Reflections of an Evolutionary Activist: The Shadow of Fundamentalism in the Integral Yoga
by Savitra
Prefatory Note: Because of the subject matter, this article contains some graphic content and descriptions of violence that may offend some readers. Nevertheless, I hope you will bear me; for while I do not wish to indulge our primal vitalistic attraction for violence and conflict, the attempt to cover up or tidy up truth in the name of “harmony”, “unity” or “spiritual decorum” often does more violence, effectively perpetuating the pathology by passively collaborating with or appeasing abusers and their abuse. This, I believe, is the deeper meaning behind the activists’ reminder: “No Justice, no Peace”.  For no matter how well-insulated or well-placed we are, Evolution eventually storms our Bastilles, shattering unjust peaces to pieces, breaking through the formidable instinctive defense-mechanisms of personal/corporate denial, calling the bluff of our taboos and the bankrupt ideologies of emperors with no clothes.
I have continued to follow the extensive sustained outpouring of responses, comments and discussions surrounding the conflict which erupted like a chemical reaction to the catalyst of Peter Heehs’ Lives of Sri Aurobindo. For it has indeed revealed and exposed much hidden beneath the surface of our spiritual demeanor.

Unfortunately for us transitional humans, Transformation can be such a messy business. Messy because it forces us to see precisely what we don’t want to see in ourselves. Which are precisely the things that need to be transformed.  So despite our primitive genetic predisposition for self-deception and self-deceit, light eventually lasers through, mercilessly revealing even our most sacred and sacrosanct shadows, “outing” that strange cast of characters we harbor in ourselves — in our personal, collective and culture-conditioned selves.

Which in the case of our own dramatis personae would include the Ashram, Auroville and that motley collection of bed-fellows out here in the wider world who identify themselves with the evolutionary principles and practice of Sri Aurobindo & the Mother’s Integral Yoga. Evolution, after all, is an equal-opportunity employer and destroyer. 

In this humbling light, we are all under the same evolutionary magnifying lens, feeling the same heat as the once-mighty Madoffs and Wall Street barons, as the Nero-fiddlers and Global Warmers. Perhaps even more so. Because we claim to be evolutionaries, willingly participating in our own conscious evolution/transformation/mutation; while the rest of humanity, for the most part, is simply trying to prop up the present version of our species and patch up the world/reality as we’ve known it.

In this larger evolutionary framework and more “democratic” transformational context, I begin this subjective attempt at collective self-inquiry, predicated on the premise that real change begins at home. In this attempt, I will try to balance out/integrate two apparently-opposing truths: One, represented by President Obama’s forward-looking approach to reinvent America without getting bogged down in recriminations of past abuse and illegal behavior by the Bush Administration; the other, voiced by George Santayana, an early 20th Century American historian/philosopher, who said: “Those who forget their past are condemned to repeat it.” There is a difference, after all, between positively transforming our past so we can consciously heal and move on; and denying or forgetting our past so we can escape it, avoiding responsibility and accountability.
Our Shadow History
For those unfamiliar with an insider history of our emerging Integral Yoga Community, I believe our Shadow began to present itself long before Peter’s book and its dramatic catalytic effect. In fact, speaking from personal experience, our Shadow seemed to escape like a jinn from its bottle following the Mother’s passing on November 17, 1973. The early precedents and presenting symptoms, however, never received the real-time exposure which Peter’s book generated, because they happened in a pre-internet era operating with a far less developed communication technology in a rural area of India which 35 years ago was barely interconnected by landline phones. Hence, authentic information and unbiased reporting were far more localized, often outdated by the time word got out, and deprived of any means for threaded real-time dialogue. With information/communication access exponentially restricted then relative to today’s speed-of-light transmissions through global time-space, it was consequently far easier for the Shadow (if I may anthropomorphize this phenomenon) to suppress, distort or manipulate the story and the headlines.
This earlier largely glossed-over history has been, for obvious reasons, intentionally hushed up or unconsciously buried under the collective rug in the hopes that over the decades we would conveniently forget its painful content and painfully-embarrassing lessons. Sad to say, isn’t this cover-up reflex the classic modus operandi of the Shadow, hiding the pain rather than healing it in the sunlight? For as we are seeing once again through the extreme reaction to Peter’s book, the attempt to suppress, deny and “spiritually” bypass our history rather than transform it condemns us to repeat it again in a new incarnation.
It is in this spirit of clearing and healing our past, then, that I proceed with this inquiry; as well as from a sense of fairness to a history which has been conveniently edited out of our emerging collective biography in the same way that American history textbooks do not refer to inconvenient truths such as the genocide of the Native Americans as we conquered, colonized and capitalized the Wild West. To help reconstruct this Auro-history, I will rely on archival documentation from my published book Auroville: A Trust for the Earth (1980), extensive journal notes, 1981 Indian Supreme Court documents (many of which I drafted on behalf of lawyers representing the Community of Auroville), and other recorded material.
On Nov. 17, 1973, I recall being abruptly awakened in the early hours by voices in Aspiration Community where I was living in Auroville at the time. “The Mother left her body”, they were saying. It took me a moment for the weight of the words to sink in. Without thinking, I quickly threw on some clothes and bicycled to Pondy as a numbing mixture of shock and trauma mixed myth, reality and unreality. By the time I reached the Ashram gate, a large crowd had already gathered in that pre-dawn gloom filled with a tangible sense of disbelief. How was it possible? How could she have left us? After all, despite attempts by some of her secretaries, personal attendants and confidants to reassure us, explaining that She was of course still inseparably with us and that this was part of a greater destiny, we were still vulnerable human beings who felt that something irreplaceable was missing and that things would never be the same. And though we would eventually learn to live with our newly-orphaned reality, forced to dig deeper to discover our selves, we would soon realize what the absence of her physical presence meant and what it released. 
For with no Mother-figure present to keep her children in check and make sure that they played nicely together, all kinds of unexpected attitudes, actions and behaviors began to come out of the closets, unleashed from their restraints. And not just from any closets, but from some of those whom we looked to and trusted as elders in the Ashram and its affiliated Sri Aurobindo Society — that same SAS organization which the Mother had used as a legal umbrella for the protection and support of the Auroville Experiment, holding all land and property deeds, all assets, bank accounts & tax exemptions, as well as being the body which stood as the guarantor for Auroville residents requiring a visa for India. 
Aside from the emotional and psychological upheaval of her passing, our world order had, de facto and de jure, changed overnight. For this sudden profound personal loss also left a profound power vacuum. And we — the resident Aurovillians — would soon discover that the very freedom and integrity of Auroville as an evolutionary research experiment would be compromised by those meant to protect and steward it; that this Auroville meant to belong  to”humanity as a whole” (as the Mother indicated in the first line of the Auroville Charter) was now being usurped as a project solely belonging to the SAS. For indeed, no longer accountable to the Mother, the SAS now exclusively held all the legal papers conferring all proprietary power, rights of ownership and control over Auroville. And they didn’t hesitate to claim these rights, nor, as we would see, to enforce their claims by any means necessary.
1974 was an awkward transition and readjustment for those of us living in Auroville then. We were, for the most part, young, naive and gullible, wanting to believe that the SAS was on “our” side, wanting to believe that we could all work together in some fair decisionmaking/power-sharing arrangement with regard to community direction and developmental priorities. But regardless of how respectfully we requested a place for AV residential representation at the SAS table, we were ignored, rebuffed, strung along. Until reluctantly, we had to acknowledge that the SAS Chairman and his cronies, none of whom lived in Auroville, had no intention of inviting any of us Auro-slumdogs to their table. On the contrary, they were going to continue dictating from a comfortable distance, imposing their own arbitrary decisions for AV’s development, design, priorities and allocation of funds. For surely they knew best; they were, after all, the Mother’s chosen ones, and we were just fools getting in the way of The Plan. So rather than recognize our home-grown priorities — i.e., tree-planting (after all, we were living in a barren deforested plateau) — they would invest in office furniture or PR brochures or architectural models for the Future City. Keeping up the image, after all, was much more important to them, it seemed, than actually dealing with the reality.
Clearly, we were living in two different worlds, and the rift between them was widening as the tension was building. Those of us on the land were focussed on consciously meeting the challenges of the present; while this Pondy elite wanted to simply skip over such mundane concerns, dismissing the present and leaping directly to their glorious Galactic City of the Future.
Cutting to the chase, this arranged marriage with the SAS never had a chance. So by November 1975, a group of AV residents took matters into their own hands, registering a legal body called the Auroville Residents Association (ARA) in order to provide some legitimate legal status, platform and protection for residents who had effectively been reduced to indentured servants for the SAS’s “project”. Till that moment, the SAS could simply ignore the AV residents’ growing list of grievances and frustrations. But by legally registering a resident association for Auroville, we had crossed the line, daring to challenge their Authority in a language they understood.
The SAS response was swift and severe. Rather than speak with us to find a nobler more equitable way to resolve the impasse, they went immediately for the jugular, taking the matter to court and getting an immediate injunction. (Notice any parallels with the shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later approach of certain Ashram members and extended devotees to the Peter Heehs’ publication? Why bother talking first, seeking resolution through dialogue, when we can just go straight to court?)
Things rapidly escalated and deteriorated following the aggressive SAS reaction to the ARA. For immediately after the court injunction which prevented the ARA from actively functioning, the SAS began a concerted campaign to intimidate the community into submission. Some of the initial tactics included threats to withhold basic maintenance funds as well as to cancel visas and expel certain “foreign trouble-makers” from India. (Again, notice any parallels to today’s PH affair?) However, such threats not only served to further polarize and enflame the situation, but in effect back-fired, emboldening the defiance among AV residents, helping consolidate a more collective will for independence. 
With threats and court injunctions failing to achieve the desired results, the SAS was forced to either 1.) seek the honorable settlement it should have sought in the first place with AV residents; or 2.) ratchet up the pressure, shifting from threats to actions that surely would force us to recant, repent, submit. It chose the latter, instigating a series of harsh, violent and repressive measures throughout the latter 1970’s, upgrading from blackmail and bullying to a full-blown rein of terror. They hired local villagers to rip-off AV crops grown in AV fields by AV residents; withheld basic maintenance and project-funding specifically donated to Auroville from international supporters, friends and allies; hired village thugs to harass and beat up AV resident “troublemakers”; bribed local police to hassle or arrest “independent-minded” residents, in some cases even charging us as trespassers on SAS “property”. Were it not for the Machiavellian gravity of the situation and the mafia tactics employed, the absurdity would have been laughable.
The Faces of Fundamentalism behind the Spiritual Facade
Reading the assertions and generalities of the previous paragraph, you may question whether I am exaggerating the reality out of personal bias or for dramatic effect. To dispel such understandable concerns and reservations — after all, how could such shocking tales be true? — I offer a few brief descriptions of actual events:
– March, 1976, despite my acceptance into Auroville directly by the Mother, the SAS refused to continue guaranteeing my visa. Consequently, I was expelled from India as an example to the Community. (As poetic justice to this unjust deportation, I was permitted to return to India later that year under the visa guarantee and sponsorship of J.R.D. Tata who championed Auroville’s right to be freed from the tyranny of the SAS.)
– Summer, 1977, I took T, a Dutch woman, to JIPMER hospital to get her stitched up after she was beaten near Forecomers by SAS-hired village thugs. She had done nothing to provoke the beating. She was just an easy target alone in an isolated secluded AV location.
– Late August, 1977, AV residents were invited by local police to a meeting at the Center under the pretext of “hearing our grievances”. At this meeting attended by two dozen AV representatives, police officials abruptly read out the names of 22 AV residents (considered by the SAS to be the chief troublemakers) who were to be immediately arrested. Realizing that it was a trap, some AV reps managed to escape in order to inform the Community. In response, AV residents — men, women, children from the various AV settlements, representing AV’s spectrum of nationalities and cultures — began gathering under the Center Banyan in solidarity with those who had been charged. In other words, the Community was choosing to stand together and face the consequences as a whole rather than let certain members be isolated and arrested for actions taken on behalf of the Community as a whole. 
We sat down in concentric circles radiating out from the Banyan while 3 busloads of helmeted police arrived armed with sticks. They encircled the body of AV residents and we locked our arms together as the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) called out the names of the 22 to be arrested. But no one responded. Then, with SAS officials present to point out the residents to be arrested, the DSP gave the order to take us by force. We huddled together, fiercely holding on to one another as squads of armed police crashed into our circles, tearing us apart, indiscriminately using their sticks, grabbing whoever they could now, no longer just selectively going for the 22 named on their list. 
At the end of the madness, 40 of us (including 3 children) had been herded into 3 caged vans. Looking out through the cage, the scene at the Banyan Tree — our Tree of Unity at the center of the area the Mother had called “Peace” — looked like a war zone. Shell-shocked residents sat beside piles of sandals and shoulder bags that lay strewn on the ground like debris. Adding to the surreality of the scene, SAS reps stood indifferently beside the DSP as if nothing had happened. Then the police vans began to take us away, many of us getting beaten by our guards en route to the police stations at Killianur and Tindivanam. Before being bailed out, we would spend the next 5 days in dungeon-like 2.5 meter X 4 meter cells, 5 of us per cell. The dingy cells, bare except for a potty hole in the back of the cement floor, had no windows, no beds or cots, not even a faucet.
– April, 1978, F, one of AV’s original pioneers, was at the Bharat Nivas, India’s (still) unfinished cultural pavilion which had been taken over as the SAS’s headquarters/stronghold in AV. F was there to organize a 10-day joint AV-village cultural program to celebrate the Tamil New Year. But by daring to do so, he was challenging the SAS’s exclusive control of the Bharat Nivas — something which the SAS would not tolerate. They initially responded by cutting off water and electricity to the site. But when that did not deter hundreds of Tamil villagers and their children from joining together in cultural activities with AV residents, the SAS resorted to storm-trooper tactics. Three days into the festival, they sent in a busload of agents and employees to block the entrance to Bharat Nivas, effectively isolating and cutting off F, his son and J, a young frenchwoman, who were alone in the BN structure at the time.
The SAS agents, joined by 50 hired thugs from local villages who were well-armed with casuarina poles and clubs, were then instructed to accompany SAS officials and surround the building where F, his son and J were located. F sent his son and J to get help; but by the time help arrived an hour later, F was lying unconscious in a pool of blood, brutally beaten about the head and face (as photos taken at the scene attest). And while F lay there, surrounded by broken panels and torn children’s paintings, one of the SAS “family” members, PP, was standing there with a tape measure as if nothing had happened, as if he had been there to engineer something else.
F was taken on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance while police arrived to go through the motions of investigating. Of course, no SAS members, agents or hired thugs were ever charged or taken into custody. And several of the inner circle SAS leaders who plotted these actions are still to this day well-respected members of the Ashram and present-day SAS.
These brief descriptions cannot really do justice to the degree to which Auroville and its residents were persecuted and traumatized over years by the fanaticism and fundamentalism of the very organization meant to protect them and the integrity of its experiment. All of these ends-justifies-the-means violations, of course, were carried out in the name of spirituality, in the name of  Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, in the name of protecting the true Auroville and the true Teachings from infidels.
But the matter, unfortunately, didn’t just end there between the SAS and AV residents. For as we are learning through our evolving somatic psychologies and spiritualities, vibrations — particularly strong vibrations — are contagious, triggering resonance in their material field. Violence begets violence, division polarizes further division, intolerance breeds counter-intolerance. So it was not long before residents caught the contagion and began turning against themselves like an auto-immune disease in a scenario which pitted cultures against one another, putting wedges between “foreigners” and Indians, North Indians and South Indians etc. etc. 
And complicating this unraveling, Satprem lent both his light and his fire to the mix, fanning the flames that led some residents to a counter form of fanaticism and intolerance. And it was not long before legitimate rebellion against tyranny began to suffer the same polarization in reverse, turning into an extreme which was no less tyrannical in its excesses than the tyranny it was fighting. For under Satprem’s influence, whether he intended it or not, there were book-burnings of volumes of library books considered to be unworthy; vigilante resident groups began to harass other residents accused of collaborating with the SAS; and it was not long before AV was carved out into distinct camps that have left their divisive scars and residual behavior-patterns even today in the Auroville landscape and social fabric.
Is it any wonder then that the Government of India (GOI) would intervene in the late 1970s? For how could it simply allow this civil and not-so-civil war to continue tearing apart this International Community Experiment in Human Unity? But even then, the fundamentalist denial continued. For in response to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s executive order which effectively separated the SAS from its management/mis-management of Auroville, the SAS went to court, filing an injunction against the GOI, claiming among other things, that Auroville was part of a religion; and that, therefore, the Government was interfering with its right to practice its unique form of religion based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. (Quite an extraordinary and revealing contradiction. But after all, the ends justifies the means. And this religious argument was all the SAS had left with regard to GOI intervention. Just as those who have initiated the civil and criminal court cases in Orissa against Peter Heehs and his publication are prepared to practice this same ends-justifies-the-means tactics, willing to let lawyers say whatever it takes to win even at the cost of losing the truth.)
This SAS legal battle with the GOI eventually rose through appeals to the Indian Supreme Court where it would be heard as a Constitutional Case defining the distinction between religion and spirituality. For if it could be proven that Sri Aurobindo’s “teachings” and “practices” constituted a religion, then the SAS regains control of Auroville. But if the work of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Auroville constitute a free form of secular spirituality whose integral practice is based on the evolution of consciousness, then they lose.
In one of the more amazing turns of justice in a process which I had the privilege to directly participate, a full constitutional bench of the Indian Supreme Court delivered the coup de grace in 1981: The SAS lost their case and their claim in a verdict that, pardon my hyperbole, had overtones of C.R. Das’s victorious defense of Sri Aurobindo, the revolutionary freedom-fighter who had dared call for India’s independence from British Imperialism more than half-a-century earlier. And following that SAS defeat, the GOI eventually created the Auroville Foundation Act of 1988, not only disconnecting the SAS’s claim of management but also of property.
But court judgements and Acts of Parliament, for all their power, do not have the power to transform human behavior. That is still a power we must find in ourselves. And until we do, the patterns of fundamentalism, elitism and intolerance will continue to act out in Auroville and in the AV Foundation, in the Ashram, in India and the world. For there is a world of difference between rhetoric and reality, between philosophizing about Integral Yoga and practicing it in the humble details of our daily lives, between playing the guru and having the courage to simply be who we are.
Healing Our Past to Live in the Presence – The Journey from Holiness to Wholeness 
This rough attempt to sketch out our Shadow history would feel incomplete if I did not address one more lingering injustice, one more face of fundamentalism that has managed to fly under the radar, wearing a more captivating creative mask. For beneath the more obvious forms of fundamentalism that triggered decades of internecine AV conflict and fragmentation, weakening its collective immune system and leaving it vulnerable to a disempowering bureaucracy, there was an additional polarizing element: The Galaxy Plan for Auroville. This Plan, approved by the Mother, was designed by Roger Anger, a gifted Parisian architect appointed by her as the Chief Architect for Auroville some years before its actual inauguration. But with the Mother no longer there to update and arbitrate our relative plans and realities beyond 1973, her words were frozen in time. 
In this time-lock, the Galaxy Plan took on a sacrosanct quality: An absolute existence of its own, enshrined in our Hall of Models like a Mandala of Power. And as the mythology grew into obsession, this Galaxy Mandala became another indisputable ideology determining Auroville’s destiny and fixing its future development, regardless of the real-time evolutionary experience of those actually living in Auroville’s  “experiment”. 
This elevation of the Galaxy Plan to sacrosanct status — loyally defended by its devotees, Auro-futurists and tunnel-visioned “planners” — spawned another sub-set of true believers and heretics: of galactic crusaders, defenders and worshippers for whom the Galaxy was the Holy Vision meant to be taken literally to the last detail, reducing esoteric symbolism to rigid biblical creationism; in effect, denying the living concept of evolutionary adaptation. Which, in light of our present planetary crises, global warming, economic upheavals etc. etc. is a recipe for extinction.
Which may also explain why after 40 years of building castles in the air rather than work with realities and people on the ground, so little of this Galaxy has managed to manifest despite the dominant insistence of its adherents. For not only have they failed to realize their own Vision; but they have managed to stifle, block, disempower or marginalize all other resident visions, voices, perspectives and goodwilled attempts over decades to adapt that Galaxy to this Earth, preferring to repress Auroville’s legitimate organic growth and development if they can’t have it their way. 
But isn’t this the irony of forever looking backward for our future, in this case, trapped in the gravity of a galactic past that refuses to release us to live in our terrestrial present? And isn’t this the fate we all suffer — in Auroville, in the Integral Yoga Community, in all living systems — when we cling so rigidly and tightly to a truth that we squeeze and suffocate the living life out of it, cutting it off from its own future evolution, reducing it to a dogma from which its living spirit has fled? 
It is in this light, in this evolutionary light, that I believe we must view, evaluate and have the courage to heal our history. For we cannot see the future from the past. But we can understand our past from the future. And for those who are once again using intimidation, threats of excommunication and inquisitional court cases to try to achieve their ends by force or coercion, you condemn yourselves to repeat a pattern which sooner or later dooms itself to its own failure. Because it is the lie of everything we stand for in an Integral Yoga that aspires to be ever-evolving, ever-expanding, ever-more-integral, ever-more-collaborative, ever-more-embracing as it moves toward a Wholeness of Love.
Science, Culture and Integral Yoga 

Savitra speaks out on The Lives of Sri Aurobindo
I wonder if any of those who have instigated or gone along with such harsh measures and reactionary reprisals against Peter have ever made the effort to identify with him as as a real person — as a human being like all of us, with feelings, flaws and vulnerabilities like all of us. Or have we simply objectified him into an abstraction, an “enemy” and “foreigner” to be defeated or eliminated? I wonder how any of us — whatever our race, culture or gender — would feel if we were suddenly in his place, subject to constant behind-the-back allegations and rumors. Imagine how isolated and insecure we would feel. Especially if this was happening in a community brought forth by the Mother — an Ashram that was actually meant to be a mutually-supportive safe haven for those of us who have come from East and West in search of our common humanity and our all-embracing divinity. Imagine.
I can imagine. For I have lived in the American South through the mid-1960s, actively engaged in the Civil Rights Movement at that time. I was involved then in the protests and arrests, looked into the eyes of hatred and intolerance, watching demagogues whip up the masses into a frenzy that fed into a lynch-mob mentality. And I have seen and lived through the divisive damage done to Auroville by those who refused to recognize the “civil rights” of AV residents after the Mother’s passing. I experienced for myself then first-hand, the harassment, arrest, beating, jail and expulsion at the hands of one party; while being “excommunicated” by another for daring to call him out for the divisive and intolerant behavior he was inciting among his crusaders in Auroville. Yes, I know the damage that can be done when we turn “other” into “enemy” in the name of righteousness or purity or saving us from the infidels that would corrupt “our” Truth.
From this “locus standi”, I believe this raw open-warfare approach to excommunicate Peter and ban his book not only brings great harm to him but to us all. For I believe it will not only lead to greater divisiveness, intolerance and narrowness of spirit; but it exposes our own inability as fellow seekers and children of a common Divine Mother to address grievances among ourselves in a truer way that lead to a more harmonious and integral resolution. For what we are presently demonstrating through such actions of internecine court cases, book-banning and excommunication of those whose ideas or actions we find intolerable is itself an action of the very intolerance we claim as offensive. 
After all, aren’t we here in these bodies precisely to grow and widen, to become more conscious, more receptive, more loving? to expand and embrace and enlighten what we do not yet understand in ourselves as well as in others, willingly opening to light the dark parts we hide and defend in ourselves? And isn’t this effort exactly what is called for in this Moment on this Earth? Of course it is! 

Savitra bio:

Cultured in the activist milieu of the 1960s, Savitra hitchhiked from London to India to meet the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He received his name from her and eventually shifted from the Ashram to Auroville where he spent the next 21 years (1969-1990) apprenticing “applied spirituality,” community-building, and environmental restoration in the interface of first-world/third-world realities.


Actively involved with Auroville’s pioneering experiments in self-organization, he helped jump-start the community’s internal communication systems as well as liaison with America, getting the first grants to establish the afforestation program, developing exchange programs such as “Peacetrees,” planting the seeds for future relations with Russia and other former Soviet bloc States. He relocated in 1990 to America where he currently lives in Ashland, Oregon.


Since the early 1970s, his work and writings have bridged him into a broad network of collaborative relations including Margaret Mead, Michael Murphy, David Brower, Amory Lovins, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Jean Houston and Matthew Fox; as well as organizationally with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), where he is an extended research associate under their donor-advised program.


He has been a guest on Michael Toms’ New Dimensions Radio as well as a presenter at numerous conferences, universities, and institutes including Esalen, Matthew Fox’s University of Creation Spiritualiy, the IONS 30th Anniversary Conference, and What is Enlightenment journal’s community retreat center.


In 1999, his first American book, The Savitri Legend, was published by Sigo Press. His latest book, An Evolutionary Agenda for the Third Millennium, was published by White Cloud Press with support from IONS.


His recent trips to Auroville has reignited his earlier liaison role to build collaborative bridges and exchange between Auroville and the States. He may be reached via .

Savitra received his name from the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and lived at the Ashram and Auroville, where he spent 21 years (1969–1990) apprenticing “applied spirituality,” community-building, and environmental restoration in the interface of first-world/third-world realities. In 1990, he relocated to America where he currently lives in Ashland, Oregon. He is an extended research associate with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and has been a guest on Michael Toms’ New Dimensions Radio as well as a presenter at numerous conferences, universities, and institutes including Esalen, Matthew Fox’s University of Creation Spiritualiy, the IONS 30th Anniversary Conference, and What is Enlightenment journal’s community retreat center. He has written a number of books, the latest being An Evolutionary Agenda for the Third Millennium, published by White Cloud Press. He may be reached via savitra AT earthlink DOT net. → Savitra shares his thoughts on The Lives of Sri Aurobindo and the surrounding controversy.