R.Y. Deshpande’s “Savitri’s SwapnaYoga” and Kittu Reddy’s “The Role of South India in the Freedom Movement” and “A Vision of United India: Problems and Solutions”.

Dear Friends and Well-wishers of Overman Foundation,

I am happy to announce that the latest books of R. Y. Deshpande and Kittu Reddy are now available at Overman Foundation.

Swapna+Yoga+Front+F

R. Y. Deshpande’s Savitri’s Swapna Yoga is based on the Book of Yoga, Book Seven, Canto Two of Savitri.

“Immediately Savitri enters into the Dream or Swapna Yoga, when to her is revealed the entire cosmic Past, Past since the beginning of things out of the extraordinary all-potent Void of the manifesting Spirit. She has re-lived the psychic memory of the evolutionary unfoldment in the long process of time. She sees how the Past has arrived at the Present and also begins to perceive the Future’s prospects. In this stream of consciousness she recognises that Man is not the culmination of these epochal happenings, and that a greater superior being, a being first governed by the Mind of Light, Surhomme, Overman, must emerge and take the lead of the evolutionary march. A portion of the divine Savitri enters into her and puts a diamond seal of this materialisation on a bright course of the coming events. A high note is already struck in the gains of her Yoga.”

Consisting of 260 pages, Savitri’s Swapna Yoga is available at a price of Rs. 300 (Three Hundred) only.

Role of south india in the freedom movement

Kittu Reddy’s The Role of South India in the Freedom Movement presents the story of the freedom struggle that developed in South India and the ideals that inspired the national struggle for freedom in South India. The presentation has two aspects; one, dealing with the events and incidents in which the freedom fighters were involved and two, the ideals and values that inspired the freedom fighters. The first represents the external side of the movement and the second the inner and deeper part. It is evident that the inner part is more important as it portrays the lasting and abiding values and ideals that led and inspired this movement, hence, the source of the inspiring ideals which existed at the root of the Indian nation are traced and identified.

Consisting of 254 pages, The Role of South India in the Freedom Movement is available at a price of Rs. 450 (Four Hundred and Fifty) only.

a vision of united india

A Vision of United India: Problems and Solutions attempts to trace the political history of India from the ancient times to the modern day. The book is divided into two sections. The first section has two parts, one dealing with the history of India before Independence and the second dealing with the history after Independence. In the first part, the political history of ancient India is traced and the success and failure to bring about political unity is analyzed. Next, the political situation after the advent of the Muslims is discussed in some detail. Later, the political situation after the British conquest of India and its policy of divide and rule has been discussed. Ultimately, India got its freedom but was partitioned and divided into two. In the second part, there is a detailed discussion and analysis of the political situation after the partition of India till the modern times. In the second section of this book, the author—based on his study of Political Science in the light of Sri Aurobindo—has tried to show that Pakistan as a nation will inevitably disintegrate. He has also tried to analyze the repeated attempts in the past to bring about a political unity, the partial success and the failure that has attended the attempts and also evaluated the reasons for the failure and made certain suggestions which may lead to the final solution of the problem of political unity of the subcontinent of India.

Consisting of 382 pages, A Vision of United India: Problems and Solutions is available at a price of Rs. 450 (Four Hundred and Fifty) only.

To place an order for the aforesaid books, kindly contact us as overmanfoundation@gmail.com and (0) 9830244192. Payment can be made through cheques, demand-drafts, money-order and online remittance. Please note that these books are not available at SABDA.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation

*

Photographs of Houses where Sri Aurobindo had stayed in Pondicherry

Dear Friends,

On 4 April 1910, around four in the afternoon Sri Aurobindo arrived at Pondicherry, the land which was destined to be his ‘cave of tapasya’. For the next one and a half decades he stayed at various houses with his companions till he shifted to the ‘Meditation House’ in February 1927.

4 April 2015 marks the 105th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival in Pondicherry. As our humble homage to him, the photographs of the houses where Sri Aurobindo had stayed in Pondicherry have been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

*

1

The house of Shankar Chettiar at 39 Camoutty Street (now 63 Vysial Street) where Sri Aurobindo stayed from 4 April 1910 to September 1910.

2The house of Sundar Chettiar at 42 Rue de Pavillon (now Rue Suffren Street) where Sri Aurobindo stayed from October 1910 to March 1911. The monthly rent was Rs. 20.

3

The house of Raghava Chettiar—better known as ‘Raghavan House’ at 13 Rue St. Louis Street where Sri Aurobindo stayed from April 1911 to April 1913.

4

In this house at 59 Rue des Missions Etrangèrs (now known as Mission Street) Sri Aurobindo stayed from April 1913 to September 1913. The rent of the house was Rs. 15 per month.

5

6

In this house at 41 François Martin Sri Aurobindo stayed from October 1913 to October 1922. This house later came to be known as the ‘Guest House’. It was here that on 29 March 1914 the Mother met Sri Aurobindo for the first time.

7

The ‘Library House’ at 9 Rue de la Marine where the Mother and Sri Aurobindo shifted to in October 1922. The monthly rent was Rs. 100. It was purchased on 6 April 1929 for Rs. 21000.

library-house-view-from-south-east‘Library House’—view from south-east.

meditation-house

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother shifted to the ‘Meditation House’ at 28 Rue François Martin on 8 February 1927. This house was rented from 1 January 1927 for a sum of Rs. 75 and purchased on 13 July 1927 for Rs. 14000.

(Photographs: courtesy Ms. Tara Jauhar)

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Unused Passages for Savitri

Dear Friends,

As the continuation of our special series on Savitri, we have published the unused passages of the epic-poem which have been transcribed from the manuscripts which were ‘not directly used in the formation of the final version of Savitri.’ These passages were originally published in the December 1986 issue of Sri Aurobindo Archives and Research journal (Volume 10, Number 2) with the following note:

“In each case, there is at least some reason to suspect that these manuscripts, found among the thousands of pages of drafts and typescripts for the poem, may have been accidentally overlooked at the point where they should have been presented to Sri Aurobindo by his scribe for revision. However that may be, the fact that Sri Aurobindo used another manuscript as he proceeded to the final stages of revision, would make it problematic for an editor to try to incorporate lines from any of these unused versions into the body of the epic. Therefore these passages are presented here, separately from the new edition of Savitri, for their intrinsic interest and as illustrations of the complexity of the process by which the poem took shape.”

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

*

Book II, Canto 6 [1]

Immortal secrecies, seer-wisdoms lost
In the descent towards our mortal fate
Spoke from the figures of her masquerade
In a familiar and forgotten tongue,
Or peered from the recondite magnificence
And subtle splendour of her draperies.
In sudden scintillations of the Unknown,
Glints from the opaque and strange translucencies,
Appearances and objects changed their powers;
Things without value heavenly values took,
Inexpressive sounds became veridical,
Ideas without meaning flashed apocalypse :
Wise tokens spelled out gibberish to the untaught;
And phrases which meant nothing and meant all
Wrapped in defensive armoured visored sight,
And oracles and sibylline prophecies
Offered themselves by the roadside for a price
Increased at each rejection by the mind;
Voices that seemed to come from unseen worlds
Uttered the syllables of the Unmanifest
And clothed the body of the mystic Word;
The wizard diagrams of an occult Force
Fixed for the world’s magic processes the law
Of their precise unaccountable miracle,
And hue and figure brought their unsounded deeps
Of mindless context to reconstitute
In the brooding hush of intuitive stillnesses
The herald blazon of Time’s secret things[.]
Amid her symbols of reality
(For such they seemed to a vision too remote
As we to a greater being symbols are,)
His life-walk was and new spiritual home :
He moved and lived with them as real forms,
Their lives were as concrete as the lives of men[,]
Their touch as vivid as our fellows touch ;
Their divine bodies make our fancies true
And bring to us breathing and animate
What in ourselves we only think and feel.
A grace of scenes quivered around him there
That were almost embodied [sympathies] (2);
Their breath of dreams and language without speech
Answered to the thought and passion of the soul.
There form and feeling were identical,
And shape and thought a single harmony;
Nothing was there brute and inanimate.
These scenes were signs in life’s long miracle-play.
In her green wildernesses and lurking depths,
In her thickets of joy where danger clasps delight,
He glimpsed the hidden wings of her songster hopes[,]
A glimmer of blue and gold and scarlet fire.
Along her wandering lanes and chance by-paths
And by her galloping rivulets and calm lakes
He plucked the glossy fruits of her self-ease
Or shared her rich content in browsing herds,
The light wayward flitting of her butterfly hours
And her love-callings in the voice of birds,
And felt her embodied sweetness in her vales,
Her wide hill-breasts glowing in the greatness of morn
And the lounging hips of her grasslands’ large sun-sleep
And her covert raptures in her forest haunts
And the beauty of her flowers of dream and muse.
Often in the radiant slumber of her noons
He saw incarnate in a swarm of gleams
On a glamour and gladness of bright surfaces,
A smile of depths, a cry of secrecies,
Thought’s dance of dragonflies on mystery’s stream
That skim but dare not dip in the murmur and race;

Or the levity of her immortal mind
He heard in [3] the laughter of her rose desires,
Running to lure the bliss of the heart’s surprise
Into a world of bloom and song and light
And through the scented ways to guide pursuit
Jangling sweet anklet-bells of fantasy.
A comrade of the silence of her heights
Accepted by her mighty loneliness,
He sat with her on meditation’s peaks
Where life and being are a sacrament
Offered to a Reality beyond
And stood with her upon the edge of Time
Looking into ineffable formlessness,
Or climbed a perilous stair in silent Mind
And from a watch-tower in self’s solitudes
He saw her loose into infinity
Her hooded eagles of significance,
Messengers of Thought to the Unknowable.
Thus close to her in body and in spirit[,]
Identified by soul-vision and soul-sense
And made one with all she was and longed to be,
He thought with her thoughts, suited to her steps his steps,
Lived by her breath and saw things with her eyes,
Fainted with her weakness, was powerful with her strength,
That so he might learn the secret of her soul.
He admired her splendid front of pomp and play
And the marvels of her rich and delicate craft
And her magic of order and her swift caprice,
And her indomitable will to be,
And thrilled with the insistence of her cry
And bore like a Mother’s ardent despot clutch
Her force that admits no other way than its own,
Her hands that knead Fate in their violent grasp,
Her touch that moves, her powers that seize and drive[.]
A will was in her to exceed her forms
Impatient to transfigure the finite world,
A huge desire to marry the Infinite ;
He felt in her her hope and her despair,
The trouble and rapture of her heaving breasts,
The passion that possessed her yearning limbs[,]
Her mind that toiled dissatisfied with its fruits,
Her heart that captured not the one Beloved.
But all that he could see or she disclose
Left still the ultimate secret unrevealed;
Something she was unknown to him or her.
Always he met a veiled and seeking Force,
An exiled Goddess building mimic heavens,
A Sphinx whose eyes looked up to an unseen Sun.

Book II, Canto 7 [4]

There Life displayed to the spectator soul
The shadow depths of her strange miracle.
As might a harlot empress in a bouge,
Nude, unashamed, exulting she upraised
Her evil face of perilous beauty and charm
And drawing panic to a shuddering kiss
Twixt the magnificence of her fatal breasts,
Allured to their abyss the spirit’s fall.
Once it had plunged, it asked not for release,
It took fierce joy in the ecstasy of its pains[,]
It found freedom’s taste in a choice of delicate bonds
And reigned, sovereign of its own decadence.
A plethora of scenes besieged the gaze,
Thought-webs that reproduced themselves in life
And taught the nature to be what it saw;
For it is mind that makes the form of the days
With the colours it absorbs from the world’s hues
And thought decides the destiny of the soul.
Across the field of sight she multiplied,
As on a scenic film or moving plate,
The implacable splendour of its nightmare pomps
And her rapture vision of infernal joys :
A glory of abominable things.
On the dark background of a soulless world
She staged between a lurid light and shade
Her dramas of the sorrow of the depths
Written on the anguished nerves of living things :
Her epics of horror and grim ruthless deeds
Paralysed pity in the hardened breast,
And the spectacle of the degraded soul
Dried up the founts of natural sympathy.
In her booths of sin and night-repairs of vice
Her sordid imaginations etched in flesh,
Signed photogravures of her infamy,
Published the covered dirt of Natures guilt,
And foul scenarios hideous and macabre
And gargoyle masques obscene and terrible
Came televisioned from the gulfs of Night:
And twisted caricatures of reality
And art chef-d’oeuvres of weird distorted lines
Trampled the torn sense into tormented shapes[.]
A craft of ingenious monstrosities
Made vileness great and sublimated filth

Book IV, Canto 2 [5]
The Growth of the Flame

A land of mountains and wide sun-beat plains
And giant rivers pacing to vast seas,
A marvellous land of reverie and trance,
Silence swallowing life’s act into its sea
And action springing from spiritual hush,
Of thought’s transcendent climb or heavenward leap,
Home of the mightiest works of God and man
Where Nature seemed a dream of the Divine
And beauty and grace and grandeur flowered from its dream,
Harboured the childhood of the incarnate Flame.
Over her watched millennial influences
And the deep godheads of a grandiose past
Looked out and saw the future’s godheads come.
Earth’s brooding wisdom spoke to her still breast;
Mounting from mind’s last peaks to mate with gods,
Making earth’s brilliant thoughts a springing board
To dive into the cosmic vastnesses
The knowledge of the thinker and the seer
Saw the unseen and thought the unthinkable,
Opened large doors upon infinity
And gave a shoreless sweep to mortal acts.
Art and the vision of beauty called to the eyes
Figure and hues native to higher worlds
Till this world’s images took that greater stamp.
Nature and soul vied in nobility.
Ethics keyed earthly lives to imitate heaven’s;
The harmony of a rich culture’s tones
Exhausted and exceeded earth’s full store,
Refined the sense and magnified its reach
To hear the unheard and glimpse the invisible
In subtle fields that escape our narrow ken
And taught the soul to soar beyond the known
And steal entry into the Immortals’ worlds.
Inspiring life to greaten beyond its bounds
Leaving earth’s safety daring wings of Mind
Bore her above the trodden roads of thought
To live on eagle heights nearer the Sun
Where wisdom sits on her eternal throne.
All her life’s turns led her to symbol doors
Admitting to secret Powers who were her kin;
Initiate of bliss and child of Light,
A mystic acolyte trained in Nature’s school
Aware of the marvel of created things
Her soul’s gifts she gave, earth-magic’s miracles
Laid on the altar of the Wonderful;
Her hours were a ritual in a timeless fane;
Her acts she made gestures of sacrifice.
Invested with the rhythm of higher spheres
The word became a hieratic means
For the release of the imprisoned spirit
Into communion with its comrade gods :
Helping to new expression and new form
Some immemorial Soul in men and things,
Seeker of the Unknown and the Unborn,
It drew the veil from Nature’s secrecies.

Book V, Canto 3 [6]

Now she travelled through many changing lands,
Earth round her was illumined by her joy;
Its hours were long supports for rapture’s face;
Life was an outbreak of the All-Wonderful.
All hope and chance took on a brighter shape:
This ordinary life of man could change;
The seal was there of the Ineffable.

This meeting cut across old Nature-lines
To pen upon its bold decisive page
The foreword of her soul’s biography.
Two powers had come down from the unknown Beyond
To play their part upon the cosmic ground.
These spirits linked two lines of eternity,
These bodies joined two points of the infinite.
These lives must serve the Timeless and Unseen
For writing out in symbol human acts
The meaning of God’s mystery play in Time.

Book VI, Canto 2 [7]

But hard it is for human mind to feel
Heaven’s good in life’s crash and the iron grasp of Doom
Or tolerate the dreadful mystery
Of pain and grief and evil masking God.
How can it seize the thousand-sided drive,
The single act pointing a million acts,
The mystic total of the magical sum
Or swept by the world-ocean’s rushing waves
Sense mid the wash and spume and loud multitude
The one all-discerning Will, the [touch, the] (8) tread
Of God’s indivisible reality?
Man’s thought is like a diamond cutting gems[,]
Man’s will is like a labourer hewing stones:
He cuts into sky-strips the boundless Truth
And takes each strip as if it were all the heavens.
His knowledge chained to thought and led by words
Is gaoled in the divisions it has made.
He looks at infinite possibility
And gives to its plastic Vast the name of Chance;
He sees the long result of the all-wise Force
And feels the cold rigid limbs of lifeless Law.
The will of the Timeless working out in Time
In the free absolute steps of cosmic Truth
He thinks a dead machine, an unconscious fate.
It is decreed and Satyavan must die;
Her hour is known, foreseen the fatal stroke.
What else shall be is written in her soul,
But till the hour reveals the fateful script,
The writing waits illegible and mute.
Her mortal breast hides her immortal Fate.
O King, thy fate is a transaction fixed
In long advance but altered and renewed
At every hour between Nature and thy soul[.]
Its items ever grow and ever change ;
It is a balance drawn in Destiny’s book.
Thou canst open with thy fate a new account
Begun upon a stainless virgin page.
Thou canst dispute her formidable claim
With God as the foreseeing arbiter,
Thou canst accept thy fate, thou canst refuse[.]
Even if the Judge maintains the unseen decree
Yet thy refusal is in thy credit written :
Death is no end, Fate moves, it stands not still.
Its will unshaken by the bronze blare of Doom,
The spirit soars up stronger by defeat,
Its godlike wings grow wider with each fall.
Its growth within is watered by its wounds[,]
Its splendid failures’ sum is victory.
Thy fate touches the abyss to leap at heaven.
Thy fate is like an army’s marching ranks;
It has many fronts and stands on many lines.
Thy future’s map is kept in planes unseen,
Thy soul has planned its strategy with God.
Thy body’s fate comes first, a column pushed
Through the forts of the present to a city unknown;
Its march is marshalled by the wheeling stars
That carry its cosmic consigns in their light.
It sees not where it goes but walks by faith ;
It smites its way through the world’s opponent powers,
Or, frustrate, longs and waits a happier birth.
A second front is in a greater plane;
Thence thy life-forces drive like rolling waves
Its small or large formations towards earth’s days
And swell the might of thy terrestrial fate
Or as the wind-gods’ squadrons jostle in heaven,
Trumpeting with breath of storm and thunder’s call
And their arrows like gold lightnings fill the sky[,]
Such is their coming, such their clamour and charge[.]
In armour bright the shining riders come[,]
Leaders hurrying Destiny’s tardy pace,
Victors preparing grander shocks to come.
If the soul could rise into that greater plane
And with its motions quicken man’s petty life,
Erasing the firm consigns of the stars
Thy will could then give orders to thy fate[.]
On the radiant skyline of a greater Mind
The Ideas that Fate fulfils not yet are seen[.]
The secret Will has its headquarters there
That planned the tactics of the things that are
And behind them plans for greater things to be[.]
Thence gleam the reconnaissances divine[,]
Thence come the prophet scouts, the [observer] (9) seers,
The godlike dreams, the vast and wide-winged thoughts
That cannot yet take shape in earthly life,
But here and there small part-fulfilments dawned
And of their fragments is our present made.
But if the soul could live upon those heights,
Then would his life be the plaything of his thoughts,
His mind could be the shaper of his fate.
Above all glows a supramental range.
There is God’s staff; there is his High Command[.]
The Truth lives there which oversees the world[,]
Of which all things are the disfiguring robe[.]
O mortal, even now couldst thou receive
Only some influence from that marvellous plane,
All then would change, divinity be thy fate.

*

[1] Cf. Centenary edition, pp. 189-91. This is Sri Aurobindo’s last handwritten version of the passage following the line “And wordless mouths unrecognisable.” An earlier manuscript was used for the final dictated revision of the end of this canto and the beginning of the next.

[2] MS scenes; the previous draft has “sympathies”.

[3] Or and

[4] Cf. Centenary edition, pp. 212-13. This is Sri Aurobindo’s last handwritten version of this passage.

[5] Cf. Centenary edition, pp. 359-60. The top and carbon copies of a typescript of this canto were differently revised on separate occasions. This is the most significantly revised portion of the top copy, which was not directly used for the final text.

[6] These lines are found, written in the scribe’s hand, at the end of a typed copy of this canto.

[7] Cf. Centenary edition, pp. 457-59. This is another version, written by Sri Aurobindo in a chit-pad, of the passage following the line “It keeps for her her privilege of pain.”

(8) Two words doubtful.

(9) Doubtful reading.

*

ABC’s of Indian National Education: A Review

cover

Title: ABC’s of Indian National Education. Author: Dr. Beloo Mehra. Price: Rs. 495 (Hardcover). Number of pages: 155. Publisher: Standard Publishers (India), New Delhi. ISBN: 978-81-87471-94-3.

During the British rule in India, the education policy of the land was formulated with the view of building a “nation of clerks” to suit the requirements of the British Government. Such was the impact of this system of education that it lasted for more than four decades after India gained her independence on 15 August 1947. One can argue about the effectiveness of this system but it is interesting to observe that the former rulers of the land knew quite well how flawed it was. The greatest flaw of this system was that it lacked an integrally Indian approach. Yet, this flawed system was overlooked by the very Indian ministers who came to power post-independence. Some time in 1984, the Government of India formulated a new national policy of education which has been revised and modified more than thrice in the following years.

However, one cannot ignore the fact that there has certainly been a radical progress in the education sector in the past two decades. But unfortunately, the educational institutions of India aim primarily at producing brilliant students instead of living souls. All the students are compelled to participate in the rat-race, study for the sake of obtaining degrees in order to get high-salaried jobs and that’s all. The so-called process of learning includes only memorizing the contents of the textbooks and reproducing them almost verbatim on the answer-sheets. As a result, the students comfortably forget most of what they have learnt soon after the examinations are over. One can also not fail to notice how a student is pressurized by his parents, teachers and private tutors to excel. When he fails to live up to their expectations, he is rebuked so harshly that he tends to lose all confidence within him. How can one possibly ignore the ever-increasing number of suicides by young promising lads due to the aforementioned pressure?

Whom should we then blame? The parents? No. The teachers? No.

Then who?

It is the education system which needs to be blamed. Acquisition of knowledge and information should be a part of the education system while its heart should be the development of the potentialities of the student, thus, helping him to analyze and synthesize the knowledge he is acquiring.

But how can it be done? Are there any clear-cut practical methods?

Fortunately Dr. Beloo Mehra has gifted her readers an extraordinary book titled ABC’s of Indian National Education where she has discussed distinctly how true knowledge can be successfully rendered to the students. There are twenty-six chapters in this book—each deals with a theme which begins with a letter of the English alphabet. For instance, “A”—“Aim of Education”, “B”—“Beauty—A Beautiful Education”, “D”—“Diversity”, “H”—“History and Heritage”, “J”—“Joy of Discovery”, “K”—“Knowing Oneself” and so on.

Though the author has referred to the works of Rabindranath Tagore, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Shashi Tharoor, Pavan K. Varma, Makarand Paranjpe and others, the inspiration behind ABC’s of Indian National Education is certainly the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The author has delved into the ocean of their writings and presented before the reader a number of invaluable pearls of wisdom related to the theme of education.

The academic scenario of the country would have been quite different had Sri Aurobindo’s concept of education was put to practice. The path to progress has been showed by Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual collaborator, the Mother, but the author has shown—in ABC’s of Indian National Education—how to tread on it successfully. It would be an error to assume that this book is only for the members of the academic world. Nay, on the contrary, it is for the general reader as well. One cannot help but appreciate the author’s lucid style of writing and her thought-provoking insights and observations on how the academic model should be. She has hinted how we can have a modern outlook on education as well as a modern method of educating without ignoring the rich cultural heritage of the land. The author has also successfully explained how the system of education in India could be appropriately Indianized.

For the benefit of the reader, certain excerpts from the book are quoted beneath:

• ‘Education… becomes the means to help prepare learners for a deeper transformation and inner evolution, which requires that all parts of their being—mental, emotional and physical—are properly prepared and developed to their fullest potential in order to manifest a harmonious and integral personality. In this light, education begins with the birth of the individual and continues throughout the life. At the same time education can never ignore its collective or social purpose which is closely inter-related to the individual existence. But the collective purpose is not only limited to the immediate society or nation, it extends to the whole humanity. This has great implications for curriculum planning, pedagogy and actual day-to-day teaching practice in classroom.’ (p. 23)

• ‘If teachers truly become mentors and guides for their students, surely they can’t be “experts”—they have to be humble learners alongside their students’ learning journeys. Experts speak from a position of their expertise; mentors offer suggestions for students to explore and come to their own decision. Experts know the right formula, mentors are willing to say that they don’t have the answer but they are willing to explore with the student. If nothing can be taught, it only means that all can be learned. So teachers and students can learn together as they work together—they just may have different roles but they are both seekers in their own unique ways.’ (p. 43)

• ‘Hiring policies for teachers must also be rethought in the light of greater individualization that must be necessary to allow learners with varied temperaments and natures to feel their way through their self-discovery processes. For younger learners, parents may be given more opportunities to become part of their children’s learning processes in classrooms because they are the ones who are most closely familiar with their children’s temperament and nature. Pedagogical innovations must be encouraged to allow greater individualized learning, even in classrooms with a large group of students. Greater flexibility in assessment of student learning must be allowed. Schools must gradually figure out the much needed balance between imposing an outer discipline and facilitating learners to gradually find their sense of inner guidance and self-discipline. While allowing the learners to grow in a multifaceted way by giving them opportunities to develop all their parts—physical, intellectual, emotional, aesthetic, ethical—education must never forget that ultimately all these parts are instruments of that inner being which gradually grows through them, and it is that which alone can be the source of the true inner guide which learners and adults need to walk through their lives. Even an intellectual acceptance of this idea can help guide those in the decision-making roles in educational institutions and other apex bodies in their work. The tendency to erect a system of strictest possible rules and regulations may gradually wither away and in its place we may find a more humane and individual-centred flexible system of broad guidelines and directions.’ (p. 49)

• ‘It is of utmost necessity that teachers must first unlearn what they presently know or think they know about the function of a teacher. And they should then re-learn the true role that a teacher must play in the child’s life—that of a gentle facilitator who tries to create an ideal atmosphere where the children can discover the knowledge that lies hidden within them through proper impetus and gradual unfolding and development of various faculties.’ (p. 113)

The author does not merely deal with the theoretical aspect of national education in this book but shows how it can be successfully implemented. If read with an open mind without any possible prejudices, this book is bound to bring about a change in one’s way of thinking. The author deserves to be congratulated for leading us to that Light of Knowledge and Wisdom which is capable of illuminating our lives. For, after all, education is the only light which can disperse the darkness of ignorance for ever.

There are books which we read and keep in the book-shelf. And there are books which become a part of our daily life. Dr. Beloo Mehra’s ABC’s of Indian National Education belongs to this second category.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

*

Facsimiles of Sri Aurobindo’s “Savitri” (1916-1946)

Dear Friends,

Sri Aurobindo had started working on his epic poem Savitri in August 1916 and continued to revise and enlarge it till November 1950. In its earliest form, the poem was a narrative of about two thousand lines and by the time the ‘seal of incomplete completion’ (to quote the words of Nirodbaran, Sri Aurobindo’s scribe to whom he had dictated his revisions of Savitri) was put to it, it consisted of nearly twenty-four thousand lines of marvellous poetry.

For the benefit of interested researchers, some facsimiles of the various drafts of Savitri (obtained courtesy Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry and Dr. R. Y. Deshpande) covering a period of three decades have been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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7Earliest draft of Savitri, circa: 1916. Please note that in the first draft, the poem was simply titled Savithri.

8. Book II---Love (1918-1920)Book II, “Love”, (1918-1920)

Canto II (c. 1918) with dictated revision (c. 1945)Canto II (circa: 1918) with dictated revision (c. 1945)

Canto III, Death (c. 1918) with dictated revision (c. 1946)Canto III, “Death”, (circa: 1918) with dictated revision (c. 1945)

Canto V, Twilight (c. 1918) with dictated revision (1946-47)Canto V, “Twilight”, (circa: 1918) with dictated revision (c. 1945)

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The second version of the poem was titled Savithri, A Tale and a Vision. ‘Apparently it was meant to be in more than one part, because before Book I, we have the general title: Earth. Book I is called Quest.’ (Nirodbaran, Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, p. 174, 1995 edition)

mid 1920s Savithri A Tale and a Vision

mid 1920s-Savithri A Tale and a Vision.jpg (1)Nirodbaran continues: ‘The third version is also called by the same general name and its first part is Earth, and Book I is Quest… In the fourth version we get for the first time the spelling Savitri though Uswapathy persists. There is no indication of a division into Part I and Part II. Book I is there, called Quest. In the fifth version we have a mention of Part I, but it is not called by any name. We also have Book I, unnamed…The spelling Uswapathy persists, Book II is entitled Love. In the sixth version there are no parts again, but the Book I is called Quest. The seventh version has: I Quest… In the eighth version we have everything as in the seventh except that the spelling Aswapathy comes in. Book II is there entitled Love.’ (Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, pp. 174-176, 1995 edition)

Book I, Quest (late 1920s)Book I, Quest (1927)

Facsimiles of Book I, Quest (late 1920s)

Nirodbaran continues: ‘The ninth version has the same opening arrangement. The tenth version stands: Savitri Part I, Earth. Book I, The Book of Birth. Aswapathy continues, but there is now Sathyavan.’ (Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, p. 176, 1995 edition)

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DFacsimile of Book II: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds

Page of Book of Birth (early 1930s)

The Book of Birth (early 1930s)Facsimiles of The Book of Birth (early 1930s)

The Book of Love (early 1930s)Facsimile of The Book of Love (early 1930s)

Nirodbaran further continues: ‘In each succeeding version after the first, there is a growing expansion in which old lines are taken up into a new framework. The development into separate Books from what was originally all contained within Book I and Book II takes place after the second or third version of the opening matter. This matter now becomes The Book of Quest, followed by The Book of Love, The Book of Fate, The Book of Death. Thus Part I, Earth, is completed. Then starts Part II, Beyond, with The Books of Night, Twilight, Day and The Epilogue.’ (Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, p. 176, 1995 edition)

opening canto of Night (1940s)Facsimile of the opening of “Night” (circa: 1940s)

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opening passage of savitri 1942Facsimile of the opening passage of Savitri (1942 version)

The Book of Beginnings (1942 version)Facsimile of the Book of Beginnings contd. (1942 version)

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Book Two, Canto 4 (1943)Book Two, Canto 4 (1943) Book Two, Canto 4 (1943).jpg (2)Facsimiles of Book II, Canto IV (1943 version)

1st page of 1944 manuscriptFacsimile of the first page of Savitri (1944 version)

A column of the 1944 manuscript of Part 1

penultimate draft of 1944 manuscript

penultimate draft of 1944 manuscript.jpg (2)penultimate draft of 1944 manuscript.jpg (3)Facsimiles of the 1944 version of Savitri

last manuscript of the opening of Savitri (c. 1945)Facsimile of the first page of Savitri (1945 version)

chit pad pages 1945-46

later manuscripts

large_z16Facsimile of Sri Aurobindo’s last manuscripts of Savitri (1945-46)

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“Eternity looked out from Her on Time”: A Pictorial Album of the Mother

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Dear Friends and Well-wishers of Overman Foundation,

We are happy to announce that a pictorial album of the Mother titled Eternity looked out from Her on Time is available at Overman Foundation.

Issued on the occasion of the centenary of the Mother’s arrival in Pondicherry in 1914, this album presents 120 selected photographs from the Mother’s life, many accompanied by texts from Sri Aurobindo or the Mother. Photos from her childhood and early years in Paris as well as a number from her stay in Japan precede the more numerable ones from her life in the Ashram. The Preface provides a brief introduction and creates an ambience for experiencing the Mother’s presence through these photographs.

Consisting of 91 pages, this profoundly appreciated album is available at a price of Rs. 300 (Three Hundred) only.

To place an order please contact at: overmanfoundation@gmail.com or (0) 98302 44192 and (0) 98042 05059.

Payment can be made online as well as through money-orders, cheques and demand-drafts.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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Pradyot Kumar Bhattacharya’s Questions and the Mother’s Answers: Five Talks, One Letter and A Report

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Dear Friends,

Pradyot Kumar Bhattacharya (31 August 1905—22 November 1984) was an engineer by profession who was associated with companies like Tata Iron and Steel Company and Damodar Valley Corporation. He visited Sri Aurobindo Ashram for the first time in 1933 and joined it as an inmate in March 1955. He was quite instrumental in raising funds for the Ashram. In 1972 he was made a Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust by the Mother.

As the concluding installment of our special series of tribute to the Mother, the text of five conversations which Pradyot Kumar Bhattacharya had with the Mother has been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation along with an epistolary exchange between the Mother and him and a report of an incident recorded by him.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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28 January 1964

Pradyot: I am going to Calcutta. There they will ask me one question regarding the present situation—communal riots. What is the solution?

Mother: The solution is, of course, the change of consciousness. I know those other people behaved badly, like animals—even animals are better than human beings—but if people in India also do the same, they are playing into the hands of the forces that make people do evil and strengthen the hold of these forces. Retaliation like this is no remedy.

Pradyot: People here feel frustrated, they see no remedy, do not know which way to go, whom to look up to. They are going the wrong way, following the wrong lead. Isn’t the division of the country responsible for much of these troubles?

Mother: Yes, division of religion, of country, of interest. If people felt like brothers, not brothers who quarrel, but conscious of their common origin…

Pradyot: When are you coming upon the scene?

Mother: Don’t be under the illusion that I am not there. I am there, the force, the consciousness are there, but there is no receptivity. During the Chinese trouble, I was in those places at the front, concretely, but I am sorry to say that the only people who were receptive were the Chinese. The impulsion to come forward disappeared. That is receptivity. No one knew why they withdrew. On the Indian side a few were touched and they told me of terrible conditions.

Since World War II, I have been keeping Kali quiet, but she is restless. Times are critical, anything may happen. If people will only give up their ego.

Pradyot: I shall suggest a simpler way, to turn to you.

Mother: Perhaps the time has come to tell others what I have told you. You may talk if any occasion arises. Keep your faith and go like a warrior.

September 1964

Pradyot: The objective of the present conflict with Pakistan is, I suppose, the end of the division.

Mother: Yes, of course. It is well understood.

But we have to be wide-visioned, large-hearted, generous. There should be no spirit of revenge. It will not be the rule of the conqueror over the conquered; it will be the reconciliation of fighting brothers.

News comes from the occult—of turmoil. But there is Power behind it. It seems the Lord has taken charge.

Pradyot: It seems everybody is against us; for instance, England, America.

Mother: Yes, I have written in Prayers and Meditations that a day will come when the whole world will rise against the Divine and oppose his work, and the Divine will take the whole world into Her arms.

1965

Pradyot: In Bihar, although there has been rain owing to your intervention and green patches are visible, some places are still without any vegetation. There is a general scarcity of drinking water.

Mother: Are there still difficulties? The rain was not sufficient?

Pradyot: Perhaps not sufficient in those places. But are these difficulties necessary?

Mother: No! There are two reasons for them. One is the people’s inertia. They need blows to wake them up. The other is more serious; it is a sort of liking, a preference for dramas which invite the blows.

The sadhana is now going on in the cells. All difficulties will disappear but it will take time. I do not have much time to devote to this work, otherwise it could be done quicker.

1966

Pradyot: The Government and the people—the country—are facing tremendous difficulties, social, economic, political and spiritual.

What is the solution?

Do we know what is to be done? Are the problems too big for us? Have we the will to do our best? Beyond that, do we know that a prayer from the heart offered in sincerity and faith is answered by the Divine? Do we know that the Divine is with us here to guide us?

If we do, then all problems can be solved.

Mother: You have seen something during the drought. [1] I have seen it many times during, for instance, the Chinese invasion when we seemed to be totally unprepared and the Chinese withdrew, also during the Pakistani war last year when we could stand up to much superior armament.

There is no reason to despair, what is necessary is to be receptive.
Receptivity means, to offer
What we have
What we are
What we do
to the Divine

To the extent we are receptive, to that extent the problems, even the most difficult ones, can be solved.

26 April 1967

Pradyot: I am leaving for Calcutta and I want to know what is the significance of the figures 4-5-6-7 which are said to symbolically represent the descent or manifestation which will take place on May 4. If I am asked, I should be able to tell people about it.

Mother: You came to me this morning—that is, in a dream—and asked me the meaning of 4-5-6-7. You can tell them:
4. Manifestation
5. Power
6. New Creation
7. Realisation

This will keep them quiet. I am not sure that it did not happen on the 24th April. The meditation on that day was unique in my life. The very cells of the body were totally conscious. After the meditation I should have kept sitting for a few minutes. But I got up instead to reach the table and I nearly fell. Something was happening from New Year’s day, very very concrete. 24th April might be a preparation for 4th May.

3 March 1970 (A Letter)

Pradyot: You have asked us to help you. How can I help you? What am I to do?

Mother: To concentrate and open to receive the New Progressive Consciousness, to receive the new things which are coming down.

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Once a leader of a political group went on a sham hunger-strike on the pavement opposite the Ashram gate. It continued for several days, and the Mother seems to have instructed people that they need pay no attention to him. One fine morning, he was conspicuous by his absence. What had happened was that the day before this, Pradyot had gone to see the Mother and asked her, “Why don’t you stop this comedy?” She had replied, “The Divine alone can do it.” Pradyot had retorted, “But are you not the Divine? Why do you confuse me?” She had smiled and said, “But I am telling you what people say.” The next day the Divine acted.

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[1] This refers to the November rains in the drought-affected areas in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Photographs of the Mother taken on Her Eightieth Birthday.

Dear Friends,

21 February 2015 marks the 137th birth anniversary of the Mother. As our humble homage to Her, a set of photographs of the Mother taken on 21 February 1958—that is, on the Her eightieth birthday—has been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

In these photographs one can see the Mother with the special birthday cake made for the occasion, inspecting the March Past held at the Ashram Theatre and reading out the following message to the All India Radio:

“To celebrate the birth of a transitory body can satisfy some faithful feelings. “To celebrate the manifestation of the eternal Consciousness can be done at every moment of the universal history. “But to celebrate the advent of a new world, the supramental world, is a marvellous and exceptional privilege.”

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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Photographs of the Mother taken at Sports Ground

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Dear Friends,

February is the month in which, on the 21st, the Mother’s birthday is celebrated in the Aurobindonian community.

To commemorate the said occasion, we would publish till the 28 February a series of photographs and documents related to the Mother’s life and works as our humble tribute.

As the first installment of the series of tribute, a set of photographs of the Mother taken during Her visits to the Tennis Ground was published in the online forum of Overman Foundation on 15 February.

As the second installment of the said series, a set of photographs of the Mother taken during Her visits to the Sports Ground has been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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Photographs of the Mother taken at Tennis Ground

Dear Friends,

February is the month in which, on the 21st, the Mother’s birthday is celebrated in the Aurobindonian community.

To commemorate the said occasion, we would publish from this week onwards till the 28 February a series of photographs and documents related to the Mother’s life and works as our humble tribute.

As the first installment of the series of tribute, a set of photographs of the Mother taken during Her visits to the Tennis Ground has been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation

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