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At the Feet of The Mother

Sri Aurobindo: His Life Unique

A unique biography of Sri Aurobindo, which was written by Rishabhchand Samsukha in response to a request from The Mother, reviewed chapter by chapter by Nolini da, and translated by Andre Morisset for its bilingual publication at the Bulletin over the period of 10 years starting in 1960.

Sri Aurobindo was now saddled with a double responsibility — the editorship and general control of the Bande Mataram, and his work as the Principal of the National College. Both of these works entailed hard labour, but in both he achieved unexampled success.
Sri Aurobindo accepted non-violent passive resistance as a policy, and not as a cramping and crippling principle. Violence can be employed in self-defence or for the protection of the oppressed
Sri Aurobindo had a more or less definite conception — it was, indeed, a foreknowledge — even in his childhood, of the mission of his life. This foreknowledge is not something very rare; it has been a usual, if rather extraordinary, phenomenon in the lives of the supreme prophets, poets and pioneers.
Though, as we learn from his confidential letters to his wife, he was being led by the Divine within, he had arrived at a stage when a crucial experience alone could clear the way for further advance.
Sri Aurobindo spoke, or, to be more exact, was made to speak, of God being the leader of the manifold renaissance in India and her mission of giving the spiritual light to humanity. His politics had become one with his Yoga. He was a unique phenomenon in Indian politics — a Yogi-politician, who was at once a God-directed prophet and preacher of spiritual nationalism and an inscrutable but consummate political strategist.
Sri Aurobindo was a Yogi-politician, he not only foresaw the future, but had to work in the present in order to prepare the future. The Yogi knows that in a divinely directed course failures carry the seed of success, and even a huge destruction, if it is inevitable in the inscrutable dispensation of Providence, prepares the world for a great new creation.
"Sri Aurobindo sat, silent and immobile, like Shiva in trance. Even now when I shut my eyes, his gracious, tranquil, luminous face swims up into my vision. I, had known him as a Jnana Yogi and a Karma Yogi. But on that day, as if in a flash of intuition, I beheld him as a Purna Yogi... "
"I realised why even a sound and well-poised intelligence soon goes to pieces and tumbles into lunacy in such an imprisonment, and I realised, too, how, in this very condition one finds a rare opportunity for experiencing God’s infinite grace and attaining union with Him.... God, who is All-Good, turns even evil into supreme good." - Sri Aurobindo
... it was in the Alipore jail that He initiated him into the secrets of a long-lost Yoga and lighted the virgin way for his advance towards the supreme realisation of the dynamic, integral Union with Him, which is the eventual destiny of earthly evolution, and of which He had destined Sri Aurobindo to be the prophet and pioneer.
... Sri Aurobindo once remarked in his evening talks, “When I was arrested, my maternal grand aunt asked Vishuddhananda ‘what will happen to our Aurobindo’? He replied, ‘The Divine Mother has taken him in Her arms. Nothing will happen to him. But he is not your Aurobindo, He is world’s Aurobindo, and the world will be filled with his perfume.’”
After his release, Sri Aurobindo [...] delivered his famous Uttarpara Speech, which was a revelation of some of the spiritual experiences he had in the jail and of his changed outlook on life and its divine potentials and destiny.
“Aurobindo Ghose was now out of prison, and Nivedita ... found him completely transformed. His piercing eyes seemed to devour the tight-drawn skin-and-bones of his face. He possessed an irresistible power, derived from a spiritual revelation that had come to him in prison. [...] Since his imprisonment at Alipore, Aurobindo Ghose was no longer a fighter but a Yogi.”
Sri Aurobindo [...] left the country what he called his last will and testament. The “Open Letter” is a very important document, as it contains almost all the essentials of Sri Aurobindo’s political thought and action, and we give below long extracts from it.
"An unerring insight into the eternal core of Hinduism, the part it played in the evolution of Indian culture, and its mission in the creation of the future in which the East and the West shall meet to build a new world of unity and harmony, shines out in all his utterances of this period."
India has won political independence, but she has yet to regain her soul. She has yet to realise that she has a great destiny, a marvellous future, more glorious than her past, and an unprecedented mission to accomplish for the world.
Why should he bother about himself and what would happen to him when he knew in every fibre of his being that the Infinite Love had taken charge of him? He belonged neither to himself nor to the world, but to God alone and he was happy to be thus possessed and moved by Him for the fulfilment of His work.
"Opening my eyes wide, I observed that Sri Aurobindo was sitting silently with his eyes fixed in an upward stare. What a complacent and divine look! He had come to my house in an ecstatic state. He had utterly resigned himself to God."
About a week after Sri Aurobindo was lodged at Shankar Chetty’s house, a distinguished French thinker and scholar, Paul Richard, came to Pondicherry... “He was sent from France by Mira — she whom we know as the Mother.”[3] She had given him the sketch of a Yogachakra (a mystic symbol) saying that its interpreter was to be found in India and that he who would interpret it was her master and guide in yoga.