Guiding Light of The Month

O Lord, how ardently do I call and implore Thy love! Grant that my aspiration may be intense enough to awaken the same aspiration everywhere: oh, may good- ness, justice and peace reign as supreme masters, may ignorant egoism be overcome, darkness be suddenly illu- minated by Thy pure Light; may the blind see, the deaf hear, may Thy law be proclaimed in every place and, in a constantly progressive union, in an ever more perfect harmony, may all, like one single being, stretch out their arms towards Thee to identify themselves with Thee and manifest Thee upon earth. - The Mother

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The Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education


Supramental Influence
Innumerable and rapid in its action.
Macfadyena unguis-cati [Doxantha unguis-cati]Cat's claw.

Cat's claw trumpet, Funnel creeper.

Medium-sized deep golden yellow delicately scented campanulate-funnelform flower with a flattened corolla tube and a broad oblique limb divided into five rounded lobes; usually borne in axillary pairs. A vigorous vine with tendrils that grasp like a cat's claw.

The mind shall be God-vision's tabernacle

The body intuition's instrument,

And life a channel for God's visible power.

All earth shall be the Spirit's manifest home,

Hidden no more by the body and the life,

Hidden no more by the mind's ignorance;

An unerring Hand shall shape event and act.

-          Savitri, Sri Aurobindo


From the Editor’s Desk (Jan 2019)

We wish all our members and readers a very Happy New Year. In this special double-themed issue of our Newsletter, we contemplate awhile on the beginnings and existence of an institution conceptualised to actualise an important aspect  intimate to the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother - Education. The institution is none other than the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE), the first if its kind, closely run and directed by The Mother in the early days in order to practice and experiment with that kind of education that was meant for  the man of the future; a man who is tuned to live the integral life on earth and create here centres of existence of a higher order; man aspirimg for the transformation of his nature and making it ready for the descent of the Divine in order to allow the Divine to manifest here in earthly life.
SAICE is a part of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and therefore integrally linked with the practices of the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. The Mother opened it first on the 2nd of December 1943. In 1951, The Mother called for a convention which resolved to establish the Sri Aurobindo International University Centre, which was renamed as the Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education, in 1959. The school holds an average enrolment of 400. The children are exposed to the humanities, the sciences, Languages, Engineering Technology, and Physical Education. The centre offers facilities for drawing, painting, handiwork, music, dancing, dramatics, arts and crafts, libraries, laboratories and  practical and manual work. This array of activities serve to expose children to a wide variety of skills as well as the opportunity to excel in any skill that he or she is inclined towards, during his course of study in the centre. Since the ethos of the centre points to self-discovery and perfection in as many parts and planes of the being as possible in order to facilitate the growth of a versatile personality, there are no external pressures in the guise of examinations, nor are the courses children choose meant for career opportunities. Children also do not face the stress of specialization since there is no need for specialization in the school.  Notably, there are no degrees or diplomas or certificates. Above all, children of SAICE are led to understand that the true pursuit for them would be to discover their true purpose here and increase their perfectability through the training of all the faculties that make up the integral being. SAICE was never conceptualized as a regional or national body but an international one, where students of all cultures around the world find here their expression. There is much inspiration to be drawn from this centre of education with its multi-pronged experiments with life.
This newsletter edition also highlights The Mother’s words on the descent of the Superman and its significance, on the 1st of January 1969, exactly half a century ago. This is a must read for all of us who want to know even a little of the characteristics of Superman and the significance of that presence here. Through these words, let us be inspired to aspire for a progressive life as we march forward into the year of 2019.

Masters of Living

Only the Immortals on their deathless heights

Dwelling beyond the walls of Time and Space,

Masters of living, free from the bonds of Thought,

Who are overseers of Fate and Chance and Will

And experts of the theorem of world-need,

Can see the Idea, the Might that change Time’s course,

Come maned with light from undiscovered worlds,

Hear, while the world toils on with its deep blind heart,

The galloping hooves of the unforeseen event,

Bearing the superhuman Rider, near

And, impassive to earth’s din and startled cry,

Return to the silence of the hills of God;

As lightning leaps, as thunder sweeps, they pass

And leave their mark on the trampled breast of Life.

Above the world the world-creators stand,

In the phenomenon see its mystic source.

These heed not the deceiving outward play,

They turn not to the moment’s busy tramp,

But listen with the still patience of the Unborn
For the slow footsteps of far Destiny
Approaching through huge distances of Time,

Unmarked by the eye that sees effect and cause,

Unheard mid the clamour of the human plane.

Attentive to an unseen Truth they seize

A sound as of invisible augur wings,

Voices of an unplumbed significance,

Mutterings that brood in the core of Matter’s sleep.

 - Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

Question and Answer - On classes conducted in the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education

Sometime I would like to know, Mother, Your intentions with regard to regrouping these classes in the new year, whether with an examination or without.
I consider an examination as quite necessary. In any case there will be one in French.

My love and blessings.
29 October 1946


It is not by conventional examinations that students can be selected for a class. It is only by developing in oneself the true psychological sense.

Select children who want to learn, not those who want to push themselves forward.

29 October 1965


The only solution is to annul this test and all that are to come. Keep all the papers with you in a closed bundle—as something that has not been—and continue quietly your classes. At the end of the year you will give notes to the students, not based on written test-papers, but on their behaviour, their concentration, their regularity, their promptness to understand and their openness of intelligence. For yourself you will take it as a discipline to rely more on inner contact, keen observation, and impartial outlook.
For the students it will be the necessity of understanding truly what they learn and not to repeat as a parrot what they have not fully understood. And thus a true progress will have been made in the teaching.

With blessings.
21 July 1967


I find tests an obsolete and ineffective way of knowing if the students are intelligent, willing and attentive. A silly, mechanical mind can very well answer a test if the memory is good and these are certainly not the qualities required for a man of the future.
It is by tolerance for the old habits that I consented that those who want tests can have them.
But I hope that in future this concession will not be necessary. To know if a student is good needs, if the tests are abolished, a little more inner contact and psychological knowledge for the teacher. But our teachers are expected to do Yoga, so this ought not to be difficult for them.

22 July 1967


Naturally the teacher has to test the student to know if he or she has learnt something and has made a progress. But this test must be individual and adapted to each student, not the same mechanical test for all of them. It must be a spontaneous and unexpected test leaving no room for pretence and insincerity. Naturally also, this is much more difficult for the teacher but so much more living and interesting also. I enjoyed your remarks about your students. They prove that you have an individual relation with them—and that is essential for good teaching. Those who are insincere do not truly want to learn but to get good marks or compliments from the teacher—they are not interesting.

25 July 1967

The immediate impact of these events and remarks made by the Mother was a radical change in the attitude and organisation of the school.
Briefly, consequences were:
All quarterly tests were abolished once and for all.
The secondary classes were restructured as the consequence of some interaction with the Mother by some teachers
The Higher Course organisation was radically restructured.
Source: Kittu Reddy, published in Overman Foundation e-Newsletter in 2014.          

The History of the Ashram School by Prof. Kittu Reddy, Part 1

The history of the Ashram school – now known as the International Centre of Education – can be probably divided into four periods. The first period is from 1943 to 1950, the second one is from 1951 to 1958, the third is from 1959 to 1967 and the fourth one is the period after that.

This article will deal mainly with the third period – that is to say from 1959 to 1967. However, the first two periods will be briefly touched upon.
Before the 1940s children were, as a rule, not permitted to live in the Ashram. But when, during the war, a number of families were admitted, it was found necessary to initiate a course of instruction for the children. Consequently, on 2 December 1943 the Mother opened a school for about thirty children. She herself was one of the teachers. The number of children increased gradually over the years to around 150 by the year 1950.
The first striking feature of the school in those early days was that almost all the students were children of devotees or disciples, most of whom resided in the Ashram as sadhaks.
Another feature was that the Mother was in constant touch with the teachers and students, guiding the teachers and following the students’ progress. All students and teachers would meet Her at least once a day and the teachers would submit reports about their classes regularly. Sri Aurobindo too was kept informed of all the developments in the school, although he did not interact directly with the school.
On 2 December 1946, the Mother came for the first time to the playground to see the demonstration of Physical Education. From then onwards, the Mother started coming regularly to the Playground in the evenings.
In 1950, Sri Aurobindo left his body and from 1951 the Mother started taking classes in the playground for the children (known as the Wednesday and Friday classes).
On 24 April 1951 the Mother presided over a convention where it was resolved to establish an “international university centre”, and on 6 January 1952 she inaugurated the Sri Aurobindo International University Centre. In 1959 this was changed to the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education.
In December 1958 the Mother stopped coming to the playground on a regular basis and the classes too were stopped.
The first two periods from 1943 to 1958 may be called the luminous seed-time and a period of enthusiastic effort guided by the direct presence of the Mother. That was the time when most of the basic ideas and concepts on education were expounded by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. This was done through the classes, their interaction with the students and teachers and Their writings in the Bulletin. As a matter of fact, the Mother was constantly in touch with both students and teachers and intervened whenever She felt the need to do so.
However, the outward organisation was not too different from other schools. No doubt, the teachers and the administration were distinctly aware of what the Mother wanted but this was not translated in the organisational structure. The Mother’s direct presence and involvement obviated the need of any such organisational structure. She was there to look after everything in its smallest detail.
Even though, the Mother stopped coming to the playground on a regular basis from December 1958, contact with Her continued through letters or through interviews. Indeed, the Mother kept a constant watch over the school and playground activities from Her room.
During this period, 1959-1967, certain experiments were made which were to have a great bearing on the future development of the Centre of Education.
Firstly, some tentative experiments were made in organising the Free System of education with a small section of students and certain organisational structures were put in place; all these attempts were gradually evolving and were to prove very useful in arriving at the more developed and organised system that was built later on.
Published in Overman Foundation e-Newsletter on April 4, 2014 at 10:39

 … to be continued.


Bonne Année - 50th Anniversary of the coming of la conscience du surhomme 1 January 1969, Part 1

We present below the first part of a reflective article written by Jared Quek of the Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore on the 50th Anniversary of the descent of the New Consciousness or the Consciousness of the Superman. In this part appear selections of what The Mother had stated about the significance of the event of 1st January 1969, as compiled by the writer.

50 years ago, on the morning of 1 January 1969, a powerful New Consciousness descended into the earth atmosphere. The Mother described it in Notes on the Way, pp.148-160. The following are some extracts.

1 January 1969

In the night it came slowly and on waking up this morning, there was as though a golden dawn, and the atmosphere was so light. The body felt: “Well, it is truly, truly new.” A golden light, transparent and... benevolent. “Benevolent” in the sense of a certainty — a harmonious certainty. It was new.

There you are.

And when I say “Bonne année” to people, it is this which I pass on to them. And this morning, I have passed my time like this, spontaneously, saying: “Bonne année, Bonne année.” So...

4 January 1969

On the first, something truly strange happened.... And I was not the only one to feel it, some others also have felt it. It was just after midnight, but I felt it at two o’clock and the others at four o’clock in the morning…It was something very material, I mean it was very external — very external—and it was luminous, with a golden light. It was very strong, very powerful; but even so, its character was a smiling benevolence, a peaceful delight and a kind of opening out into delight and light. And it was like a “Bonne année”, like a greeting. It took me by surprise…But I told you a word or two about it and I spoke of it also to two or three persons: they all had felt it. That is to say, it was very material. They all had felt it, like this, a kind of joy, but a joy friendly, powerful and... oh! very, very gentle, very smiling, very benevolent.... I do not know what it is. I do not know what it is, but it is a kind of benevolence, therefore it was something very close to the human. And it was so concrete, so concrete!

My own impression was that of an immense personality — immense, that is to say, for it the earth was small, small like this (gesture, as though holding a small ball in her palm), like a ball — an immense personality, very, very benevolent, which came for... (Mother seems to lift this ball gently from the hollow of her hands). It gave the impression of a personal divinity (and yet it was... I do not know) who comes to help, and so strong, so strong and at the same time so gentle, so all- embracing.

And it was very external: the body felt it everywhere, everywhere (Mother touches her face, her hands), everywhere.

It was luminous, smiling, and so benevolent through powerfulness; that is to say, generally in the human being benevolence is something a little weak, in this sense that it does not like battle, it does not like fight; but this is nothing of the kind! A benevolence that imposes itself (Mother brings her fists down upon the arms of her chair).

It has interested me because it is altogether new. And so concrete! Concrete like this (Mother touches the arms of her chair), like what the physical consciousness usually considers as “others”, concrete like that. That is to say, it did not pass through an inner being, through the psychic being, it came directly upon the body.

What is it?... Yes, perhaps it is this... Since it came, the feeling of the body is a kind of certitude, a certitude as though now it was no longer in anxiety or uncertainty to know: “What will it be? What will the Supramental be like? Physically, what will it be physically?” The body used to ask itself. Now it does not think of it any more, it is contented.

Is it something that will suffuse the bodies that are ready?

Yes, I believe so, yes. I have the feeling that it is the formation which is going to enter, going to express itself — to enter and express itself — in the bodies... that will be the bodies of the supramental.

Or perhaps... perhaps the superman (surhomme), I do not know. The intermediary between the two. Perhaps the superman: it was very human, but a human in divine proportions, I must say.

A human without weaknesses and without shadows: it was all light — all light and smiling and... sweetness at the same time.

Yes, perhaps the superman.

8 January 1969

It is the descent of the superman consciousness (la conscience du surhomme) ….

It was the first of January after midnight. I woke up at two in the morning, surrounded by a consciousness, so concrete, and new in the sense that I had never felt it before. And it lasted, absolutely concrete, present, for two or three hours, and afterwards it spread out and went about to find people who could receive it. And I knew that it was the consciousness of the superman (la surhomme), that is to say, the intermediary between man and the supramental being.

18 January 1969

It came as a “mentor”, it was practical, quite practical: “This thing must be rejected, that must be accepted; this must be made general, that...”; all the inner movements. And it even becomes very material in the sense that it says with regard to some vibrations: “This you must encourage”, to others: “That must be canalised”, to others again: “This must be removed.” Little indications like that.

…Well, I have first had the experience for this body: it came like a rampart, and it was mighty! It was a mighty power! Altogether out of proportion to the apparent action.

…There is a very marked change in those who have been touched on the first of January: it is particularly... indeed a precision and a certitude that has entered into their way of thinking.

It was there (Mother looks at the region of the heart). It is curious, as though I was given the charge of putting it into contact with all those who come near me.

15 February 1969

Never, never had the body been so happy; there was the complete Presence, absolute freedom, and a certitude…During these few hours (three or four), I understood absolutely what it was to have the divine consciousness in the body…

But that state, which lasted for several hours, nothing similar to that happiness has this body ever felt during the ninety-one  years it has been here upon earth: freedom, absolute power and no limits (gesture here and there, everywhere), no limits, no impossibilities, nothing. It was... all other bodies were itself. There was no difference, it was only a play of consciousness (gesture as of a great Rhythm) going about.

That is all.

(Long silence)

…All the human excuses appear as childishness.

It is something very strange, all the qualities and all the defects of man appear as childishness — foolishness. It is curious. And it is not a thought, it is a concrete sensation. It is like a substance without life; all ordinary things are like a substance lacking life — the true life. Artificial and false. It is strange.


The special character of this new consciousness is: no half measures, no approximations. That is its character. The idea “Oh yes, we shall do it, and little by little we...” — no, no, not like that; it is Yes or No, either you can or you cannot.


Truly it is a Grace, you see, as if: not to lose time — not to lose time. It must be done or...

But this tremendous Power, it is that above all; and it is with a compassion! a gentleness!... No, there are no words, we have no words to describe that, something... Nothing but just to be attentive and... it is blissfulness. Nothing but just to turn one’s attention towards that side, immediately there is the bliss. And I understand (that has made me understand certain things), we have heard of people who in the midst of torture enjoyed bliss — it is like that. A beatitude.

There you are, it is that (Mother hands out a white hibiscus, which she has named “Grace”).