She is interested in correcting this child’s mistake so that she does not make the mistake again. So, you see the care of the Mother, − saw this child is taught totally. This letter had nothing to do with the third year of study. Actually it was something else but she was describing a course in the third year of study, fourth year is coming, like this, etc, etc. But because the language is not correct and Mother is the supreme teacher, she will not allow a mistake to go unnoticed. When She used to find out, where exactly the mistake lies and to explain to the student, so that the mistake may not be committed again. Imagine the care and the concentration.
If you examine them for the different powers of consciousness, one of the powers of consciousness is this that you concentrate upon an object for some time, you forget all the rest and you are unable to come back at all altogether. You have gone into it, it is like when you start reading a novel, when you had not started the novel, we were aware of everything that was around you in your room. Start reading the novel and I get so much engrossed in the story of the novel that if somebody calls out to you, first of all you don't like. Why should you be called and sometimes you're so engrossed that even if you're called, you don't even hear. You’re so absorbed in it, you don't like to go out of it, you are so concentrated that you forget how to come out of it, and this is what has happened to all of us. We are actually in a state of consciousness, which has become concentrated only upon a small field and we are so absorbed in it, so absorbed in it that we even forget that there is anything else. Now having explained this, in fact, I have brought with me a book, called The life Divine because I wanted to give you the exact quotation Sri Aurobindo.
“This ignorance is, as we have seen, really a power of the Knowledge to limit itself, to concentrate itself on the work in hand, an exclusive concentration in practice which does not prevent the full existence and working of the whole conscious being behind, but a working in the conditions chosen and self imposed on the nature.”
This is the best definition of ignorance that we have. Now this book is hardly available. In this addition it is page 529, in The life Divine, American edition. This is the book with which I started, fifty years ago and am very familiar with this book but this addition is now hardly available anywhere. But if you want, the chapter number is 13, of book 2, part one and it occurs in the paragraph, last but one. So, you will be able to find out in the copies of the corresponding editions, this particular statement.
It is with this background that we should examine our own ignorance. When we say, we are ignorant and of what we are really ignorant this is the question you have to ask because then we will understand as to why in the Ishopanishad, we have very strange statements that if you are ignorant you go into darkness but if you have knowledge you go into greater darkness. And yet it is not exactly that you should have both knowledge and ignorance and it is by the ignorance that you cross the death and by knowledge you arrive at immortality. These are the three basic statements of the Ishopanishad. Tomorrow, I shall introduce another element in this analysis, so that we understand first of all in what sense are we ignorant and how we can overcome this ignorance. And in what degree, we should and how shall we remove our ignorance these are very important questions and we shall we shall deal with them on Monday. All right.