The English of Savitri Volume 3

The English of Savitri Volume 3

The English of Savitri
volume 3

This is the third volume in the English of Savitri series based on transcripts of classes led by the author at Savitri Bhavan, in this case from July 2014 to July 2015. The transcripts have been carefully revised and edited for conciseness and clarity, while aiming to preserve the informal atmosphere of the course. This volume contains summaries of Books Four, Five, Six and Eight of Sri Aurobindo’s epic Savitri 一 A Legend and a Symbol as well as providing detailed explanations of all the seven cantos of Book Seven, The Book of Yoga, thus covering the whole of Part Two of the poem. Each sentence 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 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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Filosofia della Religione (Italian)

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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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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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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.

Psychology

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.

Cosmology

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

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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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Auroville Today February Issue 307

Auroville Today February Issue 307

Auroville Today February Issue 307

Read in this issue:

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Auroville Today January Issue 306

Auroville Today January Issue 306

Auroville Today January Issue 306

Read in this issue:

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Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God

Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God

Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God

“A Witness of creation, if there had been one conscious but uninstructed, would only have seen appearing out of a vast abyss of an apparent non­existence an Energy busy with the creation of Matter, a material world and material objects, organizing the infinity of the Inconscient into the scheme of a boundless universe or a system of countless universes that stretched around him into Space without any certain end or limit, a tireless creation of nebulae and star-clusters and suns and planets, existing only for itself, without a sense in it, empty of cause and purpose.”

– Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, pp. 881-84

The evolution of life on Earth is a fact; Darwinism is one theory among several, based on the research of predecessors like Buffon and Lamarck, and formulated simultaneously with the very similar theory of Alfred Wallace. Besides, what is nowadays generally labelled as Darwinism hardly resembles what Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species, but is the result of scientific developments at times considered anti-Darwinian.

This book narrates the relevant events in the history of ‘Darwinism’ and the resulting Social Darwinism and Sociobiology. It also stresses the antagonism of the scientific materialism at its basis and the religious teachings of the origin and evolution of life on our planet. It is this antagonism that has inevitably resulted in the ongoing controversies between creationism, the positivist scientific view of evolution, and ‘intelligent design’. The foundations of physical science as adopted by the biological sciences are examined, as are the motives for the attacks on religion by authors like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Stephen Jay Gould. The book analyses and clearly discerns between the various branches of creationism and intelligent design.

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Sri Aurobindo and the Logic of the Infinite

Rod Hemsell - Sri Aurobindo and the Logic of the Infinite

Sri Aurobindo and the Logic of the Infinite

About this book, the author, Rod Hemsell says, “Most of these essays were collected in 2003, a few recent ones have been added to this edition in the sections on philosophy and mantra, but obviously the earliest already contain the same basic insights that underlie the more systematic studies that I have done since 2008, after reading Sri Aurobindo for forty years.”

On the cover of the first edition, Georges Van Vrekhem wrote, “Not only are there in the essays which constitute this volume the philosophical landscapes the author has been and continues exploring, there is also the testimony of his practical commitment to the realization of a better world. As Sri Aurobindo wrote, the whirlpool of the present globalisation may well be the disorienting transition to the unity of humanity, necessary for the realization of the next step in evolution. After all, if evolution is a fact, why would it stop at the human species? It is in this perspective that Auroville, the City of Dawn, the most daring utopia of them all, has to be seen, and it is to the working out of this ideal that Rod Hemsell is contributing with his life. This is a thinker who dares to walk on the roads of infinity and find on them his fulfilment.”

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The New Spirituality

The New Spirituality by Georges van Vrekhem

The New Spirituality

Georges Van Vrekhem, a Flemish Belgian, lived in Auroville from 1978 until his passing on 31st August, 2012.

In that period he published a number of highly seminal books on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother such as Beyond Man, the Life and Work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (1997); The Mother, the Story of Her Life (2000); Overman: The Intermediary between the Human and the Supramental Being (2001); Patterns of the Present, from the Perspective of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (2002); 
Hitler and His God, the Background to the Nazi Phenomenon (2006); Evolution, Religion and the Unknown God (2011), and Preparing for the Miraculous (2012), containing the eleven lectures Georges had given in 2010-2011 at Auroville’s Savitri Bhavan and Town Hall.

In 2006 he was awarded the Sri Aurobindo Puraskar by the Government of Bengal.

At his passing Georges left a number of unpublished essays behind. Some of them were based on his talks in Auroville at the end of 2011, when he embarked on a second series of lectures on a wide variety of topics related to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. However, first Cyclone Thane and later his deteriorating health disrupted these lectures.

This book, which contains his unpublished essays as well as some of his articles and interviews that have been published in the magazines Auroville Today, Mother India, and The Advent, and in the book The Journeying Years, is published to honour Georges Van Vrekhem in recognition of his immense work in helping to understand the life and work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

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Overman

Overman: The Intermediary between the Human and the Supramental Being

Overman

The Intermediary between the Human and the Supramental Being

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother wrote and spoke at a time before the awareness of “gender specific language”. Yet, they more than anybody else stood for the importance and dignity of the individual in all its aspects, male and female. For those who are not familiar with their personalities and their work, it may suffice to say that they admitted in their Ashram sadhaks and sadhikas on an equal footing at a time when this was most unusual.

When writing on subjects in connection with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother it is not always possible, however hard one tries, to adapt one’s language to the present sensibilities.

The book before you offers an important new presentation of an aspect of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother ’s vision and yogic development. The Mother ’s French term surhomme, meaning the intermediary between the human and the supramental being, has until now been wrongly translated as “superman”, the word which in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s work stands throughout for the supramental being. To end this confusion and to clearly indicate the place the intermediary being occupies in the ongoing evolution beyond humankind, I find it essential to translate surhomme as “overman”.

“We start from the idea that humanity is moving to a great change of its life which will even lead to a new life of the race, – in all countries where men think, there is now in various forms that idea and that hope, – and our aim has been to search for the spiritual, religious and other truth which can enlighten and guide the race in this movement and endeavour. …”

“As man arose out of animal, so out of man superman shall come,” said Sri Aurobindo. Overman is a metaphysical book which dwells upon the concept of the ultimate progression of man into a highly enlightened species called the supramental being, towards which, the author says, the intermediary stage (the Overman) has already been reached.

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