August 2020

Dear Friends,

Sri Aurobindo (born Aurobindo Ghose; 15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950) was a philosopher, yogi, guru, poet, and nationalist.

Aurobindo studied for the Indian Civil Service at King's College, Cambridge, England. After returning to India he took up various civil service works under the Maharaja of the Princely state of Baroda and became increasingly involved in nationalist politics in the Indian National Congress and the nascent revolutionary movement in Bengal with the Anushilan Samiti. He was arrested in the aftermath of a number of bomb outrages linked to his organization in a public trial where he faced charges of treason for Alipore Conspiracy. However Aurobindo could only be convicted and imprisoned for writing articles against British rule in India. He was released when no evidence could be provided, following the murder of a prosecution witness, Narendranath Goswami during the trial. During his stay in the jail, he had mystical and spiritual experiences, after which he moved to Pondicherry, leaving politics for spiritual work.

At Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo developed a spiritual practice - called Integral Yoga. The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a divine life. He believed in a spiritual realisation that not only liberated but transformed human nature, enabling a divine life on earth. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa (referred to as "The Mother"), he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

His main literary works are The Life Divine, which deals with theoretical aspects of Integral Yoga; Synthesis of Yoga, which deals with practical guidance to Integral Yoga; and Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol, an epic poem. In this issue, we have given some of his quotable quotes.

In this month we have covered Anthony De Mello’s musings - Armchair Explorer.

In happenings section, we have covered training programme on Azolla cultivation, webinar on “Why even after spraying medicines, crop insects are not dying”, Dr.Ganapathy’s daily thoughts on “Improving the Immunity”, NABARD Review meetings and a few experiments on making (i) Organic Sambrani (ii) Organic Kumkum and (iii) Cow dung based Ganesha idols.

In the wisdom section, Deepak Chopra, practitioner of alternative-medicine tells us how innocence is an important ingredient for real Living, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Nahn says that real awakening happens when you “Lose yourself” and finally the authors of the famous book – “Blinded Eye” coaxing us to get rid of the Columbus within for real liberation.

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With best wishes,
Vivekananda Kendra - NARDEP,
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