Without patience there is little hope of changing our nature. “But there is something else in the human being which is sincere and can be a force for the change.” (Sri Aurobindo)
In addition to exploring Gratitude in a variety of hues, the issue also features pieces on the inner significance of Navaratri, the festival of Devi, and the cultural significance of Ramayana. Other highlights include a reflection on patriotism and leadership in the light of recent events in Afghanistan, and ‘The Real Gandhi’, an insightful essay approved by Sri Aurobindo.
In these passages from the Mother’s works, we find a rich variety of the various hues of the soul-quality that is gratitude. Gratitude that helps us connect with the Divine, that is a humble recognition of all that the Divine has done and is doing for us, that helps us cure our egoism, the movement that can bring us unalloyed joy.
In these passages, the Mother guides us that in order to accept the Grace with a pure feeling of gratitude, one must have a certain inner humility which makes one recognise one’s helplessness without the Divine Grace. She also points out that for most people blows in life are needed to know to the very depths that there is no entity without the Divine Consciousness and the Grace.
We begin with a prayer of the Mother, dated October 23, 1937. This is followed by a beautiful audio-visual offering on Gratitude created by the Art Studio-12 Qualities. This meditative experience takes one to a deep and quietly joyful place within where gratitude for the Divine is a spontaneous vibration of one’s inmost being.
The Festival of Devi is celebrated in India to mark the victory of the great Goddess Durga over the demon King Mahishāsura and his demon cohorts. Though outwardly it seems to be symbolic of the victory of Truth over falsehood which of course it is, there is much in it to help us understand the process of individual and cosmic evolution. A 3-part essay explores the deeper, inner significance of this festival.
The symbolism of the birth of Mahishasurmardini is presented here. The author also briefly outlines how the nine forms of the goddess form an ascending hierarchy of shakti or energy rising from the root chakra at the base of the spine, mulādhara, traveling upwards gaining strength and force and momentum with each upward gust and impulsion until it reaches the crown and passing beyond unites with its Lord.
The author, in this part, cites some significant descriptions given by the Mother of her realisations. These passages speak of how Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga takes a giant leap over tradition wherein he is not content with the slaying of a demon or many demons but by their conversion or dissolution for good. But for this not only man but even the gods must collaborate.
In our flower-meditation series, Sheeba Naaz reflects on her own experience and a few other gratitude stories she has heard and witnessed around her. She reminds us that it is not really the happiness which makes us feel grateful but on the contrary it is gratefulness that makes us happy. The Mother’s ‘handkerchief’ story also finds a special place of honour in this beautiful piece.
In India, since millennia, modesty or humility has been considered the one of the most noble virtues, one that is the ornament of all virtues. In present times when self-promotion is not only an acceptable practice but has actually become a highly sophisticated skill that one must master if one wants to be ‘successful’, humility often takes a backseat. But if we step back for a moment and reflect carefully we will find that it is exactly in times like these that we must sincerely begin to examine for ourselves what is true humility. And more importantly, how it is related to our inner journeys, our growth as conscious individuals with an aspiration to grow inwardly and walk the path that takes us closer to our highest Self within. This issue is dedicated to exploring Humility as one of the Twelve Powers which the Mother spoke of as necessary for the full manifestation of Her Work.
Selections from various writings and talks of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are presented to help us understand the meaning of true humility, which is about constantly referring oneself to the Divine, placing all before the Lord, and having a living sense that one is nothing, can do nothing, understand nothing without the Divine. We also learn that excessive self-esteem and self-depreciation are both wrong attitudes when cultivating the quality of true humility.