3 Apr 2012

An Example of Mischief

Mr Peter Heehs has absolutely no qualms in stating on a public television: “Its also a fact that Sri Aurobindo’s mother was mad; there is no question about that; and it’s also a fact that Sri Aurobindo was a genius”.

How does such a statement become interesting to make his biography acceptable to a certain class of high or erudite readership? I wonder, when it lacks even the cultural sense. The connection between the madness of the mother of Sri Aurobindo and he being a genius has been left hanging by a professional who claims himself to be an authority on such a subject. This statement might appear jarring to some ears, and one needn’t care about those ears, but the deliberate gaps left between the two are, on part of the author, an act of deliberate mischief.

Is this scholarship? Is this history? Is this an unbiased detached presentation of facts? And does the learned class find in it an excellent piece of research work, an “original” piece of work which makes the author’s biography impartial and neutral and objective, even non-judgmental?

Besides this, one has to also debate whether it is all right for anyone to state on public television that, one of the parents of the founder of the Ashram was mad? and for what purpose? If that anyone belongs to the Ashram, then the question arises: What is the spiritual merit, what is the spiritual content, what is the spiritual gain in publicly speaking something which is totally non-spiritual, in fact is unspiritual, even anti-spiritual?

And what’s next? Do we seriously argue and try to prove that it’s not proper for someone to publicly abuse Sri Aurobindo, and the Mother, while yet remaining in the Ashram, of which one is a part? This might be an institutional question but is not irrelevant.

A friend says: “I have to be dreaming here. This cannot be reality.”


  1. When called upon to participate in an open discussion about his book PH and his supporters hide behind the excuse that anything he says may incriminate him. However, here is the man openly giving an interview about the subject matter and controversial aspects of the book to a national television station. And yet this fellow cannot engage with fellow Ashramites in an open discussion about his book. The double-speak and duplicity of these people needs to be seen to be believed.

  2. There is no connection about Sri Aurobindo's mother being afflicted with illness and the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo.
    The work of Peter Heehs appears to be to malign the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo by painting a poor picture of the Seer.
    That Sri Aurobindo is a genius- is a condescending certificate from the world's self proclaimed....!
    The nomadic traveller, who is not a sadhak but who wishes to stay in India for the bounty he enjoys for free at Pondicherry - is trying to derate the very person in whose name the Ashram stands. Such an effort could possibly be only of those with preverse attitudes with a massive streak of lunacy precluding objectivity.

  3. when an indian utters the word'ashram'he/she utters it with piousness,a feeling connected with peace/discipline/self control and religious rituals.such sense comes to him spontaneously because he/she knows it from own cultural tradition.when he/she utters the word 'guru'he/she follows the traditional rules regarding paying respect to a guru even if one is not a follower or disciple a perticular guru.a sadhak/sadhika follows this strictly.he/she tries his/her best not to fall in the nets of 'PRAJALPA' and 'BYAMISHRA'.
    peter heehs has come from a different cultural tradition where there is no scope to know about these traditional culture,ideology,belief and practice.so he could not understand the meaning and practice of SANSKAR.due to this he could not stand in favour of the mother and sri aurobindo,the ashramites and the followers.he could not understand the morality of GURU and SHISHYA and the sense of guru gita,inspite of his staying at ashram and doing research work for about forty years. he made himself merely a foreigner and a thriller writer only.so he brought out madness,romance and every kind of useless unrelated factors to pose himself an expert in psychology and history and argued that his creation is meant for the western only.a copycat always blames his teacher when he fails in the examination.so did peter.
    his 'lives of sri aurobindo'follows the trend of the books like 'freedom at midnigt'and 'the last days of british raj'not the historians like mr.manmathnath das,v.d.mahajan or r.k.mukharjee not even pashupati bhattacharya.