Mental Formations and Sanskaar (RE 066)


This brief reflection is based on understanding mental formations and sanskaar as mentioned in the letter of Sri Aurobindo below, dated 26 January 1934.

“The doubt about the possibility of help is hardly a rational one, since all the evidence of life and of spiritual experience in the past and of the special experience of those, numerous enough, who have received help from the Mother and myself, is against the idea that no internal or spiritual help from one to another or from a Guru to his disciples or from myself to my disciples is possible. It is therefore not really a doubt arising from the reason but one that comes from the vital and physical mind that is troubling you. The physical mind doubts all that it has not itself experienced and even it doubts what it has itself experienced if that experience is no longer there or immediately palpable to it—the vital brings in the suggestions of despondency and despair to reinforce the doubt and prevent clear seeing. It is therefore a difficulty that cannot be effectively combated by the logical reason alone, but best by the clear perception that it is a self created difficulty—a self-formed sanskara or mental formation which has become habitual and has to be broken up so that you may have a free mind and vital, free for experience. As for the help, you expect a divine intervention to destroy the doubt, and the divine intervention is possible, but it comes usually only when the being is ready. You have indulged to a great extreme this habit of the recurrence of doubt, this mental formation or sanskara, and so the adverse force finds it easy to throw it upon you, to bring back the suggestion. You must have a steady working will to repel it whenever it comes and to refuse the tyranny of the sanskara of doubt—to annul the force of its recurrence. I think you have hardly done that in the past, you have rather supported the doubts when they came. So for some time at least you must do some hard work in the opposite direction. The help (I am not speaking of a divine intervention from above but of my help and the Mother’s) will be there. It can be effective in spite of your physical mind, but it will be more effective if this steady working will of which I speak is there as its instrument . There are always two elements in spiritual success—one’s own steady will and endeavour and the Power that in one way or another helps and gives the result of the endeavour. I will do what is necessary to give the help you must receive. To say you cannot would not be true, for you have received times without number and it has helped you to recover.”

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