DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH > UNIVERSITY OF HYDERABAD > HYDERABAD 500 046, (A.P.) INDIA > Dr. Sachidananda Mohanty
Professor and Head, 17 September 2008
The Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry 605 002
Sub: Peter Heehs’ book: The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, Columbia
University Press, 2008... What are the lessons?
First, we need to strengthen the academic/intellectual side of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education. We must fashion out a way of intellectual training of the young students and critics that fits into Sri Aurobindo’s injunction about the office and limitation of Reason, expounded in Human Cycle and elsewhere. The Mind, Sri Aurobindo says, most emphatically, has to be developed as an instrument, and open itself to higher Truths of Life. If we do not do this, we cannot blame others who are not attuned to this approach, from taking over and filling the void, as it has regrettably happened now. In this regard, we must be prepared to take the help of the ex-students of the Ashram who have had considerable training in this regard in the outside world. We must remember that either we move forward or go backward. There is no third alternative.
Clearly, as spirituality enjoins upon us, the best way of living within in our context, is to immerse ourselves in the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. While dogma and religiosity are to be shunned at all costs, we must internalize the Aurobindonian view of life which alone can safeguard us against aberrations and pitfalls. When a sufficiently large number of a community practise an ethical and spiritual life (ethics is not a bad word), then they would generate a force that alone can act as an effective antidote to darkness and ignorance.
Conclusion: Clarity of vision leads to a clarity of action. Those that are at the helms of affairs of a community must have a larger vision and discharge their responsibilities without fear and favor. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram was founded upon spiritual Realizations. As ordinary mortals, we can at least have conviction in the basic Truth of the Founders!
Is this too much to expect!