Tuesday, 27 January 2015

On the Contrary

A new post in the series - When a Picture Leads

Be honest. Do you look at the world as black or white? 

Liberal or Conservative? Left or Right? Progressive or Traditionalist? Global-citizen or Chauvinistic-nationalist? Internationalist or Jingoist? Secular or Fundamentalist? Rational or Superstitious? Believer or Infidel? Reason-able or Blindly-faithful? Idealist or Practical? Abstract or Realistic? Spiritualist or Materialist? Mystical or Down-to-earth? Pro-development or Pro-environment? Pro-market or Communist? Individualistic or Socially-chained? Free or Oppressed? East or West? Right or Wrong? This or That? The list is endless....almost.

We, yes, we all -- the educated ones, the well-read ones, the intellectual ones -- are all victims of such dichotomous lines of thinking. Not because we have been put into one or the other categories, but because we ourselves end up doing the same thing to others we meet and interact with. We like to put people in boxes so we can feel a sense of understanding. We like to read 'into' what people say or write, we even read 'into' their silences by hearing and reading those unspoken and unwritten words. Categories make life simple. Categorizing people makes it simpler.

In our  intellectually egoistic moments we pretend that we have actually transcended these narrow black and white dichotomies and that we don't put people into one or the other category. We like to think that we actually see and appreciate the various grays of the world. We like to tell ourselves (and whoever else will listen) that we don't judge the intention of someone just because the person says or writes something that is ideologically or politically completely opposite to our preferred ideology or politics. 

But that is not generally the truth of ourselves. And the true truth is that we know it. Deep down we know it. We know that we haven't really stopped judging or categorizing people. We know that we still divide the world into black or white. We know that despite all the complex intellectual postmodernism we have consumed we are inwardly still highly fond of simplistic modernistic binaries that are perhaps demonstrative of a deeper truth of the nature of mind, the rough and unrefined instrument we are given to make sense of the world as it exists in its un-evolved existence. 

The mind in its natural state can essentially "accept" only one side of the truth. In order to truly accept all the other possible sides of the truth as equally true, it needs a light from the regions above itself. It needs the assistance of faculties higher than mind. But our un-refined mind refuses to even accept that such light, such faculties are even possible. How could it accept that? It only sees itself as right and others as wrong. This or that, remember? 

We, yes, we all are prisoners of our mind, the willing or unwilling victims of this tendency of mind to categorize and create opposite categories. Perhaps this tendency of mind is itself demonstrative of a deeper truth of the nature of Nature herself. Perhaps it has something to do with the nature of Manifestation itself. Perhaps it has something to do with the nature of the relative plane of existence on which the Absolute Existence chose to manifest and express itself. Perhaps....

Or perhaps we still haven't figured out a way to transcend the limitations of our mind, the limitations of our nature, the limitations of our relative existence. 

Or perhaps we have started to enjoy this mental world of contraries and have gained a certain mastery in how to 'use' such oppositional categories for our relative gain. Which, by default, would lead to a loss for the other. 

Or perhaps, we have yet to realize that hidden deep behind these outer mentally-constructed binaries of 'this or that' rest much deeper contraries of our un-evolved nature. We are wise and stupid. But outwardly we choose to see ourselves as wise and others as stupid who simply don't get how wise we are. We are strong and weak, but outwardly we choose to see ourselves as strong and others as weak who need our assistance to save them. We are righteous and sinful, but of course for the outsiders we are always on the right side and those others are full of sin and vices. We are free and imprisoned, but certainly we are the free ones charged to liberate the others who are still in chains (of their minds or the ones created by society). We are this but others are that. We or others. 

When will we realize that we are indeed creatures of contraries? Ruled by our attachment to our dividing, categorizing minds? 

When will we realize that we are limited and imperfect, we cannot stand for too long the deeper call to transcend our limitations and imperfections? That we are too used to our littleness, to our smallness and are reluctant to change, to expansion, to evolution? 

When will we realize that it is because of this divided nature within that our higher aspiration (momentary as it maybe) of an inner self-exceeding is rejected, the very next moment, by our limited, narrow mind? 

Man, the Despot of Contraries

I am greater than the greatness of the seas,
A swift tornado of God-energy;
A helpless flower that quivers in the breeze
I am weaker than the reed one breaks with ease.

I harbour all the wisdom of the wise
In my nature of stupendous Ignorance;
On a flame of righteousness I fix my eyes
While I wallow in sweet sin and join hell’s dance.

My mind is brilliant like a full-orbed moon,
Its darkness is the caverned troglodyte's.
I gather long Time's wealth and squander soon;
I am an epitome of opposites.

I with repeated life death's sleep surprise;
I am a transience of the eternities.

~ Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems

To see previous post in the series, When a Picture Leads, click here.
To see all posts in the series, click here.

Linking this with ABC Wednesday, C: C is for Contrary, Creature, Categories

Friday, 23 January 2015

Me and Me Too

A new post in the series Reminders to self

ME1: "Writing for writing's sake, sorry not my cup of tea, I mean, why should I write just because....? 

ME2: "Hmm..."

ME1: "I mean, I write when I feel I must express something outwardly, when an experience or thought has become so deeply internalized that I begin to feel that I must write it out to make it more real, to make it more living, in another form....you know what I mean...I must write only when I have something to say."

ME2: "So is there anything you want to say today?"

ME1: "Well...."

ME2: "Then shut up and abandon the pretence, just be."


To see previous post in the series, Reminders to self, click here.
To see all posts in the series, click here.

Image: Source

Written for Wordy Wednesday at Blog-a-rhythm, Prompt: What is that I really want to say?
Linking up with Five Sentence Fiction: Prompt: Abandon


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Current Events 6: 'Ghar Wapsi', the Homecoming

Ten years ago, my mother died with an unfulfilled dream in her eyes. Dream of seeing her home for one last time, home that she and my father had built saving each and every penny they could manage, home that was meant to house high hopes and dreams for their children and their future.

My children who are now living in their comfortable homes in this metropolitan city, busy with their busy lives, obviously don't recall anything about their first home. They were just babies at the time. Nor do they ask me or their mother any questions about that home. About that day we left, about what we had seen or heard or experienced. Maybe they don't want to, and I don't blame them for not wanting to. It is too painful. I know because I can not forget the pain.

For years now my wife has been telling me that I should try to forget the past and be grateful that we could escape safely and that we have been able to make a new life for ourselves despite all the hardships and struggle. She has been telling me to have faith and look toward the future, see our future in our children's eyes and move on. I know she is right.

But I am right too. Right in remembering that twenty five years have passed and my people still remain homeless, in their own country.

Right in remembering that nobody from our muhalla, our long-time friends, had come for the small puja that my mother had arranged for my month-old son's naming ceremony, just a week before the day we left. I don't blame them, they were afraid for their lives, we all were afraid. Very afraid.

Right in not wanting to forget that horrible night when that boy who used to work for my brother had somehow managed to reach our home in a state of complete shock and absolute fear. In his frightened state he told us some of what he had witnessed before he could escape. My brother was being beaten by iron rods, his wife was being ruthlessly shoved around and raped while their 2-year-old daughter kept shouting and crying until she couldn't. She was shot in the head by one of the attackers who just couldn't take all that shouting and crying.

Right in not being able to forget that all this was happening less than a mile away but I couldn't do anything. I couldn't leave the house, I was too afraid for my life, we all were. Completely shocked and scared, we were trying to gather a few of our belongings, hurriedly and haphazardly in a completely darkened house. A part of me was constantly praying, I don't know to which god, but another part of me knew the gods weren't listening. And yet I prayed silently and fearfully.

My wife somehow managed to feed something to our little children and put them to bed, and we silently waited. For the crack of dawn, and for the car that was supposed to pick us up and take us to bus depot.

Sometime in the middle of the night, the boy who escaped from my brother's house ran away. I don't know where or why. Maybe he had seen too much. Maybe he was too afraid to go with us because our family had now become the target.

The dawn came. And with my wife, two young children, a frail mother and a younger sister, I left the valley, our home, the only home I had known since birth. Wait, I said something wrong -- we didn't "leave" the valley; we, like hundreds of thousands of people like us, were literally forced to leave.

My hardware shop was in the main bazaar and that's how I heard all the news even before it became news. Everyday there was fresh violence, more killings, more people tortured and threatened, more rapes, more beatings, more abductions, more shops looted, more buildings vandalised, more houses burned, more people forced to convert. Everyday more lives were being completely destroyed. All in the name of the Holy War. All in the name of their One True God.

For the news people, my brother, his wife and their daughter were just that. News.

For us, it was the beginning of the end. End of our dreams and hopes. Of peace and possibilities of peace. My brother, a school teacher, had been secretly putting together a small reconciliation team for the past few months. He was perhaps becoming a threat to the larger plans of the separatists and terrorists. They had no choice. They had to eliminate him.

We had no choice, we had to leave while we still could. And we did.

But my wife is right. I should forget the past, forget the pain, forget the horror, I should live in present. My friends joke with me that I should listen to my wife because she knows best.

She does, but what she doesn't know is that on many occasions I have seen something in her eyes too. That emptiness in her eyes, that longing, that dream she isn't sure will ever come true. Dream to return one last time to her long lost home, her home in the valley where she came to live as a young bride, where she gave birth to her two children.

Will that home even be there? Will there ever be a 'ghar wapsi' for us? For my wife and me? For my people?

Displaced, refugees, exiled, persecuted. They call us by many names. Some even use that rather strange word -- migrant. Really? What drug are they on? The simple truth, for me, is -- we are homeless.

I hear that now they make movies about people who hounded us out, as if they are heroes of some type. Freedom fighters, some call them. Freedom to do what? To hate, to spread hate, to spread fear, to kill, to torture? I don't watch movies, but my friends who do tell me that we aren't even a footnote in such movies. I say that's okay because we don't want movies about us. We want our homes. We want our dignity.

Twenty five years....and the dream for elusive peace lives on. The dream for a peaceful home. The dream for dignity.


Yesterday, 19th January 2015 marked the 25th year since the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits began. Thousands were killed, tortured, abducted, raped, and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee their homes by the Islamic fanatics, separatists and terrorists. The systematic killing of Pandits had started a year before, September 14, 1989.

To read up more about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits and their struggle for rehabilitation, click here

The first and principal article of these established and formal religions runs always, “Mine is the supreme, the only truth, all others are in falsehood or inferior.” For without this fundamental dogma, established credal religions could not have existed. If you do not believe and proclaim that you alone possess the one or the highest truth, you will not be able to impress people and make them flock to you.
~ The Mother, CWM, Vol. 3, p. 77 
Kashmir has been a constant problem for so many decades now, but we have not confronted the problem squarely. In Kashmir the problem is connected with Partition. Unfortunately, the same argument which was applied to justify Partition continues to be applied today -- the idea that religion is the basis of nationalism. This is the basis of the whole conflict. Yet from early times there have been many religions in India. When Buddhism came, India was not divided on the basis of Buddhism and Hinduism, when Jainism came there was no such division. If religion is the basis of nationalism, every country should be divided. Therefore the whole theory is false.
~ Dr. Kireet Joshi
Read the full interview here 


To read more posts in the Current Events series, click here.

To read more Fictional Jottings, click here.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Book She Wrote

She is I. Or I am she.

No, it's not a post about any deep philosophical question like Who Am I?
This post is however still about me. And about a little book I wrote.


But first, let me tell you about the birds. And about the beautiful sounds I am hearing as I write this. The sweet sounds of chirping of birds in my garden, flitting on the neem and coconut trees and around the jasmine and passiflora creepers, their little and loud voices entering this room from the big window near me is providing the perfect ambiance for writing this post. 

Oh wait...there is also the sound of a loudspeaker somewhere in the neighbouring village, playing a Tamil devotional song that I don't understand. The people are still in the festive mood of Pongal. 

And there is also an occasional sound of a car horn from the road in front of the house, and yes there are some sounds from my kitchen too where my husband is puttering and doing something. 

It is as if Mother Nature is helping me remember that you are allowed to make a bit of a chirping noise to announce something or to gain attention, but don't forget that your chirping is simply a small part of the larger sound of the world around you. In Nature, in World everything is mixed up. You may falsely think of yourself as separate from all the noise and action around you, but you are in truth an integral part of it all. Don't let your little sound, your little voice, get to you. Be humble, be modest, learn to say your piece and then let it go. 


You might have read about the book, ABC's of Indian National Education in a previous post on this blog.

Today I share with you a bit of news about the book. And also a couple of reviews.

First up....

31st December 2014. Late afternoon. I received a letter from the PMO. Yes, that's the Prime Minister's Office. Of India.

The letter was signed by private secretary of the PM. The letter, dated 22 December 2014, was simply a nicely worded thank you note saying -
The Prime Minister has received your letter of 28 November, 2014 and has asked me to thank you for sending him your book titled "ABC's of Indian National Education."
Of course, I was thrilled to receive the letter.

Even though it was just an acknowledgement of receiving the book, to me it was an acknowledgement of the fact that when the highest executive office in the largest democracy of the world takes the time to be responsive to an ordinary citizen, there is definitely hope for good times ahead.

The only reason I sent the book to PMO in the first place was because I wanted someone in that office to have a copy and possibly go through it at some point. Maybe an idea or two from the book might stick in the mind of someone who has the power and authority to take it up for discussion as the government continues its work on its new educational policy.

Too much to hope? Perhaps. But one never knows unless one tries. My work was to send the book, and I did, with a thoughtfully written covering letter introducing myself and the book. And I got an acknowledgment that it was received. What happens next is left to forces stronger, higher and bigger.

Second bit of news, actually a review...

Gunwant Agarwal, a professional from Mumbai, a spiritual seeker, a parent and a life-long learner, wrote a wonderful review of the book:
In India, we look upon education as a means to get lucrative jobs and earn money. But education is just not about securing jobs in MNCs. Indian civilization had a vast knowledge base which focused on all aspects of the individual and the society. The prosperity and contentment was a by-product of the whole process of living in harmony with oneself, society, Nature and Spirit. Today's education misses out these vital points resulting in slave mentality of students. This book enables the reader in simple way to understand why and what needs to be done for transforming education in India. This book is a must for educators, teachers, educational institutions, universities, education policy makers and parents.
An author feels completely understood and gratified when he/she meets a reader who totally gets the reason why a book was written in the first place. And reading Gunwant's review gave me that moment of joy. Thank you so much, Gunwant!

Speaking of reviews and moments of joy....yesterday another wonderful writer whose inspirational words have brought so much joy and positivity to many readers, wrote a glowing and absolutely flattering review of the book.

Dagny Sol is a belief coach, an educator, a writer, a parent, a seeker of true things and a weaver of beautiful things - with words as well as threads and fabric.  Using a beautiful analogy of gardening, she wrote in her review:
The ABCs of Indian National Education is a means to tend to our garden in the second way. (To know more about the "second way" read her full review).
She continues:
In her introduction, Beloo gives a clear and concise manifesto for the book- what it IS and what it is NOT. Her purpose is to Put India Back In Indian Education; a purpose in which - if her ideas were to be implemented - she will surely succeed resoundingly.
The title of the book is not haphazardly put together. With it, in five short words, she declares her intention.
I was naturally very thrilled to see such genuine appreciation and full support of the ideas presented in the book. And at the same time I had this feeling - o wow, she makes my book and me look so good! I wish I had words to say how ecstatic I was after reading her review for the first time. And yes, I have read it a few more times since then :) Egoistic of me? Of course, yes.

But then as I let her review sink in a bit more, it occurred to me. I wish I could write like Dagny. I wish I had used similar analogy of gardening. I wish I had laid out so clearly in the book who its intended readers are. I wish....I wish....I wish....

Yes, similar thoughts have occurred to me earlier too, in fact almost every time I have looked at the published book. I wish I had done more research for some of the topics, I wish I had expanded more on some of the ideas included there, I wish I had written some parts differently, I wish....I wish.....

But wishes alone don't make things happen.


What makes anything happen is our persistent effort. But that alone is never sufficient. We also must have a sincere readiness to let go of the effort. Yes, let go.

What makes anything happen is our intense will, and also our genuine sense of surrender of everything we are, everything we do. Only then our work becomes a true offering of that which is the best in us.

Our work truly means something only when we can do the work without any egoistic motive like fame or riches, only when we allow our work to become a means to grow within, to evolve, to make progress in our inner journey. Because only then we can become what we are truly meant to become.

I am learning these important life-lessons from this experience of writing, publishing, and reflecting. I can't say I am always a good learner but I hope to continue to learn everyday.

And just like those sounds of chirping of birds, horns of cars, songs on loudspeakers and utensils in my kitchen made me hear the truth - everything in nature and life is mixed up - I hope this experience will also make me hear another equally true truth - everything is indeed mixed up but only through your sincere focus and aspiration you can figure out what you want to concentrate on.


So there, I have said my piece and now it's time to let it go.

Thanks for reading this rather long post.

And for your further reading pleasure, let me suggest you a thin little book. How about clicking here to order a copy?

It is the spirit or consciousness in which the work is done that matters most; the outer form can vary greatly for different natures” (Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, Vol 2, p. 671). 

Linking this with ABC Wednesday, B: B is for Book

Thursday, 15 January 2015

All is Not Well

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers
A new post in the series Light and Sound

When a picture searches for its music, or a piece of music finds its right picture...the result is a magical experience of Light and Sound.  

Rassouli, Breath of Dawn

Certainly, not all is well with the world today.
I don't have to give any examples to prove this fact.

Certainly, not all will get well with the world any time soon.
I don't have to give any reasons to explain why.

Certainly, not all well-wishers of the world, who are more in love with their voices and opinions than the world, have spoken their last about how to make it all well.
I don't have to say anything more on why these well-wishers will not stop any time soon.

But one thing I am, and I sincerely hope to remain, quite certain of is this --

This is not a never-ending winter.
The Sun has a way to melt down the hardest ice and thaw out the harshest freeze.
The Light has a way to dispel the darkest darkness from the deepest corner and cranny.
The Dawn has a way to bring a new beginning, a greater faith, a stronger hope.

And what I am also certain of is this --

This is true not only of The World.

God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
For man shall not know the coming till its hour
And belief shall be not till the work is done.

This is also true of my little world.

Whatever the appearance we must bear, 
Whatever our strong ills and present fate, 
When nothing we can see but drift and bale, 
A mighty Guidance leads us still through all. 

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Raag Nat Bhairav


This is 220th post for the blog. An interesting number, I thought. And this happens to be a post to celebrate Makar Sankranti & Pongal, an occasion to welcome new and auspicious beginnings. For my world. For The World.

To see previous post in the series Light and Sound, click here.
To see all posts in the series, click here.

Poetry source: Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book I, Canto IV, p. 59 & 55
Picture source: here
Kolam outside my home, this morning, drawn by a young talented girl in our neighborhood

Written for Blog-a-rhythm Wordy Wednesday Prompt: Never-ending Winter
Linking this up with ABCWednesday, A: A is for All, Auspicious

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The New Age Guru Who Wasn't

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

He badly needed to rediscover that lost enthusiasm and zeal for his work. Was he devoid of fresh ideas, was he simply over-exhausted?

He had never felt so ‘blocked’ before. He desperately needed to churn out creatively told stories and well-researched essays for his next self-help book. His fame depended on it, so did his fancy lifestyle.

That afternoon as he walked home after his book signing event, he felt a strange unease. Out of nowhere a rainbow appeared in the sky. He stood in awe for a few minutes when a piece of paper came flying out at him from somewhere. He noticed some words were scribbled on it.

He knew this was his rainbow.

He had to experience. He had to live the truths he wrote about in his fast-selling books. He had to ‘be’ before he could ‘express’.

He couldn't be a sham anymore.

“The rainbow is the sign of peace and deliverance.” ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga

To read more Fictional Jottings on this blog, click here.

Written for Wordy Wednesday for Blog-a-rhythm, Word Prompt: Rainbow

Linking up with ABC Wednesday, Z: Z is for Zeal

Image: Google, altered

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Right Remedy

A new post in the series - Satyam Shivam Sundaram
A series featuring inspiring words from various sources, words that speak of timeless truths, words that remind me of the deeper and hidden truth behind surface events and phenomena, words that shine light when all seems dark, words that are just what I need - for this moment and for all times to come.

This is a bit unusual post to start off the new year on the blog. But then maybe not. This may be the perfect post for me to kick off new year on this blog.

My last two publications for 2014 were not on this blog but elsewhere. In one I pondered upon the question -- how to let go. And in the other I attempted to shed some light on the question - how to think deeply and rationally about Indian social problems or issues.

As my first post for 2015 on this blog, I continue with the same theme. Sort of. To my mind this post has sort of become a cross between the two.

The Magic of Shiva's Flute, Artist: Bindu Popli

What leads me to write this post is something very simple. It is simply this -- I have had enough. Of intellectual laziness. Of apathy. Of indifference. Of ignorance. Of mindless aping. Of non-thinking.

I have had enough of...

Totally un-intelligent movie plots with childish and silly attempts to mock and ridicule something the film-writers have no clue about. Or perhaps they do, but they choose to ignore it because of their own agendas, or simply because of their interest in making more money by creating un-necessary controversies.

I have had enough of...

Utter disregard and disinterest among the modern, educated folks to learn about Indian views on religion and not-religion, and instead mindlessly defend the movie because that's the "progressive" or "secular" or "right" thing to do. Or on the flip side, an equally ignorant call by some sections to ban the movie because it offends their "religious" sentiments.

Why is this complete apathy among large sections of the modern-educated classes of India to question the borrowed/colonized understandings they have of their own culture and traditions? When will these sections of our society begin to discover that religion is not same as dharma, idol-worship is not same as murti-puja, God is not same as devi/devata, godmen is not same as guru? 

Why is it that these sections of our society shy away from exploring such simple truths that secularism, agnosticism, and atheism are concepts that are inbuilt and part of the richly diverse and yet inwardly unified Indian dharmic and spiritual traditions? Why isn't there an interest in knowing that one doesn't need to give up a dharmic or spiritual outlook on life and living just because one wants to label oneself as secular, agnostic or atheist?

Why o why?

As always, when I am bogged down with such questions, I turn to the source I know. There I find answers to not only my mind's questions but also hints to calm down such questioning itself. There I find strength to renew my aspiration to practice living by the real, deeper truths that are beyond and behind all outer discourse. There I find a new way of balancing my outer quest to know and my inner thirst to let go.

India can best develop herself and serve humanity by being herself and following the law of her own nature. This does not mean, as some narrowly and blindly suppose, the rejection of everything new that comes to us in the stream of Time or happens to have been first developed or powerfully expressed by the West. Such an attitude would be intellectually absurd, physically impossible,and above all unspiritual; true spirituality rejects no new light, no added means or materials of our human self-development. It means simply to keep our centre, our essential way of being, our inborn nature and assimilate to it all we receive, and evolve out of it all we do and create. Religion has been a central preoccupation of the Indian mind; some have told us that too much religion ruined India, precisely because we made the whole of life religion or religion the whole of life, we have failed in life and gone under. I will not answer, adopting the language used by the poet in a slightly different connection, that our fall does not matter and that the dust in which India lies is sacred. The fall, the failure does matter, and to lie in the dust is no sound position for man or nation. But the reason assigned is not the true one. If the majority of Indians had indeed made the whole of their lives religion in the true sense of the word, we should not be where we are now; it was because their public life became most irreligious, egoistic, self-seeking, materialistic that they fell. It is possible, that on one side we deviated too much into an excessive religiosity, that is to say, an excessive externalism of ceremony, rule, routine, mechanical worship, on the other into a too world-shunning asceticism which drew away the best minds who were thus lost to society instead of standing like the ancient Rishis as its spiritual support and its illuminating life-givers. But the root of the matter was the dwindling of the spiritual impulse in its generality and broadness, the decline of intellectual activity and freedom, the waning of great ideals, the loss of the gust of life. 
Perhaps there was too much of religion in one sense; the word is English, smacks too much of things external such as creeds, rites, an external piety; there is no one Indian equivalent. But if we give rather to religion the sense of the following of the spiritual impulse in its fullness and define spirituality as the attempt to know and live in the highest self, the divine, the all embracing unity and to raise life in all its parts to the divinest possible values, then it is evident that there was not too much of religion, but rather too little of it—and in what there was, a too one-sided and therefore an insufficiently ample tendency. The right remedy is, not to belittle still farther the age long ideal of India, but to return to its old amplitude and give it a still wider scope, to make in very truth all the life of the nation a religion in this high spiritual sense. This is the direction in which the philosophy, poetry, art of the West is, still more or less obscurely, but with an increasing light, beginning to turn, and even some faint glints of the truth are beginning now to fall across political and sociological ideals. India has the key to the knowledge and conscious application of the ideal; what was dark to her before in its application, she can now, with a new light, illumine; what was wrong and wry in her old methods she can now rectify; the fences which she created to protect the outer growth of the spiritual ideal and which afterwards became barriers to its expansion and farther application, she can now break down and give her spirit a freer field and an ampler flight: she can, if she will, give a new and decisive turn to the problems over which all mankind is labouring and stumbling, for the clue to their solutions is there in her ancient knowledge. Whether she will rise or not to the height of her opportunity in the renaissance which is coming upon her, is the question of her destiny.
~ Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 20, pp. 38-39 (emphasis added)

To see previous post in the series, click here.
To see all posts in the series, click here.