People operate with diverse systems of belief and we can live with this incoherence - Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty - Page 118 - Paul W. Kahn - 2011 - Preview - More editions In the postmodern world, the...2 months ago
Saturday, March 09, 2013
Decoding Aravind Adiga’s politics is the key to decode his literature. Or his pretensions to it. Aravind Adiga’s veiled attack in the Outlook magazine (March 11, 2013 issue) on the legendary Dr. S L Bhyrappa— To understand this, one needs to briefly trace the history of 20th Century history of Kannada literature.
One of the earliest and defining epochs in Kannada literary history was the Navodaya (literally, “new dawn”) period which included stalwarts like Kuvempu, D.R. Bendre, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, Shivaram Karanth, Govinda Pai, B.M. Srikantaiah, and in a way, D.V. Gundappa. Most of these were well-rooted in both the literary and philosophical tradition of
India and possessed
equal erudition to the Western counterparts thereof. Navodaya was
followed by the Navya (New) period, which was spearheaded by
the poet Gopala Krishna Adiga and included notable writers like U R
Ananthamurthy, Lankesh, Girish Karnad, V.K. Gokak, Yashwanth Chittal, A.K.
Ramanujan, Ramachandra Sharma, and Shantinath Desai.
A key distinction between Navodaya and Navya was characterization. The proponents and champions of Navyacharacterized it as a movement as opposed to a new literary tradition. To wit, V.K. Gokak who coined the phrase Navya Sahitya (New Literature) didn’t quite envision the shape it would eventually assume.
Most writers of the Navya movement had returned to
India after studying Humanities in universities
abroad, mostly England.
The reigning intellectual climate in those universities then as now was heavily
Leftist. Conditioned by this, these writers embarked on a project to impose
that climate in our academia. It also helped that the politics of that time was
dominated by Marxism. And so they sought to find the same problems in India
that they had found in the West during their student days. And when they were
unable to find these problems, they invented them. Perhaps the
most and the classic representative of this fraud is U R Ananthamurthy’s own Bharatipura, the
name of a real town near Tirthahalli in Karnataka after which
the novel is titled. The other representative novel is one which Aravind Adiga
claims as “great” and is what catapulted Ananthamurthy to the fame he continues
to enjoy. The novel entitled Samskara is one of the greatest
literary frauds—if not for anything else—but because it sacrifices honesty at
the altar of Marxist ideology… Samskara imposes a misleading mix of
existentialism and the Marxist conception of society upon a society and culture
to which these concepts are alien and therefore inapplicable. This technique
resonates well with the Marxist distortion of Indian history: how history was
subordinated to ideology by distorting Hindu society, traditions, and
Navya thus transformed Kannada literature—a high art form—into a cesspool of politics where only “approved” writings found the fortune of being published. Those who didn’t toe the line had their futures nipped in the bud… Thus an A K Ramanujan translates U R Ananthamurthy’s Samskara into English and wins accolades. U.R. Ananthamurthy praises Ramachandra Sharma’s work while Adiga, Ananthamurthy, and Lankesh are card carrying members of Ram Manohar Lohia’s brand of socialism. Adiga and Purnachandra Tejaswi (son of the renowned Kannada poet, Kuvempu) translate Lohia’s work into Kannada. Together, these and other, similar eminences completely politicize the Kannada literary scene and brainwash at least two entire generations of Kannada writers, and in the end, sacrifice literature at the altar of ideology. Even a casual glance at the state of Kannada literary studies in the universities of Karnataka will reveal this political imprint left behind by the Navya worthies.
What initially began as a rebellion against what the Navya folks termed “traditional,” “regressive,” and “superstitious” society ended up in literary gangsterism that not only destroyed careers but set up a fertile ground for careerist, political writers to enter either the Legislative Council or the Rajya Sabha or influential positions in the Government. The only writer who prostituted himself to no ism, didn’t sell his soul to ideology but won millions of admirers was Dr. S L Bhyrappa. He wrote in Kannada sitting in faraway Gujarat and
Delhi but his work became bestsellers as soon
as they were published. That phenomenon began almost 50 years ago and it
Labels: Ananthamurthy, Aravind Adiga, B.M. Srikantaiah, Bendre, Bhyrappa, Chittal, D.V. Gundappa, Gokak, Govinda Pai, Karanth, Karnad, Lankesh, M.V. Iyengar, Ramachandra Sharma, Ramanujan, Shantinath Desai
Friday, March 08, 2013
S´raddha - Sri Aurobindo Ashram PDF Feb 21, 2013 – The True Voice of Raga - Murali Sivaramakrishnan
It has appeared to me that Sri Aurobindo had experienced all these four states Salokya, Samipya, Sarupya, Sayujya — poetically, as evidenced through his short poems over a period of time. His contention was that poetry works as an index of the evolving human consciousness, and his own poetic experiences were qualitative evidences of his spiritual states of awareness and becoming…
I have always argued that Sri Aurobindo was essentially a poet who ceaselessly attempted to capture in many poetic voices the shades of transformation that his inner self underwent. His poems are the symbolic markers in these attempts. There is very little deliberation of cerebral intervention or attempts to craft new words for newer and newer experiences. What on the other hand appears to happen is that old and used words which would normally sound frayed and discoloured due to overuse in other situations here reappear in renewed light and perhaps in their reborn states. States of being like salokya, sarupya etc. are too subtle to submit themselves to ordinary expressions and only a genuine poet who is perfectly attuned to the sound of sense can rephrase them in different linguistic orders.
Sri Aurobindo is such a type of poet who, when all is said, believed with all his strength in the power of words to reflect profounder levels of human experiences. For him the mantra was the ultimate solace for the evolving human mind in the ever widening dimensions of its spiritual journey. In the mantra, sound and sense merge and emerge in unison. Vision, experience and expression constituted the graphic trajectory of this journey. Inspiration and expression had to occur on a similar scale. Inspiration would hasten the vision while the word made possible the expression. A choice union of vision and the word comprised the mantra. Its dimensions were aspects of both the experiential and the existential. This is where what he termed integral yoga or purna yoga came in. After all, as he succinctly puts it in his The Synthsis of Yoga, all life is yoga.
Sri Aurobindo has been considered by many negative critics as being too intellectual and highbrow to be a poet at all. But then in my view he is essentially a poet who does not deliberately try to be philosophical in his writings, simply because poetry and the poetic process of godward becoming are both two sides of the same paper for him: tear one and you tear the other. His is poetry of the spirit and the four states of intense spiritual experience as I have tried to show are qualitatively captured in their subtle variations and shades as only a major poet could. Craft he certainly has, and as for images and words he is bound by the unique nature of his preoccupations. Now, where words stagger under the heftiness of the expression music would step in with ease and élan. In many ways both Sri Aurobindo and Tyagaraja are attempting to capture the bliss of spiritual experience and unison. The touch of the divine alters the state of the mortal mind — words seek newer dimension of meaning and raga newer dimensions of rasa.
The question that has been tormenting me all along is how far the poet can reach before addressing that stasis of silence where words falter and fail — where pure music takes over and Laya, that formless quality of the force-field of the spirit becomes possible. Perhaps all art genuinely aspires to that condition of music of the alaukika ananda! As the poet has phrased it:
The peace of God, a great calm immanence
Is now my being’s boundless atmosphere.
S´raddha - Sri Aurobindo Ashram PDF Nov 24, 2012 – Involution And Evolution: Some Conceptual Issues In The Contexts Of Indian Discourses - Murali Sivaramakrishnan
In a land like
with its heterogeneous culture and chequered history, the narratives linking
place and humans are innumerable, couched in diverse perceptions and points of
view, and filtered through multiple discourses over a long period of time.
Geographically, historically and geo-psychically, Indian narratives afford
pluralistic and complex readings. Philosophy, religion and poetry have a deep
history in this part of the world, as much as oppression, domination, and
ideologies of resistance and subversions.
In more ways than one, the emergence of ecologically sensitive critical theorising in the academic world has signalled a resuscitation of the idea of intrinsic value in nature that has almost come to be buried under the rubble of a postindustrial consumerist culture which constantly seeks to obliterate all differences and moves toward the making of the omnivorous discourse of globalisation and technocracy as monolithic and one-dimensional. Perhaps this return to nature could even be mocked as mere retrogression toward the European Romantic tradition of linking the human and the non-human into some sort of metaphysical essence. Or ecologically sensitive critical theorising could also be demonised as a debilitating attempt to reinstate the grand narratives of a misplaced cultural humanism, on the lines of high modernist elitism.
A third probability is that of a universally developing urban culture demonising its own predatory roles in the haloed light of a forfeited primitive human culture! Either way the very suggestion of the notion of sacred or spiritual at the heart of nature’s being is sure to invite many raised brows in our present-day world, especially in
India today! Nevertheless the
direction that ecologically sensitive critical theory is currently heading
toward – a direction that implies a search to reinforce idea and action in the
material plane (a union of the spirit and matter in different scale), in terms
of environmental justice— is a sure sign of its not having lost its way in the
dreary desert sand of dead habit…
The theory of involution and evolution that Sri Aurobindo envisioned, of course, is no theory — it is an experiential vision invoked by a yogi who had rigorously practised austerity and tapasya (askesis) in the Upanishadic mode. It is an anticipation of possible human evolution toward an inclusive union of the material and the spiritual. It is a sign of immense possibilities open for the human mind provided we are sensitive to the spiritual at the heart of all being. The sacred of course does no bargain!
Toward a Spiritual Aesthetics of the Environment: Quality, Space ... by M. Sivaramakrishnan - Jun 14, 2011 – Toward a Spiritual Aesthetics of the Environment: Quality, Space, and Being in Sri Aurobindo's Savitri
An essay exploring the spiritual aesthetic of nature based on the epic poem "Savitri," by Sri Aurobindo is presented. Particular focus is given to the concepts of quality, space and being within the poem. The revival of the concept of intrinsic value in nature due to the emergence of ecocriticism is explained. The author contends that the thoughts in "Savitri" are aligned with those expressed in Vedas and Upanishads and that it uses nature as a metaphor for a state of being. The idea of transformation from the material to the spiritual is tackled.
The Holistic Nature of Spiritual Aesthetic
In the context of discussing the interface between nature and human nature, it is my contention that one needs to move beyond any kind of limiting categories in terms of culture, outlook, geography, and history, either of any western philosophy—or its other eastern philosophy—and adopt a holistic view. Of course, I fully recognize the inordinate nature of this claim, fundamentally because any claims to a spiritualized awareness (in terms of the sacred and the holy) is generally regarded solely as the prerogative of humans, and the nonhuman world is of course deprived of any such possibilities; furthermore, the discourse of spirituality itself is often marginalized as inapplicable in the practical world of everyday affairs and the life of the senses. Moreover, when I argue for the inclusive vision inspired by the visionary culture of a … [Full Text of this Article]
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Mahabiplabi Arabindo: Bengali movie on Sri Aurobindo’s early life from Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother - Feb 13, 2013 ...a 1971 Bengali film (don't worry, it has English subtitles) which covers the life of Sri Aurobindo from his return to India in 1892 to his retirement to Pondicherry in 1910. Someone has posted the movie on youtube in 13 parts. The duration of this movie is about two hours. I have added brief descriptions of the content before each clip below.
In the Afternoon of Time: An Autobiography - Page 502 - Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Rupert Snell - 2001 - Preview - More editions I could not think why Amit would want to throw up a good job to try his luck in cinema; but I didn't want to discourage Bunty, nor, for that matter, was there anything I could do to stop him anyway. While in
I visited the Shree Aurobindo Ashram ... Pantji had been a great devotee and had
inspired me to read Aurobindo's Savitri and The Life Divine; the poetic
quality of Savitri had made an ...
How they came to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: twenty-nine true ... - Page 26 - Shyam Kumari - 1990 - I asked a friend, "Do you know anyone who can make a movie?" "Yes, your friend, Ajit Bose of
is there," he replied. We invited Ajit Bose to make a film about the Ashram. He made the film, "Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Four Chapters.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram - -09 E-Library - -03 Disciples - Dyuman - Index It was his idea to make the documentary film "Sri Aurobindo Ashram — Four Chapters." It was filmed by Ajit Bose and was displayed in many centres of the ...
How to Become a Hindu: A Guide for Seekers and Born Hindus - Page 86 - Sivaya Subramuniyaswami - 2002 - Preview - More editions Sri Aurobindo's message, he told me, was in essence the same old Vedic message, namely, that we are gods in our innermost ... But Sri Aurobindo was not an exponent of Vedic spirituality alone. ... I had also seen a Bengali film on his life.
Mira to Mother - Udhaya Kumar - 2004 - Preview Mira Alfassa (Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India) was not just a spiritual teacher who lived with us. ... told by Mother and her acquaintances, with full of her thoughts and feelings, presented visually to give it a film like quality.
Eng Promised Hand - Page 39 - Prakash Chandra Gupta - 1998 - Preview - More editions What Manmohan Ghose thought of the new spiritual emphasis in Aurobindo's political thinking is not known but ... called Philosopher's Cot neighbouring what was then the Rink, a hall used for skating, which later became a Cinema and then ...
Narratives Of Indian Cinema - Page 26 - Manju Jain - 2009 - Preview impress upon filmmakers the need to make films with powerful social and educational themes. even critics of this time like aurobindo ghosh and ananda Coomarswamy, who wrote extensively about art and culture, made little attempt either to treat cinema as a rich and varied register of popular culture or to understand the new regime of aesthetics that it had inaugurated.
Cultural History of Modern India - Page 89 - Dilip M. Menon - 2006 - Preview Made at the height of the freedom movement, the film makes obvious use of symbols such as the national anthem, the Bengali literary and social reform tradition (photographs of Sri Aurobindo, Tagore, Vivekananda), as well as references to ...
Colonial Displacements: Nationalist Longing and Identity Among ... - Page 191 - Paromita Biswas - 2008 - Preview As scholars such as Peter van der Veer and others have argued, this investment by male nationalists of the figure of the woman with superior strength, for instance Aurobindo or Bankim's portrayal of the nation as the mother goddess, was a ...
'Photos of the Gods': The Printed Image and Political Struggle in ... - Page 100 - Chris Pinney - 2004 - Preview - More editions A key element in Peter van der Veer's study of what he calls 'religious nationalism', is the claim that it is the result of the ... reference for religious nationalists today: the translation above, by Shri Aurobindo, is taken from the Bharatiya Janata ... Beyond appearances?: visual practices and ideologies in modern India - Page 142 - Sumathi Ramaswamy - 2003
Lala Lajpat Rai in retrospect: political, economic, social, and ... - Page 106 J. S. Grewal, Indu Banga, Panjab University. Publication Bureau - 2000 - ... the twentieth century. As discussed earlier, Peter van der Veer treats the two as the two extreme sides of the same phenomenon, thus making it a somewhat unilinear movement on the scale. Vivekanand and Sri Aurobindo can safely be put...
Sri Aurobindo for all ages: a biography - Page 83 - Nirodbaran - 1990 - Sri Aurobindo has described how, at Bombay, when he was standing on the balcony of a friend's house, he saw 'the whole busy movement of Bombay as a picture in a cinema show, all unreal and shadowy'. And yet he continued with his ...
Page 120 - Aurobindo too smiled gently. The scene comes alive in my mind like a film even today. 'Hardly a moment later, the servant came and told us, "Sahib salaam diya" (the master bids you enter). Aurobindo and Bijoy Nag were led into the doctor's ...
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: Glimpses of Their Experiments, ... - Page 10 - Kireet Joshi - 1989 - Preview - More editions The city, a shadow picture without tone, Floats, quivers unreal; forms without relief Flow, a cinema's vacant shapes; like a reef ... For Sri Aurobindo, however, this turned out to be only one of the foundational experiences, and a series of spiritual...
Readings in Sri Aurobindo's the Life Divine: Covering Book Two, ... - Page 286 - Santosh Krinsky - 2012 - Preview - More editions A creation of this kind could only be the outcome of an inconscient energy or an illusion-cinema, a shadow-play or puppet play of forms ... Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 24, “The evolution of the Spiritual Man”, pg.
Sri Aurobindo: A Contemporary Reader Sachidananda Mohanty - 2012 - Preview - More editions He is the great reading public; the newspapers and weekly and month reviews are his; fiction and poetry and art are his mental caterers, the theatre and the cinema and the radio exist for him: Science hastens to bring her knowledge and ...
Psychic Being (Soul: Its Nature, Mission, Evolution) - Page 149 - Sri Aurobindo, Aurobindo Ghose, Mother - 1990 - Preview - More editions Its Nature, Mission, Evolution) Sri Aurobindo, Aurobindo Ghose, Mother ... it is in direct contact with material circumstances, with forms and words and sounds, etc., for a very short time; so it records all that like a photograph or a cinema, but it ...
Our Many Selves: Practical Yogic Psychology - Page 205 - Sri Aurobindo, Aurobindo Ghose, Mother - 2003 - Preview Practical Yogic Psychology Sri Aurobindo, Aurobindo Ghose, Mother A. S. Dalal. some goodwill and which precisely is in love with progress. Place that before you and first, pass across it as in a cinema all that you have done, all that you have ...
Religious Freedom in India: Sovereignty and (Anti) Conversion - Page 105 - Goldie Osuri - 2012 - Preview - More editions open reading that Vasudevan calls for (which redirects Phalke's cinema towards a Gandhian desire for the ... ... framework of Hindu nationalism” through the institution of canonical texts such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata in print literature as discussed by Peter van der Veer (2001). van der Veer argues, for example, that “it was Aurobindo's idea, in his Foundations of Indian Culture, that the Mahabharata and the Ramayana constitute the essence of...
Nation and Religion: Perspectives on Europe and Asia - Page 84 Peter Van Der Veer, Hartmut Lehmann - 1999 - Preview - More editions Perspectives on Europe and Asia Peter Van Der Veer, Hartmut Lehmann ... notion of primordial Indian racial qualities, and also in the thought of Gandhi's precursors, notably Aurobindo, who conceived of nationality as a more spiritual force but ...
The Guru in South Asia: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives - Page 209 Jacob Copeman, Aya Ikegame - 2012 - Preview - More editions Cosmopolitan spirituality in Rishikesh Aravamudan identifies Guru English as the most recognizable form of South Asian cosmopolitanism and Aurobindo as not only the first modern guru but one who ... 2002:10, see also van der Veer 2002b).
Perspectives On Sri Aurobindos Poetry Plays & Crit. - Page 17 - Amrita Paresh Patel, Jaydipsinh Dodiya - 2002 - Full view - More editions The city, a shadow picture without tone, Floats, quivers unreal; forms without relief Flow, a cinema's vacant shapes; like a reef ... About the Mystics of ancient India Sri Aurobindo writes: "The doctrine of the Mystics recognizes an Unknowable, ...
Indian Revolutionaries: A Comprehensive Study, 1757-1961 - Volume 1 - Śrīkr̥shṇa Sarala - 1999 - Preview - More editions When he was declared innocent and set free by the court Aurobindo Ghosh became lost in the contemplation of his past and all the events of his life began to pass before his eyes like a film being screened. His ambitious father Dr. Krishna ...
Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol - Page 546 - Aurobindo Ghose, Sri Aurobindo - 1995 - Preview - More editions A Legend and a Symbol Aurobindo Ghose, Sri Aurobindo ... All seemed a brilliant shadow of itself, A cosmic film of scenes and images: The enduring mass and outline of the hills Was a design sketched on a silent mind And held to a ...
Sri Aurobindo and the new age: essays in memory of Kishor Gandhi - Page 101 Sachidananda Mohanty, Nirodbaran, Maurice Shukla - 1997 - West based on alternative yardsticks of the kind Sri Aurobindo suggests are simply not available. Of course, every now and then you find an auto-critique which comes from the West. There are films like A Clockwork Orange which is based on...
Kancha Ilaiah: Even if 10% dalit children got English education, India would change from Opinion, Editorial, Columnists and Reviews The Times of India Kancha Ilaiah is a political scientist, writer and dalit activist.
Labels: A.S. Dalal, Ajit Bose, Bankim, Coomarswamy, Dyuman, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Lala Lajpat Rai, Manmohan Ghose, Mirra Alfassa, Nirodbaran, Peter van der Veer, Phalke, Sri Aurobindo, Tagore, Vivekananda
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communicat
ion, Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg, Adhichini, New Delhi -110017, New Delhi, India
Saturday, 28 January 2012 By Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication
The one-day long workshop is designed to discuss Shakespearean films from a variety of perspectives to sensitize the participants regarding the various challenges involved in capturing the essence of Shakespeare’s drama through the medium of cinema.
Films by directors such as Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, Akira Kurosawa, Roman Polanski, Vishal Bhardwaj and others will be discussed in the day-long workshop.The opening session, which will explore cinematography, design, dialogue and performance, will be followed by a full-length screening of a path-breaking Shakespearean film to understand how one can read the film from multiple perspectives.
Download registration form from
or call +91-11-26561986/ 99537 55245 - Workshop Fee: Rs. 250/-
Dr. Rahul Sapra, an Associate Professor of Shakespearean drama and films at Ryerson University, Toronto has taught courses on Shakespearean performances and presented papers on Shakespearean cinema at several international conferences. He also conducted a joint workshop on Shakespearean acting at St. Stephen’s college in 2007.
He was one of the invited speakers for the Shakespeare Association of India’s annual conference in 2011, where he presented a paper on the influence of Hollywood cinema on Indian film adaptations of Shakespearean Drama. His recent book, The Limits of Orientalism: Seventeenth-Century Representations of India which deals with the narratives of the East India Company, was praised by the eminent scholar Francis Robinson in The Times Literary Supplement. Dr. Sapra is also on the Editorial Board of the Film Section of Routledge’s digital Encyclopedia on Modernism (Forthcoming).
Friday, November 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Home > E-Library > Magazines > Sraddha > February 2011 > Contents
School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal University, , 11067. A prolific writer, critic, poet and scholar his latest books include Altered Destinations: Self, Society and Nation in New Delhi and Another Canon: Indian Texts and Traditions in English. India
On Savitri— A talk to a Young Disciple Mother 7
Savitri Sri Krishnaprem 11
To Savitri, the Wonderful Epic Ranajit Sarkar 14
Savitri : The Song of the Infinite Alok Pandey 17
Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharata in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri Prema Nandakumar 39
Aswapati’s Yoga Srimat Anirvan 47
Love and Death Debashish Banerjee 53
Savitri—Book VI, Canto II: The Way of Fate and The Problem of Pain Makarand R. Paranjape 73
The Descent of Knowledge in Savitri Sonia Dyne 87
The Mother’s Savitri Translations Shraddhavan 105
Onward She Passed… Rejection As Described in Savitri Matthijs Cornelissen 118
An Analytical assessment of Death-Savitri Debate Usharanjan Chakraborty 131
Newness of Savitri: an Interpretation Asoka K Ganguli 139
Savitri – Book VI, Canto II: The Way of Fate and The Problem of Pain
Makarand R. Paranjape
Savitri, Sri Aurobindo’s magnum opus, a modern epic of nearly 24,000 lines, is akin to an ocean. It is difficult to fathom all at once, but every part of it shares its intrinsic nature. In that sense, where and how we plunge into it is of little consequence. We will glimpse its magnificence no matter what method we adopt. Provided, of course, we open ourselves to its magic. Though the whole of Savitri may be regarded as a sacred text, a contemporary Veda, it is a very long and complex composition. Therefore, we might actually single out some Cantos, perhaps half a dozen, which are so important that they encapsulate the whole structure, the whole methodology and also, if we might use that word, the whole “theology” of the epic. And this, Book VI, Canto II, is one of those crucial Cantos – “The Way of Fate and The problem of Pain.” What follows could be seen as a part of the age-old Indian tradition of commenting on major texts. Master texts had multiple commentaries over generations. Savitri is a poem that invites such treatment.
This Canto is important because it asks fundamental questions, the kind of questions, in fact, which all of us ask. Why do we suffer? Why is there so much pain in human life? Are we fated to suffer in this manner? Is there no cure, no solution? Because all of us have suffered at some point or the other as human beings, these questions go to the very heart of what it means to be embodied, what it means to be human. No doubt, many have also found great solace in this Canto, answers to these questions. As one person responded after this talk, “I went through an extremely difficult phase in my life. During that time, I must have read this Canto literally a hundred times. Each time I read it, it revealed something new about not just my problem but also about life.” Thus, not only does the Canto ask fundamental questions, it even answers them to the satisfaction of many readers and sadhaks.
Some 2500 years ago, the great Sakya Muni, Gautama Buddha, himself reflected on such questions, making them the bedrock of his teaching. He said there are four noble truths – cattari ariyasacca - ni in Pali or catvari arya satyani in Sanskrit. These are suffering, its cause, its elimination, and, finally, the way to this elimination. According to the Buddha, suffering is universal, its cause is craving; but it is also possible to end suffering, and suffering can be ended by the cessation of craving or tanha. This great teaching was offered in the very first sermon that the Buddha gave – Dharma chakra pravartana sermon – in Sarnath when he started preaching after becoming the Awakened One. Ultimately, the way to end suffering is to lead a right, or one might prefer to say, the righteous life. This is based on the eight-fold path – right view, right intention (prajña or wisdom), right speech, right action, right livelihood (´ila s or conduct), and right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration (samadhi or concentration). In a way, Sri Aurobindo also covers similar ground here, in this important Canto.
The Vadantic approach to suffering, in contrast, focuses not so much on the causes of the suffering but on the nature and identity of the sufferer.  The end of suffering is effected by the end of false indentification, which is the prelude to liberation or mukti. According to some schools, such liberation is available while being embodied, in which case it is called jivanmukti. For Sri Aurobindo, suffering becomes the aid, in fact the goad, to spiritual evolution. In a way, Sri Aurobindo also covers similar ground here, in this important Canto. We shall look at Sri Aurobindo’s approach in greater detail later.
In this first part of this exposition, let us look briefly at the action of the Canto. In the previous Canto, Narad, the heavenly singer, has descended into the marble halls of King Aswapati’s palace. Savitri, the Madra princess, the Divine Flame and Aswapati’s daughter, has just returned after finding her soul-mate in Satyavan. But Narad tells the shocked royal couple that if Savitri marries Satyavan, he will die in a year’s time. Having heard this dread sentence, Savitri instead of retracting, reaffirms her choice. This Canto records, to begin with, Queen
’s, that is Savitri’s mother’s reaction to this shocking pronouncement. The queen, Sri Aurobindo tells us, is also a very evolved person, quite in control of her mind and sense, but when she hears this awful news she is disturbed. She loses her calm, her poise, her equanimity and plunges into a questioning which is somewhat angry. She is hurt, upset, and therefore asks, how and why is it that we who live on this earth, we enjoy some moments of joy, then we suffer, and we go through the same cycle again and again. Is this the law? If so, then why did God make this world? Why did he make us for this meaningless cycle of pain? Indeed, is something wrong with the creation itself, did all go wrong somewhere? Malawi
Narad then gives his reply at some length, which is a very important explanation about why it is so, why we suffer, and whether we are bound by law or Fate to this chain of causality. Again, we might briefly remember the Buddha when he saw those sights of suffering humanity which had been shielded from his eyes. He saw death, old age, sickness and things that his father, Prince Suddhodana, had wanted him never to see. The father wanted his son to be raised in the palace in happiness, shielded from all sorrow and suffering. But Gautama saw these things and realised that he was also going to grow old and die, that he would also know suffering and perhaps illness. That is why he determined to find the cause for suffering so that he could, once and for all, cure it and free all other sentient beings from it. What a noble resolve, how grand his ideal.
Onward She Passed… Rejection As Described in Savitri
One of the many marvellous things in Savitri is the completely uninterrupted progress in the sadhana of Aswapati and later of Savitri. Aswapati and Savitri always move on; they never stop; they never go back. Partly this may be due to the symbolic nature of the story. Aswapati and Savitri are, after all, at least to some extent typal figures. Their lives miss the many diluting and confusing side-plots that mar and delay our spiritual development. But this is only part of the explanation; there is also a more technical aspect to it. It appears to me that the secret of their quick progress rests in the perfect application of a specific yogic skill, the skill of rejection. Rejection is one of the three main skills or “inner gestures” that have to be used in Sadhana. The most powerful description of these three skills can be found in Sri Aurobindo’s collection of letters called The Mother.
Notes on Authors
( Beginning with this issue we shall include names of only those writers who have not figured previously in this section )
Asoka K Ganguli is a retired Reader of English,
. His field of specialisation was the poetry of Milton and Walt Whitman and on the latter poet he was awarded Ph.D. in 1968. He taught English poetry to postgraduate students of the University of Delhi University of Agra for a decade and to students of the for almost three decades. A voracious reader of Sri Aurobindo’s poetry, specially Savitri since early fifties, his first publication Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri which was published by Sri Aurobindo Society in 2002 and his second book Sri Aurobindo: Poet of Nature and other writings on Savitri are the outcome of his labour and research in the field of Aurobindean literature. University of Delhi
Krishnaprem, Sri, known as Ronald Nixon in his early life, was a brilliant product of the
. In his early twenties he received an offer of appointment as a lecturer in English at the University of Cambridge University of Lucknow and sailed for , where he spent the rest of his life. One special contact was Dilip Kumar Roy, a musician par excellence, a great devotee of Lord Krishna and also a favourite disciple of Sri Aurobindo. Young Professor Nixon was a frequent guest in the house of the Vice-Chancellor, India where Nixon, on the insistence of Mrs. Chakravarty, the wife of the ViceChancellor, had taken up residence. As time passed, a close friendship grew up between the three of them— Nixon, Roy and Mrs. Chakravarty, a well-known and sophisticated socialite and a deeply devoted University of Lucknow Krishna bhakta. Her relationship with Nixon developed into that of preceptor or guru, the latter being both a son and a disciple. It was at Uttar Vrindavana, that they established a beautiful ashram and a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha. Mrs. Chakravarty, now a full fledged sannyasini, adopted the name Yashoda Ma, and Ronald Nixon came to be known as Krishnaprem.
Through Dilip Sri Aurobindo developed a high regard for Krishnaprem, and always commended his views to Dilip. Krishnaprem gave the world two important books, ‘The Yoga of the Kathopanishad’ and ‘Yoga for the Westerner’. All of his writing displayed his impressive knowledge and grasp of highly spiritual and metaphysical subjects. He passed away in 1965. Ramana Maharshi commended Krishnaprem to his devotees with the words, ‘A wonderful blend of jñyani (knowledge) and bhakti (devotion) in one person.’
Makarand R Paranjape is a Professor of English at the Centre for English Studies,
Usharanjan Chakraborty (born 1931) did his MA in English, History and Philosophy and also PhD in Philosophy from
. After serving in different colleges, he joined Calcutta University in 1982 and retired from there in 2000 as Reader in Philosophy. In addition to presenting papers at various seminars, his writings have appeared in several journals notably Calcutta University Philosophy Journal, The Advent, Mother India, World Union and Rtam North Bengal University
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Goodbye, Sir! MJ Akbar is the editor-in-chief of The Sunday Guardian.
The importance of not being earnest - The Times of India Srijana Mitra Das Aug 17, 2011, 12.00AM IST
The Pioneer :: Home : >> He told an entire generation Cry Freedom ... Monday, August 15, 2011 Chandan Mitra
Forty years later it is easy to be dismissive about that yell which rose from the belly, filled the throat and then knocked your head off: Yaaaahoooo! For me, sitting in a bug-infested cinema hall called Swapna, that cry from Junglee was a roar of liberation from the silly boredom of convention. Suddenly, lovers did not weep, as Dilip Kumar did by the bucketful; or go perpendicular with patriotism, as Raj Kapoor considered necessary; or adopt a stomach-ache face, which was Rajendra Kumar's speciality. Shammi Kapoor told us, when I was all of ten and had just been sentenced to boarding school, to go find our own voice, even if that turned into the occasional scream. Be brilliant, if you could; be a fool, if you had to; but be authentic in either case. There was fun to be had in both avatars.
The importance of not being earnest - The Times of India Srijana Mitra Das Aug 17, 2011, 12.00AM IST
Shammi's elder brother, Raj Kapoor, was typically the angst-ridden wanderer, an awara with a hard-luck story and blue-eyed charm, ill treated, then redeemed by the Nehruvian state. Dev Anand brought a happier face to the Nehruvian persona, playing fleet-footed characters knee-deep in mystery, modernity and mischief.
Eschewing modernity, Rajendra Kumar was an old-fashioned 'tragedy king' drawn from bards' tales and folklore, whose films framed three hours of perfect sorrow, expressed in shrieking shehnais, teary eyes and tragic accidents twisting lives out of shape. Dilip Kumar was a silken-voiced thespian around whose heavy talent epics had to be spun, extending from the splendour of Mughal
India to the griminess of rural , cowering before dacoits and moneylenders alike, finding respite in just a little jig by the waterfall. India
Against this, Shammi's movies were an entirely new breeze blowing in from the four corners of the world. They carried to
India the sexiness of , the pulsations of pop, the verve of Italian fashion, the poutiness of French love-making. Dhotis, kurtas, guns and speeches went out of the window. Shammi shook the rafters with his gags and stormed the dance floor, sax in his mouth, babe by his side, shimmying and shaking before sophisticates in a nightclub seated at tables glimmering with cocktails. … Despite the rock and roll, there was little question of shaking the established order – Shammi's films only lightly, smilingly, suggested how much fun it would be if everyone chilled out a little. Hollywood
In this frame, serious politics took a decided backseat. Despite embracing international culture in the form of Elvis, sunglasses, trousers and travel, Shammi kept his films free of overt politics, whether that of modernity or tradition. He personified the quirkiest combination of the 'swinging sixties' in
– the joyful energy of youth without its intense debates or demonstrations. … India
In his own manner, thus, Shammi too was political. He took differences of class and creed in his hands and crumpled them up into a paper ball, making light of such pettiness under the clear skies of modern
. With a jazzy step and a smile on his face, he threw the ball high up in the air, to where few could see it anymore – and all with a great yahoo. Shammi taught a delighted nation that it was possible to be political without anger or angst. It was possible to not be earnest – and still be deadly serious. It was possible to say it with a song, not a speech. Few others made that point quite as wonderfully. India
The Pioneer :: Home : >> He told an entire generation Cry Freedom ... Monday, August 15, 2011 Chandan Mitra
Shammi Kapoor celebrated entertainment. His films steered clear of social messages, forte of his elder brother Raj. Shammi Kapoor sang and danced into the hearts of a new generation of Indians straining at the leash to break away from the overdose of moralistic hype in the immediate aftermath of Gandhian puritanism and Nehruvian socialism.
To the generation stepping out of their teens in the mid-60s, each Shammi film was pure ambrosia. They transported you to a perfect world of make-believe where boy chased girl with gusto, bordering on behaviour that would today bring the Crime Against Women cell scurrying to the spot. The girl, needless to add, would eventually succumb to his irreverent, lusty courting and a long spell of bliss interspersed with half-a-dozen melodious songs would follow. Then the villain would appear, convince the girl’s stentorian father that his daughter’s lover was a wayward, good-for-nothing waster. Much drama would happen till the obstacles evaporated in the face of truth. Boy and girl would live happily ever after. Shammi Kapoor’s films became the epitome of this so-called formula. Almost every film had the same story line, give or take the occasional unexpected twist or turn. …
Again, Shammi wouldn’t be Shammi without Mohammad Rafi, who was literally his voice. From the soulful Ehsan tera hoga mujhpar (Junglee) to the erotic Dilruba dil pe tu (Raj Kumar), lilting Jawaniyan ye mast mast bin piye (Tumsa Nahin Dekha) and the sheer abandon of Taarif karoon kya uski (Kashmir ki Kali) melancholy Yeh duniya usi ki zamana uki ka and the romantic Deewana hua badal from the same film, it was Rafi who modulated his voice and style to match Shammi’s every mood.
Hindi cinema has come a long way since Shammi eased himself out, playing occasional character roles, the most memorable being in Manoranjan. The formula has run its course and rise of the multiplex has altered cultural preferences significantly. Maybe a surging
doesn’t need to escape drudgery any more. But in the era that produced India needed him as a soothing balm, someone who comforted you while egging on to assert and stake claim as a young man who had aspirations to go beyond the straitjacket that Indira Gandhi’s socialist society kept ready for you. The generation that woke up to the freedom of ear-shattering Yahoo! will always remember him as one of the shapers of modern Shammi Kapoor, India . India
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Antonin Artaud Criticism 1896-1948
(Full name Antoine-Marie-Joseph Artaud; also wrote under the pseudonym Le Révélé) French essayist, dramatist, poet, novelist, screenwriter, and actor.
Poet and theorist of revolutionary theater, avant-garde novelist and surrealist screenwriter, actor, drug addict, and madman, Antonin Artaud is famous for the influence he exerted through his writings and performances—especially after death—on the way writers, directors, actors, and communal theater companies conceive of theater, its production, and its function. Progenitor of a form of theater whose aim is to unsettle and radically transform its audience and its culture, such as happenings, theater of the absurd, or experimental theater, Artaud called for an end to a drama of rationality, masterpieces, and psychological exploration. Artaud advocated a “theatre of cruelty”—a probing, goading, and provocative theater drawing on Symbolist sensory derangement, psychoanalytic theory, and the Balinese theater. Such a theater, according to Artaud, should employ expressive breathing, animal sounds, uninhibited gestures, huge masks, puppets, and an architecture that destroys the barrier between actors and audience in order to turn spectators into participants, and bring them to a level of visceral experience Artaud deemed more profound than any experience accessible through passive understanding or absorption of language, plot, or coherently structured action. Artaud's aim was to unblock repression and to purge violence, hypocrisy, and the malaise he saw as endemic to society. …
Les Cenci, Artaud's play about a man who rapes his own daughter and is then murdered by men the girl hires to eliminate him, typifies Artaud's theater of cruelty. Les Cenci was produced in
in 1935 but was closed after seventeen dismal performances. Another illustration of Artaud's work is Le jet de sang or The Fountain of Blood (1925), a farce about the creation of the world and its destruction by humans, especially women. Like many of Artaud's other plays, scenarios, and prose, Les Cenci and The Fountain of Blood were designed to challenge conventional, civilized values and bring out the natural, barbaric instincts Artaud felt lurked beneath the refined, human facade. Of The Fountain of Blood, Albert Bermel wrote in Artaud's Theater of Cruelty: “All in all,The Fountain of Blood is a tragic, repulsive, impassioned farce, a marvelous wellspring for speculation, and a unique contribution to the history of the drama.” More than for any particular work, Artaud is remembered more for his tormented life, for having turned himself inside out in the attempt to discover a way to transform theater and society, and for the concepts he developed for effectuating transformation. Le Théâtre de la cruauté (1933) and Le Théâtre et son double (1938; The Theater and Its Double)—Artaud's most famous works—along with the novel Héliogabale (1934; Heliogabalus) and his blasphemous play Le jet de sang, rather than having an independent artistic existence, stand as manifestos and vehicles for approaching, if not achieving, the transformations Artaud proclaimed. According to author Susan Sontag: “Not until the great outburst of writing in the period between 1945 and 1948 … did Artaud, by then indifferent to the idea of poetry as a closed lyric statement, find a long-breathed voice that was adequate to the range of his imaginative needs—a voice that was free of established forms and open-ended, like the poetry of [Ezra] Pound.” Paris
In Antonin Artaud: Man of Vision, Bettina Knapp offered an explanation of Artaud's popularity long after his death: “In his time, he was a man alienated from his society, divided within himself, a victim of inner and outer forces beyond his control. … The tidal force of his imagination and the urgency of his therapeutic quest were disregarded and cast aside as the ravings of a madman. … Modern man can respond to Artaud now because they share so many psychological similarities and affinities.” Artaud's individual works, throughout his lifetime, were often received badly. However, the body of his work—seen as a call for the creation of a new theater—and his life—seen as the forge upon which his theories were fashioned—gained in the latter part of the twentieth century a numinous force, and a celebrated following.
Pierre Klossowski - Obituaries, News - The Independent Tuesday, 14 August 2001 – Ian James
The novelist, essayist, painter and translator Pierre Klossowski was one of the most original and influential intellectual figures in 20th-century French thought and writing. Brother of the painter Balthus and a close associate of Georges Bataille, Klossowski wrote novels, philosophical essays and translations which made a decisive contribution to the development of thought and aesthetics in
from the 1950s onwards. … France
As a translator and interpreter of Friedrich Nietzsche, Klossowski also had an enormous impact on the emergence of philosophies of difference in
in the 1960s and 1970s. In particular, his readings of the Nietzschean doctrine of the Eternal Recurrence of the Same, and the emphasis he gave to the motifs of parody and simulacrum, exerted a key influence on philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard and, arguably, Jacques Derrida. France
In a French philosophical scene dominated largely by phenomenology in the 1930s and by Sartrian existentialism in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, Klossowski's writings on Nietzsche helped to found a way of thinking which allowed certain, subsequently very famous, philosophers to counter the humanised Heideggerianism of Sartre, and also to challenge dominant structuralist modes of thought. It is from these philosophical displacements and critical re-inscriptions that what, in the English speaking world, became known as post-structuralism emerged in the 1960s and 1970s.
Klossowski's novels constitute by far the most challenging and enigmatic part of his work. Partly because of their difficulty and apparent inaccessibility (they abound with references to theology, scholastic philosophy, as well as Gnostic heresy, and are written in a highly Latinate style and syntax), these novels are perhaps less well known than Klossowski's other work, although they have always attracted something of a cult following and offer endless literary and intellectual pleasure to the initiated reader. Le Baphomet, Klossowski's last novel, won the 1965 Prix des Critiques.