Archive for December, 2009

December 30, 2009 – Unity which is the True Expression of Freedom. *

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Men seek laboriously to satisfy &
complement the little bounded being made of the mental impressions
they have grouped about a mean & grovelling ego;
meanwhile the spaceless & timeless Soul is denied its joyous & splendid manifestation.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 360)

Unity which is the True Expression of Freedom. *

It is in perfect union with the supreme Reality that perfect freedom is found, for all ignorance, all unconsciousness is a bondage which makes you inefficient, limited, powerless. The least ignorance in oneself is a limitation, one is no longer free. As long as there is an element of unconsciousness in the being, it is a limitation, a bondage. Only in perfect union with the supreme Reality can perfect freedom exist. And how to realise this union if not through a spontaneous self-giving: the gift of love. And as I said, the first gesture, the first expression of love is service.

So the two are closely united in the Truth. But here on earth, in this world of ignorance and inconscience, this service which should have been spontaneous, full of love, the very expression of love, has become something imposed, an inevitable necessity, performed only for the maintenance of life, for the continuation of existence, and thus it has become something ugly, miserable – humiliating. What should have been a flowering, a joy, has become an ugliness, a weariness, a sordid obligation. And this sense, this need for freedom has also been deformed and has become that kind of thirst for independence which leads straight to revolt, to separation, isolation, the very opposite of true freedom.

Independence !…I remember having heard an old occultist and sage give a beautiful reply to someone who said, “I want to be independent! I am an independent being! I exist only when I am independent!” And the other answered him with a smile, “Then that means that nobody will love you, because if someone loves you, you immediately become dependent on this love.”

It is a beautiful reply, for it is indeed love which leads to Unity and it is Unity which is the true expression of freedom. And so those who in the name of their right to freedom claim independence, turn their backs completely on this true freedom, for they deny love.

The deformation comes from constraint.

One cannot love through compulsion, you cannot be compelled to love, it is no longer love. Therefore, as soon as compulsion intervenes, it becomes a falsehood. All the movements of the inner being must be spontaneous movements, with that spontaneity which comes from an inner harmony, an understanding — from a voluntary self-giving — from a return to the deeper truth, the reality of being, the Origin and the Goal.

– The Mother
CWM Vol.9. Pages 50-51

*(Title by sender)

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

December 23, 2009 – “Why am I here?” *

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

I saw a child wallowing in the dirt
and the same child cleaned by his mother
and resplendent,
but each time I trembled before his utter purity.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 31)

“Why am I here?” *

… Well, to find out what one truly is, to find out why one is on earth, what is the purpose of physical existence, of this presence on earth, of this formation, this existence…the vast Majority of people live without asking themselves this even once! Only a small elite ask themselves this question with interest, and fewer still start working to get the answer. For, unless one is fortunate enough to come across someone who knows it, it is not such an easy thing to find. Suppose, for instance, that there had never come to your hands a book of Sri Aurobindo’s or of any of the writers or philosophers or sages who have dedicated their lives to this quest; if you were in the ordinary world, as millions of people are in the ordinary world, who have never heard of anything, except at times – and not always nowadays, even quite rarely – of some gods and a certain form of religion which is more a habit than a faith and, which, besides, rarely tells you why you are on earth.…Then, one doesn’t even think of thinking about it. One lives from day to day the events of each day. When one is very young, one thinks of playing, eating, and a little later of learning, and after that one thinks of all the circumstances of life. But to put this problem to oneself, to confront this problem and ask oneself: “But after all, why am I here?” How many do that? There are people to whom this idea comes only when they are facing a catastrophe. When they see someone whom they love die or when they find themselves in particularly painful and difficult circumstances, they turn back upon themselves, if they are sufficiently intelligent, and ask themselves: “But really, what is this tragedy we are living, and what’s the use of it and what is its purpose?”

And only at that moment does one begin the search to know.

And it is only when one has found, you see, found what he says, found that one has a divine Self and that consequently one must seek to know this divine Self.…This comes much later, and yet, in spite of everything, from the very moment of birth in a physical body, there is in the being, in its depths, this psychic presence which pushes the whole being towards this fulfilment. But who knows it and recognises it, this psychic being? That too comes only in special circumstances, and unfortunately, most of the time these have to be painful circumstances, other- wise one goes on living unthinkingly. And in the depths of one’s being is this psychic being which seeks, seeks, seeks to awaken the consciousness and re-establish the union. One knows nothing about it.

– The Mother
CWM Vol. 9, Pages 15-16
10th January 1957

*(Title by sender)

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

December 16, 2009 – Aid in the Work of Self-unfolding.*

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

God is the supreme Jesuit Father.
He is ever doing evil that good may come of it;
ever misleads for a greater leading;
ever oppresses our will that it may arrive at last at an infinite freedom.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 543)

Aid in the Work of Self-unfolding.*

Ordinarily, the Word from without, representative of the Divine, is needed as an aid in the work of self-unfolding; and it may be either a word from the past or the more powerful word of the living Guru. In some cases this representative word is only taken as a sort of excuse for the inner power to awaken and manifest; it is, as it were, a concession of the omnipotent and omniscient Divine to the generality of a law that governs Nature. Thus it is said in the Upanishads of Krishna, son of Devaki, that he received a word of the Rishi Ghora and had the knowledge. So Ramakrishna, having attained by his own internal effort the central illumination, accepted several teachers in the different paths of Yoga, but always showed in the manner and swiftness of his realisation that this acceptance was a concession to the general rule by which effective knowledge must be received as by a disciple from a Guru.

But usually the representative influence occupies a much larger place in the life of the sadhaka. If the Yoga is guided by a received written Shastra, – some Word from the past which embodies the experience of former Yogins, – it may be practised either by personal effort alone or with the aid of a Guru. The spiritual knowledge is then gained through meditation on the truths that are taught and it is made living and conscious by their realisation in the personal experience; the Yoga proceeds by the results of prescribed methods taught in a Scripture or a tradition and reinforced and illumined by the instructions of the Master. This is a narrower practice, but safe and effective within its limits, because it follows a well-beaten track to a long familiar goal.

– Sri Aurobindo
SABCL Vol. 20, 48-49

*(Title by sender)

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

December 9, 2009 – The central faith*

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

God leads man while man is misleading himself,
the higher nature watches over the stumblings of his lower mortality;
this is the tangle & contradiction out of which we have to escape into the
[?self-unity] to which alone is possible a clear knowledge & a faultless action.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 205)

The central faith*

Even a faltering faith and a slow and partial surrender have their force and their result, otherwise only the rare few could do sadhana at all. What I mean by the central faith is a faith in the soul or the central being behind, a faith which is there even when the mind doubts and the vital despairs and the physical wants to collapse, and after the attack is over reappears and pushes on the path again. It may be strong and bright, it may be pale and in appearance weak, but if it persists each time in going on, it is the real thing. Fits of depression and darkness and despair are a tradition in the path of sadhana – in all yogas oriental or occidental they seem to have been the rule. I know all about them myself – but my experience has led me to the perception that they are an unnecessary tradition and could be dispensed with if one chose. That is why whenever they come in you or others I try to lift up before them the gospel of faith. If still they come, one has to get through them as soon as possible and get back into the sun

– Sri Aurobindo
SABCL Vol. 23, Pages, 575-76

*From “Living words compiled” by A.S.Dalal

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