Paramahansa YoganandaMahatma Gandhi Swami ChidanandaJ. Krishnamurti
The Mother of PondicherrySwami RamdasSwami SivanandaDaya Mata
Sitaramdas Omkarnath Mahesh Yogi Swami GangeshwaranandaSri Mohanananda BrahmachariSwami ChinmayanandaRaihana TyabjiMother Hamilton

Dilip Kumar Roy with Sri Ma

Sri Dilip Kumar Roy

Bengali Indian musician, musicologist, novelist, poet and essayist, born 22 January 1897, died 6 January 1980 in Pune. He developed an interest in mathematics, chemistry and Sanskrit at a very young age. But none of these subjects had a central role to play in the rich musical legacy he left behind. He left for Cambridge in 1919 for a tripos in mathematics, and then a course in Western music. As he returned to India in 1922, Roy ushered in an artistic renaissance.
At the age of 31, Roy turned to spirituality renouncing his family and entering Aurobindo Ashram in Pondichery (now Puducherry) in 1928. This added another dimension to his music. Tagore heaped praises on Roy, “I have a sincere affection for you. My heart is attracted by your unmixed truthfulness and franknessRoy shared a close friendship with Sri Aurobindo who was known to cherish him like a “like a friend and a son”. In 1959, Roy established Hari Krishna Mandir in Pune with his disciple Indira Devi. He met Sri Ma in 1937 and thereafter, particularly when she was in Pune. In 1965 India’s National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, awarded him its highest honour for lifetime achievement, the Sangeet Natak Akademy Fellowship.

Short video of Sri Ma with Sri Dilip Kumar Roy


27th May, 1957

After the birthday celebration at Ahmedabad, Mataji has come to Poona via Bombay about three days ago. This morning a few of us were sitting in Mataji’s room up to eleven. At that time Sri Dilip Kumar Roy***, together with some devotees and disciples arrived for Mataji’s darsana. Attired in the ochre robe, with a yellow cap on his head, a silk shawl printed with sacred names slung round his shoulders, his forehead adorned with a mark of a new style, his whole appearance was bright and pleasing. We were meeting him again after a considerable number of years, but no special change was noticeable in his features.

Srimati Indira was also accompanying him. Dilip Kumar introduced her to Mataji in the following manner: “Ma, she is the daughter of your devotee Kriparamji of Dehradun. Her actual name is Janak Kumari. I have called her ‘Indira’. She has two sons. The elder one is studying engineering in Bombay and the younger one stays with his mother and studies at home. Her husband is also an engineer. From time to time he comes here”.

We had already heard of Indira. She also was dressed in a yellow sari. Her face
was ever smiling. After bowing to Mataji, she sat down near Her. Sri Dilip Kumar said-“Mataji, you must please come to our place one day.”

Mataji: Baba, don’t you know, that this body has not entered the home of any householder for the last so many years. (Dilip Kumar and his party are at the moment putting up in Sir Chunilal Mehta’s house.)

Dilip Kumar: There is a consecrated image in the house. What wrong can there be in entering it ?

Mataji: Nothing wrong, surely, Baba. But such has been the way of this body for many years. Everyone knows it.
*** The famous singer Sri Dilip Kumar Roy. Formerly he used to live in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. At present he resides in his own newly built Ashram at Poona.

On hearing that Mataji never enters a householder’s home, Srimati Indira’s feelings seemed somewhat hurt. She said to Dilip Kumar in English: ‘Dada, how is it the home of a householder, since you are staying there !” Mataji caught the meaning of her words and said: “Baba, although at present no householder is living there, yet there was before you came and there will be again after you leave”.

After a short pause, Mataji continued: “All the same, nowadays it does occur at times that a householder’s home is converted into a temple or an ashram, and on such occasions, provided that no householder will occupy the house in future, this body has quite a few times been taken place of this type.”

Dilip Kumar expostulated: “I remember having seen you in a householder’s home in Calcutta”.

Mataji said laughingly: “No, Baba. At Calcutta there are some families who, in their loving kindness have built a separate room or cottage for this body. Those rooms or cottages are never occupied by any householder, and this body does not have to pass through a householder’s home in order to get to those rooms or cottages. You must have seen this body in a place of this type”.

The conversation went on in this strain for a little while, then Mataji addressed Dilip Kumar thus: “Baba, you have such a beautiful voice. Won’t you sing to us?”

Dilip Kumar at first objected, remarking that nowadays he would sing only before the consecrated image of a deity, and that he would not make any exceptions even in special cases. However, Mataji Herself had requested him to sing. Therefore, after consulting Srimati Indira, it was decided that they would today sing their evening bhajan in Mataji’s presence. They stayed for a little longer and then took leave.

Before dusk a car arrived from Dilip Kumar’s residence. At 7:30 sharp he started the bhajan together with his party. He first chanted the Guru Pranama, then the Nirvānastakam Stotram and the hymn to Bhaváni with an extremely sweet voice. Then he sang his own compositions of songs about Sri, Krishna’s Lilā.

At 8-45 p.m. silence is observed for 15 minutes wherever Mataji happens to be. The bhajan ended exactly in time for the silence. Dilip Kumar sat down near Mataji’s feet, saying: “This short time I shall spend at Ma’s feet”.

After the silence, he said, pointing to the women who had come with them: “They are all Indira’s disciples. They do their bhajan together with her”. A little later they all left by car.

June, 2nd 1957

Soon after this discussion Sri Dilip Kumar Roy, Srimati Indira and their party arrived. They had been invited to have their lunch here to-day.

5th June, 1957

At Mataji’s request I sent some sweets, which our Ashram girls had prepared, to Dilip Kumar’s house this afternoon. In the early evening, Dilip Kumar and Srimati Indira came and said to me laughingly: “Didi, you have made yourself unforgettable. How many delicious things you got prepared and sent to us. Can one forget this easily?” This evening we have been invited to their place together with Mataji. They had come to remind us once again of this.

At 7-30 p.m. we all arrived there punctually. Sitting arrangements had been made in the open air. On the top of a staircase a solitary asana had been placed for Mataji. They had invited many distinguished personalities of Poona to have Mataji’s darsana. Sādhu Vasvaniji was also to be present but due to illness he was unable to come. Sri Vasvāniji had Mataji’s darśana. sometime ago at Varanasi. He is well known in many parts of India.

In expectation of Sri Vasvaniji’s visit, the evening programme started with some delay. As soon as Srimati Indira came and sat down, Dilip Kumar started the bhajan. First of all reciting the Guru Pranama, a song to Sri Krishna, then one to Siva and again one to Sri Krishna followed, after which he sang one of Indira’s compositions in Hindi that had been translated by him into Bengali. The words, the melody and the rhythm of the song were in complete harmony with its idea. It was quite incomparable. Then Näma kirtana was performed for five minutes, followed by árati.

After årati, Dilip Kumar spoke in English about Mataji. The gist of it was:

Mataji is now very renowned both in India and in many places abroad. Many men
and women have been helped by Her to tread the path that leads to Peace. So many
years ago when he met his Gurudeva Sir Aurobindo for the fist time, he had heard
him say that many had attained great heights by doing sadhana and had for
themselves realized Supreme Bliss. But to find a Being who could communicate
this Bliss to others and bring them real Peace was difficult indeed. Among this type
of supermen or superwomen Mataji is quite unique. In this strain he talked very beautifully for about 15 or 20 minutes. When after the silence at 9 p.m., Srimati Indira began to perform Mataji’s ärati, Mataji objected with the words: “Do ārti to your Guru”. But Indira did not listen and completed Mataji’s arti with much devotion.

On taking leave, I said to Srimati Indira: “We have not yet heard you sing !” Dilip Kumar exclaimed: “Yes, all right. Indira will sing to you and Didi will give us sweets!” With great mirth and laughter Mataji was seen into the car.

Pages from My Diary, by Gurupriya Devi, Amrita Varta Centenary Vol 2
Translated from Bengali.