To look on all with large and tranquil eyes

Sri Aurobindo explained in one of his letters on yoga (see book by the same title, a big compilation put together by selecting extracts of letters to various disciples and grouping them under broad topics) that in the Ashram were actually quite a number of people whose inner experiences and realizations would by ordinary spiritual standards make them be respected and revered already as great yogis and realized beings, elsewhere; but the purpose of the Integral Yoga being not just the inner realization but the outer transformation too, in this Ashram those people were still mere disciples struggling with the difficulties of their outer nature, that traditional spirituality deemed impossible to change and so, just left unchanged, as no further evolution was envisaged.

Now that what is wanted is a conscious evolution process, this is the real challenge indeed : the new endeavour now added, this full transformation of the outer nature.

So the visitors to this blog of mine shouldn’t be surprised to find here both the description sometimes of wonderful spiritual experiences, and the description at other times of specific defects still found deeply ingrained in some parts of my outer nature, and needing special attention to be healed and transformed into the positive quality that is their potential true counterpart. Both aspects are presented, because both are part of the conscious evolution adventure, it is very important that one should realize that. It is not just about having beautiful experiences – although that too is true, and is what  gradually becomes the permanent new way of being; but in the meantime there is also all the frustrating but inevitable nitty-gritty of the reactions of the outer nature to the outer circumstances: life as usual!…

A full transformation of the being has never been attempted before as a deliberate goal, and especially not in ways that would make it valid and possible not just for exceptionally great beings but for other human beings as well, now that the Supramental Consciousness-Force is at work directly upon Earth and within Matter itself to help our own resolve… and to do the actual work within us, which we would be quite unable to do by ourselves only, as Sri Aurobindo underlined.

With such an exacting completeness of result in mind, the process is a long one, taking up one after the other all the parts of the outer nature, with inevitably as a first result the coming up and exacerbation of whatever defect was hiding there, more or less unseen until that time.   

Since long I have been using some of the verses from Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Savitri’ as mantras, that is, as sentences I repeat again and again, turning them into kind of ‘magical formulas’, the meaning of which evokes more and more into my being and gradually provokes in it the actual manifestation of what those repeated words are speaking about.

One of my long favorite lines is from the Book IV, Canto 1, ‘The Birth and Childhood of the Flame’, in which the Divine Mother herself, in an earlier period of evolution, having accepted the intense prayer of King Ashwapathy, secretly a great and ardent yogi, takes a human body to help the human race, and is born to Ashwapathy and his Queen as the baby-girl Savitri, whose very special consciousness is described thus:

‘A spirit of its celestial source aware
Translating heaven into a human shape
Descended into earth’s imperfect mould
And wept not fallen to mortality
But looked on all with large and tranquil eyes.
One had returned from the transcendent planes
And bore anew the load of mortal breath,
Who had striven of old with our darkness and our pain.
She took again her divine unfinished task.
(…)
Again the mystic deep attempt began,
The daring wager of the cosmic game.’

I noticed after a while that every time I read this line,  ‘She looked on all with large and tranquil eyes’…, my own eyes automatically changed their way of looking at things, making me indeed ‘look on all with large and tranquil eyes’, just by having read that line. It had a direct, utterly physical effect on my eyes themselves.

Experimenting with how best this worked, I modified slightly the line until it finally became a kind of inner command to myself:

‘To look on all with large and tranquil eyes’.

Soon I noticed a further effect of that line on me: not only my eyes were affected, but after my eyes my whole being too fell under the magic spell of those words, my entire body gradually feeling itself as vast and tranquil, and facing the world and life in that much better way.

But I have not kept up those mantras very faithfully after that, particularly in the last six years when suddenly my personal involvement in the activities of Repos had, out of necessity, to increase and become more than I felt I could bear. Time has become very scarce.

How to avoid exhaustion and burn-out?
Generally, after being painfully unwell for two years, I am now definitely better. But my eyes have apparently bore the brunt of the stress that insidiously set in.

Since two years my eyes, because of having to do computer work for long hours, started straining, and my eyesight to blur. Six months ago I have been diagnosed with incipient cataract in both eyes. I was told to wait a few more months until the condition would deteriorate further, and then get operated. But my inner resolve has been quite different: “Cataract doesn’t inevitably increase, it can also be cured”, I told to myself; “so now the situation is different: now I need my mantras again, and urgently!…”

Six months later, my eyesight has indeed rather improved, instead of deteriorating.

I am back to repeating softly to myself ”large and tranquil eyes… large and tranquil eyes… large and tranquil eyes…’
What a pure blessing those words are!

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