Book Review: Sri Aurobindo and India’s Rebirth by Michel Danino

Book Name: Sri Aurobindo and India’s Rebirth

Author: Michel Danino

Publisher: Rupa

Rating: 4.5/5

Book Blurb: Revolutionary, philosopher, litterateur and seer, Sri Aurobindo remains one of the brightest minds India has ever had. This book captures the evolution of his thought through excerpts from his political articles and speeches, essays, talks with and letters to disciples and public messages—presented chronologically. It includes his views on Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose; his doubts about Gandhi’s method to attain freedom and insistence on Ahimsa; and his very distinctive contribution to the nascent Nationalist Movement. Both prophetic of the challenges to come India’s way post-Independence and persuaded of her potential to overcome them, Sri Aurobindo’s vision of a new India melds the spiritual with the political.

More than sixty years after his passing, Sri Aurobindo’s penetrating insights on issues such as building on India’s cultural and spiritual foundations, a national agenda for education, Hindu–Muslim coexistence and the need to distinguish reason from a blind imitation of the West, continue to resonate.

Review: Sri Aurobindo and India’s Rebirth is a scholarly work comprising of essays and other writings of Sri Aurobindo. The book is compiled meticulously and after considerable amount of research. It comprises of his writings and teachings presented in a chronological manner that makes for an easy read.

Footnotes, extracts and references have also been given which makes the book a treasure trove for anybody interested in learning about Sri Aurobindo and his vision for his motherland.

“Do you call that life? It was based on a falsehood. How could you expect it to create anything? Swaraj was sought to be established by spinning- could anything come from such a false idea?”

Sri Aurobindo was a revolutionary who after devoting himself to philosophy became even more successful and renowned for his vision and thoughts on contemporary as well as socio-political matters. Right from politics to the prevalent social issues, Sri Aurobindo voiced his opinion candidly and that is perhaps what makes him so highly relevant even today.

The book doesn’t provide insider accounts and is largely a scholarly work.

His teachings have inspired generations and this book is a welcome attempt to present his writings to a contemporary readership which may not be well aware about him.

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