Altar at The Sri Aurobindo Center of Los Angeles, 15 August 2022

Sri Aurobindo Center

of Los Angeles

The Quest
Augustl 2022

Theme - Sri Aurobindo’s Yogic Life Sketch
  1. Events & Activities
  2. Idea of Atman
  3. The Self
  4. The Godhead
  5. The Infinite
  6. The Goddess
  7. Ramakrishna & Vivekananda
  8. The Four Realizations
  9. Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry
  10. Sadhana of the Body
  11. Sri Aurobindo’s Humor
  12. Empowering Lines from Savitri

Events & Activities          Home

In the month of August we celebrated the birthday of our Master, Sri Aurobindo. Being the 150th birth anniversary, all waited with bated breath for Aug 15. Devotees from near and far visited the Center, some for overnight stays. The darshan was celebrated with a medley of video, prayer, audios, musical invocation, reminiscences of disciples, sharing, readings and offering of sumptuous delicacies by children and adults. The program, varied, immense and intense, yet vibrated with one note, one word, one thought, one feeling and one meaning, “Sri Aurobindo”! This kept echoing in the hearts of all.  Gratitude and only gratitude lit the Center. It seemed all were trying to respond to the Mother’s call for gratitude to Sri Aurobindo, that “we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee.”

With a good part of the renovation complete, we have a new kitchen. The Garden work continues blessing the worker and beautifying the grounds.  The collective meetings were focused on Sri Aurobindo and his work and vision. The life of great Avatars, prophets, seers usually recedes and fades from human memory with the passage of time, but in the case of Sri Aurobindo, it is a delightful anomaly that His presence becomes stronger and more living and active on earth, and in all of us. He draws closer to us as time passes!
The new driveway and walkway at the Sri Aurobindo Centre of Los Angeles.
All are invited to join us for the following virtual events taking place via Zoom video and teleconferencing calls.

Aspiration for the Divine – Tuesdays, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Pacific Time

Savitri Reading - Thursdays, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Pacific Time

Readings from The Mother by Sri Aurobindo - Saturdays,
4:30 pm- 6:00 pm Pacific Time

Click here for the Zoom Meeting details.
Introducing the Podcast

Idea of Atman

(This experience was in London around 1892.)

… In England, when I was reading Max Muller's translation of the Vedanta, I came upon the idea of Atman, the Self, and thought that this was the true thing to be realised in life. Before that I was an agnostic and even an atheist. ...

5 February 1939
Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo by AB Purani, Page 713

The Self 
(This experience was at Bombay in 1893.)

… as soon as I set foot on Apollo Bunder the experience of the Self began — I did not know, of course, that it was the experience of the Self. It was a sense of calm and vastness pervading everywhere.

5 February 1939
Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo by AB Purani, Page 713
The Godhead
(When Sri Aurobindo was going in a horse-driven carriage in Baroda at around 1893-94, there was the possibility of a major accident. Suddenly he felt a Being of Light emerge from him and avert the accident. He later described this experience in the sonnet titled ‘The Godhead’.)

Sadhak: … Didn’t you begin Yoga later on in Gujarat?

Sri Aurobindo: Yes. But this began in London, sprouted the moment I set foot on Apollo Bunder, touching Indian soil, flowered one day in the first year of my stay in Baroda, at the moment when there threatened to be an accident to my carriage.

31 October 1935
CWSA Volume 35, Page 233
The Infinite
(This experience was around May-August 1903. He later described this experience in the sonnet titled ‘Adwaita’.)

Kashmir is a magnificent place, its rivers unforgettable and on one of its mountains with a shrine of Shankaracharya on it I got my second realisation of the Infinite (long before I started Yoga).

June 1934
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 35, Page 235
The Goddess
(This experience was around 1904-06. He later described this experience in the sonnet titled ‘The Stone Goddess’.)

.. at Karnali, where there are many temples, I went to one of them and saw in an image of Kali the living Presence. After that, I came to believe in God.

5 January 1939
Talks with Sri Aurobindo – Nirodbaran, Volume 1, Page 105
Ramakrishna and Vivekananda
… For myself it was Ramakrishna who personally came & first turned me to this Yoga. Vivekananda in the Alipore jail gave me the foundations of that knowledge which is the basis of our sadhana. …

August 1912 or after
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 36, Page 179
Four Great Realizations
Sri Aurobindo had already realised in full two of the four great realisations on which his yoga and his spiritual philosophy are founded. The first he had gained while meditating with the Maharashtrian Yogi Vishnu Bhaskar Lele, at Baroda in January 1908; it was the realisation of the silent spaceless and timeless Brahman gained after a complete and abiding stillness of the whole consciousness and attended at first by an overwhelming feeling and perception of the total unreality of the world, though this feeling disappeared after his second realisation which was that of the cosmic consciousness and of the Divine as all beings and all that is, which happened in the Alipore jail and of which he has spoken in his speech at Uttarpara. To the other two realisations, that of the supreme Reality with the static and dynamic Brahman as its two aspects and that of the higher planes of consciousness leading to the Supermind, he was already on his way in his meditations in Alipore jail. Moreover, he had accepted from Lele as the principle of his sadhana to rely wholly on the Divine and his guidance alone both for his sadhana and for his outward actions. After that it was impossible for him to put himself under any other guidance and unnecessary to seek help from anyone. In fact Sri Aurobindo never took any formal initiation from anyone; he started his Sadhana on his own account by the practice of pranayama and never asked for help except from Lele.

Sri Aurobindo correcting an article by Ramchandra Majumdar on himself
CWSA Volume 36, Page 94

(Sri Aurobindo’s famous Uttarpara speech given on 30 May 1909, after his release from Alipore jail earlier that month.)

… I looked at the jail that secluded me from men and it was no longer by its high walls that I was imprisoned; no, it was Vasudeva who surrounded me. I walked under the branches of the tree in front of my cell, but it was not the tree, I knew it was Vasudeva, it was Sri Krishna whom I saw standing there and holding over me His shade. I looked at the bars of my cell, the very grating that did duty for a door and again I saw Vasudeva. It was Narayana who was guarding and standing sentry over me. Or I lay on the coarse blankets that were given me for a couch and felt the arms of Sri Krishna around me, the arms of my Friend and Lover. This was the first use of the deeper vision He gave me. …

Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 8, Page 6
Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry
Dear Fellow Seekers,

In the last issue of Quest, we learnt about Sri Aurobindo’s life from his birth till he left for Pondicherry. In this issue we will cover his life in Pondicherry. Though Sri Aurobindo stated, “All life is Yoga” and nothing is not Spiritual, but since this part of life was exclusively yogic, very elementarily we will refresh the concepts of Integral Yoga, the path that he developed, practiced, and taught. There is no set method or practice in this yoga other than concentration, aspiration, and an increasing surrender of self, a self-opening upwards and inwards. The aim of the yoga is to transform integrally from the current state of human, where one is limited by ignorance, to a higher state where one will be governed by Truth. For this goal one must open all parts of ones life to the Divine Influence, be receptive, be guided and be identified with this higher state and finally be transformed under its influence, to a higher Being. What is this higher state of consciousness? Sri Aurobindo called it the Supramental Consciousness, the state where truth’s reign is absolute. The Mother and Sri Aurobindo brought down the Supramental Consciousness into the earth, to make our work easy, to be open to this force and transform ourselves. But this descent demanded a long work from them, which they did stationed in Pondicherry, about which we will learn.

Sri Aurobindo left Kolkata on 1st April 1910 and reached Pondicherry in the afternoon of 4th April.  He first stayed for the 6 months in the house of Shankar Chettiar, a prominent citizen. Incidentally it was the same house where Vivekananda came and stayed in January 1893, a month before Sri Aurobindo sailed for India. He and his attendants never stepped out of the house in the initial months, slowly Sri Aurobindo allowed them to go out in the evenings to get the drift of the town.
The house of Shankar Chettiar at 39 Camoutty Street (now 63 Vysial Street) where Sri Aurobindo stayed from 4 April 1910 to September 1910.

Meanwhile in Kolkata, his sudden disappearance caused much embarrassment for the British administration, it questioned the efficacy of the battery of detectives they employed. The Government mulled over their next steps and finally issued the arrest warrant on the evening of 4th of April, that is the same day and time Sri Aurobindo safely reached Pondicherry. The police searched, and ransacked his aunt’s house, where he last stayed, finding nothing incriminating. They had framed a charge of sedition, for one of the articles that Sri Aurobindo had written in one of the newspapers. The ripples of these events reached the shores of London. Some of the British Parliamentarians, questioned the British Indian Government, and asked whether their actions would clear the tests of a Civilized Court, one of them questioned why Sri Aurobindo, who declared that he has retired from public life for a spiritual path, was being harassed? Ultimately the arrest warrant was withdrawn, that is Sri Aurobindo was no longer legally a fugitive.

On the other hand, at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo spent the first few years under severe financial difficulties. Between 1910 to the October of 1913, they changed residences four times, for various reasons including financial. Though he never advocated asceticism, he lived like one. Overall, Sri Aurobindo lived with four associates, one of them was Nolini Kanta Gupta, a dedicated soul, who joined them in 1910 and offered his life to Sri Aurobindo, continuing to live in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram till the end of his life in 1983. They lived frugally, one of the four used to cook in turns, and things were mostly shared, including the towel. There was usually no furniture, one of them got a canvas cot for Sri Aurobindo which was torn on one side, and he used to sleep on one side taking care not to disturb the torn part. But even in these dire days they bought French books from local stores, and other books for Sri Aurobindo. One day when they had no funds for vegetables, Sri Aurobindo asked the boys to cook a dish of chilies which they all shared. The poverty and harshness of life, neither could damp their spirt nor intellect. Sri Aurobindo gave the young men lessons in Greek and Latin, as he poured over the Vedas at night, in the light of the single candle stick at home. He later said that as he read the Vedas he identified and confirmed the spiritual experiences that he had.  We see him writing letters to Motilal Roy, instructing him to send money somehow for their living, for so dire were the circumstances, yet adding with his characteristic humor, “No doubt, God will provide, but he has contracted the bad habit of waiting till the last moment.”

Motilal Roy, a Bengali revolutionary, who helped Sri Aurobindo during his Chandernagore stay, was an important conduit in these years. He could collect funds from sympathizers, and in turn send by French Post, for the British Post was not safe, where the contents would invariably be tampered. Sri Aurobindo worked with him on the practical side of the Yoga. But Motilal failed to make the changes in his nature, and slowly drifted away from Sri Aurobindo and his yoga around 1921.

Sri Aurobindo came to Pondicherry to pursue his yoga undisturbed, but it is the work of the Asuras, instruments of the evil, to delay and frustrate the noble efforts. The British Police could not work directly in a French territory, yet indirectly and through various other innovative means attempted to disrupt his life. Despite Sri Aurobindo, declaring that he had retired from politics, the British government did not believe him. Apart from Sri Aurobindo there were other political figures who had taken refuge in Pondicherry away from British India. International relations are complex, and the French would not like to appear to openly promote anti-British activities in their soil. There was a constant threat of deportation of Sri Aurobindo, back to British India. The First World War brought the two European nations closer and hence things were more sensitive. Once the French Police searched Sri Aurobindo’s house, when the Magistrate saw that Sri Aurobindo was a man of letters with knowledge of Greek and Latin, he was surprised and invited Sri Aurobindo to his office. Another time a spy entered Sri Aurobindo’s household, disguised as a servant and stayed for some time, at the end, he could no longer bear the pressure of betraying the sage, and confessed that he was a spy. While the atmosphere was intense, Sri Aurobindo was calm and unperturbed. It would be interesting to note that this person later turned to Sri Aurobindo, and to yoga. When others objected his presence, Sri Aurobindo wrote

…. I see that he has taken Yoga earnestly & has made for him a rapid progress. …I fail to find in him, looking at him spiritually, those ineffable blacknesses which were supposed to dwell in him, —only flightiness, weakness, indiscretion, childish & erratic impulsiveness & self-will & certain undesirable possibilities present in many young Bengalis, in a certain type, indeed, which has done much harm in the past. All these have recently much diminished & I hope even to eradicate them by the Yoga. In fact, the view of his presence here forced on me by that which guides me, is that he was sent here as the representative of this type & that I have to change & purify it. If I can do this in the representative, it is possible in the future to do so in the class, & unless I can do it, the task I have set for myself for India will remain almost too difficult for solution.”

He viewed the matter like a scientist, a problem, a step in his work part of the larger plan that he had chalked for India and the world. Sri Aurobindo was both a scientist and an adventurer. Like a Scientist he studied his own development and like an adventurer he travelled to the uncharted territories in search of the whole truth. He meticulously observed and noted himself, he had a program ahead of him and he very patiently prepared himself for that work. His diary notes of that period are now published as Records of Yoga, in two volumes, where we can see that how deliberate and purposeful his practice was. He experimented on himself, such as effect of fasting, flow of poetry, development of intuition and memory, influence on his associates, sick people and even on ants and birds to test whether his force was working. About being an Adventurer, Sri Aurobindo noted that the previous spiritual movements which later settled down as religions and sects, failed to bring a lasting change on this world. While there has been no dearth of adventurers of spirit, but they chose to remain in the state of undivided Samadhi, not caring to bring the light into matter. Nothing is permanent unless the matter is transformed, and Sri Aurobindo was in the quest of that truth, complete, undivided, all-encompassing which carried the power transformation of this earth. He went beyond the realms of the known levels of consciousness, like a cartographer he identified and mapped the territories, he ascended the planes and continued in his search till he reached the Supramental Plane, a term coined by him. And then his endeavor was to bring down that Supermind into physical consciousness, even in sub-material planes. This was a laborious task, as no light has reached those regions before, and no one had tried to plumb those dark, hidden chambers, an experience which Sri Aurobindo said felt like, “digging the earth.” The task was possible because of his collaboration with the Mother, without whom he was un-manifested.

Paul Richard, the French Philosopher, had met Sri Aurobindo once in 1910, in Pondicherry, and remained in contact with Sri Aurobindo. He was then married to the Mother; their arrival in Pondicherry in 1914 was planned for some time. Sri Aurobindo had shifted his residence to the Guest House, the current playground of the Ashram, in October 1913 to receive them in a decent house. In fact, he got installed four electric bulbs in the building, much to the surprise of his associates. The meeting of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo that took place on 29th March 1914, was an important moment for the spiritual history of the earth. The spiritual streams of the East and West met to materialize the plan for a New world. The Mother had seen Sri Aurobindo, in her dreams before, whom she identified as a Divine Being. The moment she met Sri Aurobindo, at the top of the stairs in the Guest House, she identified him as that Divine Being, she felt the Psychic Shock of recognition. Soon the Mother and Paul Richard would speak to Sri Aurobindo to publish a philosophical review for the world, to present his grand synthesis and yogic experiences.
The Guest House Stairway where the Mother first met
Sri Aurobindo on 29th March 1914

On 15th August 1914, Arya: the Philosophical review was launched. It was the intellectual side of Sri Aurobindo’s work. On first week of August 1914, World War I broke out. The Mother and Paul Richard left Pondicherry for Europe, as he was called for the army, on 22nd February 1915. The Mother surely wanted to spend her birthday in the presence of Sri Aurobindo. In Arya, Sri Aurobindo simultaneously wrote and published serially the chapters of his seminal works such as The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on Gita, The Secret of the Veda, his commentaries on Upanishads among others. It was published from August 1914 to January 1921. With the Richards leaving, the entire work fell on Sri Aurobindo. While Paul Richard and others like Subramaniam Bharati, the great Tamil bard and an admirer of Sri Aurobindo, wrote for the magazine, but it was primarily Sri Aurobindo’s work.  He wrote with a silent mind, as if the writing came from above and manifested through the typewriter.  He had asked one of his assistants to remind him a week before the publication, and once so notified he would type around 64 pages of printed matter, with ease. If we go through Sri Aurobindo’s instructions around printing of the Arya, we can see how involved he was in the material side of the publication, quite contrary to the popular image of him. Arya was a commercial success; it paid for its costs and left a surplus.
In 1919, Mrinalini Devi, Sri Aurobindo’s wife passed away in the Influenza epidemic, in Bengal, that killed around Fifty Million people across the world.  In April 1920, the Mother and Paul Richard returned to Pondicherry, and she never left thereafter. The Mother was accompanied by Miss Dorothy Hodgson, a British lady, later named as Datta, who had been accompanying the Mother from 1916 till her death in 1949 at the Ashram.

Paul Richard, though admired Sri Aurobindo, could not make the necessary changes in his nature and soon pursued a different path in November 1920. Sri Aurobindo was still staying at the Guest House residence, and the Mother along with Datta was put up in a house quite near that place. There was a very strong cyclone that threated the collapse of their roof, and hence the ladies moved to Sri Aurobindo’s house on 24th November 1920, please mark the date because surely it was more than a mere coincidence.

In October 1922, they all moved to the Library House, a part of the current Ashram Main Building. The Mother then lived behind the veils, almost incognito, though she took upon herself some of the affairs of Sri Aurobindo. First some of the seekers, especially the women, sought her spiritual guidance. A bouquet of seekers slowly gathered around the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, and an organization emerged. In 1926, on 24th November, Sri Aurobindo attained Siddhi, or success. In a letter in 1920, Sri Aurobindo, described his stage of yoga when he arrived in Pondicherry in 1910 was preliminary or preparatory, though he had a personal program of his Yoga provided by the Divine. He was not in a hurry to accomplish his work and he prepared himself patiently. Between 1920 and 1926, after the arrival of the Mother, his Sadhana accelerated, and he not only ascended through the rungs of Higher Consciousness but also succeeded in increasingly bringing down the consciousness on earth. Since the beginning of November of 1926, Sri Aurobindo was getting more and more indrawn and there was much pressure of the higher force and aspiration in the hearts of the seekers in his household. And then on the Siddhi Day, the descent of the Krishna consciousness on the physical plane happened. This descent was important for the creation, as it was a milestone in the path of Supramental descent. In all these years, Sri Aurobindo used to meet visitors with appointment and there was a general meeting time around four in the afternoon when his disciples could meet for general questions. But after the Siddhi Day, he found it impossible to maintain these external contacts, as his entire energies were concentrated on drawing the higher consciousness for the earth. The Ashram was formed, the Mother came to front and took over the daily affairs of the Ashram including all the spiritual guidance to be given to the inmates.

Sri Aurobindo withdrew completely from external life for the world, and not from the world. In February 1927, the Mother and he moved to the Meditation House, the current quarters of the Ashram where he stayed till his physical departure in 1950. A mode of communication developed between the disciples and Sri Aurobindo, through letters, starting specially from the early 1930s. Sri Aurobindo spent his valuable time reading and responding to letters of different disciples, guiding them through their problems. These letters are collected and published under four volumes of Letters on Yoga. Apart from the letters, Sri Aurobindo came out in public, along with the Mother, three times in a year, on 21st February, 15th August and 24th November, to give Darshan to their disciples, visitors were allowed with prior permission. Sri Aurobindo, felt that this arrangement of Darshan, or to view for receiving blessings, was important for the disciples for their Yoga.

This rhythm of letters, the joint Darshan and active guidance by the Mother, be it direct or subtle continued. The Ashram grew, new departments were added, under the direction of the Mother, to cater to the needs of the growing number of inmates. Sri Aurobindo, on the other hand from his room upstairs, was working for the transformation of the world, drawing the Supramental force to the physical plane. But the usual cadence, suffered a rude jolt in 1938, when on the eve of the November Darshan, Sri Aurobindo suffered an accident in his room, fracturing his leg. It was an act of the hostile forces, who attacked him, as he concentrated, protecting the Mother from them. The adverse forces always wanted to create some hindrance on the Darshan events, but he had been deflecting them off. Usual letters were stopped, his routine changed. The Mother formed a team of assistants who would assist him in his recovery. The Darshan resumed in 1939 from April 24th, to commemorate the day of the Mother’s final arrival in Pondicherry. There after the disciples had the fortune of four Darshan days instead of three.

In 1939, the general condition of the earth had worsened, owing to the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and absence of a strong leadership in other European nations. All these were work of the forces of falsehoods, who wanted to control the world for eternity, stalling all efforts of progress. They opposed the descent of Supramental force as best as possible. Sri Aurobindo used his force to influence the world events and tried to avert a war in Europe. But the accident was created to pose a major obstacle on his path.  World War II broke out in September of 1939; Sri Aurobindo fully supported the Allied powers, using his will at strategic junctures of the war. He understood the true nature of the Nazi government, much ahead of others, and supported the British Government, causing much consternation in the patriotic sections of India, who were tired of the British Rule. The war delayed the Supramental descent, but Sri Aurobindo and the Mother knew that defeat of the Allies would mean significantly delaying the Divine action on earth. The war continued from 1939 to 1945, culminating with the fall of the Axis powers.

A decisive conclusion of the war, paved path for years of peace and prosperity for the world. The European nations on both sides were significantly weakened and found it increasingly difficult to manage their affairs at colonies in distant Asia and Africa. The British Government had proposed a plan of Indian independence in 1942, to win Indian cooperation for the war. Sri Aurobindo, though never publicly commented on politics, as an exception, seeing it as a Divine indication had supported this plan. But the Indian political leaders rejected, as they felt that it did not provide complete freedom. After the war, as the Government changed in England, and a general change in the socio-political climate, the talks about Indian freedom resurfaced. Though the British divided the country on religions, and Pakistan was born, but India finally gained independence on 15th August 1947.

Sri Aurobindo was glad to see his dream of independent India getting fulfilled. When he was asked by All India Radio for a message for the Indian Independence. Sri Aurobindo shared his vision of five dreams where a free India will have an increasingly important role to play. He considered the fact that the Independence coincided with his birthday, as a Divine approval for his work and not a mere coincidence. To put very briefly his wishes were:  

1. A free and united India.
2. A free and resurgent Asia.
3. A world union paving the path for a better world.
4. The spiritual gift of India to the world.
5. An evolution that will raise man to a higher and larger consciousness and solve the riddle of this world.

As he penned the message in 1947, the first four dreams were already in different progressive stages of materialization, while he was working on the fifth one, the Supramental Transformation. He had another gift for the mankind, his last work - Savitri.

Sri Aurobindo like the Vedic rishis was a poet and a philosopher. He had the dream of presenting the Indian tale in the world stage and hence he wrote his epic Savitri, a work of around 24,000 lines written in blank verse. He wrote Savitri over a period of 35 years, writing, rewriting, and expanding various drafts. While it is a tale of conjugal love from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, Sri Aurobindo reinterpreted it as a tale of conquest of love over death.  The Mother said that he crammed the whole universe in a single book. He used Poetry as a means of ascension, pushing the boundaries of the creation as he wrote. He revisited to rewrite the sections as he progressed to higher planes. The work on Savitri accelerated after the war, but by then Sri Aurobindo’s eyesight had weakened, and he used to dictate poetry to one of his attendants, who acted as a scribe. The attendant recounts that he had never seen Sri Aurobindo to hurry, to his surprise around September 1950, Sri Aurobindo told him in his soft voice, that he wanted to finish Savitri soon. They worked intensely as if a tap of higher inspiration opened, and finally the last corrections were done around two weeks before the November Darshan of 1950. Savitri, Sri Aurobindo’s personal adventure in poetry was complete.

The November Darshan passed peacefully, and as if there was a subtle message in the occult world the number of devotees were larger than usual. Sri Aurobindo had an enlargement of prostate glands, on and off he was facing obstruction in urine flow. Towards the end of November, the symptoms deteriorated, and there was a mild kidney infection, he started having fever and slowly got indrawn.  While Sri Aurobindo was completely indrawn externally, inwardly as the Mother said, he was completely conscious and pulling the Supramental Light. Whenever the Mother entered the room, he would come back to consciousness and respond. As his assistants tested his blood, they were astonished to see that it showed signs of complete kidney failure. At the end the Mother said that he was losing interest, and all depended on him. In his last physical moments Sri Aurobindo, who was known for his impersonal nature, showered his grace and love on his attendant Champaklal, who probably had been longing for some external expression of his love. On 5th December at 1:26 AM, he left his physical body. He was covered in a soft golden glow of Supramental light; people found his room filled with peace and light as they visited to pay their last respects. The Divine body showed no signs of physical deterioration for four days without any external intervention. On 9th December, his Divine body was laid in the Samadhi created in the Ashram Courtyard, under the Service Tree, where we can still visit him and bathe in the peace of the place.
An artist’s rendition of Sri Aurobindo embracing Champaklal

The Mother said that as soon as Sri Aurobindo left his body, what he called the Mind of Light, got realized in the Mother’s body. The Mind of Light is the Supramental Light in the Physical mind, which is the instrument of the direct action on the physical. He told her, “You will accomplish my work”. She called Sri Aurobindo’s departure an act of supreme sacrifice. It was necessary to hasten the Supramental manifestation on earth. Sri Aurobindo offered his own sacrifice for the work, he worked at the subtle plains to prepare, change the structure of the physical.  Sri Aurobindo and the Mother brought down the Supramental Force on the physical plane in 1956, thereafter we witness an accelerated progress in every field of life; we can see that the gap between spirit and matter gradually getting built. The Mother always emphasized that Sri Aurobindo is present in the subtle physical and helping us. Sri Aurobindo worked throughout his life to make the path easy for us, breaking the barriers between the man and the Divine. We end this piece with the words of the Mother, which should act as a reminder as well as assurance for us:

Sri Aurobindo is always with us, enlightening, guiding, protecting. We must answer to his grace by a perfect faithfulness. (21st December 1969)
 Sadhana of the Body  

The entire consciousness immersed in divine contemplation, the whole being enjoyed a supreme and vast felicity.

Then was the physical body seized, first in its lower members and next the whole of it, by a sacred trembling which made little by little even in the most material sensation, all personal limits fall away. The being progressively, methodically, grew in greatness, breaking down every barrier, shattering every obstacle, that it might contain and manifest a force and a power which increased ceaselessly in immensity and intensity. It was, as it were, a progressive dilatation of the cells until there was a complete identification with the earth: the body of the awakened consciousness was the terrestrial globe moving harmoniously in ethereal space. And the consciousness knew that its global body was thus moving in the arms of the universal Personality, and it gave itself, it abandoned itself to Her in an ecstasy of peaceful bliss. Then it felt that its body was absorbed in the body of the universe and one with it; the consciousness became the consciousness of the universe, in its totality immobile, in its internal complexity moving infinitely. The consciousness of the universe sprang towards the Divine in an ardent aspiration, a perfect surrender, and it saw in the splendour of the immaculate Light the radiant Being standing on a many-headed serpent whose body coiled infinitely around the universe. The Being in an eternal gesture of triumph mastered and created at one and the same time the serpent and the universe that issued from it; erect on the serpent, he dominated it with all his victorious might, and the same gesture that crushed the hydra, enveloping the universe, gave it eternal birth. Then the consciousness became this Being and perceived that its form was changing once more; it was absorbed into something which was no longer a form and yet contained all forms, something which, immutable, sees, — the Eye, the Witness. And what It sees, is. Then this last vestige of form disappeared and the consciousness itself was absorbed into the Unutterable, the Ineffable.

The return towards the consciousness of the individual body took place very slowly in a constant and invariable splendour of Light and Power and Felicity and Adoration, by successive gradations, but directly, without passing again through the universal and terrestrial forms. And it was as if the modest corporeal form had become the direct and immediate vesture, without any intermediary, of the supreme and eternal Witness.

26 November 1915
The Mother, CWM Volume 1, Page 311
Sri Aurobindo’s Humor
Sadhak: Lack of interest and energy, disinclination to go to the hospital—this is my condition for the last few days. Curiously enough, whenever I take a cup of tea in the morning, these symptoms disappear. The whole system seems to buck up and I can do my work with full vigour. But it has to rely on tea for such results!

Sri Aurobindo: Sympathise with you. There was a time when I was like that. Teaified cells—instead of deified.

25 April 1935
Nirodbaran's Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

Empowering Lines from Savitri

Some shall be made the glory’s receptacles
And vehicles of the Eternal’s luminous power.
These are the high forerunners, the heads of Time,
The great deliverers of earth-bound mind,
The high transfigurers of human clay,
The first-born of a new supernal race.
The incarnate dual Power shall open God’s door,
Eternal supermind touch earthly Time.

Savitri, Page 705,
Book 11: The Book of Everlasting Day

A Collective Offering by The Sri Aurobindo Center of Los Angeles.

Editorial Team
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Ashwin Prakash
Hansa Sehgal
Jishnu Guha
Lakshman Sehgal
Nina N Namednina
Vikas Bamba
Vishal Bamba
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