Captive of Her Love by Janina Stroka

Longings for the Mother

This book is a collection of letters, poems and paintings by Janina Stroka, a Polish disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and a member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, from 1957 until her passing in 1964. It is a truly fascinating book that should interest readers of many backgrounds and persuasions. Employing a primarily epistolary mode, through the use of letters, it combines several interesting categories as well: spiritual travelogue, quest narrative, period history and East-West encounter. Above all, it bridges the gap between the falsity of public image vis a vis the reality of our private self.

Janina’s account of her life in Pondicherry in this book is divided into three parts. The main part of the text consists of extracts from letters written to a Dutch friend with whom Janina lived first in Palestine and later in Germany, from December 1957 to June 1958. The letters in the next section were written between 1960 and 1963 to a young Bengali, a writer and social worker. Next, the book contains selected poems and paintings by Janina and concludes with a comment by the Mother on Janina’s passing.

All of these provide an invaluable glimpse into Janina’s inner life in the Ashram, no less than her observation of the details of the seemingly trivial but no less significant aspects of the day to day life in the Ashram and Pondicherry during the late fifties and early sixties. We find, for instance, a perceptive description of meal-time atmosphere in the Dining Room. Those who habitually crib against the Dining Room food would do well to see Janina’s sense of reverence towards this food (“We always get two bananas and a wonderful yoghurt, just a dream!”). She talks memorably of a number of events and impressions of the supramental force spread over Pondicherry, vis a vis the ubiquitous presence of the town’s dirt, filth and squalour; about “bad people in the Ashram”; regarding the problem with maid-servants, their perpetual intrigues and the need to constantly humour them in order to extract work out of their reluctant selves and so on. She also records her encounters with Pavitrada, Nolinida and Medhananda and the quota of luscious mangoes from Bombay that she receives from X, a friend: “What a pity that I do not have a husband” she observes with self-deprecating humour.

Janina reveals in her engrossing accounts that despite their rootedness in reason, science and rationality, (or perhaps because of it!) a dedicated westerner, drawn powerfully to spirituality, is likely to blossom more fully vis a vis his/her eastern counterparts. Her life — full of ordeals, hardships and agony — is testimony to the indomitable human spirit forever in search of the deepest meaning of life. Her narrative offers us a lesson in humility.

(from book review by Dr Sachidananda Mohanty)


Book Details

Author: Janina Stroka
Print Length: 106
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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Longings for the Mother by Indra Sen

Longings for the Mother

I learned of the Mother’s passing on the morning of the 18th November, 1973 at Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir, Jwalapur (Hardwar), where my normal work lies as given by the Mother in 1958. The impulse that arose within me was to go deep within and be with the Mother to the best of my capacity. I reduced my external preoccupations to the minimum and began to live in that manner and it was profoundly satisfying. In this experience, there were occasional moments of shock and grief too but, on the whole, there was a feeling of inner assurance and a sense of contact and conversation with the Mother. On the morning of the 27th November, as I sat in this contemplation, a move arose to concretise the inner thought and feeling and I wrote out “Our Mother, who is no more, who is ever more.” Soon all the ten topics ending with “Mother, we read again Your ‘Notes on the Way’” came along. And I read these again and again and enjoyed doing so. I began to do this day after day. I felt that this tended to deepen my inner contact. The next three pieces were written on the following three days, a piece per day. Then I had to go on a short journey and, for about a fortnight, there was no writing. About the middle of December, the writing was resumed and the remaining six pieces were written out. The entire writing was done, on the whole, with ease and simplicity.

To me, all this served to clarify and strengthen an inner contact with the Mother. Many friends, who have read these pieces in typescript, have felt deeply moved and found in varying degrees a greater inner contact.


Book Details

Author: Indra Sen
Print Length: 43
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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The Sacred Thread: Hinduism in Its Continuity and Diversity by J. L. Brockington

The Sacred Thread

Hinduism in Its Continuity and Diversity

In a single book, which examines the history and development of Hindu religious experience and thought from its earliest records to modern times, it is inevitable that much has been left out in order to make the broad outlines clearer. What has been passed over in silence is just as much part of the rich fabric of Hinduism. For Hinduism has never been a unitary phenomenon. In particular, there has always been a fascinating interplay between its more religious and more speculative elements. As a religion Hinduism tends towards the philosophical in its emphasis on the importance of knowledge, while Hindu philosophy sees that knowledge as having essentially a religious purpose in the achievement of the goal.

The history of Hinduism stretches over a vast time-span, during most of which the existing political boundaries of the Indian sub-continent did not exist. Accordingly the term India is used in this book in a geographical sense as referring to the whole sub-continent, except in those parts of the last two chapters where recent political events are referred to. The names of areas are generally those of the modern states of the Indian Republic, which in many cases have reverted to older names (e.g. Tamilnad for Madras State and Karnataka for Mysore).


Book Details

Author: J. L. Brockington
Print Length: 232
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Book format: Pdf
Language: English
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To Thee Our Infinite Gratitude (Writings on the Passing of Sri Aurobindo)

To Thee Our Infinite Gratitude

Writings on the Passing of Sri Aurobindo

A series of essays written in commemoration of Sri Aurobindo’s passing. The words of Amal Kiran, Udar and K.R.S.Iyengar give us a vast spiritual, psychological and factual perspective of the event, greatly helping us to understand several aspects of the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, the young American scholar Rhoda P. Le Cocq’s account of the last Darshan of the Master and the Mother unveils that aspect of the power of Grace which so smoothly and silently demolishes the wall of scepticism one had maintained around oneself for long. The compilation brings us a serene calm and an intense feeling of gratitude, and reminds us that:

Death is a stair, a door, a stumbling stride
The soul must take to cross from birth to birth,
A grey defeat pregnant with victory,
A whip to lash us towards our deathless state.

Savitri


Book Details

Author: Nirodbaran, Dr. Prabhat Sanyal, Amal Kiran, Udar Pinto, Pavitra, K.R.S. Iyengar, Rhoda P. Le Cocq
Print Length: 100
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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The Mother Abides – Final Reflections

The Mother Abides
Final Reflections (1973–1983)

by Nolini Kanta Gupta

These thoughts and reminiscences of Nolini Kanta Gupta were written or spoken during the final decade of his life — from the time of the Mother’s passing in November 1973 until shortly before his own passing in February 1984. During that period they served as a source of guidance and consolation to the Ashram community, and they still seem relevant today.

Many of these writings and talks were first presented to the students, young and old, of Nolini-da’s classes. Later they were published in The Advent, a quarterly journal he edited, or in his Collected Works. Details about their publication and a life-sketch of the author are given at the end of the book.


Book Details

Author: Nolini Kanta Gupta
Print Length: 77
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker

The Denial of Death

Winner of the 1974 Pulitzer Prize and the culmination of Ernest Becker’s life’s work, The Denial of Death is one of the twentieth-century’s great works. In it Ernest Becker’s passionately seeks to understand the basis of human existence. Addressing the fundamental fact of existence as man’s refusal to acknowledge his own mortality, Becker sheds new light on humanity and the meaning of life itself. Becker views human civilisation and achievement as an attempt to transcend a sense of mortality as mankind seeks heroic acts (a sense of heroism is the central fact of human nature) to become part of something eternal; even though the physical body will die one day life can still have meaning and a greater significance. In the modern world much conflict between religions, nations and ideologies are the result of contradictory ‘immortality projects’ (Becker’s term for an attempt to create something eternal) but Becker looks for new and more convincing immortality projects that can restore the heroic sense, as well as bringing about a better world. Drawing together an astounding array of fields, from psychology and philosophy to religion and the human sciences Ernest Becker’s work has had a lasting cultural impact.


Book Details

Author: Ernest Becker
Print Length: 333
Publisher: The Free Press
Original source: https://humanposthuman.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/ernest_becker_the_denial_of_deathbookfi-org.pdf
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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Eckhart Tolle and Sri Aurobindo by A. S. Dalal

Eckhart Tolle and Sri Aurobindo

A. S. Dalal, a philosopher, psychotherapist, long-time devotee of Sri Aurobindo and inmate of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, provides here an in depth investigation and discussion of the similarities and differences between the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and Sri Aurobindo. Although nearly one-hundred years separate these two great spiritual teachers, who come out of disparate disciplines (Buddhist and Hindu), the author discovers an underling essence and truth which deepens and strengthens his own spiritual convictions and understandings. Through out his long life, the author has been exposed to multiple disciplines and the process of exploring Eckhart has brought him new insights and a greater integration that comes only when one expands beyond the narrow confines of the mind which can and too often do grow around any single discipline. This book provides a great opportunity for any seeker to push the limits of his own understanding and to reinvigorate his own quest.


Book Details

Author: A. S. Dalal
Print Length: 172
Publisher: Stone Hill Foundation
Contributors: Blindshiva
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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Cosmology, Philosophy and Physics by Alexis Karpouzos

Cosmology, Philosophy and Physics

The essays on this book are the notes from the e – learning courses that were given by the thinker Alexis Karpouzos during the winter of 2014. Students studying in London, Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris took part in the courses, which were held by the educational and cultural center “Think Lab”, located in Athens.


Book Details

Author: Alexis Karpouzos
Print Length: 58
Original source: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/cosmology-4
Book format: Pdf
Language: English
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Universal Consciousness by Alexis Karpouzos

Universal Consciousness

The central teaching of mysticism is that Everything is One, whereas from the side of rationalism the universe is Multiple. The essence of the mystical tradition is not a particular philosophical system, but the simple realization that the soul of any individual/existence is identified with the Absolute. A special feature of the mysticism is the elimination of discriminations, i.e. the One and the Multiple are identical.On the other hand, in rationalism the One and the Multiple differ substantially. Mysticism aims at the Emptiness of Zero, whereas rationalism aims at the identification with the Infinite of Everything. Based on the ontology resulting from modern physics the One is also the Multiple and the Multiplicity is also a Module, also the Void and the Everything are complementary aspects of a single and indivisible reality. This means that mysticism and rationalism are the two sides of a Cosmic Thought, which isexpressed through consciousness. We could say that this consciousness is the rhythm that coordinates any opposite.


Book Details

Author: ALEXIS KARPOUZOS
Print Length: 36
Publisher: PublishDrive
Book format: Pdf
Language: English
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Sri Aurobindo His Life Unique by Rishabhchand

Sri Aurobindo His Life Unique

A unique biography of Sri Aurobindo, which was written by Rishabhchand Samsukha in response to a request from The Mother, reviewed chapter by chapter by Nolini da, and translated by Andre Morisset for its bilingual publication at the Bulletin over the period of 10 years starting in 1960. The book focuses on early and political life leading up to the formation of the Ashram.

Regarding the works of Rishabhchand, the publisher’s note states: “One cannot fail to perceive in them an unusual harmony of the intellect’s clear thinking, intuition’s deep penetration and the spirit’s permeating suffusion. They stand out impressively against the background of innate humility and colour gracefully the flow of his style and language.”


Book Details

Author: Rishabhchand
Print Length: 454
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Original source: http://auromaa.org/category/sri-aurobindo-his-life-unique/
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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My Friend and Master by C.C. Dutt

My Friend and Master

A Memoir by C.C. Dutt

The book “My Friend and Master” is a personal account of Sri Aurobindo’s pre-Ashram days told by C.C.Dutt, who had been a revolutionary comrade and later became a spiritual disciple of Sri Aurobindo in his ashram. C.C. Dutt’s memoir carries the unmistakable direct presence of the Guide and Master and vivid experience that can only occur in the immediate closeness to the Guru. It will be of a great interest to all those who have been guided on their spiritual paths by Sri Aurobindo’s words and presence. C.C. Dutt’s memoir “My Friend and Master” was originally published in “Sri Aurobindo Circle” Eighth Number, 1952


Book Details

Author: C.C. Dutt
Print Length: 34
Publisher: Auro e-Books
Original source: http://auromaa.org/my-friend-and-my-master-charu-chandra-dutt-part-2/
Submitted by: Krishna
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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The Golden Path: Interviews with Disciples of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother

The Golden Path

Interviews with Disciples of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother
from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville

World-teachers Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have laid down a revolutionary spiritual path envisaging as its goal a Divine Life on earth.

During their lifetimes, a growing number of people gathered around them to receive guidance in their yoga of integral transformation. The author herself spent several years at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram while The Mother was alive and formed lasting bonds within the collective life there.

Today the Gurus are no longer in the physical but increasing numbers worldwide are being drawn to their yoga. Their ashram in Pondicherry, India and the nearby planetary city of Auroville continue to be vibrant expressions and embodiments of their teachings. Today, the recipients of their living Grace are anchors of the Light and are empowered to convey the contagion of their inspiration to countless many who have never been in their physical presence.

The author has interviewed twelve such disciples and, in these interviews, has drawn out the thread of the spiritual life that has grown in them through their contact with the Masters. Their sharing opens up multiple windows into a world of beauty, delight and joy kindled by the practice of Integral Yoga and graced by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.


Book Details

Author: Anie Nunnally
Print Length: 264
Publisher: East-West Cultural Center
Submitted by: website visitor
Book format: Pdf, ePub, mobi
Language: English
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Death Dying and Beyond: The Science and Spirituality of Death

Death Dying and Beyond:
The Science and Spirituality of Death

Man’s paradoxical relation to death is that he sees the fact of death all around him, yet lives as if he were immortal. He may struggle to understand, wandering from the material scientist to the mystic in search of the secret meaning of death. In this book the author examines the complex questions on the nature of death, and follows Sri Aurobindo’s deeper vision behind the veil of death to find the answers to some of the most perplexing ethical and existential problems related to death, dying and the beyond.


Book Details

Author: Alok Pandey
Print Length: 293
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society
Contributors: Alexey Zheleznyak
Book format: Pdf, ePub, mobi (Kindle)
Language: English
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The Future Evolution of Man

The Future Evolution of Man

Man today is becoming poignantly aware of his power to influence for good or evil his own destiny. At this critical moment when he questions his future, we believe it important to present to the public the most significant passages from those books of Sri Aurobindo which deal with this problem, the future evolution of humanity.


Book Details

Compiler: Pavitra (P.B. Saint-Hilaire)
Author: Sri Aurobindo
Print Length: 160
Publisher: Auro e-Books
Submitted by: Krishna
Book format: Pdf, ePub, mobi (Kindle)
Language: English
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Talks with Sri Aurobindo by Nirodbaran (Volume 1 and 2)

Talks with Sri Aurobindo

On the eve of the November Darshan Day in 1938, the hostile forces finally managed to strike a heavy blow against Sri Aurobindo. In the wee, dark, hours of the morning, Sri Aurobindo “stumbled” over a tiger skin rug in his apartment and struck his right knee upon the skull of the tiger, causing a fracture of his right femur. However, as these two volumes of Talks with Sri Aurobindo recorded by Nirodbaran will attest, the attempt by the forces of Darkness to silence Sri Aurobindo actually had the opposite effect, creating an opportunity for a handful of disciples and others to engage in a free flowing, wide-ranging, informal and open inquiry into the Master’s thinking and teaching which would never have happened otherwise. Collected here, we have the reminisces, musings and discussions of that band of men who were fortunate enough to be there at the right time and place to make this intimate atmosphere among seekers of Truth possible. These conversations stretched over a period of nearly twelve years, bringing these men ever closer to each other and closer to the light.


Book Details

Author: Nirodbaran
Print Length: Volume 1 – 514p., Volume 2 – 517p.
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Submitted by: Blindshiva
Book format: Pdf, ePub, mobi (Kindle)
Language: English
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Light to Superlight

Light to Superlight

There are twenty-six letters in this series, written between 1912 and 1921, all addressed to Sri Motilal Roy except the second one, which was to Anandrao. Sri Aurobindo’s letters of this period are not only of gripping national interest to his countrymen, but are of vaster importance to a greater humanity that could read in them the extraordinary evolution of a meteoric patriot-politician emerging out of his ten years’ veil to become the renowned architect of The Life Divine. It may be helpful to unknowing readers better to understand the situation in which he wrote those letters, with a little contextual preliminary background, which we shall try to supply here, briefly.


Book Details

Author: Arun Chandra Dutt
Print Length: 245
Publisher: Sri Krishna Prosad Ghosh from Prabartak Publishers
Original source: http://motherandsriaurobindo.in/
Submitted by: Blindshiva
Contributors: Blindshiva
Book format: Pdf
Language: English
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The Yoga of the Bhagavat Gita by Sri Krishna Prem

The Yoga of Bhagavat Gita

The Yoga of the Bhagavat Gita

This book is a complete commentary on the Bhagavat Gita written by Sri Krishna Prem in 1937. Originally published as a series of articles in The Aryan Path, this material was revised and published in book form in 1938 and subsequently revised again in 1948. This is a masterful presentation of the Gita, clearly written by one who knows whereof he speaks. The author has also managed to demonstrate the parallels and commonalities this material has with Buddhism without overwhelming the primary strains of the Gita with extraneous material. This book also contains a glossary of Sanskrit terms used within and several appendices which help provide a broader understanding of the Gita and its context.


Book Details

Author: Sri Krishna Prem
Print Length:
Publisher: Penguin Books Inc.
Submitted by: Blindshiva
Book format: Pdf, ePub, mobi (Kindle)
Language: English
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Wings of the Sea

Wings of the Sea

MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
FROM YEAR 72-73 (2016-2017) OF A LIFE
(INCLUDING 14 SHORT ESSAYS ON ‘SAVITRI’ PUBLISHED IN THE CRESTONE EAGLE)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: In 1968 the Mother gave me a hard-bound ream of hand-made paper, bound in the Ashram Press, where I was working. I was too naive at the time to fully appreciate the gesture. But I have continued to write. A first collection of poems, written from 1968 to 1977, many of which she read, was published in 1998 and dedicated to Matrimandir. One of those poems was produced as a play in Auroville, in the early years, to which she actually sent a busload of ashramites.

I have lived in Auroville for half of the past 50 years, and written hundreds of pages of philosophy. But I have also traveled to many other wonderful places, both physically and spiritually. And it is in that simple moment of clarity when poems are written that such experiences can sometimes be captured and, hopefully, conveyed to anyone who can listen and see. This small collection, mostly written in the 50th year,is dedicated to Auroville, which continues to inspire.


Book Details

Author: Rod Hemsell
Print Length: 50
Publisher: Auro e-Books
Contributor: Krishna
Book format: Pdf, ePub, mobi (Kindle)
Language: English
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50 Poems from Auroville

50 Poems from Auroville

This is an anthology of 50 poems written in the last 50 years, as a gift and tribute to Auroville on the 50th anniversary of its founding on 28th February 1968.

The poems are by Aurovilians, former Aurovilians and those involved with or who have been in some way touched by Auroville or The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. The selection includes poems previously published in various Auroville and private collections together with poems recently submitted in response to a request in Auroville News and Notes.

Not all the poems in this anthology are the product of openness to higher planes of consciousness, or are even necessarily ‘spiritual’. Some express a deep yearning for a life to be lived in oneness with the consciousness of the truth of things and the spirit. Some have been included because they convey vividly a sense of truth or honesty or strongly evoke a sense of connection with the place or scene we may have experienced, or tell us something about the Auroville experience. Or they simply have an appealing poetic quality.


Book Details

Author: Compilation of aurovilian poets done by Vikas (Alan Vickers)
Print Length: 43
Publisher: Vikas (Alan Vickers)
Contributor: Krishna
Book format: Pdf, ePub, mobi (Kindle)
Language: English
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My Pilgrimage to the Spirit

My Pilgrimage to the Spirit

My Pilgrimage to the Spirit by Dr. Govindbhai Patel is the book of his experiences in sadhana in Sri Aurobindo Ashram as well as in his life outside, while following an ideal of Sri Aurobindo– “All life is Yoga.” The book therefore is significantly divided mainly in two parts. The first part covers his Yogic experiences and visions guided by the Divine Grace in the form of letters by the Divine Master of Yoga in Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The second part covers his experiences in the thick of life outside, guided by the Divine Grace, which gives a touch of originality and uniqueness to the book, for it is the first book of its type which contains author’s experiences outside the Ashram, moulding his life with care, by the touch of the Grace and fulfilling it into a stream of dedicated pilgrimage. Here we have the pleasure to see, how skilfully the door of the human life which is a paradox, is opened by the key of the Divine Grace, turning it into a fulfilment of life as a dedicated pilgrimage. “Life is a paradox, with God for key.”


Book Details

Author: Dr. Govindbhai Patel

Print Length: 169

Publisher:  Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department

Original source: http://sabda.sriaurobindoashram.org

Contributor: Blindshiva

Book format: PDF, ePub, Kindle

Language: English

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