The present collection is the representation of the poems previously published in Aju Mukhopadhyay’s The Witness Tree (A collection of poems), Dinguli Jaye and Apratyashita Atithi and poems published in some other magazines, like Poet, Sri Aurobindo’s Action, Oriya, Aurovilian, Bridge- in-Making and other magazines. The book is divided into three parts, the first part carries poems on Sri Aurobindo, the second part carries poems on the Mother and the third on Sri Aurovindo and the Mother. The poems contained in the volume mirror the poet’s total surrender to Sri Aurobindo and the mother which is an essential condition for obtaining the divine blessing and grace of Sri Aurobindo. The Master himself says in his book The Mother:

The surrender must be total and seized all the parts of the being. It is not enough that the psychic should respond and the higher mental accept or even inner vital submit and the inner consciousness feel the influence … if part of the being surrenders, but another part and reserves itself, follows its own way or makes its own conditions, then each time that happens, you are yourself pushing the divine grace away from you.

And he adds:

If behind your devotion and surrender you make a cover for your desires, egoistic demands and vital insistences, if you put these things in place of the true aspiration or mix them with it and try to impose them on the Divine Shakti, then it is idle to involve the divine grace to transform them.

Aju’s poems evince the fact that he has practiced surrender in his life and his love towards Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is mixed with devotion and dedication. Perhaps for this reason he chose to permanently settle himself in Pondicherry at the divine felt of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Apart from writing a number of essays in daily News Papers and Magazines in Bangla and English, Aju has some translations, edited volumes, biographies in Bangle and a separate book on the Mother in English and also a book of long essay on Sri Aurobindo.

In the first part of the book, eight poems are on Sri Aurobindo, ‘The Voice of Truth’ or a Lotus in Mud Away from Mundane Scene’. The poet has experienced the divine magnificence of the Guru in life so  he writes:

Like a tree he was peaceful, unhurried and calm with perseverance

Among the thousands resounding words his existence was silence

In his body sat the God, his face revealed the eternity

Out of intense love for men he sat away from humanity. (9)

His poems are not only suggestive, assertive and ‘enlighten’ us to ‘let us not cripple her (our motherland India) further, nor divine the mighty Himalaya / let us rejoin her limbs, making the union happy and free..’, but they also make us develop a vision that ‘A poet belongs to own country, may to all humanity / none has the right to violet him nor to commit perjury.:

The second part contains 19 poems on the Mother whom the poet writes in divine love:

From you, the mother, eternal peace emanates

Entering the heart of everyone forever you bless. (40)               

And feels her (the Mother) the eternal presence:

In many rooms across many countries

The mother lived now and then,

She has umpteen rooms in several countries;

She cannot be confined to any wall covered space

No room is apt for her memorial service even

There is no room in particular to touch for her presence. (37)           

Besides commemorating the Mother and her divinity (‘February Twenty First’), celestial encounter of mother with Sri Aurobindo (A date in Mother’s Life) and various fond personal memories and experiences (‘She Lives in His Heart’, ‘Maa’, ‘Mother Before Me’, ‘Golden Mother’ and ‘Mother the Divine Spark’, Aju provides some fine pieces of teachings to the Sadhakas and devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother:

Have blind faith in her for the divine faith is blind.

Blindly he called her and Kali same as Sri Ramakrishna divined;

This is not a myth surrounding only the Mother and her favourite;

But true to everyone according to his choice of God and guide. (23)

The third part contains five poems on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother jointly. The five poems of this section deal with both the divine masters, lives and their teachings. Aju recollects: ‘Once in 1970 she (Mother) saw him for the first time / to drive a world car with perfect peace and rhyme’ and also adds: ever since they met Sri Aurobindo and the mother/ lived they in their common world / apart from each other’. In all these five poems, the poet in Aju Mukhopadhyay says heart-felt devotional tribute to both the divine masters and prays them ‘to reach the goal’ with their divine and gracious touch. The finest lines in which Aju prays both the masters are as follows:

Lift us up dear father

Sweet Divine mother

From the world’s quagmire

To your secret bower. (48) The book is moderately priced and attractively designed. Especially the title cover with the photograph of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother adds the charm of the book. Besides, few black and white photographs inside the book also make the book interesting and charming. I must congratulate both the poet and the publisher who conferred me an opportunity to look into the book and share my opinion with them. Poetry lovers should buy the book without expecting any complementary copy. It is the kindness of both the publisher and the author if they send it as complementary