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François Gautier: 27 Feb 2009 Express Buzz - Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India - It created a furore even before it was released in India, as extracts were circulated on the Net. This led to a lot of unpleasantness for Heehs.
Someone slapped a case against him in Orissa, stopping the book from being published in India. He was asked to leave the archives of the Sri Aurobindo ashram, where he worked for two decades; and it is rumoured that he was even assaulted by a student of the Sri Aurobindo school. [...] It is thus true that Heehs is harsh in some of his assessments — but not where he has been pilloried by disciples of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
Like most Western Indologists, for instance, he has a deep suspicion of Hinduism. He therefore glosses over the famous Uttarpara speech, where Sri Aurobindo clearly defines what he calls the Sanatana Dharma, as the spirituality which is contained in the Hindu religion: “That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the universal religion which embraces all others”.
But Peter only mentions that “left wing critics use the Uttarpara speech as a proof that Sri Aurobindo’s nationalism was Hindu to the core; and right-wing enthusiasts regard the speech as an expression of the imperishable Indian spirit” (p.187). Heehs also passes some judgments on Sri Aurobindo, which are at best puerile: he calls him “intransigent”, which tended “to limit his effectiveness” (p.202); he also finds “his poetry and prose outdated” (p.414). But Savitri, Sri Aurobindo’s Magnum Opus, will be read hundreds of years from now, and compared to the Iliad and the Odyssey, with the prophetic and supramental element added.
This stated, I have to say that reading this book has been one of the most uplifting literary experiences: it has refreshed and upgraded my relationship with Sri Aurobindo. I have understood better the extraordinary mystery of avartarhood and the terrible sacrifice made by all great gurus of all religions.
The rhythms of that book accompanied me in my sleep, primed my mornings and touched my heart to the deepest. Thank you, Peter Heehs.
I hope some sensible judge will quickly lift the ban and that all your detractors will have the courage to read this remarkable biography and change their opinions.
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Friday, 27 Feb Dance Integration of the Five Elements ::: Quiet Healing Center ::: Fri ::: 11:00 AM
Prana Yoga with Marlena ::: Verite Hall ::: Fri ::: 6:45 AM
JOURS#3rd : Photo-Graphic Exhibition ::: Pitanga ::: Fri ::: 8:00 AM
Gyrokinesis Classes with Kai Esko ::: Quiet Healing Center ::: Fri ::: 8:45 AM
Presentation/exhibition of ongoing work on Master Plan ::: TOWN HALL - SECOND FLOOR ::: Fri ::: 9:00 AM
Presentation on Matrimandir Gardens ::: Matrimandir Office upstairs ::: Fri ::: 11:00 AM
Fri Feb 27 (Continued) Polarity Therapy and Wellness Education Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India (map)
9am Svaram Music Fair Svaram compound (map)
10am Sustainable Planning Forum Townhall Conference Room (map)
The Hindu : Engagements : Coimbatore today Sri Aurobindo Devotees Prayer Group: “Writing of Savithri Episode and Life Divine,” Sri Annai Meditation Centre, West Power House, Tatabad, 10 a.m.