Guiding Light of The Month

Grant, O Divine Teacher, that we may know and accomplish our mission upon earth better and better, more and more, that we may make full use of all the energies that are in us, and Thy sovereign Presence become manifest ever more perfectly in the silent depths of our soul, in all our thoughts, all our feelings, all our actions. - The Mother

The Finding of the Soul

Her feet upon a couchant lion’s back.

Botanical Name: Sansevieria
Common Name: Bowstring Hemp
Spiritual Significance: Joy of Spirituality

In its deep lotus home her being sat
As if on concentration’
s marble seat,
Calling the mighty Mother of the worlds
To make this earthly tenement her house.
-          Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

From the Editor’s Desk (Nov 2018)

In this November edition of our Newsletter, we continue on our journey with Savitri on the quest for the deepest, most resplendent in her. She is seeking for her soul and is well on the way, having met the triple soul forces and given them her word that she would return with the Force, Wisdom and Light so that they may manifest their true selves in the life of the now embodied being who knows not yet the truth of herself. 

So “Onward she passed seeking the soul’s mystic cave.” She was at the threshold where the next journey into the soul-space began. Here too there was a pitch darkness she encounters but the truth is that dawn breaks out only when the night is darkest. Here is a message for us, and the truth in the words that urge us to cling on, and that, it is only when all seems down, gone and finished that a ray of hope steals in, announcing its end and promising the light beyond that announces its end. Here too, she comes face to face with symbolic figures and motives, and divines the nearness of the Truth of her being, her Soul. The path to her soul is not easy, as made out by the imagery used by Sri Aurobindo. Rock after dense and hard rock has to be excavated as Savitri makes her way within, heading towards a ‘rock cave’ where probably the resplendent Light she is looking for is kept hidden, awaiting her arrival into that chamber of Light. And Savitri does arrive therein after a challenging journey, it seems, only because she bore in her a quiet resolution and probably knew at that point that it was this or nothing. The revelation spins forward in her being a transformative force which courses through her nerve and tissue and brings about a change in her fringing on divinity.

Reading the lines in, ‘The Finding of the Soul’ in its self offers golden opportunities of contemplation; Words, other than those from Savitri, will be poor conveyers of the protagonist’s experience as well as ours following the thread of the magnitude of what is presented. One could gain from the canto in any which way; one could take it as a wonderful poetic description of Savitri’s journey, an aesthetically pleasing experience, or in knowing all the inner elements not so obvious to the eye of our own experiences, or listen the lines speaking to our inner ear, urging and guiding one to look within too, and embark on such an immaculate journey. It could be that each of us will live the lines in that way which our own point in evolution dictates. 

Is there a Savitri in us too? And who is Savitri? She is after all the daughter of the Sun, the Light Supreme. Is this daughter of the Sun seeking her radiance out now, having forgotten her lineage through the shock of her re-birth in human time and form? Here we have Savitri set out on a journey to seek her Self, to know it as the raison d’etre so that she could exist in and from that Truth. Life had thrown her into this quest, it appears, at that juncture when she realised that she stood to lose everything that she cherished and gave meaning to her life till then – Satyavan. It is this supreme spirit in her that does not quit when faced with adversity, but looks for another truer platform to stand on and proclaim her divinity and act from that. Simply mind blowing and highly inspirational for any spiritual seeker, reading and re-reading the canto plunges one into oceans of ecstasy at the mere realization of all the possibilities that await one, if only one plunges within.  

Savitri, a journey of Love and Light (Nov 2018)

A sealed identity within her woke;
She knew herself the Beloved of the Supreme:
These Gods and Goddesses were he and she:
The Mother was she of Beauty and Delight,
The Word in Brahma’
s vast creating clasp,
The World-Puissance on almighty Shivas lap,—
The Master and the Mother of all lives
Watching the worlds their twin regard had made,
And Krishna and Radha for ever entwined in bliss,
The Adorer and Adored self-lost and one.

In the last chamber on a golden seat
One sat whose shape no vision could define;
Only one felt the world’
s unattainable fount,
A Power of which she was a straying Force,
An invisible Beauty, goal of the worlds desire,
A Sun of which all knowledge is a beam,
A Greatness without whom no life could be.


A camp of God is pitched in human time

Leaving the three Madonnas behind, Savitri presses on her quest to the "soul's mystic cave" and first steps into "a night of God" where the familiar powers of the world-knowledge, wisdom, truth—are held in a screened solution in the reigning holy hush and dark:

       In a simple purity of emptiness
       Her mind knelt down before the unknowable.
      All was abolished save her naked self
      And the prostrate yearning of her surrendered heart:

It is somewhat like the mixing and merging of a drop with the ocean,

      A night of person in a bare outline
      Crossing a fathomless impersonal Night,... 
Presently this general immobility gives place to a new stir of life, the blossoming of "a rose of splendour on a tree of dreams"; the "night of God" changes to day, the air is sweet, the sky is lustrous, and the "mystic cavern... of her secret soul" stands revealed:

      And a holy stillness held that voiceless space.
      An awful dimness wrapped the great rock-doors
      Carved in the massive stone of Matter's trance.

Two golden serpents round the lintel, an eagle with massive wings above, doves at the cornices; inside the court, as in a South Indian temple, sculptured gods snapping moments in the cosmic play; on the walls, pictures conveying the "hieratic message of the climbing planes": the whole a parable of the "extension of the self of God/... And his passion and his birth and life and death/And his return to immortality".297 Savitri seizes the meaning of it all, not through ratiocination, but by her soul's identity with each symbol which is also an order of reality:

      A sealed identity within her woke;
      She knew herself the Beloved of the Supreme:...

She is Mother, Brahma's word, Shiva's spouse, Krishna's Radha; and, indeed, she is the Adorer and Adored self-lost and one". Savitri now comes to the last chamber where she espies the formless fount of her "straying force", and passing beyond it through a tunnel to a house of flame and light, there she meets her secret soul:

      Here in this chamber of flame and light they met;
      They looked upon each other, knew themselves,
      The secret deity and its human part,
      The calm immortal and the struggling soul.
      Then with a magic transformation's speed
      They rushed into each other and grew one.

The long night's journey into day is over; Savitri has explored the inner countries of the spirit, much as a modern visitor to one of the big temples in South India might explore concentric courts, the prākārās, the numerous shrines within, the statues of the minor gods and goddesses and the bhaktas and the god-intoxicated, the paintings on the walls and the sculptured pillars and walls reproducing scenes from epic and purana, the cosmic play and the tāndav dance, and moving from sacred enclosure to another enclosure, always moving within, observing the vāhanās, being enraptured by the ritual, the swaying of the lights and the chanting of hymns, dazzled by the bejewelled gold-shaped outer manifestations of the deity and his consort, and penetrating at long last to the ultimate sanctum, the innermost home of the deity, and receiving the ineffable impact of the 'mystical tremendum', the blaze of the total truth that blinds, the shower of the Grace that cleanses; Savitri has at last seen and grown into her secret Soul. She is now back in the world of man, the same yet different; she is filled with the glory and power of God, and all in her have undergone a "high celestial change"; and henceforth her every act will be "an act of god". Head, brows, throat, heart, navel, all coiled petals of the unfolding bud of this lotus flame have received the impress of new divinity, and in the apparently human mould of Savitri "a first perfection's stage is reached at last":

There is won a new proximity to the skies,
A first betrothal of the Earth to Heaven,
A deep concordat between Truth and Life:
A camp of God is pitched in human time.

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

September - October Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse

September 23rd – Self-Dynamising Meditation using Savitri and Huta Paintings

Earlier, through our deep voyage into the unknowable, (Book 3, ‘The Book of the Divine Mother’), over several months, we were trying to form an idea of the infinite powers of our Divine Mother in our minds; all these are like the Silent witness behind everything, experiencing the marvel of the dynamism of the diversifying and integrating Spirit; it is as if this unfathomable Consciousness-Force, has kindled in us a mystic flame of pure Love of aspiration, silently creating a need behind our hearts to experience Aswapati's Boon: “… one shall descend and break the iron law, Change Nature’s doom by the lone Spirit’s power”. This has led us to explore and experience this All powerful Savitri, at the conclusion of Her yoga, through the Canto 6 (Nirvana and the Discovery of the All-Negating-Absolute) and 7 (Omnipresent Reality and the Discovery of the All-Fulfilling Godhead) of Book 7: The Book of Yoga. It is now an invitation to view the experience not only of the Spirit's view on the Silent Force behind but also to integrate these two views (of one looking at the other) to reach the MahaShaktit dynamising the Absolute. 

This month, when we took a deeper dive into Canto 6, we were reminded of 'The Issue' (Book 1, Canto 2): "An Absolute Supernatural darkness falls on man, when he nears God ..... That hour had fallen on Savitri". What we think as naught (zero) is actually unmanifest infinity; the seeming falsehood, ignorance, division, evil, incapacity, hatred, finite-view, commotion, ugliness, time-trap, disharmony and suffering hide behind the Divine Substance as Occult clay as Truth, Knowledge, Unity, Goodwill, Power, Love, Infinity, Silence, Beauty, Eternity, Peace and Delight. We seem to constantly fight the cross currents by taking either the side of the Spirit or Matter: Outside VS Inside, Liberty VS Fraternity, Time VS Timelessness, Form VS Content, Personal VS Impersonal, Head VS Heart, Profit VS Purpose etc; we can all embrace the paradox of integrating both the sides and enjoy the powers of Savitri, The Mahashakti.

September 30th – Short Films from  

Jared helped to us to experience the unexplored side of Prof Vladimir - the creative movie making talent, which he he was unable to bring out during his Singapore visit, due to the lack of slots provided to him. We watched 'Sincerity', 'Sacrifice' and 'Future Education' followed by brief discussion; those who missed are urged to watch these and other short films , by visiting ''. A lot of sincere effort has gone into educate us to look at our future with confidence - packed with tremendous value indeed; again, it is for us to make the best meaning out of them: what might look like as mere experiences of sacrifice, in fact, are filled with delight, progress, knowledge, goodwill and power to those who can aspire for the integral view and Mother's Grace.  

October 7th- Read a few passages from All India Magazine

September 2018 issue- Prenatal Education

On Man and Woman-The relationship between man and woman
In this passage Mother talks about the highest ideal men and women should aim for instead of woman’s part solely interior and domestic occupations and man’s exclusively exterior and social occupations. The supreme reality is men and women are equal in rights and in duties.

True Maternity- Begins with the conscious creation of a being
Mother advises the would be mothers that true maternity begins with the conscious creation of a being, with the willed shaping of the soul unlike the animals who give birth to young ones instinctively ignorantly, machine like. She says a woman’s thought and will are so powerful to bring out a child with highest ideal instead of believing in the obscure bonds of heredity and atavism.
Birth and the Psychic Being-The material conditions and environment that the psychic being chooses,
Mother says. only when the soul has attained perfect psychic being, it has the choice of taking a rebirth; if taking another janma, it can choose the body where it can express its best. In spite of that it has to have a lot of self dynamism to overcome the obstacles like material inconscience.

The psychic being: a result of evolution
Through evolution psychic being is churned out from Matter.
The Divine consciousness which has spread over Matter is lifted up slowly to reach the Divine through several births.
Only the psychic being can remember its past and has the pathway laid to become what it wants to become rather than what it had been!

October 14th and October 21st- The Human Cycle

The Ideal of Human Unity, War and Self Determination
War and self-determination
Read a few passages from the Chapter- The Spiritual Aim and Life
Sri Aurobindo gives us a clear understanding  that true aim of the spiritual society is for the soul incarnated in the human body to fulfil its diviner purpose rather than succumbing to just the satisfaction of physical, vital and emotional well being or to flee away to its freedom from the diseased prone body.
The individual soul in man is the collective form of the Infinite. It will hold sacred every aspect man’s physical, vital, emotional, intellectual and psychic evolution. Inspite of the manifold manifestation of the soul as an individual, human society, nation, it is one divine reality, the conscious infinite in Man.
This reality as a dogma or creed does not impose on man’s lower natural being.
To raise to a spiritualised society, large liberty will be the means to give the freedom to raise the society from its yoke of slavery to beliefs, customs and authority. By shaking of all these fetters man chooses to wear the yoke which helps him to find his diviner inner nature and its aspiration.
The true spirituality is the one which does not lay a yoke upon for example science, philosophy or any art forms or compel them to square their conclusions with any statement of dogmatic religious or even of assured spiritual truth as some of the old religions attempted. If let free in their action will find the unity of Truth with Good and Beauty and God.
The true Spiritualisation of humanity happens when the true inner theocracy is established removing the false theocracy of dominant church or priesthood.
This chapter ends with the word  “Sarvabhavena” from Bhagavad Gita where Lord Krishna says one who finds true divinity in everything in and around himself will be free from all illusion and delusion, the freedom which Sri Aurobindo talks about!

- Jayalakshmi and Ramadoss

Along the Way… October Walk Review (walk no 398)

Uncle Kashyap used to say that Gardens By the Bay is a treasure trove - once you visit this place you will be addicted to it. Therefore there were no two opinions when it was suggested that the October walk be held in his cherished venue.
A small group of enthusiastic walkers assembled near the Magnificent Bull Statue at 8 am sharp (Memories keep flooding to me that Uncle Kashyap would always make it a point to be at the walk venues two minutes early). Another group of around 13 people ventured out straight away to jog/explore the Wonderful Wizard of OZ in Flower Dome.
Ably guided by Praveen with the warming up exercises, the group, after reaching our favourite “Planet” spot ( a hefty seven tons bronze sculpture of a baby floating in the air), set out to explore different territory this occasion. Alok volunteered to take us through the adjacent Marina Bay Sands. It was indeed a walk with a difference – an unforgettable experience. This is the first occasion when substantial portion of the walk was inside an air conditioned mall. Crossing the Dragon Fly Bridge over the ECP into Marina Bay Sands (MBS), travelling the ups and downs of the escalators marvelling at the ambience of F&B Celebrity restaurants, engaging in vertical climb (Just only lifts!) soaring up to the 57th Floor to enjoy the panoramic view of Singapore shorelines, coming down to the fourth storey for viewing the Singapore Floating Platform and our Nation’s Pride Singapore Merlion, not to miss the luxury fashion brands shops catering to the exclusive elite of market and the Sampan rides along the canal at the Shoppes at MBS, we had feast for our eyes throughout. As Praveen remarked it was good that we came in very early in the day without our spouses when the grandiose shops were still not open for business, lest we should have burnt a big hole in our wallets.
Thereafter we came back to the Gardens by the Bay to enjoy the Heritage Gardens. We were overwhelmed with joy upon coming to know that many of the inscriptions depicting the diverse history and Singapore culture told through fascinating story of plants in the four themed garden were contributions by Uncle Kashyap’s eldest daughter Savita.
Rounding up our walk with a visit to Sun Pavilion, home of a large collection of cacti, we reluctantly bade adieu to the Gardens by the Bay and reached the host’s premises. True to the Kashyap tradition, we were warmly welcomed by the entire Family. Musical performance followed our meditation and reading of prayers. Ramni and Praveen with their kirtans and bhajans ably assisted by unle Kashyap’s Music teacher and our K V Rao on the tabla were indeed a treat to our ears. The pinnacle of course is the lovely rendition of the song “What makes you Beautiful” by our little Deepika captivating the entire audience. I am sure Uncle Kashyap would have felt proud that the October brunch Sangeeth tradition is kept alive and humming.
As usual, we were all treated to a sumptuous brunch by the Kashyap Family.
It was a worthwhile day spent in the Park which Uncle held dear to his heart and in the Kashyap Nivas where lived and loved.
-          S. Ramanathan