17 Oct 2016

Timeline of the Controversy

Nirmal Singh’s rejoinder to Peter Heehs on the birthplace of Sri Aurobindo. According to Peter Heehs, Sri Aurobindo was wrong about where he was born.

Appointment of Manoj Das Gupta as Trustee of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust after the passing away of Nolini Kanto Gupta. He was recommended as Trustee by Nolini Kanto Gupta through a dubious note signed (or made to sign) in his last days and left in the custody of Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya. We do not know why Nolini did not give the note to Padmanabhan Counouma, who was then the Managing Trustee of the Ashram, and why he did not recommend Manoj Das Gupta earlier through a formal meeting of the Board of Trustees. Manoj Das Gupta’s policy of not rocking the boat even when the boat is about to be wrecked, as in the controversy over the Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs, makes him undoubtedly the most vehemently criticised Trustee in the history of the Ashram. He is also known to protect the guilty and punish the victims or those who have raised the alarm.

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11 Sept 2016

Bagha Jatin: The Bengal Tiger Whom The British Feared – swarajyamag.com

Saswat Panigrahi - September 10, 2016, 11:45 am
Exactly 101 years ago, on this day, the nationalist-revolutionary succumbed to severe bullet injuries in Balasore hospital following a gallant battle with the British-controlled police.
Indian history has discounted the significant contributions of Bagha Jatin towards the freedom movement, thanks to the Left-leaning historiographers. This, despite the fact that there is no dearth of well documented historical records available on the vast revolution the great freedom fighter had conceived!
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4 Jul 2016

Dr. Hedgewar (founder of the R.S.S) met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry

In January 1920, Dr. L.V. Paranjpe started the Bharat Swayamsevak Mandal. Doctorji [Dr. Hedgewar] was his chief colleague. Efforts began in the month of July that year to organise a corps of some 1000-1500 volunteers for the Congress session. Doctorji threw himself heart and soul into that task.

While such fervent efforts were afoot, the tragic news of the passing away of Lokmanya Tilak at Bombay on the night of 31st July came like a bolt from the blue. The entire nation was plunged in indescribable grief. And more so the people of Nagpur. With a heavy heart, Doctorji attended to the work for organising hartal, mourning and condolence meetings on the tenth day, and offered his tearful homage.

Consequent on Lokmanya’s demise, the organisers were faced with the task of finding another Extremist leader for the presidentship. It was decided that a deputation should go to Pondicherry and bring Babu Aurobindo Ghose for the session. Dr. Moonje accordingly set out for Pondicherry. Doctorji also accompanied him as a representative of the youth of Nagpur.
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12 Jun 2016

Sri Aurobindo's Response to K.R. Kripalani's Article on the Swadeshi Movement

Did you enjoy the article “Fifty Years of Growth” by K. R. Kripalani in the Visva-Bharati?[i] Fifty years of growth refers by the way to the Congress. About the Swadeshi period he writes: “Along time was to elapse before we were to appreciate the infinite possibilities of the muddy waters at hand. In the meantime something startlingly romantic happened. . . .

“The fountain [of undefiled water] was cut by the fiery shafts of Tilak, Vivekananda, and Aurobindo, among others. They gave to Indian Nationalism its fiery basis in India’s ancient cultural glory and its modern mission. . . . It is always more beautiful and more inspiring to contemplate the Idea  and be drunk with it than to face the actual facts and touch the running sores. . . .

“But this spirit, fiery and beautiful as it was, was fraught with grave dangers. The glory that it invoked and the passion that it aroused were so intensely Hindu that Muslims were automatically left out. Not that they were deliberately excluded. . . . However that may be, it seems now not unlikely that had the influence of Tilak and Aurobindo lasted in its original intensity, we might have had two Indias today— a Hindu-istan and a Pak-istan, both overlaying and undermining each other. . . .
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31 May 2016

Why India Is A Nation – Sankrant Sanu

One of the oft-repeated urban myths that sometimes pops-up in conversation even among many educated, well meaning Indians is that India as a nation is a British creation. The argument goes roughly as follows – India is an artificial entity. There are only a few periods in history when it was unified under the same political entity. It was only the British that created the idea of India as a single nation and unified it into a political state. A related assumption, in our minds, is that the developed Western countries have a comparatively far greater continuity of nationhood, and legitimacy as states, than India.

This urban myth is not accidental. It was deliberately taught in the British established system of education. John Strachey, writing in `India: Its Administration and Progress’ in 1888, said “This is the first and most essential thing to remember about India – that there is not and never was an India, possessing … any sort of unity, physical, political, social or religious; no Indian nation.

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10 May 2016

Revivalism and Secularism – by Amal Kiran

[This article was published in the “Mother India” issue of 14 October 1950. How relevant it is even today!]

For a number of days after the election of Purushottamdas Tandon to the Congress Presidentship the talk of the whole nation turned on Congress’s future policy under the direction of the new President. Perhaps feelings ran high more about the issue of the Secular State and the question came to the fore: Should our country, with its huge Hindu majority, be revivalist or, because of its multi-communal character, secular?
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14 Apr 2016

The Sage and his idea of India – Anirban Ganguly

The Pioneer, 14 April 2016

Sri Aurobindo's vision of India had no place for pseudo-secularism, vote-bank politics and repudiation of Bharatiya civilisation. The Sage was also the quintessential internationalist, yet his internationalism was not a rootless cosmopolitanism but steeped in Sanatana Dharma [extract – read full article below]
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25 Mar 2016

Sri Aurobindo was certainly not for the Disintegration of India – by Raman Reddy

Secular intellectuals obfuscate the obvious, by which I mean, they use every intellectual argument to undermine what is pretty obvious to the common man. Of late, the idea of breaking India has been so flaunted about by the secular brigade under the cover of free speech (especially in the columns of a national newspaper) that one wonders what is happening to the country. Why would one support free speech when it undermines national security, especially when it supports criminals and Asuras and denigrates Hindu goddesses?  Fortunately, the majority of Indians will not give much credence to this outright falsehood, so that we can rest in peace and not bother about its practical consequences.
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11 Mar 2016

Sri Aurobindo’s Concept of the Nation-Soul (2) – Kishor Gandhi

Admitting that the society or group, like the individual has, besides its soul, also a mind, life and body, the important question immediately arises: What exactly is the nature of the group-mind, group-life, group-body? We have a fairly clear idea of the mind, life and body of the individual man by direct experience aided by scientific knowledge, but our notions of these parts of the group-being, even when we admit their real existence, are altogether vague and un­certain. Taking first the most external part, the physical body, what really is meant by the body of a society or a group?
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3 Mar 2016

Sri Aurobindo’s Concept of the Nation-Soul – Kishor Gandhi

Mother India is not a piece of earth; she is a Power, a Godhead, for all nations have such a Devi supporting their separate existence and keeping it in being. Such beings are as real and more permanently real than the men they influence, but they belong to a higher plane, are part of the cosmic consciousness and being and act here on earth by shaping the human consciousness on which they exercise their influence. It is natural for man who sees only his own consciousness individual, national or racial at work and does not see what works upon it and shapes it, to think that all is created by him and there is nothing cosmic or greater behind it.[1]

[Extract – read full article below. Title provided by Compiler and references updated. From Kishor Gandhi’s “Social Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and The New Age”, pp 33-36 (First Edition in 1965).]
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18 Feb 2016

Myths about Sanskrit – by Dr. Kapil Kapoor

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28 Jan 2016

Response to FIRSTPOST on the Scheme Suit issue – by Bireshwar Choudhury

On 14 January 2016, the Editor of the FIRSTPOST has referred in passing to the petitioners of the Scheme Suit in a most disparaging manner in an article titled “SC has shown great foresight in striking against proxy PILs as instruments of intimidation”.  As an admirer of this website, which has dared to take on the likes of Wendy Doniger, it is strange that it has now decided to support one of “Wendy’s children” – Peter Heehs (read this post). But I hope I can attribute this error to factual ignorance and unfamiliarity with the recent problems in Sri Aurobindo Ashram. If that be the case, I would like to point out a few outright errors in the write-up for the clarification of the larger readership connected with the FIRSTPOST, which hopefully would set the record right or at least give us a chance to give our version of events on its website. I quote from the article:
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21 Jan 2016

Praise for “The Battle for Sanskrit” by Rajiv Malhotra

“Is Sanskrit political or sacred, oppressive or liberating, dead or alive?”

For the past sixty years my primary activity has been to interpret Sanskrit and sanskriti. Indeed, Malhotra and I are sailing in the same boat. This book provokes a debate between the ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ of our heritage. It exposes that many outsiders pretend to be insiders, but their hidden agenda is to convince ignorant Hindus that the Vedas are myths and that the traditional claims are nonsensical. They pretend to know our traditions even better than our highest exponents.
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15 Jan 2016

Subramanian Swamy on "Breaking India" by Rajiv Malhotra

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8 Jan 2016

Dismissal of the Scheme Suit in the Supreme Court – by Bireshwar Choudury

The Scheme Suit filed against the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust has been dismissed on technical grounds by the Supreme Court of India on 6 January, 2016. Unlike what the supporters of Peter Heehs and the cronies of the Ashram Trust are projecting on the Net, the Supreme Court has not exonerated the author of the Lives of Sri Aurobindo. The Scheme Suit has been dismissed because the case against the Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs is still pending in the High Court of Orissa.
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4 Jan 2016

Spiritual Distortions – All Life is Yoga! – by Baikunth

There is a need to define at present what is not the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, more perhaps than the need to define what it is. Of course, the two functions are interdependent and cannot be dealt in an exclusive manner, for one often defines something by what it is not. But the mere positive definition leaves out the hidden distortions which you only come to know after a long period of gestation, and not in a one-hour lecture on the Integral Yoga, however inspiring it may be. There have been in the past, and there still are a number of brilliant speakers who mostly fulfil their role in the positive definition of the Yoga and philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, but very few as yet have sufficiently dwelt on its negative definition, by which I mean explaining elaborately what it is not.
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