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


The indispensable condition for the body’s progress.

Botanical Name: Ixora thwaitesii
Common Name: White ixora
Spiritual Significance: Peace in the Cells

The moments fell into eternity.
But someone yearned within a bosom unknown.
.And silently the woman's heart replied:
"Thy peace, O Lord, a boon within to keep
Amid the roar and ruin of wild Time
For the magnificent soul of man on earth.

-          Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

From the Editor’s Desk

The theme that garners our attention in this issue of our Newsletter is “Peace”, another of the twelve virtues that revolve around the fourfold Shaktis – Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati in The Mother’s symbol. Of all virtues we ask for, Peace perhaps is the most invoked and invited or called after. It is coupled with every morning mantra, as OM Shanti or a prayer uttered, be it at the sanctums of temples, along the banks of scared rivers of India or in the haven of our own hearts’ altar. There is something within that goes after peace. It appears that everything that is sought after in life has as its hidden aim, peace of mind, heart and being. Nobody wants to sit with a troubled heart or mind, or an agitated being who knows no quietude, silence or stillness, even if momentarily. There is a natural tendency to aspire for or at least desire peace, whatever one’s station in life. Peace has that special attribute, more than any other virtues or qualities. 

For one after spiritualisation of one’s being, the settlement of peace becomes a basic necessity in his or her advancement in consciousness. The Mother succinctly puts it in this way, “The first sign of the divine presence in the being is peace.” The Mother explains that deep in each of us is the Divine Presence. A being devoid of peace is in no condition to discern this presence within. The presence of or the absence of peace serves as an indicator of one’s state of being. A being lacking peace is essentially one dragged from one surface concern to another, one trouble to another, one attraction after another. There is constant movement and noise in the being and in such a state, discerning an inner presence becomes very difficult and challenging, if not impossible. 

One can experience the state of being one is in when one cultivates peace or allows peace to exist within and one who does not have any place for peace within. When we settle down quietly and pull our senses away from the surface movement and noise, when we go deep within and down into ourselves, the state of being somehow becomes strikingly calm and rested. Besides securing the first condition to meet with that Presence within, such a state automatically exerts an effect on the physiological and somatic component of our being. One’s breathing is calmed and becomes regulated and steadily decreases; one’s heart beat simultaneously drops to a calm steady rhythm, one’s mind becomes more open, spacious and a feeling being free settles in; one’s heart space delves in a potent silence, open and still, not demanding or expectant. It is a state of true rest that does one’s health well, contributing to an overall state of wellbeing. 

Here is an assurance from The Mother that everyone can attain peace and that he or she is not alone, and that She herself will help, guiding us towards the descent of peace into our entire being. Here is her assurance, “Together you and I shall try to silence all the external noise on the surface of your being, so that in silence and peace you may unite with this inner glory. Then that day will become the day of your new birth.” The Mother has given us all a mantra to deal with out state of restlessness that impedes the state of peace that is possible to be realised. She offers, “Peace, peace, O my heart!” 

Let us hold this mantra within and may each cell of our being, each nerve and vessel within be suffused with Peace.


The prophet moment covered limitless space
And cast into the heart of hurrying Time
A diamond light of the Eternal's peace,
A crimson seed of God's felicity;
A glance from the gaze fell of undying Love.

(Book Eleven, Canto One)

Only a while at first these heavenlier states,
These large wide-poised upliftings could endure.
The high and luminous tension breaks too soon,
The body's stone stillness and the life's hushed trance,
The breathless might and calm of silent mind;
Or slowly they fail as sets a golden day.
The restless nether members tire of peace;
A need to call back small familiar selves,
To tread the accustomed and inferior way,
The need to rest in a natural poise of fall,
As a child who learns to walk can walk not long,
Replace the titan will for ever to climb,
On the heart's altar dim the sacred fire.

(Book One, Canto Three)

Stepping Back

Most of you live on the surface of your being, exposed to the touch of external influences. You live almost projected, as it were, outside your own body, and when you meet some unpleasant being similarly projected you get upset. The whole trouble arises out of your not being accustomed to stepping back. You must always step back into yourself—learn to go deep within—step back and you will be safe. Do not lend yourself to the superficial forces which move in the outside world. Even if you are in a hurry to do something, step back for a while and you will discover to your surprise how much sooner and with what greater success your work can be done. If someone is angry with you, do not be caught in his vibrations but simply step back and his anger, finding no support or response, will vanish.

Always keep your peace, resist all temptation to lose it. Never decide anything without stepping back, never speak a word without stepping back, never throw yourself into action without stepping back. All that belongs to the ordinary world is impermanent and fugitive, so there is nothing in it worth getting upset about. What is lasting, eternal, immortal and infinite—that indeed is worth having, worth conquering, worth possessing. It is Divine Light, Divine Love, Divine Life—it is also Supreme Peace, Perfect Joy and All-Mastery upon earth with the Complete Manifestation as the crowning. When you get the sense of the relativity of things, then whatever happens you can step back and look; you can remain quiet and call on the Divine Force and wait for an answer. Then you will know exactly what to do. Remember, therefore, that you cannot receive the answer before you are very peaceful. Practise that inner peace, make at least a small beginning and go on in your practice until it becomes a habit with you.

(CWM, Volume 3, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Bird of Peace

(CWM, Volume 3, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

This is a graphic representation of the signature. It means “The Bird of Peace Descending upon Earth”. It has its wings tilted towards the earth. It is coming down to the earth. You see the angle of its wings and how it is descending towards the earth? It is to bring Peace. It is the messenger of Peace. The Bird of Peace Descending upon Earth. You see?...

Now I will explain to you how this bird corresponds to the signature. Look, first, this is the tail of the bird. Here are the two tips of the tail, and I extend it as the wing which is seen like a curved line. You have seen the tails of birds, they are like this… So, with these two tips of the tail and one wing, it is one part of the bird. And this is the other wing. They are large wings. And these are the eyes which are represented here by these two points. And here is the head.

One sees the bird appearing from far, that is why one sees only the eyes that shine and not all the details of the figure. It has very large wings and it is inclined like this to one side, that is why its body is hidden. Once does not see its body, it is hidden behind its large wing. And from far one sees only its two eyes and the beak and all that. Because it is only the eyes that shine: the eyes reflect the soul. They are important, the eye. So it is like this: the tail joins with one wing and this is the other wing, and these two points are the eye.

This is the symbolic representation of the Bird of Peace Descending upon Earth. Instead of drawing the whole bird each time, I have made a symbolic drawing which represents the bird. You can see clearly this is the bird in flight which is descending towards the earth. It is still far, but one day it will alight upon the earth. Then there will be Peace. This, then, is the significance of my signature. It comes from another world to bring Peace down here.

(Conversation with the Mother as noted by Mona Sarkar in Luminous Notes)

The Word of the Silence

A bare impersonal hush is now my mind,
A world of sight clear and inimitable,
A volume of silence by a Godhead signed,
A greatness pure of thought, virgin of will.

Once on its pages Ignorance could write
In a scribble of intellect the blind guess of Time
And cast gleam-messages of ephemeral light,
A food for souls that wander on Nature’s rim.

But now I listen to a greater Word
Born from the mute unseen omniscient Ray:
The Voice that only Silence’ ear has heard
Leaps missioned from an eternal glory of Day.

All turns from a wideness and unbroken peace
To a tumult of joy in a sea of wide release.
-          Sri Aurobindo
(Sonnets, Collected Poems by Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Words of The Mother

In the very depths of your being, deep within your breast, the Divine Presence is always there, luminous and peaceful, full of love and wisdom. It is there so that you may unite with it and it may transform you into a luminous and radiant consciousness.

Together you and I shall try to silence all the external noise on the surface of your being, so that in silence and peace you may unite with this inner glory.

Then that day will become the day of your new birth.

(CWM, Volume 17, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Shades of the sky

Gentle fingers tune the strings of tanpura*. Soft music emerges, announcing the beginning of a song. The singer’s voice hums tuning with the music coming from the strings. An alaap* talks of the raagam* that is going to carry the song. Then walks in the flowering words stringed like beads of a jewel. The various instruments join in, harmoniously creating a confluence with the singer. Various levels are reached, the song is lived by everyone. Gently the music comes to an end, gradually reducing in intensity. Strings of tanpura reverberate again, marking the end of the song. A feeling stays in everyone’s heart as though, a single sound has traversed through all the notes of the song.

Gentle fingers of the sun touch the dark sky. Soft light emerges, announcing the beginning of the day. The seeker’s energy aligns with that of the rising sun. A bright smile talks of the cheerfulness in his heart for the day. He then decides on the various tasks to be carried out. Various people join in, creating a beautiful team effort. Achievements are made, the day is lived along with everyone. Gently the day comes to an end, as the calm of the dusk sets in. Fingers of the sun reach out again to paint the sky with pink hues, marking the end of the day. A feelings stays in everyone’s heart as though, a single beam has traversed through the various shades of the day.

Shades of the sky – dawn, day, twilight and nightfall - are similar to the various stages of a beautiful music.

Savitri begins with “The Symbol Dawn”:

It was the hour before the Gods awake”.

Sets into evening in “The Return to Earth”:

“In indolent skies reclined, the thinning day
Turned to its slow fall into evening’s peace”

Decorates Nightfall towards the end:

Night, splendid with the moon dreaming in heaven

And finishes by saying:

And in her bosom nursed a greater dawn

To celebrate the various shades of the day, we welcome readers to a series which will spread through the year, beginning with the dawn, brightening into an active day, setting to a calm evening and relaxing into a cool night.
-          Sandhya
Terminologies and References:

  • Tanpura is an Indian string instrument accompanying the musician in Carnatic music.
  • Alaap is initial notes of a Carnatic music that marks the beginning of a song
  • Ragaam is a melody of music. (A terminology used in Indian music)
  • Savitri lines from Book Twelve, “The Return to Earth”
  •  Panorama of Savitri by M.P.Pandit, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry.
  • Image sourced from

November – December Sunday Activities at the Centre – A glimpse

November 22nd and 29th - Meditations and Discussions on Savitri (Book 9, Canto 1):

The great wrestle of Savitri with Yama is over – and respite should have been. Instead, Savitri is confronted with Yama transfigured – an arisen Godhead representing the Supreme. Yet, this Godhead, while sweet and luminous and full of an entrancing Ananda, nonetheless denies Savitri her prize: Satyavan resurrected.

This sets the scene for the lines we studied these three weeks – some of the most musical, potent and fiery in the whole of Savitri. We read these lines in a circle, appreciating their beauty and absorbing the magic of the Mantra. Then we discussed these lines, seeking to appreciate something of their mysteries.

The scene begins with temptation: The temptation of the Divine by the Divine – and luminous Yama asks Savitri to leave the earth and ascend to her rightful home where she can be eternally be with Satyavan. Yet Savitri refuses. In a series of sweet images, she outlines her natural royalty and divinity, her right to the kingdom of heaven that was “once her natural home” (l.542). 

But she is the embodiment of something greater: The sublime song of struggling earth. And she is the magnificent Mother who embraces the labour and the battle and the pain:

A heavier tread is mine, a mightier touch.
There where the gods and demons battle in night
Or wrestle on the borders of the Sun,
Taught by the sweetness and the pain of life
To bear the uneven strenuous beat that throbs
Against the edge of some divinest hope,
To dare the impossible with these pangs of search,
In me the spirit of immortal love
Stretches its arms out to embrace mankind.” (Savitri, Bk 9, Cant 1., ll.557-565)

To complete her mission, Satyavan must return. The hilt and the blade must be made one.

But the God still demurred. In a vast sweep of Vision and time, he outlines the story of the worm-man, crawling through the mud, his spirit far from bursting a gray chrysalis. He asks, commands even, Savitri to trust in the grand unfolding of the aeons – when all that must be shall be done.

Again Savitri is commanded to return to her “original might / On a seer-summit above thought and world”.

Our study stops here. Man’s destiny is now poised on a knife-edge. We await Savitri’s choice – which will fix the evolutionary path of humanity. 

December 6th - Readings from All India Magazine:

This week’s reading and discussion is on the most advanced stage of the Integral Yoga: The Yoga of the cells. We read several entries on how the Mother had been doing the inconceivable work of impregnating her cells with the Supramental Force, putting them totally under the influence of the Supreme. We also discussed the great mysteries concerning the purpose of the Mother leaving her body and how this may have facilitated her Work to transform the earth.

We also briefly touched on the existing controversies between those who view the Yoga of the cells as the ultimate stage of the Integral Yoga, being only feasible for those who have been put into direct mental and vital contact with the Supramental (something aligned to the views expressed in Sri Aurobindo’s writings) – and those who believe that the Mother’s arduous work over thirty years has made the Yoga of the cells a possibility for many more than a few supreme spiritual athletes. 

-          Jared

Along the Way… December 2015 Morning Walk – A Review

The walk started on 6th Dec 2015, 8.30am at the Fort Canning Park Located at the junction of Canning Rise and Fort Canning Road in Singapore's Central Business District, it is only slightly more than 60 metres high but has a long history intertwined with the city-state, not least due to its location as the highest elevation within walking distance of the civic district.

I would like to share a few lines about the History of that place. Fort Canning Hill, originally known as Bukit Larangan (or "Forbidden Hill" in Malay) has been a local landmark in the city since Singapore's earliest recorded history. It has been the exclusive address of many of Singapore's rulers and colonial leaders dating back to the 14th century when it was the site for the palatial resort of former Majapahit kings, then in colonial times became the location for the residence of colonial governors starting with Sir Stamford Raffles.

The hill was renamed Fort Canning Park with the planting of a fruit tree by the then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on 1 November 1981.Today, Fort Canning Park is a venue for celebrations. Its expansive, sprawling lawns play host to concerts, theatre productions and festivals such as Shakespeare in the Park and Ballet under the Stars.

We had a group of 10 persons for the walk. It was pleasant morning with a cool weather. We enjoyed the beauty of nature in the garden. The heritage rain tree marks the start of the walk. The rain tree, a native of Central America, is planted in Singapore for its large, shady, umbrella-shaped crown. Its trunk and branches host beautiful ferns and orchids, and its leaves often fold up at dusk or before impending rain.

We walked on the side of the tall banyan trees that looked older than a century. The fresh air, green plantation and tall trees and their communion with our souls go beyond words to express.  On the way of the walk we saw a man who was practising his vocal skill building with a loud voice. 

We were walking down the steps that pave the way through the spice garden. This Spice Garden is a small replica of the original garden Sir Stamford Raffles established in 1822 as the first experimental and botanical garden in Singapore. We had an opportunity to see some varieties of plant species like Artemisia Scoparia (Redstem wormwood). This plant has strongly aromatic foliage with a hint of lemon.

I cannot end this walk review without sharing a few words about the Archaeological dig and exhibition area. We experienced the fascinating connection between the landscape and historical journey back to the 14th century. Going round the bend and following the path leads you to the archaeological dig and exhibition area, one of the biggest attractions on this trail. On display are several 14th century artefacts uncovered by researchers at the site. These artefacts provide evidence that way before the arrival of the British in 1819, Chinese merchants were already travelling to this part of the world to engage in trade.

Finally the walk finished at the Aurobindo Centre with a Delicious food served by Mr. Prabhu Deva Basappa & Family. They took care of each and every one and they served us with delicious fruits on the way back to home.                           

- N.Manikandan


The beginning of all progress.

Botanical Name: Aster amellus
Common Name: Italian aster
Spiritual Significance: Simple Sincerity

Sincerity is the key of the divine doors.

Be sincere and absolute in your consecration to the Divine and your life will become harmonious and beautiful.

-          The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk (Dec 2015)

This month’s edition of the Newsletter takes a look at the quality or virtue of sincerity. The word is defined as the absence of pretense, deceit or hypocrisy, according to the Oxford Online Dictionary. What then is pretense, deceit or hypocrisy? Pretense is defined as an attempt at making up something that is not the case, while deceit is the action of or practice of deception by concealing or misrepresenting truth and lastly, hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs then is actually the case. Sincerity is the absence of all these practices in a person. This means quite a lot. A little contemplation on what sincerity means may throw one into a chasm of doubt.

How many times in a day is one sincere? How often does one show something that is not as that which is the case? How often does one pretend to be what one is not, in our daily lives, in dealings with people and also ourselves? How often does one carry a superiority complex about oneself, as one being a notch higher than another in a certain way of being or practice?

Sincerity calls for much. It demands certain preconditions. First one has to know oneself very well in order to know the intensity of sincerity in oneself. Then, to know oneself, one has to observe, and observe attentively, minutely and intensely. In order to observe in this way, one has to be silent from within, without being distracted by what happens outside or inside oneself. Being sincere appears to be a quality that cannot be gained in a few days. Acquiring it in itself appears a Sadhana. The Mother says that there is no progress without sincerity. 

If sincerity means all these and if it is crucial for progress itself, then everyone interested in progress will have to take a serious look at sincerity in oneself and make it one’s business in life to cultivate sincerity and be it. How can this be done?

In order to chart out an action plan for cultivating sincerity, one must know what exactly sincerity is (rather than only what it is not, as the definition above highlights). Here is one statement from The Mother about what is sincerity: “Sincerity means to lift all the movements of the being to the level of the highest consciousness and realization already attained.” If one were to rid oneself of insincerity, one should not have “any preference, any attraction, any dislike, any sympathy or antipathy, any attachment, any repulsion.” On the other hand, one must instead have “a total, integral vision of things, in which everything is in its place and one has the same attitude towards all things: the attitude of true vision.” Above all, one must decide and will that one wants sincerity, above all others.

This is the work before one if sincerity is to become a part of the being and that too relentless work for every moment. Daunting it may sound, The Mother’s assurance is always there, for anyone who sincerely wants to change and embrace sincerity in his or her being: “Whenever there is sincerity, you find that the help, the guidance, the grace are always there to give you the answer and you are not mistaken for long.”

May sincerity be!

Read on for help.


Ardent was her self-poised unstumbling will;
Her mind, a sea of white sincerity,
Passionate in flow, had not one turbid wave.
As in a mystic and dynamic dance
A priestess of immaculate ecstasies
Inspired and ruled from Truth's revealing vault
Moves in some prophet cavern of the gods,
A heart of silence in the hands of joy
Inhabited with rich creative beats
A body like a parable of dawn
That seemed a niche for veiled divinity
Or golden temple door to things beyond.

(Book Four, Canto One)

Question of the Month (Dec 2015)

Q: What do I need to develop most? And what do I need to reject most?

A: Mother: Develop―sincerity (that is, an integral adhesion to the Divine’s way).
Reject―the pull of the old human habits.

(CWM, Volume 14, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

True Sincerity – A Jewel of Honour

Stories by the Mother on Sincerity

A Muslim writer, Abu Abbas, tells us of the glory of King Solomon, who reigned in Jerusalem, the holy city of the Hebrews. In his throne room there were six hundred seats, half of which were occupied by sages, the other half by Jinns or genies who assisted Solomon by their magic power. Throughout the sittings of the Council, a multitude of great birds would appear at a word from the king and spread their wings to shade the people in the six hundred seats. And at his command, each morning and evening, a powerful wind would arise, lifting up the whole palace and instantaneously transporting it a month’s journey away. In this way, the king was at hand to govern the distant lands that belonged to him. Besides, Solomon made the most marvellous throne one could ever dream of. And this throne was designed in such a way that no one would dare to utter an untruth in the presence of the king. It was made of ivory, inlaid with pearls, emeralds and rubies, and around it stood four golden date-palms on which the dates were also emeralds and rubies. At the top of two of these palms were golden peacocks, and on the two others were golden vultures. On each side of the throne there were also two golden lions between two pillars of emerald. And golden vines bearing ruby grapes twined around the trunks of the trees.

The elders of Israel were seated at Solomon’s right hand and their seats were of gold, the genies sat at his left hand and their seats were of silver. When the king held his court of justice the people were allowed into his presence. And each time that a man bore witness on another, if he deviated ever so little from the truth, an amazing thing would happen. At the sight of him, the throne bearing the king, the lions, the palm-trees, the peacocks and the vultures, would instantly turn round on itself. Then the lions would thrust forward their claws, lashing the ground with their tails; the vultures and the peacocks would flap their wings.

And so the witnesses would tremble with terror and would not dare to tell a single lie. And this was no doubt very convenient, and must have considerably lightened the king’s task. But fear is always a wretched thing, which consorts ill with truth. Even when by chance, as in the story of Abu Abbas, it forces a man to speak the truth, that does not make him truthful; for, at the very next moment, fear may drive him to speak without frankness, as did the fox in our previous tale. And that is what most often happens. An honest man does not need the marvels of Solomon’s throne to learn to speak the truth. The throne of truth dwells within his own heart; the rectitude of his soul cannot but inspire him with words of rectitude. He speaks the truth not because he is afraid of a teacher, a master or a judge, but because truth is the characteristic of an upright man, the stamp of his nature. Love of truth makes him face all fears. He speaks as he should, no matter what happens to him.

Is it not noble to speak the truth in this way, even when there is some danger in doing it? Besides, very often, things turn out better for those who brave this danger than it might have seemed at first. The success of falsehood is only short-lived, whereas in most cases, to be sincere is the cleverest thing to do.

One morning, the Emperor of Delhi sat on his throne to confer honours on those he considered worthy. As the ceremony was drawing to a close, he noticed that one of the people he had summoned, a young man named Syed Ahmed, had not yet made his appearance.

The Emperor stepped down from his throne and got into a sedan chair which was used to carry him through his vast palace.
Just at that moment the young man hurried in.
“Your son is late,” said the Emperor to Syed’s father, who was his friend.
“Why?” asked the Emperor, looking sternly at the young man.
“Sire,” Syed replied frankly, “it is because I overslept.”
The courtiers looked at the young man in amazement. How dare he admit so shamelessly to the Emperor that he had no better excuse? How tactless of him to speak like that!

But the Emperor, after pondering a moment, felt respect for the young man because of his sincerity; and he gave him the necklace of pearls and the jewel of honour to place on his brow. Such was the reward of Syed Ahmed, who loved the truth and spoke it to all, prince or peasant.

There is a legend in South India which tells of a prince, the Jasmine King, whose laugh alone would fill the land for leagues around with the sweet fragrance of jasmine. But for that his laugh must come from the joyful and spontaneous gaiety of his heart. It would have been no use if he had tried to laugh without true merriment. When his spirit was full of joy, his laughter would bubble up like a fragrant spring. The quality of this laughter came wholly from its sincerity.

The tables in Duryodhana’s palace were laid with an extremely rich display of vessels of gold and silver, ornamented with rubies and emeralds and diamonds sparkling with many colours. Lord Krishna was invited to the feast but did not go. Instead he went that night to the house of a poor Sudra, who had also invited him. The meal was simple, the dishes were plain.  And yet Krishna chose this one in preference to the other, for the feast which the Sudra offered him was full of sincere love, whereas the sumptuous banquet of King Duryodhana had been given only for show.

It is also said that the glorious Rama once sat at the table of a very humble woman, whose husband was a fowler. All she could put before the famous hero was a few fruits, for she had nothing else. But she gave the best she had with such a good heart that Rama was touched and wished that the memory of this gift from a sincere soul should not be forgotten, and that is why it is still spoken of after so many centuries.

Jalal was a wise and famous teacher. One day two Turks who wished to hear his teachings came to see him with an offering. As they were very poor, their gift was small—only a handful of lentils. Some of the sage’s disciples looked at this present with scorn. But Jalal told them: “Once the Prophet Mohammed needed riches to carry out one of his undertakings. So he asked his followers to give him what they could spare. Some brought half of their possessions, others a third. Abu Bakar gave all his wealth. In this way Mohammed got a large quantity of animals and weapons. Then came a poor woman who in her turn offered the Prophet three dates and a wheat-cake; and that was all she had. Many smiled at this sight, but the Prophet told them that he had had a dream in which he had seen the angels take a pair of scales and put the gifts of all the people in one of the pans and into the other only the dates and the bread of the poor woman. And the scale stood balanced, for this pan was as heavy as the other.” And Jalal added: “A small gift offered with a sincere heart has as much value as costly presents.” On hearing this the two Turks were full of joy and no one dared laugh any more about the handful of lentils.

(CWM, Volume 2, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Birth of True Mental Sincerity

(With its birth the mind will understand that it is only an intermediary and not an end in itself)

Sincerity means more than mere honesty. It means that you mean what you say, feel what you profess, are earnest in your will. As the sadhak aspires to be an instrument of the Divine and one with the Divine, sincerity in him means that he is really in earnest in his aspiration and refuses all other will or impulse except the Divine's.

- Sri Aurobindo

True sincerity consists in following the way because you cannot do otherwise, in consecrating yourself to the divine life because you cannot do otherwise, in striving to transform your being and emerge into the Light because you cannot do otherwise, because it is the very reason for which you live.
-          The Mother
(Excerpt from ‘Flowers and Messages’, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry)

The blossoming flower

In ceaseless motion round the purple rim
Day by day sped by like coloured spokes,
And through a glamour of shifting hues of air
The symbol pageant of the changing year
-          Savitri
Presenting here a poem for the waning year. With this, we conclude the series of poems and articles on Seasons.
The year begun with our yearning hearts,
in it was planted a tiny little bud.
Aspirations and adventures a lot,
the bud unfurled with time, petal by petal,
Into a beautiful fragrant flower.

With the flaming heart-flower,
a celebration and a joy invites us
into the cool month of December.
An offering we do,
of the blossomed flower to its source.

When the year merges into the next,
the time becomes sacred,
like that of an early morning dawn.
It is also called as Margazhi,
a time of reverence and remembrance.

We remember in our ways,
a sweet little girl. Goda, she is revered as.
Her wonderful black tresses
remind us of a boy as black,
as black as the dense clouds.

She sews a flower garland
with herself entwined in her flowers.
Beckons the cuckoo and the cloud
with adoring songs to reach her beloved.

Kolams decorate house fronts,
very colored and intricate.
Carnatic music takes stage,
showering its pride of culture.

With the richness from the years’ experiences,
we welcome the touch of New Year’s rays,
our hearts opening for a newer bud.
Looking forward to inspiring adventures,
we journey with time and blossom.

-          Sandhya

October – November Sunday Activities at the Centre – A glimpse

October 18th - Meditation on Savitri with Huta’s Visuals:

Book Eleven: Canto 1, The Eternal Day: The Soul’s Choice and the Supreme Consummation, Pictures 18 to 25.

God addresses Savitri as the living power of the manifest Word of the Spirit, which has no creative powers but has the knowledge of the slow pace of time. And asks Savitri “Ascend soul into thy timeless self; Choose destiny’s curve and stamp thy will on time”
Savitri becomes energy of Sat-Chit-Ananda;
Then a voice is heard by the Savitri’s soul. "O spirit, choose now; for this supreme choice is not offered again. The peace beyond name and form, the peace in which all things come to rest, now looks at thee from my highest being.
Savitri’s heart replies without words, "O Lord, give thy peace, a boon to keep within for the magnificent soul of man struggling amidst the fury and ruin of wild Time; thy calm, O Lord, bearing thy joy."
“Give to me, O Lord, thy embrace which cuts across the living knot of pain, thy joy in which all created beings breathe, thy enchanting streaming waters of deep love, give to me thy sweetness for earth and men, not the heart alone. Not the nature alone.
Then a blissful cry from the Infinite arose chanting the following words, "O beautiful body of the embodied Word creative, thy thoughts are my thoughts. I have spoken through thee. My will is thy will, I have chosen thy choice. I give to earth and men all that thou hast asked for them. All this shall be entered in the book of Destiny by eternal Time, which is the trustee of my thought, plan and act, the executor of my will.
Savitri succeeds in her mission finally when she hears the voice of the Eternal giving up its stance and happily blessing Savitri and Satyavan, "Descend thou to life with him whom thy heart desires. Far back in time, O Satyavan, O luminous Savitri, I sent you forth beneath the stars — both of you a dual power of God in an ignorant world, in a bounded creation shut off from the boundless self — bringing down God to the insentient globe, lifting earth-beings to the immortality of God.
(Source: From Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo)

October 25th - Savitri Reading Circle:
Book Eleven: Canto 1: The Eternal Day: The Soul’s Choice and the Supreme Consummation, Page-683 to 685

Savitri’s soul hears the voice of the God’s soul coming from within her.” I am the Ecstasy that is unassailable. Those who have looked on me shall have no more grief. They who are not distracted by the pleasures and the little joys of life but live closed in their consciousness to the outside world shall see my forms”.
Two powers of the same bliss, Nature and Soul in us are divided, where Soul longs to reach the skies, but Nature leans down to earth. They are vainly divided by their empty conceits of independence. Nature and Soul are like bride and bridegroom inexplicably separated. But when the veil of Maya is lifted from the sense of time and space, the spirit shall vibrate with endless bliss.
(Source: From Collected works of Sri Aurobindo)

November 1st - Readings from AIM Magazine:
Mantra (Rhythmic Word of the Infinite)
Since our group wanted to know more about Mantra, we read about what Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s directive on Mantra.
Mother says that repetition of Mantra brings about a change in our physical plane and a mantra should be not more than 3 words.
Her mantra “OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH” is like a phosphorescent radiation from a medium with a powerful action.
A Mantra has life when it springs up spontaneously from within. It has the most power. For people who have contact with their soul the mantra will well up from within.
Sri Aurobindo gives us the most important tips on the way to do Japa.
There is the mental way of doing Japa where you get absorbed in its significance and power. The object of concentration in the head is to rise to the divine consciousness and bring down the Light of the Mother or her Force or Ananda into all the centres.
There is a vital way when it comes from heart ringing it with a sense of Bhakhi. The object of the concentration in the heart is to open the centre there ( heart lotus)to feel the presence of Divine Mother in the heart and to become aware of one’s soul or psychic being which is a portion of the Divine.
He also understands the common man’s problem of the strain, long hours of japa brings, though accustomed to successful meditation!

November 8th - Reading from the book “The Mother”:

Our group decided to read “Four great aspects of the Mother” like a prayer before Deepavali which was on 10th November.

In the words of Sri Aurobindo, four great aspects of the Mother, four of her leading Powers and Personalities have stood in front in her guidance of this Universe and in her dealings with the terrestrial play. To the four we give the four great names Maheswari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati.

Imperial Maheswari is the one who opens us to the supramental infinities and the cosmic vastness, to the grandeur of the supreme Light, to a treasure house of the Mother’s eternal forces. Her compassion is endless and inexhaustible.

Mahakali embodies her power of splendid strength and irresistible passion, her warrior mood, her overwhelming will, her impetuous swiftness and world shaking force. All her divinity leaps out in splendour of tempestuous action; She is there for swiftness, for the immediately effective process.

Mahalakshmi resides where ever there is harmony and beauty of the mind and soul, harmony and
beauty of the thoughts and feelings, harmony in every outward act and movement, harmony and beauty of the life and surroundings. Her grace lifts our wisdom to pinnacles of wonder and reveals to it the mystic secrets of the ecstasy that surpasses all knowledge, meets devotion with passionate attraction of the Divine and keeps it endure forever.
“All the work of the other Powers leans on her for its completeness”
Mahasaraswati, the youngest of the Four, She is the most skilful in executive faculty and the nearest to physical Nature.

Her grace will give us the intimate and precise knowledge, the subtlety and patience, the accuracy of intuitive mind and conscious hand and discerning eye of the perfect worker.

Reading about the above powers of the Mother, our prayer gets concentrated and sincere to receive Her Grace. I wish one day we can programme and click in our physical, mental and emotional levels, all these “Shakhis” according to the needs of the moment and just be a computer (a tool) without our ego and ignorance coming in the way!

November 15th - Meditation on Savitri with Huta’s visuals

Book Eleven: Canto 1, The Eternal Day: The Soul’s Choice And the Supreme Consummation, Pictures 26 to 33

The pictures depict the soul of Savitri plunging down through unseen worlds amidst joyous voices and triumphant cries greeting her all the way down. She holds the soul of Satyavan within her enveloping soul. The great wings of the Superconscient close above her and she finds herself buried in the breast of the Earth Mother.
A Spirit gazes upon destiny; a glance of undying Love falls from that gaze. A wonderful face looks down with deathless eyes. Over the wide earth broods the infinite bliss. (Source: A Summary of Savitri by M.P.Pandit)

-          Jayalakshmi