Guiding Light of The Month

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. - The Mother

Centenary of The Mother’s first arrival in Pondicherry


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.



-         Sri Aurobindo in ‘Savitri’


29th March 2014, Saturday from 6:00 to 7:00 pm 
 at Sri Aurobindo Society, 2A Starlight Road, # 01-07, Singapore 217755.

We shall be screening a film, “I have seen The Mother”

 All are cordially invited to be part of this special Centenary Celebrations.

From the Editor’s Desk (Mar 2014)

Thirty six thousand and five hundred days… A hundred years. Time’s tread on this earth is inaudible, but meeting elements at various points marks the trial of time and events result.  Events leave behind markers. These markers may be physical ramifications or they are mental cognitions and sensations. They remain in our memories as a result of experiences we may have lived as a direct result of such events. These are the markers that help us re-live time in eternity. The meeting of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, in the physical world for the first time is one such event, that can be brought  into our consciousness from time to time. Sri Aurobindo describes this momentous meeting in cryptic lines:

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

The meeting was only one point in eternity, one tiny pin point of an interception of two rays, that little moment in time that was preceded by an eternity of evolution and likewise, proceeded by the unfolding of a new working of things, a new order, a new scheme or “a matrix in new Time”. The period of time after the meeting cannot escape our cognition, we are a part of that matrix that ever spreads out, branching out from endless points in space and time.

The meeting of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother began a divine collaboration upon earth, in human time, meant to lead man into a new era of consciousness. It meant the establishment of a centre, in Pondicherry, to work out the realisation of the integral life on earth and in essence, the evolution of consciousness on earth.
We commemorate the Centenary of The Mother’s first arrival in Pondicherry and her first meeting with Sri Aurobindo with this special edition.

This centenary observance is an important event of the Ashram calendar and in Centres all over the world that seek to live out the integral philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. The observance brings us back to the time when The Mother first met Sri Aurobindo and helps us trace the events that followed after this momentous meeting. The observance may well make us question what our part is in this unfolding matrix in time. In the least, at our human levels, we are probably able to, even if vaguely, conceive of the significance of this arrival and this meeting in our own lives, our lives which are in many ways touched by their meeting on the 29th of March 1914. If not for that meeting, our lives would have played on a totally different strain that we may be unable to even imagine.

This special edition carries articles that bring to us the events of 29th March 1914 and the Mother’s perception of the event as seen through her entries in ‘Prayers and Meditations’ as well as Sri Aurobindo’s cryptic insights into the meeting. The edition also carries three articles written by our members on various topics. We reproduce Sonia Dyne’s article, “The Child and the Hearth - a Divine Dialogue”, originally published in ‘Sri Aurobindo’s Action’, February 2004. In this article, she examines the symbolic significance of the entry made in The Mother’s ‘Prayers and Meditations’ of March 27th 1917, three years after her first meeting with Sri Aurobindo and three years before her final arrival in Pondicherry. Sandhya writes on metamorphosis, while Jayalakshmi expresses her gratitude for the spiritual guidance from The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. In this special edition, we include three walk reviews.

Savitri

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.
In the great quietness where spirits meet,
Led by my hushed desire into my woods
Let the dim rustling arches over thee lean;
One with the breath of things eternal live,
Thy heartbeats near to mine, till there shall leap
Enchanted from the fragrance of the flowers
A moment which all murmurs shall recall
And every bird remember in its cry.

Out of the voiceless mystery of the past
In a present ignorant of forgotten bonds
These spirits met upon the roads of Time.
Yet in the heart their secret conscious selves
At once aware grew of each other warned
By the first call of a delightful voice
And a first vision of the destined face.

So now they met in that momentous hour,
So utter the recognition in the deeps,
The remembrance lost, the oneness felt and missed

“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 setting bird.

(Savitri, Book 5 Canto 3)

The Mother’s Prayer of 30th March, 1914

In the presence of those who are integrally Thy servitors, those who have attained the perfect consciousness of Thy presence, I become aware that I am still far, very far from what I yearn to realise; and I know that the highest I can conceive, the noblest and purest is still dark and ignorant beside what I should conceive. But this perception, far from being depressing, stimulates and strengthens the aspiration, the energy, the will to triumph over all obstacles so as to be at last identified with Thy law and Thy work.

Gradually the horizon becomes distinct, the path grows clear, and we move towards a greater and greater certitude.

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 be indeed established upon earth.

O Lord, Divine Builder of this marvel, my heart overflows with joy and gratitude when I think of it, and my hope has no bounds. My adoration is beyond all words, my reverence is silent.


(‘Prayers and Meditations’, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1978, Published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry)

The Meeting

"I came here…. But something in me wanted to meet Sri Aurobindo all alone the first time. Richard went to him in the morning and I had an appointment for the afternoon. He was living in the house that's now part of the second dormitory, the old Guest House. I climbed up the stairway and he was standing there, waiting for me at the top of the stairs….EXACTLY my vision! Dressed 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. The two things clicked (gesture of instantaneous shock), the inner experience immediately became one with the outer experience and there was fusion—the decisive shock."

- The Mother, 20th December 1961.


On 29 March 1914, the very day they arrived in Pondicherry from France, Mirra and Paul Richard met Sri Aurobindo in the afternoon at 3.30. They were received at the top of the stairs that led up to the upstairs verandah. The moment Mirra had so ardently looked forward to had arrived at last, and there was a blaze of instantaneous recognition. Sri Aurobindo was clearly the Master of her occult life, the "Krishna" she had met so often in her dream-experiences. Their first meeting and the current of feelings that may have gone through them are echoed in these lines of 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.

There was hardly any conversation between them; indeed, there was no need. In K.D. Sethna's words:

“Before meeting Sri Aurobindo she used to find for her various spiritual experiences and realisations a poise for life-work by giving them a mould with the enlightened mind. All kinds of powerful ideas she had for world­upliftment - ideas artistic, social, religious. At the sight of Sri Aurobindo she aspired to a total cessation of all mental moulds. She did not speak a word nor did he: she just sat at his feet and closed her eyes, keeping her mind open to him. Aftera while there came, from above, an infinite silence that settled in her mind. Everything was gone, all those fine and great ideas vanished and there was only a vacant imperturbable waiting for what was beyond mind.”

There is also the report by Nolini Kanta Gupta about the Mother:

“The first time Sri Aurobindo happened to describe her qualities, he said he had never seen anywhere a self-surrender so absolute and unreserved. He had added a comment that perhaps it was only women who were capable of giving themselves so entirely and with such sovereign ease. This implies a complete obliteration of the past, erasing it with its virtues and faults .... When she came here, she gave herself up to the Lord, Sri Aurobindo, with the candid simplicity of a child, after erasing from herself all her past, all her spiritual attainments, all the riches of her consciousness. Like a new­born babe, she felt she possessed nothing, she was to learn everything right from the start, as if she had known or heard about nothing.”

Her own recollection of the meeting, sixteen years after, was significant:

“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 realised! This was the first time I had witnessed the power to make real what is true.”

It is probable that it was at one of the early meetings that Mirra asked her question about Samadhi, to which she was to refer forty years later:

“When I came here, one of my first questions to Sri Aurobindo was: "What do you think of samadhi, that state of trance one does not remember? One enters into a condition which seems blissful, but when one comes out of it, one does not know at all what has happened." Then he looked at me, saw what I meant and told me, "It is unconsciousness." I asked him for an explanation .... He told me, "Yes, you enter into what is called samadhi when you go out of your conscious being and enter a part of your being which is completely unconscious, or rather a domain where you have no corresponding consciousness... a region where you are no longer conscious ... that is why, naturally, you remember nothing .... " So this reassured me and I said, "Well, this has never happened to me." He replied, "Nor to me". ”

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.”

If Sri Aurobindo was an embodiment of the East-West synthesis and contained within himself "the multi-dimensional spiritual consciousness of India", Mirra was the finest flower of European culture with deep spiritual filiations with India and the East as also with Africa, and she incarnated "a practical genius of a rare order, with powers of wide yet precise organisation". Little wonder that they completed, when they met at last as if by divine dispensation, "the entire circle of the higher human activities" and were "supremely fitted to bring the East and the West together and, blending them, lead to a common all-consummating goal". But all this marvellous possibility was only for the yet hidden future. In the immediate context, however, the one supreme gain was the mere fact of the coming together of two rare spiritual powers and personalities, each feeling vastly strengthened by the other. The Richards returned to their hotel in a condition of calm fulfilment and with a hope of exciting new possibilities. Mirra could withdraw into herself, assess the new turn in her life, and re dedicate herself to the Divine. Her deep-felt feelings found memorable expression in her diary-entry for 30 March 1914:

Gradually the horizon becomes distinct, the path grows clear, and we move towards a greater and greater certitude.

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 be indeed established upon earth.

O Lord, Divine Builder of this marvel, my heart overflows with joy and gratitude when I think of it, and my hope has no bounds.

My adoration is beyond all words, my reverence is silent.

She had found in Sri Aurobindo a being who had "attained the perfect consciousness" and become integrally one of "Thy servitors", and it had seemed to her that she was "still far, very far from what I yearn to realise". But she was happy that a new Dawn in her life had arrived, and would now take her to the beckoning Noon. She recorded on 1 April:

A great joy, a deep peace reign 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 individualised. All the past in its external form 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.

The stress is on the new - the new bearings - the new orientations - the new alignment of forces in the service of the Divine. The old is not altogether annulled or annihilated; like organic filaments, they are but to be melted and moulded into the new instruments. The day has ended, the day has begun. In my beginning is my end; in my end is my beginning!

Thus Mirra in her meditation on the morning of 2 April:

Every day, when I want to write, I am interrupted, as though the new period opening now before us were a period of expansion rather than of concentration.

And on the next day:

It seems to me that I am being born to 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 is nothing more than a preparation .... It is as though I were stripped of my entire past, of its errors as well as its conquests, as though all that has vanished and made room for a new-born child whose whole existence is yet to be lived ....

An immense gratitude rises from my heart, it seems to me that I have at last reached the threshold I sought so much.

These diary-entries only corroborate Nolini's and Sethna's remarks quoted earlier: Mirra's absolute and unreserved surrender really meant “a complete obliteration of the past", and instead "an infinite silence settled in her mind".



(‘On The Mother’, Chapter 6 – “The Meeting”, K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry)

The Child and the Hearth – A Divine Dialogue


The Word, a mighty and inspiring Voice
Enters Truth’s inmost cabin of privacy
And tears away the veil from God and life. (Savitri, 10.4)

The Mother’s ‘Prayers and Meditations’ are an inexhaustible source of inspiration and delight, and none has more striking and powerfully evocative imagery than the Mother’s account of her experience on March 27th, 1917. The date itself is interesting, almost three years to the day after her first meeting with Sri Aurobindo. She had been away from India for more than a year and we can imagine that as she sat to meditate that morning, her thoughts were full of the significance of her meeting with him in Pondicherry, and perhaps an unspoken question in her heart concerned their shared mission and the nature of their future collaboration.

As her meditation begins, The Mother hears the ‘mighty and inspiring Voice’ of the indwelling Divine asking her to look at four forms appearing on the blank screen of her silent mind. One is living and clothed in purple, the colour of spiritual power. The others are ‘dust’ – lifeless, but cleansed and purified. Do these lifeless forms represent past incarnations of the Mother? Or do they represent the human elements of her being, the mind, life and body   subject to the law of death of which the Bible says ‘dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return’? We cannot know, unless the Mother has somewhere revealed it. But the Voice makes it clear to her that the living form - the soul or psychic being - must penetrate and revivify the others, uniting them into a ‘living and acting vesture’ for the Mother’s future action in the world.

The Voice bids her ‘knock at the door of consciousness and the door will be opened’. Then, in a profound mental stillness, her consciousness flows like a silver river ‘from the sky to the earth.’  The flowing river gives way to a brilliant succession of images, each one opening the door to a depth of meaning that language alone can never hope to convey. One by one they appear - a luminous screen on which words are traced; a field sown with seed, then covered in snow; a great swan, pure white, hovering above with outspread wings; and a woodcutter gathering together fuel for a fire. This blazing fire burns in a consecrated hearth while a child, who dare not touch the fire, rejoices in its warmth. Towards the end of the experience the Mother is shown the legendary salamander that alone can endure the fire, and the immortal phoenix rising from the flames.

Here is a ‘divine dialogue’ using a language older and more powerful than words, forged over millennia by the experiences of poets, visionaries and seers. These are images occurring in myths and legends all over the world, but the fact that they appear also in the Mother’s vision elevates them to the status of a universal symbolic language, one that has entered deeply into the subliminal mind of the race, even if we have lost the key to its interpretation. It may be that there is no direct way to translate these symbols into a mental language. Should we encounter them in a different dimension of consciousness – a dream perhaps - the ‘meaning’ would be conveyed without the need for words. Thus according to her own account, when the Mother encountered the archetypal ‘Man of Sorrows’ in her childhood dreams, she recognised immediately what he represented. The communication received by the Mother on 27th March speaks of a divine knowledge sown like seeds in the Mother’s consciousness, which was pure and white like snow. In that purity the knowledge could not be distorted by any covering of falsehood. It would be available to her when the need arose.

The divine Voice promises the Mother five realisations: she will smile at her destiny; she will use her returning strength;  she will be ‘the woodcutter who ties the bundle of firewood’; she will be the ‘white swan’ with outspread wings; she will lead all men to their supreme destiny. More than that, her heart will be the ‘triumphant hearth’ on which a fire burns that only she can bear, and ‘the child’ will be warmed by this fire.

Many pages could be written about the swan, the hamsa of Indian spiritual tradition. Hamsa is a mantra of manifestation, the breath of life itself. In yoga the Hamsa or swan is associated with the heart centre, anahata chakra, and the sense of hearing. The Mother who hears the Voice in Truth’s inmost cabin of privacy will be like the swan that ‘purifies the sight’ and warms all hearts. But how are we to understand the image of child and the hearth, and the fire that burns within? We meet with them again in one of the most striking passage of Savitri:


The Mighty Mother sits in lucent calm
And holds the eternal child upon her knees,
Attending the day when he shall speak to fate.
There is the image of our future’s hope;
There is the sun on which all darkness waits…..

There in a body made of spirit stuff
The hearthstone of the ever-lasting fire,
Action translates the movements of the soul,
Thought steps infallible and absolute
And life is a continual worship’s rite;
A sacrifice of rapture to the One. (Savitri, 10.4)


Here too we see the divine child linked to a future realisation and an ever-lasting fire.

Sri Aurobindo has written extensively about the symbolism of fire, but for our present purpose we can turn to his essay on the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, published in the Arya in the very year (1917) of the Mother’s visionary experience. The Mother may have seen this article before or after its publication.

In this essay Sri Aurobindo compares the ‘ever-living fire’ of Heraclitus with the Vedic idea of fire as the creative power and active energy of the Infinite. ‘ these were not merely symbols’ he writes. ‘The Vedic mystics held, it is clear, a close connection and effective parallelism to exist between psychical and physical activities, between the action of Light, for instance and the phenomena of mental illumination; fire was to them at once the luminous divine energy, the Seer-Will of the universal Godhead active and creative of the substantial forms of the universe, burning secretly in all life.’

He goes on to praise ‘the deep divining eye’ of the Greek philosopher, who saw through the veil of manifestation, the eternal truth of existence; and expressed his vision in images that paralleled the language of ancient Indian scriptures: No man or god has created the universe, but ever there was and is and will be the ever-living fire. Heraclitus also spoke of a kingdom of the child, a divine child at play in the world, and Sri Aurobindo comments: ‘Heraclitus could not see it, and yet his one saying about the child, touches, almost reaches, the heart of the secret. For this kingdom is evidently spiritual, it is the crown, the mastery to which the perfected man arrives; and the perfected man is a divine child! He is the soul which awakens to the divine play, accepts it without fear or reserve, gives itself up in a spiritual purity to the Divine, allows the careful and troubled force of man to be freed from care and grief and become the joyous play of the divine Will, his relative and stumbling reason to be replaced by that divine knowledge which to the Greek, the rational man, is foolishness, and the laborious pleasure-seeking of the bound mentality to lose itself in the spontaneity of the divine Ananda; ‘for such is the kingdom of heaven.’ The paramhansa, the liberated man, is in his soul balavat, even as if a child.’

It seems evident that the child of the Mother’s vision is the perfected man of the New Creation. He is not yet able to bear the divine fire in which his perfection will be forged, because his hour has not yet come. The Mother will lead all men towards this perfection but she is warned not to let them come too close to the fire. Again the Voice speaks, offering an explanation of the symbol-images. The ‘triumphant hearth’ is the Mother’s power of realisation; the salamander ever reborn in the fire is the Light of truth; and the phoenix ‘who comes from the sky and knows how to return to it’ is the Sovereign Consciousness.

In the ancient world the phoenix was always connected with worship of the sun. This miraculous bird had the power to renew its own life by building a nest of aromatic wood and spices, setting it on fire and allowing itself to be consumed by the flames. From this funeral pyre a new phoenix arose, and in ancient Egypt the bird was believed to sacrifice itself on the altar of the Sun God, Re. It is easy to see how the phoenix became the symbol of immortality.

It is the nature of a vision that the symbol becomes one with the reality it signifies. The phoenix of the Mother’s vision - the Sovereign Consciousness - can never be known by the reader as she must have seen it. Sometimes a poet can capture something of the wonder and awe, as George Darley did in this celebrated nineteenth century poem which rescued its author from obscurity:

O blest unfabled Incense Tree
That burns in glorious Araby,
With red scent chalicing the air,
Til earth-life grow Elysian there!

Half buried to her flaming breast,
In this bright tree she makes her nest,
Hundred-sunned phoenix! when she must
Crumble at length to hoary dust!

Her gorgeous death-bed! her rich pyre
Burnt up with aromatic fire!
Her urn, sight high from spoiler men!
Her birth place when self-born again!

The phoenix builds its sacrificial pyre of aromatic wood, and the Lord now tells the Mother: ‘Thou shalt be the woodcutter who ties the bundle of firewood.’ Her task will be to gather whatever in human nature aspires to be changed by taking it into her heart and casting it into the transforming fire. She gathers those who are ready for the sacrifice of their human personality, just as the phoenix builds its pyre of incense and aromatic boughs.

In medieval Europe the salamander was often depicted on monuments curled into a ring with its tail in its mouth, a symbol of unending time. The Alchemists, who were the scientists and spiritual seekers of their day, preserved a more ancient tradition that is truly mysterious to the modern mind. The salamander had the ability to remain in the intense heat of a fire without being burnt. ‘It lived in fire and fed on fire.’ To some Alchemists the salamander represented the catalyst for a mystical transformation. But in the Mother’s vision the salamander is the Light of Eternal Truth that lives in the fire unharmed because it is One with the Power that kindled it. She will live in the world according to this Truth, obedient to it alone.

The Mother had no doubt about the meaning of her experience for she said ‘Thou hast opened my eyes and a little of the night has been illumined. At a point in her life when the future must have seemed uncertainits significance for her was profound, for it contained the whole secret of her mission. Among the ‘Prayers and Meditations’ of the Mother the message of 27th March 1917 stands out as the one in which she received the Adesh of the Lord and the confirmation of her future destiny.
-          Sonia Dyne

(Originally published in‘ Sri Aurobindo’s Action’, February 2004)


Joy of Change

I am a little, a very little creature. Just a speck in this whole wide world. I move around in sand, among the trees and plants. I wiggle through my body and move. I eat the leaves and sleep in a small hole on trees. A spray of black covers me and I have little strings point out of me.

One sweet day, while I was moving slowly through the leaves, I saw a very pretty one. It had a spread of colours and different shades. As if a painter had consciously spread colours on it. It had little wings, was hopping from one flower to another. It merged with the flowers and looked like them. It added colour to this beautiful world. I was amazed and admired the little lovely creature. I was keenly looking at it, and with a side eye, I think it saw me too. I took a step forward; it tapped its wings and flew away.

I went ahead in search of food, ate the leaves I found. I went around and spotted more colours, and each colour reminded me of the little creature I saw in the morning. I wondered at its beauty….

Next day, I woke up and felt fresh, a little different and went ahead wiggling among the plants. I found a big tree and decided to climb that tree. There were leaves of all sizes, I ate a few. And one leaf, looked very special to me. I went ahead and touched it. And after that, a magic happened.

I remember a few and I don’t remember a few. I stayed within the leaf for a long time and when I emerged, I was not the same. Inside the leaf, safe inside the leaf, many different things happened. Layers of thick material enveloped me; I felt myself crush inside it, made into a liquid and crossed many stages. It was painful, pressing me at times. Slowly I started enjoying it. I was sure I am going to grow into something beautiful.

One day, the leaf opened. I felt sunshine falling on me. And with a slight shake, I felt wings, colourful wings on me. I tapped them and flew towards the Sun. Happy and spreading cheerfulness to this whole bright world. As in a beautiful dream…They call me a butterfly.

How does something as small and blatant as a caterpillar turn into something as vivid as a butterfly? What mystery happens inside the leaf that does the change? Can we connect with that music and feel how interconnected our world is….the magical change that happens, full of happy providence inside the cocoon?


- Sandhya

29-Mar-1914 is really an Auspicious and Blessed date for whole of the Earth

My adorations and heartfelt gratitude to The Mother and Sri Aurobindo for their lifetime’s sadhana in bringing to us their Grace and Light in the form of the above prayers.  To see Lord Rama or Krishna in the Light and Fire of the calm flame of the lamp with no wavering and chanting the above prayers, I feel, makes my prayer more penetrating and meaningful.

The date 29-Mar-1914 is really an Auspicious and Blessed date for whole of the Earth.


- Jayalakshmi

Along the Way… Reflections on the February 2014 Morning Walk

The countdown for A Level (12th grade) examinations is just 9 months. I used the Chinese New Year holidays to do some revision and I felt it was time to take my mind off studies for a bit. Therefore, I decided to attend the monthly morning walk. It had been quite some time since I attended the morning walk as I usually skipped the walk and went straight for brunch. Therefore even though I have attended many walks, this one was something relatively new and special.

It was a crisp Sunday morning at the Changi Beach Park. When I reached there, there was already a relatively large crowd of our society members. I was quite pleased that so many people turned up for the walk. I was stunned to have seen Mrs. Sonia Dyne. It has been a few years since she had come to Singapore and I was thrilled to realize that she would be joining us for the walk. Everyone was engaged in their small group conversations for a while to catch up on what had happened in the past month, while waiting for the other members to arrive to join us for the walk.

A while had passed and finally Ramanathan Uncle started gathering everyone for the pre-walk warm-up. Everyone stood in the circle, and confusion erupted on who should lead the warm-up. As always Ramanathan Uncle decided to come forward and lend a helping hand in leading the warm-ups. People had troubles with some of the stretches, but after all, warm-ups are meant to prepare your body for the walk ahead. When everyone had finished the warm-ups it was time to start the walk.

Instructions were given to everyone to start the walk and gather back by 10a.m. The walk was decided to be on the Changi Coastal boardwalk. It was my first time walking on the boardwalk and I was pleasantly surprised. I didnot know there was such a quiet and peaceful place alongside the bustling Changi Beach. It was a long and pleasant walk which everyone walked in their small groups enjoying the wonderful scenery of the Singapore coastline and its surrounding islands. One side was filled with jungle and the other with the coastline. The walk was so pleasant and beautiful that it was 10a.m. in a whisk of time. This was followed by a peaceful meditation with cool breeze by the beach and a scrumptious brunch by Venkat Uncle and family.

-          Vishnuraj

The morning walk on 2nd February was at Changi beach.  I was very excited as I saw a big playground while driving past to the car park. The weather was windy and cold. I saw lots of people camping out in tents. I also counted 8 aeroplanes flying above us that took off from Changi Airport. Many ships were sailing in the water.

There was a big structure with a big slide at the playground.  I wanted to climb up but I was a little scared. But Aakash and Shiv guided me. I was very happy that I finished the climb and came down the slide. I had lots of fun at the walk.
- Ananya

Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Kashyap, a sleek silver car transported Nisha and myself to Car Park 2. It was a beautiful a day, and as I made my way towards the beach the earliest memory from my childhood suddenly came back to me: my mother holding me up to see sunlight sparkling on the water, and I relived the thrill of wonder and enchantment that took hold of me then and remains with me still. It was a fitting prelude to a truly magical day.

Dhana was standing under the concrete shelter, keeping it safe for our later use. I joined her there and felt myself once again caught up and embraced within Nature’s changeless circle of skyline and shoreline filled with soft wind. More and more walkers, old friends and new, were arriving and would soon set out on their 6 km hike, something I thought I could not accomplish on my feet still swollen from the flight to Singapore. I decided to stay in the shelter where others would join me and together we would share our memories of other walks, other times.

But first there were the warm-up exercises which we performed standing in a circle on the beach. Looking around the circle a strange realization came on a carrier wave of truth: “But I know these people! We are one family here– we have been together many times and will be together again.” I had experienced that sudden spontaneous recognition of people only once before, when I was staying in the Ashram during my first visit to Pondicherry in 1978/79.

The events of the morning are not easy to recall, because everything seemed to happen as if by magic. In no time at all our concrete shelter was transformed into the Library room at SIFAS. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother presided there among flowers and incense and a beautifully presented Prasad of gold wrapped chocolates. A familiar music mingled with the sounds of Singapore on holiday, punctuated now and then by the roar of aircraft taking off from nearby Changi. But nothing disturbed the atmosphere of peace and joy as the ‘birthday’ prayers were read.

Meanwhile another miracle was taking place in the shelter next to ours – a smiling divinity who had taken the form of Jaishree was inviting us to a banquet of delicious home cooked dishes that had appeared, it seemed, out of nowhere with all necessary accompaniments, and this despite the fact that the gas supply at home had failed for a considerable part of the morning!

At one point Jayanthy came up and asked me if I would be willing to write down my impressions for the Newsletter. What can I say? Only that something was achieved for a few hours that is the true object of our Yoga: a collective soul-unity made up of the unique and essential contribution of everyone present. I can say that, and offer a special vote of thanks to our host and hostess for an unforgettable Morning Walk.

- Sonia Dyne

The Golden Light

Thy golden Light came down into my brain
And the grey worms of mind sun-touched became
A bright reply to Wisdom's occult plane,
A calm illumination and aflame.

Thy golden Light came down into my throat,
And all my speech is now a tune divine,
A paean-song of thee my single note ;
My words are drunk with the Immortal's wine.

Thy golden Light came down into my heart
Smiting my life with Thy eternity;
Now has it grown a temple where Thou art
And all its passions point towards only Thee.

Thy golden Light came down into my feet
My earth is now thy playfield and thy seat.

- Sri Aurobindo

Let Thy Light be in me like a Fire that makes all alive.
Let Thy divine Love penetrate me, I aspire with all my being for Thy reign as sovereign and master of my mind and heart and Body: let them be Thy docile instrument and Thy faithful servitors.


-          The Mother

      "O Thou whom we must know, understand, realise, absolute Consciousness, eternal Law, Thou who guidest and illuminest us, who movest and inspirest us, grant that these weak souls may be strengthened and those who fear be reassured. To Thee I entrust them, even as I entrust to Thee our entire destiny."

The Mother -  Pondicherry, March 29, 1914.