Have you had those moments when everything seems perfect? Even if it is just a few moments, but somehow everything feels right in those moments — completely peaceful and perfect? We look around and everything feels as if it is in its right place, as it should be. Nothing is amiss, nothing is wrong. No chaos, no fuss, all is at peace.
I think we all have experienced such moments filled with a peaceful and calm perfection. In the middle of these perfect moments, however, sometimes somewhere some part of the mind begins to ask — can it always be so? Can it always be this perfect?
That Morning in the Garden
But let me go back to that morning when it all was indeed perfect.
[. . .]
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Peace in the July 2022 Issue of Renaissance
Since August 2021, every month we have been exploring each of the twelve attributes that the Mother says are essential for full manifestation of Her Work. We have now come to Peace. Like the previous eleven issues, here also we explore the soul-quality of Peace in its various dimensions — inner and outer, individual and collective.
The Mother once said:
“It is by a quiet, strong and persistent peace that the true victories can be won.”~ CWM, Vol. 14, p. 138
What are the victories we are trying to win? Over our nature’s defects and imperfections; over the attacks from adverse forces that keep shoving us down every time we make an attempt to rise above our lower nature; over all the darkness within and without that tries to steer us away from the sunlit path.
But none of these victories are possible unless we have established a firm base of peace, quietude and calm. Peace is the first foundation, said Sri Aurobindo. And that is what we highlight in our Guiding Light feature this month.
A prayer from the Mother’s ‘Prayers and Meditations‘ inspires us to pray for the transformation of the ordinary consciousness and for uniting with the supreme consciousness so that peace may descend upon all earth.
In another feature, we highlight some letters of Sri Aurobindo where he speaks of the necessity of having a solid and settled basis of higher Peace so that the ādhār is made ready for descent of other powers such as Force, Light, Knowledge and Ananda. A state of absolute Peace and Silence is also essential for the manifestation of the Eternal Will, as the Mother reminds us in the passage featured in the article titled ‘Peace and Transformation in Integral Yoga.’
Peace and Sadhana
Another feature reminds us that peace is the essential and true remedy for all difficulties on the path. The key is to detach from and not identify with the wrong movements in the nature that are bound to come on the path of sadhana. Sri Aurobindo advises to go on aspiring for greater peace because only in inner peace and silence the Divine Force can work to transform the nature.
We also feature a few selections from Sri Aurobindo’s letters and the Mother’s conversations which speak of the complexity of the being and also on how to work upon the parts of the being which are less open to the Divine. These passages also highlight that an inner poise of peace and calm prepares a sadhak to meet the attacks of adverse forces on the path.
In the piece titled ‘Step Back, Keep Peace, Grow in Receptivity‘ we are reminded of the Mother’s highly practical advice on how to keep one’s peace. We also feature the Mother’s advice on how to invoke peace for a conscious sleep and establishing a settled peace in mind. For aspirants on the sunlit path, more practical guidance from the Mother and Sri Aurobindois found in the piece titled. ‘On Being Calm and Conquering Anger.’
Tales and Stories, Divine Humour and More
Sri Aurobindo once said that if one is looking for peace, one should go to Ramana Maharishi! What does that mean? Read about it in the Divine Humour section which highlights the specific conversation where this matter came up. The conversation also provides insightful perspectives which can help widen and deepen our understanding of peace in Integral Yoga. Peace, Persistence and Renunciation: Two Parables of Sri Ramakrishna brings for our readers two short tales which bring out two distinct but complementary aspects of peace.
The feature titled ‘Peace through Culture and Education‘ by Kireet Joshi emphasises that culture for peace implies a new orientation of human consciousness; it implies eventually transformation of human consciousness. In another piece titled ‘Indians in Adversity — The Hidden Strength Within‘, Chamanlal Gupta, a senior member of Sri Aurobindo Ashram recounts the time when he was trapped for thirty hours under a leaking hangar at Mumbai airport in July 2005.
In the ‘Book of the Month’ feature we highlight a Meditation on Peace, the Real Truth of Our Being from Anilbaran Roy’s beautiful collection ‘Songs from the Soul‘. For our flower-meditation series, this month we have a new author joining our Renaissance team — Chitra Kolluru, who reflects on ‘Indian Mulberry and Indispensable Peace‘.
War and Peace
Mankind’s Illusions about “The Passing of War” features excerpts from Sri Aurobindo’s insightful essay titled ‘The Passing of War?’ which was written in the early months of World War I. The piece titled ‘Of Moral Violence and Gandhian Ahimsa‘ features a short piece by M. P. Pandit, titled ‘Violence‘. And apropos of this, we also include some remarks made by Sri Aurobindo regarding the methods of Satyagraha and Ahimsa applied by Gandhi during India’s freedom struggle.
The issue also features a letter from Sri Aurobindo where he speaks of WWII as the “Mother’s War.” A few excerpts from the book ‘On the Mother: The Chronicle of a Manifestation and Ministry’, which speak of the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s yogic work in WW2 are also included in the feature titled “This is the Mother’s War”: Of WW2, Victory and Atomic Bomb.
Series on the Epics
With this issue we begin serialising selected essays of Prema Nandkumar focusing on Indian literature in the light of Sri Aurobindo. We begin with her essay on the two epics — Ramayana and Mahabharata. The first essay from the 1984 issue of Sri Aurobindo Circle provides an introduction and focuses on the Ramayana. We present part 1 of the essay under the title – ‘Sri Aurobindo’s Interpretation of Indian Culture: The Epics – 1′.
As always, we offer this work at the lotus feet of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Beloo Mehra (for Renaissance Editorial Team)