Sri Aurobindo initially followed a political, rather than spiritual path. He studied at King’s College in Cambridge and, upon his return to India, he became involved in politics, writing articles which protested against the rule of the British in India. He was briefly imprisoned and, while in jail, he experienced mystical and spiritual realizations. After his release, he refocused on his spiritual work, seeing his role as being far wider than to serve and liberate his country.
He founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1926, along with Mirra Alfassa, who was known as “The Mother.” He wrote a range of spiritual and literary works, including:
- “The Life Divine” - Outlines the theory of Integral yoga
- “Synthesis of Yoga” - A more practical guide to Integral yoga
- “Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol” - An epic poem about part of the "Mahabharata" where the characters apply Integral yoga to their own lives
- Commentaries and translations of yogic texts including the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Vedas
He also wrote thousands of letters to his spiritual disciples, outlining his teachings and answering their questions about Integral yoga. Sri Aurobindo was nominated for both the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Nobel Peace Prize.