Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sri Aurobindo is not a mere Hindu revivalist

Pondicherry has been renamed as Puducherry. But the pet name Pondy is likely to linger in popular conversation. Sri Aurobindo arrived in Pondy on April 4, 1910 and The Mother on March 29, 1914. Together, they launched a monthly philosophical journal called, Arya on August 15, 1914. Gradually, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram also took shape. And that is how a tiny port-town like Pondy became world famous.
The major and mature writings of Sri Aurobindo were serialized in Arya that appeared regularly till January 15, 1921. Of course, many of those thoughts in seed-form can be traced in the writings of pre-Pondy days. Many present day writers liberally use extracts from his writings of the pre-Pondy days to show that he was a Hindu nationalist leader. That the context was to fight the Britishers by mobilizing and motivating the public is easily forgotten.
Sri Aurobindo remained aloof from active politics during the last 40 years of his life spent in Pondy. In this period, along with The Mother, he created an integral vision for the future of humanity. His words have spread to every corner of the world and he is counted among the top-rung philosophers. So, to show him as a mere Hindu revivalist is truancy to his true legacy. It is hoped that the present-day scholars and writers would desist from such intellectual dishonesty.

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