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 Triple soul forces

Her feet upon a couchant lion’s back.

Botanical Name: Pincushion flower
Common Name: Scabiosa atropurpurea
Spiritual Significance: Blessigns

Mother of light, Mother if joy and peace,
Thou art a portion of my self put forth
To raise the spirit to it's forgotten heights
And wake the soul by touches of the heavens.
Because thou art, the soul draws near to God;
Because thou art, love grows in spite of hate
And knowledge walks unslain in the pit of Night.
-          Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

From the Editor’s Desk (Oct 2018)

The October edition of our Newsletter has as its theme canto 4 of Book Seven of Savitri, in the Book of Yoga, The Triple Soul Forces. Savitri’s yoga continues as she seeks out her soul. She was then on the highway that led her past luminous souls. She met luminous beings along the way and felt a deep silence in her midst and fathomed her nearing destination. However, such luminous destinations rarely come so easy. Savitri still has vistas to cross. In this canto, Savitri comes face to face with the triple soul forces, and the alter-egos of these divine forces, now muted, restricted, curbed and curtailed, not being able to carry out their divine work, but which, with an awakened Psychic would be able to realise and execute the true purpose of their existence in the being. It has been an amazing journey that we have had with Savitri as she traversed rough roads earlier and who now stands close to the gateway leading to her soul. It is exhilarating even to know that we are indeed travelling with Savitri and discovering our own inner world and its inhabitants. In this particular juncture of the journey, we stand face to face with the Divine powers residing within us but Divine powers left bereft of the means to express themselves fully. They appear in their limitation and yearn to be realised and expressed in their fullest. But this comprehensive expression can never be, unless the Soul emerges from behind the dense dark clouds of our nature and comes forward,  resplendent and shining, removing the clouds forever, and giving the full power to the now limited Divine powers to exist in their divinity fully. In order, the first force or power we meet is the Power of Divine Compassion.  She embraces the agony of the downtrodden, the beaten, the defeated, the incapable, and all that suffers in the night of God in incapacity. As she completes her introduction, another voice rises from the void, the voice from the shadow of Divine pity, which is Self-Pity. This creature is steeped in the toxic waste of self-pity, and writhes in pain, seized with dejection and rejection, accepting its lot as given.  

Next on the journey, she meets with another force, the power of Divine Strength, who is here to help the being stand strong and do a work for God, who is still striving to perform her work but who waits faithfully for God to come and give her the Divine Power to express herself fully. The alter-ego of this power of Divine Strength speaks next, in  ignorance. This is the ego of world desire, which brags about all its achievements here. It reeks strongly of our modern thinking mind, devoid of the expression of the workings of the higher consciousness. Savitri moves on and comes face to face with another being on a higher ground, the force or Divine Power of Light which is the reason of all true wisdom, bliss and peace. She too is awaiting the fullest expression of her power since the reigning power of the soul is still in the background, denying her the power of true expression. The voice of the alter-ego, the lower mind in man cries out its misery of being bound to the body, which at this point is still limited, receiving its inputs from the limited senses to fathom its truth, and express it, in its smallness and deformation. To all these divine powers which are yearning to exist in their truth, Savitri gives the assurance that she will bring to them that Light, Love and Life that alone will save and continues on her upward journey.

Savitri, a journey of Love and Light

All beautiful grew, subtle and high and strange.
Here on a boulder carved like a huge throne
A Woman sat in gold and purple sheen,
Armed with the trident and the thunderbolt,
Her feet upon a couchant lion’
s back.

A formidable smile curved round her lips,
Heaven-fire laughed in the corners of her eyes;
Her body a mass of courage and heavenly strength,
She menaced the triumph of the nether gods.

A halo of lightnings flamed around her head
And sovereignty a great cestus zoned her robe
And majesty and victory sat with her
Guarding in the wide cosmic battle-field

Against the flat equality of Death
And the all-levelling insurgent Night
The hierarchy of the ordered Powers,
The high changeless values, the peaked eminences,

The privileged of Truth,
And in the governing Ideal’
s sun
The triumvirate of wisdom, love and bliss
And the sole autocracy of the Light.


Questions and Answers (Oct 2018)

Q: Maheshwari lays down the large lines of the world-forces..." What does this mean" the large lines of world-forces?

The Mother: It means that she makes the plan of what the world should be, of the universe.

She has a vision of the whole, a global creation, instead of seeing the details she sees the totality if things, she lays down the large lines of the plan, and what the creation should be like, towards what it ought to advance , and then what the results will be.

She has a universal vision, she is less concerned with the details thank with the whole.

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

I shall save earth, if earth consents to be saved.

Savitri's single-minded quest has now brought her almost to the threshold of her inmost, her secret soul. She is met, one by one, by the soul's triple forces, each embodied as a mother spirit, as a Madonna. First the Madonna of suffering, Mother of sorrows and grief divine; next, the Madonna of might, Mother of works and force; and last, the Madonna of light, Mother of joy and peace. Each claims to be Savitri's soul, and each is partly right; but Savitri cannot, she will not, accept these partial identifications. She will not stop till the full splendour of self-discovery overwhelms her.

      First to meet Savitri during the "passion of the first ascent" is a woman in "a pale lustrous robe", seated on "a rugged and ragged soil", with "a sharp and wounding stone" pressed against her feet. She is as it were the incarnation of the world's pain. From the anxious moment of birth to the "dolorous end of life", it is a tale of striving and failure, sorrow and pain; and the Mother's compassion goes out to man as he thus lies stretched on the cross:

      Accepting the universe as her body of woe,
      The Mother of the seven sorrows bore
      The seven stabs that pierced her bleeding heart:
      The beauty of sadness lingered on her face,
      Her eyes were dim with the ancient stain of tears.

"I am thy secret soul", she tells Savitri, "I am woman, nurse and slave and beaten beast/.. .I am the spirit in a world of pain".285 In the course of her long sad impassioned speech, she gives an account of her unique preoccupation with human suffering and her round of painstaking works to tend the lowly, the miserable, the nearly lost. However seemingly hopeless the human lot, however apparently unavailing the appeals to Heaven, she has neither denied nor lost hope of deliverance. When she concludes her speech, however, there explodes a cry from below, the voice of the Man of Sorrows, breathing exasperation and despair, a job in his burning passion of defeat:

      I am he
      Who is nailed on the wide cross of the universe;
      To enjoy my agony God built the earth,
      My passion he has made his drama's theme.
      He has sent me naked into his bitter world
      And beaten me with his rods of grief and pain

And so on, a mixture of defiance and impatience, assertion and negation, Titan and man. Savitri, having heard both the Madonna and the Man of Sorrows, answers with serene understanding; the Madonna is indeed a "portion" that Savitri's soul has put forth "to bear the unbearable sorrow of the world"; because of her, the wretched can somehow bear their wretchedness and hope against hope for a dawn of deliverance. Savitri promises to return to the Madonna with an accession of strength that will enable them to abolish cruelty and misery forever from the earth. But, in the meantime, Savitri must continue her quest.

      Next to meet Savitri on her upward route is a woman in "gold and purple sheen, /Armed with the trident and the thunderbolt"; her feet on a lion's back, her eyes emitting fire, her head ringed with a halo of lightnings; it is the Mother of Might, and she tells Savitri:

I am Durga, goddess of the proud and strong,
And Lakshmi, queen of the fair and fortunate;
I wear the face of Kali when I kill,
I trample the corpses of the demon hordes...
I rend man's narrow and successful life
And force his sorrowful eyes to gaze at the sun
That he may die to earth and live in his soul.

While Durga-Lakshmi claims that she alone is Savitri's secret soul, there comes a "warped echo" from below, from "the dwarf Titan, the deformed chained god"that is man the master of knowledge and power, the asuric man; he is the man that has mastered Nature and would one day supersede God; he would smash the atom, canalise cosmic energy, "expunge a nation or abolish a race".

Savitri, having heard them both, admits that while knowledge and power are necessary, without wisdom they cannot achieve much. Savitri promises to return to the Madonna of might with an accession of light that will enable them together to abolish fear and weakness and hatred forever from the heart of man. In the meantime, Savitri will continue her quest.

      Savitri meets last the Mother of joy and peace. The Madonna of light stands revealed on a piece of clear and crystalline ground; sun-bright her face, moon-bright her feet, nectarean her smile; she too claims in captivating musical speech to be Savitri's secret soul:

 I have come down to the wounded desolate earth
To heal her pangs and lull her heart to rest
And lay her head upon the Mother's lap
That she may dream of God and know his peace
And draw the harmony of higher spheres
Into the rhythm of earth's rude troubled days.

She buoys up man with dreams and visions, with ideals and aspirations; freedom, valour, justice, resignation, thought, wisdom, beauty, truth, good, all are but godheads of the human soul; against the pressure of the ignorance, man struggles to raise himself to the level of the gods, and the Madonna arms him with the necessary faith and perseverance:

      I bring meanwhile the gods upon the earth;
      I bring back hope to the despairing heart;
      I give peace to the humble and the great,
      And shed my grace on the foolish and the wise.
      I shall save earth, if earth consents to be saved.

Once again, as the Madonna's voice ceases, there comes up another cry, "a warped echo naked and shuddering" from the mental Man, man the apologist and would-be practitioner of pure reason:

      The finite he has made his central field,
      Its plan dissects, masters its processes,...
      His knowledge scans bright pebbles on the shore
      Of the huge ocean of his ignorance.

Hasn't the sum of the giant endeavours of mere mental man petered out into nothing? No wonder "a cosmic pathos" trembles through the moan of the "all-discovering Thought of man", man the natural scientist and philosopher.

(An excerpt from “Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri – A study of the cosmic epic”, Dr. Premanandakumar, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

The Mother on Vijayadashmi day

The annual battle of victory of Durga symbolise the rhythmic intervention of the Supreme Divine Consciousness and periodically gives a new impetus to the universal progress

(Picture and Quote extracted from AIM, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry)

August - September Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse

August 26th – Savitri Circle

Book 7, The Book of Yoga, Canto 5- The Finding of the Soul

Read the 11 passages from Meditations on Savitri.

In this Canto, Savitri goes onward in her search for the secret cave of her soul. At first she finds herself in the supernatural darkness that intervenes before one reaches God,
She moves silently and approaches a wide end. The emptiness breaks, a wave ripples within, and there is a blissful stir. Dawn breaks out followed by Day and in that brilliance Savitri recognises the mystic cavern which is the dwelling of her secret soul. The great rock-doors of the cave appear in an awful dimness.

 Savitri passes from room to room, she feels her self one with all that she sees and a sealed identity within her awakes. She realises that she herself is the Beloved of the Supreme.

Once again Savitri finds herself on the human soil. She finds that the half-opened lotus-bud of her heart has bloomed revealing her secret soul. Her being calls the mighty Mother of the worlds to come down and in a flash a Face, a Form comes down into her heart. The moment its feet touch the quivering bloom of her heart-lotus, a mighty movement rocks the inner space and a flaming serpent rises released from sleep in the Night of the Inconscient. It storms its way upwards, striking all the lotuses — Centres of Consciousness — on its route and setting them vibrating in light and bliss, till it reaches the Eternal’s space in the crown of the head.

The mighty Mother — an image of the original Power — is seated there, armed, her arm lifted in a saviour gesture, a sacred beast prone below her feet.
All in the being of Savitri undergoes a celestial change. The working in each of the Centres, the Lotus-kingdoms, is transformed. Behind all stands her deathless soul casting aside its veil of Ignorance and surrendered in the hands of the World-Mother.

September 2nd – Reading from All India Magazine – August 2018

The Secular Legends- Sri Aurobindo talks about how even the great epics like Mahabarata looses its original kernel of sweetness when redacted by the later poets.They become disfigured and marred by transforming them into secular legends.

The Hindu Mind- It is really amazing how Sri Aurobindo has analysed both our Hindu mythology and
Greek mythology. While Greek minds aimed at limited and finite perfection, Hindu mind went beyond the surface of the earth to infinite spiritual loveliness and exaltation.

The true subject of Hindu epic -The characters of Hindu legends-
-These passages talk about how the main core of these epics are struggle between the right and the wrong ideals, where the human and divine actors are just like pawns moved to and fro by immense world impulses which they express.

And also they present character types. For example Rama, Sita and Savitri represent moral excellence.
Ideal love is triune energy, neither a mere sensual impulse nor mere emotional nor mere spiritual.
In their limit of extension the three meet and harmonise, and they are no more triple but triune.

The Rishis of yore-  Sri Aurobindo says our vedic Rishis won their knowledge by meditation working through inspiration to intuition.  Rishis of the yore had incalculable spiritual energies. They were inspired thinkers.

September 9th – The Human Cycle

Mr Suryanarayanan gave us an beautiful insight into Eric and also wrote this passage for the newsletter.
Eric' is one of the poetic dramas of Sri Aurobindo. 'Eric' is set in the heroic age of Norway, when the many petty kingdoms were engaged in frequent fights with one another.

Eric (the hero of the play) wants to unite the entire SCANDINAVIA. He wins the first round of battle and is elected as the King of Norway. 
Even after winning the war, Eric is not peaceful. He is afraid that one day or the other 'all this realm with labour built' may dissolve like a transitory cloud.
It is in such a situation that the play begins. He feels besides strength and wisdom he needs another power and prays to Goddess Freya to indicate to him what is lacking.

At this point, he suddenly hears a song 
'Love is the hoop of the gods 
Hearts to combine.....'
which reveals to him that love alone can unite. 

In the profound words of Prof. M.V. Seetaraman :
Love of the Goddess of Love desires love in Eric and he with his intense faith and opening to Her finds love born in him with Aslaug (the heroine of the play) as the instrument. And so he becomes the vehicle of manifestation of this love for others. And his desire in every relationship is only to unite hearts and so love in Eric desires love in others and brings the birth of love in them.
Eric, the complete man, can bring love in the hearts of a limited world of human beings and save them from their death -in- life, their tragic existence, but to save the whole world from Death is the work of the Divine Mother. The Vibhuti looks forward to the Avatar. Eric points to Savitri.

September 16th – The Human Cycle

War and self-determination
We read a few passages from The Spiritual Aim and Life. Jared facilitated in understanding the passages.
It talks about how the original spiritual element of the religion is now crushed by its outward aids and forms and machinery. And a great sign of this failure is when the individual is obliged to flee from society in order to find room for his spiritual growth.
Now the religion is distorted and has made man the slave of dogmas, slave of customs in addition to his being slave of his own inner weakness, ignorance and passions.
The true spirituality in the religion makes man get rid of this yoke and progress upwards for higher freedom and find the finest inner law of his nature.
- Jayalakshmi

Along the Way… September Walk Review (walk no 397)

It was a fine, pleasant Sunday morning—not too sunny, not too hot, but just perfect! The entrance to MacRitchie Reservoir was abuzz with activity, as always. There were flocks of people getting in at 8am and then there were the early birds who were done with their exercise routine and all set to leave the place. All of us, from, the centre, who were present at that point of time, formed a circle and started off with our warming-up exercises. After a quick round of warming up and stretching, we could soak in the wholesome environment of the Macritchie reservoir, complete with the smell of the flowers on the trees, climbers and bushes around, and the chirping of the morning birds, not to forget the buzz caused by the human activity around.
Once done, we set out on our walk. Since we had done the board walk quite a few times in the past, we decided to take the path less travelled. We walked towards the kayak rental point and headed off towards the path that led to the Jungle trail. As we walked past, we saw several enthusiastic kayakers cutting though the water as if they were on a motor boat! The coordination required while rowing is a definitely a challenging task, and we were in awe at the balance and the coordination exhibited by all those who were kayaking. Soon, we went past the path around the water and headed off on a trail behind the board walk, running parallel to it at the start, and then eventually diverting towards the Jungle trail. This trail had a thick canopy on top, thanks to all the giant trees lining the trail on either side. It was a muddy trail, with a lot of ups and downs. Some of us just continued on the board walk itself. As mentioned earlier, it was not sunny, but the air was heavy with moisture and we could feel it weighing on us heavily. As we briskly walked along, we could hear the sirens in the distance warning the Kayakers to get off the water as there were giant rain clouds looming in the sky indicating a very heavy downpour. We decided to pay heed to the sirens and quickly did a U-turn to make it to the nearest shelter before the rain got to us. Some of us were lucky and made it on time and some of us got a little drenched. Nonetheless, Macritchie reservoir looked glorious with the grey clouds, the silver rain, the green trees and the lovely blue water.
As the rain decided to have some mercy on us and pause for a while, We were back near the water at the end of the trail. We assembled near the Car Park and were all set to go to the lovely home of Shailaja aunty and Rao uncle. A quick drive later, we were all at their serene and beautiful house, which always has an air of aesthetic beauty and calm around it. The sun was also out in all its glory at this point .The turnout for the walk as well as for the brunch was one of the largest we had had in the recent past. After the meditation, came the brunch--with all the delicious food that was cooked so lovingly by aunty and uncle. We all felt fortunate that yet another lovely walk and brunch had come to a close, leaving us all waiting for the next month.