Sri Aurobindo Center

of Los Angeles

The Quest
June 2022

Theme - The Sunlit Path
  1. Events & Activities
  2. Introduction
  3. The Sunlit Path
  4. Change Yourself First
  5. The Heart has Wings
  6. Baby Cat
  7. The Great Adventure
  8. Inspiring Pilgrims of the Divine
  9. Sadhana of the Body
  10. Sri Aurobindo’s Humor
  11. Empowering Lines from Savitri

Events & Activities          Home

June was a month of quiet concentration intensified by the thrice-weekly meetings. Stepping back in this awareness made us acutely conscious of the rapid movement of Time that is precipitating the New Consciousness at work on earth and catapulting us into the future that it is forging. The earth, particularly the world and humanity, are being drawn into one compact united whole. All divisions are being subsumed into two: those who are moving under the impulsion of this New Consciousness and those opposing it.  In this pressing movement towards Unity, it is not surprising therefore to see a wonderful initiative to connect globally the various Centers devoted to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Our Center was a happy participant and shared its activities.

Some of the other activities included the completion of the construction of the driveway and the walkways of the garden, giving the Center a delightful ambiance. Our Savitri sessions with the audio of Mother’s reading of the relevant Canto makes for a deep experience of drawing us into an effortless concentration on Her. We also had some interesting and insightful discussions on ancient yogic practices like Patanjali’s and their relevance today, particularly for those who follow the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

We now turn to this month’s theme: The Sunlit Path. The importance of this cannot be overstated for the serious seeker.  It is the ancient path lit by the sunlight of a happy dependency on the Divine. The path that is not sunlit is a perilous path that for a long time gropes in the dark and has a tumultuous passage. So, what is the sunlit path?  We invite the readers to the illuminations from the writings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo which are priceless and ought to be read and re-read so that this path becomes our path by THEIR Grace. 

Introduction               Home

Dear Fellow Seekers,

We have been covering topics that we felt relevant for growth on the spiritual path. The topic for this month is the Sunlit Path, which is the easiest yet the most difficult of all. The demands of the path are simple, yet steep.

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, descended on this earth through an act of supreme love and compassion. They accepted darkness upon themselves and hewed a path through the rocks of adamantine difficulties so that our journey could be comfortable. One can grow through the arduous path of suffering and pain, but that is no longer necessary if one takes the Sunlit path. The requirements of this way are - faith and surrender. Our sceptic parts will argue that faith and surrender do not perfect overnight, but then we will never begin if we wait to be perfect. Sri Aurobindo assured us that a kernel of central surrender is necessary to commence, with time the discordant parts will align, doubts and confusions will abate, and the miniscule seed will grow to a strong, large tree of our spiritual life.

The world has evolved through suffering and struggle but paid a high cost. the Mother prayed that she should face all the difficulties for her children; she wanted to remove the necessity of suffering for growth. Struggle will be there, but no longer a necessary element for evolution, one can grow through light and love. She clearly stated that one can progress through Tapasya, or penance, but one goes faster through the way of love.

One should not think that if one has faith the difficulties will magically vanish, because difficulties are often imposed by the dark forces, that still have a strong influence over the world. Seekers who have been struggling have found the way to be significantly easy once they surrendered. The offered souls face all the difficulties with cheerfulness, for surrender is his mighty strength, the source of confidence on his spiritual destiny.

Sri Aurobindo in his humility reminded, that he should not be titled as the inventor of the Sunlit path, for there have been references of such a path in spiritual literature. But to a sincere seeker what is most important is that Sri Aurobindo urged us to follow this path of psychic because of the price that the Mother and he paid for the experiences.

With that note we open our June issue to the readers, may we all shun the convoluted path and take the straight way to the Divine.

Wishing you all a very happy reading.

The Quest Team
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

The Sunlit Path

It is on that consciousness of complete surrender that the psychic foundation of sadhana can be made. If once it fixes itself, then, whatever difficulties remain to be overcome, the course of the sadhana becomes perfectly easy, sunlit, natural like the opening of a flower. The feeling you have is an indication of what can and must develop in you.

Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 29, Page 73

The sunlit path can only be followed if the psychic is constantly or usually in front or if one has a natural spirit of faith and surrender or a face turned habitually towards the sun or psychic predisposition (e.g. a faith in one’s spiritual destiny) or if he has acquired the psychic turn. That does not mean that the sunlit man has no difficulties; he may have many, but he regards them cheerfully as “all in the day’s work”. If he gets bad beatings, he is capable of saying, “Well, that was a queer go, but the Divine is evidently in a queer mood and if that is his way of doing things, it must be the right one; I am surely a still queerer fellow myself and that, I suppose, was the only means of putting me right.” But everybody can’t be of that turn, and surrender which would put everything right is, as you say, difficult to do completely. That is why we do not insist on total surrender at once, but are satisfied with a little to begin with, the rest to grow as it can.

Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 31, Page 618

You say that this way is too difficult for you but it is on the contrary the easiest and simplest and most direct way and anyone can do it, if he makes his mind and vital quiet. It is the other way of tension and strain and hard endeavour that is difficult and needs a great force of Tapasya. Take the psychic attitude; follow the straight sunlit path, with the Divine openly or secretly upbearing you — if secretly, he will yet show himself in good time, — do not insist on the hard, hampered, roundabout and difficult journey.

Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 31, Page 192

There is nothing spiritually wrong in being glad and cheerful, on the contrary it is the right thing. As for struggles and aspiration, struggles are really not indispensable to progress and there are many people who get so habituated to the struggling attitude that they have all the time struggles and very little else. That is not desirable. There is a sunlit path as well as a gloomy one and it is the better of the two — a path in which one goes forward in absolute reliance on the Mother, fearing nothing, sorrowing over nothing. Aspiration is needed but there can be a sunlit aspiration full of light and faith and confidence and joy. If difficulty comes, even that can be faced with a smile.

Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 31, Page 173

The sunlit path can be followed by those who are able to practise surrender, first a central surrender and afterwards a more complete self-giving in all the parts of the being. If they can achieve and preserve the attitude of the central surrender, if they can rely wholly on the Divine and accept cheerfully whatever comes to them from the Divine, then their path becomes sunlit and may even be straightforward and easy. They will not escape all difficulties, no seeker can, but they will be able to meet them without pain and despondency, — as indeed the Gita recommends that Yoga should be practised, anirvinnacetasa, — trusting in the inner guidance and perceiving it more and more or else in the outer guidance of the Guru. It can also be followed even when one feels no light and no guidance if there is or if one can acquire a bright settled faith and happy bhakti or has the nature of the spiritual optimist and the firm belief or feeling that all that is done by the Divine is done for the best even when we cannot understand his action.

Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 31, Page 685

It is not either because I have myself trod the sunlit way or flinched from difficulty and suffering and danger. I have had my full share of these things and the Mother has had ten times her full share. But that was because the finders of the Way had to face these things in order to conquer. No difficulty that can come on the sadhak but has faced us on the path; against many we have had to struggle hundreds of times (in fact that is an understatement) before we could overcome; many still remain protesting that they have a right until the perfect perfection is there. But we have never consented to admit their inevitable necessity for others. It is in fact to ensure an easier path to others hereafter that we have borne that burden. It was with that object that the Mother once prayed to the Divine that whatever difficulties, dangers, sufferings were necessary for the path might be laid on her rather than on others. It has been so far heard that as a result of daily and terrible struggles for years those who put an entire and sincere confidence in her are able to follow the sunlit path and even those who cannot, yet when they do put the trust find their path suddenly easy and, if it becomes difficult again, it is only when distrust, revolt, abhiman, or other darknesses come upon them. The sunlit path is not altogether a fable.

November 1935
Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 29, Page 471

Change Yourself First

You can do nothing with others unless you are able to do it with yourself. You can never give a good advice to anyone unless you are able to give it to yourself first, and to follow it. And if you see a difficulty somewhere, the best way of changing this difficulty is to change it in yourself first. If you see a defect in anyone, you may be sure it is in you, and you begin to change it in yourself. And when you will have changed it in yourself, you will be strong enough to change it in others. And this is a wonderful thing, people don’t realise what an infinite grace it is that this universe is arranged in such a way that there is a collection of substance, from the most material to the highest spiritual, all that gathered together into what is called a small individual, but at the disposal of a central Will. And that is yours, your field of work, nobody can take it away from you, it is your own property. And to the extent you can work upon it, you will be able to have an action upon the world. But only to that extent. One must do more for oneself, besides, than one does for others.

7 October 1953
The Mother, CWM Volume 5, Page 302
The Heart has Wings

There are people in whom the psychic movement, the emotional impulse is stronger than intellectual understanding. They feel an irresistible attraction for the Divine without knowing, without having the slightest idea of what it is, of what it can be, what it represents — nothing, no intellectual notion — but a kind of impulse, attraction, a need, an inevitable need.

And these people who have that, if, I may say as a result of the Grace, they have a mind which does not trouble them, does not question, does not discuss, go very fast.
. . .
There are others who understand first, who are very intellectual, have studied, can play with words and ideas, who will give you brilliant lectures on all the philosophies, all the religions, all human conceptions and who, perhaps, will take years to advance one step. Because all that goes on in the head.

Many things go on in the head. I have told you this already several times, the head is like a public square. Anything at all can enter there, come, cross over, go out, and create a lot of disorder. And people who are in the habit of playing with ideas are the ones most hampered from going farther. It is a game that’s pretty, attractive; it gives you the impression that you are not altogether ordinary, at the level of ordinary life, but it cuts the wings.

It’s not the head which has wings: it’s the heart.

7 December 1955
The Mother, CWM Volume 7, Page 394
Baby Cat

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.

14 April 1929
The Mother, CWM Volume 3, Page 4
The Great Adventure

We are in a very special situation, extremely special, without precedent. We are now witnessing the birth of a new world; it is very young, very weak — not in its essence but in its outer manifestation — not yet recognized, not even felt, denied by the majority. But it is here. It is here, making an effort to grow, absolutely sure of the result. But the road to it is a completely new road which has never before been traced out — nobody has gone there, nobody has done that! It is a beginning, a universal beginning. So, it is an absolutely unexpected and unpredictable adventure."

There are people who love adventure. It is these I call, and I tell them this: “I invite you to the great adventure.

10 July 1957
The Mother, CWM Volume 9, Page 151
Inspiring Pilgrims of the Divine                                    
(19.06.1903 - 19.08.1992)

This month’s section is dedicated to Dyuman or Dyuman Bhai as he was fondly called. Dyuman, means the luminous one, a name given by Sri Aurobindo on 24th November 1928, at his request earlier that year.

Born on 19th June 1903 in Gujarat, his original name was Chunibhai Desaibhai Patel, though we will call him by the name which Sri Aurobindo gave. He was married at the age of eight to Kashi Ba, who was also eight then, as per the child marriage customs of the time. From the age of eleven, he started to feel a pull for a life beyond the mundane. The usual did not attract him, over time this pull impelled him to move across India to various places, he met Rabindranath Tagore, he met Mahatma Gandhi, who was on the cusp to dominate the Indian political scene for the decades to come, he met Lele, who for a brief period guided Sri Aurobindo in his sadhana, he visited Belur monastery the headquarters of the Sri Ramakrishna Mission. But his thirst was unquenchable. He started reading the Arya in 1920, and then he met someone who had freshly returned from Pondicherry. She said that his destination was at the feet of Sri Aurobindo. The name had a magical influence on him, Dyuman Bhai’s life was filled with the thoughts of Sri Aurobindo.

He reached Pondicherry on 11th July 1924, Kashi Ba offered her gold bangles at the feet of The Lord and Dyuman Bhai his life, at their first Darshan. When Sri Aurobindo asked him why he was there, he answered “For Yoga”. Sri Aurobindo spoke to him for an hour; Dyuman realized that he has ultimately reached his destination. The Ashram was not yet set up and the residential arrangements were inadequate. Dyuman Bhai returned to Gujarat after a stay of two months. But he continued to write to Sri Aurobindo seeking permission to stay in Pondicherry. Ultimately in May 1927 he returned for good. By then the Ashram was formed. When the Mother first saw him in person, She told Sri Aurobindo, “He will go very far”. His Ashram phase started, he plunged into the new life, holding onto the Mother firmly. Amal Kiran recounted that one day during Her discussions in the Prosperity Room, the Mother said that in the past year Dyuman had progressed the most amongst all Ashram inmates, which included great souls such as Nolini, Pavitra and Amrita. Ashram life was austere in those days, to give an example  Kashi Ba went there once in 1930 and she could speak to Dyuman only once, in the presence of the Mother, before she was leaving from Pondicherry.

He assisted the Mother with various activities but was more engaged with the Dining Room which was then in the Ashram premises.  Reading his letters to the Mother, we can see how meticulously he had planned the Dining Room operations which was supporting a handful of inmates in the early ’30s and has grown over time under his guidance to become the giant department today, serving thousands of inmates let alone visitors. He faced much resistance, he had to combat indiscipline and laziness of the people. He faced harsh criticism of the inmates about the quality, quantity, and the type of food, which was prepared under the Mother’s directions. He was sensitive to the judgement of others, who would not like to be liked by others? Being intrepid he did what was right for the Ashram, accepting much emotional and physical hardship upon himself. He was judged for his spirit of economy.  If we wonder why he had to face so much trouble at the Ashram, where people have come to do Yoga, it was because the Mother and Sri Aurobindo were churning the general state of things and fighting with the ossified mental structures. Though such attacks were personal, they were governed by forces beyond tiny individuals. We can refer to one of the letters of Sri Aurobindo to Dyuman: “Your spirit of economy is very precious and extremely helpful to us, the more so as it is rare in the Ashram where the push conscious or subconscious is towards the other extreme”.

In January 1934, the Dining Room shifted to the current premises, a lot of effort and funds went to remodel the existing building to make it suitable as a community kitchen which was planned by Dyuman Bhai under the Mother’s supervision. Around March 1934 he had a nervous breakdown. Mother poured Her love and care on him at that time so that he could recover fast. She prescribed him complete bed rest, a peaceful mind, nutritious food, and as many hours of sleep as possible. We can see from his communications with the Mother that he passed through a phase of acute diffidence, fear, and ill health; a period of darkness for him. It extended up to the April darshan of 1934, when he experienced a new birth and a fresh lease of life. Thereafter he worked tirelessly and joyously till the last day of his life. Later he joked about himself that after his death when he would be put on the burning pyre, his soul would jump out take birth immediately to do the Mother’s work, a true karma yogi. We present his prayer to the Mother on 4th December 1949, which aptly reflects his aim of life:

Work, work and work will be my motto—ceaselessly to work, work for all time. It has no night, no day. To go beyond time and there to work. Speech less, advice less, preaching of the sermons less—but to work and to act and to live up to the highest idea. My dear Mother, all love to you.
Dyuman (left) helping the Mother with the Card Distribution,
25 October 1954 on the occasion of Kali Puja

Mother told him one day, “You do my work, and I will do yours” meaning his Sadhana. In later days  people wondered how he could work so much even in his advanced age. His method of healing was Sleep, in case he would be disturbed, he would sleep continuously for long hours, and slowly he would come out of that state. He surely had his challenges, doubts, and confusions but he had the faith and confidence that he was the Mother’s child, which pulled him through the dark moments. Even in later life, his advice to others would be to just cling to Her and not to leave Her by any means. the Mother encouraged him to be more flexible and plastic, inspired him to create a living organization based on spontaneity and sincerity, rather than on rigid rules.

As he managed the Dining Room and Granary, he had to pass through severe tests when he faced serious shortage of foods, such as the World War II years and a blockade in 1949 when supplies to Pondicherry were cut off. Similarly, growing number of inmates specially in the ’40s, fast expansion of the Ashram caused a stiff demand over resources. With the faith on the Mother, and with great efficiency he worked through all these challenges - the Dining Room never stopped for a day. Probably these difficult experiences influenced his thoughts about about food security; he procured large tracts of agricultural lands and gardens to ensure food supply for the Ashram. Similarly, it was his initiative to build guest houses, construct and buy accommodations for the Ashram inmates instead of depending on local landlords and fragile rental arrangements.

He became passionate about gardening after joining the Ashram, he sensed how the plants were sensitive to his consciousness. Dyuman Bhai represented the Ashram, along with others, in various flower shows and surprised the public with the size of the flowers grown in the Ashram gardens. It was important for the Ashram’s image in those days. There were certain misconceptions around the place, that it acted as a shelter in French Territory for the dangerous, fugitive revolutionaries of British India. In 1930, the Mother had asked him to get a sapling of the Service tree, from the Botanical garden, which he planted as per the Mother’s instruction at the present spot. Agriculture was something that he took keen interest till the last days of his life. Much ahead of the times, he concentrated on growing vegetables without chemical fertilizers. It is said that one day as he was serving soup to the Mother, she asked him “Are you giving me poison in it?” meaning the chemical fertilizers. The question made him think deeper and as a man of abundant initiative he took it upon himself to grow organic vegetables in the Ashram fields.

There are numerous anecdotes about Dyuman Bhai’s resourcefulness and foresight to serve the Mother. the Mother once told him “You have come down to serve”. Truly he was there to serve Her in every way he could. She once saw a blue Ford V8 car and told Dyuman that She would like to use such a car. He worked to get an exact replica of the car for the Mother, but he was not happy with that, he worked through his network procured funds and got a Humber car for the Mother. It was an extremely difficult task in the Word War and post war years.

When the Ashram faced shortage of funds, the Mother sold Her jewelry through Dyuman. He was much pained to see the Mother selling Her precious and much-loved pieces. Usually, they were sold within the disciple community, the Mother took care to know who was ultimately buying the piece owing to the occult vibrations associated with the items. Once she wanted to sell Her sarees, that was something that Dyuman Bhai could not accept as Her child, but he obeyed to the Mother. However, he did not want to sell the sarees piecemeal, and approached a wealthy disciple who would pay a lump sum for all the sarees. To the greatness of that disciple, he did not want the sarees but wanted to offer his help to the Mother, so Dyuman Bhai kept the sarees in his room. Later the Mother wanted to distribute 500 sarees to Her children, and she was falling short and Dyuman Bhai went to Her with his collection of Her sarees so that the Mother could gift Her children as per Her wish.

Though the Mother oversaw all the affairs of the Ashram, she did not have a room of Her own until 1953. One day after coming back from playground the Mother wanted to lie down and rest, when Dyuman Bhai saw that, he thought of building a private room for the Mother. She initially resisted the idea, but then allowed him to build the room with a condition that he could not use any of the Ashram funds for the project.  Dyuman wrote to his friend Navajata and funds were arranged. No wonder, the Mother told him once, that Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and harmony was his friend.

Dyuman Bhai started working in the Ashram at Dining Room and Granary, slowly his area of work expanded. He was required by the Mother for Her special projects and initiatives specially in the growing phase of the Ashram. Later in 1955 when She formed the Ashram Trust, Dyuman Bhai was one of the founding trustees. His responsibilities grew significantly after the Mother’s physical departure, and then as slowly the old guards such as Amrita, Satyakarma, Nolini, Pradyot and Counouma left. He worked round the clock to keep the Ashram community together, provide direction to the ship that was passing through rough weather, liaise with and guide the Centers sprouting in different parts of the world. In 1991 he was chosen as the Managing Trustee of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

He was a visionary at work, he planned for the Sri Aurobindo Centenary at least five years ahead adding a steam boiler and revved up the dining room capacity to cater to the stream of visitors who would be visiting the Ashram for Sri Aurobindo’s centenary. He bought 600 kgs of Cashew nuts much in advance to prepare the sweets for the Centenary. He prayed to the Mother and took risks in his work. He did not balk from large projects because of over work or paucity of funds. Dyuman Bhai was instrumental in getting the film Four Chapters of Sri Aurobindo Ashram done in 1952, which has immense archival value for posterity.

Dyuman who faced much criticism, unfairly, for his economic spirit, knew how to give, his room and office were open for all at all the times. He had abundant energy, and the grace of the Mother to bring people together, inspire and implement important projects for the Ashram. the Mother chose him to execute a special celebration on 15th August 1947, the 75th birthday of Sri Aurobindo which coincided with the date of India’s Independence from the British rule, though Pondicherry remained with French India till 1954. He worked with the disciples to procure the decorative supplies from large cities such as Mumbai, arranged tents in the Ashram playground and made plans to accommodate additional visitors for the occasion. In 1960, on the first recurrence of the leap year after the Supramental manifestation he planned the entire celebrations be in resplendent golden color, starting from the Mother’s dress to decorations and even the food and cutlery. In 1972, for Sri Aurobindo’s Centenary, akin to 1947 he adorned the Service tree with colored lamps. In 1976 he commemorated 50 years of Sri Aurobindo’s Siddhi Day. In 1978 on the Mother’s centenary, it was his wish to share something precious with each visitor and he got designed a beautiful folder with pieces from Mother’s saree and Sri Aurobindo’s dhoti. In 1985, the 75th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s coming to Pondicherry, Dyuman Bhai approached the family owning the house where Sri Aurobindo initially stayed, who were not connected with the Ashram, so that the devotees could visit the Sri Aurobindo’s room there and pay their homage. The Golden Jubilee of the Ashram school was in 1993, though he planned for it, making a list of former students, reaching out to them and guiding others how to proceed with it, he could not witness the program himself. He wanted to kindle a fire in the hearts of people through these celebrations.

Dyuman Bhai, just wanted to work for the Mother, he had no other ambition, he never visited the Ashram Cinema, did not study languages, did not participate in any cultural activities. He had only one aim, to be an instrument for the Mother. In 1972 on his birthday the Mother wrote:
"To Dyuman
Bonne Fete
and a long, long, long life of happy and remarkably useful life.
With love and blessings... "

With time his responsibilities increased, yet he was informal and very close to all. The entire Ashram was his family, he would drop into homes unannounced or uninvited. He dressed simply, his room was open for all, inmates could use his room to keep their books or things before their Group activities without asking his permission. His physical end too came as per his wish. On 14th August 1992, on the Darshan eve, Dyuman Bhai’s talk was broadcast from the Radio station of Pondicherry, his voice sounded firm and young. On the 15th he did his favorite chore, distribution of Darshan messages. On the 16th he had a slight fever, and on the next day with reluctance he went to the Nursing home. He attended Ashram matters on the 18th, and on 19th morning he went to office, and then suddenly left his body in the evening. When one of his assistants looked into his diary to draw up the monthly accounts, which he filled up a few days in advance before the Darshan Day when he gets extremely occupied, to her surprise she found that he had made entries in advance only till the 19th, as if he knew that day would be the last.
Dyuman with the Mother in Her room on 12 February 1960

It is said that in the early ’30s, occasionally late at night, the Mother, who stayed on the first floor of the Ashram, would call out “Dyuman” for some work, he would rush out with a ladder and directly climb up to Her terrace instead of taking the stairs which was at a distance, because to him, the Mother was the Divine, and who can keep the Divine waiting? This time too, the Mother probably called him for work, some big work that She was planning for the world and summoned Her favorite instrument to give instructions.
Sadhana of the Body

It is a fact that the Godhead has always taken a physical body with the intention of transforming that body and making of it a fit instrument for His manifestation upon earth. But it is a fact also that, until now, He has failed to do so and for one reason or another He had always to leave that physical body with the work of transformation unfinished.

The Mother, CWM Volume 13, Page 54      

The importance of the body is obvious; it is because he has developed or been given a body and brain capable of receiving and serving a progressive mental illumination that man has risen above the animal. Equally, it can only be by developing a body or at least a functioning of the physical instrument capable of receiving and serving a still higher illumination that he will rise above himself and realise, not merely in thought and in his internal being but in life, a perfectly divine manhood. Otherwise either the promise of Life is cancelled, its meaning annulled and earthly being can only realise Sachchidananda by abolishing itself, by shedding from it mind, life and body and returning to the pure Infinite, or else man is not the divine instrument, there is a destined limit to the consciously progressive power which distinguishes him from all other terrestrial existences and as he has replaced them in the front of things, so another must eventually replace him and assume his heritage.

Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 21, Page 245  

By means of a rational and discerning physical education, we must make our body strong and supple enough to become a fit instrument in the material world for the truth-force which wants to manifest through us.

In fact, the body must not rule, it must obey. By its very nature it is a docile and faithful servant. Unfortunately, it rarely has the capacity of discernment it ought to have with regard to its masters, the mind and the vital. It obeys them blindly, at the cost of its own well-being. The mind with its dogmas, its rigid and arbitrary principles, the vital with its passions, its excesses and dissipations soon destroy the natural balance of the body and create in it fatigue, exhaustion and disease. It must be freed from this tyranny and this can be done only through a constant union with the psychic centre of the being. The body has a wonderful capacity of adaptation and endurance. It is able to do so many more things than one usually imagines. If, instead of the ignorant and despotic masters that now govern it, it is ruled by the central truth of the being, you will be amazed at what it is capable of doing. Calm and quiet, strong and poised, at every minute it will be able to put forth the effort that Is demanded of it, for it will have learnt to find rest in action and to recuperate, through contact with the universal forces, the energies it expends consciously and usefully. In this sound and balanced life a new harmony will manifest in the body, reflecting the harmony of the higher regions, which will give it perfect proportions and ideal beauty of form.

The Mother, CWM Volume 12, Page 7    



Sleep is the school one must pass through if one knows how to learn one’s lesson there, so that the inner being may become independent of the physical form, conscious in its own right and master of its own life. There are entire parts of the being that need this immobility and semi-consciousness of the outer being, of the body, in order to be able to lead their own life independently.

It is another school for another result, but it is still a school. If one wants to achieve the maximum possible progress, one must know how to make use of one’s nights just as one makes use of one’s days. Only, people usually have no idea how to go about it; they try to stay awake and all they achieve is a physical and vital imbalance, and sometimes a mental one too.
Sleep is indispensable in the present state of the body. It is by a progressive control over the subconscient that the sleep can become more and more conscious.

25 January 1938  

I know by experience that it is not by lessening the food that sleep becomes conscious; the body becomes restless but this in no way increases the consciousness. It is in good, sound and quiet sleep that one can get in contact with a deeper part of oneself.

4 August 1937
The Mother, CWM Volume 15, Page 131
Sri Aurobindo’s Humor

Disciple: I have no desire to eat though I am hungry. I can’t even sleep at night. Can it be due to the hypersecretion of the endocrines from yogic pressure?
Sri Aurobindo: Confound your endocrines! You have got to eat. Yoga can’t be done on a hungry stomach. Sleep also is indispensable.

Nirodbaran’s Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, Volume 1
Empowering Lines from Savitri

Yes, there are happy ways near to God’s sun;
But few are they who tread the sunlit path;
Only the pure in soul can walk in light.

Savitri, Page 448,
Book 6: The Book of Fate,
Canto 2: The Way of Fate and the Problem of Pain
Artist Ritam Melungov

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