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,
Top: 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)
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.