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Mother and Sri Aurobindo on Peace

   A breath comes down from a supernal air ,
      A presence is borne, a guiding Light awakes,
      A stillness falls upon the instruments:
      Fixed sometimes like a marble monument,
      Stone-calm, the body is a pedestal
      Supporting a figure of eternal Peace.
                                                      (From: Savitn)

Guidance to Disciples


      
That is of course how it should be. It should go so far indeed that you will feel this peace and vastness as your , very self, the abiding stuff of your consciousness -unchangeably there.

*


      I presume that [feeling peace very concretely in the lobes of the brain] would mean that the peace had become or was becoming very material and solid and physically tangible- "peace in the cells" .Everything is a "substance" -even peace, consciousness, Ananda, -only there are different orders of substance.

*


      When the peace is fully established everywhere in the being, these things [reactions of the lower vital] will not be able to shake it. They may come first as ripples on the surface, then only as suggestions which one looks at or does not care to look at but in either case they don't get inside, affect or disturb at all.
          It is difficult to explain, but it is something like a mountain at which one throws stones -if conscious all through the mountain may feel the touch of the stones, but the thing would be so slight and superficial that it would not be in the least affected. In the end even that reaction disappears.

*


If the peace or silence is once absolutely established,no amount of movements on the surface can impair or abolish it. It can bear all the movements of the universe and yet be the same.
  *


Of course. It is quite usual to feel an established peace in the inner being even if there is disturbance on the surface. In fact that is the usual condition of the yogi before he has attained the absolute samata in all the being.

*


A great wave (or sea) of calm and the constant consciousness of a vast and luminous Reality -this is precisely the character of the fundamental realisation of the Supreme Truth in its first touch on the mind and the soul. One could not ask for a better beginning or foundation -it is like a rock on which the rest can be built. It means certainly not only a Presence, but the Presence -and it would be a great mistake to weaken the experience by any non-acceptance or doubt of its character .
    It is not necessary to define it and one ought not even to try to turn it into an image; for this Presence is in its nature infinite. Whatever it has to manifest of itself or out of itself, it will do inevitably by its own power, if there is a sustained acceptance.

*


These are the ordinary normal experiences of the sadhana when there is an opening from above -the contact with the peace of the Brahman, Self or Divine and the contact with the higher Power, the Power of the Mother. He does not know what they are, quite naturally but feels very correctly and his description is quite accurate. "How beautiful, calm and still all seems -as if in water there were not even a wave. But it is not Nothingness. I feel a Presence steeped in life but absolutely silent and quiet in meditation," -there could hardly be a better description of this experience - the experience of the peace and silence of the Divine or of the Divine itself in its own essential peace and silence.

*


...the spiritual peace is something other and infinitely more than the mental peace and its results are different, not merely clear thinking or some control or balance or a sattwic state. But its greater results can only be fully and permanently manifest when it lasts long enough in the system or when one feels spread out in it above the head and on every side stretching towards infinity as well as penetrated by it down to the very cells. Then it carries with it the deep and vast and solid tranquillity that nothing can shake- even if on the surface there is storm and battle. I was myself of the sattwic type you describe in my youth, but when the peace from above came down, that was quite different. Sattvaguna disappeared into nirguna and negative nirguna into positive traigunyatita.

*


There are two conditions, one of Ananda, another of great calm and equality in which there is no joy or grief. If one attains the latter, afterwards a greater more permanent Ananda becomes possible.
                         

*


The quietude and silence which you feel and the sense of happiness in it are indeed the very basis of successful sadhana. When one has got that, then one may be sure that the sadhana is placing itself on a sound footing. You are also right in thinking that if this quietude is fully established all that is concealed within will come out. It is true also that the happiness of this peace is far greater than anything outer objects can bring -there can be no comparison.

*


Passivity of the mind is good, but take care to be passive only to the Truth and to the touch of the Divine Shakti. If you are passive to the suggestions and influences of the lower nature, you will not be able to progress or else you will expose yourself to adverse forces which may take you far away from the true path of yoga.

*


 When the peace is deep or wide it is usually in the inner being. The outer parts do not ordinarily go beyond a certain measure of quietude -they get deep peace only when they are flooded with it from the inner being.

*


 Yes, certainly -the peace starts in the inner being -it is spiritual and psychic but it overflows the outer being - when it is there in the activity , it means either that the ordinary restless mind, vital, physical has been submerged by the flood of the inner peace or, at a more advanced stage, that they have been partially or wholly changed into thoughts, forces, emotions, sensations which have in their very stuff an essence of inner silence and peace.

*


Yes, surely the peace can come into the outer consciousness also; it is meant to do so. It is perfectly possible for the body to bear the peace and stillness. It is more difficult for it to bear the full play of the Force; but if the peace is first established in it, then there is no difficulty of that kind.

*


     Passive peace is not supposed to do anything. It is by the complete solid presence of peace alone that all disturbance is pushed out to the surface or outside the consciousness.

*


     If the workings are really those of the higher consciousness or if these predominate the ego fades out -but there is also often a wideness of opening to the universal mental, vital, physical existence and, if the sadhak responds more to this than to the higher consciousness, then he does not get free. Sometimes even the ego gets aggrandised. But if the psychic is awake, then there is not this danger; one finds one's true being in place of the ego.

Letters on Yoga II , III

   

 What is Peace

The words "peace, calm, quiet, silence" have each their own shade of meaning, but it is not easy to define them.
    Peace- santi.
    Calm -sthirata.
    Quiet -acancalata.
Silence- niscala-niravata.

     Quiet is a condition in which there is no restlessness or disturbance.
     Calm is a still unmoved condition which no disturbance can affect -it is a less negative condition than quiet.
     Peace is a still more positive condition; it carries with it a sense of settled and harmonious rest and deliverance.
     Silence is a state in which either there is no movement of the mind or vital or else a great stillness which no surface movement can pierce or alter .

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.