When we are feeling helpless

The presence of transience and change is the very law of life in its long and winding evolutionary journey. This perpetual wheel of destiny that carries our lives in a cosmic pool of chance and uncertainty can be very frightening. This is especially so for a man who believes that he can control and micromanage all the events and circumstances of his life. There is of course a truth behind this since some events we do seem to control at least apparently which only perpetuates the illusion of control. Or perhaps we can change destiny but for that, we need a power far greater than reason. Reason hardly even knows the real causes of whatever happens. It knows some intermediate processes and mastering them believes that it has the key to the ultimate cause.

But can we truly change anything except in a limited way until we know the ultimate cause and the secret truth of everything? It is this question that confronts us during our moments of helplessness and stares at us as if seeking an answer. However this inability to control events does frighten many people who feel helpless before the decree of fate. Still, others declare the imperfect nature of earthly life and either pactise with the ways of fate accepting whatever happens with dignity and calm submission to the ways of life or destiny. Some try to find an exit route out of the whole imbroglio. Others simply spend a lifetime fretting and fuming and complaining and grumbling against God and His Will believing that they may be able to do better if they had the power. But the Divine Will working in the cosmos acts on the basis of a Wisdom that we do not have at present. It is this we must acquire for our hearts to have peace.

This Wisdom comes as we learn to go deeper within ourselves. It comes also as we learn to surrender before the Divine Will knowing or having faith that the Divine knows better than we do. After all, it is He and not us who are the original cause and hence it is He whom we must find and become one with to be even able to understand the way creation operates. Who can be better than the Creator Himself to reveal the truth behind things? And if He so wills and finds us ready, He can also impart us the power over circumstances which are a clumsy way of expressing the inner states. If we can shift the inner state then very often the outer circumstances also begin to change and shift.

In other words, what we need to learn is the state or inner condition that we must inculcate in the face of difficult and adverse circumstances. These conditions are a set of attitudes that have always been known and emphasized in all spiritual practices with some variations. It is a state of trust in the Divine, a state of spontaneous surrender to His Will, a state of aspiration and prayer, of utter abandon and submission to Him. If we can do this with sincerity then slowly a calm begins to descend upon us and the interventions become more and more frequent in our life. However, it must be noted that these divine interventions are not meant to satisfy our desires and longings but to modify the passage sufficiently so that without changing the ultimate result that is decreed it may take us through a safer and smoother passage towards then eventual fulfilment of our destiny and of others. It tweaks the evolutionary Law so to say. But if we have the rarest of rare privilege to trust and open to Her Grace and Love then not only can the Law be tweaked but completely changed. The inexorable wheel of karma can take a completely different turn, taking us through a different door, through a sunlit path towards the Goal.

Here are few lines from Savitri that remind us of these truths. Indeed one of the best things, when one is passing through these moments, is to simply open any page of Savitri randomly and read it. The Mother recommended it not only by way of receiving the needed hint and guidance but also the strength to go through what we must and the eventual power to change destiny. But of course it helps if we have formed a rapport with the book which is much more than a book. It is a living representation, the word-body, of the twin consciousness of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and there is absolutely nothing in the world comparable to Savitri. So here are a few lines to remind us of the ever-present Help that is always accessible to us under all conditions and circumstances.

A magic leverage suddenly is caught
That moves the veiled Ineffable’s timeless will:
A prayer, a master act, a king idea
Can link man’s strength to a transcendent Force.
Then miracle is made the common rule,
One mighty deed can change the course of things;
A lonely thought becomes omnipotent.
All now seems Nature’s massed machinery;
An endless servitude to material rule
And long determination’s rigid chain,
Her firm and changeless habits aping Law,
Her empire of unconscious deft device
Annul the claim of man’s free human will.
He too is a machine amid machines;
A piston brain pumps out the shapes of thought,
A beating heart cuts out emotion’s modes;
An insentient energy fabricates a soul.
Or the figure of the world reveals the signs
Of a tied Chance repeating her old steps
In circles around Matter’s binding-posts.
A random series of inept events
To which reason lends illusive sense, is here,
Or the empiric Life’s instinctive search,
Or a vast ignorant mind’s colossal work.
But wisdom comes, and vision grows within:
Then Nature’s instrument crowns himself her king;
He feels his witnessing self and conscious power;
His soul steps back and sees the Light supreme…..
But many-visaged is the cosmic Soul;
A touch can alter the fixed front of Fate.
A sudden turn can come, a road appear.
A greater Mind may see a greater Truth,
Or we may find when all the rest has failed
Hid in ourselves the key of perfect change.
Ascending from the soil where creep our days,
Earth’s consciousness may marry with the Sun,
Our mortal life ride on the spirit’s wings,
Our finite thoughts commune with the Infinite.

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