Archive for April, 2015

April 29, 2015 – Reward and Punishment

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Respect human life as long as you can; but respect more the life of humanity

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 228)

Reward and Punishment

All in you that tries to do things well, tries to do it spontaneously and sincerely; it is something that comes from within you, and not because you have been promised rewards if you do well and punishments if you do badly. Our system is not based on this.

It is possible that at a certain moment something comes along to give you the impression that your effort has been appreciated, but the effort was not made in view of that; that is, these promises are not made beforehand nor are they balanced by equivalent punishments. This is not the practice here. Usually things are such, arranged in such a way, that the satisfaction of having done well seems to be the best of rewards and one punishes himself when he does badly, in the sense that one feels miserable and unhappy and ill at ease, and this is indeed the most concrete punishment he has. And so, all these movements, from the point of view of the inner spiritual growth, have an infinitely greater value than when they are the result of an outer rule.

The Mother

The Great Adventure – A Diary for All Times. Page 250

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

April 22, 2015 – Guard Against Despair

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature. As man emerged out of the animal, so out of man the superman emerges.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 162)

Guard Against Despair

For some people events are always contrary to what they desire or aspire for or believe to be good for them. They often despair. Is this a necessity for their progress?

Despair is never a necessity for progress, it is always a sign of weakness and tamas; it often indicates the presence of an adverse force, that is to say, a force that is purposely acting against sadhana.

So, in all circumstances of life you must always be very careful to guard against despair. Besides, this habit of being sombre, morose, of despairing, does not truly depend on events, but on a lack of faith in the nature. One who has faith, even if only in himself, can face all difficulties, all circumstances, even the most adverse, without discouragement or despair. He fights like a man to the end. Natures that lack faith also lack endurance and courage.

The Mother

The Great Adventure – A Diary for All Times. Page 81

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

April 16, 2015 – Preconceived Ideas

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Become & live the knowledge thou hast; then is thy knowledge the living God within thee.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 161)

Preconceived Ideas

The best one can do is not to take sides, not to have preconceived ideas or principles – oh! the moral principles, the set rules of conduct, what one must do and what one must not and the preconceived ideas from the moral point of view, from the point of view of progress, and all the social and mental conventions… no worse obstacle than that. There are people, I know people who have lost decades in surmounting one such mental construction!… If one can be like that, open – truly open in a simplicity, well, a simplicity that knows that it is ignorant – like that (gesture upward, of self abandon), ready to receive whatever comes. Then something can happen.

And naturally, the thirst for progress, the thirst for knowledge, the thirst for transformation and, above all, the thirst for Love and Truth – if one keeps that, one goes quicker. Truly a thirst, a need, a need.

All the rest has no importance; it is that one has need of.

The Mother

The Great Adventure – A Diary for All Times. Page 330

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

April 8, 2015 – The Illusion of Action

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

When knowledge is fresh in us, then it is invincible; when it is old, it loses its virtue. This is because God moves always forward.

Sri Aurobindo

(Thoughts and Aphorisms 78)

The Illusion of Action

Agitation, haste, restlessness lead nowhere. It is foam on the sea; it is a great fuss that stops with itself. Men have a feeling that if they are not all the time running about and bursting into fits of feverish activity, they are doing nothing. It is an illusion to think that all these so-called movements change things. It is merely taking a cup and beating the water in it; the water is moved about, but it is not changed for all your beating. This illusion of action is one of the greatest illusions of human nature. It hurts progress because it brings on you the necessity of rushing always into some excited movement. If you could only perceive the illusion and see how useless it all is, how it changes nothing! Nowhere can you achieve anything by it. Those who are thus rushing about are the tools of forces that make them dance for their own amusement. And they are not forces of the best quality either.

Whatever has been done in the world has been done by the very few who can stand outside the action in silence; for it is they who are the instruments of the Divine Power. They are dynamic agents, conscious instruments; they bring down the forces that change the world. Things can be done in that way, not by a restless activity. In peace, in silence and in quietness the world was built; and each time that something is to be truly built, it is in peace and silence and quietness that it must be done. It is ignorance to believe that you must run from morning to night and labour at all sorts of futile things in order to do something for the world.

The Mother

The Sunlit Path. Page 97/em>

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