Guiding Light of The Month

In this immense heroic struggle, in this sublime struggle of love against hatred, of justice against injustice, of obedience to Thy supreme law against revolt, may I gradually be able to make humanity worthy of a still sublimer peace in which, all internal dissensions having ceased, the whole effort of man may be united for the attainment of a more and more perfect and integral realisation of Thy divine Will and Thy progressive ideal. - The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk

In the last issue of the Newsletter we took a look at another kind of education, one that carried the promise of a new way of being which would eventually take care of the current ills of the world. More so, this education seeks to correct the ills inherent within us, the individuals who make the collective. It is a reasonable call, to approach the problem from the seed or root then to prune the plant on the surface for corrections. What then is this education all about? The integral education is based on the philosophy and psychology of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga. Because this Yoga addresses and takes care of all planes of the being, the physical, vital, mental, psychic and spiritual, and embraces all of life within its ambit, it is referred to as integral. In this yoga, nothing is small and nothing big, nothing important and nothing less important. Every element, as it were, is subjected to the transforming Force and is new born into a life of Light. Integral education offers a promise for the future, to build solid bases on the earth methodically, which will eventually facilitate the descent of the Supramental into vessels thus prepared and divinised. 

The Mother formally instituted the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education in 1952. The Free Progress system of education, based on integral education, was followed. The Free progress system of education is “a progress guided by the soul and not subject to habits, conventions and preconceived ideas.” A sustained contemplation over these words reveals to us much of what it is in spirit. Also, that the last few words, “habits, conventions and preconceived ideas” characterise education in our conventional schools cannot be refuted. But would it then mean that the Free Progress system is devoid of “habits, conventions and pre-conceived ideas”? Nothing can probably be farther from the truth. These shortcomings reflected in the system are nothing but those that we ourselves carry within us, in our own material, which then characterises circumstances. However, the striking difference must lie in the practice of free progress education, which must embrace these shortcomings in us individuals and transform them in the course of time, creating progressively enlightened conglomerates. “Education” takes a totally different meaning here. 

The Mother spells out succinctly with certitude the aim of the Centre of Education, “…it is to give all opportunities to those who are here to cast off from them the slavery to the human way of thinking and doing; it is to teach all those who want to listen that there is another and truer way of living, that Sri Aurobindo has taught us how to live and become a true being – and that the aim of education here is to prepare the children and make them fit for that life.”

Beginning with this issue, we will navigate the course of integral education. Two issues will be dedicated to the education of each of the planes of the being. We begin this edition with ‘Physical Education’ and continue with the same for the month of January 2014. As one gets more and more acquainted with  integral education, one realises how much The Mother invested in facilitators to know everyone of their charge in every plane of the being, as deeply as possible. This required the highest demand one can make of a teacher, the demand of a true yogi. The Mother demanded nothing short of this from every teacher. Schooling itself was the ground of sadhana, for all concerned.

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