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Maximum and Minimum


  • Every man takes life as it comes and is generally defensive against the exigencies that life can develop for or offer one.
  • The adventurous, the strong, and the great rise over the crest of the waves of Life because danger is their trade, because they enjoy bringing their very best out, if not challenging life.
  • Life gives its rewards to the collective as well as the individual according to the intentions of Nature who has the slow deliberate joy of enjoying the infinity before her.
  • History tells us of the stress under which Napoleon, Caesar, Alexander and Ghengis Khan were. We understand it to be the splendours of the physical. Spirituality calls them vibhutis.
  • For those who are born great as avatars, vibhutis, geniuses, explorers, world travellers, inventors, nation builders, philosophers, creative writers, poets and artists, we feel that the maximum is already given to them.
  • From the point of view of Sri Aurobindo and those from outside of it, one can try to know the maximum and the minimum open to him.
  • If Nature is leisurely enjoying her infinity, the evolving Spirit in the collective and in the individual is evolving consciousness and organisation.
  • I am fond of calling education the yoga of the collective. I should call the organisation the leader of humanity.
  • The individual's spiritual awareness has created Martin Luther and Protestantism which has expressed in politics as democracy.
  • The world has thus come to value human life, the right to good living for everyone, even the invalid, which movement has earned the twentieth century the name of 'the century of the common man'.
  • The twenty first century is rightfully the century of the Spiritual man.
  • It is easy to follow mentally the trend of the collective.
  • By setting five goals before humanity, Sri Aurobindo has made it easy for us to think about the maximum open to us.
  • Sri Aurobindo's yoga is to the awakened man what the movement of civilisation is to the unawakened individual.
  • The unconscious man is overtaken by the marching forces of civilisation which the awakened Individual - awakened to the Force and Light that have descended on earth - makes for him.
  • Sri Aurobindo's five goals are,

Indian independence.

Asian freedom.

World union.

India as Jagat-Guru, guru of the world.

Birth of the Supramental Being.

  • Two of the five were realised during his lifetime.
  • Mother who became the Supreme in Her body at the yogic end, worked actively at the other end for disarmament and for that purpose established Auroville.
  • The minimum for the collective is to aspire to establish that physical security fully and move to material prosperity.
  • The maximum is to avail of the descending Super Grace to evolve into the supramental being.
  • Human choice ranges between these two ends.
  • It reveals to one as an individual, a person or the collective individual he is.
  • Inclination to yoga is enlightened by the Synthesis of Yoga which opens life and brings it under one's control or grasp. Knowledge of that process I have named as Life Response.
  • He who is not awakened in the spirit makes progress by knowledge. Knowledge of the evolving universe is the territory of The Synthesis of Yoga while that of humanity is offered by The Human Cycle. At the next level of nation states, one is guided by The Ideal of Human Unity. The Foundations of Indian Culture guides the individual from below in the context of India while Savitri is the ascension of the individual soul to yogic accomplishment.
  • For the inspired individual who is already under the charm of their spiritual atmosphere, which all the devotees are under, an ideal in the psychological realm is next best to yoga and is certainly above the idea of social advancement as a social being.
  • If the Indian consciousness believes in karma, others recognise the limitation of the human effort whether it goes by the name fate or destiny.
  • One who is open to the Force is certainly lifted out of karma, fate, destiny, and the human limitation. Man knows this aspect of life coming to the rare few unconsciously as luck.
  • Man's availing of the Force psychologically is to win luck and become the lord of luck, whose lowest expression in life is doubling one's income, while rising a hundred times above is an abundant version of it.
  • The acid test of aspiration is accomplishment.
  • If there is a maximum and a minimum we can even think of the maximum of the minimum and the minimum of the maximum.
  • The minimum of the maximum is to respond by knowledge collectively by reading His works on nation and society and formulating ideas at that level for implementation.
  • The maximum of the minimum is to overcome karma, win luck forever and outdo human accomplishment in any one field either by rising to the top of the society in power or by raising one's knowledge to outreach the human accomplishment.
  • About 20 or 30 major versions of this field as we see in individuals from below can be thought of and described either at random or in a gradation. The role of the human choice at every moment between the vertical growth and horizontal expansion is not only instructive but opens one to the infinite avenues of life in an infinite measure. To conceive of the Rishi who sought moksha as the best, and the lazy man who is fond of imagining his intense laziness to be the eternal spiritual peace, as the bottom, creates a scale.
  • To these grades one can affix labels of mental descriptions covering the idealist, good man, selfish service, selfless folly, social being, organised evil, he who believes he can serve the world, he who expects the whole world to serve him, the conservative, the rebel, and we can find historical examples for each one of them.

1. Unconscious idealism that is unaware of the forces that sustain him finds each attempt at advance being fully cancelled by life withdrawing its support.

2. The successful charming philanderer who believes in his selfish mission of enjoying life at everyone's expense to live up to ninety or above.

3. The conscious idealism of doing right, utterly giving way at the first touch of life's temptation, making him foolishly exclaim, "I have not sought it, I was drawn into it by the others."

4. Complete folly of dense unconsciousness that repeats endlessly its own proven folly under the self-righteous impulse of Truth or Good or Right.

5. The total blindness of wisdom that takes its own blindness to the end of the world.

6. The successful selfish capacity which complains of the lack of the world's awareness to offer him eternal service.

7. Man who endeavours most not to disturb his conveniences but tries to make an ideal of them.

8. The intelligence that finds superstition as ideal rationality.

9. The genius who venerates his tradition.

10. The agnostic who rests securely on superstition.

11. The ascetic who indulges his infirmity.

12. One who seeks dissipation to organise at a higher level.

He who can consecrate his acts and surrender them steps out of the human realm into spirituality and has no ambition nor aim as he cannot go further. Consecration is the consummate crown.

Index of achievement is equality.

story | by Dr. Radut