Sri Aurobindo stands out as one of the deepest and most profoundly relevant of contemporary Asian spiritual masters speaking to the West. His vision transcends the distinctive strengths and weaknesses of India and the West, and his discipline brings the yogas of the Gita to the task of world transformation.“The coming of a spiritual age must be preceded by the appearance of an increasing number of individuals who are no longer satisfied with the normal intellectual, vital, and physical existence of man, but perceive that a greater evolution is the real goal of humanity and attempt to effect it in themselves, to lead others to it, and to make it the recognized goal of the race. In proportion as they succeed, and to the degree to which they carry this evolution, the yet unrealized potentiality which they represent will become the actual possibility of the future.”
―Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle
His collaborator, The Mother, offers a blueprint for the utopian community Auroville, giving sage advice on the ideal of a spiritually based approach to education.
Robert McDermott’s afterword in this revised edition recounts the increased significance of Aurobindo’s message in the West―especially for America―since the book was first published in 1973.
Here is an invaluable resource for understanding the underlying connections and common ground between Eastern and Western teachings and traditions for modern thinkers and spiritual seekers.
Before Gandhi, Aurobindo Ghose tested the British colony with his courageous writings on independence and his extraordinary energy. A series of mystical experiences, however, turned Ghose into Sri Aurobindo, India’s greatest modern writer on spiritualism. The Essential Aurobindo is a collection of this yogi’s most important writings. Raised with a British education from the age of 5 and schooled at Cambridge, Aurobindo was thoroughly versed in Western philosophy and strove to integrate the profound ideas of East and West. His “integral yoga” has been influential among writers like Ken Wilber in the American human-potential movement, in which the spiritual side of the human being is considered the most important element of cultivation. According to Aurobindo, after the origin of life from matter, and mind from life, there must be a further, conscious evolution to a spiritual plane. Included in The Essential Aurobindo are writings of the Mother, Aurobindo’s successor, who established an ongoing and influential collective based on the thoughts of Aurobindo. Culled from the nearly 30 volumes of Aurobindo’s lifetime work, the pieces in The Essential Aurobindo are truly essential to an understanding of this vital and unique thinker. –Brian Bruya