© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

Universal justice

18 November 1953

"Justice is the strict logical determinism of the movements of Universal Nature.

"Illnesses are this determinism applied to the material body. The medical mind, basing itself upon this ineluctable Justice, strives to bring about the conditions which should lead logically to good health.

"The moral consciousness acts in the same way in the social body and tapasya in the spiritual domain.

"The Divine Grace alone has the power to intervene and change the course of Universal Justice.

"The great work of the Avatar is to manifest the Divine Grace upon earth. To be a disciple of the Avatar is to become an instrument of the Divine Grace. The Mother is the great dispensatrix--through identity--of the Divine Grace with a perfect knowledge--through identity--of the absolute mechanism of Universal Justice.

"And through her mediation each movement of sincere and confident aspiration towards the Divine calls down in response the intervention of the Grace.

"Who can stand before You, O Lord, and say in all sincerity: `I have never made a mistake'? How many times in a day we commit faults against Your work, and always Your Grace comes to efface them!

"Without the ceaseless intervention of Your Grace, who would not oftentimes have come under the merciless blade of the Law of Universal Justice?

"Each one here represents an impossibility to be resolved, but as for Your Divine Grace all things are possible. Your work will be, in the detail as in the ensemble, the accomplishment of all the impossibilities transformed into divine realisations."

15 January 1933; Words of the Mother, MCW Vol. 14, p. 86 [new p. 361]

What is the meaning of "Justice is the strict logical determinism of the movements of Universal Nature"?

You know the law of determinism, don't you? You have not studied philosophy at all? (Turning to a professor) Pavitra, explain what determinism is to them. Try to be brief and clear.

Pavitra: I think determinism is this: when something happens, it always has the same effect.

If it is the same thing--on condition it is identically the same thing. Are there two identical things in the universe? No.

Nolini: The same cause produces the same effect.

Yes. The same cause produces the same effect. That is the principle on which science is founded. But I have used the word here in a little more general and precise a way at once. I mean that each thing (whether the same or not) always produces an effect and that this effect produces still another and that other produces yet another and so on--always a cause produces an effect and each effect becomes the cause of another effect, and so on, indefinitely. And so justice means that each thing, as Nolini said, the same cause always produces the same effect automatically. And hence one cannot say a word, make a movement without its being the cause of something else. And this something else is the cause of yet another thing. And all this follows automatically and strictly, and that is universal justice.

An act carried out has always a consequence and this consequence brings along another and so on. And this is absolutely ineluctable. That is universal justice. You have a bad thought, it has a result. And that result has yet another. And you cannot [old p. 363]escape it except through the intervention of Grace. Grace is exactly something which has the power of changing all that. But only the Grace can change it. It is so strict a law and so terrible [new p. 362]that once one has entered within it, one cannot get out. And the moment one is upon earth, one enters into this. The whole earthly existence is like that, constructed in this way. And each thing one does, each thing one says, each thing one thinks, each thing one feels has a consequence. And this consequence brings another, and so on. Now, if one wants to have a more practical point of view, one may take examples and say: "If you do this, it will automatically produce that." For instance, in societies organised by men, if you commit a crime, you will be punished for your crime. In your own conscience, if you make a mistake, you suffer for the mistake you have made. And in the law as man has made it, it is always said that to be ignorant of the law is no excuse. If you are ignorant of the law, you are punished. If you make a mistake without knowing that it is a mistake, that does not protect you, you are punished. Well, in Nature it is the same thing. If you take poison without knowing that it is poison, it will poison you all the same. Do you understand?... Unless the Grace intervenes. And as the Grace is omnipotent, it can change everything. That is what I have explained. But without the Grace there is no hope. For precisely it is ignorance that's the constant factor of mankind.


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