Sri Aurobindo revised The Life Divine for book publica- tion. The first volume of the revised version, consisting of the first twenty-seven chapters of the Arya. The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo. His principal work of philosophy. Free Book download: ePub, site Kindle and Pdf. In The Life Divine was published as volumes 18 and 19 of the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library. This edition was re- printed several times.
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Sri Aurobindo is a poet of patriotism, a lover of humanity, and a prophet of Life Divine. Although a patriot of unre- served self-sacrifice, his patriotism is an integral. The Secret of the Veda - Sri Aurobindo Ashram Sri Aurobindo revised The Life Divine for book publica- tion. their being immeshed in. We must first realize that the terms of duality are not the only ones possible, or not complete. States of consciousness exist in which death is a change in.
This indeed, is one of the ways by which the contemporary nationalist construct of Hindutva has formed itself. It has arisen out of historical precedents of aggression against colonial oppression in the name of an essentialized Orientalist identification of Hinduism as a construct of Otherness.
The fourth form of interpellation is that, in the nationalist discourse, which corresponds to the Dialogic Orientalist in the colonizer. Here one counters the ideological identification through a dialogic critique of its causes and implications. In seeking out such a critique, the nationalist deconstructs the interpellation to reveal the roots of suppressed otherness in the colonizer. The romantic, the spiritual, the primitive is shown to lurk within the colonizer, just as the rational is no less present in the colonized.
It may also yield syncretic, hybrid or synthetic forms of culture, not merely cosmetic in scope but attesting to a transformed definition of Humanity. This mutually transformative dialogue leads to new possibilities for the future.
In early Indian nationalism, there occurred a bifurcation within the colonial-national interchange in which Sri Aurobindo found himself as a participant. This was a split between the first two and the latter two nationalist discourses, with each pair acting together in an amalgamated form.
The Extremists held all means, including violence to be legitimate to the attainment of independence, but more importantly, through their speeches and journalistic instruments, opened a critical dialogic space which penetrated into the roots of colonial hubris within the bastion of Enlightenment ideology.
It is important to observe here that though it split away from the Moderates, the Extremist discourse combined in itself the violent assertion of Otherness and the dialogic critique of modernity which characterize the second pair of nationalistic responses. Sri Aurobindo, as part of this discourse, was well aware of this braided or amalgamated action, and supported both approaches as necessary to the time and the goal of independence.
Nation souls and the age of the world picture As may be expected, over time these two nationalist discourses have also bifurcated. This is an inevitable consequence of historicity. Due to the ideological nature of modernity, its systemic ordering principle seeking to organize all humanity into a world schema - which is why Martin Heidegger refers to the modern age as the Age of the World Picture Heidegger - it exercises its rationality through its ability to classify the world in terms of center and periphery, using taxonomic schemes which can slot all entities as identifiable essences.
The modern academy and the nation state become two of its principal administrative instruments for achieving this — the first through the creation of internal identity and conscience and the second through its social or ethnographic accounting and disciplinary mechanisms.
Add to this the aggressive reaction to this insistent Orientalist western interpellation, and it is not difficult to see how the first of the two latter Nationalist discourses developed into the dominant idea of Hindutva.
This construct seems to be sweeping across the Indian nation at present, posing as a majoritarian national identity; and its shadow also hangs over the ashram in Pondicherry founded by Sri Aurobindo. It is important to realize that this is hardly what Sri Aurobindo had in mind or what he opened up through his own nationalistic response to the interpellation of the Enlightenment. Hegel — was among the most influential philosophers who gave the western world the metaphysics of modernity, not merely as a conceptual scheme, a cosmology, but as a philosophy of history, a teleology.
Human history is marked by this evolution, which proceeds through dialectical experiments of synthesizing opposites from culture to culture, moving from lesser to grander expressions of individualized rational choice. The modern Age of Enlightenment is witness to the culminating stage of this evolution, when European White Man, or more specifically, German Protestant Man, has achieved the highest pinnacle of Rationality.
The experiments leading to syntheses are carried out by the Time Spirit, Zeitgeist, which chooses different peoples to embody its experiments. In his description of these racial or national essences, Hegel used the term Volksgeist, spirit of the people. From here, it spread quickly throughout Europe and served to justify the race idea in colonialism. As touched on earlier, 19th century Europe was pervaded with the polygenist idea of distinct races and a racial philosophy of history, which made it easy for the idea of racial essences to be accepted at large.
Today we may find this difficult to believe - but 19th century Europe was shot through with the sense of racism. Of course, race was conflated with culture, so that today it is difficult to separate the racial from the ethnocentric in thinking of that time.
It was this racial essence which stood largely behind the European subjective idea of the nation. This was part of the discourse of Positivist Racism and it formed a prominent aspect of colonialism.
Thus we can see how the idea of nation soul arose out of a racist discourse of the Enlightenment and its extension in colonialism.
Sri Aurobindo, Vivekananda, and other thinkers of the Bengal Renaissance also spoke of Bharat India as a nation with a soul. This is a dialogic response to the interpellation of racial colonialism, whether Positivist or Orientalist, an acceptance of the interpellated discourse which becomes transformed in the retelling.
What was attempted by these Indian nationalist thinkers was the extension of an alternate discourse in the forms of the West. It appeared to be new, but it may be seen as a case of old wine in new bottles. It was the spiritual knowledge and experience of the colonized culture being crafted in the discourse of the colonizer.
Along with a spiritual inflection to racial essence came a transformed content to the nation soul. Aurobindo c Here he pointed out that each nation soul, like a human soul, was a differentiation of One Reality and recognized other such nation souls to be unique differentiations of the Same. He also saw these souls not as static, but each evolving towards universality along a certain line or perspective of becoming.
The early nationalist tracts of Sri Aurobindo are particularly interesting due to their complexity and demand close reading. Only when read in its historicity and in comparison with his later texts, can we arrive at a clearer understanding of his position. The Uttarpara Speech was delivered to a Hindu religious group in Bengal in I turn to the concluding paragraphs from it.
Aurobindo e The Society for the Protection of Religion—we see that the choice of the group to address is an acceptance of mainstream Hindu religion as part of a nationalistic response. Aurobindo e This has the ring of a slogan, a collective mission. But he immediately interposes a question to problematize this assertion and make the mind dwell on its complexity.
What is the Hindu religion?
What is this religion which we call Sanatan Dharma? Sanatan, eternal. It is the Hindu religion only because the Hindu nation has kept it. Because it is in this peninsula that it grew up in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas Aurobindo e. In other words, its identification with a subcontinental culture arises merely by dint of its regional evolution. The isolation of the peninsula allowed this cultural evolution a favorable site. He continues: Because in this sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge to the Aryan race to preserve through the ages Aurobindo e.
Here we find a change of tone, an appeal to the deep subjectivism of belonging. A few years after this , Sri Aurobindo started the journal Arya from Pondicherry, in which he published most of his major works. Yet, befitting the nationalistic context, his language takes on a charged density. There are places in his texts where one witnesses such a crossover from one discourse to another.
But immediately he questions the separative or privileging impulse. He immediately disabuses the listener of the illusion of possession: But it is not circumscribed by the confines of a single country.
It does not belong peculiarly and forever to a bounded part of the world Aurobindo d. He goes on to describe the characteristics of this religion in terms that make it clear that it is not what one usually thinks of as a religion, but rather a non-sectarian, unitive and pluralist spirituality: That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion because it is the universal religion which embraces all others.
If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose. This is the one religion that can triumph over materialism by including and anticipating the discoveries of science and the speculations of philosophy. It is the one religion which impresses on mankind the closeness of God to us, and embraces in its compass all the possible means by which man can approach God Aurobindo d.
If we compare this passage with the one from the Life Divine with which we began our consideration, it is easy to see how this expands into the later formulation. It could also be taken to be an apt illustration for a term that has entered contemporary Religious Studies - Inclusivism. Inclusivism in the modern academic context is an idea coined by Paul Hacker — Hacker , and further extended by his student, Wilhelm Halbfass — Halbfass According to Hacker, Hinduism is the inclusivistic religion par excellence, because it assimilates other religions and speaks for them, co-opting and eradicating by inclusion rather than by exclusion.
Though it may apply to a hegemonic Advaita Vedanta which erases all differences in a nameless and faceless Monism, this does not define or exhaust Hinduism, whose telos moves to a paradoxical and supramental affirmation of a simultaneity of realizations, without erasing any.
It embraces all approaches without forcing a unitary definition on them. If it affirms a radical unity, this co-exists with its radical multiplicity and indicates the possibility of a supramental integrality which includes the two.
Looked at in this light, we can say with confidence that what Sri Aurobindo holds out in the Uttarpara Speech, as in The Life Divine, is the image of a plural religion, a culture of illimitable seeking, a field of infinite approaches to the infinite Divine.
Sri Aurobindo concludes the Uttarpara Speech by moving from his consideration of Hindu religion to talking about the nation, and to equating these two.
Once more, the language gathers a charged density of mystic or prophetic emotion. He says: This is the word that has been put into my mouth to speak to you today. What I had intended to speak has been put away from me, and beyond what is given to me I have nothing to say.
It is only the word that is put into me that I can speak to you. The word is now finished. I spoke once before with this force in me, and I said then that this movement is not a political movement, and that nationalism is not politics but a religion, a creed, a faith.
I say it again today, but I put it in another way. I say no longer that nationalism is a creed, a religion, a faith; I say that it is the sanatan dharma, which for us is nationalism. This Hindu nation was born with the sanatan dharma, with it, it moves and with it, it grows. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem.
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This book is impossible to describe, you have to read it. If you feel intimidated by its sheer size, start at the last chapter and then work you way through it in bits and pieces.
It is a stunning preview of what is to come in human evolution, written with soul and courage, and stretching you beyond where you think you can go View 1 comment. There is a reason why he was considered the intellectual leader of the Free India movement and this book is his magnum opus.
It is not an easy read as each paragraph if not each sentence holds deep levels of meaning. Dec 07, K Chestney rated it it was amazing.
Been reading this for years Jan 08, J. Mante la jolie rated it it was amazing. Life Divine is the most inspiring books I ever read. Certainly one of the more challenging books that I have ever read. Each paragraph, if not each sentence, requires analysis. From my perspective the books attempts to reconcile a scientific view of consciousness with the views expressed in the Vedas and the Upanishads.
Does Sri Aurobindo succeed in his effort? Life Chapter XX. Matter Chapter XXV. The Divine and the Undivine Chapter V.
The Human Aspiration She follows to the goal of those that are passing on beyond, she is the first in the eternal succession of the dawns that are coming, — Usha widens bringing out that which lives, awakening someone who was dead. What is her scope when she harmonises with the dawns that shone out before and those that now must shine? She desires the ancient mornings and fulfils their light; projecting forwards her illumination she enters into communion with the rest that are to come.
Kutsa Angirasa — Rig Veda. Threefold are those supreme births of this divine force that is in the world, they are true, they are desirable; he moves there wide-overt within the Infinite and shines pure, luminous and fulfilling…. That which is immortal in mortals and possessed of the truth, is a god and established inwardly as an energy working out in our divine powers. Become high-uplifted, O Strength, pierce all veils, manifest in us the things of the Godhead.
Vamadeva — Rig Veda. The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation, — for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns after every banishment, — is also the highest which his thought can envisage.
It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality. The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings.
These persistent ideals of the race are at once the contradiction of its normal experience and the affirmation of higher and deeper experiences which are abnormal to humanity and only to be attained, in their organised entirety, by a revolutionary individual effort or an evolutionary general progression. To know, possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic consciousness, to convert our twilit or obscure physical mentality into the plenary supramental illumination, to build peace and a self-existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering, to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical necessities, to discover and realise the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant mutation, — this is offered to us as the manifestation of God in Matter and the goal of Nature in her terrestrial evolution.
To the ordinary material intellect which takes its present organisation of consciousness for the limit of its possibilities, the direct contradiction of the unrealised ideals with the realised fact is a final argument against their validity.