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May 2020 Newsletter

Published by kalaivani1995, 2020-05-03 22:11:15

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May 2020 SRI AUROBINDO SOCIETY VOL 34.05 Singapore NEWSLETTER Physical Education Physical Enthusiasm The body takes a lively interest in life and action. Petunia Xhybrida Petunia Medium to large scented single red salverform flowers with a narrow hairy tube and a broad soft often velvety limb, usually with a slightly scalloped edge; borne singly from the leaf axils. A floriferous annual herb with viscid flowers, stems and leaves. Even the body shall remember God. (Savitri, Sri Aurobindo) * The perfection of the body, as great a perfection as we can bring about by the means at our disposal, must be the ultimate aim of physical culture… If our seeking is for a total perfection of the being, the physical part of it cannot be left aside; for the body is the material basis, the body is the instrument which we have to use…A total perfection is the ultimate aim we set before us, for our ideal is the Divine Life which we wish to create here, the life of the Spirit fulfilled on earth, life accomplishing its own spiritual transformation even here on earth in conditions of the material universe. That cannot be unless the body too undergoes a transformation, unless its action and functioning attain to a supreme capacity and the perfection which is possible to it or which can be made possible. (Sir Aurobindo, Perfection of the Body)

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. Guiding Light of the Month “THE entire physical being would like to be dissolved and reconstituted in an adoration that would have no bounds. O Lord, Thou who comest to touch Matter as the Messenger of the Supreme Power and Supreme Beatitude, Thou createst the conception of what the total realisation can be. And when the being believed it was definitively invested with Thy sublime mandate, Thou withdrawest, making it understand that it was only a promise, a token of what can be. Alas, what an imperfection in Matter it is that we cannot hold Thee! O Lord, use Thy omnipotence, work the miracle of Thy permanent Presence. . . .” July 11, 1914 Prayers and Meditations, The Mother From the Editor’s Desk The May issue of the newsletter takes a closer look It is an aspiration to exceed ourselves, even against the at Physical Education. We took up the Physical Plane onslaught of the tendencies mentioned. Staring at us in our previous issue. Re-visiting the Physical Plane on our face in the question of how to overcome these can shed some light into the need for Physical tendencies of our physical being which pull us down Education and what actually it should be. The at worst or at best, prevents us from exceeding our physical plane, according to how Sri Aurobindo nature. presents it, “ is that part which directly responds to physical things and physical Nature, sees the outer Physical Education offers us the hope of dealing with only as real, is occupied with it..” The physical is these tendencies in such a way that progress of the typically characterised by ‘inertia” (tamas), inner being is enabled. The Mother clearly spells out expressed as a resistance to change , mechanical the method in The Mother on Education. Physical repetition and passivity. These expressions have a austerity, tapasya or discipline become watch words. valid use in terrestrial existence, and makes the manifested world what it is. However, where a swift The body is put through a well-planned regime in evolutionary progression is concerned, these order to make it a fit instrument to carry out works characteristics pose grave challenges to change and offered to the Divine. The approach is multi-pronged. the transformation that this swift evolutionary There is a need to plan carefully one’s diet, one’s sleep process demands and results in. In the last issue we and rest pattern and the making of the body strong, looked at how resistance to change opposes supple and capable of whatever work that is demanded influencing forces around it, including those that of it through physical exercises. Added to this is the seek to transform the physical for the better. For practice of hygiene. example, the difficulty in curing psychosomatic diseases and the body’s dependence of drugs for the What is our approach to physical education imposed easing of ailments are related to the resistance to on our own bodies? Do we know our bodies well change. In the case of mechanical repetitiveness, enough to plan and adhere to an effective schedule of habitual disorders result and in the case of exercises, consumption of food and the needed rest? passivity, weakness of will, expressed in us as a lack What is our exercise regime like? How often are we of motivation to do that which is needed for one’s engaged with this means towards a better body, more well-being, like the need for regular exercising and supple and strong and healthy? What about the food food control or even to come out of an illness. we consume, its quality and quantity? Do we rest enough to allow the body ample rest to rejuvenate These tendencies of the body do not promise an itself? What is our concept of hygiene and its practice? upward curve in the progress of consciousness. There is an aspiration deep within us that we nurse. When could physical education begin? Does it ever stop? Read on and know from The Mother herself. 2 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. Savitri Then in the process of evolving Time, All shall be drawn into a single plan, A divine harmony shall be earth’s law, Beauty and Joy remould her way to live: Even the body shall remember God, Nature shall drew back from mortality And Spirit’s fires shall guide the earth’s blind force Knowledge shall bring into the aspirant Thought A high proximity to Truth and God. Even the many shall some answer make And bear the splendour of the Divine's rush And his impetuous knock at unseen doors. A heavenlier passion shall unheave men's lives, Their minds shall share in the ineffable gleam, Their hearts shall feel the ecstasy and the fire, Earth's bodies shall be conscious of a soul. Savitri, Sri Aurobindo Victory over the Adverse Forces On 24th April 1920 the Mother returned to Pondicherry from Japan. She wrote in 1937 that “my return to Pondicherry…was the tangible sign of the sure Victory over the adverse forces.” (CMW 13: 63) Sri Aurobindo also stated in 1935 that his “Sadhana and the work were waiting for Mother’s coming”. (SABCAL 26: 459) From the year 1939 this day became one of the four Darshan Days. This year it was observed at the Ashram with meditation around the Samadhi, visit to Sri Aurobindo’s Room, March Past in the evening at the Playground and concluded with meditation. The message card distributed carried a picture of the Mother giving her blessings and the facsimile of her message: “In the name of the Lord 3 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. with the Power, the Grace and the Love of the Lord I bless you.” It was 50 years ago, on 24th April 1951, that the Mother had given the following inspiration inaugural message to the Sri Aurobindo Memorial Convention where it was resolved to establish an “International University Centre” at the Ashram (the name was later on changed to “Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education”): “Sri Aurobindo is present in our midst, and with all the power of his creative genius he presides over the formation of the University Centre which for years he considered as one of the best means of preparing the future humanity to receive the supramental light that will transform the elite of today into a new race manifesting upon earth the new light and force and light. In his name I open today this convention meeting here with the purpose of realising one of this most cherished ideals”. (The Right Object of Education, Words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, All India Magazine, June 2001) Physical Education OF ALL the domains of human consciousness, the physical is the one most completely governed by method, order, discipline, process. The lack of plasticity and receptivity in matter has to be replaced by a detailed organisation that is both precise and comprehensive. In this organisation, one must not forget the interdependence and interpenetration of all the domains of the being. However, even a mental or vital impulse, to express itself physically, must submit to an exact process. That is why all education of the body, if it is to be effective, must be rigorous and detailed, far-sighted and methodical. This will be translated into habits; the body is a being of habits. But these habits should be controlled and disciplined, while remaining flexible enough to adapt themselves to circumstances and to the needs of the growth and development of the being. All education of the body should begin at birth and continue throughout life. It is never too soon to begin nor too late to continue. Physical education has three principal aspects: (1) control and discipline of the functioning of the body, (2) an integral, methodical and harmonious development of all the parts and movements of the body and (3) correction of any defects and deformities. It may be said that from the very first days, even the first hours of his life, the child should undergo the first part of this programme as far as food, sleep, evacuation, etc. are concerned. If the child, from the very beginning of his existence, learns good habits, it will save him a good deal of trouble and inconvenience for the rest of his life; and besides, those who have the responsibility of caring for him during his first years will find their task very much easier. Naturally, this education, if it is to be rational, enlightened and effective, must be based upon a minimum knowledge of the human body, of its structure and its functioning. As the child develops, he must gradually be taught to observe the functioning of his internal organs so that he may control them more and more, and see that this functioning remains normal and harmonious. As for positions, postures and movements, bad habits are formed very early and very rapidly, and these may have disastrous consequences for his whole life. Those who take the question of physical education seriously and wish to give their children the best conditions for normal development will easily find the necessary indications and instructions. The subject is being more and more thoroughly studied, and many books have appeared and are still appearing which give all the information and guidance needed. 4 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. It is not possible for me here to go into the details of the application, for each problem is different from every other and the solution should suit the individual case. The question of food has been studied at length and in detail; the diet that helps children in their growth is generally known and it may be very useful to follow it. But it is very important to remember that the instinct of the body, so long as it remains intact, is more reliable than any theory. Accordingly, those who want their child to develop normally should not force him to eat food which he finds distasteful, for most often the body possesses a sure instinct as to what is harmful to it, unless the child is particularly capricious. The body in its normal state, that is to say, when there is no intervention of mental notions or vital impulses, also knows very well what is good and necessary for it; but for this to be effective in practice, one must educate the child with care and teach him to distinguish his desires from his needs. He should be helped to develop a taste for food that is simple and healthy, substantial and appetising, but free from any useless complications. In his daily food, all that merely stuffs and causes heaviness should be avoided; and above all, he must be taught to eat according to his hunger, neither more nor less, and not to make his meals an occasion to satisfy his greed or gluttony. From one’s very childhood, one should know that one eats in order to give strength and health to the body and not to enjoy the pleasures of the palate. Children should be given food that suits their temperament, prepared in a way that ensures hygiene and cleanliness, that is pleasant to the taste and yet very simple. This food should be chosen and apportioned according to the age of the child and his regular activities. It should contain all the chemical and dynamic elements that are necessary for his development and the balanced growth of every part of his body. Since the child will be given only the food that helps to keep him healthy and provide him with the energy he needs, one must be very careful not to use food as a means of coercion and punishment. The practice of telling a child, “You have not been a good boy, you won’t get any dessert,” etc., is most harmful. In this way you create in his little consciousness the impression that food is given to him chiefly to satisfy his greed and not because it is indispensable for the proper functioning of his body. Another thing should be taught to a child from his early years: to enjoy cleanliness and observe hygienic habits. But, in obtaining this cleanliness and respect for the rules of hygiene from the child, one must take great care not to instil into him the fear of illness. Fear is the worst instrument of education and the surest way of attracting what is feared. Yet, while there should be no fear of illness, there should be no inclination for it either. There is a prevalent belief that brilliant minds are found in weak bodies. This is a delusion and has no basis. There was perhaps a time when a romantic and morbid taste for physical unbalance prevailed; but, fortunately, that tendency has disappeared. Nowadays a well-built, robust, muscular, strong and well-balanced body is appreciated at its true value. In any case, children should be taught to respect health and admire the healthy man whose vigorous body knows how to repel attacks of illness. Often a child feigns illness to avoid some troublesome obligation, a work that does not interest him, or simply to soften his parents’ hearts and get them to satisfy some caprice. The child must be taught as early as possible that this does not work and that he does not become more interesting by being ill, but rather the contrary. The weak have a tendency to believe that their weakness makes them particularly interesting and to use this weakness and if necessary even illness as a means of attracting the attention and sympathy of the people around them. On no account should this pernicious tendency be encouraged. Children should therefore be taught that to be ill is a sign of weakness and inferiority, not of some virtue or sacrifice. That is why, as soon as the child is able to make use of his limbs, some time should be devoted every day to the methodical and regular development of all the parts of his body. Every day some twenty or thirty minutes, preferably on waking, if possible, will be enough to ensure the proper functioning and balanced growth of his muscles while preventing any stiffening of the joints and of the spine, which occurs much sooner than one thinks. In the general programme of the child’s education, sports and outdoor games should be given a prominent place; that, more than all the medicines in the world, will assure the child good health. An hour’s moving about in the sun does more to cure weakness or even anaemia than a whole arsenal of tonics. My advice is that medicines should not be used unless it is absolutely impossible to avoid them; and this “absolutely impossible” should be very strict. In this programme of physical culture, 5 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. although there are well-known general lines to be followed for the best development of the human body, still, if the method is to be fully effective in each case, it should be considered individually, if possible with the help of a competent person, or if not, by consulting the numerous manuals that have already been and are still being published on the subject. But in any case a child, whatever his activities, should have a sufficient number of hours of sleep. The number will vary according to his age. In the cradle, the baby should sleep longer than he remains awake. The number of hours of sleep will diminish as the child grows. But until maturity it should not be less than eight hours, in a quiet, well-ventilated place. The child should never be made to stay up late for no reason. The hours before midnight are the best for resting the nerves. Even during the waking hours, relaxation is indispensable for all who want to maintain their nervous balance. To know how to relax the muscles and the nerves is an art which should be taught to children when they are very young. There are many parents who, on the contrary, push their child to constant activity. When the child remains quiet, they imagine that he is ill. There are even parents who have the bad habit of making their child do household work at the expense of his rest and relaxation. Nothing is worse for a developing nervous system, which cannot stand the strain of too continuous an effort or of an activity that is imposed upon it and not freely chosen. At the risk of going against many current ideas and ruffling many prejudices, I hold that it is not fair to demand service from a child, as if it were his duty to serve his parents. The contrary would be more true, and certainly it is natural that parents should serve their child or at least take great care of him. It is only if a child chooses freely to work for his family and does this work as play that the thing is admissible. And even then, one must be careful that it in no way diminishes the hours of rest that are absolutely indispensable for his body to function properly. I have said that from a young age children should be taught to respect good health, physical strength and balance. The great importance of beauty must also be emphasised. A young child should aspire for beauty, not for the sake of pleasing others or winning their admiration, but for the love of beauty itself; for beauty is the ideal which all physical life must realise. Every human being has the possibility of establishing harmony among the different parts of his body and in the various movements of the body in action. Every human body that undergoes a rational method of culture from the very beginning of its existence can realise its own harmony and thus become fit to manifest beauty. When we speak of the other aspects of an integral education, we shall see what inner conditions are to be fulfilled so that this beauty can one day be manifested. So far I have referred only to the education to be given to children; for a good many bodily defects can be rectified and many malformations avoided by an enlightened physical education given at the proper time. But if for any reason this physical education has not been given during childhood or even in youth, it can begin at any age and be pursued throughout life. But the later one begins, the more one must be prepared to meet bad habits that have to be corrected, rigidities to be made supple, malformations to be rectified. And this preparatory work will require much patience and perseverance before one can start on a constructive programme for the harmonisation of the form and its movements. But if you keep alive within you the ideal of beauty that is to be realised, sooner or later you are sure to reach the goal you have set yourself. (The Mother on Education, Bulletin, April 1951) Physical Culture The physical body needs to be maintained in a healthy state otherwise the power which pours in during spiritual experiences can lead to psycho-physical instabilities. 6 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. Mother Mirra watching gymnastics exercises in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram The Mother on physical culture 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 endeavour to make our limbs more supple, 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. Of course, that is not the only thing that brings consciousness into the body, but it is something which acts in an overall way, and this is rare. I have already told you several times that the artist infuses a very great consciousness into his hands, as the intellectual does into his brain. But these are, as it were, local phenomena, whereas the action of physical culture is more general. And when one sees the absolutely marvellous results of this culture, when one observes the extent to which the body is capable of perfecting itself, one understands how useful this can be to the action of the psychic being which has entered into this material substance. For naturally, when it is in possession of an organised and harmonised instrument which is full of strength and suppleness and possibilities, its task is greatly facilitated. (Collected Works of the Mother, vol 10, p 30) Athletic competition in the Ashram (1951) Sri Aurobindo on the fitness required The body is not only the necessary outer instrument of the physical part of action, but for the purposes of this life a base or pedestal also for all inner action. All working of mind or spirit has its vibration in the physical consciousness, records itself there in a kind of subordinate corporeal notation and communicates itself to the material world partly at least through the physical machine. But the body of man has natural limitations in this capacity which it imposes on the play of the higher parts of his being. And, secondly, it has a subconscient consciousness of its own in which it keeps with an obstinate fidelity the past habits and past nature of the mental and vital being and which automatically opposes and obstructs any very 7 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. great upward change or at least prevents it from becoming a radical transformation of the whole nature. It is evident that if we are to have a free divine or spiritual and supramental action conducted by the force and fulfilling the character of a diviner energy, some fairly complete transformation must be effected in this outward character of the bodily nature. The physical being of man has always been felt by the seekers of perfection to be a great impediment and it has been the habit to turn from it with contempt, denial or aversion and a desire to suppress altogether or as far as may be the body and the physical life. But this cannot be the right method for the integral Yoga. The body is given us as one instrument necessary to the totality of our works and it is to be used, not neglected, hurt, suppressed or abolished. If it is imperfect, recalcitrant, obstinate, so are also the other members, the vital being, heart and mind and reason. It has like them to be changed and perfected and to undergo a transformation. As we must get ourselves a new life, new heart, new mind, so we have in a certain sense to build for ourselves a new body. The first thing the will has to do with the body is to impose on it progressively a new habit of all its being, consciousness, force and outward and inward action. It must be taught an entire passivity in the hands first of the higher instruments, but eventually in the hands of the spirit and its controlling and informing Shakti. It must be accustomed not to impose its own limits on the nobler members, but to shape its action and its response to their demands, to develop, one might say, a higher notation, a higher scale of responses. At present the notation of the body and the physical consciousness has a very large determining power on the music made by this human harp of God; the notes we get from the spirit, from the psychic soul, from the greater life behind our physical life cannot come in freely, cannot develop their high, powerful and proper strain. This condition must be reversed; the body and the physical consciousness must develop the habit of admitting and shaping themselves to these higher strains and not they, but the nobler parts of the nature must determine the music of our life and being. The control of the body and life by the mind and its thought and will is the first step towards this change. All Yoga implies the carrying of that control to a very high pitch. But afterwards the mind must itself give place to the spirit, to the spiritual force, the supermind and the supramental force. And finally the body must develop a perfect power to hold whatever force is brought into it by the spirit and to contain its action without spilling and wasting it or itself getting cracked. It must be capable of being filled and powerfully used by whatever intensity of spiritual or higher mind or life force without any part of the mechanical instrument being agitated, upset, broken or damaged by the inrush or pressure, – as the brain, vital health or moral nature are often injured in those who unwisely attempt Yogic practice without preparation or by undue means or rashly invite a power they are intellectually, vitally, morally unfit to bear, – and, thus filled, it must have the capacity to work normally, automatically, rightly according to the will of that spiritual or other now unusual agent without distorting, diminishing or mistranslating its intention and stress. This faculty of holding, dharana shakti, in the physical consciousness, energy and machinery is the most important siddhi or perfection of the body. The result of these changes will be to make the body a perfect instrument of the spirit. The spiritual force will be able to do what it wills and as it wills in and through the body. It will be able to conduct an unlimited action of the mind or at a higher stage of the supermind without the body betraying the action by fatigue, incapacity, inaptitude or falsification. It will be able too to pour a full tide of the life-force into the body and conduct a large action and joy of the perfected vital being without that quarrel and disparity which is the relation of the normal life-instincts and life-impulses to the insufficient physical instrument they are obliged to use. And it will also be able to conduct a full action of the spiritualised psychic being not falsified, degraded or in any way marred by the lower instincts of the body and to use physical action and expression as a free notation of the higher psychical life. And in the body itself there will be a presence of a greatness of sustaining force, an abounding strength, energy and puissance of outgoing and managing force, a lightness, swiftness and adaptability of the nervous and physical being, a holding and responsive power in the whole physical machine and its driving springs [mahattva, bala, laghuta, dharana- samarthya] of which it is now even at its strongest and best incapable. (Sri Aurobindo. Synthesis of Yoga, Chap XIV, Power of the Instruments) 8 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. Diving exercises in the Ashram swimming pool (1957) ( Women’s Care of their Body In this context it may be recalled how, since her early years the Mother had always held the view that the ‘male-female’ antimony was but mischievous and pointless. During the First World War she wrote an essay on “Women and the War” in which she exposed once again the “futility of the perpetual oppositions between men and women”. The War had shown how easily women could replace men “the most of the posts they [men] occupied before”. What was the lesson of the War, then? It was “a severe, a painful” lesson: It is no longer the moment for frail competitions and self-interested claims; all human beings, men or women, must associate in a common effort to become conscious of the highest ideal which asks to be realised and to work ardently for its realisation. Men and women alike had first to station themselves on the firm ground of spiritual equality; the rest would flow as a matter of course. Many years later, the question was posed whether, during their monthly periods girl pupils could join in the sports and athletics as usual, or whether a modified regimen was necessary. The Mother answered both in general terms about the physical education of girls and in specific terms on the particular points raised. There was little sense, the Mother felt, in supposed boy-girl contrast being constantly projected before adolescent pupils in schools or college. It would be far wiser to remember that both boys and girls were alike human beings, equally emanations of the Spirit. The human body is doubtless shaped like an animal’s, a mammalian’s, and it is the allotted role of the female body to conceive the child, build it up for about nine months in the womb, and deliver it to start its independent existence. The surplus blood in the woman is designed by Nature to help the mother to build and nurture the child in the womb. At other times, however, “the surplus blood has to be thrown out to avoid excess and congestion”. This being Nature’s arrangement, there is no need to get upset or to resort to all sorts of frantic defensive reactions. But while the human-animal body cannot be cast away, there is no justification to make a fetish of it or to sentimentalise over it. What has to be remembered is that our cumbrous mammalian body is not everything, for there are other dimensions too to our existence: We have in us an intelligent will more or less enlightened which is the first instrument of our psychic being. It is this intelligent will that we must use in order to learn to live not like an animal man, but as a human being, candidate for Divinity. 9 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. The human body is in part the animal of yesterday, and potentially the human-god to be. In this context, proper physical culture can help the body to grow sufficiently and serve as the means of fulfilment of the ideal that man sets before himself. Scientific advancement on the one hand and the evolutionary influx of a new consciousness on the other pose challenges of adjustment to present-day man, and the body should accordingly be in readiness to meet with self-assurance the coming events. Hence, the primacy the Mother gave to physical culture in her scheme of integral education. As regards the particular questions – Whether there should be different sets of exercises for boys and girls? Whether the muscular woman was for that reason alone ugly as well? Whether participation in games and athletics was likely to create difficulties at the time of childbirth? – the Mother was no less forthright. Girls should face problems as they come, relying only on Nature’s strength and their own native fortitude. They should shed their acute sense of diffidence and difference from the boys and act with ease, poise and complete self-reliance. Many troubles are really of psychological origin, and should hence be met at that level in an attitude of “quiet forbearance”. Where pains have a sexual origin, the only too common human tendency to succumb, hoping thereby for cure through satisfaction or satiation, must prove tragically illusory. But there is of course “another way, a better way, - comtrol, mastery, transformation; this is more dignified and also more effective”. Nor is it necessary, in the name of the “blessed feminine” to insulate girls from all association with boys. The organisation of separate sets of exercises for boys and girls would create more problems than it would solve, and might even congeal the superficial differences into unwholesome rigidities. Robust health in women couldn’t possibly be inimical to beauty. It was but superstitious stupidity and aesthetic perversion to equate weakness and fragility of feminine elegance and charm. And as for childbirth, for the healthy woman it is no problem at all. If such easy childbirth (as is even now natural with the working woman in the countryside) is something that “cannot occur in a civilised world with all the so-called progress that humanity has achieved”, well, so much the worse for civilisation! In the age now unfolding it should be woman’s privilege as also man’s to try to become a fit instrument of the Divine Work, and, as children of the same infinite Mother to be “aspirants to the one Eternal Godhead”. And the New Woman should opt only for this integral idea of Beauty: A perfect harmony in the proportions, suppleness and strength, grace and force, plasticity and endurance, and above all, an excellent health, unvarying and unchanging, which is the result of a pure soul, a happy trust in life and an unshakable faith in the Divine Grace. (On The Mother, K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar) March - April Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse March 29th 2020 – Read a few passages from AIM Magazine April 2013, Suffering – Its Cause and Cure Mother says the aim of the external force acting as suffering in the physical body is to bring the matter out of its inertia. It is not the falsehood in the cells of the body but the tamas or ignorance which has to be induced with aspiration to move into higher consciousness when one sees the true Compassion of the Divine Love behind all that appears so painful and horrible. Inner calm is another factor that comes in. Inner calm brings the cells to open to Divine presence and feels all is good. To treat the body as the holy temple that it is designed to be is a need and to remove all the apprehensions which is to be substituted with total surrender. Look for the Lord within, adore and reach him in the recess of one’s heart–cavern. 10 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. THE HOUR OF GOD Read The first two chapters - THE HOUR OF GOD and THE LAW OF THE WAY. The summary is as follows: There are moments in our lives when the Divine Spirit moves very so close to us. We should keep our inner being ready to welcome that Divine Grace to cleanse us of our bad versions and pull us out from the mud of the ignorance. But the sad part is most of humanity are like prisoners with all the doors and windows shut, so they suffocate in the ego shell. Even if the divine call is answered by the mind and set in motion for the lure of yoga power or yoga pleasure, it will end in a spiritual fiasco. Again going to an analogy, spiritual journey on mind’s vehicle is not as easy and cosy like flying in an aircraft to reach the finest destination; it is an arduous and treacherous journey like climbing Himalayas in the coldest of cold winter! Only then it is the pure inner urge to reach the Divine Truth and not the mental fascination! April 5th, 2020 - Zoom meeting because of circuit breaker We discussed how the Mother experienced a pandemic situation around 100 years ago in Japan. The Mother herself experienced the symptoms and reveals how she understood the reason for the pandemic. Thereafter, the Mother ensured that she protected the people from the pandemic. All the participants discussed the present situation in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. It is important to surrender to the Mother who will take us through the present situation. April 12th, 2020 - The Synthesis of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo. Zoom meeting. Self-consecration: page 74 to 78 We took turns reading the passages and Mr Rakesh very nicely summarised the essence for us. It is as follows: In the practice of yoga one finds himself not a simple being but an embarrassing multiplicity of personality with clamorous desires, aesthetic cravings, and trivial thoughts. When one realises how the mind, intellect, heart, body are not in harmony but demanding their own crazy needs, one will try to find the secret stuff of one’s nature and establish a divine center to bring harmony and a luminous order in one’s own scattered personality. In the ordinary path of yoga only one of the principal psychological force in us is taken as a means to attain the Divine and the other parts of our being are deactivated. For example, Bhakthi yoga, Karma yoga and jnana yoga etc... But the sadhak of the integral yoga has a greater responsibility. He becomes the representative warrior of the whole country to wage war against inexhaustible forces of egoistic falsehood and disorder. As he progresses, as he widens in his consciousness, as he scales the heights of his being, his consciousness enlarges more and more and he embraces the whole world in his consciousness. April 19th, 2020 - The Synthesis of Yoga by Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore Zoom meeting. 11 Physical Education

Physical Education Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. Concentration: page 78 to 81 Thanks to the zoom meeting activated by our dear Sanjay, there is an hour given to dive deep into our being by reading Synthesis of yoga by members and the essence given by our dear Rakesh. Sri Aurobindo also talks about the importance of Concentration in the practice of yoga. Though several pathways of Yoga like Karma, Bhakthi and Jnana are no less, but harmonising all these pathways with our mind, heart and will to realise the ONE who is pervading in every atom of the Whole Universe should be the aim. Sri Aurobindo also gives the solution as to how man who is attempting Self-transcendence can use the help of his higher Nature that is higher mental and deeper soul, the psychic element as grappling hooks to hold the Divine in his being. We should bring the Light from above to guide us than an obscure light which gives us the power to reason, inquire and judging intelligence. The concentration of an enlightened thought, will and heart turned in unison towards one vast goal of our knowledge, one luminous and infinite source of our action, one imperishable object of our emotion is the starting-point of the Yoga. This is the Triple way of the Yoga. Again coming to an analogy we should be like leaves in the beautiful plant kingdom which uses Carbon dioxide from the air, water from the soil and light from the Sun to produce food. Our instruments are heart, will and enlightened thought to feed the soul in us to brighten up more and give us the spiritual strength! Reading Sri Aurobindo’s Synthesis of Yoga brings a kind of awareness of our multiple being and how to harmonise it! - Jayalakshmi & Sri Ram PROGRAMME FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2020 DATE TIME DETAILS 8 AM Monthly Morning Walk * 3 May 2020 Sunday 6 PM AIM Magazine Reading and Discussion 10 May 2020 6 PM Thematic Study Circle by Rakesh: Sunday The Synthesis of Yoga 17 May 2020 6 PM Thematic Study Circle by Rakesh: Sunday The Synthesis of Yoga 4 PM Youth Programme 24 May 2020 Sunday 12 Physical Education

Physical Education 6 PM Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2020. 31 May 2020 6 PM Savitri Circle by Mr. Ramadoss Video on Integral Yoga * Please see below for details. NOTE: In view of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, please note the following:  There will be a collective meditation, but the brunch and the walk is cancelled PREVIEW OF FORTHCOMING SUNDAY MORNING WALKS WALK NO DATE PLACE HOST 418 07/6/20 Bedok Reservoir Mr. Anand Patel & Mrs Vrunda Patel 419 05/7/20 420 02/8/20 TBA Mr Sanjay Mehta & Family TBA Mr Arjun Madan & Family Printed and Published by The Sri Aurobindo Society of Singapore 2A Starlight Road 01-07, Singapore 217755. Ramadoss: 97354063 or [email protected]; Anand Patel: [email protected]; Email: [email protected] Visit our website at: 13 Physical Education

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