Sri Aurobindo's Aphorisms published in the 'Arya'
May 1915 & May 1916
| What is God after all? An eternal child playing an eternal game in
an eternal garden.
Some think it presumption to believe in a special Providence or to
look upon oneself as an instrument in the hands of God, but I find that
every man has a special Providence and I see that God uses the mattock
of the labourer and babbles in the mouth of a little child.
Providence is not only that which saves me from the shipwreck in which
everybody else has foundered. Providence is also that which, while all
others are saved, snatches away my last plank of safety and drowns me
in the solitary ocean.
The delight of victory is sometimes less than the attraction of struggle
and suffering; nevertheless the laurel and not the cross should be the
aim of the conquering human soul.
Souls that do not aspire are God's failures; but Nature is pleased
and loves to multiply them because they assure her of stability and
prolong her empire.
Those who are poor, ignorant, ill-born or ill-bred are not the common
herd; the common herd are all who are satisfied with pettiness and an
Help men, but do not pauperise them of their energy; lead and instruct
men, but see that their initiative and originality remain intact; take
others into thyself, but give them in return the full godhead of their
nature. He who can do this is the leader and the guru.
God has made the world a field of battle and filled it with the trampling
of combatants and the cries of a great wrestle and struggle. Would you
filch His peace without paying the price He has fixed for it?
Distrust a perfect-seeming success, but when having succeeded thou
findest still much to do, rejoice and go forward; for the labour is
long before the real perfection.
There is no more benumbing error that to mistake a stage for the goal or to linger too long in a resting place.
| Those aphorisms are now to be found in the booklet "Thoughts and
The first one is at the end of the section "Delight of Being". The others are at the beginning of the section "Thoughts and Glimpses"