29 Dec 2013

The Crooked Registrar of the Ashram School – by Banamali Mishra

Manoj Das Gupta, the Registrar of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram International Centre of Education and other members of the School Committee along with their advisers have been adopting the most crooked means to save themselves from contempt of Court. This is in reference to Radhikaranjan Das’s case which was filed in Pondicherry Court last year in June 2012. The Registrar and the School Committee know too well that the verdict of the case was in Radhikaranjan’s favour, that is, to completely restore his classes in the Ashram School. The Court Order had created fear in the mind of the Registrar as there was already a contempt of Court pending in his name. The Court had passed an Order in December 2012 not to stop Radhikaranjan’s classes, which the Registrar had blatantly disobeyed. He knew the consequences of a violation of a Court Order, so he wanted to create a false impression of having complied with it in the school session starting on 16 December, 2012. He gave Radhikaranjan a note telling him to fix his classes with the Higher Course students and yet prevented him from taking any classes. How did he do it?
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21 Dec 2013

Analysis of the Preface of P. Heehs’ The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, CUP, 2008 (Part 3) – A Zombified Disciple

Murders in the Land of the Naïve – 5

Peter Heehs wrote Sri Aurobindo: A Brief Biography, OUP, 1989 (Bio-1), and The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, CUP, 2008, (Bio-2), and a life-sketch.[1] My attitude and approach to Bio-2 Preface is empowered by its own diktat: Biographers must take their documents as they find them…, paying as much attention to what is written by the subject’s enemies as by his friends, not giving special treatment even to the subject’s own version of events. Accounts by the subject have exceptional value, but they need to be compared against other narrative accounts, more important, against documents that do not reflect a particular point of view. I take this preface at face value, compare it against other narrative accounts and facts that do not reflect its version of events, and analyse it with its device – critical openness of a seeker of truth. In the resultant exposé, Lives of Marcher, ‘Marcher’ is a fusion of his forebears Catherine Mayo (1867-1940) and William Archer (1856-1924), though Marcherism – degrading the Sanatana Dharma and vilifying the greatest children of Mother India, was born centuries before Mayo-Archer. Peter Marcher Heehs first encountered Sri Aurobindo in 1968. To encounter means to meet face to face, defy, oppose, confront. Of the too few exposed Marchers, ours alone continues to thrive at his subject’s expense. But its entire credit goes to his Daemon, a special emission of “the falsehood of the mental, vital and physical Powers and Appearances that still rule the earth-Nature”.[2]
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14 Dec 2013

Response to the Auroville Today Report on Ashram Affairs (2) – by Sridharan

I come now to the second part of the article on Ashram affairs in the Auroville Today issue of October 2013. The writer quotes one Mr Govardhan Dave in support of his own pre-determined ideas on the present state of affairs in Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Auroville Today: The attacks, obviously, have no longer anything to do with the book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo. “One can reasonably assert that it is not the controversial book of Peter Heehs, but the move to remodel the constitution of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust that constitutes the hostile attack on Her Work,” wrote Govardhan Dave, a senior and scholarly disciple of Sri Aurobindo who was in close touch with Ambalal Purani and considered to be M.P. Pandit’s right hand man in Gujarat.

A word on Mr Govardhan Dave’s background would not be out of place here. Mr. Dave’s claim of being the right hand man of M.P. Pandit in Gujarat and the left-hand man of A.B. Purani amounts to practically nothing. Dave is presently embroiled in a court case over the possession of a School in Gujarat. The Sri Aurobindo Society had actually stepped in to offer financial aid when the School managed by Dave was running in loss, but it withdrew when the court case filed by the latter threatened to entangle it further. Finally, it is clear that the Auroville Today editor is simply using Dave to fire from behind his shoulder rather than take him as an authority on the internal affairs of the Ashram, which he is certainly not. The first posting on Dave’s site is in fact dated December 2012 whereas the movement against the Trust had started long back in August 2008, first with regard to Peter Heehs, and then in other matters relating to the general administration of the Ashram Trust in August 2012, when an enquiry on the Ashram Trustees was sought from the Puducherry Collector. So where was Dave all these years and why did he not pronounce his opinions earlier? I wonder if he is at all familiar with the present state of affairs in Sri Aurobindo Ashram!

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9 Dec 2013

Reply to Samir Sarkar – by Bireshwar Choudhury

[Samir Sarkar, son of Kalu Sarkar, objected to the publication of the letter of Kalu Sarkar to Manoj Das Gupta on this website. The following is a reply to his letter by Bireshwar Choudhury.]

Samir Sarkar: Dear Administrator,
I write to you on behalf of my father, Kalu SARKAR, after having consulted him.

I know that my father was disturbed a few years ago in regards to Peter Heehs' book. Most of his opinion was built on hearsay. Having said that he DOES NOT subscribe to the views in the above letter any longer. 

Bireshwar Choudhury: Dear Samir, first of all, why should you write on behalf of your father Kalu Sarkar? Why cannot he speak for himself? He is after all the son of a revolutionary who faced the wrath of British rule in pre-independent India! He should not withdraw a statement that he undeniably made when the Peter Heehs issue rocked the entire Ashram community in the year 2008. Moreover, you seem to be patronising your father, pooh-poohing him like an excitable kid, who had gone berserk in a state of emotional frenzy. This is exactly what the Managing Trustee said and did at that time with those who rightly and bravely reacted against Peter Heehs’s derogatory book on Sri Aurobindo. He also put on an air of “dignified silence” and pretentious samata, when he was actually dictated by other compulsions. Can you also be more explicit about how your father does not subscribe to the views that he had expressed earlier? If he now thinks that Peter Heehs should be given the Nobel Prize for literature for the Lives of Sri Aurobindo, let him say so himself, and we will publish his statement on this very blog! He might now withdraw his criticism of the Managing Trustee, but that does not exonerate Peter Heehs. His harsh criticism of Manoj Das Gupta was made in relation to the Peter Heehs issue, so the two cannot be easily separated! Finally, it has come to our knowledge that it was because of the admission of his grandchild (meaning your child) that he stopped roaring like a wounded lion and started whining like a cat waiting for its daily quota of milk. If this is right, shame on him and shame on you!
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4 Dec 2013

Kalu Sarkar’s letter to Manoj Das Gupta

[The following is a letter of Kalu Sarkar, son of the famous revolutionary Sudhir Sarkar, and brother of Mona Sarkar. Kalu Sarkar expresses in this letter exactly what most Ashramites feel in the depth of their hearts but cannot utter due to the fear of reprisal from the Managing Trustee of the Ashram.]

The man if he does not stop short  and abandon his way of error, has eventually the Asura full-born in him, and once he has taken that enormous turn away from the Light and Truth, he can no more reverse the fatal speed of his course because of the very immensity of the misused divine power in him until he has plumbed the depths to which he falls, found bottom and seen where the way has led him, the power exhausted and misspent, himself down in the lowest strata of the soul-nature, which is Hell. Only when he understands and turns to the light, does that other truth of the Gita come in, that even the greatest sinner, the most impure and violent evil-doer is saved the moment he turns to adore and follows after the Godhead within him. Then, simply by that turn, he gets very soon into the sattwic way which leads to perfection and freedom. 

(Essays on the Gita – Sri Aurobindo)

Att: Managing Trustee

1. This is in reference to your letter to X without a name, without a date and without a signature. If you want everybody to love you, why don’t you practise the very first prayer the Mother has given us behind every notebook of our institution, to be straightforward, honest, frank and honourable children. It is the heart that speaks the Truth and the Truth comes out from these noble qualities.
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