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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The mental understanding is helpful – this is why Sri Aurobindo has given us these words

Debashish Banerji
But if you cannot use your mental strength to reject these obsessive worries, that is where offering to The Mother can be a very helpful power. This is a great tool, a very great weapon that Sri Aurobindo has given us. Here you say to yourself - ‘I have no power over my own life. I cannot predict what will happen to me tomorrow.’ You do this also with a part of the mind – a part which is faithful to the Divine – in our terminology we would say this is a part of the inner mind which is under the psychic influence or at a higher pitch, which has become psychicisized. The role of mind in training attitude should not be underestimated – the mind under the divine influence can be a very good trainer of our inner being. It can play the role of a teacher and say in reply to the fears and worries - ‘Think about it, you really have no control over your own life. What will happen tomorrow you don’t know at all, so whatever is obsessing you, offer it to the Mother, because she knows. She has control over circumstances, and she knows better than you what is best for you.’
Because, indeed, we have very little idea of what is best for us. We like to believe in our personal knowledge based on our power of experience and we take pride in our freedom of choice but all this experience and all this choice is sunk in seven fathoms of Ignorance and something in us knows this. We want control but we are so helpless and so ignorant. The more clearly we understand this, the more clearly we also see the action of divine Grace in our lives. Without this constant Grace, we would be obliterated as individuals and as a race long back. So this part of our mind can bring home to the rest of us this lesson – “You have no control and no knowledge of what is best but She knows what is best for you and has the power to achieve it. Surrender your concerns to her .”
To develop this attitude progressively, to have the mind address the vital and the rest of the being, bringing constantly to their attention the fact that they cannot know what is best for them, nor can they know what the future holds for them – this is a very strong directing help for fostering the practice of a constant and integral offering to The Mother. But please remember that to be effective this knowledge must not remain theoretical, it needs to be made active...
The more conscious we become the more we realize how laughable this illusion of control is. And it is only then that we can learn to put the burden on Their shoulders, because, it’s really Their burden. To the extent that this can be done sincerely, by the building and the practice of the proper attitude, you start finding that circumstances in your life change. They sometimes change gradually and sometimes suddenly, but in either case you realize that they change miraculously. This has happened in everybody’s life. I think all of us here can confirm that many things that we thought would be very difficult – with an invocation to The Mother and an offering to Her, become much easier. You find that even if you have to go through it; there is a strength and a help constantly with you, easing the journey. Little miracles continue to become your everyday experience. Her grace surrounds you. This is the power of putting the burden on her shoulders. It is an aspect of surrender. This is offering. Surrender is a more complete and integral thing but offering is an indispensable part of it...
It is when one begins this process of transforming the Nature, that one finds that there is so much unconsciousness in us, of which we are completely unaware. We realize that the human being is so complex, so deep, it’s literally like what the psychoanalysts say - our conscious surface personality is just the tip of an enormous iceberg. There is so much about ourselves that we don’t know that starts surfacing. And then this word ‘surrender’ starts taking on significance and meaning, because we progressively realize that we are so helpless in front of our own nature. Today I may find that I have some realization, even spiritual realization of some kind, but that I am still completely helpless in so many other ways. So then you realize the practical necessity of surrender, and learn to call on some higher power, to call on The Mother for Her help. And that is a movement of the psychic being in us, the movement of calling, the movement of surrender, that then starts making the Grace active in our lives in a detailed manner, a detailed Grace...
One of you asked about the difference between what Sri Aurobindo calls the jivatman and what he calls the psychic being. Things like jivatman, psychic being, etc., these are words until you realize them. One can have a sort of mental understanding of these things, and the mental understanding is helpful – this is why Sri Aurobindo has given us these words, because when one has some kind of experience or realization one needs a map, otherwise one may be confused. You don’t know what it is that you have realized, you may have realized a part of some spiritual condition and think that you have had the whole realization. Many people make this kind of mistake.
I have encountered a number of people who think that they have gone beyond Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in their realization. And then they start professing their “advanced teachings” and inducting disciples. This is why it’s important to have a sincere understanding, within one’s present limits, and a sincere aspiration for true understanding, of what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have written. But we cannot have a clear understanding of what they have written about until we experience these things. Once you experience it the words become alive. The words are already living but you don’t know the life of those words until you experience it in your own life.
Debashish Banerji Foundation Course for Facilitators (16.08.06 : At Van Nivas, Nainital) Detachment and The Integral Yoga by Debashish on Sat 07 Oct 2006 11:53 PM PDT Permanent Link Detachment and The Integral Yoga Transcript of a Talk given at Nainital, India on 8/16/06

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