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The soul

The secret Will

James Anderson

Editor's note

This article describes the author's inner journey to align his body to the Divine. He uses some unusual tools to help him in this way.

“Whether it seem good or evil to men’s eyes,
Only for good the secret Will can work.
Our destiny is written in double terms:
Through Nature’s contraries we draw near God;
Out of the darkness we still grow to light.
Death is our road to immortality.” *

My teachers have unravelled so many mysteries before my eyes. They have taught me that behind the trudge of time there is a purpose and a plan; that within this unwinding process of evolution there is indeed an aim. The aim, they affirm, is an ever greater perfection. It is a perfection that is dynamic and never rests. As Sri Aurobindo affirms, it awaits the hour in man too:

“The perfection of man lies in the unfolding of the ever-perfect Spirit (1).”

Without this goal, I feel, nothing else really has any purpose.

But a plan requires a will and Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have also taught me that there is indeed a secret Will at work behind all things. It is secret because its work usually goes unnoticed — too refined for our gross senses to discern. But it is always present and Sri Aurobindo tells us that it works in every particle of the universe.

Reading about this will to perfection completely stirred my imagination when I started studying the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. At last I could grasp an explanation and even a solution behind the madness of everyday life. They simply made sense out of the senseless. The evolutionary sway, they stated, is working in every direction and every detail. It works in the vastness of the cosmos right down to the individual cell. The plan shapes and moulds the individual, the microcosm, as well as transforming the entire universe. It works, they explained, because it is involved in every range of consciousness. It works in every atom of matter itself and as the Spirit invades matter, the body assumes an intrinsic part of this transformation: it becomes a crucible for the entire process.

So knowing that there was, after all, such a plan, it was only logical for me to try to live in accordance with it. The Mother has often stressed the importance of identifying with the Divine Will and I largely received this approach with open ears. So when the command came, I was ready. I truly wanted it. At least the first prerequisite was present: the will to change. Without that, nothing is possible. But the whole being needs to identify itself with this ideal. The body, not least of all, seemed to want to share in this perfection too.

First steps

It is a well-worn truth that if one wants to achieve anything worthwhile in this world, a will must be behind it. The Mother explains this point with typical clarity:

“In order to accomplish something, one must have the will to do it, and to have the will to do it, one must know what one wants to do. If one doesn’t know what one wants to do, one can’t do it. First one must know, have a plan, a purpose, a programme if you like; one must know what one wants to do, and then one must will to do it, and then one can do it (2).”

But I believe that there is one thing that cannot go unheeded if this process is to take place. I feel that we need to make a few small steps on the path of knowledge. Put simply, we must somehow become more conscious of our inner and outer movements. We should try to bring this awareness to the front.

My first tentative steps were very hesitant indeed. Nevertheless, I found them very difficult to learn and, even now, I still occasionally find myself lapsing back into old ways. For some, including myself, this is not such an easy task. I had to learn to be awake and attentive to the body itself. I don’t believe all of us realise what it really means to be alive in the body. If there is no experience, then no understanding can prevail.

Like most people, the body had largely been left unobserved from time of infancy, almost consigned to a state of ‘auto-pilot’. The consciousness was simply not awake and the body was left to often drowse. Even the wake-up call of critical illness didn’t entirely shake me out of this state. Actually, the trauma induced a sense of recoil and distaste. It was only after I arrived in Pondicherry that I started understanding the importance of simply observing my whole nature. I also realised that the witness poise could extend over the entire being itself. I found that this process was necessary because all our parts are somehow confused and interconnected. Every movement creates an influence elsewhere and the last outpost is always the body. Everything seemed to eventually manifest there. For me, this simple revelation had a major influence in shaping a new affinity with the physical being itself. The Mother’s words very accurately describe the reason for this shift:

“People usually do things so automatically and spontaneously, without watching themselves doing them, that if they were to ask themselves how it comes about, they would require some time before the process becomes conscious to them. You are so used to living that you don’t even know how it happens….you are not even aware that the whole of life is like that. It seems quite natural to you, it is ‘like that’. That means that you act in a way which is hardly semi-conscious; it is automatic, it is a kind of spontaneous habit and you don’t watch what you’re doing. And so, if you want to have some control over your movements, the first thing is to know what is happening….Otherwise one is a kind of more or less coordinated medley of actions and reactions, of movements and impulses and one doesn’t know at all how things happen….

”But that is the very first little step towards becoming conscious of oneself in the material world (3).”

Somehow the Grace ensured that, from the beginning, these sort of answers very quickly rebounded back at me. I noticed too that my entire relationship with matter gradually got redefined. As the Presence is involved in all things, I was taught to treat all material objects with greater diligence and care. This may sound like a minor detail, but as my attitude to material things refined, I soon realised that my perception of the body had started to shift too.

Divided will

The Mother says that,

“...if you really want it, nothing in the world can prevent you from doing what you want. (4).”

The true will is like an arrow fired precisely and directly at its target. Our whole being is behind it. But the reality is usually very different and our usual offering is rarely a homogenous whole. When the true will is present, all our energies get channelled to the point that needs most attention. But I feel that we often find ourselves being pulled in all sorts of directions instead of proceeding in a straight line. Also, if we are honest with ourselves, we would probably discover that our ‘will’ is, to a considerable degree, nothing but a tangled bundle of instincts and desires.

Because such movements are dispersed, they may even collide or wrestle with one another in an attempt to achieve pre-eminence. This situation often retards the physical as the body will only receive mixed messages. As a consequence, the instructions lack clarity. The body can then often lapse into a state of total bewilderment and confusion. I also find that, in the worst circumstances, these competing ‘wills‘ can drag the body down. I often find too that when they are enforced, the body will often shrink. It yearns for guidance and leadership, yet withers when faced with coercion.

The Mother continues:

“It is because one doesn’t know how to will it. It is because one is divided in one’s will. If you are not divided in your will, I say that nothing, nobody in the world can make you change your will…

”To learn how to will is a very important thing. And to will truly, you must unify your being. In fact to be a being, one must first unify oneself. If one is pulled by absolutely opposite tendencies, if one spends three-fourths of his life without being conscious of himself and the reasons why he does things, is one a real being? One does not exist. One is a mass of influences, movements, forces, actions, reactions, but one is not a being. One begins to become a being when he begins to have a will. And one can’t have a will unless he is unified.

”And when you have a will, you will be able to say, say to the Divine: ‘I want what You want.’ But not before that. Because in order to want what the Divine wants, you must have a will, otherwise you can will nothing at all. You would like to. You would like it very much. You would very much like to want what the Divine wants to do. You don’t possess a will to give to Him and to put at His service. Something like that, gelatinous, like jelly-fish…there… a mass of good wills — and I am considering the better side of things and forgetting the bad wills — a mass of good wills, half-conscious and fluctuating…. (5).”

It might be fruitful to pause here and reflect on the Mother’s use of words. It is now my understanding that there is only one way to truly unify the being. In truth, we are such a mixture. Underlying all our natures, Sri Aurobindo affirms, lurk the instincts, desires and impulses of our animal past. Perhaps the influence goes back even to plant and stone! So there is evidently a need for greater order. Initially, I had been taught that the mental will was the only effective way of achieving this. I don’t believe that my upbringing was particularly unique and I guess that many people in the West, if not in India, may still swear by this too. The mental will has its uses: if the mind is the highest instrument that we have at our disposal, it certainly serves a purpose. Initially at least, I also found that this mental will somehow gave me the grit to survive. It stopped me caving in but now I find it generally to be a considerable hindrance.

I believe that this is because the mind lacks the ability to harmonise. In its own domain, it can certainly organise and shed a certain light but it is not our true seat of knowledge. At best, Sri Aurobindo tells us, it can only modify those physical and life currents that course through our being. So if there is to be a way of unifying the being towards perfection, there must be a portion within us that is, indeed, true and perfect. That is the soul itself. The true will, for me, is simply the expression of that perfection that lies inside us.


Sri Aurobindo is very precise in distinguishing between the divine Will and our mortal imitations. He describes the processes of our mental will as ‘willings’. These willings are borrowed: they come to us second-hand. They emerge out of the ignorance and somehow always miss the mark when it comes to embracing the essential truth:

“This divine Will is not an alien Power or Presence; it is intimate to us and we ourselves are part of it: for it is our own highest Self that possesses and supports it. Only, it is not our conscious mental will; it rejects often enough what our conscious will accepts and accepts what our conscious will rejects (6).”

Understanding this true will is very much a part of our ongoing education here. Although it is one thing adhering to Sri Aurobindo’s teachings, I also believe that to truly realise this distinction more fully one must experience it. But so often His words act as a catalyst for the necessary experience. And the difference can be often quite subtle: I find the mental will can be quite crafty at times and it sometimes tries to masquerade as the definitive will. It is almost as if the mental will has an exaggerated sense of its own importance.


Nowhere has the distinction become clearer to me than with work on the body. When I am standing in my truth, I know that a more potent will can spontaneously rise through me. I don’t believe this is a unique experience because anyone can witness it for themselves. In a way though, it is unique because what we then see is the emergence of our inherent nature. It is my understanding that this nature is individual to each of us; it is all a part of the fascinating play of multiplicity.

I find that the psychic being expresses a true will and I find that this entity can guide the body in a way which is much more unpremeditated and spontaneous. The soul observes and then effectuates. And what it sees, it resolves. But sometimes I can even feel the two processes to be instantaneous. These are such precious moments in which one can become vast and free. To some extent, I might even find myself stepping outside this rigid framework of causality and time. Perhaps it is at such times that the cells themselves can be illumined by the soul’s flame.

So, in such circumstances, the physical being naturally finds a way of attuning itself to its own natural rhythm and the movement can become one of harmony and beauty. Somehow all the missing pieces seem to magically come together. These moments simply can’t be coerced — the connection comes in glimpses and this kind of will rarely seems to impose. I have found the force to be very subtle and experience shows that any intrusion from the surface nature will disrupt the transfer immediately.

I can contrast this process with the sweat and toil of the mental will. To some extent, I feel that applying it in this domain is like trying to plug a thousand holes in a leaking boat! The mind simply does not have the capacity to attend to every detail. Eventually, it tires and wavers. It also loses patience. With bodywork in particular, it might be able to concentrate on one part of the body and create more order at that point. But it lacks the capacity to integrate — there are a countless details to fully master within the body and I find the mind quite incapable of keeping up. Harmony has to be instilled over the entire lower nature too, not just the body, for the physical being to operate in an optimum way. Because of this, a vaster vision is required and I know that this can only happen when the psychic being steps forward so that a truer will can manifest.

I now also find that the very effort of ‘applying’ the will to the body is totally counter-productive. This force simply cannot be coerced: it must be embraced. The sign of the true shift seems to lie in its spontaneity. I believe that the domain of the true will is the soul itself and the very effort seems to inhibit the soul from stepping forward.


I believe that if we want to manifest our truth, not least in the physical, we have to learn to align ourselves. I feel that this is work that each one of us can do. All of us have our own individual nature and embody a unique amalgam of cells. We also have a more conscious part of our being that can put them all back in order. This is our field of action. I believe that it is a matter of instilling harmony inside so that this state can radiate outside too. The body certainly depends on this inner harmony, perhaps more than we think. It seems to me too that as the true will starts its work inside the surface starts to change. I now feel this state of affairs very tangibly in the body. Because of this, if things get knotted and awry inside, I find that the body becomes a limp vessel. Everything becomes a huge strain. So perhaps that is one reason why the Mother emphasised the need to unify our being.

This process, I feel, amounts to aligning ourselves around the centre of our truth. Only then, as She says, can anything like a true will emerge. As the will is the expression of our nature we have to find our truth first. And without a true will, I don’t believe anything worthwhile can be achieved in life. It is a conscious process, but whether done in a systematic way or not is perhaps unimportant. But if one is at all sincere, I don’t believe it can ever be avoided.

We often hear the Mother talking about the ‘searchlight’ and that, in a very real sense, is what the vision of the soul represents. But creating the right station in the first place is so important. By calling for the help of Sri Aurobindo andthe Mother, I feel their guidance is always at hand. It is they who give me the answers and the channel they use appears to me to be the soul.

It is a little like searching through a cellar with a bright torch. When the mind is still, I can then quietly inspect every hidden corner with the light that She holds up for me. I usually start by inwardly observing from the top of my head and gradually move downwards. When one begins watching deep inside, the outlook can indeed be very bleak. An enormous patience and persistence is required. Distortions may appear; resistances may emerge. At such times, I feel like I am being sucked into a huge dark hole. I have to hold on tight and follow wherever the torch leads me. Sometimes a little courage is required too. If a stain starts to surface, I try to penetrate it with an enquiring gaze. I plunge deeper and deeper into it in order to find the source of the difficulty.

But I always try to maintain a detached poise and not identify with the images that are appearing before me. This is truly a work one can do with the Mother. Long-buried patterns and habits start emerging; ugly patches may come to light. The natural tendency is to squirm but that is simply not necessary when She is by my side. Sooner or later, if one remains vigilant and connected, the answer will come. When it does, I find that it is the Mother who plucks the weed out by its very roots.


Something new then begins to take over. The spontaneous knowledge brings a momentous shift. A light descends and saturates the entire nature. The twists of the mind start to unravel and the vital begins to somehow purify. The lower members can then reconvene at their true functions and place! A feeling of wholeness returns. It’s as if all the fragments of consciousness have been magically drawn together. The body tangibly expands within this vibration of harmony and love. A new strength and vigour returns.

The Mother’s Force always brings something uniqueand singular, but inevitably, a peace will descend and in the hush of that silence a truer movement can emerge. It is a peace which is truly dynamic. A vast horizon might then open before my eyes.

At such times, I feel that something like a true will can manifest. Its hallmark is its spontaneity. The soul’s command seems to attune automatically to the very fibres of the body. The work of outer alignment can now begin and it is all done in the stillness of the moment: nothing is spoken and ideally no thought intervenes. Essential links can be made between soul and matter.

These are precious glimpses but our nature is such that these moments are not easily sustained. Eventually the experience recedes and our physical being starts to contract. I often find that this secret Will arrives and withdraws almost unnoticed. At its departure, the mind sooner or later starts heaving again. So it is worth trying to prolong the contact at each time of sitting. A persevering nature is a great boon here because instant results seem to be rarely achieved, particularly when they relate to work on the body.


Sri Aurobindo affirms that raising our will to truer heights can be a long and rocky passage. This is one inescapable trial that every aspirant must face:
“For our human will is a misled and wandering ray that has parted from the supreme Puissance. The period of slow emergence out of this lower working into a higher light and purer force is the valley of the shadow of death for the striver after perfection; it is a dreadful passage full of trials, sufferings, sorrows, obscurations, stumblings, errors, pitfalls. To abridge and alleviate this ordeal or to penetrate it with the divine delight faith is necessary, an increasing surrender of the mind to the knowledge that imposes itself from within and, above all, a true aspiration and a right and unfaltering and sincere practice (7).”

For a long time, we find that we need to rely a great deal on our own effort. Indeed, as long as we remain in the realm of ‘willings’, we have no other choice. The Mother’s comments are particularly appropriate:

“And so, when one expresses ‘willings’, to be able to apply them in life and make them effective, some effort must come in — it is through personal effort that one progresses, and it is through effort that one imposes one’s willings upon life to make it yield to their demands — but when they are no longer willings, when it is the true will expressing the true knowledge, effort is no longer required, for the power is omnipotent (8).”

Needless to say, this must also apply to work on the body. Personal effort is often very necessary. Otherwise, I feel, at times I would simply sink. But there comes a time when the effort itself becomes a ‘bar’1 to the intention of the Will to act upon matter. As the Mother says, the true will radiates a true power because it reflects a true knowledge. Here, I often seem to find myself in a twilight zone of half-answered questions and diminished responses. I feel that we somehow have to learn to climb higher and higher towards these summits of shining Truth. Sometimes that takes a colossal effort. Only then can we plunge down with greater power into the material abyss. The Mother says that “...we must rise higher in consciousness: the deeper one wants to go down into matter, the higher is it necessary to rise in consciousness (9).”

I believe that the energy for this ascent comes from aspiration. With aspiration, particularly in the body, the work becomes a joy. Without aspiration, I feel, one is only a part of that vast multitude of walking dead. Perhaps too, this aspiration provides the key to the ‘Energy Inexhaustible’ that the Mother speaks about. And if the cells of the body can truly aspire, I have a belief that the universe will eventually answer.


I think we all find that this transition brings many difficulties. It has become very evident to me that as I start orienting my life more inside, the work of alignment becomes increasingly critical. If one leads a superficial existence, I guess that the physical tends to be more prone to material problems on the surface. But as one embarks on the path of yoga, the criteria change and inner influences start to hold sway. So the key, for me, is to keep aligned at all times. Each one of us has his or her individual nature, so the patterns and habits that cause disorder are indeed unique. However I believe that this simple solution of self-alignment is always at hand. When my body, for example, is moving in a mechanical way, it is a subtle but sure sign to me that something is not right inside. That innate joy is missing and there must be something blocking it. That means that there is a work to be done inside.

Even fatigue seems to usually come from a breakdown in alignment. There is an enormous reservoir of energy that is ever waiting to pour into and through us so one solution may be to look and see what is arresting it.

Obviously it is good to practise special sittings but I realise that this poise must eventually expand into everyday life too. It is a great challenge because, in such circumstances, I always find the consciousness being tugged onto the surface. Applying this alignment into action is the next stage, if you like, in this work of harmonisation. When I am engaged in movement and am able to maintain that poise, many difficulties are avoided. I try to lovingly remember the Presence and allow it to unceasingly radiate outside. This is one target I’d certainly like to reach and* it is such a beautiful lesson in life. The Truth must manifest on the outside too. Somehow this brings to mind Sri Aurobindo’s words on meditating in the battlefield….

I find that a sense of detachment truly helps too. Getting absorbed in a difficulty only identifies one more closely with it. It is better to heed Sri Aurobindo’s advice and keep one’s station above at all times. Yes, we must obviously learn how to inhabit our body but that presence will only expand without the stranglehold of attachment. That way, the possibility of eventual recoil is also avoided.

Will and resolution

I am convinced that a firm resolution is needed, but that can surely amount to more than mere mental conviction. The “will to conquer” must extend to “the very cells of your body2.” That is a highly evolved state indeed, but if one can be resolute to the point of obstinacy, it can be more than a step on the way. One needs to be more stubborn than the obstacles one is facing. I feel that a patient perseverance is always required.

The supreme will never wavers, but I do feel that, by process of reaffirmation, these resolutions can merge into a more unflinching and true will. Perhaps it is a matter of degrees but I guess when one reaches the summit one will know the goal is reached. I also find that by sincerely entreating the Mother’s help, the necessary energy invariably comes. Just to repeat Her name seems to strengthen my resolve. There is certainly something in the mantra of the Mother’s name which solidifies this will.

Often too, I find myself compelled to draw a line on the past in order to make a fresh start. I find this work on the body must very often begin anew. In brighter moments, a new angle of approach may even come to light. It also helps to innovate, otherwise the work can become humdrum and stale.


To open the body to the true will is certainly an exercise in detail. Working from that centre inside, it almost amounts to a task of entire reconstruction. But is only a matter of awakening the body to its innate nature and the motive behind transformation is to bring out the soul that lies dormant in matter. The soul can govern the body: my brief experiences have given me the necessary proof. Because of this, channels must be built to every distant outpost of the physical being. The nerve endings themselves can become alive to the supreme Force. However, we can only offer our consciousness, because, in reality, it is the Mother who does the work.

I now find that inner alignment, though essential, is not sufficient for this work on the physical. It must be reinforced from outside too. Outer alignment must be implemented: I find that some conscious motion and exercise is also necessary. The Mother tells us that the outer nature depends on the inner condition but, in order to complete the process, I feel that we need to be attentive to the surface aspects too. If one can remain alert and truly conscious when engaged in action, I’m sure that the work goes so much faster. The Mother says:

“You see, if the matter is considered in its most modern, most external form, how is it that the movements we make almost constantly in our everyday life, or which we have to make in our work if it is a physical work, do not help, or help very little, almost negligibly, to develop the muscles and to create harmony in the body? These same movements, on the other hand, if they are made consciously, deliberately, with a definite aim, suddenly start helping you to form your muscles and build up your body. There are jobs, for instance, where people have to carry extremely heavy loads, like bags of cement or sacks of corn or coal, and they make a considerable effort; to a certain extent they do it with an acquired facility, but that doesn’t give them harmony of the body, because they don’t do it with the idea of developing their muscles, they do it just ‘like that’. And someone who follows a method, either one he has learnt or one he has worked out for himself, and who makes these very movements with the will to develop this muscle or that, to create a general harmony in the body – he succeeds. Therefore in the conscious will, there is something which adds considerably to the movement itself. Those who really want to practise physical culture as it is conceived now, everything they do, they do consciously. They walk downstairs consciously, they do the movements of ordinary life consciously, not mechanically. An attentive eye will perhaps notice a little difference but the greatest difference lies in the will they put into it, the consciousness they put into it. Walking to go somewhere and walking as an exercise is not the same thing. It is the conscious will in all these things which is important, it is that which brings about the progress and obtains the result. Therefore, what I mean is that the method one uses has only a relative importance in itself; it is the will to obtain a certain result that is important…

”But you only have to try it, then you will understand very well what I mean. For instance, all the movements you make when you are dressing, taking your bath, tidying your room… no matter what; make them consciously, with the will that this muscle should work, that muscle should work. You will see. You will obtain really amazing results.

”Going up and down the stairs — you cannot imagine how useful that can be from the point of view of physical culture, if you know how to make use of it. Instead of going up because you are going up and coming down because you are coming down, like any ordinary man, you go up with the consciousness of all the muscles which are working and making them work harmoniously. You will see, just try a little, you will see! This means that you can use all the movements of your life for a harmonious development of your body.

”You bend down to pick something up, you stretch up to find something right at the top of a cupboard, you open a door, you close it, you have to go round an obstacle, there are a hundred and one things you do constantly and which you can make use of in your physical culture and which will demonstrate to you that it is the consciousness you put into it which produces the effect, a hundred times more than the material fact of doing it. So, you choose the method you like best, but you can use the whole of your daily life in this way….To think constantly of the harmony of the body, of the beauty of the movements, of not doing anything that is ungraceful and awkward. You can obtain a rhythm of movement and gesture which is very exceptional (10).”

I often marvel at the mechanisms of the body. I occasionally notice how a particular movement will bring an involuntary muscular response. For instance, I sometimes realise, how the faintest strain in the neck might induce a clenching in the toes or an arching of the back. As Sri Aurobindo asserts, our body embodies a whole plethora of repeated patterns. However I feel that these habits will only disappear when we are able to direct our consciousness into them. It is truly such a work of perfection! I pray that this awareness will go on expanding in me too because my biggest stumbling block seems to lie in this attention to physical detail. But this is indeed the essence of working with matter, the nuts and bolts of the entire operation, if you like. A certain precision and exactitude is required and above all one needs an indefatigable patience.

I sometimes observe people going about their everyday business. With a few, there is such a fluidity and grace in their gait: there is a sense of beauty in their steps! They carry such a light and they manifest it through their body. But it is not my job to replicate them. I have to find my unique rhythm and learn to express my own individual tune.

Essentially, I believe that this work with the body involves awakening the Truth that is involved in it: nothing more. When that happens, I believe that the body can indeed become the teacher. Inside is contained the knowledge of the true movement. That wisdom may be buried by habit or illness, so it is our task to recover it. Wholeness is its divine birthright. I feel that is why the Mother says that, “the body carries within itself the sense of its divinity.There. This is what you must try to find again in yourself if you have lost it (11).“

Largely for different reasons, this body has indeed been a teacher to me for quite a long time. One really needs to be very still to hear its whisper. Its voice is almost inaudible amidst the customary babble but at precious moments its intimations can indeed be understood.

The Supreme Will

As I look up, I realise that I have to climb ever so high to even touch the smallest ray of this Supreme Will. It is a perilous path and there is no secure footing: one false step and I will cascade to the ground. At times of doubt, I feel so alone and see no Guide to hold my hand on this precarious ascent. At times, this path can be so unremitting. Particularly with the work on the body, there are instances when it is like standing against a huge wall. This wall symbolises the very denial of everything we are trying to implement. At such times, whichever way I turn, I come up against one more dead-end. These are colossal tests and unless one is armed with a true will one will just crumple into a heap. So should I try and assault this edifice myself? It would take a huge endeavour to achieve this feat.


Right at the beginning of my time here, I was indeed confronted with this prospect. Initially I had felt that every aspect of my being wanted to take this route: the way of tapasya seemed to fit. But when the time came, when I truly asked myself, much to my surprise, a different answer immediately came. No, I now believe there has to be another way. Perhaps one can even entreat a higher power to demolish this wall! And this, for me, is where the Mother comes in. How else can such impossibilities become realities? As long as the Mother is present there is not just hope but certainty. Like many of us, I can often feel Her Force in action. That, for me, is the ultimate reassurance.

I don’t believe there is any point in waiting for the next life for richer possibilities. We can always try to reach our aim in this life. Perhaps too, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a long grinding haul. One look, one word or one single experience might perhaps be sufficient. One bold leap into the unknown may be all that is required. It helps to believe it can happen now.

Self-giving, I feel, carries us into a realm of perfect synchronicity. The Mother just takes over: this is the consummation of the supreme will. This surrender may sound very simple and if one is prepared to drop absolutely everything, I guess it is. But, in reality, it usually takes a long time of preparation. It requires a considerable trust too. But I know from brief glimpses that once there, I enter a state of glorious freedom. A feeling of expansion pervades the entire being. But when the time finally comes, I believe it will be quite effortless. When at last the toil is over, I can simply melt at Her feet. I pray that we can all get there one fine day.


1. Sri Aurobindo. SABCL, Volume 15. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1971, p. 228.

2. The Mother. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 9. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1977, p. 259.

3. Op. cit. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 9. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1977, pp. 261-3.

4. Op. cit. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 6. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1979, p. 347.

5. Ibid. pp. 347-8.

6. Op. cit. SABCL, Volume 20. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1971, p. 90.

7. Ibid. p. 208.

8. Op. cit. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 8. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1977, p. 361.

9. Op. cit. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 9. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1977, p. 283.

10. Ibid. pp. 153-5.

11. Ibid. p. 164.

* Sri Aurobindo. Savitri, SABCL, Vol.29. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1970, p. 424.

1 “When we have passed beyond willings, then we shall have Power. Effort was the helper: Effort is the bar.” Sri Aurobindo. SABCL, Volume 16, p. 376.

2 “Wake up in your self the will to conquer. Not a mere will in the mind but a will in the very cells of your body. Without that you can’t do anything, e.g. you may take a hundred medicines but they won’t cure you unless you have a will to overcome the physical illness.” (The Mother. Health and Healing in Yoga. Pondicherry; Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1979, p. 76).

Mr. James Anderson, a sadhak, is following the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and working at SAIIIHR, Pondicherry.

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Grow to light


The Mother


Wake-up call


True will




Sri Aurobindo


Inner light


Amalgam of cells


Bright torch


Rocky passage




Mechanical way


"Will to conquer"




Climbing stairs


Perilous path


Glorious freedom