I whole heartedly agree with the observations of Anurag Banerjee. I am quite familiar with the writings of Peter Heehs, which follows the dry letter of scholarship, not its rich spirit.
I wonder why he tends to dismiss works of other authors and biographers of Sri Aurobindo as hagiography, unscholarly and superficial, while claiming to be objective, scrupulous and factual himself.
Nobody can dispute the fact that whatever little we know of the Guru as a human being is because of people like Nirodbaran, one of Sri Auronindo’s closest disciples, whom he served for 12 years as physician, personal attendant and literary secretary. Surely their contribution cannot be dismissed or belittled so easily.
Writers like the late Satprem, Roy Posner and Georges Van Vrekhem have a far deeper and more comprehensive grasp of a complex subject like Sri Auronindo. In fact, a single para of Posner conveys more about the Guru than an entire chapter written by Heehs.
A quote that once appeared in the Reader’s Digest said there are two kinds of great men—-one who feels great by devaluing others and another who feels uplifted by doing the reverse. Perhaps Heehs belongs to the first categorty
Many scholars also dispute the avatarhood of Krishna and Christ by the same logic that Heehs applies to Sri Aurobindo. So why does he leave out the first two and target the subject of his ‘biography,’ describing him as an ordinary being..
What Heehs has been doing is to divest the Master of his greatness and make him seem rather common place. While his scholarship might pass muster, his intentions are suspect. Heehs is utilising it as a tool to villify the greatest spiritual giant of our age. I would advise him go through a serious introspection