August 21, 2006

The greatest poet & philosopher of India

by Rich on Sun 16 Apr 2006 10:22 PM PDT Permanent Link Author: Jyotirmaya Sharma: asst. editor of the Times of India, a past lecturer at Oxford and Delhi, current member of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, etc, etc.The book: Hindutva, Exploring the idea of Hindu Nationalism Published by: Viking Penguin© Jyotirmaya Sharma, 2003
Response by Jyotirmaya Sharma on Mon 21 Aug 2006 01:34 PDT Profile Permanent Link
I still think that you have got hold of some terms that you neither understand, nor do you know how to use them well. Just using words like `orientalists' as words of abuse doesn't serve any purpose. I do understand that piety rather than serious scholarship or a well-worked out theoretical framework informs your ramblings here. As for the Peter Heehs quote that you mention, it was written before the quote I mentioned in my last post. Let me also tell you another thing. Don't use the word `journalist' as another word of abuse.
I have taught philosophy for long years, have first language proficiency in Sanskrit, I know my texts, and don't resort to using words like `epistemology' to make my writing look weighty. If you are so concerned with the falsity of my arguments, spend your time in writing a better book, rather than offering me employment in The Sun or The News of the World. I would have thought that if indeed Sri Aurobindo's spiritual works had had any impact on you, you would have been less strident, certain less pompous, and most certainly less full of your own self. One last thing, and I wish never to react to you ever again, never mind what the provocation is: Stop giving certificates to people without measuring up. Otherwise, your strident prose seems nothing but the manifestation of an unthinking believer and of someone whose little knowledge has become a burden to him. Science, Culture & Integral Yoga
by Rich on Mon 21 Aug 2006 07:58 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link You have given me a response which I certainly would have expected from one involved in proping up a straw man thesis, with little serious scholarship, or attention to detail. You make assertions yet provide no evidence, nor offer any responses to reply to questions raised by your most unbalanced treatment of Sri Aurobindo in your skewed history of Hinduvta. Rather you respond by citing qualifications from your resume as if your accomplishments will save you from the atrocious scholarship you flaunt in your book. And then you call me full of myself? ( btw thats a charge which in Texas we take pride in!!! To be a zealot and unthinking believer is almost a close second, so thanks for your sweet thoughts! ) Maybe the Sun, the New York Post, or the National Enquirer would be a better place for your journalism after all. Your defense of your thesis certaily seems like an editorial response from one of those newspapers. And by the way I also read the Heeh's article and asked him about it, and I can tell you quite certainly, that he in no way is in love with your writing either. I think if you actually would have read the article he wrote: The uses of Sri Aurobindo, mascott, whipping boy, or what? you would have known that! But I guess that all you are interested in is a whipping boy! hugs rich
by Jyotirmaya on Mon 21 Aug 2006 12:15 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link Well, I thought I would not respond to you, but I feel tempted now. If you stop flaunting your Texan pride -- whatever it means or amounts to -- and read even your blog, your invective would shame any self-critical individual, not to mention your pompous and inaccurate description of me.
Let me tell you a thing or two about what you call my unbalanced treatment of Aurobindo. I read Sri Aurobindo's complete works for my M.A. thesis, which was supervised by an Aurobindo devotee. He remains a friend even today and we disagree on Aurobindo. My former supervisor also remains a staunch devotee. If only you were to stop issuing certificates of merit to people, along with your propensity to get people fixed in jobs, you'd be able to turn into a civilised human being, which of course might go against your being a Texan. As for Peter Heehs not being in love with my writing, I have no problem with that. Unlike you, I don't suffer from a pathological need to make people accept everything I say, nor do I expect them to love every individual who happens to be my object of veneration. Peter Heehs and I corresponded for a period after he wrote his first comments on my book. I admire him for his scholarship, even if I don't share his perspective. One piece of unsolicited adviseto you, though: You use far too many adjectives (Is it another Texan virtue?) to support your splenetic outbursts. And I am very reluctant to accept your hugs either: It seems like a brutal embrace.
by Rich on Mon 21 Aug 2006 10:09 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link Thanks partner for your sweet response, Well a lot of things could be expected of a Texan, but a civilized human being is surely not one of them. In that regard however, I'd have to grant you honorary status as a Texan, because your style here certainly betrays your secret heritage.
If you wrote your Master's thesis on Sri Aurobindo under a devotee's supervision and all you could come up with was the concocted tale you told in your book, I would have to question how you even got out of grad school. Because in short, your arguments bespeak no rigor and your thesis appears to be indefensible. I mean all you have said in response to comments and criticism of your work is basically: You suck. (and moreover your adjectives suck too) You've also straddled the profession of psychoanalysis to account for my pathology in not liking your book. The fact that you got me stereotyped is certainly no surprise given your talent for throwing stereotypes around and the great job you do in squeezing the facts to fit the caricature you create. The subtlety behind such an intelligence now has me convinced that you really are a Texan, because it certainly accords with the state motto: Ignorant and Proud of It! from one invective hurler to another. cheers rich Science, Culture & Integral Yoga
Tusar N. Mohapatra said: Let us not forget that the book was published in 2003 in the heydays of Hindutva politics. Many people sought that short-cut to fame through that route. But all said and done, Jyotirmaya Sharma, the rare combination of a philosopher-journalist, has not done justice to the legacy of the greatest poet and philosopher of Modern India. The five dreams Sri Aurobindo spoke of in his radio broadcast on the eve of August 15, 1947 is his message to the nation as well as to the world. All portrayals of him must measure up to that level; anything less is a cruel betrayal.
Mukul Kesavan called him the worst poet of Bengal. Irreverence to great men is seen as a short route to glory. But, Jyotirmaya must make amends. He should first write a critique of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, and then an estimate of his poetry and, thereby, get ample chance to learn more about him.

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