Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Handicapping politics of Amar- Akbar – Anthony (part 2)
from Punya Prasun Bajpai by Punya Prasun Bajpai
I went to Patna from Delhi to attend the Book Fair

Choosing the best book in a fair is similar to choosing the best couple; which is happening on a same platform. The filmy version of music and dramatization of plays looks similar everywhere. Black magic and painting competition are happening in the same event and venue. What has Bihar become? This was a question that kept me occupied throughout the book fair.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sri Aurobindo's Savitri is a landmark in Indian English writing

BHUBANESWAR Tuesday, February 20, 2007 The Pioneer 'Indian English writers have made great impact on world arena' Santanu Barad Berhampur

Indian English writing has made great impact on the world arena in present times; however, there is no room for complacency; hence the present generation writers have to sustain their efforts," opined Prof Prafulla Kumar Mohanty, while speaking on the recent trends in Indian writing in English at a national seminar, held recently at the Khallikote Autonomous College. Quoting from his survey, he said there were several inspirational writings in English by Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo and Nehru. Aurobindo's Savitri was a landmark in Indian English writing. Later, some Indian writers like RK Narayan, Raja Rao and Mulk Raj Anand had strengthened this tradition, he added.

Viswabharati's Prof Niranjan Mohanty presented a paper on trends in Indian poetry in English. He observed that after Independence, Indian poetry in English evidenced a new trend. Instead of writing about myths, real-life situations drew the attention of the poets who had attempted to find out their own original voices. Such kind of regional identities subsumed their national identities.

Prof Mohanty expressed hope that the future direction which Indian poetry in English would take, is full of promises- promises to authenticate the experience, to minimise the gap between experience and expression and to authenticate one's identity without failing to project a valourous national identity. Sarat Chandra Roy, in his paper Tradition and Modernity: A Study of Indian and Indo-English Love Poetry, mentioned, "The best work of art is that in which tradition asserts immortality most vigorously."

He stated that the international exchange of ideas and the new mode of verse expression in world poetry influenced the style of expression. Though it took a new shape in Indian English poetry, the traditional and cultural ethos prevailed as an undercurrent of motivation and inspiration, he added. He quoted TS Eliot's remark that when new literature is created. "the past is altered by the present and the present is directed by the past."

Utkal University Professor Himansu S Mohapatra also presented a paper 'A fiction of our own?' in which he explained different stages of Indian English writing, starting from the 18th century to the present times, particularly about the hybrid genre of writers. Commenting on the new generation of writers, Prof Mohapatra stated, "VS Naipaul, one of the indisputable early pioneers of the hybrid form, explained the secret of nativisation in an illuminating comment he made on Narayan's achievement, saying that it consisted in writing about ordinary people and small places of India in English, which, freighted by its imperial baggage, was obliged to write only about big, epochal things."

"The fact of the matter, of course, is that the Diaspora writing of the 1980s and 1990s has gathered all the three phases of Indian writing in English, marked by colonialists in the 18th century, aestheticism in the 19th century, anti-colonialism and cosmopolitanism in the early and middle decades of the 20th century, into itself, as it has sought to create a rich, complex and ambiguous post-colonial discourse of both collusion and resistance, of commoditisation and decolonisation," Prof Mohapatra explained.

Speaking on the "fantasywallahs" like Vikram Chandra, Amitabh Ghosh and Arundhati Roy, Mohapatra said Salman Rushdie was the writer who inspired the young generation of Indian writers. felt the necessity to quote Rushdie, "These writers have gone on to find new literary voices through English, thereby taking India's encounter with the English language to a whole new level."

Since 1963, attracted by Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, he has made Puducherry (Pondicherry) his home

FORAY Sunday, July 27, 2008 The Pioneer Orissa's literary genius One of Orissa's famous sons, Manoj Das is a stalwart of Oriya and English literature. Swati Das profiles the veteran litterateur as he shares nuggets from his journey

He is still chasing his rainbow. But its arc has changed in time. He was a columnist in leading newspapers and magazines, he is one of India's ablest interpreters of literary and cultural heritage and his literary works in Oriya and English have made him a hugely successful bi-lingual writer in the country. But for the last one decade Manoj Das, who was recently conferred Sahitya Akademy's highest honour - a Fellowship "reserved for immortals of literature," has busied himself with projects like Sahitya Akademy's Mythical, legendary and literary antiquities of India and editing the historical Yogic and Mystic Experiences. He is planning on an English novel pegged on India in transition and his quest today is a spiritual one - a far cry from his days as a Communist.

"Chasing the rainbow began in infancy and the chase continues. Only the meaning has changed from time to time. Everybody is driven by an urge to chase a rainbow - it is a dream or an ideal. Today my rainbow is to know myself and I ask myself simple questions like why was I born, why do I suffer, why do chances and coincidences occur to overshadow one's personal way and why does one die," says the litterateur who was conferred the Padmashri in 2000, recounting the opportunities and events he enjoyed in his 74 years. He frowned as he reflected on current Indian writers.

"Literature is an expression. There are plenty of literary talents in India. But there are not enough opportunities for these talents to surface. Today's writing has become commercialised. My anguish is most of them (writers) are not reflections of the genius of India - they do not project the Indian genius. They lack vision. Hype and publicity play a major role than serious writing or reviews. These books are believed by people outside (the country)," says the writer who began writing in English only after reading a book where a "cynical" writer made a "poor" portrayal of rural India.

Das was a regular columnist for English and Oriya dailies The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Samaj and Dharitri. But his favourites were The Illustrated Weekly, The Statesman and The Imprint, where his writings were a regular feature. He was the editor of the English monthly The Heritage (1985-89) and served the Ministry of Education, Singapore as its author-consultant (1981-85). His Stories of Lights and Delights in 1970 published by National Book Trust is still the largest selling children's book. Along with his friend Ruskin Bond, he worked for Chandamama (1970s-80s), churning out stories for children. Even today, Chandamama bears the name of the two authors. Das captivated readers with simplicity of his language and style, born out of a charming rustic childhood in a village by the sea in Orissa.

Since 1963, attracted by Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, he has made Puducherry (Pondicherry) his home. Like all other villages and towns Pondicherry has changed. When he came, not a single hotel existed. Now they have mushroomed. The former French colony is crowded and polluted. The (Sri Aurobindo) Ashram is teeming with tourists. "Yet there is something spiritual and mystic about Pondicherry that will never change - an inner Pondicherry. The city is harmonious and people are courteous," says the writer. He teaches English Literature and works of Aurobindo at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, while his wife Pratijna Devi teaches psychology.

"I stopped writing columns (The Hindu) 10 years back. Deadlines were becoming too tedious for me," he says. Looking for newspapers at a newsstand in New Delhi one morning few years ago, he noticed The Pioneer with a blurb "Three short stories of Manoj Das". He was surprised. "Today there are hardly any newspapers or magazines that encourage creative writing. There are no short stories, poems or essays in them. This is why we are unable to tap the literary talent in the country. It is a betrayal of the creativity and of young Indian writers who need a forum to reveal their talents," he said unhappily.

"Journalism has gained from literature. Literature has given good journalists to this country. But they (journalists) do not give space for creative writing. Ironically, it is journalism that can give the best that the nation has," said the writer.

"True literary genius can be found in regional languages," he observed. Translation of literary works from one language to another provides exposure for young writers - especially regional writers. Das himself had benefited from this. But only two journals publish translated writings today - Anubhat Patrika in Bengali and Vipula in Telugu.

Das was decorated with Saraswati Samman and Orissa's Utkal Ratna. His awards include Sahitya Akademi Award, Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award (twice), Sahitya Bharati Award (Orissa), Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award (Kolkata) and BAPASI (Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India) Award. Among the honours: Professor Emeritus by Berhampur University and D Litt. (Honoris Causa) from two universities - Utkal and Fakir Mohan. In 2000, he led the Indian writers' delegation to China. Among his western admirers are scholars Graham Greene and HRF Keating.

The litterateur was born in the coastal village of Shankhari in Balasore district of Orissa, bordering West Bengal. His father Madhusudan Das was one of the few Oriya zamindars of the region who travelled on horseback and his mother Kadambini Devi a poet who travelled in a palanquin. He grew up running around the green meadows in-between tall palms, munching on delicious berries - water berries, barriers from cane trees, berries from creepers on sand dunes etc. He was witness to the killer cyclone in 1942, followed by the great famine. His house was attacked twice by dacoits and his family watched helplessly as the dacoits plundered the house.

His childhood has been recorded in his autobiographical Chasing The Rainbow - Growing Up In An Indian Village. He often narrated his observations to his friends in school and gradually began to write them down. His first book in Oriya was published when he was only 14. At 15, he launched his first Oriya literary journal Diganta. He completed his schooling in Jamalpur and college in Balasore, where he emerged as a popular revolutionary youth leader. He also worked as an English lecturer in Cuttack before moving to Puducherry. He has written 40 books each in English and Oriya.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sri Aurobindo’s remarkable capacity to hold Paradise Lost and the Mahabharata in his mind at once is an integral gesture

"Such a Body We Must Create:" New Theses on Integral Micropolitics
Daniel Gustav Anderson
INTEGRAL REVIEW December 2008 Vol. 4, No. 2
Anderson: New Theses on Integral Micropolitics
I mean something very specific by integral theory. Broadly speaking, the integral part of integral theory seeks to address the problem of everything (Wilber, 2000b),3 and to propose means of transforming it: [...]
3 As a cultural matter, integral theory is in this sense one heir of a project initiated by early-modern pedagogues such as Pierre de la Ramee (Petrus Ramus, 1515-1572) and Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius, 1592-1670)—that of organizing many discrete problems into a schematic, spatial theory of everything. Ong (2004) offers a now-classic analysis of this project. [...]

Uncompromisingly novel interventions have been challenging in just this way, historically. Consider the riot that greeted the debut of Igor Stravinsky’s prophetic-voiced Rite of Spring, most meaningful in the context of all ballet that had come before it, or the difficulty James Joyce’s Ulysses must have presented to a reader accustomed to the much less demanding narratives of Walter Scott or Charles Dickens.10

This is not to imply that my work is analogous in significance to Stravinsky’s or Joyce’s, or that the oeuvre of any integral theorist (Aurobindo, Gebser, Krishnamurti, Wilber) is analogous in importance to that produced by Dickens, Scott, or Tchaikovsky. Rather, Ulysses and The Rite of Spring are examples of how the novel appears first as an unacceptable or impenetrable surprise, but then over time transforms its milieu—again, a double intervention. The present inquiry aspires to such a transformation in integral practice (see Thesis Eight).

I humbly ask my readers’ indulgence with the stiffly-worded passages, on the promise that, insofar as I have been successful, the effort one invests in parsing a given thesis ought to be rewarded in kind with conceptual, and therefore practical and transformational, clarity. I have also suggested ways in which these theses relate to and recontextualize each other parenthetically, giving some texture and space for the reader to work with imaginatively. The structural and stylistic features of this text are intentional and purposive.

As a practical matter, I invite newcomers to explore this essay in order to become acquainted with it, at least for a first exposure. Because major points and many minor motifs are cross-referenced to other relevant material in the essay, one can follow threads and skip around at a self-directed pace, as desired. In fairness to the work, however, if one intends to really understand any one part of this proposal, one will need to work through all of it systematically, because it expresses a systematic strategy. This is an integral theory, after all. One must be responsible for the totality (see Thesis Two). [...]

27 For example, Hampson (2007) observes that Wilber is dyspeptically disissive of multiculturalism (p.163), a cultural moment that makes real integral inquiry possible in the first place—as a properly contextualized, respectful, and intelligent appreciation of world values and traditions (see Thesis Seven), akin to respect for human dignity (and appropriately, it is the third commitment made by the California Institute of Integral Studies in its mission statement).

Aurobindo Ghose’s remarkable capacity to hold Paradise Lost and the Mahabharata in his mind at once is nothing other than a multicultural gesture, an integral gesture; but this contradiction in Wilber’s work, between monoculture and multiculture, is but one example of a contradiction in an articulation (the articulation "Wilber’s work," numbered as it is in consecutive waves). I would like to suggest that as coherences spiral into increasing complexity, the odds increase that contradictions, inner tensions, will arise, and that these tensions can be wedged open productively by critique into new coherences.

Studying figures of speech, and Rhetoric is a de facto study of human perception

Victor Davis Hanson on classical education
from The Daily Goose by Matthew
His piece from City Journal is worth reading several times (hat tip Drew Campbell).

This comprises a form of “media studies” because as one studies meter, metaphor, allusion, invective, and the hundreds more figures of speech, two things occur. One, one learns how to write more flexibly; and two, one learns the effects of figures of speech upon human perception and common sense. Why?

Because studying figures of speech is part of studying the subject of Rhetoric; and studying the subject of Rhetoric is studying what persuades people. And we all know that the study of what persuades people is so wedded to human perception so as to be functionally the same. Thus studying figures of speech, and Rhetoric more generally, is a de facto study of human perception.

Once one studies a discipline from both its concrete dimension and its “rhetorical” dimension, one is down the road of what, in the post-McLuhan age, is now called “media studies” and, when grouped with other disciplines and their media, “media ecology”.

Intuitively, but not at the time explicitly, understanding this is probably why I suggested to Dan Allison that classical education is the most seasoned and traditional form of “media studies”. And, at the very least, we continue to see how McLuhan insights continue to be a crucial bridge between classical education and contemporary fine artistry. Because without McLuhan, I don’t see how to make the connections between the study of classics and the kind of renewed study and practice of the fine aesthetics, of which, in my view, our society is in such want.

Without McLuhan, we have “many small creeks of water” in the fine arts and firm dams between what famous artists like Shakespeare “used to do” and what we fine artists today do. Whereas with McLuhan, we have A Mighty River of inspiration, insight, and intuition where we, today, can breathe the one and same electric air along with all the famous fine artists of our traditions.

Friday, December 12, 2008

English Studies in India both in its contestatory and collaborative modes

Edited by: U. M. Nanavati, Prafulla C. Kar
ISBN: 81-85753-37-7 Year of Pub: 2000 Price: Rs.300.00

The Book: This volume of essays examines some of the important issues in Indian English literature emerging both from its search for a new sense of identity and its affiliation to a global perspective in the wake of post colonialism. The essays comprising this volume address topics such as nation and nationalism, hybridization and assimilation, problems of exile and migration, the question of location and boundaries and the place of Indian English literature in the changing canon of English Studies.

By focusing on the shifting paradigms of Indian English literature as a part of the subtle transformation of the global configurations of English, the volume attempts to place the genre of this writing within a broad range of issues stemming from the peculiar and problematic role of English as a creative medium deployed in various ways in the countries which were once a part of the British Empire.

For illustrative diagnostic purposes some important writers like Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Attia Hosain, Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy are included in this volume. But the overall focus of this volume is not on the individual writers or texts and their close readings, but on conceptual and ideological formations of the genre of Indian English literature and the way it has entered the canon of English Studies in India both in its contestatory and collaborative modes.

The Editors: Prafulla C. Kar is Professor of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He was Deputy Director of the American Studies Research Centre, Hyderabad during 1982-86, and Chair, Department of English at Baroda during 1995-2000. He visited Universities of Chicago, Taxas at Austin, and California at Berkeley under a Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship. He was a Fellow at the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College, USA in 1986. Besides editing several scholarly books, he has published papers on American literature, critical theories and new literatures in English. He is one of the editors of the Journal of Contemporary Thought, Baroda.

U.M. Nanavati is a reader in the department of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He was the recipient of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Fellowship to Visit Canada to work on a project on postcolonial include Indian Literature and Aesthetics, Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. 6:30 AM 11:41 AM

The complexity and struggle involved in living a life of faith in this world

Part IV: Alyosha and Zarathustra on Com-passion and a Genuine Embodied Life
from Per Caritatem by Cynthia R. Nielsen

Dostoevsky, as well, offers his own critique of rationalism and related forms of reductionism. Though accused by many scholars of advocating a (so-called) Kierkegaardian irrationalism and extreme voluntarism, as Rowan Williams has convincingly argued, such a conclusion (among other things) fails to take into account (1) what Mikhail Bakhtin coined as the “polyphonic” mode of Dostoevsky’s text-a mode creating both dissonant and consonant extended harmonies-and (2) the way in which Dostoevsky allows Alyosha’s faith to grow and mature, thus exhibiting a picture that reflects more authentically the complexity and struggle involved in living a life of faith in this world.[6]

Many critics point to an early statement (Feb. 1854) found in a letter written by Dostoevsky to Natalya Fonvizina, a woman who had gifted him with a copy of the New Testament that he had read avidly while in prison. The content of the letter is frequently cited as evidence that Dostoevsky’s religious faith is based on irrationalism and exhibits something closely resembling Nietzsche’s will to power (extreme voluntarism).[7] Dostoevsky’s admittedly difficult statement reads as follows: “if someone were to prove to me that Christ was outside [вне] the truth, and it was really the case that the truth lay outside Christ, then I should choose to stay with Christ rather than the truth.”[8]

Williams, having examined and analyzed several of Dosteovsky’s texts and characters-from the Underground Man (Notes from the Underground), to Shatov and Stavrogin (Devils), to Alyosha and Ivan (Brothers Karamazov), offers a plausible (and to this author convincing) way to approach and interpret Dostoevsky’s statement that resonates with Dostoevsky’s own complex understanding of faith as that which “moves and adapts, matures and reshapes itself.” 6:58 AM

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Savitri is represented in the poem as an incarnation of the Divine Mother

Dawn Built her Aura of Magnificent Hues
from Savitri: the Light of the Supreme by RY Deshpande

The legend of Savitri is, writes Sri Aurobindo in a letter, “one of the many symbolic myths of the Vedic cycle”. In another letter: “Savitri is represented in the poem as an incarnation of the Divine Mother. This incarnation is supposed to have taken place in far past times when the whole thing had to be opened, so as to ‘hew the ways of immortality’. ”

New Films on the Integral Yoga
from Sri Aurobindo Yoga Website by VladNesh

Dear friends!
40 films of the sequence “The Synthesis of Yoga” in high quality are available for download.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Harekrishna Meher's endeavours for simplification and modernization of Sanskrit language are appreciable

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation Submissions Harekrishna Meher
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harekrishna Meher (b. May 5, 1956) was born at Sinapali, Nuapara District of Orissa in a renowned poetic family. His father was Poet Narayan Bharasa Meher and mother Smt. Sumati Meher. His grandfather Poet Manohar Meher is regarded as 'Ganakavi' of Western Orissa. He has excellent qualifications being topper in his career: B.A. (Sankrit Honours) from Ravenshaw College, Utkal University; M.A. (Sanskrit) and Ph.D. from Banaras Hindu University. He joined OES in 1981 as Lecturer in Sanskrit.

Currently he resides at Bhawanipatna working as Sr. Reader and Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Govt. Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna. He mainly writes in Sankrit, Hindi, English, Oriya and Koshali languages in the field of literature, music and language. He is a noted researcher, creative writer, critic, poet, lyricist, composer of songs, orator and translator. His endeavours for simplification and modernization of Sanskrit language are appreciable. His tri-lingual (Hindi, English and Sanskrit) translations of Gangadhar Meher's Tapasvini Kavya are remarkable.[1]

LITERARY AWARDS: Gangadhar Samman (2002), Gangadhar Saraswat Samman (2002), Jayakrishna Mishra Kavya Samman (2003), Vidyaratna Pratibha Samman (2005)
MAIN PUBLICATIONS: 1. Philosophical Reflections in the Naisadhacarita (Ph.D. Thesis) ISBN :81-85094-21-7 2. Naishadha-Mahakavye Dharma-Shastriya Pratiphalanam 3. Sahitya Darpana: Alankara (With Oriya-Sanskrit Commentaries) ISBN : 81-7411-12-7 4. Manohar Padyavali of Poet Manohar Meher (Edited) 5. Matrigitikanjalih (Original Modern Sanskrit Gitikavya)[2] 6. Tapasvini (Hindi Version of Poet Gangadhar Meher's Oriya Kavya) [3] [4]
SOME OTHER PUBLICATIONS (TRANSLATED): 1. Niti-Sataka, Sringara-Sataka and Vairagya-Sataka of Bhartrihari 2. Naishadhacharita (IX Canto) of Sriharsha 3. Kumara-Sambhava (I, II, V, VII Cantos) of Kalidasa 4. Raghuvamsha (II Sarga) of Kalidasa 5. Koshali Meghaduta (Kalidasa's Meghaduta into Koshali) 6. Siva Tandava Stotra 7. Gayatri Sahasra Nama.

References About Harekrishna Meher Modern Sanskrit Lyricist Gangadhar Meher English Tapasvini
Categories: Completed Afc requests Indian poets Sanskrit poets 1956 births Indian poet