The present issue of Renaissance is dedicated to exploring equality. It is one of the twelve qualities that the Mother says we must cultivate and progressively deepen as we walk the Sunlit Path. Through our varied offerings we delve into various dimensions of equality. We also attempt to highlight relevant passages which throw much-necessary light on how to grow in equality, a state of inner samatā.
For the Guiding Light feature we present some passages from Sri Aurobindo which explain what is Yogic Samatā. His letter dealing with samatā and loyalty to truth is especially relevant for our present times.
In ‘The Synthesis of Yoga’ when elaborating upon the Yoga of Self-Perfection, Sri Aurobindo devotes several chapters on Equality describing it as the most essential and fundamental basis for spiritual perfection. The Perfect Equality in Integral Yoga, a 3-part feature highlights one chapter titled ‘The Perfection of Equality‘ to bring out the significant nuances of this most important quality.
In the feature titled The Perfect Equality of Soul and More, the Mother explains two of Sri Aurobindo’s phrases – namely, “strong immobility of an immortal spirit” and “the equality of soul”. To have this equality of the soul requires one to know that everything is an expression of the divine Will.
But the Mother emphasises it also requires at the same time to accept the truth that there is a will higher than that of man which wants things to progress.
We have selected a few letters of Sri Aurobindo where he gives practical advice on cultivating equality with regard to a sadhak’s interactions and relations with others. Also featured is an interesting conversation of Sri Aurobindo with a few disciples on the subject of vegetarianism, pity, compassion and more. The deeper point there is about cultivating an attitude of equality toward food preference in spiritual life.
The Mother’s explanation of why it is important to treat both genders with a deeper attitude of perfect equality is also an important read.
For our Sādhana feature, we highlight a prayer from the Mother’s Prayers and Meditations. It instills an aspiration to give oneself to the Divine in peace, serenity and equanimity for Divine’s work to be done. The Mother on Bodily Equality features passages where she emphasizes the necessity of equanimity in the body to receive the divine forces. She also explains how to practice bodily equality at the cellular level.
We also present a few selections that speak of the significance of equality in the face of misfortunes and attacks from hostile forces. In the feature titled Equality and Supermind, the Mother’s words on the significance of equality for living in Auroville are worth deep reflection.
In her contribution, On Candytuft, Equanimity and Finding Balance, Sheeba Naaz offers some practical tips on finding that inner equipoise and balance. Auro Ashish reflects on Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual realisation in Alipore Jail, and an interesting parable to highlight some nuances of equality and unity.
Equality and Democracy
Like many other terms, the word ‘equality’ — in its outer dimensions of social, economic and political equality — has become contentious in present times. This is primarily because of its over-simplistic, surface-level, politicised reading.
Sri Aurobindo reminds us that the democratic trinity of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity can find its true essence and fulfilment only when we realise that these are essentially qualities of the soul.
In a 2-part essay ‘The Religion of Humanity and the Democratic Trinity‘, we read Sri Aurobindo’s description of the gains made by the intellectual religion of humanity. He also helps us understand the inadequacy of this mind-borne ideological religion in bringing forth a true democracy.
In Sri Aurobindo on Asiatic Democracy we explore if there is an essential difference between Indian and Western understanding of the true spirit of the democratic trinity of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
For a special offering on the occasion of International Day of Yoga, June 21, 2022, we highlight an essay of Sri Aurobindo. Here he gives us a profound understanding of one of the most popularly quoted phrases from the Bhagavad Gita — योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् or “Yoga is skill in works.” It is our hope that more people across the world will aspire to understand the true meaning of Yoga and not confine it to a set of exercises.
Sisir Kumar Ghose presents a broad but profound overview of the new dimensions and dynamism that Sri Aurobindo brought in the timeless spiritual vision and thought given to us by our ancient sages and seers. It was published in the 1986 issue of Sri Aurobindo Circle. We present it in two parts.
In this month’s Insightful Conversation, we speak with the authors of book, ‘The Games India Plays‘ about the necessity of reviving and popularising the traditional outdoor games of India. For our Book of the Month feature we present the concluding part of the biography of Major Somnath Sharma, the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra in independent India.