Saturday, March 30, 2013

English poetry is receiving lesser attention these days: Aju Mukhopadhyay

Aju Mukhopadhyay, a bilingual poet, author and critic, writes fictions and essays too. He has authored 30 books and received several poetry awards from India and USA, besides other honours. He is a regular contributor to various magazines and e-zines in India and abroad. He is a member of the Research Board of Advisors of the American Biographical Institute, registered in the Who's Who of Sahitya Akademi, India. He is one of the Vice President of the Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics.
A member of many national literary and environmental institutions, he is also published as writer on animals, wildlife, Nature and Environment. His poetry in English has been published in 14 anthologies and his short stories too have been published in some anthologies besides in "Einfach Menschlich" (Simply Human), published by the German Language Department of the University of Mumbai, where his story has been translated in German and selected as one of the Indian short stories. Seven books contain critique on his poetry besides such critiques on his poetry and fiction scattered in several magazines. His two recently published books are “The World of Sri Aurobindo’s Creative Literature” (Literary) and “Mother of all Beings” (Biography).

In an exhaustive interview, Mr. Mukhopadhyay told citizen journalist Shantanu Halder about his early life, poems and the future of English poetry in India.
Tell us about your early childhood days and school life?
I was born in a joint family in north Kolkata and grew up with brothers, sisters and cousins. North Kolkata was still the hub of Kolkata, with respectable families and traditional houses but already very crowded. Swami Vivekananda’s house was in our neighbourhood, Tagore’s house too was quite near; Calcutta University and Metropolitan Institution (main), founded by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, were also in the neighbourhood, where I studied.
There were at least 35 to 40 members in our family including the helping hands and dependents. None of us received exclusive treatment from our elders; eating the common food, going to school on slipper, many of us sleeping in the same room, was the usual norm. The whole surrounding was crowded. I was born during the Second World War. I have faint memory of a fearful atmosphere prevailing during the communal riots culminating in the horrible Calcutta massacre in 1946. There was stray bombing by the Japanese in our neighbourhood.
I studied in the same school from class four till I passed the School Final (equivalent to Matriculation in the earlier stage). We feared some of the teachers who were of very grave and serious nature, like mathematics teacher Bimal Babu or history teacher Pulin Babu. Indu Babu was of jovial nature but he used to beat us when he felt needed with wooden scale on our palms. Some teachers confined some naughty boys or punished some, compelling them to sit in Kneel down position on the floor or standing on the benches for an hour or so. When Tulsi Lahiri Sir, the superintendent called some student in his chamber and talked or punished, in rare cases with caning, there prevailed an atmosphere of fear and attrition. But teachers loved us too and during Saraswati Puja or some other function of the school they indulged in revelry.
Sometimes when a helping hand from our house came with a slip of paper in hand to get us freed for the day with the teacher’s permission on some urgent need, as he pleaded, we got a big blow on our back from the fat darwan who understood the mischievous idea of the person who came to take us home. Coming out, sometimes he took me or both of us to a cinema. It was a joyous surprise but going home as usual we found none of our guardians knew of it.

Would you define poetry in your own words?

Usually some pent-up emotion like love, as we understand usually, grievance against the ruler or society or some unknown love for Nature or the divine or some extraordinary feeling about life and surrounding gives birth to poetry. Good poetry must be a synthetic product of thoughts, ideas, dreams and visions grasped intuitively. Imagery, symbolism, subtle ornaments make the poetry enjoyable; pleasant to hear, beautiful to see. Whatever the force that dominates a poem a unique creation gives ananda. I do not think that efforts to write poetry to make propaganda of any sort, to make loud publicity in favour of religious belief or arguing through gross words make any poetry.
Any sentiment may be expressed through poetry but that must be free from the crude utterances though sometimes apparently crude ideas about love or anger or other violent feelings too may give birth to poetry if the emotion is properly used for the sublime lies in the lap of the crude physical sheath too. Presently prose poems are the usual norms acceptable but in my view poetry must have some rhythm, even an inner rhythm and there is no wrong in rhyming though it may not be made compulsory. Poems rhymed are the natural products in their usual form. Rhymed or unrhymed, poetry must contain pithy sayings in any form; it must give rise to an idea hidden in the layers of its body. Ideas vague or without carrying any clear meaning are examples of inappropriate poetry
When did you start writing your poems?

It was during my teens in my mother tongue, Bangla. They were written in small exercise book; remained unpublished and I finally lost sight of them.
Do you remember your first poem in English?
I do not remember exactly but my first poems were written in ’70s. I wrote “Solar Eclipse on a birthday” on my birthday in 1995. “February Twenty-first” was one of the early poems, written on the occasion of the Mother’s (of Pondicherry) birth anniversary. So was a poem, titled, ”A River”.
Who inspired you to write poetry?
Frankly speaking, I have nobody to mention in particular. Tagore was with us at every step so his indirect influence we cannot deny. And ever since I found myself engaged in studying Sri Aurobindo in my youth, I was drawn to his philosophy and poetry, particularly Savitri. But still now as I write, I do not feel any direct influence of his poems, though his philosophy and ideas percolate through my veins spontaneously, may be some lines of his poems remain in my subconscious sheath. They may do their work but nothing influences me directly.
That way it may be that Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth or even Walter de la Mere touches my heart and mind though it is not that I regularly read them. Nature inspires and incites me to write. Poems on Nature and environment and rants; poems in favour of the fallen adivasi, against social injustices and of late, political debauchery and coquetry certainly inflame my emotion to write but the expressions are my own like my other poems of purely subjective experiences.

What are your volumes of poems?

In English they are: The Witness Tree, In Celebration of Nature, The Paper Boat, Aju Mukhopadhyay’s Poems on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Insect’s Nest and Other Poems, Short Verse Vast Universe and Short Verse Delight. At least three more books of poems are being conceived as poems written and mostly published are awaiting the light of day.
Could you mention a few poems that represent you as a poet?

Though I love all my poems, but some poems in the book, In Celebration of Nature, were better creations to represent me more like, “The days pass by”, “The Burning Lamp” and “The Witness Tree” (The Witness Tree); “What an Age we are passing through”, “From Darkness towards Light” and “The Paper Boat” (The Paper Boat); “Fishes in Water”, “The Grass” and “Solace in Nature” (In Celebration of Nature); “Sri Aurobindo” and “February Twenty-first” (Aju Mukhopadhyay’s Poems on Sri Aurobindo and The Mother); “Insect’s Nest”, “At the River Bank”, “The Profiles of Birds”, “Life and Death Hugs each other”, “The Uncivilised”, “The Adivasi”, “Il Pleut” and “Tenant” (Insect’s Nest and Other Poems).
All these poems were acclaimed or commented on favourly besides some other poems, and I like them. I have refrained from mentioning any of the poems, which are not in a book or remain unpublished.

What is the future of Indian English poetry?

With the fast development of English studies in schools and colleges and universities in India it is expected that Indian English will develop and with it the Indian English Poetry though poetry in general is not receiving so much attention now. I hope that with the increase of English speaking population future culture will absorb finer senses to find poetry enjoyable which shall not be confined to crude novels, violence, profiteering or bizarre political activities.

What are the main themes of your poetry?

I find three currents flowing through my poetry: Nature, Social ideas and responsibilities tilting towards rants and spiritual feeling and experiences.

What would be your advice to the budding poets?

Follow your own heart and seek what is the natural inflow and outflow of your being. Never be influenced too much or imitate any poet of the past or present. Your own feelings and imaginations and inherent capacities are the best source of your poetry. But more reading of literature and poetry refines your culture and gives edge to your writing skill.

Why is poetry important to you?

Because poetry is the inner most urge of my heart, poetry is my love and through poetry I can express vaster things in shorter art form.

Tell us a bit about your poem anthology “The Witness Tree”.

This is quite nostalgic experience. I relish with joy for it was my first book of poems published quite after some years of my permanent settlement here in Pondicherry. My poems in English were being published for some time in some magazines like “Mother India” and some other magazines and I approached P. Lal, the leading supporter of Indian English literature from my native city, Calcutta, under the brand name, Writers Workshop.
As usual, he took it up with encouragement and wrote me as the book progressed in his calligraphic handwriting correcting, editing, paper-setting and publishing with all care. It was published in 2000. Later once when I listed my works for a book, as soon as it came to “The Witness Tree”, he wrote by its side - WW, as he published it earlier. My relationship through my first book of poems with P. Lal became cordial. I published my debut novel too through him, titled, In Train. I still remember “The Witness Tree” for its fresh smell from a forgotten time.

Would you tell us a few words about your book of poems “Insect’s
Nest and Other Poems”?

This volume of poetry was published in 2010, and it is the last book of poems published. While I wait for the next volumes this is still fresh as the latest. It contains some poems I love and many of the poems in it have been highly acclaimed by the critiques, Indian and foreign. “The Adivasi” in it was read before a large international gathering during the international Chotro-3 conference at Silon Bagh near Shimla.

You wrote books on Sri Aurobindo. Please tell a few words about your views on him.

Here you give me a chance to speak about a man I love most though I never saw him. This is based on my inner choice of a man for all ages.
A revolutionary, a poet and a writer, Sri Aurobindo, beginning with his journalistic days to the last of his poetic era, wrote large number of essays; political, socialistic, analytical and interpretative of scriptures besides translations of classics from different languages.
Compared to his non-fiction and other works, the volume of his original creative literature is quite less. But he remained a poet from his student days to the last, writing 50000 (approx) lines of poetry. Savitri, the spiritual epic, his lifetime work, is one of the largest in world literature and the largest in English language. He wrote good number of dramas (five complete and five incomplete plus some fragments and translations) and four short stories. He was a thinker and silent yogi. I prefer to see him from different viewpoints through different personalities of history.
Times Literary Supplement, London, wrote in July 1944:
“Of all modern Indian writers Aurobindo- successively poet, critic, scholar, thinker, nationalist, humanist- is the most significant and perhaps the most interesting. . . . .
“As an Indian scholar and critic he is second to none. . . . Like Coleridge and Heine he displays a piercing and almost instantaneous insight into the heart of his subject. . . .
Professor Gabriel Monod-Herzen, the well-known French physicist, once explained that Sri Aurobindo embodied for him the quintessence of the scientific spirit for he rejects none, no ideas, for there is a place for all opinions, even those which he does not accept and he admits that particle of truth exists in everything because without it that opinion itself couldn’t exist. Sri Aurobindo asserted that ignorance is not absence of knowledge but incomplete knowledge.
Poet Rabindranath Tagore after visiting him for the last time in his cave of tapasya in Pondicherry on 29.5.1928 wrote, “I felt that the utterance of the ancient Hindu Rishi spoke from him of that equanimity which gives the human soul its freedom of entrance to the All. I said to him, ‘You have the Word and we are waiting to accept it from you. India will speak through your voice to the world, ‘Hearken to me.’”
Long before Rabindranath C. R. Das, the great Indian leader and barrister who pleaded for Sri Aurobindo in the Alipore conspiracy case in 1909, uttered the following words in his lengthy last speech, “Long after the controversy will be hushed in silence, long after he is dead and gone, he will be looked upon as the poet of patriotism, as the prophet of nationalism and the lover of humanity. Long after he is dead and gone, his words will be echoed and re-echoed, not only in India, but across distant seas and lands. Therefore, I say that the man in his position is not only standing before the bar of this Court, but before the bar of the High Court of History.”
So far in the history of man, no political or social principle or remedy has solved man’s problems. I believe that Sri Aurobindo’s vision of Life Divine only can ultimately lead man to a newer golden age if they properly follow him. Sri Aurobindo belongs to the future.

Why did you choose to settle in Pondicherry?

Mainly, because I became a devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the mother with an urge to settle near their home, the Ashram established by them. And I found that Pondicherry, the erstwhile French town, the biggest French link to India, is a small town with lesser problems of life, which offer peace of mind and heart, in spite of many drawbacks.

Do you have any message to the society as a poet?

I strongly feel that poets and writers should be the persons who can give guidance to society, leadership to citizens’ life with real ideas. I strongly wish that people should think with their own mind and heart. Society should never be dependent on political personalities. A progressive society should be dependent on its scientific analysis of the past and futuristic vision free from political influences.

How could you manage your career as a banker and a creative writer?

This is really a weighty question for earlier a bank manager used to be engaged in his office from morning till late in the evening so to engage him from morning to night until he came back home. While engaged in different positions of a bank I used to write but the volume of production was much less. And surely that was a strained time, disturbed by transfers from place to place throughout the country. The writer and poet in me live beyond that time, in the heart of literature.

How do you rate yourself as a poet?

Can I rate myself? But this may be said that different reviewers and scholars writing on my poetry have highly acclaimed quite some of my poems. My poetry topped some websites. I have received four poetry awards besides certificate of merit. My poetry has been published in fourteen anthologies and quite more are in the press. There are critiques on my poetry in seven books published by reputed publishers in India and abroad.

Do you want to share with us anything about your visit to America?

Oh, this is a hidden treasure of my heart, something I wished to share with others as I have shared many of my trips in travel features with my readers, mostly in dailies. A result of my visit to Europe was more than a couple of travel writings but my visit to America has not been honoured with any publication so far. Shortage of time and lack of encouragement from publishers may be the cause. However, I wonder how you have come to know of this to put such a surprising question. My warm regards to you for giving me chance to write few lines on the subject.
In October-November 2010, I visited United States and Canada at the invitation of my two daughters living in opposite directions in that country. Well in advance of my visit, we chalked out our programme so I could visit some remarkable nature spots of the United States spreading from northeast to the southwest of America within the calculated time span.
While I stayed in New York and Foster City in San Francisco, I visited some great places like 1000 Islands, Niagara Falls in Toronto, Canada, Grand Canyon in Arizona and Yosemite in California after visiting and staying at Las Vegas. I visited Cornwall in Canada being invited by the renowned poet Dr. Stephen Gills and stayed as his guest for a day. Besides these I visited many great places in between them. I have an earnest wish to write on all such splendid places of the earth though many great writers must have written on them before me.

Tell a bit about your short stories.

I began writing with short stories. I have three books of short stories in Bangla and two in English. I edited two short story magazines in Bangla. My short stories have been anthologized. Few years ago, one of my short stories got second prize in a competition conducted by Bizz-Buzz, a small press publication. Recently one of my short stories (The Pride of a Woman) has been included in a book of Indian stories translated in German language, published by the University of Mumbai in 2011titled, "Einfach Menschlich" (Simply Human). I have been writing short stories for magazines and books, some of which have been highly acclaimed by the critics.
I have two books of short stories in English, White Bird and its Black Shadow and The Moments of Life. In this respect, I may add that though my other books about or on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have been sold, even second editions published, my creative works in Bangla have received little media attention. Little magazines and self-publications cannot go far. With regard to recent Bengali literature I may say that they are recorded, prized and praised writers who are blessed by the big media and they have all connectivity with establishments and others. There are few outside this circle who are known.
While my poems and stories in English are known to good numbers of deserving readers, my works in Bengali are not though I have faint satisfaction that writers like Nolini kanto Gupta and Jyotirindrandra Nandi appreciated some of my stories besides few discussions in small press journals. I aspire that deserving readers and scholars at least in the generations to come would look into them to see if they are inferior to all those who have been copiously adulated and prized. I have confidence over my creations though I cannot evaluate.

How many books have you written in Bengali?

12 books. Their names are: Chasma O Tinti Galpo(Four short stories); Tinjan (a collection of short stories) Divya Janani (biography-running in second edition); Manus Putul O Bahiragata (Bahiragata is a one Act play by me. The book was Coauthored with another Bengali poet); Sakaler Nolini-da (Biography); Sri Aurobindo: Ekti Divya Jiban (biography-running in second edition); Amanusher Bhalobasa (a collection of short stories); Sri Aurobindo Sri Mayer Siksa Bhavna (Essays on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s ideas on education); Dinguli Jaye (a collection of poems); SriAurobinder Aloksadharan Galpo (translation of short stories by Sri Aurobindo with some highlights on his short stories);SriAurobinder Kabita ( translation of some selected poems by Sri Aurobindo); Apratyashita Atithi (a collection of poems).

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Psychic Being Is The Supramental Being

Then I said to myself (possibly it is always so, I do not know, but here I noticed it very clearly), I said to myself, "But it is the psychic being, it is that which will materialise itself and become the supramental being!"-THE MOTHER

July 1, 1970

(Satprem reads out the conversation of June 27 - "a very slight shift of consciousness" - which Mother thought could be used for the "Notes on the Way.")
Is that all? I said only this much?.... I thought I had said something interesting - it's not very interesting.
Yes, it is! There are lots of things in it!
There's always so much MORE than what can be read! I really felt I had said something, and now it seems like nothing at all!
When I read it aloud, it's not so good, but when you read it for yourself and go within a little, you clearly feel...
Yes, in YOUR case. But for one like you who reads like that, there are a thousand who read on the surface.
Not everyone!
Anyway ... It doesn't matter.
Soon afterwards
I had an experience which I found interesting, because it was the first time. It was yesterday or the day before (I forget), R. was here, just in front of me, kneeling, and I saw her psychic being towering above by this much (gesture about eight inches), taller. It's the first time. Her physical being was short, and the psychic being was tall, like this. And it was a sexless being: neither man nor woman. So I said to myself (it may be always that way, I don't know, but at that time I noticed it very clearly), I said to myself, "But the psychic being is the one that will materialize and become the supramental being!" 
I saw it, it was like that. There were distinctive features, but not very pronounced, and it was clearly a being that was neither male nor female, that had features of both combined. And it was taller than her, it exceeded her on every side by about this much(gesture extending beyond the physical being by about eight inches). She was here, and it was like this (gesture). Its color was ... this color that, if it became very material, would be Auroville's color [orange]. It was softer, as if behind a veil, it wasn't absolutely precise, but it was this color. And there was hair, but ... it was something else.
Another time maybe I'll see better.
But I found it very interesting, because that being seemed to tell me, "You're wondering what the supramental being will be - here it is! Here it is, this is it." And it was there. It was her psychic being. 
Then one understands. One understands: the psychic being will materialize ... and it gives a continuity to evolution. 
This creation gives you a clear impression that nothing is arbitrary, that there is a sort of divine logic behind, which isn't like our human logic, but highly superior to our logic (but it exists), and that logic was fully satisfied when I saw that.
It's odd, it was also when R. was here that I had that experience of the supramental light going through within [Mother] without causing any shadow. [[See Agenda X of April 16 and May 3, 1969. ]] R. has something like that, I don't know.... And this time, it's really interesting. I was quite interested. It was there, tranquil, and saying to me, "But you're after ... well, here it is, this is it!"
So then, I understood why the mind and the vital were sent away from this body, and the psychic being was left (naturally, it was the psychic being that governed all movements earlier, so it was nothing new, but there were no more difficulties: all the complications coming from the vital and the mind, which add their imprints, their tendencies, it was all gone). So I understood: "Ah, that's it, it's this psychic being that is to become the supramental being."
I had never bothered to know what it looked like. But when I saw that, I understood. And I see it, I still see it, I have kept the memory. Its hair almost looked red, strangely (it wasn't like red hair, but it looked like it). And its expression! Such a fine expression, gently ironical ... oh, extraordinary, extraordinary!
You understand, my eyes were open, it was an almost material vision.
Then one understands! All at once, all questions vanished, it became very clear, very simple.
And the psychic is precisely what lives on. So if it materialized, it means doing away with death. But "doing away" ... what's done away with is only what's not according to the Truth, that's what goes away - all that's incapable of being transformed in the image of the psychic, of being part of the psychic. 
That's really interesting. 
Do we have time for some Savitri?
Yes, Mother. In the last verses, Savitri said:
Let those who were tied to body and to mind,
Tear off those bonds and flee into white calm
Is it Savitri who says that?
Yes, Death told her one must leave one's body in order to find God's height....
(Mother translates the sequel)
But how shall I seek rest in endless peace
Who house the mighty Mother's violent force,
Her vision turned to read the enigmaed world,
Her will tempered in the blaze of Wisdom's sun
And the flaming silence of her heart of love?
The world is a spiritual paradox
Invented by a need in the Unseen,
A poor translation to the creatures sense
Of That which for ever exceeds idea and speech,
A symbol of what can never be symbolised,
A language mispronounced, misspelt, yet true....
Savitri, X.IV.647-648
Is there more?
Yes, there is more.
(those were the last line of the Debate of Love and Death Mother was to translate)

Courtesy and Link:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Did Sri Aurobindo & The Mother Foresee This Time? by BHAGA

by   Bhaga

Did Sri Aurobindo and the Mother foresee such a special period as the one we find ourselves in presently?
In Sri Aurobindo’s great poem, ‘Savitri’,  there is a passage when Ashwapathy, the King in ancient India who will become the father of the feminine divine Incarnation that will be Savitri, tells how his consciousness, in a moment of extraordinary vision, saw the far future of the Earth:
‘It saw from timelessness the works of Time.
Overpassed were the leaden formulas of the Mind,
Overpowered the obstacle of mortal Space:
The unfolding Image showed the things to come.
A giant dance of Shiva tore the past;
There was a thunder as of worlds that fall;
Earth was o’errun with fire and the roar of Death
Clamouring to slay a world his hunger had made;
There was a clangour of Destruction’s wings:
The Titan battle-cry was in my ears,
Alarm and rumour shook the armoured Night.”
Well, even for those readers from the West who have no idea what ‘A giant dance of Shiva’ might mean, the following lines make it pretty clear, and rather frighteningly so, I would say. The present period, with its extraordinary profusion of earthquakes and tsunamis and cyclones and weather extremes and the floods or raging fires they bring all over the planet, to the extent that the kind of catastrophe that usually made the headlines in the news, now hardly gets mentioned at all, seems quite correctly described in Sri Aurobindo’s lines, along with the constant threat of generalized war among the bomb explosions by fanatics murdering people in the most unexpected places and circumstances.
As is said from the start, what this ‘giant dance of Shiva’ does is to tear the past. An awful period, but useful…
And then, surprise: the next lines of Sri Aurobindo’s poem and of Ashwapathy’s vision couldn’t be more in contrast with the preceding ones:
‘I saw the Omnipotent’s flaming pioneers
Over the heavenly verge which turns towards life
Come crowding down the amber stairs of birth;
Forerunners of a divine multitude,
Out of the paths of the morning star they came
Into the little room of mortal life.
I saw them across the twilight of an age,
The sun-eyed children of a marvellous dawn,
The great creators with wide brows of calm,
The massive barrier-breakers of the world
And wrestlers with destiny in her lists of will,
The labourers in the quarries of the gods,
The messengers of the Incommunicable,
The architects of immortality.
Into the fallen human sphere they came,
Faces that wore the Immortal’s glory still,
Voices that communed still with the thoughts of God,
Bodies made beautiful by the spirit’s light,
Carrying the magic word, the mystic fire,
Carrying the Dionysian cup of joy,
Approaching eyes of a diviner man,
Lips chanting an unknown anthem of the soul,
Feet echoing in the corridors of Time.
High priests of wisdom, sweetness, might and bliss,
Discoverers of beauty’s sunlit ways
And swimmers of Love’s laughing fiery floods
And dancers within rapture’s golden doors,
Their tread one day shall change the suffering earth
And justify the light on Nature’s face.’
Thus we come to know, together with Ashwapathy, that ‘All shall be done for which our pain was borne’.
This is already quite a comforting revelation, which can give us the courage to go through the ‘tearing of the past’ that in our time is possibly still not over.
And some of the parents who have read the lines above may have recognized with awe some of the amazing children that have been born to them in the recent years.
Children being born more conscious than was usually the case before have been noticed also by the Mother among the new-born babies from Auroville who were brought to her as early as 1965, and in the next few years. As the Mother left her own body in the end of 1973, after that date we don’t have her testimony any more to tell us whether this phenomenon continued, but if I myself can judge just from some of the few more recently born Auroville children I happen to have met, my answer will be a resounding ‘Yes’.
I remember also how stunned I have been in my early years of life in Auroville, as I discovered in some documents retrieved from the hasty oblivion of most other human beings,  that the Mother, speaking about Auroville, had made the casual but startling remark that in the future, there would be snow here.
This was said in the late Sixties, at a time when no one had heard yet of Climate Change; and even now what is talked about mostly is the global warming that comes first, but only a few scientists are aware that it is all a cyclical, recurrent change, in which the initial warming is followed later by some form of short Ice Age.
Did Sri Aurobindo or the Mother ever give any date for the major changes they too foresaw in the future of the Earth?
I remember another passing remark by the Mother, in a volume of her ‘Agenda’; she was chuckling while talking about the year 2000: that year, she was saying, would be ‘the beginning of the real changes’…!
As for Sri Aurobindo, as far as I know (but I may be mistaken) he didn’t give a definite date as the beginning or the end of that critical period we seem to be in. But the way he described the final Major Change seems to indicate at least quite clearly that it will happen very abruptly; here are some other lines from ‘Savitri’, on page 55 already, where it is all revealed in advance:
UNIQUE PICTURE: Earth as seen from the outer S...
UNIQUE PICTURE: Earth as seen from the outer Solar System (Photo credit: Icarus Kuwait)
‘Thus will the masked Transcendent mount his throne.
When darkness deepens strangling the earth’s breast
And man’s corporeal mind is the only lamp,
As a thief’s in the night will be the covert tread
Of one who steps unseen into his house.
A Voice ill-heard shall speak, the soul obey,
A Power into mind’s inner chamber steal,
A charm and sweetness open life’s closed doors
And beauty conquer the resisting world,
The Truth-Light capture Nature by surprise,
A stealth of God compel the heart to bliss,
And earth grow unexpectedly divine.
A few shall see what none yet understands;
God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
For man shall not know the coming till its hour
And belief shall be not till the work is done.’
I don’t know about you, but I hope we are very near the moment when all this will happen and we find ourselves all of a sudden in an inexplicably but wonderfully changed world.
Does the darkness need to deepen yet more? Do we have yet to reach the stage when our corporeal mind is the only lamp? Really, I hope not, for things are already difficult enough, I would say, I certainly don’t want that they get still worse, if that can be at all avoided.
But even if it cannot be helped… Wow.  What incredibly magnificent Future is awaiting us. It was truly all worth it…

Courtesy and Link:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Devotion, Yes… Religion, No. by BHAGA

Sri Aurobindo is one of the most respected fre...

Sri Aurobindo is one of the most respected freedom fighters from Bengal and also a poet, philosopher, and yogi.

My Facebook Page, since a few weeks, keeps showing almost every day more photos of Sri Aurobindo or the Mother, diligently posted there by well-meaning devotees, who, as part of various groups dedicated to those two extraordinary Pioneers of Conscious Evolution, express their devotion to them in that way. Every time a new photo is posted on my Facebook Page, it is welcomed by hundreds of ‘Likes’ saluting it.
Although I have no objection of course to the intention, I have noticed in myself a growing sense of unease, to the extent that recently I was anxious  before opening my Facebook Page, and feeling some irritation too, towards the persons who have included me in this or that group, with as a result this flooding of my page.
Why anxious and irritated? Looking within, I found I felt my page was beginning to resemble a religious page, and I didn’t like that at all.  I certainly don’t want people who stumble upon this Facebook Page to think immediately, ‘Oh, this must be a member of some new religion about this Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, whoever they are’.
I guess it is also the mostly adoring comments that in the end bother me. I remember how Sri Aurobindo and Mother themselves felt all this adoration was all right, but too often it was actually laziness, to the point that Mother one day wrote:
‘Why do people want to adore? It is much better to become.”
This is what they really expect from us all who love them:  not that we content ourselves with adoring them, but that we follow on their steps, each one in our own way, going as far as we can during this lifetime in the same evolutive direction they have opened up for Humanity as a whole.
I wish so much that this blog would inspire people, including those who are already what is called ‘devotees’ , to use this more as a kind of collective blog, to communicate more with me, to report their own feelings or perhaps similar experiences, to ask questions about specific points, whatever!… Not necessarily all the time, but at least from time to time…
So, about my Facebook Page, what would I like?…
I too love those photos of Sri Aurobindo or Mother, they touch me as much as they do all of you. A photo now and then will be fine. But the persons who come to my blog should rather get the feeling that we are a big bunch of human beings, all intensely active in our own evolutive process, at whatever stage each one may happen to be, rather than getting the impression that we are merely starting a new religion…! I am sure all of you will agree on this, so let’s try to find a better way to manifest what we are and what we want to become.
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Friday, March 1, 2013

Aju Mukhopadhyay's "The World of Sri Aurobindo's Creative Literature"


The World of Sri Aurobindo's Creative Literature
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Aju Mukhopadhyay
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In this volume an attempt has been made by Aju Mukhopadhyay, a well known writer on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother besides other works, to present the whole of Sri Aurobindos creative literature within the cover of a single book, reproducing portions of his work written in English, as nearer to the original as it is available in his birth centenary library edition volumes, with appropriate discussions on them.

Author Bio: Aju Mukhopadhyay is a poet, essayist, feature and fiction writer. His features and articles include those on travel, food, health and culture, festivals, on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, on Nature, Spiritualism and Environment and many other subjects. He has been writing short stories for many years. He has three books of short stories and two books of poems among his thirteen books in Bengali, which include poems, biographies, essays and translations. He edited two little magazines (Chhota Galpo and Sampratik Chhoto Galpo) for short stories in Bengali between 1967 and 1970. Some of his stories have been translated in other languages and included in anthologies.
He has been awarded Certificate of Competence as a Published Writer by the Writers Bureau, Manchester, UK and awarded Best Poet of the Year-2003 by the Poets International, Bangalore, India. He is a member of the Research Board of Advisors of the American Biographical Institute.
This book was added to South Asia bookstore on Friday 28 December, 2012.

Introducing Sri Aurobindo’s Creative Literature

In the face of huge publicity and propaganda in favour of some freedom fighters whose names are the main thrust of some political party, making them cult figures, Sri Aurobindo’s name as a freedom fighter has faded into oblivion. The young generation hardly knows the true history of the freedom movement of India.
Sri Aurobindo lives in the mind of the people as a philosopher and a great thinker. Beginning with his journalistic days to the last of his poetic era, he wrote large number of essays; political, socialistic, analytical and interpretative of scriptures besides translations of classics from different languages.
But he remained a poet from his student days to the last and wrote good number of dramas besides some short stories. He could be a remarkable dramatist and fiction writer too apart from poet but he was either engaged as a secret revolutionary leader or a political leader in the open field, either a professor, journalist, social thinker or a philosopher, doing yoga, meditating while walking for ten or more hours, in between his constant efforts to create literature, translate or edit them, at different periods of his life. Busy with many other things, his original works of imagination, largely remained incomplete, inconclusive. In a stormy life, shifting from place to place, Sri Aurobindo often lost track of his own works. Some of them were in police or Government custody, recovered by chance after he passed away. In search of perfection he often amended his own works; revised, corrected or added volumes, may be once or many times, sometimes leaving little tracks for the compilers and editors. It proved difficult sometimes to reconstruct his works which at the same time gave chance to some infidels to distort his works.
It may even be that he wrote more, completed more than it seems left incomplete but he could not keep them in a regular way, could not find a trace of them. And it may equally apply to Sri Aurobindo what the Mother once said to remind her disciple that they belonged to eternity, hinting that they did not care to keep all records of their works to the temporal world. His yoga diary consisted of jotted down notes in simple note books or chits of paper, not meant for preserving. Sometimes a disciple found some papers containing his works among pieces to be destroyed or burnt down and he kept them with care.
We may refer to a portion of the well meaning opinion expressed by K. R. Srinivas Iyengar, his learned biographer in his work, ‘Sri Aurobindo-a biography and a history’ -“In one sense, of course, it is unfair to Sri Aurobindo’s literary genius to discuss plays and fragments which he did not finalise or complete, and which were not published at all.” (Pondicherry; SAICE. 1985 edition. P.144)
On the whole, compared to his non-fiction and other works his original creative literature was quite less. It is little known that he was a fiction writer and a dramatist. Even as a poet he has not been accorded that altitude as he deserves in the minds of the critics and common people. The other reason for this is perhaps that he wrote not in his Mother Tongue.
All his short stories were posthumously published. Only one drama was published during his life time. Not all his poems were published during his time.

© Aju Mukhopadhyay