Friday, October 28, 2005

The mind of light

Aarset, Suzanne Harmon. The awakening of intuition: a guided journey in the Aurobindo tradition and its implications for the psychotherapist: Degree: ED.D.- 1981 / Boston University School Of Education; 0851 // ADD, VOL. X1981, 00001 PagesAdam M. Psychological interpretation of the Veda according to Sri Aurobindo - French - Herbert,J.: book review // Revue philosophique de la France et de l etranger, V105, N4, 1980.- Language: FRENCHAgarwal, Raghubir Saran (1903-). The splendour of Sri Aurobindo's muse.- Bikaner, India: Ratna Smriti Prakashan, 1983.- viii, 376 p.: ill.; 22 cm.- NOTES: Revision of the author's thesis (Ph. D.--Agra University) under the title: Poetic muse of Sri Aurobindo. Bibliography: p. [373]-376Agrawala, D.C. Sri Aurobindo and I.A. Richards as Theorists of Poetry. // Banasthali Patrika, Rajasthan, India. Article in: vol. 17-18, for 1971-72.- PAGES: 52-64.- LANGUAGE: EnglishAnand Mr. Aurobindo the critic of art // Journal of south asian literature, V24, N1, 1989. P104-113Anderson, Allan W. (1922-). Sacrifice; a comparative study of the concept in St. Gregory of Nyssa's Contemplation on the life of Moses and Shri Aurobindo's commentary On the VedaAnjaneyulu, D. A. Sri Aurobindo the Literary Critic. // Indian & Foreign Review, New Delhi-110001, India. Article in: vol. 10 no. 21, 1973.- PAGES: 20-21ff.- STANDARD NO: 0019-4379.- LANGUAGE: EnglisAxer, Jürgen (1949-). Integrale Erziehung: ein pädagogisches Konzept auf der Grundlage der Philosophie Sri Aurobindos.- Köln: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1983.- 380 p.: ill.; 21 cm.- NOTES: Originally presented as the author's thesis (doctoral)--Universität zu Köln, 1983. Bibliography: p. 355-380.- ISBN: 3804686214B?hler, Arno (1963-). Das Ged. chtnis der Zukunft: Ans.tze zu einer Fundamentalontologie der Freiheit bei Martin Heidegger und Aurobindo Ghose.- Wien: Passagen Verlag, 1996.- 362 p. ; 24 cm. - SERIES: Philosophische Theologie ; 8.- NOTES: Includes bibliographical references (p. 355-362).- ISBN: 3851651952 Baird, Robert D. Book reviews -- Twentieth-Century Indian Interpretations of Bhagavadgita: Tilak, Gandhi, and Aurobindo by P. M. Thomas // Journal of Ecumenical Studies.- v27, n1, Winter 1990.- P. 164.- ISSN: 0022-0558Bakshi, Shiri Ram (1935-). Aurobindo Ghosh, revolutionary and reformerBanerjee, Siddheswar. A short treatise on ‘The life divine’.- 2nd ed.- Pondicherry, India: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, 1960.- v.; 19 cm. Banerjee, Sudhansu Mohan (1899). Vedanta as a social force: (the quest of a century from Rammohan to Sri Aurobindo) Based on lectures delivered for the Calcutta University in collaboration with the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture.- Calcutta: Calcutta University, 1972.- 169 p.; 21 cm. Banerji, Sanat Kumar (1911-). Sri Aurobindo and the future of man: a study in synthesisBarrett, Mary Ellin.; Lerner, Steve. Explorations: City of tomorrow. // Omni (New York, N.Y.) v. 9 (Nov. '86), n2, p. 28,94+ il.- ISSN: 0149-8711Bassuk, Daniel E. (1938-). Incarnation in Hinduism and Christianity: the myth of the God-man / foreword by Robert S. Ellwood.- United States: Humanities Press Int., 1987Basu A. Divine-life, Aurobindo experience // Journal of Dharma, V12, N4, 1987. P370-398Basu, A. Sri Aurobindo, A Garland of Tributes: [biographical matherials] Basu, Soumitra. Integral Health: A Conscious Approach to Health and Healing.- Includes planes of consciousness, the action of the psychic being, faith and healing, culture and society in relation to integral health, with illustrative case studies, glossary and index. 147p.- (ISBN 8170601576): 7.50Bazemore, Wallace Duncan (1926-). The elimination of the Hiatus between the divine and the non-divine in the philosophy of Aurobindo.- 1969.- iii, 303 leaves ; 29 cm.- NOTES: Thesis (Ph. D.)--Dept. of Philosophy, Stanford University, 1970. Bibliography: leaves 289-293. Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms, 1971. 22 cm. // DAI, VOL. 31-04A, Page 1837, 00306 PagesBharati, Shuddhananda (1897-). Sri Aurobindo, the divine master.- [2d rev. ed.].- Pondicherry: Pundu Yuga Nilayam, 1948.- 104 p. 19 cmBharati, Shuddhananda (1897-). The Yoga of Sri Aurobindo.- Pondicherry: The BharathaShakti Nilayam, 1935.- 202 p. 16mBhatta, S. Krishna. Plays by Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950): A Survey// Visvabharati Quarterly, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India. Article in: vol. 39, 1973-74.- PAGES: 196-213.- STANDARD NO: 0042-7195.- LANGUAGE: EnglishBhattacharya, Abhoy Chandra (1927-). Sri Aurobindo and Bergson; a synthetic study.- [1st ed.].- Gyanpur: Jagabandhu Prakashan, 1972.- xx, 282 p. 22 cm.- NOTES: On jacket: A centenary publication. A revision of the author's thesis, Banaras Hindu University, 1950. Includes bibliographical references. (Number at Russian State Library IN 74-30/41)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The crest jewel of renascent India

Sri Aurobindo was a poet, politician and philosopher. His writings—philosophic and poetic—are Indian in spirit and Western in rhythm and colour. He was the greatest intellectual of our age and a major force for the life of the spirit. India will not forget his services to politics and philosophy. The world will remember with gratitude his invaluable works in the realms of philosophy and religion. Sri Aurobindo was one of the greatest of world figures. He was an inspiration to the nationalists of India. Looked at as a religious teacher, his writings will live as long as the world survives.
The crest jewel of renascent India, the bravest among the patriots, the sharpest among the intellectuals, and the subtlest among the seers, Sri Aurobindo fulfilled the glorious purpose of demonstrating to the world that real India, the India of the Vedic seers, could survive and absorb into herself all alien cultures, and that at the hands of one who knew the proper synthesis, Eastern and Western cultures could find their happy blend, without necessarily having to antagonize one another. Sri Aurobindo’s Life Divine—the divine life that he lived and preached—will live for ever, inspiring mankind. Posterity will hail him as a member of the galaxy of Vedic seers. May his Light ever shine. Sri Swami Sivananda

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I have been an admirer and humble student of Sri Aurobindo since my school days. I am happy to be the author of this brief study of his life, his Sadhana, and his teachings; and to be able to give it into the hands of those persons who knew him, as well as of those who have yet to know of him. R.R. Diwakar

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sri Aurobindo passes away

The Hindu dated December 6, 1950:
Sri Aurobindo (79), the great seer and thinker of modern India, passed away at 1-30 a.m. on December 3 in his Ashram at Pondicherry. Though in indifferent health for over two weeks, suffering from kidney trouble, his end came unexpectedly, suddenly. The passing of the renowned seer plunged all of Pondicherry and its environs into deep mourning.
Editorial comments: ``In an age of rampant materialism, incorruptible witnesses to the supremacy of the spirit are none too many. And when the great beacons go out, when a Gandhi, a Ramana, an Aurobindo withdraw from the mortal scene, the world is left visibly darker. ...Aurobindo's was a universal message and his marvellous mastery of the written word helped to secure for it respectful hearing across the barriers of race and language. For this prophet from India, the unity of the human family in Divine Consciousness was not merely a matter of faith; it was a goal practically to be realised.
``A shining page in our history records Aurobindo Ghosh's heroic part in the struggle for Indian freedom. Nurtured on the English poets, his ardent nature rallied early to the call of patriotism, spurning a life of elegant ease. He brought to public life a burning eloquence, a power of idealism, and a dynamic leadership which roused the land from end to end and destroyed that passive consent which had been the charter of Imperialism. But it was left to other hands to finish the great work which he had begun. Generations to come will honour his memory''.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Kosmic Journey

This blog will be devoted to the work of leading integral thinkers like Sri Aurobindo, J. Krishnamurti and Ken Wilber. It will contain exceprts from their writings and commentary. 20 Oct 2005 by Integral Thinker

All Life is Yoga

Not to separate life in the Spirit from life as a whole is a challenge. We give in to the tendency to separate, categorize, compartmentalize. It is true as the book of of Ecclesiastes states in the Hebrew Bible, “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die…”(chap 3).
But it is also true that our lives are one interwoven whole. My attention may turn to one aspect of my life or another, but my life is one, each aspect deeply integrated with every other aspect. Sri Aurobindo, the twentieth century mystic sage from India once wrote, “All life is yoga.” Yoga is not something that I do with a part of my life, or at a certain time in my life, but rather the awareness that everything is or can be a spiritual practice, indeed needs to be. At times I may be more attentive to my inner life or at another time more aware of a cry for help. Each moment is an opportunity to live in the Spirit with awareness. It is not so much what I do but the awareness with which I do it. This entry was posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2005 at 7:05 pm and is filed under Life, Spiritual Wisdom.

Spiritual impersonality

According to Sri Aurobindo, “Yoga and knowledge are the two wings of the soul’s ascent.” He states, “By yoga is meant union through divine works done without desire, with equality of soul to all things and all men, as a sacrifice to the Supreme while knowledge is that on which this desirelessness, this equality, this power of sacrifices is founded.”
Thus desirelesness and equality are essential aspects of Yoga and they have their foundation in knowledge, which is not mental or intellectual, but “a luminous growth into the highest state of being….” In other words, this knowledge is acquired by self-experience, intuition, and self-revelation and not by the senses and the intellectual reasoning. Further it has been emphasized that with faith or Shraddhaa, Yoga, and knowledge, one may develop a spiritual personality, and master the lower self by the higher, the natural self by the spiritual. The role of Yoga in the development of human personality is to enable us to gain spiritual experience by passing beyond the mental level. We have to be liberated from the imperfections of our present nature, and live the life of a divine being by means of Yoga. In other words, development from ordinary personality into a spiritual impersonality is made possible through Yoga only. posted by Karma for life Sunday, July 31, 2005 at 11:26 PM

The Celestine Prophecy

A Review by aurodas on May 24, 2005
There are some striking similarities in the author’s work and the vision of The Mother who founded Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville in Southern India. She had undertaken body transformation by inner means and made, according to her own reports, great progress. Self evolution by opening to the new consciousness - which she said had descended in 1956 and had been growing on earth - was the method she advocated. Receiving universal energy, in similar lines to what the book has described, by contacting nature, was described by her as a preliminary step in the transformation of one of the parts of human being, the vital part – the other parts being the mental and the physical.

She had visualized an economy without money circulation for Auroville and the community was to meet every one’s basic material needs. According to her, the ultimate aim of evolution is transformation of the physical. It is an extremely painful and difficult work that would require prolongation of life and might take centuries to realise. But there is also a theory advanced by at least one notable author that she conquered death and crossed over to the invisible subtle body leaving behind her physical which was a un- transformable residue.

Though The Celestine Prophecy is too simplistic and fantastic in details to her own experiences in the path of transformation, the Mother would have been happy to note the popularity of a book published in the U.S with the idea of self evolution as its chief thrust. For, she had said, in 1971, at the instance of publishing in the U.S. of On the Way to Supermanhood a book written by her confidante that described the essence and contours of the future world: “I personally have the feeling there is a close and invisible connection between America’s aspiration, as it is now, and the book. I have the feeling that’s where the center of transformation will be.” Cleary The Celestine Prophecy is a significant book.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Human aspiration

Strong aspiration not only motivates us to act, it also attracts help. Sri Aurobindo, the great Indian teacher of the early 20th century, used to say that human aspiration calls down the force of divine grace, and that this force is what brings breakthrough. Grace comes from many sources, of course. When it comes from within, we experience it as inspiration. Grace also comes in the form of the help we get from other people. In fact, others can be a major source of the grace that leads us to change. posted by eyelash @ Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Synthesis of Yoga

What's Missing in Today's World: Several months went by before we stumbled onto the collected works of a man named Sri Aurobindo, who lived through the first half of the last century. One book in particular, The Synthesis of Yoga, seemed to meet us exactly where we were. It not only spoke directly to the specific phenomena that had manifested in our being, but it put it into a structural context that lent meaning to our time on Earth. It was a gateway for which we will always be grateful. Sri Aurobindo, as it turns out, was far more than a holy man with extensive spiritual knowledge:

In that year [1906] he returned to his birthplace, Calcutta, as the first Principal of the new Bengal National College. He resigned that post because of his increasingly active involvement in the Nationalist Movement. Sri Aurobindo was the first of the Nationalist leaders to insist on full independence for India as the goal of the movement, and for several years he lent all his considerable abilities and energies to this struggle. This led to him being arrested on a charge of treason and being kept in solitary confinement for almost a year as an 'under trial' prisoner in Alipore jail. During this time he had a number of fundamental spiritual experiences which convinced him of the truth of the "Sanatana Dharma" - the ancient spiritual knowledge and practice of India.After he was acquitted and released, this spiritual awareness led him to take refuge from continuing pursuit by the British authorities in Pondicherry, then part of French India, where he devoted himself intensively to the exploration of the new possibilities it opened up to him. Supported by his spiritual collaborator, The Mother, and using his new-found spiritual capacities, he continued to work tirelessly for the upliftment of India and the world. When India gained its Independence on 15.8.1947, he responded to the request for a message to his countrymen by speaking of five dreams that he had worked for, and which he now saw on the way to fulfilment. posted by Michael Hawkins Tuesday, July 19, 2005@ 9:57:00 AM

Evolution Laboratory

Indian Utopia: Between the traditional villages of south India, with their thatched roofs and wood- canopied verandas, if you venture off the beaten track, you can stumble upon a strange township of futuristic buildings. It looks like the set of a 1960s science-fiction film. There are circular houses with roofs at bizarre angles, walls that slope outwards towards the ground, and slits for windows, like an artist's impression of a moonbase. There are square metallic houses held up on stilts over a smaller concrete lower storey. And it all centres around a giant golden metallic sphere, with dimples all over, rather like a huge golden golf ball. This is called the Matrimandir, or the Mother Temple. A sign on one of the roads points to the "Evolution Laboratory".
The neighbourhoods here have English names, including Aspiration, Certitude, Discipline and Grace. A public drinking fountain advertises "Dynamised water", and a poster beside it explains that "dynamisation" is the incorporation of energies in water that make it healthier, and that one way of achieving this is to make the water "listen" to Bach and Mozart. Rural India, where cows and chickens wander through the villages, and life often gives the impression it has changed little in centuries, is the last place you would expect to find all this. But this is not a film set or a theme park. Here, truth is stranger than fiction. This is Auroville, a living, working community of 1,800 people from 38 countries, who have given up their lives at home to come and live in what is a real-life Utopian project. posted by GoodLookiN! Thursday, August 25, 2005@ 3:21 PM 2 comments

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sri Aurobindo's study of Tamil

Sri Aurobindo, the great light that blazed across India during the first half of the twentieth century, debunked this theory of the North-South racial divide. He was a historian, philosopher, poet, mystic and yogi. Sri Aurobindo has written commentaries on the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and Indian society. Therefore, when Sri Aurobindo speaks, we listen.
Sri Aurobindo did not subscribe to the theory that the languages of North and South India are unrelated. Sri Aurobindo's study of Tamil led him to discover that the original connection between the Sanskrit and Tamil languages was “far closer and more extensive than is usually supposed.” These languages are “two divergent families derived from one lost primitive tongue.” And, “My first study of Tamil words had brought me to what seemed a clue to the very origins and structure of the ancient Sanskrit tongue.” (See The Secret of the Veda, V 10, Centenary Edition, p 36, 46). Sri Aurobindo also noted that a large part of the vocabulary of the South Indian languages (Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam) is common with Sanskrit.
For anyone who seriously wishes to pursue the topic of north-south division in India in the light of Sri Aurobindo, I recommend K. D. Sethna's The Problem of Aryan Origins, New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1980 and 1992. Dr. Madan Lal Goel: Published on July 16, 2005

Jean Gebser

One of the 1st articles begins with the historic place of Jean Gebser in integral thought, so I am looking forward to this. (Although I'm already having a problem - there's a quote "Jean Gebser may be considered as the intellectual father of integral thought and discussion." This ignores the contributions of, say, Sri Aurobindo, who of course started with Integral Yoga.) At any rate, looking forward to reading and commenting on some of the articles.
by ebuddha at 06:17PM (PDT) on June 1, 2005 Permanent Link

Sri Aurobindo, Ken Wilber

Want to know more about evolutionary Pagan Panentheism? Jay over at Kensho Godchaser has the straight dope for you (even more here). 5.07.2005
"If the Goddess transcends the physical world (i.e., if our spirituality is panentheistic as opposed to pantheistic), it's a safe bet that She has a purpose which lays beyond it, but which is served by its existence. I agree with Sri Aurobindo, Ken Wilber and others that this purpose is evolutionary. The Goddess uses the physical world to exercise the matrix of all her possibilities. She involves herself into the universe, then evolves from this involution. All of history - human and otherwise - is the Goddess unfolding Her matrix as She evolves back to Herself. We are merely the latest step in this evolutionary journey."

Greater Psychology of Sri Aurobindo

It is a little known fact of Ernest Holmes life that one of his last teachers was the Indian mystic sage, Sri Aurobindo. The other night in the Troward class we were talking about the influences on Holmes life, beginning with Emerson at a time when Eastern philosophies were making their influence felt in America. AS a young man, working in California, holmes was inroduced to the lectures of Thomas Troward, the Queen's High Commissioner to India. Trowards work on Mental Science is clearly influenced by Hindu Cosmology. The clarity of his though is somewhat obscured by the Victorian language. A careful and sorry to say repeated exposure to it leads to a richness and a delicacy of thought and language that after repeated readings become like poetry. I have to say I rushed through it in ministerial training as just one more book to read, one more source, one more ...
Having taught the Edinburgh Lectures now ... many times. I love to jusy savour it. Anyway back to Aurobindo. We were having a conversation about all these influences the other day and on Saturday, one of my students who knew nothing of the conversation gave me a book on the "greater Psychology of Sri Aurobindo. Law of Attraction? Certainly not a co-incidence (No such thing). So here was Holmes steeped in the writings of Aurobindo at the end of his life in 1950.So i've launched myelf into the Greatar Philosophy. If there is anyone else out there reading or thinking or studying Aurobindo ... think about sharing your thoughts with meUntil then ... Yoga hunh? hmmmmmm? posted by Rev-T @ Sunday, June 12, 2005 5:57 PM 2 comments

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Has Sri Aurobindo Ashram A Future?

Sri Aurobindo Ashram: Its Role, Responsibility and Future Destiny
(By Jugal Kishore Mukherjee; Published by Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry)
Spiritual life is ever a divine battle. Those who opt for it have to battle against enemies of the spiritual way of life from outside as well as the enemies of promise within the spiritual fold. It is at this juncture that the 125th birthday of Sri Aurobindo gave a chance to analyse the problems that beleaguer the Ashram. Jugal Kishore Mukherjee’s Visada Yoga (Yoga of sorrow) literally gave birth to an intense heart-searching, and the result is a testament of faith in the future destiny of mankind as one of abiding Ananda consciousness. Jugalda is not willing to wound but he is not afraid to strike at the penury that often devastates the human heart. There is a poverty of the heart when it is rendered weak in sincerity, love, faith. Jugalda is quite conversant with the reasons that often create convulsions within a spiritual community which seeks to master material nature. Necessarily, as with the Tantric disciplines in the past, this way gets clouded due to the powers of Rajas and Tamas that hold sway over the material world. The danger of slipping into mere religiosity is very real and hence Jugalda’s self-questionings:

“Do many Ashramites still aspire after and make an effort for the acquisition of spiritual consciousness?
And if yes, who guide and illumine the sadhaks in their spiritual endeavour?
Can one contact the Presence of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo as a really living reality here?
Why are there at times serious conflicts in the Ashram?
Has the Ashram outlived its value as a spiritual institution?
Is there any fear of its transforming itself with the passage of time into a thriving cultural community, forgetting the pristine character given it by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo?”

Today the Ashram has 1200 regular inmates and also a good number of people from outside who participate in the Ashram life. However, in all this variety of external life (teaching, painting, plumbing, cooking, doll-making, to name but a few) there lies the danger of forgetting the primary goal. Genuflexion to the portraits or the Samadhi alone is not enough. Interweaving his argument with telling illustrations from The Life Divine, Jugalda seeks to educate the reader on the ideal group life where “the individuals constituting any collectivity should move away from their surface existence which is at present the field of unbridled play of ego and try to dwell more and more in their inner consciousnees.” Such an antahkarana-approach is not too easy to come by in this Age of Visual Culture. But then one has to exercise eternal vigilance not to succumb to the Tamas but hold on to “an ardent and one-pointed practice to reach the Goal”, though Jugalda finds this ideal conspicuous by its absence.

Jugalda understands the problems of those who deviate from the goal. There are reasons. The close concentration of a large number of people within a small space, the absence of a code of conduct spelt out in militarist terminology, a lack of stress on personal relationships are but some of them. Relationships have to work on the wavelength of the Divine and this is hard to achieve for human beings. And yet, Jugalda will neither compromise (no, our aim is not merely another cultural centre or religious retreat) nor give up the Aurobindonian ideal as an utopian dream. He finds many positive points for optimism. Freedom, yes. Permissiveness, no. Jugalda warns that permissiveness is an evil that should be rooted out on the spot. In the Ashram there are no subordinates. Everyone is a helper. The heads of sections are there only for administrative convenience.
Jugalda does not gloss over the negative details like the desire on the part of some Ashramites to move out of the Ashram often or the urge to acquire personal wealth. Though Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had no use for the Ascetic’s refusal, they did not favour superfluities in one’s life. There is then the question of man-woman relationships. Fortunately, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have dealt with all such wrong movements and have given firm directions. An Ashram life is meant for a growth in consciousness. Sri Aurobindo’s vision of a Deva Sangha saw a collectivity of aspirants pursuing the Integral Yoga for a rise in consciousness. The aim was never lost sight of even when the Ashram extended its parameters of action. The original afflatus that began the Ashram is still a guardian power, for Jugalda marvels that in spite of all the problems the Ashram life flows on smoothly and quietly.
Dr. Prema Nandakumar
Sabda Newsletter, August 2000

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The terror and the tears

Anticipating Buber, he (Vyasa) saw history as the encounter of the temporal and the eternal, the empirical and the transcendental; and anticipating Berdyaev, he saw in history a divine programme for divinising human existence.

I hero worshipped [Sri] Aurobindo in my college days; but now half a century later, I am terribly disappointed.

  • His discussion of time and eternity is wholly derived from that of Boethius;
  • Page after page in [The] Life Divine is watered down Plotinus.
  • His vision of History has the bookishness of Hegel’s tidy schema, Spirit fulfilling its schedule of progress with no problem whatever.

But history is fatefully open ended, for man can abuse his freedom to become an Asura and wreck himself too thereby. Man can regress to a cannibal, Bhima drinking Duhsasana’s blood. Man may commit race-suicide, as nearly happened in Kurukshetra where only 9 men survived out of 18 vast armies.

I am afraid [Sri] Aurobindo’s inflated rhetoric does not see the terror and the tears at the heart of things. I must confess your casual rating of Vyasa and Berdyaev vis-a-vis [Sri] Aurobindo shocked me. [Krishna Chaitanya (Dr. K.K.Nair)]

Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy

From an early age, Sri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950) was brought up in England. But the spirit of Indian nationalism dawned on him as soon as he returned from England, and he joined the political movement to free India from the shackles of the outside rulers. He was soon sentenced to jail, where, it is said, he had the vision of the Lord Krsna, a Hindu deity. This vision revolutionalised his life. On being freed from jail, he went to Pondicherry and sat in deep meditation for years. The truth that dawned on him was subsequently expressed in all his writings.
In Sri Aurobindo the two currents of intellectualism and spiritualism intermingled. He wrote about philosophy, no doubt. But all his philosophical writings were governed by his spiritual outlook. As he himself said, when he was left alone to fill up the sixty pages of the magazine Arya every month, he did not find the task difficult. He simply expressed in a rational, intellectual form what he had experienced in his practice of Yoga. It follows, therefore, that he was primarily a Yogi who turned his hand to philosophy from the viewpoint of a yogi. In other words, his philosophy was nothing but a thought-construction out of his unique conception of Yoga.
The guiding principle of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy is to avoid two extremes: materialism ignoring spirit, which was prevalent in the West; and spiritualism neglecting matter, which was dominant in the East. True philosophy must rise out of a harmony or synthesis between the two… Sri Aurobindo firmly believed that there could not be any ascent of the world into the spirit without the complementary process of the descent of the spirit into the world. [Tapan Kumar Chakrabarti, Blackwell Companion, 1999; 621]