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General Interest in Life



  • There are rare men dedicated to the Divine and there are rare moments in their life when they are moving to a critical decision.
  • One is lucky if he comes to a decision to do his very best, even if it is far distant from the best that is required by the circumstances.
  • To do one's very best can mean one of the following or many of them, sometimes all of them.

- To exhaust one's energy in the effort.

- In the progression of energy-force-organisation-skill-result, to exhaust one's energy is the least. To try to exhaust one's force or organisation is more difficult. The higher one moves in the scale, the greater is the effort needed.

- One's effort is at several stages.

At the stage of aspiration, he releases the will. Will, in the measure of its strength, releases energy. Energy becomes force in proportion to its determination. Force is organised into power by the strength of one's character.

Power yields results to the extent skill is available.

So one can exhaust one's energy or determination or character or skill.

Exhausting the higher component is more difficult and leads to greater accomplishment.

The very best may also be at several levels not only according to his endowments, but also according to his willingness to exert.

  • Spirit and Life are in a million dimensions. A decision taken as above can be implemented in endless ways, but we confine ourselves to the ways mentioned in The Life Divine.
  • Can we write a list of all cardinal ways of life mentioned in the Book, if not an exhaustive list? The idea is to evaluate the actions of our life according to as many items on this list, or at least one of them till we exhaust our energies or aspiration or consecration. In order to evaluate our actions by these standards, each such statement must be put on a scale. For example, Consecration can be put on a scale, as we know it fully as consecration of thought, feeling or action or its subtle parts. To put the idea that 'contradiction is complement' on a scale, is to devise to what extent we are able to see the complementary nature of the fact in the apparent contradiction. Obviously, the list will be long, and as mentioned earlier to exhaust our energies is the aim, not to exhaustively cover the list.


1. Contradiction is complement.

2. Spirit is Matter.

3. Go to Asat without losing hold of Sat.

4. Unite the subconscient to the Superconscient.

5. Individualise the Universal and Universalise the Individual.

6. Shed the ego.

- Eliminate unsatisfied want.

- Reject pain.

- Invoke perfect happiness.

7. Relieve reason from the senses.

8. Allow the hrdaya samudram to run your life.

9. Force is always conscious.

10. Sachchidananda tries to express the objectless delight in objects.

11. Thathastu.

12. Supermind creates by Real-Idea which is a vibration of the Being.

13. The apprehending Supermind puts the activities of the All before the All.

14. Supermind has three poises.

15. Mind chooses to forget Supermind, its origin.

16. God is in all, all is in God; all is in each, each is in all.

17. Life takes the bodily sensation to the Mind, converts it as thought which rules the body.

18. Force and Consciousness rejoin back in Supermind.

19. Matter is Delight of existence.

20. Ignorance, Inertia and Division resist Matter's evolution.

21. As everywhere else, Soul has two versions.

22. The four above invert as the four below.

23. All the seven or eight planes are of the same substance.

24. The uniqueness of the Overmind lends itself to reconciliation into unity because of the presence of the psychic.

The above 24 ideas cover Book I. The Book II can be so covered by another 20 or 24 ideas. If one subjects himself to ten of them for purposes of evaluation, it is a feat. In one or two, we will exhaust our energy. As the aim is to exhaust oneself and not the list, we can leave it here and add a few other ideas commonly known.

25. Consecration.

26. Perfection.

27. The three levels of the Mind - Waking, Pragmatic Mind and Vision of the Three Times.

28. Time - Timelessness - Simultaneity.

29. Part versus the whole.

30. Gross - Subtle - Causal planes.

  • Token Act and Complete Act are our themes, already well described.
  • Life Response.
  • Good, Evil, Negativity, Hostility.
  • Self-existent Goodness.
  • Nostalgia.
  • Altruism.
  • Selfishness - Self giving.
  • Be Right - Do wrong.
  • Correspondence.
  • Karma.
  • Social consciousness, Psychological consciousness.
  • Conscience.
  • Accomplishment.
  • Seeking popularity or even fame.
  • The type of force that is acting - Her Force.
  • Truth consciousness.
  • Ability to see the Marvel.
  • Capacity to convert pain into Ananda.
  • Generosity - Meanness.
  • Levels of Mind from which we act - surface, inner, subliminal.
  • Dream building.
  • Universalisation of consciousness.
  • Telepathy.
  • Effectivity of thought.
  • Manners - behaviour - character - personality - instrument.
  • Shifting from the Outer to the Inner.
  • Spirit moving Matter.
  • Memory is insincerity.
  • Measure of Ignorance.
  • Evaluation of oneself in terms of anothers' honest estimate, perverse understanding, mean evaluation, public comment.
  • The other man's point of view.
  • Assessment of history, literature, and life from Sri Aurobindo's point of view.
  • Evaluation of an act or our life by 1. the presence of positive aspects, or 2. the absence of negative factors.
  • Complement to your woman.
  • Swabhava
  • Mind over Matter.
  • Ability to see the One and The Many in That.
  • The twelve points of value implementation.
  • The thirty points to be rejected in ‘The Mother'.
  • At least in one comprehensive act we must be able to see the Marvel in full or as much as possible.
  • Capacity to renew everyday the resolve at a higher level.
  • Native Joy not from the surface but on its own from inside, preferably not from our own inner personality but from Her who has consciously entered us and lodged there.
  • The simple fact that our existence is aspiration as well as consecration are alien to its spirit and native enjoyment. The native enjoyment naturally tends towards the Taste of Ignorance. To perceive this spiritual status is a great step forward. That great step, when it occurs in us occurs in one of the above mentioned innumerable ways. In a person of comprehensive knowledge whose spiritual efforts are near consummation they occur in quick succession. As we are writing, a phrase brings back to mind the original occasion when we learnt it. Its memory means we are still attached to that event. Had we received the full essence of that event, it should have gone out of our memory. In the four stages of,

         Object - Analysis - Occasion - Subject,

this memory shows we are at the stage of memory of the object, quite a preliminary stage. For that to move to the end subject - Psychic, an all-inclusive concentration is needed. We know that Analysis needs full detachment which is seen to be not available. The occasion is primarily ego and at a later state, Purusha. Trying to increase the intensity of Analysis by detaching from the object, we see the strength of attachment as occupation. One can know at what level it is - for example, consciousness or substance in the mental or vital, and so on - knowing the exact level, say subtle mental, we know too the ability to consecrate each time we see it occur.This will remove it from our consciousness and that is, surrender. Grappling with the inability to surrender that vibration fully, sometimes we see it is lack of comprehension of that vibration. That complete comprehension facilitates our surrender is a further knowledge that arises there. It is then that it strikes us to secure that comprehension. One can take a mental effort to secure it. Surrender does it better, to achieve that knowledge. Then we are able to see the various parts of that knowledge. Maybe they are methods of that knowledge. At the peak of such an inner effort, the memory of the outer process arises. The outer process of thought is best changed to an inner process of consciousness. We suddenly remember that each of these illuminations arises one after the other as the occasion arises and they should, for better effect, be there simultaneously.

So, we see that all the above processes, each of which is relevant, depend on each other. One great illumination that is almost a revelation is that to

resort to surrender effectively, surrender is the best method.

Appreciation of surrender itself is surrender mentally practised.

That leads to silence of the mind. To be able to observe ourselves in the outer acts and inner consciousness is then almost a necessary preoccupation of yoga. Hence the importance of their saying, 'Yoga is meant for those who can take to it as the only goal'. One who arrives here sees that all this is summarised in the four consecrations She speaks of in Psychic education and much more so in those ten rules.

  • To be able to do so in the entire life is yoga.
  • To do so in one chosen work is to make a token act of it. That is the reason for the title ‘after a fashion.'
  • Therefore the formulas for yoga and life are

- Unfailing consciousness is yoga.

- Unfailing attitude is Life that is Yoga.

  • What is unfailing?

As long as we are in the dualities of good and bad, we can either fail or succeed. One has to be constantly alert to be constantly successful. For this, one has to keep his attitude by an inner effort.

To maintain a right attitude is possible, though difficult. Consciousness is not in our hands. Sometimes it comes, and at other times, it is not there. For that to be constantly there, one has to be awake in the soul. It is yoga.

  • Positive and Negative.

Man's position is - 'I am positive'. That is, he is not trying to move away from the negative to the positive, but he wants the world to say that the position he is in is positive. Such a one is not our topic. There are others who genuinely wish to see where they are and what they should do. With a little focus on work, they can come up with innumerable ideas.

1. Closing an opened bottle is something that has to be done at once. Returning the book to its place is another duty like that. These are all things we know should be done at once, but the hesitation is there. Rarely do we act as required. It comes out of laziness.

2. While we are in a conversation, the tendency to interrupt arises constantly. We often give way. This is lack of consideration to the other and a lack of courtesy. We do so under an inner urge or a deliberate choice. Here is an occasion to graduate a scale.

3. To go through every defect of ours in this attitude is  a part of this exercise. Even the full consideration is a knowledge, if not practice. It is an education in what we really are. One who embarks on this, will find the psychological environment full of interest as it is seen as the outer reflection of the inner.

4. Our circumstances are human which means that, in the best of circumstance when every aspect of life is wonderful and more than wonderful, one important thing, small or significant, will hold us to ransom.

Just at a time when one gets an unexpected promotion ahead of time, even jealous rivals start greeting one, or the government raises the usual facilities to a higher volume as if to meet the unwise higher commitments undertaken, a bright child will announce his decision not to take the exam. It does not mean that in this one thing we have failed. It only means that our circumstances are human. Continue to keep the inner quality, a new circumstance will develop and the child will participate in a state-wide contest and win a prize. To keep one's cool in these circumstances is more than human. Such a moment is the best time for us to evaluate ourselves on all these standards. As soon as you start to do so, everything inside will become calm and peaceful, disabling us from doing anything. He who sees such conditions is blessed. No evaluation and no methods are of any use to him. He is beyond their useful reach.

5. Mother says there is light in the bodies of Indians, especially in rural areas. We can see the difference in the conception and response of those who do not know Mother, and the devotees. A similar difference is there in our response from parts that have accepted Mother and those that have not. Observations of such difference will express itself in terms of any of these items mentioned earlier. In other words, we can look for the resistances or receptivity of our parts or faculties of those parts. Almost all our observations can come under this type.

- You go to a possible client and begin telling him that his profits can be doubled. He says he believes it. It means he responds to Mother through his own experience or understanding. In the film ‘Somewhere in Time' when Richard saw Miss McKenna, she asks 'Is it you?' She responds to him from a previous expectation. Seventy years later she gives him the watch and asks him to come back to her in Time. Her previous experience of being with him speaks here. In dealing with others, the ability to see from where they respond, not an inference, is subtle observation. It is an important faculty when developed. Yogic practice in the least measure develops a little of it. As with all the other abilities, this too will be exacting when we try to develop or create a faculty out of the initial indications. It involves all the processes of observation, collection, storing, classification, systematisation, recalling, recognising, remembering, using with facility, creative employment, enjoyment in its employment, and so on, but all, all must be in the subtle plane, subtle energies, subtle thoughts, subtle endowments without the least admixture of those corresponding gross counterparts.

- To another client the same proposal 'Your profits can be doubled' evokes a response, ‘How is it possible?' which means he has no experience, has not heard of The Mother, is wedded to poverty, enjoys the Taste of Ignorance, is unwilling to conceive of expansion, and so on.

- As everywhere, all others are indications. Only when you see your own inner response to outer opportunities or your own enlightened openings, it is inspiring when it is positive, or indicative of the measure of work to be done inside. There is no single movement or moment that cannot serve this purpose.

- Sri Aurobindo passed urine once a day. If that changed, He noted it. The Upanishadic Rishis passed small quantities of motion. Sri Aurobindo humorously said He too by that criteria qualified for greatness. Medically it is a known fact that a sound health absorbs more of the food intake. Spiritually - at least theoretically - it is possible to absorb and assimilate all food taken in and to feed oneself with the understanding. His Evening Talks contains a vast amount of disparate information, each of which in Mother's words is a goldmine, when seen in context.

6. A domestic servant, a car driver because of Mother's atmosphere, faces luck. He reinforces his faith and raises the opportunity. That too rises two hundred fold. He loses a cheap object, which is valuable to him. The power of the atmosphere and the fresh faith of the driver are great. The response is still in the driver's consciousness. The lost watch shows he had not risen out of his social consciousness. It means any amount of prayer or intensity may bring rewards of the same plane, but not actualise the big opportunity. A month later he sustained a small prick that bled. Clearly, the repetition of the small failure confirms he cannot rise to the plane of his big opportunity. He is unable to know the high quality of his faith, being an Indian, as his role model is the modern city driver. It can never strike him to go back to his strength and reinforce it. No one can tell him. Nor will he take it from anyone. Tradition says 'Don't seek.' He knows it. If he does not seek, he would do so out of frustration that is negative. Refusing to seek out of ones's inner equality, will make the bleeding injury heal quicker, restore the lost watch and precipitate the great opportunity.

7. In doing a work, the symptoms of sanction and resistance may appear before or after. When it is before, the guidance is unmistakable. In other cases we do an act and the wrong symptoms emerge a little later after a considerable time or when they cannot be countermanded. Not that the negative symptoms are not there, but that we have not noticed them as they were not so pronounced. Is there no way out then? There is one very well within our reach. It is to see

- Whether it is our initiative or Mother's.

- Errors happen only when it is our initiative.   

Then the rule is - wherever it is our initiative let us look for all possible symptoms and in their absence, let us not do it. All symptoms considered in toto will indicate the turn of events. For this, one should extend his observation to the inconceivable things too.

8. Gratitude: Hundreds of things happen to us. Rarely do we offer gratitude to Mother. More than offering it ourselves unfelt, the right thing is we should feel it and it should offer itself to Her. The rule is that, one who feels grateful need no prayer for anything. There are occasions where things are reported completed which by the nature of things, we know for certain, are irreversible. Often they are issues that generate panic. Mother saves the situation. The very first tangible feeling is relief and that is the end. No gratitude is ever felt. We do not even remember to thank Her as a lip-service. These are the occasions that once identified, we should offer thanks, feel grateful and offer it. Maybe it is a past event. Still it must be done now and fully. That makes one even with Mother. People rarely recognise its significance. If anything is significant in a devotee's life, this is significant.

9. Harmony: This vibration belongs to the supramental plane. We never realise its significance. To be polite is to be harmonious for us. To be polite is good, but it has no power. Some of us living in a work or around a leader are often rivals or enemies. Just by the real harmony created among those the ideal will rise sky high. Harmony is supramentally creative. The harmony I speak of is real good will but what it really is, is different. Supramental Harmony is one that is felt in the very fibre of our being. That of course is indispensable for yoga. What I ask for is Harmony, but not that great vibration. This is a vibration felt genuinely for the other which is true good will.

10. When a prayer is granted, we soon forget it. The work after that is enormous. After a difficult examination is passed, a bride is fixed, or a house built, it is easy to see that work will continue. It never ends. It only changes in character. If we forget it, arrears accumulate and problems persist. There are different levels by which work can be done. The best is to resort to gratitude. Who does not know the importance of maintenance and post-operative care. Psychologically it is not neglected, but forgotten at our peril. In the resolution of a certain problem, we see the conflict becomes compromise. The transition has several stages. To observe them and to put them on a scale is what I suggested earlier and on the scale we must be moving ahead constantly. In chapter 19, He gives us the formula that Life takes the bodily sensations to the mind and converts them into thoughts to govern the bodily movements. Surely in any work we can see where we are on this scale and it is not easy to be constantly moving ahead. The scale shows how sliding back is an inevitable phenomenon. It demands all one's energy 'not' to slip down. Our main task is to find the Psychic and stay there. We find we are insistently on the surface and the psychic remains unseen and unreached. Once we see this fact, what next? It is better to see this, instead of taking it for granted that we are what we read. We are not what we read. We are what we are.

Some people do not like marketing their service and they want to sell the little they have. To them it appears to be the right course. Is it worth considering this as an issue?

- This is an issue that mankind learnt when they settled down in a village that one cannot live on his past earnings.

- He is a few thousand years behind, closer to the ape.

- This is repeating the folly for the nth time.

- Yogically, it is taste of Ignorance.

- He is someone unfit to own property, unfit to live in this century.

- It is utter folly to discuss it as an issue.

- He has only two courses open to him. He must work under another and take no independent suggestion. He is socially immature and unformed.

- Either he accepts his psychological position or he will destroy the others who allow him to have his way. He has not yet acquired physical individuality. There are others who borrow for their expenses, not investment. Those two people belong to the same category. They should never be allowed independence of any description. They must work for the others or work under the others. It is wrong to allow them to speak their thoughts in a collective work.

  • We are working to march ahead evolutionarily. We must go ahead. It is a wrong decision to allow such people to work, especially in independent charge. It can be done only for transformation. Until they are transformed, they will be totally destroying what others have constructed. Whatever they touch, to whomsoever they go, they would all go bankrupt sooner or later. Such people come to Mother, Mother says, for transformation.
  • The parent teaches the child to eat, speak, write, and so on. The child at the age of three does not find himself in independent charge.
  • The Mind refuses to see the other side.In an ordinary conversation, we often see that the two parties have different persons or things in mind. This means we are lost in ourselves. There is no subtlety to penetrate into the other person's thoughts. There is a story in Ramayana that Lakshmanan starved for fourteen years, as when he brought fruits for Rama and Sita he expected the elder brother to give him the remainder. Rama took for granted that Lakshmanan would have eaten. This fact emerged fourteen years later. We should research into our minds, lives and attitudes to discover how closed a mind we have and put it on a scale. The scale can be constructed easily - forgetful of others' needs, our needs, general blindness with respect to persons, events, materials - materials of importance, and so on. The scale will gain in significance if we now measure or notice how we are regaining lost ground.
  • If you are conscious, self-aware, awake in the soul as you do a work, you will know how positive you are. In its absence, you look for outer or inner symptoms. If you are unconscious of even that, you wait for results. When the results are disastrous, one learns from that. If he does not, he is sure to repeat it ad infinitum. It is best not to listen to him. It is not another. It is ‘us' inside.
  • Mother says many people come to Her only for transformation which means shedding of the negative, evil tendencies. Mother gives at once what several births alone can give. Here, there is an important psychological fact to be noticed. Being a devotee, one can shed an evil spirit lodged inside which can be worked out only in several births and it can be done at once, but to give up the habits and temperament that were developed during the evil spirits reign, though can be rid of at once, the effort needed must come from the person concerned. That is difficult.
  • Triple Transformation.

1. Psychic transformation is to emerge out of the ego.

2. Spiritual transformation: Instead of the mind or the psychic in the mind acting, the psychic in the Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind and Overmind acting, is spiritual transformation.

3. Supramental transformation: In the film Erin Brockovich, the protagonist taking a selfless view is akin to psychic transformation. Her final success is the elimination of the man-made problem faced by all the people. It is supramental transformation. What happens in between is spiritual transformation - her perseverance, overcoming social resistance, insight revealing more and more facts about pollution, response of the company, law developing power, the possible unconscionable delay of time getting abridged, cooperation of the clients in spite of their ignorance of pollution and law, all together will fit into the four levels of spiritual transformation.

Review any work of yours thus, go into great detail, create a scale, even the mind can be split into three sublevels, and study. Erin worked ignoring the negative attitudes all around. In spite of her uncultured temperament, it was silent work assigned to Higher mind. Not always do the signs of success wait for the last stage. The lawyer who dismissed her called her back, gave her $5000 and encouraged her. The penetration of the lawyer into the potentials of this case was intuition and belonged to the Intuitive Mind. Our Mind is a plane where knowledge and Ignorance coexist, but here, knowledge is able to function without being hindered by Ignorance. The attitude of the lawyer, his office, her boy friend, the new partner to the lawyer, the one threatening call, the long period of gestation, possibly ten or fifteen years, all are aspects of Ignorance that were present. She worked unhindered by the dynamism of that Ignorance. This characterizes Overmind. Every work of ours lends itself to be analysed on such a scale.

  • Evolution is possible as all planes are of the same substance. In life we see great ideas in small men and small attitudes in great men. One can discern a continuity there from the bottom to the top. They can be observed in ideas, attitudes, impulses, capacities, skills, energies, insights, and so on. We can perceive the same from the individual, family, big company, government, humanity and in global life. The responses in the UN bear comparison with our own attitude. This can be witnessed in the positive exhibition of culture and capacity and the negative expression of prejudice and impatience.
  • At an important moment in the life of a person, when a great thing was being proposed, the atmosphere became fluid. His mind dwelt on it entirely. He jammed his finger tip in the door. The pain was unbearable though the cut was small, as it was on the nail. He could see the cut as a symbol of the atmosphere. It gave an opening into all his being and he prayed to Mother for the cut to be cured. In a few seconds the pain was not felt, the next day the wound was forgotten. A day later the atmosphere rose in intensity. The fluidity changed into solidity and the ever-threatening problem announced its dissolution. It was preceded by a sanction of the project whose size was greater than any known by his family.
  • The theme in ‘Pure Existent' is that we must let the ocean of energy take up our life and run it. In the film ‘Erin Brockovich', each affected person lives for himself which leads nowhere. Erin comes and says to them that they must allow their interest to be governed by the collectivity. When such a thing is permitted, her first client gets $5 million. We do allow the society to live our lives at many points but unconsciously. We are educated by the social system, the system of the country's production meets our needs and so on. That is why there are vast benefits in the present. How do we consciously do this?
  • At least in education the degree holder is now capable of becoming an expert in his field because of the internet. As he outgrows the system of education to become an expert, if he outgrows the grooves of social consciousness, he would become a genius. Examine every one of our opinions about any subject, they are all social opinions. Instead of sending the child to school and college, we can put him on the internet and his fund of information will be enormous, equivalent to that of an expert. This is comprehensible. It is not equally easy to comprehend the emerging out of social consciousness to become a genius. We look at money as a social instrument and it fulfils a social purpose. Money is a power, it expresses in the society as a social power. Throw away the social consciousness and you will see money as a pure power. Then it will reveal more of its evolutionary role. One who understands the evolutionary role of money is neither an economist nor a social scientist, but he is One who is the spearhead of social evolution. To do this, to play that role, is not given to any genius. Only he who expresses Mother's Power can do so. That pushes the man into the region of Genius. That way the Infinite emerges out of the Finite. Education makes one a genius if he allows the ocean to run his life. If he does the same thing to Life, it is not a genius that he becomes, but a supramental being. At the bottom of the scale, that Being is a yogi, a sadhak.
  • The Force is conscious, not a mere Force. When we work at our place or in an office, we are mostly routine driven, rarely alive. While we are alive, in that measure the Force is Conscious. Such a consciousness has degrees of the mind, ranging from 1 to 9. It becomes fully conscious only when we go beyond Number 1 to the soul. Here is a natural gradation for us to construct a scale for ourselves. The scale, if one is enamoured of pure adventure, can be extended to consciousness and substance thus making the 9 levels 18.
  • Sachchidananda expresses the objectless delight in objects. This is Delight of Being expressing itself as Delight of Becoming.

The software company Oracle had created some very effective software for office administration which had become popular. A few years later, some VIP in the company finding their own office slackening, exclaimed how it was that they had never used their own software until that point! We can surely find such anomalies in our home or office. Wipro in Bangalore had created two software programmes in education. Both of them never took off. The reason was that they never used their own otherwise successful methods there. Any company quickly moves away from their ideals, as The Indian National Congress moved away from the ideals of Gandhiji. To move back to their own ideals will make any organisation live. Within the family the known ideal is affection, trust, love, and so on. Should those qualities be there in the right measure, the house will become a home. We talk of home comforts, homecoming and sweet home. These are simple ideals. Still, do we find them? The Delight of Being changing into the Delight of Becoming is the ideal of Divine Life. In our intended scale, Divine Life can be the higher end, human life the lower end. Let us give up the negative side of the human life and not consider it.

  • The Supermind creates by the Real-Idea which is a vibration of the Being.

Mind understands. When the will is inspired, it executes Mind's idea. The vital has energy and little understanding. It moves, stirs and falls quiet. Its understanding is deeply buried and rarely emerges. When it emerges, its execution will be perfect, not at the level of Mind, but at its own vital level. Positively the vital obeys intelligently. Negatively it destroys itself when it is thwarted in the attempt of destroying the rival. Body is still below. Though the subliminal powers of the body or vital are perfect, they are perfect at their own level. At the level of the mind, they cannot function. When mind functions, it bungles, often utters ideas directly opposite to rationality. To evaluate every level between Mind and Supermind will present us a graded system of Nature's functioning. It will be very useful for us to put our actions on a scale. When the Mind does understand its reasonable duty, it will shrink because it will be so sensitive, as if one has to walk through the streets naked. Mother once asked a French aristocratic lady to jump through the window and eat a bunch of grapes walking in the middle of the street.

A bankrupt man was saved by the Mother. All but a few thousands of his foolish investment were restored. Grace came down in copious measure over him and the saved capital multiplied eighteen times in value. He was eminently vital. His one ambition was that his wife should adore his wealth! There was none. Taking silly initiatives, several times he destroyed the entire project's prospects, not the project itself. He would not offer the least cooperation to grace because his vital was bent upon assertion. The mind had understanding without strength, his vital was strong and integrated only to destroy himself and all the forces of grace that helped him. In a letter to Mother, he offered ‘all' his wealth to Her. She saw only darkness on the paper and refused to listen to the offer. Years later, there came the news that he received only 1/54th of his ‘vast' wealth! When the knowledge and will in the mind are divided, there can be no effective action. It is a suitable condition for the vital to step in and destroy totally.

Disarmament, which Mother worked on was taken up by some devotees as an ideal. As a thought it was not in the mind. It was there as a Real-Idea! When the devotees gave shape to their idea, before the very first step was taken, disarmament became a reality. Real-Idea acts only in this fashion.

  • All is in each, each is in all; all is in God, God is in all.

In the chapter on Divine Soul, Sri Aurobindo expounds this theme of the Upanishads. We see we echo the thoughts of others; others echo our thoughts. Extend it to feelings and acts. Observe the similarity and opposition, as opposition is inverse similarity. If God is likened to the greatest or highest ideal we can think of, let us see how much of our own ideal reflects the Ideal and vice versa.

  • Matter is Delight of existence.

Sri Aurobindo says Matter tempts the hidden consciousness to seek the secret Godhead. This is His description of an action. Let us watch our own actions and see how far our actions suit this definition. Once we see it is so, it is possible to construct a graded scale. Thirst is a physical sensation that makes you drink. The thirst is relieved. The thirst starts at the body and ends in the body being relieved. What is a movement of Delight seeking Sat in simultaneous Time is a movement of the body in Time. As we move into Timelessness, which is indifferent to movements of Time we see that our thirst felt hours ago leaves us undisturbed. Moving into Mother's consciousness intensely to the point of saturation, we move into Simultaneous Time. Thirst now is seen as a prompting of Love by the dry throat. Mind represents consciousness, which ordinarily gives orders to the hands in the nerves or nerves in the hand to seek water. That same movement now is seen as the Delight of thirst tempting the consciousness of the Mind. Water that is drunk ordinarily quenches the thirst. Now when the consciousness in the mind moves, it does not seek water so much as the secret godhead in the body. In Truth, the godhead in the dry parts of the body arises to unite with the godhead in water by the evolutionary office of the Mind when it moves into action. An act of drinking in this fashion reveals the rasa, the taste below the surface. One who can do this is in the ultimate yogic realisation.

  • Overmind has knowledge but a knowledge that coexists with Ignorance.

Draupadi prayed to Krishna when she was stripped in Duryodhana's court. In the Bengali version of the Mahabharatha, Krishna asked her if she had helped any one similarly earlier.

  • An institution was under great pressure for grants but could not remember how on the basis that no outside help can be received, it scorned an idealist's effort to double its grant. Officers, lower subordinates and CEOs arrive at a point of seeking or deserving or even being offered a high raise in their income, but find several non-issues effectively blocking the way. All of them have earned the reputation of never granting any rise in others directly under them or indirectly connected. In outside social life it would not strike anyone that the one depends upon the other. Among devotees, it is not even enough to locate the parallel and reverse it. Transformation requires not just a sincere regret now, but a positive joy in restoring what was earlier prevented. Things open up in a big way the moment the decision to reverse the earlier thought is taken, if there was no venom in the heart. Mean perverse joy in depriving others is worse than venom. Now a generous expansive ecstasy is needed for the reversal. These are fertile occasions to construct a scale. One will find himself staying put in his own emotions inside and repeating orally that he would like to reverse. Now, an act of equally powerful motive done to the same person or another may remove the block, as it is an act. In the hard motives mentioned earlier, they too may leave a remainder.

- Acts of folly that offended others.

- Unthinking neglect that cruelly crushed affectionate emotions or brought about a tragedy in the life of a beloved.

- Self-indulgence that released an avalanche of bitter notoriety in one whose heart is wedded to you.

- Unconscious initiatives that resulted in loss of life or insanity in others.

- Whatever your motive is, if your act offended the susceptibilities of another, no mere reversal of thought or emotion is enough to wipe out all the consequences. It may be enough in cases of sincerity, devotion to Mother or by an act that reverses in the same person the agony he suffered.

Each of these experiments will lend itself for evaluation on any of the ten or twenty principles out of the fifty or sixty ones listed earlier. It is true that sincerity will suffice. Had sincerity been there, the argument is that they would have never arisen in the first place. Sincerity, opening, receptivity, aspiration, and consecration are attitudes that qualify one for yoga. These are problems of human deficiencies. They are exalted virtues. One cannot be spoken of in the context of the other.

Grace is so powerful that as soon as a strong desire for a result prompts an intense desire for change, not just change, but the atmosphere will fall quiet and even positive symptoms will appear. They are deceptive. Only a real transformation will reverse the original act. Otherwise, Time alone may heal it. It may take a few years, or as Mother indicates, maybe a few thousand years. One may not be totally sincere, but may come forward with a sincere regret with respect to the old event. Then grace acts to reverse the old act, but not to unleash an avalanche of good luck. Only Super Grace does that.

  • Where one's consciousness is free, totally free, one may attempt to invoke Super Grace. It is done in two stages 1. Having faith in The Mother, which wipes off karma and 2. by withdrawing one's faith in one's capacities. For people, the latter is impossible. Not to believe in one's own talent is not a human attitude. Subtle perception will reveal that in all his previous experiences where he is fully sure that his capacities have been rewarded, without fail, he can now see it was in spite of his capacities, not because of them. Subtle sincerity can see that.          
  • Unconsciousness: Mother's description of unconsciousness shows that we are totally unconscious. Ours is ego consciousness. By definition ego becomes conscious by organising unconsciousness all around. An unconscious person will obviously not see or cannot see he is unconscious. To appreciate this principle mentally and conceive of that Truth is the first step towards becoming conscious. The Rishis who realised Sachchidananda, Buddha who attained Nirvana, Shankara whose spiritual realisation was the Superconscient, Ramavatar that was from the Higher Mind, Krishnaavatar from the Overmind, Shiva who refused to incarnate in Sri Aurobindo's body, and Krishna who incarnated were all not conscious according to the original definition of consciousness. To all those who exhibit that Sincerity which qualifies for Super Grace, Sri Aurobindo offers as an experience, the state of being conscious. It is rarely availed of. To be conscious is to be awake in the Soul and the Spirit to the Origin of the Absolute. Moksha is the goal of the unconscious Spirit.
  • The ordinary citizen in a democracy is more equipped with rights as a human being, politically and in practical fact, than a member of the aristocracy in a monarchy. He could be jailed and killed by the whim of the emperor, while the simple citizen cannot be arrested in a democracy. It does not mean that the simple citizen is as rich or powerful as the aristocratic victim in an earlier regime. Sadhaks, sometimes even devotees, are accorded the rights of the plane of Supermind or the touch of supramental consciousness by virtue of their knowing Her. I wonder how much it is realised.
  • To give an example for each of the themes of every chapter in The Life Divine or to do so for each of the one thousand odd newer ideas in the Book is possible if a book of good length is conceived. But one must be able to catch the Spirit of that approach from what is already said and be equipped to launch oneself on the work of finding himself.
  • We are what we are by our capacity.

It is true in life, not in grace. Even in life, it is so by our character, not by our capacity. Often it is in spite of capacity. When we withdraw our faith from our capacity, grace becomes Super grace. A very simple spiritual truth, which is equally true in life, is that our capacity stands in our way as much as our incapacity does. Even character is a block to spiritual progress. In life, we can consider  advancement in society, from a low status to very high status. Those who have risen to that position, we see, have risen by wealth, power, ability, character, deceit, dishonesty, and so on. It is clear to us that a smuggler becoming an M.P. has not gained the status of an M.P. but has lowered the status of the post. We would rather not like to be an M.P. by dishonesty or corruption. Even here, it will be evident that a smuggler could become an M.P. not because he is a smuggler, but in spite of his being a smuggler, and for the other talents he has. We can see that the same argument when extended will explain that he is an M.P., not by his capacities, but in spite of his capacities, by grace. We do know that nothing happens except by grace and the contribution of our character and capacity is only negative.

- A disease is cured in spite of the doctor and drugs.

- A post is reached not by honesty but in spite of it.

- All acts take place Only by grace, even the winning of the world wars, not by armies or ammunitions.

- We exist not by food, but in spite of it.

An exciting work, when the excitement subsides, becomes neutral and flat when no virtue or vice is attached to it. At the other end, it can move to become a Marvel through Consecration.

  • Learning to evaluate a work:

- as human and interesting.

- exciting as the skill and interest rise.

- as a flat neutrality.

- as a consecrated work which expresses equality.

- as a Marvel that is the simultaneity of Time.

is to grade a work on a scale from divinity to humanity via neutrality.


For the purposes of constructing a scale, instruction is suitable. The scale once constructed can be used, as it is to evaluate one's consecration.

- Let me not consider the first few stages of instruction but start from the stage when it is clear to the instructor.

- In the instruction travelling successfully across to the instructed, there are varieties of erroneous results created by language, subconscious intention, contextual lack of clarity and a few others which I leave out. I take up only those that are partial.

- Of the few instructions it is common to have only the first taken up or heard.

- As the receiver of the radio broadcast cannot get the message from a station unless it is tuned to that station, the instructed one must tune his mind to the instruction.

- The instructor can, by his own efforts, tune the listener's mind.

- Instruction in the instructed starts with comprehension and ends in execution.

- One who is capable of giving the instruction so as to be heard properly, understood rightly, executed in full, when he moves from human consciousness to consecration and later to surrender, can use the several levels thus constructed securely earlier, to test the spiritual validity of his consecration.

  • The whole - Sachchidananda - consists of Unity, Truth, Goodness, Knowledge, Power and Love. Nature waits until all the six aspects are fully grown. She even puts obstacles consciously on the path of each of them to check their speed of progress so that we can wait until all aspects mature.

   The Spirit is a whole, Nature is a part.

Therefore, it is necessary that the aspects of Nature are to be developed independently, in succession, in different parts of the world. The force of human social evolution moved from India to the Middle East, Greece, Rome, Europe and USA for this reason.

  • The physical mind is agnostic, the vital mind seeks illusion and the thinking mind seeks the Absolute - is His formula. Here is a theory of a scale for us, for our beliefs.
  • Prayer moves things slowly as faith shades off. The readiness and fullness the response shows is a measure of our faith. One who wants to measure his increasing faith can easily put it on a scale.
  • Nature has the slow deliberate joy in moving slowly and more fully enjoying the infinity she is. Nature intentionally puts obstacles in the path of progress. This idea is in direct contradiction with the evolutionary aim of expediting the progress of the world. One part of the explanation for this, is there at the top of this page. Another part is the Psychic. The one movement is vertical, evolutionary. The other is horizontal and leisurely. Left to themselves, each will follow its own inspiration. The common factor to both is the Psychic Being. The horizontal movement, slow though it is, develops the psychic being in it. It tends to the vertical movement. It is the link. Human choice is between the Psychic and Nature. In the evolution of the spheres, all will be nebulous, but not in our daily activities. For a young man who is to choose a freshly introduced course, for parents to let their children move with the times, for one in a profession to choose a method of advancement, nothing will be nebulous, the choices will be frightfully clear. For those who desire to move towards the right and do so sometimes, a scale of progress or action at once emerges.
  • Silent will works, works at all the four planes and their subtle parts. Its range extends from acts of insignificance such as the man across the table closing the book in response to your silent thought and your uncle changing your inheritance from 25% of his property to 75%. The scale outside is just like the scale inside. Good work, great work too, is systematic.
  • The chain of Object - Analysis - Occasion - Subject on page 514 of The Life Divine offers an excellent scale, touching both ends of our existence.
  • When detachment from thought for the purposes of consecration is successful, one sees the various stages of that thought and finally arrives at the Physical urge that is at the very bottom. For the line of experiment, this is directly very useful.
  • Capacity is a bar to Supergrace.

Faith in life that is Karma,

Faith that is grace,

Faith in one's capacity,

Withdrawal of that faith, that is, Super grace, are the four stages Mother has explained.

Faith in our capacity in the office is a bar to promotion.

As in every other field, here is a constructed graded life that will eminently serve our purpose.

  • Ego will not surrender on its own. The Soul behind, emerging, will surrender the ego or dissolve it by its emergence. To put this effort on a measuring scale one needs to know the five components of the surface mind and proceed to extricate himself from each of them. The scale can be a summary touching each aspect or detailed, as each component lends itself to many subdivisions. To record such experiments and details will be a record, if not of yoga, at least of a total effort.
  • Sift the necessary from the unnecessary.

A work, like brushing the hair, needs to be done. Once it is brushed, the task is over. A child needs to be attended to and that attention is never over unless someone else takes over. Most work such as ploughing the land, writing an article, taking a bath, switching on a light, washing hands, passing a Bill in the Parliament and so on, fall under the first category. Driving a car cannot be given up after starting the engine. An executive who gives his orders cannot forget it or give it up. It needs to be constantly tended. There are other work that need to be started and kept in our view like a crop that is sown. It grows by itself but our mind must be on it for general protection. This is all common sense. In psychological work such as having taken a decision or changing the attitude properly, we do not have this discrimination.

- The mind continues to be preoccupied even after its duty is over.

- To classify our psychological work into different categories and withdraw the excess, superfluous attention, is to make progress.

  • A work is done for us to gain a certain knowledge. We are cheated by a dishonest colleague. It comes to teach us a certain lesson. To dwell on it, to seek to wreak vengeance on him and so on is beside the point or creates unreal work which we have to outgrow later.
  • In the last chapter, Sri Aurobindo says that shifting inside from outside and transformation are indispensable to reach fullness, etc. This can be verified in everyday work. We have several jobs to be done by going to several places. It is outer work. Our thinking of it is inside. To contemplate ‘doing' the work inside is not what we are used to. Sometimes we ‘think' of ‘doing' something. To our utter surprise when we go to the other places to do that work, we see parts of it completed. To our greater surprise, those items are what we have ‘done' inside. This is a common experience of the devotees. To do it systematically to a great extent is possible. On rare occasions, we find the entire work to be done over months or years, is so done inwardly. Those who have observed such things can take exercise beneficially.
  • Karma: Our general impression and experience is that our intentions in the past are now rewarded. Sri Aurobindo does not endorse this view though he allows cause and effect. Without going into the validity of karma, we know that acts done once do have repercussions later. I would like to underline here that what does have repercussions are

- intentions.

- the time of the act.

- the space of the act.

- the very personality of the act.

When a man avoids another person for valid good reasons, and the act repeats seven years later, he finds several aspects of the act repeating. He did so while sitting in a car. In the repetition, the man who avoided him is sitting in the car. At both times the car was under a tree. Even part of their names was the same. The day, the date, the hour will have their own ‘correspondence' which means the dates will not be the same but will bear partial resemblance as 18 and 28. My interest here is the effectivity of consecration which can be measured by the extent to which karma yields to it. In response to consecration,

- karma ceases to be a nightmare and becomes an occupation.

- the occupation changes into a live memory.

- it reduces to a dead memory whose ‘body' resists dissolution.

- either its severe parts disappear first or become powerless fringes.

- Until the transformation begins, karma dies slowly part by part or loses its intensity, though it is capable of vanishing suddenly.

- Suddenly vanishing acts by grace disappear once and for all, but this is rare. If they do so, they bury themselves to reappear later feebly.

- Suppose one finds that time and location insist on repeating, one can see time more intense and space less so.

- No new experiments are necessary. Old events will reveal much of these truths. One needs to know this approach.

  • Social consciousness, psychological consciousness.

The desire to conform is social consciousness. The fear of defying the fashion or the prevailing life style too is social consciousness. Psychological consciousness will be rare in those whose social consciousness is pronounced. For ordinary folks to be endowed with a conscience is a great progress, even as ego formation itself can be a progress for unformed people. Psychological consciousness can be explained as ethical consciousness born out of a sense of good and evil. At certain stages, social consciousness can be mistaken for psychological consciousness. All these apart, it is possible for one to observe from which centre one is acting.

- Some examples of social consciousness:

  • Attending a wedding where there is no obligation except social courtesy.
  • Following religious rituals for the sake of the other members of the family.
  • Honouring another's social sensitivity.

- Examples of psychological consciousness:

  • Offensive behaviour out of self-righteousness.
  • Honouring another's psychological consciousness.
  • The desire to give precedence to right over consecration.
  • The anxiety to be understood as a good person.

Consecration overlooks both these susceptibilities. Completely successful consecration while brushing aside these sentiments goes one step further to satisfy these urges in others so that harmony will be fully maintained. Construction of scales is easy here as they naturally exist in grades. It is not so difficult to construct scales as to maintain a sustained performance of consecration, especially an ever increasing one. To respect a devotee for his status is social, to do so for his goodness is psychological. In the absence of either, one becomes dry and stiff. Consecration generates cheerfulness in the atmosphere which obliterates distinctions of status or goodness.

  • Observation.

- By observation I mean the observation of one complete event.

- Non-devotees see the results, whether they like them or not. Or sometimes, baffled and  puzzled, they take something as karma. We often hear the comment, ' I do not understand anything at all'.

- To devotees most events come as grace, as excellent results.

- Some events have many desirable sides and one undesirable aspect.

- Perceptive devotees always explain them according to their experience as a reflection of their defects.

- We do have examples of a wrong doer heavily punished, but occasionally such a man's punishment is also followed by a reward. We often rationalise it.

- In our stoicism or higher reason, we explain it as the ‘luck' he gave us, as the cruel torturer in the Aphorisms. That may be right, but does not describe the law we are upholding, as it upheld several other parts of that incident.

- Sometimes an event answers to all our ideas of Mother's Laws fully, but one remains unexplained or exactly counter to our ideas.

- The aim should be to observe well the precedents to each part of the event in the outer and inner life so that all parts will offer explanations that fully meet our understanding.

- It is often our experience that the unexplained parts reveal themselves more fully with greater penetration. Still one part defies. Either with the passing time or with an active memory, the knot unravels to our satisfaction.

- The ideal here will be when all parts explain to us as a source of delight, in spite of their apparent suffering.

- Observation is complete when occurrences are a Marvel. The world is full of Ananda and there is no shadow of sorrow, is what Sri Aurobindo says. To be able to feel that delight is the observation we aim at.

  • Substance - Mental and Physical.

Every plane - mental, vital, physical - divides into consciousness and substance. Even the consciousness in each plane divides into surface and depth. Some analogies can be offered but they are all ultimately poor and cannot fully reflect the truth of the idea. One who is working in an office can witness the camaraderie of colleagues - not part of their official duties - on some pleasant or other occasions which we know to be expressions of humanity. Let me try to stretch those analogies for my purpose at several points wherever there is scope. One who is seriously injured in an office is not abandoned but some people volunteer to offer first aid or human help and take him home. Suppose it is an accident on the road, the bystander offers to help and calls in the police. The waysider's help is humanitarian. Police is organised help by the society. When he is admitted to a hospital, it is again society's organisation for systematic help. His insurance taking over the cost of the treatment is socially organised humanitarian help, offering its service commercially, which the individual volunteers to pay for. There is a limit to all this goodness. A doctor who met with an accident in Delhi lay on the road unattended for six hours not because people are inhuman but because in India, police have a habit of accusing the person who comes to help. Early in the 1930's when an emergency case was brought to the headquarters hospital of the state, he was denied attendance on the plea there was no bed available. He died. Since then, things have changed for the better all over the world. Even now, there is a limit to such acts of goodness. The colleague who admits you to the hospital will not stay there to continue his attention. It is just not there. Suppose there is an extreme case in which someone does it, he would not act as his family to support him until he resumes his work. My point is consecration and surrender. These are new ways of life our surface being admits. Often it forgets, but resumes on being reminded. Shallow consecration acts on the surface. Deep consecration penetrates. The effectivity of consecration lies in its maturing into surrender. Among the hundred things that withstand it, Ignorance is the chief obstacle, and unwillingness, which is the Ignorance of will that enjoys the taste of Ignorance, is the version of force. The being lies to an extent, in the following fashion. The surface consciousness and its depth lie over the substance of the plane as if in serried sequence.

Mind     -  Surface consciousness

            Depth of consciousness

            Mental substance - Brain

Vital    -  Surface consciousness

            Depth of consciousness

            Vital  substance - Nerves

Physical -  Surface body consciousness

            Depth of consciousness of the body

            Substance of the physical - Body

As every part is in live communication with every other part in a general way and the above is the particular way of penetration below, from the Mind to the Physical, to an extent, we see the theory of gradations. For our purposes, penetrating to the mental substance which is in connection with the physical substance will be the final accomplishment. We see consecration that is effective at earlier levels evokes no response from the next level where it has not been organised by us. There the response is blank. Not only that, as we go down the substance becomes denser and darker. Attempts to extend consecration to one such layer evoke a resistance and life reacts instead of responding. Such reactions range from an article falling down and breaking, to earthquakes, as our bodies are only the extensions of Mother Earth. As the reactions are so violent, responses too can be equally all embracing. They range from a favourable local government order to the fall of the Berlin wall.

As you rise in the scale of consciousness, we observe certain fresh phenomena, which are different from our social rules as well as ethical consciousness.

- That which is prohibited socially is permissible in the higher consciousness.

- What generates shame in conscience or even guilt does not do so in the higher realms.

- What is unpalatable in the low is enjoyable in the high.

- All actions above are refreshingly free of all restrictions below issuing from inside or imposed from outside.

- What is destructive below is creatively constructive above.

We see these grades travel through the different grades of consciousness and substance of the parts of the being. We begin with our minds, but really the beginning is in the vital where our real centre is. As we progress, the most interesting plane will be the Spiritual where things reveal with striking force. The physical is formidable, dark and dangerous. With the semblance of mastery that is confined to the very surface where the physical forces cannot undo us with their own swiftness that exceeds the speed of light, these experiments are enjoyable in the extreme and will border on the miraculous. Whereas, the spiritual plane that ranges between Silence and Knowledge that coexists with Ignorance is a fascinating realm and very instructive too. The one advantage here is that one can almost fail but does not meet the eventuality of earthquakes as in the physical. The Supramental plane is not only above the gods, it is there buried in all our parts. To dig it up and persuade it to respond to us is an engaging enterprise in the educating entertainment. In every plane our observation reaches its perfection when the last defying link turns around and changes its face from non-comprehension to revelation, from tragedy to marvel, from torture to ecstasy or rapture. To meet that reward one needs to develop patience that is equality, insight that is intuition.

  • The limitlessness of the Absolute.

- The Absolute is limitless, the relative is limited.

- The Absolute is not limited even by the limitlessness.

- In life the poor, the invalid, the ignorant, the unhealthy and the weak are limited while the rich, the able, the intelligent, the healthy and the strong are free from corresponding limitations.

- The poor have no admission into the society of the wealthy while the wealthy suffer from no such inhibition in the society of the poor.

- The wealthy who are not inhibited from the poor society deny themselves the opportunity to mix with the poor. The above principle translates in life as this experience.

- He who helps others will explain this principle.

- The helpless are unable to help others.

- The strong can help others, but they are invariably offended by the receiver of the help.

- The strong can be strong without helping others, but that would be selfish.

- The strong can be strong and without being selfish can refuse to help others.

- The occasion for being offended arises not so much from the help as from the ego.

- An egoless man helping another will not be hurt and that rule will not apply to him.

- When the egoless strong man refuses to limit himself by the rule of egoistic altruism he is released from the relativity and is elevated to the Absolute with regard to that act.

- Whether his freedom is limited to the act or not determines whether he is absolute in this act or in his entire personality.

- One who has the absolute freedom and refuses to limit himself by that freedom becomes the absolute.

  • Conservation of Energy.

- One does not fully utilise all his energy.

- One who uses all his energies become efficient.

- The unutilised energies will be utilised by his unorganised personality.

- That would be the nether organisation of his lower personality and would determine the highest reach of his otherwise noble personality.

- To deny even a whiff of energy to that organisation should be the first consideration.

- One's consecration can be at any level - energy, force, power or results - but its Quality and Reach will be determined by the nether organisation. Whatever the organisation, the energy will be fully utilised.

- As an organisation is not rated by the highest performance but the lowest depth it refuses to sink to, the quality of consecration can be determined thus.

- One who recognises the organisational truth here will see that no energy should go to the nether system.

- If there is that knot, it needs to be cut asunder.

- After abolishing that nether organisation, we still see all the energies will not be absorbed by the higher central organisation.

- Excess energy will flit across and will be a source of nuisance value.

- Is there a meaningful way in which it can be utilised?

- Assuming the excess is not frittered away, the consecration as it is then organised will come of age.

- These energies will not come up to the surface as merely waves of energies but as the carrier of a thought or a memory.

- They may be meaningful and meaningless or troublesome.

- To be able to consecrate them as and when they arise will keep those energies out of mischief.

  • Commonsense and the Marvel

- Sri Aurobindo says the world is a marvel and we do not find it so.

- We do not find that Common Sense is always right.

- Our ability to understand the world is epitomized as common sense. And His Common Sense is the Marvel.

- In the measure we bring our observation in tune with both of them or at least one of them, we are at ease.

- Some examples that differ from either.

- When Napoleon died, Duke Wellington was sad.

- Cherrapunji that receives the highest rainfall in the world of 450" has water scarcity in summer.

- When the price of an article is raised, it sells more.

- Anyone who receives help invariably offends the person who helped.

- Men love to be abused by women.

- Man marries to make happiness everlasting and finds that he has parted with happiness forever.

- Corrupt leaders are reelected.

- Film actors becomes political leaders.

- The conqueror is conquered by culture.

- A nation of immigrants leads the world.

- Friends become enemies and enemies become friends.

- Intelligent men have idiot children.

- Bengal, the granary of India, was hit by famine.

- Japan, a nation known for producing tinsel, produced quality products.

- Israel with 10" of rainfall excels in agriculture.

- Men of bad character become world famous.

- Great institutions do not believe in their ideals.

- Matter is Delight of existence.

- People who have opposed Indian Freedom have ruled one state for 35 years.

  •  Love that is the Flame of heaven.

- Eternal Love rules forever, the eternal interest of immortal literature. Still it is evanescent.

- Sri Aurobindo says Love was thrown into creation as a link between Matter and Spirit.

- Though Love can be described as Truth, Spirit, Goodness, and so on, essentially it is Ananda received by the Soul of Man.

- Divine Love, says Sri Aurobindo, is so pure and strong that the world will be crushed to powder by one drop of it.

- Buddha's message is Love that is compassion. Compassion is higher than pity and sympathy and is the earlier version of grace.

- Earth knows of Love as Romance between Man and Woman.

- Romance is the adventure of the noble for the socially impermissible.

- There is no romance that is not thwarted by some obstacle.

- Real romance exists in a world free of obstacles.

- Challenge of the obstacle seems to be the obvious attraction for romance.

- The freshness of Spirit seeking the freshness of Experience in converting the contradiction into a complement is the highest role of romance.

- The strong male whose domination is the fulfillment of the female, desiring surrender to the weak female, seeking its evolutionary complement is the Romance of the creative principle of Existence in its cosmic manifestation.

- The female accedes to its fulfillment by shedding its search for security in being dominated and transforming it into being the complement of the male's surrender.

- It is there in all creation where the Force outgrows the Form and rejoins consciousness out of which it originally issued.

- The charm of human love is its outgrowing its involution into evolution, presently depicted as an effort to overcome social frustration. The charm lies in involution reversing into evolution.

The philosophy of Love is fascinating to the comprehension of the Mind, but the practice of Love is unflinching ecstasy to the soul. It can be intolerable rapture too, for the receiving human end in the soul. It is a human moment when the Spirit in the Soul of the body remembers its origin and seeks a consummation not available in the constitution of involution.

The man desiring the tiger to eat him is divine love. Human mentality feels that divine act as torture or tyranny. An emotional understanding of the intolerable ecstasy or unflinching rapture can make one feel a glimpse of divine love. It can be seen in various other ways. Such seeing has the power to deflect lighting, moving matter by Spirit.

- The capacity to read a wearisome book with enjoyment is one such exercise. The others are,

- When a mean act offends you, without being offended, if one can raise himself to the mind from the offended vital and exercise his higher comprehension till it travels sufficiently towards the Divine Self-conception of the creative Real-Idea, somewhere along the journey one will be able to see the evolutionary necessity of meanness to hurt. At that point, the constitution of that meanness gives way and we see the Face of Him who has hidden behind that meanness. Its corresponding vibration of meanness in us sees it only to dissolve or to transform. The attempted comprehension of Self-conception at that point emotionalises itself. It may be a vibration of divine love or at least a near approach to it. What the transforming meanness gives us negatively, the romantic flame of a woman dying for our love can offer us positively as the touch of divine love. Nothing brings man more fully the flame of Love as the aspiration of the woman that infinitely expands to receive the man's surrender as her own fulfilment.

The aim of this paper when made exhaustive will extend the paper into a book. A later attempt with that aim is in place. As the title indicates, the chosen aim here is only to be indicative, to spotlight the issue of comprehensive consecration.

- It is true yoga is as vast as Life.

- It is equally true that an act captures the whole yoga into its ambit.

- The first thought of capturing the whole in the part is that it will be a compromise.

- It is not true.

- To show it is not true is the essence of this paper.

- The principle is that the part is a whole in itself.

- Though this can be done in a thought or a feeling, I have chosen an act as the field of experiment.

- An act is comprehensive.

- In Sri Aurobindo's words, an act is the master word of Life.

- The intuition is involved in the act.

- To bring out the intuition that is involved, one has to change the plane from which he is acting more than once.

- In discovering the secret of yoga in an Act, one does get the whole of the secret, not a part of it, not even only the principle or principles.

- The results that are phenomenal will rob the devotee of his learning.

- He should emphasise the secret, the process, not the result, however attractive it is.

- Emphasis is on accomplishment, hence on perfection.

- The long list of principles is forbidding, but when we know we are trying to encompass the world itself into one act, the list need not be frightening.

  • Education

- Education is the yoga of the society.

- Education teaches the child several subjects.

- The child in learning various subjects really learns the process of learning.

- Learning is in the physical plane, from facts to information and from information to ideas and then to knowledge.

- Subtle learning directly gets the knowledge.

- Going through facts, information, ideas, and knowledge, that knowledge can be physical knowledge of physical survival or vital survival. It can be survival at the level of mind or Spirit.

- As it can be the knowledge of survival at these four levels, it can be the knowledge of growth, development or evolution.

- Learning several subjects leads to the process of learning.

- Learning is living. Living is existence. Existence is evolution.

- A child can be taught at any of these levels.

- The internet enables children from all over the world to come to that class.

- The question is how to create that classroom or a single lesson.

- The key is the teacher who has moved from learning to evolution via living and existence.

- Teachers then become Rishis who evolve.

- It is evolution of Knowledge out of Ignorance.

- Internet enables a teacher who evolves as God evolves, to relate to any student anywhere in the world.

- The teacher begins with an act.

- That is what I call a Complete act or a Token act.

- A token act which is successful moves the world.

- Such an act comes to one who aspires to evolve as God evolves.

  • Scope of Micro as well as Macro Management.

- Management consists in coordinating activities into systems and organisation at all levels with a well developed central authority which relies on the skills of organisation which are collective values, the psychological infrastructure that upholds them, the education and culture of the individuals that sustain them and every other social energy that is used by the individuals and collectivity of the organisation as skill or value or culture.

- All experienced people know the above about their own work spot, family and their own personal life.

- I suggest the development of a view here and wish to state it in two terms. The view calls for imagining one's own organisation at the most desirable level and review of the play of energies as skill, capacity, values and the system that is needed to sustain them as such.

- Those who are fairly high can visualise them at the ideal level they wish to reach. Those who find themselves low can imagine themselves at the higher level they wish to reach.

- Today Internet permits one to acquire all the details or almost all the details of public administration needed to evaluate them on this scale.

- Such an exercise can also give us an idea of the time needed for that transition a) personally, b) officially and c) for the nation to ideal levels. None of these periods will be less than one hundred years. One sees too that a full or maximum utilisation of all the socially available help can reduce the period by about twenty percent. The same done psychologically may add another twenty percent gain, while the spiritual potentials so availed of may reduce the hundred years to a few years.

- This knowledge can be in imagination or on paper as a fully developed plan written out with detailed instructions that are almost orders.

- An act chosen with this knowledge or this action plan and executed meticulously will be a beginning of yoga in life.

- One great advantage of such an act is that it eliminates all possible irrationalities of mind either in the form of questions or doubts.

- Irrationality eliminated at its origin paves the way for the infinite to emerge out of the finite.

- In a low organisation all his papers are there somewhere for him to search through in times of need. In a higher organisation they are in a system. Let us take a look at this transition.

  • The very idea of reorganisation is unpalatable.
  • The vital must convince itself of the use and come forward to shed its resistance to organisation before one begins.
  • A beginning made thus will remain a beginning. Usually it remains a pious wish.
  • The mind must appreciate the value of organisation and wait till the vital enjoys the idea and finds in it the urge to do it.
  • All the social ridicule the pioneer meets with will arise from inside as if our inner life is the enemy of the outer organisation.
  • A successful overcoming this hurdle and functioning through the new system will make us look in our own eyes like an outcaste, meaning we long for social approval. The energies needed to function with social disapproval are stupendous.
  • Such an effort is needed for every aspect of the organisation that needs the transition.
  • Comprehension of this transition gives us enormous mental energies. Urge to accomplish this project will unleash vast energies that are overwhelming.
  • An act well chosen, well prepared for in thought and emotion, well executed in the field flawlessly will be a new world, a world of energies of higher consciousness.
  • Assuming such a transition comes to pass, we will witness the following aspects.

- Every act will be done through a System, not by individual inspiration.

- Our new methods, at least some of them abridge time from three hundred days to three days.

- The utilisation of space will increase in efficiency somewhere from fifty to one hundred times.

- We will discover many such aspects have come into existence already but our psychological attitudes do not correspondingly change, as the male domination of the female, the boss of the menial throws a spanner into the works and prevents us from availing of the technological innovation. The faster air travel and the purchase through the Internet are hamstrung by attitudes of bargaining, especially the narrow selfish profit motive.

- When we overcome our shortcomings in one area, we witness that in all other areas we remain where we are.

- Religious training and family upbringing are powerful obstacles.

- Personal Taste of Ignorance is the all-consuming poison.

- No token act can be a success without bringing about the desirable changes in all aspects fully.

- The token act fully presents all the issues that demand change.

- With the best of attitudes, if the basics are kept intact, the very best result can be explained as no damage caused. Which means - nil accomplishment.

- As the act compels us to act whether we like it or not, whether we understand it or not, the act is of cardinal importance. A review of the result of the act in explaining the process will lay bare the incomprehension and unwillingness. It is easy to see that the result achieved can be vastly better with the changing comprehension and willingness.

Efficiency of Existence
  • Man started with physical efficiency and rose to vital, mental and spiritual efficiency. This can be called the ascent of efficiency.
  • In the descent, the spirit revealed itself successively in mind, vital and physical.
  • The wage earner is physical. The broker and supervisor are vital, as well as the lawyer and doctor. Those who add values to these professions or raise their work to spiritual values are spiritual.
  • The centre of life is not outside, but inside.
  • Below average people are centred outside and the above average ones are centred inside.
  • Man's efficiency is determined by the measure of his shifting inside from outside which can be measured on a scale. And such scales are there for all the eight levels mentioned above.
  • One evaluates oneself by his capacity to move on the scale of eight levels and in each level by the measure of shifting inside from outside.
  • Evaluation is the essence of this article.

- To evaluate, one needs to know where he is.

- It is also beneficial to know where he could have been.

- The effort can be by knowledge, organisation, or even consecration.

- Measurement can be on any one of the criteria.

- Incidentally, the efficiency of knowledge gets rated against that of organisation and consecration will also emerge.

- As this is an infinity that extends in all directions, one can discover as many dimensions as he can handle until his energies are exhausted.

After a Fashion

  • Perfection is not there in life. It is there in the subconscient life and Superconscient life. Where there is perfection, results appear instantaneously as if it is a miracle.
  • The entire physiological functioning are perfect, automatic, integrated, an expression of self-perfection, self-conceived, and they are all in the domain of the subconscient.
  • The movement of the solar system, the infinite movement inside the atom are in the realm of the inconscient sustained by the energies of the Superconscient.
  • The creation of Ishwara of which we are unconscious, is directly in the realm of the Superconscient and is perfection itself.
  • Outside these two zones, life or existence is not perfect. Much of it exists after a fashion.
  • Work, though it can never be perfect on earth, is seen to vary vastly in efficiency, as in the case of the march of troops and the crowd in the market. The discipline of the troops is marvellous, the movement of the crowd, chaotic.
  • The working of a sophisticated modern automatic machine is perfect while down the line, machines in a primitive factory of undeveloped nations that are still functioning, are far, far away from perfection.
  • Between the vegetation that lives on rainfall and the greenhouse, the distance is enormous. Still, the grass that grows by rain is still alive as the link with the life giving circumstances still exists.
  • Man's existence on earth ranges from the alive forester and the one whose health is measured and monitored by the latest medical knowledge.
  • The Seven Ignorances and their combinations represent life at various levels. No man except those two Avatars has seen the world as a Marvel, but the lowest of men still survives.
  • We can certainly grade social life according to education, information, urbanization, modernization, training, interest, income, energy, and so on.
  • On this scale, we can find where we are. Efforts to move one point on a ten point scale or some points on a hundred point scale can be social progress. One can evaluate his status even on spiritual progress as a part of organising higher consciousness. It can either be an attempt at perfection or as the title suggests, after a fashion.
  • Our reading The Life Divine, our effort at consecration, at inner equality, constant remembrance, perfection in work, and so on is now well described by the expression ‘after a fashion.' Organising the higher consciousness accordingly will meet the requirements of the situation perfectly.
  • Organising the higher consciousness after a fashion by one whose life exists after a fashion is the present perfection possible.
  • Raising the level of efficiency at our work spot is the easiest which means earning more.
  • Attempting greater harmony at home is an uphill task which is worth attempting.
  • Organising one's thought and emotions to suit Mother is far more formidable which is a basic requirement of yoga.
  • To do so at the level of life is a poor effort compared with the yogic one but still a great step forward in life.
  • It may not merely be a great step forward but a great leap into the next stage of life.
  • Such a stage for a devotee lies outside social life which means a realm of achievement society has hitherto not attempted.
  • Reviewing the recent great events of life, we find they are still within the social realm.
  • To put it in other words, to organise the higher consciousness in any measure is to accomplish at a level society has not yet attempted.
  • The least of Mother is more than the most of society.

   Acid Test

  • Of the several ways self-awareness is evaluated, one very good test, maybe the best of them, is to know how he receives his good fortune. The same can be done equally exactly with misfortune.
  • Alertness is a characteristic by which one's effectivity is measured.
  • What he is alert for in his inmost being is revealing.
  • When a man is grievously afflicted and faces extinction, he finds the world drifting away from him. Rarely do people stick to him. No one did to Timon of Athens and only one did to King Lear. Occasionally the one who sticks, sticks there to raise vexation. There are divine occasions when such a man is offered help successfully by an unknown good man or one who loves to be faithful. And he is saved. The moment he is salvaged, there rises a desire in him to communicate the success.

- It is never to the one who saved often at great risk.

- It is always to a person who never cared for him but he is fondly attached to. Often it is a treacherous wife (Hilda in Sherlock Holmes) or an unfaithful concubine or jeering rival.

- Mother's devotees, as a rule, forget Mother at those moments. Those who invariably thank Mother do so by word of mouth.

  • Many accept the result with relief and plan what they can do next. Invariably these are non-achievers.
  • A good many people never communicate the successful result to the one who worked for it and a few decide not to divulge it to the one person who most deserves it.
  • He who at that moment feels gratitude to Mother instinctively is one who is qualified to see the Marvel.
  • One knows what purity in yoga, goodness in life, and duty demands on those occasions. He also knows what should not be there.
  • He is free to evaluate himself by what he is. The gradation one creates depends upon the values of his life.

   Parallel between Health and Life

  • Life is a whole, exists as a whole, and functions as a whole. This can best be illustrated in health as it rallies itself from the disturbance of disease.
  • It is equally so in politics. But the politician who grasps life as a whole is rare while the physicians who sees health as a whole are many.
  • While the politician's acumen is elusive to the public, the doctor's insight is readily seen in the tiny unit of human health.
  • Even Pondicherry has more than one doctor with this acumen or insight but the medical and engineering professions are not known for their extensive reading. Mostly they are skilled professionals alien to the knowledge of life. It is much more so in India where even among lawyers intellectuality is conspicuous by its absence. The academic mind is at a discount in India because of the penchant for memorisation. Unless the Indian flatters himself saying that to preserve his buried spirituality he has discounted intellectuality, he has no saving grace. The West did produce Jung, though a solitary case, and though his conclusions are not acceptable, his emergence shows the breadth of mind even among narrow professions. We can take it as the high level of general intellectuality or intellectuality among the general public.
  • It is my opinion that there are scores of doctors who have developed subtle perceptions that enable them to diagnose without the tests and more accurately, which shows a grasp of life. It is a long way from a wider grasp of a particular field, to that grasp of whole life we have in mind. In the lower specimens, this faculty may be a bar while in higher specimens, this faculty is a hope, a vast hope.
  • One who knows ‘The Life Divine' well and who has enough experience to extend that knowledge to life will be able to show a doctor of subtle life perception, the rich relationship between the integrality of health and human life and Life as a whole, if not Spirit.
  • Medical men are scientists. As their work constantly refers to cure - an accomplishment in the whole - which necessity does not so often face the physicist or mathematician, the hope that lies with the doctor is great.
  • This is best done on our own health where our knowledge of physiology as well as pharmacology is most developed.

- The basis of health is good nutrition as well as rest.

They rest on mental peace.

Mental peace is dependent on mental beliefs and motives.

- Any initial crack in health can be traced to these origins depending upon one's self-awareness and its depth.

- When there is a fever we pray, take tablets, increase the dose of medicines, take rest, get worried, penetrate deep into our own personality. It is observation to see the impact of any of our moves on the fever. Really, it is a secondary observation, an observation of the relationship between the moves and effects.

- Such observation allows opening at all fronts and each such front is infinite. Fever that is a simple rise in temperature is very rare. It is always a symptom of an internal disorder. More than the doctor who can indirectly know it by outer symptoms, we can know it by the inner sensations when we have the required physiological knowledge.

- The rhythm of rising fever and the fashion of its coming down is a whole subject if one can know all the inner disorders that the rise in temperature can indicate.

- Our own observation can affect the temperature either way. To know it fully is a job.

- Thus, one sees one is in a field of infinities that can expand on infinite dimensions.

- In the measure of our knowledge, we certainly can see the process in spite of the inherent complexities.

- Whatever the dimensions of the aspects involved and whatever the complexities, it is certainly possible to carve out a well demarcated whole within which the law of functioning of an act can be minutely and precisely studied.

- The key, thus, lies in our attitude of study.

   Grace that is inevitable

  • When a cycle of life begins as for the primitive man or for the American immigrants, the insurmountable obstacles Nature puts in their way is inevitable grace. He accepts them, three die so that one may live. Today's civilisation is a result of man accepting that grace at the physical level. Later, when further progress is made, that grace is no longer inevitable as the comforts so far achieved offer an escape into which they could hide. All of them are totally lost to any further progress. They perish entirely as they had chosen to perish.
  • Man continues to progress and creates organisations, institutions, instruments - society, marriage and money are illustrations - and comes to consider them as the source of his security.
  • His security is the grace he had accepted, not the accomplishments of grace.
  • We see the sad spectacle of the Americans who have created an abundance of money as the source of their security. They also conceive that it was money which created their nation. The reversal is unfortunate but inevitable.
  • We usually rely on the society, the company, the market, the family, our capacities, money, and education as a source of our security.
  • Maybe they offer a temporary security from outside. The external security is the material objects. At one time or another, they can desert you. The grace that created them can never desert you. It is permanent.
  • Inside the Security is capacity in potential, not its achievements.
  • The inner essence of that capacity is reliance on grace which can never desert you.
  • Outside crisis compels man to accept grace.
  • The inner opportunity is an incentive to seek grace as a field of adventure - an adventure of consciousness.
  • The future is for the adventurous, those who seek the adventure of consciousness.
  • Adventure of consciousness is the order of the day.

   Sri Aurobindo's Work in Indian Spirituality

  • Sri Aurobindo is an Avatar who realised it only late in His life. He began His life as a revolutionary politician who turned to yoga to achieve India's Freedom. His yoga achieved it in the subtle plane in four years of political work. God meant Him for the redemption of the Universe and the world and spoke to Him accordingly. His yoga of the world brought Mother to Him in four years and led to the outbreak of the world war.

Suppose we are able to see His life on earth as the expression of the world's life, we find five hundred years compressed into fifty years in terms of wars, technology, human rights, education, emancipation, education, and so on. Studying human life on the assumption that it was Sri Aurobindo who fashioned it from the other planes - causal and subtle - every major development in the world will precisely explain itself in terms of his own yogic progress.

Indian history from this point of view, changes in Bengal, developments in Pondicherry are more and more precise expressions of this universal movement. It is research in subtle science. One can narrow these domains to one's own life. Such a study will be irrelevant to others but will be of vast spiritual significance to the one who wants to pry into the subliminal secrets of his own life or the subtle truths of worldly existence. One is sure to get one magnificent detail of his own life richly expressing what He was doing in His own life for the world. That will be a great beginning. As a chronology of his writings is available and a record of His yoga too is published, they become invaluable tools in the hands of one who wants to see the infinite in the finite or view the finite from the perspective of the Infinite.

   Moment of Truth

  • In the book The Mother, writing on the four aspects of Mother, Sri Aurobindo explains several powers of Mother. One can see the real power of those words.
  • When reading them, we understand. It does not mean those powers are available to us for use.
  • There are serious moments in our life. Just now, your party may have chosen you to be the local representative. Having chosen the life of a bachelor at the age of 35, a lady of high birth and character may have recognised your true value of being a man and may have written about it. Your company may have fully recognised your capacity to lead the company to expansion in spite of your being way down in seniority. The doctor may have confirmed an incurable disease after tests. Your spouse may have chosen to leave you. The crash in stocks may have hit you hard. In these moments, it is not possible to push the issue from your mind. Especially the positive ones will be impossible.
  • If you are one who has been training yourself for along time successfully in detachment, a determined effort or a renewal of faith at a higher level in The Mother may succeed fully. Should you succeed, it will be a Moment of Truth.
  • It is a moment of power too. Should you remain there for more than a few minutes, opposite news will come from the doctor, the spouse will change her decision, market will revive. They will be instantaneous. As you have detached yourself from the problem, now, if you look at yourself, the conscious occupation of personality will surface. It will be much less than usual. You can detach yourself from it. It is a yogic movement of importance.
  • Should you succeed there, you will see the subconscious preoccupation of personality. You can try to detach yourself from it too. Now you will be face to face with your Own Self, though not in pristine purity.
  • 'To the wise She gives a greater and more luminous wisdom' is one such power I speak of.
  • The above is one ray of The Mother, but presented to your own naked self, the wisdom will reveal itself as a Power that you have never experienced before.
  • That single experience for a split second is capable of dissolving all the doubts you have ever had of anything.
  • Now you are your own fresh personality, but it is also one ray as Mother's Power comes to you as a single ray.
  • One can widen one's own personality, increase its purity and receptivity.
  • One can also try to widen one's comprehension of Mother from being a concept to psychological power.
  • At this point Her power admits of expansion horizontally and intensification vertically.
  • Her Powers are not only the four aspects.
  • Sri Aurobindo, in the same book, describes Mother as the supramental Mahashakti.
  • He also tells us about Mother's Transcendental and universal powers.
  • In the beginning of the book, He explains fourteen ways in which we escape Grace.
  • He explains that in the physical, vital and mental planes we have about thirty traits to be rejected.
  • Avoiding the fourteen ways and the thirty traits, expands our personality.
  • Having created a Moment of Truth, one can make it into a Moment of Mother by working on:

Our receptivity.

Our comprehension of Mother's Powers.

  • To bring them together periodically is to organise our higher consciousness, though after a fashion. 

* Page 514 The Life Divine

story | by Dr. Radut