Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo

“The most vital issue of the age is whether the future progress of humanity is to be governed by the modern economic and materialistic mind of the West or by a nobler pragmatism guided, uplifted and enlightened by spiritual culture and knowledge….” Sri Aurobindo

We are facing in today’s world an existential crisis. We are experiencing a major die-off of species, connected with human industrial development, consequent climate change, pollution of land, sea and air, chemicals that negatively impact genetics and basic health, and increasing inequality of resource allocation for an ever-growing world population. This leads to violence, conflict and mass migration events as well. The industrial revolution and its consequences are developments of human mental development. While we are now recognizing the vast unintended consequences of human industry, we find that we cannot reach any consensus due to conflicting views, ideas and opinions, combined with the admixture of desire, greed and short-sightedness. Traditional viewpoints and relationships are challenged and we see the rise of cultures across the world now interacting with one another on an unprecedented scale. People everywhere are questioning the ideas that have brought us to this crisis point.

Albert Einstein clearly understood the need of humanity to find another way: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” It is thus time for a new way, a new evolution of consciousness. Sri Aurobindo reviewed the evolutionary development of consciousness as the secret meaning behind the outer development of forms from matter, to life and then to mind, eventually bringing us to the reflective, analytical and rational logical intellect that humanity signifies today. He pointed out that this evolution is not completed and a new level of consciousness, based not in fragmented thought and division into independent parts, but founded in unity and oneness as the basis and container of all the myriad forms and forces, must develop. It is this new level of consciousness, which he called “supramental” (above the mind) that has the capability of providing us the solutions we so desperately need to solve the existential crisis in today’s world.

This is not a matter of developing a new religion or a new philosophical direction. It is a matter of spiritual development and the practical application of the new consciousness to our life in the world.

Sri Aurobindo’s unique contribution to human potential and growth developed through his integration of Western and Eastern cultures. He brought the energy and vision of the West, with its focus on the perfection of the physical, material and mental areas of human life together with the spiritual development and philosophical directions developed over thousands of years in the East.

Sri Aurobindo honors the contribution of each of these divergent streams of human activity. His writings help us reconcile the apparent conflicts of two diverse societies and at the same time develop a new, wider, embracing viewpoint which vibrates with spiritual force, mental clarity and a heart of love and compassion for the efforts of humanity.

Sri Aurobindo has been considered one of the foremost philosophers of the 20th Century, but he was far more than just a philosopher. He was a political activist, a mystic, a spiritual leader, and a poet, a yogi and a teacher. Sri Aurobindo experienced the range of human activity and used that experience to communicate his insight in a way that we can appreciate and understand.

Outline of Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching

What others have to say about Sri Aurobindo:

“Sri Aurobindo’s yoga points the way toward the kind of transformative practice we need to realize our greatest potentials. No philosopher or contemplative of modern times has done more to reveal our possibilities for extraordinary life.” Michael Murphy, founder, Esalen Institute and author, The Future of the Body

“Sri Aurobindo (is) the foremost of Indian thinkers, who has realized the most complete synthesis between the genius of the West and of the East.” Romain Rolland, Nobel Laureate

“Aurobindo treatises are among the most important works of our time in philosophy, ethics and humanities. Sri Aurobindo himself (is) one of the greatest living sages of our time, and a most eminent moral leader.” Pitirim Sorokin, Harvard University

“A new type of thinker, one who combines in his vision the alacrity of the West with the illuminations of the East. To study his writings is to enlarge the boundaries of one’s knowledge.” London Times Literary Supplement.

“Sri Aurobindo is not only the most original philosopher of modern India–he was also an accomplished yogi who based his metaphysical vision on his own inner discoveries.” Stephen Phillips, Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas, Austin

“one of the great masters of spiritual synthesis.” Ram Dass

“Sri Aurobindo is one of the most important and influential spiritual figures of our time, whose work deserves to be better known.” Robert Johnson, author, He and She

“Sri Aurobindo serves humanity as a spiritual master who directs and sustains all seekers whose inner aspiration leads them to a yoga as wide and deep as life itself.” Robert McDermott, Former President, California Institute of Integral Studies

Sri Aurobindo’s Writings:

Sri Aurobindo was a prolific writer over a wide range of subjects including philosophy, yoga, poetry, human unity and much more. Most of his major works have been published in US editions by Lotus Press.

Annotations on Sri Aurobindo’s Books

Introductions to Sri Aurobindo:

Sri Aurobindo or The Adventure of Consciousness by Satprem

Satprem takes us along with him in a thorough and methodical exploration of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga. With him, we understand the virtues of mental silence, learn about the invisible gradations of consciousness above the mind, decipher the many beings and forces that inhabit us. All our unknown potentialities come alive before our eyes. Most importantly, we appeciate how these untapped possibilities within us relate to our daily life, how they can transform it from the inside, as it were, and how, ultimately, Sri Aurobindo’s experience leads to a divine rehabilitation of Matter. Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of Consciousness is one of the all-time bestselling introductions to the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, and is a work that has inspired many thousands of people with it’s lucid and engaging style and substance.

ISBN: 978-0-9387-1004-2 paperback 336 pp. $17.95

The Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice

ISBN: 978-0-9415-2476-6 paperback 416 pp. $14.95

Institute for Wholistic Education Home Page

Updated 1/2/21

Gems from Sri Aurobindo:

“The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last, — God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.”

“To hope for a true change of human life without a change of human nature is an irrational and unspiritual proposition.”

“As man moves towards spiritual freedom, he moves also towards spiritual oneness.”

“The Divine Truth is greater than any religion or creed or scripture or idea or philosophy.”