ONE-Two—Three... they drop like golden rain drops all over the place, bringing with them a soft, mellow fragrance—soothing like old sweet memories. Isn't there a tender touch of that Golden Light that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother want to establish on earth?
His body was suffused with a Golden Light. She broke open the door between the beyond and the earth with a golden hammer and "The Supramental Light, Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth". Isn't the Tree standing as a sentinel over Their Samadhi in touch with the Light in the deepest earth-core? And imbibing that Golden Light through its roots, its trunk, its branches and twigs, its leaves and finally in the tiny yellow flowers, it spreads a golden aura, charged with Their Love and Compassion for humanity, pervading the atmosphere with Their Grace.
Come November, sitting in the courtyard if you happen to look up, you will be struck with the beauty of a clear blue sky with a few floating clouds. Haven't you observed it before? You can't remember. A few days later, looking up again, you see more of the sky and realise that the Service Tree is shedding its leaves, permitting you to see the wintry sky and enabling the far blue sky to marvel at the beauty of the Samadhi. Winter has come.
One more month and you may feel a pang that perhaps the all-enveloping tree is dying—no leaves, only the branches and half-dead twigs and more of the sky and the clouds and the flying birds.
All of a sudden you will discover one day a few soft green leaves decorating the branches. Oh! the Tree is coming to life. The courtyard gets partly covered. Spring has come.
Come February Darshan and the tree stands in all its grandeur. Its topmost branches held high—proud to be sheltering the thousands of devotees coming to the Samadhi and they in turn look up in awe and admiration.
Come March and you will find a few yellowish patches scattered in the courtyard. In a day or two a few more of them. A revelation! The flowers have come. You look up in all earnestness, only see the green curtain of leaves under the blue sky. A few more fresh flowers and then through the foliage you will find the golden flowers on the stems beckoning the southern breeze. Summer has come.
The Service Tree is in full bloom. A golden dome over the Samadhi.
And now comes your test. The courtyard is full of flowers. How to cross and reach the Meditation Hall without crushing them? You may find a few patches of crushed flowers and would not feel guilty stepping on them. So here comes your agility, your flexibility, your muscle-control to hop, skip and jump! On occasion you may dash against a person doing the same skip and jump! Then you realize that not only a physical fitness but a mental alertness is also required to cross the hurdles put by the tree.
Come 29th March and it covers the courtyard with a golden carpet to welcome the Mother on Her very first meeting with the Lord and unconsciously you will repeat the prayer of the Mother written on 30th March 1914:
"Peu importe qu'il y ait des milliers d'etres plonges dans la plus epaisse ignorance, Celui que nous avons vu hier est sur terre; sa presence suffit a prouver qu'un jour viendra ou l'ombre sera transformee en lumiere, et ou effectivement, Ton regne sera instaure sur la terre."
("It matters little that there are thousands of beings plunged in the densest ignorance, He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; His presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, and Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth.")
Your competition with the tree continues. There are times when one is defeated. The flower drops on the exact spot at the very moment you put your foot and you crush it. Oh! what remorse to have crushed the golden glow. And you take up the challenge not to be defeated again.
Come 4th April and a shower of flowers welcomes the anniversary of Sri Aurobindo's arrival at Pondicherry. As the town could not celebrate in 1910 for political reasons, the tree, keen on not losing this unique and golden opportunity, showers flowers in abundance all over the courtyard every year without fail. And one or two may even fall on your head or get caught in your dress. And you consider yourself very fortunate to have this gift from Them—of Their Love and Grace.
Come 24th April, the final arrival of the Mother in 1920 and there is a golden path laid down by the flowers to guide us all on the journey to the New World of which They were the harbingers and the pioneers.
"Lord, thou has willed, and I execute, A new light breaks upon the earth,
A new world is born.
The things that were promised are fulfilled."
Shortly after, the flowers get scarce. One has the impression that they bloom only to celebrate these three very eventful and significant days in the history of the earth.
By August you will find a few dead twigs scattered in the courtyard. The leaves take a pale yellow colour. The autumn has come.
A sadness creeps into you with a strong feeling that one more year has passed with no progress made on your part. You look up at the tree and it seems to say:
"Don't lose hope—take courage. The path is arduous. The very regret of having wasted a year is a step forward. So why not get ready like me for the next year. Keep physically fit and mentally alert or else you may get defeated doing hop, skip and jump.