Dec 18, 2014

Sisters evicted from Aurobindo Ashram: Three including mother commit suicide

ABP Live


Thursday, 18 December 2014 02:47 PM

Puducherry:  An entire family - five sisters and their parents - jumped into the sea here this morning, a day after they were evicted from the famous Aurobindo Ashram.

Two of the young women and their mother have died, the police said, while the father and three other daughters were rescued by fishermen and have been hospitalized.

The family is from Bihar. The five sisters had been staying in the residential part of the Aurobindo Ashram for several years; their parents lived near-by.

The trust that runs the ashram had 10 years ago accused one of the sisters of misconduct.  Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the trust and said the sisters should vacate their rooms within a week; if they refused, the court said, the police should evict them.

Yesterday, they warned to kill themselves if they were moved out, but later were escorted out by the police after extensive talks.

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Dec 15, 2014

Quo Vadis? by Sampdas – Response to Ritwik Banerjee

Apropos “An Earnest Appeal” by Shri Ritwik Banerjee, let it be noted that there are disciples and devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother – both within the Pondicherry outfit and outside – who are very much perturbed by the manner in which the Masters are denigrated by a handful of influential persons, possibly encouraged and egged on to such vicious efforts by those who are close to the Trustees of the Ashram. On the other hand, the silent majority are perhaps hapless witnesses to it – counting their day to day rations – since they have no other go if they are thrown out of the Ashram. The junta that rules now has the leverage to muzzle dissent into submission by denying food and medical facilities to those who owe allegiance to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, and who dare to protest against atrocities not only against human beings but against the Divine as well. The protestors on the other hand appear to have been carrying on their crusade as a sacred duty to ensure that the Masters are not denigrated in the very Ashram which bears the name of the Pioneers of the New Age.

There are many like me who share the concern for the need to cure this festering wound in time so that it does not become a gangrene threatening the very fundamentals of the spiritual endeavour of sincere disciples and devotees.
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Dec 12, 2014

An Earnest Appeal – by Ritwik Banerjee

Dear Sir & Madam,

I don't know who or who has not has read the last mail/forwards on the subject. Even a single response on any point can ensure some peace of mind to its sender. Kindly let all Aurobindonians know your response thereby on the following counts:

1) Are The Golden Chain Fraternity & its work maintained by Ashram in any manner?

2) What are its goal & agenda?

3) Do you agree with a biography of the Master published in 2008 by the Columbia University Press? Was it warranted?

4) Don't you think its author has spent four decades in the Ashram with you in some way betraying the Ashram?
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Dec 6, 2014

On Manoj Das’s Clarification with Regard to the Seashore Chit Fund Scam – by an Inmate of the Ashram

We, the devotees of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo in Odisha, read on 28.10.2014 in the Odiya dailies about Shri Manoj Das’s clarification “Kinchit hatachakita jane lekhakara prashna o pratibedana” [a befuddled writer’s question and submission] regarding his involvement with the scam-tainted Seashore Chit Fund. Since we feel sorry for such a famous writer like him getting involved in such dubious money matters, and as we found some discrepancies in the submission of his position to the dailies, we request him to provide further clarifications. Besides, since we are associated with Sri Aurobindo Ashram for a long time, the magical word craft of Shri Manoj Das cannot sway us enough to lose sight of the reality staring at us.

Here are the following discrepancies: -
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Dec 1, 2014

More Facts on the Domestic Bills of Ashram Aristocrats — by An Irrational Ashramite

Fact 1: The Trust provided a measly allowance for engaging domestic workers only to Ashramites permitted by the Mother or by any Managing Trustee. Not to each inmate as Bireshwar unwittingly put it (see this post); e.g. among those deserving it but who were denied, is a 60+ year old whose arthritic hands don’t let him to wash his clothes.

The term ‘inmate’ craftily legitimised by the present Trust Board is another can of worms – it covers the full, half, quarter, and occasional ‘inmate’!

Fact 2: First, the Trust blamed its sudden “dire need of funds” on the Government for forcing it to decriminalize its allowance partly built on the pretext: “Most domestics are fat and irregular, hence well-off”. Sly as ever, it sweet-talked the unworldly inmates to “voluntarily reduce” their allowances, then capriciously hacked it – “often despite the inmate’s old age infirmities” as Bireshwar says.
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Nov 27, 2014

Review of “An Atrocious Biography” – Aron Aronite

From the grammatically inaccurate term ‘Lives’ gets unleashed this narrative style of insinuations about Sri Aurobindo – as if the Mystic led double lives, one imagined for him by himself which his followers and the world began believing as well, while the other ‘human aspect’ to be exclusively discovered through this self-appointed and ambidextrous style of writing pseudo history. Deshpande shows how each left handed compliment accompanies a dismissive, negativist, suggestive insinuation about Sri Aurobindo.

In fact only when we read R.Y. Deshpande’s Atrocious Biography, it gets clear how academia and intellectuals get honey trapped by this irreverence towards a Spiritual Stalwart, forgetting the fact that the gems they hurry to attest as scintillating insights are from someone who has no academic grounding, no formal education in history writing and doesn’t even have a post graduation, least of all a PhD in historiography or any mentionable qualifications in any other discipline. If we are to go by R.Y. Deshpande, we are hearing the "brilliant" (!) take of an American ‘taxi cab driver and a high school dropout’ on one of twentieth century’s most profound Mystic, and a Cambridge alumni who was proposed the Noble prize for Literature. 
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Nov 20, 2014

The Domestic Bills of the Ashram Aristocrats – by Bireshwar Choudhury

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust pays each inmate of the Ashram a monthly allowance for engaging domestic workers to help them in their daily chores. Recently the minimum wages of domestic workers has been hiked up by the Government to around Rs 150 rupees a day, which comes to around Rs 4500 a month. As the Ashram Trust could not afford to pay the higher wages, it drastically reduced the number of hours of domestic help for the inmates. For example, those inmates who had been sanctioned eight hours of domestic help have now been re-sanctioned only four hours to match their existing allowance. Those who had only four hours have now got only two hours despite, in a few cases, their old age infirmities. But what is really shocking is that the allowances of Jhumur Bhattacharya and Gauri Pinto, two elderly highfalutin ladies of the Ashram, have not been touched at all! Why? Because they enjoy the favour of the present administration and were once upon a time in the early days of the Ashram School “very close to the Mother”, which now seems to be the standard excuse for being thoroughly spoilt.

Guess how much they receive as allowance for their domestic helpers – more than Rs 20.000/ each!
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Nov 14, 2014

Forgotten Values and Upholding the Ideal – by the Speaking Tree

These days some of the inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, seem to be living in a fool’s paradise. They think of themselves as sadhaks and sadhikas of Integral Yoga without even knowing what it means. They are buried under the weight of their own ego without letting any opening for the entry of Light. They boast with great pride that our Ashram is a laboratory, the cradle of the new race and think that one fine morning we will get transformed without any personal effort. Yes, no doubt, the Divine Mother with Her infinite compassion has given us a golden chance to participate in this great advent and be in the Ashram in the “Hour of God”. But have we ever introspected to find out whether we are using or misusing this unprecedented privilege?
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Nov 9, 2014

Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya on Peter Heehs

Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya: I don’t trust this Peter you know, if he goes out of the archives, then I will be happy. Then I know all our boys will do good work.

He did not give much importance to Sri Aurobindo [in his history of the Freedom Movement in India]. Only twice or thrice he mentioned his name, and the way he is changing the writings of Sri Aurobindo, even the line that could not be read, he has put. I saw afterwards, the line that was not possible to read in Sri Aurobindo’s handwriting, he put his own line. Have you seen that? noticed? It is there that I protested and I don’t trust this man. You have asked a question as to whether I have antipathy towards the foreigners. It is not so. I have many foreign friends. But I want to meet them on the same footing. I don’t want to show my superiority nor would I allow them to show their superiority. If they are arrogant and if they want to show their superiority, I will act. That’s what I have done.
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Nov 2, 2014

Strange are the Ways of the Divine! – by Sampdas

Apropos the news about Shri Manoj Das and the Seashore Chit Fund scam reported in this site on the 28th and 29th of October 2014, I felt that by Divine Providence the Orissa Seashore Chit Bounty got channelled back to the flood victims near the Seashore in Orissa. Prompted by my inner voice, I went through the self assessment given by Shri Manoj Das in his reply dated 17 September 2014 to the column titled The Enemy Within in the journal Organiser (dt 21 Sep 2014).

What he wrote angrily there perhaps can be utilised with minor modifications to reflect on the current theme about Sri Manoj Das (MD in short).

While Shri MD in his rejoinder to the Organiser has claimed to be living in Sri Aurobindo Ashram for a little over fifty years, the tail piece in the site wellwishersofsriaurobindoashram which republished the same rejoinder, mentions that he has been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry since 1973. It is not clear how 1973 to 2014 adds up to 50 years! But possibly Sri Aurobindo’s line in Savitri,  “Which less than zero grew and more than one” has been used in the computation.
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Oct 29, 2014

Why did Manoj Das keep mum in June 2013 with regard to the Seashore Chit Fund scam?

[It is not that Manoj Das did not know earlier about the chit fund scam of the Seashore group, the literary wing of which he was the adviser and for which he received one lakh rupees a month. Now he throws up his hands imploring the Heavens for justice and donates all that he has received to the Odisha Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, but what did he do when the Seashore group was publicly exposed as early as June 2013, one and a half year ago? Why did he keep mum at that time? And why did he continue to receive his honorarium? And why does he now create such a big scene as if he never knew anything about it? The following post, written by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak on 17 June, 2013, shows the nexus between writers like Manoj Das and corrupt business tycoons, who use the services of the former to establish their own credentials in the general public in order to draw unsuspecting investors to their fraudulent companies. – Bireshwar]

Posted on June 17, 2013 by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Eminent journalist Prasanta Patnaik has, in his column in Sanchar, exposed such a thread in the matter of economic offenses committed by Prasant Das and his Seashore group of companies that every Oriya who prides in his/her language, writers and scribes, feels ashamed.
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Oct 28, 2014

Manoj Das and the Seashore Chit Fund Scam

[Manoj Das is in the news again for the wrong reasons. This time it is for his association with the scam tainted chit fund company run by the Seashore group in Odisha. As usual he has pretended ignorance and donated the money that he received from the Seashore group (10 lakhs) to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. But is not that simply an eyewash to exonerate himself? Who will not “offer” or “donate” the money when the law finally catches up on him? We reproduce below some of the news items that have been posted on the web. – Bireshwar] 

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