August 23, 2017 – Knowledge is Within You

August 23rd, 2017

Thus is it even with the seer and sage;
For still the human limits the divine:
Out of our thoughts we must leap up to sight,
Breathe her divine illimitable air,
Her simple vast supremacy confess,
Dare to surrender to her absolute.
Then the Unmanifest reflects his form
In the still mind as in a living glass;
The timeless Ray descends into our hearts
And we are rapt into eternity.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book II, Canto XI, page 276

Knowledge is Within You

There is one thing certain about the mind and its workings; it is that you can understand only what you already know in your own inner self. What strikes you in a book is what you have already experienced deep within you. Men find a book or a teaching very wonderful and often you hear them say, “That is exactly what I myself feel and know, but I could not bring it out or express it as well as it is expressed here.” When men come across a book of true knowledge, each finds himself there, and at every new reading he discovers things that he did not see in it at first; it opens to him each time a new field of knowledge that had till then escaped him in it. But that is because it reaches layers of knowledge that were waiting for expression in the subconscious in him; the expression has now been given by somebody else and much better than he could himself have done it. But, once expressed, he immediately recognises it and feels that it is the truth. The knowledge that seems to come to you from outside is only an occasion for bringing out the knowledge that is within you.

The Mother

The Sunlit Path, pages 155-156

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

August 16, 2017 – Ask the Divine

August 16th, 2017

Out of our thoughts we must leap up to sight,
Breathe her divine illimitable air,
Her simple vast supremacy confess,
Dare to surrender to her absolute.
Then the Unmanifest reflects his form
In the still mind as in a living glass;
The timeless Ray descends into our hearts
And we are rapt into eternity.
For Truth is wider, greater than her forms.
A thousand icons they have made of her
And find her in the idols they adore;
But she remains herself and infinite.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book II, Canto XI, page 276

Ask the Divine

If, for example, one wants to know something or one needs guidance, or something else, how can one have it from the Divine, according to one’s need?

By asking the Divine for it. If you do not ask Him, how can you have it?

If you turn to the Divine and have full trust and ask Him, you will get what you need – not necessarily what you imagine you need; but the true thing you need, you will get. But you must ask Him for it.

You must make the experiment sincerely; you must not endeavour to get it by all sorts of external means and then expect the Divine to give it to you, without even having asked Him. Indeed, when you want somebody to give you something, you ask him for it, don’t you? And why do you expect the Divine to give it to you without your having asked Him for it?

The Mother

The Sunlit Path, page 226

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

August 9, 2017 – Change Yourself First

August 9th, 2017

A Heart was felt in the spaces wide and bare,
A burning Love from the white spiritual founts
Annulled the sorrow of the ignorant depths;
Suffering was lost in her immortal smile.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book III, Canto II, Pages 313-314

Change Yourself First

You can do nothing with others unless you are able to do it with yourself. You can never give a good advice to anyone unless you are able to give it to yourself first, and to follow it. And if you see a difficulty somewhere, the best way of changing this difficulty is to change it in yourself first. If you see a defect in anyone, you may be sure it is in you, and you begin to change it in yourself. And when you will have changed it in yourself, you will be strong enough to change it in others. And this is a wonderful thing. People don’t realise what an infinite grace it is that this universe is arranged in such a way that there is a collection of substance, from the most material to the highest spiritual, all that gathered together into what is called a small individual, but at the disposal of a central Will. And that is yours, your field of work, nobody can take it away from you, it is your own property. And to the extent you can work upon it, you will be able to have an action upon the world. But only to that extent. One must do more for oneself, besides, than one does for others.

The Mother

The Sunlit Path, pages 14-15

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

August 2, 2017 – Your Mantra

August 2nd, 2017

As when the mantra sinks in Yoga’s ear,
Its message enters stirring the blind brain
And keeps in the dim ignorant cells its sound;
The hearer understands a form of words
And, musing on the index thought it holds,
He strives to read it with the labouring mind,
But ?nds bright hints, not the embodied truth:
Then, falling silent in himself to know
He meets the deeper listening of his soul:
The Word repeats itself in rhythmic strains:
Thought, vision, feeling, sense, the body’s self
Are seized unutterably and he endures
An ecstasy and an immortal change;
He feels a Wideness and becomes a Power,
All knowledge rushes on him like a sea:
Transmuted by the white spiritual ray
He walks in naked heavens of joy and calm,
Sees the God-face and hears transcendent speech:
An equal greatness in her life was sown.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book IV, Canto III, page 375

Your Mantra

When you are playing and suddenly become aware that something is going wrong — you are making mistakes, are inattentive, sometimes opposing currents come across what you are doing — if you develop the habit, automatically at this moment, of calling as by a mantra, of repeating a word, that has an extraordinary effect. You choose your mantra; or rather, one day it comes to you spontaneously in a moment of difficulty. At a time when things are very difficult, when you have a sort of anguish, anxiety, when you don’t know what is going to happen, suddenly this springs up in you, the word springs up in you. For each one it may be different. But if you mark this and each time you face a difficulty you repeat it, it becomes irresistible. For instance, if you feel you are about to fall ill, if you feel you are doing badly what you are doing, if you feel something evil is going to attack you, then…. But it must be a spontaneity in the being, it must spring up from you without your needing to think about it: you choose your mantra because it is a spontaneous expression of your aspiration; it may be one word, two or three words, a sentence, that depends on each one, but it must be a sound which awakens in you a certain condition. Then, when you have that, I assure you that you can pass through everything without difficulty… The best is when the word comes to you spontaneously: you call in a moment of great difficulty (mental, vital, physical, emotional, whatever it may be) and suddenly that springs up in you, two or three words, like magical words. You must remember these and form the habit of repeating them in moments when difficulties come. If you form the habit, one day it will come to you spontaneously: when the difficulty comes, at the same time the mantra will come. Then you will see that the results are wonderful. But it must not be an artificial thing or something you arbitrarily decide: “I shall use those words”; nor should somebody else tell you, “Oh! You know, this is very good” — it is perhaps very good for him but not for everyone.

The Mother

The Sunlit Path, pages 193-194

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