Artist - Huta
Joy of Gratitude

Sri Aurobindo Center
of Los Angeles

The Quest
December 2020

Theme: Gratitude
  1. Events & Activities
  2. Introduction
  3. Gratitude
  4. Prayer
  5. People do not appreciate when all is well
  6. Be Happy
  7. Hinderance to Gratitude
  8. Gratitude to Sri Aurobindo
  9. On the Path
  10. One Day
  11. In Gratitude
  12. On the Body
  13. Sri Aurobindo’s Humor
  14. Empowering Lines from Savitri

Events & Activities                                                    Home

The month of December brings to us most poignantly the event of the Mahasamadhi of Sri Aurobindo on Dec 5. Notably falling on the concluding month of the year, it is a powerful reminder that however mighty be the accomplishments, inner and outer, of man, nation and world, we owe it to the great Light ushered upon earth by the sacrifice of Sri Aurobindo.  So, it is always the month of intense and overwhelming gratitude, the intensity of which is expressed in the words of the Mother: "before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee".
A week after the observance of Dec 5, Lakshman & Hansa Sehgal and Vikas Bamba held a webinar on the Physical Culture in the light of the teachings of Mother and Sri Aurobindo. It powerfully drew attention to an often-overlooked aspect of the Yoga that seeks to divinize life.  We were again reminded of Her words "They who despise physical activities are people who will not be able to take a single step on the true way of integral Yoga".
CWM Volume 14, Page 257
Installation at the Visitor’s Center, Auroville
Introduction                                                         Home
The Mother commented, “Gratitude: It is you who open all the closed doors and let the Grace which saves penetrate deeply.” But what is Gratitude? It is not civil politeness; it is the awareness that comes straight from the psychic center, it is the understanding that dawns when the ego takes a backstage and lets the psychic lead. Gratitude is the core realization about the incapacity of our ego-self that we are nothing without the Divine. It is the inner comprehension that everything, good and apparently loathsome, are arranged in detail by the Divine for our perfection. With gratitude comes joy, truly we will notice that the grateful are the happy ones. And it paves the path for the surrender, as the ego doer-self recedes, gratitude opens the gates for the Grace to enter.

The feeling of gratitude, though at times triggered by external events are not caused by them, in fact, it is independent of the external circumstances, mental logic and arguments. The feeling is supported by the soul, beyond the conventional senses of good and evil, it is a state that one attains on his own and cannot be imparted from outside.

As the year concludes and a new one commences, let us reflect and be grateful for the joys and the difficulties as well, for the ordeals are the shortest path to perfection.  The Quest team’s offering this month is on Gratitude. This issue will be important for seekers who want to deepen their understanding of the most neglected virtue. May the readers find something valuable in the fruits of the team’s efforts. Wish you all a New Beginning, a New Birth, and a happy New Year.
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.
New Year Message of 1934
CMW Volume 15, Page 165
Gratitude                                                                     Home

A loving recognition of the Grace received from the Divine. A humble recognition of all that the Divine has done and is doing for you. The spontaneous feeling of obligation to the Divine, which makes you do your best to become less unworthy of what the Divine is doing for you.
The Mother, CWM Volume 14, Page 154.

There is nothing which gives you a joy equal to that of gratitude. One hears a bird sing, sees a lovely flower, looks at a little child, observes an act of generosity, reads a beautiful sentence, looks at the setting sun, no matter what, suddenly this comes upon you, this kind of emotion—indeed so deep, so intense—that the world manifests the Divine, that there is something behind the world which is the Divine.
The Mother, CWM Volume 8, Page 40.

The nobility of a being is measured by its capacity of gratitude.
The Mother, CWM Volume 14, Page 155.
Prayer                                                            Home

Lord, Supreme Truth,
    We aspire to know Thee and to serve Thee.
    Help us to become children worthy of Thee.
    And for this, make us conscious of Thy constant gifts so
that gratitude may fill our hearts and govern our lives.
The Mother, CWM Volume 15, Page 217.
Pink Morning Glory
Significance: Gratitude
People do not appreciate when all is well              Home

... Human intelligence is such that unless there is a contrast it does not understand. You know, I have received hundreds of letters from people thanking me because they had been saved; but it is very, very rarely that someone writes to thank me because nothing has happened, you understand! Let us take an accident, it is already the beginning of a disorder. Naturally when it is a public or collective accident, the atmosphere of each person has its part in the thing, and that depends on the proportion of defeatists and those who, on the contrary, are on the right side. I don't know if I have written this—it is written somewhere—but it is a very interesting thing. I am going to tell you... People are not aware of the workings of Grace except when there has been some danger, that is, when there has been the beginning of an accident or the accident has taken place and they have escaped it. Then they become aware. But never are they aware that if, for instance, a journey or anything whatever, passes without any accident, it is an infinitely higher Grace. That is, the harmony is established in such a way that nothing can happen. But that seems to them quite natural. When people are ill and get well quickly, they are full of gratitude; but never do they think of being grateful when they are well; and yet that is a much greater miracle! …

The Mother, CWM Volume 5, Page 406.
Be Happy                                                                      Home

The best way to express one’s gratitude to the Divine is to feel simply happy.
The Mother, CWM Volume 14, Page 154.
There is no better way to show one’s gratefulness to the Divine than to be quietly happy.
The Mother, CWM Volume 14, Page 155.
Hinderance to Gratitude                                         Home

A self-willed man cannot be grateful―because when he gets what he wants he gives all the credit for it to his own will, and when he gets what he does not want he resents it badly and throws all the blame on whomever he considers responsible, God, man or Nature.
The Mother, CWM Volume 14, Page 155.
Sadhak: I think that some element in me does not believe in the divine Grace: that is what prevents the gratitude.
The Mother: Obviously.
Sadhak: At first I used to feel so much love for You, but now my love has become more selfish.
The Mother: Yes, that is it; you began to bargain in your giving and that has dried up the source. If, however, you resolve not to demand anything in return for what you give, you will soon rediscover the incomparable joy of loving.
CWM Volume 17, Page 98.
Gratitude to Sri Aurobindo                                        Home
To express our gratitude to Sri Aurobindo we can do nothing better than to be a living demonstration of his teaching.
Message for Durga Puja 1957
30 September 1957
The Mother, CWM Volume 15, Page 193.
Mother’s message inscribed on Sri Aurobindo’s Samadhi
On the Path                                                            Home

.. It is the fact that people who are grateful and cheerful and ready to go step by step, even by slow steps, if need be, do actually march faster and more surely than those who are impatient and in haste and at each step despair or murmur. …
June 1934
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 35, Page 241.
.. To be grateful, never to forget this wonderful grace of the supreme who leads each one to his divine goal by the shortest ways, in spite of himself, his ignorance and misunderstandings, in spite of the ego, its protests and its revolts.

The pure flame of gratefulness must always burn in our heart, warm, sweet and bright, to dissolve all egoism and all obscurity; the flame of gratefulness for the Supreme’s Grace who leads the sadhak to his goal - and the more he is grateful, recognises this action of the grace and is thankful for it, the shorter is the way.
26 June 1964
The Mother, White Roses.
Be grateful for all ordeals, they are the shortest way to the Divine.
The Mother, CWM Volume 14, Page 225.

One Day                                                                 Home

One day, and all the half-dead is done,
One day, and all the unborn begun;
A little path and the great goal,
A touch that brings the divine whole.

Hill after hill was climbed and now,
Behold, the last tremendous brow
And the great rock that none has trod:
A step, and all is sky and God.

- Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 2, Page 542.

In Gratitude                                                                 Home

Dr. Arthur Fielder 
Dear Sisters and Brothers,

To state my story in few words, the journey commenced in 1964 at Greenwich Village where I accompanied my aunt Ms. M Karelitz for a splendid meeting with Chinmoy, he was then fresh from Sri Aurobindo Ashram and yet to establish Sri Chinmoy Center, Narad (Richard Eggenberger), Annie Nunnally and Kailash Jhaveri. While the seed of aspiration was sown in that meeting, I had to wait for it to sprout. Around 1969 I got in touch with Nick Duncan of the Crescent Moon Center, Sedona, Arizona, an institution dedicated to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. The event cemented my ties with Integral Yoga. Next year in 1970 I traveled to India to immerse myself with the firsthand experience of Ashram life for three months, first at Sri Aurobindo Ashram Delhi and then at Pondicherry.  It was also during this trip a stranger in New Delhi had thrust, “Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness” in my hand, an incident though momentary but of immense importance to me. Fast forward in 1973 I was in San Francisco and had the opportunity to closely interact with Dr. Haridas Chaudhury and his wife Bina of the California Institute of Integral Studies. The pleasant and valuable time spent with them deepened my aspiration for the Yoga. I fondly remember cooking dinner for them on at least three occasions which they loved.

I had the opportunity of attending Jyotipriya’s (Dr. Judith Tyberg) discourses on the Yoga and Indian Philosophy at East-West Cultural Center, Los Angeles. Meeting with Jyotipriya was an important milestone in my life. Later during her prolonged period of illness, I had helped her with my medical knowledge. After her departure, in the early 80’s the East-West Cultural Center (or Sri Aurobindo Center, Los Angeles) shifted to its current location at Culver City. Over the next four decades, I have remained associated with the Center offering my time and service per my capacity. During this period, I met many travelers on this path, it will be difficult to individually mention all of them, but I am happy to meet them on my path. I have managed to make three trips to Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville, and I remember meeting Mother’s musician Sunil Bhattacharya at the Ashram.
I actively participate with the Center activities and live with the hope that one day the Mother will grant my dream to move to Auroville.

Thank You,

Dr. Arthur Fielder
- an ardent devotee of the Sri Aurobindo Center, Los Angeles

On the Body                                                           Home

And when one sees the absolutely marvellous results of this culture, when one observes the extent to which the body is capable of perfecting itself, one understands how useful this can be to the action of the psychic being which has entered into this material substance. For naturally, when it is in possession of an organised and harmonised instrument which is full of strength and suppleness and possibilities, its task is greatly facilitated.
The Mother, CWM Volume 10, Page 34.

Sri Aurobindo's Humor                                           Home

Sadhak (a doctor): … I feel a great responsibility. It is bad luck for me to have to tackle such a difficult case... My prestige is also involved.

Sri Aurobindo: It is a test case, I suppose. But why so strong on prestige? I should have thought everybody knows that doctors have to be guessing all the time and that cure is a matter of hit or miss. If you hit often, you are a clever doctor – or if you kill people brilliantly, then also. It reduces itself to that.
Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, Page 119.

Empowering Lines from Savitri                             Home

Then by a touch, a presence or a voice
The world is turned into a temple ground
And all discloses the unknown Beloved.
In an outburst of heavenly joy and ease
Life yields to the divinity within
And gives the rapture-offering of its all,
And the soul opens to felicity.
A bliss is felt that never can wholly cease,
A sudden mystery of secret Grace
Flowers goldening our earth of red desire.

Savitri, Page 278.
A Collective Offering by

Team at Sri Aurobindo Center of Los Angeles.
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