Courage, Endurance, Effort (2)

 

The Reason for Blows

“O Thou that lovest, strike! If Thou strike me not now, I shall know that Thou lovest me not.”

Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts and Aphorisms

All who aspire for the divine perfection know that the blows which the Lord deals us in His infinite love and grace are the surest and quickest way to make us progress. And the harder the blows the more they feel the greatness of the divine Love.

Ordinary men, on the contrary, always ask God to give them an easy, pleasant and successful life. In every personal satisfaction they see a sign of divine mercy; but if on the contrary they meet with unhappiness and misfortune in life, they complain and say to God, “You do not love me.”

In opposition to this crude and ignorant attitude, Sri Aurobindo says to the divine Beloved, “Strike, strike hard, let me feel the intensity of Thy love for me.”

 

Many Blows Are Needed

Mother, even when one tries to think that one is powerless, there is something which believes one is powerful. So?

Ah, yes, ah, yes! Ah, it is very difficult to be sincere…. That is why the blows multiply and sometimes become terrible, because that’s the only thing which breaks your stupidity. This is the justification of calamities. Only when you are in an acutely painful situation and indeed before something that affects you deeply, then that makes the stupidity melt away a little. But as you say, even when there is something that melts, there is still a little something which remains inside. And that is why it lasts so long…

How many blows are needed in life for one to know to the very depths that one is nothing, that one can do nothing, that one does not exist, that one is nothing, that there is no entity without the divine Consciousness and the Grace. From the moment one knows it, it is over; all the difficulties have gone. When one knows it integrally and there is nothing which resists… but till that moment… And it takes very long.

 

Never Get Discouraged

You must tell yourself, “With the means of transport at my disposal I have reached a certain point, but these means do not allow me to go further. What should I do?… Sit there and not stir any longer? — not at all. I must find other means of transport.” This will happen quite often, but after a while you will get used to it. You must sit down for a moment, meditate, and then find other means. You must increase your concentration, your aspiration and your trust and with the new help which comes to you, make a new programme, work out other means to replace those you have left behind. This is how one progresses stage by stage.

But you must take great care to apply at each stage, as perfectly as possible, what you have gained or learnt. If you remain in an indrawn state of consciousness and do not apply materially the inner progress, a time will certainly come when you will not be able to move at all, for your outer being, unchanged, will be like a fetter pulling you back and hindering you from advancing. So, the most important point (what everybody says but only a few do) is to put into practice what you know. With that you have a good chance of succeeding, and with perseverance you will certainly get there.

You must never get discouraged when you find yourself before a wall, never say, “Oh! what shall I do? It is still there.” In this way the difficulty will still be there and still there and still there, till the very end. It is only when you reach the goal that everything will suddenly crumble down.

 

If One Has Endurance

People have a beautiful experience and say, “Ah, now this is it!…” And then it settles down, diminishes, gets veiled, and suddenly something quite unexpected, absolutely commonplace and apparently completely uninteresting comes before you and blocks your way. And then you say, “Ah! what’s the good of having made this progress if it’s going to start all over again? Why should I do it? I made an effort, I succeeded, achieved something, and now it’s as if I had done nothing! It’s indeed hopeless.” For you have no endurance.

If one has endurance, one says, “It’s all right. Good, I shall begin again as often as necessary; a thousand times, ten thousand times, a hundred thousand times if necessary, I shall begin again — but I shall go to the end and nothing will have the power to stop me on the way.”

This is most necessary. Most necessary.

 

Pay the Price

All of you who have come here have been told many things; you have been put into contact with a world of truth, you live within it, the air you breathe is full of it; and yet how few of you know that these truths are valuable only if they are put into practice, and that it is useless to talk of consciousness, knowledge, equality of soul, universality, infinity, eternity, supreme truth, the divine presence and… of all sorts of things like that, if you make no effort yourselves to live these things and feel them concretely within you. And don’t tell yourselves, “Oh, I have been here so many years! Oh, I would very much like to have the result of my efforts!” You must know that very persistent efforts, a very steadfast endurance are necessary to master the least weakness, the least pettiness, the least meanness in one’s nature. What is the use of talking about divine Love if one can’t love without egoism? What is the use of talking about immortality if one is stubbornly attached to the past and the present and if one doesn’t want to give anything in order to receive everything?

You are still very young, but you must learn right away that to reach the goal you must know how to pay the price, and that to understand the supreme truths you must put them into practice in your daily life.

 

Effort Gives Joy

An aim gives a meaning, a purpose to life, and this purpose implies an effort; and it is in effort that one finds joy.

Exactly. It is the effort which gives joy; a human being who does not know how to make an effort will never find joy. Those who are essentially lazy will never find joy — they do not have the strength to be joyful! It is effort which gives joy. Effort makes the being vibrate at a certain degree of tension which makes it possible for you to feel the joy….

It is only effort, in whatever domain it be — material effort, moral effort, intellectual effort — which creates in the being certain vibrations which enable you to get connected with universal vibrations; and it is this which gives joy. It is effort which pulls you out of inertia; it is effort which makes you receptive to the universal forces. And the one thing above all which spontaneously gives joy, even to those who do not practise yoga, who have no spiritual aspiration, who lead quite an ordinary life, is the exchange of forces with universal forces. People do not know this, they would not be able to tell you that it is due to this, but so it is.

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