Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ananda Math to Andaman; Alipur to Life Divine

It is a shame that the saga of Barindra and his band of young lieutenants involved in a rag tag adventure of raging an armed revolution against the English administration hundred years ago has been blacked out from the national memory. When Bankim Chandra decided to include his poem, Bande Mataram in his novel, Ananda Math, perhaps the seed was cast. It sprouted when Bipin Chandra Pal launched the periodical, Bande Mataram with Sri Aurobindo spearheading the editorial. In the Maniktola Garden project can be seen the prelude to Ananda Math materializing. But the patriotic dreams of the passionate hearts would soon be tossed over to Andaman.

Come May 1908, it’s catastrophe for the young revolutionaries. They are all arrested and their wares confiscated. Sri Aurobindo too goes to police custody and would spend a year in the Alipur Jail as an undertrial. The prison liberates him and arms him with the secret of Life Divine, thus unveiling a new vista for him as well as the whole world. [TNM]

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