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

Aspiration for Spirituality



Conscious of the advantages of spiritualisation.

- The Mother

Common Name: Sage, Ramona
Botanical Name: Salvia
Spiritual Name: Aspiration for Spirituality


A heavenlier passion shall upheave men’s lives,
Their minds shall share in the ineffable gleam,
Their heart shall feel the ecstasy and the fire,
Earth’s bodies shall be conscious of a soul;
Mortality’s bond-slaves shall unloose their bonds,
Mere men into spiritual beings grow
And see awake the dumb divinity.

- Sri Aurobindo, in ‘Savitri’

From the Editor’s Desk (Nov 2014)

The month of November observes the day when The Mother left her body as well as Siddhi Day. This issue of the Newsletter explores the theme of Spiritual Education. Spiritual education is a part of the five-fold integral education, besides psychic education, mental, vital and physical education. 

In the integral system of education Spiritual Education is not segregated as an end stage to attain. It takes a silent, central place in the organisation dedicated to education of the young and old alike. There is a perpetual riddle that the mind commonly poses to itself - How does the Spirit manifest Itself here in matter and life, here on this earth? How does a spiritualised institute function? Is there anything such as a spiritualised classroom, in the first place? As in everything, one would have to allow for the experience to flower then, in order to know the answers to these questions. 

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother lead us through with their wisdom, with concrete examples. Almost always, these revelations and examples present themselves to anyone involved or wanting to be involved in these works of experiment – for there is no maxim; nothing is there as finalised and formulated for ready acquisition, use and functioning, in such centres of education, in the matter of the Spirit. It also appears that in the doing, the path before one opens and leads through doors and passageways into realms of experiences that keeps opening more doors and more passageways, other pathways and corridors leading up higher and deeper within in the search for the world of the Spirit and a subsequent spiritualized living. 

In a question posed to The Mother on how to make the consciousness of human unity grow in the mind, The Mother categorically points to ‘Spiritual Education’. By Spiritual Education, The Mother means, in her own words, “… an education, which gives more importance to the growth of the spirit than to any religious or moral teaching or to the material so-called knowledge.” We need to learn intrinsically that this education is beyond what countless schools offer as ‘content’ knowledge’, is above the moral values and ethics that are poured into students through moral education lessons and above religious education.

The Mother points to equanimity as the first step in spiritual education and lists some essential conditions for equanimity:

1. Not to allow oneself to be affected by anything external - by what people say or do, or by natural events.
2. To detach oneself from one’s own mental, vital and physical consciousness and to observe as a witness how the nature-force is using it.
3. To make the spiritual consciousness grow and the mental, vital and physical parts of our personality surrender to it and thus foster a divine equanimity to pervade our whole being and provide the basis for further spiritual education.

These pointers give room for contemplation even as we nurse an aspiration to actualise spiritual education in us and our midst.

Savitri

The Spirit shall be the master of the world
Lurking no more in form’s obscurity
And Nature shall reverse her action’s rule,
The outward world disclose the Truth it veils;
All things shall manifest the covert God,
All shall reveal the Spirit’s light and might
And move to its destiny of felicity.


(Savitri, Book 11 Canto 1)

Question of the month (Nov 2014)


Q: How can humanity become one?

A:  The Mother: By becoming conscious of its origin.


Q: What is the way of making the consciousness of human unity grow in man?

A:  The Mother: Spiritual Education, that is to say an education, which gives more importance to the growth of the spirit than to any religious or moral teaching or to the material so-called knowledge.


Q: What is a change of consciousness?

A:  The Mother: A change of consciousness is equivalent to a new birth, a birth in a higher sphere of existence.


Q: How can a change of consciousness change the life upon earth?

A:  The Mother: A change of human consciousness will make possible the manifestation upon earth of a higher Force, a purer Light, a more total Truth.


Clarifying the answers the Mother stated that the first step in Spiritual education was equanimity. In order to realise equanimity, Yoga enjoins several psychological disciplines. Here are some.


  •  Not to allow oneself to be affected by anything external - by what people say or do, or by natural events.
  • To detach oneself from one’s own mental, vital and physical consciousness and to observe as a witness how the nature-force is using it.
  • To make the spiritual consciousness grow and the mental, vital and physical parts of our personality surrender to it and thus foster a divine equanimity to pervade our whole being and provide the basis for further spiritual education.
The four questions above were raised in a seminar on “Human Unity”, held in 1964 by the Sri Aurobindo Society. (‘Dimensions of Spiritual Education- Integral Education Series’ Ashram Trust 1978, Published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry)

The Mother, on Spiritual Education

These following steps will form the object of what I call spiritual education.

But before we enter on this new stage and deal with the question in detail, an explanation is necessary. Why is a distinction made between the psychic education of which we have just spoken and the spiritual education of which we are about to speak now? Because the two are usually confused under the general term of “yogic discipline”, although the goals they aim at are very different: for one it is a higher realization upon earth, for the other an escape from all earthly manifestation, even from the whole universe, a return to the unmanifest.

So one can say that the psychic life is immortal life, endless time, limitless space, ever progressive change, unbroken continuity in the universe of forms. The spiritual consciousness, on the other hand, means to live the infinite and the eternal, to be projected beyond all creation, beyond time and space. To become conscious of your psychic being and to live a psychic life you must abolish all egoism; but to live a spiritual life you must no longer have an ego.

Here also, in spiritual education, the goal you set before you will assume, in the mind’s formulation of it, different names according to the environment in which you have been brought
up, the path you have followed and the affinities of your temperament. Those who have a religious tendency will call it God and their spiritual effort will be towards identification with the transcendent God beyond all forms, as opposed to the immanent God dwelling in each form. Others will call it the Absolute, the Supreme Origin, others Nirvana; yet others, who view the world as an unreal illusion, will name it the Only Reality and to those who regard all manifestation as falsehood it will be the Sole Truth. And every one of these expressions contains an element of truth, but all are incomplete, expressing only one aspect of that which is. Here too, however, the mental formulation has no great importance and once you have passed through the intermediate stages, the experience is identical. In any case, the most effective starting-point, the swiftest method is total self-giving. Besides, no joy is more perfect than the joy of a total self-giving to whatever is the summit of your conception: for some it is the notion of God, for others that of Perfection. If this self-giving is made with persistence and ardour, a moment comes when you pass beyond the concept and arrive at an experience that escapes all description, but which is almost always identical in its effects. And as your self-giving becomes more and more perfect and integral, it will be accompanied by the aspiration for identification, a total fusion with That to which you have given yourself, and little by little this aspiration will overcome all differences and all resistances, especially if with the aspiration there is an intense and spontaneous love, for then nothing can stand in the way of its victorious drive.

There is an essential difference between this identification and the identification with the psychic being. The latter can be made more and more lasting and, in certain cases, it becomes permanent and never leaves the person who has realized it, whatever his outer activities may be. In other words, the identification is no longer realized only in meditation and concentration, but its effects are felt at every moment of one’s life, in sleep as well as in waking.

On the other hand, liberation from all form and the identification with that which is beyond form cannot last in an absolute manner; for it would automatically bring about the dissolution of the material form. Certain traditions say that this dissolution happens inevitably within twenty days of the total identification. Yet it is not necessarily so; and even if the experience is only momentary, it produces in the consciousness results that are never obliterated and have repercussions on all states of the being, both internal and external. Moreover, once the identification has been realized, it can be renewed at will, provided that you know how to put yourself in the same conditions.

This merging into the formless is the supreme liberation sought by those who want to escape from an existence which no longer holds any attraction for them. It is not surprising that they are dissatisfied with the world in its present form. But a liberation that leaves the world as it is and in no way affects the conditions of life from which others suffer, cannot satisfy those who refuse to enjoy a boon which they are the only ones, or almost the only ones, to possess, those who dream of a world more worthy of the splendours that lie hidden behind its apparent disorder and wide-spread misery. They dream of sharing with others the wonders they have discovered in their inner exploration. And the means to do so is within their reach, now that they have arrived at the summit of their ascent.


(CWM Volume 12, ‘On Education’, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1978, Published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry)

Some practical hints for Spiritual Education

A complete psychic and spiritual education is a life-long process, and yet, in so far as they truly give meaning to the life-development, they must determine the entire process of the education of the child and the youth. In fact, they must truly be the starting point of all education. A few indications and ideas which would govern this programme of education are given below.

It may first be noted that a good many children are under the influence of a psychic presence which shows itself very distinctly at times in their spontaneous reactions and even in their words. All spontaneous turning to love, truth, beauty, knowledge, nobility, heroism, is a sure sign of the psychic influence. To recognise these reactions and to encourage them wisely and with a psychic feeling would be the first indispensable step.

It is also important to note that to say good words, give wise advice to a child has very little effect, if one does not show by one’s living example the truth of what one teaches. The best qualities to develop in children are sincerity, honesty, straightforwardness, courage, disinterestedness, unselfishness, patience, endurance, perseverance, peace, calm and self-control; and they are taught infinitely better by example than by beautiful speeches.

The role of the teacher is to put the child upon the right road to his own perfection and encourage him to follow it, watching, suggesting, helping, but not imposing or interfering. The best method of suggestion is by personal example, daily conversation and the books read from day to day. These books should contain, for the younger student, the lofty examples of the past, given not as moral lessons but as things of supreme human interest, and for the older student, the great thoughts of great souls, the passages of literature which set fire to the highest emotions and prompt the highest ideals and aspirations, the records of history and biography which exemplify the living of those great thoughts, noble emotions and aspiring ideals. Opportunities should be given to the students, within a limited sphere, of embodying in action the deeper and nobler impulses which rise within them.

The undesirable impulses and habits should not be treated harshly. The child should not be scolded except with a definite purpose and only when indispensable. Particularly, care should be taken not to rebuke a child for a fault which one commits oneself. Children are very keen and clear-sighted observers; they soon find out the educator’s weaknesses and note them without pity.When a child makes a mistake, one must see that he confesses it to the teacher or the guardian spontaneously and frankly; and when he has confessed, he should be made to understand with kindness and affection what was wrong in the movement and that he should not repeat it. A fault confessed must be forgiven. The child should be encouraged to think of wrong impulses not as sins or offences but as symptoms of a curable disease, alterable by a steady and sustained effort of will - falsehood being rejected and replaced by truth, fear by courage, selfishness by sacrifice and renunciation, malice by love.

A great care should be taken that unformed virtues are not rejected as faults. The wildness and recklessness of many young natures are only the over-flowings of an excessive strength, greatness and nobility. They should be purified, not discouraged. An affection that sees clear, that is firm yet gentle and a sufficiently practical knowledge will create bonds of trust that are indispensable for the educator to make education of the child effective. When the child asks a question, he should not be answered by saying that it is stupid or foolish, or that the answer will not be understood by him. Curiosity cannot be postponed and an effort must be made to answer the question truthfully and in such a way s to make the answer accessible to the brain of the hearer.

The teacher should ensure that the child gradually begins to be aware of the psychological centre of his being the psychic being, the seat within of the highest truth of our existence, that which can know and manifest this truth. With this growing awareness, the child should be taught to concentrate on this presence more as a living fact.

(to be continued)


(Selected from Kireet Joshi’s essay – “Some Practical Hints For Spiritual Education”,‘Dimensions of Spiritual Education – Integral Education Series’, Published by Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences, A Unit of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry)

The Symbol Dawn - Part 1

We had the privilege of listening to the talk of Sri S. S. Lahiri, from the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Ulsoor on the evening of the 28thof September, 2014. As an added bonus, Lahiri-ji had compiled excerpts of his talks from his notes, which we reproduce here. The subject of the talk was on ‘Savitri – The Symbol Dawn’. Sri Lahiri explored many ideas presented in this canto lucidly and candidly, drawing from other works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother as well as ancient Vedic texts and epics and his constant cross-references to world events and events that occurred in the lives of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. We present these notes in two instalments, starting with this issue.

The Dawn, Night and Inconscient
in the opening section of

The Symbol Dawn

Part 1


1.             The epic Savitri, was a record of Sri Aurobindo’s Yogic ascension in his mission to bring down the Supramental Power and Truth upon earth.  This meant divinizing the earth, the very Matter that comes out of the Inconscient. Consequently we do find that certain references to his other writings like ‘Collected Poems’, ‘The Life Divine’, ‘The Secret of the Veda’, ‘The Record of Yoga’ and ‘On Himself’, other letters, are greatly helpful in approaching ‘Savitri’. This was the Real Work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

2.           The Dawn in the Vedas symbolizes the awakening of spiritual consciousness and the Night, an obscure consciousness. Also we know, in the Rig Veda the Night is depicted as holding in her womb the dawn (awakening of spiritual consciousness) who in turn holds in her womb the sun (Sun of Truth). In the famous Nasadiya Sukta (RV 10.129.7) we find the revelations to our ancient rishi, the creation of the earth. The sukta significantly says, “a darkness covered by greater darkness, “Only He knows or perhaps even He knows not”. In Sri Aurobindo’s writings, Night has been the principle symbol of the Inconscient. In ‘Savitri’, Sri Aurobindo has expanded the vision beyond the Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishad and Mahabharata. He has made death dispensable. The Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother aims at transforming the obscurity and conservatism of the material negation by calling down the Divine Mother. 

3.             The war with the Inconscient and Matter was envisaged by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother right from their early days. In the case of the Mother, we do get the idea about her obsession (or was it fascination) for Matter through Agenda. The Mother had said “I remember very well that when the war - the First WW- started,every part of my body, one after another, or sometimes the same part several times over, represented a battlefield: I could see it, I could feel it, I lived it. …. And while it went on, I would put the concentration of the Divine Force there, so that all ….would hasten the preparation of the earth and the Descent of the Force” (MA IV 08 Oct 1963).

4.             In the case of Sri Aurobindo, we perhaps find through some of his early letters (1912) to his disciples in Calcutta, where he wrote about his work then was to achieve immunity from disease. To one of his disciples in Chandannagar he wrote, “The power I am developing, if it reaches consummation, will be able to accomplish its effects automatically BY ANY METHOD CHOSEN” (the emphasis is by Sri Aurobindo, Early letters). It was his recordings in 1927(The Records of Yoga), that reveal to us how the various forces of the obscurity of the Matter were very assiduously identified and fought in their own land . In Aug 1925 (the Nazi Party was formed this year) he said (Evening Talks, AB Purani) “I find that the more the Light and Power are coming down,  the greater is the resistance”. In 1935 the resistance becomes “Revolt of the Subconscient”.  Going down deeper, in April 1947 he writes “…. The lightening of the heavy resistance of the Inconscient” (On Himself). It was mother of all wars that both, the Mother and the Master fought and won. Sri Aurobindo even sacrificed his life to go to “The other side” to win against Death the godhead of the Inconscient and Falsehood.  After all this was their “ REAL WORK”. In explaining a line in SavitriThou shall bear all things that all things may change” (page 700), the Mother had said “ even death—that’s why Sri Aurobindo left his body.” (MA)

5.           Considering that there was nearly eight or nine recast of ‘Savitri’, this actually covered a major period of his writing phase post the ‘Arya’ days. His epic is his message, it is the loftiest poem of love – the transformation of death.

6.           There is little wonder therefore that in the magnum opus, that the epic ‘Savitri’ is, we find that the very opening of the epic confronts us with the obscurity of the Night. The opening section, the epic begins with the Dawn of such a possibility. Savitri awakes on the dawn of that day Satyavan has to die. The preceding night is the night that represented a relapse (a Night) and the succeeding dawn, is the rebuilding of consciousness. The birth of Savitri is a boon the Supreme Goddess had granted to Yogi Aswapati. Aswapati is the Yogi who seeks the means to deliver the world out of ignorance.  The soul’s enrichment is the first basis for carrying out its role in the manifestation which is to establish Truth and Light and also Life's incontingent immortality here on Earth.  But if that immortality has to be operative and effective in life here on earth, then the Supramental Power has to descend upon earth. No lesser power can achieve it. This, Sri Aurobindo has amply explained in ‘The Life Divine’.

7.           So we find the beginning, with a dark Night - obscure consciousness leading to a Dawn - an awakening. This darkness and the Night so beautifully used as a symbol in the opening canto of ‘The Symbol Dawn’, is not the primordial Night, but the relapse of consciousness that takes place from time to time in the evolution of the humanity and the earth. The dawn that follows such a relapse, is the reawakening of the consciousness.  These nights (a partial and temporary relapse for the soul) and these dawns (reawakening or return from the relapse) are expressed through the daily night and daily dawn as symbols. Referring to symbols Sri Aurobindo says “The forces and the processes of the physical world repeat, as in a symbol, the truths of the supraphysical action which produce it. And since it is by the same forces and the same processes, one in the physical worlds and the supraphysical, that our inner life and its developments are governed, the Rishis adopted the phenomena of physical Nature as just symbols for those functionings of inner life which it was their difficult task to indicate in the concrete language of a sacred poetry that must at the same time serve for the external worship of the Gods as power of visible universe”. In an amplification to Amal Kiran, Sri Aurobindo had said that he was not describing a physical night and physical dawn, but that they are a ‘real symbol’. Real symbol of an ‘inner reality’. The main purpose is to describe by suggestion the thing symbolized.  This particular night that preceded the day when Satyavan must die, also holds in her womb the dawn that shall eventually bring an “Everlasting day”.

(to be continued)

-  Sri S. S. Lahiri

She...

Unseen but omnipresent,
Watching us and hearing us every second,
She smiles when we are happy,
She smiles when we are sad, knowing that success awaits us if we persevere
Surrender makes the tough fights bearable,
Allowing us to emerge as winners.
Leave it to her,

She will take care of the results, for She knows best.
Talk to her because she is the best friend who listens silently, but reciprocates by Her actions.
When she is constantly on your mind, every second, every minute, regardless of the work you do,
You will feel the Divine Presence, an armour which protects you from everything
Peace and Happiness fills your heart.

In fact, no words can explain the beautiful feeling.
Continue praying for nothing else, but Her presence.
Then your life will change...

Your thoughts are cleansed, you become a fighter, you become a beautiful human being.
The search for the reason of your birth continues....
Keep thanking her because you are who you are because of her.
May you always be blessed by her.


-          Meenakshi

October Sunday Activities at the Centre – A glimpse

5th October 2014: Reading Circle – ‘Bases of Yoga

We continued with Chapter 5 of the book on, “Physical Consciousness – Subconscient – Sleep and Dream – Illness”. We read the passages from pages 94 to 96, which were basically on the subconscient parts of our being. In simple and straightforward language, Sri Aurobindo explains what is not perceived by our surface consciousness. The readings naturally led one to look within oneself to grasp what Sri Aurobindo was revealing through words. While it was necessary for one doing Yoga or Sadhana to know his lower nature, Sri Aurobindo also cautions us of the dangers that we may expose ourselves to if we are not well prepared in our consciousness for the descent. Here is what Sri Aurobindo writes:

If you go down into your lower parts or ranges of nature, you must be always careful to keep a vigilant connection with the higher already regenerated levels of the consciousness and to bring down the Light and Purity through them into these nether still unregenerated regions. If there is not this vigilance, one gets absorbed in the unregenerated movements of the inferior layers and there is obscuration and trouble.

We then concluded the session with meditation music.

12th October 2014: Readings from The Mother’s Writings and Talks: ‘The Synthesis of Yoga The Mother’s Talks’ and OM Choir

This was a special Sunday for us. We started with a new session of readings preceding the OM choir session for the second Sunday of the month. The book we referred to was ‘The Synthesis of Yoga – The Mother’s Talks’, 1st edition, 1989 by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. The talks were part of a series of talks that Mother gave during her “Wednesday Classes” to students, teachers and sadhaks of the ashram. This particular series on ‘The Synthesis of Yoga’ began on the 19th of October 1955 and dealt with six chapters of ‘The Synthesis of Yoga’. During these sessions, The Mother would read from the passages.

This Sunday, we started with the first chapter, ‘The Four Aids”, Talk 1. This particular section dealt with the fourth aid, Kala, or Time. Here is a passage that summarises what we read then, about there being a certain period of time for every movement to take place:

And all movements – when you observe them, you become aware that they have a certain rhythm – the movements of inner consciousness, for example, not only from the point of view of understanding but that of personal reactions, of the ups and downs in progress; of a fairly regular periodic return, at once of advancing and recoiling, of difficulties and of helps.

Following the readings, we sat down to chant OM during the remaining minutes, brining down into us and surrendering to the effects that Om chanting generally brings.

19th October 2014: Reading Circle – ‘Bases of Yoga

We continued with the second round of readings on ‘Bases of Yoga’, from page 100 to 102. In one passage, psycho-analytic ideas, which were making their appearance then, were examined and their short-comings highlighted in the light Sri Aurobindo’s own idea of a greater psychology. In the greater psychology, the Superconscient was looked upon as the foundation of things unlike in the new psychology where the subconscient was highlighted. The passages went on to describe sleep. Here is a something Sri Aurobidno wrote on sleep:

Sleep, ……, usually  brings down to a lower level, unless it is a conscious sleep; to make it more and more conscious is the one permanent remedy; but also until that is done, one should always react against this sinking tendency when one wakes and not allow the effect of dull nights to accumulate. But these things need always a settled endeavor and discipline and must take time, sometimes a long time. It will not do to refrain from the effort because immediate results do not appear.

- Jayanthy


A Talk by Invited Guest, Partho 8th October 2014 - On Integral Yoga

Partho, a name well known in the circle of Integral Yoga practitioners and Integral Education, addressed us at our Centre on the 8th of October 2014 from 7pm to 8.30pm. The subject matter was a general one on ‘Integral Yoga’. There were few of us attending the talk this day, a working day. This, unfortunately, was the most suitable time for us to schedule the talk.

However, for those present, the small turn out turned out to be a boon. The speaker said that he would rather speak with us then talk to us and started engaging us with his searching questions that brought us closer to a truer, more stable state within, other than the surface state. One question he directed at us was about our name, and probed if we were that name, and who we were, actually. His message to us was clear. One had to know who one was, the real one, behind all the masks and tones and shades, behind the name and form. The talk lasted for about one-and-a-half hours and brought us into a deep reflective state. It was indeed refreshing to bring ourselves into deeper, subtler realms than those that we usually live on the surface. The experiences of looking within ourselves, even if for fleeting moments, were enough to be carried with us for a long time to come, in various circumstances. The exercises were also instrumental in helping us to take a step back and examine the moment in another perspective.

 It was with silent gratitude that we parted that day, after the talk.

-          Jayanthy

The New Look of our Centre



The most significant change that happened in our Centre this year, physically, was an overhaul of the room. With the collective effort of everyone in the Centre, the changes were brought about immediately after the proposal was made during our Annual General Meeting in June. The room was ready for use from the 15th of August onwards, on Sri Aurobindo’s birth Anniversary, with a special musical offering. It is also notable that this change has come about on the 42nd Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. The curtains were changed. The Mother’s Sri Aurobindo’s portraits were brought together and placed near the row of windows overlooking the larger SIFAS compound. This arrangement created a length of space where rows of chairs could be placed before the altar with an aisle in the centre to facilitate easy movement. The left of the altar houses the study table, at which prayers and meditations could be read and speakers seated as they address the members. This table could be easily replaced with a stage for offerings made on darshan days, especially musical offerings. The new-look of our Centre is indeed refreshing, like setting the stage for things to come.

Along the Way… The October 2014 Walk

The venue for this month was Gardens by the Bay.

Gardens by the Bay are an integral part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden". The stated aim is to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city.

The amazing creative structures like Supertrees Grove, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest reminded me of the painting done by the earliest man in Pachmarhi caves, the Buddhist architectural forms - Stupas, the Chaityas in Sanchi and the huge and awesome Shiva temple in Bhojpur and Taj-ul-Masjid in Bhopal, which we visited in the earlier part of this month. My wonder knew no bounds when I saw in these monuments and architectural splendour the manifestation of the creative urge of the Divine in man.

There were 15 to 20 members of our Sri Aurobindo Centre who joined us for the walk through the Garden. The fresh air and the unending variety of vegetation and the enchanting colorful flowers and their communion with our souls go beyond words to express! Mother, in her life time gave “names” and “significances” to 898 flowers. Many of those flowers were to be found in the Garden, such as the hibiscus, which was in ravishing abundance.

The smooth flow of harmony in Nature was experienced in the beautiful abode of our dear Kashyapji and Urmilji too! Everything from beautiful paintings to the collective musical offering given by Kashyapji’s family members elevated our mind and spirit. Meditation, reading of Prayers and wishing all our members born in October were followed by a gorgeous treat to our taste buds!

Everything from starters to main lunch to desserts also had the harmony in bringing culturally different scintillating dishes, starting an early Deepavali celebration!

Our sincere gratitude to dear Kashyapji and family for the awesome October experience!


-          Jayalakshmi

Psychic Aspiration


Constant, regular, organised, gentle and patient at the same time, resists all opposition, overcomes all difficulties.  - The Mother

Common Name: Ixora
Botanical Name: Ixora chinensis
Spiritual Name: Psychic Offering

Earth must transform herself and equal Heaven
Or Heaven descend into earth’s mortal state.
But for such vast spiritual change to be,
The heavenly Psyche must put off her veil
And step into common nature’s crowded rooms
And stand uncovered in that nature’s front
And rule its thought and fill the body and life.

- Sri Aurobindo, in ‘Savitri’




From the Editor's Desk (Oct 2014)

In this issue of the newsletter, we follow through Psychic education briefly. The contents of this newsletter offer but little drops from a vast ocean already available on this topic. In our last issue, we focused on the aspect of recognising something in the child that is full of a trust and faith in beauty and in dreams of the seemingly impossible. The Mother had cautioned adults not to “throw cold water” on such tendencies of children and draw them into the dictums of the frameworks meticulously structured by the mind or the intellect. In this edition, we are introduced to another aspect to look for in children. 

The Mother says, “…in spite of all that thought can think, there is something in the depths which has a feeling of a perfection, a greatness, a truth, and is painfully contradicted by all the movements opposing this truth.” When the child meets up with this painful contradiction opposing the truth of its being within, the child “will feel an uneasiness when it has done something against the truth of its being.” The Mother adds, “And it is exactly upon this that later its effort for progress must be founded.

Various readings in Integral Yoga requires anyone working with children to look deeper into the child’s psyche, to look for a “forth dimension” of depth, truth and the way of being of the soul incarnated in the child. Now this fourth dimension is a place that one needs to locate within oneself and have a map of sorts drawn out within oneself, in order to chart out a path into the depth of the child and locate that reality within the child. If one is serious and sincere in this aspect of education, then once again, the compass invariably points towards oneself, to domains within oneself. It would be a good idea to leap into any dealings with children with this in mind, with a determination to know oneself, more and more truthfully, with our raw selves unfolded and unveiled to our own inner sight. Now this is no easy task to us conditioned by millenniums of a habitual surface living, couched in atavism. But yet must this be attempted, with small baby steps, or with revolutionary evolutionary strides. Somewhere in space, something in eternity must have stirred in us, for us to even be confronted with prospects such as this. It is a significant lamp we hold in our hands, this quest for the psychic uncovering, for its discovery, or rediscovery. It may still be a fragile flame; so it must be guarded as we plough along, Faith our foothold in the climb upwards, and Trust our flaming torch in the crawl within. The Mother refers to a true, inner guide “who does not pass through the mental consciousness.” 

Upon her silent heights she was aware
Of a calm Presence throned above her brows
Who saw the goal and chose each fateful curve;
It used the body for its pedestal;
The eyes that wandered were its searchlight fires,
The hands that held the reins its living tools;
All was the working of an ancient plan,
A way proposed by an unerring Guide.
(Savitri p.378)

Savitri

A Person persistent through the lapse of the worlds,
Although the same for ever in many shapes
By the outward mind and unrecognisable,
Assuming names unknown in unknown climes
Imprints through Time upon the earth’s worn page
A growing figure of its secret self,
And learns by experience what the spirit knew,
Till it can see its truth alive and God.


(Savitri, Book 2 Canto 14)


This bodily appearance is not all;
The form deceives the person is a mask:
Hid deep in man celestial powers can dwell.
His fragile ship conveys through the sea of years
An incognito of the Imperishable.
A spirit that is a flame of God abides,
A fiery portion of the Wonderful,
Artist of his own beauty and delight,
Immortal in our mortal poverty
This sculptor of forms of the Infinite,
This screened unrecognised Inhabitant,
Initiate of his own veiled mysteries,
Hides in a small dumb seed his cosmic thought.
In the mute strength of the occult Idea
Determining predestined shape and act,
Passenger from life to life, from scale to scale,
Changing his imaged self from form to form,
He regards the icon growing by his gaze
And in the worm foresees the coming god.


(Savitri, Book 1 Canto 3)

Question of the month (Oct 2014)

Q: Is the psychic being in the heart?

A:  The Mother: Not in the physical hart, not in the organ. It is in the fourth dimension, an inner dimension. But it is in that region, the region somewhat behind the solar plexus, it is there that one finds it most easily. The psychic being is in the fourth dimension as related to our physical being.

“The psychic being is in the heart centre in the middle of the chest (not in the physical heart, for all the centres are in the middle of the body), but it is deep behind. When one is going away from the vital into the psychic, it is felt as if one is going deep, deep down till one reaches that central place of the psychic. The surface of the heart centre is the place of the emotional being; from there one goes deep to find the psychic.”

-          Sri Aurobindo


(“The Psychic Being, Soul: Its Nature, Mission and Evolution”, ‘Selections from the works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother’ Ashram Trust 1978, Published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry)



Q: You have said that in a previous life we were together; but if we had not done Yoga, couldn’t we have met all the same?

A:  The Mother: Not necessarily.

I remember the circumstances in which I said that; it was to a lady who had come here and asked me how it was that she had come here.... This is true in a general way; when those born scattered over the world at great distances from one another are driven by circumstances or by an impulsion to come and gather here, it is almost always because they have met in one life or another (not all in the same life) and because their psychic being has felt that they belonged to the same family; so they have taken an inner vow to continue to act together and collaborate. That is why even though they are born far from one another, there is something which compels them to come together; it is the psychic being, the psychic consciousness that is behind. And only to the extent the psychic consciousness is strong enough to order and organise the circumstances or the life, that is, strong enough not to allow itself to be opposed by outside forces, outside life movements, can people meet.

It is profoundly true in reality; there are large “families of beings” who work for the same cause, who have gathered in more or less large numbers and who come in groups as it were. It is as though at certain times there were awakenings in the psychic world, as though lots of little sleeping children were being called to wake up: “It is time, quick, quick, go down!” And they hurry down. And sometimes they do not drop at the same place, they are dispersed, yet there is something within which troubles them, pushes them; for one reason or another they are drawn close and that brings them together. But it is something deep in the being, something that is not at all on the surface; otherwise, even if people met they would not perhaps become aware of the bond. People meet and recognise each other only to the extent they become conscious of their psychic being, obey their psychic being, are guided by it; otherwise there is all that comes in to oppose it, all that veils, all that stupefies, all those obstacles to prevent you from finding yourself in your depths and being able to collaborate truly in the work. You are tossed about by the forces of Nature.

There is only one solution, to find your psychic being and once it is found to cling to it desperately, to let it guide you step by step whatever be the obstacle. That is the only solution.


(‘Questions and Answers’, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1978, Published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry)



Fostering the Psychic in children

This little true thing in the child is the divine Presence in the psychic - it is also there in plants and animals. In plants it is not conscious, in animals it begins to be conscious, and in children it is very conscious. I have known children who were much more conscious of their psychic being at the age of five than at fourteen, and at fourteen than at twenty-five; and above all, from the moment they go to school where they undergo that kind of intensive mental training which draws their attention to the intellectual part of their being, they lose almost always and almost completely this contact with their psychic being.

If only you were an experienced observer, if you could tell what goes on in a person, simply by looking into his eyes!...It is said the eyes are the mirror of the soul; that is a popular way of speaking but if the eyes do not express to you the psychic, it is because it is very far behind, veiled by many things. Look carefully, then, into the eyes of little children, and you will see a kind of light - some describe it as candid - but so true, so true, which looks at the world with wonder. Well, this sense of wonder, it is the wonder of the psychic which sees the truth but does not understand much about the world, for it is too far from it. Children have this but as they learn more, become more intelligent, more educated, this is effaced, and you see all sorts of things in their eyes: thoughts, desires, passions, wickedness - but this kind of little flame, so pure, is no longer there. And you may be sure it is the mind that has got in there, and the psychic has gone very far behind.

Even a child who does not have a sufficiently developed brain to understand, if you simply pass on to him a vibration of protection or affection or solicitude or consolation, you will see that he responds. But if you take a boy of fourteen, for example, who is at school, who has ordinary parents and has been ill-treated, his mind is very much in the forefront; there is something hard in him, the psychic being has gone behind. Such boys do not respond to the vibration. One would say they are made of wood or plaster.


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There is another quality which must be cultivated in a child from a very young age: that is the feeling of uneasiness, of a moral imbalance which it feels when it has done certain things, not because it has been told not to do them, not because it fears punishment, but spontaneously. For example, a child who hurts its comrade through mischief, if it is in its normal, natural state, will experience uneasiness, a grief deep in its being, because what it has done is contrary to its inner truth.

For in spite of all teachings, in spite of all that thought can think, there is something in the depths which has a feeling of a perfection, a greatness, a truth, and is painfully contradicted by all the movements opposing this truth. If a child has not been spoilt by its milieu, by deplorable examples around it, that is, if it is in the normal state, spontaneously, without its being told anything, it will feel an uneasiness when it has done something against the truth of its being. And it is exactly upon this that later its effort for progress must be founded.

For, if you want to find one teaching, one doctrine upon which to base your progress, you will never find anything - or to be more exact, you will find something else, for in accordance with the climate, the age, the civilisation, the teaching given is quite conflicting. When one person says, “This is good”, another will say, “No, this is bad”, and with the same logic, the same persuasive force. Consequently, it is not upon this that one can build. Religion has always tried to establish a dogma, and it will tell you that if you conform to the dogma you are in the truth and if you don’t you are in the falsehood. But all this has never led to anything and has only created confusion.

There is only one true guide, that is the inner guide, who does not pass through the mental consciousness.

Naturally, if a child gets a disastrous education, it will try ever harder to extinguish within itself this little true thing, and sometimes it succeeds so well that it loses all contact with it, and also the power of distinguishing between good and evil. That is why I insist upon this, and I say that from their infancy children must be taught that there is an inner reality - within themselves, within the earth, within the universe - and that they, the earth and the universe exist only as a function of this truth, and that if it did not exist the child would not last, even the short time that it does, and that everything would dissolve even as it comes into being. And because this is the real basis of the universe, naturally it is this which will triumph; and all that opposes this cannot endure as long as this does, because it is That, the eternal thing which is at the base of the universe.

It is not a question, of course, of giving a child philosophical explanations, but he could very well be given the feeling of this kind of inner comfort, of satisfaction, and sometimes, of an intense joy when he obeys this little very silent thing within him which will prevent him from doing what is contrary to it. It is on an experience of this kind that teaching may be based. The child must be given the impression that nothing can endure if he does not have within himself this true satisfaction which alone is permanent..


(CWM Volume 4, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1978, Published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry)

Journey of Waves

In waves I move,
Calm and smoothly rising waves,
I am on a journey to find my source,
It is a search of experience.

I am transparent for those little colorful pebbles
Very beautiful ones lying on my surface
Revealing their wonder to the nature around.
The journey is winding, with twists and turns,
A new event awaits me at each turn.

Lovely flowers bloom on my way
Many lives are touched as I travel on.
At places, I am a fierce surge with a lot of force,
At others, I am calm, just floating by.

I am even given a name, revered at few places,
And flow across the lands rich with vegetation.
I meet other sisters from the same origin,
A confluence happens, a sacred one.

The journey continues along with them now,
New adventures and beautiful lands we cross.
And one destined day, we reach the huge ocean,
A union happens with her vastness and I see myself in it.

A sense of oneness engulfs me,
The secret key I was searching for.
The voyage continues,
With newer experiences,
Along wider lands and higher mountains.

-          The river that flows across and connects lands. The love that flows among us and embraces with a protective connection.

-          Sandhya


August – September Sunday Activities at the Centre – A glimpse

August 24th : Meditations on Savitri, Book 7, Canto 4.

Watching the paintings of Savitri by Huta, along with the Mother’s recitation of the relevant passages – covering Book Seven, Canto Four, started the programme. This topic highlighted the personality of Savitri as an avatar, her encounter with the three aspects of the World Mother, or the triple soul-forces within herself, and her work to build the bridge for man to cross over into the highest realm of consciousness.

Savitri meets here the “Triple Soul Forces”, three goddesses of the overmental world, namely the Madonna of compassion and love, the Madonna of might, and the Madonna of light and wisdom. These Madonnas appear before her one after the other and each one introduces herself as Savirti Savitri’s secret soul. Immediately after each Madonna addresses Savitri, perversions, or an egoistic deformation, of what each Madonna really stands for appears and exhorts Savitri.

Savitri promises to return with the perfect force of consciousness to render help to the struggling and bound existence of man.

All of us read the passages twice by meditating on them.


August 31st: ‘Meditations on Savitri’ – The Finding of The Soul’, Book 7 Canto 5. Pictures 1 to 6.

We meditated on a few passages watching the paintings by Huta. Savitri here is on her forward journey to find her Soul, after meeting the Madonna of Compassion and Love, the Madonna of Might, and the Madonna of Light and Wisdom. She journeys into the dark cave. In the journey inwards into the mystic cave, she is helped by a force of Light. Within, she sees a golden serpent with wisdom filled luminous eyes, an eagle and doves of peace. As she proceeded into the cave she felt one with all creatures of the universe. There was a sealed identity of the Adorer and the Adored in that space. At last Savitri comes face to face with her Secret Soul, a deathless Sun.


September 7th: Readings from Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Bases of Yoga’, Pages 97 – 100.

The reading of the passages reveals how important a role the subliminal self plays in us. All our surface bodily existence is supported by its larger and more efficient and powerful mind, vital and subtler physical consciousness in us. This opens to higher super-conscient as well as subconscient regions in us. To bring down the power of super-conscient regions to the subconscient, tit is a pre-requisite for the higher mind and vital to be made strong with light and peace from above. Without proper attitude and guidance, it is like inviting more trouble. To take the path of ANUBHAVA that is exhausting all the natural tendencies by going through it with Most of the adverse elements in the lower regions should be removed or purified and prepared for the descent of calm, equanimity and purity.


September 14th:The Om Choir

The programme started with reading the passages from the book,‘The Sunlit Path’ for the first half hour which set the stage for the Om Choir. We read a few passages from,“The Spirit and the Psychic Being”, which says we have to go beyond words like Supreme and Divine. We have to experience contacting “THAT” by an unwavering faith and aspiration. The second half hour, the group chanted OM in a unified, rhythmical way with voice warming up exercises in the beginning.Om chanting in unison brings about an inner peace, the very basic requirement for spiritual development. To listen in to the inputs of OM by other members of the gathering enhanced enhanced the spirit of oneness, unity and harmony.


September 21st:‘Meditations on Savitri’ – The Finding of The Soul’, Book 7 Canto 5. Pictures 7 to 11.

Savitri’s mission as the purna avatar was an inner process of uniting the upper and the lower hemispheres in the ladder of existence, so that the hitherto unmanifest spiritual powers pour into the triple worldof Matter, Life and Mind and bring about an enrichment of earthly life, according to Professor Kandaswami.  The psychic being is a tiny being, “A being no bigger than the thumb of man– ankustamatra purusha- as the Upanishad puts it, deep-seated in the cavernous depths of man’s being. The psychic being in an individual is a tiny flame. It grows into Fire and then bursts into a huge conflagration. It grows in stature – to quote Professor Seetaraman – progressively, with every ascent towards and descent from the higher consciousness, till at last that tiny creature becomes a majestic King. Just by reading the passages 10 and 11, we get a luminous picture  of what a transformation each one of us are entitled to, if only we aspire for that!


- Jayalakshmi

The New Look of our Centre


(The main altar of the Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore.)

The most significant change that happened in our Centre this year, physically, was an overhaul of the room. With the collective effort of everyone in the Centre, the changes were brought about immediately after the proposal was made during our Annual General Meeting in June. The room was ready for use from the 15th of August onwards, on Sri Aurobindo’s birth Anniversary, with a special musical offering. It is also notable that this change has come about on the 42nd Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. The curtains were changed. The Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s portraits were brought together and placed near the row of windows overlooking the larger SIFAS compound. This arrangement created a length of space where rows of chairs could be placed before the altar with an aisle in the centre to facilitate easy movement. The left of the altar houses the study table, at which prayers and meditations could be read and speakers seated as they address the members. This table could be easily replaced with a stage for offerings made on darshan days, especially musical offerings. The new-look of our Centre is indeed refreshing, like setting the stage for things to happen in a new way.