September 20, 2017 – Understanding the Divine Grace

September 20th, 2017

The worlds of a marvellous Unknown were near,
Behind her an ineffable Presence stood:
Her reign received their mystic influences,
Their lion-forces crouched beneath her feet;
The future sleeps unknown behind their doors.
Abysms infernal gaped round the soul’s steps
And called to its mounting vision peaks divine:
An endless climb and adventure of the Idea
There tirelessly tempted the explorer mind
And countless voices visited the charmed ear;
A million figures passed and were seen no more.
This was a forefront of God’s thousandfold house,
Beginnings of the half-screened Invisible.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book I, Canto IV, page 87

Understanding the Divine Grace

It is not indispensable that the Grace should work in a way that the human mind can understand, it generally doesn’t: it works in its own “mysterious” way. At first usually it works behind the veil, preparing things, not manifesting. Afterwards it may manifest, but the sadhak does not understand very well what is happening. Finally, when he is capable of it, he both feels and understands or at least begins to do so. Some feel and understand from the first or very early; but that is not the ordinary case.

“The ordinary action of the Divine is a constant intervention within the actual law of things” — that may or may not be but is not usually called the Divine Grace. The Divine Grace is something not calculable, not bound by anything the intellect can fix as a condition — though ordinarily some call, aspiration, intensity of the psychic being can awaken it, yet it acts sometimes without any apparent cause even of that kind.

Sri Aurobindo

Letters on Yoga II, page 170

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India

September 13, 2017 – Finding the Divine

September 13th, 2017

Equal favour I show to the lofty and low,
On the just and the unjust I descend:
E’en the blind, whose vain spheres, roll in darkness and tears,
Feel my smile — the blest smile of a friend.
Nay, the flower of the waste by my love is embraced,
As the rose in the garden of kings:
At the chrysalis bier of the morn I appear,
And lo! the gay butterfly wings.

The desolate morn, like the mourner forlorn,
Conceals all the pride of her charms,
Till I bid the bright hours, chase the night from her flowers,
And lead the young day to her arms.
And when the gay rover seeks Eve for her lover,
And sinks to her balmy repose,
I wrap the soft rest by the zephyr-fanned west,
In curtains of amber and rose.

From my sentinel steep by the night-brooded deep
I gaze with unslumbering eye,
When the cynosure star of the mariner
Is blotted out from the sky:
And guided by me through the merciless sea,
Though sped by the hurricane’s wings,
His companionless, dark, lone, weltering bark,
To the haven home safely he brings.

I waken the flowers in the dew-spangled bowers,
The birds in their chambers of green,
And mountain and plain glow with beauty again,
As they bask in their matinal sheen.
O, if such the glad worth of my presence on earth,
Though fitful and fleeting the while,
What glories must rest on the home of the blessed,
Ever bright with the Deity’s smile.

Part 2 of the poem “Light”, written by Sri Aurobindo, aged 10

Freedom and Surrender

Sweet Mother, how can we find the Divine who is hidden in us?

This we have explained many, many times. But the first thing is to want it, and know precisely that this comes first, before all other things, that this is the important thing. That is the first condition; all the rest may come later, this is the essential condition. You see, if once in a while, from time to time, when you have nothing to do and all goes well and you are unoccupied, suddenly you tell yourself, “Ah, I would like so much to find the Divine!” — well, this — it may take a hundred thousand years, in this way.

But if it is the important thing, the only thing that matters, and if everything else comes afterwards, and you want nothing but this, then — this is the first condition. You must first establish this, later we may speak of what follows. First this, that all the rest does not count, that only this counts, that one is ready to give up everything to have this, that it is the only thing of importance in life. Then one puts oneself in the condition of being able to take a step forward.

The Mother

The Sunlit Path, pages 226-227

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India

September 6, 2017 – Freedom and Surrender

September 6th, 2017

From the quickened womb of the primal gloom,
The sun rolled, black and bare,
Till I wove him a vest for his Ethiop breast,
Of the threads of my golden hair;
And when the broad tent of the firmament
Arose on its airy spars,
I pencilled the hue of its matchless blue,
And spangled it around with stars.

I painted the flowers of the Eden bowers,
And their leaves of living green,
And mine were the dyes in the sinless eyes
Of Eden’s Virgin queen;
And when the friend’s art in the truthful heart
Had fastened its mortal spell,
In the silvery sphere of the first-born tear
To the trembling earth I fell.

When the waves that burst o’er a world accurst
Their work of wrath had sped,
And the Ark’s lone few, tried and true,
Came forth among the dead,
With the wondrous gleams of the bridal beams,
I bade their terrors cease,
As I wrote on the roll of the storm’s dark scroll
God’s covenant of peace.

Like a pall at rest on the senseless breast,
Night’s funeral shadow slept —
Where shepherd swains on Bethlehem’s plains,
Their lonely vigils kept,
When I flashed on their sight, the heralds bright,
Of Heaven’s redeeming plan,
As they chanted the morn, the Saviour born—
Joy, joy, to the outcast man!…

Part 1 of the poem “Light”, written by Sri Aurobindo, aged 10

Freedom and Surrender

…this is what’s remarkable: that when one is perfectly surrendered to the Divine one is perfectly free, and this is the absolute condition for freedom, to belong to the Divine alone; you are free from the whole world because you belong only to Him. And this surrender is the supreme liberation, you are also free from your little personal ego and of all things this is the most difficult — and the happiest too, the only thing that can give you a constant peace, an uninterrupted joy and the feeling of an infinite freedom from all that afflicts you, dwarfs, diminishes, impoverishes you, and from all that can create the least anxiety in you, the least fear. You are no longer afraid of anything, you no longer fear anything, you are the supreme master of your destiny because it is the Divine who wills in you and guides everything. But this does not happen overnight: a little time and a great deal of ardour in the will, not fearing to make any effort and not losing heart when one doesn’t succeed, knowing that the victory is certain and that one must last out until it comes. There you are.

The Mother

The Sunlit Path, page 211

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India

August 30, 2017 – Birth into the Spirit

August 30th, 2017

In the Witness’s occult rooms with mind-built walls
On hidden interiors, lurking passages
Opened the windows of the inner sight.
He owned the house of undivided Time.
Lifting the heavy curtain of the flesh
He stood upon a threshold serpent-watched,
And peered into gleaming endless corridors,
Silent and listening in the silent heart
For the coming of the new and the unknown.
He gazed across the empty stillnesses
And heard the footsteps of the undreamed Idea
In the far avenues of the Beyond.
He heard the secret Voice, the Word that knows,
And saw the secret face that is our own.
The inner planes uncovered their crystal doors;
Strange powers and influences touched his life.
A vision came of higher realms than ours,
A consciousness of brighter fields and skies,
Of beings less circumscribed than brief-lived men
And subtler bodies than these passing frames,
Objects too fine for our material grasp,
Acts vibrant with a superhuman light
And movements pushed by a superconscient force,
And joys that never flowed through mortal limbs,
And lovelier scenes than earth’s and happier lives.
A consciousness of beauty and of bliss,
A knowledge which became what it perceived,
Replaced the separated sense and heart
And drew all Nature into its embrace.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book I, Canto III, page 27

Birth into the Spirit

In the individual existence, [the spirit] is what makes all the difference; so long as one just speaks of the spirit and it is something one has read about, whose existence one vaguely knows about, but not a very concrete reality for the consciousness, this means that one is not born into the spirit. And when one is born into the spirit, it becomes something much more concrete, much more living, much more real, much more tangible than the whole material world. And this is what makes the essential difference between beings. When that becomes spontaneously real – the true, concrete existence, the atmosphere one can freely breathe – then one knows one has crossed over to the other side. But so long as it is something rather vague and hazy – you have heard about it, you know that it exists, but… it has no concrete reality – well, this means that the new birth has not yet taken place.

The Mother

The Sunlit Path, page 108

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India