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Letters on Yoga

by Sri Aurobindo;

Letters on Yoga: Volume I - at Vedic Books

Letters on Yoga: Volume I
Letters on Yoga: Volume II - at Vedic Books

Letters on Yoga: Volume II
Letters on Yoga: Volume I|| - at Vedic Books

Letters on Yoga: Volume III

Letters on Yoga is a compilation of Sri Aurobindo's letters on all areas of spiritual instruction (see Integral Yoga).

Although he withdrew from public life in 1927, Sri Aurobindo continued to instruct his students by letter, maintaining a voluminous correspondence, especially in the early 1930s. Many of these letters were edited and then published. All the letters were revised by Sri Aurobindo before publication. Some of them originally appeared in small compilations, but later they became three volumes (Volume 22, 23, and 24) of the Collected Works (the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, Pondicherry, 1972); I have the paperback version of this edition.

The Letters are light, easy to read, a delight. Of course this material has been selected from a huge selection of personal letters to disciples, with the irrelevant parts edited out. Once at the local Sri Aurobindo group (this was many years bag) one of the people who ran the group; (he was pretty old at the time) read out the entirely of a long letter that Sri Aurobindo had written him. Much of the letter went in the Letters (I recognised it at the time, but didn't note it, so i forget which one it was. He explained that he actually wrote to Sri Aurobindo about something else, and instead received this reply, which didn't answer his question. Regardless of whether one may think a guru's power of insight in replying to letters is supposed to be perfect or not, these three volumes are a superb introduction to Sri Aurobindo's philosophy and teachings, and include a great deal of important and very intriguing esoteric information, including the essay on the Intermediate Zone. Some have said that you need to read Sri Aurobindo's heavy books like Life Divine and Savitri to understand him, and that reading the Letters is, in a sense, well, if not "cheating" then...well, you get the idea. But I am of the school of thought that says you can read whatever you want at whatever level of difficulty you want, because it is whatever truth is transmitted to you that is important, rather than the letter of the law. And regardless of the status of the Letters I got heaps out of them - they were my bible for many years.

The Integral Yoga - link to Amazon com

The Integral Yoga:
Sri Aurobindo's Teaching & Method of Practice
(Lotus Press)

The Integral Yoga is a new compilation of the Letters. From what I gather from the Amazon reader it introduces all the important ideas and leaves out some of the shorter letters (some of the letters in the three volume edition only consits of a few sentences). It also has the advantage of being a single volume. Regardless of whether you prefer the three volume or one volume version, the Letters are in my opinion without question the best current introduction to Sri Aurobindo's teachings.


external link Selections from Letters on Yoga

Link to Amazon com At Amazon com (mostly out of print, but some online browsing) Vol.I, Vol.II, Vol.III

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this page uploaded 19 August 2005, last modified 17 September 2009