Disciples used to plagiarize – page 394

The following passage on page 394 claims Sri Aurobindo’s disciples used to plagiarize his works!

Around the same time, ashram-related organizations began to bring out quarterly or annual journals. The first canto of Savitri appeared in the Sri Aurobindo Patha-mandir Annual (Calcutta) in August 1946. Subsequent cantos appeared in The Advent (Madras), while poems like “A God’s Labour” and “The Infinitesimal Infinite” were published in Sri Aurobindo Circle (Bombay). The rest of the material printed in these journals—poems and essays by ashramites and other disciples—are more interesting as examples of devotional expression than as contributions to scholarship or literature. Sri Aurobindo read through some of these productions, but appears to have given little encouragement to intellectual or literary originality. His disciples’ poems simply imitate his images and rhythms; their articles summarize or plagiarize his ideas.

(lives, p 394)

Firstly, the Ashram cannot be judged by academic standards.  The disciples came to the Guru to gain Enlightenment and not to produce original scholarship.  It was part of their Sadhana to gain knowledge from their Guru, and to summarize his ideas and present them to wider world.  This certainly cannot be dismissed as “plagiarizing“.

Sri Aurobindo encouraged them to write poems in order to open themselves to a Higher consciousness.

Amongst the disciples of Sri Aurobindo, there are well-known scholars like Amal, Satprem, A.B.Purani, M.P.Pandit, Kapali Sastry who have written original works which are still read today.   Peter Heehs need not be so dismissive of the capacity of the direct disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

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