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Aug 2020 Newsletter

Published by meenakshilovestalking, 2020-08-01 23:20:08

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August 2020 SRI AUROBINDO SOCIETY VOL 34.08 Singapore NEWSLETTER Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Seeking for Support only in the Divine The Divine is the only support that never fails. Solanum seaforthianum St. Vincent lilac, Glycine, Italian jasmine Delicate pendulous clusters of small light lavender star-shaped flowers with yellow anthers, accompanied by lavender buds. A slender long-flowering vine with deeply cut leaves and ornamental clusters of round shiny green berrylike fruits that turn orange to bright red when mature. The little ego’s ring could join no more; In the enormous spaces of the self The body now seemed only a wandering shell, His mind the many-frescoed outer court Of an imperishable Inhabitant: His spirit breathed a superhuman air. Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. Guiding Light of the Month A“ FEW minutes passed in silence before Thee are worth centuries of felicity. . . . Grant, O Lord, that all shadows may be dispelled and that I may be more and more Thy faithful servant in constancy and serenity. Before Thee may my heart be pure as a pure crystal, so that wholly it may reflect Thee. Oh! the sweetness of abiding in silence before Thee.... ” November 22, 1914 Prayers and Meditations, The Mother From the Editor’s Desk Once again August is here. August means Sri The following lines are iconic, for us to plunge into Aurobindo’s birthday and a momentous another consciousness and swim awhile in the vast opportunity for one to be with the highest as we are blue waters of wisdom, placing here the context of handed that searchlight which “stabs the Night’s the theme we have chosen for this issue, which is Sri blind breast” baring it all and the revival of a Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air: promise. We plunge ourselves again into what we fathom of Sri Aurobindo’s vision for the race we call The little ego’s ring could join no more; mankind and the purpose of his advent in the course In the enormous spaces of the self of evolution under the stars. So now, for this issue of The body now seemed only a wandering shell, our newsletter, we “plunge” our “gaze into eyes that His mind the many-frescoed outer court look upon eternity” and celebrate the birth of this Of an imperishable Inhabitant: icon of a being and all that he means to terrestrial His spirit breathed a superhuman air. existence, and to start with, in our own lives as we These lines seem like a self-portrait painted with words, grapple with the challenges that nature poses. a little disclosure from the master’s pen of his own However, it is said, “As long as Nature lasts, he too is there, For this is sure, that he and she are one.” journey in his quest for the ultimate or rather, a near While we tend to put on separative eyes as our mind ultimate, for he never conceded to an ultimate but always presented before us the scope to soar, without dissects existence into this and that, into Him and limit, higher and ever higher. Besides reflecting on his Her, into the Spirit and Nature, this line’s aphorismic own journey, these lines, true to his spirit, also throw magnitude somehow hits us. It is one thing lights on our path as we trudge along or fly abroad in accepting the statement as true and moving on our own quest for the life divine given all that nature blindly in faith, thrown on the ocean of life’s presents. The ultimate challenge for us, is to perhaps be currents and being carried ashore by guiding hands able to see Him in everything, really see as we see the and perhaps a needed movement too for some time sea before us or feel him as a pinch or a stroke on the and another to consciously seek the truth behind the arms. He does write of this challenge thus: statement, aspiring to live in its shining light. Already in him was seen that task of Power: In this issue, we make an attempt to understand Sri Life made its home on the high tops of self; Aurobindo for who he actually was through the eyes His soul, mind, heart became a single sun; of one who lived close to him and especially through Only life’s lower reaches remained dim. his own voluminous works and The Mother’s clear Therein is also a suggestion that this evolutionary life is sighted view of He whom she revered as The Master. work in progress and a promise and certainty that there too Light will stream in for the needed transmutation. 2 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. Savitri 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. Savitri, Sri Aurobindo 3 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. Sri Aurobindo’s Teachings “Man is a transitional being. He is not final. The step from man to superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth’s evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner spirit and the logic of Nature’s process.” (Sri Aurobindo, The Divine Plan) * “I swore that I would not suffer from the world’s grief and the world’s stupidity and cruelty and injustice and I made my heart as hard in endurance as the nether millstone and my mind as a polished surface of steel. I no longer suffered, but enjoyment had passed away from me.” (Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine and Human) * “My love is not a hunger of the heart, My love is not a craving of the flesh; It came to me from God, to God returns.” (Sri Aurobindo, The Divine Plan) Sri Aurobindo's advanced world vision, the backbone of Auroville, takes one up in wider areas of self, of life, of other. The spiritual path - or sadhana - as developed by him, works with a combination of a voluntarily adopted psychological discipline and various yogic practices. Already a century ago he declared \"All life is Yoga\". The text here below was written by Sri Aurobindo himself, in 1934. Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Sadhana The teaching of Sri Aurobindo starts from that of the ancient sages of India that behind the appearances of the universe there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal. All beings are united in that One Self and Spirit but divided by a certain separativity of consciousness, an ignorance of their true Self and Reality in the mind, life and body. It is possible by a certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the Divinity within us and all. The teaching of Sri Aurobindo starts from that of the ancient sages of India that behind the appearances of the universe there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal. All beings are united in that One Self and Spirit but divided by a certain separativity of consciousness, an ignorance of their true Self and Reality in the mind, life and body. It is possible by a certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the Divinity within us and all. Sri Aurobindo's teaching states that this One Being and Consciousness is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the method by which it liberates itself; consciousness appears in what seems to be inconscient, and once having appeared is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Supermind 4 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection. But while the former steps in evolution were taken by Nature without a conscious will in the plant and animal life, in man Nature becomes able to evolve by a conscious will in the instrument. It is not, however, by the mental will in man that this can be wholly done, for the mind goes only to a certain point and after that can only move in a circle. A conversion has to be made, a turning of the consciousness by which mind has to change into the higher principle. This method is to be found through the ancient psychological discipline and practice of Yoga. In the past, it has been attempted by a drawing away from the world and a disappearance into the height of the Self or Spirit. Sri Aurobindo teaches that a descent of the higher principle is possible which will not merely release the spiritual Self out of the world, but release it in the world, replace the mind's ignorance or its very limited knowledge by a supramental Truth-Consciousness which will be a sufficient instrument of the inner Self and make it possible for the human being to find Avatar – The Supreme manifest on himself dynamically as well as inwardly and grow out of his still animal humanity into a diviner race. The psychological earth in a body. The red Lotus is Sri discipline of Yoga can be used to that end by opening all the Aurobindo’s flower parts of the being to a conversion or transformation through the descent and working of the higher still concealed supramental principle. This, however, cannot be done at once or in a short time or by any rapid or miraculous transformation. Many steps have to be taken by the seeker before the supramental descent is possible. Man lives mostly in his surface mind, life and body, but there is an inner being within him with greater possibilities to which he has to awake - for it is only a very restricted influence from it that he receives now and that pushes him to a constant pursuit of a greater beauty, harmony, power and knowledge. The first process of Yoga is therefore to open the ranges of this inner being and to live from there outward, governing his outward life by an inner light and force. In doing so he discovers in himself his true soul which is not this outer mixture of mental, vital and physical elements but something of the Reality behind them, a spark from the one Divine Fire. He has to learn to live in his soul and purify and orientate by its drive towards the Truth the rest of the nature. There can follow afterwards an opening upward and descent of a higher principle of the Being. But even then it is not at once the full supramental Light and Force. For there are several ranges of consciousness between the ordinary human mind and the supramental Truth-Consciousness. These intervening ranges have to be opened up and their power brought down into the mind, life and body. Only afterwards can the full power of the Truth-Consciousness work in the nature. The process of this self- discipline or Sadhana is therefore long and difficult, but even a little of it is so much gained because it makes the ultimate release and perfection more possible. There are many things belonging to older systems that are necessary on the way - an opening of the mind to a greater wideness and to the sense of the Self and the Infinite, an emergence into what has been called the cosmic consciousness, mastery over the desires and passions; an outward asceticism is not essential, but the conquest of desire and attachment and a control over the body and its needs, greeds and instincts are indispensable. There is a combination of the principles of the old systems, the way of knowledge through the mind's discernment between Reality and the appearance, the heart's way of devotion, love and surrender and the way of works turning the will away from motives of self-interest to the Truth and the service of a greater Reality than the ego. For the whole being has to be trained so that it can respond and be transformed when it is possible for that greater Light and Force to work in the nature. In this discipline, the inspiration of the Master, and in the difficult stages his control and his presence are indispensable - for it would be impossible otherwise to go through it without much stumbling and error which would prevent all chance of success. The Master is one who has risen to a higher consciousness 5 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. and being and he is often regarded as its manifestation or representative. He not only helps by his teaching and still more by his influence and example but by a power to communicate his own experience to others. This is Sri Aurobindo's teaching and method of practice. It is not his object to develop any one religion or to amalgamate the older religions or to found any new religion - for any of these things would lead away from his central purpose. The one aim of his Yoga is an inner self-development by which each one who follows it can in time discover the One Self in all and evolve a higher consciousness than the mental, a spiritual and supramental consciousness which will transform and divinise human nature. (Sri Aurobindo on Himself, Sri Aurobindo) Sri Aurobindo’s Vision for the Future of Mankind Sri Aurobindo’s Vision encompasses every major field of modern life. He gave a clear picture of the ideal towards which each human activity is moving. In spirituality he is the pioneer of the life-affirming spirituality which accepts life as the expression of the Spirit and endeavours to transform the individual and collective life of Man by the light and power of the Spirit. In RELIGION, he envisioned a spiritual religion of humanity as the religion of the Future. In ECONOMICS, he conceived an economic system governed by the values of beauty, simplicity and harmonious plentitude, “a simply rich and beautiful life”, and a work-culture which views Work not as a means of livelihood but as a means of inner enlightenment, spiritual progress and self-perfection. For SOCIETY, he prophesied the emergence of a Gnostic society living in a supramental consciousness governed by the principles of Unity, Mutuality and Harmony. For POLITY, he conceived as the ultimate goal of the collective life of Man, the ideal of human unity, a global Humanity becoming fully conscious of its indivisible oneness, unified in an egoless and planetary Consciousness, but expressing its Unity in a rich and harmonious diversity of national cultures. For INDIA, our beloved Motherland, he dreamed of a spiritual resurgence of India, rediscovering and manifesting her inherent spiritual genius and leading the world towards its spiritual destiny as the spiritual Guru of Nations. ( Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga Sri Aurobindo gave a cosmic and evolutionary dimension to the concept and practice of yoga. The Word “Yoga” has now become well known all over the world. But the popular conceptions of yoga conjure up images of a hatha-yogi standing upside down or an ascetic sitting in meditation in the Himalayas. The deeper psychological and pragmatic significance of yoga is not yet fully understood. “Yoga” says Sri Aurobindo, “is nothing but practical psychology”. But practical for what? For the inner psychological and spiritual development of the human being. The path of yoga is the scientific, systematic, psychological process or discipline by which the inner development of the human being is triggered and accelerated. According to Sri Aurobindo, entire life is a yoga of universal Nature. There is a slow evolutionary process of Nature that works in the mass of humanity through the normal experiences of life. Yoga speeds up the process through an intensive, conscious and concentrated application of the psychological energies of the human being. So in Sri Aurobindo’s conception, yoga means neither the physical asanas of hathayoga nor an exclusive world-denying spirituality based on cross-legged meditation. In the integral vision of Sri Aurobindo, yoga means a path or a process or a science by which we can raise our consciousness from the ego-centric mind with reason as the highest faculty to an egoless and universal consciousness of our own highest spiritual self, beyond mind, with higher faculties beyond reason. Yoga is the process by which this ascent to the higher consciousness can be realized through a path of conscious and accelerated inner evolution. 6 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. In Sri Aurobindo’s vision this higher consciousness has to be achieved through an integral yoga which is a synthesis of the path of works, knowledge and love. The central discipline of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga involves a triple process: Aspiration, Rejection and Surrender. A constant and unceasing aspiration of our whole being for the spiritual ideal; constant, vigilant and unceasing rejection of all that is contrary or hostile to the ideal; and a total surrender of all we have, all we do and all we are to the Divine. These three principles of the discipline have to be put into practice integrally at all the levels of our being: physical, vital and mental. However in Sri Aurobindo’s vision attaining this higher consciousness is only the first step and not the aim of yoga. The higher aim of yoga is a complete spiritual transformation of the whole being and nature of man ─ body, life, mind and soul ─ and make them into a perfect and harmonious instrument of the Divine. Thus in Sri Aurobindo’s yoga individual transformation is not an end in itself but only a means for world-transformation. The transformed individual has to become an instrument of the Divine Will for world-transformation. ( Sri Aurobindo – Vast Like the Blue Above & Blue Below [The following article on Sri Aurobindo and his Yoga is compiled from “The Yoga of Sri Aurobindo” by Swami Shuddhananda Bharati. This is one of the books selected and preserved for the future generations in the Crypt of Civilisation in the U.S.A., to be opened six thousand years hence.] “ O Fosterer, O sole Seer, O Ordainer, O illuminating Sun, O power of the Father of creatures, marshal thy rays, draw together thy light; the Lustre which is thy most blessed form of all, that is Thee I behold. The Purusha there and there, He am I.” (Ishopanished) It is with this rapture of the Vedic seer that a conscious heart sees Sri Aurobindo today, grand like the Himalayas, vast like the blue above and the blue below… His has been a life moulded into the Spirit’s perfect image by the Divine within, in the illuminated passivity of utter surrender and the infinite strength of dynamic silence and inner peace. * All that the world knows of him – his brilliant Cambridge career, his distinction in the open competition for the I.C.S., his fourteen years’ study in England (1879 –1893), his wonderful mastery of the Classical languages and the strenuous efforts he made assimilate the Oriental genius into his profound Western culture…his unparalleled renunciation of everything that man holds dear at the flaming altar of the Great Mother, his prodigious services for the cause of National education, the dauntless hero in him who awakened the Mother-consciousness in the country and inflamed it from the press and platform to noble acts of service and sacrifice, the national prophet who voiced forth the messages of the Mother from the columns of the Bande Mataram, the Karmayogin, and the Dharma, the definite shape he gave to Nationalism and fadeless lustre he shed upon the movement for eight years (1902-1910) by his unique personality…, the historic Alipore trial and his final coming to Pondicherry in the April of 1910 – all these and many more things that the public know about him are only sprays of that profound deep. * 7 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. His flaming aspiration to see God face to face is revealed to us in one of his most popularly known letters. He was mad after God and divinity. Perfect was his faith, and unreserved his surrender to the Highest Divine. The ardent aspiration of Sir Aurobindo to see God face to face was fulfilled during his one year’s tapasya in Alipore Jail: “His strength entered into me and I was able to do the Sadhana of the Gita…to be free from repulsion and desire, to do work for Him without the demand for fruit, to renounce self-will and become a passive and faithful instrument in His hands, to have an equal heart for the high and low, friend and opponent, success and failure…He made me realise the central truth of the Hindu religion…It was while I was walking that His strength entered into me….” It is in the Arya, the veritable Gospel of Poorna Yoga, the one wonderful work that deserves to be the scripture of the present and the coming humanity, started after four years if silent Sadhana, that we meet the Superman, the God-man, the Poorna Yogi that Sri Aurobindo is. * Every sentence of the Arya, so rhythmic, so well-balanced, so replete with the Spirit’s highest promises, so eloquent with its divine optimism, deserves to be inscribed in the heart of humanity in the letters of gold. “To know, possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic consciousness, to comvert out twilit or obscure physical mentality into the plenary supramental illumination, to build peace and a self-existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering, to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical necessities, to discover and realise the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant mutation,” – this is the limitless scope of his wonderful synthetic Yoga and its fulfilment is his entire preoccupation. To divinise man and heavenise existence, to universalise the individual to be God in man and godlike in God’s universal play – this is the ideal with which he was born. (Mother India, August 1997) * In the following article by Amal Kiran, we get a glimpse of the personality Sri Aurobindo was at one phase of his existence here – at the time of his last public darshan in the ashram on November 24, 1950. NOVEMBER 24 has come again – one of the darshan days on which Sri Aurobindo used to appear before a pilgrim-public of hundreds passing in tum and receiving the benediction of his calm yet piercing gaze. Last year it was the final occasion on which, side by side with the Mother, he was seen in the body. After that, the public saw him only as he lay in state eleven days later, with his imperial eyes shut upon the world to which he had brought the vision of a new life victorious over the agelong ills of humanity. The final living darshan is etched unforgettably on the minds of all disciples. For it was a sovereign act of grace. Sri Aurobindo was known by many to have been seriously affected on a sudden with some bodily disorder. The disease was, of course, symbolic of a process to which he had given his sanction as part of the spiritual fight waged by him against the powers that had held physical man under their sway. But it was no mock difficulty assumed in the course of a demonstration of divine power. When a spiritual genius is bent on transforming completely the condition of man on earth, he does not 8 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. play-act: he takes up in dead earnest and in concrete actuality the whole range of human problems – mental, vital, physical. So the renal disorder accepted and suffered by Sri Aurobindo was genuinely acute and fraught with the most dangerous possibilities. To deal with them perfect rest was required. But Sri Aurobindo, both in order to answer the need of his followers and in order to dispel whatever defeatism might invade those who did not know what was happening behind the scenes, sat as on every darshan day – tranquil and august, with the Mother radiantly smiling beside him. No sign did he show of the grave trouble through which he was passing. But there was one difference on this day from the usual darshan. As time went on, word travelled round that people should hurry. They were requested not to linger at all in the Master’ s presence. They had to move fast before him, have but a brief instant of his regard so as not to prolong the period of his continuous sitting posture. Two or three times the doors of the darshan room were closed for a short interval. There was, however, no shirking of the task of letting every disciple and visitor meet those benedictory eyes. Those who went in early for the darshan were lucky enough to have the customary standing-time. The present writer cannot be sufficiently grateful for the good fortune of having been among them. As he slowly went up the stairs in a queue, breathing the holy atmosphere that is especially intense during the darshan days and feeling with every step upward an increasing sense of what he can only call the luminous universality of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the all-embracing power and love of a limitless spiritual Being that had put forth two individual focuses, as it were, of Its eternal Truth-Consciousness, he could not remember that for a week or so before this occasion Sri Aurobindo had been rumored to be going through a severe physical crisis. And as he reached the top of the stairway and, from the outer end of the darshan-hall, caught sight of the Mother and the Master seated as if in a timeless sculpture of serene compassion, the day joined all those wonderful days in the past when he had stood or knelt before his spiritual parents and had realised in concentrated richness the new-birth they had given him from the moment when, twenty-three years ago, he had been accepted in the Ashram. The normality, so to speak, of the super-normal seemed all the more unbroken. There, as ever, was Sri Aurobindo, with his majestic countenance the colour of pale gold, his thin silvery beard and his mane of long white hair. One elbow resting on the arm of his seat, one hand placed upon his thigh, the whole body a picture of powerful ease, he sat gazing out as if towards glorious horizons for humanity that humanity itself could not yet vision from its grope at the foot of the Aurobindonian Himalaya. Imperturbable he looked, while the Mother was, as usual, most graciously attentive to every shade of the passing moment. With her expression of sweet intimacy she was taking away whatever strain the in-coming people might feel on approaching the Master on such rare occasions in the year. Even as the writer drew near, nothing uncommon was visible to hint in any distressing way the strange event that was to occur in less than a fortnight. But one uncommonness marked the occasion to render peculiarly blissful this last darshan. The Mother leaned towards Sri Aurobindo and softly mentioned the name of him who was offering his salutation. Immediately Sri Aurobindo began to smile. It was a smile of supreme kindness, whose meaning was understood only later when he had left his body. On a back- look it seemed to have held a royal appreciation of all the little toils done with the pen in his dear name and also a vast beneficence assuring help for all future to one who had been in the habit of depending almost helplessly on him for inspiration. The inner assistance has not ceased to be felt. Always the touch from within is ready as before and a wide store of thought and word is inwardly perceived to be waiting above the mind as if in Sri Aurobindo’ s masterful hands, to come down at his sanction as in the years when the call used to go to 9 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. his embodied Light in a room in the Ashram. That smile shines out through the veil of so-called death. And like it the whole Aurobindonian power is at work, and today’s darshan will be charged with it as on the day we last saw him beside the Mother. November 24 is known as the Day of Victory, for, on it, Sri Aurobindo had the experience which promised complete fulfilment of his vision. It is significant that the last living darshan he granted was precisely on this day and in spite of grave obstacles. He declared through the occasion that his life was victorious, no matter what the appearance soon after. And the declaration was even verbal and explicit, for the sentence culled from his writings and published as a message on that day ran: “The Supramental is a truth, and its advent is, in the very nature of things, inevitable.” - Amal Kiran A Compilation of The Mother’s Quotations on Sri Aurobindo by Seema [1] 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 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 rose like 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. [2] Guidance from Sri Aurobindo’s Books 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. 10 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. 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 [3] 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. The Mother Compiled by Seema, With Her Love and Grace A God’s Labour I have gathered my dreams in a silver air Between the gold and the blue And wrapped them softly and left them there, My jewelled dreams of you. I had hoped to build a rainbow bridge Marrying the soil to the sky And sow in the dancing planet midge The moods of infinity ... He who would bring the heavens here Must descend himself into clay 11 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. And the burden of earthly nature bear And tread the dolorous way. Coercing my godhead I have come down Here on the sordid earth, Ignorant, labouring, human grown Twixt the gates of death and birth. I have been digging deep and long Mid a horror of filth and more A bed for the golden river’s song, A home for the deathless fire .... My gaping wounds are a thousand and one And the Titan kings assail, But I cannot rest till my task is done And wrought the eternal will .... A voice cried, “Go where none have gone! Dig deeper, deeper yet Till thou reach the grim foundation stone And knock at the keyless gate.” ... On a desperate stair my feet have trod Armoured with boundless peace, Bringing the fires of the splendour of God Into the human abyss .... The gulf twixt the depths and the heights is bridged And the golden water pour Down the sapphire mountain rainbow-ridged And glimmer from shore to shore .... I shall leave my dreams in their argent air, For in a raiment of gold and blue There shall move on the earth embodied and fair The living truth of you. Sri Aurobindo June - July Sunday Activities at the Centre - A glimpse June 21, 2020 - Reading ‘Synthesis of Yoga’ by Sri Aurobindo (2nd paragraph from pages 84 to 85) This Zoom Meeting was hosted by Sanjay and facilitated by KV Rao. The passages again and again reiterated that our desire soul should submit to the Divine law. Our master instruments, the thought, the heart and the will should transmute to become faultless instrument for the divine work. Taking for example the invisible Energy in motion transmute in different physical forms bringing different capacities. 12 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. Our relation with divine should not just be a pious chatter in our prayer rooms for requesting certain material things. Our concentration on the Eternal will be consummated when our Mind sees the Divine not only in itself but in every form from pillar to dry grass stalks, love the Divine when our heart brims with love for the Divine manifestation in every aspect of the universe, follow the Divine impulsion and not the wandering impulses of the egoistic desires. Sri Aurobindo’s vast vision sees the manifestation of the embodied Unity, Love, Freedom, Strength, Power, Splendour, immortal Joy which is the goal of the Spirit’s terrestrial adventure. “anyathAsharaNaMnAstitvamevasharaNaM mama | tasmAdkAruNyabhAvenarakSharakShajanaradhana||” I have no other refuge, Thou art my sole refuge, Out of sense of compassion, protect me, O Supreme Lord! July 5, 2020 – Reading ‘The Mother’ by Sri Aurobindo (Chapter 2, Pages 8-11) In this chapter, Sri Aurobindo conveys that Sadhakas, who operate from the lower nature need to put in personal effort through a continuous Aspiration at all levels, Rejection of movements of lower nature and Surrender of oneself at all levels of consciousness to the Divine. Sri Aurobindo also assures that over the course of this sadhana, the Sadhaka will become more and more conscious of the Divine Shakti actually doing the Sadhana. This leads to a rapid progress. He also cautions that until the consecration becomes pure and complete, there is a need for personal effort. July 12, 2020 – Reading ‘Synthesis of Yoga’ by Sri Aurobindo (Chapter 2, Self-Consecration, Pgs. 86- 87) We started reading the passage beginning: “For here, there are two movements with a transitional stage between them, two periods of this Yoga, — one of the process of surrender, the other of its crown and consequence. In the first the individual prepares himself for the reception of the Divine into his members. For all this first period he has to work by means of the instruments of the lower Nature, but aided more and more from above. But in the later transitional stage of this movement our personal and necessarily ignorant effort more and more dwindles and a higher Nature acts; the eternal Shakti descends into this limited form of mortality and progressively possesses and transmutes it. “ These few lines summarised what was to follow and gave a focus to our discussion. Participants contributed several views, quoting from sources such as the Gita and Savitri. A pertinent question was, which of these processes preceded the other, offering or surrender. The answer to this question can be expected in the following week’s reading which will bring us to the conclusion of this chapter. It was also suggested that we take up the work slowly, giving ourselves the time to take in what Sri Aurobindo was conveying. It was definitely transformational and it would help to seriously look into our own lives and observe the applicability of these words, such as how far have we travelled on the path of offering, let alone self-offering and how had surrender featured in our lives and what self-surrender may mean in our own life’s context. July 19, 2020 – Reading ‘Synthesis of Yoga’ by Sri Aurobindo (Chapter 2, Self-Consecration, Pgs. 87- 88) We continued with the reading of Synthesis of Yoga from where we left off in the past week. The question posed last week received its answer here. It appears nothing is in a strict order of progression in the scheme of evolution though the movement is eventually upward. We concluded the chapter asking ourselves what 13 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. this Self-Consecration entails and look forward to the opening of the next chapter, Chapter 3: Self- Surrender in Works – The Way of the Gita. July 26, 2020 – Meditations of Savitri We meditated on the following lines this day: Already in him was seen that task of Power: Life made its home on the high tops of self; His soul, mind, heart became a single sun; Only life’s lower reaches remained dim. The beautiful image that Huta produced in reciprocation, with The Mother’s guidance is astounding. The lines speak of an evolving soul, Aswapathy in Savitri and by parallel, Sri Aurobindo, on his journey towards the Supreme Discovery and to place a boon before the Almighty for the whole of the race of Mankind and terrestrial existence of which he is crown. The meditation was serene and silent as we delved within for an inner light to reveal itself. - Jayalakshmi, Ram, Jayanthy PROGRAMME FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST 2020 DATE TIME DETAILS 8 AM Monthly Morning Walk * 2 Aug 2020 Sunday 6 PM AIM Magazine Reading and Discussion 9 Aug 2020 6 PM Thematic Study Circle by Rakesh: Sunday 10 AM The Synthesis of Yoga TBC Centre Cleaning (followed by lunch) 9 AM Sri Aurobindo’s Birthday 14 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air 15 Aug 2020 Saturday

Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. July 2020. 7 PM Sri Aurobindo’s Birthday 16 Aug 2020 6 PM Thematic Study Circle by Rakesh: Sunday The Synthesis of Yoga 23 Aug 2020 4 PM Youth Programme Sunday 6 PM Savitri Circle by Mr. Ramadoss 30 Aug 2020 6 PM Video on Integral Yoga * Please see below for details. SUNDAY WALK 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. 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: 15 Sri Aurobindo – Breathing a Superhuman Air

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