22 Jan 2012

Protest by Inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Pondy Times
January 7 – 13, 2012

Protest by inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram

The spiritual community at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram is passing through a severe crisis. The issue revolves around the book ‘The Lives of Sri Aurobindo’ written by Peter Heehs, a U.S. national and an inmate of the Ashram. In this book, Mr Heehs has maligned the name of Sri Aurobindo by providing unfounded and intimate details of the life of the freedom fighter turned spiritual guru.

The Government of India has acted swiftly in this matter by proscribing the book and by cancelling the author’s visa. Ironically, the present trustees of the Ashram are still harbouring the author illegally. Some of the inmates and devotees at the Ashram, annoyed with the turn of events, have formed an association and have begun peaceful protests from the 1st of January. They have also submitted a memorandum to the Lieutnant Governor who has forwarded it to the state administration for necessary action.

Some of the main demands of the inmates and devotees are as follows:

1. Arrest and deportation of Peter Heehs in accordance with the law. 2. Dismissal of the present group of trustees, 3. Public declaration by the Trust that the book is factually incorrect and does not represent the views of the Ashram. The ball now is in the court of the trustees. Will they react to the situation? Only time will tell.

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