Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ashram people lack mutual benevolence and respect

from Jitendra Sharma aurofrance@gmail.com to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 22 April 2010 11:38 subject Comment
It is extremely foolish to mock and criticize a genuine scholar like RYD. These Fundamentalists find his presence threatening for carrying out their own agenda. I had always admired Dr. Mangesh Nadkarni for his involvement with ‘Savitri’. At present, we are lucky to have RYD, an excellent pundit of ‘Savitri’. I have read most of his wonderful books.
I wonder when all these people will evolve in their consciousness. All these are “muh mein raam, bagal mein chhuri” types personified. When they are speaking about ‘Savitri’, they are ready to fight tooth and nail. It is very sad that in the Ashram people lack mutual benevolence and respect. Each fellow has a holier-than-thou attitude. Where will this chaos lead?
Some people will continue to fight bitterly and curse others until their last breath. Friends, let us enjoy our short life without wasting time in useless disputes. - Jitendra Sharma
Comment posted by rakesh Re: Poetry Time: 17 April 2010—Ode on Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth

i agree with you on this point about policing and counter policing. But the point is that an individual may say what ever he likes to say. Peter may have said things that are not true and even I do not agree. The point is that why does he have to change his beliefs based on people who have different points of view about avatarhood. I am not supporting him in any way. But that's the way he feels and thinks and writes. Let him write. Can we change him by counter policing etc?
Everyone cannot agree on things like avatarhood. So what? We still agree on many things spiritual and cooperate and live together. What good has come  of accusing each other for being a renegade? A healthy debate is necessary even in things spiritual. Let people who differ from our view point live beside us. The debate is about encouraging pluralism, debate, oneness in difference so that  different people with different beliefs live together. If things cannot be agreed upon debate especially pertaining to spirituality, there is nothing one can do to change another person but to show by example how to grow spiritually.
Of course one has to debate and disagree on points that one feels are not true and are misrepresented.
Everybody makes mistakes, most of us are ignorant. so forgive them and get on with life. But love them at the same time because there is god in everybody.
Samatha....being equal minded...having no hatred even for the enemy and especially not because one differs in ideology with others. Let us live and let others live with other beliefs and understanding of the Divine. The Divine does not have a problem with that than why should we have a problem? 

Comment posted by auroman Re: Poetry Time: 17 April 2010—Ode on Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth

The fact that you are in the Ashram presupposes that you have accepted Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as your Guru. If you haven't accepted, then the question arises as to how you ended up over here? […]

As to the question of his not accepting Avatarhood, sure it is a personal issue.  If we make anyone accept that, then it becomes a dogma.  But all I am suggesting is that if you live in the Ashram, you become a de facto spokesman and that entails a certain responsibility.   Your words carry importance and will get cited in future books which are published, especially if you call yourself the founder of the Archives and have seen every document which exists in there.  If I were in his place, I would be conscious of the fact that I am working for Sri Aurobindo.  I would then set aside my prized individuality, my great opinions, my big ego and write whatever is necessary - EVEN if I don't believe in it.  Maybe that's my Indian tradition of self-abnegation speaking which says the Guru's work comes before my ego and my right to freedom of speech. If I don't believe in something, I would be willing to hold my tongue until I have understood. Isn't surrendering your opinions and laying aside your ego part of Yoga???

And also, the question is not just Avatarhood.  There are many other issues with the book.  I understand that many people in the Ashram are also fed up with the nonchalance, irreverence and contempt towards others (somewhat like your friend Rich Carlson) displayed by this man.

In the past centuries, disciples living in the hermitage took vows of silence and only spoke after they had attained realization.  Words must be spoken out of realization and not purely out of the desire to publish books.  If you don't understand something, ask other people to explain and do NOT write until you have understood.  Surely that is not too much to expect.

Rights come with Responsibilities in every institution!  I doubt people working in the White House are allowed the (much-vaunted virtue called) freedom of speech to differ from the President.  They may have internal debates and disagreements but they still toe the line when they stand before the public.

And if you still don't accept Avatarhood (after 35 years!!), then consider living outside the Ashram.  Go and join the academic community where you don't have to believe in anything specific.  It's a free world; living in the Ashram is a free association.

That brings us to the other issue and it is these misleading analogies of heresy, excommunication and witch-burning which have been applied by many Westerners.  In the medieval ages, the Church ruled over the State so there was fear that if you didn't accept something, you would be prosecuted.  But the secular world we live in today is quite different.  If you don't belong in an institution, there is still the wide world outside where you can live.

I think Peter is a good fit for academia.  He has the resume and qualifications for it.  Nobody is going to stop him from voicing his opinions in the ivory tower.  We are not fundamentalists who go around banning books on Sri Aurobindo written by people outside.  The need to ban a book arose because the Ashram authorities wouldn't act due to whatever judgement they made.  This is not fundamentalism and there is no covert power agenda at work here. RYD made quite clear to me that he would rather spend his time on poetry and has no desire to get his hands dirty in administration. (no pun intended!)

1 comment:

  1. August Timmermans7:50 AM, April 23, 2010

    What we see here is how Auroman expects others to be and behave like him. He is judging one person, thinking to know him, which is an insult in itself, and then takes the right, as with others who do not like his character and personality, to expel him from the Ashram because that is how it should be done.

    In reality this attitude is called dictatorship. Already, Auroman and the people he represents, like Alok Pandey, and Sraddhalu Ranade, have taken the power in their own hands not only to expel one person from the Ashram but also prosecute him in court, because they cannot accept what he has written. They have turned their back on the established authority of the Ashram, the Trustees, and thus taken to illegal action against a fellow Ashramite.

    The main problem is that Auroman and his friends see themselves as the good boys, and all others who disagree with them, including the Trustees who accept all Ashramites, are the bad boys. They do not realize that they have turned into the bad boys and are doing the damage to the Ashram.

    What can one do about sadhaks having turned into liars, speaking faul language to everyone who disagrees with them and then they say they are doing this out of service to the Founders of the Ashram.

    I believe, with such base behavior it would be only normal that they get expelled from the Ashram themselves. Not that I wish this to happen, but looking at the facts of their base thinking and behavior, this would only be just.

    August Timmermans

    ReplyDelete