Kumar Bhattacharya was born on 18.10.23, in a family of respectable
lineage staying at Berhampore, a district town, 116 miles
north of Calcutta. His father's name was Dakshina Pada Bhattacharya
and mother's name was Prafullamayee Devi.
the age of five, his education started at home in a traditional
way, as practised in a Brahmin's family in those days. Then,
for about a year, he studied in Berhampore Krishnanath Collegiate
School. At the age of seven he was taken to Calcutta where
his father was serving as one of the engineers in Bengal Telephones.
He stayed with his parents and was admitted to a private school
called Anandamayee Institution, which was founded and run
by a patriot and idealist named Charuchandra Dutta. Pranab
imbibed here, along with all academics subjects, the spirit
of discipline, high morals, great ideal and patriotism.
six years of studies his school course in Anandamayee Institution
was over and he was admitted to a high school at Ballygunge,
Calcutta, called Jagadbandhu Institution and he passed his
matriculation examination from there in 1939, at the age of
one year passed in trying to find out whether he was meant
to take up science subjects or arts subjects for higher studies
and finally he took admission in Krishnanath College, in his
home town at Berhampore, with arts subjects. He graduated
from there in 1945, under Calcutta University.
his early childhood Pranab was highly interested in sports
and Physical Education and he wanted to build a healthy, strong
and powerful body. He had his first lesson in Boxing at the
age of seven, in Bhowanipore Y.M.C.A., at Calcutta, where
his father was a member. In Anandamayee Institution he had
to go through a programme of Physical Education in a minor
way, as a part of his education. Later, at the Jagadbandhu
Institution also he had to go through a programme of Physical
Education, not in a very serious way except for Boxing which
he practised seriously under a famous boxer of that time named
Jagat Kanta Seal and his assistant Biren Chunder. But his
real Physical Education started when he joined Biren Chunder's
Club, The Ballygunge School of Physical Culture at the age
of fifteen. He had his real training here in various activities
and in addition to physical culture he learnt here under Biren
Chunder's guidance the sporting spirit, the spirit
of sacrifice and self negation for a higher cause, and the
love for patriotic life. He also got from this institution
the idea that there is a great possibility of building a great
India, in every way, through sports and physical culture.
the first year of his college studies in Berhampore he founded
a physical culture club called Vivekananda Bayam Samity, with
the idea of building up the younger generation for a higher
life. It was successful from the very start and many fine,
honest and capable people, in all walks of life, came out
from this club. It is still running with full vigour and the
club celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1990.
this time, the idea came in Pranab's mind to open physical
culture clubs in every town and every village of Bengal (Bengal
was not partitioned at that time) , which would produce strong,
healthy, honest and capable people, who would build up a great
India. He had a scheme of supporting each unit with a suitable
industry that would create the finance for building up health,
education and the economy of the country.
he had a small doubt. He did not know yet the ultimate aim
of life towards which the organisation should be oriented.
family had contacts with Sri Aurobindo Ashram since 1934.
His uncle Charupada, visited the Ashram in 1936 and his father
Dakshina Pada in 1938. since then they were frequently visiting
So, it was natural that Pranab would come under the
influence of Sri Aurobindo and Mother.
During his college holidays after his Intermediate examination,
he came to have the Darshan and to see the Ashram in April
1942, in order to get first hand knowledge about the Ashram
and the ideal and teaching of Sri Aurobindo. He stayed here
for about 4 months, took up work as a service in Ashram Laundry,
started learning Sri Aurobindo's yoga and teaching and enjoyed
the true Ashram life. He liked the Ashram life. But the idea
of his nation-building work remained in his mind.
went back home after his four months of stay in Ashram to
finish his studies and to prepare the ground for his future
3 years, in 1945, when he was about to take a state scholarship
for the study of silk technology in England, he got a definite
inner command to come to the Ashram, and he obeyed it at once.
(He had wanted to give financial support to his main physical
culture club through sericulture industry which is why he
had been trying to get this state scholarship in silk technology.
Silk trading was also his family business since four generations.
So he had a great liking to this business) .
came to the Ashram in 1945, and took up work in Laundry as
a service, as he had done during his first VISIT In 1942.
had a liking for him from the very beginning and She opened
opportunities for him so he could come closer to Her.
children started coming to the Ashram and Mother had to make
arrangements for their education and play. So our school and
playground were opened for them and Pranab happened to take
up the playground work. Then slowly and steadily Mother started
building our Physical Education organisation making him "'
Her instrument" . She had seen great possibilities in
Physical Education for the work of Physical Transformation
which is our true aim. That is why She gave Physical
Education so much importance in the Ashram.
started taking him more and more in Her fold. In August 1947,
Mother permitted him to see Her whenever he needed. He was
going to Her for various works and to attend on Her. Gradually
he became a part of Her life and by November 1973, when She
left Her body, he used to be on duty by Her side for about
16 to 18 hours every day.
taught him personally all about Sri Aurobindo's yoga and His
teachings. She guided him integrally in every field of life's
actions. And She has given Her Peace and Her Ananda, that
remain with him all he time. He was able to see the True goal
She has left Her body, he continues doing Her work as one
of Her "Uttar Sadhaks". (uttar Sadhaks, carry forth
the Guru's work from where the Guru has left) .
Outwardly, now his work is to guide our Ashram Physical Education
organisation when needed, to look after the Ashram film and
photographic work, to see people who visit him and to answer
letters that come from the devotees of Mother and Sri Aurobindo
staying outside the Ashram.
He is in good health, in high spirits, he exercises regularly
and is determined to go on right up to the end.