Could you kindly post my reply to Dr Ryder on the Savitri Era Forum
It’s highly doubtful that Dr Ryder is a practicing professor of psychology. No serious academician would attempt to assess or question the motive of an author by analyzing one single paragraph in a 500 page book.
Referring to the much quoted hand holding incident the self acclaimed doctor concludes
“It is glaringly obvious that the insinuation is either romantic, sexual, emotional because in the subsequent paragraphs there is talk of marriage etc.”
If Dr Ryder’s intentions were honest he would have turned the page and continued with the narration. This is what the author of TLoSA has to say about the relation between Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Note the sentence in bold.
“ One thing is clear, however: the arrival of Mirra Richard had an enormous impact on his practice. With her help, he told Barin, he completed ten years of sadhana in one. Her assistance was especially important in turning his sadhana outward. If he had been concerned only with his own transformation or with transmitting his yoga to a limited number of people, he could have done it on his own. But for his work to have a lasting effect in the world, he needed a shakti, a female counterpart.”
“Shakti, as Aurobindo explained in The Synthesis of Yoga, is the conscious power of the divine. “By this power the spirit creates all things in itself, hides and discovers all itself in the form and behind the veil of its manifestation.”58 Systems of yoga that aim at liberation regard shakti as, at best, a force that can help the individual obtain release from the limitations of mind, life and body. But systems aiming for perfection, such as tantric yoga or the way of the siddhas, see shakti as the power needed to transform oneself and the world. Tantrics and siddhas worship shakti in the form of goddesses such as Kali; some also worship women as embodiments of the divine force. This is the rationale behind the esoteric sexuality of certain forms of tantrism. The consecrated union of a human male and female is seen as a reenactment of the cosmic act of creation. Some schools of tantric yoga put so much stress on this relationship that they require male practitioners to have female sexual partners. Aurobindo made it clear that this was not the case in his yoga. “How can the sexual act be made to help in spiritual life?” he asked a disciple who posed the question. It was necessary, in the work he was doing, for the masculine and feminine principles to come together, but the union had nothing to do with sex; in fact it was possible in his and Mirra’s case precisely because they had mastered the forces of desire.” 59 (pp. 328-329)