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The Lives of Sri Aurobindo


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Preface Acknowledgments Note on Proper Names Part One: Son 1. Early Years in India: Bengal, 1872-1879 Part Two: Scholar 2. Growing up English: England, 1879-1893 3. Encountering India: Baroda, 1893-1910 Part Three: Revolutionary 4. Into the Fray: Calcutta, 1906-1908 5. In Jail and After: Bengal, 1908-1910 Part Four: Yogi and Philosopher 6. A Laboratory Experiment: Pondicherry, 1910-1915 7. The Major Works: Pondicherry, 1914-1920 Part Five: Guide 8. The Ascent to Supermind: Pondicherry, 1915-1926 9. An Active Retirement: Pondicherry, 1927-1950 Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

" The Lives of Sri Aurobindo easily constitutes the most comprehensive, thorough, and balanced study of Sri Aurobindo Ghose's life and thought to date. Peter Heehs's remarkable access to archival sources both at the ashram and in numerous other archives around the world establishes this text as the definitive study of Aurobindo's immense output in all of its genres and modes. His text humanizes and problematizes a historical figure whose complexity has been more or less lost to us via hagiography, piety, and now Hindutva apologetics. In some very real sense, Heehs gives us back Aurobindo as a political figure, a prolific writer, and as a religious teacher-all in all, a remarkable accomplishment. His writing is clear, uncluttered, precise, and in places quite beautiful. There are few scholarly texts I genuinely enjoyed reading, but this is one of them." -- Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor and chair of religious studies, Rice University "Sri Aurobindo has at last received the scholarly biography he deserves& mdash;and we need." -- Robert McDermott, author of The Essential Aurobindo "Here are details that are not only reliable but transparent in letting their sources speak. Throughout we hear the voices of Sri Aurobindo and his contemporaries. Peter Heehs has written the definitive biography and a superb introduction to the life and thought of Sri Aurobindo." -- Stephen Phillips, professor of philosophy and Asian studies, University of Texas at Austin

About the Author

Peter Heehs was born and educated in the United States but has lived in India since 1971. One of the founders of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, he is currently a member of the editorial board of the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, and has published many books and articles.


All students and scholars of Sri Aurobindo will find this extraordinary book most rewarding... Essential. CHOICE A great biography... a doorway into [Sri Aurobindo's] extraordinary spiritual philosophy and vision. EnlightenNext It is engagingly written and supported by a bounty of historical materials. Students of India with little familiarity of Aurobindo will discover that Heehs offers a multisided portrait of a brilliant and enigmatic man whose lifetime spanned a momentous period in modern Indian history... -- Hanna H. Kim H-Asia The book's strength is Heehs' deep understanding of modern India, which gives him an edge in perceptively situating Aurobindo within the context of Indian national movement. -- Vijendra Singh Contemporary South Asia ...meticulously reported and scrupulously footnoted... Yoga Journal Heehs has succeeded magnificently; The Lives of Sri Aurobindo is quickly becoming the biography for academics. AntiMatter Heehs' work is an epic effort to encompass the outer and inner life of a personality, who seems to defy all definitions and boundaries, written with the intention of making him comprehensible to the scholarly mind of our times. I believe this book to be eminently successful -- Debashish Banerji Sophia A formidable piece of scholarship. -- Antony Copley Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

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