The Spirit shall glimpse through Matter's gaze.
With the knowledge by the senses, we perceive the external things
by directing our consciousness outward; similarly, if we can direct our consciousness
inward and rise into the inner consciousness, we can know the characteristics of the higher worlds.- Maharishi Aurobindo
Aravinda Akroyd Ghose famously known as Sri Aurobindo was born on 15th of August 1872 to Krishna Dhun Ghose and Swarnalotta Devi in Kolkata. Sri Aurobindo's father was an Assistant Surgeon in Rangapur. Sri Aurobindo the great Indian philosopher, poet, nationalist, yogi and guru was the founder of the system “Samagra Yoga” widely known as Integral Yoga. He emphasises that approach to the infinite should be that of complete freedom in thought, deed and worship by the aspirant.
This poet, the guru was fluent with many foreign languages. It was in England he did his primary education and stayed there for fourteen years. He was less familiar with Indian culture. He was quite intelligent and cleared the Indian Civil Service exams. On his return to India in 1893 Sri Aurobindo joined at the Baroda College as Professor of French and English. During this period he becomes more familiar with his mother tongue and Indian traditions. He served as a Principal of Kolkatta college for twelve years from 1906. He got married to Sri Mrinalini Devi. Also, Aurobindo’s interest in politics was felt when he understood the harm that the British rule had done to the Indian civilisation and decided to work for the political and spiritual freedom of India.
It was during the period in 1908 when he was charged for provocating activities and kept in Alipur Jail; he had numerous yogic experiences and realised the assurance of the liberation of the country. Sri Aurobindo mentions that he often heard the voice of Vivekananda during his stay in the jail and a new journey towards spiritualism began. In Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo interested in spiritual learning and evolution secluded himself and practised yoga for four continuous years which he termed as ‘Integral Yoga’. He proposed the importance of spiritual practices for human’s to transform into a divine entity. His in-depth knowledge and studies on human evolution conclude that; humanity is under a critical period which is not in terms of social, political but an evolutionary crisis and this can be attended only by making fundamental changes by the human species. Sri Aurobindo's integral yoga is what reflects his perspective. It deals with “Triple transformation.”
Triple Transformation aims at transforming the entire being; physical, mental, psychic and a complete transformation of consciousness, that is the transformation of reality into divinity for completeness. The path for change laid by guru Sri Aurobindo through Integral yoga has the following virtues one must commit to along with completely surrendering to God.
The attributes are:-
Sincerity , Faith in God, Devotion, Courage , Endurance.
In 1926, along with his confederate, Mirra Alfassa, he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram to accommodate the increasing number of followers. Writer, Sri Aurobindo has inspired his fellow beings and followers through his works like ”The Life Divine” which mainly deals about theoretical aspects of Yoga. He wrote about the Vedas, Indian culture, Sri Bhagavad Geeta, etc. They are:-
• Essays on the Gita during 1922
• Collected Poems and Plays -1942
• The Synthesis of Yoga -1948
• The Human Cycle – in 1949 which was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1943
• The Ideal of Human Unity -1949
• In1950, Savitri a spiritual literature
• The Foundations of Indian Culture
• The Secret of the Veda
His contributions in the field of poetry, spiritualism and philosophical literature are exemplary and treasures to humankind. During 1926 he went into seclusion and then on the ashram was functioning under the able guidance of Mirra Richard known as ‘The Mother’ and was considered an equal to Aurobindo in spiritual wisdom and knowledge. He took his last breath on 5 th of December 1950
Few take away learnings from his living in his words could be:-
“ Sanatana Dharma has many scriptures; in reality, the most authoritative scripture is in the heart in which the Eternal has his dwelling.”
” The true salvation to be aimed at includes the salvation or spiritualization of the whole cosmos. Therefore a man who strives after liberation should be preparing himself to become a tool of universal salvation. It was when reason died; then Wisdom was born; before that liberation, I had only knowledge. Spiritual seeker only seeks this change of consciousness, and nothing else matters to him.”