(15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950) was an Indian philosopher, yogi, guru, poet, and nationalist. He was an eminent and influential leader in India’s struggle for freedom. He actively played the role of freedom fighter and then eventually became a spiritual reformer. He is the founder of a method of yoga termed as ‘Integral Yoga’.
One of his most famous works is the poetical work called ‘Savitri’. This is based on the story of Satyavan and Savitri as described in the Mahabarata (of which the Bhagavad Gita is a part).
Not many people know that Sri Aurobindo revised this work over 18 times and kept working on it for 50 years! Not many mortals can demonstrate this level of dedication and conviction.
One of Sri Aurobindo’s popular disciples was Nirodbaran Talukdar.
Nirodbaran famously questioned Sri Aurobindo once thus:
We have been wondering why you should have to write and rewrite your poetry – for instance, Savitri ten or twelve times – when you have all the inspiration at your command and do not have to receive it with the difficulty that faces budding Yogis like us.
For which, Sri Aurobindo had this insightful response:
“That is very simple. I used Savitri as a means of ascension. I began with it on a certain mental level, each time I could reach a higher level I rewrote from that level. Moreover, I was particular – if part seemed to me to come from any lower levels I was not satisfied to leave it because it was good poetry. All had to be as far as possible of the same mint. In fact, Savitri has not been regarded by me as a poem to be written and finished, but as a field of experimentation to see how far poetry could be written from one’s own yogic consciousness and how that could be made creative.”
Such an insightful and beautiful response! The same topic, the same author but different results based on the author’s mental level. That’s his message. How an author creates or writes something and how readers perceive or understand it, both are dependent on the person’s mental level.
That is the reason we see so many versions of famous works like the ‘Bhagavad Gita’. A well-established yogi may comprehend at a different level than an ordinary person. That is one of the main reasons for my own efforts in bringing a ‘common man’ version of the Bhagavad Gita. I was experiencing a higher level of consciousness when I was guided to come up with this version for the elevation of consciousness and awareness of common people like myself.
I have drawn inspiration from Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda and others and I hope my work is able to make at least a fraction of the impact made by works of these stalwarts.