11 Apr 2012

Objectionable Extracts from the Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs

The following are the objectionable extracts which got circulated widely in 2008, after which the book got banned. Each extract is followed by a link to a major article refuting it. There are of course many more objectionable passages than those which have been included here; in fact the more closely you read the book, the more you come across the constant hostility (subtle and blatant) towards Sri Aurobindo. There has been a lot of hype about the scholarship that is behind the book. If there is, it is more of the negative kind, that of a scholar who has dedicated his life to denigrate Sri Aurobindo just because his fellow Ashramites adore their Master. And this is done on the basis of flimsy evidence, snipped documents, negative testimony provided by British Govt officials, and sometimes even speculation.  A standard knee-jerk reaction to this rather unflattering assessment is – “How can you dismiss a historian like that?” You certainly can if you have sufficiently studied the documentation of all the negative statements in this book! But how many have the patience and time to do that!
 [click on title for full text]

On Sri Aurobindo


The genre of hagiography, in the original sense of the term, is very much alive in India. Any saint with a following is the subject of one or more books that tell the inspiring story of his or her birth, growth, mission, and passage to the eternal. Biographies of literary and political figures do not differ much from this model. People take the received version of their heroes’ lives very seriously. A statement about a politician or poet that rubs people the wrong way will be turned into a political or legal issue, or possibly cause a riot. The problem is not whether the disputed statement is true, but whether anyone has the right to question an account that flatters a group identity.
            Aurobindo has been better served by his biographers than most of his contemporaries have. But when I began to write articles about his life, I found that there were limits to what his admirers wanted to hear. Anything that cast doubt on something that he said was taboo, even if his statement was based on incomplete knowledge of the facts. Almost as bad was anything that challenged an established interpretation, even one that clearly was inadequate.
            Figure 2 is a photograph of Aurobindo that was taken around the same time as figure 1. Note the dark, pockmarked skin, sharp features, and undreamy eyes…To me it is infinitely more appealing than figure 1, which has been reproduced millions of times in its heavily retouched form. I sometimes wonder why people like figure 1. There is hardly a trace of shadow between the ears, with the result that the face has no character. The sparkling eyes have been painted in; even the hair has been given a gloss. As a historical document it is false. As a photograph it is a botched piece of work. But for many figure 1 is more true to Aurobindo than figure 2….
            Hagiographers deal with documents the way that retouchers deal with photographs. Biographers must take their documents as they find them. They have to examine all sorts of materials, paying as much attention to what is written by the subject’s enemies as by his friends, not giving special treatment even to the subject’s own version of events…
            Such an approach is possible and necessary when dealing with public events. But what about mystical experiences? In trying to trace the lines of Aurobindo’s sadhana, a biographer can use the subject’s diaries, letters, and retrospective accounts. There are also, for comparison, accounts by others of similar mystical experiences. But in the end, such experiences remain subjective. Perhaps they are only hallucinations or signs of psychotic breakdown? Even if not, do they have any value to anyone but the subject?
(Lives: Preface: xii)


As a rule, however, he kept to himself. Most of his classmates were too much older than he to be his friends. A few patronised him on account of his childishness; the rest paid him scant attention. He had few of the qualities that English schoolboys find interesting. Weak and inept on the playing field, he was also – by his own account – a coward and a liar. (Lives: p 17)

Riding test  

Aurobindo failed to pass his medical examination the first time on account of “something found wrong with his urinary organs.” (Lives: p 28)

In October, the ICS commissioners wrote Aurobindo asking him to fix a date to take his riding examination. He agreed to go on October 26, but did not turn up. An official then asked him to meet the riding instructor to make another appointment. He did not bother to see the man. Called to the office to explain, Aurobindo told a series of lies.
(Lives: p 30)

He was rejected simply because he did not pass the riding examination. He was not given another chance to pass because he did not follow instructions, keep appointments, or tell the truth.  (Lives: p 32)


The usual desire for gratification… was presumably a factor in his decision to get married, but it does not seem to have been an important one. His later writings show that his knowledge of human sexuality was more than academic, but the act seems to have held few charms for him. (see endnote below) Consummation may have been delayed because of Mrinalini’s youth, and his own stoicism, partly innate and partly learned from philososphers such as Epictetus, would have helped him to keep sexual tendencies in check. (Lives: p 56)

Endnote: For Sri Aurobindo’s general knowledge of human sexuality, see his letters to disciples on sex, which occupy more than forty pages, 1507-1549, of Letters of Yoga. For his experience of maithunanda, see Record of Yoga, 204…. Maithunanda means literallythe bliss, ananda, of coitus, maithuna. In the Record it refers to a particular intensity of spontaneous erotic delight, but some references… “equal to the first movements of the actual maithuna ananda”) seem to imply a knowledge of ordinary maithuna. (Lives: p 425)


His “voluntary self-effacement” was put to the test on December 12 when an officious secretary printed his name as editor-in-chief where Pal’s name used to be. Aurobindo was furious when he saw it. It gave him publicity he did not want… Hemendra Prasad, who witnessed the outburst, thought Aurobindo was more than just harsh. “Well, if you take the clothes away there remains little to distinguish one human radish from another,” he noted in a Shakespearean allusion. A day later, he was more explicit: “Babu Aurobindo Ghose is an extremely strange man. And I suspect a tinge of lunacy is not absent in him. His mother is a lunatic. And it is not at all strange” – not strange, that is, that the madness in Aurobindo’s family might express itself in him as an intensity that exceeded the norm. (Lives: p 112)

On Sri Aurobindo’s Politics

When people asked to her Aurobindo speak, Pal replied  “Try to assimilate what I am telling you. When he speaks, he will speak only fire.”….. Aurobindo’s reticence was only partly due to his temperament. He was incapable of addressing a meeting in Bengali, and had trouble understanding the East Bengal dialects. (Lives: p 104)

His unwillingness to compromise was his strength as well as his weakness. He was – as he wrote in a letter of 1920 – the right person to call on “when there is something drastic to be done, a radical or revolutionary line to be taken.” In the give-and-take of day-to-day politics he was less effective. He approved of but could not follow Tilak’s advice that a politician should be ready to accept half a loaf, and then demand the rest. Cotemporaries and historians questioned his right to be called an effective politician. Certainly, he was not a great builder or steady worker. But his radical interventions opened up paths that others could hardly imagine. (Lives: p 130)

“Without making any effort at oratory,” another listener recalled, Aurobindo managed to hold the audience with his “impassioned eloquence” – this despite his being far from impressive as a speaker: short, thin, with a drawn and angular face and a voice high-pitched to the point of shrillness. (Lives: p 149)

Surat session of the Congress

As the Extremists followed their leader [Sri Aurobindo] as he walked out of the room, one of Bannerjea’s lieutenants raised his fist and shouted: “Aurobindo, go eat Tilak’s shit!” (Lives: p 140)

Years later Aurobindo observed in a letter that his advice was, in effect, “the order that led to the breaking of the Congress.” This gives too much importance to a single factor in a complex chain of events. The differences that brought about the split had been building for months. Even without Aurobindo’s “order”, Tilak’s stance and the attack against him would have led to a free-for-all. (Lives: p 141)


The Uttarpara speech has been printed and cited innumerable times since its delivery, mostly because it was the first and the last occasion that Aurobindo spoke of his spiritual experiences in public…Left-wing critics hold it up as proof that Aurobindo’s nationalism was Hindu at its core, and suggest that this bias encouraged the growth of communalism, which made the partition of the country inevitable. Right-wing enthusiasts regard the speech as an inspired expression of the imperishable Indian spirit, citing passages of the speech out of context to make it seem as if Aurobindo endorsed their programs. These readings are both partial and thus both false; Aurobindo’s “universal religion” was not limited to any particular creed. It had been given classic expression in the Upanishads and Gita, but it was also at the core of such scriptures as the Bible and the Koran. (Lives: p 187)

Hindu-Muslim problem

A hundred years later, the East Bengal riots are remembered not as occasions of Hindu self-assertion, but as early examples of the communal violence – to use a term that had not yet been invented – that continues to the present day. Aurobindo and other Extremist are sometimes accused by liberal and left-wing historians of preparing the way for communalism by giving a Hindu slant to the movement. (Lives: pp 115-16)

But he did not turn his back on political issues such as the Hindu-Muslim problem. In the issue of July 17, 1909 he wrote that there was “absolutely no reason why the electoral question should create bad blood between the two communities.” Union could never be achieved “by political adjustments”; it had to be “sought deeper down, in the heart and the mind, for where the causes of disunion are, there the remedies must be sought.” Sound psychology, but few Muslims were comforted by his assertion that “our Musulman brother” was an Indian as any Hindu, since “in him too Narayan dwells and to him too our Mother has given a permanent place in her bosom.” (Lives: p 190)

He tried, half-heartedly, to bring Muslims into the movement, but he never gave the problem the attention that hindsight shows that it deserved. But could anything said or done in 1907 have changed the outcome forty years later? Probably not. Still, partition and the bloodletting that accompanied it were the movement’s principal failings, and Aurobindo and his colleagues have to take their share of the blame. (Lives: p 212)

Aurobindo legend

Released from jail after a year’s confinement, he “is like gold, thrice tested in fire.” Some called him a visionary and a dreamer. Jitendra Lal had no quarrel with that: “Yes, Aravinda Ghosh is a dreamer – but he has dreamed golden dreams for his country and people – visions of glory and triumph.” This article may be said to mark the beginning of the Aurobindo legend, which would assume new forms in the years to come… Critics of Aurobindo could be as zealous in detraction as Jitendra Lal was in praise. Annie Besant again proclaimed him dangerous, even fanatical on account of “his refusal to work with any Englishmen.” Members of government used the same terms to describe the man they were trying to imprison. Some added that they thought he was slightly off his head: “There is madness in his family,” wrote the Viceroy to the secretary of the state, “and he probably has a bee in his bonnet.” Minto seems to have picked up this notion from R.C. Dutt, a onetime friend of Aurobindo’s, who had been asked for information by the political agent of Baroda. “Arabindo’s mother was off her mind,” Dutt volunteered, “and Arabindo himself was eccentric.” (Lives: p 199)

Sri Aurobindo’s adesh

Years later Aurobindo explained that when he heard Ramchandra’s warning, he went within and heard a voice – an adesh – that said “Go to Chandernagore.” He obeyed it without reflection. Had he given it any thought, however, he would have found good reasons to comply. (Lives: p 204)

On Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual experiences

But those familiar with the literature of mysticism will observe that Aurobindo’s powers and experiences are similar to those that other mystics from Milarepa to Rumi to Saint Teresa are said to have possessed. But those familiar with the literature of psychiatry and clinical psychology may be struck by the similarity between Aurobindo’s powers and experiences and the symptoms of schizophrenia…. When I speak of Aurobindo’s experiences, my aim is not to argue for their veracity or for their delusiveness; I simply present some of the documented events of his inner life and provide a framework for evaluating them…Indeed, virtually everyone who met him found him unusually calm, dispassionate, and loving – and eminently sane… Hemendra Prasad Ghose wrote in his diary that he thought Aurobindo might have inherited “a tinge of lunacy” from his mother. R.C. Dutt, asked by the government for information about Aurobindo, also mentioned Swarnalata’s madness and suggested that her son was “eccentric”. After Aurobindo had spoken of his vision of Krishna in the Uttarpara speech, a few of his associates murmured that he had lost his balance. These scattered reports by people out of sympathy with him are hardly significant in themselves; viewed together with every other known report of Aurobindo’s character, they stand out as exceptions… When people asked him about his claim to have seen Krishna, the calmness and lack of self-assertion of his answer convinced them that he was anything but unbalanced. (Lives: pp 245-47)

Sri Aurobindo as Guru  

From 1921 on, most descriptions of Aurobindo read as though they are taken out of the Puranas or other mythological texts. “The atmosphere round the Master was surcharged with pure vibrations of peace, light, power and Ananda….Much of the hyperbole may be ascribed to the charisma that was building up around the inaccessible, mysterious Aurobindo, who was reputed, like all certified holy men of India, to possess supernatural powers. (Lives: p 331)

Bowing down to the gurus

There is no way to know what Aurobindo thought about the outpouring of emotion. Basically British in his upbringing, he was always reticent and reserved, never encouraging demonstrations of feeling. He was familiar with the conventions of the Indian guru-shishya relationship, such as bowing down before the master and elaborate gestures of devotion, but he resisted attempts by his followers to practice them. He may have regarded such customs as examples of those “ancient ideas and forms” that India had such difficulty getting beyond. But if Aurobindo was indifferent or opposed to ceremony, Mira thrived in it. She was happy to see the sadhaks spending hours stringing garlands and preparing special dishes, and later, during the darshan, bowing down at Aurobindo’s feet. (Lives: p 343)

Darshan day

Early in the afternoon the Mother rejoined him, and they walked together to the small outer room where they sat together on a sofa, the Mother on Sri Aurobindo’s right…Here they remained for the next few hours as ashramites and visitors… passed before them one by one…. The contact, almost physical, instils a faint sense of a fragrance into his heart and he has a perception of a glow akin to that spreading in every fibre of his being. Most visitors had similar positive experiences. But some, particularly from the West, were distracted by the theatricality of the setting and the religiosity of the pageantry. Vincent Sheean, a well-know American journalist…as he stood in line to have darshan, with incense swirling around him and people throwing themselves at the guru’s feet… was hit by “a shock of sledge-hammer quality, to see human beings worshipped in this way.” Failing to make sense of it, he at least was glad to see that “whatever others may think or say”, Sri Aurobindo did not seem to “to be deceived or befuddled by these extravagant manifestations.” (Lives: pp 399-400)


Whether spontaneous or conventional, a reverential attitude was becoming the only acceptable way to approach Sri Aurobindo. Disciples took it for granted that he was an avatar, or incarnation of God. He never made any such claim on his own behalf; on the other hand, he never dissuaded anyone from regarding him in this way, and wrote openly that the Mother was an incarnation of the Shakti. She reciprocated when speaking about him with disciples, but insisted on “great reserve” when people wrote articles for the general public. (Lives: p 380)

His followers and their spokesmen present him as an avatar or incarnation beyond any sort of criticism…To accept Sri Aurobindo as an avatar is necessarily a matter of faith, and matters of faith quickly become matters of dogma. Besides, the term “avatar” has lost much of its glow in recent years. Once reserved for “descents” that come “from age to age”, it now is applied to any spiritual leader with a halfway decent following…

The value of Sri Aurobindo’s achievements can only be gauged by examining the historical and literary evidence and assessing the nature and effects of his thought and action. For this, assertions of supernatural influences are no more help than assertions of ideological certitude. (Lives: p 413)

On Sri Aurobindo’s Writings

Songs to Myrtilla 

One would be ill-advised to read, as one of Aurobindo’s biographers did, as confessions of infatuations with a half-dozen girls. Still, memory may sometimes have cued his imagination. “Edith,” whom he addresses in “Night by the Sea”… was the name of Mr Drewett’s younger sister-in-law, who lived with his family in Manchester. (Lives: p 25)

Few people in London would have agreed that the book showed promise. (Lives: p 50)


Written in the late Victorian style of Tennyson and Arnold, it contains little of lasting interest. (Lives: p 50)

Love and Death

Twenty years passed before it finally appeared in print. By then the shock of World War I and the beginning of literary modernism had so transformed the poetic landscape that a late Victorian blank-verse narrative had no hope of attracting favourable notice. (Lives: p 52)


The language of Aurobindo’s dialogue is heavy and pedantic, the characters shallow and unconvincing, but the work shows evidence of much original thought. (Lives: p 79)

Viziers of Bassora

The underlying plot of this wonder tale is one that Aurobindo returned to repeatedly in his dramatic writing: a beautiful young woman, noble but in bondage, and a handsome young hero, sensitive yet strong, fall irretrievably in love. The hero must battle entrenched inferiors to gain his birthright. In the outer world of action, Aurobindo never sought help from anyone. In the imaginary world of his dramas, his protagonist was never without a partner. (Lives: p 80)


A tragedy in verse on the Shakespearean model now seems to be such a throwback that it is hard to evaluate Rodogune as literature. Viewed as drama, it is original and well-plotted, owing little to Corneille except the basic story. Viewed as poetry, it can hold its own against contemporary plays in verse by Stephen Phillips and Laurence Binyon. Its primary defect is flat allegorical characters. Antiochus never says an ignoble word or does an ignoble deed. Timocles comes across as a comic buffoon, not a tragic figure, while Rodogune is too colorless to inspire either devotion or jealousy. (Lives: p 96)

Perseus the Deliverer

Aurobindo turned the story into a Shakespearean romance, complete with clowns, soubrette, soldiers, monsters, royalty, and hoi poloi. Even more than Rodogune, Perseus belongs in style and conception to a bygone era. Chained to the rock, Andromeda muses:

     I will not die! I am too young,
     And life was recently so beautiful.
     It is hard, too hard a fate to bear.

In the face of such passages, it is easy to dismiss Perseus as intolerably mawkish. (Lives: p 106)


The philosophical articles take up, in a non-academic way, some of the classic problems of the discipline: the relation between the individual and the cosmos, the puzzle of free will and fate, the origin and significance of evil. His essays on these subjects are clear and well expressed, though not particularly original. Many of them try to harmonise the Upanishads and late Victorian science by means of evolution. Some of his arguments now seem rather quaint. A seed grows into a certain sort of tree, Aurobindo wrote, because “the tree is the idea involved in the seed.” In the light of molecular biology, this is at best a vivid metaphor. (Lives: p 203)

Life Divine

How does Aurobindo rank as a philosopher? Most members of the philosophical profession – those who have read him at all – would be loath to admit him to their club. His methods simply do not fit in with the discipline as it is currently practised. Even Stephen H. Phillips, the author of a sympathetic monograph on Aurobindo’s thought, had to admit that Aurobindo wrote The Life Divine not as a philosopher, but as “ ‘a spiritual preceptor’, in a long tradition of intellectual, but hardly academic ‘gurus’. Yet this preceptorial philosopher created a synthesis of spiritual thought that bears comparison with the best of similar systems: those of Plotinus, Abhinavgupta, and Alfred North Whitehead. (Lives: p 277)

Synthesis of Yoga

The Synthesis of Yoga, the work in which he presented his methods [of yoga], is almost abstruse as The Life Divine, containing no easy-to-follow techniques. (Lives: p 279)

Renaissance of India

Much of Aurobindo’s Is India Civilised? is starkly dualistic, positioning Indian Culture as spiritual, aesthetic, and profound and Western culture as rationalistic, mechanistic, and superficial. (Lives: p 295)

The Defence of Indian Culture is a polemic from the start to finish, as Aurobindo closed his eyes to the critic’s positive judgments and blasted him for the slightest negative remark. (Lives: p 296)

To Aurobindo, Buddhism, with its two thousand-year history in India, was just an extreme restatement of the truths of Veda and Vedanta – a characterisation that no Buddhist would accept. (Lives: p 297)


From a literary point of view, Aurobindo’s plays are the least interesting of his works. Biographically speaking, they may offer insights into movements of his imaginative life. If his earlier plays suggest that he was searching for his ideal life partner, Vasavadutta seems to hint that he had found the woman he was seeking and was waiting for the moment when she would join him. (Lives: p 299)

Ahana and other Poems

A century after its publication, it is difficult to offer a balanced assessment of Ahana and Other Poems. All of the pieces in the collection, even those written in Pondicherry, bear the stamp of late-Victorian romanticism. The ideas in them may not have occurred to a Tennyson or Swinburne, but striking ideas in metrical form do not of themselves make poetry…Cousins wrote…At its best, his poetry stood “self-existent in its own authenticity and beauty”; at it worst it was “poor minted coin of the brain”. (Lives: pp 301-02)

The Future Poetry

By 1920 the Modernists were changing the face of European and American literature, and many of the ideas on which The Future Poetry was based had become antiquated curiosities before any important poet or critic could read the book. Aurobindo’s own poetry, rooted deeply in the soil of the nineteenth century, was out of date before it saw print.  (Lives: p 306)

As the Modernist movement progressed, Aurobindo became out of touch with contemporary developments in poetry. As a result his poetry and criticism must now be judged by the standards of the past, or else taken – so far with little support – as harbingers of a future yet to be glimpsed. (Lives: p 307)

Collected Poems and Plays

Collected Poems and Plays were politely reviewed in India after its August publication. The Times Literary Supplement gave the book to Ranjee G. Shahani, an Indian writer living in London. Unimpressed by Sri Aurobindo’s poetry (“his technical devices are commendable; but the music that enchants or disturbs is not there”) Shahani chose to turn his review into a consideration of the author’s entire oeuvre…Shahani, like Younghusband, began his review by lamenting that Sri Aurobindo was practically unknown in England and the United States. Both reviewers contrasted this neglect with his growing fame in his own country. Shahani added that in India “there are no criticisms, only praise, “which not infrequently rose “to a crescendo of adulation.” (Lives: pp 389-90)

Ashram journals

The rest of the material printed in these journals – poems and essays by ashramites and other disciples – are more interesting as examples of devotional expression than as contributions to scholarship or literature. Sri Aurobindo read through some of these productions, but appears to have given little encouragement to intellectual  or literary originality. His disciples’ poems simply imitate his images and rhythms; their articles summarise or plagiarise his ideas. (Lives: p 394)

On the Mother

Mother’s paintings

Her works of the period, many of them quiet interior studies, show excellent technique and classical balance, if little originality. (Lives: p 251)

Mother’s spiritual capacity

There is no special mention of Mirra Richard, nor evidence in earlier Record entries that he regarded her more than a “European yogi” of unusual attainments. But it need not be assumed that he put down all he felt in his diary. Years later he explained that he was aware at once that Mirra’s aptitude for yoga was extraordinary, while Paul’s was at best mediocre. (Lives: p 261)

The Mother’s relation with Sri Aurobindo

Sometimes, when they were alone, Mirra took Aurobindo’s hand in hers. One evening, when Nolini found them thus together, Mirra quickly drew her hand away. On another occasion, Suresh entered Aurobindo’s room and found Mirra kneeling before him in an attitude of surrender. Sensing the visitor, she at once stood up. There was nothing furtive about these encounters, but they did strike observer as unusual. Neither Mirra nor Aurobindo were in the habit of expressing their emotions openly. The young men…were somewhat nonplussed by this turn of events. Paul Richard took it more personally…After a while he asked Aurobindo about the nature of relationship with Mirra. Aurobindo answered that he had accepted her as a disciple. Paul inquired as to what form the relationship would take. Aurobindo said that it would take any form that Mirra wanted. Paul persisted: “Suppose she claims the relationship of marriage?” Marriage did not enter Aurobindo’s calculations, what was important to him was Mirra’s autonomy, so he replied that if Mirra ever asked for marriage, that is what she would have. [Footnote 50]
            Paul took the matter with his wife. According to Mirra, recalling the events forty years later, the confrontation was stormy…Paul became violent, came close to strangling her, and threw the furniture out of the window… A year later Paul confided to the novelist Romain Rolland that it had been a time of “violent crisis” in his life. He had been forced to fight “a dreadful inner battle, which threw me, alone, face to face with death… into the immense and glorious void of the Himalayan ‘Ocean’”. In his diary, Romain translated this into more mundane language: “In fact”, he wrote, “his wife…left him.” (Lives: pp 326-27)

Footnote 50: Purani Talks Manuscripts 5:76. In the interest of coherent dialogue, I have expanded and slightly amended Purani’s notes regarding this incident, which read, “(One day P.R. came and asked him in what way he (A.G.) related to Mirra. He said she was his disciple. But what was her attitude towards him. He said in whatever way the disciple will aspire for me he will get me as such [possibly an allusion to Bhagavad Gita 4.11] – Suppose she claims relations of marriage. ‘Well she will have that’– ).” In a report of what appears to be a separate conversation between Aurobindo and Richard, Purani writes that in reply to a question from Richard about Mirra “A.G. simply said she had offered herself to him & she had been accepted. It was her lookout to do what she wanted to do.–” (Lives: p 453)

Around two o’clock that morning, while crossing to the bathroom, Sri Aurobindo stumbled over the tiger skin and fell…Attuned inwardly to her partner, she  had felt in her sleep that something was wrong. (Lives: pp 381-82)

General Comments:

1 comment:

  1. Reading the excerpts,felt Heehs is thoroughly confused as to what he wants express or rather biased to publish the negative descriptions of the critics more than any other. In all the paragraphs quoted, Heehs has reached a personal conclusion - and that too a negative conclusion about the topic of the paragraph concerned which he cleverly tried to project as the synopsis of the topic... Its interesting (or rather lack of it) to note his conclusions which gives some light about the state of mind of heehs. Has heehs ever written any poem himself ? If yes, have they been ever published ? He seems to pose himself as a great critic of SA's poems all in the negative and straight conclusions such as “poor minted coin of the brain”. (Lives: pp 301-02). This epithet with substitution of "poor by "WORST" applies to heehs himself adequately.

    Look at these lines copied from above "But those familiar with the literature of psychiatry and clinical psychology may be struck by the similarity between Aurobindo’s powers and experiences and the symptoms of schizophrenia…. When I speak of Aurobindo’s experiences, my aim is not to argue for their veracity or for their delusiveness; I simply present some of the documented events of his inner life and provide a framework for evaluating them…Indeed, virtually everyone who met him found him unusually calm, dispassionate, and loving – and eminently sane… Hemendra Prasad Ghose ........". Looking into these lines a lay reader will arrive at the conclusion that heehs must have a good knowledge (or lack of it) about "the literature of psychiatry and clinical psychology" or rather be a schizophrenia-tic himself to arrive at these conclusions.