Guiding Light of The Month

Like a flame that burns in silence, like a perfume that rises straight upward without wavering, my love goes to Thee; and like the child who does not reason and has no care, I trust myself to Thee that Thy Will may be done, that Thy Light may manifest, Thy Peace radiate, Thy Love cover the world. - The Mother

From the Editor’s Desk (Jun 2015)

In the last four issues, we examined the four inner petals of The Mother’s symbol, namely, Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. From this June issue onwards, we visit the qualities of the outer petals of The Mother’s symbol. In all, there are twelve such petals representing twelve qualities. In this issue, we take a glimpse of the first quality, Progress.

Progress denotes an onward, forward or an upward movement where one emerges better off than at the starting point of the movement in any area chosen to progress in. In our usual parlance, we refer to progress in studies, progress in one’s career, progress in one’s health conditions and life as a whole. In a more detailed analysis, Progress is the result of an effort one would have out into improving oneself in an area, for example, in improving one’s handwriting. The effort required would be first of all, to recognize that one’s handwriting is beyond legibility and hence of no worth to another who may be reading it. A reasonable reaction would be to desire legibility so that one’s handwriting may be read and understood by the reader. The severity of this requirement is added more value especially when one’s handwriting affects one’s performance in work or in an examination. Hence follows a string of action and effort towards correcting the undesirable nature of one’s handwriting. The reward becomes a focus point, the effort proceeds and one progresses in presenting one’s writing legibly, after systematic correction efforts. 

Prioritising the area for progress differs with people and their levels of consciousness. But the spirit of progress is one. Though  seemingly mooted by outer needs or expectations, it stems from a need from the depth to exceed oneself, one’s nature, one’s habits, and to attain a level of perfection in the way of expressing ourselves through any work we do.

However, in a life given to spirituality, where conscious and consecrated living is attempted, motivated by spiritualised reasons of existence, then ‘progress’ takes a more refined meaning. The idea itself of an end result or goal or aim recedes into the background and disappears. Progress becomes the natural state of a life consecrated to the Divine, for the sake of the Divine and His expression through the being. This attitude does not place any demands on the Divine. This attitude places on oneself the only demand of making the right and prolonged and sincere effort for progress in an attitude of self-giving and surrender to the Divine will, be it in the developing of a helpful habit, in relinquishing an unhelpful one on the path. The Mother explains thus:

“As with everything in yoga, the effort for progress must be made for the love of the effort for progress. The joy of effort, the aspiration for progress must be enough in themselves, quite independent of the result….. Indeed, in life, always, in all things, the result does not belong to us. And if we want to keep the right attitude, we must act, feel, think, strive spontaneously, for that is what we must do, and not in view of the result to be obtained.” 

“What does progress mean to me?” If one were to simply put this question to oneself, the answers would come quite spontaneously, and it only leaves for one to pick each, one by one, and chart out the path of progress consciously, and walk on this path diligently, calling for Divine grace all along the way. Success is not at all promised. Patience become a need and the certitude of victory a reliable stroke of the oars along the way, on the seas of time.

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