Chairman of Auroville Governing Board spoke at the three-day global summit on science, spirituality and human awakening at Unity Pavilion as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Aurobindo
impacts and a pandemic, Auroville is best positioned to spread the message of human unity to global mankind, R. N. Ravi, Tamil Nadu Governor and chairman of Auroville Foundation, said on Monday.
Addressing the opening session of the three-day global summit on science, spirituality and human awakening at Unity Pavilion as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Aurobindo, Mr. Ravi pointed to the state of crisis that “the world, and indeed, humanity was in, with people in conflict with the self, with others around, the community and the environment”.
“This spiralling conflict is taking a heavy toll with wars visible and invisible raging across the world in different forms — the climate crisis, melting glaciers, shrinking forests and the global pandemic”, he said.
According to Mr. Ravi, the expectation that the global pandemic would provide a lesson for mankind to return to a path of higher consciousness and compassion for sufferings of fellow beings, was belied by how some advanced countries that developed medicines and vaccine, took the crisis as a “mercantile”, money-making opportunity.
Recalling that Sri Aurobindo, who was agitated over the crisis of consciousness in mankind and led him to show the light of a higher awakening, Mr. Ravi felt that spirituality did not lend itself to the test of logic and reason that defines modern science, which emerged from the age of enlightenment in Europe. The grammar and vocabulary of science and spirituality are not alike, he noted.
While individuals are comprised of the physical, intellectual and the spiritual dimensions, it is at the highest and subtlest state of human consciousness that the mind can grasp the concept of universal oneness that Sri Aurobindo envisioned and the Vedas had expounded on, he said.
Some enlightened souls, through meditation and evolutionary processes and without intellectual effort, had evolved into an exalted mental state to see the unity of entire creation. Once the mind’s eye is opened to this oneness, all differences dissolve and all living forms share the same mother, he said. “If that sense comes at a subconscious level and without the application of logic and reason that is the stage of awakening and the final dimension of human consciousness”, he said.
Pointing out that Sri Aurobindo, in one his dreams had envisaged India sharing its spirituality as a gift to the world, Mr. Ravi said: “To disseminate this message we need to demonstrate it at this very place in Auroville where people from different parts of the world, various backgrounds, religion live together for a higher purpose and radiate that spirit of oneness to the rest of the world.”
He hoped that the scientists and spiritual leaders attending the summit would shed light on the way to achieve this goal.
Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, member of Auroville governing board, said the medical benefits of meditation such as improving concentration and productivity have been scientifically established. Meditation and chanting practice needs to be popularised among youth, she said.
Dena Merriam (US), Chair, Auroville Foundation International Advisory Council, said the sessions would explore, among other topics, the coming together of science and spiritual knowledge, working through scars individually and collectively and the role of love in the human awakening. “We have to work more consciously as a collective world community more than ever before to release the mindsets of the past”, she said.
Jayanti Ravi, Secretary, Auroville Foundation, also participated.