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Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo

About Sri Aurobindo

Full Name Aurobindo Ghose
Birth Date 15 August 1872
Birth Place Calcutta (now Kolkata, West Bengal, India)
Primary Education University of Cambridge
Father Krishna Dhun Ghose
Mother Swarnalata Devi
Religion Hindu
Nationality Indian
Famous for Integral Yoga
Literary Works The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Savitri
Died on 5 December 1950


Imagine a world full of ideas about how people can live with freedom and what it means to live without restrictions. In a world full of ideas, when many people wanted their country to be free, then a man named Sri Aurobindo was born. When he was young, he wanted his country, India, to be free from the control of others, especially England.

Aurobindo had great ideas for the independence of the country. He was filled with love for his country and curiosity about how people feel inside when they are under the rule of others. That's why he got involved in politics and took part in the meetings to find out how the country could be freed from the rulers.

At one point, there was a turning point in Sri Aurobindo's life. He started thinking about deep things. He wanted to understand what makes people happy in their hearts and calm in their minds. He decided to stop thinking about politics and went to a calm place called Pondicherry. There, he mixed ideas from the East and the West to make a new way of thinking about life.

Sri Aurobindo wasn't only good at thinking big thoughts; he was also great at writing. He wrote poems, essays, and books that showed how much he knew about being human, feeling things deep inside, and how our minds connect with the world around us.

Sri Aurobindo's journey, from caring about his country to exploring the secrets of life, itself makes him special. Even today, his ideas keep inspiring people all around the world. Such ideas help us to see the world from different perspectives and beyond time and space. So, as we learn more about his life and ideas, we're going on a trip to understand how things in our world and our hearts fit together.

Sri Aurobindo: Growing Up, Family, and School Days

Sri Aurobindo's life has been simple in the beginning. He was born on August 15, 1872, in Kolkata, a city in India. He grew up when India was not free - India was ruled by another country, England. This awakened in him the desire to make India independent and prosperous. Sri Aurobindo's parents were Dr. K.D Ghose and Swarnalata Devi.

When he first came into the world, his name was fixed as Aravinda Ackroyd Ghosh. His middle name, 'Ackroyd', was given by a lady named Miss Annette Ackroyd when Mr. K.D. Ghose requested her to give an English name to his child. His parents wanted him to learn things in a way that was different from most kids. So, they sent him to a special school called Loreto Convent School in Darjeeling. At 7, he went far away to England to learn even more.

He went to a school called King's College in Cambridge. There, he learned not one but several languages like Greek, French, Italian, German, Latin, and Spanish. This helped him to talk to people from different places in the world. In 1892, he came back to India.

He was really smart and even passed the Indian Civil Service examination. This test could have helped him work for the British Government, but he wanted to do something other than that. Later, in 1893, he got a job in the Baroda state service. He worked there for 13 years and became the head of Baroda State College. He also learned many important things like Sanskrit, an ancient language, and read special books like the Vedas and the Upanishads.

In 1901, he got married to a 14-year-old girl named Mrinalini Basu. It is worth mentioning that Aurobindo was just 28 at that time. When the country was going through a big change called the partition of Bengal, he led a group of people who wanted to do good things for their country. He became the editor of a newspaper called Vande Mataram, which was all about loving and serving India.

He was even imprisoned in 1908 because he was passionate about his ideas. Later, he had to leave his home in British India and find a safe place in Pondicherry, a French colony. He spent the rest of his life working on and understanding "integral yoga". He wanted to help improve the hearts and minds of people, and he believed in changing the world through spirituality.

Sri Aurobindo's early life was full of learning, caring for his country, and searching for a way to improve the world. As he did, we can also learn, care and find ways to help others and our world.

Moving from Politics to Spirituality

Sri Aurobindo's interest in politics faded as the years went by. Instead, he focused on spirituality, which is about understanding deeper things beyond the usual stuff.

Sri Aurobindo spent four whole years in a quiet place called Pondicherry. During this time, he went into a really deep kind of thinking called meditation. It's like when you close your eyes and think deeply about one thing. It was a peaceful and thoughtful time for him.

After that, he started motivating others. He used to circulate a small book of about 64 pages every month and named it "Arya". It was like a magazine where he shared his thoughts about spiritual things with others. People liked reading it and learning from it.

In 1920, a girl named Mirra Richard joined him on his spiritual journey. Notably, many people used to call her 'The Mother'. She became his close friend and partner in all spiritual things. Together, they thought about creating a special place called an ashram, and they named it Auroville. It was a place where people could come to learn and grow in a peaceful and meaningful way.

After Sri Aurobindo moved away from politics and dove deep into understanding the world within and around us, his life took a big turn. With the help of 'The Mother', he started something special that still inspires people today. This shows us that we can also explore new avenues and share our thoughts through different mediums.

Answering a Special Call from the Divine

There was a very important moment in Sri Aurobindo's life, and it all started with the "Alipore Bomb Case". This moment changed everything for him.

Sri Aurobindo was in jail for a whole year because of this case. Imagine being in a small, dark cell all alone for so long. It was hard for him - the food wasn't good, he didn't have proper clothes, and he couldn't enjoy fresh air and sunlight. He felt lonely and bored.

But during this tough time in that gloomy cell, Sri Aurobindo had a dream. It wasn't just any dream; it was like a special message from a higher power. He felt God had a special plan for him, a mission like a divine task.

Even though life in jail was difficult, Sri Aurobindo didn't give up. He spent most of his time learning and practicing Yoga and spirituality. He read 'Bhagavad Gita' and developed his thoughts inspired by this holy book.

Sri Aurobindo's friend Chittaranjan Das helped him during a big trial, like a test in a court. He defended Sri Aurobindo, and after a memorable trial, Sri Aurobindo was set free - he was not found guilty.

Sri Aurobindo

Discovering Yoga: A Personal Journey

Later, around 1904, Sri Aurobindo decided to dedicate his life completely to Yoga and spirituality and began to focus his dedication. It was not like the exercises that we do at school - it was a specific way of understanding life and the world around us.

At first, he didn't have anyone to teach him Yoga, and he didn't even have a special teacher or Guru. But later, he met someone named Lele, who knew much about Yoga. He spent very little time learning from Lele, only three days. During this time, Lele taught him how to calm his busy mind and make it peaceful. It's like giving your mind a break from all the thoughts that keep coming in.

Sri Aurobindo once wrote in a letter, "I started my yoga journey in 1904 without a Guru (teacher). In 1908, a helpful Yogi from Maharashtra showed me important things, and I found the base for my journey." So, it is believed that he began his Yoga all on his own, with a little guidance from a friend who followed someone named Brahmananda.

Initially, he spent a lot of time practicing Pranayama every day. It's a special breathing exercise that helps you feel calm and strong. He did it for around six hours daily - that's really a long time. He also focused on the important teachings of particular books such as the Gita and the Upanishads. These books help us understand deep things about life.

Sri Aurobindo's Yoga journey was all about exploring and learning by himself. Like him, we can also learn and grow by trying new things and spending time with our thoughts. It's a way to better understand ourselves and the world, just like a big adventure of the mind and heart!

A Peaceful Place: Sri Aurobindo's Home in Pondicherry

A long time ago, Sri Aurobindo traveled from Calcutta to Chandranagar and reached Pondicherry on April 4, 1910. When he got there, he stayed with a friend. He didn't come alone; he had about four or five friends with him. Later, more and more people joined them, and they all became like a big family. The place where this family used to live was called an ashram.

Sri Aurobindo himself was not a hermit but a very intelligent person, and therefore people liked to visit him in the Ashram. The Ashram also had a magazine called "Arya". It had many important writings by Sri Aurobindo. However, after some time, the circulation of this magazine was stopped.

Once, Rabindranath Tagore visited the Ashram. He told Sri Aurobindo that India is waiting to hear his words because they are important to the world. Interestingly, these ashrams, which are called Aurobindo ashrams, still exist in large numbers in India today.

In these Ashrams, many people live together - about hundreds of them! Just like in a family, everyone has a different job. Some care for the cows and the milk, some work in the vegetable garden, and others do laundry or bake bread. Some young girls work in a special place where they print books.

In the Ashram, everything they do is a way of learning and growing through traditional methods. It's like a big adventure where life is connected, and they don't separate things into different parts.

There's even a school in the Ashram. Kids between 14 and 18 years old learn regular things and practical skills that can help them in life.

The Ashram is not just for one type of person. People from different religions come here. It is like one big family where everyone is welcome. Everything in the Ashram is looked after by the people who live there. They make sure everything runs smoothly.

His Role in India's Freedom

Prior to his spiritual life, in 1893, Sri Aurobindo returned to India after living abroad. He got a job that paid him Rs. 750, his salary. He worked in a place that helped people learn things, like a teacher. From 1893 to 1906, he spent a lot of time reading and learning about things like old books in Sanskrit and Bengali. These books were about thinking and how a country should be run. He liked learning about these things a lot.

Later, he left that job and joined another place called Bengal National College. They paid him Rs. 150 to work there. But he didn't just teach there; he also became interested in something important - how to improve his country, India. He joined a group that wanted to change things and free India from other countries control.

He wrote strong things that sometimes made people worried. He also started a newspaper called Dharma, where he shared his ideas. His main message was that India should be free from rulers. He didn't like things from other countries, so he told people to stop using them as well. He wanted to end dependence on things from other countries. He also talked about peaceful ways to make a change.

Sri Aurobindo's Big Ideas

Sri Aurobindo had some great thoughts about life. He believed in practical things that one can see and feel, and he learned a lot from his experiences. He especially saw the world as someone who knows secrets and wants to share them with others. He was a wise man, like a teacher to others.

His way of thinking mixed with common sense was like using mind and heart together. He didn't just talk about spiritual stuff; he mixed it with reasons that make sense.

He had a big goal. He didn't only want people to feel free, but he also wanted them to do good things in the world. He wanted the world to be where everyone can be kind and happy. It's like making the world better, one step at a time.

He said that only two important things can help us do this. One is "when we want to improve ourselves", and the other is "when something wonderful helps us from above". It's like - "when we work hard, the universe helps us back".

He believed that we must eliminate things that stop us if we want to change. It's like cleaning our room because when it's messy, we can't find our toys easily. So, he said, we need to eliminate things that stop us from being good and happy.

He always believed that people should be like light. Imagine if you had a bright light, and sharing it made everyone around you happy too. He wanted people to be like that - happy and good, spreading light everywhere.

Sri Aurobindo wrote many books, and one notable book is "Life Divine". It's like a guide for people, helping them understand important things. His other notable works include "Essays on Gita", "Ideal and Progress", and "Poems". His works help people to think differently about life and make it better.

A Great Soul's Final Journey

Sri Aurobindo, a wise man who was also a poet, philosopher, and politician, left this world on 5th December 1950 in Pondicherry. He was 78 years old at that time. Before leaving, he was not feeling well, as his kidney had been giving him trouble for about two weeks. In his last time, a doctor named Dr. Prabhakar Sen took care of him.

Sri Aurobindo was special. He was a poet who wrote beautiful words, a politician who cared about India, and a thinker with big ideas about life. His poems were like Indian songs but had a Western touch to them. He was a very intelligent and influential person who wanted to understand deep things.

He was like a shining star for India, and now he is resting like a baby in the lap of Mother India. He has left behind great ideas. Because of his great works and teachings, he became a special person, and hence he was named Sri Aurobindo as a great honor.

He was not only popular in India; he was known worldwide for his teaching. He was like a hero to those who wanted their country to be free from rulers. He wrote about spiritual things, and those writings will be remembered as long as the world exists.

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