Between 1902 and 1914, Sri Aurobindo wrote several commentaries on the Isha Upanishad which, though incomplete and unrevised, have been compiled under 10 different captions in the Volume 17 of the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo. 3 of these pieces were explicitly titled as “The Life Divine” and Sri Aurobindo has left a noting in The Record of Yoga that “the Life Divine commenced” on July 18, 1912.
While this constitutes the Stage I, the publication of 54 essays in the Arya from August 1914 to January 1919 can be called the Stage II. The final Stage emerges 20 years later when during 1939-40 the book is published for the first time in 3 separate volumes incorporating extensive additions and alterations. The transition of The Life Divine to this final shape and the transformation that it undergoes in the hands of Sri Aurobindo is a fascinating story replete with far-reaching significances. [TNM]