© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust

The Divine and Us
25 April 1956

"A spiritual Truth and Right have convicted the good and evil of this world of imperfection or of falsehood and unveiled a supreme good.... But behind all these and in them he has felt a Divinity who is all these things, a Bringer of Light, a Guide and All-Knower, a Master of Force, a Giver of Bliss, Friend, Helper, Father, Mother, Playmate in the world-game, an absolute Master of his being, his soul's Beloved and Lover."

The Synthesis of Yoga, SABCL,Vol.20, p. 120

Can the Godhead be all these things at once for anybody?

Yes, and many more.

This is only a very brief description!

But here too, if one wants to have this experience, one must not seek in life and among men for these relationships, because if one seeks them in the ordinary life, as ordinary relationships, one becomes incapable of feeling them exactly as the Divine can give them. And usually, most people, even those who have a living soul, seek these relations with the Divine only after they have had the most bitter and disappointing experiences in their search for human relationships.

This makes them lose much time and wastes a lot of energy. And usually, they are already quite worn out and spent when they reach the state in which they are capable of having these relations in all their splendour with the divine Presence.

That means much time lost and much wastage of energy; but it would seem that very few people can go straight avoiding all these roundabout ways. Mostly, when they are told that there is a divine Joy and a divine Plenitude which far surpass all they can imagine in ordinary life, they don't believe it; and to believe it they must have, as I said, gone through a painful experience of all that is false, deceptive and disappointing in ordinary relationships.

It is said that example is the best teacher, but in fact there are very few who care to follow an example--especially when the examples are a little too far beyond them. They all want to have their own experience; they have the right to it, but that makes the path interminable.

Sweet Mother, if one needs something, like a mother's affection or some help, how can one feel it in the Divine, according to one's need?

What exactly do you want to say?

If, for example, one wants to know something or one needs guidance, or something else, how can one have it from the Divine, according to one's need?

By asking the Divine for it. If you do not ask Him, how can you have it?

If you turn to the Divine and have full trust and ask Him, you will get what you need--not necessarily what you imagine you need; but the true thing you need, you will get. But you must ask Him for it.

You must make the experiment sincerely; you must not endeavour to get it by all sorts of external means and then expect the Divine to give it to you, without even having asked Him. Indeed, when you want somebody to give you something, you ask him for it, don't you? And why do you expect the Divine to give it to you without your having asked Him for it?

In the ordinary consciousness the movement is just the opposite. You assume something, saying, "I need this, I need this relationship, I need this affection, I need this knowledge, etc. Well, the Divine ought to give it to me, otherwise He is not the Divine." That is to say, you reverse the problem completely.

First of all, you say, "I need." Do you know whether you truly need it or whether it is only an impression you have or a desire or quite an ignorant movement? First point: you know nothing about it.

Second point: it is precisely your own will you want to impose upon the Divine, telling Him, "I need this." And then you don't even ask Him for it: "Give it to me." You say, "I need it. Therefore, since I need it, it must come to me, quite naturally, spontaneously; it's the Divine's job to give me all that I need."

But if it so happens that truly you don't know what you need and it is merely an illusion and not a truth and that, into the bargain, you ask it from life around you and don't turn to the Divine, don't create any relationship between yourself and Him, don't think of Him or turn to Him with at least some sincerity in your attitude, then, as you ask nothing from Him, there is no reason for Him to give you anything.

But if you ask Him, as He is the Divine He knows a little [old p. 124]better than you what you need; He will give you what you need. [new p. 123]

Or else, if you insist and want to impose your own will, He may give you what you want in order to enlighten you and make you conscious of your mistake, that it was truly not the thing you needed. And then you begin to protest--I don't mean you personally, I am speaking of all human beings--and you say, "Why has the Divine given me something which harms me?"--completely forgetting that it was you who asked for it!

In both cases you protest all the same. If He gives you what you ask and then that brings you more harm than good, you protest. And again, if He doesn't give it, you also protest: "What! I told Him I needed it and He doesn't give it to me."

In both cases you protest, and the poor Divine is accused.

Only, if instead of all that, you simply have an aspiration within you, an urge, an intense ardent need to find That, which you conceive more or less clearly to be the Truth of your being, the Source of all things, the supreme Good, the Answer to all we desire, the Solution to all problems; if there is this intense need in you and you aspire to realise it, you won't any longer say to the Divine, "Give me this, give me that", or, "I need this, I must have that." You will tell Him, "Do what is necessary for me and lead me to the Truth of my being. Give me what Thou in Thy supreme Wisdom seest as the thing I need."

And then you are sure of not being mistaken, and He will not give you something which harms you.

There is a still higher step, but it's a little more difficult to begin with that.

But the first one is already a much truer approach than that of telling the Divine, "I need this. Give it to me." For indeed, very few people really know what they need--very few. And the proof of it is that they are always in pursuit of the fulfilment of their desires, all their effort is bent upon that, and each time one of their desires is fulfilled, they are disappointed. And they pass on to another.

And after much seeking, making many mistakes, suffering a [old p. 125]good deal and being very disappointed, then, sometimes, one [new p. 124]begins to grow wise and wonders if there isn't a way out of all this, that is to say, a way to come out of one's own ignorance.

And it is then, at that moment that one can do this (Mother opens her arms): "Here I am, take me and lead me along the true path."

Then all begins to go well.