The Mother – the true humility
Niranjan Guha Roy- Sri Aurobindo Ashram 1970
Humility in spiritual life is the synonym of receptivity. It is a state when one is open and willing to receive and retain. When we do not know, when we do not have the pride and arrogance of knowing, then only, knowledge can come. Pride, arrogance, feeling of self-suffciency, obstinacy, refusal to admit a superior truth, a greater power, a blind resistance, an obstinate limiting self-confdence are, what can be called the opposites of humility. On the other hand, mere politeness, modesty, tepid acquiescence or acceptance of falsehood through fear or in order to avoid diffculty, agreement without understanding are far from true humility. True humility is a spiritual state: When we are thoroughly convinced of our ignorance, then only the knowledge comes in. When we are utterly aware of our impotence, then only, the power comes in. When we are truly empty, then only, we have the possibility of becoming full. At its highest, humility reveals to us that we are nothing; we can do absolutely nothing. When we are face to face with God, the Eternal, the mysterious One, when we will be able to say in absolute sincerity, in all humility, like the Mother in an evening class: “I am nothing, absolutely nothing, I know nothing, absolutely nothing,” then only we will realize our indivisible utter Unity with God, the Eternal, the Absolute. That is why in all religions the great leaders have said: “Only the humble shall see God.” And, we fnd that all who are truly great are very humble, and the Mother mentioned that there could be no one more humble than Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo says in a poem something like this: “I know you are my God because You have become the vermin, the insect and the clod.” True humility prepares the being for a state of constant self-surrender to the Divine. Humbly, we admit also our ignorance and also the help and the protection of the Divine in all our past and present ignorant thoughts, emotions, actions, without trying to justify them. This is the hardest diffculty to face and to admit even to ourselves that we were wrong, that we are wrong. But if we can do this in a true spirit of humility, then a huge load is taken off our consciousness and we can enter into a state of self-surrender far more easily. Truly, there cannot be any justifcation for our ignorant actions as long as we are in the ignorance, and humility helps us to emerge from the ignorance into light. True humility widens the seeker, increases our capacity of receiving and makes it possible for the Infnite to pour itself into a fnite being, into a living ardent vessel.