Act VIII, Scene 3

(30 May 1909. The memorable Uttarpara speech. A gathering of about ten thousand people. Aurobindo is profusely garlanded. Michhari Babu, son of Raja Piyari Mohan of Uttarpara, has specially got a garland prepared for Aurobindo, which reaches to the feet. The meeting is held under the auspices of the Dharma Rakshini Sabha, just after his acquittal from the Alipore Bomb Case.)

AUROBINDO (after triumphant cheers from the audience): "When I was asked to speak to you at the annual meeting of your Sabha, it was my intention to say a few words about the subject chosen for to-day, the subject of the Hindu religion. I do not know whether I shall fulfil that intention; for as I sat here, there came into my mind a word that I have to speak to you, a word that I have to speak to the whole of the Indian Nation. It was spoken first to myself in jail and I have to speak it to my people… I walked under the branches of the tree in front of my cell but it was not the tree, I knew it was Vasudeva, it was Sri Krishna whom I saw standing there and holding over me his shade. I looked at the bars of my cell, the very grating that did duty for a door and again I saw Vasudeva. It was Narayana who was guarding and standing sentry over me. Or I lay on the coarse blankets that were given me for a couch and felt the arms of Sri Krishna around me, the arms of my Friend and Lover. This was the first use of the deeper vision He gave me. I looked at the prisoners in the jail, the thieves, the murderers, the swindlers, and as I looked at them I saw Vasudeva, it was Narayana whom I found in these darkened souls and misused bodies… Afterwards when the trial opened in the Sessions Court, I began to write many instructions for my Counsel as to what was false evidence against me and on what points the witnesses might be cross-examined. Then something happened which I had not expected. The arrangements which had been made for my defence were suddenly changed and another Counsel stood there to defend me. He came unexpectedly — a friend of mine, but I did not know he was coming. You have all heard the name of the man who put away from him all other thoughts and abandoned all his practice, who sat up half the night day after day for months and broke his health to save me — Srijut Chittaranjan Das. When I saw him, I was satisfied, but I still thought it necessary to write instructions. Then all was put away from me and I had the message from within, 'This is the man who will save you from the snares put around your feet. Put aside those papers. It is not you who will instruct him. I will instruct him.' From that time I did not of myself speak a word to my Counsel about the case… I had left it to him and he took it entirely into his hands, with what result you know… Always I listened to the voice within: 'I am guiding, therefore, fear not. Turn to your own work for which I have brought you to jail and when you come out, remember never to fear, never to hesitate. Remember that it is I who am doing this, not you nor any other. Therefore, whatever clouds may come, whatever dangers and sufferings, whatever difficulties, whatever impossibilities, there is nothing impossible, nothing difficult. I am in the nation and its uprising and I am Vasudeva, I am Narayana, and what I will, shall be, not what others will. What I choose to bring about, no human power can stay.' …I said, 'Give me Thy Adesh. I do not know what work to do or how to do it. Give me a message.' In the communion of Yoga two messages came. The first message said, 'I have given you a work and it is to help to uplift this nation. Before long the time will come when you will go out of jail; for it is not my will that this time either you should be convicted or that you should pass the time, as others have to do, in suffering for their country. I have called you to work, and that is the Adesh for which you have asked. I give you the Adesh to go forth and do my work.' The second message came and it said, 'Something has been shown to you in this year of seclusion, something about which you had your doubts and it is the truth of the Hindu religion. It is this religion that I am raising up before the world, it is this that I have perfected and developed through the Rishis, saints and Avatars, and now it is going forth to do my work among the nations. I am raising up this nation to send forth my word. This is the Sanatan Dharma, this is the eternal religion which you did not really know before, but which I have now revealed to you… When you go forth, speak to your nation always this word, that it is for Sanatan Dharma that they arise, it is for the world and not for themselves that they arise. I am giving them freedom for the service of the world. When therefore it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall rise. When it is said that India shall be great, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall be great. When it is said that India shall expand and extend herself, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall expand and extend itself over the world. It is for the Dharma and by the Dharma that India exists'… I say that it is the Sanatan Dharma which for us is nationalism. This Hindu Nation was born with the Sanatan Dharma, with it it moves and with it it grows. When the Sanatan Dharma declines, then the nation declines, and if the Sanatan Dharma were capable of perishing, with the Sanatan Dharma it would perish. The Sanatan Dharma, that is the Nationalism. This is the message that I have to speak to you."

(Exit Aurobindo. Some members of the Dharma Rakshini Sabha speak to one another.)

FIRST MEMBER: I have attended big political meetings addressed by veteran leaders. But this meeting, could I or anybody else foresee it? A set subject had been placed before him to speak on with sufficient time given him to think over it. But you see, how he soared unexpectedly higher over it to another subject of far-reaching scope and of deep significance.

SECOND MEMBER: Yes, he soared not only above the fixed subject but above the environment. He made us forget that we were at Uttarpara listening to one of our invited guests.

THIRD MEMBER: He spoke not in a human voice and I doubt whether it was he who spoke.

CHIEF ORGANISER: I agree with each of you. I feel strongly that Uttarpara will go down in history as an obscure point on India's map from which the whole of India and then the whole of the world listened to India's God-man, speaking to all humanity. The cadence of his sentences raised waves of power in my heart. What power is this? It looks as if he will leave the political field. But I feel assured that what India will lose in him as a political leader she will gain infinitely in having him as a dynamic force to create a superior India and a superior world.