A sailor and a Breton, though born in Paris in
1923. A member of the French Resistance, Satprem was arrested by the Gestapo
when he was twenty and spent a year and a half in concentration camps.
Devastated, he journeyed first to Upper Egypt, then to India, where he
served in the French colonial government of Pondicherry. There he discovered
Sri Aurobindo and Mother.
Their Message — “Man
is a transitional being”
— struck a deep chord. He resigned his post and left for Guiana,
where he spent an adventurous year in the middle of Amazonian jungle,
then wandered on to Brazil, Africa....
In 1953, at thirty, Satprem returned to India for good to be near Her
who was in search of the secret of the passage to the “next
Mother, whose confidant and witness he became for some twenty years. His
first essay was dedicated to Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness
and followed a few years later by On the Way to Supermanhood.
At the age of fifty, he edited and published the fabulous logbook of Mother's
exploration, Mother's Agenda,
in 13 volumes, while at the same time writing a trilogy — The
Divine Materialism, The New Species, The Mutation of Death
— followed by an essay, The Mind of the Cells.
In 1982, with his companion Sujata, Satprem withdrew completely to embark
on the last adventure: the search for the “great
passage” in the
evolution beyond Man. In 1989, after seven years spent “digging
in the body,” he
wrote a brief autobiographical account, The Revolt of the Earth,
in which he took stock of Man's present situation. Three years later came
Evolution II, a pithy record of Satprem's journey through our human
and terrestrial grave: “After
Man, who? But the question is: After Man, how?”
In 1994, Satprem edited Letters of a Rebel, two volumes of autobiographical
correspondence. The next year, he wrote The Tragedy of the Earth
- From Sophocles to Sri Aurobindo, which draws a curve from the
Vedic and pre-Socratic era to our Iron Age and to Sri Aurobindo, who embodies
the last turning point of our human destiny. The Key of Tales appeared
in 1998, followed in 2000 by The Legend of the Future. In 1999,
Satprem also started the publication of his Notebooks of an Apocalypse
(in French, seven volumes published so far, and in English, one volume
available), the record of his work in the depths of the body consciousness,
in which he was brutally plunged after Mother's departure in 1973.
born in Calcutta in 1925, spent her early childhood in Santiniketan's
cultural atmosphere under poet Rabindranath Tagore. At the age of seven
she lost her mother. Her father, his world shattered, searched for another
dimension to his life. He found Sri Aurobindo and
Mother at Pondicherry. His children
followed him there one by one. Thus Sujata, who first came to Sri Aurobindo
in 1935, at the age of nine, decided to remain near him in May 1938. She lived
in Pondicherry for forty-three years. At first, she received private tutoring,
became secretary to Pavitra, an eminent French mathematician, chemist
and engineer, who was Mother's right-hand man. Sujata also worked with
him in his laboratory, where she made a variety of preparations for Mother.
She was very actively involved in the new physical education devised by
Mother. Satprem arrived at the beginning of 1954. A young man just turned
thirty, he taught the top students and assisted Pavitra with the correspondence.
Thus Satprem and Sujata came together. Eventually Mother started to make
him the confidant of her experiences and asked him to help her with the
French translation of Sri Aurobindo's books. Mother then entrusted Sujata
with the typing of her private conversations with Satprem, the ‘Agenda.’
From 1965 onwards Sujata regularly accompanied Satprem to his meetings
After 1973, when Mother left her body, the Ashram changed from a living
experiment to a stereotyped institution. In 1978 — Mother's centenary
year — the Ashram trustees ‘expelled’
Satprem, because of the trilogy he had written on Mother's life and experiment.
From 1978 onwards, Satprem and Sujata lived far away from Pondicherry, devoting
themselves exclusively to Sri Aurobindo's and Mother's work and experiment
in the cellular consciousness of the body.
Sujata Nahar is the author of Mother's Chronicles, a
biography of Mother and Sri Aurobindo.