Knowledge and Power are two sides of the Divine. The Vedantic Yoga seeks to discover that all-liberating Knowledge that comes by dwelling in a settled vision of the One Self that dwells in all things, beings, events and circumstances. On the other hand, the path of Tantra Yoga leans towards Power and Ananda. These two aspects are roughly represented in man by Faith and Will. To arrive at knowledge we have to pass beyond knowings; we have to dive deep behind the appearances of things through a constant dwelling upon the One Idea. So also to arrive at Power we have to get past the willings and wants and wishes. The more we quieten the consciousness by removing from it the element of desire and doubts and ignorant conceptions, the more the Divine Will begins to act within and through us. The present talk is focused upon the action of the Divine Will.
Words of Sri Aurobindo
The eventual omnipotence of Tapas and the infallible fulfilment of the Idea are the very foundation of all Yoga. In man we render these terms by Will and Faith, a will that is eventually self-effective because it is of the substance of Knowledge and a faith that is the reflex in the lower consciousness of a Truth or real Idea yet unrealised in the manifestation. It is this self-certainty of the Idea which is meant by the Gita when it says, yo yac-chraddhahsa eva sah , “whatever is a man’s faith or the sure Idea in him, that he becomes.”
The Synthesis of Yoga
Words of the Mother
We are in the habit of thinking that when we want something it should come to us, because the vision is too shortsighted — too shortsighted and too limited; instead of having an overall vision which would show us that this particular vibration was necessary to set off a certain number of other vibrations and that it is the totality of all that which will have an effect, which is not the immediate effect of the vibration emitted. I do not know if this is clear, but it is a constant experience.
As a matter of fact, during this period, I have studied and observed this phenomenon: how the vibration of desire is added to the vibration of Will emitted by the Supreme — in our little everyday actions. And with the vision from above, if we take care to maintain the consciousness of this vision from above, we can see how this vibration emitted was exactly the vibration emitted by the Supreme, but instead of obtaining the immediate result expected by the surface consciousness, it was meant to set off a whole series of vibrations and to achieve another, more distant and more complete result. I am not speaking of great things or of actions on a terrestrial scale, I am speaking of the very small things in life: for example, saying to someone, “Give me this”, and instead of giving it, that someone does not understand and gives something else. So if we do not take care to preserve an overall vision, a certain vibration may occur, for example a vibration of impatience or of dissatisfaction, together with the impression that the vibration from the Lord is not understood and not received. Well, this little added vibration of impatience or, in fact, of not understanding what is happening, this impression of a lack of receptivity or response, is of the same quality as desire — it cannot be called a desire, but it is the same kind of vibration — this is what comes to complicate things. If we have the complete, exact vision, we know that “Give me this” will produce something other than the immediate result and that this other thing will bring in something else which is exactly what should be. I do not know if I am making myself clear, it is rather complicated! But this gave me the key to the difference in quality between the vibration of Will and the vibration of desire, and at the same time the possibility of eliminating this vibration of desire by a wider and more total vision — wider, more total and far-seeing, that is to say, the vision of a greater whole.
I insist on this point, because this eliminates all moral factors. It eliminates this pejorative notion of desire. More and more, the vision is eliminating all notions of good and bad, right and wrong, inferior and superior, and all that. There is only what might almost be called a difference of vibratory quality — “quality” still gives the idea of superiority and inferiority; it is not quality, it is not intensity. I do not know the scientific term they use to distinguish one vibration from another, but that’s what it is.
And so what is noteworthy is that the vibration, what one might call the quality of the vibration that comes from the Lord, is constructive — it builds and it is peaceful and luminous; while the other vibration of desire, or any similar vibration, complicates, destroys, confuses and twists things —confuses and distorts them, twists them. And this takes away the light; it produces a greyness, which can be intensified by violent movements into very dark shadows. But even when there is no passion, when passion does not intervene, it is like that. The physical reality has become nothing but a field of vibrations that mingle and unfortunately also clash and conflict with one another; and the clash, the conflict is a climax of this kind of turmoil and disorder and confusion created by certain vibrations which are in fact vibrations of ignorance — because we do not know. They are vibrations of ignorance and they are too small, too narrow, too limited — too short. The problem is no longer perceived from a psychological point of view at all; there are only vibrations…..
It is always said that it is desire which creates difficulties, and indeed it is like that. Desire may simply be something added to the vibration of will. The Will — when it is the one Will, the supreme Will expressing itself — is direct, immediate, there are no possible obstacles; and so everything that delays, hinders, causes complication or even failure is necessarily an admixture of desire.
One can see it in everything. For example, take an external field of action, with the external world, external things — of course, to say that it is “external” is simply to put oneself in a false position — but, for example, from the higher consciousness, the Truth-consciousness, you tell someone, “Go” — I am giving one example among millions — “Go and see this person and tell him this in order to obtain that.” If this person is receptive, immobile within and surrendered, then he goes, he sees the person and tells him and the thing is done — without any complication whatever, like that. If this person has an active mental consciousness, if he does not have total faith, if he has all the mixture of everything brought in by ego and ignorance, he sees difficulties, he sees problems to be solved, he sees all the complications — and of course, all this happens. And so according to the proportion — everything is always a question of proportion — according to the proportion, it creates complications, it takes time, the thing is delayed or even worse, it is distorted, it does not happen exactly as it should, it is changed, diminished, distorted or in the end it is not done at all — there are many, many degrees, but all that belongs to the domain of complications — mental complications — and desire. Whereas the other way is immediate. There are countless examples of these cases — of all cases — and also of the “immediate case”. Then people tell you: “Oh, you have performed a miracle!” — no miracle has been performed: that is how it should always be. It is because the intermediary did not add himself to the action.
I do not know if this is clear, but anyway… So this ranges from the smallest thing to an action on the terrestrial scale. There are examples, in terrestrial action, of things that have been done in this way — if there is a good intermediary. Nobody understood how it was done, why it was done — like that, very, very simply, everything turned out well. And in other cases, to get a visa or a permit one has to move mountains. So, from the smallest thing, the smallest physical indisposition to a worldwide action, it is all the same principle, everything comes to the same principle.
On Thoughts and Aphorisms, November 4, 1963