Sri Aurobindo Ashram              Delhi Branch

Sri Aurobindo Education Society




About the Founder Surendra Nath Jauhar, "Chachaji" (1903-1986)

Surendranath Jauhar surrendering himself to the Mother

                             (Surendranath Jauhar surrendering himself to The Mother) 
                                                                                                                                       In India, the heroic age is a continuous phenomenon. This century has seen heroes who have been larger-than-life... Heroes of the battlefield and heroes of the spirit, yogis who have involved themselves in karma, jnana and bhakti margas; artists, builders, creator of new institutions, sustainers of the great Indian culture. To this galaxy belonged Surendra Nath Jauhar of New Delhi. Popularly known as Chachaji, he hailed from Vahalee village, Jhelum District, Punjab (now lost to Pakistan)... 

Surendra Nath seated second from left, captain of the Hockey Team, Dayanada Anglo-Vedic High School, Lahore.

(Surendra Nath seated second from left, captain of the Hockey Team, Dayanada Anglo-Vedic High School, Lahore.)

                         Chachaji, had his early education at Dayanand Anglo- VedicHigh school and College. Patriotism thus coursed through his veins. 1919 saw him defying British Martial Law Regulations when he beaten up severely by lathis and whipped mercilessly. But the heroic mould is ever made of stern stuff... He was member of the District Congress Committee at Delhi and organized the boycott of foreign cloth throughout Chandini Chowk and read out the Congress Independence Day Pledge and Resolution at the historic Clock tower. 

                        He was immediately arrested and tried in six different courts; and was confined in the Central Jail at Multan for 15 months most of which was in a solitary cell, fettered and isolated from the outside world. He carried the marks around his ankles till the end of his life. These prison days were the darkest in his life, but he would not give in... The Gandhi-Irwin Pact brought him release from prison but not from his commitment...

                        Along with this busy political career, Chachaji built up a successful business..." "Honesty, straight forwardness and hard work were his traits of character from the very start. No wonder, therefore, his business progressed by leaps and bounds, ere long, he had set up firm foundations of a company which in days to come grew into a reputed concern - S. N. Sunderson & Co..." 

                        Since the age of seventeen at least, Surendranath had obscurely surrendered to the Will of God, and this fact became still clearer after his visit to Pondicherry and consecration of all of himself to the Glory and Grace of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother... 

Surendranath Jauhar and Dayawati Jauhar with their children

(Surendranath Jauhar and Dayawati Jauhar with their children)

                        While his family found a permanent home in the Ashram at Pondicherry under the protective wings of the Mother, Surendranath himself was entrusted with the task of building the New Delhi Branch of the Ashram in his spacious property on the main road leading to Qutab Minar now called `Sri Aurobindo Marg`. And now the Ashram and the Mother`s International School and their several affiliated institutions have grown during the last thirty-five years!`` 

                        In the twilight of his life, Chachaji gradually withdrew from outer activities, steady in his wisdom, like the tortoise in the Gita, the mark of a sthitaprajna. He preferred to be known as Faquir, one who had nothing to call as his own. All the same, he was the very soul of the Ashram and no function was complete without his immediate presence. The thousands of children in the school founded by him adored their beloved Chachaji and sat entranced when he told them stories of the past and the present." 

                        Chachaji had indeed a sense of humour quite out of the ordinary..." "There never was a dull moment when one was near him..." 

                        So little done, so much to do. Maybe, this conscious thought was uppermost in the mind of Shri Surendra Nath Jauhar 'Faquir' just before he passed away...

Surendranath Jauhar 'Faquir'

Write up: Courtesy Dr. Prema Nandakumar