The Roots

Sri Aurobindo is amongst the stellar luminaries of Indian history and, unknown to many Indians, has been instrumental in shaping the destiny of India as a free nation. His role in shaping India’s destiny is not known to many because his influence and work has been, for most part, hidden from common view and knowledge. His has been the influence of a Rishi, a Seer, one who works from an inner consciousness, inwardly moulding events and destiny by the subtle yet all-powerful force of a timeless spiritual vision and Will. Sri Aurobindo was perhaps amongst the last in the glorious Vedic lineage of Maharishis and yet amongst the first to address the most deep-seated and universal of human crises in terms of India’s ancient and timeless spiritual philosophy.

Sri Aurobindo was the first to declare that all human crises, in whatever sphere of existence, stem from the single fact that the human being is not a “finished product” of nature but still evolving, still a work in progress, a transitional being. In other words, humanity is still evolving in consciousness, in being, in substance. This is a new science, a new spirituality. The old science dismissed the spiritual just as the old spirituality dismissed the scientific. Sri Aurobindo’s work and vision synthesize the spiritual and the scientific in a dynamic new approach to the understanding and the living of reality.

Yet, it is an inexplicable and deeply ironic truth that Sri Aurobindo is still not too well known or well studied in his own country; he is still a peripheral figure shrouded in a mystical veil. Most know him as a freedom fighter, a radical revolutionary, who gave up the political life to become a Yogi in far-off Pondicherry. But very few understand the “brand” of freedom he was fighting for as a revolutionary leader; even fewer understand the kind of spirituality or Yoga he was practicing and teaching. What was his vision for humanity and for India? What was his Work? Not many know or understand. Indeed, it is a definitive sign of the cynicism and ignorance of our times that a nation allows its youth to forget or neglect its true spiritual heritage and those masters of the Spirit who made their lives and works a splendid living example of that timeless heritage.

Sri Aurobindo needs to be rediscovered in his own country. His vision and his work need to be recovered by the intelligentsia of this country, and by the young in mind and spirit. He must be studied, researched, analyzed, questioned, explored, revealed, understood, realized. In this lies the hope of India’s next future. And indeed, the world’s next future. For what Sri Aurobindo represents in the movement of the world is the next evolution, the evolution of a perfected spiritual consciousness in life, matter and mind.

SAILC, the Sri Aurobindo Integral Life Centre, is being established expressly for this purpose — to recover Sri Aurobindo and his works for India and the world, in research, in innovation, in education, in knowledge and in wisdom; in public discourse, in society and in business, in academia and in politics, in all aspects and walks of life; and in terms and language that is contemporary and relevant to the life as we are living it, day to day.

The SAILC is being established in the premises of the Auro University in Surat, the only university in the world established for realizing, in letter and spirit, the integral education of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in higher learning. SAILC, conceived of by Shri HP Rama, entrepreneur, leading hotelier and founder of the Auro University, will go on to become, in Shri Rama’s own words, the soul of Auro University, helping all those interested in the human future to come to the new consciousness that Sri Aurobindo represents.