Auro-Ratna Awards 2011

Dear Friends and Well-wishers of Overman Foundation,

Since its inception in March 2010 Overman Foundation aims to recognize the invaluable contribution of the scholars, writers, researchers and workers of the Aurobindonian movement in various fields. For this purpose, the ‘Auro-Ratna Award’ was initiated to felicitate the ‘true children’ of the Divine, who, as defined by the Mother, are those few who have consecrated all of themselves and all they have—soul, life, work and wealth. In 2010, the recipients of the first ‘Auro-Ratna Award’ were K. D. Sethna alias Amal Kiran, Prof. Arabinda Basu and the late Jugal Kishore Mukherjee.

Today, on behalf of Overman Foundation, I take the opportunity to announce the names of the recipients of the ‘Auro-Ratna Award’ for the year 2011. This year the award will be given to Shri Robi Gupta, Dr. Kireet Joshi and Dr. Prithwindranath Mukherjee for their outstanding contribution in the field of literature, education, philosophy and research.

Shri Robi Gupta (b. 1926) is the youngest son of the late Nolini Kanta Gupta. He became an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1944. He is one of the foremost poets of Sri Aurobindo Ashram whose works were appreciated by Sri Aurobindo himself who gave him the title of ‘Tagore of the Ashram’. A linguist and the recipient of the prestigious ‘Sri Aurobindo Puraskar’, Shri Robi Gupta’s published works in Bengali include ‘Swapani’, ‘Sarani’, ‘Mandakini’, ‘Mormomoral’, ‘Geeti-arghya’ and ‘Shiulijhora Bhorer Bela’ to name a few.

Dr. Kireet Joshi (b. 1931) studied philosophy and law at the Bombay University. He was selected for I. A. S. in 1955 but in 1956 he resigned to devote himself at Sri Aurobindo Ashram to the study and practice the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. He taught Philosophy and Psychology at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education at Pondicherry and participated in numerous educational experiments under the guidance of the Mother. In 1976 the Government of India invited him to be the Educational Adviser in the Ministry of Education. In 1983 he was appointed Special Secretary to the Government of India and held this post till 1988. From 1987 to 1993 he was the Member-Secretary of Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan. From 1987 to 1990 he served as the Vice-Chairman of the UNESCO Institute of Education, Hamburg. In the Ministry of Education, he was in-charge of Higher Education, National Commission on Teachers, Languages, Youth Affairs and UNESCO affairs. He was also the Chairman of Auroville Foundation and Indian Council of Philosophical Research. His published works include ‘Sri Aurobindo and Integral Yoga’, ‘Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’, ‘Education for Character Development’, ‘Education for Tomorrow’, ‘Education at Crossroads’, ‘Glimpses of Vedic Literature and Veda and Indian Culture’ and ‘Philosophy and Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and Other Essays’.  

Dr. Prithwindra Nath Mukherjee (b. 1936) is the grandson of the famous revolutionary Jatindranath Mukherjee alias Bagha Jatin. He came to Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1948, studied and taught at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. He was mentioned by the Sahitya Akademi manuals and anthologies as a poet before he attained the age of twenty. He has translated the works of French authors like Albert Camus, Saint-John Perse and René Char for Bengali readers, and eminent Bengali authors into French. He shifted to Paris with a French Government Scholarship in 1966. He defended a thesis on Sri Aurobindo at Sorbonne. He served as a lecturer in two Paris faculties, a producer on Indian culture and music for Radio France and was also a freelance journalist for the Indian and French press. His thesis for PhD which studied the pre-Gandhian phase of India’s struggle for freedom was supervised by Raymond Aron in Paris University. In 1977 he was invited by the National Archives of India as a guest of the Historical Records Commission. He presented a paper on ‘Jatindranath Mukherjee and the Indo-German Conspiracy’ and his contribution on this area has been recognized by eminent educationists. A number of his papers on this subject have been translated into major Indian languages. He went to the United States of America as a Fullbright scholar and discovered scores of files covering the Indian revolutionaries in the Wilson Papers. In 1981 he joined the French National Centre of Scientific Research. He was also a founder-member of the French Literary Translators’ Association. In 2003 he retired as a researcher in Human and Social Sciences Department of French National Centre of Scientific Research in Paris. A recipient of ‘Sri Aurobindo Puraskar’, in the same year he was invited by Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for the world premiere of Correspondances, opus for voice and orchestra where the veteran composer Henri Dutilleux had set to music Prithwindra’s French poem on Shiva Nataraja, followed by texts by Solzhenitsyn, Rilke and Van Gogh. In 2009 he was appointed to the rank of chevalier (Knight) of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Minister of Culture of France. He has penned books in English, Bengali and French and some of his published works include ‘Samasamayiker Chokhe Sri Aurobindo,’ ‘Pondicherryer Dinguli’, ‘Bagha Jatin’, ‘Sadhak-Biplobi Jatindranath’, ‘Undying Courage’, ‘Vishwer Chokhe Rabindranath’, ‘Thât/Mélakartâ : The Fundamental Scales in Indian Music of the North and the South’ (foreworded by Pandit Ravi Shankar), ‘Poèmes du Bangladesh’, ‘Serpent de flammes’, ‘Le sâmkhya’, ‘Les écrits bengalis de Sri Aurobindo’, ‘Chants bâuls, les Fous de l’Absolu’, ‘Anthologie de la poésie bengalie’ and ‘Les racines intellectuelles du movement d’independence de l’Inde (1893-1918)’ ending up with Sri Aurobindo, “the last of the Prophets”.  

It will be our privilege to hand over the ‘Auro-Ratna Award’, named after Sri Aurobindo, to three of his most faithful followers.

With warm regards,

Anurag Banerjee

Chairman and Chief Executive,

Overman Foundation.

19 Replies to “Auro-Ratna Awards 2011

  1. Dear Anurag ,

    I can hardly wait to congratulate you on the happy choice of the recipients for this year’s Auro-Ratna Award . I have been connected to two of them.. Dear Kireet Bhai was my prof. of Philosophy with whom I studied magnum opus ” the Life Divine ” Kireet Bhai was /is always Sweetness Incarnate .what a privilege it was to be with him and bask in his ineffable ambiance….And , dear Robi Da – humble to a fault was my fellow footballer in the ashram team and we always played in the same much so that Nirod Da would cycle down all the way from the Ashram to watch us playing in tandem and would always put in an encouraging word about our game. ..Those were the days..

    I thought of sharing with you my immediate joy and exhilarating delight on reading the news…

    Warm regards


  2. Thank you for sharing the award list. Very impressive. Could you tell me how to purchase Dr. Kireet Joshi’s book, “Sri Aurobindo and Integral Yoga” and the essay “Philosophy and Yoga of Sri Aurobindo”? Thank you.

  3. It is true ‘the journey is within’ but True Child of Mother like Kireet Bhai, Gupta Da helps we like aspirants to understand Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in much better way. Specially the contribution of Kireet Bhai in education is so appropriate in this world that no word or numbers can estimate its significance.
    I really thank Overman foundation for selecting such appropriate soul for the award and congratulate the recipent. I pray to The Mother for bringing out such Sincere Soul For making the ‘Life Divine’.

  4. dear Banerji,

    Kireetji I know personally.

    He used to guide me years ago.

    I am happy that he receives the award and congratulate you in selecting him.


  5. Dear Anurag,

    Congratulations for your choice, especially for the choice of Prithwindra who has devoted his life to spread Aurobindo teaching and to get closer Indian and French culture.
    As Prithwindra’s friends, we are very happy for him and we thank you for your recognition of his work.

    Lisette and Philippe

  6. I am rejoicing to see that our friend Prithwindra Mukerjee is being awarded this great prize. His work here in France has been most impressive, and he has done a great deal to create links between Indian and French cultures.

    Thank you

    Patricia Aubertin

  7. One can not think of anyone more deserving of this Auro-Ratna award. They
    are truly Divine gems of our ancient and noble culture.

    Sincere congratulations

    Suresh Hindocha




  9. Dear Sri Prithwindranath Mukherji,

    Vande Mataram! Jai Sri Ram! Jai Yogi Ramsuratkumar! My Master blesses you !

    Thanks for your message. we are extremely happy that you have been selected for the Auro-ratna award this year. The Overman Foundation has chosen the right person and we heartily congratulate you. May the Divine Mother bless you with a long life so that you could continue your valuable services to Mother Bharat and the cause of Sri Aurobindo…

    With Prem and Aum, Yours in service of Sri Bharatabhavani,

    Sadhu Rangarajan

  10. My dear Prithwindra,
    Delighted to hear from you after a long time. You deserve the Auro Ratna Award 2011. My warm greetings.
    Plese convey my appreciation to the organisers for their excellent selection and choosing you as one of the awardee.
    With blessings,

  11. A few weeks ago I was listening, at the Centre André Malraux, to Prithwindra’s talk based on his thesis ( “Racines intellectuelles…” ). I have been reading his works ( prose and poetry ) since we met in Paris. It is good to feel that I am also among his friends. I remember so well the ceremony when he was awarded the Légion d’Honneur. No better choice is conceivable for the award. I congratulate the Foundation and the commitee members who took the decision.

    Dr Amitabha Chakrabarti

  12. No choice could be more justified than Prithwindra Mukherjee’s. I am honored to be part of his friends and I have been closely following his publications for the last decades. In France as now in India, Prithwindra is at least recognized for his huge and eclectic talent. But you know, his highest quality is not his legendary scholarship! This we can find in many universities all over the world! The real miracle is to bind erudition with simplicity, kindness and humility. This is my homage to one of the worthy heirs of Sri Aurobindo.

    Rodolphe Milliat

  13. Very proud that our friend, adviser and long-standing member of the Indo-French Reflection Group has received the prestigious Aura-Ratna award for 2011.
    Congratulations Prithwindra!
    Lalitha Badrinath
    E.R. Badrinath

  14. Read about the Auro-Ratna award. Yes it is very
    encouraging for people working relentlessly towards betterment of mankind. Of course they never look forward to any reward as such, but the universal
    acknowledgement of their contribution does make a difference.

    Wish you all the best.

    Arundhati Di

  15. Congratulations. You should have received this award much earlier. Wishing you many more years of writting.
    Ashim roy

  16. “The most important thing in life is not to graduate from an elite school, but to get out of the ordinary and be original” said de Gaulle. Dr. Prithwindra Mukherjee has both of these characteristics, and we rejoice in his receiving the Auro-Ratna Award.  His contribution to our Monday lectures on India at the Centre André Malraux, Paris, has been invaluable, as he has given us deep content so as to introduce us to a better understanding of Indian culture. Each time, Dr. Mukherjee has generously invited us to get into the rhythm of authentic creativity as we celebrated, with singers, actors, and musicians he had gathered, the coming out of his trilingual poems, his films made with the prestigious CNRS on Kîrtana and the musical pillars, or his books.  We note, in particular, the recent volume “Les origines intellectuelles du mouvement d’indépendance de l’Inde”.  We congratulate the Overman Foundation for honoring Dr. Mukherjee with an award as precious as a rare gem.

  17. Thank you very much for updating. Truly a very just and wise decision for OUR RATNA’S. CONGRATULATIONS. May you all continue the good work .

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