Her light, her bliss he asked for earth and men. - SAVITRI

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

AUM 2007 Conference, Petaluma, California

Public ProgramsCertificate ProgramsTravel ProgramsSpirit in the ArtsFriends & Co-sponsorshipsContact Us AUM 2007 CONFERENCE
“Integral Yoga in Dialogue with the World” June 20–24, 2007
Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) Petaluma, California
ABOUT THE AUM 2007 CONFERENCE In keeping with the evolutionary need and challenge of these times, the theme of this year’s AUM Conference is "Integral Yoga in Dialogue with the World.”
In the spirit of modeling this collaborative dialogue with the world, California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) is hosting and co-organizing the event.
Integral Yoga in Dialogue with the World What is the 21st-century relationship between Sri Aurobindo's evolutionary vision and the evolving fields of human knowledge and experience? With the enormous research opening up in the fields of consciousness and spirituality, with a quantum leap in emergent knowledge happening simultaneously across disciplines—from the hard and soft sciences of physics, biology, and psychology to the applied researches in ecology, integral healing, whole systems behavior, and collective intelligence—what does the Integral Yoga Community have to share with and learn from its evolutionary allies in the world, particularly in view of the evolutionary crises that presently threaten the very sustainability of our terrestrial existence?
This conference will explore and address these questions primarily through presentations and panels in a dialogue-based format designed to:
identify, heal, and clear unconscious divisions and blockages;
foster deep listening, mutual learning, and the cross-pollination of knowledge streams;
expand boundaries, build bridges of trust and collaboration;
develop a more integrated, effective, and applied sense of the term "integral.”
The "evolutionary allies" who will participate as panelists and presenters include Michael Murphy (author, founder of Esalen Institute), Barbara Marx Hubbard (visionary, president of Foundation for Conscious Evolution), Brian Swimme (CIIS professor, cosmologist, author), Elisabet Sahtouris (evolutionary biologist, author), Robert McDermott (CIIS Professor, philosophy and comparative religions), and Craig Hamilton (former managing editor, What is Enlightenment? magazine).
Joining us in this dialogue is Sraddhalu Ranade from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry and Ameeta Mehra from the Gnostic Centre in New Delhi.
Meals Meals will be vegetarian. Please contact the Public Programs office to indicate dietary restrictions (dairy, egg, soy, wheat, etc). 415.575.6175
Fees $632 for double occupancy $740 for single occupancy $352 for commuters
Scholarships Some scholarship assistance is available to those in need. Please apply via email at aum2007scholarships@yahoo.com.
Directions and Information http://www.noetic.org/contact.cfm
Shuttle Transportation Airport shuttle transportation is available door-to-door from San Francisco and Oakland airports to Marin and the IONS campus. For reservations and prices, please contact:
Western Eagle Shuttle (www.marinairporttransportation.com phones: 415-533-4466, 415-342-6444Marin Door-to-Door (www.marindoortodoor.com phone: 415-457-2717
AUM panels/panelists (in sequence) "The Soul/Psychic Being in Integral Yoga, Christianity and Sufism": (moderator/facilitator to be confirmed), Bahman Shirazi, Brendan Collins, Ameeta Mehra, Sraddhalu Ranade
"Atom and Eve and the Evolution of Consciousness": Brant Cortright (moderator/facilitator), Brian Swimme, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Michael Murphy, Shraddhalu Ranade
"An Educational Curriculum for a Transitional Species": Mary Alexander, AVI-USA president (moderator/facilitator), Joseph Subbiondo, Robert McDermott, Ameeta Mehra, Melissa Michaels
"Evolutionary Activism, Sustainable Transformation and the Divine Feminine": Savitra (moderator/facilitator), Barbara Marx Hubbard, Elisabet Sahtouris, Savitra (Alan Sasha Lithman), Charles Flores
"Integral Psychology": Celeste Powell (moderator/facilitator), Brant Cortright, Richard Stein, Ameeta Mehra, Eric Weiss
"Facing the Challenge of Fundamentalism and other Shadow Issues in the Ongoing Evolution of Integral Yoga": Savitra (moderator/facilitator), Craig Hamilton, Michael Murphy, Lynda Lester, Mytrae Meliana
General Conference Schedule and Format(All presentations and panels are audience interactive. Format timings are approximate and subject to fine-tuning.)
Wednesday, June 20Arrival (check-in after 2 p.m.), informal interaction, settling into rooms Dinner Orientation followed by Brian Swimme's DVD
Thursday, June 21 6:30-8 a.m. - meditation space available 8-9 a.m. - breakfast 9-10:30 a.m. - Barbara Marx Hubbard plenary presentation10:45-12:45 p.m. (panel 1) - The Soul/Psychic Being in Integral Yoga, Christianity and Sufism"1-2:15 p.m. lunchbreak 2:30-4:30 p.m. (panel 2) - "Atom and Eve and the Evolution of Consciousness"4:45-6:15 p.m. - workshops, open time...6:30-7:45 p.m. - dinner 8-10 p.m. - entertainment, performances, creative improv
Friday, June 22 (timeline same as above) meditation breakfast Elisabet Sahtouris plenary presentation (panel 3) - "An Educational Curriculum for a Transitional Humanity" lunch(panel 4) - "Evolutionary Activism, Sustainable Transformation and the Divine Feminine"workshops dinnerevening entertainment/performances, creative improv
Saturday, June 23 meditation breakfast Sraddhalu Ranade plenary presentation (panel 5) - "Integral Psychology"lunch (panel 6) - "Facing the Challenge of Fundamentalism and other Shadow Issues in the Ongoing Evolution of Integral Yoga"workshops dinner evening entertainment/performances, creative improv
Sunday, June 24 meditation breakfast closing circle/conclusions, next...lunch departures (after lunch)
AUM Workshops
Thursday, June 21 Melissa Michaels: “Our Golden Bridge ~ Connecting through the Arts of Body and Heart” Wolfgang Schmidt-Reinecke: “Integral Dynamics” Margo MacCleod: “Exploring the Future of Integral Education”Arya Maloney: “Integral Healing: The Work of Psychology and Spirituality”
Friday, June 22 Craig Hamilton: “Living on the Edge of Evolution: Spirituality and Mysticism in an Evolving Universe”
Soleil Lithman: “The Heart, Psychic Being, and Light in the Body”
Jerry Schwartz: “Spirituality & Money: Supporting the Manifestation of the Future”
Will Moss: “Service and the Psychic: Reaching Beyond our Borders”
Saturday, June 23 Sraddhalu Ranade: “The Practice of Integral Yoga”
Margaret Phanes: “Spheres of Influence: Visual Meditations of Light”
Kathleen Wall and Carl Peters: “Psychospiritual Integration & Transformation: Grounding the Evolution of Consciousness into Earthly Life”
Workshop Descriptions and Bio-data
“Our Golden Bridge ~ Connecting through the Arts of Body and Heart”Join Melissa Michaels for this Dance and Dialogue, a dynamic exploration of Self, our Diverse Community and the Spirit Moving Us All.Melissa Michaels, Ed.D. is a social artist, dancing and dedicated to our collective renewal through the liberation of the creative spirit. She is the founder and director of Surfing The Creative® International Youth Rites of Passage Programs, Golden Bridge, a not-for-profit organization linking youth leaders across the globe, and Wild Life Productions. Through movement-based programming and ongoing mentoring, Melissa is committed to improving and empowering the lives of young people and the adults who serve them.
Mapping the journey from trauma to dynamic well - being, her work utilizes somatic and social arts to establish body and heart as resources for authentic expression. Rooted in rhythm and fueled by breath, this work inspires the sacred union between Spirit, flesh, psyche, and deed.
Melissa’s work is a pathway from the longing of the Spirit to the ecstasy of the ordinary. (Further info @ http://www.bdanced.com & http://www.goldenbridge.org)
“Integral Dynamics”What is the relevance of Don Beck's Spiral Dynamics and Ken Wilber's Integral Philosophy for the Aurobindonian community? The basis of these current philosophies will be reviewed through a power point presentation. What is the relavance of Integral Yoga for Beck and Wilbur? Proposals and ideas will given to the audience for discussion.
Wolfgang Schmidt-Reinecke, MA, has served as Executive Director of Auroville International and was the former Chairman of AVI Germany for 15 years. A former Board member of the Ken Wilber Association - Germany, he has been involved with Integral Yoga since 1972. He is also a journalist, author, consultant, magazine editor and documentary film-maker.
“Exploring the Future of Integral Education”1.) What is the essence of "integral education" as defined by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother? I will ask participants to share their sense of the core elements and bring the results of an informal survey to share. 2.) What is actually happening in the US that is being called "integral" or "integrative" education? I will share what I know from higher education and ask participants to add from their store of experience and knowledge. 3.) To what extent should we be presenting, advocating for, and/or making known Sri Aurobindo and Mother's vision and work? Little mention is made of their names even when the inspiration comes from their work. Are there reasons to insist on going to the original source? If so, how should this be done? If not, how can the original work more fully inform and inspire moves toward truly integral forms of education in the US (or elsewhere)? Margo W. MacLeod has spent the last 20 years and more in the academic world primarily as faculty and administrator at Goddard College, distinguished for its progressive, holistic approach to education. She has also been honored to serve on the board of the Foundation for World Education.
“Integral Healing: The Work of Psychology and Spirituality”The movement from an ego-centered to a soul-centered psychology demands an integral vision of the human being as well as the means to unite the disparate dimensions of this being. Drawing from his therapeutic work in Alchemy of the Soul, Arya will show how Sri Aurobindo's evolutionary paradigm of the human psyche coupled with the transpersonal psychotherapies of Mindell, Grof and Raheem forge a psychotherapeutic approach capable of integrating body, life-force, mind, soul and spirit.
Arya Maloney, LMHC, M.A. Clinical Psychology, has over thirty years experience as a psychotherapist and practitioner of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. His psychological training includes family therapy, gestalt, process-oriented psychology, holotropic breathwork and process acupressure. He is the author of Alchemy of the Soul: Integral Healing: The Work of Psychology and Spirituality. Blue Dolphin Publishing, March 2007.
“Living on the Edge of Evolution: Spirituality and Mysticism in an Evolving Universe” Is there a relationship between our personal spiritual path and humanity’s collective evolution? Is it possible that, in engaging in authentic spiritual practice, we are not merely transforming ourselves but participating in a cosmic, evolutionary process?
This workshop will guide participants on an experiential journey into the meaning, significance, and practice of spiritual transformation in light of our new, scientific understanding of evolution. Bringing together leading-edge transformational insights drawn from integral theory, evolutionary spirituality, and depth psychology, this exploration in consciousness will show you how to leap beyond the patterns of your conditioned personality and discover the dynamic aliveness and boundless creativity of your own Evolving Self. Together, we will discover how our own spiritual life can be illumined and inspired by the direct recognition of the vast, evolutionary significance of every authentic step we take toward Divinity. Through conversation and individual and group exercises, we will explore:
How to awaken the “evolutionary impulse” within each of us.
The exponential transformative power of the field of collective consciousness.
Meditation & spiritual practice in an evolutionary context.
Why awakening our higher “spiritual conscience” is the key to lasting transformation.
What it means to live every moment of one’s life as an agent of evolution.
Craig Hamilton is a speaker, writer, workshop leader and transformative coach with a passion for the evolution of consciousness. He is best known for his acclaimed work as Senior Editor of the award-winning What Is Enlightenment? magazine, a post he held from 1997 to 2005. His feature articles and interviews have helped to chart the landscape of an emerging evolutionary spirituality and have contributed to the forging of a new, scientifically informed spiritual worldview bridging the great wisdom traditions of the East and the West.
Craig is also a veteran radio personality whose conversations with leading luminaries are regularly heard by New Dimensions Radio’s seven million listeners, and form the basis of the forthcoming documentary film: Toward a Science of Consciousness. He is a founding member of Ken Wilber's Integral Institute, and a participant in the Synthesis Dialogues, a 35-person interdisciplinary think tank presided over by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A 20-year spiritual practitioner, Craig is an insightful teacher whose vast mystical experience and understanding illuminates all of his work. He is currently at work on his first book, exploring the emerging worldview of evolutionary spirituality. (www.craighamilton.us)
“The Heart, Psychic Being, and Light in the Body”This lively workshop will include both audience participation and a colorful power point presentation. You will learn some of the latest findings from Heartmath Institute, Candace Pert, and Mae Wan Ho. Plus peak into your own cellular consciousness.
Soleil Lithman, MA, is founder of The Hladina Method, an evolutionary healing process for discovering the psychic being and integrating cellular consciousness. She gave a very successful 3 week training program in Auroville in March 2007. Her 19 AV interns continue to practice there. Soleil has been part of the Integral Yoga since 1971.
“Service and the Psychic: Reaching Beyond our Borders”In the Integral Yoga, the Psychic Being and the Psychic Transformation are the foundation upon which all else is built. In this interactive workshop, we will explore how the Psychic can be the foundation of our work in the world as well.
Will Moss first learned of Sri Aurobindo and Mother in 1970 in Boston. It was 'love at first sight', like coming home. He participated in the first AUM gatherings in New Hampshire. He joined the board of the SAA in 1990, and participated in the formation of both Auroconf and the Miraura web site, as well as the first Integral Psychology conference at Matagiri. He moved with his family to the coast of Maine in 2001, where he has become increasingly involved in the local Unitarian-Universalist church.
“Spirituality & Money: Supporting the Manifestation of the Future”Jerry Schwartz will initially explore the mystical and occult context of money energy. He will present conceptual frameworks and experiential practices that allow one to work with greater clarity to understand money as a spiritual force.
He will talk about how to understand the influences that affect the flow of money, including the impact of social, political, and economic forces and will conclude with the issue of directing the flow of money in serving the Divine Consciousness. He will speak of different modes and structures that can give effective form to our aspirations to use money to assist the earth’s spiritual transformation.
Jerry Schwartz, CFP®, is a 17 year Board Member and Treasurer of the Foundation for World Education. He is a Principal of Arista Investment Advisors, Ltd., a life purpose financial planning and investment management company. He began his work in this field in 1977, and has volunteered his time extensively for many years to advise non-profit organizations. He also lectures and teaches courses on money management and in using money wisely, as a transformative and redemptive spiritual power.
“The Practice of Integral Yoga” The work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is more than a philosophy or evolutionary vision for a new spirituality. Yet their work does not codify or spell out any uniform rituals, disciplines or ceremonies that one must religiously follow. This workshop will focus on the question: "How does one actually practice the Integral Yoga?"Sraddhalu Ranade is a scientist, educationist and scholar. He has been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram since he was six months old, where he grew up in the care of late Sri M. P. Pandit. He is presently involved in various activities including video productions, teacher-training programs, and software development.He has been involved in various research projects including artificial intelligence based on neural networks, multimedia search and retrieval, and educational tools. Apart from his responsibilities in editing the Service Letter, publication of books, and related activities, he also devotes time to teaching at Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education. A multi-faceted personality, he delivers talks and conducts workshops on numerous themes including Integral Education, Management, Self-Development, Indian culture, Science and Spirituality, Yoga. Over the years he has addressed many thousands of students in numerous schools, colleges and universities all over India on these themes, conducting intensive teacher-training workshops in Integral and value-based education. He has also addressed special interest groups including management associations, educationists, lawyers, doctors and scientists worldwide.
“Spheres of Influence: Visual Meditations of Light”Sri Aurobindo and the Mother embody rich sources of inspiration and experience. We open to their illumination and guidance to deepen our Divine connection. Through digital media, aspects of their shared vision will be rendered into meditations of light. From an Integral perspective, concepts, symbols, forms and color will be placed before our perception. The intention of these visual meditations is to center our consciousness, concentration, and contemplation. “…as one offers a flower, a prayer, an act to the Divine, one can offer too a created form of beauty, a song, a poem, an image, a strain of music, and gain through it a contact, a response or an experience.” (Letters on Yoga)
Margaret Astrid Phanes, M.A., MFT, is a visionary, artist and trainer. Ms. Phanes has pioneered digital art as visual meditation. As a trainer, she has worked in digital art and consciousness at UCSC University, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and the College of the Botanical Healing Arts. Currently, she teaches digital media arts and concentration meditation training at the College on Maui. She is an online facilitator for the Sri Aurobindo Darshan: The University of Tomorrow, India. Her artwork has appeared in numerous publications, art and web exhibitions. For more information on digital art as visual meditation, visit: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~phanes
“Psychospiritual Integration & Transformation: Grounding the Evolution of Consciousness into Earthly Life”The basis of our workshop is the aspiration to foster evolution of consciousness in daily life. We will integrate witness consciousness and psychic center leadership to harmonize personality elements via surrender in accepting the responsibility of each person’s mission for enabling and expressing the evolution of consciousness in their lives.Kathleen Wall, Ph.D, has been a practicing psychologist for 29 years and a student of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother for the past 20 years. She is an Associate Professor on the faculty of The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) in Palo Alto, California. She is Co-Leader with Carl Peters M.D. of the Group for Integral Consciousness, co-author with Gary Ferguson of Rites of Passage: Celebrating Life’s Changes, Beyond Words Publishing, Oregon. She is co-developer with Carl Peters M.D. of Psychospiritual Integration and Transformation (PSIT), which they teach at ITP and in private workshops. PSIT is a psychospiritual counseling theory and method based on the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Carl Peters, MD, MA (Art), has aspired to integrate psychotherapy and spiritual practice for more than 45 years. His consciousness has evolved via training as a psychiatrist, Zen Buddhism, Psychosynthesis and study of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s teachings (25 Years). Kathleen Wall Ph.D. and Carl co-created Psycho-Spiritual Integration & Transformation which they taught for 6 years at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and in professional workshops.

Friday, April 27, 2007

All Orissa Sri Aurobindo Study Circle Conference Souvenir 2007

Prayer
Dada Writes...
Message from Shri Amal Kiran
Message from Prof. Chhote Narayan Sharma
Message from Shri Niranjan Naik
Need of the Hour Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya
SRI AUROBINDO UNIVERSITY– M.V. Nadkarni
“HOLD TIGHT” Shyama Kanungo

◆◆◆
The photograph of The Mother and the messages of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo printed in this Souvenir are with due permission from the Managing Trustee, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.
Prayer
Sweet Mother,
Pranams at Thy Lotus Feet.
By Thy Infinite Grace the 37th All Orissa Sri Aurobindo Study Circle
Conference is going to be held at Matrubhaban, Cuttack on 4th, 5th, 6th
and 7th of April 2007.
In this congregation, all Thy children come together for inspiration
and interaction with each other and to plan out the programme for the
coming year.
This year starts with the Centenary of Sri Ramakrushna Das (Babaji
Maharaj) which will be celebrated in Orissa from 2007 to 2009.
We all aspire your concrete Presence, Guidance and Protection to
lead us towards Thy Glorious Will. Please be Present in all our decisions and
use these for Thy Work.
Let this land of Orissa be Thy own abode.
With deep love and gratitude at Thy Feet,
Thy Children
Members of
All Orissa Sri Aurobindo
Study Circle Committee
Matrubhaban, Cuttack
Message from Shri Amal Kiran
SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM PONDICHERRY
Once you make a resolve never draw it back.
Amal Kiran 17. 03. 2007
FOR THE STUDY CIRCLE
Never think your study is enough. Go on until you have everything by heart. There alone will Sri Aurobindo’s inmost wish be carried out.
Amal Kiran 15. 12. 2004
Message from Prof. Chhote Narayan Sharma
SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM PONDICHERRY
The people of Orissa are fortunate in having a pioneer in the figure of
Shri Rama Krishna Dasji inspiring them towards the message of the Mother
and Sri Aurobindo with a many-sided vision of the Divine perfection and sweep.
Ram Krishna Das was, before he came to Ashram, in Ayodhya steeped in Ram
Bhakti. It is said he was fairly advanced in the discipline he followed. It was, as
he advanced he heard of Sri Aurobindo and he longed to take the path that
promised still beyond. In Ayodhya his instrument was Namjap – repeating the
name of the Lord. This instrument has a tested efficacy as its simplicity is
such that it can be adopted and practised by all alike. Ram Krishna Dasji or
Babaji Maharaj passed this instrument into the hands of the Oriya people who
came to him for guidance. This is the simple story of how collectivity of Orissa
opened to the Divine Vision of the sage of Pondicherry.
But there is a symbolic significance of the whole episode. Babaji was
born in a rural area of Orissa, in a family of moderate means. As such he
harmonised with the culture of the people. For unlike some other provinces of
India Orissa has been rooted deep in the ancient Indian culture without much
preference to the modern ways. Men of faith and simplicity, they clung to
Babaji and through whom the great vision of Sri Aurobindo. Now the rural
culture of Orissa, claims a pioneer movement in a most advanced vision which
fulfils the earthly life and transcends all known ideals to man.
Simplicity and faith are the two grand elements of this miracle and my
prayer to the Mother is for helping all her children in their efforts to cultivate
these elements in the course of sadhana.
C. N. Shrma

Message from Sri Niranjan Naik
NAVAJYOTI KARYALAYA SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM PONDICHERRY
Srima Sri Aurobindo
Dear Gadadhar babu & Prasad babu,
Received your letter and came to know that the 37th All Orissa
Sri Aurobindo Study Circle Conference is going to be organised at Matrubhaban,
Cuttack during 4th to 7th April, 2007. Along with it, Babaji Maharaj’s birth
centenary observation is also going to be started. You have requested for a
message. Here goes a message of the Mother along with Her Blessings for the
occasion.
“Be faithful to your ideal and dedicate your work to the Divine.”
With all our good wishes.
Sincerely
Niranjan Naik

Need of the Hour
PRANAB KUMAR BHATTACHARYA
17.4.93
Every age presents a programme as an Ideal for its manifestation. Those who follow it, survive and progress. Those who do not pay any heed to it, either fall back or perish. This is the law of Nature. This is the process of worldly evolution. At present, we see that men in general have nothing really to cling to, nothing really to look forward to. The old values are gone, and the new one is not in their vision. So there is confusion everywhere. Men are doing whatever they fancy, and as a consequence they are getting drowned more and more in misery and misfortune, and bringing chaos everywhere. It is found both in collective as well as in individual life of man.
This new age we announce may well be called Sri Aurobindo’s age. He had come into this world with a New Light and a New Hope and in collaboration with The Mother has given us a New Programme.
To sum up all they have said in a nutshell we may say :
Our Ideal is - Spiritual Height and Material Perfection.
Our Way is - Self-culture and Dedicated Service.
Men of any faith, religion and culture can follow their truth to rise to their highest consciousness and try to make this world a perfect place to live in.
Each individual tries to educate himself in all parts of his being- physical, vital, mental and psychic and spiritual, invoking a New Spirit to descend, get hold of him and make him do the right thing in a right way.
Thus, preparing himself fully and being well equipped with a tremendous power, he gives a dedicated and selfless service to collectivity, in his own field, to build a better world.
This is the age of Maximum of Honesty and Maximum of Sincerity.
This is the Need of the Hour.
◆◆◆
What We Must Do Now
We must try to :
1. Do our work as properly and as perfectly as we can.
2. Develop our mind, life and body, with proper culture and study, to the maximum of their possibilities.
3. Keep a constant contact with our psychic being by Japa, prayer, meditation or simply by remembering.
4. Keep ourselves open upward so that when the higher forces come down, they can enter into us and do their work.
5. Remain quietly happy all the time.
As learnt from Mother.
Pranab (18.10.2000)
Message for Sri Aurobindo University by Sri Sriballav Panigrahi
Humanity is the casuality of the present materialistic age. To save the mankind
from this growing menace, promotion of humanism as well as divinity in the society
as cherished by Mahayogi Sri Aurobindo is inevitable, which, being a formidable and
challenging task needs to be addressed to with all sincerity and seriousness of priority.
Sri Aurobindo University which is a unique entity in the comity of Universities
is destined to play a significant role in this direction. It is gratifying to note that this
infant University has already began functioning in right earnest.
On the auspicious occasion of the 1st Anniversary of the Sri Aurobindo
University I convey my worm greetings to all those connected with the University and
pray to the Divine Mother for the success of their noble endeavour.
Sriballav Panigrahi
“HOLD TIGHT”
SHYAMA KANUNGO
This was what Dada ( Sri Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya) had recently expressed as he gently replied to a query by Prasad and Nirakar as to what attitude we should take in the present circumstances. Pranabda’s other advice was “Harmony at any cost”.
When devastating forces are trying break and destroy what The Divine Mother is building these
two short but mighty directives of Dada are our watch words. These are the basis and stronghold of vindicating our faithfulness to Her, standing by Her, standing with Her, standing on Her side exclusively. What is it that we have to hold tightly onto?
It is to the Light, Love and Power of the Ideal which is none other than The Mother Sri Aurobindo Themselves. Again if it is “Harmony at any cost” does it mean at the cost of Truth? There may be apparently a temporary withdrawal into nonaction leaving all in the Hands of The Mother but certainly not a participation in falsehood and wrong channelisation. We would be defeating the very purpose of maintenance of true harmony. In our foolishness and ambitiousness and insecurity we become tools in the hands of the hostile forces. These propensities make us dishonest, they make us tell lies, they make us cover up, hide and dissimulate facts and take steps that disrupt organizations and centres forgetting our goal. Spite, scheming, plotting, manipulating, seeming to appear before others what one is not, adopting thousand different secret as well as overt moves to grab at advantages from situations solely for selfish ends. We cheat ourselves to believe that the victory of our cunningness and plotting is Her Victory! On the contrary it is the triumph of the hostility that we had sided.
  • How can a true child of The Mother survive in this dichotomy?
  • Is that little voice of the psychic being totally throttled?
  • Is there no uneasiness within?
  • Over all these years that we declare ourselves to be the Mother’s children have we not graduated to this minimum standard of living by a single-minded will?

True – The Mother tolerates all. She showers upon all the same loving benevolence and gives us the chance to surface out of the bitter vortex of hell that we had flung ourselves into. Indeed it is a self created hole of unhappiness that we wriggle and twist and turn missing the golden chances of coming out into a freer happier air. What is the thermocautery and last resort that can save us from ourselves and recover our robust faith and trust in the mission bestowed by The Mother? For surely Her Work will be done come what may. It happily does not depend on us. It is only the foolish and unfortunate who will become laggards on the way. There was something that Babaji implored all of us to undertake and probably something which he died for. He had whispered in his frail voice when he bade goodbye to all- telling probably why he is leaving- ‘Japa could not be done’.
Let this poignant remark set aflame in us all the massive will to do just that – repeat Her Sweet Name constantly-”all the time, all the time” and float in the waves of Peace and Light and Force and Love to ‘drink life back in streams of honey fire and recover the lost habit of happiness’. Therein lies the Victory over all adversity – therein lies the certitude of the New World.

All Orissa Sri Aurobindo Study Circle Conference Souvenir 2007 Souvenir (PDF)

Annual conference of SAETG will be held at Matrukshetra, Dedar Nuapali, Sambalpur

ALL ORISSA STUDY CIRCLE COMMITTEE, ORISSA
SRI AUROBINDO ENGINEERING & TECHNICAL GROUP
MATRUBHABAN, CUTTACK
The following points were discussed in April Conference 2007.
1. SAETG special Pathachakra to be held in the residence of a member
every month in rotation. Minimum 12 pathachakras in 12 members
residence in each district.
2. Bigyana Parishada in each school.
3. Science Exhibition in school/ district/ zone level./ State Level
4. Workshop on safety & environment issues, disaster management,
Energy conservation.
Announcements
I. A state level training workshop of SAETG district conveners shall be
held in Matrubhaban on 17th June 2007( Sunday) at 10 A.M. District
conveners are requested to ensure attendance of respective SAETG
conveners. If SAETG convener can not attend for any reason, then
respective District conveners are requested to attend positively.
II. All Orissa Science Exhibition will be held in first Sunday of August
2007. It is proposed this time to organize at Panikoili. We desire that
members of Bigyana Parisada attend the exhibition, even if
participation is a problem for some reasons. Application for
participation must reach Matrubhaban latest by 30th June 2007.
III. We are pleased to announce that the Annual conference of SAETG
will be held at Matrukshetra, Dedar Nuapali, Sambalpur 0n 14th
October 2007, Sunday. The detail programme will be intimated later
on. The theme of conference this year will be COMMUNICATION
ENGINEERING. Prof. Biswanath Roy of Pathamandir, Calcutta has
kindly consented to be present in the conference.
IV. A new SAETG special Pathachakra shall be held at Sambalpur in the
residence of Er Premananda Samal of Sambalpur on 19th April 2007.
V. A new SAETG special Pathachakra shall be held at Berhempur in the
residence of Er Ananda Subudhi of Berhempur on 27th May 2007.
Printed and published by Sri Gadadhar Mishra on behalf of the Matrubhaban Trust & Printed at Graphic Art Offset Press, Nuapatna, Cuttack-1 & Published at Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack - 753 013.
Editor : Shri Gadadhar Mishra, Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack - 753013
THE MATRUBHABAN PATRA APRIL 2007
RNI Regn. No. 65218/91 Registered OR/CK (C) -17/2006-08 Annual Subscription Rs. 30.00 only

The Summer Refresher Training Camp of the Teachers of Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres of Orissa

To The Secretary / Principal of
All Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre
Dear Brother/Sister,
The Summer Refresher Training Camp of the Teachers of Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres” of Orissa will be organised during 7th to 27th May 2007 for 21days at Matrubhaban, Cuttack. The camp will be inaugurated on 7th evening and will be closed with afternoon session of 27th afternoon. Camp fees per person has been fixed as Rs. 600 only. You are requested to send as many teachers as possible to attend the camp. The total camp will include theory
classes on Philosophy of Integral Education, Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and other classes e.g. Psychology, methods etc. with workshops on following subjects. Unlike other years, Theory classes and workshops will be held alternately after two days. Therefore, each teacher must attend the entire camp in order to participate in all activities.
You are requested to send the names of the participants immediately to The Principal, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Higher Studies and Research, Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack- 753013. The participants must come prepared with the following things with them.
1. Love for the Mother
2. Courage, Patience and Enthusiasm
3. 2 pairs of daily use dress, Bedsheet etc
4. 1 Pair dress with PT Shoes for Physical Exercise.
5. Own Note book, Pen etc.
6. Own books for Reference
7. Musquito net may be used separately.
List of Subjects for Workshop
1. English
2. Oriya
3. Math
4. Science
5. Sanskrit
6. Social Studies
7. Music
8. Physical Education
9. Painting and Handwork
10. Pre-Primary
11. Computer

Prasad Tripathy
Secretary, New Life Education Trust
Please don’t bring children with U. In case you come with children you will not be admitted as a participant.
NEW LIFE EDUCATION TRUST MATRUBHABAN, SRI AUROBINDO MARG, CUTTACK-753013 E.mail - ctk_matrubha@sancharnet.in Please visit us : www.matrubhaban.com THE MATRUBHABAN PATRA APRIL 2007

New Life Education Trust - 08.04.2007

The world is a spiritual paradox
Invented by a need in the Unseen,
A poor translation to the creature’s sense
Of That which for ever exceeds idea and speech,

(Savitri / 649) – Sri Aurobindo
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE NEW LIFE EDUCATION TRUST
HELD AT MATRUBHABAN, CUTTACK ON 08.04.2007
A meeting of the New Life Education Trust was held at Matrubhaban,
Cuttack on 08.04.2007 (Sunday) at 10 A.M. under the presidentship
of Sri Sriballabh Panigrahi, President of the Trust. The meeting
started with the observation of two minutes silence at the lotus feet
of the Mother. Then the agenda was taken up for discussion.
Sri Prasad Tripathy, Secretary of the Trust readout the minutes of
the last meeting of the Trust held at Matrubhaban, Cuttack on 16-
17 December, 2006 for the approval of the members and
simultaneously placed the action taken report on a few issues.
The decision of the Trust was reiterated that every member
present in the meeting must take initiative for ensuring maximum
participation of students and teachers in the various state level
programmes conducted by the Trust, viz, students’ meet and teachers’
summer refresher training programme and workers’ meet (Puja
vacation), etc.
It was revealed in the meeting that inspite of clear instruction/
advice not to appear in the Class VII Common Board examination,
a few schools are still appearing in the said examination this year.
The members took a very serious view to this and insisted to get
those schools delisted. However, it was decided to issue showcause
notice to these schools as to why the Trust should not delist
these schools. The members pointed out that this year Patnagarh
(Balangir), Irrigation Colony, Jeypore (Koraput), Rajabagicha,
Balasore, Sindurpank (Sambalpur) and Bhuban (Dhenkanal) schools
are a few among others who have appreared at the Common Board
examination for Class VII. The meeting once again reiterated its
decision not to appear at the Common Board examination for Class
V or VII in future.
It was revealed in the meeting that a few schools affiliated to
the Trust are also getting their Std. VII students admitted in other
general school, may be for allowing the students to appear in the
Board examination through the other school.
This was felt to be a bad precedence and should be stopped
forthwith.
The solution to these problems could be the introduction of
Trust published textbooks upto Std. VII. All the members were advised
to ensure that all the schools in their areas adopt Trust published
books definitely.
It was found out during the countersignature of the School Living
Certificates/Transfer Certificates issued by the schools that admission
registers are not meticulously maintained. It was decided that during
April Conference every year as usual the certificates will continue to
be countersigned by the Secretary after the records are verified by
the Trust Coordinators of the respective area with the assistance of
the Trust members of that area. It was felt that most of the schools
are not submitting the consolidated result sheets with abstract of
marks. The Secretary was requested to ensure production of duplicate
copy of result sheet before countersigning the Certificates.
In the matter of introduction of uniform dress code for the
teachers it was decided to take up the matter in the annual Workers’
meet to be held during Puja Vacation for taking a final decision.
The members re-emphasized the decision of the Trust not to
become members of EPF until the matter has been decided in the
High Court. It was further discussed and decided that each member
of the sponsoring pathachakra and teachers of the school will swear
affidavits renewing their commitment to the selfless service in the
school as a devotee of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
Of late it came to light that at some of our centres due to
internal conflicts/disputes amongst Pathachakra members/teachers/
parents the image of the schools are tarnished. Even at some
centers they have moved to courts and sought the intervention of
the outside agencies like police. After detailed discussion on the
recent happenings at some schools it was resolved in the meeting
as under:
The Managing Committee of the school will be formed by the
sponsoring Pathachakra and the M.C. will be answerable to the
Pathachakra.
In the event of dispute arising on any matter the same will be
referred to the New Life Education Trust for taking a final decision
on it, and the decision so taken shall be accepted by all. This has
been approved by the Govt. in the Scheme of Integral Education.
As per the scheme of Integral Education approved by the Govt. in
its Education Department the Managing Committee of each School
in the functional formation of the sponsoring Pathachakra. Again in
the GO VI EA (Scheme)-34/86 61/85/EYS dated 6.02.87 it was
decided that the M.C. will consist of the following members: It is
further decided that the M.C. thus constituted will be a functional
formation of the Sponsoring Pathachakra and all members of M.C.
should normally be the members of the Pathachakra.
In case the decision of the Trust is not abided by, the only
option will be delist such school.
It was decided that at centres where court cases are pending
such cases will be referred to the Trust immediately within 15 days
time. These cases will be viewed by a Committee consisting of
Sri Sriballabh Panigrahi, President, Sri Mohapatra Nilamani
Sahu, Adviser, Sri Gadadhar Mishra, Vice-President, Sri Sankar
Mohanty, Joint Secretary, Kum. Anjali Tripathy,
Sri Prasad Tripathy, Secretary as Convenor of the Committee.
The first meeting of the Committee will be held by the end of April
2007.
Summer Refresher training camp for teachers: This year the
camp will be held at Cuttack from 7th to 27th May 2007. The
course fees will be Rs. 600/- for each participating teacher. Steps
will be taken to inject newness into the programme. A full day’s
programme will also be held at Dalijoda. All the Trust members were
requested to see that maximum number of teachers participate in
the said programme. At no other centre any camp will be organised
during this time.
Sanskrit Workshop at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry:
Sanskrit Department, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry is organizing
a 15 day workshop at Pondicherry from 6th to 20th June 2007. 12
teachers and twice the number of Standard VI/VII student will
participate in the said programme. Sukanti Apa (Oupada, Balasore),
Bijayalaxmi Apa (Jeypore, Koraput), Sunanda Apa (Gopinathpur,
Cuttack), Narendra Bhai (Jharsuguda), Babita Apa (Banki, Cuttack),
Aditya Bhai (Damanjodi, Koraput), Mita Apa (Dhenkanal), Ashok
Bhai (Khallikote, Ganjam), Umesh Bhai (Dera, Anugul) were
selected to participate in the said programme. It was decided that
50 % of the expenses will be borne by Sri Aurobindo Ashram and
rest by N.L.E.T.
Visit of the students to Ashram during vacation: As per the
present practice when the students with their teachers from our
Schools visit the Ashram 50% concession in dining coupons are
permitted by the Ashram.It was felt the if advance intimation is
given to Navajyoti Karyalaya with copy to NLET the said tour
programme can be better organised and more fruitful.
Special Financial Assistance: Timely steps have been taken for
release of SFA under the plan and non-plan head.
Text Books: It was revealed in the meeting that due to nonreceipt
of manuscripts in time all the books could not be published
till date. It was stated that by the end of summer vacation all the
books will be ready
The following schools are accorded affiliation after positive
recommendations are received:
The following Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres were affiliated
as mentioned against each.
Sl. Name of the Place of SAIEC Nature of Affiliation
1. Sabulia, Ganjam Std -VI & VII Regular
2. Soro, Balesore Std - VI & VII Regular
3. Raj Nilagiri, Balesore Std - VI & VII Regular
4. Arjyapalli, Ganjam Std - V Regular
5. Biramitrapur, Sundargarh Std - V Regular
6. Bhalumal, Jharsuguda Std - V Regular
7. Baruan, Dhenkanal Std - V Regular
8. Govindpur, Dhenkanal Std - V Regular
9. Kalinga, Dhenkanal Std - V Regular
10. Jari, Jajpur Std - V Regular
11. Hukutola, Jagatsinghpur Std - V Regular
12. Manuapalli, Ganjam Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
13. Paharsirigid, Baragarh Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
14. Kutra, Sundargarh Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
15. Panchapada, Dhenkanal Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
16. Netraji Nagar, Cuttack Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
17. Mangalpur, Jajpur Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
18. Remuna, Balesore Std - V- 2 Years Provisional
19. Bhadua Bhanduripalli, Balesore -do-
20. Karatutha, Borikhi, Jagatsinghpur -do-
21. Mundala, Alanahat, Jagatsinghpur -do-
22. Kothapada, Kuhunda, Cuttack -do-
The following Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres have
applied for affiliation. The Members mentioned against each are
requested to visit the centres and report to NLET for extending
team affiliation.
SL. Name of the place of SAIEC Name of the member to
(For Affiliation of Std- V, VI & VII) visit and Submit
1. Binika, Sonpur Braja Mohan Behera Indramani
2. Themra, Sambalpur Prafulla Panda Purna Chandra Mahanta
3. Sunabeda-1, Koraput Prasanta Swain Surendra Nath Das
4. Gadakujang, Jagatsinghpur Narayan Agasti Sarbeswar Mohapatra
5. Barigaon, Keonjhar Janardan Acharya Purna Chandra Mahanta
6. Bellari, Kendrapara Bhagabati Prasad Das Ramesh Ch. Dalai
7. Padmapur, Jagatsinghpur Narayan Agasti Ramesh Ch. Dalai
(For Affiliation of New Education Centres)
1. Bansha, Naygaon, Jagatsinghpur Narayan Agasti Ramesh Ch. Dalai
The following schools could not be taken into consideration
as the visiting report from the concerned members have not been
received in the Trust. However, they are again requested to submit
their visiting report as early as possible, so that their cases of affiliation
may be considered in the next meeting.
Shyama Sundar-Anugula, Rairakhol- Sambalpur, Balimela
Malkangiri, Raj-sunakhala-Nayagarh, Jaloi-Sonepur, Parasumal-
Anugul, Gopabandhu Nagar- Balugaon, Khurda, Nahiadia-Kendrapara,
Gambharimunda-Khurda, Koira- Sundargarh, Susua- Jajpur.
Printed and published by Sri Gadadhar Mishra on behalf of the Matrubhaban Trust & Printed at Graphic Art Offset Press, Nuapatna, Cuttack-1 & Published at Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack - 753 013.
Editor : Shri Gadadhar Mishra, Matrubhaban, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Cuttack - 753013
E.mail - ctk_matrubha@sancharnet.in Please visit us : www.matrubhaban.com
THE MATRUBHABAN PATRA APRIL 2007
RNI Regn. No. 65218/91 Registered OR/CK (C) -17/2006-08 Annual Subscription Rs. 30.00 only

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

To foster intra- and inter-community dialog

The Purpose of SCIY (pronounced "sci-y")
by rjon on Fri 11 Aug 2006 07:50 AM PDT Permanent Link
Our Vision: To consider emerging planetary science and culture in the light of Sri Aurobindo's integral yoga through mutually respectful dialogue, creative imagination, critical inquiry and non-dual epistemologies.
Our Mission: To discern trends within contemporary arts, sciences and technologies which appear to facilitate (or not) the co-evolution of integral spirituality, scientific research and emerging planetary culture.
Our Goals: To foster intra- and inter-community dialog among those who actively aspire to create a terrestrial environment which will advance an integral evolution of consciousness and thus a world of increasing truth, beauty and sustainable human unity.
Who we are: The founders and editors of SCIY are engaged in the study and practice of Sri Aurobindo's "Integral Yoga," a non-sectarian spiritual path toward realizing "a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity."* - Our aspiration for SCIY is to foster inclusive scientific, cultural and spiritual research that serves this realization. We invite those who share this aspiration to join us.
* Quote from Sri Aurobindo's spiritual colleague, Mirra Alfassa (also known as "the Mother"), in her Charter for the Auroville universal township project being built near Pondicherry, India.
"There are people who love adventure. It is these I call, and I tell them this:
'I invite you to the great adventure...' " more » Print Article Posted to: Main Page

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

India's Reunion and World Union

Aurovilians being an inspired and always creative folk, it goes without saying that the township's growth brings a steady stream of sometimes major and sometimes perhaps lesser creations along with it. What they have in common is that all of them carry and communicate - each in their own way- a particular something of Auroville.., be it a lingering vibration or practical information, a memory or melody.., a tone, a touch..
And while you may find many of these already mentioned in our Art & Culture and other pages, we here intend to offer you newer creations as and when they emerge.For your enjoyment!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir is the first public institute outside Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry

Let us give ourselves entirely and sincerely to the Divine and we shall enjoy His protection.
The Mother [Words of the Mother, Vol. 15 Page: 51]
*******************************
Respected Sir/Madam
This is the newsletter for April, 2007.
The Mother's final arrival in Pondicherry was on 24th April, 1920. To remember the occasion members of Youth section of Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir, Kolkata have published their QUARTERLY YOUTH E-MAGAZINE "PROGRESS". Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir is the first public institute outside Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.
"PROGRESS" has completed its 2nd year journey . So far we have published 9 issues of the e-magazine. Please go through all the issues and send us your opinion on the e-magazine.
In this month Agomoni Das is continuing her presentation of "GRACE DIVINE"- collection of writings of Sri Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya (Dada), Director of the Physical Education Department of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (S.A.I.C.E.).
She is also continuing her writing, the 4th part of her "Reminiscences Of My Childhood In The Ashram".
So please check the sections and give us much needed guidance. Please send us your opinion, because your opinion will lead us in our future progress and will be your golden footmark at our website. Please stay with us, support us and guide us. We are waiting for your kind and valuable visit at our website. With regards
Pushkar ‘VEDPRAKASH’ Mitra
C.E.O.
www.matrimandir-habra.org
P.O.-Habra Prafullanagar Dist: 24 Pgs(N) West Bengal Pin-743268 India
E-mail:
ma_sriaurobindo@rediffmail.com Phone- 91-3216-237198

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Prof. Chittaranjan Das to speak on ‘The Synthesis of Yoga’

Hrushikesh Panda informs that a Swadhyay (study) Camp will be held between 06.05.07 and 10.05.07 where the first five chapters of ‘The Synthesis of Yoga’ would be taken up for study. Prof. Chittaranjan Das has consented to inaugurate after which Rabindra Kumar Padhi and Prof. Prafulla Chandra Mishra will continue the discussions. Those interested to attend may contact him at Sri Aurobindo Study Circle, At/PO. Tihidi, Dist. Bhadrak, Orissa – 756130 (Ph. 98616-14010). [Source: Navaprakash, TNM]

Suhrud work & study Camp at Rourkela

Pabitra Kumar Mohanty informs that the next Summer Suhrud work & study Camp will be held between 22.05.07 and 31.05.07 at Sri Aurobindo Rourkela School where ‘The Human Cycle’ would be taken up for study. Those interested to attend may contact him at Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir, Rourkela, Dist. Sundargarh, Orissa – 769002 (Ph. 0661-2650909, 94372-20957). [Source: Navaprakash, TNM]

Friday, April 20, 2007

There are times when national or cultural fault lines suddenly seem to open up

The current issue April 2007 Editorial:
Auroville is sometimes described as a multicultural society. If ‘multicultural' refers merely to a diversity of nationalities this is true, if not necessarily notable: almost any inner city school in London or New York contains more nationalities than Auroville. But if ‘multicultural' implies not simply the coexistence of different cultures, but a society which celebrates and is enriched by the diversity of its cultures, we move on to more problematic terrain. Because while Auroville is generally a success story in terms of the ability of its various cultures to live and work together, there are times when national or cultural fault lines suddenly seem to open up.
Why is this? The truth seems to be that many if not most Aurovilians continue to be influenced, to some extent at least, by the attitudes and perspectives of the culture in which they grew up. This is hard for us to accept – particularly as many of the people who are drawn to Auroville are attempting to reach beyond the limitations of nationality or caste – but unless we acknowledge this and start working creatively with it, both personally and as a community, it is likely that further difficulties will lie ahead and we will fail to utilise the true richness of our cultural diversity.
In the April issue of Auroville Today we try to throw some light on this sensitive issue. Doudou Diène speaks about his experience, as UN Special Rapporteur, of racism and discrimination in different countries of the world; two South Africans – one black, one white – who recently ran cultural sensitization programmes in Auroville talk about how they managed to transcend profound personal differences, and Aurovilians explore different cultural perspectives on issues which are central to the development of Auroville as a true community.
Other topics highlighted in this issue of Auroville Today are how the community is providing for the basic needs of the residents; a report on an exhibition on Mother's Balcony and Terrace Darshans; how to ensure the water supply of the bioregion;a memory of Erica, an elderly Aurovilian who returned to Germany; encountering Michael Murphy, the recently appointed member of the International Advisory Council; and we portray snapshots of photographer Sebastian Cortès. The issue ends with a report on Adventura: Auroville's adventurers.
By following the links you are welcome to read a few of the articles. We wish you happy reading. Please subscribe if you want to read more, or ask for a free copy. Details are elsewhere on this web page.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The work in Orissa is a massive translation of Sri Aurobindo's formula of change in the general society

WHY SRI AUROBINDO MAHILA PATHACHAKRA? - Shyama Kanungo Matrubhaban, Cuttack
The question of a separate "Mahila" pathachakra as Sri Aurobindo Mahila Pathachakra ever raises its head in the minds of Mother and Sri Aurobindo's devotees. The Mother Herself shows the way for a true solution as in all issues. The "thesis" - the "anti-thesis" and then the "synthesis".
So what is the "thesis" ? ...
The Sri Aurobindo Mahila Pathachakra is a brain-child of our beloved Sri Ramakrishna Das. Babaji Maharaj has aspired, hoped and prayed for Orissa to open to the Wonderful New World being created by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. He himself was a fast runner and wanted this new world to come soon. It was his concomitant feeling that creation of a Mahila pathachakra along with the other forums like Yuva and Chhatra samaj (Now, Army of Light) would expedite the ultimate goal of a collective realisation. The seed of Sri Aurobindo's Thought and Action had to be implanted in this section of the Society if at all the manifestation of the New World had to be hastened.
The logic- women are center of a family; they beget the future generation; societies where women are educated and have a major share in decision making have much better social and health indices. Spiritually they are naturally self giving; their psychic being is more in the forefront; they are simple and faithful . Yet at present they are relegated to the background; they do not participate in the mainstream of social life and development although they comprise nearly 50% of the population. A special attention to this section and inculcation of the great ideology of "Yoga of Transformation" in them would certainly speed up the work of 'Perfecting Life in the Image of the Spirit'. Hence the need for propagation of Sri Aurobindo Women's Study circles where women can sit together without fear and shyness amongst themselves and grow out of all their limitations and evolve as powerful instruments of the new world. The main building bricks of the new base are Education, Health and Brahmacharya. The entire work envisioned by the great Masters would get a massive thrust.
The "anti-thesis"....
This separate forum was even questioned by Prapatti. I remember how Babaji Maharaj had smilingly disarmed him when he asked whether they would be a separate movement or part of this study circle movement that had been activated in Orissa. Babaji Maharaj had reiterated that they would very much be a part of this movement.
The most powerful voice against a separate forum is embodied in a sentence of none other than The Mother Herself: "For Heavens sake can't you forget that you are a girl or a boy?" In Sri Aurobindo Ashram the agenda is Supramentalisation. The resulting 'supramental being' is neither a man nor a woman. The Ashram does not have a different agenda for women and another one for men. All carry on their individual and collective sadhana to exceed normal manhood and womanhood .
  • Why then a separate group or platform for women here in Orissa under the banner of a "Sri Aurobindo Mahila Pathachakra"?
  • Are we trying to perpetuate the difference between the two sexes?
  • Are we trying to put up one section against the other?
  • Is this a forum created to make women work unhindered by male supremacy and chauvinism?
  • Is this forum to uphold the rights of women?
  • Is this organisation totally an independent one of one gender and identifiable as "Of the Women, By the Women, For the Women"?
Should the difference in gender which was merely a physical one created by Nature for a mere objective of propagation of the species - be highlighted and perpetuated by the followers of the Great Revolutionary Forerunner, living a millennium in advance, who dreamed of a new race where the process of creation itself would be changed into a luminous one so that it no longer carries with it the obligatory degradation it now has that makes it imperative for the physical structure to be different with physical organs required for procreation? We are "Human Beings" we are candidates for "Divinity".
  • IS THERE ANY OTHER AGENDA at this evolutionary juncture?
  • Is there any other solution for the evolutionary crises confronting creation?

It shall amount to forgetting one's "Goal" should we deflect to any other objective.

The "synthesis"...
Our only ultimate goal is nothing else but "Total Transformation of the 'Human' phenomenon to a 'Superhuman' one - an extremely difficult, arduous and almost impossible a task when delegated to the individual or community. The present state of entire humanity is far at the nether end of this tremendous achievement that is envisaged. A state of torpor and meaningless dull existence prevails without any sense of direction in the entire society today. All moral and spiritual values are at their lowest ebb. There is an utter collapse of value system. The dredges of western society is keenly picked up strangely neglecting its positive and rational mind that represents conquest of mind over matter. The conquest of mind over the spirit is derided as myth and set aside while quality of life is smothered in horrifying laziness and inertia which breeds degradation of every avenue of our current pattern of living.

  • Should things be left as such or should we pay heed to the clarion call of the greatest of thinkers and seers and make both collective and individual effort for evolving out of this deplorable condition?
The work in Orissa is a massive translation of Sri Aurobindo's formula of change in the general society and therefore has to strategically prioritise areas which would essentially expedite the process of change. Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a place where these basic flaws have been done away with therefore not requiring an initial special treatment. Hence an outer comparison of outer forms and processes is incongruous.
Babaji's wisdom and rare foresight is to be lauded. The first phase of the work was organization and propagation of study circles whereby the society is first induced with the new thought and new way of life with totally new modes of living . It is here that special need-based areas have to be taken up - one amongst such immediate needs is awakening women to the synthesis of the best of east and west. They are too much at the background, too much ingrained in the old unprogressive sanskaras. It is a 'time-bound' project to prepare consciously the future generation as well as exceed their own too human existence and dream with the Master Dreamer as a candidate for "Divinity." And let us beware- if women remain unprepared or unchanged they can be as great a retarding force at this evolutionary juncture.

With the Sri Aurobindo Study Circle with its women's, youth's, student's and children's wings as base, other avenues have to be paid attention to like education, health, technology, art, literature, agriculture, commerce, and finally, administration and politics. Into all will be infused the fragrance of the New and Total Truth which the World had not known as yet. Let us not forget that it is one work -Their Work of Divinisation that is being done . We have to come out of all narrowness and strife and stand unitedly, strongly as one massive instrument in the Hands of the Divine to allow it to carry out Its intention. Mahila_Pathachakra.doc # ctk_matrubha@sancharnet.in

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Mother’s role in the 1971 war

by Prof. Kittu Reddy
Sri Aurobindo retired from active political life in 1910. But this did not mean, as it was then supposed, that he had retired into some height of spiritual experience devoid of any further interest in the world or in the fate of India. It could not mean that, for the very principle of his Yoga was not only to realise the Divine and attain to a complete spiritual consciousness, but also to take all life and all world activity into the scope of this spiritual consciousness and action and to base life on the Spirit and give it a spiritual meaning.
Consequently even in his retirement, Sri Aurobindo kept a close watch on all that was happening in the world and in India and actively intervened whenever necessary, but solely with a spiritual force and silent spiritual action; for it is part of the experience of those who have advanced far in Yoga that besides the ordinary forces and activities of the mind and life and body in Matter, there are other forces and powers that can act and do act from behind and from above; there is also a spiritual dynamic power which can be possessed by those who are advanced in the spiritual consciousness, though all do not care to possess or, possessing, to use it, and this power is greater than any other and more effective. It was this force, which, as soon as he had attained to it, he used, at first only in a limited field of personal work, but afterwards in a constant action upon the world forces. He had no reason to be dissatisfied with the results or to feel the necessity of any other kind of action. Twice however he found it advisable to take in addition other action of a public kind. The first was in relation to the Second World War. At the beginning he did not actively concern himself with it, but when it appeared as if Hitler would crush all the forces opposed to him and Nazism dominate the world, he began to intervene. He declared himself publicly on the side of the Allies, made some financial contributions in answer to the appeal for funds and encouraged those who sought his advice to enter the army or share in the war effort. Inwardly, he put his spiritual force behind the Allies from the moment of Dunkirk when everybody was expecting the immediate fall of England and the definite triumph of Hitler, and he had the satisfaction of seeing the rush of German victory almost immediately arrested and the tide of war begin to turn in the opposite direction. This he did, because he saw that behind Hitler and Nazism were dark Asuric forces and that their success would mean the enslavement of mankind to the tyranny of evil, and a set-back to the course of evolution and especially to the spiritual evolution of mankind: it would lead also to the enslavement not only of Europe but of Asia, and in it India, an enslavement far more terrible than any this country had ever endured, and the undoing of all the work that had been done for her liberation. It was this reason also that induced him to support publicly the Cripps offer and to press the Congress leaders to accept it. He had not, for various reasons, intervened with his spiritual force against the Japanese aggression until it became evident that Japan intended to attack and even invade and conquer India. He allowed certain letters he had written in support of the war affirming his views of the Asuric nature and inevitable outcome of Hitlerism to become public. He supported the Cripps offer because by its acceptance India and Britain could stand united against the Asuric forces and the solution of Cripps could be used as a step towards independence. When negotiations failed, Sri Aurobindo returned to his reliance on the use of spiritual force alone against the aggressor and had the satisfaction of seeing the tide of Japanese victory, which had till then swept everything before it, change immediately into a tide of rapid, crushing and finally immense and overwhelming defeat. He had also after a time the satisfaction of seeing his previsions about the future of India justify themselves so that she stands independent with whatever internal difficulties.
It was in this context that on August 15 1947, he declared in his message:
"As a mystic, I take this identification, not as a coincidence or fortuitous accident, but as a sanction and seal of the Divine Power which guides my steps on the work with which I began life. Indeed almost all the world movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my lifetime, though at that time they looked like impossible dreams, I can observe on this day either approaching fruition or initiated and on the way to their achievement".
We have mentioned all this just to show that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were continually keeping an eye on world events and were using their force to guide the world in the desired direction. In this brief article, we are illustrating one such intervention by the Mother. This was during the war in Bangladesh in 1971.
The Bangladesh Crisis
The partition of the Indian Subcontinent in 1947 created two independent countries: India and Pakistan. India, which became independent on Aug. 15, 1947, stood for an equitable polity based on the universally accepted idea that all men were created equal and should be treated as such. Pakistan, which officially came into existence a day earlier, was based on the premise that Hindus and Muslims of the Subcontinent constituted two different nationalities and could not co-exist. The Partition created two different countries with most Muslim majority areas of undivided India going to the newly created nation, Pakistan (Land of the Pure). Pakistan was originally made up of two distinct and geographically unconnected parts termed West and East Pakistan. West Pakistan was made up of a number of races including the Punjabis (the most numerous), Sindhis, Pathans, Baluchis, Mohajirs (Muslim refugees from India) and others. East Pakistan, on the other hand, was much more homogeneous and had an overwhelming Bengali-speaking population.
The Roots of Discord
Although the Eastern wing of Pakistan was more populous than the Western one, political power since independence rested with the Western elite. This caused considerable resentment in East Pakistan and a charismatic Bengali leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, most forcefully articulated that resentment by forming an opposition political party called the Awami League and demanding more autonomy for East Pakistan within the Pakistani Federation. In 1969 November, Yahya Khan who was the President of Pakistan announced that in the end of 1970 he would hold elections in the whole of Pakistan based on universal suffrage. The election results were stunning. In East Pakistan, the Awami League led by Sheikh Mujib Rehman won 160 seats out of 162. In West Pakistan Bhutto’s People’s party won 81 out of the 138 seats. In all fairness, the Sheikh should have been Prime Minister of Pakistan, or at least the ruler of his province.
Both Yahya Khan and Bhutto were unwilling to accept the results of East Pakistan. As a result the convening of the Assembly was delayed. On 1 March 1971, Yahya Khan announced that the meeting of the National Assembly had been postponed sine die and the Maj Gen Yakub Khan had been appointed the new governor of East Pakistan. Meanwhile a secret reinforcement of troops from West Pakistan to the East via Sri Lanka began.
The Awami League reacted with a campaign of civil disobedience Yahya then announced that the National Assembly would meet on March 25 and at the same time replaced Maj Gen Yakub Khan by Lt Gen Tikka Khan. During all this time army reinforcements continued to pour in. Yahya Khan arrived in March in East Pakistan to conduct negotiations with the Awami League. Even while negotiations were going on Yahha Khan was visiting army installations and meeting army officers in the cantonment. It was decided during this visit that the meeting of the National Assembly would be postponed. On March 23, known as Pakistan Day, the Awami League declared independence and Bangladesh flags were hoisted all over Dacca. The confusion was soon over. In the early hours of 26 March, Tikka Khan issued orders to crackdown on the people of East Pakistan. Troops began to move into the city of Dacca at 2300 hours on 25 March.
A message was heard on the radio from Sheikh Mujibir Rehman. He said: "This may be my last message. From today Bangladesh is independent. I call upon the people of Bangladesh to resist the Army of occupation to the last. Your fight must go on until the last soldier of the Pakistan occupation Army is expelled from the soil of Bangladesh and final victory is achieved." Dacca came under the control of the Pakistan Army in a few hours. Mujib was arrested in the early hours of 26 March. Genocide of the people of East Bengal had begun.
Origins of the Crisis
The dawn of 1971 saw a great human tragedy unfolding in erstwhile East Pakistan. Entire East Pakistan was in revolt. In the West, General Yahya Khan, who had appointed himself President in 1969, had given the job of pacifying East Pakistan to his junior, General Tikka Khan. The crackdown of Mar. 25, 1971, ordered by Tikka Khan, left thousands of Bengalis dead and Sheikh Mujibur Rehman was arrested the next day. The same day, the Pakistani Army began airlifting two of its divisions plus a brigade strength formation to its Eastern Wing. Attempts to disarm the Bengali troops were not entirely successful and within weeks of the March 25 massacres, many former Bengali officers and troops of the Pakistani Army had joined Bengali resistance fighters in different parts of East Pakistan.
The Pakistani Army conducted several crackdowns in different parts of Bangladesh, leading to massive loss of civilian life. The details of those horrific massacres, in which defenceless people were trapped and machine-gunned, is part of Bangladeshi history. Survivors compare it to the Nazi extermination of Jews.
At the same time, the Pakistani Administration in Dhaka thought it could pacify the Bengali peasantry by appropriating the land of the Hindu population and gifting it to Muslims. While this did not impress the peasantry, it led to the exodus of more than eight million refugees (more than half of them Hindus) to neighbouring India. West Bengal was the worst affected by the refugee problem and the Indian government was left holding the enormous burden. Repeated appeals by the Indian government failed to elicit any response from the international community and by April 1971, the then Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, decided that the only solution lay in helping the Bengali freedom fighters, especially the Mukti Bahini, to liberate East Pakistan, which had already been re-christened Bangladesh by its people. Pakistan felt it could dissuade India from helping the Mukti Bahini by being provocative. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in East Pakistan took to attacking suspected Mukti Bahini camps located inside Indian Territory in the state of West Bengal. In the Western and Northern sectors too, occasional clashes, some of them quite bloody, took place. Pakistan suggested that should India continue with its plans it should expect total war as in 1965. Only this time, the Pakistanis would concentrate their forces in the West and thereby aim at capturing as much as Indian Territory as possible. The Indians, on the other hand, would be fighting a war on two fronts (while at the same time keeping a watchful eye on the Chinese borders). Given this scenario, the Pakistanis felt that India at best would be able to capture some territory in East Pakistan and lose quite a bit in the West. In the end, the Pakistanis knew that the Western powers would intervene to stop the war and what would matter was who had the most of the other's territory. Confident that another war would be as much of a stalemate as the 1965 Conflict, the Pakistanis got increasingly bold and finally on Dec. 3, 1971, reacted with a massive coordinated air strike on several Indian Air Force stations in the West. At midnight, the Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, in a broadcast to the nation declared that India was at war with Pakistan. As her words came on in million of Indian homes across the Subcontinent, the men at the front were already engaged in bitter combat...
The war lasted for 13 days precisely. To cut a long story short, the Pakistan Army in the East surrendered on Dec. 16, and on Dec. 17 India declared a cease-fire.
The Mother’s position
Let us now look at the position of the Mother regarding the Bangladesh problem. On 4th April, just 7 days after the crackdown, Mother sent a message to Indira Gandhi, "The urgent recognition of Bangladesh is imperative."
Sometime later, in June 1971, The Mother had written in a letter to a disciple:
La disparition du Pakistan est inevitable; elle aurait pu deja se produire, mais l’ignorance humaine l’a retardee.
The English translation is as follows:
The disappearance of Pakistan is inevitable; this could have already happened, but human ignorance has retarded it.
As already seen, the conflict had its genesis in March when the Pakistani President and his tough military regime, moved to crush the East Pakistani movement for greater autonomy, outlawed the Awami League, which had just won a majority in the nation's first free election, arrested its leader, Sheik Mujibur Rahman, and launched a repressive campaign that turned into a civil war with East Pakistan's Bengalis fighting to set up an independent Bangla Desh (Bengal Nation).
Nearly 1,000,000 people were killed and 10 million refugees streamed into India. "We have borne the heaviest of burdens," Mrs. Gandhi said, "and withstood the greatest of pressure in a tremendous effort to urge the world to help in bringing about a peaceful solution and preventing the annihilation of an entire people whose only crime was to vote democratically. But the world ignored the basic causes and concerned itself only with certain repercussions. Today the war in Bangla Desh has become a war on India."
Mrs Indira Gandhi had visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram to meet the Mother a few times. The first time was in September 1955 with her father, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who was then Prime Minister of India. Later she came to the Ashram in 1969 just after Shri V.V Giri became the President of India. Her third visit was in February 1971 before the general elections. It is reported that she sought Mother’s blessings for the election and she won a thumping victory getting more than two thirds of the seats.
Almost immediately after being sworn in as Prime Minister of India, the crisis in East Pakistan erupted. Within days of the onset of the crisis, Mother sent a message to Mrs Indira Gandhi on 4 April: "The urgent recognition of Bangladesh is imperative."
The Mother’s role
We shall now turn our attention to the role played by the Mother through the instrumentation of an officer of the Indian Army. Lt Col PC Bhalla was a Signal Officer and had been a disciple of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo since the early 50s. During the Bangladesh war, he was posted in the Eastern Command in Calcutta and was the Signal officer in charge of Intelligence. He had direct access to Lt General Jacob who was then Chief of Staff, Eastern Command. At that time the Eastern Army Commander was Lt General Jagjit Singh Arora. General Sam Manekshaw who was the previous Eastern Army Commander was now the Chief of Army Staff.
It was quite well known in some circles that Mother had sent a message to Mrs Indira Gandhi asking her to recognise Bangladesh. But for some reasons Mrs Gandhi could not recognise Bangladesh immediately as that would have meant war with Pakistan and the Army was not quite prepared for it.
Yet Mrs Indira Gandhi was eager to recognise Bangladesh. So, sometime in April, she called a cabinet meeting to which General Manekshaw was invited. As we shall see from the following interview of General Manekshaw, the Army was not prepared for a war immediately.
"Mrs Indira Gandhi telling Maneckshaw, "Look at this, - so many are coming in -there is a telegram from the Chief Minister of Assam, a telegram from… What are you doing about it?", she said to me.
I said nothing. What has it got to do with me?
She said, "Can't you do something? "Can’t you do something? Why don’t you do something?"
"What do you want me to do?"
"I want you to march in".
I said, "that means war". And she said, "I don’t mind if it is war".
So I sat down and said, "Have you read the Bible?"
Sardar Swaran Singh said. "What has the Bible got to do with it?"
"In the First Book, The First Chapter, the First Paragraph of the Bible, God said, ‘Let there be Light’ and there was light. So you feel, Let there be war and there shall be war. Are you ready? I certainly am not ready".
Then I said, "I will tell you what is happening? It is now the end of April. In a few days’ time the monsoon will break and in East Pakistan, when it rains, the rivers become like oceans. If you stand on one side, you can't see the other. I would be confined to the roads. The Air Force would not be able to support me and the Pakistanis would thrash me - that’s one. Secondly my armoured divisions, is in the Babina area, another one in Secunderabad. We are now harvesting. I will require every vehicle, every truck, all the road space, all the railway space to move my soldiers and you will not be able to move our crops" and I turned to Fakruddin Ali Ahmed, the Agriculture Minister and said, " If there is famine in India, they will blame you. I would not be there to take the blame". Then I turned around and said, "My armoured division which is supposed to be my strike force has got 12 tanks which are operational out of the whole lot".
Chavan asked, ‘Sam, why only 12?’
I said, "Sir, because you are the Finance Minister. I have been asking, pleading for months and you said that you have got no money. That’s why".
Then I said, "Prime Minister, if in 1962 your father had asked me as Army Chief and not General Thapar and your father had said, ‘Throw the Chinese out’, I would have turned around and told him. ‘Look, there are problems’. Now I am telling you what the problems are. If you still want me to go ahead, Prime Minister, I will guarantee you 100% defeat. Now, give me your orders".
Then Jagjeevan Ram said, "Sam, Maan Jao Na".
I said, "I have given my professional view now. Now the Government must take a decision" .
The Prime Minister did not say anything, she was red in the face and said, ‘Achcha, char baje milenge’.
Everybody walked out, I, being the junior most, was the last to leave and I smiled at her. "Chief, sit down".
So, I said, " Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, do you want me to send in my resignation on the grounds of mental health or physical?’"
She said, "Oh, sit down Sam. Everything you told me is true".
"Yes. Look it is my job to fight. It is my job to fight to win. Are you ready? I certainly am not ready. Have you internally got everything ready? Internationally have you got everything ready? I don't think so. I know what you want, but I must do it in my own time and I guarantee you 100 percent success. But I want to make it quite clear. There must be one commander. I don't mind, I will work under the BSF, under the CRPF, under anybody you like. But I will not have a Soviet telling me what to do and I must have one political master who will give me instructions. I do not want the refugee ministry, home ministry, defence ministry all telling me. Now make up your mind."
She said, 'All right Sam, nobody will interfere, you will be in command.'
However, Lt Col Bhalla was not at all happy with the situation and was very disturbed that India had not yet recognised Bangladesh. Being close to Gen Jacob, he spoke to him several times without any result. So he wrote to Shri Madhav Pandit, one of the secretaries of the Mother about his feelings. In June he came to Pondicherry and had a darshan of the Mother. No words were exchanged but he felt a little more relaxed and at peace.
On his return to Calcutta, he spoke once again to Gen Arora and Gen Jacob asking them to invade Bangladesh. This time too there was no apparent result.
In August Lt Col Bhalla came to Pondicherry once again, this time with his family and had a darshan of the Mother. Mother blessed them all very sweetly and asked Panditji to tell Bhalla to come again the next day for darshan, this time all by himself. On the second darshan, Mother looked at him long and concentrated on him and gave him a sweet smile and her blessings.
After coming down from Mother’s room, Madhav Pandit made a remark to Lt Col Bhalla: "Now the work will be done".
Bhalla returned to Calcutta charged with great energy and a lot of hope. But he found that the commanders were all a bit depressed and lacking in confidence on the situation as it was developing in East Bengal.
Charged with energy and almost a sense of mission, he spoke to General Arora and General Jacob and asked them to write to Mother. He told them that it was Mother’s war and all they needed to do was to pass on their problems to the Mother. In the meanwhile he wrote to Panditji requesting him to send a few blessing packets. These packets were duly sent to Lt Col Bhalla who gave them to five senior generals of the Eastern Command, namely: Lt Gen Arora, Lt Gen Jacob, Lt Gen Raina, Lt Gen Sagat Singh, and the Commander of 4 Corps.
It seems that Lt Gen Jacob, while talking to Col Bhalla saw the ring with Sri Aurobindo’s symbol on his hand and found it similar to the Jewish symbol. He was impressed and that prompted him to write to the Mother. Later Col Bhalla asked Panditji to send five more blessing packets. These were duly passed on to Brigadier Sethna who was the BGS, Lt General Sen, Lt General Hira and 2 other generals. As a result of all this, there was suddenly a feeling of confidence that began to grow in the Eastern Army.
We quote from a book of Maj Gen KK Tiwari, who was then the Chief Signals Officer in Eastern Command:
"It was in the third quarter of 1971, I must have been in a reflective mood one day in my office, when one of my officers, a Lt Col Bhalla - who had received his training for Signals on commissioning under me, came to see me. He asked why I was so pensive and worried, which he said was unusual for me. By that time I had been told of Top Secret Plans in outline. So I said to him, "Chum, one cannot share these things with you at present but if you had some of the problems I am facing with no solutions in sight, and when you have been given a definite no to your requests for help by all concerned, and yet you have responsibilities to discharge, you too would be more pensive." He was very quick in his reply - he had obviously come prepared for this, being a long time devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. He said," Sir, you are my old instructor, so I should not be advising you. But I have a humble submission. Whatever your worries and problems, write to the Mother in Pondicherry and ask for Her blessings and all will be well."
I did not accept the suggestion immediately. Sri Aurobindo, of course, was no more, and I hesitated a little to ask for blessings from His French lady successor. But on deeper reflection, a brief letter was sent to the Mother seeking Her blessings for my (unspecified) work. In a few days a blessings packet was received from Her. Unknown to others the same officer had gone around to almost all the top brass of HQ Eastern Command from the Army Commander on down to other heads of staff and Arms and Services like me, and we had all received the Mother’s blessings. And it was amazing how the problems began to get resolved in a strange and inexplicable way. What appeared at first as hurdles, would clear up somehow.
For the first time in its history, a regular, well organised and a much better equipped army laid down arms before the Indian Army, in an unconditional surrender on 16 December 1971 in Dacca. There were nearly 95,000 fully armed Pakistani soldiers under their commander in Chief, Lt Gen Niazi who formally surrendered to Lt Gen Aurora. I believe it was an external latent ‘force’ which came into action for India’s help; I prefer to refer to it as the ‘Divine’ intervention."
As is evident from the above description, Lt Col Bhalla had by this time got many blessing packets from Pondicherry and had distributed them to senior officers in the Eastern Army.
In September, the photographs of Gen Arora and Gen Bhalla were sent to the Mother. She saw the photos and sent blessings to them. It will be of interest to note that Gen Jacob carries the blessing packet even today with him in his pocket. Another interesting point was that the Mother had asked for a map of Bangladesh sometime in October and she kept it on her table in front of her. She concentrated daily on that map.
Things were hotting up on the Eastern front. Sometime in the end of November, General Arora called Lt Col Bhalla and informed him that the Indian Army was planning to attack East Pakistan on 5 December and that he wanted Mother’s blessings. Col Bhalla as usual, asked him write a letter to the Mother. Lt Gen Arora wrote a letter explaining briefly the position and asked Lt Col Bhalla to take it to Pondicherry and hand it over to the Mother. As a result, on 30 November Lt Col Bhalla was flown to Chennai by a special aircraft and then driven to Pondicherry in a car. He reached Pondicherry and the letter was read out to the Mother by Madhav Pandit on 1 December. Mother wrote Her blessings in the same letter to General Arora.
Col Bhalla took that letter and returned to Calcutta on the morning of the 3rd December. However, General Arora said that he had forgotten to write something in that letter - he was apprehensive about the international reaction, since we would be branded the aggressors if we attacked first. But most miraculously that very same evening, Pakistan attacked India on the western front with her planes and the war had started. India was thus saved the embarrassment of having to be called the aggressor.
The rest is history and is well known to the world. However, it might be pertinent to put in a comment made by the Mother after the ceasefire was announced on December 16.
This is what she said:
"Again, it won’t be for this time.
It won’t be done that way. I’ve seen how. It won’t be done through battle: the different parts of Pakistan will demand separation. There are five of them. And by separating, they will join India – to from a sort of confederation. That’s how it will be done."
We conclude this article by reproducing the letter written by Mrs Indira Gandhi to Mother after the war in December.
Letter received by Mother in December 1971 from Mrs Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India.
Revered Mother,
Through these critical months I have thought constantly of you. I can find no words with which to express my gratitude for your support. Your blessings are a great source of strength. Our difficulties are not over. The American administration is most upset that its calculations were so completely wrong, and they will use their power to try to humble us and specially to create division between Bangladesh and ourselves.
I think our nation has taken a step towards maturity. Yet there are many who look only to today. If India is to be great we must improve the quality of the minds of our people. I know that this is your desire. In my humble way, I am trying to do what I can.
With respectful regards,

Yours sincerely,
Indira Gandhi
Mother’s reply:
To Indira
With blessings
India must be proud of your leadership.
Let the country take its true place in the world for showing the way towards the supreme Truth.
With love
Mother