Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Unravelling of the Auroville Cult

Robert E. Wilkinson ©

Decades of Soul-numbing dogma have finally taken their toll as we watch the predictable collapse of the Auroville cult and its famous ‘spin machine’. What was once an organized opposition to the Line of Supramental Descent is now coming apart at the seams. Internecine feuds and bitter betrayals signal the long expected implosion of a community built on the unstable foundation of connivance and lies. Its dénouement, predicted by Sri Aurobindo himself, is a direct result of the Supramental Force and its unrelenting demand for Truth as it presses more and more in its descent toward matter. What we are seeing today in Auroville and its internet propaganda machine, ‘Savitri Era’, are the final throes of decades of usurpation of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s work by an Aurovillian mental elite who, for over thirty years, have attempted to obstruct the Supramental Descent and entomb its living message. Through a rigid Aurobindonian Orthodoxy of their own design these usurpers have managed to suppress the descent of a Knowledge unparalleled since the Vedic age. But for those who SEE, it is clear that their long reign of darkness has finally come to an end. Let us review the facts:

When the Mother was asked to describe Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary work, she wrote:

"The consciousness is like a ladder: at each great epoch there has been one great being capable of adding one more step to the ladder and reaching a place where the ordinary consciousness has never been... one more step to the ladder without losing contact with the material (consciousness)... to reach the Highest and at the same time connect the top to the bottom... To go up and down and join the top to the bottom is the whole secret of realisation, and that is the work of the Avatar.”

The evolutionary task of Sri Aurobindo and his line was to bring about the descent of the Supreme Truth Consciousness and to prepare for its general manifestation on the earth by becoming the rungs of that ladder and the living embodiments of that descent. Each of the four members of the ‘Solar Line’, as they are called, represent a specific stage or field of yoga which unites the contiguous planes of Spiritual, Mental, Vital and Physical, incarnating the complete evolutionary spectrum in human form and thereby revealing the deepest secrets of creation. Those familiar with the revolutionary nature of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga will appreciate that it is a complete "reversal" of the old yogas which for millennia sought a transcendence of the physical reality through the realization of a Timeless, Boundless and Ineffable Brahman. The work of the 9th Avatar of Vedic tradition represents a radical departure from traditional Indian spirituality and turns upon a DESCENT and ultimate transformation of the Vital and Physical planes. Sri Aurobindo explains:

“The goal is not to lose oneself in the Divine Consciousness. The goal is to let the Divine Consciousness penetrate into Matter and transform it.” Sri Aurobindo - The Mother 15: p.191

Through the yogic efforts of Solar Line, the Supreme consciousness and knowledge was brought down in what he termed ‘the descent of the Supermind’. Truth was no longer “up there” in an ineffable indescribable Transcendent but brought down by Sri Aurobindo and his line in what is demonstrably the ultimate and conclusive reconciliation of Spirit and Matter. The ontological duality of Purusha and Prakriti of which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were the living embodiments was transformed into a seamless continuum through the addition of a Third principle which resolved this ancient polarity through a process of Synthesis and Becoming. The absolute necessity of a Third to complete this process follows a fundamental principal of Vedic knowledge known as “the Law of Three”. It is the expression of an irreducible truth that at the heart of the creation lies a tripartite harmony of energy or “seed” from which the entire cosmos evolves. The three principle gods of India, the “Trimurti” of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are representative of this essential truth and reflect its supreme importance. The ancient tradition of Ayurveda honors this essential harmony of Three as the “Tridoshas” (the three energies), the primary factors of the human body that govern our health. In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna describes this occult law as the “Three Gunas” which he praised as the basis of an Ultimate Wisdom. And in Christianity this eternal formula is simply known as the “Trinity of God.” In more modern times this sublime principle was reconstructed by the philosopher G.W. Hegel to describe his dialectical process of Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis. With the overwhelming evidence and tradition supporting this eternal principle one is simply dumbfounded that the Auroville cabal could so glibly dismiss the Third as irrelevant to the Supramental design. Was it not Sri Aurobindo himself who wrote:

“While the Divine is One, it is also manifold... It is at once Transcendental, Cosmic and Individual. By knowing the eternal unity of these three powers of the eternal manifestation, God, the Cosmos and the Individual self, and their intimate necessity to each other, we come to understand existence itself.…” Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga

With the contribution of the Third, ‘Thea’ as she is known, the formidable work of Synthesis was accomplished. The Supreme Truth was no longer simply a matter of Being and its correspondences but also embraced Time and the Becoming. For the first time in the history of spirituality an Integral harmony of Spirit and Matter, Being and Becoming and Time and Eternity was REALIZED and with it, an entirely new language by which these formerly inexpressible truths could be known, communicated and most importantly, APPLIED. With the discoveries of the Third we are finally able to move beyond speculation into an ‘objectively verifiable knowledge’ which forms the basis of a Supramental Gnosis which Sri Aurobindo described as,’ free from doubt, self-evident, self-existent, irrefragable and absolute’.

In Book Two, Canto Six of Savitri, Sri Aurobindo describes the impossible task of the Third as, ‘catching the boundless in a net of birth, casting the spirit into physical form, lending speech and thought to the Ineffable, finding new bodies for the Infinite, and images of the Unimaginable’. For the last 40 years Thea has worked tirelessly to accomplished that task, producing a prodigious body of work unequalled in the history of spirituality. And what has happened to those published works which reveal this Divine Measure by which the ultimate reconciliation of Spirit and Matter may be known? They were rejected out of hand and banned from the official list of titles by the same Aurovillian intelligentsia that had only years earlier destroyed the Vedic content of the Mother’s plan for her Temple. The details of this distortion and deception have been discussed elsewhere and need not be dealt with here, only the result of this infamy which is now being played out before our eyes in the acts of Peter Heehs, Tusar Mohapatra, RY Deshpande and Andrew Cohen among others.

It is a well know fact that lesser mortals rush to fill the void and absence of authority once the guru departs. Given the history of modern religions, one might even argue that this kind of usurpation and dogmatic entombment of the guru’s teaching, once they have died, is in the natural order of things. What inevitably follows is the formation of a Cult that seizes the guru’s teachings and crystallizes them into a rigid mental dogma over which they preside as ‘owners’ of the new truth. It is widely known that this is exactly what took place after the passing of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. And if their work had followed the pattern of traditional Indian spirituality the dogma which formed around their teachings would doubtless have become the greatest religion in the world. But the Supramental descent did not end with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The Line continues on today, albeit behind the scenes, with its Third and Fourth levels and supported by those ‘few who shall see what none yet understands’. In their infinite wisdom Sri Aurobindo and the Mother knew that their work would be usurped and distorted by some of their closest disciples. He warned us about this in Savitri calling them, ‘the wise men who talk and sleep’. But they also had an inviolable faith in the unconquerable power of the Supermind working relentlessly towards its final apotheosis.

When the Mother’s closest disciples rejected the impeccable vision of her temple’s Inner Chamber and destroyed the greatest feat of sacred architecture yet to be realized upon the earth she did not insist on imposing her will. Instead, she said:

“…what they see is all mental, They do not know. Who is there that knows? It is only when one sees. There is not one of them who sees. I do not believe in exterior decisions. I simply believe in one thing only: the force of the consciousness which is making a pressure like that (crushing gesture) and the pressure goes on becoming greater… which means that it will sort out the people. So since there are not many who can understand, I say nothing, I look and I wait.’ The Mother, Matrimandir Dialogues

Sri Aurobindo expressed the same unwavering confidence in that Supramental Force taking his work to completion when even the most skeptical would be obliged to believe what the few already see. He wrote:

“ In Matter shall be lit the spirit's glow,
In body and body kindled the sacred birth;
Night shall awake to the anthem of the stars,
The days become a happy pilgrim march,
Our will a force of the Eternal's power,
And thought the rays of a spiritual sun.
A few shall see what none yet understands;
God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
For man shall not know the coming till its hour
And belief shall be not till the work is done.

Savitri -- A Legend and a Symbol), Page: 55

What we are witnessing today in the disintegration of the Aurovillian intelligentsia is precisely that Force of Consciousness. Having rejected the contribution of the Third in the line, a knowledge that would reveal the imperishable truths of the entire Supramental Descent, Aurobindonians are left floundering in the half-light of a religious consciousness, vacillating between belief and doubt and unable to articulate a believable defense of who Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were and the utter uniqueness of their teachings. Opting for a truncated version of the Supramental Descent by excluding the Third and Fourth members of the line, the faithful have no other choice but to conclude that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother failed in their stated mission or else cling to the fragile hope that history will eventually provide evidence of their success hundreds of years down the road. Having rejected the higher knowledge, they have forfeited the opportunity to KNOW and not just BELIEVE that the Supermind has descended and that its operations can even now be measured with a precision and exactitude that grants the individual a direct experience of the Supreme within the physical manifestation. Lacking the Realization that such a vision confers, most find themselves stuck in an unsatisfying and untenable situation and forced to come to terms with an over-idealized image of a possibly failed guru with which they have now become completely identified.  

With the increasing pressure of Consciousness brought on by the Supermind, devotees are feeling the crushing contractions that the Mother predicted. Cracks are beginning to appear in the public face of the cult dividing its members along the lines of belief and doubt. Those who can no longer justify the all-consuming psychological projection onto the guru will naturally seek a means to humanize him, simultaneously releasing themselves from the obligations of selfless servitude and giving full flower to their vital ego. There can be absolutely no doubt that this is the underlying dynamic behind Peter Heehs’ book, The Lives of Sri Aurobindo. Through his efforts to humanize and de-contectualize Sri Aurobindo, Heehs has set in motion a process of disillusionment that has churned the psyches of Aurobindonians around the globe. Because of this he has been branded a traitor, an enemy, a scoundrel and much worse. And while every attempt has been made by the faithful to distance and dissociate themselves from his literary heresy, it cannot be overlooked that he arose from and is a product of the Ashram and the Auroville culture where he has lived for many years. Indeed, he is not an ‘outsider’ but simply a more visible example of the pervasive lack of realization that has turned Sri Aurobindo’s work and mission into a distorted caricature of itself. Since he has also rejected the contribution of the Third, Heehs is unable to communicate the most basic meaning of Sri Aurobindo's appearance on the earth as the 9th Avatar of Vedic tradition. The only course left to him is a disingenuous dismissal of Sri Aurobindo’s Avatarhood as a distracting hagiographic idealization in which he had no real interest.

'...What about the assertion that Aurobindo was an avatar? I can’t say that the question interests me very much. Aurobindo never claimed the distinction for himself, and I don’t think anyone alive is in a position to say one way or the other...' (Peter Heehs, from the Columbia website)

To persons of knowledge, Heehs’ comments are simply outrageous. It is as if the Vedic tradition of the Avatar is meaningless, even though it is sanctified by the Gita in Sri Krishna's own words, and Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother’s as well. Moreover, Heehs’ contention that no one alive today is in a position to say one way or another belies an embarrassing lack of research on his part or, like the Auroville gang, a calculated decision to ignore the volumes of proofs that Thea has produced. Since these numerous and non-speculative proofs of Sri Aurobindo’s Avataric credentials have been accepted and catalogued by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, an organization which lists Heehs as one of its founding members, there can be simply no doubt that he has misstated the facts.

Those remaining devotees who have also rejected the knowledge but who nevertheless revile Heehs and consider his book a betrayal of Sri Aurobindo are left no choice but to embrace a greater religious fervor and a heightened idealization of the guru. When one is dealing with disillusionment in the absence of real knowledge how can they continue that level of commitment? Their gurus are gone, their teachings are being plagiarized and distorted by outsiders. People they respected and looked to for guidance have betrayed and abandoned them. The only option is to deny the facts and idealize the beloved out of all proportion. Tusar Mohapatra has provided us with an unmistakable example of this view when he writes:

“ The divine manifestation of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is an unprecedented phenomenon which can't be explained by past mythological instances or received metaphysical formulations. Parameters of perennial philosophy or speculative prophecies like eternal recurrence fall flat here. All talk of the Messiah, the Tirthankar or the Avatar is idle intellectual approximations.
The mystery of their physical life, meeting, and work on earth is nothing in comparison to what is yet untold about them and their global action to unfold. When the shackle of the ramshackle past religions shall start crumbling then we may witness a gigantic backlash. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have already accomplished the metaphysical victory. The praxis, alas, is but to follow to the peril of all ancient castles.
The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have already imbibed the leap in their embodied existence the consequences of which are simply unimaginable. Why and how their integrality is in the process of engulfing the whole world in spite of terrible defiance and resistance will be an interesting spectacle in the years to come. Savitri Erans must lift their flags high enough for others to spot and be a sport.” TM

This is a classic example of someone taking their own unfounded hagiographic inflation to extremes. What is most revealing is Tusar’s desire to get away from all formulation, mythic or otherwise which allows him to believe whatever fantasy he likes without the inconvenience of having to deal with proof of his claims and the facts that support them. He does so by putting them “up there” on the Transcendent heights beyond the reach and explanation of mortal man. This is a perfect example of how devotees with no yogic experience and realization attempt to turn this epochal spiritual work into a Religion. What remains are un-provable pronouncements about Sri Aurobindo and the Mother solely derived from Tusar’s subjective devotional fervor. His hopes are pinned on the ‘years to come’ and any fellow disillusioned Aurobindonians who might rally to his flag. In a work characterized by objective knowledge and precision, this kind of unqualified ‘new age’ response is simply unacceptable. By placing Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on incomparable, unreachable Transcendent heights, Tusar believes that he is doing them a service but in fact, as we have discussed in this paper, he is contradicting the very purpose they came to achieve. If joining the top of the ladder to the bottom is the whole secret of realization and the work of the Avatar, Tusar has just yanked the ladder out from under them and made their stated evolutionary goal of the divinization of matter a virtual impossibility.

I don’t mean to single Tusar out because, as the demands of Truth increase, the inability to produce a meaningful and accurate explanation of this work is being repeated by many of Auroville’s so-called wise men. In a recent posting on his blog “Mirror of Tomorrow”, (note that with these folks it is always about tomorrow) entitled ‘India’s Independence and Spiritual Destiny’, R. Y. Deshpande wrote a moving lament about India’s unfulfilled destiny and how things might possibly change for the better. He writes:

‘…Our hope lies in being open to the subtler nuances of the working of the forces of life that operate always within and around us. In the totality of our approach we will have to perhaps move from the rational to the luminous intuitive modes and tools of knowledge and action. Fortunate we will be if we can accept, understand and apply what has been given to us by the Seer of the New Age.’ RYD

I found his nonsensical comments curiously ironic because Deshpande has made a mission of distorting and suppressing the very knowledge that would allow for India’s rise. The luminious knowledge that he hopes someday to find has been set forth by Thea chapter and verse. It is precise, it is objective and resides in every curve, every line, and every centimeter of the Mother’s original temple plan. But every attempt to explain and discuss it has been met by Deshpande, Tusar and others in Auroville and the Ashram with denial, disbelief, negation, and rejection. And what do they offer in its place… distortion, falsification, meaningless speculation, pious platitudes and empty hope. His every word consolidates the view that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and even India have failed in their mission. And yet he continues with pretentions of authority and knowledge as if he had the imprimatur of Sri Aurobindo himself. Deshpande goes on with an unconvincing mea culpa:

‘…we are entrenching ourselves more and more into falsehood and fraud. We are strengthening falsehood and fraud more and more… It seems there is no end to our stupidity…. because we had no conviction in the words of the Avatar. One recoils despicably when there is the disregard for things that come from knowledge founded on the workings of the spirit.’ RYD

On this we are in total agreement, but what unbelievable hypocrisy. This very ‘knowledge founded on the workings of the spirit’ has been offered time and time again only to be roundly rejected by Deshpande and his cronies. The ‘tools of knowledge and action’ that he imagines as a saving grace have been given out by Thea since the early 70’s. But thanks to Deshpande and his colleagues, her dozens of books and hundreds of articles on Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and India have been arbitrarily withheld from the Integral Yoga community for over thirty years.

Is it any wonder then that with this kind of incompetent leadership Spiritual dilettantes like Andrew Cohen rush to patronize and diminish Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s stature so he can brand himself and his ‘EnlightenNext’ magazine as the leading authority on “Evolutionary Spirituality”. As Carter Phipps writes, ‘…the offices of EnlightenNext believe that the reason Sri Aurobindo’s work is not more celebrated is because his followers ‘view his work in such mythic and messianic terms’ regarding him as a flawless saint or Avatar.’ According to Phipps, students of Aurobindo and the Mother have a tendency to take this kind of hagiographic inflation to extreme heights. Given his limited understanding of Sri Aurobindo’s work and unfounded devotional hyperbole, Tusar plays right into this characterization.

Because of their rejection of the Third and Fourth levels of the Supramental Descent and the consequent inability to speak knowledgeably about Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s mission, their most ardent followers sit idly by while some of the major themes of the yoga have been plagiarized and distorted by opportunist like Andrew Cohen. He is even now conducting a seminar in Tuscany, Italy on “Being and Becoming”. According to Cohen’s brochure, he is inviting his students to immerse themselves in the ‘empty ground of Being’ and to practice the art of Meditation. Those of us familiar with the jargon of the old spirituality and its buzz words recognize immediately that Cohen, like Ken Wilber and others in the so-called Integral movement are trying to capitalize on Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary themes only to carry them back into the confines of an old and partial metaphysic that seeks Emptiness and Transcendence as its highest goal. The idea of the Vedic Fullness which lies at the heart of the Supramental knowledge is completely lost on these people who, like their counterparts in Auroville, continue to distort and deceive with impunity because no one dares to call them to account or expose their corruption of Sri Aurobindo’s message. This sad state of affairs simply cannot continue.

After the passing of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, there was a complete breakdown of order in Auroville and unremitting conflict between the various camps competing for authority over the Guru’s teachings. Because of mismanagement, lawsuits, and infighting between these various factions, Auroville had to be taken over by the Indian government in 1988 against the Mother’s express command. Since then it has been governed by the Auroville Foundation whose board is appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The Mother’s ‘City of Dawn’, meant to be a ‘Center’ for the realization of human unity, was thereby reduced to the status of an arrogant fundamentalist and elitist cult that has operated for decades with the de facto approval of the Indian government. Under their auspices, crores of rupees have been raised for the construction of a Matrimandir which was knowingly misrepresented to the public as faithful to the Mother’s original design. Numerous attempts by persons of knowledge to correct this travesty and hold open and transparent hearings on the sacred dimensions of the Mother’s Vedic design have been rebuffed by those with vested ego and financial interests who fear having their deceitful activities exposed to the light of day. Auroville, the one point on the earth where the Mother said that ‘Truth can and must reign’ has been occupied for decades by forces of deception, distortion, and misdirection. This cannot, will not go on. If India is to recover her divine birthright and fulfill her role as the Light of the world, Auroville and the Ashram must be brought into line with the needs of Indian Unity and there must be an immediate end to the obstruction and censorship of Thea’s written works. Moreover, full and transparent hearings must be held on the Matrimandir that has been so disingenuously put forward as true and faithful to the Mother’s Vedic plan.

Given the increasing pressure of the Supramental Consciousness pushing our world to the edge of collapse there is only one possible course, as the Mother said, ‘It is a choice between serving the truth or being destroyed.’

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