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Archive for April, 2014

Achieving Gratitude on the mothers Road to Matrimandir in Auroville

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Gratitude
The ego thinks of what it wants and has not,
This is a constant preoccupation.
The soul is aware of what it is given
And lives in endless gratitude

 

Achieving Sincerity on the Mothers Road to Matrimandir in Auroville

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Be wholly sincere, never try and deceive others.
And never try to deceive yourself

Day 2:The Search for Holy Grail brings us to a place where men, women of every nationality and creed live in peace and harmony. This place is called The City of Dawn Auroville.

Auroville( City Of Dawn) -an  experimental township  in Viluppuram district near Pondicherry,  was founded  by The Mother in 1968 who wanted to find an  ideal place where

  •  all men
  • all women
  • of all countries
  • of all creeds
  •  all politics
  • all nationalities

would become as one, living in peace and progressive harmony.

Note to self

Living in peace and progressive harmony: united as one people?

No war?

No injustice?

No violence?

But how?

How can this be done?

The  Mother and Sri Aurobindo  society  believed  that it was possible to realize  Human Unity  through

  •   Education,
  •  Service for the good of all,
  •  The practice of  detachment  from all individual aspirations and possessions. Auroville belongs to no one in particular, but rather to humanity as a whole.
  •  Union of oneself with Divine Consciousness through the practice of yoga.

And all of this would be realized in a dry barren valley in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

In the middle of the town, there now stands a large golden symmetrical globe known as The Matrimandir.

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It was designed by Roger Anger  to be  a symbol of the Divine’s answer to mans aspiration for perfection. Silence is maintained inside the spiraling ramps that lead upwards to the air conditioned chamber of polished white marble.

Note to self

We did not get into the Matrimandir and like all tourists out for the day we had to be content with the photographs taken in the gardens nearby!! I hope we did not disturb the peace inside with all our questions !!

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 As far as I can make out Auroville is a very  organised place. I did not have enough time to assimilate all the important information Image

It is governed by the Auroville Foundation through an act of the Indian Parliament.

The  rules and regulations, lends towards a structured co existence for visitors and Aurovillians alike, which of itself is a good thing.

The emphasis in Auroville appears to be on education and in particular on the development and improvement of self with an aim to reach self actualisation

AND

Most importantly, it appears whatever realization you have you MUST NOT impose it on others.

And to this effect it appears to me that they are anti formal religion.

Even God is receiving bad press – I think !!

Please do not quote me on this as my trip to India is a  novices path of discovery and such a bold statements as the one I have just made  above would take years of reflection and study I would imagine.!

The OM Choir

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We were not on time for the OM Choir. This  is us rushing to it with our guide Erick in red out front.

But we were very fortunate to meet Shraddavan one of the longest  living residence of Auroville and a disciple of The Mother. She is seated beside Philip  in the photograph below.

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Mantra’s, according to Shaddavan, not only has  a certain rhythm, it must  be pronounced in a certain way , with a deep understanding of what that word used in the mantra  means.

Note to self.

It appears to me that Shaddavan is suggesting that  If we recite our mantra with a deep understanding, correct rhythm and pronunciation,  it will awaken within us the ability to communicate with the Divine……… I like it !!!! All I have to do is get the rhythm right,the sound right and know what I’m doing….I can do that….Can’t I? Well maybe in time I will

Erick’s wife Margaret the lovely blond haired lady with the yellow scarf, in the centre of the group photograph below

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later explained that the Om Choir  is using singing as a prayer.

Apparently, when the group chant the word Om in a unified, rhythmical meaningful way, they are sending a collective call to the Divine Presence welcoming It into their hearts and souls.

Note to self

I sure am sorry I missed the Om choir as I love to sing at home.

 A recent discovery, let me add…but that is  a story for another day

Yet Another Note to self ( There is a lot of them in this post, but then again there is a lot to Auroville!!)

Auroville  is a beautiful, relaxing fresh cool place….I could be anywhere in the world!

It sure is nice but it must take a huge amount of organization to keep this project afloat!

It  is a far cry from the busy bustling streets of Pondicherry

I would like to spend some time here. Erick assures me that the guest accommodation is excellent..

Interesting!!

I bought absolutely gorgeous Jasmine and Rose perfume and Incense sticks.

I also took some lovely photographs of the flower tablets in the Mother Symbol  on the road to Matrimandir which I hope to share with you one day at a time over the next two weeks or so.

And as for finding the Holy Grail …well what can I say this Novice is heading onto to meet the beloved of all India The Sad Guru who asks WHO AM I ? Have you guessed it?

Yes it is the one an only

Sri Ramana Maharshi

But first its the Pongal Festival in Philips  farm.

Later we will  travel by bus to Tiruvannamalai, where the Sad Guru awaits with the answer

Who Knows?

 

 

Phoning home from India: Just buy a sim card and you’re Ready to Go: Yes? Actually; No. -It is more complicated than that!

Phoning home from India: Just buy a sim card and you’re Ready to Go: Yes? Actually; No. -It is more complicated than that!

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So, be prepared and bring

  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your Visa Permit to visit India
  • A copy of your home address and if possible a utility bill from home- I had a copy of my form I filled up for my visa which seemed top work OK
  • A copy of the address  you are visiting in India
  • A telephone number of the person you are staying with in India who will vouch for you. I gave the name and number of Sr Anna and Korkos number which seemed to work
  • A recent signed passport photograph I Had to go to camera shop across the road, get it taken, find a police man get it signed and then go back into shop! _ honest I ‘kidd’ you not!!

And, be prepared to wait several days for your phone to be activated.

Note to self

Who would have known that such a thing as getting a phone would be such a complicated affair!!

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Sri Aurobindo was the first political leader to publically demand complete independence for India. He was arrested in May 1908 and acquitted in 1909.  His yearlong confinement in prison was enhanced by many momentous spiritual experiences. On his release from prison he headed to Pondicherry. His mission was to explore ways for mankind’s liberation from its bondage to ignorance through spiritual means. During his forty years in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo devoted himself to the practise of Yoga and the development of what he called Integral Yoga.

Note to self

As far as I can make out Integral Yoga is aimed at transforming our consciousness. For me,

 it is all bit up in the air at the moment. As far as I can comprehend the main concepts oscillate around total freedom from illness and the possibility physical immortality through the practice of Integral Yoga.

So for now I’m going to write on the historical backdrop of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Who is  Sri Aurobindo?

Sri Aurobindo was born on 15th August in 1872 in Kolkata.

He studied in the Loretto Convent in Darjeeling until 1879 when he went with his parents to England.

He was 7 years old.

He spent the next 14 years studying in Manchester London and Cambridge before returning to India in 1893 to take up work as a professor at the Maharaja’s college in Vadodara.

In 1901 he married Mrinalini Devi, in Kolkata.

In 1906 Sri Auribindo moved to Kolkata and became involved in Indian Nationalism which eventually after a year’s internment led to a spiritual evolution in his thinking, obtaining freedom from all kinds of bondage through Yogi Practise

 

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Who Is  The Mother?

The Mother otherwise known as Mirra Alfasssa was born in Paris on 21st February 1878. Conscious of her spiritual mission on earth even as a child The Mother was guided by a Guru in one in her visions that she called Krishna.

When she met Sri Auribindo in 1914 she at once recognised him as the Krishna of her dreams! So she felt that she had to stay with Sri Aurobindo, which she finally succeeded in doing in 1920 – that’s six years later, during that time she travelled to Japan and divorced her husband! .

She worked with Sri Aurobindo from 1920 until he went into seclusion to practice Yoga in 1926.

And, 1926 it was   The Mother who took over Sri Aurobindo disciples and founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram which   is still located in the eastern part of Pundicherry today.

 

The Ashram’ has grown under ‘The Mothers’ guidance from a small group of two dozen disciples into a large diversified community around of 1500 members. Including the students of Education and the devotees who live nearby, the community as a whole consist of several thousand

Ashramites live and work in large numbers buildings spread throughout the area. The focus of community life is the main building simply called ‘The Ashram’ which consists of an interconnected block of houses including those which Sri Aurobindo and ‘The Mother ‘dwelt for most of their lives.

 

At the centre of the Ashram under a tree-shaded courtyard lies Samadi, a white marble shrine where the bodies of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are laid to rest

The mothers symbol.

 I took this photograph of mother symbol from  stone in Auroville

 I will get onto Aurovilee soon!!!

The Central circle represents the Divine Consciousness.

The four petals represent the four powers of the mother

The twelve petals represent the twelve powers of the mother manifested for her work

 

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Note to self

We were not allowed to bring in cameras to Sri Aurobindo’s ashram so no photos – sorry.

To be honest at this stage of our trip I was a bit shell shocked! The court yard was pretty and many Indians were strewn over the white Marble shrine praying – the significance of which swept over me at that time. Many were meditating in the court yard.

Korko beckoned us joined the people meditating .

We did for a very short time

 I bought 2 books in the bookshop they look really interesting

1 Integral Healing: Compiled from the Works of Sri Aurobinda and The Mother. ISBN.978817058-774-3

2 Sri Aurobindo:The Mother .ISBN 978-81-7058-575-6 Published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publications Department Pondicherry 605002 

webhttp://www.sabda.in

Then it was home to  Idhaya Ashram

 

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Dinner and bed by 8.30

Note to self

Not much meditating done 

Its all theory at this stage but I’m not complaining

The Holy Grail will not happen by itself

I go to bed exhausted and happy

What a buzz !!

Tomorrow we travel to Auroville and  I cannot  wait, I hear its amazing!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 1 Travelling by bus to Pudicherry

Day 1 Travelling by bus to Pudicherry

Arrival Chennai Airport

I was forewarned that once I arrived in India I would be hit by the stench of human life and all the waste products of living!

But this was not true for me, it was the coffee,  flowers, smiling faces and meeting Korko’s delightful  brother optimistic Philip

This coffee is made from pure freshly ground coffee beans and freshly ground sugar cane boiled with milk and served in small tin cups!

Note to self

At first I was afraid to try the coffee but  it smelt absolutely delicious.

I could see that  the milk was boiling hot and sure I decided to give it a go

and

O My Goodness… it was absolutely . Yummie!!!

 

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