Saturday, June 18, 2011

Slide Show: The Mother - Our Executive President

Slide Show: The Mother - Our Executive President



The Mother - Our Executive President - Presentation Transcript

  1. The Mother Our Executive President Sri Aurobindo Society GOLDEN JUBILEE 1960-2010
  2. BTB_pg01
  3. “May we never forget all we owe to Thee” 2010 marks the Centenary of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival at Pondicherry and the beginning of his great work of World Transformation. 2010 is also the Golden Jubilee of the founding of Sri Aurobindo Society by the Mother. It has been a journey of happy growth and expansion, of ups and downs, of challenges, opportunities and insurmountable obstacles and, through it all, of the working of the Mother’s Grace that “can turn difficulties into opportunities, failure into success and weakness into unfaltering strength”. Through some rare documents and photographs, we are happy to share glimpses of the Mother’s working, of her direct involvement, of her minute attention to detail and, most of all, of her love and care. This Exhibition is an expression of the resolve to rededicate ourselves to Them and Their work and an offering of our gratitude. “Before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee”. BTB_pg02
  4. Birthday Card SRI AUROBINDO SOCIETY GOLDEN JUBILEE 1960-2010 On the Society’s 4th Birth Anniversary, on 19th September 1964, the Mother sent a card containing Champaklalji’s marble painting and her Blessings. Birthday Card given by the Mother to Sri Aurobindo Society BTB_pg03
  5. the Beginning
  6. Sri Aurobindo first initiated the idea of a group of seekers in Bhawani Mandir, in October 1905: “A temple is to be erected and constructed to Bhawani, the Mother. To all the children of the Mother, the call is sent forth to help in the sacred work… We need a nucleus of men… (who) having the fire of Bhawani in their hearts and brains, will go forth and carry the flame to every nook and corner of our land.” Simultaneously in Paris, a group of spiritual seekers, with Mother as the centre, met at her house; they called themselves ‘The Idea’. BTB_pg04
  7. “A hundred times more will be accomplished” Sri Aurobindo wrote to his brother Barindra Kumar Ghose from Pondicherry: “If we are spread out everywhere as individuals, something no doubt will be done; if we are spread out everywhere in the form of a Sangha, a hundred times more will be accomplished… Politics, trade, social organization, poetry, art, literature – all will remain. But all will be given a new life, a new form.” In another letter he stated: “It is a Yoga in which vast untried tracts of inner experience and new paths of Sadhana had to be opened up… But the time is approaching, when I shall have to take up a large external work proceeding from the spiritual basis of this Yoga. It is, therefore, necessary to establish a number of centres… for training in this Sadhana… Those trained there will be hereafter my assistants in the work I shall have to do, …” BTB_pg05
  8. A society started by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother In August 1914, the Mother and Sri Aurobindo started a society called “L’Idée Nouvelle” – The New Idea.The following announcement was made in the very first issue of the Arya, a journal edited by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. “A Society has been founded in French India under the name of the New Idea (L’Idée Nouvelle). Its object is to group in a common intellectual life and fraternity of sentiment those who accept the spiritual tendency and idea it represents and who aspire to realise it in their own individual and social action….. It is on a higher plane of thought superior to external differences of race, caste, creed and opinion and in the solidarity of the spirit that unity can be realised.” The title page of the first issue of the ‘Arya’ BTB_pg06
  9. The Beginning of a Gnostic Community The concentrated effort of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother culminated on 29 February 1956, in the manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness upon earth. In 1958, the Mother declared: “It is only quite recently that the need for a collective reality began to appear – which is not necessarily limited to the Ashram but embraces all who have declared themselves – I don’t mean materially but in their consciousness – to be disciples of Sri Aurobindo and have tried to live his teaching. Among all of them, and more strongly since the manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness and Force, there has awakened the necessity for a true communal life, which would not be based only on purely material circumstances but would represent a deeper truth, and be the beginning of what Sri Aurobindo calls a supramental or gnostic community.” BTB_pg07
  10. “I will guide you” The Mother with Shri Navajata “Mother, so many people are connected with you all over the world. You have to establish world unity, you have to help India to progress, you have to bring about a social change. If we all get together, we can do a great work in the world. But this cannot be done unless you guide it directly.” The Mother said, “Surely it can be done… I will definitely guide you.” It is thus that the Sri Aurobindo Society came into existence in 1960. Reminiscences of Shri Navajata MP_pg08
  11. The Mother – Executive President
  12. The Society was registered in Calcutta, with the Mother as the President, Keshav Dev Poddar (Navajata) as General Secretary and Treasurer and Arunendra Nath Tagore as member of the Executive Committee. The Mother - President Shri Arunendra Nath Tagore Shri Navajata Founder Member General Secretary & Treasurer MP_pg09
  13. The Divine Mother as President The Memorandum of Association of the Society bears the Mother’s signature as the President, and is dated 19th September 1960. The main objective of the Society is: “To make known to the members and people in general the aims and ideals of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, their system of Integral Yoga and to work for its fulfilment in all possible ways and for the attainment of a spiritualised society as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo.” The last page of the Memorandum of Association of Sri Aurobindo Society, signed by the Mother MP_pg10
  14. Motto given by the Mother to Sri Aurobindo Society MP_pg11
  15. Symbol of the Society given by the Mother “The descending triangle represents Sat-Chit-Ananda. The ascending triangle represents the aspiring answer from matter under the form of life, light and love. The junction of both – the central square – is the perfect manifestation having at its centre the Avatar of the Supreme – the lotus. The water – inside the square – represents the multiplicity, the creation.” The Mother MP_pg12
  16. Notice for the first Meeting A notice announcing the first meeting of the Sri Aurobindo Society on 18th October 1960 was put up at the Ashram.The meeting was held in the New Hall of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. Notice for the first meeting put up in the Ashram MP_pg13
  17. Executive Committee Meetings in the Mother’s Room The early meetings of the Executive Committee were held in the Mother’s room in the Ashram.The Minutes noted the names of those present and the decisions taken. The Mother presided over the meetings and signed the Minutes as the President. Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee held in the Mother’s room on 3rd January 1961 MP_pg14
  18. The Mother herself approved the list of members and even signed the membership cards of the Life-members. Life Membership Card of Shri Pradyot K. Bhattacharya MP_pg15
  19. A Striking Similarity There is a very striking and significant similarity between what the Mother gave as the guidelines for the members of “L’Idée Nouvelle”, which she started in 1914, and what she gave to the members of Sri Aurobindo Society in 1960. Sri Aurobindo wrote in the Arya: “The Idée Nouvelle has two rules only for its members, first, to devote some time everyday to meditation and self-culture, the second, to use or create daily at least one opportunity of being helpful to others. This is naturally only the minimum.” For the members of Sri Aurobindo Society the Mother said: “Devote some time to study something from the writings of Sri Aurobindo or herself, according to the query within. Sit quietly for a few minutes and ask oneself:Why am I here? What exactly do I want to achieve in life? etc. Devote one hour daily for some work of the Society and do it in a selfless and unegoistic spirit. This is the minimum.” MP_pg16
  20. Each Centre or Branch was started only after the Mother approved the Centre / Branch and its office bearers. Mother’s approval for the new Centres MP_pg17
  21. Mahasaraswati’s Perfection in Works
  22. The first All India Conference In December 1961, the First All-India Conference of Sri Aurobindo Society was organized at theAshramTheatre in Pondicherry.The Mother chose Dr Harekrushna Mahtab, former Chief Minister of Orissa, to preside and she personally went over the minutest details, including lodging and food arrangements. First Annual Conference. Dr. Mahtab speaking. Others ( L to R): Shri K. N. Mukherjee, Shri Arunendra Nath Tagore, Shri Surendra Mohan Ghose, Shri Navajata, Shri Laljibhai MP_pg18
  23. Agenda corrected by the Mother The Agenda of the Conference was submitted to the Mother and corrected by her. One of the points in the Agenda was: “To decide how we can serve in building up Sri Aurobindo Ashram as the nucleus of the new world.” The Mother amended it as: “To study in what way we can serve or help the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in its work of giving to the world an example of spiritualised life.” The Agenda of the first Annual Conference corrected by the Mother First Annual Conference of Sri Aurobindo Society held in Pondicherry in December 1961 MP_pg19
  24. The Conference was inaugurated with a message given by the Mother in her own voice: “The true fortune is to spend in the right way. You become truly rich when you dispose of your wealth in the best possible way.” Message given by the Mother for the first Conference Delegates discussing the work in their States MP_pg20
  25. To the Children of the Mother In his brief speech, Shri Nolini Kanta Gupta, Trustee of the Ashram said: “I say to the children of the Mother - reminding them - they are to be true to her, true to her teachings, for that is the only way to success.” Nolinida speaking at the Conference MP_pg21
  26. The first All-Assam Conference was organised in 1962 at Digboi. The Mother sent her message: “Never forget the true aim of your life and act always at the summit of your consciousness. The Divine Blessings will then be constantly with you.” Message given by the Mother for All Assam Conference MP_pg22
  27. “Are you ready?” The second All-India Conference was organised at Pondicherry in 1963. “Are you ready?” was the challenging query put by the Mother and a printed card signed by her as President was distributed to all the participants. It was a message, a call for introspection and an inspiration, all in one. The Mother’s question to the delegates of the Conference MP_pg23
  28. The first World Conference In the following year, August 1964, the first World Conference was organised at Pondicherry. The Mother approved and blessed the programme which was put up on the Ashram notice board. She also gave a special message for the Conference. Programme of the first World Conference in 1964 A view of the first World Conference MP_pg24
  29. Message for the first World Conference MP_pg25
  30. Seminar on Human Unity A special seminar on ‘Human Unity’ was organised during the Conference for which the Mother gave the topics for discussion. At the end, the Mother’s own answers to the questions were played. Q1: How can humanity become one? A1: By becoming conscious of its origin. Q2:What is the way of making the consciousness of human unity grow in man? A2: Spiritual Education, that is to say an education which gives more importance to the growth of the spirit than to any religious or moral teaching or to the material so-called knowledge. Q3: What is a change of consciousness? A3: A change of consciousness is equivalent to a new birth, a birth in a higher sphere of existence. Q4: How can a change of consciousness change the life upon earth? A4: A change in human consciousness will make possible the manifestation upon earth of a higher Force, a purer Light, a more total Truth. MP_pg26
  31. “For the sake of the Divine” The first All-Orissa State Conference took place in 1964 at Cuttack. Differences of opinion cropped up between two eminent persons, requiring the Mother’s intervention. Shri Navajata drafted a letter to the recalcitrant parties: “The Mother will appreciate if both of you can forget the past and work together for the good of your State.” The Mother made an amendment to the letter drafted by Shri Navajata: “The Mother will appreciate if both of you can forget the past and work together for the sake of the Divine.” This is how the letter was sent and both attended the conference. Letter of Shri Navajata corrected by the Mother MP_pg27
  32. “O India, land of Light” In August 1967, the Mother sent a message for a meeting organised in Delhi to plan and work for a new India: “O India, land of light and spiritual knowledge! Wake up to your true mission in the world; show the way to union and harmony.” Message for India MP_pg28
  33. The Mother on Mahasaraswati Puja Day In the midst of her heavy schedule, the Mother approved plans for the work in Pondicherry and outside,studied reports,gave directions regarding publications, appointment of staff, signed receipts, endorsed cheques, sanctioned expenses - it was a veritable labour of divine love. Sri Aurobindo has said of Mahasaraswati, in his book ‘The Mother’: “Nothing is too small or apparently trivial for her attention, nothing however impalpable or disguised or latent can escape her. Moulding and remoulding she labours each part till it has attained its true form, is put in its exact place in the whole and fulfils its precise purpose.” PW_pg29
  34. Even the Advertisements In 1961, the first ‘Annual’ of the Society was published.The Mother looked into the minutest details, giving directions for the cover, the inside layout and even the nature of advertisements. The Mother’s instructions for the layout of the first ‘Annual” of the Society PW_pg30
  35. All India Magazine In 1971, as part of the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Programme, a monthly magazine in English was launched.The Mother named it ‘All India Magazine’. A line from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri was to be its guiding light: “Matter shall reveal the Spirit’s face” Gradually AIM began to be published in Indian languages as well. One of the first editions was in Kannada for which the Mother gave the message: “Let your highest aspiration organise your life.” Message for Kannada edition of the ‘All India Magazine’ PW_pg31
  36. “Call Sri Aurobindo to your help…..” Cover of ‘Purodha’ When a magazine for children called ‘Purodha’ (Pioneer) was started, the Mother chose Ravindra to be the editor of the Hindi edition. Once, he wrote to her for her guidance: Q: Mother, I am having difficulty in writing for Purodha. I can very well see the hollowness of what I write.The life is missing. And yet I have to write because I have the responsibility of the monthly. The Mother’s reply although simple, left no room for doubt: “Call Sri Aurobindo to your help, and it will be all right.” The Mother’s advice to Ravindra PW_pg32
  37. Next Future When the need was felt for an international magazine, the Mother gave it the name ‘Next Future’ for the English edition and ‘Le Prochain Avenir’ for the French version. PW_pg33
  38. The Work Grows by her Grace
  39. “At the service of Beauty and Truth” The obvious next step from books and journals was towards films.The Mother set up a production unit for the making of films with a higher ideal and purpose. It was called ‘Aurofilms’ with the inspiring motto – ‘Aurofilms at the service of Beauty and Truth’. PW_pg34
  40. AuroService “True spirituality is not to renounce life but to make life perfect with a Divine Perfection.” These words found expression in every action of the Mother – education, art, culture, business and economics too were brought into the spiritual fold. She started ‘Auroservice’ with the objective to strive for a new economic order based on truth and spiritual values.A catalogue of products and services called ‘Practical Guide’ was also published. PW_pg35
  41. Bank Accounts, Receipts, Balance Sheets In money matters, the Mother was informed of every donation and approved each expense. Every receipt bore her dynamic and elegant signature. It was not the amount donated but the spirit behind the offering that counted. Bank accounts were also started with her approval and received her signature as did the Balance Sheets. Resolution for opening a Bank Account of Sri Aurobindo Society PW_pg36
  42. Part-time Accountant Even the appointment of a part-time accountant at Rs 150/- per month was done only if it had the approval of the Mother. The Mother’s instructions regarding a new worker Receipt for an offering made to Sri Aurobindo Ashram PW_pg37
  43. Receipt signed by the Mother Cancelled cheque endorsed by the Mother PW_pg38
  44. Last page of the Balance Sheet of Sri Aurobindo Society PW_pg39
  45. Income and Expenditure Account signed by the Mother PW_pg40
  46. Good Guest House As the number of visitors and devotees increased, guest houses were started and named by her. The Good Guest House has the added privilege of having had the Mother meditate in what now serves as the meditation room. A view of the Good Guest House Meditation Room at the Good Guest House PW_pg41
  47. International Guest House By 1971, construction of a fourth guest house began to take place. Everyone worked day and night to complete it in time for Sri Aurobindo’s Birth Centenary in 1972. It was called International Guest House by the Mother. She named a fifth guesthouse as Shelter. A view of the International Guest House PW_pg42
  48. Message for Sri Aurobindo’s Birth Centenary A comprehensive programme was organized for the Birth Centenary of Sri Aurobindo in 1972. The Society prepared a pictorial Exhibition Set - ‘Towards the Future’ - which was sent by the Government of India to all its embassies. On this occasion, the Mother gave a message in French: A new world, based on Truth and refusing the old slavery to falsehood, wants to take birth. In all countries there are people who know it, at least feel it. To them we call: “Will you collaborate?” She signed it as ‘The Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry’. Message given by the Mother for the Exhibition Set PW_pg43
  49. Pages from the Exhibition Set PW_pg44
  50. Auroville
  51. In 1930, the Mother was asked about the descent of the Supramental Consciousness and its connection with the material world. She said: “Once, however, the connection is made, it must have its effect in the outward world in the form of a new creation, beginning with a model town and ending with a perfect world.” In 1964, Auroville took birth on the physical plane as the outcome of the First World Conference of Sri Aurobindo Society and aspired to be this model town, forerunner of a perfect world. The Mother’s messages for Auroville AV_pg01
  52. Invitation Card The Foundation Ceremony of Auroville took place on 28th February 1968. The Mother looked at each detail and even made changes to the draft of the invitation card. Invitation Card for the Foundation Ceremony, corrected by the Mother Youth of the world participating in the Foundation Ceremony of Auroville AV_pg02
  53. Application Forms, Bank Accounts, Purchase of Land The Mother herself approved and signed the papers, whether it was related to Application Forms, opening of Bank Accounts, purchase of Land, or fixing the date for the foundation of Matrimandir. Application Form for joining Auroville AV_pg03
  54. Resolution for opening a Bank Account of Auroville AV_pg04
  55. Resolution signed by the Mother for the purchase of land for Auroville AV_pg05
  56. Foundation of Matrimandir in February 1971 (L to R): Shri Navajata, Mr. Roger Anger, Shri Nolini Kanta Gupta AV_pg06
  57. “A Dream of the Lord” Is Auroville only a dream or will it ever become a reality? The Mother’s answer: “You say that Auroville is a dream.Yes, it is a “dream” of the Lord and generally these “dreams” turn up to be true, much more true than the human so-called realities!” A letter of the Mother to Huta AV_pg07
  58. The Mother’s Guidance for Centres and Branches
  59. “To open a Centre…..” With the growth of interest in Integral Yoga, many individuals were keen to form groups to pursue their individual and collective Sadhana and to work for the Mother. Thus several centres and branches of the Society came into existence. One of the most inspiring and beautiful messages was given to the Ranchi Branch: “To open a centre is not sufficient in itself. It must be the pure hearth of a perfect sincerity in a total consecration to the Divine. Let the flame of this sincerity rise high above the falsehoods and the deceptions of the world.” Message for centres given by the Mother CB_pg01
  60. Baroda a special place Among all the Branches of the Society, Baroda has a very special place for it was here that Sri Aurobindo spent 13 years, from 1893-1906, more than any other place in India except Pondicherry. The Branch is in the very building in which he once stayed, now known as Sri Aurobindo Nivas. Sri Aurobindo Nivas at Baroda CB_pg02
  61. In preparation of the Birth centenary of Sri Aurobindo in 1971, the Mother gave a message for the opening of Sri Aurobindo Nivas: “Sri Aurobindo is always present. Be sincere and faithful. This is the first condition.” The Mother’s message for the Baroda Branch CB_pg03
  62. According to Mother’s instructions, the relics were installed on 24th November 1972, at 10 a.m.. Her beautiful message for the occasion was: “Sri Aurobindo is constantly among us and reveals himself to those who are ready to see and hear him.” The Mother’s message for the installation of the Relics at the Baroda Branch CB_pg04
  63. Japan – the land of Beauty The Mother in Japan around 1917 The Mother’s message for the centre in Japan Mother had spent four years in Japan between 1916-1920 and so it was no surprise that in 1962 one of the first international centres was inaugurated in Japan.The Mother sent a message: “Let the Supreme Beauty be manifest in this land of beauty so close to my heart.” A decade later, she wrote: “Japan was in the physical world, the teacher of beauty. She must not renounce her privilege.” CB_pg05
  64. Sri Aurobindo’s Blessings The Navsari Branch in Gujarat had started a hand-written journal in Gujarati called ‘Sadhana’ which the Mother took the time to go through. She gave it her blessings and also the blessings of Sri Aurobindo, by putting “’s” below Sri Aurobindo’s photograph. The Mother looking at the ‘Sadhana’ Journal The first page of ‘Sadhana’ with Sri Aurobindo’s Blessings given by the Mother CB_pg06
  65. A City for the Divine In 1967, during a camp for spiritual awakening held on the banks of the Narmada, an aspiration arose among the participants and a prayer was sent to the Mother for building “a city for the Divine, where we aspire for the Divine, live for the Divine, act for the Divine.”The Mother granted the prayer and on 1st December 1967, she named the town ‘Ompuri’. Name and Blessings given by the Mother for the Ompuri Branch CB_pg07
  66. Days for Meditation Each branch or centre that came up in the early years received guidance and encouragement from the Mother, including inauguration date and even the days for meditation. The Mother’s guidance for the Peddar Road Branch at Mumbai CB_pg08
  67. The Mother with Navajata

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