Aurobindo Ghosh: The revolutionary who turned spiritualist

Aurobindo Ghosh came to symbolise modern spirituality embedded in Indianness. Photos: auroville.org

“I had no urge toward spirituality in me, I developed spirituality. I was incapable of understanding metaphysics, so I developed into a philosopher,” wrote Aurobindo Ghosh of himself in 1935.

Aurobindo Ghosh, who came to be known later by his honorific title Sri Aurobindo, attained iconic stature in the first two decades of the 20th century, metamorphosing into a spiritual leader from being a militant Bengal anti-British revolutionary.

Even in spiritualism, he stood apart. Unlike the more conventional religious guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa or a broader political-cultural historic personality like Rabindranath Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh came to symbolise modern spirituality embedded in Indianness. In this, he was second only to Vivekananda. He was a prominent figure among the small band of Indian revivalists from Bengal at the turn of the last century. Though these......

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