Guiding Light of The Month

OH, let Light be poured on all the earth and Peace inhabit every heart. . . Almost all know only the material life heavy, inert, conservative, obscure; their vital forces are so tied to this physical form of existence that, even when left to themselves and outside the body, they are still solely occupied with these material contingencies that are yet so harassing and painful. . . - The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk

This March edition of the Newsletter mulls over the virtue of “Generosity” which appears as deep purple on The Mother’s symbol. Generosity refers to the quality of being generous or kind. “Generous is a late 16th century derivation from the Latin, “generosus” meaning noble or magnanimous, which is a derivation of “genus” which means stock or race. “Generous” is then associated with noble birth, courageous and magnanimous. The opposite of generous is “meanness” which further clarifies the position of generosity. In his ‘Thoughts and Aphorisms’, Sri Aurobindo presents this thought provoking iteration, “Nobleness and generosity are the soul’s ethereal firmament; without them, one looks at an insect in a dungeon.” The “insect in a dungeon” is a powerful imagery that at once brings an experience of a vulnerable, ephemeral creature living in a small, closed-up dark, cloistered and narrow space. This is quite enough to illustrate a state lacking generosity.

Other synonyms associated with generosity are “liberal”, “unselfish”, “benevolent”, “bountiful” and “munific”. In generosity, there is a giving involved from one entity unto the being or space of another which receives for whatever end. What does this giving involve? It may be in terms of kinds or tangibles and in terms of intangibles such as time, effort and intentions of goodwill and the like, such as love and joy. Generosity could be afforded to people, to animals, to plants, to anything and everything one can relate with and feel inspired to give or offer to. 

In this edition, we see flowers being elevated to the position of exemplars in the art of giving, in generosity by The Mother. The one quality that uplifts them to that high status where giving is concerned is that they give without expecting anything in return. The Mother says, “It is he who wants to take who is unhappy; he who gives himself
is never so. Upon an inevitable self-search that ensues following this suggestion, one is faced with these self-directed questions: Whenever I give, do I give without any expectation of a return? When I do not expect anything at all, what is the state of my consciousness? When I expect something in return, what is it I expect? What is the state of my consciousness at these times? Do I regret such a state? Why? Am I at all aware all the time?

As in all cases, a self-observation stands pre-eminent in understanding one’s own nature and the place of a quality, such as generosity, manifesting and expressing itself through it. 

Though generosity is usually associated with material kind, in the eyes of Mahalakshmi, the materially, monetarily rich may be poor whereas, a poor man with a generous heart is rich. Poor, in Mahalakshmi’s eyes is all that is, “…dry, cold, coiled …..” The Mother also speaks about another kind of generosity that she calls, “moral generosity”. This is what She has to say:  

“To feel happy, for example, when a comrade is successful. An act of courage, of unselfishness, a fine sacrifice have a beauty in them which gives you joy. It may be said that moral generosity consists in being able to recognize the true worth and superiority of others.”

Let us invoke generosity within us.

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