Sri Aurobindo – Kheper

Posted: January 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm


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Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was born in Calcutta on 15 August, and educated at a christian convent in Darjeeling. At the age of seven, along with his two brothers, he was sent by his Anglophile father to England in order to receive a "British Education". Returning to his homeland at age 21, he worked for some years in the public service, while learning from scratch the languages and traditions of his own culture. He was prominent in the struggle for independence against the British, and spent a year in prison. Whilst in prison he had a vision of the Divine, which assured him that India would attain its independence and that he could leave the movement to devote himself to the spiritual task. He retreated to the French colony of Pondicherry, where he would be safe against the British, and set up an ashram. There he became an important philosopher, yogi, and teacher and developed he called Integral Yoga, the yoga of the whole being. He was joined by his co-worker and fellow Adept Mirra Alfassa, who later became known as The Mother. For the remainder of his life Sri Aurobindo worked tirelessly for the transformation of the world, the yoga of the earth. A prolific writer, he produced a total of twenty-nine volumes, including such classics of spirituality as Savitri, The Life Divine, and the Synthesis of Yoga. He spent many hours each day writing replies to letters from disciples, some of which were later collated and published.

Sri Aurobindo's teachings are interesting, indeed unique for a major Indian philosopher, in that he presents a very theosophical-anthroposophical cosmology, involving specific planes of existence, subtle psychic faculties, spiritual entities, and long processes of evolution. In a real sense he represents more the theosophical-gnostic stream in Indian guise, rather than a specifically Indian (Advaitan or Tantric) approach; the very real contributions of the latter notwithstanding. So if Western spiritual philosophy aquires an Indian-Tibetan flavour with Blavatskian Theosophy, India conversely aquires a Western (esoteric and exoteric) flavour with Aurobindo.

Of course, Theosophy itself had a strong influence on Indian politics. Madam Blavatsky's successor Annie Besant was outspoken in her struggle on behalf of Indian independence (swaraj or "self-rule") from the British; and Gandhi was chosen, educated, and primed by Theosophical people in London. And the Vegetarian Society he founded there was strongly Theosophcal.

Sri Aurobindo was not just a Realizer, he was a Divinizer. And, like all Realizers and Divinizers, his life - as he put it - was not on the surface for men to see. That is, his real work was conducted on an occult and esoteric level, of which secular modernity, and even progressive forms of modernity like postmaterialism, know nothing.

This is why academic biographies, such as Peter Heehs' study, which has caused such consternation among religious followers, can only convey the surface, empirical, historical, facts, but not the metaphysical subtle, causal, and transcendent Divine Reality of his life and life and mission.

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Sri Aurobindo - Kheper

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January 22nd, 2016 at 2:40 pm

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