© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

13 October 1954

There is a great weakness in social relations, a very great weakness; and that is why, in fact, one gets angry and gets carried away and says things he should not say. If one were not weak, one would never be violent. Weakness and violence are two things that go together. He who is truly strong is never violent. This is something one should always remember. Violence is always a sign of a weakness somewhere. Of course, one sees a man with bulging muscles who is very strong, knocking down another with all his might, and one says, "He is strong!" It is not true. He has muscles, but morally he is very weak. So, he may be strong here and weak there. Usually this is what happens.

But I say, and also people who have observed animals, for example, animals which are very strong: how quiet they are. Naturally, when they run after their prey they put out all their energy; but it is not violence, it is energy. But if you have ever seen a lion--when it has nothing to do, it does not fidget. If it is ill, it is restless. But if it is well, in good health, if it has nothing to do, it will not move, it will be quite still. It will look like a sage. (Laughter)

Agitation, violence, anger, all these things are always, without exception, signs of weakness. And especially when one gets carried away in his speech and says things one should not say, this indeed is the sign of a frightful mental weakness--mental and vital--frightful. Otherwise you may hear all the insults in the world, people may tell you all possible stupidities; if you are not weak, you may perhaps not smile outwardly, for it is not always good taste to smile, but deep within you, you are [old p. 373]smiling, you let it pass, it does not touch you.... Simply, if your mind has formed the habit of being quiet as it is recommended here, and you have the perception of truth within yourself, you can hear [new p. 373]anything at all. It does not even produce the semblance of a vibration--everything remains absolutely immobile and quiet. And then if the witness we were speaking about a while ago is there, looking on at the comedy, he surely smiles.

But if you feel the vibrations which come from the other person who throws on you all his violence and anger, if you feel this... at first it does... and then, suddenly, there is a response; and then if you yourself begin to get into a temper, you may be sure that you are as weak as he.