Home > serious posts > Sraddhalu not to lecture in Auroville

Sraddhalu not to lecture in Auroville

The AV News & Notes of 05 May 2012 (No. 446) contained the following announcement:

An Open Talk by Sraddhalu

At SAWCHU on Friday 11th of May, 2012 – 5 to 7 pm

Sraddhalu will speak on the controversial book and its consequent events. A Q&A session will follow. This is a chance for all in Auroville to know of the controversy first-hand, and to clear the air of all the speculations and rumours.

All are welcome!

The response was commendably swift and decisive. From an email of the same date (05 May) by a member of the Auroville Working Committee:

To clarify, a small group of Aurovilians supporters of Shraddhalu has been running around trying to get the WC change its stand, trying to invite Shraddhalu and use Savitri Bhavan, the Town Hall, the Tibetan Pavilion, the Unity Pavilion (who all refused) and now the SAWCHU.

We have never given any permission and the tactic is to try to ask people who do not know the controversy (in the case of SAWCHU a newcomer). The immediate response of the BN was to say that this wasn’t going to happen and that the gate would be locked on that day, if necessary with a police presence.

We will identify other potential venues and warn the care takers of the situation to avoid further developments.

It should be stressed that the decision of the WC and the response of the BN are not based on the subject of the announced talk or anyone’s opinion about the controversial book. They are based on such facts as the following: Sraddhalu is one of those who have brought a legal case against the Ashram Trust and who in other less obvious ways have sought to undermine the Trust and so the Ashram itself. In addition, he was the spearhead of a movement to deprive a foreign member of the Ashram of the privilege of residing in India by pulling strings in Delhi. The obvious resemblances between these actions and the heavy-handedness of the Sri Aurobindo Society during the 1970s should not be lost on any Aurovillian.

Unfortunately there are still Aurovillians who support Sraddhalu’s “rights” in a matter which many residents feel is simply a disagreement between two parties. Witness the fact that to this day his brother’s in arms Alok Pandey, Kittu Reddy, and Anand Reddy remain welcome and are invited as lecturers at Savitri Bhavan.

  1. Auro Freaks
    May 5, 2012 at 8:59 am

    a chance for all in Auroville to know of the controversy first-hand, and to clear the air of all the speculations and rumours

    Isn’t that rich! The chief source of all the speculations and rumours clearing the air of all the speculations and rumours! On the other hand, this talk could have provided first-hand information indeed, as Sraddhalu himself created the controversy.

  2. Ajay
    May 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    By stopping Sraddhalu from giving his talk in Auroville, Aurovillians have indeed cleared the air and its environment from the rubbish that comes along with Sraddhalu. To be fair to Sraddhalu’s followers, nothing stops them from attending his talks at his residence to get their daily dose of first-hand speculation and rumors.

    If Sraddhalu really wishes to clear the air, let him announce on his website that he has been lying all along during the last 3 and 1/2 years (if not longer, in reality). Let him withdraw the court cases he has initiated against the SA Ashram Trust and its members. Let him publicly apologize to Dr. Karan Singh for the nasty letter he wrote to him. Let him withdraw his xenophobic remarks against “western” Aurovillians. Only then he may probably deserve an entry into Auroville.

    Because all should know that Auroville does not need a Sraddhalu. Whereas the Sraddhalus badly need Auroville to run their business of selling spirituality.

  3. Paul Vincent
    May 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Auroville will be a better place without Sraddhalu and his controversies… He has lost many friends in the Ashram and now wants to gather some gullible adepts in Auroville…
    We have suffered a lot due to the cyclone, we do not need more troubles…

  4. Brother Rabelais
    May 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Well…. On the other hand, Aurovilians have missed their opportunity of using the barrel of tar and the bag of feathers previously bought for the purpose in Pondy Bazar….

    All their fans who were eagerly expecting the video on YouTube are disappointed.


  5. paulette
    May 7, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Sraddhalu is the most visible actor, but by no means the only one. It is not even he who initiated this story: it was Ananda Reddy with his letter to the trustees, in September 2008. Ananda Reddy is very keen in no longer exposing himself publicly; but I received communicates from him, in his early mass-mails (Rajeev Malhotra was an addressee too). And it was Ananda Reddy who forwarded to certain Aurovilians Sraddhalu’s letter to Dr. Karan Singh, whose language echoes that of the SAS during the war.

    And there is Alok Pandey, publicizing his visions, at the Samadhi, of a rat [guess who!] eating chunks of Sri Aurobindo’s flesh… A psychiatrist, having such visions? This is how the demonization of Peter Heehs commenced, with all that ensues. Please be aware that, in the aftermath of Ananda Reddy’s letter, Alok, the visionary psychiatrist, wrote to the trustees asking… to remove from the newly published vol. 36 two letters by Sri Aurobindo! And to revise this volume entirely, at the moment of its reprint!

    Question: what image of Sri Aurobindo’s would emerge, if this fraternity took over the Ashram Trust, SABDA, the schools, the archives etc.?

    Another major figure, since long caught in controversies, is RYD Deshpande. Like Sraddhalu, he too raising strong reactions among the SAICE students, following which the trustees took action against both; a first SAICE blog was created to celebrate. But what until recently distinguished this devotee from others in the friary is that he stood alone in letting free the Patrizia Norelli sect to flood his blog, Mirror of Tomorrow, until… Until the rtlosa General Editor picked up that sect’s divine reprimand! Since April 29 an interminable posting by Robert Wilkinson, the staunchest spokesperson of the supramental Third in the solar line (Thea the goddess, alias italo-American Patrizia Norelli) is enthroned in rtlosa. This operation seems to confirm my guess that the General Editor and RYD-Deshpande are one single soul. [http://www.thelivesofsriaurobindo.com/2012/04/aeon-group-of-usa-condemns-heehs-book.html]

    The epic list should continue with the most brilliant and bravest divine warrior: the non-existent Prof Kamaldas, whose unforgettable name is carved in history. But let’s end on this happy note, as to attempt to adequately describe the mythic Prof would take volumes. I would like to receive confirmation, though, from Prof and all others, whether Thea-PN is the Third in the solar supramental line and her son is the Fourth one. A humble request to the holy congregation follows: please do start a new blog, concomitant to the one so proficiently run on Peter and the trustees, but instead uniquely consecrated to announce to the world the supramental truth of the Solar Lineage!

    And what’s the SAS’s opinion, may I ask, and that of Vijay, Navajata’s son, regarding the Third and Fourth supramentally instructing the Aurobindonian masses? Will they too surrender to the Word?

    Please tell! Millions from India and all over the world, the whole universe wait for that moment!


  6. Ajay
    May 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Paulette is right, Ananda Reddy is a key player in this affair who has just underground to make sure that his business interests don’t suffer as much Sraddhalu’s have.

    But just watch this “Aurobindonian” and “expert” on Integral Yoga how he can in the same breath say that the influence of the “West” on India and Indians is a form of “pollution”.

    Watch how Ananda Reddy praises Rajiv Malhotra on this video for not having got “polluted” by the West (go to 3 min., 50 sec.).

  7. Anton
    May 8, 2012 at 8:41 am

    On August 15th 2008 Ananda Reddy signed a contract with Indira Gandhi National Open University. (

    This with the support of Dr. Karan Singh, because Dr. Singh wants to spread Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy amongst the academic community.

    Twenty two days later on September 9th 2008 Anand Reddy wrote a letter to the Ashram Trust declaring Peter Heehs latest book basically blasphemous and demands that no more research should be published from the Ashram Archives about Sri Aurobindo or the Mother.
    He declares a fellow scientist a dangerous person in the Ashram.

    Is Ananda Reddy the right person to bring Sri Aurobindo into the scientific world?

  8. Anton
    May 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Another strange phenomenon is the heckling of Peter Heehs for not having an academic degree by Ashram inmates. They know that their own SAICE does not issue any degrees: in the link given above about SACAR and IGNOU dr. Kireet Joshi even reminds Ananda Reddy sternly about the paper degree and certification mania. Both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were clear about what real (self)education comprised: NOT impressive looking framed wall certificates to boost the Ego.
    Lest we forget: Albert Einstein failed in his Swiss Federal Polytechnic exams and was subsequently ignored by most scientists who were stuck in their groupthink and tribalism. Now Peter Heehs is far from Einstein but decades of (self)study can lift a person over many a run of the mill “academic” who graduate with barely read and unreplicable theses): not a guarantee at all but definitely possible.

  9. auroleaks
    May 8, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Thanks Anton for bringing this up. We intended to take Kittu Reddy to task for complaining about Peter’s lack of academic qualifications but haven’t gotten around to it. Kittu out of all people who, himself a former student of the SAICE, ought to have known better. See this NDTV program.

  10. Sanjay
    May 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Anton :
    They know that their own SAICE does not issue any degrees… Both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were clear about what real (self)education comprised: NOT impressive looking framed wall certificates to boost the Ego.

    If you want to have a good laugh about Ananda Reddy’s understanding of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s teachings, their education and the value they placed on academic qualifications, you need to visit the home page of Ananda Reddy’s SACAR / TUT… among all the Certificate and Diplomas courses that are being offered, the one that I like best is the one on “Integral Yoga Psychology”!!!! Ananda Reddy is issuing certificates on Integral Yoga!!!!! Pffrrrssshhhhaa ha ha ha ha ….. tut tut tut…

  11. Anton
    May 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    On SACAR’s fee chart foreign students are charged 17 x the amount of Indian students for the PhD part. The old myth that all foreigners are rich was alive amongst most local villagers here but even they knew that some Indians are (very) rich. I thought Pondicherry was urban and a bit cosmopolitan? Muthialpet…?
    Anyway, I hope India students abroad are not charged 17 x the fee for locals over there.


  12. Ex Naive Auro- bindonian
    May 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

    In the last quarter of this video Ananda Reddy tries to justify SACAR’s MA, Mphil and PhD degrees by some blessings that the Mother gave in 1964 to his father’s Higher secondary School in Hyderabad: serious stretching for a foothold. SACAR was started in 1998: did he ever got permission form the SAAT management?
    Equally interesting are the answers that Binu Mukherjee and Sraddhalu give to a very valid question from the public as why they are indulging themselves in public explanations and discussions of Sri Aurobindo’s and Mother’s books. This goes to the heart of the Aurobindonian lecture culture that has grown much the last decade and comes partly from a “demand” from a section of the public. It is clear that most lecturers don’t (want to?) see the risk of this set up: they as intermediates becoming the surrogate gurus. This has happened in Christianity and Islam but alas even in India.

    The last one who was qualified to do this kind of work was the Mother. Her “Questions and Answers” stopped in 1958 and were not open to the general public.

  1. May 13, 2012 at 12:18 am

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