Speaking of the last four attributes in the Mother’s symbol, the Mother once said that the soul-qualities of Goodness, Generosity, Equality and Peace concern our attitudes toward humanity. As we open this issue on the theme ‘Generoristy’, it is also important to recall these words of the Mother:
“It is a mistake to consider service to humanity as the highest expression of service to the Divine. To do so is to remain far too confined within the limits of an exclusive human consciousness.”
(CWM, Vol. 14, p. 276)
Keeping this in consideration, our selection of passages from the Mother and Sri Aurobindo for our guiding light feature sheds light on some key facets related to ‘Generosity’. The themes highlighted in these passages are then elaborated in other features.
Generosity as a Virtue
For our Sādhanā series, we highlight a prayer which reminds us to pray for a generous heart and boundless love to permeate the sorrowful earth with love and mercy. Generosity also means wideness of the heart. As the Mother once said: “A generous heart always forgets the past offences and is ready to reestablish harmony.” (CWM, Vol. 17, p. 357). We present a beautiful story by Sri Aurobindo, where we find a high ideal of forgiveness that marks the highest Aryan culture of India.
In another Bengali writing, Sri Aurobindo speaks of the kindness, generosity, self-control, charity and other noble qualities that he witnessed among the thieves, robbers and other convicts during his twelve months in Alipore Jail.
From Goodness to Generosity
Building upon the insights presented in the previous issue on Goodness, in this ‘Generosity’ issue we feature three passages from Sri Aurobindo that speak of the inner significance of practicing higher virtues. A few more passages from Sri Aurobindo help us understand the psychological foundations of altruism, its limits and potentiality for facilitating self-development.
Last month in our Goodness issue, we published the Mother’s talk on the meaning of true and sublime charity. In this issue we include a short essay by Nolini Kanta Gupta which serves as another reminder of what is true charity. We also feature a conversation of the Mother where she speaks candidly that most ideas people have of serving the humanity are nothing but sign of personal ambition. She enlightens us that the best way to serve the humanity is to offer oneself entirely, truly, most generously to the Divine.
In another conversation the Mother speaks on giving oneself sincerely to the Divine without bargaining. She also narrates a beautiful story about perfect giving. In her meditation on Balsam ‘Generosity’ flower Sheeba Naaz explores the subtle but important difference between dakshinā, bhikshā and dāna.
If Integral Yoga is Yoga in real-life and for the transformation of all Life, the subject of money can not be left unaddressed. What is the right attitude a sadhak on the path of Integral Yoga should have toward money? This and several related questions related to money were addressed by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in many of their writings and conversations. Chapter IV in the book ‘The Mother‘ also gives a deep insight into this topic.
A short article by M.P. Pandit presents a good summary of several essential points from the teachings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo on this topic of money. We also feature words of the Mother where she explains that wealth is a force of nature which creates harmonious balance if circulated and utilised for its true work. She advises that each one must find in one’s highest consciousness the best possible use of the money.
We also feature an excerpt from a conversation between a group of children and the Mother where she explains that both generosity and avarice are deformations of a higher truth.
In our Insightful Conversation series, we speak with Dr. Chhalamayi Reddy on the topic of bringing Indian-ness in schools. An award-winning principal with more than 30 years of experience, she shares her experience and insights.
We continue with Part 3 of the biography of Major Somnath Sharma written by Shyam Kumari. This month we conclude Rajeshwari’s series on health and healing. The author gives a few examples of how our ancestors emphasised physical and mental discipline before and during the yatra to ensure that the yatris were physically fit, mentally energised and spiritually uplifted.