Sunday, August 1, 2010

A de Nielly come to judgment

from Auro Lumiere to date 31 July 2010 21:49 subject Do Not Project Intolerance, Pettiness, and Dogmatism on Sri Aurobindo!
Dear Mr. Tusar Mohapatra, Greetings once again!
In relation to the on-going discussion, your readers might be interested in reading the following.

Mr. Govind Rajesh with the assistance of Auroman de le Mirroir (I suppose to be read as Auroman du Miroir) challenges Dr. Raghu and says:

 “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.”

After the treatment provided to him by Dr. Raghu, I hope that Mr. Govind Rajesh still frequents this website and if so, for his benefit also, I earnestly invite him to read this passage from Mother’s Agenda:
August 27, 1969
They’ve found a paper I wrote soon after Sri Aurobindo’s departure.
I already told you part of it, but this is the full paper. It’s dated …
(Mother hands the paper to Satprem)
January 26, 1951.
But it’s very private.
(Satprem reads out the text)
(This note is about a person physically close to Sri Aurobindo, who tried to destroy Mother and separate her from Sri Aurobindo. In fact, it is clear and understandable that the darkest shadow is right under the light, and that he or she who comes to do the divine work must take on himself or herself the whole burden of the Opposer. Thus is it near Sri Aurobindo and Mother that the greatest adversaries will be found. That also explains Mother’s departure and the ensuing murky situation in Auroville and in the Ashram. For obvious reasons we will not publish Mother’s note or the long conversation that followed in its integrality, but only a few brief extracts, insofar as they illustrate the problem,” or perhaps the mystery, of Sri Aurobindo’s and Mother’s departures, for they have one and the same reason.)
Naturally, this mustn’t be published, but it’s to be kept.
But what role did she play?
She went as far as to tell him that I was betraying his work – everything and anything conceivable.
But didn’t Sri Aurobindo try to intervene?
That’s surprising …. It’s surprising, this nonintervention of Sri Aurobindo’s.
Never – never.
He had this conviction so strongly, “It’s the Supreme Lord who does everything.” So … it must be like that.
But in my small consciousness, I find it astounding that such a ridiculous, insignificant being as this piddling woman could have had such power!
But there was a great Asura behind her![i] There were the adverse forces behind. The woman herself was nothing, but she was very receptive to those forces.
And he didn’t want to break her?
Oh, he didn’t want to. He was all compassion, goodness, patience ….
Twice I saw him get angry with her – twice. But he instantly got a grip on himself.
A sad story, but anyway … Afterwards, I saw, I understood. Now I know. From the point of view of the work, it was … it was what had to happen.
I never said anything, Sri Aurobindo never said anything – all that I wrote is this (Mother points to her note), I never said anything.
The small human individualities act as instruments, that’s nothing.
But by yielding (because in a way he yielded), did he win a greater victory over that Asura?
Oh, yes, infinitely greater.
That’s what eludes me.
Infinitely greater. And he didn’t leave the work, you understand; he has never left me, never left the work. The amount of supramental force he had accumulated in his body he passed on to me – and I received it. The rest went into the subtle physical, where he has done the whole work. And he said, I will take on a body again only when it is a supramental body.”
It was … monstrous, you understand …. I didn’t say anything, I never said anything …. Yes, once, she was so awful that I made her leave Sri Aurobindo’s room, and she was so dreadful that I gave her a slap. And when I came back, Sri Aurobindo told me, “You ought not to have done it … …
It was … It is the highest, the most-the most sublime way, one might almost say, of exhausting the hostile force.
(long silence)
[i]See Agenda 1, 26 March 1959.
This passage must certainly educate and satisfy Mr. Govind Rajesh, and make him and others like him appreciate that humility is a virtue that may still be pursued. 
But the larger question that I might wish to raise is what’s wrong with the behaviour and attitude of some of Aurobindo’s “followers” such as the members of the Mirror of Tomorrow? Who are a handful of ignorant people to try to judge, determine, order and impose who is welcome, admitted to and allowed to remain in the Ashrame? And even more so who are they to determine how people in the Ashrame ought to behave or do? 
Or maybe, are we just expecting too much from the pale, dusty reflections of an antiquated and deformed mirror that at best reflects a distorted image of the past... 
At the Service of Light and truth! Françoise de Nielly


  1. Dear Françoise,

    Since you aspire to serve the Light and the Truth and my previous posts have perhaps been a source of unpleasantness to you, please allow me to begin with an apology. I did not mean to offend, merely state the issue as I see it. Reading this book and having understood the intent of the author I have concluded that this is not just a biography but an attack on the self-revealed image of Sri Aurobindo. I know that you do not share this perception. That is perfectly fine. I am sure you are sincere in your own way to Them or at least are trying to be.

    My challenge to Dr.Raghu was in order to make a point. I do admit that it was quite stupid of me to try and challenge someone to disprove my expectation of the Action of Mother Sri Aurobindo. In doing so, I have inadvertently tried to impose a limit on the Infinite, imitating Dr.Raghu's error in the process.

    I will say this much, however, in defense of my "challenge" which is pretty much the same as my response to Dr.Raghu's quoting instances of interactions between Sri Aurobindo and Nirod and Amal. This interaction between the lady and Sri Aurobindo was in private. She was not trying to "publicly cast doubts or critically judge, even disparage, Sri Aurobindo's Life and Work". Now this is a key distinction from my standpoint: This woman was really a poor, little nobody who was a victim of the hostile forces using her as a helpless plaything. She was not trying to arrogate any kind of authority or power on the basis of which she could launch a public attack on Sri Aurobindo.

    There is much more that can be said on the basis of this instance from the Agenda. Just as an example, we can note that the Mother actually physically punishes the woman. One could only take a guess what Her reaction would have been if the result of this poor lady's actions would have threatened real damage to Their Work. Perhaps that is why yielding to the hostile force was an option in this case? The Infinite compassion of Mother Sri Aurobindo expresses itself equally when They choose to strike and when they choose to succor.

    Finally, although I cannot speak for anybody else, I would still like to assure you that the folks posting on MOT are not any more ignorant than any of us. Like you they aspire to serve Them. From what I have seen so far, they have nothing personal at stake. Rather their true sentiments can best be echoed by the Mother's statement "As the remarks are about me, I can't take any stand. If they were about Sri Aurobindo, I would certainly act." It is not surprising that we end up with such a distorted view of each other on the two sides of this issue. This book is designed to give offense and create divisions and disharmony among Aurobindonians.

    As you can see clearly the ignorance at work in people trying to judge other Ashramites I am 100% sure you will see the far vaster ignorance, nay postive falsehood, of an arrogant mind that seeks to critically judge the Master of the Ashram Himself. If you have read the book you will see that this same ignorant mind passes some very damaging judgment on the whole Ashram and most of it's inmates. Basically, whatever ignorance you see on the MOT blog, you will see it multiplied a hundred-fold in this book.

    I end by thanking you for providing the wonderful selection from the Agenda.

  2. I have already commented that it is irrelevant to the nature of Aurobindo's response whether the criticisms were confined to the ashram or whether they were published or expressed publicly. In fact, the criticisms, doubts, etc., of some of the sadhaks pertaining to Aurobindo' views, and even decisions concerning his own personal life, and his patient replies have been published anyway! The point has to do with his liberal approach to these instances of criticism. He did not question the sadhaks' right to raise these doubts and criticisms even when they were on some occasions captious and offensive, but answered them carefully. Has Aurobindo said or suggested anywhere that the publication or public expression of these doubts or criticisms was prohibited or that he would have dealt with them differently had they been published or publicly expressed?
    If only the "Anti-Heehs Campaign" would emulate Aurobindo's (who is allegedly their spiritual preceptor) example in this respect even minimally!

  3. Françoise, I dont see your point. There will always be some exception to every statement of fact. And this example that you have given is so inappropriate and poorly applicable anyway.

    Is the ashram really meant to accommodate every Tom, Dick and Harry that meets with Heehs approval but works against the founders of the Ashram? Whereever do you get that silly idea?

    And please, everyone, stop signing off with some ridiculous statement about how you are serving the light and the Truth! Sure, you are!

    I hope that you will continue to visit this site after the treatment I am giving you!


  4. Although Ms. De Nielly's post offers a good example of Aurobindo's "compassion, goodness, patience ….", I am afraid it also shows Satprem's habitual and pathological contempt for people he self-righteously judged to be falling short of what he considered "The Work" of Aurobindo and the Mother.
    Note that the dehumanizing denunciation of the woman in question - "such a ridiculous, insignificant being as this piddling woman" - comes neither from Aurobindo nor the Mother, but squarely from Satprem's own deficient sense of humanity and compassion. See Luc Venet's critical reminiscences of Satprem (available on his website)for more of the same.
    Further, if Satprem's comment that "it is near Sri Aurobindo and Mother that the greatest adversaries will be found." is correct, then this actually makes him a potential prime candidate or suspect for being one of the "greatest adversaries" since he was near the Mother and had unprecedented access to her for a considerable time! LOL
    So, I must hasten to add that I do not consider the opponents of Heehs' book as "instruments of Adverse Forces" or anything like that. Nor have I objected to them on those grounds! That would be no different from Christian fundamentalist denunciations of their critics as instruments of "Satan and his minions"!
    We would also do well to heed Aurobindo's caution, notwithstanding his affirmation of the reality of "hostile forces", against preoccupation or obsession with these ideas on "hostile forces". As he has written in Letters on Yoga, Vol. II:
    "The worst thing for sadhana is to get into a morbid condition, always thinking of "lower forces, attacks". (p. 1764)
    "It is better not to trouble about the hostile forces...If you begin to concern yourself about the hostile forces, you will only make the path more difficult." (pp. 1763-1764)
    "You think too much of the adverse forces. That kind of preoccupation causes much unnecessary struggle." (P. 1748)
    I wish Satprem had taken this counsel to heart. He might not have alienated and undermined so many who had loyally sacrificed so much for him.