I have borne every attack which human beings have borne, otherwise I would be unable to assure anybody “This too can be conquered”. At least I would have no right to say so.
I have borne every attack which human beings have borne, otherwise I would be unable to assure anybody “This too can be conquered”. At least I would have no right to say so.
Lord, this morning Thou hast given me the assurance that Thou wouldst stay with us until Thy work is achieved, not only as a consciousness which guides and illumines but also as a dynamic Presence in action. In unmistakable terms Thou hast promised that all of Thyself would remain here and not leave the earth atmosphere until earth is transformed. Grant that we may be worthy of this marvellous Presence and that henceforth everything in us be concentrated on the one will to be more and more perfectly consecrated to the fulfilment of Thy sublime Work.
7 December 1950
The lack of receptivity of the earth and men is mostly responsible for the decision Sri Aurobindo has taken regarding his body. But one thing is certain: what has happened on the physical plane affects in no way the truth of his teaching. All that he has said is perfectly true and remains so. Time and the course of events will prove it abundantly.
8 December 1950
To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee.
9 December 1950
To grieve is an insult to Sri Aurobindo who is here with us, conscious and alive.
14 December 1950
We must not be bewildered by appearances. Sri Aurobindo has not left us. Sri Aurobindo is here, as living and as present as ever and it is left to us to realise his work with all the sincerity, eagerness and concentration necessary.
15 December 1950
I was painfully shocked when I heard the translation of the leaflet you are distributing here in the Ashram. I never imagined you could have such a complete lack of understanding, respect and devotion for our Lord who has sacrificed Himself totally for us. Sri Aurobindo was not crippled; a few hours before he left his body he rose from his bed and sat for a long time in his armchair, speaking freely to all those around him. Sri Aurobindo was not compelled to leave his body, he chose to do so for reasons so sublime that they are beyond the reach of human mentality.
And when one cannot understand, the only thing to do is to keep a respectful silence.
26 December 1950
We stand in the Presence of Him who has sacrificed his physical life in order to help more fully his work of transformation. He is always with us, aware of what we are doing, of all our thoughts, of all our feelings and all our actions.
18 January 1951
Sri Aurobindo has given up his body in an act of supreme unselfishness, renouncing the realisation in his own body to hasten the hour of the collective realisation. Surely if the earth were more responsive, this would not have been necessary.
12 April 1953
Q – Has the psychic any power?
A – Power? It is usually the psychic which guides the being. One knows nothing about it because one is not conscious of it but usually it is that which guides the being. If one is very attentive, one becomes aware of it. But the majority of men haven’t the least idea of it. For instance, when they have decided, in their outer ignorance, to do something, and instead of their being able to do it, all the circumstances are so organised that they do something else, they start shouting, storming, flying into a rage against fate, saying (that depends on what they believe, their beliefs) that Nature is wicked or their destiny baleful or God unjust, or.. no matter what (it depends on what they believe). Whilst most of the time it is just the very circumstance which was most favourable for their inner development. And naturally, if you ask the psychic to help you to fashion a pleasant life for yourself, to earn money, have children who will be the pride of the family, etc., well, the psychic will not help you. But it will create for you all the circumstances necessary to awaken something in you so that the need of union with the Divine may be born in your consciousness. At times you have made fine plans, and if they had succeeded, you would have been more and more encrusted in your outer ignorance, your stupid little ambition and your aimless activity. Whilst if you receive a good shock, and the post you coveted is denied to you, the plan you made is shattered, and you find yourself completely thwarted, then, sometimes this opposition opens to you a door on something truer and deeper. And when you are a little awake and look back, if you are in the least sincere, you say: “Ah! it wasn’t I who was right – it was Nature or the divine Grace or my psychic being who did it.” It is the psychic being which organised that.
From the point of view of individual development and for those who are still at the beginning of the path, to know how to remain silent before what one does not understand is one of the things which would help most in the progress – to know how to remain silent, not only externally, without uttering a word, but also to know how to be silent within, so that the mind does not assert its ignorance with its usual presumptuousness, does not try to understand with an instrument that is incapable of understanding, that it may know its own weakness and open simply, quietly, waiting until the time has come for it to receive the light, because only the Light, the true Light, can give it understanding. It is not all that it has learnt nor all that it has observed nor all its so-called experience of life, it is something else which is completely beyond it. And until this something else – which is the expression of the Grace – manifests within it, if, very quietly, very modestly the mind remains silent and does not try to understand and, above all, to judge, things would go much faster.
The noise made by all the words, all the ideas in your head is so deafening that it prevents you from hearing the truth when it wants to manifest.
To learn to be quiet and silent…When you have a problem to solve, instead of turning over in your head all the possibilities, all the consequences, all the possible things one should or should not do, if you remain quiet with an aspiration for goodwill, if possible a need for goodwill, the solution comes very quickly. And as you are silent you are able to hear it.
When you are caught in a difficulty, try this method: instead of becoming agitated, turning over all the ideas and actively seeking solutions, of worrying, fretting, running here and there inside your head – I don’t mean externally, for externally you probably have enough common sense not to do that! but inside, in your head – remain quiet. And according to your nature, with ardour or peace, with intensity or widening or with all these together, implore the Light and wait for it to come.
In this way the path would be considerably shortened.
Behind this life so unconscious, so futile, so destitute of sense, there is something to be found which is worth living, that there is a reality, a truth behind these falsehoods and illusions.
You feel suddenly that all that you do, all that you see has no sense, has no purpose, but there is something which has sense and after all you are here on earth for something. All that, all these movements, all this restlessness, all this waste of force and energy must have a purpose, a goal and this uneasiness you feel within yourself, this dissatisfaction, this need, this thirst for something must lead us elsewhere.
And one day, you put the question to yourself, “But wherefore one is born ? Wherefore does one die ? Why does one suffer ? Why does one act ?”
You no more live like a little machine, that is hardly half-conscious. You want to feel truly, act truly, know truly. Then in the ordinary life you look for books, you look for persons who know of the thing a little more than you do; you set about in quest of someone who can solve your questions, lift the veil of ignorance.
We do not want the life as it is, because we have enough of suffering and unconsciousness, because we have enough of disorder and ill-will, because Sri Aurobindo came to tell us, “One need not leave the earth to find the Truth, one need not leave the life to find his soul, one need not abandon the world or have only limited beliefs to enter into relation with the Divine.” The Divine is everywhere, in everything and if He is hidden, it is because we do not take the trouble to discover Him.”
We can, simply by sincere aspiration, open a door sealed within us and find that something which will change the whole significance of life, which will answer all our questions, solve all our problems and take us towards that perfection to which we aspire without knowing it, to that Reality which alone can satisfy us and give us joy and poise and force and life that are durable.
All that you have heard many times.
You have heard, — yes, there are even some who have been so accustomed to it that it seems to them to be the same thing as drinking a glass of water or opening the window to let in the sun.
We have tried a little, but now we are going to try seriously.
The starting point is will, to will truly, to have need of it. The next step is to think of that above all. A day comes very soon when you cannot think of anything else.
That is the only thing that counts.
And then you formulate your aspiration, you throw up from your heart a true prayer, expressing the sincerity of the need and then… well, we shall see what is going to happen.
Something will happen, it is sure that there will come something. That will take a different form for different people.
May 6, 1972 (Agenda)
I think I already told you, there’s a kind of golden Force pressing down (gesture); it has no material substantiality, and yet it feels terribly heavy….
… It presses down on Matter, to force it, to compel it to turn INWARDLY to the Divine – not an external flight (pointing above) but inwardly turning to the Divine. And the apparent outcome seems to be inevitable catastrophes. But along with this sense of inevitable catastrophe, there come solutions to situations or events that look simply miraculous.
As if both extremes were becoming more extreme: the good getting better and the bad worse. Like that. And a stupendous Power PRESSING down on the world. Such is my impression.
Yes, it’s very perceptible.
Yes, it’s as tangible as this (Mother feels the air between her fingers). And even in life circumstances, many things otherwise indifferent are becoming suddenly acute – acute situations, acute differences, acute ill wills – and at the same time, singular miracles. Singular. People on the verge of death are saved, inextricable situations are suddenly untangled.
And the same for individuals too.
Those who know how to turn to … (how shall I put it?) who SINCERELY call upon the Divine, who feel it’s the only salvation, the only way out, and who sincerely offer themselves, then … (gesture of bursting open) within a few minutes, it becomes a wonder – for the least little thing: there’s no big or small, important or unimportant, it’s all the same.
The whole scale of values changes.
The vision of the world is as though changed.
This gives an idea of the change brought about in the world by the supramental Descent. Things that were insignificant are becoming quite categorical: a small mistake becomes categorical in its consequences while a little sincerity, a true little aspiration becomes miraculous in its results. The values are intensified in people. Even materially, the least little error has huge consequences, while the slightest sincerity of aspiration has extraordinary results. The values are intensified, they stand out more.
In order to be genuine, to serve its full purpose, meditation must be disinterested, impersonal in the integral sense of the word.
Here is a description, taken from an old Hindu text, of a typal meditation:
“The great and magnificent King ascended to the chamber of the Great Collection and, stopping at the threshold, exclaimed with intense emotion:
“‘Away! Advance no further, thoughts of lust! Away! Advance no further, thoughts of bad will! Away! Advance no further, thoughts of hate!’
“And entering the chamber, he sat upon a seat of gold. Then, having rejected all passion, all feeling contrary to righteousness, he attained the first dhāma, a state of well-being and joy arising from solitude, a state of reflection and seeking.
“Setting aside reflection and seeking, he attained the second dhāma, a state of well-being and joy arising from serenity, a state void of reflection and seeking, a state of quietude and elevation of mind.
“Ceasing to delight in joy, he remained indifferent, conscious, self-controlled, and attained the third dhāma, experiencing the inmost contentment proclaimed by the sages, saying, ‘One who, self-controlled, dwells in indifference, experiences an inner well-being.’
“Setting aside this well-being, rejecting pain, dead to both joy and suffering, he attained the state of most pure and perfect self-mastery and serenity which constitute the fourth dhāma.
“Then the great and magnificent King left the chamber of the Great Collection and, entering the golden chamber, sat upon a seat of silver. He beheld the world in a thought of love and his love went forth to the four regions in turn; and then with his heart full of love, with a love growing without end or limit, he enfolded the vast world, in its entirety, to its very ends.
“He beheld the world in a thought of pity and his pity went forth to the four regions in turn; and then with his heart full of pity, with a pity growing without end or limit, he enfolded the vast world, in its entirety, to its very ends.
“He beheld the world in a thought of sympathy and his sympathy went forth to the four regions in turn; and then with his heart full of sympathy, with a sympathy growing without end or limit, he enfolded the vast world, in its entirety, to its very ends.
“He beheld the world in a thought of serenity and his serenity went forth to the four regions in turn; and then with his heart full of serenity, with a serenity growing without end or limit, he enfolded the vast world, in its entirety, to its very ends.”
One who strives in sincere quest for truth, who is ready, if necessary, to sacrifice all he had thought until then to be true, in order to draw ever nearer to the integral truth that can be no other than the progressive knowledge of the whole universe in its infinite progression, enters gradually into relation with great masses of deeper, completer and more luminous thoughts.
After much meditation and contemplation, he comes into direct contact with the great universal current of pure intellectual force, and thenceforth no knowledge can be veiled from him.
From that moment serenity – mental peace – is his portion. In all beliefs, in all human knowledge, in all religious teachings, which sometimes appear so contradictory, he perceives the deep truth which nothing can now conceal from his eyes.
Even errors and ignorance no longer disturb him, for, as an unknown master says:
“He who walks in the Truth is not troubled by any error, for he knows that error is the first effort of life towards truth.”
Strength, if it is spiritual, is a power for spiritual realisation; a greater power is sincerity; the greatest power of all is Grace.
(SABCL Vol. 23 p. 611)
Anything else one may doubt but that he who desires only the Divine shall reach the Divine is a certitude and more certain than two and two make four.
The desire for the Divine or for bhakti for the Divine is the one desire which can free one from all the others − at the core it is not a desire but an aspiration; a soul need, the breath of existence of the inmost being, and as such it cannot be counted among desires.
It is not enough to know, you must practise.
It is not enough to pretend, you must be.
15 November 1940
On the path of Truth, in order to know more you must put into practice what you already know.
A little bit of sincere practice is worth much more than a lot of written or spoken words.
A drop of practice is better than an ocean of theories, advices and good resolutions.
Speak less, act more.
Talk little, be true, act sincerely.
29 July 1970
One speaks a great deal about this teaching but one does not follow it.
People who do not live what they think are useless.
Beware of what pulls you downward. Do not yield to any lower instinct. Keep intact your aspiration for the Divine.
Yielding to desires is not the way of getting rid of them. There is no end to desires ― each one which is satisfied is at once replaced by another one and they go on clamouring more and more.
It is only by conquering the desires that you can get rid of them, by coming out of this consciousness of the lower nature and rising to a higher consciousness.
29 April 1930
Refuse to do anything whatsoever which leads you away from the Divine.
18 October 1934
If you want to become conscious of my presence in you and to be delivered from hostile attacks, you must renounce any attempt to satisfy your desires. Only when the vital has lost all hope of seeing its desires satisfied does it consent to be spiritualised.
My help and blessings are with you.
3 September 1935
A desire which knows that it will never be satisfied at once vanishes.
All the lower movements have to be conquered if ever anything divine is to be established upon earth.
18 March 1936
There is no greater victory than that of controlling oneself.
3 May 1954
It is indispensable to perceive the lower movements of your being, in a detached and scientific manner, as a witness with clear vision and insight. But you must never allow these movements to express and assert themselves as if they had the right to exist and govern the rest of the being. In other words, you must never act under the impulse of these movements, never physically translate their suggestions into speech or action, never permit their orders to be carried out in any inner or outer gesture.
19 September 1956
Keep quiet, try to detach yourself and observe as a witness, to prevent all possibility of acting on impulse.
Do not act under an impulse.
Never forget that, as much outside as in the Ashram, if you want to lead a happy life, you must be the master of your lower nature and control your desires and vital impulses; otherwise there is no end to the miseries and the troubles.
20 September 1960
At every moment of life you are put in the presence of a choice between the Grace and your personal satisfaction.
13 September 1961
One cannot overcome one’s desires by making oneself weak but only in strength, balance and peace.
7 June 1964
If one is not master of one’s desires, one cannot be master of one’s thoughts.
22 August 1964
Sometimes you say “all right” even to our desires and ambitions.
The Grace works for progress on the path. The satisfaction of desire may also serve that purpose in showing the inanity of desire.
And the good of yesterday may no more be good tomorrow.
So follow your inspiration and my blessings are with you.
30 May 1968
You have my love and grace and blessings.
But if you are to feel them you must be disciplined, attentive and concentrated; above all you must not listen to any of your desires and fancies.
In life, one must choose between a disordered and useless life of desires and that of an ascent into the light of aspiration and mastery of one’s lower nature.
16 June 1971
His Grace is always with those who want to progress and realise the Truth of tomorrow
The help of Sri Aurobindo is constant: it is for us to know how to receive it.
Sri Aurobindo is always with us, enlightening, guiding, protecting. We must answer to his grace by a perfect faithfulness.
Faith is surely a gift made to us by the Divine Grace. It is as it were a gate opening suddenly on the eternal truth, through which we can see, almost touch that truth.
Like all things in the human ascent, it is necessary, particularly at the beginning, to make a personal effort. It may happen that under certain exceptional circumstances, for reasons that wholly escape our intelligence, faith comes as an accident, quite unexpectedly, almost without our having ever asked for it, but more frequently it is an answer to a desire, a need, an aspiration, something in the being that seeks, wants, even if it is not very conscious or very systematic. In any case, when faith has been granted, when one has this sudden inner Illumination, to maintain it constantly in the active consciousness individual effort is absolutely indispensable. One must hold to one’s faith, ask for one’s faith, seek it, cultivate it, protect it.
The human mind has the morbid and deplorable habit of doubt, discussion and scepticism. It is there that human effort has to be exercised : one must refuse to admit them, refuse to listen to them, and more than that refuse to follow them. No game is more dangerous than to play mentally with doubt and scepticism. They are not merely enemies, they are frightful snares and once you fall into them you have a formidable difficulty in coming out of them.
Some people think that it is a great mental elegance to play with ideas, discuss them, contradict one’s faith, that it gives you a very superior attitude and that you are thus above all superstition and ignorance; but it is in listening to the suggestions of doubt and scepticism that one falls into the grossest ignorance and turns away from the straight path. You enter into confusion and error, into the meanderings of contradictions and you are not always sure of being able to come out. You stray so far away from the inner truth that you lose sight of it and at times you also lose all contact with your soul.
Certainly, there must be a personal effort to preserve one’s faith, to let it grow in oneself. Later on, much later, you can one day look behind and see that whatever has happened, even what appeared to be the worst was a divine Grace to make us progress on the path, and then you perceive that the personal effort also was a Grace; but before you reach there you need to walk much, struggle much, at time even to suffer much.
To sit down in an inert passivity and say : “If I must have faith, I shall have it, the Divine will give it to me”, is an attitude of laziness, of unconsciousness, almost of bad will.
For the inner flame to burn, one must feed it, one must watch over the fire, cast into it the fuel of all errors that one seeks to throw off, all that delays the advance, all that obscures the path. If you do not feed the fire, it smoulders under the ashes of your unconsciousness and your inertia; and then it is not years but centuries, and fives will pass before you arrive at your goal.
You must watch over your faith, as one watches over the cradle of an infinitely precious life, and you must protect it with great care from everything that might alter it.
In the ignorance and obscurity at the beginning, faith is the most direct expression of the divine Power that comes to battle and conquer.
It is a lesson of life that always in this world everything fails a man-only the Divine does not fail him, if he turns entirely to the Divine. It is not because there is something bad in you that blows fall on you-blows fall on all human beings because they are full of desire for things that cannot last and they lose them or, even if they get, it brings disappointment and cannot satisfy them. To turn to the Divine is the only truth in life.
Sitting calm and quiet remember the Mother and open yourself to her. This is the rule of meditation.