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A Monograph Series Devoted To The Understanding Of Medicine, Mental Health, Man, Mind, Music And Their Matrix
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MSM 2008 THEME: MEDICINE, MENTAL HEALTH, SCIENCE, RELIGION AND WELL BEING
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 110-127

Humanity at the Crossroads: Does Sri Aurobindo offer an alternative?


1 Dept. of Philosophy, Joshi-Bedekar College, Thane; Deputy Editor, Mens Sana Monographs, India
2 M.D. Psychiatrist. Editor, Mens Sana Monographs, India

Correspondence Address:
Ajai R Singh
14, Shiva Kripa, Trimurty Road, Mulund, Mumbai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1229.38517

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In the light of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, this paper looks into some of the problems of contemporary man as an individual, a member of society, a citizen of his country, a component of this world, and of nature itself. Concepts like Science; Nature,;Matter; Mental Being; Mana-purusa; Prana-purusa; Citta-purusa; Nation-ego and Nation-soul; True and False Subjectivism; World-state and World-union; Religion of Humanism are the focus of this paper. Nature: Beneath the diversity and uniqueness of the different elements in Nature there is an essential unity that not only allows for this diversity but even supports it. Nature is both a benefactor and a force: a benefactor, because it acts to carry out the evolution of mankind; a force, because it also supplies the necessary energy and momentum to achieve it. Natural calamities: If mankind can quieten the tsunamis and cyclones and droughts and earthquakes that rage within, and behave with care and compassion towards Nature, not exploiting, denuding, or denigrating it, there is a strong possibility that Nature too will behave with equal care and compassion towards man and spare him the natural calamities than rend him asunder. Science: The limitation of science become obvious, according to Sri Aurobindo, when we realize that it has mastered knowledge of processes and helped in the creation of machinery but is ignorant of the foundations of being and, therefore, cannot perfect our nature or our life. Science and philosophy: The insights of philosophy could become heuristic and algorithmic models for scientific experimentation. Matter: An interesting aspect of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy is his acceptance of the reality of matter even while highlighting its inadequacies; the ultimate goal, according to him, is the divination of matter itself. Purusa: If the mana-purusa (mental being) were to log on to the genuine citta-purusa (psychic formation), without necessarily logging off from the prana-purusa (frontal formation), it may help quieten the turbulences within, which may be a prelude to the quietening of the disturbances without, whether it be physical maladies, cravings (for food, fame, fortune, etc.), destructive competitiveness; or wars, terrorism, ethnic conflicts, communal riots, and the other such social maladies that afflict mankind today. Nation-ego (false subjectivism) and Nation-soul (true subjectivism): Sri Aurobindo considers Nation-ego an example of false subjectivism, in which national identity and pride are stressed to prove one's superiority and suppress or exploit the rest. The Nation-soul, as an example of true subjectivism, attempts to capture one's traditional heritage and values in its pristine form, not as a reaction to hurts and angers or as compensation for real or imagined injuries or indignities of the past. World-state (false subjectivism) and World-union (true subjectivism): Similarly, a World-state founded upon the principle of centralization and uniformity, a mechanical and formal unity, is an example of false subjectivism, while a World-union founded upon the principle of liberty and variation in a free and intelligent unity is an example of true subjectivism Human actualization: Even if two human beings are similar, in so far as they are human beings, there is so much diversity between them. Part of the movement towards human self-actualization lies in the fact that this diversity should not be forcibly curbed, as also the realization that beneath all that appears disparate there is an essential unity. Also, man is not the end product of evolution but an intermediate stage between the animal and the divine. Moreover, he is endowed with consciousness that enables him to cooperate with the forces of evolution and speed up and telescope the next stage of evolution.


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