Debashish Banerji, PhD, is former Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles as well as an adjunct faculty member at Pasadena City College and the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is also the former director of the East West Cultural Center in Los Angeles. He is author of Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo and also The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore, a book about his great grandfather. He edited an anthology about his great uncle, Rabindranath Tagore in the Twenty-First Century.
Here he describes Aurobindo’s unique role as a spiritual figure during the chaotic years of the early twentieth century. Born to an upper-class Indian family, he studied in England and achieved high marks as a scholar. When he returned to India, he became a leader in the anti-colonial movement. At this time he also began practicing yoga and quickly discovered many extraordinary states of consciousness. Eventually he was imprisoned for his political activities and, while in prison, his yoga and meditative practices accelerated. He began to experience himself as having a personal relationship with god (Brahman), mediated by the avatar Krishna. He came to experience everything and everyone as an embodiment of Krishna. As a result, he came to realize that a political revolution would be incomplete without an accompanying spiritual revolution.
(Recorded on December 20, 2015)
Published on January 5, 2016