My Pilgrimage to the Spirit

My Pilgrimage to the Spirit

My Pilgrimage to the Spirit by Dr. Govindbhai Patel is the book of his experiences in sadhana in Sri Aurobindo Ashram as well as in his life outside, while following an ideal of Sri Aurobindo– “All life is Yoga.” The book therefore is significantly divided mainly in two parts. The first part covers his Yogic experiences and visions guided by the Divine Grace in the form of letters by the Divine Master of Yoga in Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The second part covers his experiences in the thick of life outside, guided by the Divine Grace, which gives a touch of originality and uniqueness to the book, for it is the first book of its type which contains author’s experiences outside the Ashram, moulding his life with care, by the touch of the Grace and fulfilling it into a stream of dedicated pilgrimage. Here we have the pleasure to see, how skilfully the door of the human life which is a paradox, is opened by the key of the Divine Grace, turning it into a fulfilment of life as a dedicated pilgrimage. “Life is a paradox, with God for key.”

Book Details

Author: Dr. Govindbhai Patel

Print Length: 169

Publisher:  Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department

Original source:

Contributor: Blindshiva

Book format: PDF, ePub, Kindle

Language: English

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The Philosophy of Consciousness: Hegel and Sri Aurobindo

The Philosophy of Consciousness: Hegel and Sri Aurobindo

The Philosophy of Consciousness:
Hegel and Sri Aurobindo

An investigation into the nature and evolution of consciousness through the lens of various philosophers, culminating with the experiential philosophy of Sri Aurobindo.

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Weekly Readings in Savitri – an Invitation to a Journey

Dear friends,

Website have started publication of “Weekly Readings in Savitri”, which Dr Alok Pandey has kindly agreed to make available to all Savitri readers.

For the next 5-7 years, every Tuesday a new Weekly Reading will be posted, each containing 2 to 3 pages of the original poem (using a standard edition as in Vol 33-34 of the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo), together with a passage-by-passage summary.

The following passage describes the author’s intention behind this labor of love:

… [Savitri], a revelation coming from the very highest summits of consciousness and embodying the sublimest and subtlest Wisdom and Power, is best received as a gift of Grace. It cannot be the subject of mental analysis and speculation, for the Truth it embodies comes from far above the mind. Hence we do not intend to offer any ‘explanations’ or ‘analytical understanding’ of Savitri through these pages. What we do intend is to share the joy of Savitri and the insights that are received by all who deeply engage with this wonderful word-body of Sri Aurobindo.

Surely there is no one single way of understanding or engaging with this ‘scripture’ even as there is no one single exclusive approach to the Divine. It is left to each one of us to discover the delight of these unique and powerful revelations that pour through the luminous pages of Savitri. But surely when each of these ‘delights’ meet and come together, it multiplies the joy divine upon Earth and adds to the breath of God upon our lives. It is with this intention and as a humble offering at the feet of the Divine Mother that we have initiated this project, this work on Savitri. Its justification is simply that we are moved by an inner inspiration to do so. Its fulfillment is to facilitate and deepen our engagement with Savitri.

It is with this prayer that we embark upon this project as an offering of love and leave it in Her hands to see what purpose it serves in the grand scheme of things. Let us then dive deep into the fathomless ocean of Light called Savitri and loose ourselves in its limitless delight.

Alok Pandey
Pondicherry, Oct 24, 2016

Filosofia della Religione (Italian)


Filosofia della Religione

Il materiale presentato in questo libro è il risultato della trascrizione di una serie di dodici letture date da Rod Hemsell al Savitri Bhavan in Auroville, India. Con dettagli interessanti e intricati Rod dipinge con ampie pennellate un intenso ritratto storico dell’evoluzione del pensiero filosofico e del suo impatto sulla dottrina religiosa che si estende oltre duemila e quattrocento anni di storia. Il tema sottostante, naturalmente, è la lenta e costante evoluzione della coscienza umana che scorre in molti diversi rivoli di pensiero, sbocciando dalla fontana dell’esperienza umana mentre cresce nella conoscenza. La profondità di tale discorso non è per nulla opprimente, tuttavia, qui non stiamo più guadando in una piscina per bambini… In queste letture, Rod ha introdotto un numero di personaggi ed idee familiari, e ne ha introdotte molte altre che potrebbero non essere così ben conosciute; il tutto invita il lettore ad approfondire  proseguendo nella sua personale ricerca. Vengono esplorati antichi sentieri per scoprire le grandi similarità soggiacenti alle maggiori religioni di oggi che potrebbero altrimenti rimanere non notate, e Rod ci convince che ciò era inevitabile fin dall’inizio, da quando abbiamo avuto a che fare con le verità universali.

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Questions and Answers 1950–1951 (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 4)

Questions and Answers 1950–1951 (CWM Volume 4)

Questions and Answers 1950–1951

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 4

This volume consists of talks given by the Mother in 1950 and 1951 to the students of her French class as well as some sadhaks of the Ashram. She usually began by reading out a passage from one of her works or her French translation of one of Sri Aurobindo’s works, and then invited questions. During this period the Mother discussed several of her recent essays on education, her conversations of 1929, some letters of Sri Aurobindo and his small book The Mother.

It is worth tracing the origin of the Mother’s French class, in which these talks were given. The Ashram school was founded by the Mother in 1943, and by the end of the decade its first students had learned French fairly well. As more and more children joined the school, there were not enough teachers in French. When the new school year began in December 1950, the Mother decided to take the highest class in French three times a week. At first she spoke to the students and some of the teachers, but gradually many sadhaks of the Ashram were allowed to join the class. As a result, the questions they asked arose from many different levels of understanding.

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Questions and Answers 1929–1931 (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 3)


Questions and Answers 1929–1931

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 3

Conversations about Yoga and life. The Mother answered questions raised by disciples in 1929 and 1930–1931. The volume also includes her commentaries on The Dhammapada, with a translation of that text.

This volume includes two early collections of conversations by the Mother and her oral commentaries on the Dhammapada. The conversations were spoken in English; the commentaries were spoken in French and appear here in English translation.

Questions and Answers 1929. In 1929 the Mother met weekly with a small group of disciples. After a period of meditation she answered questions raised by them. Most of these questions were asked by an Englishwoman who was living in the Ashram at that time. One of those present noted down the conversations immediately afterwards and later sent a copy of fifteen of them to Sri Aurobindo, who revised them for publication. They were first brought out for private circulation in 1931.

Questions and Answers 1930-1931. During 1930 and 1931 the Mother spoke with a group of disciples who met with her in a room of the Ashram known as Prosperity. One of the participants recorded some of these conversations in abbreviated long-hand and later elaborated his notes. These reports were not revised by Sri Aurobindo or the Mother, but the Mother did approve of their publication and made a French translation. They were first published as a book in 1951.

Commentaries on the Dhammapada. The Mother gave these commentaries on the Buddhist teachings of the Dhammapada between August 1957 and September 1958. She was speaking to a large gathering of Ashram members and students of the Ashram school, members of her “Friday class” at the Ashram Playground. After reading out a chapter of the text, the Mother spoke about the points that interested her and then asked the class to meditate on them. She did not comment systematically on the Dhammapada verses, but she did cover most of the central ideas of the text.

Appendix to Questions and Answers 1929. This appendix contains Sri Aurobindo’s explanations of certain phrases and passages in Questions and Answers 1929. They were written to various disciples between 1933 and 1937.

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Words of Long Ago (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 2)

Words of Long Ago

Words of Long Ago

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 2

Writings and talks from 1893 to 1920. The volume includes early essays, talks to seekers in Paris, essays written in Japan, and Tales of All Times, some stories for children. This volume contains all the writings of the Mother from the period before 1920, the year she settled in Pondicherry, with the exception of Prayers and Meditations. The book is divided into seven parts, according to the nature and date of the material. Most of the pieces were written originally in French and appear here in English translation.

Part 1. The essays and stories in this part were written by the Mother between 1893 and 1912. All the texts were written in French. All but two were first published in 1946 in the first part of a book entitled Paroles d’ autrefois. This book was reprinted in 1955. An English translation, entitled Words of Long Ago, was published in 1946 and reprinted in 1952 and 1947. In the 1978 edition of Words of Long Ago, the contents of Part 1 of the previous editions were rearranged according to date and two new pieces added: “A Sapphire Tale” and an unpublished note related to “On Thought”. “A Sapphire Tale” was first published in the original French and in English translation in the monthly journal Mother India in February 1957. At the time of its publication the Mother remarked to the journal’s editor that the story expressed “the ideal of the overmind creation”. The original translations of all the contents of Part 1 were revised for publication in 1978 in Words of Long Ago, Volume 2 of the Collected Works of the Mother. The same contents were brought out in the original French in 1983 in Paroles d’autrefois, the French counterpart of Volume 2 of the Collected Works.

Part 2. The essays in this part were written by the Mother for the meetings of “a small group of seekers” in 1912. All the texts were written in French. All but one were published in 1946 in the second part of Paroles d’autrefois. This book was reprinted in 1955. An English translation, entitled Words of Long Ago, was brought out in 1946 and reprinted in 1952 and 1974. In the 1978 edition of Words of Long Ago, one new piece was added: the essay for the meeting of 7 May 1914. This essay, which was restored to its original position in the series, was first published in 1939 in Quelques paroles, quelques prièrs and in English translation as the Foreword to the 1940 edition of Words of the Mother. The question at the beginning of this essay, taken from the Mother’s handwritten manuscript, was published for the first time in the 1978 edition of Words of Long Ago. The original translations of all the contents of Part 2 were revised for publication in that edition. The same contents were brought out in the original French in 1983 in Paroles d’autrefois.

Part 3. Between 1911 and 1913 the Mother gave a number of talks to different groups in Paris. Two of these talks, “On Thought” and “On Dreams”, appear in Part 1 of this book. Several other talks never published in the Mother’s lifetime are published here as Part 3. The Mother sometimes presented the same talk to different groups, with suitable additions and alteration. These variants, if significant and non-repetitive, have been given here in footnotes. A note relating to the Mother’s talks, which was found among her manuscripts, has been placed before the other items. The talks, notes and reflections in this part, all from the period 1912-13, were first published in English translation in 1978 as Part 3 of Words of Long Ago. The original French texts were first brought out in 1983 as Part 3 of Paroles d’autrefois.

Part 4. The writings in this part, similar to Prayers and Meditations, were not published in the Mother’s lifetime. Several of the pieces are dated between 1914 and 1916; the remainder seem clearly to belong to the period before 1920. These writings first appeared in English translation in 1978 as Part 4 of Words of Long Ago. The original French texts were first brought out in 1983 as Part 4 of Paroles d’autrefois.

Part 5. This part comprises several short essays and notes entitled by the Mother “Notes and Reflections”, and a few related writings. Several of the pieces are dated between 1914 and 1915; the rest appear to have been written around the same time. None of the writings were published during the Mother’s lifetime. They first appeared in English translation in 1978 as Part 5 of Words of Long Ago. The original French texts were first brought out in 1983 as Part 5 of Paroles d’autrefois.

Part 6. The letters, essays, etc. comprising this part were written in Japan between 1916 and 1920. “Woman and the War”, written originally in French, was published in an English translation seen and revised by the Mother, in the Fujoshimbun on 7 July 1916. “Woman and Man”, written in French around the same time and translated into English by the Mother, was never published in either language during her lifetime. “Reminiscences” also appears to have been written first in French and translated subsequently into English, very likely by the Mother herself. The other pieces in this part appear to have been written originally in English. They are among the Mother’s first compositions in the English language. “Impressions of Japan”, dated 9 July 1915, was written in Akakura and published in the form reproduced here in the Modern Review (Calcutta) in January 1918. “The Children of Japan”, an incomplete letter, was written shortly after “Impressions of Japan”, “Myself and My Creed” was written in February 1920. “To the Women of Japan” is undated. It exists in several versions, one of which has been chosen as the principal text; to this, passages from other versions have been added. Part of this talk was published as “To the Women of the World” in the annual Sri Aurobindo Circle of 1947. Some revisions, made by the Mother for this publication, have been included in the present text. A greater portion of the talk was published as “Talk to the Women of Japan” in 1967. The last part of “To the Women of Japan” incorporated passages from Sri Autobindo”s Human Cycle, Synthesis of Yoga, etc. The pieces in this part were published together in English in 1978 as Part 6 ofWords of Long Ago. The same pieces were brought out in French in 1983 as Part 6 ofParoles d’autrefois.

Part 7. The Mother translated and adapted some stories written by F.J. Gould which had been published in his Youth’s Noble Path in 1911. The Mother’s versions, written in French, were first published under the title Belles Histoires in 1946. English translations of the stories were first brought out in 1951 under the title Tales of All Times. These translations were revised for inclusion in Part 7 of the 1978 edition of Words of Long Ago. Several hitherto unpublished stories were translated and added as an appendix to that volume. All the stories were published in the original French in 1983 in Part 7 ofParoles d’autrefois and its appendix.

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Prayers and Meditations (Collected Works of the Mother Volume 1)

Prayers And Meditations

Prayers And Meditations

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 1

Prayers and Meditations consists of extracts from the Mother’s spiritual diaries. Most of them are from the period 1912 to 1917. The 313 prayers reproduced here were selected by the Mother for publication. Written in French, they appear here in English translation.

A small collection of prayers — about one-fifth of the total — was brought out in English in 1941. Sri Aurobindo translated some of those prayers himself and, in the other cases, revised translations made by disciples.

This book comprises extracts from a diary written during years of intensive yogic discipline. It may serve as a spiritual guide to three principal categories of seekers: those who have undertaken self-mastery, those who want to find the road leading to the Divine, those who aspire to consecrate themselves more and more to the Divine Work. — The Mother

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The English of Savitri Volume 2

The English of Savitri volume 2

The English of Savitri
volume 2

Like the previous book in the series, The English of Savitri Volume 2 is based on transcripts of classes led by the author at Savitri Bhavan, in this case from December 2012 to June 2013. The transcripts have been carefully revised and edited for conciseness and clarity, while aiming to preserve the informal atmosphere of the course. This second volume covers the four cantos of Book Three, The Book of the Divine Mother, of Sri Aurobindo’s epic, Savitria legend and a symbol. Each sentence in the poem is examined closely and explanations are given about vocabulary, sentence-structure and imagery. The aim is to assist a deeper understanding and appreciation of the poem which the Mother has characterised as ‘the supreme revelation of Sri Aurobindo’s vision’.

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The Bombardier Beetle

The Bombardier Beetle

The Bombardier Beetle

This is the transcription from audio of two one-hour lectures presented by Georges Van Vrekhem at the Savitri Bhavan in Auroville in 2008. Georges makes an excursus through science and its tentative to follow the prints of evolution. All his talk is full of the light of the Integral Yoga, and through it Georges accompanies the auditor in this voyage towards the sense of evolution of man.

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Economics for People and Earth: The Auroville Case 1968-2008

Economics for People and Earth: The Auroville Case 1968-2008

Economics for People and Earth:
The Auroville Case 1968-2008

Auroville, an international township in South India, was founded in 1968. A small group of pioneers on a heavily eroded plateau, close to the Bay of Bengal near Pondicherry, set out to reforest the barren land and create a new socio-economic, ecological and spiritual habitat with a vision to build “a city the Earth needs”.

Forty years later, a vibrant community of almost 2,000 people from 43 nations had emerged, providing employment to some 4,000 men and women from nearby villages. Meanwhile, they had reforested thousands of acres of land, built homes, health centres and schools, developed organic farms, experimented with renewable energy and cost-effective building technologies, reached out to the neighbouring villages, and set up a plethora of businesses and services.

This book is a result of 15 years of research on Auroville’s economy. It outlines the principles envisaged by its founders, traces its history over the past four decades, investigates the growth of employment opportunities, offers a window on its economic activities through case interviews, and analyses the performance of its commercial and services domains.

It also gauges Auroville’s sustainability as a model of durable socio-economic development “for People and Earth”, and as an antidote for the all-pervading impact of global capitalism.

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Transcendent Sky

Transcendent Sky by Noel Parent

Transcendent Sky

Transcendent Sky is a collection of poems that explore the spiritual essence of life and inspire the awakening of the Soul and Spirit towards greater enlightenment and self-awareness. Through a unique offering of inspiration, contemplation, and insight, this book of poetry expresses some of the author’s inner experiences and personal reflections along the spiritual journey. It is a journey that evokes the Oneness of all of Life and the Divine Presence that dwells uniquely within each person. A meditation of words flow through these poems with the power to uplift, transform, and transport one’s Being to inner realms of Light, Love, Beauty, and Consciousness.

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Evolution Fast Forward I (video)

Integral Yoga – Evolution Fast Forward I

Evolution Fast Forward I

Evolution Fast Forward is an incredibility well done CGI introduction to the cosmology and philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The orrery centric imagery is hypnotic and coupled with a beautiful sound track provides a very appropriate backdrop for the crystal clear narration in both male and female Indian voices. What really elevates this production is the lengthy recitation of Sri Aurobindo’s masterwork, Savitri.

It seems that mankind is continually in crisis. Passing through a meat grinder seems to be the process by which he reorganizes himself. Seen in the broader vision of Sri Aurobindo, this is merely the excruciatingly slow process of evolution; the evolution of consciousness. Man has at last reached the point where he can actively participate in his own evolution. Perhaps, we are at the stage where the descent of the super mental consciousness is all that can “save” us for we have now too long possessed the power of self destruction on a global scale.

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Vedic Addition

Vikram Devatha - Vedic Addition

Vedic Addition by Vikram Devatha

Vedic Mathematics is a system of mathematics that allows problems to be solved quickly and efficiently. It is based on the work of Sri Bharathi Krishna Thirthaji Maharaja (1884 – 1964), who devised the system from a close study of the Vedas. It is based on 16 sutras (aphorisms) that provide a principle or a rule of working to solve a problem.

This series of books is an attempt to present the material in a modular fashion. Each book focuses on one arithmetic operation – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. These books can be read in any order, but it is recommended that addition and subtraction be read before multiplication and division. This particular book is related to addition only, and subsequent books will cover the other arithmetic operations.

The book features screencasts that explain each technique, visuals and interactive exercises.

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Stars in the Soup

Stars in the Soup by Shraddhavan

Stars in the Soup and other poems

A delightful selection of poems created by a long time resident of Auroville, Shraddhavan. Written in an open, free-flowing style, Shraddhavan embraces the world around her, particularly the natural world, as it whispers to her the story of her own evolving spirituality. If we listen quietly, she whispers to us as well.

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La Filosofia dell’Evoluzione (Italian)

La Filosofia dell’Evoluzione di Rod Hemsell

La Filosofia dell’Evoluzione

Come presentata qui, La Filosofia dell’Evoluzione  è un compendio di lezioni presentate da Rod Hemsell presso l’Università dell’Unità Umana ad Auroville nel 2008, 2009, 2012 e 2013. La spinta  principale nello yoga di Sri Aurobindo è sempre stata verso una partecipazione attiva all’evoluzione umana e questo è il concetto che ha fissato e definito  fin dall’inizio  la differenza  dello  yoga di  Sri Aurobindo e della Madre da tutti gli altri. Con la sua vasta conoscenza della filosofia e del pensiero di numerosi filosofi, e la sua familiarità con la scienza attuale, Rod è in grado di guidare il lettore attraverso lo sviluppo del pensiero in queste discipline e ci mostra il luogo che Sri Aurobindo, precursore illuminato, ci ha  indicato come prossimo obiettivo. Queste lezioni non sono una salita difficile o noiosa verso altezze rarefatte, piuttosto, sono esplorazioni istruttive dei campi base più ampi che circondano il monte; è lasciato a  Sri Aurobindo ed alla Madre la guida alla nostra ascesa. Tuttavia, con questa esplorazione della terra ferma, diventiamo sempre più sicuri che le nostre Guide verso le cime innevate in realtà sanno di che cosa parlano. Questa versione in lingua italiana riprende, su indicazione dell’autore, i capitoli più indicativi della versione originale inglese, che permettano comunque al lettore di seguire un filo conduttore  lineare e chiaro del percorso di pensiero  seguito da Rod Hemsell  nelle sue letture.

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Savitri – The Golden Bridge, the Wonderful Fire

Savitri - The Golden Bridge, the Wonderful Fire by M. Nadkarni

Savitri – The Golden Bridge, the Wonderful Fire

Almost all of the essays collected in this volume were written for and first published as monthly instalments in Next Future, the e-journal of the Sri Aurobindo Society Pondicherry. The 47 instalments ended with the passing of Dr. Nadkarni in September 2007, and cover Savitri Book by Book, Canto by Canto, from the beginning up to the climactic point in the middle of Book Eleven, where Savitri is offered four boons of merger with the Supreme, and asks instead for the Supreme Peace, Oneness, Energy and Bliss ‘for Earth and Men’. Dr. Nadkarni has written other essays on Savitri as well as giving many other talks, but this collection represents a masterly ‘Introduction’ (as he modestly called it) to the revelatory poem which he loved so much and understood so well. It has been compiled and published at the request of his family, and we feel sure that it will be welcomed by Savitri readers and students all over the world, and to a certain extent make up for the great loss that his many admirers experienced when he passed away in September 2007 at the age of 74.

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The English of Savitri Volume 1

The English of Savitri by Shraddhavan

The English of Savitri

Since 1980, Shraddhavan has been teaching English in Auroville through close readings of Sri Aurobindo’s revelatory epic Savitri: a legend and a symbol. In August 1998 these classes were resumed at Savitri Bhavan, with a growing number of students, including young Tamil teacher-trainees from the Arul Vazhi School located in Promesse, Auroville. These classes were given the name ‘The English of Savitri’ and they concluded in May of 2009 as this group reached the end of the poem.

This book is based on the transcripts of a new series of classes given by Shraddhavan between August 2009 and October 2010, which have been edited for conciseness and clarity, while aiming to preserve some of the informal atmosphere of the course. Edited transcripts of these classes began to be published serially in the Bhavan’s journal of Study Notes on Savitri, ‘Invocation’, from issue 32 onwards, since it was felt that they may be of interest to a wider audiance. They are now being published in book form in several volumes by Yukta Prakashan publishers of Vadodara. This suggested the idea of collecting the original English articles into a book form as well. This is the first such volume, covering all the five cantos of Book One of the poem, ‘The Book of Beginnings’.

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Integral Yoga – Evolution Fast Forward II (video)

Integral Yoga - Evolution Fast Forward II

Integral Yoga – Evolution Fast Forward II

Broad overview of psychology, cosmology and transformational practice of Integral Yoga – a psychological and spiritual methodology for evolutionary transformation of human nature developed by Sri Aurobindo. In 3D motion graphics.

Man is a transitional being…

A psychological and spiritual methodology for evolutionary transformation of human nature.


We mean by psychology the study of the psyche (ψυχή) following yogic methodology. It is different from the academic and applied discipline of psychology as it emerged in the West over the last 100 years, involving the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors. The fundamental difference in methodology also leads to very different orientations, discoveries and consequences.


We are presenting here not the cosmology of the physicists but the cosmology as mapped by Sri Aurobindo following the methodology of Integral Yoga. In this view, consciousness is the most fundamental thing in existence and the exploration covers the full spectrum of consciousness and its evolutionary process.

Transformational Practice

Integral Yoga is a methodology Sri Aurobindo developed for not only exploring the profound depths and heights of human psyche but also for an integral evolutionary transformation of the human nature.  Here we give a broad overview of the process leading towards psychic, spiritual and supramental transformation.

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The Word in the Rig-Veda and in Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri


The Word in the Rig-Veda
and in Sri Aurobindo’s
epic poem Savitri

by Nishtha Müller

The inspired poetic Word was the means of passing on knowledge and experience by the Vedic Seers and by Sri Aurobindo, especially in his epic Savitri. What do the Vedic seers and Sri Aurobindo in their poetic creations themselves tell us about the Word, its nature and usage?

At the outset it must be said that this study is not exhaustive and does not intend to cover all relevant passages either from the Veda or from Savitri. Its central idea is simply to make potential readers more conscious of the great value of these mantric texts and point out a possible way to approach these divine gifts to aspiring humanity. In regard to the Veda it must be said right from the outset that there exists the special barrier of the Sanskrit language in general and the multi-layer meaning of Vedic terms in particular.[1] In addition there is the all-pervasive Vedic symbolism. Sri Aurobindo often calls the Vedic Rishis “symbologists” and refers back to the period of the composition of the Vedic hymns both as the age of symbolism and the age of intuition. In fact Sri Aurobindo also makes much use of symbolism. In this study we will see that the Veda and Savitri shed light on each other in their symbolism.

But let us first ask the general question: what do the Veda and Savitri have in common? They are both mystic mantric poetry of the highest order. Sri Aurobindo refers to the Veda – certainly among Indian literature and scriptures, and perhaps even beyond – as “our supreme poetry”[2] They both bring forth an integral vision of reality and transmit it as revelatory knowledge and verifiable experience (and that does not exhaust the subject.)

What is the basic difference between them? Savitri, in its outer form, is one single epic poem written by one sole author, whereas the Rig-Veda consists of a collection (samhita) of more than one thousand hymns (suktas, meaning perfect utterances) of many different seers, spanning a time of at least several centuries. Even though some of the Suktas are made up of a considerable number of verses or stanzas they generally do not reach the length of any of the cantos which we find in the twelve books of Savitri. From that point of view one could say, with a few exceptions, that the Vedic hymns are even more concise than any paragraph in Savitri. Still, all Vedic hymns presume a common background, and many of them are related to the same theme but present it from different standpoints, a practice which we also find within the different books of Savitri.

It is a known fact that Sri Aurobindo in Savitri makes abundant use of Vedic imagery as the carrier of his knowledge and experience. It might be worthwhile to remember in this context that in the period from 1912 up to perhaps 1920 Sri Aurobindo was studying and writing on the Veda on an almost daily basis, and also translated hundreds of its hymns into English. Among other reasons, it could have as well been due to this preoccupation with the Book of Mantra (the traditional name given to the Veda) that Sri Aurobindo conceived the idea to do something of the kind – even though in a different form – for the present age in the much more easily accessible English language. At the same time we should not forget the fact that already before this period Sri Aurobindo was an accomplished poet and seer. But, knowing on one hand how central is the usage (and its constant mentioning in hymn after hymn) of the inspired Word to the Vedic seers, and on the other hand how much and in detail Sri Aurobindo writes about this fact in “The Secret of the Veda”[3], one could still dare the thought that it might have inspired him to do something similar.

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