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How to prove that a square is a circle

April 11, 2014 1 comment

We at AuroLeaks have often wondered how the Sraddhalunatics manage to interpret passages from a certain biography of Sri Aurobindo as they do. We have found an explanation:

It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. What after all are a square and a circle? They are mere words and words can be molded until they clothe ideas in disguise.

— Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda

One hand is enough to stab somebody

October 12, 2013 3 comments

A tale of two cities

February 9, 2013 Leave a comment

We republish here a most insightful post by Debashish Banerji (with a comment by Angiras) as it appeared on iyfundamentalism.info nearly four years ago. It is well worth re-reading and reflecting upon it.

There was someone who once came across a book on great people. When he had finished about half the book, he came upon a chapter. After reading a few pages of that chapter, he was surprised to experience something he never thought was possible. He realized from within that

• there is a source of knowledge in man other than the mind
• that this source of knowledge has greater certitude than mind
• that the nature of this knowledge is not inferential but of a self-evident nature
• that this source was bearing witness to the existence of Truth, not relative truths
• that such Truth was what was staring him in the face from the pages of this chapter
• that the person who was being spoken about in the chapter was the carrier and embodiment of Truth.

When he came out of this exalted condition, he very soon realized that no one around him was in a position to understand what he had experienced. It was incomprehensible to them and they would think him crazy and hurt him in some way if he went about talking about this. However, for his own security, he was left with two options — either not speak about this possibility at all or if he saw the slightest opening, speak to that opening. Here, if he could at all speak about it, he realized that what mattered was to get across the possibility that they also had this source of knowledge within themselves and if they were interested in exploring this possibility, they could read the Person whom he had read. What he realized very quickly not to tell anyone was that the Person was the carrier or embodiment of Truth, because, if they did not arrive at the source of knowledge within themselves, this would be for them, nothing but an irrational assertion, and they would take him for mad or see it as a good beginning for a new religious dogma.

This is what happened to him in city A, a modern metropolis. Then, one day he heard that there was another city, city B, where the people all agreed that the Person was an avatar. He moved to this city. Here everyone took it for granted that the Person was the Master and the Avatar. He came to take this as a factual reality and not even question the ground of experience. He was not in a position to know what place experience had in this assertion by the others. He felt safe and comforted and nurtured in his knowledge and pretty well forgot the existence of city A to which he had belonged. But then City A began to haunt his dreams. He would find himself transported there and participating in the doubt, argumentation and lying which were common there. One day, sitting in city B, he felt an inner urge to address city A. He remembered his earlier existence there and he returned to his first concern that the people of city A saw the possibility of another kind of knowledge and did not mistake it with blind ideological and cultic conditionings or fundamentalist assertions and practices which were tearing city A apart. In doing this, he even identified with those aspects of the culture of city A which rejected the external trappings of such blind following. But through this, he succeeded in getting the central message across — there is a Person at least as sane and balanced as them — and perhaps much more so — who realized a kind of consciousness and knowledge which could bring certitude to an ignorant world and harmony to a strife-torn world. That consciousness and knowledge could belong to all human beings, since the Person had tested its steps thoroughly as a scientist of consciousness and held out a way if one was willing to try it.

But what he did not expect is that his message to city A would reach the hands of some in city B. And that, in city B, what he had not been able to gauge had become the reality — the repetition of religious practices and thoughts had brought about a reification of experience which had reversed the priorities in the collective, so that what mattered first was the assertion repeated into similitude of fact that the Master was the avatar and then it became secondary or irrelevant whether anyone thought it important that there was a faculty of knowledge higher than the mind which alone could make such an assertion. Before he could understand what was happening, the thought leaders of the community became enraged that he had not acknowledged the divinity of their Master and had criticized their fond practices in his writing. They quickly mobilized the entire community using well tested methods of thought propaganda to incite the erasure of this message and its messenger from their midst, since it presented such a threat to their sense of collective comfort, their sheltered mind-reality.

A deafening war cry rose up into the sky and a tremendous dust cloud made everyone blind. He was dragged out of his home and humiliated. He was threatened with expulsion and ex-communication and made to recant for the wrongs that he had done. Then he was beaten up and, only due to the diplomacy of a veteran wise one among them, exiled alive from the community for good.

The walls were drawn up. Some new constructions were quietly carried out to build a moat and mine the territory around city B. Things went back to normal. City A remained what it was — a world torn by increasing strife and pitched warfare and city B returned to its state of heavenly peace. Then one day in city A, matters escalated to a point beyond repair and someone blew up the whole world, the one which included both these cities, that is, the one and only world there is. It is interesting that even the day before this happened, some people in the streets of city B had a premonitory conversation. One said, things are so bad outside. The whole world may be destroyed. The other said, even if the whole world is destroyed, we will remain immune. The Grace is with us, after all.

Comment by Angiras:

It is often forgotten that the Person wrote most of his luminous works before city B began to grow up around him, when city A was his only audience. He knew very well how to communicate to those people. In doing so, he never told them he was an Avatar or embodiment of Truth. The hero of this tale of two cities later adopted the same approach in writing about the Person, with tragic consequences.

During the lifetime of the Person, few were ready to find the source of knowledge within themselves. In the course of time the Person was almost forgotten by city A. But as the world underwent an evolutionary crisis in which was concealed a choice of its destiny, the hero felt an urge to make people in city A aware of the Person’s discoveries.

Whatever the imperfections of his attempt to inform city A about the Person and his message, it was because of the undermining of his effort by city B that the message failed to have an effect. It is interesting to note that the Person himself foresaw the danger of what eventually happened to city B. He called it the “snag in the worship of Guru or Avatar,” namely, “a sectarian bias which insists on the Representative or the Manifestation but loses sight of the Manifested.” With regard to his own Avatarhood, he clarified: “I am seeking to manifest something of the Divine that I am conscious of and feel — I care a damn whether that constitutes me an Avatar or something else. That is not a question which concerns me. By manifestation of course I mean the bringing out and spreading of that Consciousness so that others also may feel and enter into it and live in it.” Similarly, our unfortunate hero “realized that what mattered was to get across the possibility that they also had this source of knowledge within themselves.” He saw that this was more important than imposing on them the belief that the Person was the embodiment of Truth.

In the early history of city B, there is a story about a sadhak beating up another sadhak who did not accept the Person as an Avatar. When the first sadhak boasted of his exploit, the Person replied with his inimitable humor: “Did he accept me after the beating?”

Pope Vijay’s Proclamations

September 30, 2012 5 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.

Ashram Inmates’ New Protector

August 22, 2012 4 comments

The New ProtectorAs we learn from the Hub of Lies about … well, just about everything …, the inmates of the Ashram no longer feel that they are sufficiently protected by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Thank … eh, who?…, they now have the Hon’ble MLA Ashok Anand to protect them! In the background Varun is seen saying his prayer of thanks to … eh, whom?

Onagrocracy roster update

August 5, 2012 1 comment

A reader of our blog by the name of Ranagate has noted a serious omission in our onagrocracy roster. Our apologies to Ranagate. The updated roster looks like this:

Reminder: Voting remains open till August 15th.