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Posts Tagged ‘Indian Independence’

Sri Aurobindo

Posted by desicontrarian on August 16, 2008

“ No one can write about my life because it has not been on the surface for man to see.” – Sri Aurobindo from: On Himself

He was born in 1872. Father, Sri Krishan Ghose, a thoroughly anglicized atheist, wanted his son to be educated only in English culture. He sent his son to St. Paul’s, London at age 7. Then on to King’s college, Cambridge. Aurobindo mastered the classics and English literature. At that time, he felt an attachment and longing for India. Returned at age 21, in 1893. When he returned, he felt an immense peace, beyond ordinary experience. This was the beginning of the spiritual side of his life. Being an ardent radical nationalist, he threw himself into the struggle for independence. Started the journal Bande Mataram. He was the first to call for total independence. Was jailed for the possession of arms.

In the Alipore jail, he had a vision of Sri Krishna and later Swami Vivekananda. This is of course the unknowable higher aspect which materialists/physicalists (like most of us) find hard to understand or believe.

It was also in prison that Sri Aurobindo was visited by the soul of Swami Vivekananda, who instructed Sri Aurobindo about the workings of the superconsciousness which was above the mind. Sri Aurobindo also became aware of a divine inner guidance, that was never to leave him. From this divine source he was given an Adesh “inner command” that henceforth he should not worry about politics. India would gain her independence in due course but this would be achieved by others. The task for Sri Aurobindo was the renewal of “sanatana dharma, the eternal religion.” To pursue this spiritual task it was necessary for Sri Aurobindo to leave the political arena. In his own words Sri Aurobindo said of his mission.

”We must return and seek the sources of life and strength within ourselves… It is the spiritual revolution we foresee and the material is only its shadow and reflex.” – (from

He gradually became more interested in spirituality, though he never lost interest in India’s politics of that time. In 1914, he started a magazine, Arya. This was when Mira Alfassa (later known as The Mother) met him. She recognized him as the one who had been secretly guidng her. She and He established the Ashram in Pondicherry in 1926, as their teaching was attracting more and more people. Sri Aurobindo discovered a spiritual entity that he called The Supramental Conciousness. He developed a system called Integral Yoga, for the development of all important aspects of the human personality. He passed away on 5th December, 1950.

Today is his birthday (Oops, wrote this yesterday:-)). Compare Canto 1 (Dawn) from Savithri to Tryst with Destiny. The themes are mysteriously similar and yet, there are huge qualitative differences! And Sri Aurobindo’s insight and mystical knowledge is also visible here.

One of the striking things about him is the escape from parental & peer conditioning. Reminds me of Siddhartha, son of Shuddhodhana. I wonder if thats what sets them apart from people like us…


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