[Fifth Letter of the Bengaluru Study Circle to the Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram from Critique of The Lives
It is not just any academician, scholar, historian or litterateur, however eminent, who can be trusted to judge a biography of a Yogi because the intellect needs to be tempered for the purpose by certain inner sensibilities. In other words scholarship must be accompanied by humility and genuine reverence for things spiritual. Both in the Ashram and outside we have such people who combine in themselves scholarship, devotion and even sadhana. Many of them have already made known their specific objections to the Book in question. They cannot be just wished away because they do know more than anyone what they are talking when it comes to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
And yet the Trustees have chosen to ignore them and instead given misplaced importance to the views of an intellectual class who are either ignorant or altogether refractory. This is a gross error on their part that needs to be undone immediately through serious dialogue…
There has to be only one guiding principle for all of us in this important matter and it is axiomatic: The Ashram is by the Devotees, of the Devotees and for the Devotees… Every sadhak is precious because he represents the soul of the Ashram in his own individual way. A dialogue started on a note of trust and good will would be a noble gesture from your side, a gesture not so much out of magnanimity as out of wisdom, a gesture out of our deep commitment to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
It must be kept in mind that as devotees and sadhaks within the Ashram or outside, all of us are answerable first and foremost to ourselves, our conscience, our loyalty and Bhakthi towards our Guru rather than to any human being however exalted and eminent he might be, inside the country or outside… Thanking You, Sincerely yours, for SRI AUROBINDO STUDY CIRCLE Vaishali Ganapati Bhandari 30 October 2012 The above letter has been signed by forty more members of the
Bengaluru Study Circle.]