Last updated: 5 Aug, 2014

Social Work - Words of Wisdom

Auroville Village Action Group meeting

Sri Aurobindo

But our attitude is that humanity cannot grow out of its limitations by the ordinary means adopted by the human mind, politics, social reform, philanthropy, etc., — these can only be temporary or local palliatives. The only true escape is a change of consciousness, a change into a greater, wider and purer way of being, and a life and action based upon that change. It is therefore to that that the energies must be turned, once the spiritual orientation is complete. This implies no contempt, but the preference of the only effective means over those which have been found ineffective.

Pg 43, Vol 29, CWSA

The greatest service to humanity, the surest foundation for its true progress, happiness and perfection is to prepare or find the way by which the individual and the collective man can transcend the ego and live in its true self, no longer bound to ignorance, incapacity, disharmony and sorrow. It is by the pursuit of the eternal and not by living bound in the slow collective evolution of Nature that we can best assure even that evolutionary, collective, altruistic aim our modern thought and idealism have set before us. But it is in itself a secondary aim; to find, know and possess the Divine existence, consciousness and nature and to live in it for the Divine is our true aim and the one perfection to which we must aspire.

Pg 359, Vol 23 - 24, CWSA

The Mother

The best way of helping others is to transform oneself. Be perfect and you will be in a position to bring perfection to the world.


Charity, like all things, must be the result in us of a conscious and reasoned will, for impulse is synonymous with error and above all with egoism.

Pg 104, Vol 02, CWM

When you are truly changed, everything around you will also be changed.

Pg 278, Vol 14, CWM

As for the poor, Sri Aurobindo says that to come to their help is good, provided that it is not a vain ostentation of charity, but that it is far nobler to seek a remedy for poverty so that there may be no poor left on earth.

31 Oct 1969, Pg 266, Vol 10, CWM

If there were no misery to soothe, the philanthropist would no longer have any reason for his existence — he is so satisfied with himself, he has so strong an impression that he is not selfish! I knew such people who would be very unhappy if there were no more misery upon earth! What would they do if there were no longer any misery to relieve, what would be their activity and what their glorification? How would they be able to show people “I am not selfish!”, and that they are generous, full of kindness?

03 Feb 1951, Pg 66, Vol 04, CWM

Humanity is a sick child always wanting what is bad for him. Philanthropy is like a mother who, in order to satisfy her child’s demands, would give him the very thing that will make him worse.

It is a mistake to consider service to humanity as the highest expression of service to the Divine. To do so is to remain far too confined within the limits of an exclusive human consciousness.

Pg 276, Vol 14, CWM