We speak with artist Bindu Popli, who for the last 30 years has been immersed in creating art that comes from a place deep within her. For her, “painting is flowering, not making. The unknown world unfolds itself.”
The Festival of Devi is celebrated in India to mark the victory of the great Goddess Durga over the demon King Mahishāsura and his demon cohorts. Though outwardly it seems to be symbolic of the victory of Truth over falsehood which of course it is, there is much in it to help us understand the process of individual and cosmic evolution. A 3-part essay explores the deeper, inner significance of this festival.
The symbolism of the birth of Mahishasurmardini is presented here. The author also briefly outlines how the nine forms of the goddess form an ascending hierarchy of shakti or energy rising from the root chakra at the base of the spine, mulādhara, traveling upwards gaining strength and force and momentum with each upward gust and impulsion until it reaches the crown and passing beyond unites with its Lord.
The author, in this part, cites some significant descriptions given by the Mother of her realisations. These passages speak of how Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga takes a giant leap over tradition wherein he is not content with the slaying of a demon or many demons but by their conversion or dissolution for good. But for this not only man but even the gods must collaborate.
The featured excerpt is taken from a monograph edited by Shri Kireet Joshi and written by G. C. Nayak, titled “Selected Episodes from Kalidasa’s Raghuvamśam of Kālidāsa” (2010). This monograph is part of a series on Value-oriented Education centered on three values : Illumination, Heroism and Harmony.
Our guest Mr. Madhu Jagdhish is a heritage photography enthusiast, with special interest in documenting the rich Indian heritage of temple sculptures. A thoughtful exposure to our culture’s artistic heritage and an overall development of aesthetic sensibility and artistic appreciation are important parts of any meaningful education. In the age of smartphones with photography becoming available at fingertips, it is important that youngsters interested in exploring photography as an art-form and a possible vocation are shown this possibility that photography can also become a great medium to go deeper into one’s cultural roots and in the process discover and reveal (for oneself and for others) the rich artistic and aesthetic traditions that we have inherited. In this regard, Mr. Jagdhish’s work makes a significant contribution.
Our ‘Book of the Month’ pays homage to one of the most celebrated poets of Hindi, Rashtrakavi Maithilisharan Gupt. Selected excerpts from his most famous work, Bharat Bharati, which stirred deep nationalist emotions among Indians when it was first published in 1912 are presented. Since the month of September sees Hindi Diwas (September 14), it is befitting to feature excerpts from this important poetic work in Hindi.
Exploring the theme of sincerity in history, we feature excerpts from a couple of introductory chapters from a book authored by Prof. Kittu Reddy, a long-time resident of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and teacher of Indian History and Culture at Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education. The author suggests that when examining Indian history from a subjective point of view, external events gain greater importance in the light of the inner psychological vision and deeper forces behind them.
This issue explores two inter-related themes. One has to do with Choice and Wisdom, related to which is the faculty of viveka, the intuitive discriminating reason which is developed by a purification of the organs of thought and knowledge. All effort and progress toward true knowledge and wisdom is possible only by the grace of the Guru, which is our second theme for this issue, especially chosen to mark the occasion of Guru Purnima.
We present four brief passages from Sri Aurobindo’s writings done in early 1910. The immense value and significance of these ‘passing thoughts’ can’t be missed in today’s cultural and intellectual climate of India when Indian mind is trying to rediscover the true essence of Indian-ness and create new forms to express the eternal truth of the Indian spirit.
In this second part of the series, the author speaks of the great value and emphasis our ancestors placed on protecting the plant kingdom given its role in keeping the whole cycle of life robust and strong. Several religious and social rituals were put in place to encourage the protection of plants and trees.
In this series, the author, a qualified specialist in Alternative Medicine who has conducted extensive research among rural and tribal communities of our country learning about diverse customs and practices related to health and well-being, advocates living in harmony with Nature for a life of wellness and also strives to evoke and enhance the inherent divinity within.
India has had a long history of physical education. The heroes that India gave to herself represent not only great qualities of courage and valour but also of physical strength and excellence. In ancient India, there was an emphasis on the pursuit of an integral aim of life, which determined the discipline of integral education. Both the material and spiritual poles of the being had their place in this system.