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

schools of yoga & perfecting one's nature

  4.4.1    bhakti, karma, jnana and integral yoga (8)
07, p. 379-80 Mother comments on Sri Aurobindo’s statement from “The Four Aids” in Synthesis of Yoga: “…the sadhak of the integral Yoga will not be satisfied until he has included all other names and forms of the Deity in his own conception…” Mother reminds that there is only one single reality and all the forms and names and manifestations are of the sole and same Divine whatever the appearances may be. One must feel this concretely and be able to approach the divine by all possible paths.
08, p. 043-46 Mother comments on and summarises what Sri Aurobindo wrote in Synthesis of Yoga about the three principle paths of yoga: the path of knowledge, the path of love and the path of works. For the integral yoga the three must be combined and with them something else but some people need to begin with one or the other of the three paths.
08, p. 126 Very brief definitions given by Sri Aurobindo and Mother
08, p. 160-62 Mother comments on a Synthesis of Yoga passage of Sri Aurobindo on the need for works in the world as part of the sacrifice offered to the Highest and on a division between those works which are nearest to the heart of the sacred flame and those that are like logs that if too thickly heaped on the altar may impede the ardour of the fire. Work done simply to earn money is an example of the second kind. Any work done with a feeling for perfection and progress—even sweeping a room—can lead to a very deep consciousness and is an example of the first kind. Mother tells here about her childhood dream of having a place where people were free from the necessity to work for money—and she reports her new observations about this division of works just described.
08, p. 233-34 “Once we admit this principle that the universe is progressive inevitably, the future perfection must be felt as something higher than what was there before … This opens the door to all possibilitie ... And what now seems to us beautiful, marvelous, divine and perfect, will be an obscurity after some time.” “If you want to realise a static perfection … you will inevitably be thrown out of the universe [Buddha and Shankara understood this], for you will no longer belong to its principle. It is a choice.” (also under: 4.1.2)
08, p. 324-26 A discussion about the conditions to be fulfilled for the transformation of consciousness (a _ page passage from Synthesis of Yoga) and how each one must follow his own path—action, knowledge, love, self-perfection. Mother repeats the importance for the path of action to attain complete detachment from fruit of action.
11, p. 067 Mother quotes Sri Aurobindo: “Love leads us from the suffering of division into the bliss of perfect union … for which the life of the cosmos is a long preparation. Therefore to approach God by love is to prepare oneself for the greatest possible spiritual fulfilment.”
14, p. 319-48 These many passages tell the importance in the integral yoga of work as an offering for the Divine and as a means for progress and perfection, the correct attitudes to take towards one’s work, towards creating greater collaboration and harmony in the work, towards difficulties in work. (also under: 2.5.3)
  4.4.2.a    nature of integral yoga (24)
03, p. 147 “Resurrection means for us the falling off of the old consciousness....In the experience of resurrection the movement of discarding the old being is closely connected with that of rising up from it of the new consciousness and the new strength...”
05, p. 275-76 You said that this physical world was a projection of invisible worlds. Then why should the divine Emanation come into the physical world to transform it? They have only to do the work in the invisible planes; then the projections will be good. Mother explains the psychological reason (and also the occult and spiritual reason) why the earth is so important and the work for change must be made here. She uses the image of the snake biting its tail to illustrate her point. She also explains how the same thing applies to the individual: The best always borders on the worst and because of the best you can transform the worst. The “Evil Persona” or contradictory aspect which enters one's environment as soon as one is about to realise is described as necessary for concentrating the work on a single point.
06, p. 077-78 A simple but excellent explanation of the existence of energy centres with their accumulation of energies and why continence is required for the practice of yoga so that the great accumulation of energy at the sex centre can be drawn up to the heart centre which is the seat of Agni, the fire and will for progress. Kundalini briefly discussed. (also under: 2.1.4)
07, p. 050-51 Here Mother describes the correct attitude to take towards material things and their use. Examples are given. “There is a kind of respect for the object one has, which must make one treat it with much consideration and try to preserve it as long as possible….” “Try to do with what you have, putting into it all the care, all the order, all the necessary method, and avoiding confusion.”
07, p. 054-56 Here Mother describes the correct attitude to take towards money and how to use it. Money only has value when it circulates. Wealth is a force of Nature and should be in circulation. It can serve to produce and organise. In the hands of those free from desire and detachment and who have a higher vision then the power of wealth is no longer a curse but a supreme blessing for the good of all.
07, p. 200-03 “To do Sri Aurobindo’s yoga is to want to transform oneself integrally, it is to have a single aim in life, such that nothing else exists any longer, that alone exists.” If one doesn’t feel this clearly in oneself one can still have a life of goodwill, a life of service, of understanding; one can labour for the Work to be accomplished more easily but between that and doing yoga there is a great difference.” Mother then tells about the conditions of life that are there for those who consciously choose this yoga knowing what it entails and also how the consciousness acts for both the categories of people.
07, p. 250-51 Is there any difference in the experience when one attains the Impersonal by his own effort and when he attains it by surrendering to the Mother? “There would not be a difference, perhaps, if the goal to be reached was the impersonal Divine and if one wanted to be identified and united with the impersonal Divine and dissolve in that. But if the aspiration is beyond that, for the supramental Reality there is a big difference in the paths—like the difference between something linear and something spherical.” Mother elaborates.
07, p. 291-97 This is a discussion of how all of life and work is a field of progress for one doing an integral yoga. If you remain in meditation or contemplation you can’t become aware of whether or not you are truly more calm, more conscious, stronger, more unselfish, free of desires, preferences, weakness or unfaithfulness. These pages also give an excellent discussion of why the doctrine of inaction and flight from life of other spiritual schools of India (especially those ideas of Buddha and Shankara) has sapped the vitality of the nation. Mother tells how these other practitioners don’t keep their inner consciousness in contact with the outer world so there is no progress or transformation in the outer parts of their being and life.
07, p. 413-17, 421 Mother talks about the collective nature of the integral yoga and how each person doing it is doing for all the others as well. This requires a greater wideness, a greater patience, tolerance, endurance. Each one has in addition to his own personal difficulties all the frictions, difficulties that come from outside. One should not come to this yoga for peace and the leisure to do yoga. (more about this on page 421) Mother then explains why the transformation cannot take place through one single body alone—the multiplicity of a group is needed. Personal realisation has no limits. But the outer realisation is necessarily limited, and if one wants to have a general action, at least a minimum number of physical beings are needed.
08, p. 001-3 In The Synthesis of Yoga Sri Aurobindo says “If we are to attempt an integral Yoga, it will be as well to start with an idea of the Divine that is itself integral. There should be an aspiration in the heart wide enough for a realisation without any narrow limits. Not only should we avoid a sectarian religious outlook, but also all one-sided philosophical conceptions which try to shut up the Ineffable in a restricting mental formula.” Mother comments on what he means by an integral idea of the Divine—how everyone forms his own idea—and how one must understand that the Divine is not only that but what everyone else conceives him to be—and in addition something that nobody can think and feel. This is the first step on the path to integrality. The less one knows the more one judges. The more one knows, the less one pronounces judgements and simply observes. And one step further is to know that what shocks one as a contradiction of the Divine is quite simply something not in its place. Practically speaking, before one is able to see all as a Divine working, one can call divine the things that help one to progress.
08, p. 033 Mother comments on the following quote of Sri Aurobindo in Synthesis of Yoga p. 82: “Life, not a remote or high-uplifted ecstatic Beyond—Life alone, is the field of our Yoga. The transformation of our superficial, narrow and fragmentary human way of thinking, seeing, feeling and being into a deep and wide spiritual consciousness and an integrated inner and outer existence and of our ordinary human living into the divine way of life must be its central purpose.”
09, p. 008, 12 These pages tell about realisation of the manifestation of the Divine in the world rather than an escape out of the manifestation into Nirvana.
09, p. 341-46b This is an excellent explanation for the need of an integral growth and development which is the aim of the integral yoga.
09, p. 425-28 First there is a passage from The Life Divine saying that the spiritual man has evolved, but not yet the supramental being who will make possible a new creation in terrestrial nature. Mother elaborates on what is now needed once one has discovered one’s soul—not escape but transformation—and for that one must next eliminate the ego. She tells that the best way to do that is to have a childlike and candid trust in the Divine Grace.
11, p. 217-20 Mother tells how this yoga of transformation requires that we be concerned with this Matter by working and by facing problems. Thus “everything comes to make you go forward as quickly as possible…obstacles, contradictions, lack of understanding, useless preoccupations….it is for touching one point, then another, then yet another.” “All the objections and contradictions come merely from a superficial mind which sees only the appearance of things.” Mother says it is the body that must learn this, not just the higher level of intelligence. She elaborates.
12, p. 044-47, 48 Speaking of new arrivals to the Ashram the University Centre Mother describes how life is with the psychic in front and what happens when it gets covered over. She tells the futility of blaming others or circumstances and gives the remedy. She tells how the attitude of the integral yoga is different than an escape from life and on p. 48 adds more on this subject.
12, p. 502-18 This is the play Mother wrote called “The Ascent to Truth”. It dramatises that there is a greater aim than a spiritual realisation that abandons the world.
13, p. 151-53 A question and answers about restricting contacts with the outside world when love for all is a part of the sadhana. Sri Aurobind’s answer is from 1933. Mother’s added comment in 1969 adds a new fact to that explanation.
14, p. 048 From a chapter on Ascetic Practices: “Here sensibleness is indispensable and the integral yoga is based on balance, calm and peace and not on an unhealthy need to suffer.”
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: 4.3.2.g)
15, p. 092 “You belong to this stage of spirituality that needs to reject matter and wants to escape from it. The spirituality of tomorrow will take up mater and transform it.”
15, p. 316 Mother explains “the essential difference between the old idea of transformation…—becoming conscious with the psychic being and the inner life—and transformation as we conceive it and speak of it.”
16, p. 315 Mother quotes Sri Aurobindo “What is aimed at by us is a spiritual truth as the basis of life, the first words of which are surrender and union with the Divine and the transcendence of ego. So long as that basis is not established, a sadhak is only an ignorant and imperfect human being struggling with the evils of the lower nature…. What is created by spiritual progress is an inner closeness and intimacy in the inner being, the sense of the Mother’s love and presence etc.”
16, p. 407b Mother very briefly tells what it means “to realise the Divine”.
  4.4.2.b    integral yoga and other paths (16)
05, p. 083-84 These pages (1) tell how many people have experienced realisation through art or many activities. “By any path whatsoever, if you follow it sincerely enough and fairly constantly you arrive….” and (2) that no one has achieved transformation no matter what their path and (3) help dispel the idea that one must stop material work to proceed towards the transformation of his life. “The whole universe is helping the transformation.” (also under: 1.2.3)
05, p. 284-85 Sri Aurobindo always said that his Yoga began where the former Yogas ended. He tells where you can find the experiments and results of what others before him have found, and historically where you stand in the spiritual history of the world and then takes you from there and after the basis is firmly laid for you, he makes you climb higher up the mountain.
06, p. 427-28 If in order to have a meditation or a relation with the inner world, you must enter into trance or samadhi, then your waking consciousness remains what it was without changing and sometimes becomes worse because it is neglected. In integral yoga the outer being must participate in the deeper life. One must have the experiences of meditation while still in the waking consciousness. Mother then describes why ascetic methods are not useful as they foster pride. It is much more difficult to have an attitude of equanimity towards material things which is the way of the integral yoga.
06, p. 442-43 All the difficulties which you must conquer are like spiritual tests. The general occult law is that if you fail in your test the next one will be more difficult. One can’t escape it. In former days candidates were told beforehand about the trials and the forewarning made it easier. In this yoga it is in life itself, in the circumstances of each day which are the trials through which you have to pass. When one gains a small victory over his lower being he has a much greater strength to take the next step. If he revolts or is blind, ignorant, stupid or ill willed and refuses, he accumulates obstacles by the cowardice and weakness and the next time he not only has still to conquer the original obstacle but also must make a still greater effort to redress the wrong he has done himself. Some falls are so serious that it means a life lost—but always an ardent flame of aspiration can call in the omnipotent Grace. When you are on the path do not ever leave it for it is difficult to find it again. Once taken go straight to the end. And do not take the circumstances of each day lightly. React to them with the best in yourself.
07, p. 354-58 “Our Yoga begins where the others end.” Mother discusses this work of transformation, but first she strongly emphasizes the absolute indispensability of first finding one’s soul and uniting with it. She explains that many people here think they are ready to express in their life the higher supramental force or consciousness in their daily life—but the trouble is that they don’t know truly what it is and that first of all it is necessary to take the path of interiorisation and of withdrawal from life in order to find within themselves this Truth that has to be expressed. One can’t jump over this stage.
08, p. 244-47 In the integral yoga you can not limit yourself or you will not be able to transform your nature and your being. “Essentially, you must be able to find this oneness with the Divine in all forms, all aspects, in every way that has been used to reach Him. And you must go beyond that and find a new way. The first step is to clear up in your thought—and it is a point of capital importance: you must not confuse the integral yoga with other spiritual realizations, which may be very high but cover a very limited field, for theirs is a movement only in depth.” Mother elaborates on the difference and also tells the true reasons that people adopt or follow or participate in a religion.
09, p. 341-46a History of the means of inner development Nature has used so far. Mother adds commentary to a 3+ page passage of Sri Aurobindo from The Life Divine which describes the “four main lines which Nature has followed in her attempt to open up the inner being,—religion, occultism, spiritual thought and an inner spiritual realisation and experience: the three first are approaches, the last is the decisive avenue of entry.” Mother explains that the line of religion is open to all but that the others require a certain development and all the parts (mental, vital, physcical) must develop in order to express the realisations. (also under: 7.1)
10, p. 195-99 Mother comments on several aphorisms about Sannyasa and tells how it is a narrowing, a restriction, wheras the True Thing is an opening, a widening, an identification with the whole and a losing of oneself which is much more difficult.
11, p. 227-33 Mother explains (in the course of telling of experiences of physical transformation in her own body) just why the past yogas did not consider transformation possible. She tells how that all is now changed and the physical transformation is being worked out. The superman consciousness has won the victory. She tells her method. (also under: 4.7.3.e)
12, p. 048-71 “To pursue an integral education that leads to the supramental realisation, four austerities are necessary, and with them four liberations.” These pages are an entire article on this theme. (also under: 6.2)
13, p. 111 A brief description of the difference between the usual sadhanas and Sri Aurobindo’s sadhana and how, in accordance with the aim of integral transformation, useful work should be done daily by the sadhaks.
14, p. 033-35 Brief but good and clear descriptions of how Sri Aurobindo’s yoga differs from others, its aim, and why it is an adventure.
14, p. 049 “It is the old methods of yoga which demand silence and solitude. The yoga of tomorrow is to find the Divine in work and in relation with the world.”
15, p. 238b An excellent very succinct summary of the paths of knowledge, devotion, and the integral yoga which combines both of those with the yoga of works and self-perfection…culminating in the yoga of supramental realisation.
16, p. 300 “…each system of yoga has developed its own discipline in all its details. All that can be studied, learned and practised … each of these practices has its limitations and gives only a partial result. That is why he [Sri Aurobindo] advised those who want to follow the integral yoga to find their own discipline, based on the ancient knowledge but adapted to the needs and the condition of each individual.”
16, p. 368 A brief discussion about the opening of the chakras in Sri Aurobindo’s and other yogas.
  4.5    perfecting the nature (31)
04, p. 011-12 Correct judgment: “The sense organs are under the influence of the psychological state of the individual because something comes in between the eye's perception and the brain's reception....there is a short passage between the eye's perception and the cell which is to respond and evaluate it in the brain.” ... “It is only when you have conquered all attraction and all repulsion that you can have a correct judgment.”... “Also what deforms and falsifies is the anxiety for the consequences [or ambition]|.”
04, p. 029 “To be modest is to take oneself at one's true worth. Generally people pass from an excessive appreciation of their personal value to an equally exessive discouragement....But to find someone who knows exactly where he stands is very rare.”
04, p. 030 “It may be said that moral generosity consists in being able to recognise the true worth and superiority of others.”
04, p. 031-32 “It is the effort which gives joy; a human being who does not know how to make an effort will never find joy. Effort makes the being vibrate at a certain degree of tension (which connects you with universal forces) which makes it possible for you to feel the joy.”
05, p. 112 The positive and negative sides of perfecting the instruments: “Whatever the part of the being. whether it be the intellect…in the mind or vital or anywhere else, the true movement is a double movement: first, it must not intercept the divine Truth in its manifestation, and secondly, it must help in its manifestation.” “One can apply this everywhere, it is very convenient.”
06, p. 096-97 All the parts of the being do not progress at the same rate and time and though one may be making progress in studies and knowledge if one does not take any care of his inner life or his private life one may become more and more unconscious or full of nasty defects and become an absolutely regrettable being. This happens all the time in ordinary life. Great vigilance is required to control the outer movements and not allow the vital to go according to its fancy so that one can truly progress.
06, p. 248 The best attitude for life and sadhana: “It is so good to be simply good-willed, to do the best one can, and in the best way possible; not to build anything very considerable but only to aspire for progress, for light, a peace full of goodwill, and let That which knows in the world decide for you what you will become, and what you will have to do. One no longer has any cares, and one is perfectly happy.” (also under: 5.2)
06, p. 390-91 A description of what is meant by the “knot of ego” and methods for cutting it. She says to imagine the will as a very sharp sword blade and with all one’s force one strikes an imaginary blow on the knot. She also tells how to do this work from the psychological point of view, discovering all the elements constituting the knot and then by concentration calling in the divine Force and the Grace and strike a good blow on the formation. Then you must resolve only to do the Divine will. (also under: 2.3.c, 4.3.3)
07, p. 181, 183-85 On developing an aesthetic consciousness: a discussion of the different levels of appreciation of beauty from the infrarational love of beauty which is purely instinctive and which everyone has, to the rational aesthetic sense which can say why something is beautiful because of a knowledge of the harmony of form, line and colour such as an architect or artist has.
08, p. 350-55 This is a discussion of what is meant by mastery and having control over the world around one. That mastery means that one is able to replace the unwanted vibrations with wanted ones and that in turn means that one must have inwardly mastered the unwanted vibrations in one’s own inner being, otherwise one may be able to have an influence but will not be able to control. This is illustrated by the example of Vivekananda’s reported bursts of anger and the example of a teacher who wants to establish control in the classroom when some students are rebellious and undisciplined. (also under: 6.2)
08, p. 364-66 These pages are an inspiring rationale for perfecting one’s nature. It means doing the necessary mental gymnastics in order to develop a supple, agile mind, the necessary exercises to develop a strong will and to do the necessary physical gymnastics to develop a healthy, strong, agile body. These rich, refined, developed, fully conscious instruments, when offered to the supreme Reality, will make the work of transformation more effective.
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, 4.6.a)
09, p. 347-49 This begins with a passage from The Life Divine about how all evolution is a slow unfolding against the strong hold of the obscurity of the original involution in Inconscience and Ignorance. Mother comments that this is also an exact description of individual development which is why patience and courage, endurance and persistence are needed—especially when you want to engage the body in the sadhana.
09, p. 396-97 There are two types of progress: perfecting the capacities, qualities, possibilities and faculties you already have and, secondly, multiplying your possibilities by discovering your psychic being. “There is a genius within every one of us—we don’t know it…it is there sleeping, it asks for nothing better than to manifest; we must open the door to it.”
12, p. 259 “Youth does not depend on the small number of years one has lived, but on the capacity to grow and progress.” Mother elaborates.
14, p. 229-33 Reading these pages of short passages and statements can help one to understand and to develop the correct attitude towards circumstances.
14, p. 251-57 Reading these pages of short passages and statements can help one to understand and to develop the correct attitude towards the mistakes one makes.
14, p. 258-87 Overcoming weaknesses. These pages of many short passages and statements show the right attitudes to take for overcoming such specific weaknesses as fear, depression, suffering, laziness, tiredness, fatigue, tamas, desires, greed, impulses, ego, selfishness, pride, vanity, ambition, jealousy, quarreling, narrowness and one-sidedness. Good guidance and help for purifying the nature of these many serious obstacles to our perfection.
14, p. 291-94 Here are passages about the importance of not judging others and guidance and help for overcoming the judging habit.
15, p. 204b “When you are in need of an external change, it means that you do not progress internally. For he who progresses internally can live always under the same external conditions; these constantly reveal to him new truths.”
15, p. 370-71 Mother tells here the importance of using energy in the best possible way. (She gives examples). “The great majority of human beings feel that they are alive only when they waste energy; otherwise it does not look like life.”
15, p. 372 About the importance of not dissipating the power of experience by making a mental formulation of it or by speaking of it to anyone except the Guru.
15, p. 373 About the importance of developing a sense of beauty and how the beauty of the soul can become visible in the physical.
15, p. 397-98 Mother tells the correct attitude to take when people say or do unkind things about or to you: look inside yourself and see what is the weakness or imperfection that has allowed such a thing to happen with gratitude to the Grace for showing it to you.
16, p. 186-87 Several short guiding statements showing the importance of cultivating the qualities of calm, patience, confidence, fearlessness and perseverance. Two examples: (1) A student says that he repeats that he will overcome all his difficulties only his whole being does not accept it. Mother says, “If you repeat it with sufficient constancy, the recalcitrant part will at last be convinced.” (2) “Fear is a bad counsellor; it acts like a magnet and attracts what we fear. One must, on the contrary, keep a calm certitude that sooner or later all will be well.”
16, p. 230 “What we carry in ourselves in all our states of being, mentally, vitally and physically, is that which constitutes our life objectified in what surrounds us … in proportion as we improve ourselves and advance towards perfection, our circumstances also improve.”
16, p. 291 “From the moment one has decided and accepted to do something, it must be done as well as one can. One can find in everything a chance to progress in consciousness and self-mastery. And this effort for progress immediately makes the thing interesting, no matter what it is.”
16, p. 293 “To discipline one’s life is not easy, even for those who are strong, severe with themselves, courageous and enduring. But before trying to discipline one’s whole life, one should at least try to discipline one activity and persist until one succeeds.”
16, p. 304 “As the individuality perfects itself, the power of the ego diminishes, and indeed it is by perfecting himself that the individual arrives at that state of divinisation which liberates him from the ego.” (also under: 4.3.3)
16, p. 399b Mother briefly talks about jealousy (which is caused by selfishness) and laziness (which is caused by weakness) and the only effective remedy for them which is conscious union with the Divine. Then one learns to love for the joy of loving without expecting a return and one also learns to draw Force from the inexhaustible source. All the remedies suggested by even the most enlightened mind are only palliatives and not a true cure.
17, p. 043 Mother tells what to do when an unconverted part of the nature rises to the surface and becomes active. One notices that the consciousness is turned outwards and there is a diminishing of aspiration. This is a good example of the role of consciousness which first recognises what has happened and learns to patiently call for light and knowledge of a higher consciousness until the part is converted. Specifically the sure way is to ask Mother and Sri Aurobindo to enlighten and convert the obscure part. (also under: 4.3.1)
  4.5.a    perfecting the physical nature (23)
05, p. 114-16 How to begin working to change one's physical appearance? First observe your body with detachment, to see what would be better otherwise. Then find out what disharmony of character it is that reproduces the physical disharmony and work to change it there (by replacing the black worm with light). Only then can the physical effort to correct it be successful. Keep the correct attitude which is faith that the body is tremendously plastic (when one is young) and by knowing and willing that it become perfectly proportionate and harmonious and beautiful, it is indeed possible, and to want to do it not for selfish reasons but for the love and need for beauty and harmony.
06, p. 010-11 With practice it is possible to learn to widen the physical consciousness so it can project out of oneself and obtain sensorial data (sight, hearing etc.) from a distance. Examples are given. (also under: 2.1.4, 6.3.a)
06, p. 074-75, 76 Why and how tobacco and alcohol destroy the memory and the will and poison the cells. Page76 tells how it is necessary to have healthy thoughts and feelings to have healthy nerves and how unhealthy reading or conversation can make the nerves in a bad condition even if the body itself is healthy.
06, p. 078-80, This is about how to develop the senses with a discussion of how much more interesting and useful it is to scientifically study and be able to control one’s senses with the will instead of living unconsciously plunged in sensations, reactions and impulses on the basis of whether they are pleasant or unpleasant. There are many disciplines (examples given) some of which can keep one busy for a lifetime if they are well followed. This kind of study frees one from the waves of desire and anger and impulses sent by Nature and which create such things as violent mob behaviour.
06, p. 082-91, A discussion about developing the senses through education and knowledge e.g. an artist trains his vision and it becomes much more conscious and complete. An exercise is given. Training can be given all the senses and examples for many are given which illustrate how cooking, arranging things, matching colours are all differently done than when the senses are not trained. A nice analogy is given: the human body is like a woodland or virgin forest or a jungle (which have a chaotic beauty but with cultivation can become a very beautiful garden with space for producing the maximum number of things.
06, p. 110-11, 113 “The physical consciousness, the body-consciousness, cannot know a thing with precision, in all its details, except when it is on the point of being realised.” This applies to physical transformation and the difficulty of it and stages of progress of mastery and control that will precede it. “For the body, to know is to have the power to do.” Mother gives the example of a gymnastic movement: one does not truly know and understand it until one has done it well. Page 113 tells how the body is a remarkable instrument in that it can experience two contraries at the same time while these same things in the mental or vital consciousness must alternate or oppose each other. The body has the potential to be the most perfect instrument of all! (also under: 4.7)
06, p. 178-81 The proper attitude towards meat eating is to understand that it depends on one’s stage of development and what one needs. It is better to purify the mind and vital before thinking of purifying the body. To keep the equilibrium everything must progress at the same time. Mother tells the story of the woman who ate chicken and that night experienced the consciousness of the poor creature as it was carried to market, plucked and killed.
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: 4.3.2.h)
07, p. 259-61 Here Mother explains how physical culture (specifically the March Past) can help to overcome tamas, help to prepare the body for the action necessary to accomplish the work and to awaken in the body a beautiful sense of heroism which is in the most material physical consciousness. She illustrates the talk with stories about the soldiers engaged in trench warfare in World War One.
08, p. 196-97 A brief discussion of how to progress physically by gradually exceeding one’s present capacities and by increasing one’s receptivity and recuperative capabilities. One must always make an effort to do a little more than before. And one must learn to rest in a rest that refreshes. (also under: 6.3.a)
08, p. 212-14 Mother tells how to open the physical consciousness to receive healing force. There is a preparation stage which one does before any illness has come during which time one explains things to the body as one would to a child. An example is given. Then one begins to infuse consciousness of the truth of the divine Presence into the cells, a work which takes time but produces an effect. Then Mother tells the process of how to specifically deal with physical pain or a localized illness when it occurs. Several methods are given. (also under: 5.1)
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: 4.3.2.g)
09, p. 079-83 This is a passage of Sri Aurobindo from The Supramental Manifestation about the invaluable qualities that are developed by sports and how developing them helps the nation and the world. Mother comments on how to teach this to children through explanation and example She tells how to be a true leader. (also under: 6.3.a)
09, p. 084-88 Mother comments on a passage from The Supramental Manifestation where Sri Aurobindo says “Perfection is the aim of all culture, the spiritual and psychic, the mental, the vital and it must be the aim of our physical culture also.” Mother describes our animal nature and about transformation of the body and how one must first fight against the false antagonism between material and spiritual life. (also under: 1.2.3, 4.1.2.b)
09, p. 095-97, 98-99 In a passage from The Supramental Manifestation Sri Aurobindo specifies the value of sports and physical activities and also speaks of the secret consciousness within matter and the body. Mother comments and also gives the correct attitude to take in participating in sports activities as a means for forming an exceptional character. Then she speaks of the role of the vital satisfaction being the usual thing that gives interest to physical games and development and that to do serious physical training reason must be the guide and not vital impulses.
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: 4.3.2.e)
09, p. 160-64 Mother tells here how to awaken in the body an aspiration for the Divine. She tells how parents and teachers can help children develop it and also the most helpful attitude for older people to take. (also under: 6.3.a)
10, p. 030-32 “If we cultivate the body by a clear-sighted and rational method, at the same time we are helping the growth of the soul, its progress and enlightenment. Physical culture is the process of infusing consciousness into the cells of the body.” Mother elaborates further that any discipline that is followed rigorously, sincerely, deliberately, is a considerable help to hastening the arrival of the new life on earth.
12, p. 260-61 This is a general discussion of how people achieve success in sporting activities. Mother emphasises the importance of concentration of attention but not limiting it to one activity. (also under: 6.3.a)
14, p. 382-86 short passages which help to understand the nature of the senses and the physical nature and what is required for them to become perfected.
16, p. 231 Mother explains that the physical consciousness is not only the body but of all all that surrounds us as well—all that we perceive with our senses, how it is in a continual state of internal over-activity. She tells how to bring down and establish the necessary calm, peace and silence that is the perfectly effective remedy for the fatigue, tension and exhaustion arising from that internal over-activity and noise which generally escapes our control.
16, p. 363b Mother briefly tells that one can help make the hands more conscious so that they do nothing imperfect, incorrect or wrong. The method is to concentrate on them when they are doing something. The hands of painters, scultptors, musicians (especially pianists) are usually very conscious. It is a question of training.
16, p. 397-98 Mother briefly describes the nature of the physical body’s progress and how it is not good to force it. The body’s “capacity for progress is much slower thatn the vital desire for progress and the mental will for progress. And if the vital and the mind are left in charge of action, they simply harass the body, destroy its balance and upset its health. Therefore one must be patient and follow the rhythm of one’s body…which knows what it can and cannot do.”
  4.5.b    perfecting the vital nature (31)
03, p. 136-37 “Let nothing ruffle you in the least bit, and whenever the vital tends to air its petty grievances just stop to consider how very happy you are, compared to so many in this world”... “Nothing great is ever accomplished without endurance.” “...with the vital the only method is a sound ‘kicking’.”
03, p. 137-38 “One of the commonest demands of the vital is for praise.” … “your own vital being and the vital forces behind it thrive—that is to say, fatten their ignorance—by absorbing the flatteries given by others. But you must remember that the compliments paid by creatures on the same level of ignorance as oneself are worth nothing, they are just as worthless as the criticisms levelled at one.”... “It must be your desire to hold nothing in esteem except the word of Truth; and in order thus to raise your standard you must keep Agni, the soul's flame of transformation, burning in you.”
03, p. 138-40 Signs of the converted vital are that you see criticisms as a welcome fuel to your aspiration towards the Truth. Secondly, that you face your difficulties and obstacles with a smile. “All depression and gloom is created by the hostile forces who are never so pleased as when throwing on you a melancholy mood. Therefore, face your troubles joyously....” Thirdly, “the converted vital feels also a joy in the process of realisation.” It is happy when the play of falsehood in its lower nature is laid bare. “It has the unshakable conviction that the victory will be won.”
03, p. 144 “It is very important that the vital should agree to change: it must learn to accept conversion. The vital is not in itself anything to be decried...”
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, 4.3.2.h)
06, p. 032-33 How can depressions be controlled? Depression occurs generally in the vital. One must enter a deeper or higher consciousness. Even the higher mind, the most lofty luminous thoughts have the power to drive away depression. Then the two causes of depression are given and the remedies. Contact with the psychic reality will make the movement vanish instantly. (also under: 4.2.3.d)
06, p. 381-82 Mother tells how to listen to music so that it becomes a method which is one of the most powerful means of inner opening: be like a still mirror and concentrated and silent, and if you can stop thinking, you will profit fully.
07, p. 058 Instincts, desires and passions are not cured by eliminating them. Cure is best done by education, culture and refinement of the senses and the being. To acquire a certain sense of harmony and exactness of perception is a part of the education of the being. For example people who work to develop and refine the sense of taste are rarely attached very much to food. They do it not out of greed but for cultivation of the senses. In the same way, artists usually do not have lots of desires. (also under: 6.3.b)
07, p. 071-73 A good discussion of the various ways of receiving the universal vital forces: From food one receives them from below but in order to have reserves one must learn how to receive them constantly and a kind of balance in the being which prevents you from spending more than you have. They can be received from a widening contact with Nature or with beauty; they can be received by the non-recommended means of vital interchanges with others (the drawbacks are discussed). The best method is to enter into contemplation and aspire for a higher life and call down the forces from above, this recuperates your energies more than anything else.
07, p. 140-42 This is an excellent discussion about receiving and utilizing universal vital forces for progressing. The forces themselves are of different qualities and people have different capacities of receiving them. By using the ones one receives for unselfish means i.e. to make progress, then one is in a position to both receive more and to receive a higher quality. Each person has to find his own rhythms of reception and expenditure and reception and assimilation. See preceding pages 137-40 for more about drawing on universal vital force. (also under: 4.1.2.b)
07, p. 253 One must not mistake the feelings for the psychic—emotions and feeling are the most subtle part of the vital. Mother then explains the meaning of a “dried up heart”. It is only so when someone is incapable of compassion or generous goodness. People often mistakenly think that someone who is freed from vital sentimentality has a dried up heart.
08, p. 236-37 Mother tells how one should listen to music in order to truly hear and understand it. One must create a complete silence in the head and not accept a single thought and be entirely concentrated, like a receiving screen that receives the vibration of the music.
14, p. 376-81 Short passages which describe the vital and its qualities and what is needed to make vital progress. “To harmonise the vital is a psychological masterpiece. Happy is he who accomplishes it.”
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: 4.3.2.g)
16, p. 122 “Only spiritual force has the power to impose peace on the vital, for if peace is not imposed on it by a power greater than its own, the vital will never accept it. So you must open yourself to the spiritual force and allow it to work in you….” (also under: 4.3.1)
16, p. 132 To someone who reported being unhappy, lost and lifeless and wanted to know the cause Mother explained that a part of his vital cannot bear even the slightest vexation and that part must learn to become stronger and more enduring.
16, p. 146-48 Here in several short letters Mother and Sri Aurobindo advise how to deal with the vital when it is troublesome. Mother talks here about “those whose vital is insufficiently developed and seeks violent sensations in the hope of escaping from its heaviness and inertia. But it is an ignorant movement…. The only remedy lies in opening to the higher forces in order to let them do in the vital their work of organisation and classification, of light and peace.” (also under: 5.4)
16, p. 150 Mother gives a cure for restlessness: “Each time that you feel restless you ought to repeat, speaking inside yourself without exterior sound and thinking of me at the same time: ‘Peace, peace, O my heart!’ Do it steadily and you will be pleased with the result.” (also under: 4.3.2)
16, p. 172 “Far from seeking to fill your heart with frivolities in order to ‘divert’ it, you must with a great obstinacy empty it of everything…so that the power of that great emptiness may attract the Marvellous Presence.”
16, p. 177-78 “Sensations belong to the vital domain and to that part of it which is expressed through the nerves of the body. It is always preferable not to live in the sensations but to consider them as something outside ourselves, like the clothes we wear.” (also under: 3.2.3)
16, p. 196-98 Several short statements about the nature of the vital and how to deal with it. Also Mother tells what she means by the domination of the mind over the vital. (also under: 3.2.3)
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: 4.3.2.e)
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: 4.3.2.h)
16, p. 307 How to get rid of the black cloud of jealousy? “By widening one’s consciousness and making it universal.” A more difficult way is “by realising the supreme Unity”.
16, p. 401 Mother lists the good things that are in the vital (energy, strength, enthusiasm, artistic taste, boldness, forcefulness) and explains that a vital converted and consecrated to the Divine Will becomes a bold and forceful instrument that can overcome all obstacles. But first it must become disciplined. This it only consents to when the Divine is its master. (also under: 3.2.3)
16, p. 410 Mother describes the nature of the converted vital: “the impulses are good instead of being bad; wickedness is replaced by kindness, avarice by generosity; weakness disappears and strength and endurance take its place; cowardice is replaced by courage and energy”.
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, 4.3.2.g)
17, p. 017, 25 What to do when depression comes? “Shake it off, as you shake off the dust from your feet.” And on p. 25, “Pay no attention to it and behave as if it were not there.” (also under: 4.2.3.d)
17, p. 024, 30 “Thinking too much about one’s impurities does not help. It is better to keep your thought fixed on the purity, light and peace that you want to acquire.” On p. 30: “one becomes what one thinks: you should think of the strength, the uprightness, the sincerity you want to become.” (also under: 4.5.c)
17, p. 041-42 Some characteristics of the transformed vital: anger to be changed into equanimity, passion into psychic love, jealousy into trust, vanity into modesty, selfishness into self-giving.
17, p. 046 To one who was feeling sad about his jealousy Mother replied: “All the energy you waste in feeling sad would better be used in transforming the wrong movement.”
  4.5.c    perfecting the mental nature (60)
02, p. 087-90 A description of the polluted mental atmosphere in which we live— an atmosphere which, especially in cities, expresses mostly craving—for enjoyment, success, fame, power and influence, more money. Mother tells the two victories to be won, one positive, which is to battle the selfish, base and vulgar ideas, and one negative which means to build up in ourselves a mentality whose quality is the opposite of the surrounding medium. Such a synthesis of pure and powerful thoughts has great effects for not only ourselves but for others. (also under: 2.5.2)
03, p. 156 “The imagination is really the power of mental formation. When this power is put at the service of the Divine, it is not only formative but also creative.” You can use your imagination unhealthily by giving form to fears etc., or in an optimistic way. Example given of a woman who cured herself from getting bald. “...let your imagination be always hopeful and joyously plastic to the stress of the higher Truth, so that the latter may find you full of the necessary formations to hold its creative light.” (also under: 2.6)
05, p. 104-06 About the benefits of having the urge for learning. When one wants to learn and concentrates all the energies on learning then one understands and is interested. Any rule whatsoever is simply a mental formula of something that exists in itself and one can discover it. Concentration is the key. And even something boring (e.g. rules of grammar) can become interesting because you concentrate and concentrate to find the real knowledge that is behind the words. Understand instead of learning. It requires great concentration to push through the mental shell but when you concentrate enough you are on the other side and you understand—even a tiny thing—and it gives you a great joy. (also under: 4.1)
05, p. 125-28 About the advantages of and need for developing the concentration and crystallising the mental power—Concentration removes the cloud of foggy haziness in the brain. By concentrating well one can accomplish things in half the time and can also understand things rather than trying to merely learn them.
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: 4.3.2.e)
05, p. 270 “Widen your consciousness and your memory will grow. Consciousness is a much higher memory than the mechanical brain memory.” By developing the consciousness you can recreate the state of consciousness you were in at a given moment and have exactly the same experience. “That is the only true memory.” (also under: 4.3.1)
05, p. 278-82 There is a plane in the mind where the memory of everything is stored—all mental movements that belong to the life of the earth are memorised and registered in this plane. People can take the trouble and learn to go there. (Mother tells how to do it) Children can be taught and Mother says, “It is possible that this might replace the reading of books with advantage!” (also under: 3.2.4.a, 6.3)
05, p. 386-88 “Every time you think of something, it is as though you had a magnet in your hand and were attracting that thing towards yourself.” Some people have the bad habit of thinking of all possible catastrophes and are in constant apprehension about some calamity and they attract them to themselves and others. Mother suggests making one’s mind, which is always running anyhow, run on positive and happy lines and you create around your head happy formations of light or rays of sunlight or perhaps beautiful pictures.
05, p. 399-401 A discussion of the usefulness of developing the power of concentration and a method for doing it (methodical, daily practice in concentrating on a point). By doing it methodically one establishes conscious contact between the different parts of the being and then one can have experiences without forgetting anything, and even at will. (also under: 4.3.2.i)
06, p. 022-23 Three methods for getting rid of unpleasant thoughts: (1) the easiest is to think of something else, like concentrating on some creative work (2) requiring more mastery is to make a movement of rejection, push aside the thought as though it were a physical object (3) bring down a sufficiently great light from above which will enlighten, dissolve or transform it. Then not only does the thought not come back but the very cause is removed and one has made a permanent progress. (also under: 5.4, 6.3)
06, p. 093-95 About the importance of control of speech: the vibration of the sound has a considerable power to bring the most material substance into contact with the thought…words serve merely as a means of communication between one mind and another. If the mind becomes clear and powerful then words are not necessary. An experiment is suggested for people to try. (also under: 6.3)
06, p. 141 To prevent the mind from intervening (when there is disequilibrium in the body) you must first will it and then tell the mind to be quiet when it comes along with all its suggestions etc.You must not listen to it and then calmly (without making too much noise yourself) tell it to be quiet. (also under: 5.1)
06, p. 153-55 Mother tells how a student can use studies as a sadhana by having a strong will for progress and by wanting to develop himself to become a good instrument for the Divine. A description is given of what that would mean in terms of attitude to classes and study. This attitude (of always wanting to learn, progress, discover something new, rectify an error) acts like a magnet and attracts opportunities to make this progress and it useful not only for you but for those around you. (also under: 4.1.2.a)
06, p. 277-78 The importance of controlling one’s thoughts: a discussion of how human thought is constantly creating forms, formations which go out in the atmosphere and work there. Mother tells the story here of Madame David-Neel and her formation of a troubling mahatma.
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: 4.3.2.f)
06, p. 327 Here is a succinct and quietly inspiring quote from Sri Aurobindo: “Only in the quiet mind and being can the supramental Truth build its true creation.”
06, p. 350 One wastes much energy in self-criticism. If one has ugly, or unpleasant or disturbing thoughts it is far better to spend one’s energy on driving the thoughts away than to complain, “Oh what a nuisance it is and how intolerable I am to have such thoughts.” The next step is to try to have other thoughts, to take interest in something else, to read or reflect or do something constructive. The main thing is to use all one’s energy in building up the qualities one wants to have.
06, p. 357-59 You can widen your thought by understanding that all thoughts are far from the absolute truth. Mother recommends a practical approach: if you find it helpful to think in a certain way, then adopt that thought for the time being. Sometimes a thought comes as an illumination. This you keep as long as it helps you progress; then drop it and get another that will lead you a little further. By remembering the relativity of thoughts one can avoid much sectarianism, much intolerance and annul all quarrels immediately because a quarrel only means that one thinks one way and the other another way which can be solved by harmonising the two attitudes rather than by fighting about which is correct.
06, p. 396-97 How can we make the mind and the vital a clear field? You must first understand what it means to be clear and you must aspire with persistence and you must reject, push aside, not accept the things that come to obstruct you. To be clear, the mind and vital must be quiet and peaceful and not rush at the force which is trying to manifest and make it a tool for their personal use. To be clear, the mind must be silent to a certain extent and to be clear, the vital must give up its desires, impulses, passions. Neither of them should have any preferences, attachments, any particular way of being or particular set of ideas. (also under: 4.1.2.b)
07, p. 091-93 Mother suggests here a method for organizing one’s ideas. One writes down all the ideas one has about a particular subject and then tries to organize them in a logical order or if possible around a central idea, Pages 92-93 are a discussion of ideas and the stages of how people think and express and why one needs to be able to do mental gymnastics before rising above them.
07, p. 127-28 One of the results of developing the power of concentration is that one can considerably reduce the amount of time to do things. The first condition is to make yourself absolutely still and concentrate, concentrate, concentrate on the point you want to make on the work you have to do or the action you are about to perform…well it is like a kind of extremely quiet but all-powerful force of propulsion…and you can literally do in one quarter hour what would otherwise take one hour. Then you have time to relax completely for some minutes and have a total rest which relaxes anything that might have become tense and then you are ready for another concentrated effort. Developing this power of concentration is like weightlifting you become accustomed to it. (also under: 4.3.2.i)
07, p. 170-74 This is an excellent discussion about the true role and place of reason, its utility and its limitations. Some people do not like reason because it contradicts their impulses but the reason can be developed and development of reason and organizing one’s movements in its limited light is an excellent preparation of the being for when it is time to go beyond reason at which time it must learn to remain quiet because reason knows nothing about suprarational matters; but being reasonable is an essential stage of the path and even a child of five can already make use of reason to control himself and thereby save much time on the way. (also under: 2.2.2)
07, p. 232-35, 241-43 These pages deal with the subject of imagination—what it is, what its purpose is, and how writers and scientists use it. It is a faculty one can develop and use for progress and creation and also for realizing aspirations and ideals if one fulfils the necessary conditions. (also under: 2.6, 3.2.4)
07, p. 236-37 Widening the consciousness—this is a discussion about the universal or cosmic consciousness—what it is and how to begin to experience it (by a mental understanding first and then by feeling it). (also under: 2.1.4)
07, p. 309-10 Literature can help you progress in one hundred different ways. It can help you to become more intelligent, to understand things better, to have a sense of literary forms, to cultivate your taste, to know how to choose between a good and a bad way of saying things, to enrich your spirit. Page 310 tells how to read and how not to read novels. (also under: 6.3)
08, p. 209-10a Why bad thoughts come and how to deal with them.
08, p. 395-97 These pages tell about the necessity for eliminating all preconceived ideas in order for humanity to progress. Also discussed are the power of thought and the necessity of not admitting into ourselves any thought which destroys aspiration or the creation of the truth of our being because to formulate any thought is the beginning of its realisation. Positively, one should keep the knowledge of the fact that all that one thinks one can be.
09, p. 249-52 Mother tells how one can read The Life Divine as an exercise for developing the philosophical mind in oneself and the capacity to arrange ideas in a logical order and establish an argument on a sound basis. Training the mind to follow a line of reasoning is like training physical muscles to move with the minimum loss of energy for a maximum result. “The speculative mind needs discipline for its development.” (also under: 6.3)
09, p. 252-54 This is a discussion about thought control and why people have troublesome thoughts and about the need for being able to control one’s thoughts.
09, p. 287-90 Communication with others. Mother first tells how speaking words to others does not transmit what was intended unless the speaker is very clear in his thought. She then tells that by developing the power to think clearly one can exercise an effect on the mental substance itself and communicate ideas and states of consciousness to others with or without words. She gives as example of this power of thinking a description of the “gift of tongues”
09, p. 288-90 Mother tells about the need for developing the power to think clearly for then one can exercise an effect on the mental substance itself and communicate ideas and states of consciousness to others with or without words. She gives, as example of this power of thinking, a description of the “gift of tongues.”
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: 4.3.2.b)
09, p. 357-61 Mother talks about intuition and how to develop it. She emphasizes the importance of developing the power of concentration and even goes so far as to say that the value of an individual is proportionate to the value of his attention. (also under: 2.2.2.b)
09, p. 385-88 Mother tells what the imagination is, how it works, and how one can discipline, control and master and utilize it. (also under: 2.6)
09, p. 401-03 Mother answers the question, “What do we mean by ‘development of the mind’? And how is it useful?”
09, p. 423-24 From the point of view of individual development…to know how to remain inwardly silent before what one does not understand is one of the things that would help most in the progress. Mother elaborates and gives a method of what to do in the face of a problem to solve. Instead of thinking of all the possibilities and consequences, remain silent with an aspiration for goodwill and, according to your nature, with ardour or peace, with intensity or widening, or with all these, implore the Light and wait for it to come and give the answer. (also under: 4.3.1, 4.3.2)
10, p. 006-7 Mother tells how to develop the intuition by silencing the mind as much as possible and turning it upwards in a state of silent and attentive receptivity. She also tells the best way to read Sri Aurobindo’s words so as to truly profit from them.
10, p. 014,b Mother tells how the form of the aphorisms is purposely paradoxical in order to give the mind a little shock and awaken it enough for it to make an effort to understand. She comments on Aphorism 6 which is a good example of the style. Reading the whole volume of aphorisms would be a good mental development project.
10, p. 085-86 Mother explains the aphorism “When, O eager disputant, thou has prevailed in a debate, then art thou to be greatly pitied; for thou hast lost a chance of widening knowledge.” A debate can be an opportunity for adding an aspect of the truth to the ones you already possess.
12, p. 136 Mother briefly tells how to make the mind capable of receiving and expressing intuition. She is answering the question, “How to get rid of mental inertia?” “The cure is not in trying to wake up the mind but in turning it, immobile and silent, upwarad towards the region of intuitive light, in a steady and quiet aspiration, and to wait in silence for the light to come down and flood your brain which will, little by little, wake up to this influence and become capable of receiving and expressing the intuition.” (also under: 4.3.1)
12, p. 139 “How to stop discussions in the mind?” Talk little, stay in the present moment, don’t regret the past or imagine the future, check pessimism and “become a voluntary optimist”.
12, p. 205-08, 216 These pages are about (1): the value of reading Sri Aurobindo (“By studying carefully what Sri Aurobindo has said on all subjects one can easily reach a complete knowledge of things of this world.” And on p. 216: “It opens the door of the future to us.”) and (2): the best way to read the books of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother so as to benefit from the consciousness from which they are written.
14, p. 288 Several short passages which show how to widen and enlarge the consciousness by developing the correct attitude to the opinions of others.
14, p. 361-69 Brief passages about the purpose of the mind and what it needs to understand about itself and its nature, including passages about mental limitations and weaknesses. (also under: 3.2.4)
14, p. 370-72 “Perfect quietness in the mind: essential condition for true progress.” Several short passages on this subject.
15, p. 329-36 Mother tells here the true function of the mind (“an instrument of formation, of organisation and action”) and elaborates on how to organise one’s mental being. The talk is based on a passage from “The Science of Living” in Vol. 12. (also under: 3.2.4)
16, p. 174 Several short answers of Mother distinguish between the vital and the psychic, e.g. “It is always the vital being which protests and complains. The psychic being works with perseverance and ardour…but it never complains and knows how to wait for the hour of realizations to come”. Such mental understanding helps with one’s self-observation of one’s states of consciousness. (also under: 3.2.3, 3.3.4.d)
16, p. 183 “You must abstain from thinking about a person when you cannot think anything good about him.”
16, p. 198 “Intellectual culture is indispensable for preparing a good mental instrument, large, supple and rich, but its action stops there.” “So long as you need to form yourself, to build your brain, you will feel this strong urge to study; but when the brain is well formed, the taste for studies will gradually die away.” (also under: 6.3.c)
16, p. 200 “If you don’t want to learn a thing thoroughly, conscientiously and in all its details, it is better not to take it up at all. It is a great mistake to think that a little superficial …knowledge of things can be of any use whatsoever….” (also under: 6.3.c)
16, p. 233, also p. 243 Mother tells the best way to read her and Sri Aurobindo’s books so that they may enter the consciousness as well as being understood by the mind.
16, p. 244a Mother asks that we think with ideas first and then with experiences. She beautifully, using the image of a high tower, describes how to think with ideas.
16, p. 244b Guidance on how to develop one’s thought. Read with attention and concentration books that make you think, meditate on what is read until understood, talk little, remain quiet and concentrated, and speak only when it is indispensable. (also under: 6.3)
16, p. 281 Mother tells how one can think more clearly and grasp new ideas quickly. “By studying much, by reflecting much, by doing intellectual exercises. She gives the example of making a statement, then its opposite, then looking for the synthesis of both which harmonises the two.” (also under: 6.3.c)
16, p. 301a How to proceed if one is not ready for a spiritual discipline? “To develop your intelligence, read the teachings of Sri Aurobindo regularly and very attentively.”
16, p. 321a Mother gives guidance (in the form of questions to ask ourselves that will lead to the correct attitude) about what to do when we discover that we are judging someone. “What is my judgement based on? Do I have perfect knowledge? What in me is judging? Do I have the divine consciousness? Am I completely disinterested in this matter? Am I free of all desire and all ego?” Since the honest answer is “no”, the honest conclusion must be “I cannot judge, I do not have the elements needed for a true judgement; therefore I will not judge, I will keep quiet.”
16, p. 337 How to come out of mental laziness and inertia? “By wanting to do so with persistence and obstinacy. By doing every day a mental exercise of reading, organization and development. This should alternate in the course of the day with exercises of mental silence in concentration.”
17, p. 018b “It is certainly very bad to speak about the faults of others. Each one has his faults and to emphasise them in your thoughts certainly does not help to cure them.”
17, p. 024, 30 “Thinking too much about one’s impurities does not help. It is better to keep your thought fixed on the purity, light and peace that you want to acquire.” On p. 30: “one becomes what one thinks: you should think of the strength, the uprightness, the sincerity you want to become.” (also under: 4.5.b)
17, p. 040-41 Mother speaks about the importance of not having ideas and mental constructions about other people. Then one avoids the risk of having wrong ideas. It is possible to achieve this if the mind is interested and engrossed in something more useful.