Sri Aurobindo, revolutionary, freedom fighter, yogi, nationalist, replica of our multi-splendored national life stands aloft as a shining example of Patriotism. Born in 1872 he was the son of Dr. Krishna Dhun Ghosh, an ardent admirer of the British, who dispatched his son to London for education and was not allowed to be influenced by Hindu Samskriti, way of life or learning even Bengali, his mother tongue. But destiny influenced him to be exactly otherwise. After his stay in London, Aurobindo founded ‘Bhavani Mandir’, dedicated to organize sanyasins. Further, owing to his revolutionary antecedents, British rulers sent him to jail but he was discharged for want of definite proofs. But Aurobindo who expected his re-arrest, secretly reached Puducherry, a French ruled state. Thereafter, the very place became his Sadhana Bhoomi. Aurobindo took himself to Yogic Sadhanas with earnestness. Though he was adept in yoga, he did not stop at it. He began engaging himself with Indian thought, Indian characters, Indian perceptions, Indian energy, Indian greatness and strove to unearth salvation for world miseries in general and country and self in particular from the Indian standpoint. He enthralled wholly at it. His thoughts reveled around the fountainheads of our ancient religion, philosophy, literature, ancestors, holy thoughts etc., to its letter and spirit and solutions, to our political, social, religious, economic emancipation. It was at Alipore jail that he received the divine message that when India shall rise, it is the Sanatana Dharma that rises, that when India will be great, it is Sanatana Dharma that shall be great, that when India expands and extends to heights, it is the Sanatana Dharma that expands and extends. It is only the Dharma, by dharma alone that India exists. His knowledge and intuition burst forth: Our motherland is not a piece of earth, not a figure of speech, not a fiction, but a mighty shakti, a living entity, the composed shakti’s of millions and millions of our populous make up the nation. It is exactly like the Shakti of millions and millions of gods assembled together to unison in the name of Mahishasura Mardini of yore. The shakti we call India, Bhavani Bharati, is the living unity of the shakti’s of millions, millions and thousands of men and women. The swadharma of our Mother India or Akhand Bharat – east and west, north to south is Sanatana Dharma – Apaurusheya, eternal, all embracing, evolutionary but not revelatory like Semitic religions of the west. Sanatana Dharma is a tripod of Dharma, Karma and Brahma knitted together; It is not a religion in this strict term but a supreme and universal way of life and aspirations. It aspires to make the whole world, universe noble, it’s motto being ‘krinvanto vishwamaryam’. This is Manava Dharma; It doesn’t hesitate to include religions, sects, whether Christian, Muslim, Jews and the like ones. Aurobindo further explains: Dharma is that which upholds, nourishes, supports the stability of the society; maintains social order, and secures the general well-being and progress of the entire mankind. Vedas describe the concept of nation as the outcome of the tapas performed by rishis who had the welfare of humanity at large at their hearts, came out as mantras from time to time. In this context, it would be of importance of corollatory references in our holy texts. The hoary Vishnupurana says: ‘That land which extends to North of ocean in South of Himalayas is Bharat and the people Bhartiyas’. Barhaspatya Samhita states that the land created by god himself which stretches from Himalayas upto ‘Indu Sarovara’ is Bharatavarsha. Srimad Bhagavata states: Bharat Varsha’s name is Ajanābha varṣha, the country which stands on the naval lotus – Nabhi Kamal of Lord Vishnu. Mahabharata narrates a shloka which exhorts that Bharat is the best among nations in the world of Jambudwipa, because it is Karmabhoomi, others being Bhogabhoomis. Aurobindo visualized the supermind and transformation of human consciousness into its divine heights can be termed as self-realization. The concept of karma, immortality of the soul, evolution of consciousness through rebirth, ultimate transformation, etc., is a Hindu genius which are not acceptable to any religions of the west, they being revelatory and not revolutionary. They hope and aspire at best, to reach the Kingdom of Heaven, through the grace of their prophet or messiah. They deny any direct God-man relationships; they being only surrogate spiritualities. Aurobindo said: Hundreds of crores of Hindus living here and outside genuine are the custodians of Sanatana Dharma, and they must unite, bodies though being separate, their hearts and souls beat in unison. They shall express, exhibit and act together, not denying anyone their inherent human qualities – kindness, love, compassion, co-existence, equality, etc., towards one and all, to their co-dwellers – Muslims, Christians, etc. – Prepare ourselves to build and energize a strong, developed, Hindu Rashtra on the established democratic principles in our country. Let benign patriotic values beat its rhythm to oneness. Let every soul realize that Vedas and Vedantas are the soul of Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism. Let practical Vedanta be incorporated in every home, heart so that its teaching aimed at realizing the one Supreme consciousness are honored, practiced. Service, love, compassion towards all – alive and lifeless (experience the presence of god in lifeless objects too) be paramount; let us move in that direction so that parochial thinking abundant in so called non Hindu populace wane and disappear. From a Yogi to a Mahayogi
In Chandernagore, a free citizen out of British jail, Sri Aurobindo became an entirely changed personality. From that he rose to the heights of a yogi and became a Mahayogi. His body, mind, actions, beliefs, knowledge, etc., reached new heights. His intense Sadhana roused the sleeping lion in him – manliness. Because of his strength and vigor within, he was transformed as if strength of body and soul was incarnate. The clarion call of the Upanishads, Balamupaswa (worship strength), reverberated in him thoroughly; He learnt that without inner strength there is no steadfastness. Shakti alone helps concentration; it alone can preserve was his belief. He said that if Shakti of the fire is scanty, fire stops burning. Strengths physical, strength mental, strength moral, etc., are junior to strength spiritual. It is the crown pivot which never exhausts; remember, strength, strength alone is the redeemer. The Hindu society is pretty old and a fountainhead of knowledge. It aspires, desires. But it has failed and disillusioned because of sluggishness, timidity, feebleness. In his opinion salvation and progress is only through strength. Aurobindo firmly believed that if India is to survive, strength must be infused; it is only when sluggishness is abandoned this nation becomes again young and purposeful. Rushing and billowing streams of energy must be poured into. Then only the soul’s gates are opened. It becomes vast, puissant, calm, turbulent at will. An ocean of activity, with full force comes into being. He was a yogi with many mad dreams. He did not daydream, but brought his dreams into action. Aurobindo was a torchbearer of fiery revolution. He was fitted to inspire, lead, and a general who could face troubles. The British government fully understood him. His transformation from a Revolutionary to a Yogi has to be recorded as a strange happening. It was god’s will that he had to play the role of yogi. Certainly some may ask, why did he leave the political and revolutionary fields? What did he think about the continued political fight against the British? That Aurobindo was blessed with a call to plunge into a new field of exploration was a divine order. That was the force that led him to mingle into awakening of a new consciousness. That is how he dedicated himself to yogic sadhana. This is the secret that transfigured him from figural to Mahayogi. Because It was imperative that Dharma must be alive in the national field. Accordingly he set himself to the task of giving the right philosophy of thought and action to his people, and prepare himself to be able to speak with authority on the wide spectrum of our hoary national heritage. Aurobindo’s lifetime was also a challenge for achieving independence from the clutches of a foreign yoke. This option was taken up by another set of people who also were freedom thirsty. Even after his adoption of that role, he did not amiss or be disinterested in such activities. Sitting in Chandernagore, he gave suggestions by writing comments on the current political plane outside. An interesting fact was that he was approached by Dr. B.S. Moonje to preside over the 1920 Congress held at Nagpur. But, Aurobindo was only able to send his oral blessings. No one can deny that he played the role of a Bharat’s Yogacharya of 20th century. That, Bharat, from time immemorial has been a heaven of saints and sadhakas is repeatedly referred to by its hoary history. Every family connects its lineage to one or other noble rishi. And anyone ignorant of his gotra will be connected to Kaashyapa and is called Kashyapa gotri. Rishi is that sadhaka, who by his penance and Sadhana experiences a hitherto hidden truth (Vishwamitra’s realization is Gayatri Mantra). Vedas reveal that there were wishes of different hues. Pandits and pamaras; they hailed from all parts, North to South, East and West. Their number being inexhaustible. Sadhakas sat for hours and days, with their thumb and anamika on the nostrils. It is said they either controlled their breath or made concentrated thinking. Silently they repeated either Om, Tatvamasi, Aham Brahmasmi, Shivoham, Dhi Yo Yonaha or any prayer of their choice. That bestowed them calmness in body, mind and Atma, some hidden truth would be found or revealed. Aurobindo surely belongs to that bandwagon is borne out by his literary works too. He was a master achiever in every walk of life, spiritual as well as worldly. He intensely studied Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Ramayana and wrote commentaries. He studied social sciences, business, industry, educational systems, language, finance, etc. He used to record his reactions to political developments. Always immersed in finding solutions for the betterment of his loving mother, Bharat Mata, he toiled hard and was anointed Rishihood, then a Mahayogi. He delivered to his patriotic countrymen on the 15th of August 1947, the day on which a major part of Bharat, became politically free and independent, partitioned, and a new Muslim political state, Pakistan was surreptitiously, thrust upon us as if a bolt from the blue. “ India today is free but she has not achieved unity… The old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems to have now hardened into a permanent political division of the country. It is to be hope that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled forever, as anything more than a temporary expedient; For, if it lasts, India maybe seriously weakened, even crippled; civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India’s internal development and prosperity maybe impeded, her position among the nations weakened, her destiny impaired or even frustrated. This must not be; The partition must go …By whatever means, in whatever way, that division must go; Unity must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the greatness of India’s future”
True, the unexpected declaration of partition came as a thunderbolt. Aurobindo was very sad but his body and intellect stood steadfast. He bestowed (Radio speech on 15.8.1947) a prophetic message: “By whatever means, in whatever way the division must go; Unity a must.” To fulfill, to achieve that herculean task our countrymen have to toil hard. They could also dig out a page out of Israel’s history and get inspired. There is no alternative. The foremost duty of, today’s fractured India, is to protect its integrity, safeguarded national honor, ethos; It should stand up with manliness. Its strengths, spiritual, military, economical, political, social and national must be harnessed thousandfold. Protection and rejuvenation of ‘Bharata Bhoo Bhakti’ plays an important role in this task. Patriotism must reverberate, percolate in one and all, irrespective of castes, creed and regions. This only shall be a foothold for total unison. A concurrent flow of oneness alone gives best of the results. It is only when: that individuals feel, believe and act in the method of mutual belonging;that soul divine stands united in the service of Bharat Bhoomi, which Aurobindo described as Sanatana Dharma;unity achieved and 1S brought about that Bharat shall be Vishwaguru;this indeed shall be a befitting homage to Aurobindo Ghosh, Mahayogi, a social, cultural, national statesman.
(The author is a senior Pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)
This Article Was First Published in 2019