About the Author
Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual philosophy has root and parallels in the Indian as well as the Europeans Cultural history. In his main work The Life Divine he refers to the ancient Vedic texts as sources with related approaches or experiences. But in his other titles there are also some references to European philosophers who had a similar vision in one or another aspect.
In the present title, his own utterances and evaluations are considered along with the results of comparative studies of various authors. In the end it becomes evident that there existed many kindred thoughts in Europe and that Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary philosophy can be viewed as a further development, of fulfillment, of some of these thoughts, which appear in a new light through the comparison.
Sri Aurobindo was a very creative and versatile author, his Complete Works comprise 36 volumes. During his stay in England he studied intensively the European cultural history and learnt several languages of the continent. He was primarily interested in poetry but also acquired some basic knowledge of western philosophy , especially that of ancient Greece.
However, abstract thinking as such had little attraction for him and therefore he never read the works of Kant , Hegel, etc. But he was familiar with many philosopher and their basic thoughts and sometimes refers to them in his writings or talks. In some cases, these statements facilitate comparative research, as they provide some clues to his own understanding, thus giving the comparisons a good foundation. His respective utterances will be quoted, whenever available, and analyzed in the various contexts. The main purpose of this study is to show how closely Sri Aurobino’s thought is related to European philosophy and that in a certain way he even carried it on by talking up some basic approaches and Deeping them in the light of a large vision.
Our perspective is primarily that of Sri Aurobindo but we also try to do justice to all other philosophies discussed in this book. We hope that our research may inspire and facilitate further studies by presentation with kindred texts of Western thinkers, and by referring to some important books and articles dealing with the respective subjects. The references to Sri Aurobindo’s title are always to the complete works of Sri Aurobindo’s (CWSA), if not otherwise mentioned in the footnotes.
Our thanks are due to all those who made valuable suggestions for the improvement of the text or helped with the proof reading and editing.
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