Success: Its Meaning, Measure and Ultimate Significance in the Supramental Transformation of Consciousness

We frequently identify success, as defined by our minds, as an indicator of divine Grace; yet this is driven in many cases by the ego, not by the larger viewpoint of the Divine. In a complex world that is undergoing evolutionary transformation driven by the manifestation of a new power of consciousness, the issue does not come down to immediate success of any particular line of action, but of how the total evolutionary process is taking up and addressing the obstacles, issues, concerns and needs that stand in the way of the manifestation. For the individual, this means giving up on the idea that personal success or failure is the criteria for viewing the development of the spiritual growth and progress.

In many instances, we find that there can be more progress in times of challenge. Facing and overcoming difficulties along the way brings the being to the peak of its capacity, and when faced with the overwhelming complexity of the supramental change, the only effective way to overcome the difficulties is through surrender of the individual ego to the Divine.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “For the sadhak outward struggles, troubles, calamities are only a means of surmounting ego and rajasic desire and attaining to complete surrender. So long as one insists on success, one is doing the work partly at least for the ego; difficulties and outward failures come to warn one that it is so and to bring complete equality. This does not mean that the power of victory is not to be acquired, but it is not success in the immediate work that is all-important; it is the power to receive and transmit a greater and greater correct vision and inner Force that has to be developed and this must be done quite coolly and patiently without being elated or disturbed by immediate victory or failure.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 6, Sadhana Through Work, Meditation and Love and Devotion, Work pp. 129-145

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