Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Revenge of Theosophy through Ken Wilber

Perhaps the first major messenger of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo in America was Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri. The California Institute of Integral Studies founded by him has been instrumental in popularizing their thoughts in a big way. Subsequently, the Esalen Institute of Michael Murphy made substantial contributions.

But the real thrust came by the publication of the book, Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness by Satprem. This pithily written concise account of the Master’s life and philosophy has benefited a large number of seekers and readers in the West. But instead of treating it as a primer and an introduction, many tend to think that they quite understand what Sri Aurobindo says. Consequently, they miss out on the pleasure of reading the original words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

Another disadvantage with the Satprem’s works is that they present the case too spiritedly and the readers’ whetted up expectations die down too soon. The realization that the process of Yoga is a long-term affair and the promised Supramental age is a little bit far-off comes as a disappointment to a too passionate reader.

For those who reach Sri Aurobindo through the Ken Wilber route, it is the other extreme. They are continually administered sedatives in small doses so that they never are Sri Aurobindo enthusiasts. All kinds of prejudices are fed to them in a sinister fashion to belittle the Great Master. In a way, it is the revenge of Theosophy that Sri Aurobindo fought a century back returning in a new avatar. Thus, Wilber is the greatest threat at the moment in the west to build up of any mass attraction for The Mother and Sri Aurobindo and their immortal works.

That is, of course, no cause to be disheartened for the Savitri Erans. The English reading public there can some day be motivated to taste the nectar that is Savitri. And from then on there would be no looking back. In the meanwhile, may our aspiration and action match!


  1. On a side note, I am very happy to have arrived at Sri Aurobindo from the Ken Wilber route. He (Wilber) has many contributions but leading me to Sri Aurobindo was by far his greatest. For this reason I wouldn't consider Wilber a threat, because anyone who is ready for Sri Aurobindo will recognize the magnitude of his depth and scope.

  2. Thanks for stating your personal experience; that clears many misunderstandings and helps new entrants. Wilber's role in popularising Sri Aurobindo's pioneering status in Evolutionary philosophy is immense, I wrote a week back. [TNM55]