During the height of freedom struggle,
Sri Aurobindo was arrested and put into jail where he had soul-searching experience.
The result was that he came out with clearer goals of achieving Nationalism
through Sanatana dharma!
Later he shared his thoughts in a meeting at Uttarpara in Bengal, on 30 May 1909.
This speech is very much suitable for today's India
which is turning anarchist with internal bickering,
thanks to the divide and rule policy of present crop of politicians.
Sri Aurobindo's solution to Unity and development of our country
is to adopt Sanatana dharma as the Dharma of India!
To quote his words,
"We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatana
Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is. Other
religions are preponderatingly religions of faith and profession,
but the Sanatana Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not
so much to be believed as lived. This is the dharma that for
the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this
peninsula from of old. It is to give this religion that India is
rising. She does not rise as other countries do, for self or when
she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the
eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always
existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity
and not for herself that she must be great…….
He (the Inner voice / Inner God) said to me, "This is the
young generation, the new and mighty nation that is arising at
my command. They are greater than yourself. What have you to
fear? If you stood aside or slept, the work would still be done.
If you were cast aside tomorrow, here are the young men who
will take up your work and do it more mightily than you have
ever done. You have only got some strength from me to speak
a word to this nation which will help to raise it." This was the
next thing He told me.
Then a thing happened suddenly and in a moment I was
hurried away to the seclusion of a solitary cell. What happened
to me during that period I am not impelled to say, but only this
that day after day, He showed me His wonders and made me
realise the utter truth of the Hindu religion. I had had many
doubts before. I was brought up in England amongst foreign
ideas and an atmosphere entirely foreign. About many things
in Hinduism I had once been inclined to believe that it was all
imagination; that there was much of dream in it, much that
was delusion and maya. But now day after day I realised in the
mind, I realised in the heart, I realised in the body the truths
of the Hindu religion. They became living experiences to me,
and things were opened to me which no material science could
explain. When I first approached Him, it was not entirely in
the spirit of the Bhakta, it was not entirely in the spirit of the
I came to Him long ago in Baroda some years before the
Swadeshi began and I was drawn into the public field.
When I approached God at that time, I hardly had a living
faith in Him. The agnostic was in me, the atheist was in me, the
sceptic was in me and I was not absolutely sure that there was a
God at all. I did not feel His presence. Yet something drew me
to the truth of the Vedas, the truth of the Gita, the truth of the
Hindu religion. I felt there must be a mighty truth somewhere in
this Yoga, a mighty truth in this religion based on the Vedanta.
So when I turned to the Yoga and resolved to practise it and
find out if my idea was right, I did it in this spirit and with this
prayer to Him, "If Thou art, then Thou knowest my heart. Thou
knowest that I do not ask for Mukti, I do not ask for anything
which others ask for.
I ask only for strength to uplift this nation,
I ask only to be allowed to live and work for this people whom I
love and to whom I pray that I may devote my life." I strove long
for the realisation of Yoga and at last to some extent I had it, but
in what I most desired, I was not satisfied. Then in the seclusion
of the jail, of the solitary cell I asked for it again. I said, "Give
me Thy adesh. I do not know what work to do or how to do it.
Give me a message."
In the communion of Yoga two messages
came. The first message said, "I have given you a work and it
is to help to uplift this nation. Before long the time will come
when you will have to go out of jail; for it is not my will that this
time either you should be convicted or that you should pass the
time as others have to do, in suffering for their country. I have
called you to work, and that is the adesh for which you have
asked. I give you the adesh to go forth and do my work."
The second message came and it said,
"Something has been shown to you in this year of seclusion,
something about which you had
your doubts and it is the truth of the Hindu religion. It is this
religion that I am raising up before the world, it is this that
I have perfected and developed through the rishis, saints and
avatars, and now it is going forth to do my work among the
nations. I am raising up this nation to send forth my word. This
is the Sanatana Dharma, this is the eternal religion which you
did not really know before, but which I have now revealed to
you. The agnostic and the sceptic in you have been answered,
for I have given you proofs within and without you, physical
and subjective, which have satisfied you. When you go forth,
speak to your nation always this word that it is for the Sanatana
Dharma that they arise, it is for the world and not for themselves
that they arise. I am giving them freedom for the service of the
When therefore it is said that India shall rise, it is the
Sanatana Dharma that shall rise.
When it is said that India shall be great,
it is the Sanatana Dharma that shall be great.
When it is said that India shall expand and extend herself,
it is the Sanatana Dharma that shall expand and extend
itself over the world.
It is for the dharma and by the dharma that India exists.
To magnify the religion means to magnify the country.
I have shown you that I am everywhere
and in all men and in all things,
that I am in this movement and I am not only working in those
who are striving for the country but I am working also in those
who oppose them and stand in their path.
I am working in everybody
and whatever men may think or do they can do nothing
but help on my purpose.
They also are doing my work; they are not my
enemies but my instruments.
In all your actions you are moving
forward without knowing which way you move.
You mean to do one thing and you do another.
You aim at a result and your efforts subserve one
that is different or contrary.
It is Shakti that has gone forth and entered into the people.
Since long ago I have been preparing this uprising and
now the time has come and it is I who will lead it to its fulfilment."
This then is what I have to say to you.
The name of your society is "Society for the Protection of Religion".
Well, the protection of the religion,
the protection and upraising before the world of the Hindu religion,
that is the work before us.
But what is the Hindu religion?
What is this religion which we call Sanatana, eternal?
It is the Hindu religion only because the
Hindu nation has kept it, because in this peninsula it grew up
in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas,
because in this sacred and ancient land it was given
as a charge to the Aryan race to preserve through the ages.
But it is not circumscribed by the confines of a single country,
it does not belong peculiarly
and for ever to a bounded part of the world.
That which we call
the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion,
because it is the universal religion which embraces all others.
If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal.
A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion
can live only for a limited time
and a limited purpose.
This is the one religion that can triumph
over materialism by including and anticipating the discoveries of
science and the speculations of philosophy.
It is the one religion
which impresses on mankind the closeness of God to us
and embraces in its compass all the possible means
by which man can approach God.
It is the one religion which insists every
moment on the truth which all religions acknowledge,
that He is in all men and all things and
that in Him we move and have our being.
It is the one religion which enables us not only to
understand and believe this truth
but to realise it with every part of our being.
It is the one religion which shows the world
what the world is, that it is the lila of Vasudeva.
It is the one religion which shows us how we can best play our part
in that lila, its subtlest laws and its noblest rules.
It is the one religion which does not separate life
in any smallest detail from religion,
which knows what immortality is and
has utterly removed from us the reality of death.
This is the word that has been put into my mouth to speak
to you today.
What I intended to speak has been put away from
me, and beyond what is given to me I have nothing to say.
It is only the word that is put into me that I can speak to you.
That word is now finished.
I spoke once before with this force in me
and I said then that this movement is not a political movement
and that nationalism is not politics but a religion, a creed, a faith.
I say it again today, but I put it in another way.
I say no longer that nationalism is a creed, a religion, a faith;
I say that it is
the Sanatana Dharma which for us is nationalism.
This Hindu nation was born with the Sanatana Dharma,
with it it moves
and with it it grows.
When the Sanatana Dharma declines,
Then the nation declines,
and if the Sanatana Dharma were capable of perishing,
with the Sanatana Dharma it would perish.
The Sanatana Dharma, that is nationalism.
This is the message that I have to speak to you."
(Excerpted from the text published in the Bengalee, an
English-language newspaper of Calcutta,
on 1 June; thoroughly revised by Sri Aurobindo
and republished in the Karmayogin on 19 and 26 June,1909)
Advani to consult seers
LETTERS TO 1,000 SPIRITUAL LEADERS SOON
BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani has promised to set up a “consultative mechanism” involving religious leaders if voted to power to discuss “issues facing the nation.” “It will be our endeavour to seek on a regular basis the guidance of spiritual leaders of all denominations on major challenges and issues facing the nation. For this, we shall evolve a suitable consultative mechanism,” Advani said in a letter to religious leaders on Saturday.
The letter said to be send to more than 1000 spiritual leaders across the country, says it had been the lifelong ambition of Advani that “politics, governance and other national affairs should be guided by lofty ideals as enshrined in the concept of Ram Rajya (ideal state), popularised by Mahatma Gandhi.” “At the present crucial juncture in our nation’s life, when people are looking for a decisive change, I seek your blessings, guidance and support with ‘Sashtang Namaskar’ (utmost reverance),” says the letter.
When contacted, Advani’s office said the copies of the letter have been send to Baba Ramdev, Shri Shri Ravi Shanker, Maulana Waihuddin and several archbishops of different churches.