Updated January 17, 2023
Aurbindo Ghose was a great freedom fighter, Poet, Philosopher, Yogi, Maharishi, and Spiritual leader. He was a journalist as well, editing publications like Vande Mataram. Aurobindo Ghose is sometimes referred to as Sri Aurobindo or Aravinda.
After his involvement in the Indian independence movement against the British Raj, he gained wide popularity and over time developed into a spiritual and yogic teacher. In addition to establishing an ashram in Puducherry, he presented his ideas about the advancement of humanity and spiritual development.
He came up with a new path of spirituality known as ‘integral yoga’. His teachings’ primary goal was to raise people’s consciousness and make them aware of their true selves.
One of his most notable works of him is the epic poem, Savitri. He has published a number of books about Indian culture, spirituality, nationalism, and many other topics.
Childhood, Education, and Early Life of Aurobindo Ghose
Aurobindo Ghose, also known as Aurobindo Ghose, was born on August 15, 1872, in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, India. Aurobindo’s mother Swarnalata Devi had been sent to the more salubrious surroundings of Calcutta during his birth.
His father, Krishna Dhun Ghose, was a former member of the Brahmo Samaj religious reform movement who had fallen in love with the then-new theory of evolution while attending medical school in Edinburgh. Also, he was an assistant surgeon in Rangpur, Bengal, at the time and later a civil surgeon in Khulna.
His parents wanted to give him an upbringing in European style. As a result, they admitted him to Darjeeling’s Loreto Convent School. Although Aurobindo was raised speaking English, but to converse with the staff, he used to speak in Hindi. Despite the Bengali heritage of his family, his father valued British culture more.
Young Aurobindo moved to England to finish his education, at the age of 7. He enrolled in King’s College in Cambridge for his schooling. Additionally, he studied Greek, French, Italian, German, Latin, and Spanish, among other foreign languages.
He returned to India in 1892 and held a number of administrative and professorial posts at Baroda and Calcutta. He succeeded in the exam for Indian Civil Service but didn’t join because he did not want to work for the British government.
However, he agreed to a post in the Baroda state service in 1893. He worked for 13 years before becoming Baroda State College’s principal. After turning to his own culture, he started studying yoga, reading the Vedas, Upanishads, epics, and Indian languages like Marathi, Gujarati, and Bengali, particularly classical Sanskrit, in-depth.
In 1901, he married Mrinalini Basu. He was in charge of the nationalists during the partition of Bengal (1905–1922). Later, he rose to the position of editor of Vande Mataram, a nationalist Bengali journal.
Role Played by Aurobindo Ghose in Indian Freedom Struggle
His early involvement in politics focused on the importance of fighting for complete freedom from the British government. He wrote many articles for “Indu Prakash” while working for the Baroda government and secretly made contact with rebel organizations in Madhya Pradesh and Bengal.
Aurobindo openly supported non-cooperation and passive opposition to British authority, but secretly he was engaged in underground revolutionary activities and contributed to the creation of the revolutionary environment in the nation.
He connected with revolutionaries in Bengal and influenced upcoming activists like Bagha Jatin, Jatin Banerjee, and Surendranath Tagore. He took part in the 1906 annual meeting of the Indian National Congress, headed by Dadabhai Naoroji.
Congress divided in 1907 as a result of a conflict between moderates and radicals. Aurobindo backed Bal Gangadhar Tilak and stood with extremists. After that, he travelled widely around Bombay, Baroda, and Pune to provide information and rally support for the national cause.
Also, he contributed to the development of the national movement’s four main goals: Swaraj, Swadesh, Boycott, and National Education.
Conversion of Aurobindo Ghose from Politics to Spirituality
From 1902 to 1910, Aurobindo was involved in the fight to get rid of the British Raj from India. People of India got heated against the British, after the partition of Bengal in July 1905, by Lord Curzon, who was then India’s Viceroy. This resulted in turmoil and nationalist movements by groups of revolutionaries, including Aurobindo.
Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose made an attempt to kill Magistrate Kingsford in 1908. The wife and daughter of lawyer Pringle Kennedy were killed when a bomb was thrown at his horse-drawn carriage, which missed its intended location and instead fell into another vehicle.
Aurobindo was detained in solitary confinement at Alipore Jail after being charged with organizing and supervising the attack in 1908.
He was eventually exonerated on May 6, 1909, after a year-long trial in the Alipore Bomb Case. Chittaranjan Das served as his defense lawyer. During this time in prison, his perspective on life underwent a significant transformation due to his spiritual experiences and insights. As a result, his goals went much beyond helping to liberate and serve the nation.
Aurobindo said about his “visitation” by Vivekananda in the Alipore Jail: “It is a fact that I was hearing constantly the voice of Vivekananda speaking to me for a fortnight in the jail in my solitary meditation and felt his presence.”
2 Years Later, he left British India, and sought asylum in the French colony of Pondicherry (now Puducherry), in southeast India. There, he spent the rest of his life working to develop his “integral Yoga”. His mission was to spiritually alter human existence.
Ashram of Aurobndo Ghose
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, established in 1926, has grown significantly over time. The Aurobindo ashram has grown from a small group of 124 disciples to a community of more than 2000 people today.
It is not a particularly calm place because it is located in the busy Indian city of Pondicherry. In fact, the ashram might be described as a bustling hub that is constantly humming with activity.
After the founding of the Ashram, Aurobindo started putting ‘Sri’ before his name, which means sacred in Sanskrit. Aurobindo Ghose’s spiritual collaborator Mirra Richard, a French national who arrived in Pondicherry in 1914, helped in laying the foundation of the Ashram.
Following his seclusion in 1926, Mirra Richard took over the administration of the Ashram. She became known as “The Mother” and was regarded as having equal spiritual wisdom and knowledge as Aurobindo.
Famous Quotes of Aurobindo Ghose
- “True knowledge is not attained by thinking. It is what you are; it is what you become.”
- “There is nothing the mind can do that cannot be better done in the mind’s immobility and thought-free stillness. When the mind is still, then truth gets her chance to be heard in the purity of the silence.”
- “My God is love and sweetly suffers all.”
- “But few are those who tread the sunlit path;
- “Life is life–whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference between a cat and a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage.”
- Only the pure in soul can walk in the light.”
Death Legacy of Aurobindo Ghose
On December 5, 1950, he passed away. At the Pondicherry (Puducherry) Ashram, his work was continued by the Mother and by her successors after her passing.
Do you know that Auroville, which was built on the fringes of Pondicherry (Puducherry), honours Aurobindo’s radical utopian vision? Aurobindo Ghose’s writings served as an inspiration for a number of writers, including the late Haridas Chaudhuri, who founded the Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco in 1971.
The foundation of Aurobindo Ghose’s philosophy was the idea of the “reality of Being and consciousness” within the vast world in which we reside. Aurobindo Ghosh’s views were quite straightforward and clear. He encouraged his followers to recognize their true selves and sense the presence of God that is within them.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
Ans: He was famous for his approach to Spirituality, and developed a spiritual practice called Integral Yoga. His mission was to spiritually alter human existence.
Ans: Red Lotus is the meaning of Aurobindo
Ans: The foundation of Aurobindo Ghose’s philosophy was the idea of the “reality of Being and consciousness” within the vast world in which we reside.