HomeWhat's New?Photo-montagesText PageArya PageDisciples PageLinks

Sri 1950 3 Kb JPG

Sri Aurobindo

Letters from "On the Mother"

Section 5: "Opening and Surrender to the Mother "



By remaining psychically open to the Mother, all that is necessary for work or Sadhana develops progressively, that is one of the chief secrets, the central secret of the Sadhana.

* * *

But it is not by upadesha that this Sadhana is given or carried on. It is only those who are capable by aspiration and meditation on the Mother to open and receive her action and working within that can succeed in this Yoga.

* * *

It is a mistake to exercise the mind about these things and try to arrange them with the ordinary mind. It is by confidence in the Mother that the opening needed will come when your consciousness is ready. There is no harm in arranging your present work so that there will be time and energy for some meditation, but it is not by meditation alone that what is needed will come. It is by faith and openness to the Mother.

* * *

Keep yourself open to the Mother and in perfect union with her. Make yourself entirely plastic to her touch and let her mould you swiftly towards perfection.

* * *

You have only to aspire, to keep yourself open to the Mother, to reject all that is contrary to her will and to let her work in you - doing also all your work for her and in the faith that it is through her force that you can do it. If you remain open in this way, the knowledge and realisation will come to you in due course.

* * *

To practise Yoga implies the will to overcome all attachments and turn to the Divine alone. The principal thing in the Yoga is to trust in the Divine Grace at every step, to direct the thought continually to the Divine and to offer oneself till the being opens and the Mother's force can be felt working in the adhara.

* * *

All things are the Divine because the Divine is there, but hidden not manifest; when the mind goes out to things, it is not with the sense of the Divine in them, but for the appearances only which conceal the Divine. It is necessary therefore for you as a Sadhak to turn entirely to the Mother in whom the Divine is manifest and not run after the appearances, the desire of which or the interest in which prevents you from meeting the Divine. Once the being is consecrated, then it can see the Divine everywhere - and then it can include all things in the one consciousness without a separate interest or desire.


Q: What is the meaning of opening?
A: It is the receptivity to the Mother's presence and her forces.

Q: What is the right and perfect way to get this opening?
A: Aspiration, quietude, widening of oneself to receive, rejection of all that tries to shut you to the Divine.

Q: How to know that I am opening to the Mother and not to other forces?
A: You have to be vigilant and see that there is no movement of disturbance, desire, ego.

Q: What are the indications of a real opening to the Mother?
A: That shows itself at once - when you feel the divine peace, equality, wideness, light, Ananda, Knowledge, strength, when you are aware of the Mother's nearness or presence or the working of her Force, etc., etc. If any of these things are felt, it is the opening - the more are felt, the more complete the opening.
April, 1933

* * *

Q: Opening - what does it mean? Is it: “not to keep anything secret from the Mother”?
A: That is the first step towards opening.

* * *

Q: How to open to the Divine Mother?
A: By faith and surrender in a quiet mind.


To be open is simply to be so turned to the Mother that her Force can work in you without anything refusing or obstructing her action. If the mind is shut up in its own ideas and refuses to allow her to bring in the Light and the Truth, if the vital clings to its desires and does not admit the true initiative and impulsions that the Mother's power brings, if the physical is shut up in its desires, habits and inertia and does not allow the Light and Force to enter in it and work, then one is not open. It is not possible to be entirely open all at once in all the movements, but there must be a central opening in each part and a dominant aspiration or will in each part (not in the mind alone) to admit only the Mother's “workings”, the rest will then be progressively done.
28-10- 1934
* * *

To remain open to the Mother is to remain always quiet and happy and confident - not restless, not grieving or despondent, to let her force work in you, guide you, give you knowledge, give you peace and Ananda. If you cannot keep yourself open, then aspire constantly but quietly that you may be open.

* * *

Q: Some dissatisfactions come and affect the heart which is opening to the Mother.
A: Get rid of these dissatisfactions, they prevent the permanent psychic opening.

* * *

Q: Perhaps it is because the psychic is just opening that it comes under the influence of these dissatisfactions?
A: What the psychic always feels is “What the Mother does is for the best”, and accepts all with gladness. It is the vital part of the heart that is easily touched by the suggestions.


Q: Does the inner being open to the Mother by itself?
A: The inner being does not open except by Sadhana, or by some psychic touch in the life.

* * *

Q: What is this part which feels like opening to the Mother through writing, even when it is the same thing that goes on being repeated?
A: It may be the inner mental, it may be the psychic.


Q: Is the Mother's Grace only general?
A: Both general and special.

Q: How to receive what she grants in general?
A: You have only to keep yourself open and whatever you need and can receive at the moment will come.

* * *

Q: Is it the Purusha who consents to the action of the Mother's Grace in the whole being?
A: Yes.

Q: If the Purusha does not give consent, does it mean that the other beings also cannot come to the front to enable the Sadhak to receive the Mother's Grace?
A: No. The Purusha often holds back and lets the other beings consent or reject in his place.

Q: When the Mother's Grace comes down to the Sadhak, is it by the consent of the Purusha?
A: What do you mean “by the consent”? The Mother's Grace comes down by the Mother's will. The Purusha can accept or reject the Grace.
April, 1933


Q: If a Sadhak even after a long time cannot fully open himself to the Mother owing to obstacles in his nature, does it mean that he will not be accepted by the Mother?
A: There is no meaning in such a question. Those who follow the Yoga here are accepted by the Mother - for “accepted” means “admitted into the Yoga, accepted as disciples”. But the progress in the Yoga and the siddhi in the Yoga depend on the degree to which there is the opening.


Q: X says that the Mother told him that if the sincerity is perfect there would be transformation in a day. I do not understand how that could be possible - a long process of change and conversion compressed in a single day!
A: By sincerity Mother meant being open to no influence but the Divine's only. Now, if the whole being is sincere in that sense even to every cell of the body, what could prevent the most rapid transformation? People cannot be like that, however much the enlightened part of them may want to, because of the nature of the Ignorance out of which the ordinary prakriti has been built - hence the necessity of a long and laborious working.


Openness is not always complete from the first - a part of the being opens, other parts of the consciousness remain still closed or half open only - one has to aspire till all is open. Even with the best and most powerful Sadhaks the full opening takes time; nor is there anyone who has been able to abandon everything at once without any struggle. There is no reason to feel therefore that if you call you will not be heard - the Mother knows the difficulties of human nature and will help you through. Persevere always, call always and then after each difficulty there will be a progress.
20-4- 1935


It is by the constant remembrance that the being is prepared for the full opening. By the opening of the heart the Mother's presence begins to be felt and, by the opening to her Power above, the Force of the higher consciousness comes down into the body and works there to change the whole nature.

* * *

There is no method in this Yoga except to concentrate, preferably in the heart, and call the presence and power of the Mother to take up the being and by the workings of her force transform the consciousness; one can concentrate also in the head or between the eyebrows, but for many this is a too difficult opening. When the mind falls quiet and the concentration becomes strong and the aspiration intense, then there is a beginning of experience. The more the faith, the more rapid the result is likely to be. For the rest one must not depend on one's own efforts only, but succeed in establishing a contact with the Divine and a receptivity to the Mother's Power and Presence.
The direct opening of the psychic centre is easy only when the ego-centricity is greatly diminished and also if there is a strong bhakti for the Mother. A spiritual humility and sense of submission and dependence is necessary.
16-7- 1936

Yes, it is by quieting the mind that you will become able to call the Mother and open to her. The soothing effect was a touch from the psychic - one of the touches that prepare the opening of the psychic with its gift of inner peace, love and joy.

* * *

The Mother's peace is above you by aspiration and quiet self-opening it descends. When it takes hold of the vital and the body, then equanimity becomes easy and in the end automatic.


Keep yourself open to the Mother's Force, but do not trust all forces. As you go on, if you keep straight, you will come to a time when the psychic becomes more predominantly active and the Light from above prevails more purely and strongly so that the chance of mental constructions and vital formations mixing with the true experience diminishes. As I have told you, these are not and cannot be the supramental Forces; it is a work of preparation which is only making things ready for a future YogaSiddhi.

Let the power of the Mother work in you, but be careful to avoid any mixture or substitution, in its place, of either a magnified ego-working or a force of Ignorance presenting itself as Truth. Aspire especially for the elimination of all obscurity and unconsciousness in the nature.


If an adverse Force comes, one has not to accept and welcome its suggestions, but to turn to the Mother and to refuse to turn away from her. Whether one can open or not, one has to be loyal and faithful. Loyalty and fidelity are not qualities for which one has to do Yoga. They are very simple things which any man or woman who aspires to the Truth ought to be able to accomplish.


There is in a very fundamental part of your nature a strong formation of ego-individuality which has mixed in your spiritual aspiration a clinging element of pride and spiritual ambition. This formation has never consented to be broken up in order to give place to something more true and divine. Therefore, when the Mother has put her force upon you, or when you yourself have pulled the force upon you, this in you has always prevented it from doing its work in its own way. It has begun itself building according to the ideas of the mind or some demand of the ego, trying to make its own creation in its “own way”, by its own strength, its own Sadhana, its own Tapasya. There has never been here any real surrender, any giving up of yourself freely and simply into the hands of the Divine Mother. And yet that is the only way to succeed in the supramental Yoga. To be a Yogi, a Sannyasi, a Tapaswi is not the object here. The object is transformation, and the transformation can only be done by a force infinitely greater than your own; it can only be done by being truly like a child in the hands of the Divine Mother.

* * *

Everyone who is turned to the Mother is doing my Yoga. It is a great mistake to suppose that one can “do” the Purna Yoga -i.e. carry out and fulfil all the sides of the Yoga by one's own effort. No human being can do that. What one has to do is to put oneself in the Mother's hands and open oneself to her by service, by Bhakti, by aspiration; then the Mother by her light and force works in him so that the Sadhana is done. It is a mistake also to have the ambition to be a big Purna Yogi or a supra-mental being and ask oneself how far have I got towards that. The right attitude is to be devoted and given to the Mother and to wish to be whatever she wants you to be. The rest is for the Mother to decide and do in you.
April, 1935

* * *

If there is a refusal of the psychic new birth, a refusal to become the child new-born from the Mother, owing to attachment to intellectual knowledge or mental ideas or to some vital desire, then there will be a failure in the Sadhana.

* * *

Q: In our Sadhana, at times we experience large descents of Peace, Force, Ananda, etc. which are usurped by our little human ego to make us feel that we shall belong to the Mother's select band of Supermen. Is this not a mistake?
A: To want to be a Superman is a mistake. It only swells the Ego. One can aspire for the Divine to bring about the supramental transformation, but that also should not be done till the being has become psychic and spiritualised by the descent of the Mother's peace, force, light and purity.
22-2- 1936

* * *

Q: What poise or mode should we keep for the supramental descent?
A: As for poise or mode - that you need not trouble yourself about. An entire faith, opening, self-giving to the Mother are the one condition necessary throughout.


I have said that the human vital does not like to be controlled or dominated by another and I said that that also was a reason why Sadhaks find it difficult to surrender to the Mother. For the vital wants to affirm its own ideas, impulses, desires, preferences and to do what it likes, it does not want to feel another force than that of its own nature leading or driving it; but surrender to the Mother means that it must give up all these personal things and allow her Force to guide and drive it in the ways of a higher Truth which are not its own ways: so it resists, does not want to be dominated by the Truth Light and the Mother's Force, insists on its own independence and refuses to surrender. These ideas of breakdown and personal frustration are again wrong suggestions and the dissatisfaction with yourself is as harmful almost as dissatisfaction with the Mother would be. It prevents the confidence and courage necessary for following the path of the Sadhana. You must dismiss those suggestions from you.
8- 10-1936


There is not much spiritual meaning in keeping open to the Mother if you withhold your surrender. Self-giving or surrender is demanded of those who practise this Yoga, because without such a progressive surrender of the being it is quite impossible to get anywhere near the goal. To keep open means to call in her Force to work in you, and if you do not surrender to it, it amounts to not allowing the Force to work in you at all or else only on condition that it will work in the way you want and not in its own way which is the way of the Divine Truth. A suggestion of this kind is usually made by some adverse Power or by some egoistic element of mind or vital which wants the Grace or the Force, but only in order to use it for its own purpose, and is not willing to live for the Divine Purpose, - it is willing to take from the Divine all it can get, but not to give itself to the Divine. The soul, the true being, on the contrary, turns towards the Divine and is not only willing but eager and happy to surrender.
In this Yoga one is supposed to go beyond every mental idealistic culture. Ideas and Ideals belong to the mind and are half-truths only; the mind too is, more often than not, satisfied with merely having an ideal, with the pleasure of idealising, while life remains always the same, untransformed or changed only a little and mostly in appearance. The spiritual seeker does not turn aside from the pursuit of realisation to mere idealising; not to idealise, but to realise the Divine Truth is always his aim, either beyond or in life also - and in the latter case it is necessary to transform mind and life which cannot be done without surrender to the action of the Divine Force, the Mother.
To seek after the Impersonal is the way of those who want to withdraw from life, but usually they try by their own effort, and not by an opening of themselves to a superior Power or by the way of surrender; for the Impersonal is not something that guides or helps, but something to be attained and it leaves each man to attain it according to the way and capacity of his nature. On the other hand, by an opening and surrender to the Mother one can realise the Impersonal and every other aspect of Truth also.
The surrender must necessarily be progressive. No one can make the complete surrender from the beginning, so it is quite natural that when one looks into oneself, one should find its absence. That is no reason why the principle of surrender should not be accepted and carried out steadily from stage to stage, from field to field, applying it successively to all the parts of the nature.
* * *

It is then a sankalpa of surrender. But the surrender must be to the Mother - not even to the Force, but to the Mother herself.

* * *

If the psychic manifests, it will not ask you to surrender to it, but to surrender to the Mother.

* * *

The best way is to live in the psychic being, for that is always surrendered to the Mother and can lead the others in the right way. For control one has to centralise somewhere - some do it in the mind or above the mind, others do it in the heart and through the heart in the psychic centre.


It is necessary if you want to progress in your Sadhana that you should make the submission and surrender of which you speak sincere, real and complete. This cannot be as long as you mix up your desires with your spiritual aspiration. It cannot be as long as you cherish vital attachment to family, child or anything or anybody else. If you are to do this Yoga, you must have only one desire and aspiration, to receive the spiritual Truth and manifest it in all your thoughts, feelings, actions and nature. You must not hunger after any relations with anyone. The relations of the Sadhak with others must be created for him from within, when he has the true consciousness and lives in the Light. They will be determined within him by the power and will of the Divine Mother according to the supramental Truth for the divine life and divine work; they must not be determined by his mind and his vital desires. This is the thing you have to remember. Your psychic being is capable of giving itself to the Mother and living and growing in the Truth; but your lower vital being has been full of attachments and samskaras and an impure movement of desire and your external physical thind was not able to shake off its ignorant ideas and habits and open to the Truth. That was the reason why you were unable to progress, because you were keeping up an element and movements which could not be allowed to remain; for they were the exact opposite of what has to be established in a divine life. The Mother can only free you from these things, if you really want it, not only in your psychic being, but in your physical mind and all your vital nature. The sign will be that you no longer cherish or insist on your personal notions, attachments or desires, and that whatever the distance and wherever you may be, you will feel yourself open and the power and presence of the Mother with you and working in you and will be contented, quiet, confident, wanting nothing else, awaiting always the Mother's Will.

* * *

Put all before the Mother in your heart so that her Light may work on it for the best.
2 1-4-1935

* * *

The life of samsara is in its nature a field of unrest - to go through it in the right way one has to offer one's life and actions to the Divine and pray for the peace of the Divine within. When the mind becomes quiet, one can feel the Divine Mother supporting the life and put everything into her hands.
16-4- 1933


What you say of Sadhana is true. Sadhana is necessary and the Divine Force cannot do things in the void but must lead each one according to his nature to the point at which he can feel the Mother working within and doing all for him. Till then the Sadhak's aspiration, self-consecration, assent and support to the Mother's workings, his rejection of all that comes in the way is very necessary - indispensable.

* * *

The effort demanded of the Sadhak is that of aspiration, rejection and surrender. If these three are done the rest is to come of itself by the Grace of the Mother and the working of her force in you. But of the three the most important is surrender of which the first necessary form is trust and confidence and patience in difficulty. There is no rule that trust and confidence can only remain if aspiration is there. On the contrary, when even aspiration is not there because of the pressure of inertia, trust and confidence and patience can remain. If trust and patience fail when aspiration is quiescent, that would mean that the Sadhak is relying solely on his own effort - it would mean, “Oh, my aspiration has failed, so there is no hope for me. My aspiration fails, so what can Mother do?” On the contrary, the Sadhak should feel, “Never mind, my aspiration will come back again. Meanwhile I know that the Mother is with me even when I do not feel her; she will carry me even through the darkest period.” That is the fully right attitude you must have. To those who have it depression can do nothing; even if it comes it has to return baffled. That is not tamasic surrender. Tamasic surrender is when one says, “I won't do anything; let Mother do everything. Aspiration, rejection, surrender even are not necessary. Let her do all that in me.” There is a great difference between the two attitudes. One is that of the shirker who won't do anything, the other is that of the Sadhak who does his best, but when he is reduced to quiescence for a time and things are adverse, keeps always his trust in the Mother's force and presence behind all and by that trust baffles the opposition force and calls back the activity of the Sadhana.


Q: I find it very difficult to do the right kind of concentration. Since I can't concentrate properly, would it not be best for me to imagine myself lying eternally in the Mother's lap?
A: This is the best possible kind of concentration.

Sri Aurobindo

in: SABCL, volume 25, "The Mother": With "Letters on the Mother" and "Prayers and Meditations" (translations from Prières et Méditations de la Mère)
Part Two "Letters on the Mother" - Section 5 "Opening and Surrender to the Mother" (pages 121-136)
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA

EmailGif 1K

[ Sign my GuestBook ] guestbook Gif [ Read my GuestBook ]
[ GuestBook by TheGuestBook.com ]

HomeWhat's New?Photo-montagesText PageArya PageDisciples PageLinks

On the site you are visitor # (Unique)

Other counter for verifications (unique visitors, but no longer reliable since July 2001)