31 May 2012

Prof R.Y. Deshpande's Expulsion from the School in October 2010

[Dr. Radhikararanjan Das is not the first case of expulsion connected with the issue of Peter Heehs. In October 2010 Prof R.Y. Deshpande was expelled from the Higher Course of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Centre of Education. Prof. Deshpande, who was teaching Physics from the last thirty years and Savitri from the last ten years, was summarily shown the door by Manoj Das Gupta for his “rash” and “thoughtless action” of having put on the Internet his correspondence with Jhumur Bhattacharya (Higher Course in charge), who had accused him of having discussed in his class Peter Heehs’s book Lives of Sri Aurobindo. What an accusation, as if discussing the book was a crime! And what a severe punishment for it, as if humanity was saved from imminent disaster by not letting Prof Deshpande discuss it in his class! In any case, the professor had spoken about the book when the students themselves raised the issue and not because he wanted to distract them from the subject he was supposed to teach. It is evident from the exchange of letters published below between Prof Deshpande and the authorities of the School that they were only waiting for an opportunity to throw him out of the School. According to Prof Deshpande, they even manipulated the event with the help of a student who used to come to his class "once in a blue moon". The reason for this revengeful action is obvious. Prof Deshpande was the first person to expose the distortions in Peter Heehs’s book, and his postings on the blog Mirror of Tomorrow (available now at http://archives.mirroroftomorrow.org/blog) had deeply embarrassed Manoj Das Gupta’s deceitful position with regard to the book.]

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29 May 2012

Defamation Campaign by Former Students of the Ashram School – by Sridharan

A disinformation campaign by the Ashram Trust is generally followed by a defamation campaign by its henchmen. So it happened in Dr. Radhikaranjan’s case; the wrong information about him was followed by a character assassination executed by former students of the Ashram School in the SAICE forum. But first a word on this forum, which is supposed to form the opinion of the Ashram community.

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27 May 2012

Disinformation Campaign on Dr. Radhikaranjan Das – by Sridharan

A subtle disinformation campaign has been launched against Dr. Radhikaranjan Das, and the Registrar himself, Shri Manoj Das Gupta, is allegedly responsible for it. The word that is now going around is that Dr Radhikaranjan has been told to stop teaching in the School not because he had written an article defaming the Trustees, but because he was polluting the minds of the children with the Peter Heehs issue; that he had already been pulled up once by the authorities, and that he had apologised to them, promising never to repeat his misdemeanour; that he had continued to pollute the young minds despite his promise and repeated warnings from the School Committee, and that he was finally told to discontinue his classes because there was no other option left for them. What a wonderful presentation of utter falsehood! One is reminded of a quotation from Savitri in the canto called Descent into Night:
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24 May 2012

Manoj Das Gupta Won't Give a Written Notice -- Sridharan

As the situation unravels in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram School, it is clear that Manoj Das Gupta is reluctant to give a written notice to Dr Radhikaranjan Das. At the same time, he would certainly not like the latter to continue teaching in the School. So the tactics that is being adopted from the last few days is to tell the students not to attend Dr. Radhikaranjan’s class. Indirect pressure is also put through the section-in-charge, caretakers and co-teachers so that the doctor gets embarrassed and goes away by himself. The close friends and family members of Manoj Das Gupta have been given the onerous responsibility of somehow making Dr. Radhikaranjan feel that he is no longer needed in the School. This is executed in various ways: accosting him on the street and upbraiding him for his disobedience (as Swadesh Chatterjee has done), or tell the students not to attend his classes in front of Dr. Radhikaranjan (as Manjushri Chatterjee did). To think that such undignified tactics is resorted to in a School which is supposed to produce “living souls” or “sun-eyed children of a marvellous Dawn”! What a pity!
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22 May 2012

Report of Dr. Radhikaranjan's Discussion with the School Committee

[Dr Radhikaranjan's report of his discussion with the School Committee is in the form of a letter addressed to Manoj Das Gupta, who happens to be both the Registrar of the Ashram School and the Managing Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. A shorter version of the same was sent to the Registrar.]


I, Radhikaranjan Das, have been a Sanskrit teacher in this institution teaching at the Kindergarten, Primary, Secondary and Higher Course level from 1980 till date. I have been also teaching Biology at the Secondary level from 1999. My teaching record has been absolutely unblemished and I have never received any complaints from the School authorities regarding it. On Friday 18 May, 2012, I was in my class and was summoned to the School Committee meeting around 11.30 in the morning in your office. The persons present were yourself, Arati-di, Jhumur-di, Swadesh-da and Dilip-bhai. I will try to give you a report of the discussion that took place:
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21 May 2012

Manoj Das Gupta Stops Dr. Radhikaranjan’s Classes — Sridharan

The latest victim of Manoj Das Gupta is Dr. Radhikaranjan Das, who teaches Sanskrit and Biology in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram School, Pondicherry. He is also a full-fledged Homeopathic doctor and has been successfully treating both Ashram and outside patients from the last twenty years. A very popular and creative teacher, who has written and staged plays in Sanskrit, had no problems with the authorities until the day he penned down his thoughts on the present situation in the Ashram. The article entitled “Om Namo Bhagavate”, which is the expression of that inspired moment, has been published on this site – readers can judge it for themselves. But the Registrar of the School and Managing Trustee of the Ashram, Manoj Das Gupta (who is so much in the news nowadays) was furious because the article mentioned that the Ashram Trust was pouring out money for protecting Peter Heehs. “Give me proof of it,” Manoj Das Gupta is reported to have challenged Dr. Radhikaranjan Das who kept silent, not because there was no proof but because there was more than ample proof. (What about the scheme suit that the Ashram is facing in the Puducherry Court? Is not that a direct consequence of the Trustees supporting Peter Heehs? Does not that cost money?)
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19 May 2012

BJD MP for cancelling visa to US historian

BUSINESS STANDARD  Saturday, May 19, 2012

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 18, 2012, 16:15

A strong plea was made by a BJD member in the Lok Sabha today for immediately cancelling the visa to controversial US historian Peter Heehs, accused by followers of Sri Aurobindo of depicting a distorted picture of the freedom fighter and spiritual leader. 

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Bhartruhari Mahtab said the "blasphemous" book written by Heehs has been part of a "malicious design to discredit and defame" thinkers of modern India. 

Mahtab, who was supported by some members including from Trinamool Congress and Congress, said there has been "widespread indignation" among devotees of Sri Aurobindo over his biography written by Heehs, which is "full of falsehoods". 
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18 May 2012

An Excerpt from Swami Tyagananda’s Rebuttal of "Kali’s Child"

[Here is an excerpt from Swami Tyagananda’s brilliant rebuttal of Jeffrey Kripal’s Kali’s Child (1995) on Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa. The filth in Jeffrey Kripal’s book is perhaps more shocking to us than Peter Heehs’s Lives of Sri Aurobindo. But there is one interesting similarity between them – both cheat with their documentation. It is not only the distasteful topics they discuss (the alleged homosexual relationship of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa with Swami Vivekananda or Sri Aurobindo’s romantic relation with the Mother), but also the way they arrive at these preposterous conclusions on the basis of flimsy and wrong documentation. The first objection to their lack of taste and refinement can be dismissed as a cultural difference between the East and the West (though even here I would disagree), but how can you dismiss the second? Proper historical documentation and intellectual honesty go beyond cultural barriers and are indispensable for writing the history of any great men. There is no such thing as a Western and Eastern (or Indian) method of historical documentation. The fundamental rules of scientific documentation apply everywhere, whether in the East or the West. This is how Swami Tyagananda stumps Jeffrey Kripal in his rebuttal. Likewise, many of the articles on this site have exposed Peter Heehs’s wilful misrepresentations of Sri Aurobindo’s life.
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15 May 2012

The Jinxed Book – Dr. Jitendra Sharma

Peter Heehs, without any academic qualification, 
has written the jinxed book

American writer Peter Heehs, without any academic qualification, has written the jinxed book “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo”. He dons the garb of a researcher, a devotee and an impartial biographer. He writes a few pages in the book insinuating that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had a romantic relationship and Sri Aurobindo’s personality had some elements of ‘schizophrenia’, inherited from his mad mother, which were the root causes of his mystical yogic powers and supernatural experiences.
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13 May 2012

Om Namo Bhagavate − Dr. Radhikaranjan Das

Is there someone here so vile in Sri Aurobindo Ashram who does not have reverence for Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in his heart? We will not find one here who hates Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, but we find plenty of people, who for certain personal gains and fear of loss of position, have decided to stand in dire opposition to what the the Mother and Sri Aurobindo have always stood for. [extract]
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11 May 2012

Cancellation of Sraddhalu Ranade’s Talk by Auroville WC ─ by Sridharan

It is with a deep resentment and sadness that I draw the attention of our readers to the recent high-handedness of the Auroville Working Committee (WC) and the Bharat Nivas authorities (BN) in cancelling Sraddhalu Ranade’s talk on Peter Heehs’s obnoxious book on Sri Aurobindo. The lecture was supposed to be held at SAWCHU in Auroville on Friday 11th of May, 2012 at the invitation of a small group of Aurovillians who dared to stand up for the freedom of expression of Mr. Ranade. Mark the hypocrisy of the WC and BN who have fought tooth and nail for the freedom of expression of Peter Heehs but flex their muscles and even threaten to use police force in order to bar the same freedom of speech to Mr. Ranade. I quote from the WC’s email of 5 May, 2012:

We have never given any permission and the tactic is to try to ask people who do not know the controversy (in the case of SAWCHU a newcomer). The immediate response of the BN was to say that this wasn’t going to happen and that the gate would be locked on that day, if necessary with a police presence. [emphasis added]


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9 May 2012

The Trust's Declaration and its Falsehood ─ Ranganath Raghavan

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust has put out a declaration in public which includes this passage:

The considered view of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust is that it does not project itself in the role of dictating to readers and followers of Sri Aurobindo, as to what they should read and what they should not read. Each person is at complete liberty to decide for himself whether he finds any book to be meaningful and useful, or whether he does not find it to be so, and Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust respects and has full faith in the intellectual and  spiritual discernment of the readers. No one should or needs to force his personal opinions on any other reader in general, and more particularly on the followers of Sri Aurobindo.

The intention is obviously to convey to the public at large how large-hearted and how catholic is their view, how open and wide-minded, how impartial, how devoid of parti-pris they are. They are literally advertising their “tolerance”. They want people to know how freely they let Ashramites exercise their freedom of speech, and how non-interfering their stand is.
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7 May 2012

Letter from Major General Bakshi

Dear Editor

I have heard this entire debate with a bit of skepticism. I’m all for an objective and scientific analysis but such a level of analysis would call for the requisite amount of study and academic rigour.Having recently completed my Phd under a hard task master of a Guide (I’m deeply grateful to him for that, for it provided value addition to the work I was doing). I was therefore keen to know about Mr Heehs’ academic training and credentials. Since he was straying into the field of Psycho-Analysis at a distance in both space and time, I was reminded of Walter C Langers’ famous attempt to psycho-analyse Adolf Hitler for the OSS during the War. Hitler however was a psychopath. Sri Aurobindo was an incarnation in the Indian sense of the term - the contrast could not have been starker.Besides Dr Langer was a highly reknowned psycho-analyst. That is why I was intrigued and was curious to know of the qualifications of Mr Heehs for this kind of a subject.

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5 May 2012

Manoj Das Gupta’s Strange Attitude!

I will now give a few embarrassing examples. Will a class teacher support indefinitely the noise and mischief of one student who is hell-bent upon preventing the other students from studying? Will you deliberately step on somebody’s toe causing him great pain and advise him to bear it with equanimity? Will you even increase the pressure of your foot on his toe beyond the point of tolerance and still admonish him for losing his cool?

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4 May 2012

The Demand of the Moment

The Mother’s message of 14.4.1966:

My very dear little child,     

The Divine does not want a partial and passing victory. His victory must be total and everlasting. That is why we have to endure and wait for the proper time to come. However with faith and confidence, even the endurance becomes easy. With all my love.

The Mother

Today (14.4.2012) after 46 years the above given message of the Mother on the same date seems entirely fresh and new, because of its relevance for the situation of this day. To night at 2 am the infamous Peter Heehs who has written and published the controversial book “The Lives of Sri Aurobindo” deliberately to denigrate the character of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo had to leave India forever as per the order of the Govt. But at the last moment the Trustees of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust due to their fear-based deep love for Peter intervened and strongly recommended Peter’s extension of visa for one more year up to 14.4.2013. When the Ashram Trustees wrote in support of Heehs, the Government was compelled to extend Peter’s visa for one year more.

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1 May 2012

The Mother’s Prophetic Message of 14th April 1966

The Mother's Prophetic Message
of 14th April 1966

On the morning that we came to know that Peter Heehs' visa had been extended at the last moment, we also received the following message of the Mother dated the very same day exactly 46 years ago!

The full import of the message is gradually becoming apparent. Heehs' deportation from India would have been a partial victory as it would have ignored the root cause of the problem. The drama enacted in the media by Heehs and the Trustees of the Ashram Trust has exposed their double standards before the whole world. It is now clear to all that the Trustees have been supporting Heehs and have vested interest in his continuance in the Ashram and his continuing abuse of Sri Aurobindo.

The ire of the public and of the devotees is now focussed on the Trustees. This will inevitably lead to the long-pending administrative reforms that the Ashram needs so badly.

Mother's message of the day is revealing and prophetic!

General Editor


Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2012

Subject: 14th April Message

My very dear little child,
The Divine does not want a partial and passing victory. His victory must be total and everlasting. That is why we have to endure and wait for the proper time to come. However with faith and confidence, even the endurance becomes easy. With all my love.
The Mother

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