Blend of Theology and Humanism in the Poetic Works of Sir Aurobindo

Topics: Sri Aurobindo, Consciousness, Religion Pages: 9 (3222 words) Published: December 10, 2012

* Background and Introduction
* Objectives
* Hypothesis
* Brief Evaluation of Research Plan

Background and Introduction

Sri  Aurobindo Ghosh (15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950) was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He was the first Indian to create a major literary corpus in English. His works include philosophy; poetry; translations of and commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Gita, plays; literary, social, political, and historical criticism; devotional works; spiritual journals and three volumes of letters. He joined the Indian movement for freedom from the British rule and for a duration became one of its most important leaders. He was also one of the famous Radical leaders of India during the Indian National Movement. As a poet he developed his own vision of human progress and spiritual evolution. His early poems, quite naturally, reveal deep influences of his Greek and Latin scholarship. They are replete with names, allusions and images drawn from Greek and Latin classics. His later poems are replete with allusions from the Veda, the Upanishadas and the Puranas. His poetic creations are the creations of a mystically and spiritually inspired consciousness. His writings reflect his political, philosophical and religious views. The central theme of Aurobindo's vision was the evolution of human life into life divine. He explains the nature of the process of evolution. He wrote: "Man is a transitional being. He is not final. The step from man to superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner spirit and the logic of nature's process." Thus, Aurobindo created a dialectic mode of salvation not only for the individual but for all mankind. Aurobindo's writings synthesized Eastern and Western philosophy, religion, literature, and psychology. His philosophy deals with ceaseless striving, from time immemorial, of mankind towards the achievement of divinity. It is a result of his finding and discovery. His main philosophical achievement was to introduce the concept of evolution into Vedantic thought. He describes the limitation of the “Mayavada of Advaita Vedanta”, and solves the problem of the linkage between the ineddable Brahman or Absolute and the world of multiplicity by positing a hitherto unknown and unexplored level of consciousness, which he called “The Supermind”. The Supermind is the active principle present in the transcendent and “Satchidananda” as well in the root of evolution, a unitary level of which our individual minds and bodies are subdivisions. Aurobindo's conversion from political action to spirituality occurred gradually. Aurobindo had been influenced by Bankim's  Anandamath. He had been engaged in yogic discipline for years. After attending the Surat session of the Congress in 1907, Aurobindo met Lele in Baroda. This meeting led him to retire for three days in seclusion where, following Lele's instruction, Aurobindo had his first major experience, called nirvana - a state of complete mental silence free of any thought or mental activity. Later, while awaiting trial as a prisoner in Alipore Central Jail in Calcutta Aurobindo had a number of mystical experiences. In his letters, Sri Aurobindo mentions that while in jail as under-trial, spirit of Swami Vivekananda visited him for two weeks and spoke about the higher planes of consciousness leading to supermind. Sri Aurobindo later said that while imprisoned he saw the convicts, jailers, policemen, the prison bars, the trees, the judge, the lawyers as different forms of one godhead, Krishna. At the highest stage of consciousness, what Sri Aurobindo calls supermind, one is in a perpetual state of both cognitive and creative perfection, which at that level are one. The conception...
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