Archive for December, 2010

December 29, 2010 – How can one “learn of pure delight”?

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

If thou think defeat is the end of thee,
then go not forth to fight, even though thou be the stronger.
For Fate is not purchased by any man nor is Power bound over to her possessors.
But defeat is not the end, it is only a gate or a beginning.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 251)

How can one “learn of pure delight”?

First of all, to begin with, one must through an attentive observation grow aware that desires and the satisfaction of desires give only a vague, uncertain pleasure, mixed, fugitive and altogether unsatisfactory. That is usually the starting-point.

Then, if one is a reasonable being, one must learn to discern what is desire and refrain from doing anything that may satisfy one’s desires. One must reject them without trying to satisfy them. And so the first result is exactly one of the first observations stated by the Buddha in his teaching: there is an infinitely greater delight in conquering and eliminating a desire than in satisfying it. Every sincere and steadfast seeker will realise after some time, sooner or later, at times very soon, that this is an absolute truth, and that the delight felt in overcoming a desire is incomparably higher than the small pleasure, so fleeting and mixed, which may be found in the satisfaction of his desires. That is the second step.

Naturally, with this continuous discipline, in a very short time the desires will keep their distance and will no longer bother you. So you will be free to enter a little more deeply into your being and open yourself in an aspiration to…the Giver of Delight, the divine Element, the divine Grace. And if this is done with a sincere self-giving – something that gives itself, offers itself and expects nothing in exchange for its offering – one will feel that kind of sweet warmth, comfortable, intimate, radiant, which fills the heart and is the herald of Delight.

After this, the path is easy.

The Mother

CWM, Vol 9, page 21

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

December 22, 2010 – What You want to do Upon Earth?*

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

All things seem hard to man that are above his attained level,
they are hard to his unaided effort;
but they become at once easy
simple when God in man takes up the contract.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 109)

What You want to do Upon Earth?*

Yes there are people who have a happy and comfortable life, and people who have a miserable one. That depends — how shall I put it? — upon individual destiny, that depends perhaps on what they have to do upon earth, on the stage they have reached, on many things. It’s quite obvious that it is not they who choose. For most people would always choose the same thing. If they were asked what they wanted, there would be differences, yes, but not so great. It would be rather monotonous.

Most people want to be what they call “quiet”, what they call “peaceful”, to have a small organisation in their own measure — which is generally microscopic, and consists of a regular routine of almost the same activities always, within almost the same bounds, in almost the same surroundings — and all that repeated without much difference; with a sufficient variety not to bee completely boring, but with nothing that might disturb this regular round which makes what is called a peaceful life. For the vast majority of people this is the ideal.

And so, the realisation of this ideal in its details depends solely on the country where they are born, the society in which they are born, and the customs of their environment. Their ideal is fashioned by the manners of the country and society in which they live.

Of course, there are exceptions, but they only prove the rule. Generally speaking, the most common ideal is to be born in an environment comfortable enough to avoid too many difficulties in life, to marry someone who won’t give you too much trouble, to have healthy children who grow up normally — again to avoid trouble — and then a quiet and happy old age, and not be too ill, again to avoid trouble. And then to pass away when one is tired of life, again because one does not want any trouble.

Indeed, this is the most widespread ideal. Naturally, there are exceptions, one may even find the exact opposite. But existence, as men conceive it, would be rather monotonous. The differences would come in the details, for in one country people prefer one thing and in another, another; and then, in the society in which one is born, there are certain customs and an ideal of happiness, and in another society there are other customs and another ideal of happiness — and that’s all.

If one speaks to Europeans, for example, they will say there is nothing more beautiful than Europe. I knew Frenchmen — not one but hundreds — who used to say that there were no women in the world more beautiful than French women! And I knew a Negro who had been entirely educated in France and who, when asked which women were the most beautiful, said, “There is no woman more beautiful than a Negress.” That was quite natural, wasn’t it? Well, that’s how it is. There is no house more beautiful than the one you are used to living in — the houses of the country you live in, where you are born — and for the landscape it is the same thing, for food the same thing, for habits it’s the same thing. And provided that this goes on fairly harmoniously, without any very violent knocks, you are perfectly satisfied.

That is the usual mentality. And one turns round and round — and sometimes it is an iron circle, sometimes a golden one — but one turns round and round and round, and the children will turn round and round and the grandchildren will turn round and round — and so it will go on. ….

The Mother

CWM Vol 8, pages 57-58

*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


Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

My Lover took His crown and royal necklace
from His head and neck and clothed me with them;
but the disciples of the saints and the prophets abused me and said,
“He is hunting after siddhis.”

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 441)


These egoistic terms are not those in which my vital moves. It is a higher Truth I seek, whether it makes men greater or not is not the question, but whether it will give them truth and peace and light to live in and make life something better than a struggle with ignorance and falsehood and pain and strife. Then, even if they are less great than the men of the past, my object will have been achieved. For me mental conceptions cannot be the end of all things. I know that the Supermind is a truth.

It is not for personal greatness that I am seeking to bring down the Supermind. I care nothing for greatness or littleness in the human sense. I am seeking to bring some principle of inner Truth, Light, Harmony, Peace into the earth-conscious­ness; I see it above and know what it is — I feel it ever gleaming down on my consciousness from above and I am seeking to make it possible for it to take up the whole being into its own native power, instead of the nature of man continuing to remain in half-light, half-darkness. I believe the descent of this Truth opening the way to a development of divine consciousness here to be the final sense of the earth evolution. If greater men than myself have not had this vision and this ideal before them, that is no reason why I should not follow my Truth-sense and Truth-vision. If human reason regards me as a fool for trying to do what Krishna did not try, I do not in the least care. There is no question of X or Y or anybody else in that. It is a question between the Divine and myself—whether it is the Divine Will or not, whether I am sent to bring that down or open the way for its descent or at least make it more possible or not. Let all men jeer at me if they will or all Hell fall upon me if it will for my pre­sumption, — I go on till I conquer or perish. This is the spirit in which I seek the Supermind, no hunting for greatness for myself or others


Sri Aurobindo

SABCL VOL.26, pages, 143-144

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

December 8, 2010 – The Message of the Gita

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

There is only one soul & one existence;
therefore we all see one objectivity only;
but there are many knots of mind & ego in the one soul-existence,
therefore we all see the one Object in different lights & shadows.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 155)

The Message of the Gita


This integral God-love demands too an integral work for the sake of the Divine in yourself and in all creatures. The ordinary man does works in obedience to some desire sinful or virtuous, some vital impulse low or high, some mental choice common or exalted or from some mixed mind and life motive. But the work done by you must be free and desireless; work done without desire creates no reaction and imposes no bondage. Done in a perfect equality and an unmoved calm and peace, but without any divine passion, it is at first the fine yoke of a spiritual obligation, kartavyam karma, then the uplifting of a divine sacrifice; at its highest it can be the expression of a calm and glad acquiescence in active oneness. The oneness in love will do much more: it will replace the first impassive calm by a strong and deep rapture, not the petty ardour of egoistic desire but the ocean of an infinite Ananda. It will bring the moving sense and the pure and divine passion of the presence of the Beloved into your works; there will be an insistent joy of labour for God in yourself and for God in all beings. Love is the crown of works and the crown of knowledge.

This love that is knowledge, this love that can be the deep heart of your action, will be your most effective force for an utter consecration and complete perfection. An integral union of the individual’s being with the Divine Being is the condition of a perfect spiritual life. Turn then altogether towards the Divine; make one with him by knowledge, love and works all your nature. Turn utterly towards him and give up ungrudgingly into his hands your mind and your heart and your will, all your consciousness and even your very senses and body. Let your consciousness be sovereignly moulded by him into a flawless mould of his divine consciousness. Let your heart become a lucid or flaming heart of the Divine. Let your will be an impeccable action of his will. Let your very sense and body be the rapturous sensation and body of the Divine. Adore and sacrifice to him with all you are; remember him in every thought and feeling, every impulsion and act. Persevere until all these things are wholly his and he has taken up even in most common and outward things as in the inmost sacred chamber of your spirit his constant transmuting presence


Sri Aurobindo

SABCL Vol 13, pages 570-571

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