Article

Aurobindo

Olga Real-Najarro

in Hinduism

ISBN: 9780195399318
Published online March 2015 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195399318-0150
Aurobindo

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Sri Aurobindo, Aurobindo Ghose, Aurobindo Ackroyd Ghosh, Aurobindo, (b. 1872–d. 1950) was a spiritual leader and exponent of yoga, politician and sage, scholar, mystic and prolific writer, a revolutionary poet, philosopher, and social and cultural theorist. With a firm grounding in Western and Eastern traditions, he is one of the foremost interpreters of the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita. His vision of human progress and spiritual evolution defends the integration of cultural and religious paradigms and the transcendence of the opposition between spirituality and action as the base to world transformation. He is a metaphysician whose ontological system is based on Integral Yoga, which is a kind of yoga that is not a retreat from the world. His approach to education and society is spiritually based and inspired the creation of an experimental communal living in the international city of Auroville. Sri Aurobindo worked toward a greater spiritual realization for humanity, highlighting that man is a transitional being in the evolutionary process, and human destiny is to grow to a higher state of consciousness. His multifaceted, staggeringly broad body of work ranges from essays on the struggle for Indian independence to poetry, philosophical, and religious thought. There is an online edition of The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo provided by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram that may be freely accessed. There, the thirty volumes of the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library are being extended to contain new texts. A summary of the contents is attached to every file. Sri Aurobindo’s style varies from the wit and humor of his letters to the austere tone and architectonic structure of his philosophical texts. Whereas spiritual experience and enlightenment are transcribed in classical prose, his experimental poetry is expressed through the mantra, which is a kind of language that aims to capture different states of consciousness (or what he defines as the “overmental” verse of the future poetry). Nominated for the Nobel Prize in peace and literature, his yogic retirement was preceded by nearly four decades of substantive public and intellectual work. The relevance and complexity of his literary, cultural, and sociological writings favors a wide range of scholarship, as well as the challenge of overcoming hagiographic tendencies, personality cults, and contemporary Hindutva apologetics. Though his work is still relatively unknown to the general and even the scholarly reader, it displays a wide-ranging influence in India and in writers on traditional wisdom such as Mircea Eliade, Paul Brunton, and Rene Guenon. Scholarship on Sri Aurobindo is often associated with his collaborator, Mirra Alfassa (also known as “the Mother”).

Article.  12055 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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