A few days back, I read in Auroramirabilis, a blog published by Tusar N Mohapatra, some quotations from some authors like Makarand Paranjape, Peter Heeh, and Mukul Kesavan. As I was traveling in various parts of West Bengal, I could not immediately find time and scope to write down the reply thereof. But I felt that I should reply at once. I had to wait till my return to Bhubaneswar.
As stated by Tusar N Mohapatra, irreverence to great men is seen as a short route to glory. He is justified. But I find that the situation attracts another truth, which is inherent in the story of the elephant and the dogs.
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were and are great human beings. No doubt. But they are the most unique and the most incomparable ones among the hundreds and thousands of great men and women. They are the tallest monuments. They are indeed much more than great human beings. They seem to me to be like the sky. If one spits at the Sky, it is well known what happens.
The Past and the Present of the humankind may fail to recognize Them, may only accept Them as great people, great saints and remain pleased and satisfied, but to the Seer, to the Visionary, They are the Leaders of the next future.
Let us begin with Paranjape. He has written: “In time, a whole set of beliefs and rituals began to be built up around Sri Aurobindo and more so, around The Mother.” This is sheer ignorance! There were no rituals around Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Never. The Mother has rather broken all rituals. There was / is no puja, no worship, no ritual, no self-deceit. And regarding beliefs, it can be said that people from all over the world gathered around Them, not due to any set of beliefs, but they were attracted towards Them due to Their Presence and Their Personality, due to the Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the spiritual experimentations done by both of Them. And among the people around Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, we find Nalini Kanta Gupta, K D Sethna, Dr. Nirodbaran, Indra Sen, Haridas Chowdhury, TV Kapali Shastry, M P Pandit, K M Mushi, R R Diwakar, A B Purani, K R Srinivasa Iyenger, Huta, Navajata, Udar, Karan Singh, Dr. Malcolm Adiseshia and many others. And among the people from outside India, we find Satprem, Datta, Judith Tyberg, Morwenna Donnelly, Roger Anger, Sir Robert Bristow, Frederic Spielberg and many others. I have no time and no space to introduce each of them to Paranjape. Each of them was personalities of worth, with sufficient philosophical and intellectual depth. To know each of them, Paranjape should have read them. He would have then known they were not the people who would have been swayed by wrong beliefs and meaningless rituals. How and why they were convinced of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother can be known by a person, if he or she is sincere enough in his or her quest. Millions of people are there on earth today who understand and know the contents in Their Teaching and are inspired by the same.
I am quoting Professor Jean Herbert, previously of the University of Geneva, who has written:
“Even those most allergic to anything that smells of mysticism … must acknowledge Sri Aurobindo as one of the greatest men, not only of our age, but of all ages. His all-embracing, crystal clear and profound philosophy is assuredly a contribution to human thought, vision and progress which ranks that of Plato, Kant, Bergson or Goethe … the findings of Sri Aurobindo which we have no means of verifying at our level of experience actually supply all the consistency which strikes us in the explanation given by Sri Aurobindo for facts which we do know, an all-embracing consistency, the equivalent of which does not seem to have attain even by any other known thinker…
“Now thousands who had Sri Aurobindo’s darsan could not help believing that they were face to face with a great saint and sage…His look very clearly had in it something superhuman, which might be said to put it as far above the human look as the latter is above the look of a dog or a cat…” [Pioneer of the Supramental Age]
Also I wish to quote Prof Frederic Spigelberg, previously of the Stanford University, California, USA :
“…I have never known a philosopher so embracing in his metaphysical structure as Sri Aurobindo, none before him had the same vision…
“I can foresee the day when the teachings which are already making headway of the greatest spiritual voice in India, Sri Aurobindo, will be known all over America and be a vast power of illumination…”
I may go on quoting, but to make the presentation short and limited and to the point, I must say that following Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is not any blind faith or belief, as Paranjape has imagined because of his ignorance and lack of depth in the matter.
Paranjape has further said : “The death of each of them caused dismay and disappointment among large sections of the faithful.” Sorry, again ignorance and unintelligent imagination and belief on the part of Paranjape. There was never any dismay or disappointment, though there was sadness and sorrow and grief, which is but natural. Had there been any dismay and disappointment, now the following Sri Aurobindo and The Mother would have come to insignificance, which is not the case. Still, the following is growing larger and larger.
In this connection let me quote Dara [Aga Syed Ibrahim], a disciple :
I found myself in Sri Aurobindo’s own room by the side of his cot. He seemed so peaceful and happy, and the flesh shone with a new luster which I had failed to seat the darsan time on 24th November. Why could I not see it before?... I could not take my eyes off his face and arms. It seemed to me he was alive. It was certain that he was in a condition of deep and upward soaring trance just then." [My Last Darshan of Sri Aurobindo]
Sri Aurobindo’s life was an experiment. What he taught was not a matter of ‘belief ‘ about which Paranjape is speaking, a sort of belief which is built up of distrust and disbelief, which is fragile and which is of no value, as it is likely to be broken at the slightest excuse. The children of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother throughout the world do not have such belief, furthermore because Their Teaching is based on a Science, a Science of Existence, a Philosophy about which the greatest scholars, thinkers and even scientists of worldwide fame have spoken. He has been accepted as the greatest of Philosophers and Teachers, by many great men, not by a bunch of believers whose belief is no belief, as imagined and spoken of by Paranjape. Paranjape has referred to the Ashram community. Sri Aurobindo and The Mother are not and never limited to the Ashram. They are followed by millions throughout the world. And does Paranjape know about the ashramites? About the Ashram? It is not an Ashram of the inactive recluses. It is one of the most visited Ashram in the world. On the 6th December 1950, more than 60000 persons visited Sri Aurobindo. Is it possible that 60000 people were befooled on the Day, when the Master passed away?
The passing away of the Master and of the Mother cannot be understood by the persons who live in a surface depthless mentality and believe in fragile beliefs. And to explain these phenomena, I do not have the space here, I may repeat again. But later on soon, I will write about Their departure surely, at least for casting away the darkness brought about by the disrespect and calumny and blasphemy by someone who has no knowledge of Them or Their Teaching.
Paranjape again says: “Besides, a whole theology began to be developed, especially because of the extensive records of what Sri Aurobindo and The Mother had said…This theology not only asserts the Avatarhood or Divine Incarnation of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, but builds around them a special cult of worship and devotion…”
There is no theology about Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. There is a clear-cut philosophy, about which Herbert said : “the findings of Sri Aurobindo which we have no means of verifying at our level of experience actually supply all the consistency which strikes us in the explanation given by Sri Aurobindo for facts which we do know, an all-embracing consistency, the equivalent of which does not seem to have attain even by any other known thinker…” I am repeating this quotation, only to emphasize the point. Herbert states that Sri Aurobindo was / is the most consistent thinker.
I am repeating Spigelberg, who has said :
“I have never known a philosopher so embracing in his metaphysical structure as Sri Aurobindo, none before him had the same vision.”
And there is no cult of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, no religion. According to the Mother, the Integral Yogi who seeks supramental transformation has no religion, no cult. Let us see what the Mother said in this matter.
I am placing below what the Mother [Mira Alfassa] wrote on the subject :
Auroville and the Religions
We want the Truth.
For most men, it is what they want that they label as truth.
The Aurovillians must want the Truth whatever it may be.
Auroville is for those who want to live a life essentially divine but who renounce all religions whether they be ancient, modern, new or future.
It is only in experience that there can be knowledge of the Truth.
No one ought to speak of the Divine unless he has had experience of the Divine.
Get experience of the Divine, then alone will you have the right to speak of it.
The objective study of religions will be a part of the historical study of the development of human consciousness.
Religions make up part of the history of mankind and it is in this guise that they will be studied at Auroville - not as beliefs to which one ought or ought not to adhere, but as part of a process in the development of human consciousness which should lead man towards his superior realization.
Research through experience of the
A life divine
Our research will not be a search effected by mystic means. It is in life itself that we wish to find the Divine. And it is through this discovery that life can really be transformed. 2 May 1970
So where do you find the theology and cult and fragile baseless so-called belief of which Paranjape has the nightmare?
Again Paranjape says:
“It needs to be acknowledged that though both Sri Aurobindo and The Mother repeatedly warned against the creation of a cult around them, they themselves encouraged it in several ways. Sri Aurobindo himself deified The Mother and vice versa.”
What a blasphemy! Can Paranjape prove by quoting any sayings or writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother that they encouraged creation of a cult? Can he prove that They encouraged it? This is a challenge to him.
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother told the Truth about each other. They had to open other’s eyes. They told the Truth. Should they have spoken otherwise or suppressed Truth to please the people like Paranjape? Can Paranjape deify himself or any other person?
Falsehood cannot convince millions for decades after decades.