Monday, September 29, 2008

10676 Centres of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo in Odisha - August, 2008

Sri Aurobindo's action in Orissa
8488 Sri Aurobindo Study Circles
1443 Sri Aurobindo Women's Study Circles
745 Sri Aurobindo Students' Study Circles
10676 Total No. of Sri Aurobindo Study Circles
477 Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres
115 Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centres with Hostels
65 Sri Aurobindo's Relics Centres
78 Publications
217 Sales Outlets
59 Industrial Sites
74 Agricultural Farms
39 Dairy Farms
154 Centres with campus of 1 acre or more

RNI Regn. No. 65218/91 Registered OR/CK (C) -17/2006-08
Printed, Published & Edited 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.
E-mail - Please visit us at :

Home Relics Centers Dasa Karmadhara Events Publications Gallery Miscellaneous Sri Aurobindo University Contact Us 11:40 PM 1:02 PM 5:21 PM

Pathachakra conducted in Nimapara, Puri - August 2008

Key events of the year Events Calendar News from events Monthly News - August 2008

NISTHA ZONE Nimapara, Puri
10.08.2008 - Secretary Mr. Benudhar Senapati read direct writings of Sri Aurobindo to improve English among the children. The pathachakra was attended by the students and teachers.

15.08.2008 - A seminar on Sri Aurobindo was organized at Seulasahi. Mr. Biswambar Sahoo, Kalpana Swain, Mrs. Minati Senapati spoke about the value of freedom and how freedom is imparted in our school.

17.08.2008 - A gharoi Pathachakra was organized at Mrs. Sanjukta Sahoo’s residence.

23.08.2008 - A students Pathachakra was organized under the guidance of Kalpana Swain. One of the student Suprava Behera read out the books of the mother

The Mother's work in Orissa [10:18 AM]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sri Aurobindo and the Freedom Struggle of India

SABDA – Distributors of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publications
Works of Sri Aurobindo Major Works of Sri Aurobindo
Selected Works of Sri Aurobindo (CD-ROM Edition)
Other Works of Sri Aurobindo
Compiled from Sri Aurobindo's Works
The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo
COMPILED FROM SRI AUROBINDO'S WORKS For further details about any publication, click on its title.Displaying page 1 of 2 pages
Bhagavad Gita in the Light of Sri Aurobindo — Edited by MaheshwarBinding: Soft Cover Pages: 297Price: Rs 180
The Bhagavad Gita With Text, Translation and Commentary in the Words of Sri Aurobindo— Compilation from the Works of Sri AurobindoISBN: 978-81-86510-03-2Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 646Price: Rs 280
The Bhagavad Gita With Text, Translation and Commentary in the Words of Sri Aurobindo— Compilation from the Works of Sri AurobindoISBN: 978-81-86510-04-9Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 646Price: Rs 340
Shrimad Bhagwat Gita — Compiled by Nautambhai BhattBinding: Soft Cover Pages: 343Price: Rs 200
The Essential Gita With Selected Text, English Translation, and Commentary in the Words of Sri Aurobindo— Compiled from the Works of Sri AurobindoISBN: 978-81-86510-02-5Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 208Price: Rs 150
The Gita for the Youth— A Compilation from the Writings of Sri AurobindoISBN: 978-81-7060-039-8Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 126Price: Rs 45
Dictionary of Sri Aurobindo's Yoga— Compilation from Sri Aurobindo's WorksISBN: 978-0-941524-74-2Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 320Price: Rs 270
The Future Evolution of Man The Divine Life Upon Earth— Selection from the Works of Sri Aurobindo ISBN: 978-81-7058-219-9Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 148Price: Rs 60
Gems from Sri Aurobindo Second Series— Compilation from Sri Aurobindo's WorksISBN: 978-0-941524-73-5Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 294Price: Rs 290
Gems from Sri Aurobindo Third Series— Compilation from Sri Aurobindo's WorksISBN: 978-0-914955-16-0Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 150Price: Rs 240
Gems from Sri Aurobindo Fourth Series— Compilation from Sri Aurobindo's Works ISBN: 978-0-914955-17-7Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 78Price: Rs 200
God— Compiled from the Writings of Sri Aurobindo by M. P. Pandit ISBN: 978-81-7509-033-0Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 40Price: Rs 15
Homage to Sri Aurobindo — Compiled from the Writings of Sri Aurobindo Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 146Price: Rs 400
Ideas and Ideals Extracts from Sri Aurobindo's Writings with His Ideas on Life-Problems and Ideals Involved Therein— Compiled from the Writings of Sri AurobindoISBN: 978-81-7060-142-5Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 100Price: Rs 45
The Integral Yoga Sri Aurobindo's Teaching and Method of Practice— Selected Letters of Sri AurobindoISBN: 978-81-7058-308-0Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 401Price: Rs 140
A Journey from Politics to Yoga From the Early Political Writings of Sri Aurobindo— Compiled from the Writings of Sri AurobindoISBN: 978-81-7060-190-6Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 120Price: Rs 80
Light Endless Light — Compiled from the Works of Sri AurobindoISBN: 978-81-7060-068-8Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 96Price: Rs 15
Lights on Life-Problems Sri Aurobindo's Views on Important Life-Problems— Compiled from Sri Aurobindo's WritingsISBN: 978-81-7058-058-4Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 200Price: Rs 80
Nationalism, Religion, and Beyond Writings on Politics, Society, and Culture— Edited by Peter HeehsISBN: 978-81-7824-139-5Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 364Price: Rs 650
On Nationalism Selected Writings and Speeches— Sri Aurobindo ISBN: 978-81-7058-463-6Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 550Price: Rs 200
On Nationalism Selected Writings and Speeches — Sri Aurobindo ISBN: 978-81-7058-464-3Binding: Hard Cover Pages: 550Price: Rs 250
The Penguin Sri Aurobindo Reader — Edited by Makarand ParanjapeISBN: 978-0-14-303015-7Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 375Price: Rs 295
Sri Aurobindo and the Freedom of India — Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo With Supplementary Notes & TextsISBN: 978-81-7058-452-0Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 288Price: Rs 200
Sri Aurobindo and the Freedom Struggle of India A bilingual compilation of Sri Aurobindo's writings on political events of India— Compiled from the Works of Sri AurobindoBinding: Soft Cover Pages: 288Price: Rs 150
Sri Aurobindo on English Poets (Part 1) — Compiled from the Writings of Sri AurobindoBinding: Soft Cover Pages: 131Price: Rs 80 1 2 next >ashram visitors darshan selected works research music publications image gallery 1999 - 2004 Copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Auroville's handling of its ageing population

Home > Journals & Media > Journals > Auroville Today > Current issue > Archive copies > Auroville Experience > August 2008

The main topic of the August 2008 issue is dedicated to Sri Aurobindo. The main article is about an important new biography The Lives of Sri Aurobindo which has just been published in the U.S.A. Written by Peter Heehs of the Ashram Archives, it is the product of many years of painstaking research. Auroville Today spoke to him about the challenges involved in writing about Sri Aurobindo and presents a review of the book.
The issue also carries interviews with Dr. Karan Singh, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation, and with members of the Auroville International Advisory Council. The Governing Board and International Advisory Council had meetings in Auroville at the end of July. These were their last meetings as their term of office will expire in September and October 2008.
The third main issue is Auroville's handling of its ageing population. In four articles we look at the many aspects of ageing in Auroville: how to age gracefully; the material problems of ageing; and we profile how two elderly gentlemen cope with getting older.
The issue further carries the last interview of Serge Brelin, given a few months before his untimely death; and reports on Women's Day 2008, and how nice it is to return from the West and be home again!
Here follow 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.

Friday, September 05, 2008

This place of learning will vibrate with a kind of delight and joy of studying and doing research in the works of Sri Aurobindo

A Conversation with Dr. Ananda Reddy
Beloo Mehra

Dr. Ananda Reddy is the Founder-director of SACAR, and President of its online educational wing, Sri Aurobindo Darshan: The University of Tomorrow.

Ananda gives us a view of the past and shares with us how the idea of SACAR took birth while he was living and working at Assumption University in Bangkok. He is grateful to the Mother for giving him the opportunity to visit and gain valuable experience of teaching and engaging in intellectual work at a well-functioning, highly organised academic organisation that emphasised intellectual rigour and high academic standard. It was there that this idea of starting an academic centre back home in Pondicherry began to take initial shape. Ananda knew clearly that after coming back to India he didn’t want to go back to work at any university. He had seen how the academic structure and culture of many traditional academic institutions in India can de-motivate an individual and may even result in making some individuals lose sight of the larger intellectual and spiritual life they may have set for themselves. Ananda also knew very certainly that he wanted his work to be closely aligned with the thought and vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. He felt that all the intellectual and spiritual wealth that he had been given was because of the Grace of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and now it was his swadharma to pass on some of that wealth and become an instrument in spreading the vision of Sri Aurobindo to younger generations.

The origins of this idea of an academic centre focusing on the thought and vision of Sri Aurobindo actually go much farther than this time in Bangkok, however. Ananda recalls that it was originally a dream shared with his father, late Prof. V. Madhusudan Reddy, to open a Sri Aurobindo research centre in Pondicherry. But it was during his time in Bangkok that this “idea became an ideal” for Ananda. And all his subsequent work in building of SACAR from the grounds-up has been a realisation of that ideal. Ananda knew that for any organisation to grow and succeed lot of hard and dedicated work is required and that he must give his all — all of his time, energy and thought — if he wanted to see his ideal manifested in reality. So he came back to Pondicherry in 1995 with this dream of starting an academic research centre that focused on the thought and vision of Sri Aurobindo, and that would become a means for him to give back to his country “what Sri Aurobindo and Mother had given [me].” ...

What is Ananda’s dream for the future of SACAR? He takes a brief break and answers that he has a two-tiered dream, a dream to be realised in two stages. On the first stage, he would hope for SACAR to become a bridge between the old and new — old and new ways of acquiring knowledge, old and new consciousness. He confesses that he is not an impractical dreamer, so he understands that in order to realise the new on a pragmatic level he can’t ignore the present reality. This explains the ongoing work at SACAR to keep improving upon, refining and strengthening its academic framework and academic approach to studying and teaching Sri Aurobindo’s works, and the efforts to enter into alliances and collaborations with Indian and foreign universities.

The second stage of Ananda’s dream is that one day SACAR becomes a centre of learning where people will come purely for the love of knowledge, and are not attached to the concept of any degrees or some such gain. SACAR will be a place where the learners, facilitators and everyone involved with it will know that “Only gain is inner gain.” This place of learning will vibrate with a kind of delight and joy of studying and doing research in the works of Sri Aurobindo. Ananda feels that the first stage of his dream is bound to take SACAR to the second stage because “any research into Sri Aurobindo inevitably leads one to searching within oneself. I would like that to be the second stage for SACAR where those on this path of in-search are attracted to this institution.” Ananda feels that he can’t speak more concretely about the outer form in which this second stage of his dream will materialise, and perhaps that is not needed at present because his present focus is on fulfilling the first part of his dream — to make SACAR a part of academic mainstream in India so it can serve as a bridge between the old and new consciousness. And this can be best realised once SACAR gains the status of an independent university, which is the target Ananda is working towards at present.

Ananda does not like to speak of any challenges in fulfilling of these dreams because he feels that if he is moving in the right direction as per the Mother’s Will for SACAR, then any challenges and obstacles that come in the way will be part of his work that is to be done for the Mother. He adds that since until now everything for SACAR has been done through the Grace of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, “even thinking of any challenge indicates distrust on Their Grace … Challenge only reflects my incapacity.” However, he is mindful of one biggest obstacle which may emerge if those in charge of the various parts of the institution are driven by their egos, are interested in self-promotion and are not ready to surrender to the Will of the Mother. “If the human in-charge is inwardly surrendered to Her, then there is no other challenge,” he says. All other day-to-day challenges are part of the travel, he adds. Because of his surrender, faith and trust in the Mother he feels that money and other physical requirements for SACAR will always be provided by the Mother. He concludes by saying that his attitude has always been to “see the Mother’s will translated through me; and thus one day not only realise what I dream for SACAR, but in truth become SACAR, that is, become Sri Aurobindo’s Child, Ananda Reddy!” 11:20 AM

Thursday, September 04, 2008

We must clearly understand what we mean by spirituality

"All Nature dumbly calls to her alone
To heal with her feet the aching throb of life"
-Savitri, Book III, Canto II

MASA Monthly E-Newsletter of SACAR August 2008 Volume 1, Issue 7

April 2008 Seminar
Snapshots from the Sessions on Social and Political Thought of Sri Aurobindo
We continue with our coverage of the academic sessions from the April seminar at SACAR. We focus this time on the various sessions organized under the theme of Social and Political Thought on April 25 and 26, 2008.

Foundations of Indian Culture: Prof. Kittu Reddy from Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE) shared some thoughts on this important topic and highlighted some key points made by Sri Aurobindo in his seminal work on Indian culture. He focused on the definition of culture, the spiritual essence of Indian culture and the significance of this awareness for the present generation Indians. The presentation was made highly relevant by incorporating some contemporary examples.

India-Pakistan Unity: Potential and Possibilities Prof. Kittu Reddy was also the perfect speaker to take up this critical and highly sensitive topic as viewed in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s political thought. He drew upon his extensive readings on this topic which have resulted in his recently published articles. While discussing the ideal of unity both within India and in South Asia, he urged everyone to introspect and come face-to-face with their own unacknowledged prejudices and biases about different communities before looking for political solutions and miracles.

The Human Cycle: Stages of Society
Sivakumar from SACAR summarized the different stages through which human civilization progresses. He spoke briefly about the Symbolic, Typal, Conventional, Individualist and Subjective stages, and pointed out that towards the end of his analysis Sri Aurobindo refers to the possible indications in a society that can be thought of as transitional from contemporary stage to another stage in the evolution. He emphasized that according to Sri Aurobindo a sign here or there in a society is not a reason to assume that the Subjective Age has arrived. It is only when we accept that humans have to be recast in a spiritual mould and actually make the requisite effort to this end can we be assured that the Subjective Age is here and that our progress will be ongoing.

"Each idea (or system of ideas) is true in its own time and place. But if it tries to be exclusive or to persist even when its time is over, then it ceases to be true." The Mother

Methods India should adopt to fulfill her Mission in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: In this lively presentation Jamshed M. Mavalwalla from Sri Aurobindo Society raised several key questions based on insights from the thought of Sri Aurobindo. He urged everyone to reflect upon: what is India, what is the true map of India, what is India’s authentic temperament, and what is the Mission of India. While commenting upon the value of original thinking in rebuilding of India, he also argued that the task of building a new India is a spiritual work, and before we plunge into this work we must clearly understand what we mean by spirituality.

Social Organization in Auroville: In this session, Alan Herbert from Auroville briefly commented upon the seemingly anarchic perception of Auroville and reasons for such a perception. However he soon led the audience to recognize three different types and levels of organization at Auroville: a) basic physical organization, b) social organization and c) spiritual organization. Alan argued that each of these forms of organization has its own dynamic and perspective, yet, ideally, each should be supportive of the others. While speaking of the spiritual level, he commented that ideally, this level completes, permeates and informs the other two levels. He emphasized that what may be perceived as a weakness at one level of organization may be a necessity for spiritual growth. He concluded that while the Mother provided guidance regarding all three levels of organization in Auroville, She has also made it clear that Auroville’s growth, at all levels, is dependent upon a growth in individual and collective consciousness. Coverage of the Sessions on the Social-Political Thought Continued on Page 3….

SACAR has recently entered into a partnership with IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University) to offer several post-graduate programmes on the thought of Sri Aurobindo via Online and Correspondence mode.
Solicit your presence on the occasion of signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between IGNOU and Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (SACAR), Puducherry, for launching of the programmes in "Sri Aurobindo Studies" at 12.30 p.m. on August 15, 2008 at EMPC, IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068
Chief Guest: Dr. Karan Singh, MP, Rajya Sabha
Presidential Remarks: Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT Due to unavoidable reasons, the second international study camp scheduled for October 2008 at Nainital has been cancelled. We regret the inconvenience caused to anyone planning to attend this camp.
Available at SACAR: Beyond Religion
Talk by Ananda Reddy Available in MP3 format
For information and purchase, email:
‘Fly Together’ - The flock of Siberian migratory birds on the banks of Yamuna river in Delhi, appearing on the first page is captured on camera by Eeshaan Mahesh, a Delhi based amateur photographer. He is currently working on a collection of his Gangotri photographs.

Carving an Indian View of Integral Feminism: Insights from the Vision of Sri Aurobindo: This session led by Beloo Mehra of SACAR was guided by the rationale that any aspiration to work towards social harmony in India must not ignore the divisions existing along the lines of gender. She emphasized that the gradual development of society depends on a living union of both man and woman through a greater and more intimate interchange not only of hearts but also of minds. While arguing that Indian views of feminism must look at the Indian thought, traditions, and philosophies that have grown and taken root from within the Indian conception of life, human experience, world and cosmos, she also emphasized that there is neither any need for nor any value in being a staunch Indic purist because that too is only the reverse side of the same coin. The need of the hour is to look for points of view that may take the best that the rest of the world has to offer and still be grounded in our eternal yet evolving view of what is meant by the Indian experience, social values, and lived cultural realities. She concluded with a few thoughts on Indian view of Integral Feminism which is primarily concerned with: the evolution of consciousness in the individual woman as an integral part of the evolution of societal consciousness, and the integral development and transformation of inner and outer nature of all individuals - women AND men. The values of equality and liberty for all individuals, and complete freedom to the individual soul to grow and evolve in a multi-faceted and harmonious way were also emphasized.

"After I knew that God was a woman, I learned something from far-off about love; but it was only when I became a woman and served my Master and Paramour that I knew love utterly." Sri Aurobindo

Contemporary Issues in Indian Society, as Seen in the Light of Sri Aurobindo’s Thought: For the concluding panel discussion in this section on Social-Political Thought, we zoomed in on three highly important and timely topics: Jamshed Mavalwalla took up the sensitive issue of Hindu-Muslim unity, while Beloo Mehra foused on the rampant commercialism and consumerist culture as a modern Indian phenomenon. Sivakumar threw some light on the problem of caste and class divisions. The common thread in the three short presentations made by the panelists was that all these issues were examined in the framework of Sri Aurobindo’s thought and vision, which not only provide valuable insights into the deeper nature of these problems but also gives important hints at some possible and sustainable solutions to these issues marking the Indian social and cultural fabric.

These sessions on contemporary issues and integral feminism created much spark and led to spirited discussions among the participants and speakers. By incorporating such topics the seminar organizers at SACAR were hoping to deepen everyone’s appreciation and understanding of the contemporary and timeless significance of Sri Aurobindo’s thought for India and the world.
We invoke the Grace and Blessings of our beloved Mother and Sri Aurobindo through our reference to MA and SA.

MASA is also a Sanskrit word which means month – appropriate for this monthly publication.
Coming up in the next issue: A brief review of the section on ‘Literature of Sri Aurobindo’ from
the April 2008 seminar. Also, profiles of a few more learners at SACAR. Contact: Beloo Mehra Phone: 0413-2348067

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Glimpse of the Mother's Love and Action describes the genesis and growth of Sri Aurobindo Society and the Mother's way of working

News from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry)
Upcoming Events
19 September 2008 - 48th Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo Society
The Headquarters of Sri Aurobindo Society at Puducherry
The year 1956 was a milestone in the spiritual mission of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, as it was on 29 February of this year that the Manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness took place. In the very first commemorative year of this momentous event, in 1960, Sri Aurobindo Society was formed on 19th of September with the Mother as the Founder and Executive President, "to make known to the members and people in general the aims and ideals of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, their system of Integral Yoga, and to work for its fulfilment in all possible ways and for the attainment of a spiritual society as envisaged by Sri Aurobindo."
The Mother gave the following Motto for the Society:
The book A Glimpse of the Mother's Love and Action published by the Society, describes the genesis and growth of the Society and the Mother's way of working, as she developed it in its formative years. The Society has been growing over the years and has now more than 300 Centres and 70 Branches all over India and abroad. More details of the various activities of the Society are given here.
On this day we rededicate ourselves to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and to the realisation of the great future they have revealed to us.

Annual Seminar of the Women's Council - November 2008: "Organisation of Action in Life"
Organisation of action is the key to success in life. Life covers the whole gamut of our ideas and aims, our aspirations and endeavours, and our day-to-day physical activities and dealings. It is very essential to bring clarity and cohesiveness in our mind, a rhythm of harmony in our feelings and emotions and a flow of grace and beauty in our body's movements.
All who are interested are invited to attend Sri Aurobindo Society's Women's Council annual seminar on "Organisation of Action in Life" to be held on 21, 22, 23 November 2008, at the Society's Beach Office hall, No.1, Rangapillai Street, Puducherry - 605 002. For further information, accommodation etc., write to The Secretary Women's Council Sri Aurobindo Society Puducherry - 605 002. E-mail:

Recent Events at Beach Office 136th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo: 15 August 2008
15 August was Sri Aurobindo's 136th Birth Anniversary. At the Ashram the day was observed with a visit to Sri Aurobindo's Room (kept open from 4 am to 7 pm), meditation around the Samadhi (6:00 to 6:30 a.m.), and March-past by the members of the Ashram's Physical Education Department at the Ashram's Playground in the evening. The day concluded with meditation.

Annual Lectures - 13 & 14 August 2008
A series of lectures was organised by the Society at the Beach Office in Puducherry on 13 and 14 August 2008. Members and workers from different branches and centres participated. There were questions and answers session talks by Prof. Manoj Das, talks by Prof. Kittu Reddy on "Sri Aurobindo and Parliamentary Democracy", Dr. Alok Pandey on "Reading Sri Aurobindo", a Powerpoint presentation by Shri Kaivalya Smart on "Sri Aurobindo in Surat", talks by Shri Sraddhalu on "The Outstanding Features of Integral Yoga", Shri Matri Prasad on The Concept of Evolution", Shri Vijay K. Poddar on "The Work Ahead". A session of Women's Council was also held on 13 August, on the theme of "Sri Aurobindo's India".

Study Camp by Dr. Alok Pandey on "Summary of Savitri" - August 2008
From 16 to 20 August 2008, Dr. Alok Pandey conducted study sessions summarising 'Savitri' at the Society's Beach Office, Puducherry. Sessions were held from 5:00 to 6:45 pm. About 150 persons regularly attended the Talks.
Some Special Days in September 2008
3 September 2008 - Ganesha Chaturthi
Shri Ganehsa
This year Ganesha Chaturthi, the birthday of the elephant-headed deity Ganesha, will be celebrated on 3 September. In India all important tasks start with the worship of Ganesha -the son of the Supreme Mother and god of material knowledge and wealth - so that the work undertaken may be free from all obstacles. In his letters Sri Aurobindo writes:
"Ganesha is the Power that removes obstacles by the force of Knowledge;…"
"Ganesha (among other things) is the Devata of spiritual Knowledge."
Here is the Mother's first encounter with Lord Ganesha, as narrated by herself sometime during 1958:
"We had a meditation (this was more than thirty years ago) in the room where 'Prosperity' is now distributed. There were eight or ten of us, I believe. We used to make sentences with flowers; I arranged the flowers, and each one made a sentence with the different flowers I had put there. And one day when the subject of prosperity or wealth came up, I thought (they always say that Ganesh is the god of money, of fortune, of the world's wealth), I thought, 'Isn't this whole story of the god with an elephant trunk merely a lot of human imagination?' Thereupon, we meditated. And who should I see walk in and park himself in front of me but a living being, absolutely alive and luminous, with a trunk that long ... and smiling! So then, in my meditation, I said, 'Ah! So it's true that you exist!' - 'Of course I exist! And you may ask me for whatever you wish, from a monetary standpoint, of course, and I will give it to you!' "So I asked. And for about ten years, it poured in, like this (gesture of torrents). It was incredible. I would ask, and at the next Darshan, or a month or several days later, depending, there it was."

News from Branches and Centres
News from India
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) - Study and Research on Sri Aurobindo
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, has started a Ph.D. programme along with a Diploma and Masters Degree on Sri Aurobindo. IGNOU has started this course to help the younger generation to become aware of Sri Aurobindo and his immense contribution in several fields. The subjects covered are meta-physics, yoga, psychology, social and political thought, spiritual poetry and literature.

Paigmberpur (U.P.)
The Paigmberpur Centre celebrated Sri Aurobindo's birthday on 15th August 2008. Shri K. Pawan, Chairman of the Patiala branch of the Society, spoke to a group of young girls about the importance of Sri Aurobindo's birthday and India's independence on 15th August.
Audience listening to Dr. Anand speaking on Sri Aurobindo
The Mother's flag was hoisted. A team from Delhi along with Mrs. Kuku Mathur rendered songs. There were participants from 10 villages. Dr. Anand, an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, New Delhi, spoke on Sri Aurobindo's life and vision.
The march past and the salute
This was followed by a cultural programme by the people of Paigmberpur. The programme started with a group of 65 people comprising men, young girls and boys and small children marching with the Mother's Flag accompanied by Ashram marching music. After the lighting of diyas by volunteers, all sang song "Vande Mataram" collectively, followed by the recitation of "Morning prayer by The Mother" by the group of elderly men.
The human pyramid, by the boys and girls of Paigmberpur
A play enacted by the women of Paigmberpur
Small boys and girls performed the human pyramid. The women of the village enacted a play, conveying the message that there is goodness in everyone, waiting to manifest - it is up to each one to put in the necessary effort to bring this goodness out in to their daily lives.
A beautiful dance was performed together by young boys and girls depicting a theme whichinspires one to move ahead in life by learning from the past. The song went like this: "Beete kal se humko sikhte jana hai..naye kal ki kal kal se pal pal sajana hai...."

Noida (U.P.) - August 2008 Programmes
Special Programmes: 9 August 2008: A programme of Devotional Songs & Bhajans on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by Mrs. Kuntala Dasgupta was held at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan on Saturday, the 9th August, 2008 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. About 40 devotees and their families participated in the Programme.
15 August 2008: The Noida branch celebrated Sri Aurobindo's birthday on 15th August 2008. There was collective meditation in the morning at the Bhavan. On this occasion a Homeopathy Dispensary was opened at the Bhavan. 110 saplings of trees were planted in the park opposite Sri Aurobindo Bhavan.
Shri Gopesh Goswamy giving the talk "Krishnastu Bhagwan Swayam"
23 August 2008: On this day of Krishna Janmashtami, a talk on "Krishnastu Bhagwan Swayam" by Shri Gopesh Goswami was organised by the branch at the Bhavan.
Education at Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan: 15 August Celebrations
Salute to National Flag by Shri S.K. Jain, Chairman; Shri V.P. Goyal; Shri Ajay K. Singh, Director, Jan Shikshan Sansthan and others dignitaries present on the occasion of 15th August
The branch celebrated the Independence Day & Birthday of Sri Aurobindo with members and their families and the students of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan on Friday, the 15th August, 2008, at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan. At 10:00 am, the National Flag was unfurled at the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by Shri Suresh Kumar Jain, Chairman of the Branch, and Shri Ajay K. Singh, Director, Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Noida.
Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan's children offering prayers to the Mother
After offering prayers to the Mother, Dr. Puneesh Taneja explained the importance of 15th August, which is both the Independence Day of India and the Birthday of Sri Aurobindo. He also spoke about Sri Aurobindo's message delivered through the All India Radio on the eve of India's Independence, on 14th August 1947.
Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan's Children gathering
The students of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan sang patriotic songs, performed drama and folk dance. Sewing and Tailoring Training Course was running for the last four months with the collaboration of Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India. On this occasion, Certificates to successful students were awarded by Shri Ajay K. Singh, Director of the Sansthan. About 200 people attended the function and sweets were distributed to all.
2, 9, 16 and 23 August 2008: On 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd August 2008, Dr. Puneesh Taneja came to Sri Aurobindo Bhavan and interacted for two hours on respective days with the children of Sri Aurobindo Shiksha Niketan. Poems, Stories, good manners and discipline were conveyed to the children in an interesting manner. Children were told about teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and all of them paid tributes to them at the Holy Shrine.
Health: Treatment by Homeopathy: Homeopathy Dispensary for two hours daily from Monday to Saturday by Dr. Ajay Srivastava at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan has been started from 15th August, 2008. On Saturday, the 23rd August 2008, medicines for preventing Malaria, Dengue etc. were given to 110 children.
Treatment by Acupressure Therapy: Acupressure Treatment for two hours daily from Monday to Friday by Mrs. Sudha Kesharwani at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan is going on well. While giving treatment, she is also using the relevant quotations of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and the persons coming for acupressure treatment are evincing keen interest in them. Free Eye Check-up/Consultation on every Sunday at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan: Free Eye Check-up/Consultation is being organised on every Sunday, for two hours from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm by Dr. P.S. Chauhan, Eye Specialist and Project Director, National Blindness Control Programme, Govt. of India, at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, Noida.
Development of Women: Sewing & Tailoring Classes: Sewing & Tailoring Classes are being conducted daily from Monday to Friday at Sri Aurobindo Bhavan by Smt. Jaishree Nigam and about twenty ladies are learning the same.
Other Activities: Besides the above, regular activities of Meditation with the Mother's music daily in the morning and evening, Library, Playing of spiritual audio/video CDs etc. are held.

Dehradun (Uttarakhand)
Shri K. Pawan, Chairman Sri Aurobindo Society, Patiala Branch, delivered the following talks:
On 26.07.08 from 12.30 p.m. to 2.00 p.m. on "Self Development" to the students numbering approximately 30.
To members & devotees on 'Savitri' from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, 26.07.08 and continued it again on Sunday, 27.07.2008 from 10.30 a.m. to12.00. These talks were attended by about 30 devotees.

Bhopal (M.P.)
At Bhopal, on 14 August 2008, a programme was organised by M. P. Hindi Sahitya Acadamy with the active participation of Sri Aurobindo Society Bhopal. This programme was held at Swaraj Bhawan under the title "Sri Aurobindo ka Hindi Sahitya par Prabhav (Sri Aurobindo's Influence on Hindi Literature)." Dr. Devki Nandan Shrivastav from New Delhi was the keynote speaker. Shri Rajendra Mishra, Editor of Hindi magazine 'Veena" and Shri Indra Neel Chaudhari, Editor of the Hindi magazine "Kalindi" spoke on the topic. "Padma Shri" Dr. Ramesh Dave, noted Hindi Sahityakar, presided over the function. Dr Devendra Deepak, Director of Hindi Sahitya Acadamy of M.P., conducted the programme. Shri Mourya and Shri Satish Chitwar of Sri Aurobindo Society, Bhopal, welcomed the guests. A large number of general public and Sadhaks attended the programme.

Neyveli (Tamil Nadu)
Sri Aurobindo Society, Neyveli Centre, and SABDA, Puducherry, jointly took part in the annual Book Fair organised by the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) Ltd., Neyveli, from 05.07.2008 to 16.07.2008. About 3 lakhs people visited the Book Fair.

Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)
Sri Aurobindo Society, Visakhapatnam Centre, released a book in Telugu titled "Sri Aravinda Tattwa Darshanam" written by Sri K. Bhaskararao and published by Shri K. Apparao.
The Centre arranged two talks by Prof. Kittu Reddy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, on 30th and 31st July 2008 commemorating the historic event of "Alipore Case and Sri Aurobindo in 1908". One of them was an interactive talk with the youth on Sri Aurobindo and the other was on Sri Aurobindo and his contribution. The two talks were broadcast by the All India Radio, Visakhapatnam.
The Centre also organised two public lectures by Prof. Kittu Reddy at the public library. On 30.07.2008 he spoke on "Sri Aurobindo and the Freedom Movement" and on 31.07.2008 on "Sri Aurobindo's Vision of India". Shri T.V. Ramana Rao, Chairman of the Centre, presided over the meeting and Prof. K.V. Ramana, former Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University, introduced the speaker to the audience.
Prof. Kittu Reddy also participated in a lively interaction with the young students of Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir, Visakhapatnam, on 31.07.2008.

Purnea (Bihar)
The Purnea branch celebrated Sri Aurobindo's birthday by organising a collective study of Sri Aurobindo's 'Essays on the Gita' and 'Savitri'. The Mother's flag was hoisted during the occasion.

Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu)
The Cuddalore Centre celebrated its 6th anniversary on 17 August 2008 with flower offering and collective meditation. Shri C. Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of the Cuddalore Centre, presided over the function. Smt. Sushila Melvani and Shri M.S. Sundararajan of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, spoke on the occasion. All the committee members of the Cuddalore Centre participated with enthusiasm. An exhibition of flowers and photographs was organised.

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
Lucknow Branch of Sri Aurobindo Society organised a programme in the Nirala Hall of Uttar Pradesh Hindi Institute on 07.08.2008. More than 50 devotees participated in the event.

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