Guiding Light of The Month

Like a flame that burns in silence, like a perfume that rises straight upward without wavering, my love goes to Thee; and like the child who does not reason and has no care, I trust myself to Thee that Thy Will may be done, that Thy Light may manifest, Thy Peace radiate, Thy Love cover the world. - The Mother

Vital well-being

Mastering Vital Energy


Radha's Consciousness in the Vital - Perfect attachment to the Divine replaces all vital attractions and passions.

Botanical Name: Clitoria ternatea
Common Name: Blue Pea
Spiritual Significance: Radha's Consciousness in the Vital


An inner law of beauty shapes our lives;
Our words become the natural speech of Truth,
Each thought is a ripple on a sea of Light.


-         Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

From the Editor’s Desk (Jan 2017)

New Year Greetings to all from the Newsletter team and the Society! A beginning is always welcome, and even more so, a new beginning. Inevitably, anyone who has put oneself on the path of inner progress is greeted by new beginnings every now and then. Let us mark this special New Year of 2017 collectively as a year of new beginnings for everyone. The first month of this year continues to contemplate on our well-being and particularly, on the Vital Well-Being, which is a direct result of the mastering of the vital energies of the being. In the previous few issues, we looked at the nature of the vital being and some of the challenges it poses us. 

How can the vital energy be put at the service of the aspiring being surging towards a life divine? It is important to know that the vital being has “that dynamic energy which makes no difficulty too difficult for it; but it must be on the right side.” Now, what is this ‘right side’? We can surmise that being on the wrong side amounts to it using its energy to gain a satisfaction over its desires, to gain some fruits out of its works and when denied, withdrawing into a depression and sullen inaction or wrong action. Sri Aurobindo says that “interfered with by the attractions and repulsions, the acceptances and refusals, the satisfactions and dissatisfactions, the capacities and incapacities of the life-energy in the body it is, … limited in its scope and, secondly, forced in these limits to associate itself with all these discords of the life in Matter. It becomes an instrument for pleasure and pain instead of for delight of existence.” However, the collaborating vital of the seeker, the aspirant is quite of another nature. Sri Aurobindo writes, “The proper function of the life-energy is to do what it is bidden by the divine principle in us, to reach to and enjoy what is given to it by that indwelling Divine and not to desire at all.” When the vital is consecrated to the Divine, then, “…all human problems would move harmoniously to their right solution.” 

Where do we stand in light of this? What can we do to help ourselves, to will that the vital, as far as possible, be in a state of well-being, and bring us smoothly on the path of inner discovery and the ultimate meaning and purpose of our lives? The Mother offers two ways in preparing it and making it ready to collaborate with the divine will: “The first concerns the development and use of the sense organs. The second the progressing awareness and control of the character, culminating in its transformation.” 

The sense organs of sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch stand at the doorsteps of the vital, opening to it vast vistas of experiences. Instead of considering these only as needed for our normal day-to-day existence, one can take upon one the task of developing them further. Here is an interesting prospect that The Mother puts before us: “…  the ability to widen the physical consciousness, project it out of oneself so as to concentrate it on a given point and thus obtain sight, hearing, smell, taste and even touch at a distance.” Having perfected the sense organs to these magnitudes, there is then the call to offer to these only the highest, the subtlest and the most “beautiful and harmonious, simple, healthy and pure” stimulus. This asks for the ability of discrimination, ‘viveka’ and the necessity of exercising a conscious choice. Next, we are invited to be vigilant about our nature, catching hold, at each instance, what needs to be weeded out and what needs to be planted afresh and what needs to be nurtured, leading to a transformation of the nature. In all these, a constant aspiration and a calling of the Grace for help and sustenance must take a permanent place in the consciousness of the aspiring soul.  Then will the vital well-being be.

Savitri

The harmony of a rich culture’s tones
Refined the sense and magnified its reach
To hear the unheard and glimpse the invisible
And taught the soul to soar beyond things known,
Inspiring life to greaten and break its bounds,
Aspiring to the Immortal’s unseen world.

(Book four, Canto two)

A joy in the world her master movement here,
The passion of the game lighted her eyes:
A smile on her lips welcomed earth’s bliss and grief,
A laugh was her return to pleasure and pain.


(Book seven, Canto five)

Energy Inexhaustible

One of the most powerful aids that yogic discipline can provide to the sportsman is to teach him how to renew his energies by drawing them from the inexhaustible source of universal energy.
Modern science has made great progress in the art of nourishment, which is the best known means of replenishing one’s energies. But this process is at best precarious and subject to all kinds of limitations. We shall not speak about it here, for the subject has already been discussed at great length. But it is quite obvious that so long as the world and men are what they are, food is an indispensable factor. Yogic science knows of other ways of acquiring energy, and we shall mention two of the most important.

The first is to put oneself in relation with the energies accumulated in the terrestrial material world and to draw freely from this inexhaustible source. These material energies are obscure and half unconscious; they encourage animality in man, but, at the same time, they establish a kind of harmonious relationship between the human being and material Nature.

Those who know how to receive and use these energies are usually successful in life and succeed in everything they undertake. But they are still largely dependent on their living conditions and their state of bodily health. The harmony created in them is not immune from all attack; it usually vanishes when circumstances become adverse. The child spontaneously receives this energy from material Nature as he expends all his energies without calculating, joyfully and freely. But in most human beings, as they grow up, this faculty is blunted by the worries of life, as a result of the predominant place which mental activities come to occupy in the consciousness.

However, there is a source of energy which, once discovered, is never exhausted, whatever the outer circumstances and physical conditions of life may be. It is the energy that can be described as spiritual, and is received no longer from below, from the inconscient depths, but from above, from the supreme origin of the universe and man, from the all-powerful and eternal splendours of the superconscient. It is there, all around us, permeating everything; and to enter into contact with it and to receive it, it is enough to aspire sincerely for it, to open oneself to it in faith and trust, to widen one’s consciousness and identify it with the universal Consciousness.

At the outset, this may seem very difficult, if not impossible. Yet by examining this phenomenon more closely, one can see that it is not so alien, not so remote from the normally developed human consciousness. Indeed, there are very few people who have not felt, at least once in their lives, as if lifted up beyond themselves, filled with an unexpected and uncommon force which, for a time, has made them capable of doing anything whatever; at such moments nothing seems too difficult and the word “impossible” loses its meaning.

This experience, however fleeting it may be, gives a glimpse of the kind of contact with the higher energy that yogic discipline can secure and maintain.

The method of achieving this contact can hardly be given here. Besides, it is something individual and unique for each one, which starts from where he stands, adapting itself to his personal needs and helping him to take one more step forward. The path is sometimes long and slow, but the result is worth the trouble one takes. We can easily imagine the consequences of this power to draw at will and in all circumstances on the boundless source of an energy that is all-powerful in its luminous purity. Weariness, exhaustion, illness, old age and even death become mere obstacles on the way, which a persistent will is sure to overcome.


(CWM, Volume 12, On Education, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

How to use the Vital Energy?

"The vital being in us is the seat of impulses and desires, of enthusiasm and violence, of dynamic energy and desperate depression, of passion and revolt. It can set in motion everything, build up and realise, it can also destroy and mar everything.”

Education of the vital proceeds in various stages. Firstly, a good amount of life energy must be generated by the vital. When the body functions in its optimum health and fitness, and there is harmony between the body, the vital and the mind, plenty of vital energy is generated in the system. This balanced state of the various parts of the being also creates a very congenial condition for contact with the universal energy from which, if one is trained sufficiently, one can draw almost inexhaustibly.

The second step is to learn how to preserve this energy within oneself and not to throw it out and waste. If the vital is left to itself it brings in strong desires, impulses and their variable reactions draining the energies. The process of coercion and suppression will not do. That can only bring violent disturbances in the being. Or if one sits tightly upon it in order not to give it an expression, the vital is likely to get weakened.

But this energy is not meant to be bottled up. It is to be used. And the next part of vital education is to learn how to use this energy rightly.

To be able to use it properly one must take up the education of the senses, the eyes, ears, nose, palate and touch, which gather and feed the mind with their experience. These senses must be trained to perceive and receive correctly and report exactly to the mind. The mind too must be taught to interpret them justly without bias or preconceived notions or ideas.

Sufficient use of the senses, exercise or full attention and power of observation, a strong memory, along with the discipline of the emotions with the purification of moral habits, can help in this regard. An aesthetic sense and feeling for harmony and beauty must be cultivated.
A good amount of the vital energy is needed for the normal life-process. But still a good part remains unutilised. That must be tapped for individual and collective progress, and there is so much to build and create in this beautiful world of ours. To conclude in Sri Aurobindo's own words:

"Our life, still full of obscurity and confusion and occupied with so many dull and lower aims, must feel all its urges and instincts exalted and irradiated and become a glorious counterpart of the Supramental super-life above. The physical consciousness and physical being, the body itself must reach a perfection in all that it is and does which now we can hardly conceive. It may even in the end be suffused with a light and beauty and bliss from the Beyond and the life divine assume a body divine.”


(By the Way Part – III, Pranab Bhattacharya, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Flowers speak… On Vital well-being



Conscious Vital Immortality: The immortality of an organised and conscious vital being.


The vital is the seat of our power, energy, enthusiasm, effective dynamism. It needs a systematic education.

***



Vital Contentment

To harmonise the vital is a psychological masterpiece.

Happy is he who accomplishes it.

***



Trust of the Emotional Vital in the Divine: Smiling and sweet, it is sheltered from grief.

Our heart is purified from the trouble and anguish; it is firm and calm, and sees the Divine in everything.

***



Vital Attachment to the Divine: Manifold and abundant in its multiplicity.

The Divine is always seated in your heart, consciously living in you.

(Flowers and their Messages, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Jasmine flowers

Oye Jasmines!

Did you take birth from flower-sweet hearts?
Or heavens crystal pure stars?

You are white pearls of Nature…
Stringing you together brings forth a garland of rapture!

Pure devotion radiates as your essence,
Your offering illumines us with a spiritual sense.

You are flowers of milky whiteness
Filling the world with glorious richness.


-          Sandhya

November - December Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse

November 17th – The Mother’s Mahasamdhi Day:

We observed Mother’s Samadhi Day.  We read from The Mother’s Prayers and Meditation as well as from The Savitri, Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem.

November 20th – Readings from Secrets of Veda:

Mr Krishnamurthy led the session on the “Secrets of the Veda”.   The topic for the week was a review of verses 6, 7 and 8 of Sukta 1 Mandala 3 of the Rig Veda.  He also gave a recap of the previous sessions, highlighting the following principle ideas of the Rishis:

·         The conception of Truth – Consciousness
·         God as powers of the Truth to raise the humans out of falsehoods of the mortal mind.
·         Attainment in and by this Truth for an immortal state.
·         Inner sacrifice and offering as a means of divine consummation.
After reading slokas 6, 7 and 8, Mr Krishnamurthy shared Sri Aurobindo’s translation of the shlokas.

November 24th – Siddhi Day:

We observed Siddhi Day. We read from The Mother’s Prayers and Meditation as well as from the Savitri, Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem.

November 27th – Meditations on Savitri:

Book 1 - Canto 5 – The Yoga of the King:  The Yoga of the Spirit’s Greatness and Freedom (pictures 11 to 20)

Mr Ramadas coordinated the video session on the Meditations on Savitri, where Mother reads passages from the Savitri with Huta’s paintings as the backdrop.  After watching the video, the members read the lines once again and discussed the interpretation of the lines. 
December 4th – Reading from AIM Magazine:

We read a few pages from the Nov 2016 issue of the AIM magazine (Krishna the Eternal God) and followed it up with a discussion.

December 11th - Reading from Questions and Answers, The Mother:

We read the following question and its answer from page 203 of the book.  How is the Supermind going to act? What should be done to receive it? In what form will it manifest?
Mother replied that Sri Aurobindo has answered this question as follows:  “The supramental world has to be formed or created in us by the Divine Will as the result of a constant expansion and self-perfecting.” That is to say, to hope to receive, use and form in oneself a supramental being, and consequently a supramental world, there must first of all be an expansion of consciousness and a constant personal progress: not to have sudden flights, a little aspiration, a little effort, and then fall back into somnolence.
This must be the constant ideal of the being, the constant will of the being, the constant effort of the being, the constant preoccupation of the being.

- Rama

Along the Way… December 2016 Walk Review

Coney Island formerly known as Pulau Serangoon and inherently famous for the lone bull found on the island generates a sense of curiosity and mystery. The walk on the 4th of December 2016 enabled my first visit to this tranquil island and it literally helped me get a breath of fresh air owing to its tall trees of varying types all around the island.

We assembled in front the Punggol Ranch at 8 am and had a good strength of people in a long time along with Uncle Kalu Sarkar. We started walking the short stretch to the West Entrance of the Coney Island and were invited with a huge gate with “Coney Island” inscribed on it. This was a gate separating the urban Punggol settlement from the dense natural world of Coney Island.

A dense forest awaited us not only making the environment around us healthy by providing us fresh air but also shielding us from the intensive heat of the sun. The trees were tall and close not allowing the sun to reach the bottom just like a tropical forest. The sun managed to peak out in some areas rewarding us we beautiful pictures of a morning in the natural world. We had the opportunity to walk on different terrains throughout the Island from the smooth manmade trails in short patches, the uneven forest trail to the sand beaches of white sand.

We visited 2 of the several beaches throughout the Island and were greeted by beautiful calm waves gliding across the clean white sand. The beaches were picturesque and we took short stops near them to appreciate their beauty and take some snaps. From one of the beaches we could get a glimpse of the resorts of vast Pulau Ubin Island. We also came across mangroves surrounding the island in some parts. We came across many people out for their morning walk around the Coney Island and also some cycling enthusiasts enjoying their ride along the natural trails.

The island not only boasts of a rich history but also a high valued biodiversity. It is home to 157 species of fauna and 86 species of trees. Around 80 bird species can be sighted but owing to the dense forest I was able to sight just one which I believe was an Oriental Magpie Robin. The island is buzzing with the sounds of insects and varying birds chirping occasionally from the depth of the forest. There is a bird watching hide for wild life observation. And to make the walk more adventurous we were about to encounter a Wild Boar but had to with a warning instruction for the same.

To avoid introducing manmade substances and polluting the forest with unnatural substances the wood from the uprooted trees in the forest were used to make park signage, seats, benches, a boardwalk and exhibits. Another fascinating thing we came across was the fungi growing on the wooden walkways forming beautiful and colorful patterns. We also came across demonstration plots for Coastal Forests, Black Mangroves and Mangroves which showcased potential species to be introduced on the island and which would add to the diversity and attract more fauna.
After an enriching walk in a rustic natural environment we headed to our host’s house. 

Ritesh and Upali hosted us in their new home. We began with meditation and Om chanting. The much awaited brunch was delicious and with loads of options. We would like to thank Ritesh and Upali for making us a part of their happiness and congratulate them for their new home.

-          Dhanashree Vaidya

***

Coney Island is beautiful place with a superb sea view. It is full of nature and life, the feeling of enjoyment is very overwhelming to one. The history behind the island is just as puzzling. If the island is called Coney Island, why aren't there any cones on the island? Pinecones for example. I still have to find the answer to this puzzling question. Now where was I? Ah yes. Coney Islands’ waters are teaming with life as well. There are crabs, jellyfish, snails and lots of other sea creatures as well. There is also a beautiful river leading to the sea so if you like the subject of potamology you had better go look at it. Overall, Coney Island is a great place for everyone!

Anjali Curic

Vital well-being

Purification of the Vital


Vital Aspiration for the Union with the Divine - It raises straight up in an intense and concentrated movement.

Botanical Name: Bauhinia purpurea
Common Name: Knotweed
Spiritual Significance: Vital Aspiration for the Union with the Divine


A calm slow sun looked down from tranquil heavens.
And Savitri’s life was glad, fulfilled like earth’s;
She had found herself, she knew her being’s aim.

-         Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

From the Editor’s Desk (Dec 2016)

The December issue of our Newsletter marks the passage of one more little cycle of the wheels of time rolling onwards. We cast a glance at the past year of experiences and continue making resolutions for changes in ourselves as we keep burning bright the flame of aspiration for Progress and Purification. Perhaps it is timely that this issue carries the light of Purification of the Vital, to keep us on track as we contemplate on the guiding words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. 

The action of purification of the whole of one’s nature, let alone the vital nature calls for a few pre-requisites to be met. Firstly one needs an aim in life, an aim as high and uplifted and so will fall in place the need for purification of one’s nature. Secondly, a recognition of areas that need to be changed, by the mental and the vital being is necessary in order to effect in this life the needed change. This requires a truthful and persistent self-observation carried out every moment, if that is possible or at least during as many periods as is possible for the evolving consciousness.  Thirdly, the will to effect the needed action, mentally or vitally, is needed, in order to bring about this change in one’s life. For example, if a certain negative thought pulls one down, this requires once again an observation of the inbuilt resistances and laxities that operate to make us slide down the ladder. Against this downward pull is needed the strong will to exceed oneself for the better. The Mother advises that it would be a great aid if one can admit one’s own mistakes instead of hiding them. If one observes keenly, one can sense a great resistance to admitting mistakes. However, once one is able to overcome this resistance, then the path opens wide before one. As The Mother says, “… it is open and strangely a flood of light enters, and then you feel so glad afterwards, so happy that you ask yourself, “Why from what foolishness did I resist so long?”” Lastly perhaps, is needed the patience to wait for the needed change in our nature, since the nature as it is, is composed of a complex mix of atavisms, inherited substance, conditioned reflexes since childhood, and dark seeds of psychological tendencies that work from the subconscient nature that need a longer or shorter period of treatment from higher forces working towards the change.

A vital purification calls for the awareness of and the eventual opening of vital workings to the divine, offering at His feet all that is in one that has to be strengthened and all that needs to be changed. The more consciously vehement the calling and sincere the offering, the faster the change would be, as the being wants the change and is psychologically prepared for it. An eventual metamorphosis of the being too is eminent, however long or short the duration. One alone can surmise the change that one undergoes. Within one, one knows the extent of progress. 

How rejuvenating when one thinks of a vital purified and converted. As a milestone of the journey marking one’s progress in the purification of the vital, The Mother offers that the “… remarkable sign of the conversion of your vital, owing to Agni’s influence, is that you face your difficulties and obstacles with a smile. You do not sit any more in sackcloth and ashes, lamenting over your mistakes and feeling utterly crestfallen because you are not at the moment quite up to the mark. You simply chase away depression with a smile. A hundred mistakes do not matter to you: with a smile you recognise that you have erred and with a smile you resolve not to repeat the folly in the future.”

Savitri

Although her kingdom of marvellous change within
Remained unspoken in her secret breast,
All that lived round her felt its magic’s charm:
The trees’ rustling voices told it to the winds,
Flowers spoke in ardent hues and unknown joy,
The birds’ carolling became a canticle,
The beasts forgot their strife and lived at ease.

(Book seven, Canto six)

A light invaded all from her being’s light;
Her heart-beats’ dance communicated bliss:
Happiness grew happier, shared with her, by her touch
And grief some solace found when she drew near.

(Book seven, Canto six)


Joy and Smile is a Converted Vital

Another remarkable sign of the conversion of your vital, owing to Agni’s influence, is that you face your difficulties and obstacles with a smile. You do not sit any more in sackcloth and ashes, lamenting over your mistakes and feeling utterly crestfallen because you are not at the moment quite up to the mark. You simply chase away depression with a smile. A hundred mistakes do not matter to you: with a smile you recognise that you have erred and with a smile you resolve not to repeat the folly in the future. All depression and gloom is created by the hostile forces who are never so pleased as when throwing on you a melancholy mood. Humility is indeed one thing and depression quite another, the former a divine movement and the latter a very crude expression of the dark forces. Therefore, face your troubles joyously, oppose with invariable cheerfulness the obstacles that beset the road to transformation. The best means of routing the enemy is to laugh in his face! You may grapple and tussle for days and he may still show an undiminished vigour; but just once laugh at him and lo! he takes to his heels. A laugh of self-confidence and of faith in the Divine is the most shattering strength possible—it disrupts the enemy’s front, spreads havoc in his ranks and carries you triumphantly onwards.

The converted vital feels also a joy in the process of realisation. All the difficulties implied in that process it accepts with gusto, it never feels happier than when the Truth is shown it and the play of falsehood in its lower nature laid bare. It does not do the Yoga as if carrying a burden on its back but as if it were a very pleasurable occupation. It is willing to endure the utmost with a smile if it is a condition of the transformation. Neither complaining nor grumbling, it endures happily because it is for the sake of the Divine that it does so. It has the unshakable conviction that the victory will be won. Never for an instant does it vacillate in its belief that the mighty work of Change taken up by Sri Aurobindo is going to culminate in success. For that indeed is a fact; there is not a shadow of doubt as to the issue of the work we have in hand. It is no mere experiment but an inevitable manifestation of the Supramental. The converted vital has a prescience of the victory, keeps up a will towards progress which never turns its back, feels full of the energy which is born of its certitude about the triumph of the Divine whom it is aware of always in itself as doing whatsoever is necessary and infusing in it the unfaltering power to resist and finally conquer its enemies. Why should it despair or complain? The transformation is going to be: nothing will ever stop it, nothing will frustrate the decree of the Omnipotent. Cast away, therefore, all diffidence and weakness, and resolve to endure bravely awhile before the great day arrives when the long battle turns into an everlasting victory.


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

Sense of Beauty

Cittaśuddhi, the purification of the heart, is the appointed road by which man arrives at his higher fulfilment, and, if it can be shown that poetry and art are powerful agents towards that end, their supreme importance is established.

The sense of pleasure and delight in the emotional aspects of life and action, this is the poetry of life, just as the regulating and beautiful arrangement of character and action is the art of life. We have seen how the latter purifies, but the purifying force of the former is still more potent for good. Our life is largely made up of the eight rasas. The movements of the heart in its enjoyment of action, its own and that of others, may either be directed downwards, as is the case with the animals and animal men, to the mere satisfaction of the ten sense-organs and the vital desires which make instruments of the senses in the average sensual man, or they may work for the satisfaction of the heart itself in a predominatingly emotional enjoyment of life, or they may be directed upwards through the medium of the intellect, rational and intuitional, to attainment of delight through the seizing on the source of all delight, the Spirit, the satyam, sundaram, ānandam who is beyond and around, the source and the basis of all this world-wide activity, evolution and progress. When the heart works for itself, then it enjoys the poetry of life, the delight of emotions, the wonder, pathos, beauty, enjoyableness, lovableness, calm, serenity, clarity and also the grandeur, heroism, passion, fury, terror and horror of life, of man, of Nature, of the phenomenal manifestation of God. This is not the highest, but it is higher than the animal, vital and externally aesthetic developments. The large part it plays in life is obvious, but in life it is hampered by the demands of body and the vital passions. Here comes in the first mighty utility, the triumphant activity of the most energetic forms of art and poetry. They provide a field in which these pressing claims of the animal can be excluded and the emotions, working disinterestedly for the satisfaction of the heart and the imagination alone, can do the work of katharsis, emotional purification, of which Aristotle spoke. Cittaśuddhi, the purification of the heart, is the appointed road by which man arrives at his higher fulfilment, and, if it can be shown that poetry and art are powerful agents towards that end, their supreme importance is established. They are that, and more than that. It is only one of the great uses of these things which men nowadays are inclined to regard as mere ornaments of life and therefore of secondary importance.

We have spoken of the purification of the heart, the cittaśuddhi, which Aristotle assigned as the essential office of poetry, and have pointed out that it is done in poetry by the detached and disinterested enjoyment of the eight rasas or forms of emotional aestheticism which make up life unalloyed by the disturbance of the lower self-regarding passions. Painting and sculpture work in the same direction by different means. Art sometimes uses the same means as poetry but cannot do it to the same extent because it has not the movement of poetry; it is fixed, still, it expresses only a given moment, a given point in space and cannot move freely through time and region. But it is precisely this stillness, this calm, this fixity which gives its separate value to Art. Poetry raises the emotions and gives each its separate delight. Art stills the emotions and teaches them the delight of a restrained and limited satisfaction,—this indeed was the characteristic that the Greeks, a nation of artists far more artistic than poetic, tried to bring into their poetry. Music deepens the emotions and harmonises them with each other. Between them music, art and poetry are a perfect education for the soul; they make and keep its movements purified, self-controlled, deep and harmonious. These, therefore, are agents which cannot profitably be neglected by humanity on its onward march or degraded to the mere satisfaction of sensuous pleasure which will disintegrate rather than build the character. They are, when properly used, great educating, edifying and civilising forces.


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


Flowers speak… On Vital well-being


Spiritual Awakening of the Vital: It soars towards the heights in the hope of reaching them.

Look into the depths of your heart and you will see there the Divine Presence.

***


Power of Vital Expression: It is useful only when the vital is converted.

A great joy is always deep in our heart, and always we can find it there.

***


Harmony in the Material Vital: No disputes, no quarrels the sweetness of a life without clashes.

A harmonious collective aspiration can change the course of circumstances.

***


Krishna's Play in the Vital: In His midst it has all its charm.

The Divine is always seated in your heart, consciously living in you.


(Flowers and their Messages, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)


A Spiritual song in the midst of Nature

Dancing peacocks, singing birds, lush green trees playing with the wind, pretty geese running around, rabbits and many more beautiful nature weaved together make a cherubic little village known as Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the heart of urban Delhi. A row of pomegranate flowers welcomes one inside the campus.

Like a poem stitched together with lovely expressions, the place houses many sweet creations. At one corner is a shrine and a meditation hall dedicated to The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. The shrine is both royal and simple at the same time. Fragrance of the colorful flowers and Tulasi leaves fill the place. Evenings are musical at the meditation hall. Inmates of the Ashram sing from their heart a soft melody accompanied by harmonium and tambura that flows like a river around the place. The musical evenings end with readings from The Mother’s works.

A calm residential block is built around a flower courtyard and it houses the inmates and guests staying at the Ashram for a short time. Numerous trees adorn the block and one is awakened by the call of birds every morning. Volunteers clean the place and create a merry environment around. The dining hall serves sumptuous food and sings of a very homely atmosphere.

I have read about the Vedic schools of ancient India and wondered how it would be if it is re-created today with a modern outlook. Wise rishis are teachers and children stay with them during the initial years of their growth. There is not the procedure of studying with rules, fixed classrooms and reading textbooks. It is all about just being in the atmosphere and growing together. Learning just happens, along with everyone. During my stay at the Ashram, I was fortunate for having spent a week with the children and diyas of the garden of wisdom called Mirambika where I found glimpses of the ancient schools taking shape.

Freedom is the breeze blowing in the garden, didis stand as tall trees, diyas are glowing lamps and children are the beautiful flowers. Vedic chants reverberate in the place every morning and they mark the beginning of a beautiful day. I walked in the garden everyday breathing its oxygen of freedom and slightly touched the flowers growing there. I worked on adding some beauty to the garden with the little of what I have. The flowers spoke to me in their happy glee as I decorated a small part with pictures of sunshine, peacock and lotus. Everybody in the garden are just happy being there. That is all it is all about. Isn’t it? And Sweet Mother is there, smiling in everyone’s heart, through all the joys and sorrows.

The sunshine sparkles among the leaves every morning, squirrels run around squeaking their wishes, peacocks walk along, little chicks happily move around, even fall is filled with sweet melodies and the moon shines protectively through the night. All these and much more make up the little village of the Ashram. With sweet memories in my heart I came back home with the richness of having made a beautiful journey. Perhaps, it is the place where Savitri and Satyavan are living.

-          Sandhya

October - November Sunday Activities at the Centre- A glimpse

October 16th – Reading from AIM:

Read 3 passages from pages 5 to 7 from – All India Magazine, October 2015 - Tantra (The Worship of Shaki).

The passages give us the knowledge of the “The Philosophy and Principle behind Tantra”.   Tantra differentiates itself from Vedic methods. Veda deals with Knowledge, whereas Tantra worships Prakrithi, the Will in Power.   Tantra has two paths- Vama Marga (Left -hand path) and Dakshina Marga,(Right-hand path). It is distinction between the way of Ananda and the way of Knowledge. Tantric Yoga lost its principle in machinery and became a thing of formulae and occult mechanism, still powerful when rightly used but fallen from the clarity of their original intention.

October 23rd – Talk by Anju di (Dr Anju Khanna) from Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch:

Dr Anju talked about her role as the care taker of Madhuban Ramgarh - the ashram’s mountain centre.

October 30th – Savitri, An Unending Journey:

We continued our journey of Savitri, meditating on the pictures 1to10, from Book One, Canto Five.   The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Spirit’s Freedom and Greatness.

Knowledge is of different kinds on this Earth. No one can have the full knowledge of different kinds. It is only partial.  The knowledge that Aswapathy received, however, was of a different kind: it was a whole knowledge of the origin, the process and the purpose of this world-movement which, till then, no mortal had known. Aswapathy was admitted into the arcana of the manifestation of the Infinite in the Finite, of the Eternal in Time.
Aswapathy had crossed the barrier of thought process to reach any knowledge. All thought obscures the object of which knowledge is sought. Even the most brilliant action of the thought-mind acts as a veil and bars the direct, entire vision of the object as it is. This curtain of outer mental thought has to be parted to gain access to the inner seat of revelation. Aswapathy crossed that barrier.   All movement in the Cosmos is a transaction between Nature and Soul, Prakriti and Purusha.  Aswapathy could read this obscure scroll, which is completely illegible to the human eye, because he was in a state of illumination. The light of the Spirit-memory which shone around him lit up not only the contents of the main page but also the helpful hints that had been recorded alongside to help decipher the writing.  What he saw inspired Aswapathy with great hope; a Will took possession of him to try and actualise on earth the higher realities glimpsed in the region of Light. And in order to study that pattern at a closer range he concentrated his consciousness and directed his inner sight to those spiritual altitudes beyond the normal physical grasp. The hopes and disappointments that are common to the normal life on earth could not touch Aswapathy. He neither participated in those joys nor suffered those pains. He was stationed in the poise of the witness self that regards everything but is involved in nothing, His thoughts were no more confined to earthly interests; they ranged immensely wider and higher, purer and more concentrated in their aspirations for the summits of the Spirit.  There was also an uplifting augmentation of power. A force, hitherto unknown to his human body, flowed into him. It did not spend itself out leaving him exhausted; streaming in it was a delight that was unceasing. Aswapathy felt overpowered by this downpour of an ineffable joy.

Source: Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo.
           
November 6th – Reading from AIM Magazine:

Read from October 2016 - Meditations on Love, Passages Divine Love and Petals of Love.
The Mother has given the pomegranate flower the spiritual significance - Divine Love. Of all the powers that have into creation, the most powerful is Love. It is a powerful lever that moves things. It is beyond existence and non-existence, personal and impersonal.  A story goes that in Arabia long, long ago a wounded divine being wounded by the persecutors took refuge under a pomegranate bush. The drops of blood soaked in the soil, fertilised the tree and brought out marvellous scarlet red flowers crowded with petals.  Hence it got its significance Divine Love. Mother used to distribute this flower of “Divine Love” on Kali puja day to devotees, Kali being the most loving aspect of all the aspects of Mahashakthi.

November 13th - Reading from Questions and Answers 1956, The Mother:

We read the passages, Birth: entry of the soul into the body and Formation of the supramental world.   Mother says “You are brought here by force, the environment is imposed on you by force, the laws of atavism of the milieu by force.....”  As a result of this the soul has no choice but to incarnate in the physical parents and go through the rigours to find the true path and discover it fully!   Whether parents can ask for the soul they want?  Though it is rare, it is possible, with special concentration, and meditation and aspiration. In some old countries and even now the woman who is going to give birth to a child is placed in special conditions of beauty, harmony, peace and well-being to get a soul, exceptional in being  to incarnate in her womb. In the second passage, Formation of the supramental world, Mother quotes from the Book on Vedas, “The supramental world has to be formed or created in us by the Divine will as the result of a constant expansion and self-perfecting.”  Right now our consciousness is cluttered with junks of ordinary thoughts and acts, so with constant aspiration for something better, for a vaster consciousness, a truer truth and a more universal goodness will trickle in us the supramental consciousness with the Divine will!      

- Jayalakshmi