Let Us All Work For the Greatness Of India

Sri Arvind Sadhanalaya at Sri Ayodhya and Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra


This year the 75th year of Indian Independence – ‘Azadi Ka Amritmahotsav’ – is being celebrated along with the 150th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s birth. The Government of India has been earnest in its unprecedented efforts to pay homage to Sri Aurobindo on this occasion. To begin with, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi constituted a 53-member high-level committee to oversee the various programmes and events being organised for this purpose in India and abroad. As part of this ongoing celebration, the Ministry of Culture arranged, in the Republic Day parade of 2022, a float highlighting Sri Aurobindo’s life and work.  In addition, a memorial postal stamp and a 150 Rupee coin were released by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself. Also, a three-volume collection of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s writings along with one volume from their writings entitled “The Greatness of Indian culture and Sanatana Dharma” were financed and distributed by the Ministry of Culture through the Sri Aurobindo Divine Life Trust, Jhunjhunu. To specially emphasise and widely spread the vision of Sri Aurobindo, the Prime Minister and Home Minister gave speeches and the Ministry of Culture organised wide-ranging events with a view to spread wide Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy. It is an undeniable fact that without understanding Sri Aurobindo, it is not possible to well-understand India and its soul and her past, present and future work. This is elucidated by the following statement of the Mother on the occasion of Sri Aurobindo’s birth centenary.

“…this Centenary [of Sri Aurobindo, in 1972]has come ON PURPOSE. It’s certainly something that’s coming now because the ONLY salvation for the country, the ONLY thing that can unify it, is for it to adopt Sri Aurobindo’s ideal for the country — he had a plan, he very clearly saw how the country should be organized, he said it to me. It’s there, if one reads his books seriously, one can see it. So I said that things should be so organized that THROUGHOUT India there should be study groups, libraries, lectures, anything whatever, so the whole country should know Sri Aurobindo’s thought and will. And the Centenary is an excellent opportunity. …This Centenary should be organized right now, at once, like something covering the whole country on the occasion of the Centenary…. And in what Sri Aurobindo wrote, they will find all they need to organize the country…” (Mother’s Agenda, Vol 11, page 207)

According to the Mother, Sri Aurobindo brought an affirmation of a splendid future for earth. “What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world’s history is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme.” (CWM, Vol. 13, page 4)

In light of this passage we can say that Sri Aurobindo and his work are truly all-encompassing – synthesizing all things, creatures, peoples, castes, religions, sects, feelings and thoughts – while not being limited by any or all of them. In the words of Sri Aurobindo, “Philosophies & religions dispute about the priority of different aspects of God & different Yogins, Rishis & Saints have preferred this or that philosophy or religion. Our business is not to dispute about any of them, but to realise & become all of them, not to follow after any aspect to the exclusion of the rest, but to embrace God in all His aspects and beyond aspect.” (CWSA 12, page 99)

This is further clarified by the Mother’s statement

“This said, our position is clear.
We do not fight against any creed, any religion.
We do not fight against any form of government.
We do not fight against any social class.
We do not fight against any nation or civilisation.
We are fighting division, unconsciousness, ignorance, inertia and falsehood.
We are endeavouring to establish upon earth union, knowledge, consciousness, Truth, and we fight whatever opposes the advent of this new creation of Light, Peace, Truth and Love.” (CWM Vol. 13, page124-25)

In the year 1989, the Chief Minister and the Government of Uttar Pradesh welcomed the arrival of the Relics of Sri Aurobindo with great enthusiasm when the Relics were enshrined at Sri Arvind Sadhanalaya in Ayodhya by Shri Ramakrishnadas Babaji. The Grace of the Mother and the stamp of approval of Sri Rama for this Sadhanalaya are evidenced by the fact that, after the events of 1992, when the Central Government acquired the majority of the land around Sri Rama Temple, this Sadhanalaya was deliberately exempted by the then Narsimha Rao Government. An intimate disciple of Sri Aurobindo, Shri Nirodbaran writes about the Relics : “We have seen how much importance She (The Mother) attached to it… She has said that each and every molecule of Sri Aurobindo’s body was filled with Supramental Consciousness. We know that his body was glowing with Supramental Light as soon as he left it. That Consciousness is not a mortal thing which ceases with the death of the physical body. If that were so, then we wouldn’t feel such extraordinary power and strength when we touch the Samadhi.

We have seen the peace and tranquility that dwell wherever the Relics are enshrined. Therefore, the Relics are not a mere memento. Relics are the living Presence of Sri Aurobindo, imbued with the light and force of his lifelong sadhana, just as an atom contains an infinite power in itself — this is the truth behind the Relics. To always keep alive that truth and give due respect to it is what the Relics demand of us.”  (Nirodbaran, Divinity’s Comrade, Relics, p. 216-17)

What an ironical travesty it is that during this year of the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence – which was granted on Sri Aurobindo’s birthday as a sanction of his work by Sri Krishna – which is being celebrated by the Government of India along with the 150th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s birth, the members of Sri Ram Mandir Teerth Kshetra Ayodhya are trying to relocate the Sri Arvind Sadhanalaya located there and remove the Divine Relics of Sri Aurobindo enshrined there and thus by showing – to put it very mildly – a disrespect for Sri Aurobindo, are causing deep anguish to his innumerable devotees.

The devotees of Sri Aurobindo would like to believe that such a move is actuated not by any malice but merely by a certain narrowness and the lack of a true understanding of Sri Aurobindo and his divine work. Therefore, it seems necessary to bring to light certain aspects of Sri Aurobindo and his divine work and message.

Sri Aurobindo has given the message of a divine life for humanity. According to him the descent of divine Life on earth is inevitable and there will be the end of death and ignorance on earth. This will be accomplished by the descent and growth of the Supramental consciousness on earth. Man is not the last step in the manifestation of the Divine on earth. The next step of this manifestation will be the Supramental or the Divine man whose consciousness, because of its identification with the Divine Consciousness, will manifest (within its limits) its omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. Superman will be to man what man is to the animal. But, while the animal cannot – by any of its own efforts – acquire the human consciousness, it is possible for man by an opening and surrender to the divine Grace to arrive at the Supramental consciousness. According to Sri Aurobindo, this has been the secret behind all human spiritual efforts (tapasya, meditation, Yoga, etc.). All these efforts reach their culmination in the Supramental consciousness. This has been, all along, the real work of all our Rishis and Avatars. According to Sri Aurobindo, Sri Krishna used the Overmind consciousness – a level of consciousness below the Supramental consciousness but the highest layer of the mental consciousness – during his Avataric life and Lila on earth. As we shall see when we proceed further, it was Sri Krishna (who is a permanent incarnation of the Supreme Lord) who impelled Sri Aurobindo to leave the freedom movement and move to Puducherry to pursue the sadhana of the Supramental Yoga. After 16 years of sadhana, Sri Krishna descended, on the urging of the Mother, into Sri Aurobindo’s physical body on the 24th of November 1926. This day is celebrated as “Siddhi Divas” and also as the foundation day of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry because on this day Sri Aurobindo (joined with Sri Krishna) withdrew to pursue a most rigorous sadhana for the descent of the Supramental consciousness on earth and the Mother took charge of the running of the Ashram. The momentous efforts of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother led to the descent of the Supramental Consciousness on 29.2.1956 in the subtle physical – the first step in the descent of the Supramental World on earth.

Sri Aurobindo has told us that the unity of mankind and, ultimately, the formation of a world government is necessary in order that the human race does not perish before the arrival of the Supramental and that India and its Sanatana Dharma have a crucial role to play in this work. According to Sri Aurobindo, if India loses its great spiritual and cultural heritage and imitates the West, then not only India but the whole world would perish along with it. Therefore, in his articles written in the Bande Mataram, Karmayogin and Arya, he revealed the glorious past of India and (despite the difficulties of the present) assured us of its magnificent future. Not only this, in more than ten volumes of his writings, he has taken to their true and noble heights the Vedas, Upanishads, Indian religion, Culture, art, polity and life which had been systematically demeaned during the 1000 years of slavery to the invading barbaric hordes and their Indian apologists. So much could be accomplished through the medium of one body only, because as we have expressed earlier in the words of the Mother that, Sri Aurobindo has verily expressed in his life and work a direct and decisive action of the Supreme.

Sri Aurobindo’s contribution and role in the freedom movement of India is well-known. Now for a glimpse of the true secrets of Indian culture, its destiny, and Sanatana Dharma we present a few excerpts from his writings.

“The world moves through an indispensable interregnum of free thought and materialism to a new synthesis of religious thought and experience, a new religious world-life free from intolerance, yet full of faith and fervour, accepting all forms of religion because it has an unshakable faith in the One. The religion which embraces Science and faith, Theism, Christianity, Mahomedanism and Buddhism and yet is none of these, is that to which the World-Spirit moves. In our own, which is the most sceptical and the most believing of all, the most sceptical because it has questioned and experimented the most, the most believing because it has the deepest experience and the most varied and positive spiritual knowledge, – that wider Hinduism which is not a dogma or combination of dogmas but a law of life, which is not a social framework but the spirit of a past and future social evolution, which rejects nothing but insists on testing and experiencing everything and when tested and experienced turning it to the soul’s uses, in this Hinduism we find the basis of the future world-religion. This Sanatana dharma has many scriptures, Veda, Vedanta, Gita, Upanishad, Darshana, Purana, Tantra, nor could it reject the Bible or the Koran; but its real, most authoritative scripture is in the heart in which the Eternal has His dwelling. It is in our inner spiritual experiences that we shall find the proof and source of the world’s Scriptures, the law of knowledge, love and conduct, the basis and inspiration of Karmayoga.” (CWSA 8, pg. 26)

 In his Uttarpara speech delivered soon after his release from the Alipore Jail, Sri Aurobindo says, “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.” (CWSA 8: 12)

“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.” (CWSA 8: 5-6)

“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 world. 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.” (CWSA 8: 9-10)

These messages were given to Sri Aurobindo in the solitary confinement of Alipore Jail by the same Bhagawan Sri Krishna who, according to the belief of Vaishnava devotees, appeared in the form of Bhagawan Sri Rama in the Treta Yuga, and whose immeasurable glory, despite all efforts of foreign aggressors, has remained indelibly stamped in the hearts and minds of the people of this country and keeps ever growing. Thus, it could not be a mere divine coincidence that a Sadhanalaya, with Sri Aurobindo’s Sacred relics enshrined there, is located adjacent to the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, Ayodhya. This makes this place not only a divine Shaktipeeth according to Hindu belief but also – for those conscious of Sri Aurobindo’s work – a concrete proof of the consonance of Sri Rama’s work with Sri Aurobindo’s.

In his undated letter, written sometime before 30.9.2022, Sri Champat Rai ji, General Secretary, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, Ramkot, Ayodhya requested the Trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry to provide Maharshi Sri Aurobindo’s ashram complex adjacent to the said Teerth Kshetra and in lieu of that to accept an alternative best site for building a new Ashram. In reply to this, in his letter dated 30.9.2022, Sri Manoj Das Gupta, the Managing Trustee, inter alia, wrote: “There are certain considerations that the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust board must keep in mind when arriving at any decision.

The land for the Sri Aurobindo Sadhanalaya in Ayodhya was donated to the Mother in 1959 with clear intentions on how it should be used specified by the donor in the gift deed. The Mother gracefully accepted the gift appreciating the sentiments of the donor. On accepting the property, the Mother assigned some sadhaks to take care of the property and they took great pains to develop it as an abode for meditation and introspection befitting the purpose of a Sadhanalaya. Recognising the efforts of the sadhaks and the growth of the Sadhanalaya (the only one in UP), the enshrinement of the Sacred Relics of Sri Aurobindo took place in 1989. Due to the presence of the Sacred Relics and the dedication of the sadhaks, a noticeable spiritual ambience has been created.

As Trustees, we are only custodians of the Trust properties. Our role is very clear in that we have to maintain the properties for the original purpose for which the properties vested with the Trust. We also have to take into consideration the feelings of the inmates and devotees while making any decision.

In this regard, it would be pertinent to refer to your plans to have shrines for various Gurus and Sages within the Mandir boundaries – Sri Valmiki Swami, Sri Agastya Muni (who, incidentally, according to French researchers had established Vedapuri at what is now known as Pondicherry) and others which was mentioned.

Our Sadhanalaya, being adjacent to the Mandir, may effectively be seen as another place for spiritual pursuit for devotees and does not appear to us to be contrary to the overall purpose of the Mandir and its glory in future.

In these circumstances, it was felt by all of us that Sri Aurobindo Sadhanalaya and the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir can co-exist.”

All the things pointed out in this letter by Sri Manoj Das Gupta are noteworthy and give a perspective on the true attitude of the trustees of a trust and also clear the stand of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust on this matter and bring out in the open its view of the existence of an essential harmony between Sri Aurobindo and Sri Ram Mandir. This view is based on a Truth that does not change with time.

In response to Sri Manoj Das Gupta’s above letter, Sri Champatrai wrote back on 7.11.2022 requesting him to reconsider his position. According to reliable sources in close contact with Ashram Trust, in the face of both internal and external pressures, the Ashram Trustees, abandoning their original stand based upon devotion and loyalty to Sri Aurobindo are endeavouring to exchange the plot of land on which Sri Arvind Sadhanalaya is established and Sri Aurobindo’s sacred relics are installed for some other land and money. Under what kinds of internal and external pressures these brothers of ours have consented to go along with such a destructive and reprehensible act is known only to Sri Manoj Das and his fellow trustees.

It behoves all friends of Sanatan Dharma and above all, the devotees of Sri Ram and Sri Aurobindo to do all in their power to oppose this narrow and destructive endeavour. It is for the Government of India to see that such efforts do not succeed and therefore nip any such intentions in the bud. At such an opportune moment when we have the splendid privilege of celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, it would be very unfortunate that any such attempt of disrespect to his Sadhanalaya and Samadhi is made. His sacred Relics being enshrined at a place where on a daily basis, thousands of pilgrims visit – as opposed to the number of visitors even at the Ashram at Pondicherry itself where, except on some special occasions, hardly does it ever reach that point – and not only pay respects at Sri Ram Mandir but also to the heralder of the New Age, Sri Aurobindo, is not just a happy coincidence but the assurance of Ram Rajya and the renaissance of India in the light of Sri Aurobindo. Therefore, without indulging in such narrow and divisive endeavours, let us join the Mother and repeat her words,

“Let us all work for the greatness of India.”

Tarun Khetan
Sri Aurobindo Divine Life Ashram, Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan)

Related Documents

01. (23.10.2019) Letter from Sri Aurobindo Ashram to Ayodhya Mediation Committee


03. (Before 30 September 2022) ShriRamJanmaBhoomiTeerthKshetra To Pondicherry Ashram

04. (30.9.2022) ManagingTrusteePondicherry AshramToRamJanmabhoomi Teerth Khestra

05. (7.11.2022) ShriRamJanmabhoomiToPondicherry ManojDas

06. (23.1.23) LetterfromSriAurobindoDivineLifeTrustJhunjhunu to Pondicherry

07. (8June2023) SriArvind Sadhanalaya Ayodhya (AmarUjalaLucknowEdition)

08. (25June2023) AmarUjala NewspaperArticle

09. Ayodhyabooklet

10. EditorialPrintedin AmarUjala 25June2023

11. Chronology of Events









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