Metaphysics, music and meditation set the stage for Aurobindo’s sesquicentenary finale

A call has been made for the community to come together for an emergency meeting in Kalabhumi on Saturday to deliberate on the situation in Auroville

A call has been made for the community to come together for an emergency meeting in Kalabhumi on Saturday to deliberate on the situation in Auroville

From symposiums on metaphysics and meditation to music and art performances, a series of events led by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville organizes the finale of Sri Aurobindo’s sesquicentennial celebrations, which coincide with the 75th anniversary of independence on August 15. The Sri Aurobindo Society (SAS), which has organized a series of lectures, will premiere a documentary on Sri Aurobindo on this occasion, SAS’s Beloo Mehra said. 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 Savitri Bhavan in Auroville, elders and eminent outsiders participated in a series of lectures, “Invocation: The Gnostic Festival”. In one of the recent lectures, Radhika Khanna, Director of the Department of Electronic Media and Mass Communication at the University of Pondicherry, presented excerpts from some reflections 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 “divine Shakti as the timeless power of the Divine which manifests as a universal force which first appears to us on the lower levels of existence” to explain why it was necessary “for our sadhana that we should fully realize this truth in order to escape the pressure of the ego’s limiting view and universalize ourselves even at those lower levels where the ego ordinarily reigns in full force …” “Once we reach the stage of understanding that all of humanity is one, then it is possible to achieve the goal of human unity despite all the differences we may face on the planes mental, vital or physical,” she said. In fact, on the limits of classical psychoanalytic theory vis-à-vis the yogic understanding of the nature of consciousness, Sri Aurobindo said: “The superconscious, not the subconscious, is the real foundation of things. The meaning of the lotus is not found by analyzing the secrets of the mud from which it grows here; its secret is found in the celestial archetype of the lotus that blooms forever in the Light from above…you have to know the whole before you can know the part and the highest before you can truly understand the lowest. The “Invocation” series – which is broadcast live via the Auroville RadioTv channel on YouTube – also had Nayana G. Zaveri, who came to the Ashram as a teenager with her father in 1957 and from 1963 to 1988 was in charge of Sri Aurobindo society guest house directly under mother, Elia, from Kashmir, then known as Nirmala who came to the Ashram in 1968, and her daughter Anjali, Anu Majumdar, writer and Pierre Legrand , artist and Aravindan Neelakandan, writer. Besides the “Music and Moonlight” event which featured Adit Ravi (flute) and Manosh Bardan (tabla), a stage show by composer Gangai Amaran, “Yodhayanam”, a kalaripayattu performance by Kalarigram and a folk dance by ‘Usha and the team were part of The Events. An “Art for Land” exhibition which put 160 paintings up for sale at the Unity Pavilion to raise funds for land acquisition for the township to support the “Acres of Auroville Land” campaign, an “Om” choir and a satsang led by Narad, and an immersive sound bath event led by Svaram were highlights. A documentary, “From the Iliad to Ilion”, created by a team from Auroville to commemorate Sri Aurobindo, and the dedication of a 150 inch high portrait commemorated the occasion. Maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia’s Flute Recital is scheduled for the day before Day I at Bharat Nivas. The only shocking note in this unique moment of celebration in Auroville is the discouragement of some of the inhabitants who feel “reduced to silence and sidelined” following a bitter conflict with the governors of the canton on the way of realizing the city of Dawn as envisioned by its founder, The Mother. A call has been made for the community to come together for an emergency meeting in Kalabhumi on Saturday to deliberate on the situation in Auroville, the consequences of residents’ inaction in the face of “the usurpation of human rights”. ‘self-governance’ and to decide on the next collective movement.

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