This workshop was planned and envisaged with the Mother’s birthday in mind. It was wonderful to have the facilitator, Aadil Palkhivala back in our midst, even if it was on a virtual basis! Indeed, some of you may recall the session, Living Your Truth, NAMAH organised for him at Society House on 5th July, 2019., which was mjagnificent This whole online event was a celebration of the Mother and all 3 sessions drew their inspiration from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri. The poenm was the only source material for the course.
The sessions were held at weekly intervals and around 37 participants took part in the sessions.
Lessons from Savitri for Day-to-Day Life (pre-recorded)
Aspiration & Surrender
Follow the Mother’s Footsteps
Aadil spent considerable time recounting his own experiences with the Mother. Many of the sessions were beautifully anecdotal. He and the rest of his family first met Her in 1968. From that time, his family regularly visited the Ashram and met the Mother many times. His material mother, Dahn ben became a focal figure in the Sri Aurobindo Society itself. When Aadil’s father met the Mother for the first time, Aadil told us, he cried for 3 hours. When he was asked why he was crying, his father remarked that when the Mother looked through his eyes, he felt as if She was looking directly at his entire life; it was as if his soul had been laid bare in front of Her. The intense joy of Her recognising his soul brought tears to his father’s eyes!
Aadil was evidently born to be a teacher. He became a master of Astanga at an early age. He has co-founded a base in Seattle, which he and his wife have named the Alive and Shine Center. He mentioned that Savitri was gifted to him by his father at the age of 12 and the book has has remained with him ever since. He told us that, both this book and Prayers and Meditations are kept by his bedside and he says that he makes a point of reading Savitri every night.
Everything that we need for our daily life and sadhana, he said, is contained in Savitri. Aadil remarked that the Mother once said that here, the whole cosmos was crammed into this single book! In all 3 sessions, passages were drawn from the poem and Aadil commented on them with great sweetness, depth and clarity.
“In moments when the inner lamps are lit
And the life’s cherished guests are left outside,
Our spirit sits alone and speaks to its gulfs.”
These “cherished guests” should always be left outside so that the ‘inner lamps” can be lit! Throughout all 3 sessions, the need to work on our ‘stuff’ was reinforced. We have to work inside and deal with these guests to prepare ourselves for a glorious future.
We have to surrender all our thoughts and practise constant self-observation. Through Swadhyaya, we find our path to our own divinity. The goal is Transformation and not happiness. Happiness is only a by-product. Surrendering all our own thoughts and the role of pain is to push us onward to this state. We can’t step a single foot on this journey without Aspiration, which is the fuel of our sadhana and in the Mother’s Yoga, the only way forward is to surrender. A Higher Pwer has to be invoked.
For those new to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, Aadil stated, one would be startled to know how much that He emphasised the importance of working with the body. The traditional aim of Moksha, to leave the body, has no true benefit to humanity. However, when the Spirit enters Matter, the Yoga truly begins. If we do not transform ourselves, in this body, there is no escape and the methodology towards transformation is Aspiration, Rejection and Surrender.
Yoga is present when we practise it in day-to-day life. The real yoga is how we
treat ourselves, treat others and treat our earth in our “daily way of
pilgrimage”. Surrender implies humility and no yoga can happen without humility, none at all. Aadil exhorted us not just to bask in the light of the Master, but also to go deep down into the darkness: our darkness, to be humble, to constantly aspire and to surrender.
Aadil called upon all of us to reflect upon the Feminine energy, the creative mediator that binds us and the entire earth to the Supreme. This is the Mother. The workshop was dedicated to Her.
“Thank you very much Aadil and James for these three very inspiring and passionate sessions, so full of love for the Mother. This truly is an important period of time and a time not to be wasted.”
“Thank you James and thank you Aadilji for wonderful sessions in this wonderful time. Not enough words to thank you. The heart is filled with the Mother’s Presence.”
“The first session was a wonderful experience!... I have been trying to read Savitri for some time, but now I got a clear path and direction of how to align my sadhana with Savitri wisdom, which I very inspiring.”
‘It was brilliant. All the sessions were deeply absorbing and fascinating. I came out feeling so refreshed and alive.”
“Dwelling deep in Savitri and Aadil’s love for the Mother and sri Aurobindo coming through.’
“There was a beautiful feeling when Aadil read Savitri and explained the meaning of his favourite lines, and also encouraged the listener to read as well at the same time. All of this helped the inner being to be more conscious and receptive. The energy was very strong.
‘The spontaneity of the facilitator Aadil and how energised and involved he was during all the sessions.’
“His way of approach is unique.”