Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Evolution of science, psychoanalysis, post-colonialism, and man’s relation to Nature

From: "SABDA eNews" mail@sabda.in Subject: Seven Lives and 8 Volumes Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 14:57:29 +0530

In this issue we introduce Seven Dedicated Lives, a book which tells the stories of seven disciples who joined the Ashram in the 1930s and 1940s and who are remembered for their very different contributions to the life of the community. There is Nirodbaran, doctor and scribe to Sri Aurobindo; Tehmi, respected teacher and translator of French and English texts; Rishabhchand, the sadhak chosen by the Mother to write a biography of Sri Aurobindo; Millie, costumier for all the Ashram theatre productions; Krishnalal, artist and Golconde muralist; Mona Pinto, impeccable housekeeper of Golconde and the Ashram's “Mother Christmas”; and Udar, the Mother’s “right-hand man” in countless Ashram projects. In telling their stories the author draws the reader into the atmosphere of the Ashram's early life, when all activity drew inspiration and focus from the presence of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Here is an excerpt from the book that conveys the spirit of those days:

The memorable event of the Ashram life, for which she [Millie-di] will always be remembered, happened in 1948 when the Mother decided that women would wear shorts and do sports. For a while the women had been doing sports in salwar-kameez and later in long trousers but some women had injured themselves when they fell down while playing. Although the Mother had taken the decision that she would ask the women to put on shorts for doing physical activities she did not tell anyone. Millie-di remembered how one day the Mother called her while she was working in her room and told her that she wanted her to do something a bit unusual that afternoon. “Could you put on a pair of shorts and come to the Playground?” she asked her. Millie-di did not even think twice that there was something out of the ordinary. As she had always done, unquestioningly, she went home and borrowed a pair of shorts from a male relative and pulled out a shirt from her husband's wardrobe. She realised that the shirt was far too big for her as her husband was a big man so she stitched it by hand on both sides to make it narrower. When the Mother came to the Playground she asked that the gates be kept shut. There is an internal gate which connects the playground to the house where Millie-di and her family lived. Wearing her borrowed shorts and shirt, she came to the Playground by that gate and stood in front of the Mother. A few other ladies who were usually around the Mother were also there. The Mother looked at her and was satisfied. After that the Mother announced that women would put on shorts and come for Playground activities. …This was way back in the late 1940s and a grown-up woman, in this case a wife and a mother, seen in a pair of shorts was something unheard of....Keeping this in mind it is important to note Millie-di's unquestioning faith and how remarkable it was in that context.

The Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta represent a lifetime of prolific literary activity, beginning with his first published work in 1910 and continuing for seven decades. His essays probe sociological and political problems (volume one), mysticism and poetry (volume two), and Sri Aurobindo’s integral Yoga and philosophy (volumes three and four). The talks on the Mother and her work, the observations and notes on life and yoga, and the numerous translations (volumes five to eight) set off his brilliance as a scholar and his intimate knowledge of the yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The seventh volume also has a section containing Nolini-da’s reminiscences, which are informative and compelling narratives that convey something of his very close relationship with Sri Aurobindo ever since his participation in the swadeshi revolutionary movement, his time in Alipore jail and the court appearances in the bomb trial, his former teachers, the early years in Pondicherry before the Ashram was formally organised, even his enthusiasm for playing football.

As readers are already aware, the paperback edition of the Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta, brought out on the occasion of his birth centenary, is available as a complete set of eight volumes. But now, independent volumes may also be purchased. However, with this option Volume 1 is a hardback edition and Volume 3 is a more recently published, independent paperback edition. The remaining volumes sold independently are from the centenary paperback set. Click on any title listed below to get more details about the individual book.
Vol 1: The Coming Race and Other Essays Vol 2: Essays on Mysticism Vol 3: The Yoga of Sri Aurobindo (Parts 1–7) Vol 4: The Yoga of Sri Aurobindo (Parts 8–12) Vol 5: Light of Lights Vol 6: Sweet Mother Vol 7: Sweet Mother (New Talks) Vol 8: Vedic Hymns
To order any book, click on the title, which will locate the book in our online catalogue. Next, add it to the shopping cart. You may then proceed to pay by credit card online.

Seven Dedicated Lives
— Sunayana Panda ISBN: 978-0-9562923-0-8 Publisher: First Feature Ltd., London, UK Binding: Soft CoverPages: 80 Price: Rs 75
These biographical essays provide glimpses into the lives of seven disciples – Nirodbaran, Tehmi, Rishabhchand, Millie, Krishnalal, Mona Pinto, and Udar –who joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the 1930s and 1940s and played active roles in the life of this spiritual community. The book also includes an article on why Christmas is celebrated in the Ashram. The stories of how these sadhaks and sadhikas were drawn to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the ways in which they dedicated themselves and their work to the ideal set before them are inspirational and exemplary.

In the Perspective of Sri Aurobindo
A Study of Scientific Developments and Contemporary Literary Theory— Dr Nikhil Kumar ISBN: 978-81-86931-42-4 Publisher: Novelty & Co., Patna Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 196 Price: Rs 195
In this critical study the author examines certain areas of intellectual enquiry and perceives the inadequacy of the ruling divisive mental consciousness to move humanity forward in the evolution. He draws broad conclusions about the impact of Sri Aurobindo’s revelation of the supramental consciousness on the evolution of science, psychoanalysis, post-colonialism, and man’s relation to Nature. He also looks at contemporary literary theories and finds a compelling need for a reinterpretation of some of the works of Shakespeare, Keats, and Shelley in the light of the higher consciousness brought down by Sri Aurobindo.

The Goal
— Words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother ISBN: 978-81-7060-280-4 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry Binding: Soft CoverPages: 40Price: Rs 30
Blossoming of Devotion
— Words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother ISBN: 978-81-7060-283-5 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry Binding: Soft CoverPages: 40Price: Rs 30
Mataji ke Vachan (Bhag II)
— The Mother ISBN: 978-81-7058-882-5Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry Binding: Soft CoverPages: 402Price: Rs 180
Sri Aurobinder o Srimar Bani
— Sri Aurobindo ebang Srimayer Lekhar Sankalan Publisher: Jagari, Kolkata Binding: Hard CoverPages: 64Price: Rs 30
Kolkatai Sri Aurobinder Sesh Abash
— Trija Roy Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir, Kolkata Binding: Soft CoverPages: 31Price: Rs 10

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Monday, July 27, 2009

The vision was to have 50,000 Aurovillians

Auroville Governing Board to focus on township development
Rajesh B. Nair The Hindu Monday, Jul 27, 2009 PUDUCHERRY:

The Governing Board of Auroville Foundation met here from July 24 to 26 to discuss issues pertaining to the development of the international town at Auroville.
Board chairman Karan Singh told The Hindu that issues pertaining to the development of the township dominated the deliberations. “Since the construction of Matrimandir is over, our next focus is the development of the international township. There are certain issues pertaining to acquisition of land and availability of fund for development of the township.”
Development of the township was the key to Auroville’s future, he said.
The vision was to have 50,000 Aurovillians. At present, there were 2,000 persons from India and abroad living there.
Dr. Singh said he appealed to Puducherry Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam to constitute a committee for organising an event on April 4, 2010 to mark the centenary of the arrival of Sri Aurobindo in Puducherry.

Members, including Ajoy Bagchi, Ameeta Mehra, Aster Mira Patel, Malini Parthasarathy, Mallika Sarabhai, Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi and the Government of India representative in the Governing Board Amit Khare, Joint Secretary (Planning and UNESCO), Department of Secondary Education and Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, attended the meeting.

Friday, July 03, 2009

AP State Youth Camp at Puducherry: 10 to 13 of June 2009

News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)

Upcoming Events

137th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo: 15 August 2009

The Beach Office of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry

On 15 August 2009, the 137th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo will be observed. On this occasion the following two programmes will be organised at the Society's Beach Office, Puducherry:

On 13 and 14 of August 2009: A two-day programme of talks on the teachings and practice of Sri Aurobindo's Yoga will be held at the Society's Beach office on 13th and 14th of August 2009.

Study Camp by Dr. Alok Pandey on 'Savitri' - 16 to 22 August 2009: Dr. Alok Pandey will conduct Study Sessions in Sri Aurobindo's epic "Savitri" at the Society's Beach Office from 16 to 22 August 2009. As usual, there will be two sessions daily from 5:00 to 5:45 pm and 6:00 to 6:45 pm. All are welcome to attend this programme.

Recent Events

Annual Workshop on Integral Education: 20-27 May 2009

Participants of the Camp

This year's Education Camp-cum-Workshop was organised at the Beach Office from 20 to 27 May 2008. Fifty participants including teachers, principals and educationists from 9 States of the country participated in the Camp. The objective of the Camp was to introduce the principles of Integral Education as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and also how to impart it to the children.

Bringing out the artist within…

A balanced programme of theory and practical aspects, with sessions on various aspects of integral education, especially at KG and primary levels, covering the subjects language development, physical education, character development, sense-training, art, Sanskrit etc., formed the main content of the Camp. There were also visits to the KG section of SAICE, the Ashram's Centre of Education, along with sessions on educational aids, in-house physical education activities for children, and the sublime early morning Sanskrit chanting and the yogic exercises, which added to the dimension of the Camp. There were also special sessions on understanding how a child learns, how to apply integral education in one's available conditions and how one can attempt this transition in a gradual way.

How to tell a story - session by Krishna-di

Developing awareness, through Water…

It was a beautiful experience for all involved, both the resource persons and the participants, as it provided a platform to grow together in the spirit of Integral Education. Many of the participants felt within themselves a change of perspective towards education itself, and all the participants resolved to make a conscious attempt at implementing the vision of Integral Education at their places, in whatever way they can.

AP State Youth Camp at Puducherry: 10 to 13 of June 2009

An Awareness Camp for the Youths of Andhra Pradesh was held from 10 to 13 of June 2009 at Beach Office of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry. About 35 youths, selected by the various Centres and Branches of Sri Aurobindo Society, Andhra Pradesh, participated in the Camp. Shri P.C.Swaroop and C.H. Harshavaradhan co-ordinated the entire camp, with the help of a group youngsters.

The programme included sessions on the Importance of the Sanskrit by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, Character Building by Shivakumar, Message for the youth, learning to sing National Integration songs conducted by Surabhi-di, games of observation and development of senses by Maitreyee, physical exercises by Krishna, observing nature and beauty, Art in the creation by Sushanto, visiting Sri Smriti and other Ashram Departments, participating in collective meditation in playground, and visiting Auroville.

Shri Vijaybhai and Shri B.Venkata Ramaiah conducted the inaugural and concluding sessions, by sharing with the participants the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother for the youth.

Impressions of the camp were shared by the participants at the end of the camp, followed by the distribution of camp certificates. Several participants expressed their eagerness to participate in the works undertaken by the Society.

News from Branches and Centres

News from Abroad

Nairobi (Kenya)

1200 booklets in twelve titles were presented to the Chaplain of the Mater Hospital in Nairobi. 25 booklets of Ideal Child in Kiswahili were given to the children of Lutheran Church, Orphan Centre, Eastleigh (each receiving one) and they are reading from the booklet every day at the Centre under the guidance of a social worker.

News from India

Bangalore (Karnataka) - Youth Camp on 9, 10 and 11 October 2009

Sri Aurobindo Society, Bangalore Branch, will organise a youth camp at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, 110 Gangadhar Chetty Road, Bangalore - 560 042. The camp will be held on 9, 10 and 11 October 2009.

The objective of the camp will be to help the youth to awaken their aspiration for self-awareness and to open to them the vision of life, in the light of the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The guide will also inspire the youth to discover the aim of life. The sessions will be conducted by Shri Kaivalya Smart from Surat.

Free accommodation and all meals will be provided. Boys and girls between the age group 18 to 30 years are eligible and are welcome. The proceedings will be primarily interactive and with sufficient scope for discussions, in English.

All eligible youths are requested not to miss the opportunity and join with their friends. Interested youths may send their application with brief bio data, address, telephone no., email ID and one passport size photograph to the above address. The contact phone no is 080-25559885/25298684.

Further clarifications can also be had, either through e-mail: sriaurobindobhavan.bangalore@gmail.com of the Bhavan or from SS Lahiri, Coordinator of the youth camp: sslahiriiaf@yahoo.co.in; Mobile 09980 519855

Noida (Uttar Pradesh)

a. On the occasion of 4th anniversary of establishing Holy Shrine at the Branch, a Bhajan Sandhya was arranged on 1 May 2009 from 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. About 50 devotees attended the programme.

b. A talk on "Maharishi Dayanand, Sri Aurobindo and the Vedas" by Swami Sumedha Nandji was organised on 16 May 2009. The talk was followed by question & answer session which evinced keen interest in the participants. About 60 devotees and their families including Shri T.N. Chaturvedi, former Governor of Karnataka, and Shri Vijay Poddar, Chairman, SAS (Hindi Zone) participated in the programme.

Fourth talk of the series 'Atma Parichay - Atma Vikas'
by Shri Hans Dholakia at the Bhavan

c. Fourth talk of the series 'Atma Parichay - Atma Vikas' by Shri Hans Dholakia was organised at the Bhavan on 23 May 2009 from 7.15 pm to 8.15 pm. About 35 devotees and their families participated in the programme.

d. To commemorate the Centenary year of Sri Aurobindo's speech of his Spiritual experiences in the Alipore Jail delivered on 30 May 1909 at a public meeting, popularly known as 'Uttarpara Speech', a programme was held on 30 May 2009 at the Bhavan, Noida. Shri T.N. Chaturvedi, former Governor of Karnataka, and Shri O.P. Dani were also present. About 40 persons including devotees and their families participated in the program.

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

The Varanasi Centre organised the following programmes during the months of April and May 2009:

a. On the occasion of the anniversary of Sri Aurobindo's arrival in Pondicherry on 4th April, a lecture on 'Sri Aurobindo's Philosophy' by Prof. Sushila Pant was organised. Prof. Rajeshwar Acharya explained briefly Sri Aurobindo's Adventure of Consciousness.

b. On 24th April darshan day meditation and reading of the book "The Mother" was organised at the Centre. There were devotional songs, followed by discussions on following the path of Integral Yoga and on finding a way towards a collective realisation.

c. On the occasion of the centenary of Sri Aurobindo's speech delivered at Uttarapara after he came out of imprisonment, on 30th May, a meeting was organized. The even started with meditation, followed by the reading of the Uttarapara speech in Hindi.

Rudrapur (Uttar Pradesh)

The Rudrapur Centre arranged a public meeting on 14th May 2009 in which Shri K. Pawan, Chairman of Sri Aurobindo Society, Patiala branch, spoke on 'Spirituality in Everyday Life'. About 80 people attended the meeting. The books, 'Aadarsh Shikshak', 'Aadarsh Mata-Pita' and 'Aadarsh Child' were distributed.

Ballia (Uttar Pradesh)

a. About 100 boys and girls from Orissa, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, who were camping at Ballia as a part of Nehru Yuva Kendra of Ballia and Ghazipur, visited the Centre at Ballia on 29th May 2009. After a short meditation with the Mother's music, Shri Jagannath Prasad, Treasurer of Ballia Centre, gave details of the activities of Sri Aurobindo Society. Booklets on 'Sri Aurobindo - An Introduction' in Hindi were distributed.

b. Participants of the above mentioned camp organised a seminar on "National Integration" on 30th May 2009 in which Shri Jagannath Prasad gave a talk on Sri Aurobindo's vision and Sri Aurobindo's 15th August 1947 message. Hindi translation of para 3 of the message was distributed to all.

c. On 30th May 2009 a meeting was organised to celebrate the centenary of Sri Aurobindo's speech of his Spiritual experiences in the Alipore Jail popularly known as the 'Uttarpara Speech'. Dr. V.K. Vaidya and Dr. Upendra Singh of the Ballia Centre spoke on the occasion, giving details of Sri Aurobindo's spiritual experiences and his vision about the destiny of India. Shri Jagannath Prasad spoke on the difference between Purna Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and Traditional Yogas.

Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh)

On 30 May 2009, centenary of deliverance of Uttarpara speech was celebrated in R.R Girls College, Sultanpur (U.P). Mr. Malaya and Mr. Pawnesh read out the speech of Sri Aurobindo on the occasion. Dr. J.P. Singh, Mr. B.B. Singh and Dr. R.S. Singh also spoke. About 75 people attended the function. Text of the Uttarpara Speech in Hindi was distributed to all.

New Delhi Centre

a. A discourse by Mrs. Jaya Row, Founder of Vedanta Vision, Mumbai, was organised by Delhi centre on 5th April 2009. The topic of the discourse was "Message of Bhagavad Gita for the Young". She explained the message of the Gita in today's context. Around 200 people attended the function.

b. On 24th April 2009, Darshan Day was celebrated at the Delhi branch. Students of Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (SACAC) presented devotional songs. Smt. Cuckoo Mathur sang a couple of Bhajans in praise of the Mother. After the function, the devotees offered flowers at the Samadhi. Darshan cards and prasad were distributed to all.

c. A talk by Shri Vijay Poddar, New Delhi, on the Bhagavad Gita was organised by the Branch on Saturday, 30th May 2009. Shri Vijay-ji explained the dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield and how in today's time the common man can remove confusions by understanding the Bhagavad Gita. The function was attended by around 40 people.

d. The Delhi Branch organised a discourse by Swami Sumedha Nandji on "Maharishi Dayanand, Sri Aurobindo and the Vedas" on Friday, 15th May 2009. He discussed in great detail how the two great saints interpreted the Vedas as the most refined representation of the facts and meaning of the Hindu view and way of life.

e. On the morning of 30th May 2009, the Sadhaks associated with the Centre gathered in the Meditation room and read out the 'Uttarpara Speech" in turns. The programme started with collective meditation.

f. Second series of lectures on Bhagavad Gita by Shri Vijay Poddar took place on 30th May 2009. Chapter 2 verses 54 - 72 of the Bhagavad Gita was taken up for discussion. The talk was followed by questions and answers.

Baroda (Gujarat) - Activities during April 2009

a. From 04.04.09 to 10.04.09, Shri Sharadbhai Joshi delivered lectures on "The Life Divine" for 1½ hrs daily. About 60 attended the talks.

b. From 26.04.09 to 05.05.09, 82 children attended a summer camp organised by Bliss Children's Corner, Baroda. The atmosphere at Sri Aurobindo Nivas was indeed beautiful.

c. Women's council arranged a camp for girls in the age group of 10 to 15 yrs, from 1 to 5 May 2009. 34 girls attended and learnt primary information about Sri Aurobindo & the Mother, on arts & crafts, yogasanas etc.

d. Women's Council, Baroda, arranged another camp for girls in the age group of 16 to 20 yrs from 15 to 20 May 2009. They were exposed to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo & the Mother along with health, education and creativity related lessons. 17 girls participated.

e. A 7 days study-class was arranged from 26.05.09 to 01.06.09 at the Sri Aurobindo Nivas, Baroda, covering all the major works of Sri Aurobindo & the Mother. Students of all ages were invited from all over Gujarat. 19 students attended all the 7 days of the programme.

Following persons gave lectures on the subjects/books mentioned.
1 Shri Aniruddhbhai Smart Upanishads
2 Shri Kaivalya Smart Gita
3 Shri Govardhanbhai Dave Life Divine
4 Shri Jyotibahen Thanki Education
5 Shri Sharadbhai Joshi Vedas, Future Poetry, Human cycle,Ideals of Human Unity,
Poorna Yoga etc.
6 Shri Kiritbhai Thakkar Synthesis of Yoga, India and Sri Aurobindo. About Meditation,
Letters on Yoga, The Mother
7 Shri Nilkanthbhai Joshi Life of Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga
8 Shri Narendra Patel About Art
9 Dr. Ramanbhai Pathak Literature in the works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother
10 Parashar Dwivedi Life of The Mother, About Sri Aurobindo Ashram,
Sri Aurobindo Society and Auroville

This was the 15th year of such lectures. The language of the talks was Gujarati. Shri Kirit Thakkar and Shri Nilkanth Joshi co-ordinated the programme.

f. On 31st May 2009, the centenary of the speech by Sri Aurobindo at Uttarpara was read out by all in Gujarati as well as in English.

Dhanbad (Jharkhand)

On 24 May 2009, a seminar on "The Life of Sri Aurobindo and His vision" was organised at Dhanbad (Jharkhand) by Mr. Yogendra Tulsiyan, a devotee of the Mother. Shri Vijay K. Poddar was the Chief Guest and Dr. J.P. Singh was the main speaker. Dr. C.C. Hazara presided over the function. Prof. Pramod Pathak from Indian School of Mines also spoke on the occasion. The function was well attended and books were distributed to those who attended the function.

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