Extract from The Fifteenth of August 1947
Sri Aurobindo
August 15th is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the
end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But it has a
significance not only for us, but for Asia and the whole world;
for it signifies the entry into the comity of nations of a new
power with untold potentialities which has a great part to play
in determining the political, social, cultural and spiritual future
of humanity. To me personally it must naturally be gratifying
that this date which was notable only for me because it was my
own birthday celebrated annually by those who have accepted
my gospel of life, should have acquired this vast significance.
As a mystic, I take this identification, not as a coincidence or
fortuitous accident, but as a sanction and seal of the Divine
Power which guides my steps on the work with which I began
life. Indeed almost all the world movements which I hoped to
see fulfilled in my lifetime, though at that time they looked like
impossible dreams, I can observe on this day either approaching
fruition or initiated and on the way to their achievement.
I have been asked for a message on this great occasion, but
6 Sri Aurobindo wrote this message at the request of All India Radio, Tiruchirapalli,
for broadcast on the eve of the day when India achieved independence, 15 August 1947.
The text submitted was found to be too long for the allotted time-slot. Sri Aurobindo
revised it, and the shorter version (pages 478 – 80) was broadcast on 14 August 1947.
On Indian Independence 475
I am perhaps hardly in a position to give one. All I can do is to
make a personal declaration of the aims and ideals conceived in
my childhood and youth and now watched in their beginning
of fulfilment, because they are relevant to the freedom of India,
since they are a part of what I believe to be India’s future work,
something in which she cannot but take a leading position. For
I have always held and said that India was arising, not to serve
her own material interests only, to achieve expansion, greatness,
power and prosperity,—though these too she must not neglect,
—and certainly not like others to acquire domination of other
peoples, but to live also for God and the world as a helper and
leader of the whole human race. Those aims and ideals were
in their natural order these: a revolution which would achieve
India’s freedom and her unity; the resurgence and liberation of
Asia and her return to the great role which she had played in
the progress of human civilisation; the rise of a new, a greater,
brighter and nobler life for mankind which for its entire realisation
would rest outwardly on an international unification of the
separate existence of the peoples, preserving and securing their
national life but drawing them together into an overriding and
consummating oneness; the gift by India of her spiritual knowledge
and her means for the spiritualisation of life to the whole
race; finally, a new step in the evolution which, by uplifting the
consciousness to a higher level, would begin the solution of the
many problems of existence which have perplexed and vexed
humanity, since men began to think and to dream of individual
perfection and a perfect society.
India is free but she has not achieved unity, only a fissured
and broken freedom. At one time it almost seemed as if she
might relapse into the chaos of separate States which preceded
the British conquest. Fortunately there has now developed a
strong possibility that this disastrous relapse will be avoided.
The wisely drastic policy of the Constituent Assembly makes it
possible that the problem of the depressed classes will be solved
without schism or fissure. But the old communal division into
Hindu and Muslim seems to have hardened into the figure of
a permanent political division of the country. It is to be hoped
476 On Indian and World Events
that the Congress and the nation will not accept the settled
fact as for ever settled or as anything more than a temporary
expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even
crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a
new invasion and foreign conquest. The partition of the country
must go,—it is to be hoped by a slackening of tension, by a
progressive understanding of the need of peace and concord, by
the constant necessity of common and concerted action, even of
an instrument of union for that purpose. In this way unity may
come about under whatever form—the exact form may have a
pragmatic but not a fundamental importance. But by whatever
means, the division must and will go. For without it the destiny
of India might be seriously impaired and even frustrated. But
that must not be.
Complete Works of  Sri Aurobindo Vol 36 p 475-476

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