6, College Square
Residence May 1909 to Feb 1910
After his acquittal in the Alipore Bomb Case and subsequent release from Alipore Jail on 6th May, 1909, Sri Aurobindo lived at 6, College Square with his maternal aunt (Na-masi) Lilabati Devi and her family, until Feb 1910 when he left Calcutta. The house was situated just across the famous College Square where many nationalist meetings were held
During this nine-month period, he single-handedly edited two weekly journals - Karmayogin in English and Dharma in Bengali and published various ....
During this time, he made several Public Speeches: Uttarpara Speech (30.May.1909), Beadon Square Speech - 1 (13.June.1909), Jhalakati Speech (19.June.1909), Bakarganj Speech (23.June.1909), Khulna Speech (25.June.1909), Kumartuli Speech (11.July.1909), College Square Speech - 1 (18.July.1909), Speech at Hooghly Conference (6.September.1909)College Square Speech - 2 (10.October.1909), Bhawanipur Speech (13.October.1909), Beadon Square Speech - 1 (16.October.1909).
In September, 1909, Sri Aurobindo attended the Hooghly Conference of the Congress as the leader of the Nationalist Party.
Sri Aurobindo's uncle (meso), Krishna Kumar Mitra
6, College Square was the residence of Krishna Kumar Mitra. Krishna Kumar was one of the nine nationalists who were deported from Bengal without the benefit of a trial in December 1908. Krishna Kumar Mitra was held as a prisoner in the Agra fort from December 1908 to February 1910. Other members of his family included his wife, Lilabati Devi (maternal aunt of Sri Aurobindo), their children Sukumar Mitra and Basanti Devi. 6, College Square was also the office of Sanjibani, a bengali journal edited by Krishna Kumar Mitra.
Sukumar Mitra was visiting Agra during the time when Sri Aurobindo came to stay there.
Working in the hubbub
Sri Aurobindo's cousin, Sukumar Mitra observed: "He wrote or typed articles for the Weekly journals in the first-floor sitting room even as someone played the gramophone in the same room, and others engaged in loud conversation. He paid no heed to the hubbub and remained deeply absorbed in his work..."
"I have never seen Auro-dada lose his temper," marvelled Basanti. "He would be sitting in the hall absorbed in writing work. His sandals would be lying thereabouts. My mother would come, put on his sandals and go up to the terrace to take her walk. Meanwhile Auro-dada would get visitors. He would get up and start looking for his sandals. Then he would see Ma and ask her sweetly, 'Na-masi, have you put on my sandals? I have visitors.' Ma would give him his sandals. Such inconveniences - the disappearance and reappearance of his sandals, the wastage of time in looking for them - for a busy man like him. But not a tinge of annoyance. I never saw him lose his temper for anything."
The day he never returned
That day, I went looking for him. It was my responsibility to serve him his food. I saw that he had visitors. He saw me and waved his hand. I thought he would come in for his meal. I waited for a long time but in vain; finally I peeked into the room. The visitors had left. But Auro-dada was not there either! How could he leave without having his meal?
He did not return that night - nor the next day. Some more days passed. Finally one day I received a letter - he had written to me that he was in Pondicherry - he ended with his blessings.
From: 'Amader Aurodada' by Basanti Chakraborti, 'Golpobharati', December-January 1955
College Square, Calcutta
CID report of 15.Aug.1909
On 15th August, 1909 Sri Aurobindo's birthday was celebrated here and this is how the ever suspicious and watchful Bengal CID reported the event:
"... a band of young men attended at No. 6, College Square, to offer their felicitations to Arabindo Ghose on his attaining his 39th year.
They presented him cloth, sweets and fruit. The ceremony was often interrupted with cries of 'Bande Mataram' and 'Long live Arabindo Ghose'.
He was also presented with an address which set forth the services he had rendered to the country in developing the national consciousness
and setting out clearly the national ideal. Arabindo Ghose was visibily moved and made a suitable reply. In it he exhorted them always to be patient
and never to give up the work in despair.
"Instability", he said," is a great reproach to my nation. But when there is a great purpose, a resolute will, there may be any amount of
difficulties, but they cannot stand in the way."
Babu Aurobindo Ghose’s Letter
To the Editor of the Bengalee
Sir, — Will you kindly allow me to express through your columns my deep sense of gratitude to all who have helped me in my hour of trial? Of the innumerable friends known and unknown, who have contributed each his mite to swell my defence fund, it is impossible for me now even to learn the names, and I must ask them to accept this public expression of my feeling in place of a private gratitude. Since my acquittal many telegrams and letters have reached me and they are too numerous to reply to individually. The love which my countrymen have heaped upon me in return for the little I have been able to do for them, amply repays any apparent trouble or misfortune my public activity may have brought upon me. I attribute my escape to no human agency, but first of all to the protection of the Mother of us all who has never been absent from me but always held me in Her arms and shielded me from grief and disaster, and secondarily to the prayers of thousands which have been going up to Her on my behalf ever since I was arrested. If it is the love of my country which led me into danger, it is also the love of my countrymen which has brought me safe through it.
6, College Square, May 14 (Published on 18 May 1909)
Commemorative Plaque at 6, College Square
On Bankim Chatterjee Street, Adjacent to Masjid Jahan Khan