Growing in Sincerity on the Path of Integral Yoga

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Editor’s Note: The author examines how our ordinary understanding of sincerity is highly limited. He shares a few important insights from the Words of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo on how we can grow in sincerity on the path of integral yoga.

At the time of finishing our high school, we are generally given a Character Certificate, along with a School Leaving Certificate, which is required to apply for further study or work opportunity. The Character or Conduct Certificate generally declares that a student is obedient, hardworking and sincere. It may seem that it is quite easy to get a Sincerity badge from a school, or from a parent/friend /spouse/employer etc. However, this certificate is never 100% accurate because human judgement is often erroneous due to man’s limited mental capacity.

The dictionary meaning of the word ‘sincerity’ is the absence of pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy.

For a sādhaka of Integral Yoga, sincerity deals only with the soul’s progress towards the Divine. To be truly sincere means to be sincere only to the Divine. Essentially, it means that we are always living in our inmost centre, i.e., in our psychic, the Divine element present within us, and all other parts of our being – mental, vital and physical – are harmonised and unified around this core truth of our being.

This is not something anyone can see from the outside.

But the Mother with her Divine gaze pierces through all the veils of our outer attainments, and looks straight at our soul’s sincerity. She does not give any certificate of Sincerity, but gives an assurance of protection, victory to all the sincere souls.

Human certificate of sincerity can be exhibited for the world, but Divine’s Sincerity badge will be experienced only in the soul; it can never be displayed as an outer progress report. The moment we showcase that by mistake and declare to the world: “I am the sincerest child of the Divine,” that very moment the level of sincerity will fall drastically and our inner progress gets badly impacted. 

As Sri Aurobindo explains, sincerity means more than mere honesty.

“It means that you mean what you say, feel what you profess, are earnest in your will. As the sadhak aspires to be an instrument of the Divine and one with the Divine, sincerity in him means that he is really in earnest in his aspiration and refuses all other will or impulse except the Divine’s.” (CWSA, Vol. 29, p. 50)

One may be doing one’s work wholeheartedly and with absolute commitment, for the sake of duty or money or career advancement, or for one’s family or even for the larger society or country. Ordinarily, this is seen as being sincere to one’s work or ideal. Giving the example of Hitler’s generals, the Mother had once said that even the asuras are generally very sincere in their work; they might have a different mission against the Divine but they are sincere to their ideal. She added:

I have known beings who were the most active instruments against the divine life, against the divine realisation. Well, to some extent, they were loyal to their own ideal… These beings are called Asuras, …they were sincere in relation to their own ideal… I didn’t say they had an absolute sincerity.

I simply said that they were very sincere. Perhaps, in some part of their being, there was something that did not try to know any more than it knew. It is quite probable.

(CWM, Vol. 15, p. 300)

In Integral Yoga, sincerity means to be sincere for the cause of the Divine Mother only and nothing else. If we are not sincere, it means something in us does not want to change and is afraid of the Light or Knowledge or Force.

How to be a Truly Sincere Child of the Divine Mother

Narrowness, hatred, ill-will, doubt, arrogance, depression have no place in Integral Yoga. The narrower and angrier we become, the faster we lose the quality of sincerity. We must completely reject the movements of duplicity, pettiness, hypocrisy from our lower vital and lower physical. There should be no division in terms of our intention, feelings, thoughts, and actions. Complete faith and trust in the Mother is the starting point to grow in sincerity.

A sādhaka of Integral Yoga must prepare himself for the new world to receive the new force of Supramental.

One cannot stand in two boats and make the journey towards a Divine destination. Complete sincerity means complete fidelity to the ideal of supramental transformation given by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. This translates to not getting swayed by either the attraction of any of the new-age gurus who may speak of different ideals or by the strong psychological hold or collective suggestion coming from the overmental religions.

Intellectual curiosity to know about other paths is fine for the satisfaction of the mind, but for walking on the spiritual path complete fidelity to one’s Guru and the ideal given by the Guru is an invaluable aspect of Indian spiritual tradition; a sādhaka of Integral Yoga must remember this.

A vastness of consciousness is also essential to grow in sincerity. Instead of feeling or speaking unkindly of any other path of yoga or any fellow sādhaka, we must grow in this inner feeling that everyone is charting one’s unique path as per the soul’s call; each journey is from a state of imperfection to a state of perfection. Except the Divine, none of the human beings can be called perfect in all aspects.

We should live in an expansive and widest consciousness. And we must accept and have highest goodwill for others who are unaware of Integral Yoga or are practicing some other path or religion. We need not worry about other’s progress or sincerity; our concern must be only with our own sincerity. To be sincere to the Divine must be an unconditional effort for our soul’s progress.

True sincerity also means not to have any give & take relationship with the Mother.

If we are given the work to speak to others about Integral Yoga or the Mother’s Vision, we must do it simply for the Love of Her, not for any benefit such as prestige, name, fame, recognition, money etc. We should love the Mother unconditionally without any selfish motive or desires. We should not think of attaining anything other than the Mother. She is the only Goal, and She is the Path.

There should be no possessive mindset in our thoughts.

Just because we feel we have been ‘accepted’ by the Mother as Her children, there must never be any sense of superiority or pride. All are Her children only. We must always remember that whatever belongs to me is never mine, everything belongs to the Divine Mother only in reality.

Surrendering all the pulls and cravings of our little ego and our unending desires at the Lotus Feet of the Mother is the way to grow in sincerity. We should not try to think or act to impress any human being, and certainly not the Divine. The Mother knows all our inner movements, even at the cellular level of our being. By always being in a prayerful mode, constantly remembering the Mother and practicing Nama Japa, e.g. inwardly chanting Ma Ma, we grow in sincerity.  

To summarise, one may speak of the What, Why and How of Sincerity in Integral Yoga in the following way:

What is Sincerity?When we go to the Mother as Her simple and straightforward child.
When there is nothing and no one between us and Her.
Why Sincerity?It is the only safeguard, only protection from adverse forces.
It assures victory over anti-divine hostile forces.
With sincerity, one can become ready to attain the Divine Realisation.
How to Grow in Sincerity?By unifying and harmonising our whole being around the psychic centre.
By constantly striving for inner purification & becoming egoless and desireless.
No hypocrisy, no deceit, no pretension, no cleverness with the Mother.

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