Free lunch

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s a pity this wasn’t leaked earlier, otherwise we could have invited you to a free lunch at Hotel Athithi.

 You are cordially invited to participate in the

NATIONAL SEMINAR ON “AFFIRMATIVE SPIRITUALITY FOR INDIAS REAWAKENINGIN THE LIGHT OF SRI AUROBINDO

Date: Saturday, 25th February 2012. Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Venue: Crystal Hall, Hotel Atithi (No.126, SV Patel Salai, Puducherry) Coordinators: Varun (9944206997) & Ganesh (9345451608)

Seminar Schedule (Contents Overleaf) 9.30am: Inauguration 9.45am: “What is Affirmative Spirituality?” – Dr Alok Pandey 10.15am: “India’s ReAwakening in the Light of Sri Aurobindo”

Prof Kittu Reddy & Prof RY Deshpande 11.15am: “Appropriate Responses to Cultural Colonialism”

Sraddhalu Ranade & Dr Ananda Reddy 12.15pm: Summary & Conclusions

(12.30pm: Lunch break)

1.30pm: Discussions in Sub‐Groups – led by select moderators 3pm: Moderated Plenary Discussion and Conclusions – with Q&A 4.20pm: Closing Session

Transport Timings 8.45am: from Ashram Post Office to Hotel Atithi 4.40pm: from Hotel Atithi to Ashram Post Office

CONTENTS OF EACH SESSION

Session 1: “What is Affirmative Spirituality?” by Dr Alok Pandey

Spirituality has always been understood in opposition to Life and has found its fulfilment by abandoning Life and all that was associated with it. It was therefore inevitable that eventually Life too would abandon Spirituality. In essence this is the root cause of the modern crisis of humanity. The correction and the resolution of the crisis lies in reconciling these seeming opposites and reintegrating Spirituality with Life. But can Spirituality accept Life, strengthen and even fulfil Life? If Spirituality can embrace Life, then can Life also embrace Spirituality without either compromising the other? What are the essential characteristics of such an affirmative spirituality? What is affirmative spirituality, and what is it not? How is it to be practised in our daily Life?

Session 2: “India’s ReAwakening in the Light of Sri Aurobindo” by Prof Kittu Reddy and Prof R Y Deshpande

India has the most ancient and the longest surviving civilisation because of her spiritual foundations. But after millennia of some of the greatest heights, her history has recently, in the last 300 years, passed through some of the greatest lows of poverty, weakness, inertia and incapacity. Yet, we have been promised that India is destined to lead the world into a new Spiritual Age. How is this reawakening to take place and what role can we play to assist it? What are the essential principles and elements needed to catalyse the awakening? What is the full scope and fulfilment that the reawakening must address? What is the role of an affirmative spirituality in this process?

Session 3: “Appropriate Responses to Cultural Colonialism” by Sraddhalu Ranade & Dr Ananda Reddy

The world has passed through a colonial era in which entire civilisations were subjugated, ruled and exploited by a few nations. While the age of political colonialism has ended irreversibly, the ensuing economic colonialism still continues, and a still more subtle and therefore more pernicious and destructive form of cultural colonisation is thriving and even, it seems, growing all over the world. An enslavement and undermining of the mind and of higher civilisational ideals and values is leading to the corrosion of the very fabric of human society placing human survival in question. India in particular, home to one‐fifth of humanity, is under a multi‐faceted and vicious yet well‐planned and well‐organised cultural assault which aims to subvert its deepest spiritual roots and its most ancient civilisational values. Can we recognise the various forms, methods and media through which the assault is on? Can we formulate an appropriate response? Can we organise ourselves to offer a cohesive, coordinated and equally multi‐faceted response? What are the intrinsic civilisational values and strengths that we can proactively leverage to overcome and even reverse the tide of the onslaught on India? Can an affirmative spirituality guide our strategy and inspire our response?

Session 4: “Discussions in Sub‐Groups” moderated by Niranjan Nayak, Sudha Sinha, Raman Reddy, Varun Pabrai, Amitabh Chaini, Prabhu Acharya, and others.

All participants will form sub‐groups of common interests and share their views on the morning’s discussions. We seek, in particular, to understand our individual and collective responsibilities and formulate specific actions that we can pursue.

Session 5: “Moderated Plenary Discussion and Conclusions”

All sub‐groups return to the plenary meeting with summaries and general feedback. Core and unresolved issues are taken up for deepening insights and for closure.

Comment received by email:

1. “India… is under a multi-faceted and vicious yet well-planned and well-organised cultural assault which aims to subvert its deepest spiritual roots and its most ancient civilisational values…. Can we organise ourselves to offer a cohesive, coordinated and equally multi-faceted response?”  — Rajiv Malhotra has been here recently and this looks like the outcome.

2. What amuses me about this is the how portentous, pretentious, derivative, and antiquated it is. To the battlements! We have to throw the British out of India! Oh, wait, this isn’t 1905? We’re not the brilliant, highly educated Sri Aurobindo? Oh, fiddle-faddle — if we use the same intonations, the same high-falutin’ jargon, we can pretend! It’s Shraddhalu in Pondy-land, Alok in the dreamhouse. Let’s be revolutionaries! It will be so much fun, more than moving little plastic soldiers around in the sandbox. It’s a movement — we can have secret meetings, draw up actions plans, plan ideological bombs that will explode with the fury of ten thousand warriors in the parliament.

We can found a new yoga — people will worship us! We can sit on a throne and declaim on eternal truths, tell the ignorant masses how benighted they are, and how wonderful everything will be if they listen to us. And only us — don’t read those other books! Whatever you do, oh huddled masses, don’t read the newspapers. Don’t study in school.

Where can I join up? Do I get to wear a uniform? Are we awake yet? It sounds so exciting…

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  1. Your Friendly Asura Next Door
    February 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    “What are the intrinsic civilisational values and strengths that we can proactively leverage to overcome and even reverse the tide of the onslaught on India?” — For something proactive rather than reactive, how about doing sadhana? (Oh, I forgot, holding seminars, dharnas, press-conferences etc. is what sadhana means to them.)

  2. February 27, 2012 at 3:57 am

    “Oh, I forgot, holding seminars, dharnas, press-conferences etc. is what sadhana means to them.”

    You bet! These guys are good for nothing

  3. auroleaks
    March 1, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Overheard: “Dada was right when he said that all copies of the book should be purchased and burnt.” – Alok Pandey, 29 February 2012 (“Golden Day”)

  4. Nicolas Flamel
    March 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    “… all copies of the book should be purchased and burnt.”

    Like in the golden days of the Spanish Inquisition with its “autos-da-fe”, or in Berlin, Nazi Germany 1933. Nothing original in this program. As for eliminating all Ashramites and Aurovilians who do not think like them, Pol Pot has already done it with great gusto in Cambodia.

    Alok Pandey will have to be more imaginative if he wants to impress his roommates….

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