Sri Aurobindo – The Kavi: Exploring Sri Aurobindo’s Vision of Poet, Poetry, Poetics and Poetic Criticism
The second webinar of the 12-part webinar series being organised as part of celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo was conducted on the 30th and 31st of October. The topic was ‘Sri Aurobindo – The Kavi (Exploring Sri Aurobindo’s vision on poets, poetry, poetics and poetic criticism). The event was presided over by Dr. R.Y Deshpande (Scientist, Author, Researcher, Poet and ardent devotee of Sri Aurobindo and The mother). The event had a keynote speech session by professor Goutam Ghosal (Department of English, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan) followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Ramaswami Subramony (Associate professor and head of English at the Madura college) and Dr. Debapriya Goswami (Assistant professor of English at the centre for language and communication, NSHM) as panellists and moderated by Dr Sarani Ghosal Mondal (Associate professor and head of English at National institute of technology, Goa).
The webinar focused on the importance of looking at Sri Aurobindo’s entire literary work to understand Sri Aurobindo, the poet. Sri Aurobindo’s ‘The Future Poetry’ and ‘Savitri’ were prominently referred to during the deliberations. The keynote gave a glimpse into Sri Aurobindo’s poetry vs his contemporaries highlighting that Sri Aurobindo wrote from his experience and that there was something that was supporting him beyond intellect and language. Some other key points that we made as part of the keynote were that Sri Aurobindo placed poetry at the center of knowledge – as the divine Agni which purifies consciousness and that Sri Aurobindo thought of himself primarily as a poet and a politician.
In the panel discussion, Dr Sarani gave insights into Sri Aurobindo’s life as a poet with quotes from some of Sri Aurobindo’s poems and his contemporaries. She also highlighted that Savatri has all the 9 rasas and that we can also see humour and peace in his poetry. Dr Ramaswami added details about Sri Aurobindo’s works of translation of south Indian Bhakti poets. Dr Debapriya spoke of the controversies and politics around Sri Aurobindo, the poet and his poetry. She gave us insights into Sri Aurobindo’s critics and the kind of severe criticism that he had to face as a poet.
In his presidential remark, Dr R.Y.Deshpande, mentioned that 8 of the 36 volumes from the complete works of Sri Aurobindo is poetry and iterated the importance of preparing oneself before starting to read and comprehend Sri Aurobindo’s works. He also added that it is imperative that there should be more awareness of Sri Aurobindo’s works in the Indian education system and that we should now focus on applying Sri Aurobindo’s vision in our lives.
CLICK HERE to read the Media Coverage of the Event.