Aspiration and Divine Grace are the essential ingredients for our Sadhana. Without one, the other will not function. But Our Aspiration should be sincere for the Divine Grace to act. It is significant that, of the Virtues, it is Sincerity who presides in the Hall of Intelligence of the Palace of Truth; she accordingly takes precedence over all others. In all combinations of Virtues, Sincerity must take the first place, “For if there is no sincerity, one cannot advance even by half a step.” The Mother gave at all times a high place to sincerity, which is indeed the presiding Virtue in the Hall of Intelligence.
But without true sincerity nothing can be done — nothing can even be begun in Integral Yoga. The first step is to become conscious of ourselves, of the different parts of our being and their respective activities. This will demand endless sincerity and perseverance from us.
The Mother says: It is preferable to have one moment of sincerity rather than a long life of apparent devotion.
Sri Aurobindo says — There is one indispensable condition, sincerity. Sincerity means to accept the Divine influence only and not that of lower forces.
1. Whenever we are sincere: We should be from all kinds of falsehood. We cant aspire on one side, and other side we want things on the lower side which are exactly opposite of Divine consciousness.
2. We should not go after darkness, if we want Light of the Supreme. The forces of Darkness always hamper our progress because of our insincerity.
3. We should be persistent in our Sadhana. We should be steadfast, for example, one day we are in good spirit with lots of aspirations, and positive vibes from all around us next day we are dull and out, we feel depressed, dejected and demoralized. That means we are not sincere. Reject — the pull of old habits. Develop — sincerity, that is, an integral adhesion to the Divine’s way.”
4. We should allow this lamp of aspiration, the fire of faith growing in us persistently constantly, slowly it grows. As Sri Aurobindo says: 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.
5. When we call ourselves Sincere, we should not open to any contrary influences, and follow our desires and ego. We must truly will to be sincere. We should not allow any part of our being to contradict the highest aspiration towards the Divine.
6. 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. — Sri Aurobindo
7. A sincere heart is worth all the extraordinary powers in the world. — SRI AUROBINDO
True sincerity consists in following the way because you cannot do otherwise, in consecrating yourself to the divine life because you cannot do otherwise, in striving to transform your being and emerge into the Light because you cannot do otherwise, because it is the very reason for which you live.
8. Sincerity is the — -The beginning of all progress.
Emotional sincerity — Does not try to falsify the emotions.
Sincerity in the Vital — The sure way to realisation.
Mental sincerity — The essential condition for integral honesty.
Birth of True Mental Sincerity — With its birth the mind will understand that it is only an intermediary and not an end in itself.
*Methods of Cultivating Sincerity*
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. What is necessary is that the basic consciousness should become firmly established in the Divine, then the mixture in the rest can be seen and steadily weeded out. To have this outwardly as well as inwardly is a great progress.
4. 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. — Sri Aurobindo.
5. We need not have any anxiety as Sri Aurobindo assured us about our Sadhana, because He is the Sadhak and He is our Sadhana:
“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.”
6. We need not worry about our Insincerity in the outer nature. He advised us to focus and stress more on the inner being and not on the outer being and develop in the inner being the Psychic and Spiritual consciousness. The soul of sincerity is to be wholly truthful in thought, word and deed — and keep away from self-deceit, falsehood and hypocrisy.
7. We should not worry about adverse forces of darkness and falsehood, obscurity, resistance from outer Nature and wrong outlook. Sri Aurobindo says: 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.
Sincerity, Fidelity are the two guardians of the Way. — -The Mother
We need to be quiet and allow The Mother’s Force to act on them. Sri Aurobindo says: 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. In the sincerity of your effort towards silence lies the assurance of a purified mind.
Hostile forces are thus meant, in the cosmic scheme, to put man’s sincerity to the severest test, and the day man becomes “integrally sincere”, they will disappear, for they will have no further cause for their existence.
Result of Sincere Aspiration
1. 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.
We must remember The Mother’s Direct Assurance on Transforming us: “Oh! My child! (Mother laughs) Nonetheless you have to will and work assiduously to become pure and sincere …. Yes, one day I shall transform you. I alone have the keys, the means, the methods and the process. Wait, wait with patience and perseverance. But, if you want to be strong, perfect in your action, intelligent, clever, formidable in each sphere of knowledge and true consciousness, in an instant I can turn you into a formidable being. I have all the powers. Do not doubt it. Voila!”
2. No sincere and lasting aspiration towards him, towards the Light can be in vain. There is, besides, a marvellous joy in being sincere. Every act of sincerity carries in itself its own reward: the feeling of purification, of soaring upwards, of liberation one gets when one has rejected even one tiny particle of falsehood. If one did not deceive oneself, if one were determined to advance and not to stagnate, then Sincerity is the safeguard, the protection, the guide, and finally the transforming power.
Q. Is it possible for a human being to be perfectly sincere?
The Mother: Naturally, the principle of sincerity is the same everywhere, but its working is different according to the states of being. As for the first question, one could simply answer: No, not if man remains what he is. But he has the possibility of transforming himself sufficiently to become perfectly sincere.
To begin with, it must be said that sincerity is progressive, and as the being progresses and develops, as the universe unfolds in the becoming, sincerity too must go on perfecting itself endlessly. Every halt in that development necessarily changes the sincerity of yesterday into the insincerity of tomorrow.
To be perfectly sincere
1. It is indispensable not to have any preference, any desire, any attraction, any dislike, any sympathy or antipathy, any attachment, any repulsion. Sincerity means more than mere honesty. It means that you mean what you say, feel what you profess, and earnest in your will. — SRI AUROBINDO
2. One must have a total, integral vision of things, in which everything is in its place and one has the same attitude towards all things: the attitude of true vision. This programme is obviously very difficult for a human being to realise. Unless he has decided to divinise himself, it seems almost impossible that he could be free from all these contraries within him. And yet, so long as one carries them in himself, one cannot be perfectly sincere.
One is sure to find what one seeks — if one seeks it in all sincerity; for what one seeks is within oneself. — -The Mother
3. Automatically the mental, the vital and even the physical working is falsified. I am emphasising the physical, for even the working of the senses is warped: one does not see, hear, taste, feel things as they are in reality as long as one has a preference.
4. So long as there are things which please you and others which don’t, so long as you are attracted by certain things, and repulsed by others, you cannot see things in their reality; you see them through your reaction, your preference or your repulsion. The senses are instruments which get out of order, in the same way as sensations, feelings and thoughts. Therefore, to be sure of what you see, what you feel, what you experience and think, you must have a complete detachment; and this is obviously not an easy task. But until then your perception cannot be wholly true, and so it is not sincere.
5. Naturally, this is the maximum. There are crass insincerities which everybody understands and which, I believe, it is not necessary to dwell upon, as for example, saying one thing and thinking another, pretending that you are doing one thing and doing another, expressing a wish which is not your real wish. I am not even speaking of the absolutely glaring lie which consists in saying something different from the fact, but even that diplomatic way of acting which consists in doing things with the idea of obtaining a certain result, in saying something and expecting it to have a certain effect; every combination of this kind which naturally makes you contradict yourself, is a kind of insincerity gross enough for everybody to easily recognise.
6. But there are others more subtle which are difficult to discern. For instance, so long as you have sympathies and antipathies, quite naturally and as it were spontaneously you will have a favourable perception of what is sympathetic to you and an unfavourable perception of what — or whom — you dislike. And there too the lack of sincerity will be flagrant. However, you may deceive yourself and not perceive that you are being insincere. Then in that case, you have, as it were, the collaboration of mental insincerity. For it is true that there are insincerities of slightly different types according to the state of being or the parts of the being. Only, the origin of these insincerities is always a similar movement arising from desire and the seeking of personal ends — from egoism, from the combination of all the limitations arising from egoism and all the deformations arising from desire.
In fact, as long as the ego is there, one cannot say that a being is perfectly sincere, even though he is striving to become sincere. One must pass beyond the ego, give oneself up totally to the divine Will, surrender without reserve and without calculation… then one can be perfectly sincere, but not before. That does not mean that one should not make an effort to be more sincere than one is, saying to oneself, “All right, I shall wait for my ego to disappear in order to be sincere”, because one may reverse the terms and say that if you do not try sincerely your ego will never disappear. Therefore, sincerity is the basis of all true realisation, it is the means, the path — and it is also the goal. Without it you are sure to make innumerable blunders and you have constantly to redress the harm you have done to yourself and to others.
— The Mother
While tranquillity, objectivity, concentration, meditative analysis are all both difficult and necessary, what is even more needed is integral sincerity or unity of thought and action. Alas, we are slaves of the past, and worse slaves of the passing moment, “the blind and arbitrary will of our contemporaries”; and the challenge therefore is that we should know ourselves, and dare to be ourselves; that we should prepare for the future, and bravely fare forward: Life is in perpetual evolution; if we want to have a living mentality, we must progress unceasingly.
The Mother says: I would like us to make the resolution to raise ourselves each day, in all sincerity and goodwill, in an ardent aspiration towards the Sun of Truth, towards the Supreme Light, the source and intellectual life of the universe, so that it may pervade us entirely and illumine with its great brilliance our minds and hearts, all our thoughts and our actions.
For the New Year, 1952, the Mother distributed an apposite message: O Lord, Thou hast decided to test the quality of our faith and to pass our sincerity on Thy touchstone. Grant that we come out greater and purer from the ordeal.
Faith, sincerity — without these nothing great, nothing noble, could be attempted or attained. This adventure into the infinitudes of the future was certainly going to be difficult, but with faith and sincerity, the pioneers — the barrier-breakers — could safely come through, whatever the intervening trials and ordeals. The complete unification of the whole being around the psychic centre is the essential condition to realise a perfect sincerity.
Ref.: Sri Aurobindo, His biography by KRS Iyengar
And books by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo.