M. P. Pandit

M. P. Pandit (14 June 1918 – 14 March 1993) was a spiritual author, teacher and Sanskrit scholar. For several decades, he was a secretary of the Mother (Mirra Alfassa) of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He wrote numerous books and articles on the yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, on social and political thought, science, philosophy, religion, mysticism, and the classical texts and spiritual traditions of India.

Birth and origin

Madhav P. Pandit was born in Sirsi, a small town in Karnataka. His family belonged to the community of the Gowd Saraswats which had migrated from Kashmir to various parts of India. His father was a wealthy and reputed lawyer who engaged himself in manifold social activities.

Childhood and education

Pandit grew up in a deeply religious Hindu family. When he was still a small child, his mother started taking him every day in the early morning to a temple where he spent his time in devotion and contemplation, which prepared and influenced his later spiritual path. All his life he was to keep some traditional customs such as Pranām.

His father wanted him to become a lawyer, following the family tradition. Therefore, he sent him to the best schools and additionally arranged for private tutoring in English, Sanskrit, mathematics and sciences. After his immatriculation Pandit continued his studies at Karnatak College in Dharwar.

Spiritual contacts

Sundarrao, one of Pandit’s brothers, was in close touch with Ganapati Muni, a well-known disciple of Ramana Maharshi, who was an eminent Sanskrit scholar and poet. Even at young age Pandit came to know him as well as his student Kapali Sastry, who was to become Pandit’s tutor over time. Sastry was a great scholar of the Vedas and Tantras and taught Sanskrit at a school in Madras. Later on he became a disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, joining the Sri Aurobindo Ashram where he translated some important texts of Sri Aurobindo into Sanskrit as well as into the South Indian languages Tamil and Telugu. He passed on his manifold knowledge to Pandit, giving him advice and support during his education and on his spiritual path.

Joining the Sri Aurobindo Ashram

One day, while spending some time in the library of his brother, Pandit by chance discovered an article on Sri Aurobindo and felt spontaneously attracted towards the name and the photo of the freedom fighter and yogi. Subsequently, he started a regular correspondence with Kapali Sastry in Pondicherry and developed increasing interest in spiritual literature. He studied works on Ramakrishna and read the Collected Works of Swami Vivekananda, but eventually turned more and more to Sri Aurobindo and his writings.

In April 1937 for the first time he travelled to Pondicherry where Kapali Sastry arranged for his meeting with the Mother, which touched him deeply. However, following the advice of his brother, and encouraged by the Mother, he first went to Bombay in order to complete his academic studies with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Thereafter, he was free to move to Pondicherry and became a member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1939, at the age of 21.

Life in the Ashram and lecture tours

Having joined the Ashram, Pandit concentrated intensively on integral yoga and the work given to him. Over time, he developed his literary capacities, translating works of Kapali Sastry from Sanskrit and writing many books on philosophy, yoga, the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother or on Mantra, Tantra, Veda and the Upanishads. He always tried to use a clear, simple language in order to reach many readers. In his title Mother and I he later on reported on his frequent personal meetings with the Mother as her secretary and on the numerous topics he discussed with her. In his small books How do I begin and How do I proceed he presented some concrete hints for the practice of integral yoga.

After the Mother had left her body on 17 November 1973, he continued his activities as before, writing his correspondents that her presence and love persisted. In 1976, he started undertaking foreign travel in order to spread Sri Aurobindo’s message abroad. Several times he went to the U.S. and to Europe, gave lectures and interviews or organized seminars and conferences. He regularly informed his readers about his manifold experiences in his Service Letter. However, he declined to be regarded as a “Guru” and once said in an interview in Florida that this whole ideal was old fashioned now and not any more appropriate. The knowledge that was kept secret formerly, was today freely available, he said, and everyone would be in a position to run his own life and think for himself.

After a serious illness, Pandit departed on 14 March 1993 in a clinic in Madras. When the next day his body was kept for public’s view at his residence, many friends and admirers came to pay homage to him.


  • P. Raja (1993), M. P. Pandit. A Peep into his Past. Pondicherry, Dipti Publications
  • S. Ranade (1997), Madhav Panditji. Pondicherry, Dipti Publications

Bibliography of M.P. Pandit

Unless otherwise mentioned, all titles given below are from DIPTI Publications, Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Pondicherry-605 002, India. The year of publication is included under the main entry for each book. Entries in brackets are of later editions.

  1. Grace of the Great and Other Essays (1963; 1989) 1952. Mystic Approach to the Veda and the Upanishad (1966; 1974) 1957. Sri Aurobindo: Studies in the Light of His Thought 1958. Aditi and Other Deities in the Veda (1970) 1959. Japa (1961; 1971; 1977; 1986; 1991) 1959. Kundalini Yoga (1962; 1968; 1979; 1993) 1959. The Teachings of Sri Aurobindo (1964; 1978; 1990) 1960. Dhyana (1967; 1972; 1976; 1986; 1990) 1960. Highways of God 1961. Burning Brazin (1974) 1961. Where the Wings of Glory Brood (1976) 1962. Sadhana in Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga (1964) 1962. Voice of the Self 1963. Lamps of Light (1975) 1963. The Mother on India 1964. Current Problems 1965. Gems from Sri Aurobindo—First Series (1968) 1965. Kularnava Tantra (1973) 1965. The Mother of Love—Vol.I (1972; 1989) 1965. The Mother of Love—Vol.II (1972; 1990) 1966. Dictionary of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga (1973; 1992) 1966. Gems from Sri Aurobindo—Second Series 1966. Gems from Sri Aurobindo—Third Series 1966. Glossary of Sanskrit Terms in Sri Aurobindo’s Works (1973) 1966. Light from Sri Aurobindo (1970; 1989; 1990) 1966. The Mother of Love—Vol.Ill (1972; 1990) 1966. Reminiscences and Anecdotes of Sri Aurobindo (1990) 1966. Shining Harvest 1966. Studies in the Tantra and the Veda (1967) 1967. Sri Aurobindo on the Tantra (1970; 1972) 1967. God 1967. Guide to Upanishads 1967. Key to Vedic Symbolism (1973) 1967. Light from the Gita 1967. The Mother of Love—Vol.IV 1969. The Call and the Grace (1975) 1969. Culture in Yoga 1969. Demands of Sadhana 1969. Essence of the Upanishads (1976) 1969. Gems from Sri Aurobindo—Fourth Series (1976) 1969. Gems from the Tantras—First Series 1969. Gleanings from the Upanishads (1976) 1969. Readings in Savitri—Vol.I (1988) 1970. Gems from the Tantras—Second Series (1976) 1970. Readings in Savitri—Vol.II (1989) 1970. Readings in Savitri—Vol.III 1971. Epigrams from Savitri 1971. Readings in Savitri—Vol.IV 1971. Readings in Savitri—Vol.V 1972. Sri Aurobindo: A Survey (1974) 1972. Bases of Tantra Sadhana (1977; 1991) 1973. Adoration of the Divine Mother 1973. Breath of Grace 1973. Readings in Savitri—Vol.VI 1973. Readings in Savitri—Vol.VII 1973. What Life Has Taught Me 1974. An Homage and a Pledge 1974. Meditations 1974. Project Universal Man 1974. Readings in Savitri—Vol.VIII 1975. All Life is Yoga 1975. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: An Introduction 1975. Champaklal Speaks (1976) 1975. Dialogties and Perspectives 1975. Memorable Moments with the Mother 1975. Readings in Savitri—Vol.IX 1975. Sidelights on the Mother (1976; 1988; 1990) 1975. Something Else, Something More 1975. Under the Mother’s Banner 1976. Champaklal’s Treasures 1976. Dynamics of Yoga—Part I 1976. Singapore Chapter 1976. Yoga in Savitri 1976. The Yoga of Works 1977. Dynamics of Yoga—Part II 1977. Lights on the Tantra 1977. Readings in Savitri—Vol.X (with Index) 1977. Thoughts of a Shakta 1977. Yoga for Modern Man 1978. Dynamics of Yoga—Part III 1979. Occult Lines Behind Life (USA: Auromere) 1979. Sat-Sang—Vol.I 1980. How do I Begin? (1984; 1985; 1986; 1988; 1992) 1981. Talks on the Life Divine 1981. Yoga of Love (USA: Lotus Light Publications; 1982) 1982. Deathless Rose (1990) 1982. Heart of Sadhana (1992) 1982. How do I Proceed (1987, 1990) 1982. Introducing Savitri (1992) 1982. Sat-Sang—Vol.II 1983. Sri Aurobindo: A Biography (Delhi: Publications Division) 1983. Bases of Sadhana 1983. Book of Beginnings 1983. Call to America 1983. Commentaries on the Mother’s Ministry—Vol.I 1983. Commentaries. on. the. Mother’s. Ministry—Vol.II 1983. Integral Perfection: Talks in Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka: V. Murugesu) 1983. Spritual Life: Philosophy and Practice 1983. Yoga of Self-Perfection 1984. Mother and I 1984. A Savitri Dictionary 1985. Commentaries. on. the. Mother’s. Ministry—Vol.III 1985. Legends in the Life Divine 1985 Life Beautiful (1987; 1989; 1992) 1985. More on Tantras (Delhi: Sterling Publishers) 1986. Book of the Divine Mother 1986 Sat-Sang—Vol.III 1986. Sat-Sang—Vol.IV 1986. Spiritual Communion 1986. Versatile Genius: Sri T.V. Kapali Sastriar 1986. The Yoga of Knowledge (USA: Lotus Light Publications) 1987. Sri Aurobindo and His Yoga (USA: Lotus Light Publications) 1987. Concept of Man in Sri Aurobindo 1987. Master and Disciple: S. Duraisamy Aiyar 1987. Pitfalls in Sadhana 1987. Sat-Sang—Vol.V 1987. Savitri: Talks in Germany 1987. Sidelights on Sri Aurobindo 1987. Traditions in Mysticism (Delhi: Sterling Publishers) 1987. Traditions in Occultism (Delhi: Sterling Publishers) 1988. Commentaries on Sri Aurobindo’s Thought— Vol.I 1988. Commentaries on Sri Aurobindo’s Thought— Vol.II 1988. Commentaries on the Mother’s Ministry— Vol.IV 1988. Guide to the Life Divine 1988. Introducing the Life Divine 1988. Mighty Impersonality (1992) 1988. Talks on Life Divine—Vol.II 1988. Tell us of the Mother 1988. Traditions in Sadhana (Delhi: Sterling Publishers) 1988. Upanishads: Gateways of Knowledge (USA: Lotus Light Publications) 1988. Vedic Symbolism 1988. Wisdom of the Upanishads 1989. Art of Living (1990) 1989. Commentaries on Sri Aurobindo’s Thought— Vol.III 1989. Education: Some Thoughts 1989. The Indian Spirit 1989. Meditations on the Divine Mother 1989. Sat-Sang—Vol.VI 1989. Vedic Deities (USA: Lotus Light Publications) 1989. Yoga of Transformation 1990. The Mother and Her Mission 1990. Thoughts on the Gita 1990. Vedic Wisdom 1990. Wisdom of the Veda (USA: Lotus Light Publications) 1991. Sat-Sang—Vol.VlI 1991. Towards Universal Man 1992. Commentaries on Sri Aurobindo’s Thought— Vol.IV 1992. An Early Chapter in the Mother’s Life 1992. Wisdom of the Gita—Vol.I 1992. Wisdom of the Gita—Vol.II
  • Sri MP Pandit
  • infobuddhism.com article
  • Sri Aurobindo
  • Publisher and Distributor of M P Pandit’s Writings
  • Kularnava Tantra, translated to Portuguese.