17 Apr 2012

Deliberate Omissions

Another trick played by our now “world-famous historian” is the deliberate omission of positive historical evidence in favour of Sri Aurobindo. One such glaring omission is the practice of brahmacharya by Sri Aurobindo almost immediately or within a very short time of his marriage with Mrinalini Bose. A number of documents (mostly in Bengali) testify this in Sri Aurobindo’s own words as recorded by his contemporaries. His own letter to his wife on his three madnesses shows his firm resolve to tread the path of yoga in 1905 and the practice of brahmacharya is implied, as he exhorts his wife to follow him and increase his shakti than diminish it.

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Why was such an important fact of Sri Aurobindo’s early spiritual life omitted in Peter Heehs’s biography? Is it because Peter Heehs does not believe in brahmacharya? Or is brahmacharya simply not possible because he himself had attempted it in his early days in the Ashram and miserably failed, and is now quite happy about not making such a big fuss about celibacy? When it was so difficult for Peter Heehs the sadhak (if that anomaly exists), so it must have been for Sri Aurobindo in his pre-Pondicherry days, and that too, shortly after his marriage! Ergo, if Peter Heehs has failed, how can Sri Aurobindo succeed in his sadhana! But there are also other reasons for this deliberate omission.

On page 56 of his book, Peter Heehs makes a profound statement on Sri Aurobindo's marriage, “The usual desire for gratification was presumably a factor in his decision to get married”. But then he says that the consummation of Sri Aurobindo’s marriage “may have been delayed” because of Mrinalini’s age and his own stoicism. (Don’t ask me from where our “historian” picked up this highly private piece of information.)

Heehs goes on to say on pages 245 & 425 that Sri Aurobindo had experienced a “spontaneous form of erotic delight” (maithunananda) implying that this made up for the loss of his marital life, which means that Sri Aurobindo did not transform the sexual energies according to the ancient practice of brahmacharya, but only found an alternative means of satisfying sexual desire. A smart lady on the Internet promptly responded to this silly implication, “Then all the guys won’t run after girls but will take up Yoga instead so that they can have hassle free sexual satisfaction!”

Thus Heehs's deliberate omission of Sri Aurobindo’s practice of brahmacharya is necessary for building the larger theme of Yogic bliss being the result of sexual dissatisfaction! But I suppose this is what his academic mentors (Jeffrey Kripal, Wendy Doniger et al) want him to say!


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