Monday, May 31, 2010

She cooked people from the inside

We are not against the book simply because it challenges our beliefs, as if we need the testimony of a non-entity like Mr Heehs to have faith or understand things. Our main objection is that first of all it is Untruth (falsehood as it is called) and any sensible right thinking man must have enough courage to stand by Truth. What makes it worse is that not only it is falsehood but a conscious one, for it comes through the pen of someone who has spent decades at the Ashram and cannot claim ignorance of all that has been said by Sri Aurobindo. This book besides is a retrogressive step as it tries to re-establish the old materialistic paradigm that men all over the world are fast discarding. It is necessary to challenge it and set the record straight.
Dr Raghu needs to know that not only old sadhakas but also new ones, including scientists and experts in their own field, trust Sri Aurobindo's vision and have ample evidence to testify it. It is not some cult or blind irrational belief, but the call of Truth that motivates us. Dr. Alok Pandey 30 May 2010
Notwithstanding the words of M.P. Pandit, I am agnostic on this Amma. This hugging business seems disingenuous ["ugh, don't touch me"]. The Mother [the real one] did not have to hug anybody, did she?  She cooked people from the inside.


  1. A course in critcial thinking is imperative for Alok Pandey & Co. They think that an argument can be refuted merely by asserting the contrary conclusion, making claims unsupported by good evidence, and launching ad hominem or personal attacks on the advocate of an argument.

    I presented an argument whose premises were all factual, e.g., Aurobindo's claim to Dr. Sanyal that he had "cured" his prostatic complaint by "yogic force", the recurrence of the complaint, the use of a catheter to alleviate physical suffering, severe respiratory problems, and finally, DEATH, which he was subject to like ANY OTHER LIVING ORGANISM ON THIS PLANET!

    Alok Pandey & Co. fail to provide any refutation of these premises whose logical conclusion is that Aurobindo and his disciples were deluded that he had cured his prostatic and other health issues by his yogic force. (What about his partial blindness which Amal Kiran also confirmed? How did it persist despite his so-called "mighty force"???) Given these facts, and by the definition of "delusion" which Alok Pandey also accepts, it inexorably follows that those believed and continue to believe that Aurobindo had "yogic powers" by means of which he cured his own health problems are ASSUREDLY DELUDED!
    Yeah, yeah, you and your "yogis and mystics" and their aleged "powers"! They all died like any other mortal on this planet, e.g., Ramakrishna and Ramana died of cancer. The Dalai Lama runs to America to get top class medical treatment while his deluded followers imagine that he has the powers of a "Milarepa" and can cure their health problems!
    If you use common-sense and simple empirical evidence (no need for any high-fallutin scientific methodology!), you will understand that none of this is surprising. What else could possibly happen to living organisms on this planet? To deny the testimony of your common-sense and empirical evidence which shows that these yogis and mystics undergo the same fate as other mortals on this planet is surely to succumb to delusions!
    Don't just claim that medical scientists are relying on "yogic force" and that they are calling it something else! Give us a few documented examples and tell us what exactly is it that they are relying on. If you are talking about the emphasis on a "positive attitude" and such in the face of an illness, that has nothing to do with "yogic force" in the sense in which Aurobindo defined it.

    If you really want to understand the irrationality of your beliefs, take a look at the Christian Scientists in America. They put their Indian counterparts in Aurobindo Ashram to shame with their consistency and fanatical dedication to their belief that an illness can be cured by faith in God's power ot heal it and that the reliance on medicines shows a lack of such faith. Read about the tragedy of children who died because of this sort of "Christian Scientist" faith of their parents.

    It won't do to play silly here and claim that "Yogic force" alone is not sufficent and that it works best with medicines. Yeah right! How then can we determine that "yogic force" palyed any role at all in an instance in which it is alleged to have worked? The only way to test the claim that "yogic force" (whatever the heck it is!)has any curative power is to rely solely on it and see what the outcome is. As an interesting and instructive example, we have the Aurobindo's reliance on it when the symptoms of his prostatic enlargement first appeared. We know what happened afterwards!

    In closing, I will reiterate that Peter Heehs has written a very interesting book (buy it now!), although to appreciate it requires a degree of intellectual training and culture quite beyond those attacking it for all sorts of inane reasons.

  2. How is it at all rational to base one's conclusion on just one supposed "fact", and that too one's own interpretation of a single event in a vast and complex existence? If this man chooses to cling to his beliefs in the non-existence of Yogic force then so be it. Once cannot help so-called critical thinkers and self-promoting doctors from being fanatical about their narrow and limited view of the world. But to remotely argue online with folks who are experiencing things like Yogic force first hand is like a color blind bigot denying that anything like color can be experienced by others simply because he himself has no way of experiencing it or understanding it. It is amazing that this "doctor" who does not know the very basics of thinking is recommending critical thinking courses to others. Let him first make an honest attempt to understand before judging. That is the very basic principle of good thinking that this fellow is violating. But that requires a thorough research of all available facts, interpreting them rightly and then judging. However, instead of putting in the time and the effort required the "doctor" chooses to dismiss with cavalier disdain something that many others have experienced and continue to experience. This is really the depth of slothful non-thinking.

  3. It's not one "supposed fact". It is the well-documented fact of many infirmities which, naturally, set in with Aurobindo's old age.
    But if you claim that all crows are invariably black, does the fact of the discovery of three white crows at least challenge your statement? One would hope that you would agree to this commonplace point of logic, but perhaps it is a vain hope!