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.


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

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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