Home > satirical posts (about serious issues) > Pope Vijay’s Proclamations

Pope Vijay’s Proclamations

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Recently we have been posting a lot about the Sri Aurobindo Society, and some of our posts were rather serious. It’s time for some comic relief. Today is the fourth anniversary of Vijay Poddar’s immortal letter to Manoj Das Gupta about The Lives of Sri Aurobindo.

There is general agreement among students of Integral Yoga Fundamentalism that this is the most ridiculous document ever written by a hardcore IY fundamentalist. Sraddhalu Ranade is unparalleled for his inspirational impudence, Alok Pandey for his self-assured stupidity, but Vijay Poddar (a.k.a. Vijay bhai) beats them both by his ability to combine infantile irrationality with hysterical self-righteousness.

Vijay’s letter was written at a time when he still enjoyed some respect for his mental and moral qualities, and as a result some people took it seriously at the time. Four years of behind-the-scenes maneuvering and the occasional prophetic utterance have so lowered him in public esteem that few people take him seriously any more. As the smokescreen of his rhetoric has dissipated, the matter under study has become more and more clear. So it is a good time to look at Vijay’s famous letter again.

Our friends at IY Fundamentalism have published the text of the letter along with the warning, “Readers are cautioned that this unannotated document contains false assertions.” Our purpose here is not to disclose all the distortions, half-truths and sheer lies that are crowded into Vijay’s letter, but simply to dissipate the haze a little more so that people will be able see the letter for what it is, and perhaps have a few laughs along the way.

Vija Poddar begins by saying that yet another letter on the subject is uncalled for but decides to write one anyhow because he has thought “a long time” (a week? a month? – it could not have been more than that) about the issues involved. He then asks whether the Mother would be happy to receive (whatever that might mean) the book “with all that has been written in it about Sri Aurobindo and Her.” He does not give an example of what has been written, and does not seem to know himself. He has, he admits, just read “some of the things which are written” (in other words he had read Raman Reddy’s distorted Selections). Nevertheless, he considers himself illumined enough to answer on the Mother’s behalf. The answer (of course) is No. He then tells the Trustees to follow his example. If it turns out they aren’t worried about the book they haven’t read, they should put his letter aside. But if they are ignorant enough to form an opinion about something they haven’t read on the basis of gossip and fragments, they should go ahead and read the rest of his 2700-word letter.

There follows a rigid logical demonstration: Columbia University Press (on the jacket flap, Vijay bhai!) asserts that the book is by a competent author, therefore (!!) the Ashram is responsible for the book. Therefore the Ashram must publicly disown the book, stop the printing of the Indian edition, and stop the distribution of the American edition!!! The book (which, again, neither Vijay nor the trustees had at that point read) cannot  be revised. It has to be banned completely and banned immediately!!!! This ridiculous conclusion is the one that Vijay has been repeating, like a broken record, for the last four years – but nobody has listened to him!

(Well, somebody did, namely Gopal Bhattacharjee, Jayant Bhattacharjee, and Geetanjali Jain Bhattacharjee. Question: At whose instructions did these people initiate legal proceedings in various parts of India against a book the Trustees were not bothered about but Vijay was definitely bothered about. Perhaps only Vijay knows.)

Vijay Poddar then puts on the robe of the Prophet: the book, he says, is a product of “a very hostile and evil force.” What can be done? Well, pass that idea along to the ashram’s licensed expert in hostile forces, Dr. Pandey-monium (a.k.a. the Doctor of Demonology), and let him rave about it for four years.

Vijay’s logical demonstration then continues: (1) Sri Aurobindo cannot be harmed by a book, (2) nothing we human beings can do can help or hinder things, (3) therefore the Trustees (all of whom are human beings) must act and act now now now ­– certainly before anyone has had a chance to read the book.

The problem, Vijay bhai, is that in the intervening four years, hundreds of people have read the book and, guess what, the vast majority of them were not bothered by it at all. Scholars, professors, writers, government ministers, ashramites, ex-students – all found the book to be wonderful, or okay, or at any rate not “denigratory.” What then, Vijay bhai?

Well, of course, Vijay asks the Trustees to hold a meeting where Vijay (who has still not read the book) can tell everyone that they should publicly disown it. And when the Trustees say no, Vijay himself, as de facto head of the SAS, declares that the SAS “strongly disapproves of the book”. But alas, nobody gives a damn.

Poor Vijay bhai! What can he do now? What can his henchmen Gopal Bhattacharjee, Jayant Bhattacharjee, Geetanjali Jain Bhattacharjee do? They have tried the High Court of Orissa, they have tried the High Court of Madras, they have tried the Lieutenant-Governor, now they are trying the Asst. Collector of Puducherry. And still nobody is doing what Vijay wants them to do!!! Poor Vijay bhai!!!!

We said we were writing this to provide a little comic relief and we hope that our readers have been amused. But now we have to introduce a little bit of seriousness into this post. Vijay will recall that the Supreme Court of India instructed the Sri Aurobindo Society in 1984 that the work of Sri Aurobindo was not and could never be a religion, and therefore the SAS had not right to claim the constitutional rights granted to religious bodies, as it was trying to do. That was more than thirty years ago, Vijay bhai. Surely you have read the Supreme Court judgment.

It would appear that he has not. One does not have to be a graduate of Knowledge to realize that Vijay’s letter and Vijay’s Statement are nothing but religious proclamations. Yes, Vijay considers himself a Shankaracharya, a Mullah, a Pope! But nobody is paying attention!!! Better be careful, Vijay bhai, if you go on with your religious babbling, the Supreme Court of India might have to step in again.

Advertisements
  1. Anant
    October 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Good lord – like father, like son….

  2. Jeev
    October 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Anant :
    Good lord – like father, like son….

    The father may be pardoned because his upbringing was an ordinary one. But Vijay? Unlike his father he had the unique privilege and opportunity of being brought up in the Ashram, by the Mother herself. Are the Poddar genes really that impervious to the Divine Grace???

  3. A non vegetaraian
    November 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    It looks as if narrow-mindedness, illogic and the name PODDAR all go hand in hand. Is David S. PODDAR by any chance a distant relative or maybe even a pseudonym of Pope V. PODDAR???

    ‘Cause according to this other PODDAR, non-vegetarians “… easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes…” (see the book’s front cover).

    If Pope V. PODDAR comes to know this, he may initiate an investigation to find out the diet of Peter Heehs in order to finally attempt to substantiate his claims that Peter’s book is bad. Because if he can prove that Peter Heehs is a non-vegetarian, aha, then all the rest follows easily.

  4. A Rationalist
    January 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    it is indeed incorrect and wrong way to judge a devotee just because there are present some rational insufficiencies or rather large lacunaes in rationalising. The point of solution being we need to understand maturely and ask for the grace of the Divine to resolve this long standing issue. With the grace of the Divine which problem cannot be resolved. Thats all.

  1. October 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s