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December 2021 issue of Renaissance – Theme: Aspiration

As we continue with our year-long-theme of the Twelve Attributes of the Mother, we dedicate the present issue of our monthly e-journal, Renaissance to Aspiration.

Sri Aurobindo once said that “the power of aspiration of the heart, the force of the will, the concentration of the mind, the perseverance and determination of the applied energy” are the measure of the intensity of the turning, the force which directs the soul inward (CWSA, Vol. 23, p. 58).

This inward turning of the human soul, away from the egoistic state of consciousness which is constantly absorbed in the outward appearances and attractions toward a higher state of consciousness, to a seeking of that which is beyond and behind the outer appearances, that which can connect one to the Truth and to one’s true Self is the starting point of all Yoga. The fierier and clearer the aspiration, the greater is the force and power of this inward turn.

Aspiration is like an arrow, or like a flame rising upward. But it has to be tended, constantly rekindled. Its direction also needs to be reset when it tends to go here and there. It has to be purified so that no desire or demand gets mixed up with it. Its goal has to be kept in front, always. And what happens when it goes into hiding somewhere? How to light the fire again? And what about the Grace? Will Divine Grace help me rekindle my aspiration? These and many other questions have been explored in the rich variety of selections featured in this issue.

I am reminded of two passages to which I keep going every time I feel my aspiration needs a booster. Every time I read these passages, gratitude fills my being and the flame within gets a fresh dose of necessary food.

The first one is by the Mother who in her Divine Straightforwardness reminds us “not to give up the game”. She tells us:

. . . if the aspiration is there in you, if the will is there in you, it is absolutely certain that sooner or later you will succeed. And I am saying this for people who live in very ordinary circumstances, less favourable perhaps than yours, but who can, even so, learn to know themselves and conquer themselves, master themselves, control themselves. Therefore, if the conditions are favourable you have a much greater chance of succeeding. One thing is always necessary, not to give up the game for it is a great game—and the result is worth the trouble of playing it through.

~ CWM, Vol. 12, p. 53

And the other one is a surprisingly simple and profound formula given by Sri Aurobindo in a correspondence with Nirodbaran. In a way, here he summarises the whole Yoga is so perfectly, so beautifully. Many people feel that Sri Aurobindo is difficult to understand, but if only they had come across this one exchange, everything would be so simple!

This is how the conversation goes:

Sri Aurobindo: “. . . within there is a soul and above there is Grace. This is all you know or need to know. . .”

“Q: “Is that all, really?”

Sri Aurobindo: “For anyone who wants the spiritual life, yes, it is enough.”

~ Nirodbaran, Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, Complete Set (2001), Vol. 1, p. 465

What is left unsaid here is that the soul must aspire!

Aspire Intensely but Without Impatience

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