Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Year Celebration in Sri Aurobindo Ashram






JANUARY 1 - NEW YEAR'S EVE

Starting in the year 1927, the Sri Aurobindo ashram began the first New Year’s Celebration. On this eve of the New Year day, the sadhaks assembled in the Ashram around  midnight and as soon as the clock struck midnight The Mother welcomed the new year with music on her organ. This was followed by Pranams in the stillness of the night and The Mother blessed everyone.

The last of the midnight Pranams was on the 31 December 1937. “From the 1st January 1939, this Pranam began to take place in the morning … The midnight silence was replaced by the Mother’s ‘Bonne Année’ which was reciprocated.

From 1933, The Mother started distributing a message after her serene music — a thought, a prayer, an aspiration to serve as a guide for the whole year. These messages, written both in English and French, are reproduced in facsimiles of the Mother’s handwriting whenever possible. Between 1974 and 1984, New Year messages were not distributed at the Ashram.
By and by the cards came to be distributed even outside the Ashram; thus those who could not participate in the midnight ceremony of [the New Year] were also able to receive The Mother’s benediction and guidance for the New Year.”


From 1985 to the present, the Pondicherry Ashram has distributed messages selected from the writings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo to devotees around
the world.




                                                                            







Courtesy and Link:
http://www.searchforlight.org/ecards/NYmessage1/ecardssend.asp

  *                                                   *
That's what Sri Aurobindo once said to me. What he saw was that the supramental Force would have enough influence on the various governments of the earth, of the nations, to permit hope for a harmony.
                                                                                                  - The Mother
(Mother’s Agenda, Volume 8, Page 138)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Bhrigu Saṃhitā and Sri Aurobindo



The Bhrigu Sahitā  is a thousands of years old Sanskrit astrological (Jyotish) classic attributed in its introduction to Maharishi Bhrigu during the Vedic period, the Treta yuga. Its introductory chapter states that it was compiled by the sage out of compassion for humanity so that humanity could cope with the pressures of its existence and move towards a more spiritual nature. The Bhrigu Samhita claims to contain predictions about current and future lives as well as information about the past lives.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhrigu_Samhita )


***********************************

On 15 August 1950, an old sadhak with a capacity for vision saw Sri Aurobindo drawing into himself dark fumes that were rising from the subconscious parts of the people as they were coming to him for darśan in a procession. He was gathering up the lower elements of earth-nature within the area of representative humanity and then drawing them into himself.
Was he negotiating a deal of transformation with the bleak - or black - Nadir of existence? Was he hewing a pathway to Light by tunnelling through Night? As he said in the sonnet The Pilgrim of the Night', written in 1938 and revised in 1944:

I made an assignation with the Night;
In the abyss was fixed our rendezvous:
In my breast carrying God's deathless light
I came her dark and dangerous heart to woo.

Another interesting circumstance was Surendra Mohan Ghose's consulting Bhrigu astrologer in Delhi in October 1950. On being shown Sri Aurobindo's horoscope, the astrologer found the correct reference which tallied "exactly with Sri Aurobindo's life", and the astrologer concluded:
After 78 years.... he will develop a ghr̥ṇā  towards his body, and then he may leave his body; otherwise death is in his control.
Of course, if a certain yajña or sacrifice could be performed, the catastrophe might still be averted. Surendra Mohan hurried to Pondicherry and told, first Nolini, and then the Mother who promptly spoke to Sri Aurobindo, about the Bhrigu prediction. "Don't worry" was all that Sri Aurobindo said to Surendra Mohan. But on the Mother's suggestion, Surendra Mohan contacted the astrologer again and after some delay got a copy of the whole reading and sent it through a messenger to Pondicherry; but as things were to turn out, it was much effort to no purpose - the letter reached Nolini after 5 December 1950!

(Sri Aurobindo: A biography and a history – K.R.Srinivasa Iyengar, Page 733)
                                                                     

***********************************
Sri Aurobindo didn't have much faith in Bhrigu. In a letter

written on 4 May 1936, he referred to the Bhrigu

Samhita as the "old dodge", and added: "Long ago I had

a splendiferous Mussolinic-Napoleonic prediction of my

future made to me on the strength of the same old 

mythological Bhrigu."


(SABCL,Vol. 26, p. 365) 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas : A Festival of Light






Every Wednesday the Mother held classes for a group of children. Since it was Christmas time Mother was telling us about the origins of this Festival of Light and why we celebrated it here, in the Ashram.
Long, long ago, She said, some wise men noticed that the days were getting shorter and the nights longer at that time of the year. They felt that the increasing darkness might soon engulf the world and life would suffer. So they sat together in meditation and prayed and prayed. They then noticed that the days were slowly becoming longer and the stark nights shorter. Since then the Return of Light was celebrated in Ancient Egypt.
"That is why the 25th of December was a festival of Light long before Jesus Christ. This festival was in vogue long before Christianity and originated in Egypt and probably the birth of Christ was fixed on the same day as that of the return of Light."
- The Mother


(Udar, one of Mother’s children, Page 76)







                                                  Dear Friends,
Wish you all a Merry Christmas!
On 25 December 1929 the Mother had distributed little bunches of the leaves She called ‘New Birth’ to the members of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. This was the earliest reference of Christmas being celebrated in Sri Aurobindo Ashram. In 1944, on the occasion of Christmas, the Mother had asked Mona Pinto (In-charge of ‘Golconde’) to organize a little celebration for the children who had joined the Ashram with their parents due to the outbreak of the Second World War. This celebration was organized at the residence of Mona Pinto which was situated in front of the present Ashram Library. A couple of years later it was decided to organize Christmas celebrations in the Playground. For about ten years, Christmas was celebrated at the Ashram Playground and the Mother sat near the Christmas tree and distributed gifts to Her children. From 1958 Christmas was celebrated in the Ashram Theatre where the Mother distributed the Christmas gifts till 1961. Though She stopped visiting the Theatre to distribute gifts, She continued to give special messages during Christmas till 1972.
On the occasion of Christmas, almost all the available photographs of the Mother taken during Christmas in various years have been published in the website of Overman Foundation. These photographs were taken by Venkatesh, Chiman-bhai, Amiyo Ranjan Ganguli and Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya.
To view the photographs, kindly click on the following link:
http://overmanfoundation.org/2017/12/25/photographs-of-the-mother-during-christmas-celebrations/

With warm regards,
Anurag Banerjee
Founder,
Overman Foundation

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Yoga and Human Evolution

Meditation




It is always better, for meditation – you see, we use the word “meditation”, but it does not necessarily mean “moving ideas around in the head”, quite the contrary–try to concentrate in a centre, the centre of aspiration, one might say, the place where the flame of aspiration burns, to gather in all the energies there, at the solar plexus centre and, if possible, to obtain an attentive silence as though one wanted to listen to something extremely subtle, something that demands a complete attention, a complete concentration and total silence. And then not to move at all. Not to think, not to stir, and make that movement of opening so as to receive all that can be received, but taking good care not to try to know what is happening while it is happening, for if one wants to understand or even to observe actively, it keeps up a sort of cerebral activity which is unfavourable to the fullness of the receptivity – to be silent, as totally silent as possible, in an attentive concentration, and then be still.
If one succeeds in this, then, when everything is over, when one comes out of meditation, some time later – usually not immediately – from within the being something new emerges in the consciousness: a new understanding, a new appreciation of things, a new attitude in life – in short, a new way of being.
                                                                                        - The Mother
(CWMCE, Vol. 9, pp. 114-115) 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Surrender to the Guru



In surrendering to the Guru, it is to the Divine in him that one surrenders – if it were only to the human entity it would be ineffective. But it is the consciousness of the Divine Presence that makes the Guru a real Guru, so that even if the disciple surrenders to him thinking of the human being to whom he surrenders, that Presence will still  make it effective.

                                                                                 - Sri Aurobindo                                                                                                                 (Correspondence with Govindbhai Patel, Page 60)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Auroville


Men see events as unaccomplished, to be striven for and effected. This is false seeing; events are not effected, they develop. The event is Brahman, already accomplished from of old, it is now manifesting.
- Sri Aurobindo

(SABCL, Vol. 17, Page 116)














       The foundation of Auroville was laid on February 28,1968,
with representatives of several nations participating in the solemn
ceremony. Mother did not attend but she broadcast a message
from her chamber.
       The next day the Indian Express carried a photograph of
the ceremony. In the left-hand corner at the top of the picture
appeared a face looming over the horizon, looking exactly like
Mother's face. When Mother was shown the picture, she said :
I was present
 there.

- M.P.Pandit, Sidelights on the Mother





                                               
  

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Divine under the form of Love








It may be said that at its origin love is the supreme power of attraction which awakens, in response, the irresistible need of an absolute self-giving; they are the two poles of the urge towards complete fusion.
      No other movement could, better and more surely than this, throw a bridge across the abyss dug by the sense of separation that comes from the formation of the individual. It was necessary to bring back to itself what had been projected into space without destroying for this purpose the universe created thus.
That is why love sprang up, the irresistible power of union.
When the baker wants to make the dough of his bread rise, he puts some leaven into it, and it is from within that the transformation takes place.
When the Divine wanted to rouse Matter, awaken it and make it rise towards God, He threw Himself into Matter under the form of love, and it is from within that the transformation takes place.
So it is by living from within an organisation that one can help it to become enlightened and rise towards the Truth.
                                                                                                          - The Mother
                                                                                                         17 January 1965

(CWMCE, Vol. 14, Page 124)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Refreshing our knowledge about the Mother on her birthday - Aryadeep S. Acharya



“Her father Moïse Maurice Alfassa, a banker from Adrianople, had married Mathilde Ismalun in Alexandria in 1874. Both were of Sephardic Jewish origin, though neither was religious.765 There were no sharp divisions in the Levant of those days, but rather “a dense and intricate interconnectedness” between Arab and Jew, Lebanese and Syrian, Egyptian and Turk.766 In this cosmopolitan setting, Alexandria was the most cosmopolitan center, with Frenchmen and Italians rubbing shoulders with Egyptians, Arabs, and Greeks. In the 1860s, everybody in town seemed to have something to do with the Suez Canal. Maurice Alfassa had been sent to Egypt by an Ottoman bank with a stake in the multinational venture. He prospered for a while, but things became difficult when the country slipped into political and financial chaos. In 1877, Maurice, Mathilde, and their young son Mattéo settled in Paris. Mirra, who was born the next year, was proud of her Middle Eastern heritage, but she never considered herself anything but French.”
“In Europe, Mirra and Mira are short forms of the Hebrew name Miriam.”
(Ref. The Lives of Sri Aurobindo by Peter Heehs)
This was not another Miriam among thousands other but an extraordinary one.  Even in her childhood she was different. I quote below just one of her experiences in her childhood out of many.
“As a child, when I was around ten or twelve years old, I had some rather interesting experiences which I didn't understand at all. I had some history books – you know, the textbooks they give you to learn history. Well, I'd read and suddenly the book would seem to become transparent, or the printed words would become transparent, and I'd see other words or even pictures. I hadn't the faintest idea what was happening to me! And it appeared so natural to me that I thought it was the same for everybody. But my brother and I were great chums (he was only a year and a half older), so I would tell him: "They talk nonsense in history, you know – it is LIKE THIS; it isn't like that: it is LIKE THIS!" And several times the corrections I got on one person or another turned out to be quite exact and detailed. And (I see it now – I understood it later on) they were certainly memories. About some passages I would even say, "How stupid! It was never that; THIS is what was said. It never happened like that; THIS is how it happened." And the book was simply open before me; I was just reading along like any other child and ... suddenly something would occur. It was something in me, of course, but I used to think it was in the book!
I found out many, many things about Joan of Arc – many things. And with stunning precision, which made it extremely interesting. I won't repeat them because I don't remember with exactness, and these things have no value unless they are exact. And then, for the Italian Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa; and for the French Renaissance: François I, Marguerite de Valois,[i] and so forth.” (Ref. Agenda Vol.3, dt. June 30, 1962, p.150-151)
If there was one person who was supremely conscious of the inner truth of Mother’s embodiment, it was Sri Aurobindo. I quote below some of his answers.
Sri  Aurobindo: There is one divine Force which acts in the universe and in the individual and is also beyond the individual and the universe. The Mother stands for all these, but she is working here in the body to bring down something not yet expressed in this material world so as to transform life here — it is so that you should regard her as the Divine Shakti working here for that purpose. She is that in the body, but in her whole consciousness she is also identified with all the other aspects of the Divine. (SABCL 26:49-50)
Disciple: Am I right in thinking that she (the Mother) as an individual embodies all the Divine Powers and brings down the Grace more and more to the physical plane, and her embodiment is a chance for the entire physical consciousness to change and be transformed?
Sri Aurobindo: Yes. Her embodiment is a chance for the earth-consciousness to receive the Supramental into it and to undergo first the transformation necessary for that to be possible. Afterwards there will be a further transformation by the Supramental, but the whole earth-consciousness will not be supramentalised — there will be first a new race representing the Supermind, as man represents the mind. [13-8-1933] SABCL 26:49
**********************************
Disciple: Do you not refer to the Mother (our Mother) in your book The Mother?
Sri Aurobindo: Yes.
Disciple: Is she not the “Individual” Divine Mother who has embodied “the power of these two vaster ways of her existence”— Transcendent and Universal?
Sri Aurobindo: Yes.
Disciple: Has she not descended here (amongst us) into the Darkness and Falsehood and Error and Death in her deep and great love for us?
Sri Aurobindo: Yes.
**********************************
Disciple: There are many who hold the view that she was human but now embodies the Divine Mother and her Prayers, they say, explain this view. But to my mental conception, to my psychic feeling, she is the Divine Mother who has consented to put on herself the cloak of obscurity and suffering and ignorance so that she can effectively lead us—human beings—to Knowledge and Bliss and Ananda and to Him.
Sri AurobindoThe Divine puts on an appearance of humanity, assumes the outward human nature in order to tread the path and show it to human beings, but does not cease to be the Divine. It is a manifestation that takes place, a manifestation of a growing divine consciousness, not human turning into divine. The Mother was inwardly above the human even in childhood, so the view held by “many” is erroneous. (Ref. The Mother with the Letters on the Mother, CWSA 32: 31
*********************
Question: Is there any difference between the Mother’s manifestation and the descent of the supramental?
Sri Aurobindo: The Mother comes in order to bring down the supramental and it is the descent which makes her full manifestation here possible. (23 September 1935)
********************
Sri Aurobindo: The Mother has come down to work on the earth, not in another world...(1 October 1933)
*******************************
Disciple: I know that all here is unreal. The Mother alone is real.
Sri Aurobindo: It is the higher reality that the Mother brings into the world— without it all else is ignorant and false. 3 August 1934
*************
Disciple: The Mother does not work on the sadhak directly from her own plane above, though she can do so if she wants to— she can even supramentalise the world in a day; but in that case the supramental Nature created here would be the same as it is above, and not the earth in Ignorance evolving into the supramental earth, which will not be quite the same in appearance as what the Supermind is.
Sri Aurobindo: That is a very important truth. 17 June 1935 - (Ref. SABCL - Vol. 32)
*******************************
The Mother on Herself
May I know, Mother, how many centuries ago You descended upon earth?
The Mother: I have never left the earth since it was formed. (10 January 1935)
*******************************
March 14, 1952
Since the beginning of the earth wherever and whenever there was the possibility of manifesting a ray of consciousness, I was there. (CWM, V.13)
*****************************
2.5.70
Disciple: You are with me, always, but I am not aware of it.
The Mother: I am more subtle than the air; and already the air you do not see. There are infinitely more things which we do not see than those we see.   (Ref.  THE PATH = EN ROUTE, THE MOTHER’S CORRESPONDENCE WITH SHYAM SUNDA)
************************
It is ages of ardent aspiration that have brought us here to do the Divine’s Work. (CWM13)
**************************
“It is evident that the purpose of my descending here on earth, for the transformation of the body and eventually of the earth, by the transforming action of the Supramental, would be accomplished if I could sow a seed of this Supramental substance in the human species and which will then ensure its continuity on earth.... Even if it be only a thousandth infinitesimal part of what I carry, it will be sufficient to perpetuate this movement.
Otherwise... I would say that the earth and men were not ready, were not receptive enough to accept the descent of a greater Light, a greater Knowledge, a greater Ananda, were not ready to open themselves to the Eternal, to the Truth of existence.” (Supreme, – Noted by Mona Sarkar, p. 53)
My earlier posts (compilations) on the occasion can be viewed here , here, and here .


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hindi Poet Sumitranandan Pant's Collected Works on Sri Aurobindo



Sumitranandan Pant (May 20, 1900 - December 28, 1977) was an Indian poet. He was one of the 

most celebrated "Progressiveleft-wing 20th century poets of the Hindi language and was known for

 romanticism in his poems which were inspired by nature, people and beauty within.