Purkayastha’s new book reflects on the life of a woman forgotten by history

Sri Aurobindo-Mrinalini: An Unsung Tragedy launched in city

Shillong, Sep 3: Sri Aurobindo was a poet, philosopher and yogi whose contributions to the Indian freedom movement and spiritual awakening of the country’s citizens are known around the world. However, not many are aware of Mrinalini Devi who, at the age of 14, got married to Aurobindo. In fact, not many books on Aurobindo delve deep into the sacrifices made by Mrinalini.

Educationist and author Uma Purkayastha fills the void in history with her new book, Sri Aurobindo-Mrinalini: An Unsung Tragedy, which was released at Bangiya Sahitya Parishad in the city on Sunday.


Dr JB Bhattacharya, former vice-chancellor of Assam University-Silchar, released the book in the presence of other dignitaries.

In the book’s foreword, Amalendu Chakrabarty, VC of Rabindranath Tagore University, writes, “It is really sad to find that Mrinalini Devi who bore silently all the pain and pangs of her isolated life, totally remained unsung in the biographies of Sri Aurobindo.”

In his speech post the book launch, Bhattacharya too harped on the inadequacy of historical facts and said the history of the great philosopher remains incomplete without an insight into Mrinalini’s life.

Purkayastha, who is known for her extensive research on poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore, started her research for the book 12 years ago.

“I collected information for the book with much difficulty. Mrinalini made sacrifices but that has never been brought to focus. My book puts the lens on this,” the author told Meghalaya Monitor after the launch.

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