Monday, October 13, 2008

Peter in the garb of a western devotee has a problem with Hindu devotees bowing before the Guru

Re: Re: Corrections to textual excerpts of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs
by rakesh on Sun 12 Oct 2008 11:30 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

I am posting some inconsistencies in Peter’s biography that I request all to take a look. I do not have anything against him or his book but when I see some partial representation of a person as a reader I am bound to show the inconsistencies without bias. He might be a great guy just like many of us on this blog but we also have to analyze if he has made right judgments on the subject. [...]

Clearly Peter in the garb of a western devotee has a problem with Hindu devotees bowing before the Guru. Sometimes he blames the Mother for encouraging this ceremony and sometimes Sri Aurobindo. Let us not forget what the Gita says that howsoever the devotee offers the Divine accepts it. If the devote bows down and touches the feet with love the Divine accepts the offer. There is no religiosity here. Sri Aurobindo has written extensively on the importance of personal god in letters on yoga and the love and surrender that accompany it.

The more rational would be happy to point out that this is an act of religiosity but it is sheer misunderstanding of the concept of personal god and Guru. It is the same misunderstanding between the adwaita vadin who is more inclined towards the impersonal divine and the devotee towards personal divine. One has to harmonize both sides of the Divine to get an integral understanding and not pit one against the other. I quote from the letters on yoga

“There is where the parallel with the Ishta Devata which you suggest would not hold; for the Ishta Devata on whom the seeker concentrates is a conscious Personality of the Divine answering to the needs of his own personality and showing to him as in a representative image what the Divine is or at least pointing him through itself to the Absolute.” Pg 774, letters on yoga, part II

"I have no objection at all to the worship of Krishna or the Vaishnava form of devotion, nor is there any incompatibility between Vaishnava Bhakti and my supramental yoga. There is infact no special and exclusive form of supramental yoga: all ways can lead to the supermind, just as all ways can lead to the Divine." Pg 794, letters on yoga, pat II

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