Message of Sri Aurobindo in Life and Death

 Q. Message of Sri Aurobindo in Life and Death


Message of Sri Aurobindo in Life and Death Sri Aurobindo, a renowned Indian philosopher, poet, and yogi, penned down the poem 'Life and Death' during his spiritual journey in the early 20th century. This enigmatic poem encapsulates the essence of life's mysteries and the profound wisdom of embracing death as a transformative force. Through vivid imagery, intricate metaphors, and a contemplative tone, Sri Aurobindo delves into the interconnectedness of life and death, presenting a powerful message that transcends time and space. In this literary analysis, we will explore the various layers of meaning in the poem, deciphering Sri Aurobindo's philosophy and vision of existence.

"Life and Death are one

Even as the river and the sea are one"

Here, Sri Aurobindo establishes the overarching theme of unity, emphasizing that life and death are inseparable and interconnected. He compares them to the river and the sea, drawing parallels between the flow of life and the ultimate merging with the vastness of death. This metaphor sets the tone for the entire poem, inviting readers to contemplate the profound truths hidden within the apparent dichotomy of existence.

Message of Sri Aurobindo in Life and Death

In the subsequent stanzas, Sri Aurobindo explores the transient nature of life and the cyclical patterns of birth and death. He portrays life as a fleeting dream, a "pebble" tossed into the "Infinite Abyss." This imagery suggests that individual lives are small and insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe. However, the notion of the "Infinite Abyss" hints at a deeper cosmic consciousness, implying that death is not an endpoint but a journey into the boundless.

The poet continues:

"In the self-same sandal tree

A serpent coils inextricably."

In these lines, Sri Aurobindo employs the metaphor of a sandal tree with a coiled serpent to portray the inseparability of life and death. The tree symbolizes life, and the serpent symbolizes death. The two appear distinct, yet they are inherently intertwined. This evokes the idea of life's inherent duality, where the existence of one cannot be separated from the other.

Sri Aurobindo further reflects on the impermanence of worldly pursuits and the inevitability of mortality:

"In the self-same mould of being

With the self-same ceaseless labour

The Immortals fashion deathless Gods.

This was then, and this is now."

Here, the poet suggests that just as ancient civilizations crafted immortal deities, the essence of life and death remains unchanged in the present. He reminds us that the quest for immortality lies not in escaping death but in understanding its significance in the eternal cosmic order. The ceaseless labor of the "Immortals" hints at the cyclical nature of creation and dissolution, echoing the Hindu concept of life and death as part of the grand cosmic dance.

The poem takes a contemplative turn, inviting readers to transcend the limitations of ordinary perception:

"Who save the sanctified

Can gaze upon the sun that is eternity?"

Sri Aurobindo challenges us to perceive life and death from an enlightened perspective. He posits that only those who have attained sanctity, wisdom, or spiritual realization can truly comprehend the eternal nature of existence. To "gaze upon the sun that is eternity" is to perceive the underlying unity and interconnectedness of all things.

The poet further explores the idea of mortality and immortality coexisting:

"In the drama of creation

They are partners in an endless play;

What they achieve is a dance of God

The matted locks of the Unknown."

These lines evoke the concept of the cosmic drama, where life and death are not adversaries but collaborators in the manifestation of the Divine. The "matted locks of the Unknown" represent the mysteries of existence that remain veiled from ordinary perception. The dance of God symbolizes the harmonious interplay of life and death, both essential in the grand design of creation.


In the poem 'Life and Death,' Sri Aurobindo imparts a profound message that transcends the boundaries of time and space. Through eloquent metaphors and vivid imagery, he unveils the intrinsic unity of life and death, encouraging readers to see beyond the apparent duality and recognize the eternal dance of existence. The poem invites us to embrace mortality as an integral part of the cosmic order and to seek higher truths beyond the limitations of ordinary perception. Sri Aurobindo's timeless wisdom challenges us to embark on a spiritual journey, where life and death are not separate destinations but interconnected phases of the eternal river of existence. As we reflect on the poet's words, we are reminded of the inherent divinity in all things and the transformative power of death, leading us to a deeper understanding of life's mysteries.



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