Guiding Light of The Month

One must be always vigilant, attentive to the least call, so as not to be asleep or inert when Thou givest the signal for action, whether with the mind, the feelings or the body. - The Mother

Photos from IEP camp



Working together to set up camp and tents



Children ready for the experience

The tents are up


Coastal walk: Counting rings on trees


Can we cover you up with all these red leaves?


Taking the ferry to Pulau Ubin


The well in the secret garden


Exploring


Camaraderie

Joy of Union with the Divine


Abundantly scented, it fills the heart with joy
- The Mother
Common Name: Common basil, Sweet basil
Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum
Spiritual Name: Joy of Union with the Divine

Editorial

“The Meeting” is the theme of this issue of the Newsletter. By meeting here is meant an instance of coming together.

Many meetings happen in our lives with various kinds of people at various points in time. Some of these meetings leave no trace after the first of its kind. They serve their purpose momentarily, vanishing into thin air, never to be. Then there are the other meetings which leave their lasting impression on us, most often altering our lives beyond recognition. Yet there are meetings that occur everyday, and become too common an occurrence for one to be overly concerned about. Then there are those fascinating meetings that happen everyday, everytime, and one never tires of these refreshing interchanges. Meetings are aplenty and occupy much of our lives, both in our outer and innermost.

But few are the meetings that are “earth-shattering”, stamping an irrevocable impression in one’s consciousness for all of infinity and eternity; where the very substance of earth nature is changed, altered without recognition, where lasting ripple effects linger in the world scene, decades or even centuries thereafter and lives after lives are irretrievably drawn into a whirlpool of change and an upward climb for all affected. Such a meeting it must have been when The Mother first met Sri Aurobindo towards the end of March, in 1914.

The Mother herself thought least about this meeting, evidence left behind suggest, before it happened, but her spontaneous response to the meeting after it did was very telling in that she recognized in him she met, her long-time guide and then one with whom she would collaborate unreservedly, with utter consecration for the rest of her earthly life and beyond. The spontaneous thoughts and feelings that arose in her she recorded in her entries for the next few days following her first meeting with Sri Aurobindo on 29th March 1914. The Mother left in her “Prayers and Meditations” clues to her responses, her inner feelings and thoughts, her deepest aspirations and hopes relating to that first meeting.

K D Sethna (or Amal Kiran, as he is fondly known as) gave some insights into that meeting at a deeper, occult level. He termed it a “natural thing”, “a doubling of strengths”, “a linking of complementaries”. It was essentially a coming together of “an immense Knowledge-Power from above the mind” with “an intense Love-Power from behind the heart”. It was a decisive meeting that brought into play both energies and set forth the “earth transformation”.

This issue of our Newsletter gives some insight into this destined meeting of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo through the many literatures available on this significant meeting.

In another way, Sri Aurobindo has captured the essence of the ‘meeting’ in “Savitri” in captivating ways, lines of which have been reproduced for the reader’s meditation and delight. For what more does such a meeting deserve than to be, in different ways, recorded in “Savitri”, in ways cryptic and poignant, elevating and profound and yet revealing!

Read on and revel in the mystic meeting of two great souls destined to work out a divine plan upon earth.

Savitri

Here first she met on the uncertain earth
The one for whom her heart had come so far
Attracted as in heaven star by star,
They wondered at each other and rejoiced
And wove affinity in a silent gaze.


A moment passed that was eternity’s ray,
An hour began, the matrix of new Time.

(Savitri, Book 5, Canto 2)

********************

Come nearer to me from thy car of light
On this green sward disdaining not our soil.
For here are secret spaces made for thee
Whose caves of emerald long to screen thy form.
Wilt thou not make this mortal bliss thy sphere?
Descend, O Happiness, with thy moon-gold feet,
Enrich earth’s floors upon whose sleep we lie.
O my bright beauty’s princess, Savitri,
By my delight and thy own joy compelled
Enter my life, thy chamber and thy shrine.

O Satyavan, I have heard thee and I know;
I know that thou and only thou art he.”
Then down she came from her high carven car
Descending with a soft and faltering haste;
Her many-hued raiment glistening in the light
Hovered a moment over the wind-stirred grass,
Mixed with a glimmer of her body’s ray
Like lovely plumage of a settling bird.

(Savitri, Book 5, Canto 3)

*********************

And nothing happens in the cosmic play
But at its time and in its foreseen place.

(Savitri, Book 5, Canto 1)

The Mother on the significance of The Meeting

In the year 1910 my husband came alone to Pondicherry where, under very interesting and peculiar circumstances, he made the acquaintance of Sri Aurobindo. Since then we both strongly wished to return to India - the country which I had always cherished as my true mother-country. And in 1914 this joy was granted to us.

***********************

When I first met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry, I was in deep concentration, seeing things in the Supermind, things that were to be but which were somehow not manifesting. I told Sri Aurobindo what I had seen and asked him if they would manifest. He simply said , “ Yes “. And immediately I saw that the Supramental had touched the earth and was beginning to be realized! This was the first time I had witnessed the power to make real what is true.

(K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, ‘On The Mother - The chronicle of A Manifestation and Ministry’, Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry.)

An encounter in sleepy Pondicherry


And Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth
- The Mother.

On 29th March 1914, a Parisian lady in Pondicherry went around 3 p.m. from the Hotel d’Europe in the Rue Suffren to No. 41 Rue Francois Martin. She was Madame Mirra Richard and she had arrived with her husband, Paul, in the sleepy colonial port that very morning. The Richards had boarded the Japanese ship Kaga Maru in Marseilles three weeks earlier, sailed through the Suez Canal up to Colombo, crossed the Palk Strait, boarded the Boat Mail at Danushkodi and arrived safely at their exotic destination.

Paul Richard was a philosopher and a politician. He had first come to Pondicherry four years earlier in order to support a local candidate during the elections for the Chamber of Deputies in Paris. As a French territory, Pondicherry was entitled to two representatives. Richard, however was also deeply interested in occultism and religion, and his main reason for having travelled to the South Indian town may well have been that he wanted to meet an Indian Yogi. In this he had been extraordinarily lucky, for Aurobindo Ghose, the well-known freedom fighter turned Yogi, had just arrived in Pondicherry, looking for a safe haven from the British authorities who wanted to arrest him, “the most dangerous man in India”, at any cost. Richard had been deeply impressed by Aurobindo Ghose and had told his wife about him. The reason she accompanied Richard on his second visit to Pondicherry may well have been that he wished her to meet Aurobindo Ghose. Richard’s aim was to get himself elected as a Deputy, but in this he would not succeed.

It would be an exaggeration to say that Mirra had been enthusiastic about undertaking the voyage. On 3rd March 1914 she wrote in her diary; “As the day of departure draws near, I enter into a kind of self-communion; I turn with a fond solemnity towards all those thousand little nothings around us which have silently, for so many years, played their role of faithful friends; I thank them gratefully for all the charm they were able to give to the outer side of our life.” This suggests that they planned to stay abroad for a long time. “Then I turn towards the future and my gaze becomes solemn still. What it holds in store for us I do not know nor do I care to know.”

After his first visit to Pondicherry, Paul Richard had brought back a photograph of Aurobindo Ghose and she, despite her advanced occult capacities, had seen only the politician in him.

Therefore, while walking the mile or so from her hotel to the house where Ghose was living with a few companions, all of the Bengali revolutionaries, Madame Richard perhaps had mixed expectations. Paul had already gone out to greet Aurobindo Ghose immediately upon their arrival in the morning; on the occasion of her first meeting with the unknown Indian, Mirra had wanted to see him alone. Expecting nothing, she had nevertheless prepared everything - as we know from her later conversations - and may have been mulling over some thoroughly considered questions in her mind.

There she stood, then, at the bottom of the staircase leading to the first floor, where Aurobindo Ghose was living - and there he stood, at the top; “Exactly my vision! Dressed in the same way, in the same position, in profile, his head held high. He turned his head towards me and I saw in his eyes that it was He.” For many years Mirra had been visited and guided in her dreams by several masters, one of whom she named Krishna. This “Krishna” always appeared to her in a dress which she, at the time unfamiliar with the Indian dhoti, could not identify and which she therefore thought to be a “costume worn in visions”. Now he stood there before her in flesh, embodied on earth: Aurobindo Ghose.

The significance of the moment became immediately apparent to her, and we read in her diary entry of the next day: “It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance. He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall indeed be established upon earth.”

The importance of the encounter is also obvious from the following entries

1st April, 1914: I feel we have entered the very heart of Thy sanctuary and grown aware of Thy very will. A great joy, a deep peace reigns in me, and yet all my inner constructions have vanished like a vain dream and I find myself now, before Thy immensity, without a frame or system, like a being not yet individualized. All the past in its external forms seems ridiculously arbitrary to me, and yet I know it was useful in its own time. But now all is changed; a new stage has begun.

3rd April, 1914: It seems to me that I am being born into a new life and all the methods, the habits of the past can no longer be of any use. It seems to me that what I thought were results are nothing more than a preparation. I feel as though I have done nothing yet, as though I have not lived the spiritual life, only entered the path that leads to it, it seems to me that I know nothing, that I am incapable of formulating anything, that all experience is yet to begin..

14th June, 1914: It is veritable work of creation we have to do: to create activities, new modes of being so that this Force, unknown on earth till today, may manifest in its plentitude. To this work I am consecrated, O Lord, for this is what Thou wantest of me. But since Thou hast appointed me for this work, Thou must give me the means, that is the knowledge necessary for its realization. Thou hast made a promise, Thou hast sent into these worlds those who can and that which can fulfill this promise. This now demands Thy integral help so that what has been promised may be realized. In us must take place the union of the two wills and two currents, so that from their contact may spring forth the illuminating spark. And since this must be done, this will be done.

(Georges Van Vrekhem, ‘Overman - The Intermediary Between The Human and The Supramental Being’, Rupa and Co., New Delhi)

On The Significance of The Meeting

It may be presumed, then, that when Sri Aurobindo and Mirra met on 29 March 1914, what passed between them was rather more of a wordless communion than any formal or detailed conversation. Writing with the available hindsight, K.D. Sethna comments on it as follows:

“The meeting of the two represents the coming together of the necessary creative powers by whom a new age would be born. And it is to be noted that both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had been pursuing the inner life on essentially identical lines which would unite Spirit and Matter. So their joining of forces was the most natural thing. And it was not only a doubling of strengths but also a linking of complementaries. Sri Aurobindo’s main movement of consciousness may be said to have been an immense Knowledge-Power from above the mind, though whatever was necessary for an integral spirituality was also there in one form or another. The Mother’s chief movement may be said to have been an intense Love –Power from behind the heart, even if all else needed for an all-round Yoga was present as a ready accessory. When she and Sri Aurobindo met, they completed each other, brought fully into play the spiritual energies in both and started the work of total earth-transformation from high above and deep within.”

(K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, ‘On The Mother - The chronicle of A Manifestation and Ministry’, Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Pondicherry.)

“An hour began, the matrix of new Time”


The first prayer of the New Year of 1914 on January 1, 1914, “consecrated the first minute of this new year”, has the Mother’s deeply devotional invocation to The Divine:

“ I bow down in deep devotion and in boundless gratitude before Thy beneficent splendour; in the name of the earth I give Thee thanks for manifesting Thyself; in its name I implore Thee to manifest Thyself ever more fully, in an uninterrupted growth of Light and Love.”

This year she would make the momentous passage to India and meet Sri Aurobindo on March 29th, 1914.

Her heart unveiled and his to find her turned;
Attracted as in heaven star by star,
They wondered at each other and rejoiced
And wove affinity in a silent gaze.
A moment passed that was eternity’s ray,
An hour began, the matrix of new Time.
- ‘Savitri’, Book 5, Canto 2

The ‘Prayers and Meditations’ of The Mother written from March 3rd 1914 before her departure for India up to March 30 1914, where she would write “He whom we saw yesterday is on earth….” are a precious personal account of the momentous journey, her aspirations, hopes and mystical experiences along the way.

The Prayer of March 3rd 1914 is a poignant one and has the Mother reflecting on the day of departure which is close and in a state of deep communion with the Divine, she turns her gaze to the future and says

“My only wish is that this may be for us the beginning of a new inner period in which, more detached from material things, we would be more conscious of Thy law and more one –pointedly consecrated to its manifestation.”

The Prayer written the next day on March 4th written for the last time in that sacred room in which she communed with The Divine beloved, and the “room charged with the Thy Presence” also has her in a “indrawn state “contemplating on the “turning page, vanishing into the dream of the past and look at the new page all full potentially of the dream of the future…”

The separation from friends, family and loved ones caused the Mother much anguish, more than that she felt their suffering invade her being in a deep way, in a powerful Prayer written on the eve of the departure in Geneva on March 6th shows us the deep love for mankind and her equally deep understanding of our human condition of pain and suffering and physical attachment and how to overcome it.

“After having suffered acutely from their suffering, I turned towards Thee, trying to heal it by infusing into it a little of that Divine Love which is the source of all peace and all happiness.”

Almost a century has passed since 1914 and we live in a totally different world - an earth where time and space has literally shrunk, a world of instant communications and “updates “every second. However, back then was another age hence this journey to India which The Mother would undertake would have been extremely difficult for the loved ones parting from her, as the journey would be hazardous and long and the separation painful, with no emails or updates informing of the safe arrival or adventures along the way. The prayer of March 6th in Geneva should be understood in this context , of the “agonizing wrench when bodies are separated” it’s a beauty showing us how we must neither run away from suffering nor should we “love and cultivate it” but must make it into a “lever powerful enough to force open the doors of the eternal consciousness…”

Finally, The Mother is on board the Japanese ship Kaga Maru, where she has many mystic experiences, the unique thing was that although she was far away from her familiar surroundings and friends and here she was sailing “on this boat which seems to me a marvellous abode of peace, a temple sailing in Thy honour”, she never for a moment lost contact with The Divine, in her words from the Prayers of March 9, 1914…..

“Those who live for Thee and in Thee may change their physical surroundings, their habits, climate, “milieu”, but everywhere they find the same atmosphere; they carry that atmosphere in themselves, in their thought constantly fixed on Thee. Everywhere they feel at home, for everywhere they are in Thy house. No longer do they marvel at the novelty, unexpectedness, picturesqueness of things and countries; for them, it is Thy Presence that is manifest in all and Thy unchangeable splendour, which never leaves them, is apparent in the least grain of sand.”

The Kaga Maru passes through Suez Canal to Colombo, a journey which would take almost a month, after that Mother would make the final leg of her Journey to Pondicherry

K. R. Iyengar in his biography of the Mother notes,

“O Lord, an ardent thanksgiving mounts from me towards Thee expressing the gratitude of this sorrowing humanity which Thou illuminest transformest and glorifiest.”

With this sense of fulfilment and deep thankfulness, on 27th March the Richards embarked at Colombo. That day they remained in Ceylon spending part of their time with a noted Buddist monk called Dharmapal. Crossing the straits at Talaimannar and reaching Dhanushkodi, the Richards booked the Boat mail on 28th March.

Mirra had known throughout the long voyage the Lord’s divine solicitude and protection, she had seen the writ of His law everywhere, and of course she had tried wholly to identify herself with His law and to embody it effortlessly and spontaneously. It is not surprising that Mirra was in a condition of serene acceptance and luminous understanding.

“From the time we started and every day more and more, in all things, we can see Thy divine intervention, everywhere Thy law is expressed.”

On 29th March, after a change at Villupuruam, the train speeded towards Pondicherry. After long before she actually met Sri Aurobindo she may well have felt his aura, just as she was to experience it six years later when her boat was nearing Pondicherry. And once there what possibilities lay hidden, what vast horizons stretched ahead of her! In the full consciousness of His sovereign Presence, she turned towards the future with an undimmed vision and with unwavering faith. A passage by Sri Aurobindo about Savitri may be apt here…..


Apparelled in her flickering-coloured robe,
She seemed burning towards the eternal realms
A bright moved torch of incense and of flame
That from the sky-roofed temple-soil of earth
A pilgrim hand lifts in an invisible shrine.


- Sudha

Experiences with The Mother

When the work for Mirapuri and Miravillage started in 1970, I often had to travel through Europe. For these activities I received a signed photograph by The Mother (photo on the right) to accompany me. On this photograph she looked very much the same way as she looked at me when I was with her. She explained that in each picture of her there is also the living psychic presence of her and so the soul can always be together with her and see her wherever the body might be. In fact one can even feel and come in touch with her subtle physical presence which gathers around the photo, and has its own independent life and way of acting. Since then I continuously experience the truth of this fact and feel and see The Mother to be constantly with me.

Blessing Packets
On another occasion The Mother gave me a small envelope with her symbol printed on it and she said: 'These are my blessings. There are flower petals in the envelope and if you keep it near to you the contact with me will always be established and you can even get an answer to a question.' After that day she gave me many, many such blessing packets and everything she said proved to be true. Now life became very easy because whenever a question arises I get the answer from The Mother. She also said that when she touches someone, her force stays with the person and will go to everyone near to this person who is receptive enough. The Mother then touched me many times so that all who work with me might receive her force and blessings. Since then I can witness every day in me and in those who surround me the effects of the truth-action and help of the force of The Mother."
Meditations on Savitri
When she had asked me to produce the 'Meditations on Savitri’ movie-series she said: 'I don't want to give him only blessings. I want to give him Special Blessings.' Then she asked someone to bring a box with a little, leather bound, book-like card in it showing two photos of her and Sri Aurobindo. She kept this Special Blessing packet in her hands and for about half an hour went into a deep trance, projecting all that was necessary for the accomplishment of the work into it. After that the work began and while it was going on I was constantly experiencing how the Savitri paintings changed into living beings, disclosing their life and message, so that I could easily find the right way to transform it all into a movie. When the 'Meditations on Savitri' movie-series was completed I had grown not only into an expert on Savitri and the many stories and information about its occult meaning, but knew that the realities and beings behind the images have become part of my soul. They go on living there and unfold and make always stronger the power of the New Consciousness of Future Man which, as The Mother said, is the true builder of Mirapuri and Miravillage.

Foundation of Mirapuri
The place for the foundation of Mirapuri was discussed and a certain place was suggested. The Mother said, although it seemed to be a suitable place it was better not to build Mirapuri there, as some problems will come to this place and impede the progress of Mirapuri. (Later I heard that the place which was suggested became a place for depositing radioactive materials.) She then indicated a place in north Italy and said: 'Build Mirapuri there.' When I asked how I should recognize the place she said: 'I will show it to you in the meditation.' Then I meditated and saw a landscape with distinct features. I made a painting of what I had seen, and when I traveled into the area The Mother had designated for Mirapuri, I soon recognized the special features of the landscape, I had seen in the meditation. I knew now where Mirapuri was to be built. I remembered also that The Mother had remarked that Italy is a country which is receptive to the Supramental Force.

One day The Mother explained in a message the principles of the new education. When I asked if these principles are not also the guiding lights for the new life in Mirapuri and Miravillage, as she wanted these places to be simple, sincere and free, she said that they indeed are the guiding lights for Mirapuri and Miravillage: Truth, Harmony, Liberty."
- Michel Montecrossa
(Source: http://www.mirapuri-enterprises.com)

Commentaries or Bhāṣhyās on the ‘Vedās’ (contd.)

Rāghavēndra Thīrtha & Jayathīrtha – (17th Century CE):
Being the disciples of Madhvāchārya and of the same school, they have written many commentaries. They expanded the works of Madhvāchārya following the same lines of interpretation.
Rāghavēndra: Great Yogi of majestic lustre wrote many works inclusive of 6 of the 10 Prākarana Granthās, 6 Sūtra Prasthāna, Rig and Upanishad Prasthāna, 4 Gīta Prasthāna and another 20 writings.
He wrote the work Mantrārtha Manjari, following the Rig Bhāshya of Madhvācharya and amplifying the points therein. Here it is made clear that the riks are indeed to be explained with reference to Agni etc., as deities and to Vishnu as the supreme Deity dwelling in them and also in the spiritual sense. The central message from this work is, that the meaning of the riks as related to the soul (spiritual) and as related to the Gods, are to be brought together. Meaning relating to soul is the inner import and the one relating to the Gods contains in itself the sacrificial meaning. Following the direct meaning, the mantrās do have a secondary application in rituals. However, in giving the most direct meaning as related to the Gods; the mantrās refer predominantly to the Supreme Lord Vishnu himself. Thus, the three kinds of knowledge obtained from the Veda i.e, the knowledge relating to the sacrifice, to the Gods and to the self, spoken of by Yāska, are in general agreement here. In any case, the use of the mantrās in ritual is only of secondary significance.
Jayathirtha: One of the stalwarts of Tattvavāda (logical exposition) has written on Isa Upanishad, Nyāya Sudha, Vadavalli, Tattvasamkhyānatikā and another 19 writings.
Note on Advaita, Viṣhiṭādvaita and Dvaita Philosophies:
It is a fact that great spiritual realizations mentioned in the Upanishads have become the battle fields for some self-styled votaries of the above three disciplines. Even though the Brahma Sūtras were compiled to effect a reconciliation, different sections have been used by different factions in their verbal warfare. However, Sri Aurobindo finds that each of the realizations is true and the truth of any one need not and does not nullify the truth of the other. He quotes: “In liberation the individual soul realizes itself as the One (that is yet Many). It may plunge into the One and merge or hide itself in its bosom – that is the ‘laya’ of the ‘Advaita’; it may feel its oneness and, yet as part of the Many that is the One, enjoy the Divine, that is the Vishiṣhṭādvaita liberation; it may lay stress on its Many aspect and go on playing with Krishna in the eternal Brindavan, that is Dvaita liberation. Or it may, even being liberated, remain in the Lila or Manifestation or descend into it as often as it likes. The Divine is not bound by human philosophies – it is free in its play and free in its essence.”

H. H. Wilson(1786 – 1860 CE):
Horace Hayman Wilson, an English Orientalist, went out to India in 1808 as an assistant-surgeon. He became deeply interested in the ancient language and literature of India, and published the Sanskrit text with his English translation of Kalidasa's charming lyrical poem, ‘Mēghadūta’, or ‘Cloud-Messenger’. He prepared the first ‘Sanskrit-English Dictionary’ (1819) from materials compiled by native scholars, supplemented by his own researches. He was the first to make a complete translation of the Rig Veda into English, published in six volumes during the years 1850-1888 and this version was based on the commentary of Sāyana. His English translation of ‘The Vishnu Purāna’ came out in 1840 and he was also interested in Āyurveda and traditional Indian medical and surgical practices.
Max Müller - (1823-1900 CE) :
A German philologist, Sanskrit scholar, Orientalist and one of the founders of the Western academic field of Indian studies and of comparative religion. He wrote both scholarly and popular works on the subject of Indology, a discipline he introduced to the British reading public. Western scholars sought to compare the genetically related European and Asian languages in order to reconstruct the earliest form of the root-language. The Vedic language, Sanskrit, was thought to be the oldest of the Indo-European languages. Müller devoted himself to this, becoming one of the major Sanskrit scholars of his day. He believed that the earliest documents of Vedic culture should be studied in order to provide the key to the development of European religions, and of religious belief in general. To this end he sought to understand the most ancient of Vedic scriptures, the Rig-Veda.
For Müller, however, the study of the language had to relate to the study of the culture in which it had been used. He came to the view that the development of languages should be tied to that of belief-systems. At that time the Vedic scriptures were little-known in the West, though there was increasing interest in the philosophy of the Upanishads. He had to travel to London in order to look at documents held in the collection of the British East India Company. While there, he persuaded the company to allow him to undertake a critical edition of the Rig-Veda. This task he pursued over many years (1849 - 1874), which resulted in the critical edition for which he is most remembered.
He had the following to say about India: "Whatever sphere of the human mind you may select for your special study, whether it be language or religion or mythology or philosophy, whether it be laws or customs, arts or sciences, everywhere you have to go to India, whether you like it or not, because some of the most valuable and instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India and in India only."
Some (out of many) scholarly works of his works:
 50 volumes of ‘The Sacred Books of the East’,
 6 volumes of ‘Rig Veda’,
 ‘India, What can it Teach Us’,
 ‘Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy’
 'A History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature’
Ralph T. H. Griffith (1826-1906 CE):
A scholar of Indology and B.A. of Queen's College, he was elected to the vacant Sanskrit Scholarship on Nov 24, 1849. He translated the Vedic scriptures into English. He also produced translations of other Sanskrit literature, including a verse version of the Ramayana and the Kumāra Sambhava of Kālidāsa. He held the position of principal at the Benaras (now Varanasi) College in India. His translation of the Rig Veda follows the text of Max Müller's six-volume Sanskrit edition. He published his translation as ‘The Hymns of the Rig Veda’, published in London (1889) His readings generally follow the work of Sāyaṇa. Now long out of copyright, copies of his translation of the Rigveda, Samaveda, Shukla Yajurveda, Atharvaveda and Ramāyana are available on the internet.
Notes on Occidental translators of the 19th Century:
In general, they firmly believed that the world began in around 4000 BCE and assumed that the Vedic poets belonged to a primitive civilization. By not having a connection to the Vedic spiritual tradition or its terminology, they could not appreciate the spiritual-religious views of the Vedās. They had a different view of the world, history and progress—that of Western civilization and its values—which colored their perception. They did not practice the mantrās and meditations of the Vedic tradition in order to know these at an intimate level. They were at best detached observers from the outside, or at worst hostile critics with an agenda to denigrate or eliminate the Vedic tradition that they see as wrong or obsolete according to their own values. The result was that they looked at the Rig Veda on an outer level only, not as a sophisticated system devised to develop a higher consciousness that transcends time and space but as primitive poetry or crude philosophy of unsophisticated tribes. Hence they could not accept the presence of any deep symbolism in these verses. Suppressing the symbolism could only result in an incoherent translation of the Vedic texts.
References
1. ‘ The Light of Veda – A Practical Approach ’ – by Sri T.V.Kapāli Sastry
2. ‘ A New Light on the Veda ’ – by Sri T.V.Kapāli Sastry
(Originally written in Sanskrit under the name ‘Siddhānjana – Bhūmika’, translated into English by Sri M.P.Pandit and thoroughly revised by the author himself, in 1952. Published by Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore. (SAKSI)).
3. ‘ Agni in the Rig Veda ’ - by Dr R.L.Kashyap
4. ‘ Why read the Rig Veda ’ – by Dr R.L.Kashyap
to be continued……

- Krishnamurthy (chamathu2003@yahoo.co.uk)

Walking in Light - Fat metabolism and functions

In this issue, fat metabolism in the body and the uses of fat are briefly examined. Fats are absorbed into our body cells only in the form of fatty acids and glycerol. These are the simplest forms of fatty acids that result after their hydrolysis. This process of hydrolysis takes place in the intestinal tracts during digestion. Food contains three main forms of fats, namely, glycerides (in the form of triglycerides mainly, the storage form of fats), phospholipids and sterols (mainly cholesterol).

The primary functions of fats in the body are as follows:
• a primary energy reserve – fats provide 9 kilocalories per gram (kcal/g), compared with 4 kcal/g for carbohydrate and protein. The body is able to store more fats than it is able to store glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrates
• lipids in the blood are absorbed by liver cells to provide energy for cellular functions
• fats stored as adipose tissue in the skin serves as an insulator of heat and helps in maintaining the body temperature
• adipose tissue stored in the skin as well as around the main organs of the body, such as around the heart, the kidneys, spleen and the liver provide a cushioning effect against heavy impacts on the body such as those sustained during falls
• some lipids in the blood are used for the composition of brain cells and nerve tissue
• fats are a medium of transport of fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E or K

Where increase in body weight is concerned, we will take the link from the first point under functions of fats. One reason for the gain in weight in a person is an increased consumption of calories–rich food than is needed by the body. The excess calories are converted to fats and stored in the body, irrespective of whether the energy source was from carbohydrates or from fats. Of course, the effect is compounded when one consumes fatty food, including fried and oily food, and also alcoholic beverages, all of which are rich in calories.

Reference
http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Met-Obe/Metabolism.html
http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/620fattyacid.html
http://www.home-remedies.info/diseases/arteriosclerosis.htm
- Jayanthy

Radha's prayer

“O Thou whom at first sight I knew for the Lord of my being and my God, receive my offering.

Thine are all my thoughts, all my emotions, all the sentiments of my heart, all my sensations, all the movements of my life, each cell of my body, each drop of my blood. I am absolutely and altogether Thine, Thine without reserve. What Thou wilt of me that I shall be. Whether thou choosest for me life or death, happiness or sorrow, pleasure or suffering, all that comes to me from Thee will be welcome. Each one of Thy gifts will be always for me a gift divine bringing with it the supreme Felicity.”
- The Mother, 'Radha’s Prayer' 13th January, 1932.

Radha's prayer

“O Thou whom at first sight I knew for the Lord of my being and my God, receive my offering.

Thine are all my thoughts, all my emotions, all the sentiments of my heart, all my sensations, all the movements of my life, each cell of my body, each drop of my blood. I am absolutely and altogether Thine, Thine without reserve. What Thou wilt of me that I shall be. Whether thou choosest for me life or death, happiness or sorrow, pleasure or suffering, all that comes to me from Thee will be welcome. Each one of Thy gifts will be always for me a gift divine bringing with it the supreme Felicity.”
- The Mother, 'Radha’s Prayer' 13th January, 1932.

Mp3files of talks by Dr Prema Nandakumar

When dr Prema Nandakumar was here, she led us through a series of talks on yoga and Savitri. Here are the audio files for listening.
Experiencing Savitri: The Savitri parampara in Indian culture, and Sri Aurobindo’s Choice of the legend



Envisioning the Unknown : ‘The Book of the Divine Mother’ is Savitri’s Sundara Kanda!



Ecstasy of Adoration : The importance of stotra literature in yoga.



Exultation at Possibilities: Man must have hope. Wait and Hope!



Ensuring the Future: What then must we do? Aspire like Aswapati, work like Omnipotent’s flaming pioneers. Answering grace will come as the Mother’s boon, “One shall be born …”