DEPARTMENTS OF THE ASHRAM
The Ashram consists of over 80 departments which include farms, gardens, healthcare, guesthouses and engineering units among many others. Most of these departments have emerged spontaneously, sometimes because of a need for a product or service that wasn't available, often because the Mother encouraged a sadhak to pursue his art. Under Her personal guidance and care, these small units soon grew up into well-established departments.
While externally they help sustain the Ashram, the real purpose of these units is to serve as a field for sadhana, the spiritual discipline. Work in the Ashram is to be done unselfishly, in the spirit of service and as a means of offering oneself to the Divine.
The Ashram's art gallery was started in 1963 and the Mother named it "The Studio" and gave it the message: "On the physical plane, it is in Beauty that the Divine expresses himself."
The Mother who herself was a painter of great sensitivity always evinced a keen interest in Art and Beauty. She trained and helped the young and old to pursue Art as a part of their spiritual growth.
The art gallery undertakes the preservation and the exhibition of "the Mother's collection" of paintings and photographs. This collection consists of more than 2500 paintings done by Ashram artists and others. It is a selection from this collection that is usually on exhibit at the gallery.Address: Rue Law de Lauriston, Pondicherry - 605001 Timings: 9.00 am - 11.00 am, 3.00 pm - 4.00 pm
The Ashram Library started in 1954. The Mother then gave it the message: "A library must be an intellectual sanctuary. There one should look for light and progress." Set in a large, French colonial building with its big halls, its quiet corners, and its own little garden in front, and with 80,000 books in 25 different languages and hundreds of periodicals, the library is very much an intellectual sanctuary. The library also has a large collection of Indian and Western classical records and tapes. Indian classical music is played at the Library every Wednesday starting at 8.30 pm and Western classical music every Tuesday and Friday at the same time.Tel.: +91413 2233648 Timings: 7.30 am - 11.30 am, 2.00 pm - 4.45 pm
This is the Ashram information centre for visitors. It provides visitors with the following services:
This department came into existence in 1950 in the Ashram main building, a few days after Sri Aurobindo left his body. The devotees who came from all over the world could get information about lodging, food, and the Ashram activities from this department. Before leaving Pondicherry many devotees started asking for the photographs of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and so they were kept here for sale. Before 1950, photographs were sold only on Darshan days in the Ashram main building, in a stall that is kept outside Poojalal's room. Today, different photographs of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo in black and white or colour and in various sizes are available for purchase in this department.Address: 20, Rue de la Marine, Pondicherry - 605001. Tel.: +91413 2233649 Timings: 8 to 12 noon; 2 to 5 pm (daily)
The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, formed in 1934, publishes the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and works by disciples on their life and teachings, in over 15 languages.
The Publication Departments distribution unit is SABDA. Apart from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram publications, SABDA also distributes books of other publishers with related content. SABDA has two retail outlets, Service Branch inside the Sri Aurobindo Ashram main building, and Kripa Branch diagonally opposite it. The head office of the Publication Department and SABDA is at 17, Rue de la Marine, next to the Kripa Branch showroom. For more information, or to view a catalogue of publications, please visit SABDA's website.Address: 17 Rue de la Marine Tel.: +91 413 2233656 Telefax: +91 413 2223328 Email: email@example.com Web: www.sabda.in Timings: Head Office: 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon, 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. Kripa Branch: 8.30 to 11.45 a.m., 2.00 to 5.15 p.m. Service Branch: 8.00 to 11.45 a.m., 2.00 to 5.45 p.m.