I will be honest, it has been a bit of a struggle this time to get the issue ready in time. Besides other things, one of the main challenges was to limit the content to be featured. Because obviously ‘Courage’ as a theme can be explored in much greater depth than what is presented here. This was already turning out to be the most expansive issue so far in our year-long series on Twelve Qualities. So we stopped at 24 articles.
Any time there is a struggle or challenge, with Her Grace something always reminds me of Sri Aurobindo’s assurance:
“All can be done if the god-touch is there.”~ Savitri, CWSA, Vol. 33, p. 3
During the last couple of days as I prayed for some inspiration for writing this editorial – something I normally do only after I am more or less satisfied with the choice and presentation of the most of the content in the issue – one phrase “we must walk, we must walk,”. . . kept coming to me. I took it as a guidance from the Mother that walking with courage is what I should write on.
As I began typing out some initial thoughts, I remembered this line from Savitri – “Courage their armour, faith their sword, they must walk” (CWSA, Vol. 33, p. 211). And it was clear that there couldn’t have been any other title to this editorial than what you see now. Looking back at the content of the issue and reflecting on what possibly inspired my selection of the articles and passages featured here, more clarity came. The key idea guiding me, consciously or sub-consciously, was perhaps this: courage and faith, courage and truth, courage and love – these things always go together.
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother strongly emphasise courage as one of the most important qualities to be cultivated by an aspirant on the path of yoga of transformation. This is true both at the individual and the collective levels. The present issue is our humble attempt at highlighting some of their insights on this soul-quality. We explore ‘courage’ through several different viewpoints, to present an integral picture.
Topics include: courage on the path of sadhana, the Aryan ideal of courage, courage and nationalism, the kshatriya turn of nature and its ideal perfection, the Bourgeois vs. Samurai mentality, war and evolution of earth, the truth of Kurukshetra, a reading of Sri Aurobindo’s poem on Baji Prabhou, glimpses of Bagha Jatin, remembering Major Somnath Sharma (first PVC recipient), and much more.
The issue on ‘Courage’ would not have been complete without incorporating some excerpts from the essay ‘The Bourgeois and the Samurai’ . I have always felt that this, along with Uttarpara Speech of Sri Aurobindo, should be mandatory reading for all high school and college students in India. This is the finest analysis ever made about one of the most significant blows to Indian collective psyche during European colonisation.
Sri Aurobindo wrote this during 1906-7, most likely for The Modern Review or another monthly journal. The British seized the notebook containing the manuscript in May 1908 at the time of Sri Aurobindo’s imprisonment. Four years after his passing, this and several other notebooks were rediscovered and restored to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The text was transcribed and first published in Sri Aurobindo: Archives and Research in 1978.
We are presenting it in Renaissance in two parts with infographics that can really help modern minds grasp the fullness of Sri Aurobindo’s incisive description and analysis.
READ MORE OF THE EDITORIAL BY BELOO MEHRA AT:
Courage Our Armour, Faith Our Sword, We Must Walk
Renaissance, March 2022 issue contents:
On Courage (clickable links):
- Having a Taste for the Supreme Adventure (Guiding Light)
- Get Rid of the Fear, Disgust and Despair
- Sri Aurobindo on Courage and Nationalism
- Sri Aurobindo on the Aryan Ideal of Courage
- Of Life and War: Sri Aurobindo on Kurukshetra
- The Perfection of the Kshatriya Soul-Force
- The Conquest of India by the British
- Of Courage, Wars, and Evolution of the Earth
- Something of the Stuff of the Hero and of the Titan
- To Face Everything in Life Without a Shudder
- The Bourgeois and the Samurai – Part 1
- The Bourgeois and the Samurai – Part 2
Tales and Stories (clickable link):
Remembering Our Heroes (clickable links):
- Remembering Bagha Jatin – Part 1
- Remembering Bagha Jatin – Part 2
- The Poetic Strength and Beauty of ‘Baji Prabhou’ – Part I
- The Poetic Strength and Beauty of ‘Baji Prabhou’ – Part II
- Major Somnath Sharma, PVC – The ‘Saviour of Kashmir’ (Part 1)
Continuing Series (clickable links):
- Arka, the ‘Courage’ Crown Flower (Flower Meditation)
- Sādhanā: To Become a Truly Strong Being (Sādhanā)
- सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः – May All be Free from Illness – 10 (Health and Healing)
Poem (clickable link):