Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo, India’s seer, sage and saint, was in line with the great Teachers of the world who have illumined the pages of spiritual history of mankind since time immemorial. Fate seems to have marked him out for the high and noble calling of being the guide and teacher of his fellowmen in their heaven-ward ascent. Since the time of his retirement from the arena of active life in the world to Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo became deeply absorbed in the practice of Yoga. His sadhana became deep and profound, as can be seen from his numerous writings, published as series of articles in the philosophical monthly, Arya, edited by him.

  He was born in Calcutta on 15th August 1872. At the age of seven he was sent to England where he attended St. Paul’s School, London, and then went on a senior classical scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge. He was a brilliant scholar in Greek and Latin. Intellectually gifted, he had a rare mastery over the English language. Returning to India in 1893, he spent thirteen years in the Baroda State Service as an administrator and a professor. During this period he made a deep study of the prevailing political condition of the country and steeped himself into the rich Indian cultural heritage. In 1906 he went to Bengal and openly joined India’s freedom movement. In 1908 he was arrested by the British and put in prison.

  During his one year’s under trial detention in prison Sri Aurobindo had a series of decisive spiritual experiences, which changed the future course of his life. He carried on his revolutionary work till 1910 when in response to an inner call he retired from active politics and withdrew to Pondicherry for exclusive concentration on his spiritual practice.

  After four years of intense Yoga, in 1914 Sri Aurobindo launched a monthly philosophical magazine, Arya, wherein most of his major works were serialized. Having gathered all the essential truths of past spiritual experiences, he worked for a more complete method of Yoga that is integral Yoga that would transform human nature and divinize life. To this purpose he devoted the rest of his life. He left his body on 5 December 1950.

  Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator, the Mother, was born in Paris on 21 February 1878. Mira, as the child was called, was spiritually conscious from her early childhood. The Mother sailed to Pondicherry, India, in 1914 and met Sri Aurobindo. She went back to France after about a year only to return permanently. In November 1926, Sri Aurobindo went into seclusion and entrusted the full material and spiritual charge of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry to the Mother. Under her guidance, which covered a span of nearly fifty years, the Ashram grew into a large community. She founded Auroville, the ‘City of Dawn’ -an international township – in 1968 near Pondicherry.  The Mother left her body on 17 November 1973.

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