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

Krishna’s Light in the Overmind

 
The Overmind ready to be Divinized.

- The Mother
Common Name:  Mealy sage, Mealy-cup sage
Botanical Name: Salvia farinacea
Spiritual Name:  Krishna’s Light in the Overmind

Editorial

A plane of dazzling light, so dazzling that this plane has long been mistaken for the ultimate space of Light, the Supreme’s abode and the highest reaches available to the ardently seeking being of man. This very light so dazzling, The Mother has said, has misled seekers into believing it to be the ultimate stair in the climb, and so enticed them to remain there, without opening to the regions above this level, which alone can bring about a transformation here on earth, a supramentalisation of nature.

In this issue of our Newsletter, we touch the world of the Overmind, having climbed from rung to rung, beginning with the physical mind right up to the Intuitive Mind in our last issue. Sri Aurobindo, in ‘Savitri’ gives a wonderful description of this beautifully dazzling world through Ashwapathy’s journey:

(BOOK II: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds 301-302)

Neighbour his being grew to Nature’s crests.
The primal Energy took him in its arms;
His brain was wrapped in overwhelming light,
An all-embracing knowledge seized his heart:
Thoughts rose in him no earthly mind can hold,
Mights played that never coursed through mortal nerves:
He scanned the secrets of the Overmind,
He bore the rapture of the Oversoul.
A borderer of the empire of the Sun,
Attuned to the supernal harmonies,
He linked creation to the Eternal’s sphere.
His finite parts approached their absolutes,
His actions framed the movements of the Gods,
His will took up the reins of cosmic Force.

Meditating on these lines silently may just throw some light into our consciousness, in whatever state, to grasp an inkling of what the world of the Overmind could be and for us to silently savour that world and know it also for what it is, what it is not, what it can and cannot do.

This is the world of the Gods, albeit a limited world. The Supermind, which is above the Overmind, is the world of Truth. The Overmind is as yet “far below the true Divine. It is not the authentic home of the Truth… And the reason why the true Divine has not manifested and transformed earth-nature is precisely that the Overmind has been mistaken for the Supermind.”

The Mother explains why the Overmind is capable of deviating from the Truth of things: “Not that the Overmind is a field of ignorance; but it is the borderline between the Higher and the Lower, for the play of possibilities, of separate even if not yet divided choice, is likely to lead to deviation from the Truth of things.”

The Overmind, therefore, does not and cannot possess the power to transform humanity into divine nature. For that, the Supramental is the sole effective agent.” (‘Our Many Selves, Selection from the works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother’, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 2001).

April is a special month that commemorates the final arrival of The Mother to Pondicherry in 1920, 93 years ago. The Society observes this special event with a simple offering of sound and music, and movements. We would like to take this opportunity to remind readers that the 4th of April marks Sri Aurobindo’s 103rd year of arrival in Pondicherry. The Mother and Sri Aurobindo arrived in Pondicherry 10 years apart and both of them never left Pondicherry after their arrivals.

Savitri


There are greater destinies mind cannot surmise.
Fixed on the summit of the evolving Path
The Traveller now treads in the Ignorance,
Unaware of his next step, not knowing his goal.
Mind is not all this tireless climb can reach,
There is a fire on the apex of the worlds,
There is a house of the Eternal’s Light.
There is an infinite truth, an absolute power.
The spirit’s mightiness shall cast off its mask;
Its greatness shall be felt shaping the world’s course..

(Savitri, Book 11 Canto 1)

Question of the month


“He who recognises not Krishna, the God in man, knows not God entirely; he who knows Krishna only, knows not even Krishna. Yet is the opposite truth also wholly true that if thou canst see all God in a little pale unsightly and scentless flower, then hast thou hold of His supreme reality.”

Q: Once one has taken the path of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, should not one stop worshipping all other gods and goddesses?

A:  The Mother: One who truly follows the path given by Sri Aurobindo, as soon as he begins to have the experience of this path, will find it impossible to confine his consciousness to the worship of any god or goddess or even of all of them together.

(The Mother, ‘CWM’, Vol. 10, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry)



“When he watched the actions of Janaka, even Narada the divine sage thought him a luxurious worldling and libertine. Unless thou canst see the soul, how shalt thou say that a man is free or bound?”

Q: This raises all sorts of questions. For example, how is it that Narada could not see the soul?

A:  The Mother: For me, it is very simple. Narada was a demi­god, he belonged to the overmind world and he was able to materialise himself, but these beings have no psychic. The gods do not have within them the divine spark, which is the core of the psychic, because only on earth --- I am not even speaking of the material universe --- only on earth did this descent of divine Love take place, which was the origin of the divine Presence in the core of Matter. And naturally, since they have no psychic being, they do not know the psychic being. Some of these beings have even wanted to take a physical body so as to have the experience of the psychic being --- but not many of them.

As a rule, they did it only partially, through an “emanation”, not a total descent. For example, Vivekananda is said to have been an incarnation --- a Vibhuti --- of Shiva; but Shiva himself has clearly expressed his will to come down on earth only with the supramental world. When the earth is ready for the supramental life, he will come. And almost all these beings will manifest --- they are waiting for that moment, they do not want any of the present struggle and the obscurity.

Certainly Narada was one of those who came here.... In fact, it was for fun! He liked to play with circumstances. But he had no knowledge of the psychic being and that must have prevented him from recognising the psychic being where it existed.

But all these things cannot be explained; they are personal ideas and experiences; this knowledge is not objective enough to be taught. One can say nothing about a phenomenon which depends on one's personal experience and which has a value only for the person who has the experience.

What Sri Aurobindo said is based on the traditional learning of India and he spoke of what agreed with his own experience.

So to see the soul, one must know one's own soul?

Yes, to be in relation with the soul, that is, the psychic being, one must have a psychic being oneself, and only men --- men who belong to the evolution, who are sons of the terrestrial creation --- possess a psychic being.

None of these gods has a psychic being. It is only by coming down and uniting with the psychic being of a man that they can have one, but they have none themselves..

(The Mother, ‘CWM’, Vol. 10, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry)



“The Titans are stronger than the gods because they have agreed with God to front and bear the burden of His wrath and enmity; the gods were able to accept only the pleasant burden of His love and kindlier rapture.”

Q: So the gods are cowards! Then where is their greatness and spendour? Why do we worship inferior beings? And the Titans must be the most lovable sons of the Divine?

A:  The Mother: What Sri Aurobindo writes here is a paradox to awaken sluggish minds. But one must understand all the irony these phrases contain and above all the intention he puts behind the words. Besides, cowardly or not, I see no need for us to worship the gods, great or small. Our worship must go to the Supreme Lord alone, one in all things and beings.


(The Mother, ‘CWM’, Vol. 10, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry)

The Mother on the Overmind


Sri Aurobindo’s work is a unique earth-transformation.


Above the mind there are several levels of conscious being, among which the really divine world is what Sri Aurobindo has called the Supermind, the world of the Truth. But in between is what he has distinguished as the Overmind, the world of the cosmic Gods. Now it is this Overmind that has up to the present governed our world: it is the highest that man has been able to attain in illumined consciousness. It has been taken for the Supreme Divine and all those who have reached it have never for a moment doubted that they have touched the true Spirit. For, its splendours are so great to the ordinary human consciousness that it is absolutely dazzled into believing that here at last is the crowning reality. And yet the fact is that the Overmind is far below the true Divine. It is not the authentic home of the Truth. It is only the domain of the formateurs, all those creative powers and deities to whom men have bowed down since the beginning of history. And the reason why the true Divine has not manifested and transformed the earth-nature is precisely that the Overmind has been mistaken for the Supermind. The cosmic Gods do not wholly live in the Truth-Consciousness: they are only in touch with it and represent, each of them, an aspect of its glories.

No doubt, the Supermind has also acted in the history of the world but always through the Overmind. It is the direct descent of the Supramental Consciousness and Power that alone can utterly re-create life in terms of the Spirit. For, in the Overmind there is already the play of possibilities which marks the beginning of this lower triple world of Mind, Life and Matter in which we have our existence. And whenever there is this play and not the spontaneous and infallible working of the innate Truth of the Spirit, there is the seed of distortion and ignorance. Not that Overmind is a field of ignorance; but it is the borderline between the Higher and the Lower, for, the play of possibilities, of separate even if not yet divided choice, is likely to lead to deviation from the Truth of things.

The Overmind, therefore, does not and cannot possess the power to transform humanity into divine nature. For that, the Supramental is the sole effective agent. And what exactly differentiates our Yoga from attempts in the past to spiritualise life is that we know that the splendours of the Overmind are not the highest reality but only an intermediate step between the mind and the true Divine.

(The Mother, ‘CWM’, Vol. 3, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry)

February-March Sunday Activities at Centre – A glimpse


3 March 2013: Readings on The Mother’s Writings and OM choir

This evening, we discussed a while the process of introspection. Some experiences were shared spontaneously. One was about how the same pattern of events seem to keep repeating in one’s life till one dissolves that something that is a root cause of the events, or rather, the kind of reaction one has towards events. Many voiced that they do not make any New Year resolutions since these are never kept. There seemed to be a common thread in the sharing that when one truly decides and does something, it is a decision from within, to look at oneself and be oneself, as one member pointed out. While events that happen in our lives propel us to greater heights after repeated cycles, there is a way in yoga, and that is to be constantly in a state of watching oneself, inside out. We did an exercise on going within using the breath as a first step and some questions were read out to help carry out some introspection on the state within. With this, Mother’s quotation on self-observation and its need was read out. Then OM choir resumed with some voice exercises and the evening culminated on a quiet note with some meditation music.


10 March 2013: Talk by Jared Quek- “The Psychic Transformation-Part 1”

The second Sunday is when we have been having talks by Jared at the Centre. The topic this time was “The Psychic Transformation”. As always, we were each given a handout with precious excerpts on this topic from ‘The Life Divine’. The first topic was “Contact with the Divine”. Considering the main subject was to do with Psychic Transformation, “Contact with the Divine” seemed to be the best way to broach the complex yet essential task of Transformation of the Psychic. It tells us about how the psychic element in us will always tend to turn towards anything which belongs to a higher Reality. In the next few paragraphs, we saw how best to achieve the much-needed Contact with the Divine. This can be accomplished by means of The Yoga of Knowledge, The Yoga of Love and The Yoga of Works. Each of it comes with its own challenges and means to overcome the challenges, with the single focus of achieving Contact with the Divine. This sparked off an interesting discussion wherein some of us shared our own thoughts and ideas on each of the Yogas and how we incorporate small steps in our daily lives to be able to offer our Yoga to The Divine.


17 March 2013: Talk by Jared Quek- “The Psychic Transformation -Part 2”

This being the Third Sunday, we were to continue the talk on “The Psychic Transformation”. Jared quickly summarised what was discussed the previous Sunday for the benefit of people who were not present the previous Sunday. In this day, we were to deal with the next topic—The Yoga of Works or Karma Yoga. We had earlier (a few months ago) had a separate elaborate discussion on Karma Yoga at the Centre. It emphasises on how important it is, to give our fullest to any work we undertake, and how best to not have any attachment or the expectation of any reward to the work we undertake. Sri Aurobindo, in ‘The Life Divine’, says: the more powerful and many-side change in Nature is the appearance of a composite perfection of the saint, the selfless worker and the man of spiritual knowledge. After reading these powerful lines and having a wholesome idea about the three types of Yoga, we delved into our next topic which was—The Entry into the Inner Countries.

The lines under this topic throw light on how important it is to not stand on the surface and try to transform the Psychic in us, but instead, cease to be the surface and aspire to become the inner Person, the Purusha. Only if the outer surface undergoes a tremendous change, is it possible for such a huge transformation to penetrate into our very being. And this outer change includes the change of poise, a quieting, a purification and fine “mutation” of its substance. The usage of the all powerful word “mutation” signifies how great the outer transformation must be to even attempt anything greater.

After reading the excerpts and discussing them, we sat down for our Closing Meditation.

- Preethi and Jayanthy

Along The Way……Reflections on the March 2013 Morning Walk at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve


It was a pleasant morning with the best possible weather that one could hope for as we gathered at the base of Bukit Timah Hill. The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is one of Singapore's last remaining patches of primary rainforest and a declared ASEAN heritage park. It is commendable that the forest, despite its small size houses over 840 species of flowering plants and over 500 species of fauna. More than commendable, it’s probably a grace that we are blessed with this abundance in our little island.


Of course, on a crowded Sunday morning, not much of this fauna was clearly visible as we joined the multitude of others who sought this park as a natural refuge and a place for their weekend exercise. After our warm ups, the group diverged into two with some of us taking the younger kids for the more adventurous climb up the rocky path. It was in these quieter places of the reserve that we really get to see the hidden beauty of the fauna in the area. The children delighted in spotting delicate spider-webs, ants that were larger than any they could see in the city parks, a monkey and on one occasion, a flying squirrel. After the hard climb up the rocks, we delighted in taking off our shoes and soaking our feet in the natural stream that ran at the top of the rocky path.


There was quiet meditation, good company and a simple and delicious brunch that awaited us at the end of the morning in the Rajah residence. The Mother has said “Simplicity, great indeed is Thy beauty”. On the walk and the brunch that followed, I felt deeply the power of the simple.

- Kiruthika