A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 13. Studies in Madras

Some four or five months before I left for Madras, Sri Aurobindo would sometimes say in a casual way, “Whatever happens, detach yourself from the happenings and learn to watch them as a Witness. Do not get involved in them.” …This single mantra acted as an unfailing sustenance of my life during my stay at Madras for four or five years.

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 12. The Fate of a Brahmin’s Shikha

The shikha was scissored off clean by Nolini Kanta Gupta in obedience to Sri Auro­bindo’s order at about 2 a.m. on the altar of the temple at sacred Pondicherry in which Sri Aurobindo is the mūrti (deity). He performed this service when I was asleep.

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 11. A Few Months in Madras

…all bonds with my parents and relatives loosened. I felt them as strangers only. This major part unknowingly and imperceptibly was captured by Sri Aurobindo. The small part enjoying my mother’s caresses and fondling stood in my way.

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 9. The Year 1914

As I was reading, Sri Aurobindo came, stood in front of the table and kept listening to my reading. When I put down the copy of the Arya and lifted my head I saw Sri Aurobindo standing there. I told him that the reading was delightful but nothing could be grasped.

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 8. Learning English with Sri Aurobindo

Every day I talked with Sri Aurobindo from five-thirty to six-thirty and returned home. I played the role of the speaker. I poured out to him everything without exception. He would hardly ever put in more than a word or two. In this way days passed into weeks, weeks into months.

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 7. From Darkness to Light

It was for the first time I got up to the first floor of Sri Aurobindo’s house. In the long verandah overlooking the wide courtyard below, there were big windows giving a wide view southwards… all the doors of all the rooms were open… Everywhere and on everything there fell an all-revealing light, nothing but light…

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 5. The House on François Martin Street

a distinguished scholar and savant from France met Sri Aurobindo in secret. His name was Paul Richard. He was sent from France by Mira — she whom we now know as the Mother. She handed over to him the sketch of a yogachakra, saying that its interpreter was to be found in India; and he who could interpret it would alone be her helper and master on the path of yoga.

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 4. Darshan of Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo’s birthday was drawing near — August 15, 1913. I requested Iyengar once more. I appealed to him to take me to Sri Aurobindo on his birthday. He replied, wonderful to say, in a con­senting tone. I felt an immense joy.

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 3. Friendship with Ramaswami Iyengar (Va Ra)

At that time naturally I did not realise what was the new and precious thing which Sri Aurobindo’s active presence was shaping in me. Not that even now I have the full knowledge of it. It was, however, Sri Aurobindo’s dynamic presence that accounted for the indescribable joy experienced by me.

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 2. The Influence of Subramania Bharati

The five years, 1910-1914, served the need of my preparation. It should be called a pilgrimage to Sri Aurobindo. Each act of mine, each event of my life had become, as it were, offerings in the sacrifice done unknowingly by me.

A Pilgrimage AM 1080

Chapter 1. A Glimpse of Sri Aurobindo

In 1905 I came to Pondicherry for study. In 1910 Sri Aurobindo also arrived here. What a coincidence! He came to the very town where I had come! I was full of joy, thrilled with delight. A strong desire arose in me that I must see Sri Aurobindo.