The year 1933
What is meant by a quiet mind and a quiet vital?
A quiet mind means a mind not restless with all sorts of thoughts. A quiet vital is a vital not restless and troubled by all sorts of impulses and desires.
Peace is said to be of capital importance in Yoga. From where is one to get it and how?
It is there above you. You have to aspire for it to descend into you.
When we get peace and purity and light and other such things, from what plane do they come?
From any higher plane. Peace and purity may come from the psychic also.
How is one to remain quiet within even while carrying on all kinds of activities?
By having a separate consciousness calm and silent within, separate from the mental, vital or physical activity.
You have spoken of “a separate consciousness calm and silent.” Is not that the Purusha consciousness?
It may be. But it is part of Nature in you that becomes calm and silent.
What is “Silence”?
Silence means freedom from thoughts and vital movements — when the whole consciousness is quite still.
If a silent mind is without thoughts or movements, what place is there for thoughts of the Divine or for spiritual aspirations?
In the entirely silent mind there is usually the static sense of the Divine without any active movement. But there can come into it all the higher thought and aspiration and movements. There is then no absolute silence but one feels a fundamental silence behind which is not disturbed by any movement.
Suppose a man begins to concentrate. He goes deeper and deeper and reaches a stage where his mind becomes empty. At last he throws away the mental bondage and advances further. Now he finds himself all alone. Here, to what will he cling? There must be something to hold on to; otherwise he will have to emerge back to the world. For it will be difficult to stay away from it quite alone.
When the mind is silent there is peace and in the peace all things that are divine can come. When there is not the mind, there is the Self which is greater than the mind.
You should keep it (the vital mind) quiet and receive with a silent mind waiting for the light. In the silent mind one can receive an answer even if I write nothing.
How is the mind to remain quiet while rejecting a movement? Is it not that the rejection moves the mind away from quietness?
Do you imagine that a quiet mind cannot reject anything and it is only the unquiet mind that can do it? It is the quiet mind that can best do it. Quiet does not mean inert and tamasic.
What is meant by the words: “Meet things without any superficial and unnecessary reaction”?
Not to allow the mind to bubble up with all sorts of ideas and feelings etc. but to remain quiet and learn to think and feel only what is true and right.
How is one to establish a homogeneity in the vital being?
Reject all disturbance and call in more and more peace and equality from above into the vital.
If you get peace then to clean the vital becomes easy. If you simply clean and clean and do nothing else, you go very slowly — for the vital gets dirty again and has to be cleaned a hundred times. The peace is something that is clean in itself — so to get it is a positive way of securing your object. To look for dirt only and clean is the negative way.
Can things like depression and despair arise in a person even though he has peace?
If there is established peace in the inner being, they can arise but would trouble only the surface — not the inner peace. If there is established peace in the outer being too they will not at all arise in you.
It is said that when peace descends, a greater depression and inertia can also come. Is that right?
There is no connection between the descent of Peace and depression. Inertia there may be if the physical being feels the pressure for quietude but turns it into mere inactivity — but that cannot be called exactly a descent — at least not a complete one, since the physical does not share in it.
The Peace is not of the nature of inertia, but the inertia of tamas is a degradation of peace or rest as rajas is a degradation of divine Force. So when the physical is invited to peace and cannot receive it, it brings up inertia instead.
You say, “The inertia is a degradation of peace or rest.” What kind of rest do you mean here?
Rest of the being from effort, disturbance etc. The Spirit is eternally at rest even in the midst of action — peace gives this spiritual rest. Tamas is a degradation of it and leads to inaction.
The year 1934
When one is experiencing the silence, what should be the correct attitude towards the Mother?
Consecration. It means the devoting of all that comes to you, all your experiences and progress to the Mother.
In the silence, should one keep the mind blank or aspiring?
Keep the aspiration always.
What kind of aspiration should one have during such a state?
Aspiration for the growth of the true consciousness.
I hope that this first descent of the silence does not fade away soon.
Remain very quiet in your mind and do not disperse it.
It is a little difficult to keep the silence whilst reading and working. What should I do?
The same thing — do all with a quiet mind, not throwing yourself out in what you do, but seeing quietly what is done and what happens.
Whilst doing physical work is it possible to maintain the silence unaffected by the thoughts that keep on coming mechanically?
It is quite possible for thoughts to pass without disturbing the silence — but for that you must be perfectly detached from the thoughts and indifferent to them.
The silence is felt deep within, but there is still some disturbance on the surface.
It means that you feel a consciousness within you which is calm and silent, not disturbed by external thoughts, grief or disturbance — as when the sea is disturbed on the surface but below the surface all is still and calm.
How is it that the silence seems to be fading already?
It is not always quite stable in the beginning — but it returns always till it fixes itself, provided you quietly aspire.
From where does the silence come to us?
From above — from a higher consciousness in which silence is always the background even of thought and action.
We usually speak of complete silence, calm, peace, etc. Will you kindly say something about these so that we can understand the real difference between them?
Calm is a strong and positive quietude, firm and solid — ordinary quietude is mere negation, simply the absence of disturbance.
Peace is a deep quietude where no disturbance can come — a quietude with a sense of established security and release.
In complete silence there are either no thoughts or thoughts come, but they are felt as something coming from outside and not disturbing the silence.
Silence of the mind, peace or calm in the mind are three things that are very close together and bring each other.
If quietude means only a freedom from disturbance, then even ordinary people have it.
The world would be a very different place from what it is if quietude were the usual state of the ordinary people.
What is the function of the peace and silence in us? What purpose do they serve?
As the basis of the true consciousness that is to replace the ordinary restless and troubled human consciousness.
Regarding the diffusion of my consciousness you said, “Probably some quite involuntary relaxation in some part of the consciousness — that always happens. One has to be quiet till one gets back the movement.”
Quiet means to keep the inner quietude and keep turned to the Mother with the aspiration, will or call for the return of the right condition.
Generally by noon-time my being gets tired, so I give it rest for a quiet assimilation. It is so difficult to keep up the intense state all the time.
It is often like that — the period of intense activity is limited to a particular part of the day and then the rest of the time there is a lull.
Your deeper experiences are only just beginning — these ups and downs are common at that period. It is not many who can keep a fairly even sadhana.
My experience of the silence or self-realisation is purely static, that is to say, in meditation only. As soon as I plunge myself in work, it vanishes.
Get it first in meditation always — then we will see about work. When the silence or self-realisation is achieved, it can remain in spite of the work.
When the intensity of my peace withdrew I presumed it was no more the peace. Somehow I could not associate real peace with absence of intensity.
It is quite wrong to expect that always. That was only a preparatory experience and the intensity of the first experience does not remain all the time. Peace is peace whether it is intense or not. One has to be accurate in one’s self-observation and not establish wrong notions like that.
There can be peace in the mind even when the vital is not quite at rest or peace in the inner being even if the surface is disturbed. Consciousness cannot feel at rest and free, if there is no peace.
Can silence and peace be established without the descent of the Higher Consciousness?
The silence and peace are themselves part of the higher consciousness — the rest comes in the silence and peace.
Is it possible to feel peace in the midst of a disturbance in one’s being?
Of course. It is quite usual to feel an established peace in the inner being even if there is disturbance on the surface. In fact that is the usual condition of the Yogi before he has attained the absolute samata in all the being.
In spite of a quiet condition a lot of undesirable impressions and thoughts come up.
It very often happens when there is quietude, but not the silence — they have to be rejected as foreign and so cleaned out. If they are indulged, they get a new lease.
You have to go on increasing the inner peace until it imposes itself on the vital also.
If there is absolute silence within it is quite natural that the thoughts on entering and touching it should fall off. It is the way in which the silence of the outer mind usually comes.
The peace has to spread in all the parts. In the peace one must become conscious of the Mother’s Force descended and working in all the being.
You always seem to think that because the silence is there in the consciousness, the whole consciousness must be equally affected by it. The human consciousness is not of one piece like that.