On August 16, 2023, Dr. Beloo Mehra was invited to give a talk based on Sri Aurobindo’s essays titled ‘A Rationalistic Critic on Indian Culture’. This event was organised at Unity Pavillion, Auroville as part of the Auroville’s celebration of Sri Aurobindo’s birthday. The focus of the 12-day-long celebration was on Sri Aurobindo’s First Dream of a United India.
Dr. Mehra first summarised the 6 essays by Sri Aurobindo, highlighting the key points from each. She brought out those essential ideas which have deeper connection with the work that needs to be done of realising unity within India. She remarked that while the essays were written originally to address the points raised by a ‘foreign’ Rationalistic Critic, one who was not Indian, today the Rationalistic Critic need not be a ‘foreign’ one, because essentially it is about a certain view of reality and existence – materialistic or spiritual – which determines how one looks at Indian culture and its unique aspects.
She also reminded the audience of the integral vision with which Sri Aurobindo, even when elaborating the deeply spiritual nature of Indian culture, brings to light several aspects which are not merely rational but supra-rational.