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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

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

From drraghu@cs.com to tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com 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
India!

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      drraghu@cs.com to            tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com 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!!!!

2 comments:

  1. “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!!!!

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  2. 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.

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