Eternity Greets A God—an article on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by Charles Hamblett with photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Dear Friends,

As the third installment of our special series on Sri Aurobindo, we have published an article on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother titled Eternity Greets A God. Penned by Charles Hamblett with photographs of the various activities of the Ashram taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson, this article was originally published in the Illustrated on 6 January 1951.

Considering the archival significance of Eternity Greets A God, the entire article has been scanned and published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation.

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7 thoughts on “Eternity Greets A God—an article on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by Charles Hamblett with photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson

  1. Only a blithering ign0ramus or an arr0gant intellectual could have written this article. But then, even some of those who claim to know Sri Aurobindo better seem to write similarly for “western audiences”.

  2. Dear Anurag,

    Your research work on several noble souls and devotees of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo is commendable. Like me many others have been definitely benefitted with these valuable information.

    Regarding the old publication in the Illustrated an old memory sprung up. Since I was very small I cannot trust my memory absolutely today. If any mistake please pardon me.

    I heard (my memory may fail !) from some ardent devotees that such sudden publication of those pictures (taken by Henri Cartier-Bresson ) was not liked by The Mother. I heard (I emphasize “heard”, I have no proof at this stage) those picture and a text appeared first in a German magazine (can not tell the name of the magazine) and the text was neither so soft nor charitable towards India and Ashram. May be for that The Mother disapproved it thoroughly.

    The picture and the publication which I read by clicking the link you sent is from the Illustrated . Perhaps it is not the same as the once well respected The Illustrated Weekly of India. I do not know if this article is a translation of the same article in German or an all together a different one.

    By the way, a picture of the marching at the play ground shows a gentleman in sitting pose with long hair tied. If my memory serves me well he is Dhrubojyoti Babu- a former Teacher of Anglo Bengali School in Allahabad. He was an Ashramite from the late ’40s or early ’50. I heard from Anshu da (who was a student of Dhrubojyoti) that he left Ashram after living there so many years.

    Lastly, it may be interesting to know who is this Charles Hamblett and how well is / was he known in Ashram. In Google search I find a totally different character pop up with the same name.

    Regards

    Prasenjit Sen

  3. Thanks to Prasenjit, we know a little more on an old time sadhaka called Dhruvajyoti Sen. He was more known as an athlete (shotput champion). In the second edition of my Pondicherryr dingulo (Ananda Publishers) I have added a funny suggestion that Pranab-da (Physical Ed. department) once put forward before him : whereas his wife was called Nayanbhranti, Dhruvajyoti was requested to change the name of his daughter into Kulukuluvahini, instead of Mamata.

    In 1979, my wife and I were invited by Jean and Krishna Riboud to a garden party to celebrate the seventh anniversary of their granddaughter Penelope along with our daughter Adya and Cartier-Bresson’s youngest daughter (they were all the three of same age). Krishna from her mother’s side was descendant of Dvijendranath (the eldest of the Tagore brothers,and one of the first subscribers to the Arya) and of Raja Rammohun Roy from her father’s side. Jean was a great industrialist, close friend of François Mitterand and proud to be a jamai (son-in-law) of the Tagore family. Cartier-Bresson had been active in bringing Krishna and Jean together. In course of our conversation, on learning that as a kid I had collected his autograph during his visit to the Ashram, Cartier-Bresson grew eloquent about that trip, but somewhat uncharitable in his reminiscence of the Mother, qualifying her as “coquette” etc. I had knwon the reason of his frustration : he had altogether ignored the promise he had made with the photos of Sri Aurobindo against a heavy royalty the Ashram had to pay. The Illustrated had nothing to do with the Indian weekly.

    Excuse me for pointing out that on the photo Prasenjit has picked up, I am standing 6th on the right of the Mother.

    Regards.
    Prithwin-da

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