Sri Aurobindo was one of the most extraordinary figures to appear on the historical stage in the early
twentieth century. He is remembered today primarily as a revolutionary and a yogi, but Aurobindo
Ghose refused to be circumscribed by such boundaries.
Aurobindo was taken at an early age to England. Completely cut off from all things Indian, he
received the perfect English education at St. Paul’s School and Cambridge University. Destined
for a career in the Indian Civil Service, he cracked the entrance examination but declined to join.
Returning home after a 14-year absence, while working for the Maharaja of Baroda, Aurobindo
embarked on a covert parallel career-organizing revolutionary groups and writing anti-British
propaganda. At the same time, he delved deep into India’s past and scriptures, and became a poet,
dramatist, philosopher and Sanskritist.
Later, he became one of India’s foremost social, political and cultural theorists. After a whirlwind
political career of three years in Bengal-one of them as a guest of the Raj-Aurobindo stunned
everyone, when, at the height of his political eminence, he withdrew to Pondicherry. Here, as
Sri Aurobindo, he crafted Integral Yoga and created a rich legacy from which India can still learn.
Mystic Fire is the first biography of Sri Aurobindo to have drawn upon the wealth of new information and documentation on his life and works that has become available over the last few years. This includes the previously unpublished writings of Sri Aurobindo himself, including his remarkable record of yoga.
Atulindra Nath Chaturvedi