Archive for July, 2017

July 26, 2017 – Widening your Thought

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

A grand solution closed the long impasse
In which the heights of mortal effort end.
A reconciling Wisdom looked on life;
It took the striving undertones of mind
And took the confused refrain of human hopes
And made of them a sweet and happy call;
It lifted from an underground of pain
The inarticulate murmur of our lives
And found for it a sense illimitable.
A mighty oneness its perpetual theme,
It caught the soul’s faint scattered utterances,
Read hardly twixt our lines of rigid thought
Or mid this drowse and coma on Matter’s breast
Heard like disjointed mutterings in sleep;
It grouped the golden links that they had lost
And showed to them their divine unity,
Saving from the error of divided self
The deep spiritual cry in all that is.
All the great Words that toiled to express the One
Were lifted into an absoluteness of light,
An ever-burning Revelation’s fire
And the immortality of the eternal Voice.
There was no quarrel more of truth with truth;
The endless chapter of their differences
Retold in light by an omniscient Scribe
Travelled through difference towards unity,
Mind’s winding search lost every tinge of doubt
Led to its end by an all-seeing speech
That garbed the initial and original thought
With the finality of an ultimate phrase:
United were Time’s creative mood and tense
To the style and syntax of Identity.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book I, Canto V, page 90

Widening your Thought

You are with someone. This person tells you something, you tell him the contrary (as it usually happens, simply through a spirit of contradiction) and you begin arguing. Naturally, you will never come to any point, except a quarrel if you are ill-natured. But instead of doing that, instead of remaining shut up in your own ideas or your own words, if you tell yourself: “Wait a little, I am going to try and see why he said that to me. Yes, why did he tell me that?” And you concentrate: “Why, why, why?” You stand there, just like that, trying. The other person continues speaking, doesn’t he?–and is very happy too, for you don’t contradict him any longer! He talks profusely and is sure he has convinced you. Then you concentrate more and more on what he is saying, and with the feeling that gradually, through his words, you are entering his mind. When you enter his head, suddenly you enter into his way of thinking, and next, just imagine, you understand why he is speaking to you thus! And then, if you have a fairly swift intelligence and put what you have just come to understand alongside what you had known before, you have the two ways together, and so can find the truth reconciling both. And here you have truly made progress. And this is the best way of widening one’s thought.

If you are beginning an argument, keep quiet immediately, instantaneously. You must be silent, say nothing at all, and then try to see the thing as the other person sees it–that won’t make you forget your own way of seeing it, not at all! but you will be able to put both of them together. And you will truly have made progress, a real progress.

The Mother

The Sunlit Path, pages 195-196

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

July 19, 2017 – Activities should be an offering to the Divine

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

A being stood immortal in transience,
Deathless dallying with momentary things,
In whose wide eyes of tranquil happiness
Which pity and sorrow could not abrogate
Infinity turned its gaze on finite shapes:
Observer of the silent steps of the hours,
Eternity upheld the minute’s acts
And the passing scenes of the Everlasting’s play.
In the mystery of its selecting will,
In the Divine Comedy a participant,
The Spirit’s conscious representative,
God’s delegate in our humanity,
Comrade of the universe, the Transcendent’s ray,
She had come into the mortal body’s room
To play at ball with Time and Circumstance.
A joy in the world her master movement here,
The passion of the game lighted her eyes:
A smile on her lips welcomed earth’s bliss and grief,
A laugh was her return to pleasure and pain.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book VII, Canto V, page 526

Activities should be an offering to the Divine

Sweet Mother,

You have often told us that our activities should be an offering to the Divine. What does this mean exactly, and how can it be done? For instance, when we play tennis or basketball, how can we do it as an offering? Mental formations are not enough, of course!

It means that what you do should not be done with a personal, egoistic aim, for success, for glory, for gain, for material profit or out of pride, but as a service and an offering, in order to become more conscious of the divine will and to give yourself more entirely to it, until you have made enough progress to know and to feel that it is the Divine who acts in you, His force that impels you and His will that supports you — not just a mental knowledge, but the sincerity of a state of consciousness and the power of a living experience.

For that to be possible, all egoistic motives and all egoistic reactions must disappear.

The Mother

from Some Answers from the Mother, (vol. 16) pages 267 – 268

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

July 12, 2017 – Spiritual Life: East and West

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

All worlds she makes the partners of her deeds,
Accomplices of her mighty violence,
Her daring leaps into the impossible:
From every source she has taken her cunning means,
She draws from the free-love marriage of the planes
Elements for her creation’s tour-de-force:
A wonder-weft of knowledge incalculable,
A compendium of divine invention’s feats
She has combined to make the unreal true
Or liberate suppressed reality:
In her unhedged Circean wonderland
Pell-mell she shepherds her occult mightinesses;
Her mnemonics of the craft of the Infinite,
Jets of the screened subliminal’s caprice,
Tags of the gramarye of Inconscience,
Freedom of a sovereign Truth without a law,
Thoughts that were born in the immortals’ world,
Oracles that break out from behind the shrine,
Warnings from the daemonic inner voice
And peeps and lightning-leaps of prophecy
And intimations to the inner ear,
Abrupt interventions stark and absolute
And the Superconscient’s unaccountable acts,
Have woven her balanced web of miracles
And the weird technique of her tremendous art.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book I, Canto IV, page 86

Spiritual Life: East and West

Whatever difference there is between the West and the East in relation to spiritual life lies not in the inner being or nature, which is an invariable and constant thing, but in the mental habits, in the modes of outer expression and presentation which are the result of education and environment and other external conditions. All people, whether occidental or oriental, are alike in their deepest feelings; they are different in their way of thinking. Sincerity, for example, is a quality which is the same everywhere. Those who are sincere, to whichever nation they belong, are all sincere in the same way. Only the forms given to this sincerity vary. The mind works in different ways in different peoples, but the heart is the same everywhere; the heart is a much truer reality, and the differences belong to the superficial parts. As soon as you go deep enough, you meet something that is one in all. All meet in the Divine.

The Mother

The Sunlit Path, pages 191 – 192

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

July 7, 2017 – Concentration and Outer Activities

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

As so he grew into his larger self,
Humanity framed his movements less and less;
A greater being saw a greater world.
A fearless will for knowledge dared to erase
The lines of safety Reason draws that bar
Mind’s soar, soul’s dive into the Infinite.
Even his first steps broke our small earth-bounds
And loitered in a vaster freer air.
In hands sustained by a transfiguring Might
He caught up lightly like a giant’s bow
Left slumbering in a sealed and secret cave
The powers that sleep unused in man within.
He made of miracle a normal act
And turned to a common part of divine works,
Magnificently natural at this height,
Efforts that would shatter the strength of mortal hearts,
Pursued in a royalty of mighty ease
Aims too sublime for Nature’s daily will:
The gifts of the spirit crowding came to him;
They were his life’s pattern and his privilege.
A pure perception lent its lucent joy:
Its intimate vision waited not to think;
It enveloped all Nature in a single glance,
It looked into the very self of things;
Deceived no more by form he saw the soul.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book I, Canto III, page 26

Concentration and Outer Activities

Mother, an inner effort is often spoilt by dispersions in outer activities.

When one is outwardly active, how to keep the concentration?… Oh, this should not be very difficult. Truly it should not be very difficult. For me what seems difficult is not to keep a kind of intensity of inner consciousness, to be separated from it; this seems something impossible. Once one catches that within oneself, how can one separate oneself from it, if you have had it once, if it has become a reality for you, this consciousness and this inner union with the psychic, and this consciousness and intensity of aspiration, and this flame which is always lit? Why, whatever one may be doing, this cannot be extinguished, it is always there.

It seems to me that to separate oneself from it, once it is there, you must close a door, you must deliberately close the door, like this, upon it, and say, “I am no longer interested in it.” But if one truly has the will to keep the contact, it doesn’t seem very difficult to me. It seems to me that one must really have the will to turn one’s back upon it for it to go away; otherwise it is there, behind everything, all things, constantly. And if on the contrary one has made it a habit, when saying something, when making a movement, simply a movement or doing anything at all, to refer always to that, in there, not to feel capable of doing something without having that at the back, there, to tell you, “Yes, this way, not that way. That, no, not that, this”, then it is difficult to live without it.

Some people, because it troubles them, because it puts a control on their impulses and they want to feel absolutely free and independent (what they call independent), seem deliberately to bang the door, like that, they slam the door violently to stop it. Then naturally, once it is done, it is done; then one becomes something so superficial, so weak, so petty, so ignorant,so stupid! How can one bear to be like that? It seems to me that immediately the instinct would be to take a step backwards, open the door hurriedly and put oneself again into contact, saying, “No, no, no, not this state, not this frightful state of ignorance” — in which you don’t even know what you ought to say or ought not to say, what you ought to do or ought not to do, where you should go or should not go, nothing, nothing, you are in an obscure and incoherent immensity. It is a dreadful state. But when the door is open and this thing is behind, it is absolutely comfortable at every minute, as though one were leaning one’s back against a great light, a great consciousness, like this… “Ah, now, here we are, this is what ought to be done, that’s what ought to be said, this is the movement to be made”, etc. So, then one is comfortable, quiet, without anguish, without any problem, without any anxiety. One does what one wants to do; whether people take it more or less well is their affair, but for oneself it is like that.

And note that I am telling you this because I take the greatest care to open your door, inside all of you, and if you have only a little… a small movement of concentration within you, you don’t have to spend those long periods in front of a closed door which does not move, of which you do not have the key, and which you do not know how to open. Sometimes one has to wait stuck to the door for hours or for days or months or sometimes for years, and you do not know what to do.

It is not like that for you, my children.

The door is open, only one must look towards it. One must not turn one’s back to it.

The Mother

The Mother, Questions and Answers 1955, pages 68 – 69

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