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Effort and Joy

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Aurobindo Ashram Picture credits: booksmarketsandplaces.blogspot.com

It is only effort, in whatever domain it be—material effort, moral effort, intellectual effort—which creates in the being certain vibrations which enable you to get connected with universal vibrations; and it is this which gives joy. It is effort which pulls you out of inertia; it is effort which makes you receptive to the universal forces. And the one thing above all which spontaneously gives joy, even to those who do not practise yoga, who have no spiritual aspiration, who lead quite an ordinary life,is the exchange of forces with universal forces. People do not know this, they would not be able to tell you that it is due to this, but so it is. I have known such people, who were capable of making the necessary effort (not a prudent and calculated effort but a spontaneous one) in no matter what field: material, vital, intellectual, etc., and in this effort there was always joy.

For example, a man sits down to write a book, he makes an effort which sets vibrating something in his brain to attract ideas; well, suddenly, this man experiences joy. It is quite certain that, whatever you do, even the most material work, like sweeping a room or cooking, if you make the necessary effort to do this work to the maximum of your ability, you will feel joy, even if what you do is against your nature. When you want to realise something, you make quite spontaneously the necessary effort; this concentrates your energies on the thing to be realized and that gives a meaning to your life. This compels you to a sort of organisation of yourself, a sort of concentration of your energies, because it is this that you wish to do and not fifty other  things which contradict it. And it is in this concentration, this intensity of the will that lies the origin of joy. This gives you the power to receive energies in exchange for those you spend.

(For further information on the life and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and articles on their vision and yoga, log on to our website: www.aurosociety.org)