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Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo
Description
Preface

My first contact with Sri Aurobindo took place in a strange way. I was thirteen. One afternoon I was idly browsing among books in the office-cum-library of my brother who was an advocate. The dusty book- shelves were full of old leather bound volumes of All-India Law Reports. Among them was a big green book which excited my curiosity. I pulled it out and found it was entitled. "Alipore Bomb Case". I opened it and my eyes fell on a photograph with the words ARAVINDA GHOSE beneath. The name acted on me like a mantra and I found myself repeating it with obvious delight. It was something sweet and melodious. Later I spoke to my brother of this experience. He wrote about it to my mentor Sri Kapali Sastry who told me that the meaning of my finding the photograph in the book would become evident as I grew up. And so it did.

For soon my childhood impulses towards God grew into a hunger and I devoured the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, the works of Swami Vivekananda and so on. I asked Sri Kapali Sastry whether I could go to Pondicherry and join him there. He was definite that I should continue my education and prepare myself for the Quest in the meanwhile. By that time the Bases of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo had been published. It was a beautiful bound volume costing only three rupees and it became my companion.

Within a couple of years, in 1937, I had my first Darshan of Sri Aurobindo on August 15. It was overwhelming and I felt the only thing comparable to him was the Himalayas. I still remember the slight smile on his face moulded of compassion.

Then in April 1939, on the eve of my coming away to the ashram, I had a curious desire to travel by plane from Bombay to Poona as I thought that once I joined the ashram I would not leave it and there would be no opportunity to travel by air thereafter. So I wrote to Pondicherry and Sri Aurobindo wrote in pencil, 'He can fly'. That was his first communication to me and it thrilled me to the core. I mattered to him, didn't I?

The next occasion was some time in 1947 when I wrote my first article. It was on meditation and it was being read out to him, he remarked that he had heard it before. Nirodbaran who was reading it assured him that it was the first time that it had come up. But Sri Aurobindo insisted that he had heard every word of it. When I learnt of it, I felt so humble.

Yet another time, I had written a reply to Adhar Chandra Das's criticism of a book by Sri Aurobindo in the Calcutta Review. Ongoing through it, Sri Aurobindo added a line: The physical mind also thinks. It opened a vista for me.

I mention these few incidents as outer tokens of a relation that developed steadily and was made possible by the solicitude and grace of both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. My being was completely taken over by his Personality whose diverse aspects appealed to me more than his Philosophy which took time to enter and reshape my mind.

He was so human. Once when his sister and other members of the household complained to him bitterly about the bad behaviour of the cook, he called him aside and said, in his usual impesonal tone. "It seems you are behaving rudely, do not do so." We do not know what the others felt; we only know that the culprit went away smiling.

He was so full of wit. When a British author wrote that Sri Aurobindo was a man who never smiles, Sri Aurobindo added, "but who always jokes."

He was so simple. When the ashram was formed and the mother took to him a list of things required for each Sadhaka, he was surprised and said that a sadhaka needs nothing more than a mat, a kuja and a thing or two that way. He did not understand why furniture like table, chair, cot, almirah was necessary. For he himself had all along managed in Pondicherry with the bare minimum. There was, for instance, just one towel among seven inmates of the house. Each one would use the towel after bath and hang it on the clothesline to dry. Sri Aurobindo would be the last to use it.

He was so undemanding. He would never ask anything for himself. During the Arya days he would be waiting for tea in the afternoons before starting typing for the Journal. One day the person incharge fell asleep and the tea failed to come up. Sri Aurobindo sat quietly waiting and did not call for it. Before his eyes came the figure of 4 in a golden hue. And precisely at 4 p.m. the apologetic attendant appeared with the tea.

He was so unprepossessing. He moved with all people as with equals. He frowned upon sadhakas scolding others and defended the right of every person to follow his nature.

He was so humble. He would learn from anyone, from anywhere. One day he was sitting in the Guest House verandah upstairs, in serious contemplation-obviously he had a problem. A familiar figure, Kulla Swami, as he was known, (a short non-descript ascetic with a none-too-good reputation) was passing by in the street below. Suddenly he turned, came up to where Sri Aurobindo was sitting, lifted a tea cup which was on the table, turned it upside down, put it right and was gone. Later Sri Aurobindo remarked that his difficulty had been solved: the cup has to be emptied before it is filled anew. No wounder the Mother once said that the only humble man she had met in her life was Sri Aurobindo.

It is this human side of Sri Aurobindo that I have attempted to present in these pages. Naturally in a multiple person like him, every aspect enters into every other and a plethora of radiant personalities comes up before our eye when we think of him. However, as of now, let us meet Sri Aurobindo the Man.

From the Jacket:

This Biography by Shri M.P. Pandit traces the evolution of Sri Aurobindo, the man and the saint, through his childhood, education in England, service in the State of Baroda, political activity and finally his dedication to spiritual sadhana.

 

CONTENTS

 

Introductory
(1872-1879)

1. Five Dreams 2
2. The Dreamer 6
3. Ancestry 8
4. Childhood

 

10
Education
England
(1879-1893)
5. Manchester 14
6. St. Paul's, London 16
7. Cambridge 18
8. Interest in Politics 22
9. Spiritual Awakenings 24
10. The Riding Test 26
11. Return to India

 

28
Preparation
Baroda
(1893-1906)
12. Apollo Bunder 32
13. Service in Baroda 33
14. New Lamps for Old 35
15. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee 39
16. Being of Light 43
17. Visit to Family 44
18. At the College 47
19. Dinendra Kumar Roy 50
20. Literary Activity 53
21. Marriage and After 55
22. The Revolutionary Movement 57
23. Turn to Yoga 63
24. Mrinalini Letters 67
25. Bhawani Mandir 75
26. Gathering Storm

 

77
Political
Calcutta
(1906-1910)
27. Bengal National College 82
28. Bande Mataram 86
29. Calcutta Congress Session : Swaraj 90
30. Bande Mataram Case 91
31. Fateful Surat Split 95
32. Lele and Nirvanic Experience 99
33. Manicktola 102
34. To Alipore Jail 105
35. Alipore Bomb Trial 108
36. Ashramvas in Alipore 110
37. Karmayogin 118
38. Chandernagore 125
39. A General Note on Sri Aurobindo's Political Life

 

129
Yoga
Pondicherry
(1910-1950)
40. Arrival in Pondicherry 148
41. At Shankara Chetty's 150
42. Letter to The Hindu 154
43. "He knows Latin, He knows Greek" 156
44. Silent Yoga 160
45. Two shaved Heads Instead of One 163
46. The Arya 165
47. The Arya Sequences 172
48. Scriptures 179
49. Money-Power 187
50. India's Destiny 190
51. Great Peace and Serenity 192
52. Mrinalini Passes Away 194
53. India Will Be Free 197
54. Letter to Barin 200
55. Letter to Baptista 210
56. Return of the Richards 214
57. Vedantic Yoga and "Tantric Yoga" 216
58. Letter to Dr. Munje 222
59. "What Has Happened to You!" 225
60. Black Magic 227
61. Letter to C.R. Das 232
62. 9 Rue de la Marine 235
63. Dilip Kumar Roy-Devdas Gandhi 238
64. Lajpat Rai-Tandon 240
65. 24th November, 1926 242
66. The Mother 248
67. Hearken to me 251
68. World War II 254
69. Cripps Mission 257
70. India is Free 261
71. Warnings on the World Situation 268
72. Ashram Developments 271
73. Savitri 273
74. Epilogue 276
  Sidelights on Sri Aurobindo's Thought 278
  Works of Reference Cited in the Book 299
  Appendix 305
  Bibliography 310
  Chronology 311
  Index 317

Sample Pages

















Sri Aurobindo

Item Code:
IDE702
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2000
Publisher:
Publications Division, Government of India
ISBN:
8123007949
Language:
English
Size:
8.5" X 5.6"
Pages:
328
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 435 gms
Price:
$16.50   Shipping Free
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Preface

My first contact with Sri Aurobindo took place in a strange way. I was thirteen. One afternoon I was idly browsing among books in the office-cum-library of my brother who was an advocate. The dusty book- shelves were full of old leather bound volumes of All-India Law Reports. Among them was a big green book which excited my curiosity. I pulled it out and found it was entitled. "Alipore Bomb Case". I opened it and my eyes fell on a photograph with the words ARAVINDA GHOSE beneath. The name acted on me like a mantra and I found myself repeating it with obvious delight. It was something sweet and melodious. Later I spoke to my brother of this experience. He wrote about it to my mentor Sri Kapali Sastry who told me that the meaning of my finding the photograph in the book would become evident as I grew up. And so it did.

For soon my childhood impulses towards God grew into a hunger and I devoured the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, the works of Swami Vivekananda and so on. I asked Sri Kapali Sastry whether I could go to Pondicherry and join him there. He was definite that I should continue my education and prepare myself for the Quest in the meanwhile. By that time the Bases of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo had been published. It was a beautiful bound volume costing only three rupees and it became my companion.

Within a couple of years, in 1937, I had my first Darshan of Sri Aurobindo on August 15. It was overwhelming and I felt the only thing comparable to him was the Himalayas. I still remember the slight smile on his face moulded of compassion.

Then in April 1939, on the eve of my coming away to the ashram, I had a curious desire to travel by plane from Bombay to Poona as I thought that once I joined the ashram I would not leave it and there would be no opportunity to travel by air thereafter. So I wrote to Pondicherry and Sri Aurobindo wrote in pencil, 'He can fly'. That was his first communication to me and it thrilled me to the core. I mattered to him, didn't I?

The next occasion was some time in 1947 when I wrote my first article. It was on meditation and it was being read out to him, he remarked that he had heard it before. Nirodbaran who was reading it assured him that it was the first time that it had come up. But Sri Aurobindo insisted that he had heard every word of it. When I learnt of it, I felt so humble.

Yet another time, I had written a reply to Adhar Chandra Das's criticism of a book by Sri Aurobindo in the Calcutta Review. Ongoing through it, Sri Aurobindo added a line: The physical mind also thinks. It opened a vista for me.

I mention these few incidents as outer tokens of a relation that developed steadily and was made possible by the solicitude and grace of both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. My being was completely taken over by his Personality whose diverse aspects appealed to me more than his Philosophy which took time to enter and reshape my mind.

He was so human. Once when his sister and other members of the household complained to him bitterly about the bad behaviour of the cook, he called him aside and said, in his usual impesonal tone. "It seems you are behaving rudely, do not do so." We do not know what the others felt; we only know that the culprit went away smiling.

He was so full of wit. When a British author wrote that Sri Aurobindo was a man who never smiles, Sri Aurobindo added, "but who always jokes."

He was so simple. When the ashram was formed and the mother took to him a list of things required for each Sadhaka, he was surprised and said that a sadhaka needs nothing more than a mat, a kuja and a thing or two that way. He did not understand why furniture like table, chair, cot, almirah was necessary. For he himself had all along managed in Pondicherry with the bare minimum. There was, for instance, just one towel among seven inmates of the house. Each one would use the towel after bath and hang it on the clothesline to dry. Sri Aurobindo would be the last to use it.

He was so undemanding. He would never ask anything for himself. During the Arya days he would be waiting for tea in the afternoons before starting typing for the Journal. One day the person incharge fell asleep and the tea failed to come up. Sri Aurobindo sat quietly waiting and did not call for it. Before his eyes came the figure of 4 in a golden hue. And precisely at 4 p.m. the apologetic attendant appeared with the tea.

He was so unprepossessing. He moved with all people as with equals. He frowned upon sadhakas scolding others and defended the right of every person to follow his nature.

He was so humble. He would learn from anyone, from anywhere. One day he was sitting in the Guest House verandah upstairs, in serious contemplation-obviously he had a problem. A familiar figure, Kulla Swami, as he was known, (a short non-descript ascetic with a none-too-good reputation) was passing by in the street below. Suddenly he turned, came up to where Sri Aurobindo was sitting, lifted a tea cup which was on the table, turned it upside down, put it right and was gone. Later Sri Aurobindo remarked that his difficulty had been solved: the cup has to be emptied before it is filled anew. No wounder the Mother once said that the only humble man she had met in her life was Sri Aurobindo.

It is this human side of Sri Aurobindo that I have attempted to present in these pages. Naturally in a multiple person like him, every aspect enters into every other and a plethora of radiant personalities comes up before our eye when we think of him. However, as of now, let us meet Sri Aurobindo the Man.

From the Jacket:

This Biography by Shri M.P. Pandit traces the evolution of Sri Aurobindo, the man and the saint, through his childhood, education in England, service in the State of Baroda, political activity and finally his dedication to spiritual sadhana.

 

CONTENTS

 

Introductory
(1872-1879)

1. Five Dreams 2
2. The Dreamer 6
3. Ancestry 8
4. Childhood

 

10
Education
England
(1879-1893)
5. Manchester 14
6. St. Paul's, London 16
7. Cambridge 18
8. Interest in Politics 22
9. Spiritual Awakenings 24
10. The Riding Test 26
11. Return to India

 

28
Preparation
Baroda
(1893-1906)
12. Apollo Bunder 32
13. Service in Baroda 33
14. New Lamps for Old 35
15. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee 39
16. Being of Light 43
17. Visit to Family 44
18. At the College 47
19. Dinendra Kumar Roy 50
20. Literary Activity 53
21. Marriage and After 55
22. The Revolutionary Movement 57
23. Turn to Yoga 63
24. Mrinalini Letters 67
25. Bhawani Mandir 75
26. Gathering Storm

 

77
Political
Calcutta
(1906-1910)
27. Bengal National College 82
28. Bande Mataram 86
29. Calcutta Congress Session : Swaraj 90
30. Bande Mataram Case 91
31. Fateful Surat Split 95
32. Lele and Nirvanic Experience 99
33. Manicktola 102
34. To Alipore Jail 105
35. Alipore Bomb Trial 108
36. Ashramvas in Alipore 110
37. Karmayogin 118
38. Chandernagore 125
39. A General Note on Sri Aurobindo's Political Life

 

129
Yoga
Pondicherry
(1910-1950)
40. Arrival in Pondicherry 148
41. At Shankara Chetty's 150
42. Letter to The Hindu 154
43. "He knows Latin, He knows Greek" 156
44. Silent Yoga 160
45. Two shaved Heads Instead of One 163
46. The Arya 165
47. The Arya Sequences 172
48. Scriptures 179
49. Money-Power 187
50. India's Destiny 190
51. Great Peace and Serenity 192
52. Mrinalini Passes Away 194
53. India Will Be Free 197
54. Letter to Barin 200
55. Letter to Baptista 210
56. Return of the Richards 214
57. Vedantic Yoga and "Tantric Yoga" 216
58. Letter to Dr. Munje 222
59. "What Has Happened to You!" 225
60. Black Magic 227
61. Letter to C.R. Das 232
62. 9 Rue de la Marine 235
63. Dilip Kumar Roy-Devdas Gandhi 238
64. Lajpat Rai-Tandon 240
65. 24th November, 1926 242
66. The Mother 248
67. Hearken to me 251
68. World War II 254
69. Cripps Mission 257
70. India is Free 261
71. Warnings on the World Situation 268
72. Ashram Developments 271
73. Savitri 273
74. Epilogue 276
  Sidelights on Sri Aurobindo's Thought 278
  Works of Reference Cited in the Book 299
  Appendix 305
  Bibliography 310
  Chronology 311
  Index 317

Sample Pages

















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