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At the Feet of The Mother

Aspiration – Concentration – Will – Surrender

What is the meaning of “aspiration”?

It is the call of the being for higher things — for the Divine, for all that belongs to the higher or Divine Consciousness.

I think many aspire only on the mental plane in the beginning. How can I bring down this aspiration into the heart, so that it may have an effect more easily and quickly?

By concentrating on the heart while aspiring.

There are so many things to aspire for. How is a man to choose one from another? How can he know his own true need with his mind?

He can’t — It is either by the will or the heart that the aspiration has to be decided.

One aspires for a thing for five minutes and afterwards for something else. Will this have the same effect as aspiring for one thing for a long time?

The order or time is of no importance. It is the force and sincerity of the aspiration itself that matters.

How do you differentiate the aspiration from the will?

The aspiration is a call to the Divine Force to act — the will is itself a force put forth to act or accomplish or bring about a result.

What is the definition of will in the yogic sense?

A conscious force that acts with a perception and a purpose.

How can we increase the power of our will?

By exercising it and by calling down more consciousness and force from above.

Why is it that sometimes the will power does not produce the required result?

How can it always unless it is the true and perfect will?

Once you wrote to me: “You must have a sincere will for opening.” Is it not true to say that the will is sincere, true and effective in itself?

What will? The vital will is often insincere, mixed with ambition, vanity or vital desire. The mental will often prefers its own ideas to the Truth. The will for opening may itself be affected by these things.

You have said: “But it is not so easy for it to be free.” Anyhow one has to make an effort for a free will. How can one succeed?

By persistent aspiration, rejection of all that is in the way.

When can the will work straight on the object from the Sahasradala?

When one is conscious there and can take one’s inner seat there and direct thought and will and action from that centre.

You have said: “You can go on observing and at the same time call for the inner will to guide.” What is this inner will?

Not the outer ignorant one but the inner psychic or the higher will from above.

It is said: “You can hasten the realisation by lending your will to the Divine.” What does it mean and how to put this precept into practice?

It means “By allowing your will to be used by the Divine”. You have first to become conscious of the Divine Force — then you can make your will one of its instruments.

When I asked for the permission to go to see the festival, the Mother said: “Comme vous voulez” (“As you like”). What should I understand by that answer? I thought, as long as we are subject to the lower Nature we cannot expect any freedom (of action): the Mother’s order is our law. Since she did not give me any definite reply I gave up my desire to see the festival.

She meant that it was of no importance one way or the other.

It is when you are free from the lower Nature that her will is the Law.

The lower Nature is constantly disobeying the Divine Will.

What I meant to ask you was this: so long as we are bound to the lower Nature what does the Mother actually intend by leaving the responsibility to us by saying, “Comme vous voulez”? Only if one is a little advanced, one can make the best use of such a freedom.

When one is advanced one does not ask for freedom, but to obey the Divine Will.

In order to reach the higher Nature, have we not to prevent the lower Nature from disobeying the Divine will?

Yes, but it is a free uncompelled assent to the Divine Will — in the higher Nature there is a spontaneous oneness of the Divine and the individual will.

What exactly is the meaning of “Will one with the Divine Will”?

Agrees and is the same as the Divine Will — does not follow after separate personal preferences and desires.

Is it advisable to sometimes exceed our normal quantity of food and digest it by the will force? P Says he takes at times three or four times more food and sets everything right by his will.

It is better not to try unless you are sure of the effectivity of your will on the body.

The Mother has said: “If you surrender you have to give up effort, but that does not mean that you have to abandon also all willed action.” Will you kindly explain it?

Effort means straining endeavour. There can be an action with a will in it in which there is no strain of effort.

Should one not use a straining effort in order to become free from a clouded state?

If one cannot do without straining. But it is not so effective as the true spiritual will in which there is no straining.

When I sit down to meditation many thoughts seem to attack me. If I go about and work or simply walk, I feel a little more conscious than in the meditation.

Then it is better not to meditate; probably you become too passive and let anything come.

It is said that the significances of the flowers given by the Mother are often quite different from what is ordinarily understood. For instance, ordinarily “sincerity” means “honesty” but in our Yoga it has a much wider implication.

Sincerity means more than mere honesty. It means that you mean what you say, feel what you profess, are earnest in your will. As the sadhak aspires to be an instrument of the Divine and one with the Divine, sincerity in him means that he is really in earnest in his aspiration and refuses all other will or impulse except the Divine’s.

Please sum up the meaning of “sincerity” in our Yoga?

To allow no part of the being to contradict the highest aspiration towards the Divine.

What is the significance of “pure mind”?

Pure = under no other influence than the Divine.

What is meant by “vital consecration”?

Consecration means offering and making sacred to the Mother so that the whole vital nature may belong to her and not to the lower nature.

You said yesterday: “It is only after you become conscious that the surrender can be complete.” Which consciousness was spoken of here? How am I to receive it from the Divine Shakti?

The right consciousness by which you become aware of all that is going on in you and of the real character of the movements and aware too of the right working. You can get it by aspiration.

What is the “true consciousness”?

The consciousness that is aware of the Divine and the Truth and does not look at things from the ego — it is wide and calm and strong and aspires to union and surrender — it is many things besides, but this is is the essential.

What is “surrender”? How is one to offer a total and sincere surrender?

By becoming conscious of the Divine, offering everything in you to the Divine Force to transform and obeying its will.

How am I to offer a complete surrender to the Mother?

Surrender cannot be so easily completed. You have to go on quietly and patiently till the whole being is awake and open.

About surrender you have said: “It would mean that nothing would want to go its own way.” In that state nothing undivine would be expressed in our action. There might enter, however, wrong thoughts or desires but we would dismiss them. Is it not so?

If everything in you were surrendered to do the Mother’s will only, other things would not come in or would not be received or followed if they came.

How is one to offer everything back to the Divine that has come from the Divine?

Have attachment to nothing — aspire until you get the consciousness of the Divine — call on the Divine to control and take up all you are and have.

What is the “fixed and unfailing aspiration” you spoke of the other day?

Aspiration that is there always and does not get tired and cease.

Doing work, when the mind is engrossed in it, how can one aspire?

One can both aspire and attend to the work and do many other things at the same time when the consciousness is developed by yoga.

Is it not really difficult to aspire for two things at a time?

It is as easy as to aspire for one thing.

To feel the forces coming from the Mother and to be open to the Mother’s Force — are these two things different?

The two include each other. If you feel the forces it means that you are open. If you open, you will soon become conscious of the Mother’s Force.

What is meant by “burning aspirations”?

Very strong and intense, full of the fire of Agni.

Does the consciousness merely warn that we should do this and not that, we should accept that and reject this? Or has it the power also to prevent us from doing anything against its will?

It depends. If the consciousness is developed on the side of knowledge it will warn only. If on the side of will or power it will help to effectuate.

A wrong undivine thought entered into me. Some part of my mind found it out and rejected it. It then went away. Which was the part that dismissed it? Is it not a fact that our mind can disapprove of such things but not dismiss them?

There is a will in the mind and not merely the power of thought.

How are we to put a will in the subconscient when we are not even conscious of this part of our nature?

Just as you put a will anywhere else in the vital or physical — it has only to be imposed on the consciousness and addressed through the consciousness to the subconscient part of the being.

What is equality?

Equality is to remain unmoved within in all conditions.

You wrote to me: “By concentrating in the heart while aspiring…” I do not know how to concentrate. Kindly tell me how to do it?

When you read or do anything in which you take interest, you concentrate on it. Concentration simply means fixing of consciousness on something.

You have said that one has to concentrate a little till one gets one’s proper state of consciousness back. On what is one to concentrate?

To concentrate the consciousness in itself simply, as you tighten a belt. It has got relaxed and diffused, so you have lost what you gained. Or if you have not the habit of doing that, concentrate in the remembrance of the Mother till the undiffused state comes back.

I find it rather difficult to concentrate with my eyes open. How am I to cultivate this habit?

It is so with everybody — unless they have made a habit of concentrating with open eyes.

There is no special how. You have to concentrate in the same way as you do when you shut your eyes.


The year 1934

While returning from the Mother I feel something like a burning fire within me; it pulls me more and more inward till I get plunged into peace and silence.

It is the fire of aspiration and purification with the beginning of the true inner experience which, if it continues, creates the Yogic consciousness and in the end replaces by it the outer ordinary consciousness.

Is this fire the aspiration of the psychic being?

The central fire is in the psychic being, but it can be lit in all the parts of the being.

In order to maintain the fire, is not a prolonged effort required?

Aspiration more than effort.

Is it not true that unless the physical joins there can be no eagerness in the aspiration?

No. It is when the vital joins that there is the eagerness.

Today I felt a deep intensity even though there was no aspiration. How do you explain it?

It must have been a concentration in the consciousness. That can take place of itself even without a mental aspiration.

How should one set about detaching oneself from the mental action in order to be a witness?

There is no device for these things. All is done by aspiration, tapasya (concentration, will etc.) or by opening oneself to the Divine Force.

N told me, “Offering is a thing that comes by itself. One need not make any effort, for it is a movement of love and joy.”

Essentially that is true — it is the real nature of offering — but there is a veil of self-centred vital ego which many find it difficult to remove without an inner tapasya.

Is it not time I left the charge of my sadhana to the Mother’s Force?

That can be only when all is ready. The system has first to be accustomed to the Force working.

For the higher working, is not a state of blankness and silence better than that of aspiration?

Neither is better than the other. Aspiration can come better from an inner silence than from a mind that is jumping about.

My concentration gets dispersed as soon as I aspire for anything. It prefers simply a state of receptivity — to receive whatever comes down from the Mother. Is that really a good habit?

Not altogether. If the receptivity were very great it would not matter, but with a limited receptivity aspiration is indispensable.

What kind of change is necessary for the consciousness to give up straining and have a free receptivity?

It is not dependent on any other change. That is itself the change — to strain no longer but to call and receive. Only most people if they stop straining, stop calling also, and become tamasic.

I read: “The Will — not that wish of the heart or that preference of the mind to which we give the name, but that dominant and often veiled force of our being.” Could you kindly explain where that veiled Will is.

In the consciousness. Mental will or vital will is only an outward form of this essential will in the consciousness.

Does this mean that the essential Will has a quite separate consciousness of its own?

There is a consciousness other than mind and vital — if there were not, there would be no use in doing sadhana. The true will belongs to that consciousness.

Kindly tell me how to be conscious of and develop that true Will power.

The only way to do it is (1) to become aware of a conscious Force behind that uses the mind etc. (2) to learn by practice to direct that Force towards its object. I don’t suppose you will find it easy to do either of these things at once — one must first learn to live more deeply in the inner consciousness than you have done hitherto.

In order to get into touch with the true Will power, has not one to start with the mental or vital will?

Everybody starts with the mental will. The vital does not usually help to get into touch with the real Will unless there is a very unusual kind of vital nature.

Today’s general condition is of emptiness. My consciousness does not like to concentrate on or aspire for any particular thing. It feels: let the Mother choose the course of the sadhana. Is this condition good?

It depends on the stage which one has reached. Personal aspiration is necessary until there is the condition in which all comes automatically and only a certain knowledge and assent is necessary for the development.

May I leave everything of my sadhana solely to the Mother so long as there is quietness?

Yes, provided there is no falling into unprogressive inertia.

My consciousness is coming down from its usual pitch of intensity. The mind seems to be under the impression that everything is going on well.

Perhaps you are becoming too passive and ought to go in for some more dynamic aspiration.

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It is not the personality, the character that is of the first importance in rebirth — it is the psychic being who stands behind the evolution of the nature and evolves with it.