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December 2020 newsletter

Published by meenakshilovestalking, 2020-12-05 16:32:15

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December 2020 SRI AUROBINDO SOCIETY VOL 34.12 Singapore NEWSLETTER Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion Innumerable, ever present and effective in every instance. Portulaca grandiflora Rose moss, Sun plant, Eleven-o'clock Small single or double roselike flower with delicately frilled petals and a small central tuft of yellow stamens; borne singly in a wide range of colours. A low spreading annual or perennial groundcover. * He felt the beating life in other men Invade him with their happiness and their grief; Their love, their anger, their unspoken hopes Entered in currents or in pouring waves Into the immobile ocean of his calm. He heard the inspired sound of his own thoughts Re-echoed in the vault of other minds; The world's thought streams travelled into his ken; His inner self grew near to others' selves And bore a kinship's weight, a common tie, Yet stood untouched, king of itself, alone. Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. Guiding Light of the Month O Lord, how infinite is Thy compassion! Once more Thou hast taken me in Thy omnipotent arms and cradled me on Thy unfathomable heart, and Thy heart said to me, “Torment not thyself at all, be confident like a child: art thou not myself crystallised for my work?” December 26, 1916 Prayers and Meditations, The Mother From the Editor’s Desk This is the month of December and what comes to all our minds is the last significant event of the year in the Sri implore that we may never forget, Aurobindo circle and that is the master’s Mahasamadhi. even for a moment, all we owe to THEE.” Sri Aurobindo left the body consciously, according to accounts based on his departure from this world at the – The Mother physical plane. He attained Mahasamdhi on the 5th of December 1950, after 78 years of an eventful life here on These words sum The Mother’s regard for Sri earth, involved deeply into his sadhana and achieving for Aurobindo, almost reverence and in some sense the more the entire universe the unthinkable. Sometimes his we need to do with ourselves set upon this path. She spiritual achievements pass us by, in our ignorance, but knew what no one knew, in the most intimate sense. She we have a certain reverence for our Guru which awaits the knew who Sri Aurobindo was, what he was doing and moment of enlightenment into the significance of that he had achieved and bequeathed upon the world – the how and for what purpose. Therefore she implores for our understanding in this inscription, and makes known descent of the Supramental Light which is doing its work what was never evident on the surface; of the immense here, known only to itself the extent of its establishment, work He has done, not for himself, but for humanity and its influence and the more that is to come when a sufficient the greater intensity of gratitude that is due to him from number of us have undergone a transformation of the his unsuspecting brethren. This inscription is like a gross nature into our more subtler selves which can death-knell against the complacency of the human perceive the magnitude of this. The Mother says: “Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to announce the consciousness. Each time one reads this, one is shocked out of an inner sleep, and impelled to rekindle one’s inner manifestation of the supramental world and not merely flame and open to Sri Aurobindo for his magical, healing did he announce this manifestation but embodied also in and awakening touch upon the soul. part the supramental force and showed by example what one must do to prepare oneself for manifesting it.” This was his compassion of the highest order. Not what Being his spiritual collaborator, the Mother alone knew my hungry vital looks for but far greater than that; not the extent of the work he has done across aeons. She what my groping intelligence seeks after but far, far writes these immortal words which are inscribed on the above all that and not what my body craves after, but far superior for the body’s sense. The Mother has referred to samadhi: Portula grandiflora as Sri Aurobindo’s compassion and “To THEE who hast been the material envelope of our gives it the following significance: Master, Innumerable, ever present and effective in every to THEE our infinite gratitude. Before THEE who hast instance. done so much for us, Steeped in simplicity, yet profound and true. Shall we who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured not avail to ourselves this Grace of Sri Aurobindo’s. so much, THEE who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, The Newsletter team takes this opportunity to extend its achieved all for us,before THEE we bow down and aspiration for a beautiful 2021 for everyone’s progress. 2 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. Savitri Thus came his soul’s release from Ignorance, His mind and body’s first spiritual change. A wide God-knowledge poured down from above, A new world-knowledge broadened from within: His daily thoughts looked up to the True and One, His commonest doings welled from an inner Light. Awakened to the lines that Nature hides, Attuned to her movements that exceed our ken, He grew one with a covert universe. His grasp surprised her mightiest energies’ springs; He spoke with the unknown Guardians of the worlds, Forms he descried our mortal eyes see not. His wide eyes bodied viewless entities, He saw the cosmic forces at their work And felt the occult impulse behind man’s will. Time’s secrets were to him an oft-read book; The records of the future and the past Outlined their excerpts on the etheric page. One and harmonious by the Maker’s skill, The human in him paced with the divine; His acts betrayed not the interior flame. This forged the greatness of his front to earth. A genius heightened in his body’s cells That knew the meaning of his fate-hedged works Akin to the march of unaccomplished Powers Beyond life’s arc in spirit’s immensities. Apart he lived in his mind’s solitude, A demigod shaping the lives of men: One soul’s ambition lifted up the race; A Power worked, but none knew whence it came. The universal strengths were linked with his; Filling earth’s smallness with their boundless breadths, He drew the energies that transmute an age. Sri Aurobindo Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion 3

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. Questions & Answers Why is the flower symbolising your compassion so delicate and why does it wither away so soon? No, the compassion does not wither with its symbol—flowers are the moment’s representations of things that are in themselves eternal. (Letters on Himself and the Ashram, Sri Aurobindo) Quotes on Sri Aurobindo’s compassion The truth of Sri Aurobindo is a truth of love and light and mercy. He is good, great, compassionate and divine. And it is he who will have the final victory. The Mother I always saw him with a perfectly peaceful and smiling face, and above all the dominant expression was one of compassion. That was what stood out in his appearance. An expression of compassion so ... so peaceful, so tranquil, oh, magnificent. The Mother The Mother following Sri Aurobindo’s Passing Lord, this morning Thou hast given me the assurance that Thou wouldst stay with us until Thy work is achieved, not only as a consciousness which guides and illumines but also as a dynamic Presence in action. In unmistakable terms Thou hast promised that all of Thyself would remain here and not leave the earth atmosphere until earth is transformed. Grant that we may be worthy of this marvellous Presence and that henceforth everything in us be concentrated on the one will to be more and more perfectly consecrated to the fulfilment of Thy sublime Work. December 1950 * The lack of receptivity of the earth and men is mostly responsible for the decision Sri Aurobindo has taken regarding his body. But one thing is certain: what has happened on the physical plane affects in no way the truth of his teaching. All that he has said is perfectly true and remains so. Time and the course of events will prove it abundantly. December 1950 * To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee. 9 December 1950 4 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. * To grieve is an insult to Sri Aurobindo who is here with us, conscious and alive. 14 December 1950 * We must not be bewildered by appearances. Sri Aurobindo has not left us. Sri Aurobindo is here, as living and as present as ever and it is left to us to realise his work with all the sincerity, eagerness and concentration necessary. 15 December 1950 * I was painfully shocked when I heard the translation of the leaflet you are distributing here in the Ashram. I never imagined you could have such a complete lack of understanding, respect and devotion for our Lord who has sacrificed himself totally for us. Sri Aurobindo was not crippled; a few hours before he left his body he rose from his bed and sat for a long time in his armchair, speaking freely to all those around him. Sri Aurobindo was not compelled to leave his body, he chose to do so for reasons so sublime that they are beyond the reach of human mentality. And when one cannot understand, the only thing to do is to keep a respectful silence. 26 December 1950 * People do not know what a tremendous sacrifice Sri Aurobindo has made for the world. About a year ago, while I was discussing things, I remarked that I felt like leaving this body of mine. He spoke out in a very firm tone, “No, this can never be. If necessary for this transformation, I might go, you will have to fulfil our Yoga of supramental descent and transformation.” 1950 * Lord, we are upon earth to accomplish Thy work of transformation. It is our sole will, our sole preoccupation. Grant that it may be also our sole occupation and that all our actions may help us towards this single goal. 1 January 1951 * We stand in the Presence of Him who has sacrificed his physical life in order to help more fully his work of transformation. He is always with us, aware of what we are doing, of all our thoughts, of all our feelings and all our actions. 18 January 1951 5 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. * When I asked Him (December 8, 1950) to resuscitate his body, He clearly answered: “I have left this body purposely. I will not take it back. I shall manifest again in the first supramental body built in the supramental way.” 11 April 1952 * Sri Aurobindo has given up his body in an act of supreme unselfishness, renouncing the realisation in his own body to hasten the hour of the collective realisation. Surely if the earth were more responsive, this would not have been necessary. 12 April 1953 (Words of the Mother, Collected Works of the Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, 1980, Vol. 13, pp. 6-9) The Mother on Sri Aurobindo Since the beginning of earth history, Sri Aurobindo has always presided over the great earthly transformations, under one form or another, one name or another. Sri Aurobindo is an emanation of the Supreme who came on earth to announce the manifestation of a new race and a new world: the Supramental. Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to announce the manifestation of the supramental world and not merely did he announce this manifestation but embodied also in part the supramental force and showed by example what one must do to prepare oneself for manifesting it. The best homage we can pay to Sri Aurobindo is to prepare for the advent of the Supramental race. Sri Aurobindo’s work is a unique earth transformation. Sri Aurobindo is constantly among us and reveals himself to those who are ready to see and hear him. ... there is a special personal tie .. between all who have turned to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and myself, - and, it is well understood, distance does not count here, you may be in France, you may be at the other end of the world or in Pondicherry, this tie is always true and living. 6 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. A Poem by Seema Love You, Sri Aurobindo Read You, And a smile of golden charm fills the heart. See You, And a Peace of glorious calm it brings inside. Life feels answered with You. Seema Manuja The Nature of Divine Compassion When Arjuna expresses his dejection in the form of compassion for the friends, family, teachers, and other respected members of society who were going to die in the course of the battle, the divine Teacher rejected this reaction as weakness and as unbecoming one of the leading protagonists of the time. At the same time, he redefined the concept of compassion in a truer sense. Sri Aurobindo describes this: “This compassion observes with an eye of love and wisdom and calm strength the battle and the struggle, the strength and weakness of man, his virtues and sins, his joy and suffering, his knowledge and his ignorance, his wisdom and his folly, his aspiration and his failure and it enters into it all to help and to heal. In the saint and philanthropist, it may cast itself into the mould of a plenitude of love or charity; in the thinker and hero it assumes the largeness and the force of a helpful wisdom and strength. It is this compassion in the Aryan fighter, the soul of his chivalry, which will not break the bruised reed, but helps and protects the weak and the oppressed and the wounded and the fallen. But it is also the divine compassion that smites down the strong tyrant and the confident oppressor, not in wrath and with hatred,–for these are not the high divine qualities, the wrath of God against the sinner, God’s hatred of the wicked are the fables of half-enlightened creeds, as much a fable as the eternal torture of the Hells they have invented,–but, as the old Indian spirituality clearly saw, with as much love and compassion for the strong Titan erring by his strength and slain for his sins as for the sufferer and the oppressed who have to be saved from his violence and injustice.” This is clearly not what we ordinarily consider to be the nature of compassion. It represents a spiritual rather than a religious-moral-ethical force uplifting the nature beyond the limitations of our human mind and emotions. (Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 7, The Creed of the Aryan Fighter) Sri Aurobindo One important development during 1923 was the regular coming together of some of the inmates and other disciples in Sri Aurobindo’s presence facilitating a free exchange of views on almost all matters, from the most trivial to the most profound. Even earlier ever since his coming to Pondicherry, many an evening, friends like Subramania Bharati and Mandayam Srinivasachariar used to meet Sri Aurobindo and have talks with him. Such evening talks had continued in the upstairs veranda of the Guest house, and the Richards too had participated in them. After September 1922, the venue of the talks shifted to the 7 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. upstairs veranda of the Library house. The mornings, usually between 9 and 11, after breakfast, were reserved for special interviews with the visitors, including intending disciples or old friends from the political period; but in the evenings there was meditation at 4, and after 4.30 or 5, there was relaxation, some more joined, and in the talks that ensued the whole world from “China to Peru”, from village uplift to Dattatreya Yoga, and from Einstein’s Relativity Theory to the painstaking intelligence of the spider, was surveyed with easy freedom and assurance. At this period of his life (1920 - 26), Sri Aurobindo’s place of residence wasn’t known as an Ashram; actually he didn’t like the word, for it seemed to convey (however erroneously) the idea of asceticism and flight from life. Mirra too was but a sadhika, a practitioner of the Yoga. The inmates were never a fixed number, but there was a continuing (as also growing) nucleus. There were in all about 12 in 1922-23, which rose to 15 or more next year. The morning interviews, the evening meditation followed by the talks, the nearness of the disciples to one another and also to Sri Aurobindo, all inducted the practice of gurukulavasa, living with the Teacher, and generated its distinctive atmosphere. In an attempt to recapture the moment, the mood and movement of the Evening Talks, Purani writes: There was no doubt that the flower of Divinity has blossomed in him; and disciples, like bees seeking honey, came to him. It was no exaggeration to say that these Evening-Talks were to the small company of disciples what the Aranyakas were to the ancient seekers. Seeking the Light, they came to the dwelling place of their Guru...and found their spiritual home - the home of the parents, for the Mother, his companion in the great mission, had come. And the spiritual parents bestowed upon the disciples freely of their Light, their consciousness, their power and their grace.” The disciples would be gathered first, and the minutes would pass in tense expectancy. Then Sri Aurobindo’s soft footsteps will be heard and he would be there: He came dressed as usual in Dhoti, part of which was used by him to cover the upper part of his body...At times for minutes he be gazing at the sky from a small opening at the top of the grass-curtains that covered the veranda...How much were these sittings dependent on him may be gathered from the fact that there were days when more than three-fourths of the time passed in complete silence without any outer suggestion from him, or that was only an abrupt “Yes” or “No” to all attempt at drawing him out in conversation. Mirra herself seems to have participated in the talks but seldom, and indeed only on sundry occasions to have been present; but her unpredictable entrances and exits had the impact too. And the invisible Presence had also a significance of its own. Once Sri Aurobindo referred to the cures effected through the still- sitting meditation by Dr. Kobayashi whom Mirra had known in Kyoto. On another occasion Sri Aurobindo said that one of Mirra’s lady friends have been cured by the psychic power concentrated in the place like the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Or there was a reference to Mirra asking a workman why he drank, and being told that drinking gave him thoughts that he could never get when sober! And once Sri Aurobindo cited a conversation in which Mirra had corroborated his view - which is also the view of our palmists, samudriks - that the rekhas or lines on our palm do change.” Sri Aurobindo also once mentioned experiment in which Mirra willed that there are certain things that should make a particular sound half an hour later, and it happened exactly as she had willed. She hadn’t created the force, for it was there already; she had but concentrated and engineered the necessary atmosphere which then became the conductor of that force. Thus, although not physically present, there was a presence there all the same. (Sri Aurobindo, K.R Srinivasa Iyengar) Guidance from Sri Aurobindo’s Books 8 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. Each element of a whole potentially contains what is in the whole ... Sri Aurobindo represented a totality of comprehension and knowledge and power; and every one of his books is at once a symbol and a representation. Every one of his books contains symbolically, potentially, what is in him. Therefore, if you concentrate on the book, you can, through the book, go back to the source. And even, by passing through the book, you will be able to receive much more than what is just in the book. If you have an inner problem and want the solution, you concentrate on this problem; if you want to know the condition you are in, which you are not aware of - if you want to get some light on the state you are in, you just come forward with simplicity and ask for the light. Or else, quite simply, if you are curious to know what the invisible knowledge has to tell you, you remain silent and still for a moment and then open a book. I always used to recommend taking a paper-knife, because it is thinner; while you are concentrated you insert it in the book and with the tip indicate something. Then, if you know how to concentrate, that is to say, if you really do it with an aspiration to have an answer, it always comes. The Mother Their Deep Compassion You ask me how my contact with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother started and when. Well, it is difficult to fix it. All that I would say is that when I was a small boy I remember standing as a volunteer witnessing a procession in Surat of Sri Aurobindo and the other national leaders of that time. Later as a student in the college I had occasions to read the Master’s books like Yoga and its Objects, Yogic Sadhan, Isha Upanishad, etc. My cousin (who later became Advaitananda) was a regular subscriber to the Arya and held Sri Aurobindo in very great regard; he introduced me to the writings of Sri Aurobindo. I was deeply interested in the deeper side of life from my very childhood. What I read in this literature strengthened my aspiration and filled me with happiness. It was while going through the Yoga and its Objects that one day I saw a golden sun rushing at me and pulling me out through the forehead centre. It was the first of such experiences that started during this period. The Arya volumes came to me in an interesting way. I was once travelling in a local train and had the Essays on the Gita in my hand. Seated opposite to me was a Maharashtrian lawyer who queried what book I was reading. On coming to know that it was Sri Aurobindo’s work on the Gita he said that at one time he had been interested in the Arya and had in his possession the whole set excepting some five numbers. He offered to send the volumes to me as he was no longer so much interested in them and had taken to a study of Tukaram his works being more simple, less complicated, suited to his taste. And he kept his word. Later when I came to Pondicherry the Mother gave me the missing numbers and helped to make the Arya set complete. About nine months after the experience of the golden sun, I was lying quietly one night. Suddenly I became conscious of something bright and luminous in the form of a serpent with jewels studded on it, lifting and moving its head upward. Word came to me (which I heard distinctly )saying, “It is death.” I said “All right” and immediately I found myself above and outside the body, but not in my subtle body. I was conscious of myself as an entity of white light in the form of an egg or a lingam; I was conscious of the night around me and the stars above. A little later I came down into the body with a thud. From then on the feeling that I am not the body has been always with me, even if not always on the surface. It was in 1922 or 1923 that I met my first guru. He was a householder living a simple life and I had been to him along with a few friends. I remember that when I bowed to him and he patted my back there was a deep flow of peace and joy through his fingers. When I looked at him he said something cryptic in Gujarati which I can only roughly render as “maintain the Love.” Subsequently I sought initiation from 9 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. him which he was pleased to grant. At that time he asked me to see the guru in everything. He also added that both the guru and the disciple are in the same boat that is being piloted by the Sadguru, the Lord. The same night I had a thrilling experience and it was this. I saw the guru coming towards me in his subtle body. He entered straight into my heart and described a circle with a small wand which he had in his hand and light flooded my heart accompanied by a sense of purity and joy. I had many meetings with him but this is not the place to speak of those details. Suffice it to say that he clearly told me that sanyas was not for me and so I went back to my college for the studies that had been interrupted by my impulsive turn to spiritual life. The next memorable meeting with the guru was in 1928 in a dream. As he was coming, I heard the words: “He is coming to bid you goodbye. This is the severance of the link.” He sat down and I laid my head on his lap and wept and wept. I should have mentioned that he had passed away two years earlier, i.e. in 1926. And though the link was snapped in 1928 this way, I had occasion to have his darshan again in 1932 when I had gone to his place at Godhra, where I met his niece for the first time though I had heard about her earlier, as specially devoted to him and who had received the most from him. I had not long to wait for confirmation of her status. For, in the evening when we were sitting in the courtyard below a neem tree and she was singing a bhajan in that half-lit place, I saw his beloved self behind her with a curtain of white light in between. I rubbed my eyes and made sure he was there. I have not seen him thereafter. * Sometime in 1928 there was an interesting experience. I saw vividly a personage dressed as a Rajput coming towards me on a phaeton drawn by two white horses. He told me, thrice, “surrender to the Mahamaya.” One night, in a vision, I saw the Divine Mother standing in front of me about twelve feet above the ground. But I did not see her full figure, I saw only her dark blue legs up to the knees. She had worn golden anklets and the soles of her feet were lotus red. I saw a silk cloth descending from her right side, — the kind of cloth she wears in traditional worship. At the instance of certain friends I applied for permission to Sri Aurobindo for the Darshan of November 24, 1932, but the reply I received from the Secretary was to the effect that permission could not be granted as the November Darshan was meant only for disciples. Thereafter I did not think further of the matter and proceeded to Bombay to rejoin my work at the college. There were, however, one or two striking vision-experiences which revealed their meaning to me later. The first was the vision of two feet with golden anklets. While seeing them I had the distinct feeling that they were the Mother’s feet. The second experience came to me in response to a telegram I had sent to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother conveying some good sentiments after I was refused permission for Darshan in November, 1932. I saw a marble staircase rising in front of me up to 8 or 10 steps then taking a turn to my right then turning again arising straight up into infinity. I saw a lady swiftly descending from its invisible top and coming and stepping in front of me at the first bend. She opened out her arms wide. Her face was European and her dress of the Greek type. It was difficult to judge her age, but no doubt she was young. This scene has remained stamped on my consciousness even four decades after. It was in 1934 November that a friend wrote to Sri Aurobindo asking him whether I could come for the November Darshan that year and the request was immediately granted and I came for Darshan. On the 3rd or 4th day of my stay here, as I was lying down at night I had a peculiar experience. It was as if someone was drilling a hole in my head. In a spiral of light I saw a little figure entering through my head, 10 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. entering into the heart and stopping there in the heart. Immediately I recognised the figure to be the same lady with a European face that I had seen two years earlier. During that visit everytime I approached the Mother for Pranam I experienced a strong impulse to give and give. If I had a gold button on my shirt I would take it out and place it at her feet. If there were a few coins in my pocket I would do the same thing. I could not resist the push. * You ask what was my experience at Darshan of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The moment I had sight of him from a distance, there was a surge of emotion and I strongly felt that I had known him for ages. There was such a joy that I could not contain myself and I embraced the man who was in front of me. When my turn came, Sri Aurobindo looked at the Mother and Mother looked at Sri Aurobindo and he nodded. Before going back I met the Mother. She asked a few questions about myself and then asked “Will you come here?” “Yes, Mother” was my answer. And it was not long before I was back. * Once while speaking of some of my difficulties, I had asked Mother if she saw any possibility in me. “Yes, even exceptional possibilities”, Mother replied and added: “would I have called you otherwise? There has been a descent of the Divine Will in you.” I do not need to speak here of the various visions — some of them prophetic, some symbolic — that I had during my stay here after I came finally February 1935; nor is it necessary to speak of the experience of the vast infinite that was given within a few years of my coming. The particular experience was this: A vast golden light with white masses in it descended and touched the crown of my head, then receded. At that moment of contact I became aware of its quality of peace, joy and freedom — each particle dancing with joy. As a result, perhaps, soon afterwards I saw the heart lotus standing upright with some petals fully open. And then in a total stillness of the outer being I saw and felt the cool presence of a brilliant white flame, the size of a man’s thumb deep within the cave of the heart. This repeated itself for two or three days. I wouldn’t say, with you, that I have arrived. Far from it, very far still. But the Grace of the Beloved Two has given me a feeling of certitude that my feet have touched the path that leads to Truth. And I hope and trust that my spiritual future, as that of the race, is safe, quite safe, in the hands of the Well-Beloved whose love and compassion know no bounds and whose will has the sanction of the Supreme. You may, if you like, see some of these letters from the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. They will give you an idea of their deep compassion, love and grace which have been vouchsafed to me in abundance. And I am no exception. (Satyendra Thakore, their_deep_compassion_e.htm) October - November Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse 11 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. November 1, 2020 – “The Vedic Vision in the light of Sri Aurobindo and it’s significance for the Future of Humanity.” By Prof. Vladimir Yatsenko This online presentation between 8 to 9.30pm by Prof. Yatsenko was much anticipated. It included a 40- minute presentation followed by a Question and Answer session of about 45 minutes. He touched on Agni as the Consciousness-Force inherent in Matter and the Evolution of Consciousness with reference to ‘The Secret of the Veda’ and the discovery of the intrinsic Divinity within by Angiras Rishis. November 8, 2020 – Readings from ‘Synthesis of Yoga’ by Sri Aurobindo During this session we continued with our contemplation on Chapter 3, Self-Surrender in Works – The Way of The Gita, pg. 83-84 (Deluxe version) on the paragraph beginning, “Our purpose in Yoga is to exile the limited outward-looking ego…” We began with a short sharing by a few members on what this ego meant to them in the day to. Day life and one or two candidly shared the workings of ego in their own lives. We also moved on to express a few words on what it would mean by “…enthrone God in its place as the ruling Inhabitant of the nature.” We were more keen to recognise moments and spaces where there was a presence felt within which brought us into spaces of a deeper calm, silence, even joy. Of course, to be anywhere in that space and frequently too, will mean all of unconditional and ceaseless effort, a mission upon which we are all getting ready to mount on. More and more wholly. However, we are told further on in the passage that the transformation must come in the lives we live while staying with that life. An answer there is that follows by way of an unimposing, decisive directive: “The unsatisfying surface play of our feeble egoistic emotions must be ousted and there must be revealed instead a secret deep and vast psychic heart within that waits behind them for its hour; all our feelings, impelled by this inner heart in which dwells the Divine, will be transmuted into calm and intense movements of a twin passion of divine Love and manifold Ananda.” November 15, 2020 – Exploring the ‘Secret of the Vedas’ These were the verses taken up for unravelling and the details of the analysis follow: su̱ rū̱ pa̱ kṛ̱ tnumū̱ taye̍ su̱ dughā̍ miva go̱ duhe̍ | ju̱ hū̱ masi̱ dyavi̍ dyavi || 1.004.01 upa̍ na̱ ḥ sava̱ nā ga̍ hi̱ soma̍ sya somapāḥ piba | go̱ dā idre̱ vato̱ mada̍ ḥ || 1.004.02 The fashioner of perfect forms, like a good yielder for the milker of the Herds, we call for increase from day to day. Come to our Soma-offerings. O Soma-drinker, drink of the Soma-wine; the intoxication of thy rapture gives indeed the Light. su̱ rū̱ pa̱ (perfect forms) kṛ̱ tnum(fashioner of) ū̱ taye̍ (for increase) su̱ dughā̍ miva (like a good milk yielded) go̱ duhe̍ (cow Milker) ju̱ hū̱ masi̱ (we call) dyavi̍ dyavi (day by day) || 1.004.01 upa̍ (near ) na̱ ḥ sava̱ nā (soma offerings) ga̍ hi̱ (come near) soma̍ sya (soma) somapāḥ piba (drinker) | November 17, 2020 – The Mother’s Mahasamadhi 12 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. We gathered online to remember Mother and what she means to us, in our individual and collective lives. We started with 5 minutes of concentration with Mother’s organ music. We caught a few minutes of a rare video taken during her Mahasamadhi on 17th November 1973 as well as some footage taken on 20th November 1973 when Mother’s body was laid to rest in the Samadhi in Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. We had about 15 minutes of silent concentration and concluded the commemoration with The Mother’s organ music. November 22, 2020 – Meditations on Savitri with Huta Paintings We continued with Book 1, Canto 5 “The Yoga of the Spirit’s Freedom and Greatness”. After summarizing our earlier adventure with the Pic. 17 and Pic. 18, we meditated on Pictures 1, 2 and 3. Our focus was on the unique speciality of Integral Yoga that Sri Aurobindo as Aswapati discovers for the first time among the time born men. “The Wings of Glory” too caught our attention, helping us to briefly explore the usage of ‘Wings of” and “Wing Strong, Wing Broken” in the Savitri Poem. “Luminous Marginal Notes” also was revealing in two significant ways:  Emphasizing the need for our receptivity to Mother’s Wisdom (by surrendering the reliance on our own faculties) and  Highlighting the opportunity we have, to add to the Dynamic Divine Delight in our own unique ways November 24, 2020 – Siddhi Day. A Talk By Prof. Yatsenko Vladimir on “Swadharma and Swabhava – A Spiritual Approach to Life in the Gita and Integral Yoga”. On this Day, members of the society were graced with, between 8 to 9.30pm, Prof. ValdimirYatsenko’s exposition on The Gita with a Question and Answers session. He spoke of the Gita’s influence on Sri Aurobindo and The Mother on the conceptualisation of Integral Yoga. He elaborated on the relevance of the triple path Will, Love and Knowledge in today’s life. “The teaching of the Gita is the teaching for life, and not a teaching for the life of a closet. It is a teaching which means perfection of action. It makes man great. It gives him the utter strength, the utter bliss which is the goal of life in the world.” Sri Aurobindo November, 2020 – ‘On Human Unity’ by Jared This being a 5th Sunday, we had an unusual sharing by Jared which kindled a lot of interest and awe, to be even if remotely, made privy to some of Sri Aurobindo’s lofty revelations about the future of humanity, as it evolves in its consciousness. Jared spoke about the trajectory made into the future by even the greatest of minds as linear whereas, what Sri Aurobindo predicted even then, was, in Jared’s words, “ not a linear progression that indicates our future most clearly – but an extraordinary bending of the curve that will take humanity to unforeseen horizons. He predicts the holistic transformation of the human organism by the divine Spirit leading to a creation of a renewed humanity co-existing with a new ‘superhuman’ species (the ‘supramental being’). This, in turn, will culminate in the complete reign of God in individuals, in society and the world.” This was the nature of Jared’s talk which left all of us to plunge into a self-search of sorts on “where do humanity and. I stand in this?” PROGRAMME FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2020 13 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

Sri Aurobindo’s compassion Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. December 2020. DATE TIME DETAILS 8 AM Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Leaving His Body 5 Dec 2020 Saturday 6 PM Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Leaving His Body 6 Dec 2020 9 AM Monthly Morning Walk* Sunday 7 PM AIM Magazine Reading and Discussion 13 Dec 2020 6 PM Thematic Study Circle by Rakesh : Sunday The Synthesis of Yoga 20 Dec 2020 6 PM Thematic Study Circle by Rakesh : Sunday The Synthesis of Yoga 27 Dec 2020 4 PM Youth Programme Sunday 6 PM Savitri Circle by Mr. Ramadoss 1 Jan 2021 10 AM New Year’s Day Meditation Friday * NOTE: In view of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, please note the following: 1) There will be a collective meditation, but the brunch and the walk is cancelled 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: 14 Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion

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