Thousands of candles can be lit with one candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

- Gautama Buddha

Business and the problem of Poverty

According to ancient and medieval Indian concepts of business, the dharma of business is to generate wealth for the upkeep and development of the entire society. Based on the values of empathy and oneness, this resonates across several religions. Business, by its natural purpose, has a responsibility towards the community. Even before modern laws regulated corporate funds to be directed towards socio-ecological development, businesses led by visionaries who had a strong foundation of human values, have contributed to the benefit of society. If all businesses followed their dharma and shared their wealth, would there be any trace of poverty in this world? The seemingly insurmountable gap between the rich and the poor will not exist, and the majority of the world population will not struggle for the basics to survive. Perhaps a utopian thought but as we move from the International Day of Eradication of Poverty (October 17) towards the festival of light, Diwali (November 4), this is a thought we would like to share with you, along with this article.

Lights on Life

Pulses of truth that clears up life’s pathway and makes it a joyful and confident journey

Questions and Answers

Our ordinary life is fraught with doubts, confusions and questions on its various aspects. Our Questions and Answers section is a compilation of questions on multiple subjects, asked by aspirants to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and the answers given by Them. Please visit - an answer may be awaiting you, even if you do not have a question.

Inspiration

Light
‘Light, endless Light! darkness has room no more,
Life’s ignorant gulfs give up their secrecy:The huge inconscient depths unplumbed before
Lie glimmering in vast expectancy.

Light. timeless Light immutable and apart!
The holy sealed mysterious doors unclose.

Light, burning Light from the Infinite’s diamond heartQuivers in my heart where blooms the deathless rose.

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Light in its rapture leaping through the nerves!
Light, brooding Light! each smitten passionate cell
In a mute blaze of ecstasy preserves
A living sense of the imperishable.

I move in an ocean of stupendous Light
Joining my depths to His eternal height.

– Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol2: P 618

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Guidance

On life’s journey, we are sometimes struck by a distressing obstacle in our path, numbing our strength and capacities to move ahead. Or it could also be a strong aspiration that blindly seeks an expression. At these times, if we concentrate and sincerely search for an inner guidance, it does somehow reach us through some means and a path opens up, almost like miracle! If you are in a situation like this, try our Guidance section and see if it helps. Do share your experience with us.

Events and Announcements

Glimpses of recent activities at SAS

Ayurveda & Yoga in Indian Temple Sculptures

As part of our celebrations for the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and 75th Independence Day of India, this is an invitation to all, for the first Special Lecture on the theme – ‘India, Our Mother: Ayurveda & Yoga in Indian Temple Sculptures’. This online session is organized by two of our units - AuroBharati and AuroYajna. The speaker, Rekha Rao, is an independent scholar with a fascinating collection of research on Indian temple sculpture, mandala architecture and Indus seals. Please note the time: Sunday, October 31, 2021 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Boondein

Boondein literally translates to drops. The LTFS employee volunteering program brought eleven enthusiastic LTFS personnel to deliver training to the village women members of the highly successful Digital Sakhi initiative being conducted at SARVAM. The volunteer interaction with the rural women was a two-way transaction as both took away deep personal learnings from the experience. Drops of goodness and compassion will create an ocean of oneness that will one day wash away all discrimination. Salute to the thought and to the effort!

A Creative Gurukul for the New Age

Sacred Classroom, Sacred Curriculum, and Four-step Learning Process. These are all part of the Creative Gurukul for the New Age, an innovative approach that elevates learning to its purest significance. The one-and-a-half-hour immersive conversation organized by AuroBharati with Ms. Jayashree Ashok, Mr. B. Ashok, and Ms. Reshma Madhusudan from the Creative School, Bengaluru, was an insightful revelation to all the participants.

Animation Film – Sri Aurobindo A New Dawn : Reliving a Forgotten Chapter of History

‘Sri Aurobindo: A New Dawn’ is not just an ordinary tale being told, it is an attempt to consciously relive a significant moment in history – a forgotten chapter in the history of reawakening of India (1893 – 1914).  The inspiration of this moment lives and breathes through our present and most decidedly, into the future dawn of not only the Indian nation but also the whole world. 

“The sun of India’s destiny would rise and fill all India with its light and overflow India and overflow Asia and overflow the world.”

Sri Aurobindo 

The creative team  has put in their best efforts to do extensive research into the period when Sri Aurobindo landed on Apollo Bunder, Bombay, on 6th February 1893. 

Watch the trailer of ‘Sri Aurobindo: A New Dawn’, and know more about its making

Our humble request to you to  contribute to realize this cherished dream. Come, be one of us, in the making of this deeply inspirational animation film.

Building Forward Together

Poverty, unfortunately, is like a chronic illness in most Indian villages. Its inhabitants are accustomed to living with it. If young minds are inspired to empower themselves to break the shackles of poverty, perhaps there is a cure to this long-standing ailment of the society. On the occasion of the International Day of Eradication of Poverty, SARVAM organised a one-day awareness programme on poverty eradication for all the rural students. The young participants were brimming with strong determination of self-development and a positive aspiration to erase traces of poverty from their lives – mentally, physically and of course, financially.

Understanding Our Vital Nature

ur actions are reactions that get so often mixed up with the vital, it is difficult to see its own movements clearly. Join this online workshop from 8 to 13 November, 2021 with Dr. Monica Gulati and understand this side of our nature in greater detail. It is with knowledge only that we can change and purify it in order to make it a perfect instrument for our Work. This workshop is dedicated to the sincere warriors ready to fight off the dark clouds of confusion in their very own nature.

Water Governance and Management

Through their water governance program, SVARNIM Puducherry had organized a series of talks by Dr. Mansee Bal Bhargava a lake enthusiast who has been loving the lakes for more than 20 years is planning to have a series of talks about water governance and management to the people in and around Bahour village.

Offering in Humility and Gratitude

We have stepped into an important year on 15 August 2021 as it starts the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo and the 75th year of India’s independence. This section is our humble offering to this momentous occasion. We will bring a few golden glimpses from the Master’s avataric life as well as a few glorious achievements of independent India.

Our Gentle Sri Aurobindo

When Sri Aurobindo was living with his family in Calcutta, Sarojini, his younger sister, made frequent complaints about the rudeness and impertinence of their cook. 

Sri Aurobindo simply listened and forgot all about it. 

Sarojini at last lost her patience and urged upon him a drastic step. 

Sri Aurobindo called the cook in a grave voice and asked, “I hear you have behaved rudely. Don’t do it again!” 

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Everybody was disappointed at this anticlimax and realised that no further strictness could be expected of him. 

So too when the Mother once brought a complaint to him against a disciple who, in a fit of temper, had beaten somebody, “This is the third time! What should be done? I want your sanction, Lord,” she said. 

Sri Aurobindo calmly replied, “Let him be given a final warning.” We knew very well that this “final warning” could not be really final.

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Readers’ Column

Our Mother is about to appear in Her most passionate, most protective avatar – Mahakali. Her Love is like a fire – burning within to diffuse all darkness within us, as also, surrounding us to protect us from all external attacks. Sushmita, our avid reader and regular contributor, invokes the Mother in Her own inimitable style – with words dipped in a strange mix of lucid rationale and deep emotion.

Unmask Thyself

It is said that even a mother does not feed her child till the child cries. 

But why? Is it because she wants the child to feel the hunger? Or is it that she doesn’t want to over-feed, or feed when there is not the need? Or is it that she wants to teach the child to endure, and then taste the satiation and whence learn to value the hunger and the fed? 

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Well, questions are aplenty and many a time, a question begets a question in the form of an answer! And as to what the exact answer is, not just to this question but to every, that, only the Divine Mother knows, Her answer changing in keeping with our hunger, in keeping with the nature of the hunger — in keeping with the Aspiration that She Herself Incites and Invokes in us so as to push and propel us to invoke Her. 

After all, nothing happens without a purpose, nothing falling outside Her Purpose. Thus, usually She seems to be conspiring against us, and usually less oft, in our favour. 

Such are these times, when humanity collectively is striving and crying, aspiring consciously or otherwise, for the ‘whys’, the ‘hows’, the ‘whens’, the ‘whats’, seeking a way out, and comprehensively. Man is suffocated by the physical mask that he has been made to wear… and is still being made to wear. He is weary too. 

But is it only the physical mask that he wants to tear and breathe freely the air without fear — the very air which he has been taking for granted, putting on all sorts of airs? 

In this material plane, all apparent is formed of and filled with duality. Thus, even the sign of ‘life’ in man, his breath too depicts the same: inhalation and exhalation. One simply can’t do with one. If he inhales, he has to exhale. This is the relation, unavoidable, of the many, between oxygen and carbon dioxide, between inhalation and exhalation…

So, is man suffocated by that that he wants to exhale, but cannot fully because of the mask?  Because, however optimal might be the membranes of the mask, there are things which cannot escape the mask. The Divine Mother seems to have taken us to task! Our so-called progress has its mask peeled-off and torn. 

“God’s contract signed with Ignorance is torn.” (1)

We have been seeing and blaming the enemies without, but, this mask and “work-from-home” forcing to ‘work at home’ has kind-of forced man to unmask himself.  So now, is he afraid of what he cannot exhale, having to inhale himself?

“In the mind’s silence the Transcendent acts

And the hushed heart hears the unuttered Word.” (2)

And then, all denials have to be denied. Denials can no more be of Truth. The more we deny, the more our troubles we intensify. No more can the Word be defied. All previously ‘absoluted’, deified, – man’s intellect, intelligence and their deduced and derived – accept their subjugation to and limitation by the Ignorance; Mind accepts its defeat at the Feet of Truth-Light…

“Light, endless Light! darkness has room no more,

Life’s ignorant gulfs give up their secrecy:” (3)

Thus, these whys and whens, whats and hows as engulf, as linear thinking leads to frightful predictions, called we are to go beyond and rise above the predilections of intellect and intelligence. We are made to invoke the unpredictability of the Divine Mother. And hence, we aspire to see the Sun shining bright, dispelling the gloom of the darkening clouds. The Divine Mother is not bound to any prediction, cannot be read by the ‘weather-forecasting’ agencies, however ‘advanced’ they might be. We call upon the beauty and ‘suddenness’ of Her unpredictability, Her apparent severity too Her solicitude, our saviour.  

As is the dirt and grime, so is the required nature of scrubbing and cleansing. Fed-up with all that we have been fed, fed-up with the limitations of the utility of predictability, fed-up with our affiliation to fate, we call upon the Hands Invisible… 

“Alive in a dead rotating universe

We whirl not here upon a casual globe

Abandoned to a task beyond our force;

Even through the tangled anarchy called Fate

And through the bitterness of death and fall

An outstretched Hand is felt upon our lives.” (4)

These Hands, as embrace and cuddle, protecting and guiding through all adverse and adversity, so do They cull and slay all enemies within which invite and respond to those from without. 

Though always She is to be called upon, yet, these are those times when Her Intervention is ardently and urgently sought, prayed and aspired for — individually and universally, and in full integrality. 

“Mother Durga! Thou art Kali, naked, garlanded with human heads, sword in hand, thou slayest the Asura. Goddess, do thou slay with thy pitiless cry the enemies who dwell within us, may none remain alive there, not one. May we become pure and spotless, this is our prayer, O Mother, make thyself manifest.” (5)

As we have been unmasked, laid bare and torn the invisible masks that we had been hitherto wearing, the enemies seen and being seen gradually, we call upon Her, “the magnet of our difficult ascent,” (6) 

O Divine Mother, hold back no more Thyself, hide no more. We seek Thy overt, no more covert, action and intervention. Unmask Thyself…

 

References

(1) “Immortality” by Sri Aurobindo (CWSA Volume 2, p. 625).

(2) Savitri by Sri Aurobindo, p. 315.

(3) “Light” by Sri Aurobindo (CWSA Volume 2, p. 618).

(4) Savitri by Sri Aurobindo, p. 59.

(5) “Hymn to Durga” by Sri Aurobindo (CWSA Volume 9).

(6) Savitri by Sri Aurobindo, p. 314.

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Dose of Sunshine

(…is all we need to embrace life with a smile!)

Potion of Laughter

Parents and their children. Plenty of them in our overpopulated world – yet each one of the relationships is unique.  Each story is different. Species independent. Different questions. Different answers. Well… before we slip and fall on the ensuing emotions, let us take you to some examples. 

 

A family of mice were surprised by a big cat. Father Mouse jumped and and said, “Bow-wow!” The cat ran away. “What was that, Father?” asked Baby Mouse. “Well, son, that’s why it’s important to learn a second language.”

 

The Perfect Son.

A: I have the perfect son.

B: Does he smoke?

A: No, he doesn’t.

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B: Does he drink?

A: No, he doesn’t.

B: Does he ever come home late?

A: No, he doesn’t.

B: I guess you really do have the perfect son. How old is he?

A: He will be six months old next Wednesday.

Mother: “Did you enjoy your first day at school?”

Girl: “First day? Do you mean I have to go back tomorrow?

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A Capsule of Good News

Does poverty disturb you? The answer, from most of us, is probably ‘Yes, certainly!’. But with a deep-rooted by-stander bias, we assume that the solution is beyond our means. Somebody somewhere owns the responsibility or has the power, or both. And that somebody is surely not us. Well, Paul David Hewson, the Irish singer-songwriter, popular as Bono and one of 2013’s ’10 most Influential Celebrities’, says otherwise. You do not need to bring home the moon or count all the shades of green in a tree, to be that somebody. Well, one of them. The magic lies in uniting all our individual little powers and build up the wave needed to wash away poverty. Listen to Bono on TEDx and be that somebody.