Sri Aurobindo and Contemporary India

“India’s central conception is that of the Eternal, the Spirit here incased in matter, involved and immanent in it and evolving on the material plane by rebirth of the individual up the scale of being till in mental man it enters the world of ideas and realm of conscious morality, dharma. This achievement, this victory over unconscious matter develops its lines, enlarges its scope, elevates its levels until the increasing manifestation of the sattwic or spiritual portion of the vehicle of mind enables the individual mental being in man to identify himself with the pure spiritual consciousness beyond Mind. India’s social system is built upon this conception; her philosophy formulates it; her religion is an aspiration to the spiritual consciousness and its fruits; her art and literature have the same upward look; her whole dharma or law of being is founded upon it. Progress she admits, but this spiritual progress, not the externally self-unfolding process of an always more and more prosperous and efficient material civilisation. It is her founding of life upon this exalted conception and her urge towards the spiritual and the eternal that constitute the distinct value of her civilisation. And it is her fidelity, with whatever human shortcomings, to this highest ideal that has made her people a nation apart in the human world.”

~ Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 20, pp. 56-57

This talk by Srinivas Mulugu summarises some of Sri Aurobindo’s deep insights on the essence of Indian cultural spirit. It briefly explores the continuing relevance of these insights in contemporary and future India. The speaker also highlights what are the challenges we face in contemporary India, especially the varied influences which have been creating a sense of alienation particularly among the youth. The talk concludes with a few concrete suggestions on some of the possible ways in which the essential spirit of Indian culture can be revived among the contemporary generations. 

This lecture by Mr. Srinivas Mulugu was recorded on 20th April, 2020.

Watch the recorded lecture:



About the speaker: Srinivas Mulugu is Vice-Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society for Telangana state. He is also National Director for AuroYouth. In his corporate career, Srinivas worked for 18 years with several globally renowned companies including Nokia Siemens and Cisco Systems. He was the Head of Nokia’s Internet Business for India in his last corporate stint.  At the age of 44, Srinivas retired from his active career to pursue his spiritual quest which took him to the Ashrams of Rishikesh, to Mount Kailash and to the ghats of Kashi. Srinivas has been associated with the work of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo for 35 years, and periodically conducts workshops and spiritual retreats for serious seekers, along the lines of Integral Yoga.

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Renaissance, the monthly e-journal of AuroBharati, features inspiring articles, essays, book reviews or book excerpts, interviews, reflections and artworks that speak of how the eternal spirit and creative genius of India are being reborn and renewed in various domains – spiritual, artistic, literary, philosophic, scientific, aesthetic.

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