Archive for February, 2011

February 23, 2011 – Indulgence in Vice*

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Chance is not in this universe;
the idea of illusion is itself an illusion.
There was never illusion
yet in the human mind that was not the concealing and disfigurement of a truth.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 19)

Indulgence in Vice*

There are human beings also who indulge in vice — one vice or another, like drinking or drug-injections — and who know very well that this is leading them to destruction and death. But they choose to do it, knowingly.

They have no control over themselves.

There is always a moment when everyone has self-control. And if one had not said “Yes” once, if one had not taken the decision, one would not have done it.

There is not one human being who has not the energy and capacity to resist something imposed upon him — if he is left free to do so. People tell you, “I can’t do otherwise” — it is because in the depths of their heart they do not want to do otherwise; they have accepted to be the slaves of their vice. There is a moment when one accepts.

And I would go even further; I say, there is a moment when one accepts to be ill. If one did not accept to be ill, one would not be ill. Only, people are so unconscious of themselves and their inner movements that they are not even aware of what they do.

But it all depends on the way one looks at things. From a certain point of view there is nothing that is totally useless in the world. Only, things which were tolerable and admissible at a certain time are no longer so at another. And when they bee no longer admissible, one begins to say they are bad, because then a will awakes to get rid of them. But in the history of the universe — one can even say in the history of the earth, to limit the problem to our little planet — I think everything that exists had its necessity and importance at a given moment. And it is as one advances that these things are rejected or replaced by others which belong to the future instead of the past. So, of things which have no further purpose one says, “They are bad”, because one tries to find within oneself a lever to push them out, to break with the habit. But perhaps at one time they were not bad, and other things were.

There are ways of being, ways of feeling, ways of doing, which you tolerate in yourself for quite a long time, and which don’t trouble you, don’t seem to you at all useless or bad or to be got rid of. And then all of a sudden one day, you don’t know why or what has happened, but the outlook changes, you look at things and say, “But what is this? This is in me! Am I carrying this in myself? But it is intolerable, I don’t want it any longer.” And suddenly it seems bad to you because it is time to reject these things, for they do not harmonise with the attitude you have taken or the progress you have made in your march forward in the world. These things should be elsewhere, they are no longer in their place, therefore you find them bad. But perhaps the same things which seem bad to you would be excellent for other people who are at a lower level.

There is always someone more dull, more unconscious, more ignorant or worse than oneself. So the state which is intolerable for you, which you can no longer keep, which must disappear, would perhaps be very luminous for those who are on the lower rungs. By what right are you going to say, “This is bad”? All you can say is, “I don’t want it any longer. I don’t want it, it’s not in keeping with my present way of being, I want to go where these things have no place any more; they are no longer in their place, let them go and find their place elsewhere!” But one cannot judge. It is impossible to say, “This is bad.” At the most one can say, “This is bad for me, it is no longer in its place with me, it must go.” That’s all. And one drops it on the way.

And this makes the progress much, much easier, to think and feel like that instead of sitting down in despair and lamenting about things and what you are like, and the misery you endure and the defects you have and the impossibilities which beset you and all that. You say, “No, no, those things are no longer in their place here, let them go elsewhere, where they will be in their place and welcome. As for me, I am going forward, I am going to climb a step, I shall go towards a purer and better and more complete light; and so all these things which like the darkness must go away.” But that’s all.

Each time one sees in oneself something which seems really nasty, well, that proves that one has made progress. So, instead of lamenting and falling into despair, one should be happy; one says, “Ah! that’s good. I am getting on.”

The Mother

CWMCE Vol.8, pages 5-7

* Title by the sender

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

February 16, 2011 – Love and the Triple Path

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

If thou wouldst not be the fool of Opinion,
first see wherein thy thought is true,
then study wherein its opposite and contradiction is true;
last, discover the cause of these differences and the key of God’s harmony.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 122)

Love and the Triple Path

WILL, knowledge and love are the three divine powers in human nature and the life of man, and they point to the three paths by which the human soul rises to the divine. The integrality of them, the union of man with God in all the three, must therefore, as we have seen, be the foundation of an integral Yoga. Action is the first power of life. Nature begins with force and its works which, once conscious in man, become will and its achievements; therefore it is that by turning his action Godwards the life of man best and most surely begins to become divine. It is the door of first access, the starting-point of the initiation. When the will in him is made one with the divine will and the whole action of the being proceeds from the Divine and is directed towards the Divine, the union in works is perfectly accomplished. But works fulfil themselves in knowledge; all the totality of works, says the Gita, finds its rounded culmination in knowledge, sarvam karm?khilam jñ?ne parisam?pyate. By union in will and works we become one in the omnipresent conscious being from whom all our will and works have their rise and draw their power and in whom they fulfil the round of their energies. And the crown of this union is love; for love is the delight of conscious union with the Being in whom we live, act and move, by whom we exist, for whom alone we learn in the end to act and to be. That is the trinity of our powers, the union of all three in God to which we arrive when we start from works as our way of access and our line of contact. Knowledge is the foundation of a constant living in the Divine. For consciousness is the foundation of all living and being, and knowledge is the action of the consciousness, the light by which it knows itself and its realities, the power by which, starting from action, we are able to hold the inner results of thought and act in a firm growth of our conscious being until it accomplishes itself, by union, in the infinity of the divine being. The Divine meets us in many aspects and to each of them knowledge is the key, so that by knowledge we enter into and possess the infinite and divine in every way of his being, sarvabh?vena,¹ and receive him into us and are possessed by him in every way of ours.

Without knowledge we live blindly in him with the blindness of the power of Nature intent on its works, but forgetful of its source and possessor, undivinely therefore, deprived of the real, the full delight of our being. By knowledge arriving at conscious oneness with that which we know, – for by identity alone can complete and real knowledge exist, – the division is healed and the cause of all our limitation and discord and weakness and discontent is abolished. But knowledge is not complete without works; for the Will in being also is God and not the being or its self-aware silent existence alone, and if works find their culmination in knowledge, knowledge also finds its fulfilment in works. And, here too, love is the crown of knowledge; for love is the delight of union, and unity must be conscious of joy of union to find all the riches of its own delight. Perfect knowledge indeed leads to perfect love, integral knowledge to a rounded and multitudinous richness of love. “He who knows me” says the Gita “as the supreme Purusha,” – not only as the immutable oneness, but in the many-souled movement of the divine and as that, superior to both, in which both are divinely held, – “he, because he has the integral knowledge, seeks me by love in every way of his being.” This is the trinity of our powers, the union of all three in God to which we arrive when we start from knowledge.

Love is the crown of all being and its way of fulfilment, that by which it rises to all intensity and all fullness and the ecstasy of utter self-finding. For if the Being is in its very nature consciousness and by consciousness we become one with it, therefore by perfect knowledge of it fulfilled in identity, yet is delight the .nature of consciousness and of the acme of delight love is the key and the secret. And if will is the power of conscious being by which it fulfils itself and by union in will we become one with the Being in its characteristic infinite power, yet all the works of that power start from delight, live in the delight, have delight for their aim and end; love of the Being in itself and in all of itself that its power of consciousness manifests, is the way to the perfect wideness of the Ananda. Love is the power and passion of the divine self-delight and without love we may get the rapt peace of its infinity, the absorbed silence of the Ananda, but not its absolute depth of richness and fullness.

1Gita

Sri Aurobindo

SABCL :Voll. 21, PAGES 521-523

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

February 9, 2011 – Offer up everything to the Divine

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The acceptance of poverty is noble & beneficial in a class or an individual, but it becomes fatal and pauperises life of its richness & expansion if it is perverted into a general or national ideal.
Ancient India with its ideal of vast riches & vast spending was the greatest of nations; modern India with its trend towards national asceticism has finally become poor in life & sunk into weakness & degradation.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 195)

Offer up everything to the Divine

Yoga means union with the Divine, and the union is effected through offering is – founded on the offering of yourself to the Divine. In the beginning you start by making this offering in a general way, as though once for all; you say, “I am the servant of the Divine; my life is given absolutely to the Divine; all my efforts are for the realisation of the Divine Life.” But that is only the first step; for this is not sufficient. When the resolution has been taken, when you have decided that the whole of your life shall be given to the Divine, you have still at every moment to remember it and carry it out in all the details of your existence. You must feel at every step that you belong to the Divine; you must have the constant experience that, in whatever you think or do, it is always the Divine Consciousness that is acting through you. You have no longer anything that you can call your own; you feel everything as coming from the Divine, and you have to offer it back to its source. When you can realise that, then even the smallest thing to which you do not usually pay much attention or care, ceases to be trivial and insignificant; it becomes full of meaning and it opens up a vast horizon beyond.

This is what you have to do to carry out your general offering in detailed offerings. Live constantly in the presence of the Divine; live in the feeling that it is this presence which moves you and is doing everything you do. Offer all your movements to it, not only every mental action, every thought and feeling but even the most ordinary and external actions such as eating; when you eat, you must feel that it is the Divine who is eating through you. When you can thus gather all your movements into the One Life, then you have in you unity instead of division. No longer is one part of your nature given to the Divine, while the rest remains in its ordinary ways, engrossed in ordinary things; your entire life is taken up, an integral transformation is gradually realised in you. …..

The Mother

CWMCE Vol 3, pages 23-24

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

February 2, 2011 – SRI AUROBINDO AND KRISHNA

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

The mediaeval ascetics hated women
and thought they were created by God for the temptation of monks.
One may be allowed to think more nobly both of God and of woman.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 302)

SRI AUROBINDO AND KRISHNA

You can’t expect me to argue about my own spiritual greatness in comparison with Krishna’s. The question itself would be rele vant only if there were two sectarian religions in opposition, Aurobindoism and Vaishnavism, each insisting on its own God’s greatness. That is not the case. And then what Krishna must I challenge, — the Krishna of the Gita who is the transcendent Godhead, Paramatma, Parabrahma, Purushottama, the cosmic Deity, Master of the universe, Vasudeva who is all, the Immanent in the heart of all creatures, or the Godhead who was incarnate at Brindavan and Dwarka and Kurukshetra and who was the guide of my Yoga and with whom I realised identity ? All that is not to me something philosophical or mental but a matter of daily and hourly realisation and intimate to the stuff of my consciousness. Then from what position can I adjudicate this dispute? X thinks I am superior in greatness, you think there can be nothing greater than Krishna: each is entitled to have his own view or feeling, whether it is itself right or not. It can be left there, —

Sri Aurobindo

SABCL Volm. 26, page 136

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