A Fatherhood More Equal?

Outlook India
In exalting Gandhi, we’ve elbowed Sri Aurobindo into the shadows
Francois Gautier on Sri Aurobindo
In this time of elections, the Congress has again claimed ownership to the Father of the Nation. But is the Mahatma, whose tremendous personality cannot be denied, indeed the architect of Indian independence, as most history books, Indian and western, are claiming?
The Lives of Sri Aurobindo (Columbia University Press, May 2008), a recently released biography by the American Peter Heehs, sheds new light on Sri Aurobindo’s role as a leader of the Congress. Not many people know that originally, the Congress was created in December 1885 by an Englishman, A.O. Hume, with the avowed aim to “allow all those who work for the national (read British) good to meet each other personally”. Yet, between 1906 and 1910, Sri Aurobindo was not only demanding outright independence from the British, but he also re-enacted Krishna’s message in the Bhagavad Gita by allowing his brother Barin to manufacture bombs in his own house and secretly endorsing early assassinations of select Englishmen. Compare this to the Mahatma, who only asked for independence in 1940—and that because he was against cooperating with the British in their war efforts against the Nazis.
Heehs writes: “Sri Aurobindo never ceased to believe that Indians had the right to use violence to topple a government maintained by violence.” This enormously important aspect of Sri Aurobindo’s life, of protecting dharma, of standing for what is good and true and noble, by force if necessary, is today ignored and not applied to the enemies of modern India. Many of today’s disciples of Sri Aurobindo and his companion, the Mother, would rather sweep this aspect of his life under the carpet. Thus, someone has slapped a court case against Heehs in Orissa, thereby stopping the book from being published in India.
Heehs also dwells on the famous Uttarpara speech, in which Sri Aurobindo, after one year in Alipore jail, clearly defines what he calls the Sanatana dharma: “Something has been shown to you in this year of seclusion, something about which you had your doubts and it is the truth of the Hindu religion. It is this religion that I am raising up before the world, it is this that I have perfected and developed through the rishis, saints and avatars, and now it is going forth to do my work among the nations. When, therefore, it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatana dharma that shall rise.”
If we, in France, had a great man such as Sri Aurobindo, who comes out in the Heehs biography not only as a revolutionary and a yogi, but also a tremendous philosopher and peerless poet, we would cherish him endlessly. His poetry would be taught to children, his philosophical works would be part of the university curriculums, books would be written about him, museums would be built…. In fact, France’s outspoken ambassador in India, Jerome Bonnafont, is an ardent admirer of Sri Aurobindo’s political works.
But today, amongst Indian politicians (apart from Dr Karan Singh, a scholar on Sri Aurobindo), everybody quotes conveniently from Gandhi, although nobody applies his ideals of charkha, non-violence, khadi and birth control by sexual abstinence. No journalist ever mentions this extraordinary yogi, whose sayings of one hundred years ago are still one hundred per cent relevant today. Not only is he absent from schools and universities, in some manuals written by the Congress, he is branded a ‘terrorist’. Shame on India!
Somnath Chatterjee, who has been made an icon by the Indian media in spite of his sitting on the cash-for-votes scam, has built an Indian history museum at the Parliament annexe. In this museum, the history of India more or less starts with Ashoka (because he was supposedly Buddhist), jumps to Akbar (who is glorified beyond measure) and finishes with Subhash Chandra Bose, Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.Not one mention of Sri Aurobindo or even Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Isn’t it time Indian history is rewritten?
Heehs’s book can be used to rectify some of the major injustice done to Sri Aurobindo, the true father of Indian independence, who prophetically said about Pakistan in 1947: “India is free, but she has not achieved unity, only a fissured and broken freedom. The whole communal division into Hindu and Muslim seems to have hardened into the figure of a permanent political division of the country. It is to be hoped that the Congress and the nation will not accept the settled fact as for ever settled…. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled; civil strife may remain always possible, possibly even a new invasion and foreign conquest.” How prophetic!
Advertisements

8 responses to “A Fatherhood More Equal?

  1. Dear Mr. Gautier,

    Despite being an Indian, I really had very little knowledge about Sri Aurobindo and his work. I came across him when I started reading your work a few years ago. Since then I’ve made an effort to learn more about him and his teachings. Thanking you would be presumptuous, but I sincerely appreciate your efforts in keeping alive the true tradition of Sanatana Dharma.

  2. Super Sonic Francois Gautier – You ROCK!!!

  3. more and more people are becoming aware of western history we are being fed

  4. Great work Mr. Gautier. I am a big fan of yours. Definitely Indian history should be rewritten, especially in the school text books. Your new book “New History of India” is a great too. Only people like you can keep the dreams of “Vision 2020”. Without historical importance of Sanathana dharma, we cannot make an identity for ourself.

    “Yasim vijnate sarvam vijnatam”

  5. Albert Einstein
    “We owe a lot to Indians who taught us how to count, without which
    no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”
    Mark Twain (1835-1910)
    “Land of religions, cradle of human race, birthplace of human speech, grandmother of legend, great grandmother of tradition. The land that men with intellectual bent desire to see and having seen once even by a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the globe combined.”
    Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American Philosopher, Unitarian, social critic, transcendentalist and writer:
    “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny.”
    Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) Nuclear physicist, philosopher
    “Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.”
    ——– T. S. Eliot
    ” Indian philosophers’ subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys.”
    Sir William Jones, English philologist
    “Wherever we direct our attention to Hindu literature, the notion of infinity presents itself.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American author, essayist, lecturer, philosopher, Unitarian minister
    “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.”
    George Bernard Shaw, (1856-1950) Dramatist, Nobel Laureate in Literature
    “The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural, real way of life. We western veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creators hand. ”
    H. G. Wells (1866-1946), English author and political philosopher
    There is space in its philosophy for everyone,
    which is one reason why India is a home to every single religion in the world.
    ,
    George Bernard Shaw
    “This makes Hinduism the most tolerant religion in the world, because its one transcendent God includes all possible gods. In fact Hinduism is so elastic and so subtle that the most profound Methodist, and crudest idolater, are equally at home with it.”
    Professor F. Max Muller , German philosopher and philologist
    “In the history of the world, the Vedas fill a gap which no literary work in any other language could fill. I maintain that to everybody who cares for himself, for his ancestors, for his intellectual development, a study of the Vedic literature is indeed indispensable.”
    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), German philosopher and writer
    “In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life; and it will be the solace of my death. They are the product of the highest wisdom.”
    Francois Marie Voltaire (1694-1774) France’s greatest writers and philosophers
    ” I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganga — astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc.”
    ” It is very important to note that some 2,500 years ago at the least Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganga (Ganges) to learn geometry…But he would certainly not have undertaken such a strange journey had the reputation of the Brahmins’ science not been long established in Europe…”
    Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), German philosopher
    “India has created a special momentum in world history as a country to be searched for knowledge.”
    Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), German philosopher
    “It strikes everyone in beginning to form an acquaintance with the treasures of Indian literature, that a land so rich in intellectual products and those of the profoundest order of thought…”
    Roger-Pol Droit French philosopher, and Le Monde journalist,
    “The Greeks loved so much Indian philosophy that Demetrios Galianos had even translated the Bhagavad-Gita”. There is absolutely not a shadow of a doubt that the Greeks knew all about Indian philosophy.”
    Frederich von Schlegel, (1772-1829), German philosopher, critic, and writer, the most prominent founder of German Romanticism
    “There is no language in the world, even Greek, which has the clarity and the philosophical precision of Sanskrit,” adding that ” India is not only at the origin of everything she is superior in everything, intellectually, religiously or politically and even the Greek heritage seems pale in comparison.”
    —– Voltaire, (1694-1774), France’s greatest writers and philosophers
    “the Veda was the most precious gift for which the West had ever been indebted to the East.”
    The Upanishads
    As is the human body, so is the cosmic body
    As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind.
    As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.
    As is the atom, so is the universe.
    Alfred North Whitehead, British Mathematician
    The vastest knowledge of today cannot transcend the buddhi of the Rishis in ancient India; and science, in its most advanced stage now, is closer to Vedanta than ever before.
    Dr. Fritjof Capra, American physicist
    To the Indian Rishis the divine play was the evolution of the cosmos through countless aeons. There is an infinite number of creations in an infinite universe. The Rishis gave the name kalpa to the unimaginable span of time between the beginning and the end of creation.
    Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German poet and novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946 says:
    “The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life’s wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion.”
    Ella Wheeler Wilcox, (1850-1919) famous American poet and journalist
    ” India – the land of Vedas, the remarkable works contains not only religious ideas for a perfect life, but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all are known to the seers who founded the Veda.
    Hans Torwesten, German philosopher and writer
    The Vedas and the Upanishads are India’s proudest and most ancient possessions. They are the world’s oldest intellectual legacies. They are the only composition in the universe invested with Divine origin, and almost Divine sanctity. They are said to emanate from God, and are held to be the means for attaining God. Their beginnings are not known. They have been heirlooms of the Hindus from generation to generation from time immemorial.
    Professor F. Max Muller, German philosopher , philologist
    “The Vedic literature opens to us a chapter in what has been called the education of the human race, to which we can find no parallel anywhere else.”
    Ella Wheeler Wilcox, (1850-1919) famous American poet and journalist
    ” India – the land of Vedas, the remarkable works contains not only religious ideas for a perfect life, but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all are known to the seers who founded the Vedas.”
    Jean-Sylvain Bailly, French Astronomer who calculated the orbit for the Halley’s Comet
    “The motion of the stars calculated by the Hindus before some 4500 years vary not even a single minute from the tables of Cassine and Meyer (used in the 19-th century). The Indian tables give the same annual variation of the moon as the discovered by Tycho Brahe – a variation unknown to the school of Alexandria and also to the Arabs who followed the calculations of the school… “The Hindu systems of astronomy are by far the oldest and that from which the Egyptians, Greek, Romans and – even the Jews derived from the Hindus their knowledge.”
    —— Aldous Huxley
    “Hinduism, the perennial philosophy” that is at the core of all religions.
    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), German philosopher and writer
    “How entirely does the Upanishad breathe throughout the holy spirit of the Vedas! How is every one, who by a diligent study of its Persian Latin has become familiar with that incomparable book, stirred by that spirit to the very depth of his Soul !”
    Romain Rolland (1866-1944) French Nobel laureate, Historian
    “Religious faith in the case of the Hindus has never been allowed to run counter to scientific laws, moreover the former is never made a condition for the knowledge they teach, but there are always scrupulously careful to take into consideration the possibility that by reason both the agnostic and atheist may attain truth in their own way. Such tolerance may be surprising to religious believers in the West, but it is an integral part of Vedantic belief.”
    Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) Nuclear physicist, philosopher, developer of the atomic bomb
    “The Gita, the most beautiful philosophical song existing in any known tongue.”
    H. G. Wells (1866-1946), English author and political philosopher
    Hinduism is synonymous with humanism. That is its essence and its great liberating quality.”
    Lord Curzon (1859-1925) British statesman, Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905, and later became chancellor of Oxford University
    ” India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind,
    than any other terrestrial unit in the universe.”
    William Butler Yeats (1856-1939) Irish poet, dramatist, and essayist and Nobel Laureate
    “It was only my first meeting with the Indian philosophy that confirmed my
    vague speculations and seemed at once logical and boundless.”
    Mark Tully former BBC correspondent in India, author
    But I do profoundly believe that India needs to be able to say with pride,
    “Yes, our civilization has a Hindu base to it.”
    Paul William Roberts Professor at Oxford , award-winning television writer, producer, journalist, critic and novelist.
    “India is the only country that feels like home to me,
    the only country whose airport tarmac I have ever kissed upon landing.”
    Jean-Sylvain Bailly, French Astronomer who calculated the orbit for the Halley’s Comet
    “The motion of the stars calculated by the Hindus before some 4500 years vary not even a single minute from the tables of Cassine and Meyer (used in the 19-th century). The Indian tables give the same annual variation of the moon as the discovered by Tycho Brahe – a variation unknown to the school of Alexandria and also to the Arabs who followed the calculations of the school… “The Hindu systems of astronomy are by far the oldest and that from which the Egyptians, Greek, Romans and – even the Jews derived from the Hindus their knowledge.” the Jews derived from the Hindus their knowledge.”
    Pierre Simon de Laplace ( 1749-1827) French mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer, a contemporary of Napoleon. Laplace is best known for his nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system.
    ” It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by ten symbols, each receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value, a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity, the great ease which it has lent to all computations, puts our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions, and we shall appreciate the grandeur of this achievement the more when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Appollnius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity.”

  6. Good to know about History of india…Proud to be an indian

  7. I’ll immediately snatch your rss feed as I can not
    find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

  8. I have read so many articles on the topic of the blogger lovers but this article is
    truly a good piece of writing, keep it up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s