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The lives of Sri Aurobindo: book review

François Gautier
First Published : 27 Feb 2009 03:52:00 AM IST

There is no greater mystery than the Divine incarnating Itself upon earth, what in India is called the Avatar or the Guru concept. It is also a story of Ultimate Sacrifice: Jesus Christ was crucified physically, but every guru is crucified by his or her disciples, even if he or she does not end on a cross. It is the mysterious alchemy of how the All-Perfect, the All-Powerful, agrees to don a human body, along with not only the suffering that goes with it, but also the imperfections a human life is endowed with, which makes it so powerful. Peter Heehs, an American historian, who lives in the Sri Aurobindo ashram, Puducherry, has attempted to recount the life of 20th century’s greatest avatar, in The Lives of Sri Aurobindo (Columbia University Press, May 2008).

It created a furore even before it was released in India, as extracts were circulated on the Net. This led to a lot of unpleasantness for Heehs.

Someone slapped a case ag…

LETTRE OUVERTE AU PRESIDENT SARKOZY

Translated from Original French article www.francoisgautier.fr (http://google.fr)
New Delhi, March 3 2009

Mr. President,

The bombings in Lahore team against Sri Lankan cricket has only emphasized the explosive instability of Pakistan. They also call into question once again, the French foreign policy in South Asia, which constantly tries to equate Pakistan, a small country on the brink of bankruptcy, which could be eaten at any time by Islamic fundamentalism the hardest, and India a great nation democratic, liberal, pro-Western, which is likely to supplant China as a superpower in Asia (and world) during this century.

It seems to us, Mr. President that you are badly advised by those same people that the state pays to tell us about India. I refer, of course, researchers in South Asia of CNRS, and its affiliates, such as EHESS. These are the researchers, often "Islam" rather than the Indians (ie they are specialists in the Mughal period), which, for example, are taxed at the out…