Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was an Indian philosopher, yogi, and spiritual leader who is best known for his teachings on the spiritual evolution of humanity. He was born in Calcutta, India, and received a traditional British education in India and England. After returning to India, he became involved in the independence movement and was eventually imprisoned for his activism. While in prison, he began to focus on spiritual development and began to develop his own spiritual philosophy, which he later called Integral Yoga.
Sri Aurobindo believed that the ultimate goal of human life was to achieve spiritual enlightenment and self-realization. He taught that the individual self is a part of the divine universal consciousness and that the purpose of human life is to realize this unity and become one with the divine. According to Sri Aurobindo, this process of spiritual evolution involves the transformation of the individual ego into the divine self, and the realization of the divine consciousness in the physical world.
Sri Aurobindo’s teachings have had a significant influence on the spiritual and philosophical landscape of India and the world, and his ideas continue to be studied and revered by many people today.
Sri Aurobindo (also known as Aurobindo Ghose) was born on August 15, 1872, in Calcutta, India. He was the fourth son of Krishna Dhan Ghose and Swarnalata Devi. His father was a successful physician and his mother was a deeply spiritual woman who had a strong influence on Sri Aurobindo’s early life.
Sri Aurobindo received a traditional British education, first at a local school in Calcutta and later at St. Paul’s School in Darjeeling and at King’s College, Cambridge University in England. He excelled academically and was fluent in several languages, including Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin.
After completing his education, Sri Aurobindo returned to India and took up a position as a professor of classical languages at the Maharaja’s College in Baroda. However, he soon became disillusioned with academia and left his job to become involved in the Indian independence movement.
In 1906, Sri Aurobindo was arrested and imprisoned for his involvement in the independence movement. It was during this time that he began to focus on spiritual development and to develop his own spiritual philosophy. After his release from prison, he moved to Pondicherry, India, where he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and began to teach and write about his spiritual ideas. He spent the rest of his life at the ashram, guiding the spiritual development of his followers and writing extensively on philosophy, spirituality, and other subjects. He passed away on December 5, 1950.
Sri Aurobindo is best known for his philosophical and spiritual writings, which include:
- “The Life Divine”: This is Sri Aurobindo’s most famous work and is considered one of the most comprehensive and profound treatments of the nature of reality, the purpose of human life, and the process of spiritual evolution.
- “The Synthesis of Yoga”: This work is a comprehensive guide to Sri Aurobindo’s teachings on Integral Yoga, which is a synthesis of various yoga traditions and spiritual paths.
- “The Mother”: This work is a collection of essays and conversations with The Mother, who was Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual collaborator and the co-founder of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India.
- “Essays on the Gita”: In this work, Sri Aurobindo offers his interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture that is revered as one of the most important spiritual texts in the world.
- “The Human Cycle”: In this work, Sri Aurobindo discusses the evolution of human society and the role of the individual in the collective evolution of humanity.
These are just a few of Sri Aurobindo’s most prominent works. He wrote extensively on a wide range of topics, including philosophy, spirituality, politics, literature, and culture. His works have been translated into many languages and continue to be widely read and studied by people around the world.