SOAS University Partnership Agreeement

SOAS University Partnership Agreement

SOAS, University of London has formally signed a new partnership agreement with the Sri Aurobindo Trust in order to launch a brand new module – ‘Modern Indian Philosophy with a focus on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother’.

Sri Aurobindo Trust
Dr Erica Hunter; Professor Nirmala Rao; Pruthvish Patel, Sri Aurobindo Trust Treasurer (front left) and Koolesh Shah, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Trust formally sign the partnership agreement
The new module, offered by the School’s Study of Religions department, will be open to undergraduate students and those on taught Master’s courses. The module will provide students with a foundational understanding of Indian philosophy and raise awareness about the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The course is expected to commence from September 2015.

SOAS Director Paul Webley said: “The study of religions has been an integral focus of our teaching and research programmes since SOAS was founded almost a hundred years ago; so it is with great pleasure I announce this exciting new partnership with the Sri Aurobindo Trust. We believe that religions are powerful and enduring forces that encapsulate a people’s values and ideas, giving us insight into how people reflect on and react to what they consider to be of ultimate significance and value. This latest module will add weight to the department’s already comprehensive list of courses and further illustrates that if you come to study at SOAS, you will engage with subjects and ideas not available anywhere else in the UK.”

Koolesh Shah, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Trust, said: “The Sri Aurobindo Trust of London is delighted to work in partnership with SOAS to offer a module on the teachings of the internationally-acknowledged Indian philosopher and mystic, Sri Aurobindo. His teachings have a universal appeal as they offer a unique insight into human nature and the human potential for evolution and world unity. Given SOAS’ reputation as a global resource centre and an internationally acknowledged academic institute, we cannot think of a better partner than SOAS in furthering our mission of making Sri Aurobindo’s teachings accessible to all.”

Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was an Indian philosopher, guru and poet who co-founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual community he developed with his long-time collaborator Mirra Alfassa –The Mother- (1878-1973). The community is best known for its development and championing of Integral Yoga, the goal of which is the transformation of the entire nature of one’s being.

As part of the three year agreement with the School, the Sri Aurobindo Trust will provide financial assistance for five students a year to partake in a ten day field study trip to India to visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry and Auroville. The educational trip will allow students to live within the community and gain an actual first-hand experience of the sacred Integral Yoga teachings of Sri Aurobindo as well as a variety of other inspirational activities associated with his philosophy, such as environmental regeneration and socially-responsible businesses.

In attendance at the signing ceremony were: Koolesh Shah, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Trust; Pruthvish Patel, Sri Aurobindo Trust Treasurer; Professor Nirmala Rao, Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching); Dr Erica Hunter, Head of the Study of Religions; Dr Peter Flügel, Chair, Centre for Jaina Studies and Lauren Welch, SOAS Development Manager.

More information on the course will be posted on the Study of Religions’ section of our website in due course.