This book is the result of successive study classes conducted with the senior students of the Sri Aurobindo Divine Life Education Centre on this very important issue of The Ascent of the Sacrifice which has been expounded by Sri Aurobindo in various of his writings, especially in The Systhesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita and his writings on Veda. By bring together those excerpts and by categorizing and arranging them under relevant titles, it is an effort to bring into focus the message of Sri Aurobindo on this very fundamental issue. Also are included in this the comments that have spontaneously followed the reading of the original text in these classes.
What is Sacrifice?
“… the true essence of sacrifice is not self-immolation, it is self-giving; its object not self-effacement, but self-fulfilment; its method not self-mortification, but a greater life, not self-mutilation, but a transformation of our natural human parts into divine members, not self-torture, but a passage from a lesser satisfaction to a greater Ananda. There is only one thing painful in the beginning to a raw or turbid part of the surface nature; it is the indispensable discipline demanded, the denial necessary for the merging of the incomplete ego. But for that there can be a speedy and enormous compensation in the discovery of a real greater or ultimate completeness in others, in all things, in the cosmic oneness, in the freedom of the transcendent Self and Spirit, in the rapture of the touch of the Divine. Our sacrifice is not a giving without any return or any fruitful acceptance from the other side; it is an interchange between the embodied soul and conscious Nature in us and the eternal Spirit. For even though no return is demanded, yet there is the knowledge deep within us that a marvellous return is inevitable. The soul knows that it does not give itself to God in vain; claiming nothing, it yet receives the infinite riches of the divine Power and Presence.” (CWSA 23 : 109)