Hinduism

Biography of Sri Aurobindo

Aurobindo was a spiritual master, writer, philosopher, poet and revolutionary. His writings provide fascinating insight into his life. He founded a new yoga approach called “Integral Yoga”. Aurobindo did not think it is necessary to retreat from worldly life to be spiritual. He wished to bring divinity into everyday, mundane life.

His Early Life

Aurobindo Ghosh was born in 1872. At age seven, he was sent to England to study by his anglicized father. In England, Aurobindo studied at St Paul’s, London and later at Kings College, Cambridge. Though he had to make do with meager resources, Aurobindo earned a reputation as a great scholar. At Cambridge University, Aurobindo realized the plight of India, which was suffering under the yoke of British rule. Turning down a chance to work for the British civil service, he returned to India to strive for her independence.

Aurobindo the Revolutionary

Aurobindo launched himself with vigor towards Indian independence. He involved himself in revolutionary politics and started a journal called Bande Mataram. He was one of the first leaders to fight for full Indian independence. During this period, Aurobindo met Lele Maharaj, a meditation teacher, who taught him how to empty his mind. Within three days of practice, Aurobindo succeeded in emptying his mind. Thus, he attained self-realization.

His spiritual quest did not deter Aurobindo from striving for Indian independence. In 1908, Aurobindo was arrested for possessing weapons and sent to jail. His trial became a landmark event.

Aurobindo’s Spiritual Mission

In jail, Aurobindo had ample time for meditation and reading spiritual books. His mind became more profound with these activities. Though he was released from jail, the British still considered him dangerous. So, Aurobindo moved to Pondicherry, which was then a French province. Here, he spent a lot of time meditating and focusing on spirituality. Aurobindo’s writings inspired many seekers, and an ashram was set up in Pondicherry, which flourishes even today.

Aurobindo’s Message

Aurobindo said that the purpose of yoga is to transform ignorant world consciousness into divine consciousness. He sought to usher in an era in which truth and spirituality were given more prominence. But, Aurobindo emphasized that he was not founding a new creed or religion. His Integral Yoga focused on inner self-development. Aurobindo strove to combine the best of Western materialism and Eastern spirituality. He shed his mortal coil on December 5th, 1950.

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