August 13, 2023

Surendra Nath Jauhar's 120th Birth Anniversary

Surendra Nath Jauhar was born on 13th August 1903

Mother's handwriting with Delhi Ashram consecration

Surendra Nath Jauhar, a freedom-fighter, writer and a devotee of The Mother, fondly known as "Chachaji" (uncle), is the founder of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch. Surendra Nath Jauhar was born on 13-Aug-1903 in Vahalee, a village in that part of the Punjab which is now in Pakistan. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, he entered the freedom struggle at the age of 18, took part in Civil Disobedience Movement and Quit India Movement, sentenced to Rigorous Imprisonment in the Central Jail, Multan.

Chachaji was a visionary and a hero-warrior treading the high and difficult path all his life. He was a self-made man — a penniless boy who came to Delhi in 1921 and became a legend in his lifetime. Patriotism coursed through his veins; way back in 1919, as a schoolboy in Lahore he braved lathis and whips for defying British Martial Law Regulations. During the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930, he organised the boycott of foreign cloth and bravely read out the historic pledge of Purna Swaraj at Chandni Chowk Clock Tower. Arrested and tried on six different counts, he was put in the Central Jail at Multan for 15 months, most of the time in solitary confinement with fetters.

While on a tour of the country in 1939, he made an 'unplanned' visit to Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, with one of his friends, Dr.Indrasen, who was a Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Delhi, which gave a new direction to his life. When they came to know about Pondicherry they went and saw in The Mother a fairy descending from heaven, and both the friends became her devotees. Through his visit to Pondicherry, Chacha-ji discovered the mission that was to engage him for the rest of his life. After the country became free in 1947, he wanted to use all his time and energy, and the property near Mehrauli, to further the work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. With his efforts and the Mother's blessings on 12th February 1956 was formally established Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Delhi Branch.

Chachaji now entered another freedom struggle, the struggle to liberate humanity from its ignorance so that it could fulfull the vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, the vision of a revolutionary upward shift in conciousness. The higher consciousness would engage human nature, which in turn would make the world a much better place to live in. Surendra Nath Jauhar gave his all to the cause of the Aurobindonian thrust in education, life and yoga.

The Mother’s Message on the opening of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Delhi branch (12.2.56):

Mother's handwriting with Delhi Ashram consecration

Austere to a fault, he lived the life of a true 'Faquir'. Many remember him for his genuine love, concern and care for others, for his humour and sparks of wisdom. And as he always practiced what he preached, he could inspire thousands to follow his ideal.

“He made great dreams a mould for coming things,
And cast his deeds like bronze to front the years.”


The Mother blessed the school of the Delhi Branch, started on 23rd April 1956, with these prophetic words:

Mother's handwriting with Delhi Ashram consecration
The seed cast that day has now blossomed into The Mother’s International School — a center of excellence that has a distinctive ethos of its own.

Chachaji was a gifted storyteller and created a lively and compelling atmosphere, often a little fiction or imagination mingled with facts. Tales told by him were interesting and often carried a ring of higher truth. He inspired countless people through his unique storytelling art, guiding and leading them towards higher life values – moral and spiritual.

He was influenced by the teachings of several saints and sages and had imbibed the essence of Indian culture. He had a huge store of experiences which he freely offered to all for their benefit. His observant eye missed nothing, he had a genius for spotting the unusual, the exceptional, and the droll, and he found the right words to invoke the odd fact that had caught his eye.

Chachaji gave his all to the cause of the Aurobindonian thrust in education, life and yoga. Austere to a fault, he lived the life of a true ‘Faquir’. And as he always practiced what he preached, he could inspire thousands to follow his ideal.

Surendra Nath Jauhar ‘Faquir’, who consecrated All of himself and All he had: Soul, Life, Work and Wealth…..

The faquir is not a faquir, who is not rich within,
The rich is not rich, who is not a faquir within

—S.N. Jauhar

We can form an idea of the value the Mother attached to his work from her following message :

"Wonderful!....You are doing very good work in Delhi. You are the only person who has created something."


He had left behind a glorious history and a shining example of a true Karmayogi to inspire generations to come.

Some of the books written by Chachaji are given below :

  • My Mother
  • A Fiery Patriot speaks
  • Charming Vignettes
  • Inspiring Reminiscences
  • Sparkling humour
  • His Life, Work and Thought

  • Chachaji ka Aathmakatha
  • Chachaji ka Madhur Kahaniya aur Prerak Prasang
  • Chachaji ka Sanidhya Mein
  • Akkavana - Kahavatha

See below the interview of Surendra Nath Jauhar with The Mother on 11-May-1967.

Interview with The Mother by Surendra Nath Jauhar

This is an interview of The Mother by Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar, recorded on 11-May-1967. Click here to read the transcript of this interview.

See Mother's wishes to Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar in the next Section below.

The Mother's wishes to Surendra Nath Jauhar

Chachaji's Photo Gallery

Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar's Birthday Celebration

on 13 August 2023 in Delhi Ashram

A Heartwarming Tribute to Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar on his 120 th birth anniversary! Yesterday, our hearts were filled with reverence and inspiration as we celebrated the birth anniversary of Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar, lovingly known as Chachaji within the sacred walls of the Ashram.

Chachaj’s legacy is one of a visionary, a hero-warrior, and a devoted writer whose journey from a penniless boy in Delhi in 1921 to a legend in his lifetime has touched countless lives. His austere and true way of life, coupled with his genuine love, concern, and care for others, left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him.

The day’s festivities began with a soul-stirring Invocation by Srila di at the early hour of 7 AM, followed by a Havan and a heartfelt flower offering at Chachaji’s Samadhi. Dr. Aparna Roy wove a beautiful tapestry of Chachaji’s life through her humorous and informative talk, leaving us all inspired by his journey. The soothing notes of Minati Pradhan’s musical offering wrapped us in a blanket of serenity.

As the day unfolded, we immersed ourselves in exhibitions that reflected Chachaji’s philosophy - All Life is Yoga and the remarkable life of Sri Aurobindo. The evening embraced us with lively and synchronized performances by the Ashram youth, vocational trainers, and Ashramites. Their energetic displays, including musical plays, human pyramids, and exhibitions of physical strength, kept us captivated and amazed.

Tara di’s poignant storytelling added depth to our understanding of Chachaj’s life, while a musical tribute by Linthoi tugged at our heartstrings. With hearts full of gratitude and admiration, we then proceeded to the shrine area, where we offered a light of aspiration to Chachaji’s unwavering devotion and dedication to the Mother.

Let us carry forward Chachaji’s spirit of love, wisdom, and dedication as we continue on our own journeys.