This special issue opens a year-long celebration of Sri Aurobindo’s 150th birthday and 75th anniversary of India’s political independence. Starting with this issue, the next 12 issues will explore the 12 attributes that the Mother has identified as soul-powers necessary for full manifestation of Her Work. The present issue explores Sincerity in a multi-dimensional approach. Special features on Sri Aurobindo’s work as a revolutionary nationalist are also included.
Compiled here are a few words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother which highlight the significance of Sincerity on the path of yoga. Sincerity in yoga means to have all the being consciously turned towards the one Truth, the one Divine. But that is one of the most difficult tasks for human nature, much more difficult than a rigid asceticism or a fervent piety. This is why constant guidance and inspiration from Their Words are our support on the way.
We feature a very special essay by Sri Aurobindo from his Bande Mataram writings in which he writes about the birth and growth of Indian nationalism invoking the advent and avatāric work of Sri Krishna. The selection of this piece is most appropriate since this month we also celebrate Krishna Janmashtami.
This three-part essay was first published on August 15, 1950 in Mother India. It presents a remarkable overview of various world-forces that were at play around the time of India’s independence, and highlights the significance of the date August 15, heralding a new direction for the world and humanity.
In this part, we learn the inner meaning of why August 15, a date of momentous implications for the values of civilisation has been chosen by India to celebrate her independence. Amal Kiran reminds us that behind the conscious thought of individuals there is the working of that invisible yet potent being which is the national soul or genius.
Amal Kiran helps us contemplate on how befitting it is that the Independence Day of a country whose chief glory has been God-realisation should coincide with the occasion of Sri Aurobindo’s birth. It would be purblind on our part to miss a signal so pregnant with meaning and fail to see our future bound up with Sri Aurobindo’s presence—our future of true self-growth political as well as cultural and of leadership among the nations on the path of human evolution towards Godhead.
These selections taken from the Mother’s volumes highlight some practical advise on how to inculcate the values of sincerity, honesty, straightforwardness, courage, unselfishness, patience, endurance, perseverance, and self-control in children from an early age. She reminds the parents and educators that these things are taught infinitely better by example than by beautiful speeches.
This month, we have selected a beautiful, meditative artistic creation by an international volunteer group ‘Art Studio-12 Qualities”. Watching this small film and listening in silence to the words of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo on sincerity is a meditative experience. Join us in this collective aspiration for growing in Sincerity.
The author here reminds us that generally there is a great chasm between what the soul suggests and the intellect understands and the senses execute. The only way to bridge the rift between spirit and its instruments and to create harmony and order in place of clash and cacophony among the different parts of our being is to be absolutely sincere.
Our conversation this month with two young educators, Pranjal Garg and Neha Singh, teaching Indian History at the university level, takes us beyond the ordinary ideological and political debates that have plagued the discipline of Indian History and Historiography since long, and invites us to explore a more integral approach to learning and teaching of History.
Exploring the theme of sincerity in history, we feature excerpts from a couple of introductory chapters from a book authored by Prof. Kittu Reddy, a long-time resident of Sri Aurobindo Ashram and teacher of Indian History and Culture at Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education. The author suggests that when examining Indian history from a subjective point of view, external events gain greater importance in the light of the inner psychological vision and deeper forces behind them.
In this part, the author focuses on the first 4 verses of Isha Upanishad. He reminds that this Upanishad addresses itself to the question of world-existence, the problem of harmonising human life and activity with the Reality of Immutable Brahman. The solution it finds is one of the most remarkable found by the ancient Indian mind.
This issue explores two inter-related themes. One has to do with Choice and Wisdom, related to which is the faculty of viveka, the intuitive discriminating reason which is developed by a purification of the organs of thought and knowledge. All effort and progress toward true knowledge and wisdom is possible only by the grace of the Guru, which is our second theme for this issue, especially chosen to mark the occasion of Guru Purnima.