Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Savitri retouched

From Jitendra Sharma to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 31 March 2010 19:22 From: "HarrietDate: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:27 pm Subject: Re: Savitri Era Open Forum harrietmendonca
The SUPPLEMENT TO THE REVISED EDITION OF SAVITRI is available at the bookshop SABDA, SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM. It is really more convenient to look up things there, instead of having all this under, around, above etc. the original text. There are truly some striking differences, just one example: Page 3, line 11
All can be done if the God-touch is there. (1954)
All can be done if the god-touch is there. (New edition)
From Jitendra Sharma to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 31 March 2010 23:54 Re: [supramentalyogagroup] Re: Savitri Era Open Forum Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:50 PM From: "intsamTo:, "Harriet
God within is leading us always aright even when we are in the bonds of the ignorance; but then, though the goal is sure, it is attained by circlings and deviations. - Sri Aurobindo

for those who are interested in 'original texts':
it's only the attempt to restore a wonderful site. one day, it vanished not leaving behind tracks. therefore, it is not fully functional, but a lot of informations 'ON REVISED EDITIONS' can be obtained here: :)
From Jitendra Sharma to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 1 April 2010 09:36 Forwarded Message: Re: [supramentalyogagroup] Re: Savitri Era Open Forum Thursday, April 1, 2010 1:33 AM From: "Sandeep JoshiTo:
The sections on Knowledge as well as Dreams have text presumably from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.  Could you please add the citations?
It's a great effort though the initial screen is a little flashy :-)
Who put this together? You or Sunil Sachraj. –Sandeep
From Jitendra Sharma to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date1 April 2010 12:26 subject      Fwd: [supramentalyogagroup] Savitri retouched Forwarded message From: Srikant Jivarajani Date: Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 12:24 PM To: Cc: Jitendra Sharma
Dear Jitendra, 
It is too early in the day to make such a request before serious people are even allowed to study to start with online :
1) Supplement to the Revised Edition of Savitri
2) On the New Edition of Savitri
3) On the New edition of Savitri - Further explanations ( Part Two). 
I personally of course think that it is wiser to take up a single and small letter like that of Sri Dilip Kumar's to Sri Aurobindo, and the answer: 1949, 1971 and now 2004. 
Yours Sincerely, Srikant.
From Jitendra Sharma to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 1 April 2010 12:35 From: aju mukhopadhyay Date: Thu Apr 1, 2010 11:15 am Subject: Re: [supramentalyogagroup] Savitri retouched 

Dear Prof Jitendra,
Time permitting, one should respond, this being a very sensitive and serious issue- changing Sri Aurobindo. True that the original as it came out in 1972 or earlier are the best which the Mother blessed but if genuine mistakes remain, which are very apparent, one can change. But other things as here pointed out- God-touch and changed god-touch- there certainly is no reason why the original God-touch should become god-touch- 
Aju Mukhopadhyhay
From: Jitendra Sharma To: Sent: Wed, 31 March, 2010 10:17:45 PM Subject: [supramentalyogagroup] Savitri retouched 
Dear Friends, 
                   Please actively participate in the ongoing discussions/ debates on Savitri Era Open Forum about the revised editions of 'Savitri'. You can either post your views/comments to Savitri Era Open Forum or post them to this Open Forum. Link: http://seof. blogspot. com/2010/ 03/savitri- retouched. html 
                Cheers! Jitendra
I did not say that anyone was a moron. I do believe that all human "editors" of Sri Aurobindo are fallible. They are only human; He was an Avatar. In view of that fact, disputed by none of us, I respectfully submit that the latest edition of Savitri was NOT edited by G*d or by Sri Aurobindo but by fallible human beings. They may have felt that they were dedicated to Him (so do I!) and that they were infallibly guided by Him . . . but does that make it so? I have no interest in personal disputes. That is why I have held out for an impersonal, fairly and scholarly edited "critical edition" of Savitri which reports exactly what changes have been made to every word, why they were made, and the exact reasons for making them. That would only be fair and honest. Anything less than that is an attempt to hijack this extremely important sacred text, saying "My version is the best simply because I was in the right place and time to edit it in 1992-93." That does not make any sense to me. We who love Sri Aurobindo and want his final word on this extraordinary poem, "a fifth Veda," want some better answers to our doubts. If we could have access to all the "ancient" (dating from the 1940s) texts, what would we find? Exactly what we find in the 1993 edition? I do not think so! Therefore there is more work to be done. Posted by Cosmic Piper to Savitri Era Open Forum at 9:31 AMApril 01, 2010
From Jitendra Sharma to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 29 March 2010 11:29 subject Re: [Savitri Era Open Forum] We need a "critical edition" of Savitri prepared by ...
Sri Aurobindo allows us to "taste with knowledge His ambrosia and His nectar" from the pure stream of 'Savitri'. This great book plays a miraculous role in uplifting and divinising the consciousness of a Sadhak of the Integral Yoga.  I have in my possession a copy of the first limited edition of the 'Savitri' signed by the Mother. - Jitendra Sharma

Slanderous personal attacks warrant an honest action against him

from   Satheesh S to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 31 March 2010 14:53 subjectRe: Drawing one’s own conclusions and imposing them on others: the case of one Mr. RYD.
Dear Tusar,

Thank you for your reply and for forwarding other comments. As I am unsure about the procedure for simply posting messages directly on your blog, I am sending this message to you. You may of course post this message on your SEOF blog at your own discretion and as a continued expression of honest opinions.
Regarding the editing of the Savitri, we are all of course likely and entitled to have our personal opinions regarding a variety of issues and it may also be that we may and may not agree with each others' opinions.
Mr. Jithendra Sharma states that he prefers that “It will be good to have the first edition of ‘Savitri’ exactly as it was published.” But one would therefore wonder what about typographical errors such as in the line “Each part in us desires itsb asolute”… found in the 1950 edition? Is it “good” to preserve such blatant and disturbing errors in the text of all future editions or reprints? Are these typographical errors more “sacred” according to Mr. RYD than the corrected text “Each part in us desires its absolute”… published in the subsequent editions?
Mr. Hugh Highins might also opine "according to his own sensibilities", which are evidently subjective and personal, that the 1993 edition of the Savitri could be improved. He may also go a step further and express his personal wish of his need for what he calls a “critical edition” prepared by what he calls “impartial scholars”.
But one would wonder, how does Mr. Hugh Higins define or judge what is a “critical edition” and who are “impartial scholars”? Does he have names in mind, excluding his own if he is impartial, that are more qualified, enlightened, critical and impartial than Mr. Nirodhbaran and Mr. Amal Kiran and the several others involved in the editing of the Savitri, including those from the SA Ashram management?
And moreover, why should someone like Mr. Hugh Highins be taken seriously by anyone and particularly the SA Ashram management or the editors of the Savitri when he precipitates to express his wishes and blurt out his opinion while admitting that he has not bothered to read the “Supplement to the Revised Edition of Savitri which might very well contain the answer to all his queries and might also relieve him forever from the apparent disorder in his throat that makes him feel like things are being shoved down it?
Maybe, some others might prefer footnotes and annotations to satisfy their restless and doubting minds. Whereas those who trust the editors as well as the SA Ashram management, might find such footnotes clumsy and disturbing, unnecessarily making the edition more voluminous and tedious to read and handle; they may simply be happy with and trust whatever is decided by the SA Ashram management and the editors that they appoint.
And some others still, might even go one step further and opine that the 'look and feel' (brown oxidized paper, colour and quality of ink used, type of binding, etc.,) of all future editions of the Savitri should be exactly like the 1950-51 editions. And somebody else might want future editions of the Savitri to be printed on golden-pink sheets of paper because it evokes the mantric mood of the poem better.
Thus, I cannot stop from wondering in dismay whether some of those readers of the Savitri who are busy criticizing one aspect or the other of the various editions seriously believe that it is really important that the authorities of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram should publish customized and personalized editions of the Savitri to fulfill the whims and fancies of each and every reader? Where does and will such a folly end?
Is such a folly and obsessive quest for the fulfillment of one’s personal wishes driven by any measure of rationality? Or is it plainly and clearly driven by the series of unfulfilled personal agendas of a few that seem to converge in the same direction of criticism and attacks?
Because, isn't it only reasonable and logical that one should be comfortable reading ANY of the published versions of the Savitri knowing that the publishers, editors, typesetters, printers, proof-readers, etc., of the SA Ashram, which is the only unquestionable, trustworthy and legitimate publisher of the Savitri, have all along done what was humanly possible to them to come out with their best attempt to reproduce the most authentic, perfect and authoritative version of the Savitri?
I do not think that anybody denies the fact that there may be scope for improvement in the last (1993) edition of the Savitri. Who knows, there may be unintentional human errors even in the 1993 edition of Savitri. That is possible, just as there were unintentional human errors in the 1950-51 and 1954 and 1970 editions. But from that did the Sri Aurobindo Ashram management (unlike Mr. RYD) ever abuse those responsible for the earlier editions? Not that I know of, and that, according to me is decent behaviour - knowing that unintentional human errors are always possible. 
But I find it atrocious that Mr. RYD should suggest that the SA Ashram management and Mr. Nirodhbaran and Mr. Amal Kiran have knowingly allowed the introduction of “errors” in Savitri for their own pleasure or did so due to a lack of interest, commitment, vision, enlightenment and now as some others suggest even impartiality and a lack of critical sense. This is ridiculous, absurd and leaning towards the perverse.
So if people like Mr. RYD think that the way of going about the business of editing of the Savitri is to rake up controversies (or in the name of freedom of speech make sarcastic comments that the SA Ashram’s editors shove their decisions down people’s throats or as I have also learnt drag the SA Ashram authorities to court) in order to try to impose their preferences or try to stamp their self-declared superiority on others, as though their judgment, understanding, vision, enlightenment, partiality, etc., is better than that of others, then it is more than obvious that this doesn’t help the cause and only distracts from the central issues of the Savitri and preservation of Sri Aurobindo's works.
But, whether one agrees or not with Mr. RYD, or Mr. Jithendra Sharma, or Mr. Hugh Highins, or the editors of the Savitri or the SA Ashram management, or myself is not the point.  
The point is that when someone like Mr. RYD draws his own conclusions and tries to impose them on others, by using sly means that I believe are unworthy of a long-serving member of an institution such as the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, let alone that of a decent human being, and by publicly insinuating that respectable people, members and fellow-seekers such as Mr. Nirodhbaran and Mr. Amal Kiran were "morons" (and doing so by misusing "The Mother's" quotes out of context), and commenting on what he considers the un-enlightened management of the SA Ashram and editing of the Savitri, and by making numerous other slanderous personal attacks publicly, and trying at all costs to stamp his self-declared superiority over others, then such actions warrant an honest action against him.  
Mr. RYD may want to believe that his levels of intuitive-perception, enlightenment, aspiration, realization, devotion, commitment, etc., etc., are superior to those of the members of the community he volunteered to join, and I have no problems with that. But if he does so publicly and at the expense of those people and things that matter to me and many others like me, he should then not be surprised that an honest appraisal of his behaviour and opinions is "hurled" at him.
Lastly, I am quite certain that we will all agree, that those whose spiritual development and growth has attained levels that are sufficiently elevated to absorb that which is contained in Sri Aurobindo's 'Savitri', will not fuss, particularly publicly and slanderously, about the small number of inevitable human errors that may find their way into any printed material. And those who prefer laying emphasis on the inevitable short-comings and human errors of others, are evidently more preoccupied about themselves, their Egos and their opinions rather than with the absorption of what is contained in works such as the Savitri. So if people like Mr. RYD enjoy the public parading of their self-declared superiority, let them then also demonstrate, with actions that match their words, to which of these two categories they would prefer belonging.
Sincerely, Satheesh.

When such glorious thrivers try to trash the 1950-51 edition of Savitri

Mirror of Tomorrow Re: Of the sly and insidious Method ... let us get down to the specifics by RY Deshpande on Wed 31 Mar 2010 02:52 AM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link

We need not pay much attention to the continuing Satheesh-Tusar imbecility, nor need it surprise us if it should lug along with it a set of other imbecilities. It seems the whole thing is just unstoppable, perhaps because such blogs commercially thrive only on controversies. If there are no contents, if there are no specifics the quickest and the wisest thing to do is to trash them. But when such glorious thrivers try to trash the 1950-51 edition of Savitri itself, the one which practically came out during the time of the author himself, then the matters become serious. In such circumstances it will be wrong to keep ascetically quiet, quiet by simply saying that the Master knows how to take care of such inanities, such absurdities, that he doesn’t need defence from the scrawny, we the poor earthlings. It might even be suggested that it would be better to avoid it lest one is dubbed, as does the usual cliché go, an egoist.

Yet a question can puzzle one, as from where could such nonsensicalities emanate at all. Could it be that these are coming from some disgraceful office or foundation named Satheesh-Tusar Absurdity where people do not look for facts, where people have scant regard for facts? In any case, it definitely appears to be a place where people do not read things or, if at all they do, they show little capacity to understand things. But the funny stuff is, they even pose funnier questions, for instance the one as follows: Shouldn't one's opinions and views on the editing of Savitri be based on the literature published and offered by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram? But, to say the least, this is astounding, astounding definitely in the context of the latest edition of Savitri. If one has gone through the published literature, one wouldn’t look for an answer elsewhere, one wouldn’t be “intrigued” at all, one wouldn’t be asking why “fuss” is being made only with regard to the 1993 edition.

But imagine how preposterous this very question or statement or proposition in its generality can be! certainly in its delocalized context! Shouldn't one's opinions and views be based on the literature published and offered? The underlying assumption is the authenticity of the offered and published literature. Wouldn’t that itself come into question? Look for a moment at the notorious The Lives of Sri Aurobindo with this kind of stipulation in mind. If the Ashram has given permission—we do not know with what sort of stipulations or restrictions or boundary conditions—to use its material and its facilities for a book which misrepresents, nay falsifies, Sri Aurobindo’s work, if the vast amount of unpublished material has been used without explicit permission, then we have to start rethinking about the whole business, of the Ashram giving permission, and the “literature published and offered” by it. And remember the Darshan message for the 21 February 2010 issued by the Ashram. Will the Ashram come out and categorically say that it has nothing to do with the Lives, or else the opposite? make an open statement to either effect? And here is the Absurdity Foundation telling us to keep shut. Add to that the terrible enterprise of the Lives engaged in telling us that Savitri is a “fictional creation”. If it is so, then one really wonders why the intelligent editors should have spent years and years in bringing out this Revised Edition. Does a fiction deserve it, demand it? But we shall see it in more detail separately.

RYD’s sly and insidious Method of sowing Doubts in People’s Minds—by S Satheesh. Comment posted by: RY Deshpande. Alok Pandey sends the following for posting as his comment:

You may make lemonades out of lemons thrown at you; you may also build a temple out of stones thrown at you or even simply brush them aside as few inevitable thorns that are bound to come each one's way when you cross the path or engage in the battle of the future. Even death means nothing to one whose life is given to love and serve the Lord.

But what do you do with the stones that are thrown at the Lord Himself? .....practice dignified silence and preach the virtues of inaction! Or take sannyasa and run away leaving the field to all that is hostile and denies the Light ....or wash one's hands and keep them clean of all personal stain and be popular among fools, hailed as the paragon of virtues and kindness? But the very same virtues collapse at the slightest personal grudge, a very convenient virtuosity one must say, a highly preferential one to boot. Or an inversion of values and thereby an adharma, a falsehood and an untruth since it places a wrong stress on things, uses spiritual justifications for personal weakness, ego preferences and cowardice.

And how does one decide what is true and what is false,—by votes, by personal liking, making truth the hand-maid of the common and the vulgar!! By that yardstick MJ's music and MF's art must be the truest form of aesthetics, and any criticism of it a blasphemy. Why not close one's eyes at MF's vulgarity and plunge into a personal silence of nirvana, or whatever else. Sure, but what if MJ stays next door and is part of the family, and so is MF, and every few years you find at your door-steps the figure of a goddess engaged in bestiality. We must love him, even sympathise with him, justify him! Sure, till he paints your own figure disfigured,—right? Then you react and bring the rooftops down as if the whole world is in danger. So much for the professed neutrality and the silence.

What does one do when one feels strongly about something, remain quiet and go about your days as if dumb and mute. Then the Lord of Kurukshetra was quite wrong and Buddha the final word of spiritual awakening. And yet his silence speaks and acts more powerfully than words. The Taliban destroys a statue of Bamiyan Buddha and within weeks a horde of army floods its plains driving out the men who defiled and disfigured the image into the very hills that once carried the mighty figure. Sometimes it is better even for the person to speak and stay the wheels than to stay silent.

There is indeed a silence of the strong and the wise, a silence of the sage and the seer, but there is also the silence of the weak and the cowardly, a silence of the fearful and of ominous death, a silence of the crafty politician and the diplomat, a silence of the hypocrite who whispers different things at different times to different people. There is also the silence of the mithyācāri who feels but would not speak up since he is scared to express, or is full of weakness.

So too, there is a speech born of the golden tongue of sacrifice, descending right from the home of silence itself. This speech, even when it carries the power to awaken or to destroy an entire nation, like the battle cry of Joan of Arc, or drive the Dasyus from their dark den exposing their designs like the word of Rishi Angirasa and Agastya, has not a tinge of hatred or anything low in it. Even in great destruction it sees the hand of God, the architect who pulls down the old tables to build anew. It is full of peace and love and joy even when armed with the flame of truth and the sword of faith and the strength of the gods. Who can say that the lion's roar is less divine than the cuckoo's cry or the rustle of leaves. Sometimes when the whisper of the winds goes ignored, then the gods speak the language of the storm and the thunder. The question is: are we ready at least to listen, or do we simply wait for one blow, and then another, blaming others? A most convenient way to remain blind to the real issues is this one.

The real issue is neither the court cases nor the internet blogs, but the book written by one Mr PH who has stolen the material entrusted to him and misused the trust placed upon him for furthering his personal ambition; and worse still to malign the very center and core of the fount of Life and Love in which he along with many others dwell and breathe. To accept this is to accept anything and everything, for all else derives from it. What value does anyone of us have except for Him? What is the worth of any of us without Him? Who would care if after this, any person or institution is disfigured, criticized, or insulted, since if this can be condoned then all can be condoned. Is this the fall-out of the silence so difficult to see?

Silence and speech, inaction and action, impersonality and personality are not opposites and mutually exclusive. They complement and fulfill each other. Slyness is not in speaking out what one truly believes to be true and feels strongly about it. It is straightforwardness, frankness, fearlessness, a practice of truth. Slyness is rather to speak one thing while think another, to do things such as collecting material on someone's life with diabolic motives, to be ungrateful to the hand that feeds you, to be disloyal and unfaithful, to please men so that they may praise and please you, to deceive with words and to deceive with silence, to steal what is entrusted to you or let it be stolen and turn a blind eye to the thief because he is close to you and you want to please him or keep him happy. All this is slyness or perhaps even something worse.

Still, let those who wish to practice silence, and also blindness, and act as deaf and mute do so, it is their dharma and their sincerity and none can question it. But, also, let those who wish to serve through speech and use it as an instrument of love and service, let them do so. The truth is known by the Divine in the heart and if one is sincere and truthful and honest in whatever one does,—whether in silence or in speech then the Divine who knows all things will surely make one grow towards Him and fill him with joy and closeness and peace and illumination that come from the inner contact with the Divine. All the rest is mere sophistry of the mind that is an expert at the art of self-deception, both through silence and through speech.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Now I study Sri Aurobindo every day

The Lives of Sri Aurobindo (Peter Heehs)  page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded
11 August 2009, last modified 18 February, 2010
(update - I now am totally and unreservedly in the Heehs camp, see below for why. If you are a religious devotee and want to slander me because of that, go ahead)

To be fair on Heeh's critics, I can appreciate and respect that they are devotees who have a religious worship of Sri Aurobindo, and would therefore be offended by a non-hagiographic biography, especially by an ashramite who they had always considered one of their own. And certainly there is great value in passion and of faith which is lost in secularism. Also I can understand the ashramites (as Hindus) see it as another attack by a Westerner on their culture and sacred traditions, a culture i myself resonate very powerfully to (because of past life samskaras/vasanas no doubt!). But that doesn't excuse the lies and hysteria that they have spread about Heeh's book; I know their claims are lies because i read (most of) the book, and apart from one or two correct things almost everything they claim is in the book isn't.
The only thing I myself would say that is really critical of the book is that Heehs does not clearly specify that Sri Aurobindo attained the Supramental state early on; just the opposite, he seems to imply that Sri Aurobindo never really attained it, even after thirty years. The reason for this error is easy to see. Heehs is an academic, not a gnostic, and therefore he is not in a position to understand the higher aspects of Sri Aurobindo's life and teachings. In this respect at least his critics are right.] 

Jitendra Sharma - Max Theon's wife Alma Théon
1843 – 1908 Link: 25 Mar

Hugh Higgins - Thank you for these links. That seems to have been a strange episode in the Mother's life. But occultists are a weird lot -- you can never figure them out. To the world they are either eccentric or crazy. To their disciples they are entrees to new understanding or new powers. The irruption of the Divine in human lives does not follow man-made rules! 29 Mar

Hugh Higgins - That said, I must say that, having perused the site, there is a lot of b...s... surrounding Max Theon! There is no evidence whatever that he ever met Madame Blavatsky. It is much more likely that he learned from her (her writings) than the other way around, since most occultists of the era learned from her and then claimed her teachings as their own. She was a super-genius beyond all of them. His claiming to have known and taught her seems to me the stock-in-trade of the charlatan. That does not mean he was only a charlatan; obviously to impress his educated followers he must have known a lot. 29 Mar

Jitendra Sharma - @Hugh But still, the powers that Max Theon and his wife possessed seem so amazing! 29 Mar

Hugh Higgins - I remember the Mother talking about some of those powers, but the context was confusing to me so I was not thoroughly impressed. I guess "you had to be there." Which is one reason "scientists" have a hard time detecting the paranormal---it happens when it chooses to happen and you can't lock it up in a laboratory. "You had to be there." 29 Mar

Hugh Higgins - I would say that if anyone here has denied the truth of another person's scripture, it is david ihnen. I agree the scriptural quotation from Creative was too long. His report of his personal spiritual experience however is legitimate, although not exactly on the subject of reincarnation. There are Christian groups who accept reincarnation. Charles Fillmore, the founder of the Unity movement in the U.S. (in 1889) taught reincarnation although his chief guru was Jesus. Max Heindel who founded the Rosicrucian Fellowship, categorized as esoteric Christians, taught reincarnation along with many other Hindu tenets. So did Rudolf Steiner who called his system of Christian Theosophy Anthroposophy. There is room for reincarnation in advanced Christian thinking. I am sorry that the so-called "fundamentalists" do not understand this. 5 Mar

Hugh Higgins - I did not put words in anyone's mouth. I am a Christian because Jesus is my chief guru. Shortly after I accepted Him and he saved me in the classical Christian sense, He led me to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. These two are both Avatars. They are brothers, not enemies! Jesus is the brother of Krishna and Rama. Theosophists teach that, so do the teachings of Alice Bailey who was an esoteric Christian, so does Rudolf Steiner who was an esoteric Christian, and so does Charles Fillmore who was an esoteric Christian. If you are not, that is your business and I am not trying to convert you to a more advanced perception of the Christian scriptures, that is up to you. I study the Gospels every day without fail and KNOW what Jesus taught. I believe Charles Fillmore understood it very well and he accepted reincarnation. I just wanted to make it clear that not all Christians are opposed to reincarnation---and yes we are real Christians because we accept Jesus and His teachings. That does not mean we reject all other teachings. We find what is common in them. 05:03

Hugh Higgins - I have no trouble with any of the quotations from Jesus. Jesus said many things and he said different things at different times which seem to contradict each other. I am doing the will of the Father to the best of my ability, and that is all I am asked to do. "We played the flute for you and you did not dance" could be Krishna playing the flute for Christians, but they refuse to dance, although if you read the Bhagavad Gita all the way through you will find so many passages where Krishna said the same things Jesus did---especially in relation to the First Commandment, "Love God with all your heart and soul and mind." I do not find the attitude of trying to convict other Christians of being false Christians at all helpful, and Allen, I thought it was self-evident why I quoted that passage. The disciples said "These people are NOT WITH US and so we told them to stop invoking the name of Jesus to cure people." That to me sounds sadly like "Creative" who like too many "fundamentalists" so-called thinks that if a Christian does not belong to his particular group and believe its interpretation of Scripture, he is lost and going to Hell. That attitude is the bane of contemporary Christianity, I am afraid. It drives people away from Jesus instead of pulling them toward Him.5 Mar

Hugh Higgins - Creative, there is no way to talk with you because you are ignorant. You do not know the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna is not an idol! It is rank and utter blasphemy to call Him such. It is something like saying that Jesus is an idol because in some churches there are statues or pictures of Him. I am sorry, but until you educate yourself in Hinduism you have not a foot to stand on in comparing it with Christianity. I doubt you could read Sri Aurobindo, he is too difficult, but you could read biographies of Ramakrishna and that might help. Also the Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda would help you. It is a bridge between Hinduism and Christianity, and a very good one. If you do not inform yourself in that way I cannot discuss these things with you. And telling me that I am not a Christian when I know I was saved by Jesus is just plain ugly, inconsiderate and wrong from any ethical viewpoint. "He who is not against you is on your side" as Jesus himself said. Please take that to heart.05:56

Hugh Higgins - I am not lying about anything. I found out for myself at an early age that both Krishna and Jesus are Avatars. This is what many spiritually evolved people think. This is what Theosophists and Anthroposophists think. The Christian or, as you would put it, semi-Christian groups I mentioned believe this. God manifesting in a Jewish and Roman world 2100 years ago needed to manifest in a different way than He did in the India of a somewhat earlier period. His teachings are almost the same, for those who can see, although of course a Jewish Avatar making the path open for a new religion in the West would not teach vegetarianism and reincarnation directly because it just did not fit with the culture of the time. He had to do what he could. God is infinite and can manifest in infinite ways. I love Jesus and I study a chapter of the Gospels every day. I love Rama and Krishna and used to read a chapter of the Bhagavad Gita every day. Now I study Sri Aurobindo every day. I did not say you are stupid. When I said "ignorant" I meant ignorant of Hinduism and that is not a slander. I am ignorant of Icelandic and of many other languages and cultures. I am not ignorant of HInduism. I think your Christian experience and life would be enriched by studying Hinduism, especially the Vaishnava version of it, and especially Sri Aurobindo if and when you are ready for him. As mentioned, Yogananda's Autiobiography is a superb introduction for Western Christians. I long for the day when American Christians will understand Jesus as the Brother of the Hindu Avatars. They are cooperating, not fighting, and their followers ought not to fight. I am sorry if I sound arrogant but I feel that your arrogance evoked mine. I would prefer to cool it and have a more relaxed conversation. Perhaps in another lifetime! 10:06

Hugh Higgins - I am sorry that this discussion intended to be on rebirth or reincarnation degenerated into a heated argument because of Creative's dogmatism and his refusal to even try to understand any viewpoint other than his own. I would have dropped the whole thing long ago except that his last statement about me is another lie. He says I worship idols. A lie, a lie, a lie. I worship the One God who goes by various names; I worship the god Vishnu whom I believe to be identical with the Jehovah of the Jews, although He taught different forms of religion and sadhana to different cultures. He is also the same One God who manifested and manifests through Sri Aurobindo as the Avatar. He is the same One God who manifested through Jesus as the Savior, although Jesus in his divine humility said "The Father is greater than I" (an exact quote from the Gospel of John) and also said, when someone called him Good Master, "Why do you call me good? There is only one good, and that is God." These are exact quotations from the Christian scriptures. But since "Creative" thinks that I worship idols, which is a lie, there is just no way to communicate with him. He has cut himself out of the discussion, as far as I am concerned, by repeatedly slandering me with no basis for the slander. Therefore I am finished trying to talk with him. 6 Mar

Monday, March 29, 2010

We need a "critical edition" of Savitri prepared by impartial scholars

The personal element in the dispute here does not touch me because I know none of the participants. I will merely state what seems to me self-evident, that we need a "critical edition" of Savitri prepared by impartial scholars. If the 1993 edition is correct and impartial, well and good, but many of us have serious doubts about many of the variant readings. The only way those doubts can be cleared up is to have a scholarly "critical edition." What that means is this: Every variant reading between the different versions will be thoroughly explained in footnotes. I realize that those who want a mantric sacred text might not like this. I use Savitri daily as a mantric sacred text! So I as much as anyone care about the edition I use being exactly correct according to Sri Aurobindo's latest corrections and wishes. But the only way we can get to that goal is through a thoroughly annotated critical edition, explaining exactly why there are variant readings in every case in which they appear.

I have an edition I purchased in America in 1972. It is thoroughly worn, the pages all separated, the cover weather-beaten. I once carried it with me to a meeting of the New York Sri Aurobindo Center (when there was such a thing) in the rain, refusing to close it while reading walking in the rain, so that it was thoroughly soaked. I offered it to Sri Aurobindo in the rain. I do not regret that, because it is still readable. I felt, "It is more important for me to read these words now than for this copy to be left dry." I knew that Sri Aurobindo could stop the rain if He wanted to.

I have had other later editions, and the one I use now appears to be the latest (the tiny version). In the back of the book is this statement: "A Table of Readings and a Table of Emendations listing the differences between this and previous editions are included in the 'Supplement to the Revised Edition of Savitri.'" Well, that is welcome information but I have never seen that Supplement. I would say it ought to be included in every printed edition of the book. It was not included in the one I purchased just a few years ago. If it is not included, or a new critical edition is not issued, we are left with the latest editors of the text---who no doubt are very well-intentioned---shoving their decisions about the text down our throat with no recourse of our own to decide whether they were right or not. That is not the way things should be.

On page 627 of my early edition we have ". . . In earth's anomalous and tragic field . . . " In the latest edition I find: ". . . In earth's anomalous and magic field." Most of us would indeed prefer the later version, if we prefer magic to tragedy (as I certainly do). What bothers me is that I do not know why there are these two variant readings and why the editors chose the latter. Did Sri Aurobindo write "tragic" first, then later cross it out and write "magic" above it? Or are there two versions scripted by him, one earlier and one later? Or did he dictate one or both versions and the scribe mis-heard what he said, or wrote two different versions of what he heard? Or was there an ink blot on the page so that the word could not be deciphered, and one editor decided it must be "tragic" and another that it must be "magic"? The reader deserves to know what is going on here.

That is what a critical edition would explain, so that "let the reader decide," as Jitendra put it, could become a reality. Hugh Higgins Posted by Cosmic Piper to Savitri Era Open Forum at 1:03 AM, March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Heehs & Banerji are trying to redefine Integral Yoga

In the first case, he is contradicting himself. In the second, he himself is redefining the sadhana as it should be in the Ashram…

As a matter of fact, it is PH and people like DB who are trying to redefine Integral Yoga to suit their intellectual preferences and other tendencies. What is worse is to quote from Sri Aurobindo’s writings to justify their point of view. DB should know that for each quote there are quotes that can be used to justify the very opposite point. Spiritual truths are not understood by only reading books and being able to quote from them. They are subtle and need a supple as well as wide and plastic intelligence to comprehend them. Whether the author of TLOSA or his likes have it or not is not for me to decide. But let this much be known that it is most dangerous to turn this controversy surrounding a single author into a west-east, intellect-devotion and other such divides. This would be to read things that were never intended by us…
Perhaps all who do not agree with him are simply unthinking and inchoate and who are not here for sadhana but just to pass away their time. What a foolish generalisation and presumptuous judgment upon a whole group!
Another repeated presumption he seems to make, perhaps quite unconsciously (though it is very implicit in what he says), is that devotion is religious whereas intellectualisation is spiritual… Alok Pandey 28 March 2010  from A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs 

Tusar Mohapatra, proprietor of the Savitri Era Blogs, has recently posted on his Savitri Era Open Forum a letter addressed to him by S Satheesh. His argument for making Satheesh’s letter public appears at Savitri Era. Here I’m reposting both for the ‘benefit’ of the readers of the Mirror of Tomorrow who, in the background of all the relevant posts on it, should be in a position to arrive at their own conclusions. I don’t need to defend myself which is a small trivial matter, as the whole stuff can be plainly dismissed being an outburst hastily published in the nature of sensational journalism. One need not attach any importance to it, nor to the people promoting it. It looks to me that there is no application of one’s mind to the simplest things, and yet one talks of big ontological matters which generally turn out to be captious and therefore inconsequential.

In the matter of Savitri-editing none of these things matters; no one matters, in the least Satheesh or Mohapatra or Deshpande or Hartz; but what matters is its text that came out during the yogi-poet’s time. It is in restoring that text that we should be all engaged, and it is towards that that we should make every possible effort. Our approach towards it should be intuitive-perceptive, because it is that which can give us spiritual realizations through SavitriSavitri the light of the Supreme, parasya jyotih, that offers in its abundance to the aspirant-seeker all that can lead him on the path. I would therefore prefer to view this entire business purely in the context of Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri, and not the one worked out by the inferior hands. That the present letter by Satheesh, and its prompt posting by Tusar Mohapatra, has given us this opportunity to state it again is the gain which can be pursued gainfully as we should proceed further in this respect. Active participation from observant and insightful lovers of Savitri is anticipated. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Let the reader decide

fromJitendra Sharma to "Tusar N. Mohapatra"  date  26 March 2010 21:09 subject Re: Drawing one’s own conclusions and imposing them on othersthe case of one Mr. RYD.

It will be good to have the first edition of ‘Savitri’ exactly as it was published. The changes that were incorporated in the text, may be given separately in a printed booklet. Let a reader decide whether to accept a change or not. Jitendra Sharma 

I am sorry that I do not know either of the disputants here. But that is an advantage, perhaps, in that I can claim no motive based on personal influence or loyalty.

I tend to agree with RYD that SOME of the so-called "corrections" to the later text of Savitri may be wrong. I believe that definitely, according to my own sensibilities, some of them are wrong.
Why would Sri Aurobindo, for example, change "learnt" into "learned," as has been done in several places. "Learnt" and other verbs ending in "t" was the common way of speaking and writing in the British tongue which Sri Aurobindo learned in England and which was current throughout the world (except perhaps in America) at that time. Changing it to "learned" as the editors have done is not good, poetically, because it takes more time to say "learned" than "learnt" and within the lineaments of poetic conventions such a change can be disastrous. That is only one example. I have notated my own text of the later version of Savitri with dozens, maybe a hundred or more, corrections from my own viewpoint. Sometimes I think the new editors were right. That might be half the time. The other half of the time I think they were wrong, and sometimes seriously mutilated Sri Aurobindo's text.
I am quite sure that the final word on this has not been put down for the ages. Future editors will correct the "correctors." I look forward to a truly critical edition of Savitri which will report all the versions and all the possible corrections and give a true and reasonable elucidation of what seems to be Sri Aurobindo's intent in each case. Hugh Higgins Posted by Cosmic Piper to Savitri Era Open Forum at 8:37 AMMarch 27, 2010

From bijan ghosh to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 28 March 2010 08:17 subject Re: Comment

you are thoroughly misconceived.
savitri is mantra, not a literature. It is matter of realisation.
There can not be any critical edition of mantra.

Whatever appears to you as 'wrong' is Savitri, is your mental disposition. 1954 ed. Savitri is Original, which has been reprinted by an institution, "Foundation for Sri Aurobindo and His Original Works" - available at Pondicherry.
Since 01.01.1957 - Savitri has been subjected to tampering, so all such editions are only preparations to say today by the trustees, that 'there is no original edition of savitri, critical ed. of 1993 is the closest to His intention'. 
the intention and substance of 1993 critical ed of Savitri is now crystal clear with the release of the book, 'The Lives of Sri Aurobindo' by Peter Heehs - who is the main architect of 1993 critical ed of Savitri, as continuously sponsored by MDG & Co.  

from Jitendra Sharma to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date           28 March 2010 09:03 subject       Re: Comment

Yes, ‘Savitri’ is a Mantra. The original Mantra is getting continuously transformed by unholy tamperers. As there are going to be too many versions of the original celestial Mantra, why not to name them differently to avoid confusion?  - Jitendra Sharma

from bijan ghosh to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date  28 March 2010 23:03 subject Re: Comment

no room for confusion -  1954 is Original, rest are not.
So they are not named to be identified, all are in a class - "mutilated editions"
Mother and Sri Aurobindo are equal and one. So she had every authority to make corrections, if she felt needed. So she committed no error or wrong. 
Between the 1950-1951 edition and 1954 ed. - there were no changes, only one line was deleted, and 157 minor corrections - which were in terms of final proof readings, done by the Mother with the assistance of Nolini, Amal, Nirod and other press people. Most of the corrections were in 1951 ed., that is in Part Two and Part Three - which happened due to hurry and a little disorganisation due to passing away of Sri Aurobindo.
anyway, I am sorry to say, I would not entertain any reply any more on this subject. Originality of Savitri is not a matter of argument, but realisation of soul and acceptance by consciousness.  
Savitri reached finality in 1954 ed., through all filteration.