How I came to Sri Aurobindo


Sivakumar Elambooranan

159 p.2017

Includes bibliographical references and index

ISBN-13/ EAN:  9789350184073(Hardbound)

ISBN-10 93-5018-407-9(Hardbound) INR 649.00– US$ 32.99

LC Subject heading

1. Elambooranan, Sivakumar, 1967-

2. Ghose, Aurobindo, 1872-1950– Disciples–Biography.

3. Hindus–India–Puducherry–Biography.

4. Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

5. Spiritual life–Hinduism.

6. Yoga.

BISAC Subject: REL062000 / RELIGION / Spirituality

About the Book

This memoir details the story of a sadhak(practitioner of spirituality), once a dyed-in-the-wool agnostic, who came to the practice of the Integral Yoga after a life-altering spiritual experience in his twenty-fourth year. Ignorant of spiritual literature at that time, he accepted conventional medical wisdom that put down the experience to a psychosomatic disorder. He continued to coast along as an agnostic for about a decade after this experience, beleiving all the while that medical attention was enough to ‘manage the condition.’

It was the contact with the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo that awoke him to the reality of the goings-on within. Until this first exposure to Aurobindonian philosophy and psychology, he had rejected the subjective truth of the realities of his inner experiences. This was simply because these realities did not ‘fit’ into the scheme of things that his rational mind could then construct.

This book begins with a brief description of the spiritual experience alluded to, and goes on to explore the tensions between interpretations of it as a medical ‘problem’ and as a turning point in a life appropriated for a larger purpose.

It is the author’s hope that this book will be of use to those considering taking up a spiritual life. Moreover, it is for those diagnosed with psychosomatic disorders. The author would have achieved one of his main aims if the work throws new light on people with psychosomatic disorders.

About the Author

The author’s early academic training was in Literature in English at the Madras Christian College, Chennai, India. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, he moved to the United States to train in Analytical Philosophy at the Universities of Rochester and California (Santa Barbara), where he graduated with the Ph.D.

In the third year of his studies, he had a life-altering spiritual experience that he wrongly believed to be a fully psychosomatic problem that could be ‘cured’ by medical intervention. A good decade passed before his association with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry opened up a whole new interpretation of his spiritual experience. This led him to see the inter-relationships between ethereal and physical experiences that allowed him to fruitfully combine the life of a practitioner of the Integral Yoga even while continuing a life as a Writer.


Foreword — Acknowledgements — Preface — Part One: The Call — God Comes Knocking — A Little Background — Aftermath of Spiritual Experience — Return to India and to Quiet — Santa Barbara Again — God Proposes, Man Disposes! — Part Two: Reminder from God — Panic Attack and Anxiety Disorder — Gopi Krishna and Kundalini — Return to Pondicherry — Part Three: The Road to Integral Yoga — Raja Yoga, or the ‘Royal’ Yoga — Hewing Through the Raja Yoga — The Dalai Lama and Shantideva — Infatuation with Shantideva; Outgrowing Buddhism — First Encounters with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother — Transition to the Integral Yoga — Perilous Outer Life — Resolution — Part Four: The Parts and Planes of the Being — The Life of Sadhana Begins — The Terms of the Integral Psychology — The Parts and Planes of the Being — Functions of the PPB – I — Functions of the PPB – II — Functions of the PPB – III — Functions of the PPB – IV — The Triple Transformation — Summing Up — Part Five: The Paraxes of the Integral Yoga — The ‘Tools’ of the Integral Yoga — Meditation in the Integral Yoga — Work in the Integral Yoga — Devotion in the Integral Yoga — Aspiration, Rejection, Surrender — Part Six: Wrapping Up — The Experience in the Light of the Integral Yoga — Spiritual Experience and Medical Conditions — Philosophy and Spirituality — Why the Integral Yoga? — Further Reading — Index

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