This book compiles some of the finest writings of Sri Aurobindo (1872–1950) — the nationalist, visionary, poet-philosopher. It reflects the range, depth and outreach of the moral, intellectual and spiritual vision of this versatile and multifaceted genius. It aims at providing, at one place, access to the key concepts, tenets, and the spirit of the extraordinary range of texts authored by him.
Although concretely grounded in contemporary times — with its location in a specific socio-cultural matrix — this work projects a body of writings that is certain to have lasting value. In particular, the compilation brings forth Sri Aurobindo’s social vision and his role as a cultural critic: his views on ethnicity, his exposition of the key role language plays in the formation of communitarian identities, his crucial understanding of self-determination which has incidentally become an important aspect of human rights discourse today.
Situating the writings in a specific intellectual, spiritual and historical context, this collection will enable readers to appreciate the overall vision of Sri Aurobindo, in what can be conceived as a caravan of history of ideas in terms of a common heritage of humankind, and recent developments in theory and disciplinary practice, especially those pertaining to consciousness and future studies.
Table of Contents
List of Photographs
I Editor’s Prologue
The Ideal of Human Unity
II Editor’s Prologue
The Human Cycle
III Editor’s Prologue
War and Self-Determination
IV Editor’s Prologue
The Foundations of Indian Culture
V Editor’s Prologue
Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest
References and Select Bibliography
Sachidananda Mohanty is Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Orissa, India. He was previously Professor and Head, Department of English, University of Hyderabad. He is the recipient of several national and international distinctions including the British Council, the Fulbright, the Salzburg, and the Katha awards. A contributing editor to the literary e-journal Muse India, he has published extensively in the fields of British, postcolonial, gender, and translation studies and has done significant work in archival research and the cultural history of 19th-century India. He is a member of India’s Commission on Education for UNESCO and the Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation.
Dr Mohanty has published a number of books. These include: Cosmopolitan Modernity in Early 20th-Century India (2015), Lost Tradition: Early Women’s Writing in Orissa 1898-1950 (2005), Amal Kiran (K. D. Sethna): A Centenary Tribute (2004), Travel Writing and the Empire (2003), Travel Writing and Colonialism (2003), Literature and Culture (2001), Essentials of Sri Aurobindo’s Thought (1998), In Search of Wonder: Understanding Cultural Exchange (1997), Sri Aurobindo and the New Age (1997), Lawrence’s Leadership Politics and the Defeat of Fascism (1992), and D. H. Lawrence Studies in India (1990). Some of his works in Oriya are Sailabala Das: Atma Jibani o Anya Prbandha (2004), Sarala Devi: Lekhika Sanskarika Biplabini (2004), and The Best Poetry of Bidyut Prabha (2001).
A number of essays and articles by him have appeared in some of the leading journals and forums in the country including India Today, The Hindu, The Indian Express, Span Magazine, The India International Center Quarterly, PEN, India, The Aligarh Journal of English Studies, New Quest, and The Economic and Political Weekly.