Thursday, November 11, 2010

I should not be made any administrative head, let alone bother about the trusteeship

From: alok pandey To: Gadadhar Mishra Cc: prasadtripathy.09@gmail.com Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 9:28 PM Subject: Re: Fw: Letter from Orissa to Sraddhalu Ranade, Raman Reddy, S. Ramanathan, and Niranjan Naik

Dear Gadadhar ji
Thanks for forwarding me this letter. Following the dharma of the internet age, I am responding to it. Since I do not know the address of the concerned persons, kindly send it across to them.
I am also attaching one of my recent letters to the editor of AV Today. I thought that since they so much care for intellectual freedom, it would get published but they turned it down. loving regards Alok

Dear gurubandhus, 
I am in receipt of your letter through the rounds on the internet. I have chosen to respond to it for two reasons. First and foremost, I feel inwardly inspired to do so. Secondly, I feel it is a very one-sided story of things and therefore one must know the other side to keep the balance right. Let me assure you I am not trying to sway any opinions but simply present the other side of the story for the readers who must have received this letter. Let me also add at the very outset two things clearly. I am, like you, not in favour of court cases, not only this one but also any other and feel immensely sorry to see the number of cases heaped on to the ashram. Besides the fact that cases do not solve any problem (if any they increase it), it means a lot of money drainage for the ashram and no one can be happy about it. Having given a deep enough thought to this problem, I have come to the conclusion that what we lack as a group is Unity and unity cannot come without the sense of fraternity and equality in our dealings. But most of all Unity cannot come about unless we are clear about what or who is the center of the collectivity that has gathered and grown around the Integral yoga. Is it some kind of a mental ideal such as intellectual freedom or else some select persons or even the institution? Or is it the Divine Persona of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother that brings us all here together? As far as I understand, the one sutra that we can never afford to forget even if we forget all else is, - “the Mother, - to open to Her with faith and devotion.” It is on this basis and background or lets say our common meeting ground that I venture to write this letter to such stalwarts. Secondly, lest I am also charged with some ambition and vested interest, let me hasten to add (and I have said so earlier as well), I should not be made any administrative head in any department, let alone bother about the trusteeship etc. This is my word and promise to you.     

Your letter is interesting but reads like a double-edged weapon. It advocates reconciliation but the tone is rather accusatory and almost threatening. Things like 'leave the Ashram' and 'ambitious' etc is not going to help. If the concerned persons are serious about a true reconciliation then instead of writing letters it may be better if they advice to the concerned authorities to call all the dissenting members and sit with them and discuss in a free and frank atmosphere all the differences and possible fall-outs. Given the fact that there is a major issue that has divided the concerned persons and the trust board itself, it may be wise to have a fair discussion with other senior members or else in front of the entire ashram community. We need to take people into confidence and not begin to adopt a confrontationist approach. If all of us meet with goodwill and without hiding anything with no other concern except Truth and our love for Them, I do not see why there should be any problem at all. It can be as simple as that. This at least is my understanding of how the Mother's children should resolve differences. Unfortunately much water has flown since the last two years and the only response that the members received was a cold indifference. Not even an acknowledgement that these persons also meant well! Is this the way responsible elders behave with the younger ones!

After all what is it that has been asked for. First, a clear and bold statement regarding the book, not a diplomatic semi-political, semi-legal stand that politicians are experts at but the voice of a child of the Mother who is not afraid of Truth, the kind of thing Dada said. Second, a clear statement or action that PH is not going to the Archives again. The first statement would help some of us work towards withdrawing the book from Columbia. The second would ensure the safety of the sacred documents. Are these suggestions unreasonable? What verdict Time will pass is for Time to witness. For us, we must act in the present and based on the very highest we can conceive of. The result is in God’s hands, not ours.  

Let me add that it is not just a question of the book being good or bad. Any book or for that matter anything in the world will always have a variety of responses. People love cheap novels and dirty literature...perhaps even the majority, so should we allow it in the Ashram? They love Michael Jackson's dance. Should we then teach it at the Ashram? What if a teacher actually wants to teach it and says that Moonwalk step is very graceful? The issue is that the Ashram is a special place and is meant for certain purpose. Should the Ashram respect that purpose or just give in to some kind of a new age sentiment? My simple question to all my elders is, - is it alright for an inmate, let alone someone handling the sacred documents almost as an in-charge, to write a biography or publish an article on the Mother and Sri Aurobindo with such a critical and condescending attitude, in this irreverential and disrespectful tone? If you say it is alright then I would ask then what is wrong if some members go against the Trust and disrespect them. The elders cannot be greater than the Master? And if you say no he should not, then I would ask why then did our MT write an 18 page letter justifying his action and almost clearing him while passing the blame to those who raised the alarm.

I would also like to note that this is not the first act of the man. There are quite a few of his mischief that we all have recounted several times. Even with regard to the book, he has used persons, resources, material and facilities of the Ashram Archives to write this book. If you want, I have a whole list of it. Why this special preferential treatment to him who is clearly defying the very foundation of spiritual life? Is it that those who are supporting the man, share his views in some way? And what views.....'the Mother thrived on ceremonies', 'Sri Aurobindo married for sensual gratification'. Just because people like it, do you endorse it too. If so then why do you come to the Ashram and go to the samadhi for pranam and pray to Her. Faith, you may say. PH will call it a dogma and our MT will call it sentimentality and religion. Then why not close everything and say pack up and go home since God is within and the samadhi is only a block of stone? What a nonsense in the name of intellectual freedom, what crass falsehood and we do not feel ashamed standing shoulder to shoulder with such men. How do we face Her everyday, I wonder! Yes the court case is bad and I say it openly, it is not the way to solve any problem but tell me honestly (leave the opinion of others) would the Mother like this book? Would She like our diplomatic hypocritical stand, our allegiance with falsehood, our support to a man who has stolen His words to do this to Him, his disrespectful approach towards Sri Aurobindo and our sheltering him. Would the MOTHER LIKE IT? - I ask of our elders who have lived so close to Her and had the rare Grace and privilege of Her close contact. Please tell me, is this how She would like us to treat Sri Aurobindo's Name, His life and Work? I don’t know I am learning so many new things about the yoga these days. 

You have said that many of the persons who raised this alarm have been swayed by the out of context extracts circulated by one person. Well, I know what you are saying, but let me tell you I have read the book six times and know what poison and betrayal lies in it. Let me also add that I have been trained in the field of psychology and thereby can pick up certain things such as the Freudian analysis better than many others. Besides I have unfortunately kept myself updated enough to know what people like JK stand for who are endorsing the book on its flap. By Her Grace, I have also been able to read the entire works of Sri Aurobindo, the complete set of the Mother, all the volumes of the Agenda, the complete works of Nolini da, Champaklal ji, Pavitra da, Nirod da, Dilip Kumar Roy as well as almost all the major biographies on the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, many other things aside. I openly challenge / invite anyone to come and discuss with me any aspect of the biography openly, alone or in public. So lets not talk about some liking the book and some not. Falsehood does not become truth just because more people like it. Nor is it a good advice to let evil pass since often good comes out of evil. What else is courage but that which stands up for whatever is true and good and beautiful. And what is man without courage and love but a self-seeking animal.

You say that nothing should be changed that the Mother has given us and it is therefore sacred. Here I completely agree. Now, may I then request you to revert Savitri to the original, at least as the Mother read out. Can we reprint it afresh and at least not touch the portions that She has read out already. Can we respect Her at least that much? Or we mean to say that She read it wrong, while our brothers at the Archives know it right. The spiritual rule is to accept what the Master says even if the whole world and human logic contradicts it? But here as I said I am learning new things! Again, can you also request to take away the Records of Yoga since the Mother obviously never intended to be published. Most of all can you explain to me where religion ends and spirituality begins. I ask this since it is being repeatedly said that all this is religious fundamentalism and fanaticism, nothing else. I had learnt that one must practice equanimity when someone insults us but stand up always for what is True. There is even a letter of Sri Aurobindo to Sahana di in this regard that you must have read since it was widely circulated, in context of course. But now our elders are teaching us (by example) that you must remain quiet when your Master is being insulted or falsehood is being propagated but react sharply if someone personally insults you or your friend. At least this is what is being taught to us by actual actions. So I am a little confused whether to believe Sri Aurobindo or those who claim to be the standard flag bearers. Can you throw some light on this issue as well?

Nevertheless, we agree upon one thing and it is this that there should be no court case against the trustees. They have to be kept above the law at a sacred pedestal. I have no problems with that. Outside we do this all the time; we always please the administrative authorities and keep ourselves on to their right side. No problems in doing that here as well if that can make life a little smoother. Besides it is good in a way so as to keep the discipline of the place in good order. I am quite willing to talk to those who have gone to the court as well to retract the case if possible. I have only one request for the moment. You have written, and I quote, “Peter has been divested of all his assignments in the Ashram”. Can you assure this and back it up with something written? If that can be done then the matter may be very easy to solve. I am really serious about this. If this is not just one of those diplomatic statements meant to confuse the reader then surely there is hope for reconciliation. Mind you I am not even speaking of his leaving the Ashram or the country etc, simply just one thing (but in written), that PH will not be returning to the Archives anymore. My concern ends there. What happens to the trust is not my business or of any concern to me.

To me this is not a conflict between religion and spirituality or between the East and the West but between the fast collapsing world of mental maze and the slowly emerging world of the straight psychic response. It is the struggle between the old world represented by all that PH brings in his book, twisted falsehood, scientific objectivity, materialistic view of the spiritual effort, reason mocking at faith and so on and so forth. This is old story. The new idea that is springing forth is the sense of the true, of the good and the beautiful that men can know and feel within their soul and must act according to that and not according to mental opinions and legal advices. But right now the struggle is there and that is what we are witnessing in all this, - the end of a whole mental way of seeing things and the emergence of the new psychic vision of truth.

Well I have responded in the spirit of camaraderie to my gurubhais who have walked the path with me for so long. Some of you must also have had the exceptional privilege of Her Darshan. But before I close I can’t help making just one small observation. It is about that phrase from Savitri, "An idiot hour destroys what centuries made". It is spoken by the queen and therefore represents the voice of the Ignorance. We cannot, for instance quote a line from Death’s speech and say that Sri Aurobindo says so since it is there in Savitri. A more suitable quote would be the voice of Wisdom echoed through Narad’s words in response to what the queen says. In fact, incidentally this follows right after the anguish expressed by the queen where she speaks of the ‘idiot hour’, hence the double relevance: […]
With love and gratitude towards Her 
Her child Alok
PS: I will wait for your response about the time and place where all of us can sit and meet and resolve differences together, as you have suggested and I completely agree.

19 comments:

  1. Alok Pandey's announcement that he does not wish to be an administrative head of the Ashram "let alone bother about trusteeship" sounds like an exemplary sacrifice. It seems he is sure that such positions were knocking on his door and he is his mighty ascetic mood is waving them out! Let me remind him and his readers that the very ego that criticises the administration and the trustees also makes such exclamations. If he is a sadhak just as he should not be ambitious for such positions, he should not also shrink from any responsibility if in a natural way it comes to him. The subtle truth here is, Pandey like so many others, thinks that a position of responsibility or a trusteeship is a luxury. It is this idea which makes them envious and jealous of administrators and trustees. At least Pandey exposes himself. To say that I don't want to be a head or a trustee, when there is no such offer for him at all indicates his anxious desires for any such positions. It is any irony that Pandey belongs to some department of psychology!

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  2. From my sources at Sri Aurobindo Ashram I was surprised to know that Mr. Alok Pandey was accepted as an inmate of the Ashram by the Ashram Trust only a few months ago. I was surprised because he began publicising innuendoes and attacks against the Trustees as soon as he was admitted to the Ashram. Was he in a fit state of consciousness to deserve a membership of the Ashram community? It is obvious that he was waiting for a chance to abuse his position as an inmate of the Ashram. It is time for the Ashram Trust to think if such a gentleman deserved to be admitted by them. For him the Trustees were good till they took him in. They became bad immediately after they took him in. Alas, an unusual character! If Ashram was valuable for him gratitude should have kept him quiet at least for some time.

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  3. An unusual post. Unusual because it is unusually revealing.

    All gratitude belongs to the Divine and the Divine alone.

    The Ashram belongs to Mother Sri Aurobindo and not the trustees. They are trustees and not possessors.

    They do not admit people for personal reasons and as a personal favor or in a personal capacity. For your illumination it is the Mother who has taken Alok in and not the trustees. There is no question therefore of anyone owing any gratitude to any trustee or any other SAHIB or SARKAR.

    That you expect inmates of the Ashram to feel gratitude and loyalty towards the Trustees is extremely revealing. It shows that you have no problem in usurping one of the most precious inner offerings of a Sadhaka of the Yoga that rightfully belongs to the Divine and to vest it in some human authority figure like the trustees... the Sadhak's gratitude and his loyalty.

    I have not come across any innuendos from Alok. He has been forthright and straightforward in his opposition to the stand taken by the trustees on the issue of Heehs and his book. Certainly, he has not kept quiet. But think for a moment about the things that you write. If you try to "keep quite" those who oppose you frankly because they genuinely think that you have done something wrong then it is an act of short-sighted foolishness. Worse, if you expect that others should "keep quiet" and not speak up just because you are in a position of power then it becomes a form of tyranny.

    In fact if anyone owes anyone else gratitude, it is the trustees who owe their gratitude to the Mother Sri Aurobindo for admitting them into the Ashram and taking them in. As per your own logic what should be the approach taken towards those who have publicized innuendos and attacks against the true Master of the Ashram? What should be the approach taken towards the trustees who have thought it fit to protect, to exonerate and to support such a person? You see already the unpleasant implications of your own line of reasoning.

    As for Alok's duration of stay at the Ashram I am sure it is more than just a few months. It may not run into years but to say that it was only a few paltry months does not sound right to me. You are either misinformed and/or are deliberately falsifying the matter by seeking to trivialize Alok by bringing up a non-issue. Time and space are relevant but not the primary factors when it comes to gauging the sincerity and the dedication that a person has towards Mother Sri Aurobindo. One could be physically far away from Mother Sri Aurobindo or the Asrham and still be very close to Them or live in a concentrated atmosphere which approximates the physical Ashram for intensity and spiritual purity. Such things as physical proximity and duration of stay cannot be made into iron-clad rules that are used to draw either absolute conclusions either positive or negative about anyone.

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  4. Dear Govind-ji,
    Thank you for your comment on what I wrote about Alok Pandey's attitude. I agree with your view that it is the Divine Mother whose Grace works behind anybody being admitted as an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. But the Grace has to work through some instrument and in this case the trustees were the instrument. Please give a thought to my submission. If Grace worked through the trustees in the case of Alok Pandey, it is also likely that the same Grace works through them in regard to others including Heehs. The trustees have debarred him from the archives, the trust has categorically declared that it does not approve of the content of the book. It has forbidden the book in all departments of the Ashram. So what remains is the question of a greater punishment for Heehs. The trust believes, what I have heard from most responsible Ashramites that to expel him from the Ashram on this issue will not be any tribute to the Divine Master and the Divine Mother. That is all. In such matters it is always wise to be patient and tolerant. Today Pandey is condemning the trustees because they are not expelling him. The future may condemn the trustees if they show this kind of intolerance. I hope you will calmly consider this point.
    If you read what I wrote earlier a second time you will see that I have never said that Pandey should be grateful to the trustees. It is a great opportunity to be accepted as an inmate of the Ashram, if one has Sadhana as one's purpose.I said that he should have been grateful to the Ashram. Nobody who has got this privilege can suddenly become so hostile to the trustees. The sense of gratitude should have kept him quiet at least for some time. You will also mark that I have said that he has become the inmate of the Ashram only since a few months. I have not said that he was not in Pondicherry for a longer time before that. What I wrote is a fact. I have got confirmed from my Ashram sources.
    Populist sentiment is not always good for a great organisation like Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Once again I hope you will see the points in my submission.
    With best wishes to you.

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  5. We know the trustees demands commitment and loyalty to them, but that is their misrepresentation of their position and power, their betrayal to the trust of what they were made trustees.
    Sunil S R

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  6. It is nice to see Heehs, MDG follower changing his tone, poison delivered with roses.
    Alok Pandey is in public view and to look good themselves they made him a member. But as they expect the members to dance for them and be blind folded that cannot happen with Alok so the complaint. People come to the Ashram to lead a spiritual life, it is their commitment to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo that brings them there. Once they are there who should they be loyal to, to the trustees alone or for what they have come and cherish.
    Sunil S R

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  7. Dear Anonymous who replied to Govind,

    I shall give you a special prize of some sort if you can get Govind to actually reply to your second email.

    Govind and his mentors (Sraddhalu, Alok Pandey and co.) are not known to answer coherent, cogent, and well-reasoned letters and questions.

    Good luck! But thank you still for your reply.

    R.K.

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  8. Hello R.K.,

    Perhaps you failed to notice that I began by responding to anonymous' first comment, which is the second anonymous comment on this post. So either you believe that his first comment was not "coherent, cogent and well-reasoned" or that your theory about me and my so-called "mentors" is wrong and that perhaps you yourself have not made a "coherent, cogent and well-reasoned" comment in this instance. Even more problematic for you is the fact that I am herewith responding to your comment. Hence, as per your own theory, your own post cannot have been "coherent, cogent and well-reasoned" since I have chosen to respond to it. :-)

    All in all I must thank you for providing some much-needed brevity and amusement to lighten up this serious issue. I pray that you will not deprive the readers of this blog of the pleasure of reading more such "coherent, cogent and well-reasoned" submissions from you in the immediate future.

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  9. Dear amusement-loving Govind of little brevity (I think you meant another word; levity perhaps?) and some wit,

    If you read carefully, there is really no question to be answered in Anonymous' 1st mail. The only sentence ending with a '?' mark is a rhetorical one.

    Again if you read carefully, there is no question to be answered in my earlier comment either. So your replies to either posting do not disprove my thesis, which is simply that you and your tribe do not like to answer specific pointed questions.*

    But, here was an invitation for a comment from you in Anonymous' second post, discreetly expressed but clear to any intelligent reader. What is interesting is that you still haven't got back to him with regard to his submissions.

    Qu'en dites vous?

    :-)

    R.K.

    * (Note the consistent silence of AP, SR, Uday, and yourself on the ex-student group when asked with specific questions on their stand?)

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  10. Dear amusement-giving anonymous R.K.

    Thank you for obliging me. If you read your own writing carefully then you might see that you had said LETTERS and questions, and before that had also mentioned "e-mails" with specific reference to anonymous' second posting which b.t.w does not contain any "?" marks. Now I'm sure you will quibble in multiple languages about the exact definition of letters and e-mails and precise curvature of the upper part of a question mark as well but that still won't help you wriggle out of your own self-created logical conundrum.

    And how to accept your invitation to go somewhere else when you yourself provide such a tempting opportunity for more fun!

    As for the silence... it's meant to be "dignified". I'm sure you will respect it here as you so obediently do in the case of certain other authority figures... (mentors, is it?)

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  11. Dear beating-around-the-bush-Govind,

    I am going to surprise you. I am going to admit to a mistake. 2 of them in fact. The 1st is a slip of tongue, where the 'email' should have read 'posting'.

    The 2nd is more serious, an inaccurate statement. You are right, I have to admit you and your friends reply promptly to letters, even if such letters are long, verbose, often unreadable, and pseudo-spiritual. So I concede you a brownie point...

    But you see, you continue to skirt the issue, and my thesis remains un-debunked. Why the reluctance to answer to specific queries, many of which arise after reading the sort of letters referred to above? Why do none of you engage in sustained and patient discussions in an open forum, disappearing or censuring just when you are asked pointed queries?

    You fool nobody when you refer to your "dignified silence". It's another way of saying, "I know my arguments won't stand to reason." You can't have it both ways. If you make open statements, have the courage to stand up and answer the doubts and questions that arise in the people who read you.

    I am afraid your mentors have gotten too used to a captive, adulating audience.

    R.K.

    P.S.: Prove me wrong and give a reasoned answer to Anonymous' post. I wager you don't have one.

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  12. @R.K.

    I don't want to prove you wrong. I am just trying to help you rid yourself of some unreasonable misconceptions.

    Let me take the example of Alok's letter which is being discussed right here. You will freely admit that he is not addressing a captive, adulating audience in it. So hopefully you will drop the first false assumption. Secondly he also states his willingness to engage with them in meaningful discussions. That should hopefully help you see the invalidity of your second assumption as well. The evidence that can put to rest your doubts and criticisms is right here if you will but look at it and consider it calmly.

    Sure, these folks are not going to answer every critic or agree to participate in every forum and online discussion group. But that does not stem from any lack of courage. It takes a lot of courage to even make the "open statements" that they make. Yet, you deliberately attack them for supposed cowardice. Why? Because they don't engage in "discussions" of the sort you want on your own terms in a time and place of your choosing. This is an unreasonable demand and an irrational assumption. You could just as well try to meet them personally if you are really genuine about engaging in discussions. If you have the questions then you should be willing to make the effort to get the answers. Basically your mind is made up to attack your opponents any which way you can and so you set the standards of courage so arbitrarily that your opponent is guaranteed to fail. It is not possible to reason with people who take this kind of an irrational approach.

    You are also using a pseudonym to post here. Perhaps there is more than one individual posting behind the initials R.K. In your recent post you have used "brownie points" in an incorrect way, something that I have seen only A.A.D do on this forum. So maybe now it is A.A.D I am talking to and not R.K. Still, am I calling you a coward for remaining anonymous? Am I attacking you personally for lacking courage? No. You have your reasons for concealing your identity and I respect them. This is the kind of dispassionate attitude required for a rational discussion to take place.

    In any case at least posting anonymously is far less dangerous than making the "open statement" from Alok that you see above. And yet you see no problems with questioning his courage. This kind of irrational animosity and hypocritical double-standards (another example is the selective dignification of one persons's silence while castigating another's) proves to me that you would rather attack him personally than engage in any kind of rational discussion with him.

    But, frankly, from your vituperative words and hostile approach it is natural for anyone to conclude that whatever they say you WON'T LISTEN TO REASON. That is the real reason they don't engage with you and not because their arguments cannot stand to reason. No good will come of it.

    I do not hold it against Alok or anyone else that they are not engaging in discussions with opponents who want to quarrel in front of an audience with the sole aim of proving them cowards, or charlatans or fundamentalists etc. Frankly I am not even in favor of their engaging with your or others who have the same approach SO LONG AS YOU PERSIST IN THIS APPROACH. Their time is better spent in engaging with those who approach them for a genuinely rational discussion.

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  13. To R.K.:

    This is a warning to you from A.A.D. induced by Govind's observations.
    Please do not use the expression "brownie points" in any of your arguments henceforth. As Govind very rightly, reasonably and logically points out, the expression "brownie points" is the sole and exclusive property of A.A.D. As stated by Govind, the use of the expression "brownie points" will instantly mean that your identity is the same as that of A.A.D., especially to people with Govind's reasoning, logic and habit of impulsively jumping to conclusions. Moreover, and more seriously, it gives Govind another excuse to avoid responding to the main issues and to continue beating around the bush.

    But similarly, as you will detect in Dr. Alok Pandey's letter - which Govind ardently and expectedly defends probably because he reasons in the same manner - it is Dr. Alok Pandey who has the sole and exclusive rights to determine or perceive "the emergence of the new psychic vision of truth" or whether Michael Jackson's "Moonwalk" should be banned from the Ashram school's curriculum, and how an inmate of the Ashram such as Heehs for example should or should not think, act and behave.

    But contradictorily, while, Dr. Alok Pandey clearly states that "let me hasten to add ... I should not be made any administrative head in any department, let alone bother about the trusteeship etc." he however seems to continue suggesting persistently that he knows more, is more able and enlightened and has better credentials than the current administrators of the Ashram, as, instead of minding his own business, he clearly likes having a say, particularly publicly, regarding most of the matters that take place in the Ashram.

    But if, as Dr. Alok Pandey wisely admits, trusteeship is beyond his bounds it surely appears that he is probably looking at least for a position as Commander in Chief of Thought and Behaviour Policing, which, given his background in the armed forces is understandable but completely misplaced and pitiable in the current context of his residence in the Ashram. The question of course is that in Pranab-da's absence, that position is strongly being contested by some others who are equally enamoured by the way the armed forces and other autocratic institutions function. But how that will play itself out is another story which we will leave for another occasion.

    A.A.D.

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  14. @ A.A.D (or R.K. or whoever):

    You misread. It is highly unlikely that two people on this exact same forum posting anonymously can make the exact same very uncommon and weird mistake/misue. That does not mean that it is not possible. However, I choose to believe the more likely scenario for the moment.

    I think you seem to have a fundamental problem applying the rules of basic logic. As likelihood is not the same as absolute certainty, expressing an opinion does not mean that one is at the same time asserting an exclusive sole right to do so.

    On the contrary you seem to be exhibiting the same behavior that you condemn in others. While it is OK for you to have your say with regard to Alok, you do not think that it is OK for Alok to have his own say regarding others. Who exactly are YOU to define for others what their business is and what it is not? What about this issue is private or confidential or personal? Nothing. Clearly, it is not Alok who is overstepping his bounds but you, in asking him to keep quiet on a very public matter of widespread impact and general concern. If anybody is acting like a thought and behavior policeman it is you.

    Feel free to comment on what anybody says but don't try to muzzle people's mouths on one hand and then hypocritically accuse your victims of the same crime that you are committing on them.

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  15. To: Dear Govind-who-continues-to-beat-around-the-bush,

    There is no assumption; I am not deriving a conclusion based on a held belief. It's merely a statement, yet to be proven wrong, ON ANY PUBLIC FORA. Your mentors have gotten used to writing for a captive audience. They hate to be questioned, even politely, beyond a certain point. Pushed to challenge THEIR assumptions, they resort to silence, and censoring of posts.

    When and where have your mentors wanted to engage meaningfully? In a Court of Law? ;-) Please tell me!

    I hope you understand I don't have to hide behind A.A.D. I am happy with R.K. It is irrelevant if I choose to withhold my full name. I haven't gone about writing letters, distributing pamphlets, filing court cases, ALL ON THE BASIS OF QUESTIONABLE ASSUMPTIONS. But I assure you that if I had, I would have equally had the courage to engage with my detractors. I and many others who question the very premise of the view you hold (namely, that the book denigrates Sri Aurobindo and is inherently 'evil') do not believe in character-assassination, but obviously when AP or his friends (Sraddhalu, Prof.Kamal Das(alias)Jayant, RYD etc.) character-assassinate publicly individuals who are loved and respected, some return the favour.

    But this too is besides the point. Ignore those you consider perverse or irrational. There are still a large number of people politely seeking coherent answers to questions that arise from the letters and views of your mentors. And these have not been answered, not once, even on the very same forums where they have chosen to spread such views.

    Vituperative words? Hostile approach? I have been and continue to be restrained in my language. If you believe that disagreeing with your mentors is automatically being hostile, I have nothing further to say to you. But yes, to accuse me of 'not listening to reason' is utterly laughable.

    Believe me, it's all I want. Reasonable replies, to reasonable questions. And this is not an approach I am willing to change. In the light of the ideals I hold closest to me, I refuse to submit to anyone's perception of truth and right, if it does not correspond to my own sincere way of seeing things. "Better is to follow one's own dharma..." I am willing to accept a world where people see things differently, but can never accept any individual who would FORCE his view of the world, however spiritually valid for himself/herself, on others. Those who endeavour to dictate what others should think, feel, do, especially in these matters so sacred to oneself - without being answerable for their views to anybody - belong more by nature to a religious boot-camp than to this Ashram.

    Finally, Govind, even in this last letter of yours, after all is said and done, you continue to skirt the issue. As an example of a query that NO ONE has answered up to now, I find on the Mirror of Day After Tomorrow, a question by Ajit Reddy, addressed to you:
    (http://mirrorofdayaftertomorrow.wordpress.com/)

    “Hi Govind

    I do not know if you are aware that in the affidavit submitted by Shraddalu and C0. in their suit against the Ashram trustees they write the following in one of the paras:

    “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, a sacrilegious book portrays Sri Aurobindo as a liar and a mentally imbalanced person, and ridiculing his spiritual encounters and experiences as an outcome of Sri Aurobindo’s tantric sexual indulgence and schizophrenic state of mind.”

    Can you show me where in the book does Peter write these?

    Ajit Reddy

    (SAICE 1976)”

    This is was promptly censured from RY Deshpande's site. Can you give an answer to this question? Short, succinct, understandable, without the baggage of your own personal visions, dreams, psychic intimations. Sraddhalu? Alok Pandey? Raman Reddy?

    Come on all of you, prove me wrong.

    R.K.

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  16. Dear really-funny-A.A.D,

    It is precisely the utter pseudo-spiritual arrogance of Alok Pandey and his friends, who take upon themselves to decide what is acceptable or not in the Ashram, that frighten me. I shudder to think of the day when men like them might sit the helm of affairs, and promote or censure books, ideas, opinions, attitudes, perceptions, and now I see, even which dance moves are acceptable. (For the life of me, I can't understand what Alok has against the moonwalk! What would he have remarked seeing the ballet classes in the Ashram of the 60s?)

    For long decades, life in the Ashram has run smoothly. Conflicts there have been, since the 1920s, but we have gotten along still. The trustees, who have their own share of imperfections, have still done a commendable job, taking almost everyone along, and above all fulfilling the 'trust' the Mother had placed in them - to administer and look after the Ashram and its inmates; to clothe, feed, nurse, and enable a few thousand people to practice their sadhana in an atmosphere of light and freedom and quiet peace, without external worries or troubles. And here we have an Alok Pandey, inmate since 2008 or so, who suddenly sees hostile forces and devils in his dreams, and he decides that the Ashram is better disintegrated, taken over by the Government.

    Well...

    R.K.

    P.S.: Govind, no really, Govind, I am not A.A.D., and I don't know who he is.

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  17. @ R.K. (or A.A.D. or whoever)

    "taking almost everyone along... and above all fulfilling the 'trust' the Mother had placed in them - to administer and look after the Ashram and its inmates; to clothe, feed, nurse, and enable a few thousand people to practice their sadhana in an atmosphere of light and freedom and quiet peace, without external worries or troubles."

    What a fawning and thoroughly servile paean of abject thanksgiving. I have yet to read anything so patronizing from any spokesperson of the trustees. This goes back to the same issue with which I started to participate in this thread of comments, the notion of a sense of humbling gratitude towards the trustees. The flip side of the same tax-coin of gratitude is credit-taking or credit-giving. You may like to think that the people whom you are here to attack are my mentors, a baseless conjecture that you never cease to play up. But you yourself use words that are more appropriate in the mouth of a messenger boy of the Ashram authorities. Give credit and gratitude where credit and gratitude are due. "look after the Ashram and its inmates..." From being children of the Divine Mother it looks like folks such as yourself are yearning to bring back the good old times when you could play subjects of kings whom you look up to as your fathers, and who have the sole divine right to rule, on whose laps you securely played and frolicked in security and carefree gaiety.

    Clothe, feed, nurse and enabling the practice of sadhana, the ATMOSPHERE of PEACE etc. etc.... all this comes from the Mother. All that your great and mighty patrons have to do is remain open to Her and act as Her instruments, and play their INSIGNIFICANT BIT PARTS as just a few handful among hundreds of other conscious instruments. Whatever is personal to their ego, which does not belong to the Divine, is worthless and perverse. The moment they start taking credit and demanding gratitude, either from their own mouths or through the mouths of others like yourself, then that is the surest sign it is their ego that is expressing itself and demanding credit and gratitude for itself. So please... before you pass judgment on the the courage or the cowardice of other people, first put a stop to your own awe-filled genuflections in front of those who have clothed, fed and nursed you on the milk of personal loyalty.

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  18. Dear Govind,

    What a lousy reply.

    And what a cheap little tactic. You are learning well from your mentors. Change the direction of the argument when you are cornered. Say a hundred unrelated things, add a few ad hominem attacks, and you feel you have secured your stand.

    If you are honest you will see that what you are doing is telling yourself, "Why would someone who appears to be quite sensible ask me and my friends embarrassing but oddly relevant questions? Must be a wretched slave of the trustees." Your other friend Sunil does the same thing. 'On the trustees' payroll. Bribed by them.' and so on. You just don't know how else to defend your stand.

    "Clothe, feed, nurse and enabling the practice of sadhana, the ATMOSPHERE of PEACE etc. etc.... all this comes from the Mother. All that your great and mighty patrons have to do is remain open to Her and act as Her instruments, and play their INSIGNIFICANT BIT PARTS as just a few handful among hundreds of other conscious instruments. Whatever is personal to their ego, which does not belong to the Divine, is worthless and perverse."

    I am so confused here. What to do you mean? So the trustees are instruments only at times. Like when Alok Pandey was made an Ashramite. Or when 2000 people are enabled to lead their lives with as little disturbance as possible. But are not instruments, when they decide to discipline PH, but not expel him for a book. But how do you decide these things? How do you know these things? And where are the hundreds of CONSCIOUS instruments? I don't consider even the trustees to be conscious instruments! Please, I really want to meet one of these conscious instruments. Do you even know what it means to be a conscious instrument?

    But I know the trustees to be sincere, and honest, and good people, doing the best they can. Far from perfect in any way, but still with their hearts in the right places. That the Ashram has survived all these years is surely due to the Mother's Grace, but a Grace which has needed good instruments, and which has expressed itself through various people, and not just the trustees. Of course who is infallible, and whose decisions are divinely ordained? But the intention is correct, the motive genuine, the heart sincere. You can chose to disagree. But how would you know? Have you lived any length of time in the Ashram?

    RK

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  19. (@ R.K. + A.A.D + whoever)

    Sorry you didn't like my reply. I'm sure it could have been much better but there were no tactics there.

    Change the direction how? By merely following in a direction in which you are taking the argument? By sticking to a topic of discussion "gratitude towards authorities" with which I BEGAN to post. You are seeing cheap tricks where there are none.

    Also, I am not defending anything, just feeling sad at the way you folks are engaging on one hand in slandering some folks on the basis of rumor and hearsay, and on the other yourself participating in daylight robbery, by taking the gratitude and the credit that belongs to the Mother and giving it to your patrons.

    "But how do you decide these things? How do you know these things?"

    Simple, detect the personal. I keep repeating things. All this gratitude-giving and credit-taking is one example.

    "And where are the hundreds of CONSCIOUS instruments? I don't consider even the trustees to be conscious instruments! Please, I really want to meet one of these conscious instruments. Do you even know what it means to be a conscious instrument? "

    My advice to you... try to become one and you will see what I am talking about. Not a cheap trick.

    "But I know the trustees to be sincere, and honest, and good people, doing the best they can. Far from perfect in any way, but still with their hearts in the right places... But the intention is correct, the motive genuine, the heart sincere. You can chose to disagree. "

    I have NO disagreement with you here whatsoever. I am assuming that everyone starts out good in this controversy, including yourself. I am not making a personal statement about any trustee as an individual. But when in positions of great responsibility and power there is always potential for abuse and all I am pointing out is this. What I am opposed to are patterns of behavior, courses of action/inaction etc. There is nothing fundamentally or inherently evil in any trustee and I'm 100% sure that as mere mortals thy are as good as you say they are. I have no quarrels or problems with them, in fact sympathize with them since they are in a very difficult position having to wield the kind of power that you describe them possessing and exercising over the lives of hundreds of Ashramites. Very easily one can see the temptations that anyone in such a position would be subject to. If you can believe me, I am only trying to help.

    "But how would you know? Have you lived any length of time in the Ashram?"

    Now who's trying to change the direction of the argument? :-)

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