Friday, November 05, 2010
The book is no benchmark and praising Heehs to the skies is futile
Mr. T, Mr. D & Mr. H are effusive in their praises for the book on Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs published by CUP in 2008. On the other hand, Shri R, Shri S, & Shri J have pointed out several objectionable references in the book and are against Heehs’ stay in the Ashram on this ground. Thus the book issue is bloated into the expulsion/excommunication issue.
In a further nasty turn, the Ashram head becomes the target as he is seen to be siding with Heehs as well as his book. All hell breaks loose, and the fundamentalism bogey is floated. No holds barred polemics rule the roost and respected elders are minced beyond recognition. The tangle of the three chords now turns intractable.
Verdicts, in between, of the likes of Dr. E & Dr G have no takers. Further, there is no reason why Dr G should abide by what Mr. D thinks of the book. Similarly, Dr. E is free to go by his own independent opinion and ignore the book altogether. The point is, the book is no benchmark but might hide a threat. Praising the author to the skies is no remedy for the seeds of acid buried between the lines in the book. [TNM]