Friday, March 08, 2013

Sri Aurobindo and Tyagaraja are attempting to capture the bliss

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 India 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]

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