Sri Aurobindo Samiti & Sri Aurobindo Bhavan
On the occasion of the birth centenary celebration of Sri Aurobindo in the year 1972, a National Committee was formed and the then Prime Minister of India, Late Indira Gandhi, was the chairperson. As part of the Programme of the Centenary Celebrations, the Government of West Bengal established the Sri Aurobindo Samiti and the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by a Special Act(West Bengal Act XXXIV of 1972). The Governor of West Bengal is the ex-officio Chairman of Sri Aurobindo Samiti and the Chief Minister of West Bengal is an ex-officio member. The membership of Sri Aurobindo Samiti is composed of nominees of the State Government and Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry.
Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, 8 Shakespeare Sarani, the place where Sri Aurobindo was born, was renovated and the sacred relics of Sri Aurobindo were enshrined here on 16th February, 1973. The memorial shrine has since become a place of pilgrimage. The Bhavan was established with the primary objectives of disseminating the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother among the members of the public so as to help them to raise their mental and moral outlook and to solve their cultural and spiritual problems in the light of such teachings.
The Bhavan houses a permanent exhibition of photographs and portraits depicting the lives of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The exhibition hall is open from 10.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
PRESENT ACTIVITIES OF THE BHAVAN
General Library and Reading Room
The General Library and the Reading Room have over 40,000 books and more than 100 periodicals on various subjects. An excellent Reference Section helps scholars of Aurobindonian studies in research work and in-depth studies. Borrowing facilities are available to public for a reasonable fee. Library is open from Monday to Saturday: 12.30 p. m. to 7.00 p. m.
One of the largest libraries of its kind in Kolkata. It houses about 35,000 books in English, Bengali and Hindi. An up-to-date Reference Service is available. It has nearly 1400 members with Reading Room and Lending facilities. Extensional activities include various competitions held annually. A children's corner/park has been set up in front of the library. Recently one multimedia corner has been opened for children attending the library. Library is open from Monday to Saturday: 2.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
Lectures and Discourses
Weekly lectures on Sri Aurobindo's and Mother's works, teachings and related topics are held regularly.
Sri Aurobindo Study Courses and Endowment Lectures
The Bhavan organizes study courses under expert guidance on different aspects of Sri Aurobindo and Mother's teachings. This attracts a considerable number of scholars, researchers and the members of the public. Five endowments under which lectures and researches are held during a year when eminent Aurobindonian scholars are invited to speak on Sri Aurobindo's philosophy and/or associated topics.
Yoga and Gym
An indoor Gymnasium has been opened for physical culture. Weekly Yogasana classes are held for men and women.
Ahana-Centre of Art and Culture
A cultural wing of Bhavan imparts training in the performing arts and also encourages other cultural other cultural and artistic activities in order to enhance aesthetic and cultural values, especially among the children and the youth. Formed in 1980, the centre continues to give regular training in Drawing and Painting, Rabindrasangeet, Bharatnatyam, Kathak dance and spoken English. Classes are held from Wednesday to Saturday. Regular classes are also held on Dramatics and Recitation.
Sri Aurobindo Centre for Research on Social Sciences
This Centre has been functioning under the able guidance of Dr. Amalendu De as Director of the centre. Research work on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Freedom Movement of India and other related subjects are being carried regularly. Some important research works have already been published by the centre. The centre is also conducting Sanskrit classes twice a week in collaboration with HRD Dept., Govt. of India.
Sri Aurobindo book distribution agency of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Pondicherry and Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir, Kolkata are running a selling counter of books, photography etc. on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and other related topics.
Sri Aurobindo Centre Product
This unit is engaged in distributing Sri Aurobindo Ashram and other centre products to devotees and general public in order to extend co-operation and assistance to different centres.
This is one independent publication unit and publish the famous journal Srinvantu(both in English and Bengali) and writings of Nalini Kanto Gupta and Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Sri Aurobindo Society
Sri Aurobindo Society is also maintaining one office at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan to propagate the teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by way of publishing journals, books etc.
Jayanti functions and special meditation are held at the Bhavan every year on:
February 21 : The Mother's Birthday
April 24 : The Mother's final arrival in Pondicherry
August 15 : Sri Aurobindo's Birthday
November 24 : Sri Aurobindo's Realisation Day
August 15, Sri Aurobindo's Birthday is specially celebrated at the Bhavan every year. The Governor of West Bengal visits the Bhavan and pays homage to the shrine of Sri Aurobindo.
Collective meditation is held around the shrine on Thursdays, Sundays every week from 7.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Special meditation is held around the shrine every year on the following special days between 7.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
February 16 : Installation of Relics of Sri Arobindo
March 29 : The Mother's first arrival in Pondicherry
April 4 : Sri Aurobindo's arrival in Pondicherry
November 17 : The Mothers Withdrawal Day
November 20 : The Mothers Samadhi Day
December 5 : Sri Aurobindo's Withdrawal Day
December 9 : Sri Aurobindo's Samadhi Day
December 31 : Midnight Meditation to usher in the New Year from 12.00 midnight to 12.30 a.m.
The Bhavan shrine is open to the public on all days from 6.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.
The office is open from Monday to Saturday from 10.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
On the occasion of 125th Birth Anniversary of the Mother was Celebrated from 12-14th December. Sri Arabindo Basu spoke on 'Aditi–The Mother' from his writings. Shri Manoj Das spoke on The topic ‘The Guide Sublime on 28.6.2003.
President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam visited the Bhavan to pay homage to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Delivered lecture in large gatherings. Donated Rs. 50,000/-for purchase of Computers at Children’s Library.
National Seminar on 'Practice and Philosophy of Education in India was held. The participant Lecturers were from all over India. The then Chairman of NCERT, Shri Kirit Joshi was the Chief Guest. A volume comprising of lectures was published. The Bronze statue of Sri Aurobindo was unveiled by Shri Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Governor of West Bengal on Shri Aurobindo's Birth Anniversary 2005 at Bhavan in the distinguished presence of Dr. Karan Singh donated by Shri L.M. Singhvi.
On the occasion of Sri Aurobindo's coming to India (Baroda) from London, a symbolic bronze Bust of Sri Aurobindo was carried following the same route from Apollo Bandar to Baroda to Calcutta to Pondicherry. Dr. Karan Singh carried the bust from port of Baroda. A team of volunteers from Baroda carried the Bust to Calcutta where it was kept for one year before being finally installed at Pondicherry. Bust was carried to Pondicherry by railway in a colourful procession to Howrah station by large number of devotees joined from other states.
Centenary Celebration of 'Banga Bhanga Andolan' – a seminar was organised at Bhavan in collaboration with the Asiatic Society, Calcutta.
Children Corner for the Kids' was established with grant from Raja Rammohan Roy foundation in a specially located space in Children’s Library with the motto – learning while playing. The corner has been suitably decorated/equipped with books for joyful reading, playing materials, computer with VCP. Sri Aurobindo Gallery was inaugurated at Metro Maidan Station.
Centenary of Hooghly Conference where Sri Aurobindo delivered his first speech after his release from Alipore Bomb Case at Uttarpara was observed by Bhavan at Chinsura, Hooghly.
Howrah-Puducherry super-fast Express train was flagged on 8th April 2010. Youth camp with the youths from different Sri Aurobindo Centres was organised for 3 days from 3rd to 5th December, 2010. “Himanshu Neogi Memorial Lecture on the topic "Crisis of Identify and Culture" was delivered
Library operation system was digitised and inter-connectivity by LAN was made functional. A programme to commemorate on the 150 Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath was organised.
Some important endowment lectures based on various topics such as - Fate & Farewell, Political Sublime – Sri Aurobindo & Amartya Sen, Sri Aurobinder Yogaamukti-Practical workshop & demonstration on Pranayam, was organised at Bhavan. Yugmabikhya :Rabindranath O Sri Aurobindo – a programme jointly with Sri Aurobindo Nilaya, Santiniketan and Sri Aurobindo Bhavan was arranged at Santiniketan. The Programme was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor of Viswa-Bharati University.
To commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swamit Vive-Kananda two days National Seminar jointly conducted by the Institute of Historical Studies, Kolkata in collaboration with Sri Aurobindo Samiti at Bhavan.
Special Swadhyay (Spiritual Studies Camp) was conducted in collaboration with Sri Aurobindo Culture Centre, Chandan-nagore, Sri Aurobindo Karmi Sangha, Habra and more than 300 devotees were present in the morning and evening session. Special Memorial Lecture on Centenary Homage(08.07.1914–08.07.2014) was arranged. A meeting in remembrance of Late Dr. Amalendu De, a renowned Historian and the Director of Sri Aurobindo Centre for Research in Social Sciences was organised at Bhavan.
As in previous years, this year also on the occasion of Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo on 15th August, 2014, the Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal, Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi offered floral tribute to the Shrine and garlanded the marble Bust of Sri Aurobindo. Launched Sri Aurobindo Bhavan's Website. Handed over Sri Aurobindo Puraskar 2014 to the recipients and distributed sweets to the children of different schools.
On his inception as Governor of West Bengal by virtue of Which he became the ex-officio Chairman of Sri Aurobindo Samiti met members of the Samiti on 17.09.14 at Raj Bhavan for introduction wherein he expressed desire to informal visit to Bhavan and fixed himself the date on 03.11.14 at 6-00 p.m for an hour.
As per schedule, the Governor visited the Shrine offered floral tribute at the Shrine and garlanded at the marble Bust of Sri Aurobindo. Then visited General and Children Libraries exchanged views with the Librarian & Members after that visited Photo gallery at upstairs, Sabda – book distribution outlet of Sri Aurobindo & the Mother and retail outlet of Sri Aurobindo Centre Products, selling products from different centres of Sri Aurobindo as well as products of Pondicherry Ashram. During his visit, sat for some time conversing with members shared views and listened about the activities of Bhavan by Sri Aurobindo Samiti from the members present. The Governor visibly impressed and content.
Since the programme schedule was fixed for one hour, the Governor left for Raj Bhavan around 7-10 p.m.