On 15 August, the Independence Day, Sri Aurobindo gave the following message to the country from Pondicherry. In a prophetic and inspiring message, Sri Aurobindo said, “August 15, 1947 is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But we can also make it in our life and act as a free nation, an important date, in a new age opening for the whole world, for the political, social, cultural and spiritual future of humanity.”
“August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition. Indeed, on this day I can watch almost all the world-movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my life-time, though then they looked like impracticable dreams, arriving at fruition or on their way to achievement. In all these movements free India may well play a large part and take a leading position.”
Sri Aurobindo said the first of these dreams was a revolutionary movement which would create a free and united India. “India today is free but she has not achieved unity. At one moment it almost seemed as if in the very act of liberation she would fall back into the chaos of separate States which preceded the British conquest. But fortunately it now seems probable that this danger will be averted and a large and powerful, though not yet a complete union will be established. Also, the wisely drastic policy of the Constituent Assembly has made it probable that the problem of the depressed classes will be solved without schism or fissure. But the old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems now to have hardened into a permanent political division of the country.”
“It is to be hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled forever or as anything more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest. India’s internal development and prosperity may be impeded, her position among the nations weakened, her destiny impaired or even frustrated. This must not be; the partition must go. Let us hope that that may come about naturally, by an increasing recognition of the necessity not only of peace and concord but of common action, by the practice of common action and the creation of means for that purpose. In this way unity may finally come about under whatever form – the exact form may have a pragmatic but not a fundamental importance. But by whatever means, in whatever way, the division must go; unity must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the greatness of India’s future . . . . Such is the content which I put into this date of India’s liberation; whether or how far this hope will be justified depends upon the new and free India.” (Speech Abridged)
Sri Aurobindo was born in Calcutta on August 15, 1872, the third son of Dr. Krishnadhan Ghose and Srimati Swaranlata Devi. In 1879, his father, a civil surgeon, took his three sons to England and placed them with an English clergyman and his wife with strict instructions that they should not be allowed to make acquaintance of any Indian or undergo any Indian influence. These instructions were carried out to the letter and Aurobindo grew up in ignorance of India, her people, her religion and culture.
Some of the more enthusiastic young Indians at Cambridge formed a secret society romantically called ‘The Lotus and Dagger’ which Sri Aurobindo joined along with his brothers. Each member vowed to work for the liberation of India generally and also to take upon himself some special work to further that end
In 1890 Sri Aurobindo won an open scholarship of £ 80 for classics in his final examination at St. Paul’s, which enabled him to go on to King’s College at Cambridge. He also passed his test for selection to the Indian Civil Service. At Cambridge he passed the First Part of the Classics Tripos in the first division after two years, and also won college prizes for English and literary ability. He was working simultaneously for the ICS. exam. Finally, he passed the open competition with distinction, but did not pass the riding test.
Some of the more enthusiastic young Indians at Cambridge formed a secret society romantically called ‘The Lotus and Dagger’ which Sri Aurobindo joined along with his brothers. Each member vowed to work for the liberation of India generally and also to take upon himself some special work to further that end. This much is clear; while at Cambridge Aurobindo had become imbued with deep patriotic fervour and a desire to dedicate himself to the liberation of his country from foreign rule.
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