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Hasten Slowly

By Karmayogi

We can go slow or we can hasten. Hasten slowly is a contradiction. Some people reason and others act on faith. Sri Aurobindo’s yoga demands we reconcile reason and faith, power and love, silence and action. In all major occasions of life, the principle of hasten slowly arises. Mostly we miss them. Some boys were walking over a railway bridge. A train was coming behind. It was a small bridge. The boys were already near its end. The first two boys were unaware of the coming train and were gaily walking over the sleepers. The third boy knew. But now if he hurried the others, they might get panicky and trip into the stream below. He could not afford to be slow. In the struggle, he had to hasten his sensations slowly. Luckily they all came out of the bridge before the engine’s cowcatcher had caught them up in its fatal grip.

Sri Aurobindo writes about the attitude one can have towards life. It is wrong to be impatient. It is equally wrong to be lethargic. Patience does not mean passivity. Quiet Patience has in it enormous energy, as Silence, through the energy it holds, calmly energises activities outside. There was a tricky registration whose expiry date was January 7th. The document, by a set of perverse circumstances, was in the hands of a moneylender unconnected with the registration. The buyer brought the money to be paid to the moneylender who refused a cheque or DD. He was fifteen miles away from the Registrar’s office, far off the main road in a hamlet. In those days, banks were not flush with money. The DD for Rs 25,000 could not be honoured by the bank without borrowing from three other banks. The money was all in small denominations. No registrar’s office would receive a document after 1 pm. The bank gave the money at 4 p.m.

An old man whose hands were shaking started counting. At
4:30 pm he grew sympathetic and accepted the rest of the money without counting! The buyer of the land had to patiently wait for the bank to give the cash and wait for the old man to count. He had to hasten. He could not but hasten slowly. This is a phrase from one of the European classical languages. It seems there is a website under this head. Human wisdom has several barbs and this is one.

 
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