Article by Dinesh Varma published in The Hindu

From colloquies on metaphysics to meditation, music and art shows, a series of events led by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville is setting up the finale for the year-long sesquicentennial celebrations of Sri Aurobindo, which coincides with the 75th Independence anniversary on August 15. The Sri Aurobindo Society (SAS), which has been hosting a series of lectures, will be premiering a documentary on Sri Aurobindo on the occasion, said Beloo Mehra at SAS. Titled ‘The Transformation’ in English and ‘Naya Janma’ in Hindi, the 54-minute film was a joint effort of SAS and the Kolkata Sukriti Foundation. At Auroville’s Savitri Bhavan, old-timers and prominent figures from outside, have featured in a lecture series, ‘Invocation: The Gnostic Festival’. In one of the recent talks, Radhika Khanna, head, Department of Electronic Media and Mass Communication, Pondicherry University, presented excerpts from some thoughts on Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga to highlight their transformative power. Ms. Khanna pointed to passages from Sri Aurobindo’s writings on the nature of the “divine Shakti as the timeless power of the Divine which manifests as a universal force apparent to us first on the lower levels of existence” to explain why it was necessary “for our sadhana that we should thoroughly realise this truth in order to escape from the pressure of the limiting ego view and universalise ourselves even on these lower levels where ordinarily the ego reigns in full force…” “Once we reach the stage of understanding that all mankind is one, then it is possible to achieve the goal of human unity in spite of any differences we may face on the mental, vital or physical planes”, she said. In fact, on the limitations of classical psychoanalytical theory vis a vis the yogic understanding of the nature of consciousness, Sri Aurobindo has stated: “The superconscient, not the subconscient, is the true foundation of things. The significance of the lotus is not to be found by analysing the secrets of the mud from which it grows here; its secret is to be found in the heavenly archetype of the lotus that blooms for ever in the Light above… you must know the whole before you can know the part and the highest before you can truly understand the lowest.”

Read More