12 Feb 2015

The Golden Chain Fraternity – Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust Nexus – by An Alumnus-Disciple

It is the self-regarding desire-driven leap of faith of alumni and Ashramites and would-be Ashramites that endorses SAAT’s administration as that of the Mother Herself. And in return for their defence of its assessments, policies and actions, SAAT certifies them as truly committed to the Mother and Her Ashram, hence its legitimate inmates or fit to be admitted as inmates, and admits their children to its SAICE. The criteria Sri Aurobindo and the Mother demanded for admission as sadhaks to Their Ashram have thus been clearly overridden. – Extract

The GFC – SAAT Nexus
Or the Leap of Faith — by An Alumnus-Disciple

Are The Golden Chain Fraternity (GCF) and its work maintained by the Ashram (i.e., Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust – SAAT) in any manner? And what are its goal & agenda?” Ritwik asked “all Aurobindonians” (a sick term – it degrades and exploits Him) on this website last 12th December.
Three days later, Sampdas wrote that GCF’s own website makes it out to be of alumni of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE), and admits its connection with the Ashram Trust thus: “An integral part of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, SAICE was blessed to have, in its formative stages, the Mother’s active presence and guidance. Over the years it has continued to serve as a field of experiment and research in education…. . All of us have fond memories of the growing-up years we spent there. We appreciate the immense privilege of having studied in that very special place.” From this Sampdas infers that “since the formative years are over, the active presence and guidance of the Mother is a matter of the past. The defence of the Ashram Trust at present by the alumni of SAICE is perhaps a thin fig leaf covering the nexus of dispensers of benefits and the recipients of favours.”
            This inference stirred me into enlarging upon some of the facts it implies.

1. It is the self-regarding desire-driven leap of faith of alumni and Ashramites and would-be Ashramites that endorses SAAT’s administration as that of the Mother Herself. And in return for their defence of its assessments, policies and actions, SAAT certifies them as truly committed to the Mother and Her Ashram, hence its legitimate inmates or fit to be admitted as inmates, and admits their children to its SAICE. The criteria Sri Aurobindo and the Mother demanded for admission as sadhaks to Their Ashram have thus been clearly overridden. This degeneration was foreseen by Sri Aurobindo in July 1926: Once the Mother’s active presence and guidance became a matter of the past this Ashram will degenerate due to the incapacity of our human nature which spoils whatever it receives from above, and our mind which, being capable only of grasping the Teaching intellectually, will deform the whole thing.[1] Isn’t this how religiosity swallows up collective spiritual endeavours?
What are SAAT’s Rules & Regulations of 2003, if not the Shastra-Doctrine-Edict-Charter of a quasi-religious corporation? What are the SAAT-propped ‘psychic beings’ and ‘advanced sadhaks’, exponents and scholars, if not its saints, priests, and promoters? For them anyone who questions the legitimacy of SAAT’s Rules and Regulations, or disputes its claim of being Mother’s absolute successor on the strength of the Trust Deed registered by the Mother in 1955, or convicts Heehs of kicking and quartering Sri Aurobindo and Mother for fame and fortune, is an enemy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and their Work. What is this if not confounding the Transcendental-Universal-Individual Mother and Her Ashram with SAAT and its corporation? Doesn’t it prove their unwillingness to accept the Truth She revealed in this remark: Y is wrong to believe that I came upon earth to establish this Ashram. That would really be a very paltry objective.”[2]

2. The source of the designation “Golden Chain Fraternity” is implied in every issue of GCF in this quote from Nolini’s talk at SAICE on 26 Oct. 1976:
“Mother said many times: Whoever gets my touch, whoever has a second of true aspiration, true love for me, he is finished for life, for all lives – he is bound to me. I have put a golden chain round his neck; his heart is bound eternally to me.”
Those who hit upon this designation were too thrilled to notice that it crucifies Nolini on the altar of their alluring elitism. But they knew that Nolini’s “golden chain” merely rephrased the core of the “world of things” that Mother means by saying “I am with you[3]; they knew that while alumni admitted by Mother may have had in this or a previous life[4] a second or more of true aspiration and love for Her, this cannot be claimed for those admitted in the absence of Her “active presence and guidance”, since inferior criteria always intrude in SAICE’s decision to admit or reject applicants! What they definitely had not realised, as Nolini did, was what She meant by “All souls who aspire are always under my direct care”[5], or cautioned by But being a disciple does not necessarily imply that one lives in the Ashram. In fact, there are more disciples living outside the Ashram than in it.”[6]

3. It is time, therefore, for us who have aspired for or loved the Mother even for a moment, to leave all fond or troubled memories of our privileged or unprivileged past and present, and run towards the luminous future[7] in Her Golden Chain Fraternity opened for us in these words on 14 May 1958:
“As the beginnings of the supramental life… develop, perhaps not in a very obvious way but very surely, it becomes more and more obvious that… it is much more difficult to pass from the mental to the supramental life than to pass from a certain psychic emotion in life – something that is like a reflection, a luminous emanation of the divine Presence in matter….  In this new substance which is spreading and acting in the world, there is a warmth, a power, a joy so intense that all intellectual activity seems cold and dry beside it…. A single moment, a single impulse of deep and true love, an instant of the understanding which lies in the divine Grace brings you much closer to the goal than all possible explanations.”[8]
And in this assurance: “…there is a special personal tie between…all who have turned to the teaching of Sri Aurobindo and myself and, it is well understood, distance does not count…you may be at the other end of the world or in Pondicherry, this tie is always true and living.... In truth, I hold myself responsible for everyone, even for those whom I have met only for one second in my life…. With those I have accepted as disciples… there is more than a tie, there is an emanation of me…. The Divine is with you according to your aspiration. Naturally that does not mean that He bends to the caprices of your outer nature,—I speak here of the truth of your being. And yet, sometimes he does fashion himself according to your outer aspirations, and if, like the devotees, you live alternately in separation and union, ecstasy and despair, the Divine also will separate from you and unite with you, according as you believe. The attitude is thus very important, even the outer attitude. People do not know how important is faith, how faith is miracle, creator of miracles.”[9]

4. Our first step then is to slay our self-regarding desire-driven faith in SAAT and its thriving corporation, and leap into the faith demanded in The Synthesis of Yoga:
Our faith must first be abiding in the essential truth and principles of the Yoga, and even if this is clouded in the intellect, despondent in the heart, outwearied and exhausted by constant denial and failure in the desire of the vital mind, there must be something in the innermost soul which clings and returns to it…. The Shakti in her workings will strike ruthlessly at all forms of ignorance and blindness and all even that trusts wrongly and superstitiously in her, and we must be prepared to abandon a too persistent attachment to forms of faith and cling to the saving reality alone. A great and wide spiritual and intelligent faith, intelligent with the intelligence of that larger reason which assents to high possibilities, is the character of the sraddha needed for the integral Yoga.
“This sraddha is in reality an influence from the supreme Spirit and its light a message from our supramental being which is calling the lower nature to rise out of its petty present to a great self-becoming and self-exceeding. And that which receives the influence and answers to the call is not so much the intellect, the heart or the life mind, but the inner soul which better knows the truth of its own destiny and mission. The circumstances that provoke our first entry into the path are not the real index of the thing that is at work in us. There the intellect, the heart, or the desires of the life mind may take a prominent place, or even more fortuitous accidents and outward incentives; but if these are all, then there can be no surety of our fidelity to the call and our enduring perseverance in the Yoga.”[10]



[1] Based on Sri Aurobindo’s remark, in a talk of 19 July 1926 recorded by Anilbaran. See Conversations, Sri Aurobindo Circle, No. 34, 1978.
[2] Collected Works of the Mother (CWM), vol. 17, 1987, p.72
[3] CWM, vol. 13, 1980, p.75-78
[4] SAICE is “an integral part of Sri Aurobindo Ashram” because it was started mainly for children of devotees trapped in vulnerable places during the Second War had to be sheltered by the Ashram.
[5] CWM, vol. 13, 1980, p.68
[6] CWM, vol. 17, 1987, p.190-91
[7] CWM, vol. 15, 1980, p.178: New Year Message for 1933: “Leaving the past far behind us, let us run towards a luminous future.”
[8] CWM, vol. 9, 1977, p.324-26
[9] CWM, vol. 13, 1980, p.75-78
[10] Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo, vol. 21, p.745-47

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