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7. Samadhi Darshan

We go to temples on auspicious days like Fridays or during festivals. Many visit temples on their "janma Nakshatra" to conduct an archana. When we go there, we carry coconuts, camphor, flowers, etc., known as the articles of archana. We pay a dakshina to the priest to recite our name, nakshatra, and conduct an archana in our name. Normally we visit the temple during the daily puja, after which the priest distributes prasad and thirtam. All this we know, as it is our tradition. We hear of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, their Ashram, their Samadhi and conceive of going there, impelled by faith and bhakti in these avatara purushas. One does not know what to take with him or what to expect there or what to do. When he finally gets to the Ashram, he finds no deity, no puja or prasad, and has no way of conducting an archana in his name. He finds a Samadhi covered with flowers and a meditation hall with a bed at one end. It has the touch of Chidambar Rahasyam. This vast difference is there simply because temples are created to organise religious worship for the masses, whereas the Ashram was founded for the spiritual realisation of the soul. Religion carries with it the deity, puja, worship, archana etc., whereas spiritual realisation is by the opening of the human soul to the Divine reality. The Ashram does the latter.

 "Gopura darsanam papa vimochanam" ("The sight of the temple tower will deliver you from sin") is the old adage. A visit to the samadhi gives the individual the opportunity to open his soul to the Supreme. Mother has said that the Samadhi is a place of realisation. A young unmarried girl during her first visit to the Ashram was part of a group going to Sri Aurobindo's Room. As the room would be open only at 11:45 a.m. and there were fifteen minutes more, she sat at the Samadhi and simply became lost within. The party became concerned after it passed 11:50, but still she did not open her eyes. As it was not proper to disturb someone lost in meditation, nothing could be done. The silent calls of the party finally made her open her eyes, and she got up. She explained, "I was lost in ecstasy and had no desire to open my eyes. As you called out my name I awoke and came away." Indeed, no one had called her name. She ‘heard' the calls of the party. She heard like that because she was at the Samadhi. That is the power of the Samadhi.

 If you plan to visit the Ashram, it is best to make it an exclusive visit to the Ashram, so that the heart will be focussed on it. A simple, pure, silent aspiration qualifies a person to wish for a visit. The two articles that are taken to the Samadhi are flowers and incense.

 As the Presence of Sri Aurobindo extends to seven miles from the Ashram, one can feel the spiritual peace before reaching Pondicherry, as Nehru felt it and as an American devotee felt in the plane even when he crossed over Indian soil. On reaching the Ashram one can visit the Samadhi in which the bodies of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are interred and also visit the meditation hall.

book | by Dr. Radut