What’s the Right Thing to Do: A Meditation on Dharma, Reason and Offering (Concluded)

Essay published in Collaboration: Journal of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Vol. 40 (2), pp. 29-33.

In the presence of great music we have no alternative but to live nobly


First, we must remember that the true being hidden inside whispers to us very softly through the light it shines upon its outer instruments; the intellect and Reason being the instruments of concern at present. We must also remember to become more aware and conscious of these very subtle hints we receive, and to stay open and receptive to the light we receive in our intellect and reasoning capacity. Placing our trust in that Light which is guiding us, let us without any bias or preconceived notion, accept the voice of this Intelligence. Let us find strength in these words of Sri Aurobindo:

…the action of the intelligence is not only turned downward and outward upon our subjective and external life to understand it and determine the law and order of its present movement and its future potentialities. It has also an upward and inward eye and a more luminous functioning by which it accepts divinations from the hidden eternities. It is opened in this power of vision to a Truth above it from which it derives, however imperfectly and as from behind a veil, an indirect knowledge of the universal principles of our existence and its possibilities; it receives and turns what it can seize of them into intellectual forms and these provide us with large governing ideas by which our efforts can be shaped and around which they can be concentrated or massed; it defines the ideals which we seek to accomplish.

…every enlarged attempt of the intelligence thus dealing with our inner and outer life increases the width and wealth of our nature, opens it to larger possibilities of self-knowledge and self-realisation and brings us nearer to our awakening into that greater consciousness.[1]

With a calm confidence and complete trust in the Divine, let us make a sincere offering to the Divine of the decision we have arrived at using our Reason or Intellect. Let us offer all the consequent actions, all the difficulties that arise in the path, the choices we make as we pursue the action, the results of our efforts, any successes and failures we face. Let us leave the consequence of our decisions and actions on the Divine alone.

If we can remember to do this, and if we can do this with as much sincerity and humility as we can find within, we can go through all conflicts or dilemmas with a sense of calm equanimity. But what is it that prevents us from practicing this advice of “remember and offer”?

What prevents us from doing this is our mixed-up, egoistic outer nature.

A lot of stuff occupies our daily lives and keeps us away from remembering. How often have we said — oh, let me finish this work and then I’ll sit down and meditate for half an hour; now I have this one more thing to do, so where’s the time for my prayers; after I am done with this I need to go and do this other thing, so there is no way I will be able to sit quietly for ten minutes and remember the Divine. We keep postponing the act of remembering. We get so occupied by forgetfulness, that it becomes super-convenient to forget and stay forgetful.

From cleaning our bathrooms to preparing the dinner, from folding the laundry to entertaining the guests, whether it is working outside the home, or driving back home in the evening — the task in front of us can be a means to grow in our consciousness, if we can do it in the right attitude. This right attitude is not easy to acquire, it takes a life-long practice and an utmost sincere effort.

It requires us to spontaneously remember that it is not the separate ‘I’ that is doing all this work, but that all this is part of the Larger Work of the Divine, and that I am only a mere instrument through which it is being done.

It requires us to always remember that the Divine is always present around us, inside us, everywhere, that all work, all action is nothing but an offering of oneself and everything that one is to That.

We don’t offer because we ignorantly perceive that what we are doing, feeling, thinking, including the crisis or dilemma we are faced with, are not the ‘stuff of Gods’, but the ‘stuff of us’. We forget that it is all Her Stuff, it is all She, She is in All, and is All. So how can the ‘stuff’ be ours?

We forget that by not offering we keep living under the illusion that the stuff is ours, the outcomes of our actions are determined by us, the responses to emotions and thoughts are ours and the consequences are ours. We keep getting sucked in by this ignorance and keep living with the pain and suffering of ‘owning’ our ‘stuff’.

By remembering to offer, we let go of this ownership of stuff. We become un-involved, we begin to evolve. We begin to gradually live and act as per our level of consciousness, as per the dharma of our being in its evolutionary journey.

We begin to grow in dharma.

[1] Ibid., pp. 115-117.
Have you read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4?

3 thoughts on “What’s the Right Thing to Do: A Meditation on Dharma, Reason and Offering (Concluded)

Add yours

  1. It requires us to always remember that the Divine is always present around us, inside us, everywhere, that all work, all action is nothing but an offering of oneself and everything that one is to That.

    These lines sum it up for me, the right attitude. 🙂

    I could not read all the 5 parts but will visit again.

    Liked by 1 person

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