An old pull of subconscious cords renews;
It draws the unwilling spirit from the heights,
Or a dull gravitation drags us down
To the blind driven inertia of our base.
This too the supreme Diplomat can use,
He makes our fall a means for greater rise.
– SRI AUROBINDO*
In yoga, there are phases of rapid progress and of slow progress, as also phases of rise and fall. The fall comes because we are made up of many parts, each part having its own preferences. Till the mind and the intellect have been fully transformed, they tend to push us in a direction different from that to which our divine essence, the psychic being, tries to pull us. Even after we have managed to rise to a level of consciousness that is in tune with our psychic being, the gravitational pull of the emotional or intellectual parts of our being may drag us down. When that happens, the psychic being does not say ‘no’. It lets us do whatever we feel like doing. That is perhaps why Sri Aurobindo has called the Divine the supreme Diplomat. A diplomat never says ‘no’; when he wants to say ‘no’, he says ‘may be’! However, like a diplomat, the Divine never gives up either. It continues to haunt us. Every time we fall, it makes us feel uneasy. It renews and reinforces our aspiration by enticing us with sublime joy. It offers us the prospects of lasting mental peace if only we mend our ways and listen to the faint but clear and powerful voice that It has planted in us. It guides us how, after the fall, we can use our new circumstances for a rise. And, if we respond to the divine guidance, the new rise is invariably a greater rise than the one from which we fell.
In the New Year that is beginning, let us pray that all the falls that we had during the year that has gone by become, through the Mother’s Grace, the means for a greater rise.
Always the power poured back like sudden rain,
Or slowly in his breast a presence grew;
It clambered back to some remembered height
Or soared above the peak from which it fell.
Each time he rose there was a larger poise,
A dwelling on a higher spirit plane;
The Light remained in him a longer space.
– SRI AUROBINDO**
*In: Savitri, Book I, Canto 3, p. 34 (1970 Edition)
**In: Savitri, Book I, Canto 3, p. 35 (1970 Edition)