In March 1969, after five long years in the West, Sri Chinmoy returned to India for the first time to visit his brothers and sisters at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry.1 He was 37 years old. Though a novice photographer, he took a number of photos of his family members, various Ashramites and friends during his visit. He is also included in several photographs.

– Compiled by Vidagdha


Table of Contents



1. Together Again


The family members together once again: Chitta, Chinmoy, Mantu, Arpita, Lily and Hriday in March 1969.


2. Chitta



Chinmoy's brother Chitta who, in many ways, became like a father to him after the death of his parents.



3. Mantu



Chinmoy's brother Mantu who was just three years older than him.


4. Arpita



Chinmoy's eldest sister Arpita with her pet birds


5. Hriday



Chinmoy's eldest brother Hriday with his pet dog.


6. Nolini Kanta Gupta


Nolini Kanta Gupta, the General Secretary of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram (aged 80). For many years, Chinmoy served Nolini-da in various capacities, translating more than fifty of Nolini-da's Bengali articles into English, typing various papers by Nolini-da and carrying out errands on his behalf.    


The immortal singer Sahana Devi, Nolini Kanta Gupta and Nolini-da's younger son Robi-da. Robi-da was one of Chinmoy's close friends at the Ashram.


Father and son: Nolini-da and his son Robi-da.


Nolini-da reading aloud in his front room.


Nolini-da relaxing with his legs up on the chair.



Left photo: Nolini-da in his front room. Right photo: Behind Nolini-da on the left is Chinmoy's cousin Nirmala. It was she who originally begged Chinmoy in 1955 to write something in honour of Nolini-da's birthday. Then she showed his poetic offering to Nolini-da. In 2004, Sri Chinmoy said that she was like one of his own sisters.



Left photo: Nolini-da with a few Ashramites. They are holding birthday cards and flowers from the Mother. The gentleman on the left is holding a card which is inscribed by the Mother “Bonne Fête to Charu with love and blessings”.  Right photo: Nirmala holding the Mother's birthday blessings to her.


7. Champaklal


  Sri Aurobindo's main attendant Champaklal. Chinmoy often remarked that Champaklal-ji served his Master sleeplessly.


8. Cousin Soma


Sri Chinmoy's cousin Soma. 2  



9. Family Friends


  Chinmoy and some close family friends.  


10. Airport Farewell


This photo was taken at the Airport Hotel in Madras shortly before Sri Chinmoy left to return to America. Arpita, Lily and Mantu came with him to Madras to bid him farewell. Touchingly, Arpita has her arm around her little brother. A few years ago, Sri Chinmoy distributed this photograph and wrote the caption on the bottom in his own hand.



1 Personal anecdotes from the visit can be found in My Express Visit To India by Sri Chinmoy, Agni Press, 1995.
2 "Soma, is only a few months younger than I. She is my father’s cousin’s daughter." – from My Express Visit To India.