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By Gaurav Sharma
The well-rounded education Scholastic years
In the early phases of his childhood, Aurobindo was exposed to a typical English education encompassing elements of French, Latin and Greek thought processes and ways of working. Aurobindo also acquired a familiarity with Italian and German languages.
Besides secular education, Aurobindo was also subjected to particulars of religion. However, the Christian teachings that were propounded during his education generally bored him to the extent of repulsion.
Under the tutelage of Reverend W.H Drewett, Aurobindo developed a distaste and disgust for religion, viz-a viz the evangelical strictures.
At this juncture, the very thought of religion made his stomach churn so much that he considered himself as an atheist but later affirmed agnosticism.
After completing his academic education, Aurobindo took the Civil Service Exams in England, with an aim to fulfill his father’s aspirations. Coming out with flying colors, Aurobindo scored an impressive ranking of 11 out of 250 competitors.
His lack of interest in the profession, however, meant that he appeared intentionally late for the practical exam, thereby disqualifying himself from the service. Subsequently, he moved to India by securing a place in the Baroda State Service.
Professional struggle culminates into political rebellion
After working for the Survey and Settlement Department and serving the Department of Revenue and the Secretariat in Baroda for some years, Aurobindo undertook a variety of miscellaneous jobs like teaching grammar, writing speeches for the Maharaja, teaching part-time French and managing schools.
Apart from teaching students, Aurobindo taught himself Sanskrit and Bengal. Writing was also one of the multifarious talents that Aurobindo harbored and put into great use. At the nascent stage, Aurobindo contributed articles to the Indu Prakash, a Marathi-English daily of Bombay, but later expanded his writings through self-started journals and papers.
Soon, Aurobindo became deeply interested in the freedom struggle of India, becoming one of the pioneering leaders in India’s fight for independence.
With a burning patriotic desire in his heart, Aurobindo started taking interest in politics and became actively engaged in underground political activities. He was already influenced by the study of revolutionary ideas (revolts in America and Italy), which expounded rebellion to overthrow colonial rule.
Before embracing extremism in toto, Aurobindo participated as a convener in forming the principles of Swadeshi, Swaraj, Boycott and National Education.
A meeting with extremist leaders, such as Lokmanya Tilak, however, made Aurobindo question his views on the methods required to guarantee India’s freedom.
He started organizing various resistance groups in Bengal and also funded the military training of Jatindra Nath Banerjee. Travelling extensively to Bombay, Baroda and Pune, Aurobindo beefed-up the support for the nationalist cause by meeting various other groups and organizing nationalist speeches.
The “visit” of Swami Vivekananda sparks a spiritual evolution
A year later in 1908, the bombing in Alipore led to the incarceration of Aurobindo. While in solitary confinement, Aurobindo witnessed a mystical experience in which he was “visited” by Vivekananda.
“It is a fact that I was hearing constantly the voice of Vivekananda speaking to me for a fortnight in my solitary meditation and felt his presence,” Aurobindo is known to have remarked on his experience in Alipore jail.
After being released from prison, Aurobindo started two new publications ‘Karmayogin’ in English and ‘Dharma’ in Bengali.
‘To my Countrymen,’ an article published in ‘Karmayogin’ specified Aurobindo’s retirement from political life and signaled his ascent into spiritual life.
He soon moved to Pondicherry and immersed himself in the reclusive practice of Yoga. After intense and secluded application of Yoga practice, Aurobindo started a philosophical magazine called ‘Arya.’
The publication, which ceased operation in 1921, was revised and eventually transformed into book form. This included a rich corpus of philosophical and experiential knowledge in the form of The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on The Gita, The Secret of The Veda, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, The Upanishads, The Renaissance in India, War and Self-determination, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity and The Future Poetry.
A humanistic view of Spirituality
Aurobindo vision of spirituality was grounded in the concept of unity of humanity. He challenged the theory of evolution by highlighting its limited scope of reason and arguing that life was already present in matter.
In his book, The Ideal of Human Unity, Aurobindo explained how humanity could be united.
According to Aurobindo, national egoism in the name of patriotism was the major reason for division of people and propelling of wars.
Commercially driven nations were most likely to conflict again over control of markets and wealth. He pointed out that unrestricted commercialization would inevitably lead to “stupendous military organizations” and unbridled hunger for power.
The spiritual stalwart unabashedly summed up modern war as “the bastard offspring of wealth-hunger and commercialism with political ambition as its putative father.”
The only way the world could survive was by realizing the “religion of humanity.” Violence could be stymied when people transcended the commercial interests by using a spiritual motive to subordinate their political and economic objectives.
The sacredness of life, irrespective of the distinctions of caste, color, creed, religion, social advancement, political affiliations and national boundaries would be the prime uniting factor for humanity.
“Supra-natural” oneness was to be the plank on which a peaceful human society was to be built. The spiritual effects would not only transform the physical, psychic, intellectual and the ethical aspects of an individual, but would lead to a “super-conscious” society and culture.
The religio-spiritual fervor of Aurobindo cascaded beyond the narrow limiting boundaries invented by man, embracing the whole humanity into its widespread, loving arms.
Perhaps, Aurobindo holds the anodyne for uniting the apparently diverse populace that characterizes democratic nations in the globalized world today.
Actress Urvashi Rautela has recently announced the name of her next film which is titled 'Dil Hai Gray'. It's a Hindi remake of Tamil film 'Thiruttu Payale 2'. Urvashi Rautela will be seen alongside Vineet Kumar Singh and Akshay Oberoi.
Urvashi shares: "I am excited to announce the title of my next film 'Dil Hai Gray' on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami. The film is very close to my heart and it was lovely working with director Susi Ganeshan sir, producer M Ramesh Reddy sir, and my co-stars Vineet Kumar Singh and Akshay Oberoi. "
"The film has created a massive response in the south industry and I am very positive about the story that it will be also be loved by the audience here. I hope my fans would bless us with their love and support. Super excited to watch my film on the big screen after a long time," she concludes. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: urvashi rautela, movies, bollywood, south, remake, film
China's CoronaVac and Sinopharm Covid vaccines may be waning in immunity levels, several studies have shown. CoronaVac and Sinopharm -- both inactivated vaccines, which use killed SARS-CoV-2 virus -- account for almost 50 per cent of the 7.3 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered globally. China administered about 2.4 billion doses of the vaccines to its citizens, but almost one billion doses have gone to 110 other countries, particularly the less wealthy nations, Nature reported.
However, many countries, including Seychelles and Indonesia, which used the vaccines reported Covid-19 surges earlier this year, sparking a debate about their waning protection and the need for boosters. "These are not bad vaccines. They're just vaccines that haven't been optimised yet," Gagandeep Kang, a virologist at the Christian Medical College in India's Vellore, who advises SAGE, was quoted as saying. After receiving a second dose of CoronaVac, only 60 per cent had high levels of neutralising antibodies one month, compared to with 86 per cent of those who had received two shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, revealed a study of 185 health-care workers in Thailand, not yet peer-reviewed.
China's CoronaVac and Sinopharm Covid vaccines may be waning in immunity levels, several studies have shown. | Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash
After three months, the antibody prevalence dropped to just 12 per cent in the same group, Opass Putcharoen, an infectious-diseases specialist at the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases Clinical Center in Bangkok, was quoted as saying. However, "waning of antibodies isn't necessarily the same as waning of immune protection", noted Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong.
CoronaVac induces a significantly lower antibody response compared with Pfizer-BioNTech's mRNA jab one month after two doses, however, the T-cell response was comparable, showed a study from Hong Kong, also not peer-reviewed. Vaccines made using other technologies have seen a similar trend of waning antibodies and protection against infection, but more-robust protection against severe disease and death. But researchers say that because the Chinese inactivated vaccines start at a lower base of neutralising antibodies, the protection they offer could drop faster than those with a stronger head start, the Nature report said.
However, a drop in protection can prove deadly for the elderly. An analysis of about one million people, hospitalised with Covid-19 in Brazil, showed that CoronaVac offered up to 60 per cent protection against severe disease up to the age of 79. But in people over 80, CoronaVac was only 30 per cent effective at preventing severe disease and 45 per cent effective against death. As a result, several countries, including Chile, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and China, are giving booster jabs of mRNA or viral-vector vaccine to people who received the CoronaVac or Sinopharm vaccines, the report said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: antibodies, waning, coronavac, protection, vaccines
By Devina Kaur
Everything in life is temporary. The only constant in life is change itself. That is a reality that we cannot deny. The beauty of this fact is that it allows us to confront our fears, trust the magic of the moment, and enjoy the precious gift of life. What lasts forever is our true self -- the real you -- the person you were born to be. If you feel stuck, trapped, boring or insecure -- acknowledge yourself, find yourself and who you really are on the inside. Your shiny sexy brilliant self is there. It's been there all along. You just need to unveil it.
It's a very common question to ask: "Who am I?" and it's not an easy question to answer. We might be able to give a definition of ourselves, like professional or student, or that we're introverts or extroverts but this doesn't really represent our true selves. We might also try to describe our best qualities and say that we're kind and smart but again, these qualities only indicate the surface level of who we really are.
It's a very common question to ask: "Who am I?" and it's not an easy question to answer. | Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash
To find out who we truly are, we need to delve deeper and create something that is uniquely ours. So instead of answering the question about who we are from society's perspective or what traits define us, it is better to answer by showing examples of what makes us the person that we are on our own.
A tree is perfectly content being a tree. It doesn't think about becoming a chair or a birdhouse. Yet it knows how to be what it truly is. Trusting in your own true nature is sexy, brilliant, and way more fun than any comparison game because it builds beyond the temporary.
Here are 3 ways to overcome temporariness:
*Invest in yourself
The most challenging thing in life is to unleash your potential, open your heart and shine. Start now by doing one thing 100 per cent for yourself -- spend time in inner development, learn a new skill, do something you have been dreaming of for a long time, or go somewhere nice and take a photo of yourself, really look at yourself in the mirror. Then look straight into the eyes of the person you see in the mirror and tap into your innermost desires with a promise to yourself that you will not stop until you have achieved your dreams and wishes. Focus on your career, be willing to be flexible with your time and desires and allow your needs and passions to change over time.
Focus on your career, be willing to be flexible with your time and desires and allow your needs and passions to change over time. | | Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
*Discover your true self
Discovering your true self is not easy. To do this, introspection is required. There are many ways that you can take the time to explore who you are, but it is important to find your passion and drive. Spend time being still and silent and using that time to get to know who you are. Once you know who you are, you can then practice radical self-acceptance. Through self-acceptance, we can have more self-love for ourselves. I have been lucky enough to know and love as my true self for so long. I have found the journey this year to be more meaningful than any other year in my life because it has given me the chance to explore who I am and what I am really passionate about. Don't forget to practice self-care and health, set boundaries, start knowing and accepting yourself, as self-acceptance leads to more self-love.
Spend time being still and silent and using that time to get to know who you are. | Photo by Taisiia Stupak on Unsplash
* Be kind to yourself: People often neglect themselves and fixate on their imperfections. This can lead to low self-esteem, self-doubt, and other negative thoughts that worsen the mental and spiritual senses. It is important that we maintain our own well-being even if it means doing things that we might not enjoy or feel like doing at first. This includes eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, spending time outside in nature, reading a book, etc. I connect to the Earth and embrace my inner child by walking barefoot whenever I can. When you reach a stage of youth, you start to gain a clear vision of how you want your future to be like.
It is important that we maintain our own well-being even if it means doing things that we might not enjoy or feel like doing at first. | Photo by A A on Unsplash
The most successful people are the ones willing to learn new skills and unlearn their old conditioning! Don't forget to practice self-care and health and set boundaries. It starts with self-knowledge and self-acceptance, as self-acceptance can lead to more love. Remember that the journey to self-love is love itself. Your life has just begun, if you make the most out of it, your personal development becomes the best version of itself. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: development, nature, person, practice, yourself, acceptance