Since the passing of Sri Aurobindo in 1950 many research Publications have seen the light of day dealing with various aspects of Sri Aurobindo's life-work and teachings. But to our knowledge no book has so far been published exclusively devoted to the study of Sri Aurobindo's humorous writings. the present book hopes to break new ground in this particular
Apropos of Nirodbaran's Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo he Mother had once remarked: "Thanks to Nirod, we have a revelation of an altogether unknown side of what Sri Aurobindo was. It is extremely interesting and very instructive." It is the fond and humble hope of the writer of the present work that the readers will find in its pages another not so well-known but lovable side of the Master's personality revealed in ample measure, To our happy surprise we shall meet here "not the Sri Aurobindo of Himalayan grandeur and aloofness, but the modern Shakespeare of spiritual sublimity and jollity".
This is a book on humour. But, as Prof. Stephen Leacock has pointed out, "Articles and books on humour are apt to resolve themselves into a series of jokes and stories, or to take on all the appalling dullness of undiluted theory." In the present work the author has tried to strike a happy mean. Hence the sub-title, "Sri Aurobindo's Humour: An Analysis and an Anthology". The book does not reduce itself to the task of a bare 'assembling' of jokes and witty remarks made by Sri Aurobindo nor does it degenerate into an unmitigated theorising. This is avowedly a book of research analysis, an analysis of The canons and principles and art of humour; but, in each case, appropriate examples have been immediately cited to illustrate the principle discussed, followed by a full quota of Sri
Aurobindo's humorous passages belonging to the genre in Question. The author has followed this procedure because he as felt that a suitable example clearly showing what is meant is worth a full page of theory.
While writing this book, the author has consulted, apart from all the published works of Sri Aurobindo, scores of other precious books written either by the disciples of the Master or by other scholars. An immense amount of help has been received from the books of three among the most intimate disciples of Sri Aurobindo: Nirodbaran, Amal Kiran and Dilip
Kumar. Gratitude towards all of them.
For the writing of this book the two following treatises have been extensively consulted and freely drawn on:
1. Humour and Humanity By Prof. Stephen Leacock; and
2. A Book 0/ Famous Wits By Prof. Walter Jerrold.
The copies of the two books available with the writer are indeed very old and the title-pages are missing. Hence the author fails to locate the names of the publishers or the respective copyright- holders. However, the author of the present work on Sri Aurobindo's humour acknowledges with gratitude the profound insights he has gained from a careful perusal of the two books.
One last word and we have come to the end of our Note. Every hour of the three months the author has spent on the composition of the present work, he has constantly basked in the heart-warming mellow sunshine of Sri Aurobindo's humour. He has felt with wonder how close and intimate Sri Aurobindo is even to us, the ordinary dwarfs, and how great is the sympathetic understanding he bears towards us, the mortals of clay!
The author will feel immeasurably rewarded if the readers going through the pages of this book experience even a little of the benign and benevolent Presence Sri Aurobindo is.
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