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Actions speak louder than words: political demonstration at Ashram turns ugly

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

A political demonstration staged by Sraddhalu Ranade and others to coincide with the February 29 Darshan turned ugly yesterday. The demonstrators are attempting to oust the Trustees of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Over 100 outside protesters were bussed in from Orissa, and the escalating stridency of the demonstration ended in the elderly Trustees being accosted, as may be read in this report.

This political demonstration (“dharna”) has caused shock and disruption in the Ashram, bringing tension, violence and politics into the atmosphere. Is it not time for centers and individuals around the world to express their concerns for such an unacceptable escalation of violence? In this light, shouldn’t centers consult their conscience before inviting the instigators of such actions to speak at their centers? As an example of taking such actions of conscience, Auroville bookstores have stopped carrying Sraddhalu’s book on Education previously published in Auroville. In addition, concerned Ashram residents have drafted a petition expressing support for the integrity of the Ashram Trust. This petition may be signed by all concerned members of the international community.

David Hutchinson

Rich Carlson

Debashish Banerji


Prapanna Smith

  1. Nicolas Flamel
    February 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Shraddalu Ranade had a French past life. He was famous enough to inspire Moliere who staged him in one of his best plays.

    “Il passe pour un saint dans votre fantaisie:
    “Tout son fait, croyez-moi, n’est rien qu’hypocrisie.”

    “He passes for a saint in your imagination:
    “But everything he does, believe me, is pure hypocrisy.”

    LE TARTUFFE, Act 1, Scene 1

  2. sampradayak
    March 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Sraddalu Ranade wants to have the authority of accepting or expelling members of the Ashram. This authority has never been delegated by the Mother to any Trustee.

  3. Brother Rabelais
    March 2, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Unbeknownst to the bullies, the good Dr. Datta has a sizable Fan Club in Auroville. Incensed by the humiliation suffered by their hero, its members were determined to teach a lesson in “Affirmative Spirituality” to Father Ranade the next time he was scheduled to preach in the Savitri Bhavan. This was supposed to happen today March 2nd with a Sermon dedicated to the “Transformation of the Physical Consciousness”. Frightened by a too sudden transformation of his own physical, Father Shraddalu found it more prudent to decline:

    (Posted on the Auronet)
    Fri 02 / 05:00 PM Savitri Bhavan
    “The Synthesis of Yoga – Transformation of the Physical Consciousness, led by Sraddhalu Ranade”.- CANCELLED

    Father Superior was well inspired.
    Dr. Datta’s friends had already bought a barrel of tar
    and a bag of feathers in Pondy Bazar.

  4. arjun
    March 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    i am so hurt that this had to happen in the ashram. but there is always the spiritual guidence and let the faith in its presence solve the issue in a way unexpected by all of us.

  5. sagarika
    March 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Sri Aurobindo Commenting on the character of the Ashram

    in a letter Sri Aurobindo wrote: ‘It is necessary or rather inevitable that in an Ashram which is a “laboratory”… for a spiritual and supramental yoga, humanity should be variously represented. For the problem of transformation has to deal with all sorts of elements favourable and unfavourable. The same man indeed carries in him a mixture of these two things. If only sattwic and cultured men come for yoga, men without very much of the vital difficulty in them, then, because the difficulty of the vital element in terrestrial nature has not been faced and overcome, it might well be that the endeavour would fail…. Those in the Ashram come from all quarters and are of all kinds; it cannot be otherwise…

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