The whole movement of the national life of India at the present moment may be described in one phrase,—a pressure from within towards self-liberation from all unnatural conditions which obstruct or divert its free and spontaneous development. It is the movement of a stream trying to break open a natural path for its dammed-up waters. This effort takes inevitably many sides and aspects; for in politics and administration, in society, in commerce, in education, this national life finds itself bound up in forms, condemned to move in grooves which give no natural play to the new aspirations, powers and tendencies which have become its inner impelling motives. The effort to discover and system of national education is part of this general effort of self-liberation, of self-finding, but perhaps the most central movement of all, in the end even the most important; for it is this which will give shape to the spirit of the nation at present in a state of rather formless flux. It is in fact no more than a chaotic press of tendencies; a national culture alone can give it form and consistency; and national education is the attempt to create and organise that culture.

Message for National Education Week (1918)
Sri Aurobindo wrote this message at the request of Annie Besant, a leader of the Home Rule movement and the editor of New India, a newspaper of Madras. It was published in New India on 8 April 1918, under the heading: “MESSAGES FROM SONS OF THE MOTHERLAND TO THEIR BROTHERS”.