Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Peter Heehs, without any academic qualification, has written the jinxed book

American writer Peter Heehs, without any academic qualification, has written the jinxed book “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo”. He dons the garb of a researcher, a devotee and an impartial biographer. He writes a few pages in the book insinuating that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had a romantic relationship and Sri Aurobindo’s personality had some elements of ‘schizophrenia’, inherited from his mad mother, which were the root causes of his mystical yogic powers and supernatural experiences.
He blames Sri Aurobindo for India’s partition. After sowing such seeds of wild suspicions in the minds of readers, Heehs makes a sudden u- turn that the relationship between Sri Aurobindo and the Mother might have been spiritual. Even though all Indians respect Sri Aurobindo as a freedom fighter, Heehs calls him a terrorist. This kind of incendiary, inflammatory, defamatory, objectionable, denigrating and abusive observations run through the entire  fabric of the book. This book is full of intentional distortions, innuendos, false fabrications, misleading out-of context references and baseless conclusions in the name of richly-documented research. A discerning reader feels unmistakable hostility of Heehs towards Sri Aurobindo. To gain credibility of readers, he falsely claims to be one of the founders of Sri Aurobindo Ashram’s Archives. He intentionally omits all positive historical evidences in favour of Sri Aurobindo and provides a ready collection of adverse tidbits to belittle his greatness.
Indian Government does not permit freedoms of speech and expression beyond a certain point. Delhi High Court had recently asked Google, Yahoo and Facebook etc. to censor all objectionable material. They had shown some bad comments and pictures that had maligned Sonia Gandhi. Similarly, when M.F. Husain had painted Indian Goddesses in nude, the Indian Government had not supported him.
I have read this blasphemous hagiography (or rather Heehography?!) twice. It brought tears to my eyes. Does this book denigrate Sri Aurobindo or not? We all await a final judgment of a Court of Law with a bated breath. Here are Mother’s relevant words:
“Anything written by a sadhak about Sri Aurobindo which brings him down to an ordinary level and admits the reader to a sort of gossiping familiarity with him is unfaithfulness to Him and His work. Good intentions are not sufficient.” - The Mother (Collected Works of the Mother, Vol. 13, Page 27) 
- Dr. Jitendra Sharma
Head, Department of French, St. Joseph’s College, Devagiri, Calicut-673008 (Kertala)

There would be nothing wrong with that if the book was truly an honest and scholarly biography. Unfortunately it is full of misrepresentations and deliberate distortions regarding a) facts surrounding important events, b) their historical context, c) the teaching of Sri Aurobindo, d) the nature of his own yogic practices, e) life in the Ashram, and f) the Mother. Naturally these also lead to false interpretations and wrong conclusions. On reading the entire book, the pattern that emerges is that PH has distorted facts to force them to fit the Freudian view of spirituality. Such a book cannot be accepted as 'scholarly' since standards of scholarship demand honesty, accuracy and completeness in presenting facts. All three elements have been seriously compromised in this book. Peter has always avoided discussions. Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust never tried to seriously find the solution. The Trust has weaken itself. Still if they wish proper solution can be found. from: Steeve Posted on: Apr 1, 2012 at 13:48 IST

Peter Heehs has crossed all the limits a man can, when writing this controversial book. The book in question has already been banned in India since April 2009. The Life History of great men can not be assessed from a very trivial and ordinary level of understanding, from a very low level of consciousness as Peter has done in his book. By doing so, he has hurt the sentiments of not only the millions of disciples and devotees of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, but also he has slammed all Indians in their face by maligning a freedom fighter of India, the only one to demand 'Complete Swaraj" from the British rulers. Only Sri Aurobindo's name appears in the records of the British Parliament as the "Most dangerous man in India", the greatest revolutionary. Peter must be deported from India. His visa, in no case, be renewed. Such an anti-national and criminal has no place in India, who tries to blame the freedom fighters, lovers of humanity, spiritual leaders, guru and incarnation of Supreme. from:  Biranchi Karan Posted on: Apr 2, 2012 at 15:44 IST

Peter himself has declared in his controversial book that he is a school drop out, was a taxi driver in USA. When did he become a historian without having any academic qualification or training? Is India so poor with Historians that a foreign national, without having any knowledge on Indian history & culture, will attempt to write filthy garbage, in the name of biography? When Sri Aurobindo himself has said that his life is not on the surface for men to see, how dare such an unwanted person write about him? Was it necessary? No, there is an international conspiracy to malign the spiritual leaders of our country. They (Jeffry Kripal who has financed this book, also financed another book called 'Kalis child' in which they have tried to show that Sri Ramakrishna was a homo-sexual) Jeffry Kripal, Richard Murphy etc. are the real conspirators in the process. A thorough investigation would reveal a lot of hidden agendas behind the ill motives of these people. from:  Biranchi Karan Posted on: Apr 2, 2012 at 15:59 IST 


  1. Dear Professeur Sharma,

    You may recall our earlier exchange on this blog, which I am sorry to see is still full of “blagues”.
    I am also greatly surprised that a French Scholar like yourself that espouses the French values which La Mere introduced in the Ashrame and her International Center of Education have been forgotten and are ignored by you.

    If you have really studied the French literature and culture you must certainly know that Voltaire said:
    “Je désapprouve ce que vous dites, mais je me battrai jusqu'à la mort pour que vous ayez le droit de le dire. ”
    which in English may be translated as:
    “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”

    La Mere has always insisted on Consciousness and not Dogmas. In this regard Voltaire astutely observed:
    “Lorsqu'une question soulève des opinions violemment contradictoires, on peut assurer qu'elle appartient au domaine de la croyance et non à celui de la connaissance. »
    which in English may be translated as:
    “When an issue raises violently opposing opinions, one can be sure that these belong to the domain of Dogmas and not that of Knowledge”

    To conclude with Voltaire again:
    “On parle toujours mal quand on n’a rien à dire."
    which in English may be translated as:
    “We always criticize, when in reality we have nothing to say.”

    De Nielly

  2. Voltaire was s Great Democrat,but Democracy
    is Not the Ultimate Philosophy of Nature, evolutionary ascension does not stop.Aurobindo
    went beyond Man!

  3. Dear Nilanjan Chatterjee,
    I am in total agreement with you.
    I am only bewildered when people who call themselves the disciples of Sri Aurobindo get obsessed with petty problems and instead of following Aurobindo up the evolutionary ascension are instead dragging every one down to so a sub-human level, a level certainly much lower to the enlightened one Voltaire reached a few centuries ago.
    We do not need Heehs or the Ashrame to follow the path of Sri Aurobindo. Why spend all this precious time and energy on completely useless issues?
    De Nielly