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object:1.2.04 - Sincerity
book class:Letters On Yoga II
author class:Sri Aurobindo

Chapter Four

The Meaning of Sincerity
There is one indispensable condition, sincerity.

What is meant by "sincere"? Sincerity means to accept the
Divine influence only and not that of lower forces.

Sincerity means to be turned wholly to the Divine and accept only the Divine impulses - it means also the true and constant will or effort to be like this.

Sincere is simply an adjective meaning that the will must be a true will. If you simply think "I aspire" and do things inconsistent with the aspiration, or follow your desires or open yourself to contrary influences, then it is not a sincere will.

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

[Sincerity:] To allow no part of the being to contradict the highest aspiration towards the Divine.




All sincere aspiration has its effect; if you are sincere, you will grow into the divine life.

To be entirely sincere means to desire the divine Truth only, to surrender yourself more and more to the Divine Mother to reject all personal demand and desire other than this one aspiration, to offer every action in life to the Divine and do it as the work given without bringing in the ego. This is the basis of the divine life.

One cannot become altogether this at once, but if one aspires at all times to it and calls in always the aid of the Divine Shakti with a true heart and straightforward will, one grows more and more into this consciousness.

Sincerity in Sadhana
Men are always mixed and there are qualities and defects mingled together almost inextricably in their nature. What a man wants to be or wants others to see in him or what he is sometimes on one side of his nature or in some relations can be very different from what he is in the actual fact or in other relations or on another side of his nature. To be absolutely sincere, straightforward, open, is not an easy achievement for human nature. It is only by spiritual endeavour that one can realise it
- and to do it needs a severity of introspective self-vision, an unsparing scrutiny of self-observation of which many sadhaks or Yogins even are not capable and it is only by an illumining
Grace that reveals the sadhak to himself and transforms what is deficient in him that it can be done. And even then only if he himself consents and lends himself wholly to the divine working.

It is quite natural that there should be much mixture in the attitude till all is clear - the ordinary nature clings to the action and the transformation in its completeness cannot be sudden.

What is necessary is that the basic consciousness should become firmly established in the Divine, then the mixture in the rest can


Letters on Yoga - II
be seen and steadily weeded out. To have this outwardly as well as inwardly is a great progress.

It is true that a central sincerity is not enough except as a beginning and a base; the sincerity must spread as you describe through the whole nature. But still unless there is a double nature (without a central harmonising consciousness) the basis is usually sufficient for that to happen.

I do not think there is any reason for anxiety about your sadhana. We feel always a great depth and sincerity of aspiration in you which keeps you in constant and close relation with us, and where there is this depth and sincerity and this closeness the progressive opening of the being is assured; for the openness already exists.

You speak of insincerity in your nature. If insincerity means the unwillingness of some part of the being to live according to the highest light one has or to equate the outer with the inner man, then this part is always insincere in all. The only way is to lay stress on the inner being and develop in it the psychic and spiritual consciousness till that comes down in it which pushes out the darkness from the outer man also.

It is not sincerity to express only what the adverse forces suggest or what you feel when you are in a bad condition full of obscurity and a wrong outlook. When you are in the Truth, you feel quite the opposite and it is not insincerity to cling to that and recall it. It is only by bringing it back that the Truth can grow in you.

The trouble in your chest comes only from a vital resistance and it continues because you identify yourself with that resistance. It is only by quietude and opening to the Mother that these things can disappear. There is no other way to progress.



If you have not got quietude, you can always aspire first and a sincere aspiration will bring it back.

All need vital sincerity, it is the most difficult to have and the most needful.

To perceive one's own weaknesses is one result of sincerity.

One cannot be perfect in discrimination at once or in rejection either. The one indispensable thing is to go on trying sincerely till there comes the full success. So long as there is complete sincerity, the Divine Grace will be there and assist at every moment on the way.

If he [the sadhak] is sincere, there is bound to be devotion.

Sincerity in Yoga means to respond to the Divine alone and if he has no devotion he cannot do it.

It is difficult for the ordinary Christian to be of a piece, because the teachings of Christ are on quite another plane from the consciousness of the intellectual and vital man trained by the education and society of Europe - the latter, even as a minister or priest, has never been called upon to practise what he preached in entire earnest. But it is difficult for the human nature anywhere to think, feel and act from one centre of true faith, belief or vision. The average Hindu considers the spiritual life the highest, reveres the Sannyasi, is moved by the Bhakta; but if one of the family circle leaves the world for spiritual life, what tears, arguments, remonstrances, lamentations! It is almost worse than if he had died a natural death. It is not conscious mental insincerity - they will argue like Pandits and go to Shastra to prove you in the wrong; it is unconsciousness, a vital insincerity which


Letters on Yoga - II
they are not aware of and which uses the reasoning mind as an accomplice.

That is why we insist so much on sincerity in the Yoga - and that means to have all the being consciously turned towards the one Truth, the one Divine. But that for human nature is one of the most difficult of tasks, much more difficult than a rigid asceticism or a fervent piety. Religion itself does not give this complete harmonised sincerity - it is only the psychic being and the one-souled spiritual aspiration that can give it.

Earnestness and Straightforwardness
In the major part of your being you are very much in earnest.

But of course there are always parts or rather parts of parts that are not equally ready to change. But that is not hypocrisy. It is so with everybody, otherwise there would be no difficulty in the transformation.

Straightforwardness means simply to be honest with oneself and with the Divine and not to be crooked in one's ways.

Self-justification is unwillingness to recognise a mistake and an attempt to prove oneself right even against the censure of the

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