“A Pilgrimage to Sri Aurobindo” by Amrita – Introductory Notes

A Life-Sketch of Amrita

K. Amrita (originally named Aravamudachari Ayengar) was born on September 19, 1895 in the village of Kazhiperampakkam, fifteen kilometers northwest of Pondicherry. At the age of ten he moved to Pondicherry for his education. When Sri Aurobindo came in 1910, Amrita tried to meet him, but he managed to do so only three and a half years later, on August 15, 1913. From then on, he was a regular visitor to the house until 1915, when he went to Madras to complete his higher studies. In 1919 Amrita returned to Pondicherry to live permanently with Sri Aurobindo. When the Ashram began at the end of 1926, he became its general manager and later was made a member of the Ashram Trust. For fifty years, from 1919 until his passing in 1969, he remained in the service of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

Publisher’s Note

This book is a translation of a memoir written in Tamil by K. Amrita, an early disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Amrita recounts the story of his childhood and student life, but always his central concern is his relationship with Sri Aurobindo and his efforts to come closer to him. Amrita’s tale, told with honesty and ardour, has all the poignancy of a sensitive young Tamil Brahmin discovering a new way of life.

The Tamil text of the memoir was translated into English soon after it was written, and this translation (titled Old Long Since) was published in 1969 and 1995 as part of larger works. It is now being published for the first time as an inde­pendent book and has been given a new title, A Pilgrimage to Sri Aurobindo.

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