from: Narayan T Rao email@example.com date: 6 March 2012 22:16 subject: reply to Shri Ranganath's response to the Declaration 12:33 PM Dear Shri Tusar Babu,
I received the following text by email, I thought it might be relevant to include it as a comment to Shri Ranganth Raghavan's response to the Declaration. I understand that the Declaration got an overwhelming response from senior members of the Ashram, and that it has also been well received on the internet via the website www.ashramite.com. Kindly include this email as a post to your blog. Regards Narayan T. Rao
5th February, 2012 Respected well wisher, You have caught the right thread of the declaration and here are the explanation given by a signatory. (the parts in italics are yours, having a closer look at the declaration in a more deliberate manner.)
1. In the Indian tradition…
How many Ashrams have we imagined where the inmates, some unmarried, especially women, expose their lower bottom on the body by wearing shorts and go out on the streets, even to the markets? How many traditional Indian ashrams serve non-vegetarian food to their inmates? This is a reality in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and a big attack by some fundamental groups who are plotting a planned and systematic attack to the very essence and existence of its survival. This is the nature of attack.
2. Several members of the Ashram have been removed from their usual work, thus interfering with their normal functions.
Reallocating work in Ashram is nothing new. People were shifted to the Dining Room from agriculture and vice versa. I remember one incident where an individual who managed a commercial department, running a business concern for years, was apparently removed from his usual work and was reallocated as a professor, in our Higher course, where he is teaching the works of our Gurus to the outgoing students of our Centre of Education. The list could be very big indeed. These types of work adjustments are common and I do not believe this has been done often for petty egoistic reasons by the trust board.
3. I fully agree that respect seems to be demanded only as a one-way traffic towards the management.
At this juncture it may not be premature to presume that not accepting someone’s views or ideas is not equal to respecting the individual. One can very well agree to disagree, without losing any respect for each other. We are living in a civilized, educated, and a spiritual environment of Ashram. […]
Ranganath Raghavan's Response to "A Declaration of Solidarity" from A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs To Jay Raichuria and Meera Gupta (Sabda)
To anyone reading your “Declaration” casually and superficially, it will appear to contain very sound reflections and plausible ideas. But a closer scrutiny will reveal that the words are high sounding without solid content. We are having a closer look at your declaration in a more deliberate manner and these are my reactions.
1. It is NOT an attack against the Ashram, it is a peaceful protest by some of the Ashramites and devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother against the non-action (or rather active support) of the management, against an offender who, even while being an Ashramite, thinks it is admissible, even justifiable to find fault with the Guru. This is absolutely inadmissible in any spiritual life, specially so in the Indian tradition.
2. Not true. Several members of the Ashram have been removed from their usual work, thus interfering with their normal functions. This has been done often for petty egoistic reasons, allowing the members to draw the conclusion that to insult Sri Aurobindo is admissible but to criticize other Ashramites is punishable. What could be more foolish than this!! Besides, we may say that individual sadhana is not the only purpose in the Ashram. The collective sadhana is equally important and this imposes many responsibilities on the management which they have to discharge with great care and equity. Removing members from their work spots on relatively flimsy grounds does not seem to meet the requirements expected of the trustees.
3. Where is the MUTUAL respect? Respect seems to be demanded only as a one-way traffic towards the management. […]
www.ashramite.com In response to the recent dharnas, the ensuing press conference, newspaper reports, and general agitations against the trust board of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, some inmates of the Ashram approached senior members to get their feedback. The following Declaration of Solidarity was presented to them and signatures were collected. The response was overwhelmingly positive, refuting the claim that many, if not most, senior members are in favour of the agitations. Many of us who read the Declaration later, felt that it should be made available to a larger audience in a way that would make it possible for them to lend their support as well.
After all, are those involved in the court cases and agitations against the Trust representative of the wider community of followers of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother? We believe the answer is no. Now is a good time to raise our voices and state this clearly, lest our silence be misinterpreted. This site is a modest attempt to give a chance to followers all over the world to express this sentiment.
We have reproduced the Declaration here, as it was presented to the senior members. If any of you feel like extending your support to the Trust board, please check the box and fill the form at the end of this page.
A DECLARATION OF SOLIDARITY
The last few weeks have seen some disturbing events. These recent developments are unique in the history of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The nature of the attack against the Ashram is unprecedented. For each and every one of us, a decision has now to be made. We may choose to turn a blind eye, or hold ourselves back in a concerned silence like so many of us have done for long. Or we may decide that now is the time to make our voices heard. [...] Mar 3, 2012 07:00 AM