The freedom movement was given a huge impetus by the decision of Lord Curzon to partition Bengal. In June 1906, Sri Aurobindo took one year’s leave without pay and went to Bengal to participate in the movement. In 1907, Sri Aurobindo left Baroda College and joined the newly established Bengal National College, as its principal.
In 1906, the nationalist leader, Bipin Chandra Pal, started the dailyBande Mataramand Sri Aurobindo soon became its chief editor, though his name was not printed, to avoid prosecution.
Sri Aurobindo, who always liked to work from behind the scene, had been pushed into the forefront of the freedom movement. He had become its acknowledged leader. The whole country rang with the cry of ‘Bande Mataram’ and a new spirit swept across the country.
In the midst of this turmoil, Sri Aurobindo met a Maharashtrian yogi named Vishnu Bhaskar Lele. Lele asked Sri Aurobindo to remain in seclusion for three days. In three days Sri Aurobindo had achieved the silent mind which deepened into an experience of the Silent Brahman Consciousness.
Sri Aurobindo was arrested from his house against an unsuccessful attempt to kill Magistrate Kingsford by Bengali youths. He was imprisoned for one year, kept in a small cell in solitary confinement. The case for Sri Aurobindo was taken up by C. R. Das.
Sri Aurobindo was found not guilty and acquitted. But this one year was a very important period in Sri Aurobindo’s life, as it was a period of intensesadhanawhen he experienced Krishna as the Immanent Divine.
Sri Aurobindo also started two weeklies: theKarmayoginin English and theDharmain Bengali.
One day, when Sri Aurobindo was sitting in theKarmayoginoffice, news came that the Government intended to arrest him. Immediately, there was an agitated discussion all around. Sri Aurobindo sat calm and unmoving and heard a distinct voice tell him, “Go to Chandernagore.” Sri Aurobindo went straight to the Ganga and boarded a boat for Chandernagore which was then a French settlement. Soon he received another ‘adesh‘ (Divine Command) to go to Pondicherry.
Sri Aurobindo’s work in the political field had come to an end. The country had awakened to the call of the Mother, and India’s freedom was inevitable. He felt it was now more important to see what India would do with that freedom and what man would do with his future. It was for this work that Sri Aurobindo sailed for Pondicherry to start the most important chapter of his earthly life.