Ma Mandir Sri Aurobindogram

Ma mandir Sri Aurobindo Ashram Rewa

SHRI SURENDRANATH JAUHAR ‘FAQUIR’

108TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY & 25TH ASCENTION ANNIVERSARY

Release of Postage Stamp

Symposium on

Spiritual Heritage of India: Past, Present and Future

&

Cultural Programmes

 

31 Aug – 4 Sep 2011

(Sri Aurobindo Ashram Delhi Branch)

 

BACKGROUND

 The Government of India has decided to issue a five-rupee commemorative postage stamp in honour of Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar (1903-1986) on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his passing on. Shri Surendra Nath was a freedom fighter who joined the freedom struggle at the young age of 16, and stayed with it till the country became free in 1947. He participated in the freedom struggle for nearly thirty years, and during these thirty years he was imprisoned and tortured several times, and carried the scars of the fetters around his ankles all his life. What is not so well known is that he was also a deeply spiritual man. His very entry into the freedom struggle was in response to Mahatma Gandhi’s call to the youth in 1919 to abandon their studies, and Mahatma Gandhi’s approach was to bring spirituality even into the struggle that was apparently a political activity. In 1939, Shri Surendra Nath had a ‘chance’ encounter with the Mother (at Sri Aurobindo Ashram) in Puducherry, which became a turning point in his life. The man whose motto was to ‘surrender not’ surrendered himself completely to the Mother. His devotion to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother culminated in the establishment of Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Delhi Branch.

 

To celebrate the occasion of the release of the postage stamp in honour of the founder of Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Delhi Branch, a series of activities have been planned from 31 August – 4 September 2011. In general, there will be:

·         two talks on the broad theme of Spiritual Heritage of India in the morning, starting at 9 am, and

·         a cultural programme in the evening

The release of the postage stamp will be on 2 September 2011 from 5 pm – 6 pm, to which the admission will be restricted to the invitees for security reasons. The entry to all the other functions is unrestricted and free. You are most cordially invited and welcome to any of the events. The detailed programme is tentatively as follows:

 PROGRAMME

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Invocation and vocal music by Shantanu Bhattacharya

10:00 am - 10:30 am

Tea Break

Symposium

Theme : What is spirituality

10:30 am - 12:00 noon

Talk by Prof. Manoj Das on the spiritual world view

and the purpose of life.

Venue: Meditation Hall (entry through Gate No. 6)

Cultural Programme

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Pt. Barun Pal and his students on the Hans Veena

Chirodeep Bannerjee on Tabla

Venue: Hall of Grace, MIS (entry through Gate No. 3)

7:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Meditation

 

PROGRAMME

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Symposium

Theme : Our glorious past

9:00 am - 10:30 am

Talk by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Rath on ‘Isha’, the favourite

Upanishad of Sri Aurobindo

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Tea Break

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Talk by Shri Prashant Khanna on

the Gita, as Sri Aurobindo saw it

Venue: Meditation Hall (entry through Gate No. 6)

Cultural Programme

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Odissi dance by Arushi Mudgal

Venue: Hall of Grace, MIS (entry through Gate No. 3)

7:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Meditation

 

PROGRAMME

Friday, 2 September 2011

8:15 am

Flower offering and Havan at the Samadhi of

Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar

9:30 am - 10:00 am

Meditation

10:00 am - 10:30 am

Tea Break

10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Tributes to Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar

Speakers :

Dr. Prema Nandakumar, Dr. Aster Patel,

Dr. Matthijs Cornelissen, Deepshikha, Dr. K. N. Verma

Venue: Meditation Hall (entry through Gate No. 6)

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Stamp Release Function

Release of a postage stamp in honour of

Shri Surendranath Jauhar ‘Faquir’, by the Hon'ble Minister for

HRD, Communications and IT, Shri Kapil Sibal.

Dr. Karan Singh will preside over the function.

Venue : Hall of Grace, The Mother's International School

Cultural Programme

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

A play on the life of Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar

Venue: Hall of Grace, MIS (entry through Gate No. 3)

 

PROGRAMME

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Symposium

Theme :

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's vision of India

9:00 - 10:30 am

A talk by Dr. Ananda Reddy on

spirituality - the core of Indian culture

Venue: Meditation Hall (entry through Gate No. 6)

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Tea Break

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Talk by Shri Raghuram on

the spiritual renaissance of India

Venue: Meditation Hall (entry through Gate No. 6)

Cultural Programme

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Savitri : an offering by Mirambika Teachers

and other Ashram youngsters

Venue: Hall of Grace, MIS (entry through Gate No. 3)

 

PROGRAMME

Sunday, 4 September 2011

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Devotional Music

Venue: Meditation Hall (entry through Gate No. 6)

Symposium

Theme :

India's spiritual destiny

10:00 am - 12:00 noon

Panel discussion on

India’s potential as the vishwa guru : ifs and buts

Venue: Meditation Hall (entry through Gate No. 6)

Cultural Programme

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Bharatnatyam Recital.

Conceptualised and performed by Ms.Jayalakshmi Eshwar

and students, Satyananda and Avinash Kumar.

Parallel Dimensions - Kalashruti and Awakening.

Venue: Hall of Grace, MIS (entry through Gate No. 3)

7:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Meditation

 

 

 

 

About the Symposium on

Spiritual Heritage of India: Past, Present and Future

 

CONCEPT NOTE

 

The one thing that is the distinctive characteristic of Indian culture is that spirituality permeates all life. In India, spirituality is not confined to a compartment separate from worldly life. While that is true of Indian culture in its essence, this characteristic underwent a distortion during the last one thousand years. The distortion led to a dichotomy between worldly life and spiritual life, thereby leading to a decline that reached its bottom in the nineteenth century. Fortunately we had during this period several great men who realized this, and made a powerful plea for bringing spirituality into daily life. Further, they also foresaw that the world would need ancient Indian wisdom to fill the lacuna that would still be left in spite of all the material progress engineered by science and technology. As if to prepare India for this role, they wrote extensively and presented the ancient Indian wisdom in a language that is relevant to tomorrow’s world. Sri Aurobindo saw India in the role of the vishva-guru, but he also cautioned that playing this role would depend on fulfilling some conditions. The symposium will have a brief look at the ancient spiritual wisdom of India. Further, it would look at the role that India can play in providing to the world the wisdom for which it is thirsty today. Moreover, will India only export this ancient wisdom, or will the Indians also provide the lead in practicing what India preaches is a crucial question which the symposium will address.

 

OUTLINE OF THE DAILY PROGRAMME

 

Day 1, Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011

 

The theme of the day will be to discuss the basic concepts of spirituality and its relevance to daily life. The talks proposed for the day are:

 

9 am    The spiritual worldview and the purpose of life

The spiritual worldview, based on the experience of rishis and mystics cuts across the boundaries of various religious and spiritual traditions of the world. It acknowledges the existence of the all-pervasive spirit of the Divine, and considers moving towards realization of this hidden but Absolute Reality to be the purpose of life.

 

11 am  Spirituality and life-affirmation

Spirituality is commonly, but erroneously, perceived as an other-worldly pursuit. The spiritual worldview looks at the world as a manifestation of the Divine. If the Divine is real, its manifestation cannot be unreal. Hence worldly life should not be rejected but transformed to befit the One that it manifests.

 

Day 2, Thursday, 1 Sep 2011

 

The theme of the day will be to reflect on India’s glorious past, taking the Upanishads and the Gita as examples of the finest products of the human quest for meaning in life. The talks proposed for the day are:

 

9 am    Isha: the favourite Upanishad of Sri Aurobindo

The Upanishads are a record of the spiritual experiences of the rishis. The Isha Upanishad reconciles matter and spirit into a harmonious unity, and thereby provides the spiritual basis for life-affirmation.  

 

11 am The Gita, as Sri Aurobindo saw it

There is no dearth of commentaries on the Gita, but Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Gita stand out because of the single sweep in which they look at the three streams of yoga with which the Gita is commonly identified. Sri Aurobindo makes the penetrating observation that no matter which stream of yoga one starts with, if one continues with it long enough and sincerely enough, one eventually ends up practicing all the three. Further, Sri Aurobindo also brings out the fact that the principal message of the Gita in relation to duty is that when faced with two or more confliciting duties, which duty to choose and how to choose it.

 

Day 3, Friday, 2 Sep 2011

 

This is the day on which the commemorative postal stamp in honour of Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar will be released. The talks will focus on his life and works, providing inspiration and guidance for a spiritual life while living an active worldly life. Some of the talks proposed are:

 

Surrender not: the motto of the fiery patriot

Shri Surendra Nath often remarked, in a tone of serious humour, that his very name stood for ‘surrender not’. On the other hand, surrender is an important part of spiritual life. The important thing to understand is ‘surrender to whom’ and ‘surrender what’. Shri Surendra Nath never surrendered to unjust authority, and did not surrender his common sense. But he surrendered to the  Mother, and to her he surrendered his free-will, his work, his wealth, virtually all of himself.

 

The patriot’s supreme discovery

Discovering Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in 1939 was the patriot’s supreme discovery.

 

Creating a centre for a new life

By establishing Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Delhi Branch, Shri Surendra Nath created a centre which is a nucleus for ushering in an unprecedented height in the level of consciousness from which human affairs will be conducted in the world of tomorrow as visualized by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

 

Growing through adversity and prosperity

Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar saw in his life both extremes of adversity and prosperity. In adverse circumstances, he never compromised with his principles; and in better times, he shared his prosperity generously with his fellow beings.

 

Day 4, Saturday, 3 Sep 2011

 

The theme of the day will be spirituality in the Indian context. The focus will be on how Sri Aurobindo and the Mother looked at the uniquely spiritual culture of India, and how they visualized the future of India. The talks proposed for the day are:

 

9 am    Spirituality: the core of Indian culture

The core of the Indian culture is spirituality that permeates all aspects of life – art, music, dance, literature, and acts of daily life such as eating, cooking talking and sleeping.

 

11 am  The spiritual renascence of India

In spite of its glorious past, Indian culture underwent a steady decline that reached its bottom in the nineteenth century. The British further contributed to it by convincing us rather successfully through the system of education that they introduced that there was nothing worthwhile in our own culture, and that the best that we could do was to imitate them. Swami Vivekananda’s address at the Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893 was an important milestone in the spiritual renascence of India. The receptivity to ancient Indian wisdom that he created through the address and the subsequent prolonged stay in USA and UK was further enhanced by the spiritual masters who followed. Sri Aurobindo stands out among the spiritual masters who contributed to the phenomenon because of the large volume of spiritual literature, the original of which was written in flawless poetic English, that he gave to the world. The literature that he created has penetrating thought-provoking translations and commentaries of ancient works such as the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Gita, and also original contributions such as The Life Divine and Savitri.

 

Day 5, Sunday, 4 Sep 2011

 

The theme of the day will be the role India is destined to play in tomorrow’s world, and what we need to do to realize the destiny. The theme will be addressed through a panel discussion.

 

9 am    Panel Discussion entitled ‘India’s potential as the vishva guru: ifs and buts’

The discussion will address questions such as:

What is unique about the Indian culture?

Do we have to preserve and propagate our culture only as a patriotic duty, or does it have something invaluable that can help the world?

Do the Indians today reflect their great heritage in their inner and outer life?

What do we need to do for India to realize its potential as the vishva guru?

 

 

About the Cultural Programmes

 

In India, song, music, dance and drama have not been mere expressions of the artistic urge or sources of entertainment. Fine arts in India bore an imprint of the Divine, were considered to flow from the Divine, and were treated as an offering to the Divine. The cultural programmes during the 5-day celebrations will focus on this aspect of fine arts.

 

About Savitri, an offering, on 4 September 2011 at 5 pm

 

Savitri is the best known and least understood work of Sri Aurobindo. Its fascination lies partly in the insurmountable challenge it presents to those who try to understand it at the mental level. Running into nearly 24,000 lines, Savitri is one of the longest poems in the English language. Savitri is also the principal character of a legend in the Mahabharata. In that legend, there is a king, Aswapathy, who does not have a child. His intense prayers are answered with a daughter, Savitri. Savitri gets married to Satyavan, who dies one year after the marriage. Savitri follows him, and pleads with Yama, the god of death, for the return of Satyavan. Yama goes on granting her one boon after another in an attempt to persuade her to go back to earth and not insist on getting Satyavan back. Finally, he grants her also the boon of getting children. She asks him how she can have children if her husband is no more with her. Thus trapped, Yama returns Satyavan to Savitri, and they both return to earth. Sri Aurobindo has used this legend as a symbol and developed it into an epic of gigantic proportions.

 

In Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri, King Aswapathy does not want a child: he seeks the end of all human problems. Further, he wants the solution to human problems right here on earth, not in some distant heaven. With this mission, he embarks on an inner exploration. He finally secures from the Divine Mother the promise that “One shall descend and break the iron Law, Change Nature’s doom by the lone Spirit’s power.” (Book III, Canto 4). Savitri is the material expression of this boon secured by Aswapathy. In Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri, the marriage of Savitri and Satyavan symbolizes the intense involvement of Savitri in the fate of mankind. Satyavan is a man subject to pain, suffering and death, and when death does visit him, Savitri seizes the opportunity to embark on her mission of bringing heaven to earth. Securing the release of Satyavan from the god of death symbolizes the accomplishment of her mission. About Savitri, the Mother has said, “My child, everything is there; mysticism, occultism, philosophy, the history of evolution, the history of man, of the Gods, of creation, of Nature; how the universe was created, why, for what purpose, what destiny. All is there…. But this mystery is well hidden behind the lines and one must achieve the required state of true consciousness to discover it.”

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