Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Because they did not want to establish a new religion or a cult

Beyond the Human Species: The Life and Work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (Omega Books) (Hardcover) by Georges Van Vrekhem (Author) Customer Reviews
Exciting, but does it need to be?, February 16, 2005 Reviewer: Thinking (USA) - See all my reviews
A very exciting book indeed. But does it really need to be so? I do understand that the author must have put in a great deal of time into researching the material for this book. I do believe that that it was written with much sincerity. And for those who already know of the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, this book could serve as an inspiration. But frankly, as far as introducing someone else to their way of thought, I think it might actually be doing some harm. The book is a "thriller". A very great portion of the book focuses on the role played by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in World War II. In fact, there is the suggestion that Hitler made his wrong decisions because he was misled by the Mother. I am not sure if the author realizes how disturbing such a claim might be to a critical outsider. There are thousands of "spiritual gurus" with such fantastic claims. And such a story seems to put Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in their ranks. But that is NOT what they were.
Sri Aurobindo never made public statements about his "miracles". In fact, most of such stories seem to have sprouted from rumours circulating among his disciples. I am NOT suggesting that they are lies. May be there is some truth to them. May be Sri Aurobindo and the Mother did influence the course of history a great deal during that period. But that is not what we need to know about. There is perhaps a reason why they did not make public statements about their role in such things. It was because they did not want to establish a new religion or a cult. They did not want to attract people by such things. Whether the practice of Yoga has any value at all is for each individual to find out.
But if I were to do so, such stories of miracles are the last thing I would choose to think about. They may entice you and fill you with hope and inspiration when you are depressed. But I am not sure if they lead you in the right direction. So to summarize: It is a nice book. I think it might give a good notion of the kind of the ideals that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother established. It is a very inspiring book, but perhaps best taken with a pinch of salt.
If this is true, we really need this information, February 18, 2000 Reviewer: A reader
Beyond the Human Species is quite amazing to say the least, even if only 1/10 of it were true. If it's all true, then this information is something we should all know about. Fortunately, at least for me, it reads like a spiritual thriller. I just kept being amazed and, of course, it raises all kinds of questions about who we really are (individually and as a species) and where we're going. One suggestive aspect of the book has to do with the amount of sheer pain that Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in particular had to bear in their lives, in their sadana (spiritual work).
I believe at one point they called pain the "hammer of the gods". In any case, for them it was part of what they had to bear for the transformation, and I wonder if this is possibly not the case for many of us. Is it possible, that there is a deeper meaning to the suffering so many of us feel, beyond the exigencies of our material circumstances. Certainly this was the case for these two amazing spiritual explorers. Scientific materialism, as extraordinary as it is in its own domain, would have us deny all this, but the possibility is there that there is just so very, very much more. For a clear vision of the "so much more" this book is a revelation.
The Terrestrial Evolution, August 19, 1998 Reviewer: A reader
Georges van Vrekhem's long awaited book, "Beyond the Human Species" is an exquisite exegesis of the internal lives of Sri Aurobindo Ghose and Mirra Alfassa (La Mere/The Mother), arguably the most important spiritual figures of the 20th century. The "Two who were One," left an enormous literary wake, describing their development and experiences, and their lives were recorded in their letters, talks and the reminiscences of their disciples. However, until now, their integral spiritual history has not been systematically presented in a single volume. "Beyond the Human Species" addresses the most amazing journey our species has ever embarked on. Sri Aurobindo and The Mother "went forth and ploughed in other fields," to use an expression from the Rg Veda.
Never before has the Divine emergence been documented so closely, so literally, as in the words, works and lives of this extraordinary Man and Woman. Georges van Vrekhem's book is an absolutely fascinating reading experience, culled from massive amounts of material, as well as the author's personal relationship with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville. To use the words of The Mother, "Come Truth, Manifest," and the truth has manifested in this book. For those who are aware of the Integral Yoga, this book comes as a friend, a partner along the way. For those who may never have heard of the Life Divine, this book will be a beginning, and an entrance into Satyam, Rtam, Brhat, "the Truth, the Right, the Vast." This is a blessed book.

1 comment:

  1. From Sephardic Jew to Hindu Guru - How a Proselytized Secular Jew Became a Hindu Spiritual Leader - By Shelomo Alfassa (a distant relative)