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May 2019 Newsletter

Published by meenakshilovestalking, 2019-05-09 10:12:47

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May 2019 SRI AUROBINDO SOCIETY VOL 33.05 Singapore Permit No. MCI (P) 102/02/2018 NEWSLETTER Gratitude Ipomoea carnea It is you who open all the closed doors and allow the saving Grace to enter. Large white to pale pink extremely sheer funnelform flower with a lavender pink throat; borne singly; flowers close rapidly towards mid- day. A straggling shrub that blooms profusely most of the year. Grant, that we may never forget to own towards Thee a deep, an intense gratitude. Mother's Prayers and Meditation Oct 23, 1937

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. Guiding Light of the Month Thou art supreme Peace, unalloyed Joy, perfect Serenity. My whole being prostrates before Thee in a gratitude beyond measure and a ceaseless worship; and that worship goes up from my heart and my mind towards Thee like the pure smoke of incense of the perfumes of India. February 8, 1913 Prayers and Meditations, The Mother From the Editor’s Desk The theme for the May issue of our newsletter takes Divine for existence, for the Beauty of the Divine expressing on earth, for the perfect harmony of the on Gratitude, a human quality, attitude or movement workings of a greater Force beyond comprehension. In such a feeling of gratitude, the small self that is universally accepted as desirable and worth disappears and in this movement, there is a nurturing in the being. What we need to reflect on spontaneous joy and satisfaction. would be why it needs to be revoked in the being as a permanent inhabitant and how this process is assisted, considering both the conditions and environment of What does it take to be grateful, truly grateful? A the exterior as well as the interior. help that came unexpected and timely? A realisation In the English dictionaries, ‘Gratitude’ is generally simple and stark? The perception of pure beauty? described as a state of ‘thankfulness’ or ‘appreciation’. Being with innocence? Being in the midst of nature The first known use of ‘gratitude’ in English was in in abandonment? When feeling a sense of liberation? 1523. Gratutude is derived from the Medieval Latin, It is for one to find out. Let us bring to mind the gratitudo and from Latin, gratus. The Sanskrit moments of gratitude we have felt, or may not have equivalent of Gratitude is ‘ kRtajJA’. felt when the moment was due. Gratitude is a movement that can be invoked. In the Gratitude is not mere mental thankfulness expressed constant invocation, the being’s outer veils fall off with the word, ‘thanks’ that reaches out to the provider and one gets closer and closer to one’s true being. In of an acquisition one wanted, needed or that helped this moment, one’s wants are replaced by essential one in some way or for some satisfaction. It is more needs of existence and crosses the line into self- than that. Gratitude is a deep emotion that arises from gving. One begins to see the interconnectedness of the heart and brings one in proximity or in contact things; one realises the existence of a Presence above with a greater existence beyond the small person. The one’s small self that helps, guides, protects and fills Mother stresses that amongst all movements, the truest and surrounds one with Love. joy, unalloyed and pure, is that which one gets from this kind of Gratitude. The Mother says that “It is a When one’s internal self recognizes and reveres the very special vibration.” This kind of gratitude widens movement of gratitude, the external environment one, it is beyond the small person or the ego. vibrates with this movement. In the company of a grateful person, one immediately feels inclined to be So one now begins to understand that it is not of grateful; the movement of true gratitude is infectious. oneself, or for oneself that one feels the gratitude. Gratitude is never seen but felt. It is a humble Since this gratitude draws one out of the small ego, it movement that connects us immediately to our roots also has within its reaches the ability to connect one to and source and makes possible the unfolding into an one’s highest self. Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have integral being. It is in Gratitude that we approach and referred to Gratitude as an essential characteristic of reach out to the Divinity, that we are placed on the the Psychic Being that is eternally grateful to the golden path towards self-growth and mastery. 2 INNER GUIDE AND GURU

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. The Soul’s Choice and the Supreme Consummation On Nature’s luminous tops, on the Spirit’s ground, The superman shall reign as king of life, Make earth almost the mate and peer of heaven, And lead towards God and truth man’s ignorant heart And lift towards godhead his mortality. A power released from circumscribing bounds, Its height pushed up beyond death’s hungry reach, Life’s tops shall flame with the Immortal’s thoughts, Light shall invade the darkness of its base. 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 draw 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. Savitri, Sri Aurobindo 3 INNER GUIDE AND GURU

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. Questions & Answers This talk is based upon Mother’s essay “The Four Austerities and the Four Liberations”, Part I. Here you have said: “The avowed purpose of such [as- cetic] practices is to abolish all sensation so that the body may no longer stand in the way of one’s flight towards the Spirit.” In the old spiritual doctrines, the body was always considered incapable of being transformed and only as something inert and useless obstructing the path — the spirit had to be made to go out of its body so that, free, it could have all possible experiences. And so they ill-treated the body as much as they could to take away from it its vitality and strength, to keep it very quiet like something utterly useless. The physical consciousness was for them something to be done away with. That was it. I am speaking as they themselves spoke. I am putting myself in their place. Last time, in the text it was said: “They [those who have faith in a God, their God] belong to him integrally; all the events of their lives are an expression of the divine will and they accept them not merely with calm submission but with gratitude, for they are convinced that whatever happens to them is always for their own good.” What is the difference between a calm and a grateful submission? A calm and a grateful submission?... When you receive an order, you may carry it out with resignation because you have resolved to submit; so you carry out this order with- out any joy or pleasure, just very drily and superficially, and you tell yourself, “I was told to do this and I am do- ing it.” This means that you do not try to understand and make no effort to adhere willingly to what is asked. This is resigned submission. You accept your fate and if you do not complain it is because you have determined not to com- plain, it is because of this determination, otherwise you would complain. The other instance is of understanding why an order was given, of grasping its inner value and wanting to express what has been asked with all one’s strength, with the knowledge 4 INNER GUIDE AND GURU

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. and joy that it is something that’s bound to bring the Divine closer and give you full satisfaction. Then you are happy, you are satisfied and you collaborate. That makes quite a considerable difference. In a calm submission, doesn’t one feel happy? Usually one is very proud of oneself! One becomes vain, tells oneself that one is doing something remarkable. One doesn’t question, doesn’t try to understand: one obeys, and besides is resigned. One doesn’t even ask oneself if it is good or not: one is too superior! One is puffed up with pride. There are many people of this kind here. So it is not a true submission, is it? I think the other one is better. At least here one has the satisfac- tion of understanding why he does things; one does them with joy and feels strengthened through the very fact of doing them, while in the first instance one bends the head lower and lower and feels as though one were a poor victim of some despotic authority crushing one with its omnipotence. 17 March 1954 On Gratitude There is nothing that gives you a joy equal to that of gratitude. You hear a bird sing, you see a lovely flower, you look at a little child, observe an act of generosity, read a beautiful sentence, look at the setting sun, anything whatever: suddenly this comes upon you, this kind of emotion, so deep, so intense, that the world manifests the Divine that there is something behind the world which is the Divine. And yet, of all movements, the one that perhaps gives the most joy—an unalloyed joy, untainted by egoism - is spontaneous gratitude. It is something very special. It isn't love, it isn't self-giving. It is a very full joy. Very full. It is a very special vibration unlike anything other than itself. It is something that widens you, that fills you, that is so fervent! Of all the movements within the reach of human consciousness, it is certainly the one that draws you most out of your ego. . . .When you can enter this vibration in its purity, you realise immediately that it has the same quality as the vibration of Love: it is directionless. Ultimately, gratitude is only a very slightly coloured shade of the essential vibration of Love. - THE MOTHER 5 INNER GUIDE AND GURU

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. The Virtues (A tale for young and old) Once upon a time there was a splendid palace, in the heart of which lay a secret sanctuary, whose threshold no being had ever crossed. Furthermore, even its outer- most galleries were almost inaccessible to mortals, for the palace stood on a very high cloud, and very few, in any age, could find the way to it. It was the palace of Truth. One day a festival was held there, not for men but for very different beings, gods and goddesses great and small, who on earth are honoured by the name of Virtues. The vestibule of the palace was a great hall, where the walls, the floor, the ceiling, luminous in themselves, were resplendent with a myriad glittering fires. It was the Hall of Intelligence. Near to the ground, the light was very soft and had a beautiful deep sapphire hue, but it became gradually clearer towards the ceiling, from which gi- randoles of diamonds hung like chandeliers, their myriad facets shooting dazzling rays. The Virtues came separately, but soon formed congenial groups, full of joy to find themselves for once at least together, for they are usually so widely scattered throughout the world and the worlds, so isolated amid so many alien beings. Sincerity reigned over the festival. She was dressed in a transparent robe, like clear water, and held in her hand a cube of purest crystal, through which things can be seen as they really are, far different from what they usually seem, for there their image is reflected without distortion. Near to her, like two faithful guardians, stood Humility, at once respectful and proud, and Courage, lofty-browed, clear- eyed, his lips firm and smiling, with a calm and resolute air. 6 INNER GUIDE AND GURU

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. Close beside Courage, her hand in his, stood a woman, com- pletely veiled, of whom nothing could be seen but her searching eyes, shining through her veils. It was Prudence. Among them all, coming and going from one to another and yet seeming always to remain near to each one, Charity, at once vigilant and calm, active and yet discrete, left behind her as she passed through the groups a trail of soft white light. The light that she spreads and softens comes to her, through a radiance so subtle that it is invisible to most eyes, from her closest friend, her inseparable companion, her twin sister, Justice. And around Charity thronged a shining escort, Kindness, Patience, Gentleness, Solicitude, and many others. All of them are there, or so at least they think. But then suddenly, at the golden threshold, a newcomer appears. With great reluctance the guards, set to watch the gates, have agreed to admit her. Never before had they seen her, and there was nothing in her appearance to impress them. She was indeed very young and slight, and the white dress which she wore was very simple, almost poor. She takes a few steps forward with a shy, embarrassed air. Then, apparently ill at ease to find herself in such a large and brilliant company, she pauses, not knowing towards whom she should go. After a brief exchange with her companions, Prudence steps forward at their request and goes towards the stranger. Then, after clearing her throat, as people do when they are embar- rassed, to give herself a moment to reflect, she turns to her and says: “We who are gathered here and who all know each other by our names and our merits are surprised at your coming, for you appear to be a stranger to us, or at 7 INNER GUIDE AND GURU

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. least we do not seem to have ever seen you before. Would you be so kind as to tell us who you are?” Then the newcomer replied with a sigh: “Alas! I am not surprised that I appear to be a stranger in this palace, for I am so rarely invited anywhere. “My name is Gratitude.” The Works of Mother, Words of Long Ago, 1904 Two tales of Divine Gratitude Tale 1: The Mother met Sri Aurobindo for the first time on March 29, 1914. Following instructions given to her, she approached the house where Sri Aurobindo was living at 3.30 p.m. She asked a man in the street, “Where does Aurobindo Ghose live?” The man silently pointed to the door of the ‘Guest House’. The Mother ascertained this man’s name and address. Thereafter, every month for the rest of his life, she sent him a fixed amount of money through Kameshwar. Later he was also permitted to see them on Darshan days. She said that she took care of him out of gratitude because he had pointed out to her the residence of the Lord. Tale 2: A sadhika who used to sew and repair the Mother’s clothes was once asked to darn a handkerchief. She told Datta, the Mother’s companion, “This handkerchief has been darned so often that there is hardly any of the original material left.” Datta replied, “No matter. Once I told the Mother, ‘This handkerchief is too torn,’ and I put it to one side. ‘It has served me so long, so nicely, and now you are throwing it away!’ With these words the Mother jumped up from her chair, picked up the handkerchief and held it on her lap. Since then I never say anything.” - All India Magazine, June 2015 8 INNER GUIDE AND GURU

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. Thoughts on Gratitude by Sophia Curic “We should all be grateful for what we have.” said my mother. “Why?” I wondered aloud. “What should we be grateful for? I would be grateful if I had a huge car and loads and loads of money.” “You will see soon enough.” replied my mother tartly. As the day went on I kept wondering what we should be grateful for and why. Soon it was evening. My family decided to watch a movie that night. We watched ‘Taare Zameen Par’. It was about an autistic boy who could never fit in. Then I realized what I had to be grateful for. I should be grateful that I was not autistic, not blind, not deaf and not disabled in any way. I am grateful for all this and all of you should be grateful to. Luck by Meenakshi Veerappan You are who are because of Her. She is what you call “Luck”, You study for an exam, questions you study for are tested and you ace the exam – yes you put in the hard work, but you were indeed “lucky” to be tested on those questions You are walking down the wet road, you almost slipped, but “luckily” you managed to regain your balance You lose your wallet and a kind soul returns it to you, “lucky” you! 9 INNER GUIDE AND GURU

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. You aren’t lucky, She is constantly looking out for you and guiding you every step of the way – be grateful. Thank Her for even the smallest of things because it might have turned out very differently, if not for Her. Then you ask – “There were other times I was not so lucky, I fail my exam, I slip and fall, I lose my wallet…where was She then?” Be thankful for all those times you failed too – those become invaluable lessons which groom you if you take them in your stride. After all, wouldn’t life be boring without challenges and failures? If not for them, would you actually know what happiness feels like? And Mother has said, “The Best way to express one's gratitude to the Divine is to feel simply happy.” So, be grateful, for each and everything, for your life won’t be the same without Her. It’s all Her. * “Gratitude: A humble recognition of all that the Divine has done and is doing for you. Words Of The Mother, vol.14, p.162 ― The Mother * The spontaneous feeling of obligation to the Divine, which makes you do your best to become less unworthy of what the Divine is doing for you. Words of The Mother-II ― The Mother * 10 INNER GUIDE AND GUR

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. March - April Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse March 24th – Savitri Study Circle In this month's Savitri study circle we first read the last few passages of the last book of Savitri (Book 12 Epilogue) which corresponded to pics 10 to 13 of Huta's painting. Mr Ramadoss showed us a video on the pictures with the Mother herself reading out the passage. Mr Ramadoss said that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are still working for us and have not left the earth scene. He also said that the motto \"Enthusiastic Goodwill for Enduring Progress\" will lead us to come in contact with the supramental light which has descended on earth due to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. This light can be accessed anywhere and we should all benefit from this light and make our lives a delight and enjoyment. March 31st – Evolution Fast Forward Thanks to Jared, we watched part one of the three-part series of the videos entitled \"Evolution Fast-Forward\" . These series of videos are from the volunteers living in Pondicherry and Auroville who are part of a team called Sopanam. The part one is on \" The Vision and Work of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother\". The video was very well made using computer motion graphics which related Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's work and vision. Man is not the final species in the scheme of evolution. Man will evolve into superman. The west has embraced materialism denying the spirit while in India, the ascetics concentrated only on the spirit decrying materialism. There is a need to synthesise the spirit and matter through chit-shakti. Consciousness (chit) and Force (shakti) are two aspects of the divine which needs to be synthesised. April 7th – Evolution Fast Forward We watched the second video of the three-part series made by the Sopanam team from Auroville ( The videos are of high quality in computer graphics and it presents the ideas and processes involved in Integral yoga eventually leading to psychic, spiritual and supramental transformation. These videos will definitely benefit the beginner as well as the advance sadhaks who are in the golden path laid by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. April 14th - Savitri Study Circle In the Savitri study circle we discussed pictures 1 to 6 of Huta paintings on Book 1 Canto 2 (The Issue) of Savitri. Mr Ramadoss brought out the connections between the last book (Epilogue) and the first book (The book of Beginnings). He shared with us how Sri Aurobindo conveys the future of what Savitri is going to do in the events that will unfold in her journey and how she will confront the challenges. Savitri is sensitive to positive things from all directions and prepares herself. The message to us is that all challenges and difficulties present before us in daily life, opportunities to progress and evolve. We should rely on Savitri, the Mother who will carry us. - Ram 11 INNER GUIDE AND GUR

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. PROGRAMME FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2019 DATE TIME DETAILS 8 AM Monthly Morning Walk * 5 May 2019 Sunday 6 PM AIM Magazine Reading and Discussion 12 May 2019 6 PM Thematic Study Circle Part I : Sunday The Human Cycle 19 May 2019 6 PM Thematic Study Circle Part II : Sunday The Human Cycle 26 May 2019 4 PM Youth Programme Sunday 6 PM Savitri Circle * Please see below for details Date: May 2019 MORNING WALK – NO. 405 Time: Walk Venue: Sunday,5th May 2019 Meeting Point: 8:00 A.M. sharp for warm up exercise. East Coast Park Costa Del Sol Condominium (Besides Swimming pool) Contact No: Mr SN Venkat (9668 3658) 12 INNER GUIDE AND GUR

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. Hosts: Mr. Ashok Patel & Family, 68, Bayshore Road, # 19-04, Costa Del Sol, Singapore 469986. RSVP: HP 98380234 (Ashok), 96373274 (Bakthi); Email: [email protected] Note: All are encouraged to attend the Walk. Those, however, who are not able to join the Walk, the hosts would be very happy that they directly come and join in the brunch by 10:15 AM. Prayers and meditation will commence sharp at 10.30 A.M. All are requested to be punctual. PREVIEW OF FORTHCOMING SUNDAY MORNING WALKS WALK NO DATE PLACE HOST 406 02/6/19 East Coast Park Mr Anand Patel & Family 407 07/7/19 Bedok Reservoir Mr Sanjay Mehta & Family 408 04/08/19 Macrtichie Reservoir Mr K V Rao & Family Along the Way… April Walk Review (walk no 404) After many years, I made an effort to wake up early on a Sunday morning to join the walk at Botanic Gardens, and dragged my mother along too. While waiting for the rest, Krishnamoorthy uncle shared that he has been attending these walks for over 20 years now. It is indeed amazing to uphold this tradition for such a long time. After all, Mother stressed on the importance of physical education. After everyone had gathered, I looked around to realise that there were only adults, and made a mental note to myself that my generation has to start initiating such walks as well. For that to happen, we have to first join the walk every month instead of sleeping in. I told myself that it was high time that I attempted to join these walks regularly. The weather was perfect and we started off with stretching. While walking the path surrounded by lush green trees and plants, I had many insightful conversations about 13 INNER GUIDE AND GUR

Gratitude Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. May 2019. career paths, Artificial Intelligence and Design Thinking. Despite the fact that we were immersed in conversations, we noticed a very interesting tree with no branches. I felt like I was in the movie, Jurassic Park. We also chanced upon a “Rudraskha” tree and some of the adults excitedly picked up the rudrakshams to take home. The walk was followed by brunch at our Centre with a great turn out. Mr and Mrs Agarwal served us scrumptious food. It was a peaceful and positive morning. Kudos to those who have regularly been organising and attending these walks. And, looking forward to seeing more young adults for the monthly walks! J - - Meenakshi Veerappan Printed and Published by The Sri Aurobindo Society of Singapore 2A Starlight Road 01-07, Singapore 217755. Ramdoss: [email protected]; Sanjay: 98750767 or [email protected]; Email: [email protected] Visit our website at: 14 INNER GUIDE AND GUR

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