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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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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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Hitler and his God

Hitler and his God

Hitler and his God

The Background to the Nazi Phenomenon

Hitler remains an enigma in spite of everything that has been written about him. Historians like Alan Bullock, Ian Kershaw and H.R. Trevor-Roper confess their perplexity openly. How was it possible that an unknown, solitary and future-less front-soldier in 1918 became, some years later, the Leader and Messiah of the German people? How could a nullity unleash the most destructive and deadliest war humanity has ever known? Academic historians give countless reasons because the essential reason keeps escaping them; fantasy writers find the most bizarre occult explanations, disregarding the historical facts.

Georges Van Vrekhem has studied the literature in German, English, French, Dutch and Italian for several years. His conclusion is clear: in Hitler there must have been a cause equivalent to the effects of his actions. Van Vrekhem gives a revealing picture of the rise of the unknown Austrian corporal and brings to life the people who helped him in the saddle: Dietrich Eckart, Captain Mayr, General von Mohl, and many others. The author analyses Mein Kampf, the book in which Hitler laid bare his thoughts and intentions without being believed. And he shows how this “man from nowhere”, driven by the obsession of his mission and helped by incredible luck, managed to become the Führer.

To explain the foundations of a people who made Hitler possible, Van Vrekhem undertakes, in the book’s second part, a deep-probing analysis of the historical background. In this he gives a surprisingly clear picture of the German ambition, the racism which supported it, and the romantic youth movements which incorporated the racism. In a memorable chapter he sketches the history of the German Jews. And he shows another side of the German people: their longing for a better world, although vitiated by their sense of superiority.

All this brings Georges Van Vrekhem to his central theme: Hitler’s possession by the “god” who inspired him, guided him, brought him to power – and dropped him when no longer needed. This leads the author, in the third part of the book, to the unexpected but well-documented role of the Indian philosopher and sage Sri Aurobindo in the action against Hitler before and during the Second World War. While Hitler wanted to bring humanity back to a state of barbarism, Sri Aurobindo stood for the progress of humanity and a future in which a new evolutionary being, beyond humanity, might at last create the world humanity has never ceased to long for. In this view of history, many worlds interact and all facts fit into the big picture.

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The Yoga and its Objects

The Yoga and Its Objects by Sri Aurobindo

The Yoga and its Objects

This is a very early essay written by Sri Aurobindo no later than 1912 and it was first published as a booklet in 1921 under the title “The Yoga and Its Object”.  In a letter written in 1934, Sri Aurobindo wrote: “But the book represents an early stage of Sri Aurobindo’s sadhana and only a part of it is applicable to the Yoga as it has at present taken form after a lapse of more than twenty years.”  However, this should not be construed to mean that the information in this book is useless or somehow outdated.  In the very same letter, apparently in reference to Lights on Yoga first published in 1935, Sri Aurobindo went on to say: “A book giving some hints about the Yoga compiled from letters to the sadhaks is about to be published, but it cannot be said to be complete. There is no complete book on the subject; for even The Synthesis of Yoga, published in the Arya but not yet republished in book form, gives only the theory of different components of the Yoga (Knowledge, Works, Devotion) and remains besides unfinished; it does not cover the more recent developments of the Yoga.” Clearly, these comments come from an ever evolving yoga; a yoga which, with Sri Aurobindo, began with a major step forward and moved beyond the stalled, stale practices of the nineteenth century. Perhaps the greatest difficulty of this short essay is the plethora of Sanskrit terms and that has been largely ameliorated with the inclusion of a glossary.

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On Meditation and Discipline

On Meditation and Discipline by Pavitra

On Meditation and Discipline

Pavitra (from the Sanskrit word for ‘pure’, a.k.a. Philippe Barbier Saint-Hilaire) was one of the very early disciples of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and he spent his last forty-four years in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. In this little booklet named “On Meditation and Discipline“, Pavitra has distilled the vast field of yogic practice and discipline into a compact digest that is accessible to everyone and it is free of any rigid dogma in the same way that Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga was without any dogma. This brief, well written “start here” guide is a perfect fit for those seeking a greater meaning in their life and are leaving no stone unturned in their seeking. In clear, simple terms Pavitra lays out three methods for gaining control of our ever-active minds during meditation. He then lays out three elemental movements of a discipline which are necessary to transform spiritual experience into spiritual realization using Sri Aurobindo’s own succinct words. Thirdly, he describes the three realizations which are the very “goals” of the meditation and discipline. The icing on this little gem is a short poem by Sri Aurobindo, The Miracle of Birth.


Book Details

Author: Pavitra

Print Length: 13 pages

Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Contributor: Blindshiva, Krishna

Book format: PDFePubKindle

Language: English Read more

Anilbaran Roy Conversations with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

Ebook: Anilbaran Roy Conversations with Sri Aurobindo

Anilbaran Roy Conversations with
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

Anilbaran Roy Conversations with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: During the early years of his stay at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo used to have informal conversations with people who would come to visit him. The visitors as well as Sri Aurobindo’s disciples could ask him any question that occurred to them. The topics of the conversations covered a diversified range of subjects which included not only politics, yoga or spirituality but art, poetry, literature, medicines, education-system and psychology to name a few. These talks came to be known as ‘Evening Talks’ since they were held in the evening. Between May and September 1926, Anilbaran Roy had a series of personal interviews with Sri Aurobindo (reproduced here under Interviews) as well as attending many of the ‘Evening Talks’ during this period (reproduced here under Conversations). Anilbaran left Pondicherry in October of 1926 and returned in December of the same year, after Sri Aurobindo had withdrawn into seclusion. After his return, Anilbaran continued to keep diary notes until February 1927. Anilbaran later recorded his conversations with the Mother in his notebooks under the title, With the Mother. These notes began in December 1929 and continued until March 1938.

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The Mother with Letters on the Mother

The Mother by Sri Aurobindo

The Mother with Letters on the Mother

The Mother with  letters on the Mother. These inspirational essays by Sri Aurobindo form a powerful statement of the true attitude to be taken by a sadhak of the integral Yoga: one of a complete and dynamic surrender to the Mother. They describe the triple movement of aspiration, rejection, and surrender, the conditions for a true faith and sincerity, the irresistible power of the Divine Mother’s grace, the need to reconquer the money-force for the Mother’s work, and the joy of a perfect instrumentality through selfless work, surmounting the demands of the ego. The final piece describes the four great powers and personalities of the Divine Mother.

SABCL volume contains Sri Aurobindo’s text of The Mother, with letters on his spiritual collaborator, the Mother; and translations of some of her “Prayers and Meditations”:

  • Part I, The Mother. THE MOTHER was first published in 1928. The main part of this book describing the four Shaktis etc. and the opening portion were written in 1927. The rest was originally written as letters. Since its first publication the book has gone into thirteen editions up to 1971.
  • Part II, Letters on the Mother. LETTERS OF SRI AUROBINDO ON THE MOTHER was first published in 1951. The letters included in this book were arranged under ten sections. These letters with additional material rearranged under eleven sections formed Part III of SRI AUROBINDO ON HIMSELF AND ON THE MOTHER published in 1953. In the present volume of the Centenary Edition this part has been further expanded by the inclusion of a large number of additional letters and the material has been rearranged under twelve sections.
  • Part III, Prayers and Meditations. This collection is not complete. It contains only the portions which Sri Aurobindo translated from the Mother’s PRIÈRES ET MÉDITATIONS written in French. These translations were first brought out in book-form in 1941 and reprinted in 1948, 1954, 1962, 1969 and 1971.

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