Guide to seekers
On her 125th birth anniversary, RAM SEHGAL remembers the Mother's teachings.
IN recent times, there has been a spate of books on subjects of self-introspection, perhaps spawned by the growing need for permanent solutions to people's problems. The teachings of the Mother at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, cover all aspects of life. Her teachings do not preach an escape from life; but show how to live life to the fullest.
Talking about money, Mother said, "Money should not be a possession, or power, it is a means of action which is given to us, but one must use it according to the "Will of the giver". According to her, money must be used in an impersonal and enlightened way. If one is a good instrument of utilising money, then it comes to us in proportion to our capacity to use it. Today everything is judged and evaluated from monetary angle. Even children are not immune to it. The Mother advised, "Learn for the sake of knowledge, to educate oneself in order to become a better human being, to discipline oneself in order to become master of oneself, to overcome one's weaknesses, incapacities and ignorance and to prepare oneself to advance in life towards a goal that is better and nobler, more generous and more true." The Mother did not differentiate between a small or big job. Her famous saying is "Do thou little, do it well". She also said that when faced with a difficulty, look within to find the cause. She said, "You must put the problem as though you were putting it to someone else, then keep silent. Once your mind is quietened and detached to the problem, a sensible solution will appear."
The Mother's view on food was very practical and looked at the basic nutrition. Parents should give children food suitable to their temperament, prepared hygienically, pleasant to the taste and yet simple. Food must not be used as a means of coercion or punishment.
More than one-third of our existence is spent in sleeping and, consequently, the time to provide physical rest deserves attention. She said, "When the sun sets, a kind of peace descends upon the earth and this peace is helpful for sleep. When the sun rises, a vigorous energy descends upon the earth and this energy is helpful to work." Hence, when one goes to bed late and gets up late, one contradicts the forces of nature, which is not the proper thing to do. She also advises us to take light food, at dinner to quieten the mind, calm the emotions and devote a few minutes to meditation.
The Mother was always against excessive use of medicines. If medicines are taken within reasonable limits, they will help the body recover. For, the body heals itself. The phenomenon of death has remained a mystery throughout the human existence. But the Mother tells us that death is an indispensable means of awakening a superior consciousness in matter.
Everyone in our country seems highly dissatisfied with the current system of education. The Mother too, greatly stressed the drawbacks and shortcomings of today's education system. She had promoted the concept of "integral education".
Education, in order to be complete, must have four principal aspects relating to the four principal activities of the human being: the physical, the mental, the vital and the psychic or spiritual. Many classes are now held to teach people the art of meditation. But the Mother said it is very difficult to meditate. "Meditation in its truest form is to try to drive out from the head all movement, ideas, reflexes, reactions and to arrive at a truly silent tranquillity."
Most people cannot distinguish between aspiration and demand. True aspiration does not come from the head, even when it is formulated by a thought; it springs up like a flame from the heart.
And, hence to live with constant aspiration towards the Divine that renders us capable of regarding life with a smile and remaining in peace, whatever be external circumstances. It is the constant aspiration to transform oneself that puts us on the true path to Yoga. Hence, the Mother said "All life is Yoga."
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