Arya - A Philosophical Review by Sri Aurobindo

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Arya - A Philosophical Review by Sri Aurobindo

Program and organization

A systematic study of the highest problems of existence.

The formation of a synthesis of knowledge, harmonizing the diverse religious traditions of humanity, occidental as well as oriental.

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Arya: A Philosophical Review


Arya: A Philosophical Review was a 64-page monthly periodical written by Sri Aurobindo and published in India between 1914 and 1921. The majority of the material which initially appeared in the Arya was later edited and published in book-form as The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, The Secret of the Veda, The Foundations of Indian Culture and The Ideal of Human Unity as well as a number of translations of Vedic literature.

The Arya was conceived as a joint venture of Sri Aurobindo and Paul Richard, a French national residing at Pondicherry, in the spring of 1914. Sri Aurobindo remarked on more than one occasion that, though he was not adverse to the idea, it was Richard who initially proposed the project of publishing a journal. In a letter to Dilip Kumar Roy dated September 4, 1934, he wrote:

I knew precious little about philosophy before I did the Yoga and came to Pondicherry — I was a poet and a politician, not a philosopher! How I managed to do it? First, because Richard proposed to me to co-operate in a philosophical review — and as my theory was that a Yogi ought to be able to turn his hand to anything, I could not very well refuse....

It was clear to Sri Aurobindo that the proposed journal would represent a medium through which he could give voice to his still-emerging philosophy – both in India and abroad. In a letter to Motilal Roy from June 1914, he wrote:

[This] attempt takes the form of a new philosophical review with Richard and myself as Editors — the Arya, which is to be brought out in French and English, two separate editions, — one for France, one for India, England and America. In this Review my new theory of the Veda will appear as also translation and explanation of the Upanishads, a series of essays giving my system of Yoga and a book of Vedantic philosophy (not Shankara's but Vedic Vedanta) giving the Upanishadic foundations of my theory of the ideal life towards which humanity must move. You will see so far as my share is concerned, it will be the intellectual side of my work for the world.

Although it is unknown who was responsible for the choice of Arya as the title of the journal, Sri Aurobindo explained what he understood the term to represent. In the second issue (September, 1914), he composed an article entitled Arya: Its Significance in which he set forth the meaning of the term as he intended it. He wrote:

Intrinsically, in its most fundamental sense, arya means an effort or an uprising and overcoming. The Aryan is he who strives and overcomes all outside him and within him that stands opposed to the human advance. Self-conquest is the first law of his nature. He overcomes earth and the body and does not consent like ordinary men to their dullness, inertia, dead routine and tamasic limitations. He overcomes life and its energies and refuses to be dominated by their hungers and cravings or enslaved by their rajasic passions. He overcomes the mind and its habits, he does not live in a shell of ignorance, inherited prejudices, customary ideas, pleasant opinions, but knows how to seek and choose, to be large and flexible in intelligence even as he is firm and strong in his will. For in everything he seeks truth, in everything right, in everything height and freedom.

This is a price of one volume. There are seven volumes in total. If you'd like to order all of them, change quantity to your desired number.

Data sheet

  • Dimensions - 14x22cms
  • Publisher - Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry
  • Year - 1990
  • Language - English


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