The Renaissance in India and Other Essays on Indian Culture

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About the Book   Sri Aurobindo was born in Calcutta on 15 August 1872. At the age of seven he was taken to England for his education. He studied at St. Paul's School, London, and at King's College, Cambridge. Returning to India in 1893, he worked for the next thirteen years in the Princely State of Baroda in the service of the Maharaja and as a professor in the state's college.   In 1906 Sri Aurobindo quit his post in Baroda a...

About the Book

 

Sri Aurobindo was born in Calcutta on 15 August 1872. At the age of seven he was taken to England for his education. He studied at St. Paul's School, London, and at King's College, Cambridge. Returning to India in 1893, he worked for the next thirteen years in the Princely State of Baroda in the service of the Maharaja and as a professor in the state's college.

 

In 1906 Sri Aurobindo quit his post in Baroda and went to Calcutta, where he became one of the leaders of the Indian nationalist movement. As editor of the newspaper Bande Mataram, he put forward the idea of complete independence from Britain. Arrested three times for sedition or treason, he was released each time for lack of evidence.

 

Sri Aurobindo began the practice of Yoga in 1905. Within a few years he achieved several fundamental spiritual realisations. In 1910 he withdrew from politics and went to Pondicherry in French India in order to concentrate on his inner life and work. Over the next forty years, he developed a new spiritual path, the Integral Yoga, whose ultimate aim is the transformation of life by the power of a supramental consciousness. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator the Mother, he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. His vision of life is presented in numerous works of prose and poetry, among the best known of which are The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita and Savitri. Sri Aurobindo passed away on 5 December 1950.

 

 


Publisher's Note

 

Most of the essays that make up this volume have appeared until now under the title The Foundations of Indian Culture. That title was not Sri Aurobindo's. It was first used when those essays were published as a book in New York in 1953.

 

The present volume consists of three series of essays and one single essay, published in the monthly review Arya as follows:

 

The Renaissance in India, August - November 1918.

Indian Culture and External Influence, March 1919.

"Is India Civilised?", December 1918 - February 1919.

A Defence of Indian Culture, February 1919- January 1921.

 

Sri Aurobindo revised the four essays making up The Renaissance in India and published them as a booklet in 1920. He later revised "Is India Civilised?" and the first eight and a half chapters of A Defence of Indian Culture. These revised chapters were not published during his lifetime. In 1947 some of the later chapters of A Defence of Indian Culture, lightly revised, were published in two booklets. The four essays on Indian art appeared as The Significance of Indian Art and the four essays on Indian polity as The Spirit and Form of Indian Polity. The rest of the series was only sporadically revised. When its publication was proposed to him in 1949, Sri Aurobindo replied:

 

The Defence of Indian Culture is an unfinished book and also I had intended to alter much of it and to omit all but brief references to William Archer's criticisms. That was why its publication has been so long delayed. Even if it is reprinted as it is considerable alterations will have to be made and there must be some completion and an end to the book which does not at present exist.

 

The desired alterations were never made.

 

The present edition was first published in 1997 as The Renaissance in India with A Defence of Indian Culture. The text was checked against the Arya and the revised versions.

 

This edition includes several photographic reproductions of Indian architecture, sculpture and painting to illustrate references in the text.

 

Contents

 

The Renaissance in India

3

Indian Culture and External Influence

43

"Is India Civilised?"

55

A Defence of Indian Culture

 

A Rationalistic Critic on Indian Culture

97

Indian Spirituality and Life

178

Indian Art

255

Indian Literature

314

Indian Polity

384

 

Sample Pages





















Item Code: NAK587 Author: Sri Aurobindo Cover: Paperback Edition: 2013 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry ISBN: 9788170586852 Language: English Size: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch Pages: 450 (24 B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 660 gms
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