Transformation and fulfillment in Sri Aurobino an Teilhard de Chardin
Hodge, Mary H.
The work is a comparison of the evolutionary theories of Sri Aurobindo and Teilhard de Chardin, particularly in relation to the transformation of'Matter and the fulfillment of human life. The main text falls naturally into three sections, but these are sub-divided into more precise parts. The first section examines the background to Aurobindo's life and work, the early influential conditions in India, political involvement in Bengal, and events which may have shaped his philosophy. There follows a short introduction to Aurobindo's evolutionary thought; a discussion on the place of Aurobindo within the Hindu tradition, the Tantra, the major schools of the Vedanta, Non-dualism - Sankara, pluralism - Madhva, Qualified Non-dualism - the Visistadvaita of Ramanuja. The second section discusses the main elements in the evolutionary thought of Teilhard de Chardin, and the meaning of certain terms peculiar to his work, the concept of Matter, Reflection, Complexity Consciousness, Omega, Creative Union, Centration. The third section compares the two philosophies beginning with the fundamental premise of the relationship of Matter and Spirit in each system; the transformation of Matter and a possible influence of Sankhya philosophy in relation to this. Consideration is given to the conflicting views of scholars with regard to Aurobindo and Advaita Vedanta; the Higher and Lower-Maya in Aurobindo compared to the Higher and Lower Knowledge in Sankara, and this also relates to the difference in the movement of evolution in Aurobindo and Teilhard. This is followed by discussion on the evolution of Consciousness in both, a comparison of the final stages of evolution and the ultimate point of human fulfilment. Throughout the work, the differences between Aurobindo and Teilhard are noted where possible. The conclusion gives a brief impression of Aurobindo and Teilhard as may be discovered from a point of view retrospective to a careful study of their philosophies.