6 Apr 2012

Peter Heehs in Live Debate with General Bakshi on Times Now on April 5, 2012

After four years of falsely claiming that he could not speak publicly because of legal cases, Peter Heehs is now freely giving interviews to any and every newspaper or TV channel that approaches him in a desperate attempt to tilt public opinion in the hope that his deportation order can be overturned. Heehs pleads to be given the same treatment that he has received for the last 40 years, yet claims that he does not ask for any special privileges. Having abused the many privileges that he received for so long, the appeal comes a tad too late. Moreover, one has to ask, what has he done to deserve pardon. Even now, as always in the last four decades, he disdainfully rejects all discussion and refuses to apologise for abusing his provileges, for insulting Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and for causing so much pain to millions of devotees.

For the last four years Heehs avoided public debates and spoke through his many proxies to avoid direct discussion on the many factual distortions and the academic fraudulences on which his book is based.

His latest live discussion on Times Now on April 5, 2012 is revealing. Among other things, it shows how hard Heehs finds it to defend the many perverse passages in his book. When challenged with the false charges of Sri Aurobindo's "madness", Heehs claims that he was merely "studying" the "suggestion" of "correlation between mental instability and genius"!

Press [Play] to watch the entire interview. For best results click the bottom-right corner of the video to view in full-screen.


  1. This man denies everything and doesn't find anything factually wrong with his book. How can one compromise with him? Gen Bakshi should have made it abundantly clear that many devotees have also pointed out serious defects in his ordinary scholarship. It's much, much, more than just about hurt feelings.

    Those who are coming out to debate PH and his supporters should unambiguously state at the very beginning that the book and the visa issues are distinct in many ways. The visa issue is an issue of violations of Indian law and the book issue is one of criticism of a 'scholarship' full of deliberate distortion, factual suppression, and malicious misrepresentation.

  2. Observe also the double-standards at play. When it comes to the question of religion the fellow and his accomplices pretend to be faithful to Mother Sri Aurobindo. However when it comes to not judging the Divine or the Guru by the mind or not criticizing Mother Sri Aurobindo in public then this fellow conveniently finds a higher authority in the principle of absolute freedom of his own speech, and thumbs his nose at Mother Sri Aurobindo. Fundamentally manipulative and self-serving narcissistic personality.

  3. This comment may not be exactly contextual here, but is certainly not irrelvnt.

    We hear on the TV channels Peter Heehs volunteering his view about Sri Aurobindo’s Avatarhood. But he either seems to be oblivious of the Mother’s declaration of the Avatarhood of Sri Aurobindo or he simply dismisses it, or else deliberately ignores her. He doesn’t have much of an opinion about her. Naturally, therefore, it looks as though it is he who is going to decide if Sri Aurobindo is an Avatar or not? Sri Aurobindo was a genius, says he, and not an avatar. That’s the verdict. Does he have any spiritual-occult perception to arrive at such a decision? There doesn’t seem to be any.

    Yet what credentials does Heehs have to offer such a judgement that we should accept it? Does the publication of the Lives of Sri Aurobindo by the Columbia University Press entitle him to assert it? However, if it is that entitlement we can simply discount it —if not trash it. The Lives is thoroughly critiqued and proven to be full of distortions, misrepresentations, is full of falsehood.

    But here is one of the Mother’s declarations: “Sri Aurobindo is an emanation of the Supreme who came on earth to announce the manifestation of a new race and a new world: the Supramental.” [20 June 1972] And: “Sri Aurobindo came on earth from the Supreme to announce the manifestation of a new race and the new world, the Supramental.” [15 August 1972]

    Heehs seems to be having some problem in acknowledging the authority of the Mother. He does not accept her occult spiritual authority, and all that Sri Aurobindo himself has said about her. If that the case then all this becomes irrelevant to him. That also appears to be his tragedy.

    1. On the one hand, there is what Sri Aurobindo - who, as the Avatar, represented the supreme Consciousness and Will on earth - declared me to be, that is, the supreme universal Mother; and on the other hand, there is what I am realizing in my body through the integral sadhana.' I could be the supreme Mother and not do any sadhana, and as a matter of fact, as long as Sri Aurobindo was in his body, it was he who did the sadhana, and I received the effects. These effects were automatically established in the outer being, but he was the one doing it, not I - I was merely the bridge between his sadhana and the world. Only when he left his body was I forced to take up the sadhana myself; not only did I have to do what I was doing before - being a bridge between his sadhana and the world - but I had to carry on the sadhana myself. When he left, he turned over to me the responsibility for what he himself had been doing in his body, and I had to do it. So there are both these things. Sometimes one predominates, sometimes the other (I don't mean successively in time, but ... it depends on the moment), and they are trying to combine in a total and perfect realization: the eternal, ineffable and immutable Consciousness of the Executrice of the Supreme, and the consciousness of the Sadhak of the integral Yoga who strives in an ascending effort towards an ever increasing progression.

      page 209 , L'Agenda de Mère - vol 1 , 1951 - 1960

  4. Both Govind and RYDER make good points. As RYD says PH and his supporters have long shown disdain for the Mother. They quote her only to serve their own ends as part of their strategy to fool the devotees.

    So how does he know that Sri Aurobindo was not an avatar? Even if SA had declared that he was, PH and his buddies would have gone to town calling him a megalomaniac or something else. PH must go and stay gone.

  5. Note also that the central Lotus in Sri Aurobindo's symbol is "the Avatar of the Supreme". This is not merely an article of faith but His essential identity as declared by Mother Sri Aurobindo Themselves. Sri Aurobindo, in His Infinite Humility, never beat any drums about His avatar-hood but he defined an avatar as follows “The Avatar is one who comes to open the Way for humanity to a higher consciousness.” He has described His and Mother's role in exactly these words in another letter. He also refers to His Way as “the Path I have opened, as Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Chaitanya, etc. opened theirs” all of whom He has recognized as Avatars. See this excellent write-up on the subject: http://savitriera.wordpress.com/anurag-banerjee/avatarhood/

    Basically, as in all other things, Peter Heehs abuses the humility of the Divine to refute the Divine and to disrupt His Work by spreading falsehood and division in the Aurobindonian collective.

  6. The televised interview appeared to reflect the unease of the visa vialator-
    He replied that he learns from papers and no one in the establishment informed him about the position.The whole town of pondicherry and his friends and benefactors certainly were aware and have colluded with him for overstay so far.

    Incidentally he also says that normally the time taken for visa procedure is around time one takes for travelling in taxi! Is it a subconscious prompting about taxi driving- which his detractors allege about his past?

    He does say that he has no educational qualifications but is accepted as a historian- but by whom? Getting a certificate about his scurrilous book on Sri Aurobindo from other people, who have no stake in the spirituality of Sri Aurobindo, is like a blind man certifying another blind man that the latter has seen the elephant and has described it correctly with precision.

    Another unanswered issue: Since the gentleman accepts that he has no educational qualification,for his benefit, I may mention the following,(since I have some educational qualification): -Even for getting a graduate degree from any university, one has to get a certificate of the University that he has been examined by a duly constituted board of examiners, and has been found fit to be awarded the degree. Here is Peter Heehs who does not appear to have any such authority or titledeeds to come out by himself to give hallucinated judgements on Sri Aurobindo! Peter appears to be neither a sadhak or a devotee who has attained sufficent achievements in Yoga, to judge that Sri Aurobindo is not an Avatar or about the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo; nor does he have expertise in medical field about the link of streak of lunacy of earlier generation and genius of a subsequent generation; nor is he a literateur to edit and correct the writings of Sri Aurobindo or for making broadsides on the personality of Sri Aurobindo and his physical appearance etc. Such distorted writings by the gentleman might please his friends and financiers for publishing books to run down India and the Revolutionary leader- who incidentally is the first to give a call for complete Swaraj , much before laterday activists emulated him.
    If it is a command performance by Peter in writing the book or tampering with the writings of Sri Aurobindo at the instance of his active overseas collaborators,it would be better for him to go to the place from which he hails, and not seek to stay in India to continue the anti-spiritual efforts.

    That the Government is seized of the issue and not likely to extend his stay in India is welcome; it is time that the Sri Aurobindo Ashram sadhaks put in their efforts for safeguarding the spiritual home of The Mother and Sri Aurubindo! Enough is enough!

    Peter has stayed so long here in India and has also overstayed- enjoying the secure precints and benefits of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Yet he has attempted to spread discord and consternation by his distorted writing. His work appears to be neither history nor a factual objective version about the Great Son of India.

    We should unhesitatingly say goodbye to the errant writer.This is the least that we can do to honour the Spiritual Pioneers of the Supramental Yoga.

  7. Mr Heehs has no qualms to speak about the madness of Swarnalata, the mother of Sri Aurobindo. By extension he proclaims the streak of madness he must have inherited from her.

    Kind of looks perfectly logical and acceptable to the dim witted or weak minded, like the reporter of the Indian Express. After having lived or grown in an Aurobindonian environment it comes as a shock that one can keep “dignified silence”, or else write stories which lack the knowledge not only of yore but also of the present.

    This happens when one doesn’t recognise the extraordinary birth of an extraordinary person like Sri Aurobindo,—whom the Mother has declared as the Avatar.

    To bear the seed of an Avatar in the womb is an especially unique thing, extremely difficult and dangerous thing, and we should at least be cognisant-appreciative of that factor, the mother holding that seed. It can cause, at the human level, such massive or tremendous changes to give rise to these “side-effects”. It is an act of great sacrifice on her part, and surely there is a great meaning in it. His was a body made ready through a thousand years—to go by Savitri.

    Let us not ignore the luminous occult aspect behind it, the occult charge present in it.

    The birth of an Avatar is an occult occurrence and we cannot be oblivious to these dynamics.

    1. Also regarding Sri Aurobindo's urinary disease for which PH tries to find a pattern from childhood; it too needs to be seen in context of Sri Aurobindo's Avataric nature and what 'direct action from the Supreme' he was undertaking with Death. (which of course was related to Matter and the association with the Muldhara is noticeable).

      PH has very consistently and faithfully used the application of adverse logic to the facts of Sri Aurobindo's life to draw perverse inferences, deductions and speculations.
      The cowardly method he has used is naked obliquity by juxtaposition of mischievous ideas with facts instead of explicit declarations.

      In case of Sri Aurobindo even applying human logic to events of his life would work as adverse logic as the Mother had declared that there was nothing human left in him. The causes of Sri Aurobindo's life-events have more to do with the future than with the past.

  8. One thing is clear after watching this and other scoops on on other channels like CNN-IBN, NDTV, that PH has taken this step to cry aloud and get some media attention, as things so far were happening within the circles concerned.

    As we know controversy of TLOSA, and Peter's Visa issue are two different things. Peter has successfully mixed them together before the entire nation/world, and and is crying foul that controversy of TLOSA is behind his Visa termination.

    Read an article/post somewhere, in which Indian media was urged to cover this controversy. I could not find it now.

    Indian media, though it does a good job by highlighting issues concerned with freedom of speech, and such related controversy, they still at large, are aligned to a thought that people who are targetted like Peter are victims of fundamentalism, and they cover the stories without doing any extensive investigation. Sagarika on CNN-IBN was asking questions like "Peter is a historian, founder of the archives of the Ashram, has a great following everywhere, so why would want him expelled from the country?".

    Therefore, it circumstantially proves that Peter is pulling all gears to rake up this controversy by gaining some media attention.

    What has also happened is Peter is not counteracted effectively. When debaters refuted him, I think the facts were not laid out clearly.

    We need to understand that rest of the whole world - apart from the devotees of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and people who keeps a tab on what happens in Sri Aurobindo Ashram, - never truly understands what has happened in Ashram since a long time with respect to Peter. In such situation, if we only put a blanket conclusion on Peter, like he is an impersonator, without dwelling into facts like who was actually the founder of the archives, people will not appreciate our concerns.

    Peter is intelligently cunning manipulator, and we must counteract him only by the Truth and Facts. Inquiring his qualifications to prove he is not a scholar are of no suffice. (Besides, it is true that for being a scholar we need not hold an academic degree.)