Spiritual Practice in Auroville: Union with our Inner Being

Some of you visiting this blog are asking me what is the spiritual practice here in Auroville – a major question indeed, speaking of a place dedicated to collective evolution by means of applied spirituality, so to say.

Well, the first thing to know is that no one could answer that question for everybody here, simply because there isn’t one way imposed for everybody – and that is already saying a lot about the inner freedom given to the Aurovilians.
When the Mother founded Auroville, she didn’t even mention Sri Aurobindo or herself or the Integral Yoga in the texts she wrote down for the Foundation Ceremony on February 28th 1968, introducing the central concept and overall guiding goals for the experimental township being born. The concept and the goals are in fact the highest and vastest, but she presented everything just in very simple words anyone could understand and relate to and be touched by.
So if one feels inspired by those words and with sincere good will wants to join in the experiment, from the inner point of view that is enough, welcome.  
As long as that inner attitude can be kept in oneself, one doesn’t need to worry, everything will go all right for one’s inner progress. As the Mother used to say, ‘True spirituality is simple, very simple’.

Even if one considers nevertheless the Integral Yoga taught by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as the spiritual way obviously to be followed in Auroville – which to some extent is true, because it is they who have been the inspiration and origin of Auroville, and because the Mother herself explains more deeply about that Yoga in her later messages – still that Way of Yoga also will not give the same and identical directives for everyone, as each being is unique and needs a different, individualized way of proceeding.

Must not there be though at least some essential aspect of this new, all-encompassing spiritual approach, that one could indicate as centrally needed by everyone?…
Yes, there is indeed such a central requirement for everyone, that is best obtained first, in the very interest of each individual: the contact with the deepest, inmost part of themselves: their soul-being, or ‘psychic being’ (the being of the psyche), as Sri Aurobindo and the Mother came to call it.

The original spark of the soul in us is eternal and inalterable; but as it takes on a new physical body again and again over many lifetimes on Earth, the being of that hidden soul starts growing, acquiring more strength and influence in us, every time our outer consciousness listens to the advice it gives, rather than to the clamors of our mind or our life-energy pulling us in other directions.

A time comes, in one lifetime or another, when that Soul-Being or Psychic Being in us has grown enough and is strong enough to become the constant guidance from within that we all need so badly. But for that to happen fully rather than as a mere flickering influence, our outer consciousness has to learn how to leave the surface of our personality and dive within, towards that central inner space where our Psychic Being dwells, easily and wonderfully recognizable through the warmth and incredible sweetness that emanate from that center, the more we approach it, the more irresistible, until we find our consciousness blissfully immersed into It, and time stops.

When one emerges again from there, one is changed, for ever, for one knows at last what one is.

Rather than ‘meditation’, one may call ‘concentration’ the way one arrives at this all-important result. For it is only through a ful concentration indeed within oneself, in the direction of that secret Center of our being, deep behind our physical heart but in the more subtle dimension of our total reality – which is actually part of the divine Reality.

An intense and patient determination, an intense grief or desperation, an intense cry to That for help or protection, an intense and absolute faith in That, an intense need to give oneself completely and for ever to That, all these are inner states that by their very intensity will stop the interference of our ordinary thoughts or desires, and provoke sooner or later the opening of the Inner Doors: we will find ourselves suddenly in that Secret Chamber, where the Flame of that living, eternal Being of Love will embrace us in Its arms of Tenderness and Light. Our usual ego-carapace will melt in the unbelievable sweetness of that Flame, and we will merge with our real Self again, our Soul Self, our Psychic Being.

Our outer personality will still be there when our consciousness returns to the surface, but we will not mistake it any more for our entire existence. And from that time on, if we ask our Psychic Being to have that action within us, It will gradually influence also our outer personality and give it in the end Its own characteristics of absolute sincerity in the self-giving, and of spontaneous love for everything in which the Divine Presence can already clearly be seen and felt. The Psychic Being infallibly knows, just like the compass needle infallibly indicates the North, because the Psychic Being is of the same essential nature as the all-encompassing Divine: like instantly recognizes like, and moves with joy towards it.

So obtaining that inner contact with our Psychic Being and then that progressive transformation by it, is the most urgent need for all human beings who are not satisfied anymore with ordinary life. It is not necessary to withdraw from normal life into some monastic, secluded retreat. No asceticism is needed either. A life simply of moderation in every outer need, and of progressive consecration to the Divine of everything one thinks, feels and does, is the only requirement. Outer work is helpful also to that inner work, for it is the touchstone of our real progress, particularly in our relations to others; it is easy to remain peaceful  in the silence and solitude of one’s favorite corner, but to keep that quietness and inner concentration right in the middle of ordinary life is the real challenge.

It may take quite some time before the new positioning of our consciousness at the center of our being is in any way stabilized, and all our old usual reactions to everything start to change; but all the while, we are not alone on that new adventure: that Presence within us, felt more and more also everywhere else, both impersonal because it is universal, and yet so intimately personal, is the most wonderful companion we could dream of. No wonder all the mystics of the world have reveled in the many-hued bliss of that relationship with What we have the joy of calling ‘Thee’, although at the same time we perceive our own actual identity with What this ‘Thee’ is…!

If as you were reading all this your mind has stopped since long trying to make any sense of it, but another, deeper part of you is still reading avidly and somehow ‘knowing’ what I am talking about, either by inner recognition of something already experienced, or by inner longing to experience it, all is well: the Inner Reality is one of Oneness, and only the mind’s way of functioning perceives clear-cut separations where there are none, as Quantum Physics will tell you. It isn’t our mind that can understand that those separations it sees aren’t really there – unless that mind of ours looses its arrogance and admits that the knowledge it can acquire isn’t the real knowledge, that the Big Picture it believes to be there isn’t the real Big Picture.  

Our mind and the rest of our outer being may take more or less time to really be transformed, but anyway from the moment we have managed to come in contact again with our Psychic Being (as most of us still were as babies) and to unite again with It, our real life will have started, and all the other changes necessary for our further evolution will inevitably take place as time passes, for it is our very Inner Motor, so to say, that will be fully on, with our Psychic Being becoming fully active…

So the one advice Sri Aurobindo and the Mother gave as the most important and most urgent to their disciples was to dedicate time as often as possible to the needed inner concentration towards their Psychic Being, deep in themselves.

And this is also why in Auroville itself, the central building that the Mother had the repeated vision of and asked us to build, is a big flattened sphere like the Earth, with in the upper part of it a vast, circular Inner Chamber, all clad in glistening white marble, empty but for some columns midway between the center and the walls, some cushions for people to sit on, and at the center a large crystal globe radiating the only light: the suffused golden light received from the sun above as a visible, concentrated ray directed day and night onto that central globe.
The total, hushed silence reigning there, and the sheer extraordinary beauty of that Inner Room in all its utter white simplicity are breath-taking, and to sit there in inner concentration on one’s Psychic Being is greatly facilitated also by the spherical shape of the space, welcoming you like a softly lit, loving maternal Womb. The entire building is called the ‘Oratory of the Divine Mother’, or ‘Matrimandir’.
It is there as a possible help, but there is no obligation of its use, no one will judge you from how many times you will go and sit there. This is not a religion: no ceremonies, no rituals, no flower or incense offerings, no collective anything there, only individual inner concentration on one’s Psychic Being, or simply sitting there in self-giving and receptivity, whenever one feels the need to. Of course one can do it anywhere else also, the only difference is that in that space the best conditions are present together to help you, and the atmosphere is particularly intense and powerful.

A lot of collective quiet events also happen in all other parts of Auroville, regularly or not, proposed and organized by whoever feels the need of such events; they are announced every week in our little internal newsletter, everyone is welcome to participate – and free not to as well.

So, each one is basically left to organize one’s inner life according to one’s individual choices, also for the work one will do as one’s personal contribution to Auroville’s collective life. Inwardly, the only thing that is expected and should be understood, is that all Aurovilians, in order to be true Aurovilians, must do their best to fulfill the following few requirements, as listed out by the Mother in June 1970:

To be a true Aurovilian

1. The first necessity is the inner discovery in order to know what one truly is behind social, moral, cultural, racial and hereditary appearances.
At the centre there is a being free, vast and knowing, who awaits our discovery and who ought to become the active centre of our being and our life in Auroville.
2. One lives in Auroville in order to be free from moral and social conventions; but this freedom must not be a new slavery to the ego, to its desireas and ambitions.
The fulfilment of one’s desires bars the way to the inner discovery which can only be achieved in the peace and transparency of perfect disinterestedness.
3. The Aurovilian should lose the sense of personal possession. For our passage in the material world, what is indispensable to our life and to our action is put at our disposal according to the place we must occupy.
The more we are consciously in contact with our inner being, the more are the exact means given to us.
4. Work, even manual work, is something indispensable for the inner discovery. If one doesn’t work, if one doesn’t put his consnsciousness into matter, the latter will never develop. To let the consciousness organize a bit of matter by means of one’s body is very good. To establish order around oneself helps to bring order within oneself.
One should organize one’s life not according to outer and artificial rules, but according to an organised inner consciousness, for if one lets life go on without subjecting it to the control of a higher consciousness, it becomes fickle and inexpressive. It is to waste one’s time in the sense that matter remains without any conscious utilization.
5. The whole earth must prepare itself for the advent of the new species, and Auroville wants to work consciously to hasten this advent.
6. Little by little it will be revealed to us what this new species must be, and meanwhile the best course is to consecrate oneself entirely to the Divine.

I hope all of the above gives a sufficient overall answer to the question which prompted the writing of this post. If further questions are put to me through the ‘comment’ button right under the title of the post, to the left, it will be my pleasure to answer them.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Random Ntrygg
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 01:48:08

    I need to read this a few more times, but I want to be still with it for awhile

    I never have gone wrong when I have followed my inner self, my instinct, it is only when I allow others to influence me or I go against my self that I end up in bad circumstances

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    • Bhaga
      Jul 17, 2011 @ 07:44:06

      Dear Ntrygg, yes, your observation is quite correct – although the thing that what you call your ‘instinct’ pushes you to do must be felt, not necessarily like the easiest thing to do, but rather like the correct, true thing to do. Then only is your ‘instinct’ really from your Inner Self, from your Soul.
      If it is just a ‘gut feeling’, it is already something better than mere thoughts, but it is not as reliable as the voice of your Inner Self. One learns gradually how each one exactly feels.

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  2. Daydreamertoo
    Jul 17, 2011 @ 12:21:42

    Hello Bhaga,

    Thank you for coming to my blog and the note you left. This video I saw was short using night lens and not tampered with at all, as fas as I know. It fascinated me because you see the lights darting and the crop circles appearing intantly beneath them. It’s in black and white too, but it seems authentic.
    It’s at Youtube but there are also hundreds of other crop circle videos there, this I found) the most credible and just, fascinating: Here’s the link:
    Night time Crop Circles
    Also this one: Maybe the same video, not sure:
    Another with sound
    Bren.

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    • Bhaga
      Jul 17, 2011 @ 12:48:41

      How nice of you to answer me so quickly, Bren!
      I am very glad also that you do have the precise Youtube address.
      A big thank you…

      While on your blog I read a little, but not enough; I liked the little I have seen, I’ll have to come back!…
      Bhaga

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  3. Daydreamertoo
    Jul 17, 2011 @ 12:51:29

    I’ve always been a very deep thinker, aware that there is so much more to we humans than we can even realise we know. In all my years I devoured books that might offer more truths and enlightenment to the finding the way. When my partner died I had nursed her for 2 years, 24/7, and, had an awful lot of negative beings in her family. Drugs, alchohol, and her mothers Born again Baptist homophobia. So, when Cathie passed I had been living on one emotion of fear for so long, I had forgotten what other emotions were. In my grieving, I couldn’t find answers outside and then began to go deep, within. I ‘stilled’ my mind and moreorless surrendered because I was so exhausted from fighting the flow of life to stop myself from drowing. Well, in that stillness, I found myself. I discovered that one-ness, that connectedness with and to, all things and yes, it changed me. I felt an embrace the likes of which I had never before experienced. When I opened my eyes, it was af if I was seeing everything for the first time. Yes, it changed me, and I try to tell others now in my circle, stop stressing and be still, it’s in the peace, and stillness that you find the answers.
    I know my spirit/soul still has much to learn but, I am so open to the teachings of the life lessons now.
    I am convinced we humans can do so much more than we know we can. but through keeping law and order and people in places of power the ancient knowledge has been hidden, secreted away and, our minds (over millennia) fell to asleep and only function at a very small, surface level.
    I just read Dan Browns latest book ‘The Last Symbol’ where he states that we humans have always misunderstood God’s message. When God said he made us in his image, he meant our brains, not our bodies and therefore, we too are Creators, and that maybe instead of uswaiting for God/Jesus to come and clean up the mess we humans are making of things, maybe because God knowing we are Creators, too, is waiting for us to reach his higher level of thought.
    Very thought provoking.
    I find this subject fascinating and, enlightening. And will continue to read. I am always seeking to enlighten myself more and, I (think) we are all enery in its purest form, our inner being/soul is pure love light.
    Thank you for introducing yourself to me.

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    • Bhaga
      Jul 18, 2011 @ 04:46:38

      It is so moving to find somebody who has had the Heart/Soul Opening experience I have tried to describe in my post from the way it happened to me, and from other accounts I have read.
      From all of us who will read this here, thank you for this deep sharing.
      What a wonderful way to meet you.

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    • Bhaga
      Nov 24, 2011 @ 01:56:04

      … Just to tell you that I did buy a copy of ‘The Lost Symbol’ for myself, and read it! Quite interesting indeed!
      Thank you for mentioning it and quoting that passage!🙂

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  4. Random Ntrygg
    Jul 18, 2011 @ 21:48:46

    partly is it cognitive disinhibition – basically, seeing information as interconnected, without filtering for relevance – which there isn’t any, since it’s all equivalent and inter-related

    I have always been able to make intuitive leaps in problem solving to arrive at novel responses or resolutions, because I don’t adhere to social norms and other restrictions – I can draw from various sources of information and connect the dots

    moreso now in my stressed brain and having lost my sense of magnitude, orders of difference, because when you go out far enough, these become meaningless divisions

    I have felt for some time that my brain has changed in a substantive way, evolved, functions in a very different way that I cam be aware of

    I think that we, being the first species to adapt our environment to ourselves, may be the first species to direct our evolution

    certainly, with the overall decrease of infant mortality, and more inter-breeding across ethnic differences, we have increase the mutation rate and eventually, we will see the emergence of something beyond homo sapeins

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  5. Gautam Paul
    Nov 23, 2011 @ 13:35:24

    Very well written and sums up precisely and in the simplest way possible the teachings of Shri Aurobindo and Mother… I couldn’t have done it better…!!!

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    • Bhaga
      Nov 24, 2011 @ 01:58:33

      Thank you for this very appreciative, and so, very encouraging comment, Gautam!🙂

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    • Bhaga
      Nov 24, 2011 @ 02:05:02

      Well, shall I conclude from your comment that you are yourself some kind of disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother?… A few words (or more!…) about yourself would be quite welcome, Gautam, as I don’t know you yet at all. Your name is Indian, but so is my one too, and yet I am not Indian (in this lifetime at least), so that’s not such a reliable indication… And do you live in India?

      Like

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