The Delhi campus of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram
founded by Sri Aurobindo
24 November 1926
(Siddhi Day). At the time there were no more than 24 disciples in
the Ashram . In December of that year, Sri Aurobindo decided to
withdraw from public view, and appointed his co-worker Mirra
Alfassa, thenceforth known as The
in charge of the ashram.
The early ashram
In the early history of the ashram there was a regular routine. At
6:15 every morning The Mother appeared on the ashram balcony to
initiate the day with her blessings. Sadhaks
(spiritual aspirants), who got up at 3AM, finished their own
meditations and a good portion of the day’s work, and then
assembled under the balcony to receive her blessings .
As the ashram grew, many departments sprang up: the office,
library, dining room, press, workshops, playground, art gallery,
dispensary, farms, dairies, flower gardens, guest houses, legal
department, audit department, and many others, too. The heads of
the departments met The Mother in the morning and took her
blessings and orders. Again at 10 a.m. she used to meet all the
sadhaks individually. Once again, in the evening at 5:30 PM, she
conducted meditation and met each sadhak once more.
In addition, four times a year she used to give public Darshans
(a spiritual gathering where the guru
bestows blessings) at which a few thousand devotees gathered and
received her Grace.
The ashram today
ashram is a large institution in the downtown area of Pondicherry.
It provides many charitable benefits to the
area, including free medical facilities and a publishing house. It
also includes the School for Perfect Eyesight,
promoting the use of the controversial Bates method
that claims to improve and restore
vision without the use of glasses.
The ashram's effects spring up across the town: local businesses
include the "Sri Aurobindo Autocare Services," "Cottage Industries"
and "Sri Aurobindo Handmade Paper." among others. Most famously, the
alternative community Auroville (pop.
1800) sits outside the town.
Aims & ideals
A complete method of Yoga
that would transform
human nature to divine life. In Sri Aurobindo's system, the highest
aim is the being of one, without the renunciation of life in the
world. Such a fulfillment of the consciousness, the urge for
perfection, must not be confined to few individuals but must extend
to the masses, leading to a new type of being that is "eternal,
self-existing, and inalienable".
Sri Aurobindo lays the foundation of his inquiry by focusing on the
contradiction between the mundane human
and the human desire to acquire a divine perfection
in life. By introducing the category of evolution
, he wants to resolve the
paradox of the human being's delimited consciousness and his desire
to be identical with a divine form.
Apart from study of Sri Aurobindo's and The Mother's
books, there are no specific
disciplines recommended, but rather the practice of Integral Yoga
means that every sadhak should
follow whatever spiritual techniques they feel guided to.
Anyone can join at any time. There's no method, no period and no
training as such. It's the only self-practice to reach the higher
mind, eternal state and the continuous help will be sourced only
from Divine and no one else.
Sri Aurobindo's teachings have influenced not just Indian thought,
but also is established throughout the West, thanks to books and
regional centers. It is also a contributing element in Integral philosophy
The following is a partial list of journals published by the Sri
Aurobindo Ashram or groups connected with. Many of Sri Aurobindo's
unpublished letters, articles, poems and so on first appeared in
- Sri Aurobindo Mandir
Annual, Calcutta since 1942
- Bartika (Bengali), Quarterly,
Calcutta, since 1942
- The Advent
Quarterly, Pondicherry (originally Madras), since 1944
- Sri Aurobindo
Circle, Annual, Pondicherry (originally Bombay), since
- Bulletin of Physical Education (presently the
of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education),
Quarterly, Pondicherry, since 1949, English-French
- Mother India,
Monthly, Pondicherry (originally a Bombay fortnightly), since
- Srinvantu, Quarterly,
Calcutta, since 1956
- Das, Nolima ed., Glimpses of the Mother's Life vol.1,
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry 1978, pp.233-4
- Karmayogi Life and Teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the
Mother, Mere Cie, Inc. online
- A B Purani, Life Of Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo
Ashram, Pondicherry, Page 376