February 2020 is a very special month. Two important dates mark the speciality of this month. First date is 21st which is the birth anniversary of the Mother who was born in 1878. The second date is 29th which comes every four years and is celebrated in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram as the Golden Day or the Supramental Manifestation Day. We take this opportunity to quote from the book ‘The Mother, The Story of Her Life’ by Georges Van Vrekhem, pp 415 – 425 with regard to the Supramental manifestation and the celebration of the Golden Day on every 29th of February.
The Mother has the concrete experience of the descent of the Supramental Consciousness on Earth on February 29,1956
The Golden Day
The lights had been turned off at the Playground after the reading of some passages from The Synthesis of Yoga and the children’s questions. They all sat on the ground in a semicircle around her. One heard the sea in the distance, and the beam of the lighthouse swept over the top of the walls – two short flashes, one long. It was the “Wednesday meditation.” One saw Mother in the dark, seated in her low chair, bent somewhat forward, with a Plumeria flower between her motionless fingers. She always looked white, this Mother, even when dressed in red or in whatever colour, as if something radiated through her body, a kind of white luminosity at times so dense that it became visible to our materialistic eyes. And there were the disciples, silent…’
[This is how a French disciple, present there on 29 February 1956, gives his impression of the moment at the Playground when the Supramental manifested in the atmosphere of the Earth.]
The Mother herself noted down that very evening: ‘This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was there present amongst you. I had a form of living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door which separated the world from the Divine. As I looked at the door, I knew and willed, in a single movement of consciousness, that “the time has come,” and lifting with both hand a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow, one single blow on the door and the door was shattered to pieces. Then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow.’
Later she explained in a conversation with K.D. Sethna: ‘The whole thing is not so much a vision or an experience as something done by me. I went up into the Supermind and did what was to be done. There was no need for any verbal formulation as far as I was concerned, but in order to put it into words for others I wrote the thing down. Always in writing, a realization, a state of consciousness gets somewhat limited: the very act of expression narrows the reality to some extent.’
The significance of this event cannot be overestimated. What Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had been working for since the beginning of their Avataric yoga was now realized. What had they been working for? To bring the supramental, i.e. divine Consciousness down on Earth, to insert it into the earthly evolution and thus make the decisive evolutionary step possible by which one day a divinized species will be present on Earth in a material body…
The manifestation of the Supramental on 29 February 1956 meant, among other things, that the future embodiment of the supramentally conscious being beyond Man, of the divine Superman, was now assured, as it was assured that the human aspiration throughout countless millenniums was being fulfilled: the world would not always be a place of frustration, suffering and death. Like everything else in the One Divine it would be able to materially develop its essential divine nature. K.D. Sethna wrote in his diary: ‘I wonder when the world will realize that [on 29 February 1956] the greatest event in history took place.’
The Mother announced the Event in the Bulletin of April 1956. There she published the following four lines under the heading ‘29 February:
'Lord, Thou hast willed and I execute:
A new light breaks upon the earth,
A new world is born.
The things that were promised are fulfilled'.
This was a modification of four great lines from her diary entry on 25 September 1914, forty-two years before:
'The Lord has willed and Thou dost execute:
A new Light shall break upon the earth.
A new world shall be born
And the things that were promised shall be fulfilled'.
Tellingly, the future expectation had become the present realization. At the same time, she had the following declaration published, under the date 24 April 1956:
‘The manifestation of the Supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact, a reality. It is at work here, and one day will come when the most blind, the most unconscious, even the most unwilling shall be obliged to recognize it.’
Henceforth in the Ashram 29 February was called the Golden Day.
We dedicate this issue of Renaissance to the Golden Day celebration. The featured article in this issue is a continuation of the write up on Rasa by Prof. V K Gokak in three parts dealing with the rasa as the Primary and Secondary Modes of Aesthetic Consciousness, rasa in Art and Personality of the Artist, and how the Primary Modes of Aesthetic Consciousness shapes the Aesthetic Experience. The Guiding Light section has three beautiful passages from Sri Aurbindo’s ‘Future Poetry’ concerning the evolution of aesthetic sense, pure aesthetic spirit and the source of poetic delight and beauty. For the fifth installment of our ‘Word of the Month’ series – Vāgveda, in this issue appears the word prasāda – The Divine Blessing. When one is poised or seated within oneself (the inner chamber or sadana) then one is able to establish a connection with the God. When this relation is established the God responds. This response of the God is prasāda.