Incomplete Life Sketches
Incomplete Life Sketch in Outline Form, c. 1922
Sent to England for education 1879.
Studied at St Paul's School, London, and King's College, Cambridge.
Returned to India. February, 1893.
Life of preparation at Baroda 1893 1906
Political life — 1902 1910
[The "Swadeshi" movement prepared from 1902 5 and
started definitely by Sri Aurobindo, Tilak, Lajpatrai and others in 1905. A movement for Indian independence, by non-cooperation and passive resistance and the organisation (under a national Council or Executive, but this did not materialise,)
of arbitration, national education, economic independence, (especially handloom industry including the spinning-wheel,
but also the opening of mills, factories and Swadeshi business concerns under Indian management and with Indian capital,)
boycott of British goods, British law-courts, and all Government institutions, offices, honours etc. Mahatma Gandhi's noncooperation movement was a repetition of the "Swadeshi", but with an exclusive emphasis on the spinning-wheel and the
transformation of passive resistance, ("Satyagraha") from a political means into a moral and religious dogma of soul-force and
conquest by suffering. The running of the daily paper, "Bande Mataram", was only one of Sri Aurobindo's political activities.]1
Thrice prosecuted; first for
sedition and acquitted
then in 1908 along with his brother
(one of the chief leaders of the revolutionary movement)
1 The square brackets are Sri Aurobindo's. — Ed.
Page – 14
on a charge of conspiracy to wage war against the
established Government. Acquitted after a year's detention as an under-trial prisoner, mostly in a solitary cell
last; in his absence in 1910, for sedition. This case also failed on appeal.
After 1909 carried on the political (Swadeshi) movement alone (the other leaders being in prison or in exile) for one
year. Afterwards on receiving an inner intimation left politics for spiritual lifework. The intimation was that the Swadeshi
movement must now end and would be followed later on by a Home Rule movement and a Non-cooperation movement of the
Gandhi type, under other leaders.
Came to Pondicherry 1910.
Started the "Arya". 1914
Fragmentary Life Sketch, c. 1928
Aurobindo was born on August 15th, 1872, in Calcutta. His father, a man of great ability and strong personality, had been
among the first to go to England for his education. He returned entirely Anglicised in habits, ideas and ideal,
— so strongly that
Aurobindo as a child spoke English and Hindustani only and learned his mother tongue only after his return from England. He
was determined that his children should receive an entirely European upbringing. While in India they were sent for the beginning
of their education to an Irish nuns' school in Darjeeling and in 1879 he took his three sons to England and placed them with an
English clergyman and his wife with strict instructions that they should not be allowed to make the acquaintance of any Indian
or undergo any Indian influence. These instructions were carried out to the letter and Aurobindo grew up in entire ignorance of
India, her people, her religion and her culture.
Page – 15