"Bankim, the greatest of novelists, had...versatility developed to its highest expression. Scholar, poet, essayist, novelist, philosopher, lawyer, critic, official, philologist and religious innovator" — the whole world seemed to be shut up in his single brain. (Sri Aurobindo)

Sri Aurobindo's appreciation of Bankim may partly be attributed to the fact that Bankim had theoretically chalked out the path of ideas in the cause of India's independence which Sri Aurobindo was to work out and extend in his inimitable way.

Now let us learn in a flash from Sri Aurobindo the difference between the earlier Bankim and the later Bankim: "The earlier Bankim was only a poet and stylist — the later Bankim was a seer and nation-builder."

SAI 63. from "Rishi Bankim"