On June 12, Dr. Beloo Mehra from AuroBharati was invited to deliver the valedictory address at Anubhuti, a residential retreat organised by Sri Aurobindo’s Action in Pondicherry. This 3-day retreat organised from June 10-12 primarily focused around the themes of Sadhana and living an integral life. Participants primarily included aspirants who have been studying the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in online study circles for the past few years with Dr. Mehra and Ms. Lakshmi Jyothi. The 14-member group of participants were from different parts of the country, and many of them met one another for the first time.
On the evening of June 12, Dr. Mehra delivered the final valedictory address at the event. For the focus and title of her talk, she took inspiration from one sentence of the Mother and called it – “A long and thorough work is necessary.” In her address, Dr. Mehra reminded the participants that human nature is such that it takes persistent and constant effort to keep the flame of the aspiration burning within.
She said that when we come together for a dedicated programme such as a workshop or retreat, we catch on the vibration of enthusiasm from one another and feel much energised and full of aspiration. But often after going back to our respective lives and work contexts, we tend to naturally fall back in our old routines and rhythms which may make it difficult to keep up the aspiration. So a long and thorough work is necessary. And also, an awareness that this is part of the struggle on the path of sadhana also helps.
Dr. Mehra also spoke about the deep significance of faith. Sharing a few insights from the Mother and Sri Aurobindo she emphasised that faith can indeed a great source of strength and solace. Sharing a few examples and anecdotes she highlighted the necessity of becoming conscious of the subtle ways in which our egos constantly come into play especially in the context of collective living and working.
The significance of work in Integral Yoga was also emphasised. Dr. Mehra reminded the participants that work must be seen as a field which can facilitate inner progress, but for that we must become conscious of our inner attitude and consider all work as an offering to the Mother. Detachment to not only the fruits of our work but work itself must be practiced. And yet, perfect execution of all work given to us is also another important part of the right attitude to work, Dr. Mehra added.
Most important quality is sincerity toward the work that is given to us. We must also remember that not only all work is the Mother’s Work, but also all our capacities and faculties that we employ to get the work done are given to us by Her. All inspiration and power of execution also come from the Mother. With this awareness, which will over time become a realisation, we can gradually progress and cultivate the right attitude toward work.
During the 3-day retreat, the participants had the opportunity to listen to and interact with several senior members of the Ashram and Auroville, including Prof. Kittu Reddy, Dr. Ananda Reddy, Mrs. Deepshikha Reddy, Mr. Manoj Pavithran, Dr. Vandana Gupta, Mr. Chandresh Patel, Ms. Manju Bonke, and several more. Ms. Lopa Mukherjee, Dr. Shruti Bidwaikar, Ms. Shweta Kshatriya and Mr. Shekhar Kshatriya also took sessions. Ms. Lakshmi Jyothi was the key organiser of the retreat and took a session on The Human Cycle.
Dr. Mehra has been writing for Sri Aurobindo’s Action journal for more than 4 years. In the past she has also designed and facilitated online courses and study circles for various participants.