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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Oct 24, 2014

Why Sell the Soul for a Mess of Pottage? – by Sampdas

The brief factual Aide-Memoire on the ongoing debate on the book of Peter Heehs titled “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo” could serve to focus on the fundamental issues concerning not just the Sri Aurobindo Ashram commune at Pondicherry but also the extended Ashram body of devotees, disciples and followers of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo – living in India as well as overseas.

Though a large majority of people are aware that there is trouble and mudslinging between those critical of Peter Heehs and those who defend him, the surprising thing is that both the groups have their epicentre at Pondicherry. The fact that the problem has taken a larger dimension about the way matters are handled by the management of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram leaves us in no doubt that all is not well over there.

For the purpose of clarity it is worth mentioning that all who have turned to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother are sadhaks – though not necessarily living physically in the precincts of the Pondicherry Ashram in buildings hired or otherwise. And the Ashram consists of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo and all those who have accepted them as embodiments of the Divine or as spiritual guides on the path of Integral Yoga, and who reach their offerings in physical or monetary form to the Masters through the Ashram Trust. Consistent with this fact, the Ashram Trust exists basically for providing the administrative and managerial support to look after the interests of The Mother, Sri Aurobindo, as well as to assure the basic necessities of life to the Ashram inmates and meet with the requests of the followers of the Masters for correspondence, reaching Blessings to them and logistics for their stay etc. The Ashram Trust (with the exception of The Mother) is neither a team of spiritual leaders nor its Trustees are spiritual successors to The Mother.
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Oct 17, 2014

Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya’s letter regarding Peter Heehs

[Many senior sadhaks of the Ashram rang early warning bells and amply cautioned the Trustees with regard to Peter Heehs and Richard Hartz, the two American editors of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives. Jugal Kishore Mukherji’s [1] two long letters (1 & 2) addressed to the Trustees in 1986-87 have already been published on this site. We now publish a letter of Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya [2] dated July 1987, written in the same context and shortly after Jugal Kishore Mukherji’s letter of June 1987. His letter raises doubts and suspicion regarding the editing of the Archives & Research journal and the revised Edition of Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri. What is most interesting is that PKB foresaw twenty-one years back the insidious attack of “The Enemy Within”. He wrote the following:

“If the [my] suspicions could be proved they would not remain suspicions, they would become facts. But clever people know how to hide their true colour for a long time. That is why time is considered to be the best judge. So, until then, one should be on one’s guard, watch the suspects, and wait for the time when the truth reveals itself. If it is found that my suspicions are baseless, I shall be, too, happy to correct myself. It gives a very unpleasant feeling to be suspicious about people and things.” [emphasis added]

Well, Time has indeed proved to be the best judge when Peter Heehs revealed his true colours in 2008 with the publication of his derogatory book on Sri Aurobindo. If only the Trustees had paid heed to PKB’s early warning, how much trouble and controversy the Ashram Trustees could have averted, apart from nipping the mischief in the very bud! – Bireshwar]
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Oct 10, 2014

Reply to the Rejoinder of Manoj Das to the Organiser – by Bireshwar Choudury

Manoj Das is the proverbial professor who has sold his soul to the Devil. So his staunch defence of the corrupt Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram does not come as a surprise. He will keep on perorating praise for them because of very selfish ends such as getting the Ashram Trust to pay for his costly medical treatment – he has recently undergone knee replacement surgery and radiation therapy in corporate hospitals unlike the other inmates of the Ashram who are sent to Government Hospitals for medical treatment. He is also the official spokesperson of the Ashram Trust from which he derives enormous benefit from the point of view of publicity, which he cleverly uses to climb the ladder of literary fame. We have recently come to know that many of his stories have been actually picked up from various anthologies, so he does not even deserve the awards that have been bestowed on him.
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Oct 4, 2014

Shiva Responds to Manoj Das's Rejoinder to the Organiser

Shiva’s Hearty Greetings
To Padamshree Prof Manoj-Das-ji
For His Characteristic Tosh Against the Author of “The Enemy Within”

You dismiss Mr Chari’s “The Enemy Within” as a “vomit” of the “nasty and naked lies fed to him by unauthorised hostile elements” – as if Mr Chari had no other sources within and outside for this thesis.

You claim he “swallowed” this “dirt” because he has “never visited the Ashram” – as if by a single visit one robotically “imbibes the spirit sublime dominating its air” and knows all about Sri Aurobindo, Mother, Their Yoga, Their Ashram.

But you are yourself a proof that even after “over fifty years” here one can swallow “nasty and naked lies” fed by elements hostile to Sri Aurobindo, Mother, Their Yoga, and Their Ashram!

For instance:—
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Sep 29, 2014

An Atrocious Biography – by RY Deshpande

|| The Lives of Sri Aurobindo || 
An Atrocious Biography 
is now available on Amazon at

A Preview
An Atrocious Biography by RY Deshpande

[This is a book critiquing Peter Heehs’s The Lives of Sri Aurobindo published by the Columbia University Press, US, in May 2008.]
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Sep 24, 2014

“Well-Wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram” Or League of Lapsed Logicians? – by Shiva

On 15th September, Mr Seshadri Chari’s “The Enemy Within” was published in the Organiser magazine’s issue of September 21, 2014.

This website reproduced it without any comments for readers to judge it on its merits in their own light because it realised that Mr Chari’s whole concern is with India which “is slowly but surely waking up to the virulent and concerted attacks mounted on its spiritual and cultural foundations [the Sanatana Dharma] by pseudo Western scholars in the garb of deceptive academic studies”. It reminds us of Sri Aurobindo’s prophetic words at Uttarpara on 30 May 1908:  “When it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatana Dharma that shall rise…. It is the one religion which impresses upon mankind the closeness of God to us and embraces in its compass all the possible means by which man can approach God…. When the Sanatana Dharma declines, then the nation declines, and if the Sanatana Dharma were capable of perishing, with the Sanatana Dharma it would perish.” Mr Chari, like Mr Narendra Modi, is working for that rising India of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo.
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Sep 11, 2014

Sridharan Replies to Matriprasad Satyamurthy on the pro-Ashram Trust Nexus

Refer to the Well-wishers’ posting of August 30, 2014 “The Pro-Ashram Trust Nexus!” in reply to our “Connecting the Dots between the pro-Ashram Trust Nexus – Sridharan” (July 28, 2014), which in turn was a reply to the Well-wishers’ “Connecting the dots between the anti-Ashram nexus” (July 4, 2014).

I will not waste my time with the shameless jingoism and empty rhetoric of this particular posting on the Well-wishers’ forum, which is mainly due to the fact that the site is fully backed by the present authorities of the Ashram. Let me come straight to the distinction between the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust that we have always insisted upon. The Well-wishers’ forum is so overawed with the importance of legalities that they seem to forget that the Ashram is supposed to be a spiritual institution. (This is typical of Matriprasad Satyamurthy – secretary of the Ashram Trust, who always talks legal when you want to engage him with spiritual issues. He once told a newcomer to simply enjoy life at the Ashram instead of trying to practise Yoga!) When did we say that the Ashram and the Ashram Trust are two different legal entities? The Trust was of course created by the Mother to take care of the Ashram properties, but only the Mother is authorised to induct and evict persons from the Ashram. According to Clause 7 of the Trust Deed, this matter is left to her “absolute discretion” and no other clause qualifies any other Trustee to undertake this responsibility in her absence! In fact the Ashram Trust Deed, drafted in 1955 shortly after the de facto transfer of Pondicherry to the Indian Union, is framed for the period of her lifetime. Even the possibility of her demise is not mentioned in the Trust Deed and no future contingent arrangements are envisaged in it with regard to the guidance and administration of the sadhaks of the Ashram. For more information on this aspect, read the following article posted on our site. (“Misconceptions about the Ashram Trust Deed.”)
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Sep 4, 2014

The Rationalised Ashramite – by An "Irrational" Ashramite

Roused by the escalating anti-theist refrain of ‘No Religion’ in Auroville (see “The ‘No Religion’ Refrain” posted on this site on 9th August) rationalised Ashramites belittle our offering of incense and prayer at the Samadhi and the photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, our meditations in the Ashram, Playground, etc, as rituals and conventions devoid of spirituality. But meditations at the Matrimandir can also become ritualistic conventions, for while there are no external ceremonies, the symbols of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are built into the very design of Matrimandir and with time meditations there too can become mechanical rituals. The fact is that the unspiritualised mind can never know when any form of external worship is without a living truth behind it, and is not a living spiritual expression of worshipper’s soul. “If worship is done,” says Sri Aurobindo, “as a part of meditation or with a true aspiration to the spiritual reality and the spiritual consciousness and with the yearning for contact and union with the Divine, then it can be spiritually effective.”[1] In reality, therefore, the rationalist’s “No Religion” refrain masks the lower nature’s dread of serious spiritual practice and its clamour for an unrestrained life of animal instincts, nurturing it will ultimately leave no place for devotion and reverence, no place for spirituality, no place for the aspiration of the soul, and finally no place for Sri Aurobindo and the Mother themselves.
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Aug 29, 2014

Response to Govardhan Dave – by Sridharan

Govardhan Dave is perhaps at his illogical best in the recent posting of 19 August 2014 on the Well-Wishers’ forum. Logical analysis was never his strong point, but what concerns me is that he is also an ignoramus on life in Sri Aurobindo Ashram and on the stormy events that have recently occurred there. What is more disconcerting is that he proceeds to write a factual analysis of the controversy with this half-knowledge and with his half-baked mind. This double deficiency makes him indeed a dangerous disseminator of wrong information which gullible strangers might readily believe. Hence I will take the trouble to rebut him instead of dismissing him as a harmless nincompoop who is being used by the Well-Wishers’ forum to shoot over his shoulders. I quote below his so-called analysis with my comments below.
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