Aurobindo was born in Culcutta in 1872.
His father sent him to England at the age of 7
Aurobindo returned to India only at 21 after completing education in London and Cambridge in UK.
He was a scholar in Greek and Latin
He also learned French, German and Italian.
After returning from England he joined the Civil Service of his native state Baroda (Vadodara in modern Gujarat) (1893-1906) 13 years.
Worked first in the revenue department and secretarial work for the Maharaja.
Later he became a professor of English and finally vice-principal in the Baroda college.
During this time he learned Sanskrit and other Indian languages.
He also assimilated the spirit of Indian civilization and Hindu Religion.
In 1905 the partition of Bengal was effected by Lord Curzon.
And there were lot of agitations.
Aurobindo resigned his job and went to Culcutta to participate in the agitation.
His political activity lasted only for four years.
During that time he was one of the leaders of the newly formed Nationalist Party (It was a political party in British India. It was founded by Madan Mohan Malaviya and Madhav Shrihari Aney in 1934).
Aurobindo’s Nationalist party did not accept Moderate policy. Its goal was Swaraj.
Swaraj to be reached through self-help:
Starting of Swadesi industries
National schools and colleges
Indigenous institutions for self-defense.
The party hoped to capture congress, leaving aside Moderates, ultimately to overthrow British supremacy.
Unexpectedly violence broke out in Bengal and upset all their plans.
Aurobindo was prosecuted for sedition in 1907, but acquitted.
Similarly trails in 1908 (Alipur) and 1910.
While in prison in Alipur, Aurobindo had a profound religious experience which changed the course of his life.
He had a vision that he was being prepared for an altogether different kind of work which he should undertake after his release.
In 1910 Aurobido retired from public life and settled in Pondicherry.
He lived there until his death in 1950.
In 1914 Aurobindo started a philosophical monthly called Arya. In it, his work “The Life Divine” appeared in serial form.
In 1921 Arya ceased. But the published articles were later printed like:
The essays on the Gita
The renaissance in India
The ideal of human unity
The human cycle etc.
From 1926 Aurobindo completed retired for practicing Yoga and Meditation.
The Ashram gradually developed(people from different nations).
The emphasis was on union of the soul and development of the latent faculties.
Even during his retirement Aurobindo concerned with Indian politics, civilization and literary work.
Aurobindo also defended the Vedas like Dayananda and said:
Vedas glorify one god.
It celebrates the divine law.
It gives the law of the cosmos.
He also said that eh hymns of the Vedas are the symbolic gospel of the ancient Indian mystics.
They are the high aspiring song of humanity.
For him the earlier Vedas were closer to the Vedic roots, reflected the psychology of the Vedic rishis and preserved their integral view of life
The later Vedanta became more ascetic in character and anti-pragmatic in outlook.
In another words in the earlier Vedas there was a healthy integraton.
This integral view of life is well set forth in the Gita. This view is expressed in his two volumes on “Essays on Gita.
It is also called the integral yoga.
For him Gita is Gospel of Yoga or fellowship with God;
This fellowship implies , both a new birth and a new ideal of work.
This also involves the consideration unity of all things in God.
Therefore, for him, Gita teaches a synthetic yoga harmonizing spiritual life, karma, bhakti, dhyana and Jnana.
Karma: we have to surrender not only the fruit of action but also the action itself and its agency.
Gita: Gita calls for action according to the law of inner nature and not as per the Aryan caste.
The ideal man of Gita is beyond all three gunas
He is divine sakti descend
He becomes an instrument of god or
A channel of god
The supreme Spirit is neither the One nor the many but the One in , through and beyond the many.
It is both personal and impersonal.
The integral view is retained in the Tantras as well i.e. making people as instrument of the divine Sakhti working in the world.
Aim of Aurobindo was to reaffirm the integral view of life set forth in the Vedas, Upanishads, gita and Tantra.
And it is also to discover the ancient Sadhana
Because for him religions have saved souls, but not spiritualized people.
Aurobindo in his life divine talks about Super Mind i.e. connecting link between the ttwo hemispheres.
Super mind is pure self-awareness which has become dynamic.
Supermind, consciousness i.e. connecting link between Being and Becoming.
Aurobindo does not support illusion.
He believed rebirth but stressed evolution of the spirit on the earth.
When the reins of government are handed over to the super mind that an integral transformation can take place.
Salvation of humanity lies not in simply transcending the world, but in transfiguring it as well.
In other words it is integration of god and soul or transformation.
There is a gulf between ordinary mind and super mind
It can be bridged by a long and laborious process of Yoga.
Therefore, the purpose of yoga is to divinize humans
After reaching super mind, man becomes superman,
a jnani or a Gnostic being.
It is parallel to Jivanmukti and Bodhisattva.
Gnostic being is responsible to the demands of the spirit.
He has the sense of the oneness of all things
Egoism is completely extinguished.
No individuality but living in the consciousness of the Infinite
He can cultivate and utilize yoga siddhis or occult powers
The aim of Gnostic being is ultimately to establish a kingdom of god on earth.
True superman is not one who has not only the divine power (Hitler) but also the divine love and divine wisdom.
His long poem Savitri also illustrate the establishment of the kingdom of God.
His mission in the Ashram is to communicate is own experience to others.