Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It was at this address that a young Aurobindo took interest in world politics and developed a strong sense of injustice at the British rule of India

English Heritage Blue Plaque for Sri Aurobindo
LONDON. December 12, 2007 - - Political and Spiritual leader in India -
The political and spiritual leader, Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was commemorated today (12 December 2007) with an English Heritage Blue Plaque at 49 St Stephen's Avenue, London, W12, a Shepherds Bush Housing Group property. It was at this address that a young Aurobindo took an interest in world politics and developed a strong sense of injustice at the British rule of India. He went on to become an important figure in India, and laid the foundations for the struggle for independence that was later taken up by Gandhi, among others. Since Aurobindo's death the worldwide reach and influence of his writings - especially The Life Divine (1939-40) - have grown significantly, he has been the subject of several biographies, and numerous critical studies of his work. His philosophy has been described as a fusion of eastern and western thought.
Sri Aurobindo - to give him the religious name under which he published - was born Aurobindo (or Aravinda) Ackroyd Ghose in Calcutta in August 1872, the son of Dr Krishna Dhan Ghose. At the age of seven, Aurobindo and his two brothers were sent by their Anglophile father to be educated in England. The fourteen years Aurobindo spent in this country (1879-93) had a strong influence on his subsequent life and work; he had little contact with other Indians, and English was his first language until he reached adulthood.
At St Paul's School - then located in Hammersmith - Aurobindo excelled at the classical curriculum and won a number of literary prizes. In 1890 he secured an open scholarship to King's College, Cambridge, where he took a first in the first part of the Classical Tripos in 1892. Aurobindo also passed the exam for the Indian Civil Service, but later failed the compulsory riding test by turning up late. He did so deliberately, as he considered that his future colleagues in the civil service were likely to be, as he later put it, 'unmannerly, uncultivated, unintelligent' mediocrities.
In 1893 Aurobindo returned to India to take up a post in the service of the Maharaja of Baroda. He rose to become Vice-Principal of Baroda College. However, he kept up his literary interests and his first volume of poetry, Songs to Myrtilla, was published in 1898. He also studied Sanskrit and the great Indian epics, some of which he translated into English. From 1906, Aurobindo became increasingly involved in politics. As editor of the daily Bande Mataram ('Hail to Mother India') and leader of the Extremist Party, he was accused of sedition in 1907. It was while awaiting trial in Alipore jail - where he remained for a year - that Aurobindo began to practise yoga and meditation, initially to develop inner strength for the political struggle. Following his acquittal in 1909, he fled to a secret address in French India after he was warned of a further prosecution; this effectively ended his political career, though he maintained an interest in world events.
In April 1910, Aurobindo arrived in the French enclave of Pondicherry, where he was to remain for the rest of his life, as the focus of a small community or ashram. In 1920, he was joined by Mirra Alfassa, who became the 'Mother' of the ashram and Aurobindo's constant companion. During these years, he worked on his own system of yoga, and wrote prolifically. His philosophical and spiritual works, many of which were first published serially in the monthly periodical Arya (1914-21), included The Life Divine (1939-40), The Synthesis of Yoga (1948), The Human Cycle (1949), The Ideal of Human Unity (1950), and Savitri (1950-51), the longest epic poem in the English language. There is currently a programme - administered by the ashram at Pondicherry - to reissue his complete works in thirty-seven volumes.
Although grounded in traditional Indian scripture, Aurobindo's written output also showed the influence of classical western thought, and was informed by more modern developments such as evolutionary theory. In the last two years of his life, Aurobindo received a number of awards, including the Asiatic Society Medal for Peace and Culture. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, shortly before his death the same year. 3 m news - Nachrichten

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