Sri Aurobindo Ghosh ranks among the greatest personalities of modern India. He is a multi-faceted genius – a political revolutionary, social reformer, historian, educationist, philosopher, yogi and above all men of letters. He is a journalist, editor, literary critic, linguist, translator, essayist, short story writer, dramatist and more than all of these,a great poet.
K.R.Srinivasa lyengar says that ‘Aurobindo was not merely a writer who happened to write in English but really an English writer’. In fact, after spending his early days in England and then returning to Baroda he reorients his western studies with the studies of Sanskrit and modern Indian languages. By the process he gains contact with his Indian heritage through a program of rigorous scholarship. He gains a deep insight into Indian culture and civilization. This learning mound his poetry and philosophy.
Sri Aurobindo’s poetry is meant to bridge the present and the future, self – divided present life and Life Devine that is to be. Songs to Myrtilla and Urvasie are his earlier poems published respectively in 1895 and in 1896. the life Divine or the way to Yogic feats is an evaluation of thought through love which is traced even from his earlier poems. Thus he says:
“Love is divine
Love is the hoop of the Gods
Hearts to combine”
Love is not love if it acquiesces in evil; great and true love is a power and it can break open the doors of captivity, it can change gross to gold, it can defy death or it is not love.
The lovers in Urvasie fail for their limitation in ultimate realization. But Savitri in Savitri (published much later in 1954) alone who fuses the less and the greater realizations into an integral and total transformation of limited human life into the fullness and splendour of the Life Devine.
Even in A Tree, his earlier poem contains his quintessence of philosophy in which he sees us as present attainment, another thirsting for higher thing. In Life and Death he tells that Death is Life disguised; that what appears to be death is another kind of life. In Savitri too at the climatic moment in the epic, it is death itself, which reveals its true face as the Supreme Lord of Life and Delight.
Aurobindo’s philosophical and mystical glow is through an integral view of man, Nature and God. He believes in the evolution of life and that will change the face of the world. In Savitri, his master piece he succeeds to a great extent in expressing his mystic experiences and Yogic realizations. Aurobindo arrives at the conclusion that releases from bondage and changes with the Secret knowledge, the soul achieves a complete spiritual transformation. Savitri is cast for uniquely cosmic role of struggle and redemption, and is the incarnation of divine mother. Savitri is both the response and the resulting transformation.
Sri Aurobindo is a skillful craftsman in the use of blank verse and felicity in poetic expression. His grand, mantric and mystic style in this poetic works are ample testimony of his stupendous achievements.