1140 | An Introduction to the Political Thought of Sri Aurobindo

Course Information

  • 2021-22
  • 1140
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M.
  • III, IV, V
  • Nov 2021
  • Elective Course

Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was a poet, philosopher and a leader of the Indian nationalist movement. Known primarily for his philosophical system known as the Integral Yoga, developed in his Life Divine and Savitri, Sri Aurobindo was also a political philosopher who developed an account of the evolution of human societies in his Human Cycle and Ideal of Human Unity.

Sri Aurobindo began his political career in 1905 in Calcutta as a leader of the nationalist movement, where he was amongst the first to advocate swarajya, as external independence from colonial rule and the development of true Indian nationhood in two national dailies of wide circulation at the time, Bande Mataram and Karmayogin. In 1910, he then left active politics and migrated to Pondicherry, from where he wrote the Human Cycle and Ideal of Human Unity. The first of these works presents a historical-normative account of the development of human societies towards the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity in a teleological evolutionary structure, and the second maps institutional structures of government capable of actualizing these ideals. This course is an introduction to the political thought of Sri Aurobindo as a leader of the independent movement (1905-1910) and subsequently, in his writings from Pondicherry in the Human Cycle and Ideal of Human Unity. Whilst some historical and biographical detail is interesting and necessary, the aim of this course is to introduce Sri Aurobindo’s views in relation to current debates on Indian political theory, presented in the context of other thinkers in the field. To evaluate interest, students may find the following introduction useful.


Raag Yadava
Raag Yadava

Assistant Professor of Law