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Captive of Her Love by Janina Stroka

Longings for the Mother

This book is a collection of letters, poems and paintings by Janina Stroka, a Polish disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and a member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, from 1957 until her passing in 1964. It is a truly fascinating book that should interest readers of many backgrounds and persuasions. Employing a primarily epistolary mode, through the use of letters, it combines several interesting categories as well: spiritual travelogue, quest narrative, period history and East-West encounter. Above all, it bridges the gap between the falsity of public image vis a vis the reality of our private self.

Janina’s account of her life in Pondicherry in this book is divided into three parts. The main part of the text consists of extracts from letters written to a Dutch friend with whom Janina lived first in Palestine and later in Germany, from December 1957 to June 1958. The letters in the next section were written between 1960 and 1963 to a young Bengali, a writer and social worker. Next, the book contains selected poems and paintings by Janina and concludes with a comment by the Mother on Janina’s passing.

All of these provide an invaluable glimpse into Janina’s inner life in the Ashram, no less than her observation of the details of the seemingly trivial but no less significant aspects of the day to day life in the Ashram and Pondicherry during the late fifties and early sixties. We find, for instance, a perceptive description of meal-time atmosphere in the Dining Room. Those who habitually crib against the Dining Room food would do well to see Janina’s sense of reverence towards this food (“We always get two bananas and a wonderful yoghurt, just a dream!”). She talks memorably of a number of events and impressions of the supramental force spread over Pondicherry, vis a vis the ubiquitous presence of the town’s dirt, filth and squalour; about “bad people in the Ashram”; regarding the problem with maid-servants, their perpetual intrigues and the need to constantly humour them in order to extract work out of their reluctant selves and so on. She also records her encounters with Pavitrada, Nolinida and Medhananda and the quota of luscious mangoes from Bombay that she receives from X, a friend: “What a pity that I do not have a husband” she observes with self-deprecating humour.

Janina reveals in her engrossing accounts that despite their rootedness in reason, science and rationality, (or perhaps because of it!) a dedicated westerner, drawn powerfully to spirituality, is likely to blossom more fully vis a vis his/her eastern counterparts. Her life — full of ordeals, hardships and agony — is testimony to the indomitable human spirit forever in search of the deepest meaning of life. Her narrative offers us a lesson in humility.

(from book review by Dr Sachidananda Mohanty)


Book Details

Author: Janina Stroka
Print Length: 106
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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Longings for the Mother by Indra Sen

Longings for the Mother

I learned of the Mother’s passing on the morning of the 18th November, 1973 at Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir, Jwalapur (Hardwar), where my normal work lies as given by the Mother in 1958. The impulse that arose within me was to go deep within and be with the Mother to the best of my capacity. I reduced my external preoccupations to the minimum and began to live in that manner and it was profoundly satisfying. In this experience, there were occasional moments of shock and grief too but, on the whole, there was a feeling of inner assurance and a sense of contact and conversation with the Mother. On the morning of the 27th November, as I sat in this contemplation, a move arose to concretise the inner thought and feeling and I wrote out “Our Mother, who is no more, who is ever more.” Soon all the ten topics ending with “Mother, we read again Your ‘Notes on the Way’” came along. And I read these again and again and enjoyed doing so. I began to do this day after day. I felt that this tended to deepen my inner contact. The next three pieces were written on the following three days, a piece per day. Then I had to go on a short journey and, for about a fortnight, there was no writing. About the middle of December, the writing was resumed and the remaining six pieces were written out. The entire writing was done, on the whole, with ease and simplicity.

To me, all this served to clarify and strengthen an inner contact with the Mother. Many friends, who have read these pieces in typescript, have felt deeply moved and found in varying degrees a greater inner contact.


Book Details

Author: Indra Sen
Print Length: 43
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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To Thee Our Infinite Gratitude (Writings on the Passing of Sri Aurobindo)

To Thee Our Infinite Gratitude

Writings on the Passing of Sri Aurobindo

A series of essays written in commemoration of Sri Aurobindo’s passing. The words of Amal Kiran, Udar and K.R.S.Iyengar give us a vast spiritual, psychological and factual perspective of the event, greatly helping us to understand several aspects of the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, the young American scholar Rhoda P. Le Cocq’s account of the last Darshan of the Master and the Mother unveils that aspect of the power of Grace which so smoothly and silently demolishes the wall of scepticism one had maintained around oneself for long. The compilation brings us a serene calm and an intense feeling of gratitude, and reminds us that:

Death is a stair, a door, a stumbling stride
The soul must take to cross from birth to birth,
A grey defeat pregnant with victory,
A whip to lash us towards our deathless state.

Savitri


Book Details

Author: Nirodbaran, Dr. Prabhat Sanyal, Amal Kiran, Udar Pinto, Pavitra, K.R.S. Iyengar, Rhoda P. Le Cocq
Print Length: 100
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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The Mother Abides – Final Reflections

The Mother Abides
Final Reflections (1973–1983)

by Nolini Kanta Gupta

These thoughts and reminiscences of Nolini Kanta Gupta were written or spoken during the final decade of his life — from the time of the Mother’s passing in November 1973 until shortly before his own passing in February 1984. During that period they served as a source of guidance and consolation to the Ashram community, and they still seem relevant today.

Many of these writings and talks were first presented to the students, young and old, of Nolini-da’s classes. Later they were published in The Advent, a quarterly journal he edited, or in his Collected Works. Details about their publication and a life-sketch of the author are given at the end of the book.


Book Details

Author: Nolini Kanta Gupta
Print Length: 77
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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My Friend and Master by C.C. Dutt

My Friend and Master

A Memoir by C.C. Dutt

The book “My Friend and Master” is a personal account of Sri Aurobindo’s pre-Ashram days told by C.C.Dutt, who had been a revolutionary comrade and later became a spiritual disciple of Sri Aurobindo in his ashram. C.C. Dutt’s memoir carries the unmistakable direct presence of the Guide and Master and vivid experience that can only occur in the immediate closeness to the Guru. It will be of a great interest to all those who have been guided on their spiritual paths by Sri Aurobindo’s words and presence. C.C. Dutt’s memoir “My Friend and Master” was originally published in “Sri Aurobindo Circle” Eighth Number, 1952


Book Details

Author: C.C. Dutt
Print Length: 34
Publisher: Auro e-Books
Original source: http://auromaa.org/my-friend-and-my-master-charu-chandra-dutt-part-2/
Submitted by: Krishna
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English
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