Letters on Yoga – II comprises letters written by Sri Aurobindo on the practice of the Integral Yoga. It is the second of four volumes of Letters on Yoga. The letters in these volumes have been selected from the large body of letters that Sri Aurobindo wrote to disciples and others between 1927 and 1950, but primarily in the 1930s. About one-third of the letters in the present volume were not published in the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library.
This second volume is arranged by subject in three parts: the path of the Integral Yoga, the synthetic method of the Integral Yoga, and the Integral Yoga and other spiritual paths. Individual letters deal with many subjects relating to its practice, including the true object of spiritual seeking, the basic requisites of the path, the foundation of the sadhana, the yoga of knowledge, works, devotion, and self-perfection, and the distinction of the Integral Yoga as a yoga of transformation.
“Equality is the chief support of the true spiritual consciousness and it is this from which the sadhak deviates when he allows a vital movement to carry him away in feeling or speech or action. Equality is not the same thing as forbearance, – though undoubtedly a settled equality immensely extends, even illimitably, a man”s power of endurance and forbearance.
Equality means a quiet and unmoved mind and vital; it means not to be touched or disturbed by things that happen or things said or done to you but to look at them with a straight look, free from the distortions created by personal feeling, and to try to understand what is behind them, why they happen, what is to be learnt from them, what is it in oneself which they are cast against and what inner pro?t or progress one can make out of them; it means self-mastery over the vital movements, anger and sensitiveness and pride as well as desire and the rest, not to let them get hold of the emotional being and disturb the inner peace, not to speak and act in the rush and impulsion of these things, always to act and speak out of a calm inner poise
of the spirit. It is not easy to have this equality in any full and perfect measure, but one should always try more and more to make it the basis of one’s inner state and outer movements.
Equality means another thing – to have an equal view of men and their nature and acts and the forces that move them; it helps one to see the truth about them by pushing away from the mind all personal feeling in one’s seeing and judgment and even all mental bias. Personal feeling always distorts and makes one see in men’s actions, not only the actions themselves, but things behind them which, more often than not, are not there. Misunderstanding and misjudgment which could have been avoided are the result; things of small consequence assume large proportions. I have seen that more than half of the untoward happenings of this kind in life are due to this cause. But in ordinary life personal feeling and sensitiveness are a constant part of human nature and may be needed there for self-defence, although, I think, even there, a strong, large and equal attitude towards men and things would be a much better line of defence. But, for a sadhak, to surmount them and live rather in the calm strength of the spirit is an essential part of his progress.
The first condition of inner progress is to recognise whatever is or has been a wrong movement in any part of the nature, – wrong idea, wrong feeling, wrong speech, wrong action, – and by wrong is meant what departs from the Truth, from the higher consciousness and higher self, from the way of the Divine. Once recognised it is admitted, – not glossed over or defended, – and it is offered to the Divine for the Light and Grace to descend and substitute for it the right movement of the true consciousness.”
– Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga – II, pp.130-131
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