And suddenly one day after my dinner I came to my room I just said to myself, let me just glance at the book, and then I glanced and the first chapter that seized me was: The Double Soul in Man –– this was the title –– and this seized me tremendously. Because everybody speaks of one soul but here there was a double soul in man. That attracted me very much so I said; alright let me read this chapter. Then I went backward, I started the book. I read the first volume of The Life Divine twice in one week. Every line, it was as it were a downpour of knowledge and every word that I read was true. My whole aspiration to know the Truth, in every line I said, yes this is true, this is true, this is true. In four days I read the first volume, twenty–two hours, I read incessantly. And then I said I should revise now the first volume and I revised it. I recognised that my struggle for two or three years was all designed by Him because if I have not read so many books I will not have understood The Life Divine. It is such complex book, so much of background is needed that if I had not passed through painfully I would not have recognised the value of what Sri Aurobindo had written. Retrospectively, I realised it was Sri Aurobindo who was taking me through this struggle, he was all the time with me and then he had now replied within no time and through somebody who had no care for the book himself. He had brought me the book and his uncle who did not know me was all the time hammering him, “read the book, read the book…” he did not know that he was hammering me actually to read it. That is how I recognised the Divine’s hand retrospectively. You may know the Divine is there through your tribulations all the time; he is always there. If he gives you this experience or that experience or another experience remember it is the Divine who wants to open your eyes so that you may recognise him.
That is how Sri Aurobindo says “We recognise it retrospectively as we realise how all our obscure and conflicting movements have been determined towards an end that we only now begin to perceive, how even before our entrance into the path of the Yoga the evolution of our life has been designedly led towards its turning–point. For now we begin to understand the sense of our struggles and efforts, successes and failures. At last we are able to seize the meaning of our ordeals and sufferings and can appreciate the help that was given us by all that hurt and resisted and the utility of our very falls and stumblings.” This is one way by which we recognise. And then “We recognise this divine leading afterwards, not retrospectively but immediately…” Once the Divine’s hand has been seen you can see it at every step. We may know that he is there behind any experience that you will get you can ask the Divine what is the meaning of this, please tell me why this experience? Why I am in a state of tremendous joy? Why I am in a state of great despondency? Why this sorrow? Why this failure, why this success? What does it mean? You begin to see him immediately, at every step he answers you: look this is the meaning. You should read the Uttarpara speech of Sri Aurobindo in which he explains… when he was taken to the jail by now he had had already a supreme experience of nirvana and he had an assurance from the Divine “I will lead you, I will be always with you”. Already he had this. And yet when he was taken to jail from his home by the police he himself writes: “I was shaken and I cried out ‘Why this?’” He complained to the Divine that he had promised that he would always protected him but now where is his protection? I am now taken to the jail. And the Supreme Divine said: “Wait.” He waited in the solitude of the jail and then Sri Aurobindo says he put the Bhagavad Gita into my hands. And he revealed to him the necessity for him to undertake the yoga of the Gita which he could not have done if he was in the hustle–bustle of the activities of politics. Outwardly it may seem that Sri Aurobindo was removed from his field of action he was thrown into a way where there was no protection but that was only the protection. The jail gave him the seclusion that was absolutely necessary for him to study the Gita and to get the revelation of his work for the future. Sri Krishna said after three days: “Now do you see? You were shaken in your faith. But now do you see? I cut your bonds in one stroke. To you your action was very dear and by yourself you would have not left it. So I had to force you because I want to embrace you and in that hustle–bustle you would not have embraced me. Now you are alone with me I can embrace you, I can pour all my love to you, I can pour all my knowledge into you, I can show you what is your next path, what is your next step.” So, his being taken to the jail was not immediately known as the hand of God –– retrospectively he knew, but afterwards all the times the Divine revealed himself and showed him how to move forward.
“We recognise this divine leading afterwards, not retrospectively but immediately, in the moulding of our thoughts by a transcendent Seer, of our will and actions by an all–embracing Power, of our emotional life by an all–attracting and all–assimilating Bliss and Love. We recognise it too in a more personal relation that from the first touched or at the last seizes us; we feel the eternal presence of a supreme Master, Friend, Lover, Teacher.” This is the glorious moment when you begin to perceive the Divine as your Supreme Master, Friend, Lover, Teacher who is constantly with you. “We recognise it in the essence of our being as that develops into likeness and oneness with a greater and wider existence; for we perceive that this miraculous development is not the result of our own efforts: [On the contrary our effort may be the exact opposite of what is really needed by us] an eternal Perfection is moulding us into its own image. One who is the Lord or Ishwara of the Yogic philosophies, the Guide in the conscious being (caitya guru or antaryamin), the Absolute of the thinker, the Unknowable of the Agnostic, the universal Force of the materialist, the supreme Soul and the supreme Shakti, the One who is differently named and imaged by the religions, is the Master of our Yoga.” By whatever name he may come –– he may come as a materialist and he may worship matter. Even that is the method of the Divine to make you worship matter because he may reveal himself to you through the matter. Even an atheist suddenly may become aware of the Divine in matter –– only by worship of matter itself.
“To see, know, become and fulfil this One in our inner selves and in all our outer nature, was always the secret goal and becomes now the conscious purpose of our embodied existence. To be conscious of him in all parts of our being and equally in all that the dividing mind sees as outside our being, is the consummation of the individual consciousness. To be possessed by him and possess him in ourselves and in all things is the term of all empire and mastery. To enjoy him in all experience of passivity and activity, of peace and of power, of unity and of difference is the happiness which the Jiva, the individual soul manifested in the world, is obscurely seeking. This is the entire definition of the aim of integral Yoga; it is the rendering in personal experience of the truth which universal Nature has hidden in herself and which she travails to discover. It is the conversion of the human soul into the divine soul and of natural life into divine living.”