Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Trustees should set themselves as examples before they impose any external rules

Publisher’s Note:

“…The first comprehensive list of rules appeared around 1930; modified versions of it came out in 1933, 1938 and 1950. In 1965 the Mother made a new list of rules. Most of these rules are not well known…”

It is an admitted fact that most of these rules are not well known. It means that these rules are not in vogue. It also implies that these external rules are suggestive and meant for one’s own guidance. In fact this aspect is clear from Sri Aurobindo’s own words which is reproduced in page 4 of the instant booklet of which Rule 4 reads:

“…4. There are no external rules, except those made from time to time for inner discipline of the Asram…”

In fact the Trustees should set themselves as examples before they impose any external rules. Of the present 5 Trustees not one Trustee is setting himself as an example before he imposes external discipline expects from others. Trustees not setting themselves as examples and imposing external discipline on others are contrary to the Teachings of the Masters.

Page 1 # Part I
Rules of the Ashram A Historical Survey

The publishers are not very clear when they say ambiguously “…Some of the rules are known to have been written by Sri Aurobindo or else taken almost verbatim from his letters. Sri Aurobindo revised rules on two of the lists and may have revised others.” “….In 1971 she signed a list of five rules that was probably formulated by one of her secretaries…”

Page 3 # Early Rules , 1927-1929
Sri Aurobindo Ashram , Pondicherry
Rule 4 Reads:
“4. The conditions for admittance as a member of the Asram are:- the call to the way and spiritual purpose of this Yoga; an entire and one-minded readiness for surrender and the giving up of all else for the One Truth; acceptance by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.”

The present Trustees neither have the insight nor an effort in that direction to know whether the intending seeker has “the call to the way and spiritual purpose of this Yoga…”

Page 5
Rules and Regulations of the Asram, 1930
Rule 6 Reads:
“6. Nothing should be sent out for publication (contributions to newspapers and magazines or books) without having been first submitted to Sri Aurobindo for approval.”

In fact the above rule is grossly abused by the Trustees themselves. The Trustees are always biased in invoking this rule according to their whims and fancies. The Trustees have promoted and encouraged all kinds of stupid publications by 1. Manoj Das (reply in The Statesman), 2. Peter Heehs (reply in the “Outlook”), 3. Subrato (reply in “Outlook”) and 4. Soumya Bableshwar (reply in “News Pondicherry’), just to support their wrongful actions. Home Sri Aurobindo The Mother Savitri For the Prosecution of Peter Ashram Auroville About Saaba

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Despite a shortage of money, Sri Aurobindo was able to concentrate on his sadhana as well as writing

OPED Monday, November 24, 2008 Aurobindo’s life divine Prafull Goradia

82 years ago this day, he attained siddhi

On November 24, 1926 at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo had his major vision of the divine which he called siddhi. Commenting on his greatness, the Times Literary Supplement wrote that he might prove to be one of the truly creative philosophers who has given mankind a new thought and a new vision. The philosophers the journal had in mind included Plato, Kant, Hegel and Bergson. The same publication had elsewhere quoted Sir Francis Younghusband as having said that Sri Aurobindo’s mystical magnum opus called The Life Divine to be the greatest book which had been produced in his time (The Lives Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs).

It is not widely realised that yoga means not only a union of body and mind but ultimately also of the human with the divine. True, the latter union is extremely rare. Over the last several centuries, only two individuals are reputed to have been able to view the divine, namely Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Sri Aurobindo. It is believed that both attained mukti or salvation; the former through bhakti while the latter with the help of jnana yoga. Their mystic experiences were at once similar and yet very different.

Sri Aurobindo was almost entirely educated in England over a period of 14 years. In his second year at King’s College, Cambridge, he completed his classical Tripos. Praising his essay, on a comparison between Shakespeare and Milton, written for the Tripos, Oscar Browning called it wonderful. The famous writer went on to say that in his 13 years as an examiner, he had not come across such excellent papers as this student’s. Sri Aurobindo passed the ICS examination but ducked out of the appointment by missing the horse-riding tests. Nevertheless, his learning was versatile, ranging from the Greek classics to Latin, not to speak of Sanskrit and English poetry.

Politics and India’s freedom had begun to stir Sri Aurobindo while in England. One of his biographers, AB Purani, has written that when he put his foot on the soil of India at Apollo Bunder (Mumbai), he experienced tremendous peace. He proceeded straight to Baroda to take up his appointment that he had accepted from Maharaja Sayajirao before leaving England. He served the state for over 13 years until he was 35. During these years, Sri Aurobindo took keen interest in politics in Bengal especially through his brother Barin. Being in the Maharaja’s service, he had to remain in the background, until the British Government decided to prosecute him for writing in Bande Mataram, a journal founded by Bipin Chandra Pal.

In 1904, Sri Aurobindo started practising yoga five to six hours daily. He called this practice sadhana. Although he did take a few advanced lessons from one Yogi Vishnu Bhaskar Lele in 1907, the rest of his efforts all his life were his own. Incidentally, Sri Aurobindo attended the historic Surat Congress of 1907. Incredibly, he was already looked upon as a leading light of the extremists. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was about his only senior. Although he had taken to political activity like fish to water, it disturbed his sadhana. On many a day he could not even practise yoga; he found this disturbing.

In May 1908, Sri Aurobindo, along with others was arrested in the Alipore Bomb Conspiracy case. He left his defence to Chittaranjan Das and busied himself with sadhana even if in the full view of the prison inmates. Once when the Governor visited the jail, he remarked that Sri Aurobindo’s eyes were like those of a mad man. Charu Chandra Dutt corrected him by saying that they were those of a karmayogi!

There were times when Sri Aurobindo experienced siddhi, the attainment of seeing light much greater than experienced in our world. On occasions he heard the voice of Swami Vivekananda. During the trial in court, he saw Vasudeva and Narayan instead of the magistrate and the prosecutor. One day he was reported to have experienced the divine. Sri Aurobindo has written about how he was urgently removed to his solitary cell, but in his own words, what happened then and day after day “I am not impelled to say except that ‘He showed me His wonders’.” Thereafter, he often asked the divine for an aadesh (instruction).

After being acquitted in the Alipore Bomb Conspiracy case, Sri Aurobindo began editing two journals, Karamyogi and Dharma. At the office one afternoon, came an aadesh: ‘Go to Chandernagore’. He obeyed immediately and reached the French colony the same evening. In less than two months, came yet another aadesh which asked him to proceed to Pondicherry which he did on March 31, 1910 by a French boat named Dupleix. Despite a shortage of money, Sri Aurobindo was able to concentrate on his sadhana as well as writing, including his epic poem Savitri.

His devotee, later the legendary Mother named Mira, wife of Paul Richard, first called on Sri Aurobindo on March 29, 1914 along with her husband who was a French journalist. She had repeatedly dreamt of Lord Krishna; when she met Sri Aurobindo, she knew she had found the avatar. Her life was dedicated to spreading the message of Sri Aurobindo.

Sri Aurobindo mingled more and more with the divine and found the ultimate success or siddhi on November 24, 1926. In his own words, life is all yoga. After the siddhi he confined himself to his apartment in the ashram and met no more than seven or eight outsiders in the course of the following 24 years. He was no organiser. It was the Mother, who in the celebration of Sri Aurobindo, played the role reminiscent of Saints Peter and Paul for Jesus Christ or Ashoka in the spread of Buddhism.

Post Comment COMMENTS BOARD :: Aurobindo’s life divine 24 November, 2008

By all means, please continue writing on Sri Aurobindo- but do we really need to quote Peter Heehs's book? By Tathagata Mukherjee on 11/24/2008 1:55:57 AM Its great to see some articles on "prophet of Indian nationalism", Sri Aurobindo, in the pages of the Pioneer lately. However, I have a question to Shri Goradia who is quoting from Peter Heehs's book and probably to the Editor as well (as we have seen a piece of Peter Heehs appear in the Pioneer lately): This book of Peter Heehs has many derogatory references to Sri Aurobindo. By all means, please continue writing on Sri Aurobindo- but do we really need to quote Peter Heehs's book?

The Search Results are given below using word ALIPORE BOMB CASE 'God cannot be jailed' 22 November, 2008 The bomb that shook an Empire 22 November, 2008 100 years of righteous terror 22 November, 2008 Politics of reaching out 11 October, 2008 Alipore bomb case to be exhibited at SC museum 12 May, 2006 11:57 AM

Monday, December 29, 2008

Every devotee is a VIP: 15,000 devotees are expected to visit the Ashram on January 1

Arrangements on in shrines, aurobindo ashram for new year: December 29, 2008 Puducherry, Dec 29:

Most places of worship and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram here are going ahead with arrangements to ensure that devotees from all over India find it convenient to offer prayers on New year day on january 1...

Aurobindo Ashram has also drawn up programmes to enable the devotees get into the ashram premises from 4.30 AM There would be mass meditation around the samadhis of Aurobindo and the Mother for half an hour from 6 AM. Recorded music will be played during the meditation. Not less than 15,000 devotees are expected to visit the Ashram on January 1. Ashram sources said no request had come so far from any VIP to the Ashram about their visits."Every devotee is a VIP"...

All lodges and guest houses are fully booked till Jan 3. Corporate houses have also taken a big chunk of accommodation for their people from different parts of the country. The increase in tourist inflow to Puducherry during New Year would be 15 per cent more than the usual turnout to this former French colony, an official source said. PTI

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Let Mr. Hartz mix only 0.25% of potassium cyanide in his drinks

Home Sri Aurobindo The Mother Savitri For the Prosecution of Peter Ashram Auroville About Saaba Pondicherry Inefficiency Admin Admissions Accounts Mismanagement Archives and Research Litigations Press Publications Phamplates e-Books Speechs & Messages Golden Words
Open Letters Lord's Birth Place Copyright SAABA NEWS No. 64 Dt. 9/02/03
SAABA NEWS No. 64 Dt. 9/02/031. Khichudi – A) only 0.25% of change in words in Savitri! – Richard Hartz. B) ‘my’ or ‘thy’ 2. NEWS. –Kolkata, Pondy.

HELLO I AM BACK! what did you think that I had forgotten you people?! But as they say, ‘ RECULER POUR MIEUX SAUTER! ’ Meanwhile I thank one and all for the patronage, love and the interest that have showered on me from most unexpected quarters of even the hierarchies of the management. Thus on popular demand I am once more at your service for better and good!!

SAVITRI – (Part - 10) - KHICHUDI - So far dear readers and lovers of Savitri, we have had the pleasure to partly study and make our humble inroads in understanding the mentality of our dear and hon’ble friends Hee-Haas, - the so-called research workers of the Archives department of Sri Aurobindo Ashram! Their benevolence, zeal and understanding of Sri Aurobindo is fathomless as earlier seen while analysing a few of their examples of tampering of Savitri as explained by them in a mumbo-jumbo circuitous manner in “Supplement to the Revised Edition of Savitri” – 1994.

Subsequently many of you, including some among the trustees have partly and privately accepted that the tampering of Savitri has indeed been done. However, we did not have the occasion then to analyse two booklets, “On the New Edition of Savitri “ p.1 & p.2 of 1999 and 2000. Mr. Hartz has the audacity to tell you on page 14 of p.1, ‘On the New Edition of Savitri’, that, “Savitri contains more than 180,000 words; 99.75% of these are the same in all editions. Examples of differences in the other 0.25% are given below.

These examples are grouped under three headings according to the principal causes of error: (A) typographical errors, (B) mishearing of dictation, (C) miscopying and mistyping.”

SAABA on this issue has only to state, let Mr. Hartz go and mix only 0.25% of potassium cyanide in his drinks, or even copper or fluorine! In the mystic, spiritual, overhead and mantric poetry it is even worse to make the sublime ambrosia into poison by changing 0.25% in words. But then Mr. Hartz here is like a bull in a china-shop! The Mother did not allow even a comma to be changed

– What SAABA is wondering that with all the new and modern methods now available, new techniques and modern computers at your command, new efficient and so-called research scholars full-time at your disposal, how is it that Mr. Heehs and Mr. Hartz misspelled the word ‘seried’ – 88.35? Mind you this mistake did not exist in 1950 and 1954 editions. This goes to show the meticulousness of Mr. Heehs and Mr. Hartz in creating a new spelling for serried. Sri Aurobindo had done it right, why in the name of correcting a spelling they are adding their own version in 1993, that does not exist in any dictionary?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Special souls had come to do special work in the wake of the avataric unfoldings

Mirror of Tomorrow My Preferences Home Savitri: the Light of the Supreme
Main Page Previous: The Lives of Sri Aurobindo—a Controversial Biography by Peter Heehs
Regarding Peter Heehs’s Proclamation of Suresh Chakraborty (Moni) not Being a Yogi—by Anurag Banerjee on Wed 24 Dec 2008 02:17 PM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

[The Lives of Sri Aurobindo—a Controversial Biography by Peter Heehs has a reference to Suresh Chakrovarty,

The biographer has portrayed him in not too famous terms, in fact there is the undertone of belittling him. One vivid picture which stands about him in front of us is his role in making arrangements for Sri Aurobindo’s stay in Pondicherry when he had received the ādeśa “Go to Pondicherry”. In the present article with two postings, we have a warm account about Suresh Chakraborty (Moni). Sri Aurobindo’s own entry in his Record of Yoga brings out his exceptional character. No doubt special souls had come to do special work in the wake of the avataric unfoldings. ~ RYD by RY Deshpande]

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do Westerners, perhaps lack the inner sense to discern what relics emit?

Home > Journals & Media > Journals > Auroville Today > Current issue August 2007
On relics
- Carel

Many Westerners have a revulsion for the veneration of relics, the body parts of a dead person. Yet cases of relic veneration abound in Catholicism as well as in Buddhism and Hinduism. This veneration may, of course, be ascribed to religious sentiments. But is there more to it? Do Westerners, perhaps lack the inner sense to discern what relics emit? For why did The Mother allow relics of Sri Aurobindo to be distributed and enshrined?

“She said that each and every molecule of Sri Aurobindo's body was filled with Supramental Consciousness,” writes Nirodbaran. “We know that his body was glowing with Supramental Light as soon as he left it. That Consciousness is not a mortal thing which ceases with the death of the physical body. If that is to be, then we wouldn't feel such an extraordinary power and strength when we touch the Samadhi,” he continues. And he explains, “We have learnt that wherever the Relics are enshrined, there dwell such peace and tranquillity. Therefore the relics are not a mere memento. Relics are the living Presence of Sri Aurobindo imbued with the light and force of his lifelong sadhana, just as an atom contains an infinite power in itself.”(1)

In Champakalal Speaks (1976), Champaklal, the servant of Sri Aurobindo, explains how he gathered the hair and nails of Sri Aurobindo that were later given out as relics.(2)

Relics were first installed at the Delhi Branch of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram on December 5, 1957. They were housed in a gold casket which was then encased in three surrounding caskets of silver, sandalwood and rosewood. The same process was followed when relics were installed at the Bangavani centre in Nabadwip, West Bengal , on 21 February 1959. There is an account of it by one of the devotees present:

"Mother explained the relics, what they were and when they had been taken. They were nails and hair taken from Sri Aurobindo on August 25th, 1950. The Mother first herself sewed up the Relics into a brocade bag with a brocade thread, then put it into a small gold box, the symbol of Supermind; then put the gold box into a silver box, the symbol of Overmind; the silver box into a sandal wood box, the symbol of Higher Mind; the sandal wood box into a rose wood box, the symbol of Material Mind; then Mother tied it up with a silk handkerchief used by Sri Aurobindo during his last Darshan. Then Mother covered it up with a piece of red silk cloth, put it into a plastic bag, made it airtight. Then she put the whole thing into a stone casket made for the purpose and Udar cemented it up. ‘Sri Aurobindo sharanam mama' chanted Champaklal at varying pitch at every phase of the ceremony. Mother presented each of use with a card with Sri Aurobindo sharanam mama [Sri Aurobindo is my refuge] printed on it and with blessings written by her own hand. We were twelve of her Selection for the ceremony.”(3)

And relics of The Mother? They are not given. As Nolini Kanta Gupta explained: “We have not till now issued ‘relics' of the Mother, for relics mean remains of a dead person and we did not associate death with the Mother's body. She is ever living to us – even in her body. Sri Aurobindo's was a different matter – the matter was decided by the Mother herself. But in the present case instead of so-called relics we have been issuing things and objects which Mother had in her personal possession and were used by her and considered and treated and loved as part of herself – she herself had declared it so.”(4)

(1) Translation by Gopa Basu of an article on Relics by Nirodbaran in his Bengali book Rancahana Bichitra, as published in Nirodbaran, Divinity's Comrade.
(2) Champaklal Speaks (pp. 104-105), 1976 edition.
(3) From The Mother: A souvenir commemorating the New Advent of Sri Aurobindo in His Motherland: Installation of the Great Relics on the 21st of February 1959 in Bangvani, Nidayaghat, Nabadwip, West Bengal (pp 149), by Gobinda Lal Goswami.
(4) Handwritten note of Nolini Kanta Gupta of 18-12-1977.
Home > Journals & Media > Journals > Auroville Today > August 2007

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I don't think I could get my mind off of the amazing space long enough to go into a meditative state!

Eric Rockey's RTW Trip Tuesday, December 16, 2008 Pondicherry and Auroville

I was excited to go visit Auroville and, overcoming my fear of driving on busy Indian roads, rented a scooter to get me out to there. Auroville is difficult to describe. It's a self-proclamed "universal" town, which aims to bring together people from all nations, religions, and creeds to live in a way that transcends these divisions. A mix of about 40% Indians and 60% foreigners, the town combines the traditional Indian village way of life with more modern Western housing and technology. No one owns anything in Auroville, Auroville owns it all. You can build a house in Auroville and live in it, but if you leave, it goes back to Auroville. There are plenty of different jobs that you can do in Auroville and people earn a fairly modest stipend for doing them (earning money is not one of the reasons people go there - my impression is that it contains a lot of people who have made money in some way before). There is quite a range of light industries in Auroville, as well as many traditional Indian crafts when are sold on site or in stores throughout India. Auroville is famous for producing healthy organic foods and some of the best chocolate I've had in a while. Also (near and dear to my heart), it places great importance on sustainable energy and generates about 30% of its needs from those sources. I'm considering going back to see if I can work in that area for a little while.

The most famous symbol of Auroville is the Matrimandir, a large golden sphere at the geographic center of the community, sitting right next to a beautiful old Banyan tree. The Matrimandir is a meticulously engineered meditation space that is just gorgeous inside and out. The outside is covered with huge discs whose surface is gold leaf encased on glass. The inside looks like a set from "Space 1999", except not cheesy, with orange light eminating through what looks like the inside of a geodesic dome. Everything is white marble - stairs, railways, benches. Inside of this is the inner meditation chamber, where you must put on little white socks so as not to disturb the absolute whiteness of it all - white carpet, white marble, white ceiling. In the center of the chamber is an enormous crystal sphere. An opening at the top of the Matrimandir, combined with some sort of computer controlled mirror, continually sends a pure beam of sunlight directly through the crystal (that is the only light during meditation). The light continues down through the entire building and ends up striking a smaller crystal sphere in a beautiful lotus-shaped pool underneath the structure. I extended my stay in the area for an extra day so that I could experience meditation in the Matrimandir. I don't think I could get my mind off of the amazing space long enough to go into a meditative state!

My barfly friend Babu got me in contact with an old-timer out at Auroville, who I had lunch with at the Solar Cafe. The first thing I noticed was the confusing sign "Money absolutely not accepted!" I found out that this meant you had to get an account # and pay for everything through your account (sort of like Disney Dollars). Or sweet talk some nice Frenchman with an account into ordering your food for you. The vibe was interesting in Auroville - definitely lots of smart people were staying there and it appeared that they were actually getting things done. One of the most impressive things I saw was how they transformed the natural environment in the space of 40 years. Evidently when the community was started, it was pretty much a dirt plain, with no trees or large vegetation due to bad land management. There had been a forest a couple hundred years ago but it was completely gone. Since then, the area has been replanted with millions of trees and now it is forested and green. The man I had lunch with, David, was one of the primary guys in charge of the replanting. It was an enormous job and something that they are looking at exporting to other areas in India. Posted by Eric Rockey at 11:54 PM

All Aurovillians are fed free at a huge solar kitchen

Who's a true Aurovillian?
Kishore Singh, Business-Standard :: New Delhi December 20, 2008, 0:01 IST

Because it’s the closest settlement I have from my temporary home in a guest house outside Pondicherry, it’s natural to be drawn to Auroville, though once you get to know it, there’s disappointingly little to see or do there. You could eat at the cafeteria, or shop at the trendy little stores that, for all that Aurovilians claim about their lack of mercenary incentive, are just a tourist rip-off. Or you could wait for the arrival of a new species of man who will inherit the earth and make it a kinder, gentler place — that generation, naturally, being brought up as an Aurovillian ideal.

I look around to see if this super-species is anywhere in evidence in Auroville, in the babble of voices of people from around the Western world who seem to congregate here because it is a miniature reminder of the habitats they have left behind. They’re dressed in what they suppose Indians wear, only the Indian visitors are very differently dressed from them. The Europeans order garlic toast and pasta and lasagna, the Indians want dosa and biryani. After a few days you can tell the Europeans who tend to hang around here, though the Indian visitors never seem to come back. And the super-Aurovillians are nowhere to be seen.
By a strange fate, my guest house is not in Pondicherry but in Tamil Nadu, though Auroville is, of course, in Pondicherry. It is another matter that it has its own charter and could be its own country. Certainly, you can’t buy land here — the Aurovillians must vet you and decide, after you have hung around for a few months, whether you have the makings of their new race that is interested neither in competition in the workplace (though you need to volunteer to do some work, any work), before they give you free land on which to make your own house, or find you a place in a tree-house that has already been built.
A few thousand volunteers inhabit this space, their children don’t go to formal school, and life from the outside, looking in, seems very, very strange indeed. All Aurovillians are fed free at a huge solar kitchen (any visitor, necessarily accompanied by an Aurovillian, must pay), and though electricity used to be free till some time ago, apparently the rising cost of power required for air-conditioning and television means they must pay for their utilities now. Fortunately, most don’t just depend on their volunteer work but find other means to support themselves for a little bit of money — sometimes also enough to go back home to Europe for a holiday, which, they complain, they find too expensive on their Auroville earnings.

The land around the Maitri Mandir — a gilded geodesic dome in the making for forty years and only just completed — is an enchanted forest. Here, on its uncarpeted roads, if you go after dark, you might come across groups of inter-racial children riding horses late into the night, or others picnicking in the moonlight, or even groups of singers, like heralds, waiting for the new age of mankind to begin.
Alas, mankind seems doomed to repeat the same mistakes, whether in Auroville or elsewhere. One night, in the company of some Aurovillians, we are to go out to dine in some style to Pondicherry, but the choice becomes a debatable issue. We want trendier places, our Aurovillian friends would rather we went to a family diner. In the end the deal is clinched on the issue that we can hardly be around where their children might be out, making a night of it — it would embarrass the kids as well as their parents.
In Auroville as well, the new generation of teenagers seems only to be tawdry rather than superior.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sri Aurobindo, Agastya, Vamadeva, Pythagoras

Physical Transformation—the Early Beginnings
by RY Deshpande on Wed 03 Dec 2008 08:01 PM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

It is perhaps not very wrong to say that the process of the last decisive physical transformation in Sri Aurobindo’s yoga-tapasya began sometime in the mid-thirties. The siddhi or realisation of the Overmind consciousness working in the physical was already obtained by him in 1926; it set off a certain globality of operation for its functioning at the material level. Since then his entire yogic effort was organised towards getting the higher, the supramental siddhi in the substance of the body itself.

This was a totally new situation in the context of the evolutionary earth; but it was also a situation fraught with dangers, it yet holding in it vast possibilities opening themselves in the direction towards which a secret hand had already started guiding the process. This transformation of the death-afflicted physical was certainly a most difficult endeavour whose parallel could perhaps be seen only in a remote way in ancient times, more specifically in the Vedic tapasya of Rishi Agastya...

This must be considered as the first beginning of the process of physical transformation which he had received as a birthday gift a week in advance, before 15 August in 1938. He has now offered his entire physical being to the invading deity and made it a temple for her permanent residence. Supramental Light and Consciousness and Force of that deity, breathing and living and luminous, have appeared dynamically and giftedly and splendidly upon the earth’s playfield...

If the bodily existence was set ablaze in this way, it meant that there was the wonderful realisation or the siddhi of the Mind of Light in him, that the physical had started receiving the supramental. Sri Aurobindo had definitely moved towards it, a remarkable event, a landmark event in the evolutionary sequence. It is said that Pythagoras had a thigh of gold, and that Vamadeva, after crossing the hundredth year, lived in a golden body for sixteen full years. Something golden had happened in that far past, but now the Mind of Light has made the body its permanent base, permanent home. Mirror of Tomorrow

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The author of a recent biography of Sri Aurobindo and his eloquent friends simply harp upon reason and intellect alone

The Avataric Work: Towards the Intermediate Race
by RY Deshpande on Tue 02 Dec 2008 08:52 PM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

[The Gita reveals that the purpose of the divine Incarnation or coming as an Avatar is to do the divine work, diyam karma. This is not only to destroy evil and establish the righteous Law, but is actually to take the progressive evolutionary march to the next higher stage. Sri Aurobindo came to do that, to bring the Spermind in the terrestrial play and make the divine manifestation here upon earth a possibility. We have to see from whatever has been revealed to us if this is present in his life and in his work. Representation of that work should be the genuine concern for any study of his, including biographical. If this is missed, then that study is a waste of effort and one need not really attach any importance to it. Unfortunately that is precisely what is happening in the case of the latest biography of Sri Aurobindo...]

Ascent to Supermind
by RY Deshpande on Thu 27 Nov 2008 12:17 AM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

In a recent book presenting the life of Sri Aurobindo we have a chapter entitled The Ascent to Supermind: Pondicherry 1915-1926. This chapter gives an impression that during this period Sri Aurobindo was making progress in the discovery of supermind, climbing step by step towards it. But he already had the knowledge of it with him, at least for a couple of years now, even much prior to the meeting with the Mother on 29 March 1914. Perhaps the first indication was when he was an undertrial prisoner for one year in Alipore jail, 1908-09.

It was here during the early period of his incarceration that, almost for two weeks, the spirit of Vivekadanda would visit him and point it out to him, a bright golden star far above in the sky. His Vasudeva-experiencine in the jail, of the Presence of the Divine everywhere, in its dynamic aspect, in trees and plants and men and jailors and court witnesses and the judge and the counsels, everywhere, point out towards such a compelling universality. The discovery of the supermind was not a late discovery that began in 1915 and grew in the decade to follow. We have other accounts about it from him.

A Key Statement about the Integral Yoga
by RY Deshpande on Sun 30 Nov 2008 01:44 AM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

First we have to make absolutely certain that there is a call for the spiritual life as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo. If this is not followed even while proclaiming as a practitioner of the self-chosen discipline, not imposed by anyone on anybody, then it is immaterial whether we do this or we do that, whether we call it Spirituality, or Integral Yoga, or Religion and Faith, or the Path of Reason and Rationality, and what not. In fact none of them will have the merit to satisfy the soul’s deeper urge seeking the truth within us, and it working and manifesting in us, and everywhere, and all around. If our concern is this single objective, of the dynamic manifestation of the truth, of the transforming light and power and joy entering into us and operating in every respect in us, then all talk about rationality, about faith in science and reason, faith in logic, blind faith, seeing faith—seeing faith is an extremely rare commodity—pale into insignificance. We go to a spiritually accomplished person to seek his help in this regard, his spiritual help to make spiritual progress, and we endeavour to follow it if we are centrally alert to its assuring methodology and its demands, truthful to our own earnest and sincerest yearning...

The author of a recent biography of Sri Aurobindo and his eloquent friends simply disregard this central principle of the Aurobindonian Yoga when they harp upon reason and intellect alone,—and exists for them no Guruvad, the Word of the Teacher that has the power to mould one’s life. On the contrary, those who go by it are easily dubbed in this world of ours as religious, credulous, the followers of faith—which in fact should not really matter. Indeed, an act of true faith is a kind of inner perception and certitude, and it should not be disrespected, howsoever one might like to reason about it; it is a sort of surer knowledge of things to come and it should be perceptively accepted. If this knowledge comes from the innermost being, and better yet from the psychic being, then there cannot be anything more wonderful than that; it will take care of the hazards springing from the unregenerate vital nature.

On the other hand, absence of the psychic and spiritual awareness will put even the best of our thinking and reasoning in a permanent mental trap, a secure trap from which escape may not be easy, may not be simple and straightforward. But when the precious moment arrives, when there is a call for the higher life, then we should seize it and be true to it; it should be the Biblical pearl for which one should be willing to give up anything required to own it, possess it. We should follow the higher precepts in their truthfulness. It is this superior and elevating expectation we have from the biography of a spiritual giant, and that too the biography of a Yogi par excellence. When this is not available then one feels disappointed whatever be its other claims and good points, its academic or research presentations. RY Deshpande

Re: Physical Transformation—the Early Beginnings
by RY Deshpande on Wed 03 Dec 2008 08:22 PM IST Profile Permanent Link

It is unfortunate that the spiritual insights which could be obtained from the rich archival material that was there at the disposal of the author of a recent biography of Sri Aurobindo are not available in his work. Research with the help of these documents could be rewarding. RYD Reply Mirror of Tomorrow

Re: It is the Psychic Being which will Materialise itself and become the Supramental
by RY Deshpande on Fri 05 Dec 2008 05:37 AM IST Profile Permanent Link

It will be wonderful if some of our friends bring out the details of Rijuta’s life, especially her inspiring contact with the Mother, instead of occupying themselves solely with an academic biography. ~ RYD Reply

Falsehood and Evil—a Price to be Paid
by RY Deshpande on Fri 12 Dec 2008 06:34 PM IST Permanent Link Cosmos

That is the divine work not of Man but of the divine Incarnate. He bears wounds that are difficult to heal. To write about these matters is to write the spiritual biography of the Avatar which only a siddha or perfect accomplished Yogi can do. These, and not the university or academic or the so-called researched presentations, are the aspects of utmost concern. We should be appreciative of the things that constitute the essence of the divine work, divyam karma. RY Deshpande Posted to: Main Page

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

We haven't heard much comparison, just more the bald contrast

Re: Explanation of my Stand wrt The Lives of Sri Aurobindo
by Rick on Mon 24 Nov 2008 11:09 PM PST Profile Permanent Link

Dear Koantum, I followed your links and think I may see what you mean. One thing I'm curious about and haven't heard (from you or others, though I may have missed it) is what you might think about other biographies or writings on Sri Aurobindo besides Peter's.

  • What do you think of, say, that long book by Iyengar?
  • Of A.B. Purani's life of Sri Aurobindo?
  • Rishabhchand's efforts focusing more on the political days?
  • Satprem's Adventure?
  • Chaudhuri's writings (not biographical, but he did write "Prophet of Life Divine"?
  • Then—I would say in a whole other category, but you may differ—Nolini, in his writings on Sri Aurobindo and his much more extensive writings on the yoga?
  • Or any of the other such writers?

We haven't heard much comparison, just more the bald contrast: this current "academic biography" as opposed to the previous "hagiographies." To take an entirely different tack from my two recent posts—I'd be interested in some of your specific reactions (or creative responses) you, Koantum or anyone else.

You do make a very intriguing point in contrasting writings "painfully limited in their vision and comprehension" ("in comparison to Sri Aurobindo's own luminous writings")—writings that may have tried but may have failed to express the "inner Sri Aurobindo" versus Peter's book that does not elicit this reaction "because he deliberately limits himself to the documented externalities of Sri Aurobindo's life" ("the outer Sri Aurobindo"). Still, if you are interested, I would like to hear some more nuance, more of your (or others') more- specific reactions to some of these books mentioned or others not mentioned. Rick Reply [+Permanent Link + Permanent Link]

Friday, November 14, 2008

Champaklal Ji never tolerated any insult or slander against the master

S has left a new comment on your post "The Crucification of Sri Aurobindo by His Devotees...":

Very timely post, Dave.D. The person I remember when I read this post is Champaklal Ji - humble, lovely, innocent, simple embodiment of love and service. When he said that he wanted to wash Sri Aurobindo's Dhoties, (that was way back in the 1920s when he first entered the portals of the Ashram) Sri Aurobindo warned him that he would be laughed at. The last moments of Sri Aurobindo in His mortal frame bring tears to my eyes - He embraced this wonderful Champaklal and kissed him.

Champaklal Ji never tolerated any insult or slander against the master. Wonder what the pseudo spirituo-intellectuals would have to say to that!!!

Thank God, Champaklal ji is not there to suffer the barbs of the self appointed critics of the Ashram, devotees and those who in their own way serve the cause of the Mother and the Master.He also serves who stands and waits! Posted by S to Savitri Era Open Forum at 7:55 PM, November 14, 2008

Worship with floral decorations evolved from The Mother’s experience of different states of consciousness expressed through flowers

A yogic search from France to Pondy
Swahilya Express Buzz. : 14 Nov 2008 CHENNAI:

Indian spirituality has forever attracted the people from all over the world in the form of disciples and Gurus too. Once such person who came to India in search of a special being she felt so connected with since the age of 12. She called it “Krishna,” and finally saw that person in Sri Aurobindo of Pondicherry, which eventually became home for Mirra Alfassa of Turkish-Egyptian descent, born in Paris in 1878.
Wilfried, a German author and Indologist who has written A short biography titled The Mother points out that out of the 15 volumes of the Collected Works of The Mother, most of it was transcribed from the recordings of her talks on tape.
She and her husband Paul Richard who came to Pondicherry were termed by Sri Aurobindo as rare examples of European Yogins who had not been misled by aberrations on the spiritual path. The Mother, who was irresistibly drawn towards India, the country that she exclusively felt was her motherland, finally came to Pondicherry in 1914. After her travels to Japan, she again came back to India and lived in Pondicherry since April 1920 till her Mahasamadhi in November 17.

Followers of the Integral Yoga path of Sri Aurobindo have a very close spiritual connection with The Mother even today.
They visit her samadhi in The Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry on all days of the year and on special days such as February 21, the birth anniversary of The Mother and on November 17, observed as the Mahasamadhi Day.
A tennis player, painter and musician who played on the piano, The Mother’s philosophy was to integrate spirituality into daily life – bring the supramental divinity into the day to day activities like even combing one’s hair or brushing the teeth..
A key person in the formation and of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry which attracts lakhs of visitors from all over the world the Mother described life in the Ashram as far from ascetic abstinence or an enervating comfort;

“Simplicity is the rule here, but a simplicity full of variety, a variety of occupations, of activities, tastes, tendencies, natures; each one is free to organise his life as he pleases, the discipline is reduced to a minimum that is indispensable to organise the existence of 110 to 120 people and to avoid the movements which would be detrimental to the achievement of our yogic aim."

Worship with floral decorations evolved from The Mother’s experience of different states of consciousness expressed through flowers. Each flower has a particular vibration and meditating in the ambience of flowers helps in connecting to different aspects of the divine consciousness. Even today at The Aurobindo Ashram and the many centres of the Sri Aurobindo Society in Chennai and other parts of India, the floral decorations play a major role in meditation. The Auroville township and Matri Mandir are her pet ideas too.

- Sri Aurobindo Society at 5, Smith Road near TVS was the Chennai branch that was set up by The Mother herself in the early 60s. A special group meditation will be conducted at 10 a.m. on that day in remembrance of The Mother. The Centre will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for visitors and Mahasamadhi day message cards will be distributed. N.V. Balu, chairman of the Anna Nagar Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society at AP 514, J-Block , 8th St., said that there will be a group meditation on that day at 6.30 a.m. and an audio show at 6 p.m. and Annai Bhajans on the previous day evening.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The court asked to inquire into allegations that the book makes defamatory remarks about Sri Aurobindo

Set for release, Aurobindo biography runs into legal trouble
The Hindustan Times November 6th 2008
Soumyajit Patnaik Bhubaneswar - November 5th

The scheduled publication of Sri Aurobindo's biography by Penguin India this month has run into trouble with the Orissa High Court on Tuesday asking the publisher to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Union Information and Broadcasting (I and B) Ministry and Home Ministry.

The Lives of Shri Aurobindo is penned by American writer Peter Heehs and has already been published by the Columbia University Press in May 2008. In India, it is scheduled for release this month.

The court, acting on a petition, asked the I and B Ministry to inquire into allegations that the book makes defamatory remarks about Sri Aurobindo, one of India's revered philosophers and freedom fighters, who died in 1950.

Gitanjali Devi, in her plea, has mentioned that the book is blasphemous and makes several defamatory remarks on the life and character of the philosopher. Her counsel Milan Kanungo told HT:

"The court has directed the I and B Ministry to make a thorough inquiry into the contents of the book and ascertain whether it contains any defamatory comments about Sri Aurobindo. The report would be submitted to the court by December 15, which has been fixed as the next date of hearing."

Heehs - one of the founders of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives - did not respond to an e-mail query from HT. . 1:03 PM 9:24 AM 8:57 AM 7:18 AM

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Offer Cordiality flower to Mother Mirra Alfassa

Home > Family & Relationships > Marriage & Divorce > My wife is very arrogant and dominating? by Subash Member since: April 25, 2008

1. enquire aurobindo followers about cordiality flower and bring in home and make it float in a bowl of water as offering to mother mirra alphonse photo.

try flower medicine. bring in the flower of cordiality and offer to mother mirra alphonse
Home > Family & Relationships > Family > How to keep my husband happy he always gets angry for small things?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sri Anirvan used to lecture at Sri Aurobindo Pathmandir at Coffee House building, College Street, Kolkata

from aju mukhopadhyay <> to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" <>
date 29 June 2008 12:44 subject Re: Fwd:
Sri Anirvan from Gautam Bhattacharya

Dear friends, Many are writing about the yogi Anirvan, as he was- I have not quite followed though it would be nice to research on him and if a comprehensive book is brought out. I do not know who Ms. Mrinalini is but I may say that I have Upanishat Prasanga - about Upanishad by Anirvan published by Burdwan University in three parts but the bindings are very bad so they can not be parted with and I have a book of poem by him- if any one is interested to publish I may translate the poems in it. I may say that he used to lecture at Sri Aurobindo Pathmandir at Coffee House building, College Street, Kolkata and Pathmandir people have published his book or books, may be- she may search there too. Good wishes, Aju Mukhopadhyay

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Heehs records some instances of western reaction to the outer trappings of devotional worship

The Lives of Sri Aurobindo: The aggrieved victim turned aggressor
by Rich on Fri 24 Oct 2008 10:56 AM PDT Permanent Link In the absence of social, educational, and economic reform to improve living conditions often solace is sought in other worldly pursuits of religion...

It is also true that Heehs records some instances of western reaction to the outer trappings of devotional worship and holds an ambiguous stance regarding these, but neither hagiography nor worship is restricted to “Indian culture” and Heehs’ reaction is a personal choice based on the history and continuing ills of religion in the west and the world and hardly a “cultural bias.”

Heehs here bases himself on his reading of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, repeated by them many times, that they did not want their teaching converted to a religion. Yet it is made to seem as if “hagiography” and “worship” is somehow quintessentially “Indian” and then the charge against Heehs can be effectively directed... Science, Culture and Integral Yoga 8:46 AM

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More effort is needed to explain the mystical basis of guruvada to the western mind

Corrections to textual excerpts of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs - Re: The Regime of Quotation
by Debashish on Mon 20 Oct 2008 09:37 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

I see the use of the Mother's or Sri Aurobindo's quotation in this regard as entirely illegitimate and highly dangerous if made into a collective judgment in sadhana. A spiritual teacher's words are uttered in a context of time, place, circumstance and receipient's personality, as a force in action not as a law for the ignorant to use as a substitute for truth.

Neither Sri Aurobindo nor the Mother were automatons who would respond with the same words for all time. Unless one has identity in consciousness with them, one cannot assert their authority on the basis of words written or said in a certain context in the past. Apart from their own changes of perception, both Mother and Sri Aurobindo have spoken in several places of the fact that the external and internal conditions of the environment in question do not remain the same and actions have to deal with the circumstances of the present.

The words of the past are a help only to the person who is called upon to act. S/he should ponder these words, but his/her action can only be a will directed from within and a living choice. Moreover, the proper use of these words are in personal growth and action, their use by others to dictate behavior in general or in specific cases is an instance of the abuse known as religion.

Can one be sure that the Mother has not herself put the author in the place and time and given him the preparation needed to do excatly what he has done for her work? DB Reply Science, Culture and Integral Yoga

Guruvada, the mind and the devotion
by Debashish on Mon 20 Oct 2008 09:51 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Guruvada is a concept alien to the western mind and, on the surface, repugnant to its democratic ideal. I agree that more effort is needed to explain the mystical basis of guruvada to the western mind. Sri Aurobindo has some luminous explanations for guruvada.

On the issue of the place of devotion vs. the mind in the Integral Yoga, I would like to quote this passage from P's book, which gives a historical perspective to these things:

Mind is, as he said often in The Life Divine, "an instrument of Ignorance," not of knowledge. The seeker has to rise through mind "into some kind of fusing union with the supramental and build up in himself a level of supermind." This is what he had done in his own practice and he thought at first that others could follow his example. Some tried, but lacking his experience and balance, they could not repeat his success. Eventually he realized that the transformation he envisaged would be difficult if not impossible for others without a preliminary awakening of the psychic being, a development of such qualities as sincerity, devotion, and inner discrimination. To bring about this awakening was the primary aim of the sadhana under the Mother's guidance. (pg. 358) DB Reply Science, Culture and Integral Yoga

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Although Sri Aurobindo did not proclaim his own Divinity, it is demanded that the faithful invest him with such divinity

I am not attempting to "Aurobindo-ize" Christianity." Why Darwinists Reject Evolution from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob Sep 17, 2008.

I think he was influenced by both Christianity and western science -- including the theory of evolution -- and applied them to Indian metaphysics. So when Aurobindo talks about "divinizing matter" or reconciling all the levels of creation, he is really talking like an Orthodox Christian. It's all very Jewish as well. God is a Joke and Bill Maher is a Barbaric Idiot from One Cosmos by Gagdad Bob Sep 22, 2008

Personally, I'm a Westernized Pakistani, who more or less gave up on all religions and religious practices many years ago. I thought it was all superstitious nonsense. However, I have recently been coming around and learning to respect and see the value of traditional ritualism...And sometimes, when I've had experiences of darker dimensions of Reality, I tell you, spontaneously prostrating to photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother has gotten me out of an awful lot of trouble. -- by ned on Tue 05 Aug 2008 Permanent Link

Continuing to operate with all the trappings of traditional religious practices while claiming not to be a religion is a Huge contradiction and IMO has produced a myriad of unresolvable problems in the Integral Yoga community after Sri Aurobinodo's and Mother's passing. -- by Rich on Tue 05 Aug 2008 Permanent Link

there is not a shred of evidence you can offer to support your arguments that they were Gods. The best you can do is to supply texts which can only refer to themselves in endless tautology. by Rich on Sun 24 Aug 2008 Permanent Link

And of course there is Integral Yoga fundamentalism with its claims that its founders are gods or avatars and that similar to the Christian myth make the case for them descending to Earth to take up the suffering and redemption of humanity. True to all fundamentalist assumptions in this one the founders are seen to be infallible, beyond the scope of any critical inquiry... by Rich on Tue 23 Sep 2008 Permanent Link 11:39 AM

Although Sri Aurobindo did not proclaim his own Divinity, it is demanded that the faithful invest him with such divinity. Although none can demonstrate miracles, it is demanded those faithful to the yoga believe in a narrative of Origins which is exclusively supernatural. The supernatural is the domain of a few to interpret. Interpretations are decoded in culturally privileged ways... by Rich on Sun 19 Oct 2008 07:49 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Debabrata Ghosh has left a new comment on your post "Symbiosis": "Let a million freedom-flowers bloom Let us sing in a billion strong tongues May we unite in our aspirations To build the one Gnostic community."

YES. But it is not possible for a thinker or dreamer -who is in a specific religious fold-however great it is. We love to see flowers blooming in nature -not in a personal garden -protected by barbwires. Sri Aurobindo is not a groomed garden -he is the peak of the Himalayas-under which we find Nandan Kanan. Posted by Debabrata Ghosh to Tusar N Mohapatra at 12:53 PM, October 18, 2008

The Greyscale Between Religion and Spirituality by Rick Lipschutz
on Sun 26 Oct 2008 10:17 PM PDT Permanent Link

Religion brings us closer to the Divine; yoga brings Union with the Divine - we can't have one entirely without the other; but neither can we forget that our goal is a true spirituality founded on direct realization of the Spirit, and working always from there. Let me make clear and please note (since here I am trying to show the necessity of religion in the continuum, and not as the culmination!) that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother unequivocally did not found any new religion (even a more-universal or the most universal religion), but a Yoga based in a complete all-inclusive spirituality that would lead even beyond the transitional human condition to a direct power of Spirit in matter: the materialization of the free Spirit, individual and collective, in fulfilling, living action.

"All Life is Yoga," and to reach this goal, this seemingly distant culmination (which is probably only the beginning of a new and greater lift to something even more inclusive, or into another "category" beyond inclusive) - we need to make use of any and all materials and get to know realistically the materials we have at our disposal. As the Mother said, religion is one of those elements "true religion" and not "religionism" in Sri Aurobindo's earlier-quoted sense): physical actions, devotion - and I'm not saying here that devotion is only a religious phenomenon - far from it! Sri Aurobindo himself as he grew in his realizations grew ever so greatly in a spiritual Bhakti - worship, morality, some level of rules - these play a needed part, serve as a springboard to our spirituality, may give a needed (though temporary) form to our aspiration.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Any belittling or vulgarizing that sacred link is considered to be suicidal

Re: Corrections to textual excerpts of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs
by Vladimir on Tue 14 Oct 2008 09:35 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Rich, one important point.

The Religion in the West was not the same as it was in India. In the West the Church was obstructing the rational thinking with religious dogma from the medieval period onwards, introducing Inquisition and other persecutions. The mind in the West had to fight against the religious dogma, burning on the stakes of Holy Inquisition. In India this contradiction between rational thinking and religious dogma was never there. On the contrary the flourishing of the scientific thought and rational thinking was always preceded by the flourishing of religious movement. The religious movement was conducive to the rational thinking, and the creation of all sciences, shastras, always had a religious support.

This, as I think, is the biggest misunderstanding between the Western and the Indian perception.

On one hand you have Abrahamic religions: Christianity and Islam with their non-ending missionaries to convert the world to their own ways of thinking and belief-system and on the other hand Hinduism, where you cannot convert anyone: you are to be born a Hindu to become a Hindu. There were never missionaries of Hinduism anywhere in the world in the history of mankind. There were rivalries among Hindus, but not against the world.

In India religion and life go together. There is no religion against life or life against religion. It is one and the same thing here. It cannot impose itself or convert others.

Another important psychological point.

In India to gratify the Guru, who supports and in some way represents your growth of consciousness, is the way to grow spiritually. It is a psychological truth. More truly grateful you are in your heart more open you become to the influence of a higher consciousness. Any belittling or vulgarizing that sacred link is considered to be suicidal for you and other seekers on the same path. Therefore you have this strong reaction, in the whole system it feels as if you are poisoned.

If you understand this, you would not try to blame this strong reaction of those who found refuge in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. And this fear of Inquisition, which all Westerners have, would not have a ground here in your interpretation. v Reply

One of the first tenets of religion is the self-justification of Ignorance on the basis of quotes

Re: Corrections to textual excerpts of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs
by Vladimir on Tue 14 Oct 2008 09:59 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Dear Rich and Debashish, I always respected your views and thoughts on Integral Yoga and Sri Aurobindo's studies, you know that, but somehow I cannot lie to myself about what I have read. I was also very friendly with PH and considered him to be of the same mindset. But to answer your question on falsehood. Falsehood is what makes a great thing small, and a small thing great; what disorients consciousness to a degree that nothings is clear anymore, for all words sound similar but they mean different things. I don't see any meaning in presenting Sri Aurobindo and the Mother without spiritual attitude. For how can you speak about Sri Aurobindo, the spiritual giant of our Time, in nonspiritual manner? Is it not a falsehood? It is like making nonexistent - existent, secondary - primary, superficial - essential, where we will end then?

Being Ukrainian by origin, born between West and East, I can see both perceptions, and in many points can sympathise with the Western view on things, especially related to matter and organisation of material life, but in this case of spiritual look I am totally Indian. I feel the presence of a higher consciousness in myself and I am grateful for it to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, because I recognise their presence and influence; I feel their guidance.

What PH attempted is to make out of the Supramental Avatar an ordinary human being in the name of smaller truths. This may seem to be noble for him and others who seek humanity in human beings but it is of a loss for all those who aspire to grow beyond it, what Sri Aurobindo really represented.

My point of view is this, that anything written by a sadhak about Sri Aurobindo which brings him down to an ordinary level and admits the reader to a sort of gossiping familiarity with him is an unfaithfulness to Him and His work. Good intentions are not sufficient; it is necessary that this should be understood by everybody. The Mother, 3 June 1939 Words of the Mother, Vol. 13, p. 27

Reply Re: Corrections to textual excerpts of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs
by Debashish on Tue 14 Oct 2008 11:07 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Vladimir, The quotes were presented out of context - in themselves and in respect of the entire work. Unless one reads the entire work, one cannot understand the intent and the place or even the meaning of any quote. I have read the book. I disagree completely with the view that the author has tried to make Sri Aurobindo into "an ordinary human being in the name of smaller truths." The impression of the book is unmistakable to me. It is of a person extraordinary from the beginning who charted a course between credulousness and incredibility as a scientist of consciousness and arrived at a goal which is a beacon for the future. DB

Reply Re: Corrections to textual excerpts of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs
by Rich on Tue 14 Oct 2008 01:57 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

Vladimir I have also respected your perspective as well however to what you wrote...

Well to you he is a supramental avatar - perhaps he is to me too - this would be our interpretations based on faith but our actual interpretations may even differ greatly from each other as to what an Avatar or supramental mean. But to the rest of the world he is Sri Aurobindo a great philosopher yogi and a leader of a revolutionary independence movement. But with all due respect the perspective that he should only be portrayed -even by a Sadhak- as a spiritual figure comes exclusively from a religious perspective toward Sri Aurobindo. The founder of Integral Yoga as Religion. One in which no one should dare see him as anything else than what our personal faith tells us he is.

The current controversy seems to me to be the same perspective as those Christians who see Jesus as the Son of God, and persecute those who see him rather as the Son of Man - The current controversy also makes it perfectly clear that Integral Yoga has become for many exclusively a religion, with charges of blasphemy against someone who does not adhere to their orthodox conception of what a supramental Avatar is, and their willingness to censor and perpetrate violence against persons who hold different views or interpretations. However, especially in the 21st century no one can expect, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu et al that everyone else is going to buy into their particular article of faith.

This book as I understand it is written for an introduction "to the rest of the world" particularly academics and graduate students as an introduction to his life. I know people who have approach Sri Aurobindo from a secular perspective and having read it come to feel he was something much more than all the mere historical figure they thought he was. Who among the orthodox has the right to prohibit one from accessing Sri Aurobindo and taking up the yoga by entering his thoughts from this book?

To those who think Sri Aurobindo was Divine. There is also a quote which I have come across in aphorism or somewhere where Sri Aurobindo obviously speaking to the orthodox asks who among you is so Great that you think you can defend the Divine? So its probably best here that we dont try to justify our actions with quotes, because they can go either way. Best to stick to a dialog that immediately does not condemn and react with intolerance against another for not accepting their own particular way of interpreting Sri Aurobindo or their method of presenting him to an audience outside the already faithful. There are so many levels of understanding that it is quite shocking that those professing to follow an "integral" path seem to want to reduce them all to one particular way of seeing the world. rich

The Regime of Quotation by Debashish on Tue 14 Oct 2008 11:16 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

One of the first tenets of religion is the self-justification of Ignorance on the basis of quotes. The Divine is reduced to a slot machine or ventriloquist's puppet which spits out the appropriate quote in a sonorous voice at the bidding of its master. And this becomes the "acceptable representation" with the threat of the electric chair behind it.

Reply Re: The Regime of Quotation by Srikanth on Tue 14 Oct 2008 12:12 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

It is pointless to want to convince everyone that the intellect is infallible. One doesn’t need to be a yogi to see how limited it can be. True, quotations can be taken out of context and misused…but the opposite is also true. Seeing them as mere quotations and as inapplicable when inconvenient or contending at all times that “the Divine” had wished to convey more (or other) than what the quotations suggest is equally an artifice and (a technically self-contradicting) conceit of the intellect. Thus, an intellectual standpoint can be as much steeped in ignorance and as intimidating when it threatens to label all those who oppose it as ignorant, unintellectual, or religious and to banish them, if not to the death-chamber, at least to the valley of the untouchables.

Reply Re: The Regime of Quotation by Debashish on Tue 14 Oct 2008 04:20 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link

It stretches the imagination that someone may think this is a discussion about the infallibility of the intellect. The intellect, like all other faculties at our disposal in this discussion, is a power of the Ignorance. The entire discussion is about the arrogance of the Ignorance and in this case, the abuse of "quotations" to act as if it is a power of truth. The utility of the shatra is entirely personal, to aid in and test our inner experience in the growth of consciousness, not to enforce on others as a weapon of the Ignorance in the name of Knowledge. Reply