Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo (August 15, 1872December 5, 1950) was an Indian nationalist and freedom fighter, poet, philosopher, and yogi He joined the movement for India's freedom from British rule and for a duration (1905-1910), became one of its most important leaders before turning to developing his own vision and philosophy of human progress and a spiritual path which he termed Integral Yoga He wrote over a hundred poems, many plays and several books during his life

Freedom Struggle and Politics

Aurobindo’s political career lasted only four years, from 1906 to 1910. This period saw a complete transformation of India's political scene. Before Aurobindo began publishing his views, the Congress was an annual debating society whose rare victories had been instances of the empire taking a favourable view to its petitions. By the time Aurobindo left the field, the ideal of political independence had been firmly ingrained into the minds of people, and nineteen years later, it became the official raison d'etre of the Congress.

This change was affected by the advent of the aggressive nationalist thought of Lokmanya Tilak who declared that swarajwas his birthright and Bipin Chandra Pal who demanded "complete autonomy" from Britain. However none went as far as Aurobindo in articulating the legitimacy and necessity of complete independence. He "based his claim for freedom for India on the inherent right to freedom, not on any charge of misgovernment or oppression". He wrote :

"Political freedom is the life-breath of a nation. To attempt social reform, educational reform, industrial expansion, the moral improvement of the race without aiming first and foremost at political freedom, is the very height of ignorance and futility. The primary requisite for national progress, national reform, is the habit of free and healthy national thought and action which is impossible in a state of servitude."

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