Aurobindo Ghosh – UPSC Prelims

Aurobindo Ghosh:
  • Aurobindo Ghosh was an Indian philosopher, yoga guru, poet and Indian nationalist.
  • He was born on 15th August 1872 at Calcutta.
  • At the age of seven, Aurobindo was sent to England by his father to insulate him against any Indian influence.
  • In England, he organized a secret society called ‘Lotus and Dagger‘ for the uplift of his motherland.
  • In 1890, Aurobindo competed for Indian Civil Service(I.C.S) and won the position but was later disqualified as he came purposefully late to the horse-riding practical exam as he had no interest in the ICS.
  • In 1893, he came back to India and joined Baroda state service as a professor of English at Baroda College.
  • In 1906, he joined as principal of National College, Calcutta but resigned from the post in 1907 to join the National Freedom Movement.
  • He associated himself with Journals and periodicals like the ‘Jugantar‘ and Bande Mataram through which he made stern criticism of British imperialism.
  • Aurobindo attended the 1906 Congress meeting headed by Dadabhai Naoroji and participated as a councilor in forming the fourfold objectives of “Swaraj, Swadesh, Boycott, and national education”
  • In 1908, he was arrested on the charge of the Alipore bomb conspiracy case but was acquitted in 1909 after a long trial.
  • Once out of the prison, he started two new publications, Karmayogin in English and Dharma in Bengali. He also delivered the Uttarpara Speech hinting at the transformation of his focus to spiritual matters.
  • In 1910, he left active politics and stayed in Pondicherry as a Yogi till his death on 5th December 1950. At Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo developed a spiritual practice called Integral Yoga. The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a divine life in the divine body
  • Some of his important writings are – The Life Divine, Savitri, Essay on the Gita, The Ideal of Human Unity, Defence of Indian Culture etc.