Source: Ermine A. Brown, Eminent Indians, Vol. 2 (Calcutta: Shanti Mitra, 1946)

Aurobindo Ghose

Sri Aurobindo Ghose, poet, scholar, fighter and saint, was born in Calcutta on August 15, 1872.

Upon graduation from King’s College in Cambridge, Ghose joined the Baroda State Service where he worked in the Dewani Office as a personal assistant. Later, he was transferred to the Revenue Office, and following that, became private secretary to His Highness. His career continued progressing, and soon he was made Vice-Principal of the State College, and later, Principal of the Baroda College in 1906.

He left Baroda for good in July 1906 and settled in Calcutta, where he was made Principal of a National College that aimed at promoting education on national lines. When the Nationalist Party founded a daily paper Bande Mataram in 1907, Aurobindo became its editor and virtual director. The paper became widely popular. While Aurobindo was editor, he was tried for sedition but quickly acquitted. In 1907, he was actively involved in the Nationalist movement, touring and lecturing extensively in Bombay and the Central Provinces. In 1908, he returned to Calcutta only to be charged for treason and conspiracy, in the Alipore conspiracy case. After a dramatic year-long trial, where he was defended by C. R. Das, he was announced not guilty and released.

Upon his release, he tried to revive the Nationalist movement to no avail. His detention in Alipore, however, had allowed him to practice Yoga intensively – he therefore started two weeklies, Karmayogin in English and Dharma in Bengali, which channelled the lessons he had learned from deep meditation. He began devoting himself to his spiritual task in Pondichery, severing all connections with politics and repeatedly refusing the Presidential Chair of the National Congress. In 1914, he started a philosophical monthly, Arya, which featured the bulk of his most important writingsHe passed away in December, 1950.

Source: Ermine A. Brown, Eminent Indians, Vol. 2 (Calcutta: Shanti Mitra, 1946); Who’s Who in India, Burma & Ceylon (Bombay: 1936)

Works

Essays on the Gita (Calcutta: Arya Publishing House, 1922)

The Foundations of Indian Culture (New York: Sri Aurobindo Library, 1923)

War and Self-Determination (Madras: S.R. Murthy & Co., 1920)

The Spirit and Form of Indian Polity (Calcutta: Arya Publishing House, 1947)

Ideas of IndiaIdeas of India