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Nolini Kanta Gupta – A Disciple Apart


Among the many accomplished and distinguished disciples of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Nolini Kanta Gupa, universally known as Nolinida, was a disciple apart.
Born a hundred years ago he dedicated his entire life to the service of Sri Aurobindo. His surrender at the feet of the Master was total and integral. … In my own humble way I shall indicate the main distinguished qualities that went to the make up of his personality – qualities which have earned him universal love and admiration.
The first is the nature of his submission to his Master. He first met Sri Aurobindo – then Aurobindo Ghose – at the residence of Raja Subodh Mullick during the fiery era of agitation against the partition of Bengal. From that very moment he accepted Sri Aurobindo as his Guru in all spheres of his life, be it political, social, cultural, literary or spiritual. There was no prevarication, no turning back. A faithful Casabianca he would stand where his Master put him even if the world went up in flames. Courage and firmness of purpose sat naturally on him.
The second quality which manifested with the progress and growth of his sadhana at the Ashram was his ability, to dwell in two worlds, the world here and the world beyond, simultaneously and with perfect ease. He was open-minded and readily approachable. He was as equally at home to the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who sought his counsel often and like us called him Nolinida. Most of us on arrival at the Ashram would first touch the Samadhi then go to his room to report our arrival. The welcome was always hearty and benign.
In crisis situation we always ran to him for advice and guidance. But even in these personal encounters there remained the impression of a certain intangible quality, a charisma, a sense of uplift, which is not easy to define. Nolinida took the most caring interest in Ashram-life yet something of him remained, as it were, above it – never for a moment losing the high ideal set before him. He was a personification of the Gita’s adage samatvam yoga ucyate.
Nolinida’s approach to life was always positive, life-affirming. I recall a small incident. A large portrait of The Mother placed on a pedestal at Pathamandir one day fell by accident. The glass shattered to pieces. The workers felt very unhappy and took it as a bad omen, a presage of some coming disaster. One of them wrote to him about it. Prompt came the reply to the effect : `the old is giving place to the new – a new consciousness is trying to emerge - prepare for it’. His brilliant and penetrating eyes were always turned towards the Future.
A man endowed with powerful intellect, often called Sri Aurobind’s `manas-putra’. Nolinida spent most of his time in giving creative expression to the new consciousness that was emerging on earth. In all his writings he celebrates the coming of the New Man, though he was well aware of the critical human situation then. Yet he was firmly convinced of man’s evolutionary destiny to overpass his mortality and play his role as a perfected individual in a perfected society. He has left his call and message to humanity in his Collected Works in Bengali and English.
Nolinida believed that we are now on the threshold of a new cycle of civilization and culture and from the present chaos and confusion will be born a New Man embodying a new race of divine humanity.

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