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Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education

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Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a spiritual community (ashram) established at Pondicherry, in the Indian territory of Puducherry, by Sri Aurobindo on the 24 November 1926 (Siddhi Day). At the time there were few disciples staying with Sri Aurobindo.[1] Sri Aurobindo subsequently decided to withdraw from public view for continuing His spiritual work and handed over the responsibility of the Sadhaks (spiritual aspirants) and the Ashram to His spiritual collaborator The Mother, earlier known as Madam Mirra Alfassa.

Early history

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), used to get up very early, and completed good portion of the day’s work including Meditation, and then assembled under the balcony to receive Her blessings.[2]

As the Ashram grew, many departments came up and were looked after by the Sadhaks as part of their Sadhana: the offices, library, dining room, book / photograph printing, workshops, sports / playground, art gallery, dispensary /nursing home, farms, dairies, flower gardens, guest houses, laundry, bakery, 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 the sadhaks individually. Once again, in the evening at 5:30 PM, she conducted meditation and met the sadhak's.

In addition, four times a year Sri Aurobindo and The Mother used to give public Darshans (a spiritual gathering where the guru bestows blessings) to thousands of devotees gathered and received Her Grace.

Today

Today, Pondicherry has become an important destination for spiritual seekers as well as tourist. Thousands of visitors from all over the world come for the Ashram.

The visiting hours to the Ashram for the visitors are from 8 am to 12 noon and then again from 2 pm to 6 pm.

2013 investigations into sexual harassment of women and children

Pondicherry government ordered a probe after Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare Krishna Tirath passed on several complaints from inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram to the Chief Minister N. Rangaswamy.[3]

Indian justice ministry opened investigations into allegations of sexual harassment of women and children; violation of human rights and denial of fundamental rights to the inmates; misappropriation of funds and illegal sale and lease of ashram properties.[4]

The district collector of Puducherry ordered an enquiry into the affairs of the ashram, following complaints by some residents of the ashram and local AINRC legislator Ashok Anand. Justice T.L. Viswanatha Iyer, a former Judge of the Kerala High Court, has been appointed as the Enquiry Officer in charge of the case of sexual harassment of women and children in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry. 165 persons from Odisha, stated to be ashram devotees have already filed representations regarding sexual misconduct.[5][6]

Aims and ideals

A complete method of Integral Yoga that would transform human nature to divine life. In Sri Aurobindo's yoga, 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 existence 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 writings, 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 from within.

Anyone can start this quest at any time. There's no fixed method,no rituals and no discourses / training as such. It's the only self-practice to reach the highest, 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 World, thanks to books and regional centers. It is also a contributing element in Integral philosophy.

List of journals

The Aurobindo Ashram press is located on the Goubert Street (Beach Road). Some of the journals published or once published by the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, or by groups connected with it, are listed below. Many of Sri Aurobindo's letters, articles, poems and so on first appeared in them.

  • The Advent (English), quarterly, Pondicherry (originally Madras), since 1944
  • All India Magazine (English and other languages), monthly, Pondicherry
  • Bartika (Bengali), quarterly, Calcutta, since 1942
  • Bulletin of Physical Education, presently the Bulletin of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (English-French), quarterly, Pondicherry, since 1949
  • Mother India (English), monthly, Pondicherry (originally a Bombay fortnightly), since 1949
  • Srinvantu, quarterly, Calcutta, since 1956
  • World Union (English), monthly, Pondicherry

Ashrams

Sri Aurobindo Ashram does not have any branches and is located only in Pondicherry. Some organisations may use the same name but that does not make them part of Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

See also

References

  • A B Purani, Life Of Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, Page 376

External links

  • Official website
  • SABDA, Publishers of Books for Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • On-line reading and search on books by Sri Aurobindo,The Mother and disciples.
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