Sri Aurobindo Ghose Criticism - Essay

G. H. Langley (essay date 1949)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Sri Aurobindo as Poet," in Sri Aurobindo: Indian Poet, Philosopher, and Mystic, David Marlowe, Ltd., 1949, pp. 113-33.

[In the following excerpt, Langley traces the development of Aurobindo's poetry.]

Sri Aurobindo defines poetry as "rhythmic speech which rises at once from the heart of the seer and from the distant home of truth". It is not by accident that the language is rhythmic, for rhythm gives individuality to the expression and enables the poet naturally to reproduce the creative unity and rhythm of life and spirit.

"The characteristic power of the poet", Aurobindo asserts, "is vision", and he contrasts this with the essentially...

(The entire section is 5677 words.)

Sisirkumar Ghose (essay date 1962)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Future Poetry of Sri Aurobindo," in Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature, No. 11, 1962, pp. 149-53.

[In the following essay on The Future Poetry, Ghose discusses Aurobindo's equation of poetry with mantra.]

Romain Rolland described the contribution of Sri Aurobindo as the greatest synthesis as yet achieved of the genius of the East and the genius of the West. Today Sri Aurobindo is widely known as yogi and thinker, but few have heard of him as a poet, fewer as a literary critic. This in spite of the fact that his writings are characteristic and commanding, and indeed copious. But even more than the scope—which includes [letters]...

(The entire section is 2849 words.)

Eliot Deutsch (essay date 1964)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Sri Aurobindo's Interpretation of Spiritual Experience: A Critique," in International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. IV, No. 4, December, 1964, pp. 581-94.

[In the following essay, Deutsch seeks to determine whether the three principle tenets of Aurobindo's theory of spiritual evolutionascent, integration, and descentcan be verified by experience.]


Sri Aurobindo's philosophy consists, for the most part, of an organization and interpretation of various types of spiritual experience from the point of view of a "metaphysical" theory of evolution. This theory seeks to answer two fundamental...

(The entire section is 4316 words.)

Grace E. Cairns (essay date 1972)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Aurobindo's Conception of the Nature and Meaning of History," in International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. XII, No. 2, June, 1972, pp. 205-19.

[In the following essay, which focuses on The Human Cycle, Cairns outlines the five stages in Aurobindo 's psychological theory of the development of human civilization, citing examples from Western psychology, theology, scientific thought, and philosophical history that support A urobindo 's system.]


The philosophy of Aurobindo is so eminently an integrated one that the general pattern of cosmic and human history cannot be discussed apart from his metaphysical...

(The entire section is 5716 words.)

Robert A. McDermott (essay date 1972)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Legacy of Sri Aurobindo," in Cross Currents, Vol. XXII, No. 1, Winter, 1972, pp. 2-8.

[In the following excerpt, McDermott compares Aurobindo's career with those of Rabindranath Tagore, Mohandes Gandhi, and others in an effort to determine his place in the modern Indian philosophical tradition.]

Of the four great exponents of modern Indian ideals, Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, S. Radhakrishnan, and Sri Aurobindo, the least understood in both India and the West is surely the political revolutionary, poet and philosopher of Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo (Ghose), 1872-1950. If the first half of the century belonged to the first three of these figures, the...

(The entire section is 2409 words.)

Prema Nandakumar (essay date 1982)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Sri Aurobindo: The Prose Canon," in Perspectives on Indian Prose in English, edited by M. K. Naik, Humanities Press, 1982, pp. 72-103.

[In the following essay, Nandakumar provides a chronological survey of Aurobindo's prose works.]

During a literary career that spanned almost sixty years, Sri Aurobindo was continuously active with his pen. He left no literary form untouched. Perhaps because of his world-wide fame as a spiritual seer, he is now better known as the author of Savitri, but this cosmic epic was but one facet of his total literary achievement.

If poetry was his first love, Sri Aurobindo was an equally tireless practitioner...

(The entire section is 10123 words.)

K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar (essay date 1982)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine," in Perspectives on Indian Prose in English, edited by M. K. Naik, Humanities Press, 1982, pp. 104-23.

[In the following essay, Iyengar summarizes Aurobindo's theory of spiritual evolution as it is presented in The Life Divine, at the same time responding to critics who charge that the work is overly long and difficult, repetitious, and written in a lackluster style.]

A senior Professor of English—with a rich background of scholastic training at Madras and Oxford—recently came out with the protentious affirmation: "Surely the message of The Life Divine or the beauty of Savitri could have been...

(The entire section is 6574 words.)

Stephen H. Phillips (essay date 1985)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Central Argument of Aurobindo's The Life Divine," in Philosophy East and West, Vol. XXXV, No. 3, July, 1985, pp. 271-84.

[In the following essay, Phillips contests Aurobindo's theory that the incompatibility between evil and the Brahman in the present state of evolution proves that a higher level of evolutiondivine lifeis inevitable.]

because the Non-Existence is a concealed Existence, the Inconscience a concealed Consciousness, the insensibility a masked and dormant Ananda, these secret realities must emerge; the hidden Overmind and Supermind too must in the end fulfill themselves in this apparently...

(The entire section is 103 words.)

The Argument: Brahman And Evil

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Sri Aurobindo (Ghose), 1872-1950, a mystic in the Indian tradition of yoga, is the formulator of a world view of great originality and breadth, which has now received scholarly attention both in India and the West. Many of the commentators point out that Aurobindo's mysticism motivates his philosophic thought. Clearly the most important of Aurobindo's claims is that he is a mystic, who from his mystical experience has learned of the reality of Brahman (which he also refers to as "the Absolute" and "God"). But none of the commentators, in India or the West, has brought into proper focus the reasoning which leads Aurobindo to make the prediction of "divine life," in honor of which his major philosophical work The...

(The entire section is 5247 words.)

P. S. Deshpande (essay date 1985)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Sri Aurobindo's Savitri: A Key to Integral Perfection," in Indian Readings in Commonwealth Literature, edited by G. S. Amur, and others, Sterling Publishers Private Limited, 1985, pp. 59-70.

[In the following essay, Deshpande interprets Savitri as a guide to transforming mortal nature into divine nature through Aurobindo's system of yoga.]

Sri Aurobindo's Savitri is both a legend and a symbol. Through the legend he tries to convey the most ancient tradition of the realization of the Integral Self and through the symbol all the mystic processes connected thereto. The poem reveals a philosophical wisdom and mystical inspiration and promises...

(The entire section is 3638 words.)

K. D. Verma (essay date 1990)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Social and Political Vision of Sri Aurobindo," in World Literature Written in English, Vol. 30, No. 1, Spring, 1990, pp. 56-71.

[In the following essay, Verma examines Aurobindo's views on a number of subjects that were integral to his political and social vision, including colonialism, nationalism, evil, freedom, equality, brotherhood, the unity and salvation of humankind, and the human evolutionary process.]

As a prophet of Indian nationalism, Aurobindo occupies an important place in the history of Indian political thought. When we recall the early Aurobindo, we think of a fiery, aggressive and uncompromising revolutionary who had cast his lot with the...

(The entire section is 6066 words.)