Monday, November 30, 2009

Honestly, it’s almost a cult. Scratch that, it’s totally a cult

இந்தியா India is my chosen battleground, but the longer I’m here the more I wonder if perhaps, despite my plotting to avoid fate, India has chosen me. November 29, 2009
ஆரோவிள்ளே [auroville]

Apparently, perfect places do exist. Apparently, I’ve been to one. The thing is, Auroville struck me as the single strangest place in the world. I’m not really sure where to start with it, so I’ll turn it over the city’s mission statement:
"Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity."
The city was founded by a figure known as “The Mother,” a central spiritual figure in Pondicherry whose ashrams and ideas have spread throughout the world. It’s over 4,000 acres of hugely undeveloped wilderness on the outskirts of Pondicherry, with a population capacity of 50,000 people, though the populace currently numbers only 2,007.

Its residents renounce all politics, nationality, and religion, choosing instead a peaceful, hardworking (?) lifestyle. Many volunteer at schools or conduct research, and all garden. Daily all inhabitants gather to meditate around a huge gold-plated sphere (see picture) that contains a 70 cm crystal sphere through which sunlight falls, representing “future realizations”. The Mother meditated that the center of the city as where a huge Banyan tree lies.
Usually visitors are allowed to approach the huge dome, but as we visited on a Sunday, we had no such luck. My host mom does know an Indian woman living in a cottage in Auroville with her Danish companion though, so we snuck in a back gate and went to her house, where she treated us to homegrown tea, biscuits, and gave my host sister and me each a new selvar to be stitched.

She showed us some things unique to Auroville such as playing The Mother’s mantras for water to purify it before drinking and denouncing marriage (though not partnerships). Her house had a country cabin feel, almost like a cabin you might rent for the summer on Cape Cod, but was equipped with broadband, satellite tv, and a microwave. Strangely, the idea of “equality for all” that Auroville preaches doesn’t seem to prevent its residents from keeping servants.

Honestly, it’s almost a cult. Scratch that, it’s totally a cult. Forgive me (I just saw 2012), but you can’t help but wonder about this place. Everyone you meet has watery eyes and a huge smile on their face and greets you in whatever language seems to strike their fancy. From what I saw of it, it’s almost like a huge, permanent, UNESCO-endorsed Woodstock.
Anyway, I was given the offer from the Coimbatorian we visited to come back and stay for a week anytime, and I’m considering taking her up on it. Might make for an interesting visit, no?

I’m not sure exactly how to define a “perfect city,” but I guess that Auroville in theory, does a decent, if communist, job of it. You hand over your assets to the city upon joining, help your neighbors, are friendly to all, and live off the earth. Still though, the end of the walking tour of Auroville dumped us right into a gift shop with prices on homemade paper, organic tea, and pottery that would raise eyebrows anywhere.
Ah, how capital prevails. Posted by Rianna ♥ at 3:55 PM Please send all fan mail to: Rianna Starheim108 Appusamy Layout Red Fields Coimbatore, INDIA 641045

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ashram and outside

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Barin Ghose, Dilip Kumar Roy, and Anna Bogenholm S...":

I don't think that is Raman Reddy's intention. He is not at all suggesting that the Ashram is sole space for Integral Yoga. He is simply stating the difficulties of this path especially when we are unwilling to surrender or have trust in the leading. This is a common problem of those whose physical mind is very active and Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have refered to this several times. The examples culled out may be in the Ashram contexty because there they appear glaring, thats all.

Besides it is one thing to be outside and do the yoga without direct reference to the Ashram and quite another to join the Ashram and leave it unable to bear the pressure to change. So the thesis is still largely true for those who have chosen to practice the Yoga as part of the Ashram. Posted by Anonymous to Aurora Mirabilis at 11:25 PM, November 28, 2009

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Sri Aurobindo is more often quoted than read":

Those who read do not pray. Those who pray do not read. Sad state indeed. Time for Savitri Era Learning Forum to step in with some counselling. Posted by Anonymous to Savitri Era at 5:02 AM, November 23, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sujata tells a story

A Vision of Sujata Nahar

Translated by

Anurag Banerjee

[Translator's note: In 1995, Sujata Nahar's younger sisters Sumitra and Suprabha had gone to visit her at her residence in Kotagiri. One day, they requested Sujata to tell them a story. What follows is the translated version of the transcript of the recording of the story she had narrated in Bengali. The italicized words are those which she had spoken originally in English. The vision was of an ancient legend of the Vedic era which she had witnessed. It is rather noteworthy because it provides us with the assurance that if we plunge deep into matter, the 'riddle of death' can be solved and the 'secret of immortality' can be found. The vision echoes Sujata's revealing words: 'The hymns of the Veda are the triumph songs of the soul's battle in Matter, and its victory.']

—Tell us another story.

Sujata Nahar: So you want to listen to another story? Well, I don't know whether what I'm going to narrate was a story or a real-life incident. As you know, I wake up quite early when the night is still dark. In the clear sky I see many stars, constellations and planets; then I move here and there for my work and I witness how the sky gradually gets illuminated with the sun-rays. It reminds me of a line from Rabindranath Tagore's poetry—Dawn came and opened the gates of the East—do you remember it? When the cowshed is opened, I see how the glimmer of the light descends, the Sun-God himself comes to cleanse the path of darkness with the poetry of light. Then the cows go out to graze, the birds sing and after awakening from their slumber they talk for a while amongst themselves and then leave in quest for food. At least this is what I behold here. Then comes the Sun-God in his chariot—he changes his outfits daily just like us—sometimes he wears red and sometimes pink. So I witness his change of attire and colours every day.
One day what happened was: I observed that the darkness was not dispelling at all. Sometimes when the sky is cloudy darkness does exist in the region but this time it appeared to be rather dense, it looked precisely like night. One or two birds called out when they thought that dawn had arrived but they too ceased after a while. “What happened?” I wondered. The clock indicated that it was pretty late. Then what did go wrong? The entire day was spent like that and I must say that I have never seen such a deep night-like darkness because even when the sky is cloudy...

—There remains a little light.

Sujata Nahar: Yes, the difference between day and night can be understood. I was unable to comprehend what could have happened. And I was feeling a bit uneasy as well. It is difficult to grasp that particular feeling. That night also I was quite restless. Then probably I had gone to sleep; the body was on the bed while I had gone somewhere else. This happens quite often, I leave the body for some different adventures.
I saw a young paragon of beauty sobbing inconsolably. What happened to her? Then I saw people rushing towards her from the four corners. By the time I had gone there many incidents had occurred and those were revealed to me like the flashback of a movie.
Usha, the Dawn, had gone as usual to open her cowshed when she noticed that the door was already open. She was taken aback a bit. When she went forward and opened the doors wide she saw that the cowshed was empty, not a single cow was there. “Where did my cattle go?” she wondered. Then she thought of calling the Sun, her elder brother, and ask him about the whereabouts of the cattle but when she called him, there was no response. Someone had abducted the Sun as well. Usha's wail made the other gods and goddesses come rushing to her; they wondered what could have happened to Usha whose face was ever-smiling and heart always full of joy! Saraswati came, Sarama came, Lila came and so did all the goddesses. And from the other side came rushing to her, her brothers Indra, the Aswins, Agni, the Moon and all the other gods who rallied around Usha and understood what exactly had occurred. They realized that the cattle-stealers were none other than the Dasyus [robbers]—I'm unable to recall their names—so now they would have to go to the land of the robbers. “But how to go there?” they wondered because the path to their land was unimaginably perilous. They thought of approaching the Night and to please her. The Night happens to be Usha's elder sister (I think I have heard that there is a sutra in the Vedas known as the Ratri-sutra). But who would lead the way because the path is unknown to all? Then arrived Sarama—whom we address as Helen in English mythology—(it's from Sarama that the word sarameya [meaning dog] has come). So she led the way and was followed by Indra, the King of gods.

—The Chief of Gods.

Sujata Nahar: Yes, the chief. First went Indra, the Chieftain of the gods, followed by Agni who was like a priest—like what we call Purodha. But despite this arrangement, they felt that the presence of humans was required. The chiefs of the humans were the Angirasa Rishis; some say there are nine of them some say seven; they are called Angirasa because they took birth from fire just like us. The Nahars were born from the Fire. So they moved through that path of darkness. Sometimes they had to travel through several kingdoms from where at times someone came to offer some help and appeared as foes. By crossing several hurdles they continued to advance slowly. Then the Night too left the gods in the middle of the way for she was apprehensive that Sarama would supersede her. Hence she moved away and Sarama led the gods. At times the road was so narrow and steep that if one missed a step he would be gone for ever. But the Moon was with them, he made the gods drink soma-rasa because no food was available in those places and despite the fact that the gods were gods, they too felt tired like us. Therefore something was required to boost them up—it's symbolic. They moved on and on when suddenly Sarama heard the lowing of the cattle. From a valley amid steep mountains came that sound. But who would descend in it? However Sarama guided the gods to that place; then she searched the region and informed the gods that the cattle were there. Thus ended her work which was to show the way. The task of rescuing the cattle belonged to others. She, in Sri Aurobindo's terminology, is the Intuition.
The robbers were hiding in what we call an impregnable fortress, there was no gap or hole in it so how would the gods enter? The robbers—the Panis—had Vallar as their chief. He sent his men when he heard the commotion to inquire what the matter was. The Panis spied from a distance and reported to their chief accordingly. He instructed his men to shut all the gates so that no gods could enter. But the gods had Vrihaspati—the chief of the Angirasas on their sides—the power of his chanting of the hymns threw open the gates. Then all the creatures of darkness came out in groups and what to say about the fierce battle that ensued! It was a terrible war! Innumerable Panis were killed. The gods fought quite brilliantly. Indra was...

—Equal to a hundred.

Sujata Nahar: He was equal to a thousand. With his thousand eyes and vajra [his weapon] he fought fiercely and the Aswins too were present to help him. Those who got wounded were healed by the Aswins. And then there were Indra's forty-nine brothers who also helped. All came to help and each killed as many as possible. At last the Panis were defeated, Vallar too was vanquished. After defeating the Panis, the gods entered the cave and found that the cattle were indeed there. Then Usha, with the help of the Aswins, brought her cattle out and took them to her own kingdom—to the land where the cows of the Sun graze. That is the field of Truth. And what sort of Truth? You must have noticed that when you dip a stick in water, it appears as if the stick is bent but in that land it does not happen thus. Straight stick remains straight. That's why it is called ritam. Anyway, the gods went back but the sages went further inside the cave. Then they arrived at a pit which we call as gumpha.


Sujata Nahar: I think the monasteries of the Buddhists are called gumphas. And this was a cave. The sages entered more and more in it and they saw someone sitting in heart of the cave: someone immense and alone to quote Sri Aurobindo. And who was he? He was the eighth son of Aditi whom she had left behind. He was lost in darkness. He was Martanda, he is the eighth Sun. And he was hidden in the darkness of the cave by the robbers. But with his own luminous light he had illuminated everything in that dark cave. Then Martanda came out to the world.
Our Fathers the Angirasa Rishis pursued further to the end. They came to the darkest cave yet—I'm speaking in my own words. The darkness repelled—this is from Sri Aurobindo's poetry. They entered the caves on their hands and knees...they crawled on their hands and knees—because they were unable to enter on their feet as the cave had a very small opening. And in the heart of darkness they discovered Martanda who had been concealed there by the Titans. Martanda, the eighth son of Aditi. Who is Aditi? The All-creating Infinite Mother. Then the eighth son of Aditi was seated there, immense and alone. He is the black or dark, the lost, the hidden sun, the son whom he met.
I don't recall the reason. I remember the story Mother had recounted. She had seen that in the matter, in the deep matter, there is the Divine. Mother had seen it when she had gone to the Subconscient and she saw that the Being opened his eyes—the Divine in Matter in the Subconscient. If you follow Mother's visions, you will find a lot of things...She had seen it in 1907-1908 or may be even before that period. She didn't have the experiences of Savitri then. Mother's experiences were noted down by Sri Aurobindo much later. I don't recall well but Mother read Savitri much later.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have always remained very much open regarding technology

Copernicus has left a new comment on your post "If one Peter Heehs is pardoned today, a thousand w...": "They would just have smiled at what Mr Peter Heehs has said."

I see. And you would know that. Controlled and thoughtful reactions and counter-reactions are perfectly legitimate. Why should it be considered fanacism. You are just confused and vague in what you say and are seeking a Gandhi style solution.

How do you know that Mother and Sri A dont want a reaction. When Sri A was asked why he needed a doctor to look at his ailment and didn't use yogic force instead to cure himslef, he shot back and asked the person why the doctor couldnt be a force for the divine and be used by the divine accordingly. Posted by Copernicus to Aurora Mirabilis at 2:43 AM, October 19, 2009

prakash has left a new comment on your post "Sri Aurobindo Ashram ought to expel Peter Heehs":

After seeing all these drama, Why Ashram Trustees are not taking any action??? This is quite difficult to undestand ..... Wake up please??? Posted by prakash to Savitri Era Open Forum at 10:38 PM, November 03, 2009

Robert E. Wilkinson has left a new comment on your post "Trustees chose to ignore this issue and the reason...": Stop Scapegoating Peter Heehs

Alok Pandey’s thoughtful article about the Heehs imbroglio brought up a number of important points but his burning questions about HOW and WHY this dispute occurred in the first place remain unanswered. To understand the HOW and WHY behind the Heehs’ controversy, one must be willing to stop the scapegoating and go deeper into the origins of the ignorance and confusion from which this literary heresy came into being.

Since the Mother’s departure in 1973 both Auroville and the Ashram have suffered and continue to experience the eroding effect of incompetent leadership. Instead of forming around a common Soul and a Supramental knowledge, which was the Mother’s avowed intention, Auroville and the Ashram have formed around a Collective Ego. Instead of a true spiritual community guided by Realized Beings, the seat of Sri Aurobindo’s work was taken over by the Indian government and is now run by Philosophers and Politicians who, the Mother warned us, would be the very last to be transformed.

This is the polluted soil from which Heehs' book emerged and the noxious influence that nursed his iconoclastic attitude. The most important causal factor behind the Heehs’ controversy, completely absent from these discussions, and apparently quite unknown to Alok and others, is the existence of and the occult effect of a true collective Center or Soul. In the parlance of the Integral Yoga it is called the ‘Psychic Being’. It is the ordering and unifying principle of any collectivity and if it were truly present in the Auroville and Ashram community, the bitter controversies, legal disputes and polarization of devotees upon racial and other lines would have been a virtual impossibility.

The community of devotees would know this if they had bothered to acquire a direct lived experience of the Yoga and the Vedic ‘Skambha’ instead of the lifeless mental orthodoxy that has been offered in its place. Indeed, one need only look at the ongoing disharmony and chaos in Auroville and the Ashram to know TO A CERTAINTY that there is NO CENTER. William Butler Yeats, himself a realized being, eloquently describes this occult phenomenon in the first lines of his poem ‘The Second Coming’.

‘…Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.’

You could not find a better description of how Alok Pandey and others have experienced Peter Heehs’ destructive influence but what they fail to realize is that Heehs is not the CAUSE of this ongoing controversy but merely one of the SYMPTOMS of the CENTERLESS condition that exists today in Auroville and the Ashram. To someone who SEES, the situation and its errors have an almost formulaic precision to it producing a mathematical result when something essential is left out of the mix.

It may be compared to G.W.H. Hegel’s famous three part dialectical formula known as Hegel’s law. If you apply the principles of Thesis and Antithesis but reject the Third principle of Synthesis, the formula is fractured, true unity cannot be achieved and an integral understanding becomes impossible… The complete article may be found at: Posted by Robert E. Wilkinson to Savitri Era Open Forum at 7:42 PM, November 02, 2009

from koantum to date 19 January 2009 08:05 subject Savitri Era : Life Divine sans community
koantum has sent you a link to a blog:

Lack of discrimination, Sir. Excommunication from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram (a well-defined existing community), not from the (ill-defined and therefore hardly existent) IY community.

from Tusar N. Mohapatra to koantum date 19 January 2009 15:35 subject Re: Savitri Era : Life Divine sans community

The reductive doctrine that you have introduced implies that the concept of a community is redundant, and hence undesirable, which questions all existing as well as future formations. [TNM]

Sunday, November 08, 2009 Green hot air Update:

The above post has been unilaterally and arbitrarily deleted by R.Y. Deshpande from mirror of tomorrow which I protest. Such fascist instincts are really frightening. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 8:46 AM savitri era

BHANUPRATAP has left a new comment on your post "Babaji Maharaj Sri Ramakrishna Das visited Dharamg...": Mr. Mohapatra,

We are verry much gratefull to you for your effort to highlight our centre in PLAIN AND SIMPLE heading. This is the second time our centre has came in PLAIN AND SIMPLE. With all best wishes for your. Managing Trustee, Sri Aurobindo Kendra. Posted by BHANUPRATAP to Plain & Simple at 9:25 PM, November 09, 2009

Tusar N Mohapatra has left a new comment on your post "Babaji Maharaj Sri Ramakrishna Das visited Dharamg...":

You may file short reports on present activities in and around the Kendra. Thanks. [TNM] Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra to Plain & Simple at 7:26 AM, November 10, 2009

Srikant has left a new comment on your post "Man's meddling with nature is a dangerous game": Dear Rakesh-ji,

Mother and Sri Aurobindo have always remained very much open regarding technology. while one student was migrating to U.S. in '60, she said, 'yes learn about plastic technology, my food materials are smelling awfully.' At the same time Parichand-da - the Ashram gardener says She was very particular that the garden should be beautiful at the samed time natural as at the entrance! The whole problem is with man, - till he changes these aberrations will keep on cropping up. Posted by Srikant to Savitri Era Learning Forum at 12:05 AM, November 04, 2009

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Roy Bhaskar’s A Realist Philosophy of Science is a...":

I much prefer the Trickster vision communicated in the work of Timothy Leary, Zippy the Pinhead, and the always weird and wonderful R Crumb. Posted by Anonymous to Feel Philosophy at 4:37 PM, November 11, 2009

from Sarojini Sahoo date 26 October 2009 14:24
Fallacies in a Hindu mind regarding Manu Samhita

Hi, exploit these fallacies for their political gain. I have posted an article on Manuvad in my blog SENSE & SENSUALITY. Please access. Your comments at the blog site may help to create a meaningful discussion forum. Take care Regards Sarojini

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why should we take this inevitability as a harmful stigma?

Re: Reflections on THE IDEAL OF HUMAN UNITY By Debashish Banerji Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
by Rod on Fri 27 Oct 2006 05:56 AM PDT Permanent Link In Sri Aurobindo’s view, the evolution of consciousness is towards larger and more inclusive unities, and a sense of self that is universal. In his view evolution in its large aims works through groups rather than individuals to achieve large ideal potentials, like justice, knowledge, harmony, power.

Fukuyama also argues, as does Habermas, that such values as human dignity and freedom are rooted in a natural condition of equality before the genetic dice throw. (A new slant on “thrownness.”) If we choose to predetermine improvements of intelligence, health, strength, competitiveness, etc., in our species through genetic engineering, then we violate the principle of the luck of the draw and the randomness of opportunity which ground our choices and our sense of identity and dignity. We are who we are by virtue of random selection mitigated by parental breeding preferences and social conditioning. We should be free to change the latter but not the former, or else the balance of natural ethics and human rights will be altered forever.

This point of view is very close to the Judeo-Christian idea of the natural state of fall in which good and evil become known so that we may strive for the good, reject the evil, and be saved; also closely related to the Platonic/Aristotelian idea of the final cause being the good form of each thing, toward which it moves in its development from a state of ignorance, imperfection, smallness, matter toward the fulfillment of its purpose, by becoming capable of rational choice. According to these basics of “natural philosophy” what drives the human being toward its potential is the soul, what Fukuyama calls Factor X, the essence of the human when all the conditioning is stripped away, the principle of “nous” or reason. Faced with the choice to genetically alter and so improve some members of the species, to remain in a natural state of imperfection on a flat playing field and strive for an ethically progressive world order, or to renounce mentality, reason, preferential judgment altogether and allow a new principle of truth consciousness and force to manifest, why would one choose one or the other, on what grounds?

Sri Aurobindo’s leap forward consists in the recognition that the natural and ideal drives toward harmony, truth, justice are the embryonic movements of a Will in life-mind-matter to realize a higher form of existence, consciousness, bliss. But he also brings down the force that makes his solution a tangible, perceptible possibility, for those who make the choice to open to it. And so we may be back to the Augustinian/Pelagian paradox, with a slight twist. Both individual choice and divine grace are necessary if this evolutionary change is to happen. And it must be for the good of everyone – not just the elect. It’s a species, and not a communal or national or individual level process. But because of the dual necessity: choice and grace, it will have to be done first by individuals. Collective change will presumably follow (linearly and chaotically).

At this point in Auroville there is almost no sign of anything happening on the collective level that indicates a change of consciousness, but the supramental force can be accessed by the individual and at times it seems to encompass a group awareness, but still carries little impact in the arrangement of social structure. At the Ashram level, little effort is apparently even made on the outer collective structure. It’s all arranged for maintaining an inner openness, for worship and meditation. If this evolution (of supramental consciousness) depends in any way on social structure, on ethical choice, on economics, technology, or biogenetic engineering, then from what I can tell it’s doomed from the start. It’s strictly a matter of inner choice and grace, which presumes the presence of a soul, divine will, or psychic being in things. RH

by Rod on Sun 29 Oct 2006 01:54 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
This is a kind of reasoning, supported by revelation and text, ie. spiritual authority. As such it requires faith and practice on the part of those who choose to be heroic. Whether such a teaching was meant to become the basis of a new religion, or not, or whether such religion is desirable or not, does not disqualify it as a religious teaching. Sri Aurobindo said his purpose in writing the Arya was to lay down the metaphysical and religious basis for a new movement in humanity to exceed itself. That basis (foundation) is a categorical belief in the immanence of the supermind in evolution and the innate ability of humans to know it because of the presence in them of the soul. The philosophical pertinence of this idea today when everyone is questioning the origin of consciousness happens to make this teaching current and relevant. But, What's wrong with admitting both that this teaching requires existential experience to be meaningful and also that it is very natural, even inevitable, for it to take on all the characteristics of a religion, which in fact it has already done? Why should we take this inevitability as a harmful stigma? Do we think postmodernism should have the last word? Reply

by Rod on Sun 29 Oct 2006 02:36 AM PST Profile Permanent Link
I would like to make an important concession to the techniques of postmodernist criticism and to the importance of an understanding of being-toward-the-future in the context of Sri Aurobindo’s work, as mentioned above.

A meaningful intermediate step might be allotted to phenomenology and deconstruction as a preparation for an actual step of being-toward-the-future as well as a true grasp of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy, similar to Derrida’s treatment of Heidegger. That would be to accord Sri Aurobindo’s philosophemes their due position within the history of metaphysics and religion, both Eastern and Western, and then to transcend our own embeddedness in that doxological framework by considering that position under erasure. Because the position of Sri Aurobindo is only really meaningful in relation to an ever-present future of consciousness to be realized through transformation and the transcendence of intellectual concepts, his metaphysical and religious structures must be erased in order for that transformation to be present and in order for the future represented by his writings to be understood.

Supramental truth-force is a direct seeing, through a transformed consciousness, that may or may not be mediated by an inspired text or a direct spiritual influence, such as those which Sri Aurobindo, the writer-yogi created. It is known and valid only through an opening to a unifying consciousness of the oneness and difference of all perceptions that yields a strong sense of their unity, a sense of a divine wholeness and rightness (ritam), “a smooth and even infinity everywhere.” In this experience, the Mother’s insistence that even a superhuman effort to attain a true knowledge and to uplift humanity pales and disappears before the realization of what in fact already is the truth of everything. Reply

by Debashish on Sun 29 Oct 2006 08:39 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
Very well put and true. In fact, to this I would stick my neck out and agree that this is exactly the necessary method (call it postmodern or not) that Sri Aurobindo demands for a legitimate understanding and practice of his teaching. DB Reply [ 3:15 PM 4:23 PM]

2006 (854) December (57) November (52)
In direct connection with supraphysical
A secret communication and commerce
Resistance, obstruction and limitation
The Life Divine does not mention avatar or the sac...
On magical powers called siddhis
The secret of the Veda
The supremacy of Sri Aurobindo
Romanticism, Colonialism, Hegemony
Existentialism and Vedanta
The Indian tradition is truly "postmodern"
The book has been a revelation
Transcendental to the Transcendental
Universal economy
The circle opens in truth closes in beauty
Metaphorical or figurative reading
On this day of the Mother's Mahasamadhi
Unconditional love at the heart of Derrida
A fundamental lack in Buddhism
The ordinary mind vs. Psychic being
Words as gateways for the Soul
Vedas as spiritual allegory
Have you mused on the incredible things described ...
The “integral” tent
The original Integral tradition
The holocaust of the Supreme
Science itself is no integral thought
Supramental Transformation of the world
We are our fate through our action
Danger of literalism and religious dogmatism
Counteract the virus of narrowminded blindness
A reflection of the Absolute in the relative
This is the process proclaimed by Savitri
The Mother and Sri Aurobindo are so revolutionary
Diversity and unity in a divine way
Sri Aurobindo and the 20th Century
Nothing can be taught
The psychic being is the key to evolution
Hegel, Heidegger, Sri Aurobindo, Gebser
An actual step of being-toward-the-future
Sri Aurobindo has claimed divine sanction
Self-stimulating irrelevance
A foundationalism based in experience
Victorian-sounding Overmental prose
"Religion" is not a stigma on the teaching
Hwa Yen, Sri Aurobindo and A.H. Almaas
Kazlev disagrees with Ken's description
A universal grammar of metaphysics
Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Auro­bindo
The Self-Aware Universe
Consciousness Studies and Indian Psychology

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Every negative remark in this book conceals a wealth of positive information

Re: The Lives of Sri Aurobindo—a Controversial Biography by Peter Heehs by Tusar N. Mohapatra on Thu 01 Jan 2009 09:09 AM IST Profile Permanent Link [Re: In Defence of the “Extracts ... by auroman on Wed 31 Dec 2008 07:02 AM IST It is precisely because of such emotional arguments that Western supporters of this book have concluded that all this controversy is superficial.]

Nothing psychic about it. You too are off your guard here and commit the same mistake. Reply

A Few Comments Apropos of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo—by Auroman
by RY Deshpande on Fri 09 Jan 2009 07:14 PM IST Mirror of Tomorrow The quandary with the latest biography of Sri Aurobindo by his own follower Peter Heehs
A Chapter from The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs Mirror of Tomorrow

Re: A Few Comments Apropos of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo
by vikram on Tue 01 Sep 2009 09:15 PM IST Profile Permanent Link
Remember the rule of thumb : Every negative remark in this book conceals a wealth of positive information. [...] This crude remark is most unrefined. Marriage in that era was regarded as a sacred act and a knot of a lifetime. The whole page suggests that Sri Aurobindo got married because he wanted sex, then lost interest in sex and so deliberately neglected his wife.

by vikram on Thu 29 Oct 2009 09:12 PM IST Profile Permanent Link
Page 212: Partition and the bloodletting that accompanied it were the movement's principal failings, and Aurobindo and his colleagues have to take their share of the blame.

Well, lets see what we have regarding this in the Evening Talks.

Sri Aurobindo : I told C. R. Das (in 1923) that this Hindu-Muslim question must be solved before the Britishers go, otherwise there was a danger of civil war. He also agreed and wanted to solve it. Sri Aurobindo was involved in the freedom struggle for a mere four years.

The above remark shows he was prescient in his analysis. And yet he must take his share of the blame! As I said before, every negative statement in this book conceals a wealth of positive information. Reply

A Few Comments Apropos of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo
by RY Deshpande on Sun 14 Dec 2008 06:10 AM IST Permanent Link Cosmos I’ve made, en passant, a number of comments about the highly controversial biography The Lives of Sri Aurobindo. Links to some of them are listed in the following. These contextual observations however must be seen in the totality of the respective articles, the context particularly pertaining to the divine work, divyam karma.
An Entry from Record of Yoga
The Path: by Sri Aurobindo
Passing through the Portals of the Birth that is a Death: Part B
Physical Transformation—the Early Beginnings
The Avataric Work: Towards the Intermediate Race
Ascent to Supermind

A Key Statement about the Integral Yoga

Re: A Few Comments Apropos of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo—by Auroman by Raman Reddy on Fri 09 Jan 2009 09:57 PM IST Profile Permanent Link Dear Auroman, Excellent analysis once again of “The Fallacies of Heehs”, we could even give this title in imitation of Kishor Gandhi’s “The Fallacy of Marx”. It is a pity that Heehs has incubated for so long his resentment for all that is accepted as normal in the Ashram –- the Mother’s primary role in Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga, the disciples’ bhakti for their Gurus, respect for the group of the first generation of sadhaks who came with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, enthusiasm for the institutions they have created and the vast numbers of people who have been influenced, etc, etc. This is what happens when you try to be over smart and write something very different just for the sake of being different from other authors who have written on the same subject, and not because you have original ideas of your own. Raman Reddy Reply

Two Book Reviews of Sri Aurobindo: A Brief Biography by Peter Heehs
by RY Deshpande on Mon 19 Jan 2009 05:23 PM IST It will be worthwhile to see these reviews again

A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs
committed to objective, academic, respectful and honest discussions
Oct 30, 2009 Introduction to this Site
Welcome! This site is dedicated to a critique of the book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs.
This book is promoted as an academic study of Sri Aurbindo's life, but is in fact full of errors, distortions and misrepresentations which can easily mislead readers not familiar with the larger body of documentation of Sri Aurobindo's life and writings. The contributions on this site are intended to identify and expose to the public at large the numerous distortions in this book and to set the record straight in academic discourse.

As a first time visitor, you can begin by reading the Background note on this book and its sponsors followed by the Frequently Asked Questions. Then you can either sequentially explore the entries on the main menu at the top of the page, or plunge into specific themes of discussion through the Categories list below the main menu. You can also navigate from the master List of Categories which defines each category of posts. The latest posts are listed datewise on the main page.
Every post is followed by a discussion blog that allows you to participate in the discussion. Please respect the objectives of this site and assist in maintaining a high standard of academic discourse. We value your free participation in all the discussions, but we request you to respect others and their freedom also. Posts containing abuses or personal attacks will be deleted. For suggestions and feedback please write to General Editor ...full text... Recents Posts 2009 (49) October (7) Introduction to this Site
The Book and its Background -- by Alok Pandey
Alok Pandey's second letter to Peter Heehs
Alok Pandey's Letter of Clarification to the Trust...
Alok Pandey's first letter to Peter Heehs
This book is the cause of all my dismay -- a sonne...
Govind Rajesh: The “intensity” of bhakti yoga, acc...
September (1)
The Hardinge Controversy - by Raman Reddy
August (3)
A Relevant Quote from the Mother's Agenda
Savitri is "Fictional Creation", says Heehs! -- ...
Hindu-Muslim Unity in Sri Aurobindo's Light by Dr....
July (4)
Dr Sachidananda Mohanty's letter to the Trustees
Comments on the Preface -- by Varuna Mitra
On Misinterpreting the Adesh -- by Raman Reddy
Trojan Horses—a Warning from the Owl
June (7)
Is this Imbroglio or Falsification?
Regarding Paulette’s False Claim
The Birth Place of Sri Aurobindo -- by Nirmal Sing...
Note of Clarification (from Alok and Sraddhalu)
Are We Religious Fundamentalists? -- by Raman Red...
The Shadow and After -- by Alok Pandey
An Elucidation of the JK-PH Nexus—by Varuna Mitra
May (13)
Amal Kiran on Sri Aurobindo's Adesh
R Y Deshpande's analysis: Ascent to Supermind (Pp ...
Archetypal Images and Symbols—by Paulette
Anonymous Posting on Savitri Era Open Forum
Sraddhalu's Open Letter to Auroville and Centres
About Gitanjali JB's Lawyer
The Appeal by Julian Lines for Harmony and Peace
Ranganath’s Reply to the Accusation of Religious F...
Two Sides of Two Different Coins
Raja Marathe’s Letter to Peter Heehs
Jugal Kishore Mukherji’s Second Letter to the Trus...
Jugal Kishore Mukherji's First Letter to the Trust...
Selected Letters -- Jasmin's experience
April (7)
Two Poems — by RY Deshpande
Objective History in Four Lessons by Prithwindra M...
Alok Pandey's Reply To Angiras
The Theme of Evolution in Sri Aurobindo’s Writings...
About Immersed Attention and Revelatory Speech
Sri Aurobindo's Sevenfold Prose Style
Sri Aurobindo was unable to restructure his articl...
March (6)
A Review by Raman Reddy of The Lives of Sri Aurobi...
Alok Pandey's comment on Heehs (27.03.2009)
In Defence of the Extracts
Hail to "Angiras"!
Ranganath's reply to Angiras
Orissa Govt tells High Court to ban Heehs' book
February (1)
Defamation of Sri Aurobindo's character and Heehs'...
2008 (27) December (2)
Frequently Asked Questions November (12) October (11) September (2)
Recent Comments
A tour de force. Each line reads like a ray of lig... - Oct 14
"This may not be so much an intentional fabricatio... - Oct 10
Dear Sir, If I may add a few points. Even the s... - Jul 24
All devotees should be grateful to Manasi Pahwa fo... - Jul 12
Thanks to Raman Reddy for setting matters right. T... - Jul 12
I checked out this reference. The paragraph does n... - Jul 02
On the subject of the "lives" Vikas writes: “…the ... - Jun 30
A relevant comment posted on the Mirror of Tomorro... - Jun 29

Media and News Reports
March 5, 2009: State imposes book ban
Dec 31, 2008: High court calls to author
Dec 12, 2008: Petition holds up release of book
Dec 11, 2008: Book on Sri Aurobindo irks devotess
Nov 6, 2008: Orissa High Court stays release of book on Sri Aurobindo

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