January 28, 1960
All these repetitions of the mantra, these hours of japa I have to do every day, seem to have increased the difficulties, as if they were raising up or aggravating all the resistances.
To the most stubborn goes the victory.
When I started my japa one year ago, I had to struggle with every possible difficulty, every contradiction, prejudice and opposition that fills the air. And even when this poor body began walking back and forth for japa, it used to knock against things, it would start breathing all wrong, coughing; it was attacked from all sides until the day I caught the Enemy and said, “Listen carefully. You can do whatever you want, but I'm going right to the end and nothing will stop me, even if I have to repeat this mantra ten crore1 times.” The result was really miraculous, like a cloud of bats flying up into the light all at once. From that moment on, things started going better.
You have no idea what an irresistible effect a well-determined will can have.
Some difficulties remained, of course, but they stemmed more from what had to change within.
Actually, difficulties come from very small things; they may seem quite commonplace, totally uninteresting, but they block the way. They come for no earthly reason – some detail, a word that comes rubbing against a sensitive spot, an illness in someone close to me, anything at all, and suddenly something in me contracts. Then all the work has to be started afresh as though nothing had been done.
Of all forms of ego, you might think that the physical ego is the most difficult to conquer (or rather, the body ego, because the work was already done long ago on the physical ego). It might be thought that the form of the body is a point of concentration, and that without this concentration or hardness, physical life would not be possible. But that's not true. The body is really a wonderful instrument; it's capable of widening and of becoming vast in such a way that everything, everything – the slightest gesture, the least little task – is done in a wonderful harmony and with a remarkable plasticity. Then all of a sudden, for something quite stupid, a draft, a mere nothing, it forgets – it shrinks back into itself, it gets afraid of disappearing, afraid of not being. And everything has to be started again from scratch. So in the yoga of matter you start realizing how much endurance is needed. I calculated it would take 200 years to say ten crore of my japa. Well, I'm ready to struggle 200 years if necessary, but the work will be done.
Sri Aurobindo had made it clear to me when I was still in France that this yoga in matter is the most difficult of all. For the other yogas, the paths have been well laid, you know where to tread, how to proceed, what to do in such-and-such a case. But for the yoga of matter, nothing has ever been done, never, so at each moment everything has to be invented.
Of course, things are now going better, especially since Sri Aurobindo became established in the subtle physical, an almost material subtle physical.2 But there are still plenty of question marks... The body understands once, and then it forgets. The Enemy's opposition is nothing, for I can see clearly that it comes from outside and that it's hostile, so I do what's necessary. But where the difficulty lies is in all the small things of daily material life – suddenly the body no longer understands, it forgets.
Yet it's HAPPY. It loves doing the work, it lives only for that – to change, to transform itself is its reason for being. And it's such a docile instrument, so full of good will! Once it even started wailing like a baby: “O Lord, give me the time, the time to be transformed...” It has such a simple fervor for the work, but it needs time – time, that's it. It wants to live only to conquer, to win the Lord's Victory.3
1 One crore = 10 million.
2 Experience of July 24-25, 1959, “Sri Aurobindo's abode.”
3 As a matter of fact, Mother had ended upon this sentence: “It wants to live only to conquer”. Then the next day, Mother sent the following note to the disciple: “Friday, 1.29.60 – yesterday, when I left you, the experience was there, but in my hurry to leave, the words did not come correctly, or rather they were incomplete (I had said, ‘to live only to conquer’). What my body was experiencing was, 'Live to win the Lord's Victory.”