Publication of Second and Enlarged Edition of ‘Sujata Nahar: Loving Homage’.

 

 

Dear Friends and Well-wishers of Overman Foundation,

It gives me immense pleasure to inform you all that Overman Foundation has published the second and enlarged edition of ‘Sujata Nahar: Loving Homage’ on 18 June 2012. Edited by Nirmal Nahar and Anurag Banerjee with a foreword by Samir Kanta Gupta, the new edition of this tri-lingual book of tributes comprises of the following:

  • The Mother’s Views about Sujata Nahar.
  • Sujata Nahar’s correspondence and conversations with the Mother and extracts from her notebook.
  • Description of Sujata Nahar’s occult dreams and visions.
  • Tributes paid to Sujata Nahar in English, Bengali and French.
  • Several unpublished letters of Sujata Nahar.

This new edition also includes nine unpublished photographs of Satprem and Sujata and five rare photographs of Sujata with the Mother.

This book is available for Rs. 235 (Two Hundred and Thirty-Five) only.

Those who would like to place an order may write to us at the following email address:

                                 overmanfoundation@gmail.com

Payment can also be made online.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee

Founder and Chairman,

Overman Foundation.

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The Passing of Dolly Mutsuddi

 

On Friday 22 June 2012 Dolly Mutsuddi, the youngest niece of Dr. Nirodbaran, has left her physical body in the Ashram Nursing Home at the age of seventy-five. With her demise the Aurobindonian community has lost a bright jewel.

Dolly-di—as we lovingly addressed her—was the personification of innocence, sweetness and simplicity. She also possessed an indomitable spirit which age failed to weaken.

Dolly-di hailed from a family of Zamindars which was among a handful of Buddhist Bengali communities in Chittagong (now in Bangladesh). She was born on 22 August 1936. Her mother Pratibha Mutsuddi was the younger sister of Nirodbaran who had settled in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry in 1933. Dolly-di arrived inPondicherry in the evening of 23 April 1949 at the age of twelve with her elder sister Bani. When Nirodbaran informed the Mother about the arrival of the Mutsuddi sisters, she had remarked: “Great success.” When they were taken to the Mother at 10.30 p.m. on that very day, she smiled at them and filled their little hands with fresh jasmine flowers.

Dolly-di was a good tennis player and had the privilege to play the game with the Mother. Though she attended Dilip Kumar Roy’s singing classes her grand passion was dance. She was also quite fond of elocution. After completing her education in the Ashram School she joined the School Office.

Dolly-di had the simplicity and curiosity of a child. Her smile and laughter made one feel that she had never experienced any grief throughout her life. She loved life and was always full of it. She radiated love and energy so much that it was hard to resist her charm. She was like a beautiful jewel whose radiance could illumine an entire room. Yet she was so down-to-earth; she never complained nor criticized anyone. She was always full of praise for everyone. Like a mother she looked after her elder sister Bani (who suffered from heart ailments) and her brothers for decades.

Bani-di’s demise on 15 March 2010 after prolonged illness left Dolly-di inconsolable. Before she could recover from her sorrow she was diagnosed with throat cancer towards the end of 2010. She stayed in the Ashram Nursing Room since 2011. When her health improved she began to devote her time between her home and the Nursing Home. On 25 December 2011 she gave an hour long dance recital at the Ashram Nursing Home. Even some months ago she had recited a poem of Sri Aurobindo at a musical soiree organized at the residence of Prof. Arabinda Basu.

Dolly-di craved to live long to serve Sri Aurobindo and the Mother but the lamp of her life was flickering. Her physical condition deteriorated in the past few weeks. On the last day of her earthly life she asked the nurses around her whether her condition was getting serious. The end came at around 9 p.m. on 22 June 2012 exactly two months before her 76th birthday.

Dear Dolly-di, we bid you adieu with a heart—though heavy with sorrow—full of love for you. Love does not stop to exist even if the beloved one is gone forever. After all, can the heart forget its heartbeats!

We will miss you, Dolly-di, we will miss you a lot.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee

Founder,

Overman Foundation

 

[From Left to Right: Dolly Mutsuddi, Ratna Chakravarti, Prof. Kittu Reddy, Amal Kiran, Krishna Chakravarti, Suprabha Nahar and Dr. Dilip Dutta at the first ‘Auro-Ratna Award’ ceremony.]

 

       

[Left to Right: Dolly Mutsuddi, Prof. Arabinda Basu and Nilima Das at the first ‘Auro-Ratna Award’ ceremony.]

 

               The Mother’s Sari gifted to Overman Foundation by Dolly Mutsuddi.

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The Mother’s Letters to Barindra Kumar Ghose.

Dear Friends,

Today we are publishing four letters of the Mother written to Barindra Kumar Ghose between 1941 and 1945. We come to know from these four letters that the Mother used to send a sum of Rs. 100 every month during the Second World War to Barindra Kumar who had left Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1929.  

We are thankful to Shri Biswajit Ganguly for discovering these unpublished letters and allowing us to publish them in the forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee

Founder,

Overman Foundation.

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 SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM.

                                                                                                  PONDICHERRY

 26.12.41.

My dear child,

Just received your letter and the Christmas card.

I suppose you have got the prayer for 1942.

I am sending you herewith Rs. 100 for January.

With my love and blessings and best wishes for the New Year.

 

 

29-3-42.

My dear child,

Your letters reached me safely. Do not be discouraged by an unsuccessful attempt. Success comes to those who endure and persist.

I am enclosing Rs. 100 for April.

With my love and blessings.

 

 

25-9-44.

My dear child,

You will find enclosed the Rs. 100 for October.

I have received now all your letters and hope you are doing well.

With my love and blessings.

 

 

26-1-45.

My dear child,

Received your letters and have not changed my opinion about marriage.

Hoping that you have succeeded in settling your financial affairs.

You will find enclosed Rs. 100 for the month of February.

With my love and blessings.

 [Courtesy: Sandhitsha, August 2008.]

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Barindra Kumar Ghose’s tribute to Sri Aurobindo.

Dear Friends,

Today we are publishing a tribute of Barindra Kumar Ghose (1880—1959), the noted revolutionary, journalist and author to his elder brother and spiritual guide, Sri Aurobindo. This tribute, titled Sri Aurobindo: The Recluse of Pondicherry (As I Understand Him), was published in The Statesman on 29 August 1933.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee

Founder,

Overman Foundation.

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                     SRI AUROBINDO: THE RECLUSE OF PONDICHERRY

                              (As I Understand Him.)

                                                    Barindra Kumar Ghose.

To write and express what Sri Aurobindo and his present spiritual mission stand for is a presumption on my part, because it cannot truly be done except by himself. What we can do is to give a mental idea and outline of the truth which he represents. To use ordinary and accepted phraseology in doing it will be misleading. Like the other religious and spiritual giants ofIndiahe has hardly any mission to preach. He has rather a Truth to unfold and manifest, he sits there silent in his plentitude and glory actually living that truth so that seekers may come, realise and attain.

In order to understand him we must first divest our mind of all the customary chain of ideas and association which our political obsessions bring. The political Aurobindo whom we knew has ceased to exist. Call after call from his country went forth to him to join the battle of independence waging inIndiafor her political liberation. The first Rishi of Bandemataram, the first expounder of the ideal of complete independence, the first true prophet of Nationalism and passive resistance was fondly expected to come forward with his newly accumulated power and put his hand to the wheel of Swaraj. Devidas [sic] Gandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai and Deshbandhu went one after another to draw him out of his seclusion and failed. The great World-poet Rabindranath went to seek and receive from him the true message ofIndiato the west and to humanity, and came away baffled. We may as well expect the silent sunlit peaks of the Himalayas to be vocal. We may as well dream of the Sun-god coming down and condescending to act as a magnified electric arc for our gaudy bazar of cheap commodities of life.

Even now wherever one goes the only question one has to answer is, “Will Aurobindo come back?” In spite of Sri Aurobindo’s continued silence and complete dissociation from active politics this fond hope and delusion of his return seem to persist in the minds of his countrymen. Some of them who have a strong political obsession to the exclusion of everything else nurse a grievance against him for not taking up politics again. Obsession is obsession—blind and unreasoning. For them my answer is that Sri Aurobindo—your political leader—is dead and gone or at least has changed out of recognition. He will never come back, not in the sense you fondly persist in expecting.

                                         RE-VALUATION

There has come in all his outlook of life such a complete orientation that the very basis of life has been shifted and for him all the standards and values of things have as a result, undergone a thorough and profound change. Human growth always means that. When you really grow, you grow out of the old into the new. The growth is either gradual and perceptible or swift and incalculable as the case may be. So far as ordinary vital and physical man is concerned his mental and intellectual growth comes very slowly and its stages are perceptible to our comprehension. The horizon and the perspective of life remaining the same, there comes a resetting of values and a comparative widening of outlook.

But the case of greater personalities is quite different. There the change is so swift and comprehensive that the stages overlap each other and are rushed through in their intensive pace and there is a sense of being swung out of one’s orbit. For such as us it is next to impossible to grasp and realize what it means to be lifted so to say, out of ourselves, and begin to re-live life from a completely new plane of consciousness. A rebirth like that comes only in the life of rare personalities like Buddha or Ramkrishna when centuries of deeper human evolutions are crowded together, re-lived and transcended in the brief span of a few years. Naturally they become the centre of a new civilization, the seed of a new culture.

It is not strange then that the country does not know the present Sri Aurobindo of poised calm and inner illumination, standing apparently aloof from all that is signified our outer existence and ardent national aspirations. It is not strange either when they in their ignorance fail to comprehend this poise of severe detachment and mistake it for the callous apathy of a sannyasin to things mundane. Desire-driven as we are, having no clear vision and a true sense of proportion of things we naturally misjudge him. Our baffled desires cry aloud against anything which does not lend itself to their fulfilment. We begin to dislike what does not serve our purpose, and dub it either useless or selfish.

A cobbler when asked what was the best thing in the world said, “Nothing like leather.” A child-mind wrapped up in his doll does not comprehend the soul-lifting beauty of the dawn or the call of snowy peaks against a dark sky. Because the sublime language of the dawn and the peaks does not fit into that child’s world of petty joys and restless desires, it cannot be said that the dawn and the rest of it are redundant and meaningless. That is real wisdom which can rise to a great height and from there know the right place of each and every thing in the scheme of life and their inter-relation.

To understand Sri Aurobindo of supreme detachment and perfectly self-poised dynamism, you must try and understand how such higher power really acts. Shallow people only call activity that which is in restless movement to the physical eye. They do not understand power in static state and the apparently quiet and far-reaching effect of its silent urge. Only in the world of matter and its superficial activity are quick and intense developments seen, because there you are faced with force energized or in manifestation. Behind matter, in the realm of power there is hardly any movement manifest to the naked physical eye, an active dynamo surcharged with power is more silent and quieter than a huge pile of machinery driven by its electrical energy and intensely active in a whirr of hundred wheels, belts and shafts.

If that is so in the material plane of physical energy how much more so is it in the subtler plane of the spirit? You cannot see great cosmic energy, and yet its panorama of infinite play is seen everywhere in nature. You cannot visualise the silent and yet mighty pull of the sun and the earth and yet it is also there. It keeps an incalculable number of heavenly bodies in swift and ordered movement. You cannot feel the impalpable life-urge in the spring and yet it quickly clothes entire nature in a green mantle of foliage and multicoloured flowers. You cannot see the sea of thoughts and emotions in the mind of a Lenin or a Rabindranath and yet it helps to mould the human world anew.

Power is not always visible. In its deeper and subtler planes it is less and less manifest and yet more and more potent, cosmic and creative. In that sense energy let loose and in the process of being spent up is weak both in potency and in volume. There is such a thing as an intensity of weakness which often looks very much like power. Our restless desire-driven being is death in motion, and the self-poised calm yogi is, in comparison, life held in reserve. In order to understand how Sri Aurobindo and his like act you must yourself be quiet and psychically conscious.

                                        INDIA’S AWAKENING

India is waking up from her age-long sleep and along with the process of awakening the Truth which she stands for is unfolding petal by petal. That Truth is multiple and many-faced like a thousand-petalled lotus. Her spirituality, her art, her poetry, the wonderful change that is being wrought in her politics; all these are some of the facts of her deeper reality—her soul. Whatever you do you cannot efface a single aspect of this many-sided Truth, because the integral soul of India is working out her complete unfolding, producing her harmoniously co-ordinated symphony of life. Being obsessed by one aspect you may try to smother the others, but you will only succeed perhaps in changing their forms and bring about a new orientation in the process of manifestation. Stop them you cannot.

In order to understand India you must not only understand Rammohan, Bankim Chandra, Vivekananda, Rabindranath, Abanindra, Nandalal, Tilak, Deshbandhu and Mahatma Gandhi but you must ultimately try and understand Sri Aurobindo. The soul of India which gave the Vedas and the Upanishads to the world, which gave Shankaracharya, Buddha, Sri Chaitanya to humanity has become all the richer and more complex in the centuries that have rolled by. It has grown both in height, width, richness and multiplicity. If you fail to understand Sri Aurobindo you miss the key toIndia’s Truth of Life from which her culture proceeds. If you try to understand him in the terms of your own limitations and prejudices you miss no less the great message of the world-mother about to be delivered to Humanity.

                              The Statesman, 29 August 1933.

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The Alipore Bomb Trial Judgment: A Review by Dr. Larry Seidlitz

‘The Alipore Bomb Trial Judgment’: Editor: Anurag Banerjee. Publisher: Overman Foundation. Number of pages: 144. Price: Rs. 190.

This book presents the full verdict in the Alipore Bomb case that was delivered on 6 May 1909 by C.P. Beachcroft. It runs 137 pages in length, but this was no ordinary trial. It was exceedingly complex, and it was the first State trial of such a magnitude in British India involving a conspiracy to wage war against the British Crown. Verdicts were delivered for 36 persons in this document. During the course of the proceedings which started 19 October 1908, 206 witnesses were called, about 4000 documents were filed, and about 5000 exhibits were produced.  According to Banerjee in his preface, Barindra Kumar Ghose (Sri Aurobindo’s brother) and Ullaskar Dutt were sentenced to be hanged, ten others were sentenced to prison for 10 years, three of the accused were sentenced to prison for seven years, and one boy of 16 was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year due to his age. The other accused, including Sri Aurobindo, were acquitted. Beachcroft’s verdict is interesting in that it weighs all the evidence concerning all the various accused. As such, the reader learns quite a bit about the actual details of the activities of these revolutionaries who were led by Sri Aurobindo’s brother Barindra. I was struck by what appeared to be a reasonable and dispassionate assessment of the evidence. In Sri Aurobindo’s case, the judge ruled that there was only weak and insufficient evidence linking him to the conspiracy, including some brief notes which may have planted by government spies. The judge also notes that Sri Aurobindo’s writings did not advocate violence, sometimes repudiated violent revolution, and typically advocated nonviolent means. He indicated that if Sri Aurobindo were involved in the conspiracy, it would be a contradiction of his own writings on political action. The book presents a document of significant historical interest. 

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About the Reviewer: Dr. Larry Seidlitz received his doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. He was an Assistant Professor and researcher in psychiatry and psychology at The University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, U.S.A. He is currently a faculty member of Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (Pondicherry). He is also the editor of the journal ‘Collaboration’ published by Sri Aurobindo Association of California and author of many articles on Integral Yoga.

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Paul Richard’s Tribute to Sri Aurobindo.

Dear Friends,

Today we are publishing the text of a speech of Paul Richard on Sri Aurobindo which was delivered to the ‘Students Asiatic Union’ on 3 May 1919 at Waseda University in Tokyo.

Paul Antoine Richard was born on 17 June 1874 at Marsillargues, in the department of Hérault, in Languedoc (southern France). After finishing school, he enlisted in the army, and in October 1892 was sent to North Africa, where he served for four years. Returning to his homeland in 1897, he settled in Montauban (in the South-West of France), where he took up the study of theology. He preached in Montauban for two years, and in 1900 published a book-length “metaphysical essay”, Le corps du Christ après sa resurrection. Later in 1900 he became a member of the Reformed Church of France in Lille (in the North-East of France, near the Belgian border). Around this time he married Wilhelmine van Oostveen, a young lady of Amsterdam. Richard received his law degree from the Académie de Lille in July 1908. Before long he became a barrister at the Paris Court of Appeals. But his eagerness to enter into the world of politics was very much alive and therefore in February 1910 he joined the Ligue de Défense et de Propagande Républicaine Radicale et Radicale-Socialiste. In 1910 he visited Pondicherry and met Sri Aurobindo. On 5 May 1911 he married Mirra Alfassa alias the Mother. He returned to Europe after his divorce from the Mother; later he went to the United States of America where he taught as a university professor. His published works include To the Nations, The Lord of the Nations, The Scourge of Christ, The Dawn Over Asia, The Challenge of the Future, To India: The Messages of the Himalayas, New Asia, Messages from the Future, The Eternal Wisdom and The Seven Steps to the New Age. In 1967  Paul Richard breathed his last.

The said speech is quoted from Paul Richard’s book The Dawn Over Asia; it is interesting to note that this book was translated from the original in French by Sri Aurobindo.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee

Founder,

Overman Foundation

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                                 Aurobindo Ghose

                                                                           Paul Richard

 

My friends, it is not only my word but my heart that I bring to you. It is my heart that salutes your young and fine association. For it unites two things that I love; one as one loves a mother—Asia, for Asia is the spiritual mother of the world; and the other as one loves a child—youth, the dawn of the future; for in you is the future of Asia, the future of the world.

And you are doing the work that should be done. Your society is creating the bonds of fraternity between students of different nations, is creating them also between those nations. In working to unify the thinking youth of Asia, it is working for the unity of Asia. It is unifying the Asia of to-morrow. For to-morrow Asia will be one.

In this unity there lie for her the promises of the future, of a higher life, a more perfect civilisation, with a great soul in it that shall be formed of that which is best in each. All the sensibility of Japan, all the intellectuality of China, all the spirituality of India will there enter into association. In this soul of the future, all the great thoughts of Asia will take their place. They will assemble together the gods of Vedism and of Shinto, the sister religions of Buddhism and Taoism, the pacified cults of Christianity and Islam. For all are only multiple forms of a single cult offered to the Infinite Being.

It is this soul of the future that will be created by the man of the future. Not the super-man of Nietzche, the super-man of the West, all the vanity and pride of whose force has only succeeded in bringing down in ruin upon him the old world. But the diviner man, the humaner god of Asia, creator of a new world. It is for this creation that the whole earth is being changed into a chaos; it is for this renewal, for this remoulding, that all the peoples are now in revolt against what they were, against what they wish no longer to be. And if men nowhere listen any longer to those who speak to them of human duties, it is because all, in the depths of their heart, feel awakening super-human possibilities.

Therefore, I come to say to you: prepare yourselves, prepare yourselves for the magnificent to-morrow. For the hour is coming of the great things, the hour of the great events, and also of the great men, the divine men of Asia. For there are already these men, these divine men—in Asia. All my life I have sought for them across the world. For all my life I have felt that they must exist somewhere in this world, that this world would die if they did not live. For they are its light, its heat, its life. It is in Asia that I have found the greatest among them, the leader, the hero of to-morrow.

He is a Hindu, he is named Aurobindo Ghose. He was born at Calcutta on the 15th August 1872. He is to-day 47 years old. While yet young he was sent to England to commence his studies. He remained there fourteen years. He acquired there all the knowledge of the West. And to him that did not suffice. He possesses also all the profound science, all the ancient wisdom of the East.

He returned to India at the age of twenty; was chosen for works of confidence by the Maharajah of Baroda, and occupied in the State an advantageous situation which would have satisfied the ambitions of many. But his were of another kind. In him lived the love of the Indian Motherland. Therefore he made this vow: “There is a burden on the breast of my mother. I will take no rest till I have delivered her.” He made too this greater vow: “One day I will see God face to face.” It is thus that he left one day the court of the Maharajah. As formerly the Buddha had done, he abandoned the sweets of his position, his worldly and material advantages. He departed to do his work, to accomplish his great and perilous mission.

At Calcutta to which he returned, he participated in the foundation of the National College, in order to save first of all the soul of his young fellow-citizens from the alien domination. He participated also in the conduct of a free organ “Bande Mataram,” around which organised itself a large group of enthusiastic young men. He wrote and he spoke. He spoke, and as his voice came from the depths of the soul, from the depths of the past and the future, Bengal hearing him awoke. It was the beginning of the great Hindu Renaissance, the beginning of the national movement which afterwards, from year to year, from province to province, gained the whole of India, preparing the irresistible impetus of to-day, and the victory of to-morrow.

Then he was put in prison—the school of the great and the just. But as no crime could be proved against him, no crime other than that of being the inspired prophet of the Indian Motherland, the voice announcing her liberation, he was released at the end of a year. But in this prison he had understood that his human strength would not suffice; that he needed the strength of the gods. And the gods came and spoke to him. Henceforth he looked only towards Heaven. Henceforth he saw Heaven everywhere and the Divine in all beings. While he was being tried before the tribunal, he had this experience that he saw no longer before him men, judges, jailers and prisoners, but in each of them, in the most honoured as in the despicable, the one image of Krishna, the individual form of the infinite Brahman.

He wrote still and founded the “Karma Yogin.” But it was to give this message to his people: “There can be no material Mukti, unless there is first a spiritual Mukti” afterwards he retired into solitude. He came to the South of India, to Pondicherry, where ten years ago, by a providential course of events, I met him for the first time. There he entered in the silence of a yoga which deepened during five years. When I met him again after these five years, he had gained the light, he had gained the power. The light owing to which nothing more henceforth, in heaven or on earth or in any world, can remain hidden from him. And the power through which everywhere his sovereign thought, without desire, without trouble, without haste, without fear, realises the will of the Eternal Truth.

Five other years have passed since then. Five years in the course of which, at my request, he has exposed in five volumes of a monthly publication, the most masterly, the most magnificent teaching of philosophy, of human and divine wisdom that men have ever received. Now, the day is coming when, after having been in the obscurity of his silence and retreat the saviour ofIndia, he will become in the full light of day the Guru of Asia, the teacher of the world. For it is always from Asia that have come the Saviours and the Teachers of this world.

To-day for the first time I proclaim in public his name. For it is without doubt you who should hear it the first. Let this name be henceforth to you, to your association, to the youth of Asia—to Asia, a symbol, a rallying cry, a programme.

For this name signifies Asia free and one— Asia resurgent. Asia in her glory!

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