Editorial Note

K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar was a Professor of English Literature at the Andhra University (Vishakapatnam) when it received Sri Aurobindo’s well-known message. Iyengar rose to become vice chancellor and won the prestigious Sahitya Academy fellowship for his many writings on British, American, and Indo-Anglian literature including the acclaimed works “The Indian Contribution to English Literature” and “Indian Writing in English”. Iyengar authored more than 200 publications including 40 books some of which were focussed on India’s ancient spiritual works. However, it is the biography of Sri Aurobindo that arguably stands out as his magnum opus. Scholarly, incisive, and balanced, the biography was vetted by Sri Aurobindo himself. Iyengar was widely recognized for his many literary contributions and elected vice president of the Sahitya Academy before being called upon to serve as its acting president.

Derived from the (1990) Sri Aurobindo Circle magazine, the 2nd article in our series on Sri Aurobindo’s life and works entitled “The ‘Message’ of Sri Aurobindo” is presented below.

In this essay, Prof Iyengar skilfully analyses a few of the messages that were sent by Sri Aurobindo to various individuals and discusses their implications for India and the World. In his letter to his wife Mrinalini Devi for example, Sri Aurobindo describes his boundless love for his less fortunate fellowmen, his indefatigable seeking for a path to God, and an uncompromising will to work for India’s liberation from British rule as his “three madnesses”.  This letter serves as a basis for understanding Sri Aurobindo’s life and some of his later actions. Notwithstanding his struggle for India’s liberation, Sri Aurobindo, Iyengar points out, publicly supported British war efforts having foreseen the threat that Hitler represented to India and the World. Similarly, Sri Aurobindo also offered his “adhesion” to the Stafford Cripps mission which, had it been accepted by India’s leaders, might have averted partition and its accompanying horrors.

Referring to Sri Aurobindo’s message to newly independent India, Iyengar reminds us of what Sri Aurobindo had cherished and worked to accomplish for India, Asia and all of humanity. In that message Sri Aurobindo pointedly endorsed the “wisely drastic policy of the Constituent Assembly” towards solving “the problem of the depressed classes…without schism or fissure”. At the same time, Sri Aurobindo warned that India should not accept her partition as “settled fact” and that if she did not keep to her swadharma she risked losing her soul even if she were to become an opulent and powerful nation. In a separate message to the Andhra University, Sri Aurobindo stressed that India’s diversity was a national strength and that nationalism could only gain from the idea of federation and the creation of a truly ‘United States of India’.  Consistent with his espousal of World-union as a solution to some of the World’s problems, and his revolutionary spiritual work for ushering in “a step in evolution which would raise man to a higher and larger consciousness”, Sri Aurobindo also wrote that “East and West have the same human nature, a common human destiny, the same aspiration after a greater perfection, the same seeking after something higher than itself..”.

In the course of this article, Iyengar also briefly discusses the tasks and challenges that India and the World face and the “big change” that is needed to take a quantum leap towards what Sri Aurobindo described as “individual perfection and a perfect society”.

For Further Reading on Srinivas Iyengar Visit:  [1]  [2]  [3] [4]

#Sri Aurobindo Sesquicentenary Article 2

The ‘Message’ of Sri Aurobindo

By K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar

[This Paper was presented at the Seminar on “The Message of Sri Aurobindo’’ held on 30-31 May 1989 at the Nainital Himalayan Centre of Sri Aurobindo Ashram — Delhi Branch, in commemoration of the installation of Sri Aurobindo’s Relics in Van Nivas at 7 a.m., Monday, 29 May 1989.]

With such a phenomenon as Sri Aurobindo, it is permissible to say that his life, his writings (now collected in the thirty volumes of the Birth Centenary Library), his Yoga sadhana and his Yogashram at Pondicherry, these together orchestrate his ‘Message’, his nectarean ‘Message’ to mankind. During his birth centenary year, the Mother often stressed the importance of his life and ministry, and on 15 August 1972 especially, she came out with this strident and sublime declaration:

“Man is the creation of yesterday.

“Sri Aurobindo came to announce the creation of tomorrow: the coming of the supramental being.”[1]

“Sri Aurobindo’s message is an immortal sunlight radiating over the future.”[2]

The Sun is immortal, yet we say the Sun rises at 6 in the morning and sets at 6 in the evening; and we identify and talk about the events of the day, and look for their deeper meaning. Sri Aurobindo’s Message, comprehending as it does the eternities past and future, is indeed an “immortal sunlight”, but it could also be viewed in its particularity as confined to his visible life-time, and studied with proper humility. The 78-year spread from 15 August 1872 to 5 December 1950 was in its totality a definitive evolutionary forward step, the quantum leap from the mental to the supramental; and besides, in his life-span, there were also particular situations when he felt the need to spell out his ‘message’ as tuned to the occasions, though he wasn’t happy with the word itself.

Sri Aurobindo’s “three madnesses”

On 30 August 1905, Sri Aurobindo wrote a letter in Bengali from Baroda to his wife, Mrinalini, who was then in Calcutta. It was a private letter, partly in reply to hers of 24 August; and the letter itself has survived the ravages of time because it happened to be seized by the police in 1908 and produced in Court during the trial proceedings in the Alipore bomb case.

In the course of the letter, Sri Aurobindo admitted that he held certain views which, although the world might castigate them as follies, frenzies, aberrations or obsessions, were part of his crystallised Faith, and they were unseverable from him. First, whatever his wealth of talent and upbringing, whatever his possessions or earnings, all was his only on trust, and had to be used in the main for dharmakarya, and shared with the less fortunate among his brothers and sisters, the people of India. What was this affirmation except an uncompromising Message of Brotherhood that admitted no compromise?

But since human brotherhood necessarily involved the Fatherhood of God, Sri Aurobindo wanted to see God or experience Him by following the tested methods described by our forefathers; Sri Aurobindo had thus to engage in Yoga and find his pathway to God. Surely, Mrinalini could understand the importance and urgency of his quest, and wish him all success.

Thirdly, Sri Aurobindo could not be blind to the plight of India groaning under the alien British bureaucracy. India for Sri Aurobindo was not just a stretch of land, a familiar geographical area, but verily, experientially, un­questionably the Mother. And the foreign Power was a Rakshasa, a Demon, sucking the Mother’s blood. This was a constant nightmarish experience for Sri Aurobindo, and he knew he had to fight the Demon, overcome and throw him out. And Sri Aurobindo was committed to this great and filial service. And this he was determined to do by a resort to brahmatej, soul-force, and not ksatratej or brute-force. Burdened as he was with this terrible filial responsibility, how could Sri Aurobindo be expected to behave as the average anglicised, new-rich, alienated, middle-class worthy did? Mrinalini should see that her husband had other far aims, and moral and spiritual compulsions that he could not ignore.

It is true Sri Aurobindo was but writing to his young wife, talking mainly about himself, and inviting his “dearest Mrinalini” to stand by him and give him all support as his sahadharmini, sakti. But the letter was a testament and an exhortation all the same, and preached the triple loves — love of the people, love of God, love of the country — that were the same love, a single faith, and an integral consecration.

The ‘message’ (if we want to call it that) is clear: sanity and patriotism mean adoration and service of the Mother, Bharat Mata; of God in the community and the country; and viewing as Mother the entire geographical spread spotted with mountains, rivers, woodlands, valleys, inhabited by variegated flora and fauna, and by the opulence of Indian humanity in cities and the countryside. Seeing all in their spiritual oneness, and loving and serving all: well, this was the agenda of right thinking, right feeling and right action for the awakened children of Mother India.

The Supramental Manifesto for a new world order, a new humanity and a new earth

A month and a half after the letter to Mrinalini was written, the ‘partition of Bengal’ became an accomplished fact on 16 October 1905. This meant Sri Aurobindo moving to Calcutta soon after, and taking up the de facto editorship of the Bande Mataram. The three or four years following were a hectic period, and included the twelve months of ‘Ashramvas’ (May 1908 to May 1909) in the Alipur Jail, where he had Yoga Siddhi of a kind that gave a new turn altogether to his life. Early in 1910, he received an adesa from within directing him to leave Calcutta for Chandernagore, and from there to Pondicherry where he arrived in April 1910, and lived there till his passing on 5 December 1950. Sri Aurobindo’s first years (1910-1914) of ‘silent Yoga’, as we can infer from the painstakingly detailed ‘Record of Yoga’ in terms of Sapta Chathushtaya, now being repro­duced in the Ashram journal, Sri Aurobindo: Archives and Research, were the seed-time for the wonderful ambrosial harvest of the Arya period. During his long years in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo emerged as a great Yogi-Seer, the integral thinker and prophet of Arya (1914-21), the co-founder (with Mirra Richard, the Mother) of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1926, the supramental Mahayogi, and the mystic symbolistic poet of Savitri. The Arya writings and luminous prose sequences — The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita, The Secret of the Veda, The Psychology of Social Development, The Ideal of Human Unity, The Future Poetry — added up to a weighty and comprehensive ‘Supramental Manifesto’ projecting a new world order, a new humanity and a new earth. These writings could be supplemented by the hundreds — perhaps thousands — of letters written to the disciples; and these are now collected as Letters on Yoga, and the cumulative message and teaching, flashes of illumination, all are gathered into the futurist poem, Savitri. Sri Aurobindo’s ‘message’? For the eyes that can see, for the mind that is alert, and the soul that is awake, the ‘message’ is everywhere — in the letters, in stray poetic lines, in the scintillating ‘Thoughts and Aphorisms’!

Sri Aurobindo’s Messages and Dreams for India and the World

While all this is true enough, and Sri Aurobindo was both the Message and its medium of communication to humankind, he also gave on a few occasions specific ‘messages’ to those immediately concerned. During the second world war, for instance, there was the question of aiding (or hindering) the Allied war effort against the Axis Powers. Opinion in India — and even in Sri Aurobindo Ashram — was sharply divided. Fully aware of the grave issues at stake, Sri Aurobindo said in his letter to the Governor of Madras, dated 19 September 1940:

“We feel that not only is this a battle waged in just self-defence and in defence of the nations threatened with the world-domination of Germany and the Nazi system of life, but that it is a defence of civilisation… we look forward to the victory of Britain and, as the eventual result, an era of peace and union among the nations and a better and more secure world-order.”[3]

Again and again, he assured the doubting Thomases among his disciples that it was indeed the Mother’s war, and people with discernment should boldly extend their support to the side that was somehow aligned with the Divine cause, as against the clearly threatened reign of the Asura who was behind Hitler and his allies. With this background, it was hardly surprising that, in his message to Sir Stafford Cripps of 31 March 1942, Sri Aurobindo welcomed the mission “as an opportunity given to India to determine for herself, and organise in all liberty of choice, her freedom and unity, and take an effective place among the world’s free nations.”[4] 

Sri Aurobindo the seer saw the possibility of freedom and unity for India, victory for the Allies, and a world-union in which, as a free and united nation, India would “contribute to build for mankind a better and happier life.” [5] And it was with this conviction that Sri Aurobindo offered his “public adhesion” to Cripps’s mission, and he too as good as endorsed the Seer’s reading of the intention behind the British Government’s offer.

We now know that the rejection of the Cripps proposals was a truly Himalayan blunder which drove a deeper wedge between Congress and Muslim League than before. Yet another chance came when the Cabinet Mission arrived with a three-tier federal framework, and on this occasion too Sri Aurobindo spoke his mind. In a statement published in Amrita Bazar Patrika on 24 March 1946, Sri Aurobindo welcomed the Mission, and expressed the hope that the nation’s leaders would make “a right and full use of the opportunity.” [6] But the leaders failed once more, and ‘partition’ was the result.

When freedom (and the obnoxious ‘partition’) came on 15 August 1947, which was also his 75th birthday, Sri Aurobindo said in his Independence Day Message [7] that he took this coincidence, “not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps”. He used the occasion to refer to certain dreams he had cherished, certain world-movements he had visualised, with the possibilities of their early fruition in his own life-time. These movements he listed as (1) “a free and united India”; (2) “the resurgence and liberation of the peoples of Asia”; (3) “a world-union forming the outer basis of a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind”; (4) the diffusion of India’s spirituality over Europe and America, initiating an East-West mutuality of understanding and cooperation, and lastly, (5) “a step in evolution which would raise man to a higher and larger consciousness” facilitating the solution of problems which have so far perplexed and baffled thinking humanity. While feeling gratified with the synchronisation of India’s date with destiny with his own birthday, Sri Aurobindo took the proffered occasion to highlight some of the mistakes of the recent past, the dangers inherent in the present, and the residual hope for the future.

It was tragic, Sri Aurobindo felt that the old Hindu-Muslim communal division had been allowed to harden into “a permanent political division of the country” into India and Pakistan. But unless, “by whatever means, in whatever way”, the partition ceases to be, there can be no peace, no progress, no greatness of aim and achievement, for the sub-continent. “The partition must go”, Sri Aurobindo asserted. After Pakistan itself split into two in 1972, had Indira Gandhi, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mujibur Rehman shown real wisdom and statesmanship, they could have annulled the partition on terms honourable to all, and laid the foundations of a new order. But that was not to be, and so long as unity eludes the sub-continent, we are bound to fritter away our modest resources on war-preparedness on a maddening scale.

Like Indian freedom and unity, Asian resurgence and solidarity, global union and peace and prosperity, are also vitiated by chronic suspicion, rival alignments and wasteful rearmament on a truly fantastic scale. And even the spread of Indian spirituality to the West has been more often than not on a bizarre commercial and spurious ‘god-man’ basis, though the genuine too is certainly there, and is yielding beneficial results pointing to a bright future.

As for the fifth of his dreams — a quantum leap of consciousness” from the mental to the supramental — this was for Sri Aurobindo himself (in 1947) “still a personal hope and an idea”, though he expected, that the initiative for this decisive forward movement “can come from India”. Even as early as 1922, Sri Aurobindo had written to Chitta Ranjan Das that “man can never get out of the futile circle” the race is always treading until he has raised himself on “to the new foundation”[8] or attained a new consciousness, by the practice of Yoga. Sri Aurobindo had added then that already he had “a sure basis, a wide knowledge and some mastery of the secret”.[9]  The daily ‘Record of Yoga’ Sri Aurobindo kept in his early Pondicherry years gives us an idea of the kind of Yoga he practised, the range of his experiences and the nature of the prolonged Battle for Self-perfection. But apparently, even till 1947, the climactic evolutionary leap had not taken place. It can be argued indeed that the partial failure on the other four fronts so far has really been due to the fact that the crucial issue of the needed explosion of consciousness from the mental to the supramental had not fully occurred. Statesmen, military leaders, scientists, technologists and indus­trialists, and the rest of average humanity operate at the mental level which is innately susceptible to false trails, deceptive self-contradictions and suicidal aberrations. Hence all hinge on the next “step in evolution”, the supramental descent and manifestation, and its seizure of control of the movements of humanity and of terrestrial life.

Again, less than six months later, when Gandhiji fell on his way to prayer at the hands of an assassin, Sri Aurobindo in his message to the nation broadcast on the All-India Radio gave the solemn assurance that, notwithstanding everything, “a great and united India” was the decree of destiny, and the Mother would “gather around her sons and weld them into a single national strength in the life of a great and united people.”[10] 

The United States of India

Ten months later, in his Message to the Annual Convocation of Andhra University on 11 December 1948, Sri Aurobindo referred to the ‘partition’ again. The alien British Power had imposed upon the several Indian sub-nations, with different languages and local traditions of their own, “the habit of a common type of administration, a closer intercommunication through the English lan­guage and by the education it gave”. [11] The newly educated class had developed “a sufficient fighting quality” to wrest power from the British, though not to retain the unity of the country. Jinnah’s “two nation theory” and the resulting partition were “the deadly consequences which we know”. In that context, Sri Aurobindo felt that a rational and sensible linguistic reorganisation of what remained of the old India would be wise:

“The ancient diversities of the country carried in them great advantages as well as drawbacks. By these differences the country was made the home of many living and pulsating centres of life, art, culture, a richly and brilliantly coloured diversity in unity…. There is no possibility any longer that this diversity will endanger or diminish the unity of India…. The idea of federation and a complex machinery for its perfect working have been discovered and will be at full work…. India’s national life will then be founded on her natural strengths and the principle of unity in diversity which has always been normal to her and its fulfilment the fundamental course of her being and its very nature, the Many in the One, would place her on the sure foundations of her Swabhava and Swadharma.”[12]

The right constitutional objective, then, should be a United India in the form of a federal Union of constituent States and regional peoples with their several cultures and local traditions. As envisaged and advised by Sri Aurobindo in December 1948, when we finally gave a Constitution to ourselves, it was as a federal Union of States. No doubt, during the last four decades, we have witnessed a lot of avoidable bungling, and Centre-States relations are yet to be defined and conducted on a wholly satisfactory basis. A bold and new states­manship is certainly called for, and there should be no unholy desire on the part of the Centre to be the circle and the circumference as well, reducing the federal principle to a mockery and a sham. On the other hand, the Centre should also be firm in dealing with promiscuous local, regional or divisive agitations that are little more than petty insurrections.

The ‘message’ being addressed to the Convocation of  Andhra University, Sri Aurobindo seized the occasion to underline the need for such a regional University. While taking “its high position as a centre of light and learning, knowledge and culture”, [13] training the youth to emulate their ancestors and aiming at even excelling them, the University should give due importance to both Art and Science, book-knowledge and information and growth in culture and character, and forge the links between the region and the nation, and the nation and the world. The life of the nation, and not that of the region alone, should fill the ardour of the regional elite, who should eventually make a mark on the world stage as well.

The most important part of the Message to Andhra University, however, concerned India’s future polity, commerce and industry. Freedom (and parti­tion) had come, and the Constituent Assembly was engaged in the process of hammering out a Constitution for the country. Among the Constitution-builders were the seasoned Gandhians, and the socialists; and there was the main body of law-makers who were thinking of the Westminster model, and to a lesser extent the American. Free India as a bloated replica of Great Britain, or a mimicry of the United States of America? Sri Aurobindo thought it appropriate to sound a timely note of warning to whom it might concern; in effect, to the Constitution-makers at Delhi.

A World Union can save human civilization from itself

But New India was a significant part of the comity of nations, and Sri Aurobindo had first to take a close look at the world-situation. The second world war and the defeat of the Axis Powers had not led to lasting world peace, but only to the ‘cold war’ between the two super-powers of USA and USSR:

“There is a disordered world-situation left by the war, full of risks and sufferings and shortages and threatening another catastrophe…” [14]

With atomic weapons in the picture, another war might mean the collapse of civilisation, and even the end of human life on the planet. The danger could be avoided if an effective World Union were brought into existence. But it should be something infinitely more resourceful and efficient than the old League of Nations. Writing towards the end of 1948, Sri Aurobindo could only say that the recent laudable effort of world leaders at San Francisco should be continued facilitating the difficult transition from the perilous divisions of the past and present to a harmonious world-order, for otherwise “there can be no escape from continuous calamity and collapse”. Sri Aurobindo was to return to this question a year later, when he wrote his Postscript Chapter to a new edition of The Ideal of Human Unity (1950):

“Two stupendous and world-devastating wars have swept over the globe and have been accompanied or followed by revolutions with far-reaching consequences…. A third still more disastrous war with a prospect of the use of weapons… whose far-spread use might bring down civilisation with a crash and whose effects might tend towards something like extermination on a large scale, looms in prospect; the constant apprehension of it weighs upon the mind of nations and stimulates them towards further preparations for war and creates an atmosphere of prolonged antagonism, if not conflict, extending to what is called ‘cold war’ even in times of peace.” [15] 

Since the time these words were written, the nuclear arms race and the stock-pile of nuclear warheads have created a condition of pauseless and perilous un­certainty. Since Gorbachev’s coming to power in Russia, however, there has recently been an appreciable relaxation of tension, and one can almost see the first streaks of the Dawn of global good will, and even the possibility of a viable World Union of the kind visualised by Sri Aurobindo.

India will lose her soul if she does not keep to her swadharma

Coming to the situation in India, Sri Aurobindo was no less forthright in his December 1948 Message:

“There are deeper issues for India herself, since by following certain tempting directions she may conceivably become a nation like many others evolving an opulent industry and commerce, a powerful organisation of social and political life, an immense military strength, practising power-politics with a high degree of success, guarding and extending zealously her gains and her interests, dominating even a large part of the world, but in this apparently magnificent progression forfeiting her Swadharma, losing its soul…. It would be a tragic irony of fate if India were to throw away her spiritual heritage at the very moment when in the rest of the world there is more and more a turning towards her for spiritual help and a saving Light.”[16] 

What was needed above all else was an inner liberation matching the outer political liberation, and likewise a vast inner progress keeping pace with the outer progress measured in material terms.

East and West have the same human nature, a common human destiny, the same aspiration after a greater perfection, the same seeking after something higher than itself…

A few months after, in response to a request for a Message at the time of his Birthday Celebrations in New York on 15 August 1949, Sri Aurobindo dwelt at some length on the futility of making much about the East-West dichotomy, and dilated with persuasive eloquence on the unity of the human race and the inevitability of a common planetary citizenship, and concluded with a reference to the next evolutionary leap from mind to Supermind:

“…I would rather be disposed to dwell on oneness and unity than on division and difference. East and West have the same human nature, a common human destiny, the same aspiration after a greater perfection, the same seeking after something higher than itself…

“East and West have always met and mixed more or less closely, they have powerfully influenced each other and at the present day are under an increased compulsion of Nature and Fate to do so more than ever before.

“There is a common hope, a common destiny, both spiritual and material, for which both are needed as co-workers…

“The Science of the West has discovered evolution as the secret of life and its process in this material world; but it has laid more stress on the growth of form and species than on the growth of consciousness…

“East and West could be reconciled in the pursuit of the highest and largest ideal, Spirit embrace Matter, and Matter find its own true reality and the hidden Reality in all things in the Spirit.”[17] 

Evolution being rather more than a growth of form and species, and involving essentially a growth in consciousness, is now set on the climactic leap from the mental to the supramental, which would mean “a divine life on earth”. Certainly both East and West, and all humanity, could collaborate on this supreme issue of the transformation of consciousness and the alchemising of our flawed world into a New World of Light, Life, Power, Love and Bliss.

The world is preparing for a Big Change: Will you help?

This was Sri Aurobindo’s world-vision and inspiring message to India and global humanity. Forty years have elapsed since these Messages were vouchsafed to us. And what is the record of India’s or world humanity’s achievement? The ‘partition’ of 15 August 1947 was followed, twenty-five years after, by a further partition of Pakistan in 1972, and there is no lack of other regional demands for independence in Pakistan and India alike. The situation in the north-west (the Punjab), north (Kashmir) and north-east (Bengal, Assam) gives room for anxiety. Unending are inter-state border disputes and claims for the sharing of river-waters. The adoption of a British model of democracy with universal franchise, the establishment of a centralised, top-heavy and grossly ineffective Planning Commission, the opting for heavy industry and gigantism, the ex­ponential growth in our Defence expenditure, and the consequent borrowing on a phenomenal scale have made Indian polity top-heavy as well as un-Gandhian, and indeed un-Indian as well. Besides, the deliberate choice of nuclear power to augment our energy supply, and our setting up of more and more reactors in ignoration of the lessons of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, are an indication as to how we are moving farther and farther away from the Gandhian concept of ‘small is beautiful’ (Schumacher’s phrase) and ignoring the Aurobindonian grave warning against purblindly forgetting our Swadharma, losing our soul, and playing the sedulous ape to the new scientism and computerism, and that too in ineffective terms. And our ruling elite — the ‘brown Sahibs’ — are often more alienated from the ‘Daridranarayana’ millions than were the foreign rulers in their day.

After this recapitulation of Sri Aurobindo’s ‘messages’ on particular occasions, it still remains necessary to isolate his quintessential ‘message’ to us. The Man was the Message, and as the Mother has said with divination, what Sri Aurobindo represents in earth-history and human history, is not a teaching (or message), not even a revelation, but “a decisive action direct from the Supreme”.

Amidst much that he thought and did, the most important was his Integral Yoga aiming at what he called the next step in evolution, the ascent from Mind to Supermind, and then also bringing down this new spiritual power of purity and unity and alchemic transformation to end the discords and defeats of the ages and establish harmony and human concord on a global scale. His culminating assurance was that, however delayed, this change was a certainty, and these lines from Savitri are surely addressed equally to us:

The superman shall wake in mortal man

And manifest the hidden demi-god

Or grow into the God-light and God-Force

Revealing the secret deity in the cave.

Then shall the earth be touched by the Supreme…[18] 

Man has dreamed long enough of “individual perfection and a perfect society”, and Sri Aurobindo himself, the Mother and a few others could be counted among those whose “individual perfection” may be the means of the supra-mentalisation and perfection of society itself. The message, the promise, stands; and as the Mother queried in 1970: “The world is preparing for a Big Change: Will you help? The challenge or opportunity is before humanity to cooperate with Sri Aurobindo’s ‘action’ (“decisive action direct from the Supreme”) in the present Hour of God, and hew new pathways to the Future.

Sri Aurobido Sesquicentenary Article 1

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