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 (April 2014)

We continue with the second part on Vital Education in this month’s edition of the Newsletter.  Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have elaborated the great help of the transformed vital in the overall Divine scheme in their many writings and interactions with Sadhaks. What is the most fundamental beginning towards the perfecting of the vital? Who perfects it? How? If one were to perfect the vital, one’s conscious involvement in the process will go a long way in aiding the process. This conscious involvement can begin with one being conscious of one’s vital in as much detail as possible. A useful tool to boost this process would be self-observation, a tool needed for the perfecting of not only the vital but also the mental and physical.

The successful establishment of self-observation in itself is a part of integral sadhana. It is a vigilant and relentless watching of the movements that arise from within and their expression in thoughts and feelings, speech and action. Self-observation calls for two things. First is the establishment within oneself of a movement that wants to know what and who one is and the more absolute the movement, the closer one gets to watching larger portions of oneself and knowing and understanding the nature of these movements and eventually, recognising the vital entity within and the way it could be nurtured to accommodate a higher working.

Secondly, success in self-observation calls for the will to carry it out diligently, against all backsliding, set backs and odds, all victories and triumphs against the vital. Then one grows in consciousness, becomes aware of one’s vital nature, its hold on the being and its parts that can be offered for change. The will from within, in the child, needs to be awake and strong in order to know “reactions and impulses and their causes, to become a discerning witness of his  desires, his movements of violence and passion, his instincts of possession and appropriation and domination and the background of vanity which supports them, together with their counterparts of weakness, discouragement, depression and despair.” Knowing, one will be able to exercise discretion in willfully offering up the parts that need a change. How does this will come into play? The Mother suggests different methods such as rational arguments, or bringing into play feelings and goodwill or sense of dignity and self-respect.  As a powerful method, The Mother points to example, “constantly and sincerely shown.”.

Perhaps, a lot of challenges we confront in educating the young of today, both in the mainstream schools or special schools that are run on more noble ideals other than for the sake of examinations and the securing of paper qualifications, will be solved considerably if teachers understood their role as exemplars to children. It is then required that all that one wants the children to be, the teachers need to cultivate in themselves relentlessly, to as much perfection, including being ones with an acute sense of observation, an indomitable courage and a strong power of will that would want to transform all in oneself that is counter-productive to an integral progress.
There are certain means that aid vital education like none other. The arts, sensitively and consciously used in education, can channel vital energies into expressions of perfection and beauty, while teaching one patience, precision and developing an eye for the subtleties of life and a sensitivity for truth, beauty and goodness. This issue of the Newsletter also brings you, questions posed to The Mother and her answers, and Mother’s writing on Vital Education, and an article on The Art of Paper Folding.

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