Born on 25 May 1886 Rash Behari Bose was a renowned revolutionary who played a pivotal role in organizing the Ghadar Revolution. He was associated with the leading revolutionaries of his time like Jatindranath Mukherjee alias Bagha Jatin, Amarendranath Chatterjee and Jatindranath Banerjee (better known as Niralamba Swami) and was also involved in the plot to assassinate Lord Charles Hardinge, the then Viceroy of India, on the occasion of transferring the capital of British India from Calcutta to New Delhi. To evade arrest in connection with the Ghadar Revolution he shifted to Japan in 1915 and found shelter with various pan-Asian groups. He became a Japanese citizen and was instrumental in persuading the Japanese Government to support the Indian nationalists. In March 1942 he convened a conference at Tokyo where the decision to establish the Indian Independence League was formally taken. In the following conference which took place in Bangkok on 22 June 1942, he invited Subhash Chandra Bose to join the League as its President. The Japanese Government honoured Rash Behari Bose with the Order of the Rising Sun prior to his death on 21 January 1945.
On 11 March 1942 Rash Behari Bose had paid a tribute to Sri Aurobindo. The said tribute has been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.
With warm regards,
Salute to Sri Aurobindo.
This is a salute to him to whose inspiring call we owe the birth of positive Indian nationalism. Sri Aurobindo is the foremost of those seers on Indian nationalism, who are still hale and hearty and due to whose burning speech and thundering pen, patriotism came to have a fresh and profound meaning for modern Indians. To him this salute is offered.
If spiritual culture is granted to be the soul of the Indian nation, then Sri Aurobindo is a living embodiment of it. He has succeeded in measuring the depths of its mysteries, which are as old as the Indian nation itself. Today he is seen leading a life of silence in communion with God, having fully realized that silence is the precursor of mighty creation. This salute is offered to him.
Sri Aurobindo’s faith and ways of searching after the ultimate truth accord well with the faith and ways of the noblest of Sufis, the mystics of Islam. And in the eyes of hundreds of millions of Hindus he is a Yogi of a very high order. Thus, in him is seen harmonized the essence of those two noble faiths, Hinduism and Islam, on the balanced fusion of whose spirits depends the rejuvenation of future Indian culture and the re-establishment of the future Indian state. This salute is offered to him.
Sri Aurobindo has long realized the true mission of India. According to him a free India would serve the world by preaching to it the great heritage of her spiritual culture. Today Mother India stands to be free from foreign bondage. The time sees to be ripe for Sri Aurobindo to come forward, as he did decades ago, and give us lead in the fulfillment of Mother India’s national mission. This salute is offered to him with a prayer that he may respond to the call of the Mother.
This salute is offered to him in the time-honoured Indian custom of asking for the blessings of the elders and pioneers before undertaking a great and noble task. May he be pleased with my fresh determination to do my bit in the cause of making India of the Indians and Asia of the Asiatics.
I salute you, Sri Aurobindo. Bande Mataram.
Rash Behari Bose
6 Replies to “Salute to Sri Aurobindo by Rash Behari Bose”
It is a mistake to think Sri Aurobindo was not liked by Subhas and Rasbehari Bose, as many ashramites have spoken to me against Subhas Bose’s sudden wrath against the Ashram once. But that was perhaps only once and I believe Subhas was disappointed by Sri Aurobindo’s long seclusion. Like Rashbehari, Subhas was a genuine devotee of Sri Aurobindo. Subhas and Gumnami Baba, suspected to be Subhas, always suggested a key book by Sri Aurobindo: The Synthesis of Yoga, which indicates Bose had taken up the path of integral yoga leaving the path of the Raj Yogin quite early in his life. In his unfinished biography ” An Indian Pilgrim”(till his 24th year), Bose indicates his departure from the Raj Yoga of Vivekananda in favour of the deeper track of Sri Aurobindo. ” Sri Aurobindo goes deeper than Vivekananda”– An Indian Pilgrim.
Thanks for this unique document. I quote from my biography of Bagha Jatin (published by the NBT) the following passage : “As we have seen, Jatin Banerjee (Swami Niralamba) had introduced the flame of Sri Aurobindo’s revolutionary ideas to the Punjab and the United Provinces. Rash Behari Bose (1888-1945) carried it on. In spite of an almost successful attempt to assassinate viceroy Hardinge, in 1912, even after Har Dayal’s proud claim from California to have belonged to that unit, Amarendra saw that Bose – drifted away from the mainstream – was temporarily dejected, and took him to the Flood relief to meet Jatindra Mukherjee. Pursuing his scheme of an insurrection modelled on the Rising of 1857, Jatindra set ablaze Bose’s passion, adding “a new impulse to his revolutionary zeal,” and Bose discovered in Jatindra “a real leader of men.” Jatindra received Rash Behari several times with Amarendra at the precincts of the Kali temple at Dakshineshwar – where Vivekananda had been initiated by Shri Ramakrishna – and developed his plan of work during the War. One day he asked Rash Behari whether he could arrange for the occupation of the Fort William of Calcutta. Rash Behari accepted the mission and negociated with native army officers stationed in the Fort. He requested Motilal Roy to consult Sri Aurobindo, in need of a moral sanction for collaborating with Jatindra in the armed rising. Roy returned from Pondicherry in November 1913 with a full approval. Bose took charge of North Indian units and barracks. ” More détails are available.
kindly read “Autobiography” instead of biography. For, An Indian Pilgrim is Netaji’s unfinished autobiography.
Just excellent. Thank you.
Joan Price Ph.D.
Thank you Anurag for the rare historical letter by Rash Behari Bose.
It shows the affinity and mutual admiration the Indian nationalists had towards each other regardless of the difference in their chosen paths.
I have written about Bose and kindred souls like Sailen Ghose, Taraknath Das and M.N.Roy in my book: ‘Cosmopolitan Modernity in Early 20th Century India,’ Routledge India, 2015. Should be of interest to our friends.
Thank you for publishing the letter of Rashbehari Bose.