Lotus Mountain by Rod Hemsell

Lotus Mountain

While assembling this “next” collection of poems, written during the past ten years, it was gratifying to realize that there has been a development in both the forms and the meanings that are expressed in these poems. Some of the heights that were aspired to or glimpsed in the earlier poems and under other circumstances, have actually been grasped, experienced, perhaps even adequately transmitted through these later efforts. Of course it is still “me” and my experience, my language, my energies; and everything I experience is conditioned by my particular range of exposures, my limitations, my aspirations, my receptivity or lack, and so on. But, as I have said before, these poems are the product of an effort to allow nature and consciousness to come into resonance and to express the product of their interaction through an inspired flow of words, as far as it is possible. As we have been taught by the Master, the less we impose our personal mental predispositions on the process the better the product will be. This is a method that I have practiced for 50 years, and at least I can say that I have kept the faith, and this modest product is the outcome. It is also the product of the natural environments in which I have found myself and which have often inspired me; the qualities of nature seem to sometimes  reveal themselves to me in ways that stimulate a flow of words that captures and embodies her beauty and power, her wickedness and weakness, her infinity of creativity and meaning that I find irresistible. For that I am deeply grateful, and I consider it a blessing of the Mother of all forms and meanings who has enriched my life from time to time with a particle of her Infinite Grace.

Rod Hemsell
February, 2020


Book Details

Author: Rod Hemsell
Print Length: 104
Publisher: Auro e-Books
Contributor: Edith Stadig, Krishna
Book format: Pdf
Language: English
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Poems of Devotion and Stillness by Rod Hemsell

Poems of Devotion and Stillness

In reviving these earlier poems and images of mine, composed between the age of 25 and 65, I recognize an implicit belief in the ability of poetic speech and consciousness to convey in a vivid way our inner connection with “nature” – in and around us – and to express the ‘reality’ of both nature and our experience. At best it may also express other realities that transcend both nature and experience, such as the idea that stones have eyes and ears, and our lives are influenced by celestial beings. This belief in poetry implies as well that language and consciousness are more than mere ‘representations’ of reality: they are faculties that resonate with nature and experience in a way that reveals a deeper symbolic identity or close kinship between the two poles of reality. This may be a naive belief, no doubt, but it also has its roots in the much earlier Vedic notions about language and truth. Being inspired by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, my hope is that something of the truth of those notions will be seen, heard, and felt by the reader. It is this same consciousness applied to contemporary environmental issues that has also informed the fantasy-essay on climate change, Cloning the Earth, written ten years ago but more relevant than ever and likely to be better understood, today.

And yet, while these may be universal truths of ‘poetry’ and ‘consciousness’, or at least reasonable theories, I also realize that these poems are the record of unique moments of my life and my experience. As such, they are a very personal effort to express what I have seen, felt, and understood to be their true nature and quality (swabhava). It may be said that the unstated theme is the unification of self and nature through symbolic speech. The drive to write in this way has made both self and nature more real.

Rod Hemsell
February, 2020


Book Details

Author: Rod Hemsell
Print Length: 109
Publisher: Auro e-Books
Contributor: Edith Stadig, Krishna
Book format: Pdf
Language: English
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The English of Savitri Volume 6

The English of Savitri
volume 6

This is the sixth volume of the English of Savitri series, based on transcripts of classes led by the author at Savitri Bhavan, in this case from 23 June to 29 December 2016. 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 detailed explanations of the texts of the two closing Books of Sri Aurobindo’s epic: Book Eleven – The Book of Everlasting Day and Book Twelve – Epilogue: The Return to Earth. 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 Au robin do’s vision’.

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Auroville: Sun-Word Rising by Savitra

Auroville: Sun-Word Rising

A Trust for the Earth

Few people today — even those who presently live in Auroville or serve on AVI Boards — know the actual history of Auroville’s emergence. And unfortunately, records of that unique era have largely been lost in time. Auroville: Sun-Word Rising, originally published by the Community of Auroville in 1980, was an honest attempt to chronicle that AV timeline when the Mother was still physically present as well as the period which followed Her passing. Based on extensive notes and documentation, the book strives to tell a truer story that needed to be told despite those who wished to silence it. For it fills in the missing links that can help us understand how Auroville arrived at where it is today. After all, if we don’t know our past, how can we understand our present, heal past wounds, cocreate a truer future?

The opening passages of this 3-Part work begin in America, tracking the author’s personal quest through the 1960s that eventually led him to the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother… Which in turn led him to London where he began his odyssey, hitchhiking to India to meet the Mother. That meeting led him to stay on in India. And soon after, the Mother accepted him into the Ashram, then into Auroville where he joined that first wave of pioneers scattered like seeds on a barren red-clay plateau. Part 2 transitions through a tale of two Aurovilles: The Auroville rising forth under the Mother’s nurturing Presence. And the Auroville labouring to carry on its mission through the grief of Her passing and the unforeseen crises and conflicts that would follow Her passing.

For indeed, despite the obstacles and oppositions which that fledgling AV Community faced, it courageously laboured on, bringing new life to that arid plateau, establishing settlements, schools, farms and the beginning of a reforestation programme that would eventually transform a dying landscape into lush tropical forests. It would also evolve a home-grown decision-making process that would be severely challenged by outside forces following the Mother’s passing (as Parts 2 and 3 document). Those challenges would eventually lead to a Government intervention in 1980, followed by a Supreme Court Case and the eventual Auroville Foundation Act passed by Parliament in 1988. In this light, perhaps Auroville’s first decade reflects a microcosm of the pressing evolutionary challenges our species and planet face today.


Book Details

Author: Savitra
Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: The Community of Auroville
Original source: Auroville Archives
Contributors: Gilles Guigan, Krishna V.
Book format: PDF, ePub, Kindle
Language: English


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Preparing for the Miraculous by Georges Van Vrekhem

Preparing for the Miraculous

Preparing for the Miraculous is a series of ten talks given by Georges Van Vrekhem in Auroville in 2010 covering a wide range of subjects, examined from the Aurobindonian viewpoint. The book explores timeless questions in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary concept and casts a refreshing new look on issues that have been the lasting preoccupation of seekers throughout the ages. In these talks, Georges discusses such questions as:

  • What is the meaning of our existence in the cosmic scheme?
  • Is there a divine purpose in life or is it merely the mechanical playing-out of competing “greedy genes”?
  • Do we live in a blind universe aimlessly running its course from Big Bang to Big Crunch or is there a higher purpose in evolution?
  • If there is a conscious guiding intent, why does it allow evil to exist?
  • How do we transcend the limits of a blind “scientism” locking itself out of a vaster understanding by refusing to admit the existence of any factors outside of its self-imposed limits of “scientific” verifiability? Can these questions be tackled without landing in the other extreme of religious dogma?
  • Is our planet Earth special in the universe?
  • Do we human beings have a special role in evolution?

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Auroville Saga: Antithesis of Yoga by Jocelyn

Antithesis of Yoga by Jocelyn

Antithesis of Yoga

non-fiction novel

The Antithesis of Yoga is a nonfictional novel of the first 25 years of wonderful and terrible life in the City of the Future. Auroville, The City Earth Needs near Pondicherry India, is a global spiritual township started by The Mother in 1968. For those interested in learning about the history of Aurovile, and would like to meet the fascinating people and hear the often amazing stories of the beginnings of this Utopian experiment they can find here a first hand account of the tumultuous years of Auroville’s early development.

Roslyn, an American hippie single mother had imagined she had had a vision calling her to India. She traveled to Pondicherry overland across Europe and Asia, not knowing her destination was Pondicherry. She arrived with her eight month old daughter Bliss in August 1969. She thought she had found Shangri la. Pondicherry was nothing like anywhere she had been. It sparkled.

She soon met many interesting, exotic people, John Kelly, a New York City fireman who had had visions of Mother and Sri Aurobindo in the trenches in WWII; and Ananta. a Boston Bhramin saddhu who had built a temple to Zeus on the island Mother had given him; the Countess de B, a hero of the French Resistance; the tantric guru, Panditji; and many others. But Roslyn was completely captivated by The Mother and Her vision and ideals for Auroville.

Roslyn’s first glimpse of Auroville was a red eroded plain, pockmarked with impoverished villages. There was not a tree to be seen. There was no electricity in the area. There was 100% illiteracy among the villagers. But that was not what Roslyn saw. She saw a place where a utopia would be built by sun eyed children of a new dawn.

There were many adventures, misadventures and challenges along the way.

This book tells some of the story of the great adventure of the beginning of the town. Auroville today is a town in South India visited by VIP’s, students and people from all over the world, the home of people from more than 30 countries, the winner of a Green Oscar, the site of the Matrimandir, and has applied for World Heritage status. It is a successful experiment in developing a spiritual global community.

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AUROVILLE: The first six years 1968-1974 by Savitra

AUROVILLE: The first six years
1968-1974

“Auroville, the first 6 years – 1968-1974” written by Savitra is one of only two records of what was happening on the Auroville plateau during the first 6 years of its creation.


Book Details

Author: Savitra
Print Length: 102 pages
Publisher: Auropublications
Original source: Auroville Archives
Contributors: Gilles Guigan
Book format: PDF, ePub, Kindle
Language: English


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Savitri Bhavan – The Buildings

Savitri Bhavan – The Buildings

This booklet has been created in response to the widespread interest in the architecture of Savitri Bhavan expressed by students and professionals.

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The English of Savitri Volume 5

The English of Savitri
volume 5

This is the fifth volume of the English of Savitri series based on transcripts of classes led by the author at Savitri Bhavan, in this case from 6 January to 11 August 2011. 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 detailed explanations of the first four Cantos of Book Two, The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds. 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 English of Savitri Volume 4

The English of Savitri
volume 4

This is the fourth volume of the English of Savitri series based on transcripts of classes led by the author at Savitri Bhavan, in this case from October 8, 2015 to June 6, 2016. 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 a summary of the two cantos of Book Nine of Sri Aurobindo’s epic Savitri – A Legend and a Symbol, followed by detailed explanations of the four Cantos of Book Ten, The Book of the Double Twilight. 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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