December 1972

In work done as sadhana, as an offering and service to the Divine, there are many causes of difficulty and failure, but all of them are due to an inadequate response of the human consciousness to the situation. The inadequacy may stem from a lack of receptivity, openness, transparency to the Divine impulsion, or given the requisite receptivity, an insufficient capacity of the personality to carry out the task. It may stem from the seeking of egoistic gratifications rather than the success of the work, or excessive involvement and attachment to the work which prevents maximum performance. There is also the corresponding attitude in other contributing workers and the interference of powerful external forces.

Vitiating elements such as these may result in one or many set-backs and temporary failures. But if the offering is made in sincerity and carried out with patient persevering determination, most often even serious defects will be gradually revealed and eliminated in the course of the work and eventual success will result. Along with this one can see a corresponding inner progress in the sadhak who by his persistent application is freed from inner obstacles barring his own growth. If the defect lies in fellow workers they will gradually undergo a similar purification, or for some reason be eliminated from the work. Sometimes repeated attempts and failures are necessary for this mechanism to remove the obstacles and prepare the future moment of success.

When difficulties of any sort arise in work, even the most material and those seemingly the result of outside circumstances or chance, it is always well for the sadhak to carefully observe his own psychological attitudes, motivations, purity and sincerity. In most cases an honest self-inquiry will reveal some inner block or defect in attitude or consecration which when removed by conscious rejection or offering to the Divine immediately brings a rapid progress in the outer work.

Even if no inner cause is observed or inner adjustment made, often after repeated failure an unexplained break-through will occur in the work which is accompanied by unforeseen expansion of opportunities for further extension of the work. At these times one may observe an inner growth in oneself or a corresponding growth of consciousness among a cross-section of the population involved in the work. This is so because all resistances and causes of failure in work are related to inner resistances, and a development in either field has its positive effect on the other. Each success in work is a success in individual sadhana as well, and each true inner progress expresses itself in the perfection of the work.