Guiding Light of The Month

O Lord, how ardently do I call and implore Thy love! Grant that my aspiration may be intense enough to awaken the same aspiration everywhere: oh, may good- ness, justice and peace reign as supreme masters, may ignorant egoism be overcome, darkness be suddenly illu- minated by Thy pure Light; may the blind see, the deaf hear, may Thy law be proclaimed in every place and, in a constantly progressive union, in an ever more perfect harmony, may all, like one single being, stretch out their arms towards Thee to identify themselves with Thee and manifest Thee upon earth. - The Mother


Sri Aurobindo’s compassion

Innumerable, ever present, and effective in every instance.

Botanical Name: Portulaca grandiflora
Common Name: Rose Moss
Spiritual Significance: Sri Aurobindo’s compassion

If our souls could see and love and clasp God’s Truth,
Its infinite radiance would seize our hearts,
Our being in God’
s image be remade
And earthly life become the life divine.

-          Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

From the Editor’s Desk (Jul 2017)

A revelation, a meditation, a quest for the Truth…this is how The Mother has described Savitri. Dear Readers, we turn our attention to this elevating theme on Savitri, Sri Aurobindo’s 724-lined epic poetry, for the next season. The first of the Savitri manuscript was published in 1916. About 15 years later, Sri Auribindo began to turn Savitri towards an epical marvel that it is now, today. Sri Aurobindo took on the work of Savitri attempting to recast a modern language, English, as a medium to express the inexpressible as best as it was possible, while working out the sadhana of realising the manifestation of the Supramental on earth. The result of this usually moves us into the speechless, awe-stricken state, since his was a task of expressing the inexpressible; his use of imagery challenges the understanding of the reader and astounds him into a deep silence at being confronted with the unspeakable and unapproachable. The Mother says that Savitri is something which cannot be fully understood by man, by or with the mind, since Sri Aurobindo spells out his vision, his experience of the Supracosmic truths beyond mind. She explains that this poem of the future can only be understood in meditation,  and when one is open and prepared for the truths that Savitri would reveal. In fact, The Mother refers to Savitri as a guide to sadhana in Integral Yoga as Sri Aurobindo chronicles the joint adventure of his and The Mother’s in discovering the Supreme Truth in exceptional detail, thereby making the work of man more feasible, by the mere tracing out of the routes and hewing out a pathway in a virgin forest. The Mother says, “ He has noted all the stages, marked each step in order to advance integrally in the integral Yoga.”

The messages therein are cryptic, well hidden behind Sri Aurobindo’s ingenious use of the English language and open only to the being who is open and ready for the true understanding of
spiritual truths. 

Since The Mother and Sri Aurobindo collaborated deeply in their spiritual journey, Savitri, too, The Mother reveals, is her journey, as much as his – her experiences of the previous nights, during which time Sri Aurobindo wrote, which he read out to her in the following mornings would have similarities. Savitri is The Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s “joint adventure into… the Supermind.”

How is Savitri important to the devotee, the follower, the sadhak? The Mother urges that when one’s consciousness is prepared enough, one would see in Savitri every step that one had to take. 
Savitri is Sri Aurobindo’s and Her consciousness and when one reads Savitri, one comes in contact with this consciousness to the measure that one is capable, to the measure of the development of one’s own consciousness. When one holds Savitri, it is their consciousness that one holds; when one reads Savitri, it is their consciousness that speaks to us, or whispers into our depths. 

With reference to her work with Huta on “About Savitri”, The Mother revealed, “You see, each time when I speak, Sri Aurobindo comes here. And I speak exactly what he wants me to speak. It is the inner hidden truth of Savitri that he wants me to reveal. You see, each time when I speak, Sri Aurobindo come here… each time he comes, a wonderful atmosphere is created. I have read Savitri before, but it was nothing compared to this reading.” So with Sri Aurobindo and The Mother’s blessings, we consecrate this season on Savitri at their feet. Lets begin.

Savitri, a journey of Love and Light

My hidden presence led thee unknowing on
From thy beginning in earth’
s voiceless bosom
Through life and pain and time and will and death,
Through outer shocks and inner silences
Along the mystic roads of Space and Time
To the experience which all Nature hides.

Who hunts and seizes me, my captive grows:
This shalt thou henceforth learn from thy heart-beats.

For ever love, O beautiful slave of God!

O lasso of my rapture’s widening noose,
Become my cord of universal love.

(Book eleven, Canto one)

The Mother says… On Savitri

It may then be said that Savitri a revelation, it is a meditation, it is a quest of the Infinite, the Eternal. If it is read with this aspiration for Immortality, the reading itself will serve as a guide to Immortality. To read Savitri is indeed to realise the Divine. Each step of Yoga is noted here, including the secret of all other Yogas. Surely, if one sincerely follows what is always what is revealed here in each verse one will reach finally the transformation of supramental Yoga. It is truly the infallible guide who never abandons you; his support is always there for him who wants to follow the path. Each verse of Savitri is like a Mantra which surpasses all that man possessed by way of knowledge, and I repeat this, the words are expressed and arranged in such a way that the sonority of the rhythm leads you to the origin of sound, which is OM.
My child, yes, everything is there: mysticism, occultism, philosophy, the history of evolution, the history of man, of the Gods, of creation, of Nature. How the universe was created, why, for what purpose, what destiny—all is there. You can find all the answers to all your questions therein. Everything is explained, even the future of man and of evolution, all that nobody yet knows. He has described it all in beautiful and clear words so that spiritual "adventurers" who wish to solve the mysteries of the world may understand it more easily. But this mystery is well hidden behind the words and lines and one must climb to the required level of true consciousness to discover it. All prophecies, all that is going to come is presented with a precise and wonderful clarity. Sri Aurobindo gives you here the key to find the truth, to discover the consciousness, solve the problem of what the light may penetrate there and transform it. He has shown the path, the way to liberate oneself from the ignorance and climb right up to the superconscience; each stage, each plane of consciousness, how they can be scaled, how one can cross even the barrier of death and reach immortality. You will find the whole journey in detail, and much more yet. It is a real experience—reading Savitri. All the secrets that man possessed, he has revealed,—as well as that awaits him in the future; all thus is found in the depth of Savitri. But one must have the knowledge to discover it all, the experience of the conquest of Death. He has noted all the stages, marked each step in order to advance integrally in the integral Yoga.
All this is own experience, and what is most surprising is that it is my own experience also. It is my sadhana which he has worked out. Each object, each event, each realisation, all the descriptions, even the colours are exactly what I saw and the words, phrases are also exactly what I heard. And all this before having read the book. I read Savitri many times afterwards, but earlier, when he was writing he used to read it to me. Every morning I used to hear him read Savitri. During the night he would write and in the morning read out to me in the morning were those I had the previous night, word by word. Yes, all the descriptions, the colours, the pictures I had seen, the words I had heard, all, all, I heard it all, put by him into poetry, into miraculous poetry. Yes, they were exactly my experiences of the previous night which he read out to me the following morning. And it was not just one day by chance, but for days and days together. And every time I used to compare what he said with my previous experiences and that he had noted them down afterwards, no, he knew already what I had seen. It is my experiences he has presented of our joint adventure into the unknown or rather into the Supermind.
These are experiences lived by him, realities, supracosmic truth. He experienced all these as one experiences of joy or sorrow, physically. He walked in the darkness of inconscience, even in the neighbourhood of death, endured the sufferings of perdition, and emerged from the mud, the world-misery to breathe the sovereign plenitude and enter the supreme Ananda. He crossed all these realms, went through the consequences, suffered and endured physically what one cannot imagine. Nobody till today has suffered like him. He accepted suffering to transform suffering into the joy of union with the Supreme. It is something unique and incomparable in the history of the world. It is something that has never happened, he is the first to have traced the path in the Unknown, so that we may be able to walk with certitude towards the Supermind. He has made the work easy for us. Savitri is his whole Yoga of Transformation, and this Yoga appears now for the first time in the earth-consciousness.
And I think that man is not yet ready to receive it. It is too high and too vast for him. He cannot understand it, grasp it, for it is not by the mind that one can understand Savitri. One needs spiritual experiences in order to understand and assimilate it. The more one advances on the path of Yoga, the more one assimilates and the better. No, it is something which will be appreciated only in the future, it is the poetry of tomorrow of which he has spoken in The Future Poetry. It is too subtle, too refined,—it is not in the mind or through the mind, it is in meditation that Savitri is revealed.
And men have the audacity to compare it with the work of Virgil or Homer and to find it inferior. They do not understand, they cannot understand. What do they know? Nothing at all. And it is useless to try to make them understand. Men will know what it is, but in a distant future. It is only the new race with a new consciousness which will be able to understand. I assure you there is nothing under the blue sky to compare with Savitri. It is the mystery of mysteries. It is the super-epic, it is super-literature, super-poetry, super-vision, it is a super-work even if one considers the number of lines he has written. No these human words are not adequate to describe Savitri. Yes, one needs superlatives, hyperbolas to describe it. It is a hyper-epic. No, words express nothing of what Savitri is; at least I do not find them. It is of immense value—spiritual value and all other values; it is eternal in the subject, and infinite in its appeal, miraculous in its mode and power of execution; it is a unique thing, the more you come in contact with this, the higher will you be uplifted. Ah, truly it is something! It is most beautiful thing he has left for man, the highest possible. What is it? When will man know it? When is he going to lead a life of truth? When is he going to accept this in his life? This yet remains to be known.

Sketch of Savitri – The Mother

One had returned from the transcendent planes
And bore anew the load of mortal breath,
Who had striven of old with our darkness and our pain;
She took again her divine unfinished task:
Survivor of death and the aeonic years,
Once more with her fathomless heart she fronted Time.

Again there was renewed, again revealed
The ancient closeness by earth-vision veiled,
The secret contact broken off in Time,
A consanguinity of earth and heaven,
Between the human portion toiling here
And an as yet unborn and limitless Force.

(Savitri, Book four, Canto one)

Lines from Ancient tale of Savitri as in Mahabharatha

Savitri tells Yama

By the Truth the saints lead the sun;
By askesis the saints uphold the earth;
The past, present and future find their refuge in the saints.
Noble persons in the midst of the saints have never any grief.

Savitri Upakhyana vana parva, Mahabharatha

In the one task for which our lives were born,
To raise the world to God in deathless Light,
To bring God down to the world on earth we came,
To change the earthly life to life divine.

(Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri, Book eleven, Canto one)

Savitri, A jewel from His flute music

Impatient for felicity he came,
High-fluting with the coil’
s happy voice,
His peacock turban trailing on the trees;
-          Sri Aurobindo, Savitri

(An artistic impression of the Savitri book by Sandhya)

May - June Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse

May 28th  - Savitri, an Unending Journey
Eight members met in the centre premises today and continued with Canto Five, ‘The Godheads of the Little Life’, the screening of which was carried out in the last month, leaving today’s session for explanations, discussions and sharing of thoughts. One by one, we read out the lines of all the pictures and looked into detail Pictures 1 to 10. We attempted to travel with Aswapathi as he turned his gaze into the turmoil of the little life, “an unhappy corner in eternity” and the governing godheads. Life was being scourged with his vision’s “sun-white blaze”. All within, small and little was left bare to this “search-light” and this little life in us too was left bare for our scrutiny. In this dreariness of the little life that was painted, there was some hope in the lines devoted to the last picture we concluded with for today, Pic. 10:

“Our seekings are short-lived experiments
Made by a wordless and inscrutable Power
Testing its issues from inconscient Night
To meet its luminous self of Truth and Bliss…..
Amid the figures of the Ignorance,
In the symbol pictures drawn by word and thought
It seeks for the source of Light with vision’s lamp…”

June 4th – Readings from AIM Magazine:
We read a few passages from March 2017 edition, All India Magazine

The theme of this week’s readings was “The Value of Money”. The circle was about 8-strong. We opened the evening’s contemplation on money with a reading from The Mother’s writing on page 21, titled, “Helping humanity with money”. Though several other passages were read, such as, “Conquering money for the Divine Work” and “Money is meant for action and not possession”, many of the readers present constantly made references to the first passage in understanding the right attitude towards money and its handling. In this passage, Mother speaks about the value of philanthropy and how that need not necessarily serve the Divine purpose but instead, may serve the ego of the person practicing philanthropy. When we give to the poor, do we create more of them by the very act of giving? According to the Mother, this is not altogether false. Instead, in this yoga, one remains the first person that one should help.  Here is an excerpt from this passage:

“…the first human being that concerns you is yourself. You want to diminish suffering, but unless you can change the capacity of suffering into a certitude of being happy, the world will not change. It will always be the same …. For there is something missing, something not there, that is the consciousness. That’s all”

We reread the whole of the passage that was first read out for the evening, and settled down into concentration with the New Year’s music for a good length of minutes.

June 11th - Musical Offering of Devotional Songs by Padmini Chandrashekhar, Ashwin and Lakshmi

It was an hour of sweet devotion that filled the centre this day when Padmini, Ashwin and Lakshmi took to the stage with their musical offering of bhajans. Besides joining in with his flawless voice, Ashwin constantly kept tune at the keyboard while His wife, Lakshmi and Mother-in-Law, Padmini. He was very adept at the keyboard, having trained under A R Rahman for two years and practicing in Mumbai for a year. The numerous compositions, mainly in Sanskrit by great composers, formed a bouquet of bhajans on all the deities we are acquainted with and uplifted the atmosphere to that level.  The numbers ranged from Gajavathana as the starting piece, followed by Guru Deva Tava, Shankara Chandrashekhara, Namo Devi, Anantha rupini, Pranatha Palini Ma, into Mathurashtakam, a medley of songs on Lord Krishna, Lord Rama and Anjeneya and Durga Pancharatnam, with a beautiful western orchestration composed by Ashwin himself. The last piece offered for the occasion was a composition by Alwaar and Surdas set to music again by Ashwin.

The fifteen of us who were present there thrived in a hour of bliss and with gratitude singing in our hearts, thanked the devoted artists from the bottom of our hearts.

June 18th – Awareness through The Body – Sharing an Experience

Some 21 members turned up for this day’s journey into awareness through the body (ATB) shared by Jayanthy. She shared her experiences in this area gleaned from workshops she had attended in Delhi and Auroville conducted by ATB exponents. Basically, ATB helps one better acquainted with the body, its physical habitual movements, reactions and the degree to which body senses are tuned to function better and efficiently.  Furthermore, once we recognise habits and tendencies in us which may not be helping us towards whatever goals we have set for ourselves in life, then we have the chance of consciously changing habits to ones which help us lead a life of purpose and quality. Integral yoga leverages on the integral transformation of our nature such that divinity can find its abode on earth, manifested in our beings.

The session was an interactive one with short breaks of interactions and activities that required members to be quietly observing them as they walked around the room with the focus on their bodies, state of being and the atmosphere around them. The paces were increased and changes in their states of being were observed and shared. Next, members walked around the room with eyes closed. This was quite an experiences and several members commented that it heightened their sense of awareness of their body as other functions took over the process of walking with eyes closed. Last of all, one by one, each member walked towards the facilitator diagonally and touched her outstretched hands (palms) once with eyes open and afterwards, with eyes closed. Some made it spot on while others went astray. But the activity was fun and an eye-opener.

After a brief sharing session, everyone concentrated, with full awareness on the body and through the body on The Mother’s New Year’s music.

- Jayanthy

Along the Way… June 2017 Walk Review

The radiant Dawns have risen up for glory, in their white splendor like the waves of waters.
She maketh paths all easy, fair to travel, and, rich, hath shown herself benign and friendly.” Rigveda

The sky at dawn on Sunday, 4 June revealed the promise of a bright and clear day just perfect for the walk.

Enthusiastic members of Sri Aurobindo Society Singapore gathered at the East Coast Park, a favourite walk venue at the stipulated time. As a pre-walk warm-up, Jayanthy led the eager group through some exercises to loosen up the muscles. At the end, we learnt how to form and stand in a perfect circle without any instructions, each participant focusing only on himself and finding his or her space within it!

Catching up on pleasant chatter is as much fun as walking with our friends! This monthly walk provides ample opportunity for this activity too. 

We all set off at a brisk pace with the intention of exploring as much of the ECP as possible in the span of an hour and a half. It was amazing to see the area filled with such diversity. People thronged the pedestrian and cycling paths - young and old, families and singles, walkers and joggers, campers and cyclists, nature lovers everywhere. There were even some pet lovers who were walking their dogs in prams!

The best part was that “Surya devta” gave us some respite from the unexpected heat by inviting some clouds to give some cover. The sweet breeze that was wafting around was the proverbial icing on the cake.

It was soon time to move to the house of our hosts for the meditation session. Many of the members who were unable to participate in the walk joined us there.

Prayers and meditation were held in an atmosphere of calm & peace. Affable birthday and anniversary wishes were passed to those celebrating these events in the month of June. Young Shiv happily cut a cake and received bountiful blessings from all.

We thank our hosts, Anand and Vrunda Patel for their hospitality and making all the arrangements with so much love.

-          Anju Aditya