Aurobindo Ghosh’s British loving father sent him to London to forget about Bharat and Hinduism, but the inborn nationalist and Hindu traits in him only got strengthened. He returned to Bharat fully immersed in Hindu culture. After passing ICS exam, he resigned from the job, became a teacher, a freedom fighter, a revolutionary and a journalist. In 1908, the British falsely implicated him in a bomb blast case and put him in solitary confinement at the Alipore Jail in Bengal. In 1909, he was released and at a public reception accorded to him at ‘Uttarpara’, in the suburbs of Calcutta, he made a historic speech, which was a turning point in the life of Sri Aurobindo and this immortal nation. The Bharatiya Vichara Kendram (BVK) and Aurobindo Study Circle jointly celebrated the 100th anniversary of this speech at Sanskriti Bhavan, Thiruvanantha-puram, recently.
Addressing the elite audience, Padmasri P Parameswaran, RSS ideologue and Director of BVK, said though the 1893 Chicago address of Swami Vivekananda, 1947—Nehru’s Tryst with Destiny speech and Churchill’s speech during the World War II were historic orations, it was for the first time, that the centenary of a speech was celebrated world wide by the devotees of Sri Aurobindo. “The Uttarpara speech was a turning point in Aurobindo’s life. He became Maharshi Aurobindo after Uttarpara. He migrated to French controlled Pondicherry, which was the safe heaven for nationalists, and attained spiritual bliss. Through 40 years of Yog Sadhana, he attained knowledge and ecstasy. For Sri Aurobindo, nation and spirituality were one and the same and his heart was always throbbing for Bharat. He believed that if a nation does not have a mission it would collapse. Bharatiya civilisation has outlived the ravages of time and invasions due to spiritualism and Sanatan dharma, Shri Parames-waran said. Quoting Arnold Toynbee, he said, “Twenty civilisations live only in museums. God created Bharat to sustain Sanatan dharma,” Shri Parameswaran said.
“Sri Aurobindo considered politics and Sanatan dharma as interwind. If Aurbindo’s message to Nehru from Pondicherry asking acceptance of Cripps Mission had been approved, Bharat would not have been Partitioned. Similarly his speech from AIR Trichy on August 15, 1947 asserting that Partition will take place, Asian unity and mankind’s unity will come and that man’s vision will go to a higher stage throwing away identity crisis, shows the spirit of nationalim and spiritualim in him,” Shri Parameswaranji said adding that Sri Aurobindo’s writings are a ‘Gift Unopened’ and asked people to read more on Sri Aurobindo.
Presiding over the function former Union Minister Shri O Rajagopal said Sri Aurobindo had earlier planned to speak about Hinduism at Uttarpara, but it became a message for the nation at God’s command. “He got enlightenment at the tough surroundings of the jail and realised the concept of Gita that God is everywhere and in everything. At Uttarpara speech, Sri Aurobindo described Bharat as the heart of the world. Bharat is a spiritual factory for emancipation of the world. He described Sanatan dharma as nationalism. If Santan dharma suffers a setback, Bharat is doomed. At Uttarpara, Sri Aurobindo foresaw a free Bharat. But he realised that a free Bharat without a spiritual mission would go astray. Hence he proceeded to Pondicherry from Uttarpara for acquiring spiritual sadhana to guide the nation and give it a new direction”. “Maharshi Aurobindo’s works have great priority in American and European Universities,” he said. Leading poet Shri Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri also spoke on the occasion.
By S Chandrasekhar