Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid tributes to Sri Aurobindo, a freedom fighter and spiritual philosopher, on his birth anniversary, saying he was synonymous with brilliance and courage.
“Tributes to Sri Aurobindo on his Jayanti. He was synonymous with brilliance and courage. His thoughts and ideals, views on spirituality continue to motivate us. Here are my remarks at the Golden Jubilee celebrations at Auroville,” Modi tweeted, sharing his 2018 speech on Sri Aurobindo.
The prime minister remembered the revolutionary-turned-seer, who was born on this day in 1872, in his Independence Day speech earlier in the day.
He was a revolutionary nationalist before he turned to spirituality.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu tweeted: “I pay my respectful tributes to Sri Aurobindo, the great Indian freedom fighter, philosopher, Yogi, Guru, poet and nationalist on his birth anniversary today. He openly put forward the idea of complete independence for the country through the newspaper, Bande Mataram.”
The Indian National Congress (INC) from its handle tweeted: “When (the) mind is still, then truth gets her chance to be heard in the purity of the silence” We remember Sri Aurobindo and his inspiring words and teachings.”
Sri Aurobindo (born Aurobindo Ghose; 15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950) was an Indian philosopher, yogi, guru, poet, and nationalist. He joined the Indian movement for independence from British rule, for a while was one of its influential leaders and then became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution.
Ghose studied for the Indian Civil Service at King’s College, Cambridge, England. After returning to India he took up various civil service works under the Maharaja of the princely state of Baroda and became increasingly involved in nationalist politics in the INC and the nascent revolutionary movement in Bengal with the Anushilan Samiti.
Ghose was arrested in the aftermath of a number of bomb outrages linked to his organisation in a public trial where he faced charges of treason for Alipore Conspiracy. However, he could be convicted and imprisoned only for writing articles against British rule in India.
He was released when no evidence could be provided, following the murder of a prosecution witness, Narendranath Goswami, during the trial. During his stay in the jail, he had mystical and spiritual experiences, after which he moved to Pondicherry, leaving politics for spiritual work.
At Pondicherry, the seer developed a spiritual practice he called integral yoga. The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into the divine life. He believed in a spiritual realisation that not only liberated but transformed human nature, enabling a divine life on earth. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa (referred to as “the Mother”), he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
The main literary works of the spiritually evolved freedom fighter are The Life Divine, which deals with theoretical aspects of integral yoga, synthesis of yoga, which deals with practical guidance to integral yoga, and “Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol”, an epic poem.
Sirf News is beginning tomorrow a series on the writings of Sri Aurobindo translated into Hindi