Sri Aurobindo Ghosh: A Great Poet
Sri Aurobindo Ghosh is one of the greatest personalities of modern India. He was a poet, philosopher, yogi, guru and Indian nationalist. According to K.R.S. lyengar ‘Aurobindo was not merely a writer who happened to write in English but really an English writer’. It was he who propounded a philosophy of divine life on the earth through spiritual evolution.
Sri Aurobindo Ghose was born in Calcutta on 15 August 1872. He left his body on December 5, 1950 in Pondicherry. He started his school education in a Christian Convent school in Darjiling. At the age of seven he was sent to England for education. There he studied at St. Paul's School, London. After that he entered the King's College of Cambridge. After returning to India in 1892, he worked in the Princely State of Baroda for the next thirteen years. For some time he served as a professor in Baroda College also. In India he started the serious study of Yoga and Sanskrit language. From 1902 to 1910 he actively participated in the freedom movement of India. It was he who openly put forward the idea of complete independence for the country. In 1910 he withdrew himself from politics and went to Pondicherry. There he devoted himself entirely to the spiritualism. In Pondichery he founded a community of spiritual seekers. In 1926 it took shape as the Sri Aurobindo Asharm. This Ashram eventually attracted seekers from many countries through the world. During his forty years in Pondicherry he evolved a new method of spiritual practice, which he called the Integral Yoga.
Among his writings Essays on the Gita (1922), The Life Divine (1939), Collected Poems and Plays (1942), The Synthesis of Yoga (1948), The Human Cycle (1949), The Ideal of Human Unity (1949), Savitri (1950) and On the Veda (1956) are very popular.
The central theme of Sri Aurobindo's vision is the evolution of life into a ‘life divine’. In his own words: ‘Man is a transitional being. He is not final.’ Sri Aurobindo’s poetry is meant to bridge the present and the future. In his earlier poems the evolution of life is at the centre. These poems discuss philosophy of life of Sri Aurobindo. They show the close relationship of Man, Nature and God.
From 1906 to 1908 Aurobindo edited Bande Mataram, a Calcutta Daily. It contained his early political writings. Most of the editorials and articles of it exhibited an enthusiastic Indian Voice for freedom and justice.
Essays on the Gita is a very popular work by Aurobindo. It beautifully discusses the doctrine of Bhagavad Gita. The Life Divine is another popular composition by Aurobindo. It is his principal philosophic work. It is his spiritual autobiography that deals with his theory of spiritual evolution. It also deals with the philosophical aspect of Integral Yoga. The Secret of the Veda is mostly an introspection of the Vedic past. Briefly it is a Study of the way of writing of the Vedic mystics, their philosophic system and their system of symbols. Synthesis of Yoga also deals with the principles and methods of Integral Yoga.
Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol is Sri Aurobindo's master piece poetic work. It a spiritual epic poem in blank-verse. It contains nearly 24,000 lines. Here a tale of the Mahabharata is made a symbol of the human soul's spiritual quest. It is the supreme expression of Sri Aurobindo's vision. It presents the drama of integral self-realization. It has also been called ‘Eternity in Words’ Here the poet succeeds in expressing his mystic experiences and Yogic realizations. Here the soul achieves a complete spiritual transformation.
In short, Sri Aurobindo is really a very great poet. He is a skillful craftsman. He appears as a master in the use of blank verse. His poetic expression is fantastic. His grand, mantric and mystic style is appreciated in the entire world.