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sri aurobindo symbol     Sri Aurobindo - Biography

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Sri Aurobindo was born on the 15th August 1872, in Calcutta.

As a child of 7 years he was sent to England for his education where he studied at St. Paul’s in London and at King’s College, Cambridge. At the age of eleven Aurobindo had already received strongly the impression that a period of general upheaval and great revolutionary changes were coming in the world and he himself was destined to play a part in it.

During a brilliant academic career he mastered not only English but also Greek, Latin and French and became familiar with German, Italian and Spanish.

Sri Aurobindo returned to India after his studies in England, landing at Apollo Bunder, Bombay on 6th February 1893. He experienced “a vast calm which descended upon him at the moment when he stepped first on Indian soil after his long absence ..... this calm surrounded him and remained for long months afterwards.”

He spent 13 years in Baroda in the administrative and educational services of that State under the Gaekwad of Baroda. These were years of self-culture and literary activity. Gradually his silent political activity turned into active participation in India’s struggle for freedom. He became a leader of the nationalist party and his editorials in the daily ’Bande Mataram’, at once made him a well known figure throughout India.

From 1908 to 1909 Sri Aurobindo was kept under detention by the British Government. During this one year of seclusion Sri Aurobindo underwent a series of decisive spiritual experiences which determined the course of his future life. He said after his release " The only result of the wrath of the British Government was that I found God."

In 1910, in answer to an inner call Sri Aurobindo withdrew from the political field and sailed for Pondicherry to devote himself entirely to his evolving spiritual mission. He knew that India’s freedom was certain. But now he had to work for an inner awakening and a change of consciousness, in India and the world, without which there could be no lasting progress and no solution to the pressing and formidable problems which beset mankind.

Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator known as the Mother, joined him in 1920.

On 24th November 1926 the Sri Aurobindo Ashram emerged with the Mother and Sri Aurobindo at its centre - not a retreat for ascetics and retired men but the seat of an enduring spiritual experiment which works for the transformation and perfection of life instead of its rejection.

Sri Aurobindo affirms that all life is Yoga, that man has a greater destiny awaiting him, and through a conscious aspiration he can evolve into a higher being and open himself to a new consciousness which he called the Supramental.

For the last 40 years of his life in Pondicherry Sri Aurobindo worked tirelessly for the realisation of his vision of a divine life upon earth. He revealed his new message for humanity and its glorious future primarily through his writings which reflect unerringly his genius as a scholar, writer, poet, literary critic, philosopher, social thinker, revolutionary, patriot, visionary and yogi. His masterful command over the English language, his infallible power of expression, his sharp intellect, his poetic genius, and above all his yogic insight and his love for humanity make it a veritable experience reading his works.

Sri Aurobindo left his body on 5th December 1950.

The following quotation given by the Mother is inscribed on the Samadhi.

“To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who has done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who has willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee.”

His vision and ideals continue to inspire thousands of people all over the world.

bottom left corner bottom right corner Last updated on Jan 14, 2012