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Sri Aurobindo Center of Los Angeles

The Quest
August 2019

The Life of Sri Aurobindo

"I have the strength to uplift this fallen race; not a physical strength, I am not going to fight with a sword or a gun, but with the power of knowledge. The force of the ksatriya is not the only force, there is also the force of the Brahmin which is founded on knowledge. This is not a new feeling in me, not of recent origin, I was born with it, it is in my very marrow. God sent me to the earth to accomplish this great mission."
-Sri Aurobindo

 

Dreams of the Prophet of the Life Divine

Sri Aurobindo's message on Aug 15, 1947:
 
As a mystic, I take this identification, not as a coincidence or fortuitous accident, but as a sanction and seal of the Divine Power which guides my steps on the work with which I began life. Indeed almost all the world movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my life­time, though at that time they looked like impossible dreams, I can observe on this day either approaching fruition or initiated and on the way to their achievement. 
 
I have been asked for a message on this great occasion, but I am perhaps hardly in a position to give one. All I can do is to make a personal declaration of the aims and ideals conceived in my childhood and youth and now watched in their beginning of fulfilment, because they are relevant to the freedom of India…
 
Those aims and ideals were in their natural order these: a revolution which would achieve India's freedom and her unity; the resurgence and liberation of Asia and her return to the great role which she had played in the progress of human civilisation; the rise of a new, a greater, brighter and nobler life for mankind which for its entire realisation would rest outwardly on an international unification of the separate existence of the peoples, preserving and securing their national life but drawing them together into an overriding and consummating oneness; the gift by India of her spiritual knowledge and her means for the spiritualisation of life to the whole race; finally, a new step in the evolution which, by uplifting the consciousness to a higher level, would begin the solution of the many problems of existence which have perplexed and vexed humanity, since men began to think and to dream of individual perfection and a perfect society.
 

The Miracle Of Birth - Poem by Sri Aurobindo

I saw my soul a traveller through Time; 
From life to life the cosmic ways it trod,
Obscure in the depths and on the heights sublime,
Evolving from the word into the god.

A spark of the eternal Fire, it came
To build a house in Matter for the Unborn.
The inconscient sunless Night received the flame; 
In the brute seed of things dumb and forlorn.

Life stirred and Thought outlined a gleaming shape
Till on the stark inanimate earth could move,
Born to somnambulist Nature in her sleep
A thinking creature who can hope and love.

Still by slow steps the miracle goes on,
The Immortal's gradual birth mid mire and stone.

29-9-1939
 
The Hour of God - Organ Music
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The Divine Birth and Divine Works

THE WORK for which the Avatar descends has like his birth a double sense and a double form. It has an outward side of the divine force acting upon the external world in order to maintain there and to reshape the divine law by which the Godward effort of humanity is kept from decisive retrogression and instead decisively carried forward in spite of the rule of action and reaction, the rhythm of advance and relapse by which Nature proceeds. It has an inward side of the divine force of the Godward consciousness acting upon the soul of the individual and the soul of the race, so that it may receive new forms of revelation of the Divine in man and may be sustained, renewed and enriched in its power of upward self-unfolding. The Avatar does not descend merely for a great outward action, as the pragmatic sense in humanity is too often tempted to suppose. Action and event have no value in themselves, but only take their value from the force which they represent and the idea which they symbolise and which the force is there to serve.

The crisis in which the Avatar appears, though apparent to the outward eye only as a crisis of events and great material changes, is always in its source and real meaning a crisis in the consciousness of humanity when it has to undergo some grand modification and effect some new development. For this action of change a divine force is needed; but the force varies always according to the power of consciousness which it embodies; hence the necessity of a divine consciousness manifesting in the mind and soul of humanity.

The Mother on the birth of Sri Aurobindo

AN ETERNAL BIRTH      
 
Q: You spoke of Sri Aurobindo's birth as “eternal” in the history of the universe. What exactly was meant by “eternal”?
 
Mother: The sentence can be understood in four different ways on four ascending planes of consciousness:
1. Physically, the consequence of the birth will be of eternal importance to the world.
2. Mentally, it is a birth that will be eternally remembered in the universal history.
3. Psychically, a birth that recurs for ever from age to age upon earth.
4. Spiritually, the birth of the Eternal upon earth.
1957
 
Since the beginning of earth history, Sri Aurobindo has always presided over the great earthly transformations, under one form or another, one name or another.

Sri Aurobindo is constantly among us and reveals himself to those who are ready to see and hear him.
 

Sri Aurobindo's Humour

Disciple: I'm obliged to sleep out for a few days because of repairs, the whole building is smelling of lime and lime and lime !
Sri Aurobindo: If you want to be a real yogi go on sniffing and sniffing at the lime till the smell creates an ecstasy in the nose and you realise that all smells and stinks are sweet and beautiful in the sweetness and beauty of the Brahman.
 
Disciple: Why are we made of so many contradictory elements?
Sri Aurobindo: It takes many ingredients to make a nice pudding.
 
Disciple: Guru, this is the month when your thrice blessed disciple came into the physical world. But thinking again— what will the poor Guru do if the big disciple doesn't fulfil the conditions? Is that so?
Sri Aurobindo: The one hope is then that he may last on to fulfil the conditions without his knowing that he is doing it! What do you think of that device?
 
Disciple: I am pained when I hear people saying—after all Pondicherry has brought him to this.
Sri Aurobindo: Why can't they say he has acquired a Godlike samatā ? Don't you remember the śloka—. A Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog and an outcaste are all the same to the sage. So X can embrace even actors—hope, he will stop short of the actresses, though.
 
Disciple: I hear that you are now trying more for transformation of nature than for experience.
Sri Aurobindo: Because without transformation of nature, the blessed experience is something like a gold crown on a pig’s head —  won't do. Picturesque perhaps, but —
 

Empowering lines from Savitri

"A pointing beam on earth's uncertain roads,
His birth held up a symbol and a sign;
His human self like a translucent cloak
Covered the All-Wise who leads the unseeing world".
— Savitri Book 1 Canto III.
 

Events & Activities

On Saturday, August 17 at 4:00 pm, we gathered for the observance of Sri Aurobindo's 147th Birthday. We celebrated with a program of readings and music followed by collective meditation.

In Gratitude

I'm a devotee of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. I found the Sri Aurobindo Center of Los Angeles about two years ago after landing on the Center's website as I was searching through the web to find some comfort amidst circumstances which left me feeling very alone. With deep gratitude to everyone at our Center, I share my deepest appreciation to all who help to keep our Center vibrant and organize events, Satsangs on Saturdays and Savitri reading on Thursday evenings. Being able to call our Center my spiritual ‘home’ has provided me with a solid anchor to face the ups and downs of life and is helping me move about my life like water flowing downstream in a river. Being alone is a thing of the past as I now have Mother, Sri Aurobindo and this Satsang family and friends who are now a part of my life. I find that our Center is playing a very special role in my growth and on this path I am on, hand-in-hand with Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

The Center has been instrumental in giving me the greatest gift of the feeling of Her presence in my heart. My sincerest thank you to all who keep our Center a spiritual ‘home’ for me and all who are devoted to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

 
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