Sri Aurobindo's 150th birth anniversary coincides with the 75th Independence day of India.it is high time that this seer, poet and philosopher needs to be contextualised and taught to new generation
The writings of Sri Aurobindo reveal that he does not belong to the past or history. Sri Aurobindo, as the Mother: his spiritual collaborator says emphatically, ‘is the Future advancing for its realisation’. Essentially, Sri Aurobindo’s work is directed towards complete freedom from all limitations and divinisation of the matter. Whether we look at Sri Aurobindo as a poet or as a philosopher, as a political thinker or a mystic, as a polyglot genius or a rationalist critique, his vision is different and always points towards the glorious future of humanity. It is seen that even though Sri Aurobindo is a very well-known name not just in India but all over the globe yet there have not been many initiatives for bringing his teachings to a larger population, especially through academic institutions. It is high time that Sri Aurobindo needs to be contextualised and taught profusely at various levels.
Unique Online Course
It is in this context and in a time when the world is going to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo which also coincides with the 75th Independence day of India Rashtram School of Public Leadership has launched a unique one year online certificate course titled “Sri Aurobindo: The Rishi of India’s Renaissance”. The course has been conceived and designed by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, Professor at the Rashtram School of Public Leadership, Rishihood University, Haryana. Apart from this course Rashtram also has plans to organize many events including conferences, study weeks, courses, and webinars as part of this celebration.
Speaking on this course Shobhit Mathur, co-founder and dean of Rashtram said: “Sri Aurobindo is a prime thinker and seer who can help the future public leaders of the nation to harness the Divine Shakti-s and manifest them in their field.”
Nearly 50 plus learners from India and abroad have signed up for this one year-long certificate course. The introductory session of the course took place on 15 July 2021 from 5 to 6 pm. It began by invoking the Divine presence through Gayatri Mantra given by Sri Aurobindo to receive the guidance and connect with the consciousness of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother through their teachings.
तत्सवितुर्वरं रूपं ज्योति: परस्य धीमहि. यन्न: सत्येन दीपयेत्
“Om Tat savitur varam rūpam jyotih parasya dhīmahi, yannah satyena dīpayet”
The course is 150 hours of lectures divided into 12 modules over 12 months. The first module is “An Introduction to the Life and Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother”. The successive curriculum includes Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on Integral Yoga, Integral Education, Indian Culture and its Renaissance, Poetry and Drama, social and political philosophy, the Gita, the Upanishads and the Veda. It also includes Sri Aurobindo’s magnum opus- The Life Divine and the Savitri.
During the orientation program on 15 July, a learner said: “Through the course, I am looking to deepen my understanding of the teachings and how they can be implemented in everyday life and working towards a better society.” While a professor and entrepreneur from Switzerland is looking forward to getting a grip on the literature for applying in his classes and projects, a homeopath and counselor by profession is “looking to understand evolution of consciousness and increase the knowledge of self and Sri Aurobindo” through this course. Another learner who works with young parents said: “I feel Indian youth needs guidance and true change can only begin within the family through arts. I am looking for clarity in my burning desire to empower the parents of this country to create a right atmosphere at home so that we can have a resurgent India eventually”. While, the director of a leading B-school in central India wants to listen to all the lectures, a professional theatre director and actor conducting workshops using The Mother’s message wants to be a student again. A Dutch guy and another civil engineer with masters in human consciousness and yogic science are quite enthusiastic about the year long journey.
It is seen that even though Sri Aurobindo is a very well-known name not just in India but all over the world yet there have not been many initiatives for bringing his teachings to a larger population, especially through academic institutions
Open For All
The live classes are held online and the recording of the sessions and other study materials are uploaded in a learning management system for the registered learners’ further their studies. The course will be completed by the end of July 2022 and certificates will be given to the registered participants in a grand convocation which will be held on 15th August 2022, on the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo.
Interested learners can now opt to register for the year-long course. There is provision for individual module registration too. The certificate programme has no eligibility criteria and is open for all. Youth, spiritual seekers, students of science and humanities, scholars, nationalists, artists, working professionals, homemakers and even professors have enrolled for this course.
While Rashtram is offering scholarships to meritorious students who find it difficult to afford for this course, it also seeks support from well-wishers for sponsoring such students and youth. A young research student from Hyderabad has been offered a ‘Hrudayesh Patel scholarship’. The institute will offer four more ‘Sayena Scholarship’. Many scholars, professors, academicians and devotees from around the globe in the field of Sri Aurobindo studies will be the faculties for this year-long course. Speaking at the inaugural session, Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, the course Director, said the purpose is to spread Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts and ideas among people. Most people find it difficult to grasp Sri Aurobindo’s writings and give up. The course intends to simplify Sri Aurobindo’s message for the future while retaining the originality. He emphasised a quote by the Mother “Sri Aurobindo has come on earth not to bring a teaching or a creed in competition with previous creeds or teachings, but to show the way to overpass the past and to open concretely the route towards an imminent and inevitable future.”
Those interested can see details of the course on webpage: https://rashtram.org/sri-aurobindo-rishi-of-indic-renaissance-course/
(The author is a Research Associate, Rashtram School of Public Leadership)