Indian civilisation has been the form and expression of a culture as great as any of the historic civilisations of mankind, great in religion, great in philosophy, great in science, great in thought of many kinds, great in literature, art and poetry, great in the organisation of society and politics, great in craft and trade and commerce.
As a mark of celebrating the completion of 75th year of India’s Independence, 150th year of the birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and the Pondicherry Heritage Festival, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society organised a symposium on Sri Aurobindo and Indian Cultural Heritage on 28th February, 2023. Speaking on the Dr. Kishor Kumar Tripathy, Member Secretary, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry said that Sri Aurobindo has given a deeper insights to rediscover the spirit of Indian culture. Sri Aurobindo the Yogi, a great Indian scholar, litterateur, philosopher, patriot, social reformer, and visionary, was also a prominent religious guru who gave the message of human unity and propounded the philosophy of divine life. He further said that Sri Aurobindo has given a new scope to interpreting Indian culture through his monumental works, including Early Cultural Writings, Essays in Philosophy and Yoga, Vedic and Philological Studies, The Renaissance in India with A Defence of Indian Culture, and Letters on Poetry and Art. One of the unique features of Sri Aurobindo's Indian culture is the synthesis of the cultures of the east and west and the reviving hour of a new dawn.
Sri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry said that Sri Aurobindo, the yogi, seer, philosopher, poet, and Indian nationalist, propounded the philosophy of divine life on earth. He has given special emphasis on the divinity that would hasten the descent of the divine into earthly life and transform it a divine life. Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation of the Foundation of Indian Culture is based on the true spirit of Indian culture, the shapes and forms of tradition and continuity, its findings in science, creativity in art, poetry, and aesthetics, with special emphasis on the message of Sri Aurobindo, ‘India alone can preserve in its intricate truth and dynamic order.’
Smt. S. ChandiraPriyanga, Hon'ble Minister for Art & Culture, Government of Puducherry, graced the occasion as Chief Guest and said that It is really an auspicious occasion for all of us as the entire nation is celebrating the 150th year of the birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, the Indian nationalist, philosopher, and Yogi, who propounded divine life on earth. As a nationalist, Sri Aurobindo played an important role in Indian Revolutionary Movement, and from 1902 to 1910 he participated in the struggle to free India from the British. The Hon'ble Minister also said that Maharshi Aurobindo and MahakaviSubramania Bharati had a good relationship and their interaction added a new chapter in the history of India. Hon’ble Minister also told about the Tamil Heritage including culture, traditions, arts, and social platforms, which is a unique contribution to the world.
Mrs. Sunaina Mandeen, Co-Founder, PHF, PPF and PondyCAN, spoke about the glorious journey of the 9th edition of the Pondicherry Heritage Festival, which continues to celebrate the heritage of this extraordinary town and its environs, in all its aspects: Natural, Spiritual, Cultural and Architectural. Mrs. Sunaina Mandeen also discussed about the need for responsible tourism to address the following challenges that inevitably arise as a result of mindless tourism: littering, rises in crime, deterioration of authenticity, traffic congestion; exceeding the carrying capacity of an area’s infrastructure, and capitalising instead on the economic benefits, the preservation of natural areas, and the promotion of culture and heritage.In his work, The Renaissance in India with A Defence of Indian Culture,Sri Aurobindo has written that ‘A much greater diminution of the world’s riches would result from the disappearance of a distinctive Indian civilization, because the difference between its standpoint and that of European modernism is deeper, its spirit unique, and the rich mass and diversity of its thousand lines of inner experience a heritage that still India alone can preserve in its intricate truth and dynamic order.’
As part of the Symposium on Sri Aurobindo on Indian Cultural Heritage organized the completion of 75th year of India’s Independence, 150th year of the birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and Pondicherry Heritage Festival by AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society, eminent speakers shared their views, including Shri Lalit Verma, President Art Gallery, Puducherry (Sharing heritage); Dr.Beloo Mehra, Senior Academic Mentor, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry (Fundamentals of Sanatana Dharma in the Light of Sri Aurobindo); Ms. Lakshmi Jyoti, Freelance Consultant, Puducherry (Life and Spirituality : The Indian View) &Dr. Shruti Bidwaikar, Assistant Director, Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research, Puducherry (Unity in Indian Art).
Spirituality is the master key of the Indian mind. It is this dominant inclination of India which gives character to all the expressions of her culture. In fact, they have grown out of her inborn spiritual tendency of which her religion is a natural out flowering. The Indian mind has always realized that the Supreme is the Infinite and perceived that to the soul in Nature the Infinite must always present itself in an infinite variety of aspects. Sri Aurobindo