Guiding Light of The Month

IN Peace and Silence the Eternal manifests; allow nothing to disturb you and the Eternal will manifest; have perfect equality in face of all and the Eternal will be there. . . . - The Mother

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

Along the Way… November 2016 Walk Review

By 8.00am the host for the walk Sri Ganesh Swaminathan and our walk leader Sri Ramanathan with Jayanthi were waiting at the meeting point promptly for the walk enthusiasts to arrive. Since the directions for members who were driving and for those taking public transport were given very clearly by Sri Ramanathan, we started to move without much delay, with 12 members who could make it.

There were so many information boards about the Park’s history at every turning point that it was like walking behind time to Singapore’s past!

Imagine a place in Singapore where Malay royalty once ruled in medieval times and where the British decided to surrender to the invading Japanese during the Second World War.

This unlikely combination of events has taken place at the hilltop of Fort Canning Park, one of the country’s historical landmarks.

The park was originally known as Bukit Larangan, or 'Forbidden Hill' in Malay. Today, the 18-hectare space is chock-full of attractions – from ancient artefacts for history buffs to outdoor lawns for concerts, and of course, greenery for nature lovers. The charming boutique Hotel Fort Canning also lies here.

In between the trees, there were many art work made of wood which were simply exemplary!

Since our dear Balasundari has brought the Divine beauty of Nature in all Her aspects in the last Newsletter, I feel at a loss to add more to the beauty of the magnificent trees in this park.  I can only say I did “Manasika” circumambulation of them with the following prayer, where for me every tree looked like the Peepal tree known in Sanskrit as Ashwattha, the King of the Trees:


“Moolatho Brahma roopaya,
madhyatho Vishnu roopine,
Agratha shiva roopaya
Vruksha rajaya they nama”

Salutations to the king of trees,
Whose roots are Lord Brahma,
Whose stem is Lord Vishnu,
And whose crown is Lord Shiva.

How can we be more blessed than to assemble at our Sri Aurobindo Centre for the meditation and prayers before the delicious South Indian brunch hosted by our dear member Sri Ganesh Swaminathan!

Our Sincere gratitude to you and your family, Ganesh Swaminathan for your enthusiastic participation in our Centre’s activity even though you are now based in Bangalore!

-          Jayalakshmi

Vital well-being

Nature of the vital realm – Perpetuating the drama of life


Stability in the Vital – One of the important results of conversion.

Botanical Name: Bauhinia purpurea
Common Name: Butterfly Tree
Spiritual Significance: Stability in the Vital


This bright perfection of her inner state
Poured overflowing into her outward scene,
Made beautiful dull common natural things
And action wonderful and time divine.

-         Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

From the Editor’s Desk (Nov 2016)

In this November issue, we continue with our exploration of the vital realm with a little focus on the quality of the vital in perpetuating the drama of life. The word ‘Drama’ has two connotations. One is that it is associated with a play for theatre or any media of communication and entertainment. By this definition, a drama is something that is not real- life acting itself out in the present but one that is imaginary or representative of what happens in life, revolving around specific characters and events. It is usually of high entertainment value because the audience as such is able to associate with the story, as it is always an expression or a showcase of one’s own life experiences. The second connotation of the word ‘Drama’ is that it is an “exciting, emotional, or unexpected event or circumstance”. 

One can build associations with the two connotations in some ways. What happens in life is often perceived as drama, as a play when one, in a state of detachment, steps back and surveys the unfolding events of life, watches them but does not get involved in them. That life is a play is a point of philosophical interest that can be put to the mind for contemplation. On the other hand, the events of life are often quite dramatic since the vital being in us is one of, “desires, impulses, force-pushes, emotions, sensations, seekings after life-fulfillment, possession and enjoyment … it is even capable of luxuriating in tears and suffering as part of the drama of life.” These aspects of the vital are given an airing in this newsletter and ways sought, of stabilizing the vital and giving it its true direction, given all its power and energy, and purpose, in order to place life on the path of   progress and elevate existence into heights of Light and Sublime expression.

In the realm of life, the forces of desire give the impetus for life to move or run on a certain track. All unfolds in our ordinary life because of the push of the forces of desire that seek to actualize one thing or the other that one desires for oneself. Such a pursuit, we may find, brings us on journeys of highs and lows, as a boat rides on turbulent waters. These highs and lows are part of the drama of life and there is a tendency to perpetuate this drama, as if this is the one purpose of the vital and nothing else.

However, if one is able to step back and watch the movements of life, one may be able to pose oneself a question, at one point, in time or space, or both, about the need for these movements, the purpose behind the recurring experiences in life, pleasant or unpleasant, lasting or not. One may then be moved to ask about the purpose of one’s existence here, on this earth at this point in time. These contemplations may lead one to take a different view of the power that is the vital and this immense power may be used for some sublime purpose than for the energies to be dissipated in dramatic episodes that we ourselves author and direct. It is said that once the vital is mastered, there is nothing that cannot be done. But it has to be submitted to the highest authority in order to achieve the highest. For this, it has to know its power and how to submit itself to a higher power or authority. In its normal movements, it often “complicates things and robs them of their “simplicity, their purity, often their beauty and their effectiveness.” The Mother says, “It should come to understand that this energy and power… cannot become useful unless it enters into perfect harmony with the divine plan of realization on earth.” May we begin at least the contemplation to offer the vital up for purification.

Savitri

A lump of Matter, a house of closed sight,
A mind compelled to think out ignorance,
A life-force pressed into a camp of works
And the material world her limiting field.

(Book seven, Canto three)

All is a hundred-toned murmur and babble and stir,
There is a tireless running to and fro,
A haste of movement and a ceaseless cry,
The hurried servant senses answer apace
To every knock upon the outer doors,
Bring in life’s visitors, report each call,
Admit the thousand queries and the calls
And the messages of communicating minds
And the heavy business of unnumbered lives
And all the thousand fold commerce of the world.

(Book seven, Canto two)


Questions and Answers (Nov 2016)

Q: Sweet Mother, how can we empty the consciousness of its mixed contents?

The Mother: By aspiration, the rejection of the lower movements, a call to a higher force. If you do not accept certain movements, then naturally, when they find that they can’t manifest, gradually they diminish in force and stop occurring. If you refuse to express everything that is of a lower kind, little by little the very thing disappears, and the consciousness is emptied of lower things. It is by refusing to give expression—I mean not only in action but also in thought, in feeling. When impulses, thoughts, emotion come, if you refuse to express them, if you push them aside and remain in a state of inner aspiration and calm, then gradually they lose their force and stop coming. So the consciousness is emptied of its lower movements.

But for instance, when undesirable thoughts come, if you look at them, observe them, if you take pleasure in following them in their movements, they will never stop coming. It is the same thing when you have undesirable feelings or sensation: if you pay attention to them, concentrate on them or even look at them with a certain indulgence, they will never stop. But if you absolutely refuse to receive and express them, after some time they stop. You must be patient and very persistent.

In a great aspiration, if you can put yourself into contact with something higher, some influence of your psychic being or some light from above, and if you can manage to put this in touch with these lower movements, naturally they stop more quickly. But before even being able to draw these things by aspiration, you can already stop those movements from finding expression in you by a very persistent and patient refusal. When thoughts which you do not like come, if you just brush them away and do not pay them any attention at all, after some time they won’t come any longer. But you must do this very persistently and regularly.

(CWM, Volume 6, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)



Seeking the Light in the Lower Vital



Does more work, makes less fuss.

The lower vital aspires by offering all its small movements in the fire of purification, by calling for the light and power to descend into it and rid it of its little greed, jealousies, resistances and revolts over small matters, angers, vanities, sexualities etc. to be replaced by the right movements governed by selflessness, purity, obedience to the urge of the Divine Force in all things.

***

It is evident that the lower vital has received the Divine Consciousness when even in the small movements of life there is an aspiration to the Divine, a reference as it were to the Divine Light for guidance or some feeling of offering to the Divine or guidance by the Divine. The lower vital commands the little details of emotion, impulse, sensation, action—it is these that, when converted, it offers to the Divine control for transformation.

***

Happiness in the ordinary sense is a sunlit state of the vital with or without cause. Contentment is less than happiness—joy of peace or being free from difficulty is rather a state of joyful śānti. Happiness ought not to be a state of self-satisfaction or inertia, and need not be, for one can combine happiness and aspiration. Of course there can be a state of happy inertia, but most people don’t remain satisfied with that long, they begin to want something else. There are Yogins who are satisfied with a happy calm immobility, but that is because the happiness is a form of Ananda and in the immobility they feel the Self and its eternal calm and want nothing more.

-          Sri Aurobindo

 (CWSA, Volume 31, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)


Flowers speak… On Vital well-being


Light in the Vital Movements: This certainly means the beginning of wisdom.


First learn to know yourself perfectly and then to control yourself perfectly. You will be able to do it by aspiring at every moment. It is never too early to begin, never too late to continue.

***

Consent of the Vital: Friendly, smiling, always ready for action, with a great goodwill.

Keep a cheerful mind and a peaceful heart. Let nothing disturb your equanimity and make every day the necessary progress to advance with me steadily towards the goal

***


Correct Movements in the Vital: At once the cause and the result of conversion.

Control over the lower impulsions is the first step towards realisation.

Renunciation of desires: the essential condition for realisation.

***


Vital Endurance: Whatever the obstacles, we shall always go forward!

To know and be able to bear and endure, undoubtedly produces a firm and fixed joy.


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



The Little Ego

This puppet ego the World-Mother made,
This little profiteer of Nature’s works,
Her trust in his life-tenancy betrayed,
Makes claim on claim, all debt to her he shirks.

Each movement of our life our ego fills;
Inwoven in each thread of being’s weft,
When most we vaunt our selflessness, it steals
A sordid part; no corner void is left.

One way lies free our heart and soul to give,
Our body and mind to Thee and every cell,
And steeped in Thy world-infinity to live.
Then lost in light, shall fade the ignoble spell.

Nature, of her rebellion quit, shall be
A breath of the Spirit’s vast serenity.
-         Sri Aurobindo

(SABCL, Volume 5, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Seashore on a full moon night

(An Oil Painting by Sandhya)

September - October Sunday Activities at the Centre- A glimpse

September 11th – Study of Secret of Veda:

The group completed the study of Sukta 2 of Mandala 1 of the Rig Veda based on Sri Aurobindo’s Secret of the Veda and Kapali Sastry’s Siddanjana.

September 18th – Musical Offering:

A musical performance by Shantanu Bhatacharya was offered.

September 25th – Study of Savitri:

We meditated on Mother’s extracts from Savitri Book I Canto IV in Meditations on Savitri.

October 2nd - Study of Secret of Veda:

The group began the study of Sukta 3 of Mandala 1 of the Rig Veda based on Sri Aurobindo’s Secret of the Veda and Kapali Sastry’s Siddanjana.


SUKTA 3

1.    O Riders of the steed, swift-footed, much enjoying, lords of enjoyment, take delights in the energies of the sacrifice.

2.    O Riders of the steed, male leaders effecting a manifold action, take joy of the words, O holders in the intellect, by a luminous energetic thought.

3.    I have piled the seat of sacrifice, I have pressed out the vigorous Soma-juices; fulfillers of action, powers of the movement, come to them with your fierce speed on the path.

4.    Come, O Indra of varied lusters, these pure delights extended by subtle powers yearn for thee.

5.    Come, O Indra, impelled by the Thought, driven forward by the illumined thinker, to my Soul-thoughts, I who have pressed out the Soma-juice and seek to express them in speech.

6.    Come, O Indra, lord of the horses, with a forceful speed to my soul-thoughts; hold firm for us the delight in the Soma-juice.

7.    Come, O All-Gods, fosterers, upholders of active men, you who apportion the Soma pressed out by the giver.

8.    Come fast, O All-Gods, speeding up the waters unto our Soma that is pressed, like cows their place of rest and repose.

9.    O All-Gods, you who are not assailed nor cause injury, free-moving in your forms of knowledge, cleave to my sacrifice as its upbearers.

10. May purifying Sarasvati with all the plentitudes of her forms of plenty, rich in substance by the thought, desire our sacrifice.


11. She, the impeller to happy truths, the awakener in consciousness to right mentalisings, Sarasvati, upholds the sacrifice.

12. Sarasvati by the perception awakens in consciousness the great flood (the vast movement of Ritam) and illumines entirely all the thoughts.

Translated by Sri Kapali Sastry and Sri M.P. Pandit


October 9th – Study of The Mother’s Questions and Answers:

Discussed, Questions and Answers from page no. 197 to 199

Q: What should be done to remember the Mother constantly? Should one repeat Her name, remember Her physical form or think or feel that She is the Divine? Is gratitude for the Divine a form of remembrance?

The Mother: Each one has their own way of remembering. Generalising how or what to do doesn’t make sense.

To remember, one must not forget!

Q: Can there be a collective form of discipline which is self imposed?

The Mother: There are 3 types of disciplines.
·         Group discipline: This discipline is formed when people form group and set rules. If one cannot follow, he/she can get out of the group.

So not self-imposed!

·         Discipline of Family Atavism: you are born into a family which inherits certain rules from the very past ancestors, not parents!

So not self-imposed!

·         Religious Discipline: Again you are born into a certain religion and have to follow the precepts the religion states. Most of the time people don’t dare to ask why and follow blindly the precepts like Words of Veda!

So again not self-imposed!

But one can get out of the above disciplines with strength and independence of character, to break through the group/family/ societal pressure of commotion and repercussion.

Mother’s answers made me understand that I too have no self-imposed discipline, all borrowed or born with!

-          Jared and Jayalakshmi