Quick answers to some frequently asked questions:
1. Peter Heehs has written a “scholarly biography” of Sri Aurobindo intended “for the Western mind”. What is wrong with that?
2. PH has written for the Western mind and Western scholars. Sometimes it may be necessary to present things differently to make Sri Aurobindo more acceptable and accessible to the West!
3. But isn’t there a clear vertical split between the views of Eastern and Western disciples of Sri Aurobindo? Isn’t the response to the book in India more sentimental and emotional?
4. Why was there a campaign to malign PH? Should there not be a respectful intellectual debate on differences in viewpoints?
5. Why is it so important to provide academic refutations to PH’s book? Why has not such a detailed response been offered so far to other writers who also have misrepresented Sri Aurobindo?
6. What can be so harmful in the long run, after all this is merely a book. How can a book ever harm Sri Aurobindo or his work? Should we not simply ignore its distortions and let them fade away in time?
7. Isn’t the very effort to refute the book giving it more publicity? Would it not have been better to ignore it and allow it to fade away?
8. But PH’s book on Sri Aurobindo is nowhere nearly as damaging as Jeffrey Kripal’s book on Ramakrishna Paramahansa. Is the comparison justified?
9. PH has claimed that the controversy has been created by a selection of quotations taken out of context from his book. Further he says that one must read the entire book to be able to properly understand and judge these quotations.
10. When placed in the proper context, are not the critical sentences balanced out equally by praise? PH claims that he uses a style of argument “similar to the purvapaksha-uttarapaksha form of argument of Sanskrit rhetoric” which he says is “a form of argument used [by] Sri Aurobindo in The Life Divine.”