I would suggest that in your relations with others, – which seem always to have been full of disharmony, – when incidents occur, it would be much better for you not to take the standpoint that you are all in the right and they are all in the wrong. It would be wiser to be fair and just in reflection, seeing where you have gone astray, and even laying stress on your own fault and not on theirs. This would probably lead to more harmony in your relations with others; at any rate, it would be more conducive to your inner progress, which is more important than to be the top-dog in a quarrel. Neither is it well to cherish a spirit of self-justification and self-righteousness and a wish to conceal either from yourself or from the Mother your faults or your errors.
(Ref: Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, Vol 25, P:240)
Each one has his own way of doing Sadhana and his own approach to the Divine and need not trouble himself about how the others do it; their success or unsuccess, their difficulties, their delusions, their egoism and vanity are in [the Mother’s] care; she has an infinite patience, but that does not mean that she approves of their defects or supports them in all they say or do. The Mother takes no sides in any quarrel or antagonism or dispute, but her silence does not mean that she approves what they may say or do when it is improper. . . . The Mother tolerates all; she does not forbid any criticism of the Sadhaks by each other nor does she give these criticisms any value. It is only when the Sadhaks see the futility of all these things from the spiritual level that there can be any hope that they will cease.
(Ref: Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, Vol 26, P:485)
I see no reason therefore why you should care so much if anybody is not behaving well with you. I have told you already that people in the Ashram – it is true even of those who have inner experiences and some opening – are not yet free in their outer selves from ego and wrong ideas and wrong movements. It is no use getting distressed or depressed by that. What you must do is to be turned only to the Mother and relying on her go forward quietly with your work and Sadhana until the time when the Sadhaks are sufficiently awakened and changed to feel the need of greater harmony and union with each other. Let only your spiritual change and progress matter for you and for that trust wholly in the Mother’s force and her grace which is with you – do not let things or people disturb you, – for compared with the truth within and the journey to the full Light of the Mother’s Consciousness these things have no importance.
(Ref: Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, Vol 25, P:255)
If you want to have knowledge or see all as brothers or have peace, you must think less of yourself, your desires, feelings, people’s treatment of you, and think more of the Divine – living for the Divine, not for yourself.
(Ref: Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, Vol 23, P:825)
I would ask you not to let resentment or anything else rise or dictate your conduct. Put these things aside and see that peace within and the seeking of the Divine are the one thing important – these clashes being only spurts of the ego. Turn yourself in the one direction, but for the rest keep a quiet goodwill to all.
(Ref: Letters on Yoga, P:824)
I suggest that everyone of you should try – oh! not for long, just for one hour a day – to say nothing but the absolutely indispensable words. Not one more, not one less.
Take one hour of your life, the one which is most convenient for you, and during that time observe yourself closely and say only the absolutely indispensable words.
At the outset, the first difficulty will be to know what is absolutely indispensable and what is not. It is already a study in itself and every day you will do better.
Next, you will see that so long as one says nothing, it is not difficult to remain absolutely silent, but as soon as you begin to speak, always or almost always you say two or three or ten or twenty useless words which it was not at all necessary to say.
(Ref: Mother’s Collected Works, Volume 3: page 259)
You are with someone. This person tells you something, you tell him the contrary (as it usually happens, simply through a spirit of contradiction) and you begin arguing. Naturally, you will never come to any point, except a quarrel if you are ill-natured. But instead of doing that, instead of remaining in your own ideas or your own words, if you tell yourself: “Wait a little, I am going to try and see why he said that to me. Yes, why did he tell me that?” And you concentrate: “Why, why, why?” You stand there, just like that, trying. The other person continues speaking, doesn’t he? – and is very happy too, for you don’t contradict him any longer! He talks profusely and is sure he has convinced you. Then you concentrate more and more on what he is saying, and with the feeling that gradually, through his words, you are entering his mind. When you enter his head, suddenly you enter into his way of thinking, and next, just imagine, you understand why he is speaking to you thus! And then, if you have a fairly swift intelligence and put what you have just come to understand alongside what you had known before, you have the two ways together, and so can find the truth reconciling both. And here you have truly made progress. And this is the best way of widening one’s thought.
If you are beginning an argument, keep quiet immediately, instantaneously. You must be silent, say nothing at all, and then try to see the thing as the other person sees it – that won’t make you forget your own way of seeing it, not at all! but you will be able to put both of them together. And you will truly have made progress, a real progress.
(Ref: Mother’s Collected Works, Volume 5: page 221)
In human life the cause of all difficulties, all discords, all moral sufferings, is the presence in everyone of the ego with its desires, its likes and dislikes. Even in a disinterested work which consists in helping others, until one has learned to overcome the ego and its demands, until one can force it to keep calm and quiet in one corner, the ego reacts to everything that displeases it, starts an inner storm that rises to the surface and spoils all the work.
This work of overcoming the ego is long, slow and difficult; it demands constant alertness and sustained effort. This effort is easier for some and more difficult for others…
As long as I was physically present among you all, my presence was helping you to achieve this mastery over the ego and so it was not necessary for me to speak to you about it individually very often.
But now this effort must become the basis of each individual’s existence, more especially for those of you who have a responsible position and have to take care of others. The leaders must always set the example, the leaders must always practise the virtues they demand from those who are in their care; they must be understanding, patient, enduring, full of sympathy and warm and friendly goodwill, not out of egoism in order to win friends for themselves, but out of generosity so that they may understand and help others.
To forget oneself, one’s own likings and preferences, is indispensable in order to be a true leader.
That is what I am asking of you now, so that you can face your responsibilities as you should. And then you will find that where you used to feel disorder and disunity, they have vanished, and harmony, peace and joy have taken their place.
26 August 1972 Mother
(Ref: Collected Works of the Mother, Vol 13, P: 169-170)
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