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758. The Human Aspiration

This is the title of the first chapter of The Life Divine. From the earliest times, says Sri Aurobindo, man aspires for God. His seeking for Light, Freedom and Immortality is really seeking for God. Do we find that seeking in us? Do we see it in others? In our life, Human Aspiration can change into ways suited to the context. In strong people, it becomes domination. In weak people, seeking for God takes the form of submission. In the loving wife who is weak because she is weak it assumes the form of affectionate loyalty maturing into pure chastity. In the Ego it takes on perverse forms of impertinence, petulance, refractoriness, etc. In unformed personalities it alternates between good will and egoistic assertion.

Responding to the call of Mahatma Gandhiji, a clerk in the income tax office gave up the job as part of boycott of British employment. The family was affluent. As days passed, conditions changed. All his five brothers took various employment. He remained a political worker with a dubious income. Being a very pleasant person, he received generous help from all quarters. These things do not stand the test of time. Resources ran out. He was married and had no children. His party became defunct in his part of the country. He was over 50. Life often reveals its brutal touches in the shape of penury, loneliness, emptiness, etc.  A fallen man is an object of ridicule. It was the worst cut of life. His party cadres gave him a ridiculous nickname. It stuck to him. All people, young and old called him by his name. That is the highest courtesy he received from anyone. Not to call him by his nickname is respect and courtesy. One young man never called him by his nickname nor even by his own name by which all young people called him. He went out of his way to get him a small monetary support annually. Though small, it was significant to the receiver and he received it with due deference.

The young man's circumstances improved. On his own he made the annual support monthly support. The recipient took it as God's grace or manna. He had his nephew's house at his disposal. He persuaded the young man to buy it and agreed to received the price in instalments. The young man agreed and took a few years to pay the cost. The elderly man never came forward to give him a sale deed or even a receipt for the money. The young man refused to ask for it, in spite of his wife's persistence. Now the human aspiration in the political leader took its original form of ego's resourcefulness. He denied receiving the cost and sued the young man to vacate the house. The false case was lost. He tried to vacate the house with goondas. The goonda leader turned against him. At last, the house was registered in the young man's name after a further payment was made. At once, the elderly man became sick and was in the hospital. He called the young man's manager and lamented, "I trusted your boss entirely. He was my ALL. See what he has done to me. He purchased me for a price!" Human aspiration becomes egoistic assertion, false vindictiveness, petulant demands of perversity, abject submission of helplessness and a complaint of being violated. One great truth remains unchanged throughout. Man believes he is RIGHT. It is self-righteousness out and out. He is the God we often meet in ourselves.

story | by Dr. Radut