Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Should the Ashram be a democratic institution?

From August Timmermans augusttimmermans@yahoo.com To "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 13 April 2010 07:50 subject Re: conflict madness
Dear TNM,
Thank you for your response. Also the Ashram collective is diverse and thus complex, something the Founders had in mind for transforming a wide perspective of human nature and character, at least that is how I understand it. But you don't like diversity?

I am surprised that you say that you are a fundamentalist while admiring American democracy, and that such democratic strive applies to the Ashram as well? You seem to imply that the goal justifies the means. Democracy in itself is controlled by strict rules. Do you imply to say that the Ashram should be a democratic institution?

I understand that you are committed to the Divine, so are many in the IY collective, but why fundamentalism would be the way to go in this commitment to the Divine I have never read such movement in Sri Aurobindo's writings. Neither that the yoga should become a religion and involve politics. August Timmermans 
Re: Explanation of my Stand wrt  The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by David Hutchinson on Wed 26 Nov 2008 06:24 AM PST Profile Permanent Link  4:36 PM

Any large institution that is involved in publishing needs policies that address individual copyright, the ability of its members to write and publish within the subject matter of their jobs and their role within the institution. It is the nature of writing that it may offend some people, or there may be questions about the right of a person to publish certain material. An institution needs to address this directly. In addition, a large institution needs policies and procedures related to communication and public relations. 
This issue only shows the current weakness. This "controversy" is common knowledge in the Ashram, in Auroville, and across the world, and is bringing a bad name to the Ashram. There should be a person or an office that is empowered to speak to this, that can be the voice of the Ashram as a whole, that can tell residents, locals, and the world what the actions of the institution are, how it is approaching this matter. In the absence of such a voice, it seems that the institution is throwing itself open to arbitrary actions, movements, and outcomes. 
from Subhas Roy subroyindia@gmail.com to tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 13 April 2010 13:38 subject Savitri poem
Dear Sir,
I am a devotee and follower of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, since the time my grandfather visited Sri Aurobindo Ashram when The Mother was alive, and I sometimes get internet links by e-mail of your website from different people related to Ashram. I occasionally visit your website and enjoy reading some of the beautiful words that some people share about The Mother and Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Unfortunately, sometimes, and many times, your website is also polluted and disturbed by all kind of controversies/accusations against Ahsram. These are very confusing, because someone like me who does not know the real background of many of the things that happen inside and related to Sri Aurobindo Ashram cannot understand what is really happening. I have seen some other websites that exist by people who are clearly against Ashram. They also put a lot of accusing information against Ashram, but a layman person like me cannot know what is true or false.

I also heard some strange controversy about the Savitri poem. But recently, some of your website members are giving a clear information. Actually why should Ashram do wrong things like purposely spoil the Savitri poem?  What will they benefit from this? And when people are using low, cheap and insulting methods then it is a sign that something is fishy. Like the insults to the old and sincere devotee Mr. Nirodbaran who everybody knows was the scribe of Sri Aurobindo and who was the closest disciple of his. I am happy that finally some people are defending him and providing clear information to defend him. All the other useless people are now shutting up because what they say is completely rubbish and without logic, reason or rhyme. Please encourage good quality articles on your website. Sincerely, Subhash Roy
From aurosatya vrata satyavrata54@gmail.com to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 14 April 2010 10:59 subject Re: Reg. ongoing discussion on Sri Aurobindo's Savitri
Dear Mr. Mohapatra,
I think that there is a misunderstanding. I am not using any pseudonym at all. I always use my initials to sign emails and just sign “S” as my name is in any case indicated in my e-mail id (satyavrata54@gmail.com).

My reluctance to comment on the issue of the Lives of Sri Aurobindo is simply based on the fact that I have not read the book. I am aware that there is a controversy around it, but I do not know what are the merits of such a controversy and therefore prefer not commenting on it, particularly publicly.
Frankly, I am least bothered about books written by others on Sri Aurobindo or his works. Sri Aurobindo’s original and written works are more than sufficient for me and I do not need any intermediary or “scholars” such as the author of the Lives of Sri Aurobindo or Mr. RYD to guide me on the way. If others do, it is their wish.

My criticism against Mr. RYD is not as a scholar, but as a fellow human being and follower of Sri Aurobindo’s teachings. Mr. RYD may consider himself or be considered by others as a “scholar” and he may write and publish as many books as it pleases him, but that doesn’t matter even a tiny bit to me particularly if he slanders and insults respectable people such as Mr. Nirodbaran and Mr. Amal Kiran, who were not only Sri Aurobindo’s closest disciples, but also the most experienced and therefore qualified persons to work on the editing of the Savitri.
If Mr. RYD would stick to his scholarly work and behave as one, I would have no inclination or time to spend on him. But when he and other people who follow him go into the public domain and actively misrepresent and propagate twisted and false information about Mr. Nirodbaran and Mr. Amal Kiran (as was shown to us on this SEOF website by other contributors) in order to cast a shadow of doubt on the work that these two respectable gentlemen undertook, then it is equally my democratic right to put Mr. RYD in his place, irrespective of the fact that some believe that he is a “scholar”, and irrespective of the fact that he may believe that he is an authority on the Savitri.

If your blog and forum is an Open and Democratic platform, and if people have valid arguments in defense of Mr. RYD, then let them come forth, including yourself, and convince your readers that my stand against Mr. RYD is mistaken. Let us see and examine on your forum, in an open and democratic manner, who is whining, behaving like an insolent and indecent person. So far, most of the recent contributions have clearly pointed that Mr. RYD’s actions are not only unjustified but they are reprehensible. Mr. Jitendra Sharma has made a few lame attempts to come in defense of Mr. RYD, but his attempts are proving to be counterproductive and contradictory.
Lastly, given the direction that this discussion is taking, I will reserve the discussion on the beliefs of Sri Aurobindo's and The Mother’s divinity for another more suitable time. Best Regards, S.
P.S. I hope that you will post this message on your open and democratic forum, just as you have done in the past.
From Jitendra Sharma aurofrance@gmail.com to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 14 April 2010 15:57 subject Re: Reg. ongoing discussion on Sri Aurobindo's Savitri. Reply to S.
Dear S.,
Behave like a decent gentleman and not like an S****. For your own good, do not provoke me unnecessarily by using inappropriate lexique. If you arouse the beast in others, can you be safe? - Jitendra Sharma

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