Our ‘Book of the Month’ pays homage to one of the most celebrated poets of Hindi, Rashtrakavi Maithilisharan Gupt. Selected excerpts from his most famous work, Bharat Bharati, which stirred deep nationalist emotions among Indians when it was first published in 1912 are presented. Since the month of September sees Hindi Diwas (September 14), it is befitting to feature excerpts from this important poetic work in Hindi.
This special issue opens a year-long celebration of Sri Aurobindo’s 150th birthday and 75th anniversary of India’s political independence. Starting with this issue, the next 12 issues will explore the 12 attributes that the Mother has identified as soul-powers necessary for full manifestation of Her Work. The present issue explores Sincerity in a multi-dimensional approach. Special features on Sri Aurobindo’s work as a revolutionary nationalist are also included.
We feature a very special essay by Sri Aurobindo from his Bande Mataram writings in which he writes about the birth and growth of Indian nationalism invoking the advent and avatāric work of Sri Krishna. The selection of this piece is most appropriate since this month we also celebrate Krishna Janmashtami.
This three-part essay was first published on August 15, 1950 in Mother India. It presents a remarkable overview of various world-forces that were at play around the time of India’s independence, and highlights the significance of the date August 15, heralding a new direction for the world and humanity.
In this part, we learn the inner meaning of why August 15, a date of momentous implications for the values of civilisation has been chosen by India to celebrate her independence. Amal Kiran reminds us that behind the conscious thought of individuals there is the working of that invisible yet potent being which is the national soul or genius.
Amal Kiran helps us contemplate on how befitting it is that the Independence Day of a country whose chief glory has been God-realisation should coincide with the occasion of Sri Aurobindo’s birth. It would be purblind on our part to miss a signal so pregnant with meaning and fail to see our future bound up with Sri Aurobindo’s presence—our future of true self-growth political as well as cultural and of leadership among the nations on the path of human evolution towards Godhead.
Exploring the theme of sincerity in history, we feature excerpts from a couple of introductory chapters from a book authored by Prof. Kittu Reddy, a long-time resident of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and teacher of Indian History and Culture at Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education. The author suggests that when examining Indian history from a subjective point of view, external events gain greater importance in the light of the inner psychological vision and deeper forces behind them.
India needs Shakti alone, said Sri Aurobindo once. What can help Indians, and especially the youth of India grow in Shakti? What factors hold us back? What is necessary to infuse our knowledge with courage? What needs to be done to strengthen our society from within? These and other related questions were explored in this conversation with Sandeep Balakrishna, presented here in three parts.
In this concluding part of the 15-part series, the author summarises the inner evolution of Indian national consciousness of which the political idea of nationalism is only a small part. He reminds us that the future course of Indian nationhood lies in spiritualising all the outer aims and activities including science, art, literature, politics and socio-economic organisation.
Continuing with the analysis presented earlier, in this part the author argues that Indian national consciousness must arrive at a deeper subjectivity and make spirituality the sole principle of its new effort if India is to be true to her age-long endeavour and render to the world the gift of her spiritual knowledge and her means for the spiritualisation of life to the whole race.
In this part, A V Sastri briefly outlines how the unique Indian spirit of nationalist struggle for independence led by Sri Aurobindo, Lokmanya Tilak and others was gradually replaced by the moral-ethical nature of Gandhian call for political freedom. He also writes of the limits of such moralistic attempts.