Guiding Light of The Month

All is light, all is love, ignorance and egoism are but vain phantoms, they can be dissolved. And over all things spreads Thy sovereign peace, Thy fecund calmness. - The Mother

On Mahalakshmi and generosity of the heart



Dear to thee are gardens of the lotus,
Where else shall I spread thy seat, O Mother?
On the lotus of my heart press the dawn-roses of thy feet
and make it flower.
Things ungainly afflict thee, O Mother,
I will not cherish them anywhere in me even a little.
O Queen of Beauty, Charmer of the worlds,
Keep abiding thy grace upon me.
Thou sufferest not an arid heart,
So of thyself hast thou come and put on bonds of affection-
O Mother, by the magic of thy sweetness, quicken and upheave me
with Love.

(Mahalakshmi,   Nolini Kanta Gupta - translated from Bengali)

How can we open our flawed human nature to the direct and living influence of the Mother? The answer to this question can be found in the wonderful book The Mother, in this sublime work, Sri Aurobindo by his inner vision and high state of Yogic consciousness has explained the four great Powers of the Mother and the secret to opening our “earthly nature “ to the  "direct and living influence of the Mother". Of the four aspects, Mahalakshmi is the "most attractive to the heart of embodied beings".
 
What are the conditions that attract Her? What repels Her? 

Where there is affinity to the rhythms of the secret world-bliss and response to the call of the All –Beautiful and concord and unity and the glad flow of many lives turned towards the Divine, in that atmosphere she consents to abide. But all that is ugly and mean and base, all that is poor and sordid and squalid, all that is brutal and coarse repels her advent. Where love and beauty are not or are reluctant to be born, she does not come; where they are mixed and disfigured with baser things, she turns soon to depart or cares little to pour her riches.  (Sri Aurobindo, The Mother) 

Sri Aurobindo by his powerful words has illumined the path to   meet the demand of this enchanting power and to keep Her Presence “. K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar in his Biography of the Mother explains   “it is not the mere external opulence, luxury and splendour, for these are irrelevant. What really matters is the generosity of the heart. ”

“An extremely rich man may be terribly poor from Mahalakshmi’s point of view. And a very poor man may be very rich if his heart is generous..

A poor man is a man having no qualities, no force, no strength, and no generosity. He is also a miserable, unhappy man;;; It is those who are doubled up on themselves and who always want to draw things towards themselves, who see things and the world only through themselves- it is these who are unhappy. But when one gives oneself generously, without reckoning, one is never unhappy, never. IT is he who wants to take that is unhappy; he who gives himself is never so” (The Mother

It was beautifully illustrated by Ramalakshmi in her meditation on Mahalakshmi by the story of Adi Shankara. As she said it’s not the “grandiose gestures“ of generosity, but the simplicity, the purity and generosity of the heart that touched the heart of Adi Shankara. This is as she pointed out the gift of Mahalakshm - the spiritual wealth that she confers.  I have been reading Periya Puranam, recently – (the stories of the sixty three Saivite Saints) The stories of the saints purity and extreme examples of generosity and devotion are truly astonishing. The story of Maanakkanjhaara Naayanaar, is my favourite - on the eve of his daughter’s wedding, a Siva Bhakta comes and fancies her long tresses, without any hesitation he disfigures her and happily gives it to him. The story of this great Naayanaar ends with this –

Can the greatness of the father who without a thought sheared the tresses of his only daughter, while still in her bridal robes, to make an offering to a stranger hermit be ever assessed adequately?
May we ever open to this Divine Shakti and meditate on her deep secret of beauty and harmony.

-          Sudha
References
-          On The Mother, K.R.Srinivasa Iyengar, Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Puducherry
-         The Mother, Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo Ashram
-         To the heights, Nolini Kanta Gupta, Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Puducherry
-         Periya Puranam, Translated into English by R. Rangachari, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai.

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