If this is she of whom the world has heard,
Wonder no more at any happy change.
I have been reading with interest some of the posts on the controversy regarding Mr. P Heehs' Book. If you Sir claim to have the upper hand because you are rational and are in sympathy with the writer, the reader also expects you to be "fair". You have betrayed the shortcoming of your own attitude by terming "Ashram" as "provincial". Are all Ashrams provincial? Are all persons in an/ the Ashram provincial. I wouldn't expect this in an intellectual conversation of the kind that you are all engaged in. Since you are all "rational", reasonable and project yourself as the more balanced you should exhibit some compassion. You could even be analytical and try to psychologically analyze why persons whom you condemn behave the way they seem to be behaving. Thats all - just a humble submission. Srinivasan Krishnan
Several modern Indians have to reconcile the so-called differences in approach and perspective between the West and the East. Though I was born and raised in the USA, I was also brought up to follow Vaishnava Customs. I am an outsider and have no contacts in the Ashram or in any net groups. I found in Sri Aurobindo the way to reconcile these differences. He helped me understand and even appreciate my own parents/ elders in their Bhakti/ Vaishnava approach. I in fact envy them for their unstinted faith in the way of Ramanuja. I find it a bit painful that a few persons get together and think they are better than the rest when actually they are the ones who have become "intolerant" and have become scornful of the Ashramites! The Ashram is after all an approximation of the flaws of the individuals who live or work there. Why resort to don the superior attitude? I have for the first time entered any kind of discussion and all because "indians bashing" or the "Indian-attitude" bashing is all too common! Let us all admit that the way of life followed by a large part of our populace has outlived several milleniums and I have often tried to find out how and why . . . Sri Aurobindo in a way represents this continuity in our civilization. He represents what was enduring in India and kept it going. Live and let live, I guess. S. Krishnan
Thanks Krishnan for expressing your resentments, but it is difficult for me to buy a blanket defense of the Indian-attitude as you seem to propose. To say that “Sri Aurobindo in a way represents this continuity” is also wide off the mark, and as long as you don’t accept The Mother and Sri Aurobindo as a devotee, your impressions don’t count much in the intense debate that we are engaged in. An extensive study of Sri Aurobindo’s works is another sine qua non.
Thanks Mr. Mahapatra.I didnt say that I am not a devotee, did I? And I did not say that I have not made a deep study of the Master did I in fact it has been through reading His works that I have found deep help in molding my own approach to my heritage? The continuity was in the sense of the essential timelessness that India always somehow reflected. Nonetheless, I really appreciate your putting up my comments for what they are worth. Thanks for sharing your perspectives. S.Krishnan
Had you disclosed these earlier, it would have been easier for me. You are then eminently entitled to speak your mind, and enlighten us further.