'The home of Grace' Lakshmi's House      

"We shall call it Lakshmi's House and it will be The home of Grace."

The Mother wrote in February, 1968, with reference to the property at 3, Regent Park, Calcutta.

  • The Mother - The home of Grace

Sri Aurobindo's Sacred Relics are enshrined.

24.June.1977

Today, Lakshmi's House is a temple where Sri Aurobindo's relics are enshrined.

It is also a field of action for the realization of our spiritual Ideal.

Lakshmi's House in 2014

An outer activity as well as an inner change is needed and it must be at once a spiritual, cultural, educational, social and economical action.

Spiritual Ideal - Sri Aurobindo

The Mother's Instruments at Lakshmi's House

Arun da

Pioneer soul-spirit

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Pradyot da

The Mother's Instrument

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Joya di

She built her Mother's Home.

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Chronology of Events

29th July 1960

Smt. Lakshmi Devi Loyalka offers the property at 3, Regent Park, Tollygunge, Calcutta to The Mother,
in memory of her deceased husband.

February 1968 The Mother says: "We shall call it Lakshmi's House and it will be The home of Grace"
3rd February 1968 Grihapravesh - a simple house-warming ceremony at Lakshmi's House.
Shri Arun Tagore takes up residence here as 'caretaker'.
Shri Pradyot Kr. Bhattacharya starts staying here on his visits to Calcutta.
14th November 1968 Shakti Centre starts with The Mother's Blessings: Smt Asha Rajgharia is the Secretary,
Smt Maya Mitra is the music teacher and Smt Rekha Sen is in charge of embroidery etc
4th September 1972 Arun Nursery School is started with The Mother's Blessings:
Smt Bharati Dutta is the Head-mistress,
Number of children is 3
July 1975 'Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture' is registered as a Society under West Bengal Societies Act,1961
17th July 1975 Shri Arun Tagore returns to The Mother's feet
Winter of 1975-76 Annual Exhibition is started
February 1976 Devasangha is started
1977 Arun Flower Nursery is started
24th June 1977 Sri Aurobindo's Sacred Relics are enshrined.
22nd November 1978 West Bengal Government recognizes 'Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture' as a charitable institution.
1979 'Health & Healing' Unit is started
early 1980s Sri Aurobindo's statue is installed in the Meditation Room
1981 The expanded school (later named TFFS) is started with Joya Mitter as Principal
31st August 1984 The name 'The Future Foundation School'(TFFS) is approved by the Trust.
22nd November 1984 Shri Pradyot Kr. Bhattacharya returns to The Mother's feet
02nd August 1986 Provisional affiliation for Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE - Year 10)
course is received from Council of Indian School Certificate Examinations
Jan 1988 Dyuman Bhai visits Lakshmi's House
3rd Jan 1988 Dyuman Bhai inaugurates Hall of Light
1989 'Satindra Palli' Land gifted to the Institute
2nd May 1990 Commemorative Plaques at three sites associated with Sri Aurobindo in Calcutta (1906-1910)
were unveiled on the anniversary of His arrest in Alipore Bomb case
8th Oct 1990 Provisional affiliation for Indian School Certificate (ISC - Year 12)
course is received from Council of Indian School Certificate Examinations
15th August 1990 Commemorative Plaques at seven more sites associated with Sri Aurobindo in Calcutta (1906-1910) were unveiled on His Birthday
March 1991 First batch of ICSE (Class X) students passes out from The Future Foundation School (T.F.F.S.)
March 1993 First batch of ISC (Class XII) students passes out from The Future Foundation School (T.F.F.S.)
6th Jan 1993 Foundation stone of the school's new building is laid by Dr Karan Singh
7th Jan 1995 Galerie La Mère is started
9th August 1996 'Sri Aurobindo Research Centre' is started
15th August 1997 'Sri Aurobindo Parichay' gallery is started
21st February 1998 The Mother's statue is installed in the Meditation room
1st August 1998 Sanskriti Museum is started
15th August 1998 'Sri Aurobindo Memorial Court Room' is set up at 'Museum of Memorable Case Records', Alipore Sessions Court
24th July 1999 Smt Joya Mitter returns to The Mother's feet
1999 Shri Ranjan Mitter takes up the post of Prinicipal of the school
2nd June 2000 Affiliation for ISC and ICSE courses is confirmed by CISCE
2002 Humanities stream for ISC course is started with the permission of CISCE
15th August 2004 Sri Aurobindo's statue is installed in Lakshmi's House
May 2006 Land acquired at Brindakhali, Baruipur
August 2007 'Knowledge' wing added to the main building
October 2012 The Future Foundation School receives accreditation to the National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET)
April 2013 Arun Nursery School gets a second campus at Satindra Palli
2013 Cultural exchanges with Bangladesh begin
November 2014 The Future Foundation School and Lycée français de Pondichéry announce tie-up as partner schools
23rd Nov 2015 Smt Shikha Guha returns to The Mother's feet

Lakshmi's House - 1968

23.Jun.1977 - Awaiting the arrival of Sri Aurobindo's Relics

Lakshmi's House - 1970s

Lakshmi's House - 1980s

A sketch of Lakshmi's House - 20.Dec.1991

Lakshmi's House - Dec.2010

New TFFS Annexe at Lakshmi's House

Occult Symbol

  • SAIoC symbol on the ceiling

It was destined for the Divine.

The Mother said about Lakshmi's House, in 1968, on being shown a photograph of the occult symbol (left) on the ceiling of the hall in Lakshmi's House

From Krishnalal's correspondence with The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

16/3/1934

Krishnalal: Mother, Yesterday I saw a design as shown on the side. The colours in it were in a jumble so I do not remember them. What does it signify?

Sri Aurobindo: The perfect creation of a new world.

  • Significance of symbol on the ceiling

The Early Years

  • 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.

 


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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