The Bhagavad Gita is an inspiring scripture which people frequently turn to for guidance and also quote in support of their arguments. Unfortunately, its aphoristic quality and the backdrop of the war through which its message has been expounded makes it amenable to divergent interpretations. Pacifists tend to be distressed by the justification of war while the warhawks delight in it. The Gita’s enunciation of multiple spiritual paths provides leeway for commentators to selectively highlight the sections they prefer and ignore the rest of the book. Ethicists, for instance, may assume that the Gita preaches the performance of duty above everything. In this article, we examine Sri Aurobindo’s perspective on the Gita.
The Mother Mirra Alfassa was a much misunderstood Guru outside the confines of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Some derided her as authoritarian presumably because she supervised parades in the Ashram(these were intended to instill the discipline required for yogic transformation). Others, after reading of her intimate involvement in the day-to-day decisions of the disciples, concluded that she had turned the Ashram into a cult. Men especially had difficulty accepting an European (not to mention French) woman as a Guru. Many hasty, as well as nasty, misconceptions arise because we superficially evaluate her external behaviour based on our own preconceptions and prejudices. A proper appraisal of her functioning as a Guru requires some patience along with a nascent psychic sensitivity to perceive the luminous consciousness behind her frontal personality.
This article continues a previous article “Allusions in Savitri” in which we discussed some allusions employed by Sri Aurobindo in his epic poem Savitri. Sri Aurobindo had to evolve a new diction in English to describe his supernatural experiences and towards this end, he occasionally employed images, symbols and phrases from English Romantic poetry. All allusions discussed herein were discovered by Dr V.K. Gokak(1909-1992), a professor of English and Kannada literature, and have been extracted from his book “Sri Aurobindo – Seer and Poet”.
Few people receive the quality guidance that is required to raise a child. As a result, we invariably end up transferring our own subconscious deficiencies (inertia, addictions, indiscipline) onto our children. The Sri Aurobindo Society has published a booklet “How to bring up a child” on this crucially important topic, bringing together insights from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa along with anecdotes and stories from other people and places. These are some snippets from that book.