This issue carries a wealth of new publications with a choice to suit every type of reader. Nirodbaran’s books are always a favourite and the new one introduced here will be no exception. In Talks by Nirodbaran: December 1969–July 1970 we can share in the many reminiscences narrated by Nirodbaran to the students of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education over the course of a few years prior to Sri Aurobindo’s birth centenary. His weekly sessions were so popular that many others crowded in to join the students. From the two volumes of Nirodbaran’s Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, readers are familiar with the humourous exchanges between Guru and disciple. In this volume, Nirodbaran comments:
I am talking of Sri Aurobindo’s humour which he has lavished upon me in his bounty. The reason is far to seek; it is one of those imponderables among the metaphysicians.… My friends, imaginative vision leads me to suspect that perhaps he, in his trikala drishti [vision of Past, Present and Future] saw that I would be a teacher one day and come in contact with young hearts, and would be useful in distributing generously the Divine Prasad, and efface the solemn, austere, grand and aloof Sri Aurobindo known to many of us.

He notes that “in every little thing he [Sri Aurobindo] found and created rasa”:
That is why he found joy, I suppose, in every little thing and he was always on the lookout to catch me on my wrong foot, neither did I spare him! (Laughter) but as you can imagine, I was always worsted. So, what a game we played, is beyond imagination!

For those interested in the nature of man and his search for knowledge and truth, there is Essays on Vedanta and Western Philosophies, in which the author, since 1976 an avid student of philosophy with a focus on Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation of Vedanta, discusses similarities in concepts addressed by Indian and Western philosophies as well as commonalities in the mystical versions of different religions. From Veda to Kalki is an ambitious study of the Indian spiritual tradition based on the author’s examination of Sri Aurobindo’s writings. It draws on literary and cultural sources from both Eastern and Western civilisations in its approach to understanding the inner wealth of Indian life and thought. The Origin of Ignorance and the Problem of Error, Falsehood, Evil and Suffering is a compilation of extracts from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on these questions which have occupied man throughout his evolution.

The Matrimandir exerts a compelling attraction for those who visit the site or spend time in concentration there. Matrimandir: Moments of Eternity captures in photographs the many moods of nature and man at work and at play around the Matrimandir. What is the Matrimandir—the most mysterious monument of modern times? seeks to describe the significance of the structure and its environs and then, through a series of personal interviews, explores how the Matrimandir has affected or impacted the lives of those who are drawn to it.

My Savitri Work with the Mother, one of the books Huta was working on just before she passed away on 17 November 2011, tells the story of her work with the Mother to create two series of paintings: the 472 pictures comprising Meditations on Savitri and the 116 pictures that accompanied the Mother's comments titled About Savitri. In the book there are many examples of the Mother’s specific guidance. For Huta’s sketches of Book Six, Canto I, the Mother wrote:
The sketches are quite good. I have only suggested a change for the revelation of Savitri, to make it more impressive… No precision of form of the Supreme Mother. Just a mass of Light with a faint outline.

For the sketches of Book Ten, the Mother wrote:

I have just seen the sketches which [are] all right. I like very much the expression of Savitri’s head. But I suggest that the mother of Darkness should have her head bent in shame, something like the joined drawing.

Just the day before, the Mother had promised Huta that she would have true vision and true understanding as she had seen in her an opening. Then she looked at Huta for quite a long time and said:

Your soul came out—just now I saw it on your face. You know your soul did not go through all the evolution of the earth. It has come purely from the Supreme and it will go back purely to the Supreme.
Click to enlarge
photo
The Mother’s sketch for the mother of Darkness

The subject of education plays an important role in the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Two new publications contribute in different ways towards a dynamic interpretation of their ideas. An Integral Education for Growth and Blossoming is a detailed practical guide for teachers and parents who care about developing an integral approach to learning. Filled with colour illustrations, diagrams, tables, and suggested exercises and activities, it provides a wealth of support and inspiration to classroom teachers of children and adolescents. On a smaller canvas, Walk the Luminous Path is a collection of five short stories for children that were inspired by the writings of the Mother. The stories aim to guide young minds in a creative way to appreciate such qualities as loyalty and friendship, courage and determination, and discipline and self-mastery.

The final English publication introduced below, A Sixty-Year Voyage twixt Matter and Spirit: Sri Aurobindo Ashram—Delhi Branch, is a guide to all facets of life at the Delhi Ashram. Illustrated with many photographs, it tells the history of the Delhi Branch’s beginnings and its expansion over sixty years to include schools, training programmes, a large guest house, and facilities for youth and adventure camps.



NEW PUBLICATIONS



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ENGLISH

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Talks by Nirodbaran
December 1969 – July 1970
— Edited by Sunayana and Maurice
ISBN: 978-93-5210-152-8
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 267
Price: Rs 210

Prior to Sri Aurobindo’s birth centenary in 1972, Nirodbaran gave a series of talks to the students of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. Approximately 150 talks were tape-recorded and transcribed and are now being published in book form. In this volume, comprised of talks delivered between December 1969 and July 1970, Nirodbaran shares his reminiscences and those of fellow sadhaks, describing Ashram life during the 1920s and relating incidents from Sri Aurobindo’s life during the 1930s and ‘40s. He also quotes extensively from his own correspondence with Sri Aurobindo. Full of the humour that characterised his long relationship with the Master, these talks provide an intimate view of Ashram life in those decades.

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Essays on Vedanta and Western Philosophies
Vedanta as interpreted by Sri Aurobindo
— Arun Chatterjee
ISBN: 978-0-9406-7636-7
Publisher: Lotus Press, USA
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 152
Price: Rs 175

Focussing on Vedanta as interpreted by Sri Aurobindo, the author finds similarities between certain concepts in the philosophies of the East and West, including the Ultimate Reality and the Self, the nature of the Divine and his relation to the world, immortality and rebirth, and free will and determinism. Key to his analysis is the first chapter on the meanings of the terms religion, philosophy, and spirituality. In his comparative studies the author’s primary interest is in the philosophies of Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta, Schopenhauer, Spinoza, and Sartre. There is also a chapter comparing Jewish mysticism and Hinduism and an appendix on the place of bhakti in Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga. These essays were originally published as articles in various journals.

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From Veda to Kalki
— Tommaso Iorco
ISBN: 978-88-99708-00-9
Publisher: La Calama Editrice di Cellai Leonardo, Italy
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 624
Price: Rs 2000

Largely basing his overview of the Indian spiritual tradition on his own study of the writings of Sri Aurobindo, the author takes a wide-ranging look at the cultural and spiritual wealth that is found in Indian thought and life. Drawing on both Western and Eastern literary and cultural sources, the book affords a unique perspective on its subject. By way of introduction, the author first addresses a few misconceptions that seem still to plague a true understanding of India’s history and development such as the spurious theory of an Aryan invasion. He follows with chapters on the Vedic Rishis, the Upanishads, Samkhya, Yoga, the Gita, Vedanta, Puranas, Tantra, the Buddha, and Modern India—Towards Apocalypse that lead up to the final long chapter on Sri Aurobindo’s life and work and his evolutionary vision that finally unites spirit and matter in a transformed life on earth.

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The Origin of Ignorance and the Problem of Error, Falsehood, Evil and Suffering
— Compiled by Vivek Prasad
ISBN: 978-81-86549-05-6
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Divine Life Trust, Jhunjhunu
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 208
Price: Rs 180

A compilation of extracts drawn primarily from Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine and his Letters on Yoga, with a few extracts from the Mother’s writings, this book is based on a series of study classes conducted at the Sri Aurobindo Divine Life Education Centre. The extracts are interspersed with comments and discussions from the classes. The selections are organised by theme: the origin and nature of ignorance and its remedy; the problems of error, falsehood, and evil, the powers behind their workings, and their remedies.

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Matrimandir: Moments in Eternity
Publisher: Matrimandir Publications, Auroville
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 195
Price: Rs 1450

This book of colour photographs captures moments at and around the Matrimandir over the years. Different sections are devoted to mist-shrouded landscapes; sunrises, sunsets, and moonscapes that reflect the beauty of nature surrounding the structure; early morning meditations with the bonfire and special flower decorations at the Amphitheatre; Aurovilians at work on the structure and children at work and play in the environs; evening performances at the Amphitheatre; owls, parrots, and peacocks at the Banyan Tree; and views highlighting the Park of Unity. Quotations from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother appear throughout the book.

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What is the Matrimandir—the most mysterious monument of modern times?
— Compilation of personal experiences; Edited by Iris Gaartz
ISBN: 978-81-933675-2-0
Publisher: PRISMA, Auroville
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 300
Price: Rs 450

The first thirty pages of this book describe some aspects of the Matrimandir, such as the names the Mother gave for the four pillars: North—Mahakali; South—Maheshwari; East—Mahalakshmi; and West—Mahasaraswati. This is followed by some colour photographs of the symbols on each of the four entrances, the inner chamber, the lotus pond, and the meditation rooms under the petals named for the twelve attributes of the Mother. The rest of the book is a series of interviews with Aurovilians and others about their own experiences of the Matrimandir and what it means to them.

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My Savitri Work with the Mother
— Huta
ISBN: 978-81-87372-27-1
Publisher: The Havyavahana Trust, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 268
Price: Rs 520

This book tells the story of how Huta came to the Ashram and began her work with the Mother. It presents a detailed account of how the Mother prepared and encouraged her to learn painting and helped her to create two series of paintings: the 472 pictures comprising Meditations on Savitri and the 116 pictures that accompanied the Mother's comments titled About Savitri. During their meetings, where the Mother revealed her visions for each painting by drawing sketches and explaining which colours should be used, the unique importance of Savitri and the Mother's own experiences connected to the poem come clearly into view. The book is also a representation of Huta's sadhana, her struggles and her progress, and the solicitude and grace showered on her by the Mother.

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An Integral Education for Growth and Blossoming
Accompany children and adolescents with kindness and discernment
— Fabrice Dini
ISBN: 978-2-940422-62-3
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Educational Research and Fabrice Dini
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 311
Price: Rs 950

Described by the author as a practical guide for parents and teachers, this book presents a holistic approach to education inspired by the teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. It encompasses various aspects including physical education, refinement of the senses, knowledge and mastery over emotions, training of mental faculties, building up of character strengths, cultivation of a sense of ethics, and the development of an inner awareness and mindfulness. Enhanced by numerous diagrams, tables, and colour illustrations, the book is aimed at teachers, presenting a variety of interactive exercises and activities, from discussions and games to breathing techniques and meditation methods simplified for adolescents and children. It includes sections on the role of the adult and importance of teaching by example, and the future of education in a rapidly changing world. The text is supplemented with statistics and findings from modern-day research as well as quotes, anecdotes, and case studies that add a depth of detail designed to encourage and support teachers to provide children with a well-rounded approach to learning.

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Walk the Luminous Path
Inspiring stories for the young
— Meera Guthi
ISBN: 978-81-935227-1-4
Publisher: Nava Vihan, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 56
Price: Rs 120

The author of these five short stories was inspired by the writings of the Mother. The stories are tales of courage and perseverance, loyalty and friendship, reflection and self-mastery, and peopled with characters that a child can easily relate to. They teach children about overcoming their fears, how to believe in themselves, and how both negative and positive thoughts can impact the atmosphere that surrounds them. The book includes several hand drawn illustrations for each story.

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A 60-Year Voyage twixt Matter and Spirit: Sri Aurobindo Ashram—Delhi Branch
ISBN: 978-81-88847-78-5
Publisher: Matri Store, New Delhi
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 107
Price: Rs 150

This handbook of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram—Delhi Branch, liberally illustrated with photographs, is a guide to all facets of life at the Ashram. It first introduces Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, their teachings, and the naissance and growth of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry. There follows a detailed history of how the Delhi Branch began and expanded into today’s multifaceted organisation that includes the Mother’s International School, Matri Kala Mandir, mirambika Free Progress School, vocational training programs, Tapaysa Guest House, as well as the facilities in Nainital and Talla Ramgarh, where youth camps, adventure camps, and study camps are regularly held, and the Kechla Project for tribal development in a remote area of Odisha.

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The City of Dawn
— Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
ISBN: 978-81-7060-399-3
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 50
Price: Rs 30

HINDI

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Shrimadbhagavad Gita (Soft Cover)

Mool tatha anuvad sahit
— Compilation from the Works of Sri Aurobindo
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Divine Life Trust, Jhunjhunu
Pages: 558
Binding: Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-81-86510-24-7
Price: Rs 450

Shrimadbhagavad Gita (Hard Cover)

Pages: 558
Binding: Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-81-86510-25-4
Price: Rs 550

Hindi translation of The Bhagavad Gita: With Text, Translation and Commentary in the Words of Sri Aurobindo

Description of content for original work:

    This book presents each verse of the original Sanskrit text along with its translation based on Sri Aurobindo's Essays on the Gita. The slokas are followed by notes compiled from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The appendix includes some extracts from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on the historicity and spiritual reality of Sri Krishna, the Gita's teaching in the larger context of Sri Aurobindo's message, and the secret of the divine incarnations. The final section comprises references to the source material, lists of the various names used for Sri Krishna and Arjuna, and an index.

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Kahaniyan: Srima Dwara Kathit
— Abha Pande dwara sankalit
ISBN: 978-93-5210-137-5
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 225
Price: Rs 130

BENGALI

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Purner Sadhana – Simay Simantare
— Dr Saurendranath Basu
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Karmi Sangha Trust, Habra-Prafullanagar
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 400
Price: Rs 350

A collection of Bengali essays.

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Savitri-Satyavan (Prem)
— Kanupriyo Chattopadhyay
Publisher: New House, Kolkata
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 72
Price: Rs 30

MARATHI

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Auroville: Srimatajinchi Sankalpana ani Vartaman Swaroop
— Edited by Sanjeevan Karyalaya
Publisher: Sanjeevan Karyalaya, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 80
Price: Rs 50

TELUGU

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Isha Upanishath
— Sri Aurobindo
Publisher: Dr Palla Venkateswara Rao, Bhimavaram
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 104
Price: Rs 60

Telugu translation of Isha Upanishad

Description of content for original work:
        This book contains Sri Aurobindo's final translation and analysis of the Isha Upanishad. In his definitive commentary on this important Vedantic scripture, he presents its central idea, which is a reconciliation and harmony of fundamental opposites, and shows how in its verses one can discover the resolution of such "pairs of opposites" such as God and Nature, renunciation and enjoyment, action and freedom, the active and inactive Brahman, and works and knowledge.

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Madhumayi Sri Mata
— Ganne Shripati Naidu
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Centre, Tadpatri
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 16
Price: Rs 20

SANSKRIT

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Kim Bhoh Balah! Aksharamala
— Asha Agrawal
ISBN: 978-81-7060-396-2
Publisher: AuroPublications, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 58
Price: Rs 110

ITALIAN

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Saggi su Savitri
— Nolini Kanta Gupta
ISBN: 978-93-5210-147-4
Publisher: Domani, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 79
Price: Rs 280

Sotto l’egida della rivista ‘domani’ sono stati tradotti dall’inglese, in questo piccolo volume, sei saggi di Nolini Kanta Gupta su Savitri. A questi è stato aggiunto il saggio Poesia Mistica che aiuta a comprendere la distinzione fra diverse tipologie di poesia mistica e anche la differenza fra poesia mistica, poesia spirituale, poesia filosofica e poesia religiosa. Questa è oggi una distinzione assolutamente necessaria e un approfondimento fondamentale per la corretta interpretazione di Savitri, la principale opera poetica di Sri Aurobindo.

Come dice nella prefazione il dott. Nadkarni riferendosi a Nolini: “Nei suoi scritti ci imbattiamo in un’ampiezza e profondità di pensiero che possiedono una freschezza e integrità non consuete nella stratosfera mentale. Allo stesso tempo hanno una tessitura di pensiero più finemente ordito di quanto sia possibile ottenere sul telaio dell’intelletto umano… “Sri Aurobindo, fatta eccezione per pochi lettori, è troppo vasto da afferrare e troppo da credere.” … Questo è vero in particolar modo per Savitri. La maggior parte dei lettori necessita di un aiuto nel suo studio … E per tali persone Nolini-da, a nostro parere, è il migliore aiuto che si possa raccomandare.”



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