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The Key and the Lock

Thursday March 17 2005 07:46 IST

By Karmayogi

We are locked into a problem. Our knowledge of its solution is the key to that lock, which when turned in it, dissolves the problem. The Rishis of the past knew everything in the universe to be known, except how it was created. Sri Aurobindo in His chapter on Maya in The Life Divine spells out the key and describes its three stages.

To the human mind that was in quest, not only the key to the process of creation was unknown, but the lock - the world - was equally unknown. Having declared the key and its nature, Sri Aurobindo goes on to say what the lock, our world, is. To us mortals occupied by a promotion or the outcome of a surgical operation or wedding expenses, NO key is in sight ever.

A black woman abandoned her young baby in a drunken bout. A white woman took the baby, offered her love in full measure and tried her best to discover the mother who had given the baby up. It was in vain. In the meantime, the baby, which was the recipient of endless, affectionate attention from one in affluence, flowered as a fresh bloom.

Three years passed and now the real mother came to claim the child. The child would not go to her and the white foster mother was most reluctant to part with the object of her affection. The court decided unwillingly in favour of the alcoholic black parent. The childs life became one of non-stop wailing. As a parting memento the white lady had given the child of three years one of her hair clips. One day when the black mother demanded that her child fully recognise her motherhood, she tyrannised over it in various ways. The child was obstinate as only the physical personality can be obstinate.

She fell asleep crying in the bathtub. A little later, the defeated mother, growing compassionate, came to the child and found her clinging to the symbol of love, the hair clip. This led to the reconciliation of the contention.

There is no problem that does not have a KEY as its solution, as the hair clip was here. In moments of crisis or despair or even in moments of utter elation, MAN seeks an object, a person, an idea or an act which his subconscious longs for. That is the key. To discover an Emperors indiscreet photo with an actress, her house was set on fire, by a false alarm. The actress immediately rushed to the hiding place of the photo, her cherished possession.

History occasionally speaks of such symbolic representations when emperors were searching for a solution that long defied them. Salt, said C. Subramaniam, was such a key to Indian Freedom discovered by the great Mahatma. Sure, it ultimately led to its goal. Salt Satyagraha was a landmark in our march to freedom. A patient search will reveal the key to any solution of problems in our life, if we are painstaking.

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