16 Apr 2012

Letter to The Editors of Mother India


The Editors, Mother India

 Dear Sirs,

 I am an Aurobindonian knowing that “Great is Truth and it shall prevail” and the Mother’s command on us to “Cling to Truth”. You are in line with renowned Aurobindonian, K.D.Sethna, with whom I had the privilege of corresponding in moments of crises and who was prompt with an answer with clarity always. Please respond through the monthly you are editing or via an e-mail as you deem fit.

 [click on title for full text]

I have a logic (from Deccan Chronicle’s news report on Peter Heehs dated 7 April 2012) which goads me to reach you for an answer. The Ashram is publishing regularly book reviews and life-sketches of sadhaks (like Among the not so great series by Prabhakar Bhatti, a trustee) and even Sri Aurobindo Himself (Life and Times of a Mahayogi by Manoj Das, an ex-trustee) in magazines and newsletters since beginning. Why were extracts and explanations on Peter Heehs’ book “read in its entirety” by Ashram managers not published in any of the periodicals when the book was published in 2008? He is on record for having written two biographies of the Master already (doesn’t matter for not being hagiographies):

Sri Aurobindo: A brief Biography, and The Lives of Sri Aurobindo

That would have been an appraisal and a mark on Peter Heehs’ long four decades of labour and sadhana in the Ashram. Simply telling the media and angry public now that the book is good and those who oppose it are not sufficiently informed or competent cannot help. Such facile logic will not satisfy anybody, least of all a wise intellectual or scholar or a sensible student of history. Indian culture and spirituality has its own profound origins of universal sweep and Sri Aurobindo stands on the crest of it like a light-giving sun to the race of man. 

Or is it that Peter Heehs now has come down to make necessary changes in the book to suit the situation because he doesn’t want to give up his own commitments and trade benefits from his labours by “studying and practising Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga” in the Ashram?

The whole scenario is clear as daylight.   

 (Ritwik Bannerjee)

 CC to: Editor, Advent, for a similar & sensible action.

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