The Sunlit Path|Apr 4, 2007 9:39 AM| by:

Dealing with Wrong Thoughts

The Spiritual journey, the path of sadhana is never smooth and easy, specially in the initial stages. One is assailed with numerous difficulties from within and without. One of the major difficulties is due to the attack of wrong thoughts and suggestions, which try to create obstructions and lead one astray.

The Question arises :

Question : What is the nature and source of these wrong suggestions? How can one deal with them when one does not even have the will to change? What is the true yogic attitude one must keep when faced with these violent attacks?

    We present here an excerpt from a letter of Sri Aurobindo, which explains in a very simple manner the way to be followed and which can be a great help in our sadhana and progress.

   When there is a Wrong Suggestion

When there is an attack or obstruction, the call or the thinking of the Mother may not succeed at once, even the will to get rid of the attack or obstruction may not succeed at once, but one must persevere till the result comes, and if one perseveres the result is bound to come.

One sees the negative side only during the attacks, because the first thing the attack or obstruction does is to try to cloud the mind’s intelligence. If it cannot do that it is difficult for it to prevail altogether for the time being. For if the mind remains alert and clings to the truth, then the attack can only upheave the vital and, though this may be painful enough, yet the right attitude of the mind acts as a corrective and makes it easier to recover the balance and the true condition of the vital comes back more quickly. If the vital keeps its balance, then the attack touches the physical consciousness only with its suggestions and is much more superficial or even it can do no more than create a temporary restlessness, uneasiness or ill-health in the body-the rest of the consciousness remaining unaffected.

It is therefore very important to accustom oneself to keep the right mental attitude even in the midst of an attack, however strong it is. To keep faith is the best help for that-the faith that the Divine is always there and I shall pass to him through whatever trials. That helps to look at other things also in the true light.

    The Tamasic and the Rajasic Ego

By tamasic ego is meant the ego of weakness, self-depreciation, despondency, unbelief. The rajasic ego is puffed up with pride and self-esteem or stubbornly asserts itself at every step or else wherever it can; the tamasic ego, on the contrary, is always feeling “I am weak, I am miserable, I have no capacity, I am not loved or chosen by the Divine, I am so bad and incapable-what can the Divine do for me?” Or else “I am especially chosen out for misfortune and suffering, all are preferred to me, all are progressing, I only am left behind, all abandons me, I have nothing before me but flight, death or disaster,” etc., etc., or something or all of these things mixed together. Sometimes the rajasic and tamasic Ahankar mix together and subtly support each other. In both cases it is the “I” that is making a row about itself and clouding the true vision.

    The Right Attitude

The true spiritual or psychic vision is this: “Whatever I may be, my soul is a child of the Divine and must reach the Divine sooner or later. I am imperfect, but seek after the perfection of the Divine in me and that not I but the Divine Grace will bring about; if I keep to that, the Divine Grace itself will do all.” The “I” has to take its proper place here as a small portion and instrument of the Divine, something that is nothing without the Divine but with the Grace can be everything that the Divine wishes it to be.

The Mother’s help is always there but you are not conscious of it except when the psychic is active and the consciousness not clouded. The coming of suggestions is not a proof that the help is not there. Suggestions come to all, even to the greatest sadhaks or to the Avatars-as they came to Buddha or Christ. Obstacles are there-they are part of Nature and they have to be overcome. What has to be attained is not to accept the suggestions, not to admit them as the truth or as one’s own thoughts, to see them for what they are and keep oneself separate. Obstacles have to be looked at as something wrong in the machinery of human nature which has to be changed-they should not be regarded as sins or wrong-doings which make one despair of oneself and of the sadhana.
Sri Aurobindo