About the Book
Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), who emerged as one of the pioneering nationalist leaders during the first decade of this century, entered into a great revolutionary task in 1910 at Pondicherry that aimed at preparing humanity to meet the challenges of its present crisis.
Sri Aurobindo has called the present crisis of humanity an 'evolutionary crisis'. His early realizations, particularly those he had in Alipore jail in 1908-9, where he was detained by the British rulers under the charge of sedition, showed the relationship between Yoga, life and the evolutionary problems of contemporary humanity. After intensive research at Pondicherry in the Yogic systems of the past beginning with the Veda, he developed new methods so as to create and perfect a synthesis of Yoga directly relevant to humanity's highest needs of today and tomorrow. The aim of this new synthesis or of the 'Integral Yoga' is to bring about the supramental manifestation on the earth. According to Sri Aurobindo, the manifestation of the supermind would ensure victorious passage of humanity through the contemporary crisis as also gradual but more and more rapid fulfillment of the human aspiration for light, freedom, and unit in the world.
This monograph introduces the readers to some of the important features of integral Yoga, so that they may be led to study the principal works of Sri Aurobindo, such as the Synthesis of Yoga, The Life Divine, also the works of the Mother (1878-1973) who collaborated with Sri Aurobindo in developing and perfecting the Integral Yoga
One of the areas of research promoted by the Dharam Hinduja International Centre of Indic Research is to explore Yogic knowledge contained in the Indian tradition and to examine how that knowledge is relevant to the needs of the contemporary world which Sri Aurobindo had characterised as those of 'evolutionary crisis'. The centre has set up a Working Group for 'Yoga as Science', which has been engaged in the study of various aspects of Yogic efforts recorded from the Vedic times to the present day. The papers collected in this volume are related to Sri Aurobindo and his Integral Yoga and were presented at the meetings of the Working Group during 1997. the paper on 'Bondage, Liberation and Perfection' was presented at the international seminar held on 14 July 1997 under the auspices of another Working Group on 'Spiritual Experiences in the Indian Tradition of Philosophy, in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy, University of Delhi. A few relevant extracts from the writings and letters of Sri Aurobindo are presented in the appendix.
As the year (1997-98) happens to be the 125th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, we are immensely gratified that the publication of this monograph synchronises with this important event. It is also significant that 1997-98 is the fiftieth anniversary of India's independence, particularly as we recall that Sri Aurobindo worked for independence right from the first decade of this century, when he emerged as one of the pioneering leaders of the nationalist movement.
This book is introductory in nature and, for a fuller account of the topics covered here, the reader is referred to such important works like Sri Aurobindo's The Synthesis of Yoga, the Life Divine, The Secret of the Veda, and Essays on the Gita, as well as Mother's works, which include thirteen volumes of Mother's Agenda, containing the records of the latest developments of the Integral Yoga. The reader is also referred to Satprem's Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, and his biography of The Mother, in three volumes, Divine Materialism, The New Species and Mutation of Death.
I wish to thank all the scholars who participated in the meetings of the concerned Working Groups and-especially those who chaired these meetings-Dr. T.N. Seshan, Professor S.P. Singh, Dr (Mrs) Shashi Sharma, Dr. Ramarao Pappu, Mr. Justice Shiv Dayal, and Professor S.R. Batta, I am also thankful to Professor M.M. Sankhdher who convened all these meetings.
About the Author
Kireet Joshi, formerly Educational Advisor to the Government of India, has authored a number of books, which include: Philosophy of Education for the Contemporary Youth, Philosophy of the Role of the Contemporary Teachers, Philosophy of Evolution for the Contemporary Man, Education for Personality Development, The Veda and Indian Culture, Bhagavadgita and Contemporary Crisis, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. He has also edited The Aim of Life and The Good Teacher and the Good Pupli.
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