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.
He blames Sri Aurobindo for India’s partition. After sowing such seeds of wild suspicion in the minds of readers, Heehs makes a sudden u-turn saying that the relationship between Sri Aurobindo and the Mother might have been spiritual. Even though all Indians respect Sri Aurobindo as a freedom fighter, Heehs calls him a terrorist. These kinds of incendiary, inflammatory, defamatory, objectionable, denigrating and abusive observations run through the entire fabric of the book. This book is full of intentional distortions, innuendos, false fabrications, misleading out-of-context references and baseless conclusions in the name of richly-documented research. A discerning reader feels the unmistakable hostility of Heehs towards Sri Aurobindo. To gain credibility in the eyes of his readers, he falsely claims to be one of the founders of Sri Aurobindo Ashram’s Archives. He intentionally omits all positive historical evidences in favour of Sri Aurobindo and provides a ready collection of adverse tidbits to belittle his greatness.
Indian Government does not permit freedom of speech and expression beyond a certain point. Delhi High Court had recently asked Google, Yahoo and Facebook etc. to censor all objectionable material. They had shown some bad comments and pictures that had maligned Sonia Gandhi. Similarly, when M.F. Husain had painted Indian Goddesses in nude, the Indian Government had not supported him.
I have read this blasphemous hagiography (or rather Heehography?!) twice. It brought tears to my eyes. Does this book denigrate Sri Aurobindo or not? We all await a final judgment of a Court of Law with a bated breath. Here are Mother’s relevant words:
“Anything written by a sadhak about Sri Aurobindo which brings him down to an ordinary level and admits the reader to a sort of gossiping familiarity with him is unfaithfulness to Him and His work. Good intentions are not sufficient.”
(Collected Works of the Mother, Vol. 13, Page 27)
Dr. Jitendra Sharma
Head, Department of French, St. Joseph’s College, Devagiri, Calicut-673008 (Kerala)