On luck, superstitions, folk tales and miracles

In religious history, the spiritual essence often gets cloaked by an impenetrable layer of superstition and mythology.  Fantastic tales of miracles abound, elaborate rituals are superstitiously observed to propitiate mysterious circling spirits, and considerable regard is accorded to holy days, holy food, holy places and holy clothes.  It requires inner discernment to free the mind from the cultural baggage which has been passed down through the ages.  This is a compilation of answers given by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on some of the issues which tend to burden our thinking.

Good luck

Question: Sweet Mother, Is there anything like good luck and bad luck, or is it something that one creates for oneself?

Mother: There is nothing that can truly be called luck. What men call luck are the effects of causes they do not know.

Nor is there anything that in itself is good or bad luck; each one characterises circumstances as good or bad depending on whether they are more or less favourable to him; and this estimation itself is very superficial and ignorant, for one must already be a great sage to know what is truly favourable or unfavourable to oneself.

Moreover, the same event may be very good for one person and at the same time very bad for another. These estimations are purely subjective and depend on each one’s reaction to contacts coming from outside.

Finally, the circumstances of our life, the surroundings in which we live and the way in which people regard us are the expression, the objective projection of what we ourselves are, within and without. So we may say with certainty that what we carry in ourselves in all our states of being, mentally, vitally and physically, is that which constitutes our life objectified in what surrounds us.

And this is easily verifiable, for in proportion as we improve ourselves and advance towards perfection, our circumstances also improve.

Likewise, in the case of those who degenerate and fall back, the circumstances of their lives also worsen[1].

Origin of superstitions

There was an incident at the Ashram where a teakwood bench broke, bringing down a mason who was standing on a plank resting on that bench. The mason was not injured. The incident reminded an individual that 1:30 to 3:30 P.M that day was Rahukal, an inauspicious period according to Indian astrology (follow the hyperlink for details).  When asked about it, the Mother responded “It is always better not to remember such superstitions. It is the suggestion that acts in these cases most often a suggestion in the subconscient mind; but it is made stronger by becoming conscious.” [2].

During another Q&A, she was asked…

Question: Are superstitions mental rules?

Mother: No, not rules but mental formations. Generally a superstition originates in an experience. For instance, there is a certain superstition in Europe, and you are told: “Never walk under a ladder, it will bring you ill-luck.” It is probable that someone walked under a ladder and the ladder slipped and fell upon him, and the story starts off like that. It can happen that this is a repeated experience, for, in fact, if a ladder is badly placed and you pass underneath it could fall at that very moment, and that would bring ill-luck! There are innumerable superstitions of this kind. They depend upon the countries, besides; these things are quite local and one may even find contradictory superstitions in different countries. In certain countries if you see a black cat, it is a sign that a catastrophe will come. In others if you see a black cat, it means that something very fine will happen! If you put things together you will come to the conclusion that nothing at all will happen to you! It is like that. Almost all superstitions are the result of an experience that is quite local, occasional, exceptional, which has been raised into a mental principle. It is a mental formation, it is not a rule.

Now, there are other instances, as for example a large number of religious rules which are founded solely on hygienic principles, on medical knowledge, and have been raised into religious principles, for that was the only way to make people observe them. If you are not told that “God wants” that you should do this or that, you would not do it, the majority of men ordinarily do not do it. For instance, that very simple thing washing your hands before eating; in countries where the civilisation is not quite scientific, some people discovered that in truth it was probably more hygienic to wash the hands first! If they had not made a religious rule, if they hadn’t said that “God wanted” that a man wash his hands before eating, otherwise it would be an offence against Him, people would have said: “Oh, why? No, not today, tomorrow. I have no time, I am in a hurry!” But in this way there is that constant fear at the back of their minds that something bad will happen to them due to God’s anger. This too is a superstition, a big superstition.

They do things because they are told to do them. There is an entire class of religion – for instance the Chaldean religion – which forbids the eating of pork. They say it is altogether impure and that you will become impure if you eat it. The truth is that in these countries (for they are hot countries), pig’s flesh is full of little worms which one takes in with the meat, even if it is cooked. It has to be cooked over an extremely long time to kill the worms. And so the little worms resist ordinary cooking and settle in your stomach or intestines, and then there they flourish and at times even end up by killing you or, in any case, by making you ill. These worms breed specially in this kind of meat. Now, if all this is explained to people, they do not understand; they haven’t any medical, scientific or hygienic ideas and this does not at all interest them: “Ah, but this meat is not expensive, it is sold cheap! We’ll see what happens.” What will happen is that after a while they will have terrible pains in their intestines, and then they will grow thinner and thinner and eat more and more, quite uselessly; they will not know what has happened; they will be simply eaten up by the worms. But if they are told: “Don’t do this, God will be furious and will punish you”, that is enough. They won’t do it [3].

Jewish Sabbath elevator which operates automatically because Jewish law requires observers to abstain from operating electric switches on Shabbat (the day of rest from Friday evening to Saturday night).   Image by Betsy Devine. Flickr Creative Commons. Click image for source.

See Electricity on Shabbat in Jewish law for details on this observance.

Superstitions regarding Guru’s power

The Mother also had to counter superstitions regarding her own occult capacities !   In one instance, she told a disciple: “You see, the faith of people is a superstition — it’s not faith, it’s superstition. Now there are more and more people who think they have faith, and they ask me ridiculous things! They have superstitions like…. Someone brings me a child born with a deformed arm, and the superstition is that if I put my hand on the arm of the child, he’ll be healed…. Things like that. It’s completely stupid. That’s not Power! They need a little miracle, you know, at their level. ” [4]

Question: When we have a ring or some ornament with your image, does it give us protection?

Mother: It depends above all on what you think about it! Something I give you with my own hands – there I put in something; but if it is of your own choice that you have taken a ring or a portrait, something, and you wear it… if you have the trust, the faith that it protects you, it protects you. When I give it, I give it with something completely different from the thing itself. It can contain this thing if I put it in, but if I don’t, it does not contain it.

Sri Aurobindo used to say, you know, that to wear a ring with his portrait and think that it protects you, is a superstition! He would tell you it is a superstition! That is, it depends on what you think about it…  It depends solely on what you think about it. If he had given you a ring, saying, “Wear this, my force will be with you”, then it would have been altogether different; there’s a world of difference.

I shall tell you another little story. Long ago some people used to believe that a perforated coin… It was in the days when coins were not perforated… now we have perforated coins, don’t we, some countries have perforated coins, but in those days they were not perforated, and yet sometimes there were holes in a coin. And there was indeed a superstition like this, that when one found a perforated coin, it brought good luck. It brought you good luck and success in what you wanted to do.

There was a man working in an office whose life was rather poor and who was not very successful, and one day he found a perforated coin. He put it in his pocket and said to himself, “Now I am going to prosper!” And he was full of hope, courage, energy, because he knew: “Now that I have the coin, I am sure to succeed!” And, in fact, he went on prospering, prospering more and more. He earned more and more money, he had a better and better position, and people said, “What a wonderful man! How well he works! How he finds all the solutions to all problems!” Indeed, he became a remarkable man, and every morning when he put on his coat, he felt it – like this – to be sure that his coin was in his pocket…  He touched it, he felt that the coin was there, and he had confidence. And then, one day, he was a little curious, and said, “I am going to see my coin!” – years later. He was having his breakfast with his wife and said, “I am going to see my coin!” His wife told him, “Why do you want to see it? It’s not necessary.” “Yes, yes, let me see my coin.” He took out the little bag in which he kept the coin, and found inside a coin which was not perforated!

“Ah,” he said, “this is not my coin! What is this? Who has changed my coin?” Then his wife told him, “Look, one day there was some dust on your coat…  I shook it off through the window and the coin fell out. I had forgotten that the coin was there. I ran to look for it but didn’t find it. Someone had picked it up. So I thought you would be very unhappy and I put another coin there.” (Laughter) Only, he, of course, was confident that his coin was there and that was enough.

It is the faith, the trust that does it, you see…  The perforated coin gives you nothing at all. You can always try. If you have the confidence, it gives you…   When one has confidence… [5].

Miracles of saints

Question: In the lives of many saints we read that with full trust the devotee refused to eat unless the Lord appeared and took part. And the Lord did appear and eat and work like human beings. Is there any truth in such stories?

Mother: A psychological truth because anybody can become for you the Lord if so you decide. The subjective point of view is much more widely prevailing than is generally admitted [6].

Question: I have read that the bodies of some saints, after their death, have disappeared and become flowers or just vanished into the sky. Can such a thing happen?

Mother: Everything is possible, it could have happened, but I do not believe it did. We cannot always believe what is said in books. Nor is there a necessary connection between such phenomena and sainthood. Some “mediums”, as they are called, have an unusual capacity. They are put in a chair, tied to it, guarded by people, and the room is locked securely from outside. Then darkness is created in the room. After some time – longer or shorter according to the medium’s power – the knots are found untied, the chair is seen empty: the occupant has disappeared. Then, in an adjoining room, the person is found lying down in a deep trance. Through closed doors and thick walls the medium has passed. It is by a power of deconcentration and reconcentration of the physical substance.

Phenomena like these have taken place under the strictest scientific control. So they do genuinely occur in rare instances, but they are no sign of sanctity. There is nothing spiritual about them. What is at work is purely a capacity of the vital being. And often the mediums are people of very low character, with not a trace of anything saintly.

But to come back to the point. In connection with great or holy men all sorts of stories get started. When Sri Aurobindo had not left his body, there was circulated a story that he used to go out of the roof of his room – yes, physically – and move about in all kinds of places. It is even written down in a book. He told me about it himself [7].

Image: Creation of the Cosmic Ocean from the Shiva Purana. circa 1828. Click image for source.

Mythological tales

Just like Greek mythology, Hinduism also has scriptures containing ludicrous tales of omnipotent Gods interfering with human lives.  A disciple once asked Sri Aurobindo if those stories were credible.

Disciple: There are stories in the old scriptures, Puranas, that some great yogis were tempted by the Apsaras (fairies of other worlds). Then some of them left their yogic tapasya and even married them.  Are these really facts or mere religious fables?

Sri Aurobindo: These things are possible but they do not usually happen — because it is difficult for beings of the subtle worlds to materialise to such an extent or for a long time. They prefer to act by influencing human beings, using them as instruments or taking possession of a human mind and body [8].

In Sri Aurobindo’s diary (“The Record of Yoga“) where he kept notes of his spiritual experiences, there are a couple of remarks regarding these mysterious occult beings which might shed more light on the ancient myths.

On March 28, 1914, he wrote:

In antardarshi : The golden Kali four-armed & weaponed, destroying the Asuras; a young man rushes at & throws his arms around her in filial love not hatred; he is spared & lifted up & carried away in her arms no longer as a young man but as a boy. Symbolic of the process of conversion from the Asuro-Rakshasic mind to the divine balabhava by the embrace of Kali. The visitation of Kali seems to be intended to save him from his Asura environment now turned hostile to him as to Prahlada. Qy. [Query] Was it in this way that the legends of the Puranas were formed? Jyotirmay Images [9].

He was shown a vision of the struggle between the cosmic powers known as Goddess Kali and the Asuras (Titans) which seems to be symbolic of the divinizing process that the mind undergoes when it admits the cosmic power known as Kali.   As the last line indicates, he wonders if this was how the ancient myths actually originated.

On July 21, 1914, he wrote in his diary:

Darshana : Self-manifestation of the Apsaras, & the Cherubim of the various spheres (Gandharvas, Venus) & the Seraphim (Angirasas & Bhrigus) [10].

This entry indicates that Sri Aurobindo found these mythical beings (which are in reality, cosmic energies) manifesting in his consciousness.  This note is consistent with the Rig Veda which avers that the Gods are born twice : first, they manifest in the Universe during Creation and then they manifest in the human consciousness when one reaches the highest state of Self-realization [11].

References

  1. Collected Works of the Mother, 16:229.
  2. Collected Works of the Mother, 16:15.
  3. Collected Works of the Mother, 5:155-156.
  4. Mother’s Agenda, May 8, 1971.
  5. Collected Works of the Mother, 6:233-235.
  6. Collected Works of the Mother, 15:35.
  7. Collected Works of the Mother, 15:395.
  8. Nagin Doshi, Guidance from Sri Aurobindo, vol. 2, 254.
  9. Sri Aurobindo.  Record of Yoga, CWSA vol. 10-11, 420
  10. ibid. 567.
  11. Refer to SAKSI publications on “Agni” http://www.vedah.com/essays-on-veda-upanishad-etc/elementary-topics/59-godsmore-details/464-agni; and “Perfection and Education” http://www.vedah.com/essays-on-veda-upanishad-etc/elementary-topics/48-deeper-meanings-of-mantras/255-perfection-and-education

Related Posts

  1. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on Astrology
  2. Ghosts explained
  3. Are earthquakes due to Divine retribution?
  4. The occult spirits which influence our actions
  5. How religions are formed
  6. The occult forces behind artistic movements
  7. Does Nature revolt against machinery?
  8. Mental formations: powers and perils
  9. On spirit possession and mental imbalances
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27 thoughts on “On luck, superstitions, folk tales and miracles

  1. Samir

    This post reminded me of a story about the Danish physicist Neils Bohr, who used to keep a horseshoe on his front door. When asked whether he really believed that it brought good luck, he replied, “No, I’m not superstitious! But I’m told it works whether or not you believe it does.”

    Reply
  2. kalpana01

    Clarifying words from the Masters – especially now when more and more Their teachings, memorabilia etc are being turned into ‘religious relics’ by the masses in a superstitious way. Thanks for this post and reference materials.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Reminiscences of the Mother’s physician, Dr. Bisht | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  4. Ian James

    Anybody watching the IPL Cricket?

    There seems to be a peculiar preponderance of players, especially Indian players, with various combinations of the figures 3, 6 & 9 on their back. Is there any particular significance or superstition involving these numbers in Indian mythology & culture?

    At the same time, I remember a vision of the night in which I did a work with numbers and put the numbers – figures and groups of figures – in a certain position…
    There were different groups of figures… (Mother tries to remember), yes, there were two groups: some were blue (dark blue), and others golden yellow…

    ~ The Mother’s Agenda, 5 February 1969.

    Reply
  5. mike

    Yes, apparently the Mother placed importance on certain numbers:
    Quoted from here:
    http://archives.mirroroftomorrow.org/blog/_archives/2012/1/22/4982693.html

    “The Mother attached special significance to numbers. For instance, 4 symbolized Manifestation, 5 represented Power, Six denoted Creation, 7 symbolized Realization and 8 denoted double manifestation and double protection. [3] There are six letters in the word ‘MOTHER’ which, as we know, denotes Creation. If we consider the Mother’s original name—which was—Blanche Rachel Mirra Alfassa, then we would come across 25 letters, that is, 2 + 5 = 7, thus denoting Realization. But the Mother had dropped one ‘r’ from her name after coming to India [4] and the new spelling of her name was Mira. Following the revised spelling, the total number of letters in the Mother’s name was 24, that is, 2 + 4 = 6.”

    Some years ago l read a book by a numerologist who had added up SA’s name and Hitler’s. She said they both came to 32 [l think this might be the Destiny number as it’s called in western numerology]. She didn’t say what 32 mean’t, but from what Mother says above [3+2=5] about number 5 being Power, it seems obvious when you consider the the Earthly Asuric power of Hitler and the Spiritual Power of SA.

    Reply
    1. Ian James

      Thanks Mike, though I was thinking more of the populace in general.
      You know, it’s funny, a few hours after the original post above this man appeared on BBC TV. The programme item in which he was tangentially involved had to do with dowsing.

      Some years ago the father of the programme’s host lost his ‘precious’ gold wedding ring on a beach and the host was utilising several search techniques in an attempt to recover it. As something of a last resort he called in a professional dowser who seemed remarkably confident in his methods. No spoilers… here’s the full programme:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01s0zm1/James_Mays_Man_Lab_Series_3_Episode_4/

      Does anybody know at all how force is involved in dowsing?

      People are so unwilling to recognise anything that expresses the Divine that they are ever on the alert to find fault, discover apparent defects and so reduce what is high to their own level.
      ~ The Mother.

      Reply
  6. mike

    lan, l believe the Mother has spoken about things like dowsing. She said most of it [99%] will come from the subconscious mind. Although, l have seen some pretty good results from professional dowsers.

    Reply
    1. Ian James

      So you’re saying there’s a 1% chance…
      That’s good enough for me Mike, let’s do it! 8|

      It is true that the Force can work effectively without any effort on your part. It is not the effort, it is the assent of the being that it needs for its work.
      ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga.

      Reply
  7. mike

    l could be wrong about the percentages – could be 90%. Also, SA warned against it because it’s not just the subconscious, but also low-level beings who can use these things [pendulums etc] to give false information. There is a good article by Udar Pinto [well known ashram disciple] describing it here:
    http://www.sriaurobindoashram.com/Content.aspx?ContentURL=_StaticContent/Sriaurobindoashram/-09%20E-Library/-03%20Disciples/Udar/One%20of%20Mothers%20chidren/-17_Gardens%20and%20Farms.htm

    “It is true that the Force can work effectively without any effort on your part. It is not the effort, it is the assent of the being that it needs for its work.”

    l’ve always wondered about that.

    Reply
  8. mike

    “Does anybody know at all how force is involved in dowsing?”

    lan, l don’t know if you’ve already seen that article but your question about the Force. The British dowser asked the same question too [this was in the middle of WW11]. Strange if you haven’t seen it already.

    ” Now the officer had two questions for which he wanted answers.” First, he wanted to know what was the force that acted in such matters and from where it came. Next, he asked why the results were not always true. Purani was with us at the time and neither he nor any of us felt we could answer these questions. So Purani took the V and the pendulum to Sri Aurobindo and showed the things to Him and asked Him the questions.
    This is the answer given by Sri Aurobindo. He said that such knowledge as is revealed to those who seek for it through these and other means exists in a certain plane of consciousness and persons can open to this plane. When one gets reactions through the instruments such as those taken to Him it shows that one is open to this plane. But because the knowledge is transmitted through physical material instruments which are themselves not conscious, error can often come in and often certain mischievous forces purposely give false information just for the fun of it, and because they can use the material instruments. So the best thing to do, said Sri Aurobindo, was to try and open more towards that plane of knowledge for a direct revelation and not through an instrument. Then each revelation would be always true.
    – Udar -“

    Reply
    1. Ian James

      Thanks Mike. So its the Ignorance in the instruments themselves that could play havoc with the results… how interesting. It’s a real jungle out there, let’s not do it! 😉

      There is no hopelessness except when the will chooses the worse path.
      ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga.

      Reply
      1. Ian James

        I think my ‘playing hard to get’ days are well & truly over! 😀

        God’s laughter is sometimes very coarse and unfit for polite ears; He is not satisfied with being Molière, He must needs also be Aristophanes & Rabelais.
        ~ On Thoughts & Aphorisms, #81.

  9. mike

    You know, it just occured to me today that Mother spoke about the efficay of using crystals and what a powerful effect some of them have. l think She said that ‘amethyst’ for example was good for Protection.

    “Among her multitudinous discoveries was one in which she found that ‘the essence of Love’ which had plunged down into Matter had established its Presence everywhere and in everything.

    “Even in things, in objects,” she told us, “even in stones there is a strange receptivity which sterns from this Presence. Also, stones have a spontaneous sense of what is higher, nobler, purer; and although unable to express it in any way, they feel it and are variously affected by it.”

    We have all heard about famous pearls and diamonds — such as the Blue Hope Diamond, the Eye of Buddha, the Kohinoor, etc. — being carriers of curse; behind each there is a trail of blood, of intrigue and assassination.

    Mother observed additionally that if one knows how to go about it, some stones — gems mainly — can be ‘charged’; they can accumulate a force, preserve it and pass it on. Other stones can serve as a link, or carry messages, while yet others can be used to predict things — like the ‘crystal’ of the fortuneteller. To function, these things naturally demand a competent person with a special ability. A few stones are remarkable for the power of protection they can hold. “Amethysts are great accumulators of protective power which really protects the wearer.” But the Presence is more easily discernible in “rock crystals, which form such magnificent designs of such total harmony,” precisely owing to “this central Presence.”

    Well, from what l know, a lot of dowsers use crystal pendulums. So, lt looks like crystals/stones might be more conscious than normal objects.

    Reply
  10. Ian James

    This just found me…

    Which sense is used in water-divining?

    The perception is different with each individual. For some, it is as though they saw the water; for others, as though they got the smell of water; and for others yet, it is a kind of intuition from the mental field; but then it is not a physical perception, it is a sort of direct knowledge. There was a man here who used to say he smelt water; he had an instrument, but it was only a pretext…. It is like a rod which bends, you know; try as you may to be as passive as possible, you will always make a slight movement when you have the feeling that something is there. I have tried this experiment many times: you give the rod to someone, you ask him to walk; you are silent, the man is silent, quite concentrated; then, suddenly, you think powerfully: “Here there is water” and hop! The rod makes a little movement — it is quite evident that it is your suggestion. I had thought thus, without having the least idea that there was water there, simply to make an experiment; and in the hand of the dowser the rod came down; he had received the suggestion in his subconscient.
    ~ The Mother, 22 March 1951.

    Reply
  11. mike

    This is something l don’t remember reading before. lt concerns what M calls a ‘carrier of bad luck’ or what we would probably call a ‘jinx’.
    lt interests me because l actually knew someone like this. l know this is true because unpleasant things would happen around him. He went to thailand last year to get married and as soon as he got there they had that typhoon that was all over the news worldwide, the likes of which had never been seen in that country before, l believe.
    l was also on a bus with this person once and he was talking to someone in front of us. Now, we just happened to be the only three ppl there. A few days or so later, this person he’d been talking to, dropped dead from a heart attack!!
    ln thailand, this person l know, and his wife, were saved just in time by some advice given to them (as M says about these ppl).. But M warns about traveling with them – bit difficult these days, when there could be hundreds or thousands travelling with you. On a smaller scale..yes

    “A similar incident happened to a boat. There were two persons
    (they were well-known people but I cannot remember their
    names now), who had gone to Indo-China by plane. There was
    an accident, they were the only ones to have been saved, all
    the others were killed, indeed it was quite a dramatic affair.
    But these two (husband and wife) must have been what may
    be called bringers of bad-luck—it is a sort of atmosphere they
    carry. Well, these two wanted to go back to France (for, in fact,
    the accident occurred on their way back to France), they wanted
    to return to France, they took a boat. And quite unexpectedly,
    exceptionally, right in the midst of the Red Sea the boat ran
    into a reef (a thing that doesn’t happen even once in a million
    journeys) and sank; and the others were drowned, and these two
    were saved. And I could do nothing, you know, I wanted to say:
    “Take care, never travel with these people!”… There are people
    of this sort, wherever they are, they come out of the thing very
    well, but the catastrophes are for the others.
    If one sees things from the ordinary viewpoint, one does
    not notice this. But the associations of atmosphere—one must
    take care of that. That is why when one travels in groups, one
    must know with whom one travels. One should have an inner
    knowledge, should have a vision. And then, if one sees somebody
    who has a kind of small black cloud around him, one must take
    care not to travel with him, for, surely an accident will occur
    —though perhaps not to him. Hence, it is quite useful to know
    things a little more deeply than in the altogether superficial way.”

    Reply
    1. mwb6119

      “One should have an inner
      knowledge, should have a vision.” I had asked Sandeep about this before, he said something to the effect that the psychic will naturally be on the look out for such things. I’ve never met anyone like you described. Although I did work with someone who was accident prone once. He never effected anyone else to my knowledge, other than causing us more work when he was recovering from his injuries.

      Reply
  12. mike

    Did anyone see the image of Kali on the Empire State building NYC on the 9th august. Some digital artist created it.
    Kali always represents some kind of destruction or disaster (principally war) IMO, but conspiracy theorists and evangelists are having a field day with this one LOL

    “Artist Andrew (android) Jones designed the portrait of the goddess to make the point that Mother Nature now more than ever needs a fierce avatar to fight the dangers of pollution and extinction, Firstpost.com reported.”

    Reply
  13. mike

    Strangely enough, around the same time l saw this (2 days ago) a 150 year-old church close by, burnt down. Several streets were cordoned off. Just a weird coincidence – perhaps..

    Reply
  14. mike

    Yes mark, it’s surprising that he was allowed to even do it. l can’t imagine how he got permission.
    lt looks very ominous to me.
    And the statement that:

    “Mother Nature now more than ever needs a fierce avatar”

    You just wouldn’t expect it from NYC. Perhaps the time of Kalki is at hand.
    l’ll have to check out his art too. Hadn’t thought about that.

    Reply
  15. mike

    BTW l haven’t replied to much lately due to illness among other things lol.
    This has been a nightmare of a year for me so far. One illness after another [it’s like the ten plagues of egypt lol] – only just recovering from sciatica atm. Not just me but ppl around me too..

    Reply
    1. mw

      Sorry to hear about your illness/s etc. Thanks for letting us know. Yes, do take care and rest or whatever you may need.

      On the topic of art, A locally run artistic event called “Burning Man” is about to begin (Aug 30th). This group goes to the desert in Nevada and builds a city (Black Rock City), celebrate or whatever they do there for 7 days, and then remove everything – it is considered a “social experiment..” This event now attracts 50,000 people.

      I have forgotten where I read this, but someone shared the music of the sixties with The Mother stating something about how this is a good movement for the Yoga – a good jumping off place…something like this, I cannot remember the specific’s. But I think this kind of movement (Burning Man) is similar to what they were discussing. I also link this to the blogs here on art as well. … Your share on the Kali image made me think of this – “art” that is….

      Here’s a site featuring last years gathering: http://wandering-through-time-and-place.me/2014/09/09/burning-man-was-born-on-a-beach-in-san-francisco/

      Reply
  16. mike

    lt looks very colorful when all lit-up [burning-man]. They even made a Docu-Film of it in 2013.

    “I have forgotten where I read this, but someone shared the music of the sixties with The Mother stating something about how this is a good movement for the Yoga”

    l’m not sure, but l believe it’s in the agenda where someone played some of the popular music to Her and She said it was all vital.
    Similar to the ideals of Auroville l think, without the Yoga [the matrimandir would replace the burning effigy perhaps]. A lot of these movements seem to degenerate into the old hippie hedonism, erroneously called ‘freedom’..but Mother saw something there, so…..

    This is what they say about the film:

    “Deep in the dusty expanse of the Nevada desert, over 60,000 people from around the world join together in a weeklong bacchanalia of art, self-expression and music. The once forsaken landscape is transformed into a temporary Shangri-La that doesn’t end until a towering effigy is set alight and burned to the ground in a ritual frenzy. This is Burning Man. Originally imagined as an experiment in creating a utopia where the restrictions of modern life – the nine-to-five rat race, laws and confining societal norms – vanish, the event’s popularity and scope has now exceeded even the creators’ wildest dreams. Spark: A Burning Man Story brings audiences behind-the-scenes of the legendary celebration, shining a light on the triumphs and challenges of the artists fighting harsh realities to keep their ideals of unbridled freedom and community alive”..

    Very similar to the annual Wickerman Festival in Scotland.

    “The Wickerman Festival is an annual rock and dance music event that takes place in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland; its main feature is the burning of a large wooden effigy on the last night”..

    Reply
    1. mw

      *This isn’t the quote i had mentioned, but it certainly speaks to this topic:

      “Can Music be Admitted as a Part of Life of Yoga?

      Art, poetry, music are not yoga, not in themselves things spiritual any more than philosophy is a thing spiritual or Science. There lurks here another curious incapacity of the modern intellect – its inability to distinguish between mind and spirit, its readiness to mistake mental, moral and aesthetic idealisms for spirituality and their inferior degrees for spiritual values. It is mere truth that the mental intuitions of the meta-physician or the poet for the most part fall far short of a concrete spiritual experience; they are distabt flashes, shadowy reflections, not rays from the centre of Light. It is not less true that, looked at from the peaks, there is not much difference between the high mental eminences and the lower climbings of this external existence. All the energies of the Lila are equal in the sight from above, all are disguises of the Divine. But one has to add that all can be turned into a first means towards the realisation of the Divine. A philosophic statement about the Atman is a mental formula, not knowledge, not experience; yet sometimes the Divine takes it as a channel of touch; strangely, a barrier in the mind breaks down, something is seen, a profound change operated in some inner part, there enters into the ground of the nature something calm, equal, ineffable. One stands upon a mountain ridge and glimpses or mentally feels a wideness, a pervasiveness, a nameless Vast in Nature; then suddenly there comes the touch, a revelation, a flooding, the mental loses itself in the spiritual, one bears the first invasion of the Infinite. Or you stand before a temple of Kali beside a sacred river and see what? – a sculpture, a gracious piece of architecture, but in a moment mysteriously, unexpectedly there is instead a Presence, a Power, a Face that looks into yours, an inner sight in you has regarded the World-Mother. Similar touches can come through art, music, poetry to their creator or to one who feels the shock of the word, the hidden significance of a form, a message in the sound that carries more perhaps than was consciously meant by the composer. All things in the Lila can turn windows that open on the hidden Reality. Still so long as one is satisfied with looking through windows, the gain is only initial; one day one will have to take up the pilgrim’s staff and start out to journey there where the Reality is for ever manifest and present. Still less can it be spiritually satisfying to remain with shadowy reflections, a search imposes itself for the Light which they strive to figure. But since this Reality and this Light are in ourselves no less than in some high region above the mortal place, we can in the seeking for it use many of the figures and activities of life; as one offers a flower, a prayer, an act to the Divine, one can offer too a created form of beauty, a song, a poem, an image, a strain of music, and gain through it a contact, a response or an experience. And when that divine consciousness has been entered or when it grows within, then too its expression in life through these things is not excluded from yoga; these creative activities can still have their place, though not intrinsically a greater place than any other that can be put to divine use and service. Art, poetry, music, as they are in their ordinary functioning, create mental and vital, not spiritual values; but they can be turned to a higher end, and then, like all things that are capable of linking our consciousness to the Divine, they are transmuted and become spiritual and can be admitted as part of a life of yoga. All takes new values not from itself, but from the consciousness that uses it; for there is only one thing essential, needful, indispensable, to grow conscious of the Divine Reality and live in it and live it always.”

      http://surasa.net/aurobindo/on-music.html [found here:https://auromere.wordpress.com/techniques/music/ ]

      Reply

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