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AThoughts and Aphorisms :
To the soul that has hold of the highest beatitude, life cannot be an evil or a sorrowful illusion; rather all life becomes the rippling love and laughter of a divine Lover and Playfellow.


Thoughts and Aphorisms

by Sri Aurobindo


In or around 1913, Sri Aurobindo wrote 552 aphorisms in a single notebook. In May 1915 and May 1916 he published ten of them in the monthly review Arya. (These ten have not been reproduced here. They form part of Thoughts and Glimpses) Of the 542 aphorisms that remain, two have been classed with the "Additional Aphorisms" (see below). This leaves 540 aphorisms forming the main series of Thoughts and Aphorisms.

In the notebook, the aphorisms were written in nine groupings, three of which are headed Jnana, three Karma and three Bhakti. The groupings occur in this order: Jnana, Karma, Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana. The editors have placed the three groupings of Jnana, the three groupings of Karma and the three groupings of Bhakti together. Sri Aurobindo numbered all the aphorisms in Jnana and Karma, none of those in Bhakti. Since it appears that he intended the numbers to form part of the text, the editors have placed a number before each aphorism. These numbers do not correspond to those in the manuscript because the three groupings of each section have been placed together and the unnumbered Bhakti section included.

Sri Aurobindo left indications in the manuscript that certain aphorisms were to be moved to a different part or position. For example, he seems to have wanted present aphorisms 240 and 241 to be placed after present aphorism 98. But since some of these manuscript indications are not clear, the editors have followed the original notebook order.

The manuscript, entirely handwritten, was revised once or twice by Sri Aurobindo. The original writing is mostly clear, but the revision is sometimes cramped and difficult to read.

"Additional Aphorisms". The last two aphorisms (541) in the notebook containing the main series were not clearly intended for inclusion in the Karma, Jnana or Bhakti sections. The editors have placed them in a separate section along with five other aphorisms (543–47) that were written in a different notebook. The handwriting of these last five indicates that they were written somewhat later than 1913—possibly as late as 1919.

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the Photographs of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry-(605002 India