“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.” When we fall we complain why should I fall? But the divine takes you through various kinds of paths of successes, of victories, of failures, of disasters, calamities, all kinds of methods. At that time we repel or we rejoice according to our immediate concern but behind all that is the preparation of the path. “We recognise this divine leading afterwards, not retrospectively but immediately…” Once we have gained this retrospective understanding of God leading you then you apply it even now. Earlier you were trying to understand the Divine retrospectively but now once you have learnt it you can apply the method now and say that in what is happening to you surely the Divine is present. You should see in the present situation also how the Divine is present –– not retrospectively but now itself. How the divine leading “…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.” These are the four terms which we recognise in the true teacher. He is a Master, he is a Friend, he is the Lover, he is the Teacher. The Teacher basically instructs, the Lover attracts you with his love, the Friend is a companion and gives you solace, gives you happiness, pleasure, gives you all kinds of play; but he is also the Master and that is the real recognition of the Teacher as the Master. It is he who commands everything and who has the authority of giving command to you. That is the mark of the Teacher. A good teacher can tell you: “Do this!” He commands with a complete responsibility. Whatever is to happen will happen, do not grieve because I am in every circumstance. That is the Master. He is sure, confident, infallible. That is the mark of the Master. A friend can make a mistake, a lover can make a mistake, even a teacher can make a mistake but the master makes no mistake. When the teacher tells you authoritatively he is the master, when the teacher explores with you he is the teacher but when he is authoritative, he is certain, that is the mastery. The Lord, the Divine comes to us in our process of learning as the Master, Friend, Lover, Teacher.
“We recognise it in the essence of our being as that develops into likeness and oneness with a greater and wider existence…” This is another mark of your entering into being. When you begin to become like your teacher in your behaviour, in your thinking, in your movements, in your seekings. A good teacher always has the power of creating imitation among the pupils; a good teacher becomes an example and the pupils begin to imitate, begins to become like the teacher. This is not the accumulation of more and more information. To become like your teacher, if your teacher is kind you become kind; if your teacher is authoritative you become authoritative; your teacher is very friendly you become very friendly; the teacher is very forgiving you become very forgiving; the teacher is a seer you become a seer, the teacher is your leader you become a leader. Whenever you have a real growth of being, real knowledge, as distinguished from information this is the special mark you will find. You not only become more informed, something happens to the very essence of your being, you are moulded in the image of your teacher. “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…” When you begin to become like your teacher it is not your effort it is he because of the supreme attractiveness of his being who mingles his being with your being, who wrestles and embraces your being and then you become like him. And then Sri Aurobindo gives a great statement: “…an eternal Perfection is moulding us into its own image.” That is the mark of a great education. The true education is an eternal perfection moulding us into its own image. We become perfect not by gaining lot of information; it is by becoming ourselves the lightness, the image of the master himself.
Now Sri Aurobindo gives various ways by which you come to know this master, by different names we call him. “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.” If you are a materialist God comes to you as the force of matter; if you are the agnostic then he comes to you in the form of the unknowable; if you are a yogi he comes to you as Ishwara; if you are a thinker he comes to you as the absolute. In whatever form you are he takes an appropriate form but it is he who takes you in his hands; it is he who walks with you and trains you in his own mastery and makes you like him.