In this memoir K. Amrita (1895-1969) recounts his pilgrimage to Sri Aurobindo and the early years spent under his care. Born into a Brahmin 'family in a Tamil village, Amrita moved to the nearby town of Pondicherry at the age of ten to pursue his studies. Five years later, in 1910, when Sri Aurobindo came to Pondicherry, a strong desire to meet him rose up in young Amrita's heart. To do so took him three and a half years of persistent effort, but at last on 15 August 1915 Amrita met his Master.
In this intimate account, filled with the emotion of a young man's tender heart, Amrita speaks of his life as a village boy, his days as a student in Pondicherry, his struggle to break away from family traditions, the widening of his mind through contact with the poet Subramania Bharati, his efforts to meet Sri Aurobindo, and his studies in Madras. In simple, charming language, Amrita manages to recreate the atmosphere of Pondicherry in the early 1900s and the tenor of life in Sri Aurobindo's household.
This book is a translation of a memoir written in Tamil by K. Amrita, an early disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Amrita recounts the story of his childhood and student life, but always his central concern is his relationship with Sri Aurobindo and his efforts to come closer to him. Amrita's tale, told with honesty and ardour, has all the poignancy of a sensitive young Tamil Brahmin discovering a new way of life.
The Tamil text of the memoir was translated into English soon after it was written, and this translation (titled Old Long Since) was published in 1969 and 1995 as part of larger works. It is now being published for the first time (2015) as an independent book and has been given a new title, A Pilgrimage to Sri Aurobindo. Further details are given in the Note on the Text at the end of the book.
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