Guiding Light of The Month

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

Immortal Love shall beat his glorious wings


Botanical Name: Punica Granatum
Common Name: Pomegranate
Spiritual Significance: Divine Love


O Wisdom-Splendour, Mother of the universe,
Creatrix, the Eternal’s artist Bride,

O radiant fountain of the world’s delight
World-free and unattainable above,

Mission to earth some living form of thee.

One moment fill with thy eternity,
Let thy infinity in one body live,
All-Knowledge wrap one mind in seas of light,
All-Love throb single in one human heart.


-          Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

From the Editor’s Desk (Sep 2017)

The September issue of the Newsletter turns its attention towards The Divine Mother with reverence, having dealt with Sri Aurobindo’s yoga lived out in the epic, ‘Savitri’ through Ashwapathy, King and Savitri’s human father. Savitri stands too as a symbol of The Mother’s sadhana, as she hews with Him, a path in the virgin forest, overcoming obstacles presented by nature placed along her path and in working out the descent of the Supreme Spirit down onto earth and transforming matter. In her own words, The Mother says, “It is my sadhana which He has worked out. Each object, each event, each realization, all the descriptions, even the colours are exactly what I saw and the words, phrases are also exactly what I heard.” In fact, this association of The Mother in Savitri was so astute that The Mother noted that what Sri Aurobindo read out to her in the morning of what he wrote in the night was exactly what she would have seen, lived through during her experiences of the night. In the words of The Mother, “It is my experiences He had presented at length and they were His experiences also. It is, moreover, the picture of Our joint adventure into the unknown or rather into the Supermind.” With this information in our hand, Saviri then becomes quite another experience for the children of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother; Savitri becomes alive with the consciousness of the Dual-Masters-in-One we adore, revere, cherishing the hope, in the end, to chart out our path in life after life towards the Truth about existence and our purpose in it and to realize and actualize that purpose in life. If one were to take a cursory glance at the way the poem is organised, it becomes clear that Ashwapathy’s Yoga and Savitri’s Yoga are given equal treatment and exposure and proceed alongside each other like two majestic rivers, from the source to the destination.

The book opens with the eternal quest placed before Savitri, the issue at hand clarified and then begins Ashwapathy’s Yoga. Then from Part 2, Book 4 onwards, Savitri’s life and journey from birth to the Savitri, in The World Mother’s guise unfolds, where she finally vanquishes Death in a debate that ensues between the two. A new world of wonder, mystery and even joyous anticipation fills us as we open the pages before us, as we approach Savitri, with the knowledge that it is The Mother’s Yoga that is worked out in the epic poetry through Savitri. Each page becomes a secret door that opens into a cave of discoveries or leads into treasure troves lying further and further ahead. There are portions therein incomprehensible in their magnitude which lay the road to higher realisations in us, if only the true call is in us, the call of the soul to open to this yoga, and walk the path hewn by Her and Sri Aurobindo. This is The Mother’s advise to Her children,  “What you cannot do normally, you can do with the help of Savitri.

Reading Savitri, alongside The Mother’s Prayers and Meditation and Sri Aurobindo’s The Mother, brings us closer to the Mystery that is The Mother. She waits for us to turn, even a little towards Her, with sincerity, all ready to seize us and engulf us with Her Love.  Such is the presence of The Mother in Savitri.

Savitri, a journey of Love and Light

The Book of the Divine Mother

The Mother’s presence

A Being intimate and unnameable,
A wide compelling ecstasy and peace
Felt in himself and all and yet ungrasped,
Approached and faded from his soul’
s pursuit
As if for ever luring him beyond.

Near, it retreated; far, it called him still.

We can become aware of the existence and presence of the universal Shakti in the various forms of her power. At present we are conscious only of the power as formulated in our physical mind, nervous being and corporeal case sustaining our various activities. But if we can once get beyond this first formation by some liberation of the hidden, recondite, subliminal parts of our existence by Yoga, we become aware of a greater life force, a pranic Shakti, which supports and fills the body and supplies all the physical and vital activities - for the physical energy is only a modified form of this force, and supplies and sustains too from below all our mental action. This force we feel in ourselves also, but we can feel it too around us and above, one with the same energy in us, and can draw it in and down to aggrandise our normal action or call upon and get it to pour into us. It is an illimitable ocean of Shakti and will pour as much of itself as we can hold into our being. 

A Being formless, featureless and mute
That knew itself by its own timeless self,
Aware for ever in its motionless depths,
Uncreating, uncreated and unborn,
The One by whom all live, who lives by none,
An immeasurable luminous secrecy
Guarded by the veils of the Unmanifest,
Above the changing cosmic interlude
Abode supreme, immutably the same,
A silent Cause occult, impenetrable, —
Infinite, eternal, unthinkable, alone.

The Shakti in this higher status reveals itself as the presence or potentiality of the infinite existence, consciousness, will, delight and when it is so seen and felt, the being turns towards it in whatever way, with its adoration or its will of aspiration or some kind of attraction of the lesser to the greater, to know it, to be full of and possessed by it, to be one with it in the sense and action of the whole nature. But at first while we still live in the mind, there is a gulf of division or else a double action. The mental, vital and physical energy in us and the universe is felt to be a derivation from the supreme Shakti, but at the same time an inferior, separated and in some sense another working. The real spiritual force may send down its messages or the light and power of its presence above us to the lower levels or may descend occasionally and even for a time possess, but it is then mixed with the inferior workings and partially transforms and spiritualises them, but is itself diminished and altered in the process. There is an intermittent higher action or a dual working of the nature. 

***

Faith and Surrender

A Mother Might brooded upon the world;
A Consciousness revealed its marvellous front
Transcending all that is, denying none:
Imperishable above our fallen heads
He felt a rapturous and unstumbling Force.

The one original transcendent Shakti, the Mother stands above all the worlds and bears in her eternal consciousness the Supreme Divine. Alone, she harbours the absolute Power and the ineffable Presence; containing or calling the Truths that have to be manifested, she brings them down from the Mystery in which they were hidden into the light of her infinite consciousness and gives them a form of force in her omnipotent power and her boundless life and a body in the universe. The Supreme is manifest in her for ever as the everlasting Sachchidananda, manifested through her in the worlds as the one and dual consciousness of Ishwara-Shakti and the dual principle of Purusha-Prakriti, embodied by her in the Worlds and the Planes and the Gods and their Energies and figured because of her as all that is in the known worlds and in unknown others. All is her play with the Supreme; all is her manifestation of the mysteries of the Eternal, the miracles of the Infinite. All is she, for all are parcel and portion of the divine Conscious-Force. Nothing can be here or elsewhere but what she decides and the Supreme sanctions; nothing can take shape except what she moved by the Supreme perceives and forms after casting it into seed in her creating Ananda.

All Nature dumbly calls to her alone
To heal with her feet the aching throb of life
And break the seals on the dim soul of man
And kindle her fire in the closed heart of things.

The faith in the divine Shakti must be always at the back of our strength and when she becomes manifest, it must be or grow implicit and complete. There is nothing that is impossible to her who is the conscious Power and universal Goddess all-creative from eternity and armed with the Spirit’s omnipotence. All knowledge, all strengths, all triumph and victory, all skill and works are in her hands and they are full of the treasures of the Spirit and of all perfections and siddhis. She is Maheshwari, goddess of the supreme knowledge, and brings to us her vision for all kinds and widenesses of truth, her rectitude of the spiritual will, the calm and passion of her supramental largeness, her felicity of illumination; she is Mahakali, goddess of the supreme strength, and with her are all mights and spiritual force and severest austerity of Tapas and swiftness to the battle and the victory and the laughter, the aṭṭahāsya, that makes light of defeat and death and the powers of the ignorance: she is Mahalakshmi, the goddess of the supreme love and delight, and her gifts are the spirit’s grace and the charm and beauty of the Ananda and protection and every divine and human blessing: she is Mahasaraswati, the goddess of divine skill and of the works of the Spirit, and hers is the Yoga that is skill in works, yoga karmasu kauśalam, and the utilities of divine knowledge and the self-application of the spirit to life and the happiness of its harmonies. And in all her powers and forms she carries with her the supreme sense of the masteries of the eternal Ishwari, a rapid and divine capacity for all kinds of action that may be demanded from the instrument, oneness, a participating sympathy, a free identity, with all energies in all beings and therefore a spontaneous and fruitful harmony with all the divine will in the universe. The intimate feeling of her presence and her powers and the satisfied assent of all our being to her workings in and around it is the last perfection of faith in the Shakti.


***

Bliss and Delight

A Bliss, a Light, a Power, a flame-white Love
Caught all into a sole immense embrace;
Existence found its truth on Oneness’
breast
And each became the self and space of all.

It is as the immanent, silent Self in all that the foundation of this cosmic consciousness can most easily be laid by the mental being, the Witness pure and omnipresent who regards all the activity of the universe as the Conscious Soul of the cosmos, Sachchidananda for whose delight universal Nature displays the eternal procession of her works. We are aware of an unwounded Delight, a pure and perfect Presence, an infinite and self-contained Power present in ourselves and all things, not divided by their divisions, not affected by the stress and struggle of the cosmic manifestation, within it all even while superior to it all.

A vast Truth-Consciousness took up these signs
To pass them on to some divine child Heart
That looked on them with laughter and delight
And joyed in these transcendent images
Living and real as the truths they house.

The general power of Delight is love and the special mould which the joy of love takes is the vision of beauty. The God-lover is the universal lover and he embraces the All-blissful and All-beautiful. When universal love has seized on his heart, it is the decisive sign that the Divine has taken possession of him; and when he has the vision of the All-beautiful everywhere and can feel at all times the bliss of his embrace, that is the decisive sign that he has taken possession of the Divine. Union is the consummation of love, but it is this mutual possession that gives it at once the acme and the largest reach of its intensity. It is the foundation of oneness in ecstasy.

A music of griefless things shall weave her charm;
The harps of the Perfect shall attune her voice,
The streams of Heaven shall murmur in her laugh,
Her lips shall be the honeycombs of God,
Her limbs his golden jars of ecstasy,
Her breasts the rapture-flowers of Paradise.
She shall bear Wisdom in her voiceless bosom,
Strength shall be with her like a conqueror’
s sword
And from her eyes the Eternals bliss shall gaze.
A seed shall be sown in Death’s tremendous hour,
A branch of heaven transplant to human soil;
Nature shall overleap her mortal step;
Fate shall be changed by an unchanging will.

The supramental change is a thing decreed and inevitable in the evolution of the earth-consciousness; for its upward ascent is not ended and mind is not its last summit. But that the change may arrive, take form and endure, there is needed the call from below with a will to recognise and not deny the Light when it comes, and there is needed the sanction of the Supreme from above. The power that mediates between the sanction and the call is the presence and power of the Divine Mother. The Mother’s power and not any human endeavour and tapasya can alone rend the lid and tear the covering and shape the vessel and bring down into this world of obscurity and falsehood and death and suffering Truth and Light and Life divine and the immortal’s Ananda.


(Passages taken from The Mother, Synthesis of Yoga and Savitri by Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

The Mother of Truth, Love and Light


At the heart of all creation
Resides Truth, unveiled, pure.
Creator of the universe is She,
She is Truth, Satyarupa.

As the essence of all beauty,
Flows the river of Love, enriching.
Mother of the universe is She,
She is Love, Premarupa.

As the source of all glory,
Showers the flame of white Light, blissful.
Radiance of the universe is She,
She is Light, ParanJyoti.

A world of Truth, Love and Light
She has taken to reside,
She is The Mother of the world,
Showering rays of grace
On the flowers of paradise.
Sandhya
*The words in Italics are from Lalitha Sahasranamam.

*Picture is a Tanjore art work of Sweet Mother, Golden Mahalakshmi by Sandhya

Life must blossom like a flower offering itself to the Divine

The Mother embraces all earth in her arms and has set the progression towards the Truth as its noble aim. In order to hasten the progress, time and again, she sends forth glorious lights on earth.

In the history of earth, there have been many such lives, those that were and still are a music of Krishna’s light. They are lives offered at the feet of Krishna and in living so, they spread breadcrumbs1 on the path for others to follow on. The story of Aandaal in southern India is one such life. Mirabai of Rajasthan lived devotion, her songs bring Krishna into our midst. Our Sweet Mother’s life is also one such life. She is Mahalakshmi who has come on earth and created a whole new world for us to be in. Like Aandaal’s paasurams, are Mirabai’s songs on Krishna and so are Mother’s prayers and meditations.

Mother lived a spiritually conscious life right from her childhood. Her experiences were many, her records give a beautiful narration of them. India was a place that was so dear to her heart. She was led to come to India where she met Sri Aurobindo, and in him she saw the Krishna who had been guiding her life. She offered herself at Sri Aurobindo’s feet and continued on to do his work for the world.

Growing up with The Mother and learning with The Mother are beautiful books that bring in us a growing attachment with The Mother. In this process, we can enrich ourselves with skills that will express our devotion and enable us to share it with others - be it in music, poetry or painting or any other form of fine arts. By offering our works to her and serving as a beam of her light, we participate in Mother’s project of bringing the earth a step closer to the Truth.

In Savitri, Book of Divine Mother is a hymn on The Mother by Sri Aurobindo. It is a chant that glorifies her splendor and invokes her presence. “One shall descend and break the iron law” he sings, in Vision and the Boon, to mark the grant bestowed by The Mother to send a light of hers on earth. The light is indeed Savitri, who is led to discover the Truth of her being and live the same for the world. All her life is a blossoming like a flower offering itself to the Divine.

Sandhya

*The word ‘breadcrumbs’ is a terminology used in Software Engineering context of user interface design where a web page shows the path of navigation. It is also from the story of Hansel and Gretel where it is said that they scatter breadcrumbs on the path they travel in order to remember the way.

*Title is a quote by the Mother.

July - August Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse

July 23rd and July 30th – Rig Veda and Savitri
Jared Quek is back with us with penetrating insights gained from his Rig Veda studies at Oxford as well as from the weekly meets at Sri Aurobindo Society in London. He has initiated a new delightful twist to our ‘Secrets of Veda’ sessions nudging us to comb passages of Savitri to unearth the hidden links to Rig Veda. We were presented with the Rig Veda Manadala 1, Sukta 1 on Agni, of course with one set of Sri Aurobindo’s translations among the 14 or so he had compiled; the same sheet also displayed a few passages from Savitri Book 2, Conto 12, ‘The Heavens of the Ideal’.

Agni-Fire-Flame takes on numerous significant roles such as the aspect of sacrifice, Divine Will, Chief Priest/controller/summoner/Protector/Supporter/ Enjoyer of the offerings and much, much more. Krishnamoorthy uncle read a short passage from Vishnu Sahasranamam and its translation closely reflecting these roles of Agni in Yagna (offering). In fact, Agni takes on Transcendal, Universal and Individual aspects.

“Agni is at once a fire of aspiration, a fire of purification, a fire of Tapasya, a fire of transformation” Sri Aurobindo

If we trace the origin of pure flame, we reach the heart of Divine Mother’s Love; this is explained by Mother with respect to the following lines from Savitri

“The great stars burn with my unceasing fire
And life and death are both its fuel made.
Life only was my blind attempt to love:
Earth saw my struggle, heaven my victory (Savitri, Book 10, Conto 3)

… it is the principle of Love that is transformed into flame and finally into light. It isn’t the princi­ple of Light that is transformed into flame when it materializes: it’s the flame that is transformed into light.

The great stars give light because they burn; they burn be­cause they are under the effect of Love… ” (Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 6, September 8, 1965, pp. 235-238)

Aswapaty also feels the flame discovery in the Divine Mother’s ‘House of the Spirit and the New Creation’  

“The great world-rhythms were heart-beats of one Soul,
To feel was a flame-discovery of God” (Savitri, Book 3, Conto 3)

Coming back to the passages from ‘The Heavens of the Ideal’ Conto Jared presented, Aswapaty is continuing his journey on the “Mighty kingdoms of the Deathless Flame” with several references to the common Vedic imagery such as Sacrifice, ‘Altar Mind’, Priests, ‘Day and Dusk’, ‘Illumined Might’ (Hero Power or consciousness force), Ascending Force and the list continues.

We also discussed about the infinite possibilities and the complex nature of the experience of Divine delight; Jared highlighted that this experience aspect should not be confused with the multiple practical pathways which could be simple or complicated. The experiences of Vedic Rishis were not intellectual but powerful and concrete imagery of Transcendental powers. We were all encouraged to read the 14-page introduction to the Secret of Vedas by Sri Aurobindo in ‘The Doctrine of the Mysticshttp://saccs.org.in/texts/sriaurobindo/-sa-doctrine-mystics.php

We also tried to figure out some of the aspects of Savitri far beyond the view of Vedas. Savitri’s most powerful pose with the transcendental vision of Victorious Truth in front of the Lord of Death (Yama) came to mind. Krishna’s Vishwaroopa Darshan to Arjuna was Universal (Overmental) vision with both positive and negative aspects shown to address the developmental needs of  the vital Man; whereas, Savirti’s integral transcendental vision, as an incarnation of Divine Mother, sees no evil and considers even Death as her deputy God serving a Divine purpose – during the transition period until the immortal Super Man is born. It is the Marvel vision of Sarvam Brahma. Savitri transforms Yama into being of Light in the Everlasting Day. 

This reminds us of how Joss Brooks transformed the polluted Adayar river banks to a beautiful park in his own humble way (reference to July 14th slide show at our centre); negative is not opposite of positive; negative conceals what is missing to make our view whole.

Savitri is revealed as the Divine Flame and Divine Mother incarnation in infinite dimensions right from the Symbol of Dawn, through the birth and growth of flame of Quest and beyond victory over God of Death. Let us all spare some time to enjoy the five poises of Savitri as portrayed by Sri Aurobindo as alluded to during our discussions:
  1. The prophetic vision given by Mother as a Boon to Aswapaty’s Yoga
  2. As seen by Aswapaty’s subtle vision (Telepathy) when Savitri approaches him in the palace
  3. Narad’s Trikala Drishti when he sees Savitri on her return after meeting Satyavan
  4. An amalgamated earthly and overmental Divine vision in the Symbol of Dawn conto in the opening
  5. Transcendental vision beyond Lord Krishna's Vishwaroopa Darshan as the Divine Mother incarnation as detailed above
Similarly, the Savitri passages Jared presented from ‘The Heavens of the Ideal’ conto form just one out of the several views Aswapaty reveals during his mystic voyage on the world stairs; this part specifically reflects the traditional journey in timelessness aspiring towards heaven or moksha shunning the challenges of earthly life. The goal of our Integral Yoga is to make our earth a heaven calling for vertical unification of Superconscient with Subconscient and horizontal unification of Individual with the Universal. It emphasizes striving to go deeper within to release the involved forces and through triple transformation bring down the transcendental Shakti and Cosmic Prakriti powers to play ‘our role in the whole’ - bringing out knowledge out of ignorance, beauty out of chaos and dynamic delight out of pain/suffering. This process has been made simpler for us through the untiring sacrifices of Sri Aurobindo and Divine Mother in bringing down the Supramental Light, Force, Love and New Consciousness to our Earth. Our Psychic flame can guide our accelerated progress enabling double opening both below and above in us creating an Integral Flame (Agni) pathway to progress beyond the clutches of fate, time and even death.
“Without Agni the sacrificial flame cannot burn on the altar of the soul. That flame of Agni is the seven-tongued power of the Will, a Force of God instinct with Knowledge. This conscious and forceful will is the immortal guest in our mortality, a pure priest and a divine worker, the mediator between earth and heaven. It carries what we offer to the higher Powers and brings back in return their force and light and joy into our humanity” Sri Aurobindo

August 6th – Reading from AIM: Mother and Sri Aurobindo on themselves
We read beautiful passages of Mother on Sri Aurobindo and Sri Aurobindo on the Mother. The key take away was:

"The Mother's consciousness and mine are the same, the one Divine Consciousness in two, because that is necessary for the play. Nothing can be done without her knowledge and force, without her consciousness- if anybody feels her consciousness, he should know that I am there behind it and if he feels me it is the same with hers. If a separation is made like that ( I leave aside the turns which their minds so strongly put upon these things), how can the Truth establish itself- for the Truth there is no such separation. " - Sri Aurobindo.

 August 13th - Questions and Answers 1956 by The Mother

The attendance was thin with just 6 members. Mr. Krishnamurthy randomly selected page 88 and the question to Sweet Mother appeared “What does Sri Aurobindo mean by ‘a self-dynamising meditation’?”

We discussed the aspect of ‘Sarvam Brahma’ and how He, The Supreme One seeks dynamic delight through the infinite Many; how we can play the role in the whole through the strings of our mind and song waves of our life both created out of the knowledge coming out of the occult clay of seeming ignorance.

We also touched on the Karma Yoga and Gnana Yoga aspects in relation to the dynamism of meditation and as to how each and every act can be traced to reveal Brahman, Divine Mother, Time-Space, Super Mind, Objective Truth, Subjective Truth, Mind, Life, Materialization and dynamic delight of the Divine.
Then we read the All revealing Mother’s answer. Self-Dynamising meditation is a meditation that has the power of transforming your being. It is a meditation which makes you progress, as opposed to static meditation which is immobile and relatively inert, and which changes nothing in your consciousness or in your way of being.

Generally, people don’t have a dynamic meditation. When they enter into meditation—or at least what they call meditation— they enter into a kind of immobility where nothing stirs, and they come out of it exactly as they went in, without any change either in their being or in their consciousness. And the more motionless it is, the happier they are. They could meditate in this way for eternities, it would never change anything either in the universe or in themselves. That is why Sri Aurobindo speaks of a dynamic meditation which is exactly the very opposite. It is a transforming meditation.
I think it is the aspiration that should be different, the attitude should be different. “Different way”—what do you mean by “way”—(laughing) the way of sitting?... Not that? The inner way?

Yes. But for each one it is different. I think the most important thing is to know why one meditates; this is what gives the quality of the meditation and makes it of one order or another.

You may meditate to open yourself to the divine Force, you may meditate to reject the ordinary consciousness, you may meditate to enter the depths of your being, you may meditate to learn how to give yourself integrally; you may meditate for all kinds of things. You may meditate to enter into peace and calm and silence—this is what people generally do, but without much success. But you may also meditate to receive the Force of transformation, to discover the points to be transformed, to trace out the line of progress. And then you may also meditate for very practical reasons: when you have a difficulty to clear up, a solution to find, when you want help in some action or other. You may meditate for that too.

I think everyone has his own mode of meditation. But if one wants the meditation to be dynamic, one must have an aspiration for progress and the meditation must be done to help and fulfil this aspiration for progress. Then it becomes dynamic.

- Ramadoss and Shailaja


Along the Way… August 2017 Walk Review (walk no 384)

"Physical culture is the process of infusing consciousness into the cells of the body. One may or may not know it, but it is a fact. When we concentrate to make our muscles move according to our will, when we endeavor to make our limbs suppler, to give them an agility, or a force, or a resistance, or a plasticity which they do not naturally possess, we infuse into the cells of the body a consciousness which was not there before, thus turning it into an increasingly homogeneous and receptive instrument, which progresses in and by its activities. This is the primary importance of physical culture."
-          The Mother.

It is with this aspiration that the Singapore Society has been holding monthly walks from its inception. In some ways, especially in the wired contemporary world, where devices and media absorb most people’s attention, it is quite a wonderful respite to walk in a beautiful natural setting.

On August 6, 2017, 12 members came together at McRitchie Reservoir carpark to start yet another walk. This was the three hundred and eighty fifth monthly walk, in an unbroken tradition. Anuvrat and baby Anushna came to flag off the event, and we started with stretches for around ten minutes to gently condition muscles for the walk. Stiffness dissolved in the sun, and soon we were ready to quickly walk by the water towards the wooded section of the reservoir. August is the month when Singapore celebrates its National Day. Singapore is truly blessed to have so many natural settings, beautifully maintained for a modern city, where land and water is a coveted resource. As we stretched our limbs, the groups of different citizens gathered around us to undertake different kinds of physical activities formed a celebratory environment.

After the initial exercises, we made our way by colorful canoes on the water towards the forest, where there are walking trails through rubber trees, and other plantation era relic vegetation. McRitchie Reservoir carries history even as its expansiveness offers a timelessness, where time seems to stand still, and birdsong is heard, away from the hustle bustle of the city. It is the oldest reservoir on the island, built in the 19th century. The walking trail had an incline, and slowly we fell into a kind of line, with Mr. Ramanathan leading the train with a brisk pace, as some of us made our way slowly and deliberately, sometimes pausing to catch a breath on the incline. Even though the sun was bright on that day, the shade of the trees offered a cool path, on which we made our way. It is always amazing to see how trees aspire towards the light and sun, their leaves making their way softly and strongly to find light where they can. The forest is always a reminder of that aspiration towards the light, even in human beings, even in the shade, even where we least expect it.
As we trudged along, slowly and briskly, slices of conversations about pilgrimages, and meditation practices, hung in the humid air. There is a delight in undertaking activities and sharing aspirations with fellow sadhaks and a walk offers a unique opportunity. After walking for about an hour, and almost 4 miles, we made our way back to where we started, and divided into groups to go to Mr. and Mrs. K V Rao’s place.

 A wonderful welcome awaited us there with cool water and drinks even before we entered the home. The place was set up for prayers and meditations, and beautiful flowers adorned the altar. Mr. Rao had cooked a meal for about 60 guests on his mother’s anniversary. After meditation and readings from the Mother’s writings, the guests were invited to the table, where a real spread was laid out. The food was amazing, and we felt the love that had gone into cooking it. After the meal, there was a little get together to discuss the youth program led by Jared. A feeling of thankfulness at the beautiful morning flooded most hearts, as we experienced both a filling up of the spirit, as well as hungry stomachs. It was a day to remember both the birthday of Sri Aurobindo, and the birthday of the land we live in, and hence was a reminder of the presence of divine grace in our lives, which manifests in many ways. All we have to do is open our hearts and eyes.

Sumita Ambasta