Guiding Light of The Month

O Lord, how ardently do I call and implore Thy love! Grant that my aspiration may be intense enough to awaken the same aspiration everywhere: oh, may good- ness, justice and peace reign as supreme masters, may ignorant egoism be overcome, darkness be suddenly illu- minated by Thy pure Light; may the blind see, the deaf hear, may Thy law be proclaimed in every place and, in a constantly progressive union, in an ever more perfect harmony, may all, like one single being, stretch out their arms towards Thee to identify themselves with Thee and manifest Thee upon earth. - The Mother

April-May Sunday Activities at the Centre – A glimpse

Fourth Sunday Programme, 27th April, 2014 : ‘Meditations on Savitri’ and ‘Savitri’ Reading Circle

We continued with Book Six, The Book of Fate, Canto One : “The Word of Fate”. We meditated on Pictures 9 to 14. In this section, Narad pronounces the dire fate of Savitri with, "This day returning, Satyavan must die." This word of fate had a dual reaction. From the human mother of Savitri, there was an outpouring of emotions and a vehement cry to have Savitri change her mind about the "fated head", Satyavan, while on the other front, Savitri's will was steeled. She replies, "If for a year, that year is all my life, And yet I know this is not all my life..."

Following the viewing of the slides, we sat down in a circle and read the passages a few times and engaged in sharing our thoughts and feelings on the lines. There was one impressive painting with Narad looking skywards with twelve mallards flying across his vision, in a single long line. This beautifully depicted Narad's pronouncement of "twelve swift-winged months..." We marveled at how Sri Aurobindo also brings before us a typical interchange between a mother and child confronted with a situation such as faced Savitri and the queen mother. Another beautiful line which took our imagination away was this cryptic one which in a flash shows Savitri's purpose on earth, "...A heavy shadow float above the name Chased by a sudden and stupendous light...".. The heavy shadow probably being the life of ignorance and falsehood on earth, chased by the light, represented by Savitri herself, the daughter of Light.

First Sunday Programme, 4th May, 2014 : Readings of The Mother’s words from “Steps to Freedom and Mastery” and OM Choir

We read the passages titled, 'Self-Seeing, Not Self-Analysis', 'Self-Observing and Self-Regarding' and 'Not Being Self-Conscious While Doing' from the above book. It spelt out the difference between self-analysis, a mental and intellectual process and self-observation, which Sri Aurobindo explains as, "...a seeing of oneself and of all the living movements of the being and the nature, a vivid observation of the personalities and forces that move on the stage of our being, their motives, their impulses, their potentialities, an observation quite as interesting as the seeing and understanding of a drama or a novel, a living vision of how things are done in us, which also brings a living mastery over this inner universe." The Mother adds, "When one is no longer a self-regarding being, an ego looking at itself acting, when one becomes the action itself, above all in the aspiration, this truly is good." She adds too, "But it is difficult." One then knows what it takes, this self-observation and resultant self-knowing. And knowing, we can prepare ourselves for this activity of self-observation.

Second Sunday Programme, 11th May, 2014 : Readings on Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Bases of Yoga’

This evening we started with the Chapter, 'Desire-Food-Sex', reading from pages 63 to 67. The main point from today's readings were that "all the ordinary vital movements are foreign to the true being and come from outside". This truth would be known to us should we be living in our "true consciousness". In one's state of ignorance, desires that arise from outside are mistakenly seen as "rising from the vital into the mind" and here is the succinct message that explains the phenomena further, "what belongs to the vital .... makes it responsible is not the desire itself, but the habit of responding to the waves or the currents of suggestion that come into it from the universal Prakriti." 

We went a little further into the idea of rejection and suppression. Rejection was when one "abstains from the action suggested, if it is not the right action". Suppression was when the abstaining "from the action suggested" were to be based on a hard moral rule or a mental ascetic principle.

Last of all was offered the hope for progress:

"When the psychic being is in front, then also to get rid of desire becomes easy; for the psychic being has in itself no desires, it has only an aspiration and a seeking and a love for the Divine and all things that are or tend towards the Divine. The constant prominence of the psychic being tends of itself to bring out the true consciousness and set right almost automatically the movements of the nature."

Third Sunday Programme, 18th May, 2014 : Readings on Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Bases of Yoga’

We continued with the readings from page 67 to 70. This week, we considered issues related to food. The key message was moderation, not "forceful suppression" nor willful indulgence. The Mother advises, "It is only when one stands back, separates oneself from the lower vital, refusing to regard its desires and clamours as one's own, and cultivates an entire equality and equanimity in the consciousness with respect to them that the lower vital itself becomes gradually purified and itself also calm and equal." 

The Mother goes on, "It is no part of this Yoga to suppress taste, rasa, altogether. What is to be got rid of is vital desire and attachment, the greed of food, being overjoyed at getting the food you like, sorry or discontented when you do not have it, giving an undue importance to it. Equality is here the test as in so many other matter."

We discussed our own attitude towards food candidly and fell silent towards the end of the session with meditation music.

- Jayanthy

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