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Saturday, September 27, 2008

I have come to learn of an entire Karl Rovian like whisper campaign begun in Pondicherry intent on smearing the reputation of Mr. Heehs

Re: Respect for spiritual master from Srimad Bhagavatam
by Rich on Fri 26 Sep 2008 Profile Permanent Link

Rakesh, With all due respect, I've been reading Shrimad Bhagavatam for 30 years, I am not sure how old you were at that time when I first encountered it but I am very familiar with its position on what you refer to in your post Additionally I have gone out of my way in my posting to state clear without doubt that in the Indian Spiritual Tradition worship of the Guru is entirely proper. Please go back and reread them if you have missed that one. What you seem not to understand is that my references to guru worship concern a discipline in which the founders claimed not to be a religion. My friend as you know Hinduism is a religion so to adopt its practices of guru worship I find a contradiction.

You can disagree with me but again as I have just responded to Vikas I feel it inappropriate just because we may disagree in our interpretations that you make the suggestion that somehow you are more devoted to Sri Aurobindo than I am. And I in fact find I this assertion itself betrays a rather arrogant attitude. In fact we have never spoke personally, nor do you know my intentions as I post from my yoga of deconstruction. In fact for the record my appreciation of Sri Aurobindo whose texts have been my main source of inspiration for over 25 years has only increased as he has become more humanized. If that offends you I apologize but please dont assume that you value Sri Aurobindo and more as a spiritual teacher than I do myself

Re: Sri Aurobindo and Hinduism (a speech by Peter Heehs: Hyderabad 2006)
by Rich on Fri 26 Sep 2008 Profile Permanent Link

Vikas, Lets see Jyotirmaya Sharma author of Hindutva who I thought wrote a particularly pernicious book accusing Sri Aurobindo (from a leftist perspective) of being a father of Hindu intolerance, in this forum called me a Texas millennial fanatic but I think I like ego-ridden mind with an arrogant and show-off attitude better. Therefore It will perhaps be easiest for those who think I am in any way blaspheming the the founder of IY to just chalk it up to my insanity or megalomania, simply to change the channel and move on. However, to suggest someone's writing appears to be the ravings of an egomanic and then add but I know you are not one, is the same rhetorical tactic as saying oh so I see you dont beat your wife. Even in its denial it already plants the suggestion that something is very wrong.

Whatever my posting my critiques are aimed at institutions, organizations or ideas not ad hominem attacks on people characters. The response to the person who you claimed I was disrespectful to did not attack him personally but rather his idea that before one can work in the Archives one would have to take out a million dollar bond and have to pay up if they every wrote anything with a copyright or could not demonstrate their utter selflessness was to my critical intelligence so bizarre to deserve an ironical response. I find my ironic response neither offensive, in bad taste, derogatory or insensitive, especially in light of the fact that this gentleman and the person who had begun the whole conversation on The Lives of Sri Aurobindo were engaged in a series of increasingly offensive, derogatory attacks against Peter Heehs. Attacks which violated the guidelines of this forum. (And let it be clear it was the poster himself who upon self-reflection pulled the post down, no one else) In fact I have come to learn of an entire Karl Rovian like whisper campaign begun in Pondicherry intent on smearing the reputation of Mr. Heehs. One luminary even refers to him as a “madman”

Vikas I have not seen any posting from yourself that condemn these tasteless remarks directed at Mr. Heehs or do they fit your ABC definition of spirituality? So even if we disagree about matters concerning to Sri Aurobindo, I suggest they be done by debating the ideas in question and leave the personal attacks out of it. In fact if there is such a huff about Peters book rather than be part of conspiracies to have him ejected from the Ashram, and in these conspiracies refer to him a madman, or a charlatan, before descending to the infra-rational why dont everyone like "reasonable folks" (and I know many in the IY disparge reason) who live in a democracy which promotes freedom of expression (all values that by the way Sri Aurobindo championed) just schedule a series of debates or open forums that can open a dialog of the matters which are controversial I would suggest it best be done in at some neutral place like a Centre here, but would open this forum to such honest debates which dont resort to hurling invectives.

Finally the suggestion is left that somehow either you, Rakesh or the others in the Ashram have more devotion to Sri Aurobindo than do I. I in fact find this itself betrays a rather arrogant attitude. In fact we have never spoke, you dont know me, you know nothing of my eternal gratitude to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother for positively changing my life. Therefore you know nothing of my intentions as I post from the yoga of deconstruction. In fact for the record my appreciation of Sri Aurobindo whose texts have been my main source of inspiration for over 25 years has only increased as he has become more humanized.

You may disagree with my approach but it is just that two people disagreeing. In the history of any Religion or Spiritual movement becomes overtime inevitably polarized between orthodox and liberal interpretations, this is fact is the crux of this whole conversation and the controversy surrounding the Heehs text. It was my understanding of the meaning of term "Integral" in IY as widening the perspectives of those who follow it to be able to hold contrary positions and work with them. Unfortunately the current heated polarized debate on the matter of Sri Aurobindo's biography speaks to the contrary. Rich

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