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Articles

Rishi – the word in the light of Sri Aurobindo

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” The thing has been seen by the seer, he is the drashta & to him Veda is drishti; it is spoken to the hearer & he sees, indirectly, through the medium of the word what the seer has seen by the self-vision, directly; to the hearer, Veda is śruti.”    – Sri Aurobindo on the […]

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Greece

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1. Why is Greece special, and how do we get to the heart of ancient Greece? 2. What was the Greek conception of life? A brief article contrasting the ideals of Hellenic culture with modern civilization. 3. What about Greek ‘city states’ led to democratic ideas in later Europe? How did life in ancient Athens […]

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Discovering Greece before getting there

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I’ve been fascinated by Greece ever since I first heard of the great poet Homer, and since then subconsciously I’ve thought of Greece as ‘the land of Homer’, romanticizing the idea of his two epic poems as carrying the soul of this phenomenal ancient civilisation. Why Greece is special The ancient world is deeply fascinating […]

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On the Greek mind, Hellenic culture and us ‘moderns’

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γνῶθι σεαυτόν  |  Know thyself What was the Greek conception of life? At the very start of the classic work ‘The Human Cycle’, in an essay titled ‘The Age of Individualism and Reason’, Sri Aurobindo makes a remark on one of the determining characteristics that enabled 14th century Europe to be reborn and recast into […]

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On Critiquing Art – Form, Spirit and Intention

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You will see umpteen works of Greek sculpture throughout Greece, and even Italy, for Rome took Greek art as its inspiration and is bound by it to this day. But you will likely see these through the prism of your prior experiences, whether European or Asiatic. We appreciate all sculpture that we find beautiful, but […]

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On the power of Greek poetry

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The Greeks found it hard to realize political unity, but they were bound together psychologically through the soul-revealing words of their epic poems, just as, to this day, India’s epics bind the remotest corners of the country together. In describing the effect of poetry in moulding people and civilisations, Sri Aurobindo remarks that A little […]

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The participative democracy of Greek city states

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Greece is not a particularly large nation, being just a tad larger than the state of New York in the US or the state of Tamil Nadu in India. Even within that land-mass, most of it was unoccupied, what we know as ‘Greece’ was essentially a handful of self-sufficient ‘city-states’. And it was the political […]

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On the spirit of Greek art and sculpture

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Where are the Sculptors? Try and name three sculptors – from anywhere. Hard, isn’t it? Amongst the moderns, we may be able to muster the names of Rodin, or Michelangelo. If we previously looked for him, we may have even heard of Phidias, who we are told, was to sculpture what Homer was to poetry. […]

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The Significance of the English Language in India – Amal Kiran

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Amal Kiran (1904-2011), the gifted author of more than 50 books on literature, poetry and history wrote a very valuable essay in the early 1950s on the significance and future of the English language in India.     The Significance of the English Language in India India’s decision to remain a member of the Commonwealth […]

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Man and Woman – forever distinct?

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This is a December few of us will forget. Delhi-ites, Indians and people across the world waited with anxiety and prayer for two whole weeks to see her live. For two whole weeks we felt tragedy upon us, personally, like never before. The outburst of spontaneous, center-less protests continuing to this day amply demonstrate that “..there […]

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