Sādhanā: To combine passive receptivity and realising activity

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Editor’s note: Let this selection from the Mother’s Prayers and Meditations be the Light illuminating and purifying our movements.

The point to be pressed is that Indian spirituality in its greatest eras and in its inmost significance has not been a tired quietism or a conventional monasticism, but a high effort of the human spirit to rise beyond the life of desire and vital satisfaction and arrive at an acme of spiritual calm, greatness, strength, illumination, divine realisation, settled peace and bliss.

The question between the culture of India and the vehement secular activism of the modern mind is whether such an endeavour is or is not essential to man’s highest perfection. And if it is, then the other question arises whether it is to be only an exceptional force confined to a few rare spirits or can be made the main inspiring motive-power of a great and complete human civilisation.

~ Sri Aurobindo (CWSA, Vol. 20, p. 132)

In the spirit of ‘all life is yoga’, all life and works are to be taken up in the spirit of sādhanā. This has been the eternal and inmost significance of Indian spirituality since millennia. And this has to be made the main inspiring motive-power for a new India – new because it is a rebirth of the timeless Indian spirit. Outer work has true meaning only when it becomes a means to grow inwardly in our consciousness. Our work at Renaissance is meaningful only when it is done as sādhanā, as an offering to the Divine.

Sri Aurobindo, in a letter dated October 10, 1933, explained very simply to a disciple what is sādhanā:

“Yoga is union with the Divine, sadhana is what you do in order to unite with the Divine. You have to get away from the ordinary human consciousness and get into touch with the divine Consciousness.”

~ (CWSA, Vol. 32, p. 135)

Starting with this issue, we begin a series Sādhanā.

We will select a prayer or meditation expressing our aspiration. We aspire that this mantra illuminates and purifies all our movements, every day of the month.

We invite our readers to join us in this collective aspiration. May our conscious effort to refer all the movements in all parts of our being to this dhyāna-mantra be our offering into the yajñá for a true rebirth of the Indian soul, a rebirth in which not only the Mind but the entire Life begins to experience the touch of the Spirit.

This month we have chosen a prayer from the Mother’s Prayers and Meditations, which according to Sri Aurobindo are prayers from the Divine to the Divine.

The Prayers are mostly written in an identification with the earth-consciousness. It is Mother in the lower nature addressing the Mother in the higher nature, the Mother herself carrying on the Sadhana of the earth-consciousness for the transformation, praying to herself above from whom the forces of transformation come.

This continues till the identification of the earth-consciousness and the higher consciousness is effected.

(Sri Aurobindo’s letter dated 21 August 1936, CWM, Vol. 1, p. 383)

~ Introductory note by Beloo Mehra


More in Sadhana series HERE.

~ Cover image: Lord Krishna Divine Light, original painting by Sunil Kumar (source)

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