S R I A U R O B I N D O S O C I E T Y S i n g a p o r e

May 17th and 24th - Meditation on “SAVITRI” – Book 10, Canto 1, 2 and 3: ... of twilight thoughts, with a heart of Truth, answers his lures...

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SRI AUROBINDO SOCIETY Singapore Permit No. MICA (P) 125/11/2013 July 2015


VOL 29.07

Botanical Name: Gladiolus Xhortulanus Common Name: Garden gladiolus Spiritual Significance: Integral Receptivity The whole being perceives the Divine Will and obeys it – The Mother

RECEPTIVITY The power to receive the Divine Force and to feel its presence and the presence of the Mother in it and allow it to work, guiding one's sight and will and action. – Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. June 2015.

Guiding Light of the Month “To retrace the path in all innocence as though one had never before travelled it, is the true purity, the perfect sincerity — the sincerity that brings an uninterrupted progress, growth, an integral perfectioning.” The Mother, ‘Prayers and Meditations’ August 20 1914 From the Editor’s Desk receive nothing…”

Receptivity. This is the virtue we are taking a look at in this issue of our Newsletter. The word “receptivity has a Latin base. The root word of receptivity and receive is recipere which means "bring back, recover, take in, or admit." (Source: http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/receptivity).

Now, turning our attention to our lives, in a deeper contemplation on our dealings with ourselves and others, how do we relate with “receptivity”? Do we see ourselves as open or closed? When are we open and when closed? What are the conditions that make us open and what conditions, closed? How do we feel when we are open and how do we feel when we are closed? What consequences do we face in the external realm when we are open and vice-versa?

We can spend a few seconds quietly visualizing the word, “receiving”. Immediately, as it were, like a mirror image, another appears. It is the idea of “opening”. One cannot admit or take in without opening the portal. In fact, the very idea of “admitting” means there is a screen or an obstruction These questions may be answered best when one before the admittance, which needs parting or sincerely spends some time visiting one’s inner opening or removing. realms and facing oneself honestly, truthfully as they are, poring and sieving through plane after plane of In the integral yoga, the virtue of receptivity is like a one’s being, starting with the surface being that is key with opens the door to the steps of progress on most in contact with the outer world in most of us. It the path. Sri Aurobindo explains “openness” thus: also requires a good power of relentless self“… openness is a state of consciousness which keeps observation in order to arrive at the truth of who we it turned to the Mother, free from other movements, really are. This process is facilitated when the will expecting and able to receive what may come from turns towards going through the work of constant the Divine.” And The Mother elaborates, self-observation just to find out one’s true nature “…receptivity, something that opens in order to about how open or closed we are and to what or receive..” and Mother too emphasizes the source whom we open to, and why and to what effect. from which one should be naturally open too, “Now, instead of opening and receiving from all sides and Once genuine answers to these few questions are from everyone,… one opens only to the Divine to surfaced, then one is able to make decisions about receive only the divine force.” the state one wants to be in, either in a receptive state or in a non-receptive state and if the former, then There is another insight into receptivity. The Mother contemplate on the object to which one would want makes a direct and binding connection between to turn to receive. Ultimately, one’s idea or aspiration and receptivity. She says, “When you perception of one’s raison d’etre or reason for being have an aspiration….It is going to call down the drives the process of decision making about one’s answer to what you aspire for.” However, there are stance on receptivity. Anyone aspiring for the Divine some who may say, “..I aspire all the time and still I to drive one’s life instead of one’s ignorant ego receive nothing.” The Mother asserts, “…the answer would be probably driven to work on his or her is sure to come. But it is they who do not receive. receptivity to the Divine working. We each will The answer comes but they are not receptive, so they know what this entails in our own lives.



Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. June 2015.

Savitri At first she raised no voice, no motion dared: Charged with world-power, instinct with living force, Only she clung with her roots to the safe earth, Thrilled dumbly to the shocks of ray and breeze And put out tendril fingers of desire; The strength in her yearning for sun and light Felt not the embrace that made her breathe and live; Absorbed she dreamed content with beauty and hue; (Book two, Canto five)

Aspiration and Receptivity Aspiration in everyone, no matter who it is, has the same power. But the effect of this aspiration is different for aspiration is aspiration: if you have aspiration, in itself it has power. Only, this aspiration calls down for an answer, and this answer, the effect, which is the result of the aspiration, depends upon each one, for it depends upon his receptivity. I know many people of this kind they say" Oh! I aspire all the time and still I receive nothing." It is impossible that they should receive nothing, in the sense that the answer is sure to come. But it is they who do not receive. The answer comes but they are not receptive, so they receive nothing. When you have an aspiration, a very active aspiration, your aspiration is going to do its work. It is going to call down the answer to what you aspire for. But if, later, you begin to think of something else or are not attentive or receptive, you do not even notice that your aspiration has received an answer. This happens very frequently. So people tell you: “I aspire and I don't receive anything, I get no answer!" Yes, you do have an answer but you are not aware of it, because you continue to be active in this way, like a mill turning all the time. (The Sunlit Path - Passages from Conversations and writings of The Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry)

The Mother and Flowers The Mother loved flowers. Once I wrote to her that the fragrance of the flowers given by her was extraordinary. She answered: “Flowers are very receptive and they are happy when they are loved”. As an instance of the receptivity of flowers she told me that she had seen a faded flower reviving when Sri Aurobindo held it in his hand for some time. She has also spoken of fresh flowers getting faded in the hands of persons with a closed psychic. Mother observed flowers in great detail. One day I wrote to her: “Day before yesterday, as I was arranging my vase for you, I said to a flower. ‘Oh, you are going to Mother” and it really smiled. The same thing happened again yesterday and today.” She replied. “That is very interesting indeed. Was it a rose or a hibiscus?”



Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. June 2015.

I informed her that it was a hibiscus and she wrote: “Yes, this flower is very conscious, I have had many proofs of that” There was a time when I offered flowers to Mother in the afternoon. In order to preserve their freshness I kept them in the refrigerator in the morning, the hibiscus which Mother has named Grace is white in the morning and turns pink in the afternoon. Having noticed for some days that it remained white in the fridge, I informed that the Grace flower if kept in the cold does not turn pink. She remarked that it has to be kept not only in the cold, but also in the shade. On one occasion, in pursuance of an inner feeling, I fitted the pink rose ‘surrender’ into the top opening of the champa flower ‘psychological perfection; so as to look like one whole and offered it to Mother. She looked at it for a while and with a smile of understanding, said amusingly, “I thought there was some new flower!” (“From the Editor’s Desk” by Shyam Sunder Jhunjhunwala, Sri Aurobindo’s Action, Puducherry)

May- June Sunday Activities at the Centre – A glimpse May 17th and 24th - Meditation on “SAVITRI” – Book 10, Canto 1, 2 and 3: The Dream Twilight of the Ideal, The Gospel of Death and Vanity of The Ideal, The Debate of Love and Death We read the passages twice and shared our thoughts on them. Given here a summary for a better understanding of the dialogue between Savitri and the God of Death. Savitri's soul continues to wrestle with Death and to ridicule his words of Reason. Death challenges her to seek to know, for knowledge kills love. Quickly comes her response that the Nature of Love gives birth to knowledge. Drifting along with them as they move into the Land of Nought (book 10), we hear the debate continue, hear them pit all the contraries of life against each other, and we hear from Savitri the very reason of Death's existence. Death peals forth a long proclamation of how he cancels all life's golden truths. To his dangerous music this warrior-maiden gives a picture of what her God of Love has done and will yet accomplish, and dares Death to produce a greater God to captivate her soul. Death sneeringly interprets her words as hallucinations of the mind and gives an oration on the deceptions of mind and raises Unconsciousness as the pinnacle of all. Savitri answers in Death's own words, calling him the dark browed sophist of the universe masking divinity with his dance of death. She sings forth in glorious poetry the occult miracle of God's wonders from a tiny seed; and then again in lines of majesty power speaks of her assured triumph, of her love as stronger than his bonds of death. The Dark King still trying to discourage her, ironically speaks of her fantasy of Truth, says that Truth is hard as stone. Back and forth sparkle the words of the debate. Death uses subtle reason and arms himself with all man's faltering searches, his limiting spiritual goals, and exaggerated and imperfect understanding of Truth to prove the futility of God's power, but Savitri, delivered of twilight thoughts, with a heart of Truth, answers his lures.



Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. June 2015.

Here Savitri chants lyrics of Nature’s miracles, of the wonders of the Infinite and of the limitless powers of a soul integrally surrendered to God. Death, suspecting her to be the Mother of the Gods embodied, challenges her to show a body of living Truth, for has matter ever been able to hold Truth? Savitri tells Death who he really is and warns him he will cease to be when he touches the embodied Truth Supreme, and then reveals her being all one with God. Death, still unconvinced, makes his last stand in support of his blind force and dares Savitri to reveal the Power of the Divine, for many have Truth, but who has the Power to radiate it? Then is given a picture of Savitri as she becomes transformed into a divine being with all her chakras or lotuses of Power scintillating. The most powerful speech of all follows, and Savitri exhibits her living Power of Truth and proves that death is needed no more. Death is shown gradually vanishing and finally defeated, eaten by light. Taken from, SAVITRI: A Summary of Sri Aurobindo's Epic Poem [Dr. Tyberg, who prepared this summary of the poem, was the founder of the East-West Cultural Center in Los Angeles and its guiding light for years until her passing in 1980. She is the author of several articles and two books on Sanskrit, First Lessons in Sanskrit and Language of the Gods.] May 31st - Readings from “More Vignettes of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother” by Shyam Kumari: The book has 421 True Stories, the reminiscences of the devotees of their experiences with the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. We picked up a few stories and reading them really made us feel the vibrant presence of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. June 7th - Readings from The Mother’s Works, Questions and Answers, 1955: A circle of eight members gathered this evening for the reading of The Mother’s Question and Answers, Vol. 7, entry for 3 August 1955. We studied three questions and the answers to them, based on The Mother’s reading on, “Lights on Yoga – Surrender and Opening”. The following are the three questions: 1. What is “the true life-activity”? 2. Sweet Mother, here Sri Aurobindo has said “It is impossible.” Why? For You have said that nothing is impossible! 3. Sweet Mother, here Sri Aurobindo has said: “If the inmost soul is awakened, if there is a new birth out of the mere mental, vital and physical into the psychic consciousness, then this Yoga can be done…” Why Has he said “the inmost soul”? Is there a superficial soul? We all appreciated The Mother’s point blank answers yet so succinctly and laboriously explained to the questioning children. Pat came the answer to the first question, without any further elaborations : “It is to express the Divine”. In answer to the second question, The Mother explains that in the larger scheme of space and time, there may be nothing that is impossible. However, given a particular point in space and time, conditions exists and nothing can happen if these given conditions are not fulfilled and as such, something may be rendered possible or impossible, accordingly. For the last question, The Mother offers that there is a difference



Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. June 2015.

between experiencing the innermost or central soul or psychic being and a part of the surface being influenced by the innermost being. For greater clarity and infinite benefit, the reader is requested to visit and contemplate on pages 258-260 of Questions and Answers, 1955, Vol. 7, published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1979, 2003. June 14th - Readings from The Mother’s Works, Questions and Answers, 1956, on “Synthesis of Yoga”: This evening ten of us gathered at the center to read on the Mother’s responses to questions on Sri Aurobindo’s “Synthesis of Yoga” posed to The Mother on the 11th of January 1956. The series of questions we read were: Mother, “this craving life-force or desire-soul in us has to be accepted at first, but only in order that it may be transformed” (Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, SABCL, Vol. 20, p. 77). But even when we understand that it is a desire and must be rejected, there are difficulties in discerning if it is a desire leading us to the Divine or if it is purely desire. The Mother: One deceives oneself only when one wants to deceive oneself. It is very, very different. But within, one understands. The Mother: Good. Well, then that’s enough, if one understands somewhere, that’s enough. Is that all? No questions? Mother, on January 6 you said, “Give all you are, all you have, nothing more is asked of you but also nothing less.” Yes. What is meant by “all you have” and “all you are”? The Mother’s succinct answer to this last question was: “… that each one is asked to give what he has, that is, all his possessions whatever they may be, and what he is, that is, all his potentialities — which corresponds to the consecration of one’s life and the giving of all one’s possessions — and that nothing more than this is asked. What you are, give that; what you have, give that, and your gift will be perfect; from the spiritual point of view it will be perfect. This does not depend upon the amount of wealth you have or the number of capacities in your nature; it depends upon the perfection of your gift, that is to say, on the totality of your gift.” The Mother then recounts an ancient story about a poor woman, the visitor and the half-eaten mango. Do visit pages 14-16 of Questions and Answers, 1956, published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1984. - Jayalakshmi and Jayanthy



Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. June 2015.





5th July 2015 8:00 AM Sunday 5th July 2015 6:00 PM Sunday 10th July 2015 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM Friday 11th July 2015 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM Saturday 12th July 2015 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM Sunday 12th July 2015 6:00 PM Sunday 19th July 2015 6:00 PM Sunday 26th July 2015 6:00 PM Sunday * Please see below for details.

Monthly Morning Walk * Reading from Mother’s Works Kriya Yoga: Lecture and Registration Kriya Yoga: Initiation and Teaching Kriya Yoga: Teaching and Review Q&A on Synthesis of Yoga followed by OM Choir Meditations on Savitri with Huta’s visuals Savitri Reading Circle

Kriya Yoga Programme The kriya yoga programmme is conducted by Shibendu Lahiri, the great grandson of Lahiri Mahaysa. It will be held at the centre premises of Sri Aurobindo Soceity, Singapore. All are welcome!

July 2015 MORNING WALK – NO. 359 Date:

Sunday, 5th July, 2015


8:00 A.M. sharp for warm up exercise

Walk Venue:

Pasir Ris Park

Meeting Point:

Pasir Ris Park Car Park C

Contact No:

S.Ramanathan (91385130)



Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. June 2015.

Directions to the Meeting

Nearest MRT Station Station: Pasir Ris. Car Park C Meet Near Bike Kiosk and Gallop Stable. Walking Distance from Pasir Ris MRT and Bus Interchange.

Point: Driving Directions to the Park: a) Coming from PIE, head towards TPE and exit at Loyang Avenue/ Tampines Avenue 7 (Exit 2) Turn right and drive along Loyang Avenue and turn left into Pasir Ris Drive 3. Drive along Pasir Ris Drive 3 till you see the bus interchange on the left side. Turn left into Pasir Ris Green which leads to Car Park C b) Coming from CTE/SLE, head towards TPE and exit at Pasir Ris Drive 12 exit (Exit 5). Turn left and follow Pasir Ris Drive 12 which will turn right and become Pasir Ris Drive 3. Drive along Pasir Ris Drive 3. After Elias Road traffic junction, look for and turn right into Pasir Ris Green which leads to Car Park C Hosts:

Directions to the hosts’ residence:

Mr.& Mrs. Sanjay & Ami Mehta Blk 720, Tampines Street 72, # 03-31 Singapore 520720.

Driving: a) From TPE turn to Tampines Avenue 10, turn left into Tampines Avenue 9 and make the next right into Tampines Street 72. Make an immediate left into the Car Park. b) From PIE towards Changi Airport, exit at Bedok Reservoir

(Exit 8A) and drive along the road (Bedok North Road) which becomes Tampines Avenue 10 Make a right on Tampines Avenue 9 and make the next right into Tampines Street 72. Make an immediate left into the Car Park. Bus: 72 (from Tampines Interchange) or 168 (from Bedok Interchange) or 27. Stop at Bus Stop in front of Block 721 along Avenue 9. RSVP Info:


Please RSVP to the hosts by SMS: 98750767 / 91446105 / 6544 3252 (Mr & Mrs Sanjay & Ami Mehta) or email: [email protected] not later than 1st July, if you are able to make it for the walk & brunch (including the No. of persons attending).


Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. June 2015.





Singapore Botanical Mr K V Rao and Mrs Shailaja Rao Gardens We invite volunteers to host September month walk. If interested, 06/9/2015 kindly contact S.Ramanathan (91385130) Gardens By the Bay Mr & Mrs Sashi Lal Kashyap 04/10/2015 02/8/2015

Along the Way… SAS Walk on 7th June 2015 The morning on Sunday 7th June dawned as a lovely, cool, cloudy day most appropriate for an outdoor walk. The past fortnight had sizzled Singapore with high heat and humidity. Therefore, all the SAS members who assembled in the light drizzle were quite happy to be armed with umbrellas for this planned activity. The assembly point had to be changed at the last minute due to the SEA Games Triathlon events being held at the East Coast Park that morning. However, Mr Ramanathan’s timely communication about this to all the expected participants was helpful. By 8.30 am about twenty of us were ready for the pre-walk warm-up exercises. We followed the exercise routine led young Rishabh quite confidently. Cool breeze flowed gently by the seaside as we began our walk in the beautiful ECP. Who could fail to appreciate and enjoy the scenic cloudscape, the lap-lap of the incessantly rolling ocean waves, the chirruping birds, the gracefully swaying trees, fragrant flowers and the soft chit-chat of the walkers and passers-by? All too soon, it was time to end the walk and start for the host’s venue. As we boarded the vehicles, it started to rain heavily. What a gentle reminder of dear Mother’s bountiful blessings upon us – we could complete our walk without any disruptions! Mr. Anand and Mrs Vrunda Patel and family warmly welcomed the large turn-out of members and guests for the meditation and brunch at their residence. With eyes shut and minds focussed, everyone enjoyed the meditation sessions to the accompaniment of melodious mantra chanting. The SAS family members joyfully joined the birthday celebration of dear Shiv who cut a cake very enthusiastically. This was followed by a scrumptious brunch at the Clubhouse. We are grateful to the hosts for organizing and making such excellent arrangements for the June walk. We returned with memories of a Sunday morning spent in the company of affectionate friends and beautiful environment. - Anju Aditya



Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. June 2015.

ANNOUNCEMENTS Membership Renewal for 2015 & Subscription to AIM The committee has resolved to simplify the annual membership fee structure beginning 2015.The previous combined fee will be split into 2 parts: A) AnnualMembership fee (SGD 60) B) All India Magazine fee (SGD 30) For 2015, Annual Members need to pay SGD 60 as their membership subscription to the Society. Those subscribing to the All India Magazine will need to pay an additional SGD 30 for the magazine.

Please send a cheque payable to "Sri Aurobindo Society" and post it to the Treasurer, Sanjay Mehta at the following address: Blk 720 Tampines Street 72 #03-31 Singapore 520720. You may also physically pay it to him in cash or by passing a cheque to a committee member and letting Sanjay know, during our activities.

Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting of Sri Aurobindo Society Singapore, for the year ending June 2015 has been postponed from 28th June 2015 to Sunday 12th July 2015, 4.00pm at Sri Aurobindo Society.

Printed and Published by The Sri Aurobindo Society of Singapore 2A Starlight Road 01-07, Singapore 217755. Saurab: 86559940 or [email protected]; Sanjay: 98750767 or [email protected]; Email: [email protected] Visit our website at: www.sriaurobindosociety.org.sg