Archive for March, 2010

March 31, 2010 – Yoga: Effected Through Offering

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

When thou hast the command, care only to fulfil it.
The rest is God’s will and arrangement which men call chance and luck and fortune.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 263)

Yoga: Effected Through Offering

Yoga means union with the Divine, and the union is effected through offering- it is founded on the offering of yourself to the Divine…

This is what you have to do to carry out your general offering in detailed offerings. Live constantly in the presence of the Divine; live in the feeling that it is this presence which moves you and is doing everything you do. Offer all your movements to it, not only every mental action, every thought and feeling but even the most ordinary and external actions such as eating; when you eat, you must feel that it is the Divine who is eating through you. When you can thus gather all your movements into the One Life, then you have in you unity instead of division. No longer is one part of your nature given to the Divine, while the rest remains in its ordinary ways, engrossed in ordinary things; your entire life is taken up, an integral transformation is gradually realised in you.

The Mother

The Great Adventure, Page 41

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India

March 24, 2010 – A Talk By The Mother On Savitri*

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

This world was built by Ignorance & Error that they might know.
Wilt thou abolish ignorance and error?
Then knowledge too will perish.
Thou canst not abolish ignorance & error,
but thou mayst transmute them into the utter & effulgent exceeding of reason.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 90)

A Talk By The Mother On Savitri*

It does not matter if you do not understand it — Savitri, read it always. You will see that every time you read it, something new will be revealed to you. Each time you will get a new glimpse, each time a new experience; things which were not there, things you did not understand arise and suddenly become clear. Always an unexpected vision comes up through the words and lines. Every time you try to read and understand, you will see that something is added, something which was hidden behind is revealed clearly and vividly. I tell you the very verses you have read once before, will appear to you in a different light each time you re-read them. This is what happens invariably. Always your experience is enriched, it is a revelation at each step.

But you must not read it as you read other books or newspapers. You must read with an empty head, a blank and vacant mind, without there being any other thought; you must concentrate much, remain empty, calm and open; then the words, rhythms, vibrations will penetrate directly to this white page, will put their stamp upon the brain, will explain themselves without your making any effort.

Savitri alone is sufficient to make you climb to the highest peaks. If truly one knows how to meditate on Savitri, one will receive all the help one needs. For him who wishes to follow this path, it is a concrete help as though the Lord himself were taking you by the hand and leading you to the destined goal. And then, every question, however personal it may be, has its answer here, every difficulty finds its solution herein; indeed there is everything that is necessary for doing the Yoga.

*(a report written from memory)
by Mona Sarkar

The tale of Satyavan and Savitri is recited in the Mahabharata as a story of conjugal love conquering death. But this legend is, as shown by many features of the human tale, one of the many symbolic myths of the Vedic cycle. Satyavan is the soul carrying the divine truthofbeing within itself but descended into the grip of death and ignorance; Savitri is the Divine Word, daughter of the Sun, goddess of the supreme Truth who comes down and is born to save; Aswapati, the Lord of the Horse, her human father, is the Lords of Tapasya, the concentrated energy of spiritual endeavour that helps us to rise from the mortal to the immortal planes; Dyumatsena, Lord of the Shining Hosts, father of Satyavan, is the Divine Mind here fallen blind, losing The tale of Satyavan and Savitri is recited in the Mahabharata as celestial kingdom of vision, and through that loss its kingdom of glory.

Still this is not a mere allegory, the characters are not personified qualities, but incarnations or emanations of living and conscious Forces with whom we can enter into concrete touch and they take human bodies in order to help man and show him the way from his mortal state to a divine consciousness and immortal life.

Sri Aurobindo

If you are depressed, if you feel miserable, if you do not succeed in anything that you undertake or else if what happens is always the contrary of what you expect, however much you try — if it has come to such a pass that you lose your temper, life becomes disgusting and you are unhappy, then immediately take Savitri and, after a moment`s concentration, open it at any page and read. You will see that all your misery disappears like smoke. And you will have the strength to overcome the worst gloom of sorrows; you will no more feel that which tormented you. Instead you will fell a strange happiness, a reversal of consciousness along which the energy and force to conquer everything, as through there was nothing impossible. And you will feel this inexhaustible joy that purifies all. Read just a few lines and that is sufficient to establish the contact with your inmost being. Such is the extraordinary power of Savitri.

Or else, after having read some lines, if you concentrate deeply, then too will you find the solution to what was tormenting you. You have only to open Savitri just at random without reflecting and you will have the answer to your problems. Do this with faith and simplicity, the result is certain

The Mother-1968

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India

March 17, 2010 – The Sunlit Path*

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Who can bear Kali rushing into the system in her fierce force and burning godhead?
Only the man whom Krishna already possesses.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 216))

The Sunlit Path*

……

…The sunlit path can be followed by those who are able to practice surrender, first a central surrender and afterwards a more complete self-giving in all the parts of the being. If they can achieve and preserve the attitude of the central surrender, if they can rely wholly on the Divine and accept cheerfully whatever comes to them from the Divine, then their path becomes sunlit and may even be straightforward and easy. They will not escape all difficulties, no seeker can, but they will be able to meet them without pain and despondency, – as indeed the Gita recommends that yoga should be practised, anirvinnacetasa, – trusting in the inner guidance and perceiving it more and more or else in the outer guidance of the Guru. It can also be followed even when one feels no light and no guidance, if there is or if one can acquire a bright settled faith and happy bhakti or has the nature of the spiritual optimist and the firm belief or feeling that all that is done by the Divine is done for the best even when we cannot understand his action. But all have not this nature, most are very far from it, and the complete or even the central surrender is not easy to get, and to keep it always is hard enough for our human nature. When these things are not there, the liberty of the soul is not attained and we have instead to undergo the law or fulfil a hard and difficult discipline.

That law is imposed on us by the Ignorance which is the nature of all our parts; our physical being is obviously a mass of ignorance, the vital is full of ignorant desires and passions, the mind is also an instrument of Ignorance struggling towards some kind of imperfect and mostly inferior and external knowledge. The path of the seeker proceeds through this ignorance; for a long time he can find no light of solid experience or realisation, only the hopes and ideas and beliefs of the mind which do not give the true spiritual seeing; or he gets glimpses of light or periods of light but the light often goes out and the luminous periods are followed by frequent or long periods of darkness. There are constant fluctuations, persistent disappointments, innumerable falls and failures. No path of yoga is really easy or free from these difficulties or fluctuations; the way of bhakti is supposed to be the easiest, but still we find constant complaints that one is always seeking but never finding and even at the best there is a constant ebb and tide, milana and viraha, joy and weeping, ecstasy and despair. If one has the faith or in the absence of faith the will to go through, one passes on and enters into the joy and light of the divine realisation. If one gets some habit of true surrender, then all this is not necessary; one can enter into the sunlit way. Or if one can get some touch of what is called pure bhakti, suddha bhakti, then whatever happens that is enough; the way becomes easy or, if it does not, still this is a sufficient start to support us to the end without the sufferings and falls that happen so often to the ignorant seeker…..

……

– Sri Aurobindo
SABCL Vol 24 Pages 1621 -,1622

*Title by sender

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India

March 10, 2010 – The Gita and Sri Aurobindo’s Message

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

The Mayavadin talks of my Personal God as a dream and prefers to dream of Impersonal Being;
the Buddhist puts that aside too as a fiction and prefers to dream of Nirvana and the bliss of nothingness.
Thus all the dreamers are busy reviling each other’s visions and parading their own as the panacea.
What the soul utterly rejoices in, is for thought the ultimate reality.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 432))

The Gita and Sri Aurobindo’s Message

It is not a fact that the Gita gives the whole base of Sri Aurobindo’s message; for the Gita seems to admit the cessation of birth in the world as the ultimate aim or at least the ultimate culmination of Yoga; it does not bring forward the idea of spiritual evolution or the idea of the higher planes and the supramental Truth-Consciousness and the bringing down of that consciousness as the means of the complete transformation of earthly life.

The idea of the Supermind, the Truth-Consciousness is there in the Rig Veda according to Sri Aurobindo’s interpretation and in one or two passages of the Upanishads, but in the Upanishads it is there only in seed in the conception of the being of knowledge, vijñ?namaya purus?a, exceeding the mental, vital and physical being; in the Rig Veda the idea is there but in principle only, it is not developed and even the principle of it has disappeared from the Hindu tradition.

It is these things among others that constitute the novelty of Sri Aurobindo’s message as compared with the Hindu tradition — the idea that the world is not either a creation of Maya or only a play, lil?, of the Divine, or a cycle of births in the ignorance from which we have to escape, but a field of manifestation in which there is a progressive evolution of the soul and the nature in Matter and from Matter through Life and Mind to what is beyond Mind till it reaches the complete revelation of Sacchidananda in life. It is this that is the basis of the Yoga and gives a new sense to life.

Our Yoga is not identical with the Yoga of the Gita although it contains all that is essential in the Gita’s Yoga. In our Yoga we begin with the idea, the will, the aspiration of the complete surrender; but at the same time we have to reject the lower nature, deliver our consciousness from it, deliver the self involved in the lower nature by the self rising to freedom in the higher nature. If we do not do this double movement, we are in danger of making a tamasic and therefore unreal surrender, making no effort, no Tapas and therefore no progress; or else we may make a rajasic surrender not to the Divine but to some self-made false idea or image of the Divine which masks our rajasic ego or something still worse.The language of the Gita in many matters seems sometimes contradictory because it admits two apparently opposite truths and tries to reconcile them. It admits the ideal of departure from sams?ra into the Brahman as one possibility; also it affirms the possibility of living free in the Divine (in Me, it says) and acting in the world as the Jivanmukta. It is this latter kind of solution on which it lays the greatest emphasis. So Ramakrishna put the “divine souls” (Ishwarakoti) who can descend the ladder as well as ascend it higher than the Jivas (Jivakoti) who, once having ascended, have not the strength to descend again for divine work. The full truth is in the supramental consciousness and the power to work from there on life and Matter.

– Sri Aurobindo
SABCL Vol. 26, Pages 126-127

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India