Guiding Light of The Month

Extricate me from the illusory consciousness of my mind, from its world of fantasies; let me identify my consciousness with the Absolute Consciousness, for that art Thou. - The Mother

Widening of the Mind

Botanical Name: Asteraceae
Common Name: Dahlia
Spiritual Significance: Supramentalised Mental Dignity

Widen yourself to the extreme limit of the universe… and beyond.

Always take upon yourself all the necessities of progress, and resolve them in the ecstasy of Unity. Then you will be divine.

-          The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk (Apr 2017)

We proceed, in this issue of the newsletter, with mental wellbeing, with a special focus on ‘Widening of the Mind’. The mind is the ideating instrument around which thoughts are formulated and expressed or actualized through various means. Our mind, we must have observed, “acts according to hard and fast rules and standards”. In order to realize this, effort is needed at self-observation as one lives life. How often are we carried away by the mind as the rushing waters of a vibrant river carry away a fragile leaf? In that speed and force, we forget; forget to take cognizant of who we are and how different parts of our being work and express. The mind, more over, may not be acting sovereignly on its own conviction and strength. It may very well be playing second fiddle to our whims and fancies; the will, thus weakened, cannot prevail over it to establish a certain course of the events that occur. 

Our ordinary mind poses several obstacles towards perceiving a higher consciousness at work in our lives. The ordinary mind insists, with its “wrong reasonings, sentiments and judgements…. Or its mechanical activity, the slowness of response to the veiled or the initial touch…” The mind cannot be an instrument of truth as is shown too by the subjectivity of individual minds. We must have observed that one mind receives one thing and deduces about, reacts to it or concludes about it in one way and another mind does so in a diametrically opposite manner. This is because mental activities are different and therefore make different results of the same experience. One who is inclined towards discovering the truth behind the apparent, needs to, as a result, look beyond and above the mind towards the sustaining substance that animates all that we are. A conscious collaboration with a higher force may be a possibility, in this way.

Sri Aurobindo says, “Ideas and ideals belong to the mind and are half-truths only; the mind too is more often then not, satisfied with merely having an ideal, with the pleasure of idealizing while life always remains the same, untransformed or changed only a little and mostly in appearances…To realize the Divine Truth is always the aim, either beyond or in life also – and in the latter case it is necessary to transform mind and life  which cannot be done without surrender to the action of the Divine Force, the Mother.”

It is said that the first aim in Yoga is to open the mind to a higher spiritual consciousness. “The Divine Consciousness acts from a light that is beyond that level of human consciousness which makes the human standard of these things. It acts for and from a greater good than the apparent good men follow after…. And conceive.” The human mind therefore needs to rise to a higher consciousness. Then perhaps a transformation is possible. How then to transform mind? A restless mind cannot possibly open to a higher spiritual consciousness; “… a quiet mind is the first need.” 

We are back at an aspiration, a self-effort and an offering of that effort to the Divine. The school in which widening of the mind can take place is, happily, one’s own day to day, minute to minute life…” - varied, complex, full of unexpected experiences, problems to be solved, clear and striking examples and obvious consequences..” A quiet, silenced mind opens the door to receive, process and select, while reaching out to something greater, that stands beyond and above the mind.

Savitri (Apr 2017)

On a height he stood that looked towards greater heights.
To these high-peaked dominions sealed to our search
Too far from surface Nature’
s postal routes,
Too lofty for our mortal lives to breathe,
Deep in us a forgotten kinship points
And a faint voice of ecstasy and prayer
Calls to those lucent lost immensities.

(Book one, Canto four)

So it towered up to heights intangible
And disappeared in the hushed conscious Vast
As climbs a storeyed temple-tower to heaven
Built by the aspiring soul of man to live
Near to his dream of the Invisible.

(Book two, Canto one)

God wrapped his head from sight in Matter’s cowl,
His consciousness dived into inconscient depths,
All-knowledge seemed a huge dark Nescience;
Infinity wore a boundless zero’
s form.

His abysms of bliss became insensible deeps,
Eternity a blank spiritual Vast.

(Book ten, Canto three)


“Goodwill for all and Goodwill from all is the basis of peace and harmony”
-          The Mother

To a space she came of soft and delicate air
That seemed a sanctuary of youth and joy,
A highland world of free and green delight
Where spring and summer lay together and strove
In indolent and amicable debate,
Inarmed, disputing with laughter who should rule.
-          Savitri

Rantideva who was a king, became a hermit in the forest. He had given his wealth to the poor and lived a simple life in the solitude of the jungle. He and his family had only the bare necessities of life.
One day, after a fast of forty-eight hours, a light meal of rice with milk and sugar was prepared for him.

A poor Brahmin came up to the door of the hut and asked for food. Rantideva gave him half of his rice. Then came a Sudra begging for help and Rantideva gave him half of what remained.

Then he heard a dog barking; the poor beast seemed to be starving. Rantideva gave him what was left. Last of all came a Pariah who stopped at the hermit’s door and asked for help. Rantideva gave him the milk and the sugar, and continued to fast.

Then came four gods who said to him:
“It was to us, Rantideva, that you gave food, for we assumed the forms of a Brahmin, a Sudra, a dog and a poor outcaste. You were good to us all and we praise you for your loving thoughts.

A kind heart treats all men and even animals as members of one family, one humanity.

-          The Mother

(CWM, Volume 2, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Cheerful Mind and Heart

“Keep a cheerful mind and a peaceful heart. Let nothing disturb your equanimity and make every day the necessary progress to advance with me steadily towards the goal.”
-          The Mother
A sigh was straying among happy leaves;
Cool-perfumed with slow pleasure-burdened feet
Faint stumbling breezes faltered among flowers.
-          Savitri

In the next story I shall tell you, the joyous spirit bubbles up like water from a beautiful spring. The person it tells of had nothing to do with the desire for custom or gain: he was the famed and glorious Rama.

Rama slew Ravana the ten-headed and twenty-armed demon-king. I have already told you the beginning of the story. It had been the most terrible of all battles. Thousands of monkeys and bears had been killed in the service of Rama, and the corpses of their demon enemies were piled one upon another. Their king lay lifeless on the ground. But how hard it had been to fell him! Time and again Rama had cut off his ten heads and his twenty arms, but they all grew back immediately so that he had to cut them off many times over; they were so numerous that at last it seemed as if the sky was raining down arms and heads.

When the terrible war was ended the monkeys and bears who had been slain were brought back to life, and all stood like a great army awaiting orders.
Glorious Rama whose manner remained simple and calm after the victory, looked kindly upon his faithful friends.
Then Vibhishan, who was to succeed Ravana on the throne, had a chariot-load of jewels and rich robes brought for the warriors who had fought so valiantly.
“Listen, friend Vibhishan, said Rama, “rise high in the air and scatter your gifts before the army.
The king did as he was told, and from his chariot in mid-air strewed glittering jewels and brightly coloured robes.
The monkeys and bears tumbled over one another as they rushed to seize the falling treasures. It was a merry scuffle.

And Rama laughed heartily and his wife, the lady Sita, and his brother Lakshman laughed with him.

For those who are courageous know how to laugh like this. There is nothing more cordial than a good and hearty cheerfulness. And the word ‘cordialhas the same origin as the wordcourage’. In difficult moments, the cheerfulness that comes from a cordial spirit is truly a kind of courage.
Surely it is not necessary to be always laughing; but liveliness, serenity, good humour are never out of place. And how helpful they are! With them the mother makes the home happy for her children; the nurse hastens the recovery of her patient; the master lightens the task of his servants; the workman inspires the goodwill of his comrades; the traveller helps his companions on their hard journey; the citizen fosters hope in the hearts of his countrymen.

And you, happy boys and girls, is there anything your cheerfulness cannot accomplish?

-          The Mother

Wisdom in the Physical Mind

A first step towards the Supramental manifestation upon earth.
-          The Mother

Leaving earth’s safety daring wings of Mind
Bore her above the trodden fields of thought
Crossing the mystic seas of the Beyond
To live on eagle heights near to the Sun.
There wisdom sits on her eternal throne.
-          Savitri

The Japanese have a picturesque way of expressing their idea of prudence.
They have in one of their temples an image of a meditating Buddha seated on a lotus-blossom. In front of him are three little monkeys, one with its hands over its eyes, another over its ears, and the third covering its mouth. What do these three monkeys signify? By its gesture the first one says:
“I do not see evil and folly.
The second one says:
“I do not hear them.
And the third:
“I do not speak them.
In the same way, the wise man is prudent in what he looks at, in what he listens to, and in what he says.
He considers the consequences, thinks of the morrow, and if he does not know his way, he asks.

-          The Mother
(CMW, Volume 2, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)           

One shall descend and break the iron Law

The Mother’s final arrival at Pondicherry, 24th April 1920

One shall descend and break the iron Law,
Change Nature’s doom by the lone Spirit’s power.
And in her body as on his homing tree
Immortal Love shall beat his glorious wings
She shall bear Wisdom in her voiceless bosom,
Strength shall be with her like a conqueror’s sword
And from her eyes the Eternal’s bliss shall gaze.
A seed shall be sown in Death’s tremendous hour,
A branch of heaven transplant to human soil;
Nature shall overleap her mortal step;
Fate shall be changed by an unchanging will.
-         Savitri

That call must haunt those who had heard it once, and Mirra of course had come to Pondicherry in 1914 even without that particular call, and instantaneously recognised in Sri Aurobindo "the Lord of my being and my God"; and now, after an absence of five years in France and Japan, she was coming back to Pondicherry. She was leaving behind in Japan her good friends - the Kobayashis, the Okhawas, and others - and Japan meant the kindliest memories. But the boat was carrying her towards the shores of India, and she was sublimely content. And on 24 April 1920, the boat approached the shores of Pondicherry. As she was to recall her experience thirty years later:
“I was on the boat, at sea, not expecting anything (I was of course busy with the inner life, but I was living physically on the boat), when all of a sudden, abruptly, about two nautical miles from Pondicherry, the quality, I may even say the physical quality of the atmosphere, of the air, changed so much that I knew we were entering the aura of Sri Aurobindo. It was a physical experience.”

Again, returning to the subject two days later:
... in the experience I was speaking about, what gave it all its value was that I was not expecting it at all, not at all. I knew very well, I had been for a very long time and continuously in "spiritual" contact, if I may say so, with the atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo, but I had never thought of the possibility of a modification in the physical air and I was not expecting it in the least, and it was this that gave the whole value to the experience, which came like that, quite suddenly, just as when one enters a place with another temperature or another altitude.

(“On the Mother”, Chapter 14, K.R.Srinivasa Iyengar, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)