The series on the life of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother initially started only to take up few portions that would help us develop the right attitude in the face of difficulties. That is why the first two episodes were from a portion from ‘Tales of Prison life’ and from ‘Sri Aurobindo in Baroda.’ These were done in Hindi. For the English-speaking persons, a few prayers from the Mother’s ‘Prayers and Meditations’ were taken up with the same purpose of helping us develop the right attitude in the face of ongoing crisis through which humanity has been passing. However since a need was felt to extend these recordings, it naturally and spontaneously, without actual pre-planning turned into a systematic study of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s Life (in Hindi) and Prayers and Meditations (in English). The purpose remained the same, that is to draw inspiration from Their life and teachings. In the hind sight however it seems that both these series are being guided by the unseen Hand of Grace as always.
GLIMPSES OF THEIR LIFE
Choice of the Language
While there are a number of detailed books on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s Life in English and some even in other languages, there is hardly any available in Hindi. Whatever little is there is not easily accessible. So a detailed account of Their life in Hindi seems only natural. As to the request made to provide subtitles in English or other languages, it is a very arduous task and needs dedicated team of those who can take up this project. As I understand it is technically also little complicated though that can possibly be sorted out. If time and inspiration meet and above all Her sanction is there we may possibly take up this project in English as well at some future date.
What is being attempted is to share our inspiration and joy of knowing a little of what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother represent. Admittedly, it is impossible to know about the life and works of divine beings beyond what they reveal to us by their abundant Grace. History often leaves out the most important part in any account. Even if it is accurate to the minutest detail (which is a near impossibility) it only tries to touch the outer body of events and circumstances as seen through the lens of ignorance. The soul and the spirit are necessarily left out. Besides there are actual limitations of a conversational format as opposed to a written one where one can keep all the books and resources and edit and correct before dishing out the final version. The spoken word does not provide any such opportunity. Having personally read the entire works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother along with the complete works of Nolini da, Correspondence and Evening talks with various disciples, and almost every available biography of their life, it was easy at one level to quickly glean through the various resource materials. However at another level it is an almost impossible task given the vastness of available literature and if anything useful comes out of this it is simply an act of Her Grace. That is indeed the very purpose of these talks that may we as a human race and this earth open more and more to the Mother’s Grace and Love and the vastness of Sri Aurobindo’s Light and Thought that they have brought down to us by their immense tapasya.
Having said that all effort has been made to keep the narrative as faithful to the historical unfolding of events. Towards this end material has been drawn from a vast range of books some of which are being provided at the end for further reading. These conversations are more like an introductory note, mainly to inspire us to go back to the original writings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo and their standard reliable biographies such as those by Dr Srinivas Iyengar, Rishabhchand, A B Purani, Georges Van Vrekhem, Wilfried, reminiscences of Nolini da, Amrita da and Nirodbaran, Evening Talks and many others. A number of instances have been also taken from the numerous writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s conversations. We will share a list of suggested reading and links to soft copies, where available, in a separate post.
Finally we must take into account that any event has at least three elements in it. There is the raw event, next there are the details of dates, people circumstances surrounding it; and, lastly though most importantly there are the idea-forces at work behind the scene. It is the last element that gives to any event its full value and significance. It is the kernel, the core, the most important part. This cannot be found in any documents except where it has been directly revealed by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. A certain amount of intuitive understanding is needed in other instances where the inner core has not been thus revealed. Yet without these revelatory flashes and inner glimpses, an event is like a book without meaning, a writing illegible, a document incomplete with its most important pages missing. Wherever possible this too has been brought in to complete the picture. Of course it is best if each one draws his own intuitive understanding which is what we eventually carry as the essence of all things. It is what stays with the soul. The rest remain confined to the store house of memory as a coin whose true value remains unknown.
REFLECTIONS ON PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS
The Prayers and Meditations of the Mother are a unique document that reveal the inner journey of the Avatar. It reveals to us by a direct personal example about the Path as it unfolds in real-time, the attitudes we must take towards all that life presents as various challenges in our evolutionary journey. They inspire and uplift us, always give us hope and courage. Throwing vast Light upon life’s inner and outer roads they show us the way to walk the path. Above all they provide us the most needed divine example that we can try to emulate in our life. In times of crisis, the Prayers are like a tonic for the soul and heart. To those who aspire to serve the Divine they are like an elixir that invigorates. To those who aspire to walk the path they serve as useful guide pointers on the tremendous journey. Most importantly they touch the soul, awaken it to deeper and higher truths and inspire and enthuse us for undertaking the path.
The version that is being taken up for the readings are the 1948 edition as they have been blessed by the twin presence of the Master and the Mother. Necessarily there will be some differences between this one and some later editions. Hence for the convenience of those who may not have an access to this edition, a link is being provided for reference. No doubt there will be countless ways of looking at the prayers, many are the revelations that may arise in different people as our mind and heart and soul comes into contact with them. A collective study therefore cannot be a substitute for a deep personal reading in a quiet reflective state. At the same time a collective reading can serve as a collective aspiration gathering force strengthens each other and eventually augments the aspiration of the earth itself. This is what is being attempted in a small and humble way through these readings of the Mother’s Prayers and Meditations.