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Letters on Yoga (In 4 Volumes)

 
Sri Aurobindo (Author)
Synopsis

Vol-I

Letters on Yoga - I comprises letters written by Sri Aurobindo on the philosophical and psychological foundations of the Integral Yoga. It is the first of four volumes of Letters on Yoga, arranged by the editors as follows:

I. Foundations of the Integral Yoga

II. Practice of the Integral Yoga

III. Experiences and Realisations in the Integral Yoga

IV. Transformation of Human Nature in the Integral Yoga

The letters in these volumes have been selected from the large body of letters that Sri Aurobindo wrote to disciples and others between 1927 and 1950. Other letters from this period are published in Letters on Poetry and Art and Letters on Himself and the Ashram, volumes 27 and 35 of The Complete Works Sri Aurobindo. Letters written before 1927 are reproduced in Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest, volume 36 of The Complete Works.

During Sri Aurobindo's lifetime, relatively few of his letters were published. Three small books of letters on Yoga were brought out in the 1930s. A more substantial collection came out between 1947 and 1951 in a four-volume series entitled Letters of Sri Aurobindo (including one volume of letters on poetry and literature). In 1958, many more letters were included in the two large tomes of On Yoga - II. A further expanded collection in three volumes entitled Letters on Yoga was published in 1970 as part of the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library. The present collection, also entitled Letters on Yoga, constitutes volumes 28-31 of The Complete Works. These volumes incorporate previously published letters and contain many new ones as well. About one-third of the letters in the present volume were not published in the Centenary Library.

The present volume is arranged by subject in five parts:

1. The Divine, the Cosmos and the Individual

2. The Parts of the Being and the Planes of Consciousness

3. The Evolutionary Process and the Supermind

4. Problems of Philosophy, Science, Religion and Society

5. Questions of Spiritual and Occult Knowledge

 

Vol-II

Letters on Yoga-II contains letters of Sri Aurobindo on the practice of his system of Yoga. He wrote most of these letters in the 1930s to disciples living in his Ashram in Pondicherry. The main themes are:

The aim of the Integral Yoga

The qualities needed to practice this Yoga

The foundation of peace and equality

The place of the Divine Grace and the Guru

The synthetic method of knowledge, works devotion and self-perfection

The differences between this Yoga and other spiritual paths

“To find the Divine is indeed the first reason for seeking the spiritual Truth and the spiritual life; it is the one thing indispensable and all the rest is nothing without it. We must find the Self, the Divine, then only can we know what is the work the Self or the Divine demands from us. Until then our life and action can only be a help or means towards finding the Divine and it ought not to have any other purpose.”

Vol-III

Letters on Yoga-III contains letters of Sri Aurobindo on the experiences and realizations that may occur in the practice of his system of Yoga. He wrote most of these letters in the 1930s to disciples living in his Ashram in Pondicherry. The main themes are:

The place of experiences in the Integral Yoga

The movement inward, the opening of the inner senses, and the discovery of the inner being

The finding of the psychic being or soul

Widening into the cosmic consciousness

The movement upward to experience the Self, the One, and the Infinite

The movement of ascent and descent to bring about the spiritual transformation

“Letters to live within, to act always from within, from constant inner communion with the Mother. It may be difficult at first to do it always and completely, but it can be done if one sticks to it – and it is at that price, by learning to do that that one can have the siddhi in the Yoga.”

Vol-IV

Letters on Yoga – IV contains letters of Sri Aurobindo on the transformation of human nature – mental, vital and physical – through the practice of Integral Yoga. It also contains letters on the difficulties encountered in practising this Yoga. Most of these letters were written by Sri Aurobindo in the 1930s to disciples living in his Ashram in Pondicherry. The main themes are:

Sadhana on the level of the mind: mental difficulties; cultivation of the mind; power of expression; speech

Sadhana on the level of the vital: the vital nature; vital temperament and vital defects; human relations and interactions

Sadhana on the physical, subconscient and inconscient levels: transformation of the physical; food, sleep, dreams and sex; illness doctors and medicines

Difficulties in the practice of Yoga: kinds of difficulty, overcoming difficulties, the opposition of the hostile Forces

“It is the lesson of life that always in this world everything fails a man – only the Divine does not fail him, if he turns entirely to the Divine. It is not because there is something bad in you that blows fall on you, - blows fall on all human beings because they are full of desire for things that cannot last and they lose them or, even if they get, it brings disappointment and cannot satisfy them. To turn to the Divine is the only truth in life.”

 

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About the author

Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was educated at St. Paul's School, London, and King's College, Cambridge. Returning to India in 1893, he began an exhaustive study of the Indian literary and spiritual traditions. In 1906 he joined the national movement and was the first to insist that its goal must be independence. In 1910 he retired to Pondicherry to devote himself to the practice of yoga. The ashram he founded in 1926 still attracts thousands of people interested in his spiritual philosophy and yoga.

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Bibliographic information

Title Letters on Yoga (In 4 Volumes)
Author Sri Aurobindo
Format Softcover
Date published: 29.08.2015
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
length 2520p., 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch