Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bechara Barun

From Jitendra Sharma aurofrance@gmail.com to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 27 August 2010 22:41 subject Answer to Barun

May God give 'Subudhi' to Barun! First, let him procure at least one copy of "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by spending around 2,000 Rupees and show his intelligence by burning it in front of everyone. This fellow talks crap!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Office bearers of the Sri Aurobindo Society must r...": 

Those who claim that they respect Sri Aurobindo and really want to do him some service, should at least read his books carefully, try to understand them and talk about him only if they can express or share some part of his philosophy or experience.

But people like Barun Subudhi exist because they are either incapable, too lazy or just too full of themselves and are content to read reviews written by authors such as Raman Reddy,who take pleasure to play to their gallery and whose only purpose in life appears to be that of criticizing and attacking Peter Heehs while trying to pass off as a "scholar". Posted by Anonymous to Savitri Era Open Forum at 10:31 AM, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Office bearers of the Sri Aurobindo Society must resign their posts

From Barun Subudhi barun.subudhi@gmail.com to tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 26 August 2010 23:41 subject Urgent Action Demanded - Sri Aurobindo Society Chance to Prove Itself
To: Mr. Tusar N. Mohapatra
Esteemed President, Savitri Era Party
From: Mr. Barun Subudhi, [Plot No. ?] Bhima Tanki Housing Colony, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha
Respected Sir,

I see you are very active on Internet, and great upholder of Sri Aurobindo and Ashram. I am long-time devotee, and ardent protector of Hinduism, and great souls like Swami Vivekanada, Sri Aurobindo etc. It is my life mission to fight against colonial mindset and defend our faith against western imperialism, and modern america influences. Indian classical tradition is the best.

I draw your urgent immediate attention to article written by esteemed scholar Shri Raman Reddy reviewing another the dangerous Peter Heeh's book called Sri Aurobindo on Hinduism, published by Sri Aurobindo Society. You can read it here:

As you can see, Peter Heehs has again said many bad things. For sake of protecting our Motherland, this book must be banned and withdrawn immediately. I request you to use your powerful offices to:

1) Ask Sri Aurobindo Society to ban this book "Sri Aurobindo on Hinduism" forthwith, find and destroy all copies of the book, as per great soul Pranab Bhattacharya advise in this regard in the past.
2) Ask the office bearers of Sri Aurobindo Society to issue a public apology in national newspapers and television channels for publishing and endorsing offensive writings against Hinduism, which is the greatest and best religion in the world.
3) Ask the office bearers of Sri Aurobindo Society to apologise to Sri Aurobindo Ashram for causing copyright violations by misquoting Sri Aurobindo.

It is heard that Shri Vijay Poddar has taken strong standing against Heehs other book. Now it is his turn to do the right thing, and prove that he is capable of action, and not only empty words-retoric. Then the faith of the devotees will be restored.
If the above actions are not taken immediately, the office bearers of the Sri Aurobindo Society must resign their posts. Appropriate court cases against the office bearers, and for banning this book on Hinduism, should be initiated.

You maintain a very open blog. Please do the needful and inform the public about this issue. Let us unite and defeat the hostile forces of this world. Soldier of Light and India, Barun Subudhi
P.S.: I am new to EMAIL, so I aksed my friend to type draft and send earlier. Now have got new EMAIL address. Please acknowledge this EMAIL and post on your blog please. Because otherwise your credibility will become questionable. Trusting and thanks to you.

Heehs supports a neutral stance

from Jitendra Sharma aurofrance@gmail.com to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 27 August 2010 01:37 subject Reply to Mr. Raghu
Dear Mr. Raghu,

In the book “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo”, Peter Heehs observes that in the psychiatry and clinical psychology sciences, mystical experiences are considered as symptoms of schizophrenia. According to Peter, Freud's view "should be understood on the pattern of the individual neurotic systems familiar to us." (p. 246) He opines that "a defender of mysticism would argue that the truth value of mystical experience is so much greater than the truth value of psychiatry — a discipline based on dubious assumptions — that any attempt by the latter to explain the former is absurd." He supports a neutral stance by saying "But unless the defender was an experienced mystic, this would just be substituting one set of unverified assumptions for another. When I speak of Aurobindo’s experiences, my aim is not to argue either for their veracity or for their delusiveness; I simply present some of the documented events of his inner life and provide a framework for evaluating them." (p. 246)
Jitendra SharmaCalicut, Phone: 0495-2731523, Mobile: 9847753963

The Mother was not an omniscient being and never claimed to be one

from Dr. Raghu to tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 27 August 2010 00:22 subject re: pl. post
 Dear Mr. Mohapatra, Pl. post and kindly also do not disclose my e-mail address. Thank you! best, Dr. Raghu
What’s Good for “The Mother” May Not be Good for The Gander!
In a recent post, Mr. Sandeep Joshi has culled, no doubt after a Herculean labor of search, from K.D. Sethna’s recollections, an example of the Mother’s proscription of publication in Mother India of articles by  Mr. X from Bombay.
It should be noted at the start that K.D. Sethna’s account remains vague on the nature of X’s skepticism and sarcasm and the “several unpleasant things he had said”. What exactly was his “critical approach” to the Mother’s “workings”? We can’t form a clear picture of what gave offense or concern to the Mother in the absence of these important details. KDS also embellishes his account with his own imaginative musings on the Mother’s motives. We must take care not to conflate the two.
What conclusions does Mr. Joshi want to draw from this episode? And specifically, what conclusions does he want to draw which would have a bearing on the case of Peter Heehs and his book?
I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Joshi has in his mind something like the following form of inference:
1. The Mother prohibited publications of articles by Mr. X.
2. The case of Mr. X and that of Peter Heehs are similar.
3. So, the Mother would have also prohibited the publication or distribution of writings by Peter Heehs.
4. Whatever the Mother does is right or justified.
5. So, whatever the Mother did in a certain case should be emulated by her disciples in all similar cases.
6. So, the Mother’s disciples should emulate and extend her prohibition in the case of Mr. X’s articles to the case of Peter Heehs and his writings.
7. So, the Mother’s disciples should also prohibit or proscribe Peter Heehs' writings.
The conclusion (# 7) rests on some dubious premises. Hence, the argument is defective.
One important premise is # 2: that the case of Mr. X and that of Peter Heehs are similar. As I said at the beginning, K. D. Sethna’s account is vague and in the absence of details on X’s alleged offenses we cannot conclude that his case bears any resemblance to the case of Peter Heehs and his book on Aurobindo. Apart from this, I have already pointed out, in an earlier posting on this forum, Mr. Joshi’s distortions of Heehs’ account of Aurobindo’s views on The Secret of the Veda. So, any further attempt on Mr. Joshi’s part to document the “sins” of Peter Heehs and establish comparability or parity with the case of X must be viewed with circumspection and skepticism.
Given the dubiousness premise # 2, premise # 3 falls flat on its face and we can’t conclude that the Mother would have also prohibited the publication or distribution of writings by Peter Heehs.
Even if we assume that the inference has not derailed by the time we get to premise # 3, premise # 4 which claims that “Whatever the Mother does is right or justified.”  attributes infallibility to the Mother’s judgments. But it should be obvious that only an omniscient being can be infallible. And I take it that it is uncontroversial that the Mother was not an omniscient being and never claimed to be one. Let us also note that, much to his credit, Aurobindo never claimed to be an omniscient being either!
So, if the Mother was not an omniscient being, this implies that she was not infallible. This further implies that she could have been mistaken or imperfect in her judgments in any given case. So, it is not out of the question that she could have been imperfect or mistaken in her judgments in the case of Mr. X. The vagueness of K.D. Sethna’s account of the alleged offenses of Mr. X only adds to the uncertainty concerning the wisdom of the Mother’s judgments in this case.
All this has a bearing on premise # 5. If we are unclear, due to paucity of information or details, about the basis of the Mother’s judgments in a given case, this implies that we cannot be certain about the wisdom of her judgments in that case. And this further implies that we cannot hold her judgments in that case as a model for her disciples to emulate in other similar cases. So, premise # 5 also collapses.
Premise # 5 can be questioned even if we accept premise # 4 on the infallibility of the Mother’s judgments. Presumably, the Mother’s judgments are a function of her higher level of consciousness. If so, then it would not be sensible to try to ape or mimic her judgments even in similar cases without benefit of that higher consciousness. So, even if premise # 4 is accepted, premise # 5 does not follow from it.
With the collapse of premise # 5, we are assured of the collapse of premises # 6 and # 7. Hence, the argument fails and the example of the Mother’s censorship or proscription given by Mr. Sandeep Joshi doesn’t imply or support in any way the claim that it would be justified to proscribe the publication or distribution of Peter Heehs’ book.
drraghu has left a new comment on your post "Division and disharmony lies within each one of us...":

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Battle between the illumined future and the obstructive past

from Sandeep Joshi to tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 25 August 2010 19:21 
subject A case where the Mother engaged in censorship


Dear Tusar-ji,
Please remove my email address from this post for your Open Forum.
As I said before, it is possible to pick a quote to justify any kind of action.
What action must be undertaken depends on the soul in question.
FWIW, I have enclosed a situation where the Mother engaged in censorship.

(From K.D. Sethna. Our Light and Delight, pp 205-207, Chap 21 The Mother's Attitudes and Actions)

 A man in Bombay who had been once a devotee had become sceptical and sarcastic. He was contributing a series of commentaries on an Upanishad to Mother India. The articles were appreciated very much. I had kept the man's personal attitude apart from my judgment of his writing. As long as the writing bore no trace of the attitude, I could afford to be impersonal. The Mother came to be told of his attitude and the several unpleasant things he had said. She knew also that his series was appearing in Mother India.

She raised the topic with me one afternoon. I told her how much the articles had been admired and that they had no tinge of his critical approach to the Mother's workings. She very calmly heard me out. Then she expressed her wish that we should not seem to support the man by publishing his work. I inquired whether I could be allowed to run the series to its end and then forswear publishing anything else by the same hand. She paused for a minute and said:  "It is best if we stop just now."

I could see that there was no personal feelings involved on her part. Actually, I had noticed in the past that complaints had been made to her about somebody or other's hostile remarks against her and the proposal had been made that she should take steps against that person. She had said:

"As the remarks are about me, I can't take any stand. If they were about Sri Aurobindo, I would certainly act." On the present occasion her decision must have had behind it some insight into occult forces which might harm either me or the readers or else the Ashram's general work. Obviously, through my backing of the article the hostile elements were drawing sustenance. Purely literary principles have little validity where the battle between the illumined future and the obstructive past is concerned. I put aside the impersonal editor in me and acted as the obedient disciple. 

 It was a test for me over and above its being a lesson to the writer of the commentaries. There cannot be a compromise in such matters. But, of course, as the Mother's talk with me indicated, everything has to be done without personal animosity. A wide and wise serenity has to be at play in all decisive moves.

I dare say the Mother's move was even for the benefit of the writer himself — a quiet criticism which was an act of Grace to stir his soul to come forward again. And I am told that before his premature death he did turn to the Mother once more. 

 While I am about the subject of Mother India in relation to the Mother's wishes, I may touch upon the hints she gave me of what Mother India should never stoop to. Once a coworker offered the suggestion that we should ask our readers their reactions and their expectations, so that we might increase our periodical's popularity and be more successful. No doubt, the co-worker had no insistence in his suggestion and was as willing as myself to accept the Mother's ruling in every respect. But somehow the Mother came down with a pretty heavy hand. She must have intuited a non- Aurobindonian force putting out its tentacles from behind the coworker's innocent inquiry. She wrote to me: "Let us become as vulgar as we can and success is sure to come." (16-1-1965) 

We were a little taken aback and I pursued the topic by seeking her views on what changes the journal might undergo without falling below standard. She was again un- compromising: "No — I have no superficial views on the subject — and what I could say would not fit the 'new spirit' of the journal. Let me out of all this, it is better." (17-1-1965) One point, however, she clarified by adding the next day: "All that is done with the purpose of pleasing the public and obtaining success is vulgar and leads to falsehood. I enclose a deeper view of the subject. Blessings." The deeper view was expressed in a Message of hers that we should want to please neither ourselves nor others but only the Lord.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Speculations are baseless, disgusting and appalling

from Jitendra Sharma to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 25 August 2010 11:12 subject Don't try to be among the pure. 
In “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo”, Peter Heehs speculates that Sri Aurobindo’s spirituality was a result of his “inherited schizophrenia”. But at the end, he does not arrive at that conclusion. Such speculations are baseless, disgusting and appalling for all devotees of Sri Aurobindo. However, we must stop behaving as purists. The Mother says, “Don't try to be among the pure. Accept to be with those who are in darkness and, in total love, offer it all." (Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 3, Page 21). - Dr. Jitendra Sharma

Head, Dept. of French, St. Joseph's College, Devagiri, Kozhikode-673008 (Kerala) E-Mail: aurofrance@gmail.com

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Those who oppose The Lives are guided by the dark Sri Aurobindo

 Re: Sraddhalu Ranade writes to Manoj Das
by RY Deshpande on Thu 19 Aug 2010 10:58 PM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link
It has become a very painful story, very undesirable, but when fail all nature’s means, all happy-chummy means, all soft and persuasive means… all that is gentlemanly and polite and gracious in the refined sense… when suggestions and hints are not discerned… — the attempts were silently going on for the last two years… Maybe this is the process of desirable catharsis.
Re: Sraddhalu Ranade ...Manoj Das’s Disastrous Advice
by RY Deshpande on Sat 21 Aug 2010 11:57 AM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link
Manoj Das’s Disastrous Advice - Alok Pandey 
Recently Prof Manoj Das circulated a letter in Oriya and also spoke about the troubling issues in the Ashram. It seems the basic import is that those who are voicing their dissent against Peter Heehs represent kind of adverse forces. He says that even though the book is bad the author's intent is not bad, only his method is a flawed one. He further seems to state that even if the book is bad we should not resort to punishing anyone. This is not a new argument and has been answered on several occasions earlier. Manoj Das has mentioned a few other points which are also not new. I’ll skip them. But let me mention one. Does he really believe that the trustees, particularly the Managing Trustee Manoj Das Gupta, has absolutely no role to play in this crisis, either in its origin (giving copyright thoughtlessly knowing the man), or in its continuation (not helping the petitioner in settling the issue of the book quickly through the court with the Ashram's help). Even now he has given for Peter Heehs a financial guarantee for five years. What does Manoj Das want us to do? to believe that Manoj Das Gupta’s word is the word of God, the will of the Divine Mother? Sorry we do not accept this. To paraphrase his own statement regarding Kumud-ben: "One may stay very close to the Divine yet remain the same stupid human one ever was." 

As regards the demand for expulsion of Peter Heehs from India, it is not out of any hatred towards him but out of self-respect of a nation. Becoming an Ashram inmate I do not lose my Indian identity, it rather gets enriched in new ways. 

Asking him to leave the department and the Ashram is not any punishment or a vendetta but simply putting a thing in its right place. Since he has neither love nor faith in the Mother and Sri Aurobindo (perhaps some doubtful intellectual admiration) as is more than obvious in what he has written in the book and in his actions through the decades, it is better that he joins a university post and is at least kept out of harm's way at the Archives. To project this simple remedy as a punishment is preposterous. At best it is simply setting an old disorder right, at worst it is a self-defence. A surgeon does not punish a man when he operates upon a diseased limb; he is simply saving the life of the organism as a whole. So also a guard, who blows the whistle or challenges and if necessary shoots at an intruder, does no crime; he is simply doing what he must do to ensure safety to other things that he is meant to secure. The only difference here is that the guards are found sleeping or even supporting or conniving with the thief. What does our learned professor want us to do—to hold our hands in prayer and twiddle our thumbs with a hypocritical attitude, to claim that all is Her Will when to our inner psychic sense it is clearly not and has gone beyond the limits of turning a blind eye? He must understand that others are also looking inside and seeking an inner guidance, they are as much aware of their soul and are not acting simply under some sentimental rush or egoistic impulse. Some respect for other's inner inspiration please! 

Henceforth I openly challenge anyone who has the conviction of truth about what he is saying or doing to come out and discuss each and every aspect of this episode in the open, in presence of the members, in the Ashram Theatre or the Playground. Let the truth come out. In any case, let me emphasize that the word of these elders is not a gospel, that they are forever right! It is imbecility to believe this. All of us are fallible but when a crisis keeps returning to a group then one must ponder if all is well and right with its leaders and not thrusting the blame on those who have observed somethig different than what they are doing. That would be courage, and with such courage would come wisdom; it cannot come by proclaiming a holy birthright. Alok Pandey 
by RY Deshpande on Sat 21 Aug 2010 12:12 PM IST |  Profile |  Permanent Link >>… kind of adverse forces>>> 
It is not just kind of adverse forces. What I heard is, Manoj Das told the audience that those who oppose The Lives are guided by the dark Sri Aurobindo. ~ RYD 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Manoj Das wrote to Sraddhalu as representing Manoj Das Gupta’s views

by RY Deshpande on Sat 07 Aug 2010 05:51 AM IST  |  Permanent Link  |  Cosmos  28 July 2010
Dear Manoj-da (Das*),
Thank you for your letter dated 28 June 2010. I have since come to know that your letter is being widely circulated from Manoj Das Gupta’s office as representing his views. Hence I am compelled to write this response to put in context certain erroneous assumptions in your note. In what follows, your entire letter is quoted in bold followed by my remarks. My reply is long because the issues you have raised are complex and central to the Ashram’s future well-being. You have been frank and so will I be.
[*Clarification for those unfamiliar with these names: Manoj Das Gupta (MDG) is the present Managing Trustee of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, while Manoj Das is the scholar and journalist in answer to whom this letter is written. Manoj Das was a Trustee of the Ashram from the period 1992 to 1994 when he resigned from this post after differences with Pranab-da who was Director of Physical Education of the Ashram.] 
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are entirely the author’s and the Mirror of Tomorrow is not responsible to them in any way.

Dear Sraddhalu,
At first I wondered if your letter was not meant for some other ‘Manoj’, for I expected you to address Shri Manoj Das Gupta as Dear Manoj-da; not as Dear Manoj, for that goes so well with your courteous nature. I must confess that your address unpleasantly surprised me at first, but on reading the full letter I realised that it was in keeping with the spirit and tone of your text which I found rather unfortunate.
As you can remember very well, my agony on Peter’s book was no less than yours or anybody else’s and I went through the entire book listing out more than ninety objectionable observations or factual lapses.
I surely wished at least the Indian edition, if at all it comes out, to be a corrected version and if the foreign publishers go for a reprint, it should be a corrected and revised edition.
There were ways of achieving this without going public through large scale distribution of quotes from the book through internet and distributed printouts, or going to the court thereby inevitably attracting the press that was bound to pounce on the sensational aspect of the case. Thus, ironically, those who took such steps became (unwittingly?) the largest forum for spreading a virus against which they had launched their mission.
I deeply appreciated your advising Manoj-da against expelling Peter.
We all are creatures of ignorance and we are prone to commit blunders in different ways. The question is whether one is open to realising one’s mistake and alter one’s attitude for the better. Peter seems to have done that. No one can see the inner working of his mind.
If his regret is not genuine, the law of Karma will take care of that.
In any case he is out of the Archives.

But the chief purpose of my writing this letter to you is different. I have trusted you as a young man who has gained over the years a wide sense of perspective. I hope you will appreciate my observations even if you do not accept them.

Do you really believe that the reputation of Sri Aurobindo or even of the Ashram depended on a book? Peter was tempted by an urge to take recourse to some uncanny novelty in his approach to the biography and probably wished to be acknowledged as a so called academic, but books have been written earlier with pure hostile motive and hardly anybody bothers to remember them today as time rolled over them.
The Divine Genius of Sri Aurobindo is going on conquering ever expanding grounds of recognition and reverence plainly because of his revolutionary and epoch-making vision of human destiny and Peter’s book, like so many other articles, essays, newspaper reports and gossips will be nothing more than dead leaves scraping by or squirrels scratching a rising Himalayan peak.
So far as the Ashram’s reputation is concerned, it entirely depends on the community’s spiritual poise and not on its agitated behaviour on any issue of this natureeven if it comes to protecting God against infamy.
If we make a little introspection, it will be obvious that as a community we have ceased, at least temporarily, to live any inner life. That alone explains this huge hullabaloo on a book, with hardly anyone of the agitating multitude reading it, and their taking recourse to actions that can never go with an institution that claims itself to be spiritual.
I am really shocked that some senior Ashramites started showing signs that could be expected only of mobsters—promoting signature campaigns, enrolling even innocent and unsuspecting visitors into it bewildering them in the process, and sending letters of allegations—unverified and mostly consisting of hearsay and utterly venomous rumours, to different wings of the government.
The pity of pity is, lately some of them inspired a certain sickly lady, I do not know whether she is a mental case or one who is possessed, but who had proved her notoriety for using vulgar language against anybody who incurred her displeasure or envy for reason that were often inexplicable, to go on heaping abuses against Manoj-da and, as if that was not enough, instigating her to report to the police that her life was in danger!
I wish someone could make this self-righteous host of signature-campaigners, letter-writers and elements behind the aforesaid weird lady understand that they are the destroyers of the Ashram’s reputationa thing they imagined endangered and for which they profess their concern.

You have asked Manoj-da to resign if he could not act according to your suggestion. I certainly did not expect this from you.
The trustees are not elected by a body of voters; they are in the board following the principles and procedure laid down by the Mother, the founder of the Trust and of course they have to be from mortals like us.
Imagine a time when the trustees must resign because they cannot act according to the wish of a group or the wish of even a large body of people. Any action by the Trust can be unpleasant to a section or sections of people. This unhappy reality cannot be helped until the arrival of the golden age when we all would be victors over our ego.
The trustees must be guided by their own wisdom… though they must discuss issues with whoever is relevant for a particular issue, and pray for the Mother’s guidance.
The same applies to an Ashramite. One may convey one’s pleasure or displeasure on any matter to the Trust, but thereafter one must leave it to Providence.
One must not behave like a member of any commonplace institution, raising vociferous demands and taking recourse to the most deplorable tactics of pressure.
The primary reason for our stay here is our relation with the Divine Mother and the Master, and our progress to the best of our receptivity by their unlimited Grace.
Nobody can say that the Ashram management does not facilitate our aspiration in that regard.
In spite of that if I feel dissatisfied, it is for me to quit, not for me to ask anybody else to quit his position. I should not conclude that I alone am right and the other one, unless he agrees with me, should abdicate.
The trustees have their commitment to the Mother.
It will be a sad day in the calendar of courage if they bow down to populist demand.
No doubt they are responsible to us, but their ultimate responsibility is to the Mother and the Mother alone.
It is the duty of all Ashramites of goodwill to help them remain faithful to this ideal.

The truth of how some people are dominated by the delusion that they had the right to decide on other’s destiny became glaringly evident to me some time ago and let me share that experience with you. One day the Ashram Trust received a regular legal notice asking it to expel me from the Ashram forthwith or face the consequence. It was served through a costly lawyer by a dhoti-clad innocuous-looking gentleman who sat at the Ashram gate in the evening and I had never known him to be anything more than that in his outer life.  But, strangely indeed, he had been assured by some fellows that he was the President of some association and that position had bestowed on him the right to decide who should be retained or expelled from the Ashram he could dictate the Ashram Trust his decision. His advisers decided that the first blow of his axe of authority ought to fall on my neck.  My fault? He had heard that at the Krishnanagore court where a case had been filed against the revised version of Savitri, the Ashram lawyer said that the Mother did not read or understand the epic and even though I was present in the court I did not shout out my protest against our lawyer’s statement. The aggrieved gentleman’s mother tongue is Oriya as is mine. He could have very well asked me if what he heard was a fact. I could have informed him that whether it would have been possible for me to shout in the open court is a different matter, but such a situation never arose; the lawyer had no occasion to make any statement in regard to the Mother vis-à-vis Savitri.

I wondered, why did this elderly gentleman, on the basis of just a flying rumour, got ready to try his hand at wrecking the spiritual destiny of a gurubhai? Why did he not ask me before paying a handsome fee to a lawyer? I realised by and by that had he talked to me, he and the people behind him would have missed a great chance to proclaim themselves as hero-warriors coming to the rescue of the Mother’s prestige imperilled in a court room at Krishnanagore. (They circulated this imaginary situation and my silence through printed leaflets.)
Further I realised, how deceptive, alas, could be the Sadhu-like façade of a man! (For me personally it was an occasion to wonder if I really deserved to be in the Ashram but for Her Grace.)

A general air of irreverence has invaded the atmosphere of the Ashram through our lack of caution in our written or spoken words. This must not be. When we circulate a letter meant for the trustees, we should see to it that the language is dignified and confined to principles. Bitter words will necessarily invite more bitter words and there will be no end to the process.
I am happy that the Ashram Trust exercises the maximum restraint.
We, the inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, enjoy a range of freedom that cannot be imagined by the members of any other Ashram or spiritual community in India or anywhere in the world.
We must respect this exclusive privilege and should not allow our freedom of action or word to discredit this privilege. This freedom has far nobler purpose to serve in our life.
I have avoided being involved in any chain of correspondence and I will stick to my position. I wrote this only because I hold you in affection and I hope my words will receive whatever care they deserve. You need not take the trouble of replying. With best wishes, Manoj Das

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Amal had that tendency of arguing with Sri Aurobindo

Re: An Open Letter... A Ridiculous Defence of Savitri Revisions Comment posted by: RY Deshpande 17 August 2010
It is unfortunate, and painful, that I’ve to be to some extent critical about Amal’s messing up the Savitri-editing. The Archives’ team exploited him fully, knowing also his weakness for them. “I would not allow you to change even a comma,”—the Mother had told him, and the matter should have simply rested there. It didn’t. Surely, Nolini and Jugal would have left it at that place. It can never be our business to correct Savitri. And then there are corrections and corrections, of all types and every variety, and these cannot be handled mechanistically.
In any case, editorial changes, revisions, emendations, modifications are just out of the question. If this is one lesson we have to learn from Amal’s handling of Savitri, the purpose will be served. After all, he handled Savitri three times, in 1954, in 1972, and in 1993—and every time he made a mess of it. The Mother did not tell him to see if any corrections were to be made in Savitri, never; it was Amal who had prepared a list—he was not asked to prepare one—and taken it to her. He had done his job and he should have simply left it at that. He should have waited for further initiative from the Mother herself. And the Mother would not have done anything without, so to say, ‘consulting’ or ‘referring’ it to Sri Aurobindo. She was always in direct contact with him and she would have received the necessary ‘instructions’ directly from him. Spiritual truth lies in it and not in appropriating the matter for oneself.
Amal had that tendency of arguing with Sri Aurobindo, about English as well as suggesting alternatives with regard to his poetic compositions,—as becomes clear from the Savitri-correspondence with him. We are looking into the historical past and it is necessary to have this background; while fully appreciating and acknowledging Amal’s otherwise very valuable contributions to the Savitri-work, we cannot be oblivious of the human factors that enter into the picture everywhere. That is not to say that we will not introduce our own idiosyncrasies; but we can definitely absolve ourselves to a great extent essentially going  by the edition that had come out in the lifetime of the author himself, in this case the 1950-51 edition of Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri. ~ RYD

from bijan ghosh solitude24@gmail.com to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com 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.  […]
1954 ed. Savitri is Original, which has been reprinted by an institution, "Foundation for Sri Aurobindo and His Original Works" - available at Pondicherry. 9:23 PM

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's not even an intellectual issue anymore

drraghu said... Witchcraft? "lures of the hostile forces"? When will we see a medieval "Auro-Inquisition" in full swing in Pondicherry? When will we have the first "Auro da fe" (a la the Catholic Inquisition's "auto da fe") in a square in Pondicherry? Will Manoj Das Gupta or Peter Heehs be among the first victims condemned to public burning for their collusion with the "hostile forces"? And will those who are attacking Heehs' book or Manoj Das Gupta's management of the Ashram be on tribunals of "Auro Inquisition"?
A little knowledge is sure dangerous, but a little mish-mash of "spirituality" mixed with irrational beliefs is certainly the gateway to atrocity and lunacy! 8:10 AM, August 05, 2010

Anonymous said... Given that a select few are really sweating it out by practicing their favorite sport of MDG-bashing, and given that their favorite pass time is to invoke and deal with hostile forces, asuras, witchcraft and witch-hunting, why not request the rambling ... to give us another bird’s eye view, and a chicken brain’s perspective on whether his poetic license and vindictive temper will reveal that MDG was also:
a) colluding with Adolf Hitler during WWII,

b) the evil asura that was behind the bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki because he hated the Japanese people about whom our Sri Ma had many good things to say, and

c) that he is hiding and giving shelter to Osama Bin Laden in the secret basement of his residence, with the help of the ISI and the CIA of course, and that he will use him to write the next book, his Magnum Opus, on how Sri Aurobindo actually inspired and founded the Al Qaeda. (Unfortunately MDG could not tie-up with the Taliban because his critics have already signed an exclusivity deal with them!).

Well, if after his expose, ... was hoping that anyone would even remotely believe that Sri Ma was subtly helping him write his biography on Her life, it only shows that he is in the unenviable company of other ego-less and self-less individuals who without any hint of personal agendas and vendetta, are sincerely and earnestly toiling for and serving the Divine Lord by unwillingly imposing upon themselves the adoption of sly and slanderous means to fight all those asuric forces that they see through their evolved bird eyes. ... , Jai Ho to you and your kind! Deba 10:46 AM, August 06, 2010 

Anonymous said... Dear Dr. Raghu, Dear Anonyous Deba,
I have dug up more things about Manoj Das Gupta. Now do you remember there was a trench in front of the troops of Willington in the Battle of Waterloo, and Napoleon's cavalry had tumbled into that trench? How could that be? Now do you get it? Manoj Das Gupta had dug that trench at night so that the French - and remember the Mother is French - were defeated in the battle of Waterloo. And then thereafter the British reigned supreme in India. Poor Lord Sri Aurobindo was imprisoned by the British. See how far the hand of Manoj Das Gupta goes in putting Mother India to shame. I have heard this from very reliable sources and have documentary evidence of MDG's collusion with the Asuric British forces. I can give this to you in writing as well. Abed 1:00 PM, August 07, 2010 

Kalpana, perhaps you are already familiar with The Crest of the Peacock by GG Varghese (of Indian origin).
The atmosphere is so charged and prejudiced that for suggesting that India has contributed towards mathematics or astronomy or whatever, people will rush towards you to say that it is a myth or that there was no India at that time (similar to the Yoga-Hinduism controversy) or that it was actually the Arabs who did it all or that the Greeks were greatly responsible or simply that you are a Hindutva person. There is no room left anymore in
US academia for any legitimate Indian claims/demands/aspirations/pride.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sraddhalu’s twisting and spinning style of craftily attempting to form and mould opinions

From cosmic human cosmichuman007@gmail.com to tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com date 10 August 2010 17:58 subject RE: [SAICE] Shraddhalu's letter to Manoj Das
Tusar-ji, I received this e-mail and I thought that it might interest you and SEOF website. Sincerely.
RE: [SAICE] Shraddhalu's letter to Manoj Das

Well, well, well… how interesting! All these birds and other flying objects remind me of some ornithological remarks made during the early days of this controversy.

Even though it’s the third time that this letter has found its way into my mailbox, I’m in a way strangely glad that this time it has arrived via the SYG. And it’s not that I’m glad because there’s a controversy to deal with at last. I’m glad because ever since the PH controversy got wisely silenced on the SYG, elsewhere, however, it was being nurtured and was kept festering all this while. So, it may be a good time to revisit this story after this apparent lull and examine where things stand and also take a look at some things in closer detail.

To begin with, even though I am certainly not a fan of G.W. Bush junior, I must admit that once in a while he has come out with some interesting Bushisms. For example he once remarked that if you tell and repeat a Lie a thousand times, people are likely to start believing that it is a Truth (e.g. WMD in Iraq!).

And so it appears that during the last two years some more or less Bushy people have religiously followed this advice and invested all of their time and energies, with the hope that the more (of the same) noise they make, the more chances they have of being heard and believed, and their letters have therefore only gotten longer and longer since then (we are now at 24 pages…).

Thus, in this latest attempt of Sraddhalu’s to rewrite history (based of course on other people’s narrations and rumours), I have been curiously but painstakingly sifting through the immense heap of Sraddhalu’s opinions, that in his usual style are uttered like fundamental and eternal Truths, in order to look for some of his letter’s salient points. As I do not wish to bore anyone with an 80 page commentary, I have for the time being chosen to illustrate one typical feature of Sraddhalu’s twisting and spinning style of craftily attempting to form and mould opinions.

Sraddhalu authoritatively says:
“Perhaps you do not know that the Mother once chided MDG saying, “Manoj, don’t act; be!” Another time She admonished him with, “Manoj, don’t pretend to be a yogi when you are not!” Still another time, She gave him the role of Polydaon, the high priest of evil, in Sri Aurobindo’s play Perseus the Deliverer. After he played it vividly and convincingly, She called him aside and warned him saying, “It is dangerous to identify with the Dark force.” Perhaps were these warnings prophetic. (All incidents as narrated by the Mother’s personal attendant.)”

Please note Sraddhalu’s foreboding and concluding words: “Perhaps were these warnings prophetic.”

So after all, is this all about Sraddhalu Skywalker fighting the Dark Force of Manoj DarthVader Gupta? Pity for Sraddhalu though that Star Wars is only a fiction, just as are the incidents as narrated by him.

Because a little, simple examination that I started to undertake a week or so ago with the help of some of my friends and ex-teachers, after having received Sraddhalu’s letter about this purported incident, clearly reveals that Sri Aurobindo’s Perseus the Deliverer with its dreaded Polydaon was enacted 4 times:
a.   on 1.12.1954
b.   on 1.12.1966
c.   on 1.12.1982
d.   on 1.12.1993 
Accordingly I have attached the pictures (I regret the poor quality of the photocopies I have so far been able to make) which anybody can check from the Bulletins of: 
Feb 1955 ( containing images of 1.12.1954)
Feb 1967 ( containing images of 1.12.1966)
Feb 1983 ( containing images of 1.12.1982)
Feb 1994 ( containing images of 1.12.1993)

Now we come to an interesting observation: 
a.      In 1954 Richard was Polydaon: we cannot identify it from the pictures but I have verified it with those that were part of the play and if anyone has any doubt about it, please let me know. 
b.     In 1966 Kanu was Polydaon. That is clearly identifiable 
c.      In 1982 Chote was Polydaon. The picture shows it all. We also see Arvind Maheshwari as Perseus 
d.     In 1993 indeed it was Manoj-da who was Polydaon. As said before the picture says it all.

I do not know about the acting skills of Manoj-da and whether he played Polydaon convincingly or not, but then how on earth did The Mother admonish him in 1993 (as reported by Sraddhalu and his source) for having identified himself with the Dark Forces??????

Indeed how on earth … but it appears that some of our dear prophets and visionaries never talk of things on earth as they appear to be more in their illusory worlds than on earth. All the best, Filio 
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From: SAICE@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SAICE@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Lopa Paul Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2010 7:17 PM To: SAICE@yahoogroups.com Subject: [SAICE] Shraddhalu's letter to Manoj Das 

looks like kites, birds and such letters are flying in the air these days... just corroborates the mood "oh well what's the world coming to" Lopa '94