Ma Mandir Sri Aurobindogram

Ma mandir Sri Aurobindo Ashram Rewa

हमारे प्रिय चाचाजी

सुरेन्द्रनाथ जौहर ‘फ़क़ीर’

 

युगों से भारतमाता ने महान व्यक्तियों को जन्म दिया है, युद्ध-भूमि और आध्यात्मिक क्षेत्रा के वीरों को, पुरोधा और योगियों को, जिन्होंने दिव्य-शक्तियों को गतिशील किया। भारतीय संस्कृति के महान रक्षकों की इस आकाशगंगा के एक चमकते सितारे थे सुरेन्द्रनाथ जौहर जो ‘चाचाजी’ नाम से लोकप्रिय और सुपरिचित हैं।

He made great dreams a mould for coming things

And cast his deeds like bronze to front the years.

चाचाजी एक स्वप्नद्रष्टा थे। अपने जीवन के ऊँचे और कठिन पथ को कुचलकर चलने वाले एक अग्रणी योद्धा के वीरतापूर्ण जीवन को सावित्री की ये पंक्तियाँ बड़ी सुन्दरता से प्रतिबिम्बित करती हैं। स्वनिर्मित, एक निर्धन बालक जो सन् 1921 में दिल्ली आया, अपने जीवनकाल में ही एक दंतकथा, जनश्रुति बन गया।

देशभक्ति की भावना उनकी धमनियों में प्रवाहित होती थी। लाहौर में सन् 1919 में एक स्कूली छात्रा के रूप में वे लाठी भाँजते और ‘मार्शल ला अधिनियम’ को चुनौती देते थे। और, स्वतंत्राता संग्राम में उनकी सक्रिय साझेदारी आगे भी, बल्कि सदा ही जारी रही। सन् 1930 में ‘अवज्ञा आन्दोलन’ के काल में उन्होंने विदेशी कपड़ों के ‘बहिष्कार’ आन्दोलन में भाग लिया और ‘पूर्ण स्वराज्य’ के ऐतिहासिक घोषणापत्रा को बहादुरी के साथ चाँदनी चौक के घंटाघर पर पढ़ा। गिरफ्तार हुए और छः अन्य भिन्न-भिन्न अभियोगों की ‘विवेचनाओं’ का सामना किया, मुलतान के केन्द्रीय कारागार में उन्हें 15 माह तक रखा गया और वह भी अधिकतर समय बेड़ियों के साथ, एकांत कारावास में। गाँधी-इरविन समझौता के अंतर्गत जेल से मुक्त होने के बाद भूमिगत आन्दोलन का नेतृत्व किया तथा अरुणा आसफ अली और अन्य लोगों के साथ उन्होंने कार्य किया। सन् 1942 से 1944 तक पुनः उन्हें जेल में निरुद्ध किया गया।

सन् 1947 में जब देश स्वतंत्रा हुआ, जौहर ने सत्ता की राजनीति और यश-वैभव की परवाह नहीं की, क्या उन्होंने पहले ही एक उच्चतर पुकार नहीं सुन ली थी?

सन् 1939 में श्रीअरविन्द आश्रम, पाण्डिचेरी में ‘माताजी’ के दर्शन करने के बाद उन्होंने तुरंत जान लिया कि ‘नये-युग’ की स्थापना के लिए एक दिव्य शक्ति का अवतरण हो चुका है और इस महान उद्देश्य के लिए उन्होंने अपने को पूर्णतः समर्पित कर दिया।

अपने अनवरत प्रयास से महरौली रोड (अब श्रीअरविन्द मार्ग) पर स्थित एक परती भूमि को विकसित करके उसे युगावतार के आवास के उपयुक्त बनाया और दौड़-धूप एवं हलचलपूर्ण महानगर में - ‘श्रीअरविन्द आश्रम, दिल्ली शाखा’ के वे प्रहरी बने।

इसके दो माह पश्चात् श्रीमाँ के आशीर्वाद से आश्रम के विद्यालय का शुभारंभ दिनांक 23 अप्रैल 1956 को उनके भविष्य सूचक आशीर्वाद के साथ हुआः

 

‘‘पृथ्वी पर नया प्रकाश प्रकट हुआ है। आज इस नये खुले हुये विद्यालय को उससे निर्देशित होने दो।’’

             - आशीर्वाद

 

उस दिन जो नया बीज बोया गया, ‘मदर्स इंटरनेशनल स्कूल’ अब एक उत्कृष्ट केन्द्र के रूप में पुष्पित हो रहा है।

सन् 1957 में सर्वप्रथम श्रीअरविन्द के देहावशेष बाहर भेजे गये जिन्हें यहाँ दिसंबर 5, 1957 को एक सुन्दर वास्तु-संरचना में प्रतिष्ठापित किया गया।

दिव्य कार्य के लिए चाचाजी के दृढ़ उत्साह से आश्रम और विद्यालय का स्थायी रूप से विस्तार हुआ। नये कार्यकलाप शुरू हुए, नई संस्थाएँ पुष्पित हुईं। इसके पश्चात् दिल्ली-आश्रम ने फिर कभी पीछे मुड़कर नहीं देखा। भारत माता के महान पुत्रा द्वारा प्रारंभ किया गया कार्य जारी है।

यद्यपि उनके जीवनकाल में ही उद्घोषणा योग्य उपलब्धियों की परिपूर्ति हो चुकी थी, लेकिन उनकी ओजस्वी आत्मा भला कैसे विश्राम कर सकती थी? और शीघ्र ही उन्होंने अपनी एक नई युद्धभूमि प्राप्त कर ली। गंभीर बीमारियों से घिरे टूटे शरीर के अपराजेय अस्सी वर्ष के वृद्ध व्यक्ति ने दूर स्थित श्रीअरविन्द की ज्योति के दिव्य आकर्षण को अनुभव किया और पथ की चुनौती को स्वीकार किया। सारी विषमताओं के विरुद्ध उनके अथक श्रम को नमन है कि उन्होंने पहाड़ों की 7400 फीट की चुनौतीपूर्ण ऊँचाइयों का सामना किया अब उसी पहाड़ की चोटी पर आध्यात्मिक साधकों के लिए एक सुन्दर आश्रय-स्थल है और युवकों के लिए आध्यात्मिकता की ओर उन्मुख वन-निवास ‘शिविर’।

सुरेन्द्रनाथ जौहर ने श्रीअरविन्द की ओर अभिप्रेत शिक्षा, जीवन और योग के लिए अपना सारा जीवन लगा दिया। अपने प्रति हमेशा वे सचेतन रहे तथा सचमुच में एक सच्चे ‘फ़क़ीर’ की तरह वे जिये। और, वे जो कहते थे, सदैव उसे व्यवहार में लाते थे, हजारों को उन्होंने अपने आदर्शों और विचारधारा से प्रेरित किया।

अपने पीछे वे एक गौरवपूर्ण इतिहास और एक सच्चे ‘कर्मयोगी’ का प्रज्ज्वलित उदाहरण आगे आने वाली पीढ़ी को प्रेरित करने के लिए छोड़ गए हैं।

 

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Shri Surendranath Jauhar (श्री सुरेन्द्रनाथ जौहर) Sri Aurobindo Ashram Delhi Branch
Slideshow
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Our Beloved Chacha Ji

Shri Surendranath Jauhar ‘Faquir’

Wonderful! … You are doing very good work in Delhi.

– The Mother

Surendranath Jauhar 'Faquir'

Sri Surendera Nath Jauhar (Chachaji)

(1903-1986)

… … a very remarkable human being, a man whose life was dedicated to freedom, freedom of India, then freedom of spirit.  A man who was a total devotee of Sri Aurobindo and of the Mother, whom he adored, and a man who was responsible for planting a seed that is now grown into this beautiful Ashram and associated institutions.

– Dr. Karan Singh

A great man may not be famous while all famous men were not great.  Sri S.N. Jauhar was certainly a great man – a valiant freedom fighter, who later surrendered his all to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and till his last breath working to materialize their great vision.

– Prof. Manoj Das

In India, the heroic age is a continuous phenomenon.  This country has seen heroes who have been larger-than-life. Heroes of the battlefield and heroes of the spirit, yogis who have involved themselves in karma, jnana and bhakti margas; artists, builders, creator of new institutions, sustainers of the great Indian culture.  To this galaxy belonged Surendra Nath Jauhar of New Delhi.  Popularly known as Chachaji, he hailed from Vahalee village, Jhelum District, Punjab (now lost to Pakistan).

Surendra Nath seated second from left, captain of the Hockey Team, Dayanada Anglo-Vedic High School, Lahore.

 Surendra Nath, Captain of the Hockey Team, Dayanand Anglo-Vedic High School, Lahore

(seated, second from the left)

Chachaji gave evidence of his tremendous courage and uncompromising idealism when at age 16 he responded to Mahatma Gandhi’s call to the youth to participate in the freedom struggle. Defying conventional wisdom and his parents, he dropped out of school, and the year 1919 saw him defying British Martial Law Regulations when he was beaten up severely with lathis and whipped mercilessly.  But the heroic mould is ever made of stern stuff…  He was member of the District Congress Committee at Delhi and organized the boycott of foreign cloth throughout Chandni Chowk and read out the Congress Independence Day Pledge and Resolution at the historic Clock tower.  He was immediately arrested, tried, and confined in the Central Jail at Multan for 15 months, most of which was in a solitary cell, fettered and isolated from the outside world.  He carried the scars left behind by the fetters around his ankles till the end of his life.  These prison days were the darkest in his life, but he would not give in. The Gandhi-Irwin Pact brought him release from prison but not from his commitment.

 Along with this busy schedule as a freedom fighter, Chachaji built up a successful business. Honesty, straight forwardness and hard work were his traits of character from the very start.  No wonder, therefore, his business progressed by leaps and bounds.  Before long, he had set up firm foundations of a company, which in days to come grew into a reputed concern – S.N. Sunderson & Co.

 In 1939, Chachaji went on an all-India tour with his friend, Prof. Indra Sen, and his eldest son, Anil, who was then just nine.  It was during this tour that he went to Pondicherry (now Puducherry) for the first time.  He had made a de tour from Madras (now Chennai) for the sake of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry.  But when he reached Pondicherry, he wondered what sort of an Ashram it was: it had neither katha nor kirtan, neither shiksha nor deeksha, neither shaven heads nor saffron robes.  But since they had gone all the way, they decided to wait for the Mother’s darshan.  She came, absolutely on the dot at the appointed time.  When Chachaji and his friend saw Her, they were both captivated.  Chachaji felt he had seen a “fairy-like figure whose calm and beautiful face was radiating light and making the whole atmosphere so supernatural that she looked every inch an angel descending from heaven”.  After that, there was no looking back.  Chachaji, who had named himself Surendra Nath because of its similarity to “surrender not”, surrendered completely to the Mother. 

Surendranath Jauhar surrendering himself to the Mother

Surendranath Jauhar surrendering himself to The Mother

Chachaji continued to participate actively in the freedom struggle till 1947 when India won independence.  Having been in the freedom struggle for nearly 30 years, he could have easily joined politics.  But after visiting Pondicherry, he had discovered the mission that was to engage him for the rest of his life.  His family found a permanent home in Pondicherry under the protective wings of the Mother.  In the 1950s, he thought of using his spacious property in New Delhi for establishing Sri Aurobindo Ashram.  With the permission and blessings of the Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Delhi Branch was formally established on 12 February 1956.

Surendranath Jauhar and Dayawati Jauhar with their children

 Surendra Nath Jauhar and Dayawati Jauhar with their children

Now the Ashram, the Mother's International School, Mirambika Free Progress School, Matri Kala Mandir and several other affiliated institutions have grown into remarkable agents of social transformation.

 In the twilight of his life, Chachaji gradually withdrew from outer activities, steady in his wisdom, like the tortoise in the Gita, the mark of sthitaprajna.  He preferred to be known as Faquir, one who had nothing to call as his own.  All the same, he was the very soul of the Ashram and no function was complete without his immediate presence.  The thousands of children in the school founded by him adored their beloved Chachaji and sat entranced when he told them stories of the past and the present.  Chachaji had indeed a sense of humour quite out of the ordinary.  There never was a dull moment when one was near him.

 Chachaji saw in his life extremes of both prosperity and poverty, and he used them both for spiritual growth.  In difficult times, he made no compromises with his conscience, and in better times, he shared all he had generously with his fellow beings.  To him, no material possession was too dear to part with, especially when sharing was more beautiful than keeping it.  He consecrated all of himself and all he had – soul, life, work and wealth.  He left his body on 2 September 1986.  He was one of those rare individuals who would continue to inspire and influence through what he has done many many generations yet to come.

(inputs from Dr. Prema Nandkumar)

 

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