by Peter Heehs
Thinker, spiritual leader, mystic, poet and nationalist, Sri Aurobindo (1872 – 1950) was perhaps modern India’s most fascinating and enigmatic leader. Educated at Cambridge where he was a brilliant Classics scholar, he refused a career in the civil service and returned home to become a fiery Extremist nationalist. In jail for conspiring to “wage war against the king,” Sri Aurobindo turned to meditation and, finding refuge in the French enclave of Pondicherry, perfected there his practice of yoga. His ashram in Pondicherry continues today with a huge international following.
Sri Aurobindo’s life and writings (which range over spiritual discourse, philosophy, cultural history, poetry, linguistics and literary criticism) have hitherto been written about by devotees. The present biography, while sympathetic, attempts a detached look at Aurobindo’s career and thought.
Exploring Aurobindo the nationalist as well as the spiritualist and seer, Peter Heehs’s book is an informed and accessible biography of modern India’s most important spiritual figure.