Sri Aurobindo Center
of Los Angeles

The Quest
October 2020


Events & Activities
What is Surrender?
Why to Surrender?
Radha's Prayer
The Baby Cat
Wrong Notions
Sonnet : Surrender
In Gratitude
Sri Aurobindo's Humor
Empowering Lines from Savitri

Events & Activities                                                    Home

The month of October passed quietly with work-offerings of devotees in the regular maintenance of the Center and the garden. The meditation room, enshrining the relics of Sri Aurobindo, regularly receives a steady stream of visitors, serving as an oasis of calm, nurturing inner growth, and reminding always of the assurance of the presence and protection of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo in our lives.

The Center continues to host Satsangs twice a week over Zoom. Since inception, the meetings have had a singular aim: fostering an inner growth and making the Divine a growing center of our life and keeping alive in us the fire of aspiration. This regular engagement with the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo has taken an interesting turn; a keen aspirant and senior member noted that there is a deepening effect, another stated that these sessions have become moments of an ardent spiritual pursuit or sadhana, both individual and collective. It is surely their powerful presence in their works responding to a collective aspiration.
The great secret and truth of the pursuit of the Divine is Surrender. To the extent that we grow in it, we draw closer to the Divine. Below is a video of the Mother offering an invaluable insight on Surrender. It is particularly relevant today as the pandemic has had an unsettling effect and our lives are riddled with anxieties, insecurities and fear of the future. Surrender means leaving the responsibility of all that happens to us to the Divine, with patience in the difficulties that come before us, keeping our trust in Him. When we are able to do that even a little, we feel immediately a sense of peace and security. It is the perfect and immediate antidote to all that assails us.
The Mother talks about Total Surrender.
All are invited to join us for the following virtual events taking place via Zoom video and teleconferencing calls.

Savitri Reading - Thursdays, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Pacific Time
Essays on the Gita - Saturdays, 4:30 pm- 6:00 pm Pacific Time

Click here for the Zoom Meeting details.
CWM Volume 14, Page 109
Artist - Usha Patel
What is Surrender?                                            Home

Surrender is the decision taken to hand over the responsibility of your life to the Divine. Without this decision nothing is at all possible; if you do not surrender, the Yoga is entirely out of the question. Everything else comes naturally after it, for the whole process starts with surrender.
The Mother, CWM Volume 3, Page 126.

Sadhak: What is the secret of success in sadhana?

The Mother: Surrender.

13 October 1965
CWM Volume 14, Page 108.

The essence of surrender is not to ask the Mother before doing anything—but to accept whole-heartedly the influence and the guidance, when the joy and peace come down to accept them without question or cavil and let them grow, when the Force is felt at work to let it work without opposition, when the Knowledge is given to receive and follow it, when the Will is revealed to make oneself its instrument.
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 29, Page 68.
Why to Surrender?                                            Home

If there is no surrender, there can be no transformation of the whole being.
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 29, Page 79.

But the ways of nature are full of snares, the disguises of the ego are innumerable, the illusions of the Power of Darkness, Rakshasi Maya, are extraordinarily skilful; the reason is an insufficient guide and often turns traitor; vital desire is always with us tempting to follow any alluring call. This is the reason why in this yoga we insist so much on what we call samarpana – rather inadequately rendered by the English word surrender.
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 32, Page 213.
Artist: Dhanavanti
Radha's Prayer                                                         Home

O Thou whom at first sight I knew for the Lord of my being and my God, receive my offering.

Thine are all my thoughts, all my emotions, all the sentiments of my heart, all my sensations, all the movements of my life, each cell of my body, each drop of my blood. I am absolutely and altogether Thine, Thine without reserve. What Thou wilt of me, that I shall be. Whether Thou choosest for me life or death, happiness or sorrow, pleasure or suffering, all that comes to me from Thee will be welcome. Each one of Thy gifts will be always for me a gift divine bringing with it the supreme Felicity.
13 January 1932
The Mother, CWM Volume 15, Page 210.
The Baby Cat                                                      Home

There are two paths of Yoga, one of tapasya (discipline), and the other of surrender. The path of tapasya is arduous. Here you rely solely upon yourself, you proceed by your own strength. You ascend and achieve according to the measure of your force. There is always the danger of falling down. And once you fall, you lie broken in the abyss and there is hardly a remedy. The other path, the path of surrender, is safe and sure. …..

In other words, you may follow, as Ramakrishna says, either the path of the baby monkey or that of the baby cat. The baby monkey holds to its mother in order to be carried about and it must hold firm, otherwise if it loses its grip, it falls. On the other hand, the baby cat does not hold to its mother, but is held by the mother and has no fear nor responsibility; it has nothing to do but to let the mother hold it and cry ma ma.

If you take up this path of surrender fully and sincerely, there is no more danger or serious difficulty. The question is to be sincere. If you are not sincere, do not begin Yoga. If you were dealing in human affairs, then you could resort to deception; but in dealing with the Divine there is no possibility of deception anywhere. You can go on the Path safely when you are candid and open to the core and when your only end is to realise and attain the Divine and to be moved by the Divine.
The Mother, CWM Volume 3, Page 4.
Fairy Rose - Detailed Surrender
Wrong Notions                                                   Home
If you have the slightest feeling that you are making a sacrifice, then it is no longer surrender. For it means that you reserve yourself or that you are trying to give, with grudging or with pain and effort, and have not the joy of the gift, perhaps not even the feeling that you are giving. When you do anything with the sense of a compression of your being, be sure that you are doing it in the wrong way.
4 August 1929
The Mother, CWM Volume 3, Page 114.
Tamasic surrender is when one says, “I won’t do anything; let Mother do everything. Aspiration, rejection, surrender even are not necessary. Let her do all that in me.” There is a great difference between the two attitudes. One is that of a shirker who won’t do anything, the other is that of the Sadhak who does his best, but when he is reduced to quiescence for a time and things are adverse, keep always his trust in the Mother’s force and presence behind all and by that trust baffles the opposition force and calls back the activity of the sadhana.
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 32, Page 140.
The way in which most people surrender: Let God manifest his will but let it be the same as mine.
15 April 1931
The Mother, CWM Volume 14, Page 114.

Sonnet : Surrender                                                     Home

Artist – Priti Ghosh
O Thou of whom I am the instrument,
     O secret Spirit and Nature housed in me,
Let all my mortal being now be blent
     In Thy still glory of divinity.

I have given my mind to be dug Thy channel mind,
     I have offered up my will to be Thy will:
Let nothing of myself be left behind
     In our union mystic and unutterable.

My heart shall throb with the world-beats of Thy love,
     My body become Thy engine for earth-use;
In my nerves and veins Thy rapture’s streams shall move;
     My thoughts shall be hounds of Light for Thy power to loose.

Keep only my soul to adore eternally
And meet Thee in each form and soul of Thee.
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 2, Page 611.

In Gratitude                                                                 Home

Ashoke Misra
Around the year 1956-57, when I was a teenager, I came across a strange book in my cousin Jiwan Pani’s closet. This book had an equally strange title, “Supramental Manifestation”, author, Sri Aurobindo.  Jiwan da, who later became a great poet and lyricist of Oriya literature, was my first guru who introduced me to Sri Aurobindo and the Divine Mother of Pondicherry.  While in college in Calcutta, the first book I purchased, written by Sri Aurobindo, was “Essays on the Gita”. My favorite chapter in this book was, “The Creed of the Aryan Fighter”. I often read this chapter before going for exams or facing other challenging circumstances of life. After moving to the US, first as a student and later with my wife Moni, we got more and more drawn into the company of friends and associates with deep commitment to The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. During our long 32 years in Chicago as members of Sri Aurobindo Study Circle, and now in California as dedicated members of Sri Aurobindo Center of LA, we regularly attend Satsang with devotees, many of whom grew up in the Ashram in Pondicherry.

- Ashoke Misra, dedicated devotee and member of Sri Aurobindo Center of LA, who enjoys offering devotional songs at The Center during various programs and participates enthusiastically with the ardor of the soul in the Satsangs.

Sri Aurobindo's Humor                                           Home

Women have been subjugated from time immemorial, and we constantly see their fights for justice. This can only change when the male Ego surrenders to a higher Consciousness.
Sadhak: Then again, there have been no women of first rank in painting, music, literature, etc., except Rosa Bonheur, who however had to shave her chin and dress as a man.
Sri Aurobindo: What an argument! from exceptional conditions as against the habits of millenniums! What about administration, rule, business, in which women have shown themselves as capable and more consistently capable than men? These things need no brains? Any imbecile can do them?
Sadhak: You will then agree that that is the consensus of opinion.
Sri Aurobindo: The consensus of masculine opinion, – perhaps.
Sadhak: Of course no one can dispute that in another sphere they are angels: by the side of death and disease, sorrow and suffering…
Sri Aurobindo: It means that is what men have mainly demanded of them – to be their servants, nurses, cooks, children-bearers and rearers, ministers to their sex-desires etc. That has been their occupation, their aim in life and their natures have got adapted to their work. All that they have achieved else than that is by the way – in spite of the yoke laid on them. And then man smiles a superior smile and says it was all due to woman’s inferior nature, not to the burden laid on her.
Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, Page 106

Empowering Lines from Savitri                             Home

Champaklal at The Mother's Feet
His nature’s might seemed now an infant’s grasp;
Heaven is too high for outstretched hands to seize.
This Light comes not by struggle or by thought;
In the mind’s silence the Transcendent acts
And the hushed heart hears the unuttered Word.
A vast surrender was his only strength.
Savitri, Page 315.
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