The inevitability of Indian unity by Sri Aurobindo

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 dharmar¯ ajya

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. 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 law.


CWSA Vol 25 p308


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