Voice of India – Daily

Sri Aurobindo said:

(Our comment on 19 August, 2017: An apt observation applicable to the religious terrorist leaders of today)

March, 1917

Civilisation can never be safe so long as, confining the cultured mentality to a small minority, it nourishes in its bosom a tremendous mass of ignorance, a multitude, a proletariate. Either knowledge must enlarge itself from above or be always in danger of submergence by the ignorant night from below. Still more must it be unsafe, if it allows enormous numbers of men to exist outside its pale uninformed by its light, full of the natural vigour of the barbarian, who may at any moment seize upon the physical weapons of the civilised without undergoing an intellectual transformation by their culture…. Knowledge must be aggressive, if it wishes to survive and perpetuate itself; to leave an extensive ignorance either below or around it, is to expose humanity to the perpetual danger of a barbaric relapse.

(Our comment on 19 August, 2017: An apt observation applicable to the Capitalist Market Economy – an ideal of today)

If Science has thus prepared us for an age of wider and deeper culture … it has encouraged more or less indirectly both by its attitude to life and its discoveries another kind of barbarism, – for it can be called by no other name, – that of the industrial, the commercial, the economic age which is now progressing to its culmination and its close. This economic barbarism is essentially that of the vital man who mistakes the vital being89 for the self and accepts its satisfaction as the first aim of life…. To the natural unredeemed economic man beauty is a thing otiose or a nuisance, art and poetry a frivolity or an ostentation and a means of advertisement. His idea of civilisation is comfort, his idea of morals social respectability, his idea of politics the encouragement of industry, the opening of markets, exploitation and trade following the flag, his idea of religion at best a pietistic formalism or the satisfaction of certain vitalistic emotions. He values education for its utility in fitting a man for success in a competitive or, it may be, a socialised industrial existence, science for the useful inventions and knowledge, the comforts, conveniences, machinery of production with which it arms him, its power for organisation, regulation, stimulus to production. The opulent plutocrat and the successful mammoth capitalist and organiser of industry are the supermen of the commercial age and the true, if often occult rulers of its society….

In a commercial age with its ideal, vulgar and barbarous, of success, vitalistic satisfaction, productiveness and possession the soul of man may linger a while for certain gains and experiences, but cannot permanently rest. If it persisted too long, Life would become clogged and perish of its own plethora or burst in its straining to a gross expansion. Like the too massive Titan it will collapse by its own mass, mole ruet sua90.


June 28, 1950

(From a letter.)

I do not know why you want a line of thought to be indicated to you for your guidance in the affair of Korea.213 There is nothing to hesitate about there, the whole affair is as plain as a pike-staff. It is the first move in the Communist plan of campaign to dominate and take possession first of these northern parts and then of South East Asia as a preliminary to their manoeuvres with regard to the rest of the continent – in passing, Tibet as a gate opening to India.214 If they succeed, there is no reason why domination of the whole world should not follow by steps….215


May 21, 1940

(A disciple:) Gandhi writes in the Harijan that there is not much to choose between Imperialism and Fascism. He finds very little difference.

There is a big difference. Under Fascism he wouldn’t be able to write such things or say anything against the State. He would be shot.

And he still believes that by non-violence we can defend our country.

Non-violence can’t defend. One can only die by it.

He believes that by such a death a change of heart can take place in the enemy.

If it does, it will be after two or three centuries.


May 28, 1940

Have you read what Gandhi has said in answer to a correspondent? He says that if eight crores of Muslims demand a separate State, what else are the twenty-five crores of Hindus to do but surrender? Otherwise there will be civil war.

(A disciple:) I hope that is not the type of conciliation he is thinking of.

Not thinking of it, you say? He has actually said that and almost yielded. If you yield to the opposite party beforehand, naturally they will stick strongly to their claims. It means that the minority will rule and the majority must submit. The minority is allowed its say, “We shall be the ruler and you our servants. Our harf [word] will be law; you will have to obey.” This shows a peculiar mind. I think this kind of people are a little cracked.


“I write, not for the orthodox, nor for those who have discovered a new orthodoxy, Samaj or Panth, nor for the unbeliever. I write for those who acknowledge reason but do not identify reason with Western Materialism; who are sceptics but not unbelievers; who, admitting the claims of modern thought, still believe in India, her mission, her gospel, her immortal life and her eternal rebirth.” Sri Aurobindo (c. 1911)

Message of Sri Aurobindo broadcast on All India Radio on 14 August 1947 (translated into Hindi):


Sri Aurobindo said:

The indwelling deity who presides over the destiny of the race has raised in man’s mind and heart the idea, the hope of a new order which will replace the old unsatisfactory order, and substitute for it conditions of the world’s life which will in the end have a reasonable chance of establishing permanent peace and well-being…. It is for the men of our day and, at the most, of tomorrow to give the answer. For, too long a postponement or too continued a failure will open the way to a series of increasing catastrophes which might create a too prolonged and disastrous confusion and chaos and render a solution too difficult or impossible; it might even end in something like an irremediable crash not only of the present world-civilisation but of all civilisation.

***

The terror of destruction and even of large-scale extermination created by these ominous discoveries209 may bring about a will in the governments and peoples to ban and prevent the military use of these inventions, but, so long as the nature of mankind has not changed, this prevention must remain uncertain and precarious and an unscrupulous ambition may even get by it a chance of secrecy and surprise and the utilisation of a decisive moment which might conceivably give it victory and it might risk the tremendous chance210.


All the countries live in falsehood.

If only one country stood courageously for truth,

the world might be saved.


This world is not really created by a blind force of Nature: even in the Inconscient the presence of the supreme Truth is at work; there is a seeing Power behind it which acts infallibly and the steps of the Ignorance itself are guided even when they seem to stumble…. In this vast and apparently confused mass of existence there is a law, a one truth of being, a guiding and fulfilling purpose of the world-existence.


The end of a stage of evolution is usually marked by a powerful recrudescence of all that has to go out of the evolution.


In Asia a more perilous situation has arisen, standing sharply across the way to any possibility of a continental unity of the peoples of this part of the world, in the emergence of Communist China. This creates a gigantic bloc which could easily englobe the whole of Northern Asia in a combination between two enormous Communist Powers, Russia and China, and would overshadow with a threat of absorption South-Western Asia and Tibet and might be pushed to overrun all up to the whole frontier of India, menacing her security and that of Western Asia with the possibility of an invasion and an overrunning and subjection by penetration or even by overwhelming military force to an unwanted ideology, political and social institutions and dominance of this militant mass of Communism whose push might easily prove irresistible. In any case, the continent would be divided between two huge blocs which might enter into active mutual opposition and the possibility of a stupendous world-conflict would arise dwarfing anything previously experienced.


(All the quotes here are with thanks from “Sri Aurobindo. India’s Rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo’s writings, talks and speeches // Institut de Recherches Évolutives, Paris and Mira Aditi, Mysore.– 3rd edition.– 2000.– ISBN 2-902776-65-9 and 81-85137-57-9”)

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