Monday, November 24, 2008

A look as inspiring as Sri Aurobindo

from Prithwin Mukherjee <> to
date 24 November 2008 14:56 subject Portraits

Bhâi Tusar, I choose this special day to send you an anecdote.

In the 60s we had several interesting friends in Rome. There was a couple among them : Angela was an actress, with a graceful yet robust Latin structure; her husband Rufus was an American poet, descendant of the English court-stenographer Goodwin (200 words per minute) who had been appointed to note down Swâmi Vivekânanda's sayings. Rufus, a disciple of Rudolph Steiner and follower of the anthroposophic disciplines, desperately wished Angela to share with him his convictions. One evening, in presence of friends, the dispute of the couple became eloquent. Angela burst out in tears and sobbed : "If at least Steiner had a look as inspiring as Sri Aurobindo!"

On looking at an earlier publication by Peter Heehs, what shocked me instinctively was the portrait of Sri Aurobindo painted on the cover; I thought that the author had Socrates in mind and wanted to prove wisdom to be necessarily associated with ugliness or hideousness. Now, on going through Peter's highfaluting discourse on the Master's photos, I discover (don't we have acquired the licence of dallying with psychoanalysis?) a complex of inferiority shooting out of his awareness of his own "handsome" face.

Kind regards. Dr Prithwindra Mukherjee, Paris

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