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Recent correspondence between Dr. Alok Pandey and Prof. Manoj Das

October 12, 2013

A set of four letters containing the correspondence between Dr. Alok Pandey and Prof. Manoj Das has been doing the rounds and has also reached us. These letters touch upon several of the points and issues that are related to the troubles the Sri Aurobindo Ashram has been facing in recent times.

Some of our readers may not know Dr. Alok Pandey. Dr. Alok Pandey has got a degree in the field of clinical psychology. Although he is often referred to as an inmate of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which he became only a few years ago, he is a much older and closer associate of the Sri Aurobindo Society. He is also the founder of one of the units of the S.A. Society and is editor of one of their journals. But the title ‘Doctor’ that frequently prefixes his name is often used to project him as a scholar on matters related to Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga. At the time when Raman Reddy, Sraddhalu Ranade, R.Y. Deshpande and other anti-Ashram elements made a controversy about Peter Heehs book ‘The Lives of Sri Aurobindo’ Alok Pandey came into prominence. He has been and still remains one of those who is most averse to Peter Heehs and his work.

As the complete set of the correspondence is about 20 pages long, we are reproducing the letters individually for ease of reading.

Letter No. 1 by Dr. Alok Pandey to Prof. Manoj Das

Letter No. 2 by Prof. Manoj Das to Dr. Alok Pandey

Letter No. 3 by Dr. Alok Pandey to Prof. Manoj Das

Letter No. 4 by Prof. Manoj Das to Dr. Alok Pandey

Complete set of 4 letters.


– Well-wishers of Sri Aurobindo Ashram –

  1. daksha permalink

    so as per chikermane and anand, saa is worth a few billion dollars. (story from both sides)
    the most profitable business and way to increase your wealth without paying taxes, worldwide is, two livelihoods: either get into trafficking of loan sharking, drugs and sex or peddle spirituality and religion.
    this has stood test of time and based on facts, not trying to be funny.
    to keep the ashramites in simplicity and their disdain for money is so costly.

  2. Sanjeev permalink


    You mentioned two ways of making big, quick money. Both of these require hard work. But there is a third, quicker and easier way of making money which you overlooked. This happens when unscrupulous businessmen and corrupt politicians join hands to take over and swallow the assets created by others.

    In the case of the SAA trust, the trustees did not create the Ashram and acquire the vast majority of assets owned by the trust today. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother did so. Do you think that They got it right in terms of business sense and wrong as far as spirituality and treatment of ‘simple’ ashramites is concerned?

    I certainly don’t think that this is the case. The trustees ‘inherited’ whatever the Mother had created and are maintaining it in the best manner possible. If the Ashram is today worth billion of dollars it is only thanks to the Masters’ foresight to provide the Ashram a solid foundation, also financial.

    If there are land sharks, unscrupulous businessmen and politicians who have started to eye the Ashram and evaluate it in X number of crores, it only goes to show that they have got it all wrong as far as the value of Ashram is concerned.

    The real businessmen in this whole affair are those at the helm of the Sri Aurobindo Society. They were supposed to bring money for the Ashram and Auroville. Instead of that they are using the Ashram and Auroville to make money for themselves. The Society is also quietly supporting those unscrupulous businessmen and politicians who are harassing the Ashram. If the Society can take over the Ashram and Auroville, they can rule the world instead of playing second or third fiddle!
    It’s as simple as that.

  3. daksha permalink

    Dear Mr. Sanjeev,

    thanks for your comments and views.
    the founders got it right both ways: business and simplicity. all the rest got it wrong, that is the problem.
    business/political nexus is true and makes money also true. but the volumes and size these 2 can generate cannot be compared, also these 2 have no downturns or recessions.
    these are figures backed, so am not making it up.
    you can have you interpretations to it. but that does not wash away these facts.
    the story of billions inherited by trustees, is true across institutions, sai baba, vatican, iskcon, etc.
    once the founders are not there, there is always a continuous fight for these assets, across institutions without exception. sai baba trust is even bigger than saa trust and fight has started after he passed away.
    sas does not have the powers , everyone thinks they have. sas has become a favourite whipping boy for everyone. anyway continue writing against them with no facts to back it. just hearsay. my personal experience says sas has very poor business sense.

    are there not unscrupulous spiritualists, mahants, gurus, etc. just witness the spiritual group fighting saa trust.

    had put this same comment on auroleaks site and cannot trace it, it was removed maybe.


  4. Well-Wishers of the Society permalink

    Please make suggestions for the SA Society here:

    From Well-Wishers of the Society

  5. What a correspondence! In this exchange Manoj Das certainly come out as a decent , normal human being.

    But what about Mr. Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya? Completely demented!

    And this is the man who trumpets his so-calleed schemes for better management of the Ashram!

    He may pretend to expound whatever he likes : but what he actually means is


  6. kalyan kumar permalink

    Though I am not a frequent visitor to Sri Aurobindo Ashram, it is time and again I have been a visitor to Ashram since last fifteen years-not aware and not worried about the management, management trustee-and I believe, there are thousands like me thirsty to walk on their path of aspired continence visit Ashram with their soul being on trial for the opening God wants to bestow on human being rather every being of His creation, with their soul trying to be freed from many entanglements of worldly life, those trusted visitors (I would like to emphasize on the word “trusted”) visit Ashram on the light of Mother and Sri Aurobindo with uncompromising, ever growing, sustained hope and consistent belief-that, there receptivity of Divine transcendence will be more widened what the avtarhood of Sri Aurobindo establishes for the world to see-“Sri Aurobindo is universe and universe is Sri Auribindo”—if not the world shrugs out.

    After going through the long pages of the letter I am grieved, tormented, agonized why this tussle of war on a personnel basis-the truth can’t be hidden, how much consciously you want to hide it with your outward sober and soft expressions. If as a visitor I know why I am a visitor there, as an inmate of Ashram it is generally expected how should be an example for others. But alas! It is finding an end with an engrossed mania to satisfy your concealed personnel ego-have you forgotten Sri Aurobindo, His vision, your purpose of staying at Ashram!

    I am only an Odia devotee, not of any high profile, but probably many are like me here at this blog. My dear brothers, you all are endearing to God once you have chosen the path of Divine, because Mother says-chosen are those who choose Divine. As of my concern, I must tell you-there can be thousands like you and me, but there is one Manoj Das, don’t be skeptical, it is true, don’t go by your personnel interpretations-look into it, you will see that.

    Sri Aurobindo is a symbol; the Ashram is its form. A man does it, but not every man can make it. Manoj Das is one, on which platform we are seeing him and comparing him!

    I am astonished, the questions asked to him are contained with its answers in itself, expansions of it are self explanatory where consciousness draws a line for it. What answer you expect of him, if he finds the answers you expect from him will only lead to there-you will not be consummated with his consciousness. He won’t have considered him entitled to answer your questions from that level, on which level you have asked him questions rather you have claimed the answers otherwise-being personal is one thing, to thrust a personal disgrace is another thing. The answers of your questions, he has answered unperturbedly, not perverted—but if you have the sight to look into that! What less I can speak then this-it is our misfortune if we can’t look at his stature—not just volatile thoughts-either biased or fabricated or favored.

    You have raised the issue “Guruninda”. This is not a simple term only with literary pronunciations, it has its significance at the deepest level of our consciousness. I don’t know giving what importance to this term you have raised this question, but can I ask you-what you mean then-Manoj Das does not have the slightest wisdom to respect this word, and if you think so, can you tell us what benefit Manoj Das sees for himself out of it ??? Probably it is him, today where he is, because of Sri Aurobindo-that is his belief and opening to His grace. About the PH book, you see, there are thousands in the world to pervert the things, deteriorate the things of its original form because of their ignorance, but that must not dwindle our faith on Him, of course your faith on Sri Aurobindo is not dwindled, but just think, what more it could have done to Sri Aurobindo in any form-either to dignify or tarnish His stupendous spirituality, either to damage or glorify His knowledge of infinite-The Supreme (if we believe He is still there with us to show that path) if that book is withdrawn or abolished from the surface of earth as you want. Does it by any means glorify more Sri Aurobindo? Manoj Das rightly say-“Sri Aurobindo is like Himalayas, PH is a squirrel. You have raised a valid question-when in future thousands will read the book of PH what will they think about Sri Aurobindo. If it is today PH, tomorrow it will be someone-you can’t stop anybody to remain so or there is no likelihood of preventing someone to refrain from his own whims-they have their freedom. But you can always pray good self to prevail for them-nothing is a pre-condition for it, because what is dazzling in us is Sri Aurobindos light that will be never be vanished for anything, for all the shortcomings of human nature, for all the limitations of human mind-that is truth and integral truth. And when Manoj Das tells you-“do you think he is not distressed because of this book as it is written”-as he himself has suggested the amendments and PH understands his grave errors on which level he has construed or misinterpreted Sri Aurobindo and written His biography and now ready to accept his mistakes-God knows whether it is his acceptance of consideration or acceptance out of his realization; but what matters-what he does or not does, that is immaterial for us. Dedication, surrendering has its own results and if that is the end his soul aspires—nothing to it. Probably he does not have the consciousness to see Sri Aurobindo as his Gurudeva and more over he is not an aspirant like you, he has only written a biography to best of his knowledge and understanding. Let him—but Sri Aurobindo is Sri Aurobindo. And, then if PH realizes his mistakes at the lotus feet of Sri Aurobindo, if his conscience is true he won’t be chided by Guru Himself for this committed sins—God is compassionate; I don’t know if you will make fun of me that I am the messenger of Godhead, that is not my idea and what I mean to say if you don’t misinterpret. But this staging of dharanas, making hoards and pamphlets —in which it is going to help you in growth of your inner consciousness, the basic reason for which you are there at Ashram!

    About managing trustee the question you have asked-when it was Mother, the Divine herself, is a different thing, but then also there may be instances when everybody is not happy, we are human beings-that is but natural. There will be errs in a organization-that in inevitable, but of course must not be inviting. If today as a inmate of Ashram I enter into illicit relation, the Ashram administration i.e the trust board must initiate the course of action against me if it is brought to their notice and they are aware of my misdeeds which in turn will be their allegiance to primary duties they are entrusted to being the members of trustee but what is more important, it is me should be more conscious being in Ashram, but as you have mentioned, the trust board itself is involved directly or indirectly in such heinous activities-then God save them! That way, the image of Ashram which out rightly stands for spiritual penance to the outside world will certainly lose its shining-which will be a big blow to many like me; but all these issues addressed at its respective level, in which way you can say Manoj Das is biased when he himself has resigned from the trustee voluntarily! You have asked Manoj Das about the admission of that student into the Physical Education Department of Ashram, but have you read the letter Manoj Das has written to Pranab Da, if you have gone through the minute details of it not only in its letters but its spirit, then please read it again carefully, you will get your answer-precise answer, what Manoj Das is!
    You have asked about the alteration of Savitri. I have my reservations. At one side, if Sri Aurobindo is God Himself how can He commit mistakes! It should be right and only right of its own virtue whatever is written, because I believe the writings of those lines must not be intentional like writing of poems on a platform where the skill of writing is displayed but it is there where His inspirations from the supreme level jotted down automatically, He being the medium of it or Himself the supreme aspiration-I am confused as if a dilemma for me.

    But, if sometimes, God becomes the instrument to show us the path—the type writer He used was behaving erratically, His vision was less when He was writing the verses—the world will be having its limitations, God-the protector of it being also a part of it. And then, at the other hand, if you think who are going to alter some words of Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri after thorough analysis-what is the purpose behind it-by no means it is for their personal fame, it is for us, for devotees who believe in Sri Aurobindo. So why our conceptualism should be superficial! You have asked Manoj Das to become your leader and you are to follow his footsteps! It is shameful. Ashram is the symbol of universe, not any cast, creed, species, state etc. do you mean, Manoj Das to be the leader of Oriyas at Ashram and lead a front! God forbid, know yourself! The way you have projected, if it is so, probably Manoj Das won’t be there at Asram today, but somewhere else with luxuries (so called luxuries) at his doorstep. But he is born different.

    My dear Oriya brothers, we all are simple, loved by Mother. Let us not carried away by our emotions, we should not be attracted to the visible flame as a moth is attracted—we must delve into what truth is-our supreme potency.

    Let us believe in Him, if we know Him as our Guru, all will automatically be side away, but we must make ourselves ready forfeiting self deceiving.

    May the glory of God show us our path of Light.

    Our thoughts, the self interpretation of our thoughts cannot be the preamble, cannot be the primafacie on which we can measure the level of consciousness of others, when with our little knowledge and horrific ignorance don’t even know what we want or what we must want-then what is the justification on that very pretext of our limited thoughts we can reach to the higher spheres of consciousness which needs an exhausted exercise of supra-mental analysis. I am really shocked, when read this-that Manoj Das showed his finger at the Samadhi in a symbol of swearing- (if at all it happened, don’t know the truth behind it) the gentleman with his perplexed intelligence could only see with his clairvoyance –the other day it got plastered because Manoj Das could not prove the delicacy of truth and the sustained sin derived the results almost instantly which the gentleman has pointed out trying to prove Manoj Das a swindle in the spiritual sky as if he is quite familiar with that! Wake up gentleman! If at all it is so, the God’s doings are not a prefix to your own thoughts, don’t look at the froth of the see at the surface, look into the depth of it-it is pensive, unperturbed and invincible.

    I am astonished, you want to reproduce results from that angle you are subscribed to, you want to draw conclusions summarily the way you want to happen, and if it does not happen so, you are never intended to give a re-thought to your thoughts-why it did not yield the way you wanted, but rather frowned nothing yielded yet again. Does not your own thoughts seems to you funny-now that it has become proved-when you thought-Manoj Das is obliged to trustee because of his financial implications that he gas to undergo a surgery—and what happened after all to your foolish concoctions, analyze yourself-how less you are in your wisdom that Manoj Das must have thought at that very instant when you proposed this—may be you have forgotten The Mother not he. For God sake, elevate yourself, that much I can say.
    I don’t know who is PH, what he has written, in which way he has written, but we know Sri Aurobindo-His magnitude like Himalayas. And when the book is not a publication of SABDA, if PH has written it as a historian, not as a devotee and like that you will find many poignant issues regarding many eminent personalities-but their eminence never perished, time reveals the truth. The Mother, Sro Aurobindo has taught us that. And if PH is repentant of his wrong doings, the compassionate Mother will definitely pardon him-or you have a reservation in that context also! You see, if his vision is not envisioned for a foresight what Sri Aurobindo is, his sight is only obscured, but his purpose of writing is not to defame Sri Aurobindo. If he is not arrogant, then why not we expect him to turn into a devotee of Sri Aurobindo from his present stature of historian-if you don’t think Sri Aurobindo will reject him with bold audacity.

  7. SUBHASHREE DAS permalink

    What an analysis Kalyan Babu!You have spoken the voice of thousands of common devotees…Let truth prevail!

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