A Talk by Alok Pandey from “Tuesday Talks” series (AUDIO)
Yoga has been defined in various ways and each definition corresponds to some state that one arrives at by means of yoga. One such wonderful state described by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is ‘Oneness’. It is even one of the fundamental states to be experienced, a basis on which all else can be built. The essence of this condition is to see the Divine in all things and everywhere. This state is the gift of Grace conferred upon the individual as a result of long, patient walking on the path with steady feet and a heart filled with trust. We cannot acquire it by intellectualizing or imitating it. Patience is needed as a first prerequisite for any high and difficult achievement. It is needed even much more so for Yoga which is the most difficult of all endeavours undertaken by man.
Words of the Mother
July 11, 1962
…… you mustn’t be impatient – impatience leads to imitation: and unwittingly, in all sincerity, you imitate things within yourself, within your own experience, you imitate the realization – that’s what impatience does.
The true life in its SIMPLE purity cannot come until … until the Lord Himself is doing and deciding everything, acting, realizing, living, having the experience. When everything is in His hands and you have absolutely nothing to do and don’t even know WHERE YOU ARE, then … then it comes in its purity, not before.
This is the difference, the radical difference, since the experience [of April 13]: there is nothing but the Lord. All the rest … what is it?… No more than a habit of speaking (not even a habit of thinking, that’s all gone), a habit of speaking; so the less one speaks, the happier one is. Otherwise … nothing. And what else could there be? It is He who sees, He who wills, He who acts.
Then everything comes spontaneously, easily, with such great simplicity.
It will come, mon petit – no impatience.
For the moment it’s on the right track. It’s going well.
Ultimately, there’s always a kind of yearning, more or less veiled, for the satisfaction of realization (gesture of sitting down). I know it: we want to see ourselves being, progressing, acting, to see ourselves … (Mother laughs).
August 11, 1964
I think you have in a corner of your being … what I could call a grumbler. I became aware of that – not particularly for you, but as one of the manifestations of that “onion skin” I mentioned just a moment ago (!) Some people in that way are grumblers, for them everything is an occasion to grumble and complain……
There is a part of your being (not far: it isn’t something very far away, it’s very close), a part of your being which is on the contrary extremely conscious and LUMINOUSLY conscious, and not only conscious but responsive: it receives and responds – it vibrates. I can see very clearly that you aren’t conscious of it – oh, in the first place, you wouldn’t be pulling that sour face, you’d be laughing all the time if you were conscious of it! Because it’s very luminous and golden, very joyful. It’s just about the opposite of the grumbler! But it isn’t far away! It isn’t miles away: it’s there. But there is a sort of thin film. It’s an “onion skin”: all our difficulties are onion skins. An onion skin, you know: it’s terribly thin, but nothing can get through. We have to be patient. You can’t imagine how, as you go forward and as all that Consciousness, in fact, grows more and more alive, true and constant, how at first you feel you are a rotten bundle of insincerity, hypocrisy, lack of faith, doubt, stupidity. Because as (how can I explain?…) as the balance changes between the parts of the being and as the luminous part increases, the rest grows more and more inadequate and intolerable. Then you are really utterly disgusted (there was a time when it used to hurt me, long ago – not so long ago, but anyway long enough, a few years ago), and more and more there is the movement (a very spontaneous and simple movement, very complete): “I can’t do anything about it. It’s impossible, I can’t, it’s such a colossal work that it’s impossible – Lord, do it for me.” And when you do this with the simplicity of a child (gesture of offering), really like this, you know, really convinced that you cannot do it, “It’s not possible, I’ll never be able to do it – do it for me,” it’s wonderful! … Oh, He does it, mon petit, you’re dumbfounded afterwards: “How come! …” There are lots of things that … prrt! vanish and never come back again – finished. After a time, you wonder, “How can that be?! It was there….” Just like that, prrt! in a second.
But as long as there is personal effort, it’s … oof! it’s like the man who rolls his barrel uphill, and down it rolls again every minute.
But it must be spontaneous, not as a calculation, it mustn’t be done with the idea, “It’s going to work.” It must truly be done with the sense of your complete helplessness and of the very formidable dimension of the task that … “Oh, please do it Yourself; I can’t – it’s not possible.”
Of course, very philosophical or learned people will pity you, but personally I don’t care! I don’t care. I am not a philosopher, I am not a scholar, I am not a savant, and I declare it very loudly: neither a philosopher nor a scholar nor a savant. And no pretension. Nor a littérateur, nor an artist – I am nothing at all. I am truly convinced of this. And it’s absolutely unimportant – that’s perfection for human beings.
There is no greater joy than to know that you can do nothing and are absolutely helpless, that you’re not the one who does, and that what little is done – little or big, it doesn’t matter – is done by the Lord; and the responsibility is fully His. That makes you happy. With that, you are happy.
September 16, 1964
There’s no need to be in a hurry – no need to be in a hurry, no need to be impatient; there’s no use. No use in being impatient, it only makes the heart go sour – perfectly useless.
When the time has come, it will have come; when the Lord wants it, He will want it: it will be, and that’s that. We always worry too much – or rather, all our worries are an onion skin over His work.
We can only be patient.
Sri Aurobindo, too, wrote it: “Aspire intensely, but without impatience….” The difference between intensity and impatience is very subtle (everything is a difference of vibration); it’s subtle, but it makes the whole difference.
Intensely, but without impatience…. That’s it: that’s the state in which we must be.
And then, for a long, a very long time, we should be content with the inner results, that is, results of personal and individual reactions, of inner contacts with the rest of the world, and not hope for or will things to materialize too soon. Because that haste people have generally delays things.
If this is the way things are, it’s the way things are.
We – people, I mean – live a harried life. It is a sort of semiconscious feeling of the shortness of their life; they don’t think about it, but they feel it semiconsciously. So they are forever wanting to go – quickly, quickly, quickly – from one thing to another, to do one thing quickly in order to go on to the next, instead of each thing living in its own eternity. We are forever wanting to go forward, forward, forward … and we spoil the work.
That is why some have preached that the only important moment is the present moment – which isn’t true in practice, but from the psychological point of view, it should be true. In other words, let us live every minute to the utmost of our possibility, without foreseeing or wanting or expecting or preparing the next minute. Because we are forever in a hurry-hurry-hurry … and we do everything wrong. We live in an inner tension which is totally false – totally false.
All those who tried to be wise have always said it (the Chinese have preached it, the Indians have preached it): live with the sense of Eternity. In Europe, too, they said you should contemplate the sky, the stars, identify with their infinitude – all of which makes you wide and peaceful.
They are methods, but they are indispensable.
And I have observed it in the body’s cells: they would seem to be forever in a hurry to do what they have to do for fear of not having the time to do it. So they do nothing properly. Clumsy people (there are people who bump into everything, their gestures are brusque and clumsy) have this to a high degree – this sort of haste to do things quickly, quickly, quickly…. Yesterday, someone was complaining of rheumatic pains in his back and said to me, “Oh, it makes me waste so much time, I do things so slowly!” I said to him (Mother laughs), “So what!” He wasn’t happy. You understand, to complain if you have pain means you’re soft, that’s all, but to say, “I’m wasting so much time, I do things so slowly!” was the very clear picture of that haste in which people live – they hurtle through life … where to? … to end up in a crash!
What’s the use?
October 12, 1962
But one can be full of excellent goodwill and still want to Do things. And that’s what complicates everything. Or else there’s a lack of faith, a lack of belief in the Lord’s ability – you think you have to do things yourself because He doesn’t know how! (Mother laughs) This sort of stupidity is very widespread, you know: “How can He see these things? We’re living in a world of Falsehood, how can He see Falsehood…?” But in fact He does see things as they are!
And I am not talking about people with no intelligence, but about intelligent people, people who are trying…. There’s still a sort of conviction in them somewhere, even in those who know that we’re living in a world of Ignorance and Falsehood and that there’s a Lord who is all truth. Well, they reason that precisely because He is all truth, He won’t understand (Mother laughs). “He won’t understand our falsehood, I have to deal with it on my own.” This is a very predominant, very widespread attitude. …..
I often wonder: when one prays to the Lord, when one wants to tell Him that something’s wrong, I always feel it’s necessary to concentrate very hard because it’s really something Far you have to call. But is this true? Or is it really….
It depends on us!
Personally, you know, I have come to feel Him everywhere, all the time, all the time, to the point of actual physical contact (it’s subtle physical, but physical): in things, in the air, in people, in … like this (Mother presses her hands against her face). So I don’t have far to go! I just have to do this (Mother turns her hands slightly inwards), one second’s concentration – and there He is! Because He is here, you know, He is everywhere.
He is far only if we think He’s far.
Of course, when we start thinking of all the zones, all the universal planes of consciousness, and that He’s way, way, way up there at the end of all that, well … then it does become very far, very far indeed! (Mother laughs) But if we think of Him as being everywhere, in everything, that He is everything, that only our way of perceiving things keeps us from seeing and feeling Him, and all we have to do is this (Mother turns her hands inwards) … a movement like this, a movement like that (Mother turns her hands inwards and outwards in turn), then it gets to be quite concrete: you go like this (outward gesture) and everything becomes artificial – hard, dry, false, deceptive, artificial; you go like that (inward gesture) and all is vast, tranquil, luminous, peaceful, immense, joyous. And it’s merely this … or that (Mother turns her hands inwards and outwards in turn). How? Where? It can’t be described, but it is solely – solely – a movement of consciousness, nothing else. A movement of consciousness. And the difference between the true and the false consciousness becomes more and more … precise and at the same time THIN: you don’t need to do “great” things to get out of it. Before, there used to be a feeling of living WITHIN something and that a great effort of interiorization, concentration, absorption was needed to get out of it; but now I feel it’s something one accepts (Mother puts her hand in front of her face like a screen), something like a thin little rind, very hard – malleable, but very hard, very dry, very thin, very thin … something like a mask you put on – then you go like this (gesture), and it’s gone.
I foresee a time when it will no longer be necessary to be aware of the mask: the mask will be so thin that we can see and feel and act through it, and it won’t be necessary to put it back on.
That’s what is starting to happen.
But this Presence in all things…. It is a Vibration – a Vibration containing everything. A Vibration containing a sort of infinite power, infinite joy, infinite peace, and immensity, IMMENSITY, IMMENSITY: it’s boundless…. But it is solely a Vibration, it doesn’t…. Oh, Lord! It can’t be thought, so it can’t be described. If you think … as soon as you start thinking, it’s the same old mess again. That’s why you can’t say anything.
Indeed, He is far because you think He is far. If you could just, you know, think of Him being right here, like this (gesture close to the face), touching you … if you could feel this. It’s not like touching another person, it’s not like that. It’s not something foreign, external, coming to you from outside – no! It’s … everywhere.
There was a period when I used to sort of curl up into a ball Within. For the least difficulty I became just like a circumference! All curled up into a ball Within.
And you feel Him everywhere, everywhere, everywhere – within, without, everywhere. Him, nothing but Him – Him, His Vibration.
But you have to shut this off (the head). Until you shut it off, you can’t see the TRUE thing – you can only use comparisons, you say it’s like this or like that … oh!
And how many times, how many times the feeling that…. There is no form – there is a form and there is none, it just can’t be expressed. You feel a look, too, and there are no eyes – there is no look but there is a look; a look and a smile and … there’s no mouth, no face! And yet there is a smile and a look and … (Mother laughs) you can’t help saying, “Yes, Lord, I am stupid!” But He laughs – and you laugh, and you’re happy…..