Meeting Prithwindra Mukherjee, Article and interview by Sunayana Panda '79, The Golden Chain, August 2009
Battling all odds an interview in a nutshell on NDTV: http://www.tubaah.com/video_search_results.php?search_keywords=battling+all+odds&x=6&y=14
December 4, 2009: Prithwindra Mukherjee has been living in France for the last 40 years. He has written many Bengali and French books and publications. He was even given the rank of the Chevalier or Knight-of-the-Order of Arts & Letters by the French earlier this year. His...
May, 2009 "The Mother's Work in Orissa": In December 1958, Harekrushna Mahatab, the then Chief Minister of Orissa, requested the Mother to admit Kabul (Prabal Mitra) in the Ashram School. Little Kabul came to Pondicherry accompanied by his father, Jagannath Babu. The Mother accepted him (he was in fact the 1st student from Orissa in the Ashram School), but Kabul started crying because he wanted his brother and sister to come too. The Mother gave Her consent. Other children from Orissa came in the years that followed and in 1966, the Home of Progress boarding was started for Oriya students. [...]
The “organisational target” of the movement is described as, “to carry the Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s message to every corner of Orissa”. It has probably been the biggest organised, systematic movement to spread awareness about the Masters in any one region. It has also been a grassroots movement, since Study Circles and Integral Schools have reached the remotest areas of the state and the most underprivileged populations. The result has been an enormous upsurge in the number of devotees of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo in Orissa, attested by thousands of Study Circles and tens of thousands of students in the Integral Schools. The impact has also been felt in Pondicherry. There has been a large influx of devotees from Orissa here, particularly in the last two decades, many of whom have joined the Ashram and made Pondicherry their home. [...]
Whatever the pros and cons, it is undeniable that the movement in Orissa has been nurtured by many dedicated individuals and that it has made a profound and lasting impact not only on the state itself, but also on the Ashram. Unprecedented in scale, it would be hard to replicate anywhere else. But like for any work done for the Mother and Sri Aurobindo and in Their name, constant care and utmost sincerity will be required to ensure that the effort lives up to Their sublime vision.
Back Issues 2009 May, 2009 "The Mother's Work in Orissa" 2008 Nov, 2008 Growing up in "New Home" Aug, 2008 A Glimpse into Sri Aurobindo's Life in Calcutta May, 2008 Mother and Japan - II Feb, 2008 Forty Years of Auroville 2007 Feb, 2007 Mother and Japan May, 2007 Our Swimming Pool 1957 - 2007 Aug, 2007 Sri Aurobindo at Cambridge Nov, 2007 Boarding Life 2006 Nov, 2006 Working in the Larger Community Aug, 2006 50 years of the Laboratory May, 2006 Savitri Bhavan Feb, 2006 Sister School 2005 Feb, 2005 Responding to the Tsunami May, 2005 Five Years of The Golden Chain Fraternity Aug, 2005 Tapovan Reunion 2005 Nov, 2005 Christmas in the Ashram 2004 Nov, 2004 Pondicherry 1954 - 2004 Aug, 2004 Marine Marvels May, 2004 Continuing Education Feb, 2004 EDITORIAL TEAM: Gopal '90, Sunayana '79 EDITORIAL ASSISTANCE: Anurupa '86, Raman '75, Alo '92, Suruchi '03, Ishita '04, Anubha '00, Gaurishankar ’80, Puru ’83
Sachidananda Mohanty: I had the good fortune to be admitted by the Mother into the SAICE, and my career there spanned from 1966-1975. Currently, I am the Professor and Head [of the Department of English], at the Hyderabad Central University. [...]
First, we need to strengthen the academic/intellectual side of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education. We must fashion out a way of intellectual training of the young students and critics that fits into Sri Aurobindo’s injunction about the office and limitation of Reason, expounded in Human Cycle and elsewhere. The Mind, Sri Aurobindo says, most emphatically, has to be developed as an instrument, and open itself to higher Truths of Life. If we do not do this, we cannot blame others who are not attuned to this approach, from taking over and filling the void, as it has regrettably happened now. In this regard, we must be prepared to take the help of the ex-students of the Ashram who have had considerable training in this regard in the outside world. We must remember that either we move forward or go backward. There is no third alternative.
Clearly, as spirituality enjoins upon us, the best way of living within in our context, is to immerse ourselves in the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. While dogma and religiosity are to be shunned at all costs, we must internalize the Aurobindonian view of life which alone can safeguard us against aberrations and pitfalls. When a sufficiently large number of a community practise an ethical and spiritual life (ethics is not a bad word), then they would generate a force that alone can act as an effective antidote to darkness and ignorance. [His most recent published book is an edited volume of Sri Aurobindo’s writings entitled Sri Aurobindo: A Contemporary Reader, published by Routledge India in 2008.]
How and why did you settle in Paris?
I was born in Puri, I grew up in Pondicherry as I was sent there for my schooling at Sri Aurobindo Ashram. I met Satyakam, my husband there, who is a Gujarati but born and brought up in Africa. He had business in Paris and that brought me to the city following our marriage... How is the life of an artiste in France?
It’s more comfortable and dignified than the life of artistes here. French people and government take keen interest in culture. There is political will to promote culture. Government cares for culture in a very big way and it has built up lots of cultural centres, both in the metros and even in small towns. So artistes get a dignified deal.
The Colloquy at Kurukshetra will yet liberate humanity (part 3) from Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore by Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore Note:
All the concepts expressed here are from recollections of the words and explanations given by our teachers in Sri Aurobindo International Centre in the class on ‘Essays on The Gita’ and the weekly enlightening talks held in the school premises by Nirod Da and Amal Kiran Ji.- Sundari