Skylight

Archive for June 2007

click here for a visual report on april-may’07 events (138 kb)

 

Shrine
 

Sri Aurobindo’s shrine at The Gnostic Centre is open from 8am to 8pm every day. You are welcome. It is a place for silent meditation.

 

Alchemy: an integral health centre

 

On 30th April, Alchemy (a unit of The Gnostic Centre) came into being… offering two programs presently – one for adults and the other for children. The Yoga & Exercise Studio is now operational. The other facilities of the Health Centre – Gym, Massage room, Steam bath, will be operational soon. Based on the integral approach of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Alchemy will offer health related workshops as well and invite resource persons to share their knowledge in this field derived from the traditional wisdom as well as new researches.

 

Memberships to the Gym, to Yoga classes, to Children’s fitness classes, and to the Health Centre are invited. Please contact Asha Jha at The Gnostic Centre for details.

 

Events: April to May 2007

Details

Dates/Time

Programs at Alchemy

Children’s Physical Fitness Classes : for 5-8 year olds

Fee: Rs.2000 per month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artistic Yoga

 for 18 year olds & above
Fee: Rs.3000 per month

Facilitated by Asha Jha

These are excellent sessions that train children in simple fitness exercises, yogasanas, basic gymnastics, rhythmic movements. As with all work of the Centre, these classes too are not limited to the physical, even though focusing on it. The activities are such that they also facilitate development of certain qualities in oneself – courage, initiative, perseverance, team spirit.

 

Resource Facilitator: Usha Chengappa

Trained by Bharat Thakur, Usha has been teaching Artistic Yoga over the last seven years. These one hour sessions are a time for yogasanas along with music – combining fun and effort, stillness and movement. Note: Morning sessions will begin soon. Please contact The Gnostic Centre for information and registrations.

 

Days: Mon, Wed, Fri; Timings: 5pm to 6pm

Days: Tue, Thu, Sat; Timings: 7am to 8am

International Centre for Integral Studies: Online Courses

 

ICIS, the higher education unit of The Gnostic Centre is starting postgraduate level online courses this year. Preparatory work for the following courses is under way:

 

The Gnostic Centre as an Eco-Community

 

This May, the Gnostic Centre took its first steps towards becoming an Eco-community… with the expert and kindly guidance of Chamanlal ji (an energy and solar scientist, based in Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry since 1960s), and practical and creative inputs of Sanjay Prakash (the architect for the Gnostic Centre buildings and a long-term associate). More on this will follow in subsequent issues. Presently the primary focus areas are waste recycling and water conservation.

 

Events: April to May 2007

Details

Dates/Time

Workshops

Parents’ Orientations
workshops for L’avenir parents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher as a Catalyst of Change
a workshop for teachers of The Heritage School (Gurgaon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The B.El.Ed. Experience
a presentation during a Seminar for Educationists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Creativity
a workshop for 5 to 8 year olds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facilitators: Anuradha and Aditi
These introductory workshops were held for the older and younger batches. The main emphasis was on deepening the process of parenting through introspective, reflective and experiential activities, along with sharing and discussions in the larger group. The first workshop (for parents of the older batch) focused on How to Know and Understand oneself. The second (for parents of the younger batch) focused on one’s Role as a Parent and coming in touch with the Inner Story of one’s child.

 

Facilitator: Anuradha

A teacher-education session for over a 100 teachers, this 90 minute interaction drew a warm response from the teachers and the principal. The session focused on the present state of society and the role of the individual as a catalyst of change despite odds. ‘A New Education for a New India’, a multimedia presentation by The Gnostic Centre, formed a part of this session and generated new ideas, reflections and questioning in the viewers.

 

Presenter: Anuradha
This presentation was made to a group of educationists, educational planners, principals, teachers and teacher-students – as part of a one-day seminar on ‘Self-development: Need and Importance in Teacher-Education’, organised by Dr. Prabhjot Kulkarni (Principal, Maharshi Valmiki College of Education) and Prof. Sunil Kumar (Indus Quality Foundation), at Ramakrishna Mission Centre, Delhi. Here too the multimedia presentation, ‘A New Education for a New India’ evoked a tremendous response, touching the hearts of all present. The presentation primarily focused on the deeper meaning of self-development, in the context of education – the change beginning with the teacher herself – through a growth of consciousness rather than mere modification of behaviour.

 

Facilitator: Sunaina Singh

A workshop full of interesting and creative activities that challenged as well as engaged the children, and helped them enhance their power of imagination and creativity. The variety of activities children were exposed to was remarkable: paper craft, design and jewellery, glass painting, clay modelling, plaster of Paris work, different types of drawing and painting, Madhubani and Warli painting, coil pottery, western fold dance, physical activities, nature walks, and shlokas.

 

15th & 22nd April

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28th April

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8th May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12th & 13th May

Outreach
The Gnostic Centre Info & Literature stall
at The Heritage School, Gurgaon

 

The Gnostic Centre put up a literature and info stall at the Heritage school on the days of the school’s Parent-Teacher meetings.

 

5th & 10th May

Study Circle

Savitri

(a book by Sri Aurobindo)

Facilitated by Ameeta Mehra

Saturdays, 9-10am

For information on any of the above, contact The Gnostic Centre – tel: (011) 28063060 / 70 / 80, 9810052545 ; e-mail: gnostic@gnosticcentre.com .

gnostic centre.com/current_events

Mother’s Agenda
Recorded by Satprem, a disciple of the Mother, in the course of numerous personal conversations with her, Mother’s Agenda is the complete logbook of her

AN ANALYSIS OF MOTHER’S AGENDA
Mother’s Agenda is not just an expression of how an individual can grow and evolve, or even how to live a spiritual life, but an unprecedented insight into

Mother’s Agenda – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mother’s Agenda – l’Agenda – is a massive 13 volume, 6000 page, journal of the Mother‘s (born Mirra Alfassa) spiritual and physical experiences,

Maroma, Auroville
This is Mother’s Agenda. Distribution of Mother’s Agenda, please contact: INSTITUT DE RECHERCHES EVOLUTIVES, 142 Blvd. du Montaparnasse, Paris-75014 FRANCE.

Books by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
Books by The Mother. Mother’s Agenda Mother’s Agenda. still under construction. Books by Satprem. The Mind of the Cells. still under construction

Mother’s Agenda
Blurbs of Mother’s Agenda * Press Reviews. This prodigious document – 6000 pages in 13 volumes, is the account of Mother’s exploration in the body

Mother’s Agenda: Information from Answers.com
Mother’s Agenda The Mother and Sri Aurobindo Books: Life Divine , Synthesis of Yoga , Savitri , The Mother , Letters , Agenda Teachings: Involution /

Agenda by the Mother
Mother’s Agenda 1951-1973. This tremendous document — 6,OOO pages in 13 volumes — is the day-to-day account over twenty-two years of Mother’s exploration

On Pavitra and Pavitra’s Death – From Mother’s Agenda
from Mother’s Agenda 17, 21 and 28 May 1969 (with an experience of Pavitra) (tape-recorded talks) and a talk between Sujata and Mother on Pavitra on

I have always been aware of passing time, since I was a kid. As a Theravada Buddhist (am I?) I’d like to pretend I am ready to face anicca and dukkha (impermanence and anguish).

It seems I am not. Time goes by. Things change. We suffer. Who knows?
——————–

From Sri Aurobindo’ Savitri:

Why is it all, the labour and the din,
The transient joys, the timeless sea of tears,
The longing and the hoping and the cry,
The battle and the victory and the fall,
The aimless journey that can never pause,
The waking toil, the incoherent sleep,
Song, shouts and weeping, wisdom and idle words,
The laughter of men, the irony of the gods?
Where leads the march, whither the pilgrimage?
Who keeps the map of the route or planned each stage?
Or else self-moved the world walks its own way,
Or nothing is there but only a Mind that dreams:
The world is a myth that happened to come true,
A legend told to itself by conscious Mind,
Imaged and played on a feigned Matter’s ground
On which it stands in an unsubstantial Vast. 

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MANTRA in the Tantra and Integral Yoga Tue, June 5, 2007 – 4:54 AM 

The ancient Vedic theory and practice extended this creative action of speech by the use of the Mantra. The theory of the Mantra is that it is a word of power born out of the secret depths of our being where it has been brooded upon by a deeper consciousness than the mental, framed in the heart and not originally constructed by the intellect, held in the mind, again concentrated on by the waking mental consciousness and then thrown out silently or vocally — the silent word is perhaps held to be more potent than the spoken — precisely for the work of creation. The Mantra can not only create new subjective states in ourselves, alter our psychical being, reveal knowledge and faculties we did not before possess, can not only produce similar results in other minds than that of the user, but can produce vibrations in the mental and vital atmosphere which result in effects, in actions and even in the production of material forms on the physical plane.

The mantra is one of these psycho-spiritual means, at once a symbol, an instrument and a sound body for the divine manifestation,

The function of a mantra is to create vibrations in the inner consciousness that will prepare it for the realisation of what the mantra symbolises and is supposed indeed to carry within itself.

When one repeats a mantra regularly, very often it begins to repeat itself within, which means that it is taken up by the inner being. In that way it is more effective.

The Upanishads, 1984, p. 125 Letters on Yoga, SABCL Vol. 22/24

MANTRA IN THE INTEGRAL YOGA

OM is the mantra, the expressive sound-symbol of the Brahman Consciousness in its four domains from the Turiya to the external or material plane. The function of a mantra is to create vibrations in the inner consciousness that will prepare it for the realisation of what the mantra symbolises and is supposed indeed to carry within itself. The mantra OM should therefore lead towards the opening of the consciousness to the sight and feeling of the One Consciousness in all material things, in the inner being and in the supraphysical worlds, in the causal plane above now superconscient to us and, finally, the supreme liberated transcendence above all cosmic existence. The last is usually the main preoccupation with those who use the mantra.

In this yoga there is no fixed mantra, no stress is laid on mantras, although sadhaks can use one if they find it helpful or so long as they find it helpful. The stress is rather on an aspiration in the consciousness and a concentration of the mind, heart, will, all the being. If a mantra is found helpful for that, one uses it. OM if rightly used (not mechanically) might very well help the opening upwards and outwards (cosmic consciousness) as well as the descent.

As a rule the only mantra used in this sadhana is that of the Mother or of my name and the Mother’s. The concentration in the heart and the concentration in the head can both be used — each has its own result. The first opens up the psychic being and brings bhakti, love and union with the Mother, her presence within the heart and the action of her Force in the nature. The other opens the mind to self-realisation, to the consciousness of what is above mind, to the ascent of the consciousness out of the body and the descent of the higher consciousness into the body.

As when the mantra sinks in Yoga’s ear,
Its message enters stirring the blind brain
And keeps in the dim ignorant cells its sound;
The hearer understands a form of words
And, musing on the index thought it holds,
He strives to read it with the labouring mind,
But finds bright hints, not the embodied truth:
Then, falling silent in himself to know
He meets the deeper listening of his soul:
The Word repeats itself in rhythmic strains:
Thought, vision, feeling, sense, the body’s self
Are seized unutterably and he endures
An ecstasy and an immortal change;
He feels a Wideness and becomes a Power,
All knowledge rushes on him like a sea:
Transmuted by the white spiritual ray
He walks in naked heavens of joy and calm,
Sees the God-face and hears transcendent speech:

Letters on Yoga, SABCL Vol. 22/24, p. 745 Savitri, CWSA Vol. 33/34, p. 375

Tue, June 5, 2007 – 4:54 AM – permalink1 Comment back to Shiva » INSPIRATIONS  Add to del.icio.us Digg this!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Discussions on Thoughts and Aphorisms 4

4. I am not a Jnani, for I have no knowledge except what God gives me for His work. How am I to know whether what I see be reason or folly? Nay, it is neither; for the thing seen is simply true & neither folly nor reason.

[Thoughts and Aphorisms, Sri Aurobindo]

Sri Aurobindo says here that He is not a Jnani, that He is not a follower of the path of Knowledge. He says that He is here on earth for the Work given to Him by the Divine. He knows what God gives Him to know. And What He knows here is neither the result of reason, nor is it folly or ignorance. He sees only Truth, above reason or ignorance.

The ignorant Mind seeks knowledge, through reason. When you are in Ignorance, you seek Light and Truth, but the first instrument you have with you is reason. You try to use reason to come out of darkness. But does reason lead you to Light and Truth, to Knowledge. Sri Aurobindo tells us that “reason trembles” and it cannot directly lead you to Truth.

The Mother says : “So … the knowledge, as it can be grasped by the human mind, is necessarily knowledge in ignorance, one could almost say a knowledge in ignorance.”

The Seeker of Knowledge will then have to transcend mind and seek direct Knowledge, though Intuition and then Identification.

But Sri Aurobindo was not the One who had to pass from Ignorance to Knowledge, from Darkness to Light. He came with a Divine Work, as an Avatar of the Supreme — to ascend the Supramental Consciousness, a level of consciousness far beyond Mind, a plane of existence and consciousness not realized or manifested till His incarnation, and to bring on earth the Knowledge and Wisdom of the supramental consciousness and force, and then to bring down the Supramental consciousness to the physical level. He was a Person who had the experience of Nirvana only in three days! It generally takes a whole life’s tapasyā to have this experience, even for the blessed few!

Sri Aurobindo was and is here on earth to bring in the Next Evolution — the Supramental Manifestation on earth. And He had all the Knowledge

Basic Requisites of the Path

June 1st, 2007 Basic Requisites of the Path
   The goal of yoga is always hard to reach, but this one is more difficult than any other, and it is only for those who have the call, the capacity, the willingness to face everything and every risk, even the risk of failure, and the will to progress towards an entire selflessness, desirelessness and surrender.
*  *  *
This yoga implies not only the realisation of God, but an entire consecration and change of the inner and outer life till it is fit to manifest a divine consciousness and become part of a divine work. This means an inner discipline far more exacting and difficult than mere ethical and physical austerities. One must not enter on this path, far vaster and more arduous than most ways of yoga, unless one is sure of the psychic call and of one’s readiness to go through to the end.
*  *  *
By readiness, I did not mean capacity but willingness. If there is the will within to face all difficulties and go through, no matter how long it takes, then the path can be taken.
*  *  *
A mere restless dissatisfaction with the ordinary life is not a sufficient preparation for this yoga. A positive inner call, a strong will and a great steadiness are necessary for success in the spiritual life.
*  *  *
Mental theories are of no fundamental importance, for the mind forms or accepts the theories that support the turn of the being. What is important is that turn and the call within you.
   The knowledge that there is a Supreme Existence, Consciousness and Bliss which is not merely a negative Nirvana or a static and featureless Absolute, but dynamic, the perception that this Divine Consciousness can be realised not only beyond but here, and the consequent acceptance of a divine life as the aim of yoga, do not belong to the mind. It is not a question of mental theory—even though mentally this outlook can be as well supported as any other, if not better,—but of experience and, before the experience comes, of the soul’s faith bringing with it the mind’s and the life’s adhesion. One who is in contact with the higher Light and has the experience can follow this way, however difficult it may be for the lower members to follow; one who is touched by it, without having the experience, but having the call, the conviction, the compulsion of the soul’s adherence, can also follow it.
*  *  *
An idealistic notion or religious belief or emotion is something quite different from getting spiritual light. An idealistic notion might turn you towards getting spiritual light, but it is not the light itself. is true however that “the spirit bloweth where it listeth” and that we can get an emotional impulse or touch or mental realisation of spiritual things from almost any circumstance, as Bilwamangal got it from the words of his courtesan mistress. Obviously, it happens because something is ready somewhere,—if you like, the psychic being waiting for its chance and taking some opportunity in mind, vital or heart to knock open a window somewhere.
*  *  *
Mere idealism can only have an effect if one has a strong will in the mind capable of forcing the vital to follow.
*  *  *
The push to drown oneself in the Divine is very rare. It is usually a mental idea, a vital urge or some quite inadequate reason that starts the thing—or else no reason at all. The only reality is the occult psychic push behind of which the surface consciousness is not aware or else hardly aware.

*  *  *

Sri Aurobindo
SABCL Volume: 23, Page: 545-546

–>
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Basic Requisites of the Path

June 1st, 2007 Basic Requisites of the Path
   The goal of yoga is always hard to reach, but this one is more difficult than any other, and it is only for those who have the call, the capacity, the willingness to face everything and every risk, even the risk of failure, and the will to progress towards an entire selflessness, desirelessness and surrender.
*  *  *
This yoga implies not only the realisation of God, but an entire consecration and change of the inner and outer life till it is fit to manifest a divine consciousness and become part of a divine work. This means an inner discipline far more exacting and difficult than mere ethical and physical austerities. One must not enter on this path, far vaster and more arduous than most ways of yoga, unless one is sure of the psychic call and of one’s readiness to go through to the end.
*  *  *
By readiness, I did not mean capacity but willingness. If there is the will within to face all difficulties and go through, no matter how long it takes, then the path can be taken.
*  *  *
A mere restless dissatisfaction with the ordinary life is not a sufficient preparation for this yoga. A positive inner call, a strong will and a great steadiness are necessary for success in the spiritual life.
*  *  *
Mental theories are of no fundamental importance, for the mind forms or accepts the theories that support the turn of the being. What is important is that turn and the call within you.
   The knowledge that there is a Supreme Existence, Consciousness and Bliss which is not merely a negative Nirvana or a static and featureless Absolute, but dynamic, the perception that this Divine Consciousness can be realised not only beyond but here, and the consequent acceptance of a divine life as the aim of yoga, do not belong to the mind. It is not a question of mental theory—even though mentally this outlook can be as well supported as any other, if not better,—but of experience and, before the experience comes, of the soul’s faith bringing with it the mind’s and the life’s adhesion. One who is in contact with the higher Light and has the experience can follow this way, however difficult it may be for the lower members to follow; one who is touched by it, without having the experience, but having the call, the conviction, the compulsion of the soul’s adherence, can also follow it.
*  *  *
An idealistic notion or religious belief or emotion is something quite different from getting spiritual light. An idealistic notion might turn you towards getting spiritual light, but it is not the light itself. is true however that “the spirit bloweth where it listeth” and that we can get an emotional impulse or touch or mental realisation of spiritual things from almost any circumstance, as Bilwamangal got it from the words of his courtesan mistress. Obviously, it happens because something is ready somewhere,—if you like, the psychic being waiting for its chance and taking some opportunity in mind, vital or heart to knock open a window somewhere.
*  *  *
Mere idealism can only have an effect if one has a strong will in the mind capable of forcing the vital to follow.
*  *  *
The push to drown oneself in the Divine is very rare. It is usually a mental idea, a vital urge or some quite inadequate reason that starts the thing—or else no reason at all. The only reality is the occult psychic push behind of which the surface consciousness is not aware or else hardly aware.

*  *  *

Sri Aurobindo
SABCL Volume: 23, Page: 545-546

Integral Philosophy Basics

I got a few e-mails from people who wanted me to unpack some of the things I mention on this blog. So I’ve decided to provide a few explanatory details.

My primary source of inspiration is the integral yoga and philosophy of the Indian philosopher-sage Sri Aurobindo and the French occultist-mystic Mirra Alfassa, better known as the Mother. However, their work is very integral and inclusive, and encourages us to have different types of spiritual experiences, not just following any one line of approach. As a result, I do read and refer to other sources as well, perhaps also because if you read just one teacher or philosophy for years and years it can get very mentally stale. However, I wish to describe Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s philosophy briefly, because I usually model Reality using Aurobindoan motifs and symbols. Somehow Sri Aurobindo manages to be simultaneously theistic, monistic or nondual, emanationist, evolutionary, and panentheistic (what a mouthful!). It is no wonder that it is said that no mental symbols are adequate as far as describing the Supreme Reality goes.

I have created a separate page quoting several articles to explain the basics of the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (most of them by M. Alan Kazlev of Kheper.net and Roy Posner of Growth Online): their evolutionary cosmology, their model of the individual’s psychology and their yoga, and their transpersonal sociocultural and political vision.

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Tusar N. Mohapatra

Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum
SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad - 201014 (UP) India + 91 96500-65636
tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com
Aadhaar No. 3628 2075 7337
SELF posits a model of counselling and communicative action as an instrument in order to stimulate the public sphere. The model aims at supplementing the individual’s struggle for a successful social adjustment with more aspirational inputs so as to help one take an informed and balanced attitude towards life as well as society.
Savitri Era of those who adore,
Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

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