Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on Clairvoyance

In the sixth century BCE, Gosala founded the Ajivika sect which claimed that every event in the future is predestined and one must be resigned and accept its inevitability.  Before founding the sect, Gosala had been a disciple of Mahavira (24th Tirthankara of Jainism) for six years.  Gosala had observed that the predictions made by Mahavira came true, and this was believed to be the reason he began to believe that the future is predestined.

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K.M.Munshi’s two visits to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram

K.M.Munshi (1887 – 1971) was a freedom-fighter, politician, writer and educationist.  He was instrumental in rebuilding the Somnath temple which had been repeatedly destroyed by invaders.  He founded an education trust, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, and was a founding member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. In this article, he speaks of his meeting with Sri Aurobindo as well as the Mother.

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Sri Aurobindo’s Translation of Tirukkural

The Tirukkural (Sacred Verses) is a spiritual text authored by sage Thiruvalluvar, who is said to have lived somewhere between 300 BCE and 500 CE. Sri Aurobindo had translated a few of these verses into Tamil. In this article, Usha Mahadevan (DRBCC Hindu College, Chennai) analyzes Sri Aurobindo’s translation.

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Freedom from mental constructions

There is a rattling cage of thought formations which perpetually surround our brain. It’s a chaotic mixture of golden rules, calcified beliefs and fervid anxieties which we have aggregated based on our life experience. We reinforce them every day by repeatedly applying them and talking about them with others. This cluster of thoughts is what the Mother referred to as a “mental construction“.

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Five signs of a soul turned to inner wisdom

The “Essays on the Gita” is a commentary by Sri Aurobindo on the Bhagavad Gita.  There are many hidden nuggets and fresh interpretations presented by Sri Aurobindo in this commentary.   In the following passage, Sri Aurobindo elucidates on the five signs of a soul who has definitely commenced on the inner journey.  The following passage refers to Chapter 13 of the Bhagavad Gita.

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Can reading of spiritual books become counter-productive ?

People who read too many spiritual books can go off-track. They waste their time intellectually resolving some messy conundrums. For example, Sri Aurobindo says A, Ramana Maharshi says B, Paramahansa Yogananda says C : lets intellectually figure out who is correct. The purpose of the spiritual text is to elevate the consciousness; its hidden meaning is unlocked through spiritual experiences.

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Explaining dreams where you meet a known person

Once, the mathematician Donald Newman(1930-2007) was struggling hard with a problem,  but couldn’t resolve it by any means.  He went to sleep at night and had a dream.  This was not the kind of dream which gives the solution to a problem, but a dream in which he met fellow mathematician John Nash. Newman asked Nash about the problem, and Nash told him the answer.  When Newman finally wrote the paper, he gave credit to Nash[1].  (I’m not kidding, read the story in this book or in the Scientific American ).

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Bhagavad-Gita online

The Sri Aurobindo Society in collaboration with the Vande Mataram library has created a website on the Bhagavad Gita.  It features audio rendition of each verse, transliteration, grammatical analysis of each Sanskrit word, a dictionary coupled with extensive cross-referencing.  To top it all, they have also included Sri Aurobindo’s commentary on the text.

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How to utilize money to grow spiritually

A blog reader asked the question – “How to make best utilize one’s savings from a spiritual point of view?  Should one take medical insurance, life insurance, invest in mutual funds.  If we engage in the stock market, it increases greed ?  In some countries, medical costs are high so medical insurance is necessary.”

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Hinduism and the caste system

Amal Kiran (born K.D. Sethna, a Parsi-Zoroastrian) was a disciple of Sri Aurobindo.  He wrote the following article in response to Dr Ambedkar’s embrace of Buddhism.   This article was approved by Sri Aurobindo and was first published in the Mother India magazine on May 27, 1950.  It is worth revisiting in light of the fact that in the popular mind, Hinduism seems to contain nothing other than the caste system, cows and idols.

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Evolution of human nature

While other religions lay down a set of commandments which must be uniformly followed by all human beings, Hinduism advises each soul to act based on his or her Swadharma(inner law).  This is a nice story by M.S. Srinivasan which illustrates this principle.  This story appeared in the recent issue of NAMAH, a journal published out of Pondicherry.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 210,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hindu Devas take a (silk) road trip to Japan!

Fascinating and well-documented article on the iconic deities of Hinduism like Ganesha, Shiva, Brahma, Lakshmi, Durga, Saraswati, Kubera, Indra and others who have been depicted in ancient Japanese literature and paintings.

Videshi Sutra

(Note: If you are only interested in pictures, skip past this and hit “Continue Reading”)

This is a historical phenomenon, which entertains and fascinates me to no end. Buddhism had a huge impact on all East Asian cultures, especially on their pantheons of deities. On first glance it might seem odd that a reform movement, which rejected many of the core tenants of Vedic religion would transmit a belief in Vedic deities. This apparent oddity is a misunderstanding of Buddhism’s “atheism,” and a misunderstanding of what a “Deva” actually is. Most forms of Buddhism, while rejecting the concept of all-powerful gods or creator deities, openly accept the existence of powerful supernatural beings. This includes yakshas (nature spirits) rakshasas (demons) gandharvas (celestial musicians) nagas (supernatural snakes) and many other beings, including Devas (deities.) In Hindu and Buddhist cosmology, Devas are created beings that roam around the universe seeking the divine, albeit…

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To Love Man (Manush Bhajan) by Nolini Kanta Gupta

This is an English translation of a Bengali article entitled “Manush Bhajan” by Nolini Kanta Gupta (1889-1984) who was a disciple of Sri Aurobindo (see bio on wikipedia).    Sri Aurobindo once remarked, “If Nolini does not understand my Yoga, who does”.  The translation of this article was done by Satadal and originally published by Maya Chattopadhyay of the “Sri Aurobindo Sthan” in Kolkata.

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Where does mathematics come from?

Is mathematics invented or discovered? Do mathematical objects pre-exist in some transcendental plane, are they abstractions of our sensory experiences, or are they just fictional objects invented by our minds? Would an alien species specify mathematical abstractions in a different way? These are the questions which are explored under the “Philosophy of mathematics”. Several competing theories such as Logicism, Intuitionism, Formalism and Platonism have been proposed to explain the nature of mathematics.   Here, I shall present some insights by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother which are connected to this topic.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 200,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Anecdotes of my Guru

Over the past few years, quite a few blog readers have written to me appreciating the manner in which I have presented the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.  I would attribute much of it to my Guru whom I met early in my teenage years.  My experiences with him seemed to correspond closely with the manner in which the Sri Aurobindo and the Mother interacted with their disciples.  It is this correlation which has enabled me to provide an alternative perspective on their life and teachings.

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A book on Sri Aurobindo in Arabic

Zackaria Moursi, whose spiritual journey was covered in a an earlier blog post “How an Egyptian discovered Sri Aurobindo” has just published a bilingual book featuring quotes from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.   The book is listed on Amazon and can also be viewed on his website.

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Sri Aurobindo’s influence on Russians

Here is an interesting history of how Russians came into contact with Sri Aurobindo during the time of the Soviet Union.  This article was originally posted on the website of Varuna Energy & Water Pvt. Ltd., which is a unit based in Auroville.

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