WRITINGS BY THE MOTHER
© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust
Collaboration and Harmony in Work
The field of work does not change. What you are doing now, you will continue to do. It is in the attitude in the work, especially in the relation with the other workers, that the change must take place. Each one sees the work in his own way and believes it is the only true way, the only way that expresses the Divine Will. But none of these ways is completely true; it is only by rising above these divided conceptions that one can reach a better understanding of the Divine's Will. This means mutual understanding and collaboration instead of opposition and clash of wills and feelings.
23 May 1934
For harmony and better work, it is not by changing men that things can get better, but by changing one's own consciousness and character.
25 January 1937
As a general rule it is better not to intervene in things that do not fall within one's own work.
7 October 1937
If in the work you meet with some difficulties, look sincerely into yourself and there you will discover their origin.
The difficulties in work come not from circumstances or petty outer occurrences, they come from something which is wrong in the inner attitude, especially in the vital attitude: egoism, [old p. 332]ambition, fixity of mental conceptions regarding work, vanity, etc. And it is always good, in order to correct the disharmony, to look for the cause in oneself rather than in others.
19 April 1938
To recognise the presence of a "disharmonious atmosphere" is useful only so far as it wakes in each one the will to change it into a harmonious atmosphere and to do that the first important step is for each one to get out of his own limited point of view in order to understand the point of view of others. It is more important for each one to find the mistake in himself than to insist on the mistake of others.
I add that all those to whom I have given responsibility in the work are expected to be faithful to this responsibility and, without allowing of any "hurt feeling" to creep in, do their best to carry on successfully their duty.
My blessings are with all those who are sincere and have goodwill.
Indeed I have allowed X to shift her rose plants there. But I do not think she needs the whole place for them. Moreover, in the present food-crisis it is not wise to use for flowers a place where vegetables have always grown very well. It seems that the place where tomatoes were grown is now ready for beans--these beans must be sown and well looked after so that they may be productive. The trees and shrubs must be left in place and the sitaphal tree (custard apple) must be very carefully attended to as it gives excellent fruits. In consequence I wish that this garden should be looked after by both X and Y, each one taking care of the things with which they are concerned reciprocally. I hope [new p. 311]they will take advantage of this occasion to show that work can be done unselfishly and harmoniously, putting in [old p. 333]first place the welfare of the work itself and checking in themselves all wrong movements that could stand against this achievement.
With my love and blessings.
Psychic work: a work governed by harmony.
I came to the bindery to explain to all of you what you had to do, and expect that you will do accordingly. I want you to work all together harmoniously, helping one another as much as you can.
The university work goes first, then the library work, then the individual work, if there is time.
Without discipline, no good work can be done.
Each one to his place, doing conscientiously the work assigned to him, and all will be well.
17 August 1938
Organised teamwork: each one at his place and all together.
To make any change in a work, I require before taking any decision that both parties should write to me explaining their [old p. 334]case and the proposed change and then I shall decide.
My love and blessings.
25 July 1947
I do not believe that to change work will help you to change your character; it has never proved successful before.
The reasons for which you ask to change your work are psychological and do not depend on the work itself. Wherever you will go, you will carry them with you and nowhere will you be able to find peace unless you have the peace in your heart.
22 August 1949
When one has work to do for a community, to take a decision for personal motives and to abandon one's work is a serious mistake.
You mention faults committed which cannot be corrected: this is wrong. Any fault can be corrected if you sincerely set to work to correct yourself. To run away from the progress to be made is an act of cowardice and I cannot approve of it.
First of all make a sincere and complete confession of faults committed. Afterwards I shall see what is to be done.
30 May 1953
Collaboration and reciprocal goodwill are indispensable for good work.
11 August 1954
To concentrate on a close collaboration in the work would be obviously a more useful attitude than to concentrate on mutual grievances. [old p. 335]
The most important point is that the work should be quickly done and well done.
21 December 1957
To the Bangavani Workers
No great work can be done without co-ordination and discipline.
A true and organised collaboration is the condition of success.
20 June 1959
It is only in harmonious collaboration that effective work can be done.
The important thing is to find the point on which you can all agree--and after this is firmly established, each one must be ready to yield his personal will in order to keep intact this point of harmony.
29 March 1966
When we have to work collectively, it is always better to insist, in our thoughts, feelings and actions, on the points of agreement rather than on the points of divergence.
We must give importance to the things that unite and ignore, as much as possible, those that separate.
Even when physically the lines of work differ, the union can remain intact and constant if we keep always in mind the essential points and principles which unite, and the Divine Goal, the Realisation which must be the one unchanging object of our aspiration and works.
If anyone were capable of seeing the welfare of the work quite independent of his preferences and without turning everything into a personal question, then most of the difficulties would be solved.
If people could stop speaking of the work as their work it would put an end to a lot of trouble. Here, all work is the Divine's.
It is the work which is important, not the way in which our little self does the work.
Unless you can rise above your personal ideas, opinions and preferences, you cannot become a good worker. As long as you have your personal preferences, you will not be able to do the exact thing needed.
Collected Works of The Mother, First Edition, Volume 14, pp. 331-336