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

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

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