The Lives of Sri Aurobindo (Peter Heehs) page by M.Alan Kazlev
11 August 2009, last modified 18 February, 2010
(update - I now am totally and unreservedly in the Heehs camp, see below for why. If you are a religious devotee and want to slander me because of that, go ahead)
To be fair on Heeh's critics, I can appreciate and respect that they are devotees who have a religious worship of Sri Aurobindo, and would therefore be offended by a non-hagiographic biography, especially by an ashramite who they had always considered one of their own. And certainly there is great value in passion and of faith which is lost in secularism. Also I can understand the ashramites (as Hindus) see it as another attack by a Westerner on their culture and sacred traditions, a culture i myself resonate very powerfully to (because of past life samskaras/vasanas no doubt!). But that doesn't excuse the lies and hysteria that they have spread about Heeh's book; I know their claims are lies because i read (most of) the book, and apart from one or two correct things almost everything they claim is in the book isn't.
The only thing I myself would say that is really critical of the book is that Heehs does not clearly specify that Sri Aurobindo attained the Supramental state early on; just the opposite, he seems to imply that Sri Aurobindo never really attained it, even after thirty years. The reason for this error is easy to see. Heehs is an academic, not a gnostic, and therefore he is not in a position to understand the higher aspects of Sri Aurobindo's life and teachings. In this respect at least his critics are right.]
Jitendra Sharma - Max Theon's wife Alma Théon
1843 – 1908 Link: http://www.kheper.net/topics/Theon/Alma.html 25 Mar
1843 – 1908 Link: http://www.kheper.net/topics/Theon/Alma.html 25 Mar
Hugh Higgins - Thank you for these links. That seems to have been a strange episode in the Mother's life. But occultists are a weird lot -- you can never figure them out. To the world they are either eccentric or crazy. To their disciples they are entrees to new understanding or new powers. The irruption of the Divine in human lives does not follow man-made rules! 29 Mar
Hugh Higgins - That said, I must say that, having perused the site, there is a lot of b...s... surrounding Max Theon! There is no evidence whatever that he ever met Madame Blavatsky. It is much more likely that he learned from her (her writings) than the other way around, since most occultists of the era learned from her and then claimed her teachings as their own. She was a super-genius beyond all of them. His claiming to have known and taught her seems to me the stock-in-trade of the charlatan. That does not mean he was only a charlatan; obviously to impress his educated followers he must have known a lot. 29 Mar
Jitendra Sharma - @Hugh But still, the powers that Max Theon and his wife possessed seem so amazing! 29 Mar
Hugh Higgins - I remember the Mother talking about some of those powers, but the context was confusing to me so I was not thoroughly impressed. I guess "you had to be there." Which is one reason "scientists" have a hard time detecting the paranormal---it happens when it chooses to happen and you can't lock it up in a laboratory. "You had to be there." 29 Mar
Hugh Higgins - I would say that if anyone here has denied the truth of another person's scripture, it is david ihnen. I agree the scriptural quotation from Creative was too long. His report of his personal spiritual experience however is legitimate, although not exactly on the subject of reincarnation. There are Christian groups who accept reincarnation. Charles Fillmore, the founder of the Unity movement in the
(in 1889) taught reincarnation although his chief guru was Jesus. Max Heindel who founded the Rosicrucian Fellowship, categorized as esoteric Christians, taught reincarnation along with many other Hindu tenets. So did Rudolf Steiner who called his system of Christian Theosophy Anthroposophy. There is room for reincarnation in advanced Christian thinking. I am sorry that the so-called "fundamentalists" do not understand this. 5 Mar U.S.
Hugh Higgins - I did not put words in anyone's mouth. I am a Christian because Jesus is my chief guru. Shortly after I accepted Him and he saved me in the classical Christian sense, He led me to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. These two are both Avatars. They are brothers, not enemies! Jesus is the brother of
Krishna and Rama. Theosophists teach that, so do the teachings of Alice Bailey who was an esoteric Christian, so does Rudolf Steiner who was an esoteric Christian, and so does Charles Fillmore who was an esoteric Christian. If you are not, that is your business and I am not trying to convert you to a more advanced perception of the Christian scriptures, that is up to you. I study the Gospels every day without fail and KNOW what Jesus taught. I believe Charles Fillmore understood it very well and he accepted reincarnation. I just wanted to make it clear that not all Christians are opposed to reincarnation---and yes we are real Christians because we accept Jesus and His teachings. That does not mean we reject all other teachings. We find what is common in them.
Hugh Higgins - I have no trouble with any of the quotations from Jesus. Jesus said many things and he said different things at different times which seem to contradict each other. I am doing the will of the Father to the best of my ability, and that is all I am asked to do. "We played the flute for you and you did not dance" could be Krishna playing the flute for Christians, but they refuse to dance, although if you read the Bhagavad Gita all the way through you will find so many passages where Krishna said the same things Jesus did---especially in relation to the First Commandment, "Love God with all your heart and soul and mind." I do not find the attitude of trying to convict other Christians of being false Christians at all helpful, and Allen, I thought it was self-evident why I quoted that passage. The disciples said "These people are NOT WITH US and so we told them to stop invoking the name of Jesus to cure people." That to me sounds sadly like "Creative" who like too many "fundamentalists" so-called thinks that if a Christian does not belong to his particular group and believe its interpretation of Scripture, he is lost and going to Hell. That attitude is the bane of contemporary Christianity, I am afraid. It drives people away from Jesus instead of pulling them toward Him.5 Mar
Hugh Higgins - Creative, there is no way to talk with you because you are ignorant. You do not know the Bhagavad Gita.
Krishna is not an idol! It is rank and utter blasphemy to call Him such. It is something like saying that Jesus is an idol because in some churches there are statues or pictures of Him. I am sorry, but until you educate yourself in Hinduism you have not a foot to stand on in comparing it with Christianity. I doubt you could read Sri Aurobindo, he is too difficult, but you could read biographies of Ramakrishna and that might help. Also the Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda would help you. It is a bridge between Hinduism and Christianity, and a very good one. If you do not inform yourself in that way I cannot discuss these things with you. And telling me that I am not a Christian when I know I was saved by Jesus is just plain ugly, inconsiderate and wrong from any ethical viewpoint. "He who is not against you is on your side" as Jesus himself said. Please take that to heart.05:56
Hugh Higgins - I am not lying about anything. I found out for myself at an early age that both
Krishna and Jesus are Avatars. This is what many spiritually evolved people think. This is what Theosophists and Anthroposophists think. The Christian or, as you would put it, semi-Christian groups I mentioned believe this. God manifesting in a Jewish and Roman world 2100 years ago needed to manifest in a different way than He did in the of a somewhat earlier period. His teachings are almost the same, for those who can see, although of course a Jewish Avatar making the path open for a new religion in the West would not teach vegetarianism and reincarnation directly because it just did not fit with the culture of the time. He had to do what he could. God is infinite and can manifest in infinite ways. I love Jesus and I study a chapter of the Gospels every day. I love Rama and India Krishna and used to read a chapter of the Bhagavad Gita every day. Now I study Sri Aurobindo every day. I did not say you are stupid. When I said "ignorant" I meant ignorant of Hinduism and that is not a slander. I am ignorant of Icelandic and of many other languages and cultures. I am not ignorant of HInduism. I think your Christian experience and life would be enriched by studying Hinduism, especially the Vaishnava version of it, and especially Sri Aurobindo if and when you are ready for him. As mentioned, Yogananda's Autiobiography is a superb introduction for Western Christians. I long for the day when American Christians will understand Jesus as the Brother of the Hindu Avatars. They are cooperating, not fighting, and their followers ought not to fight. I am sorry if I sound arrogant but I feel that your arrogance evoked mine. I would prefer to cool it and have a more relaxed conversation. Perhaps in another lifetime!
Hugh Higgins - I am sorry that this discussion intended to be on rebirth or reincarnation degenerated into a heated argument because of Creative's dogmatism and his refusal to even try to understand any viewpoint other than his own. I would have dropped the whole thing long ago except that his last statement about me is another lie. He says I worship idols. A lie, a lie, a lie. I worship the One God who goes by various names; I worship the god Vishnu whom I believe to be identical with the Jehovah of the Jews, although He taught different forms of religion and sadhana to different cultures. He is also the same One God who manifested and manifests through Sri Aurobindo as the Avatar. He is the same One God who manifested through Jesus as the Savior, although Jesus in his divine humility said "The Father is greater than I" (an exact quote from the Gospel of John) and also said, when someone called him Good Master, "Why do you call me good? There is only one good, and that is God." These are exact quotations from the Christian scriptures. But since "Creative" thinks that I worship idols, which is a lie, there is just no way to communicate with him. He has cut himself out of the discussion, as far as I am concerned, by repeatedly slandering me with no basis for the slander. Therefore I am finished trying to talk with him. 6 Mar