CONTINUED FROM PART 2 Sri Aurobindo a great observer as he was, not only of the material arrangements in the prison but also of the people around him, the Britishers and especially the jail authorities could not escape his attention. The prisoners had to go to the court for trials at regular intervals.... Continue Reading →
CONTINUED FROM PART 1 Sri Aurobindo’s prison life began on May 5, 1908. During the solitary confinement he was uneasy in the beginning, “but after three days of prayer and meditation an unshakable peace and faith again overwhelmed the being” (p. 11). He was confined to a solitary cell which was nine feet... Continue Reading →
We are pleased to present for our readers a very special essay, which reveals a deeply charming side of Sri Aurobindo's magnificent personality and expression. Written by Dr. Kalpana Bidwaikar, this essay brings to light some of the remarkable wit and humour we come across in Sri Aurobindo's account of his life in the... Continue Reading →
Given that money is in the news these days, especially in India, a lot is being said and written about money and economic development these days. We also published two short columns on our blogs (see here and here). We think that it is also an appropriate time to take a closer and deeper look at the Indian... Continue Reading →
August 15 is Sri Aurobindo's birthday. In honour of this special day, we bring for our readers an article written by Mr. Arup Basu, editor of Sraddha, a quarterly journal published by Sri Aurobindo Centre for Research in Social Sciences, Kolkata. This article briefly lists a few key aspects of Sri Aurobindo's momentous contribution to India's freedom movement. It was first... Continue Reading →
Some writings are so important that they deserve not only to be read again. But also to be shared again. Like this one by M. S. Srinivasan.
“The Spirit is a higher infinite of verities; life is a lower infinite of possibilities which seek to grow and find their own truth and fulfilment in the light of these verities. Our intellect, our will, our ethical and our aesthetic being are the reflectors and the mediators. The method of the West is to exaggerate life and to call down as much—or as little—as may be of the higher powers to stimulate and embellish life. But the method of India is on the contrary to discover the spirit within and the higher hidden intensities of the superior powers and to dominate life in one way or another so as to make it responsive to and expressive of the spirit and in that way increase the power of life. Its tendency with the intellect, will, ethical, aesthetic and emotional being is to sound indeed their normal mental possibilities, but also to upraise them towards the greater light and power of their own highest intuitions. The work of the renaissance in India must be to make this spirit, this higher view of life, this sense of deeper potentiality once more a creative, perhaps a dominant power in the world. But to that truth of itself it is as yet only vaguely awake; the mass of Indian action is still at the moment proceeding under the impress of the European* motive and method and, because there is a spirit within us to which they are foreign, the action is poor in will, feeble in form and ineffective in results, for it does not come from the roots of our being. Only in a few directions is there some clear light of self-knowledge. It is when a greater light prevails and becomes general that we shall be able to speak, not only in prospect but in fact, of the renaissance of India.”
~ (Sri Aurobindo, The Renaissance in India and Other Essays on Indian Culture, pp. 15-16)
* may replace with Western/Modern-rationalistic
-Mr. M.S. Srinivasan, Senior Research Associate, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, India.
The need of the hour for India today is not a nostalgic dreaming of our past greatness but to think, dream and work for building a new and greater India of the future. But the future cannot be created in a vacuum; it has to be built out of the essence of the past. The power to shape the future has to be drawn from the roots of our national vitality and the spiritual and psychological resources of our nation.
In the ultimate analysis, the long-term viability and progress or the “sustainable development” of a nation depend not so much on its material, ecological or technological resources but primarily on its spiritual and psychological resources. And the greatest of the spiritual and psychological resources of a nation are its people. In…
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CONTINUED FROM PART 2 Cosmology of the Sacred Kolam Why do Tamil women draw Kolams daily at the threshold of their homes? Why not do something else? Such questions and an explanation from a western universal perspective may be found elsewhere. In this article, I present an alternative point of view from my Indian perspective. Menon's article also has... Continue Reading →
CONTINUED FROM PART 1 History of Kolam Creating paintings on a natural surface has a really ancient history in India, as evidenced by the Bhimbetka frescoes that are at least 15, 000 years old. This news article  talks about the use of Rangoli in the Mahabharata, while another forum mentions the design in the Ramayana. Other floor designs, such as the endearing floor... Continue Reading →
An attempt, a drawing half-done is the world's life; Its lines doubt their concealed significance, Its curves join not their high intended close. Yet some first image of greatness trembles there, And when the ambiguous crowded parts have met The many-toned unity to which they moved, The Artist's joy shall laugh at reason's rules;... Continue Reading →
READ PARTS 1, 2, 3 CONTINUED FROM PART 4 THE WAY FORWARD... Encourage Sanskrit Learning Sanskrit is the language of Indian culture and ethos. The day Sanskrit dies, Indian culture or Sanskriti will also die and Hindus or Indians as a unique people with unique set of values will cease to exist. Anti-Sanskrit forces... Continue Reading →
CONTINUED FROM PART 3 THE WAY FORWARD Now that we understand the landscape and the forces at work, how do we deal with this situation? Below I propose a 7-point agenda based on opinions of experts and scholars like Rajiv Malhotra, Sanjeev Sanyal, Chamu Shastri, Roddam Narasimha and others. Decolonize our National History History curriculum in... Continue Reading →
CONTINUED FROM PART 2 “The ideals that governed the spirit and body of Indian society were of the highest kind, its social order secured an inexpugnable basic stability, the strong life force that worked in it was creative of an extraordinary energy, richness and interest, and the life organised remarkable in its opulence, variety... Continue Reading →
CONTINUED FROM PART 1 Introductory Note from Matriwords In the text below, we have added a few relevant passages and quotes from Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's writings to provide additional context as well as wider and deeper significance to the arguments presented by our guest writer, Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay. He has approved of these additions. For a larger discussion... Continue Reading →
INTRODUCTORY NOTE FROM MATRIWORDS Matriwords is happy to present this important 5-part series, written by Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay. I came to ‘know’ Subhodeep through Indiblogger and gradually became more familiar with his wide-ranging and deep intellectual, philosophic and spiritual pursuits every time I visited his blogs, The Advaitist and The Tiny Man. His well-reasoned and well-formulated... Continue Reading →