28 Sept 2010

Ashram Trust "does not approve" of TLOSA book!

"Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust does not approve
and has nothing to do with the book entitled
'The Lives of Sri Aurobindo' written by Peter Heehs"

[The following notice was put up on the Sri Aurobindo Ashram's notice board on 23.9.2010 afternoon and then removed the same evening. It was put up again on the 24th afternoon and again removed on the 27th afternoon. Since this notice has significant bearing on the recent controversies surrounding the book, we hope that its circulation in public will help to clarify things and lead to better understanding among all. -- Editorial Team]

Full text of the notice on the Ashram Notice Board as below:


It is unfortunate that certain rumours are being circulated that the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust is in some way endorsing, supporting or promoting the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs. We would like to re-iterate what has been our consistent stand since October 2008 namely:

“Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust does not approve and has nothing to do with the book entitled "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" written by Peter Heehs and Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust is not in any way responsible for the contents or the interpretations of the material contained therein....”

This is to re-affirm that the stand of the Ashram Trust has been consistent and has remained unchanged. The book is not sold from any department of the Ashram.

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust is fully aware of its responsibilities and its actions are determined keeping in view the vision and values it is meant to uphold.

For The Board of Trustees
[Signed: Manoj Das Gupta]
Managing Trustee
Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

Scanned image of the Notice on the Ashram Notice Board as below:

1 comment:

  1. The motivation behind this announcement is evident in the very first words “It is unfortunate certain rumours are being circulated ... [about] the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust”. Yes, the trustees have finally found it necessary to break their “dignified silence” now that their own good fortune is at stake. But, as Alok has very rightly pointed out here (http://www.mirroroftomorrow.org/blog/_archives/2010/9/25/4639610.html#1359704), this little personal misfortune of theirs is trifling compared to the vast misfortune that they have heaped upon themselves by tacit complicity in circulating rumors from the Ashram about Sri Aurobindo Himself.

    The trustees need to conduct themselves not as ego-motivated authorities concerned solely with quashing rumours about THEMSELVES, but as true children of the Mother. They need to do everything in their considerable power to actively oppose, rather than to protect and to act as passive enablers of PH, who is spreading not just one but many distorting rumours and gossiping titbits about Sri Aurobindo throughout the whole world and not just in the Ashram, and that too for a long time to come and not just temporarily, with fraudulent affectations to great authority and skilfully employing the subtle tactics of evasive language and verbal sophistry. If and ONLY if they genuinely do that can they really be considered to be acting as the Ashram Trust. Otherwise, in this critical crisis facing the Ashram, vishame samupasthitam, they are neither acting as “the Ashram Trust”, nor is the stand taken by them the stand of “the Ashram Trust”.

    One would still hope against hope that the trustees even now, after all this time and needless aggravation world over, can act as “the Ashram Trust” and stand up to denounce unequivocally this attempt to distort Sri Aurobindo’s Image via hostile rumour-mongering and gossiping which masquerades as “history”, and that they do so with as much conviction and determination that they have displayed in clearing their own name as trustees. This might still avert the real tāndav nritya. Hopefully, their next proclamation will help clear all the misconceptions and rumours that PH has been busily spreading about the Lord. But that would necessitate sacrificing their dearly-held consistency and abandoning their obstinate “stand” that they have nothing to do with the book, which essentially amounts to saying that while they will exert themselves to quash rumours about their own actions/inaction as Ashram trustees, they are perfectly fine with rumours and gossip being spread about Sri Aurobindo. This will certainly be very painful for the ego, but it should help bring to the front the real Ashram Trustee who is always within them, as it is in each one us, the true child of the Mother.