Among the books introduced in this issue are three publications from Auroville. The first is a compilation from Sri Aurobindo’s writings titled Avatarhood: Human and Divine. Its first section presents the Vedantic view of Avatarhood, with extracts from Chapter 15 of Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Gita, where he explains that the descent of the Avatar for the upholding of the Dharma is but one aspect of Avatarhood’s purpose. Sri Aurobindo reminds us of the Gita’s teaching that the divine birth also signifies an ascent, a new birth for man, the possibility for him to rise into the divine nature and consciousness. “It is that new birth which Avatarhood and the upholding of the Dharma are intended to serve.”

Those who have read Letters on Yoga and Nirodbaran’s Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo may well recall the numerous misunderstandings and misconceptions on the subject of Avatars and Vibhutis penned by disciples and put before Sri Aurobindo for elucidation. The next two sections of the book address these issues and others related to the purpose of Avatarhood. Sri Aurobindo begins his reply to a question about Rama’s Avatarhood thus:

An Avatar is not at all bound to be a spiritual prophet – he is never in fact merely a prophet, he is a realiser, an establisher – not of outward things only, though he does realise something in the outward also, but, as I have said, of something essential and radical needed for the terrestrial evolution which is the evolution of the embodied spirit through successive stages towards the Divine.

The final section contains excerpts from Sri Aurobindo On Himself that help to explain the Avatar’s life in the world as a leader of the evolution.

The second book, Being of Gold: Our Goal of Self-Perfection, is a compilation from the Mother’s writings. The selections in Part One of the book help us to understand the possibility of a new species in the evolution. Those in the second part stress the importance of a fully formed individuality organised around the psychic being as the first building block for an ideal society. This society will be a spiritual hierarchy of realised souls who will lead the way to supermanhood. In these extracts from her talks and writings, the Mother explains some difficult concepts in direct and uncomplicated language. Here she talks about the nature of the psychic being:

With regard to the evolution upwards, it is more correct to speak of the psychic presence than the psychic being. For it is the psychic presence which little by little becomes the psychic being. In each evolving form there is this presence, but it is not individualised. It is something which is capable of growth and follows the evolution…. It is formed progressively round the spark of Divine Consciousness which is meant to be the centre of a growing being which becomes the psychic being when it is at last individualised. It is this spark that is permanent and gathers around itself all sorts of elements for the formation of that individuality; the true psychic being is formed only when the psychic personality is fully grown, fully built up, round the eternal divine spark; it attains its culmination, its total fulfillment if and when it unites with a being or personality from above.

The third book is Passage: An Educational Journey, brought out by the students and teachers of Last School in Auroville. It represents an experiment in free progress education aimed at fostering individual growth to bring forth a “rich, complex, and integrated personality” in the student. The book combines quotations from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother with a statement of the guidelines used by the teachers at Last School and presents a photo essay of an art installation created by four students. Asked to express an aspect of their own educational journey, each student chose an idea, a thought, a vibration, a colour perhaps, and created a multi-dimensional installation. Here are a few glimpses of their work:

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Smiti:
The basis of my work in a single word is: ‘Change’

Individual Change – Collective Change – Transformation.

‘Red’, the color of material manifestation, embodies this energy. It is fire, it is intensity. Mystically it is the colour of Union. Red is the soil of Auroville, and it holds that concentration of power I am looking for.


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Anadi:
I started out with the words ‘Love’ and ‘Dream’ but then discovered what interested me more was ‘Time and Dream’ — for dreams transcend time and you enter an unlimited space of infinite possibilities. In a way, they are contradictory: one limitless and free; the other bound and structured. With this idea, I tried to create my work: something systematic and logical for Time; and, something light and layered for Dream.




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ENGLISH

coverAvatarhood: Human and Divine

— A compilation from Sri Aurobindo's writings
Publisher: Auroville Foundation, Auroville
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 74
Price: Rs 70

Divided into four sections, this compilation presents selections from Sri Aurobindo on the nature and purpose of Avatarhood. Section One is compiled from Chapter XV of Essays on the Gita, “The Possibility and Purpose of Avatarhood”. Section Two contains extracts from Nirodbaran’s Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo. Section Three, selections from Letters on Yoga, explains the purpose of Avatars and Vibhutis in the evolution and addresses typical misconceptions about their incarnations. The final section contains excerpts on the Avatar’s life in the world as one who comes to open the way for humanity to a higher consciousness.

coverBeing of Gold

Our Goal of Self-Perfection
— A Compilation from The Mother's Writings
Publisher: The Centre for Indian Studies
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 364
Price: Rs 200

This compilation presents the Mother's vision of the ideal society. Part One, titled “There is Nothing But That”, contains excerpts from the Mother’s conversations and writings on the nature of the universe and the possibility of a new species in the evolution. Part Two, titled “The Seed of the Gnostic Society”, looks at how the ideal society could be achieved, working out the problems of the individual through the emergence of the psychic being, and the conditions required for the creation of a Gnostic collectivity. An appendix includes additional works related to the theme: two stories, the play The Great Secret, and some of the Mother’s comments on Sri Aurobindo’s Thoughts and Aphorisms.

coverPassage: An Educational Journey

— Edited by Deepti Tewari
ISBN: 978-81-903346-3-1
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Educational Research, Auroville
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 132
Price: Rs 795

This book presents in very broad strokes an experiment in free progress education from Last School in Auroville. The first part of the book, using many quotes from the Mother, summarises the aspiration at the base of Auroville's educational experiments. The second part, which is a photo essay and the main component of the book, presents Passage, the art installation created by four teenaged students of Last School. Part Three outlines some of the guidelines and methodologies used by their teachers. The book concludes with a few selections from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, offered as lights on the way towards an education for the future.

coverOne Essential Condition to Prepare the Way for the New Creation

— Words of the Mother
ISBN: 978-81-7060-303-0
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 39
Price: Rs 30

BENGALI

coverJodi Sri Aurobindo Anugami Hote Chai

Sri Ma-Sri Aurobinder Lekha Avalambane
— Debabrata Majumdar
ISBN: 978-81-7060-295-8
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 55
Price: Rs 35

coverSamagra Jeebanee Yog

Sri Aurobinder "The Synthesis of Yoga" pustaker duti adhyaya avalambane
— Debabrata Majumdar
ISBN: 978-81-7060-292-7
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 35
Price: Rs 10

ITALIAN

coverDestino e Libero Arbitrio

— Parole dagli scritti di Mère e Sri Aurobindo
ISBN: 978-81-7058-965-5
Publisher: Domani, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 46
Price: Rs 75



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