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At the Feet of The Mother

Pathways to Freedom

When faced with stress we can make either a healthy adaptive response or else a counterproductive one. A healthy response means toning up our defense mechanisms in the body, the most important of these being the immune system. It is being increasingly recognized that the immune system plays a major part in many if not most diseases from infections to cancers and various kinds of inflammation. A healthy immune response is heavily dependent upon our psychological state. When we are anxious and depressed or in a state of panic and fear, the immune system is overwhelmed. This overwhelming response far from being helpful leads to unhealthy reactions within the body cells leading to complications. Besides by putting our systems constantly on a hyper-alert and alarming mode the body defenses star wearing off and exhausted. It starts going haywire so to say. Just as a tired army is unable to face an enemy attack for long or a tired horse cannot run faster just because we flog him so too the body defenses stop working properly if we keep them on a hyper-alert mode. Something similar happens when we get into excitement mode. To make matters worse our body responds much the same way if our mind imagines situations as it would in the face of a real situation. The body does not seem to much differentiate between the physically real event and its mental imagination or a virtual imitation.

Therefore are fear and anxiety and panic the worst enemies of our health. To this list, the spiritual seekers add psychological reactions such as jealousies, hatred, anger, lust, greed, ambition. But how do we drive away these enemies from within our system? The method recommended by yoga is a positive rather than negative one. If we drive away these qualities which we may call as negative for our present evolution, then the space left empty is again filled in by the same movements of nature by sheer habit. These forces remain in the environment and return back again and again until one day either we give up on them or else find another way to help and heal ourselves of these disease creating forces. Each time we succeed in driving them away we gain an upper hand but equally each time they succeed in returning to their base within us they have an upper hand upon us. This see-saw continues until one or the other gives up. When we give up then it means that we accept defeat and take our nature as it stands today. This may give us some momentary relief from the strain of an inner battle but it keeps us tied to the forces of disintegration and disorder. Here as elsewhere the dictum stands that eventually victory comes to whoever is more persevering. Most human beings are however too impatient and give up soon, many others do not even feel the need for change, hence our subjection to these forces remains. Illness as attacks from outside through organisms which are really speaking crystallization of similar forces of disintegration are drawn by affinity. Finding an easy access into our body and mind through doors of fear they not only enter but start living there as permanent guests feeding upon our fears and even suffering and pain.

But there is another way, a better way so to say. Here we do not leave the space within out subjective or psychological being empty after driving them out. We start filling it with antidotes that strengthen us against these enemies of our soul. Thus we start replacing fear and anxiety with trust, agitation with peace, panic with calm, jealousy and hate with love and understanding, ambition with pursuit of excellence, lust and greed with satisfaction that comes from inner happiness. This has to be done consciously through aspiration, prayer and meditation upon these qualities. Like the other movements of nature these are also forces but of a higher order. If we call them they will slowly come. Initially it takes time since we habitually open our doors to those forces which we ignorantly call as ‘natural’ or justify as ‘our nature’. But all is nature and natural. We need not live in the cesspool of nature and its muddy waters. Instead we can emerge into the wideness of the ocean and harbor within us the strength of the gods rather than that of the titans. Or to put it in the spirit of oneness we can subdue the strength of the titans and calming its stormy and turbulent ways master it by bringing in the intelligence and harmonious energies of the gods. If we can do that then these very forces begin to assist us rather than hurt and harm.

There is of course still another way, a simplest of methods if a method it can be called. It is to surrender all we are and do to the Divine Mother out of whom all these forces and energies have emerged into the cosmic play. She is the Mother of all and by the slightest pressure of Her Will can change our earthly ways and earthly life into a Life Divine. If we can open to Her in all sincerity and are receptive to Her workings then She would free us of all these negative elements very fast and fill these spaces with Her Love and Light and Peace which are indeed the best of all protections. Her working not only frees us from the ‘negatives’ but also from the limitations of the ‘positives’. Entrusting ourselves and our fate in Her safe hands we can go everywhere because She is everywhere. Sri Aurobindo reminds us:

The more complete your faith, sincerity and surrender, the more will grace and protection be with you. And when the grace and protection of the Divine Mother are with you, what is there that can touch you or whom need you fear? A little of it even will carry you through all difficulties, obstacles and dangers; surrounded by its full presence you can go securely on your way because it is hers, careless of all menace, unaffected by any hostility however powerful, whether from this world or from worlds invisible. Its touch can turn difficulties into opportunities, failure into success and weakness into unfaltering strength. For the grace of the Divine Mother is the sanction of the Supreme and now or tomorrow its effect is sure, a thing decreed, inevitable and irresistible.

CWSA 32: 8 – 9

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When I ask you to be plastic in relation to the Divine, I mean not to resist the Divine with the rigidity of preconceived ideas and fixed principles.