On Speech – The Mother

In the physical domain, we have all the words that are spoken for material reasons. They are by far the most numerous and most probably also the most useful in ordinary life.

A constant babble of words seems to be the indispensable accompaniment to daily work. And yet as soon as one makes an effort to reduce the noise to a minimum, one realises that many things are done better and faster in silence and that this helps to maintain one’s inner peace and concentration.

If you are not alone and live with others, cultivate the habit of not externalising yourself constantly by speaking aloud, and you will notice that little by little an inner understanding is established between yourself and others; you will then be able to communicate among yourselves with a minimum of words or even without any words at all. This outer silence is most favourable to inner peace, and with goodwill and a steadfast aspiration, you will be able to create a harmonious atmosphere which is very conducive to progress.

In social life, in addition to the words that concern material life and occupations, there will be those that express sensations, feelings and emotions. Here the habit of outer silence proves of valuable help. For when one is assailed by a wave of sensations or feelings, this habitual silence gives you time to reflect and, if necessary, to regain possession of yourself before projecting the sensation or feeling in words. How many quarrels can be avoided in this way; how many times one will be saved from one of those psychological catastrophes which are only too often the result of uncontrolled speech.

Without going to this extreme, one should always control the words one speaks and never allow one’s tongue to be prompted by a movement of anger, violence or temper. It is not only the quarrel that is bad in its results, but the fact of allowing one’s tongue to be used to project bad vibrations into the atmosphere; for nothing is more contagious than the vibrations of sound, and by giving these movements a chance to express themselves, one perpetuates them in oneself and in others.

Among the most undesirable kinds of idle talk must also be included everything that is said about others.

Unless you are responsible for certain people, as a guardian, a teacher or a departmental head, what others do or do not do is no concern of yours and you must refrain from talking about them, from giving your opinion about them and what they do, and from repeating what others may think or say about them.

It may happen  that the very nature of your  occupation makes it your duty to report what is taking place in a particular department, undertaking or communal work. But then the report should be confined to the work alone and not touch upon private matters. And as an absolute rule, it must be wholly objective. You should not allow any personal reaction, any preference, any like or dislike to creep in. And above all, never introduce your own petty personal grudges into the work that is assigned to you.

In all cases and as a general rule, the less one speaks of others, even to praise them, the better. It is already so difficult to know exactly what is happening in oneself – how can one know with certainty what is happening in others ? So you must totally abstain from pronouncing upon anybody one of those final judgments which cannot but be foolish if not spiteful.

When a thought is expressed in speech, the vibration of the sound has a considerable power to bring the most material substance into contact with the thought, thus giving it a concrete and effective reality. That is why one must never speak ill of people or things or say things which go against the progress of the divine realisation in the world. This is an absolute general rule. And yet it has one exception. You should not criticise anything unless at the same time you have the conscious power and active will to dissolve or transform the movements or things you criticise. For this conscious power and active will have the capacity of infusing Matter with the possibility to react and refuse the bad vibration and ultimately to correct it so that it becomes impossible for it to go on expressing itself on the physical plane.

To be continued.

Posted in Life, Mind, Thoughts to ponder

The root of human miseries and the way to peace.

To want what the Divine wants in all sincerity is the essential condition for peace and joy in life. Almost all human miseries come from the fact that human beings are almost always persuaded they know better than the Divine what they need and what life is supposed to bring them. The majority of human beings want other human beings to behave according to their own expectations and life circumstances to follow their own desires, hence they suffer and are unhappy.

Only by giving oneself in all sincerity to the Divine Will does one gain the peace and calm joy that arises from the abolition of desires.

The psychic being knows this definitely. Thus, by uniting with our psychic being, we can know it, too. But the first condition is not to be the slave of personal desires and mistake them for the truth of one’s being.

The Mother.

Posted in Life, Thoughts to ponder

Developing the faculty of Intuition – Mother

Mother, how can the faculty of intuition be developed?

There are different kinds of intuition, and we carry these capacities within us. They are always active to some extent but we don’t notice them because we don’t pay enough attention to what is going on in us.

 Behind the emotions, deep within the being, in a consciousness seated somewhere near the level of the solar plexus, there is a sort of prescience, a kind of capacity for foresight, but not in the form of ideas: rather in the form of feelings, almost a perception of sensations. For instance, when one is going to decide to do something, there is sometimes a kind of uneasiness or inner refusal, and usually, if one listens to this deeper indication, one realises that it was justified.

       In other cases there is something that urges, indicates, insists – I am not speaking of impulses, you understand, of all the movements which come from the vital and much lower still – indications which are behind the feelings, which come from the affective part of the being; there too one can receive a fairly sure indication of the thing to be done. These are forms of intuition or of a higher instinct which can be cultivated by observation and also by studying the results. Naturally, it must be done very sincerely, objectively, without prejudice. If one wants to see things in a particular way and at the same time practise this observation, it is all useless. One must do it as if one were looking at what is happening from outside oneself, in someone else.

It is one form of intuition and perhaps the first one that usually manifests.

There is also another form but that one is much more difficult to observe because for those who are accustomed to think, to act by reason – not by impulse but by reason – to reflect before doing anything, there is an extremely swift process from cause to effect in the half-conscious thought which prevents you from seeing the line, the whole line of reasoning and so you don’t think that it is a chain of reasoning, and that is quite deceptive. You have the impression of an intuition but it is not an intuition, it is an extremely rapid subconscious reasoning, which takes up a problem and goes straight to the conclusions. This must not be mistaken for intuition.

      In the ordinary functioning of the brain, intuition is something which suddenly falls like a drop of light. If one has the faculty, the beginning of a faculty of mental vision, it gives the impression of something coming from outside or above, like a little impact of a drop of light in the brain, absolutely independent of all reasoning.

This is perceived more easily when one is able to silence one’s mind, hold it still and attentive, arresting its usual functioning, as if the mind were changed into a kind of mirror turned towards a higher faculty in a sustained and silent attention. That too one can  learn to do. One  must  learn to do it, it is a necessary discipline.

      When you have a question to solve, whatever it may be, usually you concentrate your attention here (pointing between the eyebrows), at the centre just above the eyes, the centre of the conscious will. But then if you do that, you cannot be in contact with intuition. You can be in contact with the source of the will, of effort, even of a certain kind of knowledge, but in the outer, almost material field; whereas, if you want to contact the intuition, you must keep this (Mother indicates the forehead) completely immobile. Active thought must be stopped as far as possible and the entire mental faculty must form – at the top of the head and a little further above if possible – a kind of mirror, very quiet, very still, turned upwards, in silent, very concentrated attention. If you succeed, you can – perhaps not immediately – but you can have the perception of the drops of light falling upon the mirror from a still unknown region and expressing themselves as a conscious thought which has no connection with all the rest of your thought since you have been able to keep it silent. That is the real beginning of the intellectual intuition.

It is a discipline to be followed. For a long time one may try and not succeed, but as soon as one succeeds in making a “mirror”, still and attentive, one always obtains a result, not necessarily with a precise form of thought but always with the sensations of a light coming from above. And then, if one can receive this light coming from above without entering immediately into a whirl of activity, receive it in calm and silence and let it penetrate deep into the being, then after a while it expresses itself either as a luminous thought or as a very precise indication here (Mother indicates the heart), in this other centre.

Naturally, first these two faculties must be developed; then, as soon as there is any result, one must observe the result, as I said, and see the connection with what is happening, the consequences: see, observe very attentively what has come in, what may have caused a distortion, what one has added by way of more or less conscious reasoning or the intervention of a lower will, also more or less conscious; and it is by a very deep study – indeed, almost of every moment, in any case daily and very frequent – that one succeeds in developing one’s intuition. It takes a long time. It takes a long time and there are ambushes: one can deceive oneself, take for intuitions subconscious wills which try to manifest, indications given by impulses one has refused to receive openly, indeed all sorts of difficulties. One must be prepared for that. But if one persists, one is sure to succeed.

And there comes a time when one feels a kind of inner guidance, something which is leading one very perceptibly in all that one does. But then, for the guidance to have its maximum power, one must naturally add to it a conscious surrender: one must be sincerely determined to follow the indication given by the higher force. If one does that, then…one saves years of study, one can seize the result extremely rapidly. If one also does hat, the result comes very rapidly. But for that, it must be done with sincerity and…a kind of inner spontaneity. If one wants to try without this surrender, one may succeed – as one can also succeed in developing one’s personal will and making it into a very considerable power – but that takes a very long time and one meets many obstacles and the result is very precarious; one must be very persistent, obstinate, persevering, and one is sure to succeed, but only after a great labour.

Make your surrender with a sincere, complete self-giving, and you will go ahead at full speed, you will go much faster – but you must not do this calculatingly, for that spoils everything!


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Occult Worlds and the Universe – Mother

Q: Do the gods of the Puranas and the gods of Greek and Egyptian Mythology have any real existence ?

Mother:Between the gods of the Puranas and the gods of Grecian and Egyptian mythology, all kinds of similarities are found; it could be an interesting subject for study. To the modern Western world, all these divinities—the Greek gods and other “pagan” gods, as they call them—are simply a product of human imagination and correspond to nothing real in the universe; but this is a gross error.

To understand the mechanism of the universal life, even that of the terrestrial life, one has indeed to know that all these are real and living beings, each one in his own realm, and have an independent reality. They would exist even if men did not exist. The majority of these gods existed before men existed.

In a very old tradition, antecedent probably to the Chaldean and Vedic traditions which are its two branches, the history of creation is narrated not from the metaphysical or psychological point of view, but from an objective point of view, and this history is as real as our story of historical epochs. Of course, it is not the only way of looking at the thing, but it is quite as legitimate as any other; in any case it recognises the concrete reality of these divine beings.

They are beings’ who belong to the progressive creation of the universe and have themselves presided over its formation, from the most ethereal or subtle to the most material regions; it is a descent of the divine creative Spirit. And they descended progressively, through realities more and more—one cannot say dense, because it is not dense, one cannot say even material for matter as we know does not exist on those planes—through realities more and more concrete.

According to traditions and occult schools, all these zones of realities, these planes of realities have got different names; they are classified in a different way, but there is an essential analogy, and if you go back sufficiently far into the traditions, you see only the names changing according to the country and the language. Even now, the experiences of Western occultists and those of Eastern occultists offer great similarities. All who set out on the discovery of these invisible worlds and make a report of what they saw give a very similar description; whether they be of here or there : they use different words, but the experience is very much alike and the handling of the forces is the same.

This knowledge of the occult worlds is based on the existence of subtle bodies and of subtle worlds corresponding to those bodies; they are what the psychological method calls “states of consciousness”, but these states of consciousness really correspond to worlds. The occult procedure thus consists in being aware of these various inner states of being or subtle bodies and in being sufficiently master of them so as to be able to disclose them successively one after another. There is indeed a whole scale of increasing or decreasing subtlety, according to the direction in which you go; and the occult procedure consists in bringing out of a denser body, a subtler body and so on up to the most ethereal regions. You move on by successive exteriorisations into bodies or worlds more and more subtle. It is somewhat as if everytime you passed into another dimension. The fourth dimension of the physicists is nothing else but a mere scientific transcription of an occult knowledge. To give another image, one can say that the physical body is in the centre —it is the most material, the densest and also the smallest— and the more subtle inner bodies overflow more and more the central physical body; they pass through, stretching themselves farther and farther, like water evaporating from a porous vase and forming a kind of steam all around. And the greater the subtlety, the larger the extension, tending to attain to that of the universe; one ends by universalising oneself. And it is a quite concrete process, that gives an objective experience of invisible worlds, enabling one even to act in these worlds.

There is therefore a very small number of people in the West who know that these gods are not merely subjective and imaginary—more or less wildly imaginary—but they correspond to an universal truth.

All these regions, all these domains are filled with beings who exist, each in his domain, and if you are awake and conscious in a particular plane—for instance, if on coming out of a more material body you awake on some higher plane, you have the same relation with the things and people of that plane as you had with the things and people of the material world; that is to say there exists a thoroughly objective relation that has nothing to do with the idea you may have of these things. Naturally, the resemblance is greater and greater as you approach the physical, the material world; even there comes a time when one region has a direct action upon another. In any case, in what Sri Aurobindo calls over mental worlds, you will find a concrete reality, absolutely independent of your personal experience; you go back there and find again the same things, with the differences that have occurred during your absence. And you have relations with those beings that are identical with the relations with physical beings, with this difference that the relation is more plastic, supple and direct —for example, there is the capacity to change the external form, the visible form, following the inner state in which you are; but you can give someone an appointment and you can be at the appointed place and find the same being again with certain differences that have come about in your absence; it is quite concrete with results quite concrete.

One must have at least a little of this experience in order to understand these things. Otherwise, those who are convinced that all this is mere human imagination and mental formations, who believe that these gods have such and such form, because men have thought them to be like that and that they have these defects and these qualities because men have thought them like that —all people who say that God is made in the image of man and that he exists only in human thought,—all these will not understand, to them it will appear absolutely ridiculous, madness. One must have lived a little, touched a little the subject to know how much concrete the thing is.

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The key to preventing the struggle with the ignorance.

The conscious seeking for the Divine does not by itself prevent the struggle with the ignorance of the nature; it is only self-giving to the Mother that can do that.

Sri Aurobindo

Posted in Life, Travelling the Path

Self-Giving – The Mother


Never say, “I have nothing to give to the Divine.” There is always something to give, for always you can give yourself in a better and more complete way.

To the Divine you are worth no more than what you have given Him.

To give to the Divine what one has in excess is not an offering.

One should give at least something out of what one needs.

If you remember what you have given to the Divine, He will have no need of remembering it Himself; and if you ever mention the gift or speak of it to anybody, it is not to the Divine that you have made the offering but to the demon of your vanity.

Posted in Empowering-Thoughts, Life, Travelling the Path

Offering to the Divine – The Mother

Sweet Mother,

You have often told us that our activities must be an offering to the Divine. What does it mean exactly, and how to do it? For instance, when one plays tennis or basketball, how does one do that as an offering? Mental formations are not enough, naturally!

 It means that what you do should not be done with a personal, egoistic aim, for success, for glory, for gain, for material profit or out of vanity, but as a service and an offering, in order to become more conscious of the divine will and to give oneself more entirely to it, until one has made enough progress to know and feel that it is the Divine who acts in you, His force that animates you and His will that supports you – not only a mental knowledge, but the sincerity of a state of consciousness and the power of a living experience.

For that to be possible, all egoistic motives and all egoistic reactions must disappear.  

20 November 1961

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Response of the Grace – The Mother

When someone has decided to consecrate his life to the seeking for the Divine, if he is sincere, that is to say, if the resolution is sincere and carried out sincerely, there is absolutely nothing to fear, because all that happens or will happen to him will lead him by the shortest way to this realisation.

That is the response of the Grace. People believe that the Grace means making everything smooth for all your life. It is not true.

The Grace works for the realisation of your aspiration and everything is arranged to gain the most prompt, the quickest realisation − so there is nothing to fear.

Fear comes with insincerity. If you want a comfortable life, agreeable circumstances, etc., you are putting conditions and restrictions, and then you can fear.

But it has no business in the sadhana !

26 May 1967

Posted in Life, Travelling the Path

The sure way out of all difficulties.

There’s nothing to say – if you sincerely want to get out of it, it’s really not so difficult: there’s nothing to do but leave everything to the Lord. And He does it all. He does it all, He is … it’s so wonderful! So wonderful!

He takes anything, even what we call a quite ordinary intelligence, and then He simply shows you how to put that intelligence aside, lay it to rest: “There now, keep still, don’t stir, don’t bother me; I don’t need you.” And then a door opens – you don’t even feel you have to open it; it’s wide open, and you’re led through to the other side. It’s Someone else who does all this, not you. And then … the other way becomes impossible.

Oh, all this frightful toil, this effort of the mind to understand!

Struggling, giving itself headaches – phew! … Absolutely useless, absolutely useless. It leads nowhere, except to more confusion.

You find yourself facing a so-called problem: “What am I to say? What am I to do? How should I act?…” There is nothing to do! Nothing but to say to the Lord, “You see, here’s the situation.” That’s all. And then keep very still. And spontaneously, without thinking about it, without reflecting, without calculating, without doing anything, anything whatsoever, without the slightest effort … you do what must be done. But it’s the Lord who does it, it’s no longer you. He does it, He arranges the circumstances, He arranges the people, He puts the words in your mouth or under your pen – He does it all, all, all, all, and you have nothing more to do, nothing but let yourself live in bliss.

I am beginning to be convinced that people don’t really want it.

Q: But it’s the spadework beforehand, clearing the way for it, that’s hard, that’s difficult.

You don’t even need to do that! He does it for you.

Q: But there’s a constant invasion: the old consciousness, the old thoughts….

Yes, out of habit it all tries to start up again. But all you need to say is, “Look, Lord; see, see how it is.” That’s all. “Look at this, Lord, look at that, look at this idiot here …” and it’s over. Immediately. And the change comes automatically, mon petit, without the slightest effort. Simply … simply be sincere, in other words, TRULY want the right thing. One is quite conscious of being powerless, utterly incompetent: more and more, I feel that this amalgam of matter, of cells and all the rest, is just pitiful! Pitiful. I don’t know, under certain conditions people may feel powerful, wonderful, luminous, competent … but as far as I am concerned, that’s because they have no idea what they’re really like! When you really see what you’re made of … it’s nothing, really nothing. But it’s capable of anything, provided … provided you let the Lord do it. The trouble is that something always wants to do things on its own. If it weren’t like that….

People come, letters arrive, various circumstances and problems arise (it’s over now, but at the time – even a year ago – that kind of thing was sometimes a problem for me). Well, right away, I … (Mother opens her hands in front of her forehead, palms upwards, as though presenting the problem to the Lord): “Here, Lord, look at this.” All I am good for is (same gesture): “I am presenting it to You, Lord.” And then I keep still, I just keep still: “I won’t move unless You move me, I won’t speak unless You make me speak….” And then you stop thinking about it. You think about it just for a second, long enough to do this (same gesture). It comes in like this, then up it goes (gesture showing a problem coming to Mother from one side and being sent above). And later, you suddenly realize you’re speaking or acting or making a decision or writing a letter or … and He has done it all.

But one can be full of excellent goodwill and still want to Do things. And that’s what complicates everything. Or else there’s a lack of faith, a lack of belief in the Lord’s ability – you think you have to do things yourself because He doesn’t know how! (Mother laughs) This sort of stupidity is very widespread, you know: “How can He see these things? We’re living in a world of Falsehood, how can He see Falsehood…?” But in fact He does see things as they are!

The Mother.

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What is the Supermind – An intuitive understanding.

Though the supermind is suprarational to our intelligence and its workings occult to our apprehension, it is nothing irrationally mystic, but rather its existence and emergence is a logical necessity of the nature of existence, always provided we grant that not matter or mind alone but spirit is the fundamental reality and everywhere a universal presence. All things are a manifestation of the infinite spirit out of its own being, out of its own consciousness and by the self-realising, self-determining, self-fulfilling power of that consciousness. The Infinite, we may say, organises by the power of its self-knowledge the law of its  own manifestation of being in the universe, not only the material universe present to our senses, but whatever lies behind it on whatever planes of existence. All is organised by it not under any inconscient compulsion, not according to a mental fantasy or caprice, but in its own infinite spiritual freedom according to the self-truth of its being, its infinite potentialities and its will of self-creation out of those potentialities, and the law of this self-truth is the necessity that compels created things to act and evolve each according to its own nature. The Intelligence – to give it an inadequate name – the Logos that thus organises its own manifestation is evidently something infinitely greater, more extended in knowledge, compelling in self-power, large both in the delight of its self-existence and the delight of its active being and works than the mental intelligence which is to us the highest realised degree and expression of consciousness. It is to this intelligence infinite in itself but freely organising and self-determiningly organic in its self-creation and its works that we may give for our present purpose the name of the divine supermind or gnosis.

Sri Aurobindo

The Synthesis of Yoga

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