Archive for December, 2017

December 20, 2017 – Judging Others

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

In that high realm where no untruth can come,
Where all are different and all is one,
In the Impersonal’s ocean without shore
The Person in the World-Spirit anchored rode;
It thrilled with the mighty marchings of World-Force,
Its acts were the comrades of God’s infinite peace.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book II, Canto XV, Page 301

Judging Others

Whenever somebody is not just according to the usual pattern, if all the parts and activities in him have not the usual balance, if some faculties are more or less missing and some others are exaggerated, the common and easy habit is to declare him “abnormal” and to have done with him after this hasty condemnation. When this summary judgment is passed by somebody in a position of power the consequences can be disastrous. Such people ought to know what true compassion is, then they would act differently.

The first necessity is to abstain from thinking of anyone in a depreciatory way. When we meet a person, our criticising thoughts give to him, so to say, a blow on the nose which naturally creates a revolt in him. It is our mental formation that acts like a deforming mirror to that person, and then one would become queer even if one were not. Why cannot people remove from their minds the idea that somebody or other is not normal? By what criterion do they judge? Who is really normal? I can tell you that not a single person is normal, because to be normal is to be divine.

Man has one leg in animality and the other in humanity. At the same time he is a candidate for divinity. His is not a happy condition. The true animals are better off. And they are also more harmonious among themselves. They do not quarrel as human beings do. They do not put on airs, they do not consider some as inferiors and keep them at a distance.

One must have a sympathetic outlook and learn to cooperate with one’s fellows, building them up and helping them instead of sneering at whatever seems not up to the mark.

Even if somebody has a deficiency and is hypersensitive and self-willed, you cannot hope to improve him by summary measures of compulsion or expulsion. Do not try to force his ego by your own, by behaving according to the same pattern. Guide him gently and understandingly along the lines of his own nature. See whether you can place him where he can work without coming into conflict with others.

If those who are in power are puffed up with their own importance, they disturb the true working. Whatever their abilities, their achievement is not the real thing.

But it is not that they are always lacking in good-will. They have false ideas of what is proper. If they become more conscious of the divine aim, they can surely succeed in carrying it out.

The Mother

Words of the Mother II, pages 272-273

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

December 13, 2017 – The Examiners

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

A godhead moves us to unrealised things.
Asleep in the wide folds of destiny,
A world guarded by Silence’ rustling wings
Shelters their fine impossibility:

But parting quiver the caerulean gates;
Strange splendours look into our dreaming eyes;
We bear proud deities and magnificent fates;
Faces and hands come near from Paradise.

What shines above, waits darkling here in us:
Bliss unattained our future’s birthright is,
Beauty of our dim souls grows amorous,
We are the heirs of infinite widenesses.

The impossible is our mask of things to be,
Mortal the door to immortality.

Sri Aurobindo, The Call of The Impossible

The Examiners

The integral yoga consists of an uninterrupted series of examinations that one has to undergo without any previous warning, thus obliging you to be constantly on the alert and attentive.

Three groups of examiners set us these tests. They appear to have nothing to do with one another, and their methods are so different, sometimes even so apparently contradictory, that it seems as if they could not possibly be leading towards the same goal. Nevertheless, they complement one another, work towards the same end, and are all indispensable to the completeness of the result.

The three types of examination are: those set by the forces of Nature, those set by spiritual and divine forces, and those set by hostile forces. These last are the most deceptive in their appearance and to avoid being caught unawares and unprepared requires a state of constant watchfulness, sincerity and humility.

The most commonplace circumstances, the events of everyday life, the most apparently insignificant people and things all belong to one or other of these three kinds of examiners. In this vast and complex organisation of tests, those events that are generally considered the most important in life are the easiest examinations to undergo, because they find you ready and on your guard. It is easier to stumble over the little stones in your path, because they attract no attention.

Endurance and plasticity, cheerfulness and fearlessness are the qualities specially needed for the examinations of physical nature.

Aspiration, trust, idealism, enthusiasm and generous self giving, for spiritual examinations.

Vigilance, sincerity and humility for the examinations from hostile forces.

And do not imagine that there are on the one hand people who undergo the examinations and on the other people who set them. Depending on the circumstances and the moment we are all both examiners and examinees, and it may even happen that one is at the same time both examiner and examinee. And the benefit one derives from this depends, both in quality and in quantity, on the intensity of one’s aspiration and the awakening of one’s consciousness.

To conclude, a final piece of advice: never set yourself up as an examiner. For while it is good to remember constantly that one may be undergoing a very important examination, it is extremely dangerous to imagine that one is responsible for setting examinations for others. That is the open door to the most ridiculous and harmful kinds of vanity. It is the Supreme Wisdom which decides these things, and not the ignorant human will.

The Mother

12 November 1957, Words of the Mother II, pages 42 – 43

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

December 6, 2017 – The true obstacle to being confident

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017


In her ingenious ardour of caprice,
In her transfiguring mirth she mapped on Time
A fascinating puzzle of events,
Lured at each turn by new vicissitudes
To self-discovery that could never cease.
Ever she framed stark bonds for the will to break,
Brought new creations for the thought’s surprise
And passionate ventures for the heart to dare,
Where Truth recurred with an unexpected face
Or else repeated old familiar joy
Like the return of a delightful rhyme.
At hide-and-seek on a Mother-Wisdom’s breast,
An artist teeming with her world-idea,
She never could exhaust its numberless thoughts
And vast adventure into thinking shapes
And trial and lure of a new living’s dreams.
Untired of sameness and untired of change,
Endlessly she unrolled her moving act,
A mystery drama of divine delight,
A living poem of world-ecstasy,
A kakemono of significant forms,
A coiled perspective of developing scenes,
A brilliant chase of self-revealing shapes,
An ardent hunt of soul looking for soul,
A seeking and a finding as of gods.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book III, Canto III, page 328

The true obstacle to being confident

Above all, to be confident. The big difficulty in Matter is that the material consciousness (that is to say, the mind in Matter) has been formed under the pressure of difficulties — difficulties, obstacles, sufferings, struggles. It has been, so to say, “worked out” by these things and that has left upon it a stamp, almost of pessimism, defeatism, which is certainly the greatest obstacle.

It is of this that I am conscious in my own work. The most material consciousness, the most material mind is accustomed to act, to make an effort, to advance through whippings; otherwise, it is tamas. And then, so far as it imagines, it imagines always difficulty, always the obstacle or always the opposition, and that slows down the movement terribly. Very concrete, very tangible and often repeated experiences are needed to convince it that behind all its difficulties there is a Grace, behind all its failures there is the Victory, behind all its pains, its sufferings, its contradictions, there is Ananda. Of all efforts it is this one which has to be repeated most often; all the while you are obliged to stop or to remove, to convert a pessimism, a doubt or an imagination altogether defeatist.

The Mother

Notes on the Way, page 2

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