Sunday, October 24, 2010

Presence of hostile elements within the Ashram can prove costly

Banerji has argued in the past that this is no conventional “Ashram,” and so the norms for other Ashrams don’t apply here. He is right in the sense that the way the Ashram came into being has no parallel as The Mother’s unique vision navigated it for half a century. But the same can’t be said after she left the scene.

Significantly, the three major controversies involving Satprem, Savitri, and Heehs surround publications. Understandably, publishing is a peripheral activity not indispensable for spiritual pursuit. But now it seems to occupy a central place because of power and fame as well as commerce and glamour. Copyright, archives, editing, and the journals have assumed critical importance over the years.

This along with the round the year ceremonials of religious nature are the most visible face of the Ashram. Thus, the conceptual uniqueness that Banerji underscores has undergone material alteration during the last three dozen years. It would, therefore, be safe to infer that Sri Aurobindo Ashram as it exists today is no different from its peers.

Additionally, the Ashram is now responsible for the safety and security of the Samadhi. This is an onerous task and the presence of hostile elements within the Ashram can prove costly. Now that the knives are out in the wake of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, testing the loyalty and commitment of the inmates turns crucial. [TNM]  

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