Guiding Light of The Month

Tell me, wilt Thou grant me the marvellous power to give birth to this dawn in expectant hearts, to awaken the consciousness of men to Thy sublime presence, and in this bare and sorrowful world awaken a little of Thy true Paradise? What happiness, what riches, what terrestrial powers can equal this wonderful gift! - The Mother

.....And Above, a Supreme Grace that answers

“There are two powers that alone can effect in their conjunction the great and difficult thing which is the aim of our endeavour, a fixed and unfailing aspiration that calls from below and a supreme Grace from above that answers.” (Sri Aurobindo in ‘The Mother’)

No god or goddess or angel listening to our prayers can grant them. Due to the enormity of the task before us, it is only a supreme and all-fulfilling Grace that should be called, for only the supreme Grace can answer such a call.

And what is Grace? Grace is a spontaneous movement of love from the divine towards his creation. it follows no reason, no logic in the human sense. it flows where it chooseth. it does not pause to consider whether the recipient is virtuous or sinful, deserving or non-deserving from the human point of view. Human deserts do not matter at all. The Grace flows according to its own choice. That is why in spiritual history we see instances where people who have not been paricualrly righteous according to the moral standards of the times, people who have been condemned as sinners suddenly becoming recipients of the Divine Grace. Why is this so? It is because they have within them a soul-force acquired in previous lives which make them worthy of the Grace.

Sri Aurobindo explains that before the Grace can come, a state of Grace, has to be built up. Slowly behind the veil whether the outer person is aware of it or not, the soul goes on building a condition which invokes the Grace, which is able to receive the impact of the Grace. If the outer being also puts in a conscious effort, so much the better. It seconds the inner effort; things are speeded up. But even without the outer effort, the state of grace can be built up within a person. That is the mechanics of the functioning of the Grace. It has its own standards, its own causes and its own way of functioning. thus the effort of the human soul articulated in the unfailing aspiration from below and the supreme Grace from above that answers are both indispensable and it is only when these two meet and work together that the difficult thing which is the aim of our endeavour can be effected.

When Mother was asked which of the two-human effort or the Divine Grace-is more important, she replied that the two are really the two ends of one working. Both are necessary. Without effort, the action of the Grace can be barren. Without Grace, human effort may be ineffective. Both are necessary to achieve the end.

But the Supreme Grace will act only in the conditions of the Light and the Truth; it will not act in conditions laid upon it by the Falsehood and Ignorance. For if it were to yield to the demands of Falsehood, it would defeat its own purpose.

Truth, Light, Ignorance, Falsehood- these are the four main conceptions which Sri Aurobindo speaks of in this passage. Truth is self-evident, it is the nature of the Divine being. Light is the form of Truth. In the Upanishad it has been explicitly stated that the Divine Truth has Light for its form. Ignorance is a state of consciousness which is removed from Truth, divisive in its operation and effect. Ignorance divides where there is oneness, where there is unity; Ignorance brings seperation and limitation. Limitation in knowledge and consciousness results in limitation of Power, limitation of action, limitation of joy; this state of consciousness is called Ignorance. Falsehood is something different. Falsehood is a direct contradiction of truth. It is not a veiled truth as ignorance is, not an incomplete truth as ignorance, but a perversion, a deliberate twisting by which the exact opposite of Truth is presented as Truth. There is a conscious attempt to mislead, to misguide, and to pass itself off as Truth. Falsehood is the extreme result of what begins as Ignorance. There is redemption from Ignorance but for one who sticks to Falsehood, what redemption can there be?

The Grace will act only in conditions of Light and Truth. It will not answer to a call made under the conditions of Ignorance and Falsehood. If it were to do so, then the Grace would be a handmaid of Falsehood, establishing its empire on earth.

(to be continued)

- M.P. Pandit
(M.P. Pandit, ‘Sat-Sang’, Dipti Publications, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry)

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