Sri Aurobindo Smriti Mandir, a wing of Overman Foundation, is a house of memorabilia of more than a thousand objects which was formally inaugurated on Saturday, 26 January 2019. Most of these objects have been used by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother while some are gifts given by the Mother to various individuals who had preserved them with great care and later gifted them to Anurag Banerjee, the Founder of Overman Foundation.
The objects displayed and preserved at Sri Aurobindo Smriti Mandir include several saris, blouses, gowns, scarfs, handkerchiefs, tray-covers, table-cloths, bags, perfume bottles, mats, make-up kits and other items which have been extensively used by the Mother. The collection also includes many money-order receipts, donation-receipts and cheques signed by the Mother, scores of books and photographs autographed by Her, several birthday cards with personalized messages given by Her, dozens of notices and sports certificates signed by Her and hundreds of Darshan cards distributed by Her with some bearing Her blessings with signatures. The collection also includes many letters (including unpublished ones) written by Her to Nirodbaran, Shobha Mitra, Kailas Jhaveri and a few others.
Some of the Mother’s original letters on display.
The Mother’s gown.
The Mother’s organ-stool.
A kurta, two handkerchiefs and a table-cloth used by Sri Aurobindo, two of His unpublished letters, a couple of match-sticks used by Him, some of His signed photographs and a few dozen books signed by Him are a major attraction of Sri Aurobindo Smriti Mandir.
Sri Aurobindo’s kurta and His signed photograph.
Overman Foundation was also privileged to receive the Mother’s sacred footwear from Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry, on 17 September 2016.
Shobha Mitra Collection.
The Shobha Mitra Collection consists of all the treasures entrusted to Overman Foundation by the late Shobha Mitra (1933-2019), a senior inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. It includes a sari and a blouse worn by the Mother which Shobha had received in 1956 from Her, most of the notices of her musical programmes all signed and blessed by the Mother, her epistolary exchanges with the Mother, a copy of the book “Sri Aurobindo on Himself and the Mother“on which the Mother had inscribed her name as ‘Savitri’ and a small autographed photograph of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Typewriter gifted by the Mother to Sundaram, the doyen of Gujarati literature, in 1948.
Anurag Banerjee receiving a kurta worn by Sri Aurobindo during His pre-Ashram days from Shrimati Shyam Kumari, senior inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, on 22nd February 2020.
The objects preserved at Sri Aurobindo Smriti Mandir are of immense importance as they have been touched by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and hence carries Their consciousness. To quote the words of Sri Aurobindo: ‘There is a consciousness in each physical thing with which one can communicate. It is very true that physical things have a consciousness within them which feels and responds to care and is sensitive to careless touch and rough handling. To know or feel that and learn to be careful of them is a great progress of consciousness.’ (Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, Volume 29, Letters on Yoga, II, p. 288) Sri Aurobindo Smriti Mandir transmits the essence of Their consciousness to all those who visits the museum and binds them with a golden chain with Their ‘love and blessings’ so that they can tread successfully on the sunlit path.
Sri Aurobindo Smriti Mandir is the third largest collection of memorabilia after ‘Sri Smriti’ of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry and ‘Sri Smriti’ of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Delhi Branch.
Visitors at Sri Aurobindo Smriti Mandir
The following article in Bengali on Sri Aurobindo Smriti Mandir entitled Ek Birol Sangrahoshaala authored by Shri Goutam Bandopadhyay was published in the Poush 1429 (December-January) issue of Srinvantu.