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Documents in the Life of Sri Aurobindo

BIRTH


1

Sri Aurobindo’s Birth Date and Time

15th August 1872, 24 minutes (one danda = one ghatikā) before sunrise, at Calcutta.

With sunrise calculated at 5.40 A.M., the time of birth is 5.16 A.M. local time or 4.52 A.M. Indian Standard Time.1

A note from the files of Nolini Kanta Gupta

2

When attention was drawn to several press enquiries particularly in Bengal as to the exact birthplace of Sri Aurobindo, Srijut Nolinikanto Gupta, Secretary of Sri Aurobindo Ashram told P.T.I.: “Sri Aurobindo was born in the house of late barrister Monomohon Ghose, a close friend of his father, Dr. Krishna Dhan Ghose. The house was in the Theatre Road and the number being most probably 4 (Four). We are not aware whether the house still exists or not.”

A press release dated 2 September 1949

3

Sree Aurobindo Ghose was born in my father’s house at 237, Lower Circular Road.

In or about 1879 my father moved to 4, Theatre Road. Subsequently Mr. Byomkesh Chakraborti, Bar-at-Law occupied 237, Lower Circular Road and I believe it was purchased by him. Later on late Mr. Nalini Ranjan Sirkar purchased the property and put up the new structure after demolishing the old. It is now occupied by the Chinese Consul General.

Letter of Showlota Das (Mrs. Banbehari Das), youngest daughter of the late Manmohan Ghose, dated 11 June 1956.

4

Proceedings of the Meeting of the Sub-committee of the Aurobindo Centenary Committee Held at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday, January 30, 1971, at the National Library, Belvedere, Calcutta-27.

The following members were present:

  • Shri Surendra Mohan Ghose, Chairman
  • Dr. Niharranjan Ray
  • Shri Debi Prasad Bhaduri
  • Shri K.N. Mookerjee
  • Shri A.K. Ghose
  • Smt. D.G. Keswani
  • Shri H.K. Niyogi
  • Shri Kanti Chaudhuri, Member-Secretary.

1. After a long discussion on the various suggestions in regard to the house in which Sri Aurobindo was supposed to have been born, it was decided as follows:

  1. The arguments in favour of the present 237, Lower Circular Road could not be sustained since this was originally 12, Lower Circular Road, which came to be occupied by the late Shri Manmohan Ghose not earlier than 1876.
  2. According to the Bengal Directory of 1871 and 1872, the late Shri Manmohan Ghose is shown as a resident of 48, Chowringhee which was a part of the then Ballard Building facing Theatre Road. It was, therefore, very likely that Aurobindo was born at this house, which on 15th August, 1872 was shown as the residence of the late Shri Manmohan Ghose.
  3. In 1872, according to the Bengal Directory (Street Directory), No. 14 Lower Circular Road is also shown against the name of the late Shri Manmohan Ghose. But in the alphabetical list of residents of the same year, Manmohan Ghose is shown as a resident of 48, Chowringhee.
  4. According to the same Directory of 1873, the late Shri Manmohan Ghose is shown as a resident of 14, Lower Circular Road, and not 12, Lower Circular Road, which is now 237, Lower Circular Road.

2. The Ballard’s building consisting of numbers 47, 48, 49 and 50 at the corner of Chowringhee and Theatre Road does no longer exist; in fact, a multi-storeyed building is under construction at that place. The question of acquisition of this property does not, therefore, arise.

3. But in 1879, the late Shri Manmohan Ghose rented No. 4 Theatre Road (now No. 8 Theatre Road) and continued to live there for about fifteen years. It was in this house that Sri Aurobindo passed a number of his boyhood years from time to time; indeed it is the only house on Theatre Road with which Sri Aurobindo could be associated for a considerable period of time. The Committee, therefore, requests the Government of India and the Government of West Bengal who are now the owners of No. 8 Theatre Road, to make over and dedicate this property to the nation in the name of Sri Aurobindo.

1 The exact time of Sri Aurobindo’s birth is not known. He writes in “About Astrology” (Cent. Vol. 17, p. 288) of “the inability to fix the precise moment of my birth”. The above computations were apparently made on the basis of a recollection of a member of Sri Aurobindo’s family that he was born about one danda before sunrise on 15 August 1872.



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