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

The Birth of Savitri

Harmoniously she impressed the earth with heaven.

Botanical Name: Origanum Majorana  
Common Name: Sweet Marjoram
Spiritual Significance: The New Birth

A world translated was her gleaming mind,
And marvel-mooned bright crowding fantasies
Fed with spiritual sustenance of dreams
The ideal goddess in her house of gold.

-          Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

From the Editor’s Desk (Oct 2017)

The October edition of the newsletter examines the Birth of Savitri in the current series of themes based on the epic poem, “Savitri”, by Sri Aurobindo. “One man’s perfection can still save the world,” wrote Sri Aurobindo in the same poem. Ashwapathy subjected himself to a tremendous Tapasya and Yoga that led him to a mighty, “psycho-spiritual transformation”. He offered himself to be made into a fit vessel to invite and bear the powers of the Divine into his human frame as well as seeking a fitting response to his deep aspiration to heal the sorrowing world and lift it towards the Light of the Supreme.  He was a living image of an ardent aspiration and courage that called down the Divine Mother herself unto this earth to rid her of suffering. He finds a response from the worlds yonder. His great feat finds fruition as the Divine Mother herself descends into the world to bring about the transformation of earth nature and enable it to hold the descending force of the Supreme. The Divine Word rings powerfully clear in the spaces of the void - “One shall descend and break the iron Law, Change Nature’s doom by the lone spirit’s power.” – a brilliant, sure shaft of the promising ray of actualization plunged deep into the very heart of Nature. 

Part 2, Book IV of Savitri describes explicitly the divine birth of Savitri in Canto 1. In this canto is the colourful description of the passing of the year with its changing seasons as the earth moved, “towards some undisclosed event.”  - the birth of the Divine Child. There is the suspense of some tremendously significant event silently approaching with the least perturbation, but pregnant with a holy stillness, brimming with the awareness of the sweetness of ecstasy that cares not to reveal itself. Such is the manner in which Sri Aurobindo introduces Savitri symbolically to the world, using powerful imagery to represent the utmost significance of this birth in the whole of Existence, in the sphere of manifestation. 

Canto 2 and 3 then brings us along on a joyous ride on the gently flowing flood of the river of her childhood and youth and a useful glimpse of the nature of the Divine child already on earth to do a great work upon it. Reading these lines over and over again brings a glow of gratitude in the heart, a smile of happiness over the face and a glint of certainty in the eyes poring over the lines thus penned by the master poet-seer.

This seed of the divine advent planted in our consciousness through poetic expression must mean more. There must be a corresponding relevance in the lines of our own lives, of significance to the soul supporting it, whether explicitly or covertly. Just as there is a reference to our struggling human soul as Satyavan, who is this Savitri in our own lives? Could she be this little flame being nurtured silently in us, hidden in the deep cave of our being, this fire, awaiting its birth in Time? The birth of Savitri ought to be visited and revisited by every admirer of Savitri, every student of poetry, every philosopher, every man and woman – a mystic path may just appear, disclose our rightful station.

Savitri, a journey of Love and Light

The New Birth

उत यासि सवितस्त्रीणि रोचनोत सूर्यस्य रश्मिभिः समुच्यसि ।
उत रात्रीमुभयतः परीयस उत मित्रो भवसि देव धर्मभिः ॥४॥

But also thou goest, O Savitri, to the three shining worlds of heaven and thou art made manifest by the rays of the Sun, and thou encirclest on both sides the Night, and thou becomest Mitra, O god, with his settled laws of Truth.

उत यासि सवितस्त्रीणि रोचनोत सूर्यस्य रश्मिभिः समुच्यसि ।
उत रात्रोमुभयतः परीयस उत मित्रो भवसि देव धर्मभिः ॥४॥

And thou reachest, O Savitri, to the three luminous heavens; and thou art utterly expressed by the rays of the Sun; and thou encompassest the Night upon either side; and thou becomest by the law of thy actions the lord of Love, O God.

(SABCL, Volume 10, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Savitri, the creator

A Mind empowered from Truth’s immutable seat
Was framed for vision and interpreting act
And instruments were sovereignly designed
To express divinity in terrestrial signs.

The result of the procession of the shining dawns, of the divine returns of Surya, of the increasings of Pushan and his leading on the Path is summed up in the creation of Savitri the luminous Creator. It is the god Savitri who sets us there where the ancient doers of the Work have preceded us; that is the desirable flame and splendour of the divine Creator on which the seer has to meditate and towards which this god impels our thoughts, that the bliss of the creative godhead on the forms of which our soul must meditate as it journeys towards it. It is the supreme creation in which the goddess undivided and infinite speaks out her Word and the all-ruling kings Varuna, Mitra and Aryaman; to that consummation the power of all these godheads turns with a united acceptance.
That divine word is the word of the Truth; for a superconscient Truth lies concealed and is the basis of the infinite being which stands revealed on those higher altitudes of our ascension. What we now accept as life is the evil dream, the death that governs us because we live in a false knowledge, a limited and divided existence exposed to every devourer. That is not real life. For life we have to be able to look long upon the Sun; for life we have to be able to hold in our thought a knowledge and a word full of the consummate perception; we have to bring forward the Truth as an offering so that the luminous god with his golden hands full of the Light may rise high in our heavens and hear our word. We must choose and take into ourselves that supreme and vast state of this Mighty One who has the thought of the knowledge, he who creates for the gods the immortality and the highest enjoyment; we must widen out the cord of Savitri so that it shall release us into higher states of life made accessible to men and harmonised with their being. To hold that felicity we have to become free from sin and evil in the wideness and purity of Varuna, in the all-embracing harmony of Mitra, in the supreme creation of Savitri.

Then Savitri shall loose away from us, shall uncreate the suffering of the evil dream. For the seeker of the straightness he shall create an increasing wideness of his existence so that even with our incomplete knowledge we shall grow in our being towards the gods. By the godheads he will foster our knowledge and lead us towards the universal formation of them in the undivided consciousness of the infinite Aditi which we have chosen as our goal. All that we have done in our ignorance, in our divided and oppressed discernment of things, in our mere mortal becoming and humanity, against gods or men, he shall uncreate and make us free from the sin. For he is the creator of the Right, he is the creator who creates the Truth.

That Truth he shall create in a great wideness and force of our physical being, in a rich abundance of our mental and by its undiminishable vastness he shall uphold all the worlds of our existence. Thus in the working of Savitri whose creation is the Truth and of Mitra and Varuna the gods shall uphold in us its substance of varied light, the felicity of its energies and illuminations till all existence is that godhead of Savitri behind us and before, below as well as above, till we possess the far-extended life and have built up the universal form of our being,—the universal form which he creates for us when with hands of golden light, with the tongue that tastes the wine of sweetness he moves in the triple knowledge of the highest heaven of Truth, attains in the gods to the divine rhythm which he creates for his accomplished Law and takes up his abode in that golden strength of his, the Seer robed in light who first stretched out his two arms of knowledge and power to create the world. He who as Twashtri the Fashioner of things attended always by the male godheads and their female energies, powers of Purusha and powers of Prakriti, made and makes all things, shall as Savitri create for man the thinker born in a body that Truth and Immortality.

(SABCL, Volume 10, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

Her spirit kept the stature of the gods

Asocas burned in crimson spots of flame,
Pure like the breath of an unstained desire
White jasmines haunted the enamoured air,
Pale mango-blossoms fed the liquid voice
Of the love-maddened coil, and the brown bee
Muttered in fragrance mid the honey-buds.

The sunlight was a great god’s golden smile.
All Nature was at beauty’s festival.

The six tropical seasons have speeded through the year and the Goddess of eternal Time has stepped into earthly cycles. Savitri’s arrival, marking a signal moment of the gods, is a beauty’s festival in the bright and colourful Spring, the chosen season who brings joy to our mortal life. In it shall happen happier and wondrous things, unblemished by death. Indeed, in her birth have taken the heavenly charm and wonder a human body. She has accepted our transient lot, and its travail, in order to accomplish the divine task here. Savitri grows, becomes a student and a scout and a brave warrior. She is dear to everyone in every respect. In every act and thought and feeling of hers is expressed more and more of nobility of the high spirit. An invisible sunlight flows in her veins and her movements display the large significances of life. Her worship and prayer and aspiration become a call which draws an answer from absolute Destiny moulding our mortality.

The Mother says… On Spiritual Birth

Birth into the true consciousness, that of the Divine Presence in us.

What is called “new birth” is the birth into the spiritual life, the spiritual consciousness; it is to carry in oneself something of the spirit which, individually, through the soul, can begin to rule the life and be the master of existence. But in the supramental world, the spirit will be the master of this entire world and all its manifestations, all its expressions, consciously, spontaneously, naturally.

In the individual existence, that is what makes all the difference; so long as one just speaks of the spirit and it is something one has read about, whose existence one vaguely knows about, but not a very concrete reality for the consciousness, this means that one is not born into the spirit. And when one is born into the spirit, it becomes something much more concrete, much more living, much more real, much more tangible than the whole material world. And this is what makes the essential difference between beings. When that becomes spontaneously real—the true, concrete existence, the atmosphere one can freely breathethen one knows one has crossed over to the other side. But so long as it is something rather vague and hazy—you have heard about it, you know that it exists, butit has no concrete realitywell, this means that the new birth has not yet taken place. As long as you tell yourself, “Yes, this I can see, this I can touch, the pain I suffer from, the hunger that torments me, the sleep that makes me feel heavy, this is real, this is concrete… (Mother laughs), that means that you have not yet crossed over to the other side, you are not born into the spirit.

In fact, the vast majority of men are like prisoners with all the doors and windows closed, so they suffocate, which is quite natural. But they have with them the key that opens the doors and windows, and they do not use it…. Certainly there is a time when they don’t know they have the key, but long after they have come to know it, long after they have been told about it, they hesitate to use it and doubt whether it has the power to open the doors and windows or even that it is a good thing to open them! And even when they feel that “after all, it might be good”, there remains some fear: “What will happen when these doors and windows are opened?… and they are afraid. They are afraid of being lost in that light and freedom. They want to remain what they call “themselves”. They like their falsehood and their bondage. Something in them likes it and goes on clinging to it. They still have the impression that without their limits they would no longer exist.
That is why the journey is so long, that is why it is difficult. For if one truly consented to cease to exist, everything would become so easy, so swift, so luminous, so joyful—but perhaps not in the way men understand joy and ease. In truth, there are very few people who do not enjoy fighting. There are very few who could accept the absence of night, few can conceive of light except as the opposite of darkness: “Without shadows there would be no picture. Without struggle, there would be no victory. Without suffering there would be no joy. That is what they think, and so long as one thinks in this way, one is not yet born into the spirit.

(CWM, Volume 04, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

August – September Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse

August 20th – Savitri with Mother’s Voice and Music animating Huta Paintings

We tried a novel method this month taking inspiration from the Mother’s explanation of ‘Self-dynamising Meditation’ we read on the August 13th. This was on Pages 88-89 randomly chosen by Krishnamurthy uncle from the Mother Q&A book. Please refer to our August Newsletter for the summary of this discussion.

“… 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” Mother Q&A 1956

Our deeper view of the painting also helped us to relate to the chapters two and three of Life Divine on the two negations, namely ‘The Materialist Denial’ and ‘The Refusal of the Ascetic’. We also observed the easier golden pathway of Psychic Being’s consciousness-force built for our accelerated progress.

After the horizontal exploration of the Picture 4, we looked at the preceding three pictures. Mother has carefully chosen these passages with Picture 1 representing the Transcendental view, Picture 2 the Cosmic View, Picture 3 the showering of love to all by Savitri, the Divine Flame incarnate, showing us the easier path for accelerated progress and the Picture 4 depicting our current confused state of affairs – “Hugging the bonds close of which they most complained, Murmured at a yoke they would have wept to lose”. It was a profound eye opening experience.

We were also able to relate the Transcendental View (Picture 1) to the cosmos seed referred to in Book 3 on Divine Mother, Canto 3, Picture 1:

The great world-rhythms were heart-beats of one Soul,
To feel was a flame-discovery of God,
All mind was a single harp of many strings,
All life a song of many meeting lives;
For worlds were many, but the Self was one.
This knowledge now was made a cosmos’ seed:
This seed was cased in the safety of the Light,
It needed not a sheath of Ignorance

Kiran Sule displayed his usual eloquence by recalling related passages from Book 1 Canto 2 “The Issue” and Canto 4 “The Secret Knowledge” enhancing our understanding.

Going deeper inside from the limiting surface view, we are able to appreciate the subtle and causal links as elaborated above; It was a divine delight to feel the flame discovery – the very topic Jared stared with; it is not a coincidence but divine grace that brought to our eyes Mother’s answer to our central idea of ‘self-dynamising meditation’ though it seemed to be by chance; similarly, we were guided into ‘the heart of the flame of Savitri’ as well – into the ‘Growth of the Flame’ canto - again the very topic we were exploring. This way we can elaborate on the divine connections between the other seemingly random events of the month. 
Finally, we dwelt on the most important aspect of ‘progress and transformation’ Mother has emphasized as the core of self-dynamising meditation – our life journey is a Yoga; we need not leave everything to the mercy of circumstances, fate and necessity; in the book ‘On Education’, Mother guides us on

  • Concentration,
  • Broadening our outlook,
  • Appreciating even views contrary to our own,
  • Refining as well as aligning our aspirations to a central idea
  • Utilizing our experiences to guide the journey supporting our central ideas
  • Silencing our mind to overcome the limitations of our dividing mind

The choices visible to us, our decisions and our actions make up our life journey. Often we are limited and unduly influenced by our physical, vital and mental egos. Mother reminds us that our aspirations and supporting attitudes are the top two influencers we need to groom with care. Instead of attitudes driving our life journey based on chance, circumstances and fate, we can consciously utilize attitudes as valuable ‘life force directing switches’ for our progress and transformation. The stronger our aspirations, the better we will be able to move away from our current state of being driven by our ignorant ‘forces of Becoming’ - thus enabling our soul force to take charge of our life journey – not through nirvana but through our ‘Being of Becoming’ (Psychic Being). Let us fondly recall the deep messages in the Mother’s dramas ‘The Great Secret’ and ‘Towards the Future’ and delight on the experience that these are what we have tried to review through our own life experiences during this session. It is truly Divine Grace that this session has served us so well as an important learning exercise to apply to our life journey – going deeper inside and viewing our life events beyond the surface with a supportive dynamic attitude for our progress and transformation.

August 27th – Rig Veda and Savitri: Usha – The Dawn: After exploring Agni for two weeks, we moved on to Usha, The Dawn, taking up Rig Veda Mandala 1, Sukta 113 along with Savitri, Book 1, Canto 1, “The Symbol of Dawn’. Surface view of dawn blinds us to the involved hidden secrets. Subtle view reveals Usha as referring to both the eternal transcendental light reaching us as well as the involved light within striving to come out of the night. Going still deeper, Usha also carries with her the message and the seed right from the all-encompassing Word OM. These three images of the Word, Transcendental Light with Seed and the involved seed within the night are highlighted by the following three passages:
pra̱śa̱sti̱kṛdbrahma̍ṇe no̱ vyu1̱̍[o]cchā no̱ jane̍ janaya viśvavāre || Rig Veda 1.113.19 Approving us, shine on us the Word; cherished by all, may we be born among the God-loving perfect persons – Sri Aurobindo’s translation
For worlds were many, but the Self was one.
This knowledge now was made a cosmos’ seed:
This seed was cased in the safety of the Light,
It needed not a sheath of Ignorance.

Book3, Canto 3: The House of the Spirit and New Creation

A spirit that is a flame of God abides,
A fiery portion of the Wonderful,
Artist of his own beauty and delight,
Immortal in our mortal poverty.
This sculptor of the forms of the Infinite,
This screened unrecognised Inhabitant,
Initiate of his own veiled mysteries,
Hides in a small dumb seed his cosmic thought.

Book1, Canto 3: The Yoga of the Soul’s Release
Usha takes on various forms as the Mother, Daughter of the Sun, Sister, parent of the Sun, recurring dawns and the eternal dawn. She is also the brilliant guide for happy truths impelling all living beings to progress towards perfection. Usha is in fact Savitri herself. Below is the link to the scintillating explanation given by Mother for ‘The Symbol of Dawn’ canto. Meditating on this simply melts away our understanding difficulties and paves way for deeper revelations.
Jared presented us with eleven instances of similarities between Usha in Rig Veda and The Symbol of Dawn. Below are some references to the message and seed in Savitri, Book 1 Canto 1: ‘The Symbol of Dawn’.
A glamour from unreached transcendences
Iridescent with the glory of the Unseen,
A message from the unknown immortal Light
Ablaze upon creation’s quivering edge,
Dawn built her aura of magnificent hues

And buried its seed of grandeur in the hours.

Arrived from the other side of boundlessness
An eye of deity pierced through the dumb deeps;
A scout in a reconnaissance from the sun,

Almost that day the epiphany was disclosed
Of which our thoughts and hopes are signal flares,
A lonely splendour from the invisible goal
Almost was flung on the opaque Inane.
Once more a tread perturbed the vacant Vasts;
Infinity’s centre, a Face of rapturous calm
Parted the eternal lids that open heaven;
A Form from far beatitudes seemed to near.
Ambassadress twixt eternity and change,
The omniscient Goddess leaned across the breadths
That wrap the fated journeyings of the stars
And saw the spaces ready for her feet.

September 10th and 17th – Rig Veda: The Doctrine of the Mystics

After exploring the close links of Agni and Usha in Rig Veda and Savitri, we moved on to tasting Sri Aurobindo’s Doctrine of the Mystics. In fact, we had already provided a link to this in our July News Letter encouraging everyone to enjoy the taste of Sri Aurobindo’s refreshing eye opener on the Vedas.

“The Veda possesses the high spiritual substance of the Upanishads, but lacks their phraseology; it is an inspired knowledge as yet insufficiently equipped with intellectual and philosophical terms. We find a language of poets and illuminates to whom all experience is real, vivid, sensible, even concrete, not yet of thinkers and systematisers to whom the realities of the mind and soul have become abstractions. Yet a system, a doctrine there is; but its structure is supple, its terms are concrete, the cast of its thought is practical and experimental, but in the accomplished type of an old and sure experience, not of one that is crude and uncertain because yet in the making.

Here we have the ancient psychological science and the art of spiritual living of which the Upanishads are the philosophical outcome and modification and Vedanta, Sankhya and Yoga the late intellectual result and logical dogma. But like all life, like all science that is still vital, it is free from the armoured rigidities of the reasoning intellect; in spite of its established symbols and sacred formulae it is still large, free, flexible, fluid, supple and subtle. It has the movement of life and the large breath of the soul. And while the later philosophies are books of Knowledge and make liberation the one supreme good, the Veda is a Book of Works and the hope for which it spurns our present bonds and littleness is perfection, self-achievement, immortality.

The doctrine of the Mystics recognises an Unknowable, Timeless and Unnameable behind and above all things and not sizable by the studious pursuit of the mind. Impersonally, it is That, the One Existence; to the pursuit of our personality it reveals itself out of the secrecy of things as the God or Deva, -- nameless though he has many names, immeasurable and beyond description, though he holds in himself all description of name and knowledge and all measures of form and substance, force and activity.

The Deva or Godhead is both the original cause and the final result. Divine Existent, builder of the worlds, lord and begetter of all things, Male and Female, Being and Consciousness, Father and Mother of the Worlds and their inhabitants, he is also their Son and ours: for he is the Divine Child born into the Worlds who manifests himself in the growth of the creature.

The soul of man soars as the Bird, the Hansa, past the shining firmaments of physical and mental consciousness, climbs as the traveller and fighter beyond earth of body and heaven of mind by the ascending path of the Truth to find this Godhead waiting for us, leaning down to us from the secrecy of the highest supreme where it is seated in the triple divine Principle and the source of the Beatitude. The Deva is indeed, whether attracting and exalted there or here helpful to us in the person of the greater Gods, always the Friend and Lover of man, the pastoral Master of the Herds who gives us the sweet milk and the clarified butter from the udder of the shining Cow of the infinitude. He is the source and outpourer of the ambrosial Wine of divine delight and we drink it drawn from the sevenfold waters of existence or pressed out from the luminous plant on the hill of being and uplifted by its raptures we become immortal. Such are some of the images of this ancient mystic adoration.” Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo goes on to describe in vivid details the significance of the symbols of Rig Veda, involution, evolution and the interleaved/interacting triplicities; our Mother Earth is specially gifted but also burdened with the dark forces; Man has a special role to play through the triple transformation. Below is a partial extract in Sri Aurobindo’s words:

“This human ascension is possible because every being really holds in himself all that his outward vision perceives as if external to him. We have subjective faculties hidden in us which correspond to all the tiers and strata of the objective cosmic system and these forms for us so many planes of our possible existence. This material life and our narrowly limited consciousness of the physical world are far from being the sole experience permitted to man, -- be he a thousand times the Son of Earth. If maternal Earth bore him and retains him in her arms, yet is Heaven also one of his parents and has a claim on his being. It is open to him to become awake to profounder depths and higher heights within and such awakening is his intended progress.

 And as he mounts thus to higher and ever higher planes of himself, new worlds open to his life and his vision and become the field of his experience and the home of his spirit. He lives in contact and union with their powers and godheads and remoulds himself in their image. Each ascent is thus a new birth of the soul, and the Veda calls the worlds ``births'' as well as seats and dwelling-places.

And this is no easy or peaceful march; it is for long seasons a fierce and relentless battle. The seeker must be a tireless toiler and traveller and a stern warrior, he must force open and storm and sack city after city, win kingdom after kingdom, overthrow and tread down ruthlessly enemy after enemy. His whole progress is a warring of Gods and Titans, Gods and Giants, Indra and the Python, Aryan and Dasyu. Aryan adversaries even he has to face in the open field; for old friends and helpers turn into enemies.

The Vedic imagery is easy to understand when once we have the key, but it must not be mistaken for mere imagery. The Gods are not simply poetical personifications of abstract ideas or of psychological and physical functions of Nature.

 To the Vedic seers they are living realities; the vicissitudes of the human soul represent a cosmic struggle not merely of principles and tendencies but of the cosmic Powers which support and embody them. These are the Gods and the Demons. On the world-stage and in the individual soul the same real drama with the same personages is enacted.

All this action and struggle and ascension is supported by Heaven our Father and Earth our Mother, Parents of the Gods, who sustain respectively the purely mental and psychic and the physical consciousness.

Our earth shaped out of the dark inconscient ocean of existence lifts its high formations and ascending peaks heavenward; heaven of mind has its own formations, clouds that give out their lightnings and their waters of life; the streams of the clarity and the honey ascend out of the subconscient ocean below and seek the superconscient ocean above; and from above that ocean sends downward its rivers of the light and truth and bliss even into our physical being.

Thus in images of physical Nature the Vedic poets sing the hymn of our spiritual ascension.

The soul of man is a world full of beings, a kingdom in which armies clash to help or hinder a supreme conquest, a house where the gods are our guests and which the demons strive to possess; the fullness of its energies and wideness of its being make a seat of sacrifice spread, arranged and purified for a celestial session.

Such are some of the principal images of the Veda and a very brief and insufficient outline of the teaching of the Forefathers. So understood the Rig Veda ceases to be an obscure, confused and barbarous hymnal; it becomes the high-aspiring Song of Humanity; its chants are episodes of the lyrical epic of the soul in its immortal ascension.

This at least; what more there may be in the Veda of ancient science, lost knowledge, old psycho-physical tradition remains yet to be discovered”
- Ramadoss

Along the Way… September 2017 Walk Review (walk no 385)

The beautiful September 3rd morning dawned with the two specific thoughts – a comfortable feeling that the walk venue is not too far from home, at the calm and serene Bedok Reservoir, one among the 17 reservoirs in little Singapore. The second thought, of Mr. Lok and family who used to host the Bedok reservoir walk.

On the way to the reservoir I collected a few purple coloured delicate flowers to offer at the altar. “Shankh Pushp” – Its Radha’s consciousness – symbolizes perfect attachment to the divine.

Familiar faces welcomed us at the meeting point. With many families travelling the “little chirpy members” were missed. Walk started with Mr Lok in the conversation, a person who explained the meaning Aspiration to me. He lived Mothers words in many ways. 

Since the 4.3 km track goes around the reservoir, one has choice to walk in the clock wise or anti clockwise direction around the reservoir. With a strong morning sun shining, the group made choice for anti-clockwise direction, to have the sun on the back for most of the walk than have it on the face.  The reservoir water had a silver sheen because of the morning Sun. Along the path, scenes changed every few hundred metres. Many were serious runners, going around the track. Among the tall trees were koel birds throating their calls. Along the path we saw an area where various bird lovers bring their birds in cages and let them chirp together. “Are they true bird lovers?” my mind questioned. I also wondered what these hundreds of birds were saying to each other.

Among the few walking together, the conversation shifted to “Perception and its place in life” – “Same situations” which different people perceive and react differently. We climbed the mound around the reservoir, which gives an elevated view of the entire reservoir. It was beautiful to see the Kayaks and boats rowing unison which were out by now.

 While we all rave about reservoir parks, but many of us do not notice the beauty around where we live and work. A friend and neighbour, a hard-core bird lover, has spotted 150 species in Changi Business park area which is an ecosystem by itself. I too saw a 2-inch-long sparrow, at the mound as well as a rare bird with bright colours I saw years ago at Sungai Buloh. The huge tall trees on the mound gave lovely shade around. We wanted to spend the rest of the morning on the benches generously spread around by NPB – National Parks Board – Like the many groups playing games and sharing breakfast.

Venkat later mentioned to me that even among the group that he was walking with, for a while the conversation was related to perception. But more about the ill effects of giving too much importance to it. Organisations now a days reward their employees based on feedback from customers’ which is based on the latter’s perceptions of the products and services offered. While this is good in most situations, people have misused this power demanding medicines or treatment of their choice from doctors and given negative feedback when denied that, based on their perceptions. These have in turn seriously impacted careers of good doctors who follow their professional judgment over pleasing their patients for positive feedback.

While the group of men did the walk around the reservoir the ladies retraced the path from the mound to the exercise spot. We were to transit later to the calm and serene terrace premises in Simei of our current host Arjun Madan. The preparation for the sublime prayer and meditation and brunch place had been in full swing. 

The altar was set in a simple and beautiful manner. Meaningful prayers were read after meditation. A lovely rendition of Purusha Suktam by Arjun brought out the traditional Guru Shishya relationship between Arjun and Shri Krishnamoorthy.

After wishing the members for birthday in the month, a sumptuous spread awaited us. Thanking the host for a wonderful morning, we reluctantly left, awaiting the next walk at Gardens by the Bay hosted by our dear Urmil Aunty and Shashi Uncle, our Singapore Centre Chairman.

Jaishree Venkat.