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‘Reading Sri Aurobindo’: Book acquaints readers with complete works of 20th century philosopher-sage

“Reading Sri Aurobindo”, an upcoming book which gives readers a peek into the modern sage’s work spanning across 36 volumes, is scheduled to be released on August 22.

The philosopher-sage’s work, told through the perspectives of over 20 contributors, is edited by academics Gautam Chikermane and Devdip Ganguli.

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Published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI), it aims to explore Sri Aurobindo’s “deep wisdom and vision for resolving the fundamental issues facing individuals, societies, and nations today”.

aurobindo book The relevance of Sri Aurobindo’s message has never been more urgent and compelling, yet, his Complete Works, thirty-six volumes in all, can be a daunting prospect, notes Penguin India (Source: Penguin.co.in)

August 15, 2022 marks the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, who traversed many paths including that of poet, journalist, jailed revolutionary, philosopher, and radical mystic.

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His writings, which encompass the depth and range of his extraordinary life, comprise his commentary on spiritual texts such as the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita; epic poem “Savitri”; philosophical work “The Life Divine” and thousands of letters to guide his disciples, among others.

“I have often been asked which of the 36 volumes of Sri Aurobindo’s work should one start with. This book is the answer to that question. ‘Reading Sri Aurobindo’ is a labour of love, condensed into a book, through the spirit of self-giving,” Chikermane, who has also edited an anthology “India 2030: The Rise of the Rajasic Nation”, told PTI.

“It is an introductory text that familiarises the reader with the depths, the widths and the heights of Sri Aurobindo’s writings in the year of his 150th birth anniversary that falls on 15 August 2022,” he added.

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Besides Chikermane and Ganguli, the contributors to the book come from various backgrounds and countries, include people like Anirban Ganguly, Anshul Sinha, Anuradha Choudry, Georg Stollenwerk, Matriprasad, Patrick Beldio, Payal Adhikari, Pranjal Garg, Sampadananda Mishra, and Richard Hartz.

According to Ganguli, a faculty member at the Sri Aurobindo Centre of Education at Pondicherry, while many perceive Sri Aurobindo through the prism of the Independence movement, the enormity of what he represents for modern India and the world is relatively unknown.“In a world beset with crises of every kind, the importance of Sri Aurobindo’s vision for humanity cannot be overstated. Reading Sri Aurobindo is an invitation to all those who seek answers to fundamental questions to engage with his texts and draw inspiration and guidance,” he added.

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