Thursday, December 10, 2009

en Route- Precaution

Thought for the day

Material things ought not to be the cause of happiness or unhappiness. To be one with the soul is the only way of being constantly happy; all the rest is of little importance.

-The Mother

Pearl of the day

Conquering Difficulties

The way to get faith and all things else is to insist on having them and refuse to flag or despair or give up until one has them - it is the way by which everything has been got since this difficult earth began to have thinking and aspiring creatures upon it. It is to open always, always to the Light and turn one's back on the Darkness. It is to refuse the voices that say persistently, "You cannot, you shall not, you are incapable, you are the puppet of a dream," - for these are the enemy voices, they cut one off from the result that was coming, by their strident clamour and then triumphantly point to the barrenness of the result as a proof of their thesis. The difficulty of the endeavour is a known thing, but the difficult is not the impossible - it is the difficult that has always been accomplished and the conquest of difficulties makes up all that is valuable in the earth's history. In the spiritual endeavour also it shall be so.

- Sri Aurobindo [SABCL, 23:577-78]

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pearl of the Day

Remain Faithful

Cast away from you these movements of doubt, depression and the rest which are not part of your true and higher nature. Reject these suggestions of inability, unfitness and all these irrational movements of an alien force. Remain faithful to the Light of your soul even when it is hidden by clouds. My help and The Mother's will be there working behind even in the moments when you cannot feel it. The one need for you and for all is to be, even in the darkness of the powers of obscurity of the physical consciousness, stubbornly faithful to your soul and to the remembrance of the Divine call. Be faithful and you will conquer.

- Sri Aurobindo [p-93-94, White Roses, Sixth Edition, 1999]

Nectar of Light

Fundamental Virtue- Sincerity

What is the fundamental virtue to be cultivated in order to prepare for the spiritual life?
I have said this many times, but this is an opportunity to repeat it: it is sincerity.
A sincerity which must become total and absolute, for sincerity alone is your protection on the spiritual path. If you are not sincere, at the very next step you are sure to fall and break your head. All kinds of forces, wills, influences, entities are there, on the look-out for the least little rift in this sincerity and they immediately rush in through that rift and begin to throw you into confusion.
Therefore, before doing anything, beginning anything, trying anything, be sure first of all that you are not only as sincere as you can be, but have the intention of becoming still more so.
For that is your only protection.

- The Mother [CWMCE, 8:248-49]

Pearl of the day

An Offering

Thanks to Labanya Ghosh for sharing this picture.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sri Aurobindo Final Moments - In words of Dr Sanyal


ON the evening of the 29th November 1950, as I was resting after a heavy day, a servant brought me a telegram which read: "FLY—URGENT—MOTHER". Never could I have imagined the amount of meaning there was in those few words.

Then it came to me—Is Sri Aurobindo ill?—Why otherwise would the Mother send such a telegram? Other thoughts crept into my mind and I could not decide how best to equip myself for the errand.

The next morning, 3oth November, I flew to Madras, only to find that the next train for Pondicherry did not leave until 9-50 p.m., and so I would reach my destination by 7-a.m. the next morning. It was a torment to think that after traveling 1000 miles in 5 hours it was now to take me twenty hours to cover 100 miles. I looked at the telegram—read it once again—No! I could not waste time, so I hired a car.

It took me an hour to obtain a permit from the Police authorities, who looked me over thoroughly, trying to decide whether I was a smuggler or some thirsty drinker wanting a joy ride to French India. They finally decided however that I could go. The driver being assured of extras, my car literally flew along the roads to Pondicherry having only to stop twice at the inefficient and rude customs barriers—and by six in the evening I was at the Mother's feet in the Ashram playground. As usual She greeted me with her heavenly smile, saying She had expected me that very evening. She then told me of Sri Aurobindo's illness and asked me to examine Him; She added that She would be coming to his room after the programme was over in the playground.

On the way Dr. Nirod of the Ashram and my young colleague Dr. Satya Sen acquainted me with the history and present condition of the Master. Softly but quickly I ascended the stairs and entered the room. There I looked on the Master, my divine patient, semi-recumbent on His bed, seemingly unconcerned, eyes closed, like a statue of massive peace. I approached the bed, knelt by His side and made my pranams at His feet. Champaklal called : " Look, Master, who has come ". There was a quiver on His face; heavy eyelids opened a little—then all was still again. But again Champakial called: "Master, see, Sanyal has come". This time He opened His eyes fully, looked at me and smiled—Oh such a smile, serene and beautiful, it carried one to ecstasy, lighting the innermost corners of the heart.

He placed His hand on my head and lovingly patted it a few times—all thoughts vanished, it seemed my heart had stopped. I was overpowered with a mighty peace and calm. He had closed His eyes—except for His respiration all was still and a great silence reigned. Then Champaklal whispered delightedly, "He has given you a Darshan Smile and Blessing".—It was a blessing no words could describe; only one who has seen it and known it in his heart could appre­ciate what it meant, it for it was an experience of the soul.

I waited for the opportunity to become the doctor. I asked Him what the trouble was and whether I could give Him any relief. I put to Him the regular professional questions, perhaps then forgetting that my patient was the Divine housed in a mortal frame, and He answered: "Trouble? Nothing troubles me —and suffering! one can be above it." I mentioned the urinary difficulties. "Well, yes", He answered, "I had some difficulties but they have been relieved, and now I do not feel anything." Again there was silence.

We retired to the next room and I had a consultation with Nirod and Satya. His urine analysis report had arrived, showing slight albumen and sugar, specific gravity a little above normal. The Mother now entered the room and stood in silence near the foot of the bed and watched Sri Aurobindo. Soon She called me out into the next room where I explained the position to Her, that He was suffering from a mild kidney infection—otherwise there was nothing very serious as far as could be judged from the urine report.

We thought that, Deo volente, continuous drainage would suffice and antibiotics would gradually improve the rest.

The following morning, 1st December, was very encouraging; our Lord was absolutely alert and responsive and His temperature was normal. After His sponging He took His simple breakfast and even cracked jokes with us. I was giving Him a scalp massage and enquired if He was liking it or not. He remarked: "I know you went to England for your Fellowship but where did you learn massaging?" I suggested that we would like to have His blood exa­mined for a detailed bio-chemical examination, to which He smiled and retorted: You doctors can think only in terms of diseases and medicines, but always there is much more effectual knowledge beyond and above it. I do not need anything". All of us were very happy by this most remarkable improvement and the day passed on.

The next day, 2nd December, there was little change except for a rise of one degree in temperature towards the evening. The day was a heavy one for the Mother as it was the second day of the annual display in the playground; but as soon as the activities were over She came to His room and stood at the foot of His bed. Her countenance was very grave but She did not say anything. I suggested, as the urinary infection was again flaring up in spite of continuous drainage, that we should try Antibiotics and Infusion therapy. Mother then warned me that orthodox methods of treatment were unsuitable for Him—not only would Sri Aurobindo not like them but they would be harmful. She also reminded me that my patient was the Divine, "He will work out whatever is necessary." I could only give some simple medicines to allay symptoms if any.

We doctors were in a state of perplexity; true, our patient was an Avatar; true, He had cured innumerable ailments in the sadhaks as also in Himself several times—would He not now cure Himself?

Champaklal once entreated Him in a favourable moment: "Why don't you use your force and cure yourself, Master?" He kept silent and showed rather a dislike for such questions.

December 3rd—After a rather quiet and restful night He looked better that morning and when the usual morning routine was over Nirod offered Him some fruit juice which He enjoyed.

The temperature had dropped to normal and so much was our relief that at 11 a.m. while making my Pranams to the Mother I ventured to suggest that as the Master was steadily improving I might perhaps leave that evening. The Mother remained silent; She looked very grave. I looked into Her eyes and felt a quiver, a pain in my heart. What had I said? Was She not willing? Why did I suggest my departure instead of waiting for Her to tell me ? I felt a wrench at my heart and I blurted out: "I would rather stay a few more days". A smile lit all Her face. "Yes," She said. In the afternoon the picture rapidly changed. The temperature had risen to 101 degrees`. There was a definite respiratory distress. The Mother came into the room at 4 p.m. and stood watching. All the afternoon we had found it difficult to get Him to drink water or fruit juice, so now we sought Her help. She brought the spoon near His lips. Immediately He opened His eyes, took a few sips and lapsed back into unresponsiveness. The Mother came with us into the ante-room and then for the first time declared: "He is fully conscious within but is losing interest in Himself". We could understand very little and dared not question further. Satya was restless as energetic treatment could not be instituted. The Mother simply said: "It all depends on Him".

As the darkness closed in upon us our hearts grew heavier. At times Nirod or Champaklal would offer Him sips to drink and He would even remark on His choice of tomato or orange juice or something of that sort, then would lapse back into a state of unresponsiveness.

Not once would He say or at any time indicate that He was uncomfortable or thirsty, but if we changed His position or offered Him a drink He smilingly accepted it. The Mother came at 11 o' clock at night as usual; the moment She offered Him a drink He was all alert and obediently drank a cupful of fruit juice—then again He lapsed into a state of repose.

The distress continued now with little sign of abating and The Mother took me into the ante-room remarking: "I don't know, He has no interest in Himself ". I suggested intravenous medication from the next day onwards, but She advised me not to disturb Him.

The long night passed, a long and worrying night. Nirod and Champaklal kept watch throughout.—If there is a quiver of the lips, it may be that He wants a drink_ If a shake of the hand—perhaps He needs His handkerchief. They are there to serve Him; that is their sadhana—life dedicated to the service of their Master.—I remembered Sri Aurobindo one day telling me of his early days of sadhana, when he used to sit up all through the night. Champaklal, then a mere boy, would lie on the stairs below, waiting for any summons. On another occasion some time before, I mentioned to Sri Aurobindo that Dr. Nirod would change the medicine when needed; He remarked. "Nirod is no doctor to me".

We continued keeping a careful watch on the urinary flow and He was still passing 50 ozs. in 24 hrs. at specific. gravity of 1012- 1010. Nirod would sit by the bottle and watch each drop as it fell and if there was any delay, which was often the case, he would immediately draw my attention to it.

December 4th—At dawn His temperature had dropped to 99 degrees. The respiratory distress was negligible and He seemed bright and responsive.

The morning duties were over and we settled Him in His usual sitting position. There He sat majestic and serene. At about 9 a.m., The Mother came and helped Him to take a light breakfast. As She walked into the ante-room, the room used for our consultations, I smiled to Her and said; "The Master seems cheerful again and taking interest". The only answer She made was "Mmm" and then went out of the room.

I settled by the side of the bed and gently massaged the Master's body while Nirod and Champaklal were attending to their duties. After a little while He opened His eyes and asked the time. I told Him 10 o'clock, I saw He was in a mood to talk so I ventured: "How do you feel"? He replied, "I am comfortable." There was a pause; He looked at the clock and then asked how Bengal was faring, especially the refugees. I narrated to Him their pitiable plight and implored: "Surely the Divine can help them?" My Lord answered, "Yes, if Bengal seeks the Divine." He closed His eyes and went into silence (samadhi).

But alas, it was only a brief lull—a belied hope. From midday the respi­ratory difficulty reappeared with greater amplitude and the temperature went up to 102 degrees. This time signs of distress could be seen in the face but there was not a word, not a protest.

The Mother came about 1 p.m. She watched for some time before entering the adjoining room with me. Then She said, "He is withdrawing".

Though He looked apparently unconscious, whenever He was offered drinks, He would wake up and take a few sips and wipe His mouth himself with His handkerchief. To all of us it seemed apparent that a consciousness came from outside when He was almost normal, and then withdrew when the body quivered and sank down in distress. He was no longer there!

By 5 o'clock again He showed signs of improvement. He was quite res­ponsive. We helped Him out of His bed. After which He walked to the arm-chair to rest. For the moment He seemed a different personality. He sat there with His eyes closed—calm and composed with a radiating consciousness. We remarked on the majestic beauty of His form as He sat there; such calm and beatitude brought to my mind the Vedic Rishis. But this did not last long. After three quarters of an hour He became restless and wanted to be back in bed. Respiratory distress appeared with redoubled momentum. From midday onwards the urine output which had been good all these days definitely diminished and the distress was very prominent. Though He seemed to be unconscious He was not, which was evident by the fact that He drew Champaklal several times to His breast and kissed him lovingly and this Divine compassionate embrace was extended to Nirod and myself. It may be mentioned that this emotional behaviour was evident here for the first time; but He had taken nothing to drink the whole day.

The Mother came back after Her usual attendance at the playground. She laid her garland at the foot of the bed, a thing which She does daily, and stood watching Sri Aurobindo. She looked so grave and quiet that it almost distressed me. I went to the ante-room to wait for Her. She entered and I gave Her the report and told Her that Glucose had been given by Satya and we wanted to arrange for intravenous infusions etc. She said quietly and firmly, "I told you this is not necessary, He has no interest in Himself, He is withdrawing".

We sat round His bed, wondering why He was losing interest in Himself; He, if He so desired, could certainly cure Himself as He had done on so many other occasions,—Nirod has seen Him curing the illnesses of others. But now at this crucial hour He had no interest in Himself! Was He going to sacrifice Himself?

At about 11 p.m. the Mother came into the room and helped Sri Aurobindo to drink half a cup of tomato juice. A strange phenomenon—a body which for the moment is in agony, unresponsive, labouring hard for breath, suddenly becomes quiet; a consciousness enters the body, He is awake and normal He finishes the drink, then, as the consciousness withdraws, the body lapses back into the grip of agony.

At midnight the Mother came again into the room, looked intently for some time as if there was a silent exchange of thought between them; then She left.

At 1 a.m. (5th) She returned and again looked at the Lord and stood at the foot of the bed. There was no sign of agony, fear, or anxiety on Her face. Not a thought, not a feeling could I fathom in Her expression. With Her eyesShe asked me to go into the other room and She followed me in. She asked, "What do ;you think? Can I retire for one hour?" This is a significant hour: The Mother retires—Her consciousness leaves Her body, none are to call or enter Her room then. This is imperative.—I murmured, "Mother, this is beyond me." She said, "Call me when the time comes."

I stood behind the Master and started stroking His hair which He always liked. Nirod and Champaklal sat by the side of the bed and were caressing His feet. We were all quietly watching Him. We now, knew that anything might happen, any time, only a miracle could save us and the world. I perceived a slight quiver in His body, almost imperceptible. He drew up His arms and put them on His chest, one overlapping the other—then all stopped. Death, the cruel death that was waiting so long—we had been keeping vigil for it —had descended on our Lord. I told Nirod to go and fetch the Mother.

It was 1-20 a.m..

Almost immediately the Mother entered the room. She stood there, near the feet of Sri Aurobindo: Her hair had been undressed and was flowing about Her shoulders. Her look: was so fierce that I could not face those eyes. With a piercing gaze She stood there. Champaklal could not bear it and sobbingly he implored, "Mother, tell me Dr. Sanyal is not right, He is alive." The Mother looked at him and he became quiet and composed as if touched by a magic wand. She stood there for more than half an hour. My hands were still on His forehead. My mind wandered. He lay, my Guru, Rishi Sri Aurobindo, Avatar of the new era of the dawn, a thing past! Only a few seconds ago I was watching and hoping for a miracle to happen; could there be a more appropriate time than this? Sri Aurobindo is no more! He was alive, and now He is history. Thoughts kaleidoscoped in my brain. I could almost see thousands of people passing by the bed, whispering aloud—"Here lived Sri Aurobindo." But it cannot be; I am standing here by His side, my hands almost touching Him, I am watching Him breathe, yes, every movement, all is much more quiet now,—I could not think; any more. A sharp pain went through my head. I looked at the Mother. Softly She came to me and touched my head, stilled my thoughts, quietened my mind. No trace of agony was left, I could now think normally. I asked Her, "What is to be done, we have to arrange for the last offices." She quietly said, "He will be given Samadhi, under the Prayer tree. in the pace where the giant maidenhair plants are arranged." So, this place had been earmarked beforehand; such is the way of the Divine!

The Mother also reminded me of the formalities that had to be observed, a French doctor must certify the death first. Then only members of the Ashram and the public could be informed. Nolini Gupta and Amrita were called and stood there as if stunned. Pavitra stood at the feet of the Master, tears rolling down his cheeks.

We were busy in dressing the Lord. The Mother had already agreed to my request to call the Ashram photographers (sadhaks) to take the last pictures.

The French physician of the Hospital, Major Barbet, examined the Master's body and we both signed the death certificate.

Now the sadhaks of the Ashram were to be informed. It was now dawn, the eastern sky was slowly getting clearer and clearer, a shaft of light appeared over the horizon. Quietly I left the Ashram.

As I sat by the window, bewildered, in my room at Golconde, I saw the hurried but silent progress of the Ashramites towards the Ashram.—Sri Aurobindo has passed away— I felt a violent pang in my heart. I looked at the sky. Look!...There, Sri Aurobindo is rising again—the eternal Sun bursting forth with a million rays.

As the day wore on, longer and longer became the stream of people, eager but calm and patient, to have a last Darshan of the great Rishi. In the afternoon I again entered the room where our Lord lay serene and majestic. A never-ending stream of people, laymen, clergymen, doctors, lawyers, rickshaw pullers, labourers, rich men, poor men, all filed past the sage, silent but inspired. At dusk the Ashram door was closed. The Mother blessed me, asking me to come again early in the morning. I left for Golconde. Champaklal and Nirod were keeping vigil night and day.

December 6th—I entered Sri Aurobindo's room before dawn. Mother and I had a look at Him; how wonderful, how beautiful He looked, with a golden hue. There were no signs of death as science had taught me, no evidence of the slightest discoloration, or decomposition. The Mother whispered, "As long as the supramental light does not pass away, the body will not show any signs of decomposition, and it may be a day or it may take many more days". I whispered to Her, "Where is the light you speak of—can I not see it?"

I was then kneeling by Sri Aurobindo's bed, by the Mother's feet. She smiled at me and with infinite compassion put her hand on my head. There He was—with a luminous mantle of bluish golden hue around Him.

With the morning came the procession of_people, taking a last glimpse of the Divine Master. The Mother said to me, "People do not know what a tremendous sacrifice He 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!'"

After that night, there dawned on us the third day of Sri Aurobindo's passing. The Mother and I had a look at His body. As yet there was no sign of decomposition. The French surgeon corroborated the findings, this being required by the law of the state.

I was talking with the Mother, in Her room. In my own foolish way I voiced my apprehension for Her health and the strain She put on her fragile frame. She smiled at me, and asked, "Do you think I get all this energy from my frugal meals? Of course not, one can draw infinite energy from the universe when needed!" She also added, "No, I have no intention of leaving my body for the present. I have yet a lot of things to do. So far as I am concerned, it is nothing to me. I am in constant contact with Sri Aurobindo".

Sri Aurobindo's sudden decision of withdrawal stirred the minds of us all. Was it a retreat? Or was it a means used by Him to attain something for the earth? Who can answer?

With our limited mental logic, whatever we try to explain will only be part of the truth, or may even be a distortion. What we need is a supreme faith in Him that if many a battle is apparently lost the ultimate victory of the war is inevitable. Sri Aurobindo has no doubt withdrawn from us, from our physical eye, but the Mother is continuing the fight for humanity as the Mahashakti.

While we all feel as if we were sliding down the incline to disappointment, —for the world torn with dissension, distrust, hatred and greed, looking for a ray in the sky, a divine gesture—for the uplift of humanity—a transformed humanity—the Mother holds out HOPE.

I took leave of the Mother on the 7th evening—taking a last look at the Master's luminous body,—the Divine in a mortal frame, beautiful, calm, and still without a sign of decomposition. I naively asked the Mother, "Why was I not allowed to treat the Lord as I would have done in the routine way, and why was I called in?" Mother consoled me by saying, "We wanted you to be here, not so much for treatment." The Mother blessed me three times and all my sorrows, my disappointments, my doubts vanished, and my mind was aglow with hope. I bowed at Her feet. and looked up to see the Divine Mother, the Mahashakti smiling at me.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Rely on the Divine with Faith

We must have the faith that always what is for the best happens. We may for the moment not consider it as the best because we are ignorant and also blind, because we do not see the consequences of things and what will happen later. But we must keep the faith that if it is like that, if we rely on the Divine, if we give Him the full charge of ourselves, if we let Him decide everything for us, well, we must know that it is always what is best for us which happens. This is an absolute fact. To the extent to which you surrender, the best happens to you. This may not be in conformity with what you would like, your preference or desire, because these things are blind: it is the best from the spiritual point of view, the best for your progress, your development, your spiritual growth, your true life. It is always that. And you must keep this faith, because faith is the expression of a trust in the Divine and the full self-giving you make to the Divine. And when you make it, it is something absolutely marvellous. That's a fact, these are not just words, you understand, it is a fact. When you look back, all kinds of things which you did not understand when they happened to you, you realise as just the thing which was necessary in order to compel you to make the needed progress. Always, without exception. It is our blindness which prevents us from seeing it.

- The Mother [CWMCE, 6:349]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thought for the day

Look life in the face, this means: dont turn your back

on it! It means: face life as it is instead of running away from

it and call to your aid the inner psychic force this is what

Sri Aurobindo says: the souls inner strength, the inner psychic

force and with the help of this psychic consciousness rise

above circumstances and master them. That is to say, instead of

submitting to all that comes and suffering all its consequences,

one rises above circumstances and lets them pass like things that

do not touch you and do not impair your consciousness. That is

what it means.

-The Mother



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Constant Prayer


Avoid Vain Disputing

Avoid vain disputing; but exchange views freely. If dispute thou must, learn from thy adversary; for even from a fool, if thou listen not with the ear and the reasoning mind but the soul's light, thou canst gather much wisdom. - Sri Aurobindo

Be Faithful

Cast away from you these movements of doubt, depression and the rest which are not part of your true and higher nature. Reject these suggestions of inability, unfitness and all these irrational movements of an alien force. Remain faithful to the Light of your soul even when it is hidden by clouds. My help and The Mother's will be there working behind even in the moments when you cannot feel it. The one need for you and for all is to be, even in the darkness of the powers of obscurity of the physical consciousness, stubbornly faithful to your soul and to the remembrance of the Divine call. Be faithful and you will conquer.

- Sri Aurobindo


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sri Krishna Janmastami

The stories of Lord Krishna fascinates me all my life, from the innocent krishna in the story books, the mahabharatha diversified forms of the Lord to the best of art forms in Tanjore art and other paintings, Krishna remains a perfect symbol of freshness, happiness and oneness. Happy Sri Krishna Jayanthi!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thought for the day

Try to do the good and never forget that God sees you everywhere.

-The Mother

Mantra of the day

Words of Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo’ s Sadhana and its Purpose

Words of Sri Aurobindo:

My point about my Sadhana was that my Sadhana was not done for myself but for the earth-consciousness as a showing of the way towards the Light, so that whatever I showed in it to be possible — inner growth, transforma­tion, manifesting of new faculties, etc. — was not of no importance to anybody, but meant as an opening of lines and ways for what had to be done.


I have no intention of achieving the Supermind for myself only — I am not doing anything for myself, as I have no personal need of anything, neither of salvation (Moksha) nor supramentalisation. If I am seeking after supramentalisation, it is because it is a thing that has to be done for the earth-consciousness and if it is not done in myself, it can­not be done in others. My supramentalisation is only a key for opening the gates of the supramental to the earth-consciousness .


I am seeking to bring some principle of inner Truth, Light, Harmony, Peace into the earth-consciousness ; I see it above and know what it is — I feel it ever gleaming down on my consciousness from above and I am seeking to make it possible for it to take up the whole being into its own na­tive power, instead of the nature of man continuing to re­main in half-light, half-darkness. I believe the descent of this Truth opening the way to a development of divine consciousness here to be the final sense of the earth evolu­tion.

(Excerpts from some early letters to the Mother in Japan)

Heaven we have possessed, but not the earth; but the full­ness of the Yoga is to make, in the formula of the Veda, "Heaven and Earth equal and one".


I must remain in touch with the world until I have either mastered adverse circumstances or succumbed or carried on the struggle between the spiritual and physical so far as I am destined to carry it on. This is how I have always seen things and still see them. As for failure, difficulty and apparent impossibility I am too much habituated to them to be much impressed by their constant self-presentation except for passing moments....

One needs to have a calm heart, a settled will, entire self-abnegation and the eyes constantly fixed on the be­yond to live undiscouraged in times like these which are truly a period of universal decomposition. For myself, I follow the Voice and look neither to right nor to left of me. The result is not mine and hardly at all now even the la­bour.


... there is a sort of locked struggle in which neither side can make a very appreciable advance (somewhat like the trench warfare in Europe), the spiritual force insisting against the resistance of the physical world, that resist­ance disputing every inch and making more or less effec­tive counter-attacks. ... And if there were not the strength and Ananda within, it would be harassing and disgusting work; but the eye of knowledge looks beyond and sees that it is only a protracted episode.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rays of Light

Thanks to Varsha Agarwal for sharing this

Mantra of the Day


Time Travel to the Past

In June 1909, Sri Aurobindo started a newspaper in English called Karmayogin, described as 'a Weekly Review of National Religion, Literature, Science, Philosophy, etc' And in August of the same year, he began a Bengali weekly named Dharma. The aim was to bring Dharma to centre stage in national life. It was not popular Hinduism that he had in mind but rather 'the religion which embraces Science and Faith, Theism, Christianity, Mohammedanism and Buddhism and is yet none of these'. The name 'Hinduism' was merely incidental because although the Hindu nation had coined it, it was 'not circumscribed by the confines of a single country'. By February 1910, Sri Aurobindo was once again in the line of police investigation. His message 'To My Countrymen', as well as political assassinations by his one-time associates, prompted the authorities to raid his Karmayogin office. It is around this time that on the basis of an 'adesh' (spiritual command) received, he left for Chandernagore in French India. From there, subsequently on board the S. S. Duplex, he sailed for Pondicherry and arrived there on 4 April 1910.

Pondicherry: 1910-39

Pondicherry, in 1910, boasted of a group of nationalists who were in exile in French India. They included Subramaniam Bharati, S. N. Tirumalachari and V. V. S. Iyer. Upon arrival, Sri Aurobindo lived in the house of Shankar Chettiar in the company of five of his associates from Bengal, as a 'religious recluse' without any political interests. They led an austere life and money was hard to come by. He shifted houses three times, and in October 1913, he moved into the house on Rue Francois Martin. He studied the Vedas, meditated and practised Yoga. Visitors were few, and even fewer were allowed to see him. They included Alexandra David Neel, a legendary French writer who came to Pondicherry in 1911. However, the most important visitor was Paul Richard, a barrister who came to Pondicherry in 1910 in connection with the French elections. Richard, drawn to mysticism .and spirituality, part of a mystical society led by Max and Thelma Theon in Algeria, thought that in Sri Aurobindo he had found the Master that he and his wife Mirra, an accomplished mystic in her own right, were looking for.

With Mirra, Richard came back to Pondicherry in 1914. At his suggestion and financial support, a philosophical journal called Arya was launched on 15 August 1914. While the journal was meant to have joint contributions by Richard and Sri Aurobindo, the latter ended up writing most of the pieces since the First World War intervened, and the Richards had to return to France. Phinted at the Modern Press, Pondicherry and published from 7 Rue Duplex, Arya intended to fulfill two objectives. First, to develop a systematic study of the 'highest problems of existence', and second, to give rise to 'the formation of a vast synthesis of knowledge, harmonising the diverse religious traditions of humanity occidental .is well as oriental'. The journal desired to publish 'synthetic studies in speculative philosophy', 'translations and commentaries of ancient texts', 'Studies in Comparative Religion' and 'Practical Methods of Inner Culture and Development'.

Describing the aim of the journal, Sri Aurobindo wrote:

Its object is to feel out for the thought of the future, to help in shaping its foundations and to link it to the best and most vital thought of the past. The earth is a world of Life and Matter, but man is not a vegetable, nor an animal, he is a spiritual and thinking being who is set here to shape and use the animal mould for higher purposes, by higher motions, with a more divine instrumentation. The problem of thought is to find out the right idea and the right way of harmony; to restate the current and eternal spiritual truth of Self that it shall re-embrace, permeate and dominate the mental and physical life, to develop the most profound and vital methods of psychological self-discipline and self development and that the mental and psychical life of man may express the spiritual life through the utmost possible expansion of its own riches, power and complexity, and to seek for the means and motives by which his external life, his society and his institutions may remold themselves progressively in the truth of the spirit and develop towards the utmost possible harmony of individual freedom and social unity.

In the Arya, Sri Aurobindo wrote on a variety of topics on which his reputation is built today: literature, poetry, philosophy, the Vedas, Upanishads, the Gita, and social and political thought.

Mantra of the day

Mantra of the day

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mantra of the Day

Three Madnesses of Aurobindo

On 30 August 1905 Sri Aurobindo wrote a letter to Mrinalini Devi. The letter is one of those which were found and taken away by the police during the search of the Grey Street house in connection with the Alipore bomb trial and afterwards produced in court. It was in this way that these intimate documents unexpectedly saw the light of day and what was intended by Sri Aurobindo to be "secret" has become public property. The letters reveal a side of his nature which had to culminate in his great spiritual work. The letter of 30 August, translated from the Bengali, is reproduced below.

30th Aug. 1905

Dearest Mrinalini,

I have received your letter of the 24th August. I am sorry to learn that the same affliction has fallen once more upon your parents. You have not written which of the boys has passed away from here. But then what can be done if the affliction comes? This is a world in which when you seek happiness, you find grief in its heart, sorrow always clinging to joy. That rule touches not only the desire of children, but all worldly desires. To offer, with a quiet heart, all happiness and grief at the feet of God is the only remedy.

Now I will write the other thing of which I spoke before. I think you have understood by now that the man with whose fate yours has been linked is a man of a very unusual character. Mine is not the same field of action, the same purpose in life, the same mental attitude as that of the people of today in this country. I am in every respect different from them and out of the ordinary. Perhaps you know what ordinary men say of an extraordinary view, an extraordinary endeavor, and an extraordinary ambition. To them it is madness; only, if the madman is successful in his work then he is called no longer a madman, but a great genius. But how many are successful in their life's endeavor? Among a thousand men, there are five or six who are out of the ordinary and out of the five or six one perhaps successful. Not to speak of success, I have not yet even entirely entered my field of work. There is nothing then for you but to consider me mad. And it is an evil thing for a woman to fall into the hands of a mad fellow. For woman's expectations are all bound up in worldly happiness and sorrow. A madman will not make his wife happy; he can only make her miserable.

The founders of the Hindu religion understood this very well. They loved extraordinary characters, extraordinary endeavors, extraordinary ambitions. Madman or genius, they respected the extraordinary man. But all this means a terrible plight for the wife, and how could the difficulty be solved? The sages fixed upon this solution; they told the woman, "Know that the only mantra for womankind is this: 'The husband is the supreme guru.'[ Up to this point the translation follows an early version by Barindra Kumar Ghose which was seen and revised lightly by Sri Aurobindo. The rest of the translation is new.] The wife shares the dharma [law of conduct] of her husband. She must help him, counsel him, encourage him in whatever work he accepts as his dharma. She should regard him as her god, take joy in his joy, and feel sorrow in his unhappiness. It is for a man to choose his work; the woman's part is to give help and encouragement." Now, the point is this. Are you going to choose the path of the Hindu religion or follow the ideal of the new culture? Your marriage to a madman is the result of bad karma in your previous lives. It is good to come to terms with one's fate, but what sort of terms will they be? Will you also dismiss your husband as a madman on the strength of what other people think? A madman is bound to run after his mad ways. You cannot hold him back; his nature is stronger than yours. Will you then do nothing but sit in a corner and weep? Or, will you run along with him; try to be the mad wife of this madman, like the queen of the blind king who played the part of a blind woman by putting a bandage across her eyes? For all your education in a Brahmo school, you are still a woman from a Hindu home. The blood of Hindu ancestors flows in your veins. I have no doubt you will choose the latter course.

I have three madnesses.

The first one is this. I firmly believe that the accomplishments, genius, higher education and learning and wealth that God has given me are His. I have a right to spend for my own purposes only what is needed for the maintenance of the family and is otherwise absolutely essential. The rest must be returned to God. If I spend everything for myself, for my pleasure and luxury, I am a thief. The Hindu scriptures say that one who receives wealth from God and does not give it back to Him is a thief. So far, I have given two annas to God and used the other fourteen annas for my own pleasure; this is the way I have settled the account, remaining engrossed in worldly pleasures. Half my life has been wasted - even the beast finds fulfillment in stuffing his own belly and his family's and catering to their happiness. I have realised that I have been acting all this time as an animal and a thief. Now I realise this and am filled with remorse and disgusted with myself. No more of all this. I renounce this sin once and for all. What does giving to God mean? It means to spend on good works. The money I gave to Usha or to Sarojini causes me no regret. To help others is a sacred duty; to give protection to those who seek refuge is a yet greater sacred duty. But the account is not settled by giving only to one's brothers and sisters. In these dark days the whole country is seeking refuge at my door. I have three hundred million brothers and sisters in this country. Many of them are dying of starvation and the majority just manage to live, racked by sorrow and suffering. They too must be helped.

What do you say; will you come along with me and share my ideal in this respect? We will eat and dress like ordinary men, buying only what is truly needed and offering the rest to God: This is what I propose to do. My purpose can be fulfilled, once you give your approval, once you are able to accept the sacrifice. You have been saying, "I have made no progress." Here I have shown you a path towards progress. Will you take this path?

My second madness has only recently seized me. It is this: by whatever means I must have the direct vision of God. Religion these days means repeating the name of God at any odd hour, praying in public, showing off how pious one is. I want nothing of this. If God exists, there must be some way to experience His existence, to meet Him face to face. However arduous this path is, I have made up my mind to follow it. The Hindu religion declares that the way lies in one's own body, in one's own mind. It has laid down the rules for following the way, and I have begun to observe them. Within a month I have realized that what the Hindu religion says is not false. I am experiencing in myself the signs of which it speaks. Now I want to take you along this way. You will not be able to keep step with me, for you do not have the requisite knowledge. But there is nothing to prevent you from following behind me. All can attain perfection on this path, but to enter it depends on one's own will. Nobody can drag you onto it. If you consent to this, I shall write more about it.

My third madness is that while others look upon their country as an inert piece of matter - a few meadows and fields, forests and hills and rivers - I look upon my country as the Mother. I adore Her, I worship Her as the Mother. What would a son do if a demon sat on his mother's breast and started sucking her blood? Would he quietly sit down to his dinner, amuse himself with his wife and children, or would he rush out to deliver his mother? I know I have the strength to deliver this fallen race. It is not physical strength, - I am not going to fight with sword or gun, - but the strength of knowledge. The power of the Kshatriya is not the only one; there is also the power of the Brahmin, the power that is founded on knowledge. This feeling is not new in me, it is not of today. I was born with it, it is in my very marrow. God sent me to earth to accomplish this great mission. The seed began to sprout when I was fourteen; by the time I was eighteen the roots of the resolution had grown firm and unshakable. After listening to what my aunt said, you formed the idea that some wicked people had dragged your simple and innocent husband onto the bad path. But it was this innocent husband of yours who brought those people and hundreds of others onto that path - be it bad or good - and will yet bring thousands and thousands of others onto that same path. I do not say that the work will be accomplished during my lifetime, but it certainly will be done.

Now I ask you, what are you going to do in this connection? The wife is the shakti, the strength of her husband. Will you be Usha's disciple and go on repeating the mantras of Sahib-worship? Will you diminish the strength of your husband by indifference or redouble it by your sympathy and encouragement? You will say, "What can an ordinary woman like me do in these great matters? I have no strength of mind, no intelligence, I am afraid to think about these things." But there is an easy way out. Take refuge in God. Enter once the path of God-realisation; He will soon make good your deficiencies. Fear gradually leaves one who takes refuge in God. And if you can put your trust in me, if you can listen to me alone and not to all and sundry, I can give you my own strength; that will not diminish my strength but increase it. We say that the wife is the husband's shakti, his strength. This means that the husband's strength is redoubled when he sees his own image in his wife and hears an echo of his own high aspirations in her.

Will you remain like this for ever: "I shall put on fine clothes, have nice things to eat, laugh and dance and enjoy all the pleasures"? Such an attitude cannot be called progress. At the present time the life of women in this country has taken this narrow and contemptible form. Give up all this and follow after me. We have come to this world to do God's work; let us begin it.

You have one defect in your nature. You are much too simple. You listen to anything anyone might say. Thus your mind is for ever restless, your intelligence cannot develop, you cannot concentrate on any work. This has to be corrected. You must acquire knowledge by listening to one person only. You must have a single aim and accomplish your work with a resolute mind. You must ignore the calumny and the ridicule of others and hold fast to your devotion.

There is another defect, not so much of your personal nature, as of the times. The times are such in Bengal that people are incapable of listening to serious things in a serious manner. Religion, philanthropy, noble aspirations, high endeavor, the deliverance of the country, all that is serious, all that is high and noble is turned to ridicule. People want to laugh everything away. At your Brahmo school, you picked up a little of this fault. Bari also had it; all of us are tainted by this defect to some extent. It has grown in surprising measure among the people of Deoghar. This attitude must be rejected with a firm mind. You will be able to do it easily. And once you get into the habit of thinking, your true nature will blossom forth. You have a natural turn towards doing good for others and towards self-sacrifice. The one thing you lack is strength of mind. You will get that through worship of God.

This is the secret of mine I wanted to tell you. Do not divulge it to anybody. Ponder calmly over these matters. There is nothing to be frightened of, but there is much to think about. To start with, you need do nothing but meditate on the Divine each day for half an hour, expressing to Him an ardent desire in the form of a prayer. The mind will get prepared gradually. This is the prayer you are to make to Him: "May I not be an obstacle in the path of my husband's life, his aim, his endeavor to realise God. May I always be his helper and his instrument." Will you do this?

-------------------------From the Life of Aurobindo-----------------------

Mother and Aurobindo

Mother and Aurobindo

The Kalki Feud

In the name of God, in the name of spirituality, and in the name of faith, if someone tries to exploit you, it is a sin to be a victim as much as it is a sin to be the sinner! God in his truest incarnations as per the Hindu mythology have always shown simple ways of attaining the sanathana Dharma. The real meaning of life and rightfulness. Many years since, one cult had been quite disturbing with its regime. As a writer, I dont fear to say what I believe is the truth. Lot of cases that caused this pain to write about the wrongs of these so called fake guru who hit at the people's most vulnerable moments in the name of solace, success and spirituality.
Why is the Kalki group not behind the poor and needy and why near to 90% of the devotees are the rich and upper middle class and NRIs? Why are they targetted? What is it that Kalki or his troupe have done to save the misery of poor, hunger and millions of uneducated, unemployed, under nourshed Indians? No records.
God becomes a distant factor when it involves money and nothing else. Why the hell should we pay Rs 50000 to meet this so called guru for just 20 minutes, what is special about it. I believe in dharma, I am an ardent Hindu, I am the follower of my faith and believe in Lord Vishu and his avatars, but I am not rich, which means I cant see Vishnu's last avatar - if at all he is this so called Kalki.... Sorry friends, if I am hurting someone in this process, but beaware of the exploitation.
I have seen bank manager roaring in tears as one of his daughters went on to become a nun from being an engineer and they struggled with the other handicapped daughter and having no where to go, searching and searching for their missing girl, later to realise that she became the sanyasin. The strict way of life that is imposed on these young girls and boys is not followed by his own son and kin..then what is the funda of all this....there are many youngesters who walked out of this dhiksha and moskha mania once the clouds vanished and they realised the truth.
Such self centred interests, and if at all you have a problem, write on a white paper and think of solutions, instead of believing blindly in a guru coming to solve them with miracles. Have faith in yourself than in these men!. Not many years ago, he was working like any one of us in LIC in Chennai, running behind people to source life insurance he is celebrity, he earned enough, even if his vision and mission fails and he doesnt get any more believers, he is not worried, for he had secured nearly ten more of his future generations, its finally the vulnerable and worried rich and middle class who got fooled and fretted!

Dont believe in what I say, read the below from Nirad's research on this Fake Guru of the century....Long live hinduism but let not such exploiters ruin the reigns of free mind and happy association with God in the original form:


Nirad C. Chaudhuri, the well-known iconoclast of Bengal, has described India as “A continent of Circe” meaning it to be “A Land of Sorcerers” or “A Land of Lunatics”. This judgement of his could never be questioned as long as our guardians of “Secularism” and champions of “Hindutva” bow their heads before the idols of mud, wood, stone, cowdung etc., and fall at the feet of saffron - robed Sadhus, sex-manic Sanyasis, mafia - linked Mahans and power - mongering Babas for their own personal gains and fool - proof protection from evil stars, ominous planets and scheming opponents.

All steeped deep in selfish motives and self - centred interests seek help starting from the opium - smoking Sadhus and Sanyasis up to the Babas and Sankaracharyas leaving no stone unturned. They are ready to sacrifice every thing from hair to self - respect to get their wishes gratified. Tonsuring heads is no longer a shame nor receiving Kicks from the Sanyasis a disgrace provided it brings them power and fortune.

The seeds of such a culture is to be seen in the barbaric Aryan literature called “The Vedas” which are nothing but a compilation of prayer songs sung by the Aryans beseeching blessings from their gods and cursing their sworn - enemies, the Dasyus. Even though hundreds of years have elapsed and modern scientific and technological revolutions have touched new heights, the Indian Circe remains so powerful in religion, culture and tradition that the picture of India as a “Lunatic Asylum” remains unperturbed to date.

The newly created “Kalki Cult” in Tamilnadu is an outstanding example of this demoralising trait of Indian culture. This cult is the second of its kind to take root in Tamilnadu in the recent past. Some years ago one `Bangaru’ a non - descript school teacher at Melmaruvathur village near Chennai started his “Om Shakthi cult” as a soothsayer. He called himself “Amma” (Shakthi), a curious metamorphosis of a female deity with male genitals! His “Amma cult” was systematically spread as an organization blessed by men in power and pampered by doctors, lawyers, judges, officials, businessmen and their wives. Thousands of dim - witted women fell an easy prey to the cult making it a mega success in Tamilnadu. A poor teacher turned into a multi - millionaire in ho time.

Mass gatherings at various poojas, colourful processions of women in red sarees and blouses, congregational rituals like ‘homas’ and ‘Yagnas’, periodical’ ‘pada yatras’ of ‘Amma’ to various places threw a spell over the fancy - loving and weak - willed women who became ardent devotees of the hermaphrodite ‘Amma’ in ‘Bangaru Adigalar.

A similar myth - making note struck the mind of one Mr. Vijayakumar, a B.Sc. Maths graduate from Vaishnava college, Chennai, who after graduation worked in the LIC and other establishments in Chennai and Coimbatore. In 1982 when he was 34 years old, he joined hands, with his old friend Mr. Sankar, a Physics graduate from Loyala college, Chennai Who had just then returned from Germany after a research study. Now both of them started a Matriculation School at Sathyalokam in Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh. Vijayakumar became the Director and Sankar the Principal of the school. Vijayakumar settled on the school campus with his wife Padmavathy and only son Krishna.

From now onwards Vijayakumar in collusion with his friend Sankar started to play his gimmicks to make himself ‘Kalki Bagwan’ the tenth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu in Kali Yug, the current era. The school was named ‘Jeevashram’. The blind belief of the Hindus as that of the Christians in Jesus Christ’s Second Coming was deftly handled by Vijayakumar & co to fool the gullible Indians both educated and uneducated. Vijayakumar attired in yellow robe covering his body and head. He called himself ‘Kalki Bagwan’ and started speaking mystically. Bewildered by his babblings and bewitched by his hypnotizing eyes behind a bushy moustache and beard, people began to throng round him begging for boons and gratification of their multi - faceted desires.

The school at Sathyalokam was closed down in 1993 and a posh ‘Kalki Ashram’ was built at Nemam village near Poonamallee. Vijayakumar’s accomplice Sankar become Bagwan’s prime disciple and was re-named ‘Sri Sankara Bagawathpade; Like Goebells he did a wonderful job in the propaganda and spread of the cult. Sri Kalki Bagwan went underground making his physical dharsan a rare commodity. Rumours of Bagwan’s omnipresence and omniscience were set afloat stories of Bagwan’s miracles were meticulously fabricated and systematically spread with authentic versions of the devotees One claimed he had a face to face talk with the Bagwan, another said his kidneys failed but with the grace of the Bagwan he got completely cured without any operation or transplantation. The third one said he lost everything in his business and became a pauper. He sent a fervent prayer to the Bagwan and all that was lost was restored to him in no time. Reports from Bangalore say that Bagwan Kalki offers his devotees ghee, milk and honey from his consecrated portraits hung in their homes. The cult caught fancy of the people like a wild - fire and Bagwan’s ashram grew rich by leaps and bounds.

Sri Kalki & co wanted to cast a wider net to catch the international market. With this idea they started to wean smart young middle - class graduates from their families, convert them into Sanyasis and send them out for propaganda work. The parents of the missing youth started complaining to the police about the whereabouts of their sons and daughters. The police have started probing the bona - fides of the ashram. However their efforts are being forestalled mainly because it is a matter of religion which our Constitution guarantees to the individuals and the youths claim they have attained majority and there is no question of kidnapping or mesmerising them.

They claim that their Cult has spread not only in the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Andhrapradesh but also in some of the northern states. They say they have their branches abroad in the U.S.A., Sweeden, Russia, Argentina and Japan.

What are the reasons behind the formidable growth of such swamis and how can we counteract their influence on the gullible public? The following are some of the techniques followed by the godmen to fleece the ignorant and keep themselves in luxury.

(1) They create an impressive look by donning colourful robes and choosing a calm place with a sylvan back ground as their ashram.

(2) They set afloat rumours about their miraculous heading powers through their agents in the garl of devotees.

(3) In the name of Dyana, Yoga, etc they offer a psychological relaxation to the stressful minds of the devotees and create an illusion of seeing God, Atman etc. in the form of light or a shock.

(4) They seek the patronage of the politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, judges etc to add credibility to their stature.

(5) They expand their clientele with the creation of a powerful band of followers, and with fraud and trickery, if need be.

Vested interests never dare to harm themselves by going against the religious sentiments of people. At times they may exhibit a preference in favour of Swamis of their own caste or creed For instance the Brahmins would invariably glorify the Sankarachariya whether he is a nitwit, stud or a deserter. The politicians would not touch Swamijis because without the blessings and support of the latter they could not remain in power for long The bureaucracy and judiciary are the puppets in the hands of the ruling party and their constancy is like that of a weathercock. The press are for sensational news to boost the sales of their papers. They play a vital role in projecting the Kumbabishekas, Aradhanas and Dharshanas and “What the stars foretell”. They keep the erring Sankaracharya in the dark and bring the anonymous non - Brahmin swamis to lime-light for criticism and condemnation.

As such it becomes the primary duty of the rationalist’s fora and social organisations like the Dravidar Kazhagam to take up cudgels against the frauds and cheats under the aegis of religion, tradition and culture. Even their endeavours would not be of much use unless people, as Periyar Ramasamy exhorted, should make use of their sixth sense of reasoning and get themselves rid of their shackles of religion, rituals, scriptures and shastras, pujas and purohits to live a pest - free life of discipline, decency and decorum.