New publications in English presented in this issue include a book of paintings by Huta, a volume of selected photographs of Sri Aurobindo, a view of cosmopolitan modernity through the lives of six figures from early twentieth-century India, a short compilation from the Mother’s writings offering guidance in day-to-day life, and Blessings of the Grace, a book of conversations with the Mother. These conversations, originally held in French and noted down from memory by Mona Sarkar, took place from 1959 to 1968. In one conversation the Mother advises Mona to go to the Samadhi and ask Sri Aurobindo’s help, ask for an answer to any difficulty. She tells him that Sri Aurobindo has universalised himself and become very intimate and close to those who seek a contact with his presence:

It is formidable. His presence vibrates, concrete, all around the Samadhi. And His influence penetrates and touches the central being and awakens the consciousness to the spiritual life.…

When I look at the Samadhi and see what is happening there, I am astonished to find this column of dazzling light vibrating with an energy and a transforming force. It rises like this—(Mother makes an upward movement with the hands) with a splendour and a brilliance like an effusion of light from the length and breadth of the Samadhi. It is the New Light materialising.

Meditations on Savitri: Book One is the first in a series of volumes that present all of the 472 paintings on Savitri made by Huta under the Mother’s guidance. The 127 paintings in this volume, completed by Huta based on the Mother’s descriptions of her visions during their meditations together, cover the five cantos of Book I, “The Book of Beginnings”. The paintings are presented along with the corresponding lines from Savitri. The painting pictured here was inspired by the lines from Canto 4:
As long as Nature lasts, he too is there;
   For this is sure that he and she are one...
photo
Click to enlarge

Sri Aurobindo: Selected Photos presents four categories of pictures: Sri Aurobindo’s youth in England and his political period before imprisonment; his time in Alipore Jail and his early stay in Pondicherry, pictures taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson in April 1950; and pictures of his Mahasamadhi. The Cartier-Bresson photographs, taken in the course of three days, also include some photos of daily life in the Ashram at that time, and several of these are reproduced in this book.

Cosmopolitan Modernity in Early 20th-Century India is a narrative study of the social and political histories of six thinkers, writers, and activists of the early twentieth century. In an effort to redefine modernity, the author explores the lives of these men and their connections to Sri Aurobindo’s thought, showing how the seeds of cosmopolitanism and cultural citizenship were already planted in India at that time.



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ENGLISH

coverBlessings of the Grace

— Conversations with the Mother; Recollected by Mona Sarkar
ISBN: 978-81-7058-986-0
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 187
Price: Rs 170

These conversations with the Mother, originally held in French, were noted down from memory by Mona Sarkar. They took place from 1959 to 1968, and covered such topics as the Mother’s way of working with sadhaks, the different nature of the experience when people met her in her interview room, her work to reveal the divine harmony behind appearances, her relation with her own Mahasaraswati aspect, the power of Sri Aurobindo’s presence one feels in his room, and the new consciousness that descended on earth in 1969. The last fourteen pages contain the Mother’s written answers to questions Mona had submitted to her in his diary in 1951. The book contains many photographs of the Mother and facsimiles of her handwritten notes in the original French.

coverMeditations on Savitri: Book One

The Book of Beginnings
— Paintings by Huta under the Mother's guidance
ISBN: 978-81-87372-34-9
Publisher: The Havyavahana Trust, Pondicherry
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 263
Price: Rs 1000

This is the first in a series of volumes that present all of the 472 paintings on Savitri made by Huta under the Mother’s guidance. From 1961 to 1966 the Mother and Huta meditated together on lines chosen from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri, and when an image appeared to the Mother she described it to Huta with the help of a few strokes. Huta then completed the work in her studio as an oil painting. The Mother named the series of paintings Meditations on Savitri. This volume of 127 paintings accompanied by the corresponding lines from Savitri, covers the five cantos of Book I, “The Book of Beginnings”. From 1962 to 1966 these paintings were published in book form in four volumes. However, many of the paintings were redone prior to a 1967 exhibition, and these are included in the present book.

coverSri Aurobindo: Selected Photos

— Compiled by Michael Bonke
ISBN: 978-3-934726-70-3
Publisher: Mitra Auroville, Auroville
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 298
Price: Rs 1900

The 145 black and white photographs in this book have been selected and arranged in an attempt to bring out the depth of spiritual vibration that radiates from Sri Aurobindo’s photos. There are four categories of pictures: Sri Aurobindo’s youth in England and his political period before imprisonment; his time in Alipore Jail and his early stay in Pondicherry, pictures taken by Cartier-Bresson in April 1950; and pictures of his Mahasamadhi. Most are unretouched photographs, arranged without chronology or theme or identifying remarks. At the back of the book the pictures are reproduced in smaller size with dates and some brief comments.

coverCosmopolitan Modernity in Early 20th-Century India

— Sachidananda Mohanty
ISBN: 978-1-138-85933-3
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Books India Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 174
Price: Rs 650

Using the lives and works of Irish poet and spiritualist James Cousins, French thinker Paul Richard, Dilip Kumar Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, art historian Ananda Coomaraswamy, and revolutionary-intellectual Taraknath Das, the author explores their connections to Sri Aurobindo as regards the concepts of cosmopolitanism, citizenship, and modernity in India. He discusses issues of cosmopolitanism concerned with moving beyond literary, cultural, and ethical borders towards a more universal world view and how they are closely connected to the idea of cultural citizenship which these six figures believed in. He argues that by becoming bridges between cultures and ways of life, East and West, they brought the best of their cultures into a synthesis and were truly modern cosmopolitans.

coverGuidance in Day-to-Day Life

— Based on Selections from the Collected Works of the Mother
Publisher: Dipak Kumar Gupta, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 36
Price: Rs 25

Gathered from the Mother’s writings, the selections in this small booklet offer guidance to those who embark on a spiritual path. Passages deal with subjects such as what it means to be vigilant in one’s sadhana, why it is more effective to concentrate in the heart, how to widen one’s thought, the role of wealth as a force of Nature to be utilised in building the new creation, and how to offer one’s wrong movements to the Light.

coverCure of Illness

— Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
ISBN: 978-81-7060-368-9
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 50
Price: Rs 30

HINDI

coverSampoorna Jeevan hi Yoga hai

— Debabrata Majumdar
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society Institute of Culture, Gwalior
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 40
Price: Rs 30

Hindi translation of Samagra Jeebanee Yog.

BENGALI

coverBimsa Shatabdir Pratham Dashake Sri Aurobindo

— Manoj Das
ISBN: 978-93-84101-07-7
Publisher: Sagnik Books, Kolkata
Binding: Hard Cover
Pages: 169
Price: Rs 200

Bengali translation of Sri Aurobindo in the First Decade of the Twentieth Century

Description of content for original work:
        When first published in 1972 as Sri Aurobindo in the First Decade of the Century, this book brought to light the then unknown private correspondence relating to Sri Aurobindo between Governor-General Lord Minto and Secretary of State for India Lord Morley, as well as the debate on Sri Aurobindo in the British parliament. This book provides a unique insight into the politically active phase of Sri Aurobindo's life.

coverPratyahik Jeebaner Pathanirdesh

— Sri Mayer rachana sangraha theke nirabachita angsher upar adharita
Publisher: Dipak Kumar Gupta, Pondicherry
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 47
Price: Rs 25

Bengali translation of Guidance in Day-to-Day Life

Description of content for original work:
        Gathered from the Mother’s writings, the selections in this small booklet offer guidance to those who embark on a spiritual path. Passages deal with subjects such as what it means to be vigilant in one’s sadhana, why it is more effective to concentrate in the heart, how to widen one’s thought, the role of wealth as a force of Nature to be utilised in building the new creation, and how to offer one’s wrong movements to the Light.

ASSAMESE

coverSri Aurobindor Xaite Baro Basar

— Nirodbaran
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Society, Guwahati
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 273
Price: Rs 160

Assamese translation of Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo.

Nirodbaran served Sri Aurobindo as an attendant and literary secretary from 1938 to 1950. This hagiographic classic is an account of that period of intimate personal contact.

GUJARATI

coverChaitya Purush

— Sri Aravind ane Sri Matajinan akshararashimathi sankalit
Publisher: Pleasant Gift, Gandhinagar
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 240
Price: Rs 160

Gujarati translation of The Psychic Being

Description of content for original work:
        The selections in this compilation deal with the meaning and nature of the psychic being, its role and action in the awakening to the inner life, and its influence on the afterlife and the process of rebirth. Many of the extracts clarify the difference between the soul in its purely essential form and the psychic being, which is the soul in its evolutionary, individualised form. The process of psychic growth and development and the central role of the psychic being in the individual's sadhana are some of the key concepts in Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga and are given prominence in this compilation, which is aimed mainly at the general reader.



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