A Talk by Alok Pandey from “Tuesday Talks” series (AUDIO)
Today, on the birthday anniversary of late Esha di (10 Oct 1925 – 23 Feb 2013) we are recounting some episodes of her life. She came to the Ashram at the age of five and had a unique relationship with the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, who loved her deeply. Sri Aurobindo once called her “an extraordinary girl”.
Nirodbaran on Esha di’s story
Esha, the late Dilip Kumar Roy’s niece, was a little girl visiting the Ashram when I came to know her through my niece Jyotirmoyee with whom she had become very friendly. She wanted to settle in the Ashram, but her mother did not want it as she was still a minor. When after many years she came to the Ashram again and stayed with Sahana Devi, I became more closely acquainted with her. By that time she had already married and obtained her divorce and had decided to settle here. I came to her help and made all possible arrangements for the purpose. Since then I have come to know her well and listened to her narration of the incidents of her life. As I found them interesting I began to note them down and was thinking of publishing them in Mother India when somehow she got wind of it and strongly objected to it. As I felt I had Sri Aurobindo’s sanction for it, I did not listen to her. In spite of my disregarding her objection, luckily she did not stop recounting her saga. Of course she narrated it in Bengali and later I put it down in English as faithfully as I could. When the story began to appear in Mother India, she insisted more than once that I should stop it. My answer was that I believed it could be helpful to many readers and that Sri Aurobindo seemed to support me.
We find that many bhaktas are indeed appreciating the story, particularly because they realise through it that Sri Aurobindo is still very much with us and our faith has been strengthened, helping us through the difficult moments of our life.
“Looking Back from Pondicherry”
(as narrated by Esha di and recorded by Nirodbaran)
Now settled in Pondicherry, looked after by the Lord, I am free from all worries and am trying to lead a spiritual life for which He has brought me here. But now and then I’m given to the mood of introspection and I begin to ask myself why my life has been so strange, why I could not be happy with all the advantages given to me: born in a high and wealthy family, the only child of my parents, brought up with so much care and with a rare passionate love for Krishna at an early age. Only as I grew up, there was a strange marriage which proved a dismal failure. The astrologer’s warning was that I was fated to marry whether I liked it or not, for I had to have a child! How strange are all these happenings in the life of a young girl! Then the most exceptional phenomenon — why Sri Aurobindo, after leaving his body came to me and made that mysterious utterance? And why is he so close to me and why does he help and protect me from all calamities? No answer from him! I am not a great adhara, by any means; I am full of human frailties. If he was so close to me, so solicitous for my good, why was I given so much pain and suffering? Even my child for whom I had fought in the court, I had to forget him!
I do not find any explanation that is satisfactory. People refer it to my past birth’s karma — a facile solution to our life’s problems when no other solution can be found!
I’m waiting patiently to know the solution to the mystery. The Lord hides it.