Read in this issue: Heeding the Call: Sustainability for South India and Beyond; The Evolutionary Café; Matrimandir – a hymn to the builders of the future; Caring for Auroville – the Auroville Health Services; Auroville Council getting up steam; The sounds of Divine Harmony; Sri Aurobindo – Selected photos; One Asia 2014; News in brief.
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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.”
This book, which contains his unpublished essays as well as some of his articles and interviews that have been published in the magazines Auroville Today, Mother India, and The Advent, and in the book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.
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.
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.
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.
As presented here, The Philosophy of Evolution, is a compendium of lectures presented by Rod Hemsell at the University of Human Unity in Auroville in 2008, 2009 and 2012. The main thrust of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga has always been toward an active participation in the human evolution and this is the defining concept which set Sri Aurobindo and the Mother apart from all others in the very beginning. With his extensive knowledge of philosophy and numerous philosophers and his familiarity with current science, Rod is able to guide the reader through the development of thought in these disciplines and shows us the place that Sri Aurobindo has staked out for us as the enlightened forerunner he was. These lectures are not a difficult or tedious ascent to airless heights, rather, they are instructive explorations of the broader base camps surrounding the mount; it is left to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother to guide us in our ascent. However, with this exploration of the terra firma, we become ever more confident that our guides to the snow capped peaks actually do know whereof they speak.
Philosophers are thinkers of a different order than ordinary folks and Henri Bergson is no exception to that rule. In the spirit of, and yet not in lock step with, Darwinian evolutionism, Bergson makes here his philosophical argument for a continuous, creative evolution. Invoking the ancient philosophers, drawing on metaphysical precepts and enlisting the aid of an interested Nature, Bergson describes a view of evolution which would be summarily rejected by the pure materialist camp. Although the language is somewhat quaint, being translated from the French of 100 years ago, and not altogether easy to read, the reader is ultimately lead to conclude that Bergson’s intuition has indeed taken him to a perch that gives him a broader view of our reality.
The material in the book “The Philosophy of Religion” is a transcription of a series of twelve lectures presented by Rod Hemsell at Savitri Bhavan in Auroville, India. With broad brush strokes highlighted with interesting and intricate detail, Rod paints a rich historical portrait illustrating the evolution of philosophical thought and its impact on religious doctrine which extends over a twenty-four hundred year span. Free Download: epub, kindle and pdf.
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 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.
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.
The Mother with Letters on the Mother SABCL Edition. It is Sri Aurobindo’s most famous work describing nature and role of the Divine 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.
Despite their essential contribution to the present world, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are still mostly unknown outside the circles of their disciples and devotees. It is Georges Van Vrekhem’s intention in this biography of the Mother to examine all available material about her life and to present it in an accessible and interesting way. He attempts to draw the full picture, including the often neglected but important last years of her life, and even of some reincarnations explicitly confirmed by the Mother herself.
Patterns of the Present is a profound and enjoyable account of the present situation of mankind and the world it lives in. On the threshold of the new millennium, countless pages have been written on the meaning of our world and its possible development. The conclusion in most cases was depressing – man would become an automaton in a sci-fi world. The author puts the present situation of humanity in the perspective of the evolutionary vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. The result is a positive interpretation of the global situation.
It the book “Pitfalls in Sadhana” M.P. Pandit speaks about overcoming difficulties in the practice of the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
In the current volume VI of “Readings in Savitri”, M.P. Pandit systematically reviews Book II, The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds, Cantos 7-15 of Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol
“Man After Man” is a shortened book version of the 2.5 hour long interview with Satprem by David Montemurri, a film maker for Italian TV. It was filmed in 1981, in the Nilgiris, the Blue Mountains of southern India, where Satprem and his companion Sujata were living. …
“The Riddle of this World” is a collection of letters of Sri Aurobindo to his disciples. It is his answer to the challenge which every human being has to face – discovery of the purpose of his own existence.
Sri Aurobindo was arrested for conspiracy on 5th May 1908 and spent one full year in Alipore jail while the British Government, in a protracted court-trial (which came to be known as “Alipore Bomb Case” ), tried to implicate him in various revolutionary activities. He was acquitted and released on 6th May 1909. Subsequently he wrote a series of articles in the Bengali journal “Suprabhat”, describing his life in prison and the courtroom. Sri Aurobindo made a brief mention in these articles of his spiritual experiences in Jail. Later he publicly spoke on the matter in the “Uttarpara Speech”.
Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India