Savitri Revision Controversy (SAABA)
CHAPTER 1 ‘SAVITRI’ A REVEALED MANTRA
CHAPTER 2 ‘SAVITRI’ IS MANTRA
CHAPTER 3 TAMPERING WITH THE MASTER’S WORK
CHAPTER 4 THE MOTHER’S CONVERSATIONS MADE CONTROVERSIAL
CHAPTER 5 DEVOTEES-DISCIPLES VOICE PROTESTS AND DEMANDS
CHAPTER 1 GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
CHAPTER 2 INSTANCES WHILE SRI AUROBINDO WAS PHYSICALLY
CHAPTER 3 DECEITFUL JUSTIFICATION FOR TAMPERING
CHAPTER 4 EGO AND DESIRE SURFACED
CHAPTER 5 THE LENGTH OF SAVITRI
There were protests in 1986 among inmates when they came to know about the attempts by a person in the Ashram Archive (who tried to brand Sri Aurobindo as a liar in an article written by him to receive a prize and received Rs.20,000/-) to change and correct the contents of ‘Savitri’ 1972 Edition which was published with the Mother’s Blessings.
Efforts were made by Late Jayantilal Parekh, the then in-charge of the Archive department to justify unauthorised and unlawful corrections and changes. But Prof. Jugal Kisore Mukherjee of the Ashram demolished all the arguments in his long letter in 1986.
Thereafter Prof. Mukherjee pointed out at regular intervals meticulously every week in writing for nearly two years that the corrections made were wrong. After second round of joint discussions with Nirodbaran and Amal Kiran, Amal Kiran admitted that they should have checked thoroughly the change and corrections made before giving permission to publish. Nirodbaran, taking advantage of his age and proximity to Sri Aurobindo requested him to remain quiet at that time. Knowing fully well that they committed sacrilege and blatant defiance of the Mother’s instructions, some good sense prevailed and he advised Prof. Mukherjee to take up the issue after their passing away. Prof. Mukherjee kept quiet but went on praying to the Mother to intervene.
The Trustees brought out ‘Supplement to the Revised Edition of Savitri’ published in 1993 to misguide the readers. The devotees lodged strong protests to the Trustees against this publication. They also requested the Trustees to reprint all volumes of SABCL including the volumes 28 & 29 which contain the epic Savirri. The Trustees turned a deaf ear to the requests made. They refused to amend the misdeeds that clearly demonstrated defiance of the Mother’s specific instructions. Left with no option, for the Trustees’s refusal to respond to repeated appeals for exhibiting a little SHRADDHA to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the followers, devotees, disciples and the inmates obviously started protesting through various channels which consequently have been bringing out the dispute in the public.
Vital acts and reacts while the mind supports such actions with justifications. Sri Aurobindo had commented on this many a time. The Trustees had not the courage to own their palpable mistake, since initially they were not aware of the mischief committed by individuals. But later their vital took it a prestige issue and resorted to justification to support the deliberate defiance of the Mother’s instructions. They published a booklet ‘On the New Edition of Savitri’ in an attempt to deceive the readers. The contents of this booklet were appropriately rebutted chapterwise and paragraphwise, in the booklet
‘CLING TO TRUTH’. These two booklets were released in August and September, 1999 respectively. The ‘CLING TO TRUTH’ had to be reprinted on demand from the disciples, devotees and inmates. Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s disciples and devotees visit Pondicherry at regular intervals. There is always a big congregation during the Darshan days. These visitors and the Ashram inmates have been making comments and observations on the two booklets ‘On the New edition of Savitri’ and “CLING TO TRUTH”.
There was a common comment made by everyone that the tampering was made in the writings of Sri Aurobindo, after He and The Mother left Their physical bodies. In the absence of any authority from either of Them, the corrections and changes made were absolutely unauthorised and unlawful.
Another uniform comment was that the tampering in the garb of corrections of punctuations and typographical errors etc. had been done without any authority whatsoever either from the author or from His spiritual collaborator and successor, The Mother. Salient points of other comments, observations and discussions were noted. The comments and observations, in brief and precise form, with appropriate references and quotations, are brought out in Part of this booklet, FEED BACK on ‘CLING TO TRUTH’. Nevertheless, the repetition of some comments appearing in different chapters was inevitable to preserve the strong resentment, wound feelings and keen observations made by devotees in different context. The draft was made ready for printing.
Then in August, 2000 Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust published another booklet ‘On the New Edition of Savitri Further Explanation Part Two’. This is undoubtedly, a covert attempt to respond to the retort to their earlier publication contained in our previous booklet ‘CLING TO TRUTH’, though the publishers had nothing to rebut the contents thereof and exhibited lack of courage to admit overtly, and yet they claim to be disciples of Sri Aurobindo being inmates of the Ashram.
In the booklet they could not counter any points raised in the ‘CLING TO TRUTH’. Even a cursory reading of the three booklets makes a reader realise that vain and futile efforts were made to justify their misdeeds. They should not have wasted the Ashram funds further when their bluff was called off in our booklet ‘CLING TO TRUTH’. The Trustees may refer to the contents of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust Deed registered by the Mother author and creator of the Trust, at Vanur (Cuddalore District) on the 7th October, 1955 and at Pondicherry on the 31st March 1964, to understand that they derive their authority delegated by the Mother and that they have to exercise their authority within the mandate as enshrined in the Trust Deed. Any deviation from or transgressing the mandate may have serious and far reaching ramifications. They must not lose sight of the various Grants to the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education besides other concessions and Reliefs granted by the I.T. Deapartment to the Ashram and its donors since the Government of India recognised the Ashram Trust on the strength of its contents, interalia, the Aims of the Ashram, the fund management and the beneficiaries of the fund as contained in the said Ashram Trust Deed. Therefore before indulging in wasteful expenditure and acting contrary to the mandate of the Trust Deed and the Mother’s specific instructions, they may have to think twice and shed their arrogant, adamant and egoistic attitude to the detriment of the institution so painfully built by the Mother.
This booklet, ‘Feedback Back on Cling to Truth’ was in the final stage, when the Ashram released Part Two on the New Edition of Savitri. The whole attempt to bring out the latest booklet is nothing but a blatant exhibition of utter falsehood and the level of consciousness of the writers. A pagewise analysis as done in ‘CLING TO TRUTH’ to rebut the contents of ‘On the New Edition of Savitri’ is redundant for their latest booklet as most of the lies, bluffs, and false statements in the latest booklet is dealt with in Part One of this booklet. Nevertheless, a short retort on this also was drafted along with a few references of gross fraudulent attempt to justify the unauthorised and unlawful revision are mentioned in Part Two of these booklet. But this booklet could not be published for want of finance. Now that the devotees and disciples have contributed and insisted that this booklet must be published, we are printing this belatedly. This association regrets the delay in bringing out the comments and observations made since 1999.
The Trustees perhaps thought that by publishing ‘On the New Edition of SAVITRI’ they would be able to misguide and fool devotees. The leaflets issued from time to time by individuals and Associations highlight the mismanagement and misdeeds in the Ashram. Most of the inmates are concerned with their assigned work and themselves. Others quietly pray to The Mother for intervention. So the Trustees got away without being pulled up. They forgot that the disciples and devotees outside the Ashram are not prepared to forgive them for their disrespect to the Guru and defiance of Their instructions.
An effort was made in the Ashram publication ‘On The New Edition of Savitri’ to project that Nirodbaran and Amal Kiran are the two living authorities on SAVITRI. The Ashram Trustees very conveniently disregarded the mandate in the Trust Deed: They were only entrusted with the management of the Ashram properties including Their works. No authority was delegated either by the Master or by the Mother anywhere to make any alteration whatsoever in Their works/sayings and writings. As such, it is unbelievable that those who themselves do not enjoy authority are accepting the self-proclaimed claim of two sadhaks in the matter of authority. It is assumed that the trustees are not aware of the fundamentals of legal requirements that the onus is on the claimant to substantiate that the authority so claimed is either inherent or delegated.
Understandably, the erring nine individuals were also failed by their respective consciousness, consequent to their wavering loyalty to the GURU. Otherwise, how could they forget the all abiding and all superseding mandate given by the Mother, as quoted by Amal Kiran in his book ‘OUR LIGHT AND DELIGHT’ (page 23) which says: ‘I won’t allow you to change even a comma in Savitri’.
Significantly, the clue to this lies in the identification of the two Sadhaks by the Mother in the AGENDA, calling them “two morons”. (M.A./Vol.4/P.84-85) The Mother had also said in Her AGENDA “.. and I realised that none of these people had understood one bit of it.” (M.A./Vol.4/P.82-83)
All these records, which none can refute, have been appropriately and helpfully quoted in the first publication. The Trustees and the two self proclaimed authorities are obliged to answer to followers of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, “have you climbed to the Supermind or have you been able to get the supermind descend in your body?”
If the answers are in the negative, then please confess to the Mother your misdemeanour and pray for the Mother’s pardon. When the Trustees allowed Sri Aurobindo’s writings to be tampered with, it is clear that they are not worthy of managing the Ashram. The nine inmates by this singular action exposed their disrespect for the “GURU”, despite what the Mother said, as inscribed on the Master’s Samadhi.
“To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who hast done so much for us, who worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee.”
It is still fresh in our memory as to how the Mother dealt with Her children. She had immeasurable love, affection and Divine compassion for Her children. She used to pardon the children if they had committed even gross mistakes. But the same all-compassionate Mother invariably became a wrathful Mahakali if any one showed even the slightest disrespect to Sri Aurobindo or to His words or works.
It is shocking that the Ashram authorities took it for granted that there was no possibility of Sri Aurobindo’s coming back as the first Supramental being and therefore to treat Sri Aurobindo’s writings as literature only. Do the inmates of the Ashram, united in the misdeed, consider Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s spiritual prophecy of Divine Life and advent of Supramental Being in a Supramental Body on earth a certainty or a myth or a literary fantasy? They entrusted the task of ‘correcting’ His writings to one Peter Heehs who endeavoured to prove Him as a liar and made derogatory remarks against Him. Peter Heehs’s voice was recorded in an audio cassette.
“Do you feel that it helps your sadhana to go into such research in Sri Aurobindo’s?”
“No, ah, I wouldn’t recommend it. (laughter) I had to sort of live with it because I have under taken this thing but, but ah. Ah, for me it’s, it’s been ah, in a way to be a good researcher right, a historical researcher. You got to do just everything that you shouldn’t do, to be a good disciple.
You got to question everything. If you are a historian and you don’t question every document that comes by you, you are not being a good historian. That’s, that’s just the macca of the historian is to just down question, look on both sides of, compare with other things, every piece of evidence that comes by. Now a disciple doesn’t do that, oughtn’t do that.
Ah, but it is kind of interesting for me, because even with all this questioning ah, I have always ended up, ah, amazed at the richness and depth and resonance of this being and maybe you it’s, it’s, in a way, ah, you know having done that there is more richness apparent to me at least you know superficially than to most people and I have arrived at it through, through a way that is not calculated to increase ah, Bhakti ah in, in the simple way, right. So ah, I am suffered from it …”
…in a meeting organised at the Lodi Centre in California U.S.A. This quip substantiates beyond a shade of doubt that he does not consider himself a devotee. Richard Hartz acted as a second fiddler. There is every doubt whether his opinion was accepted whenever there was a difference of opinion between him and Peter Heehs. Devotees consider it a waste of time and energy to make any comment on any one in the ‘ARCHIVE’, associated with tampering and changing Sri Aurobindo’s works once they exhibited their ignorance even on the meaning of ‘ARCHIVE’ and demonstrated their lack of devotion and loyalty to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Therefore, they discussed exhaustively the conducts of two self-styled authorities on ‘SAVITRI’ who are veteran inmates of the Ashram and the careless and defiant attitude of the Trustees.
But what does Nirodbaran say about Sri Aurobindo in his talk at Auroville on 14.08.1993. “Whether you accept as an avatar or not, it does not matter: But according to my personal view at least… I have not seen him as an avatar…”,
Letter printed in ‘Mother India’ Jan and Feb. Issue 1994.
Some months before his decision to leave his physical body, Sri Aurobindo said: “I want to finish Savitri soon.”
…..Sri Aurobindo was revising the Magnum Opus — the Savitri — at a speed, as if he was racing against time after He had taken final decision to withdraw from his physical body. In the NOTE before the ‘Letters on SAVITRI’ (page 817-1954 edition), it was mentioned that after rapidly revising the long second Canto of the Book of Fate, he enquired of his scribe what still remained to be written. On being told about the Book of Death and the Epilogue entitled The Return to Earth, he remarked, “Oh, that? We shall see about that afterwards?” It will be preposterous for any one to imagine that He made this statement casually, a few days before His finally leaving the physical body. The significance of His Divine remark has to be realised. One is inclined to believe that the scribe who wrote this NOTE failed to understand what the Master hinted. Anyway, a devotee-cum-scribe, taking dictation on Savitri, need not necessarily have the remotest level of the Master’s consciousness even to understand what he was noting.
A devotee produced an audio cassette with Shri Nirodbaran’s voice recorded on 15th of Nov. 1990 at the study Camp on ‘Savitri’ directed by Prof. M. V. Nadkarni at the Beach Office. of Sri Aurobindo Society. The most intriguing factor is that even though Shri Nirodbaran was Sri Aurobindo’s scribe for ‘SAVITRI’, he honestly admitted that he did not understand a bit of ‘SAVITRI’.
“…he made me a scribe, which is certainly I am proud of, without understanding a single word what he was communicating.”
Shri Nirodbaran’s association as a scribe for Savitri, his long tenure in the Ashram and his age attract many devotees. He had written many books. He has been complying with The Mother’s devotees’ request for his autograph on his books: To (names of the devotee) “With Sri Aurobindo’s Blessings” signed : Nirod da with date.
Obviously, he is in constant touch with Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo has not left the earth consciousness as was assured by The Mother on December 7, 1950. The Mother answered in writing the questions:
Where is Sri Aurobindo at the moment?
“Sri Aurobindo is wherever he wants to be, because he is free; but he has a permanent home in the subtle physical (the region closest to the earth physical) here all those who wish to see him can go and see him.”
What form has He got?
“There, in the subtle physical, his form is similar to the one he had upon earth, but with the splendid peace of immortality.”
One infers from the practice of writing on his books “With Sri Aurobindo’s Blessings” that he is in constant touch with the Master. If he were not, then perhaps it would have been appropriate for him to write, “To (the Mother’s devotee’s name) with prayer to Sri Aurobindo for His Blessings.”
Signed. – Nirod da. It is strange that he did not consider it as essential and obligatory on his part to seek Sri Aurobindo’s judgement on the efforts of ‘ignorant human’ beings to tamper His writings, which, he claimed not to have understood a bit.
We have our sympathy for Nirodbaran when an ornamental decoration has been awarded by the publisher of the latest booklet ‘On the New Edition of Savitri’ (Part Two) at page 90.
“Thus due to momentary inattentiveness on the part of the scribe in his otherwise faultless navigation through his intricate markings, a line dictated only once by Sri Aurobindo was copied and printed twice.”
Sri Aurobindo never casted any aspersion on his scribe’s sincerity. But, the tamperer discovered inattentiveness in Sri Aurobindo’s scribe. Though the statement made appears to be innocuous one, the same is made to suit their ulterior objectives and also to prove that Sri Aurobindo was incapable of judging his scribe’s qualities. It is yet another glaring instance of ASHRADDHA to Guru. Nirodbaran could swallow this derogatory remark, because he and his friend have known to have weakness for colour of skin.
The Mother had categorically and emphatically said, “What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world’s history is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme.” (CWM – 13- p 4) And Sri Aurobindo wrote, “It is not his object to develop any one religion or to amalgamate the older religions or to found any new religion – for any of these things would lead away from his central purpose.” (SABCL – 26 – P 97). He quoted exhaustively The Mother’s conversations on the transformation of physical body and Supramental manifestation in his ‘OUR LIGHT AND DELIGHT’ – Chapter ‘February 21-A Look Behind and Ahead’ : page -247-255.
Contrary to the above unequivocal assertions by the Mother and the Master and the aforesaid conversation with The Mother, Shri Amal Kiran made an abortive bid to distort the truth. He culled out some odd references to justify the stand taken by the Sri Aurobindo Society in the ‘AUROVILLE’ case before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, vainly arguing that Sri Aurobindo propounded a religion.
Shri Amal Kiran also disobeyed the Mother in another way. It was the Mother’s advice to all that never a sentence be taken out of context. Moreover, the Mother also gave specific caution about using excerpts from Her works or Sri Aurobindo’s writing which could convey meaning contrary to the main theme. The Mother had, in fact, elaborated on the point saying that communications made to individuals for individual’s specific requirement must neither be confused for contradictions nor be generalised.
Sadly enough, in spite of his well known proximity to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, and personal knowledge of Their teachings, method and objectives, Shri Amal Kiran presumably had compulsions of sorts for the unseemly role he played in the matter of Supreme Court case mentioned above. Strangely enough, the trustees overlooked this fact.
One wonders whether Amal Kiran thought, and perhaps still thinks, that Supramental manifestation is possible through propagation of a religion! So he tried to brand Him as one belonging to or creating a new cult for a new priest trade. Obviously, Amal Kiran did not understand the significance of Sri Aurobindo’s reference to ‘priest trade’ in His ‘The Foundation of Indian Culture’.
Shri Amal Kiran’s many letters to Sri Aurobindo on “Savitri” were entertained by Him. It is beyond human capacity to even imagine the reason for Sri Aurobindo’s entertaining his letters. The comments made by the Mother on this particular point published in ‘Our Light and Delight’ by Amal Kiran are amply clear.(Para 5&6/P.24)
“Mother, from the fact that Sri Aurobindo sometimes corrected his own things on our pointing out oversights we conclude that passages may be there which needed revision.”
At this, The Mother exploded like a veritable Mahakali
“Yes I know. People used to pester him with letters, pointing out grammatical mistakes and other things. He used to make changes just for the sake of peace. He was very polite and did not let people see what a nuisance they were. But when he and I were together and alone and like this” — here she put her two palms together two or three times to show the intimacy — “he used to say: ‘What a bother. What a nuisance!’ And once he said : ‘But I had a purpose in putting the things this way. I wanted it like this.’
Sri Aurobindo made many concessions out of politeness and a wish to be left in peace. When a great being comes down here to work he wants peace and not botheration.
Yes, he was very polite, and people took advantage of his compassion and misunderstood it and got all sorts of ideas.
Sri Aurobindo was polite — but I have made it a point not to be polite. I am not polite at all.”…..
‘It was April 10, 1954. The day proved one of the most decisive in my inner life. I took to The Mother some suggestions with regard to Savitri. I had written them down. The Mother looked strange and said: “I can answer without even reading your note. I won’t allow you to change even a coma in Savitri.” This instructions in unequivocal terms were mandatory and left no room for any interpretation.
He is nearing century. Perhaps his age, his physical closeness to The Mother and his correspondence with Sri Aurobindo on ‘SAVITRI’ weighed in acknowledging him as an authority on the Magnum Opus. Transgressing the limitations of his human nature if he had concentrated on The Mother and prayed for guidance on the suggestions of ‘poor ignorant human beings’ and made a public announcement, “I contacted the Mother in Her subtle physical body. I placed all the suggestions for corrections and changes in ‘Savitri’ before Her. She after considering instructed me as follows: “……” There would have been no scope for any controversy on such a truthful statement.
Devotees were to accept such a statement based on his track record of publishing honestly the Mother’s comments in his ‘Our Light and Delight’.
If physical nearness to the Master or The Mother could make one understand Sri Aurobindo’s writings, then there were many in the Ashram who were very close to them. If correspondence with Sri Aurobindo enabled the correspondent to understand his writings, then there were many who wrote to Him on Yoga, who, by the same analogy, could now claim to have acquired not only expertise but also authority to advise others on Integral Yoga!
If Nirodbaran and Amal Kiran did not understand ‘SAVITRI’, how is it possible for Peter Heehs to even go any where near the epic.
In ‘CLING TO TRUTH’, there was a reference about the research carried out by Prof. Jugal Kishore Mukherjee and the notes he continuously submitted to Nirodbaran, substantiating that the so called corrections in ‘SAVITRI’ were in fact wrong. The reply after deliberation with Amal Kiran by Nirodbaran was also mentioned in the booklet.
Since then, many devotees also started examining the veracity of the corrections made. Both the research by Prof. Mukherjee and other devotees, if and when produced before an appropriate forum, would prove that the tampering is unauthorized.
The first point which strikes the disciples is that during the gap of a long twenty three years between Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s withdrawal from physical bodies, there was no proposal from either of these two veteran inmates to approach the Mother for permission to correct/edit ‘Savitri’. It appears strange to the disciples that the initiatives and attempts in correcting/editing ‘Savitri’ were made for the first time long after publication of the Centenary edition in 1972, without the Mother’s approval and Blessings!
The other alternative was:
Shri Nirodbaran and Shri Amal Kiran, with their standing in the Ashram and physical proximity to the Master and the Mother ought to have sat down jointly for meditation and prayer to seek Their guidance on the proposed corrections in ‘Savitri’. If they had acted on Their instructions to make changes in the Spiritual Autobiography of Sri Aurobindo and the spiritual biography of The Mother, there would have been no controversy. Instead, it is evident from Shri Nirodbaran’s writings that they went on discussing in the meetings organized for this purpose like ordinary human beings dwelling in mental mind with personal views, and preferences. (‘Amal Kiran — Poet and Critic’ — edited by Nirodbaran and R. Y. Deshpande)
The inmates are broadly divided in the following group:
1) Inmates concentrating on Integral Yoga are not bothered about anything except to look into their own defects and opening them to the Mother for transformation:
2) Inmates, though much perturbed with the prevailing affairs in the Ashram, prefer to pray to The Mother for appropriate intervention, since the Ashram was Her creation:
3) Inmates vocal about the Trustees’ mismanage-ment, misdeeds and allowing unlawful and corrupt practices but do not want the in-house controversies to become public:
4) Inmates are critical of the Trustees’ actions but keep quiet apprehending vindictive action by the Trustees:
5) Inmates are not concerned about anything except their personal needs and comforts:
6) Inmates close to the Trustees and recipient of undue favours are therefore their blind supporters:
7) Inmates work hard to impress the authorities or those close to the seat of power to serve their unsatisfied desire to come to limelight and get into position of importance:
8) Inmates give vent to their feelings to outside devotees and persuade them to initiate actions including legal action, remaining in the background:
9) Inmates, insignificant in number, disgruntled and perhaps frustrated out of non-satisfaction of their desire in the Ashram, with aim to settle personal score create ineffective ripples:
10) Inmates, though a few in number, take up the cause to bring back the administration on the rails:
The Trustees, taking stock of the above, became complacent and went ahead with their audacious act of defying The Mother’s specific instructions.
First, the Trustees never bothered to fathom how intensively and extensively the devotees would be disturbed emotionally, consequent to tampering the sacred writings of Sri Aurobindo.
Second, the Trustees’ trustworthiness is also likely to become a debatable issue as a logical sequence of the above.
Third, a growing suspicion among the devotees is that the Trustees’ loyalty to the Guru and the Mother is eroded.
Sadly enough, the onus is now on the trustees to reestablish their credibility.
Fourth, it is also being increasingly felt that the Trustees have no inner contact with the Mother. Otherwise, how come they have failed so far to seek the Mother’s guidance and communicate to the devotees?
Fifth, the devotees, however, cannot help maintaining that by losing inner contact with the Mother, one is distracted from the path of Integral Yoga.
Sixth, the Master or the Mother did not create any hierarchical order in the Ashram. As such, the sadhaks have learnt to seek the Mother’s guidance inwardly as instructed by the Master. In the absence of any mandate to the Trustees from the author and settler of the Trust Deed to guide inmates or devotees in their spiritual pursuits, the minimum that the devotees expect from the Trustees is to administer the affairs of the Ashram and to implement the Mother’s specific instructions on record.
The Ashram has been an abode of intellectual giants, highly educated elites and illiterate villagers. It was a common knowledge in forties and fifties that an illiterate tapaswi from a remote village in the Ashram was sent back by Sri Aurobindo before the arrival of the Mother as his vital had dried up because of his prolonged intensive severe tapasya.
Sri Aurobindo called him back in late twenties. Many devotees were surprised to learn from him the essence of Sri Aurobindo’s writings and Integral Yoga. He revealed that Sri Aurobindo and The Mother had been teaching him all these during his sleep. The ash of his mortal remains is kept in Cazanove.
The facts recorded above substantiate that reading or teaching Sri Aurobindo’s books by intellect or learning takes one no where. The basis is Faith and Devotion. Once these two essentials are growing and getting settled, then one can make triple efforts of WILL, ASPIRATION, and REJECTION constantly to practise SURRENDER of all that one has, one does and the result thereof. In integral yoga intellect and learning are help and bar as well.
Predominantly human ignorance, intellect, ego and arrogance lacking faith in and devotion for The Mother and Sri Aurobindo are responsible for the audacious act of tampering and corrupting the mantric tenet in Sri Aurobindo’s writings.
A devotee sarcastically commented that the inmates joined together in the inconceivable act of trampling Sri Aurobindo’s writings are not aware that in India two great epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharatha were written long before the birth of Sri Ramchandra and the Kauravas and Pandavas respectively. These two epics were written because the authors had seen the entire happenings through inner vision and transcending the human limitations. Sri Aurobindo, as he himself mentioned, wrote everything with a silent mind. But, while writing ‘Savitri’, he ascended to higher consciousness and revised it by ascending to higher and higher consciousness. No wonder that they could not understand ‘Savitri’ or other writings of Sri Aurobindo and therefore, attempted to tamper and ultimately trampled it.
The pertinent question of devotees is:
“Can anyone touch this Spiritual autobiography without the autobiographer’s consent or ascending to that height of consciousness gaining all the spiritual experiences of the autobiographer?” The only and only emphatic answer is a
The trustees erred no doubt. Nevertheless, they are also the Mother’s children. If their repentance is sincere and genuine, the Mother in Her divine love and compassion may forgive them. But before that they must rectify their monumental blunder, which must have been committed out of ignorance and gross negligence, as it is difficult for any of the devotees to even dream of a situation that the trustees, who are basically inmates living under the direct protection of the Mother, can wantonly and blatantly defy the specific instructions of the Mother. It is hard to conceive that by constantly indulging in action not conducive to a spiritual life, they have taken for granted that they can do anything with impunity because the inmates do not dare to raise their voices or take a yogic attitude that the Mother would take suitable action at the appropriate time.
“But be on your guard and do not try to understand and judge the Divine Mother by your little earthly mind that loves to subject even the things that are beyond it to its own norms and standards, its narrow reasonings and erring impressions, its bottomless aggressive ignorance and its petty self-confident knowledge. The human mind shut in the prison of its half-lit obscurity cannot follow the manysided freedom of the steps of the Divine Shakti.”
SABCL/Volume – 25 (page – 38)
Despite Sri Aurobindo’s above — mentioned instructions in unequivocal terms and The Mother’s specific warning ‘I won’t allow you to change even a comma in Savitri’, it is beyond comprehension of the devotees to fathom the depth of inconscience and ignorance of the defiant inmates.
The Mother’s message at the first world conference of Sri Aurobindo Society held at Pondicherry from the 10th to 14th August,1964 was:
“The future of the Earth depends on a change of Consciousness.
The Only hope for the future is in a change of man’s consciousness and the change is bound to come.
But it is left to men to decide if they will collaborate for this change or it will have to be enforced upon them by the power of crushing circumstances.”
The Mother specifically prohibited even change of a coma in Savitri. Despite this categorical instructions, and Sri Aurobindo’s repeated instructions to the devotees, disciples and Ashramites to obey the Mother’s orders, the Trustees defied and allowed tampering of ‘Savitri’. The posterity will wonder what prevented the Trustees, inmates of the Ashram for practising integral yoga, rectifying their monumental blunder committed in defiance of the Mother’s instructions shedding their adamant egoistic rigid stand which compelled the changes to be enforced upon them by the power of crashing circumstances. (Bulletin of SAICE
Vol.XVI/Nov.1964/P.124.) Strangely, this message was not printed in CWM Volume 15. The Trustees may have to explain whether due to dearth of space or it was a part of the Trustees’ censoring programme that the message could not find a place in CWM.
The above quotation is very significant. At least now let us all (followers, devotees, disciples and inmates including the Trustees and the Departmental Heads) sincerely resolve to follow what The Mother said repeatedly.
1. LET THE TRUSTEES WAKE UP FROM THEIR DEEP SLUMBER: UNDO ALL THEIR MISDEEDS BY RESTORING SRI AUROBINDO BIRTH CENTENARY LIBRARY-1972 EDITION. PRINTED AND PUBLISHED WITH THE MOTHER’S BLESSINGS.
2. OBTAIN AUDIO CASSETTES RECORDING OF THE MOTHER’S AGENDA TO DISCHARGE THEIR OBLIGATION UNDER THE TRUST DEED.
3. ASSIGN THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ‘ARCHIVE’ TO THE DEVOTEES KNOWN FOR THEIR INNER CONTACT WITH THE MOTHER, EXCEPT THE TWO INMATES DILIP DATTA AND MANOJ DAS WHO CONSIDER SRI AUROBINDO’S WRITINGS AS SCHOLARLY WORK.
DEVOTEES AND DISCI[PLES VOICE
PROTESTS AND DEMANDS
The present controversies regarding ‘corrections’ in SAVITRI and other writings of Sri Aurobindo have relegated to the background the following incontrovertible
1. Sri Aurobindo’s command over English and other languages is well acclaimed and accredited, leaving no room whatsoever for even a shade of doubt in anybody’s mind in India or abroad.
2. Languages are not created or fashioned by the grammarians, editors, or dictionary makers — not even by the linguists.
3. The OLD TESTAMENT has a number of so called ‘mistakes’. No one was, is or will be permitted to fiddle or meddle with it.
4. Such a norm is equally sacrosanct about any archive material like SAVITRI. Any violation in this respect amounts to preempting the scope of any truth-seeker or a general researcher to get the material in original. Only such material enables a researcher to get the uncorrupted work as well as a true feel of the worker behind the original work.
It is obvious that certain individuals acted in total ignorance or deliberate disregard of the aforesaid facts. These people are, it is learnt: — Two individuals in the Archive, two self-proclaimed authorities on SAVITRI and the Trustees including the copyright manager.
An irreversible damage was caused and also compounded by printing the tampered material. The least that can be done at this stage is to reprint Sri Aurobindo’s Birth Centenary Library (30 volumes) and prevent any further publishing, printing, distributing or marketing any corrupted versions of any of Sri Aurobindo’s works. May the Mother hear our prayer and act, as She would deem it fit!
Many devotees after reading the publication “CLING TO TRUTH” were aghast:
it was inconceivable that despite Prof. Jugal Kishore Mukherjee’s timely pointer in 1986, Peter Heehs could continue with his heinous act — an attempt to brand Sri Aurobindo as a liar and use derogatory remarks against Him:
That he was encouraged to meddle with Sri Aurobindo’s other writings:
“The Guru is the channel or the representative or the manifestation of the Divine,” , “….. it is to the divine that one opens in opening to him;”… (SABCL /Vol.26/ p.80.).
In integral yoga, the requirements are Faith, Devotion, Will, Aspiration, Rejection and Surrender. The Guru and Ista are the one seated in our heart centre behind the solar plexus. It is the SHRADDHA to Guru that is absolutely essential before any attempt is made to tread the path of integral yoga. In integral yoga, the Mother is our Guru and Ista.
In view of the above it is evident that:
1. The person making derogatory remarks against Sri Aurobindo, a blatant act of ASHRADDHA to the Guru, cease to be identified as a devotee of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo:
2. The Trustees committed an act of sacrilege by allowing tampering of the Mantras in Sri Aurobindo’s writing — the written guidance for sadhana in integral yoga:
3. The trustees not taking cognisance of such act of ASHRADDHA rendered themselves unworthy of the confidence and trust reposed in them:
4. The trustees after committing a breach of trust, are justifying their action:
5. Their level of consciousness and progress in sadhana for their actions and attitude are now questionable:
6. They demonstrated their disloyalty and infidelity to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother:
7. Leaflets highlighting mismanagement and misdeeds in the Ashram are being distributed. The Trustees took for granted that the misdeed of tampering of Sri Aurobindo’s writings would also remain unchallenged. They forgot that number of disciples and devotees is many times larger than the insignificant number of inmates. The Mother created the Ashram Trust for the sole benefit of the disciples, devotees and inmates: The disciples and devotees are also stake holders; perhaps the Trustees forgot that!! They did not and will not accept such act of disloyalty and infidelity to the Master and the Mother by four inmates and the Trustees.
A devotee was totally opposed to formation of any Association by the Ashram Inmates. The system of collective bargaining gradually evolved to meet the essential human need to ensure better working conditions for the working class. There is no scope for such an action in the Ashram. He held that individuals on their own volition joined the Ashram to practise intensively Integral Yoga by rejecting the normal lower vital urges. Ventilating of grievances through collective forum is a means adopted in the outside world. In Integral Yoga nurturing, airing or displaying grievances by various means is nothing short of encouraging the lower vital, totally contradictory to the teachings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. It was also his contention that the Ashramites should always be content with what The Mother had been giving them and should remain gratified with what they had been getting to dwell in inner peace; the very foundation of Integral Yoga. He had very strong conviction that the Ashramites should not have formed an Association. With this attitude of contempt he had a cursory glance through the booklet ‘CLING TO TRUTH’.
The devotee at a second thought considered it prudent to read the booklet in detail. He, in fact, did a second reading also. Then he felt it necessary to go through the booklet published by the Ashram, ‘On the New Edition of Savitri’.
He was convinced that as and when the Trustees act contrary to the teachings and instructions of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, it is absolutely essential for the inmates to jointly voice their protest and also initiate suitable action.
The compelling reason for changing his conviction was that despite timely warning by Prof. Jugal Kishore Mukherjee and protests by others, the Trustees acted egoistically and arrogantly. After careful reading, he reckoned that the trustees had obligations to answer several unanswered questions since the number of ashramites is insignificant compared to the number of disciples and devotees of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo living outside and following their teachings. The following questions require truthful answers:
1) Whether the trustees accept that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are incarnations of the Supreme Divine.
2) Whether they accept that the Supreme Divine descended on earth to accelerate the process of evolution and that the advent of DIVINE LIFE on earth is not a mere possibility but a certainty, as Sri Aurobindo Himself emphasised.
3) Whether the inmates working in the Archives are capable of conceiving, not to speak of realising, that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother came down on the earth for Supramental manifestation.
4) Whether they have the knowledge of the sayings and writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. If so, have they realised or not that Their pronouncements are since coming true. Let them remind themselves of what the Mother said in 1920 about India’s freedom, which became a reality in 1947. (CWM/Vol5./P 189 – 194)
5) Whether they are aware that Sri Aurobindo wrote in His “Future Poetry” that WORDS in poetry in the future would carry the same Mantric value and force as the verses in the VEDAS. (SABCL/Vol 9./P.17,28,195,199,200)
6) Whether they understand that “SAVITRI” is written by Sri Aurobindo from a higher consciousness and revised each time ascending still to higher consciousness, as mentioned by Him in the ‘Letters on Savitri’? (SABCL/Vol.29/P,727 – 794) Do they also realise that “SAVITRI” is a Legend and a Symbol ? (SABCL/Vol.26/P.247)
7) The devotee has also strongly expressed his doubts about the archivists’ knowledge and understanding of the very mission of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and their works.
He cited the following in support of his doubts:
In SAVITRI Sri Aurobindo has recalled the legend of Satyavan and Savitri from the great epic of “The Mahabharata”.(SABCL/Vol.26/P.265) The Yogic mission of Sri Aurobindo was to establish Divine Life on earth which also assures physical immortality of mankind. (SABCL/Vol.28 & 29 — references are quoted at the end)
Sri Aurobindo, like Aswapati, did His Tapasya on behalf of the mankind and obtained the boon for descent of the Divine Mother.(SABCL/Vol.28/P.346) Thereafter, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother jointly continued their Tapasya. (SABCL/Vol.29/Book Five) After Sri Aurobindo left His physical body, the Mother carried on alone (SABCL/Vol.29 /Book Seven) to establish the Supramental Manifestation upon earth on 29th February, 1956. She continued Her Tapasya to ‘bring down God into the lives of men’. (SABCL/Vol.29/P.699/L.7)
Significantly, Sri Aurobindo’s yogic progress enabled him to attain impersonality. Consequently, he could become one or the other personality and, at the same time, remain different from any one of them, especially in his spiritual quest. This would explain how Sri Aurobindo found the use of the legend Savitri in the Mahabharatha in more than one way. He found a similarity between his spiritual endeavour and that of Aswapathi on one hand and Satyavan on the other. In other words, the two roles of Aswapathi bringing the Divine Mother to earth and Satyavan as a spritual collaborator for Savitri had their confluence in Sri Aurobindo and his Tapasya.
Sri Aurobindo recorded His and The Mother’s spiritual experiences in “SAVITRI”. SAVITRI is, therefore, the spiritual autobiography of Sri Aurobindo and the spiritual biography of the Mother.