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January 5, 1976

In considering any one aspect of spiritual living we have to touch upon many other aspects too, as in other walks of life. And each aspect will be fully considered only when the main truths of spirituality are brought to bear upon it. In giving a fairly full consideration to OFFERING we may have to go through some or all of the stages in considering say surrender or purity. It is true of cause-effect relation, laws of growth, sincerity, totality, etc. and some general statements of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

It is Divine Love that makes life possible and even cruelty is based on Divine Love. The law of life requires the big and strong to prey upon small and weak for their existence. For the ordinary mortal view this is ferocity or cruelty. On closer examination it can be seen that life is a continuous process where the small and the weak offer themselves to the great and strong for being devoured, dominated and exploited. Those organisms that so offer derive joy in the process. It is true of human life also. For all those who have served the cause of the poor and the have-nots in the earlier centuries it was common experience that to persuade the strong to give up a claim over the weak was easier than to persuade the weak not to offer themselves to exploitation. It was not merely a weakness but an irresistible process, as there is delight underlying the act of offering to be exploited. Mother's story that a man who was saved by his friend who killed the tiger that was about to swallow him, expressed sorrow at the tiger's death and said, "I had a great desire to be eaten by him", illustrates that the man was moved to a depth where he could perceive the Divine Love underlying the apparent ferocity of the tiger.

Nature compels life to follow her course and therefore man living on the surface feels the pain of the process and misses the joy of life from which it issues. Yoga is a process which brings to the surface this deeper aspect as a daily reality. What is cruel, painful to ordinary man is one of love and joy for the sadhak. Offering of all descriptions physical, material, social, monetary, psychological, comes under this classification. The small offers itself in joy to the great for its own spiritual growth. As there is no giving without taking, it receives in return in quality, for its quantitative offering. Hence offering is a process of growth witnessed in the immediately lower plane to that where growth takes place. Growth always means giving up the lower in preference to the higher. The alcoholic cannot enjoy the pleasure of perfect health until he gives up the pleasure of drunkenness. The mean cannot move to expansive joys of generosity as long as the pungent pleasure of vindictiveness appeals to him. Nervous excitement of success must give place to the serenity of equality that comes from detachment. These are unseen instances in life of the general process of offering of the lower to the higher.

Man offers to the Divine human nature and its worldly versions so that he may grow into the Divine nature. His offerings are symbolic of the qualities he has already given up. If a tax evader decides no more to evade taxes, his mental decision becomes real only when he surrenders his unaccounted wealth to the government. If the government reprieves him he makes a growth from being a declassed, black-listed citizen to a law-abiding one. What he surrenders to the government cannot be received by others as it will invite the long arm of law against them. This is an offering in life.

Motivated by desire, man acquires position, name, fame, wealth, capacities, etc. all of which constitute his ego. Turning to the Divine he endeavours to give up his ego which means desire must be given up too. To give up desire effectively he must give up the results of desire to the Divine, for the simple reason when given to another his own desire will not disappear. Whoever receives his position or wealth or capacity will remain obliged to the giver and the giver's desire will turn from its gross form to subtle enjoyment. The Divine alone has the power to receive it and dissolve it as it is of the universal plane carrying vibrations of higher consciousness. The Divine receives what is offered and blesses it which means firstly the vibration loses the capacity to return to the individual and secondly it becomes a part of the collective effort to dissolve the vibration in the universal plane. This is so in integral yoga as the plane of this yoga is universal.

Offering becomes true only when the sadhak realizes that what is offered is a curse and not a blessing and he recognizes that the receiver (Divine) has to make a sacrifice in accepting it. It is a sacrifice if looked at from the plane of the giver, from that of the Divine it's a manifestation, expansion or growth of the Divine in the lower planes. The Divine's sacrifice is cosmic sacrifice, one that is necessary for creation. One who is in distress pours out to a sympathetic hearer all the details of his life to secure some relief; one who is lonely clings to a kind comrade. Neither is scarcely aware of the inconvenience caused to the other. The other gives true solace in the measure he does not see it as an inconvenience. This area is a delicate one as it is a transition point to exploitation by the weak. Severity is called for to prevent it from becoming one such.

Money offered to the Divine has only one context and usefulness to the giver. Money is a concentrated condensed form of social, personal, psychological propensities. There are not many avenues of making money without routing it through some psychological capacity or even imperfections. In yoga if the sadhak realizes his own psychological make up and endeavours to give it up strand by strand or in toto and succeeds, money made by exercising such capacities offered to the Divine secures for him freedom from those psychological traits. A smuggler will witness expansion of his income if he offers his money earned in smuggling to the Divine. Later if he gives up smuggling as a profession, the Divine blesses him in another field. It is easy to appreciate that smuggling is undesirable. It is difficult to perceive that money earned out of honesty and talents are mind smuggled into spirituality. Man's faith needs to shift from talents, honesty, etc. to the Divine. Mental efficiency and ethical purity are as much foreign elements to spirituality as smuggling to social life. Real offering is not money but our imperfections, but greater offerings are our perfections.

Donation is a social function of the haves helping the have-nots in philanthropy. As all other social conceptions, this too does not touch spirituality. This is so because Yoga is far from being social. Donation and belief in it is like parading disease and dishonesty as sources of personal success and status. The leprous beggar gets free feeding in a leper home and he thanks his disease which got him food. There are good many men who pride in their dishonest capacity when they succeed. As these are still outside the pale of civilized social life they are proud of things they must be ashamed of. Spiritual life calls for one realizing that his faith in his endowments and possessions is, as far as spirituality is concerned, gross imperfections. They are to be shed as a first step. To speak of donation in spiritual life and to make donations can have only one purpose. In time this act will help one to outgrow this idea. Donation, help, support are concepts and words inimical to spirituality. They must give place to offering, service and reliance on the Divine. As such these are concepts of negative introduction of the social man to yoga.

There is a minor aspect to the offering of money to the Divine. Money made in a certain field carries that vibration. A man who has earned his money by hard work when he offers it to The Mother, it reaches some point of her work and results in profitable earning. Easy money when offered reaches hands of people in her work who squander it. Money made in a particular field, say journalism, through an unintended course, ends in a department that publishes a journal. Money transferred from society to the Divine, often retains its original character. When Mother wants to release a certain vibration into the universe, She chooses the fit individual through whom it can be released and takes from his monies earned in that direction as the individual is the occasion and is a point of incidence of a certain vibration. The principle is true when She wants to remove a certain vibration from earth consciousness. If Mother wants to eradicate a certain disease from earth altogether, she may choose a doctor who has made a name working on that disease either in research or in practice. She may even choose one who is suffering from that disease.

Sri Aurobindo says in spiritual life the rule is to give and not to ask. Offering must be unconditional for it to be an offering. Conditional offering brings in a bargain and vitiates the purpose. If monies are offered to Her, earmarked for a certain purpose, She implicitly ‘obeys' the giver's wishes. Normally She has enough mechanisms in life and her organization to see that it does not reach the earmarked purpose. Such monies reach the points earlier explained keeping its true character. Offerings to particular ends, when the mind is not inclined to make it conditional, are like special exercise aimed at developing each particular muscle. As special drugs act on special points of diseased parts, offerings to special purposes serve a specific spiritual purpose. This cannot be true when it is offered to Mother as that would mean insisting on the giver's understanding. The act of special offerings to particular ends carries this significance when it is not vitiated by a mental preference. For instance if one is attempting to raise the prosperity level of his people, his offerings to Prosperity has a fruitful purpose. This does not mean he should offer his money to Mother with such a request. Tokens offered must be to symbolic things in the organization.

Offerings must be made to the channels that have forged the relationship with The Mother. As long as he does not outgrow the need of the channel, the offering must be to the channel.

It is a privilege for a sadhak to give up everything to The Mother and live only on what She gives. For those outside her organization it is a privilege to live entirely on offerings made to them and to their work.

Whatever word is used to describe an offering it is the feeling that decides the character of the offering.

The principle of cause and effect needs to be dealt with to the extent it relates to offering. Some disparate examples are given below. Offering is not only to the Divine. Any act or relation or help to another carries the character of offering and brings back its effect sometimes a result, sometimes a reward. This applies even to things exchanged, ideas given or received.

Help offered to a friend subconsciously inimical to save his job and good reputation years later resulted in the other unconsciously offering mischievous advice which finally ended in the adviser losing his job and good reputation. Life had it that he who received help was personal medium for his benefactor to be wrongfully punished.

If you are of higher consciousness and help a small man in a small way, as a small man would do, the same help comes back to you. But even if the help is small, if it is done as a great man, SIMILAR help comes to you in the plane you are in. The rule holds good even the other way round. A boy is in utter distress and if he failed to secure a seat in a course his life is likely to go to pieces. The person who secures admission to him can relate himself only to the act of admission. That way sometime later the person will be helped to secure admission elsewhere when he needs it. The act repeats in its own equal measure as the man has responded only to the act of admission. On the other hand, if the man sees the magnitude of the distress the boy is in, realizing how that admission relates to his whole life, and again secures him the seat (exactly the same act as before but with a wider realization) the effect will come back to him in later life in a wider way. It may be that someone offers to save his whole future public career helping him win a crucial election.

Persons of a certain level of consciousness receive the effect of their acts not merely determined by the level of their consciousness but also by the consciousness that motivated the particular act.

Help done or relations kept up with persons who are negatively oriented to you make you pay a far higher price than the act warrants, as to work successfully in a negative medium a greater energy is needed.

You cannot give in a package fashion. When you relate to one high or low in consciousness or position, the act does not confine its effects to similar acts in your life. It has a general wide effect. You strike an average with the recipient which often means you are brought to the bottom line. If at least knowledge is there in the beginning, retrieving the step becomes possible. If not, the present act (or loss) brings in the knowledge.

Trying to compel a person to make an offering to Mother under the impression it will do him good, will result in:

  1. Similar force applied to you at that level or at your level;


  1. You will be forced to offer higher psychological components to the Divine;

(In either case the intensity of your pain will equal his in his plane).


  1. Even if higher results issue, a certain bitterness will remain and the man will recoil and his growth will be postponed.

This "compulsion" can be thought to be permissible in certain situations. There are cases when GRACE is great and insistent and the man out of willful folly misses it. He can be compelled to make an offering so that he might not miss GRACE if you think your suffering in the process is outweighed by his gain. If you are right, and he still misses it, the opportunity will repeat.

In other cases the opportunity is a rare fleeting one. Here it is best to give a hint and refrain. If this is so, later it can be seen, that it would never repeat. In this case if we insist out of a DESIRE that HE should benefit, he will turn round and accuse you for your desire in an unfair way, missing your intention. Desire even in this situation is not permissible. In the earlier case too DESIRE would receive its reward of accusation but the weighty atmosphere absorbs the ill effects. In the latter the atmosphere being thin, that is not possible.

Offering can be made to a principle or to a culture or to an institution or to an individual or an act. All these are the same but vary in form and extent. Mental consent to the philosophy of Integral Yoga can be said to be an offering to a principle whereas approval of the content of Indian culture and a minimum participation in some of the allied activities is an offering to that culture. Similarly an institution can be related to, or an individual. An act like the building of Matrimandir can be given an offering with or without consenting to Integral Yoga. Each in the measure it has life, will bring about corresponding results. There is a little more in the area of the invisible. An act like building of Matrimandir is participated in, and when it shows results will carry the spiritual benefits of Mother's consciousness though the person blindly worked. Matrimandir is not a mere building, it is a consciousness of its own. Hence that result will be informed by that consciousness; but the result will somewhere reveal that this informing consciousness is seen embedded in it in some inert form as the man's participation has been inert.

The best of offerings is not to be attached to the idea of offering.

Man knows of offerings made by him to the Divine. There are occasions when the Divine asks him for an offering or even takes from him either with his knowledge or against his will. These are extraordinary occasions of GRACE acting all on its own in favour of a chosen soul. Though it is true GRACE can act in total disregard of laws governing life or even spirit, the Divine mostly prefers to honour the LAWS and creates favourable conditions to act. The action of GRACE is often limited to creating the favourable conditions after which the Divine acts under the universal laws. These are occasions where conscience, sense of justice, the rules of ethics are often disregarded. The recipient human being is lucky in the greatest possible measure. These occurrences do not lend themselves to rational dissection. Spirituality is a far different, far higher field than ethics. To evaluate spirituality according to the norms of ethics is like subjecting the laws of physics to the norms of Municipal rules.

Lord Krishna had a boyhood friend, Kuchela, who had 27 children. Krishna was the emperor and Kuchela with a big family was the byword for poverty. His wife had long been asking him to go to Krishna for a gift. Kuchela would not move for decades. At long last he agreed. As it was the custom not to meet others empty-handed, Kuchela desired to carry something with him. There was nothing at home. Finally they got a handful of flattened rice. Kuchela reached the palace and after great difficulty met Krishna. He was in a daze and the rice was the last thing on his mind to be given to Krishna. Krishna embraced him and both shed tears of love. Krishna knowing his mind, desired to give affluence to Kuchela. Kuchela was dumb-founded and it was not in him to bring himself to asking for anything. How could affluence flow to Kuchela without a material medium, an offering from the recipient soul? Krishna moved his hand to the rice, took a mouthful and began to eat. All wealth that heart can desire moved to Kuchela.

Karna was a hero in the Mahabharata known for his eternal philanthropy. He was never known to refuse a thing he had when asked for. He was on the side against the Pandavas and Lord Krishna was fighting for the Pandavas. During the last stages of the war when almost all giants on Duryodhana's (opposite to Pandavas) side died, it was found that Karna could not be killed. All weapons failed and all Mantras too. Krishna was the charioteer of Arjuna the hero of the Pandavas. Karna was firmly protected by the long chain of charities he had given. As long as he was protected by that virtue, no weapon could kill him. Karna had given away even the protective jewels to people whom Krishna sent to him on a ruse. Karna was the son of Lord Surya (Sun) and the greatest hero on the other side. Heaven waited for his soul. And the Dharma of that war required him to be killed. At last Krishna decided to employ a further ruse. In the disguise of a Brahmin he went to Karna and begged him to give him (the Brahmin) the punya (good effects of his charity) of all his life. Karna gave it away readily and was no longer protected. The next arrow hit him dead. To fulfill a Divine purpose the unrelenting circumstances of life are changed by the Divine by the most unethical of acts. For a human being to ask for another's punya would result in everlasting sin. The Divine alone can help a man to get rid of his greatest virtue in order that he may reach liberation as even that virtue was ethical and in the context of liberation a negative endowment, an imperfection. Minor versions of such things can always be found in daily life in abundance. One has to be observant for that knowledge.

The Divine employs a cruel ruse so that man may make the right offering and attain his soul's desert.

Mother says only those who offer their soul, life, work and wealth are the children of the Divine and others valueless ciphers for the Divine work. Wealth is the result of work; work makes life alive and life is the silent expression of the soul. Total offering of one leads to the real offering of the other as there is a gradation. A simultaneous effort at all four points is also desirable. Complete offering of one's wealth, apart from having its direct spiritual benefit of making the next higher offering possible, viz. that of work, makes the sadhak a channel of wealth coming to Mother's service. His offering widens the territory of money conquered for the Divine. Such monies also shift the areas of offering from the resultant cash to the field of making money. If one offers all his funds to The Mother, he begins to move to an area that earns money and now the offering is the very field where money is made. That way it touches the offering of work too. Offering of one's work makes for wider work for Mother. The physical, vital energies expended on work and the work itself when offered to Her, She accepts the offering and uses it as a lever to widen the area of Her work. Allied types of work move towards Her for being offered. It emanates a vibration of Mother's consciousness which spreads to other areas of the same plane and makes the offered work a springhead of Mother's vibration and a nucleus of Her consciousness organized. Man lives his life, i.e. the human vibrations are organized, fortified in his living. When offered to Her, the human vibrations dissolve releasing through them vibrations of Divine consciousness. The involved witness soul subjected to the tyranny of life now moves, i.e. aspires and begins its offering to the Divine. Life offered helps life vibrations to be dissolved bringing more of LIFE under Divine dominion. More forms of life, viz. comfort seeking physicality, venturing vitality, curious mentality, all, instead of their own ways, begin to seek the Divine in their own domains. More organized living is dedicated to Her in the form of aspiring communities. Soul offered awakens many other souls and draws them together for Divine fulfillment at the level of soul's pure endeavour often unseen by mind.

In all these processes Gratitude is a prominent emotion and often surfaces. Gratitude is the emotional equivalent of one's total offering in any plane. For instance material offering is Gratitude expressed in terms of material consciousness.

Offering is a desire to be in relation with the Divine through other media. It is mechanical, sometimes routine. There is a conscious offering in the form of prayer. Next it is in the form of conscious self-giving. It is after this stage one feels the privilege of offering. When one crosses this stage, offering helps him shed psychological qualities. In practice a particular offering may be a combination of more than one of these versions. As is the offering constituted, so is the result.

[This is an explanation but is not aimed at intellectual conviction in the other. There is here a truth, felt somewhere beyond the mind as real and is ‘explained' in terms of intellectuality because it is the level at which the other can be presently related. But we aim at the Truth behind him to respond. That is possible only when the reliance is on the Truth behind and intellectuality used as an instrument. If reliance is on the intellectual validity of the argument, the other will understand and appreciate but will not act as the Force is not there.

The freedom of the higher reason calls for shedding reliance on the sense-mind and the freedom of the Gnosis calls for shedding of intellectuality. That is why it is said what one does, does not matter. What one is matters. If you station yourself in the higher truth and relate to another through geography, the other will be touched by the higher truth and respond to it and not to geography. If you are stationed in intellectuality and relate to another through spirituality, he will respond to intellectuality and not to spirituality which is the case in India in the last millennium.

Where the consciousness is below average, intellectuality becomes perversity. In parts of India and in communities where the mind is developed and there is no affluence, perversity abounds].

In offering one's past or the psychological residue there is more than one version. If the center from which it is offered is the physical sense mind, offering is done in the form of events, sensations, etc. The process is tedious as it is mechanical though the results are rewarding. The unrolling of events of one's past by an effort of memory is tiring and time consuming. If the center of offering is moved (or by chance moves itself) to the subliminal in the mind, the whole life runs across the mind in a trice as this plane is subtle and time here is consumed only in a token. If by yogic effort the center moves to the soul where time is eternity and knowledge light, without mind perceiving anything, life is converted into light and feeling into bliss.

[Consecration is complete when the will expresses consciousness and not an idea of the mind or vital impulse or a physical habit. Then the will is said to be fully surrendered. Consecration up to that point helps the will move to that point of total surrender. When totally surrendered will is a channel of the expressing or evolving consciousness. Not routed through the will, the inner consciousness is dumb, unregulated like rain generally benefiting the area. Will is the evolved Force that is like the irrigation channels that take the collected rain water to the points of cultivation. Will working through human nature is a human instrument for the satisfaction of human desires, working without them WILL is a divine instrument for the fulfillment of the Divine intention on earth.

Psychological offering of ideas, preferences, etc. make the Will a divine instrument. Offering of material possessions that were acquired to satisfy these preferences makes possible this psychological offering. Money is the condensed, concentrated form of psychological preferences, vital insistence, mental rigidity and offering money to the Divine is the first step in the realm of psychological offering].

[The Divine constantly makes an offering of himself to the lower levels of creation and fulfills the norms above described.

  • it is unconditional;
  • it grows in manifestation;
  • it gives up its divinity so that it would grow human and live in human conditions;
  • it considers it a privilege to be received by humanity for greater manifestation;
  • in dealing with humanity the Divine totally withholds from imposing its WILL and waits for man to voluntarily choose the Divine].

[Mother asks us to make the maximum possible progress at any given moment without seeking for comfort or looking for avenues of interest. During the act of an offering psychological, material or monetary, the person is brought by his effort, as well as favouring circumstances, to a field of yogic opportunities. When he endeavours to benefit by all the opportunities that open up before him, given to him by the occasion of his OFFERING, Grace moves in and accomplishes the Divine intention at that moment.

For the sadhak to rise to the occasion he must be aware of all the circumstances leading to that offering and lead them on to their yogic consequences and consummation. That is done by knowledge. If all his feelings are centred at a point deeper from where the offering has arisen, the wave of emotions that keep the offering afloat will keep it poised for the best, protecting it from mental anticipations, vital distractions or social adjustments. Another method is to identify the person with the ACT of the offering so totally that he becomes the offering for the moment. That way the human distortions will be ousted and the Divine intention alone will hold the field. The maximum possible at the moment would be made possible by The Mother. For offering to acquire this total, real character, it moves from effort to enjoyment and ends in a sense of self-oblivious fulfillment].

I was suspended from service for no reason and the order was delivered to me by a very good friend of mine in the school. I brought this to Mother's attention and that same evening the Principal cancelled the order and withdrew it. But I was wondering why it should be delivered to me by a good friend. I went back in memory. A few years earlier a friend came to me extremely excited. He was suspected by the Principal that he hid Rs.500/- in the accounts. My friend was furious. He said he would resign and manhandle the Principal for having suspected him. He was young, clean-handed and was of a type who has never accepted any kind of help even in the shape of suggestion from anyone. I explained to him that he must give up that idea as he was a clerk and the only thing he could do was to be careful in the future. He was insistent to resign. I said even if he resigned out of righteous indignation the society would take the word of a Principal against that of a clerk and he would be identified years later as a clerk dismissed for stealing cash. Nobody would recognize or remember his resigning. He agreed.

As I ‘helped' him, whom I later realized had a strong subconscious jealousy of me, to save his job and he is one who resents receiving even advice, he was happy to be a medium of delivering a suspension order against me. This is the result of ‘helping' people against their grain. My relation with him, my offer of an explanation, served as an OFFERING to resentment and jealousy which brought in its wake concealed jubilation at my losing my job. That is the inverse relation of cause and effect and I was foolish to make an OFFERING to it.

story | by Dr. Radut