Wednesday, July 12, 2006


On Shakespeare Sarani in Calcutta, opposite where the British Council was earlier located, is the Sri Aurobindo centre. A large sign-board over the pavement in front of the centre displays a quote from Sri Aurobindo. For a long time, this said:

All problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony.

I don’t suppose one could get any deeper or more profound than that! As if, if there was just one thing to say to about life, then this is it.

Harmony – ultimately it’s a question of whether one wishes for harmony; so that, whatever else may happen or not happen, one can go on putting the onus of harmony on oneself. Harmony within, and harmony externally, until one’s whole being is simply harmony.

And of course there are those who choose to remain content with disharmony. This morning I received a mail from a gentlemen who wrote:

“Lack of freedom (and consequently lack of markets) is (a) policy that impedes development and causes poverty. The other is uncontrolled breeding - the balance between resources and people is what causes poverty. Until markets and a more sane attitude towards uncontrolled breeding is taken, I am afraid that all efforts towards poverty alleviation would be futzing around in the margins.”

It saddened me to read this. Because my study, work, experience and relations with those in poverty all say something else; and because the statement also says a lot about the person saying it – about his disharmony, which never fails to make me shudder and despair.

I have learnt the value of silence, and so instead of engaging in an argument, I prefer to remain quiet. What one thinks or says – really does not make any difference to the truth. The question is whether one has an aspiration for truth – rather than a desire to assert oneself, unmindful of what is obscured in one’s perception. The question is whether one reaches truth, as being. And when one does know truth, then one becomes silent, and the heart beats quietly, with compassion.

Painting: Harmony, abstract art hexagon oil painting, by Curtis Verdun


sophie said...

nice one

Karlo said...

I'd certainly agree that overpopulation is a key issue, although I don't share any of the writer's optimism over the omnipotency of markets. I think that moderns man's prior decisions, particularly the choice to abandon a sustainable lifestyle, has created a dilemma as we search for harmony. The system is already completely out of balance. We're no longer in a position of maintaining health but are rather in crisis mode, trying to keep the patient (the environment and modern society) from dying on the hospital bed.

Lucian D.Cismigiu said...

Hello Rama, thank for your posts, they really help me during some difficult days.

Anonymous said...

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Kozi Wolf said...

I read that internal harmony is kept when love and knowledge are equal.