Question: What actually brought about India's independence?

Sri Chinmoy: The soul of England was compelled to bow to the inner pressure from the soul of India. For many years the soul of India tolerated the English rule. Then the soul of India challenged the soul of England. Spiritual power will always win eventually, and the soul of India has so much spiritual wealth. India's spiritual will-power far exceeds the will-power of England, and this will-power the soul of India exercised.

At first, England responded by inwardly challenging India. Then fear entered England, and finally they adopted a positive approach. They said, let us be kind and generous. Their attitude was like a master towards a slave. When the master feels that the slave will revolt and kill him, he decides that it will be better to give him his freedom. The master can be conquered either with outer power or with inner will. From the strict spiritual point of view, India had the inner will. This inner will was accumulated by her spiritual children of that era — Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and others. Mother India's liberation and the spiritual height of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and others run parallel. They brought forward the power of Mother India's soul, and placed it in a kind of spiritual bank. Sri Aurobindo himself put a very, very large amount there. Then India's political freedom-fighters availed themselves of this power.

Sri Aurobindo was so happy that Mother India gained her independence on his birthday, August 15th. His seventy-fifth birthday was celebrated on that day. Sri Aurobindo issued a statement which began: "August 15th, 1947 is the birthday of free India. It marks for her the end of an old era, the beginning of a new age. But we can also make it, by our life and acts as a free nation, an important date in a new age opening for the whole world, for the political, social, cultural and spiritual future of humanity.

"August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition…."