Thursday, September 25, 2008

In Silence

In Silence alone, there is progress, the spiritual progress, or rather an integral progress. Integral silence is the source of true force and concentration and attention. We need, for a true growth in an integral spirituality, as much silence as possible— not only mental, but also vital and physical silence. Silence in the mind, silence in the vital being — the plane of all emotions and passions and feelings, even higher and subtle feelings — and in the physical, in the body and in the entire outer circumstances: this is what we need for a true progress.

The first step of the Integral Transformation is the Psychic Transformation. For the psychic transformation or the psychic change, we must realize and unveil the psychic being. And in order to unveil the Psychic Being, the true and central being in us, we shall have to go within: to the inner cave. That is the most essential journey we shall have to undertake. In order to go within and discover the psychic being, a regular aspiring practice of Meditation and an utmost concentration in our works, which should always be consecrated to the Divine, to the Divine Mother.

The Mother said to Huta :

The best way to hasten this change is the habit of going within.

Thus, we shall have to go within — the surest and the most practical way to find and bring out the Divine from within. After the inner discovery, we shall have to change our entire being, in all its parts. Without going within, nothing can be done.

In Meditation and in the consecration of the works, the greatest necessity is Silence — external silence, mental silence and vital silence. The Mother has advised us to control our speech always and to keep our surroundings as much silent and undisturbed as possible. This has to grow as a conscious habit in us.

Then what is required is a vital silence: there ought to be a conquest over all the tumults and waves. We have bring a gradual silence over the vital being’s “desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy” and hostility, so that we may develop “a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being”. [Quotations are from The Mother by Sri Aurobindo.] Such a vital being is to be obtained in order to have a true mental silence, and this too needs a sincere practice. Let us find what Sri Aurobindo has said in this connection:

In moments when the inner lamps are lit
And the life's cherished guests are left outside,
Our spirit sits alone and speaks to its gulfs.
[Savitri, Pt I, Bk 1, Co 4]

In order that our spirit, our psychic finds itself and sits alone and has a communion with the Vast, not only our inner lamps are to be lit, but also our life’s cherished guests, the elements and forces of the vital nature, should be left outside.

Our aspiration must be integral, consisting of all parts of our being. And we must be sincere, in order to achieve a true progress. How to be sincere? The Mother has said to Huta:
To be sincere, all the parts of the being must be united in their aspiration for the Divine, not that one part wants and the others refuse or revolt. [White Roses]

Therefore, if we try to be silent in the mind, but there are disturbances in the atmosphere externally, or in the body or in the vital nature, or even if the mental activities are divided, no silence will come.

When in meditation or contemplation, one has to provide peace and silence in the atmosphere. And then, one has to try to go within, by keeping all the ‘life’s cherished guests’ outside. This needs a preparation from beforehand, which may take some, which may differ from person to person. And then comes the real work of silencing the mind. When we sit a meditation, ideas and images will come. We should let them pass. Let them pass away. We should better try to concentrate with a small mantra, say ‘Ma’ or ‘Mother’. Or even we repeat the word ‘peace, peace’. We may remember The Mother or even both of Them.

And we should see that there is the minimum action —as little as possible — in the mind. We should pray for Silence, peacefully, without any pressure or anxiety or negative thought or emotion. And gradually, Silence comes.

How does Silence come? One thing : be silent, in all parts of your existence. The Mother helps. The Mother comes in Silence, along with Silence.


One has to distinguish between a calm mind and a silent mind. We may be able to pacify and calm our mind and stop its ordinary activities, but in a silent mind, ideas should not enter and disturb. The Mother says that to completely silence the mind is not an easy task. In this connection, The Mother has said :
You should not confuse a calm mind with a silent mind. You can calm your mind and stop its ordinary activity, but it may still be open to ideas coming from outside and that too disturbs the calm. And for the mind to be completely silent, you must not only stop its own activity but shut out all that comes from other minds. This is not easy.

In course of Sadhana and due to the graceful interference from The Mother and The Master, or from the Divine, one may come in active contact with the consciousness beyond normal mind, ranging from the higher mind to the intuition. When the mind so receives any such experience in the silence of the mind, one has to receive it — one should not then stop the higher interference. One should have to know and realize the difference.

The Mother has said:
Moreover, you must learn to distinguish between a phenomenon of consciousness and a mental phenomenon. One can be conscious of an experience in such a way that this consciousness is not formulated into a thought or thoughts. This is very important if the mind is to remain absolutely quiet and silent.

Often, Silence is much more powerful than words. The Descent of Peace, of the Divine Presence, happens in silence, “not by beat of drums”, in the words of The Mother. Very often, the children of The Mother, throughout the world, received Her Blessings in silence — without any written word. I have personally experienced this several times.

Let us find what She says in this regard:
Always I answer your letters but rarely I have time to put my answer on paper. You are capable of receiving these answers directly, but for that you must learn to keep your mind silent − this is the true meditation − the brain blank, immobile and turned upward. This is the necessary condition to receive the answers. If you can hand over the care of your existence and your development to the Supreme Consciousness, then peace will enter your heart and your problems will be solved.

Thus, we may receive The Mother’s response and answers directly in our consciousness, if we have Silence established within us.

Barin Chaki

[This is also published in ASPIRATION in my Blog, and also here in my Blog Allchoice and in my Blog in Sulekha.]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Deepest Need

In each of us, the human beings, including me, the deepest need is one: Ananda, Joy, satisfaction, removal of the dissatisfactions and sorrows and difficulties and problems. It cannot be expressed correctly in one word. But the sense is that: Ananda. Every human seeks that and searches only that in the human life. Indeed, that is what is sought by the animals, too, as it seems.

And we never really get this Ananda. And the asking for Ananda gets involved with several other deep questions: Who am I? What is my true being? Why am I here? Why am I suffering? What is the meaning of my existence, everyone else’s existence? Why there are sorrows and sufferings? Why don’t I find any Joy, any Ananda? Why there is death? Why there are diseases? Why there are divisions, difficulties, dissatisfactions? And why there is all this Creation? Is it a Creation? Is there any One who has created all these things and all these sorrows and sufferings and all this yearning for Joy and Bliss and Ananda? And there grow numerous such questions within us, within each of us, within me.

And we start searching for the answers, along with our initial search for Joy and Bliss and Ananda. We seek within and also, we seek without. And our search begins instantly, without waiting for anyone else. We want to know.

We, in our search, find that we, the humans, are ignorant and in darkness. That is the first self-knowledge. I don’t know and I want to know. And the search grows intense. We want to know the meaning of our existence and the aim and goal of our life, which is short and uncertain, threatened by death. And we philosophize, and we dream and create arts and poetry and discover music, and also we find ‘religions’ to solve the problems. And also, we grow with sciences, techniques, mathematics, and civilizations!

And to meet the answer to the inner query, we come to discover God, come to the Seers who express the Veda, we come to Shri Krishna, the Buddha, to Jesus, to other spiritual leaders, to Plato or Aristotle or other philosophers, or in frustration of not finding any truth, and we turn Atheists!

And more or less, all of them, taught us to finally leave this earth, this Creation, and have a Nirvana, or a Moksha, or go to the Heaven! No place here, you will perish here, everything is transitory. Whether the Buddha or Shankara, your only solace is a Beyond, beyond the Creation. You shall have to return to the Origin! Go back! If any Creator is there, if any creation is here, go back to Him. Or, you shall have to go to the Heavenly Father and His Heavenly Abode.

Sciences have discovered a lot things and have advanced the standards of the human life, and have even tried to go to the origin of things, but the scientists are yet to reach anywhere in solution.

Indian philosophy has gave us a lot of wisdom regarding Existence and the Creation — it has given us the Idea of the Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence- Consciousness- Bliss, Who is the Origin of all that is, Who is all that is. And also Indian Philosophy has given us the Idea of the Soul, the Atman, the Purusha, that we are individually — we, the human beings, the living beings!

But none has given us the satisfaction in full! If I am to go to Nirvana or Moksha, if we are to return to Heaven, then why I am here? Why should the Creator send me here, or send us here? Why this creation is there at all, if this all untrue, if this is Maya, if this is a vale of sufferings and tears, of darkness and sufferings! Why this earth, and this Universe, if they have no meaning, no worth, no aim? And what is this existence of mine, of ours, if it is a meaningless transient falsehood. If the soul is true, how and why should it come to this earth, this Universe? If it is a portion of Satchidananda, then why the soul suffer in darkness and sorrows and death.

Is there any answer? Is there any Light solving the situation, the question? Can anyone liberate me, and you all, from this condition which seems to be a dungeon.

The answer is : Sri Aurobindo.
The answer is : The Supramental Manifestation.
The answer is : The Supramental Transformation.
The answer is : The New World.

Sri Aurobindo has given me the answer. He is the Hope of Man. He is the Light. He is the assurance that our deepest need will be and ought to be fulfilled. Joy will be here! Truth will triumph! Death and sufferings will be conquered.

And we see the New Horizon, and we shall march onwards there!


Barindranath Chaki

[This is published originally in ASPIRATION in answering a question by Devabrata Ghosh (Babul), and is to be published in Sulekha .]