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Dr. K.S. NARAYANACHARYA
KAUTILYA INSTITUTE OF NATIONAL STUDIES, MYSORE
Sri Aurobindo – Secularist? Or Nationalist? By Dr. K.S. Narayanacharya, Published by Kautilya Institute of National Studies, Chamaraja Mohalla, Mysore 570 005, Karnataka, India.
The Kautilya Institute of National Studies has no animosity for anyone, no disrespect for difference of views, and no dislike for any segment of humanity, ancient or present. It is simply interested in bringing together all the best from all the quarters, that is necessary and vital to make our life collectively safe, beautiful, enjoyable, meaningful in a forward flow that providence has set for it so strongly that inimical forces are doomed for extinction by nature as it were. These are holding on to artificial, cruel, terrorist aids and for too long. The time for reckoning has arrived at long last, let us hope. The beautiful, hopeful and meaningful vision of an Indian Renaissance held by Swamy Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Tagore, Netaji and millions of martyrs has been frustrated by false men, usurpers, "men of straw" in the past half century. Let us defeat these internal inimical forces also and march on.
Publications so far: 1. Semetic Challenges 2. Fundamentalism versus Hinduism 3. Sri Ramanuja, Melukote and Srivaishnavism 4. T.S. Eliot, and Hindu Influence on his 'The Wasteland' (in Kannada) 5. Relevance of Kautilya for Today 6. ÑÚÈÚáÛd ÈÚß}Úß¡ A¨ÛÀ~½ÞOÚÁÚy JM¥Úß-ÑÚÈÛÄß In the Press: 1. Society and the Challenges of Spiritualisation in the Hindu Context
About the Author
Born in 1933, and educated at Mysore, (Maharaja's College and Yuvaraja's College), Sri K.S. Narayanacharya, popularly known as Ramayanacharya, is a B.Sc. (P.C.M), B.A. (Hons) English, and M.A. (Modern English Literature) coming from an orthodox and devout family of Vedic scholars. His Doctoral thesis is on The Influence of Indian thought on the poetry of W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot. He has studied the Krishna Yajurveda under the guidance of great masters like the late Dandavati Siva Dixit Somayaji of Dharwad, where he has worked as Professor and Principal of the famed Karnataka Arts College, Karnataka University, for over 32 years as a teacher of English literature. Author of over 70 works in Kannada and English on varied subjects like the Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagavata, the Hymns of Alwars, Vedanta, Haridasa literature, D.R. Bendre, and Kautilya, Sri Acharya is a recipient of several State awards like Sangeetha Nritya Academy's ‘Karnataka Kala Sri’, the Sahitya Academy prize, ‘Gamaka Rathnakara’ from the State Government, and titles from Religious Heads, like Veda Bhushana, Valmiki Hridayajna, Pravachana Kalanidhi and so on. Music, lndology, poetry, discourses and lecture tours are among the abounding interests of the Acharya. He is an invincible debater and a passionate advocate of Hindu values as lasting solutions for the maladies of our society. He is a novelist too, turning our Epics into popular moulds of fiction. His serials in the Kannada weeklies like Tharanga and Karmavira are very popular and run for months at a stretch. The Acharya is a master of English, Kannada, Sanskrit and Tamil and has lectured all over the country. For his services to Indian literature and spirituality through works, speech and discourses, the Karnataka State Open University, Mysore has awarded him recently (18th, March, 2005) an Hon D.Litt. degree.
Swamy Dayananda and Maharshi Sri Aurobindo Who stood in the forefront of Hindu Renaissance accepting all challenges from within and without and showed us the way to the future yet to be achieved .Dedicated to the memories of Swamy Vivekananda.
47. Essays Divine and Human p.” . “I said to my soul. wait without love For love would be love of the wrong thing. There is yet faith But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting. be still.Taittiriya Aranyaka “For even out of the darkness the day is born and lightning has its uses.“The resplendent Sun is but the Child of Mother Darkeness” . and wait without hope For hope would be hope for the wrong thing.” . and let the dark come upon you Which shall be the darkness of God… I said to my soul.Sri Aurobindo: On the importance of Original thinking. be still.
1950) – Sri Aurobindo’s prophecy. India’s Rebirth. though unfortunately. Nehru’s efforts to prevent the inevitable clash are not likely to succeed for more than a short time. and so it is not necessary to give him the slap you wanted to go to Delhi to administer to him. if it is a dream. Afterwards the work for the divine will become more possible and it may well be that the dream. p. Here too there is sure to be a full clearance. of leading the world toward the Spiritual Light. .253.”† * † India (from a letter to a disciple dated April 4. a considerable amount of human suffering in the process is inevitable. may even become a reality. especially with regard to the Pakistani imbroglio. were also things that had to come and to be cleared out.“The difficulties that surrounds her* now may increase for a time. So I am not disposed even now in these dark conditions to consider my will to help the world as condemned to failure.
.........................8 Why all this?........ 20 Sri Aurobindo’s Own Views ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 14 Illustration..........................................................................................13 Mischievous Semantics ..................................................................................... 18 Chapter 2: Examination of Wrong Views....................................................Preface ............................................................... 22 Chapter 3: Sri Aurobindo on Revivalism ......20 Personal Note.......................................................................... Insinuations and Rebuttals............................................................................................................. 20 The Open End. 36 Bibliography ..................................................................................32 Sanskrit ............................................................................................................................... 34 Conclusion .................................................................. 17 The Agenda............................................................................................................ and the Place of Sanskrit in it ................ 27 Chapter 4: On Education............................................................................................................................................. 15 Who Are The Misinterpreters? .38 ................................................25 ‘Spirituality’ and Sri Aurobindo............................................................................................................................................ 16 The Apologists... 9 Chapter 1: Attempts to Hijack and ‘Secularise’ Sri Aurobindo!................................................... But the Warning!..............................
even ‘fundamentalist’ as against Islam and Christianity which are really secular. the learned and the lay. where they pick up courage. ‘entertainable’ and ‘respectable’ phenomenon. irredeemably secure in its deadly jaws. which would be communal! And so on and on. which has no place or meaning in a fast current of ‘internationalism’.Preface The name of the disease is “Secularitis”. the diseased body in all its affected parts. contemptible. educate them. ‘Godhra’ is secular. Hindu means ‘communal’. intelligentsia. the sophisticated. or factors leading to this disease and expressible in symptoms as have been pointed out: (i) allergy to Indian history. the press. if he regains self-consciousness. are entirely secular and in order. any idea. (v) monetary considerations. as per the court’s order. ‘post-Godhra’ is communal. by miracle. secular constitution’. (iv) various inhibitions. Otherwise you are despicable. (iii) fear of antagonising the votes of the ‘minorities’ behaving as if they are more major than the ‘majority’ community. (b) call them for debate. which ought not to take route in any form of ‘nationalism’. The cure. broadminded. ‘Secularitis’ is now like mass-hysteria. and tries to explain that it stands for an act of historical blunder. and unthinking docility. but reconversion to Hinduism or anti-conversion laws and legislations are incurably communal. the public men. or the public reading-rooms with materials warning of the contagion and the consequence. on the part of secular politicians. the prescription: (a) expose to sunlight. but Indian history by communist comrades is secular. he becomes apologetic. covering up even academia. (d) retrieve the saveable through persuasion. fury. but vandalism by Muslim hoodlums is secular. the patient goes into profound fits of madness. shifting of 24 other temples on the same road sides. but the voluntary peaceful. rage. Street riots protesting the bulldozing of a Darga in the middle of a road or in the footpath. ideology. temptations of various kinds. astrology a superstition. ridiculous in a topsy-turvy situation. for want of expressions of more symptoms. as it would contrast the behaviour patterns of peaceful and antinational communities. programme to pass of for ‘civilised’. authentic. Indian history by Indians is hopelessly communal. Conversion to Islam and Christianity by force and fraud is secular as guaranteed by the open ‘socialist. too long under the spell of alien rulership. forward-looking and modern. the snobbish and the rustic alike. You require this label ‘Secular’ for anything. (ii) allergy to Truth and the daring to accept it. the treatment. and opinion-creators. and comfort in ignorance as contrasted with discomfort with knowledge and truth on the part of the public. hard endurable food and civilised feelings. Cow-protection is communal. The symptoms: at the mention of the mere word ‘Hindu’. ‘revivalistic’. untraceable. ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’ movement is communal. scientific and ‘impartial’. the lobby agents and many others. as per the same court order must not even be reported in secular newspapers. The causes. . like jaundice which makes everything you look at appear yellow. for the press. (c) drown the market.
with no Christians around. Harihara and Bukka. disinformation. and renovations of their tombs! They forget that Sri Aurobindo has said that “it is not enough we have Ramdasses. a peculiar class of savants. interpreters of their valuable insights for our present and future applications. But in the South our Acharyas are fast asleep! Reading newspapers. All ‘savants’ gather together to condemn a VHP. true to the Catholic Hindu core of the teaching. (f) expose the poison in the concerned literature. under the patronage of a Christian Chief Minister and a Christian Super Prime Minister! Our Ramakrishna Muth heads are silent. national history and its heroes. is cropping up. standing for exactly the opposite of what they stand for! They are selective. Why all this? In the cases of Swami Vivekananda and Maharshi Sri Aurobindo. and so on. commemorative occasions. they condemn the Hindus for their mild reactions even! Christians have converted an Executive Officer of the TTD and acquired lands on the Holy Hills and are building Churches. But the Swamy’s present-day followers have failed their founder. They were earlier of the Shepard community. Our Aurobindo-savants are silent! Swamy Sri Vidyaranya got the Vijayanagar Empire established through two reconverts to Hinduism from Islam. we must have Shivajis” (See inside the text). The Northern Swamies. In the face of the gravest provocations threatening the very existence of Hinduism and its numerous Institutions. An ‘outfit’ means something that has outgrown a body beyond its . the saints. and promote respect for all these. who had once been generals under the Bahamani muslim leaders. but the Swamy made them Kshatriyas. Mahants are keeping up their tradition to this day. ABVP and other patriotic organisations as “Hindu-upsurge-outfits” in a language they inherit from a prejudiced press. myopic. entertaining political opinions. We must educate our old leaders in these simple matters. these savants are silent unlike Vivekananda. trodden and stolen. and it is only in Semitic terms religion is regimented and spirituality is totally wanting. Dharma. and guiding society and leaders in political matter is considered ‘unreligious’! Our concept of Spirituality is less than even Gandhian! We do not realise that in Hinduism Religion and Spirituality both mean the same. leader. (g) have recourse to healthy national roots of culture. anywhere! They distribute Bible copies on the TTD busses that take the Hindu pilgrims onto the Hills. by keeping silent and blind to Muslim and Christian onslaughts in similar but graver circumstances! Swamy Ramananda (Ramanuja-follower) and after him Sant Tulsidas established not only Muths for reorganisation of Hindu society to reclaim the weak. a Bajrang Dal. national honour.(e) mobilise an intellectual army to fight this war by propaganda. These ridicule ‘Shivaji’ as a ‘misguided patriot’. and mud-singling campaign. and ‘seculareducated’ so that they exhibit all the above-mentioned symptoms in their write-ups! One such is under scrutiny in this booklet. but are silent when efforts are made to celebrate Afzal Khan’s and Aurangazeb’s for their festivals. self-deceptive. They distribute abusive pamphlets on idol worship. but also gymnasia (Akharas) for body-building and Hindu defence. and Aurobindo. explicators of their thoughts and vision.
a Bush and ISI traitors! Not to speak of Naxal armies of leftists ideologists. whose emptiness is taken for the unenviable loneliness of the modern man and cast discredit upon him. sir? If in the contexts of proxy wars both within the nation and across the borders with Islamic and Christian terrorists we employ similar armies. a great hoard of worthless people give themselves the air of being modern by overleaping the various stages of development and the tasks of life they represent. But what do we do? We dispute the existence of a Rama or a Hanuman. jagrata. I have tried to place facts as they are. social applications. prapya varan nibodhata” – “Arise. L. political. they imagine! This is the spiritual problem of modern man. p. we want more of Shiva Sainiks. Hindu Sainiks. instead of receiving inspiration from him! Will the Upanishads save us. what is wrong? In fact. would bring them a sense of modernity or impartiality. It is shear 1 Window on the World. . Terrorists and Non-terrorists are equal!” This is the fate of Sri Aurobindo in the hands of a coterie handling a cult built in his name recently. by showing Sri Aurobindo’s own views. As a matter of fact.43. weeding out Ravana!! Have you read the Ramayana. They appear suddenly by the side of the truly modern man as uprooted human beings. bloodsucking ghosts. This is the language of the British. “Uttishtata. according to Carl Jung. “All religions. Brander OUP. in high presumption and arrogance. or foreign backed LTTE. See his analysis: “Nothing is easier than to affect the consciousness of the present. and divorced of all involvement or commitment in inhibited circumstances. side by side of the views attributed to him. 45. interpreted outside national. Ed. and Bajrang Dal people to match the armies of Bin Laden. we blame Rama. awake and stop not till the goal is reached” – this is what the Upanishads meant to Swamy Vivekananda! But to his followers? They declare themselves as ‘non-Hindus’! They claim that Ramakrishna founded a new religion! “Ramakrishaism”. who described our First Freedom Struggle as a ‘Mutiny’! Lord Sri Rama thought it fit that an untrained monkey-army with its guerrilla methods was best suited for overthrowing. Let the readers judge for themselves the truth of the matter! I shall try to persuade again. or we condemn it. the celebrated psychologist1. He and his kind… are hidden from the undiscerning eyes of mass-men by these clouds of ghosts. the pseudo-moderns… unless he can atone by creative ability for his break with tradition he is merely disloyal to the past. we dispute the burning of Lanka. our erstwhile colonisers. Spirituality in the Hindu context. the way they are being interpreted as entirely otherworldly? “Nayamatma bala hinena labhyah” – “God cannot be attained by the weak”.form! An ‘upsurge’ is a futile uprisal.
warns us2: “Whatever maybe the relief that Hindu souls are going to find for themselves eventually. or Aurobindo or avoids them. What else is the opposite of moral-courage? Is it not moral cowardice? We are not asking them to join the army.” If this does not suit Christianity or Islam. for communism a Western heresy adopted by an ex-orthodox Christian Russia – is as much part and parcel of the Graeco-Judaic heritage as the Western way of life is. avoid being branded as ‘Hindu’! The result is just the opposite!! The more they try to avoid it. circumvents them to escape their overtones for the present and future. and yet the greatest of present facts. strongly. social. Satchidanandan: A Toynbee Anthology OUP. Irfan Habib and other comrades who dispute the entire past of a Hindu history and its glory. bringing spirituality to politics is another. perhaps courageless Hindus. and the whole of this tradition is alien to Hindu spirit. and if possible. fall. something whose possession is the final good. They are unwittingly in their clasp and company by denying the link between the ‘Hindu’ past. and yet eludes apprehension. economic overtones. V. p. truthful and honest’. and where Hindu values are at stake. and yet is beyond all reach. All that we ask is: shed your inhibitions.39. He applied spiritual values to the political context of Mahabharatatimes to show light to a bewildered Arjuna on the war-field! Bringing to politics to spirituality is one thing. altogether to escape being stigmatised as narrow.” The savant who denies contextual meanings of the past utterances of a Vivekananda. and within. I would add ‘pseudo-seculars’ also.171. the passing flux of immediate things. their can be no relief from the impact of Western civilisation by opening themselves to the influence of communism. behind.juggling to look upon a denial of the past as the same thing as consciousness of the present. do not distort ancient or modern leaders to suit your cowardly minds. All that we ask of them is. 3 2 . and the Stalinist historians like a Romilla Thapar. ‘be bold. it seems clear that for them. the historian. they can go to Hell differently in their own pervert senses of religion as commandments. Sri Krishna shall be your role-model. something which is the ultimate ideal and the hopeless quest. sectarian or denominalised into ‘outfits’ they would like avoid. something that gives meaning to all that passes. do not speak of empty spirituality divorced of actual contexts of life with political. regimented creeds. You are hopelessly confused between the two! Silence would have been better for you than irresponsible and misleading writing. p. I am not suggesting that our Aurobindo savants are being directly influenced by communism. Ed. something which is a remote possibility.”3 Our ‘pseudo-moderns’ would dispute the relation between spirituality and religion.N. Why should you be ashamed of religion in the Hindu context? Read this comment by A. something which is real. be bold to speak the truth in context of Hindu humiliation. and their directionless present and by shunning comments of moral courage on compelling situations where Hindu identity is in danger. Whitehead4: “Religion is the vision of something that stands beyond. But why should you join them. become parts of mass movements or openly fight Christian. into the category of ‘pseudo moderns’. 4 Science and the Modern World. and yet waiting to be realised. But actually your duty is speaking the truth. do not take shelter under ‘pseudo-modernism’. as you are a Hindu? Do you want the stamp of Sri Aurobindo on this? See: India and the West. Muslim or communist vandals in public streets. ‘Today’ stands between ‘yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow’. the more they are likely to be branded as Hindu. Arnold Toynbee. ‘pseudo-secularism’ to escape your responsibility.
Diwakar. 6 ibid. but rather too little of it”5. Pure ‘spirituality’ is a creature no one has seen! It is the creation of sterile minds. Munshi and R. p. The least that one expects of misinterpreters. . to make it in very truth all the life of the national religion in this high spiritual sense”6. K. Same p. 7 ibid.“If we define spirituality as the attempt to know and live in the highest self. Untouchability in spiritual compartments of political and social organisations. Same p.M. and give it a still wider scope. always great fore-runners. Narayanacharya 5 The Culture of India. the passage is from Renaissance in India. in scientific and technological fields.. Same p.73. Mysore June 6. K. “The master idea of the Indian people has been the seeking of man for his true spiritual self and the use of life as a frame and means for that discovery and man’s assent from the ignorant and natural into the spiritual existence”8. but it was when the flower of the educated youth of Calcutta bowed down at the feet of an illiterate Hindu ascetic. then it is evident that there was no too much of religion. 8 ibid. the divine. There were always indications. and to raise life in all its parts to the divinest possible values. is an unconditional apology.S. the ruled. as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo.72. has never been the Indian practice. “It was in religion that the soul of India awoke and triumphed. in jurisprudence and daily worship. 2006 Dr.21.R. a self-illuminated mystic without a single trace or touch of the alien thought or education upon him that the battle was won”7. All our Dharmasastras bear ample proof of their mutual interdependence. in the relation of man and woman. Ed. if they are still honest. but to return to its old amplitude. “The right remedy is not to belittle still further the age-long ideal of India.
without caste. chicken-hearted pseudo intellectual are vowed to see this society. on operation tables. What is wrong in ‘revival’? They mere adding up of three extra letters – ‘i-s-m’ cannot make good sense. suppression. destruction and erasement of Hindu cultural values. notions. is unfashionable. class or social conflicts. labour . fear-free. The terms ‘revivalism’ and ‘progressivism’ have taken thus a communist bias. its traditions and values. without a sense of shame. acquire a bad odour. reshape its Individuality and not imitate falsely alien role-models has been monopolised by the communist forces and their various outfits in education. The complimentary. how much more responsible. with nobody asking the medically unethical question. Revival. Shelley prayed for such a regeneration of life in his Ode to the Westwind. leftist oriented. Even scoundrels. by drips and whatever treatment possible. The process of living involves cyclic ‘death’ and ‘resurrection’ in the very roll of seasons. S. the past and the future must be connected through purposeful. its glorious culture in fading conditions of today. enough blood and responsiveness to medical treatment. in preference to slogan=supported abstract notions of a ‘socialistic society’. This is pervert semantics. Even doctors try to ‘revive’ a patient that collapses by artificial devices for breathing. muddle-free and realisticminded should one be while talking of cultural renaissance.Chapter 1: Attempts to Hijack and ‘Secularise’ Sri Aurobindo! Cultural suicide or cultural amnesia cannot be mistaken for spiritual Renaissance. ‘Value’ of life is immaterial there! Saving is all that matters as long as the patient possesses the potency to be saved – good heart condition. unification and assertion of an ancient society like the Hindu society at present! Most English-educated. the larger credit for popularising this criminal notion. Behind these terms lies the grasp that life is worth saving. Resurrection. Hindu spirituality and political and social polarisation in such a way as to prevent the nation from coming back to itself. retrograde. and planned by vested interests to bring back the proletariat under the tyranny of feudal forces reorganising themselves for a further onslaught on the hapless masses. and lending support to all manners of anti-Hindu forces. is fundamentalist. whether the patient’s life is worth saving. Hindu history. Those that are wedded to see this society flower up again are branded as ‘revivalists’. When this is so. is undesirable. expressed through an upsurge in cultural roots that ‘clutch’ (in the phrase of T. distortion. totally die. meaning thereby “that any attempts to revive Hindu culture is a sin. and Renaissance – all are healthy terms indicating that life must be saved. secular (anti-Hindu_ society. by blood providence. pulse beat. thieves and ‘anti-life’ persons are attempted to be ‘saved’ in hospitals. as all ‘progress’ is the monopoly of socialists. is obscurantist. on its own feet. political and social forces and steps in administration must go to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the Congress led by him and his dynastic successors till date. Revitalisation. leftists of all hue and the medley of rulers that have usurped political power since the advent of Freedom since 1947. based on pure scientific temperament. Eliot) cannot be mistaken for ‘revivalism’ in the bad sense of that term. meaningful efforts in the present. and of course economic support for hospital treatment. The will to live. movements. Rejuvenation. erroneous and suicidal notion that all ‘progress’ meant. and is setting the past against the future. spiritual revival and cultural revitalisation.
There is no individual flowering up here of Purushartha as we would say. now free. even in well meaning mouths of innocent folk. self-efforts. in a free atmosphere by an individual who chooses to come up. must take into account this mischief of communist semantics. political and social circles. political movements. and attempting to rebuild itself. who is no more now than a ‘cog in the machine’ (in Bertrand Russell’s phrase). creating confusions with irresoluble disastrous effects in the common usage in the press. so that it connotes all the healthy meanings and intentions in a ‘democratic’ setup or frame of mind. and foreign forces behind them that do not tolerate a strong. or Gandhian concept of HinduMuslim unity. reshape itself. So he requires an artificial motivation. There is every scope for the government or the ideology behind it to ‘encourage’ (in innocent looking terms). with violent ideas of artificial creating of conditions suited to achieve chosen purposes of the greater bosses behind the individual. trouble-free. a philosopher. in enterprise. (1) ‘Initiative’ means. see the difference between these two words – ‘Initiative’ and ‘Incentive’ being now wrongly equated. or Sarvodaya. muscle support promises (that may or may not be fulfilled later on. Mischievous Semantics Any talk of cultural or spiritual renaissance today in contexts of Aurobindonian thoughts. or an international ideology like Pan-Islamism or Christianity with no national boundaries. business. The cog is just a useful part of a machine. Vivekananda’s visionof future Hindustan. and creating healthy conditions and traditions in society that are congenial for the practice of that ‘initiative’. The machine may be a party like CPI (M) or CPI. without external or artificial support or interference. This has a communist background. (2) ‘Incentive’ means a tempting support. fooling devices. a free-trader . Naxalites or even the Congress. harmonious Hindu society and a government reflecting these true aspirations of a nation too long under foreign rule. Shall we illustrate? It is a poet. public speech and private talk. a scientific researcher. If a man requires an ‘initiative’. which he on his own does not share. all that the government has to do is to give or provide him with such free opportunities. an artist. some sections of the Press. united self-sufficient. unfettered. in the best senses of this term. as in our election campaigns) instruments to achieve that goal. for the moment to egg him on to do something that serves the interests of that someone else who has the real stakes. So he gives him money. the individual to undertake what he may not want to do on his own. political encouragement and social coercion and what not. where the individual has no use except to serve someone’s interest. attractive prompting or temptation to do something which the individual might not like to do or practice on his own. without crutches. and useful only in the context of a machine. IUML or ULFA. This is freedom. in endeavours. slogans. LTTE. and flower up again like the mighty Oak tree or our Ashvattha tree. and the poison infiltrated into hundreds of thousands of words and phrases in English and through them into local languages. press lobbying. Just. for example. in industry. useless by itself. in organisation.fronts.
Our modern day ‘Reservations’ in ‘free’ India come under this category. bhajans. All manners of state subsidies. with self-efforts. Gurumurthy. regimented sections of society that require Incentive. and what they conquered was theirs. whichever woman among the ‘unfaithful’ he captured he could sell or have for a concubine. whichever man he caught he could enslave and so on. debate and the possibility of change for the better.(as in West Bengal and Kerala) so that the rule of ‘might’ rules. our own political and social institutions to suit our changing needs. navy or air force fully wedded to .who requires Initiative. undisturbed by sanity. claiming to be custodians of treasures of Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts. as his officially accepted. as it is unable to and afraid of meeting environmental. of TV sets. and material challenges before it? Did Swamy Vivekananda preach it or practise it? This silk-cocoon attitude? Did Sri Aurobindo mean it in all his works? (Can you equate him with Sri Ramana?) Is spiritual renaissance an isolated phenomenon like a rainbow. by paying no salaries. Jagmohan. efflorescence of philosophic thinking. ‘Revivalism’ is being stuffed down our throats in this very fashion today. without the equally necessary backdrop of social and political changes appropriate to them? How can you talk of renaissance in a vacuum? How would it be different from escapism into the ‘other world’. preventing the individual from growing from within. public debate dies. Illustration The prophet raised his armies to ‘spread’ Islam on the basis of Incentive. changing times? Do we not need modern maharshis like Arun Shourie. if a programme for renaissance is not backed up by necessary social or political conditions. external. and mad sensitivities are aroused in alarming proportions. do we not need a revival of all ancient Hindu institutions. freedom. of our society? Do we not need indigenous trade values or valid theories and practice to protect ourselves from the onslaughts in the false name of globalisation? Do we not need an army. seeking refuge in the world of the spirit. recreate? In practical terms. Sri Ram Swarup and others. but by telling his followers. free distribution of pumpsets. imbecile and dumb. also. unfortunately. mercenary. with no ground realities to meet or fulfil or oppose. to continue the works of a Tagore. or if it cannot face this job? Is this not ‘medievalism’ in the condemnable sense of that term. and people become docile. reform. and vision? People who talk of spiritual renaissance. as well as really those dedicated to the protection of Hindu interests which are the really lasting benefiting interests of the nation. Once a public issue is made. whatever they loot is theirs. hired audiences. a gangster. minus the crusts overgrown on them. non-disputed biographies bear testimony to. artistic creations. while it is a murderer. Sita Ram Goel. power supply. distribution of lands (the DMK move) come under incentives. muths. along with similar words and phrases which we are unable to examine in a coercive atmosphere. a flash in the skies. minus the evils that have cropped up in their place? Temple worship. Can we forgive people who ought to know better? People well educated. an Aurobindo and a Vivekananda or a Dayananda? Or no? Do we not need a new Kshatra – militant – force to protect and promote our interests? What Vivekananda called Bauddhika Kshatriyas. and tempers rise.
politically legitimate interests? Or do we afford the debauching of these with communal reservations? In short. But the voices it seems. He described his own way as that on which the Buddhas of the past had walked and the Buddhas of the future will work. all honour to it. a Ranjit Singh. for example. social. whose experiences are for all human application. Sri Aurobindo Ashram raised their own gurus to the same status. Sri Aurobindo had expounded at length how the concrete images to which Vedic Rishis addressed their hymns had emerged out of the deepest intuitions of spiritual conciousness.”9 The thrust of what I want to say in this write up has been beautifully summed in the words I have just quoted! Let me explain: I am a great admirer of Sri Aurobindo’s powerful presentation of Hinduism. its openness. the Ramakrishna Mission and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram imbibed the theology of Monotheism in another respect. its resilience. Sri Ramakrishna is no more a saint who sought and verified in his own experience the truths of Sanatana Dharma. however are not known for their fondness for Hindu idols or temples… What was worse. do we want a Shivaji. its wide embrace. Mahatma Gandhi has so far been spared the ‘honour’. in our altered circumstances.370. Swamy Vivekananda had said if idol-worship could produce a spiritual master like Sri Ramakrishna. what does your empty talking of ‘spiritual renaissance’ minus ‘reviving’ suitable conditions to realise this goal. in all places and for all people. but with unfinished tasks they contributed to? Christian and Muslim vested interests inside and outside the country want to balkanise the nation and capture power at the centre today. a new was suspect. Some of these voices came from the tallest figures in the saga of India’s re-awwakening to her ancient heritage. such as has never been seen in the past and will not be witnessed again in the future. but as the highest manifestation of the Divine in human history! Shades of Christ and Muhammad… The stalwarts of India’s reawakening never claimed to be founders of new religions. 371 . failed to impress the followers of these great men. its galaxy of great thinkers and visionaries. Hinduism was Sanatana Dharma. Nor were they interested in Hinduism because it carried some exclusive message made known to mankind by some Hindu at some point in time. Our communist comrades are hell-bent on helping these realise this vile goal of the anti nationals. a Subhash Chandra Bose. The Ramakrishna Mission installed life-like statues of Sri Ramakrishna in the temples it built. achievements. that is. to support my views: “It was not that voices in defence of Gods and their worship as idols were not raised while Hindu reform movements surged forward. a spiritual vision valid at all times. or a Sarvarkar today. he has become a ‘synthesis of all faiths’ including Islam and Christianity. its excellences. and directly accessible to all seekers without the help of a historical intermediary. The Ashram hails Sri Aurobindo not as a great Yogin and sage who explored and explained to the modern world the deepest insights of the Hindu spiritual tradition. To the Buddha. come to mean or achieve? Who Are The Misinterpreters? I read this valuable comment by Sri Sita Ram Goel in this context. namely the cult of the latest and the best which will not be bettered. So. For them. His followers. its many splendours. a Jhansi Rani. I am no part of any closed cults of 9 History of Hindu – Christian Encounters p.national. and eternal novelty. In the eyes of the Mission. Mahatma Gandhi had allowed his reverence for idols and temple in unmistakable terms.
any kind in any great thinker’s name. It is enough that everything conforms to Veda. That was what the great Shankara had done several centuries earlier to Buddhist challenges also. hardly anything. Jainism. it has invariably become a closed cult. [Swami Dayananda based his vision only on the Vedas. There is no contradiction of intentions in all these glorious steps of recovery of Hinduism for the Hindus as well as the non-Hindus. Sikhism included) asking for introspection and perfecting the art of inner yoga for the attainment of Perfection and Immortality of the human personality and its core. Where it stopped. or social reforms exceeding selfinhibited parameters! The inhibiting factors of today are ‘Secularism’ of the Nehruvian legacy and ‘sarvadharma samata bhava’ of Gandhi. Jamadagni and Visvamitra. Defensiveness. Hymns of Alwars and Nayanmars or even Dharmasastras. conquer. Swami Vivekananda took it further forward. being apologetic and compromising elsewhere to fight on the main-front has always been the main strategy of reformers and savants of Hinduism. are added now the communists of all hues. equal validity of all religions’. and their symbolic meanings of a full inner yoga. as the missionaries were targeting the Vedas for abuse. are not the same! . rape. consciously or unconsciously. was the one who knew the Vedas directly by personal yogic experience to rank among Vasishta. Whether the followers of these great savants have done so or not is for anybody to see! Where they have not done so. for the time-being. ‘Make some trivial concession. and attend temple worship as a means to Yoga. the Epics. Dayananda-followres would lose nothing if they admire the Puranas or Gita. silence and Gandhian Ahimsa. So also Vivekananda-followers and others. Sri Aurobindo is great and unique among all Renaissance luminaries for various reasons: he himself was wedded to the goal of this country’s all round upliftment – not only spiritual but also political and social. In recent times another great Bengali Saint and reformer Sri Prabhupad Bhakti Vedanta Swamy of ISKCON went a further step taking all doubters. to keep our people within the fold’ – seemed to be their policy. and anything to strengthen it except in terms of ‘meditation’. but they felt the time was not ripe and as urgent attention on the Vedas. He among all. and attempt to keep the core. classical Sanskrit literature. excluding puranas and epics. Other steps were equally needed. and aberrations particularly with political overtones. through steps are separated yet in the same Direction. Even then he wrote more on the Upanishads and Yoga. from Christian and Muslim onslaughts. and Gandhian followers of ‘Equality. but served as steps backwards towards Hinduism to those who were being brainwashed and bombarded by misleading Christian missionaries. Obviously religions with agendas of ‘kill. and less. To the anti-Hindu brigade of Christians and Muslims. Bhajan. misinterpretation. It was this that Sri Aurobindo completed leaving nothing in his grasp of the full glory of Hinduism. and even the Upanishads! Rajaram Mohan Roy selected only some portions of the Upanishads for his Hind Bible and his prayer book. in the foremost. Nothing great and contributory to the main stream of Hindu culture ever escaped his scrutiny or study or reverence – be it the Puranas. sceptics. Bhagavat Purana and through them to Veda and Yoga. leaving the future followers to retrace their full steps completely and comprehensively in stages later on. on the Vedas themselves. Both were under terrible inhibitions of Christianity and denounced idonl worship. distortion and anti-Hindu propaganda.] The Apologists But there is a tendency among all these followers to be afraid of the word ‘Hindu’. and apologists back into idol worship. and loot’ and Hindu Dharma (Buddhism.
Sri Aurobindo himself was a full revolutionary like Vyasa. This is one among his chief cherished goals left for us to achieve here and now. among other things he suggested that: (6) Sanskrit be made the National language of India. their historical records. misleading millions of Hindus. World unity with Indian leadership. their true nature and how their separatist ideologies are impediments to the goal of Integral India or Akhand Bharath (We shall quote profusely to show this). He was undoubtedly a great Hindu reformer standing for eradication of untouchability and other evils befalling Hinduism. Is it enough for one to read merely his Life Divine (imperfectly) or Savitri as spiritual and literary masterpieces to claim to be an authority or spokesman of his collective thought or what he stood for comprehensively? Sri Aurobindo has said lots on Christianity and Islam. understanding. for not knowing the Quaran or the Bible in their entireties. or irreconcilable. and their true intentions. even in our own country. . (7) Integral yoga be made a part of general education. selfishness. Krishna. and paid in personal tragic terms. Visvamitra and Vasistha. Let us state these goals in full: The Agenda (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Achievement of Akhand Bharath. their histories of Prophets. Spiritual gift of India to the world and The advent of a new race of human beings with what he called ‘Superamental consciousness’ (meaning thereby a new community of men without ego. love cooperation and will to live to achieve perfection in an integrated life. something that is still going on in this country under the Congress and allied partners in political mismanagement and social misdirection. upsurge and rejuvenation under the inhibitions of his own new-found and erroneous concept of ‘Equality of all Religions’. There is evidence both in his personal life and in all his abundant writings. and discouraged all Hindu attempts of resurgence. but with knowledge. being responsible for partition and atrocities on Hindus. hatred and other imperfections. Asian resurgence. for divorcing political vigilance. and made us pay dearly. (8) Sanatana Dharma be made national Dharma and (9) Also India be renamed as Bharatha Varsha. This is no exclusive or impracticable ideology of some ‘extreme Hindu outfits’. political strategy and other aspects of strengthening the Hindu society from purely other-worldly activities like mere prayer and piety.) Among the means to ahieve this. It was integral and yogic everywhere.Gandhi erred personally and collectively. He lived in a fool’s paradise! It hurts one to say all this. keeping no aspects of life as mutually untouchable. exclusive. Should the followers of Sri Aurobindo be victims too? This is our present question here. But he paid. He helped Muslims become strong.
Do all these look like an obscurantist programme or ideology? Do you therefore include Sri Aurobindo among ‘Sangh Parivar’ people or those belonging to some ‘extreme Hindu outfits’? Or do you give up the essential Aurobindo for your own secularised version of his words and mission for your own false satisfaction? Do you share his vision or do you feel apologetic for being associated with him? Is it for you to shed your own inhibitions or to try to reform Sri Aurobindo and cast him in Gandhian and Nehruvian role-models? Why are you scared. sir. reorganise it. and make it survive the onslaughts by Christian and Muslim vested interests? Are you ashamed of calling yourself a Hindu? . to be associated with attempts to revitalise the Hindu society. reform it.
H.) Comment: This is an attack on Sangh Parivar for their attempts to revive the Hindu pride. protect Hindu interests. and rediscover our national and cultural identity and integrity. Aurobindo is on my side in this respect. Brand or the old classical Hindu cultural brands. The charge is that this attempt is merely revivalistic and worth discarding. culturally. Sri Aurobindo’s Own Views After all. Hindu ways of worship. But I respect all attempts to revive Hindu values. I am not ashamed of calling myself a Hindu nor feel shy of inheriting its traditions. spiritually and politicosocially. “Ishvara Allah Tere Nam”. What then must be the new identity? It is not stated openly but implicitly we are to understand that we must stop attempting becoming “Hindus” or stop ‘Hinduise’ the non-Hindu elements or obstacles.” (2) “Therefore a Hindu religious revival is to my thinking an absurdity. fight on the war field also in direct or indirect wars. but simply accept “Indianism” – instead of “Hinduism” (precisely the Nehruvian hallucination!) What particular manifestation of ‘Hinduism’ does the objector want to be given up? The R. debating and if it comes to that. writing.” (3) “Those who want to resurrect a particular manifestation of Hinduism. claiming to be a savant of Sri Aurobindonian thought10. and does research. For. “Mera Bharath Mahan” type of goody goody thing is what is mistaken for the emergence of a new identity. so that “Hindu-Muslim Bhai Bhai”.Chapter 2: Examination of Wrong Views.) (1) “A spiritual civilisation like the Indian does not endure and progress by sticking to reviving its old forms whether in religion. arts.” (Emphasis added.S. the V. I am proud of anyone who joins attempts to defend Hinduism against its detractors or denigrators. or socio-economic institutions but by breaking their mould and creating new ones which are appropriate to the changing times and true to its innate trend and genius. lose sight entirely of the predominantly spiritual nature of this culture. all the rest are presumably ‘medieval’. Hindu thinking based on Vedas and all that has sprung from it? Perhas all these. in this case a medieval one. Is this what Sri Aurobindo stands for? Personal Note I am not an RSS man and am not part of any of their ‘outfits’.S. Insinuations and Rebuttals Read these funny sentences of a timid apologist. (We shall answer all these. treasures and its thoughts and achievements.P. brand. we still see in Hindu scholarship. what if some Aurobindoneans refuse to read or understand the main spirit of all his writings? Read for example these: 10 The Current Hindu upsurge in Sri Aurobindo’s Light – By Mangesh Nadkarni .
cowardice.45-46. Our deal therefore is an Indian Nationalism. 51. Sri Aurobindo’s central throught revolves round the idea of Deva-Asura fight which is Vedic. neither can they mutilate her. and free from craving. who are apologetic about Hinduism. 1909.(i) ”A certain class of minds11 shrink from aggressiveness as if it were a sin. All references hereafter in this write-up are to such letters in this anthology. as the holiness of the saint. humiliation. ugliness. Epical. Ramadas is not complete without Shivaji. Love is a sacred name. For good or evil. and more pre=eminently from the Veda-Samhitas themselves. Mere passive meditation is not the meaning of this term. 12 India’s Rebirth. unvedic ‘yoga’ is often criticised by him profusely in his Life Divine. Objector? There was no RSS when Sri Aurobindo wrote these words! What does it matter? What wrong is there if RSS is born of such views of Sri Aurobindo and most other Renaissance thinkers of India. They cannot deny the Mother. as Aurobindo knew. (I shall show instances hereafter. ‘Give up all thy works to me with a heart full of spirituality. and condemn our efforts to stand up again after thousands of years of suppression.”13 Commentary: We talk of spirituality as isolated from life’s struggles not only on the mental plane but on all others also! Is this what Sri Aurobindo understood? To Sri Aurobind all forms of fight against untruth. fight! Let the fever of thy soul pass from thee. unheroic way. Hindus have no such resource. Read again: (iii) “The Mahommedans base their separateness and their refusal to regard themselves as Indians first and Mahommedans afterwards on the existence of great Mahommedan nations to which they feel themselves more akin. largely Hindu in its spirit and traditions. ‘Remember me and fight’. the Upanishads. we repeat. distortion and disintegration meant spiritual in the most comprehensive sense of the term. as our objector must know also. and efforts in that direction to rebuild Hindu society and form a nation wedded to the ideals of Rishis and Rajarshis who are still relevant? If RSS derives its inspiration thus justifiably from Sri Aurobindo.”12 How do you like this Mr. and elsewhere. and by extension of logic to all pacifists. Forget this and you loose his main focus. Their temperaments forbid them to feel the delight of battle and they look on what they cannot understand as something monstrous and sinful. slay sin by righteousness’ is their cry. Gandhi was moving in this passive. This negative. ‘Heal hate by love. unthinkingly? Read this again: (ii) “It is an error. Essays on the Gita. they are bound to the soil and to the soil alone. suicidal direction and taking the Congress with him in this unHindu. Puranic. because the Hindu made the land and the people and persists. what is your loss? How can you belong to him as well as to Congressism. p. distortion and damage to our institutions. The recurrent cry of Sri Krishna to Arjuna insists on the struggle: ‘Fight and overthrow thy opponents!’. p. in spite of our common birth and blood. but it is easier to speak of love than to love… The Gita is the best answer to those who shrink from the battle as a sin and aggression as a lowering of morality… The sword of the warrior is as necessary to the fulfilment of justice and righteousness. to think that spirituality is a thing divorced from life… It is an error to think that the heights of religion are above the struggles of this world. letter dated June 19. than to us. and even in yogic terms. drive out injustice by justice. free from selfish claims. by the greatness of his The reference seems to be to Gandhians and Congressists under him. letter dated April 1908.) M. as he derived this meaning from the Gita. 11 . 13 The Rebirth of India. That is how he has been able to synthesise Buddhism with Vedic thought – a marvel that was not possible for even eminent thinkers before him and even later till date.
repair our mansion of culture. This is also an answer to Dr. 1909. as most savants of ‘unity’ took it for granted that Islam too was a ‘religion’ like any other. spiritual leaders. ‘fundamentalist’ is really an attack on Sri Aurobindo only and the ideals. but wide enough also to include the Moslem and his culture and traditions and absorb these into itself. Mr. With this ‘opening’ still left at the other end. Tilak was the first to bring it into the actual field of practical politics.”14 (iv) Also: “The congress movement was for a long time purely occidental in its mind. had seen this truth.N. Others. confined to the English-educated few.63 15 India’s Rebirth. lone among our Renaissance leaders.past. in holding it. predatory nature. 14 . P. and strengthen the building on unalterable foundations. agenda. But the Warning! How did Sri Aurobindo keep that ‘open end’ for Hindu culture? What was his answer for the charge of ‘Revivalism’? What was the reality he knew? What did he think of the Gandhian attempts of artificial unity? Read this: India’s Rebirth. Only recent researches are waking us up all over the world. thinkers. why should anybody ridicule it as ‘revivalism’? What do we care even if someone hurls this undignified abuse on us? The Open End. founded on the political rights and interests of the people read in the light of English history and European ideals. by making them shed their jehadist ideology! Are not things moving in this direction today? Whether the Muslims will reform himself or no. whether he will give up his jehad or no. the Prophet – a detail Sri Aurobindo might not have known. and to us through them. writers. programmes he stood for! Note in particular his optimistic view that one day or the other the Muslims also will be absorbed into the larger Hindu culture under emergence.”15 Here is ample proof that Sri Aurobindo knew the infinite. isolated. to infuse Indian politics with Indian religious fervour and spirituality are the indispensable conditions for a great and political awakening in India. This is in the context of Separate Electorate idea of Morley-Minto ‘Reforms@. if we try to mend our fences. but with no roots either in the past of the country or in the inner spirit of the nation… To bring in the mass of the people. ‘revivalist’. and had the daring to warn us. p. It is remarkable that Sri Aurobindo knew of it. all the better for RSS. An attack on RSS in this respect as ‘medieval’. character and methods. liquidated is left to the forces of history which are not under any control of any human agency any longer. to found the greatness of the future on the greatness of the past. from an introduction to a book entitled Speeches and Writings of Tilak. U. or prefer to be alienated. as no other did! If RSS agrees with him. his civilisation and his culture and his invincible virility. as long as their separatist mentality persisted. He knew of the impossibility of Muslims living in harmony with the Hindus. and remove cobwebs. even in the absence of penetrative researches then.64. p.132. Letter dated November 6. potential dangers of Congressism which stood against all that the nation had achieved or represented in the main stream of Hindu culture in its identity. Mukherji who published a brochure with the thesis that ‘Hindus were a dying race and would do well to imitate’ the Mohammedans in social freedom and equality. this persistence is because of the basic tenets and teachings and practices of the founder of Islam. without realising its diabolic.
Is this “revivalism” that our objector condemns. It must be sought deeper down.52 (Emphasis added. “the firm clasp of the brother. for all strength. all action is grist to the mill of the nation-builder.”18 Read this open end he keeps for Muslims: “We do not fear Mahomedan opposition. (b) That way would not be the Gandhian way of ‘false flattery’ or the Nehruvian ‘selfish weakness’. the firm clasp of the brother. (Emphasis added.) Already quoted (but now with added emphasis. the Aryan character. Recover the Vedanta. as corollary_ in the right way. just as he chooses. we desire the awakening of Islam in India even if its crude efforts are misdirected against ourselves. and not a day-dream if we can handle the Muslim problem (and the Christian problem. We shall do well in trying to solve the problem to remember that misunderstanding is the most fruitful cause of our differences. the Gita.) 17 16 . for where the cause of disunion are.52.”16 Contrast this with our objector’s view already quoted: “A spiritual civilisation like the Indian does not endure and progress by sticking to or reviving its old forms whether in religion.) 18 Ibid p.” ii. to exchange with the Musulman. there the remedies must be sought. In that faith we are ready. that Hindu-Mahomedan unity cannot be effected by political adjustments or congress flatteries.53. 1909. Read further Sri Aurobindo: “Recover the patrimony of your forefathers. We believe this to be the only practical way of dealing with the difficulty”19 Comments: There are a good number of suggestions of far-reaching consequences here. he is violating and even condemning Aurobindo! This is what I called ‘secularising’ and hijacking! See for yourself if I am not right in my inferences. Letter. when the time comes for us to meet in the political field. without examination? Is this RSS or Sri Aurobindo speaking? Where do you stand now Mr. that love compels love and that strength conciliates the strong… but we must cease to approach him falsely or flatter out of a selfish weakness and cowardice. Our business is to realise ourselves first and to mould everything to the law of India’s eternal life and culture. or the resolute grip of the wrestler… Of one thing we may be certain. “the resolute grip of the wrestler. p. the Aryan life. with respect to the “agenda” unfulfilled still of Sri Aurobindo. we do not shun. all energy.“We must know our past and recover it for the purpose of our future. Recover the Aryan thought. in the heart and the mind. arts or socio-economic institutions but by breaking their mould and creating new ones…”17 The objector is clearly not merely twisting Aurobindo. Recover them not only in intellect but in your lives. the Yoga. the Aryan discipline. June 19. (a) Akhand Bharath is eminently realisable. Objector? Whom do you fool now? 19 India’s Rebirth p.” India’s Rebirth. (c) We shall try to remove the misunderstandings sincerely on our parts and leave the only two choices possible for the Muslims – i. as stated earlier.
(f) Once the “Hindu commonwealth” is so formed. and other parties taking disadvantage of its weaknesses. and let there be no tomfoolery. with China and Japan playing a definite and decisive role in ‘Asian Resurgence’. (3) our intentions of Asian unity made transparent. which were merely military pacts_ we can then isolate the West. and requires our official backing in a positive and involved way. (g) The spiritual gift of India. “love compels love.” ii. which were parts of a Greater India. (2) cultural-bonds revived.D. (unlike NATO or SEATO.” (This is a language no Congressman has used so far! This looks like RSS. selfishness and insincere.D. guaranteed and protected. hypocrisy. “strength conciliates the strong. I am not underestimating the problems as they have cropped up. and Hinduise the army”. till about 10 century A. The solution is not impossible. Blaming or stigmatising RSS will be a difficulty as long as inhibited. and the adversary will listen to you. unpatriotic politics once for all. How many millions more of martyrs do we have to sacrifice? 20 . with individual sovereignty of each member respected. and (4) conjointly facing terrorism on all sides. (5) avoid the Gandhi-Nehru legacy of blunders. as Sri Krishna offered to Duryodhana! A Mahabharatha awaits. a humbled Bangladesh. if you speak in a position of advantage and strength. what can we do?) (d) The inner message for us is: “Become strong. and strength-backed Nepal and Sri Lanka. if we have the will. and unity. a friendship-earned Myanmar. Afghanistan seeks our aid. The instruments are (1) strength. Sri Aurobindo has showed us a clear direction. and culturally coerced Malaysia or Indonesia. pen-pushers write irresponsibly from positions that are too large for them! Sri V. It is for us to follow. Savarkar said similarly: “Militarise the Hindu. so also Iraq and Iran. the Bharatha Varsha.) In another phrase i. or have been created by Congress. an advice we should have heeded at least after 1947. and (i) Sanatana Dharma being recognised as our National integrated view in all matters will follow simultaneously.”20 (e) We can still form a sort of Indian commonwealth with a subdued Pakistan. through the spread of Yoga and Vedanta is already on the forward progress. (j) The renaming of India as Bharatha Varsha is no difficult talk. (h) Sanskrit being restored to its rightful place. but with vote-bank politics ended and defranchising anti-national terrorist elements of all kinds. but first create the right kind of leaders.(You know what this means even now: either the negotiation table or the war-field. cynical. military and scientific might. once the Muslim/Christian problems are solved as directed above either by reconciliation or a decisive ‘Mahabharatha’ repeat.
revolution and ushering in dynastic rule at the same time! Nehru. Hindus did not fight him. attempts to divide the world as followers of the Messiah and followers of Satan. Till today no one condemns these attempts! Not Congressists or leftists. mad and wild doctrines of “one God. The Christian version of revivalism is the bringing back of inquisition. DK. Singh. in the rebuilding of Somnath temple in Gujarat – and Smt. one book. revival of “cast” (if it is possible at all) and if anyone talks of it.P. prevention of free thinking. opposition to science. feudal hierarchy is what no sensible man would want. If by this term one means the complete going back to the past. for vote advantages. “Cow-protection” was considered one! But it is a programme enshrined in the constitution itself. ABVP and not the BHMS or any other “outfit”. Nehru “abolished” it. jihad as ideology being still taught in every mushrooming thousands of madrasas all over the Asian countries. beards for men. not the RSS. (burning of the heretics) and conversion through fraud and foul methods. or whether it is good or bad for our nation. the ‘purdah’ for women. not the VHP. skull cap. and reservations beyond reasonably stipulated periods in the constitution! Who is the real revivalist? “Mandal I” of V. It is strange that Nehru or his followers never blamed the Muslim community for this obscurantism which is the same as revivalism and the equivalent of fundamentalism in its extreme form.Chapter 3: Sri Aurobindo on Revivalism Let us go back to the question of what is ‘revivalism’. Sonia and now Rahul! . Rajiv. hatred and wars – this is revivalism. Sardar Patel got all the princely states merged in free India – a staunch Hindu supporter that he was accused of being. leftists in Tamil Nadu. Who is the revivalist? Nehru declared factories are our temples and places of worship. now Mandal II of Arjun Singh are not RSS creations! Dynastic rule. in Kerala sought and brought their best in ruining the traditions of temples and one-sided land reforms (the Congress even in Karnataka) harming the Hindu cause and wanting religion to be a closed chapter in Indian history in programmes of progressivism. the only son of God. could be considered as revivalism in the bad sense. and countries and ideas ill-suited to a cooperative collective living for all mankind. it is anti-life. Nor were temples closed. and cause ill-will. and abandonment of the present and blocking the future. with obvious economic rationale! It is the Congress that has persistently stood for ‘caste’ revival in the reverse gear. Indira. as Churches got converted into government godowns in Russia under communists! DMK. Indira Gandhi abolished even privy purses. In Hinduism. That would have been revivalist. going back on guarantees issued under the constitution! Hindus never fought against it as Muslims did ‘Shah bano’ case judgement of even the Supreme Court. But nobody talks of it. anti-nature and must be condemned wholeheartedly. In the Islamic context. and the only means of salvation as belief in Christ” and a host of doctrinaire teachings not in conformity with civilised communal life.
the bastard child of English liberalism. p. The RSS is nobody’s feudal army.Who is the real ‘revivalist’. What Shivaji means for the Hindu is the spirit of self-assertion. as a visionary sees it? It was Nehru who had “romantic misunderstandings” (T. instructed the Education Ministry. That was how. and how to forge them. Terrorism the abortive offspring of Bakunin and Mazzini… it is only when this foolishness is done with that truth will have a chance. Letter dated July 13. of India’s present and future. fight the terrorist like Aurangzeb in his own way. If patriotism is equated with Hitlerism. or the Mughal period condemned as foreign conquest. and so forth. what to transform. 1911. Babur. the fulfilment of the Sanatana Dharma its only Swaraj. that justified attempts to revive Hindu pride were “revivalist”. Eliot’s phrase in another context).voiceofdharma. or be inspired by our rich past. with its true mission restored. What is wrong with the love of revival of India. when he could not known or learn anything even from it. ride horses like him. the first stages of a sort of national Yoga… God has struck it all down – Moderatism. Objector. why don’t you condemn all this? The Hindu knows what to revive. I have no doubt we shall have to go through our parliamentary period in order to get rid of the notion of Western democracy by seeing in practice how helpless it is to make nations blessed. The real revivalists are those who invented road names in New Delhi after notorious plunderes like Aurangzeb. Rana Pratap and others came to be branded as Revivalists. if it were so. Imbrahim Lodhi. and dress like a Rana Pratap. spirit of reorganising Hindu society to recover the lost pride. India is passing through really. But how can you change history> It is like changing your parents! The Communists in Russia and China had attempted doing so. a Jhansi Rani.htm 21 . not love of freedom! http://www. See the amazing and pointed reference to terrorism more than a century ago! Terrorism must die. using guerrilla ambushes. through Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad. what to preserve. what new identities are needed. and made incorrigible blunders in understanding our own history. and so Nehru the ‘Modernist’ also wanted to change! No Hindu would say. Tughlaq. and died with his death. the sattwic mind in India emerge and a really strong spiritual movement begin as prelude to India’s regeneration”21. Spirituality is India’s only politics. that is our curricula. we can equate democratic freedom also with British or American arrogance! In fact Sri Aurobindo says that this imitative democracy is a passing phase and we must find our own! “Be very careful to follow my instructions in avoiding the old kind of politics. That would have been revivalism. Akbar and their tribe!(Nehru was alive and initiated all this. no gloating over the Gupta period should be done. Indian history started for him from 1947. while similar but unjustified attempts to “revive” the aggressor’s pride was “progressive”! I shall not accuse people of this perversity of having any brains! It is a superstition that you can bring them back to sanity!! India’s Rebirth. All that was “buried and over”. at the time!) So it came to mean in congress-psyche. He. Nationalism the mixed progeny of Europe and Asia. like ‘palegars’ here. to end his tyrannical rule. and wants his son/daughter to continue in his office! Mr. Khilji. all must float beards like a Shivaji. and was “discovering India” for himself in British-maintained jails in this country! He had nothing to learn.93. and if it comes to that.com/books/ir/IR_part2. anyone who talked of Shivaji.S. sir? Every Congressman of political clout has a private army like the feudal lords of the past in England.
Letter dated Sep 25. and the high Aryan outlook. To reverse the process and recover what we have lost is undoubtedly the first object to which we ought to devote ourselves. that because temporary causes had brought us low and made us weak.An ex-president of India once described Aurangzeb as a “socialist” and a “secularist” on a national occasion! Very good discovery! No revivalism.”23 If there was a ‘revivalist’ among the renaissance luminaries heralding a free and full Hindustan. character and tastes of the people. We must therefore save India all that she has stored up of knowledge. deepest-thoughted and most delicately profound in all life of all the peoples of the earth. realisations and aspirations which made us the deepest-hearted. that had been devastated by Babur and Aurangzeb. p. The warning was against confining to the ‘present’ as created by the British or the Mughals before them.38. The primary aim of the prophets of nationalism was to rid the nation of the idea that the future was limited by the circumstances of the past.60. character and noble thought in her immemorial past. the strong Aryan character. ‘Spirituality’ and Sri Aurobindo We shall now examine what kind of ‘spirituality’ was it that Sri Aurobindo envisaged. But by foresight it applies even more eminently to Nehru’s attempts to continue the foreign tradition and keep India unaltered by preventing all attempts to rebuild culturally ourselves. we must remould in larger outlines and with a richer content. the perceptions which made earthly life beautiful and wonderful. 61. Objector should know. here was one. Whoever fails to take advantage of the present is loosing us the battle of life. you will be branded as a “revivalist”! Ask for anything that is likely to boost up the Hindu pride. When this term is currently being used by all sorts of people as if it excludes ‘religion’. high aspiration and forceful energy which can alone make a nation free and great. p. the spiritual and intellectual divorce from the past which the present schools and universities have effected. preached and practiced. Letters of Feb 24. and the magnificent spiritual experiences. this? You still have a city in Vasco-da-Gama’s name. 23 22 . The mould is broken. so their recovery should be our most important objective. 1909. And as the loss of originality. 1908 India’s Rebirth. low therefore must be our aims and weak our methods… To raise the mind. in the Hindu context. Mr. has beggared the nation of the originality. is the task next in importance and urgency… We must not cabin the expanding and aggressive spirit of India in temporary forms which are the creation of the last few hundred years. ‘worship’ and ‘lower forms of faith’ to which common men are used. you are a ‘revivalist’. Let us see what Aurobindo has to say about this: “Whoever wishes to cut off the nation from its past is no friend of our national growth. a sea pirate that looted Goa! Don’t speak of this as “revivalism”! You will be ridiculed! But try to rebuild a temple for Lord Rama. we have to verify that claim by some that spirituality is unfettered by all that is meant by religion.”22 “Most vital of all. Confusions created in this regard by the creedal religions of the Abrahamic tradition of a monotheistic God. in Sri Aurobindo. aspiration and energy was the most vital of all these losses. That would be a vain and disastrous endeavour. to recover the ancient nobility of temper. and unverifiable claims of India’s Rebirth.
There is to me nothing secular. Vijayanagar emperors. as the ‘only faiths’. religion and spirituality to expose those who dub ‘Hindu religious revival’ as absurdity as earlier pointed out.”24 Comment: This gags the mouth of our objector who wants Aurobindo to be included among other-wordly ‘spiritualists’.exclusive revelations sought to be imposed on the whole world through violent and fraudulent means. We shall see what the master himself meant by these terms. China. have further complicated the matter to confound our already confused secularist in Sri Aurobindo’s camp. Gandhara (now Afghanistan). Tughlaqs. Vikramaditya. Baskaracharya. Here is Sri Aurobindo: “My idea of spirituality has nothing to do with ascetic withdrawal or contempt or disgust of secular things. The Chalukyas in the South.143. Letter of Jan 5. See what the spread of Hinduism did in Indonesia. anticultural. Tibet and even Japan and Korea! How can one brush aside Hinduism. the Guptas in the North. anti-human. the Nayanmars. you must know that European medievalism is different from our medievalism! It was Christianity. any aspect of it.149. Shankaracharya. But see how Sri Aurobindo dispels even this ignorance: “Indian asceticism is not a mournful gospel of sorrow or a painful mortification of the flesh in morbid penance. sir. our country was in its most efflorescent evolution – the 1100 years that you say which is “generally recognised as the period of decline of the spiritual culture”. 1920 written to Joseph Baptista. unlike any other cultural entity. and the flowering up of a Kalidasa. its anti-progress. its great antiquity and uniqueness. Malaysia. all human activity is for me a thing to be included in a complete spiritual life. in this case a medieval one”? Which one. Samudragupta. Cultural India struggled hard all over this period to fight ‘medievalism’ and keep its ever youthful ‘renaissance’ spirit. and the importance of politics at the present time is very great. ‘Medievalism’ by expression has acquired a backward mindset as meaning and stands for anti-cultural. a Pāṇini. Ghoris. a Vararuchi. p.”25 24 25 India’s Rebirth. as a medieval manifestiaon? You may say ‘asceticism’ is an aspect of Hindu medievalism. Sayana – to dub all these as medieval figures is madness to say the least. the Alwars. p. if the charge is true? Mr. No. anti-science. vivisection. anti-human trends. the Hoysalas.” “But even its exaggerations have a noble spirit behind them than the vitalistic exaggerations which are the opposite defect of Western culture. Objector. Harshavardhana. even if the country is passing through violent convulsions. closed approach to life that threw Europe into medievalism. Islam and Christianity are promoting this frame of mind wherever they set foot. and vilification of its values. during which same period by Christian count. its history. Shivaji. vandalistic barbaric waves of destruction) came to India with the advent of Islam with the Ghaznis. the re-edition of the Epics and our Puranas. Do we see today in the RSS or VHP any “particular manifestation of Hinduism. this is misinterpretation. a Patanjali. Khiljis and Mughals. a Varahamihira. having nothing to do with nationalistic ideas.e. a co-worker of Tilak India’s Rebirth. Letter of Apr 1919 . Medievalism (i. Ramanujacharya. ancient or modern. but a noble effort towards a higher joy and an absolute possession of the spirit… I do not accept the ascetic ideal as the final solution of the problem of the human existence. Not Hinduism.
a sentence from his Essays on Gita in the context of his criticism of Christianity and Islam “a grotesque creation of human unreason. They cannot use guns (as the police and military use) as they respect law. Nehru came to know of it in his last years. On the whole. ULFA and other ‘respectable’ law-breakers. The average Christian believes that the Bible is God's book. anytime in our history? But I know what is meant: this is a baseless attack on RSS or VHP. but that much was dark to him. You quote. authority.htm 26 . p. of prophets and cruel gods and crude heavens and cruder hells. this expression. they never discuss or encourage doctrinal. P. Aptavakyam. our ancient cultural achievements. Why try to bring a wedge between the two? Read this: “There is no word so plastic and uncertain in its meaning as the word religion. I am bound to admit what he realised. Creedal religions like Christianity and Islam have brought a bad name for this word. You must know all this to shed your language and unjustified. the Hindu pride. in the first years of his stay at Pondicherry 27 JP's visit to an RSS camp. and want to use it against Hinduism. is one kind of proof. [Jayaprakash Narayan27] was cured of his prejudices in this respect (read Sri Sita Ram Goel’s testimony). . the parent of so much intolerance. obscurantism and aggressive fanaticism” etc. negotiating with docile governments. The word is European. the rest is only meant for the exceptionally pious. Mr.and to go to Church on Sunday is the minimum of religion in Europe…Religion in India is a still more plastic term and may mean anything from the heights of Yoga to strangling your fellowman and relieving him India’s Rebirth. when he visited one of their annual meetings. to believe that He wrote a book. PWG.voi. . it is not the only kind: pratyaksha (direct knowledge) is more important. encouraging them privately. Objector. national sovereignty. read their literature to know that RSS is as general and catholic as Hinduism. Not even Shankaracharya. unlike your Naxals. (Emphasis added) Letter 1910-1914: This is from manuscripts between these years.”26 Then come to religion. but ordinarily he does not consider anything in God's book binding on him in practice except to believe in God and go to Church once a week. as Congress and fellow travellers think. and “those” (God knows who!) that want to make it “institutionalised”. I am not bound to exclude what he failed to realise. cruelty. when it comes to upholding the right attitudes in life for its betterment. respectpromoting for our cultural indivisibility.org/books/pipp/ch1. J. Read: “I find that Shankara had grasped much of Vedantic truth. which they do not want our soldiers to use in the army (that would be revivalist!). never mixed with them.only one book in all these ages. In fact. Lal Bahadur Sastry sought their help in kicking out Pak aggressors! They use “lathis” for training cadets in heroic exercises. this concept. it is the Hindutva forces that are the hope of this country.Are you answered? Sri Aurobindo does not spare any great name. irrational prejudices. That does not mean religion is restricted to this bad sense of unverifiable commandments. . Good God! Is there any institutionalised brand of Hinduism anywhere. as told by Sita Ram Goel in "Perversion of India's Political Parlance" http://www. from Aurobindo. therefore. as they are presumed to be “regimenting” Hindu youth for something abominable. You have never visited an RSS camp. In fact RSS is a big program for reuniting the Hindu society (listen to their Aikya mantra).95. communal or cast differences. to believe in God. as Sri Aurobindo as amply implied in his profuse writings.
Every ascetic movement since the time of Buddha has left India weaker and for a very obvious reason. replace one another. the learned and professionals are all governed by it. and exclusive of political governance. however. to make life itself. p. but the holy rule is not a mass of fugitive and temporary customs. to live according to holy rule. ascetics and Sannyasis. but this. commerce. Read this: “You must understand that my mission is not to create Maths. You cannot take away the best souls from life and yet leave life stronger and greater.106-107. war-rules. to balance the other spiritual-pursuit aspect individually and collectively.. the whole life being governed by religion. moral codifiers. as the Gita shows. You cannot condemn Hindus for Christian or Islamic barbarities in the name of God and damn all religion as unspiritual. p. Sep 1914 28 . jurisprudence and punishments for criminals.”30 The RSS is an eminent answer to the fulfilment of this kshatra (militant) element of Dharma.”29 We may add that philosophy or metaphysics (a spiritual inquiry) concerns with the ultimate general principles of life called Rita or Dharma. But you can’t damn Yoga or higher forms for this. and offer part of the earnings to crude conceptions of God as ‘killer’. world-life greater and more divine is another. law givers. lay-men. and requirements.. Perfect religion is perfect spirituality. as experienced in the Veda. as opposed to all religious practices. it is dharma or living religiously. As George Santayana puts it: “If religion is profound it becomes obscure. if simple profane”. evolve. But again what is living religiously? It means. Practices may change. Bhairavas and other tribal forms of worship where they waylay people. but to call back the souls of the strong to the Lila of Krishna and Kali. deduced from them. Renunciation of ego. The ethics-makers. to make the whole life a sadhana the object of which is to realise the Divine in the world by work. There is no clash in Hinduism..of the worldly goods he may happen to be carrying with him…28 Briefly. acceptance of God in life is the Yoga I teach. love and knowledge. in ordinary practice. Early 1910 30 India’s Rebirth. living according to authority. Nothing is hard. to live for God in oneself and others and not for oneself only. but also a Shivaji! Mr. You cannot enforce one ideal on the country without weakening the other. Objector! Where are you driving in the wilderness of your confused thoughts? Whom are you trying to fool? See this sarcastic comment on the Ramakrishna Mutt ascetics increasingly taking to ‘withdrawal’ instead of trying to protect Hindu interests in the wake of grave This may be an allusion to the Kapalikas. emperors. Letter to Sri Motilal Roy. There is nothing like “pure spirituality”. Renunciation of life is one thing. administration. Sri Aurobindo has already been quoted to show he wanted not only a Ramadas. national. and frozen in Hinduism. Sri Krishna embodied both aspects in Him. 29 India’s Rebirth.68-70. without violating the general principles available for rational inquiry and verification in individual lives. Illustrius examples abound in the Hindu Epics and Puranas. individual. Upanishads and Gita while Religion concerns with individual particularities. rob.—no other renunciation. The authority generally accepted is the Shastra… The one superiority of average Indian religion is that it does really reverence the genuine Bhakta or Sannyasin provided he does not come with too strange a garb or too revolutionary an aspect… The average Hindu is right in his conception of religion as dharma. rigid. as applied in varying individual contexts of life.
set up no single narrow path or gate of salvation. An immense many-sided many-staged provision for a spiritual selfbuilding and self-finding. sanâtana dharma. because it set itself no sectarian limits.”32 Mr. p. p. to see for yourself whether he’s a secularist or a nationalist (emphasis added). the eternal religion. Let alone action or support! They are deadly silent and mortally afraid of saying a word in support of Hindus morally and mentally. as the servant of the Hindu community.139. it claimed no universal adhesion. and evolve out of it all we do and create.76. asserted no sole infallible dogma.145-146. Objector. our inborn nature and assimilate to it all we receive. Nov 1918 31 . it was less a creed or cult than a continuously enlarging tradition of the Godward endeavour of the human spirit.”31 I do not understand why our objector is afraid of the term religion! See this explanation of Sri Aurobindo: “The religious culture which now goes by the name of Hinduism…gave itself no name. and later on world-Dharma? How is this ‘revivalist’ or “a particular manifestation of Hinduism” or “an absurdity” as you dismiss it? Do you have an alternative? Come out with it please. what is your argument against striving to make this our national Dharma. Read this: “The work that was begun at Dakshineswar is far from finished.provocation and communal clashes. 32 India’s Rebirth. Swamy Vivekananda proudly called himself a “Hindoo Sanyasi”. 33 India’s Rebirth. p. has not yet materialised. our essential way of being. See Aurobindo’s drive and direction. it is not even understood. We have quoted Sita Ram Goel to the same effect earlier.”33 India’s Rebirth. it had some right to speak of itself by the only name it knew. if there is one! Read this also: “Spirituality…means simply to keep our centre. That which Vivekananda received and strove to develop.
She must have the courage of her past knowledge and the immensity of soul that will measure itself with her future. 1910) Sri Aurobindo is not talking of abortive revolutions like the Soviet or Chinese Communist experiments. who understood by ‘Revolution’ more Westernisation. space-craft. our own selfidentity. His prophesy: “He will speak my India’s Rebirth. creeds. we seem to stand on the threshold of a vast revolution. There were people. but also science. The taint of occidental ideals and alien and unsuitable methods has to be purged out of our minds. social and religious. unique and in agreement with her capacity. in the job of what Vivekananda called manmaking. like Nehru. more contempt for our own resources. give up succumbing to their world domination programmes. p.Chapter 4: On Education. The spirit of old Indian Art must be revived. and the Place of Sanskrit in it This is for Mr. will lead the world in the age that is coming. more uprooting. p.72. technology. defence and the now world-wide phenomenon of Information Technology and Business management. assert themselves in not only cultural matters. 1909) See how these words are charged with an unparalleled enthusiasm for the reconstruction and recreation of the Hindu model of education. Arjun Singh or someone else better in his place to note and follow: Read this: “The country has yet to evolve a system of education which shall be really national. Even Gandhi was bamboozled to believe that Nehru was his ‘heir’apparent. He is talking of ‘revolution’ in the sense of advancement in Man-making processes and conditions congenial for them. potential. Our leader must wake up to the new Western challenges. cultural. 25. however. But now? 34 . by shedding the tendency for mere imitation. it is necessary that she should be capable of unsparing revolution. 35 India’s Rebirth. more imitation. (Dec. (Feb. political. if statesmanship and patriotism can still be possessed or acquired by our leaders. as if the country was some kind of Joint Jahgir or Inam between them. 19. the inspiration and directness of vision which even now subsists among the possessors of the ancient traditions.”35 Note: Nearly a century ago here is Sri Aurobindo visualising for our country a new world-leadership.67. alike. Whatever nation now is the first to solve the problems which are threatening to hammer governments. It is our ambition that India should be that nation. culture. then. But it is testimony to his prophethood that conditions are being created where dreams can be fulfilled. Some of these fields never could have been imagined when Sri Aurobindo wrote these words. and nowhere more than in the teaching which should be the foundation of intellectual and aesthetic renovation. see these emphatic words of Sri Aurobindo: “But in Europe and India. educational and aesthetic terms. societies into pieces all the world over. as the panacea for all the ills affecting us today. Gandhi was no one to appoint or anoint Nehru in this regard. temper and in keeping with historically past experiments and precedents.”34 Is this revivalism? Nationalism? Cultural Universalism? Spiritual education envisaged for everyone’s betterment? Or is it anti-secularism? Sectarianism? ‘Religiosity’ as the objector says? On the role of India had to play in the world-betterment in spiritual. Few could understand it. the inborn skill and taste of the race. the dexterity of the Indian hand and the intuitive gaze of the Indian eye must be recovered and the whole nation lifted again to the high level of the ancient culture and higher. This was the way the country was fooled of ‘modernisation’. But in order that she should be what we wish.
wealth. A job which we have not even begun! Again see this emphatic. is that the youth of India should learn to think. if India is to survive and do her appointed work in the world. to usurp the rightful place of Sardar Patel as the first P. thinkers and scholars. to revolt against custom and superstition. for a derivative European enlightenment or replace the superstitions of popular Hinduism by the superstitions of materialistic Science. Spiritual power alone is the most essential requirement. They ask us. But they mean by these sounding recommendations that we should renounce the authority of Sayana for the authority of Max Muller. science potential. be successful and benefit the rest of the world. both by legitimacy and consensus in tragic circumstances which are described identically by the biographers of all these three leaders. venerable as they are. as the two talked totally different languages – Gandhi speaking of Hinduism.. to abandon authority. the dogmatism of Brahmin Pandits for the dogmatism of European scientists. nobody invites you to take over the leadership. .M. Such a foolish exchange of servitude can receive the assent of no self-respecting mind. On the world scene. for a time at least. It would be a poor bargain to exchange our old Indian illuminations. smiting down obscurantism of all kinds as with the mace of Bhima…”36 This is the focus Sri Aurobindo wants for the education of youth in this country. shearing sophism and prejudice asunder as with a sharp sword. and lived its values and Nehru speaking of socialism. however dark they may have grown to us.—to think on all subjects. then or now. p. to have free and enlightened minds. and clear visualisation of such opportunity for world leadership for our country. Seafarers and pirates like Vasco da Gama.in the name of truth. I quite agree with you that our social fabric will have to 36 India’s Rebirth. by liberating our minds in all subjects from thraldom to authority. the written Shastra for the unwritten law of European social opinion.. if she chooses. But it happened in spite of Sri Aurobindo’s strong optimism. Stalin. the process by which we lost it. but let it be in order to be free. Mussolini and other present day American presidents. prophetic vision: ”I am convinced and have long been convinced that a spiritual awakening to the true self of the nation is the most important condition of our national greatness…India. trade tactics alone cannot produce leaderships to endure. to the little extent he knew of it. Let us break our chains. free of prejudgments. Mao. Among such failed world leaders we can include Lenin. not in the name of Europe. Westernisation in complete contempt for Hinduism or what it stood for. fruitfully. Columbus and others similarly made histories for their countries for a while. was proud of. to fail. War-machinery. . accidentally! Nobody expected Britain to lead for three centuries.. going to the heart of things. indeed.language” was a complete flop. and in total ignorance of its infinite and unfathomable potentialities to solve its own problems as well as those of the rest of the world! Gandhi was fooled completely and overpowered through mean tactics by Nehru and his coterie. to think independently. It happens – and happens in all sorts of ways! A thief and vagabond like Robert Clive laid the foundations of the British Empire. the Monoism of Shankara for the Monoism of Haeckel. Hitler came like a bolt from the blue and tried the idea of German world-leadership for a while. That is not what reformers and the Anglicised require of us. can guide the world. See these words: “How shall we recover our lost intellectual freedom and elasticity? By reversing. Our first necessity.87-88. That is another story. power of mercantile organisations. not stopped by their surface.
its necessity. to escape being branded as anti-Hindu. and the plight of Kashmiri pandits. even in plays (The Jew of Malta.” “I believe also that humanity is about to enlarge its scope by new knowledge. as ‘revivalist’ without realising their organisational value or practical daily use or effects. the key of humanity’s future. Christian and Muslim conversions-spree unchecked. to take them as we have been tolerating all these days. For example he refers to the Shah Bano case and the way the Muslim community behaved in pressurising the parliament to undo a Supreme Court order. Godhra and its aftermath. He has no solutions. Israel was once their homeland. a little rusted and put out of use. Not to agree with general public opinion in this regard would be risky. They were captured and sold as slaves as drawers of water and hewers of wood and stone. They believed themselves as the chosen race of God. and he is perhaps not sure of what side to take. Jerusalem their town of worship. The so called “Jesus” was crucified by Roman rulers against whom. these Christian rebels had organised revolts by forming secret societies. Then came the Christian menace. and The Merchant of Venice bear proof). in Gandhian ways. the Jewish punishment was of pelting stones on traitors! But this misconception is still ruling the roost. p. Godhra post-mortem. India holds in her past. uniform civil code. Their lands were taken away. He makes much of Hindu tolerance in the face of mass-massacres by Muslim terrorists of international networks and wants Hindus. cry for cow-protection.110. Heaven and Hell on others. observance of Ganesha festival with pomp and grandeur. . the Muslim avalanche. Is this the spirit of Sri Aurobindo? Or is this Congress ideology or policy? A legacy of Gandhi-Nehru foolishness clamped on unthinking populace? Let us get it right and see Jewish history. For they are not readily available for him for approval. p.”38 Would you not be.”37 Sanskrit Our objector has said enough number of ‘good for nothing’ things. See this advice for Hindus: “I would be the last person to suggest we emulate Israel in this respect. But he condemns Astrology being prescribed as a course of study in some universities. Christians despised the Jews and pictured them as Devil’s disciplines. The holy prophet himself massacred thousands of them for not following him. too. They did not impose their concepts of God. and continue to suffer as ever before.be considerably altered before long… our past with all its faults and defects should be sacred to us… but the claims of our future with its immediate possibilities should be still more sacred. But it fools no one.8. but did not believe in proselytisation or conversion. which will create as great a revolution in human life as the physical science of the nineteenth century. The Current Hindu Upsurge in Sri Aurobindo’s Light – Mangesh Nadkarni. the partiality or the ruling junta and the press. like reaction in the wake of Rama Janma Bhoomi uprisals. The wily Christians put the blame on the innocent Jews. (Nothing is gained on this now. 37 38 India’s Rebirth. sir! I pity you.) He mentions Article 370. Then came their conquest by Egyptians. Here. new powers and capacities. Then came the Muslim deluge.
Then came Hitler to hound them out! Mr. Read in Kannada. H. could no longer use as their spoken language. p. at least now. by creating new words where there was need. its study discouraged in both North and South India). Objector? How eccentric of you! How inhuman of you! I pity your weakness and fear! Have we no lessons here? Can we not do a similar revival of Sanskrit in this country? Read this from Sri Aurobindo: “Each language is the sign and power of the soul of the people. Objector sir. long before Israel attained freedom. its pride. But listen. a language which the Jews. Mar 1916 39 . a man called Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858 – 1922) worked for the revival of Hebrew. thought-temperament. to make it once again a spoken language. Matte Hottitu Hebrew Hanate (The lamp of Hebrews was lit up again) by Dr.118. as they were scattered all over the world. by bringing out a dictionary in 12 volumes. the Allies resettled them in Israel.39 Under Nehru and Congress we did not have the courage even to recognise Israel as a state! That would displease the Arab lords!! That was our fear. Viswas. cannot live its whole life or its real life. by encouraging conversations.R. he dedicated himself to this ‘lost’ cause. self-confidence. the only language that was ever used over the whole of India and one best expressive of her spirit and richness. they scattered to save themselves. Their industriousness. Today Israel has regained its language. power of endurance and love of peace enriched the lands where they settled. which loses its language. is today on the way to extinction. their lands were taken away. its freedom.”40 “Sanskrit ought still to have a future as the language of the learned and it will not be a good day for India when the ancient tongues cease entirely to be written or spoken (yet Sanskrit. by starting newspapers in that language. its might and its due place in the international world. p.129-130. pub. and all else that was needed! A dead language was again brought to life.The Jews became an emaciated community. They remained a race without a land of their own (like our Sindhi brethren today) and took refuge in Germany and other countries. way of dealing with life and knowledge and experience… A nation. you would have known how many millions of them were killed in the gas chambers of Hitler! Would you not want justice for the Jews? After the Second World War. Would you still be “the last person to suggest we emulate Israel”.”41 What is possible for Israel should be possible for India. Each develops therefore its own peculiar spirit. Dec 1917 41 India’s Rebirth. Bangalore 2006 40 India’s Rebirth. which naturally speaks it. Mr. their numbers dwindled. His own people opposed it under the superstition that only gods should speak their language! But he took up this challenge. Rashtrotthana Parishat. The NDA government dared to break this taboo. which is still not to the liking of Arab countries. And this advantage to the national life is at the same time an advantage to the general life of the human race. race or people.
I hope our present Objector will also see reason. and believers in coexistence. not your native meanings. in a true understanding of the true spirit of the master and what he stood for really. Veda is not your chosen field. I may agree in private. . That was how I started my 10 volumes scheme on Introducing the Culture of the Vedas (in Kannada) in 1973. and not act as an impediment between him and the general reading public. I told him of similar confrontations between Sri Aurobindo and Dr. inhibition and suffering from inferiority complex) make bold to exhibit their ignorance publicly as a form of ‘knowledge’ or ‘enlightenment’ I generally do not keep quiet. Some students of the Sanskrit department of Karnataka university came to me for help to write a seminar paper on the famous “Gambler’s Hymn” that year. came to know of me. He then asked for the source of ‘mischief’. came to me and warned: “Look. and the need to rebuild a strong Hindu nation. I was deeply under the spell of Sri Aurobindo by then. come round.Conclusion I generally ignore unintelligent attacks on any programme of Hindu reconstruction of society. Bendre encouraged me in all my later endeavours and I authored tomes not only on the Vedas but on Ramayana. I have quoted from one source only in this write up. Bhagavad Gita. They are the quotable quotes in exams. He threatened he would fail them if they attempted ‘originality’ or resorted to traditional or ‘outrageous’ meanings that nobody had discovered. would you agree with me. Ultimately I won and he said: “Your interpretations might be right. Bhagavata. Sri Aurobindo was my light and delight then and now.” I asked him: “If I also write books of reference. Griffith and others) and striking a ‘new’ path. both in recitation and interpretation. Radhakrishnan! I asked him: “Do you encourage mugging up. uphold my right to views and being quoted?” He said grumblingly: “By all means”. Mahabharata. and disappeared! Dr. (but in fear. one day. if need be. Do not misguide my students”. But when ‘knowledgeable’ people in responsible positions. which accommodates all peace lovers. and inheriting western prejudices even in matters of Veda?” He fumbled for words and failed. When the paper was presented. Peterson. Kagi. the professor was all fury-incarnate for violating the great “orientalists” (Max Muller. and change his pervert views of Sri Aurobindo. in addition to mastering of the Veda in a traditional style. generally not much known to the Aurobindo readers. But I can show similar proof from his other better known works also. Alwars and books on Indological studies. I helped in deciphering the symbolic meaning of the hymn and guided the boys. Wilson. Sanskrit is no business of yours. Hindu-resurgence. But publicly Western authorities I respect. you are a professor of English Literature. and have authored over 85 books to date in languages I know to read and write.
.We cannot quote Aurobindo against himself! Can we? Let the wise readers decide for themselves what Sri Aurobindo really stood for. and his programme for us today in this country.
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