Saturday, October 18, 2008

All of you all along knew all about this book but slept over it

18. 09. 08 To
The Board of Trustees
Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust
Pondicherry 605 002
Sub :: Banish Peter Heehs, this is imperative

The Mother categorically stated that it is not necessary at all to write about Sri Aurobindo's Life after 1910 i.e., after his voyage to Pondicherry, the passage to Inconscient.

Here is the extract from Mother's Agenda dtd 10.03.71, vol-XII, p. 66:
This was in relation to an attempt of a disciple who wanted to ‘finish’ the book, ‘ The Life of Sri Aurobindo’ by Rishabhchand, in fact which was a complete biography , titled “ Sri Aurobindo His Life Unique”.
Rishabhchand dealt in that book, upto 1901, the year in which Sri Aurobindo comes to Pondicherry
{04 April 1910}.
That's enough. There's no need to add anything, just a note – a sentence or two will do. There's nothing to say about his life here.... Basically no one really knows the life he led here. I am afraid they'll write a lot of nonsense. I would prefer that nothing be said – they can say he retired to Pondicherry to lead the life of Yoga and henceforth only that mattered, and it's better not to speak of it.
That's all.
It doesn't have to be lengthy: just a chapter to close the series, to say that his life in Pondicherry was exclusively taken up with Yoga and that he wrote what he wanted to say, and onsequently there's nothing more to add.
We have everything he wrote, and it's much better than anything we can say about it.

It was not a biography in the sense a biography is understood and authored, Rishabhchand just gave an account of external events, letters & replies, co-relation of circumstances, involvement and retirement of Sri Aurobindo from politics qua freedom struggle of India.

Rishabhchand did not make an attempt to draw any biography of Sri Aurobindo, since he knew and followed the words of Sri Aurobindo in this regard (On Himself, under the heading “Sri Aurobindo and His Biographarers” published by SAAT ):
It would be only myself who could speak of things in my past giving them their true form and significance.
* * * * * * * * * *
I see that you have persisted in giving a biography – Is it really necessary or useful ? The attempt is bound to be a failure, because neither you nor anyone else knows anything at all of my life ; it has not been on the surface for men to see.


The biography of Sri Aurobindo is written in his spiritual autobiography :
A miracle of the Absolute was born,
Infinity put on a finite soul,
All ocean lived within a wandering drop,
A time-made body housed the Illimitable
Savitri p.101

Now, the mother of mutilation of works of Sri Aurobindo in the name of critically-editing posthumously, has authored a biography of Sri Aurobindo, interesting the title is : “ The Lives of Sri Aurobindo” , where Peter Heehs has described Sri Aurobindo as “an extraordinary complex individual” , published in May 2008, from Columbia University Press, USA, 528 pages, $45.
It told about that author :
Peter Heehs was born and educated in the US but has lived in India since 1971. One of the founders of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, he is currently a member of the editorial board of the complete works of Sri Aurobindo, and has published many books and articles.

Thus authority of Peter is established, which you all have slowly and gradually allowed him to acquire and establish, and now acclaimed through out the world. He has opened an web site: http://peterheehs.com where all his books are available, save and except the California Talk, 1998, - where PH openly admitted the way he critically edited ( his own coinage and invention) writings of Sri Aurobindo, naturally which were not in terms of final manuscript . Would you tell us :
  • Did PH took any permission before writing this book, or at least before publishing the book ?
  • Did you gone through the manuscript of this book of PH before publishing the book ?
  • Does any ashramite totally free to publish any book on or about ashram / Sri Aurobindo / The Mother, from any where in the world and earn profit ?

Rome was not build in a single day, so PH has also not been able to reach such a point overnight, he started his journey long back, about twenty years – the first book he wrote in 1987, derogating and seriously undermining Sri Aurobindo , “The Freedom Struggle of India” – where he maintained that contribution of Sri Aurobindo in the freedom struggle of India was most minimal , name of Sri Aurobindo was mentioned as passing reference in two places only in that book – whereas Sri Aurobindo was the Prometheus and freedom was bestowed upon India for fulfillment of His yoga, as India is the cradle of Supramental manifestation on earth.

All of you all along knew all about this book but slept over for the reasons best known to the Board of Trustees. There was no sign of awaking from purposive slumber inspite of expression of strong annoyance of devotees through out and even a strong letter dtd. 07.07.87 by Pranab Bhattacharya did not bring any result , most relevant excerpt of which runs as follows :

Peter is an ashramite, eating ashram food, staying here on ashram expenses and enjoying all its facilities. He also poses to be a disciple of Sri Aurobindo, and an authority on Sri Aurobindo’s life and work. This thing was not expected from him at all … This can not be tolerated …
Judas betrayed Chirst for thirty pieces of silver and Peter has betrayed Sri Aurobindo for twenty thousand rupees.

Had you had expelled Peter in 1987, Savitri would not have been mutilated in 1993, collected works of Sri Aurobindo would not have been tampered, material marked by Sri Aurobindo as “Not to be published ” would not have been published, crores of rupees would not have been wasted in litigation, ashram would not haven divided into pieces and collected life of ashram would not have been converted into a life of conflict. The soul of ashram, naturally, has not accepted the mutilated edition, posthumously edited critically, and thus ashram is today maintaining two web sites, parallely , under the same and title , viz , http://www.sriaurobindoashram.com/ and http://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/ All the original books of Sri Aurobindo are available in the first web site and posthumous-critical-editions of mutilated writings of Sri Aurobindo are available in the second web site.

JKM (Jugalda) wrote two letters to authorities dtd. 15.06.86 and 22.07.87, typed out running about 30 pages – with all meticulous particulars and all authentic references categorically exposing PH and clearly indicating his intentions, dealing with the serial articles which were published in Archives & Research Journal, authored by PH on behalf of Ashram and in the name of Ashram, those are matters of public record, with regret. Sri Aurobindo was depicted there as a hypocrite, liar and coward who banished himself in self-exile at Pondicherry for his own safety leaving his people & motherland , and naturally can not be having any iota of contribution for freedom of India, though Sri Aurobindo loudly shouted for a couple of years.

Had you had then banished PH and shut down the department , viz, “Archive and Researches” - the incubation of mutilation would not have been created. The Department, Archives, was created in 1974, some time thereafter, without any approval by resolution in Trust Board Meeting, that hade been converted into “Archive and Researches” by the white American Christians and today’s biography of PH is a perverted product of the researches, the discovery into Sri Aurobindo of a “complex personality” .

Just as a representative example, please mark the language, tenor and expression used in that book by PH – “ The Aurobindo interests me is one who was able to write a shelf-full of books.” As if there is no value of the writings of Sri Aurobindo, those are only self of books – like journals and magazines. Sri Aurobindo had nothing to do , so he wrote and wrote. We get it from Correspondence, as recorded by Nirodbaran that Sri Aurobindo wrote him that about ten percent of what he knew, had been written – just that which are essential for His yoga. Take a few lines of a letter of Tagore dtd. 30.11.1919 about Sri Aurobindo:

I positively know that he is a great man, one of the greatest we have…
What I myself feel for him is not mere admiration but reverence for his depth of spirituality, his largness of vision and his literary gifts, extraordinary in imaginative insight and expression. … I still repeat my Namaskar …

The question of the Hour:

  • For what reason; for what consideration; for what purpose you trustees are maintaining PH in ashram , till retaining him as an ashramite? !
  • Why PH has not yet been banished for blasphemy - persistence and deliberate blasphemy (blasphemy is an understatement in this context) ?

Are you waiting, till the world read this book of sacrilege and holds the opinion that this is most authentic account of lives of Aravinda Ackroyd Ghose or for another novel by PH to come, with the title : ‘Our bodies need each other in the same lust’ – the line PH strove to bring in critically edited Savitri but failed while now treated as an alternative reading – indicating with and punctuated by suggesting physical relations between Sri Aurobindo and The Mother !

There can not be any doubt /argument that had PH had done all these acts of profane, maintained all such anti-aurobindo character , wrote all these blasphemous articles and books during the time when Sri Aurobindo was in physical body, he would not retained PH in ashram but kicked PH out for ever – then why not trustees of SAAT would not do the same thing. Spiritually, legally and morally, the trustees of Sri Aurobindo ashram Trust are integrally bound to do all the things in toto , in terms of desire and dignity of Sri Aurobindo. If this is not trust accountability , then what else !

Many renowned, concerned and responsible inmates , like, Dr. Alok Pandey, Ranghanathan, Anand Reddy, Kittu Reddy and others have raised the representative voice of protest of the disciples and devotees of Sri Aurobindo, demanding banishment of but till date no action has been taken against PH, by trustees of SAAT.
Your maintaining silence is acquiescence and approval – And thus, in tern, making you equable liable, please do note.

Peter Heehs has to be banished – this is imperative – so do pass an Order of expulsion of PH, stating the reasons of blasphemy, anti-aurobindo activity and profane, publish such Order in official web site of ashram, in addition to publishing in all Ashram Bulletin /Journals /Magazines – put in Notice Board obviously for months and this decision is to remain in effect for ever.

This is not all , you have to withdraw the permission granted to PH which is submitted in the Home Ministry for stay in India – that has to be withdrawn perpetually with a request to the Ministry to black list PH in India for ever.
with kind regards
bijan ghosh
Enclosed : Letters of JKM dtd. 15.06.86 and 22.06.87 respectively
Letter of Pranab Bhattacharya dtd. 07.07.87

contd….. next page

The Board of Trustees
Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust
Pondicherry 605 002
Sub :: Reminder to “Banish Peter Heehs, this is imperative” dtd. 18.09.08
Respected Trustees,
We came to know from ashram sources that there was a meeting of trustees held in the Grace office on 21.09.08 – while four trustees unanimously decided to expel Peter Heehs, and a draft resolution was drawn to that effect while Trustee Manoj Das Gupta, appeared and disapproved the whole thing, and thus the unanimous majority decision of trustees, four to five – failed.

We also came to know that PH obtained written permission from MDG, before publishing his book and for using archival material in his book. Earlier MDG gave such a damaging permission – that too, dispensing with any resolution of the BoT meeting – to one Arun Sil for publishing a Bengali Translation of Savitri – the cover page of which, may be called a ‘spiritual pornography’ – a stark nude woman with unkempt hair sitting on an altar in stooped down head, had been described as “Savitri in meditation”. It was a grossly sickening repulsive translation – apart from obnoxious presentation.

We failed to understand what is the interest of MDG, that self styled Managing Trustee – to retain PH in ashram, inspite of PH has been causing so many damages to Sri Aurobindo and his ashram. Pertinent to mention that the Trust Deed does not recognise any such Managing Trustee, and for this purpose MGD used to sign in court-papers and Income Tax related papers as a Trustee only, like any other trustees. Sometimes he signs also , as “authorised signatory”. Naturally a Managing Trustee cannot be an “authorised signatory” – since he authorises others to sign on his behalf. It is as simple as that, which MDG, as usual, utterly fails to understand.

The whole ashram, we mean of course, the concern and conscious inmates – not the innumerate inmates, who are the majority today, - are demanding banishment of PH from the soul of ashram and the soil of India , vis-à-vis the non-residential inmates of ashrams, who are named as devotees, have also made the same demand - which is quite natural and the only solution left. But for MDG – it has not yet been possible – while admittedly, MDG is not the BoT, he is not the Ashram, he is not the deputy of Sri Aurobindo, he is not the Leader spiritually or the Role Model of the inmates community.

So, if personal interest of MGD, one of the Trustees, is so big a stumbling block - then let MDG too quit ashram for the sake of Sri Aurobindo, in the total interest of the ashram and for restoration of the Supramental yoga .

with regards to four trustees and true sadhaks,
{ bijan ghosh } 01.10.08 Sri Aurobindo Ashram ought to expel Peter Heehs

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