Sri Aurobindo stepped on the soil of Pondicherry, in South India, on 4 April 1910. He had spent his first 38 years in study, Government service, educational activity and political participation in England, Gujarat and Bengal. Now, followed by a few young men, co-workers in his political days, Sri Aurobindo settled down in Pondicherry to concentrate solely on a new work, a mission given him by Sri Krishna in Alipur Jail: by further sadhana, to reach the Supramental (far above the mental plane) and bring it down and establish it on earth, in man.
The few young men, living austerely together with Sri Aurobindo, each one doing his sadhana under Sri Aurobindo’s solicitous watchfulness, were the nucleus of what one day would become the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
On 24 April 1920 Mirra Alfassa came to Pondicherry to continue her Sadhana living near Sri Aurobindo.
On the evening of 24 November 1926 a powerful indicative event took place: the Consciousness of Sri Krishna “Godhead of the Overmind” descended in Sri Aurobindo. And supportive to that experience, Sri Aurobindo withdrew from all activities to concentrate solely on His mission to bring down the Supramental. He put all responsibility for the Sadhaks and their Sadhana in the Mother’s hands.
This date 24 November 1926 is accepted as the beginning of the Ashram – the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
With the outbreak of World War II (1939-1945), the Mother began accepting in the early 1940s, families and children of many devotees who sought refuge around Her, as members of the Ashram. In 1943, a school and a playground were started for the children, and the elders worked in the few departments of that time. When a new need arose, a new department was started.
On 5 December 1950 Sri Aurobindo left His body to continue further His work from a subtler world.
Shouldering the responsibilites of a growing Ashram, the Mother carried forward the subtle and difficult Sadhana to accomplish Sri Aurobindo’s mission.
29 February 1956 is a special memorable date in Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is on that date, during the evening meditation, ‘The Descent of the Supramental’ took place – fulfilling the aim for which Sri Aurobindo had been working so assiduously.
On 17 November 1973 the Mother left Her body.
Now in 2017, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram presents a completely different picture from that of its earliest nucleus of the few young Sadhaks living with Sri Aurobindo.
At present the Ashram has departments that take care of all the different needs of the Sadhaks. For an all-round development of the students studying in the Ashram’s Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE), there are opportunities for several sports and games and various cultural activities.
Indeed, the earliest nucleus of the Ashram has widened its boundaries and spread in all directions to express a happy-healthy life supporting the Sadhana of the inmates.
Under the administration of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, the Ashram continues to progress and advance even in the present digital technology-dominated age. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, from their Subtle World, continue to guide Sadhaks who approach them in all sincerity.
Verily, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram continues to be ‘The Sanctum Sanctorum’ for all spiritual seekers of the world.