The workers of Aurobindo Ashram Hand Made Paper unit wanted to take out a procession to press for their demands including the minimum wages, but the police which had permitted numerous processions since independence, where slogans will be raised, insisted no slogan should be raised. To show to the world that freedom of ex-pression is curtailed, I led the procession with covering my mouth with black flag. Thereafter in every given opportunity I had questioned the rationale of giving income tax exemptions to Aurobindo Ashram Trust, which runs numerous sub trusts, which are commercial in nature but where minimum wages prescribed in law is not paid. They enjoy concessions by never give due concessions to working class.
In 1996 when the current phase of internal strife started, I supported the Aurobindo Ashram Inmates Association, which broke into two resulting in creation of Aurobindo Ashram Beneficiaries Association. Then some well wishers of Aurobindo Ashram approached me with requests not to hit at Ashram and wanted to know what my grievances are. To them I told that “the ashram is availing income tax exemption on the pretext of doing medical research but till date ashram had not constructed a medical hospital with update technology to cater to the people of Pondicherry. Let them start constructing a hospital, I will shelve other issues and observe silence. Ashram was not willing to build a hospital at that time. Later when SUN TV interviewed for a 30 minutes programme against Ashram, there too I stressed that all people of Pondicherry are going to Chennai Apollo or Vijaya hospital, and Ashram should build ultra modern hospital for people of Pondicherry.
In the same interview I revealed that the devotees of Aurobindo Ghosh, from Madurai were looking for a suitable place within the city to construct the Eye Hospital, and they approached Ashram, which had taken government land for 99 years lease in many places of the city, to provide them land at concession price. They were told to cough up market rate, so the current Aurobindo Eye Hospital is situated 12 kms away in a village called Thavalakuppam. There I said Ashram never does philanthropy on its own or help Aurobindo devotees in their philanthropic acts. In my interviews in media I had compared the yeoman service rendered by Mother Theresa and all mutts in India, and had attacked Ashram to be the only one that never does philanthropy. This selfishness of Ashram in not being of anyway helpful to people only invites public ire whenever any issue crops up in public against Ashram. Thereafter I started questioning that yoga is mere mental exercise like physical exercise and it is not a matter of medical research, and all exemptions given on that pretext are withdrawn. Physical Education Department headed by Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya exists, but there is no Spiritual Education Department, if at all their goal is towards that. It is widely reported struggle of flower vendors, Tamil women, who were first prevented from selling flowers to make a living because Ashram Trust wanted to sell flowers from their gardens, and their ultimate partial victory, is another example of the immature minds that rule the ashram currently.
To re-open the debate on exemptions, I would like to bring to public notice that the Director General of The Indian Council of Medical Research in its letter dated 27th December 1976, Ref: No: 18/1/74-AA [II] had raised valid objection for the continuance of exemption given to Aurobindo Ashram under section 35 [ii] of the Income Tax Act 1961. To that letter P.Counama, then Managing Trustee replied on 2nd March 1977. Let me quote in verbatim selected passages, where Mr.P.Counama argues for continuance of exemptions.
P.Counama states “Aurobindo Ashram was organized to realize the distinctive aim of Aurobindo’s yoga which is radically different from the aims pursued by the traditional yogic system. Stated very briefly, the difference consists in fact that Aurobindo does not consider the spirit as something separate and antithetic to life in world, but as its source and sustaining principle, as an omni-present reality which, though now hidden behind a veil of ignorance, is yet pressing for its progressive evolutionary manifestation in life itself. The aim of Aurobindo’s yoga is to completely remove this veil and seek the fullest manifestation of the spirit in life and in matter so that earthly life, instead of remaining dark and dolorous as it has been till now, turns into a perfect image of spirit by its own spiritual transfiguration. The traditional yogas, on the contrary consider life, to be an illusion or a vanity, see no connection between the life and spirit admit no possibility of life shedding its age old burden on suffering and evil, offer no hope of a divinely perfect life on earth “
Dravida Peravai Questions:
1. They had sought exemption to do medical research, which aims at proving Aurobindo’s yoga, is radically different from traditional yoga. The letter of Counama is dated 1977 and we are in 2008, so far 31 years had passed. What research the Ashram had done to prove all other Yogic systems in this country, while its yoga alone is scientifically proven to be the best? Have the debated with other ashrams or have they published scientific literature to prove other yogis are wrong or have they done any research at all?
2. The belief in this country, not by us but by theists, is that on death spirit departs from body, and reincarnation or rebirth will follow, for spirit ceases to evaporate with death of body .Have the ashram trust in this 31 years done any medical research availing income tax exemptions to life this veil of ignorance and to illuminate the minds of people that spirit and matter are inseparable, and with body laid to rest spirit also is laid to rest?
3. By what kind of medical research under which scientist’s guidance did Aurobindo Ashram Trust in 31 years made life shed its age old burden on suffering and evil? Have they brought divinely perfect earth into a reality by their researches, if any?
4. The life on earth is dark and dolorous, so Aurobindo Ashram was exempted from tax to carry out medical or other researches. Have they illuminated Pondicherry during power cuts? Have they found out a spiritual power that can replace nuclear power to produce electricity for our country? There would be no necessity to India to go after nuclear deals, if only Aurobindo Ashram Trust had obtained a spiritual deal to drive darkness on India, if not on Earth.
RAY KURZWELL: FANTASTIC VOYAGE: LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO LIVE FOREVER
Ray Kurzwell, the recipient of the $ 500,000 Lemelson-MIT prize, which is billed as a sort of Academy Awards for Inventors, is a 65 year old scientist, who wrote the book “ Fantastic Voyage :Live Long Enough to Live Forever ” He sees “ human intelligence not only conquering its biological limits, including death but completely mastering the natural world. In my view, we are not another animal subject to nature’s whim, he said. This inventor and computer scientist in his book is serious about seeing humanity attain immortality, a seismic development; he predicts is no more than 20 years away. His predictions, Kurzwell said, are based on carefully constructed scientific models that have proven accurate. In 1990 he wrote a book “The Age of Intelligent Machines “, wherein he predicted the development of world wide computer network and of a computer that could beat a chess champion.
Kurzwell writes of millions of blood cell-sized robots which he calls nanabots that will keep us forever young by swarming through the body, repairing bones, muscles, arteries and brain cells. Improvement of our genetic coding could be downloaded from internet. We won’t even need a heart, so goes his theory.
Dravida Peravai comments: Aurobindo Ghosh dreamt but did not scientifically prove in controlling human cells by integral yoga. He and his companion wanted to defy nature, control the mind in cells and arrest aging to live forever. Both failed. Their followers who got tax exemptions must have done scientific researches to prove their dreams turning them into realities acceptable and beneficial to society. The Aurobindo Ashram Trust or its brainchild Auroville, so far had created numerous trusts only to avail tax exemptions. Most of the objectives of these trusts have no relevance to the dreams and goals of their Masters. Just like any other non-governmental organization they thrive here, with no connectivity with either the philosophy or the goals of their Masters. Hence we can only advice them to accept Ray Kurzwell as their Guru, since he had at least attempted to prove scientifically a goal beneficial to humanity. The remarkable difference in Ray Kurzwell’s approach is his noble mind to make his research downloadable by internet and to benefit whole humanity. This nobility stands in contrast with the selfishness of the super humans with super mind who live in Ashram or Auroville only to keep all fruits for themselves without openly sharing with humanity, if not at least with Tamils who live in their nearest vicinity.
N. Nandhivarman General Secretary Dravida Peravai Category: Science Permalink