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Humanity at the Crossroads: Does Sri Aurobindo offer an alternative?

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Shakuntala A. Singh

           

Paper read at National Seminar on Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity,

17-19 Jan. 2005, New Delhi, India.

 

 

Shakuntala   A.  Singh

                                                                                                             

                                                                   

 

 

 I

 

Introduction

 

 I.1. To say that Sri Aurobindo is not easy to comprehend would be a huge understatement, if nothing else. While that can dissuade a number of people from going any further, it can motivate a number of others to study him that much the more closely. Let us hope some of us fall in the latter category.

 

I.2. Moreover, Sri Aurobindo has written voluminously, and he has expressed himself on a vast array of topics. That makes him that much the more significant to study, as well as makes him that much more liable to the barbs of critics itching to point out loopholes, of which too there are not a few around. I mean not loopholes, but the critics with that attitude. Let us also hope most of us do not belong to that category.

 

I.3. Humanity today is indeed passing through numerous crises and yet surviving. While we all no doubt wish to continue to evolve through all this survival (hopefully even reaching the supramental state promised by the great seer of Pondicherry), my concerns here are a little more pedestrian. I propose to look into some of the problems of contemporary man as an individual, a member of society, a citizen of his country, a component of this world, and of nature itself. Come to think of it, the concerns are not that pedestrian. So far, so good.

 

I.4.Some concepts like Science, Nature, Matter, Mental Being, Nation-ego and Nation-soul, True and False Subjectivism, World-state and World-union, and The Religion of Humanism will be the focus of this paper. Well, why not the rest, you may ask? Well, why not? Not that the others are not important. But I believe these deserve our focus here, and today, as humanity finds itself at the crossroads, and gropes around rather gingerly for some tentative answers, which may hopefully translate into permanent solutions.

 

                                                                    II

 

                                             Science, Matter And Nature

 

 II.1. While Science is engaged in highlighting the distinguishing characters, the “discontinuities and discreteness of the elements of Nature,” and with ample justification, “there is a level of reality which is continuous and yet to be grasped by the physical sense and science” (1).

 

  What is this level of reality, which is continuous?  It is to understand that nature has immense potentialities. It is like a sleeping God. If awakened, it can raise all the elements that constitute it, including man, through the different levels of existence - material, vital, mental, and to the beyond -- the supramental. This is possible only if we first of all realize that beneath the diversity and uniqueness of the different elements in Nature, there is an essential unity that not only allows this diversity, even supports it. Which means if the diversity of elements in nature is fundamental, equally fundamental is the unity that runs through these diverse elements. One of the important assignments for the scientific man of today would be to engage in tracing out this unity, while he is justifiably busy engaged in his methods of categorizing, classifying, differentiating etc. Otherwise it is in danger of remaining just a mass of formulae, ignorant of the foundation of being, and a poor instrument to perfect our nature, or our life:

 

      …our science itself is a construction, a mass, of formulas and devices; masterful in knowledge of processes and in the creation of apt machinery, but ignorant of the foundations of the being and of world-being, it cannot perfect our nature and therefore cannot perfect our life (2).

 

  Of course the larger problem remains: whether Science will arrive at the ultimate truth, or any ultimate truth. To this too Sri Aurobindo has a rather insightful remark:

 

    … one might ask whether science has arrived at any ultimate truth; on the contrary, ultimate truth even on the physical plane seems to recede as science advances (3) .

 

   Which makes us remember the astute remark of George Bernard Shaw: “Every true scientist is a metaphysician”, and the other, of Albert Einstein: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind”(4). And by religion, may we add, Einstein most probably meant spirituality and the ennobling aspects of religion, not its dogmatic and fanatical manifestations.

 

   Science, its methods and approach, is the favourite whipping boy of most philosophers(5). So much so, I suspect it is in danger of becoming immune to even philosophy’s legitimate pleas. However, a happy meeting ground would be a realization of each other’s limitations, and more important, working together in an atmosphere of intellectual integration wherein the insights of philosophy could become heuristic and algorithmic models for scientific experimentation. For, let’s face it, if science cannot lay claims to being the sole guardian of humanity, neither can philosophy.

 

This challenge and realisation has to be accepted by both sides for the welfare of society, if nothing else.

 

 

II.2. The forces of Nature have exercised a fascinating influence on human beings. While we know that so many of these forces are promotive to existence, we also know that a number of them are far from being so. Earthquakes, cyclones, floods, natural calamities in various forms have a devastating effect on the constituents of nature. In what sense, then, can the following statement have meaning: “…the forces of Nature expressed through laws are not destructive, rather expressive and promotive, of the human mind, its thought and action, and their freedom” (6).

 

   How can the forces of Nature which cause natural calamities like the recent tsunami disaster, and the multiple earthquakes, and cyclones, and famines, which have ravaged this country, as also a number of others all over the world – how can such forces of nature not be destructive, rather be expressive and promotive? Of course we can find a convenient escape route by saying that what we refer to here are not the forces of nature as such, but as they are expressed through the fundamental laws. In which case we are not concentrating on certain events but on the laws that govern them. And we can very well say that such laws are expressive and promotive at a deeper level, which is not comprehensible to our superficial and distressed awareness. And maybe it is so. For, the justification for natural disaster as a means to bring about population control, or reduce the evil in society, has been advanced by a number of thinkers even earlier, Gandhi being not the least of them when he talked of the justification for the Bihar earthquake of 1934. Such reasoning defies comprehension to the mind acutely aware of the tragedy that surrounds it. And while it may be convenient to accept that behind every action manifest in Nature the Supreme is trying to arouse and guide us to perfection, let us fervently hope that none of those who were on that path were a part of that disaster. And they continue to remain so “protected”.

 

  Strange and incomprehensible are the ways of nature. Equally strange and incomprehensible can be the ways man can justify the vagaries of nature.

 

   Having said that, however, even expression of the destructive forces of nature can be “ expressive and promotive, of the human mind its thought and action, and their freedom”(7), in at least one way. It has made a number of people express their solidarity towards the disaster affected victims, and helped promote feelings of care and compassion towards the disadvantaged in the more privileged and fortunate sections of the world. Well, every cloud has a silver lining. Only here the cloud seems to be enormous, and the silver lining appears to be far too thin.

 

II.3. Let us come to an interesting aspect of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy, and that is his acceptance of the reality of matter while highlighting its inadequacies. “Sri Aurobindo is naturalist in a special sense. He affirms the reality of matter and at the same time highlights its imperfection. He affirms the reality of life-world and points out its imperfection and even distortion. He analyses the rich complexity of the human mind and also shows its inadequacy to grasp the integrality of reality as a whole”(8).

 

   Ha. Do we now have an answer here? That matter exists and it is imperfect. The world exists, but it is imperfect, even distorted. Hence it is subject to calamities and disasters. That the human mind is rich and complex, all right. But it may not be able “ to grasp the integrality of reality as a whole”(9). Which means even when things go drastically wrong in nature, or in man, we should be able to understand that there is integrality even in such a reality, which only a holistic approach will make obvious. This is because the human mind, howsoever rich and complex in its ability, is still inadequate in its grasp of the integral nature of phenomena as they express themselves in nature outside, and in its nature within as well.

 

  Of course, to understand the mysteries of events and happenings around us, we must, besides helping correct the situation outside, look within ourselves and examine the tsunamis and earthquakes and cyclones and floods and droughts that afflict us within. The tsunamis of our desires devastate our rationalities, the floods of greed rampage our morality, the droughts of compassion dwarf our sense of fraternity, and the earthquakes of our personal tragedies break down the edifices of our beliefs. And, to that extent, all such tragedies and events in nature do have ostensibly a destructive but fundamentally an expressive and promotive effect on human nature.

 

       All the law of nature is a thing precise in its necessities of process, but is yet in the cause of that necessity and of its constancy of rule, measure, combination, adaptation, result a thing inexplicable, meeting us at every step with a mystery and a miracle, and this must be either because it is irrational and accidental even in its regularities or because it is suprarational, because the truth of it belongs to a principle greater than that of our intelligence. That principle is the supramental; that is to say, the hidden secret of Nature in the organization of something out of the infinite potentialities of the self-existent truth of the spirit the nature of which is wholly evident only to an original knowledge born of and proceeding by a fundamental identity, the spirit’s constant self-perception… All these processes are actually spiritual and supramental in their secret government, but mental, vital and physical in their overt process (10).

 

  While every disaster is heart-rending, it is also an occasion, and an invitation, to human growth. This of course is not in any way to reduce the impact that such tragedies have on our brethren, or to trivialise the issue by offering smart intellectual justification for events around. But in some special sense, the ill-understood and inexorable ways of Nature, and the forces that move it, are guiding man’s destiny, and hopefully, his actions, in the direction of not just a survival, but of an integral evolution. I pray that this hope becomes a conviction, which furthers man’s self-actualisation rather than remain only an excuse to quieten internal disturbances.

 

   If mankind can quieten the tsunamis and cyclones and droughts and earthquakes that rage within, and behave with care and compassion towards Nature, not exploiting or denuding or denigrating it, there is a strong possibility that Nature too will behave with equal care and compassion towards man, and spare him the natural calamities than rend him asunder. This is the lesson of the tsunami tragedy that engulfed us recently, and of all such tragedies that have ravaged mankind from time immemorial.

  

  This realisation may be considered one manifestation of how human consciousness, which is in the “twilight zone of reality…is being increasingly brightened by the light beyond the supermind”(11). And only the descent of the supra-mental consciousness on the earth could rid humanity of the “poverty of the powers of consciousness besieged by maladies of various kinds”(12).

 

 II.4 Let us now consider Man and his relation with Nature:

 

     In Man two ends of Nature, the growing animal sector and the arc of the Above, meet and interact, supplementing and complementing each other (13).

 

      What is the essence of being a Man? Firstly, that he is an animal, and secondly, that he is capable of evolving because of “the arc of the Above”, which finds a resonating cord in his inner-being. If the cord is well tuned, it will vibrate in harmony with the symphony from above. And it makes sense to say that the major part of our energies must be directed to such self-tuning. This is one important task before mankind today. But it must be supplemented by the knowledge that the two forces of Nature working on him interact in him not to contradict each other or to disturb his fundamental equilibrium, (although it may disturb his superficial equilibrium to an extent), but in a manner which supplements, that is adds on to, and complements, that is completes, the work of these two forces in their attempt to bring about man’s evolution. To that extent, Nature is both a benefactor and a force: a benefactor, because it acts to carry out the evolution of mankind; a force, because it also supplies the necessary energy and momentum to achieve it. In this way, it is both the visionary and the executor. And, as it is guided by and acted upon by “the arc of the Above”, it fulfills its role in mankind’s evolution that much more integrally. The task before the thinking mind of today is to realize this happening, to be receptive to the changes and modifications it brings about in him, and to allow for the actions that spontaneously and inevitably spring there-from. 

 

 

                                                            

 

 

                                                           III

                                            

                             Purusa, Nation-Soul And World-Unity                 

 

 

III.1. Let us come to the concepts of mana-purusa, prana-purusa and citta- purusa(14):

  

      The mental being (mana-purusa) has a frontal formation (prana-purusa) and a transcendental psychic formation (citta-purusa) (15).

 

  We must also understand these concepts in the light of what Sri Aurobindo       considers false subjectivism and true subjectivism (16).

 

  The mana-purusa is acted upon by the prana-purusa, which is the vital being, and the citta-purusa, which is the psychic formation. The prana-purusa can give rise to obsessive vital cravings, which can be a drag on the mana-purusa; while the citta-purusa, which is subliminal and transcendental, uplifts him to function at a higher plane. The mana-purusa, while it cannot avoid the legitimate needs of his prana-purusa, must not get obsessively preoccupied with it. Because that would lead man to become unduly pragmatic and make “our political interests also perniciously narrow”(17).

    

   This is exactly what happens in the man of today, obsessively preoccupied with satisfying his physical needs and emotional desires at the cost of his spiritual development. The ills of hyper-consumerism are a manifestation of this obsessive need to satisfy his prana-purusa. And the consequent deviance, psychopathology and social strife that we see around us, is a manifestation of the frustration that results due to such dissatisfaction. However, if the mana-purusa were to log on to the citta-purusa, without necessarily logging off from the prana-purusa, it may help quieten the turbulences within, which may be a prelude to quietening the disturbances without, whether it be wars, terrorism, ethnic conflicts, communal riots, and other such social maladies that afflict mankind today.

 

   To log on to the citta-purusa means to log on to the unity that underlies the diversity within human beings. And, somewhere down the line, it also means to log on to the integrality that underlies all existence. This would amount to being the true subjectivism of Sri Aurobindo, and help get rid of the false subjectivism that binds contemporary man’s mana-purusa unhealthily and obsessively with his prana-purusa. In other words, the first halting steps on the journey to true subjectivism must be taken in this manner by the man of today.

 

III.2. A related concept for us in these times is that of Nation-ego and Nation-soul given by Sri Aurobindo. He considers Nation-ego an example of false subjectivism, in which national identity and pride are stressed upon to prove one’s superiority and suppress or exploit the rest. The example he quotes frequently is that of Nazism of Germany, obviously because he was living during that period:

 

She (Nazi Germany) had mistaken her vital ego for herself; she had sought for her soul and found only her force. For she had said, like the Asura, “I am my body, my life, my mind, my temperament,” and became attached with a Titanic force to these; especially she had said, “I am my life and body”, and that there can be no greater mistake for man and nation. The soul of a man or nation is something more and diviner than that; it is greater than its instruments and cannot be shut up in a physical, a vital, a mental or a temperamental formula…. It is evident that there is a false as well as a true subjectivism and the errors to which the subjective trend may be liable are as great as its possibilities and may well lead to capital disasters. This distinction must be clearly grasped if the road of this stage of social evolution is to be made safe for the human race (18).

 

   For us today, it is necessary to analyse and place in perspective such fascist and fundamentalist ideologies and forces which not only raise their ugly heads once in a while, but attempt to capture the social consciousness of communities. The implications of this statement for India should be obvious. But if some people feel like implicating the extreme Right here, let us not forget that the extreme Left can be equally so. For, dogmatism and fanaticism has the curious ability to cut across ideological boundaries.

  

   As distinct from the Nation-ego is the concept of Nation-soul. The Nation-soul is an attempt to capture one’s traditional heritage and values in its pristine form, not as a reaction to hurts and angers, or due to real or imagined injuries or indignities of the past. For, an ideology or organization, or even a movement, which is based wholly or even mainly on anger or the desire for retribution, can only breed discord, further strife, clashes and enmity between groups and peoples. This is at the source of the various ethnic conflicts from time immemorial, and which continue to plague mankind even today.

 

   More germane to the issue for us in India today is whether concepts like hindutva are manifestation of Nation-ego or Nation-soul. While the protagonists would immediately jump and exclaim that it is a manifestation of the Nation-soul, the opponents would be equally insistent it is a perfect manifestation of the Nation-ego. And a puerile manifestation, if ever there was one.

 

   Now our purpose here is not to take sides, or even act the arbiters, or incite passions, which is easy even in gatherings like these. For the prana-purusa, whether we like it or not, continues to exercise a great hold even here. Be that as it may. If the votaries of hindutva propagate their ideal, not only as an affirmation of cultural and civilizational underpinnings of this nation’s great heritage, but utilize it as a convenient handle to intimidate and suppress minorities, then it would be akin to the Nazi’s attitude towards the Jews. However, if it is not exclusivist and is a careful and compassionate assertion of the tradition, the heritage bequeathed and the values eternally followed and universally applicable, such a hindutva need have no difficulty becoming a true subjectivism, and ideology, fit for the Nation-soul. In this there is a challenge and an opportunity, as much for the votaries of this concept as its opponents: for the votaries to keep it a concept of Nation-soul, and never to allow it to become a concept to justify Nation-ego; for the opponents of today to be vigilant that it does not so happen. But at the same time not to cry wolf, or get unduly alarmed at a genuine affirmation of all that was noble and sublime in Indian tradition, which needs a careful reappraisal and rejuvenation as much by the votaries as by the adversaries of today. For:

 

      This is what a true subjectivism teaches us, - first, that we are a higher self than our ego or our members, secondly, that we are in our life and being not only ourselves but all others; for there is a secret solidarity which our egoism may kick at and strive against, but from which we cannot escape (19).

 

   The larger context in this connection should not also be forgotten. For in our narrow preoccupations we may forget that India may indeed have a larger role to play in the world:

 

      Another point very important to remember is that Sri Aurobindo always placed India’s freedom in the larger context of the destiny of the human race. This fact is most remarkable because revolutionaries talk only about their own country. However, Sri Aurobindo always had a deeper vision of what India should do for humanity (20).

 

III.3. Let us now come to another important distinction made by Sri Aurobindo which is equally important today: the distinction between World-state and World-union:

 

To that reason two alternative possibilities and therefore two ideals present themselves, a World-State founded upon the principle of centralization and uniformity, a mechanical and formal unity, or a world-union founded upon the principle of liberty and variation in a free and intelligent unity(21).

 

  This is a logical extension of his distinction between Nation-ego and Nation-soul. Just like his spiritualism does not negate matter, his idea of global unity does not negate the idea of National freedom. Nations bring their own civilizational diversities and need to preserve their cultural autonomy even whilst coming together and thinking in terms of global issues:

 

A free world-union must in its very nature be a complex unity based on a diversity and that diversity must be based on free self-determination (22).

 

  The concept of a World-state, on the other hand, is a false subjectivism according to him, because it would result in bringing about forced and imposed uniformity:

  

         The ideal of uniformity, like the cult of state, is tainted by antilibertarianism. It amounts to the denial of basic principle of human unity amidst civilizational diversity and cultural autonomy. He (Sri Aurobindo) thinks that our experiments with the Ideal of One World must be free from misplaced commitment to barren uniformism and hegemonism (23).

 

 

  The very movement towards uniformism is fundamentally flawed. It is a misplaced extension of the scientific attitude of finding out only commonalities in peoples and phenomena. Even if two human beings are similar, in so far as they are human beings, there is so much diversity in them. Part of the movement towards human self-actualisation lies in the fact that this diversity should not be forcibly curbed, as also the realization that beneath all that appears disparate, there is an essential unity. To stress on that disparateness which leads to the growth of human and national potential, while at the same time not forgetting to accent on the essential unity of all mankind, is a true and genuine affirmation of the ideal of World-union, as distinct from a narrow, mechanistic and constricting ideal that the concept of a World-state represents. In other words, all such movements toward Internationalism, which stifle the genuine cultural, civilizational and patriotic aspirations of its member states, will always be a failure. While those that accept and respect their cultural and ideological diversity, and yet help them to come together on broad consensual issues, alone will succeed in forging true Internationalism and world-unity. And what is applicable to the member nations of the world is equally applicable to the member states of the Indian union.

 

                                                         

                                                         IV 

                            

                            Religion Of Man And Religion Of Humanity

 

 

 IV.1. What can be the religion of the Man of today, besieged as he is by the numerous pulls and pressures of creeds, dogmas and religious ideologies, ritualized and fossilized beyond recognition by dogmatic followers, and adept at offering glib rationalizations for the sufferings of mankind:

 

…the orthodox religions looked with eyes of pious sorrow and gloom on the earthly life of man and were ready to bid him bear peacefully and contentedly, even to welcome its crudities, cruelties, oppressions, tribulations as a means for learning to appreciate and for earning the better life which will be given us hereafter (24).

 

   Sri Aurobindo is quite categorical in emphasizing that neither an “ idol, nor the nation, the State, the family nor anything else ought to take (the) place (of)… The fundamental idea that mankind is the godhead to be worshipped and served by man”(25). For that alone will ensure that the body of man, the life of man, the heart of man and the mind of man develop in their quest for divinity. For which again the fundamental concept has to be:

 

     Man must be sacred to man regardless of all distinctions of race, creed, colour, nationality, status, political or social advancement. The body of man is to be respected made immune from violence and outrage, fortified by science against disease and preventable death. The life of man is to be held sacred, preserved, strengthened, ennobled, uplifted. The heart of man is to be held sacred also, given scope, protected from violation, from suppression, from mechanization, freed from belittling influences. The mind of man is to be released from all bonds, allowed freedom and range and opportunity, given all its means of self-training and self-development and organized in the play of its powers for the service of humanity (26).

 

 

  IV.2. The challenge that Sri Aurobindo throws to orthodox or organized religion is but appropriate. For, in sustaining and perpetuating the outer symbols and structures of religion, man may forget to resurrect the inner spiritual symbols and structures, which alone can sustain true religiosity. And any religion which neglects the advancement of man’s spiritual quest so as to sustain its dogmas, rituals and blind obedience, will, in the final analysis, turn out to be a false God. His accent on the religion of humanity is to make organized religion beware of the dangers of fossilization and make us aware once again of the fundamental tenet of humanism that:

 

Man is the measure of all things (27).

 

  Which reminds us of another great contemporary of Sri Aurobindo, Gandhi, and what he said about the practical aspect of religion:

  

Religion which takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them, is no religion (28).

 

  Coming back to Sri Aurobindo, we cannot but be impressed with the breadth of his expanse and the invitation he offers us to change and evolve. And that brings home the insightful comment of another keen Aurobindo researcher:

 

      If we make a serious study of Sri Aurobindo, we shall find ourselves to be a participant of that adventure of consciousness which invites us to collaborate with that wide-ranging Yoga that can liberate us from the fetters of dogmas and preconceptions and inspire us to realise the highest and the best not only for ourselves but for the entire humanity (29).

 

 

 

                                                      V

 

                                           Concluding Remarks

 

V.1. We have taken a rather brisk but eventful journey through the fascinating lanes and by-lanes of Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts. As humanity stands at the crossroads today, we find that one road leads to disaster, which is paved by the misadventures of science coupled with the ulterior motives of man. The other leads to despair, because of the pessimism and cynicism of the uglinesses of modern life. The third is lit by hope, based on the wonderful advancements of science and technology. The last pathway is lit brilliantly, and that is by a mankind rooted in matter but soaring towards the spirit.

 

   Humanity, thou art afoot. Take what course thou wilt.

 

  

References and Notes

  

   1.      Chattopadhyaya, D.P. (1998), Sri Aurobindo, India and the World. In Seminar: Sri Aurobindo and the World and Education for Tomorrow in the Light of Sri Aurobindo, 21 and 22 Nov 1998, New Delhi.

   

   2.     Sri Aurobindo (1993), The Divine Life. In: The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, First Edn. 1939 - 40, Tenth impression 1993, p 1034.

 

   3.      Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (1972), Drawbacks and Limitations. In: On Science, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, p 12.

 

   4.      Cohen, J.M., Cohen, M.J. (1986), The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Quotations, II Ed. Middlesex.

  

   5.      Singh, A.R., Singh, S.A. (2004), Replicative Nature of Indian Research, Essence of Scientific Temper, and Future of Scientific Progress. In: Psychiatry, Science, Religion and Health, Mens Sana Monographs Annual 2004, II, 1-3, p 57-69. This is a recent attempt to correct the situation, act the arbiters, and douse the fires. Well, hopefully. New conflagarations, however, are guaranteed.

 

   6.      Chattopadhyaya, op. cit.

 

   7.      Ibid.

 

   8.      Ibid.

 

   9.      Ibid.

  

   10.   Sri Aurobindo  (1971) Yoga of Self-Perfection. Chapter XIX: The Nature of Supermind (Arya-July 1920). In: The Synthesis of Yoga-Part 4: The Yoga of Self Perfection, SABCL, Vol. XXI, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, p 754-768.

  

   11.     Chattopadhyaya, op. cit.

  

   12.     Joshi, Kireet (1998), Sri Aurobindo. In Seminar: Sri Aurobindo and the World and Education for Tomorrow in the Light of Sri Aurobindo, 21 and 22 Nov, 1998.

  

   13.     Chattopadhyaya, op. cit.

 

   14.     This is Prof. Chattopadhyaya’s formulation, an interesting one, but not presented in this manner in Sri Aurobindo’s writings. The latter talks of Manomaya purusa (mental person, the mental being), and pranamaya purusa (the true, vital being; soul in life), and citta (not citta purusa; citta meaning basic consciousness; mind stuff, the general stuff of mental consciousness. He also talks of cittakasa, cittapramatha, cittasakti, cittashuddhi, cittavrtti, cittavrttinirodha, citti, citti acitti, cittim acittim cinavan vi vidvan etc. However, that need not detract us from the burden of the argument Prof. Chattopadhyaya forwards.

 

   15.    Chattopadhyaya, op. cit.

  

   16.     Sri Aurobindo (1971), True and False Subjectivism. In: The Human Cycle, Ch V; In: Social and Political Thought: The Human Cycle - The Ideal of Human Unity  War and Self-determination, Vol 15, SABCL, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, p37-47.

           

   17.    Chattopadhyaya,  op. cit.

  

   18.     Sri Aurobindo (1971), The Discovery of the Nation-Soul. In: The Human Cycle, Ch IV; In: Social and Political Thought: The Human Cycle - The Ideal of Human Unity War and Self-determination, Vol 15, SABCL, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, p36. Parenthesis added.

  

   19.     Sri Aurobindo, cfr.16 above, p40.

 

   20.    Singh Karan, The Message of Sri Aurobindo, Mandala of Indic Tradition, www.infinityfoundation.com (Accessed 10 Jan 2005.)  

    

   21.     Sri Aurobindo (1971), World-Union or World-State. In: The Ideal of Human Unity, Ch XXII, In Social and Political Thought: The Human Cycle - The Ideal of Human Unity War and Self-determination, Vol 15, SABCL, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, p441-442.

 

   22.     Sri Aurobindo (1971), The Conditions of a Free World-Union. In: The Ideal of Human Unity, Ch XXXI, In Social and Political Thought: The Human Cycle - The Ideal of Human Unity War and Self-determination, Vol 15, SABCL, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, p517.

   

   23.     Chattopadhyaya, op. cit. Parenthesis added.

  

   24.     Sri Aurobindo (1971), The Religion of Humanity. In: The Ideal of Human Unity, Ch XXXIV, In Social and Political Thought: The Human Cycle - The Ideal of Human Unity War and Self-determination, Vol 15, SABCL, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, p543.

  

   25.     Ibid, p542. Parenthesis added.

  

   26.     Ibid, p542.

  

   27.     Singh, S.A. (2000), Relevance Of Renaissance Humanism for Man in the Third Millennium, Dr. K.M.A. Hay Lecture on Humanism. The Proceedings of the 74th Session of Indian Philosophical Congress, Dec 28-30, 1999. Bodh-Gaya. Published 2000 (ed. Shukla Sinha), p215-226.

  

   28.     Young India, 07.05.25. See also Singh, A.R., and Singh, S.A. (2004), Gandhi on Religion, Faith and Conversion: Secular Blueprint Relevant Today. In: Psychiatry, Science, Religion and Health, Mens Sana Monographs Annual 2004, II, 1-3, p79-87. This is a recent attempt to find practical correlates in Gandhi’s thought on religion and secularism of relevance to the man and times of today.

   

   29.     Joshi, Kireet op. cit.

 

See also http://msmonographs.org/article.asp?issn=0973-1229;year=2009;volume=7;issue=1;spage=110;epage=127;aulast=Singh

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