Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lives war: 2007 - 2011

Peter Heehs is writing a biography of Sri Aurobindo due to be published next year
A couple of weeks ago, our Savitri study group in Manhattan had the privilege of meeting Peter Heehs, a historian who is writing a biography of Sri Aurobindo due to be published next year. Peter Heehs is also the author of a paper entitled The uses of Sri Aurobindo: mascot, whipping boy, or what?, and a wonderful little book called Nationalism, Terrorism, Communalism.
In both the paper and the book, he thoroughly investigates all the allegations of Sri Aurobindo having been an “extremist” or a “Hindu supremacist” and shows that they simply do not hold water.
Peter was quiet and unassuming, and I really enjoyed meeting him... Meeting Peter Heehs fromThe Stumbling Mystic by ned Matagiri Thursday 13 December 2007 10:11 AM

Peter Heehs reading & booksigning for The Lives of Sri Aurobindo on June 19 at 7 pm... This special event will be introduced by Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy. One of the founders of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, Heehs is currently a member of the editorial board of the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo. [11:30 AMSay what? Fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, biography, mystery ... San Francisco Chronicle, USA - SF Reads from "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo." 7 pm Thurs. The Booksmith, 1644 Haight St. (415) 863-8688. Thursday, June 19, 200812:12 AM

The Lives of Sri Aurobindo: Some devotees of Sri Aurobindo might be put off by Peter’s academic tone in this biography. After all, he never calls Sri Aurobindo an “avatar” or anything like that in it. Indeed, Peter paints Sri Aurobindo as humanly as he possibly can in this biography (which was partly because he wanted a university publisher in order to reach a wider audience, and partly because that’s his style — to be measured and detached)... Peter Heehs’ The Lives of Sri Aurobindo from The Stumbling Mystic by ned Monday, July 21, 2008 8:40 AM, 11:17 AM, 11:06 AM 

Re: Rationalism and the yogic life by ned on Sun 28 Sep 2008 07:31 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Personally, I met Peter in New York and at Lodi and heard him speak about his book. He's a very nice person and clearly worked hard on this biography. He's also very knowledgeable. His approach is a little too rationalistic for me and I do think that there were portions of the book where I thought he "sold out" too much to a Western audience (e.g. at one point he says that maybe all these experiences are hallucinations or schizophrenic breakdowns).
But overall, I liked the biography because it describes the human personality of Sri Aurobindo and in an odd way that strengthened me in my sadhana. It made me think that if Sri Aurobindo could rise from his "human self" to the greatness that he eventually attained, there is great hope for all of us. Monday, September 29, 2008 7:51 AM

As for the Peter Heehs controversy I have no personal stake in it nor do I care much about the emotional reactions people are having to his biography. He has his opinions and my faith in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is strong enough to not be affected by such trivial things. I do find it really sad that people who are *supposed* to be "spiritual" are resorting to such petty reactions and even to violence against Peter, if that's the case. It only shows the lack of actual spiritual experiences -- when you start having experiences you stop reacting like this. 12:00 PM 

BAN THE BAN Calcutta Telegraph - Saturday, July 30 , 2011 Politics and play: Ramachandra Guha. 
However, Heehs is gently sceptical of the claim that Aurobindo possessed supernatural powers. “To accept Sri Aurobindo as an avatar is necessarily a matter of faith,” he writes, adding that “matters of faith quickly become matters of dogma”. This understated, unexceptionable statement drove the dogmatic followers of Aurobindo bananas. 12:03 PM 
With only the blind to lead the blind the ignorance and toxicity of the community grew progressively worse. This fact was recently highlighted by the controversial book written in 2008 by Peter Heehs entitled The Lives of Sri Aurobindo.  In the pages of this shameful text the author reduces his Guru to a ridiculous caricature and de-contextualizes his life and work in virtually the same manner that the Mother’s disciples systematically destroyed her temple.

No comments:

Post a Comment