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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Lyrical Poems of Sri Aurobindo

Lyrical Poems of Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo once wrote that he wanted his short poems published in two separate books, one of sonnets and one of “(mainly) lyrical poems”.

This book contains all of Sri Aurobindo’s short poems, other than sonnets, composed between 1930 and 1950, with the exception of poems written solely as metrical experiments, nonsense poems written as parodies of surrealist verse, and incomplete or fragmentary poems. Most of the poems included are “lyrical” in the technical sense: they are short and express the writer’s personal thoughts and feelings. Unlike most other examples of the genre, however, their lyricism is spiritual and psychic. Along with the later sonnets and the epic Savitri, they represent Sri Aurobindo’s highest achievement in spiritual or yogic poetry.

Twenty-eight of the forty-two poems in this book were published by Sri Aurobindo during his lifetime in the following volumes: Six Poems (1934), Poems (1941), On Quantitative Metre (1942), and Poems Past and Present (1946). The other fourteen poems are taken from his manuscripts from the same period. Most of them were revised more than once, but some exist only in a single handwritten draft.


Book Details

Author: Sri Aurobindo

Print Length: 83 pages

Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Book format: PDF, ePub, Kindle

Language: English Read more

Thoughts from Sri Aurobindo (Compiled by Kishor Gandhi)

Thoughts from Sri Aurobindo

These passages extracted from Sri Aurobindo’s works are intended to serve as significant pointers to the inestimable value of his views for a true understanding of the important issues in the life and thought of the individual and the society. It is hoped that they will awaken the interest of the intelligent reader and will induce him to seek fuller illumination by drawing him to the original works themselves which contain immeasurably more than these few extracts can offer.


Book Details

Author: Sri Aurobindo

Print Length: 47 pages

Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Book format: PDF, ePub, Kindle

Language: English Read more

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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Questions and Answers 1957 and 1958 (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 9)

Questions and Answers 1957 and 1958

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 9

This volume contains the conversations of the Mother in 1957 and 1958 with the members of her Wednesday evening French class, held at the Ashram Playground. The class was composed of sadhaks of the Ashram and students of the Ashram’s school. The Mother usually began by reading out a passage from a French translation of one of Sri Aurobindo’s writings; she then commented on it or invited questions. For most of 1957 the Mother discussed the second part of Thoughts and Glimpses and the essays in The Supramental Manifestation upon Earth. From October 1957 to November 1958 she took up two of the final chapters of The Life Divine. These conversations comprise the last of the Mother’s “Wednesday classes”, which began in 1950.

The Mother’s French classes cover the eight-year period from 1950 to 1958. The Wednesday classes of 1950-51 and 1953-58 comprise the “Questions and Answers” talks. Between June 1951 and March 1953 these classes were replaced by “translation classes” in which the Mother translated into French several of Sri Aurobindo’s works, including The Ideal of Human Unity, The Human Cycle, part of The Synthesis of Yoga and the last six chapters of The Life Divine. During this period, she continued to speak informally with the students, but what she said was not tape-recorded.

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Questions and Answers 1956 (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 8)

Questions and Answers 1956

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 8

This volume is made up of conversations of the Mother in 1956 with the members of her French class, held on Wednesday evenings at the Ashram Playground. The class was composed of sadhaks of the Ashram and students of the Ashram’s school. The Mother usually began by reading out a passage from a French translation of one of Sri Aurobindo’s writings; she then commented on it or invited questions. During this year she discussed portions of two works of Sri Aurobindo: The Synthesis of Yoga (Part One) and Thoughts and Glimpses (first part).

The Mother’s French classes cover the eight-year period from 1950 to 1958. The Wednesday classes of 1950-51 and 1953-58 comprise the “Questions and Answers” talks. Between June 1951 and March 1953 these classes were replaced by “translation classes” in which the Mother translated into French several of Sri Aurobindo’s works, including The Ideal of Human Unity, The Human Cycle, part of The Synthesis of Yoga and the last six chapters of The Life Divine. During this period, she continued to speak informally with the students, but what she said was not tape-recorded.

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Questions and Answers 1955 (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 7)

Questions and Answers 1955

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 7

This volume is made up of talks given by the Mother in 1955 to the members of her French class. Held on Wednesday evenings at the Ashram Playground, the class was composed of sadhaks of the Ashram and students of its school. The Mother usually began by reading out a passage from one of her works or a French translation of one of Sri Aurobindo’s writings. She then commented on the passage or invited questions. For most of the year she discussed two small books by Sri Aurobindo, Bases of Yoga and Lights on Yoga, and two chapters of The Synthesis of Yoga. She spoke only in French.

The Mother’s French classes cover the eight-year period from 1950 to 1958. The Wednesday classes of 1950-51 and 1953-58 comprise the “Questions and Answers” talks. Between June 1951 and March 1953 these classes were replaced by “translation classes” in which the Mother translated into French several of Sri Aurobindo’s works, including The Ideal of Human Unity, The Human Cycle, part of The Synthesis of Yoga and the last six chapters of The Life Divine. During this period, she continued to speak informally with the students, but what she said was not tape-recorded.

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Questions and Answers 1954 (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 6)

Questions and Answers 1954

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 6

This volume comprises talks given by the Mother in 1954 to the members of her French class. Held on Wednesday evenings at the Ashram Playground, the class was composed of sadhaks of the Ashram and students of its school. The Mother usually began by reading out a passage from one of her essays or a French translation of one of Sri Aurobindo’s writings; she then commented on the passage or invited questions. During this year she discussed several of her essays on education and three small books by Sri Aurobindo: Elements of Yoga, The Mother, and Bases of Yoga. She spoke only in French.

The Mother’s French classes cover the eight-year period from 1950 to 1958. The Wednesday classes of 1950-51 and 1953-58 comprise the “Questions and Answers” talks. Between June 1951 and March 1953 these classes were replaced by “translation classes” in which the Mother translated into French several of Sri Aurobindo’s works, including The Ideal of Human Unity, The Human Cycle, part of The Synthesis of Yoga and the last six chapters of The Life Divine. During this period, she continued to speak informally with the students, but what she said was not tape-recorded.

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Questions and Answers 1953 (Collected Works of The Mother Volume 5)

Questions and Answers 1953

Collected Works of the Mother Volume 5

Talks by the Mother including comments on her Questions and Answers 1929. This volume is made up of talks given by the Mother in 1953 to the members of her French class. Held on Wednesday evenings at the Ashram Playground, the class was composed of sadhaks of the Ashram and students of its school. The Mother usually began by reading out a passage from one of her works and then invited questions. For most of the year she discussed her talks of 1929. She spoke only in French.

The Mother’s French classes cover the eight-year period from 1950 to 1958. The Wednesday classes of 1950-51 and 1953-58 comprise the “Questions and Answers” talks. Between June 1951 and March 1953 these classes were replaced by “translation classes” in which the Mother translated into French several of Sri Aurobindo’s works, including The Ideal of Human Unity, The Human Cycle, part of The Synthesis of Yoga and the last six chapters of The Life Divine. During this period, she continued to speak informally with the students, but what she said was not tape-recorded.

Read more