Best Sri Aurobindo Books

by Katinka Hesselink on November 21, 2014

Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching & Method of Practice

My Review

This is a fascinating book. I’m constantly finding things that are different or the same as Blavatsky’s theosophy. Her teachings are my spiritual home base, which doesn’t mean I’m not open to other paths – or blind to Blavatsky’s defects. The reason though that this book constantly brings me back to her is that Aurobindo covers many of the same topics she did. Their approach differs a lot in places, but their conclusions and methods are in many cases surprisingly similar – though also on occasion diametrically opposite.

One indication that a book is good is the amount of text I underline in pencil… Well, this book passes that test. It consists of extracts from letters Sri Aurobindo wrote to people asking for advice – from inside and outside his ashram. Well – those selecting must have taste close to mine, because I just can’t seem to keep my pencil off the page…

A bit outdated perhaps, but very original. A good introduction to the spiritual approach of Sri Aurobindo, one of the seminal teachers of 20th century India.

Sri Aurobindo for All Ages, a biography by Nirodbaran

I went on a short trip to Pondicherry recently and bought the book – ‘Sri Aurobindo for All Ages’ – at the Auroville Visitors Center. The return train journey from Chennai to New Delhi was a long one, over 30 hours, and it helped me read the entire book. Something I havn’t done for a long time.

It is a great book for all readers who would like to have an overview of Sri Aurobindo’s like in a simple and interesting manner. It covers this great man’s life right from his birth to his Samadhi in 1950.

Sri Aurobindo was an exceptional person in more ways than one. He was a very good student and was only the second Indian to clear the tough ICS exam. He did administrative work for the Gaekwad of Baroda, and also taught.

He was one among the extremist leaders of pre-Independence India, who believed in complete sovereignty and self-rule. What prompted him to leave politics and become a Yogi? What’s the philosophy and course of action he advocates? Would you like to know the answers to these questions? If yes – do give this book a read.

It is about 250 pages and contains a lot of information about Sri Aurobindo’s life and times.

An easy to read biography of Sri Aurobindo for all age groups.

[This review was written by Dinesh Mohan]

The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, Peter Heehs

by Katinka Hesselink

Reviewed in the West as the only decent biography of Sri Aurobindo Goshe, from politician, to poet and guru. This guy lived a fascinating life and Peter Heehs describes as many aspects of it as the Sri Aurobindo archives can help enlighten us on…

The rest of this review:

Search for the Soul in Everyday Living, The Mother

by Katinka Hesselink

Inspiring and thought provoking view on the spiritual path. A bit dated in places, but not less fascinating for it.

There are real gems here though – things you’ll find rarely anywhere else…

The rest of this review:


What inspired me to want to go to India

by Katinka Hesselink on November 14, 2014

India is, to me, one of the most fascinating countries in the world. The variety of peoples there, the variety of religions and philosophical perspectives, the continuity of it’s culture that spans at least 2000 years… and not least the smile on a beggar’s child’s face. I’m probably being a bit romantic about this, but I fell in love with the country when I visited Chennai for a month in 1997. I started this site, in 2010, when I was planning a visit for several months to North India. In the end I didn’t go, for health reasons. However, the attraction remains.

Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure

While I don’t think this book was decisive in my decision to go to India, I do think it influenced me. Somehow people seem to come out changed and inspired when traveling to India. Things happen there, somehow. I have since found that this is also quite possible in one’s own country, if one is willing to change and be open to other ways of looking at life. However, the pilgrimage is a traditional practice and in our time a pilgrimage to India seems to have taken the place of more conventional spots like the Vatican. The difference between tourism and pilgrimage is clear – the motivation. [click to continue…]


Auroville, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu

One of the options for my trip was starting at the Theosophical compound in Adyar, Madras. However, I have good reason to think I’m not welcome there. Instead a theosophical friend suggested they might be able to get me a volunteer position in Auroville. Despite it not being in North India – where my intuition […]

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Dalai Lama home: McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala

Thumbnail image for Dalai Lama home: McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala

One of the places many spiritual Westerners go to in India is Dharamsala, which is the home of the Dalai Lama. Wikitravel says: Dharamsala (pronounced Dharamshala) is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh, famed for its large Tibetan community centered around the Dalai Lama. Understand The Tibetan Buddhist roots of Dharamsala stretch back into the […]

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Spiritual travelers as intruders in India?

Fellow traveler Cryptic Fragments is living in Dharamsala when I’m still in my comfortable Dutch home. She wrote a post that sounded somewhat homesick on her blog and got the following as a response from a Tibetan or Indian reader: PLEASE do my country a favor of not returning back! Leave those monks alone because […]

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