28 Feb 2011

On Sri Aurobindo’s Childhood, Anger and Riding Test—by Krish Patwardhan

Another unpardonable case of bad taste! I wonder whether those who support the book have at all understood this sentence: “Well, if you take the clothes away there remains little to distinguish one human radish from another.” It is a reference to the male sexual organ! And if this is passable, then I wonder what is not passable, and you might as well start writing for a porn magazine. [extract]
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19 Feb 2011

One-Sided Reporting by Peter Heehs -- by Alok Pandey

Let me now give an example of one-sided reporting from the chapter entitled “Son”. Our biographer goes at great length to describe the madness of Sri Aurobindo’s mother and keeps referring to it time and again well past the half-way mark of his book. He mentions the unfaithfulness of Sri Aurobindo’s father to his wife and dubs him as “Darwinian Mr Ghose” because he was “proud to have brought children of a better breed into the world” (p 9). What does the author convey through the presentation of this data? He is forcefully drawing our attention to the poor heredity of Sri Aurobindo, more specifically the inheritance of madness from his mother, and the unhappy environment of his childhood days, both of which may have caused the spiritual “hallucinations” he saw in the latter part of his life! This view we of course discredit, but even from the angle of the psychologist seriously interested in engaging with someone who does not believe in spiritual things, there are three important factors Peter deliberately ignores.
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18 Feb 2011

Clever Denigration of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs -- by Alok Pandey

Peter Heehs uses in his book certain subtle psychological techniques to create a negative opinion of Sri Aurobindo. One such device is never passing an outright negative judgment without making some qualifications to it. Generally he flip-flops between positive and negative statements, swings to the left and right, and in a most unsuspecting way nullifies his positive statements on Sri Aurobindo. For committing this ‘murder in cold print’, he begins with some sweet talk lulling the reader into a false sense of sympathy, and then delivers a blow to Sri Aurobindo in someone else’s name, adding his own opinion quietly in the presentation of a multitude of documents. He does this so cleverly that at times it is hard to distinguish his personal opinion from the quoted documents. For example, while summarizing Sri Aurobindo’s life at Baroda, the author makes the following statement:   ...full text...

3 Feb 2011

Sri Aurobindo’s Horse Riding Test—by Krish Patwardhan

Where is the evidence of “the series of lies” Sri Aurobindo told when he was called to the office of the Civil Service Commission? Deliberately missing appointments or going late to them, not receiving letters and not promptly replying to them is more evasive tactics than telling lies (see Appendix 1), which any lawyer would be familiar with. [extract]

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