(Sidelights on the Mother, Page 21)
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Q.: So the consequences of Karma are not rigorous?
Mother: No, not at all. In all religions there are people who have said that, who have given such absolute rules, but I believe it was in order to substitute themselves for Nature and pull the strings. There is always this kind of instinct that wants to take the place of Nature and pull the strings of people. So they are told: “There is an absolute consequence of all that you do....” It is a concept necessary at a given moment of evolution to prevent people from being in a completely unconscious egoism, in a total unconsciousness of the consequences of what they do. There is no lack of people who are still like that, I believe it is the majority; they follow their impulses and do not even ask themselves whether what they have done is going to have any consequences for them and for others. So it is good that someone tells you straight, with a severe look: “Take care, that has consequences which will last for a very long time!”
And then there are others who come and tell you: “You will pay for it in another life.” That, however, is one of those fantastic stories.... But it does not matter: this also can be for the good of people.
There are other religions which tell you: “Oh! If you commit that sin, you will go to hell for eternity.” You can imagine!... So people have such a fright that it stops them a little, it gives them just a moment for reflection before obeying an impulse — and not always; sometimes the reflection comes afterwards, a little late.
It is not absolute. These are still mental constructions, more or less sincere, which cut things into small bits like that, quite neatly cut, and tell you: “Do this or do that. If it is not this, it will be that.” Oh! what a nuisance is this kind of life. And so people go mad, they are frightened! “Is it like that or rather this?” And they want it to be neither this nor that, what should they do?
They have only to climb to a higher storey. They must be given the key to open the door. There is a door to the staircase, a key is needed. The key, as I told you just now, is the sufficiently sincere aspiration or the sufficiently intense prayer. I said “or”, but I do not think it is “or”. There are people who like one better and others, the other. But in both there is a magical power, you must know how to make use of it.
There is something very beautiful in both, I shall speak to you about it one day, I shall tell you what there is in aspiration and what in prayer and why both of them are beautiful.... Some dislike prayer; if they entered deep into their heart, they would find it was pride — worse than that, vanity. And then there are those who have no aspiration, they try and they cannot aspire; it is because they do not have the flame of the will, it is because they do not have the flame of humility.
Both are needed. There must be a very great humility and a very great will to change one’s Karma.
- The Mother
(Mother’s Agenda, 23 March, 1968)
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There is a purpose in each stumble and fall;
Nature’s most careless lolling is a pose
Preparing some forward step, some deep result.
Ingenious notes plugged into a motived score,
These million discords dot the harmonious theme
Of the evolution’s huge orchestral dance.
- Sri Aurobindo
(SABCL, Vol. 29, Page 658)
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The soul takes birth each time, and each time a mind, life and body are formed out of the materials of universal nature according to the soul's past evolution and its need for the future.
When the body is dissolved, the vital goes into the vital plane and remains there for a time, but after a time the vital sheath disappears. The last to dissolve is the mental sheath. Finally the soul or psychic being retires into the psychic world to rest there till a new birth is close.
This is the general course for ordinarily developed human beings. There are variations according to the nature of the individual and his development. For example, if the mental is strongly developed, then the mental being can remain; so also can the vital, provided they are organized by and centred around the true psychic being; they share the immortality of the psychic.
The soul gathers the essential elements of its experiences in life and makes that its basis of growth in the evolution; when it returns to birth it takes up with its mental, vital, physical sheaths so much of its Karma as is useful to it in the new life for further experience.
- Sri Aurobindo
(CWSA, Vol. 28, pp. 534-535)