The sessions on the The Art of Self-Giving were an overview of the verticality, expansiveness and depth…. the dimensional attributes of a deep surrender…. a surrender that reaches a fullness of ‘becoming’ when it is infused with the fragrance of the Psychic Presence.
Sincerity, purity, aspiration and faith are the strings on the harp of surrender and Self-Giving becomes a symphony and reaches a sublimation when the Divine Grace descends and pours forth its melody of Love.
Dr Monica Gulati’s session on Life: A Conscious Sacrifice focused on the path of Love, as etched in the Mother’s prayers. Mother’s prayer is a Tao, a gathering of points of light, an assurance for Her children who feel daunted by the play of forces in Nature.
The infinite joy of a unitive consciousness is the eternal melody of Divine intent.
Unfortunately, we sing the discordant notes, overpowered by attachments, aversions and greed that manifest as desires. These along with the other demonic qualities, such as anger and inequality, need to be cast into the fire of the inner flame. The Agni.
The only way to walk out of this causal loop of a mayhem is to become aware that Prakriti, Nature can be rebuilt through self -mastery, simply by empowering our relationship with new ideas and noble thoughts and emotions.
Holding the witness-poise is an indispensable act in purification as one is able to look at these aberrations in ourselves as qualities to be worked upon. Treating disempowering emotions as intruders and refusing their entry into our being is a practice advocated in a state of vigilance.
One must awaken from the illusion of separateness and tune into the law of interconnectedness decreed by Divine Love. The path lies in anchoring to the path of Divine Love and experiencing the expression of That Presence in all of creation.
A wideness flowers, sculpts the attitude that resonates with the altitude of unalloyed love and respect…. steering clear of the entanglements that enmesh; every act and thought becomes a soul-bound prayer. Purity, fluidity, simplicity, spontaneity are hallmarks of a life that opens to the closeness of the Divine Mother and entrusts itself to that source of immutable peace.
As Sri Aurobindo captures the essence of this yoga of Love…
“For to the soul that wholly gives itself to Him, the Lord also gives himself altogether”.
Jishnu Guha's session, The Art of Self-Giving: the Practice underlined the importance of ‘ Remembrance’, in the path of offering.
Remembrance infuses life with the fragrance of sanctity that makes of “life a daily pilgrimage”.
As Sri Aurobindo writes, “For through small joys and griefs thou movest towards God ''.
The ‘why’ of surrender' becomes a natural movement when disappointments and failures knock at the door and one reaches a threshold, a liminality and decides at that crucial moment to simply entrust oneself to the Divine.
There’s a lingering sweetness in Surrender as there’s no distance between the one who makes the surrender and the One to whom the Surrender is made. It stays as a Remembrance, in everyday moments and surrender is experienced as a delight of the soul, as one is able to overcome the shadows and shortcomings by the power of the Source; one births into a newness and all choices are birthed in consciousness.
As Mother mentions, true surrender must express itself as a sacred offering either to the Divine or other beings. The session advocated the organic flowering of attitude and capacities and the emergence of a natural flow and spontaneity. Each person has his own path to choose in the journey of merging with the Divine.
Any activity… any simple act can be a window to align to Remembrance and experience the depth of an offering. It’s an art where one dives into a state of concentration in loving awareness and becomes the very offering…. one becomes a prayer….
Dr Yogesh Mohan’s session, The Joy of Freedom and Self-Giving was a bestowal of Light, advocating a fluidity, a flow, a surrender that springs from the inmost chamber of the being, a surrender that experiences the joy of freedom.
Living a life that is inked in a fractured perspective of life, we are tossed by the undulating waves of worldly existence and tend to view this phenomenonon as a natural flux of life, steeped as we are in a state of ignorance and negative emotions.
The power to rewrite this seemingly irreversible course of life lies in reorienting our relationship with life in its true magnitude.
We need to realise the spirit of abundance that resides in the inter-connectedness of
our life with Nature that brims with beauty, harmony, peace and silence. They open
new doorways to identify ourselves with the subtle, effulgent nature of the inmost being.
Freedom is the essence of the soul. In this light of freedom and closeness to the Divine we realise that “all conflicting principles of the being are unified”.
The only way, as the Mother advocates, is to make a leap in faith, turn towards Her, trustingly walk into Her arms that await our homecoming, offer ourselves in our entirety, melt into Her and experience the unitive poise of being one with Her…. in a poise of inseparability. This is freedom in surrender.
The Mother asks of her children to turn every element of the being exclusively to Her Light…. mind, vital, body, acts, the inner being. Fear, doubt and the whip of uncertainty are outcasts in this plane of consciousness. There then appears a new Dawn of existence in freedom, where nothing is felt as one’s own…. not even one’s life as it’s entrusted at Her Feet.
James Anderson’s session, Living by Giving Oneself: A Practical Session was premised on the Mother’s journey of working on the physical, wherein She declared that “freedom and salvation” lie in the body.
The body as a vessel and a container of the many layers of our being and their associated levels of consciousness bears the imprints of our experiences as sensations and vibrations, that speak too often as a sense of unease in the body
They are products of the fragmented part of our outer personality….
Our bodies mirror these creases in subtle ways, that may not be apparent to our eye.
They lie within, but lie outside our awareness.
A conscious self-giving that rings with a rapture of integrality, sincerity, simplicity and beauty can be birthed only on a stable ground.
- The practice orients us to empower our relationship with our consciousness and request it to drop into our physical, whereby we get to look through the body,
- As one invokes the Psychic and directs the inner gaze of consciousness on the different regions, one keeps the station and poise above, just being aware of sensations, resistances that surface. An enquiry…. an inner communication in the form of a gaze directed on the part that holds a disruption sets in motion a subtle movement, wherein the being gets more harmonised.
- A light emerges as an answer to our query and sense of balance is restored within the body.
- The Mother’s Presence is invoked to guide, lead, heal and restore.
One opens to the possibility of experiencing the descent of Peace as a gentle, yet solid force.
One needs to explore and experience this marvellous gift of Grace that bequeaths a shower of harmony in the very cells of the body.
Dr Soumitra Basu’s session, Adventure of Consciousness and Joy presented in succession the construct that is native to each plane and how it impacts the act of surrender from becoming an integral offering.
As is the plane and state of consciousness, so is the qualitative depth of self-giving.
An offering that arises from the mental plane arises from a soil that is mixed with doubts and apprehensions.
With the vital, with its authoritative, volatile nature, one witnesses a lack of plasticity.
The physical, with its propensity towards inertia, lacks the aspirational fuel to provide the offering a fullness.
The ego, tethered to its own constructs, denies itself the breath of Grace and renders itself crippled to be able to plunge into a state of surrender. The unconscious is bereft of the capacity, dense as it is, in its nature.
The art of giving acquires a maturation when it attains an understanding of the inherent potency of the triple movements entailed in the journey of surrender: that of Aspiration, Rejection and Surrender. Integral Yoga stresses on the inclusion of these three movements in consciousness.
The act of surrender acquires joy and depth only when we hand over the governance of our life to the Psychic. It is only under the influence of the Psychic that the outer harmonises with the inner leading to an integration.
Dr Alok Pandey’s session, The Mystery of Love emphasised on the Delight-principle, an inherent Master-Essence in creation…. which finds its home in the heart of a vastness and expansiveness and yields a joy that is ineffable in nature, not the ephemeral joy of insect-pleasures that our ego-bound consciousness is familiar with.
Self-giving acquires the nectarine overlay of love and grace, as one’s soul like the humming bird visits the many-hued blossoms of Bhakti ( devotion )…. each experience is a blossom for the soul to drink of the unalloyed delight that streams forth from the closeness and nearness to the Divine presence.
Moments sculpted by the intensity of the heart’s yearning for the Divine sanction the joy of being able to experience the Divine as a mother, father, a teacher, a guide, a slave and servant and a beloved…. the trajectory of love reaches an ineffable fullness in the poise of beholding the Divine as one’s beloved…. and the thought of the Divine
becomes an inseparable inlay in the self and its instrumentation…. body, mind and emotions, lending each its alchemic touch of transformation.
The canvas widens as the nature of love in the seeker deepens, and the act of self-giving becomes an offering to the personal, cosmic or transcendent aspect of the Divine.
Dust and stars that humans are made of, this love of humans, journey through difficult terrains that are inked in distortions, demands, pettiness, greed, etc.
As and when one aspires for purer waters to quench its intrinsic thirst for love and delight, it moves towards the Supreme, the very Source of this delight.
The journey and task may seem daunting and arduous to a mind hinged to narrowness.
We need to anchor ourselves to the living words of Sri Aurobindo:
“Live always as if you are under the eyes of the Divine Mother”. Divine intent has etched this journey through the path of Love. All experiences are pathways to traverse this journey, ripe with the reality of finding the Divine in all aspects of creation and ultimately holding the possibility of merging with the very fount of Love, The Divine.
Surrender, as we have seen, is the art of perfection in Self-Giving. Its natural progression is like that of a river that moves towards its destination…. the Ocean of Divine Love. To quote Sri Aurobindo:
“The Divine gives itself to those who give themselves without any reserve…. to them the calm, the light,mother bliss, the freedom,….. the seas of Ananda”.
About 25 people registered for this programme, which was held in a sacred and intense atmosphere.
What did you enjoy most in this workshop?
“The individuality of each speaker: while there is the unity of their presentations and messages. I also enjoyed the mini-guided meditation/exercises - James and Dr Basu’s meditations/exercises rocked.”
“The concept of Divine as the beloved”.
“Style and content of presentation.”