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Uttarpara Aurobindo Parishad: A Tribute to Sri Aurobindo

A Historic Connection

Uttarpara holds a special place in the legacy of Sri Aurobindo. It was here, on 30th May 1909, that Sri Aurobindo delivered his historic “Uttarpara Speech” at the Uttarpara Jaykrishna Public Library ground before a crowd of ten thousand. In this speech, he revealed his “Vasudev Darshan” experienced during his time in prison, marking a significant shift in his life towards spiritualism.

Establishing the Parishad

In 1972, during the centenary celebration of Sri Aurobindo’s birth, a group of eminent citizens from Uttarpara decided to establish an organization dedicated to his memory. A steering committee was formed that year, with the goal of constructing a building in honor of Sri Aurobindo. However, due to various constraints, this dream was not immediately realized.

Transformation and Growth

In 1991, the Uttarpara Sri Aurobindo Birth Century Committee was transformed into the Uttarpara Aurobindo Parishad, as the former had outlived its relevance. Initially, the Parishad operated from the Jai Krishna Public Library. It wasn’t until 1999 that Sri Debasis Mukhopadhyay generously allowed the Parishad to use the first floor of his residential building, Sarasi Kunja, located at 150 G T Road, Uttarpara.

Mission and Activities

The Uttarpara Aurobindo Parishad is dedicated to raising and maintaining public awareness about the life, works, and philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. The Parishad organizes periodical talks on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, The Mother, and other notable Indian spiritual figures. The organization is managed by a Trust and overseen by a steering committee, with Mrigyanka Bhusan Bandopadhyay serving as the first President of the Trust.

Publications

The Parishad has published several books and journals to promote the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Notable publications include:

  • Savitri Anudhyam (in Bengali) by Tarakdas Mitra
  • Sri Aurobindo O Hooghly Zela (in Bengali) by Rathindra Chattopadhyay
  • Mayer Bhalobasa (in Bengali, 2nd edition) by Kanupriya
  • Ritam – A bilingual (Bengali and English) magazine

The Journal: Ritam

The Parishad’s journal, Ritam, is published four times a year to commemorate significant dates in the lives of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother:

  • 30th May – Uttarpara Speech Day
  • 15th August – Sri Aurobindo’s Birthday
  • 24th November – Sri Aurobindo’s Siddhi Divas
  • 21st February – The Mother’s Birthday

The first issue of Ritam was published on 30th May 2002. The magazine features writings on Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, as well as articles on Indian art, culture, and spiritual heritage. It has been well received by readers for its insightful and thought-provoking content.

Facilities and Future Aspirations

The Aurobindo Parishad’s meditation room is adorned with large photographs of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, providing a serene environment for contemplation and spiritual practice. Despite its active role in the community, the Parishad faces challenges due to the lack of a suitable permanent accommodation.

A Call for Support

The Parishad appeals to the public for support in acquiring a suitable land or building to continue and expand its activities. Such a facility would enable the Parishad to fulfill its aims and objectives more effectively, ensuring that the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother reach a wider audience and continue to inspire future generations.

Conclusion

The Uttarpara Aurobindo Parishad stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Sri Aurobindo. Through its dedication to promoting his teachings and philosophy, the Parishad continues to honor his memory and contribute to the spiritual and cultural life of Uttarpara. With the support of the community, the Parishad hopes to overcome its current challenges and continue its mission with renewed vigor.