Champaklal Purani: A Pictorial Homage on his Birthday


Dear Friends,

Born to Chhotelal and Umiyaben Purani, Champaklal (2.2.1903—9.5.1992) arrived at Pondicherry on 1 April 1921. In 1923 he joined the community which had formed around Sri Aurobindo. He was the personal attendant of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and their most faithful servitor. His published works include Champaklal Speaks, Champaklal Treasures, Visions of Champaklal and Prayers and Aspirations. Nirodbaran, his gurubhai who also served Sri Aurobindo as a scribe and attendant, has recalled about him: “… his spirit of service has left an indelible impression on my soul and taught me what true service is.” (Twelve Years with Sri Aurobindo, p. 199 1995 edition) The Mother while introducing Champaklal to her son André Morisset in 1949 had said: “He came here when he was very young. I taught him many kinds of work. He has himself taken up Sri Aurobindo’s personal service. He looks into practically everything with regard to Sri Aurobindo. He is extremely careful, meticulous and very particular about details. He has no regular time for food; he takes it when he can. So it is with his sleep. That is why he cannot join the sports activities. He works with joy and devotion. He collects all out little things and keeps them with great care—our clothes, nails, hair, etc.” Once when Champaklal wrote to Sri Aurobindo where was he going and what was he doing, Sri Aurobindo replied: “Where you are? In the Mother’s presence here and close to me. Where you are going? Towards union with the Divine through dedication and service. What you are doing here? Service and self-giving to the Divine.” (25 May 1935). Towards the end of his life when Champaklal’s health was deteriorating, Nirodbaran had inwardly heard Sri Aurobindo say, “I have been waiting. He will come straight to me.” (Mother India, March 1993, p. 173).

Today on the occasion of Champaklal’s 112th Birth Anniversary, as our humble homage, some photographs of his have been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation.

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Overman Foundation.


A.  Champaklal with his uncle in 1915Champaklal with his uncle in 1915

BTop: Taraben (Sunderlal’s wife), Motiba (Champaklal’s aunt), Ambaben (Champaklal’s elder sister), Kantilal (Champaklal’s brother)
Center: Sunderlal (Champaklal’s brother), Pavatiben (Motiba’s elder sister), Chhotelal and Umiyaben (Champaklal’s parents), Champaklal
Bottom: Laxmi (Ambaben’s daughter ), Bansidhar (Champaklal’s brother)

C.  Champaklal at the age of 20 in 1923Champaklal at the age of twenty in 1923

DEarliest Group Photo in Sri Aurobindo Ashram (1923)

Top (left to right): Rajangam, Tirupati, Khitish, Nolini Kanta Gupta, Satyen alias Vindyeswari Prasad, Kanailal Ganguly, Bijoy Kumar Nag, Ambalal Balakrishna Purani and Nagaratnam.
Centre: Punamchand, Champaben (Punamchand’s wife), Mrs. Kodandaraman and Kodandaraman Rao.
Bottom: Champaklal, Suresh Chandra Chakravarti alias Moni, K. Amrita and Manmohan.


GBansidhar, Champaklal, Motiba and Kantilal in 1932

HChampaklal with his brothers Kantilal, Sunderlal and Bansidhar on 28 February 1932

I. Champaklal with Andre in 1949Champaklal with André Morisset in 1949



LThe Mother with Champaklal and Charu Chandra Dutta in April 1950

MThe Mother with Champaklal and Dilip Kumar Roy in April 1950

NChampaklal at the Feet of Sri Aurobindo after His mahasamadhi



QThe Mother with Champaklal and Kamalaben

RThe Mother with Champaklal and Kamalaben

SThe Mother with Champaklal and Shobha Mitra

T. Bansidhar, Pujalal, Champaklal, Nirodbaran, LallubhaiBanshidar, Pujalal, Champaklal, Nirodbaran and Lallubhai

UWith the Mother in 1960

VWith the Mother in 1960

Mother with Champaklal and KumudThe Mother with Champaklal and Kumud

at the Samadhi on 20 November 1973At the Samadhi on 20 November 1973

Champaklal in later years

Champakal with DK RoyWith Dilip Kumar Roy

Nirodbaran and ChampaklalNirodbaran and Champaklal in the Darshan Room

WChampaklal with Banshidar in 1986

10 CH faint smile palette

10 CH leaning

10 CH smiling

CH almost laughing copy

CH close up smiling eyes tu

CH new 34 right smiling eyes

CH profile

CH right down M

CHAMPAKL(Photographs courtesy: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry and Paulette Hadnagy of Auroville)


22 Replies to “Champaklal Purani: A Pictorial Homage on his Birthday

  1. Grateful thanks for the pictorial homage. I had the privilege of his opening the door to Mother’s room and calling my name every time I went upstairs

  2. Wonderful!!

    Champaklal Ji…what sweet memories indeed….!

    Thank you very much, Anurag da!!

    Warm loving regards,

    Rajiv Rattan

    1. Dear Kirit-ji,

      May I request you to kindly reclick on the link to Champaklal-ji’s photographs? Probably there was some temporary technical trouble.

      With warm regards,

      1. Yes, Today I reopened and could see all photos. Though we have seen them earlier we love to see them again and again.
        Thanking you once again.

        KIRIT T

  3. Thank you so much. Its a treat………a pilgrimage in the consciousness…..feeling of Purity and Power….that is Champaklal

  4. Grateful for those rare photographic records the Seers of a golden Future .Conscious of Immortality they walked on our mortal earth!


    Thank you thank you thank you.

    Fundacion Centro-Sri Aurobindo Barcelona – España

  6. The introduction is nice. Thanks.

    I love everything about Maharaja Champaklalji. His childhood , the way his father has done his upbringing is a wonderful thing and his mother
    taught him all work. He always prayed for all to Divine. He took what is
    good in all and have not mentioned anything that is not right , that i felt
    when he mentioned that he learnt from Mother’s second husband that he
    needs to note down his dreams. Nirodda was amazing in telling about
    Maharaja Champaklalji ,there are so many things Nirodda has told to
    tell about Maharajji’s dedication to Divine.

    My Pranam to Maharaja Champaklalji.


    He is outspoken, very straightforward – the Mother has vouched for it – he cannot bear any kind of insincerity. He cannot make or even see any compromise made with falsehood; his nature is alien to the ways of the world. Much of his apparent rudeness and ill temper stems from this uncompromising spirit. This, of course, does not save him from misjudging people at times, but when shown his fault, he never tries to cover it up. I believe that there should be someone who is upright and unsparing, and as firm as steel when all around there is such a mixture of motives. He serves as the gate-keeper of Heaven. Parodying Sri Aurobindo’s verse, “None can reach Heaven who has not passed through Hell,” I would

    ¹. A sannyasi of the Shaiva school.
    mutter, “None can go to the Mother who has not passed through Champaklal!”
    To make the path easy to Heaven, or at least to get Heaven’s blessings more easily, is also possible by his intervention. If the Mother is at times reluctant for some reason to give a birthday card to someone or write a person’s name or “love and blessings” on it, if she refuses to see another on his birthday, Champaklal appeals to her divine compassion and makes her rescind her decision. The Mother sometimes asks him, “What shall I write?” “Why, love and blessings, Mother!” is his reply. He says that he suffered a lot in his childhood because people could not understand his nature. He now wants to distribute the Divine’s largesse whenever and wherever he can.

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