Thematic Index of the Collected Works of the Mother
© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

soul qualities

4.6. -- soul qualities (19)
06, p. 116-17 Qualities necessary for proceeding when there is a part of one’s nature that is not open. “Receptivity depends first of all upon sincerity—whether one really wants to receive …and humility” Nothing closes you up more than vanity, a self-satisfaction that won’t admit mistakes and imperfections. An exercise requiring several soul qualities is described for learning this through experience.
06, p. 243-44 To illustrate the qualities necessary to eliminate the dark resistances that hide within oneself Mother tells about the brave and determined Japanese soldier who had a knife in his knee to insure that he would not fall asleep.
06, p. 289 If one has made a mistake and done something serious and can call in the power of the truth-consciousness and let it act, it is an occasion for tremendous progress. “Which means that one should never feel discouraged; or even if one has made mistakes many a time, one must keep the will not to make them any longer, and be sure that one day or another one will triumph over the difficulty if one persists in one’s will.” (also under: 4.3.2, 4.3.2.e)
08, p. 038-42 An excellent description of the qualities that make up psychological perfection. The summary list at the end of the discussion names surrender as the first essential and then the five perfections: 1- Sincerity or transparency, 2- Faith or trust (in the Divine), 3- Devotion or gratitude, 4- Courage or aspiration, 5- Endurance or perseverance.
10, p. 084-85 This is a wonderful aphorism in which Sri Aurobindo invokes many gods and asks for their divine qualities (e.g. “Be wide in me, O Varuna; be mighty in me, O Indra;…” etc. etc.) and then implores Kali that he not be subject to these gods. Mother comments.
14, p. 042-43 This is about “The Examiners” and tests on the path of integral yoga and the qualities needed. Physical examinations require endurance and plasticity, cheerfulness and fearlessness. Spiritual examinations require aspiration, trust, idealism, enthusiasm and generous self-giving. Examinations from the hostile forces require vigilance, sincerity and humility.
14, p. 140-50 Calm, Quiet, Peace, Silence. Short passages on the importance and power of these qualities and guidance on developing them. (also under: 4.3.2)
14, p. 156-61 Purity, Simplicity, Humility, Modesty. Short passages on their importance and their meaning. (also under: 4.3.2)
14, p. 162-66 Gratitude, Faithfulness, Obedience. Short passages on their importance and their meaning.
14, p. 179-83 Heroism, Bravery, Boldness, Courage and Strength, Force Power. Short passages on the meaning and importance of these qualities.
14, p. 184-85 Prudence, Balance, Vigilance. Short passages on the importance of these qualities.
14, p. 186-87 Enthusiasm, Hope, Straightforwardness, Transparency. Short passages showing the importance of these qualities.
14, p. 188-91 Nobility (including dignity and aristocracy) and Refinement (including sensitivity, gentleness, charm, sweetness and two pages about the power of being able to smile always). Short passages showing the meaning and importance of these qualities.
14, p. 192-96 Cheerfulness, Happiness, Joy, Beatitude and Bliss. Short passages showing the meaning and importance of these qualities.
14, p. 196-201 Harmony, Collaboration, Goodwill, Benevolence, Tolerance. Short passages showing the meaning and importance of these qualities.
14, p. 204-26 Truthfulness, Honesty, Control of Speech, Avoidance of criticism and of gossiping, These pages have many short passages on the meaning and importance of developing these qualities and overcoming their opposites. On p. 210 is guidance for those eager to get rid of falsehood.
15, p. 086-90 Many short statements by Mother which point out the qualities and attitudes needed for success and for victory. Two examples: “Power of success: the power of those who know how to continue their effort.” And: “In the sincerity of our trust lies the certitude of our victory.”
15, p. 319-22 Three things a child should always remember: The first is the necessity of an absolute sincerity. Mother tells why children should be told this from a very early age and how to help develop sincerity. She also speaks about loyalty and honesty. (also under: 6.1)
16, p. 271 “All the psychological qualities can be cultivated as the muscles are—by regular, daily exercise. Above all, turn towards the Divine Force in a sincere aspiration and implore It to deliver you from your limitations. If you are sincere in your will to progress, you are sure to advance.” (also under: 4.3.2)
4.6.a -- courage, endurance, perseverance, etc. (13)
07, p. 008-11 The right attitude for conquering difficulties is to keep one’s trust, remain quiet, remain courageous, not lose faith, not be impatient, not be depressed, remain peaceful with as much aspiration as one can have and not worry about what is happening, to have the certitude that this will pass and all will be well. Pages 10 and 11 are about depression, what it is (a weak revolt coupled with the wish to show one’s unhappiness) and how if one makes the necessary effort to come out of it some progress has been accomplished in spite of it—not swiftly or brilliantly but nevertheless something changed.
07, p. 026-31 This is a discussion of cowardice and courage. Mother tells here the stories of different types of courage of circus animal trainers and also of soldiers. “True courage, in its deepest sense, is to be able to face everything in life, from the smallest to the greatest things, from material things to things of the spirit, without a shudder….” This happens when one is conscious of the divine Presence with a whole being surrendered to the Divine will.
07, p. 104-05 A discussion for the necessity of an unfaltering perseverance, the willingness to make an effort to achieve the same thing many, many times—especially when trying to change something of the material life.
09, p. 066-71 Here Mother tells about the importance of practice of the knowledge-teachings one receives. She illustrates with an ancient tale about a Guru and an initiate. (Yusef opened a box though his Master had specifically instructed him not to) Persistent efforts and patience and endurance are necessary to master the least weakness or pettiness in one’s nature. (also under: 4.3.2, 4.5)
09, p. 255 The importance of faith, endurance and certitude about the ultimate goal: Sri Aurobindo has said that there will be no irrefutable proof of what he has said and predicted until everything is accomplished. “So there is only one thing to do: to proceed on one’s way keeping one’s own faith and certitude, and to pay no heed to contradictions and denials.” “The Victory is for the most enduring. To maintain one’s endurance in spite of all oppositions, the support must be unshakable, and one support alone is unshakable, that of the Reality, the Supreme Truth. It is useless to look for any other. This is the only one that never fails.” (also under: 4.3.2.a)
11, p. 001, 3 Mother tells that now the difficulties are as though exaggerated and also the power of consciousness is greater. “Above all… one must have endurance, and a faith nothing can shake, even an apparently complete negation, even if you suffer, even if you are miserable (I mean to say in the body)…to endure. That is it.” (also under: 4.3.2)
14, p. 084-85 Confidence. Nine short statements which convey the importance of cultivating confidence. One example: “Be confident, you will become what you have to be and achieve what you have to do.”
16, p. 069 Attitude to take to the resistance each discovers in himself. In the face of great difficulties (which everyone has) such as discouragement, Mother assures, “You have only to remain confident and cheerful.” (also under: 4.2.3.d, 4.3.)
16, p. 087 Cultivate a trusting and patient attitude. A sadhak writes, You keep promising me beautiful things and I keep resisting them. How then can I ever be happy? Mother replies, “You must not worry—it does not help towards the realisation of the promises; and also you must be patient. In this material world, things take time to get realised.” (also under: 4.2.2)
16, p. 099 Cultivate confidence. “You have already had this experience of peace and silent joy…it is sure to come back stronger and steadier. Remain confident, do not torment yourself—in this way you will hasten its coming.”
16, p. 145b “The most important [thing] is a steady, quiet endurance that does not allow any upsetting or depression to interfere with your progress. The sincerity of the aspiration is the assurance of the victory.”
16, p. 178 “Be courageous and do not think of yourself so much. It is because you make your little ego the centre of your preoccupation that you are sad and unsatisfied. To forget oneself is the great remedy for all ills.” (also under: 2.1.2.a)
16, p. 297 Here is a good description of the vigilance and perseverance required for discovering and eliminating self-deception: “One must be very attentive, always on guard, watch all one’s emotional movements and vital reactions, never close one’s eyes with indulgence to one’s own weakness and caaatch oneself one makes a mistake, even a small one. If one continues with persistence, this becomes very interesting and gets easier and easier.” (also under: 4.3.2.c)
4.6.b -- humility, purity, receptivity, etc. (7)
05, p. 046 Humility. The right and wrong way of being humble. Difficulty of pulling out the weed of vanity. One must keep the true attitude that no matter how intelligent or capable one is, one is nothing in comparison with the divine consciousness. By always keeping this sense of true humility one has the attitude of true receptivity.
06, p. 302 All ascetic disciplines as ordinarily practised are the best means of building up such a terrific pride that never, never will you be converted. The first condition is a healthy humility which makes you realise that unless you are sustained, nourished, helped, enlightened, guided by the Divine, you are nothing at all. “When you have felt that, not only understood it with your mind, but felt it down to your very body, then you will begin to be wise, but not before.”
08, p. 261 Purification is indispensable for all those who want to do yoga. As fear is one of the greatest impurities it must be eliminated from one’s consciousness with all the might, all the sincerity, all the endurance one is capable of. “An indomitable courage, a perfect sincerity and a sincere self-giving…it is this that is indispensable in order to walk on the path…and which can truly shelter you from all danger.
08, p. 305-06 A brief discussion about receptivity—why one is sometimes open and receptive and sometimes shut up and does not feel or receive force and joy. (also under: 4.3.2)
14, p. 151-55 Openness and Receptivity, short passages on their importance and their meaning. (also under: 4.3.2)
16, p. 178, 179 “An excessive depreciation is no better than an excessive praise. True humility lies in not judging oneself and in letting the Divine determine our real worth.” “The best thing is not to think oneself either great or small, very important or very significant; for we are nothing in ourselves. We must want to be only what the divine Will wants of us.”
16, p. 360-61 On increasing receptivity: “The difficulty usually comes from a lack of unification of the being. Certain parts are recalcitrant and refuse to receive. They have to be educated little by little, just as one educates a child—and little by little the situation will improve.” (also under: 4.3.1)
4.3.2.a -- essentials on the way—faith (26)
03, p. 036 An integral faith can conquer all.
03, p. 152-53 An excellent description of many aspects of the nature of faith and its powers and how it works. “ is a movement of the soul whose knowledge is spontaneous and direct. Even if the whole world denies and brings forward a thousand proofs to the contrary, still it knows by an inner knowledge, a direct perception that can stand against everything, a perception by identity.” “Integral faith is when you have brought the knowledge of the psychic into the mental, vital and physical.” … “Faith in itself is always unshakable — that is its very nature”... but if in your exterior being there is insincerity faith, though pure in itself, can get mixed up in the being with low movements and it is then that one can be misled.
05, p. 367-69 This is about the relationship of faith to aspiration (for things from the Divine) and the response of the Grace. Then Mother talks about how the lack of faith prevents people from surrendering their desires and their needs. Actual needs are very few and are mostly the result of environment and education, hence relative and transitory.
05, p. 394 Everyone has a little faith, even if it is in what one’s parents have said or in the books one has studied. All of one’s education is based on that kind of faith. and it can be increased by sincere aspiration.
05, p. 396-97 These pages tell how the combination of faith with one’s aspiration creates a rest in action based on a kind of certitude, a quietude in the vibrations of the being. Doubts and uncertainty create whirlwinds which prevent one from receiving the real thing. One aspires with as much fervour as possible but does not stand in nervous agitation asking why one does not immediately get what one asked for. Develop patience. “To know how to wait is to put time on one’s side.” In the peace everything goes much better.
06, p. 120-24 “Faith is a certitude without any proof.” “Faith leads straight to experience.” Having faith depends on Divine Grace. Some people have it spontaneously while others need to make a great effort to have it. It can be increased through aspiration. A discussion of the difference between faith and trust and confidence follows and a really good presentation of the need for and the power of right attitude for attaining self-mastery.
06, p. 234-35 Mother tells the story of the man who found a perforated coin and believed it would bring him prosperity. His whole attitude towards life changed and he became full of hope, courage and energy because he knew that now having the coin he would succeed. The faith worked even after his wife lost his lucky coin and replaced it without the man knowing it. It was the faith, trust and confidence (not the coin) that brought the result.
06, p. 349 It is an absolute fact that if we rely on the Divine, give him full charge of ourselves it will always be the best that will happen to us even if what happens is not in conformity with our preferences and desires which are blind. One must keep faith in this always. “Faith is the expression of a trust in the Divine and the full self-giving you make to the Divine.” (also under: 4.3.2.g)
06, p. 440-42 Keeping one’s faith in the face of difficulties is essential. When one begins the yoga one has faith that one will go through to the end. It is important not to discourage this faith by emphasising all that prevents one on the way. “Keeping one’s faith, one attains the end. But if in the middle of the road you turn back saying “No I can’t”, then obviously you will not reach the end.” To keep one’s faith is to say, “Good, I have difficulties but I am going on.” Despair cuts off your legs and must not be allowed.
06, p. 445 “If you can keep within yourself a confidence, a candid trust which does not argue, and the sense of…trust that what is done for you, in spite of all appearances, is always the best thing to lead you in the quickest way possible out of all your difficulties and towards the goal…if you can keep that strong in you, well, your path will become tremendously easier.”
06, p. 453-54 “The more difficult things are, the more you must remain quiet, and the more should you have an unshakable faith. Of all things this is the most important.” “Usually, as soon as things become difficult, human beings get agitated, become irritated, get terribly excited and they make the difficulties ten times more difficult…this is not to be done, you must do the opposite. Then Mother gives her New Year’s Message for the year 1955 and suggests to repeat it morning and evening and remember it whenever you feel some anxiety or disquietude in you: “No human will can finally prevail against the Divine’s Will. Let us put ourselves deliberately and exclusively on the side of the Divine, and the Victory is ultimately certain.”
07, p. 115-17 A discussion of which part in everyone has a more total faith in the divine Grace (it is different for different people and can also be different at different times for the same person which means that he has momentary contacts with his psychic)
07, p. 343-44 These are inspiring words that encourage one’s faith. Sri Aurobindo said: “He who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the Infinite.” Mother comments how this is absolutely true.If you have felt even once inside yourself that this is the truth for me, it is because you are predestined. Remembering that can instill in you an indomitable courage to face all difficulties and a patience that stands all trials because you are absolutely sure to succeed. (also under: 4.3.2)
08, p. 250-51, 256-58 By adding the element of trust in the divine Grace to one’s aspiration, one counterbalances all possible anguish in one’s aspiration and can aspire safely. Mother tells that no matter how great one’s faith and trust in the Grace and one’s capacity to see it in all circumstances, one can never fully understand the marvelous immensity of Its Action. If one has once seen it and can unite with it and see it everywhere one would begin to live a life of exaltation, power and infinite happiness. “And that would be the best collaboration in the divine Work.”
08, p. 395 “Thought is not essential to existence nor its cause, but it is an instrument for becoming; I become what I see in myself. All that thought suggests to me I can do; all that thought reveals to me I can become. This should be man’s unshakable faith in himself, because God dwells in him.” This is part of a passage of Sri Aurobindo from Thoughts and Glimpses which Mother comments on. (also under: 2.2.2)
09, p. 255 The importance of faith, endurance and certitude about the ultimate goal: Sri Aurobindo has said that there will be no irrefutable proof of what he has said and predicted until everything is accomplished. “So there is only one thing to do: to proceed on one’s way keeping one’s own faith and certitude, and to pay no heed to contradictions and denials.” “The Victory is for the most enduring. To maintain one’s endurance in spite of all oppositions, the support must be unshakable, and one support alone is unshakable, that of the Reality, the Supreme Truth. It is useless to look for any other. This is the only one that never fails.” (also under: 4.6.a)
09, p. 350-52 Excellent discussion of faith, its importance, the need to nurture it as something very precious. But, as Sri Aurobindo says in the passage from The Life Divine faith ought not be imposed (as it has been by religious claims to divine authority) but should “come as a free perception or an imperative direction from the inner spirit”. Mother comments. “In the ignorance and darkness of the beginning, faith is the most direct expression of the Divine Power which comes to fight and conquer”.
12, p. 311 Mother answers why faith is so supremely important in yoga and tells the determining power of faith which is that “Your faith puts you under the protection of the Supreme who is all-powerful.”
13, p. 078 “People do not know how important is faith….If you expect at every moment to be lifted up and pulled towards the Divine, He will come to lift you and He will be there, quite close, closer, ever closer.”
14, p. 082-84 Faith. Short statements which define faith and illustrate its importance. One example: “At every moment all the unforeseen, the unexpected, the unknown is before us—and what happens to us depends mostly on the intensity and purity of our faith.”
14, p. 086-102 Many short statements which point out the role and importance and power of faith in the Divine Grace and help.
15, p. 182, 190 The New Year Message of 1947 is an encouragement which emphasizes the need and power of faith on the path.
15, p. 340-41 Mother talks about faith and the power of pure faith which is irresistible. Most faith, when one observes closely, is mixed with many things that are impure.
16, p. 185b Mother assures: “All my power is with you to help you; open yourself with a calm confidence, have faith in the Divine Grace, and you will overcome all your difficulties.” (also under: 4.3.1)
16, p. 425 “It is by perfecting our faith in the Divine Grace that we shall be able to conquer the defeatism of the subconscient.”
17, p. 012 Mother briefly tells that it is not faith in one’s self and one’s own strength that one must have, but in the divine’s sustaining force.
4.3.2.b -- essentials on the way—sincerity (9)
04, p. 017 “When you are absolutely sincere, you make a constant effort to live in harmony with the highest ideal of your being, the truth of your being....In this state of perfect sincerity you do not need to appear good or to be approved by others, for the first thing you experience when you are in harmony with your true consciousness is that you do not care what you look like.”
05, p. 005-7 In yoga sincerity is perhaps the most difficult of all things and perhaps it is also the most effective. Sincerity consists in making all the elements of the being, all inner and outer movements, all the parts have one single will… If you have perfect sincerity you are sure of the victory. Examples are given e.g. do the right thing even when others do not e.g. stay calm when others quarrel or are angry.
06, p. 125-27, 132-33 This is about the importance of sincerity: “If one wants to open a door, a key is necessary…. Well for the door separating you from the Divine, sincerity works as a key and opens the door and shows you in….” Mother tells what to do when you discover insincerities in yourself (such as knowing what you should do in a circumstance and not wanting to do it and you find yourself looking for an excuse not to do it): immediately you have to decide whether to remain in the darkness or not and then put a red-hot iron on the insincerity and make yourself sincere. For a moment it hurts a little, afterwards one is left in peace. (also under: 4.3.2.h)
06, p. 397-400 This is a good description of what it means to be sincere, the degrees of sincerity, and about the different kinds of insincerity Perfect sincerity comes only when the entire being expresses the consciousness of the divine Presence and Will.
08, p. 248-49 What is the fundamental virtue to be cultivated in order to prepare for the spiritual life? It is sincerity, a sincerity which must become total and absolute for sincerity alone is your protection on the spiritual path. All kinds of forces, wills, influences, entities are there, on the lookout for the least little rift in this sincerity.
08, p. 397-400 “…Sincerity is the basis of all true realisation, it is the means, the path—and it is also the goal.” These pages discuss the progressive nature of sincerity and the indispensable requirements for a perfect sincerity as well as glaring and subtle forms of insincerity.
09, p. 327-30 Mother tells here what exactly is meant by mental honesty and how to achieve it. Effort and discipline are required and self-observation and sincerity and one must change much within oneself, be in a different relation with circumstances in order to see the extent of one’s self-deceptions. (also under: 4.5.c)
14, p. 067-74 Here are many short passages on the importance and the meaning of sincerity and how to recognize and overcome insincerity.
15, p. 205 This 1950 darshan message calls for sincerity and defines it.
4.3.2.c -- essentials on the way—self-observation (17)
02, p. 128-29 Self-observation to be complete must be followed by surrender.
05, p. 102-104 Beginning instructions for self-observation that enables one to distinguish the movements of the various parts of the being and how to deal with unwanted ones by holding them up to the light.
05, p. 198 Good list of questions for getting students to ask, think about and to begin the process of self-observation. What effect do you exercise upon yourself? How do you feel? How do decisions take place in you? What makes you decide one thing rather than another? What is the relation on your decision to your action? To what extent do you have the freedom to choose between one thing and another? How far do you feel you are fee to do this or that or nothing? (also under: 2.2.2.a, 2.3.f)
05, p. 233-34 By living shut up in the ego consciousness with its sense of personal limitation humans always want to take, to replenish a perceived hole made by giving or spending. Because one fears losing one wants to accumulate, accumulate and expects things in return for what one gives. If one widens the consciousness, spreads out in all things one no longer has anything to lose for one would have everything. Only one doesn’t know this and until one knows it one can’t do it. One can observe it easily in oneself e.g. you give a good thought—you expect recognition, you give some affection—you expect it from others. (also under: 2.1.2.a, 4.3.1)
06, p. 008-9 This is about the power of observation itself, ie. in which parts of the being and how it develops and how it must not be confused with the capacity of discernment. (also under: 4.3.1)
06, p. 130-33 About the importance of self-observation. Until one has clearly had the experience of the psychic and can unfailingly distinguish (and obey) influences coming from the Divine from those that come from outside or from other parts of the being, it is essential, if one wants to progress, to observe, inquire and become conscious of the source of influences that move one. Some examples are given of mental influences. “To judge that a thing comes from the Divine because you find it good may lead you into terrible mistakes.” Until one has the perfect psychic guidance the attitude of surrender—May Thy Will be done—can make one do the right thing even before experience. (also under: 4.1.2.a)
06, p. 241-42 Observation to discover the mental arrogance (which is in everyone to a greater or lesser degree) in yourself: “you can catch yourself at least a hundred times a day with a mind that decides everything, knows everything, judges everything, knows very well what is good, what bad, what is true, what false…how one should act, what this person should have done, how to resolve that problem….”
06, p. 335-36 The main method in the process of becoming an individualised being is self-observation and generally several years of intensive inner formation are required. If one begins early one can be formed by age 20. One observes and studies all the movements in oneself, of their relationship with others, where impulses come from, where other movements come from; whether it is a contagion from outside or something that arises from within oneself; to what extent being with others influences you; you ask yourself why did I think that? why did I feel like that? why did I do that?
06, p. 402 Pitfalls to avoid: There is always someone who observes when one is doing something and sometimes he becomes quite proud. This takes away much strength from the effort. “It is necessary to observe oneself…it is still more necessary to try to be sincere and spontaneous in what one does” i.e not always observing and judging oneself—sometimes severely which is equally as bad as patting oneself with satisfaction. Other egoistic elements also can enter in such as self-complacency, sometimes a little self-pity, all kinds of little vanities and other things. “One should be so sincere in one’s aspiration that one doesn’t even know one is aspiring, that one becomes the aspiration itself.”
07, p. 019-20 A guideline for correctly using the method of observation. It is disastrous to observe oneself in either a critical or admiring way. It is indispensable to use your capacity for observation to observe your field of action, the processes you employ for your action, the results obtained, the principle you can arrive at from the experience, the knowledge you can obtain…but not to turn back on yourself and look at yourself acting. In this way the mind will be busy with positive constructions and creates no openings for the influences of hostile forces.
07, p. 329-30 “If you observe yourself attentively, you will perceive that you think, feel, experience and construct like a human animal, that is, like an infrarational being who is three-fourths subconscious, through almost the whole of your day.” If you try looking at your field of consciousness suddenly throughout the day you will observe that this is so. Mother tells that many of man’s virtues of which he is so proud, occur spontaneously in animals—without the pride. (also under: 2.1.1)
07, p. 336-38 Mother tells about the time rhythms of various movements and states of consciousness and how some are general and some are personal, different for each one,. She suggests observing these rhythms in yourself so you can take advantage of them when they are conducive to progress and can understand them and be prepared when it is a time when certain difficulties are more manifest.
09, p. 310-11 Self-observation: Mother speaks of what it is like to have the experience of contact with the soul and to observe how it has the power to set in motion an active will and how it can have an important action on the reactions, feelings and sensations and finally have control over all the movements of the being. “This is how one learns to look at oneself”
15, p. 341-43 Mother tells how the important first step for being able to move around in the inner words is to be able to discern the various inner states of being. Through self-observation one learns to classify and identify these states.
16, p. 064 Mother tells the correct attitude to take towards one’s own nature—not only to see faults and weaknesses clearly but to be aware of the good and true as well so that this side can grow and ultimately absorb the rest and transform the nature. (also under: 2.5.5)
16, p. 068b “There is an advantage in looking back after some time at what one has done; for at a distance, removed from the action, one sees more clearly and better understands what ought or ought not to have been done.”
16, p. 297 Here is a good description of the vigilance and perseverance required for discovering and eliminating self-deception: “One must be very attentive, always on guard, watch all one’s emotional movements and vital reactions, never close one’s eyes with indulgence to one’s own weakness and caaatch oneself one makes a mistake, even a small one. If one continues with persistence, this becomes very interesting and gets easier and easier.” (also under: 4.6.a)
4.3.2.d -- essentials on the way—detachment (17)
03, p. 100-01 About repulsion and equanimity; repulsion is always a sign of fear or weakness.
03, p. 160 “Most of you live on the surface of your being, exposed to the touch of external influences. ... The whole trouble arises out of your not being accustomed to stepping back. You must always step back into yourself—learn to go deep within—step back and you will be safe.”
05, p. 064-67 How being able to “step back” spontaneously and understand someone's behaviour (instead of reacting) is a “wisdom of equanimity” and an essential little progress towards the true consciousness. The progress happens after one establishes the will to be conscious constantly and then observes oneself with sincerity.
06, p. 344-46 Widening the consciousness: If you can make your consciousness vast you can sense the utter ridiculousness of attaching importance to what happens to you. All unpleasantness, even a deep pain can be swept away. Methods are given for how to widen the consciousness such as identifying with something vast like the sky or ocean or contemplating the eternity of time and visualising the current moment and circumstance as a tiny second in the vast unrolling of the universe. (also under: 4.3.1)
06, p. 360, 361 A short, simple, clear explanation of what the witness consciousness is and why it is of value. Page 361 mentions further that the Self is an aspect of the witness (as well as an aspect of the true being). “It is a solid point in the being, in which the light of truth shines.”
06, p. 372-73 Being agitated or angry or violent with others is a great sign of weakness which can be overcome by the mind forming the habit of being quiet and watching things with the inward smile of the witness who is not disturbed by outer things said or done. (also under: 2.5.1.d)
06, p. 426 There are witnesses in all the parts of the being. The witness is the capacity of the being to detach itself, stand back without participating and look at what is happening just as one watches things happening on the street. By developing the witness consciousness it gives you the possibility of being quiet and not being affected by things. However, it does not change things very much.
06, p. 428-29 Ascetic methods foster pride and cure nothing. It is necessary but more difficult to develop equanimity: not to be attached to the things you have than to have nothing. “Simply this attitude: when a thing comes to you, to take it, use it; when for one reason or another it goes away, to let it go and not regret it. Not to refuse it when it comes, to know how to adapt yourself and not to regret it when it goes.”
07, p. 107 Mother suggests the method of stepping back when one feels caught by an impulse of some kind, particularly impulses of anger. Then instead of acting or speaking, one withdraws and calmly writes down the situation as if telling the Mother in person.
07, p. 206 Mother explains here how the image of the dry coconut fruit which rolls freely in the shell describes the state when one no longer has any attachments.
07, p. 396-98 In answer to the question: How can one become indifferent to criticism? Mother gives several visualizations for widening the consciousness so that a particular event seems quite insignificant in the immensity of space and time. The Chinese Wu Wei method is one of the ones recommended and explained—i.e. to lie down on events as if you were floating on your back in a great sea, imagining the immensity of the ocean. (also under: 4.3.1)
08, p. 066-70, 64-65, 72 There is a great power in the immobility of the immortal spirit. Mother gives examples which illustrate the strength of this immobility: being able to remain unmoved by the words or actions of others; the immobility also has an effect on the other person. Equality is a way, and can be a goal also but it is not the highest consummation because the Divine Will wants outer things to change, not remain as they are. Therefore, ultimately, it is not enough to merely observe outer things in an unmoved way. On pp. 64-65, 72 Mother tells how some people very happily think they are detached and allow the outer Nature to go on as it likes. It is very convenient because one need not make an effort for change. But such people are not usually truly detached for they get upset or cry out or complain if the body is hurt or someone is unpleasant.
08, p. 103-04 A good description of the witness. It begins with a _ page quote of Sri Aurobindo from Synthesis of Yoga (p. 113) and is followed by Mother’s answer to the question, What is the witness soul? One becomes liberated from the outer being which makes one calm and unaffected or troubled by things but it is only a first step because it doesn’t remedy anything in the outer movements.
14, p. 050 “Entire physical detachment is seldom healthy, although a temporary retirement is often helpful. But the main thing is the inner detachment and complete turning to the Divine.”
15, p. 130 About the necessity for abolition of desires: “So long as we have a body we have to act, to work, to do something: but if we do it simply because it has to be done, without seeking for the result or wanting it to be like this or like that, we get progressively detached and thus prepare ourselves for a restful death.”
15, p. 279 “When you speak of sacrificing everything for the Divine, it means that you are very greatly attached to those things, you have a great value for them and still you are ready to leave them for the sake of the Divine. Actually you should not be attached to anything or anybody except the Divine, and apart from Him nothing should have any value for you. And in that case you cannot speak of your sacrificing for the Divine.”
16, p. 173 “Indifference is a stage of development which must lead to a perfect equality of the soul.”
4.3.2.e -- essentials on the way—will (21)
05, p. 047-50 Here is a discussion of the place of will, not in the sense of a tension of personal effort, but as the capacity to concentrate on what one does as best one can and continue to do so as long as the task is not finished. Three examples are given of the way to apply willed action with the attitude of surrender: 1— an artist who has resolved to paint a picture, 2—a student who wants to perfect his instruments 3—anyone with the aim of progress. (also under: 2.3.)
05, p. 120-21 How to combat laziness in a tamasic nature? Exert your will, your consciousness, your force, gather your energies and shake and whip yourself a little and say: “Clac! Clac! Forward march.” And compel yourself to do what must be done, whether it be work or studies or physical exercise.
05, p. 129 “From the intellectual viewpoint the most important thing is the capacity of attention and concentration, it is that one must develop and work at. From the point of view of action (physical action), it is the will: you must work and build up an unshakable will…And if you have both, concentration and will, you will be a genius and nothing will resist you.” (also under: 4.5.c)
05, p. 212-15 Excellent discussion of purification by rejection which includes the correct and effective method: not to try first to purify thought, body, vital and then the action which is the normal order and never succeeds, but to begin with the outside. “The very first thing is that I not do it, and afterwards, I desire it no longer and next I close my doors completely to all impulses….” Then they will go out of the consciousness altogether. (also under: 4.3.2.h, 4.5.b)
06, p. 137-39 “To get out of the ego you must will it.” “What I call the will is something that’s here (centre of the chest), which has a power of action, a power of realisation.” The surest means is to give oneself to the Divine; not to try to draw the Divine to you which shuts you up in the ego. Give yourself without holding back anything, simply for the joy of giving. (also under: 4.3.2.g)
06, p. 289 If one has made a mistake and done something serious and can call in the power of the truth-consciousness and let it act, it is an occasion for tremendous progress. “Which means that one should never feel discouraged; or even if one has made mistakes many a time, one must keep the will not to make them any longer, and be sure that one day or another one will triumph over the difficulty if one persists in one’s will.” (also under: 4.3.2, 4.6.)
06, p. 343-44 This is about the feeling of “being pushed into making mistakes”, a condition when the instincts of the lower nature, the subconscient are governing you. And so it is a choice between your will and accepting submission. In the case of giving way to an impulse there is always time to choose. And if the will is clear, based on truth, it always has the power to refuse the wrong movement. It is an excuse you give yourself when you say, “I could not”. That is not true. It is that truly you have not wanted it in the right way. ”You are not these impulses, you are a conscious soul and an intelligent will, and your duty is to see that this is what governs you and not the impulses from below.” (also under: 4.1.2.a)
06, p. 346-48 “If you are not divided in your will…nobody in the world can make you change your will.” If you sometimes do a thing you willed not to do, the difficulty is because of having a divided will, a lack of sincerity in all the parts. To learn how to will is very important but to succeed you must unify your being. One begins to become a being when he begins to have a will. And until you have a will it is impossible to will what the Divine wills, for you have nothing yet to put at His service. (also under: 4.1.2.a)
06, p. 391 How to strengthen one’s will? By methodical exercise. You begin with a small thing and insist on doing it or not doing it (whichever is required) and insist, compel your will to follow the decision you have made. It is somewhat like lifting a weight but is an inner effort rather than a physical one. After succeeding with easier things you can unite with a greater force and try a more complicated experiment. Gradually, by regular persistence in the effort you will end up acquiring an independent and very strong will.
08, p. 368-69 When can one say that one is conscious? Mother answers. The moment there is a conscious will capable of reacting [to the movements in oneself] one may say that one has begun to be conscious. In addition one must become aware within of something like a goal or purpose or ideal to realize that is other than a mere instinct which impels you to live without knowing why or how. Nobody is perfectly conscious—it is progressive. (also under: 1.3.4.b, 2.3.c)
08, p. 370-71 A good description of what happens when the will and effort are too mental and arbitrary and produce a state of revolt or petrification in the being and the effort becomes mechanical. Mother tells the reason and the cure for this state.
09, p. 153-55 Mother describes how to use one’s will for physical development and harmony during the everyday movements of life—using a conscious will that this or that muscle should work when climbing the stairs, or tidying one’s room for example. You can obtain a rhythm of movement and gesture which is very exceptional by thinking constantly of the harmony of the body and beauty of the movements and not doing ungraceful or awkward movements. (also under: 4.5.a)
14, p. 167-78 Many short passages on the meaning, importance and power of the will and its corollaries: perseverance, resolution, determination, steady effort, persistence, endurance and patience.
15, p. 323c “Having an aim is not sufficient. One must have the will to attain it by trying always to trace all one’s movements back to their origin.”
16, p. 145a “Will and energy can be cultivated just as the muscles are: by exercise. You must exercise your will to be patient and your energy to reject depression. I am always near you to help you”
16, p. 184 Brief lines showing the relationship between will and perseverance. A student states: “Without perseverance one never attains anything.” Mother says, “Because a thing is difficult it does not mean that one should give it up; on the contrary, the greater must be the will to carry it out successfully” Same page has other very short statements on perseverance.
16, p. 251 “In each one the will to progress is the needed thing—that is what opens us to the divine influence and makes us capable of receiving what it brings us.”
16, p. 301c “To develop and master your vital, carefully observe your movements and reactions with a will to overcome desires, and aspire to find your psychic being and unite with it.” (also under: 4.5.b)
16, p. 318 Mother tells in one succinct sentence how to increase single-mindedness and will power which are so necessary for doing anything.
16, p. 363a Mother briefly tells how to increase the flame of Agni which is the fire of aspiration.
16, p. 396 To make a complete self-offering an obstinate will and great patience are needed but once the resolution is made the divine is there to support and give a help that is felt in the heart. (also under: 4.3.)
4.3.2.f -- essentials on the way—aspiration (44)
03, p. 001 What it means to be ready for the Path. “The question you are to answer is this: Do you want the Yoga for the sake of the Divine?...This is the first thing necessary_ —aspiration for the Divine.”
03, p. 130-31 Regarding the flower “Aspiration in the physical for Divine's Love.” – “The fundamental seat of aspiration from which it radiates or the psychic centre.” – “When I speak of aspiration in the physical I mean that the very consciousness in you which hankers after material comfort and well-being should of itself...ask exclusively for the Divine's Love.”
04, p. 002-3 How can we know what the divine Will is? “...a preference, a desire, an attraction, a liking, all these veil the Truth from you....What is necessary is an aspiration which burns in the being like a constant fire, and every time you have a desire, a preference, an attraction it must be thrown into this fire. If you do this persistently, you will see that a little gleam of true consciousness begins to dawn in your ordinary consciousness.” ... Preferences will also be stopped when the mind falls silent and one refrains from judging. “The great disorder in the world would to a large extrent be neutralised if the mind could admit that it does not know.” (also under: 4.1.2.a)
05, p. 057-58 To reach the state in which one feels one belongs to the Divine and that the Divine is acting in us one must want it. This aspiration is an inner flame, a luminous enthusiasm that seizes you, an irresistible need to melt away, to give oneself, to exist only in the Divine. At that moment you have the experience of your aspiration. The way the aspiration is answered by a Descent is also described.
05, p. 092 This tells the power of aspiration to effect change: “If you have an aspiration that's sincere enough or a prayer that's intense enough, you can bring down in you Something that will change everything, everything—truly it changes everything.”
05, p. 141-45 This is an excellent discussion of the kinds of, nature of and differences between aspiration and prayer. Aspiration always springs up like a flame. “It is truly like a great purifying flame of will, and it carries in its core the thing that asks to be realised.” Examples are given of this as when one sincerely regrets something one has done. This kind of thing can happen hundreds of times a day if one is a state of truly wanting to progress and to be more in harmony with the Divine Will. There are also powerfully effective prayers.
05, p. 159 If you come to the spiritual life with a sincere aspiration sometimes an avalanche of troubles fall upon you. Those who are not sincere receive bright things just to deceive them and enable them to discover their error. The big troubles prove that one has reached a certain degree of sincerity.
05, p. 349 “…the one truly important thing is the intensity of the aspiration. And this intensity of aspiration comes in all kinds of circumstances.” The Divine is not a moralist. A very proud person may receive blows to wake him up and make him sensible and then he has an aspiration.
06, p. 099 This is a good description of the right attitude of aspiration: it is for all that is essentially true, real, perfect. And it must be silent, without words or formulated thoughts, a living state of consciousness, extremely intense and unvacillating. It must be like a column of vibrations which nothing can touch—and therein, if something comes down, what descends and will be clothed in words in your mind and sounds in your mouth will be the Word. But nothing less than this will do.
06, p. 113, 115-16 Here is a brief discussion of how an active will and aspiration combine with a state of fine inner passivity so that the force can fully penetrate the consciousness. Mother gives the two images of a great flame of aspiration rising and the flame forming a large vase opening and receiving all that comes down. Pages 115-16 describe how aspiration is a power which always draws a response but because of a lack of consciousness some people don’t feel what they have received though it may be working very deeply in them. “I knew people who were gradually transformed and yet…were not even aware of it. The consciousness comes later…”
06, p. 146a One must not want to have an experience for the sake of the experience, one must sincerely aspire to be healed, overcome an obstacle, to rise above oneself, to give up all that pulls one back, to purify oneself of all that blocks the way. One must also have the intense will not to fall back into past errors, to surge up from the darkness and ignorance, to rise into the light stripped of all that is too human, too small. (This follows two pages of Mother telling how one can deepen personal sorrow until it becomes a universal and psychic divine compassion.)
06, p. 175-77 The power of a sincere and intense aspiration for progress is that everything around you will be arranged by a supreme goodwill in order to help you whether directly or indirectly, And even if at first you complain about some of the circumstances you will later see that it was just what you needed in order to make the necessary progress. If only once you sincerely say with conviction, “I want only You.” the Divine will remove everything from your path that prevents you from belonging solely to the Divine. The more imperfections, the longer it takes, the more attachments one has, the longer it takes. BUT THE GOAL IS SURE!
06, p. 313-14 How to establish a settled peace and silence in the mind? The method is to have an aspiration for it and then to persistently practice calling peace, peace, peace and calm to come to you as you would call a friend and you do not pay attention to thoughts or other movements that try to come. (also under: 4.5.c)
06, p. 333-34 “By a kind of Grace, it can happen that before becoming an individual, if someone has within himself an aspiration, if he feels the need to awaken to something which would want more, want something better, which feels how very small it is to be an individual, something which really seeks beyond the ordinary limits, well, even before becoming an individual, he may suddenly have the experience of a contact with his psychic which opens all the doors for him.”
06, p. 336-38 A good discussion of how difficult (and rare) it is for aspiration to be pure and free of the things that mix and spoil it. E.g. rajasic eagerness in the aspiration “takes away the quietude and makes you agitated, nervous, impatient and dissatisfied when you don’t immediately obtain what you have asked for, and you are usually as vehement in your despair and dissatisfaction as in the aspiration with a strong sense of your helplessness.” Usually an aspiration and will for progress doesn’t stop with just that—all kinds of desires get mixed with it for some results of the progress (examples given)
06, p. 391-92 Each part of the being has its own aspiration which has the nature of the aspiring part. Mother describes the aspiration of the physical—the cells of the body understanding what the transformation will be and aspiring for it with all their strength.
06, p. 403-04 Add trust to your aspiration. To aspire is indispensable but to be effective it must not be demolished by other elements in the being which conflict and oppose—i.e. lack of confidence due to the absence of faith, distrust and a pessimism which asks when the catastrophe will come. Trustfulness is truly an inner opening(children undeformed by older people. have always the certainty that all will be well) The psychic being has this trust, has it wonderfully, without a shadow and when it is there there is no aspiration which is not realised.
06, p. 409,421 About the danger of “pulling”. “If a desire is mixed with your aspiration, instead of simply aspiring and awaiting the answer, you begin to pull, as one draws things when one desires them…anything at all can come in answer.” Instead of being a true light or force it can be a false light or adverse force. Keep desires out of your aspiration. Page 421 has more about pulling.
06, p. 432 Should we aspire to have a spiritual experience? “…it is wiser to aspire to make progress or to be more conscious or to be better or do better than aspire for a spiritual experience; because that may open the door to more or less imaginary and falsified experiences, to movements of the vital which take on the appearance of higher things. …In fact, the experience must come spontaneously, as the result of inner progress, but not for itself or in itself.”
07, p. 064-64 Aspiration may be sincere and spontaneous but immediately the mind and vital are there, watching like robbers behind the door; and if a force answers the aspiration they rush to take possession of what comes for their own satisfaction. One must be vigilant. Or the Grace will give you a good knock somewhere to help you realise that that must not be done.
07, p. 239 “Aspiration is like an arrow….” It will strike against a lid through which it cannot pass but by continuing the aspiration it acts like a drop of water that can make a chasm out of a rock only it acts by rising and beats and beats against the lid. One must be very persistent, very stubborn and have an aspiration which rises straight upwards…Only this: to understand, understand, understand, to learn to know, to be.”
07, p. 422-24 “Our one objective must be the Divine himself to whom, knowingly or unknowingly something always aspires in our secret nature”—Sri Aurobindo. Mother explains what it is which aspires: In each there is some part, often quite veiled, which is turned to the psychic and receiving its influence—an intermediary between the psychic and the external consciousness. For each one it is different. It is the part that has the capacity for enthusiasm or the capacity for gratitude. These two things prepare people the most. People are born with one or the other. Both can be developed and are the surest link with the psychic being. (also under: 3.3.2)
08, p. 024-25 Mother tells about the power of aspiration in children to become tall. One can do much to overcome one’s physical atavism.
08, p. 211-12 If one is able to articulate a spiritual aspiration at the moment a shooting star crosses the sky it is because the aspiration is all the time present in the front of the consciousness, dominating it. Necessarily what dominates in your consciousness can be realized very swiftly. The star is merely an outer demonstration and is not at all necessary for a swift realization. What is necessary is that the whole will of the being should be concentrated on one point.
08, p. 249-51 There are two different modes in the intensity of aspiration for the Divine: in one there is a kind of anguish, like a poignant pain, in the other, there is an anxiety, but at the same time a great joy. Mother explains why this is so. The joy is the sure sign of the psychic presence. When the anguish is there then one can add one more element to the aspiration—trust in the Grace and the Response—and that will counterbalance all possible anguish and one can aspire without any disturbance or fear.
08, p. 328-29 To aspire for Delight one should have first reached beyond the state of perfect detachment and close union and the state of perfect love and compassion. To be safe on the path it is best to aspire for a very solid foundation of peace, perfect calm, perfect equality, for a widening of the consciousness, a vaster understanding and liberation from all desire, all preference, all attachment. This is a preliminary condition. And to aspire for these things one must first feel the need for them.
09, p. 374-75 “We can, simply by a sincere aspiration, open a sealed door in us and find… that Something which will change the whole significance of life, reply to all our questions, solve all our problems and lead us to the perfection we aspire for….” “The starting point: to want it, truly want it, to need it.”
10, p. 202-03 “Aspire intensely but without impatience” The difference between the vibration of intensity and the vibration of impatience is subtle but makes all the difference. Mother’s comments lead to a discussion of living in the present moment.
11, p. 006 Mother here repeats the importance of a simple opening that knows it is ignorant and is ready to receive whatever comes. Her following words on aspiration help to awaken it: keep “the thirst for progress, the thirst for knowledge, the thirst for transformation, and, above all, the thirst for Love—and Truth—if one keeps that, one goes quicker. Truly a thirst, a need, a need.” Then each one will find his own way beyond all formulas.
11, p. 023 Mother distinguishes true aspiration, which is self-giving, from pulling, which is always an egoistic movement and is the deformation of aspiration. On p. 22 she talks more about “pulling” and the results of it. (also under: 2.5.1.e)
13, p. 145 “The true experiences that are needed for individual progress do not depend on circumstances or on the environment in which one lives, but on the inner attitude and the will for progress.”
14, p. 041 Mother tells here the two conditions for opening the closed windows of the human consciousness so the Infinite can freely enter and transform: ardent aspiration and progressive dissolution of the ego and then the three indispensable things to begin with: sincerity…self-surrender…patient work on oneself with a steady conquering of unshakable peace and equanimity. (also under: 4.3.2)
14, p. 075-81 Aspiration. Many short statements, messages and answers that describe, invoke and illustrate the importance of aspiration. On pp.80-81 Mother makes the distinction between aspiration, calling and pulling.
15, p. 125 Several short statements about the aspiration for immortality and the different parts of the being. e.g: ”Physical aspiration for immortality: an organized, tenacious and methodical development of consciousness.”
15, p. 186 The 1961 New Year Message answers the question: why aspire? This wonderful world of delight waiting at our gates for our call, to come down upon earth…” There are some comments about this message on pp. 190-92
16, p. 225-26 A simple explanation that shows the relationship between aspiration and the mind with the conclusion “The more quiet and silent the mind is, the more can aspiration rise up from the depths of the heart….”
16, p. 304-05 “Aspiration for progress, if it is sincere, is sure to have an effect.” Mother tells why it is best not to try and assess one’s progress and explains why the advance is rarely in a straight and continuous line.
16, p. 309 “Aspiration is the only remedy [for inertia]—an aspiration that rises constantly like a clear flame burning up all the impurities of the being.”
16, p. 369 Mother’s response to one who prayed for the awakening of the body’s aspiration. Her words carry the awakening force.
16, p. 371 “Whatever the past may have been, it is not time that is needed to establish contact with the Divine, but sincerity of aspiration.”
16, p. 409b Aspiration: Mother briefly tells how to distinguish between the vibrations of aspiration and desire.
16, p. 423b A very brief discussion of the original necessity of the ego and the need now to transform it and about converted egos and what methods and qualities are necessary for the conversion to happen. (also under: 2.1.2.a)
17, p. 021 What does “sincere aspiration” mean? “An aspiration that is not mixed with any egoistic or self-interested calculation.”
17, p. 076 On aspiration: Which part of the being aspires for love, for peace? “It is that part on any plane (physical, vital or mental) which is open to the psychic influence.”
4.3.2.g -- essentials on the way—surrender (47)
03, p. 019 Mother illustrates the difference between passive and active surrender. As an example she tells two ways of becoming conscious of one's nights.
03, p. 023-24 “Yoga means union with the Divine, and the union is effected through offering.” – once you have decided to give the whole of your life to the Divine, this general offering has to be carried out in very detailed offerings.
03, p. 025-26 Because our consciousness is still divided we lose touch with the Divine when we do something. “In all pursuits, intellectual or active, your one motto should be, ‘Remember and Offer.’ ”
03, p. 114-15 True surrender will not diminish but increase your personality. When you do something grudgingly, “with a sense of compression of your being”, be sure you do it in the wrong way.
03, p. 115-16 “...if the little mind surrenders, it will be merged in the Divine Universal Mind; it will be one in quality and quantity with it;...” “And what is true of the mind is true for all the other parts of the nature.”
03, p. 116-17 “There are many wrong ideas current about surrender. Most people seem to look upon surrender as an abdication of the personality; but that is a grievous error.” With surrender “the personality is purified of all the influences of the lower nature which diminish and distort it. And it becomes more strongly personal, more itself, more complete.” …Mother tells what one must do (give up desires) and why, in order to have this sublimating change.
03, p. 123-24 If the self-giving to the divine is poised in the psychic everything that happens will be for the best. “But till the self-giving is firmly psychic there will be disturbances....”
03, p. 126-27 “Surrender is the decision taken to hand over the responsibility of your life to the Divine.” This must be followed by self-offering and lastly self-consecration.
05, p. 053-55 Discussion of the relationship between offering and surrender and a description of the correct attitude of surrender especially when “things go against”.
05, p. 350-51 Mother comments on true surrender which is self-giving and the kind of sacrifice that is a form of bargaining. “If one regrets that one can no longer satisfy one’s desires, that means the desires are at least as important as, if not more than, the thing one aspires for.”
06, p. 063-64 A brief discussion of the difference between calm submission (which is resigned and enforced through determination and which can engender a great pride) and true submission or surrender which is made up of trying to understand why an order was given and what is its inner value and wanting to collaborate) which leads to satisfaction and happiness.
06, p. 136 Mother tells why one does not receive. The divine love and divine consciousness are constantly there all the time in their full intensity but one is not aware of them because there is no opening and one’s ego is full of oneself. If you observe yourself attentively you will see that you are at the centre and the universe turns around you. One must begin to get out of the ego to perceive things as they really are. (also under: 2.1.2)
06, p. 137-39 “To get out of the ego you must will it.” “What I call the will is something that’s here (centre of the chest), which has a power of action, a power of realisation.” The surest means is to give oneself to the Divine; not to try to draw the Divine to you which shuts you up in the ego. Give yourself without holding back anything, simply for the joy of giving. (also under: 4.3.2.e)
06, p. 168-69 Why doesn’t one receive the Divine as easily as one receives a neighbor’s ill will? Because it is not on the same plane. The ill (or good) will are on the same plane. “All that is on a horizontal plane in relation to you is very easily received, but all that comes from a vertical direction is much more difficult. First one must look up above, within oneself, and then open oneself so that it descends.” “It is much easier to respond to an influence which drags you down than to a force that pulls you up.”
06, p. 210-11, 214-16 To be able to make submission to the Divine gladly it must be sincere submission for if it is sincere it is always happy. As long as an ineffable happiness is not there it means that some part of the being larger or smaller holds back, would like things to be otherwise, has a will or desire of its own, its own purpose. To discover this part put the light on it, pray if necessary. There are many ways. Sometimes surgical operations are required, i.e.putting a red-hot iron on the wound. When one is in a state of total surrender it creates a protective atmosphere around one that acts as a filter that keeps out ill-will and other undesirable vibrations. One can learn to do this through a kind of study and a science but they are done automatically if the aspiration and surrender are total. The barometer is if you feel happy. If you don’t, an insincerity has crept in and your surrender is not total.
06, p. 212 A glad submission is strong, powerful, and helpful, is active and produces results, makes itself useful, wants to collaborate in the work and the progress. It is the very opposite of the inert automaton.
06, p. 221 Tamasic surrender refuses to fulfil the conditions. It expects the Divine to do everything and doesn’t make any effort because that is much more comfortable. It is a movement of laziness and tamas.
06, p. 254-61 A comprehensive discussion of what it takes to merge one’s ego in the Divine: many years of work are required for even the very first step of individualisation which is essential. “So long as one does not exist, one can give nothing… And for the separative ego to disappear…one must be able to give oneself entirely….” The necessity of the ego and of education is to help in the individualisation process. Then one must organise everything around the psychic centre which requires many more years of work. Only then the Divine will take the decision and give the permission for the ego to merge and for one to live henceforward only for the Divine.
06, p. 349 It is an absolute fact that if we rely on the Divine, give him full charge of ourselves it will always be the best that will happen to us even if what happens is not in conformity with our preferences and desires which are blind. One must keep faith in this always. “Faith is the expression of a trust in the Divine and the full self-giving you make to the Divine.” (also under: 4.3.2.a)
06, p. 394 “One is not made of a single piece…. There are many different parts of the being which are quite independent of one another and take hold of the consciousness almost in turn and sometimes even in a altogether regular order. So, when one part of the being has goodwill and already a kind of perception of what the divine force is…this opens the being and puts it into contact with this force….There are other parts…which have defects, bad habits, and which can veil the consciousness completely.” If one keeps the memory of the part which was open, one can keep the opening all the same and it can continue to receive the force. If one has defects, how can one open to the force? One keeps a memory of the part that has been opened and even though it is veiled for the time being it can continue to be open and receive the force. (also under: 2.1.1)
07, p. 008 Why surrender is necessary: to resist the guru increases the trouble and difficulties; it hardens the consciousness as though putting a thick shell or a coat of varnish over it so that it will not be touched.
07, p. 191-193 These pages are a good discussion of the state of the surrender of the majority of people who take to the spiritual life and to yoga. There is almost always an egoistic motive or motives which must all eventually be overcome if one is to succeed. The sadhana is to be done for the sake of the Divine not with a selfish intention of personal perfection. Mother lists all kinds of egoistic things that mix with one’s consecration which merely show that one is not yet what one ought to be—the self-giving is not complete
07, p. 247 A wonderful description of the state of surrender when one gives oneself entirely. Mother then explains why we don’t live in that condition. “You don’t feel Him close to yourself, constantly with you, because you don’t belong to Him, because you belong to hundreds of other things and people; in your thought, your action, your feelings, impulses….” “Everything you hold back is a stone you put to build up a wall between the Divine and yourself.”
07, p. 399-401 Here Mother talks about the difference between approaching the Divine through the head and the heart. With those who understand first intellectually it takes much longer to advance. “It’s not the head which has wings: it’s the heart. It’s this…yes, this inevitable need. Nothing else counts. That’s everything. Only that.” And then the length of time required or the number of obstacles don’t at all trouble one. “It is with an absolute self-giving, self-forgetfulness in a total consecration that suffering disappears and is replaced by a joy that nothing can veil.” When this joy is established in the consciousness then later the material transformation will take place, not before.
08, p. 014-18 Mother elaborates on her statement, “Give all you are, all you have, nothing more is asked of you but also nothing less.” She tells in these pages the story of the woman who gave half a mango to a beggar who turned out to be Shiva. She also talks about the giving that is not true. There is not one in a thousand that gives without bargaining. Bargaining is in all the parts of the being.
08, p. 019 Be sincere. It is not true that you can’t, if one wanted one could. And if you say you don’t have the will power that means you are not sincere. “For sincerity is an infinitely more powerful force than all the wills in the world. It can change anything in the twinkling of an eye; it takes hold of it, grips it, pulls it out—and then it’s over.”
08, p. 074-77, 79 Mother comments upon a _ page quotation on the law of sacrifice from Sri Aurobindo in The Synthesis of Yoga. She explains how the sacrifice of the Divine and of the creation is mutual and is being made automatically—but if we learn to make the self-giving consciously we are able to experience the joy of it. “If you want to be conscious and you want suffering to cease then you must make constant efforts to become conscious of the sacrifice and to make your sacrifice consciously instead of unconsciously.” Page 79 tells the relationship between aspiration and the sacrifice.
08, p. 287-88 How to deal with one’s difficulties on the path of yoga. There is a description of the kinds of difficulties and a method for placing them in front of the Light instead of struggling with them. The method is to widen the physical body consciousness, to get the feeling of opening or unfolding oneself like one would do with a piece of cloth that is too tightly wrapped. One stretches out and widens with “face to the light” not curling back doubled up on the difficulty. (also under: 4.5.a)
08, p. 310 “To give (to the Mother) the best one has is very fine and is much appreciated; but to give the worst one has is much more useful; and perhaps this offering is even more appreciated—on condition that it is given in order to get rid of it, not to take it back afterwards!”
09, p. 359-60 Mother tells how, by adding the element of a conscious surrender to the higher force (she describes what she means), one can go forward much more quickly—as for example when one is trying to develop one’s intuition or will power.
09, p. 420-21b Mother describes what is needed before one is able to surrender. She next describes surrender as “the only truly effective attitude…a perfect, total, fervent self-giving of our being to That…which alone has the power to change everything.
09, p. 428 Mother tells the best way to progress. If one has had even a second’s contact with the marvellous Grace, then you can strive to remember it and with the candour and simplicity of a child for whom there are no complications, give yourself to the Grace and let it do everything.
10, p. 009-10 Mother’s comments on an aphorism (on Jnana) tell what knowledge is like when one gives oneself to the Divine to accomplish His work. She describes the state and tells the conditions for achieving it.
10, p. 152-56 There is nothing to do but offer everything to the Lord. Put the intelligence aside, tell it to be quiet. Then a door opens and the Lord can do everything—arrange circumstances, people, put words in your mouth or pen—everything, everything. Mother is more and more convinced that people don’t really want it. When old things come in you give all that too to the Lord—that’s all. It is very simple because you want things to be right and you know you personally have no capacity to make them so.
14, p. 108-09 Mother succinctly describes 3 modes of self-giving to the Divine accompanied by 3 formulas. This powerful method or practice can lead one to “a perfect identification, a dissolution of the ego, giving rise to a sublime felicity”. (also under: 4.3.3)
14, p. 113-21 Many short statements full of Mother’s force which show the meaning, importance, power and results of surrender to the Divine Will. On pp. 119-21 are some of the difficulties of surrender.
15, p. 091 A succinct summary: “The goal is not to lose oneself in the Divine Consciousness. The goal is to let the Divine Consciousness penetrate into Matter and transform it.” (also under: 4.4.2.a)
15, p. 419-23 After telling how surrender is the only way out of the difficult condition of the world and individuals Mother shows how surrender, presence of the Grace, liberation from attachments all fit together. She further tells how to respond when one feels that one is suffering. She defines the meaning of the true liberation. (also under: 4.3.3)
16, p. 061 Mother gives two images that very simply help one understand how consecration to the Divine connects the individual to the forces of the Infinite.
16, p. 067 Remedy for a dissatisfied vital: “Open yourself, increase your receptivity by giving yourself more and you will see that all discontentment will disappear.” (also under: 4.5.b)
16, p. 078-79 What is a consciousness turned towards the supramental (Divine) light? “It means the consciousness that is not filled with the activities and influences of the ordinary life, but is concentrated in an aspiration towards the divine light, force, knowledge, joy” (also under: 1.3.3, 2.5.4.b)
16, p. 098 Why and how to open oneself: “The more one gives oneself, the more one opens; the more one opens, the more one receives; and in the intimacy of this self-giving one can become conscious of the inner Presence and the joy it brings.”
16, p. 226 Brief guidance on how to begin surrendering the will of the ego.
16, p. 246 “One clings to one’s [defects and] vices as one clings to a part of one’s body, and pulling out a bad habit hurts as much as pulling out a tooth. That is why one does not progress.” Mother gives the remedy which is to make an offering of one’s defects, vices and bad habits. Then one has the joy of offering and receives in exchange the force to replace what has been given by a better, truer vibration. “If one generously makes an offering of one’s defect, vice or bad habit, then one has the joy of making an offering and one receives in exchange the force to replace what has been given, by a better and truer vibration.” (also under: 4.2.2, 5.4)
16, p. 311 A brief quote here of Sri Aurobindo on surrender and personal effort.
16, p. 371XXX “The simplest and most effective way [to overcome the ego] is to offer it to the Divine; the more sincere and radical this offering is, the more quickly the result will come.”
17, p. 007 How can one change the obscure vital into a luminous vital? “By the surrender of the vital, its opening to the light, and the growth of consciousness.” (also under: 4.3.1, 4.5.b)
4.3.2.h -- essentials on the way—rejection (15)
05, p. 094-96 Attacks from adverse forces are inevitable but by courageously struggling with them you gain and advance a step. They make your determination stronger, your aspiration clearer. When you are quiet and reject an adverse force does not mean that you have got rid of that small part within that allowed the attack to come. Example of depression given and an effective method given. (also under: 4.2.3.b)
05, p. 212-15 Excellent discussion of purification by rejection which includes the correct and effective method: not to try first to purify thought, body, vital and then the action which is the normal order and never succeeds, but to begin with the outside. “The very first thing is that I not do it, and afterwards, I desire it no longer and next I close my doors completely to all impulses….” Then they will go out of the consciousness altogether. (also under: 4.3.2.e, 4.5.b)
06, p. 125-27, 132-33 This is about the importance of sincerity: “If one wants to open a door, a key is necessary…. Well for the door separating you from the Divine, sincerity works as a key and opens the door and shows you in….” Mother tells what to do when you discover insincerities in yourself (such as knowing what you should do in a circumstance and not wanting to do it and you find yourself looking for an excuse not to do it): immediately you have to decide whether to remain in the darkness or not and then put a red-hot iron on the insincerity and make yourself sincere. For a moment it hurts a little, afterwards one is left in peace. (also under: 4.3.2.b)
06, p. 132-33 Here is a description of perfect sincerity: never to try to deceive oneself, never let any part of the being try to find out a way of convincing the others, never to explain favourably what one does in order to have an excuse for what one wants to do, etc. Try for one hour, half an hour and see how difficult it is to let nothing pass (meaning that all one feels, thinks, wants is only the Divine).
06, p. 301-02 Ascetic discipline does not help one to overcome attachment. It inflates and strengthens one’s pride. It is the best means of building up such a terrific pride that never, never will you be converted. The first condition is a healthy humility.
06, p. 329-30 “If you do not accept certain movements, then naturally, when they find that they can’t manifest, gradually they diminish in force and stop occurring. If you refuse to express everything that is of a lower kind, little by little…the consciousness is emptied of lower things.” The refusal of expression applies not only in action but also in thought, in feeling. When any of these unwanted things come you should push them aside and remain in a state of inner aspiration and calm. It is important not to look at them with indulgence or concentrate on them. You must be patient and persistent. Also the movements will stop more quickly if you can put yourself [and these movements] in contact with some higher light or some influence from your psychic being.
06, p. 339 From Sri Aurobindo’s Bases of Yoga “It is good for the physical to be more and more conscious, but it should not be overpowered by these ordinary human reactions of which it becomes aware or badly affected or upset by them. A strong equality and mastery and detachment must come, in the nerves and body as in the mind, which will enable the physical to know and contact these things without feeling disturbance; it should know and be conscious and reject and throw away the pressure of the movements in the atmosphere, not merely feel them and suffer.” (also under: 4.5.a)
07, p. 083-85, 88-90, 95-96 This is an excellent discussion of how to reject something so that it does not merely enter into the subconscient. Usually, one pushes back or drives away an unwanted movement, but what is really required is to find within oneself what has served and still serves as a support for the particular movement or tendency. Two methods are given: either to put so intense a light of truth-consciousness on it that it dissolves or to catch the thing as though with pincers and hold it up before one’s consciousness. The second method is suggested because not many have sufficient light at their disposal; the second method requires persistence to find the movement which hides behind the mind’s favourable explanantions; and then it takes courage because it hurts when you pull it out. It is like an operation. On pages 88-90 Mother elaborates and gives examples. Pages 95-96 add a bit more on the subject.
08, p. 005-7 A good discussion about how one finally decides that the time has come to reject something. There are many ways of being, feeling, thinking that we tolerate in ourselves for a very long time. Suddenly one notices and decides that something is intolerable and does not harmonise with one’s aim or the progress one has made and decides that it is bad and must go. The will awakens and the process of rejection can begin. The thing to be rejected may not be bad in itself but is no longer in its place—may be good for someone else on a different rung of the ladder—but the time has come for it to leave its place with you. “Each time that one sees in oneself something which seems really nasty, well, that proves that one has made progress. So, instead of lamenting and falling into despair, one should be happy; one says, “Ah! That’s good. I am getting on.”
08, p. 083-85 You are always under the illusion that pain belongs to you. It is not true. It is something thrust upon you. The same event could occur without throwing the shadow of pain on you. It depends on whether you identify with the negative things you wish to eliminate or with the positive Grace that is eliminating the unwanted movements. If you are identified with the sources below you suffer, if with the forces from above, you are happy—not the happiness of pleasure. (also under: 2.4.a, 4.2.1)
12, p. 021-22 Mother tells why mere suppression is not the best method for educating the vital. The best starting point is development of the power of observation of one’s movements and growth of the will for progress and perfection.
15, p. 129 “…to give up the body is not the absolute renunciation.The true and total renunciation is to give up the ego which is a much more arduous endeavour. If you have not renounced your ego, to give up the body will not bring freedom to you.” (also under: 4.3.3)
16, p. 073-74 “There are thieves in the subtle world just as in the outer world.” “It is when you are depressed that they are best able to rob you.” “You must not listen to them—you must reject the wicked suggestions ...” (also under: 4.2.3.b)
16, p. 303-04 A brief discussion about overcoming desires and attachments showing the ineffective ways and the true way from within that one must establish in order to become master of the lower nature. (also under: 4.5.b)
16, p. 319 About renunciation: Mother explains that when one is truly on the path there is no longer a question of renouncing anything because everything except union with the Divine has lost its value and is not an object of desire. This is helpful for understanding the process of rejection versus repression.


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