Sri Aurobindo on Nationalism

There are many secondary works which profess to explain Sri Aurobindo’s views on nationalism, but it is better to read what he himself said on the matter.  These are a few selections from the works of Sri Aurobindo on Nationalism. These pieces first appeared in the Karmayogin journal in 1909.  Later in life, Sri Aurobindo saw these writings as outdated remnants of his extinct political persona but to us they remain luminous milestones indicative of his political sagacity and broad vision.

Some might wonder if nationalism as well as Sri Aurobindo’s views on the topic are still relevant in an age of globalization.  The march of globalization has not erased nationalism as a sociological phenomenon, just as tribal clans or family patriarchs have not yet disappeared.  Human beings are so varied in their development that while some may prefer to become cosmopolitan, others continue to anchor themselves in their national, religious or native family identities. The following passages by Sri Aurobindo are imbued with a strong philosophical undercurrent which confers upon them a degree of universality and timelessness.  He spoke on nationalism not just from an Indian perspective, but also as a social phenomenon.

All national flags. Click image for source

All national flags. Click image for source

Nationalism is an intermediate goal

3 July, 1909

(The Bengalee, a newspaper published by the Moderate Congress leader Surendranath Banerji, published an article claiming that Nationalism was the highest synthesis.  Sri Aurobindo responded in the “Karmayogin” with a correction.)

In the Bengalee’s issue of the 29th June there is a very interesting article on Nationalism and Expediency, which seems to us to call for some comment. The object of the article is to modify or water the strong wine of Nationalism by a dash of expediency. Nationalism is a faith, the writer admits; he even goes much further than we are prepared to go and claims for Nationalism that it is the highest of all syntheses. This is a conclusion we are not prepared to accept; it is, we know, the highest which European thought has arrived at so far as that thought has expressed itself in the actual life and ideals of the average European. In Positivism Europe has attempted to arrive at a higher synthesis, the synthesis of humanity; and Socialism and philosophical Anarchism, the Anarchism of Tolstoy and Spencer, have even envisaged the application of the higher intellectual synthesis to life. In India we do not recognise the nation as the highest synthesis to which we can rise. There is a higher synthesis, humanity; beyond that there is a still higher synthesis, this living, suffering, aspiring world of creatures, the synthesis of Buddhism; there is a highest of all, the synthesis of God, and that is the Hindu synthesis, the synthesis of Vedanta. With us today Nationalism is our immediate practical faith and gospel not because it is the highest possible synthesis, but because it must be realised in life if we are to have the chance of realising the others. We must live as a nation before we can live in humanity. It is for this reason that Nationalist thinkers have always urged the necessity of realising our separateness from other nations and living to ourselves for the present, not in order to shut out humanity, but that we may get that individual strength, unity and wholeness which will help us to live as a nation for humanity. A man must be strong and free in himself before he can live usefully for others, so must a nation. But that does not justify us in forgetting the ultimate aim of evolution. God in the nation becomes the realisation of the first moment to us because the nation is the chosen means or condition through which we rise to the higher synthesis, God in humanity, God in all creatures, God in Himself and ourself [1]

Hindu nationalism would be recidivist

6 Nov, 1909

(At the time, the country was experiencing Hindu-Muslim tensions, partly fueled by the partisan British policy which favoured Muslims against Hindus.  This caused another leader of the freedom struggle, Lala Lajpat Rai, to suggest that Hindu nationalism may have to be resurrected in order to counter Muslim separatists who favored a pan-Islamic identity over their Indian identity.  The Hindu nationalism that Rai alluded to had been born in the earlier centuries in response to the Muslim invaders who had poured into India over the North-Western borders.  Sri Aurobindo countered Lala Lajpat Rai by responding that India had to move forward by building an Indian nationalism, largely Hindu in spirit but inclusive of Muslim culture.)

Lala Lajpat Rai struck a higher note, that of Hindu nationalism as a necessary preliminary to a greater Indian Nationality.  We distrust this ideal. Not that we are blind to facts,—not that we do not recognise Hindu-Mahomedan rivalry as a legacy of the past enhanced and not diminished by British ascendancy, a thing that has to be faced and worked out either by mutual concession or by a struggle between nationalism and separatism.  But we do not understand Hindu nationalism as a possibility under modern conditions. Hindu nationalism had a meaning in the times of Shivaji and Ramdas, when the object of national revival was to overthrow a Mahomedan domination which, once tending to Indian unity and toleration, had become oppressive and disruptive. It was possible because India was then a world to itself and the existence of two geographical units entirely Hindu, Maharashtra and Rajputana, provided it with a basis.  It was necessary because the misuse of their domination by the Mahomedan element was fatal to India’s future and had to be punished and corrected by the resurgence and domination of the Hindu. And because it was possible and necessary, it came into being. But under modern conditions India can only exist as a whole.

But the country, the swadesh, which must be the base and fundament of our nationality, is India, a country where Mahomedan and Hindu live intermingled and side by side. What geographical base can a Hindu nationality possess? Maharashtra and Rajasthan are no longer separate geographical units but merely provincial divisions of a single country. The very first requisite of a Hindu nationalism is wanting. The Mahomedans base their separateness and their refusal to regard themselves as Indians first and Mahomedans afterwards on the existence of great Mahomedan nations to which they feel themselves more akin, in spite of our common birth and blood, than to us Hindus have no such resource. For good or evil, they are bound to the soil and to the soil alone. They cannot deny their Mother, neither can they mutilate her. Our ideal therefore is an Indian Nationalism, largely Hindu in its spirit and traditions, because the Hindu made the land and the people and persists, by the greatness of his past, his civilisation and his culture and his invincible virility, in holding it, but wide enough also to include the Moslem and his culture and traditions and absorb them into itself. It is possible that the Mahomedan may not recognise the inevitable future and may prefer to throw himself into the opposite scale. If so, the Hindu, with what little Mahomedan help he may get, must win Swaraj (self-governance) both for himself and the Mahomedan in spite of that resistance [2].

Nationalism as a step in the enlargement of human consciousness

24 July, 1909

Self-sacrifice involuntary or veiled by forms of selfishness is, however, the condition of our existence. It has been a gradual growth in humanity. The first sacrifices are always selfish—they involve the sacrifice of others for one’s own advancement. The first step forward is taken by the instinct of animal love in the mother who is ready to sacrifice her life for the young, by the instinct of protection in the male who is ready to sacrifice his life for his mate. The growth of this instinct is the sign of an enlargement in the conception of the self. So long as there is identification of self only with one’s own body and its desires, the state of the jiva is unprogressive and animal. It is only when the self enlarges to include the mate and the children that advancement becomes possible. This is the first human state, but the animal lingers in it in the view of the wife and children as chattels and possessions meant for one’s own pleasure, strength, dignity, comfort. The family even so viewed becomes the basis of civilisation, because it makes social life possible. But the real development of the god in man does not begin until the family becomes so much dearer than the life of the body that a man is ready to sacrifice himself for it and give up his ease or even his life for its welfare or its protection. To give up one’s ease for the family, that is a state which most men have attained; to give up one’s life for the honour of the wife or the safety of the home is an act of a higher nature of which man is capable in individuals, in classes, but not in the mass.

Beyond the family comes the community and the next step in the enlargement of the self is when the identification with the self in the body and the self in the family gives way to the identification with the self in the community. To recognise that the community has a larger claim on a man than his family is the first condition of the advance to the social condition. It corresponds to the growth of the tribe out of the patriarchal family and to the perfection of those communal institutions of which our village community was a type. Here again, to be always prepared to sacrifice the family interest to the larger interest of the community must be the first condition of communal life and to give one’s life for the safety of the community, the act of divinity which marks the consummation of the enlarging self in the communal idea.

The next enlargement is to the self in the nation. The evolution of the nation is the growth which is most important now to humanity, because human selfishness, family selfishness, class selfishness having still deep roots in the past must learn to efface themselves in the larger national self in order that the God in humanity may grow. Therefore it is that Nationalism is the dharma of the age, and God reveals himself to us in our common Mother….

There is a yet higher fulfilment for which only a few individuals have shown themselves ready, the enlargement of the self to include all humanity.  A step forward has been taken in this direction by the self-immolation of a few to humanitarian ideals, but to sacrifice the interests of the nation to the larger interest of humanity is an act of which humanity in the mass is not yet capable. God prepares, but He does not hasten the ripening of the fruit before its season [3].

Nationalism must give way to cosmopolitanism

(In 1909 when India was under British rule, Sri Aurobindo saw the assertion of Indian nationalism as the pressing need of the hour, because until India became free, Indians would not be able to grow freely according to their aspirations and indigenous traditions.   At the same time, he was careful to circumscribe his call for patriotism by defining its limits; he saw nationalism as an intermediate step towards the larger goal of establishing a durable amity between nations.)

There are two stages in the life of a nation, first, when it is forming itself or new-forming itself, secondly, when it is formed, organised and powerful. The first is the stage when Nationalism makes rightly its greatest demands on the individual, in the second it should abate its demands and, having satisfied, should preserve itself in Cosmopolitanism somewhat as the individual preserves itself in the family, the family in the class, the class in the nation, not destroying itself needlessly but recognizing a larger interest. In the struggles of a subject nation to realize its separate existence, the larger interest can only be viewed in prospect and as a higher inspiration to a broadminded and generous patriotism. No sacrifice of the nation to the larger interest is possible, for the nation must exist before it can sacrifice its interests for a higher good [4].


  1. Sri Aurobindo.  Karmayogin, CWSA volume 8, pp 84-85.
  2. ibid. pp 304-305
  3. ibid. pp 138-139
  4. ibid. pp 139-140

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17 thoughts on “Sri Aurobindo on Nationalism

  1. Samir

    This reminded me of the opening lines of Rudyard Kipling’s poem Sussex:

    God gave all men all earth to love,
    But, since our hearts are small
    Ordained for each one spot should prove
    Beloved over all;

    Although in his case he speaks of it as a good thing rather than a limitation and narrowing of the consciousness!

  2. Sandeep Post author

    These are Sri Aurobindo’s reflections on his Karmayogin writings, including the pieces seen above:

    Conversation dated 28 Jan, 1926

    Disciple (1) : There is an idea of publishing some of your old writings.

    Sri Aurobindo : Yes, the other day I was looking over the Karma Yogin series with an idea of correcting and it seemed to me as if somebody else had written the book!

    Disciple (1) : what do you mean by “somebody else”?

    Disciple (2) : Perhaps he means not his present self but some past personality which is now gone or absorbed.

    Sri Aurobindo : It is always very disappointing to read one’s own writing. One feels how ignorant one was!

    (A B Purani, Evening Talks With Sri Aurobindo, vol 1 p 259)

    1. Mansee

      It is so relevant that you put this in his own words here. At times i have impression that one chooses to ignore the evolution they (SA&M) had undergone themselves and place their early words at par with the later ones.

    2. Sandeep Post author

      These are a few other remarks made later by Sri Aurobindo regarding his Karmayogin writings:

      Conversation dated : 13 April 1923

      Sri Aurobindo: When I was in Bombay, from the balcony of a friend’s house, I saw the whole busy movements of Bombay city as a picture in a cinema show – all unreal, shadowy. That was a Vedantic experience (he is speaking of Nirvana he experienced in early 1908). Ever since I have maintained that peace of mind, never losing it even .in the midst of difficulties. All the speeches that I delivered on my way to Calcutta from Bombay were of the same nature – with some mixture of mental work in some parts…All that wrote in the Bande Mataram and in the Karmayogin was from that state. I have since trusted the inner guidance even when I thought it was leading me astray. The Arya and the subsequent writings did not come from the brain. It was, of course, the same Power working. Now I do not use that method. I developed it to perfection and then abandoned it.

      (A.B. Purani, Evening Talks, Second Series, p 73)

      This was a note that he wrote to a disciple.

      Date: 21 April 1937

      Disciple: Have you seen my review of The Ideal of the Karmayogin?

      Sri Aurobindo: Yes, I have seen it, but I don’t think it can be published in its present form as it prolongs the political Aurobindo of that time into the Sri Aurobindo of the present time. You even assert that I have “thoroughly” revised the book and these articles are an index of my latest views on the burning problems of the day and there has been no change in my views in 27 years (which would surely be proof of a rather unprogressive mind). How do you get all that? My spiritual consciousness and knowledge at that time was as nothing to what it is now — how would the change leave my view of politics and life unmodified altogether? There has been no such thorough revision; I have left the book as it was, because it would be useless to modify what was written so long ago — the same as with Yoga and Its Objects. Anyway the review would almost amount to a proclamation of my present political views — while on the contrary I have been careful to pronounce nothing — no views whatever on political questions for the last I don’t know how many years.

      (Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Himself And The Ashram , CWSA volume 35, p 77)

    3. Sandeep Post author

      Another remark by Sri Aurobindo on internationalism versus nationalism

      From EVENING TALK ON 25 October 1924

      It was stated by a Sadhak to Shyam Sunder Chakravarty that Sri Aurobindo’s mind had become international and that he does not think about national matters.

      REPLY OF SRI AUROBINDO: I do not believe in present day internationalism which aims at creating unity by destroying nationality. Nationality also has value. Out of all nations, India is most fitted to begin a new race of supermen and it is for this purpose that the Indian nation must keep up its individuality and recover her soul. At the same time I do not want India to imitate Europe nor to remain in the present mud. Mahatma Gandhi has introduced Tolstoyan Christianity in India and has given a set-back to Indian culture. I do not believe also that Councils* will be very useful as the vision of the men there is limited. My work is meant for future India and will bring better results than what can be achieved through Councils, but that is silent work and does not require advertisement or speeches as made by leaders of men. India will be free. There is no doubt about it. Western individualism has failed. Russian communism is also not useful for India. India must find its elevation and it will come. If I find it necessary to come out for future work for India, I will do so, but I think inner change is necessary before outward action is accepted. Communism is useful for India but it should be based on spiritual lines.

      (*Councils : I believe he is referring to the councils setup by the British to delegate some power to Indians)

      (Champaklal. Champaklal Treasures, Appendix 4, p 223)

    1. Sandeep Post author

      They both participated in the agitation which broke out after the 1905 partition of Bengal. Tagore was a sensitive poet who recoiled from the prospect of violence which arose out of mass resistance, while Sri Aurobindo was a fiery nationalist who was not afraid to shed the blood of the British in order to gain freedom.

      Once, when Tagore called the boycott of British goods an act of hate, Sri Aurobindo responded by writing an article “Morality of the Boycott” in which he said:

      May 1908

      A certain class of mind shrinks from aggressiveness as if it were a sin. Their temperament forbids them to feel the delight of battle and they look on what they cannot understand as something monstrous and sinful. ‘Heal hate by love’, ‘drive out injustice by justice’, ‘slay sin by righteousness’ is their cry. Love is a sacred name, but it is easier to speak of love than to love. The love which drives out hate is a divine quality of which only one man in a thousand is capable. A saint full of love for all mankind possesses it, a philanthropist consumed with a desire to heal the miseries of the race possesses it, but the mass of mankind does not and cannot rise to the height. Politics is concerned with masses of mankind and not with individuals.

      To ask masses of mankind to act as saints, to rise to the height of divine love and practise it in relation to their adversaries or oppressors is to ignore human nature. It is to set a premium on injustice and violence by paralysing the hand of the deliverer when raised to strike. The Gita is the best answer to those who shrink from battle as a sin, and aggression as a lowering of morality.

      A poet of sweetness and love, who has done much to awaken Bengal, has written deprecating the boycott as an act of hate. The saintliness of spirit which he would see brought into politics is the reflex of his own personality colouring the political ideals of a sattwic race.

      But in reality the boycott is not an act of hate. It is an act of self-defence, of aggression for the sake of self preservation. To call it an act of hate is to say that a man who is being slowly murdered, is not justified in striking at his murderer. To tell that man that he must desist from using the first effective weapon that comes to his hand, because the blow would be an act of hate, is precisely on a par with this deprecation of boycott.

      Doubtless the self-defender is not precisely actuated by a feeling of holy sweetness towards his assailant: but to expect so much from human nature is impracticable. Certain religions demand it, but they have never been practised to the letter by their followers.

      Hinduism recognises human nature and makes no such impossible demand. It sets one ideal for the saint, another for the man of action, a third for the trader, a fourth for the serf. To prescribe the same ideal for all is to bring about varnasañkara, the confusion of duties, and destroy society and race. If we are content to be serfs, then indeed, boycott is a sin for us, not because it is a violation of love, but because it is a violation of the Sudra’s duty of obedience and contentment. Politics is the ideal of the Kshatriya, and the morality of the Kshatriya ought to govern our political actions. To impose in politics the Brahmanical duty of saintly sufferance is to preach varnasañkara.

      (Bande Mataram, SABCL vol 1, p 124)

      Tagore was more of an internationalist who was apprehensive of the excesses of patriotism, while Sri Aurobindo saw nationalism as a step in the right direction, as we can see from this conversation:

      (Conversation dated 17 June 1924)

      Disciple : Tagore’s internationalism seems to have received a rude shock in China at the passing of the Japanese Exclusion Bill.

      Disciple : It seems from his writing that he is an inter­nationalist first and looks on nationalism as something dispensable.

      Sri Aurobindo : But you must have nations before you can have “inter” between them.

      Disciple : He seems to argue the other way round : if you work for internationalism then nationalism will take care of itself.

      Disciple : It does not take care of itself – others take care of it; that is the difficulty.

      Sri Aurobindo : Internationalism is all right, we accept it on its own plane. But we must have “nations” first,…

      (A. B. Purani, Evening talks with Sri Aurobindo, p 28)

      Despite these differences, they admired each other. Around 1905, Tagore had invited Sri Aurobindo to dinner at his Calcutta residence, along with the Japanese artist Okakura and Jagadish Chandra Bose. Tagore used to see Sri Aurobindo from time to time at the Sanjivani Office (Rishabchand, Sri Aurobindo His Life Unique)

      In 1928, Sri Aurobindo broke his self-imposed seclusion to meet Tagore. Tagore was awed by the spiritual change in Sri Aurobindo and remarked ” Years ago I saw Aurobindo in the atmosphere of his earlier heroic youth and I sang to him: ‘Aurobindo, accept the salutations from Rabindranath’. Today I saw him in a deeper atmosphere of a reticent richness of wisdom and again sang to him in silence: ‘Aurobindo, accept the salutations from Rabindranath!’””

      1. Dilawar

        I am also getting the impression that Aurobindo’s views changed somewhat as he grew older. It would be nice, if a comparison can be made between his view when he was young and when he was at the very end of his life on Nationalism.

        Tagore, like Nehru, I believe, was convinced that Nationalism is essentially a hate feeling. Tagore despised it in totality. Nehru, on the other hand, thought that it is necessary in that moment of history, but he wished that it would go away when India will be independent.

        I like comparative perspective. I would love to read a post which compares Tagore’s views with Aurobindo’s or Nehru’s views with Aurobindo’s on nationalism.

        I believe that nationalism is getting a new lease of life from many quarters of our society. And this time it is not directed towards British.

      2. Sandeep Post author

        Dilawar: I would love to read a post which compares Tagore’s views with Aurobindo’s or Nehru’s views with Aurobindo’s on nationalism.

        I don’t know when I can get to the topic, but in the meantime you can check out books which have been written on the topic. If you go to and search for “tagore aurobindo nationalism”, you will find quite a few.

        Dilawar: I believe that nationalism is getting a new lease of life from many quarters of our society. And this time it is not directed towards British.

        Yes, when India was struggling, people were cynical and denounced their country, but as society prospers, people regain pride in their country because they need an identity and culture around which they can build their achievements. We observe the same phenomenon in Turkey and China.

      3. Sandeep Post author

        Here is a book comparing Tagore, Nehru and Sri Aurobindo on Nationalism

        M.T. Desai. (1999) Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore & Aurobindo Ghosh : a comparative study in their internationalism (indian politics books)

        There is also a book comparing Gandhi Nehru and Tagore

        Mool Chand (1989). Nationalism and internationalism of Gandhi, Nehru, and Tagore (google books)

        Sandeep: Yes, when India was struggling, people were cynical and denounced their country, but as society prospers, people regain pride in their country because they need an identity and culture around which they can build their achievements. We observe the same phenomenon in Turkey and China.

        And this is an article from the New York Times which substantiates my comment above:

        In Turkey, Ottoman Nostalgia Returns

        Now, as Turkey is emerging as a leader in the Middle East, buoyed by strong economic growth, a new fascination with history is being reflected in everything from foreign policy to facial hair. In the arts, framed examples of Ottoman-era designs, known as Ebru and associated with the geometric Islamic motifs adorning mosques, have gained in popularity among the country’s growing Islamic bourgeoisie, adorning walls of homes and offices, jewelry and even business cards.

        …. The empire’s rehabilitation has inspired mixed feelings among cultural critics. “The Ottoman revival is good for the national ego and has captured the psyche of the country at this moment, when Turkey wants to be a great power,” said Melis Behlil, a film studies professor at Kadir Has University here. But, she warned: “It terrifies me because too much national ego is not a good thing. Films like ‘Conquest 1453’ are engaging in cultural revisionism and glorifying the past without looking at history in a critical way.”


    1. Sandeep Post author

      I found one instance where he commented on the speech later. It was during an exchange with a disciple Nirodbaran

      (dated 31 Oct, 1935)

      Nirodbaran: I have read what you wrote to Dilip the other day about the way in which you had the experience of the Self ; that such a thing could have happened seems to me almost unthinkable !

      Sri Aurobindo: I can’t help that. It happened. The mind’s canons of the rational and the possible do not give spiritual life and experience.

      Nirobaran: But can you not tell us what the experience was like ? Was it by any chance like the one you speak of in your Uttarpara Speech — the Vasudeva experience ?

      Sri Aurobindo: Great jumble — Mumble ! What has Vasudeva to do with it ? Vasudeva is a name of Krishna, and in the Uttarpara I was speaking of Krishna, if you please.

      The Uttarpara speech was made after deep God-realization, although it has been misinterpreted and appropriated for sectarian purposes by those who do not understand the universality of Sanatana Dharma.

      I don’t think he ever rejected the speech, because the same theme is repeated in the “five dreams” message he gave when India became free in 1947.

      In the Uttarpara speech, he said that Krishna told him, “When you go forth, speak to your nation always this word, that it is for the Sanatan Dharma that they arise, it is for the world and not for themselves that they arise. I am giving them freedom for the service of the world. When therefore it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall be great. When it is said that India shall expand and extend herself, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall expand and extend itself over the world. It is for the Dharma and by the Dharma that India exists. To magnify the religion means to magnify the country”.

      This theme is echoed in the message he gave on India’s independence : “India’s spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice.”

  3. Diane

    I would question whether one could equate globalisation with internationalism. To my mind the hegemonic roll of british and american imperialism may well be a substantive cause of the current resurgence of nationalistic feelings of those countries caught under the rollers so to speak.
    Initially when I saw this topic I was not much interested as I am very familiar with all the material. However recently there was a notification on Auroconf about the AUM conference and its subject an invitation for the Integral yoga family to connect with the soul of the USA , which is ok but not something I am interested in, so I promptly forgot about it. I was reminded of it again, by a current discussion on Auroconf about whether to read a revised or unrevised copy of Savitri. To avoid argument I have the 1993 revised edition which I have been reading every day for the last 20 years, with no obvious ill effects, and I have not been reading the posts on the subject, because I have heard al the arguments a zillion times.

    What it did do was call to mind a comment made by Despande regarding the fact that I regularly read all of Sri Aurobindo’s works, and he replied that all the earlier works were made obsolete, as Sri Aurobindos higher yoga was distilled through Savitri, and I would be better to concentrate on Savitri. At the time I considered he was coming from far to an idealistic position and continued to read all the works. It did however give me a certain insight as to why the purity of the Savitri text was important to him.
    This was a couple of years ago now, but it has stayed with me and I have noticed that there are certain texts that I no longer feel drawn to, such as Synthesis of Yoga and Volume 1 of the Record of Yoga, even Essays on the Gita, though the Life Divine I still find essential reading. I was wondering whether any one else had a similar experience.

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Diane: I would question whether one could equate globalisation with internationalism.

      It weakens nationalism and promotes internationalism.

      Peter Berger in his book “Many Globalizations” says people develop layered identities. On the inside, they remain attached to their birth culture while on the outside, they adopt the global consumer culture.

      Diane: This was a couple of years ago now, but it has stayed with me and I have noticed that there are certain texts that I no longer feel drawn to, such as Synthesis of Yoga and Volume 1 of the Record of Yoga, even Essays on the Gita, though the Life Divine I still find essential reading. I was wondering whether any one else had a similar experience.

      That is true. The texts which appeal to you change over time.

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