Jealousy and envy are things common to human nature, but these are the very things that a sadhak ought to throw out of himself. Otherwise why is he a sadhak at all? He is supposed to be here for seeking the Divine—but in the seeking for the Divine, jealousy, envy, anger, etc. have no place. They are movements of the ego and can only create obstacles to the union with the Divine.
It is much better to remember that one is seeking for the Divine and make that the whole governing idea and aim of the life. It is that which pleases the Mother more than anything else; these jealousies and envies and competitions for her favour can only displease and distress her.
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, pp. 533 – 34
Ignorance is not a state of innocence or purity; that is an old blunder. Only a consciousness full of light can be pure. For instance, when you are conscious, your mind is clear and you have the right ideas about things and people; your mind is pure of ignorance. But when the mind is clouded by some impurity,—say, anger, jealousy or pride or some unreasonable desire,—you at once become ignorant and mistake and misunderstand everything.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, p. 49
Jealousy comes from a narrowness of the mind and a weakness of the heart. It is a great pity that so many are attacked by it.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, p. 261
All that [vanity, jealousy, the sense of not being loved] of course is not love, but self-love. Jealousy is only an ugly form of self-love. That is what people do not understand—they even think that demands and jealousy and wounded vanity are signs of love or at least natural attendants of it.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV: CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 245
This is a very common disease with the sadhaks—making comparisons with feelings of jealousy and envy—in some it leads to revolt and self-assertion, in others to self-depreciation and depression. Naturally, these feelings are quite out of place and the judgments created are out of focus. Each sadhak has his own movement, his own relation with the Divine, his own place in the work or the general sadhana and to compare with others immediately brings in a wrong standard. It is on the truth of his own inner movement that he has to take his base—swadharma.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV: CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 244
This strutting “I” of human self and pride
Is a puppet built by Nature for her use,
And dances as her strong compulsions bid,
Forcefully feeble, brilliantly obtuse.
Our thinking is her leap of fluttering mind,
We hear and see by her constructed sense:
Our force is hers; her colours have combined
Our fly-upon-the-wheel magnificence.
He sits within who turns on her machine
These beings, portions of his mystery,
Many dwarf beams of his great calm sunshine,
A reflex of his sole infinity.
One mighty Self of cosmic act and thought
Employs this figure of a unit nought.
Sri Aurobindo – Collected Poems: CWSA, Vol. 2, p. 619
In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature.
In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana; it is his Shakti with her light, power, knowledge, consciousness, Ananda, acting upon the adhara and, when it is opened to her, pouring into it with these divine forces that makes the Sadhana possible. But so long as the lower nature is active the personal effort of the Sadhaka remains necessary.
The personal effort required is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender,—
an aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing—the mind’s will, the heart’s seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature;
rejection of the movements of the lower nature—rejection of the mind’s ideas, opinions, preferences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find free room in a silent mind,—rejection of the vital nature’s desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being,—rejection of the physical nature’s stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine;
surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the Shakti.
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, p. 6
It is of course the old reaction—jealousy is certainly there, or you would not feel this violent sorrow. That it subsists still in the recesses and rises with such vehemence shows how deeply rooted this movement was in your physical consciousness. You have not been able to root it out, because when it comes you associate yourself entirely with it and abandon yourself to its outcries and violence. You must have the strength to stand back from it in that part of your nature which is free—only then will you be able to push it away from you; and it is only if it is pushed away from you each time it rises that it will consent to disappear and return no more. As for our support and help it is there, but you must remain conscious of it—and you must not allow any wrong ideas like those of this morning to diminish the sense of unity and contact with the Mother.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV: CWSA, Vol. 31, pp. 245 – 46
As for the way out of the impasse, I know only of the quieting of the mind which makes meditation effective, purification of the heart which brings the divine touch and in time the divine presence, humility before the Divine which liberates from egoism and the pride of the mind and of the vital, the pride that imposes its own reasonings on the ways of the spirit and the pride that refuses or is unable to surrender, sustained persistence in the call within and reliance on the Grace above. Meditation, japa, prayer or aspiration from the heart can all succeed, if they are attended by these or even some of these things. But I do not know that you can be promised what you always make the condition of any inner endeavour, an immediate or almost immediate realisation or beginning of concrete realisation. I fully believe on the other hand that one who has the call in him cannot fail to arrive, if he follows patiently the way towards the Divine.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – II: CWSA, Vol. 29, pp. 47 – 48
How can I know that the Mother is working in me? I believe that everything is done by the Mother, the good things and the bad, but X believes that very few things are done according to her will. How can I know what is divine and what is undivine?
Why should the Mother do bad things in you? It is Nature that acts for that, not the will of the Mother. You can at least know that anger, jealousy, envy, restlessness, despair, indolence etc. are not divine things and that purity, peace, harmony, zeal, unselfishness etc., are good things and help the growth to the Divine.
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, p. 63
This jealousy (which is a very common affliction of the vital) will go like the rest. If you have the aspiration to get rid of it, it can only come by force of habit, and with the psychic growing in you and the Mother’s force acting, the power of the habit is sure to diminish and fade away. Do not be discouraged by its occasional return, but reject it so that it may be unable to stay long and will be obliged to retire. Very soon then it will cease to come at all.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV: CWSA, Vol. 31, pp. 244 – 45
The sooner you get rid of that [abhiman] the better. Anyone who indulges abhiman puts himself under the influence of the hostile forces. Abhiman has nothing to do with true love; it is like jealousy a part of the vital egoism.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV: CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 245
The feeling of jealousy and abhiman was of course a survival from the past movements of the nature. It is so that these things go out if they are rejected; they lose their force, can stay less and less, can affect less and less the consciousness,—finally, they are able to touch no longer and so come no longer.
Sri Aurobindo – Letters on Yoga – IV: CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 245
“Every sadhak has by nature certain characteristics which are a great obstacle on the way of the sadhana; these remain with obstinacy and can only be overcome after a very long time by an action of the Divine from within. Your mistake is not to have these defects, others have defects of anger, jealousy, envy, etc. very strongly and not only have them within but show them very openly—but to accept it as a reason for despair and the wish to go away from here[ashram]. There is absolutely no meaning in going away, for nothing would be gained by it. One does not escape from what is within oneself by changing place; it follows and reproduces itself under other circumstances and among other surroundings. To go away and die does not solve anything either; for one’s being and nature do not end with death, they continue. The only way to get rid of them is here. Here, if you remain, a time is sure to come when these things will go out of you. The suffering it causes cannot cease by going out—it can only cease by the inner cause being removed or else by your drawing back from them and realising your true self which even if they rise would not be troubled by them and would refuse to regard them as part of itself—this liberation too can only come here by sadhana.”
The Mother – Agenda: Vol. 12, p. 163
Pride: a great obstacle to progress.
It is not the soul but the ego and its pride that feel defeat and humiliation.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, p. 259
Mother, why are these silly things in me? I don’t want them. They have been in me long enough. Now I don’t want them. I shall not rest until You come into my heart and live there eternally.
My Mother, give me purity and constancy in my aspiration.
Certain conditions in us (and pride is one of them) automatically invite blows from the surrounding circumstances. And it is up to us to utilise these blows to make further progress.
You are right in wanting all this pettiness and stupidity to disappear. I am fully with you in this determination and I am sure that you will triumph.
The Mother – Some Answers from the Mother: CWM, Vol. 16, p. 93
462—In our ignorance we are like children proud of our success in walking erect and unaided and too eager to be aware of the mother’s steadying touch on the shoulder. When we wake, we look back and see that God was leading and upholding us always.
463—At first whenever I fell back into sin, I used to weep and rage against myself and against God for having suffered it. Afterwards it was as much as I could dare to ask, “Why hast thou rolled me again in the mud, O my playfellow?” Then even that came to my mind to seem too bold and presumptuous; I could only get up in silence, look at him out of the corner of my eyes—and clean myself.
So long as man prides himself on his virtue, the Supreme Lord will make him fall into sin to teach him the necessity of modesty.
The Mother – On Thoughts and Aphorisms: CWM, Vol. 10, p. 340
To be humble means for the mind, the vital and the body never to forget that without the Divine they know nothing, are nothing and can do nothing; without the Divine they are nothing but ignorance, chaos and impotence. The Divine alone is Truth, Life, Power, Love, Felicity.
Therefore the mind, the vital, and the body must learn and feel, once and for all, that they are wholly incapable of understanding and judging the Divine, not only in his essence but also in his action and manifestation.
This is the only true humility and with it come quiet and peace.
This is also the surest shield against all hostile attack. Indeed, in the human being it is always the door of pride at which the Adversary knocks, for it is this door which opens to let him enter.
The Mother – Words of the Mother – II: CWM, Vol. 14, pp. 152 – 53
Suddenly, before Thee, all my pride fell. I understood how futile it was in Thy Presence to wish to surmount oneself, and I wept, wept abundantly and without constraint the sweetest tears of my life. Tears sweet and beneficent, tears that opened my heart without constraint before Thee and melted in one miraculous moment all the remaining obstacles that could separate me from Thee!
And now, although I weep no longer, I feel so near, so near to Thee that my whole being quivers with joy.
Let me stammer out my homage:
I have cried too with the joy of a child, “O supreme and only Confidant, Thou who knowest beforehand all we can say to Thee because Thou art its source!
“O supreme and only Friend, Thou who acceptest, Thou who lovest, Thou who understandest us just as we are, because it is Thyself who hast so made us!
“O supreme and only Guide, Thou who never gainsayest our highest will because it is Thou Thyself who willest in it!
“It would be folly to seek elsewhere than in Thee for one who will listen, understand, love and guide, since always Thou art there ready to our call and never wilt Thou fail us.
“Thou hast made me know the supreme, the sublime joy of a perfect confidence, an absolute security, a surrender total and without reserve or colouring, free from effort and constraint.
“Joyous like a child I have smiled and wept at once before Thee, O my well-Beloved!”
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, p. 643
How can the idea of not coming to Pranam be accepted, as some have done?
Various motives are played upon—pride, the desire not to be like others, not to be dependent on the Mother, the wish to protect some wrong movement from the Mother’s control, the idea of doing the sadhana in one’s own way free from the pressure of the Truth etc.
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother with Letters on the Mother: CWSA, Vol. 32, p. 559