|The Golden Chain
“Mother and Japan:
A Journey of Discovery”
PDF (8 pages)
“The Mother's Japanese collection”
PDF (5 pages)
(Peter Heehs:) “[The secret revolutionary society in Calcutta], after Jatin and Barin's departure, virtually ceased to exist. Most of the recruits drifted away. Those... who did not lacked organization, direction, and resources. Left to itself the Bengali revolutionary movement might well have perished of inanition at this time. It was saved not so much by the renewed efforts of its originators as by a general enthusiasm that took hold of the province that year. This was roused by two unrelated events: the Russo-Japanese War and the Partition of Bengal.
Japan's success in bottling up the Russian fleet in Port Arthur in February 1904 and the subsequent land victory at Mukden were sufficiently astonishing. But the destruction of Russia's Baltic Fleet at Tsushima in May 1905 “electrified the Asiatic world”. Writing in The Indian Review, the Madras editor G. A. Natesan declared: “Almost for the first time in the history of the world an Asiatic power, hitherto somewhat despised and not taken into account, has humbled a huge European power.” … One result of the unexpected outcome was a transformation of the attitude of other countries towards the victor. The average Westerner “was wont to regard Japan as barbarous while she indulged in the gentle arts of peace; he calls her civilized since she began to commit wholesale slaughter on Manchurian battlefields”, wrote Okakura in his classic Book of Tea. Indians also had been in the habit of looking down on the Japanese... Now suddenly Indian journalists, Indian barristers and Indian schoolboys were hailing the Japanese as the champions of resurgent Asia.”
(Sri Aurobindo in Bhawani Mandir, 1905:) “There is no instance in history of a more marvellous and sudden up-surging of strength in a nation than modern Japan. All sorts of theories had been started to account for the uprising, but now intellectual Japanese are telling us what were the fountains of that mighty awakening, the sources of that inexhaustible strength. They were drawn from religion. It was the Vedantic teachings of Oyomei and the recovery of Shintoism with its worship of the national Shakti of Japan in the image and person of the Mikado that enabled the little island empire to wield the stupendous weapons of western knowledge and science as lightly and invincibly as Arjun wielded the Gandiv. …
India’s need of drawing from the fountains of religion is far greater than was ever Japan’s; for the Japanese had only to revitalise and perfect a strength that already existed. We have to create strength where it did not exist before; we have to change our natures, and become new men with new hearts, to be born again.”
(Shyam Sunder on a meeting with Mother, 29 October 1972:) “Mother approved of Prabhat, M. J. Patel, Howard, Frederick and Tim to form a group to coordinate the Japanese pavilion and cultural participation in Auroville.
She wanted to know what is happening about the Japanese pavilion.
Informed her about it.”
- The Bomb in Bengal: The Rise of Revolutionary Terrorism in India 1900-1910, p.62, “The Temple of the Mother”
- Bande Mataram, p.85, “Bawani Mandir”
- Shyam Sunder Jhunjhunwala, Down Memory Lane, p.241