Here is a treasure of 360 soul-stirring, uplifting true stories about Sri Aurobindo and the Mother which will leave a deep imprint upon the heart and mind of the reader and have the potential to awaken in him a new aspiration a spiritual orientation>
Each story reflects a facet of the diamond splendour of the Lila, the world play of the Avatars of the Super mind.
When Shyam Kumari told me of her project to gather and publish stories from the incidents and anecdotes that disciples could tell her concerning Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and their relations with them and their experiences through them I thought, what a good idea, what a lovely project.
There will be many kinds of books written about the Mother in time, some conceptual, some factual and writers will go to the archives for their information but there is a store-house of treasures locked in the memories and hearts of those who know them. Many of these devotees are no longer living and slowly others will follow. All of these stories put together form a body which can throw light inspire and always move the heart.
I have already heard children ask, Did the Mother really exist? When one reads these stories one might ask: how could the earth exist without her? We are moved in every way, to smile, in wonder, to psychic tears, and always the Mother’s presence like a perfume which soothes and gives us strength for the Journey on which, as we are reminded here, she is always with us.
Many may protest that the stories cannot be checked or proved or that they may be exaggerated or even slightly distorted. Some may even say that they may be imaginary. All I can say is that when I hear them and read them they have the flavour and fragrance of the Mother and I am content to bask in them: my mind makes no protest.
This is a collection of stories remembered and told by the Mother's children, about their experiences with her and Sri Aurobindo. It is a humble attempt to record some incidents of the divine lila - a few drops from the inexhaustible ocean of love that the Mother and Sri Aurobindo were. Their infinite compassion, their incessant self-giving and self-sacrifice are beyond human comprehension. Each step taken by them is etched deeply on the breast of Time. The Truth-Vibration of each word spoken by them continues to reverberate throughout the universe. As the Mother herself said, "Whatever I do, the least gesture, whatever I say or utter has a stupendous effect in the other world. The vibrations that come out of me become realities above . . . And you will be surprised to see the work I have accomplished for you all. For each one his own path, well-shaped, well-chiselled with all the obstacles, all the impediments removed, all that was blocking the way demolished, so that you may be able to walk freely in the full light of the new consciousness, towards the truth."
Now that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are no longer physically present among us, these stories may help to make them vivid and bring them nearer to the reader.
My grateful Pranams to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
Over the years the stories sadhaks told me of their contact with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother made a great impact upon me. Inspired by the sweetness of some of the stories I heard from old disciples I embarked on a voyage of discovery and collected 360 of them which I though should be brought out in book form.
As these stories have been narrated from memory which is not infallible, the words of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo may be only approximation; but every effort has been made to preserve their sense faithfully. Personal names have been mostly withheld, and even the initials used do not correspond to those of the persons concerned. All the material in the book has been written by me after gathering information except for a few pieces which run in they very words of those have given their reminiscences. A few of these stories have appeared in Mother India and some others here and there, but most of them are being published here for the first time.
These 421 short stories are vibrant with the presence of Sri Aurobindo and the mother. Here is a window into a fascinating world where ‘All Life is Yoga;. These stories have the power to enlighten and elevate. The reader, while delightfully entranced, may also find his faith strengthened and discover that the flame of aspiration burns brighter in his heart. Gems of spiritual guidance abound throughout this treasure of lovingly collected stories.
This is an extraordinary record of the grace and guidance of the Avatars of the Super mind.
The warm welcome and sincere enthusiasm evinced by the readers of Vignettes of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (360 True Stories), now in its second printing, encouraged me to continue this work of collection and compilation. Here are 421 new stories - a result of two years of labour.
The majority of these stories are based on interviews with individuals. For the most part, their personal names have been withheld and even the initials used do not generally correspond to those of the persons concerned. As these stories have been narrated from memory, which is rarely infallible, and due to the long intervening time lag, the words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother may be only approximations. But all efforts have been made to retain their original meaning.
Some of these stories have appeared elsewhere and are reprinted here with permission. Extracts from other journals and books have been edited and abridged to fit into the framework of this book. The greatest amount of work went into the Udar stories. True to his name, Udar was generosity itself. When I sent him my request for his reminiscences, he agreed to record them on tape and, in due time, gave me five audio cassettes full of precious stories. To preserve their originality and personal touch, these stories have been kept in the first person mode of narration.
I spent many hours in the office of "Sri Aurobindo's Action" looking through every back issue of that journal for other Udar reminiscences. Some that I found bave been included in this volume. A few of the stories, Udar's and others', were culled from similar research through back issues of "Mother India." My thanks to K. D. Sethna and to Shyam Sundar Jhunjhunwala who have permitted me to print these extracts from their respective journals.
Long hours of typing, correcting and typesetting have been contributed by my friend Maria Jain, and by my son Kim. Without their efforts the book would not have been possible. I also thank all those who generously helped with the many hours of proof-reading work. My special thanks to my young friends, Arpit, Mahi and Sunam, who did the time-consuming work of transcribing the Udar tapes.
The Devotee not only craves the words of power uttered by the Master, but thirsts for the rasa of small daily happenings witnessed by the disciples, of experiences others have had of divine grace, through which he can taste something of the bliss of being in touch with a supernal reality.
The sincere enthusiasm evinced by the readers of Vignettes of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (360 True Stories) and More Vignettes of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (421 True Stories) encouraged me to continue this work of collection and compilation. Here are 360 new stories - a result of four years of labour.
The majority of these stories are based on interviews with individuals. As they have been narrated from memories going back many years, the words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, as quoted here, may be only approximations. However, all efforts have been made to retain their original meaning. For the most part, personal names have been withheld and even the initials used do not generally correspond to those of the individuals concerned.
Some of these stories have appeared in other journals and books and have been reprinted here with permission. These extracts have been edited and abridged to fit in the framework of this book.
To celebrate the centenary of Sri Aurobindo's return to India, this volume begins with some vignettes of his Baroda days.
The book ends with a large number of gems from Amal Kiran (K. D. Sethna), some based on my talks with him, but the greater part selected from his books.
Amal Kiran was instrumental in the writing of these vignettes. One of the most generous and self-giving of men, he gives of his time unstinted and about ten years ago I read Sri Aurobindo's Collected Poems with him. At that time, I was regularly publishing poems and critical essays in Mother India, (the monthly review of culture of which he is the founding editor) and used to meet him often.
One day, in a joyous moment, I narrated to Amal many beautiful vignettes of our Gurus which had been told to me over the years and which had made a deep impression on me. Always an alert editor, he at once asked me to write these stories for publication in Mother India. After some persuasion on his part, I agreed and for many months some of these vignettes appeared in Mother India. But soon I had so many that it would have taken Mother India ten ~ears to publish them all and I brought them out as a book. The work gathered momentum
and here is the third volume in the series.
It is with gratitude that I dedicate this book to Amal Kiran as he embarks on the tenth decade of his life.
Long hours of typing, correcting and type setting have been contributed by my friend Maria Jain, and by my son Kim. Without their efforts the book would not have been possible. I also thank all those who generously helped with the many hours of proof-reading work. It is due to the free labour of love of all these generous friends that this book can be offered to you.
I thank my dear sister Ha and niece Aparajita for their contribution for meeting the cost of publication of this book.
This is precisely the need met by Shyam Kumari’s vignettes series about the Avatars of the Supermental Advent
To read these volumes is to be surprised by joy. The experience is profoundly moving, a sense of being lifted up into a spiritual ambience of ineffable beauty and radiance, evoking thoughts and emotions that lie too deep for tears.
Brahma Sutras (81)
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