Tejendranath Mukherjee, Ambalal Patel and Biren Chunder: A Pictorial Homage

Dear Friends,

Time makes us forget many things of the past. But when we look at the photographs of the bygone eras, a flood of old but sweet memories come back to us. There were several interesting and popular personalities in Sri Aurobindo Ashram about whom the present generation knows very little. Some photographs of three Ashram Legends—Tejendranath Mukherjee, Ambalal Patel alias Ambu and Biren Chunder—who were loved and respected by one and all have been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation along with their brief biographies.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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Tejendranath Mukherjee (24.6.1909—May 1989) was the eldest son of the revolutionary leader Bagha Jatin or Jatindranath Mukherjee (1879—1915) whom Sri Aurobindo considered his right-hand man. He was closely associated with the Anushilam Samiti of Kolkata and established active revolutionary centres in Nadia, Jessore and other districts of undivided Bengal. Influenced by Bhupendra Kumar Dutta, he joined the Jugantar party quite early in life. A staunch supporter of Dr. Syamaprasad Mookerji, he founded the Sanatana Dharma Parishad, served it as the Secretary and also re-launched the journal titled “Sarathi” (which was originally established by Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das with Anilbaran Roy as the Editor). On 15 August 1947 Tejendranath and his wife Usha Rani had their first darshan of Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo had sent Rajani Palit, a senior inmate of the Ashram, to the Railway Station to receive Tejendranath. A year later, Tejendranath revisited Pondicherry with his wife and three sons Rathindranath, Prithwindranath and Dhritindranath (alias Togo). Usha Rani and her children were accepted by the Mother as inmates in October 1948. A year later, Tejendranath resigned from his job in Calcutta Corporation and joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram as an inmate where he spent the rest of his life. The Mother entrusted him with the task of blossoming the creative and artistic sides of the Ashram children who, and others, lovingly addressed him as “Borda” (meaning eldest brother in Bengali).

1 TejenTejendranath (with his arm raised up) with Mahatma Gandhi

Tejen with familyTejendranath with his wife Usha Rani and three sons Rathindranath, Prithwindranath and Dhritindranath (Togo)

TejenTejendranath with the Mother, Nolini Kanta Gupta, Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, Udar Pinto and others.

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group photo

Photograph taken on 24 June 1949 at Dilip Kumar Roy’s residence in Pondicherry on the occasion of Tejendranath Mukherjee’s birthday. Seated in the first row (from left to right): Noren Singh, Nishikanto Roychowdhury, Tejendranath Mukherjee and Nirmal Singh. Second row: Panu Sarkar, Madan Bose, Dhir Singh, Ashok Patel, Unknown and Manju Gupta. Third row: Sisir Kumar Mitra, Nirodbaran Talukdar, Venkatraman and Yogananda. Standing: Satya Bose, Kashikanta, Jyotin Das, Sitaraman, Bir Singh, Chinu Mukherjee, Bhaskar Mitra and Rajen Ganguly.

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Tejen 6Tejendranath with Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, Nirmal Banerjee and Tara Jauhar.

Tejen 7Tejendranath with Sunil Bhattacharya and Dr. Nirodbaran Talukdar.

Tejen 8Tejendranath with the youngsters of the Ashram in the Playground.

With Udar, Arun, Chandrakant, Tejen and NoliniTejendranath with the Mother, Udar Pinto, Arun, Chandrakant and Nolini Kanta Gupta.

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Ambalal Patel (14.6.1909—18.4.1993), better known as Ambu, was born at Sojitra in Gujarat. He studied up to Class III and was compelled to discontinue his studies because of his poor eyesight. He joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram on 29 May 1928 at the age of seventeen. He worked in the Ashram Granary, Box-making Department, Dining Room, Garden Service and the Mother’s Kitchen. He also looked after the sick or invalid members of the Ashram and attended to the foreign disciples who visited the Ashram. He is best known as the master-instructor of asanas, especially hatha-yoga. The Mother addressed his as ‘My Baby’.

Ambu

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Ambu with MotherAmbu with the Mother, Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya and Udar Pinto.

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Biren Chunder (10.4.1915—17.3.1997) was a well-known boxer of Bengal who became an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram on 11 August 1945. He was in charge of the Body Building Gym and later of the New Bindery. The messages that the Mother wrote in his diary from 1 April to 31 December 1954 were later published as Mantras of the Mother. He is best remembered for his physiotherapies which cured many people.

Biren Chunder with MotherBiren Chunder with the Mother, Noren Singh Nahar, Pavitra, Soli Albless and Gangaram Malwade.

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Photographs courtesy: Gauri Pinto, Anshuman Bose, Benimadhav Mohanty, Anurag Banerjee and the late Dhritindranath Mukherjee alias Togo.

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R.Y. Deshpande’s “Savitri’s SwapnaYoga” and Kittu Reddy’s “The Role of South India in the Freedom Movement” and “A Vision of United India: Problems and Solutions”.

Dear Friends and Well-wishers of Overman Foundation,

I am happy to announce that the latest books of R. Y. Deshpande and Kittu Reddy are now available at Overman Foundation.

Swapna+Yoga+Front+F

R. Y. Deshpande’s Savitri’s Swapna Yoga is based on the Book of Yoga, Book Seven, Canto Two of Savitri.

“Immediately Savitri enters into the Dream or Swapna Yoga, when to her is revealed the entire cosmic Past, Past since the beginning of things out of the extraordinary all-potent Void of the manifesting Spirit. She has re-lived the psychic memory of the evolutionary unfoldment in the long process of time. She sees how the Past has arrived at the Present and also begins to perceive the Future’s prospects. In this stream of consciousness she recognises that Man is not the culmination of these epochal happenings, and that a greater superior being, a being first governed by the Mind of Light, Surhomme, Overman, must emerge and take the lead of the evolutionary march. A portion of the divine Savitri enters into her and puts a diamond seal of this materialisation on a bright course of the coming events. A high note is already struck in the gains of her Yoga.”

Consisting of 260 pages, Savitri’s Swapna Yoga is available at a price of Rs. 300 (Three Hundred) only.

Role of south india in the freedom movement

Kittu Reddy’s The Role of South India in the Freedom Movement presents the story of the freedom struggle that developed in South India and the ideals that inspired the national struggle for freedom in South India. The presentation has two aspects; one, dealing with the events and incidents in which the freedom fighters were involved and two, the ideals and values that inspired the freedom fighters. The first represents the external side of the movement and the second the inner and deeper part. It is evident that the inner part is more important as it portrays the lasting and abiding values and ideals that led and inspired this movement, hence, the source of the inspiring ideals which existed at the root of the Indian nation are traced and identified.

Consisting of 254 pages, The Role of South India in the Freedom Movement is available at a price of Rs. 450 (Four Hundred and Fifty) only.

a vision of united india

A Vision of United India: Problems and Solutions attempts to trace the political history of India from the ancient times to the modern day. The book is divided into two sections. The first section has two parts, one dealing with the history of India before Independence and the second dealing with the history after Independence. In the first part, the political history of ancient India is traced and the success and failure to bring about political unity is analyzed. Next, the political situation after the advent of the Muslims is discussed in some detail. Later, the political situation after the British conquest of India and its policy of divide and rule has been discussed. Ultimately, India got its freedom but was partitioned and divided into two. In the second part, there is a detailed discussion and analysis of the political situation after the partition of India till the modern times. In the second section of this book, the author—based on his study of Political Science in the light of Sri Aurobindo—has tried to show that Pakistan as a nation will inevitably disintegrate. He has also tried to analyze the repeated attempts in the past to bring about a political unity, the partial success and the failure that has attended the attempts and also evaluated the reasons for the failure and made certain suggestions which may lead to the final solution of the problem of political unity of the subcontinent of India.

Consisting of 382 pages, A Vision of United India: Problems and Solutions is available at a price of Rs. 450 (Four Hundred and Fifty) only.

To place an order for the aforesaid books, kindly contact us as overmanfoundation@gmail.com and (0) 9830244192. Payment can be made through cheques, demand-drafts, money-order and online remittance. Please note that these books are not available at SABDA.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation

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Photographs of Houses where Sri Aurobindo had stayed in Pondicherry

Dear Friends,

On 4 April 1910, around four in the afternoon Sri Aurobindo arrived at Pondicherry, the land which was destined to be his ‘cave of tapasya’. For the next one and a half decades he stayed at various houses with his companions till he shifted to the ‘Meditation House’ in February 1927.

4 April 2015 marks the 105th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival in Pondicherry. As our humble homage to him, the photographs of the houses where Sri Aurobindo had stayed in Pondicherry have been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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1

The house of Shankar Chettiar at 39 Camoutty Street (now 63 Vysial Street) where Sri Aurobindo stayed from 4 April 1910 to September 1910.

2The house of Sundar Chettiar at 42 Rue de Pavillon (now Rue Suffren Street) where Sri Aurobindo stayed from October 1910 to March 1911. The monthly rent was Rs. 20.

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The house of Raghava Chettiar—better known as ‘Raghavan House’ at 13 Rue St. Louis Street where Sri Aurobindo stayed from April 1911 to April 1913.

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In this house at 59 Rue des Missions Etrangèrs (now known as Mission Street) Sri Aurobindo stayed from April 1913 to September 1913. The rent of the house was Rs. 15 per month.

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In this house at 41 François Martin Sri Aurobindo stayed from October 1913 to October 1922. This house later came to be known as the ‘Guest House’. It was here that on 29 March 1914 the Mother met Sri Aurobindo for the first time.

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The ‘Library House’ at 9 Rue de la Marine where the Mother and Sri Aurobindo shifted to in October 1922. The monthly rent was Rs. 100. It was purchased on 6 April 1929 for Rs. 21000.

library-house-view-from-south-east‘Library House’—view from south-east.

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Sri Aurobindo and the Mother shifted to the ‘Meditation House’ at 28 Rue François Martin on 8 February 1927. This house was rented from 1 January 1927 for a sum of Rs. 75 and purchased on 13 July 1927 for Rs. 14000.

(Photographs: courtesy Ms. Tara Jauhar)

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