AUM — Vol. 2, No. 1, 27 August 1966

Part I —

This issue of Aum is in Homage to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother on the occasion of Sri Aurobindo's Birthday August 15th

Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga

A Seer-Poet to the poets, a divine Philosopher to mankind, a Master Yogi to his worshippers, an Avatar to his disciples — who is He? Sri Aurobindo.

Sri Aurobindo's Yoga is an ambrosial consciousness with infinite possibilities; it is a never-tiring march, a decisive and everlasting victory of Truth.

The keynote of Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga is evolution — evolution of consciousness in and through Matter.

There is no shadow of doubt that Matter and Spirit are one. Spirit, when it is fast asleep, is Matter. Matter, when it is fully awakened, is Spirit.

The Integral Yoga is founded on an all-fulfilling experience which is anything but speculation and reasoning.

An Integral Yogi is he who has seen all the phases of existence and whose very life is full of variegated experiences and realisations.

A marvel-idealism and a highly practical divinity are housed in Sri Aurobindo. His are the experiences that may serve as humanity's royal road to a life worth living — a Life of the Spirit, the Life Divine.

Sri Aurobindo holds that physical work is in no way a bar to spiritual progress. On the contrary, he strongly feels that physical work is an aid to self-preparation for the full manifestation of the Divine both in oneself and upon the earth.

Sri Aurobindo tells the world that it is not only possible but entirely practicable to work easily, incessantly, consciously, inwardly, outwardly, thus finally successfully. And in His opinion, life itself is a blessing of God through which man has to realise and be one with Him.

Sri Aurobindo's is the supernal Smile that reveals at once the embodiment of an infinite spiritual achievement and the future spiritual destiny of mankind.

Invisible to the blind, yet invincible to the strong and a wonderful practical hope to the four corners of the globe is the power of Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga.

Sri Aurobindo is the ever-creative silent Bridge between God's Will and His Fulfilment.

In the Integral Yoga, God-Realisation means merely to stand at the shore of the vast sea of Consciousness. The fire-pure change of the inner and outer life means that one is swimming in that sea. Manifestation of the Divine on earth means to return Home after having crossed the sea, bringing with you the Golden All.

It is not a dream of God but His Decree that Heaven and Earth must fall supremely in love with each other. He wants their marriage to take place sooner than immediately. Earth feels that she is inferior to Heaven. Heaven feels that he is superior to Earth. And because of their mutual hesitation, the day of their marriage is kept in abeyance.

The Integral Yoga has made a significant choice. It wants not only to see and feel the conscious evolution of life, but also to embody a fully harmonised life of Matter and Spirit.

An Integral Yogi is he who sacrifices his life into becoming a bridge between Earth and Heaven. He has foregone Heaven; he uplifts Earth.

The aspirant in man is the cross-bearer. The Yogi in man is the crown-bearer.

To say that Yoga is the realisation of God is not to say all. Yoga is the living union with God by self-affirmation and self-abnegation.

Sri Aurobindo tells a man that God-Realisation never obliges a man to kill all feelings, to make his heart a sterile waste and to pronounce a curse on the world. God is everything and in everything.

Readiness in the Integral Yoga amounts to an aspiration that wishes to be expressed. Willingness amounts to an aspiration that has already been expressed.

An unprecedented teaching of the Integral Yoga propounded by Sri Aurobindo is that man can prosper materially alongside of his spiritual development.

Give an ordinary man ten dollars. He will immediately wonder what he can buy with it to make life more pleasant. Give a sannyasi ten dollars. He will try to avoid taking it or else find some means by which he can do without it. Give an Integral Yogi ten dollars. Since he has neither attachment nor repulsion for money, he will try to utilise it as a divine trustee.

To be unconscious of a spiritual opportunity is to starve one's spiritual Destiny.

Difficulties in the Integral Yoga never indicate one's unworthiness. Behind each difficulty there is a possibility, nay, a blessing in disguise, to accept the test boldly and to come out successfully.

In Yoga, all reactions are threatening but passing clouds. Human aspiration is the naked and permanent sword of the soul to stab through the weakness of human stuff and rise triumphant on the ashes of its conquests.

Follow no other ideal than to materialise the power to perfection upon earth.

Sri Aurobindo's Yoga is the tallest mango tree. His disciples and followers have to climb right up to the top of the tree and bring the mangoes down to earth. For if the fruit were taken at the top, they would taste sour; if taken, at the foot of the tree, they taste delicious.

What is the actual meaning of coming into contact with God? It means that we shall become one with His universal existence. As after marriage a woman automatically possesses her husband's name, home and wealth, even so, after our union with God we shall infallibly become one with His all-fulfilling Nature. Verily, in that Divine Hour we shall hear Sri Aurobindo's soul-stirring voice:

> We are sons of God, and must be even as He.

Sri Aurobindo: His Feet of the Spirit-Blaze2


Two Feet of Thunder

To plumb the abysmal deep,

To build the Day

Over the python sleep

Of eyeless earth.

The Feet of the Spirit-Blaze

Now pierce the masks

Of Fate and time-born ways.

In silence they move.

The aspiring souls of clay

Invoke their lights

And ascend to Heaven's Play,

To slaughter Death,

And human body's strife.

Two feet wherein

Are roots of immortal Life.


From the author's "The Infinite: Sri Aurobindo" (1956)

The Mother3


Mother of rapture, Thee we seize!

Our eyes of tears now smile in Thee.

To quench our thirst thy ruby Love,

Thy Power we clasp from thy silence-sea.

So near art Thou, O Mother Dawn!

In bliss to answer our moon-white call.

A world of hush sublime, thy Dream.

In Thee alone the golden All.

Before Thee quivers the battle of Night.

Thy Grace supreme is Nature's Soul.

In us Thou hast sown the immortal seeds;

Thy joy shall flood our triumph's goal.


From the author's "Flame-Waves" (1955)

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother

Sri Aurobindo is the Flower.

The Mother is the Fragrance.

Sri Aurobindo is the Face.

The Mother is the Smile.

Sri Aurobindo is the Lamp.

The Mother is the Flame.

Sri Aurobindo is the Victory.

The Mother is the Trumpet.

Sri Aurobindo is the Mast.

The Mother is the Flag.

Sri Aurobindo is the Aerodrome.

The Mother is the Plane.

Sri Aurobindo is Truth in its Conception.

The Mother is Truth in its Embodiment.

Sri Aurobindo is a Cup of Nectar.

The Mother is the Spoon.

Sri Aurobindo is the Heart.

The Mother is the Tender Feeling.

Sri Aurobindo is the Song.

The Mother is the Singer.

Sri Aurobindo is the all-containing Book.

The Mother is the all-explaining Teacher.

Sri Aurobindo is the Handkerchief.

The Mother is the Hand to wipe their disciples' tearful eyes.

Sri Aurobindo is Immensity in its growing revelation.

The Mother is Intensity in its blossoming fulfilment.

Sri Aurobindo protects the disciples.

The Mother holds and nourishes the disciples.

Sri Aurobindo is the crystal-pure Water.

The Mother is the untiring Tap.

Sri Aurobindo is the Medicine.

The Mother is the Doctor.

Sri Aurobindo is the Vision.

The Mother is the Action.

Sri Aurobindo is the ever-creative subtle body of his disciples.

The Mother is the ever-progressive physical body of her disciples.

Sri Aurobindo draws admiration from his disciples.

The Mother draws love from her disciples.

Sri Aurobindo is the Unfailing Hope.

The Mother is the Constant Help.

Sri Aurobindo's eyes are All-Grace for the fallen earth-consciousness.

The Mother's eyes are All-Solace for the fallen earth-consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo is our souls' Reserve Bank.

The Mother is the Banker.

The disciple sees in Sri Aurobindo an Ocean of Peace the moment he places himself at His feet.

The disciple sees in The Mother an Ocean of Ecstasy the moment he places himself at Her Feet.

Sri Aurobindo says: "The Mother is Everything."

The Mother says: "Yes, but all I am is in Him, with Him, of Him, and for Him."

Sri Aurobindo: a glimpse

Sri Aurobindo (15 August 1872 — 5 December 1950), born in Calcutta. Education: two years at Loretto Convent School, Darjeeling; spent fourteen years in England from the age of seven: St. Paul's School, Manchester, and King's College, Cambridge. Returned to India in 1893 after winning the first place in Greek and Latin but disqualified in the open I.C.S. examination for failing to present himself for the riding test. Consecrated to India's independence from London days, he spent thirteen years in the Baroda State Service, first in the Secretariat; later as Professor of French and English, finally as Vice-Principal, Baroda State College. While there, he devoted his time to learning Indian languages, absorbing Indian culture, and practising yoga. He conducted secret societies for work towards independence, wrote political articles constructively criticising the thinking of India's political leaders of the National Congress. The National Movement centering around the Partition of Bengal brought him to Calcutta and into the national movement in 1906.

While principal of the Bengal National College, he conducted the journals, Bandemataram (English) and Yugantar (Bengali). A leader of the secret societies, he also worked ceaselessly, publicly and behind the scenes, sowing the seeds of love of country and her independence in the national mind and heart. In 4 May 1908 he was arrested on charges of attempting to subvert British Rule.

During a year's detention in Alipore Jail he had the vision of Vasudeva everywhere and in everything. Received Sri Krishna's direct assurance of his acquittal and of India's independence, along with the knowledge that the rest of the work towards that end would be carried out by others, while he himself would have to work for a higher Cause. After his acquittal, he started Dharma in Bengali and The Karmayogin in English.

Receiving the "Adesh" (Command) from Above, he retired into seclusion, first at French Chandernagore, then at French Pondicherry, to work for the greater Cause of the world's spiritual transformation and divinisation. He reached Pondicherry on 4 April 1910, threw himself into concentrated spiritual work. From 1914 to 1920 he conducted the Arya, a philosophical monthly, into which the message of spiritual transformation of humanity poured unceasingly through his pen. This message formed his five major works: The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita, The Ideal of Human Unity and The Human Cycle.

Apart from these he wrote numerous other works, a few being: Hymns to the Mystic Fire (translations of hymns to Agni from the Rig Veda), The Future Poetry, On the Veda, Collected Poems and Plays. His last greatest work is Savitri/, the epitome of his spiritual autobiography, an epic of 23,814 lines equalling any epic in Greek, Latin, English, Italian, or German, a new Veda for the New Age.

A strange co-incidence: with the start of the first World War, shaking human life and culture to their foundations with its unprecedented horrors, the world-saving message of The Life Divine found publication.

On 24 November 1926, Sri Aurobindo attained to his spiritual perfection. He withdrew from all contacts and put into the hands of his spiritual Collaborator, the Mother, the disciples who had gathered around him. This marked the beginning of his Ashram at Pondicherry.

For over 24 years, with the Mother working in front, he continued with his yoga, not caring to rest on the laurels of his first Victory of 24 November 1926, but pushing upward till he found himself within sight of his supreme and final Victory which alone could achieve the end of his Mission: the descent of what he called the Supermind into the very cells.

For purposes of his own, he decided to part with his body and carried out this decision on 5 December 1950, after a brief "illness". He left the charge of his work to the Mother who accepted it and gave her word that she would remain on earth to accomplish his work of integral transformation. Sri Aurobindo too gave his word to the Mother that he would not leave the earth atmosphere until his work was done. People in the Ashram and abroad have been, ever since, feeling his living Presence and Force at work. In the meantime, on February 29, 1956, the manifestation of the Power for which Sri Aurobindo had sacrificed his body took place and has since been operating increasingly in world-affairs.

The Mother holds that the more the earth responds seriously and sincerely and offers itself for the radical transformation of its nature, the sooner will it change with the help of the New Light and Consciousness.

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram: a nursery of the spirit

The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is an attempt at the embodiment of a universal divine brotherhood — an invitation to all, irrespective of nationality, caste, creed, age or sex to consecrate themselves to the spiritual life along the lines of the Master's Integral Yoga.

The ashramites endeavour to cultivate a comprehensive scale of divine values broad enough to harmonise opposites like work and meditation, mysticism and rationalism, austerity and aesthetic expression and to unite the twin goals of our individual and collective evolution.

The Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, with its two inseparable limbs of action and meditation, makes the Ashram quite unlike most others, for it has a different story to unfold for the future. It carries within itself the seeds of a new and greater cosmos to come. It is a powerful influence towards the reconciliation of the highest past in Indian spiritual attainment and the most glorious future. All over the world we observe new tentative ideologies and impulses arising, a new attempt to develop and progress. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is one expression of this new dynamic drive. And in years to come this spirit is bound to assert itself and result in the greater and higher development of mankind.

The Ashram represents humanity through its individual types and society through its different vocations.

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother observed that the enforcement of regulations tends to encourage their violation in secret. Hence discipline here is learned through the efforts towards self-rule, attempted and expressed in freedom. This freedom helps to promote in the individual an unflinching honesty and integrity. Nevertheless, this lack of ordinary discipline in the Ashram does not mean that the question of test does not arise.

"There is in the Ashram," says the Mother, "No exterior discipline and visible test. But the inner test is very severe and constant; one must be very sincere in the aspiration to surmount all egoism and to conquer all vanity in order to be able to stay. A complete surrender is not outwardly exacted but it is indispensable for those who wish to stick on, and many things come to test the sincerity of this surrender. However, the grace and the help are always there for those who aspire for them."

The Mother is the Ashram. All the ashramites are bound to her by their inner faith in her divine Realisation and her spiritual Insight. Her divine guidance solves all individual and collective problems, physical, vital, mental and spiritual. The final authority in the carrying out of any decision is the Mother.

People living here are from many countries, speaking different languages, belonging to different religions and cultures. They find themselves thrown into an atmosphere which is not always easy to adjust to, where souls alone can breathe. Yet the remarks of a newcomer from America on the Ashram are significant:

"The atmosphere of the Ashram is discouraging to all pretence and vanity. Ego-antics, common in the average small group, are rarely noted here, even among a thousand — blessed relief! Surely there is here a powerful force at work to subdue the ego and bring forward the soul… Yet we were warned on arrival not to assume that we were in the company of angels, but rather a grand cross-section of humanity, who form the Mother's laboratory for the great transformation."

The Mother is the sole exponent of Sri Aurobindo's yoga. "Surrender to the Mother" has ever been the refrain of the Master's supremely inspired voice.

"She (the Mother) alone can say what is the right way to deal with people. If she were to deal with people only according to their defects, there would be hardly a dozen people left in the Ashram."

"Always behave as if the Mother is looking at you because she is indeed always present."

This message of Sri Aurobindo is deeply engraved in the hearts of the aspiring souls who want to launch into the field of His Integral Yoga. Indeed His ideal and the Mother's creation are a mirror for the world to come.

From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol. 2, No. 1, 27 August 1966, Boro Park Printers -- Brooklyn, N. Y, 1966
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