Dictations on Courage & Strength

Posted By Author on November 13, 2010


Due to cold got up late.  Took heavy breakfast.  Some people from Okhimath came.  Arranged tea for them.  Message came from Baba that I should be ready by 11 A.M.

Baba finished his lunch and came out.  Two of us sat outside.  He loved columnist of Dawn of Karachi, Altaf, and told Royjee’s wit on his name and emperor Akabar.  He described custom of Manipur that husband goes to live with wife.  He told some story of a queen.  He talked on French Revolution and commended Sir Walter Raleigh for his guts to see the King eye to eye.  He told enchanting story of his bravery and how the Hangmen wept before pulling the rope.  He consoled them.  That was real pardon.  According to him a strong person showing mercy is mercy and not shown by the weak.  He told that in China children were taught to hate Americans.  A day would come when these children would hate their leaders. “We taught how to be unmannerly with the British and now we are getting dividend,”  As per him all the credit for turning 19th century revolutionaries of Bengal went to Italian Professor———(?) of the Presidency college of Calcutta.  Baba was best storyteller and would create picture before mind’s eye.  Mostly he was talking.  It was 1.30 P.M. and he retired for rest. (Bhagat Ram described how Subhashbabu used to tell stories during their march afoot to Kabul.)

I completed diary.  Another batch came from Okhimath.  Offered them tea and dispatched.  Watered the garden and drove three students who were curiously going towards Baba’s hut along the river.  This would have turned into another crisis.  Ramsingh Pradhan and a doctor of Agasti Muni arrived.  They were offered tea and snacks and sent back.

Baba came out towards evening and gave the following dictation:

5 P.M.     “To distinguish between what is strength and what is weakness, between what is courage and what is cowardice requires a very keen discernment with heart going just parallel to it.  Suppose your discernment places before you something as strong but your heart refuses to accept it as strength or suppose your heart takes something as cowardly but your intellect denies admitting it as cowardice, and then there will be continuous tussle between the heart and the brain.  In the initial stage of ‘sadhana’ when the central being is not clearly in the forefront of the consciouness though it is always there in the depth, this fight between the heart and the brain becomes increasingly acute, as there is nothing or little in the external consciousness to regulate the both.  The aspirant almost always under such circumstances remains at a fix incapable of giving weight of his available personality in favour of one side or the other.  It is an excruciating condition from which there seems to be no way out.  But really way out there is. It is the progressive arousing of the central being to play its due the dominant role in the surface consciousness.  Until this is done with some success, there can be no co-ordination between the heart and the brain and, as such the prospect of integration of the two remains blurred.

Now courage and strength, cowardice and weakness all these are of relative meaning, relative to the stage and phase through which an individual is passing. You explain to a man of inferior development that what he regards as strength is really weakness.  If your intellect has a better way of putting it before him, he will be silenced of course but his silence does not mean he has accepted your explanation.  Not only this, your heart tries to convince your brain about a stand it has taken and suppose the brain is silenced.  This does not at all necessarily mean that the brain has accepted the stand of the heart.  If it has accepted there will not be an intermittent trouble brewing from the side of the brain.  This trouble from one side or the other is clear proof of lack of sufficient co-ordination between the both.  And note co-ordination is the first step for integration.”

After discussion on this Baba said, “ Suresh, keep in written record these thoughts of mine:

“Some people maintain that Tilak and Gandhi are products of western education. Remember all great men irrespective of whether they have academic qualifications or not are always self-educated.”

“Man in his folly has the silly tendency of confusing autosuggestion with intuition.  First let the difference between the two be clearly understood.  Broadly speaking autosuggestion comes from the darker elements or from the brighter ones and gets continuously distorted by the intervening layers.  Intuition on the other hand comes from the deepest of your being and carries with it the momentum to penetrate through the intervening planes of consciousness without being affected by their distorting mischief though in case of merely accidental intuition — and this phenomenon is not known existing —- the possibility of distortion is not altogether precluded but the basic difference remains the same.”

We had intricate debate on this.  I expressed that like material science inner science or spiritualism was not demonstrative.  He opined that for that ‘sadhana’ was required which could not be achieved in a day or two.  I raised a suspicion that all people performing ’sadhana’ did not achieve demonstrative capacity and there was always a pretext that the lack of such capacity was due to incomplete or faulty ‘sadhana’.  He gave lot of similes and I contradicted by argument.  Ultimately he began to show symptoms of irritation and I became cautious.  I made an about-turn and apparently agreed and accepted whatever he said.  He was very happy to win over me.  My purpose was successful.  After that he alone was talking and I patiently listened without any contradiction.  Rajat came and informed that Baba’s meal was ready.  Then Gita came to remind him that food was ready but Baba was so much engrossed in explaining and teaching me that calls went unheeded.  After half an hour he left and while going told me that he would not call us tonight.  All of us felt relieved.  It was always troublesome to change clothes in face of biting cold.  Similarly bath with ice-cold water before the Sunrise was awful ordeal enhanced due to  strong winds that  made it horrible.

I was about to settle down for meals and as expected Dipali brought the message that Sureshbabu and Rajat were called in by Baba.  I knew by experience very well that he did not like contradiction in any form and as a result used to become restless until explained and convinced the arguer.  That was his nature.  Both of us hurriedly finished lunch and dashed in his hut.  He told Gita to serve sweets (kalakand/sandesh) to us in his presence.  Then Baba said, “Suresh, by argument I have to explain and repeat same thing again and again.  To avoid it you will ask question and I will dictate answer.  This method will continue. The Mother in Pondicherry Ashram adopted similar method. (Plato pioneered this method of teaching in Athens.)  Remind me when it will be 7.30 P.M. I do not have much time.”  Then he began the following dictation:

“Whenever something troubles you more or less, a thought, a feeling or a complex of the both and you give vent to it to myself and a discussion is held for necessary interpretation and for adequate and indispensable understanding from your side, you must with all sincerity see to it that the interpretation and clarification given must sit firmly in your heart so that remnant of the trouble and that time and energy on my side and on your side are not repeatedly wasted to the extent this sort of wastage is avoidable.

Today is the fourth time a particular type of troublesome thinking came out of you.  Three times before there had been prolonged discussion about it.  But still the remnant of the trouble is there.  It is of course not unnatural but yet the elimination of the trouble must take as little time as possible.  The theme of the trouble is the following:

If an aspirant does not have any tangible or understandable experience in inner culture and if he places his frustration before one from whom he expects guidance you get the reply ‘he is not devoting sufficient time for concentration and is not concentrating sufficiently.’

(In general term now you will get the answer.)

General reply:

Answer: Of course in some cases a masquerading guide may try to evade the troublesome question by taking recourse to what the aspirant in his frustration observes.  As far as genuine cases are concerned this consideration is irrelevant. Let us then come to this.  The first thing which the aspirant should find out for himself whether he is devoting sufficient intensity or not.  First let him have the necessary reply from within himself.  But before having the reply the purpose and object of concentration must be vividly clear before your mind’s eye otherwise the discussion is bound to take a wry course.  Naturally if the aspirant is sincere with himself, he will discover that the time and energy devoted and the intensity given is not at all sufficient to bring about a rapid progress resulting in attainment of inner experience in succession.

Question by me: If after concentration one gets a couple of new experiences and afterwards the whole thing becomes static in spite of all sincere efforts and sufficient time devoted what an aspirant should do?

Answer by Baba: It means one of the two things.  Either in spite of his belief that the aspirant is doing as best as he can the attempt is not really up to mark or it may be once the aspirant has got some experience these may go down into the lower conscious region to bring about necessary changes there and until the process of assimilation is at least practically complete, there will be no new experience at all.  Because before assimilating the previous ones that would bring about necessary adjustment and readjustment in inner apparatus if he gets newer experience, mental dyspepsia with all its disastrous effects will be the only sequel. Monotony must not give you trouble.  You will always face with intermittent phases in which you will have no effusion at all about your inner work yet monotonously but energetically you have to pull on with it.  One thing remember, just as in case of physical exercise you have to repeat the same thing over and over again and a physical health is a cumulative effect so also it is the case with ‘sadhana’. One point to note, even for those who are equipped with necessary mental apparatus for spiritual work, for rapid progress at least eight hours daily work is necessary and there must be a sincere attempt on the part of the aspirant to bring sleep to the minimum and to respond to lethargic urges and suggestion to nil.  More you respond to the latter, the more your work will be sheer penelopising. Then again even if you concentrate for six or eight hours and for the remaining wakeful period you do not with sufficient                  self-consciousness remain continuously watchful about the right and wrong within yourself eliminating what is undesirable, strengthening what is to be retained, and adjusting and readjusting for the purpose of co-ordination and integration, what is gained in concentration will be more or less undone, nay, sometimes the loss may be more acute than the gain.”

In this context Baba revealed an astounding fact of xenophobia. “Suresh, you will not imagine what labour I had to do to give up my hatred for British people. Daily fifteen to sixteen hours for complete one year I had to exert myself.” (Just imagine how much thinking he must have been doing to start work after Chinu’s birth?)

Baba suggested that we within our circle should discuss these notes and whenever he would find time I should ask a question and he would answer. It was 7.45 P.M.  We left his hut and came back to our residence.  Rajat expressed that he was unnecessarily called and detained for so long.  Rajat related one incident.  “Baba was once in good mood and was busy in gossip.  Without any ill will I told Baba that in a book I read that Aurobindo Ghosh was interned in a very bad cell and in spite of it he never lost his mental equilibrium in jail.  On the very night at 1 A.M. Baba called me near our fire place in the open ground and asked as to what was the meaning of my talk.  Why did I quote Aurobindo’s jail episode?  He said that he could not work by taking people like me and ordered to take money and leave for Ashram immediately.  I apologized and swore that I never meant to insult him.  Then he calmed down and the storm in the teacup quelled. My going was cancelled.  I have decided to talk minimum.”  I told him I too learnt a lesson not to contradict him and always take a tactical retreat and submit to his convictions.  One has to be very cautious while talking with him.  He cannot tolerate anything against his wishes or will, confessed to Rajat.

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