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Mother and Sri Aurobindo on Peace

Only in a calm as of deep waters can be found the possibility of True Service.

The Mother

Practical Guidance

Q: Sweet Mother, what is the use of japa? Is it a good method to repeat words like "Silence" and "Peace" in order to establish silence and peace in oneself when one sits down to meditate? CWC Vol. 16

A mere repetition of words cannot have much effect. There are classical or traditional japas which are intended to subdue the lower mind and establish a connection with higher forces or with deities. These japas must be given by the Guru, who at the same time infuses them with the power of realisation. They are useful only for those who want to do an intensive yoga and spend five or six hours a day in yogic practices.
   japa such as you describe it cannot have much effect except to create a tamasic dullness, which should not be mistaken for mental silence.


The mind must learn to be silent -remain calm, attentive, without making a noise. If you try to silence your mind directly, it is a hard job, almost impossible; for the most material part of the mind never stops its activity -it goes on and on like a non-stop recording machine. It repeats all that it records and unless there is a switch to stop it, it continues and continues indefinitely. If, on the other hand, you manage to shift your consciousness into a higher domain, above the ordinary mind, this opening to the Light calms the mind, it does not stir any longer, and the mental silence so obtained can become constant.

Once you enter into this domain, you may very well never come out of it -the external mind always remains calm.
   The only true solution is aspiration for the higher light.


...you are reading something and come across a thought you don't understand -it is beyond you, you understand nothing and so in your head it lies like a brick, and if you try to understand, it becomes more and more like a brick, a stiffening, and if you persist it gives you a headache. There is but one thing to do: not to struggle with the words, remain just like this (gesture: stretched out, immobile), create a relaxation, simply widen, widen. And don't try to understand, above all, don't try to understand -let it enter like that, quite gently, and relax, relax, and in this relaxing your headache goes away. You no longer think of anything, you wait for a few days and after some days you see from inside: "Oh! how clear it is! I understand what I had not understood." It is as easy as that. When you read a book which is beyond you, when you come across sentences which you cannot understand -one feels that there is no correspondence in the head-well, you must do this; one reads the thing once, twice, thrice, then remains calm and makes the mind silent. A fortnight later, one takes up the same passage again and it is clear as daylight. Everything has been organised in the head, the elements of the brain which were wanted for the understanding have been formed, everything has been done gradually and one understands .


If you ask from within for peace, it will come.

The Mother

All extracts and quotations from the written works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the Photographs of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are copyright Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry -605002 India.