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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Journey.”

Journey

by Michelle W.

Tell us about a journey — whether a physical trip you took, or an emotional one.

In Response to Michelle W Prompt I want to share  my visit To Sri Aurobindo’s ashram in India with you.

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Two years ago I embarked on a trip of a lifetime in search of the Holy Grail accompanied by a group of men and women most of whom I had never met before. And like many seekers before me, I chose India to help me find the miraculous in all things.

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

But this was not true for me, it was the flowers, smiling faces and ornate trolleys carrying sweet coffee. Strange that you only see what you want to and I wanted coffee when I arrived in Chennai Airport. At first I was afraid. The horror stories of food poisoning ringing in my ears. The intoxicating whiff of boiling milk, coffee beans and sugar cane seduced me, as my hand reached out tentatively for the hot tin cup. I inhaled the sweet aroma of the bubbling brown liquid and slurped noisily, avoiding sides of the implement that contained my nectar of the Gods.

O My Goodness… it was absolutely, Yummy!!!

We traveled by bus to Pondicherry and on to Sri Aurobindo Ashram .

Sri Aurobindo was the first political leader to publicly 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 practice of Yoga and the development of what he called Integral Yoga.

Note to self

As far as I could make out at the time, Integral Yoga is aimed at transforming  consciousness. For me,

 it was all bit up in the air. As far as I could comprehend the main concepts oscillated around the idea of  total freedom from illness and the possibility physical immortality through the practice of Integral Yoga.

Thus I decided just  to write about  the historical facts surrounding  Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

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

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.

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 I took this photograph of mother symbol from  stone in Auroville.

 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

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.

Our spiritual leader/ Guru  Fr Korko Moses  beckoned us joined the meditators which we did for a few moments.

 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 

 web http://www.sabda.in

Note to self at that time was as follows…..

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 !!

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