Category Archives: Society and Culture

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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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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On popular music and movie songs

This post is an addendum to the previous one on the influence of movies on our consciousness.  It discusses the phenomenon of “popular music”, by which we mean those shrill, raunchy, meretricious musical hits which gain instant appeal among the masses but fade away into obscurity soon after.

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What’s the purpose of praying in temples?

A reader from India asked a question which deserves to be highlighted as a separate blog post.  The question was: “Many times people on their way to temples meet with accidents and die.  What is the point of praying to Deities if they cannot protect their own devotees ?  We also hear of stories where people claim that their beloved Deity saved them.  How do we know if it was the Deity who intervened.  Why does the Diety intervene in one case and not in another?”

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On luck, superstitions, folk tales and miracles

In religious history, the spiritual essence often gets cloaked by an impenetrable layer of superstition and mythology.  Fantastic tales of miracles abound, elaborate rituals are superstitiously observed to propitiate mysterious circling spirits, and considerable regard is accorded to holy days, holy food, holy places and holy clothes.  It requires inner discernment to free the mind from the cultural baggage which has been passed down through the ages.  This is a compilation of answers given by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on some of the issues which tend to burden our thinking.

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Reconciling Family life with Yoga

Time magazine in Jan, 1950 called it the “Revolt of a doormat” (alternate link).   Nandini Mehta, wife of Bombay textile millionaire Bhagvandas Mehta and mother of three children went to court asking for legal separation.  She had become a disciple of Jiddu Krishnamurti and aspired to live a celibate life but her husband would not permit her to do so.  After an acrimonious court battle, she eventually separated from her husband but was unable to gain custody of her children (1).  She devoted the rest of her life to running an orphanage Bal Anand (i.e. “joy of children”; it still exists; see a report).

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