A prayer given by The Mother
We would all like to be the true children of our Divine Mother.
But for that, Sweet Mother, give us the patience and the courage, the obedience, the goodwill,
the generosity, and the disinterestedness, and all the necessary virtues.
This is our prayer and our aspiration.
ALL OR NOTHING
The Integral Yoga is a matter of all or nothing. Not that the Guru rejects partial offerings: whatever
movement is towards the Divine is welcome and can be made the starting-point for a larger gesture.
The Grace answers to even the smallest sincere gift. But its call is towards more and more, a new
starting-point each moment. And if to this insatiable call a deaf ear is turned, then in terms of the
Integral Yoga it is as if nothing was done.
The call is insatiable not only because the Grace wants the whole human to be surrendered to the
Divine but also because it wants the whole Divine to be lavished on the human. Surely, since the
very nature of Grace is to exceed mere tally and equation, its self-lavishing is always greater than the
aspirant’s self-surrender. Yet the aspirant cannot receive and retain it unless he holds up to it a
being that increasingly widens and deepens and grows a less and less partial offering.
In the integral offering that has to be made in the Integral Yoga, one understands fairly well the need
of entire detachment from the non-divine and of absolute love for the Supreme and of perfect
service to the Master. What is not often understood is the way of action in the midst of the world
where the Supreme’s manifestation has to take place, the way of dealing with the humans amongst
whom the Divine has put us. There are two extremes into which we are likely to fall. One is the
position that the mere presence of goodness is spiritual. No doubt, every movement that loosens
one’s self-centeredness is a help to spirituality. But it is not till the ego which is one’s common
centre is replaced by the true soul and the universal Self that spirituality is established. Otherwise all
that happens is a subtilisation of the ego, a diffusion of it in place of a concentration- a state in which
it is at times more difficult to detect and therefore more difficult to outgrow, more liable to induce a
self-haloing complacency and prevent the release into true Light. A constant remembrance of the
Divine, a direct life-offering to the Supreme, a conscious motive and elan beyond mere goodness, an
unremitting cry to the Master Light to manifest its own will in all human relations: this is spirituality
The other extreme cares little for how we act among men. We feel that our capacity of sweetness is
to be exercised only with the Guru and that it does not matter how we behave with others. We tell
ourselves: “The incarnate Divine is our concern: nobody else is of any importance and what helps us
in Yoga is simply the way we love and serve the Master. It is of no moment whether we are just and
generous and calm and helpful to others.” Here a great truth is shaded off into a great falsehood.
Even apart from the fact that the Divine who is incarnate is also hidden in all beings and requires
from the secret station there a fineness and largeness of attitude and action, we have here an
oblivion of two ingredients of the Integral Yoga.
First, this is a Yoga of manifestation no less than realisation. Not only is the Supreme to be centrally
reached: the Supreme is also to be radiated to the farthest peripheries of the world. The innermost
soul has to look forth and touch the outermost: all crudity of attitude, all meanness of action in our
dealings with earth’s creatures would cut across the ultimate aim of this Yoga.
Secondly, it is a delusion that one can divide oneself into parts and be always fine and wide with the
Guru without practising fineness and wideness twenty-four hours of the day. Of course, the Divine is
our concern, but can we ever hope to love and serve the Divine wholly if in some part of our being,
in some field of our activity we tolerate the crude and the mean? As long as the soul remains
somehow in force during the hours in the sanctuary we may be able to exclude the unregenerate
movements from our relations with the Master. But it is not only the soul that has to be offered: the
soul must lead the rest of the being to the sanctuary. And when the rest is touched by the Divine and
called upon to co-operate, then if it has not trained itself to be fine and large outside the sanctuary it
will tend to be resentful, angry, jealous, self-seeking with the Divine as it has been with the human.
The soul’s sweetness and light may fail to curb and concert it if that sweetness and that light have
not been accustomed to do so everywhere and at all times. Resentment, anger, jealousy, self-
seeking on any occasion can be a secret seed of the same ego-expression against the Supreme. In
the Integral Yoga, with its stroke on each part for response to the Supreme, the total self-offering is
not possible unless one takes to heart Sri Aurobindo’s command: “Always behave as if the Mother
was looking at you; because she is, indeed, always present.”
TO MY LORD SUPREME
(5th -9th December 1950)
Never could I give my eyes to Thy Eyes light-giving,
Nor feel the touch of Thy Golden Hand’s Grace,
Thy Hand’s my Lord, while on earth Thou wast living-
Never could I prostrate myself before my Lord’s Face.
But I loved Thee always and I was Thine
When with me in my anguished land Thou didst throw Thy Soul,
When to my tears in grief Thou didst chain Thy Cry.
Thou hast not forgotten, my Lord, I know.
And then, when the fierce pride of the Dark and its wrath
Into Thy cells Thou didst suck in to transform into Light,
That Light came shining on my sorrowful path
Where fear, where pain were creeping, and despair of Night.
Now, in Thy Home, Thou hast taken me into Thy arms,
Near Thy Living Stone, at Thy feet, I can rest,
Like a tired worker who returns to his own home’s charm,
Like a hunted bird that, at last, flies back into its nest.
Thee I thank, who in those woeful, darkest days
Didst kindle Hope Supreme with Thy receding Breath.
Thee I thank, whose Arms of Light, in rest,
Have strangled the approaching Death.
THE IRON CHAIN*
How many of you have been here since the beginning, I mean from the
Kindergarten classes- any? One, two, three, four... Oh, a good many.
Very creditable, very creditable indeed, that so many have continued
so long and passed through. This is something really creditable.
I will tell you a story in this connection. A young man who was an aspirant, a seeker of spiritual or
religious life, once upon a time went to Gandhiji. He wanted to remain there. He said, “I am a seeker
of spiritual life. I want to remain with you.” Gandhiji saw the person and accepted him. “It is all right,
you may try,” he said. He remained there sometime, pretty long time, perhaps even more than a
year. But at the end of the year he approached Gandhiji and said, “Please permit me to go away
from here. Somehow I feel I cannot remain any longer.” Then he came away, he came away, where
do you think? Here to the Ashram. The Ashram he liked very much and remained here. After some
years Gandhiji thought of the young man. “Where is he? He was a nice man. Where is he gone?”
Then he learnt that the young man was here in Sri Aurobindo Ashram. How many years? “Seven
years!” Gandhiji was astounded. “How is it? I know the young man. I knew he was a restless person,
so uncertain about himself, about his movements- he could not stick to one place or one occupation
for long. And he has been in Sri Aurobindo Ashram for seven years! It is a great credit to Sri
Aurobindo Ashram being able to keep him so long!” And I may add: he is still there! So I may say
those of you who have continued to remain here may claim some credit for their performance, or
does the credit goes to the Ashram?
I have an idea. You have heard very much of the golden chain that the Mother puts on whoever
comes near her and touches her- an unbreakable eternal chain we all knew and experienced, the
golden chain with which she ties everyone whoever comes in her embrace. Now I feel she has
another chain also in her wallet- handcuffs and fetters- with which she binds some people physically
to her, to her material Presence. She takes up the physical destiny also of the person. The golden
chain belongs of course to the soul that is eternal, beautiful and glorious and all that: it is another
matter. But even the very body, this material carcase can belong equally to the Mother. With the
golden chain you are the beloved of the Mother, or her lover, but with the iron chain you become a
physical slave. Yes, I am trying to hint that those who have been here for long years, many from their
infancy, have earned a particular merit: from the spiritual point of view this continuance, this
continuity, I may add, is itself something significant, it is an achievement. Even if you do not pass any
examination, that is, move up, promoted from class to class after a hard test, instead, even if you
simply glide through, pass along ambling and at ease, that is sufficient. There is something that
remains, something very valuable sticks to the consciousness- of which you may not be aware now,
but one day you are sure to know and recognise. So I congratulate you all for your happy
achievement which is indeed the sign of a signal grace of Her.
*A talk to the outgoing students of the Centre of Education (Sri Aurobindo
Ashram) on 29-10-1977
DO NOT SEE FAULTS
Do not see faults,
Do not see faults,
Do not ever see others’ faults.
Do not see mistakes,
See, see always, your own mistakes and faults.
If you truly aspire
To lead a higher life,
Do not blame others,
Never blame others.
By the Gracious Mother’s abundant Grace alone
We shall be free, we shall be free from this.
She alone will free us.
Always invoke the Compassionate Mother’s Grace,
Always, the Compassionate Mother’s Grace.
Om the Supreme Mother of Ananda,
Consciousness and Truth.
THERE’S A DIVINITY
There’s a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.
-Hamlet, Act V, Sc.ii
That is what man can do at his best, and even at his worst, rough-hew. Ignorant as he is, crude
as his instruments are, he can do no better (and happily, no worse either). The ideals he has do
not go very far, not much beyond his nose- they are limited by his senses, by his notions, by his
immediate reactions to the circumstances of the moment. Even when the ends are
commendable, the purposes decent, even when he is happily inspired, the material and means
at his disposal are crude and he uses them in a rough and ready manner. What he can achieve
in this direction is not even a near but a very far approximate. And when he is otherwise
inspired, when suggestions and impulsions come to him from the Hostiles, well, he hews his
way, as Hitler did- and some others are doing now- to wrong ends; even there he does not
succeed wholly, realizes his design very partially, grosso modo. The stone club in the hand of
the palaeolithic man and the atom bomb in the hand of the modern are equally rough
instruments, and the ends which they serve, whether for good or for evil, are also gross, neither
far-visioned nor deep-inspired, but superficial, strait and narrow, blindly immediate. In either
case, however, the Divine remains unaffected, firmly seated behind and in and through both, in
and through their ignorant and perverse wills, it is His Will that works itself out and finds
fulfillment in the end. Whether one is for or against the Divine, whether one is a God or an
Asura, each in his own way contributes to the progressive realization of the Cosmic Purpose.
From a certain point of view it may seem as though nothing helps or hinders, all are like a straw
in a rushing current.
In our human reckoning, we seem to help the evolutionary course sometimes and sometimes
hamper it with our efforts in so far as they are well directed or ill directed. In the practice of
spiritual life too, one may be tempted to find a measurable proportion between the personal
endeavour and the attainment. However that may be, at the end of all human efforts, the
finishing touch always comes from the Divine Grace. Whether we succeed or fail, whatever be
the human judgment of the situation, the Grace is sure to intervene in the final stage: to
success it will bring more success giving it the peak of fulfillment, and failure too it will
transmute into a glorious triumph.
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