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At the Feet of The Mother

Different Angles on the Future of Humanity

Whether the Future of earth and humanity is bleak or glorious is a question that none of us can answer with an absolute certainty given the inadequacy of human thought and the inability to read the future. Surely, we are all entitled our views and are always free to hold on to our belief or at best a reasoned guess about what it will be like. However, if there is a truth in the generally accepted fact that we, by our own thoughts and imagination, do shape the future to some extent, however small, then a cautious optimism is surely better than a stark pessimism. Nevertheless, we can always try looking at it from different angles and see if there is some merit in what our minds are constructing at the moment.

Before we dwell into that a word of caution may be needed. It is about the fallibility or infallibility of what Sri Aurobindo and the Mother foresaw. They were far from lotus eating mystics who were prophesying the future from their lotus posture or naval gazing techniques. Of course, they foresaw what they did, being fully aware of the many challenges and difficulties towards its realization they worked and even gave their life to realizing this dream of a perfect divine life for earth and men. Like many other mystics they could have easily basked in the glories of their innumerable experiences and the wonder miracles in their devotees’ lives offering tickets to nirvana or some la la land in another dimension. However, being rooted very much in the real challenges of a real world out here they spent their time clearing the Path, building the bridge for the New Creation, bringing the inevitable future closer to us in terms of time. It is the experience of many who have turned to them moved by the faith and aspiration for a better future for earth that Their help is as living as ever. Whether we believe in them and their vision is a personal issue but the least we can do is to stand in silent humility before the breath and scope of their super-herculean effort. As far as I am concerned, and many others, we prefer to place our trust in their vision than in our (in)ability to see and predict the future. We do not know even what lies beyond the tip of our nose, let alone have the vision of what the future of mankind will be.

Nevertheless, since we stand on rational grounds, we can try to examine the present dispassionately and try to conceive what the future may be like. We can do that only if we disengage our reason from all kinds of emotional reactions and responses to events that come and go. This is after all not the first time that we believe ourselves to be on the brink of a nuclear war. It is now well known how close the world had come to the brink of destruction during the Suez Canal crisis and the cold war. We also know very well how close India was in being overrun by the Chinese Army in 1962. Yet Bangladesh happened despite the full support of China and the then US to Pakistan. This is one concrete example of how the Divine Force can work itself through and despite the worst obstacles and resistances that human nature driven by all kinds of forces may offer. The first half of the century saw much worse times than now, with the two Great wars, the Spanish Flu, the massive unleashing of violence soon after the partition of India among many other things. But lest we forget that was also a time when certain new ideas were sown in the human soil by certain other forces and their human instruments that are beginning to ripen and showing their first fruition. The linking of mankind through the internet making it impossible to hide anything is one such thing. The breaking of the boundaries of the material world and its neat solid scheme is yet another such finding. The turn towards holism in medicine and psychology, the world-wide acceptance of yoga as a way of life, the sudden upsurge of a latent spiritual thirst in mankind, the entry into new frontiers of thought in fields of education, culture and society, a widespread spirit of experimentation with new forms of institutions, a cry for human unity despite the contrary appearances, emergence of spiritual communes within cities rather than monasteries, the rise of India and the turning of world’s eyes towards it, The turn towards World Union in various forms, the shifting of balance of man and woman towards gender equality, the fight against racism and inequalities of various kinds are just the beginnings. Can these signs be refuted? Can we take them merely as chance events? Can we not see that most of these have emerged rather in recent times? What are these signs if not the first infant steps of a New World declaring itself in the thought and imagination of the race? Even now, right now, one can see the balance of power between nations undergoing a new shift with new alliances coming up with immense possibilities.

This is not to say that everything is hunky dory and we can afford to sing halleluiahs and sit and rejoice. That would certainly be an imbecility. But certainly, these signs are no cause for despair, rather they are enough to fill the heart of the workers with renewed strength and hope. The birth of Sri Krishna did not immediately end the evils of Kansa and the degenerating empire of Hastinapur. There were many challenges that came in the way but with the help of the incarnate Divine mankind negotiated through all of these and a nation based on dharma was born. The same way, a New World has been born in the midst of the old world. It is declaring itself in the mind and heart of a few who are athirst for a beautiful future. They sense it with their eye of faith now. There are others who have the fortune and privilege to see it grow. Still others have the rare and exceptional privilege to nurture and nourish it and participate in its birth and development. Yes, there are and will always be some who would doubt, perhaps until the very end and it their right and privilege. Yet in the end each will fulfil their role. For it is through these contradictions and wrestle of forces that all evolution happens. The history of all past evolutions shows us that it happened as we negotiated through the many challenges that life offered, a theme beautifully captured in the parable of Dashavatars. This parable also gives us hope that is logical as well if we suppose that God exists and is there upon earth and in man and everywhere else. If God is hidden in the particle of dust then inevitably one day the dust below our feet will climb beyond thought towards its Godlike destiny. What is hidden must one day manifest. On the other hand, if we suppose that there is no such god then not only there is no hope, but nothing worth striving for, nothing worth saving. Who would like to spend time and energy saving an accidentally formed soup of mud and water called man.

But the history of evolution tells us that all evolution takes place through a series of crisis that differentiates and demarcates those who are meant to evolve beyond the obstructing wall and those who are destined to fall back towards the past. This is no exception. But the first thing are obvious and clear enough if we care to see which side the pendulum of Time is beginning to swing. Though the Mother and Sri Aurobindo have written about this New World, its countless challenges, possibilities and difficulties and everything else that one can conceive on the subject, let me close with some beautiful lines from Savitri which capture it powerfully:

Thus will the masked Transcendent mount his throne.
When darkness deepens strangling the earth’s breast
And man’s corporeal mind is the only lamp,
As a thief’s in the night shall be the covert tread
Of one who steps unseen into his house.

A Voice ill-heard shall speak, the soul obey,
A Power into mind’s inner chamber steal,
A charm and sweetness open life’s closed doors
And beauty conquer the resisting world,
The Truth-Light capture Nature by surprise,
A stealth of God compel the heart to bliss
And earth grow unexpectedly divine.
In Matter shall be lit the spirit’s glow,
In body and body kindled the sacred birth;
Night shall awake to the anthem of the stars,
The days become a happy pilgrim march,
Our will a force of the Eternal’s power,
And thought the rays of a spiritual sun.
A few shall see what none yet understands;
God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
For man shall not know the coming till its hour
And belief shall be not till the work is done.

 

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TEXT IN ENGLISH
Ordinarily, motivation comes from the Desire-self and takes various forms in our thought and feelings such as ambition, lust, greed, wishes for various objects and hungers of various kinds.