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Letters on Yoga – IV
“Ego and Its Forms”

Letters on Yoga IV - Ego and Its Forms.jpg
PDF (34 pages)

(Satyendra was smiling at Nirodbaran without any apparent reason.)
(Nirodbaran:) “What is the matter? What makes you smile?
(Satyendra:) I was thinking, ‘Nirod thinks himself so important but if he knew how much empty space there is in his body, he wouldn't.’”[1]

(Shyam Sundar:) “My vital ego continues to see the faults of others with pleasure.

(Mother:) When it will understand that the faults of others increase its own work, the pleasure will disappear.”[2]

(Sri Aurobindo:) “No, [the vital ego is] certainly not [a hostile power] — it is part of the ordinary human nature, everybody has it. It has to be purified and transformed, the ego being replaced by the true vital being of which it is a distorted shadow. The forces of the lower nature are often rebellious and resist transformation out of attachment to the familiar movements of the Ignorance, desire, vanity, pride, lust, self-will etc., but they are not in their nature hostile. The hostile Forces are those whose very raison d’être is revolt against the Divine, against the Light and Truth and enmity to the Divine Work.”[3]

(Mother:) “How many blows are needed in life for one to know to the very depths that one is nothing, that one can do nothing, that one does not exist, that one is nothing, that there is no entity without the divine Consciousness and the Grace. From the moment one knows it, it is over; all the difficulties have gone. When one knows it integrally and there is nothing which resists... but till that moment... And it takes very long.

Why doesn’t the blow come all at once?

Because that would kill you. For if the blow is strong enough to cure you, it would simply crush you, it would reduce you to pulp. It is only by proceeding little by little, little by little, very gradually, that you can continue to exist. Naturally this depends on the inner strength, the inner sincerity, and on the capacity for progress, for profiting by experience and, as I said a while ago, on not forgetting. If one is lucky enough not to forget, then one goes much faster.”[4]

  1. Talks with Sri Aurobindo (Vol. 2), p.578, 29 March 1940
  2. En Route (On the Path): The Mother's Correspondence with Shyam Sundar, p.147
  3. Letters on Yoga – IV, p.764
  4. Questions and Answers 1954, p.324

See also