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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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The Candle of Vision

The Candle of Vision

The Candle of Vision

In Letters on Poetry and Art, Sri Aurobindo spoke of A. E. many times as a poet and a mystic. In a letter dated 5 February 1932, Sri Aurobindo said:

“A. E.’s remarks about “immensity” etc. are very interesting to me; for these are the very words, with others like them, that are constantly recurring at short intervals in my poetry when I express, not spiritual thought, but spiritual experience. I knew perfectly well that this recurrence would be objected to as bad technique or an inadmissible technique; but this seems to me a reasoning from the conventions of a past order which cannot apply to a new poetry dealing with spiritual things. A new art of words written from a new consciousness demands a new technique. A.E. himself admits that this rule makes a great difficulty because these “high light” words are few in the English language. This solution may do well enough for him, because the realisations which they represent are in him mental realisations or intuitions occurring on the summits of the consciousness, rare “high lights” over the low tones of the ordinary natural or occult experience (ordinary, of course, to him, not to the average man), and so his solution does not violate the truth of his vision, does not misrepresent the balance or harmony of its natural tones. But what of one who lives in an atmosphere full of these high lights—in a consciousness in which the finite, not only the occult but even the earthly finite is bathed in the sense of the eternal, the illimitable and infinite, the immensities or intimacies of the timeless. To follow A.E.’s rule might well mean to falsify this atmosphere, to substitute a merely aesthetic fabrication for a true seeing and experience. Truth first—a technique expressive of the truth in the forms of beauty has to be found, if it does not exist. It is no use arguing from the spiritual inadequacy of the English language; the inadequacy does not exist and, even if it did, the language will have to be made adequate. It has been plastic enough in the past to succeed in expressing all that it was asked to express, however new; it must now be urged to a new progress. In fact, the power is there and has only to be brought out more fully to serve the full occult, mystic, spiritual purpose.”

This book by Irish author, poet, painter and mystic George William Russell, is a set of transcendent essays on Celtic mysticism. Known by his pen name AE (which is short for Aeon), Russell was friends with many other figures of the Celtic renaissance of the early 20th century, including Y.B. Yeats, and James Stephens.

The Candle of Vision describes Russells’ luminous excursions into the otherworld, including clairvoyant and prophetic visions, precognition of Gnostic concepts, past-life and astral journeys, and, always, heightened awareness of the beauty that pervades mundane reality. Russell describes encounters with what today we would call UFOs, and attempts to construct a private Kabala based on an intuitive reconstuction of a primal language and alphabet. Lastly, he attempts to put a mystical gloss on the primeval Celtic pagan deities. Lovers of Celtic lore and ecstatic mystic literature will both find much to enjoy in this short book.

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Anandamath

Bankim Chandra Chatterjee - Anandamath

Anandamath

Anandamath is a Bengali novel, written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and published in 1882. Set in the background of the Sannyasi Rebellion in the late 18th century, it is considered one of the most important novels in the history of Bengali and Indian literature. Its importance is heightened by the fact that it became synonymous with the struggle for Indian independence from the British Empire. The novel was banned by the British. The ban was lifted later by the Government of India after independence. The national song of India, Vande Mataram, was first published in this novel.

The prologue and the first thirteen chapters of Part I were translated by Sri Aurobindo, the rest by his brother Barindra. The parts translated by Sri Aurobindo first appeared in the KARMAYOGIN, intermittently between August 7, 1909 and February 12, 1910.

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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 Problem of Rebirth

Sri Aurobindo The Problem of Rebirth

The Problem of Rebirth

In The Problem of Rebirth, Sri Aurobindo assesses the central arguments surrounding the concept of rebirth. He suggests that rebirth is a vehicle conveying the soul forward in its aeonic evolution towards self-knowledge and self-mastery. Evolution through the process of rebirth enables the soul’s indomitable effort through Time; karma engineers its spiritual education. Once seen, the process of karma, the law of consequence, takes a central place among the issues of life: “This evolution is not possible if there is not a connected sequence from life to life, a result of action and experience, an evolutionary consequence to the soul, a law of Karma. ” We have all had occasion to question providence; to ask “why do the good suffer, why do the evil prosper”. Such fundamental questions of life take on a new significance when viewed with an understanding of The Problem of Rebirth.

The true foundation of the theory of rebirth is the evolution of the soul, or rather its efflorescence out of the veil of Matter and its gradual self-finding. Buddhism contained this truth involved in its theory of Karma and emergence out of Karma but failed to bring it to light; Hinduism knew it of old, but afterwards missed the right balance of its expression. Now we are again able to restate the ancient truth in a new language and this is already being done by certain schools of thought, though still the old incrustations tend to tack themselves on to the deeper wisdom. And if this gradual efflorescence be true, then the theory of rebirth is an intellectual necessity, a logically unavoidable corollary. But what is the aim of that evolution? Not conventional or interested virtue and the faultless counting out of the small coin of good in the hope of an apportioned material reward, but the continual growth towards a divine knowledge, strength, love and purity.

 

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India’s Rebirth

Sri Aurobindo India's Rebirth

India’s Rebirth

This book presents Sri Aurobindo’s vision of India as it grew from his return from England in 1893 to his political days in the first decade of the century and finally to his forty-year-long withdrawal from public view during which he plunged into his ‘real work’ of evolutionary action.

This brief chronological selection from all that Sri Aurobindo said or wrote on India, her soul and her destiny, is by no means integral, but we trust it offers a sufficiently wide view of the lines of
development Sri Aurobindo wished India to follow if she was to overcome the deep-rooted obstacles standing in the way of her rebirth.

A few notes have been added to help put the excerpts into historical perspective, and a Chronology, list of References and Index have been provided at the end of the book.

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Aphorisms

Sri Aurobindo Aphorisms

Aphorisms

In the aphorisms that make up this book, Sri Aurobindo gives pithy and pregnant expression to some of the key ideas of his philosophy and yoga.

Thoughts and Aphorisms was written around 1913. Ten aphorisms from the manuscript were published in the monthly review Arya in 1915 and 1916 as parts of what was later issued as Thoughts and Glimpses. But the bulk of the aphorisms — that is, those included in the Karma, Jnana and Bhakti sections of the present booklet — were never published during Sri Aurobindo’s lifetime. They first appeared in book form in 1958.

The seven “Additional Aphorisms” were first included in the edition of 1977; the last five were written in a separate manuscript notebook, apparently somewhat later than the others.

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Patterns and Connective Referencing

Ray Morose - Patterns and Connective Referencing

Patterns and Connective Referencing

This is the latest in an ongoing series of essays authored by Ray Morose in which he details the human condition and expounds upon how one can pierce the veils and uncover and live one’s true essence. His sometimes difficult intellectual approach is extremely metaphorical and, much like a koan, stretches the reader’s mind and opens it to new ways of conceptualizing the world in which it finds itself. He employs his own terminology, largely bereft of the labels so common in spirituality, and his language often jars like a wooden wheeled trip on cobblestone roods. In the process, he shakes out the dross and tightens mental structure.

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The Hour of God

The Hour of God by Sri Aurobindo

The Hour of God

“The pieces collected together in this book were written by Sri Aurobindo between 1910 and 1940. None of them were published during his lifetime; none received the final revision he gave to his major works. Most of the pieces were first printed in various journals published by the Ashram, and subsequently in the different editions of The Hour of God, beginning with the first edition (1959).”

In reading these essays, one gets the very distinct feeling that the author really does know whereof he speaks. Here, we are able to sit in his lap and listen as he fabricates one description after another of the ineffable and explains how we too can share in the realization awaiting us at the end of what seems, in the clarity of his vision, to be not such an arduous path. It is not that he ever says that the way is easy, quite the contrary; but the certainty with which he speaks seems to put it into reach.

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The Master as I Saw Him

The Master As I Saw Him by Sister Nivedita (free ebook)

The Master As I Saw Him

This is an intimate look at the life and times of Swami Vivekananda through the eyes of the devout disciple named by him as Sister Nivedita. Born in Ireland, 1867, Margaret Elizabeth Noble became enamored of Vivekananda’s teachings when she heard him speak in London in 1895. She characterized her encounter with Vivekananda as providential; he being the deliverer of the call to service she had been waiting for. So, in 1898, she found herself in India, ready and willing to fulfill her life’s purpose. Three-months after arriving in India, she became the first Western woman to be received into an Indian monastic order. Soon, she opened a school for girls and spent the remainder of her life in service to India, teaching, caring for the ill and promoting Indian independence. But, of course, this book is not about her rather, it is about the man who inspired her, Vivekananda. In this portrait, you will find a God-driven man who gave his all for God and country, dedicating himself to the resurrection of India to her rightful glory. As a little bonus, we have added two appendices containing a few of Sri Aurobindo’s own words on Sister Nivedita, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda.

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The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

Emile Durkheim - The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life

One-hundred years after its first publication, we resurrect here a scholarly tome written by one of the foremost fathers of sociology, Émile Durkheim. Much of Durkheim’s work was concerned with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in modernity; an era in which traditional social and religious ties are no longer assumed, and in which new social institutions have come into being. The “modernity” of one-hundred years ago seems quaint to us today but the questions Émile sought to explore and answer then are perhaps even more urgent today. In The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, Durkheim lays bare the roots of human religiosity through an in-depth examination of the most primitive forms of religion then known on the very edges of an ever-encroaching “modernity”. Through this look at “primitive” man, perhaps we can find a deeper understanding of our own soul, what its needs are, and what drives it.

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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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l’Agenda de Mère (Tout le texte français)

l’Agenda de Mère

l’Agenda de Mère

Recueilli par Satprem, un disciple de Mère, au cours de nombreuses conversations personnelles avec elle, l’Agenda de Mère est le journal de bord complet de son exploration de la conscience cellulaire dans le corps humain. Il couvre 23 années des expériences de Mère qui sont parallèles à certaines des théories les plus récentes de la physique moderne, et sont peut-être la clé du passage de l’humanité vers l’espèce suivante.

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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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The Superman

The Supreman by Sri Aurobndo

The Superman

This little booklet is a powerful triplet of essays first published by Sri Aurobindo in the monthly review Arya in 1915. In his splashing poetic prose, Sri Aurobindo first describes his Superman against the backdrop of the Nietzschean overman and public misconceptions. He then goes on to hammer out the relationships between all-will, free-will  and fate. At the last, he commands you to grasp the delight of works with his lilting voice of authority. All together, this little booklet is like a powerful vitamin B shot for the soul.

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More Lights on Yoga

More Lights on Yoga by Sri Aurobindo

More Lights on Yoga by Sri Aurobindo

This volume is a collection of extracts from various letters written by Sri Aurobindo to his disciples in answering their questions about the Integral Yoga. This small volume also contains a glossary of the terms frequently used by Sri Aurobindo and, as far as possible, the definitions are in Sri Aurobindo’s own words.

“Absence of love and fellow feeling is not necessary for nearness to the Divine; on the contrary, a sense of closeness and oneness with others is a part of the divine consciousness into which the sadhak enters by nearness to the Divine and the feeling of oneness with the Divine…. In this Yoga the feeling of unity with others, love, universal joy and Ananda are an essential part of the liberation and perfection which are the aim of the sadhana.”

Sri Aurobindo

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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 Two Sources of Morality and Religion

The Two Sources of Morality and Religion by Henri Bergson

The Two Sources of Morality and Religion

In the spirit of Darwinian evolution, Henri Bergson, with this volume, makes the philosophical argument that morality and religion are the “natural” and necessary products of man’s evolution. With a look which extends back some 2,400 years to the ancient Greek philosophers, Bergson traces the evolution of man’s instinct, intelligence and intuition and shows how necessary their interactions were in the development of human societies, morality and religion and he looks ahead to the shapes they must take if man is to survive himself.

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