M.P. Pandit (Madhav Pundalik Pandit) was born in 1918 in Sirsi, Karnataka and joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1939 after graduating from the University of Bombay. From his earliest days in the Ashram, he served as personal secretary to The Mother, who became the entire focus of his life. With encouragement from The Mother, Sri Pandit served as Chairman of World Union International and edited its journal, in addition to The Advent and his own monthly Service Letter. His writing career spanned six decades, publishing over one hundred fifty books and innumerable prized reviews in the leading Indian journals of the day. The scope of his interests was immense, extending from a basis in spirituality into fields as diverse as polity, psychology, science, religion and more. Sri Pandit’s books possess a global appeal and have made Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga accessible to a larger public. After the Mother’s passing in 1973, he responded to earnest calls from around the world and travelled extensively both in India and the West, leaving gratitude in his wake and strengthening the spiritual aspirations of all who met him. Fusing the ancient with the modern and life with spirituality, Sri Pandit was a symbol of synthesis.
David Frawley on M.P. Pandit
After finishing this Vedic study I had no idea what to do with it. Fortunately, through a personal friend I came into contact with M.P. Pandit, the secretary of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. I had long admired Pandit’s many books on the Vedas, Tantra, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Pandit was perhaps the foremost scholar of Indian spirituality, not from an academic view but from a real understanding and inner experience that spanned the entire tradition. If anyone could appreciate what I was doing, it was he. I first visited Pandit in San Francisco in the summer of 1979. I brought my writings on the Vedas and Upanishads and explained my approach to him. What I received from him in return went far beyond my expectations. Pandit was a calm and concentrated person, with a penetrating vision. He listened carefully before making any comments. Instead of trying to influence me he was quite receptive and open to what I was attempting. I told him that I was not an academic but doing the work from an inner motivation and an intuitive view. He said that it was better that I was not an academic because I would not repeat their same old mistakes and could gain a fresh view of the subject. Pandit strongly encouraged me to continue my work, offering his full support. He called my Vedic work my “Divine mission,” that I should follow out. He said both to my surprise and my honor that he would get my writings published in India. This greatly increased my enthusiasm in what I was doing, which up to that point appeared to be some obscure personal study, perhaps relevant to no one. He asked me to mail him some of my writings in India as he would be returning to India in a few months. Over the next few months I wrote a new book on the Rig Veda called Self-realization and the Super mind in the Rig Veda and sent it to him. The manuscript was over five hundred pages long and consisted of translations and interpretations of many different Suktas, particularly those to Indra. I had worked on it day and night during that period. He serialized the book first in World Union and later in the Advent, major Sri Aurobindo Ashram journals from 1980-1984. Later I sent Pandit various chapters of the Shukla Yajur Veda, which I similarly translated and interpreted in a spiritual (adhyatmic) light. This he had serialized in Sri Aurobindo’s Action. Pandit also got my book Creative Vision of the Early Upanishads published in India. His help was crucial in establishing my work as a writer in the Vedic field, without which it would have been probably consigned to my desk.Along with Pandit came the additional gift of the grace of the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. After contacting Pandit I could also feel the Mother’s energy and presence around me. She was close by and would quickly appear to my inner vision, guiding me in various ways. Even today I can feel her nearby my consciousness whenever I think of her. This was not something I cultivated but came of its own accord. (How I Became A Hindu – My Discovery of Vedic Dharma By David Frawley)