That moment, that morning everything was perfect. Just for a few moments, everything was right, just right, just perfect. Everything was in the right place, as it should be. Nothing was amiss, nothing was wrong.
Can it be so? Can it all be perfect?
That moment that morning it all was.
I had gone out in the garden to pluck a few curry leaves for some upma I was about to cook for breakfast. With curry leaves in my hand, I strolled lazily in the garden, and on the spur of a moment just looked up, through the branches of the coconut trees and other flowering trees and bushes. And for that moment, everything was perfect. It just was.
A sense of quiet happiness and a peaceful joy came over the heart. There was no pull or push, just a calmness in the heart. Mind didn’t bring up any of the thousand things that are normally hovering around it, routine things that consume a busy morning, or any of the non-routine things that we falsely assume are our business to resolve. Just for those few moments all was perfectly right with my life. All was right with the world.
Pretty much every morning when I am out in the garden, my mind generally gets busy preparing a list of tasks that need my attention — the bushes that need pruning, the weeds that need pulling, the plants that need re-potting, the vines that need supporting, the areas that need cleaning, etc etc. But that morning, there was nothing to be done. All was just perfect, as it should be.
Everything was in its right place and everything was as it should have been. Everything was perfect, right up to the plant that was almost dying, the last dead leaf in the flower bed, and the over-filled compost bin. I was simply there, just there midst the plants and flowers, and everything was perfect.
Such moments are precious, such moments are rare. That’s why we feel so immensely grateful for these moments. That’s why we cherish them deeply, keep them safe in our hearts, relive them via memory. That’s why we aspire to have more of such moments, to gradually build upon what we felt during these rare moments.
Her Grace and Help make possible such moments. But we must keep working on our openness and receptivity for that Grace and Help to work upon us.
“The Grace is always there, eternally present and active, but Sri Aurobindo says that it is extremely difficult for us to be in a condition to receive it, keep it and make use of what it gives us.
To receive the divine grace, not only must one have a great aspiration, but also a sincere humility and an absolute trust.”
~ The Mother, CWM, Vol 16, 17 October, 1960
It is indeed Her Grace alone that some gifts offered by my little garden over the past few weeks gave me some valuable reminders on how to be more open and receptive to the Grace. How to keep working on my aspiration, faith, sincerity, purification, peace. How to patiently wait for those rare moments when everything is perfect.
Take a look.
A pre-requisite is to seek support only in the Divine. This does not mean there is no need for any personal effort. On the contrary, it only means to enhance the intrinsic quality of all personal effort by infusing it with an unfailing trust in the Divine which guides, supports, and energizes all our efforts.
Since we are made up of many different parts and not yet fully united in our being, some parts within us may be more resistant and hence not ready to trust the Divine support. Such obstinate parts within us, especially the most crusty physical mind* in us must go through a conversion process of sort.
When restlessness in the vital-emotional nature clouds the consciousness and creates a discouraging inner environment or brings in despair and sadness, we become less receptive to the higher Force, less open to the higher Light. That is when we must call upon the Peace.
Peace that is essential for good inner health. And outer too.
Peace that comes from the cessation of a clinging desire or want for something.
Much of the hard, rough crust in our outer parts — physical, vital, mental — that continues to resist the working of the Light has its deep roots in the hidden, subconscient layers of our being. Only the Higher Light and Force can gradually purify the subconscient. **
“The subconscient is to be penetrated by the light and made a sort of bed-rock of truth, a store of right impressions, right physical responses to the Truth. Strictly speaking, it will not be subconscient at all, but a sort of bank of true values held ready for use.”~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, CWSA, Vol. 31, p. 612
Slowly, over time, with intense and sincere aspiration and with the Divine Grace, the subconscient may begin to loosen its grip. That is how the Truth from above begins to work, slowly, and in response to a sincere call, a true aspiration from below. Patience, perseverance, trust, and sincerity are indispensable.
And in time, a miracle may happen!
“At every moment all the unforeseen, the unexpected, the unknown is before us — and what happens to us depends mostly on the intensity and purity of our faith.”~ The Mother, CWM, Vol. 14, p. 80
A miracle happens. And all becomes perfect.
For those moments at least, everything is perfect. Those moments are miraculous indeed when we truly begin to feel that everything is perfect. Just as it should be. As it happened that morning.
* Physical Mind, in the words of Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, CWSA, Vol. 28, pp. 179-182
The physical mind is that part of the mind which is concerned with the physical things only—it depends on the sense mind, sees only objects, external actions, draws its ideas from the data given by external things, infers from them only and knows no other Truth—until it is enlightened from above.
In the human physical mind there is always a tendency not to understand or to misunderstand and to interpret according to its own notions. That can only be removed by the Light in the mind and the power everywhere which refuses to accept suggestions of disturbance.
It is the physical mind that finds it difficult to believe in the reality of supraphysical things—that is due to its ignorance and its belief that only physical things are real.
Yes, it [the physical mind] reasons, but on the basis of external data mostly—on things as they appear to the outer mind and senses or the habitual ideas to which it is accustomed or to a purely external knowledge.
That part of the being [the physical mind] has no reason except its whims, its habits or an inclination to be tamasic.
The physical mind is in the habit of observing things with or without use.
** Subconscient, in the words of Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 28, p. 216
In our Yoga we mean by the subconscient that quite submerged part of our being in which there is no wakingly conscious and coherent thought, will or feeling or organised reaction, but which yet receives obscurely the impressions of all things and stores them up in itself and from it too all sorts of stimuli, of persistent habitual movements, crudely repeated or disguised in strange forms can surge up into dream or into the waking nature. For if these impressions rise up most in dream in an incoherent and disorganised manner, they can also and do rise up into our waking consciousness as a mechanical repetition of old thoughts, old mental, vital and physical habits or an obscure stimulus to sensations, actions, emotions which do not originate in or from our conscious thought or will and are even often opposed to its perceptions, choice or dictates. In the subconscient there is an obscure mind full of obstinate sanskaras, impressions, associations, fixed notions, habitual reactions formed by our past, an obscure vital full of the seeds of habitual desires, sensations and nervous reactions, a most obscure material which governs much that has to do with the condition of the body. It is largely responsible for our illnesses; chronic or repeated illnesses are indeed mainly due to the subconscient and its obstinate memory and habit of repetition of whatever has impressed itself upon the body consciousness.
All photos taken in my garden, by Suhas Mehra