Sri Aurobindo's relics enshrined at MATRIMANDIR, Habra on 4th August, 1996
Under Hemlal’s guidance and with all the members’ united effort, the work of Sri Aurobindo Karmi Sangha, progressed smoothly. Hemlal still remained its president. He always thought of what was best for the sangha; and so for its future welfare, with Nolinida’s permission, a board of trustees was organized in 1976. Hemlal became its first managing trustee.
For nearly thirty long years Hemlal took the leadership of the sangha. For first fifteen years he worked as its president and next fifteen years as a trustee. As long as he lived the sangha was under his guidance. He was a sincere worker of THE MOTHER. All the karmis respected him and loved him for his truthfulness.
But Hemlal had a greater dream now, the installation of SRI AUROBINDO’s relics in the Matrimandir. For this THE MOTHER’s permission was granted through Nolinida. Hemlal and other trustee members were preparing to renovate the Matrimandir for this auspicious occasion. But the work was halted, for on the 12th of October 1990, Hemlal passed away, leaving his dream unfulfilled.
More than five years rolled by. Preparations for the arrival of Sri Aurobindo’s relics in the Matrimandir began with new zeal and enthusiasism. In July 1996, a delegation from Matrimandir, Habra, led by Kamalesh Mitra and Bhupesh Sen, arrived at Ashram in Pondicherry, to make arrangements for the relics installation. With the consent of the Managing Trustee, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, the date was fixed for receiving Sri Aurobindo’s relics. On 1st August 1996, at 4 pm, Professor Bishwanath Roy and Rina Mitra received the relics for the Matrimandir, Habra. The relics were carried from the Ashram main building to the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE) and safely rested that night in the Teachers’ room, under the observation of some volunteer Ashram students. Early the next morning the journey to Habra with relics began.
On 2nd August,1996 around 11 am the relics reached at Dumdum Airport in Kolkata. There the relics were received with deep respect. The relics were carried to Habra on a chariot, followed by more than fifty cars. On the way the chariot was stopped at Madhyamgram and Ashokenagar. Thousands of persons paid their tribute to SRI AUROBINDO. The Chairman of Habra Municipality Sri Shib Ratan Kothari received the relics with devotion at Habra; a long procession was followed.
Finally on the evening of 2nd August 1996, Sri Aurobindo’s relics arrived at the Matrimandir. Devotees from other centres welcomed the relics with great devotion. The relics tray was kept on the first floor of the Matrimandir so that the bhaktas could have its darshan. The whole of the following day (i.e. 3rd August , 1996) the relics remained there for disciples who had come from distant corners of Bengal to offer homage to their Lord. The centre was overflowing with them. It was a great moment of Bhakti and Ananda.
A white marble shrine had been kept ready in the cemented courtyard for the relics’ enshrinement. It was under a service tree, a seedling of the same tree that still gives cool shade today over the samadhi of THE MOTHER and SRI AUROBINDO.
The 4th of August, 1996 dawned with a fresh sprinkling of rain. It drizzled and showered the rest of the morning, but still the devotees kept arriving. By afternoon the rain ceased and slowly the dark clouds disappeared, cleansing the earth a new. Mother earth, bathed in a shower of divine grace, spread an aura of peacefulness over the atmosphere. Around the shrine the bhaktas waited eagerly for the divine moment to take place. A faint streak of golden light broke through the grey sky. Slowly, silently, the light spread over the celestial arch, descending into the courtyard of the Matrimandir, illuminating the surroundings with a golden orange hue. As a soft breeze rippled the branches of the service tree, its leaves sprinkled a light golden dew over the marble shrine. It was breathtaking moment, as if all nature waited in deep meditation for the heavenly occurrence. Silently the time passed.
After a short meditation at 4 pm, Sri Himangshu Neogi installed the relics. The Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s countless disciples witnessed that Supreme Hour.
On the 4th August 1996, the second dream of the Karmi Sangha was now realized. May the members of the Sri Aurobindo Karmi Sangha prepare themselves to become worthy of Sri Aurobindo’s relics. Our pledge to the Divine Mother :--
“May we, the karmis of Sri Aurobindo Karmi Sangha, Matrimandir, carry on Her work with complete sincerity-may we be at each moment what She wants us to be, and with Her blessings, may we triumph over all obstacles."
Victoire À la Douce MÈre