By Manju Gupta
Concept of Man in Sri Aurobindo’s Poetry, Jitendra Sharma, Anmol Publications Pvt Ltd, Pp 182, price not given
Sri Aurobindo is regarded as a great philosopher, politician, yogi and poet of the 20th century endowed as he is with a multifaceted personality. His rare and rich versatility, exuberance of creativity and synthetic outlook were outstanding. He integrated the best of the East and the West in him. He synthesised the ancient wisdom of yoga and Upanishadic thought with metaphysics and contemporary philosophy. He delineated for his follower the path of ‘adventure of consciousness’ to put spiritual truths into daily practice.
Since early childhood, Sri Aurobindo began writing poetry for the school magazine Ulela and the Family Fox Magazine in England to his last days in Pondicherry and dictated hundreds of lines for his poem, Savitri. In this magnum opus, Sri Aurobindo changed the legend in Mahabharata to suit his purpose and wrote not only about the spiritual world of yoga and the fight between the forces of darkness and light but also showed that the victory of man was helped by divine powers over death.
When viewed chapterwise, the introduction presents a short biography of the master covering his life, succinct but whole.
The second chapter introduces the reader with the growth and excellence of Sri Aurobindo as a poet. He spent, to quote Sri Aubrobindo, “much time too in writing poetry.”
Initially his poems show simplicity of lines and this is simply remarkable. The third chapter of the book deals with Sri Aurobindo’s ideas of man and his expectations from him. He says that man is the highest creation of God but though a thinking animal, he is a transitional being. He expects man to grow as a Gnostic being, carrying the divine consciousness in his bosom, paving the way towards establishing the divinised human society or the Life Divine on earth.
Finally the book tries to discover man as seen by Sri Aurboindo in different types of his poems – in his early poetry, in sonnets and finally in his epic prose Savitri.
(Anmol Publications Pvt Ltd, 4360/4 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-2; www.anmolubications.com)