My Friend and Master by C.C. Dutt

My Friend and Master

A Memoir by C.C. Dutt

The book “My Friend and Master” is a personal account of Sri Aurobindo’s pre-Ashram days told by C.C.Dutt, who had been a revolutionary comrade and later became a spiritual disciple of Sri Aurobindo in his ashram. C.C. Dutt’s memoir carries the unmistakable direct presence of the Guide and Master and vivid experience that can only occur in the immediate closeness to the Guru. It will be of a great interest to all those who have been guided on their spiritual paths by Sri Aurobindo’s words and presence. C.C. Dutt’s memoir “My Friend and Master” was originally published in “Sri Aurobindo Circle” Eighth Number, 1952

Book Details

Author: C.C. Dutt
Print Length: 34
Publisher: Auro e-Books
Original source:
Book format: Pdf, ePub, Mobi
Language: English

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  • Foreword
  • A Memoir by C. C. Dutt
  • About author


My Friend and Master

Last year, I wrote two articles describing my connection with Sri Aurobindo in the field of secret political work. He approved of both the writings and they were duly published in two special numbers of the Amrita Bazar Patrika. There were, however, many things of a more or less intimate nature which, out of delicacy, I kept back at the time. Many of my friends have, of late, been pressing me to write about them. Still, I have hesitated for several months. Since the passing away of the Master, strange tales about his earlier life have been sprouting out, like mushrooms, all around us. The phenomenon is natural enough after a long period of reticence and it can do harm, for Sri Aurobindo is above human appraisement. But in this atmosphere, I feel very shy about unpacking my bundle of rags, invaluable though they are to me. If he had but once glanced at them, they would have turned to priceless shawl and brocade. Still he is my all, and, wherever he may be, I am sure he would protect me and guide me. I look for no protection against censure, for censure is to me a laurel crown; it is guidance I need as to what can be said and how. In the matter of very intimate experiences, human language is an inadequate medium of expression. My readers have probably heard of the great mystic of Sindh, Shah Latif. He has told a story, something like this, bearing on the point: One day, I was sitting by the village well meditating on my beloved. (The Sufi loves to call God his beloved, his M’ashuqa). The women of the village were coming and going with their pots. Suddenly I saw three very pretty girls, approaching the well. As they passed by me laughing merrily, I heard them speaking of the delirious joy they had felt in their husbands’ company the night before. One of them, the youngest, was shy and spoke very little. The other two chafed her and said, “What, little one, you did not experience any joy!” “Joy!” was the reply, “Yes, sister, very great joy. But how can I describe it in words!” They passed along. I closed my eyes and said to my beloved, “Truly, M’ashuqa, can that bliss be described!”

Do I not know the ecstasy of union with my Master? Of course I do, but without his Grace I cannot convey it to others. Well, I lay my difficulty at his feet, let him solve it as he will. I never hesitate to tell him anything. Face to face with him, all sense of awe and fear, of shyness and shame vanishes into thin air — a soft sweet rosy light of love pervades me. But am I so unfortunate as not to know that my Aurobindo is also the Lord of all — and the Supreme transcending all? No, I certainly know him to be all this, but my direct perception, my intimate contact is of the Lord of my heart. If he leads me to realise His other aspects, I shall realise them. When on the 5th of December last, at early dawn, I saw him in his last sleep, tears gushed out of my eyes and I said almost audibly, “I shall never see that sweet face again!” I wept then for my friend, comrade and master of yore who had passed away — not for the Lord of the Universe who is deathless. Thereafter he consoled me and I wept no more. But a void remained in the heart, a hidden grief that something that was is no more. But it is equally true that He is ever present within me, present more intensely than he had been before.

About Author: Charu Chandra Datt

Charu Chandra Datta (Dutt) (1877-1952), member of the I.C.S., appointed at first as magistrate and then as judge in Bombay. Sri Aurobindo met him in 1904 in Thane (Maharashtra). Charu Chandra joined the revolutionary party.

Charu Chandra had already, while in England during the period 1896-99, established contact with the Irish revolutionaries, and was a member of a group of Indians who had pledged themselves to work secretly for the liberation of their country. He continued his secret activities even after joining the Indian Civil Service.

Charu Chandra passed ICS examination in 1899 and was posted as District Judge and Magistrate in Bombay Presidency. He married Lilabati Basu Mallik, daughter of Hemchandra Basu Mallik and Bhubanmohini. They had daughter, Lilabati, and son Arindham Dutta.

“Once Sri Aurobindo came to Thana, a town in Gujarat, where I was posted. It was raining heavily on that day. As we could not stir out, we fell to target-shooting to beguile the time. My wife proposed that Sri Aurobindo should be given the rifle so that he might also have a try, but Sri Aurobindo refused, saying that he had never handled a rifle. But because we insisted, he agreed. We had only to show him how to hold the rifle and take aim. The target was the black, tiny head of a match stick, hung at a distance of ten or twelve feet. Aurobindo took aim, and, lo and behold! the very first shot flew the stick into the target, and the first hit was followed up by the second, and the second by the third! It took our breath away. I remarked to my friends: «If such a man doesn’t become a siddha (spiritually perfect), who would become — people like you and me?»” (Puranokatha-Upasanhara by Charu Chandra Datt.)

In 1906 he helped to reorganize Bande Mataram and form a joint-stock company for the paper. He was implicated in the Manicktolla Bomb Case, but no charges were brought against him.

After retiring in 1925 he stayed for some time at Santiniketan. In 1928 he retired from service and came back to Calcutta. In 1932, at the request of Rabindranath, he joined Visvabharati as Vice-President.

In 1940 joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where he used to give lessons to the children in his room.

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