SEN, DR. INDRAbooks by Dr. Indra Sen
Indra Sen (13 May 1903 - 14 March 1994) MA, LL.B., PH.D was a devotee of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, psychologist, author, and educator, and the founder of Integral Psychology as an academic discipline. Sen was born in the Jhelum District of Punjab (now part of Pakistan), but grew up in Delhi when his family moved there. From a young age he was interested in the spiritual quest. He completed a Master's degree in both Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Delhi. On 5 December 1928 he married Lilawati, and they had two children. To further his studies, he enrolled at the University of Freiburg, in Germany, and obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology. He also attended the lectures of Martin Heidegger and taught Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit at the University of Koenigsburg. at this time, his main interests were Hegel's philosophy, and Jung's psychology. He later returned to the University of Delhi. In December 1933 he met Jung when the latter visited Calcutta for the Indian Science Congress.
Sen went on to become President of the psychology section of the Indian Science Congress, and was also a recipient of the Eastern-Western psychology lecture award of the Swami Pranavananda Psychology Trust. In 1934, he first travelled to Pondicherry with a friend, Surendranath Jauhar, and he met Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. After a number of visits, his wife became a devotee of The Mother. In 1945 Dr Sen resigned from the University and moved to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where his family had already been staying for two years. In following years, through lectures, published writings, and personal contacts, he presented Sri Aurobindo's work to academia and universities, where it became well known for the first time. In in a series of professional papers published from the mid 1930s through the 40s and 50s, he coined the term Integral psychology, to describe the psychological observations contained in Sri Aurobindo's Yoga psychology and philosophy.
He also was concerned with the formulation of integral education as presented in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. His papers, which were sent to Sri Aurobindo and later The Mother, before being presented at scientific congresses or published in Ashram journals. It was however not until 1986 that these papers were published, by the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education in book form, as Integral Psychology: The Psychological System of Sri Aurobindo. This has since been issued in a second edition. The field of Integral psychology was later taken up and developed by Haridas Chaudhuri when he founded the Integral Counseling Psychology program at what is now the California Institute of Integral Studies, in the 1970s. Another of Dr Sen's tasks was to develop three centers for the ashram under The Mother's supervision. One was at Jwalapur, near Haridwar, and the other two in the Kumaon Hills - "Mountain Paradise", an orchard, and "Tapogiri", a place for sadhana (spiritual practice). The last mentioned especially, he was very committed to. In all Dr Sen's work, themes of integral and wholeness were very important, and he frequently used terms like "Integral Culture" and "Integral Man". He observed that in Indian psychology "the theoretical and the practical motives of life are combined" and was critical of psychoanalysis for not being interested in the problem of emotional life as a whole.