Today is the 15th of August, and I woke up very early, feeling the need to celebrate this day, on which in 1872 Sri Aurobindo was born, in Calcutta (Bengale), as Aurobindo Ghose. The name ‘Aurobindo’ was at that time quite uncommon, yet it is the one that was given to him, somewhat prophetically, for it means ‘lotus’, and in India the lotus is the flower symbolizing the Divine Consciousness.
It so happened that years later, in 1947, the very same date was chosen unwittingly by the British top representative (Lord Curzon I believe) as the day when India would become officially free from British rule, an independent country among the other nations of the world.
So today in India there will be celebrations to commemorate both these events.
In Pondicherry, at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram particularly, as well as at the other Ashram in Delhi, and of course also here in Auroville, the focus on Sri Aurobindo will be greater, for people in those places are more aware of the importance his birth had for the new step the Evolutive Force would start taking on Earth.
AUROBINDO GHOSE THE NATIONALIST FREEDOM FIGHTER
Indian people elsewhere are mostly aware of Sri Aurobindo only as one of the first and most influential Nationalists India had fighting for its full freedom long before Gandhi: Aurobindo Ghose was the one person in India the British saw as their most dangerous enemy, because of the extraordinary power of his writings, that had awakened the whole country since as a young adult he had deliberately returned from England for this very purpose.
He had been sent there at 7 along with his two elder brothers, for his full education outside of any Indian influence, in those times when only what was British was supposed to be good and worth studying. But the newspapers and the letters from his disillusioned father had later shown to him how cruel and unjust the British Rule actually was, and young Aurobindo, a most brilliant student in spite of the utter poverty in which he had to live (father often wasn’t sending money), had vowed to go back and help free his country instead of becoming the rich and honored Officer in the British ‘Indian Civil Service’ that his Cambridge diplomas and top results in the ICS competition were enabling him to become.
After his sudden arrest in 1909 and his expected condemnation to death as accused (wrongly) of having organized a bomb attack, he was a year later miraculously acquitted, one could say, just as the Divine Voice had long predicted it to him: his lawyer, on a sudden inspiration, foresaw and evoked the exceptional importance and renown the man in front of them would one day have much beyond the shores of India, and his extraordinary speech somehow did it: the accused was purely and simply acquitted (the British, when they came to their senses, never understood how they could have made such an enormous blunder as acquitting Aurobindo Ghose, and they did try their best to catch him again later, but in vain).
SRI AUROBINDO THE FREEDOM FIGHTER FOR HUMANITY
He came out of jail not only a free man again, but a changed man too:
That year in jail had been used by the Divine to give him all the spiritual experience needed for starting the much vaster real mission He told him then that He had for him: liberating not any more just India from the British Rule (this had become anyway inevitable, and other people would take care of it), but Humanity as a whole from the Rule of the Mental Power, in preparation for the advent on Earth of a higher and truer Power beyond the Mind, later named ‘Supramental’ by this changed man, by then known as Sri Aurobindo, in this French ‘Pondichéry’ where the Divine Guidance led him in 1910 as the permanent political asylum where he could do the immense spiritual task that had to be done.
The Mind Power has been a great help for us, but has now become an obstacle to our further evolution.
Beyond the Mental Power there exists, on higher planes of Reality, a ‘Supramental’ Power that, if brought down here, will gradually open our consciousness and perception of ourselves and of all else to the true, divine Reality that is underlying everything: we will become conscious again of being actually the One Divine Being in all these innumerable aspects of Himself/Herself, at play with each other in that huge Game of Evolution each of us decided at some point to get involved in.
To be again conscious of being divine will gradually reactivate in us, including in our body-cells, all the normal powers that are part of our presently forgotten divine nature.
So, the task Sri Aurobindo had to do was to himself reach at will the Supramental level, and to gradually manage (it took decades of patient labour) to bring down its specific power, its vibratory frequency, closer and closer to the Earth, until the contact would be made and the same vibratory frequency would start being activated within Matter itself.
The rest I have told in my previous posts explaining about the lives and evolutive action of Sri Aurobindo and the spiritual collaborator who came from France to join him, another highly conscious being whom he called ‘the Mother’ because he recognized in her the Feminine, motherly aspect of the Divine that in India and some other cultures is called that way.
Here is the link to the main post I have written on this topic:
THE 15TH AUGUST & THE CATHOLIC ‘ASSUMPTION’
At some point one of the disciples who quickly gathered around them asked Sri Aurobindo if there was any special reason why he had been born on that date, August 15th, which in the Catholic religion is celebrated as the anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption, that is, her being taken into the higher dimensions, together with her very physical body.
Sri Aurobindo replied that there was indeed a relation between his birth on that day and that specific celebration, as the Assumption symbolized the future Divinization of Matter itself, and this was the aim of his own birth in the present evolutive times.
Of course this has nothing to do with any specific religion, as religions are only our temporary and very limited way of perceiving and understanding spiritual realities based on the actual Oneness of everything there is.
THE 15TH AUGUST AND THE SYMBOL OF SRI AUROBINDO
This awakening of the Divine Consciousness right here in Matter is what, by the way, Sri Aurobindo’s symbol represents:
The two triangles upward and downward like in the Solomon Seal, also called Star of David, when in perfect balance form at their inner junction a square, symbol of Matter, with floating on its waters a lotus: the Divine Consciousness manifesting Itself at last here in this very realm of Matter, and transforming the physical body in its divinized form to come.
The symbol expresses the exact work Sri Aurobindo has come to do, and sacrificing in the end his own physical life, has done for the Earth.
THE 15TH AUGUST AS A ‘DARSHAN DAY’
When I arrived in Auroville, India, on August 4th 1972, I was already reading the books of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and practising the Integral Yoga, but I knew absolutely nothing of their personal lives – not even that the year 1972 was a big year, the year of Sri Aurobindo’s Birthday Centenary, to be celebrated in many places all over the planet and by many eminent people everywhere besides the disciples.
I soon fell with fever, though, and found myself in one of the Ashram’s Nursing Homes in Pondicherry, not far from the main Ashram building where the Mother was still residing.
In the same Nursing Home another Aurovilian lady happened to be also taken care of, who had befriended me from the beginning.
On the 15th of August, it is her who told me that there would be a ‘Darshan’, that is, a special moment when the Mother would come out on the balcony of her room so that the crowd that had gathered in the streets down below would be able to see her, and so, to benefit directly from her physical presence and the spiritual inner condition she would be in, that could become ‘contagious’, so to say, if one was able to open oneself inwardly to it.
At the given time, my friend took me with her to a tiny balcony in our Nursing Home, and pointed at a silhouette that had just come out, hardly visible in the distance, on another, bigger balcony: there the Mother stood, and from where we were we too remained standing, but transfixed, our mind suddenly gone silent, our heart beating harder, immobile there with our eyes on that form far away, while time stood still.
Then the silhouette started moving again and slowly retreated back inside, and suddenly the whole crowd, which had spontaneously fallen absolutely silent during the Darshan, came back to normal life and noise again, although some special softness lingered for long in the atmosphere and within the two of us in the Nursing-Home.
This was my first Darshan, the Darshan given by the Mother for this extraordinary occasion, the Centenary of Sri Aurobindo. At that time I was a total iconoclast, and without any notion that a Darshan could be highly beneficial for you, so on my own I would probably have missed the whole thing. I like to think that Sri Aurobindo himself, from the non-physical dimensions, wanted me not to miss that exceptional moment, and arranged everything, even my illness and that of my friend, so that I would have that first Darshan, and with it the inner gifts he wanted to give me, and that are still within me, helping me in every moment of my life.
So today again is Darshan Day, and my whole being rejoices in it again with the same utter gratitude…