Monday, April 30, 2012

Prapatti is a pioneer in Odisha

Tweets Savitri Era Party  @SavitriEraParty Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. Tusar N. Mohapatra (b.1955) President, Savitri Era Party Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum SRA102C Indirapuram Ghaziabad ·  

Homage to Prapatti

[Prapatti, a well known name to the members of Sri Aurobindo Study Circles of Orissa, was born on 30th April 1924 in a village Bharogole, 42 Mouza of District Cuttack. His parents had named him Kangali Charan Pati. In the year 1960, on his 46th birth day The Mother gave him a new name, Prapatti - the surrendered one.
Mother's Work In Orissa With Mother’s happy approval and Prapatti as an able instrument, the first phase of work included organisation of Study Circles, Students and Youth  Associations, Women’s Study Circles, zonal and state level Study Circle Meets etc.. In the next phase, Integral Education Centres, Relics Centres with experiments in collective living were initiated. Prapatti under the active guidance of Babaji Maharaj had been organising all these activities.]

9 Dec 2008 – Prapatti left for Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, from this place. It is his prayer and aspiration supported by Sri Babaji Maharaj that inspired ...]

[Sri Aurobindo's Action - The Beginning Sri Aurobindo’s Action was the name adopted for its journal as well. The first issue came out in October 1970 with Manoj Das as its editor. He continued till April 1973 after which the work is being done by me.
Prapatti took up the Journal in Oriya, and gradually journals in Hindi. Gujarati and Bengali followed, all under the title Sri Aurobindo Karmadhara. All these journals in Indian languages were brought out by other organisations with independent contents. The Hindi journal continues to be brought out by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch.
At that time Kireet Joshi undertook the compilation of booklets. One booklet contained questions on current Indian problems and for some of them questions were put to Mother who answered giving the solutions. A number of booklets were printed in English and Indian languages in thousands and were well received.
Kireet Joshi accompanied Udar on lecture tours. Prapatti was touring throughout Orissa. There were meetings at Pondicherry as well. Some Youth Camps and Seminars were held at Pondicherry. Shyam Sunder Jhunjhunwala]

To mark the occasion of the Birth anniversary of Prof. Prapatti, 'Prof. Prapatti Memorial Lecture' are arranged every year on 30th of April, i.e. on his birthday at Matrubhaban, Cuttack and the following day at a district headquarter town. 
The day is also observed as Integral Education Dayin the Integral Education Centres in the state as a mark of respect to the late Professor for his contribution to the establishment and spread of Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres in Orissa.]

[Savitri Era 25 Apr After joining Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1954 Prapatti was instrumental for large scale awakening in Odisha through Nabajyoti started in ...]

Prapatti was never bothered that thousands of people joining The Mother’s work would ruin it. Homage to our beloved leader and visionary on his birth anniversary. [TNM55]

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Reconquer money and riches

The writings and recorded conversations of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo, taken as a whole, contain myriad themes and innumerable streams. They have been further expanded by the devotees and disciples in their books and articles and now, of course, the blogs. That apart, lectures are a major source of dissemination from which most learn in snippets and formulate a picture depending upon personal necessity and curiosity. No one complains even if Sri Aurobindo’s whole body of work has not been published till date.

The specialist, however, is a different creature. Especially, if he happens to be an archivist. And he assumes himself to be the Archivist. He knows all; he has gone through the obscurest manuscripts. The timeline of each line is at his fingertips. He is the walking pendrive. He can blurt out apposite quotations to thwart any adverse suggestion. His writ should be final. But the world is a bit larger and complicated.

What Prapatti spoke over three days in Sargipali summer camp in 1979 is beyond the purview of the Archives. What Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee exhorted about World Union in Sundargarh is not known to any one. They are no more. Countless such speeches that continue round the year are an unruly zone. Scribes and chroniclers beware! [TNM55]    

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Distortion of history is corruption of the worst kind

[Court jails Bangaru, says corruption worse than prostitution Daily News & Analysis - Saturday, Apr 28, 2012, 19:00 IST New Delhi DNA, PTI
"Corruption, to my mind is worse than prostitution as the latter might endanger the morals of an individual, whereas, the former invariably endangers the entire society. It is virulent for the nation and makes people full of ire.”]

Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry was set up in 1926 and the book by Heehs, a resident, came out in 2008. The book is not at all central to the functioning of the Ashram which has admirably survived as an institution after the passing away of Sri Aurobindo in 1950 and The Mother in 1973. Distortion of history, however, should be considered as corruption of the worst kind, and therefore, it is difficult to understand on what basis the Ashram continues to defend the book and its author for so long. [TNM55] 

Glowing embers of Heehs imbroglio

Media intervention pertaining to the deportation order served upon Peter Heehs and its subsequent revocation during the first fortnight of this month caught the attention of the nation and, justifiably, shook the conscience of the civil society activists. Sri Aurobindo rarely makes it to the news headlines, but the visa controversy forced some journalists and public intellectuals to take a firm stand in favour of the book on him in order to defend free speech and denounce alleged religious fundamentalism. The complexities and the many-complexioned issues, however, were pushed under the carpet as a result of which the embers of the imbroglio continue to glow.

A couple of blogs dedicated to exposing errors in the biography amass fresh findings but no authorized refutations of the perceived discrepancies are available. Instead, a set of deceptive seeming responses are doing the rounds as aggregated below:
a) People lack proper reading skills.
b) If the book is bad, then don’t read it.
c) If you don’t like the book, then write another.
d) The book was written specifically with the Western academicians as target, and hence, probable intolerance due to cultural difference.
e) A revised Indian edition can be brought out keeping the sensibilities of the devotees in mind.
f) Sri Aurobindo Ashram neither prescribes nor proscribes any book.
g) The Ashram has also received many favourable reviews of the book.
h) Several eminent personalities have hailed the book in various publications.
i) The book has positive references running into scores of pages.
j) The book may be harsh in patches, but it never denigrates Sri Aurobindo.
k) The varied field of Integral Yoga can have room for such a book.
l) An aspirant can have his own distinct perception and may even profess denial.
m) Objective history - well-researched and richly-referenced - from the founder of the Ashram archives ("unlikely ever to be surpassed - with scrupulous sympathy combined with scrupulous honesty. No one knows more than Heehs").
n) Only a handful of people are against the book.
o) A coterie runs the campaign with the book as a pawn for capturing power in the Ashram.  
p) Jealousy of Sraddhalu against the author is the reason for this antagonism.
q) Kripal’s endorsement on the back cover is fortuitous. No Freudian dimension.
r) Religious fundamentalists are behind this attack on freedom of expression.
s) We are not a religion, and so, any hurt sentiment is ultra vires.
t) De-contextualized extracts are responsible for wrong impression about the contents.
u) Those who have not read the book are misinformed and prejudiced.
v) Affirming that the book is bad without reading it is wrong.

All these arguments, though apparently logical, fall short of redressing the grave objections with regard to the book. The author’s intention and opinions, as articulated through the media recently, add to the woe. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that civil discourse is in the grip of hypocrisy and thus undergoing a severe crisis. [TNM55]  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Emancipating Savitri

A person, culturally entrenched and geographically confined as well as defined as he is, is certainly at odds with any homogenising imperative like reading Savitri. This intimidating piece of poem - which is forbiddingly one-piece as well - somehow carries a coercive indispensability for devotees unlike other similar prescriptions which have a happy air of optional signage floating around them.

Now, Savitri surely is not for everyone. How many in India even have the ability to read a few lines correctly, let alone comprehending the context or the meaning? Further, the risk of mistaking the dialogue of an adverse force as Sri Aurobindo's message looms always as a minefield.

These quibbles, obviously lead to more weighty objections that are ordinarily missed due to familiarity. How far the scaffolding of the legend hinges us to imageries of old religions and whether the symbol is really emancipatory and allows us to break the shackles of the past? [TNM55]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Heehs has no place in the Ashram

Tweets Savitri Era Party  @SavitriEraParty Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. 10:19 PM - 14 Apr 12 Details Tusar N. Mohapatra (b.1955) President, Savitri Era Party Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum SRA102C Indirapuram Ghaziabad ·   
  • Peace Message for Das Gupta: Heehs has no place in the Ashram as he has been spiteful of his fellow followers in The Lives of Sri Aurobindo.
  • [Puducherry, April 24 (PTI): Devotees thronged the premises of the Aurobindo Ashram here on the occasion of 'darshan (worship) day' today.]
  • [I believe Evolution still asks that we push the collective envelope rather than give in to the gravity. -Savitra 2009]
  • The Third Dream of Sri Aurobindo is World Union, and let's remember The Mother’s role in India spanning half a century.
  • From 1920 The Mother, along with Sri Aurobindo, concentrated on the modalities of a future society - open, frank, equal, generous, and kind.
  • Manoj Das is a longtime resident of Sri Aurobindo Ashram who had cut his teeth in the      Communist movement prior to taking spiritual plunge.
  • 23 Apr Heehs’ knives against Sri Aurobindo are being liberally marketed through the media dismissing the small group of opponents as nuisance.
  • 23 Apr @MihirKumarJha [Himself a scholar, he enthuses us to take to a life of scholarship. -Prema Nandakumar on Sri Aurobindo] In reply to Mihir Jha
  • 21 Apr [We the Devotees in Bangalore are deeply anguished and hurt by the odious contents of the book in question denigrating Sri Aurobindo. -GNNR]
  • 21 Apr [Ashish Nandy made a brave statement out of his shallow imagination that Sri Aurobindo would have never objected. -RYD]
  • 21 Apr [Heehs says no way to know Sri Aurobindo's view on devotion. The fact is, Sri Aurobindo has written eight chapters on Bhakti Yoga. -Anahata]
  • 21 Apr [Peter Heehs undermines the very community he belongs to. He ridicules Sri Aurobindo’s “followers” as being naive and uncritical. -Anahata]
  • 21 Apr [It has been said that the tiger’s need for devouring is one of the first expressions of love in the world. -The Mother, vol. 6, p 103] @MihirKumarJha
  • 21 Apr [J.L. Mehta on Heidegger, Hermeneutics, and Indian Tradition ...Husserl, Heidegger and Gadamer, and interprets Rig Veda, and Sri Aurobindo.]
  • 21 Apr Heehs's expertise is precision in choosing quotations that belittle Sri Aurobindo so that he is seen as an objective and forthright author.
  • 21 Apr @kalisbrood @savitrieraparty Fine, but Heehs is pushing a sinister political agenda to present a secularised Sri Aurobindo sans any Bhakti.
  • 21 Apr @kalisbrood Heehs is free to follow his own conception of Sri Aurobindo in the same way as Savitri Era devotees adhere to their religion.  In reply to Kali's Brood
  • 21 Apr @MihirKumarJha No better New Era than Savitri Era as laid down in the FIVE DREAMS Manifesto of Sri Aurobindo. The task is to follow. [TNM55]  In reply to Mihir Jha
  • 20 Apr [People have forgotten Gokak, mostly seeing that he was simply trying to project himself, mostly self-promotional. RYD]
  • 20 Apr [The general public should also be informed about the duplicity and double stardards of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trustees.]
  • 20 Apr @YogaYflo [Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trustees use threat of expulsion and depriving food & shelter to keep inmates in fear and forced obedience.] In reply to Stella Jundt
  • 20 Apr [Court in Puducherry granted interim injunction restraining the Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram from taking disciplinary action on Apr 19]
  • 20 Apr [“presumably”, “does not seem”, “seems to have”, “may have”, “would have”. Is this history or guesswork? Krish - Heehs]
  • 20 Apr A couple of scribes seem to be willing pawns in Peter Heehs’ game. They have presumably been won over by his guesswork.
  • 20 Apr @davisschu Savitri Era devotees don't agree with what Heehs says. He wants to publish his book which the Court banned on religious ground.  In reply to Davis Schueller

Friday, April 20, 2012

A titan's strength, a titan's energy, a god's character & knowledge

Tweets Savitri Era Party  @SavitriEraParty Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. Tusar N. Mohapatra (b.1955) President, Savitri Era Party Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum SRA102C Indirapuram Ghaziabad ·  
  • @MihirKumarJha Darshan Day on April 24 will certainly be more harmonious without the undesirable presence of Heehs in Sri Aurobindo Ashram.  In reply to Mihir Jha
  • Heehs doesn’t believe in the Divinity of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo and so spreads disinformation in small doses through his moles in media.
  • [As long as he doesn't sit in the Archives he can conclude whatever he likes. The issue is not what Heehs thinks, but misuse of quotations.]
  • @einvijay @amargov @doubtinggaurav @dubash [dressing a dubious proposition to appear as authoritative in rusty prose]  In reply to Vijay Vikram
  • We love to idolise, worship a human being as God and then throw muck on him. Defacing the Idol gives us a sense of purpose! -Naveen Tewari]
  • Prefer attuning to Satprem who was under an intense state of speculation for a prolonged period in the very presence of The Mother herself.
  • The Mother announced the "Manifestation of Supramental Consciousness" on February 29, 1956, to which I don’t think Gebser holding any clue.
  • @Alindseyyy Not a biography, Heehs the heretic is trying to define the legacy of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo as if he is the sole authority.  In reply to Amanda Lindsey
  • @preettysandhu Heehs is a heretic and has scant concern for the feelings of the devotees performing religious rituals.  In reply to Harpreet Kaur
  • [That JanaGanaMana was originally sung in praise of the British King is viewed by some Bengali readers as an attack on Tagore. Dilip K Roy]
  • @ItsMrMentor Heehs talks about yoga-philosophy but conveniently forgets Relics centres of Sri Aurobindo which devotees throng for Darshan. In reply to MrMentor
  • @MihirKumarJha That's right. But he can problematise the lack of intellectual indebtedness of Ambedkar to Sri Aurobindo. It's in Part-3. At one place he quotes Sri Aurobindo, and It was my request to him to write on the great savant. I saw his articles in Centre Right India.  [TNM55]  In reply to Mihir Jha  
  • Will Aravindan Neelakandan write on Sri Aurobindo after his multipart study on Ambedkar? Ambedkar strangely neglected Sri Aurobindo's works.
  • [Misguided people driven by “good intentions” come up with under-researched and superficially understood solutions that are dangerous. -RWI]
  • [Philosophy, like religion, mathematics, and poetry, is a way to imagine virtual worlds that can influence and even change reality. -Chris]
  • [Odisha was the last land that the British had been able to annex, but was the first soil to have raised the battle of independence. by SCP]
  • [Wild and plural, all religious experience shares one indubitable universal ground: human nature. Immanent Frame by Jeffrey Kripal, Apr 17]
  • Not the National Anthem, but the theme for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections needs to be mulled over. There must be change and it's in our hands.
  • [He has not only to conquer in himself egoistic falsehood and disorder, but as representatives of the same in the world. Satprem, Adventure]
  • [Sri Aurobindo speaks of a simultaneous double evolution & concurrent push in Nature towards both a lower and a higher perfection. Prashant]
  • [Heehs has maligned Sri Aurobindo, a Noble Son of India. Govt. must be bold enough to deport him to USA. -NILANJAN]
  • [To gain credibility of readers Heehs falsely claims to be one of the founders of Sri Aurobindo Ashram’s Archives. -JS]
  • @MihirKumarJha Rule of law operates and the Ashram is virtually in his grips. Besides, Heehs has his sympathisers in the Government too. In reply to Mihir Jha
  • 19 Apr [Heehs declares himself to be a founder of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives. A Bluffer in a Scholar’s Clothing? by Govind]
  • 19 Apr [The unvarnished, unadulterated truth is that Heehs was merely a worker and employee and is today only pretending to be its founder. Govind]
  • 19 Apr [Indian communism's practice is vastly superior to its theory. Communist leaders and activists are probably more intelligent and honest. RG]
  • 19 Apr [Alasdair MacIntyre first drew attention to the parallels between a secular belief system and religious doctrine. Guha]
  • 19 Apr [Free speech is good, but collective cabinet responsibility is better. -FALI S. NARIMAN, Indian Express, March 2, 2002]
  • 19 Apr [Peace and tranquillity is what good governance is all about and Reason and tolerance. -FALI S. NARIMAN, March 2, 2002]
  • 19 Apr [The fact that Sri Aurobindo did not receive a favourable reception in India intellectual circles has been unfortunate]
  • 19 Apr [Sri Aurobindo often raised inconvenient questions and forced to review the intellectual paradigms and so they conspired to marginalise him]
  • 19 Apr SEP follows the FIVE DREAMS Manifesto of Sri Aurobindo and fights against Sri Aurobindo’s Opposition as outlined in the NADKARNI Doctrine.
  • 19 Apr [Nor was Sri Aurobindo an uncritical admirer of the Western liberal-humanistic tradition. Aurobindo’s Opposition, MANGESH V. NADKARNI, 2002]
  • 19 Apr [The reason for the neglect Sri Aurobindo suffered among leftist intelligentsia in India was that he was cold to the promises of communists]
  • 19 Apr [Academic establishment in India opposed Sri Aurobindo as he rejected the colonial-missionary model of history & the Aryan invasion theory.]
  • 19 Apr [His insistence on worldly progress being a quintessential part of the Indian spiritual tradition alienated Sri Aurobindo from the Hindu]
  • 19 Apr [The Hindu religious establishment did not take kindly to Sri Aurobindo because he emphatically denied world-negation as the central thrust]
  • 19 Apr [Gandhian establishment was not entirely happy with Sri Aurobindo because of his insistence that India must cultivate the kshatriya spirit.]
  • 19 Apr [Heehs' fanatics club wave these disclaimers to get him off the hook while leaving Mother Sri Aurobindo in the lurch.]
  • 19 Apr [Sri Aurobindo Society: Lecture by N. Manavalan on The Mother on Health & Healing in Yoga, SS Hall, Luz, Mylapore, Chennai, 6 pm, April 17.]
  • 19 Apr [Hitler & His God, a historical study of Hitler phenomenon & its relevance for the work of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.]
  • 19 Apr [Sri Aurobindo & The Mother have talked of a certainty so that heaven and earth become “equal and one”. Ramesh Bijlani]
  • 18 Apr Rescue democracy from the clutch of money and muscle by decent politics and constitutional method and not resorting to agitations and chaos.
  • 18 Apr @kaivalyashah @MihirKumarJha Enshrinement of Relics of Sri Aurobindo on 5 December 1957 in Delhi = A New Religion. -TNM In reply to kaivalya
  • 18 Apr @MihirKumarJha Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Delhi Branch. That's the official name but the Managements are different. The School is more known. In reply to Mihir Jha
  • 18 Apr @MihirKumarJha @savitrieraparty Delhi is the only branch as intended by The Mother where the Relics of Sri Aurobindo was installed first.  In reply to Mihir Jha
  • 18 Apr @MihirKumarJha @savitrieraparty Delhi Branch you mean? I'll come if we plan to meet. [TNM55]  In reply to Mihir Jha
  • 18 Apr @MihirKumarJha [Give to our heart & mind a titan's strength, a titan's energy, to our soul & intelligence a god's character & knowledge. SA] In reply to Mihir Jha
  • 18 Apr [Hayes’s portrayal of Bose and his European interlocutors from 1941-43 reveals a fascinating picture of Nazi policies.]
  • 18 Apr @MihirKumarJha Let's spot value and invest in Savitri our future. That's like a good cadre. Thanks. [TNM55]  In reply to Mihir Jha
  • 18 Apr @kaivalyashah @savitrieraparty @anandmahindra @MihirKumarJha Now is the time when Sri Aurobindo needs to be pushed since others have failed. In reply to kaivalya
  • 18 Apr @MihirKumarJha They are no more, but inspire. Presently, contesting an election through a Party is the appropriate duty within a democracy. In reply to Mihir Jha
  • 18 Apr @IndiaGkTime [Rare photographs of great nationalist and revolutionary Barindra, the younger brother of Sri Aurobindo.]
  • 18 Apr Sacred Relics of Sri Aurobindo was installed by his trusted disciple Sri Champaklalji on April 18, 1984 at Matru Vihar, Sundargarh, Odisha. 
  • 18 Apr @kiranshaw Congress is short of numbers. Internationally famed writer and philosopher Shri Manoj Das is our candidate as the next President.  In reply to Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
  • 18 Apr @ArkJaiswal @IndiaGkTime [TALE OF MY EXILE — Twelve Years in the Andamans: Barindra Kumar Ghose, -Sachidananda Mohanty]  In reply to Amit Jaiswal Jain

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We bet on the FIVE DREAMS

Tweets Savitri Era Party  @SavitriEraParty Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. Tusar N. Mohapatra (b.1955) President, Savitri Era Party Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum SRA102C Indirapuram Ghaziabad ·  

Monday, April 16, 2012


Tweets Savitri Era Party  @SavitriEraParty Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. 10:19 PM - 14 Apr 12 Details Tusar N. Mohapatra (b.1955) President, Savitri Era Party Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum SRA102C Indirapuram Ghaziabad  

  • [Heehs' book is un-academic, full of distortions, innuendos and fabrication resulting in a caricature of Sri Aurobindo. -Jasmin Maheshwari]
  • [Why were extracts from Heehs’ book not published in any of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram periodicals? -Ritwik Bannerjee]
  • No complains if Santosh Desai certifies Heehs’ book as a nuanced tribute to Sri Aurobindo. But it rides roughshod over devotees’ sentiments.
  • Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s poor opinion of Sri Aurobindo signals a crisis of confidence in the potential of India’s reservoir of Humanities study.
  • Santosh Desai must also judge whether an Ashram is the right place for critical history writing by Peter Heehs. [TNM55]
  • No one stops Sagarika Ghose or Gautam Chikarmane from praising Heehs' book to the skies but Sri Aurobindo Ashram also needs to be saved.
  • People like Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Ramachandra Guha must assess how Heehs jeopardizes the existence of the Ashram founded by SriAurobindo.
  • Heehs is the cause of unrest in Sri Aurobindo Ashram for the last four years. His eviction will mend the sharp division among the inmates.
  • For freedom to write history from a critical angle Peter Heehs has to quit Sri Aurobindo Ashram and earn from his books and lectures. [TNM55]
  • Heehs distorts history but dishonestly derives authenticity by publicizing his connection with Sri Aurobindo Ashram. This must stop. [TNM55]
  • @pbmehta [We now have proof that this passage by Peter Heehs can mislead scholars like Pratap Bhanu Mehta. by anahata]
  • @pbmehta [Mr Mehta elevates Mr Heehs and diminishes Sri Aurobindo.—by Narendra]
  • Heehs must explain why he didn’t write out appropriate rejoinders when he read the contentious themes first. [TNM55]
  • Whether Heehs stays in India or in America is immaterial. Savitri Era Party demands that he is removed from Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry. 14 Apr
  • We demand induction of a person of Odia origin as a trustee of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry in deference to their numerical strength. 14 Apr
  • There has to be some exemplary penalty for Heehs so that such acts of defiance are not repeated by inmates in future. 14 Apr
  • We demand that the Ashram must expel Heehs for writing several highly objectionable passages in an otherwise satisfactory book. 14 Apr
  • Heehs provides a ready collection of adverse tidbits with evidence which can easily be used by the enemies of Sri Aurobindo against him. 14 Apr
  • The beauty of Heehs’ crime is that it is self-explanatory and richly documented. Even a schoolboy can notice the hostility in the preface. 14 Apr
  • Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. 14 Apr 
President, Savitri Era Party
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Heehs has confessed

['I was targeted for showing Aurobindo’s human side’ STOI Bosco Dominique, TNN Apr 15, 2012, 01.22 AM IST PUDUCHERRY: Peter Heehs
I can say categorically that I did not say Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had a romantic relationship. I did not say that there was any element of madness in Sri Aurobindo's personality. But these questions were raised in the literature I had read. As an impartial biographer, I wanted to take up and discuss these. On these issues, I have written four pages and at the end of it I concluded that the relationship between Sri Aurobindo and the Mother was entirely spiritual. It is unfortunate that people did not bother to read till the end.]

It’s quite revealing that Heehs has confessed his conscious treatment of the two contentious themes in the book. This proves Dr. Ryder’s thesis of Heehs’ anticipating-refuting methodology. Heehs’ promoters had claimed to have smelt nothing of the sort, but now Heehs divulges that he had read about such things. So, obviously, Heehs attempted reconstructing the settings so that the reader comes as close as to such conclusions before he himself intervenes desultorily like the Bollywood police.

This is a serious blunder especially when undertaken within the sacred precincts of an Ashram. Conceiving such a depraved project is itself desecration and amounts to circulating antagonistic vibrations. However, Heehs must explain why he didn’t write out appropriate rejoinders when he read them first and why he didn’t caution the reader regarding this in the preface. [TNM55]     

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New lease of lives for Nyaya

Many might be falsely feeling elated that Peter Heehs has been exonerated from all accusations. The media involvement though with minimal background information conflating the visa issue with a foreigner’s freedom of expression was undoubtedly a sexed up performance the upside of which is that a lot of youngsters heard the name of Sri Aurobindo for the first time. But now that the show is over (which won’t merit a repeat), Heehs stands exactly where he is (even while enjoying a much deserved vacation in his home environment).

The beauty of Heehs’ crime is that it is self-explanatory and richly documented. Even a schoolboy can notice the hostility in the preface itself and a scholar can surely zero in on dozens of transgressions if he is a bit serious or curious. And for those who are well versed with Sri Aurobindo, it is an ordeal to swallow the subtext whenever he is quoted or paraphrased. But his promoters, obviously, portray it as his magnum opus, and in a democracy, we must respect free speech.

Savitri Era Party has lent its voice in the past for an Indian reprint, and it’s good if it materializes. The civil society participation in this debate has been in a firefighting mode, but in any event, deeper afterthoughts might emerge when the dust settles down. There are, we are confident, saner souls who will not leave the present partisan turn unchallenged. After all, we are no mean argumentative Indians. [TNM55]