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Sri Aurobindo - the contribution in Indian English Literature

Sri Aurobindo

Contribution in Indian English Literature

Sri Aurobindo - the contribution in Indian English Literature

The contribution of Aurobindo in Indian English Literature

Answer: Sri Aurobindo was an Indian thinker, yoga master, maharishi, writer, and Indian patriot. He was moreover an editor of the newspaper, Bande Mataram. The latter half of the 19 century saw the birth, in India, of several personalities who attained high eminence at diverse fields. Among these, the name of Sri Aurovindo is at the forefront. He was born on 15 August 1872 in Calcutta. After receiving his early education in India on western lines, he studied for 14 years in England. He was a gifted student and had mastered several European languages, including Greek and Latin, passed Classical Tripos from the Cambridge University with first class honors and won all the awards in the classics. Later he came out successful in the Indian Civil Service Examination.

The Life Divine

The sequence of his thoughts has since come out in several books such as The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity. The Foundation of Indian Culture, The Future Poetry, The Upanishads, etc. His greatest spiritual work in poetry is the great epic, Savitri, which has 23,813 lines of verse. He was crammed a whole universe into a single book. To Sri Aurobindo, poetry is the Mantra of the Real. It is the breath of Greater Life. The early poems of Sri Aurobindo starting with the Songs of Myrtilla are highly lyrical with philosophical and mystical overtones and full of promise of his future poetry. He never loses sight of the spiritual reality behind the surface phenomenon.

The Tiger and the Deer 

The Tiger and the Deer, one of the early poems in free quantitative verse, is remarkable for bringing before our eyes the cruel terrifying beauty of the forest crouching and slouching and leaping and slaying the delicate beauty of the forest. The movement described with the apt words and pilferages shows the poet’s command of the language. The sonnet, A Dream of Surreal Science is witty, sardonic and prophetic. It shows how Sri Aurobindo was conversant with all the developments in the fields of psychology, the exploration into the unconscious by the scientist of modern times. The Rishi, an early poem of Sri Aurobindo, is a philosophical poem embodying a spiritual philosophy, the creation of a revelatory and intuitive mind and its illumined experience.

Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol

Thought the Paraclete and Rose of God and The Bird of Fire written on same day 31st December 1934 are visions cast in words of which demand a high quality and intensity of feeling and visionary capacity quite uncommon with the average reader. Then we come to Sri Aurobindo’s finest flower of poetic creation, the monumental epic, the symphony of a superman, Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol. The uniqueness of the achievement lies in the fact that Sri Aurobindo has closed a gulf that has yawned in the human psyche for many, many centuries. Shri Aurobindo himself has written about the symbolic significance of Savitri. The tale of “Satyavan and Savitri” is recited in the Mahabharata as the story of conjugal love overcoming death.

In the field of Indian English drama Aurobindo’s contribution is immense. His first blank verse play, Perseus the Deliverer belongs to this early period. Here he dramatizes the ancient Greek legend of Persues. The heroic myth has been relocated in the series of romances. Rodogune, Eric and Vasavadatta, The Vizier of Bassora and Eric are the plays in which the dramatist allows each character maintain his distinctive personality. Rodogune is an instance of romantic tragedy. Eric, the first of the two Pondicherry plays, is based on ancient Scandinavia and describes the Viking culture of the Nordic race. Vasavadatta is woven round the love story of Prince Udayan and Princess Vasavadatta. It is based on the Sanskrit classic, Kathasaritsagara.


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