Guiding Light of The Month

In this immense heroic struggle, in this sublime struggle of love against hatred, of justice against injustice, of obedience to Thy supreme law against revolt, may I gradually be able to make humanity worthy of a still sublimer peace in which, all internal dissensions having ceased, the whole effort of man may be united for the attainment of a more and more perfect and integral realisation of Thy divine Will and Thy progressive ideal. - The Mother

December- January Sunday Activities at the Centre – A glimpse

28th Dec 2014:  Meditation on ‘Savitri’, Book IX – (The Book of Eternal Night)
Savitri follows Yama into the dark realms of Death to finally conquer Death. She travels through various worlds to ultimately transform Death by the Force of Divine Love and usher in the descent of Immortality upon this earth.
A few of our members tried to recollect some quotes from senior Sadhaks who had given some explanations. Savitri, the Divine Mother herself descends into Prakriti in human form to transform the Earthly life into Life Divine; She travels through the realms of Night and Ignorance to show us the path towards victory and lead us towards Light and Truth.
We cannot grasp or try to explain these lines of Savitri's experiences through Inner Realms with our peripheral and physical mind. Instead a silent watching of the inspired paintings by Huta and a meditative reading would serve to carry us deeper towards these experiences.

1st Jan 2015: New Year Meditation
We had gathered around 11 pm on 31st night and continued reading 'Prayers and Meditations' followed by a long meditation until midnight. Then the Darshan message was read. Next morning from 11 am to noon, a similar program was conducted. We feel very delighted that we are still able to continue carrying on with this practice of midnight meditation and welcoming of the New Year in a contemplative manner as first initiated by Divine Mother in 1927.
The New Year message for 2015 was:
 "In the world of forms a violation of Beauty is as great a fault as a violation of Truth in the world of ideas. For Beauty is the worship Nature offers to the supreme Master of the universe; Beauty is the divine language of forms. And a consciousness of the Divine which is not translated externally by an understanding and expression of Beauty would be an incomplete consciousness."                                                                                                          - The Mother.
3rd Jan 2015: A Musical offering by Premsheela
Premsheela, a student of Karunamaye-di of Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Delhi Branch, gave a musical offering at our centre on 3rd Jan from 6 to 7pm. She is a well-trained Hindustani music teacher closely associated with Delhi Ashram and regularly offers her voluntary services for training students at Matri Kala Mandir.
She offered invocations in Hindi (text and music composed by devotees) for Sri Aurobindo and Mother. She began her offering with Mantras in Sanskrit and ended with Shivoham. She sang compositions from the devotional saint-poets of India in her melodious rhythmic voice vibrating an atmosphere of Bhakti Yoga. All were transported into a world of joy and peace. It reminded me of the great saint-poet Tyagaraja's Kirtana 'Sanjeeta Gyanamu Bhakti Vina' (knowledge of music without Bhakti is of no use);
Mother says: "Music follows the rule of all things on earth - unless they are turned to the Divine they cannot be divine. The role of music lies in helping the consciousness uplift itself towards the spiritual heights."

4th Jan 2015 : Yoga workshop
In the Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo wrote, ‘The chief processes of Hathayoga are Asanas and Pranayama. By its numerous Asanas or fixed postures, it first cures the body of that restlessness which is a sign of its inability to contain without working them off in action and movement the vital forces poured into it from the universal Life-Ocean, gives to it an extraordinary health, force and suppleness and seeks to liberate it from the habits by which it is subjected to ordinary physical Nature and kept within the narrow bounds of her normal operations…. By various subsidiary but elaborate processes the Hathayogin next contrives to keep the body free from all impurities and the nervous system unclogged for those exercises of respiration which are his most important instruments.’ [SABCL vol. 20, p.291]
Debiprasad, a yoga trainer and teacher at Mother's International School, Sri Aurobindo Ashram – Delhi Branch, had conducted a Yoga workshop from 6pm to 8pm for 25 enthusiastic members from our Society.
The two hours session was divided into three parts: Explanation, Demonstration and Training of the participants, with innovative games to exemplify the concept of vibrations and energy layers around us and how to sense them.
He has briefly explained to us the meaning of the basic Suktas (theorems) from the ancient texts on Hathayoga concepts (ShatKriya, Asana, Pranayana, Mudra, Bandana, Kundalini), the Rajayoga for control of mind and vital Pranic energy, the Astanga Yoga of Patanjali (yama niyama-āsana prāāyāma pratyāhāra dhāraā dhyāna samādhayo-'ṣṭāvagāni ||29||The limbs of the eight-fold path are as follows: respect for others (yama) and yourself (niyama); harmony with your body (asana), your energy (pranayama), your thoughts (dharana), and your emotions (pratyahara); contemplation (dhyana); ecstasy (samadhi) ||29||).
Then, he has made us practically do by demonstrating the basic Asanas (postures) required for detoxification and reenergizing of the different parts of our body from toes to head. The Pranayamic techniques were shown, simultaneously mentioning their respective benefits on our different parts of the body.
The last part consisted of a few games to experience the energy vibrations. This was something very new and we all enjoyed it very much.

11th Jan 2015 : Readings from The Mother’s Writings

We took up readings from the Book “Questions and Answers” Volume 8 which is the compilation of Mother’s answers after her “Talks” to questions by students, teachers and Sadhaks of the Ashram in her Wednesday classes in 1956.

Question no 1- Sweet Mother, What does Sri Aurobindo mean by an integral idea of the Divine?
Mother answers that it is quite natural for us to have certain idea of divine depending on our own nature and mental preferences. But we have to realise that the Divine is much beyond our understanding and infinite.

Everything in this Universe comes from the Divine.
Only our ignorance says this is Divine and that is not Divine.
With complete surrender and being an observer and without having a fixed idea of the Divine, if we see everything as a part of Divine’s perpetual movement in the expanding universe and ask for HIS guidance, we will achieve an integral idea of the Divine.

17th Jan 2015 : Partho’s Session – The Practice of Yoga in Daily Life

On 17th Jan 2014, we had a conversation on ”the practice of yoga in daily life". This was conducted by Partho da, who had done a similar exercise at the Delhi Ashram and was in Singapore last week. The talk was attended by a small but involved audience.

For me the two key takeaways from the conversation were:

1. The importance of being conscious of our breathing, be aware when it gets disturbed and consciously try to get back to the regular state as soon as possible.

2. Thoughts are a result of things put in from the outside, and we must be wary of associating ourselves strongly with them

Partho da promised to let us know the next time he was in Singapore so that we can have more of these sessions.

- Sundari and Jayalakshmi

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