First letter in "The Mother"
(Two powers: Aspiration and Grace)
by Sri Aurobindo
There are two powers that alone can effect in their conjunction the great
and difficult thing which is the aim of our endeavor,
- a fixed and unfailing aspiration that calls from below and
- a supreme Grace from above that answers.
But the supreme Grace will act only in the conditions of the Light and
the Truth; it will not act in conditions of Falsehood and Ignorance. For
if it were to yield to the demands of the Falsehood, it would defeat its
These are the conditions of Light and Truth, the sole conditions under
which the highest will descend; and it is only the very highest supramental
Force descending from above and opening from below that can victoriously
handle the physical Nature and annihilate its difficulties . . .
There must be a total and sincere surrender; there must be an exclusive
self opening to the divine Power; there must be a constant and integral
choice of the Truth that is descending, a constant and integral rejection
of the falsehood of the mental, vital and physical Powers and Appearances
that still rule the earth-Nature.
The surrender must be total and seize all parts of the being.
It is not enough that psychic should respond and higher mental aspect
or even the inner vital submit and the physical consciousness feel the
influence. There must be no part in the being, even the most external,
anything that makes a reserve, anything that hides behind doubts, confusions
and subterfuges, anything that revolts or refuses.
If a part of the being surrenders, but another part reserves itself, follows
its own way or makes its own conditions, then each time that happens,
you are yourself pushing the divine Grace away from you.
If behind your devotion and surrender you make a cover for your desires,
egoistic demands and vital insistences, if you put these things in the
place of true aspiration or mix them with it and try to impose it on the
Divine Shakti, then it is idle to invoke the divine Grace to transform
If you open yourself on one side or in one part to the Truth and on another
side are constantly opening the gates to hostile forces, it is in vain
to expect that the divine Grace will abide with you.
You must keep the temple clean if you wish to install there a living Presence.
If each time the Power intervenes and brings back the Truth, you turn
your back on it and call in again the falsehood that has been expelled,
it is not the divine Grace you must blame for failing you, but the falsity
of your own will and the imperfection of your own surrender.
If you call for the Truth and yet something in you chooses what is false,
ignorant and undivine or even simply is unwilling to reject it altogether,
then always you will be open to attack and the Grace will recede from
you. Detect first what is false or obscure in you and persistently reject
it, then alone can you rightly call for the divine Power to transform
you. Do not imagine that truth and falsehood, light and darkness, surrender
and selfishness can be allowed to dwell together in the house consecrated
to the Divine.
The transformation must be integral, and integral therefore the rejection
of all that withstands it.
Reject the false notion that the divine Power will do and is bound to
do everything for you at your demand and even though you do not satisfy
the conditions laid down by the Supreme.
Make your surrender true and complete, then only will all else be done
Reject too the false and indolent expectation that the divine will do
the surrender for you. The Supreme demands your surrender to her, but
does not impose it: you are free at every moment, till the irrevocable
transformation comes, to deny and to reject the Divine or to recall your
self-giving, if you are willing to suffer the spiritual consequence.
Your surrender must be self-made and free; it must be the surrender of
a living being, not of an inert automaton or mechanical tool.
An inert passivity is constantly confused with the real surrender, but
out of an inert passivity nothing true and powerful can come. It is the
inert passivity of the physical Nature that leaves it at the mercy of
every obscure or undivine influence.
A glad and strong and helpful submission is demanded to the working of
the Divine force, the obedience of the illumined disciple of the Truth,
of the inner Warrior who fights against obscurity and falsehood, of the
faithful servant of the Divine.
This is the true attitude and only those who can take and keep it, preserve
a faith unshaken by disappointments and difficulties and shall pass through
the ordeal to the supreme victory and the greatest transmutation.
In SABCL, volume 25, "The Mother and Letters
on the Mother" (pages 1-5)
The Mother has commented that text
on July 7, 1954
in CMW, vol. 6, "Questions and Answers - 1954",
published by Sri
Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA
You can HEAR The Mother reading that text on the
external site (Real Audio)