Pradyot da The Mother's Instrument 

7.5.67


Pradyot, my dear child,

I need you as my

instrument, and

you will remain so.

Be very quiet -

endure with courage.

I am with you,

in love and in

victory.


- The Mother

Prayer to The Mother

Pradyot da - April 1963

Mother,

Grant that

1. You get all the money You need.

2. I may be a good and faithful instrument, and not a weak or broken one.

3. The child Gargi be happy and healthy and a faithful instrument.

4. All those who are around me turn towards you.

5. Your Constant Presence.

Pradyot.

The Mother wrote back: "Granted".

Birthday Card from The Mother

31.Aug.1963

'Bonne Fête !'

To Pradyot

with my love

and blessings for

a happy and everlasting

collaboration.


- The Mother

Birthday Card with a lion

31.Aug.1966

...The Mother said to Champaklal in 1966: "Tomorrow is Pradyot's Birthday. Prepare a card for him with that picture of me which signifies 'Realisation'. On the left side of the picture, near about my chest, fix the head of a lion."

Pradyot remembered gratefully till his last day that the Mother had kept him close to her heart. The next day, the Mother, wishing Pradyot 'Bonne Fête', gave him the card. From that day his house was converted into a quiet den of lions pictured in various poses: they were hanging in the curtains, sitting on the tables, watching from above the staircase and protecting Pradyot in his bed-room...

Page 48, "Mother's Instrument Pradyot", by Nirodbaran

Symbolic Image of Pradyot da's action

31.Aug.1967

On his birthday in 1967, the Mother presented him a card with the picture of a lion surrounded by smaller animals with a fire in the centre, saying:


"It is a symbolic image of your action."

Page 48, "Mother's Instrument Pradyot", by Nirodbaran

Bonne Fête !

to Pradyot

with love

and blessings

for the strength

to fulfill his

mission.


- The Mother

Birthday Card from The Mother

31.Aug.1971

Bonne Fête

To Pradyot

with love and

blessings for the

blossoming of his

consciousness in the

Divine Consciousness.


- The Mother

Radha's prayer

from Pradyot da

Every thought of my mind each emotion of my heart every movement of my being every feeling every sensation each cell of my body, each drop of my blood, all is yours, yours absolutely, yours without reserve.

You can decide my life or my death, my happiness or my sorrow, my pleasure or my pain, whatever you do with me, whatever comes to me from you will lead me to divine rapture.

Pradyot Kumar Bhattacharya

The Mother's 'Vishwarupa' Darshan

Pradyot's wife, Ranidi passed away on 22nd November, 1962, at night when Pradyot was away in Calcutta.

In the morning, the Mother was informed of Rani di's death. A telegram was sent to Pradyot, but since the body could not be kept for him, the decision was taken for cremation in the afternoon. Pradyot arrived. I accompanied him to his house and gave him the details of the sad event. As soon as he reached home he threw himself prone on Ranidi's bed for a while and then came out calm and composed. Then he went straight to the Ashram to see the Mother.

He almost broke down before Her, but She consoled him with Her sweet love. He said to Her, "Mother I leave her with you", to which She replied,

"Not with me, she is in me, you are in me, the whole universe is in me."

In a later period, Pradyot looked upon this assurance as almost similar to the vision of Viswarupa granted to Arjuna, and counted himself a most fortunate person. With utter gratitude, he would exclaim,

"Mother has shown me her 'Viswarupa'. How blessed am I ! The Divine has revealed his 'Swarupa' to me !"

Page 51-52, "Mother's Instrument Pradyot", by Nirodbaran

A demi-god

Pradyot da

... The Bengal Government used to consult him from time to time regarding their engineering problems. Besides all these occupations, a constant stream of visitors approached him about various personal problems of health, family troubles, business concerns etc., etc. After a late dinner, he would chat with his close associates before retiring to bed. He was even looked upon as a guru. When the Mother heard about it, She said,

"Not as a guru but a demi-god."

Page 69, "Mother's Instrument Pradyot", by Nirodbaran


Founder-Chairman

  • The Mother - The home of Grace

Hitherto, whenever Pradyot visited Calcutta he stayed in premier hotels. Now the Mother asked him to take up residence in 'The home of Grace' along with Arun Tagore. 'The home of Grace' is a very big edifice in Regent Park, belonging to one Lakshmi Devi Loyalka and called Lakshmi's House. She had offered the house to the Mother in memory of her dead husband. The Mother wrote, "We shall call it Lakshmi's House and it will be The home of Grace". Arun Tagore, attorney and friend of the family, was invited by the lady to come and settle there and look after the house. In 1968, he accepted the proposal with the Mother's permission. Arun was a great friend of Pradyot's.

Arun started a library and then in 1972 opened a Kindergarten school in order to spread the Mother's idea of education. The Mother named it 'Arun Nursery School'. There had previously been a 'Shakti Centre' for women opened by Lakshmi Devi. In 1975, Arun suddenly passed away. Just before his departure he had opened the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture and made Pradyot its Chairman. What began as a small venture, developed gradually into a big project under Pradyot's initiative and drive. Lakshmi House was truly Lakshmi's palace. A huge area and a large mansion to be maintained and kept in order needed a big monthly expenditure. Pradyot had to meet it.

Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture was formed in 1975 with Pradyot da as its Founder-Chairman.

On the other hand his creative genius saw for itself a vast scope which was not available in the Ashram. Difficulties and obstacles never daunted his spirit when he had undertaken some work. He relied on the Mother's help and on his confidence in himself. In 1977, Sri Aurobindo's relics were taken and placed in a beautiful setting in the "Home of Grace" by the Chief Justice of Calcutta, Sri Shankar Prasad Mitra. Besides the Nursery School, cultural training in music, singing, dancing, medical treatment, a printing press, lectures on the Mother and Sri Aurobindo were set going one after another. Recently, saris, gamchhas and napkins have been supplied to the Ashram from this establishment's own weaving machine. Pradyot's eye was constantly fixed on how to be of service to the Ashram. Most opportunely, he saw in Joya Mitra a lady of immense capabilities whom he adored like his own daughter, and put her in charge of the administration. Pradyot also built up a group of friends who were ready to do whatever he requested of them.

  • Pradyot da with Uday Shankar at Lakshmi's House

Those who have visited the Institute have showered praise on Pradyot for his creative ability in many directions and for the quiet atmosphere, the meticulous care in keeping the place spotlessly clean so that one could at once feel the presence of the Mother as in a temple. Of late Sanjukta Panigrahi, the premier Odissi dancer, started to train students in her art at Lakshmi's House. Uday Shankar, the famous dancer of Bengal, in his last days, had lost grace with the public and it seemed he was jobless. He had heard of Lakshmi's House and came there to seek for a place where he could hold his classes. Pradyot listened to his problems and promptly said, "You are welcome". Uday Shankar, overwhelmed, exclaimed, "I now believe that there is God!'. This story was narrated to me by Pradyot himself. A grave problem facing him was that the area in which the Institute was located was politically disturbed. Gradually it has been cleansed of bad influences and transformed into a respectable place, I have been told.

Since Pradyot had to be present on his birthday at Pondicherry, it was observed in Lakshmi's House on the previous day. The children of the physical culture section (Devasangha) and of the Arun Nursery School used to observe it with prayers, songs, dances, recitations and parade with their dear Dadu as their central figure. Oh, it was a day of rejoicings. In the evening the function ended with devotional songs or dance programmes by reputed artistes or Pradyot's readings from Savitri. Every year it repeated itself and brought joy, beauty and a fresh lease of life to its founder and to those who were a part and parcel of the organisation.

Lakshmi's House is a unique testimony to Pradyot's creative genius as regards its organisation and operation. There were two sides to it; one, a surprising efflorescence of his individuality in an hitherto unknown splendour; the second, giving the Lakshmi's House a touch of novelty among other centres by his glowing faith in the Mother's Grace aided by his untiring zeal.

Let us throw some light on the second aspect. The Mother proclaimed that Lakshmi's House will be the Home of Grace. There came a time when the situation turned very critical so much so that Lakshmi's House had to be either abandoned or kept up at the cost of a huge sum of money. Then was heard Pradyot's leonine voice: "I shall keep my Mother's Home of Grace, if need be, with the last drop of my blood. Don't you know that the Mother Bhagvati has called this house alone the Home of Grace? How could you think that I would give it up so long as life remains in me?" Such were the words he uttered to his Calcutta friends.

"I shall keep my Mother's Home of Grace, if need be, with the last drop of my blood. Don't you know that the Mother Bhagvati has called this house alone the Home of Grace? How could you think that I would give it up so long as life remains in me?"



In Pradyot's eye of vision, Lakshmi's House extending beyond its material bounds of wood, brick and stone, became the abode of the Divine Mother. It is for this reason that he was able to surmount innumerable difficulties and with a steady, calm spirit take up the heavy responsibility on his shoulder. A boy who called him Dadu felt at this time a lion-like power in him and there emitted from his thick eye-brows a tremendous courage. The Mother once gave Pradyot a card which bore on one side a line from Savitri, "Her single will opposed the cosmic rule", and on the other, written in her own hand, "Pradyot, is it this you wanted?". In this context that young boy recalled a message of the Mother, "Truth is a victory won after hard labour. To win it, we must be fearless warriors - warriors who fear nothing, let come foes or death, let people be for him or against him, let the body be or be not. An uninterrupted fight must go on till it ends in victory". Pradyot fulfilled that responsibility squarely until his last moment. His close circle of friends has perceived what tremendous pressure was brought to bear upon his frail body while discharging the burden of Lakshmi's House, but Pradyot, armoured with the Mother's might, went ahead undaunted, fighting all the way and caring the least about his health. On the one hand , he spent his last drop of energy in the service of the Mother's Home of Grace; on the other, he flung the doors of that temple wide open to all and sundry. Always a reticent person, he articulated these few words to the audience on the occasion of the Mother's centenary celebration. "This House is the Mother's, therefore it is yours. She has named this house the Home of Grace. Come all of you, accept her grace. The doors of this House will always be kept open for you."

This House is the Mother's, therefore it is yours. She has named this house the Home of Grace. Come all of you, accept her grace. The doors of this House will always be kept open for you.

  • Pradyot was to them their dear Dadu, an intimate friend...

But those who responded to this generous call were mostly the youth whom Pradyot could attract by his natural charming personality. His appeal to them was simple: "Have a firm faith in the Mother, love her deeply, dedicate your life in Her service." Pradyot was to them their dear Dadu, an intimate friend and sincere well-wisher. He had sat and eaten with them , walked about with and given himself to them without reserve, cut jokes with them and made them his own. Those who wanted to prepare themselves for the Ashram life have received his unstinted help. One extremist young man confessed to have turned a new page in his violent life under Pradyot's sweet influence. As the Chairman of the Institute of Culture, he made the members feel that everything there belonged to the Mother and the Ashram. Hence when the section could send napkins and gamchhas to the Mother's prosperity Department, his deep happiness expressed itself, but in a few simple words such as : "You know, Nirod, 500 gamchhas have been offered by the Institute of Culture." When the people around began gradually to join the Institute, they began to call it "The Ashram". Pradyot was happy to learn of it and said, "They have caught the truth." This centre alone in Calcutta goes by this name.

"Have a firm faith in the Mother, love her deeply, dedicate your life in Her service.Pradyot da

And in this Centre, Pradyot had introduced the rules and disciplines of the Ashram, setting himself as an example. Around the altar of Sri Aurobindo's Samadhi perfect silence and meticulous cleanliness were maintained. No tiny stain about could escape his keen eye and he would clean it up himself.

The future alone will be the witness of his work starting with small footsteps, striding forward and becoming an extraordinarily active Institute. That was his dream. At least that it would be the Mother's Home of Grace, was his abiding faith. And it has become a realised fact. Today Pradyot's soul will be happy to see that his own life-work, Lakshmi's House, has transformed itself into the Mother's Home of Grace in every part of it. The Light that radiates from it is a part of the Mother's eternal Light.


Photo-album

  • The Mother with Amrita da, Pavitra da, Nolini da, Pradyot da (from L to R)
  • The Mother with Pradyot da

Pradyot da

Enshrining of Relics at Lakshmi's House - 24.Jun.1977

  • Pradyot Kr. Bhattacharya carrying the Relics, Joya Mitter behind him at Madhyamgram - 23.Jun.1977, morning
  • Pradyot Kr. Bhattacharya carrying the Relics - on its way from Madhyamgram to Shyambazar - 23.Jun.1977, morning
  • Relics arrive at Shyambazar - Rathin da's home - 23.Jun.1977, morning
  • Enshrining of Relics at Lakshmi's House - 24.Jun.1977, evening

Interactions with Public figures

  • Pradyot da with Pandit Nehru at the opening of Bokaro Thermal Power Plant
  • Pradyot da with Pandit Nehru at the opening of Bokaro Thermal Power Plant
  • Pradyot da with Indira Gandhi and other senior Sadhaks at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
  • Pradyot da with Uday Shankar at Lakshmi's House
  • Pradyot da with Minister Prasanta Sur at Lakshmi's House
  • Pradyot da with Suchitra Mitra at Lakshmi's House
  • Pradyot da with Suchitra Mitra at Lakshmi's House

Creative Genuius of Pradyot da

Birthday Celebrations of a 'Demi-God'

Pradyot da - Daddy or Dadu to All

  • Pradyot da - intimate friend and well-wisher to All
  • Pradyot da was to them their dear Dadu, an intimate friend...

A Close Circle of Friends & Followers

  • Sharing a light moment with Arun da and other devotees

  • Arun da, Minakshi devi, Pradyot da and others (L to R)

  • Pradyot da with Joya di and her son, Ranjan
  • Pradyot da with Shyamal da (R to L)
  • Pradyot da and Nirod da - 1984

Pradyot-da speaks..

 


All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the Photographs of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India.
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