LETTERS ON YOGA
to electronic publication of
Letters of Sri Aurobindo
In publications of Sri Aurobindo’s letters the thematic arrangement of the text prevails1. And when this is helpful for the first acquaintance with some subject, an inevitable consequence is an omitting of those passages that are not suitable for current subject. So this approach is hardly appropriate for “Compete Works of Sri Aurobindo” or “Sri Aurobindo Birth Century Library where we would rather expect corpus of full texts — not pieces of them2. Still further, sometimes fragments from different letters are combined in one “unit”; sometimes letters are split in several fragments diffused here and there; sometimes texts are largely modified by editors — such publications does not meet our need in authentic text at all.
Fortunately, there are number of non-thematic publications of the letters and some of them contain letters in full length and in authentic form (see list No 2 below). We believe that some day we will see all letters of Sri Aurobindo published in full length and in authentic form.
Till then we need some partial compensation of abovesaid defects of thematic publications. For this we are using in our e-publications special instrumentation and some terms:
Every stand-alone text of a letter in any publication we denominate as “item” because we (at the early study of our research) do not know what is it: a full letter, passage from a letter or combination of passages from several different letters.
2. ITEM IDENTIFIER
We collected all available publications of the letters and split them on items (at 2017 we have 26491 items). Every item gets its own unique (within all this collection) number — item identifier (from 1 to 26491). When during our work we find that some item contains several passages from different letters, we split such item into correspondent number of items and give to every such new item its own item identifier. (For example, we had an item with item identifier 36. This item contained texts from five (!) letters. We split it to five items and they got item identifiers 36, 20260, 20261, 20262, 20263.)
3. ITEM NUMBER
As a rule there are several (sometimes hundreds) items on a single page of our e-publications. Every item on a page of our e-publication gets (only for convenience purpose) its own unique number — unique only within current page or within current volume or set of volumes, so this item number is not the same as item identifier. If some item contains texts from several letters (combined together), we split such combined item into correspondent number of items and every such item gets along with common item number — after a hyphen — its own sub-number. For example, an item No 36 originally had texts from 5 letters. So after splitting of this combined item, we have item numbers: 36-1, 36-2, 36-3, 36-4, 36-5 (cf. example above).
4. LETTER IDENTIFIER
1. When we find text, that seemingly is a full letter or
2. when we have several items with the text from the same letter and find the largest item or
3. seemingly more authentic item or
4. an item having at least date and/or correspondent name,
we conditionally denominate such item as a letter and give to it a letter identifier — unique (within all found such letters) number.
5. ITEM HEAD
For separating items on pages of our e-publications — unlike book-publications that use asterisks or similar separators — we use more informative heads for every item. Item head includes:
1. an item number;
2. a link to the stand-alone information file (for this link we use an item number);
3. date of the letter itself (if found);
4. correspondent name (if found);
5. notes on this item (if needed);
6. link to the largest found item (if there are several ones) or to the letter itself (if found).
6. INFORMATION FILE
is a stand-alone file for each item. This file has additional information on the item :
1. item identifier;
2. link to the largest found item (if there are several ones) or to the letter itself (if found);
3. correspondent name (if found);
4. date of the letter (if found);
5. back-link to the place of current item at the page of its publication + information about this publication;
6. links to another publications of the same text along with information about these publications.
We gradually compare items (from different publications) that belong to the same letter. And when this comparison does not make us sure which variant is authentic, we, at least, become aware of the fact and details of such variations. To distinguish numerous footnotes of this kind we used special style: colour of numbers of footnotes are dark red; when cursor is placed over differing piece, its background is changed to light red (also it allows readers to compare easily differing place in a text with a pop-up hint that contains alternative variant). During this comparison, to avoid overloading of the texts by footnotes, we ignored differences of register, punctuation, paragraphs, variants of languages or transliterations of the same word (for example, in one edition the word is printed in English transliteration, in another – in Devanagari), sometimes — variants of proper names (especially solid or separate spelling). Also we do not make any footnotes in cases of distinct misprints just correct them.
We need some years to complete this work, so, please, visit these pages from time to time. The first step of this work was done: we collected all available publications of the letters and split them on items. Now we doing the second step: finding those items, that belong to the same letter and making item heads, information files, cross-links etc. Last step, preparing footnotes on differ places in different publication of the text, is still ahead.
1. A list of publications of the letters that use thematic principle:
The Riddle of This World (1933) : Letters. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1973. 72 p.
Lights on Yoga [: Extracts from letters] / Reprint April 1977; First Edition: 1935. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1977. 104 p.
Bases of Yoga (1936) [: Extracts from letters]. Seventh Edition, 1955. Pondicherry. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1955. 133p.
More Lights on Yoga (1948) [: Extracts from letters]. First Edition. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1948. 141p.
Letters of Sri Aurobindo: In 4 Series.
First Series [On Yoga]. Bombay: Sri Aurobindo Circle, 1947. 416 p.
Second Series [On Yoga]. Bombay: Sri Aurobindo Circle, 1949. 599 p.
Third Series [On Poetry and Literature]. Bombay: Sri Aurobindo Circle, 1949. 350 p.
Forth Series [On Yoga]. Bombay: Sri Aurobindo Circle, 1951. 652 p.
Sri Aurobindo International University Centre Collection.
Volume I. On Himself and on the Mother. First Edition. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1953. 782 p.
Volume VI. On Yoga II: Tome One. First Edition: 1958
Volume VII. On Yoga II: Tome Two. First Edition. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1958. 859 p.
Elements of Yoga [: extracts from letters]. Second Impression. 1956. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1956. 120 p.
Letters of Sri Aurobindo / Translated from the Original in Bengali. First Edition 1961. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1970. 49 p.
Sri Aurobindo Birth Century Library. Set in 30 Volumes (SABCL).
Volume 22. Letters on Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971. 502 p.
Volume 23. Letters on Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971. pp.503-1089.
Volume 24. Letters on Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971. pp.503-1777.
Volume 25. The Mother with Letters on the Mother and Translations of Prayers and Meditations. Popular Edition. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1972. 496 p.
Volume 26. On Himself / Popular edition. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1972. 514 p.
Sri Aurobindo in Baroda / Compiled and edited by Roshan and Apurva. First edition. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1993. ISBN 81-7058-318-7
Letters on Savitri . First edition 1950-1951. First American edition 1995. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1995. ISBN 0-941524-80-9
The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo. Set of 38 Volumes (CWSA).
Volume 27. Letters on Poetry and Art. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2004. 769 p.
Volume 28. Letters on Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2012. 590 p.
Volume 29. Letters on Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2013. 522 p.
Volume 30. Letters on Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2014. 508 p.
Volume 31. Letters on Yoga. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2014. 820 p.
Volume 32. The Mother with Letters on the Mother. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2012. 662 p.
Volume 35. Letters on Himself and the Ashram. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2011. 658 p.
Volume 36. Autobiographical Materials with Letters of Historical Interest and Public Statements. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2006. 612 p.
2. Another publications of the letters:
Sri Aurobindo: Archives & Research: a biannual journal (1977-1994).
Volume 1, No1 (1977, April). 91 p.
Volume 1, No2 (1977, December). 110 p.
Volume 2, No1 (1978, April). 108 p.
Volume 2, No2 (1978, December). 109-221 pp.
Volume 3, No1 (1979, April). 122 p.
Volume 3, No2 (1979, December). 123-233 p.
Volume 4, No1 (1980, April). 119 p.
Volume 8, No1 (1984, April). 124 p.
Volume 8, No2 (1984, December). 125-249 pp.
Volume 9, No1 (1985, April). 124 p.
Volume 9, No2 (1985, December). 124-228 p.
Volume 12, No1 (1988, April). 96 p.
Volume 13, No1 (1989, April). 120 p.
Volume 18, No2 (1994, December). 126-246 pp.
Amin, Kamala. The Growth of a Flame: Kamalas Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother / Compiled and edited by R; Published by Divyanad Kripanidhioshan. 2nd edition. Pondicherry, 2004. 73 p.
Champaklal Purani. Champaklals Treasures / Edited by M. P. Pandit Revised and Enlarged by Roshan. Second edition 2008 (Revised and enlarged by Roshan)
Dilip Kumar Roy. Sri Aurobindo to Dilip. In 4 volumes.
Volume 1. 1929 1933. 1st ed. Pune: Hari Krishna Mandir Trust; Mysore: Mira Aditi, 2003. 384 p.
Volume 2. 1934 1935. 1st ed. Pune: Hari Krishna Mandir Trust; Mysore: Mira Aditi, 2005. 405 p. ISBN 8185137749, 9788185137742
Volume 3. 1936 1937. Pune: Hari Krishna Mandir Trust; Mysore: Mira Aditi, 2007. 305 p. ISBN 81-88893-14-5, 9788188893140
Volume 4. 1938 1950. 1st ed. Mysore: Mira Aditi, 2011. 347 p. ISBN 9788188893386; 8188893382
Doshi, Nagin. Guidance from Sri Aurobindo: Letters to a Young Disciple. In 3 volumes.
Volume 1. 1974
Volume 2. 1976
Volume 3. 1987.
Nirodbaran. Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo: The Complete Set [in 2 volumes]. 2nd ed., 3d impression. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2001.
Volume 1. 602 p.
Volume 2. pp. i-vii, 603-1221. ISBN 81-7058-020-X
Patel, Govindbhai. My Pilgrimage to the Spirit [: Including correspondence with Sri Aurobindo during December 30, 1927 March 1935]. Second Revised Edition. Ahmedabad, 1977
Prithwi Singh. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother to Prithwi Singh. 1988. 183 p. ISBN 81-85137-37-4
Sahana Devi. Some Letters of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
1 Sri Aurobindo himself used this approach in Bases of Yoga, Lights on Yoga, More Lights on Yoga, The Riddle of this World
2 As illustration of the attitude of the Mother to cutting of Sri Auribindo’s writings we placed the following fragment from Agenda:
Very long ago (very long, a few years after Sri Aurobindo left), one night (because I was already seeing him), I saw him: I had gone to his place, and I found him sitting on a sort of bed ... with a truss: three or four bandages like that on his body! (Mother laughs) So he called me and said (in English), "Look! Look what they’re doing with me! Look, they’re putting bandages all over me!" So I inquired - and found that they wanted to make cuts in his writings .... I said, "Be careful! Here is what he thinks of your cuts."
July 23 1969