News of Savitri Bhavan (November 2007 – March 2008)
During this period our Regular Activities continued as usual, as follows:
Sunday Morning 10:30 –12:00 pm Savitri Study Circle
Evening 5:00 – 6:00 pm Foundations of Indian Culture, led by Kittu Reddy
Monday & Tuesday 3:00 – 4:00 pm Cultivating Concentration, led by Jai Singh
Tuesday 6:00 – 7:30 pm OM Choir
Thursday 4:00 – 5:00 pm The English of Savitri, led by Shraddhavan
Friday 5:00 – 6:30 pm The Synthesis of Yoga, led by Sraddhalu
In addition a new Savitri-study programme in Tamil has been taking place on Tuesdays, 5–6pm, since August 2007, led by Mr. Sudarshan and Mrs Bhuvanasundari, formerly of the Sri urobindo Society Centre in Madurai and now residing in Auroville. This programme is much appreciated by a faithful group of regular attenders.
In January 2008 the programme of the Mother’s recorded talks was resumed, also on Tuesday afternoons, with recordings of the Mother’s Commentaries on the Dhammapada. She took up study of this important Buddhist text with the young people of the Ashram in the early 1950s, and we are fortunate that recordings are available of her luminous comments. The talks were of course given in French.
Leaflets providing the transcriptions in French and their translations into English are made available for each talk.
Other new regular courses are being given by Vladimir, on the Upanishads in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s writings, and by Nishtha on Sanskrit grammar.
All readers of Invocation are welcome to participate in all Savitri Bhavan activities, if they happen to be in the area.
Recently we were able to publish Tamil and French translations of a talk by Sraddhalu Ranade entitled "Auroville, Human Unity and the Future of Mankind". A limited number of copies are available free on request.
Special Events that occurred during this period are shown in the calendar below:
November – December 2007 : Exhibition of Meditations on Savitri paintings by Huta, Book Nine ‘The Book of Eternal Night’ and Book Ten ‘The Book of the Double Twilight’.
November 11th : ‘Remembering our Sweet Mother’ – Francois Gautier, Chris Grey and others shared their memories.
November 18th : ‘About Savitri’ – a 35-minute film prepared by Peter S. on a selection of passages from Savitri read and commented on by the Mother, accompanied by paintings of Huta
inspired by the Mother’s comments
November 22nd : ‘The Challenge of Death and Conquest of Immortality’– talk by Dr. Alok Pandey; an edited transcript appears in this issue.
Exhibition ‘Mother and Auroville’ in celebration of Auroville’s 40th birthday
‘Srinvantu vishve amritasya putra’
January 5th – 14th 2008 : Exhibition ‘The Art of Kirikane’ showing the work of the late Sayoko Eri, one of Japan’s national ‘living treasures’ and mother of Aurovilian Jyoti Eri: exquisite traditional craftsmanship applied in a modern way.
January 7th : ‘Sri Aurobindo’s first major spiritual experience’ – talk by Shraddhavan; text appears in this issue.
February 9th – March 4th : Exhibition ‘Mother and Auroville’, organised by Loretta in celebration of Auroville’s 40th birthday.
February 18th : A musical event in the moonlight – ‘Eight songs from Savitri’ composed and recorded by Hans Vas of the Netherlands.
February 21st : ‘Mother’s Darshan’ – a 27-minute film made from Darshan photos taken between November 1967 and February 1973 by Sudha Sundaram was shown outside under the full moon.
Later in the evening the new statue of Sri Aurobindo, was brought to Savitri Bhavan from Pondicherry and installed outside the main entrance, in the presence of a joyful gathering of Aurovilians and Ashramites.
February 24th : ‘Srinvantu vishve amritasya putra’ – a musical offering for Auroville’s 40th birthday by an ensemble from the Ashram, led by Ratna Chakravarti and Suresh De.
Dr. Karan Singh garlanding the statue of Sri Aurobindo on March 30, 2008
February 28th : Savitri reading in front of Sri Aurobindo’s statue, led by Manoj Das Gupta, Managing Trustee of the Ashram, Jhumur Bhattacharya of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education and other friends from the Ashram.
February 29th : Collective concentration in front of Sri Aurobindo’s statue, followed by a first tour of the new wing, led by architect Helmut.
March 30th : Dedication of Sri Aurobindo statue and inauguration of new wing by Dr. Karan Singh, Chairman, Auroville Foundation.
Statue of Sri Aurobindo
The last time that Dr. Karan Singh was in Auroville, at the end of September 2007, he chose the location for installation of a large bronze statue of Sri Aurobindo, at the Main Entrance of Savitri Bhavan. The statue, like similar ones now standing in the Parliament Building in New Delhi, and in Sri Aurobindo’s birthplace in Kolkata, was prepared by a team of artist-craftsmen under the direction of Lalit Verma of Pondicherry. The beautiful statue was moved to Auroville under the auspicious rays of Guru Purnima, on the Mother’s birthday February 21st, 2008. Sri Aurobindo’s presence amongst us in this new form is deeply moving, and was celebrated on Auroville’s birthday, February 28th by a visit of a small group from the Ashram, including Managing Trustee Manoj Das Gupta accompanied by Jhumur Bhattacharya and others. We gathered under the trees in front of the statue for reading passages from Savitri for half an hour. Later our guests enjoyed visiting the special exhibition prepared for Auroville’s 40th birthday, in the main building. This was a deeply moving and happy occasion for all. A photograph of the statue appears as the frontispiece of this issue of Invocation.
During this period too, the new wing of Savitri Bhavan has been nearing completion, financed by a Grant from the Government of India, Ministry of Human Resources, under the SAIIER Development Scheme. Chairman of the Auroville Foundation, Dr. Karan Singh, performed the official inauguration on the morning of Sunday March 30, 2008, as well as dedicating the statue.
Dr. Karan Singh viewing a display of Huta’s Savitri paintings on March 30th
The Dream of Savitri Bhavan
We dream of an environment in Auroville that will breathe the atmosphere of Savitri that will welcome Savitri lovers from every corner of the world that will be an inspiring centre of Savitri studies that will house all kinds of materials and activities to enrich our understanding and enjoyment of Sri Aurobindo’s revelatory epic that will be the abode of Savitri, the Truth that has come from the Sun
We welcome support from everyone who feels that the vibration of Savitri will help to manifest a better tomorrow.
HOW TO SUPPORT THE WORK OF SAVITRI BHAVAN
Savitri Bhavan is entirely dependent on donations and financial help from all well-wishers is most welcome. Please consider in what way you can help the Dream of Savitri Bhavan to become
a reality Please note that from October 1, 2006 onwards all cheques or drafts should be made payable to Auroville Unity Fund (SAIIER). They may be sent to Savitri Bhavan at the address below.
If you live abroad and would like to send your offering by SWIFT Transfer, please note the following new code: SWIFT Code : SBININBB474
State Bank of India, Branch Code 03160 Auroville International Township Branch
Kuilapalayam, Auroville - 605101 INDIA
Auroville Unity Fund Foreign Account No. 10237876508
Purpose "SAVITRI BHAVAN"
For all correspondence, please contact: Savitri Bhavan, Auroville 605 101
Tamil Nadu, INDIA
e-mail : email@example.com
Savitri is a Mantra for the transformation of the world - The Mother