Influential Past Teachers


Place of Birth
Calcutta, Present Day India

Foundation of Teaching
Yoga, Philosophy, Human Unity, Love, Compassion

Example of Teaching
“Life is life – whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage.”

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Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo (Sri Ôrobindo) (15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950), born Aurobindo Ghosh or Ghose (Ôrobindo Ghosh), was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for freedom from British rule, for a while became one of its influential leaders, and then turned into a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution.

Aurobindo studied for the Indian civil service at King’s College, Cambridge. After returning to India he took up various civil service works under the Maharaja of Baroda, and started to involve himself in politics. While in politics he was imprisoned by British Indiafor writing articles against British rule. He was released when no evidence was provided. During his stay in the jail he is believed to have had mystical and spiritual experiences, after which he moved to Pondicherry, leaving politics for spiritual work.

During his stay in Pondicherry, Aurobindo evolved a new method of spiritual practice, which he called Integral Yoga. The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a life divine. He believed in a spiritual realisation that not only liberated man but also transformed his nature, enabling divine life on earth. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa (“The Mother”), he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He died on 5 December 1950. He was the first Indian to create a major literary corpus in English.

His main literary works are The Life Divine, which deals with theoretical aspects of Integral yoga; Synthesis of Yoga, which deals with practical guidance to Integral yoga; and Savitri, an epic poem which refers to a place in the Mahabaratha, where its characters actualise Integral yoga in their lives. His works also include philosophy, poetry, translations and commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Gita.

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Quotes

  1. “India is the meeting place of the religions and among these Hinduism alone is by itself a vast and complex thing, not so much a religion as a great diversified and yet subtly unified mass of spiritual thought, realization and aspiration.”
  2. “Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature. As man emerged out of the animal, so out of man the superman emerges.”
  3. “By our stumbling the world is perfected.”
  4. “The anarchic is the true divine state of man in the end as in the beginning; but in between it would lead us straight to the devil and his kingdom.”
  5. “What I cannot do now is the sign of what I shall do hereafter. The sense of impossibility is the beginning of all possibilities. Because this temporal universe was a paradox and an impossibility, therefore the Eternal created it out of His being.”
  6. “The meeting of man and God must always mean a penetration and entry of the divine into the human and a self-immergence of man in the Divinity.”
  7. “What is God after all ? An eternal child playing an eternal game in an eternal garden.”
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