Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation - Track 1006

Questions & Answers – sensitivity, intensity, responsibility

Question:  When we are in God's company, we do not want to come back to the everyday world. But I have so many responsibilities that I feel they are holding me back.

It is a very sweet situation. It is a very sweet situation because to be with God is the greatest delight. Ideally speaking when you go to responsibilities the same delight should accompany you. But at the present moment we are not in that situation, there is a bifurcation. I go quietly to God and I meet him sweetly and I enjoy his company, but then the responsibilities do not allow me the same sweetness of the company of God. During that period, return to responsibility even if you do not like to return, because that is also a part of the totality of perfection. But this is only a provisional answer, an ordinary answer.

There are intensities and intensities. There are some intensities like when Mirabai entered into the company of Sri Krishna and to tell Mirabai that she should be discharging the responsibilities of the queen of the kingdom had no relevance to her. She had reached an intensity of such a nature that this kind of attitude that I have just advocated would not be relevant. In the stage that you are in now, these two activities can be combined only in this fashion; that is break with that sweetness and come back to responsibilities and then continue like that. But if you have reached a certain state of intensity at a given time then my proposition may not hold good. There are certain intensities which need to be intensified further even at the cost of so called responsibilities. But whether it is right or wrong you will know in that state of intensity, so I will not make a rule saying that that alone is the right attitude or this alone is the right attitude. In any case one thing is very clear that in a true state of intensity, if you pray to God, "Please keep me always with you and put me always at the right place," then he will take the responsibilities, if it is necessary for you. If it is necessary He will carry out for you all your responsibilities, like the example of the saint Sakhu Bai. You know Sakhu Bai was a great saint in Maharashtra. She used to be in a state of prayer to Sri Krishna and she was a house wife. She had to do all the work of cooking, sweeping, everything and she had a very severe mother-in-law watching over her all the time and she used to go out for fetching water and there she used to fall into ecstasy, but Sri Krishna Himself used to take the form of Sakbu Bai and sweep and do everything for her so that she was not put into any trouble at all. In that state of intensity God takes the responsibilities of your life and He does everything for you.  That also is a part of the truth of the totality but for that you have to reach that intensity. What I said is not true of a stage where you have reached that state of intensity. A stage is reached where you do not decide at all whether you should do this or you should not do this. He will decide for you so that no responsibility falls upon you whether you decided rightly or wrongly. You will do what He wants you to do. But until you reach that point, cutting off from one state to the other is quite healthy and salutary.

Question: That means that that state of intensity can be maintained and you do not have to go back to the lower stage of responsibilities?

It is not a lower state. It can be even better.

Question:  But can it be maintained?

It can be, your intensity of devotion to God can remain exactly the same even while doing all kinds of activities. That is the perfection that we are looking for where knowledge and action and devotion are so synthesised that there are no artificial divisions at all.

Question:  You have this feeling for God or Truth or Beauty or Goodness but afterwards it goes away and then you have your ordinary activities. But then it is as if it is not constant.

 Allow this kind of a thing and without feeling any disappointment about it, because the deeper states cannot last long at our stage of development.  Alternating between sunshine and shadow is quite all right for our development. In any case do not artificially remain, even when that intensity has gone, in the hope that it will come again, immediately, therefore continuing, in that. Sometimes it can be done but very often do not try that way, if the intensity has gone away, allow it to pass away, do your ordinary activities. Then in your inner life you develop intensity in such a way that at will whenever you want, that intensity will come, not by pulling it, not by artificially creating it, but whenever you want a certain state of consciousness it will come by will. Allow that kind of thing to happen instead of feeling that now you are going up and going down and so on. These divisions will remain until we arrive at a great harmony.

Question:  But this makes you more sensitive, more emotional and more prompt to get hurt. If you have to vacillate between ...

No. Why do you get hurt? That is the important question, I do not understand. You have become sensitive because of intensity and now you come back from that state of intensity in a situation.

Question:  But you get more subtle vibrations, you are able to take them in.

Yes you have become more tender you might say as a result of your intensity and therefore anything that happens in the outside world affects you very intensely.

Question: How do you cope with that? Do you not carry the power and strength that that intensity has provided you with?

You can but if you have not, then this question does arise and we have to find a remedy for it. Do not allow tenderness to be lost that is the first thing. It is very precious but there should be developed simultaneously a strength without losing tenderness. Actually ideally speaking, one has to become softer than the petals of the flower and harder than steel, the two things when combined together gives you the right condition of your consciousness. There are people who work very hard, they fight a big battle for the truth, courageously; for them to come in a state of tenderness is very difficult; they are fighting a hard fight, courageous fight accepting all kinds of difficulties, surmounting difficulties and in that state to enter into intensity of sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, is very difficult. That is deficiency from the other side. But both the things have to be developed. In fact in our process of integral yoga we have to burn the candles on both the ends, the development of intensity of emotions and to divinise it and the intensity of hardest work requiring greatest courage, and strength, hardihood, both have to be developed. If you can keep a balance between the two, very good but very often you are not able to do so, so what is predominant in you, allow it to happen; suffer the other deficiencies. Whatever deficiencies you find, endure them for the time being provisionally. Gradually by the movement of the two wheels of the chariot you will arrive at a good balance ultimately. This is the problem of transition. In the transition you cannot have a satisfactory solution, you have got to accept a kind of a provisional situation and provisional solutions are always unsatisfactory one way or the other. So accept the position that this is a provisional situation and gradually you will grow. So for the moment you suffer whatever deficiency exists.

Question: What shall be the topic of your talk from next time?

First of all I might say that I am so happy today with all the questions which are so important and the sincerity behind the questions and the purity. It's so good, I feel very happy. There is much still to be studied. If you like we can go to the next chapter: The Ascent towards Supermind. This chapter you have done quite well and even when we go to the next chapter we shall have the chance of referring back again to this chapter. But it will be good to ascend now to the next one. If you like next time we can study that chapter.

Question: Can we be greedy and ask Him to be with us all the time?

Why not? To be greedy of God is the greatest benefit. We should be very greedy of God because that is gateway of greatest liberation. If that happens it will be wonderful, it will be very nice. Then that is the problem that she was speaking of, you feel great intensities within, she also spoke of it and how to come out of it, that is a very sweet problem. So facing sweet problems is always sweet, that is very good indeed. Then He will do it, He will find a solution for that problem. But let us come to the point where you do not really feel like coming out of that situation. That is a good sign when you really have progressed, you will really find that you do not want to come out of that stage. It is a criterion that you have made a good progress.

The Life Divine -Book II - Chapter XXV