K. D. Sethna

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K.D. Sethna
Born (1904-11-26)26 November 1904
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Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India
Pen name Amal Kiran
Occupation Poet, scholar, writer, philosopher, and cultural critic
Nationality Indian

Kaikhosru Dadhaboy (K.D.) Sethna (26 November 1904 – 29 June 2011) was an Indian poet, scholar, writer, philosopher, and cultural critic. He published more than 40 books. He was also known as Amal Kiran.

Sethna studied at Bombay University and was one of Sri Aurobindo's earliest disciples, arriving at the Sri Aurobindo's ashram in 1927, at age 23, to take up the path of Integral Yoga under Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa. He was given the name Amal Kiran, or "Clear Ray," by Sri Aurobindo in 1930. His book of poems Inmost Beauty was published at 1933.

In 1949 he was a founding editor of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram journal Mother India, which he edited for almost 50 years. He retired in 2000, after a career spanning 67 years.

Sethna was born a Parsi-Zoroastrian, but discontinued its practice after becoming a disciple of Sri Aurobindo. He celebrated his 100th birthday in 2004. At the time of his death, at the age of 106, he was one of the world's oldest living authors.[1]

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • Amal Kiran, Light and Laughter
  • ---- Talks on Poetry
  • ---- India and the World Scene, ISBN 81-7060-118-5
  • ---- The Indian Spirit and the World's Future, ISBN 81-7060-227-0
  • Sethna, K.D., Altar and Flame
  • ---- The Mother, Past-Present-Future, 1977
  • ---- Obscure and the Mysterious
  • ---- The Problem of Aryan Origins, 1980, 1992; ISBN 81-85179-67-0
  • ---- Overhead Poetry
  • ---- The Passing of Sri Aurobindo, 1951.
  • ---- Sri Aurobindo on Shakespeare
  • ---- Sri Aurobindo- The Poet
  • ---- The Obscure and the Mysterious: A Research in Mallarmé's Symbolist Poetry
  • ---- Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo - a focus on fundamentals, Bharatiya Vidya Prakasan, Varanasi (1973)
  • ---- The spirituality of the future : a search apropos of R. C. Zaehner's study in Sri Aurobindo and Teilhard de Chardin. Rutherford, [N.J.] London, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; Associated University Presses. (1981)
  • ---- The Vision and Work of Sri Aurobindo
  • ---- Problems of Ancient India, 2000, New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. ISBN 81-7742-026-7
  • Karpāsa in prehistoric India : a chronological and cultural clue by K. D Sethna
  • Ancient India in a new light by K. D Sethna
  • The poetic genius of Sri Aurobindo by K. D Sethna
  • Evolving India, essays on cultural issues by K. D Sethna(


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  1. D.A. (Dec 6, 2004). "Celebrating a century: A genius celebrates his first hundred years" [archive]. The Hindu. Retrieved April 4, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

  • Hedged in though she [Savitri] is by mortality, her life‘s movement keeps the measure of the Gods. Painting her being and its human-divine beauty Sri Aurobindo achieves some of his supreme effects. Perhaps his grandest capture of the mantra are the nine verses which form the centre of a long passage, variously mantric, in which Savitri‘s avatarhood is characterised (...) A hieratic poetry, demanding a keen sense of the occult and spiritual to compass both its subjective and objective values, is in this audacious and multi-dimensioned picture of a highly Yogic state of embodied being. Not all might respond to it and Sri Aurobindo knew that such moments in Savitri would have to wait long for general appreciation. But he could not be loyal to his mission without giving wide scope to the occult and spiritual and seeking to poetise them as much as possible with the vision and rhythm proper to the summits of reality. Of course, that vision and that rhythm are not restricted to the posture and contour of the summits, either the domains of divine dynamism or (...) or the mid-worlds, obscure or luminous, fearsome or marvellous, of which Savitri‘s father, King Aswapathy, carries out a long exploration which is one of the finest and most fascinating parts of the poem. They extend to the earth-drama too and set living amongst us the mysteries and travails of cosmic evolution, like that dreadful commerce of Savitri with one to whom Sri Aurobindo gives no name:
    • On Sri Aurobindo's Savitri (Part One: Essays) - Writings by Amal Kiran (K. D. Sethna)


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