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August 2018 Newsletter

Published by sandhya.2306, 2018-07-30 10:18:24

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August 2018 SRI AUROBINDO SOCIETY VOL 32.08 Singapore Permit No. MCI (P) 102/02/2018 NEWSLETTER The parable of the Search for the Soul All that has been renews in him its birth, All that can be is figured in his soul.Botanical Name: Terminalia CatappaCommon Name: Tropical AlmondSpiritual Significance: Spiritual Aspiration On a dim ocean of subconscient life A formless surface consciousness awoke: A stream of thoughts and feelings came and went, A foam of memories hardened and became A bright crust of habitual sense and thought, A seat of living personality And recurrent habits mimicked permanence. - Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018. Guiding Light of the MonthOh! how I call Thee from the very depths of my heart, True Light, Sublime Love, Divine Master who art the source of our light and of our living, our guide and our protector, the Soul of our soul and the Life of our life, the Reason of our being, the supreme Knowledge, the immutable Peace! The Mother, ‘Prayers and Meditations’ July 21, 1913 From the Editor’s DeskThis month’s Newsletter edition carries as the takes over her life from thence. Without resistance,theme the title of Canto two of Book seven of her mind falls silent, her heart still and she lets herSavitri, “The Parable of the Search for the Soul”.In the previous edition, we saw the union of Savitri real, truest Self reveal itself to her, from which she will receive all directions for her every move.with Satyavan and the immense joy with which This canto, in a story, gives us the message of life asthis was lived. At the same time, as a shadow to it is and life towards which we must progress. Thisthis joy, she lived the pain of the knowledge of canto is one of the many that reveals Sri Aurobindo’sSatyavan’s impending fate. It seemed as a vision for the human race. It recognises the plight thatreflection of our own state of being, with joy and the race has put itself into, its plunge into the abyss ofpain as inevitable roommates in the same house, in darkness and ignorance, a result of which is pain. It isa lesser or amplified degree. Her inner countries clear that we are needed to rise above the stroke dealtwere out of her reach at least at that moment. She on us by the hands of fate. In order to do that, onelived alone with the impending knowledge of needs to pull one’s consciousness away from theSatyavan’s fate and sank into deep sorrow and exterior and focus within and live the reality within.dejection. In this episode, she sits alone in the This task requires from us a silencing of the mind and the stilling of the heart (or vital). We probably knownight, her heart heavy with grief, each tickingmoment tearing a page off her beautiful life with what this entails, in the usual consciousness. Are we able to leave this heavy concentration on our outerSatyavan. This scene paints in our minds a grimpicture of an earnest young woman in distress, lives and turn within? Are we able to silence our noisy mind which at best is a chaotic market place of varieddesperation and dejection.Savitri’s is a noble nature, a being full of deep love transactions? Are we able to receive with equanimityand generosity, a being divine, if not wholly in all that comes our way or allow only those that upliftview of her Divinity, at this point of the epic. us? Then only the voice speaks to us in the silence andThere a force around that helps, a hand that guides. stillness of our being and the needed is done. TillAs an answer to her silent cry of despair, a voice then, this task of preparation is ours with thearose in her at this curiously propitious moment Guidance of Grace. This is the sadhana before us.and changed the course of her life. This was a This month of August venerates the birth of Sridefining moment, we will find, as it brought her Aurobindo. Let us remember him for his vision foron the path that she must take. It indicated to her the human race and its evolution into athe source she must reach and from which gain her supramentalised race living the divine here on earthstrength and direction to conquer the cause of her in matter and in life. Let us take stock of where wecurrent pain. Her initial reaction to that voice was stand today as we prepare to salute him and hold hisan expression of dejection and hopelessness, a revelations before us for our progress. Let us be histendency to drift along with the whips of fate true children and take a plunge into ourselves to knowtowards a natural progression to its end. However, ourselves for what we are and transform for the better,that voice is persistent and reminds her of her all the time invoking the presence and guidance thatmission upon earth. Something in Savitri awakes alone can transform our nature.and overpowers the dejection of her surface 2

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018. Savitri, a journey of Love and Light But holding back her troubled rebel heart, Abrupt, erect and strong, calm like a hill, Surmounting the seas of mortal ignorance, Its peak immutable above mind’s air, A Power within her answered the still Voice: “I am thy portion here charged with thy work, As thou myself seated for ever above, Speak to my depths, O great and deathless Voice, Command, for I am here to do thy will.” (Savitri) 3

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018. And lead man to Truth's wide and golden roadHer nights are sleepless, for still she hears and sees \"the dumb tread of Time and the approach of ever-nearingFate\". Then one night she is startled by a mighty voice invading her mortal life; she is jerked into a trance andbecomes \"a stone of God lit by an amethyst soul\". What use Savitri—\"O spirit, O immortal energy\"!—coming to\"this dumb deathbound earth\" if it was merely to nurse a hopeless grief in a helpless heart? Not passive sufferancebut positive action is expected of her: Arise, O soul, and vanquish Time and Death.Still in her tranced state, Savitri replies: How can she strive when she has neither the strength nor the will to fight?Feeble are her chances of success, feeble the chances of the ignorant race of man responding to the \"saviourLight\" from above. \"Is there a God whom any cry can move?\" Isn't he careless of mankind, their dolour and theirdefeat?What need have I, what need has SatyavanTo avoid the black-meshed net, the dismal door,Or call a mightier Light into life's closed room,A greater Law into man's little world?For her own problem there surely is cure enough; she can follow Satyavan to the far off bourne and there \"lieinarmed breast upon breast...forgetting eternity's call, forgetting God\". Almost a drowsy and pendant reply,hardly worthy of Savitri; the voice therefore admonishes her: \"Is this enough, O spirit?\" She has come downwith a mightier intent, and it will not do to shrink from the task:Cam'st thou not down to open the doors of Fate,The iron doors that seemed for ever closed,And lead man to Truth's wide and golden roadThat runs through finite things to eternity?The petulant human rebel is silenced, and another power, the creator spirit within her, makes a reply. Savitri isready for action as a vessel of the immortal Spirit; when she knows what she has to do, she will readily strive todo it. The voice answers: Find out thy soul, recover thy hid self, In silence seek God's meaning in thy depths, Then mortal nature change to the divine.Human thought and human sense can be barriers checkmating the passage of the soul to the Soul; casting awayeverything, everything has to be gained; and by this means Savitri will be able to invoke the force of theSupreme and conquer Death. The voice is withdrawn, and Savitri finds herself sitting \"rigid in her gold motionless pose\" by sleepingSatyavan's side. The sky lours, thunder rumbles, rain hisses; but Savitri sits impassive still in self-absorbedconcentration. She will look into herself, she will go in quest of her soul (as earlier she had gone in quest of herspouse), and she will not turn back till she sights and claims her hidden self. Her first series of insights disclose to her, \"the cosmic past, the crypt-seed and the mystic origins,/Theshadowy beginnings of world fate\". It is a vivid and breathless pageantry—from the cosmic whirl of atomicspace, the appearance of huddled masses of matter, the emergence of life' in algae, plant and tree, in insect, birdand beast, to the ultimate flowering of 'mind' in man: Mind nascent laboured out a mutable form, It built a mobile house on shifting sands, A floating isle upon a bottomless 4

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018.Restless and enterprising, Mind has made conquests of all sorts and organised the \"thousandfold commerce ofthe world\". Sometimes probing below, sometimes gazing above, Mind has extended its inquiries into the loweras well as the higher regions of consciousness, nether Hell as also .high Heaven. Mind has its handmaidens—fancy, imagination—and they annex vast territories of experience for man to lord over. In apprehension like agod, yet man can also solicit the dark and devalue himself: Man's house of life holds not the gods alone: There are occult Shadows, there are tenebrous Powers, Inhabitants of life's ominous nether rooms, A shadowy world's stupendous denizens... The Titan and the Fury and the Djinn Lie bound in the subconscient's cavern pit And the Beast grovels in his antre den...They are best kept caged and cribbed in the chambers of the underground, for once you start negotiating withthem, they seize you body and soul, pervert all instruments, press their advantages without mercy, and delugeman's world with blood and terror: The terrible Angel smites at every door: An awful laughter mocks at the world's pain And massacre and torture grin at Heaven:...Man has propensities both towards good and evil; to give evil full and free play is to turn God's purposesupside down, for, It imitates the Godhead it denies, Puts on his figure and assumes his face. A Manichean creator and destroyer, This can abolish man, annul his world.Thus man finds himself at the crossroads where meet opposing paths that show the way either to the world ofthe blessed or to the condemned wastes of hell. Man has a past and future, and the narrow isthmus of thepresent is his playground of trial and striving. While his mind is his helper, he cannot wholly depend upon it;mind too can mislead, unawares sometimes, and sometimes deliberately. There are other forces, however, toredress the balance, at times also to tilt it to dangerous consequence:A portion of us lives in present Time,A secret mass in dim inconscience gropes;Out of the inconscient and subliminalArisen, we live in mind's uncertain lightAnd strive to know and master a dubious worldWhose purpose and meaning are hidden from our sight.But this is no more than a first report or preliminary finding; deeper meanings, clearer purposes, emerge on acloser look at the human drama that is being played on the cosmic stage. Not out of a \"blind Nature-Force\" haslife emerged, and then mind; the sea of inconscience carries the potencies of life, mind, and any powers thatmay be above mind, though all as yet held in suspension as it were. What is 'involved', nascent or held insuspense comes out when the time is ripe, and so the evolutionary march begins and continues. There is a law that controls, yet transcends, the wide ranges of consciousness, from inert matter to man andthe future superman. It may be that man has his \"prone obscure beginnings\" in the jungle ape; but he has notceased to grow, he has not ceased to hanker after good and beauty and God, and he has been moving \"in a whitelucent air of dreams\". The setbacks have been many, the frustrations numberless, but pioneering man hasmoved breast-forward, flirted with the omniscient, and made vague approaches to omnipotence: Thus man in his little house made of earth's dust Grew towards an unseen heaven of thought and dream Looking into the vast vistas of his 5

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018.On a small globe dotting infinity.At last climbing a long and narrow stairHe stood alone on the high roof of thingsAnd saw the light of a spiritual sun.As Savitri sees these vistas pass before her, the realisation comes to her that the mighty Mother has made her, .. .the centre of a wide-drawn scheme,... To mould humanity into God's own shapeAnd lead this great blind struggling world to lightOr a new world discover or create.But for this to be accomplished, the heavenly psyche hidden in Savitri should come out into the open and\"liberate the god imprisoned in the visionless mortal man\".(An excerpt from “Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri – A study of the cosmic epic”, Dr. Premanandakumar, SriAurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry) Flowers Speak… Devotional Attitude Modest and self-effacing, it yields remarkable fruit Conquer thy heart’s throbs, let thy heart beat in God: Thy nature shall be the engine of his works, Thy voice shall house the mightiness of his Word: Then shalt thou harbour my force and conquer Death. Modesty of Beauty It blossoms without attracting attention Impassive mid the movement and the cry, Witness of the thoughts of mind, the moods of life, She looked into herself and sought for her soul. Savitri(Flowers and Messages, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry) 6

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018. June-July Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpseJune 17th – Self-Dynamising Meditation using Savitri and Huta PaintingsWe continued with our dive into Book 3, ‘The Book of the Divine Mother’, Canto 3, ‘The House of TheSpirit and The New Creation’. Though it was a repeat, our view this time was from the integral of theTime infinity and the Timeless infinity – the 3rd dimension indeed; it was as if we were unearthing newknowledge from this whole view – the Triune of ‘The Knower Knows the Knowledge’, ‘The LoverLoves the Beloved’ and so on. We also virtually experienced the delight of being at the gardens and thepetal rooms of the Matrimandir.July 1st – Q&A 1954, The Mother, 8th September 1954Question- Sweet Mother, what are the adverse powers of the subtle physical?Mother says there are countless adverse forces as there are elements in the world. They all exist in thevital world as thought, impulses desires and wills. Only with the psychic influence we can be away fromthe bad ones and be a collaborator in the divine work.The mind and the heart should be one pointed and concentrated in the single aspiration to the Divine.July 8th – The Future Poetry with On Quantitative Metre, The complete works of Sri AurobindoThe Character of English Poetry-1Jared guided us in the journey of the reading and understanding a few pages from the above. The glimpseas follows:Character of poetry of a nation is better understood in relation to the mental and dynamic makeup of itspeople. Sri Aurobindo has identified gaps in the English contribution towards arts especially in the fieldof music, artichitecture, painting in comparison to those of the rest of Europe (Italy, France, Holland).Similarly, the English lack any profundity in philosophical tradition & scientific culture. However,England has proved herself to be a world leader when it comes to industrialization and exploration.The influence of Anglo Saxon, Scandinavian, Celtic elements was highlighted. Anglo Saxon providesthe Teutonic strength and practicality dealing with facts while the Celtic qualities highlight inherentspirituality and imagination. This juxtaposition of characteristics creates a chaotic fusion that definesboth the greatness and limitations of English poetry.July 15th – Self-Dynamising Meditation using Savitri and Huta PaintingsWe concluded our prolonged journey into the upper hemisphere of the Unknown, the Supramental Light,the symbol OM and the creator Flame with a small glimpse of Grace of our infinite Mother – all thesethrough Book 3, ‘The Book of the Divine Mother’. Aswapati obtains The Vision and The Boon“… one shall descend and break the iron law,Change Nature’s doom by the lone Spirit’s power”To experience this all-powerful Savitri, at the conclusion of Her yoga, we commenced our journey intothe Canto 6 (Nirvana and the Discovery of the All-Negating-Absolute) and 7 (Omnipresent Reality andthe Discovery of the All-Fulfilling Godhead) of Book 7: The Book of 7

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018.July 22nd – The Future Poetry with On Quantitative Metre, The complete works of SriAurobindoThe Character of English Poetry-2Jared guided us to the next level in Character of English Poetry.The gist as we understood is as follows:Sri Aurobindo believed that English poetry is richer than the poetry of other European languages. Headds that this superior quality contributed to 'a long continuity of poetic production'.Shaped by various European influences, early English verse was energetic and vigorous. It continued toevolve into greater forms through the Elizabethan, the Romantic and Victorian periods.He reiterates that English poetry is great because it is a reflection of life and holds the mirror up tonature, thereby making the thought deeply personal. Such sentiments could be expressed in a style fullof rhythm, vision and beauty. - Jayalakshmi & Ramadoss PROGRAMME FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST 2018 DATE TIME DETAILS 8 AM Monthly Morning Walk*5 August 2018 Sunday 6 PM AIM Magazine Reading and Discussion12 August 2018 5 PM Yoga and Pranayama Sunday 6 PM Thematic Study Circle Part I: The Future Poetry15 August 2018 7 PM Sri Aurobindo’s birthday19 August 2018 6 PM Thematic Study Circle Part II The Future Poetry26 August 2018 3 PM Youth Programme: Sunday 5 PM The Psychic Being 6 PM Yoga and Pranayama* Please see below for details. Savitri 8

Date: Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018.Time:Walk Venue: AUGUST 2018 MORNING WALK – NO. 396Meeting Point: Sunday, 5th August 2018Public transport 8:00 A.M. sharp for warm up exercise. Fort Canning Park Car Park near Registry of Marriage Building in Fort Canning Park Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay or City Hall – walk about 10 minutes to reach Meeting Point. There are numerous buses plying through Hill Street.Contact No: Mr. C Krishnamurthy (HP: 8453 2656)Hosts: Mr Arjun Madan RSVP at 9186 7269 or [email protected] Meditation & Brunch: Will be at Sri Aurobindo Society Premises @ Starlight Road.Note: All are encouraged to attend the Walk. Those, however, who are not able to join the Walk, thehosts would be very happy that they directly come and join in the brunch by 10:15 AM. Prayers andmeditation will commence sharp at 10.30 A.M. All are requested to be punctual.PREVIEW OF FORTHCOMING SUNDAY MORNING WALKSWALK NO DATE PLACE HOST 397 2/9/18 Botanical Gardens Mr KV Rao & Family 398 07/10/18 TBA TBA 399 04/11/18 TBA Mr. Kiran Sule & Family Along the Way… July Walk Review (walk no 395)Nestled in the midst of Pasir Ris housing estate, the lush greenery of Pasir Ris town park welcomed uson the morning of 1st of July. While we waited for more members to join us at the starting point, Imarvelled at the location of the park that was accessible by public transport and seemed to serve as apopular spot for social interactions for nearby residents. At the park’s center is a large pond and onecould observe a number of fishing enthusiasts waiting for their 9

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018.Once all members were gathered we commenced the walk by heading towards Pasir Ris Park via thePasir Ris Park connector. Along the way the group broke up with some preferring to take a run whileothers a brisk walk.At the end of the park connector we headed to the west side of Pasir Ris Park and walked along thebeach. While the beach on the surface looked litter-free, the number of ships that were anchored alongthe coast made me wonder whether the quality of the water was fit to swim or even just wet your feet.Perhaps that is the reason we saw families preferring to camp, jog, or cycle along the beach rather thantake a swim in the water.There was a varied conversation going around in the group. We spoke about the environment and theusage of plastic in our daily life. With countries like New Zealand and even India banning plastic,Singapore seemed way behind in implementing measures to reduce the usage of plastic in our day-to-day activities. Another group was reminiscing about a camping trip that had taken place a couple ofyears ago at Pasir Ris as a part of the Integral Education Programme with children and adults enjoyingthe activities despite the sudden downpour.We slowed down a bit to spot some of nature’s wonders around us like a unique flower that looked likea Magnolia but had a smaller flower within. The trees were lined with some mushrooms andthis made a good spot to take some nature pictures.Pasir Ris park has quite a few observation points for nature enthusiasts to enjoy the flora and fauna. Weclimbed the Look-out tower to spot some birds and spotted two yellow birds that Kiruthika identified asOrioles.No walk at Pasir Ris is complete without seeing the Mangrove forest. The mangrove boardwalk leadsoff to a small pier overlooking the mangrove-lined Sungei Tampines. Children tried to identify some ofthe marine life and spotted a monitor 10

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. August 2018.At the end of the walk, it was ascertained that this walk had a record number of attendees of 35 members.We then headed towards the hosts’- Ami, Sanjay, and Aakash’s - residence for meditation and prayers.The prayer session was followed by a small birthday celebration for all July-born members and we wereall treated to a delicious brunch prepared by the family which was much enjoyed by everyone present. ---- Swati Kiran ANNOUNCEMENTS Darshan Day Sri Aurobindo’s 146th Birth Anniversary 15th AUGUST 2018 Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore 2A Starlight Road, #01-07 Singapore Evening Programme 7.00 pm (Centre Premises) Meditation with the Mother’s Organ Music Darshan Message from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry Performance by Youth Group Mahaprasad Printed and Published by The Sri Aurobindo Society of Singapore 2A Starlight Road 01-07, Singapore 217755.Saurab: 86559940 or [email protected]; Sanjay: 98750767 or [email protected]; Email: [email protected] Visit our website at: 11

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