Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rubicon moment for Manoj Das

 A comment has been posted in reference to an article titled: An Open Letter to Manoj-baboo from RY Deshpande Comment posted by: RY Deshpande Re: An Open Letter ...This gossipy-petty-ignorant product… Cling to Truth

We’ve in the Ashram an influential scholar who has listed at least ninety offensive entries in the book but he prefers to observe neutral silence over these “highly objectionable passages”, without realising that not to speak against known falsehood is itself falsehood, which is neutral or diplomatic or calculating silence to protect his personal interests, his position, his standing, his worldly prestige earned by story-telling. ~ RYD

What are the central features of the image of Sri Aurobindo

from to date 31 July 2010 07:39 subject re: Pl. post
Thank you!
The Hub of the Attack On Heehs' Book!

Govind: "the book presents Him in a way that goes against the way that the Mother and Sri Aurobindo have presented Him Themselves."

Two quick responses:

1. We need to first hear from this man what he thinks are the central features of the image of Aurobindo presented by the Mother and Aurobindo himself before we can decide whether any other account or image of Aurobindo is compatible or incompatible with it.

2. He begs the question of whether this image of Aurobindo presented by the Mother and Aurobindo himself was a complete and perfect one. Further, did they ever claim that this image was a complete and perfect one? Or is this claim of completeness and perfection something Govind foists on them?

I intend to address this issue after examining the letter and spirit of Aurobindo's own corrections of misconceptions or errors in accounts of his life provided by his contemporaries. I dare say that this will clear all the dust raised over Heehs' book!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You are simply projecting your own value systems on Sri Aurobindo

from Govind Rajesh to date, 29 July 2010 19:13
subject My response to Raghu
Following is my reply to Raghu. Please remove my e-mail address:

The mein kampf analogy is misleading. Hitler was not a sadhak of the Ashram. The right analogy should have been, "what if some Sadhak would have published a book praising Hitler and attacking Sri Aurobindo's stand?". Forget about expelling individual disciples, even when Sri Aurobindo was appraised of rumors that some Sadhaks were supporting Hitler He said that He was ready to close down the Ashram if the Sadhaks wanted. So what would His reaction have been in the case someone had "gone public" with their support? Banning the book, and/or throwing the hostile element out of the Ashram are both certainly within the realm of possibility and would have been consistent with His position.

About the Mother's tolerating such behaviour there is even less chance. Since you are quoting the Mother's description of Sri Aurobindo as a gentleman there is one more quote of Hers which you need to consider where she has said that although Sri Aurobindo was a gentleman She herself was not. Please remember that it was NOT the Mother's or Sri Aurobindo's primary objective to uphold YOUR liberal values and conform to YOUR system of political correctness, but to do a certain Work which They over and over stressed would not be helped by Sadhaks taking the liberty (yes, liberty) to doubt or, worse, to criticize and judge or, worst, give a distorted picture to the world at large. Once again, go back and try to see with an unbiased eye what was the expectation that Mother Sri Aurobindo had of the Sadhaks when it came to public pronouncements about Them and Their Work. If your liberal ideology is opposed to totalitarianism, fascism, communism and religious fanatcism that does not mean that Sri Aurobindo was oppposed to them unconditionally. In that you are simply projecting your own value systems on Him and getting the whole thing muddled up. Just to give you an example, Sri Aurobindo has supported even dictators and their dictatorship in certain conditions. If memory serves me right he has also had good things to say about communism relative to other ideologies. Yet here you are, bent upon making a liberal ideologue and fanatic out of him in your own mould.

The only scenario where one can be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that Sri Aurobindo would NOT have supported banning the book is if He were prepared to tolerate anything and everything from Sadhaks or, as I have put it, "anything goes". So if that is not your premise then you need to reject your premature conclusion and take your challenge back. My challenge to you, however, still stands. Show me where a sadhak who has publicly cast doubts or critically judged, even disparaged, Sri Aurobindo's Life and Work was either admitted into or allowed to remain in the Ashram holding those views. You are sure to come up empty. There are, on the contrary, several instances where people have had to leave. Hence, Auroman's statement that either the book should have been rejected by the Author or he should have been expelled from the Ashram. If you are as "familiar" with Ashram life as you say then this should be known to you. It is a basic expectation of any sadhak. Given this fundamental violation of Ashram norms and the obstruction put up by Asharm authorities, some Ashramites have chosen to take legal action, as a result of which the sale of the book has been prohibited by the government. In a civil society it is quite normal and commendable for citizens who have greivances to approach the law for redress. What is so disturbing or hard for you to understand here, particularly since you have established your domicile in what is arguably the most litigious society in the world? I really wonder why this should bother you so much and what for all this moral grandstanding and these baseless proclamations of intellectual self-superiority.

In fact, if you care to examine your own position critically you will see that it is you who are committing the fallacy of false choice. Even if, for argument's sake, we agreed with you that Sri Aurobindo espoused liberal values, still, HE WAS NOT BOUND BY THEM. So, at least in His case, there is nothing that necessitates any course of action or inaction. And that is precisely what Auroman has been trying to explain to you, but to no avail.

Even ordinary humans who define and bind themselves to liberal values draw the line somewhere. Even in your great "liberality" I doubt if you would give a free hand to someone who, posing as your good friend, comes in to your house and starts denigrating you and passing critical judgment on you in front of your own children. You would be within your rights to throw him out and, if he persists, then you would be well within your rights to take legal action against him to get him to stop. This is not a false choice. It is simply a rational choice.

Managing Trustee refused to do his job and expel the author from the Ashram

From auroman de le Miroir to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 29 July 2010 00:52 subject Reply to Dr Raghu
Dear Tusar,
This is my reply to Dr Raghu.  Please remove my email address. Best 

What Sri Aurobindo would have done in any given circumstance is anybody's guess. There is no canon or scripture which can tell you that.  It is like asking "What would Jesus do?".  Either side can pick some verse from scripture to justify its approach.  Sages typically arrive at their decisions by using their subtle vision to see the soul of  the person in order to understand why he behaves in a certain manner.   In the absence of such vision, either side could be right in a given argument.
Most people are getting sidetracked by the secondary issue, which is that the book is being banned.  There would be no need to ban this book if it hadn't been for the fact that the Managing Trustee refused to do his job and expel the author from the Ashram. We don't go around banning books in general.  People who live outside the Ashram are free to write critical books on Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and his disciples.
But when you voluntary join the Aurobindo Ashram, it presupposes that you have accepted Sri Aurobindo as your Guru and that must inform the judgements you make while writing a biography.  If you think Sri Aurobindo was a liar and you want to distort his version of the story, then please leave the Ashram and join a University where you can exercise your free speech rights.
Which principle to apply in a certain situation requires some wisdom. Rights comes with responsibilities. The rules of secular society cannot be directly applied to a person working in an institution. Doesn't a person working in the White House in USA have his free-speech rights constricted? He works no longer for himself but for the President. The same analogy can be applied to a disciple living in the Ashram.
I would encourage Dr Thill Raghu to get back to his teaching job and leave us to our woes.  His students return for classes in about six to eight weeks. 

Govind has left a new comment on your post "As a man imbued with liberal values, Sri Aurobindo...": 
You are confusing Sri Aurobindo's "liberalism" with an "anything goes" attitude. I think you need to brush up a bit on life in the Ashram. Certainly, there is much more freedom there than other institutes that go by that name. However, when it came to Sri Aurobindo and portraying Him in a "critical" manner to the rest of the world there was never a point in time where any Sadhak was given absolute license. In fact, I would like to challenge you to prove to me otherwise. Posted by Govind to Savitri Era Open Forum at 5:14 AM, July 29, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

As a man imbued with liberal values, Sri Aurobindo would not have censored or suppressed

From to date 28 July 2010 17:47 subject re: Pl. post ... Dear Mr. Mohapatra,

Although, I sent the following as a comment, I would like it to appear on your forum as a separate posting. If you concur, Pl. post it. Thanks! Dr. Raghu

A Challenge to Those Who Want to Ban Peter Heehs' Book in

If Aurobindo were alive today, would he offer support to those who want to ban Heehs' book?

I challenge all those who want to ban Heehs' book, and particularly any vociferous, "asuric", reactionary, quarter-baked "integral pontiff" among them, to offer a shred of evidence from Aurobindo's writings, and his documented avowed positions on issues, in support of the conclusion that he would have supported the campaign to ban Heehs' book.

Take a look at the published comments Aurobindo made of attempts to provide accounts of his life! While he offered corrections of misconceptions or errors and stated, in essence, that any standard biography typically focused on externalities would fail to capture the meaning of his life, he never even suggested that these attempts should be censored or suppressed. As a man imbued with liberal values, he would not have done so.

What a contrast these self-styled followers of Aurobindo present with their crude, intolerant, and raucous calls for banning Heehs' book! drraghu has left a new comment on your post "Dozens of letters have been sent by the Ashram inm...": Posted by drraghu to Savitri Era Open Forum at 5:28 PM, July 28, 2010 from to   date           28 July 2010 18:51 subject              Re: Pl. post. Pl. add this to my previous posting on Aurobindo's liberalism. Thank you! Dr. Raghu

“The censor-moron does not really hate anything but the living and growing human consciousness . . . To arrest or circumscribe the vital consciousness is to produce morons, and nothing but a moron would do it.” (D. H. Lawrence in a 1928 letter to Morris Ernst)

As a further, conclusive, piece of evidence attesting to Aurobindo's liberal approach, which at least on certain issues was way ahead of his time, I point to his comments on D. H. Lawrence in letters dating back to 1936 and published in "Letters On Poetry, Literature, and Art". At a time when Lawrence's works faced suppression even in his native England, Aurobindo made complimentary and critical comments on the spirit and temper of Lawrence's creative work, but in those comments there is not even a whiff of any suggestion to the effect that Lawrence's works must be censored or banned! I find this truly remarkable and can only hope fervently that the enveloping vapors of the "asuric maya" of intolerance will be dispelled from the heads of those seeking to ban Heehs' book on grounds of fidelity to Aurobindo!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It was a masterpiece of sacred architecture

from Robert E. Wilkinson reply-to "Robert E. Wilkinson" to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 27 July 2010 18:01 subject In response to Unite or Perish
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Unite or perish 
Both - Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville - have gone out of the hands of the devotees of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. It is a long drawn out battle to reclaim them. Savitri Era Party calls upon everyone to unite under one banner. [TNM]  Posted by Tusar N Mohapatra at 11:54 AM

If anyone is seriously interested in the underlying cause of the disunity between Auroville and the Ashram, and not just paying lip service to the obvious, I would like to call your attention to the ancient Vedic Temple text, ‘the Mayamata’ which states, ‘if the measurement of the temple is in every way perfect, there will be perfection in the universe as well’.  As we all know, the Mother’s temple was designed along these lines. It was a masterpiece of sacred architecture, a mathematical perfection revealing an entire system of OBJECTIVE cosmological knowledge. It was constructed on the exact geographic point on India’s hieroglyphic body where its occult axial power could establish itself, linking the plane of Truth-consciousness and the world of man. While it is extremely simple in design, her temple was the highest order of sacred architecture that has ever been revealed. To alter one number, one dimension, would be equivalent to throwing the entire system into chaos, yet this is exactly what happened following the Mother's passing. One by one the elements of its design were fundamentally altered until not one was left intact. When this abomination began to take form in concrete and steel, its distorted dimensions began to produce calamitous effects in the field of its occult influence, Auroville and the Ashram.  Thea explains:
                ‘The effects of such a disintegrating occult force are subtle, impossible for the human being to perceive and understand. This power is a hundredfold intensified when given a material support such as Matrimandir. When this happens we find that suddenly, almost imperceptibly, the atmosphere begins to change, the area becomes pervaded by a fog that clouds the people’s consciousness. Friends turn to foes, falsehood is held up as truth, and worst of all – no one can perceive, no one can see the truth.  Each one believes himself to be its upholder, when in fact, each one is subjected to the same toxic force, living under the same cloud, being made use of for the one end: disintegration, disunity, division – in a word, the opposite of Truth’s goal…’  
‘In March of 1976 a decisive breakthrough was made and the question of India’s central role, even in the case of a destruction, came up. This time the breakthrough involved the Mother’s Chamber. An unparalleled yogic realisation disclosed the deepest meaning in the discrepancies between what was indicated in the measurements and design of the original plan the Mother gave of the Chamber, where the destiny of the Earth and India is written, and the revised plan of the builders of the temple in Auroville. Not only did these discrepancies indicate the destruction India might have to face, but they revealed to me the imminent and conclusive split between the Ashram and Auroville, a rift that soon after came about and remains total to this day. ‘Yet the most crucial aspect of this breakthrough revealed that there was every likelihood of a very great destruction on Earth. But whatever this would be, one thing was certain: India would somehow be central to the matter. It would be played out in or through India.’ Thea, October, 1987.
For those with the psychic realization, the only banner to unite behind is a banner of knowledge based upon the objective measurements given out in the Mother’s original plan for her temple. Not to do so is to choose to remain ignorant and thus complicit in the chaos and destruction now playing itself out on the earth.

drraghu has left a new comment on your post "We should be prudent not to make any pronouncement..."

May those who seek to ban Heehs' book or any other book in
India reflect on the following each morning as if it were a veritable Gayatri! It may well produce an illumination in mind exceeding the traditional Gayatri!
From John Stuart Mill's On
Liberty: […]