21 Sept 2013

Sricharan Singh’s Reply to the Letter to Dr. Gayatri

[The recent reply to Dr Gayatri’s “An Appeal to all the Children of Mother and Sri Aurobindo” has all the characteristics of Manoj Das. It has above all the feature that distinguishes him most, what I call “emotional gas”. After all, he is a story teller and cannot write anything more serious! (Even his stories usually end in killing the hero or heroine, as the case may be. He has a wry cynical humour and does not believe in happy endings. I hope he will not finish the story of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the same manner!) In his letter to Dr. Gayatri, he is obviously castigating a fellow Oriya devotee for having dared to speak against the Trustees. The message that he sends across is: “How dare you raise your voice when I, in spite of being a great writer, submit myself (poor me!) to the grace of Manoj Das Gupta, through whom flows the Grace of the Divine Mother!” And how dare you criticise us senior sadhaks and sadhikas for being tamasic in our Yoga? (Did any of these senior inmates of the Ashram actually claim to have done Yoga, including Manoj Das himself? I thought that there was a general trend among the Ashramites not to claim anything of the kind, for they know too well their limitations.) But it is the use of the words “tamasic surrender” by Dr. Gayatri that did the trick. That ignited fire where all these days there was nothing but selfish contentment in the name of detachment. Manoj Das let out a roar of anguish as the arrow went straight into his soul and then the fireworks had to take place. But his name had to be hidden among the seventeen other signatures at the end of the letter. For anonymity permits more liberty, especially on the Net, and then what would the Sahitya Academy say of his use of the word “rump” in his letter to describe the rearguard of the rebel faction in the Ashram?

Sricharan Singh, an old nemesis of Manoj Das, has once again come forward to reply point by point to his letter written to Dr. Gayatri. I urge the readers to have a look once again at the highly interesting exchange of letters that had taken place earlier on this site between Sricharan Singh and Manoj Das. Long live the two combatants!]

Writer Sir,

I address you as ‘Writer’ because you have written the letter to Dr. Gayatri, and ‘Sir’ because from among the 18 odd male and female signatories you seem to be a prominent male! So I respectfully address you as ‘Writer Sir’ just as you have addressed Dr. Gayatri as Madam.

I read your letter to Dr. Gayatri. There is nothing substantial in the letter. I found only high-sounding words adorning your immature, irrelevant and deceitful ideas. In your entire letter, instead of answering Dr. Gayatri’s points logically and patiently, you have vomited profusely your pent-up anger. As a result, a female signatory out of over excitement, or rather to excite others, has written below her signature “an excellent answer” like a school teacher giving marks to her favourite student. In your letter you have described Dr. Gayatri as over-ambitious, dangerously immature, agent of terribly destructive forces, uncivilised, shameless, and of a diseased imagination. Ask each and every patient of hers, and they will tell you how sympathetic, devoted and unselfish she is in her service to the Mother. Though she is not as senior as you and your associates, there is nobody among you as straightforward, courageous, truth-loving, daring and gentle as she is. She has come from a far more civilised, cultured and devout family than yours.

Her appeal to the Ashram inmates was so effective that it really broke, though not in the right direction, the tamas of the so-called senior sadhaks and sadhikas of the Ashram. At least, for once they have risen in protest. The right direction will hopefully come later.

Writer Sir, I only want to deal with some irrelevant arguments stated by you in your abusive letter to deceive simple and innocent Ashramites and devotees. But how long can you go on fooling others? You have questioned her, “Why did you join the Ashram at all?” I am answering you in your own words, “Who are you, Sir, to make such comments? Are you capable of measuring through your pen the depth of another person’s eligibility to join the Ashram? Can anyone barring the Mother know about it?”

You write about the senior sadhaks who have signed, “They are simply beyond you. Know that the Master and the Mother have spread a deep peace in the internal atmosphere of the Ashram.” Yes, it is true, but that peace is not merely static so that you can maintain a dignified silence in a tamasic surrender when the Guru is insulted in his own Ashram by a pseudo disciple. Again you have written, “The Grace and poise they have received from the Mother are also the qualities for which they have spared you of their wrath.” Where is the Grace and poise they have received from the Mother? You have said they have spared her of their wrath. Is there still more wrath to come? Is it the sign of Grace and poise to become furious and vomit fire when they are accused of tamasic surrender and being meek spectators to the misdeeds of the Trustees? Perhaps the Grace and poise granted to them makes them silent and peaceful only when the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are abused, not when the Trustees are criticised.

Writer Sir, you have accused Dr Gayatri of taking the help of an MLA who had never shown any interest in the Ashram. Have you forgotten Sir, you had approached the MPs of India and the MLAs of Orissa to protect the trustees for their misdeeds? Have you not gone to the Pondicherry MLA with much anguish with some aged as well as young inmates and devotees with the permission of the trustees? If you can freely approach the MPs and MLAs to protect the despotic Trustees, why are the oppressed inmates barred from the same privilege?

Writer Sir, you write that the sadhaks should look upon external difficulties as opportunities for progress. Is this maxim for ordinary inmates only and not for the dignified Trustees? Or have they already reached the summit of their sadhana? Should they not look upon the present turmoil in their administration as an opportunity for change and progress?

Writer Sir, you have written to Dr Gayatri, “You have the audacity to attempt to mislead people by saying one should not confuse fighting against the misdeeds of the Trustees with fighting against the Ashram! How can you utter such a shameless lie?” Sir, don’t try to paint the five Trustees as Sri Aurobindo Ashram to mislead the people. Please read the Trust Deed of the Ashram which you desperately call the Mother’s Will. It begins by, “Whereas Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry is an institution and a centre of practice for evolution of a kind and form of life which would in the end be moved by a high spiritual consciousness and embody a greater life of the Spirit and Whereas Sri Aurobindo Ashram is the home of persons who are the followers of Sri Aurobindo having faith in his philosophy and Yoga.” It is quite clear that the Ashram belongs to all the followers of Sri Aurobindo and not merely to the Trustees. So Dr Gayatri’s audacity is in fact relevant whereas your audacity to support Peter Heehs after finding more than 90 serious,  factual,  objectionable errors in his book, is  shameless, irrelevant and due to vested interest.

Writer Sir, you have asked, ”Who is responsible for the Ashram having to spend on court cases?  You and your signatories should know that even before the filing of the present cases, there were more than 150 active cases in the names of the Trustees. Who is inviting court cases in a spiritual Ashram? You say the inmates have come here to surrender their rights to the Divine Mother. It is true. But when the Divine Mother is physically absent and the Trustees are denigrating Her character and do all sorts of mischief, to whom the inmates will surrender their rights? To these anti-Ashram, anti-Guru, anti-spiritual, power hungry Trustees? When a responsible, highly qualified female inmate goes to the public, who is responsible for it? Why has such a situation arisen in the Ashram? Why don’t you ask the Trustees the reason for it?

Writer Sir, you are infusing a sense of fear in the minds of the Ashramites about a Govt. administrator. But who is inviting a Govt. administrator? Why don’t the Trustees solve their problem inside their house? That is why a Govt administrator is far better than the present arrogant, self-willed, corrupt Managing Trustee of the Ashram. Is there any Ashram in which the Managing Trustee is out on bail after being implicated in a case of forgery? Is Auroville facing any difficulty due to the Govt. administrator? Your warning is only useful for the protection of the corrupt Trustees, but totally useless for the Ashramites.

You write referring to Niranjan Naik and Ranganath, “Mother gave work and no positions.” Nice maxim. But it is not applicable for them. They have given up their positions without the slightest hesitation and drama. But why are the Trustees sticking to their positions while the Ashram is going to ruin? Your maxim does not apply to them? Writer Sir, you have advised Dr Gayatri, ”the present Trustees came into the Board in a natural process following the principles laid down by the Mother in her Will.” Sir, there is nothing called Mother’s Will which has been laid down by Her. The only Will which the Mother had given to Satprem regarding the future management of the Ashram in the form of a tape was mysteriously stolen from Her Room within one week of Her passing away. If you refer to the Ashram Trust Deed as the Mother’s Will, then that is not written by the Mother.  That is only a legal document which the Mother signed for the management of the Ashram. Except for the aims and objectives, its functional part is subject to change according to time and situation. Even if we take it as the Mother’s Will, the present Managing Trustee has not come to power following the principles laid down in the Will. He has come to power by a conspiracy during Nolini-da’s illness and he has taken as co-trustees all those who had helped him in the conspiracy.

I request our Writer Sir to read clause 7 and clause 9 of Ashram’s Trust deed to those whom he has instigated to sign the letter to Dr Gayatri. Clause 7 says the Trustees have no right to allow or expel anybody from the Ashram, as this is the exclusive right of the Mother. According to clause 9, the Trustees have not even the right to take another Trustee in case their number falls below five. They can do it only in the case of the Mother’s retirement, and not in the case of Her leaving her physical body. Again, there is no provision in the Trust Deed for a Managing Trustee.

So the present Trustees have come into the Trust Board by the most unfair means, and they have not followed the principles laid down in the Trust Deed, which they call the Mother’s Will. In the physical absence of the Mother, there must be some amendment in the functional part of the Trust Deed clearly mentioning the function of the Trustees in the present situation. Without doing that, the Trustees have usurped power and are now enjoying absolute authority, which was meant only for the Mother according to the Trust Deed.

Before I conclude I want to mention that our Writer Sir has advised Dr Gayatri to consult Dr Alok Pandey, but whoever reads his advice suggests that the case of our Writer Sir is very serious, and that he should start for Ranchi without any delay. Finally, as our Writer Sir gives so much importance to the Mother’s Will, Mother’s ways and Mother’s words, I would like to quote a passage from page 81 of the book Mother You Said So:

There are, of course, a number of people with will, good purpose, good aspirations and the rest, but in spite of all that they still live in falsehood because they have not the strength to fight for the Truth. And if you let yourself go without reacting with a constant vigilance you are bound to live Falsehood because this world is a World of Falsehood.

When souls come upon earth by accepting the sorrows, miseries and troubles of the world – it is because they want to conquer Falsehood and help in the Victory of the Truth. I call them heroic souls.

For those who leave aside their mental, vital and physical and live only in Bliss, there is no struggle and pain, because their beings are untouched, undisturbed and they remain as they are. But the souls who came upon earth to fight face to face with Falsehood, are the truly heroic souls and the Supreme Love is there with them. They set a concrete example for the world.”

Now I request our Writer Sir to decide to which category his illustrious, poised, senior sadhaks belong and to which side Dr Gayatri and “the congeries of vain fellows” of her group belong.

One of the “congeries of vain fellows”

Sricharan Singh


  1. congeries - A Latin word meaning "heap or pile of disparate items" or "disorderly collection."

    Henry Peacham defines congeries as "a multiplication or heaping together of many words signifying diverse things of like nature."

  2. Comment by Sampdas:

    As I was perusing the views of different people, someone has painstakingly listed out the inaccuracies in Mr. Peter's writeup. these are at the site: http://livesofaurobindo.wordpress.com

    My Question is:

    While the inmates of the Ashram are silent on disparaging comments on Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, possibly owing to Dining room compulsions, should they not wake up and protest about the disparaging ‘conduct and character certificate' given to Ashram inmates, which would include all, including the Trustees, as mentioned in the blog, excerpted from the book: which is given below:

    Lives of Sri Aurobindo – Errors
    Just another WordPress.com site

    Disciples used to plagiarize – page 394 →

    Defaming the Ashram community – page 373
    posted on April 3, 2012 by anahata

    On page 373, he defames the members of the Ashram where he has lived for the past 40 years.

    'Such experiences were comparatively infrequent even for those who were advanced enough to have them. As a rule, people spent most of their time in what Sri Aurobindo called the lower consciousness, caught up in the play of ordinary thought and emotion. They did their work, but sometimes argued with their colleagues. They met their neighbors, and sometimes slandered them behind their backs. At home they read Sri Aurobindo’s works, or indulged in sexual daydreams. They attended pranam, and sometimes were consumed by jealousy because the Mother smiled more warmly at another. Then, while walking on the pier or sitting at home or dusting books in the library, they might again be lifted above the mind and perceive the one soul in all, or plunge into their heart and feel the fire of the psychic being.

    (Lives, page 373)

    My comments are : NOW, the Wellwishers site mentions about Gayatri (on 4 page of letter, see attachment), it takes exception to sadhaks’ spiritual position. Has she stated anything worse than PH? See also reference to page 394 regarding plagarism. Where were the wellwishers when PH’s writing was and is being defended by the Trust? Have not the so called wellwishers of the Ashram (and not of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother) not doing tamasic tapasya, as mentioned by Gayatri?

  3. Comment by Sandeep:

    The latest rejoinder to Manoj Das omitted a crucial point.

    In the letter, Manoj Das attacks Dr Gayatri for claiming that inmates have no rights and that we have to surrender to the Mother. This is the same man who asserted that Heehs has freedom of speech. Are there different laws for scholars?

  4. The post opens with a link as follows: "The recent reply to Dr Gayatri’s ..."

    Sorry the link is not operative; it tells the post "Not Found". Perhaps after seeing Sricharan Singh’s it has been withdrawn.

    I request WWW.TLOSA to post the withdrawn letter in full. That will show for ever all those great 'senior members' of the Ashram who have signed it in their true colours. I wonder whether they have really comprehended the language and contents of the letter, and contents that are so defective and ill-conceived. They seem to have signed it sheepishly, if not under duress.

    In any case, heaping curses on others does not make their position invulnerable. In fact what we see here is nothing but self-righteous indignation, something never expected of ‘senior members’ of a spiritual institution. But, even granting it to be so, "is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous?" Dr Gayatri understands this very well.

  5. The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, spoke to the students of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education on 25 September 2013: “Among the sad maladies of our time are cynicism and despair. They lead to insincerity in whatever work one does. And insincerity is the mother of numerous other ills. I hope those like you who are followers os of Sri Aurobindo will contribute towards the materialisation of a better future through your attitude and your action.”

  6. "Writer Sir has advised Dr Gayatri to consult Dr Alok Pandey."

    I suppose Dr Alok Pandey and Dr Gayatri know each other well enough, as they work in the same Ashram department. He should therefore come out with a categorical statement if she needs the kind of treatment recommended for her by Writer Sir. Will he?