Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Compelling habitus of Sri Aurobindo's Letters on Yoga

Letters on Yoga are available now in four volumes of Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo after 65 years he passed away. These comprise of his personal guidance to a number of disciples during the last 24 years of his life. Letters on other themes have been published in another four volumes. Collectively, they cover an amazing range of subjects treated with incomparable insights. However, a lot of charm is missing since the questions are not included nor the persons identified. The motive, of course, is to focus on the core subject but it can be argued that excluding trivia strikes at the very notion of All life is Yoga.

The four volumes can be said to contain all aspects of Integral Yoga. Interestingly, they were never available to the persons to whom the letters are addressed. So, they had so less to read but had the advantage of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo's physical presence in compensation. The Ashram scenario, surely, was an immensely complex and vibrant opportunity with both Masters and the disciples engaged in writing as well as practice apart from other functions of community life. Reconstructing such a rich picture over long years is difficult to imagine today. But by publishing the correspondences in whole may help in creating the desired impressions.

The fact that such huge number of letters were written involving so many actors presents a very interesting situation for sociological investigation. Apart from ordinary human emotions, subjects ranged from deep psychological layers to forceful Divine interventions. Reading such narrations in cold print today may leave us cold but once permeated into our notion of reality, they hold their ground and rebound. Thus, this unique habitus or life-world retains the potential of influencing future political events with its compelling amalgamation of ethics and Evolutionary dialectic. [TNM55]

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