Category Archives: Philosophy

Evolution of human nature

While other religions lay down a set of commandments which must be uniformly followed by all human beings, Hinduism advises each soul to act based on his or her Swadharma(inner law).  This is a nice story by M.S. Srinivasan which illustrates this principle.  This story appeared in the recent issue of NAMAH, a journal published out of Pondicherry.

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To Love Man (Manush Bhajan) by Nolini Kanta Gupta

This is an English translation of a Bengali article entitled “Manush Bhajan” by Nolini Kanta Gupta (1889-1984) who was a disciple of Sri Aurobindo (see bio on wikipedia).    Sri Aurobindo once remarked, “If Nolini does not understand my Yoga, who does”.  The translation of this article was done by Satadal and originally published by Maya Chattopadhyay of the “Sri Aurobindo Sthan” in Kolkata.

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Where does mathematics come from?

Is mathematics invented or discovered? Do mathematical objects pre-exist in some transcendental plane, are they abstractions of our sensory experiences, or are they just fictional objects invented by our minds? Would an alien species specify mathematical abstractions in a different way? These are the questions which are explored under the “Philosophy of mathematics”. Several competing theories such as Logicism, Intuitionism, Formalism and Platonism have been proposed to explain the nature of mathematics.   Here, I shall present some insights by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother which are connected to this topic.

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Sri Aurobindo on Nationalism

There are many secondary works which profess to explain Sri Aurobindo’s views on nationalism, but it is better to read what he himself said on the matter.  These are a few selections from the works of Sri Aurobindo on Nationalism. These pieces first appeared in the Karmayogin journal in 1909.  Later in life, Sri Aurobindo saw these writings as outdated remnants of his extinct political persona but to us they remain luminous milestones indicative of his political sagacity and broad vision.

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Comparing Roger Penrose and Sri Aurobindo on the Mind

In the last chapter of his book “The Emperor’s New Mind”, Roger Penrose draws on his scientific career to offer insights into the spontaneous, aesthetic and non-algorithmic nature of mathematical insight, the non-verbal thought process of the scientist, and other topics related to what he calls the “physics of the mind”.  Many of his remarks chime quite well with corresponding observations made by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on the nature of the thought process, as we see in this article.

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Reconciling Samkhya, Vedanta and Tantra

In The Life Divine, there is a chapter entitled “Brahman, Ishwara, Purusha – Maya, Prakriti, Shakti“.  According to the editing notes, this chapter was inserted by Sri Aurobindo as part of a revision of The Life Divine completed in 1940 [1].   The purpose of this chapter is to reconcile three different views of the Universe proposed by the philosophies of Samkhya, Vedanta and Tantra.  This intent may not be immediately apparent to those not well-versed in Indian metaphysics, because the word “Samkhya” is explicitly used only twice in this chapter while the terms “Vedanta” and “Tantra” never occur.  This article is a light contextual introduction to this chapter.

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On Atheism and Agnosticism

A blog reader asked in a comment what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother thought of atheism and agnosticism.  Since I couldn’t find a pithy conspectus by them on the topic, here is a synopsis based on whatever I have absorbed from their writings.  It is followed by a passage from Sri Aurobindo’s work on social philosophy, The Human Cycle.

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