28 Apr 2012

Sri Aurobindo Society Condemns "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs

In a significant development the Sri Aurobindo Society as an institution has passed a resolution publicly condemning "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs. This was in response to the overwhelming expression of outrage from hundreds of Branches and Centres all over India.

The Executive Committee of the Society has shown great wisdom by responding to the situation on the ground. We are certain that the Branches and Centres of the Society will surely takes steps to ensure that Sri Aurobindo's reputation and work is protected by all.

The Society, headquartered in Pondicherry, was founded by the Mother and She remains its permanent President. It has about 50 Branches and 300 Centres all over India and abroad.

The full text of the statement of the Sri Aurobindo Society goes thus:
Important note for all the Members, Branches & Centres of the Society on the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs

Our Branches & Centres have made queries regarding the controversy that has been created by the book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" by Peter Heehs, an ashramite. Head Office has been repeatedly asked as to what is the stand of Sri Aurobindo Society in this connection.

This matter was discussed in detail by the Executive Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society and the following decision was taken:

"After having read the book 'The Lives of Sri Aurobindo' by Peter Heehs, the Executive Committee of Sri Aurobindo Society has come to the conclusion that the book, at many places, presents facts and information based on unreliable sources and contains misrepresentations and distortions of the life, work and yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The book also puts down other biographies written by scholars and devotees, which are certainly not hagiographies and have inspired a large number of devotees, seekers and scholars. All these biographies are available with SABDA, the official sellers of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's books and other related books. "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" has not been allowed by Sri Aurobindo Ashram to be sold at SABDA.

Sri Aurobindo Society strongly disapproves of the book."



  1. Congratulations to Sri Aurobindo Society, as a body, to have made this public explanation of its stand regarding the infamous book by Peter.
    It is laudable action, though quite late in the day, since much damage has already taken place.
    We now await other groups and bodies to express in public their reasoned stand on this controversial book.
    A concrete action plan is called for, to remove this evil book and the persons supporting it, from the ambit of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its environment.
    May the Mother's force prevail in achieving this, in service of Sri Aurobindo.

  2. Interesting and encouraging. A timely action without any calculations coming in the reckoning and in promptness of the authentic Aurobindonian perceptions would have averted much of the conflict that has sprung up in the wake of the mischievous biography, The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, and that too by a “scholarly” inmate who is said to be rendering “invaluable services” to the Ashram. Unfortunately much time, money and consciousness have been frittered away on it. Let it not be more of them. Would the Mother have approved this book? The answer to this question was known to us long ago. But now let us live in that answer.

  3. Heehs has a way of gravitating towards baseless conclusions in the name of documented research. He insinuates that the Mother and Sri Aurobindo had a romantic relationship, that the latter’s personality had traces of schizophrenia, which is what explained his supernatural experiences. Further, he calls this great patriot a terrorist, and even puts some of the blame of Partition on him. These kind of denigrating observations run through the book.


    LINK: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?280556