Spirituality, Religion, Fundamentalism -- by Ranganath Raghavan from A critique of the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs
When the outward physical act of worship is performed such as Pranam at the Samadhi or to a photograph of the Mother or to any object representing the Mother, is it religious or spiritual? If the act is mechanical, merely a habit, done with other thoughts in the mind or other feelings in the heart, then it may be termed religious. But if on the contrary it is done with full concentration and intensity as an act of prayer or self-giving, it is certainly spiritual.
Some time ago, when the old Distillery near the Tennis Ground was to be converted into a public park, it was proposed to place a statue of Sri Aurobindo in a prominent place. It was reported that the managing trustee of the Ashram turned down the proposal with the argument that it would amount to religion.
- Did he not completely overlook the fact that the Mother had installed a bust of Sri Aurobindo right in the meditation Hall of the Ashram?
- Is there not a large picture of the Mother in the Meditation Hall?
- And a picture of Sri Aurobindo in the Reception Room of the Ashram?
- And a bust of Sri Aurobindo in the Ashram Library?
- Did not the Mother give specific directions to some of the Ashram Departments to have a symbol of the Mother on the front Gate?
- When Mother distributed her own photograph to disciples or gave them gold rings with her symbol on them, was it Spiritual or Religious?
- When pieces of Mother’s carpet are distributed on the Golden Day, is it spiritual or religious?
- Where do we draw the line between Spirituality and Religion? …
Peter Heehs is spared, but not R.Y. Deshpande, Abala and Niranjan Naik who are unceremoniously removed from their place of work. A witness attitude is never selective!!
The arguments given by the trustees for supporting Peter Heehs are obviously without value. The Ashramites may very well suspect other hidden reasons which are not being revealed.
The beneficiaries of the Ashram Trust have the right to know the real causes behind this strange support to the author who denigrates the Guru in a book that is being distributed all over the world. Ranganath Raghavan
In reply to your comment: When you say that they “are free to do so” it includes the freedom to “make up stories” as ... Jothi Mar 10, 1:04 pm
TNM55, Thank you for accepting and confirming that those who say that SA & TM have founded a new religion, are in reality just making up stories and religious mythologies. No incongruities there.
The Hindu : NATIONAL TAMIL NADU : Engagements KARUR March 10, 2012
Annai Women's College, Punnamchatram: College day, A. Pari, DIG of Police and Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, Tiruchi, chief guest, Arun Thangam, secretary, Annai Sri Aurobindo Educational Trust and P. Thangaraju, treasurer, speak, A. R. Malaiyappasamy, Chairman, presides, 4 p.m.
Surendranath Jauhar "Faquir", "Chachaji" (1903-1986)
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M. P. Pandit ( - 14th March 1993)
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Sujata Nahar (12 December 1925 – 4 May 2007)
Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya (18 October 1922 - January 8, 2010)
Shaymsundar – 2011