Dr. Hiranmayi Smart
‘Aspiration’ has an important place in the Integral Yoga. We shall try to contemplate on this subject today. Talking about Aspiration, The Mother has said:
“If in man the seed of aspiration is watered with the true spirituality then he will grow into Divinity.”1
There is already a seed of aspiration embedded in man. It should be nurtured with true spirituality. True spirituality means the knowledge and realisation of man’s soul or psychic being, secretly lodged in him which is the portion of the Supreme Divine. For this realisation man has to follow the path of yoga. Man can also have the realisation of the Divine in his supreme transcendental status and the realisation of the Cosmic Divine manifested in the universe. If man concentrates on the soul and the Divine, and progresses on the path of yoga, then he will grow into Divinity.
About the aspiration of man which has survived and continued since ancient times, Sri Aurobindo has written in his book Life Divine, “The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last - God, Light,Freedom, Immortality.”2
The same highest aspiration of man is described in a mantric way In Brihadaranyak Upanishad,
असतो मा सद् गमय l तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय l मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय l ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ll
Man always wants to progress and transcend his limitations and incapacities, he wants to achieve perfection. So in this verse the Rishi prays to the Divine,
From the non-being to true being, from the darkness to light, from death to immortality. Om Peace! Peace! Peace!
The Supreme Divine is Sat, Chit, Ananda. He is our true being, our consciousness and true dynamism, our eternal bliss. He is also described as Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram. He is the truth, the good, and the beautiful. Man has always aspired for these attributes and qualities. The supreme Divine is known as Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent. He is the reservoir of supreme strength and power, peace and serenity, love and harmony. We aspire for these pure, positive and permanent virtues. In short our aim is to rise in consciousness and be even as the Divine. Sri Aurobino has beautifully said in Savitri:
We are sons of God and must be even as he:
His human portion, we must grow divine.
Our life is a paradox with God for key.3
Our aim of life is really very high and great. To achieve this aim one has to be on the path of yoga. In his book ‘The Mother’ Sri Aurobindo has given luminous guidance for proceeding on the path. In the Integral yoga two movements are given prime importance by Sri Aurobindo. One movement is of the ascent on the part of the sadhaka towards the Divine and the other movement is of the descent of the grace and divine forces from the Divine in the receptacle of the sadhaka. This descent is like a stamp and seal of the Divine on the efforts of progress made by the sadhaka. Sri Aurobindo writes:
“There are two powers that effect in their conjunction the great and difficult thing which is the aim of our endeavour, a fixed and unfailing aspiration that calls from bellow and a supreme grace from above that answers.
“But the supreme Grace will act only in the conditions of the light and the Truth; it will not act in the conditions laid upon it by the falsehood and ignorance. For if it were to yield to the demands of the falsehood, it would defeat its own purpose.”4
He further writes:
“In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana; it is his Shakti with her light, power, knowledge, consciousness, Ananda, acting upon the Adhara and, when it is opened to her, pouring into it these divine forces that makes the Sadhana possible. But so long as the lower nature is active the personal effort of the Sadhaka remains necessary.
The personal effort required is a triple labour of aspiration rejection and surrender, ...”5
Sri Aurobindo has said that the aspiration should be vigilant, constant, and unceasing. It should have the mind’s will, the heart’s seeking, and the assent of the vital being. It should have the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature. Thus the aspiration includes and integrates the whole being and rises upwards.
Let us end by contemplating on the Mother’s prayer to the supreme Divine:
"Let Thy Light be in me like a Fire that makes all alive;
let Thy divine love penetrate me.
I aspire with all my being for Thy reign
as sovereign of my mind and heart and body;
let them be Thy docile instruments and Thy faithful servitors.”6