Sri Aurobindo on the unity of India

But the most striking example in history is the evolution of
India. Nowhere else have the centrifugal forces been so strong,
numerous, complex, obstinate. The mere time taken by the evolution
has been prodigious; the disastrous vicissitudes through
which it has had to work itself out have been appalling. And
yet through it all the inevitable tendency has worked constantly,
pertinaciously, with the dull, obscure, indomitable, relentless
obstinacy of Nature when she is opposed in her instinctive purposes
by man, and finally, after a struggle enduring through
millenniums, has triumphed. And, as usually happens when she
is thus opposed by her own mental and human material, it is the
most adverse circumstances that the subconscious worker has
turned into her most successful instruments. The beginnings of
the centripetal tendency in India go back to the earliest times
of which we have record and are typified in the ideal of the
Samrat or Chakravarti Raja and the military and political use of
the Aswamedha and Rajasuya sacrifices. The two great national
epics might almost have been written to illustrate this theme; for
the one recounts the establishment of a unifying dharmarajya
or imperial reign of justice, the other starts with an idealised
description of such a rule pictured as once existing in the ancient
and sacred past of the country. The political history of India is
the story of a succession of empires, indigenous and foreign, each
of them destroyed by centrifugal forces, but each bringing the
centripetal tendency nearer to its triumphant emergence. And it
is a significant circumstance that the more foreign the rule, the
greater has been its force for the unification of the subject people.
This is always a sure sign that the essential nation-unit is already
there and that there is an indissoluble national vitality necessitating
the inevitable emergence of the organised nation. In this
instance, we see that the conversion of the psychological unity
on which nationhood is based into the external organised unity
by which it is perfectly realised, has taken a period of more than
two thousand years and is not yet complete.2 And yet, since the
essentiality of the thing was there, not even the most formidable
difficulties and delays, not even the most persistent incapacity
for union in the people, not even the most disintegrating shocks
from outside have prevailed against the obstinate subconscious
necessity. And this is only the extreme illustration of a general
Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo Vol 25 p 307-308


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s