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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

Last night I was in a mood of depression. To get out of it I tried to meditate. After half an hour's struggle I had to give it up, with more depression as a consequence. Then various unwholesome thoughts began pouring in: it is simply futile to make any effort for anything. Especially as one sits to meditate, one thought after another surges up. What a terrible tug-of-war I had with the mind! Some days pass simply in unsuccessful efforts and one has to leave meditation in utter disgust. One is thus forced to the conclusion that our efforts, however keen and earnest, are after all impotent. If the higher Power wills, it comes in a second. But the Power not only doesn't will it, but keeps the door tightly shut, at the same time asking us to knock against it with all our might, knowing fully well that we are going to be baffled. Why this costly joke?... In this vein I went on till I again reached the conclusion that all efforts are useless, useless! And with that conclusion I slept a most disturbed sleep of depression, inertia and restlessness.

These are the thoughts of depression, but the impression is still settled in the mind that though efforts have to he made, they will bear no fruit whatsoever and they can do mighty little...

One can either use efforts and then one must be patient and persevering, or one can rely on the Divine with a constant call and aspiration. But then the reliance has to be a true one not insisting on immediate fruit.

All that is the physical mind refusing to take the trouble of the labour and struggle necessary for the spiritual achievement. It wants to get the highest, but desires a smooth course all the way, “Who the devil is going to face so much trouble for getting the Divine?” – that is the underlying feeling. The difficulty with the thoughts is a difficulty every Yogi has gone through – so is the phenomenon of a little result after some days of effort. It is only when one has cleared the field and ploughed and sown and watched over it that big harvests can be hoped for.


1934 10 24 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran