February 28, 2007

The Earth is one

World Union is a non-profit, non-political organisation founded on the 26th November 1958 in Pondicherry, inspired by Sri Aurobindo's vision of carrying forward a movement for Human Unity, World Peace and Progress on a Spiritual Foundation. For the ordinary humanitarian and religious outlook and motivation are inadequate to meet the demands of the New Age which is already in the process of manifesting under the inevitable programme of the evolutionary nature on earth.
The Mother became the President of the first World Council of World Union on 20 August 1964, and since then, 20th August is celebrated as World Union Day. A. B. Patel was the leading figure in the organisation for many years, he was succeeded in that role by M.P. Pandit. The organisation also publishes a quarterly journal with the same title, which draws inspiration from the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, particularly from The Human Cycle and The Ideal of Human Unity. At the instance of Surendra Mohan Ghosh, J. Smith and Anil Mukherjee along with other prominent persons formed an Association named ‘New World Union’ on the 26th November 1958 in Pondicherry. A. B. Patel joined in May 1959, and then on April 23, 1960 the name was changed to 'World Union' on The Mother’s advice. The Mother became the President of the first World Council of World Union on 20 August 1964, and Surendra Mohan Ghosh, the Chairman.
Present office-bearers of the World Executive of World Union
Samir Kanto Gupta - Chairman Jagdish Gandhi - Vice-chairman
Ananda Reddy - Vice-chairman Anjali Roy - Vice-chairperson
Suresh Ch. De - General Secretary plus Treasurer
Prakash S. Patel - Asst. General Secretary plus Treasurer
Editorial Board - Samir Kanto Gupta, Ananda Reddy, and Suresh Ch. De
Location - Rue Desbassyns de Richmont,
Puducherry - 605002, India. Phone - (0413) 2334834
Select articles from the Journal
Concept of Man in Sri Aurobindo.
Indra Sen July-Sept 1968
The Integral Culture of Man.
Indra Sen April-June 1970
Integral Philosophy and a New Civilization.
Karl Heussenstamm April-June 1971
Unity and Harmony in Practical Prospects.
H. Maheswari March 2006
Drive to Higher Integrations. Purnendu Prasad Bhattacharya June 2006

February 26, 2007

Three days (or two or “really in one” day) of meditation with Vishnu Bhaskar Lele

“Aurobindo’s Spiritual Initiation” [Excerpts from a chapter of Barin Ghose’s book From “Sri Aurobindo (As I Understand Him)”]
After the break up of the Congress at Surat Aurobindo came to Baroda, the capital city of His Highness the Gaikwar. A few months back while searching for a spiritual guide for our political workers I had been to Swami Brahmananda’s Asram at Chandote on the banks of the river Nurbada. At that time there was a dawning sense growing in us — the young dedicated workers — that the deliverance of India was not possible without spiritual power. An idea of a Bhawani Mandir in the hills (a temple dedicated to that aspect of the Shakti which was worshipped by the great Sivajee of Aurangzib’s time) was in the air among the secret workers. I was sent along with another friend1 to Northern India to look for a Guru or spiritual guide who could guide India’s destiny and train us — the future builders of the nation — along spiritual lines.
Deeply imbued with the cult of violence, learnt from the Irish Seinfeinners and Russian secret societies, and equally ignorant of what spiritual power actually meant, we in our blindness wanted to harness Divine power to our dark mission.… It was no wonder then that we wished to take to spiritual means for a holy war against the British, this idea of God helping the righteous even in murder and bloodshed being ingrained in man from his savage days.
The great Yogi Brahmananda of Nurbada had passed away some years before and I found his disciple Keshavananda to be a dry as dust pedant and a mechanical Hatha Yogi knowing no higher yoga at all. But quite accidentally I had met for a few minutes a Maharashtra Brahmin, Vishnu Bhaskar Lele by name, in the Chandote Asram. I did know that this man was a great and real Yogi. While returning to Bengal quite disappointed in my quest. I met Lele again in a friend’s house at Navasari. He made me sit in a dark room with him for a few minutes and as a result three days afterwards I had my first glimpse of spiritual awakening, my first psychic experience.
Aurobindo hearing about him from me had expressed a desire to meet this wonderful devotee of love. As soon as the Surat Congress was over I wired to Lele requesting him to come to Baroda to meet Aurobindo. Crowds with flags and national cries followed us from the station and students unyoked a carriage and putting Aurobindo, myself and a Sannyasi, Sakhariaswami, on it, pulled it for some distance. In the midst of a surging crowd we reached Khasirao’s [sic] Bungalow at 8 a.m. and immediately after Vishnu Bhaskar Lele arrived. I left Aurobindo alone with him for half an hour. When he had left I asked my brother how he found him so far as Yoga was concerned. Aurobindo said in his characteristic cryptic way, “Lele is a wonderful Yogi.”
The next day Lele came again and requested Aurobindo to sit with him continuously for seven days all alone and in silence in a quiet place. At that time nothing was more difficult than this to arrange. Aurobindo had become the idol of the nation and a wonderful halo surrounded him producing a mysterious magnetic attraction for him in the hearts of our young men. Anybody, who was in national work anywhere, needed and sought his advice and guidance. Day in and day out, crowds surrounded our house and programmes of public meetings were being arranged for him.
Lele suddenly spirited Aurobindo away from the midst of all this commotion to a lonely old place tucked away in the heart of the city. There, day in and day out, the two of them sat wrapped in deep meditation facing each other. Their simple needs were looked after by Vishnu Bhaskar’s wife, a matriculate girl of small stature of very subdued nature. I was also there and used to sit in meditation with them morning and evening in my restless and perfunctory way. My mind was divided between my ambitious national work and this inner life of Yoga.
Seven days passed almost in continuous and silent meditation2 while batches of young men traversed the town in search of their newly-found leader who had so suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from among them upsetting all their crowded programmes and arrangements. When Aurobindo was at last permitted to come out and attend a meeting in the famous gymnasium there among his ardent admirers, a great and abiding peace had descended on him which from thence forward formed the basis of all his future Sadhana.…
2 According to Sri Aurobindo he obtained the experience of the Silent Brahman in three days (or two or “really in one” day) of meditation with Lele. See On Himself, pp. 49, 82, 84, 85. He may have remained in seclusion with Lele for some days more before going out to give lectures etc.
3 Not necessarily this day. Barin seems to have been writing under the impression that Sri Aurobindo and Lele parted at the station, but Lele in fact accompanied Sri Aurobindo to Poona and Bombay.
SRI NOLINI KANTA GUPTA (A Life Sketch): It would not have been far out to call it an Ashram And it was precisely because of this that Barin got Lele Maharaj down here for our initiation and training in Sadhana, the discipline of Yoga, the same Lele who had been of a particular help to Sri Aurobindo at a certain stage of his own sadhana.

With Sri Aurobindo, spirituality explained politics and politics fulfilled itself in spirituality

Glimpses of Vedantism in Sri Aurobindo's Political Thought by Samar Basu: Published by Sri Mira Trust; Pondicherry, India. Pp 73 (Book Review) International Journal of Humanities and Peace, January, 2002 by Reddy, Ananda
Samar Basu's attempts at bringing out the Vedantic ideals in Sri Aurobindo's political thought only confirms that with Sri Aurobindo "spirituality explained politics and politics fulfilled itself in spirituality". All along his brief political engagement, Sri Aurobindo's life was based on spirituality of which politics was only an outer expression. And the underlying realization of this spirituality was the Vedanfic ideal.

February 21, 2007

I was completely against "God"

October 16, 1971: You know, the "Cosmic" had a very interesting effect in my life. I was completely against "God." The European notion of God was quite repulsive to me. But at the same time naturally, that prevented me from having any experience. And with the "cosmic teaching" of the inner god (that was Théon's idea, the inner god -- Mother touches her chest -- the one that is inside each of us), brff! (gesture as if walls were crumbling). The experience was fantastic. I am very grateful to him. That's how it happened; I found it by following his instructions and searching within, behind the solar plexus. I found it, I had an experience ... an absolutely convincing experience.
Only people will stumble upon some vital force and mistake it for the soul, so.... You have to be VERY sincere, that is the absolute condition. You have to be VERY sincere, VERY sincere -- not only must you not deceive others, but you must not deceive yourself. You have to be VERY sincere. And then you find it. You find it, it's an absolutely concrete experience.
I had the experience before coming here. Before I came, before knowing Sri Aurobindo, I had the experience. So three quarters of the work was already done, you could say.... I didn't have mental knowledge (the mental knowledge was nothing to talk about), but it's not necessary for the experience. If you're sincere, you have the experience without thinking, you don't NEED to think. But you have to be sincere.
And now that's what my body has, it's having those same experiences. But words are....
In a certain attitude (but it's difficult to explain or define), in a certain attitude, everything becomes divine. Everything. And what is marvelous then is that when you have the experience that everything becomes divine, everything that is contrary quite simply disappears (fast or slow, right away or little by little, depending on circumstances).
That's really marvelous. That is to say, becoming conscious that everything is divine is the best way to make everything divine -- you understand -- to eliminate all opposition. The Mother's Agenda_12

February 17, 2007

It first comes to us masked, draped, veiled by the mists of the Ignorance

The quest of man for God, which becomes in the end the most ardent and enthralling of all his quests, begins with his first vague questionings of Nature and a sense of something unseen both in himself and her. Even if, as modern Science insists, religion started from animism, spirit-worship, demon-worship, and the deification of natural forces, these first forms only embody in primitive figures a veiled intuition in the subconscient, an obscure and ignorant feeling of hidden influences and incalculable forces, or a vague sense of being, will, intelligence in what seems to us inconscient, of the invisible behind the visible, of the secretly conscious spirit in things distributing itself in every working of energy.
The obscurity and primitive inadequacy of the first perceptions do not detract from the value or the truth of this great quest of the human heart and mind, since all our seekings,—including Science itself,—must start from an obscure and ignorant perception of hidden realities and proceed to the more and more luminous vision of the Truth which at first comes to us masked, draped, veiled by the mists of the Ignorance.
Anthropomorphism is an imaged recognition of the truth that man is what he is because God is what He is and that there is one soul and body of things, humanity even in its incompleteness the most complete manifestation yet achieved here and divinity the perfection of what in man is imperfect. That he sees himself everywhere and worships that as God is also true; but here too he has laid confusedly the groping hand of Ignorance on a truth,—that his being and the Being are one, that this is a partial reflection of That, and that to find his greater Self everywhere is to find God and to come near to the Reality in things, the Reality of all existence.

February 16, 2007

I will prefer to observe not dumb but deep and respectful silence

Re: Re: Re: 05: Numerology of 365th line of 'Savitri'? RY Deshpande Thu 15 Feb 2007 06:36 AM PST Profile Permanent Link Hi Ron But you want me to handle a difficult situation! In Canto One, The Symbol Dawn of Savitri, we have the following passage on p. 7:
In vain now seemed the splendid sacrifice.
A prodigal of her rich divinity,
Her self and all she was she had lent to men,
Hoping her greater being to implant
And in their body's lives acclimatise
That heaven might native grow on mortal soil.
Hard is it to persuade earth-nature's change;
Mortality bears ill the eternal's touch:
It fears the pure divine intolerance
Of that assault of ether and of fire;
It murmurs at its sorrowless happiness,
Almost with hate repels the light it brings;
It trembles at its naked power of Truth
And the might and sweetness of its absolute Voice.
The 5th line here—“And in their body's lives acclimatise”—is the additional line which occurs in the Revised Edition of Savitri; with it the total number of lines in the first Canto becomes 342, as against 341 in the earlier editions. That would make our line—the line from Canto Two, The Issue we have been discussing, “Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate”—as the 366th line of Savitri. There is a reason to feel somewhat disappointed with it, with this change of count; your question “...why they changed the line count in the Revised Edition?” becomes pertinent. What should be 365, has become 366. Why?
The answer is simple and straightforward: No, their intention was not to change the line count. They have restored what was missed or dropped; they found a line that was missed by the earlier versions, including those which came out before the publication of Part One consisting of the first three Books of Savitri in September 1950, before Sri Aurobindo’s passing away on 5 December of that year; the remaining nine Books came out as Part II and Part III in a single volume in May 1951. This absence—of the relatable line in The Symbol Dawn—continued through the Centenary Edition, 1972, and its subsequent reproductions, until the Revised Edition reinstated it in 1992. So, unfortunately, that upsets our line count.
But is that important? But if there is an occult-hermeneutic connection between 365 days of the year and the appearance of the line “Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate” as the 365th line of the poem, if there is acceptable numerology pertaining to the deeper working of things, then our sensibility has reason to feel disappointed.
The second part of your query is more complex, with a complexity which could also include official as well as editorial approaches. You are asking “…why this critically important line, ‘Twelve passionate months led in a day of fate’, became the 366th rather than the 365th line as in the Centenary Edition? Was this an editorial decision they made on their own, or was it the result of new research regarding SA's actual intention?” A part of the answer is already present in what I have just said.
Regarding “Sri Aurobindo’s actual intention”—what can anyone really say, or should say about it? His “intentions” belong to another domain altogether and his instruments of knowledge are of a different order. We have talked elsewhere in considerable detail about our limitations and the small scope of the possibilities vis-à-vis our post-human destinies. I will therefore prefer to observe not dumb but deep and respectful silence as far as this phrase “Sri Aurobindo’s actual intention” is concerned; it is beyond my capacity.
But if the line was simply missed by the earlier team, and yet what was printed during Sri Aurobindo’s time as the text was a result of having been read out to him at every stage of its composition and publication, then would that not amount to his tacit approval of things as they were presented to him? What does one really do in such a situation? Does one go by what Sri Aurobindo heard and passed, or go by what he wrote or dictated but got left out by others? Each has its own set of uncertainties, and we become helpless with our mental or so-called objective-rational approaches. the dangers are there... Well, before I make my position known in this regard, it will be good to have responses from the readers of this sciy forum. And thanks. RYD 12:45 PM

February 12, 2007

One is concentric, another is vertical

There are in fact two systems simultaneously active in the organisation of the being and its parts: one is concentric, a series of rings or sheaths with the psychic at the centre; another is vertical, an ascension and descent, like a flight of steps, a series of superimposed planes with the supermind-overmind as the crucial nodus of the transition beyond the human into the Divine. For this transition, if it is to be at the same time a transformation, there is only one way, one path.
  • First, there must be a conversion inwards, a going within to find the inmost psychic being and bring it out to the front, disclosing at the same time the inner mind, inner vital, inner physical parts of the nature.
  • Next, there must be an ascension, a series of conversions upwards and a turning down to convert the lower parts. When one has made the inward conversion, one psychicises the whole lower nature so as to make it ready for the divine change.
  • Going upwards, one passes beyond the human mind and at each stage of the ascent, there is a conversion into a new consciousness and an infusion of this new consciousness into the whole of the nature.
  • Thus rising beyond intellect through illuminated higher mind to the intuitive consciousness, we begin to look at everything not from the intellect range or through intellect as an instrument, but from a greater intuitive height and through an intuitivised will, feeling, emotion, sensation and physical contact.
  • So, proceeding from Intuition to a greater overmind height, there is a new conversion and we look at and experience everything from the overmind consciousness and through a mind, heart, vital and body surcharged with the overmind thought, sight, will, feeling, sensation, play of force and contact.
  • But the last conversion is the supramental, for once there – once the nature is supramentalised, we are beyond the Ignorance and conversion of consciousness is no longer needed, though a farther divine progression, even an infinite development is still possible.

Purity of one's adoration and seeking

The personal realisation of the Divine may be sometimes with Form, sometimes without Form. Without Form, it is the Presence of the living Divine Person, felt in everything. With Form, it comes with the image of the One to whom worship is offered. The Divine can always manifest himself in a form to the bhakta or seeker. One sees him in the form in which one worships or seeks him or in a form suitable to the Divine Personality who is the object of the adoration.
How it manifests depends on many things and it is too various to be reduced to a single rule. Sometimes it is in the heart that the Presence with the form is seen, sometimes in any of the other centres, sometimes above and guiding from there, sometimes it is seen outside and in front as if an embodied Person. Its advantages are an intimate relation and constant guidance or if felt or seen within, a very strong and concrete realisation of the constant Presence.
But one must be very sure of the purity of one's adoration and seeking—for the disadvantage of this kind of embodied relation is that other Forces can imitate the Form or counterfeit the voice and the guidance and this gets more force if it is associated with a constructed image which is not the true thing. Several have been misled in this way because pride, vanity or desire was strong in them and robbed them of the finer psychic perception that is not mental and can at once turn the Mother's light on such misleadings or errors.

February 11, 2007

Uinterrupted flow of the Mind of Light in the physical

Re: 04: Now her Life Shared the Cosmic Load by RY Deshpande on Sat 10 Feb 2007 08:06 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
When did this happen? Did it happen on 5 December 1950, at 1.26 am? When Sri Aurobindo withdrew from his physical, there was the uninterrupted flow of the Mind of Light in the physical of the Mother, even as she could feel the friction of its passage. The Mind of Light is the Physical receiving the Supramental and it got established in her at that moment. It became the basis of her luminous and active dynamism ever since.
Is Savitri’s “This was the day when Satyavan must die” the same as Amal Kiran’s “divine Aurobindo died”? Possibly so, but probably not; the answer is less of ‘yes’ than ‘no’. One is designedly set in the Transcendent while the other is a Yogi’s definitive step in the process of working out things. Satyavan’s death is a necessary condition for Savitri’s occult-yogic work to make it sufficient. Sri Aurobindo’s death was not fixed in the Transcendent, though later it became a part of the Transcendent; in an act of supreme sacrifice it was fixed by Sri Aurobindo himself. Who can plunge into the depth of its mystery? But we can aspire to live and grow in it. RYD

February 07, 2007

Sri Aurobindo himself was magnanimous enough to go through my first and second drafts

Sri Aurobindo - A Biography and a history by K R Srinivasa Iyengar
Paperback - 843 Pages (Year: 2006) Sri Aurobindo Ashram ~ ISBN: 8170588138
The first edition of this book was published on 21 February 1945. When I started work on it late in 1942, I was not slow to realize that the biographer of Sri Aurobindo had himself to be a poet and a prophet, a philosopher and a Yogi; and being fully conscious of my limitations, I knew that the task I had undertaken greatly exceeded my abilities.
Neverthless I persevered, benefiting by encouragement, counsel and criticism from several friends in Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, and it was my unique good fortune that Sri Aurobindo himself was magnanimous enough to go through my first and second drafts of February 1943 and November 1943 respectively, rectifying many errors whether of fact or interpretation. In the result, the book was received warmly as a reliable first introduction to Sri Aurobindo’s life and work.
The second edition appeared on 21 February 1950. In preparing it for the press, I had retained the main text of the first edition, but I had also tried to make it up-to-date by introducing additional matter here and there, and supplying a few more footnotes. Although the second edition sold out not long afterwards, and although there were calls for a new edition, for about twenty years I found myself unable to return to this task. During this period a great deal of valuable material came to light and a large mass of Sri Aurobindo’s own writings-prose as well as poetry-was posthumously published.
While I no doubt tried desperately to keep in touch with this growing literature- both writing by Sri Aurobindo and writing on Sri Aurobindo-the idea of a third edition of my biography nevertheless filled me with grave misgivings. It was clear that a casual or piecemeal revision wouldn’t serve the purpose. With each succeeding year, the task only became more and more difficult, and I felt correspondingly inadequate and was afraid even to make a beginning. I realized too that I could look for no respite so long as I consented to be shackled to the arduous tasks of university teaching or administration.

February 05, 2007

The satisfied assent of all our being to her workings

The faith in the divine Shakti must be always at the back of our strength and when she becomes manifest, it must be or grow implicit and complete. There is nothing that is impossible to her who is the conscious Power and universal Goddess all-creative from eternity and armed with the Spirit's omnipotence. All knowledge, all strengths, all triumph and victory, all skill and works are in her hands and they are full of the treasures of the Spirit and of all perfections and siddhis.
  • She is Maheshwari, goddess of the supreme knowledge, and brings to us her vision for all kinds and widenesses of truth, her rectitude of the spiritual will, the calm and passion of her supramental largeness, her felicity of illumination:
  • she is Mahakali, goddess of the supreme strength, and with her are all mights and spiritual force and severest austerity of tapas and swiftness to the battle and the victory and the laughter, the attahasya, that makes light of defeat and death and the powers of the ignorance:
  • she is Mahalakshmi, the goddess of the supreme love and delight, and her gifts are the spirit's grace and the charm and beauty of the Ananda and protection and every divine and human blessing:
  • she is Mahasaraswati, the goddess of divine skill and of the works of the Spirit, and hers is the Yoga that is skill in works, yogah karmasu kaushalam, and the utilities of divine knowledge and the self-application of the spirit to life and the happiness of its harmonies.

And in all her powers and forms she carries with her the supreme sense of the masteries of the eternal Ishwari, a rapid and divine capacity for all kinds of action that may be demanded from the instrument, oneness, a participating sympathy, a free identity, with all energies in all beings and therefore a spontaneous and fruitful harmony with all the divine will in the universe. The intimate feeling of her presence and her powers and the satisfied assent of all our being to her workings in and around it is the last perfection of faith in the Shakti. The Synthesis of Yoga Part 4: The Yoga of Self-Perfection Chapter 18: Faith and Shakti (June 1920)