Guiding Light of The Month

It is the harmony of boundless Love, Love victorious over all suffering and all obscurity. By this law of Love, Thy law, I want to live more and more integrally; to it unreservedly I give myself. And all my being exults in an inexpressible Peace. - The Mother

Savitri

Away from the terrestrial murmur turned
Where transient calls and answers mix their flood,
King Aswapati listened through the ray
To other sounds than meet the sense-formed ear.
On a subtle interspace which rings our life,
Unlocked were the inner spirit's trance-closed doors:
The inaudible strain in Nature could be caught;
Across this cyclic tramp of eager lives,
Across the deep urgency of present cares,
Earth's wordless hymn to the Ineffable
Arose from the silent heart of the cosmic Void;

(Savitri, Book 4, Canto 3)

As when the mantra sinks in Yoga's ear,
Its message enters stirring the blind brain
And keeps in the dim ignorant cells its sound;
The hearer understands a form of words
And, musing on the index thought it holds,
He strives to read it with the labouring mind,
But finds bright hints, not the embodied truth:
Then, falling silent in himself to know
He meets the deeper listening of his soul:
The Word repeats itself in rhythmic strains:
Thought, vision, feeling, sense, the body's self
Are seized unutterably and he endures
An ecstasy and an immortal change;

(Savitri, Book 2, Canto 14)

Sri Aurobindo on Om

OM is the symbol of the triple Brahman, the outward-looking, the inward or subtle and the superconscient causal Purusha. Each letter A, U, M indicates one of these three in ascending order and the syllable as a whole brings out the fourth state, Turiya, which rises to the Absolute. OM is the initiating syllable pronounced at the outset as a benedictory prelude and sanction to all act of sacrifice, all act of giving and all act of askesis; it is a reminder that our work should be made an expression of the triple Divine in our inner being and turned towards him in the idea and motive.
(‘Essays on The Gita’, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry)

The word

”The word is a sound expressive of the idea. In the supra-physical plane when an idea has to be realised, one can by repeating the word-expression of it, produce vibrations which prepare the mind for the realisation of the idea. That is the principle of the Mantra and of japa. One repeats the name of the Divine and the vibrations created in the consciousness prepare the realisation of the Divine.”

Question of the month

The Mother: With the help of OM one can realise the Divine. OM has a transforming power. OM represents the Divine.

Q: Yes, it represents the Divine. It represents the Divine. OM, but OM is the sound?

A: The Mother: They say that all the aspirations of the world when going towards the Divine make O---M, like that. (The Mother chants the word)

Yes, Mother.

The Mother: And then, that is why they say "OM".

Mother please, say it once again. Please say it again.

The Mother: Eh ?

OM, it is fine, Mother, it was very beautiful.

(Mother laughs)

Mother, once more, please

The Mother: O----M.

And now?

The Mother: It is like this everywhere. O----M. O----M.

Yes, Mother.

The Mother: Look here, I was in France some I think, 60 years ago. There was a Frenchman who came back from the Himalayas, who had stayed there some time and he gave a lecture, and I listened to the lecture and in the lecture he said that when he was deep in the Himalayas, there was a sannyasin whom he didn't know, came to see him and told him only this O----M and that he was completely changed. And then, when he said O----M, I felt the same change in me, ...as if the Divine was coming in. O----M. There you are. Good, good. Keep the secret.

Yes, Mother.

The Mother: You will recall this: O----M. O----M. That's all. O----M. It must be manifested. If anything goes wrong, repeat OM, all will go well.

The Mother: OM: the signature of the Lord.


(‘Sweet Mother: Harmonies of Light, Words recollected by Mona Sarkar’ (Translated from the original in French), Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.)

Narad Eggenberger and The OM Choir: The New Music




Narad (Richard Eggenberger) is a longtime member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville as well as a musician, poet, landscaper, horticulturist, and gardener.

As a youth he took voice lessons and prepared for an operatic career at the Metropolitan Opera on a scholarship from one of the leading mezzosopranos of the day, Regina Resnick.

When he was 23, he came to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and had his first darshan of the Mother, who made him an ashramite and gave him permission to teach music in the ashram school. He formed an ashram choir that soon built a program of choral music covering many centuries. Mother also gave him the task of bringing down "the new music."

Narad went back to U.S. in 1962, working with a landscape design and installation firm and attending college to learn plant combination theory and other aspects of subtropical horticulture.
In 1969, he returned to Pondicherry, where Mother gave him the task of creating a beautiful garden for the Matrimandir. In the early 1970s he set up the Matrimandir Nursery for collecting, studying, and propagating rare and beautiful plants from all over the world. He worked personally with the Mother on the spiritual significances of flowers and edited the book, ‘Flowers and Their Messages’, the first book published by the ashram on the spiritual significance of flowers. Mother also gave Narad the work of reading ‘Savitri’ every week under the banyan, which he did for 10 years.

In the 1980s, Narad returned to the U.S., where he continued to extend his deep knowledge of plants and trees and to collect specimens for the Ashram and Auroville. He is past president of the Plumaria Society of America and is the author of numerous books and articles on tropical plants.

Meanwhile, after more than four decades of listening to thousands of works of music, seeking the new music everywhere, and singing (though not often, having given up all thought of a concert career), Narad had the insight that the new music was to descend in a collective body — one body with many tones, opening in surrender and aspiration. About seven years ago he began the OM choirs, which have brought a new kind of conscious music to the Ashram, Auroville, and many places around the world.

(Information courtesy Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry)

The theory of the mantra

”The theory of the Mantra is that it is a word of power born out of the secret depths of our being where it has been brooded upon by a deeper consciousness than the mental, framed in the heart and not constructed by the intellect, held in the mind, again concentrated on by the waking mental consciousness and then thrown out silently or vocally — the silent word is perhaps held to be more potent than the spoken — precisely for the work of creation.”

Om

In reply to a disciple's question the Mother explained OM in these few but profound words:

OM is the signature of the Lord.

The Mother's first experience of OM was in France when she heard a lecture by a Frenchman who had just then returned from the Himalayas. He said that he had met a sannyasin who told him of the power of Om which had completely changed him. As soon as she heard it she felt a great change coming over her. Such is the Power of OM - the signature of the Lord.

What is a mantra?

“The Mantra is an ever-living embodiment of the Truth and Power which have found expression in it through the medium of the Rishi or Yogin who has given them the body. And when a Mantra is uttered, under proper conditions, it is not the feeble voice of the person reciting that goes forth to evoke the response of the gods to whom it is addressed but the flame of tapasya and realisation that is lying coiled up in the body of that utterance.” (‘The Veda and the Tantra’ by Sri Kapali Sastri)

There is a striking description of the action of Mantra in Sri Aurobindo's epic ‘Savitri’, the brilliant verse starts with "As when the mantra sinks in the yoga's ear....” He explains that when the message of the mantra enters within, the hearer "understands a form of words" and if he strives to find the meaning with his "labouring mind" he will just get bright hints but not the "embodied Truth", it is only when he falls silent and meets "the deeper listening of his soul" that

The Word repeats itself in rhythmic strains:
Thought, vision, feeling, sense, the body's self
Are seized unalterably and he endures
An ecstasy and an immortal change:

This must be exactly what the Mother experienced when the Frenchman chanted Om. The Word repeats itself rhythmically and our entire self- “Thought, vision, feeling, sense, the body's self” are entirely seized by its vibrations and an immortal change occurs. The reason why the mantra is so powerful especially OM has been explained below.

“The Rishi, the seer when he perceives the Truth, perceives at the same time the sound embodying the Truth. He receives it in the secret depths of his being and gives expression to it in the human tongue. This is Mantra. When the Mantra is properly uttered, the sound-force from which it has sprung is contacted, which in turn reveals the Truth it embodies. So when the Mantra of a deity is uttered, the vibrations create the sound-body of the deity and with repeated utterances, the sound-body of the deity becomes concretely formed and the powerful Presence of the deity is established. “ (‘Glory of The Divine Mother - Devi Mahatmyam’ by S. Sankaranarayanan )

It is no wonder that whereever OM is chanted there is at once a great descent of Peace and divine vibrations .This is because the OM is the sound form of the Divine and not a mere word. Hence on chanting it in the proper manner it brings down the Divine's Presence and Power. This is why it is said in the Tantra that "To hell he goes who mistakes the Guru for a human, who takes the image for a piece of stone, who looks upon the Mantra as mere letters."
Sri Aurobindo's ‘Savitri’ has some breathtaking lines on Mantra and how the Yogi who has silenced his mind and "the voices that an inner listening hears…" becomes a receptacle to receive the "flame-wrapt outbursts of the immortal Word.......".It is in Silence that the Om reveals itself from within.

Why is it that OM is prefaced before every mantra and why is it the Mother of all Mantras? Here is the luminous answer by Sri M.P. Pandit

“When this creation was not, when there was only the Absolute- What the Upanishads call the Brahman- Absolute , and the Tantras, the Para-Shiva- and nothing else, and when this absolute thought of manifesting the creation, there was a stir, a spanda, a vibration. And this vibration- called Nada - on the highest plane of existence is approximated when rendered into human speech by a sound that is produced by pronouncing OM.

And human speech is only one, the lowest, of several grades of speech in existence. From the heights of creation, the essential speech has to pass through three higher stages before it assumes the fourth, gross form of human speech. And OM is the nearest approximation in human speech to the first creative sound that ordered the Universe. That is why OM is designated a symbol of Brahman, the Creator. Each time you repeat OM consciously, you emanate something of the pure vibration that corresponds to that which presided over the birth of this creation. It calls into the atmosphere the very forces that started a new creation. You create a new universe around yourself. “

A Voice profound in the ecstasy and the hush
They heard, beheld an all-revealing Light (‘Savitri’)
- Sudha

For Amal in Memorium

The lamp flared up when you were born
As if a passing breeze had touched the flame
Or some Immortal from another plane
Glimpsing the waiting cradle, yearned towards
The old familiar bonds of form and name.
Or did the Godhead of your fiery stars
Himself take up your Sagittarian bow
Heaven bent with arrows trained upon the sun
To pierce our leaden skies, that Man might know
What glorious dawns are hidden by those bars?

For dreams we could not reach were caught and bound
In poetry’s magic net, and radiant streams of sound.

- Sonia Dyne (12- Oct-2011)

(Amal Kiran (K.D. Sethna) left his body in July this year. He was one of the foremost of the Ashram poets and his correspondence with Sri Aurobindo on the subject of 'Savitri' has been read throughout the world. His birthday is on November 25th). December)

The Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore will run a Newsletter edition in memory of Amal Kiren for the month of December, 2011. This edition will focus on Amal Kiran, his life and works.

Harmony

Summer had begun, the rays of the sun snapped Vanita’s eyes and she suddenly got up and realized that she had woken up an hour later. Her entire day went hay-wire; her kids refused to go to school as they had not finished their assignments, she had to convince them and finally dropped them of at school late; she hadn’t finished cooking and had a row with her husband early in the morning. As her husband left she went back to the kitchen and started thinking about why her day was so disturbing. She was completely blank. Her husband came for lunch but he tasted the food and become so upset at the taste that he went away without having his lunch, commenting that it is better for him to eat outside.

Vanita broke down. She was in tears. She decided to make a call to her close friend Ria who was a devotee of The Mother and she always seemed to have a solution to every problem. And surprisingly, just as she was about to pick up her phone Ria was already at the door. Ria came in and was shocked to see the state of the house with clothes and things scattered on the floor. Vanita’s face looked very glum. Ria asked Vanita what had happened? Vanita sat down and explained to her all that had happened since morning, and also said that most of the days were similar to that day.

Ria said that she had a solution provided Vanita was willing to listen to what she had to tell her. Vanita nodded her head, indicating that she was more than willing to listen to what Ria had to say. Ria started off with The Mother’s quote on work:

“Even the apparently most insignificant thing must be done with perfect perfection, with a sense of cleanliness, beauty, harmony and order.”

She asked Vanita to clear up the mess in her home so that she would at least have some peace of mind. Secondly, she asked Vanita to closely analyze the reason why she had a row with her husband very often, and also asked her to introspect and said that The Mother had always quoted,
“When two persons quarrel always both are in the wrong”.

Ria again told Vanita about another of The Mother’s quote, “Look for the inner causes of disharmony much more than the outer ones. It is the inside which governs the outside”, and asked Vanita to organise herself properly to avoid all the confusion. Just before leaving, Ria told Vanita about the Harmony flower and told her that keeping this flower generates radiant rays of peace and harmony in the house. Vanita sat on her couch thinking about all that Ria had said and she slowly realised that she had a major role in all the commotion.

Vanita got up with renewed spirit and decided to clean up the house and then go for a peaceful stroll. While walking she looked around and suddenly found a creeper carrying the Harmony flowers. She plucked a handful of flowers and placed them in a vase in the hall and prayed for a while.

The belief she had in the flower never changed and from that day onwards her mind was always peaceful. As The Mother says,

There is no greater victory than of controlling oneself”
- Sharadha
References
Words of the Mother - Part I (page 110)
Rays of Light (page 123)
Mantras of the Mother (May, 3rd)

Sarvam Krishna Mayam: offering at Gita Jayanti celebrations

The children of IEP,offered a program entitled "Sarvam Krishna Mayam" at the Global Indian international school stage for as part of the Gita Jayanti cultural program, Krishna Manjari.

This is the 3rd consequtive year that Sri Aurobindo Society is presenting an offering at the Gita Jayanti program.