Significance of 4th April: 2009-2010 Manoj Das
Calm was the day, and through the trembling air, Sweet breathing Zephyrus did softly play.
Such a day was the 4th of April 1910 – but a day that was to give a momentous turn to the sequence of the unfolding human destiny.
That was the day Sri Aurobindo landed in Puducherry a hundred years ago. The destination was not his choice in the usual sense of the term. By then, in his own words, “I had accepted the rule of following the inner guidance implicitly and moving only as I was moved by the Divine.”
The Supreme’s command – Adesh – that had led him to Chandernagore in February 1910, came to him once again, this time directing him to Puducherry. Leaving Kolkata on the 31st of March by SS. Duplex, Sri Aurobindo, accompanied by a follower, Bejoy Nag, set foot on the shores of this town, chosen for him by Providence in the afternoon of the 4th of April. Another young follower, Suresh Chakravarty, had already arrived by train four days earlier and had met an outstanding nationalist, Mandayam Srinivasachariar and arrangements had been made for putting Sri Aurobindo up at the residence of Calve Shankar Chettiar, a distinguished resident of the town.
Sri Aurobindo’s would-be host and admirers proposed a grand reception for the Master on his arrival. But Suresh Chakravarty dissuaded them from doing so as Sri Aurobindo was coming incognito and his whereabouts must remain undisclosed.
While the Kolkata police was desperately searching for arresting him and deporting him if possible for an article in the Karmayogin, the journal he edited, which the British authorities interpreted as seditious, in the House of Commons in London Sir Ramsay Macdonald, leader of the Labour Party and the future Prime Minister read out the whole essay and challenged the government to point out where sedition lay. The case, like the historic Alipore Conspiracy Case, failed in the court of law.
The first phase of Sri Aurobindo’s life had been devoted to the struggle for India’s liberation from foreign domination. At Puducherry began the second phase of his struggle – for mankind’s liberation from its bondage to a colossal ignorance because of which all its aspirations for God, Light, Freedom, Bliss and Immortality remain unfulfilled or turn distorted. Sri Aurobindo remained engrossed in invoking a mighty spiritual consciousness that alone could transform man’s present life into a life Divine.
Amidst the gloom that had darkened India, this pristine home of spiritual quest, as well as the world today, Sri Aurobindo’s message brings a new light and faith. Conscientious people all over the world now realise that nothing can change without a change in human consciousness. Sri Aurobindo unfolds the inevitability of this evolutionary transformation. His message, instead of being an alternative to any social, philosophical or psychological theory, brings a sense of fulfilment to the age-old aspirations of mankind., What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world’s history is not a teaching, not even a revelation, but a decisive action direct from the Supreme, says the Mother.
The 4th of April 2009 marks the beginning of the Centenary of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival at Puducherry, the place that became the abode for his silent adventures in consciousness and where all his major works were written. As his vision is attracting the attention of the entire nation and the world more and more, Puducherry has the privilege of playing host to tens of thousands of seekers. It is in fitness of things that this great and significant occasion is celebrated in right spirit and manner. Manoj Das
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