Sunday, December 11, 2011

DU gelds political beliefs of Sri Aurobindo

Paper on Aurobindo missing from DU syllabus - Hindustan Times

After much hue-and-cry about the removal of AK Ramanujan’s essay, 300 Ramayanas, from the concurrent course list last month, a course went missing from the approved syllabus for political science at Delhi University (DU). The paper on the political beliefs and workings of nationalist freedom fighter Aurobindo Ghosh, who later set up the Aurobindo Ashram, was approved by the Committee of Courses when it deliberated upon the semester course earlier in the year.
But when the final course came up for approval before the Academic Council — the highest decision-making body in the university — the course was found missing from the list.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Heehs himself

  • Peter Heehs reshared P. Black's post
    7/11 · Desktop · Public
    An important piece on censorship by litigation in India by publisher Rukun Advani.
    A publishing perspective on the A K Ramanujan controversy
    Ramanujan: a publisher’s perspective
  • Peter Heehs
    30/7 · Desktop · Public
    Article by Ramachandra Guha (one of India's leading historians) about banning books in India. He discusses books by Lelyveld, Heehs et al.
    The republic of India bans books with a depressing frequency

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Madness is a troubling subject

Patrizia Peretta
Date: 3 December 2011, 10:44

Dear Mr. Tusar,
As you have published a few e-mails from Prof. Kamal Das on your websites, I was thinking that you might also be interested to publish this e-mail from Maggi regarding Prof. Kamal Das and his analyses.
Sincerely, Patrizia

An email from Maggi Lidchi-Grassi: Nov. 11, 2011:
The other day there came an e-mail from a friend and devotee in Italy. [...]

Tusar should play a positive role

Raman Reddy said...

"One cardinal axiom Raman Reddy would do well to remember always is that no “interpretation is faulty” and hence maintaining an attitude of democratic respect and tolerance towards contrasting and adverse viewpoints is essential for personal growth as well as community well being. By not arrogating to himself the burden of offering the official interpretation, he can save himself from much torment and spare his readers too."

I think I should reply to the high and mighty Tusar Mohapatra of the Savitri Era Forum, who keeps on making the most opposite comments on the same issue, once for and once against, without realising that one should be at least stable with one’s own opinion. Or does he think that even fluctuating in one’s opinion like the wind is being democratic with the multiple selves that one has in one’s own being? But democracy being the foundation of TNM, he would say, “It does not matter even if I contradict myself for I am giving respect to all my selves!”

When did I claim that my version is official, for that credit should go to the Ashram Trust which has been remarkably silent on the web? I find the interpretation faulty does not mean that I am claiming my version is official! Unless you mean that my version has become official because the others are silent or are unable to say something convincing in return. But then that is not our fault.

I think Tusar should play a positive role in this affair instead of constantly arraigning those who are earnestly fighting PH’s views on Sri Aurobindo.

Raman Reddy said...

Raman Reddy is an ashramite working in the archives for the last many years. As a sadhak and a scholar, it is expected that his articles conform to the academic norms of politeness. The opening paragraph, conversely, appears to be combative in this instance. It is, in fact, a question of substituting a few phrases here and there. Let me attempt a cosmetic makeover so that the reader is not put off by the menacing horns. [TNM]

"On reading the booklet entitled Sri Aurobindo on Hinduism by Peter Heehs (published by the Sri Aurobindo Society, Hyderabad centre in 2007), I came across certain distortions. It seemed to me that the author has deliberately adopted a deceptive and confusing style such that even a well-informed reader of Sri Aurobindo will be easily taken in by the flow of arguments. Even the interpretation and conclusion appear to be so equivocal that the reader would sometimes not realise that he has actually skimmed over deep contradictions which bear the false impression of a balanced view. I have quoted the following paragraph in order to examine the discrepancies."

Is this some kind of advertisement that you are giving free lessons on "writing with courtesy" on the Savitri Era forum?

RYD said...

Yes, now and then I've been seeing those bazaar blogs named after Savitri always playing a dubious role, acting like paid agents yet keeping a facade of journalistic fairness. The best is to dismiss what they say. Take an example. At
there is a poser: "Does anyone stand by the Pranab’s proposal?" The right question to ask would be: What are we doing with Pranab's Proposals? and so on.


Copernicus said...

Peter Heehs has attempted for a very long time to erase any linkages Sri Aurobindo and his Yoga may have to Hinduism. Inspired by him, Rich Carlson has tried to do the same and Ulrich Mohrhoff has written to Outlook magazine online and every blog he could find just to register the exact same objections of Heehs and propagate the same message. They do this to justify whatever little attraction they have for Sri Aurobindo to the political milieu they cling to.

The question is: Did Sri Aurobindo and Mother disallow people who wanted to do pranam to them the muslim way? Or by kneeling as some Christians do? If someone wanted to lift and touch their knees to their noses as a novel pranamic technique, would they have objected?? It’s very doubtful. So, what is Heehs really objecting to? Only that Sri Aurobindo allowed the Hindus to worship him in their way!

Do these people expect that Sri Aurobindo should have created a whole new lexicon for his yoga completely outside of Indian religion and given brand new names to various powers or maybe even renamed Krishna as Jehovah or something else just to please them? Maybe they will next insist that Sri Aurobindo should have changed his own name so that it would not sound even remotely Hindu? It’s not possible to convince such small-minded, unreasonable, people if these are the levels they stoop to.

Coming to his commentary about the externals aspects of a devotee’s worship: how can Heehs claim to know anything about the devotee’s attitude and/or consciousness while worshiping Sri Aurobindo that he can generalize and comment so glibly about it? If, as Sri Aurobindo says, the attitude and consciousness are more important than the externalities, Heehs oozes pure arrogance by assuming to know anything about the devotee’s attitude and/or consciousness.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Satprem, like RYD had a few axes to grind and was trying to settlepersonal scores

Firstly, the discussion between Satprem and The Mother does not concern at all the editing of Sri Aurobindo’s works, and it has nothing to do with the editing of Savitri. In fact, the central issue if not the ENTIRE discussion concerns the distribution of Sri Aurobindo’s and Satprem’s books (in fact it clearly emerges that Satprem is more preoccupied about the royalties from the sale of his books more than anything else!). Therefore when RYD picks out only a limited portion of this exchange which refers to some “corrections” being made to Sri Aurobindo’s books, it is evident that he deliberately wishes to create exaggerated, partial and therefore inaccurate and wrong impressions.

Secondly but equally importantly, it is not The Mother who is complaining or being critical about any wrong-doings with regards to Sri Aurobindo’s publications, but it is instead Satprem who is complaining and making allegations to The Mother and She is merely reacting and responding to his complaints. Therefore, how does RYD assume that what Satprem was reporting to The Mother was based on accurate information? RYD would like us to believe that all of Satprem’s observations were always accurate. However, what emerges rather clearly in this passage is that Satprem, like RYD had a few axes to grind and that he was more preoccupied with trying to settle a few personal scores with people he didn’t get along too well, especially when it concerned matters relating to his own publications.

Thirdly, Satprem’s grouse is only with two individuals – one from SABDA and the other from the All India Press – who were involved with the distribution and sale of Sri Aurobindo’s books and had nothing to do with the editing or correcting Sri Aurobindo’s works. How are therefore the doings of these people in anyway related to the editing of the 1954 or 1970-’72 editions of Savitri? There is in fact absolutely no connection whatsoever, except presumably in the perverted imagination of RYD.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Original edition of Savitri
27: The Editing of Savitri—A few Samples from the Manuscripts

We present here a few examples of the manuscript of Savitri as the composition proceeded during the period 1942-50; these mostly pertain to Book Two Canto Four. As is clear from these available illustrations, the complexity of preparing the final text cannot be underestimated. But at times factors of judgement also enter into picture, and these can give rise to controversial or unacceptable readings. The best approach is to go by the original edition of Savitri that essentially came out during the lifetime of the author himself, and provide data as gathered from several drafts. ~ RYD

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The follower and the academic

In the case of "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo", I find parts of it superb, others good to fair, and parts I think are poor or even wrong. I have my list of suggested revisions, as others have theirs. What I think would be most helpful would be for people to submit their lists of suggested revisions to Mr. Heehs, and, in a collaborative manner, encourage him to improve the book. After he has done his revisions, then all those who are not satisfied with the final version can write their rebuttals. Or, write their own biographies of Sri Aurobindo.

I understand that critics of Mr. Heehs love Sri Aurobindo and are concerned his book will debase Sri Aurobindo's image and hinder the spread of His truth and teaching. I would like to reassure you that no such negative outcome will happen, for several reasons. First, this book is written for an academic (i.e. university professor) audience, but intellectuals are too focused on their careers and mental pursuits to be interested in Sri Aurobindo. Second, among the potentially large audience of lay people who are seeking a spiritual path, most end up in one of the major religions, or studying with a guru or teacher who has a physical body. Very few can relate to a spiritual Presence, such as of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, that is real but does not have a physical body in the conventional sense. And third, whether academic or lay, most readers read to re-inforce what they already believe, not to alter their core beliefs. Thus, this book will have very few readers, even if it is widely available, and it will not alter what those few already believe.

So you see, the only audience for Mr. Heehs's book is the Master and his existing devotees, whose views on the book are already set. This whole debate is therefore only an opportunity for us, individually and collectively, to grow in His consciousness. No one outside our community cares about this discussion, because the rest of the world is busy with its own sectarian conflicts! We should be more friendly with each other about this book, and focus on improving it rather than banning it. And we should not let our reaction to the book become more of a problem than the book itself.
Michael Miovic
Boston, USA
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 4:10 AM

But I am not writing to perpetuate the debate at its current level, and I am not choosing side A or B. I am trying to introduce a third option, which is working collaboratively to improve the book. I understand the likelihood of this coming to pass is small, but I feel the best way to honor Sri Aurobindo is to remain open to the possibility of working together to produce a better book about Him. I don't know that Peter will accept this proposition, nor that his opponents will, but I am extending a standing invitation to both sides to do so.

Let me briefly state the potential benefits of improving this book. First, as Larry noted, this book is extremely well researched and documented. It could use some editing, but setting aside those important details for now, I would ask people to stand back and look at the "big picture." No religious leader or major spiritual teacher in the history of the world has had a biography written of them with such academic depth and rigor as this one--I mean at the level of raw data and collateral information, not how the data is presented and interpreted at times. It is a credit to the synthetic nature of Sri Aurobindo's vision, and the culture that spawned within the Ashram and our community, that it produced such a bold attempt to bridge two worldviews (the "follower" and the academic). No other Ashram in India has produced a biography half as detailed and innovative as Peter's. If we can navigate through this conflict productively, and improve the book, we have the opportunity of presenting to Sri Aurobindo a first in the history of world literature. I think He deserves that.

Second, although the final choice to accept or reject suggested revisions is Peter's, and he is and will bear the inner karmic results of these choices, there is still a communal aspect to this that cannot be overlooked in our yoga. We are here to transform human nature and the ills of humanity. Religious schism and sectarian conflict is a major human problem, and has been throughout history. Our current communal split into For and Against is repeating this age old dynamic. So, if we can find some way to work through this problem, we can be of spiritual help to the world. If not, then we will simply repeat the world.

Third, from a purely practical perspective, I would urge Peter's critics to focus on improving the book because in today's world you cannot stop the spread of information--but you can still influence what is spread. Look at the case of Satprem, who clearly went against the Mother's word by publishing the Agenda so soon (She said wait 30-40 years). The Agenda is now available for free all over the Internet, including the original audio files, and no one has been able to contain this spread. Peter's book will have a smaller audience than the Agenda, but the same principles apply. People in India who want to read it will simply order it by Internet, or email a friend in the U.S. or Europe to obtain it, and there will be pirated PDFs on the web. In 10, 30, or 50 years the government of India will drop the ban, and there you have it.
So, the best thing you can do in the long run is to focus now on improving the book. Then everyone will benefit ultimately from a better product.

I could say much more about suggested revisions and ways to improve the book, but that is for another day.
23 September 2011

While I would agree that there are a small number of ungracious remarks made in the book, overall it is highly laudatory of Sri Aurobindo, informative about his life and work, and well-researched and documented. The book is not an attack on Sri Aurobindo's life or work as a few have suggested, or if it is an attack, then it is a very lame attack indeed which many intelligent, devotee readers could not even detect.

On the other hand, there are certain norms of the Ashram that are very well known and some even embedded in its rules. These have been trampled with impunity by the perpetrators of this malicious attack upon the author and the book.
Larry Seidlitz
22 September 2011

Re: A Question of Hagiography and Biography by Kepler on Tue 17 Feb 2009 02:58 AM
Very interesting article. Good point about the inherent conflict in writing usefully about a saint in a non-hagiographic style, unless one is purposely trying to write about the saint completely outside the context of his or her sainthood, e.g. a book solely about Sri Aurobindo’s external political work. He was a historical figure and a historical biography could be written entirely from that perspective. As you indicate, in such a book it may be best to say nothing about the spirituality of the saint. Perhaps it’s the mélange of purposes attempted in this book that is causing the jarring clash.

Here’s a question: what if one did want to know, as objectively as possible, all that could be documented about Sri Aurobindo’s external life, not in order to critique, reduce, or explain his spiritual greatness by mundane details, but rather because one has a deep love for Sri Aurobindo, and finds everything one learns about the actual external life he led is filled with sweetness and brings an increasing sense of closeness. In terms of that purpose, would one prefer a biography of Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual life and experiences, based necessarily on his own and some of his disciple’s descriptions of them, or would a painstaking, historical, critical attempt to gather and present all the discoverable external details be more likely to deliver the desired result?

Perhaps it’s partly the “confusion of dharmas” (as someone phrased it on this site) in this single book that leads some to love it and many to despise it, based on the approach they desired and expected from it.


Re: A Question of Hagiography and Biography by Kepler on Thu 19 Feb 2009 02:12 AM
Thanks for the recap of existing biographies. I’ve read some but not all, and none of them recently, so I can’t comment just now on their particular treatment of Sri Aurobindo’s “external life”.

What prompted my question (perhaps posed too confusingly), was your observation of the folly of an overly empirical, rationalistic approach to writing about a Yogin who by definition has been established in a consciousness that exceeds the rational thinking mind. This is very well taken.

But it then occurred to me that as a highly empirical, rationalistic approach works rather well when seeking knowledge about the external, physical world (even if at a loss when expounding upon spiritual experience), so perhaps a heavily rationalistic approach might bear fruit when fully documenting the purely external life of a saint. I think there are some who have read the Lives book and appreciated that aspect of it, even while being annoyed by the misapplication of that approach to Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual life and persona.

I realize some interpret the appreciation of any aspect of the Lives book to be an attempt to negate all criticism of it, but that was of course not my point. No need for anyone to remind me of all the objectionable quotes :-)


Re: A Question of Hagiography and Biography--Empirical Rationalism by Kepler on Thu 19 Feb 2009 09:51 PM
Thank you for your eloquent reply. I have also previously read with interest your articles on “Can there be an Indian science?” I fear that my point is perhaps so narrow and tangential that, like a small twig standing against a flooding wave, it is readily swept away unnoticed.

My question actually was not of a rationalistic approach “bearing fruit while expounding the spiritual experience”, but rather “might bear fruit when fully documenting the purely external life of a saint”, with emphasis on “the purely external life”.

I’m in full agreement regarding the pathetic limitations of such an approach in comprehending or evaluating the spiritual experience and consciousness of the saint, which is of course the overwhelmingly more important task.

But consider the much less important, but still interesting (to some of us), attempt to get at all the available external documentation of, for example, Sri Aurobindo’s outer life in Baroda, i.e. what he did, where he went and when, whom he associated with, what they recorded as their impressions of him, etc. Would the empirical, critical, “scientific” historian’s approach to this specific task produce more reliable results than a hagiographic one?

I personally do appreciate the results of the rationalistic approach to this “documentation of external facts” about the saint’s life, meaning just those facts that actually were “on the surface for others to see”. I think the raw tasks of collecting, evaluating and presenting the available physical data, do lend themselves to the empirical, rationalistic approach. My problem with the Lives book is that it also attempts to turn that approach on Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual life and persona, with obviously jarring and distorting consequences. I suppose the strength of that jarring effect makes it impossible for many to appreciate this other, smaller result, and I’m happy to drop the point.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hartz bares his heart

from Prof Kamal Das to bcc date 28 August 2011 14:48 subject   RICHARD HARTZ joins PETER HEEHS in blaming Ashram Trustees for TLOSA Disaster and Abuse of Archives Dept
Richard Hartz joins Peter Heehs in blaming Ashram Trustees for TLOSA Disaster and Abuse of Archives Dept

Justice is blind and cannot see body language. Thus, unlike the Trustees of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust who relied on this perceived blindness to escape the Law and were erroneously using sign language and were calling it “dignified silence”, Peter Heehs has been speaking up aggressively and cutting his losses. He has, as already known to all, filed memos in the Orissa Court holding the Trustees responsible for his perverse “research” and the debacle and fallout of his offensive and illegal book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo (TLOSA).
Now Richard Hartz, a long-time associate of Peter Heehs at the Archives of the Ashram, and the principal co-conspirator in the crime that is TLOSA, has jumped in and joined the chorus in blaming the Trustees.
In an open letter dated 25th August 2011 to his dwindling, shaky and jittery supporters who are increasingly questioning the wisdom of TLOSA and discussing its withdrawal, Hartz writes:

“I have been in Pondicherry the whole time and my perception is based on what I have experienced here, not on the discussion on internet forums where the situation has been different. In early October 2008 the Managing Trustee described the Ashram as a "seething cauldron." This was no exaggeration. At that point I was almost the only person in the Ashram who had tried to defend Peter, apart from Manoj Das Gupta himself who heroically stood his ground in refusing to expel him. (He did, however, ask him to withdraw from the Archives until things return to normal, which so far shows no sign of being likely to happen.) It is hard for me to relate my memory of this phenomenon to the "healthy doubt against an excessive intellectuality" you speak of. If there was a comparable outburst of collective hysteria in support of PH, I never heard about it. At least it didn't happen here.

… The basic question raised by the Lives controversy is whether a member of the Ashram can be allowed to write for an academic audience in terms acceptable to that audience. (As you suggest, I could have written a book that might have offended no one, but CUP would never have published it.)

… In agreement with Sri Aurobindo's own description of the Ashram as a laboratory, it is officially recognized by the Government of India as a research institute for purposes of tax exemptions on donations from devotees. This fact is important for understanding how the Lives came to be written in the way it was, because it is part of the reason why Peter Heehs was encouraged to write and publish academic articles which could be listed in the Ashram's reports on its research activities, submitted annually to the government. Despite his lack of formal credentials, he succeeded in getting these papers published in a wide range of academic journals. That meant, of course, adapting his style of writing to academic expectations … . Since his publications were being regularly cited in the Ashram's official reports, he was led to believe that this activity, even if it drew criticism from some quarters, was consistent with the aims of the Ashram. To a certain extent, his downfall resulted from his doing too well the work he had been assigned and encouraged to do.

I hope this will shed light on the question of whether or not it was appropriate or acceptable for a person in Peter's position to write the book he did.” 

In other words Hartz is revealing that Columbia University Press (CUP) “would never have published” a book which “offended no one” given Heehs’ “lack of formal credentials” and the resulting limited saleability. Therefore Heehs had to write an “offensive book” in order to make it saleable to CUP and the public, and the Ashram Trustees “assigned” this work to him and “encouraged” him.
This stunning volte-face by Richard Hartz, the first public admission holding the Trustees of the Ashram responsible for encouraging and misguiding Heehs in the disaster that is TLOSA, is a watershed moment. The reference by Hartz to Heehs’ downfall is also telling.
This turn of events is being brought about by the now-public information that CUP will shortly file papers in the Orissa court against orders detailing the role of the Ashram Trustees in supporting, aiding and endorsing all that is wrong with TLOSA. This much CUP will certainly do to absolve itself of the serious charges it is now faced with, not least among them, Heehs’ allegation that he was erroneously labelled “Founder” by CUP and is not personally liable for this serious legal, moral and criminal lapse.
Each failure raises the threshold of the next potential success and there comes an inflection-point where the pain of loss is too great to pursue any further potential gain. Does Manoj Das Gupta understand this? We do. Truly, Prof Kamal Das 28 August 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Campaign of malice and defamation against Sri Aurobindo

Subject: RE: link please
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 12:34:39 -0400

Dear Prof Kamal Das,
I am not so sure that Peter Heehs actually refused to have this article downloaded. The statement was rather ambiguous and it was unclear whether it was the Psychohistory Review that gave the statement or the website ( where I was looking for the article. Perhaps Peter Heehs was never asked for permission, I really don't know.
With best regards,
Jeanette Caurant
from    Prof Kamal Das to      bcc date    20 August 2011 10:36 subject   MDG & PETER HEEHS BAR ACCESS TO " GENIUS, MYSTICISM, AND MADNESS"
From: Prof Kamal Das Date: Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 2:53 PM Subject: Re: FW: link please To: Jeanette Caurant
Dear Ms Jeanette Caurant, Bonjour!
Your very reasonable request serves to further underline and lay emphasis on the campaign of malice and defamation being carried out against Sri Aurobindo by the Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in collaboration with Peter Heehs!
Why the need to bar access to the article in question? If there is nothing wrong, then Peter Heehs and the Trustees should print hundreds of copies of the article and distribute these freely to all concerned in order to dispel any misgivings or doubts!
I strongly recommend that you and your friends meet or write to Mr Manoj Das Gupta and demand that he make copies available to all concerned as access to this article is your fundamental legal right as a beneficiary of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, wherever you may be in the world!
It is advisable that you obtain a copy of the article from Peter Heehs, Manoj Das Gupta, the Archives Dept at Puducherry or even the Govt Of India in order to ensure authenticity of the document. With Best Wishes, Truly, Prof Kamal Das

On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 6:41 PM, Jeanette Caurant wrote: Dear Prof. Kamal Das,
I have been unsuccessful in obtaining a copy of the full article “Genius, Mysticism, and Madness”, written by Peer Heehs which was published in the Psychohistory Review in 1997. I tried to obtain it through Psychohistory however there is a note stating that Mr Heehs had not given permission for it to be downloaded.  I would appreciate it if you would give me the link to the full article, or send a file to me. Thank you, Jeanette Caurant Kkk

Jeanette Caurant has left a new comment on your post "The shame of 1997": Posted by Jeanette Caurant to Savitri Era Open Forum at 7:52 PM, August 17, 2011 Dear Tusar Mohapatra,
Could you please provide a link to the full original Heehs' article. Psychohistory states that he has not given permission for it to be downloaded. Thank you. Jeanette [Highland, New York, United States]

Jeanette Caurant says: Mar 12, 2010 at 10:17 AM
It is mentioned that “In the center of the community, both geographically and physically, is a massive spherical gold-plated structure called the Matmandir, or Temple of the Mother.”
What is not widely known is that the Mother gave Her plan for the Matrimandir with exact measurements to those responsible to build according to that plan. The Matrimandir that stands in Auroville today was NOT build according to the Mother’s specifications and therefore is not the highest expression of Sacred Architecture we could have known. For more information on this you can go to

Sunil has left a new comment on your post "Subjugating Jugal": Posted by Sunil to Savitri Era at 11:37 AM, August 20, 2011
Yes Subhas we see Heehs is your Guru. And it bothers you much when his damaging approach and lower vital twisted motives are questioned by people who are doing sadhana. But that is not your concern as we can see who your Guru is, and whose worship you are committed to. But this is Sri Aurobindo Ashram and it is not a name it is a living Power working on the whole earth and beyond, but what would you know about that when your Guru is we know who. Sunil 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Heehs in the streets

from Prof Kamal Das to bcc date 16 August 2011 08:29 subject  DEMAND FOR EXPULSION OF PETER HEEHS FROM INDIA: PUBLIC POSTERS IN PONDY ON 15th AUGUST, 2011. 5 attachments Download all attachments   View all images  

Monday, August 15, 2011

More people should join to condemn this

From Prof Kamal Das to,, date 15 August 2011 12:03 subject COLLECTIVE ANGUISH AND INDIGNATION
Dear Mr Aju Mukhopadhyay,
1. I thank you for your mails and assure that thousands of people across the world share your shock, anguish, indignation and frustration.
2. While Peter Heehs' criminal nexus with Manoj Das Gupta aimed at defaming and denigrating Sri Aurobindo can be traced back to the late 1980s in the immediate aftermath of Manoj Das Gupta's illegal and fraudulent elevation as a Trustee, things have come to a painful pass after the publication of TLOSA.
3. I attach herewith an Information Handbook which will serve as an initial primer for the whole controversy at hand. As you will see for yourself, all documents referred to and attached are genuine and mostly of origin from various Govt. Departments concerned and easily accessible in the public domain.
4. Kindly also visit for a detailed expose of factual distortions in the book compiled by senior scholars, historians and professors. I shall also forward to you right away additional relevant material for your perusal.
5. I would be delighted to provide further clarification/information should you deem it necessary.
Truly, Prof Kamal Das.

from    aju mukhopadhyay to        "Tusar N. Mohapatra" cc   "" date    14 August 2011 22:18 subject   Re: Ashram Trustees to Govt of India: "Sri Aurobindo was Psychotic and Mentally Unstable"
Dear Tusar M,
Not just posting, I  wanted to know from Prof Kamal Das as to why when it was known not taken up with all earnestness, why does he report so late to all for information, it is already very old. Does he have the document with him or can he refer to the site or mag or book where this piece has been recorded for references? I am sending him copy of this mail for his reply please. Certainly, if this is true, I can only add that it is beyond the writer's capacity or privilege to so charge a writer who is infinitely more powerful than him. Thanks
Aju Mukhopadhyay

from    aju mukhopadhyay to        "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date           14 August 2011 22:29 subject        Re: Ashram Trustees to Govt of India: "Sri Aurobindo was Psychotic and Mentally Unstable"
Oh so? How then someone addresses him and writes that he was in the board when all this happened? However, I feel that more people should join to condemn this and should take actions too. Best
Aju Mukhopadhyay

from    aju mukhopadhyay to        "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date           15 August 2011 12:02 subject        Re: Ashram Trustees to Govt of India: "Sri Aurobindo was Psychotic and Mentally Unstable"
Thank you- interesting but really these are very serious as  there must be a motive as from an enemy- a dogged effort to prove that Sri Aurobindo's works and Integral Yoga were pseudo things- as they do not understand they feel others too are like them. And to patronize or support such efforts too spring from similar motives. Though the spread of the master's yogic progress cannot be gauged easily among those left,  most of them gone and even among those remained, mostly new comers, holding the other things of the establishment; seems mostly lost in the barren field. But more and more it is proved that things and beings beyond matter peeps through the solid mass as the key to understand, penetrate them, the solid material world. Those who maintain themselves as materialists are proving themselves just children. But in the case cited it is surely not academic enquiry but motivated with some purpose. If you like you can add it in the blog.
Best, Aju Mukhopadhyay 

from    RENU MEHRA to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 15 August 2011 20:05 subject       Fwd: Ashram Trustees to Govt of India: "Sri Aurobindo .....
Respected Tusar Mohapatra ji,  Namaste !!!
Your  'detached' reviews of the latest Savitri Era: - blogspot 'news' seems ‘blasphemous’ and why publicise this news? This section of 'news seems like a case of  'sensationalism of Media ... .  any strong  reactions then i would like to quote from Maharshi Aurobindo's writings in Letters on Yoga' :--
"The Divinity acts according to another consciousness, the consciousness of the Truth above and the Lila below and Divinity acts  according to the needs of the Lila , not according to men's ideas of what it should do or should not do. This is the first thing one must grasp , otherwise one can understand nothing about the manifestation of the Divine."
In either cases, The Faith in the workings of the Divine Mother's divine knowledge. light, and peace be with yourself  ...?
with due regards, (from a  devotee) Renu Mehra.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Why not a movement to throw the enemies of Sri Aurobindo out?

From aju mukhopadhyay to "Tusar N. Mohapatra" cc "" date 13 August 2011 22:17 subject Re: Ashram Trustees to Govt of India: "Sri Aurobindo was Psychotic and Mentally Unstable"
Dear Tusar Mohapatra,
I have not seen your blog in this respect but have just read this by Prof Kamal Das. May I know a little about Prof Das - are all documents on the basis of which this has been written in his possession? If this is fact, all the people in the institution named after Sri Aurobindo are fed and do whatever, prosper materially, live comfortably at the cost of Sri Aurobindo mainly for devotees pay on trust, in his name and for devotion to the Mother. If the main pillar of the Ashram was a lunatic why anything like ashram in his name with his ideals exist? When they believe him to be so why and on what right will they possess and spoil his life long works? Why not others possess them, why not the entire works be preserved as national property? Why a few who have usurped the institution on  which they thrive will still have control over it? as it seems that they are the most harmful enemies to such properties? 
These are questions which come to a sane man's mind who find Sri Aurobindo's works as sane, 100% rational, poetry and prose of super value without an iota of insanity or anything else. Will prof Das and you answer- if true really why not a movement would begin to throw the enemies of Sri Aurobindo out of an institution in his name, running for his works to spread and teach people? These are at this point questions put before you for you have brought this to our notice- written and posted by you. 
Sincerely, Aju Mukhopadhyay 

from    Prithwindra Mukherjee to     "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date           14 August 2011 12:01
subject            RE: Ashram Trustees to Govt of India: "Sri Aurobindo was Psychotic and Mentally Unstable"
Bhâi Tusar, This bit of further news is sickening.
Is there no possibility of interning this perverted Don Quixote with his Sancho busy fighting dexterously with the shadows of their own detracted mind? Can nobody get hold of them, seat on a donkey and carry them to the coarsest of public pales?
Anxious to know the immediate steps taken by the inmates. Best wishes. Prithwindra Mukherjee

from    Jitendra Sharma to         "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date           13 August 2011 23:00 subject       Who is this Professor Kamal Das?
Who is this Professor Kamal Das? He should come out of the mysterious shadows and introduce himself properly with his real address and phone number, as I do. Until then, please ignore him and do not publish any posts from him.                                                    - Dr. Jitendra Sharma

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The shame of 1997": 
Strange that this is appearing now, when for quite a few years the true Professor Kamal Das was himself part of the S.A.A.Research Board. And almost always got away with his hocus-pocus magic sessions. Why is he waking up now? Why did he not protest then? Would be interesting to know how far he has proceeded with his research on artificial intelligence? He was allowed, in good faith, to interact with every visiting dignitary and on every occasion he spoke about some weird and vague research into artificial intelligence. Strange why no one has ever thought of expelling him from the Ashram - esp after his BMW phase of existence and the media house fiasco! Posted by Anonymous to Savitri Era Open Forum at 9:52 PM, August 13, 2011 [In view of the fact that multiple anonymous comments in a thread make confusing reading and it becomes difficult to track who is telling what and to whom, only comments bearing some name/pseudonym/identity will appear in future. TNM 011110 SEOF]

[The Psychohistory review: Volume 26 - A subeditor on the newspaper Aurobindo edited once noted in his diary: "Babu Aurobindo Ghose is an extremely strange man. And I suspect a tinge of lunacy is not absent from him. His mother is a lunatic. And it is not at all strange....]

The shame of 1997

from    Prof Kamal Das to      bcc date    12 August 2011 22:29 subject   Ashram Trustees to Govt of India: "Sri Aurobindo was Psychotic and Mentally Unstable"

Ashram Trustees to Govt of India“Sri Aurobindo was ‘Psychotic and Mentally Unstable’”

In a shocking revelation, it has now come to light that the Trustees of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram led by Manoj Das Gupta have submitted to the Government of India, that original research carried out at the Ashram’s Archives proves that Sri Aurobindo was “psychotic and mentally unstable with a pronounced affliction of lunacy”.

In the Ashram’s Annual Report of Research Activities submitted to the Government and dated 1997-1998, on p.26 the Trustees have cited as “original historical research” an article of some 30 pages by Peter Heehs titled “Genius, Mysticism, and Madness”. This article, written by Peer Heehs as part of his work at the Ashram Archives, was also published in the Psychohistory Review in 1997. Evidently, it matters little to the Trustees that the Ashram Archives was not created for the purpose of denigrating Sri Aurobindo but for preservation of his manuscripts. Nor does it matter to the Trustees that Peter Heehs, being a school dropout, has absolutely no formal training, degree or experience in any field whatsoever, leave alone complex subjects such as psychology and psychohistory.

In this article Heehs attempts to “prove beyond reasonable doubt” that Sri Aurobindo’s genius and spiritual achievements and realisations were the unreliable consequence of mental instability coupled with psychotic and lunatic affliction. Extracts and Excerpts from “Genius, Mysticism, and Madness” by Peter Heehs […]

Thus by deliberate decontextualisation and distortion, Sri Aurobindo’s sublime spiritual experiences have been equated to the ravings of a madman, and presented to the Government of India as original research of the Ashram! 
The Canary Sings
The blame-game and the end-game always go hand in hand and play out in tandem. Peter Heehs, right from his early days of unemployment and taxi driving in New York up to his criminal collaboration and nexus with Manoj Das Gupta, has always been a survivor. 
With the end-game very much underway and criminal charges and imprisonment and deportation staring him in the face, Peter Heehs has begun singing to the authorities in the hope of absolving himself by blaming his powerful benefactors. 
On page 7 point 5 of his affidavit filed in self-defence in the Court of Orissa, Peter Heehs has clarified that he is not the Founder of the Ashram Archives, and has blamed the publisher of the book stating that the false claim was made by Columbia University Press“who made here an inaccurate statement”, and therefore it is they who must pay for the crime instead of him. 
Continuing in the same vein, and in the same affidavit filed in Court, on page 67, he cites this very article titled “Genius, Mysticism, and Madness” as evidence that the Ashram Trustees have supported him, guided him and even endorsed his findings relating to Sri Aurobindo’s insanity by having this article submitted to the Government of India as original research carried out by him at the Ashram as part of his official work at the Archives. The idea is not to sink alone. The idea is to blame Manoj Das Gupta and Columbia University Press for all his crimes and try to get away in the process. However, that will not happen as neither MDG nor CUP will sacrifice themselves to save Heehs. 
Questions to Manoj Das Gupta
·         Do the donations to the Ashram made by thousands of sincere devotees have to be spent on this type of work aimed at defaming and maligning Sri Aurobindo?
·         Why does the Ashram Archives have to constantly explore the subject of lunacy and mental instability with regard to Sri Aurobindo? Are there no other worthwhile subjects available for research? And why spend so much time and energy in perverse research when many of the major writings of Sri Aurobindo are still lying unpublished and the new Collected Works is a full twelve years behind its schedule of publication?
·         How can tax concessions and benefits granted by the Government of India to an institution in Sri Aurobindo’s name be abused in this blatant and shameless manner to denigrate Sri Aurobindo and belittle the intellectual and spiritual achievements of the Mahayogi?
·         How much longer will you continue to defy the inmates of the Ashram and continue to promote and support the insult and denigration of Sri Aurobindo in complete defiance of law and the minimum required loyalty to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother?  
Truly, Prof Kamal Das

[The Psychohistory review: Volume 26 - A subeditor on the newspaper Aurobindo edited once noted in his diary: "Babu Aurobindo Ghose is an extremely strange man. And I suspect a tinge of lunacy is not absent from him. His mother is a lunatic. And it is not at all strange....]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I have dearly paid as a victim of conflicts and clay-hurling

From Prithwindra Mukherjee to      "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date           11 August 2011 15:08 subject RE: Have Auroville's Failures made it a Danger to India and the World?
Bhâi Tusar,
Many thanks for Robert's article.
In the midst of sophisticated discussions that are cropping up, here is someone who is not afraid of thinking with his heart.
Having been intimately connected with the French team of Auroville promoters in the 60s and attentive to the frustration of volunteers from the "other" teams, I have dearly paid as a victim of intestine conflicts and clay-hurling, before stopping to consider myself as an indispensable missionary  of the New Consciousness.
Maintaining my faith firm, I have a conviction that  in spite of all his gentleman-like compassion, Sri Aurobindo is a personified vajra (thunderbolt) of the Spirit : knowingly or unknowingly whosoever chooses to rub up the wrong way is sure to learn the Natural Law of perishing thunder-struck. A consummate connoisseur of the Occult, the Mother was far from ignorant of the incompatible forces that she maintained in equilibrium; she has not lost control of them and will triumph over their momentarily centrifugal lust to rule.
Let go. Let God.
Prithwindra Mukherjee 

from    Robert E. Wilkinson to       "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date           11 August 2011 01:51 subject        Have Auroville's Failures made it a Danger to India and the World?
Namaste Tusar,
This essay is being sent out to past and present members of the Auroville Advisory Council as well as educators, writers, and students throughout the world who have distinguished themselves as supporters of the incomparable work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. For many of you this will be a painful confrontation and for others, a breath of fresh air. What will be made clear is that THE TIME HAS COME for an end to the stultifying dogma that has reduced the most important spiritual work of the age to an arrogant, fundamentalist, and elitist cult. Because of the dogged refusal of the Auroville elites to engage in sincere and honest discussion of issues essential to the revelation of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s knowledge and mission, the conversation is being widened to include members of the larger human community who have been harmed by their failures and who are within their rights, as we are, to demand an open and transparent accounting. 
In the Service of Truth, Robert E. Wilkinson