The Role of Peter Heehs in the Archives??
Sri Aurobindo , Once wrote, while discouraging someone from writing his biography, that he did not want to be murdered in cold print by his disciples. That is exactly what has happened, under the lofty banner of ?Objectivity and Realism???
For a long time, it has been known, to the Archives members at least, that Peter?s attitude to Mother and Sri Aurobindo is at best dubious and very ambiguous. He has on many occasions expressed himself as not being a devotee. In fact he frankly and freely takes pride in his attitude of objectivity towards Sri Aurobindo. For the Mother, his attitude could be described as a shade of suppressed hostility. He has often enough denigrated the devotional attitude of Indians towards Mother and? Sri Aurobindo. At best , for him, they are remarkable human beings: no question of divinity, which is an immature, irrational attitude.
Now he has crossed all limits. His latest book, ?The Lives of Sri Aurobindo? has angered, outraged and revolted most ashramites who have had occasion to read the article in ?Auroville Today?. His book has been released in USA and is not available in India.
The absolute contradiction of calling himself ?a practitioner of the Integral Yoga? and? yet seeing nothing wrong in denigrating? his own gurus, is blatantly apparent to all, provided he agrees to be called a devotee!!!. Is it possible to be a practitioner of the Integral Yoga and yet not accept Sri Aurobindo as a guru?
Peter has been using all the materials and facilities (documents, originals, computers, Zerox, email and even the labour of the sadhaks working there) for his personal work. And all this for selfish, commercial use.? While the work of the COLLECTED WORKS OF SRI AUROBINDO, lies languishing for more than a decade, he is occupying himself with writing articles and books, going to conferences and holidays and the work of CWSA is likely to spill over to anything from five to ten years more. Those who have paid the full amount more than a decade ago, are waiting and complaining but it makes not the slightest difference to Peter, who glibly justifies the delay in a most cavalier fashion.
Although we have not yet read the book, the article and the review in ?Auroville Today? is enough to create the impression among the general public that the Ashram is encouraging, or at least permitting one of its own departments to denigrate, criticize and drag down Mother and Sri Aurobindo, not merely to an ordinary human level, but even below that!!!?? ?
We feel it is our duty to record our protest and strong disapproval, if not our utter disgust, at this development. A department of the Ashram pulling down Mother and Sri Aurobindo to a low level cannot be permitted to do so and immediate action is called for to ensure that such a thing is not possible in the future. It seems that he is already collecting materials on the Mother, for another possible book.
It may be pointed out that his own view of objectivity, broad-mindedness, catholicity, cannot be applicable in this case. An outsider writing ill of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo in newspapers, or other magazines can do so and we have the right of reply and rebuttal. But when one of our own members indulges in this sort of calumny (it is nothing short of that!!), the situation is totally different and we can certainly do something about it.
The spiritual life demands complete obedience, surrender and faith in the gurus. It is unthinkable to find fault with them, let alone rush into print about their alleged shortcomings. All pretence of ?wide-mindedness, freedom of speech, catholicity of views? becomes untenable in a spiritual life, where these relatively shallow values of an open society are not applicable.
Extremely private, confidential and sensitive material is at his disposal long before others, even in the Archives, have access to it. And he is using all these letters, diaries of sadhaks for his own personal commercial use. The availability of such sensitive documents to him must be put an end to.
In the life of any great man, let alone an Avatar, there is always something that is mundane, common and down to earth. The value of a life does not lie in these things. Rather one has to focus and see the highest achievements that? have contributed to mankind?s forward march. One does not discuss and emphasise the common elements, even if they are true.
A really perceptive biographer will enter the mansion that is Sri Aurobindo?s life and seek out the highest, open-to-sky terrace from where he can glimpse the infinity of a clear, star-lit firmament! He does not go down to the dirty cellar or look for a blockage in the sewage system so that he can gleefully and perversely report it to the world at large.
In his own words, he takes Sri Aurobindo?s yoga ?quite seriously?, not whole-heartedly or with full faith as any self-styled ?practitioner of the Integral Yoga? should do.
Why is it necessary for him to consider other critics? negative comments about Sri Aurobindo?s poetry? Why is it necessary to speak of the ?delusiveness? of Sri Aurobindo?s spiritual experiences?
Peter says Sri Aurobindo ?passed all (his) tests?. Is this an attitude of a sadhak or of an arrogant authority sitting in judgment over One, whose peon or menial servant Peter could not possibly be?
The repeated use of negative comments by others, clearly establishes his veiled antagonism, which he is passing off as ?objectivity, open-mindedness and catholicity?, which is not going to deceive even a child!!!
Action has become imperative and inaction will prove very costly. ?
???? [6:38 PM 6:48 PM]
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The Role of Peter Heehs in the Archives??