In this issue we introduce two books on Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri, a book of essays by Manoj Das, the second volume of the compendium of documents on the Alipore Bomb Trial, and a bilingual tome of essays in English, with Telugu translations, broaching some of the major ideas in each of the first fifteen volumes of the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library.

The English of Savitri: Part 4 presents a detailed examination of all four cantos of Book Ten, The Book of the Double Twilight. In the third canto, “The Debate of Love and Death”, Death expresses the universal state of mind, a state of rugged disbelief anchored in ignorance and darkness. Savitri counters every argument, in the process revealing her divinity and its conquest over death, and reclaiming Satyavan’s soul. Next, a series of talks on Savitri, given by M. P. Pandit between August 1992 and January 1993, appear in The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds (Part I). The talks form a commentary on the first six cantos of Book Two, where Aswapati explores the subtle-physical, lower, and higher vital worlds.

Apart from his works of fiction, author Manoj Das has written essays and delivered talks on a range of topics. Of Mystics and Miracles and other Essays is a collection of his essays representative of this range: from literature and education, mythology, mysticism, and yoga to profiles of eminent figures and critical commentary on social issues. In one essay, “Redefining the Freedom of the Mind: How Free are the Writers of India Today?”, he writes of India’s deep roots on this question of freedom:
Were our ancestors enlightened enough to realise that true growth could be possible only through freedom despite its misuse,that is only through nursing and protecting a thousand eccentrics that you could let a true genius bloom? Be that as it may, it cannot be denied that it is only a free adventure in consciousness, supported by a conscious commitment to discipline, that could have cultivated the colossal literary heritage of India, the many-streamed splendour and strains of her culture, despite the curses of a gradually degraded caste system and the whimsicalities of occasional potentates.

Alipore Bomb Trial 1908–1910, the second of two volumes bringing to light all the documents related to that trial, deals with the arguments presented in the Sessions Court and the High Court and the judgements rendered in both. As in the previous volume, the editor begins here with an introduction, giving a background on justice in colonial India. The epilogue looks at some of the measures taken by the British Government in the aftermath of the verdicts.

Written as an introduction to Sri Aurobindo’s writings as they appear in the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, Sri Aravinda Sarit Sagara—Part I covers the first fifteen volumes of that edition. The author has written a set of three essays on each of the volumes. For example, for Essays on the Gita (Volume 13 in the SABCL and Volume 19 in the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo), the author writes her first essay on “The Human Background”, pointing out the importance of the central battlefield scene as a powerful backdrop to give authenticity to the teaching, applying yoga and spirituality to overcome a practical crisis in one’s life. Her second essay is “Sri Aurobindo’s Vasudeva-darsana”, and the third is titled “The Supreme Secret”, looking at the Gita’s influence on Sri Aurobindo’s own inner awakening to Krishna, whom he described as “the supreme figure of the intensest Indian religion of love, Sri Krishna, the All-blissful and All-beautiful”.

Closing out this issue are a pictorial album, Auroville: The City the Earth Needs, a collection of some of the photographs and texts displayed at the Ashram’s Exhibition Hall to mark Auroville’s fiftieth anniversary in 2018, and K. D. Sethna, a short work highlighting Sethna’s life and work as part of the Sahitya Akademi’s Makers of Indian Literature series.

Donations to Sri Aurobindo Ashram

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The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust has received many requests to set up a facility to receive donations online. This has now been implemented. Those wishing to make a donation to the Ashram may do so from anywhere in the world by visiting https://donations.sriaurobindoashram.org, filling in the form, and proceeding to pay by any of the online or offline methods listed. The site and payment gateway are secure, and data privacy is respected. Additional features and payment options will be added in due course.



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ENGLISH

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The English of Savitri: Part 4 (Book Ten – The Book of the Double Twilight)
Comments on the language of Sri Aurobindo's epic Savitri
— Shraddhavan
ISBN: 978-93-82474-18-0
Publisher: Savitri Bhavan, Auroville
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 334
Price: Rs 550

Continuing from the previous book in this series, this volume, also based on transcripts of classes held at Savitri Bhavan, begins with a summary of Book Nine—The Book of Eternal Night before proceeding to a detailed examination of all four cantos of Book Ten. The author’s aim remains the same: to read the poetry according to the natural rhythms of English speech and to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the poem by explaining Sri Aurobindo’s vocabulary, sentence structure, and imagery. She also notes that the Mother took a particular interest in Book Ten, even translating into French a section from Canto Three, “The Debate of Love and Death”. In this debate with Death, Savitri’s replies to his arguments reveal a higher Truth that dissolves the darkness of ignorance and death.

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The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds (Part 1)
Talks on Sri Aurobindo's Savitri (Book Two)
— M. P. Pandit
ISBN: 978-81-7509-137-5
Publisher: Dipti Publications, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 325
Price: Rs 240

These talks, which cover the first half of the second book of Savitri, were given between August 1992 and January 1993. Aswapati, having achieved his own spiritual self-fulfilment as an individual, realises that the imperfect world around him has a higher destiny and undertakes a journey to discover all the planes of consciousness. In this commentary on the first six cantos of the Book of the Traveller of the Worlds, Aswapati, now acting as a representative of the entire human race, explores first the subtle-physical worlds of beauty and form and then the occult workings of the life force in the lower vital worlds. In Canto Six he ascends to a higher vital world, but his soul instinctively asks for a deeper joy than the “Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Life” can offer.

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Of Mystics and Miracles and other Essays
— Edited by Supriyo Bhattacharya
ISBN: 978-93-84101-39-8
Publisher: Sagnik Books, Kolkata
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 376
Price: Rs 600

This collection of articles and transcribed talks by the creative writer Manoj Das offers the reader the opportunity to explore a different aspect of his writing. Solicited to speak by various institutions or organisations or asked to write by editors on any number of topics, the author shares his insights and perceptions on literature and education, mysticism and yoga, mythology and legends, social issues of the day, and some thoughtful pieces on a few great writers and Indian revolutionaries. Every essay evidences something of his style as a storyteller, and throughout these pages runs the stream of Sri Aurobindo’s thought and the influence it had on the author’s life and development.

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Alipore Bomb Trial 1908–1910 (Volume 2)
Arguments in Courts and Judgements
— Compiled, Edited and with an Introduction by Amiya K Samanta
ISBN: 978-93-81043-27-1
Publisher: Frontpage, Kolkata
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 470
Price: Rs 1495

The second of two volumes bringing to light all the unpublished documents related to the Alipore Bomb Trial, this book deals with the arguments presented in the Sessions Court and the High Court and the judgements rendered in both. In the introduction, the editor revisits justice in colonial India, beginning with the East India Company’s efforts to protect colonial race relations. He argues that the bloodshed of the 1857 uprising made the British realise that a new and fair system of justice had to be implemented to quell the stirrings of a widespread revolt and cement the balance of power in favour of the colonial regime. The arguments and judgements presented demonstrate how far the principles of fair and impartial justice were actually adhered to.The epilogue details the British Government’s efforts to muzzle and condemn Sri Aurobindo and summarises the aftermath of the Alipore Bomb Trial in terms of how the authorities moved to tackle what they viewed as the problem of revolutionary terrorism.

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Auroville: The City the Earth Needs
A Pictorial Album
Publisher: Chandernagore Barasat Gate Cultural Association, Chandernagore
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 84
Price: Rs 250

A collection of photographs and texts was displayed at the Ashram’s Exhibition Hall to mark Auroville’s fiftieth anniversary in 2018. This book presents a selection of those photos and texts commemorating the founding of Auroville in February 1968 and the laying of the foundation stone for the Matrimandir in 1971. In the second part of the book, there are colour photographs of the flowers associated with the twelve Matrimandir gardens, the children of Auroville, and the Golden Jubilee celebrations, concluding with some experiences at the Matrimandir recorded by Champaklal and Nirodbaran.

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K. D. Sethna
— P. Raja
ISBN: 978-81-260-5283-7
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi, Delhi
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 77
Price: Rs 50

The author, a long-time associate of K. D. Sethna, writes of Sethna’s  life and work with humour and evident affection. Sethna’s early interest in literature blossomed when he joined the Ashram and he wrote on subjects as varied as ancient Indian history, Christology, comparative mythology, overhead poetry, international affairs, philosophy, mysticism, spiritual and scientific thought, modern physics and biology, and studies on Blake and Shakespeare. He matured into a fine poet under Sri Aurobindo’s mentorship and had an extended correspondence with him on his epic poem Savitri. Author of more than fifty books, including The Poetic Genius of Sri Aurobindo, he was also the editor of the Mother India journal for more than fifty years.  

ENGLISH/TELUGU

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Sri Aravinda Sarit Sagara
Part 1
— Prema Nandakumar
Publisher: Ravi Mohan Rao, Chirala
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 620
Price: Rs 300

In Part I of this bilingual volume the author has written an introductory essay on the life and work of Sri Aurobindo followed by sets of three essays on themes central to each of the first fifteen volumes of the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library (1972). A Telegu translation of these essays appears in the second half of the book. Apparently, Part II will cover the second fifteen volumes.

Although the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library (SABCL) edition of Sri Aurobindo’s writings is now out of print, these essays can be read profitably for the relevant  volumes that form part of the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, which includes all of the works published in the SABCL and around 3000 pages of previously unpublished material.

ITALIAN

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L'Eterna Giovinezza
— La Madre
ISBN: 978-93-5210-164-1
Publisher: Domani, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 45
Price: Rs 120

La Madre dice: “Essere giovani è vivere nel futuro. Essere giovani è essere sempre pronti a rinunciare a ciò che siamo per diventare ciò che dobbiamo essere” La chiave dell’eterna giovinezza sta quindi nel mai rinunciare al Progresso.

Dice ancora la Madre: “Fino ai trent’anni l’energia viene sprecata, a causa del gioco degli impulsi. Dopo i trenta c’è una stabilizzazione e si dovrebbe possedere una certa energia. Ai cinquanta comincia la fioritura. Agli ottanta, si ha il pieno possesso delle proprie capacità.”
E infine: “La vita è immortale. È soltanto il corpo che si dissolve.”

Quindi, volontà continua di Progresso, risveglio in noi di quella coscienza che mai muore, ed entreremo nel mondo dell’immortalità.

HINDI

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Rashtriya Shiksha ke Aayam va Shikshan-Paddhati
— Sri Aravind
ISBN: 978-93-5210-131-3
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 101
Price: Rs 65

Hindi translation of A System of National Education

BENGALI

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Nirodbaran: Sadhak O Kabi
— Edited by Arabinda Basu and Romen Sengupta
Publisher: Srinvantu Spiritual Trust, Kolkata
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 66
Price: Rs 50

GUJARATI

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Divya Jeevan - Volume I
— Sri Aravind
ISBN: 978-93-5210-153-5
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 426
Price: Rs 225

Gujarati translation of The Life Divine: Book One

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Savitri Shabdamrut - 8
— Shraddhavan
Publisher: Yoga-Yukta Prakashan, Vadodara
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 543
Price: Rs 200

TAMIL

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Savitri: Oru Aganda Parvai
— M. P. Pandit
ISBN: 978-81-7509-138-2
Publisher: Dipti Publications, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 93
Price: Rs 100

TELUGU

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Sri Mataji (Sankshipta Jeevitam)
— Wilfried
ISBN: 978-81-7060-364-1
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 98
Price: Rs 60

Telugu translation of The Mother: A Short Biography

Description of content for original work:
        Sri Aurobindo, in his most famous short work 'The Mother', wrote: "The One whom we adore as the Mother is the divine Conscious Force that dominates all existence, one and yet so many sided that to follow her movement is impossible even for the quickest mind and for the freest and most vast intelligence. The Mother is the consciousness and force of the Supreme..."
When asked, "Do you not refer to the Mother (the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram) in your book 'The Mother'?" he answered "Yes". Replying to disciples about her manifestation and embodiment Sri Aurobindo wrote: "The Divine puts on an appearance of humanity, assumes the outward human nature in order to tread the path and show it to human beings", and again: "Her embodiment is a chance for the earth-consciousness to receive the Supramental into it."
This book narrates many events in the Mother's life mostly from her autobiographical statements and helps the reader to discover the timeless, ever-present Mother, her power and her love and her work of the supramental transformation.

TELUGU/ENGLISH

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Sri Aravinda Sarit Sagara
Part 1
— Prema Nandakumar
Publisher: Ravi Mohan Rao, Chirala
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 620
Price: Rs 300

KANNADA

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Sri Aravinda Makaranda
— Dr R. S. Mugali
ISBN: 978-93-5210-124-5
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 328
Price: Rs 125



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