What makes India special for Aurobindo is “spirituality made the leading motive and the determining power of both the inner and the outer life.”


What makes India special for Aurobindo is “spirituality made the leading motive and the determining power of both the inner and the outer life.”

Sri Aurobindo's advanced world vision, the backbone of Auroville, takes one up in wider areas of self, of life, of other. The spiritual path - or sadhana - as developed by him, works with a combination of a voluntarily adopted psychological discipline and various yogic practices. Already a century ago he declared "All life is Yoga". The text here below was written by Sri Aurobindo himself, in 1934. The teaching of Sri Aurobindo starts from that of the ancient sages of India that behind the appearances of the universe there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal. All beings are united in that One Self and Spirit but divided by a certain separativity of consciousness, an ignorance of their true Self and Reality in the mind, life and body. It is possible by a certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the Divinity within us and all.

Sri Aurobindo's teaching states that this One Being and Consciousness is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the method by which it liberates itself; consciousness appears in what seems to be inconscient, and once having appeared is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Supermind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection.

But while the former steps in evolution were taken by Nature without a conscious will in the plant and animal life, in man Nature becomes able to evolve by a conscious will in the instrument. It is not, however, by the mental will in man that this can be wholly done, for the mind goes only to a certain point and after that can only move in a circle. A conversion has to be made, a turning of the consciousness by which mind has to change into the higher principle. This method is to be found through the ancient psychological discipline and practice of Yoga. In the past, it has been attempted by a drawing away from the world and a disappearance into the height of the Self or Spirit. Sri Aurobindo teaches that a descent of the higher principle is possible which will not merely release the spiritual Self out of the world, but release it in the world, replace the mind's ignorance or its very limited knowledge by a supramental Truth-Consciousness which will be a sufficient instrument of the inner Self and make it possible for the human being to find himself dynamically as well as inwardly and grow out of his still animal humanity into a diviner race

What makes India special for Aurobindo is “spirituality made the leading motive and the determining power of both the inner and the outer life.”

India today is politically free. But is free India on her way to rediscover her unique temperament, her true role and mission? Are we as a people working toward a true Indian renaissance that is grounded in India’s eternal spirit and truths? India is a civilisational nation and to see and know India only from the vantage point of a modern nation-state is to see and know only the outer surface. Today, as India goes through a deeply significant transition in the process of her rediscovery of her own way, a deeper way of being, it is critical that Indians must know India from a deeper vantage point. India’s renaissance is significant not only for her future but the future of the world because it is India alone which can show humanity a path to a newer, a greater, a deeper and a higher way of being – being in harmony with nature and with one another, with the world around and with the world within.

Before India can lead the world, her children must be first re-awakened to the true spirit and sense of her being, her true nature. We, Indians, must rise up to fully grasp and realise the truth about what India is in her soul. Only then will we be able to grasp what forms would a true Indian renaissance take. August 15, Sri Aurobindo’s birthday and India’s Independence Day, is a good day to remind ourselves of the continuing relevance of Sri Aurobindo’s view of spiritual nationalism for today’s and tomorrow’s India. Sri Aurobindo’s political and revolutionary work inspired by his spiritual vision of the truth of India as the Mother, and his yogic insight into the mission and destiny of India as a spiritual leader for humanity and the world. At the outset, it must be said that mere politics was never the end-goal of Sri Aurobindo’s revolutionary work. In fact, his political writings in Bande Mataram clearly anticipate the philosophy we have come to associate with the yogi of Pondicherry. He wrote on July 3, 1907: “…the next great stage of human progress…is not a material but a spiritual, moral and psychical advance…”[ii]. He was, it may be said, intuitively aware of his work in that next stage of human perfectibility and progress.

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