all the more relevant now that The Matrimandir is on the verge of being finished.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

An important section of Orissa has turned to Sri Aurobindo for its inspiration and a new Orissa is emerging

Towards her, our knowledge climbs-- Sri Aurobindo
Inaugural Speech by Dr. M. V. Nadkarni on 4th April, 2007
People sitting at the back, if you can not hear me, please raise your hands, I am not going to speak in Oriya, I am going to speak to you in English now that the power supply has come back, although a little while ago, it was gone. You will be quite surprised to know the reason why the electrical supply was temporarily gone.
The reason was that as I was sitting here waiting for the power supply to come back, I had time to realise how important this occasion was and how little qualified I was to perform this role of inaugurating Sri Aurobindo University. Besides, to my utter consternation, I also realised how little prepared I was to give the kind of an oration one is expected to give on an occasion like this. So, the Mother arranged for me a 10-minute break, so that I could gather some thoughts appropriate for the occasion and also think of some of the passages from SAVITRI which I could use on this occasion. That was the reason why the power supply got cut off for a brief t0 minutes. I am convinced it was the Mother’s arrangement.
Let me begin by saying that I am very happy to be in Dalijoda. I have been here before and I hope I will continue to come here often in the future as well. I have spoken to many national and international audiences about Dalijoda and the great work you have been doing here, almost unknown to the world. However, I had no idea that Dalijoda had this future of being the home of Sri Aurobindo university that is being inaugurated today, and I am very happy to be a torch bearer in this march towards the future. I am very happy that the messages received by the organisers for this occasion have mentioned with gratitude Sri Prappattiji & Sri Babaji Maharaj, whose dream it was to start a University here. There was also a reference to the fact that it was they who had originally chosen Dalijoda as the seat of this university. To me this is a clear signal that the university dreamt of by Babaji Maharaj and Prapattiji will certainly be a reality sooner than we expect it to come up.
The surroundings of this place may now look quite unfavourable to the starting of a university. But let us not be despondent and be deceived by surface appearances; Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have always chosen the most impossible conditions as the arena of their work. Take for example, Pondicherry, a neglected coastal town until sri Aurobindo landed thee in 1910, full of mosquitoes, where the weather is only hot, hotter and hottest, as the saying goes. If they wanted to start an Ashram in a peaceful place, where the climate was salubrious and comfortable, they could have gone to any number of other places and started the Ashram there. But they did not. French India was in some respects immersed in greater inertia than British India. So to bring down the new light, they chose probably the most unlikely place that Pondicherry then was. For building Auroville, they chose a place, where for hundreds of years, the rain had washed off the top soil rendering the land just a barren wilderness, a waste land. Nothing could really grow on that land except some miserable-looking wild shrubs. But what a transformation already! Auroville and its surroundings are already the greenest stretches of land in Tamilnadu save the forest areas. And what kind of people did they choose to build this township of the future, this “city of dawn”? People like you and me drawn from many parts of the world. It was like the great Sri Rama trying to build a land-bridge across the sea between India and Sri Lanka, and this task was then given to monkeys. In the case of Auroville, the people chosen to build it were not very different and yet Auroville is growing everyday in spite of the many human failures of people who took upon themselves to build the city and the resistance from the adverse forces. One of the distinguishing features of any institution set up by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, is that if defies all mental calculation, as Auroville has and Sri Aurobindo Ashram has.
Do not calculate from the mind. If you want to calculate from the mind and build an institution, which the mind approves of, you should go to America or to England. But if you want to build an institution keeping yourself open to the light of the spirit, then you have to do it in a different way. Now in one of the messages received for this occasion, the gentleman who sent the message said that he was happy that, one more Sri Aurobindo university was coming up. My earnest prayer to the Divine is that, let this not be one more Sri Aurobindo University. There can not be many Sri Aurobindo Universities; there can be only one, and that university may not have a specific geographical location. Very often people ask you, do you have any blue print for this university? Have you made any plans? Do you know about the facilities that are going to be provided at this new university? Do you know what kinds of buildings are going to be built for this university? My answer to all these questions is that it is better not to know the answers to all these questions in very much in advance. You see that if there is too much light from the outside, then you tend to switch off the inner light. But if there is darkness everywhere and you have to walk the path, you have to light up the inner lamp. This is particularly true of spiritual enterprises. And this university that is going to come up here, will, I hope, depend entirely on this inner light – the light that is received from Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
This is not going to be a university which will seeks contribute something to science, to engineering, to agriculture and so on. We have universities which have been doing this, some outstanding examples being Harvard, Princeton, Cambridge, to name a few. These are some of the best universities the mental civilization has produced. They have produced some of the most distinguished people. But please remember that directly or indirectly it is these universities which are responsible for the condition of the world to day. You know that the five permanent members of the United Nation are producing 90% of the world's armaments. If there are wars to fight, you have a wide choice of weaponry available to you. You can buy American arms, French arms, British arms, German arms, Russian arms, now may be even Chinese arms. It there is destruction, devastation, economic exploitation and denial human rights, ecological devastation in any part of the world, you can be sure that it is all brought about directly or indirectly by the products of these universities. Of course these are wonderful institutions of higher learning.. Science and technology have been developed by these universities in a spectacular manner for which we are all in awe and admiration of them. But have we paused to ask what ultimate use is made of all this science, how much of it is used for the upliftment of man, and how much for his enslavement, for denying him a decent living, and a chance to live a dignified life in freedom? Poor countries are enslaved by rich countries with the help of science, technology, globalised commerce and political gangsterism. These rich countries in their turn are enslaved by their individual ego, national ego, ideological ego, and in more recent years even by religious ego. This is the game that is going on. And I do not want the university that is going to be inaugurated here today to be another Harvard or another Oxford in this sense.
This has to be a different kind university since it is to be named after Sri Aurobindo, who stood for a light higher than that of the intellect. Sri Aurobindo has pointed out, as you all know, that this movement for the higher light that shoots beyond the mind to higher levels of consciousness began in India in its modern phrase with Sri Ramakrishna. It began symbolically at the moment when Swami Vivekananda, who symbolized the intellect trained by the West bowed down and touched Ramakrishna’s feet and surrendered to him. It symbolized the surrender of the mental consciousness to a supramental consciousness. Over the last one hundred years this trend has been loly growing and spreading all over the world.
Sri Aurobindo comes after Ramakrishna to take this upward ascent of the human consciousness many notches higher. He and the Mother devoted their lives in exploring this entire range of consciousness above that of the mind. They discovered that the highest of this range of consciousnesses is the supermind. This is, according to them, the next level to which the consciousness in man has to rise if we wish to go beyond our present frustrating existence bound to death, suffering, and incapacity. In other words the human effort to rise to the consciousness of the Supermind is not a purely an academic or philosophic enterprise. It is the work of works that man has to undertake, more important than finding larger sources of energy, more important than any technological innovation, more important than conquering diseases and increasing the span of human life, etc. The very survival of the human species may depend on how we rise to this evolutionary challenge.
This discovery of the Supermind and what it signifies was not the result of Sri Aurobindo’s armchair philosophizing. It came to him from his yogic realization. All the other crises threatening humanity today are the results of this fundamental evolutionary crisis, which finds man trapped in the fishbowl of his mind. This call for man to rise beyond the mental consciousness was the central message of Sri Aurobindo’s life and vision. It finds an impassioned expression in the following passage from Savitri:
“O Force-compelled, Fate-driven earth-born race,
O petty adventurers in an infinite world
And prisoners of a dwarf humanity,
How long will you tread the circling tracks of mind
Around your little self and petty things?
But not for a changeless littleness were you meant,
Not for vain repetition were you built;
Out of the Immortal's substance you were made;
Your actions can be swift revealing steps,
Your life a changeful mould for growing gods.
A Seer, a strong Creator, is within,
The immaculate Grandeur broods upon your days,
Almighty powers are shut in Nature's cells.
A greater destiny waits you in your front:
This transient earthly being if he wills
Can fit his acts to a transcendent scheme.
He who now stares at the world with ignorant eyes
Hardly from the Inconscient's night aroused,
That look at images and not at Truth,
Can fill those orbs with an immortal's sight.
Yet shall the godhead grow within your hearts,
You shall awake into the spirit's air
And feel the breaking walls of mortal mind
And hear the message which left life's heart dumb
And look through Nature with sun-gazing lids
And blow your conch-shells at the Eternal's gate.
Authors of earth's high change, to you it is given
To cross the dangerous spaces of the soul
And touch the mighty Mother stark awake
And meet the Omnipotent in this house of flesh
And make of life the million-bodied One.
The earth you tread is a border screened from heaven;
The life you lead conceals the light you are. (Savitri; page 370)

There is a new light, a new knowledge which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have not only discovered but have also made accessible to human beings by bringing it down on earth. This is the power that you need to realize on earth. Liberty, equality and fraternity, the glorious ideals of western liberalism have so far remained only slogans and where there has been an attempt to realize them, the effort has been botched up hopelessly, making it look as though equality and liberty are incompatible. We need to give back to these mantric concepts of the French revolution the spiritual content which is missing from them. This is not possible unless man acquires the powers and the truth of the Supramental consciousness. We have now to build a university which will enable us to receive in us the new knowledge with its power; they have already come down on earth, as the Mother has assured us, and it is eagerly awaiting competent recipients.
The first thing we have to do is to ensure that everybody associated with this university is a seeker of truth, a yogi; a yogi is one who not only seeks the truth of a new consciousness but lives it. Those who have made the deliberate choice of coming to this university primarily for this inner growth, will flock to this university, whether as an educational facilitator normally known as the teacher, or an administrator or a technocrat or a seeker we normally call a student. This university will aim at bringing them all together in an ardent aspiration and give them a chance to bathe under the cascading waters of the light of the new consciousness.
Who will build such a university? Let us not worry too much about this. This is not our project, this is not a human project. This is one of the Divine’s own projects. And I am sure that these “Omnipotent’s flaming pioneers” will come. They have already been described by Sri Aurobindo who has seen them “crowding down the amber stairs of birth”
The sun-eyed children of a marvellous dawn, The great creators with wide brows of calm, The massive barrier-breakers of the world And wrestlers with destiny in her lists of will, The labourers in the quarries of the gods, The messengers of the Incommunicable, The architects of immortality. (Savitri: pages 343-44)

Where are these people? Let us not be in a hurry to build this university, this is not a project of 15 years or 20 years: this is not that type of project. We don’t want just a modern, state-of-the-art version of an old fiasco. This is God’s own protect. He will take his own time to find the right people, He will find the right organization, and He will find the right modes of instruction, the right teachers, right curriculum. And these things will come from above if you have the capacity to receive this downpour. If it does not come from above, if you sit down and try to work it out with your mind, you will only produce another university of the Harvard or Cambridge type; we have enough and more of these already. We don’t have to build one more. Even if we tried to build one more such university, we will not succeed in doing so in this backwoods of Orissa. We want a totally different kind of university.
We have now seen how it will come. We should not be despondent on that ground. This understanding is crucial to the building of the new university. The Mother has said somewhere something to this effect: "Give me your consciousness, give me your capacities, I will transform them, I will fill them up with my power, with my knowledge, with my wisdom, with my consciousness”. It is this kind of university that we are hoping to build here.
There is often a debate in our country what education would be best for our universities today. Shall we go back to the educational lore of ancient India and teach what it had to teach and shun the modern world? Often there is a wrong perception that to be spiritual is to return to the past and revive it and relive it. Sri Aurobindo was second to none in holding that a true national education had to be modern and up to date in its content. The real issue is not a choice between modernism and antiquity, but between an imported civilisation and the greater possibilities of the Indian mind and nature, not between the present and the past but between the present and the future. We seek not to return to the fifth century but to initiate the centuries to come. We do not seek to revert our past but take a step or more forward from the present artificial falsity towards India’s own greater innate potentialities. That step is demanded by the world, as well as by the Shakti of India.
As you all know, India is called the guru of the world, but from this we should not draw the conclusion that Indians are the Gurus of the world. It has become very fashionable for Indian men of wisdom to go on a world tour as often as they can manage it. One of the real great men who had so much to offer and yet did not go on any such world tour was Sri Aurobindo. The more and more he got from above, the more and more he went into isolation. This is what he wanted us to realize. The first thing necessary for us is to make our country as close to our ideal as possible. Your country should be a laboratory where you have tried out successfully the wisdom you preach to the world. When your country has achieved an all round development, when in your country nobody is lacking in food and education or the basic necessities of life, when there is no exploitation of the weak by the strong, when no body is discriminated against on the grounds of birth, sex, religion and ethnicity, people from all over the world will come here and ask you how you have managed to perfect individual and social life in your country to such a high degree? How did you achieve what none of us has? Otherwise what often happens is that we declare ourselves experts in agriculture and yet our families do not have enough to eat. So what kind of agricultural expert are you? You can not raise a decent crop in your own field, enough for your children to eat, and yet you presume to have the expertise to teach about agriculture to other people! When you find that your crop is the richest crop, your harvest is the most abundant harvest, all the neighboring farmers will come and ask you how you did this"? So our first responsibility is to build this country.
We have to rebuild this country and for our inspiration in this task we must go to Sri Aurobindo, India’s real Bhagya Vidhata. I was speaking in Kolkata the other day when I told my audience that at one time Kolkata was preeminent in many cultural and intellectual fields in India. It has lost that pre-eminence today. The only way they can regain the lost ground, is to claim Sri Aurobindo once again. An important section of Orissa has turned to Sri Aurobindo for its inspiration and a new Orissa is emerging. In this respect, Bengal has to learn from Orissa, and once again claim Sri Aurobindo as their own. That will set in motion a powerful renaissance in West Bengal and help it regain its pre-eminent position in our national life.
This new University that we are dreaming about, will be our golden bridge for achieving two goals – one, to build for the state and the country a rich, opulent and modern outer life and the other to make that an expression of a higher consciousness. For achieving both these we need to do the enabling sadhana and the university will aim at being an ideal place for such a sadhana. This will be a place where people will keep continuously offering themselves to the Mother, will try to be constantly open to Her and be ready to receive what she pours down into them. When the Mother’s force comes down and you are capable of receiving it in the adhara of your mind, you will have an illumined intellect. If you can receive that force in your body, it will undergo the needed transformation. Similarly your life-force, your emotions, every part of your being, to the extent it is open, will undergo a transformation, and we will go on to discover
A new mind and body in the city of God
And enshrine the Immortal in his glory's house
And make the finite one with Infinity. (Savitri: Page: 72)
I am hoping that in this new university, the presiding deity will be the Spirit.. where everything will be done under the guidance and inspiration of the spirit. But if that does not happen, and if you go the western way, go merely the way of science and technology as the human mind has been directing it, we will eventually end up building a very efficient, and glistening Asuric civilization. This is not a just a question of you and me, this is a question of the entire future mankind. For that future of mankind, the building up of University, this University of Spirit, where everything will be done under the inspiration of the Spirit, under the inspiration of a higher life is necessary. It is a necessity not only for Dalijoda, or for Orissa, or for India alone, but for the whole of humanity. This is my dream of a new University.
Earlier we heard Dr Shyama reciting an inspiring passage from Savitri, I was very moved to listen to her reading. It was a very inspirational kind of reading. And I am happy to see that many people now are reading Savitri the way it should be read. I do not know whether I will be able to give you such an inspirational kind of reading today, but I shall try. I shall read to you a passage describing Aswapati standing at the height of the intellectual mind and looking around. He sees clearly that no matter what we create from this mind, it is going to end, ultimately, in futility.
The world seemed a long aeonic failure's scene:
All sterile grew, no base was left secure.
Assailed by the edge of the convicting beam
The builder Reason lost her confidence
In the successful sleight and turn of thought
That makes the soul the prisoner of a phrase.
Its highest wisdom was a brilliant guess,
Its mighty structured science of the worlds
A passing light on being's surfaces.
There was nothing there but a schema drawn by sense,
A substitute for eternal mysteries,
A scrawl figure of reality, a plan
And elevation by the architect Word
Imposed upon the semblances of Time.
Existence' self was shadowed by a doubt;
Almost it seemed a lotus-leaf afloat
On a nude pool of cosmic Nothingness.
This great spectator and creator Mind
Was only some half-seeing's delegate,
A veil that hung between the soul and Light,
An idol, not the living body of God. (Savitri; page 286).
Therefore Aswapathy feels that he should seek a new light, a new consciousness to build a new world. This would be a world whose foundation came from another level, another consciousness.
Recently Bill Clinton, the former president of U.S.A., a very pragmatic man, was at the World Economic Forum, that is held once a year, in a place called Davos in Switzerland. This Forum brings together most of the leading industrialists, scientists, leading universities Professors, leading politicians, etc. to discuss the problems facing our world. Clinton was answering some questions from a a panel and one of the questions asked to him was "Sir, what do you think are the two most problems facing us today? In reply Bill Clinton said "The first problem is the climate change we have been experiencing for some time now; the climate all over the world is deteriorating so fast , that in twenty five years from now we will see this world greatly devastated by various man-made calamities brought about by climate changes. Already the level of the sea water is rising and it is quite possible in the next twenty years, the level of sea water may rise by 15 to 20 feet inundating some of the densely populated areas in the world. This is because all the ice caps are melting, and the temperature of the world is rising because of the green house gas effect from the industrial emissions and the emissions from our cars. One of the main contributors to this effect is the cars that we ride. We want to have five cars in front of our house, at least one for wach member of the family, and one for special occasions!. That is everybody's dream and you will have to be prepared for the consequent natural disasters caused by the emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from these cars The world may be destroyed by our own greed for a better standard of living.
What then was the second problem identified by Clinton? The second problem is the problem of problems, the mother of all problems; there are so many political, religious, ecomomic conflicts in the world today for which we do not have solutions yet, and we are not in sight of any either. The newspapers report of conflicts going on between Israel and Palestine, between Islamic countries and the western world, conflicts within and between several African counries, not to forget problems between India and Pakistan We try to find mental solutions to these problems and we have failed to solve any of these problems. Our experts at the various universities are trying hard to find solutions to these problems. These problems have no mental solutions because these conflicts themselves are the creations of our mind. Applying these mental solutions is no more than applying first aid. The pain will be reduced for a while. But then the problem will reappear in a more tangled form, and then we will have no solution at all. Then Clinton was asked "Sir, what then do you think would be a possible solution?" Bill Clinton has not been yet been to Pondicherry. And yet, he gave an answer which gave ample indication that he has come under the influence of Sri Aurobindo, in however an indirect manner, may be through the writings of Ken Wilbur and others in the U.S. He said somewhat hesitatingly that the only solution to many of the problems the world is facing today seems to lie in raising the level of the human consciousness. Raising the human consciousness! Who said this first? We all know Sri Aurobindo said this. When did he say this? Ninety years ago. And what have we made of it? Precious little.
Please don't think that Sri Aurobindo is working only for us, for his devotees. His devotees are certainly having the privileges and grace of being his devotees. But Sri Aurobindo lived and laboured and gave his all for humanity at large. He has been knocking at the door of every awakened, even half-awakened person in the world. He has already knocked at the door of Bill Clinton, as we have just seen. He is also knocking at the door of our Indian leaders. Some of our leaders are so fast sleep that they cannot here any knock on their door. Sri Aurobindo once said during the forties that he was applying so much force on Indian leaders but most of them suddenly woke up and danced for a few minutes and again went back to sleep. Some of them probably think that it was the knock of consumerism of the American type and so all our young people want to be either in America or bring as much of America as possible into India. I am not talking against America; some of the finest and noblest people in the world are Americans. But America today stands in the popular mind for a certain ideal – the ideal of having one car for everybody, for what may be called the ideal of conspicuous consumption. How many people are we here in India? If India tries to imitate the American model we would be depleting all the energy sources of the world and also devatating it with pollution sooner than most people fear. Some people think that this is a knock is from Mao-Tse-Tung, if not from Stalin. Do you know who Stalin and Mao-Tse-Tung were, and what untold sufferings they brought down on their own people and on others? And some people think that this is a knock from Hindu fundamentalism. Nobody recognises it as Sri Aurobindo's knock. If Bill Clinton has come to appreciate the need for efforts to raise the human consciousness, why are we so apologetic about it? I know many of our intelligentsia will scoff at me for saying this, but I am sure that in another ten years, this slogan will be raised by many of them.
Ladies and gentleman, whether any body knows it or not, we are present at a historic occasion; we are laying today the foundation of aspiration and prayers for Sri Aurobindo University. Even the Orissa government probably has not taken complete note of you yet. But they can not ignore you much longer. 429 schools with 10,000 pathachakras, 5,000 teachers, 60,000 students – you are a great rising wave in Orissa. If I stand for an election in Orissa today in the name of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, I might probably win hands down. As a community of devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, you have done great work already; its fruit may not yet be palpable. You have done the basic work of preparing the tapobhumi, of erecting the yajna vedikas. The Mother is supporting you in your work. Some time ago, I was talking with the chairman of your schools. I see what problems your have gone through during the last several years. Where did you get the money from for all these schools and institutions you have built? How did you manage to draw so many parents and children to these schools? =It happened because it was sanctioned by the Mother. As the famous line in Savitri says, “All can be done of the God-touch is there.” This university for which we have made our sankalpa and offered our prayers today will also come into being in the same manner. Let us not forget what we hope to achieve is not to add our bit to the existing academic disciplines but to create a new physics, a new biology, a new psychology – all that will be needed to establish here a new world, the world of new, Supramental consciousness. . That is our goal, and that is our prayer. If we all pray ardently to the Divine Mother, and sincerely offer ourselves to this great tapasya, She will grant us our prayers. Do not ever doubt that. Let us all pray to Her for this university of our dreams. May She grant it to us in whatever form, in whatever shape, and at whatever time she thinks appropriate.
I am extremely grateful to you, for your patience and for your courtesy to me. But it is getting late and warm. All of you must be getting hungry. Thank you very much. May the Mother be with you always!
Session on: 2/27/2007 at 3:33:10 PM From: Matrubhaban, Cuttack "Gadadhar Mishra"