I have been fascinated with some of the important works of Sri Aurobindo and have been studying them deeply. Having realised some of the hurdles in reading his works, mainly the style of writing, I have prepared my own ‘notes’ on them, using the free download versions of the PDFs.
In the original texts, some sentences run to several lines or a long paragraph, some paragraphs run up to two pages or more, and each chapter runs into many pages—25 to 30—without any further topic-titles. This makes navigating his works difficult for a generation—including my age group—who are used to ‘Powerpoint culture’. Whereas, I have realised that many times each paragraph and each chapter is a garland of gems, with each gem being exquisite.
Hence I attempted certain structural value-adds to provide the benefits I have stated in my Prefaces. The value-add by way of my notes consists of such things as extracting/condensing, consolidating topic wise, adding extensively topic titles upto paragraph level where appropriate, selecting & grouping of important terms with their explanations, providing in-line meaning of archaic/difficult words & phrases, highlighting important sentences, explicitly listing key points within a paragraph, detailed multi-level ‘contents’ pages etc. I have done this primarily to help myself in re-reading, understanding, remembering & referencing his works which provide great insights into our scriptures.
Following are some of the important works of Sri Aurobindo for which I have added such ‘notes’: ‘Essays on the Gita’, ‘Isha Upanishad’, ‘Record of Yoga’, ‘Kena Upanishad’, ‘Philosophy of Upanishads’, ‘Problem of Rebirth’. The ‘About’ of each (given below) provides more details of these versions. If you find it interesting/useful to you in your studies, please send me a request email to receive a free copy of the full version.
Suggested order of reading/studying these is: (i) Isha (ii) Kena (iii) Philosophy of Upanishads. These three will help form a solid foundation for the understanding of Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation of Upanishads. This forms the essential basis for many of his other works. Subsequent to these, others can be taken up in any order.
About Notes on & extracts from ‘Essays on the Gita’ of Sri Aurobindo
This is a notes added extract from Sri Aurobindo’s “Essays on the Gita”. These extracts have been taken from the ninth Edition which is available as both printed version as PDF version (Free download at http://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/ashram/sriauro/writings.php ). The original work runs to 594 pages divided into 48 chapters. It is not written in the traditional shloka by shloka interpretation and explanation, but as long essays based on the key concepts and insights of Gita as seen by Sri Aurobindo.…Read full
About Notes on & extracts from ‘Isha Upanishad’ of Sri Aurobindo
The CONTENTS page of the published version (has 596 pages), shows mainly as ‘Part One’ & ‘Part Two’. The first 91 pages constitute the Part One containing a terse, profound & beautiful (but perhaps somewhat difficult to follow) interpretation of Isha Upanishad verse by verse. I have not included any part from this in this notes & extract. It is best read in the original.… Read full
About Notes on & extracts from ‘Record of Yoga’ of Sri Aurobindo
This is a notes added extract from Sri Aurobindo’s work ‘Record of Yoga’.
The original book has about 1515 pages. In this, I have extracted & added notes to the following: (i) Sapta Chatusthaya with their explanations. It gives an excellent way of progressing to the aspirant yogi. It also contains some interesting explanation of concepts of chaturvarna.….Read full
About Notes on & consolidation of ‘Kena Upanishad-Commentary’ of Sri Aurobindo
In the currently available published version, “The Upanishads-II” (Published in 2001), the Translation and complete commentary of Kena Upanishad appears from page 5 to 98 in Part One. The “Incomplete commentary” appears from page 297 to 316. In my consolidation with added notes, Part One has been considered. I have included some parts of Incomplete Commentary in the main flow, where it does not affect the flow, but have mentioned page numbers to identify this. The rest of the Incomplete Commentary I have provided at the end, but have indicated in the main flow the point at which they can be read, so that it fits in with the rest of the matter.…Read full
About Notes on ‘Philosophy of Upanishads & Other essays’ of Sri Aurobindo
The ‘Philosophy of Upanishads’ is an incomplete essay of Sri Aurobindo written around 1904-1906. This is available in the book Upanishads—II, from pages 345 to 399 and also as an independent book. Though incomplete, it beautifully & very logically discusses many of the key concepts of Upanishads. The original work simply has titles Chapter–I to Chapter-VII, but as in his other works contains many key topics. The topic titles I have given bring these out.…Read full
About Notes on ‘Problem of Rebirth’ of Sri Aurobindo
This work of Sri Aurobindo is a detailed and insightful discussion of the topics of rebirth & karma and relates the two. He presents the various views of rebirth and analyses them deeply. This includes the views of different philosophies as well as modern science, including his critical evaluation of the theory of evolution. He clearly brings out the meaninglessness of many of the theories of rebirth and proposes what can be the only meaningful reason or purpose for rebirth based on Vedantha. His discussions under the section ‘Significance of Rebirth’ is so insightful & delightful to read. His own views culminate in the sections on ‘The Ascending Unity’ and the most beautiful section called ‘Involution & Evolution’ where he expounds the concept of Involution & Double evolution. …Read full