So first step is concentration, second step is tapasya; tapasya is the tapasya of ideation, which consists of giving exercises to the mind, of consistency and comprehensiveness. Thirty, forty exercises where you show this is consistent with this, this is not consistent with this. Make forty sentences and say, this picture is black, it is also white. If it is black, it can’t be white. You can say on this portion it is black, on this portion is white that is possible. It's consistent. This is round and blue is consistent or not consistent? Blueness and roundness can go together. No contradiction at all, because roundness is the shape and this is colour and the two things can co-exist. Now like the 30, 40 exercises you give to the mind and ideative consistency it means tapasya, do it with a concentration. That is how in mathematics, why mathematics becomes a very good instrument of education because it is tapasya of doing 40 sums. So apart from anything by doing mathematics your mind becomes extremely agile, it’s a tapasya, but normally this tapasya is connected only with a particular skill of doing a sum. The higher is this idea of this consistency. If you use the same time you spent in doing the forty sums and forty exercises of consistency, they are better exercises. That’s why Mother said you should give to the child thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Go on doing this so you will have thesis and antithesis is a question of consistency and synthesis is of comprehensiveness. You give lot of exercises of thesis, antithesis and synthesis the mind becomes really capable of illumination.
Once this exercise is very well done, lot of tapasya in various conditions the mind becomes intelligent. This was the way by which Panchtantra was written. Panchtantra was written to make foolish princes wise. What were all the stories, of consistency and comprehensiveness. Where you tell the stories that there were pundits, and these pundits were all foolish and they were fighting with each other, and they went to take bath in the river and they did not know how to deal with the inundation (flood) so they all began to be drowned. One was more agile, and he could catch a friend of his and he said this man is now going to be drowned fully because he is not able to hold him, so he cut his head. Saying what? He said: sarve nashe samputine, when the full destruction is ahead, ardham tajeti purusha, half the body (laughter) so there is no possibility now of his ever surviving. sarve nashe sampudpane ardham tajeti punditha. When everything is being lost, you should keep half (laughter). Now this exercise is very important. What is half? How do you know what is half? So even if you are not intelligent, you become intelligent.
If you read all the stories of Panchtantra from this point of view, these stories are extremely valuable. Like the story of ‘The Crow’ about the water. The water is so much at the bottom how to bring it up, you go on and putting pebbles in it, the water will come up. So stories of this kind, Panchtantra can be used for this purpose but it is a tapasya. But the tapasya in which children will like to hear and they'll become automatically. This is a tapasya and there can be many kinds of tapasyas these are very simple tapasyas but give a very hard problem. And, this consistency and comprehensiveness makes you look for essence. The idea of essence begins to rise in your mind when you say this is consistent or this is comprehensive. The idea of essence automatically begins to take birth in your mind and afterwards, whenever anybody gives you a long lecture, you will try to find out the essence of it. Your mind has now become intelligent. You don't need to remember the whole thing, if you remember the basic point, the moment that basic point is given, you can yourself afterwards bring out all the consequences. You don't need to remember each and every point. So now this is called tapasya of ideation.
Then there is tapasya of will. Tapasya of will consists of desires and to take out will out of desire. In every desire there's a will, the normal experience of will is in desire. I want to eat ice-cream, it’s a desire. And the child says I want to eat ice cream so now if you want to give a child some kind of an exercise, you should have to say that, look, this is desire behind it is the will. What is the will? Will is that you want to fill your belly. This is very legitimate. Eating ice cream it is only a kind of an excuse for filling your belly and you want to enjoy it while filling the belly. This is the basic point while filling the belly. If you can take out your desire for ice cream and I can fulfill the other two things. It is very difficult in the beginning, but ultimately you can reduce the desire element and will becomes more and more powerful. Now all the desires have behind them will, and the tapasya of will consists of taking out desire out of the will. It is like churning so that butter comes out ultimately that is tapasya, it’s the second.
Then is the tapasya of love? Love his passion, emotion, frivolity and your lust. All these are deformations of love. So take out of whatever one says: Oh! I love you very much, fine. Take out all these elements, whatever remains is real love, so this is tapasya. It's not curbing, it's not repression. It is just taking out the butter out of it, tapasya of beauty. That is where I was saying, children should be given a lot of beautiful things and give them tapasya of beauty.
Now this tapasya is the second step of this education of which you are speaking. First concentration, that’s at a lower level, then comes the tapasya. After tapasya more difficult exercise comes and that is exercise of self-consecration. That was concentration now comes self-consecration, it’s the third step. Now what is self-consecration? In self-consecration there are three important elements. One is that there is an element of commitment which is a higher all round being. In concentration I need not have my entire being involved but the moment I speak of consecration whole being has to rise up and to say I'm now committed to it. when I'm committed to serve as a cook, if I agree to be a cook in your household, he gives a commitment that is to say, every morning, whether he likes it or not, he has got to come to your house, whole being has to be lifted up, has got to come to you. For everything if you have this exercise of consecration, self-consecration.
Question: Isn’t there a difference in commitment and consecration. Like a lot of people are maybe committed to their jobs but they are not consecration to their jobs?
Answer: Quite true, this is the first step. Unless there is commitment there is no consecration. So consecration is the first step. Second is the discovery of your true individuality.
Question: First would be commitment and then through commitment learn to be consecrated.
Answer: You must discover your true individuality and thirdly, the appreciation of the object. If you don't have appreciation, you won’t have consecration. As you rightly said a cook who is committed to come to you because you give money, it’s alright but there is no appreciation but when you have appreciation and commitment and individuality, you yourself know. What was gopi? There was commitment to Krishna. There was a perception, my whole being and the appreciation of Krishna, my whole being can be satisfied only if he embraces me. There is a full satisfaction that is a consecration. So this self-consecration is basically connected with obedience. And there are three important qualifications to develop this self-consecration. One is that there should be an illumined knowledge of the truth. If you know the truth and if you are illumined by it, you should know the truth and you should know that you know the truth. It is called illumined knowledge.
Question: This very high ideology would be …
Answer: Not ideology but truth, whatever you think is true. I don't prescribe an ideology. I only prescribe that if you want to be perfect from avidya to vidya if you want to arrive, I don’t tell you what is vidya. I only say you should constantly ask: is it true? I don't tell you what is true; you find out yourself what is true. Keep the idea of truth.
Question: How do you propose this to keep the idea of truth?
Answer: Different individuals approach the truth in different manner that it is why one should not prescribe. I may say:Divine is the truth. It’s a prescription of an ideology. I would simply say, you consecrate yourself; to the search for the truth. I may for example say in terms of Devdas, ‒ Paro is my truth, if Paro is not in existence I cannot exist, without Paro I cannot live, I must drink, to forget because she is now no more mine, Paro is my truth.
That was the case of Tulsidas. Ratna is my truth and even if for one night she goes to her father's house; I can’t live without her this is my truth. I must rush even it rains, so what? I knock, nobody hears, nobody opens the house, so what? I see a rope hanging and I rise up and I come to the room of Ratna. And she wonders how you have come? Yes, you've kept a rope there. She finds a huge snake. He thought this was a rope, it was the truth. Now he discovers the horror of it. I thought if it was a snake, it would have killed me, finished. And not only that Ratna says that if you had this consecration to Rama and you have consecration for this body of bones and blood and flesh. Now, he had, this is the truth, Ratna was the truth, this body was the truth. And suddenly she says: I'm not the truth. Now he searches for the truth. Suddenly a veil is lifted, so you don't tell him what is the truth, he will find out whatever he thinks is the truth, let him dig and let him go on digging, digging, digging.
There is something like appearance and reality. We are all caught in appearances, we only see appearances, go on digging, digging, digging. One is very certain no appearance can exist without something behind it. No appearance can exist without the truth behind it. If you dig out all the appearances the truth will shine out. It may take a longer period; it may take a shorter period, depending upon your intensity. This is a tapasya. Tapasya to search, I am only telling you to consecrate yourself only to the truth. Not only search for the truth, it’s a tapasya, consecration.
A consecration in which you discover yourself, what is yourself? What am I? Real consecration comes only when you arise, awake to what am I? And whenever you know what you are, there is a magic in the self-knowledge, you have the other knowledge. Self-knowledge, you have the other knowledge they are complimentary the other to whom you can consecrate. The more you come to know yourself, the more you will come to know the real truth to which you can consecrate. Finally, consecration to the best, search for the best and then you can consecrate. You know there is a very beautiful sentence of Sri Aurobindo: Surrender is not inert passivity.
Self-consecration requires three qualities; it is obedience basically but obedience to what? The obedience….
“Glad and helpful submission is demanded to the working for the divine force. The obedience of the illumined disciple of the truth”
So develop an individual and illumined disciple of the truth then consecration will come. Only he can really consecrate.
“…or the inner warrior who fights against obscurity and falsehood the faithful servant of the divine.”
Become a faithful servant. These three qualities, even if you don’t believe in the divine doesn’t matter. Illumined disciple of the truth.
“...the inner warrior who fights against obscurity and falsehood”
And finally, this faithful servant, be faithful servant. This will bring about; it’s an education for self-consecration.
Remark: “This is the true attitude and only those who can take and keep it, preserve a faith unshaken by disappointments and difficulties and shall pass through the ordeal to the supreme victory and the great transmutation.”
And the fourth step is self-transformation, Self-concentration, tapasya, self-consecration and self-transformation. So these four steps are the steps are the steps going from avidya to vidya.
Comment: That is yoga.
But that is it, education is yoga. That’s why education is yoga. When you say I the school what can we do? You have to give these four steps. In which you can say that after finishing the second step much would depend upon your individual decision, you are free to decide you want to go farther or not, because consecration is commitment. In the educational process I will not impose on you any commitment but I will tell you commitment in necessary for your perfection. It is up to you now to decide. So the educational process to complete you have all the four but at this stage, the other two processes I can say in any case you have got to do whether you like it or not. The world is said that without concentration, don't expect that you'd be able to go doctor. For doing anything concentration is necessary, for doing anything tapasya is necessary, but now you want to go farther from avidya to vidya if you want to go, an indispensable step is self-consecration. But then you’ve to decide, ‒ do you really want? I don't impose upon you because it really depends on individual will, because self-consecration is a very difficult task. And I don't want to impose upon you a burden, which you are not willing to take. Other things I will tell you that in order just to pass this world these are necessary. But if you want vidya, even for avidya if you want to succeed in life these two are necessary. But if you now want to go to vidya really then you have to be consecrated and consecration cannot happen unless you agree willingly to devote yourself to it. So it is at that stage the freedom of the individual is to be insisted upon.
This is what makes it different from religious education. In religious education you are told you must give yourself to Christ but spiritual education is different. You tell him that faith is necessary. I demand from you but I don't impose on you, you’re free. But remember that if you want perfection, it will not come without it. To that extent you can say because individual has to be told very clearly, then he has to make a free choice because it requires a difficult process, if it was easy, you can say, all right, but here it may lead to disbalancement. Consecration is a very difficult process and you have to take a decision whatever happens I want it. That is why Mother used to say: you teach education as yoga but not for discipleship.
Discipleship is not part of education; it’s a matter of free choice. As educational process you can say all these are educational processes but to be disciple you have to take a decision, you’ve to make a choice. We submit and without that choice, you will not succeed either. And that's why religion doesn't succeed, everything is half-hearted. Friday I go to mosque I'm religious now, and I'm sure that I’ll go to paradise but that happens or not who is going to see? So these are the processes. If it is by education, these are the processes necessary then you can go from avidya to vidya.
Comment: Gyaan Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and then the yoga of transformation.
Yes, Quite right, self-perfection, ‒ Yoga of self-perfection.
Comment: It is a tall order.
No, it is being done, so it is alright. As Sri Aurobindo says: Once, you have put your step willingly the end is certain. It may take any time but this is what Sri Aurobindo has said. Once you have decided, willingly, then incalculable help will come to you. The helper is ready but he is waiting for your choice, for your decision, he demands but he does not impose on you. And then incalculable helper is incalculable. So, you may take thousand births after that or may take only five years, or even one year, or on the spot he can do it. It all depends upon his will then but you are now in the hands of the incalculable. So we should always say to the divine: “I am yours, now you do what you like. Do it today if you want, do it after 5000 years if you want? But once you have taken a decision he will take you that’s why very often even if I take decision in my life, in my next life he will come to me and say: you have already given me your word. So I am with you now, whether you like it or not. As Sri Aurobindo said: when he was taken to the jail he complained and said, what is your protection? You had told me that you will always give me your help to do my work and now I'm being put into the jail where my work, finished. And Shri Krishna says you wait but after three days he says that now do you see why I have brought you here. I had told you to give up your work because I wanted you to do some other work and you were weak. So I had to take my steps. So I had to send the police to arrest you and put you into the jail so that you can meet me by force because in the past time you're told me, so I'm here now with you, so you cannot reject me.
So that is the greatness of God and once you tell him, then even if afterwards you say: no, no, no, ……then I will play with you now. ………once you yes, finished, you are caught. He is so much in love with you that once you just say, yes, for sake of your game; I’ll catch you and eat you away. So that is the miracle of God. And that is why yoga is so easy thereafter because of that, because why people undergo so much of tapasya because of that love. That is why yoga of divine love is the best, you just tell him that I forget everything, you just do whatever is necessary for me and I'll be obedient. And obedience is there, obedience of faithful servant. Good, so your friend asked you this question is very good question actually and that gives the real place for what we call spiritual education. In fact, last night, when he went away, this question was put to me and I said something of this, but you will hear it also in that one. Somebody had put this question: What is the different religious education and spiritual education?