August 15, 2022

150th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo was born on 15th August 1872 in Calcutta

Aurobindo Ghosh, who became Sri Aurobindo, went to England for education and joined St. Paul's School in London in 1884 and later studied for 2 years at King's College, Cambridge, from 1890. He also passed in the Indian Civil Service in 1890 and voluntarily got himself disqualified by not appearing for the riding examination.

While in England, he also learnt Greek, Latin, French, German and Italian languages.

Sri Aurobindo took an appointment for Baroda service from Gaekwar of Baroda in London. He returned to India and worked for 13 years in Baroda Service from 1893 to 1906 in various capacities viz. Revenue Dept., secretariat work for Maharaja, Professor of English and Vice-Principal in the Baroda College.

Due to agitation in Bengal, he left Baroda in 1906 and became active in politics and freedom struggle till the year 1910 in Bengal. He was arrested in 1908 in Alipore Conspiracy Case and was released in 1909, after spending one year in solitary confinement, due to lack of evidence.

In January 1908, Sri Aurobindo learnt the art of silencing the mind from the Maharashtrian Yogi, Vishnu Bhaskar Lele, and within three days Sri Aurobindo was able to achieve this state.

He used his entire one year in Alipore Jail for reading the Bhagwat Gita, Upanishads, meditating and practising Yoga and had the constant vision of the omnipresent, Vasudeva or Lord Krishna, in the jail. In February 1910 he went to Chandernagore secretly and later sailed to the French occupied Pondicherry on the 4th of April 1910.

At Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo developed a spiritual practice he called Integral Yoga . The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a divine life in divine body. Sri Aurobindo's concept of the Integral Yoga system is described in his books, The Synthesis of Yoga and The Life Divine. The Life Divine which deals with the philosophical aspect of Integral Yoga is a compilation of essays published serially in Arya. The book, Synthesis of Yoga, deals with the principles and methods of Integral Yoga and his epic poem, Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol, runs to approximately 24,000 lines and presents the drama of integral self-realizaiton which is its spiritual message.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram was founded in the year 1926 with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa (referred to as "The Mother") who had a series of psychic and spiritual experiences during her childhood. She had come from France with her husband, Paul Richard, and Sri Aurobindo handed over the Ashram's material and spiritual responsibilities to The Mother, before he went on seclusion for doing the Sadhana.

Let us not only celebrate Sri Aurobindo's Birthday and Independence day but also imbibe his tenets as much as possible.

Sri Aurobindo's Symbol

The descending triangle represents Sat-Chit-Ananda.
The ascending triangle represents the aspiring answer from matter under the form of life, light and love.
The junciton of both - the central square - is the perfect manifestation having at its centre the Avatar of the Supreme - the lotus.
The water - inside the square - represents the multiplicity, the creation.

The Mother's Symbol

The Central Circle represents the Divine Consciousness.
The four petals represent the four powers of the Mother.
The twelve petals represent the twelve powers of the Mother manifested for Her work.

5 day celebrations of Sri Aurobindo's 150th Birthday in Delhi Ashram