- Siddhi Day, Nov 24, 2022
- Mother’s Mahasamadhi, Nov 17
- Consciousness — Mother
- The one thing we must be convinced of — Mother
- Your soul makes great efforts for you to discover it — Mother
- How to do the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo — Mother
- Evolution is not an universal law — Sri Aurobindo
- The Goal — Sri Aurobindo
- The Divine Presence is living consciously in us
- April 24th Darshan
- The Divine is seated within — Mother
- What is mastery — Mother
- The right attitude — Sri Aurobindo
- Message on Mother’s 144th birth anniversary.
- Learning to listen within — Mother
- Why am I here — Mother
- The Mystery of Creation — Mother
- WORRY AND BOTHER ABOUT ILLNESS — Mother
- New Year’s message 2022
- Aspire to do the will of the Divine — Mother
- Become free from all difficulties — Mother
- The stillness of the mind in the Gita — Sri Aurobindo
- Nov 24, 2021 Darshan
- Message for Nov 17, 2021
- Evolution of the species — Mother
- Universal Consciousness and Sympathy — Mother
- Leave all to the LORD — Mother
- The heart has wings, not the head. — Mother
- The most important thing in your life — Mother
- Universal Consciousness — Mother
Identification of Consciousness
THE Prayers¹ speak always of the identification of consciousness with the Supreme. There is also the other identification of the consciousness, on the other side, namely, with things and beings, with the world outside: to that also the Prayers refer constantly. In reality, however, there is only one consciousness; it is everywhere, in all objects, in the universe and beyond. When a limit is put around it somewhere, a frame is erected, then it becomes or appears to become an individual consciousness. It is man’s ego, a spot or point cutting and shutting itself off from the global consciousness, that has thus separated itself from the Divine; it is that ego, that separative consciousness which is asked to break the limits and regain its natural unity with the one consciousness. And when it can do so it is said to have made the identification with the Supreme. Apart from this, however, when the consciousness has separated and individualised itself in different centres, even then it exists and acts in hiding in all the multiple varieties of forms, from the tiniest to the biggest. The same consciousness is alive in the atom, the stone, the plant, the animal, in the earth and the sun and the stars, in the universe as a whole. Each object big or small, living or non-living, conscious or unconscious, contains that consciousness at its centre and embodies or expresses it in various ways.
Consider, for example, your country, India. When you say “India”, what do you mean to convey? Is it the geographical boundary that goes by the name or the expanse of soil contained within that boundary or its hills and rivers, forests and fields or the beasts that range in it or its human inhabitants or all of these together? No, it is something else; it is a centre of consciousness which has as its bodily frame the particular geographical boundary: it is that which dwells in its mountains and meadows, vibrates in its vegetation, lives and moves in its animal kingdom; and it is that which is behind the mind and aspiration of its people, animating its culture and civilisation and moving it towards higher and higher illuminations and achievements. It is not India alone, but every country upon earth has its consciousness, which is the central core of its life and culture. Not only so, even the earth itself, the earth as a whole, has a consciousness at its centre and is the embodiment of that consciousness: and earth’s evolution means the growth and expression of that consciousness. Likewise the sun too has a solar consciousness, a solar being presiding over its destiny. Further, the universe too has a cosmic consciousness, one and indivisible, moving and guiding it. And still beyond there lies the transcendental consciousness, outside creation and manifestation.
Consciousness being one and the same everywhere fundamentally, through your own consciousness you can identify yourself with the consciousness that inhabits any other particular formation, any object or being or world. You can, for example, identify your consciousness with that of a tree. Stroll out one evening, find a quiet place in the countryside; choose a big tree – a mango tree, for instance – and go and take your seat at its root, with your back resting or leaning against the trunk. Still yourself, be quiet and wait, see or feel what happens in you. You will feel as if something is rising up within you, from below upward, coursing like a fluid, something that makes you feel at once happy and contented and strong. It is the sap mounting in the tree with which you have come in contact, the vital force, the secret consciousness in the tree that is comforting, restful and health-giving. Well, tired travellers sit under a banyan tree, birds rest upon its spreading branches, other animals – and even beings too (you must have heard of ghosts haunting a tree) – take shelter there. It is not merely for the cool or cosy shade, not merely for the physical convenience it gives, but the vital refuge or protection that it extends. Trees are so living, so sentient that they can be almost as friendly as an animal or even a human being. One feels at home, soothed, protected, strengthened under their overspreading foliage.
I will give you one instance. There was an old mango tree in one of our gardens – very old, leafless and dried up, decrepit and apparently dying. Everybody was for cutting it down and making the place clean and clear for flowers or vegetables. I looked at the tree. Suddenly I saw within the dry bark, at the core, a column of thin and and dim light, a light greenish in colour, mounting up, something very living. I was one with the consciousness of the tree and it told me that I should not allow it to be cut down. The tree is still living and .in fairly good health. As a young girl barely in my teens I used to go into the woods not far from Paris, Bois de Fontainebleau: there were huge oak trees centuries old perhaps. And although I knew nothing of meditation then, I used to sit quietly by myself and feel the life around, the living presence of something in each tree that brought to me invariably the sense of health and happiness.
Another instance will show another kind of identification. It is an experience to which I have often referred. I was seated, drawn in and meditating. I felt that my physical body was I dissolving or changing: it was becoming wider and wider, losing its human characters and taking gradually the shape of a globe. Arms, legs, head were no longer there: it became spherical, having exactly the form of the earth. I felt I had become the earth. I was the earth in form and substance and all terrestrial objects were in me, animals and people, living and moving in me, trees and plants and even inanimate objects as part of myself, limbs of my body: I was the earth-consciousness incarnate.”
But the point is to be this individual consciousness anywhere I or everywhere and still to maintain the higher, the universal and transcendent, the supreme consciousness, to be simultaneously conscious in both the modes to the utmost degree.
Of one thing we must be convinced ― all that happens is exactly what must happen in order to lead us and the world as quickly as possible to the goal ― the union with the Divine and ultimately the manifestation of the Divine.
And this faith ― sincere and constant ― is at once our help and protection.
CWM Vol 14
… There seems to be only one way out and that is to go in search of one’s soul and to find it. It is there, it does not make a point of hiding itself, it does not play with you just to make things difficult; on the contrary, it makes great efforts to help you find it and to make itself heard. Only, between your soul and your active consciousness there are two characters who are in the habit of making a lot of noise, the mind and the vital. And because they make a lot of noise, while the soul does not, or, rather, makes as little as possible, their noise prevents you from hearing the voice of the soul.
When you want to know what your soul knows, you have to make an inner effort, to be very attentive; and indeed, if you are attentive, behind the outer noise of the mind and the vital, you can discern something very subtle, very quiet, very peaceful, which knows and says what it knows. But the insistence of the others is so imperious, while that is so quiet, that you are very easily misled into listening to the one that makes the most noise; most often you become aware only afterwards that the other one was right. It does not impose itself, it does not compel you to listen, for it is without violence.
When you hesitate, when you wonder what to do in this or that circumstance, there come the desire, the preference both mental and vital, that press, insist, affirm and impose themselves, and, with the best reasons in the world, build up a whole case for themselves. And if you are not on the alert, if you don’t have a firm discipline, if you don’t have the habit of control, they finally convince you that they are right. And as I was saying a little while ago, they make so much noise that you do not even hear the tiny voice or the tiny, very quiet indication of the soul which says, “Don’t do it”.
This “Don’t do it” comes often, but you discard it as something which has no power and follow your impulsive destiny. But if you are truly sincere in your will to find and live the truth, then you learn to listen better and better, you learn to discriminate more and more, and even if it costs you an effort, even if it causes you pain, you learn to obey. And even if you have obeyed only once, it is a powerful help, a considerable progress on the path towards the discrimination between what is and what is not the soul. With this discrimination and the necessary sincerity you are sure to reach the goal.
But you must not be in a hurry, you must not be impatient, you must be very persevering. You do the wrong thing ten times for every time that you do the right thing. But when you do the wrong thing you must not give up everything in despair, but tell yourself that the Grace will never abandon you and that next time it will be better. So, in conclusion, we shall say that in order to know things as they are you must first unite with your soul and to unite with your soul you must want it with persistence and perseverance.
This is an interesting conversation of Udar Pinto, an early disciple of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo with the Mother, as relates as to doing the Yoga.
One day I asked Mother, “I have been doing the yoga for many years but I am not absolutely certain how to do the yoga of Sri Aurobindo. I read all the books and try to do the yoga but 1 am not certain how far I have progressed.” I asked the Mother to help me. “You are doing it all wrong,” she said. “But what shall I do?” She replied, “I will do the yoga for you.” I was thrilled! “What do I have to do?” I said. “Give yourself over to me and I will do it for you.” I asked, “How do I surrender?” She said to me, “Do you sincerely want to?” I answered “Yes, certainly. Mother.” Then Mother asked, “When you get up in the morning what is the first thing you do?” “I brush my teeth and as a matter of course I am thinking of all kinds of things and not at all consciously,” I replied. Mother said, “Try and think of me while you are brushing your teeth. Talk to me keeping fully conscious while you wash your face and brush your teeth. When you eat that is the time you must be very conscious of me. Feel that I am eating with you and talk to me and enjoy your food. Let all the parts of your being remain conscious of me. Eat every mouthful with me and you will find that things taste so much better when you enjoy the food with me. When you go to sleep that is the time when you should be very conscious of me. Let me put you to sleep and then the whole night you will have a conscious sleep. When you awaken and begin your day you will then begin it in a more conscious way.”
Evolution is not an universal law, it is a particular process, nor as a process has it any very wide applicability. Some would affirm that every particle of matter in the universe is bound to evolve life, mind, an individualised soul, a finally triumphant spirit. The idea is exhilarating, but impossible. There is no such rigid law, no such self-driven & unintelligent destiny in things. In the conceptions of the Upanishads Brahman in the world is not only Prajna, but Ishwara. He is not subject to law, but uses process. It is only the individual soul in a state of ignorance on which process seems to impose itself as law. Brahman on the other hand has an omnipotent power of selection and limitation. He is not bound to develop self-conscious individuality in every particle of matter, nor has He any object in such a colossal and monotonous application of one particular movement of things. He has nothing to gain by evolving, nothing to lose by not evolving. For to Him all being is only a play of His universal self-consciousness, the will so to exist the only reason of this existence and its own pleasurability its only object in existence. In that play He takes an equal delight in all, He is sama in ananda—an equal delight in the evolved state, the unevolved & the evolving. He is equal also in Being; when He has evolved Himself in the perfect man, He is no more than He already was in the leaf & clod. To suppose that all existence has one compelling purpose of growth, of progress, of consummation is to be guilty of the Western error and misunderstand the nature of being. Existence is already consummate, all change & variety in it is for delight, not for a gain or a development. The Vedantist cannot admit that anything is really developed in the sense of something new emerging into existence by whatever combination or accident which had no previous being. Nasato vidyate bhavah. That which was not cannot come into existence. The play of Brahman is not in its real nature an evolution, but a manifestation, it is not an adding of something that was wanting or a developing of something that was non-existent, but merely a manifesting of something that was hidden. We are already what we shall become. That which is still future in matter, is present in spirit.
CWSA – Vol 18, pg 414
I am always seated in your heart, consciously living in you.
2 September 1935
Open your heart and you will find me already there.
Don’t be restless, remain quietly concentrated in your heart and you will find me there.
1 October 1935
Go deep inside the temple and you will find me there.
11 February 1938
Mastery means the knowledge of’ how to deal with certain vibrations ; if you have the knowledge of handling these vibrations, you have the mastery. And the best field of experimentation is yourself. You have this mastery first of all in yourself, and having it in yourself you can transmit its vibration into others or create this vibration in them to the extent you are able to identify yourself with them. But if you are not able to handle this vibration in yourself, how can you handle it in others ? You can, through a word, through an influence, encourage them to do what is necessary in order to learn self-mastery, but you cannot master them directly.
To master something, a movement, is simply, by your presence, without a word or explanation, to replace the wrong vibration by the right vibration. It is this which constitutes the power of mastery; not speaking or explaining. With the word and the explanation, and even with a certain emanation of force, you can have an influence over someone, but you cannot master the movement. The mastery over the movement means the capacity to set against the vibration of this movement, a vibration that is stronger and more true and that can put a stop to the other vibration.
I will give you a very easy example. Two persons are quarrelling before you. Not only are they quarrelling but they are about to come to blows. You explain to them that it is not a thing to be done, you give them good reasons so that they may stop and they do stop. You would have had an influence upon them. But if simply you stand before them, you look at them and put forward a vibration of peace, calm, tranquillity without uttering a single word, without any explanation, the other vibration can exist no more, it falls by itself. That is mastery.
It is the same thing for the cure of ignorance. If you need words to explain something, it is not the true knowledge. If I have to utter all that I utter in order to make you understand me, it is not mastery, it is simply an influence that I am able to exercise upon your intelligence and help you to understand, awaken in you the desire to know, to discipline yourself etc. But if I am not able by simply looking at you, without saying a word, to put into you the light that will make you understand, then I would not have mastered the state of ignorance. You understand ? (The questioner makes a sign of yes). Good.
CWM, Vol 8 pg 351.
Everyone who is turned to the Mother is doing my Yoga. It is a great mistake to suppose that one can “do” the Purna Yoga―i.e. carry out and fulfil all the sides of the Yoga by one’s own effort. No human being can do that. What one has to do is to put oneself in the Mother’s hands and open oneself to her by service, by bhakti, by aspiration; then the Mother by her light and force works in him so that the sadhana is done. It is a mistake also to have the ambition to be a big Puma Yogi or a supramental being and ask oneself how far have I got towards that. The right attitude is to be devoted and given to the Mother and to wish to be whatever she wants you to be. The rest is for the Mother to decide and do in you.
Sri Aurobindo, The Mother with Letters on The Mother: Opening to the Mother and the Integral Yoga
Below is a response from the Mother to a letter from a disciple. Though meant for the disciple, it is universal in its appeal and can be taken as a powerful reminder to all seekers that the Divine Inhabitant is to be sought, discovered, and communicated with within.
My dear child,
All your letters are answered, but in the silence of your heart; you must learn to hear the answers there and not through the mouth of others. All help is given to you always, but you must learn to receive it in the silence of your heart and not through exterior means. It is in the silence of your heart that the Divine will speak to you and will guide you and will lead you to your goal.
But for that you must have full faith in the Divine Grace and Love.
18 January 1962
Words of the Mother Vol 13