Biography of Sri Aurobindo

Third son of Dr. Krishnadhan Ghose, a Bengali physician admirer of British culture, the young Ghose received two personal names: Aurobindo (Bengali pronunciation of Sanskrit Aravinda, lotus), and Ackroyd in English. Like his older brothers, he received an English education.

Biography of Sri Aurobindo

  • Born:- 15 August 1872, Kolkata, India
  • Died:- 5 December 1950, Puducherry, India
  • Spouse:-  Mrinalini Devi (m. 1901)
  • Literary Works:-  The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Savitri
  • Founder of:-  Sri Aurobindo Ashram; Auroville
  • Education:-  St Paul’s School, London, King’s College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge

In 1879 he was entrusted, along with his older brothers, to a family from Manchester, where he began his studies of Latin. In 1885 he entered the St. Paul’s School in London. There he studied Greek, history, as well as several European languages, beginning to develop his poetic gifts. In 1889 he went to King’s College in Cambrigde, where he joined an association of Indian students and abandoned his English name. His father wanted to assign him to the Indian Civil Service, but his application for admission was denied as he did not pass the riding tests, although his growing nationalist sentiments made him no longer suitable for colonial service.

He then drew the attention of James S. Cotton, brother of a former governor of Bengal, and of the Maharajah of Baroda, to whose service he entered, abandoning England in 1893. He began to collaborate, initially anonymously, in the nationalist magazine Induprakash, The performance of the National Indian Congress, newly founded in 1885 with the intention of inspiring reforms to the British government. Desiring to deepen his knowledge of Indian culture, he immersed himself in the study of the Sanskrit and Bengali traditions, without renouncing to the European culture, with a view, and then, to reach a superior synthesis that gave room for the best of both cultures.

He militated in secret organizations fighting for independence, not excluding (as Gandhi would) the recourse to violence. After the partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon in 1905, which caused great indignation, he left Baroda and, from 1906, made political tours through Bengal, directed the Bengal National College and the nationalist newspaper Bande Mataram. Object of persecution on the part of the English administration, left in 1907 the direction of the College.

Sri Aurobindo then militated in the extremist group of the National Indian Congress, and was arrested after several terrorist actions in which his faction was involved. He spent a whole year in prison (1908-1909), imprisoned between ordinary prisoners, a period he dedicated to the practice of yoga, meditation and literary work. If during his stay in England, Sri Aurobindo professed a modernist atheism, at that time he rediscovered the divinity in the study of Indian philosophy. Again threatened with imprisonment, Sri Aurobindo smuggled Chandernagor under French rule and, in February 1910, settled permanently in Pondichéry.

From then on he abstained from all political activity. In 1914 he founded Arya magazine along with Paul Richard and a small group of disciples. His works began to be translated into French by Madame Richard, who in 1920 was associated with the work of Sri Aurobindo: the creation of Sri Aurobindo Asram, a community led by the philosopher, which she organized and headed (since 1926) as “Mother “While the thinker lived retired, making few public appearances a year, on various anniversaries and solemnities.

Sri Aurobindo Asram, spiritual and temporal community based in Pondichéry, undertook a great educational activity following the doctrine of Sri Aurobindo, in search of a synthesis between science, healthy and sport life and spirituality. At his death (not accepted as such by many of his disciples), Sri Aurobindo was buried in his Asram, in a tomb subject to constant veneration to the present. The community counted in 1968 with more than two thousand members, with ramifications in diverse cities of India, Europe and America.

Necessary assumption of all existence, God, according to the thought of Sri Aurobindo, is present in matter and in the mental and supramental dimensions. The Truth which he constitutes encompasses all particular truths, and is expressed in a special way through human intelligence, tending to manifest ever more clearly and more fully by that intelligence in continuous evolution (one of the functions of Sri Aurobindo Asram Is precisely to direct, direct that evolution). That Truth is already contained in ancient texts, Indians or any other culture. Sri Aurobindo finds it especially in Heraclitus, in the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita.

The ideal purpose of man’s life will therefore be the full and disinterested realization of the human condition, apt to convey and manifest the divinity. According to Sri Aurobindo, there is no universal religious or philosophical doctrine to which man must be enslaved. Yoga, adjustment and integral perfection, adapts to each nature, taking it to the realization, to be witness to the emergence in its own interior of the divinity, conditioned by knowledge.
Sri Aurobindo’s thought is both a spiritual doctrine and a philosophical system, like yoga: a synthesis that integrates the Vedic speculative tradition with the influence of Western philosophy. Core of his reflection are two of the principles of the Upanisads: “everything is Brahma” and “the One has no Second”, which, according to Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation, merges with another stream of Vedic thought to state: “the One Has no Second because in reality everything is Brahma, “unity, therefore, that is not negation of multiplicity, but Absolute in becoming constant. To the knowledge of that divine reality the integral yoga program, which seeks to find that divinity in oneself, with knowledge as a way, is directed?