Sunday, December 11, 2011
After much hue-and-cry about the removal of AK Ramanujan’s essay, 300 Ramayanas, from the concurrent course list last month, a course went missing from the approved syllabus for political science at Delhi University (DU). The paper on the political beliefs and workings of nationalist freedom fighter Aurobindo Ghosh, who later set up the Aurobindo Ashram, was approved by the Committee of Courses when it deliberated upon the semester course earlier in the year.
But when the final course came up for approval before the Academic Council — the highest decision-making body in the university — the course was found missing from the list.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Date: 3 December 2011, 10:44
Dear Mr. Tusar,
As you have published a few e-mails from Prof. Kamal Das on your websites, I was thinking that you might also be interested to publish this e-mail from Maggi regarding Prof. Kamal Das and his analyses.
An email from Maggi Lidchi-Grassi: Nov. 11, 2011:
The other day there came an e-mail from a friend and devotee in Italy. [...]
"One cardinal axiom Raman Reddy would do well to remember always is that no “interpretation is faulty” and hence maintaining an attitude of democratic respect and tolerance towards contrasting and adverse viewpoints is essential for personal growth as well as community well being. By not arrogating to himself the burden of offering the official interpretation, he can save himself from much torment and spare his readers too."
I think I should reply to the high and mighty Tusar Mohapatra of the Savitri Era Forum, who keeps on making the most opposite comments on the same issue, once for and once against, without realising that one should be at least stable with one’s own opinion. Or does he think that even fluctuating in one’s opinion like the wind is being democratic with the multiple selves that one has in one’s own being? But democracy being the foundation of TNM, he would say, “It does not matter even if I contradict myself for I am giving respect to all my selves!”
When did I claim that my version is official, for that credit should go to the Ashram Trust which has been remarkably silent on the web? I find the interpretation faulty does not mean that I am claiming my version is official! Unless you mean that my version has become official because the others are silent or are unable to say something convincing in return. But then that is not our fault.
I think Tusar should play a positive role in this affair instead of constantly arraigning those who are earnestly fighting PH’s views on Sri Aurobindo.
Raman Reddy is an ashramite working in the archives for the last many years. As a sadhak and a scholar, it is expected that his articles conform to the academic norms of politeness. The opening paragraph, conversely, appears to be combative in this instance. It is, in fact, a question of substituting a few phrases here and there. Let me attempt a cosmetic makeover so that the reader is not put off by the menacing horns. [TNM]
"On reading the booklet entitled Sri Aurobindo on Hinduism by Peter Heehs (published by the Sri Aurobindo Society, Hyderabad centre in 2007), I came across certain distortions. It seemed to me that the author has deliberately adopted a deceptive and confusing style such that even a well-informed reader of Sri Aurobindo will be easily taken in by the flow of arguments. Even the interpretation and conclusion appear to be so equivocal that the reader would sometimes not realise that he has actually skimmed over deep contradictions which bear the false impression of a balanced view. I have quoted the following paragraph in order to examine the discrepancies."
Is this some kind of advertisement that you are giving free lessons on "writing with courtesy" on the Savitri Era forum?
Yes, now and then I've been seeing those bazaar blogs named after Savitri always playing a dubious role, acting like paid agents yet keeping a facade of journalistic fairness. The best is to dismiss what they say. Take an example. At
there is a poser: "Does anyone stand by the Pranab’s proposal?" The right question to ask would be: What are we doing with Pranab's Proposals? and so on.
Peter Heehs has attempted for a very long time to erase any linkages Sri Aurobindo and his Yoga may have to Hinduism. Inspired by him, Rich Carlson has tried to do the same and Ulrich Mohrhoff has written to Outlook magazine online and every blog he could find just to register the exact same objections of Heehs and propagate the same message. They do this to justify whatever little attraction they have for Sri Aurobindo to the political milieu they cling to.
The question is: Did Sri Aurobindo and Mother disallow people who wanted to do pranam to them the muslim way? Or by kneeling as some Christians do? If someone wanted to lift and touch their knees to their noses as a novel pranamic technique, would they have objected?? It’s very doubtful. So, what is Heehs really objecting to? Only that Sri Aurobindo allowed the Hindus to worship him in their way!
Do these people expect that Sri Aurobindo should have created a whole new lexicon for his yoga completely outside of Indian religion and given brand new names to various powers or maybe even renamed Krishna as Jehovah or something else just to please them? Maybe they will next insist that Sri Aurobindo should have changed his own name so that it would not sound even remotely Hindu? It’s not possible to convince such small-minded, unreasonable, people if these are the levels they stoop to.
Coming to his commentary about the externals aspects of a devotee’s worship: how can Heehs claim to know anything about the devotee’s attitude and/or consciousness while worshiping Sri Aurobindo that he can generalize and comment so glibly about it? If, as Sri Aurobindo says, the attitude and consciousness are more important than the externalities, Heehs oozes pure arrogance by assuming to know anything about the devotee’s attitude and/or consciousness.