Passage to More than India - A Journal Dick Batstone
This book is a voyage of discovery. In 1959 the author, Dick Batstone, a classically educated bookseller with a Christian background, comes across a life of the great Indian polymath Sri Aurobindo, though a series of apparently fortuitous circumstances. A meeting in Durham, England, leads him to a determination to get to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, a former French territory south of Madras. The hilarious journey, by steerage in a French ex-troop ship of the Messageries Maritimes line, brings the author to his destination - abeautiful, quiet, well-ordered ashram in the French quarter near the sea-front. Sri Aurobindo having died in 1950, it is run by Mirra Alfassa, a remarkable French woman of Turkish-Egyptian descent, named 'The Mother' - Sri Aurobindo's spiritual collaborator. Arriving as a rather critical visitor the author is confronted by the challenge: whether to leave after a few weeks as planned or to stay for the rest of his life. Over a period of fifteen months he discovers the answer, with the help of the Mother. It is perharps the portrayal of the character and achievement of the Mother that emerges as the lasting impression of the book.
To know more about this book, you may also refer to our Blog: Summer Book Club.