The Last Darshan Photographs of Sri Aurobindo

Dear Friends,

Since the mid 1920s to 1950, no photographs of Sri Aurobindo were taken. In April 1950 the famous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, came to Sri Aurobindo Ashram and asked the Mother to permit him to take Sri Aurobindo’s photographs. When the Mother gave him permission, Henri Cartier-Bresson took a number of photographs of the various activities of the Ashram and also some photographs of the Mother. OnMonday, 24 April 1950he took some photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother giving Darshan.

 Today, on the occasion of the Darshan Day, we are sharing with you some of the photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother taken on the Darshan day of24 April 1950by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee


Overman Foundation.






23 Replies to “The Last Darshan Photographs of Sri Aurobindo

  1. Dear Anurag,

    It is very kind of you to share a lot of valuable material.

    Kittu-da had discussed many important things with the Mother in his

    private meetings. I very eagerly await to read all that!



  2. Wonderful…Delightful…

    Later Bresson recalled the occasion and said ` I still do not know of any person I had met and who could look into my camera for over 10 minutes without dropping the eyelid even for once’. He fixed his shot and requested A.G. to look into it so that he may be able to fix his frame. Bresson did that and said, `He looked completely unattached and oblivious to all his surroundings. It seemed that he was not aware that something was going around him.’

    But alas, even after all that ` what a piece of art is man’ – (Shakespeare). Bresson sold the prints to the Ashram and could not gift all. But all that he had in mind for A.G. was that ` He was Beyond Man’ …`Beyond the Human Specie..’

    My Pranams to AG and Mira Richard on this day.

    May their Light continue to guide us and the humanity for a better and evolved Earth that they sought for…The Earth Consciousness..

  3. The interesting part of it is that Henri was not allowed to take photograph of Sri Aurobindo. He then approached the Mother saying that , ‘ I am taking only the female aspect of the Ashram , etc’, then only Mother allowed him,in consultation with Sri Aurobindo to take Sri Aurobindos photograph.

    Before coming to Pondy Henri visited Ramana Maharshis Ashram and on the very day THE MAHARSHI left his body and he was placed in the samadhi in a standing posture, a tradition not uncommon in Hindu system.

  4. The famous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson took the
    joint-sitting darshan photo of Sri Aurobindo and
    Mother on 24th April 1950. But before coming to Aurobindo Ashram he took the photo of Sri Ramana Maharshi but the sage of Arunachala passed away very soon on 14th april, 1950.After he took the photo of Sri Aurobindo in April he remarked that Sri Aurobindo was impersonal and like a dead man…very immobile. Later on Sri Aurobindo attained samadhi on Dec 5, 1950. There was a belief that photographs of Yogis reduces their life span and in this case its a strange coincidence.

  5. It’s a wonderful work you are doing.Please inform me in my e-mail address whenever you float anything new in your website.Thank you.

  6. The eyes with their closed lids that see all things
    Appeared of the Architect who builds in trance.
    Savitri, p. 41

  7. Thanks for these rare photos…

    Its so lovely and feels too good when I see them…

    Thanks again…

    Hoping for some more like this… 🙂

  8. I have always been amazed that this are the only photographs of Them together, I can hardly believe that in all those years before nobody took good photos. And I find extremely puzzling that Cartier Bresson took these photos, they are very bad, almost blurred, bad resolution, and too far away. I am not saying they are not powerful they are, because of their own amazing Presence, but I am always thinking of how wonderful it would be if we had some really good photos of those darshans, at least one! Difficult to understand

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