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Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo

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Item Code: NAW021
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Indrani Sanyal and Krishna Roy
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 978812460421
Pages: 320
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 600 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo explores various dimensions of thoughts of Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) who is being respected as a patriot, nationalist, social reformer, educationist, historian, poet, visionary, Yogi and philosopher. Sri Aurobindo is the interpreter of the Indian philosophical and spiritual tradition and one of the ablest exponents of this tradition dating back to the Vedas and the Upanisads. Sri Aurobindo’s emphasis on National Education, more in the cultural and spiritual sense, may provide an answer to the intellectual, moral and spiritual crisis. This volume focuses upon the holistic, interdisciplinary approach to the thoughts of Sri Aurobindo, whose views and actions have left a lasting influence on the development of modern India. Referring to his three major works, The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga and Savitri, as well as over thirty other works where he expounded his thoughts, the well-researched writings reveal the special features of his vision. They focus on his integral approach to the concept of evolution, his notion of integral philosophy and his concept of integral Yoga. The essays include an in-depth study of Sri Aurobindo’s concept of man, of state, and views regarding uplift of humanity. This book contains scholarly articles that seek to unravel the many dimensions of his thoughts. Students, researchers and persons interested in Sri Aurobindo Studies will be immensely benefited from this volume.

About the Author

Professor Indrani Sanyal teachers Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University since 1986. Professor Sanyal is also the Director of the Centre for Sri Aurobindo Studies, Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University. She has published numerous articles and essays on her areas of interest which include ethics, especially Indian ethics, philosophy of Logic and Language, Metaphysics and Sri Aurobindo Studies. Under the Indo-French Exchange Programme she visited Paris. Her important publication includes On Essentialist Claims, and she has co-edited several anthologies. Professor Krishna Roy has recently retired from the Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Professor Roy was one of the members of the Department of Philosophy under whose active interest the Centre for Sri Aurobindo Studies has been set up at Jadavpur University. Her areas of interest include Phenomenology, Existentialism, Hermeneutics, Social and Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. One of her important publications is Hermeneutics : East and West, and she has edited other important anthologies. As a Fulbright Scholar, she was affiliated to Pennsylvania State University, USA, in 1995.


In the present anthology entitled Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo an attempt is being made to explore some of the facets of Sri Aurobindo’s multi-dimensional thougths. Within the canvas of one anthology, it is not possible to deliberate on all the diverse ideas and activities of Sri Aurobindo, who is being revered as a patriot, nationalist, poet, social reformer, educationist, historian, litterateur, visionary, yogi and philosopher. Sri Aurobindo was a philosopher par excellence though he may not be considered to be a philosopher in the professional sense of the term. Sri Aurobindo was not an academic philosopher but in the deeper and broader sense of the term "philosophy," Sri Aurobindo was truly a lover of wisdom and visionary of truth — satyadrasta. He was thoroughly conversant with the philosophical developments of the East and the West and has bequeathed to us a unique metaphysical theory. In his magnum opus, The Life Divine, we find a synthesis of idealism and materialism, a new theory of integrated reality, a perceptive account of the evolution of the world, and an imaginative vision about the future progress of mankind. In his voluminous writings we get analytic evaluation of the past and the then present conceptions as well as synthetic integration of all that are fruitful and significant. He gave us interpretative accounts of the messages contained in the Vedas, the Upanisads, and the Bhagavad-Gita. Sri Aurobindo was fully conversant with all the Indian and Western philosophical systems and wanted to incorporate in his thought process all those ideas, which he considered fruitful and are in conformity with his own distinctive Weltanschauung. It is not that Sri Aurobindo’s only concern was with that which is supramental and supramundane. He was equally concerned with the issues related with our practical lives. Hence he discussed the development of society, role of the state-system, need for having proper education system and such others. He was interested in literature, poetry, art, language and many other related issues. In general, Sri Aurobindo has given us an integral philosophy of human nature, the basic principle of which is to emphasize that being full of possibilities, man has an innate tendency towards self-exceeding. It is inherent in all human nature to exceed himself by conscious evolution and by conscious yoga to something supramental and suprahuman. Having discussed the multiple dimensions of life and culture, Sri Aurobindo’s primary objective was to transform the present life and society into a divine life and divinized society. Thus, in his integral philosophy of man Sri Aurobindo integrates not only the East and the West, tradition with modernity, materialism and idealism, but also theory and practice, practical lived world with spirituality. The authors, who have contributed to this present anthology, Understanding Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo, have thrown light on some of these major areas discussed by Sri Aurobindo. The first section of this volume on philosophy, begins with articles by Kireet Joshi entitled "Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo" and by Umesh Chandra Dubey entitled "Integralism: The Distinctive Feature of Sri Aurobindo’s Philosophy." Kireet Joshi engages himself in delineating the basic features of Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts. He holds that in his major work, The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo has built an edifice of philosophical thought, which has provided a rational assurance of the inevitability of the divine life on earth. In The Synthesis of Yoga he has given a scientific analysis of the various levels of consciousness. Joshi holds that Sri Aurobindo’s views on integral consciousness is the foundation of his integral philosophy and this conception of cosmic consciousness is gradually being accepted by modern psychologists. U.C. Dubey discusses the Integral Advaitism of Sri Aurobindo, wherein it is maintained that the Brahman or the Absolute is one, without denying the reality of the world, for he regards the creative force as conscious in nature. In Sri Aurobindo’s view the prakrti or unconscious force is an extension of the Absolute or consciousness. The absolute in its transcendent state is Saccidananda and it is supermind in space and time. Sri Aurobindo does not deny the reality of any aspect of existence and that is the secret of regarding his position as Integral Advaitism. Thus the absolute is conceived to be both being as well as becoming and at the same time as transcending both. Dubey gives an account of the reconciliation as achieved by Sri Aurobindo on the conflict between one and many, silence and dynamic, infinite and finite in the all- embracing Absolute by reference to a higher reason. He traces back Sri Aurobindo’s Integralism to the logic of the Infinite. In this respect our attention is drawn to the failure of the finite reason and finite logic in grasping the real nature of the Absolute.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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