Sacar Newsletter September 09 http://www.aurobindo.in
E-Newsletter of SACAR Volume 2, Issue 6
God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep:
Savitri, Book I, Canto IV
The programme incorporated several
lecture-discussion sessions on significant
To rise into the new topics of interest to students who had been
consciousness, the first studying selected aspects of Sri
condition is to have enough Aurobindo’s thought for two semesters.
modesty of mind to be
convinced that all that you
think you know is nothing in
comparison to what yet
remains to be learnt.
If you live closed up in
yourself, without acting,
you may live in a
illusion; the moment you From The Editor’s Desk
externalise your action This ‘PCP special’ issue of MĀSA gives a peek
and enter into contact into two residential study programmes held at
with others, with SACAR in the last few months. As our
circumstances and the readers are aware, since August 2008, SACAR
objects of life, you has been offering several online study
become aware absolutely programmes in collaboration with IGNOU.
objectively of whether These distance programmes have one or more 4-
to-7-day-long on-campus study periods which
you have made progress
are held at SACAR. The brief reports and
or not, whether you are students’ comments included here give a taste
more calm, more of the overall experience our students have The small size of the group permitted
conscious, stronger, during their time at SACAR. paying considerable individual attention to
more unselfish, whether each student’s academic progress and the
you no longer have any future study options they must pursue in
desire, any preference, Personal Contact Programme order to complete their degree (MA, MPhil
any weakness, any or PhD). A visit to Auroville was also
arranged, and the last day of the PCP
become aware of all this In June 2009, we organized a 5-day
included a cultural programme in which
by working. residential study programme for a small
all students enthusiastically participated.
The Mother group of SACAR-IGNOU students from
the October 2008 batch.
Painting by Bindu Popli See more photographs on next page!
Page 2 of 4 Happenings
Come join us for a two-day interactive
More memories from June 09 PCP! seminar at SACAR
November 20-21, 2009
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT Theme: Yoga in Daily Life
SACAR-IGNOU (Human relationships in sadhana, control of fear
PROGRAMMES and anger, and other such topics of wide interest
will be taken up in the seminar)
Seminar Cost: Rs. 360 per person
(includes seminar fee, lunch and tea for 2 days)
To apply, e-mail: For participants wishing to stay at SACAR
email@example.com Scholars Home, the total cost is Rs. 700 per
person, which includes seminar fee, non-A/C
Deadline for applications for
room and full-day meals.
Feb 2010 session:
Time: 9:00AM-12:30PM & 3:00-5:00PM
December 15, 2009 For registration, contact:
Some heart-felt comments shared by the Limited seats, register early!
participants of the June ’09 PCP: (Breakup of full cost is as follows: seminar fee:
Rs. 200, lunch & tea: Rs 80 per day; lodging: Rs.
The organized way of giving assignments and 100 per day; full-day meals: Rs. 150 per day).
the immediate feedback by SACAR faculty is
Every detail is coordinated in terms of
academics and there is an attention to detail
which is heartening. Personal Contact Programme
You tell us clearly that the individual progress
is most important. The quality [of work] has to Immediately after the June ‘09 PCP our
be seen from that point of view, this is very team got busy planning the next PCP
encouraging. for the August ‘09 batch of students.
It is so interesting to see the other students This orientation PCP seminar for 20
knowing that each one of us represents new students – enrolled at various
something unique and important for the work levels of study from certificate to PhD –
of Mother and Sri Aurobindo. We should have was held between July 29 and August 4.
The aim of
a reunion in some years to see what each has The programme included general
education is not to grown into and learn from that (our group-soul sessions detailing information about the
prepare a man to reunion). structures of students’ programmes,
succeed in life and about the ways in which Mother’s
and society, but to and Sri Aurobindo’s teachings about
increase his Integral Education are being
perfectibility to its implemented at SACAR through its
utmost. pedagogical practices. Relevant
What men call knowledge, academic policies were also discussed.
The Mother is the reasoned acceptance
of false appearances.
Wisdom looks behind the
veil and sees.
Demonstration and practice sessions for
Contact: Beloo Mehra Sri Aurobindo
online learning were included to help
prepare students for this new mode of
learning via distance. Students were
also given opportunities to procure
On the web: www.sacar.in their textbooks and other required
July 2009 PCP Report, continued
Page 3 of 4 The programme incorporated a variety of The essay writing sessions and student
learning activities including lecture- presentations emphasized the value of
discussions, films, group discussion, student reflective learning as well as the
NEW CD FROM SACAR presentations, Q & A sessions, and reflective significance of developing written and
and critical writing sessions. Every day the verbal expression as part of a well-
morning programme started with an rounded educational experience.
invocation to the Divine Mother (rendered by
Deepshikha) and the afternoon sessions The programme design allowed plenty of
opened with a small meditation with interactions among students and between
Mother’s music. This created a concentrated students and facilitators. Lunch and tea
ambience for sincere study and learning. breaks also served as opportunities to
More than 12 hours of deep
deliberation by Ananda Reddy on socialize in a relaxed way. While almost
Sri Aurobindo’s chapter all the lecture sessions included some
discussion time, separately scheduled Q
The Ascent Towards
& A sessions allowed students to delve
(The Life Divine, Book II, Part deeper into the topics and ask the
II, Ch. 26) presenters for further elaborations and
The programme also included visits to
the Ashram, some other places of
When I read a historical and spiritual interest near the
Ashram, and also Matrimandir in
Auroville. Students also had an
through and with opportunity to have meals at the Ashram
pleasure, yet The topics covered by the panel of speakers Dining Hall. The programme ended with
perceived all the included: Sri Aurobindo’s Philosophical an informal cultural programme in which
perfection of its Roots, Sri Aurobindo & The Mother as Our almost all the students participated.
wearisomeness, then Inspiration, An Outline of Integral Yoga, Sri Sitting in the SACAR courtyard we
I knew that my Aurobindo on Indian Culture, Cycles of Social enjoyed songs, dance, Vedic chanting,
mind was Growth, Principles of Integral Education, Free drama, story-telling and poetry
conquered. Progress Method, Sri Aurobindo’s Vision of recitation.
Future Poetry, Relevance of Sri Aurobindo for
Today and Tomorrow, Fundamentals of
Sri Aurobindo Integral Philosophy, Concept of
Consciousness, A New Perspective on Sri
Aurobindo’s Literature, Basics of Integral
Yoga Psychology, and Yoga in Daily Life.
Students were asked to keep daily journals of
their impressions and reflections, which they
submitted on the last day of the programme.
Impressions and comments from July 2009 PCP participants
Page 4 of 4
A beautiful invocation in the morning, and The cultural program brought out hidden
It was lovely experience, once again I feel the warmth of the entire talents of all and ended the PCP on a
charged with some kind of SACAR faculty, patient, attentive and joyous note! Overall a fabulous seven-day
positive force. affectionate. event.…It was the most enjoyable study
program that I have ever undertaken.
The intellectual atmosphere at SACAR is Certainly, one of those things that I will
very motivating. No space for mediocrity look back to fondly for my entire life!
and lots of space for inner growth.
The knowledge that I have a very
I can only feel gratitude for all the SACAR knowledgeable community to bank on
team, for the pains they have taken to make makes me feel very confident.
Learning in a natural us physically, psychologically, and
environment, nothing intellectually comfortable, and for the I am all prepared to start the programme.
artificial about it. amount of self-giving they have shown, the The online classroom demonstration and
constant energy they have put into it. the practice sessions were of good help.
Teacher-student is one of the most exciting
Interacting with facilitators and getting to
experiences in the process of growing up,
know them has motivated me enough to
maturing, being happy about learning, and
continue the study program via distance.
I’m so glad and privileged to have entered
into this relationship with SACAR. The homely atmosphere of SACAR and
Scholars’ Home was the plus point of the
The ambience of the lecture hall with the
photographs of the Mother and Sri
Aurobindo smiling from two sides of the
projection screen is serene. Also the fact that
it is not air-conditioned and allows natural
I felt a combination of the
air and light is a treat for someone like me. I
Intellect and the Heart.
also liked the idea of leaving the slippers
outside; it felt like one was going to do
something as sacred as entering a temple! The programme is very thorough and
The gesture helped in invoking the qualities gives all of us the right way to proceed in
of devotion and humility so important in learning Sri Aurobindo’s works.
something like higher studies. Good quality programmes should
The program is designed well. It is varied, definitely have rigourous elements forcing
which didn’t make it monotonous. We were the students to apply themselves to the
listening to talks, writing essays, making task. The quality of this seminar was of
presentations, watching movies, exploring high order including participation from
Auroville and the Ashram departments, the colleagues.
walking on the beach, and all the activities The seminar was immaculately planned
seamlessly flowed into one another. and provided the rigour adequate for both
Essay writing was like stretching the rusted certificate and Ph.D. program. It has kept
intellectual muscles. They did begin to work us involved and occupied with something
after a lot of coercing and cajoling. It was a to do all the time.
good idea because it served as a warm up for We could experience the love and
the course ahead and made us get rid of the affection that ‘the Mother’ showered on
well-known “writer’s block”. her children. We felt very cared for. It
The group discussions and presentations greatly enhanced our knowledge and also
There was great openness -- revealed how each one of us with some gave the confidence to speak and discuss
open mindedness and also minor shades of difference is basically Sri Aurobindo and His Works.
personal care. looking forward to this course to not only
understanding Sri Aurobindo intellectually
but living him in life. I enjoyed both
participating in the discussions as also
listening to and making the presentation.
Lovely intellectual feel, stimulating, simple,
friendly and clear, but also fun and playful.