Letters on Himself and the Ashram


Selected letters on Sri Aurobindo?s outer and inner life, his own sadhana, and the practice of Yoga in his Ashram.

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This book brings together letters written by Sri Aurobindo between 1926 and 1950 that fall into four broad subject areas: his outer life, his writings, his contemporaries, and contemporary events; his inner life before and after his arrival in Pondicherry; his role as a spiritual leader and guide; and his ashram and the sadhana practised there. The fifth part of the book contains mantras and messages Sri Aurobindo wrote for the benefit of his disciples.

Many of the letters appeared earlier in Sri Aurobindo on Himself and on the Mother (1953) and On Himself: Compiled from Notes and Letters (1972). The volume also contains a fairly large number of letters formerly included in Letters on Yoga (1970), a few letters from Letters on the Mother, and many newly selected items from the 1926 – 1950 corpus of letters. Whenever possible, the letters are framed contextually and historically by including the question or comment of the correspondent and the date of the letter. Together with the documents published in Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest, these letters constitute nearly all the surviving biographical and historical source materials that Sri Aurobindo wrote.

“I do not think exact correlations can always be traced between one system of spiritual and occult knowledge and another. All deal with the same material, but there are differences of standpoint, differences of view-range, a divergence in the mental idea of what is seen and experienced, disparate pragmatic purposes and therefore a difference in the paths surveyed, cut out or followed; the systems vary, each constructs its own schema and technique. I have looked at the diagrams you sent me; I do not know whether I have grasped them rightly and many of the details are not clear to me. I suppose however that the three supernals are at the top, that the two below them (led to by Justice and Prudence from the psychic centre) are mind-planes or mind-centres, that Tiphareth in the middle is the psychic, the three between it and the earth are vital planes. In the absence of precise information I cannot carry the correlation farther.”

– Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Himself and the Ashram pp.298

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