Guiding Light of The Month

THE result of all my reflections of yesterday is the finding that the only disturbance I experience comes from my fear of not having been or of not being perfectly identified with Thy law. - The Mother

Reflective practices in Integral Health

Botanical Name: Thespesia populnea
Common Name: Portia Tree
Spiritual Significance: Health

A perfect harmony in the proportions, suppleness and strength, grace and force, plasticity and endurance, and above all, an excellent health, unvarying and unchanging, which is the result of a pure soul, a happy trust in life and an unshakable faith in the Divine Grace.
-          The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk (May 2017)

The current issue of the newsletter focuses on the significance of reflective practices in Integral Health. Reflection refers to serious thought or consideration or contemplation. It implies that for every event or experience in one’s life, for every move he or she makes, for every action or non-action, there is a corresponding movement of reflection, of serious thought, a consideration or contemplation. This further implies that impulsion is no more a primary player in the motivation of an action but rather, a back bencher held in check by the “serious thought, consideration or contemplation” on the action and its source and cause. Integral Health refers to the order and balance operating in the three aspects of nature, namely, health in the physical, the vital and health in the mental. Integral Health means that the higher portion of the being, The Psychic, which is a spark of the Divine Force or Soul, takes over the play of nature, perfecting these parts and opening them to a higher light and subsequently rendering these parts capable of expressing the Highest or the Divine in a progressive precision. In this newsletter, we take a glimpse of how reflective practices contribute towards Integral Health.

A crucial aspect of reflective practices is the practice of self-observation coupled with self-reflection. Both these practices are self-motivated and can happen only when one sees the need to truly know oneself, all one’s strengths that uplift and all the defects in one’s nature that plunge one down into darkness and chaos. The inbuilt instinct in one to progress sets into motion in one who finds the need to be progressive. Self-observation and self-reflection are effective tools that can steer one in the direction towards the realization of one’s goals, whatever these may be. In one who has chosen to progress spiritually, these tools may even be are indispensable aims. 

According to The Mother, when an ailment inflicts the being, the root cause may either be a mental, vital or physical shrinking in the being. These shrinkages throw the being off balance, manifesting some kind of disorder that interferes with the fine working of the being. His progress forward is naturally slowed down or even curtailed. Self-observation throws light on parts of the being that are off balance. Through self-reflection, one understands the nature of the disorder and the manner in which the being is being thrown off-balance in whatever measure according to the magnitude of the disorder and imbalance. One knows himself in different parts of the being; what disturbs the being, what contributes to calm and peace and well-being. This knowledge is powerful. This knowledge throws light over one and opens pathways that would seek to reduce, clear and eliminate the disorder. The Mother has suggested the widening of the consciousness in order to keep each part wide and open and receptive to the healing rays of light and love from regions above and yet accessible. When this light of consciousness reaches out to the physical parts of the being, and the vital and the mental, removes all contractions, spots of darkness and obscurity, balance is restored. Integral Health becomes a possibility.

We often read in the works of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo that the nature that is full of goodwill towards oneself and towards others tends to be a happy one. One who does not have desires or does not nurture them is one who tends to be a balanced one. In one where joy overflows, one finds health. Most of all, when one is in touch with the psychic being, the being, it seems, reverts to its natural state of deep peace, joy and love. In such a one, there is a natural harmony and balance, which is the hall mark of the psychic entity. When this is discovered and expressed in the being from the core to the outermost crust, Integral Health is established.


His grasp was a young god’s upon earths limbs:
Changed by the passion of his divine outbreak
He made her body beautiful with his kiss.

(Book four, Canto one)

“O soul, my soul, we have created Heaven,
Within we have found the kingdom here of God,
His fortress built in a loud ignorant world.

Our life is entrenched between two rivers of Light,
We have turned space into a gulf of peace
And made the body a capitol of bliss.
What more, what more, if more must still be done?

In the slow process of the evolving spirit,
In the brief stade between a death and birth
A first perfection’
s stage is reached at last;
Out of the wood and stone of our natures stuff
A temple is shaped where the high gods could live.

(Book seven, Canto five)

Our imperfection towards perfection toils,
The body is the chrysalis of a soul:
The infinite holds the finite in its arms,
Time travels towards revealed eternity.

(Book ten, Canto one)

Questions and Answers

Q: How can one increase the receptivity of the body?
The Mother: It depends on the part. The method is almost the same for all parts of the being. To begin with, the first condition: to remain as quiet as possible. You may notice that in the different parts of your being, when something comes and you do not receive it, this produces a shrinking — there is something which hardens in the vital, the mind or the body. There is a stiffening and this hurts, one feels a mental, vital or physical pain. So, the first thing is to put one’s will and relax this shrinking, as one does a twitching nerve or a cramped muscle; you must learn how to relax, be able to relieve this tension in whatever part of the being it may be.
The method of relaxing the contraction may be different in the mind, the vital or the body, but logically it is the same thing. Once you have relaxed the tension, you see first if the disagreeable effect ceases, which would prove that it was a small momentary resistance, but if the pain continues and if it is indeed necessary to increase the receptivity in order to be able to receive what is helpful, what should be received, you must, after having relaxed this contraction, begin trying to widen yourself — you feel you are widening yourself. There are many methods. Some find it very useful to imagine they are floating on water with a plank under their back. Then they widen themselves, widen, until they become the vast liquid mass. Others make an effort to identify themselves with the sky and the stars, so they widen, widen themselves, identifying themselves more and more with the sky. Others again don’t need these pictures; they can become conscious of their consciousness, enlarge their consciousness more and more until it becomes unlimited. One can enlarge it till it becomes vast as the earth and even the universe. When one does that one becomes really receptive. As I have said, it is a question of training. In any case, from an immediate point of view, when something comes and one feels that it is too strong, that it gives a headache, that one can’t bear it, the method is just the same, you must act upon the contraction. One can act through thought, by calling the peace, tranquillity (the feeling of peace takes away much of the difficulty) like this: “Peace, peace, peace... tranquillity... calm.” Many discomforts, even physical, like all these contractions of the solar plexus, which are so un- pleasant and give you at times nausea, the sensation of being suffocated, of not being able to breathe again, can disappear thus. It is the nervous centre which is affected, it gets affected very easily. As soon as there is something which affects the solar plexus, you must say, “Calm... calm... calm”, become more and more calm until the tension is destroyed.
In thought also. For instance, you are reading something and come across a thought you don’t understand — it is beyond you, you understand nothing and so in your head it lies like a brick, and if you try to understand, it becomes more and more like a brick, a stiffening, and if you persist it gives you a headache. There is but one thing to do: not to struggle with the words, remain just like this (gesture, stretched out, immobile), create a relaxation, simply widen, widen. And don’t try to understand, above all, don’t try to understand — let it enter like that, quite gently, and relax, relax, and in this relaxing your headache goes away. You no longer think of anything, you wait for a few days and after some days you see from inside: “Oh! How clear it is! I understand what I had not understood.” It is as easy as that. When you read a book which is beyond you, when you come across sentences which you cannot understand — one feels that there is no correspondence in the head — well, you must do this; one reads the thing once, twice, thrice, then remains calm and makes the mind silent. A fortnight later, one takes up the same passage again and it is clear as daylight. Everything has been organised in the head, the elements of the brain which were wanted for the understanding have been formed, everything has been done gradually and one understands. I knew many people who, when I used to tell them something, argued, — they did not understand anything at all. They were shut up in their mind which could not catch the thought, which threw it out, refused it violently. You have said something, you don’t insist; you have said it, that’s all; if need be you say it a second time, but you don’t insist. A week, a month later, those very people come looking for you and tell you with strong conviction, “But things are like that, you don’t understand, things are like that!” It is exactly what you have told them, you know. But they tell you, “I thought about it, now I know, it is this, it is truly this.” If you have the misfortune to tell them, “But this is exactly what I had told you”, they pull a long face! And they don’t understand any longer.
(CWM, Volume 4, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Transformation of the Physical

“Perfection is the true aim of all culture, the spiritual and psychic, the mental, the vital and it must be the aim of our physical culture also. If our seeking is for a total perfection of the being, the physical part of it cannot be left aside; for the body is the material basis, the body is the instrument which we have to use. Sar ̄─▒ram khalu dharmasa ̄dhanam, says the old Sanskrit adage, the body is the means of fulfilment of dharma, and dharma means every ideal which we can propose to ourselves and the law of its working out and its action.
A total perfection is the ultimate aim which we set before us, for our ideal is the Divine Life which we wish to create here, the life of the Spirit fulfilled on earth, life accomplishing its own spiritual transformation even here on earth in the conditions of the material universe. That cannot be unless the body too undergoes a transformation, unless its action and functioning attain to a supreme capacity and the perfection which is possible to it or which can be made possible.”

The Supramental Manifestation, SABCL, Vol. 16, p. 5 

     Supramental Influence in the Cells

Yet Light is there; it stands at Nature’s doors:
It holds a torch to lead the traveller in.

It waits to be kindled in our secret cells;
It is a star lighting an ignorant sea,
A lamp upon our poop piercing the night.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri
Mother, how can the functioning of the body “attain to a supreme capacity”?
Precisely by transformation. This implies a total transformation. Sri Aurobindo speaks about it later in what follows.
For the moment, our body is simply a doubtful improvement on the animal body, for if we have gained from a certain point of view, we have lost from another. It is certain that from the point of view of purely physical capacities many animals are superior to us. Unless by a special culture and transformation we succeed in really transforming our capacities, it could be said that from the point of view of strength and muscular power a tiger or a lion is far superior to us. From the point of view of agility a monkey is far superior to us; and, for instance, a bird can travel without needing any exterior mechanism or plane, which is not yet possible for us... and so on. And we are bound by the animal necessities of the functioning of our organs; so long as we depend, for instance, on material food, on absorbing matter in such a crude form, we shall be quite inferior animals.
Therefore, I don’t want to anticipate what we are going to read, but all this purely animal functioning of our body, all this part which is exactly the same as in animal life — that we depend for life on the circulation of the blood and to have blood we need to eat, and so on, and all that this implies — these are terrible limitations and bondages! As long as material life depends on that, it is obvious that we won’t be able to divinise our life. So, we must assume that animality in the human being should be replaced by another source of life, and this is quite conceivable — not only conceivable but partially realisable; and this is obviously the aim we ought to set before ourselves if we want to transform matter and make it capable of expressing divine qualities.
In the very, very old traditions — there was a tradition more ancient than the Vedic and the Chaldean which must have been the source of both — in that ancient tradition there is already mention of a “glorious body” which would be plastic enough to be transformed at every moment by the deeper consciousness: it would express that consciousness, it would have no fixity of form. It mentioned luminosity: the constituent matter could become luminous at will. It mentioned a sort of possibility of weightlessness which would allow the body to move about in the air only by the action of will-power and by certain processes of control of the inner energy, and so on. Much has been said about these things. 
I don’t know if there ever were beings on earth who had partially realised this, but in a very small way there have been partial instances of one thing or another, examples which go to prove that it is possible. And following up this idea, one could go so far as to conceive of the replacement of material organs and their functioning as it now is, by centres of concentration of force and energy which would be receptive to the higher forces and which, by a kind of alchemy, would use them for the necessities of life and the body. We already speak of the different “centres” in the body — this knowledge is very widespread among people who have practised yoga — but these centres could be perfected to the point where they replace the different organs by a direct action of the higher energy and vibrations on matter. Those who have practised occultism well enough, in its most integral form, it could be said, know the process of materialisation of subtle energies and can put them in contact with physical vibrations. Not only is it something that can be done, but it is something which is done. And all that is a science, a science which must itself be perfected, completed, and which will obviously be used for the creation and setting in action of new bodies which will be able to manifest the supramental life in the material world.
But, as Sri Aurobindo says, before this can be done, it is good to utilise all that we have in order to increase and make more exact the control of physical activities. It is very obvious that those who practise physical culture scientifically and with coordination acquire a control over their bodies that’s unimaginable for ordinary people. When the Russian gymnasts came here, we saw with what ease they did exercises which for an ordinary man are impossible, and they did them as if it was the simplest thing in the world; there was not even the least sign of effort! Well, that mastery is already a great step towards the transformation of the body. And these people who, I could say, are materialists by profession, used no spiritual method in their education; it was solely by material means and an enlightened use of human will that they had achieved this result. If they had added to this a spiritual knowledge and power, they could have achieved an almost miraculous result.... Because of the false ideas prevalent in the world, we don’t usually see the two things together, spiritual mastery and material mastery, and so one is always incomplete without the other; but this is exactly what we want to do and what Sri Aurobindo is going to explain: if the two are combined, the result can reach a perfection that’s unthinkable for the ordinary human mind, and this is what we want to attempt.
(CWM, Volume 9, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Little dweller in this narrow house

This body which was once my universe,
Is now a pittance carried by the soul, —
Its Titans motion bears this scanty purse,
Pacing through vastness to a vaster goal.

Too small was it to meet the giant need
That only infinitude can satisfy:
He keeps it still, for in the folds is hid
His secret passport to eternity.

In his front an endless Time and Space deploy
The landscape of their golden happenings;
His heart is filled with sweet and violent joy,
His mind is upon great and distant things.
How grown with all the world conterminous
Is the little dweller in this narrow house!
-          Sri Aurobindo

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

To the Students, Young and Old

A demonstration of Physical culture at Ashram

There are, in the history of the earth, moments of transition when things that have existed for thousands of years must give way to those that are about to manifest. A special concentration of the world consciousness, one might almost say, an intensification of its effort, occurs at such times, varying according to the kind of progress to be made, the quality of the transformation to be realised. We are at precisely such a turning-point in the world’s history. Just as Nature has already created upon earth a mental being, man, so too there is now a concentrated activity in this mentality to bring forth a supramental consciousness and individuality.

Certain beings who, I might say, are in the secret of the gods, are aware of the importance of this moment in the life of the world, and they have taken birth on earth to play their part in whatever way they can. A great luminous consciousness broods over the earth, creating a kind of stir in its atmosphere. All who are open receive a ripple from this eddy, a ray of this light and seek to give form to it, each according to his capacity. We have here the unique privilege of being at the very centre of this radiating light, at the fount of this force of transformation.

Sri Aurobindo, incarnating the supramental consciousness in a human body, has not only revealed to us the nature of the path to follow and the way to follow it in order to reach the goal, but has also by his own personal realisation given us the example; he has provided us, so to say, with the proof that the thing can be done and that the time has come to do it.

Consequently, we are not here to repeat what others have done, but to prepare ourselves for the blossoming of a new consciousness and a new life. That is why I address myself to you, the students, that is, to all who wish to learn, to learn always more and always better, so that one day you may be capable of opening yourselves to the new force and of giving it the possibility of manifesting on the physical plane. For that is our programme and we must not forget it. To understand the true reason why you are here, you must remember that we want to become instruments that are as perfect as possible, instruments that express the divine will in the world. And if the instruments are to be perfect, they must be cultivated, educated, trained. They must not be left like fallow land or a formless piece of stone. A diamond reveals all its beauty only when it is artistically cut. It is the same for you. If you want your physical being to be a perfect instrument for the manifestation of the supramental consciousness, you must cultivate it, sharpen it, refine it, give it what it lacks, perfect what it already possesses.

(CWM, Volume 12, An excerpt from “On Education”, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Flowers Speak… On Integral Health

Ananda in the Physical

And the body says to the Supreme Lord: “What You want me to be, I shall be, what You want me to know, I shall know, what You want me to do, I shall do.

-          The Mother

Silence in the Vital

The one thing that is most needed for this sadhana is peace, calm, especially in the vital—a peace which depends not on circumstances or surroundings but on the inner relation with a higher consciousness which is the consciousness of the Divine, of the Mother.
-          The Mother


Supramental influence in the Mind

A Light comes down into the Ignorance,
Its heavy painful knot loosens its grasp:
The mind becomes a mastered instrument
And life a hue and figure of the soul.
-          Sri Aurobindo, Savitri


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

Savitri, the golden raagam

At the wake of a new dawn
A beautiful song decided to be born.

It is music for the blue world
Converting it into a blaze of gold.

Singing of Dawn and Dusk,
Dancing peacocks and parrots,
Tales of Savitri and Satyavan,
Embedded into Love and life song.
Unveiling notes of His flute music,
Creating raptures so beatific.

Savitri is the golden raagam,
Each canto in it is a jeweled varnam.

Savitri is His compassionate guidance,
It is Sri Aurobindo living along with us.
-          Sandhya
*Raagam and varnam are terms used in Indian Carnatic Music

March - April Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse

March 19th – Study of Secrets of the Veda:
A study of the first 3 verses of Mandala 1, Sukta 4 was taken up, facilitated by Sri Krishnamurthy. 

In this Sukta, the Rishis Vishwamitra and Madhuchchandas invoke the ‘Master of luminous mind Indra ’ for increase of ‘Light’.   Sri Aurobindo has described Indra as follows:
He comes down into our world as the ‘Hero - with his shining horses ’
§  Slays darkness and division with his lightnings
§  Pours down the life-giving heavenly waters
§  Finds in the trace of the hound, intuition, the lost or hidden illumination
§  Makes the Sun of truth mount high in the heaven of our mental plane

The actions of Indra on the seekers are mainly divided into 3 categories:

1st task –This step is imaged as the birth of the God Indra in man that includes preparation and building up of subtle bodies in man, which can absorb and sustain the knowledge imparted.

2nd task – Help humans towards the all sided perfection - that is perfection in the physical, vital and mental realms, as also in interpersonal relations.

 3rd task: - Offer protection for individuals from the hostile forces.  Indra battles the demonic forces led by Vritra – the concealer or tearer. 

In verse 1, the image created is that of a cow (symbolically representing ‘Light or Ray of Light’ giving abundantly its yield to the one who milks the herds.  The seeker being the one who milks and Indra the milched - Cow.   Also Indra is shown to represent enlightened intelligence, fashioning the perfect forms of thought.

In verse 2, the seeker earnestly invokes Indra to come and accept the Soma drink that is just pressed out.  Indra in turn gets nourished by ‘the excess of delight’ making him shower the rays of Truth Consciousness on the seeker.

In verse 3, the stress is upon right thought and not on the emotions. It is necessary, however, that the progress in right thinking should commence in the field of consciousness already attained.    There must not be just flashes and dazzling manifestations.   Also the rishis here earnestly request Indra not to show beyond what they can comprehend at the current consciousness level they have achieved.

March 26th – Savitri, An unending journey:
Book 2, The Traveller of the Worlds, Canto 4, The Kingdoms of the little life

Picture 1: The Life-Force seeks for the Joy ineffable. But she is enclosed in the limited, unlit edifice of the material form and though she derives a little delight from the indwelling spirit at the core, she yields in the process to the many obscure and stunted elements of material nature. Life is obliged to propitiate the little gods of Matter for establishing and organising herself in the material field.
This sacrifice on the part of Life to the little gods of the material kingdom, however, is endless and not fruitful. Life may attempt to change the pattern of the constitution of material form but she fails to evoke a seconding response from Matter.

Picture 2: This is the state of Life in her first beginnings in the material world. She is still an infant in her formation and only partially self-aware, unsure of her steps in her slow movement upwards from the soil of Matter. Far away from her native glories, she is like a deserted and forlorn child. From the conditions of obscurity, struggle and pain in which she is, she makes her way through dense, unclear passages feeling out for states of light, power and joy.

Picture 3: But this appearance does not deceive Aswapathy’s sight. His awakened eye pierces through it and perceives that there is a definite purpose underlying the apparently meaningless movement. Aswapathy is fully aware of his mission. He awaits a significant revelation of the glory of God and though the world in which he now finds himself is so strange, so aimless in appearance, he cites God’s purpose in the workings presented before his eye.

Picture 4: This original failure of the will-to-be, of the will-to-delight to overcome the hold of decay and death has become ingrained as a habit and it pursues as an evil shadow all subsequent developments of the effort of life to affirm and organise herself. Even if the hold is loosened in the more developed evolutes of life, it is there firm on the constituting cells of the body that the life inhabits and the cells give way, betraying life.
This life-impulse to affirm and aggrandise itself, this desire to possess and enjoy, is the motive force that propels the world-movement from the very beginning. It has been at once the activating motor as also the tether which holds back the evolving being from a wider and a loftier flight. For even with the advent of thought and reason in the mind, even with the effective articulation of the spirit, the old, primitive urge of life-desire continues and forms the mainspring of life’s activities.

Picture 5: When in the course of its devolution the manifesting Spirit arrived at the nadir of its downward plunge and lost itself in its exclusive concentration, all became a Void. There was only darkness, a vast negation, a veritable Night. And so it would have remained but for the purposive descent of the Conscious Being of Satchidananda into this dark Void, sacrificing itself in its threefold nature of Truth-existence, Consciousness Force and Bliss which underwent a change into its opposite in the conditions of the fall. Because of this entry and presence of the Conscious Being—however masked—it has been possible for light to emerge out of darkness, consciousness out of nescience.

Picture 6: Its hard and heavy romp of self-born twins. As Life builds itself in the material world, there starts a game of hide-and-seek between the Soul which is yet hidden and Nature which reveals herself only partly. It is a game played in the half-light of a slow, emerging consciousness, a play of tentative grasping and escapes. Even with the advent of the mind, the game continues, perhaps even more vigorously: Soul and Nature—the inseparable Two, born with the Creation—play to find and possess each other through all phases of attraction and repulsion, hope and fear.

Picture 7: Life goes on to assume huge forms, massive in strength, but puny in brain, like the mastodon. She evolves even the human form though tiny in size at first. These humans are primitive in their development, they let their own life-movement—short-ranged as it is—drift where it will but impose their life-will on the rest of the earth. And this they are able to do because they possess brains more developed than those of other creatures, however physically huge and strong they may be.

Picture 8: Even men at this stage are animals in all but in form. Excepting in their form which is human, in everything else they are like the other creatures of the animal world. Their life is filled with the passion of the general movement; they are not at all self-aware and it does not occur to them to know who they are or why they live. Their one object of exertion III life is to draw as much enjoyment as can be derived from the objects and movements of Nature. The body is all that matters and their whole life is occupied with meeting its demands for satisfaction; they do not look beyond it. They are satisfied with the normal routine of living in the physical body—breathing, feeling, sensing, and acting. They are completely identified with the body which is but the outer form of the indwelling soul.

Picture 9: This release of the mind-principle into overt action from below is gradual. The power of this emerging mind is at first obscure and vaguely perceptible amidst the densities of Matter and the engulfing turgidities of life.
It is like a thin current constantly exposed to the driving and submerging flow of the waters of life. But it survives and slowly formulates itself into fleeting sensations and palpable feelings. Formation into thinking activity comes much later.
The slender current of the early mind runs through the mass of unconsciousness covering the material earth, through the surface movements of agitation thrown up by the upsurge of consciousness and forces its way across the narrow channels open to it. It gathers plentiful experience on its move and assimilates it.

Picture 10: Life here, on this plane, is a slender flame of light that is born and holds itself in a mass of darkness, death and nescience. She is not conscious, not aware of her origin or the direction of her course. There is still the obscuring mist of nescience all around.
Source: collected Works of Sri Aurobindo.

April 2nd – Reading from AIM magazine:
                                                                                                                                                              Read a few passages from March 2017 issue of AIM, The Value of Money
These passages are taken from the Collected Works of the Mother.

Mother gives very detailed aspects of Money. Money is among the forces that have a great hold over human nature.

Right now Money power belongs to the vital and material world which is under Asuric forces.  What must be done is to re-conquer it from Asuric forces and put them at the disposal of the Divine for His work of transformation.

Physical manifestation of Money is just a convention. There were times when shells and fish hooks were exchanged for goods! The more of the same was considered to be rich. Now it is era of Paper Money. Whatever form the Money exists there is a force behind it. Instead of self-aggrandisement, it has to be used for the welfare of the world.

Attachment to money can exists even after death for example a miser’s passion for his treasure can be so powerful that even when his vital is dissolved it gathers some elements and safe guards its treasure that anyone trying to retrieve the treasure are befallen with tragic ends.
Money is not meant to make money, money is meant to make the earth ready for the advent of the new creation. - The Mother

April 9th -   Q & A from Mother’s Complete Works Volume 8 Page no 234:

The passage talks about the 3 parts to the act of Divine Love and Worship, which are as follows:
  1. A practical worship of the Divine
  2. A symbol of worship ” expressing some vision and seeking or some relation to the Divine”
  3. An inner adoration and longing for oneness, or feeling of oneness in the heart and soul and spirit.
The aspirant did not understand the first two parts clearly and Mother gives the following explanation:
1.      The first is purely material (physical acts) for example lighting the incense, arranging the offerings, looking after a temple.
2.      The second is a mental consecration which makes the act that is performed a symbol. As an example the lighting of the incense is symbolic of the aspiration burning in the body or an act of self-giving in a dissolution.
3.      The final part is the aspiration for the union with the Divine. It is a means of drawing closer to the Divine ad making the person fir to unit with the Divine.
Mother goes on to add that for the act to be complete, these three things mentioned above must be there, that is something purely material, something mental, and something psychic.

-          Jayalakshmi

Along the Way… April 2017 Walk Review

Ever since Pranav learnt to walk, he and his sister had gone to the Sunday morning walk month after month for many years. With no weekend duty or fieldcamp as a NS man, he was free and initiated the idea to join this month’s walk. “It was wonderful to go back after so long and be welcomed so warmly… it really felt like going to a family reunion”, Pranav remarked as we made our way back home from the Sunday morning walk in April.

All Sunday morning walks are special in their own ways. This month’s walk at Bishan Ang Mo Kio Park, coincided with the Ching Ming Festival. It is known as the festival to pay respects to the ancestors. As the park is right next to Tse Tho Aum Temple, the day started with traffic congestions at the meeting point on Sin Ming Avenue. But that did not deter most of us who turned up for the walk. We were cheerful as if we were there for a spring outing, which by the way is another significance of Ching Ming festival. (I love Asian Traditions as they find a reason to cheer even on a solemn day.)

Ananya, Deepika, Anjali and Sophia had all grown up since we last saw them. As they chattered and rushed off to the play area, (reminded me of the days when Pranav and Pradeeptha used to do the same), the rest of us started the walk. The park looks like a green lung in a concrete jungle with Marymount Road as the sternum. There are two parts to the park with lots of activity areas for man and dog alike. With Buddhist temples nearby it is only appropriate to have lotus ponds in the park. There were two of them, one in each section of the park and are nice spots for photography, meditation and tai chi. It’s very calming if you stopped and watched the bees play hide and seek between lotus petals. In a calming place, would commerce be far behind? This is Singapore. We soon walked past a spa, and many eateries inside the park. Eateries also reminded us of the treat that awaited us at Krishnamurthy uncle’s residence. It was time to head to his home.

There was a warmer welcome at his house, as many more who missed the walk joined the prayer session. The readings providentially have the most appropriate message for the reader (and listeners too). Pranav and I were both touched by the words he opened to read, “See how little outer circumstances matter… The only duty is not to let oneself be troubled by anything.” Ananya and Deepika chanted Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita, Visvarupadarshana yoga (The Vision of the Universal Form). My experience can be best summarised by paraphrasing verse 14 that they chanted, “...vismayavisto hrsta-roma… pranamya sirasa devam krtanjalir…” which roughly translates as ‘filled with wonder, astonishment, and surprise, with hair standing on end, bowed down the head to the Supreme Lord’. Krishnamurthyji and Ramanathanji then provided us with a transition from the other worldly experience (Visvarupa) to this world by chanting Bhagya Sukta, a Vedic hymn for prosperity, good luck, and success, all of which we needed in abundance for the month ahead. The delicious and sumptuous south Indian spread laid out by Jayalakshmiji and Swati reminded us of the immense pleasures to be enjoyed in this world itself.

-          S.N.Venkat

Widening of the Mind

Botanical Name: Asteraceae
Common Name: Dahlia
Spiritual Significance: Supramentalised Mental Dignity

Widen yourself to the extreme limit of the universe… and beyond.

Always take upon yourself all the necessities of progress, and resolve them in the ecstasy of Unity. Then you will be divine.

-          The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk (Apr 2017)

We proceed, in this issue of the newsletter, with mental wellbeing, with a special focus on ‘Widening of the Mind’. The mind is the ideating instrument around which thoughts are formulated and expressed or actualized through various means. Our mind, we must have observed, “acts according to hard and fast rules and standards”. In order to realize this, effort is needed at self-observation as one lives life. How often are we carried away by the mind as the rushing waters of a vibrant river carry away a fragile leaf? In that speed and force, we forget; forget to take cognizant of who we are and how different parts of our being work and express. The mind, more over, may not be acting sovereignly on its own conviction and strength. It may very well be playing second fiddle to our whims and fancies; the will, thus weakened, cannot prevail over it to establish a certain course of the events that occur. 

Our ordinary mind poses several obstacles towards perceiving a higher consciousness at work in our lives. The ordinary mind insists, with its “wrong reasonings, sentiments and judgements…. Or its mechanical activity, the slowness of response to the veiled or the initial touch…” The mind cannot be an instrument of truth as is shown too by the subjectivity of individual minds. We must have observed that one mind receives one thing and deduces about, reacts to it or concludes about it in one way and another mind does so in a diametrically opposite manner. This is because mental activities are different and therefore make different results of the same experience. One who is inclined towards discovering the truth behind the apparent, needs to, as a result, look beyond and above the mind towards the sustaining substance that animates all that we are. A conscious collaboration with a higher force may be a possibility, in this way.

Sri Aurobindo says, “Ideas and ideals belong to the mind and are half-truths only; the mind too is more often then not, satisfied with merely having an ideal, with the pleasure of idealizing while life always remains the same, untransformed or changed only a little and mostly in appearances…To realize the Divine Truth is always the aim, either beyond or in life also – and in the latter case it is necessary to transform mind and life  which cannot be done without surrender to the action of the Divine Force, the Mother.”

It is said that the first aim in Yoga is to open the mind to a higher spiritual consciousness. “The Divine Consciousness acts from a light that is beyond that level of human consciousness which makes the human standard of these things. It acts for and from a greater good than the apparent good men follow after…. And conceive.” The human mind therefore needs to rise to a higher consciousness. Then perhaps a transformation is possible. How then to transform mind? A restless mind cannot possibly open to a higher spiritual consciousness; “… a quiet mind is the first need.” 

We are back at an aspiration, a self-effort and an offering of that effort to the Divine. The school in which widening of the mind can take place is, happily, one’s own day to day, minute to minute life…” - varied, complex, full of unexpected experiences, problems to be solved, clear and striking examples and obvious consequences..” A quiet, silenced mind opens the door to receive, process and select, while reaching out to something greater, that stands beyond and above the mind.

Savitri (Apr 2017)

On a height he stood that looked towards greater heights.
To these high-peaked dominions sealed to our search
Too far from surface Nature’
s postal routes,
Too lofty for our mortal lives to breathe,
Deep in us a forgotten kinship points
And a faint voice of ecstasy and prayer
Calls to those lucent lost immensities.

(Book one, Canto four)

So it towered up to heights intangible
And disappeared in the hushed conscious Vast
As climbs a storeyed temple-tower to heaven
Built by the aspiring soul of man to live
Near to his dream of the Invisible.

(Book two, Canto one)

God wrapped his head from sight in Matter’s cowl,
His consciousness dived into inconscient depths,
All-knowledge seemed a huge dark Nescience;
Infinity wore a boundless zero’
s form.

His abysms of bliss became insensible deeps,
Eternity a blank spiritual Vast.

(Book ten, Canto three)


“Goodwill for all and Goodwill from all is the basis of peace and harmony”
-          The Mother

To a space she came of soft and delicate air
That seemed a sanctuary of youth and joy,
A highland world of free and green delight
Where spring and summer lay together and strove
In indolent and amicable debate,
Inarmed, disputing with laughter who should rule.
-          Savitri

Rantideva who was a king, became a hermit in the forest. He had given his wealth to the poor and lived a simple life in the solitude of the jungle. He and his family had only the bare necessities of life.
One day, after a fast of forty-eight hours, a light meal of rice with milk and sugar was prepared for him.

A poor Brahmin came up to the door of the hut and asked for food. Rantideva gave him half of his rice. Then came a Sudra begging for help and Rantideva gave him half of what remained.

Then he heard a dog barking; the poor beast seemed to be starving. Rantideva gave him what was left. Last of all came a Pariah who stopped at the hermit’s door and asked for help. Rantideva gave him the milk and the sugar, and continued to fast.

Then came four gods who said to him:
“It was to us, Rantideva, that you gave food, for we assumed the forms of a Brahmin, a Sudra, a dog and a poor outcaste. You were good to us all and we praise you for your loving thoughts.

A kind heart treats all men and even animals as members of one family, one humanity.

-          The Mother

(CWM, Volume 2, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)